University of Indonesia
Introduction by M.C.:
Ladies and gentlemen, especially Mawlana Shaykh Hisham, if we examine the characteristics of individuals with good mental health, we will find that they are emotionally strong, they have a good family situation, they have open communication with others, and they see the world clearly. On the other hand, individuals with poor mental health try to overwhelm others, are emotionally fragile and vulnerable, blame others for their actions, and have poor relationships. Meanwhile there are people who are somewhere in between; they pretty much know where they are in life, their every move is calculated, thus, their life is pretty much stable. But instability spoils their day; they fear life might get worse, they hold fast to ideological frameworks, prefer well-defined roles in life, such as, gender and social roles. The problem is that these roles don’t represent real identity and that leads to further dissatisfaction.
It goes without saying that individuals with good mental health are happier which is what all of us want. But it cannot always go as we want, there are plenty of stories of people with wealth and stability but their lives seem to implode without any clear cause. And they don’t teach us to be happy in the university. It is a wonderful situation we live in, but our students need to find a way to attain a sense of meaning and satisfaction in their lives. Many people fail to learn through the process of living. It makes sense then, that we should listen to someone who is good and an expert in that area. We may expect them to help us improve our mental health and become more healthy individuals. It seems like those who are listening to our guest speaker, that they are providing something in this regard. Of course, I will not do your thinking for you, you can judge for yourself. You as members of the audience represent the most intellectually gifted members of the community. By being here, you show at least passing interest in cultivating a rich inner life and you think that the speaker today might have something that will shed light on that.
You are not alone, you are part of the sophisticated middle class, and you are part of the growing class of people being marketed to with lies and deception. It is shifting, jet-setting, undermining our regimes, and with politicians and soccer players exploding in our press, roadside bombs, and answers to spiritual questions in the latest books. Today you find Islam taught in universities, or you can join the personal study groups setup by personal lecturers, or join formal clubs setup by institutions, or go on pilgrimage tours setup by Sufi preachers. And it is no wonder such teachers are very much like celebrities.
Religion has always been an important part of Indonesian society and we know that there are a lot of people today who know what they are doing in their church, or in their spiritual life; these are well-adapted mentally well people, well adjusted in their lives and society, they are well adapted to adopt the ideas of our speaker. The number of those holding extremist views is very small. They exhibit features of the mentally poor and they seem to represent the states in anarchy, not their co-religionists. Their leaders are control freaks. Thankfully, the message of Shaykh Hisham Kabbani and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim will be delivered. I am sure what will be before you is like a delicious ripe fruit on the tree, and I am certainly looking forward to what he has to say this afternoon. O Ladies and Gentlemen! Enjoy what he has to say. May I introduce Shaykh Hisham Kabbani; the floor is yours.
Next, I would like to invite Dr. Yon Ambudi who will introduce the speech today and moderate the speech. The floor is yours, Dr. Ambudi.
Today we are very honored to have our special guest, Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani. He is one of the prominent leaders and as you know he represents the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Order and supervises over two million students around the world, especially in U.S., Europe, and South East Asia, including Indonesia. We are very honored to have him deliver his speech in the University of Indonesia.
As you know, Indonesia is influenced by Sufi teaching. All our values have been conveyed to us in the past, and here Islam came to Indonesia from the tasawwuf theory, from the wandering Sufi preachers that came to Indonesia to preach due to their love of Islam. Alhamdulillah, with their work we have experienced Islam up to now and alhamdulillah Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani has done a lot of work in Indonesia with his disciples here, leaving America to give his time to come here. We thank him for giving us a spiritual lecture.
Also, as we have the Modern Age we also have spiritualism alongside it. Because of the work of the wonderful Sufi's on this Earth, we see the spread of Islam around the world is welcomed by the general society, both western and non-western, because of the teachings of love, tolerance, and hope for human beings. I do not wish to speak a lot; inshaa-Allah our Shaykh Hisham Kabbani will give us his spiritual lecture. We hope to benefit plenty and to learn from him. The time is yours, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, please go ahead.
Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani:
As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi ta`ala wa barakaatuh.
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem, alhamdulillah rabbil-`alameen wa ’s-salaat wa ’s-salaam `ala ashraf al-anbiyaa wa ’l-mursaleen wa `ala aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallam.
