Booklet Number Thirteen is now ready, once again solely though the fadhl of Allah ta'ala and the barkat of our Sheikh (r.a.).
In the first part of the majlis that has translated for this edition, our Hadhrat(r.a.) discusses some important principles of sulىk. The beginner may not fully comprehend the issues discussed but our Hadhrat's (r.a.) advice is to imbibe the lessons so that, when the salik progresses along the path of sulىk and encounters these issues, he will be aware of them and overcome the obstacles.
That is not to say that this majlis is meant only for that salik who has progressed quite far. Further on Hadhrat(r.a.) discusses many important issues with supporting Qur'an Sharief Ayaat. Like every majlis of our Hadhrat(r.a.) this majlis contains something for everyone.
Among the techniques that our Hadhrat(r.a.) employed was one of asking rhetorical questions. He would put forward questions where the answers were obvious. In this way those who were present were made to think for themselves what the logical conclusions of a series of statements were. In this particular majlis this technique has been used extensively. Hadhrat's (r.a.) purpose was to draw out from the listeners certain points instead of these being spoon-fed to them.
May Allah ta'ala give us all the taufiq to practise according to these teachings.
[This is a translation of a majlis held by Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Masihullah Khan Sahib (R.A.) in Jalalabad, India, on the 1st September, 1986, corresponding to the 26th Zil Hajj 1406]
EFFECT OF THE QUR'AN SHARIEF
The kuffar and mushrikin leaders of Makkah and others used to call the blessed speech of Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) 'magic'. People still use the term 'magic' for the speeches of some people, saying that "the lecture was magical," meaning that there was a bewitching attraction in it and a very profound effect - "What a magical talk it was!"
In the same way the kuffar of Makkah also called the Qur'an Sharif 'magical'. It had the effect of striking a blow to the nafs so that nafsaniyet moves out and diminishes continuously. The nafs becomes corpse-like - like a dead body. Subhanallah! What bullet-wound can be better than that? A bullet from a pistol is a physical shot; this is a metaphysical shot. The former causes destruction of the body; the latter causes destruction of the nafs.
If the physical body is destroyed what remains? Nothing. The reason is the grounds on which a'mal (deeds) are performed are dependent on life - for one to perform deeds it is necessary that one should be alive - life being the vehicle for a'mal. So, when there is no life left then no deeds can be performed and thus there is no progress, because progress is dependent on the performance of deeds (a'mal). There are no deeds performed after death. If there are no deeds then how can there be progress?
IMPORTANCE OF TAUBAH & ISTIGFaR
In the state of being alive the reparation, the remedy for shortcomings is achieved by making istigfar (repentance). However in the akhirat - in the Hereafter - istigfar will be of no use and will not compensate for any evil deeds and sins committed while alive.
So consider life, which is a vehicle, to be a great bounty. Consider it a great bounty for the attaining greater qurb (closeness) of Allah ta'ala and for increasing one's ta'alluq (connection) with Allah ta'ala. Each breath is of great value. For this reason also that as long as there is breath there is hope: as long as one is alive there is scope for reparation as well as for progress. One can compensate for shortcomings. The remedial process for shortcomings is reciting istigfar and also making istigfar with heartfelt contrition. Making istigfar is in itself a hasanah (good deed). By resorting to istigfar evil deeds become annulled.
Similar to istigfar, other ibadat (acts of worship) are also hasanah. In this situation there is no sign of any istigfar yet the hasanah is in the deed performed and evil is annulled. Allah ta'ala states:
Verily hasanat (good deeds) annul evil deeds. S.11 a.114
In other words, hasanat destroys evil; hasanat shoves it away; hasanat washes away evil; hasanat tells evil to take a walk, as if to say, "I am now here, so there is no room for you here!" Because of the nafs the body may have done some evil, so this evil is told, "There is no work for you to do here now." Take the example of a dark room: a candle was lit and the candle tells the darkness, "There is no work for you to do here now. Go! Get out!"
Do you understand? Do you understand my Urdu? Whenever there are newcomers from foreign countries I tend to enquire whether they understand.
POISONS & ANTIDOTES
Allah ta'ala has created certain effects. With regard to poisons of a material nature Allah ta'ala has created appropriate antidotes. Allah ta'ala has created opposites in this world. If a doctor gives some medication to a patient and the medication creates a harmful effect in the body then the doctor will administer an antidote that will counteract the ill-effect of the first medication.
In a very similar manner, to an even greater extent, Allah ta'ala has kept (at the spiritual level) a substitute and a muslih - that thing that will cause rectification (islah), that thing that will eradicate an evil. Sin is a poison and taubah is the antidote for it. To what a degree has Allah ta'ala not poured his bounties on us! Together with creating physical poisons Allah ta'ala has created the antidotes for these very poisons. Similarly with internal poisons, the batini poisons, which take the form of sins, Allah ta'ala has shown us the antidotes for these as well. Allah ta'ala is virtually saying, "I know that Man will ingest poisons, at times in error, at times deliberately. Should it so happen, I have created antidotes. These should then be taken. In a similar way I know that, despite having brought iman on Me, you are going to commit acts contrary to My Orders. When you do this there will even be some among you who will become terrified at this, with tears flowing from the eyes, weeping with a heart filled with contrition, lamenting, 'I have gone against the Orders of my Creator! What to do now? What can I do now? Oh, what's to be done now?' I know you from before - I am alimul-gaib (Knower of the unseen). It is in answer to that person who cries out, 'What can I do?' that I have created taubah!"
TAUBAH IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY
Do you understand? For such a person, because not everybody makes taubah. Did Shaytan make taubah? We all know that he did not. So, Allah ta'ala has laid down a condition - for such a person, because, although taubah has been created, not everybody is going to make use of taubah. Take poison again: although poison has been created, not everybody is going to ingest poison. Allah ta'ala is the Creator of everything: He has created poison and has also made it known that this poison and He has also created the antidote and made it known that this is its antidote. In a similar way there are sins, which are spiritual poisons, but together with these taubah has been created. What a great bounty has Allah ta'ala not blessed us with! He is saying, "There will also be such people who will perpetrate deeds contrary to My Orders, but they will be terrified at their actions - they will be agitated and distressed. Until they have not made amends for this, until they have not remedied it they will not rest with ease. They will not know what its atonement is and in what way to remedy it. And I have muhabbat (love) for him. So, I have shown before hand that I have created taubah." Taubah is for such a person - not for everybody.
COMMITTING SIN IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY
To commit sin is also not for everybody. There are a great number of the creation who abstain completely from sin. So much so that one will hear people say, "That person is a born-wali!" Have you not heard such comments? Yes, you have. "What can one say about him? Subhanallah! Wah! Wah! He is a wali from birth!" Do you see that? This very point I was making that such a person has not gone near any sin throughout his whole life.
However, being human, it can happen that a person falls into sin. This person is now agitated and distressed. He will be terrified. What to do now? If he has not been shown how to make reparations he may commit suicide! He thinks, "What is the purpose of my living? I have become Shaytan!" Thus, Allah ta'ala is saying "I have shown the means of reparation does exist for such people: it is istigfar."
So, to commit sin is not for everybody, but sin has been created - sin has been created and taubah has also been created. However, to commit sin is not for everybody and taubah is not for every sinner.
The Ambiya (a.s.) were human, but there is just no question of them having committed sins. And it is not necessary even to mention the angels - the reason being that they just do not possess that other faculty (i.e. nafs) that can result in mèlan occurring. The Ambiya (a.s.) do possess this quality of having mèlan because they are human and Allah ta'ala has kept in them human instincts as well. The capacity to become angry is kept in a Nabi (a.s.). He possesses nafsani mèlan and shahwat (passions) as well. If these were not kept in him how would he have children? The Ambiya (a.s.) did have children, is that not so? To beget children is possible if they approached their wives. And approaching their wives is possible only if they had mèlan. So, a Nabi (A.S.) will possess mèlan and shahwat.
Yes, however, these qualities will not be utilised inappropriately. The mèlan will not be used in an inappropriate situation. But mèlan there will be. So, we come to learn that mèlan, in itself - per se - is not a sin. Even a Nabi (A.S.) is not exempt from mèlan. Mèlan may appear in a Nabi (a.s.) even before nikah (marriage).
Do you understand what I am saying? I am a talibul-'ilm (student of Din). These are points to listen to attentively and pondered on - not to be passed over superficially.
