He says even Muslims sometimes misunderstand mystical ideas, practice
07/21/2001 - The Dallas Morning News
By JEFFREY WEISS / The Dallas Morning News
In some ways, the portly man with the long beard would have seemed familiar to his Orthodox Jewish grandparents. Praying and chanting in a Middle Eastern language, lecturing on spirituality and theology, he might have been mistaken for a rabbi.
But the language is Arabic, not Hebrew, and he wears a pointed turban, not a yarmulke. Abdul Haqq is a Sufi shaykh, a disciple of a Muslim mystical tradition that is more than 1,200 years old. Twenty-five years ago the spiritual seeker from Chicago - then named Peter Sazanoff - was transformed in an instant into a fervent Sufi, he said last week.
One day he met Shaykh Nazim, a Sufi master from Cyprus. One look in the elder shaykh's eyes was all it took, said Shaykh Abdul, 54. "I knew I was in the presence of someone who understood me completely," he said. For much of the past 20 years, Shaykh Abdul has been doing what he did in Dallas, Irving and Austin last week. He travels around the country explaining Sufism to non-Muslims and, according to his tradition, carrying a spiritual power to fellow Sufis.
Because he has been designated a senior disciple by a Sufi master, Sufis who sit, talk and pray with Shaykh Abdul believe that they gain spiritual blessings just by being in his presence, he said. "Our way is that by being associated with the shaykh, the blessings come on the group," he said. Most Americans know little about Islam. If they know anything about Sufism, they may have heard of Rumi, a still-popular 13th-century poet and Sufi master. Even many Muslims don't approve of Sufism. Veneration of the masters, the use of music during prayers and some other customs are considered un-Islamic add-ons by some Muslims. But Sufis say they're passing along their faith in the style that their prophet, Mohammed, and his direct followers first taught about Islam.
Battling ignorance and disapproval is a "daunting task," Shaykh Abdul said. "There's a bit of Don Quixote in it." Sufism is a tradition with similarities to Jewish Hasidism and to some Christian religious orders. It suggests that the highest spiritual growth cannot be attained simply through logic and study of the sacred Muslim texts. A saying on a local Sufi Web site reads: "Someone who seeks God through logical proof is like someone who looks for the sun with a lamp."
Sufism teaches that experience of the divine can be found through contact with Sufi masters who receive their titles in an apostolic system from their predecessors. There are many dozens of Sufi orders in the world, each led by its own master. Shaykh Abdul belongs to the Naqshbandi order, which can trace its roots back more than 600 years. The orders are not exactly competitive. While each believes its master is best, members aren't supposed to speak against any other master or order. On July 13, Shaykh Abdul spent his prayer time with members of another order. The Algadria Almukashifia follow a Sudanese Sufi master, but they gave Shaykh Abdul a warm welcome. More than 50 people showed up for Friday afternoon prayers at a storefront Sufi center in Irving.
The long room was sparsely furnished. A small partition marked the area in the back for women. A few pictures and hand-written posters adorned the walls. Padded rugs covered the entire floor where the faithful would kneel while they prayed. Clocks at each end of the room signaled the time for prayer. Burning incense perfumed the air. They prayed in a fashion similar to any variety of Islam. Shaykh Abdul delivered a short sermon emphasizing the sacredness of God - Allah in Arabic. And then the congregation took up a chant that is particular to its style. Mohamed Mohamed, the Sudanese-born president of the Sufi center, offered a rhyming prayer that was half-sung, half-chanted as other members of the congregation kept time on drums: "Always listen to my advice. Be wise and always be nice."
That was a new method of Sufi worship for Shaykh Abdul. A few days later, he quoted a sacred saying that supports novel ways to communicate with people. "Allah says to make the way wide for people," he said. Mr. Mohamed "is trying to make his way wide for people. I think it's a good thing. I wish some of our ethnically inward-looking communities would make similar efforts."
This week, he went home to Chicago. But soon he'll be back on the road, teaching and praying. Not that he expects to ever find universal acceptance for his message. He quoted another saying: "Saints are like an oasis in the desert. They are able to make green around them, but there is this huge desert," he said. "What can you do?"
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani
Delivered in the Mosque at St. Ann's Road, on the last Sunday of Ramadan the Blessed, after `Asr, January 17, 1999, London, England. To be friends of Allah... it is difficult. But to be friends of friends of Allah, that is- friend of Allah's friend (sadiq) this is like to be friend of Allah and should be like Sayyidina Ibrahim (as). Sayyidina Ibrahim (as) - Khalilu-r-Rahmani, Khalilullahi - that means, he is Friend of Allah. But there are ourselves [and with this condition] it is difficult to be Friends of Allah.
Even our egoes are asking to be friends of Allah, but they are liars. Our egoes, our nafs-es are friends of Shaitan, not friends of Allah.And we are trying to make our egoes to accept to be friends of Awliya, friends of Saints to be with us here and hereafter... It is our wish (himmat) - to be friends of Awliya and it should be contentment and happiness and honor from their Lord, Almighty Allah.This is an association. We are not sitting at a university or vollege - people are sitting here to learn. All of you are learning - you know it- but to make you to sit here, not to feel the hunger of fasting, to pass time quickly [laughter]. Thank you, Alhamdulillah, that's right.
All of you are educated people, highly educated - some of you masters, some of you majistairs, some of you doctors, some of you are academics, some of you scientists, some of you scholars, ma-sha'-Allah... Ibrahim Adham, he was Sultan - a powerful Sultan, Amir Sultan and he was keeping the Holy Orders of Allah Almighty. The Sultan is he who is keeping Orders of Heavens - that is a real Sultan. If they are not keeping Heavenly Orders of Allah Almighty - they are not sultans. They may be kings, emperors, but not real kings or emperors.You keep Holy Orders only for the Month of Heavens - you should be a sultan also. Allah Almighty may dress you with the dress of the Sultanate, of Eternal Sultanate, not only three days sultanate.
Eternal Sultanate, Allah is dressing you with, if we are going to keep Holy Orders, Holy Commands of Heavens; and He is going to grant to you from His endless territories, from His endless paradises, from His endless power oceans, from His endless beauty oceans, He is granting to you...Endlessly. We are not saying: "It is enough for me"- n-n-n-o ! You should ask, always: "Please, O my Lord, give me more, give me more!" And your Lord is saying to you: "O my Servant, ASK More.. Ask more!". And real Servant's are saying: "Give me more !"... They are sultans [lowering voice]...The Lord of Heavens gives endlessly and you are asking endlessly more and the Lord is saying:"Take more, take more"... Why are you not asking ?! Why are you not asking to be sultans? Of eternity, eternity, - inside yourself, eternity... Why you are not trying to be for eternity ? Don't you like it? You don't like it? [addressing a person in the congregation] You don't like it? [addressing another person] What?! I'm seeing that no one is interested in Eternity.
If saying:"Yes" they are liars.Lying... not real... not real - because dunya is cheating people.Oxford Street is cheating [some laughter in the audience], you have many shops cheating, while the blessed deeds sleep within. Harrod's... Harrod's... [laughter] Because Harrod's is cheating, saying: "Don't listen to Shaykh - come to me !". Everything here: "Come, buy for me !". It is urging for bad (Harrod's), nothing else...No telephone number, no guide to show you, [that it is] kharam...Harrod's ? [asks audience] Karun's? [answer: Harrod's]. Yeah, what is it ? [answer: Harrod's] Haron's... Cheating you... saying: "Dream on, gentlemen..." [silent congregational laughter]. All of you are cheated.Eternity... no one's interesting for eternity.
What ?!.. Tomorrow are we going to be earth !..I don't know, that princess, now if she is asking in her earthen grave now... You know them ? Princess... Princess ? [congregation:"Diana"].I don't know whether she is asking in her earth... Do you think? Harreh.. Harreh..[reply:"Harrod's"]... Haron was, perhaps, ready. "Hey, take, put on yourself!"- now she is, perhaps, earth, only remaing a little bit flesh. You complete that all... Who may be given such an opportunity to reach such a possibility for (this kind of) richness- very, very, very few people ! Now, that one, she is earth, becoming earth... If every one would run after dunya and it's...She [points to lady in audience] must know that she is going to be like that one. Anyone from men running after dunya ...wa zeenatahaa...[its adornment] you left the preparation...for the earth...eh?...
He must know that tomorrow he's going to be earth. And the Lord of Heavens is calling you:"Oh, my Servants, come to Me ! Come to Eternity !" Ask Eternity! Try to be for Eternity people? Why we are not using our minds? You must not be cheated.You must not be cheating......And all of us, if we are not working then time is carrying ourselves. We are on time. Just on it, time running - we are running. You must swing on it. It was like yesterday - last Ramadan - you were expecting and Ramadan just came, just began and now it is finished.Finished... Because everything going to be in limits, may be billions of years, but you must know that it is going to finish. But Eternity, Eternity oh, so, so sweet. Eternity. Sarmadi - Forever. Ask that.Oh, people, Allah granted to you something here [Shaykh points to the temple with a finger] for thinking.
People are running after football! Eh, you know ? Sleeping... For football ! Millions of people sitting and looking... Shaat ! [imitating a football player, laughter]. How they are wasting their precious lives... times of their lives - for such a nonsense. Shaytan is using people, mankind through these ways! I'm looking at advertising, but I don't know for what purpose they are putting it - a big advertisment now, in London. Some figures, they are drinking and jumping somewhat and from there it is written... so very bad things. Are you looking at that? [audience "Yes..."].. Very bad things happening on the earth to people, while they are reaching second millenium's ending, the third is beginning. But very bad things are happening that means: People, they are drunk!!! They are not using their minds! That I'm not understanding for what purpose this advertisment is? From Shaitan or from heavens ? That advertisment for what? I'm understanding - yes - those figures are representing very bad conditions [in the society]...[referring to a common billboard which depicts several women's figures, arbitrarily dressed, on which graffitti has been written.]
You must try to know: what is bad, what is good. If a person never understands what is good and what is bad for oneself - there is no difference between that one and animals... ! I'm saying no. This month, the Holy Month, you know, all Heavens are asking His servants to learn what is good and what is bad... If we are learning what is good and what is bad for ourselves, then we are a lucky person. You should be rewarded. Keep that with you. Always keep this Month with you to know what is bad and what is good. It is necessary for you. You must not think that we are living in unlimited freedom.
"Unlimited freedom", it is only test from our Lord to His servants... If they are controlling themselves from evil and from devils... Evil and devils, from East to West, from North to South, they've established their sultanate and they are using mankind as their slaves! Don't be a slave for devils, you must understand, because 2000 is coming, millenium is finishing, another millenium is coming ! Or you should be under earth, earth, dust and you lost your chance to be a good servant, a Friend, a Beloved One, Servant in the Divine Presence. May Allah forgive them.[Chorus:"Amin"].I think that you are, Alhamdulillah, never tiring... And... What I'm saying it is not a prepared talk, but it is special. It is special. When I'm sitting here I am under Heavenly control.
What I am saying must be special. And it is real, reality. If you are taking it, you should be happy, we should be in contentment you should be in endless satisfaction here and in the hereafter. Next week I hope to be here on Sunday, but the Holy Month is going to finish and Eid is coming... I'm asking Eid Mubarak for all believers and for all nations. And I'm asking a power... Heavenly Power to come from Heavens on Earth to destroy the Sultanate of evil and devils [Amin]. To save mankind from their hands. He is powerful. Our Lord has full capacity to do this. It is so easy for Hu. And we are saying:Allah, Allah.Allah, Allah.Allah, Allah.`Aziz Allah; Allah, Allah.Allah, Allah.Allah, Allah.Karim Allah; Allah, Allah.Allah, Allah.Allah, Allah.Subhan Allah; Allah, Allah.Allah, Allah.Allah, Allah.Sultan Allah...
We are only asking Heavenly Sultanate to be established on earth, Divine Sultanate. We are trying to destroy sultanate of Shaitan. Satanic sultanate should be destroyed. This year, we are full [of hope], hopeful, not hopeless, but hopeful, that Satanic Sultanate must be destroyed. [We] hope by 2000 it is going to finish [Amin]. Alhamdulillah. [amin] Thank you, everyone. Allah gives you much more understanding, much more heavenly lights, much more heavenly powers to defend yourselves in front of devils and to carry away evil from us. Fatihat....You are hearing what I'm saying ?! [Chorus:Yeaah] Ah ?...[Chorus:Yeaah] No need for this instrument: megaphone, microphone... My sound not micro-phone ? Megaphone...wa min Allah at-Tawfiq
Shaykh `Abdullah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani
From The Golden Chain by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
May Allah Sanctify His Noble Secret.
"You are something inseparable in the heart. My eyelids never close but that You are between them and my eyes. Your love is part of me like the soul's internal speech.
I cannot breathe except You are in my breath and I find You coursing through each of my senses." (Abul-Hasan Simnan.)
The Red Sulfur among the saints, the Crystal Lamp of this Universe and its Foundation, he was supported by Steadfast Faith. A Knower of the Hidden Meanings of the Holy Qur'an, he was the Key to Its Secret, enlightened with the Pure Essence of the Truth. He had enormous experience in the Way of his predecessors. Sufism was his blood, the Prophet Muhammad was his heart, and the Divine Presence was his soul. He was the Luminary of Knowledge for human beings in his time, Owner of the Perfect Characteristics and Controller of his Active Self. He was the Ocean of Wisdom for all human beings to sail upon and reach their appointed shore unscathed.
The earth shone with a brilliant new light when he was born. People ran to his door to find through him the happiness of this life and the Hereafter. He was an Ocean of Instruction whose waves crashed roaring on His Divine Shore. He left the erudite perplexed with his superior knowledge and he was the greatest of all ascetics one had seen or read about. He gave selflessly from his Spirit to quench the thirst of the spiritual and the physical worlds. He was a galaxy by himself, garlanded with suns and stars of varied size and color, bringing a different light to each individual. He wore the Crown of God's Divine Love, and from him people sipped the longed-for honey of Divine Secrets. He never left a person without reaching and raising him with his spiritual breath. The darkness of ignorance disappeared in the illumination of his knowledge.
He was nursed from the breast of the Station of the Ghawth, whose throne he ascended later in life. He was a Reviver of Religion in his time. His reputation for wise counsel and guidance spread over the earth. Kings stood at his door. Scholars sought his disclosures. In his time no one was left who did not receive nourishment from his spirituality. By means of his Light, darkness disappeared and the Secrets of Blessings shone from the people. He was the Perfect Saint and the Pillar of the Knowers.
He was born in Daghestan in the year 1309 H./1891 AD. to a family of doctors. His father was a general practitioner and his brother was surgeon general in the Russian Army. He was raised and trained by his uncle, Shaykh Sharafuddin ad-Daghestani (q), the master of the Naqshbandi Order at that time, who took special care of him from his early life.
During Shaykh Sharafuddin's sister's pregnancy, he told her:"The son you are carrying has no veils on his heart. He will be able to see events that have passed or that are coming. He is one of those who can read the Unseen Knowledge from the Preserved Tablets (lawh al-mahfuth) directly. He is going to be Sultan al-Awliya' in his time. He is going to be called, among the saints, 'Naqeeb al-Ummah', the Leader of the Nation of Muhammad.
He is going to perfect the ability of being with God and being at the same time with people. He will inherit the secret from the Prophet which he referred to when he said, "I have one face looking at the Creator and I have one face looking at Creation," and "I have one hour with the Creator and I have one hour with the creation." "When you give birth to him call him `Abdullah, because he will be carrying the secret of Servanthood. He will spread the Tariqat back to the Arab countries, and through him, his successor will spread the Tariqat in Western countries and in the Far East. You must be careful with him. I am asking that when he reaches the age of seven you give him to me to raise and to be under my guardianship."
On the 12th of Rabi`ul Awwal, a Thursday, his mother Amina gave birth to her son, whom she named `Abdullah. When she gave birth to him at around midnight, no one was with her. His father was busy and his brother was away. She said that when she was delivering him she saw a vision, in which two ladies came to her. One was Rabi`a al-`Adawiyya and the other was Asiya (Pharaoh's wife, who believed in Moses). They helped her in giving birth. After a while the vision disappeared and she saw a baby come forth. At that moment her husband arrived and helped her deliver her son.
His parents never heard him cry. In his childhood, at the age of one year, they often saw him with his head on the floor in prostration. His mother, family, and neighbors were astonished at this. He spoke at the age of seven months and was able to make himself understood clearly. He was unlike other children in other respects as well. He would often be seen moving his head from right to left while voicing the Divine Name. At the age of three he used to tell visitors about their future. He would know their name without being familiar with them or being told. He surprised the people of his country. People used to come to visit his parents' home in order to see this remarkable child and to hear him speak.
By the age of seven he was reciting Qur'an. He used to sit with his uncle, Shaykh Sharafuddin, and answer the questions people put to him. His answers were always very clear on matters of the shari`ah, though he had never studied jurisprudence. He would recite the supporting evidences from the Qur'an and Prophetic Narrations without ever having studied the science of Prophetic Narrations. This caused people to be more and more attracted to him.
His father's house was always full of visitors coming to ask him about their problems and difficulties and daily affairs. He would answer them and predict their outcomes. He became so famous at the age of seven, that if anyone in his village wanted to marry, they would first go to him and ask if the marriage was destined to succeed. More than that, they would ask if the marriage was according to the Will of Allah as mentioned in the Preserved Tablets.
The scholars of his time verified his decisions and accepted his jurisdiction. Knowers in his time were so fascinated with his knowledge, though he was only seven years of age, that they would come from afar to hear the spiritual knowledge that flowed from him like a fountain. His uncle asked him how he was able to speak so effortlessly and endlessly. He answered, "O my uncle, it comes to me as words written right in front of me from the Divine Presence. I only have to look and read what is written."
