Destoor ya Sayyidi madad
A’uzubillah himinsh shaitan nirrajeem
Bismillahir Rahman-nir Raheem
Assalamu’alaikum wrh wbkt
The Bond of Divine Love
For the past two weeks, Maulana has been asking us to speak about being merciful amongst ourselves and to be merciful to others. We were advised to become butterflies in the last Suhbah, and we continue on the same theme, InsyaAllah.
When we do our Khatam, we speak about Rabitatuh Shareefah. What is Rabitah? You see this rosary (tasbeeh, counting beads) here? That is Rabitah, a relationship forged between those with a common goal, a common destination. What were we before this (before we became a united group), we were all individual beads, separated, each doing our own thing. When Maulana gathered us in one gathering (majlis) where we all learning to love one another, where we are all learning to practice goodness and to overlook each other’s faults, we are actually being formed into a rosary (tasbeeh), individual beads joined by a strong string. This is what is called Rabitah, it is a bond that joins individuals together – different people putting aside their egos, to be bonded by a common love. As you can see, we are all very different individual beads, and if these beads are scattered on the floor (without being joined into a rosary), these beads are of no use to anybody. But once they are joined together into a single chain, it is of benefit, it forms a rosary that can be used for remembrance and worship.
And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah, and do not separate. And remember Allah’s favour unto you: how ye were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts so that ye became as brothers by His grace; and (how) ye were upon the brink of an abyss of fire, and He did save you from it. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations unto you, that haply ye may be guided. (Quran 3:103)
This is what you call Rabitah – it is the rope that joins hearts together, like the string inside this rosary (tasbeeh). That rope is the Divine Love that Allah has put into the hearts of true seekers whose hearts are gathered with the heart of a Saint who is guiding us to please the Almighty.
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Ali Imran, “Hold fast to the rope of Allah,” that rope is symbolised by this string that is tying all these rosary counting beads together and that is what is holding this rosary (tasbeeh) together.
It is said by our Holy Prophet (saw) in a hadith, that the believers are like one body, and if one part of the body aches, the whole body will feel it. Similarly in this rosary (tasbeeh) if you have two beads that don’t get along with each other, and they fight, there will be a break in that rope, a breaking of the bond, so what happens to the whole rosary? The rosary falls apart and everybody will not be part of this blessed gathering (majlis) anymore. That is what is meant by those who create fitnah, these are people who seek to break the bonds that bind the believers together, and Allah Almighty’s Wrath comes down upon such people, because they are breaking something very special, unique and beautiful – the fellowship of the righteous.
All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah ― of the Prophets (who teach) the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): ah! What a beautiful fellowship! (Quran 4:69)
A fellowship of the highest adab
This bond that we are trying to build is very difficult to achieve – it can only be achieved if we are practising what Maulana is sending to us every week – to overlook each other’s faults, to look for the goodness in people, to be merciful amongst ourselves and to always hold other people in high esteem by according them their due respect. This is something very difficult to do, as we have been doing the opposite for decades now, and it will take many years of practice to perfect it. We are starting this Ramadan to learn to respect one another so that we can remain like this…joined together by mutual love and tolerance.
That is very difficult to maintain, but it is very important that we strive in that direction, because once we are divided, then we are not part of a Rabitah anymore, you will no longer feel the oneness, connection and pleasure in your Zikirullah that you are experiencing now. Allah is giving you pleasure as you are trying to lessen each other’s burdens, you are honouring and respecting each other and you are praying for each other, Alhamdulillah!
Story of a man who showed respect to Allah’s Name
Let me share a story that I heard when I was a young boy, for in the tales of such wise ones of the past, lies lessons that we can draw from and progress spiritually.
There was this man who was always drunk, he drank every night and cared little about his religion. One night, as usual, he was very drunk, and as he was stumbling home in a drunkor stupor, he saw a tiny piece of paper on the ground. It was a torn sheet from the Holy Qur’an, a torn corner of a page of the Holy Book with the words Bismillahir Rahman nir Rahim on it. Although he was drunk, he picked it up and said to himself, “This is a sacred piece of paper with Allah’s Holy Names, I can’t leave it lying on the ground, that is so disrespectful, I must find a place to put this.”