MبLaN AND A NABI
Mèlan occurred to a Nabi (a.s.) as well before the nikah, before the marriage ceremony. This was the case with Hadhrat adam (a.s.). The incident is as follows: Hadhrat Adam (a.s.) was all alone in Jannat. Allah ta'ala created a companion for him, Hadhrat Hawwa (a.s.). Allah ta'ala had Himself created Hadhrat Adam (a.s.) so what would be the beauty of the companion? Hadhrat Hawwa (a.s.) was created from Hadhrat Adam's (a.s.) left side and she sat on his left. Can you imagine the extreme beauty and charm of Hadhrat Hawwa (a.s.) - how charming she was, how fine and delicate her skin was, how much allure there must have been in her form? Any daughters born to her would also have these attractive qualities. When Hadhrat adam (a.s.) turned to his left and saw Hadhrat Hawwa (a.s.) he extended his hand towards her. No nikah had been performed as yet. This is in the nature of man - his fitrat. Suddenly an alarm rang in his heart: "Hén! Hén! Hén!" This alarm, this "Hén! Hén! Hén!" rang out and Hadhrat adam (a.s.) halted.
So, this mèlan is an instinctive, natural quality. However, to follow through is contrary to the Shariah. It is now clear that merely for mèlan to exist is no sin. After the mèlan, when intention and resolve enter in this direction, then there is pollution. There is no defilement in mere mèlan. When the person chooses to ignore the contamination and persists with his resolve then will come association. Do you understand my words?1 The boy will now link-up with the girl and the girl will now link-up with the boy. Now a deliberate intention is a factor. They will write to one another. They will speak with one another. However, if the person's attention is drawn to this mèlan and he is forewarned then he will be on guard. Then there will be no question of contamination and if there is no contamination then there is no question of association either.
Do you understand my talk? This discourse of mine is directed to the taliban-e- Haq - the seekers of Truth. This discourse is directed to those who are really sincere and truthful seekers of their islah. I mention this because one does not know nowadays who comes and just sits down in the majlis. Even then, such a person is not bereft of benefit, provided that has no enmity and no hasad. It is not so that only those who are devotees will benefit. No. Even those who sit with an open mind will definitely benefit, provided that they do not have enmity like Shaytan developed enmity, like Abu Jahl and Abu Lahb developed enmity against Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam), and so forth.
PLOY OF SHAYTaN
One should be completely open-minded and not deliberately think and ponder out and bring to mind criticisms, otherwise Shaytan will come to one. Should such thoughts come to mind unpremeditated and one realises that they are contrary to Haq then immediately become 'mindless' of them and develop disgust for them. Allah ta'ala states in the Qur'an Sharif:
This is an absolutely amazing ayet! Just as you folk whisper amongst yourselves privately, just so Allah ta'ala states that from his side Shaytan whispers - he instils wisawis, khatarat, khiyalat and hadithun-nafs2 - to the mu'min and with the mu'min, with the object of causing him to fall into despondency and sorrow. Remember this very well.
Do you understand? Shaytan is not visible but he whispers secretly. If you remember this is what he did to Imam Razi (r.a.). Imam Razi (r.a.) was a great 'alim (scholar). Despite this Shaytan still whispered into his heart, very stealthily instilling doubts into his heart. Yet Shaytan cannot be seen. Allah ta'ala is acquainting us with Shaytan. Allah ta'ala is stating that Shaytan desires to throw the mu'min into gloom and grief. So, when these warnings have become firmly embedded in one's heart, will one still pay any attention to wisawis, to stray thoughts and doubts? Of course not. It is Shaytan's objective that the mu'min should not be happy but should be despondent and grieving. The reason is that Hadhrat adam (a.s.) was a mu'min and it was through this mu'min, Hadhrat adam (a.s.), that he developed enmity. The enmity progressed to the extent of hostility.
DO NOT DEBATE WITH TWO TYPES
That is why it is written that one should not converse with two types of people; do not have discussions with two types of people; do not debate or contend with two kinds of people: one is that person who is thick-skulled and stupid; the other is that person who has enmity towards you:
· As to the one who is an idiot, he will not understand what you are saying, so why waste your precious time?
· As to the one who harbours enmity, his animosity will increase and he will now have it in for you and harm you. You have now brought trouble on yourself. Why did you debate with him? His hostility has increased. When it becomes apparent and it is proven that the person is not a talib - not a seeker of Haq - and he has even a bit of enmity in him, then never have discussions with such a person.
Huzur Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) came verily for tabligh. This was his compulsory duty. One carrying out this duty is called a Pegambar, a Rasul. Despite this read through Surah Abasa. Learn it off. The background to this Surah is that Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) was giving da'wah inviting them to Tauhid, which is fundamental to Islam . He was giving da'wah to the Quraish kuffar, the leaders of the Quraish. However, they were not talib. They were not seekers. They were in opposition, not in accord. Despite this Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) was giving them da'wah. This was the purpose for Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) coming, to give da'wah.
Hadhrat Abdullah Ibni Maktum (R.A.) was a blind Sahabi. He approached Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) at that very moment to enquire about a matter concerning a detail of Din which he found it necessary to be elucidated on. He made an attempt to ask. Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) disapproved of his intrusion and did not answer him and turned his face away. From Allah ta'ala an ayet was revealed:
Take note that the address is on an impersonal note: There is a person. A blind person came to him and asked him a question so he turned his face away and displeasure was exhibited on his face. Like I said: Take note that an impersonal form of address has been adopted. Allah ta'ala wanted to conceal the incident concerning Huzur Akram (sallallahu aliyhi wassallam). Others must not think that Allah ta'ala was displeased with His beloved Habib sallallahu aliyhi wassallam). Allah ta'ala did not state . He did not state..... Grammatically these direct addresses would imply a reprimand, which the indirect form of address does not contain: There is a person....
Now, how will you know whose islah will take place and whose islah will not take place? Allah ta'ala states:
wa maa yudri......
Whose tazkiyah (purification) will take place and whose tazkiyah will not take place? How will you know who will benefit from your talk and who will not? Allah ta'ala is stating, "Just see here! I will show you.."
THE ARROGANT AND THE TALIB
Those who are showing disdain, displaying their arrogance, are not giving even any thought to your talk, yet you are running after them? It is not permissible to run after these. (Tasadda-lil-gair is not ja'iz.) It is not permissible to run after the disinterested (gair) when it is apparent that they are not talib but will develop greater scorn towards our views and, in their opinion, hold other views to be Haq in comparison to ours. How will such a people accept our views? We thus understand that one should not have discussions with those displaying disdain and arrogance. One should speak to those who are talib. This is basic.
Wa amma min jaa-aka...
And that poor soul, having the fear of Allah ta'ala, hastening towards you to enquire about a Dini matter, is shunned by you?
Allah ta'ala has shown a principle in this, as if to say, "You have been sent for this very purpose of Da'wah. The issue is just one fine point: You should merely take note as to who is a talib and who is not a talib; who has hastened with humility and who is sitting with haughtiness. See to this. Your attitude is understandable, in that your temperament is very gentle, one of great tenderness. You have tremendous compassion within you. It does happen at times, out of extreme affection and immense compassion, a necessary issue is overlooked; or, even though it is remembered, yet at a certain point when one is overwhelmed by a different issue facing one, it is forgotten.
However, the One Who is Greater, is emphasizing the point, directing attention to it that these are issues to bear in mind. Otherwise those whose rights have priority will be relegated to the back and those whose rights are secondary will be given priority. Or those who have no rights will be attended to and those who have rights will be left out.
Also, because of the degree of affection in you temperament, it logically follows that this affection may be overwhelming, so it is necessary for Me to point out with regard to the kuffar: Why do you not display anger towards them? (S. 66. a.9) What tremendous degree of affection are you not showing! On the other hand Hadhrat Mىsa (a.s.) was told to adopt leniency: Speak a bit kindly to him (Fir'oun). (S.20 a. 24)
So, as the occasion demands, Allah ta'ala will instruct the Nabi (a.s.) and give him the necessary advice. How would we know how to approach which person, when and under what circumstances? Laws and rules have been set down for the future. If these incidents did not occur at that time, how could laws be derived? How would one know how to approach which individual, on what occasion, in which manner? From this one can assess just how great is the necessity for having correct knowledge (ulume-sahihah), especially a muballigh (one propagating the Din). A muballigh - one making tabligh - when approaching an individual, needs to have the correct 'ilm (ulىme-sahihah) to be able to recognise the individual, his temperament, the time and the occasion. It is very essential to attain correct 'ilm. And how essential it is to acquire the sohbat (companionship) of a muhaqqiq to reach the haqiqat of correct 'ilm. This is the second aspect I have presented to you.
