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Revelations © 
of The Unseen 


A COLLECTION OF PaO DISCOURSES 








~ 


. pF 


Futth al-Ghaib 
SHAIKH ’ABD AL-QADIR AL-JILANI 
TRANSLATED FROM THE ARABIC BY MUHTAR HOLLAND 


= P — 


Revelations 


Of ‘The Unseen 


(Futah al-Ghaib) 


A COLLECTION OF SEVENTY-EIGHT DISCOURSES 


SHAIKH ‘ABD AL-QADIR AL-JILANI 
TRANSLATED FROM THE ARABIC BY MUHTAR HOLLAND 





“And with Him are the keys of the unseen." Quran (6:59) 
Cover calligraphy: Rohana Filippi 


Using watercolor and wax to combine the beauty of Arabic 
$cript with the Quranic message on paper, Italian artist Rohana 
Filippi has developed her own artistic style through personal 
research and inner inspiration. Her art is entirely devoted to 
"expressing Allah's presence everywhere," and as such her 
paintings offer an opportunity to enjoy a harmonious, iniversal 
experience that transcends all cultural and religious barriers. 
Ms. Filippi, who currently resides in Colombia, has lived and 
worked in England, Mexico, and the United States. 





Publisher’s Preface 


The words of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani can undoubtedly be 
considered among the most precious treasures of Islam. Indeed, 
Al-Baz Publishing was founded with the intention of providing fine 
English translations of his works for the benefit of English-speaking 
Muslims everywhere, in the spirit of wishing to share the benefitand 
blessing we have received ourselves at his hand. 

I first became interested in Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir in leaming from 
my own spiritual guide and benefactor Bapak Muhammad Sumo- 
hadiwidjojo, founder of the Subud brotherhood (may Allah be well 
pleased with him), that Allah had bestowed on the Shaikh the same 
opening and contact that Bapak himself received from Allah, and 
which he has passed on to us. 

Anyone familiar with the latiban kefiwaan of.Subud will under- 
stand that to be so honored by Almighty God is an unusual 
occurrence in the history of mankind, such grace usually being 
bestowed on very few of His creatures. My interest thus being 
aroused, I sought out the surviving manuscripts from their various- 
repositories around the world, and began the task of having them 
translated. From the very first reading it was apparent to me that 
what Bapak had said about the Shaikh was true. 

O reader! This endeavor is for you! If you find benefit in the 
reading of these talks, pray that Allah bless the Shaikh, and pray for 
us too, that our offering may find acceptance in His sight! 


Acknowledgments 


All praise is due to Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful! 


We bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and that 
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah! 


Our Lord, thank You for giving us this wholesome task! 


Grateful thanks to Muhtar Holland for devoting years of his life to 
translating these works; may Allah bless him! Thanks too, to the 
many who have helped make this publication possible, among 
them the following: 


Salim al-din Quraishi of the British India Office Library, London 
Dr. Hars Kurio of the Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin 
Husein Rofé 

Lateef Ismail for his part 

Rohana Woodward for the clue 

Marius Moore for his help 

Ridwan Lowther for research and for style and font assistance 
Liliana Gardner for design fundamentals 

Frances Gardner for the flowers 

Rohana Filippi for the cover art 

Susannah Ortego for coordinating the production 


vii 





Contents 


Publisher's Preface v 


Acknowledgments vii 
Concerning the Author, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani: 
A Brief Introduction by the Translator xiii 


Author's Genealogy 5 
Author's Prologue 6 
The Seventy-eight Discourses 


1 
2 
3 
4 
5 


6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 


21 
22 
23 


On the essential tasks of every true believer 9 

On sharing good advice 10 

On being tried and tested 11 

On spiritual death 13 

On the nature of this world, detachment from which is 
strongly advised 15 

On passing beyond the creation 16 

On removing the cares of the heart [qalb] 20 

On drawing near to Allah 24 

On disclosure and contemplation 26 

On the self and its states 28 

On carnal appetite 33 

On the prohibition of love of wealth 34 

On submission to Allah’s command 35 

On following the practice of Allah's own 39 

On fear and hope 41 

On wust and its stages 42 

On how the contact {wusul) with Allah is attained 45 
On not complaining 48 

On promises 51 

On the saying of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give 
him peace): “Leave anything that makes you doubtful and 
stick to what arouses no misgivings in you.” 53 

On addressing Iblis the accursed 55 

On the testing of the believer's faith 56 

On contentment with one's lot from Allah 58 


24 
25 
26 


BBN 


32 
33 
34 
35 


37 


39 
40 


41 
42 
43 


45 


46 


47 


49 
50 


51 
52 
53 


Contents 


On cleaving to Allah's door 60 

On the tree cf faith 62 

On not unveiling one’s face 65 

On good and evil as two fruits 69 

On the classification of the seeker’s state 74 

On the saying of the Prophet (Allah Bless him and give him 

peace): “Poverty is on the verge of slipping into unbelief.” 76 
On not saying “What shall I do and how?" 78 

On hatred for Allah’s sake 80 

On not sharing one's love of Allah 81 

On the four types of men 83 

On not resenting Allah 86 

On pious caution [al-wara’) 90 

On the explanation of this world and the hereafter, and what 
one must do in them both 92 

On censure of envy 97 

On honesty |sidq] and sincerity (nisah] 100 

On dissension, concord and hypocrisy [nifaq] 101 

On when the aspirant truly belongs in the company of spiritual 

people 102 

Ilustrating the nature of annthilation (fana’} 104 

On the two conditions of the self (nafs) 107 

On censure of asking from any but Allah 110 

On the reason for non-response to the supplication of one 
who knows Allah [al-'arif bi'llah) 111 

On blessings and trials 113 

On the Sacred Tradition: “When someone is too busy 
remembering Me...” 118 

On closeness to Allah 120° 

On what the believer must attend to 121 

On censure of sleep 123 

On how to teat the servant's remoteness from Allah; 
explanation of how to achieve closeness to Him 124 

On abstinence 126 

On the reason for the trials borne by certain believers 128 
On the commandment to seek contentment with Allah 

and annihilation [fana’] in Him 129 , 

On those who wish to attain to the contact [wusil) with Allah, 
an explanation of the nature of that contact 132 


ee ow 


55 
56 


57 
58 
59 


60 
61 


62 
63 
64 
65 
66 


67 
68 


69 
70 
71 
72 
73 
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76 
77 


Contents xi 


On giving up life's pleasures 134 

On the servant’s becoming extinct (fana’] to creatures, passions, 
the self, the will and desires 137 

On not contesting destiny, and the commandment to keep 
oneself content therewith 139 

On looking away from all other directions, and seeking the 
direction of Allāh's favor 141 

On cheerful acceptance of misfortune, and being grateful 

for blessings 143 

On the beginning and the end 147 

On pausing before taking any action until its permissibility 

is clear 150 

On love, the beloved, and what is required in respect of both 152 
On a kind of inner knowledge [ma'rifa}] 154 

On death without life, and life without death 155 

On the prohibition of resenting Allåh for deferring response 
to supplication 156 

On the commandment to make supplication, and the 
prohibition of omitting it 158 

On struggle with the self, and description of its nature 160 
On the words of Allāh (Exalted is He): “Every day He is about 
some business.” 163 

On the commandment to ask Allāh for forgiveness, protection 
from sin, help toward success, contentment and patience 165 
On gratitude and acknowledgment of shortcomings 167 

On the seeker and the sought 169 

On those who are attracted to what they see in the market 
and those who view it with patient restraint 171 

On a party of saints whom Allāh makes aware of the faults 

of others 173 

On how the intelligent person should prove to himself the 
Uniqueness of Allah 175 


_On spiritual culture [tasawwuf] and what it is based on 177 


On advice 179 
On staying with Allah and becoming extinct to creatures 181 


78 On the people devoted to spiritual struggle and self- 


examination and the masters of resolve; explanation of 
their virtues 183 


Addendum 188 
About the Translator 191 








Concerning the Author, 


Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani 
A brief introduction by the translator 


Many words aboutShaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well 
pleased with him) have been written in English and other Western 
European languages, and have been published in books, encyclo- 
pedias and journals. Most of the Shaikh’s own words, however, 
have remained accessible only to those who can read his writings, 
and his recorded utterances, in the original Arabic or in translations 
into other Oriental languages, such as Persian and Urdu. As one 
who has been blessed with sufficient skill—and with the practical 
Opportunity—to make his humble contribution toward correcting 
this imbalance, I feel obliged to assure the reader that I intend to 
concentrate on further tasks of translation, rather than expatiating 
at great length on my personal view of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, his life, 
his works, and his spiritual influence through the ages. The 
following brief introduction may nevertheless serve.a useful pur- 
pose, especially for readers who lack ready access to publications 
containing relevant background material. 


The Author’s Names and Titles 


A rich store of information about the author of Revelations of the 
Unseenis conveniently available, to those familiar with the religious 
and spiritual tradition of Islam, in his names, his surnames, and the 
many titles conferred upon him by his devoted followers. It is not 
unusual for these to take up several lines in an Arabic manuscript, 
but let us start with the short form of the author’s name as it appears 
on the cover and title page of this book: Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al- 
Jilani. tg 

Shaikh: A term applied throughout the Islamic world to respected 
persons of recognized seniority in learning, experience and wis- 


xiii 


xiv Concerning the Author 


dom. Its basic meaning in Arabic is “an elder; a man over fifty years 
of age.” (The spellings Sheikh and Shaykh may also be encountered 
in English-language publications.) 


‘Abd al-Qadir: This is the author's personal name, meaning “Servant 
[or Slave] of the All-Powerful.” (The form ‘Abdul Qadir, which the 
reader may come across elsewhere, is simply an alternative translit- 
eration of the Arabic spelling.) It has always been a common 
practice, in the Muslim community, to give a male child a name in 
which ‘Abd is prefixed to one of the Names of Allah. 


al-Jilini: Asurname ending in -iwill often indicate the bearer’s place 
of birth. Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir was bom in the Iranian district of 
Gilan, south of the Caspian Sea, in A.H. 470/1077-8 C.E. (In some 
texts, the Persian spelling Gildni is used instead of the arabicized 
form al-filani. The abbreviated form al-/ili, which may also be 
encountered, should not be confused with the surname of the 
venerable ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili, author of the celebrated work al- 
Insan al-Kamil, who came from Jil in the district of Baghdad.) 


Let us now consider a slightly longer version of the Shaikh’s name, 
as it occurs near the beginning of another collection of his dis- 
courses, entitled Al-Fath ar-Rabbdani (The Sublime Revelation]: 
Sayyidund ’sh-Shaikh Mubyi'd-Din Abii Muhammad ‘Abd al- 
Qadir (Radiya'llabu ‘anb). 


Sayyiduna ’sh-Shaikh: “Our Master, the Shaikh.” A writer who 
regards himself as a Qadiri, a devoted follower of Shaikh ‘Abd al- 
Qadir, will generally refer to the latter as Sayyidunda[our Master], or 
Sayyidi [my Master]. 


Muhyi’d-Din: “Reviver of the Religion.” Itis widely acknowledged 
by historians, non-Muslim as well as Muslim, that Shaikh ‘Abd al- 
Qadir displayed great courage in reaffirming the traditional teach- 
ings of Islam, in an era when sectarianism was rife, and when 
materialistic and rationalistic tendencies were predominant in all 


Concerning the Author XV 


sections of society. In matters of Islamic jurisprudence (/igh/ and 
theology /kaldml, he adhered quite strictly to the highly “orthodox” 
school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. 


Abi Muhammad: “Father of Muhammad.” In the Arabic system of 
nomenclature, a man’s surnames usually include the name of his 
first-born son, with the prefix Aba [Father of—]. According to at 
least one account of his life,! Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir remained 
unmarried until his fifty-first year. He then took four wives, who 
bore him twenty-seven sons and twenty-two daughters. 


Radiya’llahu ‘anh: “May Allah be well pleased with him!” This 
benediction is the one customarily pronounced—and spelled outin 
writing—after mentioning the name of a Companion of the Prophet 
(Allah bless him and give him peace). The preference for this 
particular invocation is yet another mark of the extraordinary status 
held by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir in the eyes of his devoted followers. 


Finally, we must note some important elements contained within 
this even longer version: al-Ghawth al-A'zam Sultan al-Awliyad’ 
Sayyiduna ’sh-Shaikh Mubyi'd-Din ‘Abd al-Qdadir al-filani al- 
Hasani al-Husaini (Radiya'llabu ‘anh). 


al-Ghawth al-A%am: “The Supreme Helper” (or, “The Mightiest 
Succor”). Gbhawth is an Arabic word meaning: 1. A cry for aid or 
succor. 2. Aid, help, succor; deliverance from adversity. 3. The chief 
of the Saints, who is empowered by Allah to bring succor to 
suffering humanity, in response to His creatures’ cry for help in 
times of extreme adversity. 


Sultan al-Awliyz’: “The Sultan of the Saints.” This reinforces the 
preceding title, emphasizing the supremacy of the Ghawth above 
all other orders of sanctity. 


al-Hasani al-Husaini: “The descendant of both al-Hasan and al- 
Husain, the grandsons of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him 


xvi Concerning the Author 


peace).” To quote the Turkish author, Shaikh Muzaffer Ozak Efendi 
(may Allah bestow His mercy upon him): “The lineage of Shaikh 
‘Abd al-Qadir is known as the Chain of Gold, since both his parents 
were descendants of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him 
peace). His noble father, ‘Abdullah, traced his descent by way of 
Imam Hasan, while his revered mother, Umm a!-Khair, traced hers 
through Imam Husain.” 


As for the many other surnames, titles and honorific appellations 
that have been conferred upon Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, it may 
suffice at this point to mention al-Baz al-Ashbab{The Gray Falcon). 


The Author’s Life in Baghdad 


Through the mists of legend surrounding the life of Shaikh ‘Abd al- 


Qadir al-Jilani, it is possible to discern the outlines of the following 
biographical sketch: 


In A.H. 488, at the age of eighteen, he left his native province to 
become a student in the great capital city of Baghdad, the hub of 
political, commercial and cultural activity, and the center of reli- 
gious learning in the world of Islam. After studying traditional 
sciences under such teachersas the prominent Hanbali jurist (faqih), 
Abii Sa‘d ‘Ali al-Mukharrimi, he encountered a more spiritually 
oriented instructor in the saintly person of Abu’l-Khair Hammad ad- 
Dabbas. Then, instead of embarking on his own professorial career, 
he abandoned the city and spent twenty-five years as a wanderer in 
the desert regions of ‘Iraq. He was over fifty years old by the time 
he retumed to Baghdad, in A.H. 521/1127 C.E., and began to preach 
in public. His hearers were profoundly affected by the style and 
content of his lectures, and his reputation grew and spread through 
all sections of society. He moved into the school /madrasa/ 
belonging to his old teacher al-Mukharrimi, but the premises 
eventually proved inadequate. In A.H. 528, pious donations were 
applied to the construction of a residence and guesthouse /ribat/, 


Concerning the Author 1 


capable of housing the Shaikh and his large family, as well as 
providing accommodation for his pupils and space for those who 
came from far and wide to attend his regular sessions /majalis). He 
lived to a ripe old age, and continued his work until his very last 
breath, as we know from the accounts of his final moments re- 
corded in the Addendum to Revelations of the Unseen.? 


In the words of Shaikh Muzaffer Ozak Efendi: “The venerable ‘Abd 
al-Qadir al-Jilani passed on to the Realm of Divine Beauty in 
A.H. 561/1166 C.E., and his blessed mausoleum in Baghdad is still a 
place of pious visitation. He is noted for his extraordinary spiritual 
experiences and exploits, as well as his memorable sayings and 
wise teachings. It is rightly said of him that ‘he was born in love, 
grew in perfection, and met his Lord in the perfection of love.’ May 
the All-Glorious Lord biing us in contact with his lofty spiritual 
influence!” 


The Author’s Literary Works 


Al-Ghunya li--alibi tariq al-haqq (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the 
Path of Truth]. Arabic text published in two parts by Dar al-Albab, 
Damascus, n.d., 192 pp. + 200 pp. English translation commis- 
sioned for eventual publication by Al-Baz Publishing, Inc. 


In his own introductory remarks, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir explains 
how he came to compose this monumental work: “One of my 
friends had been pressing me, urging me in very emphatic terms to 
compose this book, because of his excellent appreciation of what 
is right and proper... I came to recognize the sincerity of his wish to 
acquire real knowledge of modes of behavior consistent with the 
sacred law..., real knowledge of the Maker (Almighty and Glorious - 
is He)..., instruction in the Qur'an and Prophetic utterances, and 
real knowledge of the morals and ethics of the righteous. All of 
these subjects we shall review in the course of the book, so that it 
may serve asa helper to him in following the path of Allah (Almighty 


2 Concerning the Author 


and Glorious is He), in carrying out His commandments and 
observing His prohibitions.” 


Al-Fath ar-Rabbani [The Sublime Revelation]. A collection of sixty- 
two discourses delivered by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir in the years 
A.H. 545-546/1150-1152 C.E. Although it contains fewer separate 
discourses, this work is well over twice the length of Revelations of 
the Unseen. Arabic text published by Dar al-Albab, Damascus, n.d. 
Arabic text with Urdu translation: Madina Publishing Co., Karachi, 


1989. Complete English translation prepared for RUDHCAUGE by 
Al-Bāz Publishing, Inc. 


Even a non-Muslim scholar like D.S. Margoliouth was so favorably 
impressed by the content and style of Al-Fath ar-Rabbani that he 
wrote: “The sermons jncluded in [this work] are some of the very 
best in Muslim literature: the spirit which they breathe is one of 
charity and philanthropy: the preacher would like to ‘close the 
gates of Hell and open those of Paradise to all mankind.’ He 
employs Sufi technicalities very rarely, and none that would occa- 
sion the ordinary reader much difficulty...” 


Malfazat [Utterances). A loosely organized compilation of talks and 
sayings by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, almost equal in total length to 
Revelations of tbe Unseen. Frequently treated as a kind of appendix 
or supplement to manuscript and printed versions of Al-Fath ar- 


Rabbani. Complete English translation prepared for publication by 
Al-Baz Publishing, Inc. 


Futith al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen]. The Arabic text, edited 
by Muhammad Salim al-Bawwab, has been published by Dar al- 
Albib, Damascus, 1986. (On translations published in Western 
languages, please see concluding section of this Introduction). 


Jalz’ al-Khatir [The Removal of Care] or Jala’ al-Khawatir [The Removal 
of Cares]. A collection of forty-five discourses by Shaikh ‘Abd 
al-Qadir. Arabic text with Urdu translation, under title Jala’ 





Concerning the Author 3 


al-Khawatir, published by Maktaba Nabawiyya, Lahore, n.d. 


Other works attributed to Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir include short trea- 
tises on some of the Divine Names; litanies (awrdd/ahzabj. prayers 
and supplications /da‘awat / mundjat/: mystical poems /qasa’id). 


Previous translations of Futah al-Ghaib 


With gratitude and respect, I wish to conclude this brief introduction 
by acknowledging the work of my predecessors, whose earlier 
translations of Fut&b al-Ghaib [Revelations of the Unseen] have 
been most helpful to me while preparing the version now offered 
to the reader. 


W. Braune published his German translation, Die Futih al-Gaib des 
‘Abd al-Qadir, in Berlin in the fateful year of 1933. My sense of awe 
grows more intense, each time I reflect on the juxtaposition of that 
title with that place and date. Almost eight hundred years had then 
elapsed, since Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir uttered his enlightening and 
spiritually liberating words in the Arabic tongue. Providence 
enabled him to acquire a German voice at the very moment when 
falsehood and tyranny were abusing the German language to 
proclaim their triumph, as Hitler became Chancellor in Berlin. 


To the best of my knowledge, there has been only one other 
complete translation into any Western language, namely the 
English version by M. Aftab-ud-Din Ahmad, entitled Futuh Al- 
Ghaib [The Revelations of the Unseen] and published in Lahore, 
Pakistan, by Sh. Muhammad Ashraf. The original date of publica- 
tion is not mentioned in the copy at my disposal, which is a reprint 
issued in 1986, but I believe that the book first appeared several 
decades ago. 


As for my own translation, printed within the covers of the book that 
is now in the reader's hands, it may well be regarded as a tribute to 
Maulvi Aftab-ud-Din, whose work was avidly read—and re-read, 
and re-read—by Ruslan Moore, the person who would become the 


4 Concerning the Author 


founder of Al-Baz Publishing, Inc. The fellowship between Ruslan 
and myself is rooted in our experience of the latihan kejiwaan of 
Subud, an experience shared over many long years, and that 
fellowship has been further enriched since we became brothers in 
Islam. Iagreed with his perception of the need for a.new translation, 
to complement rather than. totally supercede the work of the 
venerable Aftab-ud-Din, for the benefit of readers who are unfamil- 
iar with sentence structures and tums of phrase peculiar to the 
Anglo-Indian variety of the English language. 


May Allah forgive our mistakes and failings, and may He bestow His 
blessings upon all connected with our project cepecially our 
gracious readers! Amin. 


Muhtar Holland 


l See SA. Salik. The Saint of ilan.\Lahore: Ashraf (publ.5, 1974, pp. 80-84. 

2 See p. 188. 

? In his article “Abd al-Kadir" in Encyclopaedia of Islam (also printed in Shorter 
Encyclopaedia of Islam. leiden, Netherlands: EJ. Brill, 1961). 


Author’s Genealogy 


According to Shaikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq, noble son of the author: “These 
are the words of my father (may Allah—Exalted is He—bestow His 
approval upon him!), Supporter of the Imams, Master of the Orders, 
Abt Muhammad Muhyi’d-din ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani al-Hasani al- 
Husaini al-Siddiqi, son of Aba Salih Misa Jangi Dost, son of Imam 
‘Abdu'llah, son of mam Yahya the Ascetic, son of Imam Muhammad, 
son of Imam Dawid, son of Imam Misa, son of Imam ‘Abdu'llah, 
son of Imam Misa al-Jawn, son of Imam ‘Abdu’llah al-Mahd, son of 
Imam al-Hasan the Junior, son of the Imam, the Commander of the 
Believers, our Master al-Hasan the Grandson [of the Prophet], son of 
the valiant Imam, heroic Lion of Allah, hero’s proud son, Com- 
mander of the Believers, our Master ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah 
ennoble his countenance, and be well pleased with him and with 
them all. Amin.)” 


Author’s Prologue 


Praise be to Allah, Lord of All the Worlds, first and last, outwardly 
and inwardly, frequent as the tally of His creatures, far-reaching as 
His words and weighty as His throne, fit for His own approval, 
frequent as the count of all things paired and single, of all things 
“fresh and dry ina lucid Book” * ,and of all that our Lord has created, 
fashioned and formed—creating without model or mold, always 
and forever in purity and blessedness. Praise be to Him Who creates 
and then disposes, Who measures and then guides, Who causes 
death and brings to life, Who makes one laugh and makes one cry, 
Who draws one near and brings one close, Who shows mercy and 
abases, Who gives to eat and gives to drink, Who gives good fortune 
and misfortune, Who withholds and bestows, by Whose command 
the seven strong heavens stand firmand the mountains and hills stay 
fixed and the level earth lies still. Of His mercy none need despair; 
from His cunning design and jealous supervision no one is exempt, 
and there is no escape from His decrees, His action, His command; 
none can evade His service, and none is bereft of His grace. 
Therefore to Him all praise is due for what He has given, and to Him 
all thanks are due for what He has set aside. 

Then blessings upon His Chosen Prophet (Allah bless him and 
give him peace!)—to follow whose message is to be guided aright, 
while to tum aside therefrom is to go astray and perish—the truthful 
Prophet known for the truth of his word, abstainer from the 
pleasures of this world, seeker yearning for the Friend on high, 
chosen from all His creation, selected from all His creatures, with 
whose advent came the truth, at whose appearance falsehood 
vanished away, and by whose light the earth became illumined. 

Then upon him be further blessings copious, and benedictions 
good and pure and blessed; also upon the good members of his 
family, his companions, and their successors in active goodness, 


* Allusion to Qur'an (6:59) 


6 


Author's Prologue 7 


those most excellent for their Lord in deed, most upright for Him in 
speech, and most correct in following His path and way. 

Then let our entreaty, supplication andrecourse be tu our Lord, 
our Author and Creator, our Provider Who gives us food and drink, 
our Benefactor and Preserver, our Guardian and the One Who gives 
us life, our Protector and Defender against everything that brings us 
grief and pain—and all this through His mercy and His tender care, 
His gracious favor of perpetual safekeeping in all we say and do, in 
private and in public, in the open and in secret, in hardship and in 
ease, in comfort and in misery and woe. Surely He is Absolute Doer 
of whatever He wishes, Ordainer of whatever He wills, Knower of 
what is concealed, Aware of all states and conditions, be they lapses 
or acts of obedience and intimate worship, Hearer of all sounds and 
voices, Accepter of all prayers from anyone He wills, without 
dispute or hesitation. 

To this let me add: How many and bountiful are the favors Allah 
bestows on me, at all hours of night and day, at every moment and 
at every instant, and under all conditions. As Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He!) has said: “And if you count the favor of Allah, you 
will never add it up” (16:18). The Exalted One also tells us: “And 
any benefit you may enjoy, it is from Allah” (16:53). No hands have 
I, therefore, and neither heart nor tongue, for dealing with such 
figures and their computation. Counting cannot reach their tally, 
nor mental faculties their sum; the heart finds tem incalculable, 
and they defy expression by the tongue. So now, from among such 
statements as the tongue is enabled to utter, the power of speech to 
express, the fingers to record, and the eloquence of language to 
explain, here are some words that arose and emerged for me as 
“Revelations of the Unseen.” They alighted within my being and 
occupied its inner space, till the energy of the experience brought 
them forth and made them outwardly apparent. Then the kindness 
of the Benefactor and the mercy of the Lord of mankind took care 
of their publication in the proper literary format, for the benefit of 
students and seekers of the truth. 


First Discourse 
On the essential tasks of every true believer 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


To things inevitably demand the attention of every believer 
under all circumstances: A commandment to be obeyed, a 
prohibition to be respected, and a divine decree to be accepted with 
good grace. In even the most trivial situation, at least one of the 
three is bound to apply. The believer must therefore keep his mind 
and feelings focused upon them, talk to himself about them, and 
practice the physical self-discipline they require of him at all times. 


Second Discourse 
On sharing good advice 


Tne Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with hirn, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


Pos, {the example of the Prophet], without concocting inno- 
‘vations: obey, do not turri renegade; affirm the Unity of God, 
ascabing ro partner to Him; assert the immaculate nature of His 
Truth, entertaining no doubts, profess your belief, without com- 
siaining: ex.cure with patience, not getting upset; hold your ground, 
‘ck Taming to run; make your needs known, without venting 
frustration: wait and watch, never yielding to despair, behave like 
krakers, nor lixe enemies; unite in obedience, instead of going 
your secarate ways, feel love for one another, not mutual nate; 
Make veusrseives pure, free from the blemish and stain of sin, 
acoming yourselves with obedient service to your Lord: from your 
Masiers donor do net walk away, nor refrain frorn devotion t Mim: 
in recentacce do not delay, and never weary of apoingies to wour 
Creator at acy teoss of night or time of day. Then perhacs mercy wil 


SPS ac Tappiness; far from the fire of Hell removed. vou Tar 
se alow et “ne 17s of Paradise, brought into the presence oë sAn. 


anit im tat we eemally abiding; fine horses you may sc¢. anc axe 
cevigitt, in somphs with eyes like the gazelle, in every sinc 
peame. anG in the melodies of songstresses, along with 2 tose 
other wuessings: and be exalted in the company of the Prepheis Ja 
anid. he champions of truth /as-siddigtin], the marxts /asb- 
stumadd) end the righteous /as-sa/ihun]. 


10 


Third Discourse 
On being tried and tested 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


hen the servant [of the Lord] is tested with a trial, his first 

impulse is to cope with it in and by himself. If his own efforts 
get him nowhere he looks for help from other human beings, such 
as people in power, important officials, men of influence and 
means, or medical experts where diseases and physical ailments are 
involved. If he still obtains no relief, he then resorts to his Lord 
through prayers of supplication, humble entreaty and offering of . 
praise. 

As long as he finds it possible to manage on his own, he will not 
turn to other people, and while human help is available he will not 
turn to the Creator. 

(Having finally applied to Him], only to find no help forthcoming 
from the Creator, he throws himself down in His presence, inces- 
santly begging, pleading, entreating, offering praise and submitting 
his needs in fearand hope. But the Creator (Almighty and Glorious 
is He) now renders him incapable of supplication, and ignores him 
unti! he has reached the end of his tether. Only then does he 
experience the effect of the Lord’s decree and the action of His 
work, and so this servant passes beyond material needs and behav- 
ior, to survive as spirit alone. 

Since he now sees nothing but the Truth /@/-Hagqq/ in action, he 
becomes, of necessity, a totally convinced believer in the divine 
Unity [/muwahbhid, affirming that in reality there is no agent but 
Allāh, no dynamic or static force apart from Allah, and no good or 
evil, no loss or gain, no giving or withholding, no opening or 
closing, no death or life, no honor or disgrace except in the hand of 
Allah. His status comes to resemble that of a suckling babe in its 
nurse’s arms, of a corpse in the hands of a washer of the dead, or of 


11 


12 Third Discourse 


a ball on the receiving end of a polo-player’s mallet—rolled and 
spun and knocked around, though inert in itself and imparting no 
motion to other bodies. 

Gone forth from his own self, out into his Master’s work, he now 
sees nothing but that Master and His work, and neither hears nor 
comprehends from any othersource. If he perceives atall, ifhe does 
hear and leam, His speech is what he listens to, and His knowledge 
is what he comes to know. His favor he enjoys, through His 
neamess he prospers, through His proximity he is graced and 
honored, by His promise he is pleased and reassured. With Him he 
feels at peace, and in His discourse he takes delight, while from all 
others he recoils and shrinks away. In remembrance of Him he finds 
refuge and support. In Him, the Almighty and Glorious, he puts his 
faith and in Him he places his trust. By the light of His awareness 
he is guided, as he wraps and clothes himself therein. Strange 
marvels of His science he discovers, and of the secrets of His power 
he is apprised. To Him he listens and from’Him he learns, then for 
all this he offers praise, gives thanks, and turns to prayer. 


Fourth Discourse 
On spiritual death 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


We you die to the created world, you will be told: “Allah have 
mercy on you! May He now let you die to passionate desire.” 
When you die to your passionate desire, you will be told: “Allah 
have mercy on you! May He now let you die to your willing and 
wishing.” When you die to your will, you will be told: “Allah have 
mercy on you! May He now restore you toa life beyond which there 
is no death.” 

You will then be enriched with a wealth behind which comes no 
poverty; you will be granted a gift behind which comes no depriva- 
tion; you will be given a comfort behind which comes no distress, 
you will be favored with a bliss behind which comes no misery; you 
will be schooled in a knowledge behind which comes no igno- 
rance; you will be assured of a security behind which comes nofear. 
You will be made so prosperous that you are never exposed to 
hardship, so honored that you never suffer disgrace, so established 
that you cannot be dismissed, so exalted that you will never be 
abased, so respected that you are never treated with contempt, so 
purified that you will never be defiled. Thus hopeful aspirations for 
you will be realized, and good reports of you will be confirmed. 

You will become a philosopher's stone and therefore almost 
imperceptible, so distinguished that you have no match, so special 
that you have no peer, so unique that you are one of a kind, singular 
and unpaired, a total mystery and an absolute secret. 

You will then be the heir of every Prophet /zabi] and Champion 
of Truth [siddiq] and Messenger [rasit]. Saintship [al-wiiäya] will 
culminate in you, and toward you the 4éda/* will all incline. 
Through you anxieties will be dispelled. Through you the rains will 
bring water and the crops will grow. Through you troubles and 


* See Sixth Discourse, second to last paragraph. 


13. 


14 Fourth Discourse 


afflictions will be averted from people of distinction and common 
folk, inhabitants of the dangerous frontiers, ruler and subject, 
leaders and society at large. 

You will be the prefect of the country and its population, so 
people will set out to reach you in haste, to pay their respects, 
present gifts and do service, by leave of the Creator of all things, in 
all kinds of affairs. All tongues will everywhere be speaking well of 
you and singing your praises, for no two persons of faith will 
disagree about you, O best of those who dwell in the land or travel 
about therein. 


Such is the bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He will. 
Allah is the Lord of infinite bounty. (62:4) 





Fifth Discourse 


On the nature of this world, detachment from which 
is strongly advised 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


ou see this world in the hands of those who keep it going, with 
Y its ornaments and vanities, its deceptions and snares, and its 
lethal poisons Its surface is so smooth to the touch, while the inside 
is rapacious, quick to bring ruin and death to those who touch it and 
fall under its delusion, forgetting its evil motives, its fickleness and 
breach of promise. When you see all this, you must behave like 
someone who sees a man in the act of defecating, with his private 
parts exposed and causing an unpleasant odor. 

