16 January 2010 Burton, Michigan
Isha / As-Siddiq Mosque
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah `Azeez Allah
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah Kareem Allah
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah Subhaan Allah
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah Sultaan Allah
ila hadarati 'n-nabiyy salla-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam... al-Fatiha.
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.
We have said in the previous session that there are five different presences, five different levels, and there are the main levels and in them there are infinite numbers of levels that the seekers can find through their journeys. The only thing that may might make us uncomprehending or understanding is that we are prisoners of our minds. If you are a prisoner in a cell you cannot come out of it, you are inside, and when you are inside, you are unable to see what is going on outside. So your eyes or your sight is only seeing inside the room and you are not able to see what is outside the room or cell. Might be outside is a nice garden or a nice mountain or a nice forest, jungle. Might be outside is a river or an ocean, but you are unable to see it because you are not trying to open the door of that cell and come out of that prison. So the mind is a prison for the soul and that is why people, when you speak about spirituality, they cannot understand it because they have a problem.
Similarly, we have a problem when understanding spirituality, and not only us, but many scholars deny spirituality. Spirituality is not something imaginary; it is not something as today, many people say, “I am a spiritual person.” No, spirituality is based on realities, not on an imaginary structure. It is a real structure that God will give to the seeker in that journey: you can see it, feel it, live it. But if you are not seeing, you will be either one of these two groups: either you deny it, they say there is no spirituality, only what you see this is it, you do your worship, your prayers, your fasting this is it, nothing else. The other group didn’t see it, they learned about it from books or from teachers, but they are not yet raised to the level of those who can experience and see it.
So Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q), as we said previously, was able to see it, and that is why he said, “My level from where I am standing now, my feet are on the neck of every wali.” That is something no one said before his time, “my feet are on the neck of every wali, every saint.” Because he reached a level of seeing, he was able to experience what others cannot experience. But he said “on the neck”, he didn’t say “on the head.” It means he was able to reach a very high level that is above everyone’s knowledge, up to the neck, but above the neck there is the head. So that means there are ones above the head (with higher knowledge).
Those who are of such caliber know that such realities exist, and that is why guides are important in our lives, because they guide you like the teacher in school who guides you to reach high school. Without a teacher can you reach high school? No, even if you study at home, your paper must be signed that you finished high school. There is university level in spirituality also, and there is professorship in spirituality; why do we accept only physical issues and say we need to get PhD? Why we don’t need PhD that connects us to our Lord? That is completely dropped from our thinking! No one is thinking about it anymore. It is there, but it is gone from your own limited mind, because your mind blocked you, you are inside the mind, and you cannot come out. That is why you ask someone something, they answer from their mind, not from their heart.
So when you achieve the greatness of Realities, then you begin to realize that Realities are as awliyah showed us, in five different levels. Like for example, the mind guides you through your own square shape, your limitation, but dreams don’t. Sometimes you see dreams that take you far up to heavens; (at that time) they are uploading to you, but not giving you the key to download it.
When you take the hand of saint, he is not going to teach you only one-to-one. Like a surgeon, after giving you anesthesia, you are not feeling his work on you; they work on us when we are not feeling, because it is easier. When a patient is awake can you do surgery? No, you cannot. It is more difficult to do dentistry work on a child (than an adult), because even if you give him laughing gas, he will still move around until you numb him. So when patients are completely numb they are easier to work on than when awake. When awake you evaluate everything according to your mind. Now what is time? 6:45pm. If I tell you now the time is 5:45 pm, do you believe it? Say “no”! What “yes”?! But Chicago people say, “Yes,” (because that is correct time for their time zone). She said, “Yes,” but she lives in Montreal, not Chicago. (laughter) So if I say it is 5:45 pm, Chicago people say “yes” but Eastern Time-zone residents will say “no.” If you speak to California people and you say now it is 3:45 pm, they will say “yes”. It depends on your current environment.