THE BEST OF SCHOLARS
Thus, talab - quest - is what has been elaborated on by Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam). When this is understood then:
The best faqih is he who benefits that individual who comes with talab-e-sadiq (sincere quest) and with humility. A ne'mal faqih - one who has a deep/correct understanding of Din - is that person who, when people disclose their needs to him as far as Din is concerned, benefits them. And those people who display indifference then he himself should also adopt an indifferent stance. This is a basic principle - an usىl. This is the duty of a faqih. This is the function of an excellent scholar (behtarin faqih).
MبLaN AND NATURE - MبLaN AND THE SHARIAH
This topic has cone in incidentally. We were discussing mèlan. If there was no such thing as mèlan then Hadhrat adam (a.s.) would not have had mèlan. Hadhrat adam (a.s.) was created by Allah ta'ala with the status of a Nabi, even though the manifestation of the Nabىwwat came only afterwards. However, the station of Nabىwwat was kept in him. Despite this, before the nikah, Hadhrat adam (a.s.) saw an exquisitely beautiful individual, one created from his rib, sitting nearby and he developed mèlan towards her. With the development of the mèlan he even stretched out his hand towards her. This mèlan was not a prohibited instinct, it was not forbidden, it was not banned, but there was a impediment present in acting according to this mèlan. So, mèlan is the work of the temperament and safeguarding is the work of the Shariah. Mèlan in itself is not forbidden. If there was no Shariah then acting on mèlan would have been permissible because it is part of one's nature, part of one's temperament. However, the Shariah has come and placed a barrier. Otherwise the lineage would have been spoilt - the genealogy would not be pure. So nikah comes in-between.
It is thus apparent that mèlan comes to a Nabi (a.s.) as well. So - are you listening attentively? - if mèlan occurs in a wali then will he be terrified? No, he will be very happy! This is a very deep aspect this faqir is stating! Yes, a wali will be extremely happy because: " Even in this attribute I am in accord with a Nabi (a.s.)!" Do you understand the point or not?
The work of tabligh is very easy, but to have these qualities within oneself to do tabligh is very difficult. As much as the degree of similarity with a Nabi (a.s.) increases to that degree will one's perfection (kamal) increase. How can that person be human who has no mèlan in him whatsoever? Kamal (perfection) is this that one has mèlan and "Oh! Oh!" intervenes and one stops oneself. The Shariah with its "Oh! Oh!" intervenes and one halts as Hadhrat adam (a.s.) halted. After all, whose progeny are we? The mu'min, progeny whose is he? He is the progeny of Hadhrat adam (a.s.). And the kuffar, whose progeny are they? Biologically they are also the progeny of Hadhrat adam (a.s.) but are they?
BEING A SON AND BEING ONE'S AHL
Hadhrat Nىh (a.s.) had appealed to Allah ta'ala with regard to his son, "This is my son and he is drowning! O Allah! It is Your promise that You will save my children and save them from punishment." Allah ta'ala replied, "The promise pertains to your children, but is he your child?
"Laisa min ahlik -
He said, "O Nىh! He is not of your ahl." S.11 a.46
This is stated in the eloquent style of the Qur'an Sharif. Allah ta'ala has placed in it a very high and subtle point. Allah ta'ala did not say, "Laisa min auladik - he is not of your children." He did not say, "Laisa min waladik - he is not your boy." He did not say, "Laisa min ibnik - he is not your son." He was his progeny. He was his son. How can it be said that he was not his son?
Do you understand? Sometimes some very fine and subtle points also get mentioned.
Allah ta'ala said, "Laisa min ahlik - he is not of your ahl. If he was of your ahl then he would have resembled you. Intrinsically your qualities would have been in him." This is what the term "ahl" actually means.
From "ahl" we also have the word "ahlullah" - the ahl of Allah Ta'ala. So, the ahlullah will have in them the characteristics of Allah ta'ala. They have in them the attributes of Allah ta'ala. It is not that a wali will not have any gussah (anger/ rage) in him. What type of wali is that? A wali should have gussah within him. But what type of gussah? Gussah like that of Allah ta'ala!
Do you understand? You honoured visitors have traveled here from quite far away countries. I feel very compassionate towards you, that you have spent so much money in traveling here and have endured the discomfort and difficulties of journeying here.
GUSSAH - ANGER/RAGE
As I was saying, Allah ta'ala also gets angry, is this not so? So, who is saying that this mu'min- bandah should not become angry? Who is saying that he must not express his anger? If gussah were to disappear completely how would he become angry? However, it needs to be emphasized that the gussah should be like that of Allah ta'ala. Your anger should be the same as that of Allah ta'ala for the reason that you are of the ahlullah. And since you are of the ahlullah you should have the facility within you of expressing appropriately in a similar manner that Allah ta'ala appropriately expresses His qualities. In other words, check to see if it is the correct occasion to express gussah or not. Check to see whether you are showing gussah for your own satisfaction? Are you showing gussah to cool yourself down? Are you showing gussah to please yourself? Are you showing gussah to display your high and mighty status? Are you showing gussah to humiliate and embarrass the next person? Are you showing gussah to disgrace him in the eyes of other people?
Alternatively, are you showing gussah for the protection of the rights of those whose rights are infringed? Are you showing gussah to protect the rights of those whose tarbiyet (self-rectification) you have to make? The gussah in these latter situations are is not for self-satisfaction, not for cooling down, not for self-glorification, not for displaying one's power and importance among the people. There is no question of ego-boosting - there is no sign of contempt in his attitude. On the contrary, it is to protect him from harm - it is for his tarbiyet that he is being shown adab (manners/ etiquette)
Do you understand the point?
WILL A MU'MIN ENTER JAHANNAM?
Just see: Allah ta'ala will send some mu'minin into Jahannam. Will this not happen? Is, it will. Now, when these mu'minin are sent into Jahannam, will they be sent there out of enmity? No! They will be sent there out of friendliness; they will be sent there out of affection, for the attainment of adab. Allah ta'ala will be virtually saying, "You were admonished previously. Why did you not rectify yourself and learn adab while still in the world? Yet, at the time you used to brush it aside saying, 'Illness comes and goes.' Why did you not take a lesson from it? On another occasion an incident took place, blemishing your name and honour. This was also a punishment. Why did you not take a lesson from it? At times you suffered some material loss. Why did you not take a lesson from these losses? The illness was there to bring home a lesson and so, too, were the dishonour and the material losses. So, why did you not derive lessons from these and turn towards Me? Why was there no rujى- ilallah? Why was your heart not crushed and softened by these events? Those evil deeds that you committed contrary to My Orders - why did you not discard them? Such brazen impudence? So, now you are being sent to Jahannam for cleansing - ta'diban, tahziban, ta'alluqan - and not for punishment, not for bringing grief."
Little children are nurtured in this way: If the child is spanked, is it to cause him harm or grief? No. The reason is to teach him manners, to rectify his habits, to make him cultured.
Now do you understand the reality of gussah? Gussah has been explained to you. Gussah is not for personal ends - it is not to satisfy your heart, it is not to exhibit your exalted status, it is not to disgrace others, it is not to bring contempt to others in the eyes of the community. Gussah exercised in this manner will then be an imitation of Allah ta'ala's gussah.
BUT... Can each and every individual accomplish this? This cannot be achieved until and unless the nafs is not under control. The individual has to control his nafs - his life, his temperament, his self, his ego, his senses. These are different terms used to describe the nafs. Even now some of us have not understood the meaning of the word "nafs"! This nafs has to be controlled to the degree that it does not act inappropriately - that nothing occurs out of place.
Akhlaqe-razilah (the blameworthy/ disgraceful qualities) are blameworthy (razilah) as long as they are utilised for rizalat (disgraceful ends). What do you understand? And if they are not used for disgraceful acts but for good deeds then they cease to be razilah. Therefore, in outward appearance, the gussah of one person may appear to be the same as that of the next person's but, in reality, they will be completely different. Allah ta'ala also displays gussah. Thus, every gussah - in absolute terms - is not haram (forbidden).
