Lunch Suhbah (2)
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah,`Azeez Allah!
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Kareem Allah!
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Subhaan Allah!
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Sultan Allah!
Dastoor yaa Sayyidi, madad. Dastoor yaa Data Sahib wa an nadharata ‘l-kareem.
Tariqatuna suhbah fi 'l-khayri wa jam`iyya.Our way is companionship and goodness is in the gathering, in congregation. Our teacher, our shaykh said in one of his speeches that we were sent here on Earth to load up with love, ashq yuklaynan, we were sent on Earth to fill up with love.
Love is the foundation and principle of the way to Allah (swt). There are states and there are stages on this way and they are places that we sit and reside and all of them may go away! Any state that we are in, we might be in and out. Any station we are in, we might be in and out except the station of love; that is not destructible, that does not go away as long as the way exists. If there is a way to Allah (swt), which there is and Nabi (s) said there is a way, it goes through love according to the verse, asta’idhoo billahi:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Say (O Muhammad), "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Surat Aali-'Imraan, 3:31)
If you love Allah (swt). This is a Holy Verse that Nabi (s) is ordered to tell us something, so he said, "Qul" to tell us to say this: if you love Allah (swt) now everybody is saying, "The Lord is to be loved," but Nabi (s) is saying, "Follow me, your love has to be to the one I love, don't follow and worship what you love because when you follow me, Allah (swt) will love you back." So the essence of our Way is love, the Sufi Way. Since love is in current use, everybody uses ‘love’ as a general term. The shaykhs decided to change that name, the doctrine of divine love, to purity, "safwa," and the lover they called "Sufi". Purity is Safa! In another way, they also called it poverty, "faqr," which is faqeer, the poor one. So you have the Sufi and the faqeer, or sometimes they call it yogi or monk.
Purity is when we purify ourselves from all worldly or existing things. We come in this world, we load up with all the impurities of this world and the Sufi is asked to purify that. So purity or purification is to purify ourselves from all existing things and poverty is when we give away our will. That means we have no more will; we sacrifice the will and sacrifice the will of Allah (swt). That is Sufism and that is faqeer, the poor one.
Sufism is the essence of fana, annihilation. When you are purifying yourselves and taking all the impurities away what happens to gold when it is purified? It's twenty-four karats but when it is eighteen karat or fourteen karats, there are impurities. So we are like that, we have a lot of impurities and with love to Allah (swt) these impurities go away, we become khali; they call the twenty-four karat gold "pure gold." Khalis means there is nothing impure in it: untainted, uncorrupted. When we submit our will to Allah (swt), what is that? Baqa, subsistence, where you continue to exist, but now you are existing by the Will of Allah (swt) and the Way is through love.
To put it into practise, now we go into Qur'an. These are theories that the Sufi's know how to implement. We hear about it, okay, but if we are going to purify ourselves how do we do that? We are in the way of love from the Divine Presence, we don't want anything in there that is impure, but how do we get there, what do we do? That is what Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and Mawlana Shaykh Hisham and the rest are trying to teach us: how to purify ourselves, how to become a Sufi from safwa, purity; how to become a faqeer, a poor one who has nothing anymore in their hand, everything is with the Lord, and everything is by the decree of the Lord. So how do we do that? We want to be Sufis, we want to attain the love of Allah (swt).
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O Mankind! Worship your Sustainer, who has created you and those who lived before you, so that you might remain conscious of Him. (Surat al-Baqarah 2:21)
Yaa ayyuha ‘n-naas ta`budoo rabba! There is a command on human beings to worship, but whom? People like to know who they worship, which is why they make statues and images, or they make a tree or stone to worship. How can you worship something you don't know? Who is He or what is it or how do you worship? It is a command from Allah (swt) to all human beings that they have to worship. Yaa ayyuhan-naas, you think Allah (swt) when He addresses, the one that is addressed is not hearing? Maybe we are not hearing because we are veiled but our inside has to hear. The Creator is saying, "Worship," everything is worshipping, there is no question about it; believer or non-believer is worshiping. there is no other one to worship, all are in worship.
وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ
And there is not a thing but celebrates His praise! (Surat al-Israa’, 17:44)
So when Allah (swt) gave that order, "O Humans," He was addressing us, not just talking to Himself. We are in front of Him. Who do you worship? We have to know. The following verse is "rabbakum". Rabba means the One giving you everything you need to survive, The Caretaker, The Master, The Lord gives everything to the servants. We had a period where we had slaves and masters. Who feeds, shelters, and provides for slaves? Their master. I mention this example so we can understand a little bit about our Lord, Who is our Master and gives us everything we need to continue our existence. So when the servant is receiving favors from the master, what happens? If the master is good--some are not very good--if the master is a generous one, like Sayyidina Muhammad (s), and the Sahaabah were lining up to be accepted as his servants and only a few of them served Nabi (s). So when the master is giving us, providing for us, sheltering us, what bond develops? Love. Allah (swt) is saying, "O Human Beings! Worship your Master, who is providing you with everything you need so you can love Him."
