Thursday, 2 September 2010
Searching for the Ones with Lit Candles
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 21st April 2010.
Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) says that the recitation of Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim can remove all inclement conditions within us. Man is Khalifah fi al-Ardh, Khalifah on this earth only and not Khalifah of the entire endless dominions of Allah Almighty.
Behold thy Lord Said to the angels: "I will Create a vicegerent on earth."... (Surah al-Baqarah:30)
Every one of us is in need of the guiding light of the Swadiqin. Every human being is carrying a candle. Most of us have unlit candles that are unable to show us the way in the dark. We need someone to light our candles. When Shaykh Nazhim (q.s.) was young, he stayed in the neighbourhood of the Albanian people of Nicosia. The locals were diligent craftsmen. They were an upright and hardworking people who preferred working the fields to working in the town. Theirs was a close knit society. During weddings at the local church, the residents would gather, and everyone would arrive with an unlit candle. At the entrance of the church, one man would use his lit candle to light the unlit candles of each of the thousands of worshippers entering the church. From that single lit candle, thousands of people lit their candles, and the flame of the first candle that was used to light all the other candles had not diminished, even after sharing that light with so many others.
Similarly, those who seek spiritual guidance, heavenly lights, will be Brought by Allah (s.w.t.) to meet one such person - someone who holds a Divine 'lit' candle and to take from that light. Only those who seek such Divine lights, will be brought to such a person. We must seek out a person with a lit candle if we wish to light our unlit candle. Many people seek to light their candles, by seeking out those who do not possess a lit candle. We may approach a person who may be a well-known cult figure, or he may be an academic holding a string of paper qualifications that pronounces him to be a learned, or he may look holy. But none of these may be the one who has a lit candle. Instead, Allah (s.w.t.) may Bestow upon a simple and unassuming person the lit candle that we are seeking. Such a person may be able to awaken extinguished' hearts, with the light from his heart.
It is the norm for many people to disregard the Divinely-Sent carriers of lit candles because they often hold no important worldly positions and may be people of seemingly worldly status. The prophets were spurned because they were simple people, like shepherds. So many nations denied and defied their prophets because they were judged by their physical appearance and apparent social status. It is a terrible mistake to turn our backs on enlightened people since we are in dire need of their lit candles.
There are diseases of the body and there are also diseases of the soul. Physical diseases can be treated medically but spiritual diseases need spiritually-connected doctors. Such enlightened ones are the spiritual healers that we desperately need. The diseases of our egos are serious. Many of us go through our entire lives blind to this and walk the earth with arrogance and pride. It is not easy to treat these diseases. Only spiritual guides can diagnose and prescribe the cure for such malignant cancers but such guides are often disregarded. Very few people give them their due respect and reverence.
Allah (s.w.t.) Elevated the spiritual levels of whom He Pleases. Often, recipients of such honour and duties, are people who are outwardly simple. They do not try to show piety or status, in their dressings. Humanity is honoured because of their spiritual reality, not because of their physical body. We must learn to look beyond the external and not be duped by it. Allah (s.w.t.), in His Infinite Wisdom, Hides treasures in the remotest and most desolate places, within ruins and shipwrecks. Such places look ordinary but they contain so much untold treasures. Hence, prophets never displayed any magnificent physical prowess to their umam. Instead they brought spiritual enlightenment for those humble enough to accept it. So many religious leaders dress so ceremoniously and grand. They dress in expensive outfits as if they have descended from the heavens above. They are conscious of their public appearance. Has this sort of behaviour ever been taught in our Holy Books?
There was a story a well-known man known as Khwaja Effendi. He had been invited to a marriage ceremony, and arrived dressed in ordinary home clothes. His appearance was indeed shabby, and the attendants placed him at a table far away from the honoured guests. After a few moments, he slipped out and went home, where he put on a splendid fur dressing, He returned to the door of the house of feasting. Seeing a guest so richly dressed draw near, the servants ran out to meet him with all signs of respect, and the Master of the feast came out to meet him with other guests, saluting him. And all who knew him saluted him in like manner. Then they led him to the upper end of the most honoured table. Khwaja Effendi seated himself, but he did not speak, and the guests stood round him, waiting to hear what should fall from his lips. When the Khwaja Effendi had been served with food, he took hold of the sleeve of his dressing and pulled it towards the dish, saying, in a tone of respect, "O most worthy and honourable dressing, be good enough to partake of this dish. In the name of the Prophet (s.a.w.), I beseech you, do not refuse to taste what has been hospitably provided."
"What is this, Khwaja?" cried the people, "and what do you mean by offering food to a fur dressing that can neither hear nor eat?"
"O most courteous entertainers," replied the Khwaja Effendi, "since the dressing has commanded such respect at your hands, is it not proper that it should also partake of the food? I came earlier, but was not welcomed, but now, I am welcomed because of my dressing, not because of me, so this food is for my dressings, not for me."
It is a 21st century phenomenon, that almost all people are show respect for the physical dressing, rather than the spiritual clothing. People, even the religious, feel ashamed to wear simple and common dressing, as beautiful garments appear to draw more respect from the foolish. The person himself is not respected. Instead, it is the clothing he is dressed in. People of these times are busy beautifying their external selves and completely ignoring their spiritual reality. Man no longer understands the need to clean his heart. We should not to seek respect from people since it is meaningless. Rather, we should seek honour in the Divine Presence and be one who approaches Him with a pure heart, as a sincere servant.