Allahuma salli `ala Muhammadin wa `ala aali muhammadin…
Allahuma salli `ala Muhammadin wa `ala aali muhammadin…
A`udhu billah min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem
Bismillahi 'r-Rahman i'r-Raheem
Nawaytu al-arba`een nawaytu al-`itikaaf nawaytu al-khalwah nawaytu al-riyadah nawaytu al-sulook lillahi ta`ala al-`adheem fee hadha al-masjid
We said in the previous session that whatever knowledge is important, awliyallah carry that reality from the Prophet (saws). They are inheritors of these knowledges. It is also important to know that the seeker in his journey is going to face a lot of important decisions that he has to make in his life.
When someone accepts tariqah al-qawm, the way of the pious sincere servants of Allah , he has to completely accept whatever obstacles he faces. That is why it is described that there are two kinds of procedures: one is known as different stations, or levels, maqaamaat, which the seeker has to develop and try to reach, climbing up from one to the other. You cannot skip the ladder rungs and reach the top with one step; you have to go one rung after another. And those steps are the most important. When you go to the first step of these stations you have to make sure you have completed that step in order to climb to the second station. These are what we call stations in the seeker’s life; he is going to face them. After that development he goes on to the other procedure. Sometimes they might parallel one another, sometimes they might not. Sometimes you have to climb the ladder to reach these stations and then you go to the different procedures which are the trunks, the ahwaal; the different states. In every state the person goes into a trance. That means a behavior or trance of that state will be come to him…not like the first one: he is progressing to climb, to reach these stations. In the second one it will be coming to him. These are different inspirations or revelations which come into the hearts of the seekers who have already reached these stations. These different states are open for those who have climbed the stairs and reached the top.
Now from one tariqat to another tariqat or from one shaykh to another shaykh these stations, which we call maqaamaat, change in number and in description. In one tariqat there might be eleven and in another, twenty and in another five or seven. If they are less, they are condensed. More work has to be done. If they are in more, they are softer; more diluted. You go slowly, slowly in these steps. Like the first step might become ten steps in a high number of steps. In a low number if there are only seven steps then they will be very condensed within each other.
So according to our way, these stations, that first step that we need to take is the level of the station of tawbah; repentance. You know that you did a lot in your life. You made a lot of mistakes, you are still making them, and you begin to think that you need repentance. It might be that repentance comes at an early age or it might come later in life. But every one of us needs to repent. Repentance is important because without it you will be accumulating sins, then you accumulate too much---like someone who works in a mechanics shop and has grease on his clothes: if he goes and washes it immediately the grease will go…if he says, “Oh, I will wash it tomorrow” then it will be oilier, and greasier. After tomorrow, it will be even greasier and oilier. Then after a while, there will be no way to wash it; it will be too greasy and oily. So as for repentance, you don’t want to pile all these sins up at end of your life say, “Now I repent.”
Now Allah for sure will forgive you. He is not like us; He will accept repentance at any time. But we are speaking about a seeker. A seeker does not accumulate. This means that at the very moment that he makes a mistake he makes repentance. That is why we have been ordered to do twenty-five or three hundred or even five hundred istighfaar a day in order to repent…in order to not let them keep piling up. Although you might make more mistakes at least you don’t let them accumulate.
Repentance is the origin and source of any station you are trying to reach. Repentance is the pillar which will hold your structure. Without that pillar the building will fall down and tawbah is the pillar that keeps the building up and the key that opens the building for you. Without that key and that code that building will never be open for you.
So awliyaullah describe it as if it is the infrastructure, or the foundation that has been built on a solid ground. When you step on earth, you like to step on solid earth. You don’t like to step on what they fine in deserts known as rimal al-mutaharika,or quicksand. If you step on quicksand you will go down. In jungles there is moving mud known as al-awhal al-mutaharika. As soon as you put your feet on it, it pulls you down. Tawbah, or repentance, is the solid ground on which you can put your feet.
