Pre-Khutbah Suhbah at St. Ann’s Priory
Safety from punishment for awliyaullah and the entire ummah lies in just one thing: Rahmatullah! If Allah (swt) would judge us according to our `amal, every one of us would fail. Even if we gather people around us or perform the best of worship, if Allah (swt) wants to judge us according to our `amal, it would all be useless! But if Allah (swt) would judge us with His Rahmah we will win, we will be safe.
So many people speak about Rahmatullah, saying, “Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem,” and:
وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ
Rahmatee wasi`at kulli shay.
My Mercy encompasses everything. (Al-A`raaf, 7:156)
What is that? That rahmah is the Mercy that Allah (swt) dresses upon those who are wanting it and asking for it! What did Sayyidina Musa (a) ask for? He asked to reach Rahmatullah. The doors of heavens open for the one who reaches Rahmatullah. Sayyidina Musa (a) asked from Allah’s Rahmah, and Allah (swt) showed it to him by speaking to him directly, with no hijaab, without Jibreel (a). Sayyidina Musa (a) wanted to take advantage of that to take more because he was hungry to see what could not be seen! So what did he ask to see? He wanted to see Allah (swt)!
Can Allah (swt) be seen in a limited creation? Allah is beyond Creation, beyond the universe, beyond heavens and anything He created! Creation cannot contain Him, everything is contained within Allah’s Rahmah. So Sayyidina Musa (a) went so far as to say, “O my Lord! Show (Yourself) to me, that I may look upon You!”
قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي وَلَـكِنِ انظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Qaala rabbee arinee anzhur ilayk, qaala lan taraanee wa laakin unzhur ila ’l-jabali, fa in istaqarrra makaanuhu fa-sawfa taraanee, fa lamaa tajalla rabbuhu li 'l-jabali ja`alahu dakkan wa khara Moosa saa'iqan, falamma aafaaqa qaala subhaanaka tubtu ilayk, wa anaa awwal al-mumineen.
He said, "O my Lord! Show Yourself to me, that I may look upon You." Allah said, "By no means can you see Me (directly), but look upon the mountain; if it abides in its place, then you shall see Me." When his Lord manifested His glory on the mount, He made it as dust, and Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses, he said, "Glory be to You! To You I return in repentance, and I am the first to believe." (Surat al-`Araaf, 7:143)
He insisted, until Allah (swt) said, lan taraanee, "By no means can You see Me (directly).” But Sayyidina Musa (a) still insisted, so Allah (swt) agreed to send one of His Beautiful Names upon a mountain, saying that if he was able to see the Reality, he would see Allah (swt), but if the mountain shatters, Musa (a) would not be able to see Him. Allah (swt) did not appear, but sent upon that mountain the manifestation of one of His Beautiful Names and Attributes. These manifestations are appearances or descriptions; they are not Dhaatullah, Allah’s Essence. Allah (swt) sent His Rahmah upon that mountain through His Beautiful Names, “ar-Rahman ar-Raheem.” What happened then?
وَلَـكِنِ انظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Wa laakini ’nthur ilaa ‘l-jabali fa’ini ’staqarra makaanahu fasawfa taranee falammaa tajallaa rabbuhu li ’l-jabali ja`alahu dakkan wa kharra moosa sa`iqan falammaa afaaqa qaala subhaanaka tubtu ilayka wa anaa awwalu ‘l-mu’mineen.
(Allah said) “But look upon the mountain; if it abides in its place, then you shall see Me." When his Lord manifested His Glory on the mountain, He made it as dust and Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses,l he said, "Glory be to You! To You I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe.” (Surat al-A`raaf, 7:143)
When Allah (swt) manifested His Beautiful Names and Attributes on the mountain, He made it shatter like powder, and Sayyidina Musa (a) fainted because he was not able to carry even one Attribute when Allah (swt) manifested it to him; he was completely gone! On the other hand, Allah (swt) said for Prophet (s):
لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ
Law anzalnaa haadhaa al-Qur’ana `alaa jabalin la-ra'aytahu khaashi`aan mutasaddi`an min khashyatillah.
If We had caused this Qur'an to descend upon a mountain (O Muhammad), verily you would have seen it humbled, rent asunder by the fear of Allah! (Surat al-Hashr, 59:21)
It means what Allah (swt) sent on the mountain for Sayyidina Musa (a) to see was the tajalli, the manifestation of the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an is ghayru ‘l-makhlooq, not created. The Qur’an is Allah’s Words, which are not created, they are Divine, so the Holy Qur'an is Divine. That is why we must keep respect to the Qur'an, because we are holding Allah's Beautiful Names and Words in our hands! Some people wrongly put the Holy Qur'an on the floor when they are sitting!
