Audhu billah min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem
Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem
Nawaytu'l-arba`een, nawaytu'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu'l-khalwah, nawaytu'l-riyaada, nawaytu'l-`uzlah, nawaytu's-salook, lillahi ta`ala fee hadha'l-masjid
[Readings from al-Fath ar-Rabbani ]
Allah swt has given us a, what He called it in Holy Qur'an nafs. What we focus on in this series of associations, or guidance or advice, or if you want to call it lecture, but they are not lectures, but they are a kind of experiences that awliyaullah have expressed it through their lives to their students. And in this insha-Allah Ramadan, 1429 Hijri, 2008, Ramadan 2008, we will go through this series, which I know it will not finish, but we will keep going because it is important to learn experiences of Grandshaykh, of Naqshbandi Order, and the knowledge that they have acquired, and also the experiences of Grandshaykhs of other Sufi orders that they have acquired and taught to their students.
Always, all different roads are going to end up in one place. All roads end up in the center of the city, is it not, everyone of them coming from different direction. Some roads are longer than others and some roads are quicker. In tariqah it is the same. Some roads might be shorter, some might be longer and it depends on the experiences of that Grandshaykh and his connection to Prophet (s).
Allah from beginning of dunya, he said, wa nafsan wa ma sawwaaha. The self and He put it together, that self of the human being has been put together in the way that that self can know what is good and what is bad. As Allah said, fa alhamaha fujooraha wa taqwaaha. Allah inspire the self with what is good for it and what is bad for it. Now the question comes, it is coming now from Mawlana Shaykh, is how is the self a separate entity that was sent on the body, is it all within the formation of the child in the womb of the body, that separate entity joined with the soul, or is that self was after the child was born came in. because when Allah swt inspired the self what is good for it and what is bad?
Allah said: fa alhamaha - He is the one that inspired the self with what is good and what is bad. Which self? Is it the self of Adam and it went through his grandchildren their genes. Is it the same self that came through the genes and everyone has a different self? A big question mark. But we know that self is found within us. And that is why I from our Grandshaykh, Mawlana Shaykh Abdullah al-Faiz ad-Daghestani. and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim that in awraad they gave us daily to recite 500 Ya Samad, that you don’t have to depend on anyone besides Allah, that he keeps you provided and healthy and you are dependent and Allah is independent. That is the one who doesn’t need anything, he is not dependent on anything. So he gave us to recite 500 times Ya Samad, to cut down the tifl an-nafs al-madhmooumat. The childish ego that we have from birth, we have begun to build our immature child which is called an-nafs, other than the body. So tifl an-nafs al-madhmoumah the childish bad characters that we begin to build on our selves, on our ego or nafs, that self, these bad characters come from how you are child and you have these bad characters.
It means they are reflections from those who are raising you and reflections from those who are around you. That is why always children inherit the good characters of the parents and the bad characters of the parents. So the child will grow in all kinds of pollutions that we are raising them in that environment. That they are going to be in all kind of pollutions. If the wife is feeding the child with ablution or no ablution. If the father is feeding the child a bottle of milk and fighting with his wife or with anger or smoking or drunk or shouting or having jealousy from others. So all these bad characters that we are acquiring it slowly, slowly, it shows that the self is an entity by itself that came pure but we destroyed it. That is why He said, Allah swt:
وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا
wa nafsin wa ma sawwaaha fa alhamaha fujuooraha wa taqwaha,
By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it; And its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right; [91:7,8]
the nafs is something that He fashioned it.
Allah doesn’t fashion something that is bad. You go to fashion houses, they try to be creative and innovative in dressing you with the best colors that they have. That is why the Prophet (s) said, “yulid al-insanu ala al-fitrah – every human being is born on innocence.”. It means that Allah fashioned us pure and either his parents make him this or make him that, but everyone is born on innocence. W a nafsin wa ma sawaaha. Allah fashioned it and in the best pure way. And he said to that nafs, be careful you can follow siraat al-mustaqeema and there is this evil way, don’t approach there.
Like you tell a child, “Look there is fire, there it will burn you.” So he comes back. So Allah told us He inspired the self, “this is good for you and this is bad for you.”
When someone dies today what do they recite on him at the end?
يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ارْجِعِي إِلَى رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي وَادْخُلِي جَنَّتِي
Ya ayyuha nafs al-mutmaina irji`ee ila rabikkee raadiyatan mardiyya...
(To the righteous soul will be said:) "O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction! "Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him! "Enter thou, then, among My devotees! - yea, enter thou My paradise!" 89:27-89:30
When someone dies in
That is when someone dies, but in reality that is there anytime. Allah inspired the self, that is the good way and that is the bad way. What is going to make the self bad, all its corruption and its piety, taqwaaha. Be pious. Then… that is why awliyaullah that when the nafs becomes so pious they don’t follow the fujoor, the bad ways. Then the self becomes mutmai’nna. That is what the ayah of the Qur’an will imply to them Ya ayyuha nafs al-mutmaina irji`ee ila rabikkee.