So if you are in a realm of spirituality and realm of saints, then you can accept and you have to come out of your mind, out of your time. You are stuck to this timeframe, then it is very difficult to understand. So when awliyaullah are able to reach that level of purity, it means they drop from their lives the desires and pleasures of this life; they only want the pleasure of their Lord and heavenly pleasure. Then for them, everything changes. That is why Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q) said, “My feet are above the neck of every saint.” Because he knows no one else is in the level he is in. But you cannot see who is above, you can only see who is lower. You cannot see who is on the roof, but you can see who is in the building. So it might be many are above him and Sayyidina Muhammad (s) (Mawlana stands) is on the top, above everyone, and no one can be above him.
That is why our Naqshbandi Sufi Order is known as the “Most Distinguished”, at-tariqah al-mumayyaz al-`aliyyah. The Most Distinguished Sufi Order, bidayat tariqatun nihayat jami` at-turuq, as Shah Naqshband (q) said one-thousand years ago, “The beginning of our tariqah is where other tariqahs end.”
It means all Sufi Orders enter completely into the engine of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order. Like today, if you want to give an example, most servers, email addresses, everything you want to know enters one engine, and that is why you use the best engine that gives you information today, and I am not making an advertisement, but it is Google. Everything goes there in the spiritual engine of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order. All engines go inside, and that engine will stay until Sayyidina Mahdi (a) comes, and it will be as if he says, “Here.”
wa qaala radiallahu `anhu kullu awliyallah yakhoodh min (...) hatta imaam al-mahdi radi-allahu anhu. He said, “All saints will enter our gatherings, and they will take all our awraad and they will take from the daily dhikr we do, and they will hold tight on our Order, from the beginning of Creation until the day Mahdi (a) comes, and then until the Day of Judgment.” Why? Because the Naqshbandi Sufi Order comes from two huge, main engines, two lines that form one main engine: from Sayyidina `Ali (q) and from Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (q). Their lines meet in Sayyidina Jafar as-Sadiq (q). Even Sayyidina Mahdi (a) will take from ana madinatul-ilmi wa `aliyyun bab’uha - I am the City of Knowledge and `Ali is its gate." There is no one above these two lines. wa law buthtu bima `alamallahu feeya la quti` minnee haadha'l-bal`oom. “If I will explain or expose or share the knowledge I acquired, these saints will call for cutting my neck.” ahl al-irfaan, Gnostics went so far, like zooming in, he went so deep into qalb al-Muhammadi (the Muhammadan Heart), that he was able to take from these knowledges and that is why he said there are five levels.
The first is the ‘Alam an-Naasoot, the World of 34 dimensions, the World of Human Beings, of all that was created in this universe. That world carries a lot of knowledges; even scientists today are not able to say “we learned everything.” They say we didn’t learn even one percent of what exists. Even today, whatever MRIs can see is still the beginning of that kind of technology. You don’t know what they will bring more and more of technology, and still they say, “we are helpless.” The World of Human Beings is full of secrets. Don’t underestimate Allah’s power, ittaqoo firaasat al-mu`min fa innahu yandhuroo bi noorillah. A wali can see what you are thinking and what you are doing.
Not only Hindus can see. Hindus, Buddhists, all kinds of beliefs take you to a certain spiritual level and they cannot go beyond that. Why? Because there is a limitation; today there is lack of spirituality in religion; unfortunately, in Christianity and Judaism there is lack of spirituality, and not because the religion doesn’t have it! The religions have it, but today they are dropping it and they mainly concentrate on the physical body, they don’t concentrate on the mind and soul. Because the mind is your prison, and they don’t want you to open that soul and let the soul to be free.
Hindusim, Zainism and in all other beliefs they only discuss about the soul, which there is vacuum for that, people are interested in that. But that is there in the religion but people are not seeing it. Sayyidina Khalid al-Baghdadi (q), one of the biggest “gurus,” if you want to use that word, a very wise man, 150 years ago. He sent his students to make pilgrimage and he said to them, “You are going to meet Mahdi (a).” What does “Mahdi” mean in Arabic? It means “the guided one”, a wise man that will come to guide humanity. You need a wise man, a guide, a hadi.
People are separated, everyone is happy with his own small group, running where technology is giving you a space to expose your ideas and might be your ideas are not important. Might be people laugh at you! Where is that you go to check? Facebook! Everyone is running to Facebook, as if Facebook became your god and everyone is posting nonsense there. You want to post? Free yourself from your mind! Then you post on the main facebook, the heavenly facebook; your Facebook.
