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A`udhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ’r-rajee. Bismillahi ’r-rahmani ’r-raheem.

Nawaytu ‘l-arba`een nawaytu ‘l-`itikaaf nawaytu ‘l-khalwah nawaytu‘l-`uzlah,  nawaytul riyaada nawaytu ’s-sulook lillahi ta`ala al-`adheem fee haadha ’l-masjid

We are in the masjid of Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani, may Allah bless him and raise him higher and higher. Amin! And we are continuing the series “Who Is the Guide?”, with the definition and characteristics of Murshid at-Tabarruk.

We mentioned in the previous suhbah that Murshid at-Tabarruk must have the knowledge and understanding about the three shifts that angels will be coming on followers of Murshid at-Tabarruk. There are three times angels visit human beings: the time of imsaak, Dhuhr, and Maghrib. And these three shifts angels are being changed. One of his characteristics is he has to know all these angels that come on his followers and the followers of his other murshids, because he is has above him three levels of murshids: Murshid at-Tazkiyyah, Murshid at-Tasfiyyah, and Murshid at-Tarbiyyah. So, he has to know every angel by name, and what he is praising Allah with, what kind of tasbeeh he is making, and what kind of favors it is written for the followers of that murshid, and what kind of honor Allah is bestowing on those students and those mureeds.

We are coming now to another characteristic. Murshid at-Tabarruk has to have a connection directly; his heart has to be wrapped up and connected with a wire or a pipeline or whatever you want to call it, all the way to his murshid, to his shaykh. The first level of murshid has a shaykh, who is Murshid at-Tazkiyyah, whose shaykh is Murshid at-Tasfiyyah, whose shaykh is Murshid at-Tarbiyyah, the highest level.

These four murshids are connected to each other. So, Murshid at-Tabarruk has to be connected to his shaykh, and from his shaykh to his shaykh, from his shaykh to his shaykh, from that shaykh, the final one, to Prophet (s). That connection must always be there; it means any moment he needs anything, it will come, the answer, if he has a question. The answer comes to his heart without asking the question; only inspiration to bring out a question. The answer will come from Prophet (s) through his shaykh to his heart.

He has to have a power from the other three murshids. They have been constantly supporting him through his travels, through his lectures, through his presentations, through his advices, through his dhikr. They have to keep connecting him, sending to his heart a spiritual chain, so he will be able to disperse this to the mureeds and those who are coming for the first time to listen to him, to enable him to connect them to his shaykh and from his shaykh to Prophet (s). Then he has to continuously make his awraads daily. And how much are his awraads? His daily minimum is 24,000 dhikrullah. We are doing 1500, 2500, 5000 and sometimes 10,000. In khalwah sometimes we can go up to 24000 or 22,000 ,but him, he has to keep 24,000 throughout the whole day. I remember Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, said he never saw Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, he says “Nazim Effendi,” without tasbeeh in his hand. Means he is observing him physically and spiritually. I never saw the tasbeeh dropped from his hand. In the time of the Prophet (s) there were no beads, there were only pebbles. They used to count on pebbles, and why they used to count on pebbles, as we said yesterday, about the stone in your ring? What is the hikma (wisdom) of the stone?  Because the stone is making dhikrullah, so that dhikr will be written to you, as long as you are carrying that stone that gets energy and touches your finger. With that hikma they order us to wear a ring.

In the time of the Prophet (s), the Sahaba counted dhikrullah on pebbles, and there is a hadith of Prophet (s) that the pebbles, once they were in the hands of Prophet (s) and everyone was hearing their tasbeeh. And then Prophet (s) put them in Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq’s d hand and they were hearing tasbeeh. Then they moved them from one Sahabi to another to the four Sahabah, they were hearing tasbeeh. Once it left they left Sayyidina Ali’s hand to the general ashaabu Nabi (s), no one was hearing dhikr. Only to certain people you can hear the tasbeeh. So, Grandshaykh said, “I never saw Shaykh Nazim Effendi dropping the tasbeeh from his hand.” Why, because this is the finger of shahaada. When you are holding tasbeeh, how you are holding it? Is there any other way? So this finger with this finger, and the base is this finger. Put your tasbeeh, check where it is touching, which two fingers are touching more with these others? Shahaada (index) finger and the thumb. They are touching more; this is not touching. This is a sitting on it, and these are moving mostly. Why here (this finger) and not here? Why here? Because our identity is in the thumb, the fingerprint! No two people have the same fingerprints. It means your ID is encrypted in your thumb.

