3 August 2011 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.
Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,
nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`ala fee haadha 'l-masjid.
As we need this microphone for our voices to reach, also we need a perfect shaykh to carry us to the presence of the Prophet (s). You see someone on TV but you cannot see them without it; everyone has to have a microphone for his sound to reach. Awliyaullah are not in need of this microphone, because Allah (swt) gave them a heavenly microphone to reach everyone from east to west. That is why to have a guide is necessary, because as Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) said, man lam yakun lahu ustazdh ustazhahu ash-shaytan, “Who doesn’t have a teacher, his teacher is Shaytan.” Similarly, Imam al-Ghazali (r) said, “Who does not have a shaykh will fall into disasters,” and, “O my son, be careful of the arrogance of mutamashikheen, those claiming to be shaykhs.”
There are many people who think they have powers, because the disturbance in their minds changes their way of thinking and causes them to hallucinate. Just as drugs might make you hallucinate, in spirituality, arrogance is a drug. When you are arrogant you begin to hallucinate like you are Pharaoh; you see lights, people moving around you, and you hear some people talk to you, then you begin to order people and make them your followers. For this reason, be careful about those who pretend to be a shaykh. It is not easy to be a shaykh, as we have already explained.
This is translated from the book, Talkhees al-Ma’aarif, “Summarizing the Knowledges”, by as-Sayyid Hassan Hilmiyy al-Quhiyy ash-Shādhili an-Naqshbandi al-Qādiri, page 20-21. It has to be like a sign on our necks for everyone to read. A shaykh of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain said:
Given the fact that I was born in a recent time (away from the time of Prophet and great scholars), and that I was in a weak state, and that I did not have much talent or great deeds, I was very lucky to meet great shaykhs and masters of the Golden Chain, to accompany them and to love them and be near to them. I was also granted to study with them, to wear their Sufi garment, to have their permission, to be a senior student of theirs and to have intimacy with them, as I will later illustrate. I was granted nearness to them, and my wishes by Allah’s leave were fulfilled by them. Although I was not a good follower of theirs, and I did not emulate them in their deeds, and I deviated from their path, I still hope that Allah will grant me their company in the Hereafter, and that He will grant me to drink with their cup.
They are the people whom if anyone sits with them, he will never have a bad end, even if that person who sits with them has dirty and filthy deeds. By Allah’s leave, I hope to have true love for them, and strong faith in their superior taste and sincere love. It was mentioned in the hadith, “One ends up with whom he loves,” and, “One ends up with the one he sits with,” and, “One has the same religion as his friend.” After all, a person’s character steals from the shaykh’s character, even if the ego rejects their manners.
It will reflect from the shaykh's character to your character and the people will begin to think they are looking at the shaykh. There are too many like that, whose manners dress the one who accompanies them. Wa qad qeela man sahab al-akhyaar.... It is said, “Who accompanies the chosen ones, Allah will make them like them.” That is only through accompanying them. That is why Grandshaykh (q) used to say, "If your shaykh tells you to dig seven Earths down, that your trusts are there, follow the order, because even if you cannot reach, you will reach!”
Today, who follows the order? If the shaykh says something, you must accept. If you don't accept, then why do you spend your life with the shaykh?
Mawlana said something and I checked it, then I called and he was very happy, then he opened many things. You have to accept. At-tareeqatu ma raa'ahu ash-shaykh, “The tariqah is whatever the shaykh sees.” Before Grandshaykh (q) passed away, he said, “My khalifah is Shaykh Nazim, and Shaykh Hisham and Shaykh Adnan will help him.” How many people rejected that? If you believe your shaykh is looking at the Preserved Tablets then you must accept, and you must go and speak with that one whom Allah (swt) appointed. Then Mawlana opened up a new explanation that was not known before; perhaps he was awaiting that phone call to see if you accept or not. What are you losing? Nothing is changing, except yourself! If you follow the words of the shaykh, then you will be changed from worse to better. If you follow the Akhyaar, Chosen Ones, then you will be of them. Who sits in the association of the Chosen Ones, Allah will make him from the class of good ones, but who sits with evil ones Allah will make him from the class of evil ones, so choose which one you want to accompany. Grandshaykh (q) gave this example: if you sit with a blacksmith, for sure you get a spark that burns you and your clothes, and if you go to a perfumery, for sure you will get a drop that makes you smell nice, so choose!
