An Interview with Maulana Shaykh Nazim
Intriguing interview with Maulana
12th December 2010
A’uzubillah himinash shaitan nirrajeem
Bismillah-hir Rahman-nir Raheem
Assalamu’alaikum wrh wbkt
(Maulana was interviewed by a TV station today. I have omitted irrelevant parts of the interview (like when he was asked if Rasulullah (saw) would have allowed his wife to drive a car, had he been alive today) and I have only picked out parts of the interview, which provides lessons for us all.)
Question: Why is the world in this state today? How to bring back goodness?
Maulana: Man should be good creatures, but they are insisting on not being good ones. It is because Man doesn’t want to leave shaitan, he is supporting shaitan (by obeying him). Shaitan doesn’t want goodness for Man. All suffering befalls man because shaitan is cheating Mankind by portraying falsehood as truth, and truth as falsehood. Every good act, is shown by the devil, to be evil, and every evil act, is promoted as a good thing. With the spread of such confusion, how is Man going to attain peace, when the line between good and evil has become blurred and cloudy?
This is a worldwide phenomenon now. Hence, there is dissension and unrest all over, no one is at peace with each other. Governments are unhappy with its citizens, while citizens are protesting against their governments. Political parties are fighting one another. Bosses are exploiting their employees, while workers are disgruntled with their employers. Teachers attack their students, and students retaliate and disrespect their teachers. People swear at each other nowadays, they no longer have mutual respect. In the old days, children learnt manners and good conduct in schools, but nowadays, that is not the case. We no longer show good behaviour to one another these days, we are no longer polite to each other.
Question: Why are there so many natural disasters in the world today?
Maulana: It is because the One who created us, is not happy with us. Why? Man no longer knows Allah, instead Man knows and recognizes shaitan!
Question: How should we celebrate Ashura?
Maulana: Make a nice soup dish with meat and wheat, and invite people to share it with you. Cook a big pot and invite hungry people to eat! People are sharing food only in Ramadhan, but aren’t people hungry outside Ramadhan too? So share your food, even if it is not during Ramadhan.
Question: This 17th of December is the death anniversary of Mevlana Jalalludin Rumi (qs). Some people will be holding celebrations on that day. They dress up in special costumes and hold plays in theatres. What are your thoughts on this matter?
Maulana: That will not achieve the aim of the teachings of Mevlana Jalalluddin Rumi (qs). Such celebrations and plays, are not what Mevlana wanted from us! The real teachings address the conscience of people, bringing bad people to goodness. Such innovated ways of celebrating his death anniversary are actually cheating the people of what Mevlana really wanted from us.
Question: Now many people oppose tariqahs. What are your thoughts on this?
Maulana: People must be allowed to experience the real journey of tariqahs, we must not prohibit the practising of real tariqah anywhere. During the Ottoman rule, all tariqahs flourished. Today, many dergahs are shut down, as people say, “they are filled with lazy people.” Instead, brothels, bars and night-clubs are opened. There are 500 night-clubs in Cyprus alone now! Do they serve any useful function?
With easy access to brothels and night-clubs, many people choose to remain single and play the field. Why marry and be weighed down by responsibilities, when they can now seek cheap sexual gratification in these places? Why seek halal, when the haram is easily and cheaply available? This attitude leads to high number of unmarried ladies in the community. Muslim governments must close down brothels and night-clubs.
Some people say that, it is very lucrative to run such establishments. But, money earned by running brothels and night-clubs are haram money which brings troubles and suffering, instead of health and peace.
Many women have been cheated and forced to work in such shady places. They were recruited under false pretenses, and were eventually sold into the flesh trade. Allah will strike these people (who trade in women, and who force them into prostitution) with lightning.
Question: What will happen in this coming year, 2011? What you had predicted in the past, it all happened as you said it would.
Maulana: Daily, trouble and punishment will descend on Mankind. It will affect individuals as well as entire Communities. Why? People are no longer seeking the Truth. If they are sincerely seeking the truth, Allah will send them a truthful one, a Siddiq, to guide them. But people are hypocrites today, so they only meet fellow ignorant ones, who share the same ideology as themselves. If you put your life in the hands of an ignorant or irresponsible one, do you think your life will be in a good state?
