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Summary of Maulana Shaykh Nazim’s
Special Suhbah for Habib Ali Al-Jufri
23rd November 2010
A’uzubillah himinash shaitan nirrajeem
Bismillah-hir Rahman-nir Raheem
Assalamu’alaikum wrh wbkt
(This Suhbah was given to the respected Habib Ali Al-Jufri, when he came to visit Maulana in Lefke. Maulana gave a Suhbah concerning Sultanul Ariffin Sayyidina Abu Yazid Al-Bistami (qs), the sixth GrandShaykh of The Naqshbandi Tariqat Order, whose Maqam is in Damascus, though some say it is in Iran.)
Maulana: Every human being is in great fear and dread of Judgement Day. Who doesn’t fear to be judged in the Divine Presence on that Day? Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami’s (may Allah always keep raising his Station and sanctify his secret) heart was always yearning for that Day. He said,
„I would love to hear my Lord call me on that Day! ‘Oh Aba Yazid!’ My Lord will call me by my name on that Day – what else can I desire? After hearing Him call out my name, even if He were to hurl me into Hell, it would not matter, I would not fear all the Fires of Hell, just as I would not find happiness even if He gave me all the heavens (in exchange for the ecstasy I am experiencing after having been called by Him). It is such an honour, such sweetness, for me to hear Him call my name! And when He has judged me, and He asks me, what I needed after that, I shall reply, ‘I don’t need anything, this is enough for me from pre-eternity to eternity, to hear the Divine calling my name.’ For Allah, His attributes, His words, are eternal, forever in my ears will I hear His calling of my name, ‘Oh My servant, Oh My servant, Oh My servant, Oh Aba Yazid.’ That is all that I need, I do not desire the Heavens, and I do not fear the Fire, to hear My Lord Almighty calling out my name, when I am indeed nothing……“ What Station is this, the Maqam of one who desires only Allah? Oh servants of Allah, be with Allah, then Allah supports you.
Habib : We are asking for forgiveness and sincerity.
Maulana: Who am I (to grant anything)? Have we no Prophet (saw) (that you are asking this from me)? Will Allah not make Rasulullah (saw) happy (by granting forgiveness and safety to his Ummah)? For sure, Rasulullah (saw) will be sad if he loses even one of his Nation to be thrown into the Fire, so will He throw even one of His servants into Hell?
Habib : True, Allah has promised Rasulullah (saw) not to let him down. I am asking sincerity and forgiveness as I feel ashamed towards Allah.
Maulana : (replying gently) Do we truly feel ashamed (in all reality)? Modesty has long since been removed from this earth (when Jibrail (as) came to remove Haya from the earth), the people of yesterday were ashamed to commit sin before Allah, but not anymore the people of today…
Habib: We are asking (knowledge and guidance) from the treasures, Oh Shaykh.
Maulana: Rasulullah (saw) had asked Allah, „Grant me this Nation,“ and Allah replied, „It is a forgiven Nation, covered in mercy. I have granted you, your Nation, Oh My Beloved Prophet (saw).“ We are Ummatun Marhumah, Ummatun Maghfurah. If you had forty children, would you accept if even one of them was taken away by a Sultan? Would that bring comfort to your heart?
Maulana: Rasulullah (saw) is the Mercy to all Creation, Allah will grant him, until his heart is satisfied! Allah will say to Rasulullah (saw), „Until your heart is satisfied, until your heart is contented, say what you want, oh My Beloved!“ (And Rasulullah (saw) won’t be satisfied, until everyone who believes, is saved by Allah)
Habib: Allah said in the Holy Quran:
And verily thy Lord will give unto thee (oh Muhammad) so that thou wilt be content. (Quran 93:5)
Maulana: What are we? We are but ants in the eyes of Allah. If an ant commits a mistake, do we get angry and upset with it? Does it burden us?
Habib: No, it doesn’t.