How can we accomplish to be with them, to be able to reach them, to love them and be near them, to wear their Sufi garments, to have their permission, to be senior students, and to have intimacy with them? What kind of journey do we need to take? It is simple. One of the qutbs in that time, al-Aydaroos (r), said, “Do you want to be in that journey, to reach that? The only way to reach that door of the journey that takes you to spirituality and realities is very simple, only one word, but that word is like a pregnant lady about to give birth to her child.” It means if you want reality to come out, it has been in the womb and is now in the last stages of birth, like the perfect moon, to which there is no addition.
Al-Aydaroos (r) said, salook at-tareeq bi’l-`ibadaat, “Seeking that journey is through worshipness,” as in the holy verse:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
Wa maa khalaqta 'l-jinna wa 'l-ins illa li-ya`budoon.
I have only created jinn and men that they may serve Me. (azh-Zhariyaat, 51:56)
Allah (swt) didn’t create us to eat and drink, but only to worship Him and nothing else. Even to sleep with your wife is worship; that is an example to tell you everything good you do is worship: visiting a sick person is worship; bringing water to a thirsty person is worship.
In time of the Prophet (s) they said, “We saw something strange, one person going in the desert with no water and he is going to die. He found a well and went down and quenched his thirst, then went up, and as he came out he saw a dog coming from afar. That dog was thirsty and could not get water from the well, so the man filled his socks with water and helped the dog quench its’ thirst.” The Prophet (s) said, “Allah saved that person from Hellfire for giving water to that dog.”
This is the path and the journey, and how to face such things in on such a journey, so when one completes and perfects his `ibaadah he will be granted different levels, maqamaat. As Grandshaykh and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim have said, between us and the Prophet (s) there are 70,000 veils of darkness, and that is why people are blind and cannot see the Prophet (s). You have to remove those veils, which is not so easy. As explained in The Naqshbandi Sufi Way, they take from the back and leave the common veil; awliyaullah begin to take from the back slowly as many as they can to raise your levels and you begin to acquire different levels in your journey. Now you are in level 1, then you move to level 2, and so on. You worship according to the power in that level and when you pass through all of them, ahwaal, trance-like states might begin to appear on you, then you go into a trance-like state and you will begin to speak strange things. A foolish person will not have such a trance, but be careful, as that might be a shaytan.
When you finish and begin to have trance-like states, then the state of your breathing will change, enabling you to exhale all negative energy from your body and breathe in positive energy. You will also be able to send positive energy to everyone around you by exhaling and inhaling. After that, it is a big transition to knowledge. So after you go through `ibaadat; maqaamat, ahwaal and breath, then they open for you to receive `ilm, knowledge.
So don’t come and ask another time on how to achieve high levels of spirituality! If you follow them, you will reach and if you don’t follow, you cannot. They are telling you what you have to do. When you begin to get knowledge, they allow you to give examples and irshaad, to give guidance and protect the hearts of people around you. Then they begin allowing you to speak one-to-one to your tyrant soul, your ego, and that is according to the hadith of the Prophet (s)::
افضل الجهاد كلمة عدل عند سلطان جائر
afdul al-jihad kalimatu `adlin `inda sultaanin jaa`ir.
The best jihad is a word of truth before a tyrannical king. (Narrated by Abi Sa`eed al-Khudree)
That “tyrant sultan” is a mixture of your ego, where ego is between your body and soul. You will begin to debate your ego, like looking in a mirror and speaking to yourself, and it is a sunnah to look at yourself in the mirror. The one who revives a sunnah will be granted the reward of seventy martyrs. It doesn’t mean to look in the mirror to groom yourself to meet some ladies, but rather, to look and say, alhamdulillah al-ladhee hassana khalqee wa hassana khuluqee, “Praise be to Allah, Who perfected my appearance and my manners.” You have to look at yourself daily and thank Allah (swt), saying, “Thank you for fixing my features and my behaviors, khuluqee,” asking not to have an evil behavior, but a simple one. If you look and thank every day, then you will be polished. Do you do that?
All this has to do with husn azh-zhan, trying to keep good thoughts about others. Don’t blame others for anything! Perform tafakkur, contemplation, as Prophet (s) said:
تفكر ساعة خير من عبادة ستين سنة
Tafakkaru sa`atin khayrun min `ibadaati saba`een sannah.
To reflect on what you have done for one hour, you will be rewarded as if you have worshipped for seventy years.
