Friday, September 18, 2009

28th Ramadhan 1430H (Ramadhan Tausiyah by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani)


You come to me, but you do not have a good opinion of me, so you cannot profit from my words. Woe unto you! You claim to be a Muslim, yet you are antagonistic toward Allah and His righteous servants, so you must be lying when you make such a claim. Islam is derived from istislam (submissive obedience) to the judgment and decree of Allah, and means being content to accept His workings (af'al) while observing the rules (hudud) laid down by His Book and the Sunna of Allah's Messenger. Only then can your Islam be genuine.

The unfortunate thing about entertaining expectations (tut al-amal) is that this is what makes you fall into sins of disobedience and opposition to Allah. Good will come to you whenever you curtail your expectations, so make a practice of doing so, if you wish for success (falah). Whatever comes to the Muslim from destiny (qadar) he accepts it from its hand and is content with it, while readily complying with the sacred law (shar'). He has no lower self (nafs), no passion, no natural impulse and no devil. I mean, he receives assistance against them. Not so in your case! You are lacking in every respect. We have no one immune to sin (ma'sum) since the passing of the prophets (peace be upon them). The lower self (nafs) of such a person is tranquil (mutma'inna), his passions (hawa) have been subdued, the turmoil of his natural urges (tab') has been stilled, and his devil has been imprisoned, so it gets nothing from him and finds no access to him.

In total trust (tawakkul) there is no attachment to material means (sabab) and in the affirmation of Unity (tawhid) there is no question of regarding anybody as the source of harm or benefit. You are total self (nafs kulliyaa), total passion (hawa kulli), total habit ('ada kulliyya). You do not have a clue about total trust and the affirmation of Unity.

Bitterness then sweetness; then breaking then mending; then death then everlasting life. Humiliation then honor. Poverty then wealth. Ceasing to exist (in'idam) then being brought into existence (ijad) through Him, for sure. If you endure all this with patience, you will truly obtain what you wish from the Lord of Truth. Otherwise, nothing will come true for you. Anything that distracts you from Allah is unfortunate for you, even if it is fasting (sawm) and prayer (salat) beyond the performance of obligatory religious duties (fara'id) as those recommended by the Sunna. If you keep the fast to the extent that it is an obligatory duty (fard), then afterwards the hunger and thirst experienced in superrogatory (nafila) fasting distracts you from keeping your heart in the presence the Lord of Truth, from remaining vigilantly aware of Him, from living comfortably through Him and in His company and from nearness to Him, then you are the servant of the obstacle ('abd al-hijab), the servant of creatures, of your lower self and of your passions. The knower ('arif) stays with Allah beneath the banner (liwa') of His nearness, together with His knowledge ('ilm) and His secret (sirr) and he moves in accordance with His judgment and His decree. When he is incapable of action, he is turned without making himself turn, moved without making himself move, and brought to rest without bringing himself to rest. He comes to be numbered among those concerning whom Allah has said: "And we turned them over to the right, then over to the left." (Quran 18:18)

When incapacity came from them they were caused to move. Movement occurs when the power (qudra) is present, while stillness and surrender (taslim) come with incapacity. There is movement when you are in existence (wujud) and stillness when you are in non-existence (faqd). There is movement in the law (hukm) and stilness in knowledge ('ilm). You will become your true self only after you have withdrawn from the lower self (nafs), passion (hawa), natural inclination (tab') and creatures altogether. You must not become attached to creatures, for no one is capable of causing you harm, bringing you benefit or providing you with sustenance, other than your Lord. You must always be in obedience to Him and to His commandments and prohibitions.

Let nothing remain in your hand apart from Allah, then you will become the richest and noblest of creatures, for you will come to be like Adam a.s. commanding things to bow down in prostration before him. A person like this is beyond the minds of people, of all the common folk ('awamm) and many of the elite (khawass), for he is particle of Adam, from his every essence (lubb).

Note: Extracts from lectures given by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani in Ramadhan 545 A.H. Reference: The Sublime Revelation (Al-fath ar-Rabbani) Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland.

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