From the Realities of Mawlana (Q) as taught by Shaykh Nurjan Mirahmadi
A’udhu Billahi Minash Shaitanir Rajeem
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
I seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the rejected one
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Masters of Good Characteristics are Enlightened
From the Presence of Sayyindina Muhammad ﷺ, Ahlul Bayt (as) (Holy Family of Prophet ﷺ), wa sadatin Naqshbandiyun, that Sultanul Awliya Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Haqqani (Q), look over our association, be pleased with our association; asking for his madad and support of his representatives. Alhamdulillah, they are the shaykhs, they are the guides, they are perfected. And I am not a shaykh, trying my best to be a servant of the servants of God. That they are, and they have reached the blessings of servanthood and reached enlightenment. Because a servant reaches enlightenment, not something or someone from pride and arrogance and bad characteristics.
The masters of good characteristics equals enlightenment, so that you cannot be an enlightened individual and exemplify bad characteristics. So, we always ask from Insan al Kamil (The Universal Perfect Being), from Shaykh al Kamil (Perfected Guide) they are perfected. And that their nazar (gaze), their prayers always watch over our association and ask for their madad and support. That the chair [Shaykh points to chair beside him] represents their position, their seat of authority. That they are always in authority, and we are trying our best just to keep our heads at their feet. And that they must lead our association, they must guide our association, they must inspire that association. We pray that they be happy with that association.
Hawa: Our Desires are One of the Four Enemies of the Soul
How to bring about good characteristics and move towards goodness is a constant growth. That we talk about the enemies of the soul is the material desire, what we call dunya. The hawa, which is my hawa: my personal desires, personal satisfactions, pleasures of the physicality, egoism, and satan.
Satan, which we want to call our movement towards evilness and wickedness; how we’re prone to be mean, prone to be wicked. And that partnership with the ego that is bringing about that wickedness. This means the ego becomes partners with the devil, bad character and attacks us. Alhamdulillah, we talked about material desires.
Laziness is a Dangerous Characteristic of Hawa
Mawlana Shaykh’s (Q) teaching for us is hawa; how to come against my desires and my pleasures which bring about different characteristics. One of them can be laziness; that I seek to indulge myself and pamper myself and not achieve all that I can achieve. And to reach a level of being comfortable in something and not achieving more. You fall into a rut, or a track, and just go about that track.
In all spiritual paths and in everything in life, Daleel al Mutahireen which means we’re asking from the ‘Guide of the Bewildered.’ That our Lord, and all Sufi books and Sufi masters were teaching: take ourselves, challenge ourselves to increase ourselves in knowledge, increase ourselves in actions and in efforts. And everyday, pray that we are growing in our actions and in our efforts, and in our understandings.
يَا وَهَّابُ يَا وَهَّابُ يَا وَهَّابُ، يَا مُسَبِّبَ الأَسْبَابِ، يَا مُفَتِّحُ الأَبْوَابِ، يَا مُقَلِّبُ الْقُلُوْبِ وَالأَبْصَارِ. يَا دَلِيْلَ الْمُتَحَيِّرِيْنَ يَا غِيَاثَ الْمُسْتَغِيْثِيْنَ،يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّوْمُ،
“Ya Wahhab. Ya Wahhab. Ya Wahhab. Ya musabbibal asbab, ya mufattihul abwab, ya muqallibul qulubi wal absar. Ya Dalilal mutahayyirin, ya Ghiyathal mustaghithin, ya Hayyu ya Qayyum…”
“O Bestower! O Bestower! O Bestower! O Originator of causes! O Opener of doors! O Tuner (Changer) of hearts and eyes! O Guide of the perplexed! O Succour for those who seek Your aid! O Living! O Self-Subsisting One!”
And taking our self to an association and associations that teach us what we didn’t know. Then we understand that there’s something there for my soul. But being comfortable going somewhere where we already know what’s happening creates that level of, ‘I’m just comfortable with that. I’m comfortable; don’t want to expand the horizon, don’t want to put an effort towards expanding myself.’ And that can become a danger.
