Summary of Maulana Shaykh Nazim’s Daily Suhbah
16th January 2010, Saturday
Honor for Man, Is to Know Allah
A’uzubillah himinsh shaitan nirrajeem
Bismillahir Rahman-nir Raheem
Assalamu’alaikum wrh wbkt
- Maulana recited A’uzubillah, and reminds us to recite this often, as a means of keeping the influence of dirty whisperings at bay. Maulana also reminded scholars not to say, “I know!”, but to instead say, “I am in need of guidance, please teach me.” So we must always seek protection and guidance from Allah, we must realise our helplessness and be humble before Allah Almighty.
- Maulana then revealed that Man was created to live within limits. Everything in Man has a limit, even Man’s life has a limit, and one day, we will reach that limit, and we will have to face death. He likened our life now, to a fading lamp, getting fainter by day, until it is extinguished.
- Man’s knowledge is also within limits, and Man cannot progress to the next level of knowledge, until he has understood the knowledge at his current level, and if he tried to force his way upwards without understanding, he would not find any meaning/understanding in that knowledge. In other words, he will not find any pleasure/satisfaction in acquiring such a knowledge, for he would have gone beyond the point which his mind can grasp. Maulana gave the example of the food that you eat. You are going to eat what gives you pleasure. But, if you give that same food to an infant, it will kill him. What gives you pleasure, doesn’t bring satisfaction to another, for you are at a different level from the baby.
- Therefore, you must try to climb from one level to another, by practicing and understanding at one level before moving upwards. (Simply put, if you were attending a Two Module Arabic Course, you cannot move to the Advanced Arabic class, till you have understood and passed the Basic Arabic Class, and if you tried to jump to the Advanced Class, it would make no sense to you at all. So you need to climb in patient stages, studying diligently.)
- So what is the starting point of all knowledge? Maulana instructs you to learn, for Whom you have been created, for Whose servanthood have you been created? Who are you and for Whom are you servants to? These are not questions to be trifled with, these are questions crucial for you to understand, so take care that you ponder and understand what they mean!
- All knowledge that you study, must lead you to know the existence of the Lord of the Whole Creation, to understand him! We are trying to learn something about our Lord’s Existence – dhaat (essence), sifat (attributes), asma (names), and af`al (actions). Every creation that you see, must show you something from the Oceans of Allah’s Greatness, to see His Divine Existence in these creations.
- You must ask to understand such knowledge, because there is such a pleasure in your hearts, when you understand this. The level of pleasure is with Allah Almighty, because without Allah Almighty, there is no pleasure for you. Allah gives pleasure to His servants when they reach a level, where they are pleased with their Lord. We are here in dunia, to make preparation to go to the Divine Presence, so learn and prepare to climb up these levels. This is the starting point of the climb.
- Shaitan, through his worst attribute, he is seeking to prevent Man from climbing to such high ranks. Shaitan does not want you to reach upwards and he does not want you to taste such pleasure! He tries to occupy you with nonsensical, useless and fruitless activities of this worldly life, so that you stay at Level Zero, and never climb up. Shaitan is striving so that people can’t taste anything from illaahiyaat, divinity.
- Shaitan is taking you towards the wrong direction, and now, the whole world is heading in the wrong direction. Look, Man is engrossed in nonsense and rubbish, busy with futile conversations, hobbies, games, entertainment, sports, careers, disputes…the list is endless….and instead of climbing the spiritual ladder to greater Divine awareness and greater satisfaction/pleasure, we have allowed shaitan to take us in the wrong direction, downwards, until we are buried in the dirt and mud, blind and lost!
- Shaitan wants us to be lost in the pursuit of dunia (which is devoid of taste/satisfaction), and to lose out by never climbing the ENDLESS LEVELS of understanding and hence, never tasting the gift of understanding and Divine pleasure at each level. People live their entire lives never tasting spirituality, they are running after material riches. They are never tasting the realities that take them to their heavenly creation. They are what Allah says as ‘laa yubsiroon,’, they live their lives, hearing nothing (of spirituality), seeing nothing and tasting nothing. Absolutely nothing! What an immense loss that is for us, to have been deprived of the pleasure of Divine closeness, eternally, and to have been tricked to accept the bitterness of this worldly life in exchange – what a poor barter trade we have made!
