7 August 2011 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
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.
أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
Ati`oollaha wa ati`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.
Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (4:59)
Allah said in the Holy Qur'an to obey Him and obey His Holy Prophet and obey those who are in authority; this means that they are looking after your affair.
As we said many times, there is no one higher than the other asall of us here are on one level; there is not one who is the teacher and one who is the student, but we are all students insha-Allah.
Allah (swt) mentioned in Holy Qur'an:
وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ
fawqa kulli dhil `ilmin `aleem.
Above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Yusuf, 12:76)
Above every `alim there is a higher `alim and above every knower there is a better knower and above every teacher there is higher teacher. Don't think you are better because you are giving advice; think of yourself as in need of that advice more than anyone else!
Everything is hidden: you are hidden in the womb of your mother for many months, until Allah's (swt) will comes and you are born. After your birth many things are still hidden from you and slowly, slowly, you begin to try to understand everything, exploring your world so that you are able to learn. No one comes ready-made; you cannot come from the womb of your mother with a PhD, you have to study for it. We are speaking on the level of dunya, but for Allah (swt) there are two ways: wahban and kasban.
Through wahban Allah grants to you, like a student grant or scholarship. When Allah gives He doesn't ask you to pay. Those to whom Allah grants are rare. Wherever they are and whatever they do they are dressed with knowledge. They come with knowledge and their eyes are open from the day of their birth, not the physical eyes only, but the eyes of their heart are open and with these they can see everything. They are rare like the rarest of jewels that are difficult to find, and it is rare to find these people. There is a black precious stone more rare than a diamond and much more expensive; to find those who have been granted knowledge by Allah is difficult like that, and all others have to struggle to learn.
Why do we accept their knowledge? Here is a very simple example but it opens our mind. When we want to know what is going on in the body we go to a radiologist. If a patient comes to a doctor and says, “I have pain here,” the doctor may assume what is wrong and give him an injection, or he will send you to the radiologist to find out exactly what is wrong with you. The radiologist says, "Wait, we want to check the assumption the doctor has made." The radiologist doesn't want to make assumptions, he wants to see. You cannot see but the radiologist can see. The other is a doctor and cannot see; he needs the radiologist with his special instruments. If we have that special instrument we can see, even if we are not radiologists.
Similarly, there are two levels of awliyaullah: those who make assumptions about what you have and they might be correct or not, but they are still awliya; and there are awliyaullah with a special heavenly instrument to see what you have. That is why in previous times students did not sit in the presence of their shaykh without first taking a full shower (ghusl) and dressing in white clothes to present a spotless image.
As narrated in the hadith of Sayyidina `Umar (r), in which he asked about Islam, Iman, and Ihsan, when Sayyidina Jibril (a) came to the Prophet (s), he was dressed in clothes that are shadeed al-bayaad, intensely white, not one spot on his clothes, although he came walking out of the desert where normally a traveler there is covered with dust. However, to come to the presence of the Prophet (s) you have to be clean and this is an example for us. If you sinned, you have to take a shower and sit facing the qiblah, coming to the presence of Prophet (s) and asking forgiveness from Allah (swt). Allah will forgive but you have to be clean.
So some awliyaullah assume and some of don't, because they have complete vision of what you need and therefore, they treat their followers accordingly. The radiologist reports any defect so the other doctor can build his treatment according to that report, without which they cannot build their treatment. High-level awliyaullah give their treatment according to what they see. There are lower level awliyaullah that guess and assume the situation and they also give. Both will be rewarded, as the Prophet (s) said:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا حكم الحاكم فاجتهد ثم أصاب فله أجران، وإذا حكم فاجتهد ثم أخطأ فله أجر
Idhaa hakam al-haakim fa-ajtahad thumma asaaba fa-lahu ajraan wa idhaa hakama fa-ajtahada thumma akhta’a fa-lahu ajar.
