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.
Ati` ullah wa ati’ u ‘r-Rasoola wa ooli ‘l-amri minkum.
Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (4:59)
As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakatuh.
Alhamdulillahi Rabbi’ l-`alameen. Allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammad.
Always we have to know that as much as we do, our deeds are still like the movement of an ant. People try their best, and Allah (swt) is happy with them because they are trying their best. But still as much as we are doing, we need to do more. Sayyidatuna Ayesha (r) said to Sayyidina Muhammad (s), “Ya Rasulullah! Why are you praying so much that your feet are swollen, and Allah (swt) has given you everything?” He said, “I want to be a thankful servant.” It means to thank Allah (swt). Are we thanking Allah (swt) every moment in our lives, or are we trying to speak against each other, to backbite? And in the Holy Qur’an, Allah (swt) says, “If you thank Me, I give you more.” So thanking Allah (swt) is not to miss such events, because Allah (swt) gave you the opportunity to such events and you are coming.
Don’t look at me, that I have a turban, a white beard and a long beard; that doesn’t mean anything. What matters is sincerity. If Allah (swt) is happy with you that is what is important, not what you speak. There are thousands to speak, but what is the benefit? Like Sayyidina `Abdul-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q), he left dunya a thousand years ago. He asked his student to go to the cemetery to take an example from deceased people; you know that story. He ordered his student to go to learn. We are coming here to learn. I am not making myself a teacher; I am lower than anyone here. And I ask, “Ya Rabbee keep us under the feet of our shaykh, to be under the feet of Sayyidina Muhammad (s).” So don’t think I know more than you. No! As Prophet (s) said in a hadeeth, “Might be a curly haired, dusty person, if he asks, Allah (swt) will answer him immediately (and grant his du`a) because of his piety.”
So Sayyidina `Abdul-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q) gave us an example. Look at the adab, how we have to be careful every moment in our lives. Don’t say, “I organize lectures for speakers.”
فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ fa laa tuzakoo anfusakum, “Don’t try to give high evaluation for yourself.” (53:21)
إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ inna ‘n-nafsa la-amaaratan bi’s-soow,”Truly the self is always calling to evil. (12:53)**
Allah (swt) said, “Don’t make yourself to think the Self (ego) is high.”
لا تنظروا الي ان لديي عماهة وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
Wa idh ta-adhdhana rabbukum la’in shakartum la-azeedannakum wa la’in kafartum inna `adhaabee lashadeed.
And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If you are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you, but if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:7)
Don’t give a high evaluation of yourself. You are nothing! He created you from a clot in the womb of your mother; you didn’t do anything! It’s Allah’s favor on you. “If you thank Me, I give you more.” People come saying, “I have this problem.” What you have to do? Thank Allah (swt) that He didn’t give you a different problem. Everyone has difficulties. That’s why, when you thank Allah (swt), He relieves you. In our Naqshbandi Order, they gave to us to recite shukran lillah 100 times daily, and 500 times daily alhamdulillah that we are from Ummati Muhammad (s), and 500 times daily alhamdulillah that we are not from a different nation!
So with Sayyidina `Abdul-Khaliq (q), when I say mureed, it means a real mureed with all the characteristics. Are we? No. It is not easy. We are muhibeen, lovers. Sayyidina `Abdul-Khaliq (q) ordered his mureed to get knowledge from the deceased people. He did not yet reach Maqam al-Mureed. But `Abdul-Khaliq (q) wanted him to reach. So he went to the cemetery and the door was locked. He tried, but could not open it. He saw someone sitting on the fence.
The man asked, “What are you coming to do?”
“I came to visit, but the door is locked.”
The man said, “You want to see whom?”
He said, “My shaykh asked me to go visit the deceased.”
Sayyidina `Abdul-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q) informed Sayyidina Khidr (a) , “I am sending this mureed of mine, teach him.”