So all of these are ready for you to take home in your heart and implement. Don’t come to me and say, “I don’t want to do work because I am superior,” or because, “They see me as inferior and themselves superior.” Then you will have more and more darkness and negative energy. Good people say, “We like to help everyone and do the best for everyone.” Don’t look to what others are doing; you will get tired and it will be for nothing. They ask, “Why do I have to do the worst work?” Because good people do the worst work. What do awliyaullah do? They do the worst job, polishing followers from their sins, so do the worst work! Today I will see if you are doing the worst or best work. Don’t look at age, as age is a moment and that moment disappears one day, and everything that happened before will be gone.
You have to believe in the Muhammadan characters, at-tasdeeq, to accept and to affirm belief of Islam and faith, and this can only be done by a shaykh who knows that journey. Majzhoob wa mahboob, he is a shaykh attracted and loved, who says things people might not understand. That is why I had to call and check on what Mawlana Shaykh said, in order to understand. Awliyaullah are not here; they are busy somewhere else, and they must be waasilan mahboobun, the one who reached the love of and is connected to the Prophet (s). It is very difficult to come to that stage. `Arifun bi ’n-naql wa bi ’l-`aqli, “He knows the science of transmission and everything written (of Shari`ah).” From early stages to the time he reached, it means he knows every hadith and every ayah of Holy Qur’an, and whenever he is sitting, Allah puts on his tongue what to say and at anytime he can give you a fatwa from verses of Holy Qur’an and from hadith. `Arifun billahi ta`ala wa bi nafsihi wa bi khalqihi, “He is knowledgeable in Allah (swt), in his self, and in all His Creation; he has to know everything about them and be haadir, present with them, and absent at the same time, not showing himself there. That is a shaykh, a murshid.
Where are those who call themselves “murshid?” Are they not ashamed to have their students call them murshid or shaykh? Run away from that title, because if you try to dress that on yourself without authorization, you will burn your followers and yourself. The real shaykh is the one who is both present and absent in seclusions; you see him with you but he is not with you, you see him in seclusion but he is not in seclusion. When he wants, he appears or does not appear in seclusion and when he wants, he does not.
We will continue later. May Allah bless those awliyaullah and shaykhs. They say, “The real Sufi,” and this is very important to write: as-sufiyya al-mukhlisoon,“The sincere and pious Sufi,” which means that there are Sufis who are not sincere, who are charlatans. Avoid them! As-sadiqoon ma` Allah, “The sincere and pious one is with Allah in every harakah, motion, and every sakanaat, stillness in his life.” How can you show sincerity in stillness? We say water is still when there is no ripple or wave. So how that wali or Sufi who has been described, “The one who is always in the Presence of His Lord, in his every movement, with his praying and fasting,” can be sincere in stillness? No one knows except that wali.
One day, I passed by Grandshaykh (q)’s living room window and I saw him sitting, and usually he doesn’t sit there. He was sitting still, with his eyes and mouth open, sitting in the Divine Presence unable to move. I was afraid he would shout at me, “What are you doing here!” Light came from his mouth, his forehead, his eyes, from his head, and the whole room was shining! That is the meaning of, “in stillness.” For us it is still but for them it is moving.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
Taqabal-Allah. You coming here and spending two-to-three hours, no one can count except Allah (swt). For us it is “still time” that has no beginning and no end, and it will be like that from now up to Judgment Day. At that time you will see who was sitting with you among jinn and angels. We are blind here; no one can claim he can see and if he says he can see, that is only hallucination as only awliyaullah can see, only those who are granted by the Prophet (s) to be in the Golden Chain. This doesn’t mean there are no awliyaullah other than those in the Golden Chain, but the Golden Chain is the highest level, the Sultan al-Awliya, who is the ghawth, and the five qutbs: Qutb, Qutb al-Bilaad, Qutb al-Aqtaab, Qutb al-Irshaad, Qutb al-Mutasarrif, who are assigned that position in every century. Then there are forty saints in every time, standing at the threshold of the Prophet (s), and 313 saints inheriting from different messengers, and then there are 7007 Naqshbandi Golden Chain saints.
Question: Can we follow Salaat an-Najaat and so on from home through watching Sufilive?
Mawlana Shaykh Hisham: Yes, you may. It is not salaat in jama`at, but Allah (swt) in His Mercy will write it as jama`at, inshaa-Allah.