Question: Oh Shaykh Effendi, in these times, people are rich materially, but they cannot find peace. Why is there a steady stream of visitors to visit you?
Maulana: They feel peaceful here, as we are not cheating the people who come here. We are not calling people to this worldly life, we are calling them to Allah. We do not force them – they may accept the advice if they like it, or they may walk away if they disagree.
Question: What is the goal of the mureeds of the Naqshbandi tariqat? What is your aim in life?
Maulana: Our aim is to find Allah, to know Allah, to serve Allah, to be a servant to Allah, to do goodness, to live with goodness, and to die with goodness. What else can we want (besides that)? Everything they need for their journey is here (within the tariqah)– what to ‘eat’ and what to ‘drink’.
But shaitan is opposing this ferociously. He says, “There is no tariqat, there is no religion, there is no Creator!” How can there be no Creator, if Creation exists? Who created the Creation? Shaitan’s philosophy for 21st century humans is as follows, “Eat, drink and be merry, and don’t worry about anything else! There is nothing else in life besides that. Be just like the animals, they too live for that same purpose.” Man of this era, prefer the animal-like existence, to the angel-like existence (for Man is between these two worlds).
Question: What is an Angel-like existence?
Maulana: Angels are made of light (nur), they are heavenly creatures, created just to serve Allah. We are created from this earth (soil), hence we are here. Allah has given us the mind (‘akl) to think, ponder, reflect and to decide. One who does not use this gift of the mind, will fall into endless and terrible sufferings! The mind, when properly guided, can distinguish between the right way and falsehood.
Who are the Guides? They are the Prophets whom Allah had sent to show Man the right way. But shaitan has always whispered to Man, “Don’t obey these Prophets! They are men like yourselves, they only want to control you. Listen to me instead, I will show you the way to a sweet and nice life (full of pleasures of the flesh). There are so many ways to enjoy, so don’t worry (about the hereafter), and start enjoying!” So Prophets and devils are tugging at peoples’ hearts, from opposite directions.
Question: Shaykh Affendi, do you watch TV?
Maulana: I am bored by what is on TV. All day, they are talking and selling (advertising) on TV. People should stop talking, and start doing instead. They are showing immoral movies and pornography on TV nowadays too. All day, they are obsessed with such shows!
There are those who watch football too. What is the use of watching football? Fans fight and injure each other, there is corruption and violence in the sport. They throw stones at the Police and hurt each other, sometimes stabbing and killing rival fans – all that over a game! Is this human-like behaviour? Is there any benefit in watching such a game?
There are actually good documentaries that people can watch, but they prefer senseless shows, to those of real benefit.
Question: Some people believe in re-incarnation, that they will be re-born as a donkey, a dog or a cat. What are your thoughts on this?
Maulana: Such beliefs are nonsensical, one should not believe in them. Has there ever been a donkey who said, “I was once a human being, but now I am a donkey.” Go and ask the donkeys.
Question: What kinds of love are there?
Maulana: There are two kinds of love. One is an animalistic love that is based on lust and desire. The other is a Holy Love inspired by Love for the Divine.
When two animals meet during the mating season, they become sexually aroused, they mate in the heat of the moment, then they walk away like strangers, to seek out other mating partners to satisfy their lusts and cravings. That is animal-like love, and humans have became like this today. There is much adultery and fornication in the community today.
Women, being the weaker and softer sex, are easily ‘tricked’ into this sort of relationship, and end up being cheated of their honour and future. After the man has satisfied himself, he would then kick the woman out of his life, without pity for her.
More and more people are getting divorced nowadays. Just six months or a year into marriage, it is already on the rocks, and they are headed for an acrimonious divorce. It is almost like a game now, marriage and divorce being so rampant in the society.