Just as you would avert your gaze from his nakedness, and hold 
your nose against the stinking smell, so must you behave towards 
the world: When you see it, look away from its charms and hold 
your nose against the stench emitted by its lechery and lust. Thus 
you may escape the world’s corrupting influence, yet still receive 
your allotted share of worldly goods—yours to enjoy! As Allah 
(Exalted is He) said to His chosen Prophet (Allah bless himand give 
him peace): 

Strain not your eyes toward that which We have given forsome pairs 
among them to enjoy—the flower of this world’s life, that We may 


thereby put them to the test. Your Lord's provision is better and 
more lasting. (20:131) 


15 


Sixth Discourse 
On passing beyond the creation “a 
The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


Be extinct to all created beings by Allah’s leave, to your 
passionate desire [awa] by His command: “In Allah put your 
trust if you are true believers” (5:23), and to your own will by His 
action (Exalted is He.) Then you will be a vessel fit to receive the 
knowledge of Allah (Exalted is He.) 

What signifies your ‘being extinct’ to Allah’s creatures is your 
isolation and detachment from them, and loss of interest in things 
at their disposal. 

Extinction to your passionate desire is marked by giving up the 
habit of striving to acquire worldly means in order to procure benefit 
and cause harm. You make no movement on your own behalf, do 
nothing to or for yourself on purpose, take no action to defend or 
help yourself, but entrust all that to Allah (Exalted is He), because 
He was in charge of it in the first place, and He will take care of it to 
the end, justas it was entrusted to Him when you were hidden inside 
the womb, and when you were a suckling babe in your cradle. 

Your extinction to self-will /¢7@da/ through the action of Allah is 
indicated by your never formulating any personal goal, your lack of 
selfish interest, and the fact that you no longer feel any want or 
craving, for besides the will of Allah you wish for nothing else. 
Instead, the action of Allah is at work in you, so that while you are 
experiencing Allah’s will and action your limbs become relaxed, 
your mind becomes calm and your feelings widen, your face begins 
to glow and your inner being thrives. In contact with their Creator, 
you feel no need of things. 

The hand of Power will turn you every way about, and the tongue 
of Eternity will summon you. The Lord of all religions will teach you, 

“and clothe you in beams of His own light and special raiment, and 


16 


Sixth Discourse 17 


install you among those possessed of ancient knowledge. 

This will leave you permanently contrite, incapable of holding 
any carnal appetite or will, like a cracked vessel that cannot retain 
either liquid or dregs. You will be estranged from ordinary human 
standards of behavior, for your inner being will not accept anything 
other than the will of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He!) 

At this stage you may be credited with working miracles and 
supernatural phenomena, for such manifestations will bear the 
outward appearance of emanating from you, though in reality they 
are the work of Allah and His will. 

Now you will be admitted to the company of those whose hearts 
have been shattered, their human will-power broken and their 
natural appetites eliminated, and who have then been re-endowed— 
but with a Will Sublime | Aabbaniyya: ‘pertaining to the Lord’). As 
the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Three things 
belonging to this world of yours have been made dear to me: 
perfume, women, andas cool refreshment for my eyes, the [Islamic] 
prayer.” Of course, to confirm the point we have already indicated, 
these things were added unto him anew—after they had left him 
and become unreal to him. 

Allah (Exalted is He) has said: “I am with those who are broken- 
hearted on My account.” So Allah (Exalted is He) will not be with 
you until you totally disown your desire and your will. When these 
are broken, and you contain nothing stable or useful, Allāh will 
create you afresh and install in you a new power of will for you to 
exercise. If any element of self creeps into this newly created will, 
however, the Lord (Exalted is He) will smash it again. You will 
always be left broken-hearted, because He will repeat this process 
until the book of destiny ends with reunion [gä]. This is the 
meaning of: “I am with those who are broken-hearted on My 
account.” When we speak of an element of self creeping in, we 
mean that you become sure and self-confident in relation tothe new 
will. 

Ina Sacred Tradition [hadith qudsifreiated by the blessed Prophet, 


18 Sixth Discourse 


Allah (Exalted is He) says: “My servant constantly approaches Me 
through supererogatory acts of worship until I love him, and when 
I love him, | become his ears with which he hears, his eyes with 
which he sees, his hands with which he holds, and his legs with 
which he walks.” In another version, the wording is: “Sothrough Me 
he hears, through Me he sees, and through Me he understands.” 

This comes about in the state of annihilation /a//anaj] and no 
other. When you become extinct in relation to yourself and to all 
creatures, the whole creation being good and evil, as you likewise 
are good and evil, you neither hope for any good nor fear any evil 
therefrom. Only Allah remains, Alone as He ever was. Good and 
evil are part of Allah's plan, so He will keep you safe from His evil, 
and will immerse you in the oceans of His good. You will become 
the receptacle of all-that is good, a stronghold for every blessing, 
happiness and joy, a beacon of security and peace. 

Annihilation is therefore the aim and object, the final destination 
of the journey of the saints. This was the direction sought by all 
previous saints and Aédd/: to become extinct to their own will, and 
let the will of the Almighty and Glorious Truth take its place, as a 
permanent transformation, lasting until death. That is why they 
came to be called Aéda/ [lit.: ‘substitutes’] (may Allah be well 
pleased with them all.) 

For these masters, it is sinful to associate the will of the divine 
Truth with their own will, through absentmindedness, forgetful- 
ness, onset of rapture, or moment of alarm, so Allah (Exalted is He) 
mercifully jolts them with a reminder to be vigilant. They then pull 
themselves together, and ask forgiveness of their Lord, for none but 
the angels are innocent of self-will. Such innocence has been 
granted to the angels, while the Prophets are immune to passionate 
desire. As for the rest of creation, whether human beings or jinn, 
they are all held morally accountable and enjoy no immunity. Of 
course, some of the saints are preserved from passionate desire, and 
the 4é4da@/ from self-wili. But in neither case is the immunity 


Sixth Discourse 19 


complete, since they may be prone to these two weaknesses at 
times, until Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) overtakes them with 
His mercy and brings them to their senses. 


Seventh Discourse 
On removing the cares of the heart [qalb] 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


tep out of your own self and keep your distance from it. Practice 

detachment from your possessiveness, and surrender every- 
thing to Allah. Become His doorman at the door of your heart, 
obeying His command by admitting those He instructs you to admit, 
and respecting His prohibition by shutting out those He instructs 
you to tum away, so that you do not let passion back into your heart 
once it has been evicted. Passion is expelled from the heart by 
resistance to it and refusal to follow its urges, whatever the circum- 
stances, while compliance and acquiescence allow it to gain entry. 
So do not exert any will apart from His will, for anything else is your 
own desire, and that is the Vale of Folly, where death and destruc- 
tion await you, and falling from His sight and becoming secluded 
from Him. Always keep His commandments, always respect His 
prohibitions, and always submit to what He has decreed. Do not 
associate Him with any part of His creation. Your will, your passions 
and your carnal appetites all belong to His creation, so refrain from 


indulging any of them lest you become a polytheist. Allah (Exalted 
is He) has said: 


Whoever hopes to meet his Lord, let him do righteous work, and 
make none sharer in the worship due unto his Lord. (18:110) 


Polytheism /s4ir& is not merely the worship of idols. It is also 
polytheism to yield to your own passionate desire, and to equate 
with your Lord anything whatsoever besides Him, be it of this world 
and its contents or of the Hereafter and what is contained therein. 
What is besides Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) is other than He, 
so when you rely on anything other than Him you are associating 
something else with Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). Therefore 


20 


Seventh Discourse 21 


be wary and do not relax your guard, be fearful and do not develop 
a sense of security, and keep your wits about you so that you do not 
become careless and complacent. 

Do not attribute any state or station to yourself, and have no 
pretensions to such things. If you are granted a special state, or 
elevated to some station, do not become identified with that in any 
way at all, for Allah is every day about some business, effecting 
change and transformation. He may intervene between a man and 
his heart, thereby separating you from what you had professed to be 
your own, and making you different from what you had imagined 
to be your fixed and permanent condition. You will then be 
embarrassed in the presence of those to whom you made such 
claims, so you had better keep these things to yourself and not 
convey them to others. If something does prove stable and lasting, 
acknowledge it as a gift, pray for the grace to be thankful, and keep 
it out of sight. But even if it turns out otherwise, it will still bring 
progress in knowledge and understanding, enlightenment, alert- 
ness and discipline. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: 

Such of Our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We 


replace with one better or a eee Do you not know that Allah has 
power over all things? (2:106) 


So do not underestimate the extent of Allah’s power, have no 
misgivings about His planning and His management, and never 
doubt His promise. Take as your model the fine example set by 
Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). He 
experienced the abrogation of verses and chapters revealed to him, 
adopted in practice, recited in the niches [of the mosques], and 
written down in books; as they were withdrawn and changed and 
replaced by others, the blessed Prophet was moved to accept the 
new revelations. This applies to the external dispensation of the 
law. As for the inner aspect, the knowledge and spiritual state 
experienced in his own relationship with Allah, he used to say: “My 
heart gets coated with rust, so I beg Allah’s forgiveness seventy. 


22 Seventh Discourse 


times each day” (“...a hundred times,” according to another report). 

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would be 
moved from one state of being to another, and made to traverse the 
stations of divine proximity and the spheres of the unseen. The 
robes of light conferred upon him were changed as he progressed, 
so that each new stage would make the previous one seem dark, 
marred by shortcomings and inadequate observance of the guide- 
lines. Thus he was trained to practice praying for forgiveness, 
because that is the best state for a servant, and constant repentance, 
because this involves acknowledgment of sin and shortcoming— 
properties of human nature inherited from Adam (peace be upon 
him), the father of mankind. 

When the purity of Adam’s spiritual state was stained by forgetful- 
ness of the promise and coverant, he wished to dwell forever in the 
abode of peace, in the vicinity of the All-Merciful and Beneficent 
Friend, visited by the noble angels with greeting and salutation, but 
his self-will had come to be associated with the will of the Truth. 
That will of ius was therefore broken, that state disappeared, that 
intimacy became remote, that station was degraded, those lights 
were dimmed, and that purity was spoiled. Then this chosen one 
of the All-Merciful recovered his awareness and was reminded. 
After being instructed in the acknowledgment of sin and forgetful- 
ness, and trained in confession, he said: “Our Lord! We have 
wronged ourselves. If You do not forgive us, and have mercy on us, 

- we shall surely be among the lost!” (7:23). 

Then came to him the light of guidance, the knowledge and inner 
understanding of repentance and its hidden benefits, but for which 
something formerly mysterious would not have become manifest. 
That old will was replaced by a different one, and the original state 
by another. He received the supreme consecration, and repose in 
this world and then in the hereafter, for this world became a home 


for him and his offspring, and the hereafter their refuge and eternal 
resting place. 


Seventh Discourse 23 


In Allah’s Messenger and favorite friend, therefore, as in his father 
Adam, the Chosen of Allah, ancestor of all dear and loving friends, 
you have an example to follow in confessing faults and praying for 
forgiveness under all circumstances. 


Eighth Discourse 


On drawing near to Allab 


The Shaikh (ray Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


en you are ina particular condition, donot seek to exchange 
it for another, whether higher or lower. If you are at the gate 
of the King’s palace, therefore, do not seek admittance to the palace 
itself until you are obliged to enter, under compulsion and not of 
your own accord. By compulsion I mean a stern, insistently 
repeated command. Do not content yourself with mere permission 
to enter, since this may be just a trick and deception on the King's 
part. You should rather wait patiently until you are compelled to go 
in, so that your entry into the palace will be through sheer coercion 
and gracious favor from the King. Then, since the action is the 
King’s own, He will not chastise you for it. If any punishment is 
meted out to you, it will only be due to your wrong motivation, 
greed, impatience, uncouthness and discontentment with the situ- 
ation in which you have been placed. When you do gain an entrée 
to the palace, you must therefore bow your head in silence, keep 
your eyes modestly downcast and mind your manners as you 
perform the tasks and services assigned to you, without seeking 
promotion to the highest summit. Consider the words of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He): 


Strain not your eyes toward that which We have given for some pairs 
among them to enjoy—the flower of this world’s life, that We may 
thereby put them tothe test. Your Lord’s provision is better and 


more lasting. (20:131) 

This is an admonition by which He instructs His chosen Prophet 
(Allah bless him and give him peace) regarding attention to one’s 
present state and contentment with gifts received. To paraphrase 
His words, “Your Lord’s provision is better and more lasting,” He is 
saying: “What I have given you in the way of good news, 
prophethood, knowledge, satisfaction, patience, the guardianship 


24 


Eighth Discourse 25 


of religion and a firm support the.ein—all this is more fitting and 
appropriate than anything I have given [to others].” 

Thus all good lies in due attention to one’s existing condition, in 
being content with it and ceasing to hanker after alternatives, for it 
can only be that something is yours by lot or is destined for another, 
unless it belongs to nobody and Allah has created it only as a trial. 
If it is destined for you, it will come to you, like itor not. Any display 
of unseemly conduct and greed in its pursuit would therefore be 
improper on your part, with nothing in knowledge or reason to 
commend it. If it is destined for somebody else, spare yourself the 
futile effort of chasing something which you cannot get ane which 
will never come your way. If it is only a trial, not destined to belong 
to anyone at all, how could an intelligent person find it worth his 
while to pursue sucha thing and seek to acquire it for himself? Thus 
it is proven that all good and safety lie in properly attending to one’s 
present state. 

When you are promoted to the upstairs room, and then to the roof, 
you must observe all the proprieties of quiet and polite behavior we 
have already mentioned. In fact you should redouble your efforts 
in that regard, because you are now closer to the King and nearer 
to danger. So do not wish for a change of state whether by 
promotion or demotion, and desire neither permanence and conti- 
nuity nor alteration in your existing condition. You should have no 
self-willed option whatsoever, since that would amount to ingrati- 
tude for present blessings, and ingratitude brings disgrace upon him 
who is guilty thereof, in this world and the hereafter. 

Let your conduct always be as we have told you, until you are 
promoted to a position which will become a permanent station for 
you, from which you will not be removed. You will then recognize 
it asa gift, self-explanatory and self-evident, so cling to itand do not 
let go. Ordinary saints (aw/iya] have changeable states, while 
permanent stations belong to the Adda/. 


Allah is in charge of your guidance! 


Ninth Discourse 
On disclosure and contemplation 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


saints and Aéda@/ are disclosed such workings of Allah as 
baffle the mind and defy all customs and conventions. They are 
of two kinds: Divine Majesty (/@/¢/] and Divine Beauty ama. 

Divine majesty and sublimity give rise to disconcerting fear and 
disquieting dread, with such a mighty impact on the heart that the 
effects become apparent in the physical body. Thus it is related of 
the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that “from his 
breast during prayer one could hear a humming sound like the 
simmering of a cooking-pot, due to the intensity of his fear,” 
because of his vision of the majesty of Allah (Almighty and Glorious 
is He) and the divine sublimity that was revealed to him. Similar 
experiences are attributed to Abraham, the special friend of the All- 
Merciful (on him be the blessings of Allah), and to ‘Umar al-Fārūùūq 
(may Allah be well pleased with him). 

As for direct contemplation of the Divine Beauty, that is an 
experience in which hearts are adorned with light and joy and 
gracious favors, sweet words and friendly conversation, glad tidings 
of tremendous gifts and lofty stations, and a foretaste from Him of 
how all their affairs must in the end retum to Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), for the Pen ran dry from allotting their destinies in 
times primordial. This is a favor from Him and a mercy, and a 
confirmation for them in this world until the attainment of the final 
term that is the time appointed. It is granted lest they exceed the 
bounds of love through sheer intensity of longing for Allah (Exalted 
is He), so that their resolution fails and they perish, or lose the 
strength to stand in servitude until there comes to them the Cer- 
tainty, which is death. He treats them like this out of kindness and 
mercy, as a therapy and to train and gently coax their hearts. “He 


26 


Ninth Discourse 27 


is All-Wise, All-Knowing” (15:25). He is Gentle with them: “Most 
Kind, Most Merciful” (9:117). 

This explains why it is related of the Prophet (Allah bless him and 
give him peace) that he used to say to Bilal the Muezzin (may Allah 
be well pleased with him): “Comfort us, O Bilal, with the signal 
ligama], so that we may enter the prayer"—to enjoy the state of 
contemplation we have been discussing. This is why he said: “The 
cooling of my eyes has been reposed in the prayer [sa/aq.” 


Tenth Discourse 
On the self and its states 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


ee is Allah, and there is your own self (7a@/Sukaj, and you must 
address the situation. The self is the opponent and enemy of 
Allah. All things are subordinate to Allah, and the self really belongs 
to Him as a creature and a possession, but the self entertains 
presumptions and aspirations bound up with carnal appetite and 
sensual desire. So if you ally yourself with the divine Truth in 
opposition and hostility toward the self, you will be for Allah’s sake 
an adversary to your own self. As Allah (Almighty and Glorious is 
He) said to David (peace be upon him): “O David, I am your 
indispensable support, so hold fast to your support. True servitude 
means being an adversary to your own self.” 

itis then that your friendship and servitude to Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) will be confirmed in reality. All that is allotted to you 
will then come to you for your enjoyment and pleasure. You will 
be held in honor and esteem, and all things will be ready to serve 
you with dignity and respect, for they are all subordinate to their 
Lord and in conformity with Him, since He is their Creator and 
Originator and they acknowledge their servitude to Him. Allah 
(Exalted is He) has said: 


There is not a thing that does not celebrate His praise, and yet you 
do not understand their celebration. (17:44) 


[Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke] and said to it 
andtothe earth: “Come both of you, willingly or unwillingly.” They 
said: “We come, obedient.” (41:11) 


Thus servitude—all servitude—consists in opposing your own 
self. Allah (Exalted is He) says: 


Follow not desire, lest it lead you astray from Allah's path. (38:26) 


28 


Tenth Discourse 29 


To David (on him be peace) He said: 


Renounce your passionate desire, for it is vexatious. 


There is also the well-known story of Abi Yazid al-Bistami (may 
Allah have mercy upon him). When he saw the Almighty Lord ina 
dream, he asked Him: “How can I find the way to You?” The Lord 
said: “Abandon your self and come here!” In response, the Saint tells 
us: “I shed my self as a snake sloughs off its skin.” 

Thus all good lies in waging total war against the self under all 
circumstances. If you are ina state of true devotion, therefore, you 
must oppose the self by not getting involved with people, whether 
their behavior be unlawful, merely dubious or even well-intentioned, 
not depending or relying on them, neither fearing them nor pinning 
any hopes on them, and not coveting any worldly advantages they 
may enjoy. Do not solicit gifts from them in the form of presents, of 
alms or charity, or of votive offerings. Get rid of all interest in them 
and in material concerns to the point where, if you had a wealthy 
relative, you would not want him to die so that you could inherit his 
wealth. Separate yourself from creatures in all earnestness. Regard 
them as a door that swings open and shut, or as a tree that sometimes 
bears fruit and at other times is barren, all in accordance with the 
action of a Doer and the management of a Planner, namely Allāh 
(Glorious and Exalted is He), so that you may be one who affirms 
the Unity of the Lord. 

At the same time, however, we must not forget the proper role of 
human endeavor, to avoid subscribing to the fatalistic doctrine of 
the Jabariyya. Believe that no human action is accomplished 
without Allāh. Do not worship His creatures and forget Allāh, and 
do not maintain that our actions are independent of Allāh, for that 
will make you an unbeliever, a subscriber to the [extreme free-will 
doctrine of the] Qadariyya.* You should rather assert that our 
actions belong to Allah in point of creation, and to His servants in 
point of ‘acquisition’ (as, this being the traditional Islamic state- 


* Not to be confused with Qadiriyya, the Sufi movement tracing its crigins to the 
inspiration of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. 


30 


Tenth Discourse 


ment on the subject of requital by reward or punishment. 

Obey Allah's command in dealing with your fellow creatures. 
Keep from them what is your allotted share by His command, but 
do not go beyond this limit. Allah’s verdict in this matter will be 
imposed on you and on them, so do not be the judge yourself. Your 
being with them is a decree of destiny, and destiny is shrouded in 
darkness, so expose that darkness to the Lamp, meaning the Book 
of Allah and the exemplary practice [Summa] of His Messenger 
(Allah bless him and give him peace). Do not step outside these 
two. If some idea occurs to you, or if you receive an inspiration, 
check it against the Book and Sunna. 

By this criterion, you may find that your idea or inspired notion is 
declared unlawful. Suppose, for instance, you have received an 
indication to commit fornication, to practice usury, to consort with 
dissolute and immoral characters, or to behave in some other sinful 
manner. This you must repudiate, renounce, refuse to accept and 
refrain from acting out. Be convinced that it is from Satan the 
accursed. 

Perhaps what you find there will be a license, such as that granted 
to normal appetites for food, drink, clothing or matrimony. This you 
should also refuse and decline to accept, recognizing that the 
suggestion stems from the lower self and its animal cravings, which 
you are under orders to oppose and combat. 

It may also happen that you find nothing in Book and Sunna to 
show that what has occurred to you is under either prohibition or 
license. Maybe it is something you are at a loss to understand, like 
an urge prompting you to go to such-and-such a place to meet a 
certain good man, although you have nothing to gain there or from 
the good person concemed, since your needs are already taken care 
of through the knowledge and wisdom Allāh has graciously be- 
stowed on you. Ina case like this, you should pause and not react 
immediately. Instead of saying, “This is an inspiration from the 
Truth /al-Haqq/ (Glorious and Exalted is He) so] shall act upon it,” 
prefer to wait for the full potential benefit. The divine Truth works 


Tenth Discourse 31 


in such a way that the inspiration /#/4am]/ will be clarified through 
repetition, and y~u will be told what steps to take. To people with 
knowledge /‘7/m/of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), a sign will 
be revealed, intelligible only to saints of mature understanding and 
confirmed Abdal. | 

The reason for not being in great haste to act is that you do not 
know the consequences and the ultimate purpose of the affair, nor 
the snares and pitfalls it contains, with cunning tests devised by 
Allah. So be patient until He is the one at work within you. When 
the action is absolutely stripped of self, and you are borne toward 
that destination, you will be carried safely through any trial that may 
still confront you, because Allah (Exalted is He) will not chastise you 
for His own doing; no penalty can apply to you unless you get 
personally involved. 

If you are in the state of reality /Aagigal, which is the state of 
sainthood /wi/dya/, you must oppose your passions and obey the 
commandments in their entirety. Obedience to the commandments 
is of two kinds: 

One kind means taking just enough from this world to supply your 
genuine personal needs, forsaking extravagant indulgence, per- 
forming your religious duties, and making efforts to get rid of your 
sins, both outwardly and inwardly. 

The second kind is obedience to an inner command, one by 
which the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) orders or 
forbids His servant to do something. Such commands apply only in 
the sphere of ‘neutral’ matters, which are not covered by any 
positive injunction in Islamic law, in the sense that they belong 
neither to the category of prohibited things, nor to the category of 
things that are obligatory; since they are legally indifferent, the 
servant being at liberty to handle them according to his own 
discretion, they are called #Sz{neutral/indifferent/ permissible}. 
Rather than taking any initiative in this area, the servant should wait 
to receive instructions, then obey the order when it comes. He will 
thus be with Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) in all his doings, 
whether in movement or at rest, through his respect for the rules of 


32 Tenth Discourse 


sacred law where they apply, and that inner commandment in other 
cases. At this stage he genuinely belongs among the People of 
Reality [ah/ al-bagqiqal]. 

In the absence even of this inner commandment, there is nothing 
for it but spontaneous action in a state of surrender. If you are in 
touch with the truth of truth, this is the state of obliteration [mapu] 
and annihilation (/a@J, the state of the 4da/ who are broken- 
hearted on account of Him, the state of pure monotheists, men of 
enlightened wisdom, endowed with knowledge and power of 
understanding, the commanders-in-chief, the wardens and guard- 
ians of mankind, the vicegerents of the All-Merciful, and His 
intimates and helpers and friends, peace be upon them. 

To obey the commandment in such matters means going against 
your own self, emptied of any power or strength, utterly devoid of 
all will and ambition for anything of this world or the hereafter. You 
come to be the servant of the King, not of the Kingdom, of His 
commandment and not of whim and passion. You come to 
resemble a babe at his nurse's breast, a corpse receiving its ritual 
wash, a patient lying sprawled for treatment by the doctor, in all that 
is not subject to the injunctions and prohibitions {specified by the 
sacred law]. 


Only Allah is All-Knowing! 


Eleventh Discourse 
On carnal appetite 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


uppose the arousal of your sexual appetite occurs at a point 

where marriage would be far too expensive for one in your 
impoverished condition, so you control yourself in patient expec- 
tation of relief from the Maker (Almighty and Glorious is Fie). By His 
power He may remove the urge engendered and aroused in you by 
that very power, and thus relieve you of it. He may also enable you 
to lead virtuous life without having to bear the burden of marriage, 
or He may provide you with the necessary means, as a gift with His 
blessings, to make it light for you in this world and easy in the 
hereafter. 

Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) will call you patient and 
grateful because of your patience in the matter, content to accept 
His Providence, and will therefore increase you in virtue and 
strength. For if it is your destiny to have your needs sufficiently and 
pleasantly supplied, your patience will tum into gratitude, and the 
Almighty and Glorious One has promised those who are grateful 
still further abundance of gifts, in His words: 


If you are thankful, I will give you more; but if you are ungrateful, 
My punishment is terrible indeed. (14:7) 


Should this not be your destined lot, however, you must survive 
without it by uprooting the craving from your heart, whether the self 
is willing or reluctant. Practice patience and oppose your desire. 
Hold fast to the commandment of the Law, and accept the decree of 
Providence, hoping thereby to receive divine grace and favor. As 
Allāh (Exalted is He) has said: 


Those who patiently pee will truly receive a reward 
without measure. (39:10) 


eee 


Twelfth Discourse 
On the prohibition of love of wealth 


The Shaikh (may Allāh be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


Ww Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) gives you wealth, 
and you let your preoccupation with it distract you from 
obedient service to Him, He makes it a barrier between you and 
Himself in both this world and the hereafter. Perhaps he will 
dispossess you of that wealth, alter you and reduce you to poverty, 
as punishment for letting your preoccupation with the gift distract 
you from the Giver. But if you pay more attention to obeying Him 
than to material wealth, He will make you a present of it without 
deducting a single atom. 

Wealth is your servant, and you are the servant of the Master /a@/- 
Mawila]. You should therefore lead a pampered life in this world, 
and enjoy an honorable and agreeable existence in the hereafter, in 
the garden of eternal abode, in the company of the champions of 
truth, the martyrs and the righteous. 


Thirteenth Discourse 
On submission to Allah’s command 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


oO not exert yourself to attract prosperity or to avert misfortune. 

Prosperity will come to you if it is your lot, whether you seek 
to acquire it or view it with distaste. Misfortune will likewise 
overtake you if it is meant for you by destiny’s decree, whether you 
be averse to it, or pray for it to go away, or confront it with patience 
and fortitude to please the Lord. 

Your only resort is total surrender, allowing the process to work 
within you. If the experience proves to be a happy one, you must 
endeavor to show gratitude. Should it be an ordeal, you must 
exercise patience and perseverance, try toaccept it with good grace, 
or lose yourself in it and become detached by virtue of the spiritual 
states [/ha/dai/ you are given to traverse, and the stations /mandazil]to 
which you are made to travel on the path of the Lord, whom you are 
commanded to obey and befriend, that you may get to meet the 
Companion Most High. 

You will then be installed in a position where your predecessors 
are the champions of the truth, the martyrs and the righteous, so that 
you may see with your own eyes all those who have gone before 
you to reach the King, who have drawn close to Him and found in 
His presence every exquisite delight, joy and security, honor and 
bliss. 

Let tribulation visit you. Allow it to take its course, and do not fret 
about its onset and approach, for its fire is not more terrible than the 
fire of Hell and its blazing inferno. According to traditions reliably 
ascribed to the best of humankind, the best of those ever carried by 
the earth and sheltered by the sky, Muhammad the Chosen (Allah 
bless him and give him peace), he said: “The fire of Hell will say to 
the believer, ‘Move on, believer! Your light has extinguished my 
flame!’ ” 


35 


36 Thirteenth Discourse 


Is the believer's light that puts out the flame of Hell any other than 
the one that escorts him in this wor'd, while disobedient sinners go 
unguided by it? Let this same light extinguish misfortune’s flame, 
and let the coolness of your patience and your harmony with the 
Lord take the heat out of the suffering you have to undergo. The 
affliction will then have come not to destroy you, but to try you and 
to confirm the soundness of your faith, to consolidate the strength 
of your conviction, and to give you inwardly the good news from 
your Lord that He is proud of you. Allah (Exalted is He) says: 


Indeed We shall try you till We know those among you who strive 
hard and persevere in patience, and till We test your record. (47:31) 


When your faith has been established with the Lord of Truth, and 
you have conformed to His work with full conviction, all through 
His help and grace, you must then be ever patient, compliant and 
submissive. Let nothing happen in yourself or in others that would 
go against the commandments or the prohibitions of the Lord. 
Then, when an order is received from Him (Almighty and Glorious 
is He), give it your full attention and be quick to respond. Get 
moving and do not sitaround. Far from being passively resigned to 
the divine decree and its action, you must exert your faculties and 
make every effort to carry out the order. 

If you find yourself incapable of this, you must at once take refuge 
with your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). Resort to Him and 
humbly beg for pardon. Look for the cause of your inability to carry 
out His order, and for what impedes your inclination to obey Him. 
The problem may be due to your asking for trouble and behaving 
with bad grace in His service, to your frivolous attitude and confi- 
dence in your own ability and strength, to your conceited pride in 
your own knowledge, or to your associating your own self and His 
creatures with Him. Asa result, He has barred you from His door, 
dismissed you from His obedient service, deprived you of the 
support of His helpful guidance, tumed His ‘gracious countenance 
away from you, treated you with disgust and loathing, and left you 


Thirteenth Discourse 37 


engrossed in your worldly worries, passions, self-will and desires. 

Do you not recognize that all of this distracts you from your aim, 
and keeps you from the sight of Him who has created you, 
nourished you, blessed you with many gifts, and kept you alive? 

Beware of being diverted from your Lord by anything other than 
your Lord. Everything besides your Lord is other than He, so accept 
nothing else in preference to Him, since He has created you for His 
own sake. Do not wrong your own soul by being preoccupied with 
other things to the neglect of His commandments, for that will cause 
you to enter the “Fire, whose fuel is men and stones” (2:24). You 
will be sorry, but your sorrow will not avail you. You will make 
excuses, but no excuse will be accepted. You will plead for another 
chance, but your plea will not be granted. You will seek to return 
to this world to make amends and put things right, but you will not 
be allowed to return. 

Take pity on your soul and be kind to it. Make good use of the 
tools and instruments you have been given, by dedicating your 
intelligence, faith, inner awareness and knowledge to the service of 
your Lord. Let their light provide illumination amid the darkness of 
destiny. Hold fast to the divine commands and prohibitions, use 
them as guidelines on the path of your Lord, and leave the rest to the 
safekeeping of the One who created you and brought you into 
being. Be not ungrateful to Him who created you from dust and 
made you grow, who developed you from a sperm into a man. Do 
not wish for anything but that which He commands, and have no 
aversion except for that which He forbids. Let this wish be enough 
for all purposes of this world and the hereafter, and this aversion 
likewise. When you are in conformity with His commandment, all 
beings are at your command, and when you detest what He forbids, 
all loathsome things will flee from you wherever you happen to be 
or make your stay. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said in 
one of His Books: 

O son of Adam, I am Allah; there is none worthy of worship besides i 


Me. I say toa thing, “Be,” and it comes into being. Obey Me; I will 
make you such that you say to a thing, “Be,” and there it will be. 


38 Thirteenth Discourse 


He has also said (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


O lower world, ifanyone serves Me, serve him, and if anyone serves 
you, give him trouble. 


When His prohibition comes, you should be as if you had gone 
flabby in the joints, with your senses out of action, drained of 
energy, physically incapacitated, all passion spent, all outer percep- 
tions erased and impressions effaced, oblivious of any influence, 
like a toppled throne in an empty room in a ruined building on a 
darkened lot, devoid of sensation and out of touch. Let your ears be 
deaf as if from birth, your eyes as if blindfold or inflamed or totally 
deprived of sight, your lips as if covered with swellings and sores, 
your tongue as if it were mute and dumb, your teeth as if they were 
abscessed and aching and loose, your hands as if they were 
paralyzed and without any grip, your legs and feet as if they were 
shaky and trembling and bleeding, your genital organ as if it were 
impotent and without any interest in sex, your stomach as if it were 
bloated and quite indifferent to food, your mind as if it were crazy 
and deranged, your body as if you were dead and being carried to 
your grave. - 

An order calls for strict attention and a quick response. A 
prohibition calls for holding back, recoil and disengagement. 
A decree of destiny calls for acting dead, for disappearing into non- 
existence. Drink this draught, swallow this medicine and be 

_nourished by this diet, so that you may flourish in good health, and 
be cured of the sicknesses of sin and the diseases of desire, by 
Allah’s leave (Exalted is He) and if He will. 