Control Your Eyes to Control Your Desires
And coming against our hawa (desires), coming against our physicalities; then Sufism teaches this is a great struggle. That when we’re asking to come against my desires and my material desires, Mawlana Shaykh (Q) is teaching: then be careful with your eyes. That control your eyes, control the desires, look down. Don’t look for all of the allurement of this world. Keep your eyes closed and start to seek that satisfaction within the heart.
The Pleasure of Physicality Brings Sickness on Our Spirituality
Then they begin to teach us that the hawa and the need for pleasure of the body is going to bring upon a sickness in our spiritual path. That the ego is going to convince us that, ‘Put the body in a state of ease. Take the body into a state of pleasure and relaxation.’ And that’s going to reach that level of reality. And it’s a very fine line that is a big confusion today, especially within the new age community.
Most of the practices that we seek out and most of the disciplines that people are moving towards are based purely on physical and enjoying the physicality, moving the physicality, entertaining the physicality. And all of that builds hawa. All of that builds desire. Go somewhere, move, feel good in the movement. There’s nothing spiritual about that. That is body time.
Document the Time Given to Your Body, Mind, & Soul
So, when we start to document our lives, Mawlana Shaykh (Q) teaches us, document how much – you could go minute by minute, hour by hour, for one day, or 2-3 days to take a good average, good balance. In that day, everything you do, put in a column: my body time, mind time, or soul time. And from the time we eat, if its not conscious eating where you’re thinking, praising, praying on the food, eating in that conscious – it’s only for the body.
From the time getting up, exercising, playing was for the body. If it was deep meditation, strenuous, aggravating, an early time which was not comfortable, put it now towards the mind and the soul. Wake-up at a comfortable time, a leisure time, beautiful time, sun is already shining – you’re engaging the physicality.
Show the Divine That You Are Serious in Your Struggle
So, then everything they begin to teach us is then: apply the struggle. If the meditation is going to be most powerful when I’m not in a time to enjoy it, it means early morning. I’m tired, everybody’s asleep, comes 4:30-5 in the morning, that’s where it’s going to be powerful because that’s where it’s going to come heavy against the ego. Then if that’s your serious battle, then take it as a battle. Take it as a real struggle because you must show the Divine that you are serious in your struggle. We’re never going to win the battle against this ego, but what they want to see is the struggle.
Never Give Up On Your Battle Against Your Ego
That’s why they give the example of ‘Lord of the Rings.’ The whole time where the king is going to give up and these demons are coming through the door, and then the enlightened shaykh, which is Gandalf, keeps asking, ‘Are you planning on dying like this? You’re just going to let these demons come in? Get on your horse, man! Get on your horse and ride through!’
And Gandalf was going to meet him on that horizon, but he kept remembering that inspiration. And then the people who are with him keep inspiring him, ‘Struggle, struggle! Never give up your battle!’ You can’t give in to the bad characteristics. Otherwise, they take us over.
Discipline Your Body to Avoid Physical Pleasures Overtaking You
So, what they’re looking for is the struggle. So, if I’m going to struggle and say, ‘No, the best time to meditate, 4:30 in the morning,’ then I’m going to bring about all sorts of disciplines to bring my hawa (desires) down. Make my place of sleep uncomfortable. So, that’s why Prophet ﷺ was teaching that he was sleeping on a bamboo flooring, on a hard floor with this bamboo rug where Prophet ﷺ was sleeping. And the companions were coming and they were crying because they were seeing the marks of the bamboo on his face and saying, ‘Ya Rasulul Kareem (The Most Generous Prophet)! We can move everything and bring you a luxurious place to sleep! Why are you doing this? And having these marks on your body, and putting us in shame?’
عَنْ اَلإِمَامْ الْبَاقِرْ عَلّيِهِ السّلاَمْ، قَالَ:- سُئِلَتْ حَفْصَةُ (عَلّيِهِ السّلاَمْ)، مَا كَانَ فِرَاشُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ فِي بَيْتِكِ؟
قَالَتْ: مِسْحًا نَثْنِيهِ ثَنِيَّتَيْنِ فَيَنَامُ عَلَيْهِ
. [المَصْدَرْ: الشّمَائِلَ الْمُحَمَّدِيَّةْ ٣٢٨ ، كِتَابْ: ٤٦ حَدِيِثْ:٢]
‘An al Imam al Baqir (as) qala: suyelat Hafsa (as), maa kana ferashu Rasulillahi ﷺ fi bayteka?