Maulana: Understand this then, for it is the door of happiness. (That is, we must be happy to have a forgiving Lord, we mustn’t lose hope in Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness, He is always forgiving towards a repentant believer, so we must be happy)
Habib: The Shaykh (Maulana) is our door to happiness. In a hadees, the Prophet (saw) said, „Speak of happiness and mercy, to make people’s hearts happy.“ (Maulana is always making people happy, he said, there is so much sadness on Earth already, bring happiness to their hearts and relieve their pain)
Maulana: Isn’t Allah the forgiver? Who will He forgive? Is the forgiveness for the Prophet (saw)? Hasha, of course not. His forgiveness is for the sinners! (So sinners mustn’t despair of His Mercy and Forgiveness, for Allah said, „My Mercy is wider than My wrath.“)
Verily, We have given you the greatest opening. (1) That Allah may forgive you of your sins of the past and the future, and complete His Favour on you, and guide you on the Straight Path; (2) (Quran 48:1-2)
Maulana: The sins of the past and future, have been forgiven (for those who sincerely repent). Do you think anyone can pass the scrutiny and judgement by Allah? None is fit to stand before Him and to be judged! (So seek forgiveness before you face Him)
Habib: We are happy that we are with you (Maulana) in this world and in the hereafter. It has been set since the Day of Alastu birrabbikum, the Day of Promises! (Every Saint has been given his mureeds from that Day, and will accompany their mureeds for Eternity, so Habib is comforted to be with Maulana, for every sheep must be with his shepherd to be safe from the wolves.)
Maulana: Qalu bala ! Alhamdulillah! This had been assigned from the Day of Promises. We are His Muslim servants, we are His servants, He will never throw us into the Fire, thank Allah for that. But we must be aware of one thing. The Prophet (saw) said, „Allah has educated me with the best of manners.“ So those with the best of manners, will be in the Divine Presence, but those ill-mannered ones, with animal-like attributes, will be placed in stables where they can fulfill their carnal desires, eat and drink. (So although all of the Nation of Muhammad (saw) will eventually be saved, there are different types of Paradises – some will be near to Allah, others, will be veiled. The Prophet (saw) was send to perfect human conduct, we musn’t be satisfied just to practice the bare minimum in Islam, we must strive to be the foremost in faith, the best of the believers! For it is these believers who will be nearest to Allah, for eternity.)
And ye shall be sorted out into three classes. (7) Then (there will be) the Companions of the Right Hand – what will be the Companions of the Right Hand? (8) And the Companions of the Left hand – what will be the Companions of the Left Hand? (9) And those Foremost (in Faith) will be Foremost (in the Hereafter). (10) These will be those Nearest to Allah: (11) (Quran 56:7-11)
Maulana: It is common knowledge that animals will not be judged. Imagine that you are a farmer. If an animal strays into your field of crops, and he eats from your crops, you would probably complain to the judge about what happened, in order to attain compensation for your losses. Will the judge ask you to bring the animal (eg the cow) to be a witness and to give testimony in his Court?
Habib: Obviously not.
Maulana: So, who will be brought to Court? The owner of that animal, the shepherd! So many humans are like animals (cattle) in their behaviour/attributes/sifat. Cattle are never given responsibilities. Humans today have animal-like attributes, so nowadays, everyone lives mindlessly, and irresponsibly – just like animals! (So we must have a shepherd, a ‘lawyer’ who will plead for us in the Divine Court, we must seek a Guide! Those without a Shaykh, take their ego/desires as their guide.)
Have you seen him who has taken as his god, his own vain desire? Would you then be a Wakeel (a disposer of his affairs or a watcher) over him? (43) Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle; nay, they are even farther astray from the Path. (i.e. even worst than cattle). (44) (Quran 25:43-44)
Habib: We are but cattle, Oh Shaykh!
Maulana: If we can evolve, and shed our animal characteristic, then we are no longer cattle, we can reach our heavenly stations, we become from the malakuti men, the heavenly people. So we must remove our bad manners, we must strive to attain good manners. The ones without good manners, are like animals, they cannot hold responsibility. (The bad-mannered ones are placed in the stables, far from the Palace. But the clean ones, the good mannered ones, will be allowed into the Palace, to sit with the King!)