So Allah (swt) is coming nearer by showing us His generosity and showering His favors upon us. Who gave you eyes and ears? Was it in the market? There are a lot of people who have no vision and they would give the whole world for these two eyes. Allah (swt) gave you that. Can they go to the market and order a full eye? No. So why don't we thank Allah (swt)? Why don't we love Allah (swt)? Why don't we love our Creator? He didn’t say `aabudullah, “O People, worship Allah.” He said, "O People, worship your Lord," which means, “I am your Lord and you are My servants.” Or more intimately, when you greet someone you love, you mean, "I am yours and you are mine." There is now intimacy, coming closer. So Allah (swt) wants to be close to us and is telling us, "Remember that I am your Lord, I am your loving Master, I am the One that gives to you, nurtures you, and nourishes you."
So when Mawlana Shaykh taught us that we are in this world to love Allah (swt), that means first we have to know Him, which is ma`rifat, knowledge of Allah (swt). Okay, so Who is He? We want to love Him, He is our Lord, but to love Him we have to know Him. Allah (swt) is saying in the same verse, ta`budoo rabbakum alladee khalaqakum, "You want to know Me? I created you, made you, designed and fashioned you! I allowed you to hear, see, walk, talk, and allowed you to enjoy yourself. I am giving you everything you need to be happy creatures. I am getting closer to you, but you should know who I am: I am The One Who made you."
Products are labelled, "Made in China", "Made in Canada", “Made in USA." We are all “Made in Heaven” by our Lord, because it is stamped "Abd Allah." It can't change: you are the servant of Allah, `aamatullah, the servant of Allah. So He is saying, alladhee khalaqakum wa lladeena min qablikum, "I also created what was before you. I created your father and mother who gave birth to you or you would not be here." So thank your father and mother, also. They are the reason Allah (swt) chose for us to come to this Earth. So He is saying, "I created all those who were before you, all the way back to Sayyidina Adam (a)."
When we start to think this is our Lord who created all of us then what else? In the next verse:
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الأَرْضَ فِرَاشاً وَالسَّمَاء بِنَاء وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقاً لَّكُمْ فَلاَ تَجْعَلُواْ لِلّهِ أَندَاداً وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
Who has made the Earth a resting place for you, and the sky a canopy, and has sent down water from the sky ,and thereby brought forth fruits for your sustenance? Do not then claim that there is any power that could rival Allah, when you know [He is One]. (Surat al-Baqarah 2:22)
Alladee ja`alakumu 'l-ardha firaasha, "He made the Earth for you. He carpeted it for you and spread everything on it: rivers so you can drink; bushes so you can eat the berries; olive trees so you can eat the fruit; spread seeds to eat wheat, barley and rye; trees and the mountains, so you can enjoy looking at them and feel happy." All that is for you, not for Him! It makes us happy when we eat and drink, or what would happen if you were hungry? You are in pain and agitated, you get angry. So He made trees and bushes for us to eat, alhamdulillah, or it would be difficult. Wa ‘s-samaa bina `an and I made the skies a shelter, a building and ceiling for you. Why? because you have air to breath and, second, if there was no covering on Earth many rocks would come down on us and pierce our bodies, so it is protecting us. He is The Shelterer.
Allah made food on Earth for us and He made a ceiling to protect us from outside world. He (swt) is explaining Himself to us so we can love Him. Alladee firaasha wa anzala min ‘s-samaa ee maa`an. He brought down water from the skies. You see clouds and sometimes there is a draught with no clouds. Could they use their technology to make a cloud? No, they keep sending up planes everywhere to see the clouds, but they still can't make the clouds. So if Allah (swt) does not let the clouds rain on us, how are we going to get water? Wa anzala min ‘s-samaa ee maa`an. That is the power of your Lord. Know how powerful He is!
Allah is explaining He is The One bringing the rain from Heavens to us, wa anzala min ‘s-samaa` fa akhraja feehee mina ‘th-thamaaratee, "With that water He has brought out kulli," fruit and provisions for you. Allah (swt) doesn't need any of that. He is addressing humans. See how merciful He is? So by knowing Him, we are learning how to love our Lord because now we begin thinking, “O yes! This tree cannot exist on its own, water comes from the sky to make it grow and no one can dream where that water comes from. Wa ja`alaa andadan. He is saying, "don’t make partners with Allah (swt)! Don't make another thing as much loved as you love Allah (swt).” Give your true love to your Lord and it will never be destroyed, which is the love Sufis have. All of them are in love: they left dunya, they left everything, they have a jubba that is all patched and they walk in the desert. Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) walked in the desert for twenty-five: he didn’t care, he knew Allah (swt) will provide for him.