He used to discuss subjects of deep knowledge that had never been spoken of before. At the age of seven, he said to the spiritual masters of wisdom of his time, "If I speak what has been put into my heart of Divine Knowledge, even saints will cut my throat." He was extremely meticulous in keeping the prescriptions of the Shari`ah. He was the first to appear for Salat (prayer) in the mosque five times a day. He was the first to be present for Dhikr. He was the first to be present in the meetings of scholars. He was the first to be present in the spiritual gatherings.
He acquired fame for healing sick people by recitation of Surat al-Fatiha. Many people were brought to him with different kinds of sicknesses and he would read Surat al-Fatiha and blow on them and they would be healed. He had a tremendous power for healing even people who were far away. People would come to him and ask for help for parents, or a wife, or someone else who was sick and unable come to him. He would read one Fatiha and send it for them, and they would be instantly cured, from any distance. Healing was one specialty from among his endless specialties.
He said about himself:
"I am a descendant of Sayyidina Miqdad ibn al-Aswad (r), whom the Prophet used to appoint as his deputy whenever he left Madinah on an expedition. I inherited, like my uncle, the five marks of the Blessed Hand of the Prophet which he had placed on the back of my blessed grandfather, Miqdad ibn al-Aswad (r). From that birthmark shines a special light." At that time, Daghestan was under the severe oppression and tyranny of the Russian occupying armies. His uncle, who was the spiritual head of the village, and his father, who was a well-known doctor, decided to emigrate from Daghestan to Turkey. After reaching this decision, they asked Shaykh `Abdullah to make spiritual consultation on the appropriateness of migrating at that time.
Grandshaykh `Abdullah described the event: "That night I prayed `Isha', then I renewed my ablution and I prayed two rak`ats. Then I sat in meditation, connecting myself through my Shaykh, my uncle, to the Prophet. "I saw the Prophet coming to me with 124,000 Sahaba (Companions) saying to me, 'O my son, I am releasing all my powers and those of my 124,000 Companions from my heart. Tell your uncle and the caretakers of the village to migrate immediately to Turkey.'
"Then I saw the Prophet hugging me and I saw myself disappearing in him. As soon as I disappeared in him I saw myself ascending from the Dome of the Rock, the Bait ul-Maqdis, from which the Prophet ascended in the Night Journey. I saw myself astride the same Buraq which carried the Prophet and I saw myself carried up in a true vision, to the Station of Two Bow-lengths, where I could see the Prophet but not myself. "I felt myself to be a part of the entirety of the Prophet . Through that Ascension I received the Realities that the Prophet poured into my heart from what he had received on the Night of Ascension. All these different kinds of knowledges came to my heart in words of light, which began as green and changed to purple, and the understandings were poured into my heart in a quantity which is immeasurable.
"I heard a voice coming from the Divine Presence saying, "Approach, O my servant, to My Presence." As I approached through the Prophet , everything disappeared, even the spiritual reality of the Prophet disappeared. Nothing existed except Allah, Almighty and Exalted. "Then I heard a voice from all His Lights and Attributes that were shining in His Presence, 'O my servant, now come to the State of Existence within this Light.' I felt myself come into existence through the Prophet , after having been annihhilated, appearing and existing in the Divine Presence, decorated with the Ninety-Nine Attributes.
Then I saw myself inside the Prophet , appearing inside every creation that was existing by Allah's Power. That took us to a state in which we were able to realize that there are universes other than this universe, that there are endless Creations of Allah, High and Sublime. Then I felt my uncle shaking my shoulder, saying, 'O my son, it is time for Fajr prayer.' "I prayed Fajr behind him and more than 300 people from the village prayed in congregation with us. After Fajr my uncle stood and said, 'We asked my nephew to make istikhara (spiritual consultation).' Everyone was eagerly waiting to hear what I had seen. My uncle immediately said, 'He was brought to the presence of the Prophet by my power.
The Prophet gave everyone permission to move to Turkey. Then he took him through states up to the state of 'the Distance of two Bowlengths.' Then he took him to a station such that he opened to him a vision of knowledge that has never been opened to any saint before, including myself. His Ascension was a means of instruction for past and present saints, and a Key to open a Gigantic Ocean of Knowledge and Wisdom.' "I said to myself, 'My uncle was with me in that vision, and it was with his power that I received that vision.'" "Everyone in the village began to prepare for the emigration. We moved from Daghestan to Turkey on a trip that was full of difficulties caused both by the Russian soldiers and by highwaymen who killed without the slightest provocation.
"Near the border with Turkey, we were travelling through a forest which was known to be filled with Russian soldiers. It was Fajr time. My uncle said, 'We will pray Fajr and then we will cross the forest.' We prayed Fajr and began moving. Then Shaykh Sharafuddin said to everyone, 'Stop!' He asked for a cup of water. Someone handed him a cup of water and he read on it from Chapter Ya Sin (ayat 9): 'And We have set a barrier in front of them and a barrier behind them, and We have enshrouded them in veils so that they cannot see.' Then he read Fallahu khairul hafidhan wa Huwa arhamur-Rahimeen , "Allah is the best protector, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy." [12:64]
"As he was reading these verses, everyone felt something come to their hearts, and I saw all the emigrants trembling. Allah gave me a vision at that moment so that I could see that we were surrounded by the Russian Army on every side. I saw that they were shooting at anything that moved, even a bird. Then I saw that we were passing by and that we were safe. We were crossing the forest and they heard no sound of our footsteps or our animals, until we arrived safely at the other side of the border. "The vision ended as Shaykh Sharafuddin finished reading. He cast the water ahead of us and he said, 'Move now! But don't look behind.' As we moved on, we could see the Russian soldiers on every side, yet it was as if we were invisible. We moved for 20 miles through that forest. It took us from morning until after `Isha prayers. We did not stop except to pray and we were invisible to everyone. We heard the Russian army shooting at people, birds, animals, and anything that moved. But we passed undetected and unscathed. We were the only people who were safe.
We exited the forest and crossed over into Turkey. "We travelled first to Bursa, where Shaykh Sharafuddin established his home for one year. After that he moved to a place called Rashadiyya, where he established a village for Daghestani emigrants. It was located thirty miles from Yalova, which is on the Marmara Coast, around fifty miles from Bursa and about 60 miles from Adapazar. There he built the only mosque in that village, and next to it he built his own house. Everyone busied themselves with building their houses. My father and mother built a house adjacent to the house of Shaykh Sharafuddin."
"When I reached the age of thirteen, Turkey was under the attack of the British, French and Greek armies. The Turkish Army was conscripting everyone, even the children. They wanted me to go join the Army, but my uncle, who had a good relationship with the Sultan Abdul Hamid, refused to send me. My father died and my mother was alone so I had to work to support my mother. When I reached fifteen years of age, Sayyidina Shaykh Sharafuddin told me, 'Now, my son, you are mature and an adult, and you have to marry.' I married at the very young age of fifteen years and lived with my mother and my wife."
His First Seclusion and Spiritual Training
Shaykh Sharafuddin raised and trained Shaykh `Abdullah with intensive spiritual discipline and long hours of dhikr. After six months he was ordered to enter seclusion for five years. He said: "I was a newlywed of only six months when my Shaykh ordered me to enter seclusion for five years. My mother was so unhappy she went to complain to my Shaykh, her brother, about it. My wife was also unhappy, but my heart never complained. On the contrary, my heart was completely happy to enter the seclusion I desired so intensely.
"I entered the seclusion, though my mother was crying and saying, 'I have no one except you. Your brother is still in Russia and your father has passed on.'
I felt pity for my mother, but I knew it was an order of my Shaykh and that it was coming directly from the Prophet . I entered that seclusion with orders to take six showers every day with cold water, and to keep all my obligations and daily devotional practices (wird/dhikr). In addition, I was ordered to read at least seven, and up to fifteen, sections of Qur'an and to repeat the Holy Name of Allah 148,000 times and prayers on the Prophet 24,000 times daily. "There were many other practices as well, all to be performed in a focused and meditative state. I was in a cave, deep in a large forest, high on a snow-covered mountain. One person was assigned to serve me with seven olives and two ounces of bread every day. I entered that seclusion when I was fifteen and a half years old, and I was quite fat. When I emerged from that seclusion at twenty-two years of age, I was very thin, weighing only 100 pounds.
"What was unveiled to me of experiences and visions cannot be expressed in words. When I entered the seclusion I said to my ego, 'O my ego, even if I am going to die, I am not going to leave this seclusion. You must know that. Do not try to change my mind or to cheat me. There was a hole in the cave, and when he entered the seclusion he stopped up the hole with a piece of cloth. He continued saying, "I slept very little in that seclusion. I never felt any need to sleep, because I had such strong heavenly support. One time I had a vision of the Prophet in seclusion in the Cave of Hi ra. For forty days I sat behind him and he never slept but continued in that state.
"As I was making dhikr one night after midnight, a huge storm raged on the mountain. I could hear that storm felling trees, pouring rain and finally snow. It was very cold and nothing made me warm except the heat of my Dhikr. A heavy wind blew the cloth out of the hole. I was freezing and snow blew in around me. I was so cold that I couldn't move my fingers to count the repetitions of my Dhikr. My heart almost stopped. Then it occurred to me to close the hole again. As soon as that thought came to me, I saw the vision of my Shaykh shouting, 'O my son! Are you busy with yourself or are you busy with the One who Created you? If you die from the cold it is better for you than allowing your heart one moment of heedlessness.' That vision gave me warmth in my heart and determination to restart the Dhikr immediately.
As I continued the Dhikr more wind came, and with it more snow. I struggled with myself, finally telling myself, 'Let me die, even so I am continuing my dhikr.' As soon as I said that, the wind stopped and the snow stopped. Then a tree fell, and covered that hole in the cave. "One day after I prayed the last prayer of the night, while I was busy with Dhikr, and my heart was connected with its Origin, I saw myself doing Dhikr in the Divine Presence. At the same time I felt something encircling me. I knew it was not something heavenly, that it was something physical. I remembered the saying of the Prophet, 'Nothing puts fear in my heart except the fear of Allah.' Although I felt something around me and wrapping me up, my heart remained undisturbed in the Divine Presence.
"In that state I reached a place in the Station of the Awareness of Numbers (wuquf `adadi) of 777,777 repetitions of the Divine Name. I was going to 777,778 when I heard the Divine Presence addressing me, 'O my servant! You have reached the Secret of Wuqaf cAdadi tonight and have gained the key for that station. Enter into our presence in the State of the One who Speaks with Allah (kalimullah), the state of Sayyidina Musa (as) when he spoke directly with God. I saw that I was speaking with the Divine Presence and I received answers to questions that saints had never been able to reach before. I took the opportunity to ask Allah, 'O Allah, what is Your Greatest Name?' And I heard, 'O my servant, you will be given that later.' Then that vision disappeared and it was time for Fajr prayer.
"Before each prayer, I was obliged to take a cold shower. There was, of course, no running water, so I had to use melted snow for showering. As I was about to stand up to wash for prayer, I found that facing me was the head of a snake, which had encircled me completely. Its head was poised so that any movement out of fear would cause him to strike me. I didn't give that snake any importance. I knew if I felt any fear, it would attack. So in my mind I made it to be nonexistent. I could not take a shower with the snake wrapped around me, but the Shaykh's order had to be followed. So I poured the water over my clothes and over the snake. For forty days that snake remained wrapped around me.
When I was praying, it would move its head to allow for my prostrations. For forty days, that snake kept watch, looking for any mistake or fear, to attack me. This test from my Shaykh, to see if I had fear of any but Allah, finally ended and that snake began to unwind itself from around me. It sat for a while in front of me. Then it disappeared."
He spent five years in that particular seclusion, which ended at the age of 22. When he emerged he was eligible for military conscription. This time he went into the army.
His Ascension He said, "I saw my mother for only one or two weeks. Then they took me to the battle known as Safar Barlik in the Dardanelles. One day there was an attack from the enemy and about 100 of us were left behind to defend a frontier. I was an excellent marksman, able to hit a thread from a great distance. We were unable to defend our position and were under fierce attack. I felt a bullet strike my heart and I fell to the ground mortally wounded.
"As I lay dying, I saw the Prophet coming to me. He said, 'O my son, you were destined to die here, but we still need you on this earth in both your spiritual and physical form. I am coming to you to show you how a person dies and how the Angel of Death takes the soul.' He presented me with a vision in which I saw my soul leaving my body, cell by cell, beginning from the toes. As the life was withdrawing, I could see how many cells are in my body, and the function of every cell, and the cure for every sickness of each cell. I heard the dhikr of every cell.
"As my soul was passing away I experienced what a person feels when he dies. I was brought to see the different states of death: painful states of death, easy states of death and the most blissful states of death. The Prophet told me, 'You are from those who pass in a blissful state of death.' I was enjoying that passing so much because I was going back to my Origin, which made me comprehend the secret of the Qur'anic ayat, "To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return" [2:156].
"That vision continued until I experienced my soul departing on the last breath. I saw the Angel of Death come and heard the questions he would ask. All the kinds of visions that appear to the dying I experienced, yet I was alive during that experience and this enabled me to understand the secret of that state. "Then I saw in that vision my soul looking down on my body, and the Prophet was telling me, 'Come with me!' I accompanied the Prophet , and he took me to a vision of the Seven Heavens. I saw everything he wished me to see in the Seven Heavens, and then he raised me to the State of Maqam as-Sidq (the Station of Truthfulness), where I met all the Prophets, all the saints (Siddiqeen), all the martyrs, and all the righteous (Saliheen).
"Then he said, 'O my son, now I am going to take you to see the tortures of Hell.' There I saw everything that the Prophet had mentioned in the hadeeth about the tortures and punishments of that place. I said, 'O Prophet , you who were sent as a Mercy for Human Beings, is there not any way for these people to be saved?' He replied to me, 'Yes, my son, with my intercession they can be saved. I am showing you the fate of those people if I did not have the power to intercede for them.'
"Then the Prophet said, 'O my son, now I will return you to earth and to your body.' As soon as the Prophet said that, I looked down and saw my body, looking somewhat swollen. I looked at that and said, 'O Prophet of God, it is better to be here with you. I don't want to go back. I am happy with you in the Divine Presence. Look at that dunya, I have already been there and now I have left. Why must I go back? Look, my body is swollen.'
"He said, 'O my son, you must go back. That is your duty.' By the order of the Prophet I went back to my body, even though I did not want to. As I entered my body I saw the bullet in my heart had been encased in flesh and the bleeding had stopped. As I smoothly entered into my body the vision ended. When it ended I saw the medics on the field of battle looking for the survivors among the dead. Then one of them said, 'That one is alive, that one is alive.' I had no power to speak or to move, and I realized that it had been seven days that my body had been lying there."
"They took me and treated me, until I recovered and my health was restored. Then they sent me back to my uncle. As soon as I reached him he told me, 'O my son, did you enjoy your visit?' I didn't say 'yes' and I didn't say 'no', as I wanted to know if he meant the visit to the army or the visit in the company of the Prophet . Then he asked me again, 'O my son did you enjoy your visit with the Prophet ?' Then I realized that he knew everything. So I ran to him and kissed his hand and I told him, 'O my Shaykh I went with the Prophet and I must admit that I didn't want to come back. But he told me that is my duty."
Shaykh `Abdullah (q) continued his life under the watchful eyes of his uncle, Shaykh Sharafuddin (q), and he advanced ever higher in spiritual knowledge. One day Shaykh Sharafuddin was sitting in a gathering of 300 scholars, both religious and spiritual, and they were there to discuss matters of importance to their spiritual life. They were sitting on a hill near his mosque. Shaykh `Abdullah came up the hill towards the gathering. Some of the scholars said to Shaykh Sharafuddin, "We are astonished at the great importance you give to that child." The Shaykh replied, "Look at him. He is coming to see me. If a little child of seven were to come to him and say, 'Your Shaykh is sending you a message that you must go to Makkah,' even if I hadn't sent that child, `Abdullah would immediately accept and do what that child says.
This is because he relates everything to me and he knows that whatever comes to him comes from me, regardless of the means. He knows that if it comes from me, the order is from the Prophet , because my heart is connected to his heart, and that its origin is from Allah. Now if that were to happen, without going back to his wife or his mother to say good-bye, nor to pack any provisions, he would immediately direct his steps toward Makkah. That is why I give him such importance; and also because I know what kind of station he is in.
"The State that he is now in, no one before him, including myself, has ever been able to enter or to see. He has reached a state higher than my state and higher than my masters in this Tariqat. As the tariqat continues from one master to another it moves upward.
As the secret is passed from one Shaykh to another, the rank will be increased by the addition of the successor's secret to the secret that he receives. At the same time, the rank of the Prophet is always increasing, in every moment, and as he is raised ever higher, so too are the saints of his Nation. That is the meaning of the verse, "And above every possessor of knowledge there is One All-knowing." [12:76].
A Meeting With Gurdjieff
Grandshaykh `Abdullah (q) used to serve in his master's khaniqah. Everyday hundreds of visitors arrived to visit the Shaykh, most of them coming from Daghestan. Among the many visitors to the Shaykh was the Russian teacher George Gurdjieff. Having recently arrived in Turkey, after a long and arduous escape from Russia, Gurdjieff came to visit Shaykh Sharafuddin. He had had many contacts with Sufis of various orders and had been raised in, and had travelled extensively throughout, the region of the Caucasus. He was pleased to find the inheritors of the distinguished Daghestani Naqshbandi lineage.
Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) asked Shaykh `Abdullah (q) to host their guest. Shaykh `Abdullah recounted the events of the meeting to several of his murids many years later. As soon as they met, Shaykh `Abdullah said, "You are interested in the knowledge of the Nine Points. We can speak on it in the morning after Fajr prayer. Now you eat something and rest." At Fajr time Shaykh `Abdullah called Gurdjieff to come and pray with him. As soon as the prayer finished, the Shaykh began to recite Surat Ya Sin from the Holy Qur'an. As he finished reading, Gurdjieff approached him and asked if he could speak of what he had just experienced.
Gurdjieff said: "As soon as you finished the prayer and began to recite, I saw you come to me and take my hand and we were transported to a beautiful rose garden. You told me that this garden is your garden and these roses are your murids, each with his own color and perfume. You directed me to one particular red rose and said, 'That one is yours. Go smell it.' As I did, I saw the rose open and I disappeared within it and became the rose. I entered its roots and they led me to your presence. I found myself entering into your heart and becoming a part of you.
"Through your spiritual power I was able to ascend to the knowledge of the power of the Nine Points. Then a voice, addressing me as `Abd an-Nur, said: 'This light and knowledge have been granted to you from the Divine Presence of Allah to bring peace to your heart. However, you must not use the power of this knowledge.' The voice bid me farewell with the salutation of Peace and the vision ended as you were finishing the recitation from the Qur'an."
Shaykh `Abdullah replied, "Surat Ya Sin was called 'the Heart of the Qur'an' by the Holy Prophet and the knowledge of these Nine Points was opened to you through it. The vision was by the blessings of the verse: 'Peace! a Word (of salutation) from a Lord Most Merciful' [36:58]. "Each of the Nine Points is represented by one of nine Saints who are at the Highest Level in the Divine Presence. They are the keys to the untold powers within man, but there is no permission to use these keys. This is a secret that in general will not be opened until the Last Days when the Mahdi (as) appears and Jesus (as) returns.
"This meeting of ours has been blessed. Keep it as a secret in your heart and don't speak of it in this life. `Abd an-Nur, for that is your name with us, you are free to stay or go as your responsibilities allow. You are always welcome with us. You have attained safety in the Divine Presence. May Allah bless you and strengthen you in your work." Shaykh Abdullah ad-Dagehestaniwith muridsin Damascus. Shaykh Nazimis to the right of Grandshaykh and Shaykh Hussein is to his left.
His States and Discourses After His Second Seclusion
At 30 years of age, Shaykh Abdullah was ordered to enter a second long seclusion for five years. During that seclusion, many visions and states were granted to him, which it would be impossible to describe within the span of this book. After he completed this second seclusion, the power of his spiritual attraction increased. He became so renowned that even during his Shaykh's lifetime, people used to come from everywhere to learn from him.
Following are some of his discourses: "I do not speak to you about any Station (Maqam), Manifestation (Tajalli), or Rank (Rutbah) without my having already entered that station or position and experienced that Manifestation. I am not like many others, I do not speak separating my sight from my heart, enumerating the Stations (Maqamat) for you without my knowing their Reality (haqiqah).
No! First of all I followed that path and saw what it was. I learned those Realities and Secrets which may be found along it, and I worked my way along it until I obtained the Knowledge of Certainty (`ilm al-yaqin), the Eye of Certainty (`ayn al-yaqin), and the Truth of Certainty (haqq al-yaqin). Only then do I speak to you, giving you a tiny taste of what I have tasted, until I am able to make you reach that station without tiring you and without difficulties. "There are five stations of the Heart: qalb, sirr, sirr as-sirr, khafa and akhfa. Qalb is the Heart, sirr is the Secret,sirr as-sirr is the Secret of the Secret, khafa is the Hidden, and akhfa the Most Hidden. The secret of this Tariqat is based on these five lata'if (Subtle Things), the Stations of the heart.
"Latifat al-qalb, the stage of the Heart, is under the authority of Sayyidina Adam , because it represents the physical aspect of the heart. Latifat as-sirr, the station of the Secret, is under Sayyidina Nuh , because it is the Vessel which is saved from the Ocean of Darkness, salvation from the flood of ignorance. Latifat Sirr as-Sirr, the station of the Secret of the Secret, is under two Prophet s: Ibraham and Masa , who represent Allah's Divine Presence on Earth. Allah made Ibraham the symbol of all His Khalifs on this Earth, as mentioned in the verse of the creation of mankind, "I will create a vicegerent on earth." [2:30]. Musa was blessed with hearing and speaking to Allah which are the two essential attributes of knowledge.
"Latifat al-khafa, the Hidden Station, is under Sayyidina casa . Because of his relationship with Hidden Knowledge, he represents spiritual understanding.
"Latifat al-akhfa, the Most Hidden Station, is under the Reality of Sayyidina Muhammad , because he was granted a station high above that of all other Prophet s and messengers. He was the one who was raised up, in the Night of Ascension, to the Divine Presence. This is represented by the Kalima (Sacred Phrase), because there is no la ilaha illallah without Muhammadun Rasalullah.
"The lights of these stations have been shown to me. The light of the Heart is a yellow hue; the light of the Secret is red; the light of the Secret of the Secret is white; the light of the Hidden Station is green; and the light of the Most Hidden Station is black."
"These Five Stations are the center of the Nine Points, which represent the locus of Revelation and Inspiration of the Divine Presence in the heart of the human being. These Nine Points are located on the chest of each person and they represent nine different hidden states in every human being. Every state is connected to a saint, who has the authority to control that point.
"If the seeker in the Naqshbandi Way is able to unveil and to make spiritual contact with the authorized master controlling these points, he may be given knowledge of and power to use these nine points. "The conditions related to opening these nine points can only be alluded to obliquely. The first station involves the power of imprisoning the ego. The key to the second state is Dhikr with la ilaha illallah. The third state consists in witnessing the engraving of Allah's name on the heart (naqsh). The fourth state relates to the meaning of that engraving on the heart. The fifth state is to imprint the engraving with your dhikr. In the sixth state the heart is made to stop pumping at will and to start pumping at will. The seventh state is to be aware of the number of times one stops the heart from pumping and the number of times one restores the pumping of the heart.
"In the eighth state one mentions the phrase Muhammadun Rasulullah in every cessation of the heart and every restoration of its pumping. The ninth stage is to return to your Cave, as Allah mentioned in Surat al-Kahf, "When ye turn away from them and the things they worship other than Allah, betake yourself to the Cave: your Lord will shower His mercies on you..." [18:16]. "The Cave is the Divine Presence. Here one utters the cherished prayer of the Prophet : 'O God, You are my destination and Your Pleasure is what I seek.' The heart, as it cycles between the cessation and restoration of its pumping, is existing at the level of the Essence of the Divine Presence. Because that Divine Essence is the source of all created being, that heart will be at one with every minutest creation in this universe. The heart which has reached the secrets of the nine points will be able to see everything, hear everything, know everything, taste everything, sense everything, 'Until He will be the ears with which he hears, the eyes with which he sees, the tongue with which he speaks, the hand with which he grasps, and the feet with which he walks. He will be Lordly, he only need say to a thing Be! and it will be.'"
Shaykh Sharafuddin's Will
In the last days of Shaykh Sharafuddin's life, he wrote his will and gave it to Shaykh `Abdullah. He predicted at that time, "After I die, an opportunity will come for you to leave Turkey. When that opportunity comes you must take it, because your duty does not lie here but outside Turkey."
Shaykh `Abdullah (q) had two daughters from his wife Halima, the eldest was named Rabi`a and the younger Madiha. Nine of his children have not survived. After his Shaykh passed away, a delegation came to him from King Faruq of Egypt to convey the condolences of the King, as Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) had many followers in Egypt. One of the princes who came with the delegation saw his daughter Madiha. He immediately felt attracted to her and asked to marry her.
Shaykh `Abdullah realized that this was the opportunity to leave Turkey that his Shaykh had foretold. He immediately accepted the proposal, and with his daughter's compliance the marriage quickly took place. Soon after that he received an invitation from his daughter's new husband to come to Egypt. He said: "I went to Egypt and stayed with my daughter. The relationship between her and her husband was not good. After some time the marriage failed and ended in divorce. I took my Shaykh's advice to use that opportunity. I boarded a ship with my wife and daughters in Alexandria and sailed to Latakia. From Latakia I went to Aleppo, where I landed with only ten piastres [about 10 cents] in my pocket, and no other worldly possessions with me. I went to the mosque to pray Maghrib with my daughters and my wife. There a man approached me and said to me, 'O my Shaykh, please be my guest.' He took me and my family and he hosted us. I consider this to be one of my Shaykh's miracles, which took us from Egypt to Aleppo where Allah opened a door for us."
He stayed some time in Aleppo, where people were honored to have him. Scholars came to sit and listen to him, and they were fascinated with his speeches and his knowledge. They called him the Reviver of the Religion. From there he moved to oms, where he visited the mosque and tomb of the Companion of the Prophet , Khalid ibn al-Walid (r). He stayed briefly in oms. He moved to Damascus, in the Midan District, near the tomb of Sa`d ad-Din Jibawi, a saint from the family of the Prophet . There he established the first zawiya for the branch of the Naqshbandi Order which had gone to Daghestan. With him the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi Order which had gone from Damascus to India, Baghdad, and Daghestan, now returned to Damascus.
His two daughters were married, Rabiha had four children, three girls and one boy. Madiha was married to Shaykh Tawfiq al-Hibri, one of the great Islamic scholars of Lebanon.
Soon people began to crowd into his zawiya. They arrived there from all over the city: Sufis, government people, businessmen, and common people. Murids were coming every day to sit at the door of his khaniqah. Daily they served food to hundreds, many of whom also slept there. Then he received a spiritual order to move to the Mountain of Qasyun. It is the highest point in Damascus, from whose vantage the entire city can be viewed. With the help of his two senior murids, Shaykh Muhammad Nazim `Adil and Shaykh Husayn `Ali, he built a house. This house and the mosque next to it still stand, and the mosque is the site of his maqam (tomb). He saw in a vision, while he was building the mosque, that the Prophet , with Shah Naqshband and Sayyidina Ahmad al-Faruqi, came and put posts to mark the shape and location of the walls of the mosque. As soon as the vision ended, the markers were visible, and everyone present saw them. At that mosque, over the years, hundreds of thousands of visitors were received: for healing, for prayers, for training, for all kinds of external and internal knowledge.
Many times he was ordered by the Prophet to go into more seclusions. These seclusions varied in length from 40 days to one year. He went into over twenty seclusions during his lifetime. Some of these seclusions were made in Damascus, some in Jordan, some in Baghdad, at the tomb of Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani, and many were in Madinah. With each seclusion, his spiritual power and rank were amplified. One time he sent a message to Sharif `Abdullah, who was the King of Jordan and one of his murids, via Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), telling him, "Don't go and pray in congregation, especially on a Friday, because I had a vision that you will be killed." That message was given to Sharif `Abdullah, but he did not heed the warning. The next week he was killed as he left the Friday congregational prayers.
Years later a cousin of ours was caught by accident in gunfire in Beirut. He was taken for emergency surgery. We went to visit our Grandshaykh, terrified for his condition. As soon as we walked in and before we could speak he said to us, "Go back! It was written that he would die, but with my prayers he will live. The operation he is going through will succeeed." When we returned, our cousin was in a coma and they were taking him to surgery. We informed his mother of what Grandshaykh had said to give her hope. The next day our cousin regained consciousness. He said, "I saw Grandshaykh coming to me and doing surgery on me; and that is what saved me."
Shaykh `Abdullah (q) often talked about foreordained things (qada'). He said, "It is known that there are two types of destiny. The first kind of destiny is termed qada'an mucallaq, which means Suspended or Mutable Destiny. It is written on the lawh al-mahfudh (the Preserved Tablet). This will vary according to will and behavior, cause and effect. All saints can change this kind of destiny for their murids, in order to train them and to influence their destiny by changing their actions and behavior. The authority to change the Mutable Destiny is given to the Shaykhs for their murids because they are connected to each other by Divine Will.
"The second type of destiny is contained in Umm al-Kitab, the Mother of the Book, as mentioned in the ayat: yamhullahu ma yasha'u wa yuthbit, wa cindahu Umm ul-kitab [13:39] ("Allah blots out or confirms what He pleases: with Him is the Mother of the Book"), and is called qada'an mubram, which means Fixed Destiny. Saints never interfere in that Fixed Destiny, which is in the Hand of the Creator. "Allah gave the authority to change the Fixed Destiny only to the Nine Saints who are at the highest level in the Divine Presence, by permission from the Prophet who is first to take that power from Allah. They control the Nine Points of human consciousness related to the different stages of the Ascent of an Individual on his path to the Divine Presence.
Allah gave these Nine Saints, whose number has not changed from the time of the Prophet until today, the power to use Sultan adh-dhikr, the Greatest Remembrance. "Everyone knows that Dhikr is primarily the repetition of la ilaha illallah, and that is what is practiced by all tariqats, including the Naqshbandiyya. But the Sultan adh-dhikr is a completely different type of Dhikr. "Allah said, Inna nahnu nazzalna-dh-dhikra wa inna lahu la-hafidhun [15:9], "We have revealed the Dhikr, and we are the One to protect that Dhikr in you." The Dhikr mentioned here is the Holy Qur'an. The Dhikr of these nine saints, besides la ilaha illallah, is the Secret of the Holy Qur'an. They recite the Qur'an, not as we recite it reading from beginning to end, but they recite it with all its secrets and inner realities. Because Allah said, wa la ratbin wa la yabisin illa fa kitabin mubeen [6:59] "Nor is there anything fresh or dry but is inscribed in a clear Record." None of God's creations in all the created universes has not been mentioned already, with all its secrets, in the Clear Book, the Qur'an.
"The saint reciting the Qur'an in Sultan adh-Dhikr is therefore reciting it with all the secrets of every creation, from beginning to end. Allah gave every letter of the Qur'an, according to the Nine Highest Masters of the Naqshbandi Order [this was the first time the Shaykh ever mentioned this secret], twelve thousand knowledges. The Qur'an contains around 600,000 letters, so for every letter, these saints are able to take 12,000 knowledges!
"Each of these nine saints differs from the other in his level as well. We may see that one of them, for example, was able to recite the Holy Qur'an by the power of Sultan adh-Dhikr, which is to grasp 12,000 meanings on every letter, only once in his life. Another was able to recite it three times in his life. The third was able to do it nine times in his life. Another was able to recite it 99 times in his life.
"This secret differed from one saint to another. Shah Naqshband (q) was able to do it 999 times in his life. Our Master Ahmad al-Faraqi was able to recite it 9,999 times in his life. Shaykh Sharafuddin was able to recite it 19,999 times." Here Shaykh `Abdullah stopped. Shaykh Nazim said, "In every breath Grandshaykh `Abdullah Daghestani was exhaling with Sultan adh-Dhikr and inhaling with Sultan adh-Dhikr. He used to complete the secret of Qur'an twice in every breath."
A Meeting With John Bennett
Among the many visitors and seekers at the door of Grandshaykh was the Englishman, John G. Bennett. In several of his books he recounts his meetings with Shaykh `Abdullah. Following is part of his accounts compiled from Concerning Subud and Witness. Bennett writes in Concerning Subud: "Shaykh Abdullah is a true saint in whom one feels an immediate complete trust." He elaborates in more detail about their meeting in Witness: "The Shaykh was waiting for me on the roof of his house. It was high up above the city, commanding a superb panorama... I felt at ease from the start, and very soon I experienced a great happiness that seemed to fill the place. I knew that I was in the presence of a really good man. "After the usual salutations, and compliments of the excellence of my Turkish, he astonished me by saying: 'Why did you not bring the lady sister who is with you?
I have a message for her as well as you.' It seemed unlikely that anyone could have told him about Elizabeth. We had walked straight to his house, and the Dadji, my guide, had left me at the door without speaking to anyone. I replied that as he was a Muslim, I did not think he would wish to speak with a woman. He said very simply: 'Why not? Rules and customs are for the protection of the foolish; they do not concern me. Next time you pass through Damascus, will you bring her to me?' I promised to do so if the opportunity came.
"We sat for a long time in silence, watching the ancient city. When he began to speak, I found it hard to come out of the deep reverie into which I had fallen. He was saying: 'I was expecting someone today, but I did not know it would be you. A few nights ago an angel came to my room and told me that you would come to visit me and I was to give you three messages. You have asked God for guidance about your wife.
She is in God's keeping. You have tried to help her, but this was wrong. You disturb the work that God is doing in her soul. There is no cause for anxiety about her, but it is useless for you to try to understand. The second message concerns your house. You have asked God for guidance as to whether you should go your way or follow others. You must trust yourself. You will be persecuted by the Armenians, but you must not be afraid. You have to attract many people to you and you must not hesitate even if other people are angry.' "He fell silent again. I was astonished at the two messages, for it was true that I had prayed for guidance on just those two questions...
"'The most important message is the last. You must know that there is great wickedness in the world. People have given themselves over to the worship of material things, and they have lost the will and the power to worship God. God has always sent Messengers to show the way out of such situations, and He has again done so in our present age. A Messenger is already on earth, and his identity known to many. Before long he will come to the West. Men have been chosen to prepare the way for him... It was shown to me that you are one of those chosen to prepare the way... The Messenger will come to your country and even to your house...'
"'You should never cease to worship God, only you must not show it. Outwardly you must behave as others do. God has appointed two angels to take care of you. One will guide and direct you so that you will no longer make mistakes as before. The other will perform the religious duties that you cannot do for yourself.
"'I advise you frequently to repeat in your heart the words, La ilahe il Allah, which means surrender to God alone.' When I said that this was the Muslim profession of faith, he replied that it is as much Christian as Muslim, for the foundation of all religion is that man should not follow his own will, but the will of God..."
His Passing From This Life
We observed many wondrous events with our Grandshaykh. His life was full of beneficent activity. He was always smiling, and never angry. He had no income, yet the food was always abundant in his house. How was he supported, was the question in the mind of everyone. People would show up unannounced until they sometimes numbered 200, but they would find food prepared and ready for them. We always used to wonder, "Where did that rice and bread and meat come from?"