Many men are taking advantage of this right to divorce, they are divorcing and kicking out the hapless ladies after just a few months of marriage. Once they are bored with their spouses, they divorce them, and start ‘hunting’ for new game again. Such men do not fear Allah, they do not realize that their wives are a trust (responsibility) from Allah to them, their wives have become halal (permissable) to them by Allah’s command. Having tasted the honey and taken what they want from their wives, they then drive them out, sometimes while they are pregnant or with children, cruelly treating them like commodities or cattle. They never spare a thought about what the woman has sacrificed and gone through, and they aren’t bothered as to how she will fend for herself, or how she will tend to her children. More often than not, once she is kicked out, the woman’s life is filled with heavy difficulties from that moment, while the men are busy thinking about starting a new life with a different girl. Such cruelty! Such men should be jailed until they come to their senses – such a law would be good. Allah will punish such cruel perpetrators.
Question: Any last words (before we end this interview)?
Maulana: Fear Allah. Feed the poor, the Prophet (saw) always did that. Do not be cruel to your wives, they are the weaker sex, protect them, and be gentle with them. Oh men, if you are cruel to your wives, Allah will place you under the control of people who will suppress you. Be good to your womenfolk. The whole world is irritated now, there is no more peace, so let your homes be abodes of love and peace.
And when you advice people, teach people according to their own level of understanding.
All goodness and all badness that comes upon our heads, is from Allah. Everything is from Him. You must believe that.
I have something for you. Pray two raka’ats daily, and recite Hasbunallah, Rabbunallah 100 times. If you do this with belief, with the love of Allah in your heart, there is no obstacle in your life that you cannot overcome. It will remove all disturbances in your life.
Question: I am unsuccessful in school. What should I do?
Maulana: It is better for you to be a housewife. Many women seek higher and higher education, postponing marriage late into their lives – and some end up remaining single for the rest their lives. If you have difficulty in school, perhaps you have skills in other areas. School is not useful for everyone. The environment in some schools are not clean, they will corrupt and ‘dirty’ your way of life, your way of thinking.
There are so many men asking for your hand in marriage, why are you rejecting their advances, and thinking of higher studies? Many marriages break down, because a working wife will say to her husband, “I am not dependent on you,” and that is bad adab.
(Maulana then thanked both the interviewees, invited them to partake of the prepared refreshments, and made do’a for them.)
Maulana spoke on many matters concerning women in this Interview.
- Women should be careful where they chose to work. Many, while seeking lucrative jobs far from home, often get caught in a web of human-trafficking, slavery and prostitution. It is a pitiful end for such young ones, whose lives become meaningless and filled with intense suffering as a result.
- Some women, says Maulana, often choose to pursue their studies till late in life, and end up remaining as spinsters. That is another awful loss, as they do not get to experience the bliss of marriage and joys of motherhood.
وَمِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦۤ أَنۡ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا لِّتَسۡكُنُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيۡنَڪُم مَّوَدَّةً۬ وَرَحۡمَةًۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَـٰتٍ۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. (Surah Ar-Rum 30:21)
- Some parents force their children to climb higher and higher in the education ladder, even when they are clearly not keen to do so. Not everyone has to get a degree, a PhD or a Masters, in order to find happiness and sustenance. Many people have talent outside academia; they may be gifted with their hands and minds, to seek sustenance in other ways. Some have an eye for design, others can repair cars, and yet others may be natural cooks. Women may find it more beneficial to learn household skills (cooking, sewing, child rearing etc) than to pick up a degree in Aeronautical Science, which she may not have any use for when she gets married.
- So many marriages today consists of both husband and wife going to work, leaving their children with maids or at nurseries/child-care centres. There is no greater joy for parents than in bringing up children, seeing their sincere love and tending to their many needs. It is so sad that so many parents miss out on this wonderful, life-altering experience, just to earn some extra cash. Once their childhood is passed, it is impossible to forge close bonds with your children anymore; you would have ‘lost’ them forever.
- Women are not encouraged to work, as they are Divinely designed for child-bearing and child-rearing. Maulana says that, each time a man looks at a woman who is not his mahram, he takes away some of her beauty and youth. That is why working women end up looking old, jaded, sickly and aged, so quickly! Conversely, women who are covered up, and who preserve themselves only for their husbands, keep all the youth, energy and beauty within themselves, for all their lives.