Fourteenth Discourse 
On following the practice of Allah’s own 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


O slave of passionate desire, do not pretend to be in the same 
condition as Allah’s own people! You serve your passions, 
while they are servants of the Lord. Your longing is for this world, 
while His people yearn for the hereafter. You behold this world, 
while they behold the Lord of earth and heaven. You enjoy creature 
comforts, while His people feel at home with the Truth. Your heart 
is attached to earthly beings, while the hearts of His people belong 
tothe Lord of the Throne. You are preyed upon by those you notice, 
whereas they do not even see those whom you notice, but see only 
the Creator of all things and whatever He may show. His people 
attain to Him and achieve their salvation, while you remain in pawn 
to your worldly cravings and perish. They are extinct to the 
creation, to passion and will and desire, for they have attained to the 
contact with the King Most High, and He helps them to accomplish 
what he wants from them in the way of obedient worship, eulogy 
and praise. 


Such is Allah's grace, which -fe gives unto whom He will. (5:54) 


In this they have persisted and have persevered, with help from 
Him and smooth facilitation, sothat obedience has become forthem 
a breath of life and a form of nourishment. Accordingly, this world 
has come to bea blessing and good fortune from their point of view; 
it seems like Paradise to them, because they never see anything. 
without first seeing the action of Him who created it and brought it 
into being. 

They are there to ensure the steadiness of earth and sky and the 
ongoing process of death and life-renewal, since their Owner has 
used them as pegs to support the earth He has spread out, and so 


39 


40 Fourteenth Discourse 


each one is like a mountain standing firm. Step out of their path, 
therefore, and do not jostle those whom neither parents nor chil- 
dren could ransom from their purpose. These are the best of those 
my Lord has created and scattered and dispersed upon the earth, so 


on them be the peace of Allah and His greetings as long as earth and 
heaven endure. 


Fifteenth Discourse 
On fear and hope 


The Shaikh (sanctified be the mighty secret of his being) said: 


had a dream in which I seemed to be in a mosque-like place, 

where some people were living as hermits. “If only these people 
had so-and-so to give them training and guidance,” said I, alluding 
to a certain man of virtue. Thereupon they all gathered around me, 
and one of them said: “Why don’t you talk to us yourself?” 

“Very well, if you would like me to do so,” I agreed, then I went 
on to say: “Once you have isolated yourselves from creatures to 
devote yourselves to the Truth, do not ask people for anything with 
your tongues, and when you have given that up, do notask them for 
anything in your hearts, for asking inwardly is just like asking in 
words. Then you must know that Allah is every day about some 
business, changing and transforming, raising up and bringing 
down. Some people He raises to the highest heights, and some He 
reduces to the lowest of the low. Then in those He has raised to the 
highest heights He instills the fear that He may reduce them to the 
lowest of the low, while their hope is that He will keep and preserve 
them in the exalted state they now enjoy. And in those He has 
reduced to the lowest of the low He instills the fear that He may keep 
them forever in the degradation they now suffer, while their hope 
is that He will raise them to the highest heights.” 

Then I woke up. 


41 


a 


fila basi : 


Sixteenth Discourse 
On trust and its stages 


The Shaikh (may Allāh be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


othing blocks you from direct receiving of Allah's grace and 

favor except your reliance upon people and connections, on 
good turns and handouts. Thus creatures are your obstacle to 
gaining a proper livelihood, in keeping with the exemplary practice 
of the Prophet. As long as you continue to depend on fellow 
creatures, hoping for their gifts and favors, going from door to door 
with your requests, you are associating His creation with Allah. He 
will therefore punish you with deprivation of that proper livelihood, 
namely the lawful earnings of this world. 

Then, when you have renounced the habit of depending on 
people and associating them with your Lord (Almighty and Glori- 
ous is He), and have resorted to earning your own livelihood, you 
get to rely on this earning power and become complacent about it, 
forgetting the gracious favor of your Lord. You are once again 
behaving like a polytheist [mushrik], only now the polytheism 
[sbirk]is concealed, ofa subtler nature than the previous kind. Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) will therefore punish you by depriv- 
ing you of His favor and of direct access to Him. 

When you turn from this in repentance, ceasing to allow the 
encroachment of polytheism, and forsaking reliance on your own 
eaming power and abilities, you will see that Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) is the Provider. It is He who supplies the means, the 
facilities and the energy one needs to make a living, and He is the 
One who enables all good results to be achieved. All sustenance is 
in His hand. At times He may supply it to you by way of other 
people, through your appealing to them while in distress or trying 
Straits, Or in response to your appeal to Him (Almighty and Glorious 
is He), sometimes by way of earned remuneration, and at still other 


42 


Sixteenth Discourse 43 


times by His spontaneous favor, in such a way that you do not see 
the intervening cause and means. s 

You have tumed again to Him, casting yourself down before Him, 
and He has lifted the veil between you and His favor. He has made 
Himself accessible to you, and graciously ministers to all your needs 
in the measure appropriate to your condition, acting like a kind and 
tactful physician who is also a friend to the patient. As a precaution 
On His part, and to purge you of any attachment to anyone but Him, 
He satisfies you with His favor. 

Once your heart has been detached from all self-will, all lust and 
indulgence, craving and desire, there is nothing left in your heart 
except His will (Almighty and Glorious is He). So when He wishes 
to send you your allotted share (which you are bound to receive and 
which is not earmarked for any of His creatures apart from you), He 
will cause a desire for that share to arise within you, and will 
dispatch it to you so that it reaches you when you need it. Then He 
will help you to recognize that it comes from Him and to acknowl- 
edge Him with conscious gratitude as the sender and supplier of 
what you have received. As this moves you further away from 
attachment to creatures, from involvement with people, your inner 
being is emptied of all besides Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). 

Then, when your knowledge and conviction have been fortified, 
when your feelings have been expanded and your heart has been 
enlightened, and your nearness to your Lord and your standing in 
His sight have thereby increased, as well your competence for the 
guarding of secrets, you will be allowed to know beforehand when 
you are to receive your allotted share. This privilege will be granted 
in your honor, to exalt your dignity, as a gracious favor and 
guidance from Him. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: 

And We appointed from among them Jeaders guiding by Our 
command, when they endured patiently, and had sure faith in Our 
Signs. (32:24) 

Allah (Exalted is He) also says: 


As for those who strive in Our cause, We surely guide them in Our 
ways. (29:69) 


44 


Sixteenth Discourse 


And the Exalted One says: 
Observe your duty to Allah. Allah will teach you. (2:282) 


Then He will invest you with creative power, which you may 
exercise with clear and unambiguous permission, with tokens 
brilliant as the radiant sun, with His sweet words far sweeter than all 
sweetness, with inspiration true and unequivocal, untainted by the 
promptings of the self and the whisperings of Satan the accursed. 
Allah (Exalted is He) has said in one of His scriptures: 


O son of Adam, lam Allah. There is none worthy of worship but I 
alone. I say toa thing, “Be,” and it comes into being. Obey Me and 


I will make you such that you say to a thing, “Be,” and it will come 
into being. 


Thus He has dealt with many of His Prophets, His saints, and His 
special favorites among the children of Adam. 


Seventeenth Discourse 
On how the contact |wustl] with Allah is attained 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment said: 


hen you attain the contact with Allah and get close to Him 
through His attraction and His helpful guidance—what is 
meant by attaining the contact with Allah (Almighty and Glorious is 
He) is that you make your exit from the sphere of creation, from 
passion and will and desire, and become securely linked to His 
action, so that no movement of yours affects either you or His 
creation unless by His decree, at His command and through His 
action—this is the state of annihilation yana}, which is another term 
for that contact. But attaining to the contact with Allah (Almighty 
and Glorious is He) is not like what we ordinarily understand by 
making contact with one of His creatures. 
There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All- 
Seeing. (42:11) 

The Creator is far above comparison with His creatures or analogy 
with His artifacts. When someone attains to the contact with Him 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), that person becomes known, through 
His introduction, to others who have already experienced the 
` contact. In each case the experience is unique and peculiar to the 
individual concerned. 

With each of His Messengers, Prophets and Saints, Allāh (Al- 
mighty and Glorious is He) shares a secret to which no one else is 
privy. It may even be that a pupil holds a secret with which his 
Shaikh is not acquainted, just as the Shaikh may hold a secret 
unknown to a pupil whose progress has brought him to the very 
threshold of his Shaikh’s spiritual state. 

When the pupil does reach the spiritual state of his Shaikh, he is 
separated from the Shaikh and his connection with him is severed. 
The Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) becomes his 


45 


46 Seventeenth Discourse 


guardian, and weans him from creatures altogether. The Shaikh is 
therefore like a wet nurse. Just as the foster-mother’s suckling does 
not continue beyond two years, dependence on creatures does not 
outlast the cessation of passion and self-will. The Shaikh is needed 
as long as passion and self-will are still there to be broken, but not 
after these have been eradicated, leaving no stain or blemish. 

When you have attained to the contact with the Lord of Truth 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) in the Way we have explained, you 
must always feel safe from whatever is besides Him, for you will not 
see anything other than Himas having any existence atall. Whether 
in loss or in profit, in giving or withholding, in fear or in hope, you 
will see only Him (Almighty and Glorious is He), who is worthy of 
pious devotion and deserves to be begged for forgiveness. You 
must therefore be ever alert to His action, ready for His command, 
employed in His obedient service, aloof from all worldly or 
otherworldly beings of His creation. Do notattach your heart to any 
kind of creature. 

Regard the entire created universe as a man who has been 
clapped in irons by a ruler of vast authority and stern command, of 
terrifying might and power. He has had the man shackled by the 
neck and legs, then crucified him on a cedar tree on the bank of a 
very turbulent river, of great width and depth and with a rapid 
current. Now the ruler is seated on his colossal throne, which 
towers high beyond reach. Stacked by his side are piles of darts, 
spears, bows and arrows and all sorts of weapons, in quantities that 
only he could estimate. He starts pelting the crucified victim with 
anything he fancies from that arsenal... Well, let me ask you: Would 
it make good sense for a person witnessing all this to stop paying 
attention tothe ruler as the focus of his fears and hopes, and to direct 
his attention, with all his fears and hopes, toward the crucified 
victim instead? Surely the sensible verdict on someone who acted 
like that would be to call him mentally deficient, idiotic, crazy, more 
animal than human? 

We seek refuge with Allāh from blindness after sight, from 


Seventeenth Discourse 47 


separation.after contact, from alienation after closeness and prox- 
imity, from error after guidance, and from unbelief after true faith. 

This world is like the great swift-flowing river referred to above. 
Each day it carries more water, symbolic of the carnal appetites of 
mankind, their indulgence of those appetites, and the disasters that 
befall them in consequence. As for the arrows and assorted 
weapons, these represent the trials that destiny brings their way. For 
the most part, what human beings experience in this world is a 
series of misfortunes and woes, sufferings and adversities. Any 
comforts and pleasures they happen to find there are subject to 
pernicious contaminants. 

The lesson drawn from this by any intelligent observer must be 
that he has no real life or relaxation except in the hereafter— 
provided he is a believer [zu min], for this applies exclusively to 
believers. As the Prophet (Allāh bless him and give him peace) said: 
“There is no life except the life of the hereafter.” He also said: “There 
is no comfort for the believer this side of meeting his Lord.” This has 
relevance for believers, like another saying of his (Allah bless him 
and give him peace): “This world is the believer's prison and the 
unbeliever’s paradise.” He also said: “The virtuous man is bridled.” 

In the light of all these traditions and our own direct experience, 
how can a case be made in favor of life in this world? The only true 
comfort lies in exclusive contact with Allah (Almighty and Glorious 
is He), in being in harmony with Him, and in casting oneself down 
in absolute surrender before Him. This is how the servant can find 
freedom from this world, to bask thenceforth in compassion and 
mercy, kindness and charity and gracious favor. 


~ Only Allah is All-Knowing! 


Eighteenth Discourse 


On not complaining 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: ` 


| bs me give you a piece of advice: Never complain to anyone 
about your luck, whether he be friend or foe, and do not accuse 
the Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) of treating you badly and 
making you suffer misfortune. You should rather proclaim your 
blessings and your gratitude. Better even to tell a lie by expressing 
gratitude for a benefit you have not received, than to state the plain 
fact of your situation truthfully but as a complaint. Who is totally 
without the grace of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He)? Allah 
(Exalted is He) has said: 


And if you count the favor of Allah, you will never add it up. (16:18) 


How many blessings you enjoy without acknowledging them for 
what they are! Do not settle for any mere creature as your confidant 
and intimate companion, and tell no one about your problems. It 
is rather with Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) that you should 
be on intimate and confidential terms, and any complaining you do 
should be about Him and addressed to Him. Recognize no other 
party, for none has any power to bring you loss or gain, income or 
expenditure, honor or disgrace, promotion or demotion, poverty or 
affluence, movement or rest. All things are the creation of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He). They lie in the hand of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) and the way they function is at His 
command and by His leave. Each runs its course until a time 
appointed, and everything is regulated by Him. There is no 
advancing what He has postponed, and no putting back what He 


has brought to the fore. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has 
said: 


If Allah afflicts you with some hurt, none can remove it but He; and 
if He desires any good for you, none can repel His bounty. He 


48 


Eighteenth Discourse 49 


causes it to reach whomsoever He will of His servants. He is 
the All-Forgiving, the All-Compassionate. (10:107) 


If you complain about Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) while 
you are in good health and already enjoy some blessing, just 
wanting to get more and shutting your eyes contemptuously to the 
benefit and well-being you have received from Him, He will be 
angry with you and deprive you of both. He will give you something 
real to complain about, doubling your trouble, intensifying the 
chastisement and detestation and loathing you must suffer, and 
casting you down out of His sight. 

You should be very wary of complaining, even if you were being 
dissected and having your own flesh clipped away with scissors. 
Beware, beware, and yet again beware! Allah, Allah, and yet again 
Allah! Escape, escape! Take care, take care! 

Most of the various disasters that afflict a human being are due to 
his complaints against his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). How 
can one have any grievance against Him, when He is the Most 
Merciful of the merciful, the Best of all judges, Wise, Aware, 
Gracious, Compassionate; when He is Kind to His servants and not 
a cruel slave-master; when He is like a wise, sympathetic and kindly 
family doctor? 

Would you find fault with a tender-hearted mother? The Prophet 
(Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Allah is more merciful 
toward His servant than a mother toward her child.” 

Be on your best behavior, you poor wretch! Persevere in the face 
of misfortune, even if you are incapable of patience. Then be 
patient even if you are incapable of conforming with good grace. 
Then conform with good grace if you are there to be found. Then 
cease to exist if you are nowhere to be found. O philosopher's 
stone, where are you, where can you be found and seen? Do you 
not heed His words (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


Fighting is prescribed for you, though it be hateful to you. But it may 
happen that you hate a thing which is good for you, and may happen 
that you love a thing which is bad for you. Allāh knows, and you 
know not. (2:216) 


50 Eighteenth Discourse 


Knowledge of the reality of things has been kept from you under 
wraps, and you have been kept from it behind a screen. So do not 
misbehave yourself, whatever your likes or dislikes. Follow the 
sacred law in whatever may befall you, if you are in the state of piety 
{taqguda\ which is the first step. Follow direct orders, without 
exceeding them, if you are in the state of consecration [wilaya] and 
the extinction of desire (Abumiud wujtid al-hawda, which is the 
second step. Harmonize gladly with the divine action and become 
totally absorbed in the state of Sadaliyya, Ghawthiyya, Quibiyya 
and Siddigiyya’, which are the ultimate stages. 

Stand clear of destiny’s path; get out of its way. Give up self and 
desire. Keep your tongue from complaining. Provided you do this, 
then if what is meant for you is good, the Lord will grant you extra 
pleasure, happiness and joy; and if it is bad, He will keep you safe 
in His obedient service while it runs its course. He will absolve you 
of blame, and keep you unaffected while it lasts, until it is all over 
for you and becomes a thing of the past—as night ends with the 
dawning of the day, and as the chill of winter takes its leave when 
summer comes around. Here is an example for you, so note the 
moral well. 

There are so many sins and errors and outrages, so many kinds of 
offenses and faults that cause defilement. 

To be worthy of the company of the Noble Lord, one must be 
purged of the impurities of sins and failings. No one is granted an 
audience at His court unless he is unstained by the filth of preten- 
tiousness and self-conceit, just as no one is fit for the company of 
kings without being cleansed of all impurities and every kind of 
stench and dirt. Misfortunes have an expiatory and purificatory 
effect. As the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) so 
truthfully said: “One day’s fever is atonement for a year [of sin].” 


° The abstract qualities of Aada/ [singular of Abda/), Ghawth ilit.: Help, Succor), 
Quto\lit.: Pole or Axis] and Siddig(Champion of Truth], respectively. 


Nineteenth Discourse 
On promises 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


f a promise is made to you while you are still weak in faith and 

conviction, that promise will surely be kept and not broken, lest 
you should lose what little faith and certainty you have. When these 
qualities become stronger and are firmly established in your heart, 
you will hear these words of His addressed to you: 


een ae today in our presence established and worthy of trust. 
12:5 


This address will be repeated to you in state after state, as you 
become one of the elect; no, one of the elect of the elect. You will 
retain no will or purpose of your own, no more self-gratifying 
conduct, no sycophantic aspiration or ambitious quest for coveted 
position. Having come to resemble a cracked vessel that can hold 
no liquid content, you will lose all capacity for willful and habitual 
motivation toward achieving anything at all, be it worldly or 
otherworldly. You will be cleansed of everything apart from Allah 
(Exalted is He). From Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) you will 
receive your satisfaction, and the promise of His good pleasure with 
you. You will be enabled to enjoy and take delight in all the 
workings of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). 

Now you will be given a promise, but just when you feel compla- 
cent about it and some trace of self-will is detected there, you will 
be moved on from this promise to one that is higher. You will be 
turned toward one that is nobler, compensating for the first by 
making it redundant. The doors of inner and outer knowledge will 
be opened unto you, and you will gain insight into things mysteri- 
ous, realities of wisdom, and the secret benefits of moving on from 
the previous promise to that which followed it. 

In your new position you will experience increased retention of 


51. 


= 


meee 


52 Nineteenth Discourse 


your spiritual state, then also of articulate utterance. You will be 
entrusted with the preservation of secrets, expansion of the feelings 
and enlightenment of the heart, eloquence of the tongue and 
profound wisdom. You will attract such affection that you become 
the darling of the entire creation; of humans, jinn and all other 
beings in this world and the hereafter. For you have become the 
loved one of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), and 
creatures follow their Creator (Glorious and Exalted is He). Their 
love is subsumed under His love, just as their hatred is subsumed 
under His hatred. 

After you have been brought to this station where you have no 
self-willed desire for anything at all, you will be given the opportu- 
nity to want something or other. If it turns out that you do in fact 
desire that object, the thing will be removed and made to disappear. 
You will be kept from having it, and it will not be given to you in this 
world, but inthe hereafter you will be compensated with something 
that increases your closeness and intimate proximity to the Lord 
Most High, something to cool your eyes in the highest paradise and 
garden of permanent abode. It may be, however, that you never 
sought that object, that you neither hoped nor wished for it in the 
realm of this lower world, this fleeting realm of trouble and toil. If 
what you longed for there was rather the countenance of Him who 
creates and fashions, who withholds and gives, who has laid out the 
earth and held up the sky, if such was your wish and desire and 
yeaming, then perhaps you will be compensated even in this world 
with something very close or similar to it, after your heart and vision 
have been broken. Then He will tum you away from that wish and 
desire, and the true compensation will be received in the hereafter, 


as we have mentioned and explained. 


Only Allah (Glory be to Him) is All-Knowing! 


Twentieth Discourse 
On the saying of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): 
“Leave anything that makes you doubtful and stick to what arouses 
no misgivings in you.” 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) said: 


D iscard anything that strikes you as dubious if it is mixed up with 
something that inspires no such doubts. Choose the course 
that bears no taint of doubt or suspicion and leave what causes you 
to have misgivings. In a case where you can isolate the ambiguous 
element, which tends to prick and chafe your conscience, you 
should bide your time and watch for an inner instruction. Then if 
you receive the order to proceed in the matter,.go ahead and do so. 
But if you are stopped and told to refrain, you must desist. Treat it 
as something that never was, that never existed. 

Go back to the door of your Lord and seek sustenance from Him, 
even if you are incapable of patience or conformity or cheerful 
acceptance or annihilation yand]. Your Lord (Almighty and Glori- 
ous is He) does not need to be reminded, for He is never neglectful 
of you oranyone else. He feeds the unbelievers, the hypocrites, and 
those who turn their backs on Him (Almighty and Glorious is He), 
so how could He forget you, O believer, who affirm His Oneness, 
obey Him diligently, and carry out His orders by night and by day? 

Another dimension of meaning: Let go of what people have at 
their disposal. Give up trying to acquire it, and stop setting your 
heart on it. You should neither expect anything of people nor be 
afraid of them, but receive from the bounty of Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), for this is what will cause you no misgivings. Let 
there be only one of whom you ask, one giver, one object of your 
hope and fear, one being and one aspiration, namely your Lord 
(Almighty and Glorious is He). The forelocks of kings are in His 
hand, as are human hearts, the princes of our physical bodies. 
People’s property belongs to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He), for 


53 


54 Twentieth Discourse 


they are His agents and trustees. When they give you something, the 
movement of their hands is by His permission, His command, His 
motivation (Almighty and Glorious is He), and likewise when they 
hold back from making you a gift. 

He says (Almighty and Glorious is He): “Ask Allah of His bounty” 
(4:32). He also says (Exalted is He): “Those you serve instead of 
Allah have no power to provide for you. So seek your provision 
from Allah, and serve Him, and give thanks unto Him; to Him you 
shall be returned” (29:17). He also says (Glory be to Him): “And 
when My servants ask you about Me, surely Iam near. I answer the 
call of the caller when he calls to Me” (2:186). And He says (Exalted 
is He): “Call upon Me and I will answer you” (40:60). And He says 
(Exalted is He): “Surely Allah is the All-Provider, the Lord of 
unbreakable might” (51:58). And He says also (Exalted is He): 
“Allah provides sustenance to whom He will without reckoning” 
(3:37). 


Twenty-first Discourse 
On addressing Iblis the accursed 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased-with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


‘saw Iblis in a dream, where I was in the midst of a big crowd. I 
was on the point of killing him, when he said to me (may Allah 
curse him): “Why are you going to kill me? What is my offense? If 
evil is entailed by destiny, I am powerless to change it and transform 
it into good, and if good is so entailed I cannot change it and 
transform it into evil. So what do I control?” 

Hermaphroditic in appearance, he was soft-spoken, with dis- 
torted features, wisps of hair on his chin, misshapen and deformed. 
When he smiled at me, the smile was bashful and apprehensive. 

This happened on the night of Sunday, 12th of Dhu’l-Hijja in the 
year 516 [of the Hijra). 


Allāh is the Guide to all that is good! 


55 


‘Twenty-second Discourse 
On the testing of the believer's faith 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


lah is always testing His believing servant in proportion to his 

faith. Thus if a person’s faith is very great and steadily 
increasing, his trial will be great as well. The trial of a Messenger is 
greater than that of a Prophet, because his faith is greater. The trial 
of a Prophet is greater than that of a Badal, and the trial of a Badal 
is greater than that of a Wa/i. Each is tried according to his faith and 
certitude, on the basis of this saying of the Prophet (Allah bless him 
and give him peace): “We, the Community of Prophets, are the 
people most severely tried, then others according to the perfection 
of their faith.” 

Allāh (Exalted is He) subjects these honorable masters to inces- 
sant testing, so they will always stay in His presence and never relax 
their vigilance, for He loves them. They are the people of love, who 
love the Lord of Truth, and the lover never likes to be far from his 
beloved. Affliction serves as a clamp for their hearts and a noose for 
their selfish natures, checking their tendency to driftaway from their 
true goal and to place their confidence and trust in others instead of 
their Creator. 

As this becomes a permanent condition for them, their passions 
melt, their selves are broken, and truth is distinguished from 
falsehood. Then cravings, willful desires, and the appetite for 
pleasure and comfort in this world and the hereafter, ali retract 
toward the sphere of the self, while toward the sphere of the heart 
come trust in the ‘promise of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), cheerful acceptance of His decree, satisfaction with 
His gifts, patient endurance of His trials, and the feeling of safety 
from the evil of His creatures. Thus the power of the heart is 
strengthened, and it acquires control over all the limbs and organs 
of the bodv. Tribulation fortifies the heart and certitude, verifies 


56 


Twenty-second Discourse 57 


faith and patience, and weakens the self and the passions, because 
whenever suffering comes, and what it meets with in the believer is 
patience, cheerful acceptance, and surrender to the action of the 
Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), the Exalted Lord is pleased with 
him and thanks him. Then he also receives help, additional 
blessings and success. Allah (Exalted is He) has said: 


If you are thankful, I will give you more. (14:7) 


When the self is moved to apply to the heart /ga/b/for satisfaction 
of some carnal appetite or indulgence in some pleasure, and the 
heart agrees to this request without authorization and permission 
from Allah (Exalted is He), the result is disregard for the Lord of 
Truth, polytheism and sinful rebellion. Allah (Exalted is He) will 
therefore condemn them both to disappointment, trouble, subjec- 
tion to other people, sickness and disease, injury and disorder. Both 
the heart and the self will get a share of this. 

If the heart will not give the self what it wants, however, until it 
receives permission from the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious 
is He) through inspiration [iän] in the case of Saints, or explicit 
revelation /wa/y/ in the case of Envoys and Prophets (blessing and 
peace be upon them) and acts accordingly in giving or withholding, 
then Allah rewards them both with mercy and blessing, well-being 
and contentment, lightand wisdom, nearness to Himself, affluence, 
security from disasters and help against enemies. 

This you must know and remember it well! Be ready for trouble 
if you rush to respond to the self and to passion! Far better to pause 
in such cases, and await the Lord’s consent (Glorious is His Majesty), 
so that you may remain safe in this world and the hereafter, if Allah 
(Exalted is He) so will. 


Twenty-third Discourse 


On contentment with one’s lot from Allah 


The Shaikh (may Allah be weli pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


B: content with straitened circumstances and steadfastly perse- 
vere therein, until the prescript of destiny expires and you are 
promoted toa higher and finer level. There you will be comfortably 
installed and made secure, with no worldly or otherworldly prob- 
lems, no persecution or harassment. Then you will progress 
beyond this stage to something even more delightful and whole- 
some. 

Know that your appointed share will not be lost to you because 
you give up chasing after it, just as you will never get what is not your 
share, for all your greedy seeking, effort and exertion. Be patient, 
therefore, and resign yourself to accepting your present situation. 
Take nothing and give nothing on yourown unless and until you are 
ordered to do so. Neither move nor keep still of your own accord, 
otherwise you will have to bear not just your own suffering, but that 
of a creature worse than you. This is because you do wrong to 
behave like that, and the wrong-doer is not overlooked. Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: 


mee let some of the wrong-doers have power over others. 


You are in fact in the house of a King whose command is far- 
reaching, whose power is immense, whose army is vast, whose will 
is effective, whose authority is irresistible, whose kingdom is 
everlasting, whose sovereignty is enduring, whose knowledge is 
precise, whose wisdom is profound and whose judgment is just. 
Not an atom’s weight on earth or in heaven eludes Him, nor does the 
wrong of the wrong-doer escape His notice. You are the biggest 
wrong-doer and the worst offender, because you have set up a 
partner to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) by your self-willed 


58 


Twenty-third Discourse 59 


behavior in dealing with yourself and His creation. Allah (Exalted 
is He) has said: 


Ascribe no partners to Allah; ascribing partners to Him is a 
tremendous wrong. (31:13) 


He also says (Exalted is He): 


Allah does not forgive that any partner be ascribed to Him; less than 
that He forgives to whom He will. (4:116) 


Be very wary of associating anything with Allah; do not come 
anywhere near it. Avoid it in all your behavior, both active and 
passive, by night and day, in private and in public. Beware of 
disobedience altogether, in your limbs and organs as well as in your 
heart. Abandon all sin, both outwardly and inwardly. Do not run 
away from Him (Almighty and Glorious is He), for He will overtake 
you. Do not quarrel with Him over His decision; He will demolish 
you. Do not question the wisdom of His judgment; He will put you 
to shame.: Do not treat Him negligently; He will bring you to your 
senses and put you tothe test. Do notstart innovations in His house; 
He will destroy you. Do not speak of His religion to suit your own 
whim; He will ruin you and darken your heart, rob you of your faith 
and understanding, and make you subject to your devil, your lower 
self, your passions and desires, your family, your neighbors, your 
companions, your friends and all the rest of His creatures, even your 
domestic scorpions, snakes, jinn and other vermin. Thus He will 
upset your life in this world and prolong your punishment in the 
hereafter. 


Twenty-fourth Discourse 


On cleaving to Allah’s door 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


e very wary of disobedience to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is 

He), and really cleave to His door. Devote your energies and 
your efforts to His obedient service, apologetically and submis- 
sively, admitting your shortcomings in all humility, stooping low 
and keeping your eyes downcast, paying no attention to His 
creatures and not following your own inclinations, seeking no 
worldly or otherworldly recompense, nor promotion to high posi- 
tions and honorable stations. Be fully aware that you are His 
servant, and that the servant and all he possesses belong to his 
Master, against whom he has no claim of any kind. 

Observe good manners and do not be distrustful of your Master, 
for “everything with Him is according to measure” (13:8). None can 
bring forward what He has postponed, and none can put back what 
He has brought to the fore. You will receive what He has assigned 
to you at the proper moment and time, like it or not. Do not look 
forward greedily to what will be yours, and do not hanker after that 
which belongs to another. Whatever you do not have now, it is 
surely meant either for you or for somebody else. If itis yours, it will 
be coming your way, while you are led and directed toward it. The 
meeting will soon take place. As for that which is not meant for you, 
you will be deflected from it as it is turned aside from you, so how 
could the pair of you meet up? 

Devote yourself, therefore, to well-mannered behavior in every 
aspect of your obedient service to your Master (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), here and now. Do not hold your head high and do 


not bow your neck toanything apart from Him. Allah (Exalted is He) 
has said: 


Strain not your eyes toward that which We have given for some pairs 
among them to enjoy—the flower of this world’s life, that We may 


60 


Twenty-fourth Discourse 61 


thereby put them to the test. Your Lord's provision is better and 
more lasting. (20:131) 


Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has forbidden you to pay 
attention to anything outside the situation in which He has placed 
you. He has equipped you for His obedient service and given you 
some of His portion, His sustenance and His bounty. He has made 
you aware that anything beyond this constitutes a temptation, by 
which He tests people. Cheerful acceptance of your lot is better for 
you, more lasting, more blessed, more worthy and more appropri- 
ate. So let this be your practice, your regular habit, your dwelling 
place, your underclothing and your overcoat, your wish and your 
longing, your craving and your desire. You will thereby achieve 
your every goal, attain to every station, and progress toward all that 
is good, all that is pleasing and excellent and delightful and 
precious. Allah (Exalted is He) has said: 


No soul knows what comfort is kept secretly in store for them, as a 
reward for what they used to do. (32:17) 


After the five basic religious duties and the forsaking of sins, there 
is no deed more perfect or greater or more noble or dearer to Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) and more pleasing in His sight, than 
what we have been telling you about. May Allah help us and you 
to succeed in that which He loves and on which He bestows His 
gracious favor. 


Twenty-fifth Discourse 
On the tree of faith 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


destitute pauper, spurned by the world and its sons, 

unworthy of mention in royal and ruling circles! You hungry, 
fainting, naked, gut-thirsty wretch! You vagrant in every corner of 
the earth, frequenting mosques and vacant lots, driven from every 
door, shoved away from every object of desire, heart-broken and 
crushed with total disappointment! Do not say: “Allah (Almighty 
and Glorious is He) has impoverished me and alienated the world 
from me. He has misled me and forsaken me. He hates me. He has 
disintegrated me and not made me whole. He despises me and does 
not give me enough to live on in this world. He has made me a 
nonentity and has not raised my prestige among the public and my 
own brothers. On another person He has showered abundant 
blessings, in which he basks by night and day, preferring him over 
me and the people of my house, despite the fact that both of us are 
Muslims and Believers, and we both stem from our father Adam and 
our mother Eve (peace be upon them).” 

“In your case, Allah has treated you like this because you have an 
open nature, and the dew of Allah’s mercy alights on you constantly 
in the form of patience, contentment, certitude, harmony and 
knowledge, while the light of faith and pure monotheism is heaped 
upon you. Thus the tree of your faith, with its root and seed, 
becomes firmly established, puts forth leaves and fruit, keeps 
growing and spreading fresh branches, providing shade as it goes 
on ramifying. Every day it continues to grow and thrive, without 
needing compost or fertilizer to further its growth and develop- 
ment. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has arranged your affairs 
along these lines. He has granted you the Abode of Permanence in 


62 


Twenty-fifth Discourse 63 


the hereafter, and given you the title to it. He has bestowed upon 
you in the hereafter such gifts as no eye has ever seen, no ear has 
ever heard of, and which are inconceivable to the human mind. 
Allah (Exalted is He) has said: 
No soul knows what comfort is kept secretly in store for them, as a 
reward for what they used to do. (32:17) 

That is to say, as a reward for the way they conducted themselves 
in this world, carrying out commandments, practicing patience in 
abstaining from forbidden things, accepting the decree of destiny 
with full surrender and submission to Him, and concurring with 
Him in all affairs. 

