Hajjah Fatimah Mosque prayer hall, Singapore
Thursday, 31st May 2012 (12th Rejab 1434), 10.30pm.
A’uzubillah himinash shaitan nirrajeem
Bismillah-hir Rahman-nir Raheem
Assalamu’alaikum wrh wbkt
Alhamdulillah, I am thankful to be here despite being ill. GrandShaykh said that a follower of the Tariqah must attend Khatam, even if he has to crawl over frozen ice. With that in mind, I made an intention to attend despite being in a lot of pain.
Alhamdulillah, illnesses are a means for forgiveness and blessings to descend, so we are saying syukur ya Rab, for this pain in my knee. One of the Prophets had asked Allah for the signs of approaching death, and Allah revealed to him that the whitening of hair, and weakness of limbs, are sign of old age and the closeness of death. Alhamdulillah, I am seeing these phenomenon in my life today, so it is a constant reminder of the greyhound of death chasing the rabbit of life.
Let us say a few words now, with the intention of making a Suhbah, as in reality, only Maulana is giving Suhbah, we are but imitating and asking to share in its blessings.
Shaykhs and Mureeds
I would like to start with a short story told by Shaykh Mehmet a few days ago on Saltanat TV, he mentioned that this was the real situation in so many Tariqah groups today. He said:
Once, Maulana Rumi (q) was seated with his Master and Guide, Shams Tabrizi (q), when some guests from another province visited them, and asked them to send two Shaykhs to guide their villagers in Spirituality. Maulana Rumi (q) told the guests to pick any of the people in the garden. The guests picked two Holy looking people, and left happily back to their village. Maulana Rumi (q) then remarked to his Shaykh, “It is fortunate that they asked for two Shaykhs, for if they had asked for two mureeds, we would not be able to give them any, as all these are Shaykhs.” Maulana Rumi (q) was making a joke about how all mureeds looked at themselves as high-level Shaykhs, not as lowly mureeds. It has been said that Maulana Shaykh Nazim has almost three million mureeds, of which half are Shaykhs, and the other half want to be Shaykhs – there are no mureeds left in the Tariqah!
A horse trainer whom I had met
Though this sounds like a light-hearted joke, it has a very deep meaning for us to ponder about. We have given our allegiance to Maulana Shaykh Nazim, and we are asking to be trained, for our egos to be subdued, and for the bad characteristics of our egos to be eliminated. Like a patient submitting to his Spiritual doctor, we must keep complete obedience to our Shaykh, and take all his advice and suggested practices, very seriously.
When I was horse-riding a few days ago, I met a horse trainer, and when I asked him what his job entailed, he said, “I am given wild horses. My job is to tame these horses, teaching them adab, teaching them to respect and to obey human beings. Only when they have completely submitted to serving obediently, can they be ridden safely by the students.” MasyaAllah, Maulana is our expert horse (ego) trainer, teaching it adab and respect, and we cannot expect to achieve Spiritual advancement by merely taking bay’at and raving on about how wonderful it is to be in this Tariqah, without actually striving in the Way. Tariqah is a Way of discipline and reflection, we must truly want to be rid of our ego’s characteristics before our time on earth runs out.
We are passengers on Maulana’s train
Maulana has likened himself to be a train, on the tracks of the Golden Chain, that lead to Rasulullah (saw). Mureeds are all passengers on this train, and sadly, so many mureeds are sleeping on that train, right to the end of the journey. Of course such mureeds reach the destination too, but their lack of effort will leave them with difficulties and regret in the end, they will be ashamed to see how much their Shuyukh have done for them. Some mureeds have to continue seclusion in the grave, having not completed it in dunia, and Maulana said seclusion there is 70 000 times harder than doing it in dunia.
So as this train takes us through the abyss of darkness, Maulana reminds us to keep the windows closed and to keep ourselves safely on the train. In other words, there is no need to go running to any other Shaykh to learn Spirituality or Tasawwuf – Maulana suffices for us, keep our hearts completely with him, attend his Suhbahs, reflect upon them, and ask him to dress our hearts with dressings of light from those Suhbahs.
Maulana was asked once by a mureed, who said that in all his years in Tariqah, he never saw any visions or had any special experiences. Maulana told that mureed, that as long as the train was still underground (buried in ego, desires etc), there is no view to be seen from the window. But once the train comes up to ground level (having left his lowly desires), then beautiful scenes emerge for the passengers to enjoy.
Our biggest mortal enemy
Shaykh Mehmet said that the ego is our biggest enemy. Even shaitan and unbelievers pale in comparison, compared to the destructive persuasive power of our egos. The ego has the power to lead one to humiliation and destruction, in a way that no one else can. Allah says in the Qur’an, that our ego always leads us to badness. Hence, every suggestion and advice from our ego, is always bad, and leads to regret and shame.
The ego advocates the love of dunia and the enjoyment of the physical body, completely ignoring the needs of the Spiritual self. But once a human being becomes drawn to faith and worship, ego also wants a share in that, and wants to take credit at every opportunity.
What ego wants for us, what the Shaykh wants for us
The ego wants to be noticed. It wants to be known. It wants to be acknowledged. It wants to be something in the eyes of people. The ego wants people to respect him for his knowledge and acts of worship, the ego seeks a special pedestal upon which all are to admire his worship and piety. See? Even in ibadah/worship, ego takes his share. And any worship in which ego has a share, is rejected by Allah, for He has no partners. A person may be doing all the great deeds of obedience, but if he is proud of them, or if he claims these are from his own ability, or if he is secretly hoping for observers to notice them, then all his worship is worthless.
