The only Way Up, is to head Down

Maulana Shaykh Nazim’s Friday Suhbah

The only Way Up, is to head Down

25th March 2011

A’uzubillah himinash shaitan nirrajeem

Bismillah-hir Rahman-nir Raheem

Assalamu’alaikum wrh wbkt

(Though this Suhbah is directed mainly at Arab dictators like Ghaddafi and Assad, there is hidden within this powerful Suhbah, teachings to tame the dictatorial ego in each of us.)

  • Maulana began by reminding all, that humans are weak servants of Allah, but our egos never accept that – hence the multitudes of people who believe that they are powerful, and who try to exert that so-called power over those around them. The biggest liar, says Maulana, is one who claims to be powerful. Always say to yourselves – we are but weak servants of Allah!
  • There is wisdom in all that Allah creates. He has decreed that we live by breathing – humans take 24 000 breaths every 24 hours. Allah is All-Powerful, He could have made Man creatures who can live without breathing, but He did not. Why? So that this need for air in every moment, is a constant reminder of our weakness and helplessness and of our complete dependence on the Almighty. The moment our allotted number of breaths is up – we die immediately! If there is no permission to exhale what we have just inhaled, or if there is no permission to inhale after we have just exhaled – then, that is the end of our worldly existence. That is how weak we are – we are beggars in every moment of our life, begging for one more breath of air from Allah. By making Man in need of Him, in every moment of his existence, Allah is teaching us that we are His creatures, we cannot live without Him.

For Man was created weak (Quran 4:28)

  • Allah has already decreed that Man is weak, so how is it that Man himself claims that he is a powerful one? Just because you are sitting on a Throne, and wearing a Crown, does not make you powerful, or different from your subjects! So many dictators, backed by powerful armies and frighteningly destructive weapons, feel a sense of power and superiority over their lowly citizens. Look and learn from what happened in Japan exactly two Fridays ago. Can the Throne and Crown that you possess, or your well-trained armies or state-of-the-art weapons, help you when Allah’s punishment comes from the skies, or from the seas or from under your feet? No. Yet man still claims that he is a powerful one.
  • It is shaitan who teaches Man that he is powerful. By opening the way for Man to harness the powers of technology, shaitan has made Man into a conceited creature. What has been opened to Man is but a very tiny doorway for harnessing the secrets of science, yet already he thinks he is invincible and indomitable, and he truly believes that he is independent of his Lord. Oh people, don’t obey shaitan!

“Did I not enjoin on you, O ye children of Adam, that ye should not obey Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed? (Quran 36:60)