If a judge gives a correct decision he will rewarded twice and if he made a mistake he will be rewarded once. (Bukhari)
If the `alim's or judge's assumption is correct, because he sees and he gives the right judgment, he will be rewarded twice. It is the same for the other wali who gives a prescription according to assumptions: the student will be rewarded by Allah because he listened to his teacher and the teacher will be rewarded as he tried to give the right solution.
Another example is when the Sahabah (r) asked the Prophet (s) how to graft the palm tree and he told them how to do it. The next year it was dry. They said, "You told us to do this and now it is dry." He replied, "I did not come to fix your dunya, but to fix your akhirah." It means, “Ask me something for your akhirah.” So awliyaullah do not sit to fix your dunya. They might give you an answer which leads you to lose everything! They might tell you to stop doing something and pray, or to help so many poor people! So don't ask them about your problems and come with heavy difficulties. Come and ask for their du`a, don't come and ask, "My wife said this, and I had this dream and another dream and another dream...." What for? If you go to a president, if you are lucky you have one minute to speak. So in front of wali don't speak too much, ask for his du`a, because they know what all your problems are and they give the advice that is most needed. That is why they say, tariqatuna as-suhbat wa ’l-khayru fil-jami`ayya, “Our tariqah is based on companionship.”
The Sahaabah (r) became companions by sitting with the Prophet (s), even if only for five minutes! As they sat in the presence of the Prophet (s), they received what no generation after received, because they saw him with their physical eyes! How much awliyaullah cry to see the Prophet (s) with their spiritual eyes and the Sahaabah (r) saw him with their physical eyes! If you close your eyes you might see spiritually but with physical eyes it is very difficult to see. They became Sahaabah because they saw the Prophet (s) with the eyes of their head.
What do you think of the Prophet (s) when he went in Isra and Mi`raj, when he reached qaaba qawsayni aw adnaa, “the distance of two bow’s-length or closer”? Ahl as-Sunnah wa 'l-Jama'ah scholars agree that the Prophet (s) saw Allah with the eyes of his head; Imam Nawawi (r) confirmed that. What do you think? The Sahaabah saw the Prophet (s) and became his Companions, and the Prophet (s) saw Allah! What can you say about that?
عند ذكر الصالحين تنزل الرحمة
`inda dhikr as-sulaha tanzil ar-rahma.
In the mention of the pious pure ones, mercy descends.
Pious people are sitting in the Divine Presence; therefore, mercy descends when you mention their names and when you sit with them you get mercy. We said in previous lectures, “If you accept what awliyaullah say you will be with them; you will be a wali.” However, the proof, as many ask for it, is:
المؤمن مرآة أخيه
[The Prophet (s) said,] al-mu’min mi'rraat akheehi
The believer is the mirror of his brother (or sister).
When I look at you I see myself, because you became a mirror; you are so polished you reflect your character and good personality on me, and I see you in me. That is why it is said that the deputies or representatives of awliyaullah begin to look like the shaykh because of that mirrored reflection on them.
Grandshaykh (q) told the story of a king who announced, "Who paints the best portrait will receive a prize from me." So the two best artists who everyone knew began the competition by painting on opposites sides of a wall. The day came for the king to see what they have done and award the prize. He came to the first and saw his painting was very nice. He went to the other one and saw him rubbing the wall continuously. He said, "What are you doing? Where is the art?" The artist said, "Wait, I will show you. Mine is better than his. To you it looks like rubbing, but it is polishing." You polish the exterior, rough surface of a diamond to reveal the precious gem inside worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The artist said, "Wait, you will see." When they removed the curtain, the king saw one side of the wall was filled with very beautiful calligraphy, and the other side was beautiful: it was a copy of the other. Why? It became a mirror from his polishing!