If it were so and gussah was absolutely haram then how would the huqىqs (rights) of the Din be preserved? How will the rights of others be protected? Whatever Allah ta'ala has created is either to ward off harm or to gain some benefit. Gussah has also been created by Allah ta'ala. If gussah, as an absolute value, was impure, filthy and haram, then why did Allah ta'ala create it? Gussah has also been created to be used on some correct and appropriate occasion. However, it is not an easy task to recognise the correct and appropriate occasion. Even if it turns out to be easy to recognise the correct occasion then too it is not easy to act appropriately, until and unless the nafs is not under complete control.
These are those special aspects that one has to learn by going to stay with the masha'ikh, by handing oneself completely over to them. In what manner? In the following manner:
EXAMPLE OF THE DHOBI
Take it that you want to have your dirty clothes washed and you hand these over to the dhobi (washerman) to wash.
Entrust yourself over to the masha'ikh as you entrust your clothes to the dhobi .
Having entrusted the clothes to the dhobi do you now have any say in the matter of washing? Not in the least! For illustration: You pitch up at the dhobi's house and you see him rubbing your clothes in the faecal pellets of goats. You are shocked. "Arè! Arè! What are you doing to my clothes? I gave my clothes to you to make them pak (pure) but here you are defiling them!" The dhobi replies curtly, "Very well. Sir! Here are your kurtas and clothes. Take them back with you. According to your understanding I do not know my work - so why did you bring your clothes to me?" The dhobi is offended. You apologise. "I am truly sorry. I was not aware." He softens at your apology. "Very well. Let me carry on with my work."
At a later stage the dhobi moistens the clothes, wraps them up into a bundle and places them over a fire. With the heat of the fire steam soon rises up from the clothes. You pitch up at this moment. What do you see? Your clothes are on top of a fire and smoke is coming out from them. You are again shocked. "Arè! Arè! What are you doing? Did I give my clothes to you to clean or to set on fire? Look! The fire is burning my clothes!" The dhobi is noticeably irritated. "Very well. Here, take your clothes with you!" You realise your error and you are again apologetic. He relents again.
Later still he takes your clothes to the riverside. He takes your garments one by one and thrashes then upon the flat stones in the water. He then spreads out your garments and beats then with a wooden batten. Amazingly, you have to pitch up at that moment! "Arè! Arè!" you shout in shocked tones. "What are you doing? What are you up to? Are you cleaning my clothes or destroying them? Rascal! This is enough! Each time I see you doing something or other to damage my clothes - rubbing them in some excreta, placing them on a fire and now thrashing them with a batten on some stones!" This time the dhobi is extremely offended. "Take your clothes and go away!" Sensibly, you apologise again. Again he relents and carries on with his work.
In the final stage he is back at home. Having spread your clothes on his table he is busy ironing them with a hot iron, smoothing away the creases. You again pitch up and notice the hot iron on your clothes with steam rising up. "Arè! Arè! You are burning my clothes!" This time, almost finished with his work, the dhobi ignores you and carries on. His work done, he now hands your clothes over for your inspection. Are the clothes not bright and clean? Are they not spotless and without any creases? Yet you had felt that he was mishandling your clothes - defiling them, burning them and tearing them to shreds with a batten.
So, as you entrusted your clothes to the dhobi, leaving them in his hands to do as he deemed fit, in the same way you have to entrust yourself to your sheikh, giving yourself into his hands to do with you as he deems fit!
Do you understand the concept? It is important that you do.
ENTRUSTING ONESELF TO ONE'S SHEIKH
So, having done just that, then there should be an end to your knowledge, an end to your intelligence, an end to your past experiences and an end to your opinion - an end to everything. Then only have you entrusted yourself to your sheikh - it is only then that you have given him control over yourself. Thereafter do not take work from your own knowledge, your own intelligence, your own experiences and your own opinion. In comparison to that of your sheikh, what is the value of your knowledge, intelligence, experiences and opinion? Then see what happens! Otherwise nothing will happen. At every point he will object to the sheikh's treatment - the clothes will not get cleaned! If you are unable to comply, then take the clothes away in the same state that you brought them!
Entrust yourself over to the masha'ikh as you entrust your clothes to the dhobi .
Say day is day and night is night? No, no, no! What does Sheikh Sadi say? He says, "Do not say so. If it is day and the sheikh says, 'What a dark night it is! Is it night or not?' one's response should be, 'Yes, Huzىr! The stars are twinkling.' Then will one achieve something!"
This is not something that everybody will understand. Those who have only book knowledge will object. To them we say, "Let the matter rest. You just stick to your books! These subtleties are not for you!"
This is manwiyat. Manwiyat is one thing and hessiyat is another.
EXAMPLE OF A GLOW-WORM
Do you know what is a firefly, a glow- worm? Have you seen one? It is an insect that emits a light from its body. The light is visible only at night. During the day the light is not visible. When we were little children we used to catch these and place them in our topis which would then be seen to be glittering through the very thin material. The light is not visible during the day because of the brightness of the sun. So you comment, "What luminescence has it not got!" The next person sees nothing. "Where is the light?" "The light is in it. Look at it at the proper time and you will see it flashing brightly."
So, the sheikh is speaking metaphorically. It is day-time, but kept in it imperceptibly is the darkness of night with the twinkling of stars. In order to reach up to this level of understanding one requires a very high degree of faith and confidence (i'timad and i'tiqad) in one's sheikh. That is why one should select for oneself a sheikh only after a very, very careful scrutiny.
It is also for this reason that Hadhratwala (Hadhrat Thanwi (R.A.) mentioned something very important to me. At times, when we were alone, he used to mention some very intricate points to me. Once - there was nobody else there at the time - one such point he made was, "Procrastinate in making bay't of Molvis, but hasten in making bay't of the ordinary folk In this way work will progress." This was told to me. What is the reason? A Molvi has a great deal of knowledge. However...
Everything is impermissible in his eyes, "This is na-ja'iz. That is na-ja'iz. This is na-ja'iz. That is na-ja'iz." This is now his life!
ATTAINING KAMAL (PERFECTION)
We were discussing mèlan. The muntahi (the accomplished/ one who has progressed very high), having gone through a process of mujahadah (striving against the nafs) and riyadhat (special spiritual exercises), passes through a stage where it appears that there is no mèlan in his temperament. The same thing happens to one who goes for Haj. When he is in Makkah and he stands in front of the Khanah-Ka'bah he is so affected that he has no mèlan. Surrounding him are pretty women from Egypt, from Iran, from Turkey, from Indonesia, etc. - all these beautiful women are present there - yet he has no mèlan in him. He has lost all power. He feels that he has become impotent. How will he now fulfil conjugal relations when he goes back home? This is a condition that can occur there. Similarly, in sulىk the person is like one held within the Khanah-Ka'bah. When the path of tarbiyet (self-rectification) is tread in the correct manner, the person methodically making his islah, he reaches an intermediary stage when it appears as if he is impotent. There is no mèlan in him whatsoever. That person who has traversed this path will understand this very well. Then, as he progresses to the stage of accomplishment (intiha) and becomes a muntahi, this is when, in a manner of speaking, his sulىk reaches maturity, so his physical maturity also returns! That is, his mèlan reappears. There is mèlan in his temperament again. This event frightens him. He is shocked: "What is this happening to me?" But the sheikh is there to console him: Do not worry - now you are kamil (reached perfection). Before this stage you still had a deficiency in you. Being without mèlan was a deficiency. Mèlan is a natural instinct. It was completely subdued within you, for whatever reason. The cause of its suppression has been removed and the original, natural attribute is now manifesting itself again. Now you are an imitation of a Nabi! The more one imitates a Nabi in whatever way so, proportionately, does one's kamal (perfection) increases. A wali is subordinate to a Nabi.
Thus, what kamal is it to leave one's wife, to leave one's children, to leave one's work, to leave off associating with others, leave one's town and go and stay in the wilderness? What achievement is this? This is not in keeping with imitating a Nabi. Whereas we are all bound to imitate Nabi Akram sallallahu aliyhi wassallam).
So, a time does come occasionally during the course of the islah of one's nafs, during the course of making an abundance of zikr that one feels like leaving everything and stay in the wilderness. However, Halt! Stop and look to see if this is in imitation of a Nabi . It is not. Therefore, forcefully stop and assess. One should imitate a Nabi. This is a sign of kamal.