  • Despite knowing that shaitan’s way leads one astray, so many people have been tricked by his glib tongue into believing that they have power and that, with the help of technology, they can control what happens in their lives. As this belief takes root in them, they begin to feel that they can also control others and do as they please, since they possess the finances, influence, knowledge and power. Finally this delusion turns them into iron-fisted tyrants and dictators.
  • How did this idea that they are superior creatures enter their deluded minds? What differentiates a dictator from his citizens? Today, one such dictator stands in Libya, defying the calls of millions of his citizens to leave, firmly believing that it is his right to rule, and that he is superior to all of his citizens. He says, “I am going to do as I please.” Another such one stand aloft in Syria, also with a similar ideology – “I will have my way, even if I have to crush the will of the masses! What they want, is not important. What I want, now that is important! I am the one in power, and the millions out there must obey my orders and bow to my will.” (Read an earlier Suhbah about there being a Pharoah in each one of us)
  • Maulana labels such tyrants as no-mind people, unbelievers and deputies of shaitan. Allah reminds all leaders and the so-called ‘powerful’ ones: “You are also humans, no different from the humans that you rule. You are just like any one of them. You are not special, you are not superior to them.” Maulana says, it is not as if they have something extraordinary, like having four legs, five hands, two mouths or a tail.
  • Yet despite being like any other ordinary human beings under their rule, shaitan has taught them that it is their right to rule and to have millions bow to their whims of fancies, and that it is their right that their will should be obeyed submissively by millions, without protest. How does one claim that right?
  • Are you so special, Maulana asks, that you have never needed to relieve yourself in the toilet? If truly you have a special position above that of common people, then surely you would not have to perform such degrading acts such as urinating and defecating, like the common people are doing daily! Or perhaps, what you produce in the toilet is indeed different and superior to common people.
  • But if indeed you are visiting the toilet, and producing what ordinary people do so in there, how then do you consider yourself an extraordinarily superior being, whose desires are more important than all under your rule? They say defiantly, “I am not leaving my position as leader.” Who are you, Maulana asks, to say that?
  • Oh misguided dictators, you eat and drink as ordinary people do, and you produce excretions that the ordinary people do; there is nothing that makes you different from those whom you are persecuting. Sitting on a silver or golden toilet bowl doesn’t make you superior, and doesn’t make your excretions any different from common people.
  • Power crazy leaders do not see that they will be questioned on Judgement Day concerning their rule and their citizens. Muslim leaders will be held responsible if they did not implement Allah’s Holy Shariah. Do they think Allah sent down the Shariah so that humans can desecrate it, tear it to pieces, stomp on it and throw it out the window? Today’s Muslim leaders turn their back on the Divine Shariah, and replace it with their own man-made Constitution, in open defiance of Allah and His Commands. Each new leader introduces new laws, tweaking the Constitution for his personal benefit and profit. Do they not think that Allah will punish them for this?
  • Is this how a true Muslim leader thinks – that man-made laws are superior to Divinely sent laws? Ghaddafi has a special Green Book that he wrote, which he governs by. Without batting an eyelid, he turns his back on the Islamic Shariah and the Quran, not showing an iota of shame or guilt! Allah will punish these tyrants who have the audacity to defy Allah openly. The Islamic world is in shambles, as no leader is upholding the Holy Shariah. Scholars have kept silent when these dictators discarded the Quran and introduced a method of ruling alien to Islam consisting of a Democratic Parliament ruling by a Constitution.
  • All a human being has ever produced from himself are dirty secretions and excretions, Maulana says, and the foreign-to-Islam inventions of modern day leaders of Muslims countries, fall into the same category -they rule by corrupted concoctions of perverted minds.
  • Oh leaders, Allah is not heedless of what you do!

No slumber can seize him nor sleep. (Quran 2:255)

But Allah is not unmindful of what ye do! (Quran 2:140)

You (oh dictators) were given the right to rule Allah’s servants, to cherish and nourish the beloved creatures of Allah, as best you can; not to abuse or kill them! Yet you behave as if you are not going to be called to Judgement in His Divine Court. “They are My servants,” Allah says, yet these cruel dictators, oblivious of the weight of responsibility placed on their shoulders, treat their citizens as if they were their servants. Hence Allah’s punishment is beginning to descend on the Islamic world, starting with Tunisia, Jazair, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Hijaz and Yemen.

  • The non-Muslim world will also be struck by Divine retribution, because they have turned their backs on the Divine Commands and the Divine Book, whereas deep in their hearts, they know and believe in the existence of an Almighty Lord. Every Prophet came to Man to teach people his limits – what is acceptable and unacceptable in Divine Sight, as well as to teach Man how to live a life that is pleasing to his Lord. Every human being who lives contrary to Divine Commandments, invites the Lord’s wrath upon himself, hence we see a flood of natural disasters suddenly rearing its terrifying head.
  • It is shameful enough that a Muslim leaders of Islamic countries refuse to implement the Holy Shariah, but now, Muslim leaders are now bringing more shame to Islam, by persecuting and killing their own citizens, until non-Muslim countries have to intervene to save them! How they have tarnished the beautiful name of Islam by such disgraceful conduct! Maulana prayed for these criminal leaders to be taken away.
  • Listen to, and obey, the Holy Commands of Allah, for every disobedient one will be punished. Maulana prayed for Allah to send His Holy armies to uphold the Holy Shariah, and to bring down all those who oppose it. Maulana reminded attenders, that he was not speaking from his ego, he was merely proclaiming what had been transmitted to his heart.