You have peaceful self, then Allah will open to you. Fadkhulee fee `ibadee wadkhulee jannatee. Enter into my servants. I am taking the bad self away and giving you now the peaceful self. Enter now clean and clear and crystal clear, pious, sincere, generous, remembered of Allah. Enter now the body of my servant. It means rejuvenate him to be a saint. Now when he became a Grandshaykh, connected to Prophet (s), enter now my paradise. What is Allah’s paradise: to be in presence of Prophet (s) that is the highest level.
There are some awliyaullah many that are in presence of Prophet (s) 24 hours. There are some who are in the Presence of the Prophet one second every 24 hrs. It depends on what level they acquired.
So this is an introduction that shows that Allah created the self as a separate identity entity that will go inside the body, but pure. You pollute it through your environment. And that is why you see some kids sometimes they are very peaceful, they are very straightforward, you see they don’t lie when they grow up. And some children are very wild. And there are in-between.
Because as we said, it is the environment of the house, it is the environment of people around him, it is the environment that affects and pollutes them.
It is the same for all of us. But even when you grow up, you have to follow the guidance, that is why it is said, man la shaykha lahu shaykhahu ash-shaytan - whoever has no shaykh, his shaykh is shaytan. Because always he is going to fall and no one is going to guide him. That is why it is very important to have a guide. You need a father, you need a mother. If a child doesn’t have a mother and doesn’t have a father what do they say? They say he is an orphan. What does orphan mean? It means a lost child in the wilderness, lost.
So they began to establish from human rights, places for that child to stay.
But the one who has no shaykh is like an orphan. He is an orphan because shaytan will play with him quickly.
So awliyaullah reached nafs al-mutaminna. We know there are many different levels of self. But the highest is nafs al-mutmainna. “adhkhulee jannatee - So enter now My paradise.” It means “Enter now My ocean of knowledge.”
If that we want to learn, I know it is very difficult. We listen and then we go. I listen also and it might come in one ear and go out the other. But at least those crumbs that go there it stays. The heart is like the audio recorder or video recorder. It manages to have all the details. But to act on it is difficult. So that is why awliyaullah say “be patient.”
“We know you are not going to get it in 1, 2, 3 days.” Many people say, “We follow a shaykh and we feel we are still in the same level.” No you are wrong. You are improving. But because you were so much polluted it needs so much time.
Before they had an antibiotic that takes 30 days to clear you from a sickness. Then knowledge advanced and it became 10 days. Then it became 5 days. Then they dropped to 3 days. Now they have one, you take it one time and you are cleaned.
So we have to be patient. We cannot be cleaned if we are raised for 20, 30 years on all kinds of wild characters. That is why you see even those who are assigned to lead dhikr and give lectures that they are in environment of wild characters and they have wild characters. They have ego greediness for everything. That is why it is very difficult to see someone, whatever level he reached, if he didn’t reach the level of sainthood, and even in sainthood you have levels. Still you will see the one who didn’t reach sainthood, will have ego greediness. It is very difficult for the person to ride the ego. It is sickness.
When Sayyidina Ibrahim is a Prophet, he received a lot of inquiries when they put him in between the fire when they were building the huge bonfire, bon feur. So they were building this huge place to burn him. It means they put him in that huge polluted bad characteristics, these woods that they were going to burn. These are all the bad characters, if we want to understand, not for Sayyidina Ibrahim . These reflections of the bad characters are going to burn us. As soon as you give a match to these bad characters they will burn us. These bad characters in us are worse than the fire of Nimrod that he was preparing to burn Sayyidina Ibrahim .
If you have all these woods and you put a match what happens. A huge fire. If today, when a house burns, they say there were 5 victims; 8 victims. What do you think of the fire of Nimrod who built a skyscraper of fuel of wood to burn Sayyidina Ibrahim ? He was building that for years and when he was done what happened. Too many inquiries were coming to Sayyidina Ibrahim , “We will save you. We will save you.”
Sayyidina Jibreel came and asked; every moment he was asking, “Shall I save you?” He said, “Did you come here by yourself? You cannot move from your place with out orders. The one who sent you knows better my situation.”
So he reached the nafs al-mutmainnna. He reached the peaceful self, he is father of Prophet (s). So the fire because what? When he said, I don’t need anything from you, I need from him. He knows what I need. If he wants me to be burned in his love, I will be burned. If he wants me to stay I am staying. I am going back to him in any case.
So Allah revealed,
قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ
“Ya naar, O fire, koonee bardan wa salaama `ala Ibrahim - be cool and peaceful on Ibrahim.”
That fire was burning but Ibrahim was in peaceful cool breeze that he was enjoying. And in some seerah they say that people were seeing a full paradise that Ibrahim was enjoying in that fire. And the evidence is that verse we just mentioned, ya ayyhuna nafs al-mutmainna. … mardiyya. When you destroy that bad characters. And then Allah tells the self and rejuvenate him, send the self back clean to the person clean and send him to paradise.
So that is to teach you want to get rid of these bad characters, you have to burn them. How to burn them? It is very easy but it is very difficult. It is very easy to prescribe but it is very difficult to act on it. You know what is good and what is bad. Allah said in Holy Qur'an, he inspired the self with what is good and what is bd. It means, if you are not too much into Shariah, what you have to do or not, then check it with your mind. If your mind says, “O this is like a sin, I don’t think Allah likes it.”
