Monday, 25 February 2013
Not Even an Ant...
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.) on the 16th March 2010.
Are we able to accept that Allah (s.w.t.) can Send His help to us even by an ant? Though our minds may not fully understand how this may be possible, the heart can accept such a possibility. To understand is difficult, as there is a limit to our ability to understand. But to have faith is easy since there is no limit to a man's ability to believe. That is a special Grant that Allah (s.w.t.) has Bestowed upon us. Our capacity to believe is endless. We can never understand everything in life. There is much that we simply accept with faith.
If the abilities of every person were joined together into a single human being, that fusion super-human would still be unable to understand every single creature on this planet. Even the Quthb al-Mutaswswarif, the Spiritual Pole of our time, who has been tasked to oversee all the creatures on this planet, only knows the creatures in a general way. He cannot know each creature in a personal and intimate manner, unless Allah (s.w.t.) so Wills it. Only Allah (s.w.t.), the Creator, Knows each creature personally and intimately, down to the hidden and deepest secrets in their hearts.
It was We Who Created man, and We Know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are Nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. (Surah Qaf:16)
This is how weak we are. We are Allah's (s.w.t.) khulifa’ on earth, yet when we look at a single ant, moving along the earth, what do we know of it? Do we understand its thoughts, and its current condition? Do we know its name, its origin, its final step? We know nothing except that it is an ant. And that is just for one ant. What about the trillions of ants that scurry about on this planet's surface? Each one has its own personality and we are completely in the dark about each one of them. What more the infinite other creatures that Allah (s.w.t.) created; each one, a unique individual within a community of unique individuals, each of whom Allah (s.w.t.) has a Complete and Perfect Understanding of. And what about the creatures of other worlds in other parts of the universe? Surely, Allah the Most Rich has more than just one planet of creatures. There are other worlds filled with creatures totally unlike what we see on earth. And for all those planets filled with wondrous and complex creatures, Allah (s.w.t.) Knows each one of His Creation Perfectly. And we have not even come to understand ourselves, let alone the other creatures in Creation.
This revelation is like a flash of lightning striking our minds, bringing light and realisation to us. Divine Lights bring understanding to us. Before we can ask, “Who is Allah?”, we should ask the ant first, “Who are you? Where are you from? Who Created you? We must never for a moment think that the ant is deaf or dumb. It can hear us and it can answer us. It may even know more about itself than we know about ourselves. Allah (s.w.t.) Commands us in the Holy Qur'an to have faith in Him and His Rasul (s.a.w.).
O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Messenger... (Surah an-Nisa’:136)
What does Allah (s.w.t.) mean by that? It means that our faith, our belief, that certainty in our hearts is still very weak. The knowledge that leads to true belief in Allah (s.w.t.) is a vast Ocean. How can we feel that we have already acquired strong faith? It is not enough to simply say, “I believe in Allah (s.w.t.) and His Rasul (s.a.w.).”
The desert Arabs, say "We believe." Say "Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say `We have submitted our wills to Allah.' for not yet has Faith entered your hearts…” (Surah al-Hujraat:14)
Despite already having acquired a little faith, we are still Veiled by so many curtains. We must never think it is just one veil. There are countless veils that we need to pierce through, in order to reach our objective. Faith has boundaries, it has a border, and when we reach such a limit, we must dive into that Ocean of knowledge again, to seek more knowledge that will lead to an increase in faith. Even if we are at level zero now, or even if we are below level zero, we must strive onward to build faith in Allah (s.w.t.). That effort will open doors of understanding from our right and from our left and we will grow in our understanding of Allah's (s.w.t.) Greatness and Perfection.
We can never stand still at any one point in our journey of faith. We must keep pushing forward without rest, for the levels of faith are infinite. Beyond each horizon that we reach is a new horizon. These may bring new veils that we must pass through and new experiences that you must swim in. For every veil that we pass through, we receive a new set of honours and pleasure. Allah (s.w.t.) Created us to climb this spiritual ladder of faith, to be bestowed honour and pleasure at each level of our ascension. This is the purpose of our Creation. We were not created for dunya. As much effort as we make, that much we will rise on the spiritual ladder of faith, rung by rung. Each time we reach a new rung, we ask to go higher, for we have yet to attain perfection. Allah (s.w.t.) Himself urges us to climb higher, to take more from His Gifts.
We were not Created to roll in the mud of this dirty worldly life! Every prophet came to teach us to clean ourselves from the filth of this material life, from the filth of our egos and the filth of our worldly desires. The lowest rung on the ladder is the level of animals. An animal only looks at the earth all its life. It never looks up to the sky. It never yearns for spiritual ascension. It is only concerned with its worldly desires and fully occupied with fulfilling its carnal needs. That attribute of only looking to dunya, is what causes people to fight, to hate, to shed blood, to be jealous, to persecute, to create chaos and mayhem on earth. If we were to look to the heavens and seek ascension in faith, we would be like the angels. We never hear of angels fighting or quarreling, killing and warring. So the prophets came to teach us how to cleanse ourselves of this dirty material life, to discard our animal characteristics, and to rise to angelic stations.
If we stay at the level of the animals and you make no effort to rise, we will never reach the Divine Presence. What stops us from ascending? We cannot rise, because we are trying to carry our donkey, our ego, on this journey to meet the Master. When the angels of the Divine Court see us approaching with our donkeys on our shoulders, they chase us away, for we are supposed to ride on our donkeys, not carry them, to the Divine Presence. If we are slaves to our dirty egos, slaves to dunya, slaves to Shaythan; we cannot rise. We will remain in this filthy state, unable to taste the pleasures of either dunya or akhirah. So we must repent and start moving upwards. The first step is to leave the level of the animals. We may be happy to remain at a low level of faith but the Lord of the Heavens is not Pleased. We are meant to Return.