As for that other person, to whom Allah (Almighty and Glorious 
is He) has granted this world, making it his to own and enjoy, and 
on whom He has showered His favor, He has treated him like this 
because the site of his faith is a salt and rocky waste, with hardly 
enough water to support the growth of trees or to produce crops 
and fruit. That is why He poured various types of manure upon it, 
and other things that act as fertilizers for plants and trees, meaning 
this world and its vanities, to preserve the tree of faith and the 
seedling of deeds which He had planted there. For if they were 
deprived of this, the plants arid trees would wither, the fruit would 
go to waste, and the whole countryside would be left desolate, 
whereas Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) wishes to see it 
prosper. 

Thus the tree of the rich man’s faith is weak in growth potential, 
and lacks the resources available to the tree of your faith, you poor 
fellow! His tree depends for its nourishment and survival on this 
world and the various benefits you see him enjoying. If he were 
deprived of all that, his ttee—being so weak—would wither, and 
the result would be unbelief, denial, and adherence to the hypo- 
crites, apostates and unbelievers. O my God, only if Allah (Almighty 
and Glorious is He) sends that rich man armies of patience, content- 





64 Twenty-fifth Discourse 


ment, certitude, assistance, knowledge and all kinds of insights, 
only then will his faith be reinforced. Then of course he will not 
mind the termination of wealth and blessings. 


Allah is the Guide who helps us to succeed! 





Twenty-sixth Discourse 
On not unveiling one's face 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


D: not remove the veil and head-scarf frem your face until you 
exit from the realm of creatures, and turn the back of your 
heart on them under all conditions. As your passion ceases, and 
then your self-will and desire fade away, you pass beyond all forms 
of existence in this world and the hereafter. You become like a 
cracked vessel, in that nothing stays inside you except the will of 
your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), and so you are filled with 
Him and His controlling power. “Exit the lie /zz7/, enter the light 
[na7}.” There is now no room in your heart and no entrance to it 
except for your Lord. You become the gatekeeper of your heart, 
and are given the sword of pure monotheism, majesty and might. 
Whenever you see someone crossing the courtyard of your breast 
to approach the door of your heart, you strike his head from his 
shoulder. You will thus have no head to direct your lower self, your 
passion, your will and your longing in this world and the hereafter, 
no word that must be heeded, and no opinion to be followed. There 
is only following the order of the Lord (Almighty and Glorious is 
He), standing by Him and gladly accepting His decision and decree, 
or rather becoming totally absorbed in His decision and decree. 
You become the servant of the Lord and His command (Almighty 
and Glorious is He), and not the servant of creatures and their 
opinions. 

When this becomes the normal! pattern for you, the tents of zeal 
will be pitched around your heart. It will be encircled by the moats 
of majesty and the authority of might, surrounded by the armies of 
reality and pure monotheism. In addition to this, guards will be 
posted by the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), so that 
creatures cannot gain access to the heart through the devil, the 


65 





66 Twenty-sixth Discourse 


lower self, the passions, willful impulses and idle longings, false 
pretensions arising from natural dispositions and evil instincts, and 
errors stemming from desire. 

If it is then the decree of destiny that people should come to you, 
arriving in succession, following you and adapting themselves to 
you, to obtain shining light, illuminating signs and profound wis- 
dom, to see manifest gifts of grace and constant works of wonder, 
and so to increase their capacity for acts of charity, obedience, 
striving and endurance in the service of their Lord (Almighty and 
Glorious is He); if such be your destiny, you will be protected from 
them all, and from the tendency of the self to be influenced by its 
passions, its vanity and pride, its arrogant presumptuousness boosted 
by such popular acceptance and devoted attention. 

Similarly, if you are destined to acquire a fine and beautiful wife, 
a woman of independent means, you will be protected from her bad 
influence and spared having to bear her expenses and those of her 
attendants and relatives. You will experience herasa gift, sufficient, 
wholesome, pure and free of deceit and malice and spite, of bad 
temper and of disloyalty in your absence. She will be fully at your 
disposal, while you are relieved of her upkeep and that of her family 
and she causes you no painful problems. If she is destined to bear 
you a child, it will be virtuous, a good offspring pleasing to your eye. 
Allah (Exalted is He) has said: “And We set his wife right for him” 
(21:90). He has also said (Exalted is He): 


Our Lord, give us refreshment of our wives and offspring, and make 
us a model for the nghteous. (25:74) 


Furthermore He has said (Exalted is He): 
And make him, my Lord, well pleasing. (19:6) 


Thus all the prayers contained in these Qur’anic verses will take 
effect and be answered in your case, whether or not you actually 
utter them, for they are relevant here and meant for one who is 
worthy of them at this stage, who has been confirmed in this rank, 


Twenty-sixth Discourse 67 


and to whom this measure of favor and closeness a0 been allotted. 

In like manner, if some worldly thing is destined to reach you, it 
will cause you no harm. Whatever part of it is allotted to you, you 
are bound to receive it, purified for your sake by the action of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), when the order for its acquisition 
comes down. You have only to obey the order and you will be 
rewarded for receiving what is yours, just as you are rewarded for 
performing the obligatory prayers and keeping the obligatory fast. 
As for that which is not your portion, you will be ordered to spend 
it on those to whom it really belongs, namely the deserving poor 
among friends, neighbors and brethren, and those entitled to shares 
as the situation may demand. You must examine the circumstances 
and be discriminating, for going by hearsay is not the same as seeing 
for oneself. Then you will have this business tidied up and in the 
clear, rid of dust and confusion, muddle, suspicion and doubt. 

Patience, patience! Contentment, contentment! Keeping the 
state, keeping the state! Restraint, restraint! Calm, calm! Quiet, 
quiet! Silence, silence! Caution, caution! Escape, escape! Haste, 
haste! Allah, Allah, and again Allah! Head down, head down! Eyes 
closed, eyes closed! Modesty, modesty, until the prescript of destiny 
expires. Then you will be taken by the hand and brought to the fore. 
You will be relieved of all that weighs upon you, then immersed in 
the oceans of grace and favor and mercy, then brought out there- 
from. Now you will be robed with light and mysteries, knowledge 
and marvels divine, and then brought near and notified by signs and 
inspiration /#/4am], spoken toand given gifts, enriched, encouraged 
and exalted, and addressed with the words: 

You are today in our presence established and worthy of trust. 
(12:54) 

Now consider how it was for Joseph the Truthful (peace be upon 
him) when he was addressed with these very words on the tongue 
of Pharaoh, the great King of Egypt. The King’s tongue was giving 
utterance to the words, but the real speaker was Allah (Almighty and 


68 Twenty-sixth Discourse 


Glorious is He), using the tongue of-inner knowledge. The King 
assigned to him the external kingdom, the kingdom of Egypt, but to 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) belongs the kingdom of the 
soul, the kingdom of insight and knowledge, of nearness and 
special status and high degree. Concerning the kingdom of the 
king, He says (Exalted is He): 

Thus We established Joseph in the land [meaning the land of 

Egypt], to make his dwelling therein wherever he pleased. We visit 


with Our mercy whom We will, and We leave not to waste the 
reward of those who do good. (12:21 / 12:56) 


Conceming the kingdom of the soul, He says (Exalted is He): 


So it was, that We might ward off from him evil and lewdness; he was 
one of Our devoted servants. (12:24) 


Concerning the kingdom of insight and knowledge, He says 
(Exalted is He): 


Thisis part of that which my Lord has taught me. [have forsaken the 
creed ofa people who believe notin Allah and are unbelievers in the 
Hereafter. (12:37) 


When you are thus addressed, O greatestchampion of truth [y@ 
ayyuba s-şiddiqu l-akbar], you are given the most ample share of 
the most comprehensive knowledge. You are endowed and 
blessed with help to succeed, with goodness and power, with 
general saintliness, with effective command over the self and other 
things, and with the power to bring things into being by God’s leave 
in this world before the hereafter. Then in the hereafter, in the 
abode of peace and the highest paradise, you will behold the face 
of the Noble Lord, as a further blessing and favor. That is the goal 
that has no limit and no end. Only Allāh can help us to achieve the 


- realities of that experience. 


Kind and Compassionate is He! 


Twenty-seventh Discourse 
On good and evil as two fruits’ 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


Ree good and evil as two fruits from two branches of a single 
tree. One of the two branches bears sweet fruit and the other 

bitter. You must therefore leave the cities and provinces and 
regions of the earth which import the fruit gathered from this tree. 
Keep your distance from them and their inhabitants, and approach 
the tree itself. Become its steward and resident servant, and make 
yourself familiar with the two branches, the two fruits and the two 
sides. Stick to the side of the branch bearing sweet fruit, then you 
will always get your food and nourishment from it. Avoid going 
over to the side of the other branch, lest you eat some of its fruitand 
perish from its bitterness. If you make this your regular habit, you 
will live in tranquillity, security, comfort and safety from all injuries, 
because injuries and all kinds of calamities are caused by this fruit. 

If you move away from this tree, however, and go wandering far 
and wide, and then some of these fruits turn up in front of you, 

„mixed together with nothing to distinguish the sweet from the bitter, 

and you take your pick, your hand may settle on the bitter sort. Then 
you put it to your mouth, take a bite out of it and chew it, and so the 
bitterness gets deep into your throat and inside your gullet, into your 
brain and your nasal passages, affecting you as it flows into your 
veins and the organs of your body until you die of it. You may spit 
the remainder out of your mouth and rinse away the traces, but to 
no avail. This cannot get rid of what has already spread throughout 
your body, so it will do you no good. 

Even if you start by eating some sweet fruit, and its sweetness 
spreads through all parts of your body to your benefit and delight, 
you will not be satisfied with this. You are bound to take another 
fruit, and you cannot be sure that this second one will not be bitter, 


69 


70 Twenty-seventh Discourse 


with the consequences we have just been telling you about. 

There is no good, therefore, in being far from the tree and ignorant 
of its fruit. Safety lies in getting close to it and staying there. Good 
and evil result from the working of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is 
He). It is Allah who fashions them both and directs their course. AS 
Allah (Great and Glorious is He) has said: 


Allah has created you and your handiwork. (37:96) 


According to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): 
Allah has created the butcher and the beast he slaughters. 


The actions of His servants are created by Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), and also what they earn. He says (Exalted is He): 


Enter Paradise because of what you used to do. (16:32) 


Glory be to Him, how Generous and Merciful is He! He ascribes 
the work to them, and says they are entitled to enter Paradise 
because of their deeds, although their success is due to His help and 
His mercy toward them in this world and the hereafter. The Prophet 
(Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “No one enters Paradise 
on the strength of his own deeds.” Someone asked: “Not even you, 
O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “Not even I, unless Allah covers 
me with His mercy,” placing his hand on his head as he spoke. This 
is related in a tradition of ‘Aisha (may Allah be well pleased with 
her). 

When you are obedient to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), 
carrying out His orders, observing His prohibitions and submitting 
to Him in what He has ordained, He protects you from His evil and 
bestows His goodness upon you. He protects you from every kind 
of evil, religious and worldly. As for the worldly side, there is His 
saying (Exalted is He): 


So it was, that We might ward off from him evil and lewdness; he was 
one of Our devoted servants. (12:24) 


Twenty-seventh Discourse 71 


On the religious side, we have His saying (Alinighty and Glorious 
is He): 
What concern has Allah for your punishment if you are thankful 
and believe? Allah is All-Thankful, All-Knowing. (4:147) 
How should tribulation afflict a grateful believer, when he is 
closer to well-being than to such affliction, because he is so 
thankful? Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: 


If you are thankful, I will give you more. (14:7) 


Your faith will extinguish the flames of hell-fire in the hereafter, 
the fire that is the punishment of every sinner, so how can it fail to 
quench the fire of misfortunes in this world, O my God, unless the 
servant be one of the ecstatics /ajdhubin] chosen for saintship, 
for special selection and preference? In that case trials are abso- 
lutely necessary, as the means by which he is purified of the filth of 
passion, unworthy natural tendencies, addiction to the desires and 
pleasures of the lower self, confidence in creatures, liking to be near 
them, relying on them, feeling secure with them and enjoying their 
company. He must be tested until all of this melts away, until the 
heart is cleansed by the departure of it all, so that nothing remains 
but affirmation of the Oneness of the Lord [tawhidu’-rably (Al- 
mighty and Glorious is He), intimate knowledge of Him, and the 
channels of the Unseen, with all kinds of secrets, lore and the light 
of neamess. For itis a house with no room for two. He says (Exalted 
is He): 


Allah has not assigned to any man two hearts within his body. (33:4) 
He also says (Exalted is He): 


Kings, when they enter a township, ruin it and make the noblest of 
its people the lowest. (27:34) 


They evict the nobles from their good positions and their comfort- 
able way of life. Sovereignty over the heart belonged at first to 


72 Twenty-seventh Discourse 


Satan, to the passions and the lower self. The limbs and organs 
moved at their command, committing various sins and vanities and 
hoaxes. But now that sovereignty has passed away, and the limbs 
and organs are at rest. The house of the King, which is the heart, has 
been vacated, while the courtyard, which is the breast, has been 
swept clean. The heart has now become a dwelling for the 
affirmation of Oneness, insight and knowledge. As for the court- 
yard, it is the landing ground for receivings and wonders from the 
Unseen. All this is the result and fruit of trial and tribulation. The 
Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said: “We, the 
company of Prophets, are the people most severely tried, followed 
by others according to their levels of perfection.” He also said (Allah 
bless him and give him peace): “I am the one amongst you who 
knows Allah best, and who fears Him the most.” Whoever gets close 
to the King is in grave peril and must be very wary, for he is in the 
King’s view, where his conduct and movements are unconcealed. 

Perhaps you will say: “The entire creation in the sight of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) is like a single person, with nothing 
hidden from Him, so what is the point of this statement?” 

Well, we respond to you by saying: “When a person holds a high 
position and his rank is noble, his risk is all the greater, since he is 
obliged to show gratitude for what He has bestowed upon him, in 
the shape of enormous blessings and favors. The slightest negli- 
gence in serving Him is a dereliction of gratitude to Him, and that is 
a shortcoming in one’s obedience. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is 
He) has said: 


O wives of the Prophet! Whosoever among you commits a flagrant 
indecency, the punishment for her will be doubled. (33:30) 


He told them that because He (Almighty and Glorious is He) had 
blessed them so completely through their union with the Prophet 
(Allah bless him and give him peace). So how must it be for one who 
attains to contact with Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) and 


Twenty-seventh Discourse 73 


neamess to Him? Allah is Exalted far above and beyond all 
comparison with His creation: 


There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All- 
Seeing. (42:11) 


Allah is the Guide! 


Twenty-eighth Discourse 


On the classification of the seeker’s states 


The Shaikh (may ailah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


D: you wish for comfort and joy, tranquillity and happiness, 
security and trust, well-being and bliss, while you are still 
under the bellows that melt and smelt, in the process of killing off 
the lower self, disposing of passion, getting rid of desires and 
expectations of recompense in this world and the hereafter, and 
while remnants of these things are very obviously still present in 
you? Take it easy, O hasty one! Slow and steady, O anticipator! The 
door to all that is closed while you still have traces on you and a 
speck inside you. “A slave who is buying his freedom remains a 
slave as long as he still owes a penny,” and you are shut out so long 
as you still have on you as much of this world as one could suck off 
a date-stone. This world is your passion, your will, your paying 
attention to anything at all or seeking anything at all, and your selfish 
longing for any kind of recompense in this world and the hereafter. 

As long as any of this continues to be present in you, you are only 
at the door of annihilation (faa. So keep calm until that annihila- 
tion is fully and perfectly accomplished. You will then be removed 
from the‘bellows, your goldsmithing will be completed, and you 
will be polished, attired, anointed and perfumed with incense. 
Then you will be taken up to the greatest King and addressed with 
the words: 


ae today in our presence established and worthy of trust. 
12: 

Now you will be kindly and politely entertained, given to eat and 
drink of gracious favor, made to approach and draw near, and 
informed of secrets, which will not be concealed from you. Being 
given all this, you will no longer want for anything. 


74 


Twenty-eighth Discourse 75 


Have you not noticed the little gold pieces that are distributed, 
exchanged and circulated, passing to and fro in the hands of 
perfume vendors and grocers, butchers and tanners, naphtha mer- 
chants and sweepers, and people whose crafts are refined or 
humble, lowly and dirty? Then these pieces of gold are accumulated 
and exposed to the goldsmith’s bellows, where they melt in the heat 
of the furnace. Next, they are taken out to be hammered, pounded, 
shaped, and fashioned into jewelry. Having been polished and 
perfumed, they are then deposited in all the best places, behind 
locks, in treasuries, chests and boxes. The bride will be adorned 
with them to enhance her beauty and honor, and she may be the 
bride of the mightiest king. Thus the pieces of gold find their way 
from those everyday situations into the presence of the king and his 
court, after being melted down and pounded. 

Likewise in your case, O believer! If you bear with patience the 
experiences you are destined to undergo, if you gladly accept His 
decree in all conditions, you will be brought near to your Lord 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) in this world. You will be blessed 
with inner and outer knowledge and with secrets, and in the 
hereafter you will reside in the abode of peace with the Prophets, 
the champions of truth, the martyrs and the righteous, in the 
proximity of Allah and His house, near to Him (Almighty and 
Glorious is He). Be patient, therefore, and not ina hurry. Be content 
with the decree of Providence and have no misgivings. You will 
then receive the solace of Allah’s pardon, His kindness and His 
generosity, by His gracious favor (Exalted is He). 


Twenty-ninth Discourse 
On the saying of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him 
peace): “Poverty is on the verge of slipping into unbelief.” 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


he servant believes in Allah, submits all his affairs to Him 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), is confident of being provided 
with sustenance from Him, and is convinced that whatever comes 
to him could not have missed him, while anything that misses him 
could not have reached him. He believes in the words of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He): 
Whoever is dutiful toward Allah, He prepares a way out for him, and 


provides forhim from sources he could never imagine. And if 
anyone puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him. (65:2,3) 


All this he says and believes while he is ina state of well-being and 
annihilation yaza]. Then Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He) puts 
him to the test through misfortune and poverty, so he takes to 
pleading and humble entreaty, but He does not relieve him of these 
afflictions. 

Now we see the truth of the Prophet’s saying (Allah bless him and 
give him peace): “Poverty is on the verge of slipping into unbelief.” 
If Allah chooses to treat someone gently, He relieves him of his 
suffering, endows him with well-being and affluence, enables him 
to offer thanks and praise and glorification, and makes all this last 
for him until the meeting [with Him in the hereafter]. But when Allah 
wishes to try someone, He perpetuates his trial and tribulation and 
poverty, and deprives him of the support of his faith. Then that 
person turns unbelieving through insubordination and distrust 
toward Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) and doubt about His 
promise, and so dies an unbeliever in Allah (Almighty and Glorious 
is He), denying His signs and feeling angry at his Lord. It isto such 
a man that Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) 


76 


Twenty-ninth Discourse 77 


refers in his saying: 


The person suffering the harshest torment on the Day of Resurrec- 
tion will be a man for whom Allah has combined poverty in 
this world with chastisement in the hereafter. We take refuge from 
that with Allah. 


It was from the poverty that makes one forgetful [of Allah] that the 
Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was seeking refuge. 

As for the other man, he is the one whom Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) wishes to choose and select, whom He has included 
among His favorites, His friends and His intimates, as heir to His 
Prophets and chief of His saints, as one of the greatest of His servants 
and their scholars, sages and intercessors, as their shaikh, master 
and teacher, as their guide to their Lord, as their director to the path 
of right guidance and the avoidance of evil ways. To him He sends 
mountains of patience and oceans of willing acceptance, compli- 
ance and contentment with His decree and His working. Then He 
endows him with gifts aplenty, and pampers him by night and day, 
in public and in private, sometimes in the open and at other times 
in secret, with all sorts of kindness and various signs of affection; 
and all this he continues to enjoy until the moment of the final 
meeting. 


Allah is the Guide! 


Thirtieth Discourse 
On not saying “What shall I do and how?” 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


Yo so often say: “What shall I do, and how shall I manage todo 
it?” Well, here is your answer: Stay in your place, and do not 
step beyond your own limit until the opportunity comes to you from 
the One who has ordered you to stay as you are. Allah (Almighty 
and Glorious is He) has said: 


O you who believe, be patient and excel in patience; be steadfast 
and observe your duty to Allah, so that you may succeed. (3:200) 


He commands you to be patient, O believer, and to vie in 
patience, to remain steadfast, to stay on guard and persevere. Then 
he warns you not to give this up, for He says: “Observe your duty 
to Allah [in this respect],” meaning that you must not abandon 
patience, for that is where goodness and safety lie. In the words of 
the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): “Patience is to 
faith what the head is to the body.” It is also said that the reward for 
everything isa measurable quantity, except the reward for patience, 
which is an unquantifiable amount. As Allah (Exalted is He) has 
said: 


Those who patiently persevere will receive a reward without 
measure. (39:10) 


When you observe your duty to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is 
He), He maintains you in patience and respect for His limits, and 
grants you fulfillment of what He has promised you in His Book, 
namely His words (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


He who is dutiful toward Allah, He prepares a way out for him, and 
provides for him from sources he could never imagine. (65:2,3) 


You now stay with your patience until you receive the opportu- 


78 


Thirtieth Discourse 79 


nity of those who put their trust in Him, for Allāh (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) has promised you sufficiency, saying: 


If anyone puts his trust in Allāh, He will suffice him. (65:3) 


You stay with your patience and your trust, in the company of 
those who do good, and for this He has also promised to reward 
you, saying (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


And thus We reward those who do good. (12:22) 


Allāh loves you for this, for He says: 
Allāh loves those who do good. (5:13) 


Thus patience is the source of all goodness and safety in this world 
and the hereafter. Through it the believer progresses to the state of 
cheerful acceptance and compliance, then to annihilation (/aza]in 
the workings of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), the state of the 
Abdal (badaliyyajand transcendence [gharbal. So beware of giving 
it up, lest it disappoint you in this world and the hereafter and you 
miss the blessings of both. From this we take refuge with Allah! 


Thirty-first Discourse 
On hatred for Allah’s sake 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


hen you find in your heart either hatred or love for a person, 

review his behavior in the light of the Book and the Sunna 
{the Qur'an and the exemplary practice of the Prophet). If his 
conduct is hateful according to both these criteria, be happy to be 
in accord with Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) and His Messen- 
ger. But if his actions are pleasing in their sight, and yet you feel 
hatred for him, you must realize that you are influenced by passion. 
You hate him because of your passion, treating him unfairly on 
account of your loathing for him, and obstinately contradicting 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) and His Messenger. So turn to 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) in repentance for your hatred, 
and ask Him to let you feel love for that person, as well as for others 
dear to Him, His saints and special friends, and the righteous among 
His servants, so that you may be in harmony with Him (Almighty 
and Glorious is He). 

You should act likewise in the case of someone you love. That is 
to say, you must review his conduct in the light of the Book and the 
Sunna. If his behavior is pleasing according to their standards, then 
love him, but if it is hateful, then hate him, so that you do not love 
him because of your passion, and do not hate him because of your 
passion. For you are commanded to oppose your passion. As Allāh 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: 


Follow not desire, lest it lead you astray from Allah’s path. (38:26) 


80 


Thirty-second Discourse 
On not sharing one’s love of Allab 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and BPPN him 
contentment) said: 


Ye so often say: “No matter whom or what I love, my love does 
not last long. Something always comes between us, whether 
through absence or death or hostility, or, in the case of material 
objects, through destruction or loss.” Well, this may be said to you: 
Do you not know, O beloved of the Lord of Truth, so cared for and 
looked after, so jealously watched and guarded, do you not know. 
that Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) is jealous? He has created 
you for Himself, and you are yearning to belong to someone other 
than Him! Have you not heard His words (Almighty and Glorious 
is He): 


He loves them and they love Him... (5:54) 
and His words (Exalted is He): 


I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. 
(51:56) 


Have you not heard the saying of the Messenger (Allah bless him 
and give him peace): “When Allah loves a servant, He puts him 
through a trial, and if he is patient, He makes him His own.” When 
someone asked: “O Messenger of Allah, what is meant by ‘He makes 
him His own’?” he replied: “He leaves him neither wealth nor 
children.” This is because if he had wealth and children he would 
love them, and his love for his Lord would be diminished and 
fragmented, since it would be shared between Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) and others. But Allah (Exalted is He) will tolerate no 
partner, for He is jealous, prevailing overall things and predominant 
over all things. He therefore destroys and annihilates His ‘partner’, 
so that His servant's heart will be His and His alone, with no’other 


81 


82 Thirty-second Discourse 


to share it. The truth of His words (Almighty and Glorious is He), 
“He loves them and they love Him,” is now confirmed. 

The heart is cleansed at last of all partners and rivals, such as wife, 
wealth and children, sensual pleasures and cravings, and the 
ambitious pursuit of positions of authority and leadership, of 
charismatic powers and spiritual states, stages and stations, heav- 
enly gardens and degrees, proximity and advancement. Since no 
will or desire remains in the heart, it becomes like a cracked vessel 
in which no liquid can be contained, for it is broken through the 
working of Allih. Whenever any self-will arises there, it is shattered 
by Allih’s action and His jealousy. Then around it are pitched the 
tents of dignity and might and awe, and in front of them are dug the 
moats of majesty and power, so that no willful desire for anything 
at all can gain access to the heart. 

Now the heart can no longer be harmed by any means, not by 
wealth, not by children, family and friends, nor yet by charismatic 
gifts, wisdom, knowledge and acts of piety. Since all of this will 
remain outside the heart, it will not excite the jealousy of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He). It will rather be a mark of honor and 
a kind favor from Allah to His servant, and a blessing, a provision 
and a useful benefit for those who come to him, for they will be 
honored by it, and receive mercy, and because of this gift of grace 

hey will enjoy protection from Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He). 
de will therefore be a sentinel for them, a protective wing, a refuge 
and an intercessor in this world and.the hereafter. 


Thirty-third Discourse 


On the four types of men 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


T are four types of men: 


1. A man who has neither tongue nor heart, namely the sinful, 
gullible fool, to whom Allāh attaches no importance. He is good for 
nothing, and he and his ilk are dregs that carry no weight, unless 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) extends His mercy to them, and 
SO guides their hearts to faith in Him; moving their limbs and organs 
in obedience to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). Beware of 
being one of them, do not concern yourself with them and do‘not 
get involved with them, for they are fit for chastisement, anger and 
displeasure, the denizens and people of the Fire. From them we 
take refuge with Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). 

-You belong, of course, among the scholars learned in knowledge 
of Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He), among the teachers of 
goodness, the guides, leaders and summoners of religion, so.it is 
your job to goand invite such people to the obedient service of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), and to warn them not to sin against 
Him. You will then be recorded as an adept [abbadh] in Allāh’s 
sight, and will receive the reward of the Messengers and Prophets. 
As Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said 
to the Commander of the Believers, Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be 
well pleased with him): “If Allah guides one man aright through 
your pupance, that is better for you than everything on which we 
sun rises.” 


a 


2. The second man is one who does TE a tongue, but no heart, 
so that he utters words of wisdom but does not practice what he 
preaches. He calls people to Allāh, but he himself flees from Him 
(Almighty and Glorious is He). He deplores the faults of others, 


83 


84 Thirty-third Discourse 


while persisting in similar failings of his own. He makes a public 
show of piety, while opposing Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) 
with heinous sins in private, as if he were a wolf in clothes. It is of 
him the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has warned 
us in his saying: 


What I dread the most for my community comes from every 
hypocrite with a scholar’s tongue. 


Or, according to another tradition: 
What I dread the most for my community comes from evil scholars. 


We take refuge with Allāh from this type! Keep your distance from 
him, and hurry away lest he snare you with the sweetness of his 
tongue, for then the fire of his sin will scorch you, and the putrid 
stench of his inner being and heart will kill you. 


3. The third man hasa heart, but no tongue. He isa believer whom 
Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He) has veiled from His creation, 
putting a screen around him, letting him see his own faults and 
enlightening his heart. He has made him aware of the undesirable 
consequences of mixing with people and the unfortunate results of 
talk and speech. This man has become convinced that safety lies in 
silence, retirement and seclusion, heeding the words of the Prophet 
(Allāh bless him and give him peace): “He who is silent will be 
saved,” as well as the saying of one of the scholars: “There are ten 
parts to worship, and nine of them are in silence.” 

This man is a saintly friend of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), 
protected within Allah's veil, possessing safety and plenty of intel- 
ligence, a companion of the All-Merciful, blessed with His favor. 
Goodness—all that is good—is with him. It therefore behooves you 
to befriend him, to associate with him, to serve him, to endear 
yourself to him by taking care of things he may happen to need, and 
by providing him with facilities he can use. Then Allah will love your 
and choose you, and include you in the company of His friends and 


Thirty-third Discourse m 


righteous servants, through His grace, if Allah wills (Exalted is He). 


4. The fourth man is one who will be called great in the Kingdom 
of Heaven, as it is related in the tradition of the Prophet (Allah bless 
him and give him peace): “He who learns and teaches, and puts his 
learning into practice, will be called great in the Kingdom of 
Heaven.” Such isthe man who knows Allah (Almighty and Glorious 
is He) and His signs. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has stored 
in his heart the rarities of His knowledge, and has made him privy 
to secrets He has concealed from others. He has selected him, 
chosen him, drawn him toward Himself and raised him up, guided 
him to the door of His nearness, and expanded his breast to receive 
those secrets and all that knowledge. He has made him an adept, 
a summoner and a warner to His servants and a living proof in their 
midst, a rightly guided guide, an intercessor accorded intercession, 
an honest man and true, a deputy [badal for His Messengers and 
Prophets (on them be His benedictions, His peace, His salutations 
and His blessings). 

This is the utmost culmination for the sons of Adam. There is no 
station above this man’s station except for Prophethood. Look out 
for him, then, and beware of opposing him, recoiling from him, 
shunning him, earning hisenmity, failing to win his acceptance and 
access to his good counsel and advice. For safety lies in what he has 
to say, and in his presence, while perdition and error lie in the 
presence of others, except those whom Allah (Almighty and Glori- 
ous is He) enables to succeed and helps with right guidance and 
mercy. 

Well, I have classified mankind for you. Now you must look at 
your own self, if you have eyes to see, and handle it carefully, if you 
regard it with care and compassion. May Allah guide us, and you, 
to that which He loves and with which He is well pleased! 


Thirty-fourth Discourse 


On not resenting Allab 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


He great is your resentment against your Lord, your suspicion 
of Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) and your resistance to 
Him. How often you attribute injustice to Him (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), and charge Him with delay in providing sustenance 
and sufficiency and in removing troubles and tribulation. Do you 
not know that every term has a prescribed duration, and that for 
every increase in trouble and woe there is an end, a termination and 
a conclusion, which can neither be brought forward nor deferred? 
[Until they have run their prescribed course, therefore] times of trials 
do not change and turn into conditions of well-being, the time of 
misfortune does not change into prosperity, and the state of poverty 
is not converted into affluence. i 
Be well-behaved, practice patience, contentment and harmony 
with your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), and repent for your 
resentmentagainst Him and your suspicion of Him where His action 
-is concerned. In the Lord’s presence there is no room for demand- 
ing payment in full and exacting retaliation where there is no 
offence, nor for recourse to natural instinct, as is usual in mutual 
relations between His servants. He (Almighty and Glorious is He) 
is absolutely alone from all eternity, existing before all things. He 
created them, and He created their benefits and disadvantages. He 
knows their beginning, theirend and their fulfillment. He (Almighty 
and Glorious is He) is wise in His working and sure in His craftsman- 
ship. There is no inconsistency in what He does. He does nothing 
uselessly and creates nothing as a futile game. There can be no 
question of criticizing or reproaching Him for His deeds. 
You should therefore wait for relief, if you are too weak to comply 
with Him and to submit to His action gladly, until the prescript of 


86 


Thirty-fourth Discourse 87 


destiny expires. Then the situation will yield to its opposite with the 
passage of time and the consummation of the course of events, as 
winter runs its course and yields to summer, and as night comes to 
an end and yields to day. If you ask for the light of day between the 
first two watches of the night, it will not be given to you. Indeed, the 
night will get even darker, until the darkness reaches its climax, then 
dawn breaks and the day comes with its light, whether you ask for 
this and want it, or say nothing about it and even dislike it. Should 
you now ask for the night to be brought back, your request will go 
unanswered and you will not get what you want, because you have 
asked for something at the wrong moment and time. You will 
therefore be left sorry, deprived, resentful and disappointed. So 
give all this up and practice compliance, thinking well of your Lord 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), and graceful patience. For what is 
yours will not be snatched from you, and what is not yours will not 
be given to you. By my life, you pray and make supplication to your 
Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), offering humble entreaties as 
an act of worship and obedience in keeping with His command- 
ment (Exalted is He): “Call upon Me and I will answer you” (40:60), 
and His words (Exalted is He): “Ask Allah of His bounty” (4:32), as 
well as other verses and traditions. You pray, and He will answer 
you at the appropriate moment and appointed time, when He wills, 
when it is to your advantage in this world and the hereafter, and 
when it coincides with His decree and the end of the term set by 
Him. 