I rarely saw him sleep at night. During the day he was always receiving people, and at night he was always sitting in his special room, reading Qur'an, reading Dala'il al-Khayrat, doing his personal dhikr or reading praises on the Prophet . He used to pray after midnight until the dawn. He helped the needy as much as he was able and he sheltered many homeless in his mosque. He served humanity. The tongue is helpless to describe his good manners and good characteristics.
Until one day came in 1973, when he said, "The Prophet is calling me. I have to go and see him. He told me, 'You cannot come to me until you have an operation on your eye,'" referring to the shortsightedness in his left eye. He was hinting to us that he was going to pass on but we were not able to accept that hint. He was alive in us and alive in all those who knew him, even the cats that were always around him.
After he went for the eye surgery, he stopped eating. We begged him to eat, but he refused saying, 'I am in complete seclusion, because the Prophet is calling me.' He would only accept dry bread softened by soaking in water, once a day. He said, 'I don't want to live any longer, I want to go to join my Prophet and to be with him. He is calling me, Allah is calling me.' This was like a thunderbolt for us, but still we could not believe it. Then he wrote his will and said, 'Next Sunday I am going to pass on.' It was the September 30th, 1973 CE, the 4th of Ramadan, 1393 H. Everyone was surprised and fearful awaiting that day to see if it would happen.
It was ten o'clock on the Sunday that he had predicted and we were sitting in his room. He said to me, "Feel my pulse." I felt his pulse and it was over 150. Then he said, "O my son, these are the last seconds of my life. I don't want anyone here. Everyone must leave and go to the big meeting room." There were only ten of us inside the room. At that moment two doctors arrived: one was my brother and the other a friend. Both were surgeons. Grandshaykh did not allow anyone other than family in the room.
We heard his daughter cry out, "My father has died, my father has died." We all ran into the room and we saw that Grandshaykh was not moving. Quickly my brother took his pulse and his blood pressure, but they were not detectable. He ran hysterically to the car to get a syringe with medicine, returning minutes later. He re-entered in the same manner, wanting to inject the Shaykh in his heart to try to restart its pumping. The other doctor said, "What are you doing? The Shaykh has been dead for over seven minutes. Stop your foolishness." But he wouldn't stop and insisted on going ahead with the injection.
Then Grandshaykh opened his eyes, put his hand up and said in Turkish: "Burak!" which means, "Stop!"
Everyone was shocked. They had never heard the dead speak before. I will never forget this in all my life. All those present, professors and doctors, will never forget either. After that my brother put his instruments away. We stood there in shock, not knowing what to say. Was he dead or not? Was he simply veiling himself to return shortly? That is the secret Allah gave to His Lovers and Saints who travel in His Kingdom, in His Love, in His Secrets. It was an unforgettable day.
The news of his passing was like a tremendous tornado, whirling through Damascus, Aleppo, Jordan, Beirut. People came from everywhere to him for one last look. We washed him, and from his holy body came a very beautiful smell. We prepared him for the funeral prayers and for burial the next day. All the scholars of Damascus attended his funeral. Four hundred thousand people came to his janaza prayers. People were lined up from his house to the Mosque of Ibn `Arabi, where his body lay in state.
When we returned to his home after the janaza prayer we saw the coffin gliding over the heads of people without any help from anyone, moving to his mosque for its burial. It had taken us three hours to walk back from the Mosque of Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi to Grandshaykh's mosque, a trip which normally takes twenty minutes because of the huge crowd in the streets. Everyone was crying. They did not want the Shaykh to be buried. No one could believe it and no one could accept it. It was enough to make us remember the state of the Sahaba when Sayyidina Muhammad passed away. We understood why Sayyidina `Umar (r), Sayyidina `Uthman (r) and Sayyidina `Ali (r) were not accepting that the Prophet had passed away. We underwent that same state, even wondering how Sayyidina Abu Bakr (r) could not have felt the same.
All the government officials and scholars were at the mosque waiting to bury him. A message was delivered to the imam from out of the blue saying, "Do not bury Grandshaykh until Shaykh Nazim arrives." No one could believe it as there had been no way to contact Shaykh Nazim, who was in Cyprus. There was no phone, no fax machine, and even a telegram would have taken two days. No one accepted that the message was real. But for the love of our Shaykh, we were happy to postpone his burial and insisted to wait until Shaykh Nazim arrived. It was Ramadan, everyone was fasting. The scholars and the crowd grew restless. People said they wanted to go. We told them they were free to go if they wanted, but that we must wait. After some time most of the people left, and only the most sincere followers of the Shaykh remained. Shortly before Maghrib prayer time, Shaykh Nazim was seen climbing the stairs. How he arrived so quickly no one knows. It remains a mystery to this day.
Shaykh Nazim brought Grandshaykh's body back into the mosque and prayed janaza over him again. Then he ordered us all to go break our fast. He buried him with his own hands. When he lifted the shroud from his face, we smelled the sweet perfume of sandalwood, amber and musk the like of which we had never smelled before. Then Shaykh Nazim asked us to go out. Only my brother and I stayed, watching from the window to see what was happening inside.
He stood at the head of the grave, as if in prayer. Then in the blink of an eye, Shaykh Nazim disappeared. This event added an extraordinary surprise to our previous surprises. There were no words to express our feelings. Fifteen minutes passed, and suddenly we saw Shaykh Nazim appear in the same place from which he had disappeared. Then we ran to the door as he came out. He said, "What! Still here? You didn't break your fast? Never mind, my company is better!" We went down to break our fast with him. Shaykh Nazim returned that night to Beirut, and took a plane back to Cyprus.
Grandshaykh `Abdullah ad-Daghestani (q), Naqeeb al-Ummah, may Allah bless his soul, predicted many events, some of which have come to pass and some of which we still await.
He said in 1966, "Next year there will be a war between the Israelis and the Arabs. The Arabs will be defeated." He predicted that another war between Israel and the Arabs would occur. Shortly before he passed away he said, "There will be a big war within one month between the Israelis and Arabs." This came to pass. On the third of October, three days after his passing, the Arabs and Israel entered another war.
One time Grandshaykh's daughter, Madiha, was considering buying a house with her husband in Beirut and Grandshaykh said, "No." She insisted, but still he said, "No." She continued to insist but he was adamant and said: "Beirut is going to be full of bloodshed. Every house is going to be affected by that bloodshed and no one will escape its touch." He mentioned this in 1972, and it began to happen in 1975. He told us before he passed away, "I see you in Tripoli, in the north of Lebanon." This was his way of suggesting that we move away from Beirut.
Grandshaykh Abdullah ad-Daghestani at over age 85.
On a related matter he said, "When John Bennett met me and confirmed his shahada, he asked what he could do. I told him to keep his shahada secret. Thereby he was able to bring many people in his homeland of England to take shahada, and to interest them in spirituality."
He said, "I see England entering Islam." He predicted that a royal family in Europe is going to support Islam, because in their bloodline is the blood of Arabs. "This will draw them into spirituality and arouse in them an interest in many faiths, and draw them towards the Divine Presence."
He said, "China is under the authority of a great saint, who will be one of the greatest saints in the time of Mahdi and Jesus . His name is `Abdur Ra'uf al-Yamani. Through his influence China will sign an agreement with the West not to use its nuclear weapons. China will split into many different small countries. There will be problems in the Far East, in the Korean Peninsula, and a great power would intervene to stop that conflict."
"A non-Arab Middle Eastern country will attack the Persian Gulf area, which will put the whole world into fear that the source of petroleum will be cut off."
He said, "Cairo is going to sink underwater." Later the Russians built the Aswan Dam; it contains an enormous amount of water and has recently been found to contain loose underpinnings which are eroding. He said, "Cyprus will sink underwater, and Mount Olympus, near Bursa, will erupt. Under it are two elements, gas and fire, which have until now been kept separate, and saints have always prayed that these elements would not combine. From its explosion, hundreds of thousands of people will be wounded and become homeless."
"There will be a war in the Gulf Area where a huge fire will arise and involve the rest of the world."
"Germany and England will lead the whole of Europe. In Germany there is a saint, assigned by Mahdi (as) and Jesus(as), who is to raise and train the people in spirituality. That saint is hidden, but he is among them." "There will be a big change in the approach of Arabs to politics, and one powerful regime is going to change to a better way of government." Before he passed away, in a private meeting with some of his closest murids, he said, "There will be peace, and America will be the one leading the talks for peace, which will end the war between the Arabs and Israel. This is going to happen. The sign of it is the collapse of Communism and the splitting of the Russian Empire into many parts. There will be no power in this world, except for America. Most Arab governments will turn to the Americans. The conflict will completely quiet down, and Arabs and Israelis will live in peace. Slowly every conflict on the earth will be put to an end, and everywhere there will be peace. America will lead that. Everyone will be happy and no one will expect war to ever occur again.
Suddenly, in the midst of peace, an attack will be made on Turkey from a neighboring country and a war will start, followed by an invasion of Turkey by a close neighboring country. This will threaten the U.S. bases in Turkey and will cause a greater battle to ensue. This will result in a great disaster on earth and a horrible war. During the course of the war, Mahdi (as) will come forth and Jesus (as) will return. His purpose will be to bring spirituality, peace and justice and to overcome tyranny, fear and terror. Love and happiness and peace will fill this earth, with the power of Mahdi (as) and Jesus (as), by the Will of Allah Almighty."
The Secret of the Golden Chain was passed to the Sun of Suns, the Leader of Those Brought Near, the Discoverer of Secrets, Shaykh Muhammad Nazim `Adil al-Qubrusi ar-Rabbani an-Naqshbandi al-Haqqani
A Talk to the Gurdjieff Group
I am very happy that you came all the way here to see us. I heard many things from my shaykh about your master, Gurdiieff, the closeness he felt towards him and how, after he died, John Bennett used to come frequently to see him. Gurdjieff met Grandshaykh Abdullah Daghistani, at least, once. Some of John Bennett's American followers met Shaykh Nazim.
In the path to God, we do not think that there are differences between brothers. All masters are one in this universe. All of them are the same. If you met this or that one, in our belief, it is the same; for all of them receive their power from One who is the center of everything, whose name in Arabic is Allah, the God, our Lord.
One day, Gurdjieff met our Master secretly. Our Grandshaykh wished nothing to be known of that meeting and so it was not mentioned. All that was said in Gurdjieff's books was that he met some saints in Damascus and Baghdad with no mention of names. Still, he ordered John Bennett to meet with Grandshaykh frequently and allowed him to mention these meetings in his books. That is why John Bennett spoke about
Grandshaykh. On the occasion of their secret meeting, Grandshaykh gave permission to Gurdjieff to use the power of the Nine Points with which some of you, I think, are familiar. However, he did not give Gurdjieff permission to use all that power and so Gurdjieff did not pass the full measure of that power on to his followers. The power Grandshaykh gave Gurdjieff was like that of a reflection in a mirror--resembling the original, but not the original. The secret of it he kept in his heart. Why? Because he knew that at the end of this world someone is coming who will use that power completely in all the earth. That time is the time of perfection and everything, at that time, will attain its perfection and be complete. And all saints in this world, in this universe, await that miraculous age.
We live now in a time of darkness. Saints now do not display their power. Look now how many people are following Gurdjieff? One thousand? Fifty-thousand? One hundred thousand? One million? How many people are there in this world? In whose hands are they left? Have they been forgotten or left aside ? Impossible. Saints have the power to attract many to their association. But they do not use it because they do not have permission. It is given them for specific purposes and is not to be used everywhere and on every occasion. And that is the reason why saints nowadays see only certain people, special ones.
You cannot find diamonds everywhere, they are rare. I likewise, the followers of saints are very rare, like stars on dark nights. All of you are like stars on dark nights, heralding that golden age to come when this has passed away. On that day, you and the followers of other saints will be shining and all saints will come together and use that miraculous power given to them by Allah. And on that day, everywhere in this world you will find peace. That is why Gurdjieff did not fully unfold the secret that was in his heart but used only some of it. Many saints have passed away having used only a portion of their secrets. Yet there will come a time at the end of this world when that one who is to come will restore everything.
We have been created, you and I, by our Lord. He has not left us alone to ourselves. In everything, we are equal. Human beings, I repeat, are equal in everything both women and men. There is no "man", no "woman" in the name "human being." That expression includes everything without discrimination. God did not say, "This is a man, this is a woman." He said "human beings." God said that He sent prophets and saints as a mercy for human beings; He did not say, "I send saints and prophets for men," or, "I send saints and prophets for women." That is why you can find among the saints both women and men. There are women who are considered saints and there are men that are considered saints. In God's eyes there is no discrimination. Everyone is equal. Each human being has a light in his and her heart. This light is the light of sainthood. Unfortunately, most human beings are not uncovering or discovering what they have, but they are burying it under more and more veils of hard-heartedness and love of this life.
God has created us with love. He did not create us for hell fire. When we who have children see them do something bad, we try to correct them. We do not burn them up. We do not put them in hell. We try to correct them. We do not even beat them, that is not allowed. We only try to correct them, and tell them: 'This is right'; 'This is wrong'. God did not create human beings for punishment. Many people nowadays say this, but it is not true. They are showing a cruel side of human nature which is evil and springs from Satan. God is merciful, God is full of love, God is Light. With His mercy and love He created us. Why are we not using that love and mercy which God has given us, that love and mercy for which we were created? Why are we not using it to reach out to others?
If a woman loves a man or if a man loves a woman, you will find one near the door of the other. Both are desiring to reach their beloved. Not for one second do they wish to be left without some connection to their beloved. When two persons love each other, they are always together. But what about God who put that love in our heart in the first place' who possesses all love, who, in fact, has Oceans of love? Don't you think that He loves you? He loves everyone! That love that Godd put in our hearts, the love which makes us live together, He possesses all of it, completely, in His hands. What about Him? Does He not love I the servant whom He created with His own hands? Why are we not using that love and coming to Him? Why are we not opening those secrets our Lord has planted in our hearts?
Sometimes you find a person who is childless. Yet that person loves someone unrelated to him, so she or he writes a will which will make an unrelated person heir to everything.
This comes from love. God loves us. He created us and he is giving us everything. Why are they not taking what He is giving us and using it? Rather, people are running away from those gifts. But that is why He sent prophets and messengers, and after them saints, masters of this universe. There are one-hundred and twenty-four thousand saints on this earth, running here and there to look into people's hearts, to bring them back to God. It is for that reason that saints know each other and meet one with another.
Once I heard from my shaykh: When I say "heard", it means that if you only hear, it is not complete; when you hear and see, it is complete. And even then it is not complete. When you hear, see, and feel, then it is complete, and even then it is still not complete; when you hear, see, feel, and smell, then it is complete. Nowadays many people are reading books. [Pointing to a murid] Every time I see him he has a computer in front of him. I ask him, "Do you have Beethoven in here?" He says yes, the Fifth Symphony. He plays it, but you can only hear. You cannot see. You cannot feel as if you were in an auditorium and Beethoven is playing. Where is Beethoven? Is he inside that computer? Can you see him? No. You can only hear him. So when I say "heard", I mean not that I heard; for the highest level is when you can see completely.
We are reflections just as everything here, in this mortal life, is a reflection. We are mere imitations of our ultimate realities. Our ultimate realities, however, are in the presence of our Lord. In this respect, do not think that you are ever away from your Lord. We are, in this life, reflections. It is just as when you look into a mirror and see images. But the realities where are they? Our real selves are in the presence of our Lord; there we exist in a real fashion. Here, we are not really existing. Here, we are imitating. When are we truly existing? We truly exist when our images match our realities.
The aim of the saints is to take you to your real self. That is why they spoke and wrote books. They tried to teach you in order to reach out to you. When a saint says something, you cannot escape seeing it, smelling it, feeling it. This is the power of the saints.
It is not the power of the saint to let you take his book and read it. When you read, you do not feel, you do not see, you are only reading. You must receive power directly from his heart, not from words written in books. And that power of saints is communicated to the hearts of their followers. If a group of people are following a saint, you see them united. But when you observe people who do not follow saints, who read books by themselves and do not take a guide, you will find them separated. The power of a saint is always felt through his followers.
My shaykh once said: "Saints are like the circumference of a circle. On that circumference, there are an infinite number of points--millions and billions, no one knows how many. Yet the center is but a single point. In the center you cannot have many points, you have only one point. And from that point each saint receives light, receives power. The radii extend to every point on the circumference but the distance from that center to each point on the circumference is the same."
(Excerpted from the book Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety)
Escaping from Shaytan
August 6, 1996, evening
A short Association, because now our egoes are pleased that we just had a delicious dinner with every kind of Allah Almighty's favors, so many n'imat [favors] granted us through the doctor's generosity. And we are first thanking Dr. Akmal Khan; we must first say "Thank you" to you, to your family, and as you are giving your generosity to me and to my followers, Allah Almighty should reward you and your ancestors, blessing them and giving hidayat [guidance] for your descendants. May Allah bless everyone that is coming here, from far distances or near ones, and Allah Almighty rewards everyone according to their intentions. Allah Almighty is always looking at our hearts, what are our intentions.
And we are saying, "'Audhu bil-Lah min ash-Shaytani-r-Rajeem, bismillahi-r-Rahmani-r-Raheem."1 We are escaping from Shaytan to Allah, to hide us. We are asking His divine shelter and His divine protection because it is so difficult for us to defeat Shaytan, because our egoes are also always going with Shaytan. If our egoes were not going with Shaytan, it would be easy, but our egoes and Shaytan are from the same characteristic.
