A`udhu billah min ash-Shaytan ir-rajeem
Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem
Nawaytu ‘l-arba`een nawaytu ‘l-`itikhaaf nawaytu ‘l-khalwah nawaytu ‘l-`uzla nawaytu ’r-riyaada nawaytu ’s-sulook lillahi ta’ala al-`adheem fee hadha ’l-masjid.
We ask support from our shaykh and from all shaykhs up to Prophet (s).
It is very important to notice that it is wise, when you give an advice or a presentation, to make sure it reaches everyone's heart and that people are not fed up or bored with it. Sometimes at seminars or conferences you see people in the audience become sleepy, because the presenter speaks in a way that lacks humbleness. He is trying to present himself as a big scholar and his ego is playing with him. The most dangerous factor in life is our ego, because it always wants to be happy and will always pull you toward the traps of Shaytan and toward bad desires. One of the bad desires is arrogance, al-`ujb bin-nafs - to think that we are so important or famous. It means we have to be proud, arrogant.
Although you might be trying and struggling, that is another case, but mainly our ego likes always to pull us to be arrogant and when someone becomes arrogant, they become stubborn. When someone is stubborn it is very difficult to break through and cut that down; it’s like a huge cement block that can only be moved with a crane. That's why you need the support of Prophet (s); you need the waseela, the means, which is Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and his inheritors.
To move that big obstacle, which, if it were only a curtain it is very easy to pull the curtain away and go through, but the ego’s obstacles created from arrogance and stubbornness become very huge, so you cannot accept advice from anyone. Listening to advice from a Guide is only to take that obstacle away. Their job, their duty, is to take that obstacle that comes between you and Prophet (s) so you will be able to reach the presence of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) through spiritual ways. And to reach the presence of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) we must not be stubborn or arrogant, because he is the most humble. He is teaching us humbleness, tawaaduh.
So, alhamdulillah, Islam came with the divine message of Sayyidina Muhammad (s), to take all of us to the Divine Presence, to Allah’s Holy Presence. Islam came to move us through these obstacles, but there are many elements in Islam that we are not doing. Anyone that is a Muslim is doing not everything, but he is doing something. But that something is not enough to take away these huge obstacles. That's why you need, if you are in a tunnel and you know in that tunnel there are a lot of obstacles, you cannot see them and they tell you to cross that tunnel, might be obstacles, bushes or woods, or anything, and you need a flashlight, without the flashlight you cannot see how you are going to pass through the tunnel. So, Islam has the flashlight and has all the elements that can take you away from these difficulties and that flashlight is a Guide that can guide you, or a shaykh that can show you the way in order to move forward.
So, a scholar who did not achieve the level of Guide that we were describing in this series (Murshid at-Tabarruk, the Guide of Barakah, Blessings), now we are speaking about the Guide of Purification (Murshid at-Tazkiyya). Purification means to give you hints, to give you a jump-start; that is his work. He is not more than that. He is a means to reach and to move, to make your vehicle to move.
So, one time Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani قدس سرّه, a very famous saint, a wali in Baghdad, founder of the Qadiri Tariqah, his techniques and methods that he gave to his followers are like a flashlight. He had a very advanced khalifa, and when that khalifa gave guidance everyone was listening very attentively, they want to understand everything, to the extent that you could hear a pin drop. No one was talking, everyone’s eyes were focused on him. That khalifa had a son, who looked at his father and the mureeds, and how much they are captivated by the advice his father was giving. He thought, "I studied more than my father. I spent fifteen, twenty years in Islamic studies and Shari'ah. I know more than what he knows. So if those people are listening to him in such a way, it means when I speak to them, they will be more attached than when my father is speaking. And I'll give them knowledge that my father is not able to give."
He was looking for an opportunity to speak to them. Like many people today, they look for opportunities to speak, so they might claim that they are this, they are knowledgeable, or a khalifa, a representative, a scholar, a president, a minister—whatever he is in his life. His father looked into the son’s heart and saw that sickness, that he likes to be something.
The next week he said, "Oh my son, today I am sick; you go and give the advice to people. I cannot." The son was so happy. He is a highly educated scholar, an ‘alim, not like today’s representatives of different shuyukh. His father sent him. He began to speak knowledge above the knowledge of his father. And he was looking at the people; one after one they began to sleep. He was surprised, "I am giving them something very deep knowledge that my father never gave." Might be he knows it, might be he doesn't, but for sure his father knows he never gave. He is giving something highly spiritual, mystic knowledge. There are many awliya who spoke about it. But when he is speaking, one after one is sleeping.
He finished his talk. He went to his father directly afterwards and said, "Oh my father, I experienced something strange today. When I began to speak, they slept. When you speak, they open their eyes."
Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said, "Oh my son, your ego was speaking and I have raised these people against their egos. They will not accept anything coming from ego. They can sense it.”
Like today, if one car sensor is out of order the car does not work. Those people had sensors in their hearts. If you are speaking to them something that builds up their ego, they are not going to listen. Their sensors will pick it up.
He answered, "Oh my father, I did not say anything to build their ego. I was giving them some very deep knowledge."
Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani said, "Oh my son, you did not speak to build their ego, yes I know, but whenever you opened your mouth that bad smell of the ego made such spots on their hearts that their sensors understood it’s full of arrogance, selfishness, egoism, and also, you sat in my place full of ego—for sure, everyone is going to sleep! Oh my son, when I speak, I see myself lower than everyone attending. I am their shaykh but I look at myself lower than everyone, that I am trying to tell my ego I am in need for that advice I am giving, so the first that has to apply this advice is me, not others. But you did not do that. You were full of arrogance, giving them something that made them feel that arrogance and that's why they got sleepy. When you speak through your ego, people will not pay attention. When you speak through humbleness, and you consider and declare that you are nothing, people will listen."
