Adab (Etiquette) of Sheikh

Salaam everyone

One of most ailing ailments of the heart is the yearning for being recognized by people somehow e.g. I yearn for people to read my writings and send me admiring notes, or call me some lofty titles, or invite me to give talks or form a following for me to lead. These are far away from Islam and its spiritual arts of Sufism.

The  disaster: A Sheikh who calls on Murids (Seekers) to seek his love! As Allah commanded the Prophet:

3:31. Qul (Say): If you (plural) are to love Allah, Fa (Consequently, in this order) follow me Allah shall love you (plural).

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

It does not say: Follow me so I (Muhammad) to love you or follow me and love me! It is about being a conduit for Allah and people to love each other.

The best example is this book Sheikh Izzed-Din Kashani wrote on Sufism (below), he did not write the book to be famed as a scholar, nor to publish it and make money, nor to be loved and endeared by masses, he wrote the book since the Persians of his time asked him for a non-Arabic Farsi manual for Sufism, since the other manuals were in Arabic and hard for them to read. So he basically wrote a book of terminologies and practices and sayings of the Sufis as a service to the Murids (Seekers), not to be loved and obeyed and followed. Only the psychopath criminal thinks of the religion as such!


Adab (Etiquette) of Sheikh and its virtues
Chapter 5
Misbah Al-Hidaya (Lantern of Guidance)
Izzed-Din Kashani

Discussion   Join

Most virtuous Daraja (Gradation) after the Prophet-hood is being a Sheikh as the representative of the Prophet, calling unto the people towards Allah, in concordance to the ways of the Prophet peace be upon him. Sheikh is such deputy. And therefore such a rank is indeed the most virtuous as was said by the Prophet:

And by Al-Ladhi (That Which) i.e. Allah, at ITs Hand is the person of Muhammad, and if you might, I would take an oath for you, Inna the most loved servants of Allah by Allah are those who make Allah love ITs servants and make the servants to love Allah and they roam upon this earth giving (good) advice.

كنز العمال – للمتقي الهندي
المجلد الثالث >> الإكمال من الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر
5565- ألا أخبركم بأقوام ليسوا بأنبياء ولا شهداء؟ يغبطهم يوم القيامة الأنبياء والشهداء بمنازلهم من الله على منابر من نور يرفعون الذين يحببون عباد الله إلى الله، ويحببون الله إلى عباده، ويمشون في الأرض نصحاء، قيل: كيف يحببون عباد الله إلى الله؟ قال: يأمرونهم بما يحب الله وينهونهم عما يكرهه الله، فإذا أطاعوهم أحبهم الله.
(هب) وأبو سعيد النقاش في معجمه وابن النجار عن أنس

Remark: “those who make Allah love ITs servants” the word ‘make’ does not have any measure of control or subjugation, it is the best and simplest word in English to convey the concept of being an instrument to make a servant loved by Allah.

The latter is the meaning of the concept of Sheikh in Sufism.

The intent of the Sheikh is to polish the rustic lusts/desires off the mirror of the Murid’s (Seeker’s) heart, therefore (Murid’s heart) to reflect the rays of the Divine Beauty of the Ahadiyat (Divine Oneness) and the rays of the Momentous/Glorious Samadiyat (Absolute Mastery), to brimfill the goblet of the eyes by such (beautiful) observations and thus place the Mahab-bat (Divine Love) within the heart of the Murid (Seeker of the Divine). (Dara: We love beautiful things, therefore something to become beloved for us we must first see its bedazzling beauty)

Therefore the ‘profession’ of Sheikh is to make Allah the beloved of the Murids (Seekers of the Divine) and vice-a-versa:

3:31. Qul (Say): If you (plural) are to love Allah, Fa (Consequently, in this order) follow me Allah shall love you (plural).

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

Adab (Etiquette) and duties of the Sheikh towards the Murid (Seeker of the Divine)

As the Murid (Seeker) has an Adab (Etiquette) for the Sheikh i.e. Irada (Willful love to follow), Sheikh also has Adab (Etiquette) for the Murid i.e. right to make Tarbiya (Nurturing). There are fifteen Adabs (Etiquettes) for the Sheikh:

1.    Purity of Intention and absence of all causality: First thing the Sheikh is to do is to interrogate his self to make sure that he does not desire to lead, to be called Sheikh or yearn to be loved—intense feelings as desired much by the Nafs (Self) of every human being. And do so even if he sees his Nafs (Self) already cleansed i.e. to accuse his Self again and again. Since it is quite possible that being loved by people and being the center of attention have been occluded and he could not see these faults. And thus when finds some Murids (Seekers), even if being all sincere, turning to him to seek guidance, he rushes not to their aid! He is paused until upon much turning to Allah and much invocations the veils of ambiguities are removed and vis-à-vis the Divine Cognizance he knows with certainty what Allah’s wish is for these Murids and him. First case: If this affair is all trials and tribulations to test, to safeguard and keep away and invite the Murdis from a distance and as such concealed. Second case: He sees that Allah is pleased for these Murids to be guided by him and therefore he completely takes over the responsibility and preoccupied by it.