Qalat: “Meshan nathnihi thaniyatayni fayanamu ‘alayhi.
[Al Masdar: Ash Shamayel AlMuhammadiya, 328, Kitab 46, Hadith 2]
Our Master Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) said that someone asked Ummul Mu’mineen (Mother of the Believers) Hafsah (as), “How was the bed of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in your house?” She replied, ‘It was a canvas folded into two, which was spread for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to sleep on. [Source: Ash Shamayel AlMuhammadiya 328, Book 46, Hadith number 2]
Because Prophet ﷺ is teaching us, teaching that if you allow that hawa, if you allow that physical pleasure to overtake you, it overtakes everything. So, then now we make our beds and our places and everything so pampered, so wonderful, so luxurious, we don’t get up for any of the prayers. We don’t get up for any of the meditations. We don’t get up for anything and we stay in that. And then the ego and the badness, the wickedness overtake and then darken the soul.
The Way to Discipline Your Sleep
So, then there was a teaching in that hawa, that as much as you can, struggle against your physicality. Put a big glass of water right before you sleep, and keep drinking lots of water throughout the night so that you train yourself every two hours, you have to get up and wash.
And for us that have a discipline: when you wash, you have to also wash your body to go back to sleep; not only wash your hands, wash your face, your head, your ears, your feet so you’re all wet. Pray your prayers and go back into bed. Then your sleep becomes every hour and a half, broken, broken, broken so it’s never a deep, deep sleep. It’s always a sort of disciplined, sort of choppy sleep. This means they’ve had all of these practices to bring about difficulties against their physicality.
Break the Horse of the Ego Until It Agrees
For many years, their training was then to sleep on a floor where we had all the kids in the bed. And we were trained to sleep on the floor. Again, to bring a discipline to train the self, reach a point where you have a training over the self that we are going to pray at this time regardless of anything! And I’m going to put hardship upon you until you support me in this effort. You break that horse, you break that horse until the horse is broken and agrees, ‘I’ll wake you up, don’t worry. Just help us out here, you’re killing us!’ And then you see that that horse begins to help you to get up, to wash, to do what is needed to be done.
Difficulties Come to Shake Your Soul to Move
Mawlana Shaykh (Q) then begins to teach us that each of the prophets are coming and giving an example for us. Under Nabi Musa (as) and Sayyidina Ibrahim (as) for the hawa; that you have to understand difficulty, anger, and fire. That as much as you’re asking for support, you’re asking, ‘Oh my Lord! I don’t want to be lost in my desires! I want to reach Your satisfaction!’
Then the answer to that prayer is then, ‘I’m going to send difficulty upon you!’ As soon as difficulty comes upon your life, it’s a shaking that your soul is so happy inside that house. Your body and ego has made it so comfortable, so amazing, that you are just sitting there, doing nothing. So, then a little bit of difficulty comes like a house on fire, and that soul is running out.
Don’t Try to Get Rid of Your Difficulties, Pray to Understand Them
So, then Mawlana Shaykh’s (Q) teaching for us, ‘Every difficulty, every mushkilat, every sadness, everything that begins to come to us has a tremendous hikmah (wisdom), tremendous blessing.’ Every fight, every battle, every agitation in our homes, Divine is saying, ‘Don’t be too comfortable. Is there you want it? Or you wanted My Divine Presence?’ This means when everything is perfect, nobody prays, nobody meditate, nobody does anything. ‘Everything perfect. We’re so great. The sky is blue. I think I go for a walk.’ And then we become in love with the material world again.
As soon as there’s a difficulty, if you have just a back pain or a foot pain, you have an agitation with your spouse, with your children, something happens – oh, you’re on that mat, ‘Where’s the guidance? Where’s the light? Where’s the understanding?’ So, then they begin to teach us that there are blessings in these difficulties. Don’t think of them as that, ‘Why it’s here?’ And something that, ‘Please pray to get rid of it. Take it away, take it away.’ But pray for the understanding of what’s coming.