- Maulana gave an example of what a loss we have made if we follow shaitan. There are small insects, that live under the dirt and soil, they are working all their lives, never once climbing to the earth’s surface to see this glorious beauty of creations of Allah. They have never tasted that pleasure, or any pleasure for that matter. They just slog day and night, in their underground world. And if you bring that small insect, and you place it on a King’s table, filled with a sumptuous feast, what it is going to taste? Nothing. That small creature will simply run away.
- Hence the Lord of Heavens is asking the Divine guides to teach His servants, for what purpose/aim/target/intention they are living for? People today do not know this, they only know that they desire everything from this world, and nothing else. So they never ever seek anything of the higher spiritual life, they just live for dunia, day and night, like that insect in its underground world.
- The Companions once asked Rasulullah (saw), “What is the best amal, the best deed/act for a person?” Rasulullah (saw) answered, “Al-ilmu billah” – “To know (the Attributes of) Allah.”
- To explain this, Maulana asks, if you are invited to visit a Policeman at the Police Station and you are also invited to meet the Sultan at the Palace, for which invitation would you make more elaborate preparations? Certainly, you would make more extensive preparations for the Sultan’s invitation. Why do you honour the Sultan over the Policeman, whereas they are both men? Because the Sultan gives you more honour/valuable gifts, than any other man in the land can offer! It is because you KNOW the status/attributes of the Sultan, that you afford him greater respect than anyone else in the land. If you had not known his status/attributes, you would not have given him his due respect, and you would have snubbed him, and incurred the Sultan’s displeasure. Similarly, once you are aware of Allah’s Attributes, you would offer Him your Highest respect and glorification, you would humble yourself before Him, you would submit and be in awe of Him. In doing so, you would continue you spiritual ascent, your understanding grows and Allah grants you increasing satisfaction/pleasure.
- So knowing Allah’s Attributes, gives you honour. What happens if we do not understand the Attributes of Allah? Maulana related a story to explain this. A desert bedoin wanted to visit the Caliph, and realising that it was impolite to visit without a gift, brought a pail of water to present to the Caliph. Being desert nomads, he viewed water as the most precious gift he could offer, as water was scarce in the desert. The Caliph received this gift happily (he had no need for the water, but he valued the good intentions of the bedoin), and in return, he filled the pail with gold coins, as a gift for the bedoin. The bedoin was very happy, and returned home with the pail of gold. Upon presenting it to his wife, she felt that it would have been better had the Caliph given them straw instead, so that they could feed their donkey, as the donkey showed no interest when presented with a pail of golden coins.
- This humorous story teaches you that you must understand your Lord and His endless generosity. He is granting us so many gifts, but humans are like donkeys, rejecting gold and yearning for straw. Humans have lost their bearings! We reject spiritual ascension and yearn for the dirtiness of dunia! We reject eternal happiness/satisfaction/pleasure and we seek the tasteless/meaningless/drab life of dunia and its temporary, imitated pleasures. That is the reason behind this economic crisis, the donkeys of the world are chasing straw, and turning their backs on gold! Allah gives you what you strive for, if you are striving for straw, straw is what you will get. Allah is the Most Generous, and yet Man asks for straw (dunia)! You are in dunia today, tomorrow you are going to be in akherat for eternity. Aren’t you going to ask anything for your eternity?
- Know Allah’s Attributes. Know His generosity. Know His eternal gifts to you. Know your Creator’s rights and fulfil them. When you make your Lord happy with you, He is going to be pleased with you and He will make you live in pleasure and enjoyment!
- Maulana says that this month of Safar is the heaviest of months and he am fears of heavenly punishments descend during this month. As a protection, our Grandshaykh (qs) said that we must read the following daily:
• Recite Kalimatu ‘sh-Shahadah 3X
• Recite astaghfirullah, 300X
• Give sadaqah (charity), even if it be one penny (small daily charity),
• Do at least one sajdah (prostration) daily
• And pray for Ummah of Sayyidina Muhammad (saw)