2.    Cognizance of Preparedness (Isti’dad): Prior to engaging the Murid (Seeker) the Sheikh must see if the Murid is prepared for Suluk (Voyage) upon the Path of those near to Allah, and if so to invite him according to the wisdom and ways suitable for those close to Allah. And if the Murid is not prepared, to admonish him with the glad tidings of the Gardens and warnings of the Fire. For those prepared and close to Allah to aid them to keep their Sirr (Divine Observatory) clear and discernment of Khatir (Ideas, Notions) i.e. what thoughts are Divine and which are from the devil. Those who are not close to Allah to discipline with worships and physical rituals. In summary to advise and command the Murid (Seeker) to do that which in accordance to their preparedness. And the person who is not competent to do the latter is not suitable for the profession of a Sheikh as the Sheikh Al-Islam said (Suhrawardi?): Amazing! The desert dweller knows each patch of earth and the trees i.e. knows which tree belongs to which earth as every artisan knows its art i.e. the benefits and shortcomings and even the female working the spindle knows the threads and the yarns, and yet so does the Sheikh knows the circumstances of the Murid (Seeker) and what is good and applicable to him.

3.    Complete disinterest in the Murid’s (Seeker’s) wealth: Under no circumstance offer any services for any Murid (Seeker) with even slightest inclination towards any monetary rewards. Tarbiyat (Spiritual Nurturing) and Irshad (Spiritual Directives) are far better than any wealth as has been attributed to the Prophet (Khabar): There is no charity spent more valued than that of spreading some Ilm (Divine Knowledge) amongst the people. If the Murid (Seeker) wishes to do away from all the worldly possessions and liquidate assets for charity, the Sheikh must come up with an alternative proposal such that there are no worries about the duress of financial loss for the Murid (Seeker) i.e. he is not able to endure poverty and might succumb to it. The Prophet peace be upon him allowed Abu Bakr to give away all his wealth to charity, and when there was worry that he would be in stress of the financial loss to retain some. When one of the Murids (Seekers) asked permission of Junaid to spend all his money on charity Junaid did not allow him and said to him: Keep some for your needs for I am not secure about the desires and inclinations of your Nafs (Self) after the remittance of the funds.

4.    Ithār (Altruism, Selflessness): Sheikh must sacrifice, selflessly, all that material gains he enjoys and to cut off personal interests (in daily consumption) so that the altruistic traces are observed by the Murid (Seeker) within the Sheikh and as such the same selfless behavior and sacrifice would become easy for the Murid as well. And if there happens to be some additional provisions coming the Murid’s way he (Murid) would give it away in ease and peace sharing with the needy and poor.

5.     Compliance of action with the words: Sheikh should not instruct or order the Murid (Seeker) to do anything (or abstain from anything) unless and until he himself complies with such order, way in advance of its issuance, so that it would readily be complied with by the Murid (Seeker). As some said: If looking at a person does not benefit you, neither does his word! (i.e. seeing him in action an indication for the veracity of his words). Even for the Sheikh being well to do is the same as living with scantiness, yet it is best for the Murid (Seeker) that the Sheikh sacrifices his personal interests and daily living so that the Murid find it easier to steer away from the consumption and material coveting. As was said by Umar to this regard: The poverty and affluence are two burdens (loads), I do not care which one to carry! (i.e. both are the same or he is the same person given both)

6.     Befriending the weak: Any time the Sheikh could observe a weakness or deviance he ought to be ultra-patient with the Murid (Seeker of the Divine) that might help him to overcome his shortcoming. And this can become second nature to a Sheikh by spending much time amongst the poor and the destitute. When one of the affluent Murids of Ahmad Qalanisi cut off from the worldly life, after some time, there appeared with him some weaknesses. Therefore this Sheikh, anytime made some money, used to send the Murid (Seeker) good foods and pastries saying: He has forsaken the very worldly life that he was so used to, therefore it is most appropriate to befriend him (in his time of need and weakness) and provide for him some provision.