Do not become suspicious of Him when He delays the response, 
and do not weary of making supplication to Him, for while you may 
not be gaining, neither are you losing. If He does not respond to you 
immediately, He will reward you lateron. According toan authentic 
tradition, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: 
“On the Day of Resurrection the servant will see in his records some 
good deeds which he does not recognize. He will then be told that 
these are compensation for requests he made in this world, but 


88 Thirty-fourth Discourse 


which were not destined to be fulfilled therein,” orsomething to that 
effect. Well then, the least of your spiritual states is that you should 
be remembering your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), affirming 
His Oneness, inasmuch as you address your requests to Him and not 
to any other than Him, and do not submit your need to anyone but 
Him (Exalted is He). You are in one or the other of two conditions 
at all times, by night and by day, in health and in sickness, in 
adversity and in prosperity, in hardship and in ease: 


1. You refrain from asking, gladly accept the decree of destiny, 
reconcile yourself and go along with His action (Almighty and 
‘Glorious is He) ina relaxed fashion, like a corpse in frontof the ritual 
washer of the dead, like a suckling babe in its nurse’s arms, or like 
a ball waiting for the polo-player to knock it around with his mallet. 
Destiny will then turn you about as it wishes. If it happens to be a 
blessing, thanks and praise are forthcoming from you, and from 
Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) comes increase in the gift. As He 
has said (Exalted is He): “If you are thankful, I will give you more” 
(14:7). Ifitisan adversity, however, you respond with patience and 
compliance, through His help, while from His side (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) come reassurance, support, blessing and mercy, 
through His favor and generosity. As He says (Almighty and 
Glorious is He): “Allah is with those who patiently persevere” 
(2:153). That is to say, through His support and reassurance, since 
He is supportive of His servant against his lower self, his passion and 

wis devil. He says (Exalted is He): 


ya help Aliāh, He will help you and make your foothold firm. 
7:7 


When you help Allah by opposing your own self and your passion 
by giving up resistance to Him and resentment of His action within 
you, when you become an enemy and an executioner to your lower 
self for Allah's sake, so that whenever it moves with its unbelief and 
polytheism you behead it with your patience, your compliance with 


Thirty-fourth Discourse 89 


your Lord and your satisfaction with His working and His promise, 
and your contentment with them both, then Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) will be a helper to you. As for blessing and mercy, 
consider His words (Almighty and Glorious is He): 
And give glad tidings to those who patiently Perens: who say, 
when a misfortune strikes them: “To Allah we belong, and to Him 


Wwe are returning.” Such are they on whom are blessings from their 
Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided. (2:155-157) 


2. The other condition is that in which you make supplication to 
your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) with prayer and humble 
entreaty, honoring His majesty and obeying His commandment. 
Now things are where they truly belong, for He has irged you to put 
your requests to Him and to resort to Him, and has made that a 
comfort for you, a messenger from you to Him, a contact and means 
of access to Him, provided that you give up suspicion and resent- 
ment toward Him in the event of postponement of the answer to 
your prayer until the time appropriate. 


Take note of the difference between the two conditions, and do 
not be one of those who overstep the bounds of both, because there 
is no other condition besides these two. Beware of being among the 
wrong-doing transgressors, for He will then destroy you (Almighty 
and Glorious is He) without caring, as He has destroyed former 
peoples in times past, by intensifying His affliction in this world and 
by His painful torment in the hereafter. 


Thirty-fifth Discourse 


On pious caution |al-wara’] 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


B: sure to behave with pious caution, otherwise you are doomed 
to destruction in the bloom of your youth! You will never 
escape it unless Allāh (Exalted is He) covers you with His mercy. 
According to an authentic tradition, the Prophet (Allāh bless him 
and give him peace) is reported as saying: “The foundation of 
religion is pious caution, and its destruction is greed. Anyone who 
hovers around a forbidden zone is liable to drop into it, just as an 
animal grazing next to a corn field is liable to stretch its mouth 
toward it, so the crops are hardly safe from the beast.” 

Of Abi Bakr as-Siddiq (may Allah be well pleased with him) it is 
related that he once said: “We used to avoid seventy doors of the 
permissible /#z6@], for fear of falling into sin 7na@AJ,” while the 
Commander of the Believers, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be 
well pleased with him) is reported to have said: “We used to abstain 
from nine tenths of the lawful /4@/a/, for fear of falling into the 
unlawful (Zaram/.” 

They acted like that as a precaution against getting too close to 
what is unlawful, heeding the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him 
and give him peace): “Every king has a forbidden zone and Allah's 
forbidden zone is that of His unlawful things. Anyone who hovers 
around that zone is liable to drop into it.” 

Anyone who enters the King's fortress, passing through the first 
gate, then the second and the third until he approaches the thresh- 
old, is better than one who stops at the first gate, which is next to 
open country. For if the lock of the third gate is shut against him, it 
will not harm him, since he is already behind two of the palace gates 
and has the king’s guards and troops close by him. If he stands at 
the first gate, however, and they shut him out of it, he is left alone 


90 


Thirty-fiftb Discourse ` 91 


in open country, where he may fall a prey to wolves and enemies 
and become one of those who perish. 

Likewise in the case of one who treads the path of strict obser- 
vance and sticks to it: If he is robbed and deprived of the support of 
helpful influence and providential care, he can avail himself of 
dispensations without going outside the sacred law. When death 
overtakes him, he will be in a state of worship and obedience, and 
his good conduct will be adduced as evidence in his favor. 

As for one who stopsat the dispensations and does not go forward 
to strict observance, if he is robbed of helpful influence and 
deprived of its support, and so falls under the control of passion and 
the desires of the lower self, then indulgés in forbidden things, he 
goes outside the sacied law and joins the company of devils, 
enemies of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) who stray from the 
path of right guidance. So if death overtakes him before repentance, 
he will be one of those who perish, unless Allah (Exalted is He) 
covers him with His mercy and His favor. There is danger, then, in 
relying on dispensations. All safety lies wholly in strict observance. 


Allah is the Guide to the straight path! 


Thirty-sixth Discourse 
On the explanation of this world and the hereafter, 
and what one must do in them both 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


es your life hereafter as your capital and your worldly life as 
the profit therefrom. Spend your time first of ali on acquiring 
your life hereafter, then if you have any time to spare, spend it on 
your worldly life and on seeking your livelihood. Do not treat your 
worldly life as your capital and your life. hereafter as its profit, and 
then spend only such time as you have to spare on your life 
hereafter, performing your prayers as if casting them all in a single 
mold, with the basic elements omitted, with:necessary ingredients 
in the wrong order, without the bowing and prostration and without 
quiet pause between the essential stages, or perhaps getting weary 
and fatigued so that you fall asleep without completing the whole 
ritual, like a corpse by night and an idler by day, following your 
lower self, your passions and your devil, trading your life hereafter 
for worldly life as the slave of your lower self, as its mount and riding 
beast. 

You are commanded to ride your lower self, to discipline and train 
it, and to use it to carry you along the path of safety, the way of the 
hereafter and of obedience to our Lord (Almighty and Glorious is 
He). So you have wronged it by submitting to it, giving it free rein 
and going along with it in pursuit of its carnal desires and pleasures, 
adapting yourself to it and its devil and its passions, with the result 
that you have missed the good of this world and the hereafter and 
incurred loss in both domains. You enter on the Day of Resurrection 
as the most bankrupt of men and the biggest loser among them in 
both the religious and the worldly sense. You do not attain, by 
following it, to more than your allotted share in your worldly life, 
whereas, if you went the route of the hereafter and made it your 


92 


Thirty-sixth Discourse 93 


capital, you would make a profit in both this world and in the life 
hereafter. You would receive your share of worldly goods, and be 
welcome to them, while enjoying security and respect. As the 
Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said: “Allah grants 
this world on the strength of otherworldly intention, but he does not 
grant the hereafter on the strength of worldly intention.” How could 
it not be so, when otherworldly intention is obedience to Allah? 
Intention is the very spirit and essence of all forms of worship. 

When you obey Allah through your abstemiousness in this world 
or your quest for the abode of the hereafter, you become one of the 
favorites of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), one of the people 
devoted to obedient service and love of Him. You gain the 
hereafter, namely paradise and nearness to Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), as well as the subservient support of this world, of 
which you will receive your allotted share, since everything is 
subject to its Creator and Lord; to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is 
He). 

When, on the other hand, you are preoccupied with this world 
and turn away from the hereafter, the Lord becomes angry with you. 
You lose the hereafter, and this world gives you problems, difficulty 
and trouble in getting your share transmitted to you, because of 
Allah's anger (Aimighty and Glorious is He) toward you. Since it is 
owned by Him, this world humiliates those who rebel against Him 
and honors those who obey Him, thus confirming the truth of the 
Prophet's words (Allah bless him and give him peace): “This world 
and the hereafter are two co-wives; if you please either one of them 
the other gets annoyed at you.” 

Allah (Exalted is He) has said: “Some of you desire this world, and 
some desire the hereafter” (3:152), meaning the children of this 
world and the children of the hereafter respectively. So look and 
see: In which of these two sets of children are you included? To 
which of the two tribes would you like to belong while you are in 
this world? Then, when you pass on to the hereafter, there will be 


94 Thirty-sixth Discourse 


two groups of people, one group wanting this world, and one group 
wanting the hereafter. There will be two groups also on the Day of 
Resurrection: “A party in Paradise, and a party in the Blazing Fire” 
(42:7). One party will be standing on the spot throughout the 
reckoning on a Day equivalent to fifty thousand years as you count 
time, according to His word (Exalted is He). Another party will be 
in the shadow of the Throne, as reported by the Prophet (Allah bless 
him and give him peace): “You will be on the Day of Resurrection 
in the shadow of the Throne, busy at tables laden with delicious 
food and fruits and honey whiter than snow.” According to the 
tradition also: “They will behold their dwellings in Paradise until, 
when He has finished with the people’s reckoning, they enter 
Paradise, finding the right way to their dwellings as a person in this 
world finds his way home.” 

Would they attain to this except by forsaking this world and 
engaging in the quest for the hereafter and the Lord? And would 
those others have to undergo the reckoning and all kinds of agonies 
and degradation, but for their involvement in this world and their 
fondness for it, their indifference toward the hereafter and their 
scant concern for its demands, their forgetfulness of the Day of 
Resurrection and what they must come to on the morrow, as 
mentioned in the Book and Sunna? So look at your own self with 
a look of mercy and compassion, and choose for its sake the better 
of those two tribes. Keep it away from bad company, from devils 
among men and jinn. Hold the Book and the Sunna before you, 
look into them and act upon them, and do not be deceived by idle 
talk and fantasy. Allah (Exalted is He) has said: 


Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it. Whatever he forbids 
you, abstain from it. And keep your duty to Allah. (59:7) 


Do not oppose him by ceasing to act on what he has brought, 
inventing a practice and a form of worship to suit yourselves, as 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) says concerning a people who 
have strayed from the right path: 


put monasticism they invented; We did not prescribe it for them. 
57:27) 


Thirty-sixth Discourse 95 


Moreover, Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has purified His 
Prophet and kept him away from falsehood and lies, for He says: 
Nor does he speak from his own desire. It is naught but an 
inspiration that is inspired. (53:3,4) 
In other words: “Whatever he has brought you, it comes from Me 
and not from his desire and his own self, so follow it.” 


Then He says (Exalted is He): 
Say: “If you love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you.” (3:31) 


He has thus made it clear that the way of love means following him 
in word and deed, for the Prophet (blessing and peace be upon him) 
has said: “Earning is my exemplary practice, and absolute trust is my 
state,” or words to that effect. You are therefore between his 
practice and his state. If your faith is weak you should go for 
earning, which is his practice, and if your faith is strong you should 
opt for his state, which is absolute trust. Allah (Exalted is He) says: 


So put all your trust in Allah, if you are believers, (5:23) 


and He says (Exalted is He): 
If anyone puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him. (65:3) 


He also says (Exalted is He): 


Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. (3:159) 


Thus He has commanded you to trust Him completely and has 
reminded you to do so, as He has commanded His Prophet (Allah 
bless him and give him peace) in His words: “And trust in Allah” 
(8:61). So follow the orders of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) 
by asking him about your deeds, otherwise they will be rejected. As 
the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace} has said: “If 
anyone does a deed without our authority for it, it will be rejected.” 
This covers the search for livelihood, actions and words. We have 
no Prophet other than him, so let us follow him, and no Book apart 


96 Thirty-sixth Discourse 
from the Qur'an, so let us act upon it. Your desires and the devil will 
only lead you astray. As Allah (Exalted is He) has said: 

Follow not desire, lest it lead you astray from Allah's path. (38:26) 


Safety comes with the Book and the Sunna, and perdition with all 
but these two. Through them the servant progresses to the state of 
Wilaya\saintship], Badaliyyaand Ghauwthipya. 


Only Allah is All-Knowing! 


Thirty-seventh Discourse 


On censure of envy 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


y, O believer, do I see you envying your neighbor his food 
and his drink, his clothes, his wife, his home, his enjoyment 
of his wealth and the blessings of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious 
is He) and the portion allotted to him? Do you not realize that this 
is the kind of thing that weakens your faith, causes you to fall from 
the sight of your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), and makes you 
hateful to Him? Have you notheard the tradition handed down from 
the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), according to 
which Allah (Exalted is He) told him among other things: “The 
envier is the enemy of My blessing”? Have you not heard that the 
Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said: “Envy 
devours good deeds as fire consumes wood”? 

What really makes you envious of him, you poor wretch? Is it his 
lot or your own? If you envy him his share, which Allah has allotted 
to him in accordance with His words: “We have apportioned among 
them their livelihood in the life of this world” (43:32), then you are 
unfair to the man, who is merely enjoying his Lord’s blessing, which 
He has graciously bestowed upon him and assigned to him by 
decree, and in which He has given no one else any part or portion. 
So who could be more unjust, greedier, sillier and less reasonable 
than you? 

If, on the other hand, you envy him your own share, then you 
betray the utmost ignorance, because your share will not be given 
to anyone but you, and will not be transferred from you to any other. 
Far be it from Allah [to do so]! As Allah (Almighty and Glorious is 
He) has said: 


The Word is not changed with Me; I am ne tyrant to the servants. 
50:29) 


97 


98 Thirty-seventh Discourse 


Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) is not so unjust to you that He 
‘would take away what He has allotted you and give it to someone 
else! The very idea betrays your ignorance and unfairness to your 
brother. It would make better sense for you to be envious of the 
earth, which is a storehouse of treasures and hoards of all kinds of 
gold and silver and precious stones, amassed by the ancient kings 
of ‘Ad and Thamidd, by Chosroes and Caesar, rather than to envy 
your neighbor, be he a believer or an immoral type. For whatever 
he has in his house cannot amount to even a millionth part of what 
the earth contains. 

Your envy of your neighbor invites the following comparison: A 
man sees a king with all his might, his armies and his entourage, his 
possession and control of vast estates, from which he collects taxes 
and exploits the revenue. He sees the king enjoying all kinds of 
luxuries, pleasures and gratifications, but he does not envy him any 
of this. Then he sees a dog acting as servant to one of the king's 
dogs, standing, squatting, barking, and being given leftovers and 
scraps of food from the royal kitchen, on which he subsists. The 
man starts to envy this dog, becomes hostile toward it, wishes death 
and destruction upon it and wants to take its place, for mean and 
petty reasons, not in a spirit of asceticism, religious piety and 
humble contentment. Was there ever a man more foolish, stupid 
and ignorant? 

Furthermore, you poor wretch, if you only knew what a lengthy 
reckoning your neighbor will have to undergo on the coming Day 
of Resurrection! If he has not been obedient to Allah in respect of 
all the benefits He has granted him, if he has not discharged his 
obligations where these are concemed, by obeying His command- 
ments and observing. His prohibitions as they might apply, and 
using his advantages in support of His service and obedience to 
Him, how he will wish that he had never been given a single atom 
of it all, that he had not seen a single blessing on any day ever! Have 
you not heard the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give 


Thirty-seventh Discourse 99 


him peace) as they have come down to us in the tradition: “There 
will be groups of people who will surely be wishing, on the Day of 
Resurrection, that their flesh might be cut away with scissors, in 
view of the reward they see given to those who have borne 
misfortune.” 

Your neighbor will therefore come to wish he had been in your 
place in this world, in view of the lengthy reckoning and interroga- 
tion he must undergo, and his having to stand in the heat of the sun 
for fifty thousand years at the Resurrection, on account of the 
comfort he enjoyed in this world, while you are at a distance from 
all this, in the shade of the Throne, eating and drinking, enjoying 
yourself, cheerful, happy and relaxed, on account of your patient 
endurance of worldly hardships, constraints, troubles, suffering 
and poverty, your contentment and readiness to comply with your 
Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) when His plan and decision 
meant poverty for you and affluence for others, sickness for you and 
good health for others, hardship for you and ease for others, 
humiliation for you and honor for others. May Allāh include us, and 
you, among those who bear misfortune with patience, who give 
thanks for blessings, and who entrust their affairs to the Lord of 
heaven! 


Thirty-eighth Discourse 


On bonesty (sidq] and sincerity [nisah] 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


en someone relates to his Lord with honesty and sincerity, 

he feels aversion forall besides Him by night and by day. 

O people, do not lay claim to that which is not yours. Affirm the 
Oneness of Allah and associate nothing with Him. By Allah, the 
arrows of destiny will then scratch and not kill when they strike you. 


But if anyone perishes for Allah’s sake, Allah owes him his compen- 
sation. 


100 


Thirty-ninth Discourse 
On dissension, concord and hypocrisy (nifaq] 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


te take when desire is present, without being ordered to do so, 
is obstinacy and dissension. Taking when desire is absent is 
concord and agreement, while refraining from it then is innovation 
and hypocrisy. 


101 


Fortieth Discourse 
On when the aspirant truly belongs in the company 
of spiritual people 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


© not expect to enter the company of spiritual people until you 

become hostile to your whole self, until you separate from all 
the limbs and organs of your body, and become detached from your 
being, your motions and stillnesses, your hearing and seeing, your 
speech, your strength and effort, your work and your intellect, from 
everything that was part of you before the existence of the spirit 
within you and what was brought into being within you after the in- 
breathing of the spirit. All of this is a veil between you and your Lord 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), so only then will you become an 
independent spirit, the secret of the secret, the unseen of the 
unseen, separate in your secret from all things, regarding everything 
as an enemy, a barrier and darkness. So said Abraham, the Lord’s 
dear friend (on him be peace): 


They are enemies to me, except the Lord of the Worlds. (26:77) 


He was referring to idols, but then you should treat your whole 
being and all its parts as idols, together with the rest of creation, and 
must neither obey any of them individually nor follow them as a 
whole. You will then be entrusted with secrets, with esoteric 
knowledge and its rarities. You will be endowed with creative force 
and ability to transcend the natura! order, powers of the type that 
will belong to the believers in Paradise. 

In this condition, you will be as if restored to life after death in the 
hereafter. Your entire being will be Power [gudra], and you will- 
hear through Allāh, speak through Allāh, see through Allāh, hold 
through Allāh, move through Allāh, understand through Allāh, and 
find rest and repose in Allāh, for you will be blind and deaf to all 


102 


Fortieth Discourse 103 


besides Him. You will then see nothing as having any existence 
apart from Him, as long as you observe the limits, the command- 
ments and prohibitions of the sacred law. Should there be within 
you any infringement of these limits, you must know that you are 
being tempted, that the devils are having fun with you. You must 
return to the rule of the sacred law and forsake fanciful ideas, 
because every “true fact” not confirmed by the law of Islam is 
atheistic heresy. 


Only Allah is All-Knowing! 


Forty-first Discourse 


Illustrating the nature of annihilation |fana’} 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


W: shall use a parable to explain annihilation to you, so please 
imagine the following: A king takes an ordinary man and 
makes him governor of a certain district, investing him with robes 
of office, hoisting flags and banners in his honor, and furnishing him 
with ceremonial goblets, with drums and with soldiers. Our man is 
maintained in this state for a period of time, long enough for him to 
get accustomed to it and feel sure that it will continue on a 
permanent basis, so he becomes complacent about it, forgets his 
former condition of inferiority, insignificance, poverty and obscu- 
rity, and is seized with arrogance and pride. Atthis point he receives 
an order from the king, dismissing him because of his gross 
misconduct. Then the king calls him to account for the crimes he has 
perpetrated in transgression of the royal commands and prohibi- 
tions, and confines him to the tightest and strictest of all the jails. His 
prison term is long, and the man undergoes protracted suffering, 
humiliation and poverty, through which his arrogance and pride 
melt away, his lower self is broken, and the fire of his passion is 
extinguished. All of this has been happening in the sight of the king, 
who now takes pity on the man and views him with compassion and 
mercy. He commands that he be released from prison and treated 
well, that he receive a robe of honor and have his governorship 
restored to him, with another such position added. All this he grants 
him by an act of pure liberality, and the man continues to enjoy the 
situation as it remains serene, adequate and wholesome. 
Likewise in the case of the believer, when Allah draws him close 
and selects him, He opens before the eye of his heart the gate of 
mercy, grace and favor, so he sees with his heart what no eye ever 
saw, no ear ever heard of, and no‘human heart ever conceived: 


104 


Forty-first Discourse 105 


Insight into the unseen realms of the kingdom of the heavens and 
the earth, close companionship, pleasant and gentle speech, a 
beautiful promise and its fulfillment, acceptance of prayer, words of 
wisdom and the verification of promise. All this is cast into his heart 
from a place far off, and then becomes manifest on his tongue. He 
also confers abundant outward blessings upon him, on his body 
and its limbs and organs, in the shape of food and drink, clothing, 
marriage, things lawful and permissible, and observance of the 
limits and the outer forms of worship. Allah (Almighty and Glorious 
is He) makes this last for a period of time for His believing, 
enraptured servant, until the servant becomes accustomed to it and 
deceives himself into believing it will go on forever. Then He opens 
upon him the gates of tribulation and all kinds of trials affecting his 
person, his property, his wife and children, and his heart, so that he 
is deprived of everything Allah had previously blessed him with, 
and is left bewildered, lost, broken and in despair.” 

If he looks at his outer life, it all seems bad for him, while if he 
looks at his heart and his inner life, he is saddened by what he sees. 
If he asks Allah (Exalted is He) to remove his suffering, he does not 
see his petition answered. If he wishes for a beautiful promise, he 
does not find it promptly, and if he is promised something he does 
not encounter its fulfillment. If he has a dream, he does not succeed 
in interpreting it and confirming its truth. If he wants to renew his 
contact with people, he finds no way of doing so. If this seems to 
offer him a dispensation, and he acts accordingly, punishments 
come rushing toward him, while people assault his body with their 
hands and his reputation with their tongues. If he seeks cancellation 
of everything he got involved in since his former condition prior to 
his selection, it will not be cancelled. If he seeks contentment or 
cheerful acceptance in the midst of his misfortune, not even this will 
be granted. 

It is now that the self begins to melt, passion fades away, will and 
desires depart, and al! entities vanish into naught. This process not 


106 Forty-first Discourse 


only persists, but grows more intense, acute and emphatic, until, 
when the servant passes beyond human characteristics and at- 
tributes, and remains as spirit only, he hears an inner voice calling: 
“Stamp your foot! Here is a cool washing place, anda drink” (38:42), 
as it was said to our master Job (peace be upon him). Then Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) pours into his heart the oceans of His 
mercy, compassion, tenderness and grace, revives him with His 
spirit, delights him with His understanding and the subtleties of His 
knowledge, opens for him the gates of His mercy, favor and lavish 
care, releases people’s hands to offer him presents, gifts and service 
in all conditions, their tongues to offer praise and commendation 
and acclaim in all situations, and their feet to move [in his service]. 
He makes kings and chieftains humbly subservient to him. He 
showers him with blessings outwardly and inwardly. 

He completes his outer development through His creatures and 
His bounties, while attending to his inner training directly through 
His kindness and noble generosity, and He makes this continue for 
him till the final meeting. Then He lets him enter into that which no 
eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and which never 
occurred to the human heart. As Allah (Glorious and Exalted is He) 
has said: - 


No soul knows what comfort is kept secretly in store for them, as a 
reward for what they used to do. (32:17) 


Forty-second Discourse 
On the two conditions of the self (nafs) 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


he self /77a@/s/has two conditions and no third: The state of well- 

being and the state of tribulation. When it is undergoing 
tribulation, the signs are anxiety, complaining, resentment, protest 
and suspicion toward the Lord of Truth (Glorious and Exalted is 
He), and lack of patience, contentment and compliance. Indeed, 
there is likely to be ill-mannered behavior, the association of 
creatures and material objects with the Creator, and unbelief. 
When, on the other hand, itis in the state of well-being, the signs are 
greed, impetuosity, and the pursuit of carnal lusts and pleasures. As 
soon as it gratifies one desire, it goes after another, belittling the 
blessings it already possesses, such as food, drink, clothing, spouse, 
dwelling and means of transport. It finds faults and defects in each 
one of these blessings, wanting something superior and finer that is 
not part of its destined lot, while shunning what has been allotted 
to it. Thus the person gets into all kinds of trouble, and wades into 
many perils in a long and weary process that has no end or 
termination in either this world or the hereafter. As the saying goes: 
“Truly the harshest of punishments is the desire to have what is not 
one’s allotted share.” 

When the self is undergoing tribulation, it wishes only to see it 
removed, forgetting all about enjoyment, lust and pleasure, and 
wanting none of them. Once relieved of suffering, however, it | 
reverts to its frivolity, greed and impetuosity, to its recalcitrant 
disobedience of its Lord and its dedication to sinful rebellion against 
Him. It forgets all the trouble and pain, all the misfortune it went 
through previously. Now it is afflicted with even harsher trials and 
tribulations, because of the major sins it has perpetrated and 
committed, to wean it away from these and to restrain it from sinful 


107 


108 Forty-second Discourse 


acts in future, since well-being and comfort had failed to reform it, 
and its safekeeping lay rather in tribulation and pain. 

If the self had behaved itself well when the affliction was re- 
moved, and had practiced cbedience, gratitude-and contentment 
with its lot, things would have been better for it in this world and the 
hereafter. It would have experienced increasing comfort, well- 
being, approval from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is-He), pleasure, 
and help toward success. r 

Anyone who wishes for safety inthis world and the hereafter must 
therefore cultivate patience and contentment. He must give up 
complaining to people, submit his needs to his Lord (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), practice obedience to Him, wait for happiness to 
come from Him, and be devoted exclusively to Him (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), since He is better than any other and than His entire 
creation. His deprivation is actually a gift, His punishment a 
blessing, His trial a remedy, His promise ready cash, His word a 
deed, His will a state of being. Surely His word “and His command 
when He intends a thing, is to say to it ‘Be,’ and it is” (36:82). All His 
deeds are good and wise and beneficial, although He keeps knowl- 
edge of the benefits concealed from His servants and reserves it to 
Himself alone. For His servants, therefore, it is most fitting and 
proper to be in a state of contentment and submission, to be 
dedicated to servanthood by fulfilling commandments, observing 
prohibitions, and submitting to the decree of destiny, to abandon 
preoccupation and combat with Lordship, which is the source of 
destiny’s decrees, to be silent on questions of why and how and 
when, and to give up suspicion of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) in all His phases of movement and repose. 

All of this rests on the authority of the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas (may 
Allah be well pleased with him and his father), from whom it is 
transmitted by ‘Ata’. Ibn ‘Abbas said: “I was riding behind the 
Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) when he said to 
me: ‘My boy, take care of Allah and He will take care of you. Take 


n 


Forty-second Discourse 109 
eae oa Him in front of you. So when you 
TR T . a SK, ask Allah, and when you seek help, seek 
Eee ae € pen has already run dry from writing all that 
’ is Servants were to strive to bring you some benefit 

ads decreed for you by Allah, they would not be capable of it, and 
if His servants were to strive to cause you some injury not decreed | 
for you by Allāh, they wouid not be able to doit. So if you can relate | 
to Allah with honesty and certitude | yagin), do so; and if you cannot, 
there is much good in being patient with what you dislike. Know 
that help resides in patience, joy with sorrow, and “with hardship 
comes ease” (94:5). ” | 

It behooves every believer to make this hadith a mirror for his Ii | 
heart, to wear it as his undergarment and his outer garb, to treat it 
as his own hadith, on which he should act in all conditions, be he i 
in motion or at rest, so that he may be safe in this world and the Wi 
hereafter, and receive honor in both domains through the mercy of i 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). 


Forty-third Discourse 


On censure of asking from any but Allab 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


oe who asks of people, does so only because of his 
ignorance of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), because of 
the weakness of his faith, his understanding and his certitude, and 
through his lack of patience. Whoever refrains therefrom, on the 
other hand, does so only because of his abundant knowledge of 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), because of the strength of his 
faith and his certitude, because his understanding of his Lord 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) is increasing every day and every 
moment, and because of his modesty before Him (Almighty and 
Glorious is He). 


110 


Forty-fourth Discourse 
On the reason for non-response to the supplication of one 
who knows Allab [al-‘arif bi'llah} 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


he knower [of Allah] does not receive an answer whenever he 

makes a request of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), nor 
is every promise redeemed for him, lest he get carried away with 
hopeful expectation ana come to his ruin. For there is no state or 
Station that does not have its complement of fear and hope. These 
two are a pair, like the wings of a bird, without whicn faith cannot 
be complete, and the same goes for each spiritual state /Aé/a] and 
station /magdm, allowing for the fact that the fear and the hope will 
be appropriate to any given state. 

Since the knower /Gr7/] is brought close to the presence of the 
Lord, his state and station are such that he may not wish for anything 
but his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He}, may not have confi- 
dence or assurance in any but Him (Almighty and Glorious is He), 
and may not be on intimate terms with any other. It is not fitting for 
him, therefore, nor in keeping with his state, to expect acceptance 
of his request and fulfillment of his covenant. 

There are two factors to be considered here: One is that he should 
not get carried away by over-optimism and inattentiveness through 
the cunning tricks of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), so that 
he comes to ruin by neglecting to maintain the proper standards of 
behavior. The second is that he runs the risk of associating 
something else with his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), 
because there is obviously no sinless person in the world aside from 
the Prophets (on them all, as on our own Prophet, be the most 
excellent blessing and peace). 

This explains why He does not always respond to the ‘477 and 
grant him fulfillment, so that he will not ask merely from habit or 


Vi 


112 Forty-fourth Discourse 


prompted by natural instinct, rather than by obedience to received 
instractions. For that smacks of sinful association, and to associate 
anything with the Lord is a major sin in every state, at every step and 
all stations without exception. | 

Where the request is made in compliance with an order, however, 
it is something that brings him even closer to the Lord, like prayer, 
fasting and other obligatory and supererogatory devotions, for in 
this case he is obediently following the commandment. 


Forty-fifth Discourse 


On blessings and trials 


The Shaikh (may Allāh be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


here are two kinds of people: Those who are blessed with good 
fortune, and those who are tried by what their Lord (Almighty 
and Glorious is He) has decreed. 

As for the fortunate ones, they are not exempt from all vexation 
and annoyance in the enjoyment of their blessings. Such a person 
may be very comfortable indeed, when along comes destiny to 
distress him with various afflictions, like diseases, ailments and 
disasters affecting himself, his property, his family and his offspring. 
which ought to teach hima lesson. It seems to him now as if he had 
never been favored, and he forgets that good fortune and how 
sweet it was. Yet as long as the rich man is secure in his wealth and 
position, with male and female servants and safety from enemies, he 
is in a state of bliss as if trouble did not exist. 

All this is due to his ignorance of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious 
is He). If he knew that his Lord “is Doer of what He will” (11:107), 
and that He changes and transforms, sweetens and embitters, 
enriches and impoverishes, exalts and abases, honors and humbles, 
gives life and causes death, brings forward and puts back, why 
would he be complacent about his good fortune, why would he be 
deluded by it, and why would he despair of happy relief while in the 
state of affliction? The problem is also due to his ignorance of this 
world, where he felt secure, and expected to find a serenity 
uncontaminated by grief, forgetting that it is the abode of trouble 
and distress, of bother and worry, that trouble is its norm and 
comfort only incidental to it. This world is like the aloe tree, the first 
fruit of which is bitter, while the last is sweet as honey. No man can 
get at its sweetness till he has swallowed the bitterness of it, so he 
will never reach the honey without enduring the bitter taste with 


113 


114 Forty-fifth Discourse 


patience. Anyone who bears its trials patiently will eventually savor 
its blessings. a 

The laborer is given his hire only after the sweat of his brow, the 
exhaustion of his body, the agony of his spirit, the constriction of his 
breast, the loss of his strength, the humbling of his selfish nature, 
and the breaking of his passions, all in the service of a creature like 
himself. Only when he has swallowed all these bitter pills will he 
finally enjoy good food, tidbits and fruit, fine clothes, comfort and 
happiness, if only in very small measure. 

