Centre for Spiritual & Cultural Advancement (CSCA)
All of us can in just a split of a second drop dead. How many stories, while reciting Qur’an, mashaa-Allah, so many of us put the Qur’an and put the reciter that’s dying. Put a reciter that’s living. Qur’an is for alive people but they’re putting it for a wisdom, for a hikmah that he’s reciting Qur’an or she’s reciting Qur’an and he drops dead. He’s giving a lecture and he drops dead. Nobody knows. There are videos of wrestlers, videos of TV anchors –they’re all giving whatever they’re supposed to do and they drop dead. They never had in mind that moment. That’s what they call in Arabic too’lu ‘l’amal, the lengthy, far away hope: “I hope in twenty years, I retire in Bahamas.”.
That’s what they aim for and others that are also asleep tell them, “We will get you there. You give us $500 a month. In thirty years you will make $1 million, you can live comfortably. Just tell us the level of lifestyle you want so we can determine how much money you will pay every month.” Imagine how much they believe they control your life, control the days you live, where you live, the food you eat. “You want to eat bread? Okay, $200 a month is enough, but if you want to eat caviar then you need $2,000 a month.” So for $2,000 a month and you work three jobs: eight hours one job, eight hours second job and eight hours third job. You don’t need to drink and eat and sleep and be with your family, no, you’re a robot. You fit the system? Perfect. Hop from one system to the next, from one shift to the next, until you drop dead in your grave and then all the retirement you accumulated goes to your brother, your sister, or your wife or husband, or others: that’s a given, it will go, you cannot control it. So how does that benefit you?
If you wear jewelry in your grave, a grave digger will cut your finger to steal that gold ring, or pull your gold teeth; they even steal fancy shrouds made of silk and gold thread. Allah (swt) will send His servants: that deceased person is still a servant of Allah (swt), Who already knows what that gravedigger will do. Allahumma qad was’ita bi ilmika kulla shay’in! O my Lord! You have encompassed, contained, known everything with Your Knowledge of Pre-Eternal! So that gravedigger, thief is a servant of Allah (swt) sent to your grave to punish you. “You wanted dunya, I’m going to cut your finger and you’ll feel the pain of the cutting.” Allah (swt) will also send the scorpions and the snakes and the caterpillars and the 40 feet whatever you call them. All these crawlers will come.
Nobody thinks of that. All of us think we’re going to be living not a hundred years, one thousand years. Even better. Okay, ten thousand years and in the end we’re going to end up in that six by six or eight by either now? You know better. Two by two? I don’t think we can fit in two by two.
[Two meter by one meter.] Okay, well two by two is by feet, so two meters is 6-7 feet. Six and six under. That’s a good one. Six, six, six, so don’t be from these marked to be in six, six, six with the devil in the grave.
Let’s try to remember that Allah (swt) has given us life and it will end. There’s no escape and these meetings are reminders of The One we’re going to meet. We’re not going to a monster. We’re not going to a tyrant. We’re going to Love, so the more that we remember that we’re going to The One we’re praising and glorifying and mentioning His Name and mentioning the name of Rasoolullah (s), these are the ones we’re going to go to, to our grandshaykhs. We should not be afraid. Actually we should speed up –not like commit suicide but look forward to your urs. Urs means wedding but it’s celebration. Look forward to your celebration of gathering with the beloveds.
Here you love people for benefit. They have a benefit in them that you like to get that benefit from them. That’s why people are sticking together, unless you’re a saint then there’s no benefit. There’s all service to Allah’s servants because Allah (swt) is The One Who is rewarding. Most of us befriend each other for a benefit, whether it’s material, whether it’s spiritual, whether it’s emotional. Whatever it is, there is a benefit connected to our dealings with each other. This is the level of nafs, the level of the lower self or the inner self. You’re married to your wife, You’re married to your husband, you’re with your family, with your friends because there’s some mutual benefit that you help, they help, you provide, they provide. But if there’s no benefit in the middle, a lot of relationships don’t go. They stop.
