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.
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)
Dastoor, madad ya Sultaan al-Awliyaa, Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani. Dastoor, madad ya Sultaan al-Awliyaa, Mawlana Shaykh `Abd Allah al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani.
There are some important principles that we have to adopt. If you go to school, you have to follow the discipline of the class that the professor or teacher establishes. If the professor says, “You have to do one, two, three, or four in order to attend the class,” you cannot say, “No,” or they will throw you out. Also in learning from Islamic Shari`ah, the collectors of hadith an-Nabi (s) came up with hundreds of thousands of ahadeeth. It is not only 3,000 or 4,000 ahadeeth that Imam Bukhari has mentioned. He picked up the most important and the most accepted to him according to his point of view. We consider the sahih as as-sah (the most accepted ) and (the most correct) after the Holy Qur’an, but that does not mean you have to throw away all what Prophet (s) has said in his life of hundreds and thousands of ahadeeth.
As we have mentioned before, there are over forty different kinds of hadith. You cannot take only one kind and say, “That’s it.” All Muslim scholars’ fatwas are based not on only Imam Bukhari’s collection, but on hundreds of thousands of ahadeeth. After 23 years of Prophet’s (s) message, you think he (s) said 4,000 ahadeeth only? He sat with His Sahaaba at least fifteen to sixteen hours every day, guiding them. What He (s) was saying? If you look at the hadith, they consist of three, four, five, or six lines maximum; some of them are longer. So that’s what Prophet (s) taught, in all His (s) life? 4,000 ahadeeth divided by 23 years is how many ahadeeth a year? It’s only 200 or less, and that is not possible as Prophet (s) said hundreds of thousands of ahadeeth.
Imam Ahmad is one of the Four Imams, after Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi`i, and Imam Ahmad bin Hambal. He memorized more than 300,000 ahadeeth. I said “memorized,” which is different from “practiced.” Many people can memorize, but what is important is to taste the meaning of the hadith. Memorizing and explaining from a scholarly point of view is okay but it does not quench your thirst. It is as if you are thirsty and someone is telling you that a cup of water is nice and cool, and you are not going to drink it but will only look at it. I am thirsty, I want to drink. They say, “No, you cannot drink.” So the importance of ahadeeth is to taste them: taste is the reality, the essence, the origin of what Prophet (s) said and he did not say things without tasting all the ahadeeth that came. Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem. Wa maa yantiqu `ani ‘l-hawaa, in huwa wahyun yoohaa, “He doesn’t speak from his own desire; it is a divine revelation.”
وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَى مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى
Wa ‘n-najmi idhaa hawaa ma dalla saahibukum wa maa ghawaa wa maa yantiqu`ani ‘l-hawaa in huwa illa wahyun yoohaa `allamahu shadeedu’ l-quwwa.
By the Star when it goes down, Your Companion is neither astray nor being misled. Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by one Mighty in Power. (53:1-5)
Allah is giving an oath on the shooting stars that are coming through the skies. Who is moving them? What kind of fuel they have? Do we know? Scholars developed theories without knowing reality. Can any scientist say how the Earth is turning on its axis, with what kind of fuel, non-stop for hundreds of thousands of years? They claim it is millions of years. So Allah is giving an oath on these shooting stars that Muhammad (s) does not say anything from his own desire, but it’s a revelation that he (s) has tasted. When Allah dressed him (s) with a revelation, every revelation is a new dress for Prophet (s). It’s like not Jibreel (a) is coming and knocking at the door, “Brother, come to the mosque to pray.” What is he coming with? When we say “revelation,” any ayah, verse of Holy Qur’an, is a revelation. hadith is a revelation because Prophet (s) doesn’t open his mouth without a revelation. Is he coming with a tasteless revelation, or a revelation that is loaded with heavenly sweetness? If that is not the case, then as we say in Arabic, haasha lillah, “God forbid,” as it means Allah is poor!
