Suhbah at Arab Association
I would like to say that I wish to take the dust of the shoes from the ground on which Mawlana walked and put it on my eyes, but you do not get all that you wish for, maa kullu maa yatamanaw al-maru.... You do not get everything that you want, and like the ship sailing in the wind, whichever way it goes you will have to go. The wind takes good people the way they like and takes bad people the way they like; no one can control this.That’s why Allah (swt) likes, and why we have to make sure that we have to open our minds and open our hearts, and every time when we are together we share a suhbat, because the suhbat is for companionship and friendliness.
But remember that Shaytan is not friendly, as the reciter just now expressed in the poetry. Shaytan wants to make black appear as white and white appear as black, and he uses human beings to do that, which is why Allah (swt) sent us the Best of Creation, Sayyidina Muhammad (s), to teach us how far we can go and to differentiate between what is good and what is bad. Some people might think a thing is bad when it is not, while some may think a thing is good when it is not. Shari`ah came with the Prophet (s) to show us what is good and bad, nothing else.
If we follow Shari`ah doors will open, we will be safe, and if we do not want to follow the Shari`ah--and I am not specifically addressing anyone but am speaking in general terms to myself and to anyone listening around the world--then you are not guaranteed safety. I meet people from all over the world and am surprised when they say they are listening to us on Sufilive.com, not just in America, but also in the Far East and even in Central Asia. The message is spreading and Allah (swt) will let the sincere people listen, just as you and I and others are listening.
Yes, it is true that some people make fitna, but we are all tested and must not to listen to it, so leave it behind and move on. If we listen to what people say, we would need thousands of lawyers to make cases for our actions! These cases are being written by angels because on Judgment Day, Allah (swt) will decide who made fitna and who did not. Do your duty and do not pay attention when someone says something we don't like; this is what Shari`ah recommends.
The Prophet (s) asked the Sahaabah (r), “Who are the muflis, bankrupt?” They responded, “He who has no money.” He then said, “No, not those without money, but the one who has no `amal although he prays and fasts, because he creates fitna and makes false rumors, so all his hasanaat will be given to those whom he oppressed.” So what is the benefit? Prophet (s) said:
اللهم أحيني مسكينا، وأمتني مسكينا، واحشرني في زمرة المساكين
Allahumma aahyinee miskeenan wa amitnee miskeenana wa ’hshurnee fee zumrati ’l-masaakeen.
Make mine a miskeen (poor) life and let me die miskeen and resurrect me in the gathering of the miskeen.
“Miskeen” means poor, in need, not angry, someone who keeps to himself. It means, “Make my life a miskeen life and when you take my soul let me be miskeen and resurrect me with the people who are miskeen.” This is one du`a we recite when we are performing the Sa`ee (between Safaa and Marwa in Mecca). Many scholars explained ‘miskeen’ here as someone who is humble; the person who is humble is called “mutawada`.”
عن معبد بن خالد سمعت حارثة بن وهب قال سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ألا أدلكم على أهل الجنة كل ضعيف متضعف لو أقسم على الله لأبره وأهل النار كل جواظ عتل مستكبر
`An Ma`bud bin Khaalid sami`tu Haaritha bin Wahab qaala sami`tu an-Nabi (s) yaqoolu alaa adullukum `alaa ahli ’l-jannati kulli da`eefin mutada`f law aqsama `ala’Llahi la-abarrahu wa ahli’n-naari kullu jawazhin `utulin mustakbir.
The Prophet (s) asked, “Shall I describe to you the people of Paradise? kullu da`eefan mutada`f, every humble weak person.”
Prophet (s) asked the Sahaabah (r) about those who go to Paradise. Allah (swt) raises the levels of those who are mutada`f, weak and who humiliate themselves even more, by not caring for what people say, because this is what Allah (swt) likes from us, and what men and women want is to be liked by Allah (swt), Who said:
ِنَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَّن نَّشَاء
Narfa`u darajaatin man nashaau.
We raise to (higher) levels whom We please. (Surat Yusuf, 12:76)
And then He (swt) said:
وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ
Fawqa kulli dhi `ilmin `aleem.
Above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Surah Yusuf, 12:76)
And as your levels are raised, you will be honored with a high position, such that only very rare people will be above you. So if you do good you find yourself being slapped, and don’t think that you are going to get a reward from them. No, do not expect reward! In fact, you should anticipate the opposite of a reward, expect punishment from them!