Yes, if that time arrives that the Nabi (a.s.) had predicted that your iman is in danger and it becomes difficult to save your iman then take a lamb and place it on your shoulder and go and stay in the crevices of the mountains. And if it is not so, O Salik, having undertaken mujahadah and riyadhat, having listened to people swearing you, being used to light beatings, stay among the people bearing all these abuses! To repeat: Stay where? Stay among the people and tolerate all their abuse.
Did the Sahabah (R.A.) not bear the abuse hurled at them? Yes, for thirteen years they bore patiently the abuse and persecution of others - such abuse and persecution as one will rarely encounter these days.
So, stay among the people and tolerate their abuse. Do not take it badly but be hopeful of being granted elevated stages by Allah ta'ala. Do not become merely sabir (patient) but become subىr (have forbearance). Try and attain the maqam (stage/ level) of subىr. It is to attain this maqam that the sheikh behaves as he does. To the talibe sadiq, one who is pakkah and saccha, he appears to scold without reason. The salik feels, "I have not done anything wrong. I am being scolded for nothing." The sheikh may even order him, "Get out! Be away! Don't show your face here again!" He may even give the salik a thump on his back.
If you unable even to bear the your sheiks's thumping you, as indicated by your response, "What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong?" how will you endure abuse from others? Your response should have been, "Definitely, I did something wrong! Yes, definitely I am at fault even though I am not aware of my error!" This thump on the back is better than showing affection.
Do you understand the point?
This why this ta'lim (teaching) is taking place. However, that sheikh that will thump the murid on his back does not exist anymore. The point is: When you are unable to tolerate the thump that the sheikh gives you on your back, how will you tolerate the slaps of others when you go outside? The sheikh desires that, at whatever time, whatever difficulty, whatever dishonour befalls you from others, you should consider it to be a draft of sweet halva and swallow it. You should not even think twice about it. This is islah. That is why the sheikh behaves as he does. The sheikh will immediately gauge how much faith and confidence (i'tiqad ) you have in him. When there is inner resentment, a feeling of being insulted, at the words of the sheikh and this shows in the expression on his face the sheikh noted it. "Oho! There is still a major deficiency in him."
It is no easy task to remove what is inside one, part of one's nature, part of one's temperament. I am speaking about mèlan. For mèlan not to exhibit itself inappropriately is no ordinary achievement. It is a great feat.
The mu'min has been created to make jihad until the time of his death. This jihad - the jihad against the nafs - is there all the time, for twenty four hours of every day! The physical jihad against the kuffar and mushrikin is an incidental occurrence. Also, that jihad against the kuffar and mushrikin is the fara' (offshoot, subsidiary development) of this jihad against the nafs. The basic jihad is against the nafs.
Just as these bodily garments - this kurtah, ijar and lungi - are the fara' of the garments of taqwa, and taqwa is connected to the heart, as has been explained previously. If this basic taqwa is not present one will remove the kurtah, the ijar or lungi and roam about naked. Inappropriate action. These garments that we are wearing on our bodies are the fara' of the orders of the Shariah. If there were no orders in the Shariah people would have walked around naked. And the orders of the Shariah are connected to taqwa of the heart. So, the garments of the body are the fara' of taqwa of the heart and taqwa of the heart, in turn is the garment of Iman. So, therefore, that person who does not have the garment of taqwa of the heart, his iman is naked. And when his iman becomes naked, bereft of the garment of taqwa, then, at times on certain occasions, he becomes physically naked as well - his kurtah will come off and his ijar will come off.
Do you understand?
That is why in gussah he has become misplaced and inappropriate and his actions will then be inappropriate. He has no taqwa. Yes, if his actions are appropriate then he will take off his kurtah in appropriate circumstances and his ijar will come off in appropriate circumstances. When you go for a ghusl (bath according to the Shariah) to the bathroom you will keep your kurtah and ijar on you? Congratulations! Shabash!3 What type of ghusl will that be? When you prepare for ghusl you will have your clothes on. These garments will be taken off. If not, then why did Hadhrat Mىsa (a.s.) take off his kurtah and place them on a rock when he went to make ghusl? Do you remember the qissah?4 But this fellow here considers himself to be a great muttaqi and therefore wears a lungi even when he makes ghusl though he is in the bathroom. Ofo! What is the state of your taqwa? Did not Hadhrat Mىsa (a.s.) take off his clothes? Yes, we have permission to take off our clothes when making ghusl.
Do you understand?
This is the answer found in the Hadith sharif: When somebody - Allah forbid! Allah forbid! - is involved in the act of zina (adultery/ fornication) then the iman of this mu'min leaves his heart and hovers above his head like a bird. It is as if at that moment he is not a mu'min. I said, "As if." He has iman, superficial, without quality. It is dry, empty, insipid. That iman that was full of exhilaration, that has disappeared. That garment of taqwa that he had, that has been removed. The protection has been removed and now he is suffering. The iman that remains is dry, tasteless, without flavour, without enjoyment. This is what the Hadith sharif is implying. It is not implying that iman has left him completely and that he has become a kafir (a disbeliever).
The garments inside, the inner clothes, consist of taqwa
The best garments are garments of taqwa. The garments on our body are branches of this taqwa. The day this inner taqwa is not present, the clothes on the body will also come off.
Today the talk, the lesson is on mèlan. On this mèlan returning, O Kamil, you are reaching completion (takmil), so, do not have the misconception that you are retrogressing; do not think: "Ofo! I am going backwards! My bad qualities are returning. All my mujahadah and riyadhat have been for nothing." In you fall into this trap then the whole of sulىk and tasawwuf will become bitter and repulsive. All mujahadah and riyadhat will become loathsome. Take note that only now have you become kamil. This is called the phase of Mujahadah Thaniah. Can you hear me? In the terminology of tasawwuf it is called Mujahadah Thaniah. Now he has reached completion (takmil). He had not reached completion previous to this.
When he has passed through this phase of Mujahadah Thaniah then, he will be on the edge of the sea. Then, the day he decides to proceed into the sea he will be on the sea and in it! Saving himself from sinning, avoiding transgressions of the Shariah, adopting complete and perfect taqwa till his death, he will be a perfect example of the ayet:
Arabic: Yaa ayuhaalazeena aamanu...
O Ye who believe! Fear Allah with fear due to Him and die not except that ye be Muslims. S.3 a.102
TWO TYPES OF TAQWA
It is apparent that the order for the mu'min to adopt taqwa refers to two types of taqwa. The one is that which is merely associated with iman. The taqwa that is demanded in the above ayet is that of abstaining from major and minor sins and also what is doubtful till the time of one's death. This is real taqwa that has been demanded in the ayet quoted above: Complete obedience in one's batin - that is, connected to one's character - and one's zahir.
Mèlan is a natural instinct, part of one's temperament. Kamal is this there is mèlan and one's resolve is not included in it, otherwise there is contamination. Once there is contamination with one's resolve then will come the next step, there is communication. Once this happens then the person has gone out of the sphere of kamale iman. The next step is the desire to fulfil one's passion and then scheming in various ways to do this. Opposing all this is termed Mujahadah Thaniah.
As I was saying that the moment this mèlan occurs the person is assailed by numerous doubts and stray thoughts: these wisawis, takhayulat, khawatir and hadithun-nafs are all from Shaytan:
Arabic Innannajma minas Shaytan....
Allah ta'ala is saying that all these wisawis and khiyalat are from Shaytan in order to cast the mu'min into grief and despondency. Further on Allah ta'ala states:
Arabic: alillaahi.. falwatakkil....
In Allah let the believers place their trust.
The mu'min should pay no attention to this. Shaytan has no power over the mu'min that he should be influenced by Shaytan. Why? The reason is that the shan (dignified and noble status) of a mu'min is such that he does not place his trust on anything besides Allah ta'ala - he places his complete trust only on Allah ta'ala. This is the demands of his being a mu'min. His reliance is fully on Allah ta'ala. So, why should he become despondent? On the contrary, his response will be challengingly put to Shaytan: "Go ahead! Throw more wisawis! Go on, throw more - I am not bothered. I will not become despondent." If he does become despondent then Shaytan becomes happy and Allah ta'ala becomes displeased. Remember very well: to become grieved and despondent at the arrival of wisawis is to make Shaytan happy and Rahman unhappy. This is proven from the above ayet. According to the laws of Mantiq (Logic), which you must have studied in several kitabs, that he wishes to make Shaytan happy by remaining despondent and he wishes to displease Rahman by not coming out of his despondency.
