Thursday, 2 September 2010
An Introduction to Rabithah ash-Sharif & Muraqabah
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is from the teachings of Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.).
We know that through the rabithah ash-sharif and muraqabah, one is separated from the dark characters of the nafs and its bad manners, and is taken into the state of Real Existence.
And (with passion) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, but that he saw the evidence of his Lord: thus (did We Order) that We might Turn Away from him (all) evil and shameful deeds: for he was one of Our servants, sincere and purified. (Surah Yusuf:24)
The evidence, burhan, of his Lord mentioned here is the vision of Ya’qub (a.s.) who was in Jordan by Yusuf (a.s.) who was in Egypt. Muraqabah is the first step in grasping the reality of swalah, prayers, which are an ascension for the believers. There are three stages to this muraqabah, and this muraqabah is made on three levels. The first level is to make muraqabah with one’s shaykh, the second level is with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and the final level being making muraqabah to Allah (s.w.t.). The first three stages within these levels are love, presence and extinction.
The highest state of the third stage in the third level, ends in the state of ihsan, but is merely a taste of the Haqiqat Muhammadiyyah, the Muhammadan Reality. None other than the Rasululluh (s.a.w.) are privileged to stay in that state of perfect connection in the station of non-existence, la makan. One should also know, in Creation, the only Creation to enter it, and stay in it constantly, was and is Rasululluh (s.a.w.). All of the others who entered it, beginning with our father Adam (a.s.), were cast down after it because they were unable to achieve complete submission, islam, in that state, and as such, in ecstasy, some who came after even uttered sentences like, “I am the Truth,” and were Removed. It was for them an ascension, and not more than that. Those of constancy in that state, like the prophets and the accomplished, only obtained it through the third stage of the second level, and that is the eternal meaning of, “If you love Allah, follow me,” because the Light of Muhammad (s.a.w.) existed before all Creation, and the prophets believed in it as well. Rasululluh (s.a.w.) was always in that state of submission, islam, to the extent that the entire Qur’an was Revealed to him, but it did not burden him, whereas, if it were Revealed onto a mountain, it would tremble. Due to this secret state of his, even his words other than the Qur’an constituted Revelation as well. The true companions saw him in that state, completely absorbed in the third level from within, and it was Revealed in the Holy Qur’an:
Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah. (Surah al-Ahzab:21)
Verily those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to Allah: the Hand of Allah is Over their hands ... (Surah al-Fath:10)
They understood what that meant, and hence were over awed in his company with respect and reverence, due to his Reality.
Hence, as our way is the way of the swahabah, we focus our initial concentration on the company of the guide and its reality. This is why our Imam ath-Thariqa’, Shah Baha’ ad-Din an-Naqshband (q.s.) said, “Our Way is founded on association, and goodness comes from congregation.” In reality, every time we enter the presence of the shaykh, we enter the presence of another reality. It is from the anwar, illumination, of that association that one’s beliefs, and actions are corrected, and one is reformed.
Rasululluh (s.a.w.) is reported to have said, “The best of Allah’s slaves are those upon seeing of whom, you are reminded of Allah,” and the Holy Qur’an orders believers, to be with the truthful. In their association, with their connection, we are to lose our very existence by the reflection of their majesty and lights onto our hearts and soul. We must strive to keep this connection while with them, and when away from them. To keep with it when away from them, is to establish the honourable connection, known as rabithah ash-sharif and this rabithah is established through muraqabah.