There was someone walking and he saw a saint, a pious one, a dervish praying. He approached the dervish and liked him and prayed with him. After the prayer, the dervish--and the shaykh is the highest form of a dervish, they are not anything other than a dervish--called the visitor to eat with him. He saw the dervish pick up a stone with two holes and put it on a small plate. From one spot honey came out, and from the other milk came out.
The dervish said, "Here my son, let's eat."
The guest said, "Mashaa’Allah, what is this? What station have you reached that you get honey and milk from rocks?"
The dervish said, "O my son! Why are you so surprised? Don't you know that in the Qur'an it is mentioned when his nation wanted to drink, Nabi Musa (a) hit the stone with his staff? He said, ‘Yes,’ and when he hit the stone what had happened? Not two, but twelve spouts of water came out. Each tribe knew what spot they were going to drink from. That was for Sayyidina Musa's nation, and they were disobedient. I am an obedient servant to my Lord, so why are you so surprised? That was for Nabi Musa (a) and my Nabi is Muhammad (s), so why not?"
Not only did Nabi Musa (a) get water, but also food showered from the sky: dessert, meat, and birds. Allah is capable. It is mentioned in Holy Qur'an that water came from the rock to a disobedient nation, and also Allah gave the nation food from the sky. So when saints wander the desert, they don't think they are going to die. We would, but they don’t. Our teachers, the Sufis say, "No, think of your Lord, Who is capable. He doesn't need reasons or causes. He says, 'Be' and it is." No need to follow the chain of events or the chain of causes. Just love Allah (swt), as Mawlana taught us that we are sent on this Earth to love our Lord, to purify ourselves and obey His commandments, and submit to His Decree.
To do that we have to know who Allah (swt) is. So that is the verse in Surat al-Baqara about the outward form, but also there is a meaning for the inward, for the heart of human beings. Allah (swt) says: Alladee jaa`ala fil ardhi firaasha, He made the Earth comely for you with bushes and trees and flowers and water. Our teachers say since our bodies are from Earth, Allah (swt) filled it with good akhlaaq, character. He made the Earth able to produce these plants with water, which is the water of knowledge. So when we have knowledge of our Lord, there is like rain coming upon our bodies, to our hearts, and then we start to fill up with imaan, faith, and it reflects on our outside. This is the hidden meaning Allah (swt) sends, knowledge that to the heart is like rain. It turns an unbeliever into a Believer; an ill-mannered person to a refined person; an unjust person to a just person.
We see this example in the Sahaabah’s transformation. In the beginning, Sayyidina `Umar (r), who is our master, was not a believer: according to the Seerah, he was harsh on Muslims. What happened when he read the Qur'an in his sister's house? He became Muslim, and someone whom everybody called "The Most Just Ruler." He became so loving and just. Look at the transformation. When somebody is an unbeliever, they didn’t have the water of knowledge and Qur'an. When they get that, they transform. They acquire perfect manners, perfect justice, perfect etiquette, perfect courtesy. That is what we need to do: when we get Ma`rifatullah, that love of Allah (swt) by knowing our Lord, and we tread the path of the real Sufis, which is basically to get the love of the Lord and love of Prophet (s), and leave everything else behind, because in the end we are going to leave it all behind. Yesterday there was a funeral, the day before there was a funeral, today there is a funeral, everyday there is a funeral. Everybody is leaving everybody behind. The only thing they are going with is what they have gained from their love of Allah (swt), nothing else. Your love makes you do good deeds and they are written down and taken up.
So our way is purification from love other than God. You turn yourself away from love other than God, but you can see everything in God because Allah (swt) says He is The One Who created you. So in you I see Allah's Creation, my Lord's design, my Lord's fashioning. So when I am with you, I am not away from the love of my Lord, because I see my Lord’s Attributes in you. When we are all sitting together, that doesn't mean we shouldn’t love one another just because we say, "We only love God." You are loving God, and I am loving God, so what unites us is God! God is close to me.
In Holy Qur'an Allah says:
وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
And We are nearer to you than your jugular vein. (Surat al-Qaaf, 50:16)
We are closer to you than your jugular vein or your aorta or however you want to explain it, It means He is everywhere, nothing is out of His reach. So when you love somebody for the sake of God, you are really loving Him because God is there, He is not in a corner, He is uniting all of us. So inshaa-Allah we continue on this path of loving of our Lord, receiving purification, and submitting to His Will.
O our Lord! Make us know You as You deserve to be known! Make us worship as You as You deserve to be worshipped. Make us thank You as You deserve to be thanked. Make us among the pious ones, O our Lord, and give special mercy to all who are present here, especially the father and mother-in-law of our host, and grant them long life. May Allah grant them happiness here and Hereafter. O our Lord! You know what is the best in them. O our Lord! Grant them shifa`ah and ease, and an exit from any difficulty they and everyone here may be in. Grant us from Your blessings and take away what is difficult for us.
Bi hurmatil Habeeb, bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.
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