So, be happy and not despondent at the arrival of wisawis. Why? Because Allah ta'ala wants you to be happy. Will Shaytan then trouble you? Will he bring doubts into you mind? Will he instil wisawis and scattered thoughts into your mind? Will he play around with your mind? Will he make your temperament turn again and again to the swarm of anxieties racing through your mind? Of course not. So, become firmly grounded while you are here in order that you do not become a plaything for Shaytan. He should not make a plaything of your actions, he should not make a plaything of your deeds and he should not even make a plaything of thoughts in your mind. In the manner shown above. Even if, after this, wisawis do come, just ignore them. This ayet has also in it the remedy for wisawis. Say to yourself, "Why should I become despondent, thereby making Shaytan happy? And thereby bring about the displeasure of Allah ta'ala? Why should I become despondent? I will not become despondent!"
By becoming despondent will a person's mood not be one of depression? The salik who becomes despondent will definitely be depressed. Consequently the pleasure of meeting with associates, the pleasure of eating, the pleasure of sleeping, the pleasure of studying kitabs, the pleasure of going for lessons, the pleasure of attending classes and listening with enthusiasm - all these come to an abrupt end. This was the very objective Shaytan had. His objective has been achieved. All his necessary duties will be affected adversely. He will not want to go to work. When customers come he will not speak with them in the happy manner that he should. He is depressed. To understand this take the situation where a worldly problem causes one to become depressed: there is some financial loss or some form of disgrace befalls one or some relative passes away, one naturally becomes depressed, one's work is affected and one is unable to sleep restfully. In a similar manner the salik also becomes depressed as a result of all the wisawis that engulf him.
He is now troubled by doubts on the subjects of Tauhid or on Qiyamat or Existence. These thoughts make him depressed. He even comes to question himself, "Have I not become a kafir?" Then something else will bother him: "Shaytan is a kafir and will remain a kafir till the end. Why is this so?" These thoughts now trouble him endlessly. What concern is it of yours? Have you any right to interfere in this affair? Knowingly and intentionally have you any say in the matter? Knowingly and intentionally your iman is intact. This other matter is without any intent, without any say - what is your role in it?
A person wades into the river. Suddenly the current flings him over. Unable to fight the current, he shouts for help: "Help! Help! I'm drowning! I'm drowning!" With these words on his lips he drowns. The Kalimah of La-ilaha illallahu Muhammadur Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) was not on his lips but the words "Help! Help! I'm drowning! I'm drowning!" were on his lips. Did he die a mu'min or not? The answer is that he died a mu'min. The reason is that neither on his tongue neither in his heart was there any action deliberately negating iman! He did not deliberately bring any thought contrary to iman into his heart and he did not deliberately bring anything contrary to iman to his tongue, but called out for help. His death is with iman. As long as one does not deliberately bring thoughts negating iman to one's heart or say anything with the tongue contrary to iman one's iman is intact and iman does not slip away.
Do you understand? This mas'alah has been clarified, with the taufiq of Allah ta'ala.
As I was saying, these are issues that the Sufis encounter very much. If they of the haqa'iq (realities and deeper meanings) and masa'il (rules/ laws) of Tasawwuf and they do not possess the knowledge of the haqiqat (reality) of iman then they will have major problems. These issues involving wisawis, khatarat and hadithun-nafs assail the Sufis tremendously, as well as issues concerning paki-napaki (purity and impurity). The Sufis are not troubled by issues concerning halal and haram - these are straightforward issues to them and they are not troubled by wisawis in these matters. If they are afflicted by wisawis then these are to do with paki-napaki or with khiyalat. It is important that these issues are sorted out completely.
PaKi - PURITY
Examples of issues of paki-napaki afflicting the Sufis: He has gone to the toilet and is making istinjah (cleansing himself). Three jugs of water he has used to wash himself and the namaz (salat) has been completed in the masjid but he still feels he is napak (impure). Then, while still in the toilet, he is concerned about drops of urine. " Oh! There's another drop coming, and another, and another..." He is not getting up. Namaz time is nearly gone but he is not getting out of the toilet! O Allah-ka-bandah (Bondsman of Allah ta'ala), after having finished urinating, shake off the last drop, use the mud-clod to wipe yourself dry and get out from there! Get out, make wudhى (ablution) and make your namaz.
Now, his ijar or lungi is slightly damp, having washed himself with water. If not damp he should wet it. I shall repeat: He should deliberately wet his ijar or lungi so that when he senses a wetness he should tell himself, "It was wet from the water already. It is not a drop of urine dribbling out. It is just the damp edge touching. " Otherwise what will happen is as follows: "Oh! Oh! Another drop of urine has come out!" He then rushes back to wash himself and his garment and make fresh wudhى. Who has him in his grip? Yes, Shaytan!
Do you understand? Do these problems not present themselves? Yes, they do.
Hadhratwala [i.e. Hadhrat Ashraf Ali Thanwi (r.a.)] told Khwajasahib, "I notice that when you go to the toilet you take rather long. What do you do that it takes you so long?"Khawajasahib replied, "Hadhrat, what can I say? The reason it takes me long is that I feel that drops of urine keep on coming and I have to keep on squeezing until every last drop comes out." Hadhratwala said, "Is that so? It is a cow's udder is it? As long as one squeezes the udder of a cow milk will keep on dripping out. If you keep on squeezing drops will come out. What nonsense is this! What you do is wipe yourself dry with a mud-clod as soon as you have urinated and come out." This was the remedy for his problem.
This is one set of problems that the Sufis encounter a great deal, wisawis concerning paki-napaki. The other set of problems concern wisawis about issues like Tauhid, Risalat, Qiyamat, hisab-kitab (reckoning), conditions in the grave - Shaytan keeps on heaping wisawis on the Sufi with regard to these issues. Today the remedy is being given to you. The remedy for these wisawis is being presented to you. The remedy for mèlan is being presented to you. A majlis should encompass a variety of subjects. I presented an ayet as proof:
Arabic : innama najma.. Minas Shaytan.....
Shaytan instills wisawis into the hearts of the mu'minin in order to make them despondent. He instils wisawis, khatarat and khiyalat - doubts , scattered thoughts and anxieties - some worry or other is instilled all the time. Immediately tell yourself that this is from Shaytan. Do not become unduly depressed because Rahman is refuting this. One has to make Rahman happy, not Shaytan. When this thought comes to mind then one's despondency should disappear and these thoughts from Shaytan should also disappear. The mind should be clear now and Shaytan can not play around with the mind. There should be sukىn (tranquility). Peace and order (aman) prevails and anarchy and chaos (bid-amani) disappears.
AMAN AND BID-AMANi
This is another aspect that is being brought to your notice. Do you understand what is anarchy and chaos (bid-amani)? This anarchy and chaos is very widespread these days, not only in Hindustan but all over, throughout the whole world. If you look at America, at China, at Japan, at Russia, at Turkey, at Iran, at Iraq - in fact, wherever you look you will see anarchy and chaos, not only in Hindustan. If you cannot see it ask those who are aware of this. Bid-amani is spread throughout the world. Why is bid-amani widespread? The reason is that bid-amani is rampant within you. Let me repeat what I have just said: this bid- amani, this chaos and anarchy is widespread throughout the world and this is the external manifestation of the chaos and anarchy that is rampant within you. When this bid-amani disappears from within all of you then the bid-amani from the world will also disappear. As long as this bid-amani is within each of you in a collective manner bid-amani will be prevalent. You may try whatever other methods you wish - hold up your banners and march , have demonstrations, hold conferences and pass resolutions, have lectures galore - but bid-amani will not disappear.
Do you understand? This bid-amani will not go away. What do lectures achieve? What do demonstration and marches achieve? With banners in your hands go around shouting "Nare-takbir", what will it achieve? Nothing. Aman (peace and order) will not come because bid-amani (anarchy and chaos) is in every individual
The external bid-amani that is spread all over is an offshoot of the internal bid- amani in the individual. As I have discussed just now, that the garments of the body are a manifestation of the taqwa of the heart. When the taqwa of the heart disappears the clothes from the body will also come off. The outer is a manifestation of the inner. Similarly, the aman that is inside will manifest externally. When this inner aman goes, the aman on the outside also goes and bid-amani presents itself.