If it comes to you, “This is ok,” then no problem. You have a balance. Allah does not burden anyone with any more than you can contain.
So think to yourself. If it is good do it and if not don’t do it. So do we know good and bad. Yes we know. But it is very difficult to act on it. That is why awliyaullah say, be patient, but you attend these teachings. Then slowly, slowly it changes you a little bit. It is like a small catalyst you put in a formula in chemical the equation in order to accelerate what you need to do in chemical equation. We are like small drops putting there making little bit changes. When you give an injection you don’t bring a horse injection and give to human being and give it at one time. Then you have a big pamper at one side. So doctors come to you like a child, caress you and pat you and then give you small injection and put it slowly.
Awliyaullah they have to pamper us. So don’t expect that if I am representative, I am giving lecture. Now I became a very high level saint. Where is sainthood and where is us? Everyone hopes to be. Competitions is acceptable in Shariah. You see someone fasting you say why he is fasting and you fast. That is acceptable and nice in Islam.
But if you see someone is not fasting in Ramadan and say, he is not fasting, why I have to fast. Don’t compete for bad, compete for good.
So awliyaullah they are … the give their advice to their students and not like us, you have few hundreds or few thousands. In their association they used to have 10,000 people, 5000 people, 1000 people. Today in association how many you have? In a conference you have more people but a conference is like a Turkish bath. Everyone from different side is speaking. But teaching is like in classrooms - they don’t accept in class more than 20 students. In
He doesn’t say “O gentlemen,” m-e-n, plural. He says, “O gentleman.” But there are hundreds, thousands. But he is using [this form] to address directly, singular. And he doesn’t say “gentle man.” You are not yet gentle yet. So what are we? We are wild. Why are we wild? We are still kids. So what does he use to address the audience? Ya ghulam - O child! This one is fifty years of age, this one is forty. How is he a child?
If you tell someone he is child, what will he do? If he has a knife he will stab you. You are a child, I am a child. Awliyaullah call them, because they want to teach adab, and they want to speak to everyone in one language but everyone will understand that language in a direct way. Each person will say, “Shaykh is speaking to me.” He speaks in singular terms, and he is using the same words and the meaning that comes to the heart of each person is different and direct.
He says, “O kid!” We are all kids. And he doesn’t say, o kids. What a kid needs. He needs to go to school. Now you say, “What school, I have a Phd?” But in spiritual terms he is still a kid. He is a kid, and a kid cannot even, if you are Phd, and even if you are 100 years old, if you didn’t reach maturity in destroying your wild characters you are still a kid. If a Phd professor didn’t destroy his wild characters he is still a kid in the spiritual realm whatever age you are.
And he said to him, and I quote a little bit and then I stop.
“Ya Ghulam! da` anka an-nafs wal-hawa - O kid leave the self and leave the bad desires.”
First lesson in their teachings, awliyaullah, the first step they step is to tell you, you have four enemies on you.
If you have one enemy and you have to go to war, what do they prepare for them? They prepare tanks and bombs and artillery and even smart bombs. You have to have smart bombs on your ego.
He is telling you, “You have four enemies.”
So what are the enemies: nafs, hawa - bad desires, dunya - this flashy world around you that is worth nothing, and Shaytan. They teach you, you have these four enemies already. So prepare to destroy them.
Da` anka … kun ardan tahta ha ula’i al-qawm - Be earth under the feet of these people, the saints.”
The earth doesn’t care what happens. You dig it, you blow it up, you drop smart bombs on it; it doesn’t change. Don’t be wavering. Yes, no, yes, no. No! Decide and move. Either you want to reach or you want to struggle. If you want to struggle what can we do? So be earth, under the feet of this qawm. In Arabic, saints when they speak use the word qawma in ha ula’i al-qawm it means “these saints.” Be dust between their hands. Be - when they ask you something - if you go to desert, you put your hand in the sand and what happens? It moves like water, in every direction. In any direction they move you, you are moving. Don’t take a form in the hands. As soon as you put on it water, what will it take? It takes a form. Immediately the children make what? Sand castles. But you need another element. He said, “Don’t let another element to touch you, then you will not be formless in hands of awliyaullah then you will be stuck. Be without form.” It means when you have no form you will be what? When someone loses his body… when do you lose your body? When you die. Can you control anymore your body. No, they take it. Be sand in their hands. Be dead.
Then you will come under that ayah:
يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَمُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتِ مِنَ الْحَيِّ
“yukhrij al hayya min al-mayt wa yukhrij al-mayt min al-hayy - He will bring out the life from the dead.” [6:95]
When you “be earth in their hands” it means submission to Allah and submission to Prophet (s).
If not, yukhrij al-mayt min al-hayy - and He will take your dead body from your soul.
In both case it is an equilibrium that Allah balances you and gives you rejuvenation of the body and gives you rejuvenation of the soul.
We stop now and continue this series through whole Ramadan.
Wa min Allah at-tawfeeq, al-Fatiha.