How many years you are going to live: 50, 60, 70, 80 years. All your pleasure will disappear in one moment. You are a doctor, your age is 45, or this doctor, his age is 35. Let him tell me now that he still feels the pleasure that happened to him one day ago. It is gone or not? So it means the one didn’t go into that pleasure and the one who did go into that pleasure are equal at this moment. So one wasted his life with worldly pleasure and one spent his life earning godly pleasure. This one’s pleasure is in way of God and the other in the way of this life, and they are both the same: neither feels pleasure at the moment of death. Both are in the grave with no more pleasure for them. But the one who will find there the Reality, if that one believed in Heaven or Hell, that one is saved and the one who didn’t believe in Heaven and Hell will be suffering. But might be Allah (swt) will forgive, we don’t judge, but according to our knowledge, one will be suffering and the other will be safe.
If there is no such thing (as life after death), then both will be the same, with nothing. But if there is (life after death), then one will be suffering. So awliyaullah know this reality. God gave us in this life to have pleasure, but in a disciplined way. Follow the way that is in limits. You can’t go out of those limits. Allah (swt) says, “I gave you so much to make you happy. Why you have to go so far (beyond limitation)?” Look how many people are drinking (alcohol). Will drinking bring happiness? If they say they are non-Muslim and they want to drink, were Jesus (a) or Moses drinking all the time? There was a symbol for Jesus, changing the blood to wine, but they give you little bit, not a bottle; not to drink so much and go crazy.
So we go back to the story. Sayyidina Khalid al-Baghdadi (q) said, “Go and find mahdi (a wise one).” So he was there and he heard that there is a guru who can do miracles, but he is not following Islam. Those students came back to the shaykh and said, “We didn’t find the wise man, but we heard there is someone in Bombay who makes miracles.” They were saying, “Someone who is Hindu makes miracles and we who follow you are not seeing miracles.” What is that (bad manners)?? So Khalid al-Baghdadi (q) said, “Leave me until tomorrow, I will answer you.” He traveled that night (spiritually transported) to India and approached the door of that guru, to knock on it, and that guru knew he is at the door and opened it before he could knock. The guru said, “I was waiting for you.”
He believes in reincarnation, as if God doesn’t have enough souls! The Greatness of our Lord is the continuity. If you say He created and is unable to create more, that is a limit you impose on His Greatness. You are limiting God according to the limits of your mind. That is why they think there is reincarnation. (They believe) if you were good in this life, you come back in next life as an angel. If you were bad, you come back as donkey. Why Allah (swt) has to punish you as a donkey or a snake? Spiritual people can understand that punishment is more effective when you are ashamed, when you repent and God forgives you at the end. You become ashamed and regretful. Why you don’t want to make Allah (swt) merciful and say, “I forgive you.” Or you prefer that God sends you as a snake? You want to be snake?
So that guru opened the door and said, “I am waiting for you,” and he offered him food to eat. They sat on their knees and the Hindu guru said, “I especially called for a Muslim lady to prepare your food as I knew you might not care to eat it otherwise.” Look how careful that guru was to make the food proper for the shaykh. Look how pure he was in his way. Muslim or Hindu, the importance is to follow your way.
We have been ordered by the Seal of Messengers, Sayyidina Muhammad (s), to follow that way. And the shaykh was looking, not touching the food. He looked at the guru and said, “Say! Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadur Rasoolullah. Say, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger!”
What you expect the guru did? He didn’t respond, but he bowed his head and went into a meditation session, seconds after seconds, minutes after minutes, and hours after hours. And the shaykh was sitting on his knees not touching the food, and the guru sitting in meditation. After many hours he raised his head and said, Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadur Rasoolullah. The shaykh asked, Why it took so long to say it, why not say it when I asked you? Is it not better than waiting three hours, to say it immediately?”