It is my honor, rector and vice rector, and the CEO, as this is a company. I would like to thank you all for inviting me to give a lecture in this beautiful university and this beautiful hall as it inspires to give the best to humanity.
First of all, I would like to say that I am not that one who claims anything, except to be a good servant to Allah (swt) and to his Prophet (s), and to you all. Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur'an:
وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ
wa fawqa kulli dhi `ilmin `aleem.
And above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Yusuf, 12:76)
“Above every Gnostic there is a better Gnostic,” and above every president there is a better one. So there is always someone higher, even for the head of a country, as there is always someone who is higher, those hidden men and women who are able to receive inspirations and guide the nation. We see this in history. Many ladies taught the Sahaabah (r), many women and men throughout our history were saints. Allah opened their eyes in order to give better and more teachings to their followers.
We are here to speak of spirituality in modern civilization and without offending anyone, I would like to ask, is this modern civilization? I was invited to give a speech in England at the University of Prince Charles, to speak on modernity, about what is a modern life and civilization, and I asked the question, “Is modernity only in the 21st century or was there any modernity in the 20th century, the 18th century, the 6th century, or in the time before Sayyidina `Isa (a), or before the Christian Era calendar was established? Was there modernity in the Stone Age? How do we define modernity?
I said, in every time and in every moment of life there is modernity for people living then. For then, life as it moves forward is modernity as their capacity for knowledge increases. It is “modernity” for any individual in any time, as you are always improving in knowledge. When a Stone Age man had a hammer or spear and his neighbor had none, that was modernity for him as he could hunt any animal and get it easier than his neighbor. So that means modernity is not owned by a particular century or time.
However, Allah (swt) wants this time to be “modern,” what in Allah's Eyes is the lifetime of this time. It might be that in the next hundred years, people will be living a completely different kind of life than people of this time. It is possible that all this technology we have around the world today might be replaced by a completely different one. So the term “modern civilization” only applies to the civilization of that time.
The time of the Prophet (s) was the best of all civilizations. Islam and religion came to improve the life of human beings. Look at the “modernity” of the time of Sayyidina Y`aqoob (a). When he lost his two sons and was crying until he became blind, what did Sayyidina Yusuf (a) do? He sent his shirt to his father and said, “Throw it over my father's face.” That was the modernity of their time. And even before they arrived with the shirt, Sayyidina Y`aqoob (a) said, “I smell the scent of Yusuf.” Is that not modernity? He was able to smell from far away what we cannot smell today. Sayyidina Y`aqoob in 4th century B.C. was able to do that and we are not able to do today.
So then whose modernity is better, theirs or ours? As soon as they put the shirt of Yusuf (a) over his father’s eyes, his sight returned. Recently some scientists in Egypt wanted to understand how that happened, not to just accept that it was a miracle, but to actually know what happened with the shirt. Was there something special there? Of course there was - the sweat of Sayyidina Yusuf (a) was there! So they took a hundred people and made them sweat profusely and then analyzed it. They found that it consisted of 52 elements, one of which is very good for curing the blind. Then they took that element and began to test on people who could not see well, not those who were completely blind, but those who became blind from sand or other things. They put that sweat over their eyes and began to test. They discovered one mineral in sweat that restores people’s vision. Now one western country bought that discovery and began to produce this on a larger scale. So do we say modernity existed in that time, or not?
In the time of the Prophet (s), people were healed through prophetic medicine. Was that modernity, or not? Still today people treat their patients with prophetic medicine and they are cured. Is it modernity, or not? People are fed up with normal medicine and are now using alternative medicines. Why? Because that is something they don’t know anything about, that is new and modern. For them, someone with a horse was better than someone with a donkey. For us, having a car is better than having a bike. So in spirituality, modernity is not limited to just modern civilizations, but is applied to all civilizations. Spirituality is part of our lives and it will always be there. We cannot speak of spirituality if we don’t recognize it is within us. As the body needs food, so does the soul.
We believe in religion and Allah (swt) said:
فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا
fa alhamaha fujooraha wa taqwaahaa.
