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One of the awliyuallah, he is quoting a saying that Sayyidina `Isa , you know Sayyidina `Isa used to go through the… always take his followers, and go into the jungles, or go into the forest, he would take them, like we say, camping. But it’s not camping in the Western style what you call camping. But to take them into, outside, always take them outside the villages, in order to give them some kind of a message, that is revealed to his heart, and wants to take them from the symbol of dunya—what is the symbol of dunya? The city. The symbol of dunya is the city. That’s why you can understand why Mawlana Shaykh Nazim always tells people—go outside the cities, don’t stay in cities. Get somewhere a house outside the city. Because he wants you to run out of your dunya. Cities always bring you to dunya—because you can see everything within the city, and you can see this you like, and this you like, and you can see what there is to like. But they want you to like what is natural—they don’t want you to like what is made up by humans.
So, he says, he used to say that… Sayyidina `Isa used to take his students, his companions, Sahaba—Allah calls them hawariyoon—so he used to take them and go out. One day, he took them out and he was passing, and Grandshaykh Allah bless his soul, he said, that, “One time he took his hawariyoon, his students, disciples, and he took them and went out, and saw an animal, dead. In the middle of nowhere, there was a dog, dead. And it might be that he had died two or three weeks before, under the sun, he had been eaten—and the smell was filling the whole place. And the disciples, they took their hands, and covered their noses, in order not to smell that stinky smell, or stench. He came to the dog, and he said to them, ‘Take your hands away—don’t look at the stench, at the bad smell.’ He took his stick, and opened his mouth, and he said—because the dog always has his mouth open, so he was clearing and opening it more—and he said, ‘Subhanallah, how nice Allah created his teeth. How nice Allah created creation. How it is very—one tooth after one tooth, one tooth after one tooth—it makes it especially for a dog to be able to eat. Look at Qudratullah—look at the creation that Allah created—and the power of Allah , how He created—look how it is perfect creation, as a dog. He is perfect in his type—he is created as a dog—look at that, don’t look at the bad smell.’”
So it is a lesson to us—don’t look at the bad smell that comes from people. It means, don’t backbite. Backbiting is the bad smell. Backbiting makes your mouth smelly, and angels will run away from you, even your prayer—if you are a backbiter—might be even your prayer will not be accepted. Because you know the story of the two men that came to Prophet (s), and they said, “Ya Rasulallah! We have a stomach ache.” And Prophet (s) looked at them, and he said, “Oh, you ate in the morning.” And they said “Ya Rasulallah! We didn’t eat anything!” He said, “No, you ate meat—raw meat.” He said, “We never saw meat.”
It’s not like today, we run after meat. We don’t run after anything else—especially now when they are teaching us, “Don’t eat [normal] animal meat anymore—go and eat Kentucky Fried Chicken, go and eat McDonald’s, go and eat Burger King.” They are putting in our minds what they want us to eat. And you don’t know who cooked that meat—if that person has wudu or no wudu, if that person was angry or not angry, if that person was a good person or not—all of these things will leave a reflection in the food. It will become poison in the food. When you eat it, it poisons you. That’s why many people are poisoned—not poisoned by poison—but poisoned by bad characteristics, because it’s reflected through their food. All this bad energy that comes from the cook who is cooking the food—there is no bad energy in the meat itself, but it will reflect his bad character inside the food that we are eating in restaurants.
That’s why many shuyukh advise their students not to eat in restaurants, because they don’t want them to have that bad reflection of food. Because it depends, as Mawlana said, may Allah bless his soul, Grandshaykh—he said, “I never liked anyone of you to eat other than the food that he cooks or that his wife cooks, and they must have full wudu, and pray two raka’ats, and then cook—because by this way instead of poisonous food you are eating—means poisonous bad characteristics you are getting—you will be dressed with good reflections of the ablution and the two raka’ats that you have done as a niyyah for you to cook—Allah will turn that food, as ablution is clean to the body, that food will be cleaning the soul, the spirit.”
Because food is energy—it gives you energy. Food when you eat it, gives you energy. So that’s why it’s very important to understand that backbiting is wrong. So he said to these two Sahaba, Prophet (s), “You ate raw meat,” they said “Wallah Ya Rasulallah! We didn’t eat any meat.” He said, “No—put your fingers in your mouth and vomit—and when they vomited, out came raw meat. And he said, “Whom have you backbited this morning—you backbit someone. And they said, “Ya Rasulallah! Yes—we were speaking about this one.”
Backbiting is the reflection of poison in the heart of human beings. When you backbite, all the bad characteristics of that person that you backbit, Allah will throw it on you, and the good energy that you have (because everyone has some good energy), will give it to that person in dunya. In akhira, He takes from your `amal to give to him, and He takes from his sayi’at to give to you. We have to be very careful.
That’s why they said, “Don’t eat out.” And that’s why they said, “don’t eat unless it is someone pious, sincere, who is cooking.
So Sayyidina `Isa was teaching his students, and he saw that dog, and he said, look at these perfect teeth that Allah created him with. Look at these perfect eyes Allah created him with. According to the gender of the dog (?). Look at ‘Azzamat Ullah, Allah’s Greatness. Don’t look at the stench. Don’t look at that bad smell. And also, we must not look at the bad smell. What is the bad smell? We must not backbite, because then we fall in that smell. Angels will run away from us.