Awliyaullah polish the hearts of their followers. When you submit to them, like the wall doesn't complain, "Why are you rubbing me so much?" That is why the shaykh may sometimes use harsh words as he is speaking to the animality in us to take it out. After polishing one side it copies the other side. That is why the Prophet (s) said, “The mu’min whose heart is polished will become a mirror for his brother.” It means the teacher whose heart is polished will become a mirror for the student. As much as the student approaches him, that much his behavior and features reflect on the student. So as much as you approach the wali, you will be resurrected with the one you love, as Prophet (s) said:
يحشر المرء مع من أحب
yuhshar al-maruw ma` man ahab.
Each person will be resurrected with the one he loves.
Also, if you are with pious people you will be like them. If you are with bad people, like through Facebook and YouTube, which they say is highest level of civilization, you are exposed to evil. Who goes on Facebook will be forbidden to see the face of the Prophet (s) in Akhirah, where they will see their dirty faces from Facebook, so leave it! If you are with bad people and take them as your teachers, their bad behavior will reflect on you. That is why you see many parents complain their child has become a gangster; those children become angry and proud with the character of a devil. But if you associate with awliyaullah, imaan will be reflected on you.
To be in the company of shuyookh and mukhaalata, to mix with them and be in their association, has a tremendous effect on you in terms of receiving piety and benefit from them. They take you to the door of the Prophet (s)! But if you were not following the association yourself or you sat with corrupt people, you will become a follower of Iblees and a bad influence on good people. Iblees' goal is to take you out of imaan and put you on kufr; he will do nothing worse! That is why they gave us this quotation:
Li ‘s-suhbah wa ‘l-mukhalata wa ‘l-mujalasah atharun kabeer fi ‘s-salaahi wa ‘n-nafa`ah, wa kadhaalika fi ’l-fasaadi wa ’d-daraar, `inda musahabati wa mukhaalatati wa mujaalasati ‘l-faasiqeena wa ‘l-ashraar, “For the suhbah, mingling and keeping the company (of sincere and pious ones) has a great impact on righteousness and for attaining useful benefit, but also on corruption and harm when associating, mingling, and keeping the company of the hypocrites and evil ones.”
And so there are two sides: either sit with good ones and they reflect their good character and behavior on you, or you sit with corrupt ones and you become a follower of Iblees. That is the biggest problem we are facing and we have to choose what we want. Everyone wants the good ones; others are ‘gangs’ and you know who they are. Those who are with the good ones, slowly, slowly their hearts are polished and their behavior improves, and they end up in the lap of the Prophet (s)!
That is why it is said, wa laakin laa yazhhar marratan waahid bal bi ’t-tadarraj, “It does not appear except gradually.” When you mix with awliyaullah, don't think you get everything in one shot; it is a gradual process that might take your whole life to achieve. Similarly, devils begin to tempt school-age youth and by age fourteen and fifteen slowly spoil and corrupt them. Then they go wrong and seldom return to the right path; the few who do are lucky, while the others are lost.
Another bullet point: You have to know that mixing and associating with people of goodness will plant in your heart mahabbat al-khayr, the love of goodness, and this plant will never be cut. When they plant it in you by Allah's (swt) order that you are Siraatul Mustaqeem, of the Straight Path, no one can cut it and it will grow, but you need to water it with dhikrullah every day. So to water it, awliyaullah tell you to do your wazifa, daily recitations. The first wazifa is to read the Holy Qur'an and then to rcite salawaat on the Prophet (s), and then do your daily dhikr. No one can take that away.
And if you mingle and mix with evil people, Iblees will plant the plant of devils in your heart, which will make you love evil and being with evil people and doing what they do: they reflect themselves on you. That is what we see now. They come to you through websites and little by little they spoil you with dirty things, as I mentioned, one lady reading a website on Imam Ghazali and pornography advertising framed the page. They are destroying people through these evil, dirty things.
We are lucky to get the quotations of awliyaullah ready-made, with some explanation! May Allah keep us under heavenly radiologists and pain killers, and heavenly internal medicine doctors, and may we be with good lawyers to defend us on Judgment Day. Do you think there are no lawyers on Judgment Day? There are lawyers who will defend you; the Best of Creation, Sayyidina Muhammad (s) will defend you!
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.