I want to thank every one of you for coming here and joining us in Jumu`ah prayer and qasaa’id, especially Shaykh Safdar and his group and those who came from Manchester, and all those who came from Spain, Germany, France, from everywhere.
Whatever happens [bad] in the Tariqah, don’t put it in your heart. In everything there is a wisdom and everything is as Allah wants; what Allah wants to happen will happen. We are not running after wealth, we are running after teaching, education, enlightenment, and with the blessings of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), may Allah bless his soul and bless him. He is present with us:
بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ
Rather, they are alive, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:169)
They are alive in the Presence of our Lord, provided for, and from whatever they are provided they provide us.
That is why Prophet (s) said:
حياتي خير لكم تحدثون ويحدث لكم ، فإذا أنا مت كانت وفاتي خيرا لكم ، تعرض علي أعمالكم فان رأيت خيرا حمدت الله تعالى وإن رأيت شرا استغفرت لكم
Hayaatee khayrun lakum tuhadithoona wa yuhdatha lakum fa idhaa anaa mitt kaana wafaatee khayran lakum. Tu`radu `alayya `amaalakum fa in ra’aitu khayran hamadt 'allah ta`ala wa in ra’itu sharran astaghfarta lakum.
My life is good for you as you will relate from me and it will be related to you, and when I die my passing will be better for you. (Meaning, “My death is better for you than my life, because then I can pray for you.”) I observe your deeds. If I find good I thank Allah, and if I see bad, I ask forgiveness for you. (al-Bazzaar in his Musnad)
“My death is stronger for you than my life,” means whatever he dressed with, that Allah dressed him (s) and he dresses the ummah. That’s why he observes what we are doing. So every vessel, every boat is going to sail according to how Allah (swt) made it to run in the ocean..
Maa kullu ma yatamanna al-mar`u yidrikuh, ta`ti r riyaa`u bimaa la tashtahis sufunu.
Not all that one wants he acquires. The wind comes with that which ships don't want! (Arab poetry)
The Plane Takes Off and Lands According to Allah’s Will
“Not everything that you like or you want to happen will happen; the boat sails according to the wind.” So wherever Allah (swt) sends the wind we are moving, all of us one-by-one around this dunya. It is Allah’s Will. The best example I used to give for Shaykh Safdar here, is like when you are in a plane it takes off and it lands, and you cannot change its course: it takes off, it lands. But inside the plane you can talk, you can speak, you can hear a lecture, you can eat, you can dance, whatever, but in the end, you are going to your destiny.
So in this dunya you can do whatever you want, but in the end it will land wherever Allah (swt) wants it to land. So Allah created dunya from the Day of Creation to the Day of Landing, and in between Allah gave the Creation a chance to see what they can do for Him. And we are not doing Allah a favor, you are doing yourself a favor in following Allah’s Orders through Qur’an and hadith!
I’m not eligible to speak to you, I say to myself always that I’m eligible to be by the door, polishing the shoes, not more than that. When I went to the USA in 1990 by order of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), he said, “Go, bring people to Tariqah, not only in America, but everywhere around the world.” So we went from east to west, west to east. I went and, alhamdulillah, people came to Mawlana Shaykh (q), and this was the main goal, to bring more and more people to the Right Way.
Dunya Requires Your CV
So when I used to go to universities to give lectures, I tried to say, “I don’t deserve to be here, to speak on the podium.” They laughed at me and said, “Don’t say that, these people don’t understand that, you have to say you are a PhD, a Masters, you are experienced, you are this, you are that, they want a CV of what you have achieved,” when the one introduces you according to your CV, they think, “Oh, he must be something great!”
It’s not just “coffee talk”! (Laughter.) People are fed up with that; they put advertising in coffee talk, like famous journals, designers or newspapers. No, you have to put your CV. Now I feel when I go to a university or give a speech, with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's barakah, all of this is Mawlana’s barakah and there is nothing without Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's barakah! Of course it is the Prophet’s (s) mercy, but the way, the guidance, the door is Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q)!
Yes, I come from a well-known, high family in Lebanon involved in the Ministry of Religious Affairs; my cousin is the Grand Mufti of Lebanon. So we come from a wealthy and very educated family, but with all of their knowledge, all of them followed Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q)!