If we are together for a benefit then we have to understand that the closer we get to Allah (swt), the more independent we become of the ones next to us and Allah (swt) is The One Who is sufficient for everybody. Allah (swt) will provide, Allah (swt) will take care of, Allah (swt) will raise, Allah (swt) will love, Allah (swt) will enlighten, Allah (swt) will raise --everything is in His Hands. When we are meeting here together, we are all remember The One we’re going to meet and actually the janaza of the good person, the dead body of the good person when they die they say, “Rush me to the grave.” That’s the Hadith. “Get me there as fast as you can. Don’t hold me out here. Put me there where I belong because in there is Rawdah min Riyaadh al-Jannah, where I meet the Beloveds.” We are and should not be afraid of meeting our Lord. If there is any doubt in the Hereafter, we will be afraid, then we don’t want to leave dunya.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (may Allah bless him) said that when the newborn comes out of the mother’s womb, it doesn’t want to come out. That’s why the mother gets contractions: the womb is trying to push the baby out, but the baby doesn’t want to come out, so it struggles inside. That’s why it gives so much pain, because it likes where it is. It is with angels, there’s nothing out yet, it has not committed a sin. That newborn is pure with angels. Mawlana said Allah (swt) sends two angels to get the baby out: one pulls from the right, one pulls from the left. When the one pulls from the right, the baby pushes to the left. When the one pushes from the left, the baby pushes to the right.
So they go to Allah (swt) and say, “O our Lord! It is is not coming up.”
He says, “Okay, leave it.”
Mawlana said Allah (swt) sends a Manifestation on that baby so it becomes submissive and comes out in sajda. If you have seen a birth, the baby comes out with its head down, which is sajda, not ruku’ or qiyaam. Way down because the first thing that comes out is way back here in sajda. If you let that baby fall, it will be in sajda, so it submits to its Lord and comes down in sajda (in the womb) and then goes down (through the birth canal). When it goes down, what does it do? It ‘crowns,’ (the head becomes visible), and when the baby is born, it pushes itself up, then you start seeing the eyes come up and it starts looking around. What happens after it starts looking? It cries, shouts, and the louder it shouts supposedly the healthier it is, the doctors give the baby a high ‘APGAR score.’ If the baby is very loud, they say, “Good, excellent.”
It cries because it sees now, it is open, there is no veil. It sees everything it’s going to do. It sees the sins and what’s going to happen and it cries for the forgiveness of its Lord. But when that baby starts to grow, it becomes happier and happier and happier until it reaches maturity at thirteen or fourteen years. It grows and you start seeing your baby girl or boy begin to enjoy life. If you tell him, “Do you want to go back in my tummy?” they say, “No, I don’t want to go back there,” because they have seen the beauty of this life.
As Mawlana explains, it’s the same thing with the Hereafter. We have not seen it, so we don’t want to get out of dunya to the Hereafter, as to do that we must suffer and cry. But when we go over there, we don’t want to come back here because we start to enjoy what’s there. So that’s our journey: to get to the other side and be in complete, eternal happiness, not to be stuck in this world away from Allah’s (swt) ridwaan, satisfaction and mercy.
May Allah (swt) forgive us. May Allah (swt) accept us in the other world, inshaa-Allah, that while we’re still here in dunya, to be in the other world. We can be in Akhirah while we're in dunya; you can be in Jannah here. Mawlana said the saints are in Jannah here because they have reached the other side. That’s a different level of understanding, what Evangelical Christians call ‘born again,’ because your first birth is to this dunya and then the second birth is of your heart in the Heavenly World. The first birth is the birth of your physical body into the physical world. The second birth is the birth of your spiritual being into the spiritual world.
That is not yet sainthood, that’s Maqam al-`Uboodiyya, to become a servant, `abd. That’s the first step. When you are spiritually born in the spiritual world, you become a servant of Allah (swt), Who will pull you ahead, but to get to the other life there’s a gateway, a door that is different for each of us according to our contract, our covenant, our promise to Allah (swt). Those who get us there are the spiritual shaykhs, shaykh mawlaway, not the shaykh zaahiri, the visible shaykh's that we see everywhere. No, the ones that will get us there are the spiritual shaykhs. The zaahir, outward shaykh knows Shari`ah, and the shaykh mawlaway, spiritual shaykh knows the secrets behind Shari`ah orders.