Shaytan was the first rebellious one toward Allah; in the Divine Presence, the first one who was rebellious was Shaytan, not anyone else before him. And he did his worst for his Lord, while it was right to do his best for his Lord, Allah Almighty, and Shaytan was cursed and kicked out of Heaven to earth.
And our egoes are also never accepting to be servants. Our nafs that means ego is never happy to be a servant to Allah Almighty. Therefore, the same characteristic in Shaytan is with our egoes. And when our egoes are with Shaytan, it is like a man and woman coming together and bringing forth a baby; nafs, our ego and Shaytan, when coming together, must give a birth to an evil, there must be an evil born. Therefore, Allah Almighty, through His first Message to mankind, through the first man and first prophet, Sayyidina Adam, was advising His servants, "Don't give a chance that Shaytan approaches you." If you are giving that chance to him, sharr, evil, must come; a sin must must be there.
A sin is born; when Shaytan and our ego go together, a sin quickly comes. Therefore, Allah Almighty is teaching, from the first prophet up today, that you must ask a shelter from Him from Shaytan. Therefore we have been ordered to say "Audhu bil-Lahi min ash-Shaytani-r-Rajeem." "Audhu bil-Lahi min ash-Shaytani-r-Rajeem" -- that means we are weak ones. We aren't able, by ourselves, to defeat him, to throw him away. Therefore we must ask divine help: "O our Lord, give us a shelter from Shaytan." And Shaytan is everywhere and with everyone. No one is going to be without Shaytan; not any place, even holy places, where Shaytan is not there everywhere. Only one place that no Shaytan is in; the only place that Shaytan is forbidden to be there, that is in K'abah. Shaytan can't enter inside it no
He can't be there, or quickly he will be burned. Instantly he will be turned to be ashes; he can't come inside it prohibited. And also at the grave of the Prophet, turbatu-Rasool,2 (SAWS), inside it, he can't be there, instantly burning and turning to ashes. But in every other place you can find so many shaytans, and also with you, coming with you, even sleeping with you, eating with you, walking with you.
When you are sleeping, he is sitting, not sleeping. Not sleeping and he is waiting for you, so that he may see you when you are waking up. If he sleeps, you may make wudhu and pray, but he is looking at you, if you are waking up and says, "Sleep, sleep. It is still dark. Don't get up. You must sleep. Still a long time to morning." Every time you are begin to wake up he says, "There is still a long time before adhan. Sleep, sleep well." Yes? Is it not so?
Therefore, every time a person is waking up, Shaytan is saying to him, "Don't get up. Sleep. It is so beautiful to sleep. Rest. Even now you are not resting; you are working too much and not resting, taking no pity on your own self. Sleep!" Therefore, Shaytan is everywhere and with everyone. Never leaving you, always coming, saying to you, "I am your bodyguard; trust in me. I am guiding you to an excellent situation. Come with me, follow me." "Follow me"; writing on his back and saying to everyone, "Follow me, follow me." Just as it is written on some cars in an airport, "Follow me," similarly Shaytan is going in front of everyone, man and women, writing and saying, "Follow me" -- and not only writing "Follow me" but also with a microphone in his hand saying, "Please follow me! Follow me! Don't look right and left but just follow me. I am with you always," and people are running after him, day and night.
Therefore we must say, "'Audhu bil-Lah min ash-Shaytani-r-Rajeem. O our Lord, we can't do anything with Shaytan if You do not help us." When you are saying "'Audhu bil-Lah min ash-Shaytani-r-Rajeem," he is jumping from here to a distance, but then, slowly, slowly, slowly running, approaching you. When you are saying "'Audhu bil-Lah min ash-Shaytani-r-Rajeem," it is like kicking a football, kicking him, "'Audhu bil-Lah min ash-Shaytani-r-Rajeem" and throwing him away. Therefore, any time that you are feeling yourself in a bad situation and not able to take control of yourself, you must say "'Audhu bil-Lah min ash-Shaytani-r-Rajeem, 'audhu bil-Lah. . . . " At least seven times you can say it, and he is going to be tired, running away.
Yes. And we are saying "Bismillahi-r-Rahmani-r-Raheem." If Allah Almighty does not help us, we can't do anything. "Bismillahi-r-Rahmani-r-Raheem" means, "O my Lord, I am helpless, I am weak, and I am asking Your support, divine support. I am in need of Your blessings, I am in need of Your mercy, I am in need of Your favors. O my Lord, please grant me, please support me, to be able to do something, something for You." Not something for anyone else. If you are doing something for anyone else, it is going to finish and vanish, but everything that you are doing for Allah, it is for you forever. It is impossible for it to be taken away, Allah Almighty keeping it in His treasures. When you are in need, at that time of most need for ourselves on the Day of Resurrection, we should ask help and He should give it to us.
Therefore, you must try to be with Allah, and whoever is with Allah, Allah Almighty, in every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, He will be supporting, and no one will come to Sheikh Nazim to say, "O sheikh, pray for me because my business is getting bad, getting no more profit. Please pray to Allah for me."
Yahu, I am saying, "Allah is closer to you than I am. Why are you not saying it to Him?" Allah is closer to His servants than themselves. "Wa 'alamu anna Llahu yahulu baina-l-marri wa qalbihi"4 -- this holy verse is saying that Allah Almighty is coming in yourself and coming in your heart. And you can't reach your heart; Allah is closer than you to your heart. No one can imagine how close He is to you. It must be so, because He is the Creator.
He is the Creator, and He creates what you are thinking and for what you are thinking and for what you are working and what is your purpose and what is your aim; He knows before you know it. I am saying, "Why are you not asking from Allah, coming to me and saying to me that 'Pray for me,' while between you and Allah Almighty there is nothing." You can say, "O my Lord"; you can say, "Ya Rabb, ya Rabb, ya Rabbi," and He is just reaching to you or He is just with you, because you can't stand up without Allah's Power; if His power does not go through your whole body, even through cells then you cannot function, cannot be alive. Cells must be alive with Allah Almighty's power or even the smallest cell can't be alive in your blood, in your brain, in your skin, in your flesh, in your organs. Every cell must be with its Lord and must glorify its Lord.
Therefore, we must try to reach a state that by praying we are able to reach Allah Almighty's Will -- that means, what He is asking for me, for you, for anyone else, and if you understand what is His will for you, then not to object to it, not to reject or object to Allah Almighty's Will, and then you should be happy. Try to be with Allah Almight's Will. Don't put your will in the place of your Lord's Will, or don't put your will against the Will of your Lord. Whoever puts his will in opposition to the Will of Allah, he is going to fall into an endless depression. Mostly depression is coming from that point, because you want something and Allah Almighty wants something else.
And even if all mankind is going to insist on one purpose, they can't change it, they can't make their will to precede or subjugate Allah's Will. If Allah Almighty says "No," no one can make it "Yes." If He says "Yes" for something, even if all nations say "No," it must transpire as He wills. Therefore, that is the most keen knowledge, keen treatment for depressed people. Depressed people must know that what they are saying "Yes" to is not going to be or what they are saying "No" to is not going to be. They must learn that only Allah Almighty can say "Yes;" in spite of all mankind saying "No!" If He says "Yes," that must be. If all mankind says "Yes" and Allah Almighty says "No," it is going not to be.
That must be taught to everyone, because depression is increasing day-by-day, and it is a kind of punishment from Allah Almighty that His servants are not using their will and their minds for their actions; they are acting without using their minds and wills, and every time they are making mistakes. Even a simple mistake harms people. What if you make an mistake, every time, every moment, every hour, every day coming against the Will of Allah, and your will makes mistakes? But now it is the time of atheist people; they are saying "No God." Astaghfirullah5 no God but Allah! Allah is God. And they are not teaching about God in schools it is forbidden in schools to be taught about Allah, and they are saying, "If anyone wants to know something about their Lord, there is the church. Go in and learn there."
They are so proud of not putting it into the curriculum of students; they are saying, "If you want to ask about God, go. There is a church. This is something that you can believe or not believe it doesn't matter." Put a symbol there -- in the midst of universities, as a symbol, a symbol of mystery. I saw in Cambridge and Oxford, in universities, huge cathedrals, but they are not putting at the beginning of every knowledge the knowledge that leads us to Allah, to God. Therefore, their teachings are harmful and with no result, making people depressed, because if a person says "There is No Allah, no God," that means he is in a situation where there is no any support from any direction and then he can fall down. Therefore, governments must change their educational policies, to put knowledge about Allah as the first lesson for little children all the way up to academic studies. They must say first, "In the name of Allah, All-mighty, All-Merciful, who created us, who granted us to be His servants." As long as they do not put this, they are going to be in suffering, with no peace, and fighting continuing.
May Allah forgive us. Therefore, O people, listen and try to act, try to believe, try to act according to your beliefs. Don't let Shaytan come to you so you can follow him. Shaytan is in Hell, and anyone following Shaytan is just going to fall into Hell.
And the Prophet is in Paradise; whoever wants to follow him, he should reach the Prophet in Paradise. May Allah cause us to be in Paradise with His prophets, with His awliya (saints) and anbiya (prophets) and with pure ones, and may He change this world to take away devils and to make us among His sincere servants so that we should reach happiness and contentment and pleasure from Allah Almighty.
(1) I seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the Rejected.
(2) The grave of the Prophet, SAWS.
(3) The call to prayer.
(5) I ask Allah's forgiveness.
Questions Concering "Shaykh" Nazim al-Qubrusi and his Deviation from the Naqshbandi Tariqah
Correspondence between M. Zubair Qamar and Shaykh Abdul Hadi Palazzi
FIRST LETTER :
Assalam-u-alaikum Shaykh Abdul-Hadi, I wanted to tell you something that might interest you. Remember I told you that I've studied with Shaykh Samir ("habashis") and their organization called AICP (Association of Islamic Charitable Projects)? Well, I consider him (to my knowledge) a scholar of Ahl al-Sunna. The surprising thing is that Shaykh Samir has written a small book against Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi. Shaykh Samir has proof from Shaykh Nazim's own books that he is an "innovator." I am confused on this issue. Shaykh Samir's refutation is on the world-wide-web. PLEASE read it and tell me your opinions about it. Shaykh Hisham Kabbani hates Shaykh Samir and his organization. Here is the web-site: http://www.aicp.org/html/preface.htm
I look forward to hearing from you about this refutation against Shaykh Qubrusi by Shaykh Samir al-Kadi. According to Shaykh Samir, Shaykh Qubrusi is a "fake" follower of the Naqshbandi sufi order. Is this true? Please verify this for me. BarakAllahu-fik. Assalam-u-alaikum-wa-Rehmtullah. Your brother and student, Zubair
Wa 'alaykum salam wr wb dear Brother Zubair. Until now, I have always abstained from criticizing Nazim al-Qubrusi, out of two main reasons: he was in the Naqshbandi silsilah, and his organization has converted to Islam many non-Muslims, especially in Europe and the US. It is a well-known fact that he is not a real 'alim in Islamic sciences, and some explanations about the Shari'ah I personally heard from him are at least questionable.
Decadence and deviations in tariqahs are a generalized situation, and that is the main reason why I do not tell Muslims, "Enter this or this other tariqah".
The Sufi path is effective when the Shaykh is a real murshid, that is to say, a wali, and a wali is always, by definition, an 'alim. When you follow a tariqah whose shaykh, although not a wali, is a Sunni 'alim, you can at least increase you hasanats and your knowledge. Many of today's shuyukhs are not even ulemas, but having a shaykh who is only a pious Muslim could in some cases be enough. The problem is - as always - that most of non-learnt shuyukhs can fall victims to kibr and pride, and Shaytan can influence them in creating bid'ahs and preaching strange doctrines. Imam Rabbani restored Sufism to a 100 % concordance with the Shari'ah, and the Naqshbandi tariqah has been for centuries a warranty of correctness in 'aqidah, fiqh and kalam.
What I know is that high-level Naqshbandis in Istanbul (at least ten years ago) were fearing that Nazim would fall in dalalah: the project of "creating a form of da'wah for Western disciples" was quite hazardous, and the sentences quoted in Shaykh Samir's paper are enough to show that Nazim has already crossed the border that separate Sunni Islam from Batinism. The real risk is that his disciples will loose their iman and became another misguided sect. After Qadiyyanis and Bahais, we will have Nazimis, too! May Allah protect this Ummah from such a opportunity!
Unfortunately, finding Nazim's books in Italy is difficult. But there is no doubt that his local organization is quite strange. Most of his followers are completely unlearnt, and think that studying Islamic sciences is useless, since the "correct" way to approach Allah is not "reading the Koran, studying hadiths, studying fiqh, etc", but only "living with the Shaykh and attending his lessons". Some of them converted years ago, and are yet unable to read Arabic letters. I know a person that is called "Shaykh", claims to be Nazim's representative in Italy, but is not able to read from the Koran... I forwarded him a copy of your study on Mawalids, and he answered me, "Writing about the Shari'ah is dangerous and must be avoided. One risks committing mistakes..." When a Muslim start thinking, "I must accept everything that comes from my Shaykh, even in cases it contradicts the Shari'ah", he is separating himself from Ahl as-Sunnah and becoming a batini.
On the contrary, as Shaykh Samir remembers, the Sahabahs used to discuss even Omar's ijtihad! Can Nazim, or someone else, be better than Omar al-Khattab in understanding the Shari'ah? Insha Allah Ta'ala, if you are able to find some of Nazim's books, please try to send me them by mail. I will study them accurately and - insha Allah - will ask the Board here to discuss the opportunity of a fatwa. May Allah always bless you and increase your science.
wassalamu 'alaykum wr wb.Abdul Hadi Palazzi
Assalam-u-'alaykum-wa-Rehmatullahi-wa-Barakatuh Shaykh Abdl-Hadi, BarakAllahu-fik for your prompt replies to my messages. You are never fatigued to bid the "ma'roof" and forbid the munkar fi-SabiLillah. JazakAllahu al-khair! Hisham Kabbani's organization replied to the refutation by Shaykh Samir against Nazim at the following web-site:
After reading it, I was not absolutely convinced because Kabbani's organization didn't answer to every single point that Shaykh Samir made against him. The bottom line is, if what Shaykh Samir al-Kadi quoted is true or not. The books are available over here in the United States. I'll buy his books and mail them to you InshaAllah. A Fatwa from your Association would be beneficial indeed after much circumspection of proof and claims from both sides. On a personal level, I have not heard or read anything in Hisham Kabbani's homepage that is incorrect (to my knowledge). About Nazim, I haven't read his books, but I have a very trustworthy and reliable friend over here who has, and he says that what Shaykh Samir quoted from his books was absolutely true. In fact, Shaykh Samir has named Hisham Kabbani as a deviant too since he heard him say: "Muhammad is Rahman."
Furthermore, Shaykh Samir has named Nazim's Shaykh, Daghistani, a deviant also! Here is more of what Shaykh Samir said: "Also be warned against a faction known as ad-Daghistaniyyah who claim to follow the Naqshabandiyyah tariqah. They follow a man called Abdullah ad-Daghistaniyyah, who claimed he died and 124,000 prophets came and brought him back to life. He said he would not die again until the mahdiyy appears, and that he would live for seven years with the Imam al-Mahdi. Allahu akbar; he died about four months after he made that claim! Among his misguided sayings is: "He who recites the Fatihah will receive merits and benefits that no one among the waliyys or the prophets of Allah will receive--even if the person who recites the Fatihah was openly a blasphemer or a hypocrite who conceals his blasphemy." Abdullah ad- Daghistaniyyah's successor is a man named Nadhim al-Qubruziyy, also known as Nadhim al-Haqqaniyy.
His group is present in this country represented by a misguided man by the name of Hisham Qabbaniyy and in other countries represente d by his brother, Adnan Qabbaniyy. They have several followers who follow them in ignorance." The aforementioned is what is written in Shaykh Samir's organization's website (AICP) at: http://www.aicp.org/html/sufism_part_2.htm To see the main-page of AICP, go to:
Believe me shaykh, it seems to me that Nazim's followers follow him even when he is wrong. For instance, Shaykh Samir quoted from Nazim's book that if a Muslim goes to a guest's house, he should not be rude. If he is not sure that the meat he is eating is halal or not, he should say shahada a certain number of times, say something else a certain number of times, and then eat the meat. This is completely absurd. I will verify the quotes myself and then mail the books to you. If you can solve this dilemma for us, it would be great. On the AICP homepage, you will see Shaykh Samir's contact information. You may contact him in case you have specific questions about Nazim.
Also, there have been refutation web-sites against Shaykh Samir's organization by wahhabees (and ikweb-site:mazingly, it is also posted on the Naqshbandi homepage! Here is the web-site URL: http://www.islam.org.au/articles/older/AHBASH.HTM
It was surprising to me that the Naqshbandi homepage included this article in their homepage, when it is quite obvious that it was written by a wahhabi or ikhwani. I wrote a message to Kabbani's organization asking them to verify WHO exactly the author is, but they didn't reply. As to whether those quotes are true or not, I don't know. Shaykh Samir can shed some light on that. That's all for now. May Allah bless you for your efforts and propagation of Truth. Ameen.
Your brother and student, Zubair
As-salamu 'alaykum wr wb dear Brother Zubair. Obviously, the most terrible aspect underlined in Shaykh Samir's paper is Hisham Kabbani's declaration according to which "the Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is ar-Rahman". According to the Arabic grammar, the name ar-Rahman can be used for Allah only, and saying, "a created being is ar-Rahman" is kufr al-zahir (explicit unbelief); there is no difference between this form of kufr and the doctrine of those Christians who say, "Inna Allaha Huwa al-Masih ibnu Maryam". Even Jews are using this name for Allah only. If Kabbani has already said so, (and there is no reason to doubt about Shaykh Samir's words), that means he is ignoring the basic knowledge of sifat ad-Dhatiyyah and at-Thubutiyyah. Ulemas of 'ilmu-l-kalam regard this knowledge as fard 'ayni! Some Divine names can be used for created being, too.