That is the first station which you have to put in order for the structure to be strong. When we put it on a solid foundation, a solid ground, it means it gives awareness to the heart not to be heedless. When you repent and say, “Ya Rabbee I am repenting, a real repentance,” then you will be getting an inspiration. You will be getting a signal that the heart will be in complete awareness at a moment of heedlessness, at a moment of ghaflah, when shaytan is trying to make you heedless and come to you. As soon as he attacks you, you are lost. Don’t say, “I never had that problem, shaytan cannot come to me.” - That is out of the question.
Sayyidina Adam was on solid ground; not only was he on solid ground but he was of the highest station possible - any human being is wishing to reach that level - and shaytan came to Sayyidina Adam in that paradise where everyone of us is asking to reach.
Why are people praying? Why do you see them praying or fasting, or doing hajj or giving charity - for what? – for a reward, for a paradise, for a solid ground. We are asking to go back where we were before.
What happened to us when we were there before? - A moment of heedlessness. Not only Sayyidina Adam , but all the atoms of all human beings; all the sperms of all human beings that were in his back were heedless. This means that all these essences of human beings that Allah put in the back of Sayyidina Adam listened to Iblees. They accepted what Iblees said; they moved Adam’s hand and then they ate from forbidden tree: from one forbidden tree while all the others were free. Allah said, “Don’t touch that one.” But no, he went to this one and left the others. That is the nature of human beings. Allah is giving them everything yet they still want that which is not in their hand. They look at what is in the hand of others. That is why the Prophet (saws) said to the Sahaba, “Don’t look to the one above you; look down. Then you will be happy.”
Adam was on solid ground and just one moment of heedlessness brought him down. So what did he do when he made the mistake? He immediately became repentant and he never did it again.
We are not as the Prophet (saws). So what do we have to do? Do not insist on your anger. Do not insist on your extremist ideas. Do not annoy your family. This is all part of heedlessness. Do not go against the law. "Obey Allahobey the Prophet, and obey those in authority. " Obey the laws of the country, obey the Prophet (saws), and obey your shaykhs.
Sometimes they will tell you to do something, “Do this.” …something that has nothing to do with tariqah. “Clean the yard!” “Oh, why do I have to clean the yard? It is raining.” You don’t know what wisdom they have sent in order to help you carry your burdens. It is not to make you annoyed or to make you tired. You did a service for them, so they have to do a service for you. And you don’t know what kind of service… what they do.
So when Mawlana gives an order we have to do it, even though our hearts might be saying “yes” and “no.” We don’t know what kind of service he might be carrying from you; for something small you did.
One time I was with him in hajj and someone came and we know him as not being a good person… in behavior. In creation he is good but in behavior he is not good. He came and gave something to the shaykh… something that is very little compared to what he has. You might not be able to buy even a bottle of water with that. Mawlana took it and put it in his pocket. I said, “Mawlana, what is this? Throw it in his face. We don’t need it.”
Mawlana said, “Man khadamna khadmanaahu - Whoever served us we shall serve them.” "Whoever did a favor for us we are obliged to do service for him." Allah sent him with this little thing in order that he should receive that service from me. That is a big teaching. It shows how much awliyaullah are carrying. They are not in need of what people come and bring them, but it is good for the mureed to bring something because he will catch the attention of the shaykh and he will catch the favor of the shaykh in order that he will help him in his life. It depends on how open-minded that person is, meaning he is generous or not.
\So we said that that repentance gives you an awareness of how to build your heart not to be heedless and to build the foundation on very solid ground so that your building will be strong enough. Its condition is regret: an-nadm. Why do you repent? Because you regret what you have done. Many people regret what they have done when they know the truth. Like someone might not have known the truth about what his brother or sister or son or daughter have done - they didn’t go investigate and check. When they go investigate and find they were wrong, they feel regret. Leaders of countries regret their decision is not carried out. Fathers regret the bad thoughts they have about their children. Mothers, sisters, brothers… and all feel regret when we are on that journey, seeking the truth. We regret what we have done in our life.