Awliyaullah can reach their people without telephone. So the door opened. Sayyidina Khidr (a) (the man on the fence) was waiting. The mureed entered inside one grave there, like I was visiting Shaykh Zakariyya (the other day; let’s read Fatihah for him). Thousands of graves were in that cemetery, where the mureed was sent. In any case, he was standing at the first grave and that man said, “SubhaanAllah.” Sayyidina Khidr (a) wants to bother him, wants to check him. “This man left dunya young. He didn’t reach more than three years and died at an early age.”
That mureed was looking angry, but did not want to say anything because anger is kufr. When someone gets angry, it is as if that someone is out of Islam. May Allah (swt) forgive us. Don’t get angry. Are you getting angry? (everyone answers, “Yes.”) For sure. Anger in the way of Allah (swt) is okay, but against your wife or brother is not accepted. Be patient. So that mureed was patient but angry.
He said, “How are you saying he died at age eight years? This (headstone) reads that he died at 83.”
He said, “You are young. I know more. This one died at three years.”
Like Abdu ‘sh-Shakoor here, from outside he keeps it cool, but he has anger inside. Ibrahim is worse; he gets quickly upset, but he is eldest and we have to respect him! Second grave, five years of age. Ages were different at each grave; the third grave, fourth grave. He never found anyone that reached maturity; all of them were under ten years of age. Might be Abdu ‘sh-Shakoor one day. (laughter) Shaykh Zakariyya (q) was an angry person, but with Mawlana’s barakah, he went as a wali and they dressed him. Awliyaullah have that power, to speak on their behalf and dress them on moment of their death with all kinds of beautiful dresses.
Grandshaykh (q) said, “I will be standing by every mureed when they pass from dunya.” So alhamdulillah, mureeds who pass away are going to Paradise. Grandshaykh (q) also said, “On the shape of a hand (with the Name) “Allah” written on it, (when the Angel of Death approaches a mureed) they see that white hand and immediately their soul leaves the body and jumps into the light (on that hand).” That is a specialty, or you can say a grant, to Grandshaykh (q) and Mawlana Shaykh (q) from Allah (swt), that souls of their mureeds will not be taken except through looking at the light and taken away.
No one can understand the power of awliyaullah. You see this crowd here? Next week they might drop to fifty people when I am not here. But anyone who came this week and he did not come next week, an angel will continue to represent him. Someone comes on your behalf, and they dress you. In this tariqah, don’t think it is simple. Very quickly, it gives reward with barakah of the shaykh. Say alhamdulillah that Allah (swt) granted us to be in the presence of the sultan! This majlis is presented to Prophet (s) every Thursday, and if someone did not attend, an angel will represent them!
So, we go back to the story that Khidr (a) kept bothering that student. That mureed was so bothered! He went back to Shaykh `Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani’s (q) presence and he saw that man (Khidr) sitting next to the shaykh, but in that presence he was in full submission; there was no Self (ego). He is not caring for anyone except connecting to his shaykh, making muraqabah.
And Sayyidina Khidr (a) said, “Yaa Sayyidee, what kind of a mureed you have?” More tests. “He doesn’t want to learn. I opened to him the cemetery, but he doesn’t want to learn.” Giving him a hard time. What would you do? You would get angry and say, “He is coming to my shaykh, speaking bad about me.” But he is making it up to humiliate him in front of the shaykh. That is not easy! It is difficult. That is why Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) says, “Don’t come to me complaining, because it is not adab.” To go and complain will make the mureeds get sad, because people are picking on them. But that mureed, he didn’t care what Sayyidina Khidr (a) was saying. He was connected with the heart of the shaykh. Then Shaykh `Abdul-Khaliq (q) said, “This one is the worst one I have. Because I don’t want him to contaminate others, I sent him to the cemetery!” That mureed did not care, only he was so happy to hear his name on the lips of his shaykh!
