Monday, 13 September 2010
The Circle in the Sand
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 24th February 2010. This swuhbah was on the night of the Prophet's (s.a.w.) birthday, 12th Rabi' al-Awwal, 1431 AH.
We must learn and we must increase in our belief, our iman. By learning, one acquires knowledge, but one cannot acquire all knowledge that way. A portion of knowledge is acquired by having faith and believing. That is an Honour, Allah (s.w.t.) Bestows on whom He Wills. To know, and to believe, are two different things. We all know that Allah (s.w.t.) is Most Kind and Most Merciful and that His Will is the Best for us. That is knowledge. But when faced with a tragedy that shakes our lives, do we really still feel that way about Allah (s.w.t.)? Or do we submit, accepting His Will without struggling? Not many of us do. That requires faith, not just knowledge. Faith is a Divine Gift. None understand the Reality of faith itself.
Many scholars draw a circle in the sand around themselves, and accept only what is within that circle, rejecting all that lies outside it. They have placed an imaginary limit to Allah's (s.w.t.) Limitless Gifts of knowledge. They have limited themselves from growing in understanding when Allah (s.w.t.) Gives endlessly. It is a loss for the scholars themselves when they do so. They are standing in shallow waters, rejoicing in the little water that surrounds them, and rejecting the vast ocean of knowledge before them. They have rejected the pleasurable satisfaction of advancing in understanding and in spiritual stations. What is most sad is that all this is self inflicted.
The second issue with scholars who do this, is that many feel that once they have acquire all the knowledge within that self-drawn tiny circle, they feel that they have acquired all the Prophet's (s.a.w.) knowledge and are his equal in understanding. None in Creation, be it the angels, the companions or even other prophets, can achieve the level of knowledge and understanding Bestowed on Rasulullah (s.a.w.). The Seal of Prophets (s.a.w.) was Bestowed knowledge and understanding by Allah Almighty directly. The companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) took that pure knowledge directly from Rasulullah (s.a.w.). The knowledge that each companion acquired from Rasulullah (s.a.w.) was different; no two companions acquired identical knowledge. Each one was at a different level of understanding. This is an indication of how vast the Prophet's (s.a.w.) knowledge is. He was able to feed the spiritual needs of 124,000 companions and each one was filled with knowledge suitable for his own maqam; each one had his own special knowledge.
None of the companions could reach the level of the understanding of Rasulullah (s.a.w.). None of the other prophets, even the greatest ones such as ‘Isa (a.s.) and Ibrahim (a.s.), can reach the understanding of Rasulullah (s.a.w.). So we can never reach to that level of knowledge. The greatest scholars cannot even have reached the levels of the followers of the companions. And yet there are those who are busy issuing 'fatawa' declaring many deeds of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah as innovations.
Much has been written by the learned scholars of the past thousand and four hundred years, all taken from the knowledge of Rasulullah (s.a.w.). Look at the vastness of knowledge contained in Rasulullah’s (s.a.w.) heart. And he took his knowledge from the Holy Qur'an, which contains only 114 suwar, a tiny drop from Divine Knowledge. Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) said that if there were 200 suwar, we would not have been able to carry the burden of fulfilling its commands. The heart of Rasulullah (s.a.w.) is Filled of knowledge and he feeds this knowledge to the ummah.
The third issue with such scholars is that they believe that they are not in need of the Prophet (s.a.w.) or his intercession. Having mastered the little knowledge within their tiny circle, they believe they are Showered by Allah's (s.w.t.) Blessings. Rain does not fall if there are no clouds so blessings do not descend if there are no saints amongst us. Rain cannot appear until the clouds carrying them arrive. The awliya’ are the means, the wasilah, by which Allah (s.w.t.) Sends His Blessings upon us. We must always seek their company. If we seek Blessings whilst being distant from them, it is akin to a person awaiting rain in the desert, devoid of clouds. How can we receive Blessings if we reject the Prophet (s.a.w.)? Rasulullah (s.a.w.) mentioned in the Qur'an as Rahmat li al-'Aalamin, the Blessing of all Creation.
The fourth issue with such scholars is that they believe they are honoured within the ummah by having studied everything within their tiny circle. One can attain no honour by turning his back on Rasulullah (s.a.w.). This is a blessed night, the holiest night in the Muslim calendar; a night in which Allah (s.w.t.) Rains Blessings on His Beloved, the Best of Creation, the most Glorified, the most Honoured in all of Creation. Allah (s.w.t.) Said He Created Creation for the sake of Rasulullah (s.a.w.). Nothing would have existed if not for the Seal of Prophets (s.a.w.). Everything in Creation was Created in his honour. If not for him, we would not have been Created. Our honour comes from being associated with him. He is the Most Honoured in the Divine Presence and we were Created for his honour. Humanity's honour is to be associated with Rasulullah (s.a.w.) so how do these scholars hope to achieve honour by belittling him, rejecting mawlud and denying his Favoured status in Creation? He is the Favoured one. Allah (s.w.t.) Gives His Grants to Rasulullah (s.a.w.), and the Prophet (s.a.w.) then distributes it to each one of us in the ummah according to our maqam. These Grants reach everyone and it differs for everyone. Allah (s.w.t.) does not Send His Grants directly to Creation. They are Sent via Rasulullah (s.a.w.), His Only Representative, His Khalifah.
Tonight is the Blessed night where Creation celebrates the reason, the asbab, for its Creation. It is a Holy Night, to celebrate the appearance of Rasulullah's (s.a.w.) star in the sky. For every person Allah (s.w.t.) Brings into this world, on the day he is born, a star appears in the sky, and that star continues to exist for as long as that person is alive. When that person dies, his star disappears from the heavenly realms. Each of us has a different star; hence there are billions of stars in the heavens. Each prophet has a different star. Each of us has a different name too, in the Divine Presence; no two names are alike.
The sirah of the Prophet's (s.a.w.) life contains knowledge for all of us. On the night of the Prophet's (s.a.w.) birth, a Jewish crier ran around the streets of Madinat al-Munawwarah, calling out, “Ahmad’s star has appeared!” He referred to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) as ‘Ahmad,’ as that is how he was referred to in the Gospels. ‘Isa (a.s.) said, “I am sent as a bringer of good tidings, heralding the appearance of the Last Prophet (s.a.w.), whose name is Ahmad.” The birth of Rasulullah (s.a.w.) is a Blessing for us. The appearance of Rasulullah's (s.a.w.) star in the sky excited the people of his time; they trembled that night from the Blessings that Descended. Here and in the hereafter, he is the real representative of Allah (s.w.t.).
Those who deny Rasulullah (s.a.w.), their Divine Lights is darkened; there is no opening for them to rise spiritually, unlike those who love Rasulullah (s.a.w.). Some will be of the Right Hand, the enlightened ones; others will be of the Left Hand, in darkness. We must try to understand Rasulullah (s.a.w.) for he was Blessed from the beginning of Creation and he is Blessed for eternity. We reach enlightenment through the Divine Lights and Divine guides. Allah (s.w.t.) Sends His Blessings and Divine Dressing on those who try to know Rasulullah (s.a.w.). We are to give strive, even though it is impossible to reach the Reality of Muhammad (s.a.w.); Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah. That will bring us to the circle of Light around his Holy Essence. To do that, we must leave our circle in the sand and come to the circle of his Light.