7.    Purification of the words: Sheikh must filter away the desires and lusts out of his words. Since the effect of his words upon the heart of the Murid (Seeker) is that of a seed planted, if the seed is a good one a nice plant sprouts, if the seed is bad then there is no sprouting. The ruin and impurity of the words is the immixing of personal desires with words (addressed to the Murid). There are two ways for the corruption of the words: first the speaker says what the listeners want to hear (marketing savvy), second the speaker feels ‘Ujb (Self-amazement) bedazzled and admiring his own speech! The appearance of the latter within the Nafs (Self) is the worst possible crime a Sheikh can commit. Therefore when Sheikh speaks he needs to clear and filer his personal desires out of the words and as such plant a verbal seed within the heart of the Murid (Seeker) and leave these words under the care of Allah to make them truth and bring them to fruition and safeguard them against the Shaitan (Satan). To get rid of the criminally spoken ‘Ujb (Self-amazement) to observe and study the benevolence of the Divine Gifts and thus to shatter the eyes of the Nafs (Self) and destroy the darkling veil of ‘Ujb (Self-amazement) upon the dawn of the rays of Nur (Divine Light), and to see and find his total existence nothing but a droplet of water tumbling upon the tumults of the resistless waves the sea of Divine Blessings, dissolving to oblivion.

8.    Elevation of the heart to the Divine Presence during the conversations: When the Sheikh attempts to speak to the Murid (Seeker) first he must elevate his heart to the level of the Divine Presence and ask from Allah words that are filled with benefit and goodness for the Murid so that his tongue speaks the truth and much benefit provided for the Murid (Seeker). And as such the speaker is the same as the listener! Once a Sheikh said to his people: I am the same as you listening to my own words! Some of those present within the audience found it strange i.e. how can a speaker listen to his own words same a listener in the crowd, how can the speaker and the listener be equal? One of the listeners that night saw a pearl diver in his dream, fetching pearls from the depth of the ocean and when swam ashore and opened the shells both he and those who did not swam along saw the same pearl i.e. in that moment of observing the never-seen pearl the diver and the spectator at the shore became the same! (Experienced the same)

9.    Speaking with allusions: Anytime the Sheikh observes a defect or undesirable attribute or behavior within the Murid (Seeker of the Divine) he must avoid all direct conversations and confrontations and instead speak to an audience and indirectly address the fault and the issues. This way of advising is closest to the wisdom and best to affect the Murid (Seeker).

10.    Preserving the Divine Secrets of the Murid (Seeker): In occasions Sheikh might see and find with the Murid (Seeker) Divine Gifts and Benevolence and it is the duty of the Sheikh to conceal these gifts and blessings and not to make them public. When in private with the Murid (Seeker) to belittle the importance of these gifts and grants to remind the Murdi (Seeker) that all these are from Allah and not originated from him or her, and all in return the Murid (Seeker) should do is to offer gratitude to Allah, busied in the state of thankfulness, since otherwise any other attention and diversion might diminish or ruin the Divine Gifts:

12:5. Said (the father Jacob): “My (dear) little son! relate not your vision to thy brothers, lest they concoct a plot against you: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy!
قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تَقْصُصْ رُؤْيَاكَ عَلَى إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُوا لَكَ كَيْدًا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لِلْإِنْسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ

19:10. (Zakariya) said: “O my Lord! give me a Sign.” “Your Sign,” was the answer, “Shall be that you shall not speak to no man for three nights, although you art not dumb.”

قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ لِي آَيَةً قَالَ آَيَتُكَ أَلَّا تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَاثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيًّا

19:26 “And if you do see any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to ((Allah)) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being'”
فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ الْبَشَرِ أَحَدًا فَقُولِي إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَنِ صَوْمًا فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنْسِيًّا

11.     Forgiving the mistakes and failures of the Murid (Seeker): Sheikh must be patient and forgiving when the Murid (Seeker) loses his Adab (Etiquette) or forsake some service he was ordered to do, as a man asked the Prophet: How much should I pardon my servant? The Prophet replied: Seventy times a day, each day. (Dara: Seventy in the language of the Arab means ‘a lot’ not the number 70)

12.    Disregarding one’s own rights: Even if the Sheikh deserves much respect and honor, and the more he does so, he is to disregard any rights for being respected and paid attention to, for such expectations are unbefitting the profession of a Sheikh. And do disregard with best of behavior and presentation. Daqqi narrates: I was in an Egyptian mosque with a group of Faqirs (Sufi Paupers) when Abu Bakr Warraq arrived and started offering prayers behind a column. We decided to stand up and greet the Sheikh once he finished. As soon as the Sheikh said the final Salaam (Peace) of the prayer he got up and came to us and surpassed us in greeting. We replied that it was our duty to greet him first and the Sheikh replied: Allah has never tormented my heart with that (i.e. expecting respect and attention from the people). (Dara: End of Sufism in our days)

13.    Fulfilling the obligations for the Murid (Seeker): (In contrast to the #12) The Sheikh is obliged to perform and fulfill all the rights that are due to the Murid (Seeker) of respect, expectations and attention and so on. Abu Muhammad Jariri narrates: When I returned from the Hajj I decided to go visit the Sheikh Junaid so he is not bothered to make the trip to my place. When the time for the Noon prayer arrived (the hottest time of the day to travel) I saw Junaid arriving and thus I told him: My Sayyid (Master) I meant to be the first to greet you (coming to your place) so that you might not come here, and Junaid replied: O Muhammad this (meaning to come to see me) is your virtue and generosity and (my coming to see you) your right!