That is why, the journey of tariqah is of utmost importance, as, if a person can be trained (like the horse) to be one of adab and submission, and to have all the dirty dressings of his ego removed by the blessings of Suhbahs with his Shaykh, masyaAllah, his worship now, though little, will be devoid of the filthy influence of his ego, and they will bring him honour in the Divinely Presence of Allah, for he has become a sincere and cleaned one, he has become, nothing. And when a person attains this nothingness, then Godliness emerges from him, as once a cup has been emptied of the self, then it can be filled with the Divine.
What is happening to many mureeds today
This is the journey to become Rabbani that Maulana is taking the mureeds on, only it is sad that many mureeds of Maulana simply view this Tariqah as a social group, or a community club, where they meet to eat and talk, but make no real effort to attain real Spirituality. It is ironic, as we all enrolled voluntarily in this Tariqah, giving our bay’at without force, agreeing to be trained, yet not really interested in the training. It’s like a student enrolling in a famous University, of which he is very proud to be in, and he always raving and ranting about how great it is, yet he skips all lectures and tutorials, and has learnt nothing after so many years of enrolment!
Being a trouble maker on Maulana’s train
Its bad enough to be learning nothing, but worse still, there are mureeds who are in conflict with others, passing snide and sarcastic remarks, hurtful comments and sometimes even being the cause that people leave the tariqah! Oh brothers and sisters, how can you join a tariqah to learn good behaviour, yet follow your ego’s promptings to hurt and maim people with the worst of behaviour and adab? Tariqah teaches respect – respect for Allah, respect for Rasulullah (saw), respect for our Shuyukh, respect for all mureeds, respect for the Ummah of Sayyidina Muhammad (saw) and respect for all creation, even stones and trees.
Don’t be concerned about the number of people who are in your group, or about the length of your beard or turban – but be very concerned about these bad characteristics of ego that prevent us from attaining nearness to our Shaykh, to our Prophet (saw) and to our Lord (swt). Do not trouble the passengers on Maulana’s train, be a source of help and service to them, for the very best of mureeds are those who ‘help’ Maulana to move the train forward. Though Maulana is in no need of our help, the act of coming forward to serve Maulana’s mureeds is pleasing to the heart of our Master.
Never view any act of help as being too small. A layman may view Hajj, Umrah and memorising the Qur’an as big acts of worship, yet these may be nullified by a moment’s arrogance or conceit. A simple act of meeting our brother with a smiling countenance, or performing a small act that puts a smile in his face, may open the doors of Divine Grace beyond our wildest dreams. Similarly, Shah Naqshband (q) said that breaking the heart of a believer, was worse than destroying ten Ka’abas! So do your best for your fellow mureeds, tolerate them, be patient with them, accept them as wayfarers on the same journey (in the same train!), and do not hurt, hinder or discourage them on the journey.
The Second Age of Ignorance
Oh believers, we are now in the time of the second Jahiliyyah! Maulana said that the first was in the time before Rasulullah (saw) was sent, and we are now facing another Age of Ignorance. What is this Age of Ignorance? It is a time when Mankind follows his ego, not Divine guidance. With so few people taking the tariqah journey, and even fewer mureeds who are really trying to learn and change, imagine how many of today’s 7 billion people are following their egos! Practically everyone. So if we have 7 billion people, each doing what his ego tells him to do, what happens? We get a world filled with darkness, evil, killing and exploitation. It is obvious we are in such times now.
And just like in the first jahiliyyah, when Allah sent the Light through Rasulullah (saw), he was the only source of that Divine Light that was to save Mankind. Those who followed attained the highest Maqams, those who opposed him were degraded and disgraced. In today’s jahiliyya, the True Inheritor of the Prophet (saw), Maulana Shaykh Nazim, is our light at the end of this dark tunnel. Those who truly follow him, will attain their private satisfaction Oceans, but those who do not strive, will not attain complete satisfaction.
Be careful what you read in today’s media, what you eat and whom you mix with. In Ignorant times such as these, there is so much darkness and dirtiness circulating in all that we read, eat and in our social circles. Look after yourselves and be wise in your choices – what you read, what you eat and whom you take for company. Leave all doubtful things, and leave all things that make your ego feel special, and avoid all things that play no part in the taming of your egos.
Repentance, repentance, repentance
Keep your heart with the Light in Maulana’s heart, and seek repentance in this blessed month of Rejab Shahrullah, for Allah’s punishment/vengeance is indeed devastating. Seek forgiveness for every glance that displeased our Lord, for every thought that displeased Him, for every bad assumption that displeased Him, from every breath taken and heartbeat that passed in heedlessness, for every utterance that was sinful, for every dressing on our hearts that displeased Him, from everything we took that was not ours to take, and from every step we walked that displeased Him.
The heavens and the earth rejected the covenant of Allah, but Man accepted it, and this covenant is to return to Him, clean and purified of sin and all dirtiness and darkness. So recite Astaghfirullah 1000 or more daily, and recite Astaghfirullah hal azheem wa atubu ilayh up to 700 times daily in this month. May Allah clean our hearts till they shine like polished mirrors. Ameen.
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Azeez Allah
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Kareem Allah
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Subhan Allah
Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Sultan Allah