They say for Rabi`a al-Adawiyya, due to her love of Allah , her love is only directed to Allah - no husband, no children. Her love is for Allah . She said to look at her heart’ how much she is aware in her heart. She is not heedless, like us. She said, “Ya Rabbee, O Allah , if I am worshipping because I am afraid from your hellfire or afraid from you, then put me in hellfire, I don’t care.”
Can anyone say that? If my intention is to save myself from hellfire by worshipping you then put me in hellfire, I don’t want that, put me there. If my intention is to reach paradise, then put me out of that. I worship you only for your love; that is my worship. Put me in your love. So that awareness in her heart is making her repent, knowing that moments of heedlessness have to be eliminated in her life. She knows that it will be eliminated by saying this: “If I worship for hell put me in hell, and if I worship for paradise, put me out of it.” Who can do that? You can do that? No.
You only do yoga. They are sitting and teaching people today, and what they are learning? Are they leaning to imagine yourself with music all around and you are in that ocean of music? And meditation…”are you seeing the big kahuna?” This kahuna in
I was attending a conference, a big conference, a publisher’s conference and that speaker came out. She has a book on
So that is what to do: with meditation and music, imagine you are entering the cave. Seekers have to know that they must not be heedless of knowing the truth. Allah gave you a mind to think. The Prophet (saws) said, "There is no need to feel ashamed in religion." You have to explain in religion.
Look at Sayyida `Ayesha. Without the wife of the Prophet (saws) there is no way to understand the Shariah. They were describing the Shariah and the sahaba took a lot of knowledge from wives of Prophet (saws).
So it is most important to repent and for repentance is regret. One of the big awliya Dhun-nun said, “tawbat al-awwaam takoon `an il-dhanoob - the repentance of the common people is to repent from sins,” because we commit sins every moment. But the repentance of the khawaas, the special ones - the seekers, the Sufi ones, the ones who took the journey to Allah , is the repentance from heedlessness. Not from sins, because they are not committing sins, but from heedlessness - then they fall into sin.
But for us, Shaytan can attack us at any moment because we are falling into the ditch of sins. But those who are special are seekers like you: they are following a way, tariqah to Allah . You don’t want Shaytan to be able to attack you at any moment. When you are doing adhkaar, Shaytan cannot attack you, except through gossiping. If you are saying la ilaha ill-Allah that is real meditation - not like when you are in meditation and listening to songs and doing yoga exercises. No, real meditation is to pick up the beads and do la ilaha ill-Allah. As when there is imaginary scene that some people create in order for… shaytan is happy as you are in imagination. Sometimes when you are saying la ilaha ill-Allah the meditation becomes so difficult and Shaytan comes to divert you from the real line of meditation.
When I was young, for the awraad, I used to put a white sheet or blanket on me as if I was in seclusion. You sit inside the blanket. If it is hot, use a sheet, because shaytan tells you, "You are hot, take it off.” In anything he comes to tell you a way. I used to do it in a loud voice - you can do it in a loud voice or khafi, silently, but when you do it loud you are able to stop the gossips from coming in, because you are meditating on what you are reciting.
You are meditation on la as a letter, ilaha illa Allah - you are meditating on it and relating to it and following it with all your intentions; with your entire body. “Oh God there is no ilah except You.” That is why you [moving head] try to say la ilaha ill-Allah… still the gossips come but they come less and less. By covering yourself it is as if you are secluding yourself completely from the outside world. You feel that pleasure there, day after day. That key is one of the keys we need on our journey. And this is the explanation of the first step to that station. We will continue on the second.
[After dinner, two couples are married.]
Mothers cry from happiness, because they see their children growing up and they move out. This is the lifestyle. Islam gave a very good example for people to live by in saying that every husband and wife must have their own private house.
Unfortunately, in many Muslim cultures, like the culture in the
So we must not be sad…this is life. What we need to say is, “Oh Allah , give them a happy life.” [Amin]
It would be much worse if something happened to the child by accident than to lose your child by marriage and moving to another house. Alhamdulillah the child still respects his family, respects his or her parents, and the child is still there. It is far better than to lose their child; many people lost their children.
May Allah make these two couples happy and make everyone happy.