Allah inspired the self with what is good and what is not good. (ash-Shams, 91:8)
Spirituality is a struggle and we are in a struggle, an inner fight between what is good and what is bad. The definition of spirituality is to be good and mentally healthy as the rector mentioned. To be mentally healthy, you have to understand that everything consists of two elements. For example, Islam consists of two elements that make the major one. The Islamic religion is made of three categories. The five pillars plus imaan make up the Islamic religion. Islam plus imaan equals ihsaan, the State of Perfection. You cannot be a perfect person if you are not combining Islam with imaan to give build a perfect person who has perfect character. If something goes wrong in your five pillars, you are not going to get the product of ihsaan; it will be on the minus side.
Some may say they cannot understand that, so here is another example. The five pillars of Islam need your daily physical exercise. People jog because they want to increase the length of their life, although Allah (swt) said, “(No one shall live) one second longer nor one second less.” You see them running like crazy to increase their life, not here in Indonesia but in the West. The five pillars of Islam are all physical: shahaadah is physical, to move your finger and your tongue; salaat is physical, to pray; zakaat is physical, running all day to make money and then at the end you pay; Ramadan is physical, to fast, pray, rad Holy Qur’an; Hajj is physical, to observe the rites of pilgrimage. But imaan is not physical, it is in the heart.
Amantu billah wa malaa’ikatihi wa kutubihi wa rusulihi wa ‘l-yawmi ’l-aakhiri wa bi ’l-qadar khayrihi wa sharrihi min Allahi Ta`ala.
I declare my belief in God, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Judgment, and in Destiny, both its good and evil being from God, Exhalted is He!
You believe in something, in Allah, His angels, His holy books, etc. That is belief: mass (physical) plus spiritual (dimension) equals ihsaan. In its atoms, mass has electrons and protons that, when combined, equals energy. From the mass, that equals the combination of something spiritual, which is the energy of electrons running at 300,000 kps. That energy and mass are the combination. If that is good, then you are good; if not perfect, and then you are affected and imperfect. That is why the Prophet (s) always said, you have to strengthen your capability to understand what is good and what is bad, as Allah (swt) said, “He inspired the good and the bad to the self.”
For example, if someone does not tell the truth, they know they lied. We all lie and then give an excuse that this is a “white lie,” but in reality we are lying. So that is something we have to be careful about to understand ourselves. The most important thing is to look within your self, not to look far away. Psychology is teaching you to look in your self to fix your self. If we want to speak from religion along with the other side, Prophet (s) said:
تفكر ساعة خير من عبادة سبعين سنة
tafakarru sa`atan khayrun min `ibaadati saba`een sannah.
To remember (contemplate or meditate) Allah (swt) for one hour is better than seventy years of worship.
When a lecturer addresses the people, you think they are sleeping but actually they are thinking well. That is what we need to do: know that Allah (swt) is watching us. When we think like that, then we have to ask, “Is there something we did wrong today?”
Spirituality is to audit ourselves, as the professor audits the student to check his answers on the test, we need to have a check-box to mark, are we good or not. When my teacher sent me into seclusion, he said to count my mistakes, the bad characters in me.
So I asked him, “What to count, ten or fifteen bad characters? Did you count them in your seclusions?” My shaykh made many seclusions: for one year, for six months, and many different ones of forty days.
He said, “You have to count, like the psychologist tells the patient; speak of them.”
I saw many psychologists and psychiatrists come to my shaykh and say, “I am depressed.” A psychologist is depressed? How can he fix people when he is depressed himself?
So I asked my teacher, “How many can I count?”
He told me, “When I entered seclusion I was able to count 186 main bad characters.”
There are 800 bad characters all together and we are under the power of these bad characters. Correct me if I am wrong, Mr. Rector, but when you see big trees here in this country, you have to know that the root must be as big as the tree is above-ground. We inherit the worst characteristics from the environment we live in, which have positive or negative energy. For example, the mosque has positive energy. When you step out, there is negative energy outside. Also, the mother of every problem is anger, al-ghadab. Show me one student who doesn't have anger: towards the teacher for their grades, towards their parents, their siblings, or towards society. All of society is built on anger. We inherited that from the first children of Sayyidina Adam (a), Habeel and Qabeel (Abel and Cain). When he was angry with his brother, Qabeel killed him.
The Prophet (s) said:
الغضب كفر يا ابا بكر
Al-ghadabu kufr yaa aba bakr.
