Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baba Aziz on being excellent


Shaykh Abdul Aziz in his lecture at KL Ba'Alawi earlier this month, explained the second chapter of Kitab Qatrul Ghaisiah on the states of one who witnesses the Haqq.

Qatrul Ghaisiah literally means raindrops of Sufi knowledge. Written by Husin Nasir and Thaibul Mas'udil Banjari, it is a Malay language book that uncovers secrets of the Sufis' knowledge including explanations on tasawwuf and the secrets of mushahadah (witnessing). It discusses the advantages of knowledge and practice, battles of the lower self (nafs), maqam (stations) of the 'ariff (gnostics) and the path undertaken by a seeker (salik) towards the Creator.
Baba Aziz said:
You may become excellent when you are completely obedient to Allah outwardly and inwardly. Outwardly with your seven limbs and inwardly with your heart; that is when the heart is devoid of all ugly attributes and adorned with praiseworthy attributes instead.
Your outer becomes excellent with the 'garments of service' through worships. Your tongue is constantly saying zikr. Your eyes only fall upon things which are halal (permissible). Your ears are used to listen to all that is good. When you speak, your tongue only utters that which is the truth. When you walk, your eyes wander not but only keep its sight to a short distant in front of you. My guru by the name of Abdul Rahman carries an umbrella with him all the time so as to prevent his eyes from committing sins. When he drinks, he makes sure not a drop is wasted. That is excellent akhlaq (chivalry) as a result of excellent worship/servitude.
What is meant by 'garments of service' (khidmat) is to worship Him sincerely without expecting any rewards. The Sufis would not mind reciting any verses of the Qur'an because they are not after any 'wages' from Allah. The abrar on the other hand would choose to recite selected verses that are deemed 'profitable'. The Sufis therefore, perform their ibadah on the basis of service, solely because of Allah, because He orders one to do so. Furthermore, they become excellent with the 'garments of sincerity and certainty' (ikhlas and yaqin). They are on the journey to purify their hearts and never seeking hikmat (returns). As such, they find it easy to carry out their ibadah. To them there is no safer way than to be a true servant of Allah zahir and bathin. Even when they travel, they fulfill the ibadah or duties required of a musafir (traveller). They would perform solat sunat musafir and make du'a prior to travelling.