This was no ordinary Suhbah. The banter between the two masters was eloquent, poetic and was far too deep for any of us to really understand fully. Maulana mentioned that there are Suhbahs for ants (like us) and for elephants (like our respected Habib Al-Jufri), and ant can never carry the load an elephant carries.
- Who is Sayyidina Abu Yazid (qs) whom Maulana is speaking of? Sayyidina Junaid Al-Baghdadi said of Sayyidina Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bistami (qs), “As the Archangel Jibrail (as) is superior to all angels, in the same way Abu aYazid (qs) is superior among Sufis.“
Sayyidina Abu Yazid (qs) was asked, „Show me a deed by which I will approach my Lord.“ He replied: „Love the friends of Allah in order that they will love you. Love his Saints until they love you. Because Allah looks at the hearts of His Saints and He will see your name engraved in the heart of His Saints and He will forgive you.“ For this reason, the Naqshbandi followers have been elevated by their love for their Shaykhs. This love lifts them to a station of continuous pleasure and continuous presence in the heart of their beloved.
- Though all believers of the Nation of Muhammad (saw) will eventually be safe, even one whose only deed was to recite La ila ha illallah once in his life, there are different categories of Paradises for everyone. A believer who failed to remove his animal-like attributes, will remain in the ‘stables’ – which are Maulana’s term for the lower Paradises below the Throne. Such people lived with animal-like characteristics. As animals, they lived without responsibility, hence they were never given their trusts, for no one gives something of value to an immature or irresponsible one. No father would hand over the family business over to a infant in diapers or to an irresponsible adult.
- That is why Maulana mentioned so many times in this Suhbah, of the need to build on and constantly improve our conduct, to shed our animal-like traits, and to attain Angel-like attributes. Such ones, and are able to hold responsibility, hence they are the ones who will receive this trust, and may leave this dunia as Khalifas, in order to attain the Station of Rabbani, by virtue of having been brought to the end of this beautiful journey, and raised to completion, by our Shaykh.
- The Prophet was sent to perfect the akhlaq. The more we can cleanse ourselves of bad characteristics and attributes, the closer to the Divine Presence we approach. All perceived titles and status are meaningless, if one has bad conduct. Though the Prophet (saw) had endless names and titles, no one came to Islam because of the Prophet’s (saw) glorious titles; they came to Islam because they tasted the Love and Truth that he brought into each of their empty lives, transforming them from their dreary existences, into beacons of Hope, intoxicated with Love for the Divine, ecstatic to be on the Journey to eternity, to be with Him, forever! The Prophet (saw) brought a message of mercy and happiness, his conduct touched the very depths of people’s hearts, and even hardened men melted before his humility, gentleness and genuine emanation of mercy. He didn’t just say that he loved his Ummah, he lived it until those around him, tasted it. Even we, who are living almost fifteen centuries later, are still tasting it!
- Rasulullah (saw) never seared or scalded those around him with derogatory words designed to inflict suffering and humiliation. Never once did he do that, so we must be very careful with what we say to anyone. Shaykh Bahauddeen, Maulana’s son, told me when we met in Kuala Lumpur, „My father has never hurt anyone in his life. He has always told me, to treat everyone’s heart, like a precious glass vessel, which once you shatter, you can never return it to its original state. Accept everyone for what they are, for Allah made them that way. A Saint is one in whose heart, the hearts of many can be united.“ What words of powerful wisdom and reality! It is better to receive hurt, then to inflict, as no matter how much you say that you’re sorry afterwards, and try to make up for one dastardly word that you have uttered, you can never piece together a shattered heart! There is a hadees, „To break a believer’s heart, is akin to destroying the Holy Ka’aba,“ for the heart of a believer is Arshullah.
- Treat people with respect. Allah himself showers respect on Mankind.