- Because women are designed to be loving mothers, their hearts are by nature, very soft and easily moved. Iblis was unable to persuade Sayyidina Adam (as), but was able to make headway with Hawa very quickly. The danger of this, Maulana says, is that women are easily coaxed into adultery, despite being from good backgrounds. Being soft hearted, women fall quickly for sob-stories and entreaties of love. They are sympathetic by nature, and often equate love with intimacy. So many men, knowing this, pursue women relentlessly, with the only intention being to commit fornication (zina) with her. How often have we read, of conservative and respectable women, who bore children out of wedlock? They are not promiscuous women, but they compromised their strict principles, because they were moved by the deliberately deceitful words of predatory men. This weakness of women is always exploited by cruel men, hence Islam seeks to protect the fairer sex by preventing free-mixing of the sexes. But shaitan has cleverly twisted this, to make it seem that Islam oppresses women (by making her wear the hijab and by segregating her from the menfolk), and that we are being behind the times by practising out-dated traditions.
- Iblis works very hard to promote illicit sex outside marriage (zina). It is reported that iblis strives his utmost to persuade a women to submit to zina, as that is the single most destructive sin that shatters the bonds of goodness within any Community. Zina destroys family life, and without a core family unit that is pious and God-fearing, the entire Community descends into mayhem. Zina leads to honour killings, family fueds, shame and loss of face, children being born out of wedlock, social ills like unemployed single mothers, sexually transmitted diseases and loss of faith (Iman).
- People of this era no longer realize what a great sin zina is. Adultery is so rampant, casual sex is a way of life amongst so many youngsters today. As parents, we must impress upon them the need to be aware of the gravity of this heinous sin.
- Parents must play a crucial role in preventing zina. Often, they make the mistake of making marriage costly by demanding outrageously high dowries. In Asia, men pay dowries to the women’s families, while in India and Pakistan, it is the man’s family that demands the dowry. In both cases, when the demanded dowry is high (especially if the family deems that their child is superior due to education, caste or social standing), the engaged couple spends many years saving up before marriage. It is during this protracted waiting period, sometimes lasting many years, that the engaged couple succumb to temptation, and start committing zina. Shaitan whispers, “You are already engaged, so it is okay, the nikah ceremony later is just a formality.” Parents must follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah (saw), by making marriage easy, affordable and quick. Once a matured couple is ready and willing to be married, marry them off! By delaying, you only bring a host of problems and temptations to the young eager couple. The Prophet (saw) said, “The most blessed marriage is the one incurring the least cost,” and “Haste is from shaitan, except in three matters. Firstly, rushing to fulfill the call of prayer, secondly, to bury a body after death, and thirdly, to marry off a couple, when they are ready to be married.”
- Rasulullah (saw) said, “Whenever a man is alone with a woman, the Devil makes a third.” Engaged couples are often allowed to spend intimate time together, as they are viewed as being an item already. But when they are together, shaitan is always with them, pushing them towards that dastardly act. The desires of young people are like volcanoes, so leaving them together unsupervised, is a sure invitation to zina. Parents must be aware that being engaged simply means that no one can enter into that arrangement, as a hadees forbids one from asking for the hand of a person who is already engaged. But the engaged couple are still unlawful for each other, as they have yet to nikah, hence all the strict rules of interaction must be observed in full. Parents must be responsible in such matters, and they must be very vigilant.
- A man once came to Rasulullah (saw) and said, “I love zina.” The surrounding Companions were incensed at his rudeness, and wanted to deal with him harshly. The Prophet (saw) brought the young stallion aside, and said to him, “How would you feel if someone committed adultery with your mother? Or you sister? Or your wife? Or your daughter? Do you realize that any woman whom you fornicate with, is either someone’s mother, sister, wife or daughter?” The young man realized his folly, and said, “Now, there is no act that I hate, more than zina.” See the wisdom of gentle and sincere advice? In today’s world of easy-access to pornography and revealing dressings, the Prophetic advice is the powerful antidote we need.
- Just as Sayyidina Adam (as) was told not to approach near the forbidden tree, we are also told not to even approach near to zina.