The worst form of bid-amani is kufr. The most odious type of bid-amani is kufr. Kufr predominates in the world whereas iman is scanty. The kuffar are in the majority in the world and the mu'minin are in the minority. Kufr is bid- amani and therefore, the kuffar being in the majority, there is no question of aman becoming established. Let us go a step further: With the existence of bid- amani of kufr the imperceptible bid-amani kufri and mushriki has entered into us as well. Bid-amani has now been enhanced and given dignity! Darkness is now overpowering and overwhelming.
You brothers may not have seen that age, but we have several times seen the raging of tremendous storms not once but several times. At times, just before Asr, while the sun is still shining, a severe storm would blow up. The whole sky would be filled with thick clouds which would cover the sun completely. It would become so dark that one could not even see one's fingers in front of one. Yet, the sun is shining beyond the clouds! However, it has become so dark that the day is darker than night itself!
Do you understand? Bid-amani has become widespread: the sun is shining - the light of aman (peace and order) is there - but the darkness of bid-amani has overpowered this light, as at the times of storms, and the whole world is covered by darkness!
In a similar way there is bid-amani within us and this bid-amani has enveloped our entire inner being and has overpowered the light within us. So, there is no question of radiance and aman manifestation themselves.
Another aspect: there is shirk-e-khafi and shirk-e-jali (minor and major shirk). Minor shirk has joined up with major shirk, resulting in darkness existing in all the four corners of the earth. These are the effects of bid-amani, this is how it has spread. There is no question of aman prevailing.
That is why nothing will be achieved by lectures and speeches, by conferences, by demonstrations, by strikes, by banner-waving and sit-downs in front of various institutions. All these methods are completely and absolutely contrary to the Orders of Allah ta'ala. Adopting these contrary methods and hoping for peace and order...? It will never happen! The reason is that the Rules laid down by Ahkamul-Hakimin (Allah ta'ala) for attaining peace and order (aman) are different. So, there is no question of aman prevailing if methods are adopted contrary to these Rules. In essence, aman has to come within oneself.
There is a fourth aspect I wish to deal with. The above was a discussion concerning Aman-e-am (peace and order in the world). What I wish to stress is: be concerned about yourself. Have fikr (concern) for yourself. Do not concern yourself about others. Do not make fikr for others. Shift your gaze away from fikr about others and concentrate on yourself. Where have you fallen into in the fikr for others? Worry about yourself. That is, establish aman within yourself. With the intention of establishing aman within yourself on an individual basis, get to work. Whatever traits that are causing bid-amani within yourself, remove them. Take takabbur (arrogance) - if this is present within one will this not cause bid-amani? Take gussah (anger/ rage) - is this not a cause of bid-amani? Take hasad (jealousy) one for another - is this not a cause of bid-amani? Take kinah (malice) in one's heart one for another - is this not a cause of bid-amani? To have hirs and tama'(greed and avarice) for others' possessions - is this not a cause of bid-amani? To have the desire within one that the honour and wealth that others possess should be destroyed - is this not a cause of bid-amani? Takabbur, gussah, hasad, etc., etc., all these qualities will cause aman or bid- amani? Take, for example, I made ghibat about you - I said something unpleasant about you to somebody. This conversation of mine has now reached your ears. Having heard this will you have affection for me or enmity? If you had muhabbat for me will it remain or disappear? Is there now aman or bid- amani? There is now bid-amani. The question of aman prevailing does not arise at all. This is something that is within me: takabbur, gussah, hirs, tama' hasad, ghibat, nafrat, bugz and a host of other traits, if all these exist within me, will there be aman? No question of it!
Take voting. What is it if it is not animosity? Two individuals confront one another. The one stands as a candidate in opposition to another for election. Will the one not criticise the other? Will the one not take money or give money to get as many votes as possible? Will the one not try to belittle the other? Will the result not be enmity instead of muhabbat? And hearts are not pure. Take it that an effort has to be made and an effort was made. The one has been successful and is elected as the leader. The previous mayor has been defeated. What happens now? The ones that did not vote for the successful candidate and voted for the one who lost, are now in danger. The next is that there is a fight over the allocation of land. Legal cases are instituted for the return of land allotted previously, and so forth. Will there be friendship or animosity? Is there aman or bid-amani?
What should have happened at the time of the contest was the following: The attitude should have been, "If I win well and good. If I lose, it will not make difference to my friendship." There should have been no change in the muhabbat the one has for the other. There should have been no attempts to cause harm to the other person. There should have been no moves to humiliate and disgrace the other person. There should be no hounding of the other. But this is exactly what we see. You villagers who are present here - do you not bear me out in what I am saying? Of course you do. The ones who did not vote for the one elected are put into difficulties.
Why is all this? It is because the illnesses that should not have been there are present: Takabbur, hasad, kinah, etc. He thus wants to retaliate and cause him difficulties. The one wants to provoke the other and cause him problems.
GENERAL PEACE AND ORDER (AMAN-E-aM)
When these illnesses are eliminated from within then you will see its external manifestation: sukىn and aman (tranquility, peace and order) will establish themselves plainly, fully and completely. Therefore, why are you pursuing aman-e-am when this is beyond your ikhtiyar (control and jurisdiction)? However, as for yourself you can fulfil the haq (right) that is incumbent on yourself, that you can tell yourself, "The causes of bid-amani that dwell within me I shall remove." The terms applied to this process are Sulىk and Tasawwuf. You can tell yourself, "This takabbur that is within me I shall remove. What have I to do with the whole universe? I have not taken responsibility for the whole world."
ARABIC lista alyhim........
Thou art not at all a warder over them.
Therefore, on an individual basis establish aman within yourselves. Bas! - That is sufficient. The proof of this is clearly indicated in another ayet of the Qur'an Sharif. Allah ta'ala addresses each one on an individual basis:
Ya alahillazena aamanu alaikum anfusukum........
O ye who believe! Ye have charge of your own souls. He who erreth cannot injure you if ye are rightly guided. S.5. a.105
Allah ta'ala is saying, "Why are you worried about others? Worry about yourself. What is this you are saying, 'Our society is such.'" Allah ta'ala is negating this misconception. He is Knower of the unseen (alimul-gaib) and He knew people will say, "What can I say? Regretfully, our society is like this. What is there to say? Hadhrat, our environment is like this. What can we do?" You also must have heard people saying this. "Society is such. The circumstances are such. What can we do?" In negating this misconception Allah ta'ala is saying in the Qur'an Sharif that 'society" is with you. The environment is what you make of it. Just what are you saying?
Ya alahillazena aamanu alaikum anfusukum
O you who believe! The whole world has not been made your responsibility. You have not been made the policeman of the world. Worry about yourself. Do not worry about others. It should not happen that in safeguarding the next person's bundle (of goods) yours get stolen or destroyed! You protect your own bundle. The world is full of deception, especially nowadays. Did you not hear of what happened? Let me relate to you:
DECEPTION - AN INCIDENT
This poor person was sitting in the train. Another person, carrying a bundle, came and placed the bundle down next to him and said, "I'll leave my bag here. I'm going to buy my train ticket. I'll be back in a moment." He left to buy a ticket. Here the train started moving and he was not back. (Listen carefully. We also used to listen to Hadhratwala. In it is a lesson on how to live a life with caution.) The train departed without the second person who had left his bundle with the first person. Shortly the ticket inspector arrived. "Tickets please! Tickets please!" The passengers produced their tickets for him to check. He came to this person to check his ticket as well. He saw the bundle on the floor and asked, "What's this?" This person answered, "Sir, another person came and left it here, saying that he had still to buy his ticket. I don't know what happened to him." The ticket inspector spoke sarcastically, "Oh, you don't know what happened to him? But this bundle is by you! Open it!" he ordered commandingly. This person opened the bundle. What was inside? The body of a murdered man! Wrapped in some cloth was the dismembered corpse of a murdered man! He was arrested.
Did he not take responsibility for the bundle which the other person had left behind? Was he not deceived by the other person who said that he was just going to buy a train ticket?
Do you understand? These are the times we are living in. These are times of great fitnah (trials). This is an age of massive deception, of tremendous tricksters. Our naivety is being exploited. The response of the first person should have been: "I do not take responsibility for it. Place your bundle elsewhere. Go, put it some other place. I'm not keeping it by me."
We come to know that a great deal of affection and compassion shown in inappropriate places are going to cause tremendous harm. This explains what "environment" is! A person shows undue compassion, he shows softness. He makes friends - inappropriately. The next thing is "his bundle is missing"! This is the way we express it in our local Urdu. In protecting the next person's bundle, your bundle is swiped.