Grandshaykh’s Heavenly Knowledge Overwhelmed the Highest Scholars
I told a story that my uncle was one of the biggest scholars in the Middle East, like how they call Yusuf Qardawi now, but he was higher than that. He wrote a full encyclopedia of 27 volumes on the Arabic letter of Alif, and each volume is at least 1,000 pages! He was proud of his knowledge. He memorized Qur’an at age 6, he was intelligent. We tried to take him to Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) many times and finally he agreed after many years, perhaps 15 years, of us pushing and pushing him. When he came to greet Grandshaykh (q), out of his adab, Grandshaykh (q) stood up.
My uncle took his hand, shook it and said, “Hi, how are you? Salaam `alaykum!”
Then, Grandshaykh (q) gave a three-hour long lecture without preparation! We had to leave, but he said, “No you have stay and eat,” so we ate.
On the way out, my uncle kissed Grandshaykh’s (q) hands and touched his feet. For Mawlana (q) it was nothing, but for us it was astonishing! We said to him, “You were rejecting any `alim, rejecting everyone, how did this happen, when Grandshaykh (q) did not study, but was a fountain of knowledge.”
My uncle said, “I put in my heart seven questions that I was going to ask him and if he knew the answer, I would surrender, but if he didn’t know, he would be just like the others. One of these questions was, ‘What is the Greatest Name of Allah, that which all prophets asked for and Allah gave to Prophet (s)?’”
Sayyidina Musa (a) wanted it, Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) wanted it, all prophets wanted it!
“In his lecture, he gave me the answers to all seven questions which no one knew except me; he answered them completely!”
This is an `alim; he can balance what he’s saying with Shari`ah and Tasawwuf too, because my uncle was very educated in Tasawwuf and language and so on.
He said, “I found that on every word and sentence he spoke, I could write a book!”
Grandshaykh `AbdAllah Attracted Followers He Never Met in Dunya
One time Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) told this story, which I also heard from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), who was there translating. Grandshaykh (q) held a regular majlis of `ulama after Zhuhr. Scholars came, even though Mawlana (q) used to refer to himself as illiterate, but subhaanAllah, the `ilm he had was immense! An older lady came to him from England and she entered the dargah and all of the `ulama were sitting, listening to Grandshaykh’s (q) lecture, advice. That lady came as the customs in the West dictate, they don’t kiss your hand, they kiss your cheeks. (Laughter). So she came to Grandshaykh (q) in front of all the `ulama and kissed him on his cheeks. (Laughter.) She was British, wearing a big hat with flowers and so on.
That’s why Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) told me, “Teach Shaykh Muhammad, give him experience because he doesn’t have enough experience,” because he didn’t sit with Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) or Mawlana (q). Our age difference is, he is now 57 and I am 69, 13 years difference. So I was with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) when Shaykh Muhammad was very young.
That lady said to Grandshaykh (q) in front of everyone and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), “Teach me as you have taught my friend in India,” in front of all the scholars and I don’t know what they said or thought. According to them it was very unexpected, to say the least, that a lady came to kiss one of the `ulama.
“Teach me what you taught the Indian lady.”
Mawlana (q) said, “What is your story?”
She said, “Oh my guru, I want to be like her!”
He said, “Inshaa-Allah,” he didn’t say ‘no’.
The `ulama asked her, “What did Grandshaykh (q) do for your friend?”
She said, “A long time ago, I received a letter from India to England with no address, only my name, postage from India, no return address. It was a letter asking me to accept her belief. I didn’t know, there was no address, nothing, so I kept it. After two or three months, another letter came, saying the same thing. After one year, same. After two years, the envelope came, this time with an address. I said, ‘Good,’ to myself.”
She took a flight to India, to that place to find that lady. She reached, but through difficulties, going into jungles. At that address there was a young woman, the daughter of that lady, who said, “My mother died, but she left this envelope for you. She told me, ‘A lady will come one day, give her this.’”
So the English lady read the letter, which said, “I entered Islam. You also, it is written for you to be a Muslim by the hands of Shaykh `AbdAllah ad-Daghestani (q), who is living in Sham (Damascus). This is his address.”
