Suhbah at Letchworth State Park (2)
When we want to clear the surroundings from devils, evil spirits, evil energy, all we need to do is mention Allah’s (swt) Name, because Allah (swt) said to Prophet (s) in a Qudsiyy Hadith:
أنا جليس من ذكرني
I sit with him who remembers Me. (Ahmad, Bayhaqi)
Allah is Subhaan, and we can’t say He sits like us, but for us to understand, “I am with the one that mentions Me,” it means Allah (swt) is sending down His mercy on our gathering, so there are no more shaytaans as the evil spirits have to run away, because with dhikr and mentioning of Allah’s Name angels surround us and they kick Shaytan, devils and evil spirits out. We are traveling around and a lot of people ask Mawlana, our shaykh, our teacher, “We have evil spirits, devils or bad energy around us.” All we need to do is say, “Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, `Azeez Allah!”
When we mention Allah (swt), He is hearing even before you mention it. He knows what is coming inside of you. Actually, He creates it inside of you, so when you say it He can send His mercy on you! Nothing happens from us, He is The Creator: He creates the inner and outer thoughts and actions. So when we are in a difficulty anywhere--at home, at work, in the government, at the hospital, in school--when you feel stressed out, all you need to do is say, “Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, `Azeez Allah!” or salawaat on Prophet (s). When you say, “Allahumma salli `alaa Muhammadin wa `alaa aali Muhammadin wa sallim,” Allah (swt) promised in a Hadith of Prophet (s) that He will pray on you ten times:
من صلى علي واحدة صلى الله عليه عشرا
If anyone invokes a blessing on me once, Allah will grant him ten blessings. (Bukhari and Muslim)
That means the blessings will come, so when you feel a difficulty, not at ease, just say, “Allahumma salli `alaa Muhammadin wa `alaa aali Muhammadin wa sallim,” and all that goes away, with pure intention and focusing on what we are saying, because if we say something without understanding it, it’s not going to be of use as we are not bringing ourselves into hudoor, the presence. If we are in a state of ghaflah (heedlessness), not present, how can we gather ourselves when our thoughts are here or there?
When we are in a difficult situation and making dhikr, we bring ourselves together and we shut off our hearing and our seeing; that’s why we close our eyes. If we don't want to see anything else in front of us as that's all a distraction, we close our eyes. when you are in dhikr, if you see someone walking, jumping, doing this or that, how you are going to pull yourself together? So you close your eyes and you hear only the dhikr of your sisters and brothers.
Sometimes in Michigan in Ramadan, I sat where my father normally sits and didn't say anything and just listened to the rhymes and rhythms of the brothers and sisters saying, "SubhaanAllah wa bi hamdihi, subhaanAllahi ‘l-`azheem astaghfirullah.” You can sense the melody going up and down like waves, which takes you into a different place, then you start hearing the tasbeeh of Creation around you. Close your eyes and keep quiet, do silent dhikr in your heart and listen to your fellow brothers and sisters, how the waves of Allah's dhikr are coming about, and then you dive in and you go up with them!
That is meditation. Gurus, monks, sufis and dervishes go into the wilderness because they start hearing the wind blowing the leaves or the sound of the water making dhikr. You hear leaves falling down, the movement of animals, worms, insects, crickets, you hear nature making tasbeeh and you try to go in that because they are pure, they have no desires.
Shaytan is not on a tree or whispering to an insect to make them sin. They exist purely by praising their Lord, making tasbeeh, so when you dive in with them, you take yourself out of your senses--you don't hear, speak, talk--you don't do anything. Through your heart, you open up that channel to receive what's happening in nature or dhikr of your fellow brother and sister, and then you start going into a different realm, seeing and hearing things that maybe you did not see or hear before. I did not experience that, I'm not saying I did, astaghfirullah, but that's what I noticed, that you go with the waves.
So any time we are in difficulty, all you need to do is close your eyes and ears from everyone, go to a quiet room, start making your dhikr and salawaat, and all that is disturbing you, the evil whispering and bad energy, whatever is evil or harmful to you or your fellow creatures will go away.
Inshaa-Allah, we can continue with that dhikr. Allah (swt) has created wisdom in everything. One day my grandfather Shaykh Nazim (q) took a person into the garden in Cyprus for a walk. That person was asked by our teacher, "What is this tree?"
They said, "I don't know."
He asked, "What is that tree?" a
They said, "I don't know." That's why suhbah, association with the shaykh, to accompany, is beneficial. So he said, "What is this tree, what is that tree?"
Each time she said, "I don't know."
He asked, "What do you know?"
She left and came back another time, walking with the shaykh.
He said, "What is this tree?"
She said, "This is a fig tree," as she learned in the meanwhile.
He said, "What is this tree?"
She said, "It's a walnut tree."
He said, "Mashaa-Allah. What is this tree?"
She said, "A banana tree!" "An orange tree!" "An apple tree!"
He said, "Mashaa-Allah, you learned all of them, huh?"
She said, "Yes, I learned."