Anger is unbelief, O Abu Bakr!
People are fighting and killing each other, just as the Prophet (s) predicted long ago, “The one killing doesn’t know why he killed, and the one killed does not know why he was killed.”
There is no one who wishes to give up the “chair.” That is the difference between democracy and a one-party system. When Sayyidina `Umar (r) was voted caliph, he returned home crying, and he had the best character! He said, “I am responsible over even one person who is hungry.” Do we think like that today? So then our first responsibility is to address the bad characters that are rooted in anger. Why do we get angry? Because we love this dunya, we love the “chair.” And Allah (swt) said:
أن الدنيا تزن عند الله جناح بعوضة
Inna ad-dunya laa tazzin `indallahi janaah ba`ooda
“This world does not weigh the wing of mosquito to Allah.”
We are all in love with the wing of a mosquito! You go around the country, all of them love dunya. Do you see anyone with love towards akhirah?
So Allah (swt) said to ask:
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً
Rabbanaa aatina fi ‘d-dunya hasanatan wa fi ‘l-akhirati hasanatan
O Allah! Give us the good of this life and give us good of the next life. (al-Baqara, 2:201)
Some people accuse Sufis of leaving dunya. We must have a balance. They say, “They sit in the mosque and say ‘Allah, Allah’ and do nothing.” So love of dunya, as Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “is the head of all disasters.” To help the community and establish education is good, but to go after pockets and wealth is not. That is what leaders today are doing.
Then after these two bad characters is hiqd, “malice.” To be haaqid is to come against people as they have something you don’t have. Even if you have a new Mercedes and your neighbor has a Rolls Royce, he is looking at your Mercedes and not at his own Rolls Royce. That is out of malice. The Prophet (s) said, “Don’t have malice for one another.” Do we have hiqd for one another? Yes. These are the bad characters that spirituality is trying to improve. When people begin to audit themselves, slowly they will see improvement. It is said, “Whoever looks at his brother with love will have no malice in his heart.”
The fourth bad character is hasad, envy. They hated the Prophet (s) and envied him. If they hated the Messenger of Allah, what about us? Of course we will face jealousy and hatred. So what to do? Remain patient.
There was one person who the Prophet (s) pointed out, saying, “He will go to Paradise.” Sayyidina `Umar (r) went to find out about him. And that one said, “I don’t sleep without forgiving everyone, even if they harmed me.” That is a very high level of character. Allah (swt) mentioned tasawwuf, “purification of the heart” in Holy Qur'an. And the next is nazhar, an evil eye, which will affect everyone. Show yourself in a low profile, then the evil eye will not affect you.
لا تحاسدوا ولا تناشجوا ولا تباغضوا ولا تدابروا ولا يبع بعضكم علي بيع بعض وكونوا عباد الله إخوانا
Laa tahaasadoo wa laa tanaashajoo wa laa tabaaghadoo wa laa tadaabaroo wa laa bay`un ba`dakum `alaa bay`u b`adin wa koonoo `ibaadullahi ikhwaana.
The Prophet (s) said: Don’t have jealousy towards each other, nor hate each other, nor spy on one another, don’t find the mistakes of others, don’t argue, (nor should any of you sell against the sale of someone else), and be together as brothers and sisters.
How many (bad characteristics) are there in that one hadith: hasad, tabaaghad, tanaashaj and taghtab...
What is there to speak of spirituality in modern civilization; it is getting worse and worse. If we don’t fix our spirituality we are going to get worse. Spirituality is like 1450 years old, when the Prophet (s) mentioned purification of the soul, it was like a body moving without a name. People today speak of tasawwuf, but dislike that word. Therefore, we changed the title of the lecture to “spirituality.” Now the name exists, but the essence of spirituality doesn’t exist. In that time it did, but without a name. Today I received an e-mail that the head shaykh of al-Azhar University in Cairo expressed his wishes to remove the misunderstanding that tasawwuf is not part of Islam; that will happen very soon inshaa-Allah.
The next characteristic is `ujb, vanity and arrogance, to think you are something. Kibr is only for Allah and greatness.