One person, who is very close, but not whom you think it is, told me something that I am sorry to share, but because she mentioned it in the poetry [who preceded Shaykh Hisham] there is a point to make about hypocrisy. He said to me personally, “People don't like you and don't love you. Your fingers became very long (like tentacles of an octopus), so long that we cannot catch you, as you are going from here to there around the world, promoting (and I don’t like that word) and explaining Mawlana's Naqshbandi teachings. People get jealous and try to cut your fingers, not for any reason other than you have become more known than them!”
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) teaches through me; it is not me who does it. Mawlana Shaykh is the one who told me, “The whole world is open, so go and teach!” I didn't say, “I want this” or “I want that.” Only through Mawlana’s orders, Allah (swt) has allowed me to visit country after country.
Recently, I was in Dubai and received a call from someone saying that (Pakistani) President Pervez Musharraf wanted to meet. A long time ago, when the US Vice President of went to Pakistan to meet President Pervez Musharraf, they discussed how to solve the problem of terrorism. One minister who was present said, “You have to support Sufi culture from the grassroots, because they are the moderate ones, (on Sirat al-Mustaqeem) and they don't fight with their governments or with extremists or with anyone, because they are on the middle way (of moderation).” This was the suggestion from one of the ministers, in front of President Pervez Musharraf and the US Vice President!
I don't know the Vice President or who arranged this meeting. You cannot get everything that you wish. (Some) people would die for the chance to meet the Vice President or the President, but remember the saying, “The wind goes in the way Allah wants it to go.” So we met with him and suggested you cannot expect change without opening (talks on) tasawwuf in the Arab world, and try this and see what will happen, and it happened! Now everywhere they speak about tasawwuf. What is tasawwuf? They make too many distinctions, associating themselves with various sects. What sect? We all pray our prayers, we pray our sunnahs, we recite Surat Yaseen at Fajr and pray two raka`ats of Ishraaq and then we pray eight raka`ats of Salaat al-Duha up to Zhuhr, then we pray four raka`ats sunnah and four raka’ats fard of Zhuhr, then four sunnah and four fard for `Asr, then two raka`ats sunnah, three raka’ats fard and two more sunnah of Maghrib, followed by the six raka`ats Awaabeen. We pray four raka`ats sunnah before Isha, four fard, two raka’ats sunnah after, then three for Witr. We also get up at night and observe the Night Vigil, eight raka`ats (Tahajjud), as well as many cycles of two raka`ats throughout the day; Salaat ash-Shukr, Salaat al-Wudu, Salaat at-Tasabih, four raka`ats. Where are the sects or the deviation?
The turban is what Prophet (s) wore. No one is forcing you to wear the turban, but perhaps consider wearing a hat to show that you are Muslim and holding on to Islamic tradition, then at least someone can greet you with salaam. Alhamdulillah, Allah (swt) made us Muslims and created us as Muslim without our knowledge or choice. So we need a sign and this hat is a sign that shows that we are grateful to be Muslim.
People wonder about tasawwuf and make such an issue of it. When you become a Prime Minister, a Member of Parliament, or a lawyer, they give you special diplomatic course on proper etiquettes, how to eat and drink, to speak without being rude and to use the correct words so that when they write any official speech, they choose the words carefully. They teach you how to hold a spoon, knife, and fork. Those teachings are from the machine guns of Shaytan. Remember, the Prophet (s) said to eat with the left hand is forbidden, so don't eat with left hand, and today the protocol is to cut the food with the right hand and eat with the left!
Tasawwuf is defined by reaching Maqaam al-Ihsaan, the level of Adab, perfect manners and conduct, as Prophet (s) said:
أدبني ربي فأحسن تأديبي
Adabanee rabbee fa’ahsana taa'deebee.
My Lord perfected my good manners and conduct.
It means, “Allah disciplined me and not only perfected my manners, but raised me up to His level of Creator.” This means there is no limit to the perfection to which Allah (swt) raised Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and dressed him with it! He raised Prophet’s (s) name with His Name. Tasawwuf is in everything: how you say salaam when you enter the house, how you deal with people, whether or not you show patience.