You have to know awliyaullah pick a mureed and shout at him because they want the others to hear. They teach to others through that one. Grandshaykh (q) used to say, “The best characteristic is when the shaykh curses the mureed and their heart doesn’t change. They remain straight and go forward.”
So both Shaykh `Abdul-Khaliq (q) and Sayyidina Khidr (a) were attacking, but that mureed did not care. Prophet (s) appeared to them and said, “Enough! Give him his amaanaat.” At that time, all six powers of the heart were opened to him, and he entered Maqaam al-Mureediyya. What are these six powers? We all have them, but we are not trying to use them. We don’t have the trust. We didn’t get it. When you get it, then you see the benefit. The six powers, Allah (swt) gave that specialty to everyone. The mureed began to see what people cannot see, he began to hear what people cannot hear. Why did the Prophet (s) ask for that to be opened to him? Because his heart was with the shaykh: wherever you throw him, he comes back! Many times Grandshaykh (q) scolded us, “If I shout at you, come from the window!” Don’t say the shaykh “shouted”; that is not adab. You come through door or through the window; you play with him because they like that.
One time in the 70’s, I was with my brother passing by the masjid, and we passed under Grandshaykh’s bedroom, and we heard screaming. When he was shouting, it is not like Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q); he was very loud. We became glued on the foot path. We were worried that we will be shouted at, so we stopped under the window. We heard Grandshaykh shouting, “I don’t want to see you here anymore!!!” We thought, “Who is that one having difficulty with Grandshaykh (q)?” And from the corner of the wall, we saw it was Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q)! We were shy, but he was laughing as if nothing was happening. We watched for half-an-hour and we didn’t know where to go.
Then he came out and said, “Go up.”
As soon as we entered, he said, “Hisham, Adnan, come here.” (laughter) We entered trembling. What would happen? It is Mawlana, we don’t know why we are trembling.
He said, “This Nazim Effendi hayaranee - is making me astonished. How much I tried to shout at him, by order of Prophet (s), but his heart never changes or breaks him down. I shout, but you never see any anger in his eyes. I am looking at his heart and his eyes, and there are no traces of anything. He is not hearing what I am saying, and this is making me more angry. That is what I like!”
So it is not easy that the shaykh shouts at you and your mood doesn’t change. But if you reached that stage and you don’t get angry, you know you reached Maqaam al-Awliya. It is a very simple way to check. So anger is a problem. That is why we repeat that story, because if we don’t take it from ourselves, we will loose. Say shukran lillah, alhamdulillah all the time and Allah (swt) will take it from you. But we say, “I don’t want to speak with you.” Instead say alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah! When we say that, Allah (swt) is happy with us. When you say something else, Allah (swt) not happy. So if you want to show love to Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s), be content. Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) said, Tariqatun as-suhbah, “Our way is companionship.” To be a companion is the best in the group. As-suhbah means “to accompany”; it means you love him and he loves you. You cannot accompany someone you don’t love.
إِلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُإِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَ
Illa tansuroohu faqad nasarahullahu idh akhrajahu alladheena kafaroo thaaniya ithnayni idh humaa fee’l-ghaar idh yaqoolu li-saahibihi laa tahzan inna Allaha ma`ana fa anzala Allahu sakeenatahu `alayhi wa ayyadahu bi-junoodin lam tarawhaa wa ja`ala kalimata ‘lladheena kafaroo ‘s-sufla wa kalimaatullahi hiya al-`ulya w ‘Allahu `azeezun hakeem.
If you help not (your leader), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out, he had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, “Have no fear, for Allah is with us.” Then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of Allah is Exalted to the heights, for Allah is Exalted in might, Wise. (Suratu ‘t-Tawbah 9:40)
Prophet (s) saw Sayyidina Abu Bakr (r) sad in the cave when they migrated from Mecca to Medina. Allah (swt) mentioned in Holy Qur’an, “To his friend, he said, ‘Have no fear, for Allah is with us .....’“ To be a friend is important. Are you a friend to Prophet (s)? Are you a companion? Are you? How? Sayyidina Abu Bakr (r) was with him always. His reality was always with the reality of Prophet (s). And you as Naqshbandi, yes, through spirituality, yes, you are friends, because we are all Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s (r) children through tariqah. So to be a friend is to be with him all that time.
