Monday, 24 December 2012

Content and Religious Function of Dala’il al-Khayrat

The Content and Religious Function of Dala’il al-Khayrat

By Adam Larson

Few books have experienced the widespread fame and eminence of Dala’il al-Khayrat. It was the pivotal text of the Shadhiliyya Jazuliyya; the daily litany of his disciples which included two complete readings of Dala’il al-Khayrat.Al-Jazuli divided Dala’il al-Khayrat into sections corresponding to the days of the week. Each section contains diverse praises, invocations, and poetic references seamlessly bound into a flowing unity. Its melodic, rhythmic language aids the devotee in memorization and attaining presence of heart. Its phrases of exquisite beauty express love and devotion to the Chosen One (God bless him and give him peace).

Dala’il al-Khayrat soon became famous for its tremendous baraka, spreading well beyond the boundaries of Morocco and the Jazuliyya. The baraka of blessing the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) extended to include the book itself; frequent reference is made to the baraka of the physical object. In one case, a Turkish calligrapher was commanded by the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) in a dream to dedicate his life to copying Dala’il al-Khayrat, continually blessing the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) through the loving strokes of his pen.
Beautifully illustrated manuscripts, lithographs, and print copies, from all over the Islamic world indicate Dala’il al-Khayrat’s renown. Manuscript artists produced detailed illustrations of Mecca and Medina. These illustrations were not merely decorations; rather they were “attempts to create an ideal symmetry,” indicating “the feeling of a divinely ordered universe, as if the artists were reflecting the perfection of the Almighty’s plan as revealed within the sacred scriptures.” Manuscript copies of Dala’il al-Khayrat were often pocket-sized and could be carried in pouches as amulets. These small books both facilitated daily recitation and distinguished the “Companions of the Dala’il ”from others.When in need, people could turn to Dala’il al-Khayrat.

Al-Fasi reports that whoever seeks to fulfill a need and alleviate sorrow should read Dala’il al-Khayrat forty times.

If they strive to complete the proscribed number of readings within forty days, their need, be it great or small, will be fulfilled through the baraka of blessing the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace).

If the text of Dala’il al- Khayrat was not handled properly the baraka would rectify the situation. In one instance, mentioned in Mumti’ al- Asma’, a man set a book on top of Dala’il al-Khayrat and left the room. When he returned he was amazed to find Dala’il al-Khayrat resting on top!
In composing Dala’il al-Khayrat, al-Jazuli sought to teach the virtue of blessing the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) and the best manner in which to do so.

Importantly, Dala’il al-Khayrat mentions over two hundred of the Prophet’s names (God bless him and give him peace) bringing life to his many roles. One rhythmic sequence vividly portrays his names concerning the Day of Judgment: he is the “Prophet of Mercy”, the “Intercessor of the Community”, the “Possessor of the Pool”, and the “Possessor of the raised standard.” Another sequence inspires reverence and awe through depictions of the Prophet’s miracles:

O God! Bless him for whom the palm trunk wept and longed for when parted.
O God! Bless him whom the desert birds implored.
O God! Bless him from whose hand the pebbles glorified.
O God! Bless him from whom the gazelle sought intercession with the most eloquent speech.
O God! Bless him with whom the lizard spoke while in assembly with his distinguished companions.
O God! Bless him whom the stones greeted.
O God! Bless him to whom the trees prostrated.
O God! Bless him whose light brought forth the flowers.
O God! Bless him by whose baraka the fruits ripened.
O God! Bless him by whose wudu’ water the trees flourished green.
O God! Bless him to whose cloak the wild animals would cling when he walked the arid desert.

These remarkable scenes familiarize the reader with the life of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace), fostering love and intimacy. Love and intimacy that inspire the reader to follow his way:

O God make me of those who hold fast to the religion of Muhammad; who exalt his sanctity, honor his word, preserve his covenant and inviolability, assist his party and call, increase his followers and group, deliver his troop, and do not contravene his way and sunna. O God, I ask You for holding fast to his sunna, and I seek refuge in You from turning from what he brought. O God, I ask You for the good that Your Prophet and Messenger asked for, and I seek refuge in You from the evil that Your Prophet and Messenger sought refuge from.