And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam (Quran 17:70)
So many people only pay lip-service to this Verse; they quote it when they want respect, but ignore it when they disrespect others. Advice must be dished out with a gentle heart, without vehemence and threats. Countless hadees speaks about the Prophet enjoining gentleness, and advising the Companions in private, never exposing the individual faults of his Companions during Khutbahs or Suhbahs. Allah is As-Sattar, the Veiler, He likes us to cover the faults of our brothers. The Prophet (saw) said, „One who seeks out and exposes the faults of a believer, Allah will expose his secrets, even if they occur within the privacy of his own household.“
„Go both of you to Pharaoh, for he has indeed transgressed all bounds; (43) „But speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (Allah).“ (44) (Quran 20:43-44)
Surely, none of us are more noble than Sayyidina Musa (as), or worse than Fir’aun, yet Allah commanded Sayyidina Musa (as) to advise Fir’aun mildly, so that he may take advice! So there is no reason for any of us to speak to anyone, even unbelievers, in a condescending or harsh manner.
- Instead, invite them to the Truth, as Allah has enjoined, as follows:
Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth, best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (Quran 16:125)
You may not agree with someone’s methods/stand/opinions, but we must avoid quarrelling, we must ‘invite all to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious’. That is the Quranic injunction.
- We must never invent lies and fitna just because we disagree with someone’s opinion.
Those who brought forward the lie, are a body among yourselves: think it not to be an evil to you: on the contrary it is good for you: to every man among them (will come the punishment) of the sin that he earned and to him who took on himself the lead among them will be a Penalty grievous. (11) Why did not Believers, men and women when ye heard of the affair – put the best construction on it in their own minds and say „This (charge) is an obvious lie“? (12) (Quran 24:11-12)
- When accusations reach one’s ears, the first thing we are taught in the Quran, is to have a good thought of our Muslim brother (towards whom these accusation are made). Then we are asked to investigate from reliable sources. We must never jump to a sinister of conclusion, and proceed to rip him to pieces on false charges. We must fear Allah, for, as stated in the Verse above, every man among such people will come to grievous punishment.
Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, in this world and the Hereafter, a grievous penalty would have seized you in that ye rushed glibly into this affair. (14) Behold ye received it on your tongues and said out of your mouths things of which ye had no knowledge; and ye thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah. (15) And why did ye not when ye heard it say? „It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to Thee (our Lord)! this is a most serious slander!“ (16) Allah doth admonish you, that ye may never repeat such (conduct) if ye are (true) Believers. (17) (Quran 24:14-17)
- Today’s Muslims view slander and lies as a light matter on their tongues, they sit in almost every majlis back-biting about everyone else. Yet it is a most serious matter in Allah’s sight! Rasulullah (saw) said, „If you can guarantee me that you guard two things in you, I shall guarantee you Paradise – guard what lies between your lips (your tongue) and what lies between your loins (your private parts).“ Another hadees states, „A believer, is one from whom you are safe, from his words and deeds.“
- Do not let our hatred for anyone, cloud our judgment of him.
O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and fear Allah For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do. (Quran 5:8)
- Adab, is to be nothing, humble before your Lord. Maulana Shaykh Adnan advised us, to leave all the praise we receive, in the dustbin next to the door on the way out. No matter what praise has been heaped upon us, never leave the majlis carrying such praises. Leave them behind, and leave the majlis as a ‘nothing’, a ‘nobody’, a ‘thing of no status or importance’. Now that is very important, as the aim of tariqah is to become nothing. The reality is that, we are shadows of the Divine, we are capable of nothing if the Divine doesn’t move us.
You killed them not, but Allah killed them. And you (oh Muhammad) threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. (Quran 8:17)
- Maulana Shaykh Adnan summarises it in one sentence – we are but shadows of His Divine Attributes, we are nothing. So be humble, harm no one (with word or deed), and strive to shed your animal attributes, so that we too, can experience the ecstasy that our Master Abu Yazid (qs) seeks to taste on Judgement Day.
Ameen, ya rabbal ‘alameen.