Allah’s (swt) words are ancient; His words are not created. So when Allah said, “Don’t get sad, O my friend. Allah is with us,” Allah (swt) sent down on them tranquility and peacefulness. Someone who is a friend of Abu Bakr (r) will receive tranquility. So be a friend of that one. Awliyaullah are not all on the same level. They are not all connected directly to Prophet (s). You must be happy you are connected through this silsilah through being a friend of a friend of a friend. So find a friend. Who is it? Your shaykh. Find him. When you are eating, when you are working, when you are watching TV, find him. He is near you. You watch TV? People today are watching TV all day. Everyone. It’s Shaytan entering every house through technology, to spoil the children, and all this is negative energy reaching our hearts.
May Allah (swt) forgive us and keep us safe always. Ya Rabbee shukran lillah. May Allah (swt) bless you and keep you always under the wings of awliyaullah, to take you to Prophet (s) and to Divine Presence. Ameen.
(Start of khatm. After khatm, Mawlana adds:)
SubhaanAllah, going back to the story of visiting the grave, and Khidr (a) said, “This one died three years, this one at five years.” That student was thinking, “Why Sayyidina Khidr (a) was telling me they are not yet mature.” Because in Sayyidina Khidr’s way of calculation, it is how much that person has spent of his life in the way of Allah (swt). It means throughout our life, count how many minutes were spent remembering of Allah (swt). How old are you? 31 years. So 31 years, but the way of calculation is not by years, it’s by breath. How breaths in and how many out, from first breath until last breath. So how many you have? When this finishes, you will die. They don’t count by years; that is the dunya way of counting, and the heavenly way of counting is by breath. How many breaths went to remembering Allah (swt)? That is the accumulation of your age and the progress you are making.
I remember in the 90’s, very few people, you remember 1996, when ten or fifteen people went to the King XX Masjid? We were doing dhikr there, but now look, alhamdulillah, it is the continuity of doing dhikr. May Allah (swt) bless us. As long as you have a place, you always find it full. May Allah (swt) increase you more in the way of Allah (swt), Prophet (s), and awliyaullah. Ameen.
You have one shaykh; it is enough. Don’t try to bring any more, or you will be divided. Keep one. Keep with yourselves, Shaykh Ibrahim, Shaykh Abdu ‘sh-Shakoor. So it will work out well, and inshaa-Allah it will be increasing. I am seeing Dr. Tahir hiding. He was from the first people that invited us to his house in the late 80’s. So mashaa-Allah, he is still around, a hard worker, dedicated and many others. And now with the new, organized conference by Nasir and dancing, art. He said, “Where is love?” Next day, he will say, “Where is dance?” (laughter) And then mashaa-Allah, a singing group. Nasir, since he was 15 years old, I know him. May Allah (swt) bless you Abdul-Razak, selling incense and tea. He took me to his store one day. May Allah (swt) forgive all of us.
Now there is a marriage here so you can make way for them. Allah (swt) said, ankihu’l-ayaama minkum wa’s-saliheena min `ibaadikum wa ima’ikum, “Marry from among yourselves.” Don’t look for rich ones or not, look for good character; that’s what counts. Rizq comes from Allah (swt). Rasulullah (s) said, an-nikaahu sunnatee, “Marriage is from my way.” We are now witnessing the marriage of these two and we need two witnesses. (Mawlana speaks to the groom.) Look. Is she the right one? (laughter; Shaykh Hisham conducts the nikah.)
Fatihah. Time for hadrah!
** Note the numeric congruence: 12:53 and 53:12!