We Only Remember the Divine During Difficulties
So, then those who are deep in meditation and tafakkur, they begin to contemplate that why is this difficulty coming? And then the shaykhs begin to inspire from the teachings of the prophets that you didn’t want to be so comfortable. Every time you’re agitated like this, your heart is back into our presence; talking, praying, begging, asking, conversing with us. The dialogue is opened through difficulties.
As soon as you have pleasure and leisure, you don’t call at all! We gave the example of growing up. When you grow up, and your life is reliant upon your father and mother, if you have a limitless credit card, you’re out! All over town! Until daddy cuts the credit card! (Laughter). Soon as they cut the cash, the kids are right back in the living room. ‘What’s going on? What happened?’ Say, ‘We’re calling you. We wanna see you, wanna talk to you.’
The Divine Wants to Hear From Us During Good and Bad
Divine saying, ‘If this your family is doing, imagine how I’m feeling? I love you. I want the dialogue. Unfortunately, I only get the dialogue when you’re in difficulty. I didn’t want it to be that way.’ Allah (AJ) doesn’t want it to be that way. The saints don’t converse with the Divine only in difficulty. They’re conversing all the time out of thankfulness, happiness, sadness, all the emotions. They’re always in that communion; teaching us we’re always thanking the Divine, always speaking and moving in that presence. But we are weak.
Make Your Connection Now and Teach Your Children Too
So, then they begin to open the understanding of hawa, of personal pleasures and entertainments for my physicality. When this path is real, these shaykhs are praying. When they’re praying, then you find that your core is being shook. So, then don’t need to keep coming and saying, ‘Stop shaking it!’ That’s why they keep coming and say, ‘Oh, take away this problem, Shaykh! Take away this problem, Shaykh!’ And we would sit and look at Mawlana (Q). He would just had a smile because he understood.
But if you take it away, then you’re not going to reach where you had to reach! Every time a difficulty comes to you, shakes your core, and makes you pray, makes you begin to cry in your prostration. What am I going to do about my kids? Yeah, you should be concerned about your children. The way you’re going now, they’re headed straight to the fire! So, shake from now, cry from now, scream from now. Don’t be happy, don’t be satisfied with the way things are. You must talk from now.
So, then it’s a mercy. If from now, we have difficulties. From young age, we have difficulty, we can work on it. So, Divine is saying, ‘Why you’re praying to get rid of it?’ Pray that their character changes. Pray that you put discipline upon your life, discipline upon their lives. Take your path real, teach them to be real. Teach them to pray. Teach them to meditate. Teach them that there is a difficulty, there is fire. And all of that begins to open.
Difficulties Present Openings for Us to Ascend
And then I have emotion problems and loved one problems. Then again, you find yourself praying and meditating, that your heart is broken, you have a sadness, you have a difficulty. So, then Mawlana (Q) begins to teach us each of these difficulties is an opening for us to ascend. Each emotion that comes to us – if we can control it, harness it and understand it, it’s an opening to ascend to our reality.
That when this comes, with the right practices, I go on my carpet and I start to meditate and I start to beg and pray. And I begin to converse with the Divine that, ‘Send me an understanding. Send me a wisdom. Send me from Your satisfaction, that light.’ And then you find yourself elevating, moving up with an understanding. Then that difficulty goes and the promise is, ‘More difficulties are coming!’ But use your disciplines, use your trainings, use your skills and take your path seriously.
Our Way Out of Difficulty is to Take the Hand of Our Shaykh
That’s why you’ve been sent on that path to use all of those abilities. We’ve said before, if we don’t use the meditation, don’t use the praying, don’t use the zikr (Divine remembrance), don’t use any of the things we’ve been trained for, to open up the spiritual realm. This means when the house is burning – if you sit in that burning house, only thing that happens is you burn. ‘Ohh! This material world is very sour! Very horrible!’ Because all you feeling is the sourness of the testing.
But with the training, why they’re opening a spiritual path? Why are they opening from these spiritual masters? Because the spiritual masters are there with their hand. As soon as that difficulty comes, ‘Take my hand. It’s a way for you out!’ And as soon as you come out, you feel an ecstasy and a light. It means then, you go into your meditation, your contemplation, everything is opening. The power of your soul is much more powerful when there’s difficulties on the physicality.