Mawlana gave an example that Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) is one of them. Of course, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim is one of them too, but he said, “We pray, but really in prayer, the spirituality of Rasoolullah (s) appears in front of us.” Every time we enter in prayer, Rasoolullah (s) is in front of us, looking at us and talking at us, but we don’t hear; he’s instructing us, but we don’t see. Why? Mawlana Shaykh Nazim said, “Rasoolullah (s) is guiding us through our prayers to where we need to go,” tawwajuh: he is directing each one of his Ummah in prayer to where they need to go and what they need to do, and that’s known as ‘waridaat.’ Sometimes in prayer people feel something came to them, like an epiphany. a clarity that appeared out of nowhere, an understanding came; also the saints receive transmissions from grandshaykhs during prayer.
He said, “The one whose heart is blind and his ears are deaf cannot hear and cannot see,” because we are worshipping Allah (swt) on the edge:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ حَرْفٍ ۖ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ ۖ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انقَلَبَ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ
And among men there is such a one as serves Allah on the very edge. If good befalls him he is at rest in it, but if a trial befalls him he turns completely over. He loses this world and the world to come; that is, indeed, the manifest loss. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:11)
“They are among people that worship Allah (swt) on the very edge. If goodness comes to them, they’re satisfied, happy, but when a calamity hits them, they will fall on their faces and will lose both dunya and Akhirah.”
So our example is that of the people on the very edge, and we are worshipping Allah (swt) on the very edge: if we go a little bit here, a little bit there, we’re going to fall and lose. But these saints are not on edge, they are on yaqeen on a highway, a straight path to Allah (swt) and they see and hear Rasoolullah (s) and do what they’re instructed.
We are still in Maqaam an-Nafs, dealing with our desires, our egos, including me, don’t think I’m different, I’m worse, because anything that Mawlana Shaykh says applies to me and the more you know, the more deficient you know you are. To have `ilm, knowledge, is to start knowing how bad you are. If Allah wants to guide a servant, He will throw the light of `ilm in his heart, with which a person starts to see what he’s doing and understands, “This is wrong, that is wrong, none of my actions are right, everything I’m doing is wrong.” Now you have a Light of the Holy Qur’an and the Light of Rasoolullah’s guidance. If you don’t have that, there’s something wrong.
When we know more, we are more responsible for our actions because now we know. What’s your excuse? Allah (swt) brings you forth and questions, “You knew about this. Why didn’t you do it?” What’s our excuse? There is no excuse, but if somebody didn’t know, sometimes that passes. When you go to government offices and testify, “I don’t know, I didn’t recall, I don’t remember, ” but you do. know, it’s even worse now, it's lie upon lie.
So the more we know, the more responsible we are. The best thing is not to know but follow the one that is true, because he already reached there. That’s the adab. That’s why they have a saying in Arabic that when you go to a majlis of a saint, accompany them. These are the true ones. Have adab in their associations. If you are asked by somebody, say, “I have no knowledge,” and cover yourself with ignorance. Say, “I don’t know. I don’t know.” But you are in the majlis, you are in the association of that waliullah. He knows, so follow. That is the way, but if we say we know, then we will be asked, “Why didn’t you do it?”
May Allah forgive us. May Allah make us among those who follow the True Guides. O our Lord! Forgive our sins, yaa Rabbee. We know nothing. What can we say, yaa Rabbee? It’s all Your Knowledge, yaa Rabbee. We are asking, yaa Rabbee, for blessings and for Rasoolullah’s (s) Intercession in this holy month.
Ask for bara’ah in this holy month Mawlana says. Bara’ah, acquittal; disengagement; separation between our true self and our bad self. May Allah (swt) take us away from the bad ones. Ameen. Ameen. Ameen. May Allah forgive me and forgive all of us. If I said something wrong, O our Lord, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah. Forgive all of us, yaa Rabbee, for this holy night. Make our gathering stronger and stronger, yaa Rabbee. Make us love each other more and more, yaa Rabbee. Make us together more and more, yaa Rabbee, under the guidance of our shuyookh, yaa Rabbee, our grandshaykhs, yaa Rabbee. Make us always with them, yaa Rabbee. Make us see and hear Rasoolullah (s). Make us among those who in their prayer are aware of Your Presence, yaa Rabbee, to not be from the absent-minded ones, yaa Rabbee. O our Lord! We are very, very weak, yaa Rabbee. Forgive our deceased, yaa Rabbee, and give guidance to us and our living ones, yaa Rabbee. O our Lord! We are asking for Your Endless Blessing, Endless Mercy, Endless Love, yaa Rabbee and join us with our grandshaykhs, yaa Rabbee. Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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