14.    To allot time for Khalwat (Solitude) and Jilwat (Unveiled for public access): Sheikh should not be obsessed and preoccupied by the public affairs and mingling with people filling all his time, he must allot time for Khalwat (Solitude) to regain his Hala (Momentary States of the heart) Kamal (Perfection) and feeling the Divine Presence, as was practiced by the Prophet peace be upon him. The Prophet sometimes was with the people to be merciful with them and sometimes in solitude to gain and benefit more from the Divine Mercy.  Human being often suffers from lack of verve in worships and Dhikrs (Remembrance) and such times are most suitable to have Suhbat (Companionship) with people and attending to their affairs and once the attention and energy appears again return to the Khalwat (Solitude) and continue the worships with enthusiasm and zeal. Junaid told his companions: Had I known that a short prayer (Two Ra’at) is more valued than Suhbat (Companionship) I would have never socialized.

15.    Increased Performance of additional Dhikr and Worships (Nawāfil): Sheikh should never be mislead believing that he is not in need of additional non-obligatory Dhikrs and Worships, since the Prophet peace be upon was quite diligent to observe the Nafla e.g. additional prayers during the night and Dhikrs around different times of the day. It has entered into the Hadith (Prophetic Narration) that one night the Prophet prayed so much extra worships (Tahajjud) that his feet had swollen. Aisha asked him: O Messenger of Allah didn’t Allah forgive your past and future sins? The Prophet replied: (Since so) shouldn’t I be a grateful servant?

These were the collection of Adab (Etiquette) for being a Sheikh.


© 2010-2002,  Dara O Shayda

Response to Traweeh from Shakir

Salaam Shakir

The most important guidelines for anything dealing with Qur’an are set by Allah and the Prophet:

1) you listen to the words attentively

2) you understand the full meaning of the words and composition of the verses and so on

While Taraweeh is in part a social activity in its very nature, it is also fully centered about reading and listening to Qur’an. Therefore the said guidelines above apply.

I cannot stand even for 2 Rak’a of long recitations of long Surahs, since my mind cannot focus and I do not understand the meaning of all the words and their compositions. Therefore within few minutes my mind dilly dallies and other thoughts occur.

As a result I attended the Traweeh but I did not remember Allah and I did something else other than its purpose.

Therefore my suggestions for my own Self, not an instruction to you, is to do what is the easiest that optimizes the two guidelines mentioned above.

I prefer to read 1 fully understood verse in each Rak’a and full understanding of Fatiha, and the duration easiest for my mind and my focus, therefore how the Rak’a numbers might add up that evening.

These are of course not perfect words and people do not like them, but I rather be honest in Presence of Allah, when it comes to Qur’an these days we are ignorant folk, all of us, and we need to face the fact and instead of acting to impress others or to make a point for others to see, pause to optimize the mentioned guidelines above.

Sadly for me to be truthful is far more suited than being pious.

Allah’s aid is most sought




Every year this dispute becomes evident in Muslims. While majority prays 20 rakaat salah,but many argue that taraweeh is 8 rakaat. Plus in some cases this argument goes into extremism.
If you could give some advice on this issue, please.

Believe It Or Not, Most Published Research Findings Are Probably False


The rise of the Internet has worked wonders for the public’s access to science, but this has come with the side effect of a toxic combination of confirmation bias and Google, enabling us to easily find a study to support whatever it is that we already believe, without bothering to so much as look at research that might challenge our position — or the research that supports our position for that matter. I’m certainly not immune myself from credulously accepting research that has later been called into question, even on this blog where I take great effort to take a skeptical approach and highlight false claims arising from research. Could it be the case that studies with incorrect findings are not just rare anomalies, but are actually representative of the majority of published research?

The claim that “most published research findings are false” is something you might reasonably expect to come out of the mouth of the most deluded kind of tin-foil-hat-wearing-conspiracy-theorist. Indeed, this is a statement oft-used by fans of pseudoscience who take the claim at face value, without applying the principles behind it to their own evidence. It is however, a concept that is actually increasingly well understood by scientists. It is the title of a paper written 10 years ago by the legendary Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis. The paper, which has become the most widely cited paper ever published in the journal PLoS Medicine, examined how issues currently ingrained in the scientific process combined with the way we currently interpret statistical significance, means that at present, most published findings are likely to be incorrect.