We can say, for instance, Zayd is a just person ('adil), is learnt ('alim), or ready to forgive (ra'uf), or even merciful (rahim). That means that is created nature participate (in a partial and limited way) of this attribute. Allah Himself says the Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is "bi-l-mu'minina ra'uf-ur-rahim". On the contrary, there are other attributes that, in His science, Allah Ta'ala reserved for Himself only, and using them for created beings is kufr. None can be called "Quddus", "Maliku 'l-mulk", "Dhu 'l-jalali wa-l-ikram", etc. These Names only refer to the One Who is "Alladhi la ilaha illa Hu". Ar-Rahman is one of these names, and it is the closest one to the Dhat ilahiyyah express by the name "Allah". For this reason Allah says, "Supplicate Allah, or supplicate ar-Rahman...", and the Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "The most beautiful names (for a Muslim) are 'Abd-Ullah and 'Abdu-r-Rahman".
It is quite hard to think that someone who ignores all this is a legitimate heir of the silsilah of Shaykh an-Naqshbandi and Imam Rabbani. Words attributes to Shaykh Daghestani are really dangerous, too. The Sunni 'aqidah is "A Ulu-l-'azm is closer to Allah than a Rasul, a Rasul is closer than a Nabi, a Nabi is closer than a Wali, and a Wali is closer than a non-Wali". This doctrine is so generally accepted that even Ibn Taimiyyah repeats it in its traditional formulation. A single 'ibadah cannot make a person better than a Wali or a Prophet, while those who say, "A Wali can reach a higher degree than a Prophet" are Imamiyyah, Ismailiyyah or Batiniyyah.
Please, if it is possible for you, forward a copy of this message of mine to Shaykh Samir al-Kadi. I want of express my support for his jihad, and tell him "Jazak-Allahu khayra". In the meanwhile, insha Allah Ta'ala, I will read Kabbani's answer. In my opinion, a real Sunni 'alim would never quote a wahhabi-salafi document to support his point of view. Al-Haqq cannot be supported by al-batil, since al-batil disappears when al-Haqq comes. May Allah bless you again and again, and reward you for your precious work. I am always remembering you in my du'ahs.
wassalam, Abdul Hadi Palazzi
O My Lord, I Love You!
July 30, 1996, evening
In the name of Allah, All-Mighty, All-Merciful, Most Beneficent and Most Munificent. Everything is happening under His command, everything is coming into existence through His Will. He is the Creator and we are creatures. That is the most important point to be known by every one of mankind. You may be anything male or female, man or woman, rich or poor, ruling or ruled ones, professors, doctors, sultans, awliya or anbiya, Americans, Canadians, English ones, Arabians, Turkish ones, Spanish, Russian ones, Chinese, Japanese, any kind but you must know that you are creatures, simply created by our Creator, who has so many Names, and we are saying His most famous Name that is collecting all Holy Names in itself is Allah Almighty.
He is the Creator and we are creatures. No other title for the Children of Adam is more honorable or more honored or praised than "servant of Allah Almighty". You must know this and you must teach this, and then you must try to do your best for your Lord, Allah Almighty, and for His creatures. Every prophet every one just came to teach people something about their destinations and their importance. You may be Muslims, and there are so many sects among Muslims. Christians there are so many sects for Christians different groups. Then, in the Jewish faith, Judaism, they have many sects, also, and beyond these three heavenly religions, so many schools of thought or ideas.
People, according to their feelings or according to their spiritual taste, are running after some of these different sects. And people are becoming happy, to belong to their groups, and Allah Almighty says about this, "Kullu hizbin bima ladayhim farihoon."1 which means Allah Almighty is saying in this verse that "My servants are going to be different groups, and every group, is happy with their own group." They are happy with their groups, according to their beliefs.
Everyone may choose a belief; among the many different beliefs, he or she may choose and may accept. He may say, "I am Muslim," he may say, "I am Christian"; that may say, "Jewish"; another may say, "Buddhist." Yes; they are believing and they are happy with their beliefs, with their groups enjoying what they have. This is reality; it can't be changed. It is always true. That means truth is one; among one hundred ideas or one thousand beliefs, one is going to be true. That means everyone believes in something, but it does not mean that every belief is going to be a true belief no. You can believe as you like. It is okay; no one will prevent you. Therefore, Allah Almighty is saying, "As you like, believe. If you don't like to believe, don't believe."2 You are asking to believe and you may choose a belief, but you must not say that every belief is a true belief. No; only one is true.
Eventually we are coming to an end of our lives. In our lives, we must reach an end, and everyone will bring something in his hand saying, "I am keeping jewels. I am carrying a truly valuable thing." Yes, you may say, "I am carrying a real belief." As long as you are in this life, you may claim that I am on real truth, real belief, and I am keeping a real jewel, but finally the reality is you are leaving this life and going to Heavens. Your death is traveling from this lowest life to the highest life. Don't think that death is a bad thing, as people are fearing. No. Death is the way to Heavens.
As long as you are not dying, you are on earth, the lowest life, but when you are dying, you are becoming free of this heavy life and going up. And at that time they are saying, "What have you brought here now? Open your hand." Yes; at that time everyone is going to know if he has brought a real valued thing or he was cheated by devils, cheated by Satan, and they [devils] are taking real ones from himself or herself. He understands fully at that time.
Therefore, O people, it is a new fashion that everyone makes a check-up, particularly rich ones, at least once every year. They come in for a check-up, in America, London, Russia, China or Japan. They are making a check-up, for what? If you are doing a check-up one thousand times, this body will never going to continue with you. There is no need for all those check-ups, they are useless. But you must do a check-up on what you are carrying, what you are keeping,if I am keeping a real jewel in this life or the real one was stolen from me and replaced with an imitated plastic one. That is important.
O people, look after your faith. If it is real faith, that is leading you from darkness to illuminated Heavens. How is your feeling this year compared to last year; how are you feeling about yourself? Are you feeling an improvement in your spiritual life or not? Ask that of yourself. Yes, it is an important point. Another important point: people are running, everyone is running, to eat something from this life, men and women. They are running to take much more something from this life, but mostly they are chasing the material of this life. And as a sign, through holy books, knowledge has reached us that the most valuable capital for mankind, is what?
Ahl ad-dunya, those who are living for this dunya only, for themselves, their biggest capital is money, money, money; for ladies, golden, golden, golden jewels, jewels, jewels. Men are much more interested in saving dollars, while ladies are chasing after jewels, every year for ten fingers, twenty rings or thirty rings, putting here [indicates his fingers]; they can't even carry all their heavy golden jewels. Yes; that is the most interesting capital that twentieth century people are running after. Whoever is reaching their capital, that is material -- either saving many more millions to be millionaires or ladies many more jewels, many more palaces, many more yachts, many more dresses, much more wasting of money.
O attendees, don't sleep! Look at me, don't look at each other. What I am saying, it is not from myself: keep it. And the only real capital, the only one mankind must run after, is love. Whoever is asking for and seeking love, to obtain more and more of it that person receives the most valuable thing from his life on earth.
Love, love is the greatest grant from Allah Almighty to the Children of Adam. Without love, man is like dry wood. This [indicates a table] just lost its love and now is becoming dry. Trees are carrying love and gettting. And love gives people beauty and light. Don't put like this [lipstick] something here, going to beauty parlors. You are not going to be beautiful with such things, making like this [demonstrates] or having an operation to make [demonstrates facelift]. This is not making you beautiful.
Love makes you beautiful, and tasteful and honored and a praised one. Whoever is receiving more love is going to be more beautiful here and in Heavens. Yes, it is a grant, the biggest grant of the Creator. With His love He created you. Don't think that Allah Almighty created you without love; no. And we are thanking that He is loving His servants and granting to them love.
And what He is asking from you, O servants? He is only asking from you love -- He is giving you love and asking from you love. Among all religions, among all beliefs, that is important: that He granted us from His divine love and is asking from us love for His Divine Presence. Now we are giving our love to this lowest life's pleasures. That is the biggest curse on mankind now; that is the reason for violence and wildness and every problem, because people are not giving love to their Lord. And He is looking: "O My servant, just I granted to you from My divine love. What are you giving to Me?"
He is not asking anything from you; no. All your praying, it is a sign of your love to His majestic Divine Presence. As much as you may be able to give, give and take more. Don't say, "I am Christian," "I am a Muslim," "I am Jewish," "I am Buddhist," while you are not giving your love to your Lord. You have been cheated by your enemy, the common enemy of mankind, the headquarters of evil, that represents the headquarters of evil, Shaytan.
You must look after yourself, you must perform that check-up, because Shaytan is cheating you every day, making you give your love to this temporary life, and you are giving all your attention and care for this physical body, which day-by-day is coming down, coming down and dying, going in the ground. Look every day; make a check-up for yourself, have I been cheated or not? If you see that you have been cheated, you must not be cheated tomorrow.
Anytime you are saying, "O my Lord, I love you," that is so beautiful from servants to Allah. "O my Lord, I love you." When you are going to be alone, say, "O my Lord I love you, I love you, I love You." Say three times, "O my Lord, I love You." Then no more people are going to be depressed. Take a shower at night and dress in good clothes and stay in an empty place and say, "O My Lord, I love you, I love you." You will see that depression going away in three nights. There is no need to take tablets or drugs; no need. Medicine, for whom? For those who are in depression. Depression is a punishment from Allah Almighty because those servants are not giving their love to their Lord; that is a punishment. Allah Almighty giving everything but they are not giving to their Lord Almighty their love. He is not asking from you food or drink or fine clothing; He is only asking from you love.
Therefore, when Moses,we may continue speaking up to the morning, up to next week, but you are tired; therefore we are making short as much as possible. But I must tell this story also -- Moses was going to a meeting with his Lord on Mount Sinai. Allah Almighty was saying, "O Moses, look after my Servants. "O Moses, make your best for My servants. Make them to love Me." That is Moses, one of biggest prophets, Sayyidina Muhammad first, Sayyidina Ibrahim second, Sayyidina Musa third, Sayyidina 'Isa fourth. And Allah Almighty was saying, "O Moses, ask from My servants to give their love to Me. Let them love Me."
Are you understanding? I am speaking English but you are acting like sheep, only looking wide-eyed. No; you must understand. That is a very important and luminous word to say to yourself and all communities, to purify the whole world. Allah Almighty was asking Moses, one of great prophets, "Ask, teach them, tell them, make them love Me."
Allah is asking love from His servants. And it is pity, pitiful and dirtiness for a servant to leave this life while his eyes are looking with attachment to this life, not directed towards Allah's majestic Throne. It is pitiful and dirtiness for those who are not giving, not bringing in the last moment that they are finishing their lives, love to their Lord. Whoever brings love will never fear death because love causes them to be in real life, to live forever.
Once a saint, a great sheikh, a grandsheikh, passed away. His murid was burying him in his grave and he was trying to turn his face toward Ka'bah. Then his sheikh spoke saying, "O my servant, He just turned my face to Himself, my heart toward my Lord's Divine Presence." And that murid was trembling and saying, "You are not a dead person." And he was saying, No. I passed away, but my life, the real life of my spirit is continuing." Therefore, I was in Damascus and the government was making an avenue, making a street wider, and they were moving a grandsheikh's tomb from there, removing it in order to open the way through that place for the avenu. I was there also. That shayk had been buried since five hundred years. When they were opening the grave he was in his death clothes, kaffan, in white clothes, and I was looking at him.
His beard was not white like my beard but contained many black hairs. And when it was opened, a beautiful scent that one can't describe arose from his tomb; the scent of roses came forth and he was taken and put into another coffin. His body was in the same state as the day he was buried there. Those people, hundreds of them and history is witness that those pure people who reach to their real life in this life are never going to be dust in their graves because love causes them to be alive.
O servants of my Lord, I am a servant and you are servants, and I am making an association [sohbet]. I am not giving a lecture but I am advising, and I am advising my own ego also: "give more love to your Lord and He gives to you, also. You should be illuminated ones." May Allah forgive us and bless you. I think it is enough, what we are speaking, to address these distinguished attendees. I am respecting you and praising you one by one, not for your temporary worldly titles, but for your permanent God-designated titles, Ibad Allah Servants of Allah.
Allah Almighty is giving to you from His endless blessings and honoring you to be His deputies in the universe is enough for you. You have been chosen to be khalifah, to be deputies on earth, an honor which every creature, and particularly angels, were asking to acheive; but they weren't given it, and Allah Almighty created man to be His deputies. That honor is the highest honor. When you are saying, "That one is such-and-such, this one is so-and-so" it is meaningless; being khalifah is the highest praise and honor from Allah Almighty to you. Try to keep that honor and try to give much more love to your Lord, Allah Almighty.
You are the only Sultan, O our Lord; You are gathering Your servants. Please bless this assembly, this community; please accept us to be Your sincere servants. We love You, we love You; I love You, O our Lord. May Allah forgive us and bless you from His endless lights and endless blessings. Next time I shall speak to you insha'Allah about some deep realities, not from earth but from illuminated heavens. Prepare yourselves.
(1) Surat al-Muminun, 53, "But they (Mankind) have broken their religion among them into sects, each group rejoicing in its tenets. [Pickthall] and similarly in Surat al-Rum, 32, "Of those who split up their religion and became schismatics, each sect exulting in its tenets." [Pickthall]
(2) Surat al-Kafirun, 1-6.
(excerpted from Mercy Oceans: Silver and Gold )
The United Colors of Shaykh Nazim
translated from the Turkish
Murids from every Corner of the World are Raining Down on the Leader of the Naqshbandi Order, the Sunni Shaikh Nazim Adil Haqqani, Turkey's topmost scholar in the Hanafi Madhab.
The 70 year old Shaikh Nazim is like a magnet. People in every corner of the world, after meeting him once, without hesitating, are changing their lives. The leader of the Naqshbandi Order, while residing in Cyprus for four months of the year, accepts visits from his murids.
Her true name is Maud Alexandre. Now she is known by the name Khayriye. She is German. While she was studying medicine in Hamburg, she made a sudden decision and left the university. She changed her religion, her way of dressing, and her outlook on life. The name on his ID is Philip Udin. Now his name is Farid. He is English. He decided to go to India to learn meditation. At that time he was an atheist. In the streets of London he came across a person who changed his life. Her true name is Hildegard Obermayer. Now it is Mabrura. She is Austrian. While she was working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she went to London with one of her friends and her life took off in a very different direction.
All these people that changed their names and perhaps all the people coming from every corner of the world who also want to live a similar experience, are traveling from their homes to one common destination: Shaikh Nazim. It is said he is the pillar of the Naqshbandi Order and also the shaikh with the largest number of murids (students) in the world. And it is also said that among his murids are some truly famous names.
The murids, by means of the shaikh’s local representatives, receive news of the shaikh. And either the shaikh comes to their countries and they sniff out his presence, or they are pulled like a magnet to his country. From Istanbul to Cairo, from New York to Sri Lanka, from Germany to Malaysia, from England to Palestine to Damascus, they are finding him everywhere. Shaikh Nazim, who knows Turkish, Arabic, English and Greek spends four months of the year in his tiny hometown of Lefke, and the remaining eight months meeting his murids in many different countries. Among his murids are people from every different class of society. A converted Istanbulian Jew; a METU engineering graduate; a philosophy professor from Berlin.
It is not only Muslims that are coming to see the 70-year white-bearded shaikh in his long jubba: that are coming to spend one week, one month, and even all their lives with him. It is not only Muslims, it is also non-Muslim people coming from different countries of the world for the same purpose: e.g., Germany, Denmark, Spain, Austria, Australia, Egypt, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.
Mostly they are young couples, some with children, some without. Also among them are widowed women and unmarried men. It is not required to be the shaikh’s relative or his friend or even to know him for years. It takes only one meeting, in one corner of the world, and without hesitating people change their lives onto his path. When they come to Turkey, it is enough to show the address to anyone: Zawiya of Shaikh Nazim, Lefke, to get directions.
As we arrive the zawiya’s door is wide open. On the left men are sitting. On some of their heads you see the Middle Asian Naqshbandi turbans, and some of them are wearing baggy pants (shalwars). All of them are men. In the corner is Shaikh Nazim. You can recognize him at first glance by his long white beard. Also remarkable at first glance is his big walking stick. He welcomes us when we come in. Everyone says the same thing: "selaam alaykum." It is expected that the hand of the shaikh be kissed, but we only shake his hand and he laughed at us. When he laughed, we at once perceive his charismatic personality.
The Focus of Shaikh's Life - Prayer
It is prayer time. They show us the place where women pray. Outside of the place we are in, we glimpse a door opening to a different world, beautiful ladies, some white-skinned, colored eyes, some tan, they are talking with one another in English. You can also see that some of the ladies are trying to put their children to sleep. They are very shy and close the door in our face. The woman that Shaikh Effendi married in Damascus, and who is five years younger than he, approached us and said, "Welcome, you can go wherever you want, except don't go up to the bedrooms." His daughter is helping Hajji Anne, making food in big pots for many people. The only member of the family staying with them, Ruqaiyah is married to an electronic engineer, Feridun. The son-in-law, while studying in London, became one of the shaikh’s murids. Now he cares for the zawiya work. The other daughter Nazihe is married to a Lebanese shaikh, Hicham Kabbani, who has four children andwho is his representative in America. Of Shaikh Nazim’s two sons, one sells cars in Magosa and the other is a jeweler in Istanbul.
Later on the shaikh goes to the women’s section. He asks each of them individually "how are you?" and then they all make an invocation for health, children of good character and a happy, easy life. In the hands of these women are tasbeehs. They are dressed in long skirts, wide pants, and long scarves. According to the 35-year old Annette, putting scarves on is not easy for the Westerners. She says, "I don’t want to follow a guru or a leader. My shaikh does not force me to do anything. I can discuss anything with him: he will explain according to the law of Islam and the good conduct of tariqat, and the meaning he conveys always touches my heart."