  • All humans are created equal. Our Holy prophet (saw) said, “People are as equal as the teeth of a comb.” Maulana explained in such a simple and down to earth manner above, how we all have the same organs and were subject to the same humbling acts like having to visit the toilet, so we must always remember that we are no better than others.
  • But iblis is beating a different drum. He viewed himself better than Sayyidina Adam (as), and in doing so, earned Allah’s wrath and curse. Ejected from the Divine presence, he swore to lead Man astray – and he is doing so by making Man do what he did, so that Man will also become cursed and rejected . Iblis teaches Man to view himself above and superior to those around him. This is the reason behind Iblis’ fall, and this is the main mission of iblis – to instil in Man the pride and arrogance of viewing himself as being better than those around him. One with an atom of arrogance in his heart, will never smell Paradise, says Rasulullah (saw). Even if you feel superior to one person, you have done exactly what iblis did, for he felt superior to one person too.

He (Allah Almighty) said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? (Iblis) said: I am better than him (Adam). Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud. (Quran 7:12)

  • Shaitan is always teaching Man, that to be simply ‘one of the masses’ is not good enough. You must show the world that you are better than others, and you must proclaim it proudly! So shaitan makes Man proud to be acknowledged and hailed for his skills, abilities and talents, making Man forget that these are all God-given gifts. Hence people start to seek fame and name. They want to be the best singer, the best sportsman, the best businessman, the best model, the best Quran reader or the best looking human being. People are willing to spend a lifetime to train on the trampoline or in the swimming pool, just to stand on the podium for a few minutes with a medal around their necks, proclaiming ‘I am the best in the world!’ Contests and competitions provide ample opportunity to prove that one is the best.
  • If shaitan is able to make a human being elevate himself above others, he has succeeded in ‘cloning’ himself, creating another proud devil, who wants others to bow to him, but is too proud to bow himself. By encouraging the ego, shaitan helps Man build and climb his own pedestal, proclaiming his own greatness and superiority.
  • People view themselves powerful, and hence superior, in various ways. Some think that they are physically powerful, others believe they are spiritually so. Yet others believe they have powerful intellects, powerful armies, powerful finances etc. Shaitan always reminds us that we are powerful, and the ego likes to be acknowledged as superior to weak ones. This culture of seeking superiority over others, is the creed of our egos, and the Shaykh of such destructive ego-building teachings is none other than iblis himself. So this simple yet effective advice from Maulana, to remind ourselves that we are indeed weak, is the antidote for this rampant disease that is wreaking havoc on mankind today.
  • Once a country feels superior to another, it will want to conquer and make its citizens its subjects. Once a race feels superior to another, it will want to persecute and dominate the other race. Once an individual feels superior, he wants others to submit and to be subservient to him. See how shaitan’s teachings lead Man to war, strife, hatred and cruelty by creating tyrants, dictators and megalomaniacs.
  • Ironically, no one wants to be the best believer, the best spouse, the best parent or the best servant to the Lord Almighty. No medals are awarded for this, there is no podium for this prize, so it is an unattractive achievement to attain.
  • Maulana himself always says that he is a weak servant, in his own words, ‘I am perhaps the weakest servant of Allah’. If our Master and Sultan himself is saying this, every deputy, mureed and muheeb should be ashamed to claim spiritual prowess or elevated stations for themselves.
  • Tariqah trains believers to view themselves as lowly, unimportant ones. Instead of elevating our egos onto a pedestal, tariqah does the opposite – we are taught and trained to lower ourselves into a pit of humility. We are taught not to see others as better than ourselves. When we look at the young, we know they are better than us because they have sinned less. When we look at the old, we know they are better because they have done more good deeds. We look for every reason and excuse to elevate others and to chastise ourselves.
  • Read what Shaykh Abdul Qadir jilani (q) said about humility.