Richard Horton, the editor of The Lancet recently put it only slightly more mildly: “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” Horton agrees with Ioannidis’ reasoning, blaming: “small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance.” Horton laments: “Science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

Last year UCL pharmacologist and statistician David Colquhoun published a report in the Royal Society’s Open Science in which he backed up Ioannidis’ case: “If you use p=0.05 to suggest that you have made a discovery, you will be wrong at least 30 percent of the time.” That’s assuming “the most optimistic view possible” in which every experiment is perfectly designed, with perfectly random allocation, zero bias, no multiple comparisons and publication of all negative findings. Colquhorn concludes: “If, as is often the case, experiments are underpowered, you will be wrong most of the time.”

The numbers above are theoretical, but are increasingly being backed up by hard evidence. The rate of findings that have later been found to be wrong or exaggerated has been found to be 30 percent for the top most widely cited randomized, controlled trials in the world’s highest-quality medical journals. For non-randomized trials that number rises to an astonishing five out of six.

Over recent years Ioannidis’ argument has received support from multiple fields. Three years ago, when drugs company Amgen tried to replicate the “landmark publications” in the field of cancer drug development for a report published in Nature, 47 out of 53 could not be replicated. When Bayer attempted a similar project on drug target studies, 65 percent of the studies could not be replicated.

The problem is being tackled head on in the field of psychology which was shaken by the Stapel affair in which one Dutch researcher fabricated data in over 50 fraudulent papers before being detected. The social sciences received another blow recently when Michael LaCour was accused of fabricating data; the case exposed how studies are routinely published without raw data ever being made available to reviewers.

A massive operation titled The Open Science Collaboration, involving 270 scientists, has so far attempted to replicate 100 psychology experiments, but only succeeded in replicating 39 studies. The project looked at the first articles published in 2008 in the leading psychology journals. The news wasn’t entirely bad; the majority of the non-replications were described by the researchers as having at the very least “slightly similar” findings. The resulting paper is currently under review for publication in Science, so we’ll have to wait before we get more details. The paper is likely to ruffle some feathers; tempers flared a few years ago when one of the most high-profile findings of recent years, the concept of behavioral priming, was called into question after a series of failed replications.

Whatever way you look at it, these issues are extremely worrying. Understanding the problem is essential in order to know when to take scientific claims seriously. Below I explore some of Ioannidis’ key observations:

The smaller the study, the less likely the findings are to be true.

Large studies are expensive, take longer and are less effective at padding out a CV; consequently we see relatively few of them. Small studies however, are far more likely to result in statistically significant results that are in fact a false positive, so they should be treated with caution. This problem is magnified when researchers fail to publish (or journals refuse to publish) negative findings — a problem know as publication bias or the file drawer problem.

The smaller the effect size, the less likely the findings are to be true.

This sounds like it should be obvious, but it is remarkable how much research fails to actually describe the strength of the results, preferring to simply refer to statistical significance alone, which is a far less useful measure. A study’s findings can be statistically significant yet have an effect size so weak that in reality the results are completely meaningless. This can be achieved through a process known as P-hacking — which was the method John Bohannon recently used to create a spoof paper finding that chocolate helps you lose weight. P-hacking involves playing with variables until a statistically significant result is achieved. As neuroscientist and blogger Neuroskeptic demonstrated in a recent talk that you can watch online, this is not always the result of foul play, but can actually happen very easily by accident if researchers simply continue conducting research in the same way most currently do now.

The greater the number and the lesser the selection of tested relationships, the less likely the findings are to be true.

This was another key factor that enabled Bohannon to design the study rigged to support the case that eating chocolate helps you lose weight. Bohannon used 18 different types of measurements, relying on the fact that some would likely support his case simply due to chance alone. This practice is currently nearly impossible to detect if researchers fail to disclose all the factors they looked at. This problem is a major factor behind the growing movement of researchers calling for the pre-registration of study methodology.

The greater the financial and other interests and prejudices, the less likely the findings are to be true.

It is always worth checking to see who funded a piece of research. Sticking with our chocolate theme, a recent study that found that chocolate is “scientifically proven to help with fading concentration” was funded by Hershey. On a more serious note, tobacco companies have a long history of funding fraudulent health research over the past century — described by the World Health Organization as “the most astonishing systematic corporate deceit of all time.” Today that baton has been handed to oil companies who give money to scientists who deny global warming and fund dozens of front groups with the purpose of sowing doubt about climate change.

The hotter a scientific field, the less likely the findings are to be true.