Shaykhs are Responsible for Students in the Divinely Presence
And the example of that were the prophets. Their whole life was based on difficulty. And if it wasn’t difficult for them, it was difficult on their followers, and their followers are like their family. They make no distinction. We have difficulty with two kids, one husband, or one wife.
The shaykhs? Their family are thousands! Thousands of students! And they are as caring for those more so than their own family because they’re responsible for them in Divinely Presence. So, then imagine all night long they are praying for us. All night long they are crying for us. All night long they are begging that, ‘Provide an opening! Provide a relief!’ It means that these characteristics are saintly characteristics. If we don’t develop them, then we can’t grow. And all we taste is the sourness of this world.
The Divine Sends Difficulties for Us to Seek Remedy
So, then they open the schools of training so that when difficulty comes, understand these difficulties. Don’t try to avoid them. Don’t keep begging for them to go, but understand the wisdom in them. These difficulties are coming for a purification. They come to our loved ones for a reason. They come to our loved ones for an opening. If you keep praying for these things not to come, then how will these loved ones come for an opening?
Everybody’s dunya (material world) must be taken down. So, the first thing people come and pray for is that, ‘Everything has collapsed. Please pray for our dunya.’ If your dunya was big, then we said before – if tomorrow you get a phone call that you just got $100,000 wired into your bank – well, now you probably need $500,000 for a good time – the last place you’re going to be is here. You’re going to call us from south of France, ‘I got my money. I’m with you guys in spirit! Peace!’ (Laughter).
Your Sustenance is Being Brought Down to Get Your Attention
So, the Divine knows that. Divine says, ‘Let’s get their attention.’ The best way to get their attention: cut the sustenance, cut the money. They’re worshipping money. Cut it down, bring it low. As soon as the money is down, you got everybody’s attention. Because they coming and asking, ‘Shaykh, please! Make a du’a! Make a prayer for more money! I got bills to pay!’
This means they know! That’s the wisdom of how they can get our attention. Otherwise, how are you going to deal with this reality? The competition is serious. Their worshipping of the material world is not penetrable. You can’t enter into that, if not for Divinely support.
The Three Tests of Sayyidina Musa (Moses) (as)
And the Divine is teaching us the three tests of Sayyidina Khidr (as).
1. Breaking the Boat: When Khidr (as), Saint George, was with Prophet Musa (as), and the test was the ship that had to be sunk. A fisherman who has a ship, and an evil king is moving and taking all the ships of all the fisherman. And Moses (as) and Saint George come, Sayyidina Khidr (as) come, and they put a hole in the boat, sink the boat.
﴾فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰ إِذَا رَكِبَا فِي السَّفِينَةِ خَرَقَهَا ۖ قَالَ أَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا ﴿٧١
18:71 – “Fantalaqa hatta idha rakiba fes safeenati kharaqaha, qala akharaqtaha litughriqa ahlaha laqad jita shay-an imra.” (Surat Al-Kahf)
“So they set out, until when they had embarked on the ship, Al-Khidr tore it open. [Moses] said, Have you torn it open to drown its people? You have certainly done a grave thing.” (The Cave, 18:71)
2. The Wicked Boy: They go to a family, who has a very wicked boy, and they slay the boy, and they move to a town where two orphans have an inheritance.
﴾فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰ إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلَامًا فَقَتَلَهُ قَالَ أَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا زَكِيَّةً بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ لَّقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا نُّكْرًا ﴿٧٤
18:74 – “Fantalaqaa hattaa izaa laqiyaa ghulaaman faqatalahoo qaala aqatalta nafsan zakiy yatam bighairi nafs; laqad ji’ta shai’an nukraa” (Surat Al-Kahf)
“Then they proceeded: until, when they met a young man, he slew him. Moses said: ‘Hast thou slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard of) thing hast thou done!'”