These scenes from the Prophet’s life could also inspire the reader to follow his way in a more literal sense: to walk where the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) walked and to visit the places he frequented in Medina. The most frequently portrayed illustration in Dala’il al-Khayrat depicts the Prophet’s mosque in Medina. In Islamic devotional literature the image of Medina often symbolizes longing for the beloved Prophet (God bless him and give him peace). Medina is the object of immense nostalgia and longing for poets such as Jami, a contemporary of al-Jazuli:

It is we who, like the tulip in the desert of Medina,
Bear in our heart the scar of longing for Medina.
Passionate longing for Paradise may disappear from the wise
man’s head, but
It is not possible that the passionate longing for Medina
should leave him...
The Tuba tree that has lifted its head on the apex of the
Is only a branch from the garden-adorning palm tree of
When you eat dates, kiss their kernels, for
The kernels of the dates of Medina are the beads of the
angels’ rosary!

Medina is the “City of the Prophet”, for in Medina lies the Prophet of Mercy (God bless him and give him peace) who is “more splendid than the full moon and more generous than the sent clouds and the vast seas.”

In Dala’il al-Khayrat, a chapter entitled “A Description of the Noble Garden” lovingly describes the Prophet’s tomb. In this chapter, ‘Aisha (God be pleased with her) relates to her father Abu Bakr (God be pleased with him) a vision concerning the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace):

I saw three moons falling into my room. I told my vision to Abu Bakr (God be pleased with him). He told me, “O ‘Aisha, three will be buried in your house. They are the best people in all the earth.” When the Messenger of God (God bless him and give him peace) passed away and was buried in my house, Abu Bakr (God be pleased with him) said to me, “This is one of your moons and he is the best of them (God bless him and give him peace).”

A textual portrait of the Prophet’s tomb, based upon the hadith of ‘Urwa ibn al-Zubayr, appears in Dala’il al-Khayrat, visually representing the dimensions of the tomb. Abu
Bakr was buried behind the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace), while ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was buried at the legs of Abu Bakr (God be pleased with them both):

‘The portrait of the Prophet’s tomb inspires the reader to be among those the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) mentioned: “There will come to my Pool on the Day of Resurrection nations I will know only because of their frequent asking for blessings upon me.” Dala’il al-Khayrat, replete with beautiful devotional prayers in honor of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace), provides an effective means to achieving this end.

Dala’il al-Khayrat stands witness to the tremendous baraka of blessing the Chosen Prophet (God bless him and give him peace). Its composer, Muhammad b. Sulayman al- Jazuli, devoted his life to this cause and, in the process, renewed the spiritual landscape of his native Morocco. Dala’il al-Khayrat spread from Morocco to all corners of the world, inspiring and inculcating love of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) in the hearts of Muslims everywhere:

Make us the best of those who bless him and pray for him, the best of those who draw near to him and come to him, the best of those who love him and are beloved with him, and gladden us with him in the Courtyards of the Resurrection. Make him a guide for us to the Garden of Felicity without trouble, difficulty or discussion of the account, make him accept us and do not make him angry towards us, and forgive us and our parents and all the Muslims, the living among them and the dead. The end of our prayer is, praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds.


Al-Suyuti, Jalal al-Din, al-Hirzu al-Mani’ fi al-Salat ‘ala al-Habib
al-Shafi’, p., adapted from the translation of Constance Padwick,
Muslim Devotions, London, , pp..

Al-Jazuli, Dala’il al-Khayrat, Maktaba Adab, Cairo

Vincent Cornell, In the Vicinity of the Righteous, University of
Texas Press, Austin

Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Fasi, Mumti’ al-Asma’
Al-Jazuli, Dala’il al-Khayrat, p..

Annemarie Schimmel, And Muhammad is His Messenger: The
Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety, University of North
Carolina Press, p..

David James, “Manuscripts of Muslim Spain”, ARAMCO,
November/December , vol., no..

Giving Sadaqah will help with Duas being answered, Sins be erased and sicknesses are sometimes due to sins; Showing gratitude is sunnah and Allah loves those slaves who shows gratitude; gratitude earns more (ziyada) favours from Allah, Allah promises increased favours for those who are grateful and (hates misers see hadith below) "And when your Lord proclaimed: "If you are thankful, I will give you more"(14:7) and "We shall reward those who are thankful" (3:45)  Allah informs us that one of Satans primary objectives is to prevent humans from being grateful. So show you  support be Thankful for these Duas and Khidma and take more rewards from Allah by Helping and Support “The Sufi Healing Project” through Uns Foundation and take the barakah of this site and all the people who read its duas too through Sadaqah Jariyah.

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The Shade of Sadaqah: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his Sadaqah.” (Tirmidhi)  "The generous man is near Allah, near paradise, near men and far from hell, but the miserly man is far from Allah, far from paradise, far from men and near hell. Indeed, an ignorant man who is generous is dearer to Allah than a worshipper who is miserly."(Tirmidhi)

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