Though seemingly counter-intuitive, it is particularly common in fast-moving fields of research where many researchers are working on the same problems at the same time, for false findings to be published and quickly debunked. This has been dubbed the Proteus Phenomenon after the Greek god Proteus, who could rapidly change his appearance. The same can be said for research published in the sexiest journals, which only accept the most groundbreaking findings, where the problem has been dubbed the Winner’s Curse.

What does this all mean to you?

Thankfully science is self-correcting. Over time, findings are replicated or not replicated and the truth comes out in the wash. This is done through a process of replication involving larger, better controlled trials, meta-analyses where the data from many trials are aggregated and analyzed as a whole, and systematic reviews where studies are assessed based on predetermined criteria — preventing the cherry picking that we’re all, whether we like it or not, so naturally inclined to.

Replications, meta-analyses and systematic reviews are by their nature far more useful for portraying an accurate picture of reality than original exploratory research. But systematic reviews rarely make headlines, which is a good reason the news is not the best place to get an informed opinion about matters of science. The problem is unlikely to go away any time soon, so whenever you hear about a new piece of science news, remember the principles above and the simple rule of thumb that studies of studies are far more likely to present a true picture of reality than individual pieces of research.

What does this mean for scientists?

For scientists, the discussion over how to resolve the problem is rapidly heating up with calls for big changes to how researchers register, conduct, and publish research and a growing chorus from hundreds of global scientific organizations demanding that all clinical trials are published. Perhaps most important and most difficult to change, is the structure of perverse incentives that places intense pressure on scientists to produce positive results while actively encouraging them to quietly sit on negative ones.


© Copyright 2015, The Big Think, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Just Beautiful

Salaam everyone

This video to the best of my knowledge is animated by modelling actual data obtained from actual observations, so it is not an animation of someone’s imagination. These are happening in every cell in your body, every moment of your life:


The entire animated entities are surrounded by the intra-cellular water which the animation does not show.

Specially see this excerpt from the video:


These are Ishara, pointers pointing towards a direction. So it is lesser about the questions “why I am here” or “what is the purpose of life”, but more about what are we pointing at? Or Who are we pointing at?


More about seeing, less about knowing.



Keeping the Dhikr (Remembrance)

Salaam Everyone

Imagine living some place where to relax after a hard day people stand on top of the remains of bombed buildings watching the sunset.

I am not going to throw you on the flames of cliche judgements which the American media fans around the planet, but I tell you to keep The Dhikr (Remembrance), like unto a lamp in darkness, so people could find their ways, not to you, but to Allah’s peace and prosperity and safety and happiness, not for the people you like but for all.


Sunset through a destroyed building on the Gaza shore. Many ruined structures remain from the war with Israel last summer. Wissam Nassar for The New York Times.


Few of you, deep within you, unbeknownst to you, find a light, it was always there before you were born and it shines after you die, and this light shall extinguish the flares of war, shall calm the tumult of horrid weather, shall sprout crops for all to prosper, and shall cure the ailments.

I feel the radiance of this light in you or this pen would have been still, and perchance you are not even born, or you are oceans away, or not speak this language, nonetheless I see the glimmer.

No one cares about the lamp, they care about the light.





Thinking : التفكر الفكرة

Fikra: Thinking

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The lover’s most sacred hour is spent wallowing within thoughts and memories of his beloved:

An hour of thinking is better than 60 years of worship, said the Prophet peace be upon him.

الجامع الصغير.  – لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الرابع >> باب: حرف الفاء
5897- فكرة ساعة خير من عبادة ستين سنة
التخريج (مفصلا): أبو الشيخ <ابن حبان> في العظمة عن أبي هريرة
تصحيح السيوطي: ضعيف


After all, Azizam (My dearest beloved), what is a lover? … without the thoughts of his beloved…

Azizat, That Divine Beloved, endowed your corpuscular mind with unique human thoughts to keep you company midst the hapless darknesses of the life of this world:

You (all) think about the Ala’ (Gifts) of Allah yet do not think about the nature of Allah (what Allah is), said the Prophet.


الجامع الصغير.  – لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثالث >> باب: حرف التاء
3348 – تفكروا في آلاء الله ولا تفكروا في الله
التخريج (مفصلا): أبو الشيخ <ابن حبان> الطبراني في الأوسط وابن عدي في الكامل والبيهقي في شعب الإيمان عن ابن عمر
تصحيح السيوطي: ضعيف
كنز العمال – للمتقي الهندي
المجلد الثالث >> التفكر
8491- عن أبي ذر رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، في قوله تعالى: {وأن إلى ربك المنتهى} قال: لا فكرة في الله عز وجل.
(قط) في الأفراد.