But because he was drunk, he could not find any place that was suitable, so he swallowed that small shred of paper, as a respect to the Qur’an, as a respect to the Holy Names of Allah. He didn’t want to leave it on the floor, he honoured the Name of Allah, and it was said that he was then raised by Allah Almighty as a Saint, he was cleansed of his sins, forgiven by Allah and given a very high Maqam by the Merciful One.
Now Maulana had explained in earlier Suhbahs, the fact that every human being is given a Unique Name of Allah, a special name from the infinite Asma’ Allah. Each human being, is bestowed one of the infinite Names of Allah, and that Divine Gift is unique for each of the Children of Adam.
We know of the ninety-nine Holy Names of Allah, but Allah has Infinite Names, and He gives every one of us one of His special Names. Someone dressed in the Divine Name of Al-Qahhar, will be Abdul Qahhar, and one dressed by the Divine Name of Ar-Rahman, will be Abdur Rahman, so every one of us has a unique Divine Name of Allah, dressed upon us. That is why each of the Children of Adam is unique, each one of us is so special, as Allah doesn’t repeat any of the Names, no two people are the same, no two people share the same Divine Name of Allah. Allahu Akbar!
Maulana is always saying during Suhbahs, that we are all drunk people – drunk with dunya. So the story about that drunk man who saw a piece of paper with Allah’s Holy Names and he respected it, is a good lesson for us. That drunk man did not do any good deeds, he was always drinking, he didn’t do any prayers or zikir or charity, all he had was that one good deed, where he showed respect to the Holy Names of Allah, and Allah showered His Guidance and Mercy upon him. Similarly, we too are drunk people who have done very few good deeds, and what little good that we do, even that we lose when we backbite and complain. So we are very very weak ones, doing so little good, and losing even that little by our evil and by our pride and insincerity. But there is one good deed here that we all can practice, we can do what that drunk man did, for in the eyes of Allah, that is a very noble and honourable good deed (amal).
If we can show respect to another human being, and honour him, we are doing what that drunk man did, because every Child of Adam is like that piece of paper with one of Allah’s Holy Names on it. Every one of the Children of Adam around you has a Holy Name of Allah dressed upon him, and if we can hold him in high esteem, if we can respect him, if we can look after his feelings, we are doing what that drunk man was doing – holding the carrier of the Name of Allah in high esteem. And we are hoping to be enveloped in His Mercy and Kindness, just as that drunk man was too.
Think good of your brother, and respect him
So we must practice that, we must look at every person with the eyes of Faith, and we must understand that he is a carrier of a special Name of Allah. Give him respect, think good of him, speak well of him, pray for him and be good to him. Because there are so many good tidings hidden within that simple good deed (amal), thats why our beloved Prophet (saw) said, “The highest amal is good behaviour (akhlak), it is as if you are fasting through the day and praying through the night.”
So every single action that you do to honour another human being, even if it’s very small, is rewarded. Even a smile. When you look at your a fellow believer and you have love for him in your heart, that is already a very high amal, as compared to someone who is praying all day, but is always looking at others with disdain, condemnation, hatred and evil thoughts. What is the point of doing so much sunnat worship, but you are constantly critisizing people and you have little respect for your fellow seekers? It is far better to be one who is only performing all that is obligatory, but whose heart is clean and loving towards his fellow seekers and he is a good companion and supporter to them.
Tariqah trains you to be tame, not wild ones
That is why we must be in Tariqah, to be trained to be good ones, to be trained to restrain our egos and our anger, to be trained to tame our tongues and our hearts. It is so easy to lose our tempers, to throw false accusations, to hurt our fellow seekers maliciously or to think ill of them – such actions require no training and no struggle at all to achieve! It is sobering that many people who claim to be in Tariqah today, even those who boast of having rubbed shoulders with learned ones for many years, are exhibiting such vile animal characteristics, having undergone no training of their lower base desires.
Tariqah is a journey, a migration from poor akhlaq to perfection. It is not a Club or a Political Society, it is not enough to merely attend and to make a show, it is necessary to struggle against our egos, realize our short-comings and to progress spiritually. If we cannot love and respect one another, bonds will break, people will fight and there will be a lot of repercusssion for everybody. That is why we must do our utmost to show genuine respect and sincere love to each other, and not just pay lip service to this advice.