What the world has to offer, then, is bitter at first, just as the top 
layer of honey in a jar is marred by a bitter taste, and the eater cannot 
reach the bottom of the pot to get at the pure part until after he has 
taken the top layer. Thus if the servant perseveres in performing the 
Lord's commandments (Almighty and Glorious is He) and observ- 
ing His prohibitions, and in submitting with complete trust to the 
course of destiny [gadar], and if he swallows all the bitterness and 
bears all the burdens involved, opposing his passions and giving up 
his self-willed desires, Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He) will 
reward him with a pleasant existence in later life, with lavish care, 
comfort and dignity. The Lord will become his guardian and 
nourish him, just as He nourishes the suckling babe, without his 
having to worry or bear any trouble and strain in this world and the 
hereafter, so he will be like the person who relishes the honey at the 
bottom of the jar, after eating the bitter layer on top. 

The servant who is blessed with good fortune must therefore 
never feel secure from the cunning tests of Allāh (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), deluding himself into believing that his prosperity 
is bound to last forever, forgetting to be thankful for it, and letting 
it slip loose by omitting that gratitude. As the Prophet (Allah bless 
him and give him peace) has said: “Good fortune is a wild beast, so 
tie it up with gratitude.” Thanks for the blessing of wealth are 
offered by acknowledging the gracious benefactor, namely Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), by telling oneself about it under all 


Forty-fifth Discourse 115 


circumstances, by recognizing His favor and grace. The servant 
must not put himself above his Lord, nor transgress the limits He 
imposes, nor fail to observe His commandments in the matter. 
Gratitude is then further shown by discharging one’s duties in 
respect of the alms-due, expiation, votive offerings and charitable 
donations, by helping the distressed, visiting the needy and those 
who are in dire straits through the vicissitudes of circumstance and 
reversal of fortune from good to bad, meaning that times of prosper- 
ity and plenty have given way to wretchedness and misery. Grati- 
tude for good health in the limbs and organs of the body is shown 
by enlisting their aid for works of obedience, and refraining from 
unlawful actions, bad deeds, sins and offenses. 

This is how to keep blessings from roaming and wandering off, 
how to water their tree and encourage the growth of its branches 
and leaves, ensuring that it bears good fruit, sweet to the taste and 
wholesome to digest, delicious to chew and easy to swallow, 
contributing to the health and development of the body. Then its 
beneficial effect on the limbs and organs will become manifest 
through various acts of obedience, good works and invocations of 
remembrance. As a result of all this, the servant will then enter in 
the hereafter into the mercy of Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He), 
and abide forever in the gardens of Paradise together with “the 
Prophets and the champions of truth, the martyrs and the righteous; 
the best of company are they!” (4:69). 

If the servant does not act like this, however, if he allows himself 
to be deluded by the superficial glamor of this world and by the taste 
he gets of its pleasures, if he is content with the brilliance of its 
phantom show and lightning flashes, with its early morning breeze 
on a hot summer’s day, with the smoothness of the skins of its 
snakes and scorpions, if he is forgetful and blind to the deadly 
poisons lurking in its depths, to the pitfalls and traps it has set to 
catch and ensnare and destroy him, then he should be given a 
welcome to perdition and rejoice in rapidly impending ruin and 


116 Forty-fifth Discourse 


destitution, with humiliation and scorn in this world and torment to 
come in the fire and flame of Hell. 

As for one who suffers tribulation, he will sometimes be tried as 
a punishment and retribution for an offense he has perpetrated or 
a sin he has committed, at another time as an expiation and 
purification, and finally, for the sake of elevation in spiritual degrees 
and advancement to high stages, to join those versed in knowledge, 
people with experience of all states and stations. This they have 
received through the providence of the Lord of creation and of 
mankind. Their Lord has sent them to ride the fields of misfortune 
on the mounts of friendliness and kindness, and refreshed them 
with the breeze of loving looks and glances while in movement or 
at rest, because their trial was not intended to destroy them and hurl 
them into the abyss. Rather did He put them to these tests for the 
sake of choice and selection, so drawing from them the reality of 
faith, which He purified and separated from polytheistic association 
[shirk], pretensions and hypocrisy /7:/aq/, and presenting them with 
all kinds of knowledge, secrets and enlightenment. Then He made 
special favorites of them, entrusted them with: His secrets, and 
granted them the pleasure of His company. 

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The 
patient poor are the guests of the All-Merciful on the Day of 
Resurrection, in this world and the hereafter,” meaning in their 
hearts in this world, and physically in the hereafter. For those trials 
have the effect of making their hearts pure and free from sinful 
association, and from attachment to creatures, worldly means, 
wishes and self-willed desires. They are instrumental in melting 
them and smelting out the pretensions and passions, and the 
expectation of returns for obedient behavior, in the form of high 
degrees and stations in the hereafter, in paradise and its gardens. 

The sign that trials are being inflicted as retribution and punish- 
ment is lack of patience while they last, as well as anxiety and 
complaining to creatures and people. 


Forty-fifth Discourse 117 


The sign that the tribulation is for expiation and purification of 
Sins, is the presence of beautiful patience, without complaint or 
expression of anxiety to friends and neighbors, and without irrita- 
tion with the performance of commandments and acts of obedi- 
ence, 

The sign that the trials are for the sake of spiritual progress is the 
presence of contentment, harmony, self-composure, quiet trust in 
the working of the God of the earth and the heavens, and annihila- 
tion within them until their eventual removal with the passage of 
time. 


Forty-sixth Discourse 
On the Sacred Tradition: “When someone is too busy 
remembering Me...” 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


oncerning the words transmitted by the Prophet (Allah bless 

him and give him peace) from my Lord (Almighty and Glori- 
ous is He): “When someone is too busy remembering Me to ask Me 
for anything, I give him the finest of what I give to those who ask.” 
This means that when Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) wishes 
to choose and select a believer, He makes him pass through a series 
of spiritual states, and tests him with various trials and tribulations. 
Thus He reduces him to poverty after wealth, and compels him to 
beg from people to obtain a livelihood, since all other avenues are 
closed to him. Then He saves him from having to beg from them, 
and compels him to borrow from them instead. Then He saves him 
from having to borrow, and compels him to manage by earning, 
which He facilitates and makes easy for him, so he can survive by 
eaminga living, inaccordance with the example set by the Prophet. 
But then He makes tnis difficult for him, and inspires him to beg 
from people, ordering nim to do so by an inner commandment that 
makes him know and understand what is required of him. He 
makes this an act of worship for him, and its omission a sin, so that 
he may be rid of his vanity and have his lower self put in its place. 
This is the condition of spiritual training, so his begging is to be 
regarded as an involuntary compulsion, not as polytheistic associa- 
tion with the All-Compelling One [a//abbay. 

From this He proceeds to save him, and gives him such strict 
orders to borrow from people that he can no more ignore them than 
in the earlier case of begging. Then He moves him out of this, and 
cuts him off from people and their dealings. He makes his liveli- 
hood dependent on his asking it of Him (Almighty and Glorious is 


118 


Forty-sixth Discourse 119 


He). Now he asks Him for everything he needs, and He gives it, 
though not if he keeps silent and refrains from asking. 

Next, He makes him change from asking with his tongue to asking 
with his heart. Now he asks Him with his heart for everything he 
needs, and He gives it, though He does not give if he asks with his 
tongue, nor do people give him anything if he begs from them. He 
makes it unnecessary for him to do this, or to beg in any way atall, 
outwardly or inwardly, for He invites him to enjoy whatever is 
beneficial to him, and supplies all his needs in the way of food, 
drink, clothing, and everything useful toa human being, without his 
having to be involved or concern himself about it. So he acquires 
the friendship of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), in accordance 
with His words: 


My protecting friend is Allah, who revealed the Book. He befriends 
the righteous. (7:196) 


The truth of His saying (Almighty and Glorious is He): “When 
someone is too busy remembering Me toask Me for anything, I give 
him the finest of what I give to those who ask,” is now confirmed. 
This is the state of annihilation (/7a7, which is the ultimate state of 
the Aw/iya' (saints) and Abéda/. At this stage he is endowed with 
creative power, and whatever he needs comes about by Allah's 
leave. As He has said (Glorious and Exalted is He) in one of His 
Books: 


O son of Adam, Iam Allāh, there is no god except Me; I say toa thing, 
“Be,” and it comes to be. Obey Me, so I may let you say toa thing, 
“Be,” and it will come to be. 


Forty-seventh Discourse 
On closeness to Allah 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


A? old man questioned me in my dream, saying: “What brings 
a servant close to Allāh (Almighty and Exalted is He)?” I 
replied: “That has a beginning and an end. The beginning is pious 
caution [wara], and the end is contentment [rad], submission 
ltastim] and absolute trust (lawakkug].” 


120 


Forty-eighth Discourse 


On what the believer must attend to 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


he believer must first attend to the obligatory religious duties. 

When he has finished performing these, he should attend to 
recommended practices, then finally to supererogatory devotions 
and additional works of merit. As long as he has not discharged the 
obligatory duties, attention to the recommended practices is stupid- 
ity and folly. If he does attend to the recommended practices and 
supererogatory devotions before the supererogatory duties, it will 
not be accepted of himand he will be treated with contempt. He will 
invite comparison with a man whom the king summons to his 
service, but instead of going to him, he remains in the service of the 
prince, who is the slave and servant of the king and subject to his 
power and authority. 

Itis reported from the Commander of the Believers, our Master‘Ali 
ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be well pleased with him) that the 
Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The likeness 
of one who performs the supererogatory prayers before the obliga- 
tory ones is that ofa woman who gets pregnant, carries until the time 
for delivery is near, and then has a miscarriage, losing both the 
foetus and the experience of childbirth.” Thus the worshipper finds 
that his supererogatory prayer is not acceptable to Allah as long as 
he has not performed the obligatory one. 

To take another analogy, just as the merchant cannot clear a profit 
until he has recovered his capital, the worshipper may perform 
supererogatory prayers, but these will not be accepted of him until 
he has completed his obligatory worship. 

The same applies to one who omits a recommended practice and 
attends to a supererogatory observance which is not a regular 
complement to the obligatory duties, and which is not clearly 


121 


122 Forty-eighth Discourse 


stipulated and emphatically commanded. 

Obligatory duties include avoidance of the unlawful, not associ- 
ating any creature with Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), not 
taking exception to His dispensation and decree, not heeding and 
obeying people, and not tuning away from the commandment of 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) and obedience to Him. The 
Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said: “No 
obedience to a creature in rebellion against the Creator.” 


Forty-ninth Discourse 
On censure of sleep 
\ 
The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


f anyone chooses sleep over that which keeps him awake, he has 

chosen the most inadequate and inferior option, attachment to 
death and neglect of all things beneficial, for sleep is the brother of 
death. This is why sleep cannot overtake Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), since He is free of all deficiencies whatsoever. 
Sleep is likewise impossible for the angels, because they are close 
to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). The same applies to the 
people of Paradise, because they reside in the most exalted, purest, 
most precious and honorable domains, and sleep is impossible for 
them since it would represent a defect in their condition. Thus all 
good lies in wakefulness, while-all evil lies in sleep and heedless- 
ness. 

Whenever someone eats from passionate desire, he will eat too 
much, drink too much, sleep too much, feel much regret for a very 
long time, and miss very much that is good. Someone who eats even 
a little unlawful food is like one who eats a lot of permissible food 
from his passionate desire, because forbidden food obscures and 
darkens faith, as wine darkens and obscures the mind. When faith 
is dimmed there is no prayer, no worship, no sincerity. But when 
someone eats lots of lawful food in compliance with a command 
(from Allah], he is like one who eats just a little of the same ina joyfui 
spirit of worship and vital energy. 

A lawful thing is light within light, while anything unlawful is 
darkness within darkness, with nothing good in it. Eating lawful 
food from passionate desire, without receiving a commandment, 
and eating the unlawful, these are both soporifics, so there is no 
good therein. 


123 


Fiftieth Discourse 


On how to treat the servant's remoteness from Allah; 
explanation of bow to achieve closeness to Him 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


our situation must necessarily fall into one of two categories: 

Either you are far away from the presence of Allāh, or yau are 
in close contact with Him. If you are far away from Him, how is it 
that you just sit back, lazily indifferent to the greatest good fortune 
and blessing, to lasting glory and supreme satisfaction, to security, 
wealth and luxury in this world and the hereafter? Get up now, and 
quickly fly to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) on your two wings, 
one of which is the renunciation of sensual pleasures and desires, 
be they unlawful or permissible, as well as all comforts, while the 
other is putting up with pain and unpleasantness, bestriding deter- 
mination and mature resolve, and forsaking creatures, passions, 
wishes and longings in this world and the hereafter. Fly till you 
succeed in reaching His presence and get close to Him, for then you 
will obtain your every wish. You will receive the highest honor and 
greatest glory. 

If you are one of those who are brought close and who attain to 
Him (Almighty and Glorious is He), one of those caught by provi- 
dence and embraced by tender care, attracted by love and touched 
by mercy and compassion, be on your best behavior. Do not 
become so dazzled by your situation that you fall short in your 
service, and tend toward your innate frivolity, mischief, ignorance 
and hastiness. In His words (Exalted is He): 


And man assumed it. Surely he is sinful, very foolish. (33:72) 


For man is ever hasty. (17:11) 


Keep your heart from lingering over what you have left behind, 
the people, passions, self-will, picking and choosing, the lack of 


124 


Fiftieth Discourse 125 


patience, compliance and contentment in the face of misfortune. 
Throw yourself down before Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) 
like a ball before the polo-player, who knocks its around with his 
mallet, a corpse before the ritual washer of the dead, or a suckling 
babe in the lap of its mother or its nurse. Be blind to all besides Him 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), and see nothing but Him as having 
any existence or power to harm or benefit, to give or to withhold. 
In times of suffering and affliction, look upon created things and 
worldly means as His whip (Almighty and Glorious is He) with 
which he lashes you, and view them in times of blessing and 
benefaction as His hand with which He feeds you tasty morsels. 


Fifty-first Discourse 


On abstinence 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


he pious abstainer is rewarded twice on account of destiny’s 
allotments. He is rewarded first of all for being detached about 
them, so that he does not seize them out of passionate desire and 
selfish motivation, but simply accepts them in accordance with the 
Lord's commandment. Once his hostility to his lower self and his 
opposition to his passions have been established, he is counted 
among the veracious and saintly people, and is admitted to the 
company of the Aéda@/and ‘Anjfiin. It is then that he is commanded 
totake those things and deal with them, because they are his allotted 
shares, which he cannot do without and which were created for no 
one but him. The pen of destiny ran dry when knowledge of them 
was long ago recorded. When he complies with the command- 
ment, and so obtains or receives this knowledge, he handles these 
things by virtue of the operation of the Lord’s decree and action, 
without personal involvement in the process, without passion, self- 
will or self-interest. He is therefore rewarded a second time, for he 
is acting in obedience to the commandment or in harmony with the 
action of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). 
Suppose someone objects: How can you use the term ‘reward’ in 
connection with someone whois atthe ultimate station, who, as you 
yourself mentioned, has been admitted to the company of the Abda/ 
and Arifin, those in whom the Lord’s action is at work, who have 
become extinct to creatures, to selfhood, to passion and self-willed 
action, to pleasures and longings and expectations of return for their 
deeds, who see all their obedience and worship as sheer grace from 
Allah (Almighty and Exalted is He), as blessing and mercy and 
helpful support and facilitation from Him (Almighty and Glorious is 
He), and who believe themselves to be the servants of Allah 


126 


Fifty-first Discourse 127 


(Almighty and Glorious is He)? The servant has no right to claim 
against his master, since he is wholly and entirely, in movement or 
at rest and along with all his acquisitions, a possession of his master. 
How then can it be said of him that heis ‘rewarded, when he himself 
does not demand any reward or recompense for his work, and does 
not regard any deed as his own, but sees himself among those who 
are quite incompetent and utterly unfit for doing deeds? 

To this we respond as follows: What you say is quite true, but for 
all that, Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He) bestows His grace and, 
lavishes His blessings on him, and tends him with His kindness, His 
compassion; His care, His mercy and His noble generosity. Since he 
restrains his hand from his own self-interest, from seeking strokes 
of luck to please the self, from procuring benefit for it, and from 
pushing harm away from it, he is like the suckling babe who makes 
no movement for his own self-interest, and yet is tenderly looked 
after by the grace of Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He), and is 
provided with a home through the hands of his parents, who are his 
guardians and custodians. 

Now that He has divested him of all self-interest, He makes 
people's hearts sympathetic toward him, imbuing their hearts with 
mercy and affection for him until everyone is kind and considerate 
toward him and disposed to treat him well. Thus he becomes 
entirely extinct to everything besides Allah, moved only by His 
commandment or His action, touched by the grace of Allah (Al- 
mighty and Glorious is He) in this world and the hereafter, tenderly 
cared for in both realms, protected from harm and treated as a 
friend. A'lah (Exalted is He) has said: 


My protecting friend is Allah, who revealed the Book. He befriends 
the righteous. -(7:196) 


Fifty-second Discourse 
On the reason for the trials borne by certain believers 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


llah’s only reason for putting to the test a certain group of 
believers, dearly loved friends of His, is to bring them back 
through tribulation to begging, for He loves to receive their re- 
quests, and He loves to respond to them when they ask. He then 
gives generosity and openhandedness their due, for these two 
demand of Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) that He respond 
when believers come begging. The response will be forthcoming, 
though maybe not the instant ready cash—on account of destiny’s 
deferment, not because of unresponsiveness and deprivation. 
The servant should therefore behave correctly when misfortune 
befalls him. He should examine his sinfulness in omitting com- 
mandments, committing things forbidden, outwardly and inwardly, 
and disputing with destiny. Since he deserves punishment for this, 
he may be undergoing tribulation as a way of paying his dues. If the 
trial is removed, well and good. If not, he should make a practice 
of supplication, humble entreaty and apology. He should persist in 
asking, since it is always possible that he is being tried so that he will 
put his requests to Him, and he should not be suspicious of Him for 
postponing His response, as we have explained. 


Only Allah is All-Knowing! 





10 


Fifty-third Discourse 


On the commandment to seek contentment with Allab and 
annihilation |fana’) in Him. 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


Ps Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) for contentment or 
annihilation, because this is the greatest comfort and the 
unique high paradise in this world; it is the major gateway of Allah, 
and the reason for Allah's love for His believing servant. When Allah 
loves someone He does not chastise him in this world or the 
hereafter, so in this lie contact (/v4aq/ with Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) and union with Him. Do not devote your efforts to 
seeking strokes of luck and shares of good fortune, whether they are 
not intended for you by destiny or even if they are so intended. If 
they are not allotted to you, the effort to obtain them is mere 
stupidity, silliness and ignorance, and this is the harshest of punish- 
ments according to the saying: “One of the harshest punishments is 
the pursuit of something one is destined never to obtain.” 

if they are allotted to you, on the other hand, preoccupation with 
them must be due to greed, avarice and divided loyalty from the 
standpoint of servitude and genuine love, because preoccupation 
with anything other than Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) 
amounts to sinful association. The luck-seeker is not honest in his 
love and friendship, so anyone who needs another besides Allah 
must be a liar, while he who demands recompense for his labor is 
not sincere. He who is sincere will serve Allah just to give Lordship 
its due, paying Him the devotion due to a master as of right, for the 
Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) possesses him and is 
entitled to his labor, his obedience whether he be in action or at rest, 
and all he may acquire. The servant belongs to his master, along 
with everything at his disposal. Indeed, as we have explained 
elsewhere, all acts of worshipful service are a blessing from Allah 


129 


130 Fifty-third Discourse 


and a favor from Him to His servant, for it is He who helps him to 
perform them and enables him to accomplish them. It is therefore 
better and worthier to occupy oneself with giving thanks to the 
Lord, rather than with asking him for recompense or rewards for 
such acts. 

Besides, how can you dedicate yourself to the quest for lucky 
chances, when you surely see how it is with most people? When- 
ever they have a lot of luck, and enjoy a long string of pleasures, 
benefits and bits of good fortune, they become more resentful of 
their Lord, more disgruntled and ungrateful for their blessings, 
while their worries and anxieties increase, and they feel they need 
things that have not fallen to their lot, as well as what they have 
already. Their own shares begin to seem mean and paltry and nasty 
to them, while others’ shares appear to their hearts and eyes as huge 
and great and beautiful, so they set off after them. Then their lives 
slip away, their energies dwindle, they grow long in the tooth, their 
wealth gets dispersed, their bodies become weary, their brows start 
to sweat, and their records are stained by their many offenses, the 
terrible sins they commit in their quest, and their neglect of their 
Lord's commandments. They never achieve their objective, and 
leave this world as bankrupt failures, “[belonging] neither to these 
nor to those” (4:143). They do not thank their Lord for their own 
shares which He has allotted them, and so fail to use them in His 
obedient service. Far from obtaining what they wanted from the 

. Shares of others, they waste their own lives in this world and the 
hereafter. They are the worst of creatures, most ignorant, most 
foolish, and coarsest in intellect and understanding. Had they 
accepted destiny’s decree, had they been satisfied with the gift of 
providence, and had they been properly obedient to the Lord, their 
own shares in this world would have come te them without 
weariness or worry. Then they would have been brought into the 
vicinity of the Highest of the high, and in His presence they sould 
have found whatever they wished for and desired. 





Fifty-third Discourse 131 


May Allah include us, and you, among those who gladly accept 
His decree, who pray for this and for annihilation, for preservation 
of spiritual state, and for help in achieving what He loves and finds 


pleasing! 


Fifty-fourth Discourse 


On those who wish to attain to the contact {wustl] with Allah, 
and explanation of the nature of that contact 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


f someone desires the hereafter; he must renounce this world, 

and anyone who desires Allah must renounce the hereafter, 
forgoing his worldly life for the sake of his life hereafter, and his life 
hereafter for the sake of his Lord. As long as there remains in his 
heart any trace of worldly appetite and lust, of desire for various 
worldly comforts such as food or drink, clothing, marriage, home 
and means of transport, desire for authority, leadership, and rank in 
some sphere of learning like legal studies—beyond the five funda- 
mentals of worship, transmission of the hadith, recitation and 
transmission of the Quran, grammar, linguistics, literary style and 
rhetoric—desire for the passing away of poverty and the coming-to- 
be of wealth, the departure of misfortune and the arrival of well- 
being, and in general for the removal of harm and the advent of 
benefit, as long as any of this remains he cannot really be a true 
ascetic /z@hidj. For in every one of these things there is indulgence 
of the self, compliance with passion, comfort and fondness for 
natural appetite, all of which belong to this world, make it seem a 
nice place to stay in forever, and suggest that it can be trusted and 
relied on. 

He must therefore strive to remove all this from the heart, and 
prepare himself to weed it out and get rid of it, to cultivate 
contentment with privation, insolvency and poverty on a perma- 
nent basis. There will then be less of it left than one could suck off 
a date-stone, and so his renunciation of this world will be genuine. 
When this process is completed, all grief and sorrow will vanish 
from the heart and all disturbance from the inner feeling, and he will 
receive comforts, blessings and intimacy with Allah. As the Prophet 


132 


Fifty-fourth Discourse 133 


(Allah bless him and give him peace) has said: “Renunciation of this 
world refreshes the heart and the body.” 

As long as any trace of all that remains in his heart, however, 
worries and fear and anxiety will continue to lodge there, disap- 
pointment will cling to him, and he will be screened from Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) and His nearness by a thick veil with 
many layers. All this can be removed only through complete 
abandonment of love of this world and severance of all its ties. 

Next, he must renounce the hereafter, forsaking all desire for high 
degrees and stations, heavenly maids and servants, houses and 
palaces, gardens and riding mounts, horses and ornaments, food 
and drink and other things prepared by Allah (Exalted is He) for His 
believing servants. 

For his conduct, therefore, he should seek no reward or recom- 
pense whatsoever from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), nei- 
ther in this world nor in the hereafter. Then he will find Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) giving him his account in full, as a 
grace from Him anda mercy. For He will draw him near to Himself 
and into His presence, treating him kindly and acquainting him with 
all sorts of favors and goodness, as He makes it His custom 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) to treat His Messengers, His Prophets, 
His saints, His favorites [kbawadss], and His loved ones [abéaqy, 
those endowed with knowledge /‘#/m/ of Him (Almighty and Glori- 
ous is He). Thus the servant experiences daily improvement in his 
condition throughout his entire life. Then he is transferred to the 
abode of the hereafter, to what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever 
heard of, and no human heart has evér conceived, for it surpasses 
all understanding and defies description in words. 


Only Allah is All-Knowing! 


Fifty-fifth Discourse 


On giving up life’s pleasures 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


T giving up of life’s pleasures occurs three times. To begin 
with, the servant stumbles along haphazardly, motivated in all 
circumstances by his natural impulses, without dedication to the 
service of his Lord, uncurbed by any restraint in the sacred law and 
uncontrolled by any of its limits. While he is in this condition, Allāh 
looks upon him, meaning that He has mercy on him. Allāh sends 
him one of His creatures, one of His righteous servants, as a spiritual 
adviser in order to awaken his consciousness. He also provides a 
duplicate adviser from within the person’s own self. These two 
advisers team up against.his lower self and natural disposition. As 
the spiritual counsel begins to take effect, it becomes apparent that 
his character has been flawed by such habits as riding the steed of 
natural impulse and contrariety, so he now inclines toward the 
sacred law in all his behavior. 

Thus the servant becomes a Muslim, standing by the law and 
transcending the state of nature. He forsakes worldly things that are 
unlawful or dubious, as well as the favors of people, and adopts 
what is allowed by the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) 
and religiously lawful in food, drink, dress, marriage, domicile, and 

‘all matters essential to preserve his physical health and give him 
strength for obedience to the Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), 
and so that he may receive his allotted share in full. This share will 
not pass him by, and there is no possibility of leaving this world 
before obtaining it, dealing with it and making full use of it. 

Now he travels on the steed of what is religiously permissible and 
layful in all his circumstances, until this means of transport finally 
brings him to the threshold of Wi/zyaand entry into the company 
of the masters of reality (wzubaggigin)and the chosen ones [khawass, 


134 


Fifty-fifth Discourse 135 


the people of firm resolve, those who aspire to the Truth, and so he 
€ats according to the Lord's commandment. At this point he hears 
a voice from the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) calling 
from his inner being: “Abandon your own self and come! Forsake 
pleasures and creatures if you wish for the Creator. Take off both 
your shoes, representing your life in this world and your life 
hereafter. Detach yourself from all entities and everything that 
exists or will come to exist, and from all desires without exception. 
Strip yourself bare of everything and become extinct to it all. 
Perfume yourself with the affirmation of Oneness, abandon poly- 
theistic association and be sincere of purpose. Then tread upon the 
Carpet with good manners, with eyes downcast, looking neither 
right toward the hereafter nor left toward this world, neither toward 
people nor toward pleasures.” 

When he enters this station, and his arrival is confirmed, he will 
receive the robe of honor from the Lord of Truth (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), and be invested with all kinds of understanding and 
knowledge and all kinds of gracious favor. He will be told: “Dress 
yourself with blessings and favor. Do not be so ill-mannered as to 
reject this and neglect to put it on, because rejection of the King’s 
blessings amounts to a violation against the King and contempt for 
His Highness.” He now clothes himself with the favor and allotment 
received by the grace of Allah, without his personal involvement, 
whereas previously he used his passion and self-will to dress 
himself. 

Thus there are four conditions in which he r, ay come by portions 
and allotments. The first is the state of natural impulse, and this is 
unlawful. The second is in accordance with the sacred law, and this 
is permissible and lawful. The third is by direct command, and this 
is the state of saintship and renunciation of passionate desire. The 
fourth is by the Lord’s gracious favor, and this is the state where self- 
will disappears and Badaliyya is attained, where one becomes a 
recipient, standing at the disposal of destiny, which is the working 


136 Fifty-fifth Discourse 


of the Lord of Truth; this is the state of knowledge and conscientious 
rectitude. No one can be called righteous in reality unless he has 
reached this station. Such is the word of Allah (Exalted is He): 


My protecting friend is Allah, who revealed the Book. He befriends 
the righteous. (7:196) 


This, then, is the servant who withdraws his hand from procuring 
things of use and benefit to himself, as well as from warding off 
those that are harmful and detrimental to him. He is just like a 
suckling babe with his nurse, or a corpse with the ritual washer of 
the dead. So the hand of destiny takes charge of his education, 
without his having to choose or plan. He is beyond all this, where 
there is neither state nor station nor will, but only standing at 
destiny’s disposal. Sometimes he is expanded, sometimes con- 
tracted, sometimes enriched, sometimes impoverished. He makes 
no choice and does not wish for this or that to go away or change, 
but shows only constant contentment and eternal concord. This is 
the final culmination of the states of the saints and Aéda/ (sanctified 
be the secrets of their being). 


Fifty-sixth Discourse 


On the servant's becoming extinct |fana'] to creatures, 
passions, the self, the will and desires 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


hen the servant becomes extinct to creatures, passion, self, 

will and desires of this world and the hereafter, when he 
wishes only for Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) and everything 
leaves his heart, it is then that he attains to the contact with the Lord 
of Truth. The Lord chooses him and selects him, loves him, causes 
him to be loved by His creatures, and makes him love Him and His 
neamess, enjoying His favor and disposing of His blessings. He 
opens for him the gates of His mercy, and promises never to shut 
them against him. Then the servant opts for Allah, operates 
according to His plan, wills according to His will, is content with His 
good pleasure, carries out His orders and not those of any other, and 
sees nothing but Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) as being in 
existence or in action. 

At this point it may happen that Allah makes him a promise, but 
then does not show the servant any fulfillment thereof, and does not 
effect the change he had come to expect. This is because the 
difference has become irrelevant with the cessation of passion and 
will. He has become a channel for the action and will of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), so there can be no question of 
promise or breach of promise where he is concerned, because such 
things only apply to one who still has passion and self-will. To 
understand what this promise now means to him in relation to Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), consider the example of a man who 
decides on a certain course of action and intends to carry it out, but 
then proceeds differently. We may compare the abrogation of 

“certain verses by others in the revelations made by Allah (Almighty 
and Glorious is He) to our Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and 


137 


138 Fifty-sixth Discourse 
give him peace): 


Such of Our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We 
replace with one bette: or as good. Do you not know that Allah has 
power over all things? (2:109 


For the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was stripped 
of passion and self-will except in those instances mentioned by 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) in the Qur'an, such as the case 
of the prisoners on the day of the Battle of Badr: 

You desire the chance goods of this world, but Allah desires the 
hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise. Were it not for an ordinance 
from Allah that had already gone forth, there would have befallen 
you a mighty chastisement foe taking what you did. (8:67, 68) 

He was the desired of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious 
is He), who did not leave him in one state, but moved him on toward 
his destiny, giving him scope in relation to destiny and transforming 
his condition. The Lord (Exalted is He) alerted him with His words: 


Do you not know that Allah has power over all things? (2:106) 


In other words, you are in the midst of the ocean of destiny, tossed 
about by its waves sometimes this way, sometimes that way. 

The culmination of the saint’s business is the starting point of the 
business of the Prophet. Beyond Wi/dyaand Badaliyya there is 
only Prophethood /[nubuwwa]. 


Only Allah is All-Knowing! 


Fifty-seventh Discourse 


On not contesting destiny, and the commandment to keep 
oneself content therewith 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


ll states are restriction, because the saint is commanded to 
preserve them, and whatever one is under orders to preserve 
must constitute restriction. Standing at the disposal of destiny, on 
the other hand, is sheer relaxation, because there is nothing there 
that one is commanded to preserve, apart from simply being in 
readiness for destiny. What is required of him is not to dispute with 
destiny, but to comply, to accept without contest whatever may 
befall him, whether it be sweet or bitter. States have prescribed 
limits, so it is commanded that their limits be maintained, but the 
grace that is destiny has no bounds to be safeguarded. The 
indication that the servant has entered the station of destiny, the 
action of the Lord, and relaxation, is that he is commanded to ask for 
the good things of life, after having been ordered to forgo them and 
abstain from them. For when his inner being has been emptied of 
life’s pleasures, and there is nothing left in him except the Lord 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), he is allowed to relax and is now 
commanded to ask, wish and apply for the things that are his 
allotted share. He is bound to receive and obtain them in response 
to his request, so that his dignity and rank in the sight of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), and the Lord’s gracious favor toward 
him, may be confirmed by His acceptance of this prayer. Freedom 
to ask for the good things of life to be granted is one of the chief 
marks of relaxation in the wake of restriction, and of having 
emerged from states, stations and the burden of maintaining con- 
straints. 
Should it be objected that this may lead to non-observance of 
religious duties, to atheistic freethinking, departure from Islam and 


139 


140 Fifty-seventh Discourse 


rejection of the word of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He): “And 
serve your Lord until the Certainty comes to you” (15:99), one could 
say in reply: By no means does it lead toor result in that. Allah is far 
too generous, and His friend too dear to Him, for Him to bring that 
friend into a situation so unsatisfactory and repugnant to His law 
and His religion. On the contrary, He keeps him safe from all that 
has been mentioned, steers him away from it, protects him, alerts 
him and directs him toward observing the guidelines. Thus free- 
dom from sin is achieved and the legal limits are maintained without 
hardship or trouble on his part, he being absent from it all in 
nearness to the Lord, who says (Exalted is He): 


So it was, that We might ward off from him evil and lewdness; he was 
one of Our devoted servants. (12:24) 


He also says (Almighty and Glorious is He): 
As for My servants, you have no authority over them. (15:42) 
And He says (Exalted is He): 
But for the sincere servants of Allah. (37:40) 


O you poor wretch! Such a servant is borne by the Lord and 
desired of Him, and He nurtures him in the lap of His nearness and 
His kindness. How could Satan get to him, and how could he even 
be approached by things repugnant and abhorrent to the sacred 
law? You have thrown away the fodder and over-inflated the empty 
bag! You have said something quite disgusting. Perish these vile 
and mean intentions, these faulty, far-fetched ideas, these depraved 
and unbalanced notions. 