And as such That Divine Hand crafted your beauty constrained by the Surat of Al-Rahman (Most Benevolent Gift Giver), while pouring most beautiful thoughts gushed deep within the molecular matrix of your Wujud (Being).

Azizam there is nothing for you, of the children and wealth of the life of this world, save an hour of thought for your true Beloved.

Azizam you are nothing but an eroding shoreline upon which the billows of That Divine Beloved’s thoughts, hour after hour, washed away all that which is not you!

Sieving through the thoughts and ancient memories of That Divine Beloved, you find the most precious nuggets of:

You (all) do think about the nature of all things, yet do not think about the Zhat (inmate essence) of Allah, since between the seventh sky to the Kursi (Pedestal), there is 70,000 Nur, and Hu is above all that, said the Prophet peace be upon him.

الجامع الصغير.  – لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثالث >> باب: حرف التاء
3345 – تفكروا في كل شيء، ولا تفكروا في ذات الله تعالى، فإن بين السماء السابعة إلى كرسيه سبعة آلاف نور، وهو فوق كل ذلك
[(“وهو فوق ذلك”: فوقية منزهة عن صفات الأجسام، فهي لا تزيده من الأرض بعدا ولا من السماء قربا، كما في قواعد العقائد لحجة الإسلام الإمام الغزالي. دار الحديث)]ـ
التخريج (مفصلا): أبو الشيخ <ابن حبان> في العظمة عن ابن عباس
********** تصحيح السيوطي **********
التصحيح غير موجود. وللسيوطي *** مصطلح *** في ذلك. قال في ديباجة قسم الأقوال من جمع الجوامع:
… للبخاري (خ) ولمسلم (م) ولابن حبان (حب) وللحاكم في المستدرك (ك) وللضياء المقدسي في المختارة (ض)
*** وجميع مافي هذه الكتب الخمسة صحيح فالعزو إليها معلم بالصحة *** سوى ما في المستدرك من المتعقب فأنبه عليه
وكذا ما في موطأ مالك وصحيح ابن خزيمة وأبي عوانة وابن السكن والمنتقى لابن الجارود والمستخرجات
*** فالعز و إليها معلم بالصحة أيضا ***
ورمزت لأبي داود (د) ولابن ماجه (ه) ولأبي داود الطيالسي (ط) ولأحمد (حم) ولزيادات ابنه عبد الله (عم) ولعبد الرزاق (عب) ولسعيد بن منصور (ص) ولابن أبي شيبة (ش) ولأبي يعلى (ع) وللطبراني في الكبير (طب) وفي الأوسط (طس) وللدارقطني (قط) فإن كان في السنن أطلقت وإلا بينته ولأبي نعيم في الحلية (حل) وللبيهقي (ق) فإن كان في السنن أطلقت وإلا بينته وله في شعب الإيمان (هب)
*** وهذه فيها الصحيح والحسن والضعيف، فأبينه غالبا ***
*** وكل ما كان في مسند أحمد فهو مقبول فإن الضعيف الذي فيه يقرب من الحسن ***
وللعقيلي في الضعفاء (عق) ولابن عدي في الكامل (عد) وللخطيب (خط) فإن كان في تاريخه أطلقت وإلا بينته ولابن عساكر (كر)
*** وكل ماعزي لهؤلاء الأربعة وللحكيم الترمذي في نوادر الأصول أو للحاكم في تاريخه أو لابن الجارود في تاريخه أو للديلمي في مسند الفردوس فهو ضعيف فيستغنى بالعزو إليها أو إلى بعضها عن بيان ضعفه ***
********** انتهى مصطلح تصحيح السيوطي **********
Fikr (Thinking, Thought) is the Maqlub or Qalab (Mutating a word by flipping two consecutive letters) of Fark (Ka and Ra flipped), though Fikr is used exclusively for conceptualizations, and it is Fark or unsheathing or peeling of some sort.

Lisan Al-Arab
Ibn Manzour
Unsheathing the outer skin of an object to reach to its core e.g. shelling a walnut.