وَلَا تَقۡرَبُواْ ٱلزِّنَىٰٓۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ فَـٰحِشَةً۬ وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً۬
Nor come near to adultery, for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). (Surah Al-Isra' 17:32)
- So many couples that gave in to temptation and committed zina, began only with an intention for a little taste of the forbidden fruit, but their unbridled passions led them down the road of dishonour. Even Sayyidina Yusuf (as) felt a tinge of temptation when Zulaykha desired him, it was only the mercy of Allah that saved him. If that is true for a noble Prophet who was alone with a woman, what more common folk like us?
وَلَقَدۡ هَمَّتۡ بِهِۦۖ وَهَمَّ بِہَا لَوۡلَآ أَن رَّءَا بُرۡهَـٰنَ رَبِّهِۦۚ ڪَذَٲلِكَ لِنَصۡرِفَ عَنۡهُ ٱلسُّوٓءَ وَٱلۡفَحۡشَآءَۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا ٱلۡمُخۡلَصِينَ
And indeed she did desire him and he would have inclined to her desire, had he not seen the evidence of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, (guided) servants. (Surah Yusuf 12:24)
- In choosing a spouse, it is very important to choose a partner, based on his/her piety. A hadees reports, “A woman is married for her beauty, her family (honour), her wealth or her religion. He who marries for beauty, will find her ugly. He who marries for honour, will be dishonoured. He who marries for wealth, will fall poor. But he who marries for religion, will find beauty, honour and wealth.” Today, people marry due to strong physical attraction or lust. This doesn’t last long, and often, after just a few months of marriage, they get bored and want out. Such Hollywood-style marriages are becoming very common today, with as many as one third of all marriages ending in divorce. So marry for the right reasons!
- Maulana also spoke out against men who mistreated the weaker sex. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
ٱلرِّجَالُ قَوَّٲمُونَ عَلَى ٱلنِّسَآءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ ٱللَّهُ بَعۡضَهُمۡ عَلَىٰ بَعۡضٍ۬ وَبِمَآ أَنفَقُواْ مِنۡ أَمۡوَٲلِهِمۡۚ
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. (Surah An-Nisa 4:34)
- Men are supposed to protect and tend to the weaker sex. But today, many men abuse their power, subjecting their womenfolk to physical torture and mental torment. Imam Ghazali said, “Parents must be very careful before they marry their daughters off, for they are sending them into a sort of servanthood.” In the hands of a God-fearing man, wives live blissful and blessed lives, which is why Rasulullah (saw) said to the menfolk, “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah, regarding the remaining half.”
- Sadly, many men abuse the system today, by treating women like sex-objects and objects of lust. Some kick their women out and divorce them over petty things or when they get bored of them; others beat them regularly and subject them to humiliation like sodomy and rape. Rasulullah (saw) said, “The best of men, are those who are best to their wives.” Even when approaching them for conjugal relations, men are instructed in a hadees, to begin with foreplay, and not to come upon their wives like wild beasts in heat. Islam is a beautiful religion of love and adab, it is a way of life of the noblest conduct and the highest principles.
هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ۬ لَّكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لِبَاسٌ۬ لَّهُنَّۗ
They are your garments. And you are their garments. (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:187)
- Do these cruel men not realize that they came from the loins of a woman themselves? And that every woman they hurt, beat, abuse and humiliate, is someone’s beloved daughter, sister or mother? Oh menfolk! Treat your womenfolk with tenderness and compassion, they are fragile creatures created from your own ribs, as your companions. The Prophet (saw) never laid a hand on any woman, he was to them the best companion, teacher and leader they could have ever hoped for. So if you are indeed abusing your wife, stop it right now, sit down, and find an amicable solution to your marital problems.
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفۡسٍ۬ وَٲحِدَةٍ۬ وَجَعَلَ مِنۡہَا زَوۡجَهَا لِيَسۡكُنَ إِلَيۡہَاۖ
It is He who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love) (Surah Al-A'raf 7:189)
So dwell with them in love, in this world, right up till the hereafter.
ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ أَنْتُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ تُحْبَرُونَ
Enter Paradise, you and your wives, in happiness. (Surah Az-Zukhruf 43:70)
Ameen, ya Rabbal ‘alameen.