May Allah give refuge to us and the brethren from assorted errors, 
through His all-embracing power and His wide mercy. May He 
shield us with His completely protective and safeguarding shelter. 
May He nourish us with His abundant blessings and His enduring 
favors, through His love and generosity. 


Exalted is His estate! 


Fifty-eighth Discourse 


On looking away from all other directions, and seeking the 
direction of Allab’s favor 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


B: blind to all quarters and do not ogle anything out 
there, because as long as you are looking in any one 
of those directions, the direction òf the favor and nearness of Allāh 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) will not become open to you. So 
block off all sides with the affirmation of His Oneness and the 
effacement [sa] of your own self, then with your annihilation 
Vana], your extinction [/mabw]and your knowledge. Then the eye 
of your heart will open in the direction of Allah’s enormous favor, 
and you will see it also with the eyes in your head, by the rays of light 
from your heart /ga/d], your faith and your certitude. Forat this point 
the light from your inner will shine upon your outer being, like the 
light of a candle inside a gloomy house on a dark night, shining 
through the chinks and windows so that the outside of the house is 
illuminated by the light within. The self and the organs of the body 
will now feel at ease with the promise and gift of Allah, instead of 
looking for the gift and promise of others besides Him (Almighty 
and Glorious is He). 

Have mercy on your own self and do it no wrong. Do not cast it 
into the darkness of your ignorance and folly, by looking in all 
directions toward creatures, worldly might and strength, acquisi- 
tion and means, and so putting your trust in them. For then all these 
quarters will be closed to you, and the direction of the grace of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) will not be opened to you, either, as 
a punishment and retribution for the polytheistic association you 
have committed by looking at something other than Him (Almighty 
and Glorious is He). But when you find Him, behold His favor, pin 
your hopes on Him instead of others, and blind yourself to all that 


142 Fifty-eighth Discourse 


is apart from Him, He will bring you near and draw you close to 
Himself. He will have mercy on you, nourish you and give you food 
and drink, make you fit and healthy, grant you gifts and enrich you, 


and then after this you will no longer see yourself in terms of poverty 
or affluence. 


Fifty-ninth Discourse 
On cheerful acceptance of misfortune, and being grateful for 
blessings 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


our condition must always be either a tribulation ora blessing. 

If it happens to be a trial, you are required to endure it with 
perseverance (at the lower end of the scale) and patience (which is 
a higher grade), then cheerful acceptance and compliance, then 
annihilation (/ana], which is proper to the Abdãl. If it is a blessing, 
on the other hand, it behooves you to be grateful for it. Thanks can 
be offered with the tongue, the heart, and the limbs and organs of 
the body. 

To give thanks with the tongue means acknowledging that the 
blessing is from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and dissociat- 
ing it from creatures, from your own self and your power, strength 
and earning capacity, and from any other persons who may have 
hada hand init. You'and they are only means, tools and instruments 
for it, while its real allotter, executor and creator, the one respon- 
sible for it as active agent and prime mover, is Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He). The allotter is Allah, the executor is He, and the 
creator is He, so He is more deserving of thanks than any other. 
Attention is paid not to the errand-boy who delivers a present, but 
to the master, the sender of the gift. Concerning those who lack this 
correct attitude, Allah (Exalted is He) has said: 


They know an outward part of this world’s life, and of the hereafter 
they are heedless. (30:7) 


If someone notices only the exterior and the apparent cause, and 
his knowledge and understanding go no further, he is ignorant, 
defective and lacking in intelligence. An intelligent person is so 
called on account of his insight into ultimate principles. 


143 


144 Fifty-ninth Discourse 


As for giving thanks with the heart, this means holding the 
constant belief, the firm, strong and secure conviction, that every- 
thing you have in the way of blessings, benefits and enjoyments, 
outwardly and inwardly, be you active or at rest, comes from Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) and from no other. When you give 
thanks with your tongue, you will be expressing what you feel in 
your heart. As He says (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


And whatever blessing you enjoy, it is from Allah. (16:53) 
He also says (Exalted is He): 


pene has lavished on you His blessings, outward and inward. 


He says further (Exalted is He): 
And if you count the favor of Allah, you will never add it up. (16:18) 


In the light of all this, the believer can have no benefactor apart 
from Allah (Exalted is He). 

As for giving thanks with the limbs and organs of the body, you 
do this by making them move and work in obedience to Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) to the exclusion of all creatures. You 
must not respond to the behest of any creature in anything involving 
opposition to Allah (Exalted is He). This extends to the self, the 
passions, self-will, desires, and everything else in the realm of 
creation. Make obedience to Allah the basic principle, the guide 
and leader, and everything else the offshoot, the follower and 
disciple. If you do otherwise you will be a despotic tyrant, applying 
a rule that is not the rule laid down by Allah (Almighty and Glorious 
is He) for His believing servants, treading a path that is not the way 
of the righteous. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: 


Whoever judges not by that which Allah has revealed: such are 
unbelievers. (5:44) 


In another verse of the Qur'an: 


Whoever judges not by that which Allah has revealed: such are 
wrongdoers. (5:45) 


11 


Kifty-ninth Discourse 1-15 


And in yet another: 


Such are transgressors, (5:47) 


In that case your destination will be the fire “of which the fuel is 
men and stones” (60:0), and you, who cannot bear a spell of fever 
in this world, nor even the slightest spark of flame, how will you 
endure eternity in hell's abyss together with its inmates? Rescue, 
rescue! Quickly, quickly! Allah, Allah! 

Attend to both states and their prerequisites, for you cannot go 
through life without experiencing one or the other, either tribula- 
tion or blessing. Give cach state its due share of patience and 
gratitude, as | have explained to you. While in the state of affliction 
you must not complain to any of Allah's creatures, nor display your 
frustration toanyone. Harbor no suspicion of your Lord, and do not 
doubt His wisdom and His choice of what is best for you in this 
world and the hereafter. In your distress you should not go lookin, 
to any of His creatures for a remedy, because that would amount tc 
your associating something with Him (Almighty and Glorious is 
He). No one is joint owner with Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) 
of anything in His possession. There is no one capable of causing 
harm or benefit, of repelling or attracting, of causing sickness and 
disaster, of healing and restoring, apart from Him (Almighty and 
Glorious is He). So do not occupy yourself with creatures. inwardly 
or outwardly, for they can never serve you as a substitute for Allāh. 
You should rather practice patience, cheerful acceptance and 
compliance, and annihilation in His action (Almighty and Glorious 
is He). 

If you are deprived of all this, however, you are obliged to appeal 
to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) for help, to make humble 
entreaty, to complain to Him of your evil self and the remoteness of 
the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), to acknowledge 
His blessing by affirming His Oneness, to rid yourself of polytheistic 
association, and to seek patience, contentment and harmony, until 
the prescript of destiny expires. Then the affliction will cease, the 


146 Fifty-ninth Discourse 


trouble will be removed, and the blessing will come, with ease and 
happiness and joy, as it was in the case of Allah's Prophet Job (on 
him and on our own Prophet be the most excellent blessing and 
most noble peace), just as the darkness of night gives way to the 
brightness of day, and as the cold of winter yields to the summer 
breeze and its sweet scent. For everything has an opposite and 
counterpart, an extreme limit, a beginning and an end. Patience is 
the key to it, the start and finish and the beauty of it. As we are told 
in the tradition: “Patience is to faith as the head is to the body,” or 
in another version: “Patience is the whole of faith.” 

Gratitude can sometimes be inherent in simple enjoyment of the 
blessings that are the shares He has allotted you. Your thanks are 
then offered by enjoying those blessings in your state of annihilation 
(/ana]and extinction of passionate desire, in your state of zeal and 
awareness. This is the condition of the Adda@/ and the ultimate 
attainment. Take careful note of what I have been telling you, then 
you will be guided aright if Allah (Exalted is He) so will. 


Sixtieth Discourse 
On the beginning and the end 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


he beginning is making the move from ordinary behavior to that 

prescribed by the sacred law, then to that decreed by destiny, 
and then coming back to the ordinary, with observance of the rules 
as a precondition. You must therefore leave your ordinary habits in 
matters of food, drink, dress, marital relations, domicile, natural 
inclination and custom, in favor of the commandments and prohi- 
bitions of the sacred law. You must follow the Book of Allah and 
the exemplary pattern of His Messenger (Allah bless him and give 
him peace), as Allah (Exalted is He) has said: 


Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it Whatever he forbids 
you, abstain from it. (59:7) 


He also says (Exalted is He): 
Say, “If you love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you.” (3:31) 


Thus you will become extinct to your passion, to your own self 
and its folly, both outwardly and inwardly. Your inner being will 
contain nothing but your affirmation of Allah’s Oneness, and in your 
outer life there will be nothing but obedience to Allah and worship- 
ful observance of what He commands and forbids. This will come 
to be your normal practice, your undergarment and outer clothing, 
when you are in action and when you are at rest, by night and by 
day, on your travels and at home, in hard and easy times, in health, 
in sickness, and in all conditions. 

Then you will be transported to the Valley of Destiny, and destiny 
will go to work in you without restraint. You will pass beyond your 
Striving and exertion, beyond your power and strength, and allot- 
ments will be delivered to you, “on which the pen ran dry, and the 
knowledge of which has gone before.” With these you will occupy 


147 


148 Sixtieth siscourse 


yourself, and you will be granted protection and safety from them, 
so that the rules are properly observed in dealing with them, so that 
they are brought into conformity with the action of the Lord, and so 
that no statute of the sacred law is infiinged through atheistic heresy 
or undue license in respect OF things that are forbidden. Allah 
(Exalted is He) has said: 


Surely We have revealed the Reminder; and We assuredly watch 
over it. (15:9) 


He also says (Exalted is He): 


You are today in our presence established and worthy of trust. 


(12:54) 


You will therefore be accompanied by safekeeping and protec- 
tion until the time of the meeting with Allah’s mercy. These are 
nothing but your shares, prepared for you by destiny. They were 
withheld from you during your journey, while you were traveling 
and making your way through the deserts of your natural state and 
the barren wastes of habitual passion, because they are a heavy 
burden. You were relieved of this burden so that it would not weigh 
you down and make you weak, until the time of arrival at the 
threshold of annihil:.ion (/477@7, which is arrival in the proximity of 
the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) and intimate 
knowledge of Him, privileged access to secrets and the religious 
sciences, and entry into the ocean of lights, where the darkness of 
nature no longer impairs the lights. 

The natural state persists until the spirit parts company with the 
body, so that the allotted shares may be received in full, because if 
man were to lose his human nature altogether, he would join the 
angels, and the divine wisdom would be null and void. That nature 
therefore stays on to receive the allotted shares and portions, but as 
daily rations, not as real estate. As the Prophet (Allah bless him and 
give him peace) has said: “Three things belonging to this world of 
yours have been made dear to me: perfume, women, and, as cool 


Sixtieth Discourse 149 
refreshment for my eyes, the ritual prayer.” For when the Prophet 
(Allah bless him and give him peace) became extinct to this world 
and all it contains, his allotted shares were restored to him, after 
having been withheld from him while he was on his journey toward 
his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He then received them all, 
complying with the will of his Lord (Exalted is He), gladly submit- 
ting to His action, and obedient to His command. Holy are His 
names, and all-embracing is His mercy. His grace encompasses His 
saints and His Prophets (on them be blessing and peace). In this 
respect, therefore, the saint has the same experience: his allotted 
shares and portions are given back to him, with due observance of 
the rules of law. This is returning from the end to the beginning. 


Only Allah is All-Knowing! 


Sixty-first Discourse 
On pausing before taking any action until its permissibility is 
clear 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


Be believer is under obligation to pause and take stock before 
receiving and taking delivery of destiny’s allotments, until the 
legal ruling certifies their acceptability and religious knowledge 
attests their allocation. The believer is a thorough investigator, 
while the hypocrite is a snatcher. As the Prophet (Allah bless him 
and give him peace) has said: “The believer always takes pause.” He 
also said (Allah bless him and give him peace): “Leave anything that 
makes you douhtful and stick to what arouses no misgivings in 
you.” 

The believer will therefore pause when presented with any 
opportunity to partake of food, drink, clothing, marital relations or 
whatever may open up for him. He takes nothing until he hasa legal 
ruling to the.effect that it is permissible for him to take and accept 
it, assuming that he is in the state of pious devotion //agwa, or until 
he is so instructed by direct command, if he is in the state of 
saintship, or by virtue of knowledge in the state of Bada/iyya and 
Ghawthipya, or by the action that is destiny pure and simple, as 
experienced in the state of annihilation (/aa]. 

Then comes another state, in which he receives whatever comes 
to himand opens up for him, provided it is unobjectionable from the 
standpoint of prescription, commandment or knowledge. If an 
objection is raised by any these, however, he refrains from accept- 
ing the thing in question. This state is the direct opposite of the first, 
for in the first state hesitation and substantiation have priority, while 
inthe second the presumption is in favor of receiving, accepting and 
using the opportunity offered. 

Next comes the third state, where it is simply a matter of receiving 


150 


Sixty-first Discourse 151 


and using the blessings that are made available, without reference 
to any of those three things. This is the reality of annihilation, in 
which the believer becomes immune from all disasters and infringe- 
ment of the rules of sacred law, kept safe and far removed from all 
evils. As Allah (Exalted is He) has said: 


So it was, that We might ward off from him evi! and lewdness; he was 
one of Our devoted servants. (12:37) 


With such protection against any infringement of the rules, the 
servant comes to be like a deputy and authorized agent, with 
complete freedom of action in all permissible matters, to whom the 
good that is his allotted share has been made easily accessible, 
cleared of troubles and woes in this world and the hereafter, and 
who is in harmony with the will of the Lord of Truth, His good 
pleasure and His action. There is no state above this, and this is the 
ultimate goal. It belongs to the masters /sa@daj, the great and pure 
saints, the possessors of secrets, who have approached the thresh- 
old of the states of the Prophets (Allah's blessings be upon themail). 


Sixty-second Discourse 
On love, the beloved, and what is required in respect af both 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


ow often the believer will say: "So and so is brought nearto the 

Lord, while lam kept ata distance: so and so receives gifts, 
While Lam deprived; so and so is enriched, while Lam impover- 
ished; so and so is granted good health. while Tam plagued with 
illness; so and so is honored, while Tam despised; so and so is 
praised, while Liam blamed; so and so is believed, while Lam called 
a liar.” Does he not know that He is One, and that the One loves 
oneness in love, and loves one who is single in his love for Him? If 
He drew you near to Him by means of any other, your love for Him 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) might be diminished and dispersed. 
Perhaps you would develop an affection forthe one at whose hands 
you experienced the connection and the blessing, so that the love 
for Allah in your heart would decrease. 

Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He) is jealous and loves no 
partner, so He keeps the hands of others from connecting with you. 
their tongues from praising and complimenting you. and their feet 
from running toward you, so that you will not devote your attention 
to them instead of to Him. Have you not heard the saying of the 
Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): “Hearts are disposed 
by nature to love those who treat them well"? Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) therefore uses all ways and means to keep people 
from treating you well, until you profess His Oneness, love Him, and 
become His in every respect, outwardly and inwardly. in action and 
at rest, so that you see no good coming fromany but Him and no evil 
coming from any but Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). You 
become extinct to creatures and to the self. to passion. will and 
desire, and to everything apart from the Lord. Then He causes 
hands to open up to you with delights and gifts and presents, and 


152 


153 


Sixty-second Discourse 


tongues to praise and compliment you, and so He always pampers 
you in this world and then in the hereafter. 

So do not misbehave. Notice Him who notices you, attend to Him 
who attends to you, love Him who loves you. answer Him who 
summons you. give your hand to Him who holds you tight from 
falling, who brings you out of the darkness of your ignorance, saves 
you from destruction, washes away all your dirt, cleans up all your 
filth, and releases you from your stinking carcass, from your wicked 
fantasies, from your evil-prompting self, from your misguided and 
misguiding fellows, from your devils and your ignorant friends, 
those highway robbers on the road to the Lord of Truth. who stand 
between you and all that is precious and valuable and dear. 

How much longer habits. how much longer creatures, how much 
longer passions, how much longer folly, how much longer this 
world, how much longer the hereafter, how much longer that which 
is other than the Lord? Where are vou in relation to the Creator of 
things, the Maker and Shaper. the First and the Last. the Outer an: 
the Inner, the point of return and point of origin, to whom all heart. 
belong, the solace of spirits, the resting place of burdens. the giving 
of gifts and bestowal of blessings? 


Mighty is His estate! 


Sixty-third Discourse 


On a kind of inner knowledge |ma'rifa] 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


I: a dream, I seemed to be saying: “O polytheist, guilty of 
associating partners with his Lord: inwardly, his own self, out- 
wardly, His creation, and in his behavior, his own will!” A man by 
my side then asked: “What kind of talk is this?” I replied: “This is 
a kind of inner knowledge.” 


154 


Sixty-fourth Discourse 
On death without life, and life without death 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


was feeling very depressed one day, and my soul was in turmoil. 

Then someone said to me: “What do you want?” I replied: “I want 
a death without life and a life without death.” I was then asked: 
“What is death without life and life without death?” I said: “Death 
without life is my dying to my own species of creatures, so that I do 
not see them as the source of injury or benefit. It is my dying to my 
own self, my passion, my will and my desire, in this world and the 
hereafter, so that I do not live or exist in any of these. As for life 
without death, that is my living by the action of my Lord (Almighty 
and Glorious is He) without my having any existence in it, while the 
dying therein is my existence with Him (Almighty and Glorious is 
He). This has been the most precious purpose I have held before 
me, ever since I became conscious.” 


155 


Sixty-Fifth Discourse 
On the prohibition of resenting Allāh for deferring response to 
supplication 


The Shaikh (may Allāh be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


hat is this indignation with your Lord (Almighty and Glorious 

is He) for delay in responding to your supplication? You say: 
“lam forbidden to ask of creatures and am required to ask of Him, 
but I appeal to Him and He does not answer me.” Well, it may be 
said to you: “Are you a free man ora slave?” If you say: “I ama free 
man,” you must be an unbeliever. If you say: “lama slave to Allah,” 
we must ask you: “Are you then distrustful of your Master for 
deferring a response to your supplication? Are you doubting His 
wisdom and His mercy toward you and all His creatures, and His 
knowledge of all their conditions, or are you not distrustful of Him 
(Almighty and Glorious is He)?” 

If you are not distrustful of Him, but acknowledge His wisdom, 
His will and His beneficence toward you, and the postponement of 
this, then you owe Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) your 
gratitude, because He has chosen what is most beneficial for you, 
as a blessing and to prevent corruption. If you are distrustful of Him 
because of this, you are an unbeliever by virtue of that distrust, since 
you thereby ascribe injustice to Him, and He is no tyrant to His 
servants. He does not approve of injustice, and it is impossible for 
Him to be unjust, for He is your owner and the owner of everything. 
The term injustice does not apply to Him, because an unjust person 
is one who disposes of another's property without his permission. 
You therefore have no pretext for resentment against Him for the 
way He operates in dealing with you, contrary to your natural 
disposition and selfish desire, even though it may be outwardly 
detrimental to you. 

Itis your duty to be thankful. to practice patience and compliance, 


156 


Sixty-fifth Discourse 157 


and to give up resentment, distrust, and indulgence of the folly and 
passion of the self, which makes you stray from the path of Allah. 
It is your duty to persist in supplication, to be sincere in seeking 
refuge, tothink well of your Lord, to await relief from Him, to believe 
His promise, to be modest toward Him, to comply with His com- 
mandment, to keep up the affirmation of His Oneness, to be quick 
to carry out His orders, and to be as if you were dead when His 
decree alights upon you and takes effect within you. 

If you simply cannot avoid being distrustful and entertaining bad 
thoughts, well, your evil-prompting self, so rebellious against its 
Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), is best suited to such attitudes, 
so you should ascribe injustice to it rather than to your Lord. Beware 
of teaming up and making friends with it, of accepting its deeds and 
words under any circumstances, for it is Allah's enemy and your 
enemy, and its ally is Allah’s enemy and your enemy, Satan the 
accursed. It is the devil’s friend, his spy and his confidant. Allah, 
Allah, and again Allah! Beware, beware! Escape, escape! Distrust 
it, ascribe injustice to it, and recite to it the words of Allah (Almighty 
and Glorious is He): 


What concern has Allah for your punishment if you are thankful and 
believe? (4:147) 


And His words (Exalted is He): 


Surely Allah does not wrong mankind in anything, but mankind 
wrong themselves. (10:44) 


Recite these and other Qurinic verses and traditions. Fight for 
Allah against your own self, do battle with it for His sake (Almighty 
and Glorious is He), be a warrior, sword-bearer and commander of 
His troops and His army, for it is the greatest enemy of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He). Allah (Exalted is He) has said: 


O David, relinquish your passion, for there is no contender who 
contends with Me for My kingdom except the passion of man. 


Sixty-sixth Discourse 
On the commandment to make supplication, and the 
prohibition of omitting it 


The Shaikh (may Allāh be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


o not say: “I shall not offer prayers of supplication to Allāh, 

because if what I ask for has been allotted to me, it will come 
to me whether I ask for it or not, while if it has not been so allotted 
it will not be given to me on request.” No, you should ask Him 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) for all you want and need of the good 
things of this world and the hereafter, provided there is nothing 
unlawful or harmful included, because Allāh (Almighty and Glori- 
ous is He) has commanded us to ask and urges us to do so. He says 
(Exalted is He): 


Call upon Me and I will answer you. (40:60) 
He also says (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


Ask Allāh of His bounty—and do not covet that whereby Allāh has 
made some of you excel others. (4:32) 


The Prophet (Allāh bless him and give him peace) has said: “Ask 
of Allāh, fully confident of His response.” He has also said (Allāh 
bless him and give him peace): “Ask of Allāh with the palms of your 
hands [upturned].” There are other traditions of similar import. 

Do not say: “I asked something of Him, but He did not give it to 
me, so I shall notask Him again.” No, goon appealing to Him, then 
if what you ask for is allotted to you, He will deliver it to you after 
you have requested it, thereby increasing your faith, certitude and 
profession of Oneness, and encouraging you to give up asking 
things of people in favor of turning to Him in every situation and 
presenting all your needs to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). If 
itis not allotted to you, onthe other hand, He will grant-you freedom 
from needing it, and make you content with Him (Almighty and 


158 


Sixty-sixth Discourse 159 


Glorious is He) in spite of your poverty. Be it poverty or sickness, 
He will help you to accept your condition. If it isa question of debt, 
He will change the creditor's attitude from one of harsh demand to 
one of sympathy and willingness to wait and make it easy for you 
until you are better off, or even to waive or reduce the debt. If it is 
not written off or reduced in this world, Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) will give you abundant compensation in the here- 
after for what He did not give you in response to your prayer in this 
world. For He is Generous, Self-Sufficing and Compassionate, and 
will not disappoint one who prays to Him in this world or the 
hereafter. Some benefit and gain is therefore bound to come of it, 
sooner or later. 

As it is reported in the tradition: “The believer will see in his 
record, on the Day of Resurrection, some good deeds he had not 
done and knew nothing about. He will be asked: ‘Do you recognize 
them?’ So he will say: ‘I don’t know how I came by these.’ Then he 
will be told: ‘These are compensation for the requests you made in 
the abode of the lower world.” This is because, in addressing hi 
requests to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), he is rememberix 
Allah, professing His Oneness, putting things in their proper place, 
giving credit where it is due, attributing nothing to his own power 
and strength, and forsaking pride, arrogance and haughtiness—all 
righteous deeds, for which there is reward with Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He). 


Sixty-seventh Discourse 
On struggle with the self, and description of its nature 


The Shaikh (may Allāh be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


henever you struggle with your own self, overcome it, and 

slay it with the sword of opposition, Allah brings it back 
to life. It pits itself against you, and tries to get you to satisfy its 
appetites and desires, sinful as well as permissible, so you must 
keep returning to the struggle and competition, so that merit is 
always being recorded in your favor. This is the meaning of the 
saying of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): “We 
have returned from the minor struggle /a@/jthad al-asghar to the 
major struggle fa/jthdd al-akbar).” He was referring to the battle 
with the self. because it is constantly addicted to cravings and 
pleasures, and engrossed in sinful disobedience. This is the mean- 
ing of Allah’s words (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


And serve your Lord until the Certainty comes to you. (15:99) 


Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) commanded His Prophet 
(Allah bless him and give him peace) to serve Him, and that service 
is performed by opposing the self, because all service is rejected by 
the self, which desires its very opposite until the coming of the 
Certainty, meaning death. 

If someone should ask: “How could the self of the Messenger 
(Allah bless him and give him peace) refuse to serve, when he 
(blessing and peace be upon him) has no passion, and “he does not 
speak from his own desire; it is naught but an inspiration that is 
inspired” (53:3,4), the answer will be that Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) addressed His Prophet (Allah bless him and give him 
peace) in order that the sacred law might be established, and 
become generally applicable to his community until the advent of 
the Hour. Moreover, Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) gave His 


160 


Sixty-seventh Discourse 161 


Prophet (on him be blessing and peace) power over the self and the 
passions, so that they would not harm him or oblige him to struggle, 
in contradistinction to his community. 

When the believer persists in this struggle, therefore, until death 
comes to him and he meets his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) 
with sword unsheathed, spattered with the blood of self and 
passion, He gives him the share of Paradise He has guaranteed him, 
in accordance with His word (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


Butas for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrained the 
self from passion, the Garden will be his home. (79:40,41) 


Then when He has made him enter Paradise, and has made it his 
home, his dwelling and his destination, he will be secure from 
having to move or be transferred to any other place, or return to the 
abode of this world. Every day and every hour, He will supply him 
afresh with all kinds of blessings, and provide him with an endless 
variety of fine attire and decorations, limitless and inexhaustible, 
just as he kept renewing in this world, every day, every hour and 
every moment, the struggle with self and passion. 

As for the unbeliever /4@/i7j, the hypocrite /#undGfig] and the 
sinner /@sij, since they have neglected to struggle with self and 
passion in this world and preferred to follow them, since have they 
allied themselves with Satan and indulged in all kinds of sinfulness, 
such as unbelief and polytheism as well as lesser offenses, until 
death overtakes them without submission //s/¢m/and repentance, 
Allah will make them enter the fire prepared for unbelievers, 
according to His words (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


And be on your guard against the fire prepared for unbelievers. 
(3:131) 


When He has made them enter it, and made it their dwelling and 
destination and resort, so that it burns their skins and their flesh, 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) will renew their skin and flesh, 
as He has said (Almighty and Glorious is He): 


162 Sixty-seventh Discourse 


As often as their skins are thoroughly burned, We shall exchange 
them for fresh skins. (4:56) 


Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) will do this to them, just as 
they made alliance with their own selves and their passions in this 
world, in disobedience to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). So 
the inmates of the fire will have their skin and flesh renewed all the 
time, to inflict torment and agony upon them, whereas the people 
of Paradise will have their bliss renewed at every moment, to 
multiply the comforts and pleasures they enjoy. The reason for this 
lies in their struggle with the self and their non-compliance with it 
in the abode of this world. This is what is meant by the saying of the 
Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): “This world is the 
seed-bed of the hereafter.” 


+e 
. 


Sixty-eighth Discourse 
On the words of Allah (Exalted is He): “Every day He is about 
some business.” 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


hen Allah grants a servant what he asks for and gives him 

what he requests, there is no disruption of His will, nor of the 
decree on which the pen of destiny ran dry, and knowledge of 
which was long ago established. In fact, the servant's petition neatly 
coincides with the purpose of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is 
He), so the response and the satisfaction of the need occur at the 
precise moment appointed by Him, of old, as the time for the 
fulfillment of destiny. This is how the scholars have taken His words 
(Almighty and Glorious is He): “Every day He is about some 
business” (55:29), meaning that He is steering the preordainments 
toward their moments in time. 

Thus Allah gives nothing to anyone in this world just because of 
his supplication, and by the same token He averts nothing from him 
merely because of his prayer. The tradition: “Only by supplication 
is the decree reversed,” has been said to mean that the decree is 
reversed only by a prayer that has itself been destined to reverse the 
decree. 

Likewise, no one will enter Paradise in the hereafter on the 
strength of his deeds, but only through the mercy of Allah (Almighty 
and Glorious is He), although His servants will be given their 
degrees in Paradise according to their works. Tradition tells us that 
‘Aisha (may Allah be well pleased with her) once asked the Prophet 
(Allah bless him and give him peace): “Will anyone enter Paradise 
because of his deeds?” He said: “No, only through Allah’s mercy.” 
She then said: “Not even you?” So he said: “Not even I, unless Allah 
covers me with His mercy,” placing his hand on the top of his head 
as he spoke. 


163 


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164 Sixty-eighth Discourse 


By this he indicated that Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) is 
under no obligation to anyone, and is not bound to fulfill any 
contract. He rather does whatever He wishes, chastises whom He 
will, forgives whom He will, and has mercy on whom He will. He 
has power to do whatever He wishes, and cannot be questioned 
about what He does, though His servants will be questioned. He 
provides sustenance to whom He will without reckoning, by His 
favor, His mercy and His grace, and He withholds from whom He 
will in His justice. How could it not be so, since all creation, from 
the presence of the Throne down to the soil that is the seventh and 
lowest earth, is His domain and His handiwork. They have no 
owner other than Him, no maker otherthan Him. He says (Almighty 
and Glorious is He): “Is there any Creator other than Allah?” (35:3). 
And He says (Exalted is He): “Is there any God beside Allah?” 
(27:63). And He says (Exalted is He): “Do you know of any that can 
be named with His Name?” (19:65). And He says (Exalted is He): 


Say: “O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! You give sovereignty to 
whom You will, and You withdraw sovereignty from whom You 
will. You exalt whom You will, and You abase whom You will. In 
Your hand is all good. You are Able to do all things. You cause the 
night to pass into the day, and You cause the day to pass into the 
night. You bring forth the living from the dead, and You bring forth 
the dead from the living. And you give sustenance to whom You 
choose, without reckoning.” (3:26, 27) 


Sixty-ninth Discourse 
On the commandment to ask Allāh for forgiveness, protection 
from sin, help toward success, contentment and patience 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


D: not ask Allāh for anything except forgiveness of previous 
sins, protection from sins in the coming days ahead, help to 
succeed in goodly obedience and following orders, readiness to 
accept the bitterness of destiny’s decree, patience in bearing the 
hardships of misfortune, gratitude for the abundance of blessings 
and gifts, and finally, to die with a good ending and then be united 
with al-Anbiyã, as-Siddigün, ash-Sþubadã and as-Sãlibün, the 
best of company! 

Ask Him not for worldly things like the removal of poverty and 
misfortune and the granting of affluence and health, but rather for 
contentment with what He has allotted and arranged. Ask Him for 
constant safekeeping in the situation in which He has placed and 
installed you as a trial, until He transfers you from it to another that 
is its very opposite. For you do not know in which lies the good, 
whether in poverty or in affluence, in misfortune or in well-being. 
He has kept the knowledge of things hidden from you, and He deals 
singlehandedly (Almighty and Glorious is He) with the good and 
the bad. 

It is related of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb (may Allāh be well pleased 
with him) that he said: “I do not care in what condition I find myself 
when morning comes, whether it be disagreeable to me or to my 
liking, because I do not know in which of them lies the good.” He 
could say this because he was well contented with Allāh's manage- 
ment (Almighty and Glorious is He), and satisfied with His choice 
and His judgment. Allāh (Exalted is He) has said: 


Fighting is prescribed for you, though it be hateful to you. But it may 
happen that you hate a thing which is good for you, and may happen 


165 








166 Sixty-ninth Discourse 


that you love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows, and you 
know not. (2:216) 

Remain in this state until your passion fades away and your self is 
broken, humbled, overpowered and subdued, and then your will 
and desires vanish too, and all entities exit from your heart, leaving 
nothing in it other than Allah (Exalted is He). Then your heart will 
be filled with the love of Allah (Exalted is He), and your motive for 
seeking Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) will be sincere. At His 
command, your will is now restored to you, to seek some taste of 
worldly and otherworldly joys, so you ask Him (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) for such things and put your request to Him in 
compliance with His command. If He grants your wish, you will 
thank Him and put it to good use, and if He withholds it you will not 
feel resentful orchange your innerattitude toward Him, and will not 
accuse Him of being miserly about it. For your asking will not have 
been motivated by your passion and self-will, since your heart is 
free from such things and you have no desire for them. You are 
simply following His orders by making your request. 


So, peace! 


Seventieth Discourse 
On gratitude and acknowledgment of shortcomings 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 
H can it be proper for you to be conceited about your deeds, 
to take a self-centered view of them, and to demand remu- 
neration for them, when all your success is due to Allah (Exalted is 
He), to His help, His strength, His will and His favor? Even when it 
is a matter of renouncing sinful rebellion against Him, this too is 
made possible through the immunity, protection and shelter He 
provides. Where is your gratitude for this, your acknowledgment of 
these blessings He has conferred on you? 