Arabic (repeat of above)
Do not do such a thing that in protecting the other person's bundle, yours goes missing. This is the plain and simple translation of the ayet.
When you know the straight path - when you know, with firmness and conviction, the road you have to travel to get to your destination - then will you be deceived by anybody's deception? Then, even if the whole world were to be astray and you are on guidance, the whole universe will not cause you any harm. It is sufficient that you concern yourself about your own condition. Leave aside the environment and society. Keep a close scrutiny on yourself. Have fikr for yourself - be concerned about yourself. You have not been created for the concern of the whole universe. What will be the result when you have the fikr for others? The fikr for yourself will not remain. You will suffer some harm. Haq Bari Ta'ala is alimul-gaib - He is aware of the passage of fifteen hundred years and its consequences. He has shown that "society" is nothing; "environment " is nothing. "Society"is what you are; "environment" is what you are. Look at yourself.
Ya ayullazeena aa manu alakum anfosukum
Mount your nafs
"Ala" denotes mounting something. One will hear it said, "The burden of debt is on me. I have such a big burden of debt on me that I cannot bear it!" This is not a physical burden but it is a manner of speaking. The burden that each has to bear is different.
So, the "ala" denotes mounting. Does one not mount a horse? The ayet commands us, "O mu'min, mount your nafs." Each one should mount his nafs, his tabiyet, his temperament. From the grammatical point of view when the collective term is utilised in confrontation with another it denotes 'each by itself'. (Those of you sitting here and who have studied grammar will know this.) This means that each one of you should mount your nafs, that is, gain control of it, like a well-trained horse, that with a slight tap with one's heel the horse will jump over the ditch.
Keep a tight control of the reins. Why? Because, at times even a trained horse will become frisky. Similarly, this nafs which you have mounted, may also become frisky occasionally. Therefore, do not give it free rein, do not be neglectful, do not let go of the reins. This is what "ala" means. Be mounted and in full control. Do not be neglectful of it.
You will have understood from this ayet that there is no reason for saying, "What can I say? Society is such. The environment is like that. I am working in an office with a variety of other people. Some are rude, some like to tease, others are playful and so forth. What can I do? Society is such. The environment is such." Is this not heard from people? Another example: "I have been admitted to the madrasah, but the majority of students is such, the environment is such. The environment of the room in which I am staying is such. What can I say? The environment is such."
I am trying to make you understand. The environment is not something to be frightened about. Look at the environment as you would at your mother.5 Should one be terrified of one's mother? Staying with one's mother will a person become corrupted? At times she may have slapped you, not out of enmity but for the sake of disciplining. She may have shouted at you, reprimanded you but not of enmity. A little while later does she not call out to you lovingly?
I am trying to make you children understand. You are staying in your room in the "boarding" (hostel) together with others. An argument and fight may occur. Children tend to argue and fight. You are slapped. Now, think of the persons in your room as your mother. So, who has hit you? Your mother! So, what is there to be concerned about? Do not retaliate, do not fight back. Just accept it. In fact, think of the advice Hadhrat Luqman (a.s.) gave his son. It is in the Qur'an Sharif. He told his son, "Just see, when somebody slaps you on the face, do not turn your face away." By this he meant that by not turning your face away you should invite him to slap you again! Do not fight back. Each one is your mother. If this is every student's attitude, will there be fights? Will there fisticuffs and beatings? Obviously not.
If there are fights then it shows that the environment is not good - there is no aman within yourselves and that is the reason for the arguments and fights. If you had entered the madrasah with aman or imbibed aman within you after entering, then there would be no fights and arguments. There will be glitter in the room and an end to fighting and quarreling.
What of those who come to stay in the khanqah? After coming to stay in the khanqah there is just no question of feeling upset at anybody telling you off. Why have you come here? You have come for this very reason that, "Even if somebody were to take a basketful of faeces and throw it on me I will not take it badly!" This is the intention with which you left and came here to stay in the khanqah for your islah and tarbiyet. This is the resolve and determination with which you came that, "Even if somebody were to take a basketful of faeces and throw it on me I will not let anger (gussah) overtake me!" This is the objective with which you came here. And if you had no such notion in your mind, this is the ta'lim (teaching ) that is now placed in front of you that if filth was thrown on you why should you feel upset? If you are feeling upset then it means that there is still some deficiency in you! Your islah has not been achieved. There is still some deficiency. The sheikh will remove this deficiency so that, when you leave the khanqah and go back home to your neighborhood, to your town, to your country, whenever anybody does any such thing which is contrary to your temperament, there will no possibility of anger overtaking you. This is what the sheikh wants to mold you into and send you back, seeing you have come as a talibe sadiq. When the internal environment is corrected then the outside environment will also be corrected. Remember: the whole world has not been made your responsibility. Nobody will influence you because you have corrected your environment.
This is what Allah ta'ala is saying. I am merely conveying His proclamation to you:
ARABIC (Repeat of above)
When this is the case the whole universe can be astray but nobody will be able to corrupt you.
THE EXAMPLE OF THE SAHaBAH (r.a.)
The internal environment of the Sahabah-Kiram (R.A.) was extremely firm, therefore the external environment was not frightening to them. As is well-known there were approximately a hundred and twenty four thousand Sahabah (r.a.) that Rasulullah(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) left behind when he passed away. Also, as is well-known, there were approximately one hundred and twenty four thousand Ambiya (a.s.) that came. Thus each Sahabi (r.a.) is similar to each Nabi of theirs. And why not? Each Sahabi (r.a.) was an 'alim and the 'ulama are comparable to the Ambiya (a.s.) of the Bani Isra'il. Thus all the Sahabah (r.a.) are comparable to the Ambiya (a.s.) of the Bani Isra'il.
Now look at their environment, what were its challenges: Diamonds were strewn in front of them in the battlefields on the occasion of jihad. They were tempted with gold placed along their paths that they should fall prey to hirs and tama' (greed and avarice). As part of their scheming, the Christians hand- picked exquisitely beautiful and tantalizing young Christian girls who were given goods to sell and sent among the Sahabah (r.a.) mujahidin with specific instructions from the Pope to try and seduce them in a plot to demoralize the Sahabah (r.a.). If the girls were in any way interfered with, the Christians knew the Sahabah (r.a.) would be defeated. If the girls were not interfered with and not even looked at, then who can overcome such a nation? Both aspects were assessed by the Christians - zar and zan (women and wealth). The Sahabah (r.a.) did not lift their eyes at the gold and best of diamonds strewn in front of them. Wealth is something one naturally inclines to, yet the Sahabah (r.a.) were indifferent to it. The Christians said to themselves, "These people seem to be very firm." Now we come to zan: The Pope then instructed that beautiful, hand-picked girls should be given goods to sell and sent among the Sahabah (r.a.). The girls flaunted themselves among the Sahabah (r.a.) but no one lifted his eyes at them. The reason is that their environment was corrected. (To use the metaphor above: They took the environment to be their "mother" so what fear is there? Is it permissible to look at one's mother with evil intent?)Time and again the girls passed between them but nobody looked. Finally, the girls went back to report back their failure. The Pope assessed the position: First was the zan - the material wealth with which they were tempted; second was the zan - the women with whom they were tempted. The Sahabah (r.a.) did not lift their eyes at either. He concluded that the Christians would never be successful in overcoming the Sahabah (r.a.). These are the very two things, zan and zar! It was apparent to the Pope that the Sahabah (r.a.) were not fighting for land to fill their material greed and desires but were fighting for the land for the Din of Allah ta'ala.
Do you understand? Going for jihad for conquer this land, this sultanate, this kingdom, was not for the sake of hirs of the land, not for greed of the land but for the purity of the land! Their gaze was neither on zar; nor was their gaze on zan; nor was their gaze on zamin (land) - how could anybody overcome them? That is the reason why the Sahabah (r.a.) were successful. Why? The basis was that they had taken their inner environment with them. They feared nothing from the external environment. They had full control over their nafs; they had full domination over their temperaments. This is Tasawwuf! This is Sulىk - an important part of the shari'at, a delicate and exquisite part of the shari'at.
This is the reason for you honoured guests have journeyed here.
May Allah ta'ala grant us all the taufiq to remove the qualities of hirs and desires for zar, zan and zamin from within; that our inner condition, our inner environment becomes corrected; that aman be established within ourselves and outside as well. May Allah ta'ala grant sahih taufiq.