Finding Real Peace

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from a swuhbah from Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.), on the 01st January 1997.

When is a person going to find peace within himself?  That is the question.  Rivers run until they reach the ocean, struggling all the way; and then, it is over, finished.  Whoever seeks peace within himself must also reach an ocean, but everyone is moving and struggling.  Everyone is running here and there every day; they are struggling and running to and fro, from morning to night and from night to morning.

There are two ways in which a person may find rest.  One of them is through natural death.  Until death, a person struggles.  When he dies, his arms and legs are spread out and he is laid to rest and there is no more struggling.  According to his station, he has reached peace.  Yet, his peace by natural death may only be for his physical body.  He may still have not reached real peace spiritually.  Therefore, we seek peace for both sides, for our physical bodies and our spiritual selves.  Our physical bodies will get peace by death, natural death.  Then, there is no more movement, no more struggling.  But we must also look after our soul, whether it has peace or not, whether the souls is struggling or not.

For this reason, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said, “Die before you die.”  This is what makes a person to reach spiritual peace and satisfaction, true peace.  Our physical body may die, but as yet, we have not attained our spiritual peace.  Therefore, the one who asks for real peace within himself must try the ways of those who have attained real peace spiritually, and the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) advice to his ummah, to ourselves, is to die before natural death comes upon us.

Only a few are equally at peace body and soul.  Most people destroy their spiritual peace by running after the physical body’s peace.  It is impossible for a person, without spiritual peace, to reach bodily peace until natural death comes.  But even at the time of death, there may be no benefit at that time, because even if we find peace in our physical body, our spiritual side may still struggling and suffering.  Then, from the day of one’s death up to the Day of Resurrection, in your hayat al-barzakh, the intermediate life between eternal life and this world’s life, those troubles and struggles may still continue.  Perhaps it may continue even on the Day of Resurrection, and it may be more than this also.  One may be in Hell, struggling and suffering for a period until he reaches to the Ocean that he was Given in pre-eternity.

Therefore, the most important thing that we must know concerns our absolute peace and when and how is it going to be.  Until we reach that Ocean which Allah Almighty Gave us in pre-eternity, we will struggle and suffer, and we may be in hell during this life and in the grave and on the Day of Resurrection, and then finally in Hell itself also, because it is impossible to find peace without reaching our rest in that Ocean.

We give sufferings to ourselves because we use the wrong methods to acquire peace.  For example, sometimes, engineers prepare a rocket to go up but it turns and falls back.  It is like this; so many people are now using the wrong methods, so that instead of going up, they come down, a crash landing.  Sometimes, it is only some small fault, even a simple error that may do that.  Therefore we must be very careful, when we use a spiritual method.

We are trying to give a perfect method to everyone who is seeking real peace because reaching this peace and satisfaction is the destination of everybody.  You may take a train from London up to Edinburgh and on your way, there may be one hundred stations and at each station some people get out because everyone knows his destination.  If you get out before Edinburgh, you will not be satisfied.  This is not your destination.  If you get struck and remain in that station, you are going to suffer forever because you have reached a wrong destination.  Therefore, you must know your destination, and then you must take a ticket to that station, not to a station before it nor after it.  A person must do everything to save himself from arriving at the wrong station.  It is dangerous for a person not to look for his destination.  He must look out for his destination and must use the right method to reach his destination otherwise he will not attain peace.

In our time, people are using so many wrong methods.  They do not understand, or they do not even know, where is the beginning and what is the end; just like a blind person does not understand where he is or to where he is going.  Therefore, guidance is necessary and the most important thing for a person throughout his life is to find a true guide.  A true guide can be known when our soul is in peace and satisfaction with him.  That is the sign, the real sign: to feel peace and satisfaction with him in our heart.  If we are still in doubt or hesitant, it means that something is wrong with that person and we must look for some other guide.  If our heart is not at peace with his method, we must not follow it.  There are so many ways.  We must try to find another guide until we attain peace in our heart with that person.  Then it should be all right for us.  This is the way to attain peace, to die before dying.  When we find a guide, we must be with him.  We must not carry about a different personality from his but must agree to be one with him, one unit.  We cannot carry about another personality from our guide’s; we must melt our personality into his personality and we must appear as him.  Then, you will be all right.

Once a person came to a Grand Shaykh, Shaykh ‘Abdillah ad-Daghistani (q.s.) and knocked at his door.  Shaykh ‘Abdillah ad-Daghistani (q.s.) asked, “Who is there?”

“Ibrahim,” the man said.  “It is I.”

“‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’; always saying ‘I’”, said Shaykh ‘Abdillah ad-Daghistani (q.s.).  Shaykh ‘Abdillah ad-Daghistani (q.s.) answered, “My place is only for one, not for two.  Go away.”

So that person went away.  After one year, he tried again.  He came and knocked at the door.  “Who is there?” Shaykh ‘Abdillah ad-Daghistani (q.s.) asked.

“You,” he answered this time.

“You may now come in.” replied Shaykh ‘Abdillah ad-Daghistani (q.s.).

The first condition for a person who is seeking real peace is that he must give himself, all that he is carrying, to put it into his guide.  His guide can take it and carry it.  When we consider an airplane, it may hold one hundred or two hundred or even three hundred passengers, but when it flies, we see only one jet plane.  We do not see the three hundred persons inside it; we see only that it is a plane flying.  The plane takes all those people into itself, finished.  Therefore, when we take a guide to our destination, we give ourselves up to him.  Our selfhood must be given up.  We must consider ourselves as a drop and when it reaches the Ocean, there is no more drop – finished.  We leave being that drop and we become the Ocean.

When that drop falls into the Ocean, can we take it out, can we find it?  Finished; it is all Ocean.  That is peace.  Therefore, peace is not to be found without leaving our drop in that Ocean.  And our guide may be a lake or he may be a sea, but they all run into Oceans, also.  That is important.  When we say, “Die before you die,” this is how can one die before his natural death.

Can he who was dead to whom We Gave life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men, be like him who is in the depths of darkness, from which he can never come out?  Thus to those without faith, their own deeds seem pleasing. (Surah al-An’am:122)

We give our personality to your guide.  When we look at our guide, you see ourselves in him and when he looks at us, he looks at himself; we have reached our spiritual peace.  We may find it during our short lifetime.  But if we do not use true, correct methods, we go wrong, we will find ourselves far away from peace.  Instead of running toward the Ocean, we find ourselves running towards the desert.  Anyone who thinks about satisfaction, pleasure and endless enjoyment must look after his spiritual life’s peace, and this is impossible for a person if he does not find an Ocean and run into it.  Doing this is so difficult because our egos are too proud to surrender.  This is the most difficult proposition that can be made to our nafs; the most difficult thing for the nafs is to put its personality aside and agree to be with another’s.  It holds onto its personality very strongly and it never likes to lose it.

Thus, between our souls and our egos, a fight is taking place.  Our souls want to reach that Ocean and our egos rebel.  It is like a bottle containing water, which is thrown into the ocean.  The water wants to reach the ocean but the bottle prevents it.  Our nafs is just like that bottle, not agreeing to be broken in order to be nothing, and not wanting to let that water go to the ocean.  This is the fight that goes on between our soul and our nafs.  The one, who is successful in defeating his ego and making it agree to take the same personality of his guide, is the happy one and has reached real peace.  We take enjoyment from our existence.  The greatest Grant of our Lord to us is existence.  But true existence may be gained only when we give up our false existence or being.  If we give up our fani’, transitory existence, we acquire permanent existence.

To the extent that we hold onto this temporary existence, true existence leaves us.  Then natural death takes that temporary existence from us.  But it may still be a long way for us to travel, a way of suffering, to reach eternal existence, through the grave and the Day of Resurrection or in Hell so that we may reach the ultimate existence.  But if we agree here, during this life, to use true methods that come from our Lord to His servants, it is the easiest and simplest way to reach real peace.  We are living during a time in which there are hundreds and thousands, maybe tens of thousands of ways, but they are wrong ways, the ways of suffering.  These are ways that take people to the wrong destination.  The one who seriously seeks his destination must be serious concerning his guide and his guidance, or his life is going to be full of sufferings.  And those sufferings will continue after he leaves his physical body because such sufferings belong to our souls and the soul is going to suffer because it has not reached to its Ocean.  Until one reaches it, he must pass through so many wrong channels.

Finally, this is so important for anyone who is not drunk.  People in our time are mostly drunk, not only by drinking liquor, but most of them are drunk on this world’s life.  Problems of livelihood particularly make people preoccupied with heavy conditions, and then they are like drunk people, with no time to look after themselves because they are struggling, they are fighting; no time to ask for a guide.  Thus, up to the end, their troubles continue, and when they die, their bodily struggle is finished, their physical bodies are in peace, but not yet their souls.  Their souls cannot reach their peace and happiness. Their troubles and sufferings continue after death, until they reach to their true destinations in the Divine Presence.  We ask from our Lord sincerely for this peace.  When we ask sincerely, He Send us to one of His beloved servants to take us to our destination.


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