When awliyaullah want to know you, they know through your thumb what is all about you. When they shake your hand or give initiation, you put your hand in their hand and immediately they take all your information from your thumb. Everything is here, encrypted. Awliyaullah can take it out and decode it.  So, your actual Id is the reality of your personality that Allah created in His Presence is encrypted here. Your name, heavenly name, because it is not the same as your name in dunya; heavenly name is a different name. So when you say, “Ya Rabbi this is my ID, and this is my shahaada finger, I am saying ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah, I am with my real ID, You are witnessing that I am bringing shahaada, that’s why they put these two fingers together. That’s why it comes together. You’re moving this and you’re catching this. Both of them. Means wherever you are praising, your witness finger is witnessing, your ID is presenting it in the presence of Allah .

So that is one of the wisdoms of carrying beads. Awliyaullah encourage us to recite on beads, so our recitation is presented through our reality, not our physicality. Because here is your reality (the thumb). Your reality is taking it to be a witness with your witness (shahaadah) finger that you are saying, “Allah is the Creator and Sayyidina Muhammad (s) is His messenger.”

Any dhikr you recite becomes ash-hadu an la ilaha illAllah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah.  You say la ilaha illAllah, meaning ash-hadu an la ilaha illAllah, you are accepting Allah as your Creator and Sayyidina Muhammad as His messenger. You say subhanAllah, it means the same. If you say shukran lillah, astaghfirullah, whatever you say, they are all working together.

When you praise Allah, your praise has a different manifestation at that moment when you are in the Divinely Presence. Many people sit beside the TV, hearing the news or hearing whatever they are hearing, and they are doing dhikrullah.  I don’t want to say don’t do that, because many people are doing it. But it’s not a perfect way. The perfect way is to keep your heart connected with your shaykh, Murshid at-Tarbiyyah, the highest of murshid, because alhamdulillah, with Allah's grace and Prophet's blessings, we are connected to the highest level of irshad, not Murshid at-Tabarruk, Murshid at-Tazkiyyah or Murshid at-Tasfiyyah. We are in al-kahf al- Muhammadi, the Muhammadan Cave. We are connected there. So, it is more advisable to connect your heart with Mawlana Shaykh and you do your awraad. (Shaykh Hisham closes his eyes in a contemplative way, and counts on his tasbeeh beads.)

I remember when my brother Shaykh Adnan and I were young, Grandshaykh   told us to do our awraad between `Asr and Maghrib, Maghrib and Isha' and early morning until ishraaq, from half-an-hour or one-hour before Fajr until ishraaq, and he said “make a seclusion.” He told us to cover ourselves with a bed sheet. When you cover yourself you know you are in limitation; this is your dunya grave. You cannot come out before you finish your awraad. We cover as if secluding, disconnecting ourselves from normal life, within that square or rectangle. You cannot move right or left while you are doing your awraad. So the connection to your shaykh when you are doing your awraad, he will take you to the presence of Prophet (s), and from the presence of Prophet he takes you to the presence of Allah .

Murshid at-Tabarruk, in the first level, must have that power, or he is not yet reaching Maqaam al-Irshaad (the Station of Guidance). That's why I'm saying in the past three sessions, Maqaam al-Irshaad is not easily acquired, that everyone claims to be a murshid of tem twenty, thirty, one-hundred or two-hundred people. Yes, you can be advising people, giving a lecture that can be accepted or not accepted by people, but irshad is connecting your mureeds to the shaykh and to Prophet (s), and you have to carry their burdens, their responsibilities, and the liabilities of these people connecting through you to Mawlana Shaykh. As soon as you give them baya` they are already there immediately with Mawlana Shaykh, may Allah give him long life.

Murshid at-Tabarruk has to do at least 24,000 dhikrullah and he can go up to 700, 000 dhikrullah. He has to do 24,000 salawat on Prophet (s). This will take at least 3-4 hours. That is the basic awraad, to connect, to get his plug, his engine working in order to look after his followers. So Grandshaykh  used to say, “I never saw Shaykh Nazim without the beads in his hands, they were all the time in his hands, and I see his lips moving.” It’s not he had only his beads in his hands but his lips were moving. More than that, when Grandshaykh gave the suhbah in Turkish, and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim was translating it in Arabic. So when Grandshaykh was speaking, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim moved his hands on the beads, moved his lips reciting something, making his awraad. As soon as Grandshaykh stopped, it was as if the dhikr did not interfere with what he understood of the suhbah, and then he was also translating! Then he stops, Grandshaykh speaks, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim begins another time. I saw that, and his lips were moving. And then Grandshaykh talks, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim takes his beads and he's translating.