So Allah (swt) manifested the secrets and the ayaah on the mountain and Sayyidina Musa (a) was not able to carry it, so he fainted. In regards to what happened with Sayyidina Musa (a), Allah reveals in the Holy Qur'an that had he revealed the Holy Qur'an to a mountain, it would have shattered. Just like what happened to Sayyidina Musa (a), but Allah (swt) revealed the Holy Qur'an to Sayyidina Muhammad (s), all of it in one go, on Laylat al-Qadr and ordered him to slowly disclose it to the Sahaabah (r). Although He revealed it all, Prophet’s heart never shattered and was able to carry the Reality of the Holy Qur'an. This is the secret and Ocean of Rahmatullah, what appears from the Ocean of Mercy that Allah (swt) created for the benefit of the creation to forgive them! He dressed the Prophet (s) with it, because he revealed the Holy Qur'an on the heart of Prophet(s) and he was able to take all of it. When Sayyidina Musa (a) asked for more, Allah (swt) sent him to one of His Servants.
فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا
Fawajadaa `abdan min `ibaadinaa aataynahu rahmatan min `indinaa wa `allamnaahu min ladunnaa `ilma.
And they found a servant from among Our Servants to whom We had given mercy from Us and had taught him a (certain) knowledge. (Surah al-Kahf, 18:65)
There are many awliyaullah and he was sent to one of them. As we said yesterday, there are many awliya and you have to be careful about respecting them. You can't say, “No, that is not a wali,” because you don't know. Allah (swt) sent Sayyidina Musa (a) to Majma`a ‘l-Bahrayn, the Merging of Two Oceans, and told him, “You will meet the one who will teach you at the point where these two oceans meet.” What are these two oceans? “Majma`a ‘l-Bahrayn” has many meanings, one of which is `Ilm az-Zhaahir and `Ilm al-Baatin, Knowledge of the Manifest and Knowledge of the Hidden, which meet there.
Sayyidina Khidr (a) carries those two realities in his heart, so Allah (s) sent Sayyidina Musa (a) to go there and learn, although he was from the Ulu ‘l-`Azham, the Five Great Prophets, and surely higher than Sayyidina Khidr (a). Awliyaullah meet with each other and know each other. One might be higher than the other, but that one has enough humbleness to go and meet with someone who is lower. Don't keep your mind fixed on, “There is no Shaykh except mine.” Our Shaykh is the Sultan al-Awliya, but we have to accept everyone.
Allah’s Door is not closed and He will open it to anyone who knocks! There are many awliyaullah, and that is important. They like their students to be with them, for sure, but awliyaullah don't like to cheat or take students of another Shaykh to become their own. This is not accepted in all turuq, all Sufi Orders. Allah has written on the Lawh al-Mahfooz who is going to follow whom, and therefore, Allah (swt) sent Musa (a) to Khidr (a).
مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ
Maraj al-bahrayn yaltaqeeyaan.
He let forth the two seas so that they meet together. (Surat al-Rahman, 55:19)
Two oceans come together and meet, but one will not overcome the other. For example, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea reach each other, but neither of them overtakes the other. Allah (swt) said 1400 years ago:
بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لَّا يَبْغِيَانِ
Baynahumaa barzakhun laa yabghiyaan.
Between them is a barrier that they do not transgress. (Surat ar-Rahman, 55:20)
There is a place between them which is mushtaraqa, shared. The fish from the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea both come to the quarantine area, where they stay for forty days...so the Ocean of the Zhaahir and the Baatin have a meeting point, which is where awliyaullah come in order to go to the other for knowledge; they try to be in that same place to learn from each other because what Allah (swt) gave one wali, He didn't give to the other. Therefore, everyone takes from the other.Imam al-Busayri (r) said in the famous poem Burdah ash-Shareefa, wa kulluhum min rasoolillaahi multamisun, “All prophets are taking from Prophet (s).”
So if a wali is taking from the Prophet (s), how do you expect him to speak bad about other shuyookh? Therefore, if we really are the students of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), we have no right to divide and say, “I don't take from that wali, I only take from this one.” No, you learn from everyone. Your love is for one, which is okay, but you can't restrict yourself. (If someone has a different Shaykh) don't try to lower him. That is a mistake all of us make and we are not allowed to do that. Respect everyone. It might be that one is an angel coming in the shape of a person. Give respect to everyone.
So Sayyidina Musa (a) came to Sayyidina Khidr (a) asking, "Can I be with you?"
Sayyidina Khidr (a) said, "You will not be able to keep up with me."
Sayyidina Musa (a) replied, "I am from the Five Big Prophets, so how will that be?"
Sayyidina Khidr (a) made a hole in a boat that they were on, to save it. If you are on a boat, this would not be accepted, so Sayyidina Musa (a) complained, but before that, he didn't notice the Reality Allah (swt) hid from him. What happened when he came to Sayyidina Khidr (a)? Allah (swt) has said in Holy Qur'an:
آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا
Aataynahu rahmatan min `indinaa wa `allamnaahu min ladunnaa `ilma.