O Allah! Resurrect us with the miskeen, the people of humbleness, and keep us with them! When you are humble, you will be slapped. Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, used to say, now besides our obligations what does Allah want people do? They do dhikrullah and salaat `ala an-Nabi (s). There are two actions that Allah likes from His servants: to say “laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” and to make tasbeeh and salawaat on the Prophet (s). Dhikr on one side and khidmat, service to Allah's Creation on the other side. Which is better, dhikrullah or khidmat? Khidmat is better. When you go around to teach people and guide people is better than staying home and doing dhikrullah because service in Islam is more rewardable. The Prophet (s) said, “To guide one person is better than having all the red camels (wealth) of dunya.” How do you guide a person? Through khidmah, not through dhikr, which is for your inner self, but you give khidmah to others. SimplyIslam is doing khidmah, to teach youngsters is khidmah, and Allah expects His Servants to make khidmah. Awliyaullah like it when their mureeds make khidmah for them. Do dhikr in your corner, but remember what the Prophet (s) said:
غني شاكر خير من فقير صابر
Ghaniyyun shaakir khayrun min faqeer saabir.
The rich thankful one is better than the poor, patient worshipper.
A wealthy person who thanks Allah for his goodness is better than a worshipful person making dhikr in corner, because the rich can help the poor, feed children and spread Islam.
Tasawwuf is the etiquette of Islam that is needed to teach the purity of Islam. We wrote books on this subject, but people don’t read them and they no longer want to read. What do scholars say about tasawwuf? We cited more than thirty or forty scholars on Tasawwuf, laa hawla wa laa quwatta illa billahi ‘l-`Aliyyi ‘l-`Azheem! Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) taught that the favors and service you give to someone surpasses dhikrullah and meditation, because they spread love in the hearts of people and make them happy. Muqadamma, I don’t know how to translate it, but it comes first before dhikr and muraqabah. You can delay dhikr and muraqabah when going from one place to another to make khidmah fee sabeelillah and during that time you don't have to worry about fulfilling your awraad because the angels are doing it on your behalf!
I also would like to mention what Shah Naqshband (q) said in the book Hadaiq al-Wirdiyya, in which he addressed a mureed:
Oh my son! May Allah (swt) grant benefit to the people because of your actions. You must be careful, but do not allow pride to fill you when you call yourself a “mureed” of someone. Don't be arrogant or proud, since the Level of Muridiyyah is very high and can only be attained through humbleness. Also, you can only attain the Level of Muridiyyah if you have completed your jihad (which does not mean war, but something you struggle against, such as people making fitna, people stabbing you in your back, educating others and smiling in the face of adversity) and you have to complete all kinds of good services. One day I was between al-Jazba wa ‘l-Ghayba, the State of Attraction by the Light of the Eyes and the State of Absence, and that attraction takes me away from dunya, and blocks it. I was going around, I don't know where, and passed a dirt street that went to Sayyidina Amir al-Kulal's house. I was drawn to the house because I wanted to visit him.
This is khidmah (service in Islam) and the mujaahadah (jihad). You have to be patient and humble. In Bukhara, the winter cold is bone-chilling, and yet Shah Naqshband (q) was going with only thin wool clothes. He continues:
I entered his house where he was sitting with his companions. When he saw me, he asked about me and they told him who I was. He responded, "Throw him out of this hall!"
This happened to Shah Naqshband, so what do you expect? If they threw out Shaykh Ahmad al-Faruqi (q) and Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q), don’t you think they can throw out Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q)? Once I was visiting Mawlana Shaykh and they (mureeds) told me, “Go out!” But since I am not Shah Naqshband (q), it was difficult for me to follow. He continues:
So based on the adab taught by my Shaykh, I went out. To do that I had to leave my ego, and it was a difficult situation to accept because my ego said, “I don't accept humiliation!” At that moment when I felt inayatullah, the blessing of Allah's Mercy on me, I said to myself, “I will not move my head from the threshold of my Shaykh, as-Sayyid Amir al-Kulal (q), and whatever happens will happen.” I put my head on the threshold of the shaykh and the snow fell on my head. I stayed like that until Fajr time and no one saw me, and more snow covered my back completely. Then my Shaykh stepped over my head, as if not noticing that I am there, not because he was not seeing me, but because he wanted to crush (the ego) some more and he stepped back into his house and asked me to enter, in a gentle voice (now he had changed).