قال الله تعالى في حديث قدسي:“ الكبر ردائي, و العظمة ازاري, فمن نازعني في واحد منهما, رميته في جهنم و لا ابالي
qaala allahu ta`ala: al-kibaru ridaa’ee wa’l-`azhamatu izaaree. faman naza`anee fee waahid minhuma ramaytuhu fee jahannam wa laa ubaalee.
Pride is My upper garment and Greatness is my lower wrap. And whoever competes with me in My Greatness and in My Arrogance, I will throw him in Hellfire and I don’t care. (Hadith Qudsee)
That is to show how unacceptable the characteristics of vanity and pride are. “And pride is My cloak and greatness is My dress... whoever competes with Me in these two, I will throw in Hell.” Today people are competing in these.
Allah (swt) said, “Evil indeed is the abode of every arrogant one, mutakabbir.” That one is going to be worst.
Then the next bad character is ostentation.
الَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَاؤُون وَيَمْنَعُونَ الْمَاعُونَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ
alladheena hum `an salaatihim saahoon, alladheena hum yuraa’oona wa yamna`oona ’l-maa`oon.
Woe then, unto those praying ones, whose hearts from their prayer are remote, those who want only to be seen and praised and, withal, deny all assistance [to their fellow-men]! (Surah Ma`un, 107:4-5)
Those who are heedless of their prayers, who want to be seen by men but refuse even their neighbor’s needs. They do something in order for people to see them and they won’t do something good in private. If a poor person comes, he gives him ten rupiah in his hand but tells people, “I gave him a hundred rupiah.” When you pass by the road the muraa’ee, show-off, will tell you, “That one is very bad,” but when passing him he says, “You are the best.” That is ostentation.
And the next bad character is very important for students. that is depression, gham, it makes one lose their mind. That can overpower people. That is the last one in my notes.
One great scholar in Islamic history, Imam al-Qushayri (r), said 477 bad characteristics are the grave ones, considered al-kabaair (the greater ones). He mentioned that if a person can remove the sixteen previously mentioned bad characteristics, then it is easy to remove the 800 forbidden. We intend to discuss these traits in another book. Thus, take account of oneself by muhaasabah. Also, the first of good characters is istiqamah, which is first, to stand up for the truth. If there is truth to be said, say it even against yourself as your ego must be faced. To say you are wrong, not the teacher, the student says, “O my teacher is wrong; he is against me,” but in reality, he sees hundreds of students succeed from that teacher.
The Prophet (s) said, “The best of jihad is to speak a just word in front of a tyrannical ruler.” Jihad has fourteen parts and only one involves fighting. Also, prayer is part of jihad. You must look at yourself inwardly and not just look outward; see the enemies within yourself.
The next good character after istiqaamah is auditing, muhaasaba, to turn humbly to your Lord, to contemplate deeply, tafakkur. I heard that many times in Indonesia, “Pray for us to reach tafakkur.” And then tadhdhakkur, to go deep into your subconscious, think on it very well, and you will be able to download what is in your mind. So in the day you upload and in the evening you download and write it. Then al-i`tisam, “holding fast,” then firroo ila-Allah, “run to Allah,” then tadbeer, “to train your self in good things,” then al-istima` “listening.”
I will end with Sayyidina `Ali's (r) advice, “If you want to save yourself these are the four principles:
1) as-samt, “don’t talk,” keep quiet. Let everyone speak;
2) as-sima`a “to listen.” listen to what they are saying;
3) Then an-nazhar, “to look,” observe well, like in a chess match, to see what others are doing;
4) al-haraka, “to move;” after not speaking, listening, observing, then you act.
If you follow these four elements, that will raise your spirituality.”
If you are involved in something that needs a decision, wait and pray istikhaara. Keep taking istikhaara; be patient then you will succeed.
As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wabarakatuh!
Ending note by MC:
We have lot of bad characters, Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani mentioned five of them. But what he first mentioned is anger. Students show anger to the lecturer, alhamdulillah the lecturer keeps patient. In University of Indonesia, the students are happy with their lecturer. And then there is arrogance and then depression for the youth. Also, we have to evaluate our selves, auditing it, we must recognize our numerous bad characters and then learn how to cure them. First step is to recognize the bad characters and then learn how to revive our ihsaan, spirituality. To live in perfection whether in modern times or not, every human beings has their own life and time. And I think the audience got a clear message from our Shaykh. And so it is clear that spirituality requires lots of practice and training. We will now give to the audience a chance to ask questions, but only two persons.