How a Wali Moves through Space and Time at the Speed of Thought
The daughter never opened the letter and was amazed, because her mother had never gone to Sham. Upon hearing this story from the English woman, the `ulama were amazed, because Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) never went to India! The lady didn’t come to Sham, Mawlana (q) didn’t go to India, but the daughter said, “She used to tell me, ‘There is someone who comes and teaches me Islam every week, that is Shaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani. For me he came in a heavenly way, by tayyu ’l-makaan, tayyu ’z-zamaan, by the speed of thought,’” not even the speed of light! By only thinking of them, awliya are there!
One time Grandshaykh (q) explained it, “When Allah wants a wali to move in space, tayyu ’l-makaan, tayyu ’z-zamaan, “he folds space and time”, he takes out his body, puts it in his soul and then he moves with the soul-speed.” Presently, we are all now a soul in a body, which is a cage, but they are free from that cage, that prison, putting the body into the soul and moving with the speed of the soul.
That lady said, “He was coming to me in this way.”
There are many cases like that. All the `ulama were so surprised, because for them, Shaykh `AbdAllah (q) didn’t know as much as them, but the reality was that he knew more. Whenever they asked him about a fatwa, he told them the correct one, from heart-to-heart, from Prophet (s).
So today, you have to make a CV so people can understand where you stand and to accept what you say as an academic or not, but they don’t understand that there is another knowledge that comes from the heart. So when I used to say to them, “I don’t deserve to be on this podium”, it didn’t make any sense to them and so I made a CV. Now they are fed up with my CV because it is 20 pages long, whereas usually a CV is two or three pages. But I learned the way. So as much as you make lectures, articles, research and discussions, then they consider you someone who knows. That’s how we were able to reach those who were difficult to reach, like politicians, presidents, ministers, in order that they take advice from us on Islam, Iman and Tassawwuf. There are things I can’t say, but it made a big impact on stopping violence in the Middle East, I don’t want to say more than that about the work we did and ways in which we advised.
So my uncle said he would have written books on Grandshaykh’s (q) lectures! If you go to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim’s (q) house in Damascus, you will see a huge library of manuscripts. All of that, he was reading. He was not illiterate, he was very educated in the Hanafi school of thought, and he is considered one of the imams of the Hanafi school of thought. It’s not coffee talk. Coffee talk is okay if it makes people happy, but it’s not `ilm, it’s whatever comes to your mind you speak, but no supporting it with footnotes [citations from Qur’an, Hadith, Tafseer and other scholarly or heavenly sources].
The Success of Tasawwuf in America with Support of Awliyaullah
When the shuyookh support you, you’ll be under their observation. There was one conference in Chicago with 30,000 attendees every year and I brought booklets we made on the permissibility of Mawlid, Intercession, and Tasawwuf. We rented a booth and gave them away for free.
The organizers came and said, “You have to close this booth, we are not from Ahlu ‘s-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama`ah!”
The booth staff called me and said, “They want to close the booth!”
I went to conference security and said, “You have no right to speak with us this way as we have a contract. If anyone wants to speak with me, bring the chairman here.”
They called the police, who could not do anything because we had a contract and were not breaking the law. So the chairman of that big organization came to me and said, “Come on, let’s discuss this matter in the office of the convention center. I am Sufi and you are Sufi, so for Allah’s sake let’s take it (remove the pamphlets).”
I said, “SubhaanAllah! How much you are a hypocrite, that you admit you are a Sufi and you want to close our booth! Instead you should advertise it. I will not close it, I will keep giving these pamphlets until they finish.”
Then all the organizers said, “What is this? You are on the tongue of everyone! Everyone loves you, you make us as if we are nothing!” said one Egyptian scholar.
I said, “I think you have to speak to my Master.”
“Where is he, can I speak with him?”
I said, “He might be in the Middle East, in Cyprus, or England. I don’t know.”
That was in 1994 or 1995. Then the Chairman of ISNA, Islamic Society of North America, his name was `Abdullah something, he was famous, when they found out Aashiq al-Rasul is part of us, they told our booth staff to pack up and leave..
He said, “When you pay my money, I will pack and go. If you don't pay my money, I’m not going as I have a contract with you.” So they paid.
So I said, “I will close the booth, but tomorrow I’m going to open it.”
At that moment one lady came, her husband Ahmad Saqar is famous in America, I know him very well, and she said, “You are like a spotlight. Why do you come here?”
I said, “Ask your husband, who stayed in my father’s home for two nights when there was a war in Lebanon!” She didn’t know that I knew him when he was young and he used to come and stay with us, then she kept quiet.