The Power of a single glance
When we say to show love, respect and kindness, it extends to all aspects of our interaction, even to how we look at each other. Let me share a final hadees to explain this matter. From Al-Muwatta’ of Imam Malik (ra), it was related that there was a Companion of Rasulullah (saw), his name was Sahl ibn Hunayf (ra), he had flawless skin, beautiful white skin, it was said to be even more beautiful than a lady’s skin, that’s how nice his skin was. One day, he went to the river to bathe at al-Kharrar. He took off his jubbah and there was another man standing nearby, Amir ibn Rabia who was watching. Amir said to Sahl’s, “I have never seen anything like what I have seen today, not even the skin of a virgin.”
Sahl fell ill on the spot, and his condition grew worse. Somebody went to the Messenger of Allah (saw), and told him that Sahl was ill. Rasulullah (saw) came to him, and Sahl told him what had happened and what Amir had said. Rasulullah (saw) said, “Why does one of you kill his brother? Why did you not say, “May Allah bless you?” (ta baraka-llah). The evil eye is true. Do wudhu’ against its effects.” Amir did wudhu’ and poured the water from that wudhu’ over Sahl, and Sahl was cured.
Look at this hadees! One Companion looked at another Companion, admiring his gift of fair complexion and there was a tiny bit of jealousy in his heart, and when that ‘looking with jealously’ reached Sahl, he fainted immediately! Just to look at your Muslim brother and you have this certain unhealthy feeling towards him, he is already affected. What more if you backbite about him? Or if you slandered him? Or is you make fitna’ upon him? It is like stabbing him with a knife! Just a single look tainted with a little jealousy and Sahl fainted! You can see the power of looking, you can now understand how much is conveyed in a single look, that is why just to look at your parents’ faces with love, Allah rewards you with the reward of one Haj! Just one look with love and it’s already a great amal, one Haj, for you. What more if you helped them, supported them, prayed for them and honoured them?
Live and act with sincere love
That is why, it is so important to preserve this bond that we have forged here, we must always interact with love and in even the smallest deeds, such as a single look with love or a sincere smile, there is a reward from Allah.
Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it. (Quran 99:7-8)
That look is so powerful – the look of hatred can cause somebody to faint, so what about the look of love? Maulana was saying, when you look at a Saint with love, that Saint is responsible for you in dunia and akherat and you will not have an evil ending, you will have a good ending because this Saint will pray for you and ask Allah to save you.
So to look at a Saint, or at your parents, or at your fellow believer – with love – is a beautiful good deed. If the look of a believer is so powerful, what about if the Prophet (saw) is to look at you? That’s why we always doa, “Ya Rasulullah (saw), unzur alayna, look at us.” It is said during Solatul khair, Allah will look at His servant seventy times, and it is said that if Allah is to look once at you, all your needs in dunia and akherat will be looked after.
We are seeking that look of Love from Allah and His Rasul (saw), so we must have that look towards our fellow believers. What more if you smile with love, or you touch them with love, and even shake their hands with love, there are so much blessings in that. Everything that you do must be with love.
Thats why when we recite salawat (darood), we touch our hearts with love for the Prophet (saw), and it is very important we practice this and that we look at our fellow seekers with love, and that we pray for each other, with love. When you do your doas, don’t forget to pray for one another as we are now one Rabitah, one rosary (tasbeeh), one community, so instead of saying “Oh Allah save me and my family,” say, “Oh Allah, save all of us and our families.”
Be domesticated – harm no one, but be of service
We must be like domestic animals, like chickens and goats. Domestic animals are harmless and they live for the benefit of others. If you want to slaughter them, they are happy to sacrifice themselves for your benefit. If you want to take a chicken’s eggs, it allows you to. Today, most of us are like wild animals. We are dangerous creatures who harm others, we attack at the slightest provocation, we hurl hurtful and crushing words at our fellow seekers, without regret or remorse. We soil their reputation without conscience, we drag their names through the mud without fear of Divine repercussions.
If you place one wild animal, like one cobra, in this room, the forty of us here would be in grave danger – some may even be killed! But if you put a thousand chickens in this room, there is no way anyone will be injured, because domestic animals are tame and cause no harm. One cobra is more dangerous than a thousand chickens! That’s why we must become domesticated, we must have no intention to harm anyone (with words and actions), we must take the difficult journey to become tame ones, and to discard our wildness.
Insyallah in the future lessons, we will talk about how looking and touching, with love, can benefit people. That’s why you see that Saints can heal people with just one touch or with a single breath into a bottle of water.
We ask from Allah to forgive us all and to raise us, and to bind our hearts together and not to allow shaitan to come in between us or to weaken and break these bonds of Love.