Fatima has known the shaikh for six years. Every year, with her ten-person family, she comes from Malaysia to spend some weeks with the shaikh. Important murids like her are being hosted in the shaikh’s house. New ones are living in the guest house. For Fatima, the shaikh is like a father. He is protective and he is tolerant. They talk about every subject with him. For example: how should we bring up our children? How should we spend our money? How can we prevent ourselves from spiritual loss?
The shaikh said he never advertises himself. He says the murids that come in droves are making enough advertisement for him. He said, "if you put my picture in your magazine, of course you will not not put the women, but if you put my photo you will sell so many copies." Then he says, "cut the watermelon for the guests." Water is served in plastic cups; he sends it back saying, "bring it in glasses."
The Reason for the Shaikh's Popularity
He begins explaining to us the cause of popularity. "Man, who is in the midst of every kind of favor, is worrying how he should live, how he should support himself. He is devoid of spiritual happiness. For some it is not enough to have two feet, they want to have wings. These people here are coming for a solution to this dilemma. Here we are discussing ourselves. We are discussing, religion, dunya (the worldly life), akhira (the Hereafter), physics, literature, history and politics. I don’t know everything, but when I listen I listen very well. In Islam there is a great deal of tolerance. But it is being narrowed down so much. I am saying the door of paradise is very wide. Don’t put an embargo on Allah’s mercy. Leave it open, it is enough for everyone. Our majlis is open for everyone. It is not with money, our majlis is with love."
The shaikh is giving a prescription: "the simple life," to the people that are not happy with two feet or the people that want wings. And a lot of the murids are adopting this prescription. They are kicking all the Western styles and comforts. Shaikh Effendi doesn’t like technology becauses he believes it makes people run from each other. He said, "If there weren’t so many people coming to my house, instead of electricity I would put candles." What about the phone? "I don’t have one, Alhamdulillah, praise be to God." What about TV? "Is there a house which doesn’t have one?"
Life Back Home
After they return to their countries, what do they do? "We are not dressing as we are dressing here, because it does not suit the place we live," reply the murids. "And also we are not selling our cars or our houses. We are only changing friends, we are not going to restaurants, to dance and to drink. And it is not good to give up everything. The important thing is to slowly, slowly detach from the materialistic world and to know how to share," says the musician Dorothia Terhar. The Iranian, Afsun Brown, doesn’t want to allow a picture of himself to be made when he sees the camera pointed at him: "when we wanted to be on the cover of Vogue, no one accepted us. Now we want to live a humble life." According to the murids, the materialistic life is disconnecting human beings from their souls and in the course of satisfying the desires of their egos, they encounter more difficulties in their personal lives.
Trailblazing sheikh spreads Islam to Europe, America
Few Arabs, many more European and American converts among followers
By Iason Athanasiadis , Special to The Daily Star, Monday, June 14, 2004
LEFKE, Northern Cyprus: Every Thursday night, bearded Sufi masters wearing flamboyant green turbans and their apprentices crowd into the derga, the modest prayer room of a graceful, Ottoman-era complex in this Northern Cypriot village.
Evening prayers are followed by a zikr (a group chanting session invoking God's name) when - in a ceremony that echoes 1,000 years of Sufi tradition - over a 100 male voices launch a swelling chorus of praise to Allah. "Zakar ism al-jallala, Allah! Allah! La illaha ila Allah." The neon lights are turned off, a single, dimmed light bulb sways from the ceiling and a crescendo of chanting issues from the lips of the assembled. The waves of sound roll across the room in a burst of positive energy, nervous and exhilarating.
As the recital settles into a rhythm, the worshippers start to sway as one body, and a mug of sweet brew is passed around to cool lips chapped from glorifying God. The chanting hums out of the derga and wafts in the evening breeze across the complex's two courtyards to a female gathering in the haremlik, the women's section.
It is easy to forget that the disciples swathed in exquisite Uzbek gowns and fine sariks, the centuries-old chanting and a Sufi master whose gaze appears to hover between the real and the ethereal, are inhabitants of 21st century Cyprus, technically a member of the European Union. The Sufis of Lefke evoke an atmosphere that is illusory even by Northern Cypriot standards. While the internationally unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a majority Sunni state, it prizes secularism in the Kemalist tradition and is more likely to view mosques as cultural heritage than places of worship.
In fact, when Sheikh Nazem al-Adil al-Haqqani, the order's spiritual leader, returned to Cyprus at the end of World War II, having spent several years in Damascus and Istanbul, he was thrown in jail for performing the adhan, or call to prayer, in his hometown's main mosque. Despite the warning, Nazem, born in 1922 and now 82 years old, proceeded to Nicosia's main mosque and repeated the call upon his release. He toured Muslim villages around Cyprus, reciting the adhan wherever he went. Enraged local officials filed lawsuits against him; at one point he is said to have had 112 cases pending. Eventually the authorities relented and Nazem gradually attained a reputation for holiness on the island.
He became the mufti of Northern Cyprus and is said to have led 27 contingents of Cypriot Muslims to the hajj. "The beautiful thing about him is that he's not at all militant or fundamentalist," says Jamaluddin, a lifelong follower from Germany who converted to Islam because of Nazem. But while Nazem has often visited Saudi Arabia - even undertaking a seclusion at the mosque of the Prophet Mohammed in Medina - he condemns the Saudi Royal Family and the Wahhabi Islam they represent as the foremost enemies of Islam. His regular criticisms of the extreme Muslim strain, from the pulpit of his local mosque, have made him few friends in the kingdom.
"There are only 13 members of the tariqa in Egypt," says Nabil, an Egyptian follower. "Maybe 80 percent of the maurids (followers) are foreign. There are very few Arab followers, and that's because we come for the art, the culture of Islam; we don't come for the fighting." Nazem's Naqshbandi-Haqqani order counts few Arab adherents among the 2 million followers it claims worldwide. The traditional disdain with which Sufis are treated in the Arab world has pushed the movement underground in the Middle East. In the conservative, Sunni town of Tripoli, in North Lebanon, Sheikh Taha Sabunji, a Sunni official, has condemned "such superstitions, rejected by orthodox Islam" and called on the faithful "not to follow such infidels who pretend to know the future."
The Naqshbandi tradition hails from Central Asia and has made few inroads into Islam's birthplace. In Arab capitals around the region, there are few organized zikrs. Today, a low-profile Sufi retreat on Mount Qassioun, in Damascus, and a sizeable following among the elites of Syria and Lebanon are the order's most visible signs. In Lebanon, where Nazem's in-laws are the respected religious family of the Kabbanis, the Turkish-Cypriot sheikh commands a significant following. Such is his appeal that - as the millennium approached - hundreds of wealthy Beirutis took to the mountains of the Denniyeh range after he predicted the "worst catastrophes" would strike the world by the end of the year. When no disasters materialised, Nazem's followers said that his prayers had averted the cataclysm.
Across a stretch of the eastern Mediterranean, Lefke, in secular Northern Cyprus, has been transformed in recent decades into one of the world's leading spiritual centers. International isolation and a punishing economic embargo imposed by the United Nations to protest the Turkish occupation of the northern part of the island in contravention of international law, have not deterred thousands of Nazem's followers from making the pilgrimage as often as possible. But other than a few cars on its dusty lanes, Lefke has not shed the feel of a sleepy, Ottoman backwater. The picturesque town that is Nazem's adoptive home slopes down a verdant valley crowded with lush vegetation, palm-trees and a river. Its tradition of Muslim scholarship stretches to Ottoman times when a now-abandoned Islamic madrassa, or Islamic school, was a precursor to today's secular Lefke University.
Even in Cyprus, however, the order is mostly unknown. Nazem may be recognizable by Turkish Cypriots because he is the grand mufti of Northern Cyprus, but his base in Lefke is secluded, and locals speak disparagingly about the "foreigners" who live there.
Inside Nazem's complex, a bewildering array of races and nationalities mix: British, German, American and Italian converts join Turkish and Arab followers in a quest to attain the divine. Around 20 families have jettisoned their lives in the West, rented houses in Lefke and live permanently there, raising their children in the sheikh's compound.
The sheikh's followers - the majority of whom are Westerners - believe that he has been given permission "to open the path of Sufism to the West." "We believe that Islam will rise from the West," says James 'Umar' McConnell, an American convert. "I find that people in the West are much closer to Islam than people in the East. The most beautiful hearts you find belong to converts."
Many of Nazem's Western followers have renounced their previous lives in London, New York or Paris and moved to Damascus. Aside from being a traditional center of Sufism, the city's geographical proximity to Cyprus allows for regular visits. "I've been in Damascus for five years," says McConnell, who converted to Islam 15 years ago, cut most links with the West and moved to Syria. "In New York I was a film director. Now, I occasionally turn the TV on to check how bad things are." Nazem's war against Wahhabism is most pronounced in the US, where Sheikh Hisham Kabbani, the California-based representative of the order, was the first Muslim leader to warn the US about the threat posed by Wahhabism in America in January 1999. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Kabbani led the condemnations and is increasingly seen as the leader of a moderate Islam that can counter more strident forms.
"We would like to advise our government, our congressmen, that there is something big going on and people do not understand it," says Kabbani. "You have many mosques around the United States ... So the most dangerous things are going on in these mosques that have self-appointed leaders throughout the United States. The extremist ideology makes them very active. We can say that they took over 80 percent of the mosques in the United States ... This means that the ideology of extremism has been spread to the youth and the new generation." Because Nazem has spearheaded the opposition to Wahhabism, he has been excoriated by Muslim scholars who are suspicious of his predilection for Western converts and the success he enjoys in traditionally Christian lands.
Nazem has been denounced as an "ignorant charlatan who frequently quotes hadith which do not exist, introduces claimed "rules of fiqh" which have no base in the Shariah, and makes many declarations which involve evident kufr." He is also accused of being "a creation of US intelligence ... openly backed by important sectors of the Western ruling class" and loved by "Caucasian intellectuals." While it is true that the State Department has smiled upon the Naqshbandi-Haqqanis and that Nazem is a perennial invitee at inter-faith conferences, he is aware that Islam has been sullied by the ongoing "war against terrorism." "Sometimes the most beautiful rose can emerge from a heap of dung," was all Nazem would say on the matter.
A short history of the Naqshbandiyyah
The oldest and longest-established in Sufi tradition, the Naqshbandiyyah is a medieval order born in 13th century Iran. Subsequently, it achieved form in the Uzbe capital of Bukharra under the Sufi mystic Mohammed Baha ad-Din Naqshbandi and spread across Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
Although Naqshbandism tends to stress noninvolvement in temporal affairs, the movement made forays into political involvement, particularly in the 19th century. Reactions to Western imperialism in Muslim lands gave the movement a reformist reputation that used both jihad and more passive means to bring about change. Today, it is estimated that a majority of those battling the Russian Army in Chechnya belong to a Sufi order.
The Naqshbandiyyah attach special importance on silence as a method of recollection and concentration. It is particularly widespread in the Caucasus and Central Asia, the outer boundaries of the expanses of Islam and historical repositories for Sufism.
One of the special Naqshbandi prayers is called the khatm al-Khawajagan - the seal of the masters - and is recited after the canonic prayers. The principal spiritual method of the Naqshbandis is dhikr, or invocation, with the heart. The Divine Name is invoked not with the tongue but with the consciousness centerd on the spiritual heart, the symbolical center of the person. This mystical form of Islam has often been targeted, particularly by the Soviets and Kemalists in its homelands of Central Asia and Anatolia.
"As the least visible of these orders, the Naqshbandiyyah is certainly the most difficult to persecute," wrote Malise Ruthven in "Islam in the World." "Secret gatherings, consisting of as few as three persons, can be arranged by word of mouth and the cultural solidarity of Muslims enables them to protect themselves against infiltration."
Today, state-sponsored oppression is on the decrease, but Sufism is embroiled in seeking to stem Wahhabi advances in the former Soviet republics. Alan Godlas, a professor at the University of Georgia's Department of Religion, says that Wahhabi and Sufi Islam are fighting over who will define the religious character of Central Asia. He adds that should the United States take a proactive stance in supporting the revival of Central Asian Sufism, it may be able to move the region out of the hands of militants and toward a more irenic future.
First Quranic Conference of Russia
Shaykh Nazim Visits Daghestan
MOSCOW - April 6 - 8, 1997.
His Eminence As-Sayyid Shaykh Mohammed Nazim al-Haqqani, leading authority on Hanafi fiqh in Turkey and world leader of the Naqshbandi tariqat, addressed the First Sacred Quranic Conference of Russia speaking of the need for introducing a new vision of Islam to the Russian and Orthodox masses who for too long have been fed propaganda depicting Islam and Muslims as the source of all evil. The theme of the conference was "The Sacred Koran in Russia - Spiritual Heritage and Historic Destiny."
The gathering of over 250 `ulama from around the world was the first Islamic conference to be held in Russia. Sponsored by the Grand Mufti of Russia, His Eminence Talat Tajuddin, and by the Chairman of the Union of the Moslems of Russia, Nadirshakh Khachilaev, more than 25 Muftis were present at the conference. Coming from the former USSR republics of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Albania,Uzbekistan, Daghestan, Crimea, Kyrgystan, as well as from Pakistan, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, Bosnia, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Malaysia, Indonesia and many other countries. is Eminence As-Sayyid Shaykh Mohammed Nazim al-Haqqani addresses the Quranic Conference of Russia.
Over three days, the muftis and `ulama addressed the question of interpreting the Quran for the 21st Century and the need for growing the population of Islamic scholars to accomodate the expanding needs of the growing Muslim populations as well as to address the Quran in the light of modern knowledge. Local problems were also addressed in break-out sessions. The `ulama praised the host country Russia for the recent religious rights reforms that have provided access of the `ulama to the Muslim masses of Russia, whose numbers may be as high as 30 million. The growth of Islamic schools and mosques is the clearest sign that Islam is spreading rapidly among the youth as well as among the older generation.
Turkish News headlines mention the great progress and spread of mosques in Russia after the introduction of new religious freedoms. However, the Wahabi influence has proven to be a great evil. Shaykh Nazim addressed the need for providing da`wah and Islamic literature in Russian language which would prove attractive to the mindset of the Russian youth, who for so long have been steeped in the communist teachings of atheism and hatred for religion. Pointing that the Holy Quran was first translated into Russian at the order of HRM Peter the Great, Shaykh Nazim emphasized the great influence the Qur'an and its knowledge have had on the Russian people over hundreds of years.
Naqshbandi women from around the world attended the First Quranic Conference in Russia, and then gathered for the Naqshbandi leadership summit On April 7th, the mayor of Moscow, Mr. Y. Luzhkov met with the conference participants and sat with them to discuss the economic and social situation of Russia vis-a-vis the Muslim world. After the conference, HE Shaykh Mohammed Nazim al-Haqqani convened a summit of Naqshbandi leaders and`ulama whom had come to attend the Quranic Conference from neighboring countries. The meeting discussed the problem of the Wahabi influence which has begun to attempt to infiltrate even into the Naqshbandi strongholds of Uzbekistan (where are located the madrasas of more than 500 Naqshbandi scholars in Samarkand and Bukhara), Daghestan, Kazakhstan,
Turkmenistan, Chechnya especially after the war with Russia and the influx of Saudi dollars--Bosnia, Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt. The attending `ulama and shaykhs were able to confirm a determined strategy to foil the effects of the influx of Wahabi da`ees and literature into the Naqshbandi stronghold nations. Naqshbandi scholars and shaykhs convene under the leadership of HE Shaykh Mohammed Nazim al-Haqqani The Russian Grand Mufti Talat Tajuddin spoke out against the severe poison being administered to the Muslim masses peddled by the pressure of petro-dollars. He condemned in no uncertain terms the effect of Rabita and their massive propaganda efforts to spread the Wahabi religion. From Moscow, HE Shaykh Mohammed Nazim flew to Daghestan by private jet.
Stopping at Makhachkala first, he then proceeded to the city of Derbent, called "the Northern Gate of the Islamic Caliphate." HE Shaykh Nazim, accompanied by many of the `ulama from the conference then paid their respects to the 40 Sahaba who are buried there.Later, the group toured the maqams and madrasas of the great Naqshbandi awliya and shaykhs who established the Islamic jihad in the early 19th century and continued up until last year against the Russian and later communist crusaders. He visited the fort at Akhdi which Imam Shamyl had stormed and visited Shamyl's fort high up in the mountains of Daghestan. The Shaykh then traveled to Vedeno, in Chechnya, where he led the Naqshbandi Khatm Khawajagan in the home of a local ghazi. Later, the group flew from Gounib, another famous Shamyl center back to Moscow. From there Shaykh Nazim returned to Turkey. Grand Mufti of Russia: His Eminence Talat Tajuddin "The Wahabis have inflicted great harm..."
Provision and 'New Year'
Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani
London December, 31 2000
Our food and our provisions are just what Allah Almighty granted to us. Everything we consume is divinely prepared and shared from the Creator. When our provision has finished, we are finished and off we go to the cemetery. If it isn't finished, we are still here. Also our spiritual provision is prepared and everyone is going to be given their share. Now this is a holy gathering and everyone is going to take their share of spiritual provision, whatever is written for us to be granted, keep it! Sayidinna Ali said, 'You must try to listen, to hear and to keep! This is for you a support in this life and it is a difficult life.Audhu billahi min ash-shaitan ir-rajim, Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (I seek protection from the accursed Satan, in the Name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful.) That is a path from you to me - to give to you what is given to me.