Whatever he understood did not interfere with what he was doing and then he was translating every single word, not missing one word. He even said “comma” whenever there was one, for example. To that extent, he doesn’t eat too much of the talk. Sometimes translators cannot follow quickly, so they eat many of what is being translated. He never did. The only time he was not holding the tasbeh was when he went to the bathroom to make wudu, then he dropped it. Other than that, his beads were in his hands when he went to bed, when he was sleeping. You can go to his room and see him sleeping with the beads in his hands till today.

So, Murshid at-Tabarruk is not an easy one. He has to do the awraad in order to charge his batteries, his engines. He has to have a spiritual connection so that he will be able to pull, attract his followers, those who are connected to him, and take them up all the way to the other murshids, Murshid at-Tazkiyyah, Murshid at-Tasfiyyah and Murshid at-Tarbiyyah.

Then Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, says that Allah gave Murshid at-Tabarruk signs that you can see in his face, and these are 17 different signs. He says, “I left it and didn’t explain it because if I would have to explain it, I would have to put books on it. I left it. It would take lots of explanation. I didn’t mention it because I was worried about the weak people, because it's such a high level of sainthood that people might deny it, because their hearts are weak and cannot contain the greatness of that murshid of the first level.” 

He said people will come against it and say what are you speaking about? They cannot understand it; its too high above their level. He said, “I was worried they will fall into wartatul inkar, “the circle of denial,” because they're not able to understand it. Their minds cannot comprehend what I'm going to say about these 17 signs. Murshid at-Tarbiyah has no permission to show anyone and explain to anyone these 17 signs.  He said with Shaykh Sharafuddin and Grandshaykh, who were at the highest level of Murshid at- Tarbiyyah, they said there is no permission from the lower level of irshad that a Murshid at-Tabarruk, the first level, is not permitted for him at any moment, to show up these 17 signs and knowledges. He has to keep them in his heart unless he can show some of them when he will be infatam, when that murshid will be weaned, no longer breastfed, when he reaches to put his feet in the level of Maqam al-Tazkiyyah. Only at that time he has the right to explain the 17 signs, otherwise he cannot.

That will be enough for the first level, Maqam al-Tabarruk of irshad. Now we come to Murshid at-Tazkiyyah, the second level of irshaad. Murshid at-Tazkiyyah is one level above Murshid at-Tabarruk. He has accomplished all the levels of Murshid at-Tabarruk and has put his feet on Maqam al-Tazkiyyah. What are the characteristics of Murshid at-Tazkiyyah?

The structure of Murshid at-Tazkiyyah, and this is where we see in too many tariqahs, they have to insist on these issues because they are important. Grandshaykh says, Murshid at-Tazkiyah has to keep the Shari`ah at every moment, according to the Four Schools of Thought. He must know the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i and Hanbali schools of thought.  He has to understand them totally and to give fatwa on them totally in order to be on the level of Maqam al-Tazkiyyah, the level of purification that he attained to bring him to be up front, because of his purity. So he said, he must not leave even one of what Prophet was ordered by Allah of the 500 obligations and 800 forbiddens. He has to keep them all in line, never leaving one of them, and he must not have any kind of bad inspirations, bad gossips in his heart, and his heart must always get inspirations for the goodness of his mureeds, and for the benefit of himself and his mureeds, and Ummat al-Nabi (s).

We leave it here and inshaAllah we'll continue tomorrow on Murshid at-Tazkiyyah.

Wa min Allah at-tawfeeq, bi hurmatil ’l-habeeb bi-hurmati ’l-fatiha.

This will give us an understanding that Maqaam al-Irshaad is not so easy, to say, “I am a murshid.” People have to know that we are sheep and the shaykh is the shepherd. Anyone who has been given authority to do dhikr or bring people to tariqah or to Islam did not reach these levels, because they do not possess the characteristics of these levels. So it is very important to know our limits and not to cross them, or else instead of doing good you begin to do bad, and you begin to reflect your sickness and say “I am a shaykh” to the followers and they might be lost. They will not be responsible on the Day of Judgment in front of Allah you, who considered himself a murshid, will be held responsible on the Day of Judgment in front of Allah !

For example, if you come and say, “I'm giving you this money; distribute it,” it becomes your responsibility now to distribute it and I'm freed from it. It's now your responsibility to do it and if you don’t do it you'll be asked. May Allah forgive us, bless us, keep us with our shuyukh, with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, and give him lon