From Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's Notebook
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een. Wa man tabiahum bi ihsaanin ila yawmi ‘d-deen. Laa hawla wa laa quwatta illa billahi 'l-`Aliyyu 'l-`Azheem. Dastoor yaa Sayyidi, wa mawlay, yaa Sayyidi Sultan al-Awliya, nazharakum yaa Sayyidi.
As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. May Allah (swt) accept our fasting, as our intention, niyyah, is to please our Lord. We intend to do as much as we can of what Allah has ordered.
فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ
Remain, then, conscious of God as best you can, (Surat Taghabun, 64:16)
Try to obey Allah as much as you can, mastat`atum, and Rasool (s) has also said, when he gives an order try to fulfill it as much as you can. So we do as much as we can; some can do more and some do less. May Allah accept from us. Ramadan Mubarak and Ramadan Kareem to all of us.
Types of Fasting: External and Internal
If we only concentrate on the external, zhaahir, we miss the internal, al-baatin. Allah’s Holy Names are Al-Zhaahir and Al-Batin wa’l-Awwal wa’l-Aakhir, He is The First and The Last, wa’zh-Zhaahir wa’l-Baatin, He is The Visible/External and The Hidden/Internal. So there are always two sides: the external and internal, what westerners call Mysticism. Every religion has some of that. Our teachers, Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q), Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, and Mawlana Shaykh Hisham, may Allah (swt) raise them and all Awliya higher, have concentrated more on the inner aspects of human development. O Human Beings! You are not just flesh and bones, there are other things inside you Allah has created.
In the Naqshbandi Way, we are trying to learn the internal aspects of the human being. Prophet (s) has brought the perfect teaching, internally and externally, but don't only focus on the external aspect of Islam as there is an internal aspect, too. That’s when you turn to Awliyaullah to learn. Awliyaullah remind us what Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur’an:
أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ
O you who have believed! Decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you.
(Surat al-Baqara, 2:183)
“For those that have faith in Allah, fasting has been prescribed on you.” So this means there is something inside us, a rooh (soul) that believes: it has seen and confirmed that Allah (swt) is the Lord. That rooh is also obliged to fast. How do you make the rooh fast? Al-Qalb (the heart) is inside us: how to make the heart and ego fast? There is as-Sirr, a human being’s Secret, our Reality; how do you make that fast? We know that externally we don't eat and drink; we don’t get intimate with our spouses; we don't gossip lie, or cheat, but that is all external.
What Are Internal Aspects of Fasting?
When we come to Awliyaullah, we learn the internal aspects of fasting. Then we can go into spiritual worlds, into Heavens. Awliyaullah say the ego fasts from shahawaat, desires. The heart fasts from dunya wa zakhrafiha, this life and its beauty. Mashaa-Allah, everyone wants a BMW, Dolce & Gabbana, etc., no one wants to take the cheap eyeglass frames with engraving on the side. Why? “Oh, it’s such as beautiful decoration!” But we have to make our heart fast from such love, which should be only for Allah (swt), not for dunya’s decorations.
When you come to Tariqahs, Naqshbandi, Qadri or others—the real ways—the real shaykh is required to teach you to withhold your heart from loving anything but Allah (swt). Now you see our imams in our jamaa`at are driving big Porsches and so on. What is this? Some say they are fasting. Okay, you’re fasting externally, but how about internally? The ego is fasting from its desires, and the heart is fasting from decorations of dunya. Let us do our best.
Awliyaullah have said fasting of the ego is from the na`eem of Akhirah, its delights and pleasures, because the ego loves `indiyya and qurbiyya, to be in the presence of a powerful king. You have to not look at Jannah or Akhirah anymore: your soul has to be exclusively in the Divine Presence. So the soul’s fasting is from Jannah and its delights. We are weak ones, and we can ask for Jannah, but our aim has to be much higher!
As-Sirr, the fast of the Secret, Awliya have said that as-sawmu mushahaadati khayrullah, it is not to accept, but rather the Secret withholds itself from seeing anything other than Allah (swt), and does not want to confirm the existence of anything other than God. That is your secret, your Haqiqah, the Reality of a human being. These are all aspects of internal fasting that Awliyaullah teach. But today we are only concerned with what we eat and drink, that we will eat and drink when night comes. May Allah (swt) forgive us. Tariqah teaches the adab of fasting.
The Adab of Lowering One’s Self
Subhaan-Allah, I opened to this page, where Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) is teaching another adab: alladhee laysa `indahu tannazul, “Those who will not lower themselves.” What is that old-fashioned stuff? Now people elevate themselves.
“Send us your CV.”
“I am Nour, there is nothing on my CV.”
“That doesn’t work for us.”
There is a position for imam in a masjid, and they ask you to send your CV. You write, “I am PhD of Theology. I have learned and taught in Pakistan, in Urdustan, in Ingilterastan, in England and Oxford.” You have to line up all your credentials, elevating yourself. Unfortunately, that is how it is today.
