Friday, 3 September 2010
The Divine Oceans
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 23rd February 2010.
Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) says that when a man is being questioned on Judgement Day, his hands, his feet and all his organs will bear witness to the acts of that man. Allah (s.w.t.) Gives speech to whom He Pleases. There are infinite levels of understanding on each matter. We must never limit ourselves to a narrow view or interpretation of an ayat of the Qur'an or a hadits. It is the biggest folly to claim that we have reached the complete and final understanding on any matter. In doing so, one develops pride and rejects alternative views. Such a person stops advancing in knowledge.
Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) quoted a hadits in which the Prophet (s.a.w.) said that one who does not respect an old person, is not of his ummah. An old person may refer to one who is physically old or one who is spiritually old. A spiritually old person may be a young person but he has attained a very deep understanding of religion. These are a few interpretations of that hadits but the Seal of Prophets (s.a.w.) has an entire ocean of interpretations for each hadits. We must not say there are a limited number of interpretations. In reality, there are endless interpretations of any hadits by Rasulullah (s.a.w.). We must always seek to broaden our outlook and understanding and never feel that our own interpretation of a hadits is the correct and only one. It is merely a drop compared to the real ocean of understanding, hidden behind those sacred words. Each time we reach a horizon, there lies another horizon beyond it and there are endless horizons beyond that also.
Allah (s.w.t.) is the Bountiful One Who Gives endlessly. We should not limit our understanding when we can ask Allah (s.w.t.) to Grant us a deeper understanding of everything we know. Understanding is the greatest Gift from Allah (s.w.t.). It has no limits. That understanding is merely just a lake but an endless ocean which has no shore and no bed. That is why the Prophet (s.a.w.) said if our level of understanding today has not increased over yesterday's, then there is no barakah in our life. We have made a loss and wasted our life. We must ask for more and more understanding, we must learn more and more each day.
We must never for an instant think that understanding is just one ocean. It is an endless series of oceans, each bringing with it, its own gifts - each varying between one ocean to another. This is what we should seek. Our capacity to absorb and understand is tremendous. We are Endowed with that capacity to be Allah's (s.w.t.) representative on earth. Once one has tasted from these oceans, he would never say it is enough. Rather, one would swim longingly in the ecstasy of its revelations, intoxicated and contented, never desiring to leave them again. It is an endless pleasure, an endless understanding.
If we go to the beach, we always want more than just to play along the shore. Attracted by the inviting ocean, many of us swim out to the open sea, drawn by some irresistible pull to venture away from the safety of the shallow waters. Once out at sea, amidst the towering waves and strong currents, we succumb to exhaustion and eventually drown. That is the ocean of dunya, to which we are drawn inexplicably. We swim further and further, away from the safety of the shore, seeking worldly pleasures until we perish in it. Those of us on the shore, who see others perish in the sea, should take heed and take a lesson from it.
The heavenly oceans are different. They too draw us away from the shallow shore, away from a shallow understanding, into the wide open seas. It is here that we acquire a wider and deeper understanding than when ashore. Unlike in the worldly ocean, we are in safety here; we are never in danger of drowning. Instead, at every moment, we experience an increase in pleasure. When we enter these heavenly oceans, we are like tiny fish. Day by day, we grow in size as you acquire more Divine food from this ocean. But no matter how huge we grow, we can never grow larger than the ocean itself, and we will never be able to swallow the entire ocean. There is just so much to know and you will always be happy in that ocean.
In contrast, we must run from infernal knowledge. That is not real knowledge. It is merely masked to appear like knowledge by a clever deception. It is just like the deep inviting waters of the worldly ocean. As long as we seek material treasures from this dunya, we will be attached to this worldly life, which has a limit. That boundary is death. But he who connects to Divine beings, and dives into the heavenly oceans, acquires spiritual treasures. There are no limits or boundaries here. These are endless gifts of endless pleasures. These heavenly beings we seek never turn anyone away. As much as we fill to our capacity in these heavenly oceans, Allah (s.w.t.) Bestows upon us His Blessings and Increases your capacity. And as we seek more and more of it, Allah (s.w.t.) keeps Expanding the oceans infinitely such that we never feel bored or satiated.
Only those who are already in contact with these heavenly beings and have already tasted these pleasures are able to explain them. We are on a journey of love. Even if our beloved is in the East, and we are in the West, there is a way to be near to each other, for the heart is always able to connect to another heart when there is love.
We make du’a to Allah (s.w.t.) that He Opens the entrance for us to the Ocean of Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim. Hidden within this phrase are endless oceans which begin with the four rivers that have their source within Paradise. It was narrated that during the Mi’raj, Rasulullah (s.a.w.) encountered four rivers emerging from Bismillah. He saw a river of water flowing from the mouth of the letter ‘Mim’ of Bismillah, a river of milk flowing from the eye of the letter ‘Ha’’ of Allah, a river of wine flowing from the mouth of the letter ‘Mim’ of Rahman and a river of honey flowing from the mouth of the letter ‘Mim’ of Rahim. Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) says that he had heard from some awliya’ that those who wish to hear the sounds of these four flowing rivers, have to simply cup their ears with their hands, and only hypocrites are unable to hear these sounds.
Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) says that, just as doctors resuscitate dead hearts by defibrillators and medication, a swuhbah revives the spiritually dead and sickly hearts. It brings them to life again, awakened from worldly intoxication and heedless slumber.