Before he did not call him his son, but now he had raised him to be a spiritual son, which is not easy. Sayyidina Salmaan al-Farsi (q) became a member of the Prophet’s Family because of his love for the Prophet (s) that caused him to sell himself in slavery four times to reach Prophet (s), and at every stage he was a slave for 13-15 years! He lived to be over 100 years old.
He said to me, “O my son! You will be rewarded, and from this happiness you will receive blessings according to your level.” He removed the stones that pierced my feet and he began to dress me endlessly from his heart with the Light that Allah manifested to him. From his kindness and softness, he put me in a state of tawada`, servanthood.
When Sayyidina Abayazid al-Bistami (q) asked his Lord to open the door, he was making dhikr and muraqabah endlessly. Some awliyaullah associate with people, some sit alone and do dhikr and muraqabah, some don't do anything, and some awliyaullah travel as Allah grants them what He wishes. Sayyidina Bayazid was doing dhikr and muraqabah, when he heard a Heavenly Voice ask, “What did you do for Me?”
He responded, “I did dhikr and muraqabah.”
The Voice replied, “No, you did those things for yourself. What did you do for Allah?”
He said, "O Allah! Teach me."
At that moment ilhaam, heavenly inspirations, flooded his heart, fa al-haamaha fujoorahaa wa taqwaaha, “Go serve My Creation as to guide people is an action you do for Me.”
Sayyidina `Isa (a) saw a man and asked him what he did. He said he was a worshipper. Then Sayyidina `Isa (a) asked, “Who gave you that food?” The man told him his brother gave him the food. Sayyidina `Isa responded that the brother was more of a worshipper because he provided the sustenance.
They asked Salman al-Farsi (q) for advice. He told them, “Someone who dies in Hajj, in a holy war, or while worshipping in the masjid will reach the Station of Martyrdom. Don't die as a merchant (be greedy in business), and give in the Way of Allah.” Because those who come after you will benefit; if they see you are rich, they might pray that you will die soon so they can benefit, and then what happens? They take you to a small, cheap grave and quickly dump you there!
We must remember:
غني شاكر خير من فقير صابر
Ghaniyyun shaakir khayrun min faqeer saabir.
The rich thankful one is better than the poor, patient worshipper.
May Allah (swt) accept from us and accept the khidmah that Mawlana Shaykh (q) has put us in. Everyone has his own khidmah: the rich have to give to the poor, the poor pray for the rich who send to thank them, the imaam leads the prayer, the teacher teaches the children, the older ones teach the younger ones. Allah has put everyone in their place. But please make sure that you keep on Siraat al-Mustaqeem and do not trespass the limits of Shari`ah. That is what Allah (swt) loves (to maintain our limits)! Give as much as you like, no problem.
I met one person ‘out of the blue,’ may Allah (swt) bless him, and we discussed having a center in London. He asked if I had collected some money and I said I had, but it was not going to be enough for the charity to be launched by Prince Charles (CSCA). We needed a new building and here they are expensive, costing millions. He asked how much we needed for the project and I was shy to say because buildings here cost two million and up. He said, “Look and tell me what you find.” I thought he was joking, but after three or four months when we found a nice building that had come on the market, I went back to him and quoted the price, and said that we would appreciate his donation. He asked how much we had collected. I said $60,000, and he said, “Keep that in the bank, and I will send you the entire payment (two million)!” I was so astonished that one person was able to do that. How is that possible?
When I told Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) about this generosity, he stood, prayed two raka`ats standing for the first time since his illness, and he made sajda! How does this happen? You don’t know, that is to be ghanniyun shakir, a thankful servant. I prayed for him to make millions more so he could help more! After a while he asked me what else we needed. I told him we need a Sufi Center in America, so he bought one in Washington, a big building with 35,000 square feet, and now I feel shy to ask him for a third one! But this is what we want to say, that if you want to be a merchant, no problem.
Allah gave more to some people who, if they give in Allah's Way, will be blessed. We should know where we are putting our money and sometimes you give charity and don't know if it goes to the right place. We must be careful not to give to someone who uses money for something other than charity. In these times it is especially important to be careful, since we condemn terrorism in any country. We are not people who want to harm even an ant and we must make that known. This is what Grandshaykh (q) and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) taught us.
May Allah (swt) forgive us.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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