Monday, 13 September 2010
Raindrops Dissolved in the Divine Ocean
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 17th April 2010.
Shaythan is the ugliest creature in existence. He has been so ever since he defied his Creator. When we receive Divine lights, Shaythan throws a veil of darkness over us, blinding us from Divine Guidance - that is his mission. Each time we hear Shaythan's whispers, we must run towards Allah (s.w.t.) as advised in the Holy Qur'an:
If a suggestion from Satan assail thy (mind), seek Refuge with Allah; for He Heareth and Knoweth (all things). (Surah al-A’araf:200)
We should recite a'udzubillahi min ash Shaythan ar-rajim with a sense of shame for while we seek His Protection, we willingly follow Shaythan's ways. It is as if we transfer all responsibility for our safety to Allah (s.w.t.) Alone and deny the fact that we have to make a conscious effort to distance ourselves from Shaythan in order to be Protected. It is like a person who cannot swim and who asks for protection from drowning yet he deliberately keeps wading into deep water. Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) remarked that whenever he raised his voice and appeared to be angry, he was not angry at us. He is angry with the ego for they are collaborators with Shaythan. Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) said he could never be angry at our real self for the real without the ego is a perfected creature, kamil mukammal, كامل مكمّل.
The word ‘Adam’ consists of three Arabic letters: Alif, Dal and Mim. Each letter has deeper meanings. Alif stands for Allah (s.w.t.) and azali. Adam (a.s.) is a creature that represents Allah (s.w.t.) on earth, khalifah, from azali, pre-eternity to eternity. Dal means dawam, continuous. Man is an extension of Allah (s.w.t.) on earth. We bring continuation of His Domination on earth, all Creation having been Created for the honour of His Most Beloved, Rasulullah (s.a.w.) and the Act of Creation carries on continuously. Mim is for muntaha, the destination, the eternal peak of honour which we aim to achieve during our time in dunya. These are Oceans of knowledge from pre-eternity to eternity, abadiyyun azaliyyun. There is eternal honour awaiting us if we understand our journey.
A person attains honour, by reflecting upon his journey to meet Allah (s.w.t.). Reflection brings light into the mind, and that light illuminates what was previously dark and unknown, making it clear. That is understanding. None who has been Bestowed this light of understanding can be prevented from drawing closer to Allah (s.w.t.). Honour comes from the understanding that we have attained since the highest honours are for those who use their minds - people of sound minds. We compare the understanding of two types of believers. The first group performs all their deeds, seeking only Divine Pleasure and Acceptance, the thought of Paradise never crossing their minds at all. To them, it is as if Paradise did not exist. Compared to this, the second group, whose sole aim in doing good is to attain Paradise. The different levels of understanding lead to different levels of honour. Now that we understand that point, let us ask ourselves, what is the purpose of all the understanding we attain and where does it lead us to? The Prophet (s.a.w.) left us five hundred good deeds to follow. Each one of these deeds, when practised, brings a different Divine light of understanding into our minds. As we grow in understanding, we grow in honour; as we grow in honour, we grow closer to the Almighty.
The companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) once asked, “Ya Rasulullah, what is the best deed that we can perform that cannot be outdone by any other deed?” They had expected to be told of a certain act of obedience or etiquette, adab, that would be the very best deed possible.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) stunned them all by answering, “al-‘Ilmu billah,” which means “The knowledge of Allah.” What surprised the companions was that knowing Allah (s.w.t.) is not a deed as far as they understood, so how could it be the best deed possible?
As mentioned earlier, practicing good deeds, brings us a light which unveils a greater understanding about Allah (s.w.t.). Such an understanding brings us closer to Him. Being close to Allah (s.w.t.) makes us know Him. We become Knowers of Allah (s.w.t.). That is an honour for we become amongst a select few who know who Allah (s.w.t.) is. To further illustrate this point, as an example, we may own a car. Our purpose in owning the car is not just to possess it but to help us get to our destination. The vehicle is a means to reach somewhere. Good deeds are our vehicle by means of which we grow in understanding of Allah (s.w.t.). Our destination is to know Allah (s.w.t.). Our deeds help us get there. The entire five hundred deeds taught by Rasulullah (s.a.w.) is not the destination. It is our means of reaching an understanding of Allah (s.w.t.). Hidden within every deed lies a more intimate understanding of our Lord Almighty.
As we draw closer to Him, as we begin to know Him more and more intimately, we will sink into His Oceans. We will slowly cease to exist. We will be annihilated in Him, fana' fi Allah and baqa' bi Allah. We cannot understand Him until we are annihilated. Like a raindrop from a cloud that falls into the Ocean, it loses its form, its identity, fana' fi Allah, and assumes the identity of the Ocean, baqa' bi Allah. Our identity disappears and we have become nothing. What emerges from us is the identity of a Divine Being, followed by the appearance of a Divine Being that is in eternal obedience. The ultimate destination of performance of all good deeds is to attain annihilation.
We must not just learn about our physical bodies for that will turn to dust. We have to learn about our spiritual selves as well. We must ponder and reflect why we are here on earth, what is our aim in life, why we must die eventually, why does Allah (s.w.t.) Allow us only a short time in this dunya and what is real purpose of our time here? At the beginning of this journey of realisation and understanding, we are in ignorance so the mind is enveloped in darkness. It has yet to understand anything. The mind is a Gift of honour to us. Allah (s.w.t.) did not give it to animals. It is gift for the khalifah. Many have not realised how to use this powerful Gift. They do not realise the purpose of this Gift so instead of reflecting and attaining illumination with it, they misuse it. Some use it to attain dunya, some to show how smart they are, some for evil and some simply do not bother using it at all.
It is incumbent upon us to use our minds to perform good deeds in abundance, and to do so relentlessly and diligently until we disappear in His Oceans. There, our true selves will emerge and we will be dressed in Divine Dressings of Honour. When the Children of Adam have truly understood their mission, they will abandon their efforts for dunya. They will focus their entire efforts to attain their Lord's Pleasure. That is why Allah (s.w.t.) Placed the Ka'bah on earth. It is a place He has Commanded us to turn our faces to. We are to turn away from dunya and just seek Him.
So from whencesoever thou startest forth turn thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque; and wheresoever ye are turn your face thither That there be no ground of dispute against you among the people except those of them that are bent on wickedness; so fear them not but fear Me; and that I may Complete My Favours on you and ye may (consent to) be Guided. (Surah al-Baqarah:150)
Allah (s.w.t.) has Commanded us to always turn our faces towards His House. He also Commanded us to fear Him and Allah (s.w.t.) will Complete His Blessings upon us and Guide us. Guidance is Sent by Allah (s.w.t.) via the Warisat ul-Anbiya’, the inheritors of the prophets. We must ask guidance from such people but it is not easy to find them. Such Divinely-Sent ones are like gravity. They will pull our raindrop irresistibly to fall into and be annihilated within the Divine Oceans.