Sunday, July 1, 2012

"Sufism offers healing to the 21st century Muslim" - Shaykh Nuh Keller


7 June 2012, Lakemba Mosque, Sydney - Shaykh Nuh Keller spoke about what Sufism could offer to this century and discussed the 'missing point'. He started off by defining 'applied intelligence' which means someone who occupies himself with works that last forever, doing immortal good deeds. "Whoever takes on  himself that which he doesn't need to be doing, he squanders his chance for something that he really needs to be doing instead of it. This is prioritizing, doing what is more important rather than that which is less important. This I learned from my teacher Shaykh Hamzah and also other teachers."

Then he quoted a hadith on the meaning of ehsan which is to worship Allah as if you see Him and if you don't see Him, He sees you. But it's very difficult to achieve this nowadays he said because we get distracted by a number of things. Praying at a mosque we could hear at least three phones ringing and people talking about things they could talk about elsewhere. So then how do we do this [ehsan]?

"This is the business of Sufism. It does work because of inayah (divine help) from Allah [though] it doesn't work on Allah because nothing works on Allah. Allah works!"

Further, Shaykh Nuh expounded on one aphorism in Hikam by Ibn Athaillah about the value of Allah's mercy. "This is the secret of inayah Allah. He chooses for His mercy whomever He wills and the mercy of Allah is very very close to those who excel in doing good. He said, mind the attributes of the words rahmah and qarib. Rahmah has a feminine ending and qarib has a masculine ending. Why? Because what it means is that the mercy of Allah is really really close to those who excel in goodness.

Coming back to the question on what Sufism has to offer in the 21st century, he said, it is shifa' (healing). Good health is made up of four things: food/water, air to breathe, exercise and rest. But these are not fully appreciated in the 21st century. Apart from this, we need "a point" from Allah and only He could supply it. Otherwise, we'll be pointless and all diseases would manifest. 

People should be wary of the shubahat and should get the haram and makruh out of our lives. Only then can we expect to get His tawfiq. "Verily every king has a preserve and the preserve of Allah are the things He has forbidden." 

Shaykh Nuh then quoted a hadith on the heart as morsel of flesh in our body, that if it's sound the whole body is sound. However, many bodies are unsound today because we neglect the Qur'an which is "health and restorative to mankind. Yet people get stressed out because they do not have a connection with Allah in the heart." 

That is the missing point - that we don't have a heart connection with Allah. Shaykh Nuh asked: "Who is the least stressed than anybody? It is Allah because everything is happening exactly as He wants at every moment." 

Lastly, Shaykh Nuh mentioned another hadith on the importance of zikr: "I shall be towards him as he thinks I should be towards him in this world and in the next world and I am with him when he makes remembrance of Me."

He said, "know that a person's zikr is lacking when he doesn't find Allah with him or he doesn't find himself with Allah. Sufism can offer in this 21st century what it has always offered before and that is why it is still here - a heart that has nothing besides Allah. Once this point is clear, the rest follows."

Wallahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions. Please listen to Shaykh Nuh's lecture to verify. Click here for full recording at May Allah make us benefit from Shaykh Nuh's counsel. Ameen.


  1. Excellent. The way the Sheik's sermon has been presented in a very readable manner touches the heart. Jazakalla khairan kaseera.

  2. MashaAllah such kind words! Thank you. Alhamdulillah.
    My late reply does not mean that I am not appreciative of people visiting this blog and taking their time to leave heart-warming comments.