When Sayyidina Jibreel (a) comes, does he not bring a gift at least to Prophet (s) with every revelation? Every letter of the Holy Qur’an is an ascension, a Night Journey, Laylat al-Mir`aj, because every letter of the Holy Qur’an is an ascension for Prophet (s) in the Divine Presence! With such revelation Jibreel (a) comes to him (s). If a verse consists of fifty letters or ten letters, it’s ten ascensions, and different kinds of ascensions for different oceans Allah is opening for Sayyidina Muhammad (s). It’s not like how we understand it; our understanding is a poor understanding. That’s why awliyaullah’s ways of reaching is loaded with tasty knowledge. Normal scholars’ teaching is not as loaded (with blessings and taste) as awliyaullah’s. Scholars’ teaching has limits because there is no taste. But when awliyaullah teach, whatever they say they are presenting you a present that has been dressed by Prophet (s) and they share that heavenly dress with you, just as Sayyidina Muhammad (s) shared his (s) heavenly dresses with his (s) Sahaaba (r). Prophet (s) gave them the sweetness, they saw the sweetness, and they tasted it. The Four Imams tasted it in their books and that’s why their books are loaded.
But as the knowledge is coming down, all the way to our time now, it has lost its flavor. That’s why today there is no flavor in scholarly teachings, and it is boring. You go to a conference, you sit and listen, and in ten minutes you fall asleep because there is no taste. So for Sayyidina Muhammad (s) in every letter of the Holy Qur’an there is an ascension. And Allah (swt) is not poor; He is al-Ghani, The Richest, one of His Beautiful Names. Wa nahnu al-fuqarah, “Human beings are poor.” You cannot say to yourself you are ghani, only Allah is al-Ghani and you are poor. Whatever you have of wealth مَتَاعُ الدَّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ mata`u ‘d-dunya qaleel, “Wealth of dunya is less (insignificant).” (4:77)
The richest person on Earth died: Aristotle Onassis, who married Jacqueline Kennedy. He owned many things in the world, and he had one son who he loaded with everything. His son was in a helicopter that crashed and he died. What happened to Onassis’ wealth? He wanted to give it to his son, and Allah took it. So don’t think too much about your wealth in dunya; whatever you have, you are poor. Then Onassis died, also. He didn’t take anything with him. In the Holy Qur’an, Qarun was unable to carry the keys of his wealth, they were so many keys that he loaded them on camels; forget about the treasures he had! Every key opened a treasure. What did Allah do? khasafa bihi ‘l-ard, “He opened the Earth and it swallowed him (Qarun).”
So Allah is al-Ghani, and the one who is al-Ghani is going to give a donation. It is not the same as the donation from a faqeer (beggar); there is no resemblance. What do you think about The One who is al-Ghani together with His Beautiful Name, al-Kareem, His Beautiful Name, ar-Raheem; what do you think of the combination? When He wants to give a donation, a present to His Prophet (s), how can you describe that? It’s impossible. That’s why awliyaaullah don’t say Sayyidina Muhammad (s) went into one ascension, because then you are limiting Allah’s (swt) Power to bring His Prophet (s) into unlimited and infinite ascensions. That’s why awliyaullah take from every letter of Holy Qur’an oceans of knowledge. For us, “Oh it’s too much!” We cannot understand it, no. The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters, but as much as you repeat the alif or any other letter, Allah rewards you just as many times; because the Holy Qur’an is composed from the alphabet of 28 letters. It doesn’t mean that for every one letter of alif or ba, you will be rewarded one time; no. As much as you repeat it in different verses, you will be rewarded. That’s why the letters of Holy Qur’an are over 500,000. So whenever you read, of how many letters you read that day, you will be rewarded; even if the same letter is repeated, different rewards come for the same letter.
