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Home Talks Knowledge and wisdom Hajjah Anna Speaks

Hajjah Anna Speaks

On one of Sheikh Nazim’s visits, he was accompanied by his wife, Amina.  She was best known as Hajjah Anna out of respect, Anna being Turkish for Mother.  She was invited to give talks with an English speaking interpreter.
Hajjah Anna’s Sohbet (association) drew women from many English speaking countries who rarely have this opportunity.  Hajjah Anna’s talks are very traditional, steeped in old stories.  She was beautiful, and animated with many hand gestures, her flute-like voice leaving us wishing to understand her own language.

It may be interesting to note that the subject matter was dealing with the highest aims and aspirations of the worshipper, and not needing any worldly skills or material means.  In other words, the traditional woman’s lot!  The talks were followed by a very strong Dhikr, surprisingly powerful.  Then the full Salaams’ circle, leaving us with rosy cheeks.  Magically, food appeared - did each sister have a casserole or loaf tucked under her coat?  Then just as magically, Hajjah Anna melted away ...

“One day when the Prophet Muhammed* (* = Peace be upon Him) was in the Mosque, a poor Arab man asked him: “I believe in only one God and you are his messenger.  I pray five times a day.  I fast in Ramadhan.  But I don’t have anything to give for Zakat (charity) and I don’t have any means to go on Hajj (Pilgrimage).  You told us there are two groups in humankind, one for Heaven and one for Hell.  Which am I in?” 
Muhammed* answered: “You are in Heaven’s group.  Of the Five Pillars of Islam you only have three, you don’t have wealth for Zakat or Hajj, they are for rich people.”  The poor man got excited and asked “Am I going to be with you in Paradise?”  The Prophet* smiled widely and replied: “You will be as close to me as these two fingers (He held out his first two fingers of his right hand pressed together.)  if you can keep also these three things. Keep your tongue from lying.  Keep your eyes from Haram (forbidden).  Keep your heart from jealousy.”  “How can I make sure my tongue doesn’t betray me?”  “Allah gave you two doors to hide it behind - teeth and lips.  Keep the mouth closed.  Think with the heart.  The believer’s tongue is behind the heart, he thinks before he talks.  The hypocrite talks first and thinks after, heedless of harm.  If one thought first and then spoke, even if then it was wrong, Allah forgives.  The biggest of your wrongdoings is by speech.” 
Ali said that in the world, the first thing to be jailed is the tongue.  It is little but it can turn the world upside-down.  Allah orders us to use the tongue only for good, so all the good words come through it.  You say prayers, recite Quran and holy sayings with it, but you can say bad things with it; in our body it’s the best and the worst organ.  If we guard our tongue we protect our other organs.  This is the first thing the Prophet* told the Arab. 
Secondly, the eyes.  Eyes can look with good intention or with worst intentions.  Looking once at a badness is allowed, looking twice is forbidden.  This means the first time your eyes may fall upon something you are innocent, but returning the eyes for a second look means you are responsible.  Looking for learning is all right, you may take a lesson.  Allah doesn’t put three types of eyes into Hell - one, that cries for Allah’s sake; two, that looks into the eyes of the needy; three, the soldier who is alert, defending his country and family.  If these eyes don’t go to Hell, the rest of a person cannot.  So the eyes can save us. 
Thirdly, keep your heart away from jealousy.  Vanity, grudging and bad thoughts come from jealousy.  Jealousy is a poison that eats up your heart and disrupts your life as well as the object of your jealousy.  The jealous one cannot stand others’ success, even loved ones.  So much harm comes from it.  “Take care to keep your heart from these three things, tongue, eyes, jealousy,” said Muhammad*.  The man asked: “Are these conditions only applicable to me, or for others also?”  The Prophet* answered, “Anyone! If they follow these, they will be with me in Paradise.”
God wants all his children to be good, and He wants to forgive them.  Whoever believes in good, no matter what religion or country, no difference through the eyes of Allah.  Allah made everybody equal but He loves best those in awe of Him, His Majesty.  The Prophet Muhammad* said: “There is no difference to Allah between my followers sitting near me and the believing person in the farthest corner of the world.”  The only difference is they pray in other ways.  God’s most precious ones are the believers.  Among people there are good and bad.  Bad ones follow Shaitan (Satan) more and try to keep good people away from God. 