But look, there is a wisdom, look at the trees. Allah (swt) says in Holy Qur’an:
يسقى بماء واحد ونفضل بعضها على بعض في الاكل ان في ذلك لايات لقوم يعقلون
Watered with one water, but We make some of them exceed others in (quality of) fruit. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason. (Surat ar-Ra`d, 13:4)
Yusqaa bi maa'in waahid, Allah (swt) gives one kind of water for all the trees, bi maa'in waahid, one water. Wa nufaddilu ba`daha `alaa ba`din fi ‘l-ukul, but we prefer some on others when we eat. That means Allah (swt), with the same water, is growing different things. They all start with a seed and each one of us has a seed in his or her heart and when that water comes--which is the love of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (s) and knowledge through Holy Qur'an--when the Divine Knowledge starts to enter the heart that seed starts to grow. When it grows it becomes a tree and each one of us is a different kind tree, but all with the love of Qur'an, the love of the Holy Books, the love of the Messengers and the love of God. We all share that, but each one of us is different.
So Shaykh Nazim (q) told his mureeda, student, "Look at what I'm telling you. You are telling me this is a fig tree, this is a walnut tree, etc., but if you notice, they are all watered with one water, the water of Divine Knowledge, the Knowledge of God, but each one is a different tree.” Now, let's pay more attention. This is what the shaykhs taught us. The seed of the tree is hidden in the soil, but when the tree comes up, the seed is hidden in the trunk. When the branches come out, the seed is hidden in the branches. When the fruit comes out, the seed is hidden in the fruit, right? It's hidden, it's not open. When the fruit is ripe you know its taste, either bitter or sweet.
Human beings are the same: the seed is in their hearts and the shaykh plows and waters it, and gives you the love of Prophet (s) and cultivates in you good manners and characters. Then that love, the tree, starts to grow from your soil, from your land, but still the fruit of that tree is unknown. Some trees never reach to have branches or fruits; some are chopped off or die in an avalanche or something cuts them off and throws them away, but if you have ripe fruit, your `amal, good deeds you do on Earth, that is an indication of what you are about.
For a mu'min whom Allah (swt) put imaan in his heart, his fruit will be sweet. The shaykh's fruit is sweet and his `amal is sweet, his deeds are good. When you see a human being doing a bad deed, know that this fruit is bitter. That's why Allah (swt) says:
فَمِنْهُمْ شَقِيٌّ وَسَعِيدٌ
Some of them will be wretched and some will be happy. (Surat Hud, 11:105)
That's why you look around and see that there are wicked human beings and there are good human beings, and of course there are those in the middle who are still struggling. Inshaa-Allah Allah makes us from that sa`eed. Now we are in the middle and alhamdulillah, we are not bad, but we cannot claim we are good. So that seed that Allah (swt) put in the heart, watered with the shaykh's love and knowledge of Nabi (s) bears its fruits. So if your `amal is good, be happy that you are a good seed in your heart. If your deed is bad, know that you are at that juncture and try to correct your deeds so you can have a good fruit.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), our teacher, told that mureeda to pay attention to the trees, because when we are sitting all together, you can have a fellow sister or brother that is not good, because trees are different. So for you to be good and your patience grow, you have to bear along with your fellow brothers or else how can you be patient? How can we say about someone, "What a patient person! What a tolerant person!" if you don't show patience?
For your patience to come about, Allah (swt) sends you someone that will poke and tease you and make you angry, but it's not their fault! Look at what you are doing! There is a saying, wa laa tara al-`ayba illa feeka `ayba bada bayyinan wa laakin astatara, “Don’t see the fault except in you and know that fault is in you, but by Allah’s grace it has been concealed.”
Everyone gets angry, so when you see an angry man, don't say, “O, what a bad person he is!” No, see that anger which is in you, but with Allah's grace and favor on you it is concealed, istatara. When someone lies, if you say, "What a liar, I'm not a liar!" no, you are a liar also, but Allah's Grace concealed that characteristic from His Divine Attribute As-Sattaar, sattar is “to cover”.
This is a Sufi saint's teaching: "Don't ever see any fault of human beings except it is in you." So when we see someone hurting others, know that you can do the same thing but Allah has graced you, and that harm that can come from you is merely concealed. So you must ask the same for your brother, "O my Lord! As you concealed my anger and made me not harm anyone, please also do the same for him or her so they can be in the same situation I am in." Don't see the faults of other people! Mawlana is teaching us that everyone is a different tree that bears a different fruit, but if you are a mu'min your fruit will be sweet. If you are not a mu'min yet and inshaa-Allah all of us become true mu'mins, your fruit is still bitter, it still has a ways to go to ripen.
Wa laa tara al-`ayba illa feeka `ayba bada bayyinan wa laakin astatara. It's a clear, visible, bad characteristic in us that it has been concealed. SubhaanAllah, the words of the saints carry so much meaning and if it weren't for our teachers teaching us these meanings, we don't realize. Inshaa-Allah we will stop here and we can say a little bit more later on, we don't want to bore you as this is enough, and inshaa-Allah we continue to not see faults except in ourselves and if we are graced with not having these faults, we thank our Lord and we ask for our brothers and sisters to be blessed with it, also.
And don't forget, blend into the wave of nature! Next time you are in Michigan in Ramadan, don't say anything, just listen to the voices during dhikr and you will go somewhere else, and pray for us that we go with you, too, if you end up somewhere! Actually there is a YouTube clip of crickets chirping, but slowed down until it sounds like an orchestra or choir, very melodious, beautiful, calming and soothing. Go to Youtube, and listen to that and you can understand the voices of nature when they are making tasbeeh, and the saints hear all of that, which I don't think we can, but inshaa-Allah we will.
Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfeeq, bi hurmati ‘l-habeeb bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.
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