3. Building the Wall: They take that inheritance and build a wall and hide that inheritance into the wall.
﴾فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَتَيَا أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ اسْتَطْعَمَا أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْا أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَارًا يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُ ۖ قَالَ لَوْ شِئْتَ لَاتَّخَذْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا ﴿٧٧
18:77 – “Fantalaqa hatta idha ataya ahla qaryatin istat’ama ahlaha faabaw an yudayyifoo huma fawajada feeha jidaran yureedu an yanqadda faaqamahu, qala law sheta lat ta khadhta ‘alayhi ajra.” (Surat Al-Kahf)
“So they set out, until when they came to the people of a town, they asked its people for food, but they refused to offer them hospitality. And they found therein a wall about to collapse, so al Khidhr restored it. [Moses] said, If you wished, you could have taken for it a payment.” (The Cave, 18:77)
These Three Tests are the Root of the Naqshbandiya Path
These three tests is the root of Naqshbandiya. This Naqshbandiya path is based on that reality of what Sayyidina Khidr (as) was taught from Divine Presence because he’s in the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi teachings. This means these shaykhs are inheriting from the reality of Sayyidina Khidr (as), Saint George, peace and blessings be upon him.
1. First Test: Hole in the Ship of Sustenance
So, then first thing they’re going to do is – all of us have a ship that we make our money with because he’s a fisherman. They didn’t destroy the ship where you’re not going to ever make money again; just they put a hole in the ship, it starts to go down. (Holy Qur’an, 18:71) Why? Because if that ship is up, this evil king is coming. It means your sustenance will quickly go into the hands of shaitan (satan), of evilness.
Use Your Heavenly Attribute Towards Goodness
We said before, Mawlana Shaykh (Q) teaching the attribute that dresses you never changes. It’s just who’s using you will change. Everybody is dressed by an attribute. So, if somebody is dressed from the attribute of the Divine of Al-Karim, the Generous, what happens? He’s generous and buys everybody a drink at the bar. He’s very generous. And everywhere he goes, he is very giving. But giving to evilness. And all people surrounded by that person, and that person is always Karim.
But the awliyaullah, the saints, are dispatched and take that person. They understand the different attributes of the people, and then they begin to inspire us that if you’re Karim, if you are generous, now use your generosity towards goodness, towards good people. Buy them all food. Buy them all sustenance. Increase their reality.
When the Ship is Back, Use Your Sustenance for Hereafter
So, then they took that ship and brought it down, got their attention, and begin to train the students. And then you begin as they want to bring that ship back. Now that you’re trained, you understand whose ship your allegiance is to. That when my sustenance comes back and my prosperity comes back, I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m not going to go and buy the pub a drink. I’m going to use my sustenance for my hereafter. I’m going to help feed people who need to be fed. I need to help people to come to their reality.
We start to understand our sustenance; who it belongs to? It doesn’t belong to you and me. It belongs to the Divine. We are merely a custodian, a trustee for that. Most trustees are thieves. ‘Oh, I got this inheritance. Nobody is looking, this kid is really young, (I write) a cheque for me, my wife, my kids, everybody.’ And then you grow up and there’s nothing in the trust.
Awliya Understand We Are Just Trustees to Our Sustenance
The understanding of servanthood is Divine is saying, ‘You’re faqir! And I am Ghani! You are poor and I am Rich! What I give to you, you are merely a trustee for it’ – if you reach servanthood. The awliyaullah (saints), they understand servanthood. They understand is that ship is coming up. For them, the ship is big as it’s coming up to come out and support. So, they’re using what that sustenance is as a trustee. That’s why they’re wakil, that’s why they are awliya. As a trustee, they are dispensing, they are dispensing, they are dispensing.
So, then the Divine is teaching us: we are not trustees! We are embezzling and stealing what comes to us, thinking it’s ours, and ‘It’s mine,’ and ‘It’s all mine!’ They say, ‘Incorrect!’ That ship still has to go back down. So, then they begin to teach us from these realities of our hawa (desire) because it’s coming under hawa because it’s testing.
Why Are You Going to Be Questioned for Your Earnings?
So, the first thing everybody comes up to Mawlana (Q) and is praying, ‘Please, my work! Please, my job! Please, my kids! Please, these difficulties!’ Understanding hawa (desires) is then understanding the wisdom that, ‘Yes, my sustenance is going to go down and Allah (AJ) wants me to focus my attention on my guide. Develop my character. Develop my understanding. Develop a good intention. Ya Rabbi, that inshaAllah, the day comes that You bring it, and that sustenance to be good, and it’s in the hands of Your awliyaullah (saints). It’s not mine. It’s not mine to keep and to embezzle. I’m merely a trustee, and save me from being questioned on the Day!’