You must be prepared to accept and to take, it is fresh, new and direct, this spiritual provision, for men and for women. When you are keeping it through your heart, you may use it.As a car needs petrol as a separate power, ten litres or a hundred litres, to go from one side to another it needs this power, How can it go without that power? Yes, you may move as a horse or a donkey with barley, but that isn't in need of spiritual power, it is only for your service. Allah created those to help you, they are not in need of spiritual power to support them, they are only for this life for a while, either carrying your load or for eating.But you, mankind of the 21st century. So many years have passed away in this world and people are still thinking the world is getting younger, this wrong mentality of 'New Year', they aren't saying' old year'.
And this century mankind reached the top level of authority of using Allah Almighty's secret powers that He put into nature. For about two centuries now Allah Almighty has opened on ray from His secret power oceans, we call it 'electricity.' Today, no one is describing it, you may only see it working but you can't see the power itself. And all 'technologiyya' is built on that power from East to West, that is their soul You, your physical being is only belonging to earth, as Allah created the first man, he couldn't see or smell. When Allah Almighty's Order comes and enters people they are saying. 'Who am I? Where is my power reaching to?' A statue from clay? How can it move, stand up and live?!
It was only an order from Allah Almighty telling every atom there to 'Stand up! Be alive!' In the beginning man was a clay statue, then he began to move, to be alive.We are like the letter 'Alif' (In Arabic), like a stick. It is so difficult for us to stand up. We are the most perfect design among all the creatures on earth, but some are saying we are from gorillas! All of us are the best design. Don't say we are ugly. Do you think that He is not valuable, the Lord of Heavens, to be thanked and praised? Countless thanks, praisings, worshippings to You.21st century people are not thinking. How can man claim he is reaching to the top level of humanity when he is coming down to the level of animals?The Last Days are approaching. You must take more care to appreciate Allah Almighty. More respect, more praises, more glorifying to Him, Allah. You are not giving but taking, wrong, no, through your honoring you are going to be honored, through your praising you are going to be praised, through your glorifying you are going to be glorifiedA storm is coming.
It will take careless ones, no one will know where they will be thrown. Dunya, this earth will only be for the servants who are taking care in servanthood for the divinely service. As I sit here I asked for an ocean, yet it is only an introduction, only what I need. Keep it for yourself, whether you are happy or unhappy, honored or dishonored, respected or disrespected, alive or thrown away rubbish.Paradise is for diamonds, for good ones. Choose for yourself; diamonds or rubbish. We aren't coming with a stick, this is Divinely advice.May Allah forgive me and bless you.There is only one Sultan.Al-Fatihah. Thanks to: http://www.the-heart.net/
Higher Education & Unisex Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-HaqqaniLondon January, 7 2001
St. Ann's Road Islamic Centre, London. May Allah make us good listeners. Listen and obey. It is not enough just to listen but to keep, follow and obey. We must try to be obedient servants, not to be disobedient. Honor is granted to mankind; only for obedient servants. Those who are disobedient; no honor for them here or hereafter. Everyone must try by himself to be obedient servants. You can't be a servant if you are not learning how to be obedient to Allah Almighty. You need a trainer or a teacher to teach you or guide you, because our egos are always directing us on the wrong way. True?Therefore we must know how we can find a direct route to Allah Almighty. That is the full mission of all the Prophets; only coming to call people to be obedient. Anyone finding anything else through the books or words of Prophets? Anyone may say "no"? The words in the message you will find they are only calling us to be obedient servants. You may say "why not obedient."
Do you think that there is anything contrary to this calling for us to be obedient servants to Allah? Yes, our egos. Egos always fighting with us to be disobedient servants. The ego is the only one through the whole of creation that is not going to be an obedient servant.[Ego is saying]: 'Oh man, oh woman - you must try to only be for me. Only work for me and you must think to make me pleased and happy in pleasure.'Now the whole of people are running to learn in some institution. Everywhere hundreds of schools, hundreds of high schools, hundreds of universities, hundreds of academies. In our time primary schools were valuable. It had a value at the beginning of the century. Now in the 21st century even universities have no value. Why no value? Because so many have graduated! Thousands of graduated people are sitting in coffee shops, or measuring roads...St. Ann's Road.
That means there is no value. One person graduated form primary school before, was qualified, then okay. [Today] people are not satisfied with an ordinary school; 'it's not enough for me...I must reach a higher level with degrees because degrees gives pleasure for my ego. (The Sheikh now brings his turban over his eyebrows mimicking the graduate cap). 'I have a picture... ooh I am graduated from so many universities...I think I am something, I must try to reach one level more...' People are coming to me; 'Oh Sheikh, what next?' Masters? PHD?, after PHD finishing? Why so many years?'Oh Sheikh I have a PHD.' That is the secret tricks of the ego. It always like to be someone important, a VIP.
Every ego is asking to be a hero. That is our illness, that means whole people are under the hegemony of the ego. When they are reaching, they are finding nothing. Trusting this life to another. Oh people, your ego is your most dangerous enemy, because your ego is directed by the most dangerous enemy of the Children of Adam - Shaytan. Shaytan directs ego - ego directs people. Unisex - Shaytan's plan to confuse humanityI was looking through people, so many ladies driving cars. Lady drivers are something else, saying, 'We just reached the level of man and more than the level of man!' Allah created man as man and honored woman to be woman, granting to man through perfection and beauty and mercy and favor oceans. Now some clothes they are calling 'unisex'.
What is this? Making man as woman and woman as man. These are signs of the last days; man to be woman and woman to be man.Oh people, Allah is granting to you perfection, beauty, mercy, favor and power oceans, beauty and smoothness to women. I am looking today, Grandsheikh was showing to me for the first time, a lady that looked like she was changing into a man, working outside. That is a punishment for ladies, wrinkles coming and body like a man. So many men shaving; going to be like woman's face.Therefore O people! Fight what your ego is asking, what it is making you to do. Don't obey, your ego is going to change your originality. And Shaytan when he was thrown away from the Divine Presence he said 'I swear I am going to change your creation.' Now I can see ladies with hard skin and legs like sticks, no flesh.You have been granted, keep it!I swear I am going to change it back with Allah's Support!It is important, I don't know if I am going to be here next week or next year, you must keep it.
Make a declaration of hearts, your perfection is to make Allah Almighty's pleasure. Try to make Him pleased with you.La illaha ill allah, la illaha ill allah, la illaha ill allah, Muhammad Rasululah, alehi salatu lah, la illaha ill allah......All awliya taking their spiritual swords now to make clean earth from snakes, from scorpions, from wild animals, from wild people. Mehdi, `alayhi as-salam, is completing his reading and Isa, `alayhi as-salam is ready.Ask.I am getting older.May Allah bless you and forgive me.
thanks to Mahmoud Drury: http://www.the-heart.net/
Ten Steps to the Station of Seeker
- Listen to the first talk in the series -
During the Shaykh's stay in Oakland, he was giving suhbat (association) each night on the Ten Step Program to reach the level of a true Seeker in the Naqshbandi Order.Each night he took the listeners on a spiritual ascent from one level to the next in the traversal of states and stations.The Shaykh described this process as a form of Migration, Hijrah:"What the Prophet (s) gave to us is the hijrah, migration from reprobrate characteristics and traits to praiseworthy characteristics and traits (al-akhlaq al-dhameema to al-akhlaq al-hameeda) and from the worst manners and desires to the best desires seeking to achieve moral values and in attempting this migration and achieving it we achieve God’s Eternal Satisfaction or happiness with us (rida-ullah)." I
# Thee, Rhe the process the Shaykh brought forth ten verses from the Holy Quran to
describe these Ten Spiritual Steps:
1. al-Qawma;Standing Forth قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُم بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَن تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَى وَفُرَادَى ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا مَا بِصَاحِبِكُم مِّن جِنَّةٍ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ لَّكُم بَيْنَ يَدَيْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ Say: "I do admonish you on one point: that ye do stand up before Allah,- (It may be) in pairs, or (it may be) singly,- and reflect (within yourselves): your Companion is not possessed: he is no less than a warner to you, in face of a terrible Penalty." (34:46)
2. at-Tawbah;Repentance وَمَن لَّمْ يَتُبْ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَAnd those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong. (49:11)
3. al-Muhasabah;Self-inventory يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَO ye who believe! Fear Allah, and let every soul look to what (provision) He has sent forth for the morrow. Yea, fear Allah. for Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do. (59:18)
4. al-Inaabah;Turning Point وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنصَرُون Turn ye to our Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped. (39:54)
5. al-Fikr;Contemplation بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالزُّبُرِ وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُون(We sent them) with Clear Signs and Books of dark prophecies; and We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought. (16:44)
6. al-TadhakurThe Remembrance هُوَ الَّذِي يُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُنَزِّلُ لَكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ رِزْقاً وَمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ إِلَّا مَن يُنِيبُ He it is Who showeth you his Signs, and sendeth down sustenance for you from the sky: but only those receive admonition who turn (to Allah). (40:13)
7. al-`ItisaamHolding Fast َجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيداً عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاء عَلَى النَّاسِ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protector - the Best to protect and the Best to help! (22:78)
8. al-FiraarFleeing to God فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ إِنِّي لَكُم مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌHasten ye then (at once) to Allah. I am from Him a Warner to you, clear and open! (51:50)
After Dhikr, Shaykh Hisham traditionally serves "Dervish Soup," fruits and other delectables.The Shaykh spoke on the delicacy of the spiritual training in a true Shaykh's dergah, noting that even the Shaykh's request to the seeker to eat is something which if fulfilled will raise the station of the seeker and if neglected will be the cause of delay in his or her progress.
9. at-TamreenTraining وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ And those who dispense their charity with their hearts full of fear, because they will return to their Lord;- (23:60) Night Prayer follows the evening meal.
10. al-Istim`aListening وَلَوْ عَلِمَ اللّهُ فِيهِمْ خَيْراً لَّأسْمَعَهُمْ وَلَوْ أَسْمَعَهُمْ لَتَوَلَّواْ وَّهُم مُّعْرِضُونَIf Allah had found in them any good. He would indeed have made them listen: (As it is), if He had made them listen, they would but have turned back and declined (Faith). (8:23)
Sufism and its Influence on Europe
a lecture by Dr. Anne-Marie Schimmel
delivered at Stanford University, May 4, 1997
sponsored by CAIR, On May 4th, 1997,
Dr. Anne-Marie Schimmel, former Harvard Professor of Oriental Studies and Sufism, presented a lecture entitled Sufism and its Influence on Europe at Stanford University. Sponsored by the Stanford Islamic Society, the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and endorsed by the Muslim Community Association's (MCA) newsletter, the lecture was extremely well-attended. Many of the audience gave "rave" reviews after the talk, which covered the effect of Sufi-Islamic thought on Europe and especially German intellectual and cultural development.
Emphasizing that Sufism is the mystical essence of Islam, without which Islam would have no attraction to the West, Dr. Schimmel focused on the role of Sufi intellectual thought and poetry on the leaders and philosophers of Western Europe--especially those who brought Europe forth from the Dark Ages and lay the foundations for the Renaissance.
Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, Chairman of As-Sunna Foundation of America, and a large number of his students were happy to meet with Dr. Schimmel and attend her talk. Shaykh Kabbani gave Dr. Schimmel a gift of his books on Sufism and Islam, for which she was quite thankful, remarking about the book The Naqshbandi Sufi Way, "I already have a copy of this book, given to me by your group in Germany." The talk was introduced by Marghoob Quraishy, a Bay Area businessman, and one of the founders of the Islamic Society of Stanford.
Dr. Anne-Marie Schimmel, of Harvard, with ASFA Chairman, Shaykh Hisham Muhammad KabbaniThe opening invocation of al-Fatiha was recited in a melodious form by Irfan Sa`ada, president of the Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara. ASFA congratulates MCA and its leadership for their exemplary change of heart vis-a-vis Sufism, and for their open endorsement of a Sufi event.
Dr. Hamid Algar of the University of California at Berkeley then introduced Dr. Schimmel. In his introduction he mentioned Dr. Schimmel's prolific writing ability and her massive output of books. He compared her to:"...Turkish Sufi Ismail Hakki. Some of his murids were curious how he managed, despite a very full regimen of daily activities and interactions with his murids, how he could produce such a vast quantity of work. And it is said that one night, one of the murids left his house and went up to the roof of a neighboring house and looked out over the balcony to the roof of the Shaykh's house, and there he saw not one, but forty (40) Ismail Haqqis, each at his writing desk, busy writing away. In other words, this shaykh has miraculously multiplied himself for maximum efficiency."
After Dr. Algar's introduction, Dr. Schimmel ascended the stage, to the loud applause of the audience, perhaps more than 50% of whom were non-Muslim. She spoke at length about the advent of Islamic-Sufi thought in Europe, with translations of prose and poetry beginning as early as 1680. She also spoke, in various digressions from the main topic, on the principles of Sufism as an Islamic science, and more importantly as the spiritual soul of Islam. Professor Schimmel described how Islam spread from Africa to the Subcontinent not by fire and the sword but by the Sufis who knew how to win the hearts of the people. She related inspirational stories of early Sufis such as Hasan al-Basri.
The shaykh's opinion is requested by some of the attendees.
She also related the famous story of Rabiah al-Adawiyah when she went through town with a bucket of water to put out the hell fire and a torch to burn Paradise so that people would devote themselves only to the worship of Allah for Allah’s sake alone and not commit shirk by longing after His creation or running from His punishment. This story reached Europe and became an integral part of European folklore. She also related how the ideas of Sufis were so influential as to have an influence on European Christian thought and not the opposite. She described how the Sufis taught people to draw closer to God by self improvement. Professor Schimmel described the Sufis as those who concentrated in their sermons and in their private lives on the constant meditation of the Quran and constant repentance.
A capacity crowd filled the auditorium to hearthe lecture entitled Sufism and its effect on Europe, sponsored by CAIR and other Islamic organization. "The Story of Rabi`a al-`Adawiya is really the moment that the asceticism of the early Muslims in Basra turned in to mysticism, into true love of God. The early ascetics who were disappointed by the change of life values in the times of the Ummayyad caliphs when the great Arab conquest was going on, and the Arabs conquered the wide world from East to West, this conquest brought the Muslim world greater interest in worldly affairs and the ascetics of Basra, headed by the famous Hasan al-Basri, were afraid that the essence of the Qur'an was lost.
It was he and his contemporaries who concentrated in their sermons and in their private lives, on constant reading of Qur'an and constant repentance and repetition or Dhikr formulas, and live a life completely turned off from worldly affairs."Dr. Schimmel went on to describe the great growth of Sufism/Tasawwuf, as the expression of the ruh or soul of Islam:"Sufism, by the end of the 9th and beginning of the 10th Century, was already like a big tree, with various branches and various birds singing in it."the spread of Islam was not done by fire and sword ... but rather by the preaching of the Sufis who knew how to win the hearts of the people."
We find poetry and prose in all the languages of Islam. We find that Sufism permeated the countries from West Africa to India, and, in fact it was the Sufis who brought Islam to the border countries of Asia and Africa. Sir Thomas Arnold in Sudan told me the teacher of Muhammad iqbal in Lahore had published exactly 100 years ago his famous book The Preaching of Islam, in which he shows that the spread of Islam was not done by fire and sword as most of our sources are wont to say, but rather by the preaching of the Sufis who knew how to win the hearts of the people. And the Sufis wrote their poetry in the language of the people of their lands.
They taught the love of God, love of the Prophet, love of mankind to the illiterate, simple people who were unable to understand the Arabic of the theologians. It was the same in Europe with the introduction of mystic poems." Professor Schimmel mentioned the resurgence of interest in the Naqshbandiyya both in America and abroad. "Studies, especially in the Naqshbandi Tariqa have proliferated during the last few years. It is interesting that last year in Bukhara that we have a conference at the mazar of Khaja Naqshband in which German and Uzbek scholars participated and scholars from other Central Asian countries. It was highly interesting to see that here the Uzbek interest in teaching the Naqshbandiyya became very visible because they claimed, and I think they were right, that the old adage ‘the hand at work, the heart close to the Divine Beloved’ is a very practical way of approaching modern science. It gives you the possibility of constantly thinking of God, remembering God, as it is also taught in the Quran and yet do your daily work successfully. The interest in the Naqshbandiyya has grown considerably."
After the main presentation a member of the audience asked, "It is clear that Sufism is a beautiful presentation of Islam—but why are some Muslims especially the groups in the west opposed to it? Dr. Schimmel replied that even some of the early Sufis were unjustly persecuted by some of their contemporaries. The Sufis of Baghdad were accused of emphasizing love of God and not obedience to God. In the end the Caliph himself personally investigated the charges and "found them to be very good Muslims and innocent of all charges of wrongdoing."
Following the brief question and answer session, Marghoob Quraishy, concluded her portion of the program with praise of her academic achievements and erudition. He then stated that "it requires another Sufi, Imam Hamza Yusuf, to conclude this session."
Imam Hamza then concluded with a lecture of his own, detailing the fact that Sufism is an integral part of Islam, often envied by those who either have no aspiration or who are unable to attain the level of faith and certainty characteristic of the Sufis.
Finally, As-Sunna Foundation of America would like to congratulate CAIR, MCA and the Islamic Society of Stanford for taking the courageous stand to promote Sufism as an Islamic concept, despite what the "Salafis" and their agents might say.
This stand took great courage and foresight, and Muslims in America, though knowing that Sufism has always stood for the practice of Islamic Shari`ah, have often kept quiet in the face of "Salafi" vocal opposition. It is high time that the Islamic "establishment" in the US educate its audience, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to the fact that Sufism/Tasawwuf is an integral and essential part of Islam, without which Islam is as the late Mawlana Maudoodi said, 'like a body without a soul.'
wa min Allah at taufiq