A`udhu billahi min ash-shaytaan ir-rajeem
Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem
A short suhbat, we have spoken already about the seven stations of pious people who go through different stations in their life if they are really seeking a journey to the Divine Presence so they have to go through these stations.
And as they go through these stations they have to visualize and experience a spiritual state in each of these stations.
I will summarize the seven stations:
Al-wara, God wariness
Al-faqr, poverty, meaning spiritual poverty, complete dependence on God’s generosity.
Now we come to the different states and they are ten. We have explained them previously and today we go through them in summary.
The first is when someone decides to go through that journey, to be pious person, sincere person, not cheating and not deceiving or conspiring even against themselves. People say we love our self and in reality they are cheating themselves.
They say they don’t cheat themselves, but in realty people do cheat themselves. How? By running after dunya so much and forgetting about akhira. They are cheating or not? They are deceiving themselves or not? They are conspiring against themselves or not? Yes. Who is their partner? Shaytan.
So those people, when you decide to go into the journey towards the divine presence, towards following the footsteps of the Prophet (s), you no longer try to cheat yourself - it means you drop from your lives Shaytan.
People today go to their work and their main concern is how to make more money in their lives. They are not content with what they have they want to have more. You can have more, it is not problem as long as you are not dropping akhira from your life.
اعمل لدنياك كانك تغيش ابدا وعمل لاخرتك كانك تموت غدا
Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “Do for you dunya as if you are living forever and do for your akhira as if you are dying tomorrow.”
Look a cancer patient is told by the hospital “you don’t have but one month to live.” They don’t have this in the hospital? Yes, so then what does he do? He begins to be more pious and more righteous, especially if he is a believer.
And if there is a secularist or unbeliever they begin to plan who will take their money when they die. Who cares who will take your money, care for akhira.
So those who decide to go into that journey to their Lord, they will first begin to have a trance and a different state other than the stations we explained. We explained the stations like tawba, but there are states that go along with that station. Why do you repent? Because of regret? Why do you regret. When you regret it means you were thinking about it. So along with repentance goes in parallel with it is mediation. Muraqabah. You begin to observe. The more exact translation for meditation is muraqabah. To observe every moment in your life. Else how do you repent? No one makes tawbah without observing that he did something wrong, so it means observation is necessary.
That is why the Prophet taught us in ahadith that we have to make istighfaar. Repent because today we lied to someone, “Ya Rabbee! forgive me.” We observe we have done something wrong during the day. Or we delayed a prayer. “O my Lord I was working and I delayed a prayer You made obligation on me.” So it goes along with observation of what you are doing.
تفكر ساعة أفضل من عبادة سبعين سنة
The Prophet said, tafakkaru sa`atin khayrun min ibaadati saba`een sannah. -To think for one hour is better than 70 years of worship.
Your whole life, imagine, might not by 70 years. So in thinking for and observing what you have done for one hour Allah will reward you 70 years it is very important to observe in detail every day everything you have done. As long as you are meditating you will get Allah’ mercy because you are … say to your servants who were oppressors to themselves don’t be despair of Allah’s mercy.
So what do we have to do? Repent. So what we have to do? We have to contemplate, meditate and observer. All these meaning in muraqabah. The meaning of muraqabah is the state of the heat that it is always awake. You cannot let your heart go to sleep.
You are a doctor, is it not? And he is also. If your mind sleeps, you still live, is it not? But if your heart goes to sleep what happens? You die. So the power of life that Allah gave to human beings is as long as the heart is working, pumping. It means the soul is there. As soon as it sleeps, the human being dies. That is why muraqabah is to keep the heart awake. When the heart sleeps, Shaytan takes it over. You lose the strength over your heart, the power over your heart. But when it is awake Shaytan cannot take it over. So ot keep it awake means you have to always observer it. And that mean you never let Shaytan to control it.
That is why muraqabah, observation, contemplation, reflection, meditation, … so every station has its own observation and it has its own meditation. That is first state of repentance. The station of repentance reflects to the reality the state of observation and meditation. When your heart is awake, all raza’il - bad actions and bad manners and bad deeds - will be taken away from its roots, when the heart is awake. But when a tree is sick you cut, is it not? From its roots. You take it away; o these weeds when they are growing. So what you do? Give them poison or pull from the roots. If you dot pull from roots they will grow back. The awakening of the heat will take away all these weeds that grow in the heart and there will be nothing left and ho you pull them out? By repentance. When the heart is awake you cannot let gossips come into the heart and into the mind.