Why you’re going to be questioned in the grave for your earnings? Because they’re not yours! If they were yours, why would all the prophets teach about questioning you? If it’s yours, you do what you want with it. Who cares? I don’t care. The reason you’re going to be questioned because it wasn’t yours. As a trustee, what did you do with what was given?
Don’t Abuse the Body That Was Given in Trust
With this life that was given to you, it was not yours to take. It was not yours to abuse. The body that was given to you, it is not your body. You didn’t make it. You didn’t create it. You’re merely using it and driving within it. You don’t have permission to mark it up, to abuse it, to pierce it, to destroy it, and take it back like a rental car, all torn up and slashed and repainted. The rental car agency, ‘What the heck did you do? You tore all the seats out. You repainted everything; you customized the wheels!’ (Laughter).
So, this body is a trust. And then the worst now is that they want to dissolve their bodies. And Divine is saying, ‘Wait!’ Again, you’re going to the agency and saying, ‘You know what, I saved you the problem of even looking at this car. I burned it! Right there in the parking lot. I set it ablaze!’ Eh, anyone who did that, we’d be in jail. And Divine saying, ‘Ok, you’re going to have a big surprise coming for you. You have no permission to do that. It’s not yours to do that. It’s not yours to destroy. It’s not yours to disintegrate and to liquefy.’
We Must Sanctify the Body That Was Given to Us
Now they don’t even want to burn the body. They say, ‘We wanna put it into a cylinder and pour acid, liquefy it, and send it down the drain into the sewage.’ And the evilness with the ego, its partners comes and says, ‘Yes, save space on this Earth!’ You’re worried about a condominium complex versus the sanctity of your body being in the earth? Let the whole Earth be filled with bodies. They don’t need any more condos! You think somebody’s saving this earth for what? A park? They want to develop this earth. They say, ‘No, I don’t want to put my body in the earth. There’s no more space.’ They build a high-rise! That trust is not ours.
So, then they teaching us under hawa (desires), that you take what was given to you as a trust. Sanctify it, purify it, perfect it, try not to damage, try not to destroy it. Give it back to its owner the way it was given to you and in tariqa (spiritual path), give it back better than it was given to you. That I polished and cleaned it. I tried the best to take care of it and here it is, my Lord. This is the trust that you have given to me, back.
2. Second Test: The Bad Character Must Go
And then they begin to open us then, the boy that Nabi Musa (as) is that bad character, that wicked character has to be destroyed, the naughty character.
﴾وَأَمَّا الْغُلَامُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَا أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا ﴿٨٠﴾ فَأَرَدْنَا أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا ﴿٨١
18:80-81 – “Waamma alghulamu fakanaabawahu mu/minayni fakhasheena an yurhiqahumatughyanan wakufra (80). Faaradna an yubdilahumarabbuhuma khayran minhu zakatan waaqraba ruhma (81)” (Surah Al-Kahf)
“And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them one better than him in purity and nearer to mercy.” (The Cave, 18:80-81)
Just Like CCTV, You’re Being Watched
The naughty character under hawa (desires) is that we think nobody sees us. At some point in time, we have to realize they see us all the time. We said the CCTV – what does CCTV stand for? Closed-circuit TV. Now everyone has CCTV. They even got some assassins in a hotel with CCTV. They have streets with CCTV. Divine is saying, ‘Don’t you see? I see too! These cameras are watching you. You don’t think I’m seeing you? You don’t think the angels are seeing you? You don’t think the prophets are seeing you? You don’t think the saints are seeing you? Only this CCTV sees you?!’
If You’re Cheating at Work, You’re Cheating Your Lord
So, then they say, ‘OK, everybody’s seeing me. How I can cheat? How I can do bad things when I’m at work? Because eight hours out of the day, I’m at work. It’s not your time! It’s not your crookedness time. You’re under observation of awliya (saints). What you doing? You’re getting $10, you give them $15 in work! You take from them $10, give them $5 in work. You are accountable in the grave. You cheated! You cheated your Lord because He’s your boss, not that person.