When We gave him mercy, We taught him from Our Heavenly Knowledge. (Surah al-Kahf, 18:65)
Before teaching Divine Knowledge, Allah (swt) said the requirement is to first come in through the door! You cannot go up to Divine Knowledge without going first to the levels 101, 102, 201, 202 and so on. In universities, you have to first start with lower classes, then you go up to higher ones. So you can't directly jump to `Ilm al-Laddunniyy, you must first understand the Rahmah, because if you are not given that you cannot open the door to Divine Knowledge.
Sayyidina Musa (a) did not notice that Reality, so Allah (swt) hid it, saying, “O Musa! You still need a lot. Don't come with your ego!” Allah (swt) made that mountain collapse, and what was that mountain? It is not as we understand. In reality, that was the mountain of ego! Allah (swt) does not like anyone to come to Him with an ego, Nafs al-Ammarah; rather, Allah (swt) wants everyone to lower themselves in His Mercy Oceans, so that you no longer have desires or ego and you completely submit to Allah's Will. Until we reach that level, we should not expect (to reach higher levels) Don't think to yourself that you created or discovered gun powder (that you are great). No! With whatever we all are speaking, dealing and explaining, we are still in Kindergarten, even with these turbans that you might wear to follow the sunnah, but you can have a turban on your head and still have no knowledge. It is not a requirement to have a turban on your head, to show that you can speak or not! To speak about Reality, you have to get rid of your ego and submit to Allah's Will. It is not easy! We are submitting to our egos, but not to Allah (swt), the Prophet (s) and awliyaullah. If we did, we would not be on earth!..
Allah (swt) described Sayyidina Khidr (a), saying, “They found a servant from among Our Servants to whom We had given mercy from Us and had taught him a (certain) knowledge. ( 18:65)” It means if you are not dressed with His Mercy, you cannot have Heavenly Knowledge. If you are not under the Door of Mercy, you cannot knock on the Door of Divine Knowledge. Allah (swt) has shown Sayyidina Khidr (a) the Reality of Sayyidina Muhammad (s), which means he understood and knew about Prophet (s). All prophets knew that Sayyidina Muhammad (s) was coming, which means he is the Rahmah. Allah (swt) commanded Sayyidina Khidr (a) to accept His Prophet (s) and by doing so, Sayyidina Muhammad (s) would open for him the Door of Divine Knowledge. Sayyidina Khidr (a) was honored to have the Reality of Prophet (s) appear to him in his life, which is why he reached the Fountain of Youth!
What is the Fountain of Youth? It is the reality of the Light of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! Sayyidina Khidr (a) and Sayyidina Dhul-Qarnayn (a) were competing to find the water of Reality. Everything in existence--birds, angels, animals--all knew about the Light of Muhammad (s). Allah (swt) raised the Prophet’s (s) name with His Name. You cannot say, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” without saying “Muhammadun Rasoolullah (s)!” When Sayyidina Khidr (a) discovered that Reality, he submitted to the Prophet (s). (…) And then Sayyidina Musa (a) realized that he was in need of that Reality andsaid to Sayyidina Khidr (a), “I will follow you.”
But Sayyidina Khidr (a) said, “You cannot follow me as you do not have that knowledge, so you will not be able to accept what I am doing.” So when he sank the boat, Sayyidina Musa (a) asked, “What are you doing; why did you ruin the boat to kill the people? You are doing something unacceptable!” He was afraid for himself and so he questioned Sayyidina Khidr (a). Sayyidina Khidr (a), who made a hole in the boat because there was a tyrant king who took every boat by force, so to save that boat from being snatched, Sayyidina Khidr (a) made a hole in it. He was teaching Sayyidina Musa (a) there is a quarantine between the Knowledge of Baatin and the Knowledge of Zhaahir. They meet in the boat, because that knowledge mentioned in the Holy Qur'an is Baatin, and Sayyidina Musa (a) mentioned the Knowledge of Zhaahir.
Sayyidina Khidr (a) said, “We are both here, and you saw that I opened a hole in the boat to sink it, but you didn't observe the king that is trying to take the boat, that is Iblees! As soon as (we think we know something), that king will try to take over. This is to teach us, “I am killing your ego now in this quarantine, in order to pass the two sides of the barrier, where the two oceans meet. I have to put this hole in your ego to take you to the other side, to kill that tyrant or make it run away, as then it will see your submission is to Allah (swt) and to His Prophet (s)!”
This is the manifestation or explanation of the ayahs of the Holy Qur'an. As Grandshaykh (q) and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) said, every letter of the Qur'an is an Ocean of Knowledge! Every letter has 124,000 knowledges from which awliya can extract meanings!
So he opened the hole in the boat for the people’s safety and the boat took them to safety, sailing in the ocean. If the hole had not been put in it, the tyrant would have reached that boat and taken it, which means that if we do not kill our egos, Iblees can manipulate us.
O Muslims! Don't let your ego manipulate you, making you think, “I am the best, I have many followers.” No! All of us have mistakes, for sure, but when we make mistakes we must repent. When you see something good coming from you, say it is from Allah (swt), and when you see something bad coming from you, acknowledge that it is from your self!
May Allah bless us and support us and give long life to our Shaykh. Ameen.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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