Grandshaykh `AbdAllah, may Allah bless his soul, once said in his suhbat what are the signs or description of a dervish, like in this meeting we said take out your beads and make tasbeeh. You have to be always ready, prepared, like in the desert or jungle you are always afraid of tigers so you carry a knife as you don't know who will attack. In order not to be attacked by Shaytan, because at anytime he can attack you, you must carry the five signs on you, so when a Wali looks he knows if you are dervish or not.
The first sign is you always have a Holy Qur'an, it not from memorizing then you keep your tongue wet with dhikrullah, as mentioned in the Hadith of the Prophet (s):
عن عبد الله بن بسر رضي الله عنه أن رجلا قال: يا رسول الله إن شرائع الإسلام قد كثرت علي فأخبرني بشيء أتشبث به؟ قال لا يزال لسانك رطبا من ذكر الله" الترمذي.
A man came to the Prophet (s) and said, "O Rasoolullah! The rules of Islam became heavy on me, so give me news of something which I can maintain." Prophet (s) said, "Make your tongue wet with dhikrullah." (Tirmidhi)
“I am overburdened from the rules of Islam.” The Prophet (s) said, “Then keep your tongue wet with dhikrullah.” The first dhikrullah is Holy Qur'an. You must have Holy Qur'an to be considered a dervish. Even if you read it silently or do dhikrullah silently, angels will come as they hear you, and if you recite aloud they hear you and if you recite silently they hear you even more as it has more barakah.
وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعاً وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالآصَالِ وَلاَ تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ
And remember your Lord within yourself in humility and in reverence, without loudness in words, in the mornings and evenings. And do not be among the heedless. (Surat al-`Araf, 7:205)
“Recite that dhikr very silently when you go out in daytime and in your evening,” as Allah does not like someone showing off, “I am reading Holy Qur'an,” or “I am doing dhikrullah,” so keep a low profile.
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
Truly We have revealed the Remembrance, and truly We protect it. (Surat al-Hijr, 15:9)
So the one reciting Holy Qur'an will be hafizh, kept by Allah, protected by the Holy Qur'an. The huffazh will be shining like lamps on the Day of Judgment because they memorized Allah Ancient Words; how much they are barakah among us! So recite Suraat al-Ikhlaas, Qul Huw Allahu Ahad, up to 1,000 times daily as that is one who is carrying the Holy Qur'an. You cannot carry the Holy Qur'an to work and back, but you can recite Qul Huw Allahu Ahad or whatever you have memorized. Now people listen to qasidahs when driving, which is nice, but why not put Holy Qur'an? Then you will memorize while coming and going.
So the first sign of a dervish, a simple person standing at the Door of the Prophet (s) and the Door of Allah (swt), is to have dhikrullah of Laa ilaaha illa 'Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah on your head, especially for Muslims, we are not speaking about non-Muslims. Every Muslim will have dhikrullah written on his head and if he is not keeping it, that Laa ilaaha illa 'Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah will fade, then Awliyaullah say, “What happened to this person? Laa ilaaha illa 'Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah was written, but now it is faded,” which means he neglected his awraad. Dhikrullah is not the same as a lecture that is advice:
Religion is advice.
That does not take you higher like dhikrullah does. If you say, “Laa ilaaha illa 'Llah” once, it takes you to Paradise:
من قال لا اله الا الله دخل الجنة
Whoever says “Laa ilaaha illa 'Llah” enters Paradise.
So dhikrullah is important for those who consider themselves dervish. Don't care for what people say, care for what angels say. If angels see ‘Laa ilaaha illa 'Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah’ written on your forehead, they know you are from adh-dhaakiroon, the remembering ones. That is why dhikrullah is recommended in different Tariqahs; they do jahri dhikr (aloud) as they want others to hear it. Some, like Naqshbandis, do silent dhikr according to the ayah. First you must prepare yourself for dhikrullah. How to be clean? You have to recite Dalaa’il al-Khayraat to prepare for Reality, which is not how much you have of this or that. To make dhikrullah, even people with little wealth, angels make you happier than the wealthy one who doesn’t do dhikrullah! then Allah (swt) sends sickness on the wealthy one and he carries more of a load.
وَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا
Approach houses from their doors. (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:189)
“Come to your destiny through the door,” although the Arabic word ‘buyoot’ has many meanings, here it means, “Come to what you accomplished through the door assigned to you.” Everyone has to accomplish something, so you come to Allah through different doors, you cannot enter the same door as your brother, as Sayyidina Ya`qoob (a) told his sons:
وَقَالَ يَا بَنِيَّ لاَ تَدْخُلُواْ مِن بَابٍ وَاحِدٍ وَادْخُلُواْ مِنْ أَبْوَابٍ مُّتَفَرِّقَةٍ وَمَا أُغْنِي عَنكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ
And he added, “O my sons! Do not enter [the city all] by one gate, but enter by different gates, yet I can be of no avail to you against [anything willed by] God: judgment rests with none but God. In Him have I placed my trust, for all who have trust must place their trust in Him alone.” (Surah Yusuf, 12:67)
“Enter via different doors.” So as not to get jealous, each one of them had to go through the door assigned to him, so they entered through different doors. You also have different doors, depending on how much you are achieving, either more than others or less. If you are achieving more your door is different and another cannot pass through it. Can you hold an electric wire? You will get burned, but you can if you wear wooden shoes or stand something that insulates you (your awraad), then you can even hold high voltage wires. You don't know which salawaat will insulate you and that is why Muhammad al-Talmaysani (q), one of the pious people that read Dalaa’il al-Khayraat 100,000 times and gifted it to the Prophet (s) then slept, he saw the Prophet (s), who told him, “I will give you a salaat equal to reciting Dalaa’il al-Khayraat 800,000 times.” He recited it and did not know what he got, but then the Prophet (s) rewarded him 800,000 times more.
Our door is through the Prophet (s), “Come to homes through their doors.” To go to dhikrullah, you have to open the door through salawaat. For a real dervish you recite salawaat 1,000 to 24,000 times a day. You are busy working and your heart is busy, and you have to do dhikrullah and salawaat with no interruption. A dervish who gave himself to Allah (swt) can simultaneously do his dhikrullah, salawaat and his work because he does not say, “I am dedicating one hour to read Holy Qur'an or salawaat;” rather, he is continuously diving in the ocean of Holy Qur'an and salawaat, so his body is continuously like that, as the Prophet (s) said:
لي ساعة مع الرب وساعة مع الخلق
I have one image, one side (or one hour) with my Lord and one side (or one hour) with the people.
So the dervish who is with Allah will find a lot of time, as his body becomes dhaakir, always remembering! Like the wind keeps a fan running, similarly that dervish will have a wind that makes his heart running in dhikrullah and, therefore, it does not interrupt his work. At that time you begin to do salawaat and according to how strong the salawaat is, you will be assigned a door that is your door on Judgment Day and your door when you go to your grave and your door in dunya! Awliyaullah can detect your door and they assign awraad to mureeds that every Wali has assigned to him by the Prophet (s) through his Wali. Be sure not to jump from one Wali to another, because then no door will open for you; that Wali is one door that takes you to the Prophet (s) and from him (s) to Allah (swt). So what we said? First you have Holy Qur'an with you by memorizing or by the physical book, or by reciting Qul Huw Allahu Ahad, then Dalaa’il al-Khayraat, Salaat al-Ibrahimiyya, or any salawaat, or a popular salawaat that everyone knows.
That will guide you to your door, which opens and when it opens it never closes, like in a video game you go to one level and a door opens, then you go to another stage. As you are approaching the Divine Level of the Prophet (s), when that door opens don't expect it to become easy; no, they want to see how much you are patient, maintaining your awraad in your normal life and keeping waaridaat that comes to your heart and following what you have to follow in order to go higher and higher. It becomes so painful, because it seems you are going to reach the goal and when you come closer to reaching that horizon, then you see another horizon! When Awliyaullah begin to dive in the love of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) they find that difficulty. Sometimes people say, “When we do awraad we feel heavy,” because the more doors they open it becomes stronger; for example, not 100, 240 or 360 volts, but more like the strongest voltage directly from a transformer, then you will be taken like Sayyidina Musa (a) [when he was unable to carry that tajalli and fainted] when he entered the doors of the Prophet (s) leading to the Threshold of the Divine Presence.