What is this folly and ignorance, that you take pride in what is 
really someone else’s courage, generosity and charitable outlay? 
When you killed your enemy, it was only after someone brave had 
struck him first, then you just finished off the killing. But for his 
intervention, you would have been felled instead of your enemy. 
Nor would you have laid out any of your money, had you not been 
insured for the whole amount by an honest, honorable and trust- 
worthy guarantor. But for his word, and your greed for what he had 
promised and guaranteed you, you would not have donated ° 
single grain of your wealth. How can you then take personal prid 
in your deed? 

Your proper course is to offer thanks and appreciation to the 
Helper, and constant praise to Allāh, attributing it all to Him in all 
conditions, except for things that are evil, sinful and blameworthy. 
The latter you must attribute to your own self, which you should 
accuse and consider guilty of iniquity and misconduct. This is what 
it deserves, because it is the seat of every evil and instigates every 
wrong and disaster. 

He (Almighty and Glorious is He) is your Creator and the Creator 
of your deeds, as well as your acquisition, so you are the earner and 


167 


168 


Seventieth Discourse 


He is the Creator. As someone learned in the ways of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: “They come, and they 
cannot miss you.” In the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and 
give him peace): “Do good works, draw near, and direct yourselves 


aright, for everything is within easy reach of that for which it was 
created.” 


Seventy-first Discourse 
On the.seeker and the sought 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


Y ou must be one or the other, either a seeker or one who is 

sought. If you are a seeker, you must be heavy-laden, a 
bearer who carries all that is awkward and weighty. For you have 
a quest, and anyone with a quest must suffer hardship till he reaches 
his goal, wins his beloved, and achieves his aspiration. You must 
not shy away from trials that befall you, affecting your person, 
property, family and children, until your burden is lifted off you, 
your load is taken away, your agonies are removed, and yau are 
relieved of trouble and humiliation. Then you will be kept safe from 
every kind of vice, dirt, filth and degradation, and from being in 
need of creatures and fellow beings, and so you will be admitted 
into the company of those who are loved and pampered and 
sought. 

If you are one who is sought, you must not distrust the Lord © 
Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) for inflicting misfortune on yc 
too, nor should you have misgivings about your rank and standin! 
with Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). For He may be trying you 
in order to complete your human development, and to elevate your 
station toward the stations of the saints and 44a@4@/. Would you like 
to have your station and degree sit lower on the scale than theirs, or 
your robe of honor, your light and blessings be inferior to theirs? 
Even if you are ready to be satisfied with less, the Lord of Truth 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) is not content to let you settle for it. 
Allah (Exalted is He) has said: “Allah knows, and you know not” 
(2:216). He chooses for you the highest, the most splendid, the 
loftiest and the best, while you decline to accept. 

Suppose you say: “How can it be right for one sought by the Lord 
to suffer tribulation, when, according to your classification and 


169 


170 Seventy-first Discourse 


description, trials are meant for the lover, while the loved one is 
treated with tender care?” Well, our response will be that we have 
mentioned the general rule first, then spoken secondly of the 
possible exception. There is no disputing the fact that the Prophet 
(Allah bless him and give him peace) was chief among the beloved, 
yet he was the most sorely tried of all men. He said (Allah bless him 
and give him peace): “I have felt such fear on Allah's account as no 
one else feels; I have been made to suffer such pain on Allah's 
account as no one else suffers; ] have gone through thirty days and 
nights when we had no more food than might be hidden under the 
armpit of Bilal.” He also said (Ailah bless him and give him peace): 
“We, the company of Prophets, are the people most severely tried, 
followed by others according to their levels of perfection.” He said 
further (Allah bless him and give him peace): "I am the one amongst 
you who knows Allah best, and who fears Him the most.” 

How then can the beloved be afflicted and the sought-after 
favorite be filled with fear? This only happens, as we have pointed 
out, to ensure the attainment of high stations in Paradise, because 
it is only through good deeds in this world that stations in Paradise 
are built and erected. “This world is the seed-bed of the hereafter.” 
The good deeds of the Prophets and saints consist, after the 
performance of commandments and observance of prohibitions, in 
patience, contentment and compliance in the midst of tribulation. 
Then the trial is removed from them, and they experience blessings, 
favor, lavish affection and reunion for all eternity. 


Only Allah is All-Knowing! 


Seventy-second Discourse 
On those who are attracted to what they see in the market, and 
those who view it with patient restraint 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


mong those religious and pious people who visit the markets, 

when they go out to perform duties commanded by Allah 
(Exalted is He), such as the Friday prayer or other congregational 
worship, or to attend to occasional needs, there are several different 
types: 


When one of these types goes into the market, and sees all kinds 
of pleasures and luxuries there, he is captivated by them, and 
temptations attach themselves to his heart. This becomes the cause 
of his downfall, leading him to abandon his religion and his pious 
conduct and lapse into yielding to his natural impulses and follow- 
ing his passions, unless Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) over- 
takes him with His mercy and protection and imbues him with the 
Patience to resist, in which case he will be saved. 

Another is almost ruined when he sees those things, but he returr 
to his senses and his religion, controls himself and swallows tt 
bitter pill of having to forgo them. He therefore resembles thi 
warrior who is helped by Allah (Exalted is He) to overcome his own 
self, his raw nature and his passions, and for whom He records 
abundant reward in the hereafter. According toone of the traditions 
that have come down to us from the Prophet (Allah bless him and 
give him peace), he said: “When a believer renounces a passionate 
urge, whether or not he is capable of acting it out, seventy good 
deeds are recorded to his credit,” or words to that effect. 

There is another type who obtains those things, uses them and 
appropriates them, by the gracious favor of Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He), as his worldly wealth and goods, and gives thanks 
for them to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). 


171 


172 Seventy-second Discourse 


The next type does not see or notice them at all. He is blind to 
everything apart from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), so he 
sees no other, and he is deaf to all but Him, so he hears no other. He 
is too preoccupied to be aware of anything but his beloved and his 
longing for Him, so he is quite detached from what the world is all 
about. If you happen to see such a person entering the market, and 
ask him what he sees in it, he will tell you: “I don’t see anything.” 
Yes, of course he does see things, but only with his ordinary eyes, 
not with the eyes of his heart, and then just with a casual glance, not 
with a lustful gaze, with a formal, not a meaningful look, a look that 
is superficial, not profound. So outwardly he does survey the 
contents of the market, but in his heart he beholds his Lord 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), sometimes His Majesty and some- 
times His Beauty. 

When yet another type enters the market, his heart is filled by 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) with a feeling of compassion for 
the people there. This compassion for them keeps him too occu- 
pied to notice their wares and merchandise. From the moment he 
enters till the time he leaves, he devotes himself to making suppli- 
cation, praying for forgiveness and interceding forthe people there, 
with feelings of sympathy and mercy for them. He has tears in his 
eyes, and his tongue is engaged in praising and extolling Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He) for the blessings and favors He has 
bestowed on them all. 

One of this caliber may be called the steward of the cities and the 
servants of the Lord. If you wish, you may call him an initiate, one 
of the Addi, pious and wise, absent from the world and present 
with the Lord, beloved and sought, a deputy on earth in charge of 
His servants, an ambassador, an expert and executive, a rightly 
guided guide, a conductor and director. This is none other than the 
philosopher's stone and the magpie’s egg. Allah’s good pleasure be 
upon him, and upon every believer who seeks Allah and attains the 
ultimate station. 


Allah is the Guide! ' 


Seventy-third Discourse 
On a party of the saints whom Allāh makes aware of the 
faults of others 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


llah (Exalted is He) may sometimes inform His saint about the 

faults of another, about his lying, his false claims, and his 
polytheistic association in his deeds, words, thoughts and inten- 
tions. Allah’s saint then jealously defends His Lord, His Prophet and 
His religion, as his anger intensifies inwardly and then outwardly, 
whether the offender is present or absent. How can he lay claim to 
fitness, with so many sicknesses and ailments, internal and external? 
How can he claim to profess Oneness while associating others with 
the Lord? Such association amounts to unbelief and remoteness 
from the presence of Allah, for it isan attribute of the enemy, of Satan 
the accursed, and of the hypocrites who are doomed to the lowes 
pit of hell-fire, where they must abide forever. 

Thus the tongue of the saint is moved to speak out about tha 
person’s faults, his wicked deeds, the insolence of his extravagant 
pretensions to the states of the champions of truth, and his emulat- 
ing those who experience annihilation in the decree and action of 
Allah and who are sought by Him. This may come as an expression 
of zeal for Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), sometimes as a form 
of rebuke and reprimand for the offender, or then again as an 
outburst inspired by the action and will of Allah (Almighty and 
Glorious is He) and the force of His wrath at the falsehood. 

The sin of backbiting may now be imputed to the saint of Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He). It may be asked whether a saint is 
allowed to backbite, when he forbids others to do so, or if he may 
tell all and sundry about things that are not public knowledge 
among all classes of society. Well, the criticism is deserved by those 
who make it, as Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: “The 


173 


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174 Seventy-third Discourse 


sin in them is greater than their usefulness” (2:219). On the surface, 
it is censure of something reprehensible, but inwardly it is a 
provocation of the Lord’s displeasure and a protest against Him. 
One who raises such objections must be in a state of confusion, 
so duty requires that he keep silent, submit, and try to find the 
justification for it in the sacred law—permission, not opposition. 
The Lord and His saint are both attacking his fabrications and lies, 
and this may give him cause to eradicate his faults, repent, and find 
his way back from his ignorance and confusion. While the process 
is repugnant to the saint, it is beneficial to the deluded creature 
whose vanity and folly have brought him to the brink of ruin. 


Allah guides whom He will to a Way that is straight. (24:46) 


Seventy-fourth Discourse 
On how the intelligent person should prove to himself the 
Uniqueness of Allah 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


> 
he first thing an intelligent person should contemplate i$ the 
nature and structure of his own being, and then all the phenom- 
ena of the created universe. From this he should infer the existence 
of their Creator and Inventor, because in the work there is evidence 
of the Maker, and in the masterful powerthere is an indication of the 
wise Master, for all things owe their existence to Him. 

Such is the import of the comments made by Ibn ‘Abbas (may 
Allah be well pleased with him and his father) in explanation of His 
words (Exalted is He): “And He has made subservient to you what 
is in the heavens and what is in the earth, all together, from Him” 
(45:13). What he said was this: “In everything there is one of His 
names, and the name of each thing comes from that name of His, so 
you are right in the midst of His names, His attributes and His 
actions, inwardly through His power and outwardly through His 
wisdom. He is manifest in His attributes and concealed in His 
essence. He veils the essence with the attributes, and veils the 
attributes with the actions. He reveals knowledge through the will, 
and manifests the will through movements. He conceals the design 
and the process, and manifests the work through the will, so He is 
hidden in His invisibility and manifest in His wisdom and power. 
‘There is noihing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All- 
Seeing (42:11).’” 

In this statement he has revealed such secrets of inner understand- 
ing as are only displayed from a “niche wherein there is a lamp.” 
This was the man for whom sinless hands were raised with the 
prayer: “O Allāh, instruct him in religion and teach him the art of 
interpretation!” 


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176 Seventy-fourth Discourse 


May Allah (Exalted is He) bestow on us the blessings granted to 
to such people, and gather us to share their company and their 
holiness. Amin. 


Seventy-fifth Discourse 


On spiritual culture [tasawwuf] and what it is based on 


The Shaikh (may Allāh be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


I advise you to be dutiful and obedient to Allah, to maintain the 
outer observance of the sacred law and the integrity of your 
inner feeling, to be generous of soul and cheerful of countenance, 
to spend freely on charity, to prevent suffering, and to endure pain 
and poverty. Respect the dignity of the elders, and maintain friendly 
relations with the brethren. Offer good counsel to young and old, 
give up controversy, and be sympathetic. Always put others before 
yourself, and never be a miser. Stop keeping company with those 
who do not share our interest in the spiritual life. Be ready to help 
in matters religious and worldly. 

The real meaning of poverty is not depending for your needs on 
people like yourself, while the real meaning of affluence is being 
able to do without people like yourself. 

Spiritual culture /fasawwuffis not acquired through long palaver 
but through going hungry and giving up things that are familiar and 
pleasant. The initiation of the spiritual pauper (/ugard] is not 
through knowledge, but through friendliness, for knowledge dis- 
turbs him, while friendliness puts him at his ease. Tasawwuf is 
based on eight qualities: 


1. Generosity like that of our master Abraham (on him be peace); 
2. Cheerful resignation like that of Isaac (on him be peace); 

3. Patience like that of Job (on him be peace); 

4. Symbolic expression like that of Zachariah (on him be peace); 
5. Exile like that of John (on him be peace); 

6. Wearing simple wool clothing like Moses (on him be peace); 


177 


178 Seventy-fifth Discourse 


7. Wandering like Jesus (on him be peace); and 


8. Poverty like that of our Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him, 
his brother Prophets and Messengers, and the family and com- 
panions of each one, and grant peace to them all). 


Seventy-sixth Discourse 
On advice 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


advise you to relate to the rich with dignity and to the poor with 

humility. You must practice humility and sincerity, which means 
constant contemplation of the Creator. Do not distrust Allāh in 
wordly matters, but humbly submit to Him on all occasions. Do not 
violate your brother's right on the strength of the friendship that 
exists between you. Inthe company of spiritual paupers you should 
behave with modesty, good manners and generosity. Mortify 
yourself, so that you may come to life. The people nearest to Allah 
(Exalted is He) are those with the best moral character. The best of 
deeds is keeping one’s innermost being from any inclination toward 
that which is apart from Allah (Exalted is He). You must be truthful 
and patient. 

Two things shouid suffice you in this world: the companionship 
of a spiritual pauper, and service to a saint. Such a pauper is one 
who feels no need of anything except Allāh (Exalted is He). 

Aggressiveness toward someone beneath you is weakness, to- 
ward someone above you is arrogant pride, and toward someone 
like yourself is bad manners. 

Spiritual poverty and taşawwuf are serious business, so do not 
mix them with anything frivolous. May Allāh help us, and you and 
all the Muslims to achieve success. Amin. 

O Wai, itis your duty to remember Allah in every circumstance, 
because this brings all that is good together. You must cling to the 
lifeline of Allāh, because it wards off harm and injury. You must be 
prepdred to meet the events decreed by destiny, because they are 
bound to happen. Know that you will be held responsible for how 
you behave in action and at rest, so attend to what is most appropri- 
ate at the moment. and beware of redundant physical activities. 


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180 Seventy-sixth Discourse 


It is your duty to obey Allah and His Messenger and those who 
continue his work. Give them their due, and do not importune them 
for what is due from them. Offer prayers of supplication on every 
occasion. 

It is your duty to think well of the Muslims and to relate to them 
with good intentions. Work hard to secure their general welfare. 
Do not end your day with bad feeling, rancor or hatred for anyone 
still in your heart. Pray for those who have wronged you, and fear 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). You must eat only lawful food, 
and ask people versed in knowledge of Allah about things you do 
not know. - 

‘It is also your duty to feel shame before Allah (Glorified and 
Exalted is He). Let your companionship be with Allah, and befriend 
others besides Allah only within the scope of His companionship. 

Give in charity every moming from your bread, and in the evening 
perform.the funeral prayer for the Muslims who have died that day. 
Follow your post-sunset prayer with the prayer for special guidance 
and blessing /salãt al-istikbāra]. In the early moming and late 
evening you should repeat seven times: “O Allāh, protect us from 
the Fire.” Make a practice of saying: “I take refuge with Allah, the 
All-Hearing, the All-Knowing, from Satan the accursed,” then recit- 
ing: 

He is Allah, than Whom there is no other god, the Knower of the 


Unseen and the Visible. He is the All-Merciful, the All-Compassion- 
ate... (59:22) 


to the end of that chapter of the Qur'an (Stratu’l-Hashr). 


Allah is the only guide to success, the only helper, for there is no 
might and no strength except with Allah, the High, the Great! 


Seventy-seventh Discourse 
On staying with Allab and becoming extinct to creatures 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


B: with Allāh (Almighty and Glorious is He) as if there were no 
creatures, and with creatures as if there were no self. For when 
you are with Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) in the absence of 
creatures, you will find Him and become extinct to all else, and 
when you are with creatures in the absence of self, you will always 
act justly and be safe from bad consequences. Leave everything at 
the door of your retreat and enter it alone, then you will see your 
intimate friend in your solitude with the eye of your innermost 
being, and will witness what lies behind the visible realm. The self 
will disappear, to be replaced by the command of Allah and His 
neamess. Now your ignorance is knowledge, your distance is 
nearness, your silence is remembrance, and.your loneliness is 
intimate friendship. 

O you here! There is nothing except creation and Creator, so if 
you opt for the Creator, say to the rest: 


They are enemies to me, except the Lord of the Worlds. (26:77) 


Then the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) went on to say: 


He who has tasted, knows. 


He was asked: “When someone is mainly accustomed tu the 
bitterness of his gall, how can he discover the taste of sweetness?” 
He replied: “He must set himself to work on his desires with 
conscious effort. O you here! When the believer does a good deed, 
his self /7z@/5] is transformed into a heart /ga/d/, and attains the 
consciousness of a heart. Then his heart is transformed into a secret 
soul /s#77f, which is then transformed through annihilation to achieve 


181 


182 Seventy-seventh Discourse 


teal being /wuya] and perpetuity.” 


Then the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


To loved ones every door is open wide. O you here! Annihilation 
[and] is the obliteration of all natural characteristics, and the 
transformation of your nature into the nature of the angels, then 
becoming extinct to the nature of the angels, then getting back onto 
the first track. Then your Lord will water you as He sees fit, and sow 
in you what He sees fit. If you wish for this, you must practice Islam 
and then obedient submission (istis/4m/, then acquire knowledge of 
Allah, then inner understanding, then real being. When your being 
belongs to Him, you will be His entirely. Renunciation is an hour's 
work, piety is two hours’ work, and inner understanding is work for 
all eternity. 


Seventy-eighth Discourse 
On the people devoted to spiritual struggle and self-examination 
and the masters of resolve; explanation of their virtues 


The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him 
contentment) said: 


here are ten virtues to be practiced by those engaged in spiritual 

Struggle and self-examination. If they keep them up and 

master them by Allah's leave (Exalted is He), they will attain to noble 
stations. 


1. The servant should not swear by Allah (Almighty and Glorious 
is He), whether truthfully or falsely, deliberately or absentmindedly. 
If he exercises this kind of self-control and trains his tongue 
accordingly, it will bring him to the point where he can give up 
swearing altogether, with or without premeditation. Once he has 
become accustomed to this, Allah will open a door to His lights 
letting him experience the benefit thereof in his heart, and raisin, 
him in rank and strength, in his resolve and his patience, in th 
approbation of his brethren and the esteem of his neighbors, so that 
all who know him will regard him as a good example, and everyone 
who sees him will hold him in awe. 


2. He should avoid lying, whether in jest or in earnest. If he 
practices this self-control and his tongue gets used to being re- 
strained, Allah (Exalted is He) will thereupon expand his feelings 
and purify his mind. It will be as if he had no knowledge of lying, 
and when he hears it from another he will reproach and rebuke him 
for it within himself. If he prays for the person to be rid of it, there 
will be a reward for him. 

3. He should beware of promising something to someone and 
then failing to keep his promise. He would do better to stop making 
promises altogether, so as to gain strength for his task and to keep 
his sense of purpose, since breach of promise is tantamount to lying. 


183 


184 Seventy-eighth Discourse 


If he acts on this advice, the Lord will open to him the door of 
liberality and the degree of modesty, and he will be granted love 
among the truthful and higher esteem in the sight of Allah (Almighty 
and Glorious is He). 


4. He should avoid cursing anything in the realm of creation, or 
hurting anything froma mere atom upward. This is one of the moral 
standards of the pious and the champions of truth. It yields a good 
result for one who observes it, in that he enjoys Allah’s protection 
in this world, along with the spiritual degrees He has in store for him, 
and He delivers him from the pitfalls of perdition, keeps him safe 
from people, blesses him with human compassion, and brings him 
near to Himself (Almighty and Glorious is He). 


5. He should avoid invoking evil on any fellow creature, even one 
who has wronged him. He should not cut him with his tongue, nor 
retaliate against him by word or deed. This virtue raises one who 
practices it to the highest ranks. If he cultivates it, he will achieve 
noble status in this world and the hereafter, love and affection in the 
hearts of all creatures near and far, answers to his prayers, popular 
acclaim, and respect in this world in the hearts of all believers. 


6. He should not assert that he -has evidence of polytheism, 
unbelief or hypocrisy on the part of any member of the Muslim 
community [“people of the Qibla”]. This is closer to mercy and 
higher in degree, since it is perfectly in keeping with the Sunna, very 
far from intruding on Allah’s knowledge and from incurring Allah’s 
wrath, and nearer to the good pleasure and mercy of Allah (Exalted 
is He). This is an honorable and noble doorway to Allah (Exalted 
is He), through which the servant is endowed with mercy for all 
creatures. 


7. He should refrain from contemplating sinful offences, and 
restrain all his limbs and organs from participating in them. Such 
efforts bring the quickest reward to heart and body in the present life 
- of this world, as well as the good things Allah holds in store in the 





Seventy-eighth Discourse 185 


hereafter. We beg Allah to bless us all, to educate us in these virtues, 
and to remove our base desires from our hearts. 


8. He should avoid laying a burden of his, big or small, on any 
fellow creature. Rather should he relieve all creatures of his burden, 
regardless of what he needs or does not need, for this is the height 
of honor for servants and of nobility for the righteous. From this he 
gains strength to fulfill his duty to enjoin what is good and fair and 
forbid what is evil and unfair. All creatures should be of equal status 
as far as he is concerned. When this stage is reached, Allāh moves 
him on toward annihilation [anã], certitude, and confidence in 
Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). No other is raised to the same 
height, yet he sees all creatures as having equal rights. This is quite 
certainly the cause of honor for the believers and of nobility for the 
righteous, and it is very close to the gate of sincerity. 


9. He must stop expecting human beings to satisfy his greed, and 
not let himself covet what they have at their disposal. Thus he will 
achieve the greatest honor, peculiar enrichment, vast dominion, 
splendid glory, pure certitude, and frank, unequivocal trust in the 
Lord. This is one of the doors to confidence in Allāh (Almighty anc 
Glorious is He), one of the doors to renunciation, leading to the 
attainment of piety and the perfect practice of religion. It is one of 
the marks of those who are wholly dedicated to Allāh (Almighty and 
Glorious is He). 


10. The tenth is humility, for it is with this virtue that the servant’s 
residence is erected, that his station is raised high, that his honor and 
eminence are made perfect in the sight of Allāh (Glory be to Him) 
and in the sight of His creatures, and that he is empowered to 
achieve all his worldly and otherworldly goals. This virtue is the 
root, branch and consummation of all virtues, whereby the servant 
attains to the stations of the righteous, those who are content with 
Allah (Exalted is He) in joy and in sorrow alike. This is the perfection 
of piety. 

Humility means that the servant never meets anyone without 


186 Seventy-eighth Discourse 


assuming him to be more worthy than himself. He will always say: 
“Perhaps he is better than I in Allah’s sight, and higher in degree.” 
If it is someone young, he will say: “This person_has not offended 
Allah (Exalted is He) as I have done, so he is undoubtedly better 
than I.” If it is someone older, he will say: “This person served Allah 
long before I did.” If it is someone learned, he will say: “This person 
has received something I have not experienced, and has acquired 
something I have not acquired. He knows things of which I am 
ignorant, and he puts his knowledge into practice.” If it is someone 
who is ignorant, he will say: “This person has offended Allah in 
ignorance, while I have offended him knowingly. I do not know 
what end He has in store for mê, nor what end He has in store for 
him.” If it should be an unbeliever, he will say: “I don’t know; 
perhaps he will embrace Islam and come toa good end, and maybe 
I shall become an unbeliever and come to a bad end.” 

This is the topic of sympathy [for others] and apprehension [about 
oneself], the first to become familiar and the last to remain with 
servants of the Lord. When the servant is like this, Allah (Exalted is 
He) keeps him safe from disasters, and brings him as a reward to the 
stations of loyalty to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). He then 
belongs among the chosen ones and friends of the All-Merciful, and 
among the enemies of Iblis, Allah’s accursed foe. 

This is the gate of mercy, with the attainment of which the gate of 
pride is demolished and the cords of vanity are severed, and the 
stage of self-aggrandizement in religious and worldly matters is left 
behind. This is the very marrow of worshipful service, the ultimate 
distinction of the self-denying, and the mark of the devout. There 
is nothing more admirable than this. 

The servant should now prevent his tongue from discussing 
human beings and matters of no importance, otherwise he will 
accomplish nothing. Malice, pride and spite must leave his heart 

wherever he finds himself, his tongue should be the same in private 
as in public, his private and public wishes should be identical, and 


Seventy-eighth Discourse 187 


SO should his words. All people should be as one to him in respect 
of sincere advice. He should not be one of those counselors who 
speak ill of one of Allah’s creatures, or condemn him for some 
action, nor should it please him to be told of someone’s faults. This 
Vice is the bane of Allah's servants, the ruin of the devout and the 
destruction of the pious, except for those whom Allah (Exalted is 
He) helps by keeping them safe in tongue and heart through His 
mercy, His grace and His beneficence. 


pe 


Addendum 


The Shaikb’s final advice to his sons (sanctified be their innermost 
secrets); some valuable remarks he made; his last iliness and death 


(may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him contentment.) 


We the Shaikh (may Allah be content with him and grant him 
contentment) was in the throes of the illness of which 
he died, his son ‘Abd al-Wahhab (sanctified be his innermost secret) 
said to him: “O my master, leave me with some advice to put into 
practice after you are gone.” To this he replied (may Allah be well 
pleased with him, and grant him contentment): “You must observe 
your duty to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), fear no one but 
Allah, pinyour hopeson noone but Allah, and entrustall your needs 
to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). Do not rely on anyone but 
Him, address all your requests to Him (Exalted is He), and put your 
trust in no one other than Allāh (Glory be to Him). Affirm His 
Oneness. Ail is contained within the affirmation of His Oneness.” 

He also said (may Allah be well pleased-with him, and grant him 
contentment): “When the heart is as it should be with Allah 
(Almighty and Glorious is He), it wants for nothing and contains 
nothing superfluous.” 

He said further (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant 
him contentment): “I am a kernel with no shell.” 

To his sons he said (may Allah be well pleased with him): “Keep 
your distance from me, for I am with you outwardly, but inwardly 
I am with others.” 

He also said (may Allah be well pleased with him): “Others have 
come into my presence, so make room for them and treat them 
courteously. A very great kindness here. Do not crowd their space.” 

He kept saying (may Allah be well pleased with him): “On you be 
peace, and Allah’s mercy and His blessings. May Allah forgive me 
and you. May Allah relent toward me and toward you. In the Name 
of Allah, farewell!” He said this for a day and a night. 

He said (may Allah be well pleased with him): “Woe unto you! 


188 


Addendum 189 


Nothing worries me, not the angel, not even you, O angel of death! 
He who cares for us has blessed us with something beyond you.” 
Then he uttered a loud cry. This was on the day in the late evening 
of which he died (may Allāh be well pleased with him). It is reported 
by two of his sons, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq and Shaikh Mūsā (sanc- 
tified be their innermost secrets) that the venerable Ghawth (may 
Allah be well pleased with him) would raise his hands and stretch 
them out, while saying: “On you be peace, and Allah’s mercy and 
His blessings! Repent and get into line when it comes to your tum.” 

He was sayng (may Allah be well pleased with him): “Wait!” Then 
came to him the moment of truth and the pang of death. 


H: said (may Allāh be well pleased with him): “Between me and 
you and all other creatures there is a distance like that 
between heaven and earth, so do not compare me to anyone, anc 
do not compare us with anyone.” Then his son Shaikh ‘Abd al-‘Azi 
(sanctified be his innermost secret) asked him again about his 
suffering and how he felt, but he said (may Allah be well pleased 
with him): “Let no one ask me anything. I am basking in the 
knowledge of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He).” 

Shaikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (sanctified be his innermost secret) asked him 
again about his illness, and he replied (may Allah be well pleased 
with him): “No one knows the nature of my sickness, and nobody 
understands it, be he human, jinn, or angel. Allah’s knowledge is 
not diminished by Allah’s decree. The decree may change, but the 
knowledge is unchanging. ‘Allah effaces or confirms whatever He 
will, and with Him is the Essence of the Book,’ (13:39). ‘He will not 
be questioned as to what He does, but they will be questioned.’ 
(21:23).” 


The following descriptions have“also been reported: 


H’ son Shaikh ‘Abd al-Jabbar (sanctified be his innermost 
secret) asked him: “Which part of your body gives you pain?” 
He replied (may Allah be well pleased with him): “All my organsare 


190 Addendum 


hurting me except my heart. There is no pain there, for it is with 
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He).” Then death came to him, as 
he was saying (may Allah be well pleased with him): “I seek help in 
the words: ‘There is none worthy of worship but Allah, Glorified 
and Exalted is He, the Ever-Living, Who has no fear of passing away. 
Glory be to Him Who exults in His omnipotence, and subdues His 
servants with death. There is none worthy of worship but Allah. 
Muhammad is Allāh’s Messenger.” 


H; son Shaikh Musa (sanctified be his innermost secret) told us 
that when death approached the presence of the Shaikh (may 
Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him contentment), he was 
trying to say the word “ta'azzaza”[“exults”], but could not get the 
pronunciation right, so he kept on repeating “/a-az-za-za,” slowly 
and emphatically, until his tongue shot it out. Then he said: “Allah, 
Allah, Allah,” till his voice grew faint and his tongue was cleaving to 
the roof of his mouth. Then his noble spirit went forth. 


The good pleasure of Allah (Exalted is He) be upon him! 


About the Translator 


Muhtar Holland was born in 1935, in the ancient city of Durham in 
the North East of England. This statement may be considered 
anachronistic, however, since he did not bear the name Muhtar 
until 1969, when he was moved—by powerful experiences in the 
latiban kejiwaan of Subud—to embrace the religion of Islam.” 

At the age of four, according to an entry in his father’s diary, he 
said to a man who asked his name: “I'm a stranger to myself.” 
During his years at schoo]. he was drawn most strongly to the study 
of languages, which seemed to offer signposts to guide the stranger 
on his “Journey Home,” apart from their practical usefulness to one 
who loved to spend his vacations traveling—at first on a bicycle— 
through foreign lands. Serious courses in Latin, Greek, French, 
Spanish and Danish, with additional smatterings of Anglo-Saxon, 
Italian, German and Dutch. Travels in France, Germany, Belgium, 
Holland and Denmark. Then a State Scholarship and up to Balliol 
College, Oxford, fora degree course centered on the study of Arabic 
and Turkish. Travels in Turkey and Syria. Then National Service ir 
the Royal Navy, with most of the two years spent on an intensiv 
course in the Russian language. 

In the years since graduation from Oxford and Her Majesty’. 
Senior Service, Mr. Holland has held academic posts at the Univer- 
sity of Toronto, Canada; at the School of Oriental and African 
Studies in the University of London, England (with a five-month 
leave to study Islamic Law in Cairo, Egypt); and at the Universiti 
Kebangsaan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (followed by a six-month 
sojourn in Indonesia). He also worked as Senior Research Fellow 
at the Islamic Foundation in Leicester, England, and as Director of 
the Nur al-Islam Translation Center in Valley Cottage, New York. 


°? The name Muhtar was received at that time from Bapak Muhammed Subuh 
Sumohadiwidjojo, of Wisma Subud, Jakarta, in response to a request for a suitable 
Muslim name. In strictacademic transliteration from the Arabic, the spelling would 
be Mukhtār. The form Muchtar is probably more common in Indonesia than 
Muhtar, which happens to coincide with the modern Turkish spelling of the name. 


191 





192 About the Translator - 


His freelance activities have mostly been devoted to writing ar— 
translating in various parts of the world, including Scotland ar— 
California. He made his Pilgrimage /Hajj/to Mecca in 1980. 
Published works include the following: 


al-Ghazali. On the Duties of Brotherhood. Translated from thm 
Classical Arabic by Muhtar Holland. London: Latimer New Dimer— 
sions, 1975. New York: Overlook Press, 1977. Repr. 1980. 


Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi. The Unveiling of Love. Translate 
from the Turkish by Muhtar Holland. New York: Inner Traditions 
1981. 

Ibn Taymiya. Public Duties in Islam. Translated from the Arabic by- 
Muhtar Holland. Leicester, England: Islamic Foundation, 1982. 


Hasan Shushud. Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia. Translated 
from the Turkish by Muhtar Holland. Ellingstring, England: Coombe 
Springs Press, 1983. 


al-Ghazali. Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship. Translated from 
the Arabic by Muhtar Holland. Leicester, England: Islamic Founda- 
tion, 1983. 


Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi. Irshad. Translated [from the Turk- 
ish) with an Introduction by Muhtar Holland. Warwick, New York: 
Amity House, 1988. 


` 


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