Upholding Centuries’ Old Protocols of Tariqah
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim’s Will
So Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's power is in everyone, because his power is coming from Prophet (s). When it comes from Prophet (s), there is no way to break it. One stick you can break, but if there are 100 sticks, you can never break them. So if they unite and stop their childish acts, going from one place to another saying, “Your Emperor”, “Your Inspector”, why are you conducting this questioning and pushing mureeds? For what reason? Once is enough, people know, they are not stupid. They know there are two million mureeds around the world, if you want to count Indonesia, which alone is 1.5 million and all of that is through our work, for 17 years I have been going there. Two million mureeds! [Do you think] they have to believe a video clip that is less than one minute?
Where is Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's will? The Sunnah of Prophet (s) is to keep a will. For example, if you are a shaykh in Shafi`i or Hanafi school they want to give you a certificate, now they give you title of Phd, Dr., but before it was a certificate that has to come all the way from Imam Shafi`i (r), from shaykh to shaykh, with the requirement that the chain of all shuyookh’s names is specifically mentioned. It is the same for Hanafi, etc. And it lists specifically what you studied with everything in detail.
Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) gave Grandshaykh (q) a will in detail, and Grandshaykh (q) gave a will in detail, to give his wife this, his daughter this, to give his mureeds this, how to maintain the zawiya, etc., he detailed everything, who are his successors, and he didn’t have just one, he had three! He didn’t say one is higher than the other, he said three. Of course Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), we kiss his feet and the earth that is under his feet, it’s an honor for us, but this does not mean you exclude who was appointed by order of Prophet (s) to Grandshaykh (q) to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), to have them there. No one can abrogate that!
This is a childish mentality, like two children fighting over who will take the toy from the other and the inspector, the mother or the father inspect what is happening. Now they put an ‘inspector’ in Germany. We don’t know what is his background; who appointed him? Did Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) appoint him as inspector? Who is an inspector? Inspectors are the awliya checking on their mureeds, their followers; the shaykh is the inspector, so he doesn’t need inspecting! What is this? This is Tariqah? The shaykh has to put a will, describing everything.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim’s Prediction
He Did not Mention a Successor
A reporter came to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) before he became sick four years ago, and asked him two questions:
“What will happen to this zawiya after you?”
He said, “Nothing, it will be the same. What is it now? You get vegetables, you get head, feet, hoofs, and legs, and make soup, they eat, they pray, they go!”
It means they will do the same thing, nothing’s going to change. He didn’t say ‘teaching’. He didn’t say ‘teaching’, he didn’t say ‘to continue the line’. That video clip (circulating on YouTube) is half a minute or less. For two million people, only half a minute? I know there is a will that Mawlana (q) wrote, but where is it?
Then the reporter asked him, “What will happen to the Tariqah?”
Mawlana Shaykh (q) didn’t say, “I have a successor,” he said, “The world is big, everyone is going to find someone they like and follow.”
It means that dunya is going, Tariqah is moving. That is what Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) said to a reporter. We managed to get that video clip and will be broadcasting it, inshaa-Allah. So whatever they say about Shaykh Muhammad, he doesn’t like that and I spoke with him two or three days ago. I said, “Look what they are saying.”
He doesn’t like it! He said, “I told my brother not to interfere and speak on my behalf.”
I said, “You have to clear it up.”
Now, whatever they say about Shaykh Muhammad, I love him! He is a respected person, he’s sincere, he’s pious, he doesn’t like this. But unfortunately, we have this misery coming from Shaytan, a division. So we ask Allah (swt) to forgive us and to forgive him, and guide us and guide Bahauddin to understand: ma`a ukhadha bi quwwah laa yustarad illa bi quwwah, whatever you take by force, you cannot take it back except by force.
So we are trying to fix and balance beliefs of the mureeds as now the others are diverting us to the wrong place. If you say London is this way, they divert you to a completely different direction. We have to be careful. Today on the Internet, they showed a picture of me (fists in the air, expressing enthusiasm during last night’s Mawlid) and they put a caption, “Allah is with us, we cannot be intimidated.” To claim, “Don’t intimidate us,” is this Tariqah? This is the behavior of children, while shuyookh are like lions, they give from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's heart, those awliyaullah who are known and unknown. May Allah keep us with them!
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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