This is the first step in tariqa (spiritual path). If you don’t know tariqa, we don’t know who we are, who’s the boss? The Boss is the hand that is in everything. If I get a job, it’s not that person hired me. The Divine has written for me, ‘Give his sustenance from this location and let Me observe what he does.’ That when my Lord is always watching me, doesn’t matter if I’m working for a Rabbi, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Zen, a Muslim, I’m working for my Creator. And my Creator is watching everything that I do and observing. And the angels observing and looking, and say, ‘Isn’t this the same one who comes to the chanting?’
‘Why he’s stealing now?’
Say (Shaykh becomes saddened), ‘I don’t know. I don’t know why he’s doing that. He thinks we’re not seeing.’
‘Why he’s taking from them $15 and giving them $5 of work?
Listen to the Boss at Work, He is Your Shaykh
They tell them to do something and you don’t do it? You don’t follow the orders?’ How are you going to be under tarbiyah (discipline) when you don’t accept the tarbiyah of the shaykhs? They know you’re not going to take their orders, turn left, right, left, right, so the easiest is send you to work. As soon as you go to work, you better listen to that boss because that boss is giving you paycheque. So, then that boss is your shaykh. He’s in the image of my shaykh. My shaykh can be many places at the same time. My boss is my shaykh. And he’s looking, ‘Get up!’
How could anyone other than your shaykh say, ‘Sit-up straight!’? It’s impossible! So, people of signs, they know that, they’re, ‘Ohhh, what’s this? What are you doing? What are you doing right now? Stop playing.’ It means you’re taking money. You’re accountable for what you took. Give more than what you took from people. Let them go away thinking, ‘This man is a Sufi. This woman is a Sufi and I had never met anyone like that before!’ And they testify on the Day of Judgement that, ‘They came early, they left late, they worked hard. They struggled and they never cheated or stole. And everything you told to them, samina wa atana. I heard and I am obeying.’ (Holy Qur’an, 2:285) Unless they ask you to do something forbidden, at that time you say, ‘Our paths have to cross at this point.’
All of Your Time is Your Lord’s Time
This means that’s Sufism. These masters are watching everything we do. But unfortunately now, Sufism is like Superman suit. We go to the phone booth, we change the outfit, we show up. And then we go back into our civilian understanding and do whatever we want. But they’re teaching us, no.
For that naughtiness to go, we must understand that all time is Sufi time. All time is my Lord’s time, every moment. Eight hours of work is going to be purification. Eight hours of sleeping is going to be purification. Eight hours of family time and enjoyment is going to be my testing and my purification. How I live that life is going to determine how quickly I can ascend to those realities.
3. Third Test: Building Wall and Hidden Treasures
Sustenance drops, the naughty character goes, then what’s left is the treasure. Divine says, ‘I have set aside for every child, every soul, a treasure.’ And these saints, they have built a wall and saved that treasure because if they give this treasure to us now, we would lose it. We would give it to the hands of evilness and wickedness. And we would use that treasure for wicked desires, bad desires. So He says, ‘The amanat, the trust, I have put aside that trust for you.’
Control Your Hawa to Move Towards Your Heavenly Reality
Perfect your character. Understand these realities. Control your dunya desire, control your hawa, the need to please yourself. Abase yourself and please your soul. And understand that my Lord is watching and doing everything. Every testing that coming to me is to bring down my body and bring out the reality of my soul. And then move towards that reality. We pray that the heavenly support on this blessed month, bless us from presence of Sayyidina Muhammad ﷺ, presence of all the prophets, all awliyaullah (saints), and all malaika (angels).
Recitation of Ila Sharafin Nabi
Subhana rabbika rabbal ‘izzati ‘amma yasifoon, wa salaamun ‘alal mursaleen, walhamdulillahi rabbil ‘aalameen. Bi hurmati Muhammad al-Mustafa wa bi siri Surat al-Fatiha.
Special thanks to our transcribers for their help with transcribing this suhbah.
Original Date of Suhbah: October 28, 2012
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- Secret of Division – God Causes Your Condition
- Surrender Your Will to Reach a Higher Level
- 7 Layers of Nafs – The Ego (Part 1) | Conquer Your Worst Enemy | The Way To Allah
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