On the contrary, a Muslim has to have tawada`, to lower himself. Rasool (s) says, man tawaada `ala Allah rafa`a Allah, “Whoever lowers himself before Allah, Allah elevates.”
O Muslims! You don’t need to elevate yourself. Non-Muslims love that: if you don’t have a three-page resume nobody will interview you. But for Muslims whom Allah (swt) will Himself elevate when they lower themselves, Grandshaykh is saying, “The one who doesn't lower himself to kiss the hand of the one who kissed his hand [is lost]. My followers lower themselves.”
Now you see, mashaa-Allah, shuyookh and leaders in other religions put their hands out to be kissed, but do they have humility to kiss the hand of the one kissing theirs? Let us go to our countries to see if he can kiss the hand of those he expects to kiss his; maybe one percent can. But what did we see Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) do? He often kissed others’ hands.
That is Grandshaykh’s teaching: if someone kisses your hand, you must have the humbleness to kiss their hand or even their feet. He says:
Rasoolullah (s) lam yu`alim `ala ‘l-kibriyyah, did not teach us how to be proud, he taught how to be humble.
He did not leave room for his followers to raise themselves. And the one who has pride in his heart does not enter Jannah; do you know that Hadith, O `ulama? O Muslim scholars! If you have an atom’s weight of kibr in your heart, you will not enter Jannah.
So when someone lowers himself, you have to say, “I am a servant just like him, lowering myself, too: he lowers himself to kiss my hand, I lower myself to kiss his feet.” Some say that is sajda, but it is not. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim is teaching adab. He says Rasool (s) has said that the deeds of a Muslim are according to their intention. When you lower yourself to kiss someone's hand or foot you are not intending to worship him, you are intending to “first show myself that I am humble.” That is not worship, `ibaadah. If you extend your hand to be kissed by people, you have to be ready to kiss their hands, so if you are not ready to do that don’t extend your hand. Our niyyah is to humble ourselves. May Allah (swt) make us from the humble ones, who are the closest to Rasoolullah (s) on the Day of Judgment.
Tariqah teaches humility, so those who object to Tariqah, you see nothing but pride in them. Shaytan did not want to humble himself; he is a proud one and teaches humanity how to be proud, and never allows someone to be humble. Be careful who you are following! Don't follow the khutuwaat, footsteps of that cursed one, Shaytan. He was proud, he did not humble himself. The angels humbled themselves when they followed the Order of Allah (swt) and made sajda to Sayyidina Adam (a), but Shaytan said, “No, that order must not be given to me!” Hasbun Allahu wa ni`am al-wakeel, may Allah (swt) forgive us. Learn the inner way of Islam. Alhamdulillah we are Muslims, we are Mu`mins, and may Allah keep us on Islam and imaan until our last breath as we want to perfect our Islam internally and externally.
O Human Being, O Muslim! Make sure you perfect your Islam internally and externally, follow the adab of Rasool (s) and of grandshaykhs. Look what Mawlana is saying here. So many people go to shuyookh to learn volumes and volumes of Ahadeeth. One time I visited an `alim who told me the titles of books he had read, and each book is perhaps a thousand pages. He did not only read them, but also taught them.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) is saying, “If you learn a few Ahadith but hold tightly to (apply) them, it will become much easier for you to reach.”
A human being will get lost in all that he reads and studies, you only need a few Hadith, one is:
إنما الأعمال بالنيات
“Verily, actions are by intentions.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Your `amal is rewarded based on intention, so if you’re an imam and you’re elevating yourself because you want dunya, then what is your intention? What did all these thousands of Ahadeeth benefit you if you are seeking dunya with this `ilm? If your intention is to become higher and higher, richer and richer, stronger and stronger, what for? For dunya, learning ten thousand Ahadith then has no benefit: your intention is dunya, so you will get dunya, nothing else, hatta heen, for a while and after that you leave it!
But if you know this Hadith and you say, “Whatever I do, I intend it for my Lord,” `alaa lil-Llaah id-deen il-khaalis, “to Allah belongs the pure, uncorrupted intention and way,” and you make your work only for the pleasure of Allah, you will reach! But if you know one million Ahadeeth and your intention is to be the imam in Haram ash-Shareef or a big university, or to become big scholar, then your `amal is for dunya and doesn't benefit you one bit.
One time a man visiting Cyprus said, “I stayed here for two weeks and I didn’t hear one Hadith from the shaykh,” whom he expected to open books and read volumes of lessons upon lessons, thousands of Ahadeeth. Grandshaykh (q) is saying you only need a few Hadith and if you hold tight to them then you will reach. Our way is to learn what we need by looking at our shaykh: to learn adab, to make our intention pure, to humble ourselves and learn the internal ways, not just external ways.
O Allah, accept us in Your Divine Presence! Ameen.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
Salaams to everybody that is following the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (s) and waking up for Qiyaam al-Layl, praying Fajr and waiting for Ishraaq. May Allah make us from those that follow Sunnah of Rasool (s), which is basically the explanation of the Holy Qur’an. That is the only way to reach to Jannah.
Bi hurmati 'l-Habeeb bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.