So what did Sayyidina `Isa say, after taking his students outside the village? As we said, he wants them to be out of the village—that’s why Mawlana says to everyone today, “Go to nature! Go to nature!”
It means, go and leave dunya—because cities are dunya. Cities will pull your legs, pull your feet towards hubbub ’d-dunya. Hubbu ’d-dunya ra`su kulli khati`a—ad-dunya jeefatun watulabuha kilabuha. There is a poetic saying in Arabic: “the love of dunya is the head of every sin.” It means, it is the head of every sin. And: “Dunya is a carcass—dunya is a carcass and those who are running towards the carcass are like dogs.”
Because dogs, wild animals, run after what? Dead meat. So anyone running after dead meat—which is dunya for them, awliyuallah—is running after wild characteristics.
So Sayyidina `Isa is saying to his students—teaching them—(cough cough)—(Arabic)—whenever he smells a nice smell, he used to close his nose. Because he used to tell them… because today, all this nice smell is from what? From flowers, from leaves, from everything—they get from some animals—it is from dunya. So in the time of Sayyidina `Isa , even the nice smells, he was not allowing them.
In the time of Sayyidina Muhammad (s), Allah gave that nice smell to Prophet (s). That’s why he said, “Allah made me love from your dunya three things—at-teeb, w’an-nisa, wa qurratu `aynee fi ’s-salaat—nice smell—Allah gave that only to Sayyidina Muhammad (s). Before it was not given—that’s why [we say:] “Rabbana atina fi ’d-dunya hasana, wa fi ’l-akhirati hasana.” Sayyidina `Isa was telling people only akhira. Sayyidina Muhammad (s), Allah gave him the two wings, gave him dunya, gave him akhira for his Ummah. That’s why it’s an honored Ummah, it’s a blessed Ummah. Dunya, Allah gave you. Akhira, Allah gave you. Sayyidina `Isa was only calling people for akhira—never calling people to dunya. Sayyidina Ali (kw)—live for your dunya as if you’ll live forever, and do for your akhira as if you will die tomorrow. It means in Islam, Allah gave for the Ummatu ’n-Nabi (s)—Allah gave them dunya and akhira. So that is a special characteristic only for Prophet (s)—other prophets they were preventing their students—even Sayyidina `Isa was preventing his students from nice smells—because he said that nice smells are from dunya—he doesn’t want to smell dunya—he wants to smell akhira only. Now today, Allah gave us smell—we don’t only have this attar—normal perfume. We go and buy the one that is Yves St. Laurent, Cartier, Da Vinci, what else—Gucci, what else? All these very expensive smells, is that not right? Allah gave permission, rukhsah, to Ummatun-Nabi (s). He did not give that to others. That’s why Sayyidina `Isa said no, you cannot (smell nice smells).
He said, “Ya mudda’een sana… (Arabic) He said, “Oh, the ones that are claiming that they are wearing the cloth of sincerity, the cloth of piety, and you are claiming you know and teaching people, and saying things, as if you know knowledge, you are only covering yourself with the cloth of ascetics—zuhad. You are only covering yourself, making yourself pious, but actually your heart is running after dunya. You don’t leave anything from dunya, except you are doing it. And you are claiming that you are living and doing things for akhira. This is applied to everyone, not only you or me—to everyone. Today. Everyone of us is trying to say things—but he doesn’t do it. They go on the minbar, on Jumu`ah, they give fiery speeches, against this haraam, this haraam, this haraam, this haraam—and if you look what they are doing themselves, they are falling into haraam. So you are covering yourself with a cloth, like someone saying, bringing a white material, like this material—very transparent—or he brings a … you know the wrap that you wrap food with, and put in the fridge, what do you call it? Not the foil. (plastic wrap). Not the foil, aluminum foil, the other one, the plastic wrap. You cover the food, but you can still see the food.
Today we are wrapping ourselves with this cloth, and under that we are naked. And we are saying we are covered. We are trying to say, “Oh, we are covered!” This is plastic wrap, transparent, but really anyone looking at you sees what you are! So he said, “Don’t ever claim that…” (adhan begins) Allahu Akbar…
So don’t ever claim that you are covered by saying to yourself I am covering myself. Cover it with letting dunya out of your heart. Don’t run after dunya and make yourself an example for others, where you are also someone that is falling and running and falling into dunya. Allah , for Ummatun Nabi (s)—look how it was difficult in the time of Sayyidina `Isa . They were not allowed, the hawariyoon, they were not allowed to work, even. Only their work was akhira. Whenever food comes to them… if they don’t find food, they eat grass. They eat dates from the tree that grow with nothing. They eat olives, they eat fruit. They eat if they have flocks—sheep or anything that they find. They were not like us, Allah gave Ummatun Nabi (s) everything because He loves them.
So… but, don’t go and claim that you are something, when you are not that one. Then you are falling into a big issue, that Allah may ask us and say “Why you cheated.” We can stop here, and may Allah forgive us and guide us, and make our hearts full of sincerity and piety by the blessings of our shaykh, and by the honor for the sake of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)—bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi-hurmati 'l-Fatiha.