وَلَمَّا جَاء مُوسَى لِمِيقَاتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي وَلَـكِنِ انظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
And when Moses came [to Mount Sinai] at the time set by Us, and his Sustainer spoke unto him, he said: "O my Sustainer! Show [Thyself] unto me, so that I might behold Thee!" Said [God]: "Never canst thou see Me. However, behold this mountain: if it remains firm in its place, then - only then - wilt thou see Me. And as soon as his Sustainer revealed His glory to the mountain, He caused it to crumble to dust; and Moses fell down in a swoon. And when he came to himself, he said: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Unto Thee do I turn in repentance; and I shall [always] be the first to believe in Thee!". (Surat al-`Araf, 7:143)
He said, “Oh! I am there now, let me see You.”
Allah (swt) replied, “No, you will not see Me,” because he asked but he was not given that power.
When Allah sent one Tajalli on the mountain, it was crushed. He wanted to make it easy on Sayyidina Musa (a) as Sayyidina Ya`qub (a) wanted to make it easy for his sons and he instructed them, “Enter by different doors.”
The voltage will become too much if you go through the same door. If one is getting 120 volts and the other 120 then it is 240 and if another 360: so it accumulates. Like what happened to Sayyidina Musa (a), Allah sent a little bit and it crushed the whole mountain. So when we do dhikrullah sometimes it comes heavy on the chest. When that happens make salawaat, that is a cleaning process. Salawaat on the Prophet (s) is very recommended, because Asmaullah al-Husna carries a lot of majestic power that sometimes people cannot carry. That is why in Mecca salaat is equal to 100,000 times, but in Madinat al-Munawwarah it is equal to 24,000 times, it is reduced. So two signs you have to carry are the Holy Qur'an and Dalaa’il al-Khayraat. The third I forgot to mention is the miswak (toothstick from the Arak/Neem tree) to come pure to prayer and worship, as the Prophet (s) said:
لولا أن أشق على أمتي لأمرتهم بالسواك عند كل صلاة
Had I not thought it difficult for my Ummah, I would have commanded them to use the miswak (tooth-stick) before every salaat.
(Abu Hurayrah; Bukhari and Muslim)
Using miswak before prayer increases its value 27 times. Also, use it before you begin dhikrullah as, like the prayer, you are carrying the physical Holy Qur'an and the physical Dalaa’il al-Khayraat and you must have a physical means to repel Shaytan. Grandshaykh (q) relates that one time the unbelievers attacked and the Prophet (s) ordered the Companions (r) to take out their miswak, sit on th ground, raise one knee amd lean on it, then recite Allahumma tahhir qalbee min ash-shirki wan-nifaaq, “O Allah! Purify my heart of shirk and nifaaq,” which purifies hidden shirk, because gossip is always coming to our hearts as we are always downloading bad information into our “chip" so purify it by using miswak. Then you also need to carry with you a prayer rug in order that you are ready for your prayers. So what five things do you need to carry with you at all times? Holy Qur'an, Dalaa’il al-Khayraat, miswak, prayer rug, wudu (ablution). These are the signs of the mu’min. It is said, Al-wudu silaah al-mu’min, the ablution is the weapon of the Believer.
May Allah make our every breath in and out to be in dhikrullah with wudu and with salawaat on the Prophet (s). This is very important to know if we want to say, “I am dervish.” Don't think sitting in a corner doing dhikrullah makes you a dervish! No, to be dervish is to recite Holy Qur'an and Dalaa’il al-Khayraat while you are working, like people listen to music with earphones, so why not listen to Holy Qur'an? Awliyaullah recommend to listen to Holy Qur'an whenever you can and slowly, slowly your body will react to it by itself and you hear your heart saying, “Allah, Allah, Huwa, Huwa.” Then, when you put your tongue on the ceiling of your mouth your heart will move; as soon as you hold the beads to make dhikrullah your Shahaadah finger will move! The importance is not the beads, what Wahhabis attack, the importance is to move the Shahaadah finger. At first it will interrupt your work, but slowly, slowly it won’t; it will take you to the River of Paradise then out to the ocean, where the fish are living and they don't drown. Subhaan-Allah.
May Allah forgive us and accept from us.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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