Allah created Adam, and told all the Angels to bow down to him to give respects.  He was the best of creatures ever made.  Iblis got jealous of him and said that Adam should bow to him!  He made sajdah (prostrations in prayer) all the time to God, but would not do one to Adam.  Because of it he got all these thrown back at him and put out of Heaven.  He (now named Satan) vowed to be enemy of people, to attack from all four sides.  “When I come from the right, it will close all doors for good deeds.  When I come from the left it will open all doors to bad deeds.  From the front, I will make them forget their afterlife and the Day of Judgement, so they won’t do anything for that time.  I will come from the back, to make them love this world, and be attached to material things.”   Allah said: “I will not close the door of forgiveness.”  Satan said: ”Their wish to live long will make them forget to ask forgiveness.” 
Then the angels started crying, saying that people didn’t deserve to be led into such badness.  Adam hadn’t done anything wrong.  So Allah said “I made Satan forget two sides - above and below.  My servants will bow down to Me and raise their hands up to Me in prayer.  When they do that, they can escape all four walls.  When they pray five times a day theirs is the reward of 120,000 years’ praying, because Satan prayed for 120,000 years - 40,000 on the ground, 40,000 in the sky, 40,000 in heaven.  But for not making sajda once, I give all his praying rewards to the children of Adam.”  Wudhu (ritual washing) is necessary.  In four parts - face, head, arms, feet.  Adam ate forbidden fruit with his mouth.  He took it with hands.  He walked to it by foot.  He regretted his act by holding his head.  When we make wudhu now, Allah gives the reward of Prophets.  Washing the face, is for the beauty of Yusuf (Joseph).  His beauty shone 500 miles away in its brilliance.  Washing hands, is for the honour of Moses taking the Torah in his right hand.  Suleiman (Solomon) was the greatest king, he was king of all beings on earth.  So wudhu of heads is for receiving a crown like his.  Washing the feet gives reward after we die.  To go from our grave up to Heaven, not by foot but by Buraq (Heavenly Steed).  After wudhu, whoever makes two rakats (prayer cycles) all their sins are erased.
Allah loves prayer.  It is the Sunnat (way) of  Prophets and Angels.  Whoever prays five times a day, the Angel of Death will take their soul as gently as a hair through butter.  When questioned in the grave, your prayers will answer for you, and they will be your covering (shroud).  In Heaven they will be your proof of identity, recognised by Allah.  He Almighty said that to people who pray He will open all eight doors, enter how you like. 
The Angel Gabriel was given the name of Peacock of the Angels, for his beauty.  Under just one of his wings are pictures of eight heavens, and he has 600 wings.  Allah put a mirror in front to show him to himself.  Angel Gabriel was amazed and embarrassed.  He said “O Allah, did you create anything more beautiful than me?”  Allah said no.  So Gabriel made two rakats, lasting 40,000 years, to give thanks to God.  When he had finished Allah said “No-one prays more beautifully than you either.  But I will make creatures, who when they pray only two rakats, and full of error, it is more precious to me than your magnificent one.”  Gabriel asked how it could be, and to see this creature.  When he flies, he normally opens only one wing, he is so big.  This time he opened all 600 wings and began to fly all round the universe.  He became tired, and rested, and cried “Did I circle yet all the Paradises of the people who pray?”  The Almighty answered “Even if I give you more wings you do not have the strength to go round the Paradise of one devout person!  You only covered a small amount of Heaven.”  Gabriel asked: “Why do you give so much?”  Allah replied: “Because I gave them free will and they obeyed my orders.  Even if I give them all my Heavens I will be in debt.”
The nearest to God is he who prays.  When you stand in prayer, you don’t go anywhere, not moving, arms still, eyes on your place of sajda.  Keeping words only for the prayer, not speaking otherwise.  Looking like Alif, the first letter in the Arabic alphabet; looking like Allah’s servant.  In sajda we make the shape of the name Muhammed.  Mim, is head, Ha, is body, Mim, is arms.  Dad, is legs.  Mashallah, (Just as Allah likes it) prayer is lovely.”

Ruqqayah Rose with thanks to Pakize and Ferzan for translation.


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