When Jibreel (a) comes to Sayyidina Muhammad (s), he comes to him (s) with a different present. When a guest comes to your home, they bring a present for you as a gesture of love. You think Jibreel (a) is not coming with a gesture of love for Sayyidina Muhammad (s)? That’s why it’s very important to try to understand the meanings behind every letter, every word, and every verse of Holy Qur’an; and also behind every word or letter, or saying that Prophet (s) has said in his (s) life. Such kind of associations are important because they will take you away from the hand evil powers; because evil is trying to pull you away from the presence of Prophet (s) and from the presence of Allah (swt). Like tug of war; both sides pulling on a rope; whoever pulls more will be the winner. And who do you think pulls more, Allah’s angels or Shaytan’s devils? Who is stronger? Allah’s angels are stronger! Don’t think that Shaytan can take you away from Allah’s Hand; there’s no way! If your eyes see one letter of the Holy Qur’an, it’s enough for your happiness in dunya and akhirah, even one time! The Light in it will be reflected through your heart. You cannot see it, but they can see it.
Islam is not something easy. That’s why Prophet (s) said, من قال: لا إله إلا الله، دخل الجنة man qaala laa ilaaha illa-Llah dakhala ‘l-jannah, “Whoever says laa ilaaha illa-Llah enters Paradise.” Everyone says laa ilaaha illa-Llah. There are many Muslims that say laa ilaaha illa-Llah. Not many, all of them. You cannot say “I am a Muslim” without saying la ilaaha illa-Llah. They might not pray, they might not fast, imperfection. But you cannot say to them, “You are not Muslim” because Prophet (s) said they are Muslim as they say laa ilaaha illa-Llah. We leave that judgment to Allah (swt) as we cannot judge people. Who fasts, who prays, who doesn’t, Allah will judge them. We go with what Prophet (s) said.
So do you think Allah’s angels will let Shaytan take one of Allah’s servants to Shaytan’s side? Then Shaytan would be the winner. Can Shaytan win? He cannot, Allah cursed him; He did not let him win. But Allah (swt) sent him with a wisdom: to run after human beings so Allah will reward human beings, that’s the intention. He sent Shaytan to run after everyone. They are stupid people, they don’t understand. If Shaytan can run after everyone and yet they say that is shirk. If Shaytan is with you, Allah (swt) is not with you?
, َهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ
wa huwa ma`akum `ayna ma kuntum.
Allah is with you wherever you go,(57:4)
لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ
laa taakhudhahu sinatun wa laa nawm
No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. (2:255)
Allah does not need sleep.” Allah (swt) is not heedless, He is always observing His servants. He knows everything (al-`Alim) that they are doing, through His Beautiful Names and Attributes, not through His Divinely Essence, which no one can understand. Only from the descriptions through His Beautiful Names and Attributes we know that Allah (swt) is with you wherever you are. Wherever you direct your face, Allah (swt) is there.
فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّواْ فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
fa-aynamaa tawaloo fa-thamma wajhullah, inna-Allah waasi`un `aleem.
Wherever you turn, there is the presence of Allah, for Allah is all-Pervading, all-Knowing.” (2:115)
Wherever you are (in time, place, space, or oceans) you find your Lord there. That is everywhere! But Allah sent Shaytan so He can reward you; you come against Shaytan’s trap and Allah will reward you. If you were not able to come against his trap and you fall into it, still Allah (swt) will order the left angel, “Don’t write a sin until 24 hours have past. Perhaps that servant is going to repent.” If you don’t repent, Sayyidina Muhammad (s) repents on your behalf. That’s why we are ummatun marhouma, “The nation Allah blessed with mercy.” It’s indescribable! No one can describe that mercy Allah has given to Ummat an-Nabi (s).
We will stop here and continue today after Salaat al-Dhuhr insha-Allah. What is left (to discuss) are some important principles of tariqah, such as when sitting in an association with a perfect master or perfect teacher, what we call wali or qutb, what you have to build within yourself in order to taste the sweetness of the association.
Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfeeq, bi hurmati ‘l-habeeb, bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.