So then how can we prove the heart is awake or not. Either it is awake or half awake or less awake or it is dead. When the heart is dead people don’t pray. They don’t think about prayer, they don’t fast, they don’t give charity. They become like secular people by name Muslim and there are many of them. When the heart is awake 1 percent even you see people are praying but not constantly. They might pray one out of 4; the next day 2, and it is a struggle. When it is higher and higher then you see the people praying al five prayers. They don’t sleep in Fajr. It is very difficult to wake up and pray Fajr, especially when Fajr is 3 in the morning, like In summer.
Now Fajr at so it is easy for everyone.
Back in Muslim countries, when you go and take ablution, there is no warm water and closed place for sink. It is out in the open. I remember our hands become wood from cold water. You open the tap and cold water is coming. You make wudu and after one week your hands become with wounds on it from the cold water. You must be grateful to Allah that he brought you to these countries that you have everything so simple.
Go back and see in your village. How is it in your country? In the villages?
[ I remember in my childhood that I had wounds on hands and feet] Now look at children - their hands are clean and nice not only clean but they lotions and creams. They come crying, “my hand, my hands. I have a small wound.” Put lotion on it and rub their hands as if they are ladies. Ladies it is ok, but men - for what?
So Shaytan is, when the heart is sleeping, the heart is dead. Shaytan is completely taking over. So when the heart is awakened all these weeds that Shaytan has planted form bad gossips, when the heart is awaken full power they will die.
The example is going to prayer. Just now we prayed Isha. Think about it, no need to tell me. How many gossips came to mind when we were praying Isha. Can anyone say he didn’t have gossips. Shaytan knows the secret of the person and begins to throw something that diverts him from the siraat al-mustaqeem going to the divine presence.
The example of that is what we saw today in Isha. Before we prayed Maghrib. Always the same, count how many gossips came to your heart. Then you can know “O my heart has a problem, I have to fix it.”
Sayyidina Muhammad (s) he said to Sahaaba “ anyone can pray 2 raka`ats without any … I don’t like to say for Sahaaba gossip but any distraction from the prayer, if anyone can pray 2 raka`ats without any distraction I will give him my jubbah.”
First one prayed and the Prophet (s) said, “finished stop, you have distractions, you were thinking in your prayer. You cannot take my jubbah.”
Second one prayed, Sayyidina `Ali (r). He came to pray and he was completely in the prayer and not one single moment of distraction until he reached at-tahiyyaat and he read it and as soon as he was going to say as-salaam alaykum wa rahmatullah he was thinking “What jubbah is the Prophet going to give me?”
So but we are saying this to show that there are levels. We cannot be like Sahaaba. Their prayers are perfect. Sayyidina `Ali (r) one time had pain in his tooth. He said to other sahabis, “when I am in my prayer pull my tooth out. Because when I am in prayer I will not feel it. The prayer numbs me as I am in a state of love to Allah and then pull the tooth at that time.” So when he entered the prayer and he went into at-tahiyyaat and he said as-salam alaykum wa rahmatullah and he saw blood on the cloth and he asked, “Did you pull my tooth?” In old times they put a rope and pull the tooth. So they did and he never felt it as his prayers are not like our prayers. Today they have to give how many injection after injection in order not feel them pull the tooth.
So that observing of the heart destroys all the weeds that Shaytan has planted. And it is said the first state of observation, awwal al-ahwaal fee al-muraqabah, the first level in state of muraqabah, `ilm al-qalbi li qurbu rabbee, the awareness of the heart of the closeness to Allah swt. It means your heart begins to know, if you have an awakened heart, how much it is so near and so close to the Divine Presence.
As long as you are near, you are feeling that awakeness in your heart and as long as you are far you will begin to feel the heart is dead. That is why people are not into any kind of good manners and any kind of respect and any kind of discipline or any kind of building bridges or love to people and love and tolerance and goodness and satisfaction. All these good manners will indicate if you are closed or not.
We will continue next time and describe the state of al-qurb, nearness, when you have an awakened heart then you feel the nearness to the Divine Presence and we explain that next time.
Bi hurmatil-habib bi hurmatil-Fatiha.