It is with this virtue, humility, that the servant’s residence is erected, that his station is raised high, that his honor and eminence are made perfect in the sight of Allah (Glory be to Him) and in the sight of His creatures, and that he is empowered to achieve all his worldly and otherworldly goals. This virtue is the root, branch and consummation of all virtues, whereby the servant attains to the stations of the righteous, those who are content with Allah (Exalted is He) in joy and sorrow alike. This is the perfection of piety.Humility means that the servant never meets anyone without assuming him to be more worthy than himself. He will always say: “Perhaps he is better than I in Allah’s sight, and higher in degree.” If it is someone young, he will say: “This person has not offended Allah (Exalted is He) as I have done, so he is undoubtedly better than I.” If it is someone older, he will say: “This person served Allah long before I did.” If it is someone learned, he will say: “This person has received something I have not experienced, and has acquired something I have not acquired. He knows things of which I am ignorant, and he puts his knowledge into practice.” If it is someone who is ignorant, he will say: “This person has offended Allah in ignorance, while I have offended Him knowingly. I do not know what end He has in store for me, nor what end He has in store for him.” If it should be an unbeliever, he will say: “I don’t know; perhaps he will embrace Islam and come to a good end, and maybe I shall become an unbeliever and come to a bad end.”
  • Read the following excerpt from the life story of one of our Naqshbandi GrandShaykhs, where the best mureed of Shaykh Sayyid Jamaluddin al-Ghumuqi al-Husayni ad-Daghestani (q), Orkallisa Muhammad, reached a point, when he realised that he was the worst human being on earth. Read what happens to him next.
One time Sayyid Jamaluddin al-Ghumuqi (q) was with his followers in the big mosque of the city praying the night prayer in congregation. When the prayers were finished, everyone went out and they locked the mosque from the outside. One person remained behind inside the mosque, hiding behind a pillar. His name was Orkallisa Muhammad, one of the best murids of Sayyid Jamaluddin (q). He was talking to himself and saying, ‘O Orkallisa Muhammad, now there is no one with you, you are alone. Defend yourself.” And he answered himself, “How can I defend myself? I am the worst person that Allah has created on the face of the Earth. To prove it, I swear an oath that if what I say is not what I honestly believe, then may my own wife be haram to me!” He didn’t know that his Shaykh was also hiding himself in the mosque and observing him. The Shaykh looked into his heart. He saw that in his heart he truly believed himself to be the worst person in creation. Sayyid Jamaluddin (q) revealed himself, laughing and saying, “Orkallisa come here.” The latter was very surprised to see his Shaykh because he thought he was alone. The Shaykh told him, “You are right and you are also loyal and sincere.” As soon as he heard this, Orkallisa Muhammad floated up and hit his head on the ceiling of the mosque. He came down and floated up and came down again. This happened seven times. When the murid is cleansed of this dunya his soul will lift him up and he will fly like a bird.Then Shaykh Jamaluddin told him, “Sit,” and he sat. The Shaykh was pointing with his index finger to the heart of Orkallisa Muhammad with a circular motion. As he was rotating his finger he was opening his heart, not to the Divine Presence, but to the secrets hidden already in his own heart. What he opened up to him were the six levels that must be opened to the seeker in order to set foot on the first step in the Way. These are: the Reality of Attraction (haqiqat al-jadhba), the Reality of Receiving Heavenly Revelation (haqiqat al-fayd), the Reality of Directing the Heart’s Power to Someone (haqiqat at-tawajjuh), the Reality of Intercession (haqiqat at-tawassul), the reality of Guidance (haqiqat al-irshad), and the Ability to move in Space and Time in one Moment (haqiqat at-tayy). These six powers that he opened to him are the First Major Step on the Sufi Path. As he opened these six powers, he was able to take him to the State of Witnessing. In that state of vision he saw himself sitting with 124,000 white birds encircling him. One large green bird flew to the middle. After that vision the white birds disappeared and in their places there appeared the spirituality of 124,000 saints. Then the green bird disappeared and there appeared the spiritual form of Sayiddina Muhammad . The Prophet said, “I am testifying that he has reached the state of Perfection and now you can depend on him. Give him the secret of the Naqshbandi Order.” Then Sayidd Jamaluddin poured from his heart into the heart of Orkallisa Muhammad secrets and knowledge of which he had never dreamed. He said to his Shaykh, “O my Shaykh, do these things exist in tariqat?” He replied, “Yes, my son, and that is only the Beginning of the Way.”It is said that the secret of his Shaykh could be seen in Orkallisa Muhammad. He would go up on the mimbar (pulpit) on Friday and he would clap his hands and say, “O People cry!” and they would all begin crying. Then he would clap his hands and say, “Laugh!” and they would laugh. Then he would make a du’a (invocation) saying, “O Allah they are crying in repentance and asking forgiveness. Forgive them. And they are laughing at the pleasure of your mercy!” Then he would clap a third time and say, “Are you accepting the Naqshbandi Sufi Order to be your Order?” and they would say, “Yes.” Then he would ask them, “Do you accept to repeat 5000 times, ‘Allah,’ by tongue and 5000 times, ‘Allah,’ in the heart?” and they would answer, “Yes.” By this method he spread the Naqshbandi Order all over the land of Daghestan, Kazan, Southern Russia and among the soldiers of Imam Shamil.