Then the guru said, “O my teacher, my master.” Look, now the shaykh became the teacher. He said, “Anything I do in life, I consult with myself. But my consultation is different than what other people do. Whenever it is a big issue, I ask myself. And I said to my Self, ‘the shaykh is asking me to say Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadur Rasoolullah,’ and for the past 25 years, whatever my Self says to do, I don’t do, and what my Self says to don’t do, I do the opposite. Your ego is your enemy. Religion came to bring people back from hands of your enemy to free you. That is the way I trained myself. So I asked my Self, ‘The shaykh is asking me to say that I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger. Do I accept to say it, or not?’ My Self said, ‘Are you crazy? You are a very high guru, the highest authority in Hinduism. You want to be a beggar at the door of Islam? That means you have to start at the bottom of ladder and climb up step after step. No way I let you to say it!’ Because of that, I have to disobey my ego and I accept Islam and said, Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadur Rasoolullah.”
At that moment, Allah (swt) opened to his heart, wa sakhara lakum ma fis’samawati wa ma fil ard. Allah put under his control whatever is in heavens and whatever is on Earth, as he reached that station because he didn’t limit his mind. He was able to do miracles in limits of this world. When he disobeyed and accepted shahadah, Allah opened to his heart.
How often do we consult with our Self and follow what it says? Because we are not able to come out of our inner-mind prison. Your prison is your destruction and your grave. That means your mind is your destruction and your grave. I am not saying not to use your mind for daily work, but we are saying between soul and mind, don’t be driven by your mind, but be driven by heavenly sources.
So he said there are five levels and we began to describe them. The first level is level of naasoot, of humanity. As we said before you look at night in skies you see stars around you everywhere. You see the reality of stars. But when the sun comes out what you see? You see no more stars, you only see the sun. The stars are important but the sun is more important. The stars will direct you to the biggest planet. The biggest one we can see on Earth is the sun. All the others disappear when the sun comes out. When reality comes, everything else will disappear. When the sun of the heart will rise in horizons of the heart, then everything else will disappear. Worldly desire will go.
You will not be interested any more in running from restaurant to restaurant, from bar to bar, from place to place in search of pleasure, as people today only want to compete with each other. You have brand name, they want brand name. You have designer, they want designer. So you wear something without that designer name, are you going to go in streets and show, “This is what I am wearing,” or you want the heavenly designer to give you a heavenly dress to purify you after you have been dirty? We are dirty in ourselves. When worldly life disappears from your life, you go into the heavenly kingdom, Alam al-Malakoot. And we don’t go into it now, but it is full of knowledges.
Alam al-Malakoot is not yet the station of Absolute Reality. It will give you signs on the existence of the Reality; it is the Alam al-asma was-siffat, Alam al-Mithaal, “The World of Highest Role Models.” I will explain that; it is where you can find anything you wish that you never imagined. ma la aynu ra’at wa la udhunun sami`at wa la khata al qalbi bashr, “What eyes never saw, you will see, what ears never heard, you will hear, and what you never could imagine you will find in the heavenly world.”
May Allah (swt) guide us and protect us. Wherever you go, especially in London, as houses are close to each other and here also, they have signs everywhere, “Beware of Dogs.” We never thought to say, “Beware of Satan.”. No one wrote on his heart, “Beware of Devils.” Might be your neighbor is a devil who takes you for danger, and might be your relative is dangerous; they say, “Let us go for a while,” and they take you to use drugs. The first problem is the first step, when you do it you cannot back up (out of that sin). You think, “O happy life!” You are high. Why are you laughing? That is what I am hearing. When they are high they are happy, when they are not happy, they are angry. Let us be high in Allah’s love. Let us be high in heavenly love. That is what is important; that is what will stay for your family and children and ancestors and descendants and your community and country: to live peaceful and
Who is higher than a president? Today in new hierarchies they don’t have monarchies, so who is higher than a president? (After that huge earthquake) this poor president was homeless in Haiti. So this worldly life, don’t trust it. (He was) president in morning and in evening he became homeless. Some might be president in the morning and in evening there might be a coup d'état and he is now also killed! So don’t trust (dunya), trust Allah (swt). God gave you a way and a discipline, and said, “This is My constitution, follow it!” If you don’t want to follow it, you will have an earthquake in your life! Everyone will have an earthquake in his life and if he is clever, he will build back up quickly, and if not clever, he will not.
May Allah (swt) guide us to His Greatness. And still we didn’t finish what he said about this life and heavenly life.