Once again, for you to be excellent inwardly, be sure that the heart is garbed with the 'garments of sincerity and certainty'. Keep the connection with your Lord with sincerity and certainty like the connection between fruits and the tree and that between a child and the mother. When you have this sort of connection with the Lord, you shall not worry anymore and your heart will become excellent. Never enter into prayers or fasting with pride in your heart. Perform your solat and fast with humility reflecting true servanthood.
The sign of you loving Allah is you being fearful of Him. The sign of you loving Rasulullah s.a.w is you practising the sunnah. Redeem yourself with meaningful ibadah. Those years, your youth, which you have wasted, replace them with worthy deeds. My gurus, Shaykh Muhammad Idris and Shaykh as-Sayyid Muhammad bin 'Alawi al-Maliki taught me to recite:
La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasulullah
fi kulli lamhatin
wanafasin 'ada dama wasi'ahu ilmullah
When you say this you would be testifying the syahadah for as many times as one's sight, one's breath and for as wide as God's knowledge. Recite this four times after the obligatory prayers. May you redeem the wasted years with such zikr.
When you have become excellent, your heart will evolve to be arshillah and baitillah - a place where Allah will shower nur anwar (the Light of lights) and nur ma'rifah (the light of gnosis). You will have arrived to the station where you are just waiting for Allah to pour in your heart divine inspirations in the form of warid and zuk. By this time, you will have abandoned both your desires (nafs) and mind (akal). You will return to alam lahut where you made the pledge with Allah that you come to this world to prove your servanthood towards the Lord.
You will receive nur anwar zat (the light of the Essence) from Allah who will light up your heart as He lights up the earth and the heavens. Nur ma'rifah that now shines in your heart would enable you to see the haqiqat (truth) of each thing. You will be able to discern whether this rizq (bounty) or that person is the one helping you. You will recognize the haqiqat of the bounties that you receive, is in fact Allah. Therefore, you only become grateful to Allah and no one else. Then your nafs will have ascended one notch up to nafs radhiah. You will no longer feel restless. You will be contented because you accept Allah's decree for you, because your heart is in the state of mushahadah (witnessing) that whatever that is given to you is chosen by your Beloved, chosen by Allah. When you are overcomed by challenges, you keep things to yourself, you do not divulge your condition to people and you be patient. When you receive His bounties, you be grateful. This is wahdatul af'al. You witness all as His actions. When Allah wants to raise your maqam, He will keep you afflicted with bala (tests) and grant you more patience. Otherwise He will remove the bala from you.
Nur ma'rifah and nur zat are two blessings from the Lord. They are a form of rizq (sustenance) which complement your body and soul. Those who are at the station of inabah (usually the elderlies, those who are in their 60s, 70s), Allah reduce their worldly sustenance and increase rizq for their soul (ruh). They will be given the joy of ubudiyah (servitude) towards Allah. Allah will open the doors to Him for them to draw close to Him and they will be granted perfect ma'rifah (gnosis).
This is the fruit of having a heart which is dressed with sincerity and certainty. When you have these two attributes in your heart, all other blameworthy attributes would automatically leave you. You will now be granted an unexpected 'bonus' as in the Qur'anic verse "Waman yattaqillaha yaj 'allahu min amrihi yusra. Waman yattaqillaha yukaffir 'anhu saiyi aa tihi wayuqzim lahu ajran." (At-Thalaq 4-5). Allah will make it easy for you to be obedient and whenever you see your previous sins you would immediately repent. You shall be pardoned and rewards upon you shall be multiplied 70 or 700 times more. This is true rizq. But the condition is your heart must be in constant muraqabah, musyahadah and muhasabah towards Allah. Then you will become a righteous person. Unfortunately, your heart is still dirty. You keep your hopes on this person, that person, this thing and that thing.
When you become excellent, from maqam asbab, you will then attain maqam tajrid. In the former maqam, you will only take from the dunya what you need. Take that which is halal and feel satisfied with your lot (qanaah). You form an intention that this is your way of worshipping Allah. As for the latter, you seclude yourself from society. You occupy yourself with zikr, munajat and being intimate with your Beloved until you reach haqqul yaqin. You will come to know Him truthfully through mukashafah (unveiling). This maqam belongs to anbiya (the prophets) and awliya Allah.
In conclusion, keep your outer pure through the gate of khidmat (servitude) and keep your inner (the heart) pure through the gates of ikhlas and yaqin (sincerity and certainty).
Wallahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors in transmission or omissions. May Allah grant us the opportunity to reconvene for Baba Aziz's lecture series next month, InshaAllah. Baba Aziz's monthly lectures are hosted by Ben & Ina of KL Ba'Alawi. May Allah facilitate them in their efforts to organize majlis ilm and majlis zikr.
Note: Kitab Qatrul Ghaisiah is published by Jahabersa.


  1. Assalamualikum (wbt)
    Full of tasteful content.


    Jalaluddin Rumi quotes:

    You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You.
    Nothing seemed right. What's the point of bringing gold
    to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean. Everything I came
    up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It's no good
    giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
    So- I've brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and
    remember me.

  2. Wa'alaikumsalam warahmatullah wabarakatuh,
    Thank you for visiting Lisan al-Din and for that quote by Rumi. It's one of my fave, so you've just put a smile on my face : )
    Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
    - Ezza

    There is no power and no strength save with Allah, the High, the Great.

    can someone tell me the meaning of La ilaha illAllah Muhammad Rasulullah fi kulli lamhatin wanafasin 'ada dama wasi'ahu ilmullah in malay/english. Thanks

  4. Bismillah.
    Let me try.

    There is no God but Allah
    for each vision and breath
    and for as wide as Allah's knowledge.

    In Malay:
    "Tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah
    pada setiap pandangan mata dan hembusan nafas
    dan pada seluas-luas ilmu Allah."

    I stand corrected as I do not have proper education in the Arabic language.
    Wallahu a'lam.

  5. You forgotten about the verse Muhammadur Rasulullah which mean Muhammad is the Messenger of Aĺlah

  6. There is no God but Allah
    Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
    for each vision and breath
    and for as wide as Allah's knowledge

    Tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah
    Muhammad itu Pesuruh Allah
    pada setiap pandangan mata dan hembusan nafas
    dan pada seluas-luas ilmu Allah