So once Orkallisa Muhammad had reached that lowest point that he saw himself as the worst, he was witnessed by the Prophet (saw), and given the secret of the Naqshbandi Order! And that, was only the beginning of the Way! So what about all of us who are so proud of the little superficial knowledge that we have? We haven’t even begun the journey, masyaAllah, until we receive the secret from our Shaykh! And the only way to do that, is to lower ourselves, as the door to Allah is humility, as Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) said. That is why Maulana has often quoted this Verse of the Quran, where Maryam (as) says:

Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight (nameless/unknown)!” (Quran 19:23)

  • This is the cornerstone of our worldly journey – to seek to become a forgotten and unknown one! So whilst Shaitan urges us to become known and proud like him, the Prophetic teachings preach the opposite, for us to seek humility as this leads Man to the highest of Maqams – see what Allah revealed about the Maqam of Maryam (as), who uttered the words above:

Behold! The angels said: “O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee, chosen thee above the women of all nations. (Quran 3:42)

  • So many believers are misled by their egos and shaitan into doing the exact opposite – they want to show their miracles (karomah), their stations (maqams), they seek to become Shaykhs and want to teach and attract followers. Why? Is that the purpose of being in Tariqah? Or is it servanthood, submission, love and annihilation in the Beloved? In the words of a close mureed of Maulana’s, he said, “Maulana has three million mureeds today. Half think they are Shaykhs. They other half want to be Shaykhs. Strange that everyone wants to be Shaykh, and no one wants to be mureed, no one wants to become a servant, no one wants to be a Saint.” See how shaitan has drawn the wool over our eyes, until we all think we are powerful and special ones?
  • So, as Maulana quoted from the Quran, we must stop following shaitan. Remain unknown, humble and forgotten – don’t let the big turban you are wearing, or the long beard you sport, or the flowing Saintly robe you don, or the fact that you lead zikir/Khatam in some town, make you swell with pride and arrogance. That is not the purpose of being in Tariqah! In the words of Maulana Shaykh Nazim himself below:

Tariqah trains you to be Nothing!


This 34 minute Suhbah in English can be viewed at,Click here to watch the Suhbah. There is a Subtitle button next to the Volume control at the bottom of the screen to choose from eleven languages – Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu, German, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Dutch, Italian and Turkish. Click the Audio button for a live translation into the different languages. Should the video no longer be there, please look for it under the video archives of the Saltanat TV site.

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