مفردات ألفاظ القرآن.3 – للأصفهاني
كتاب الفاء
-الفكرة: قوة مطرقة للعلم إلى المعلوم، والتفكر: جولان تلك القوة بحسب نظر العقل، وذلك للإنسان دون الحيوان، ولا يقال إلا فيما يمكن أن يحصل له صورة في القلب، ولهذا روي: (تفكروا في آلاء الله ولا تفكروا في الله) (الحديث تقدم في مادة (أله) ) إذ كان الله منزها أن يوصف بصورة. قال تعالى: {أو لم يتفكروا في أنفسهم ما خلق الله السموات} <الروم/8>، {أو لم يتفكروا ما بصاحبهم من جنة} <الأعراف/184>، {إن في ذلك لآيات لقوم يتفكرون} <الرعد/3>، {يبين الله لكم الآيات لعلكم تتفكرون * في الدنيا والآخرة} <البقرة/219 – 220>. ورجل فكير: كثير الفكرة، قال بعض الأدباء: الفكر مقلوب عن الفرك لكن يستعمل الفكر في المعاني، وهو فرك الأمور وبحثها طلبا للوصول إلى حقيقتها.
لسان العرب،2 – لابن المنظور الإفريقي.
المجلد العاشر >> (ك) >> حرف الكاف >> فصل الفاء
الفَرْك: دَلْكُ الشيء حتى ينقلع قِشْرُه عن لبِّه كالجَوْز، فَرَكه يَفْرُكه فَرْكاً فانْفَرَك.
والفَرِكُ: المُتَفَرِّك قشره.
واسْتَفْرَك الحبُّ في السُّنْبُلة: سَمِنَ واشتدّ.
وبُرٌّ فرِيكٌ: وهو الذي فُرِكَ ونُقِّي.
وأَفْرَك الحبُّ: حان له أَن يُفْرك.
والفَرِيك: طعام يُفْرك ثم يُلَتّ بسمن أَو غيره، وفَرَكْتُ الثوب والسنبل بيدي فَرْكاً.
وأَفْرَكَ السنبلُ أَي: صار فَرِيكاً، وهو حين يَصْلُح أَن يُفْرَك فيؤكل. (ج/ص: 10/474)
ويقال للنبت أَوَّلَ ما يَطْلُع: نجَمَ ثم فَرَّخَ وقَصَّبَ ثم أَعْصَفَ ثم أَسْبَلَ ثم سَنْبَل ثم أَحَبَّ وأَلَبَّ ثم أسْفى ثم أَفْرَكَ ثم أَحْصَدَ.
وفي الحديث: ((نهى عن بيع الحَب حتى يُفْرِكَ)).
أَي: يَشْتَدَّ وينتهي.
يقال: أَفْرَكَ الزرعُ إذا بلغ أَن يُفْرَك باليد، وفَرَكْته وهو مفروك وفَرِيك، ومن رواه بفتح الراء فمعناه: حتى يخرج من قشره.


Qaum (Collective) Yatafakkarun (Perpetual Thinkers)

10:24. As such for You (Muhammad) in great details We elucidate the sings for the Qaum (Collective) Yatafakkarun (Perpetual Thinkers)

إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَاءٍ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الْأَرْضِ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ النَّاسُ وَالْأَنْعَامُ حَتَّى إِذَا أَخَذَتِ الْأَرْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا وَازَّيَّنَتْ وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَا أَنَّهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَيْهَا أَتَاهَا أَمْرُنَا لَيْلًا أَوْ نَهَارًا فَجَعَلْنَاهَا حَصِيدًا كَأَنْ لَمْ تَغْنَ بِالْأَمْسِ كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآَيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ


3:13. And it is Hu (IT, He) who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers: and fruit of every kind Hu made in pairs, two and two: draweth the night as a veil over the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for Qaum (Collective) Yatafakkarun (Perpetual Thinkers)

وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَدَّ الْأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنْهَارًا وَمِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ جَعَلَ فِيهَا زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
16:11. With it Hu produces for you corn, olives, date-palms, grapes and every kind of fruit: verily in this is a sign for Qaum (Collective) Yatafakkarun (Perpetual Thinkers)
يُنْبِتُ لَكُمْ بِهِ الزَّرْعَ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالنَّخِيلَ وَالْأَعْنَابَ وَمِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ


16:69. Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for Qaum(Collective) Yatafakkarun (Perpetual Thinkers)


ثُمَّ كُلِي مِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلًا يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِلنَّاسِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ


30:21. And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for Qaum (Collective) Yatafakkarun (Perpetual Thinkers)


وَمِنْ آَيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

30:42. It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (Hu takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, Hu keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest Hu sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed verily in this are Signs for Qaum (Collective) Yatafakkarun (Perpetual Thinkers)

اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنْفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا فَيُمْسِكُ الَّتِي قَضَى عَلَيْهَا الْمَوْتَ وَيُرْسِلُ الْأُخْرَى إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ


45:13. And Hu has subjected to you, as from Hu, all that is in the heavens and on earth: Behold, in that are Signs indeed for Qaum (Collective) Yatafakkarun (Perpetual Thinkers)

وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِنْهُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ


Thinkers are a collective, a society, a continuum, they are all entangled, free of time and space, a thinker thinking of Allah 15 centuries ago is entangled, as the braids, with a thinker thinking of Allah this very moment.

© 2012-2002,  Dara O Shayda