We might have sicknesses and illnesses, and each of us is trying to progress. We come here (to Mawlana shaykh Nazim) to be uplifted, because to cut down our egos is a continuous struggle. It is not going to end by doing your awrad, reading Holy Qur`an, or by praying your prayers; it is a process. You are going to go through your life facing temptation. Every day, Shaytan will come and whisper in your ears and in your heart. Every day, there is another problem going to facing you, and it is going to continue. So, you are in a continuous struggle against your ego.
So we have to declare that first we are in need of what we are saying; we cannot say something to the people and don't apply it on ourselves, then what's the benefit of saying it to the people? You are only cheating them.
One of my relatives was a big shaykh in the Middle East, and everyone listened to what he says. They liked his presentation, but he had a problem: his daughter never covered. So people will look at that personal example and think, “why is his daughter not covered and he is speaking about hijab? First let him apply it on his family, then he can speak about covering, or else he has to declare his daughter is not doing that and he is unhappy with her.”
You have to apply on yourself first what you like people to hear, then it will be like hitting the target, like a bow and arrow going all the way to the center of gravity in your heart. But if you are not first adopting it yourself and you want others to listen, it’s not going to work.
The Guides we are speaking about have already applied everything on themselves first. They went through this long struggle to achieve benefit for their students. This is a very, very basic introduction that people must understand. Pride and arrogance are from the seventeen bad characteristics that destroy your advancement. Don't think, “I am an engineer, a professor, an expert… I am better than this one,” or “I am this,” or “I am that.” No. Islam makes everyone equal. [The Prophet said:] “La farqa bayna `ajamiyya wa la `arabiya illa bi-taqwa - There is no difference between the Arab or non-Arab except in piety.”
This means a Muslim or non-Muslim, a Muslim Arab or non-Muslim Arab, A Muslim Arab believer and a Muslim who is not Arab. There is no difference, except through righteousness and sincerity. It means all of us, in the eyes of Allah and eyes of Prophet (s), are equal. Islam gives equality, unity, but the sincerity will change. That one is more sincere, that one is more pious, that one is more generous, that one is the most educated, that one is the most patient, that one has less anger—that is a balance. So Allah looks at sincerity and piety, looks at these different levels of conduct, but in His eyes we are all the same, because we are Ummati Nabi (s), of the Nation of Prophet (s).
So, these four different categories of Guides we are speaking about, they already went through these big struggles and when they speak, they give light to the heart. Like an ignition of the car engine, it is a starter. These murshids are starters for your heart, and they open that spark in your heart. That is what is important, because they know how we are.
Grandshaykh said when he was given the choice to accept irshad, he answered, "No, I don't want it, unless you grant that anyone who sits in my presence (in my suhbah) is raised to my level, because I know they are not going to do anything (they are weak servants!). When they do, when they don't do, Shaytan is after everyone. This life is full of temptations. I do not guarantee that they are going to be doing their awraad or whatever has been asked of them (of religious obligations). I want for those who love me, for that to be enough, just as Prophet (s) said, ‘People will be resurrected with whom they love.’ These people coming to me, they love me, and I want them in my level. I am not asking them to do anything because I know they will do it one day and the next day they won’t."
All these guides are taking from the tap, and this is from Grandshaykh's notes. We will continue the speech about the characteristic of Murshid at Tazkiyyah, the Guide of Purification. He purifies you, purifies your heart, purifies your soul. And as we said before, he has to follow, and do, and learn the knowledge of all four Islamic Schools of Thought. He has to maintain his faith and practices according to teachings of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi`i, and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. He has to know all that and apply that knowledge first to himself, then to people around him.
In order to be a murshid (Guide), he has to have these characteristics. If someone does not have these characteristic, how he is going to be Guide? That's why we say guidance it is not so simple, is not so easy.
Then, he has to have the right permission, as we said previously regarding Murshid at-Tabbarruk. He has to do at least 24,000 dhikrullah and 24,000 salawaat. Murshid at Tazkiyyah, the Guide of Purification, not only he has to do all this, but in addition, on behalf of his mureeds, he has to take the responsibility of putting their tongue on dhikrullah and salawaat as if they have recited 24,000 salawaet and 24,000 dhikr, he will do it on their behalf daily. If he has a thousands mureeds he has to do a thousand times, multiplied by 24,000 dhikrullah, count!!
Allah gives awliyullah like a digital tongue, not an analog tongue. A digital one, very acute, sharp wavelength that can do things quickly. That's what we call in Arabic ta’I (folding).
يَوْمَ نَطْوِي السَّمَاء كَطَيِّ السِّجِلِّ لِلْكُتُبِ كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُّعِيدُهُ وَعْدًا عَلَيْنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ
Yawma natwee as-samaa ka-tayyi as-sijili lil-kutubi kamaa badaana awwala khalqin nu`eeduhu wa`dan AAalayna inna kunna fa`ileen The Day that We roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books (completed),- even as We produced the first creation, so shall We produce a new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfil it. [21:104]
Regarding this folding Allah said, “…the day when it comes when we fold skies and universes.”
Allah said, "I am going to fold it, to close it, like We close a book.” It means this whole space will shrink to (something) sma