Q: Thank you very much my name is Ahmad Donback. We all know that we have one of the bad characters that you mentioned, but the biggest mistake is not knowing them and then staying away from them. Is it possible, according to you, to stay away from them? Can you give deep meaning of these words? It is easy to say but not easy to do. Thank you very much.
Shaykh Hisham: Yes, for the general population it is correct, you might not know what are these bad characters that are there within us. But Allah (swt) has ordered everyone then to study what the Prophet (s) has come up with. So if we are speaking to religious people, they must know. And if we are speaking to university students they cannot say, “we don’t know.” Now, it is very difficult to reach out to the people who are left out. So in certain countries they have community centers in every village where people come and play some kind of sports and they give them some kind of education, so how can you know?
You said you know one of your bad characters, but you don’t know the rest. We just mentioned fifteen or sixteen but if you are not under a teacher, it is very difficult to know. But this life is like that. Our job is to teach those who don’t go to school or those who don’t know themselves. That is why it is said the best jihad, the best struggle, and for you who are young ones, is to educate your self. That is the best jihad, to say the truth in front of your “self.” That is the best thing! I will give you the simplest way to balance what is good and what is not. If your mind will balance something as good, it is good, and if bad, then it is bad, and you don’t ask the heart. The heart is deeper.
For example, your name is Mahmud, we say “Mahmud is spoiled.” Is it good to have a bottle of water near me and not near the speaker? No, you must have another bottle of water for the speaker. So the mind will give you an answer. Ask the mind, “Is it good to go to disco tonight?” The mind will say, “Oh you are Muslim, how can you go to the disco?” But you are thinking, “There are too many Muslim friends there.” So it is a struggle, you struggle between the mind and the ego. Some people won’t find the disco wrong and they will go. Another example, a movie theater, “Can I go to the movie theater with my girlfriend?” Then you will begin to think, “Oh, every student here has a girlfriend.” Yes? He said “yes.” Are you married? Then tell his wife! (laughter) You can always justify things by thinking rationally. So ask yourself, if you want to know. If you don’t want to know, that is how I answer the question, a quick answer. As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.
Now you have to say to yourself, “Do I have to lower my neck to speak in the microphone, or do I have to raise it up?” If you keep it low, that is humbleness.
Q: Now we all know spirituality is part of our life, as human beings we all have nafs. Imagine if the heart was controlled by nafs, I want to ask how to reduce nafs to make our life better? Thank you.
Shaykh Hisham: When you become 65 years of age, you will have reduced your desires. (laughter) That is the struggle. Sayyidina Y`aqoob (a) was unable to reduce the desire to love his son and Allah wanted Sayyidina Y`aqoob to love Him alone, not anyone else. It was a struggle for Sayyidina Y`aqoob, so he lost his son. So to come against your desires is a most difficult struggle in your life as daily your nafs asks for something new.
For example, there was student of a Naqshbandi shaykh in one of the countries in the Middle East who sent his student for Hajj. The student went and when he came back he told his shaykh, “There is a guru in India who has miraculous healing powers and can predict the future. We have been with you for 32 years and yet we can’t cure anyone.” That is arrogance, he wants to be something. You want to be something it is good, but don’t make it an issue, “Oh, I spent my life with you O my teacher and I could not cure people.”
So his teacher said, “I will give you your answer after a while.”
The teacher went to that place and the Indian guru was waiting for him at the door, although the shaykh hadn’t previously informed him of his visit. The guru said, “O my friend,” as he opened the door, “I got a Muslim lady to prepare food for you as you don’t eat our food.” They were sitting opposite to each other and looking at each other's hearts.
Then the shaykh said, “Say, ‘ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhamamdan Rasoolullah!’”
The guru waited for half an hour with his head down. Then he raised his head and said, “ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhamamdan Rasoolullah.”
The shaykh asked him, “Why did you take so long to say the shahaadah?”
The guru answered, “O my shaykh! I was trained and I trained my students, that anything they want to do, they must ask the ego. Do the opposite of whatever the ego says. So I asked my ego and it said, ‘No, never do shahaadah!’ Only after I struggled, I was able to overcome it.”
Thank you very much.
As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.