The seeker said to himself:
"If I'd known the real nature of this being with God,
how should I have gone searching for Him?
But that knowledge depended on this journeying:
that knowing can't be gained by thinking,
no matter how precise."- Rumi in Mathnawi
Shaykh Abdul Aziz (Baba Aziz) in his lecture at KL Ba'Alawi last night spoke about tasawwuf as a knowledge based on amal (deeds) as opposed to lisan (oral). He urged the audience to become a salik who embark on a journey so that one stands to benefit from tarbiyah (guidance & training) from a murabbi (guru).
He also stressed on the importance of keeping one's heart clean by constantly witnessing Allah in the heart. "Never see anything else save Allah. If you taste a sweet fruit, be sure that your heart sees Allah who has made it sweet. If you see a wealthy person, be sure that your heart sees Allah as the One who enriches."
Your heart must not tawajuh (look upon) anything else but Allah. When the heart is directed towards Allah, the salik will move forward with obedience while leaving all acts of disobedience. They would at all times face Allah with their zahir (tongue, eyes, ears, stomach, hands, legs etc.) and their batin (the heart) with sidiq (truthfulness), uprightness and sincerity.
This is the sign of a salik who is not forgetful of his covenant with the Lord. He is said to have gone back to his roots (or beginning). Outwardly he will be dressed with garments of one who is truly free from slavery of dunya (the world), shayatin (satan) and nafs (lustful desires); for he is only a slave to his Lord.
This is the journey to be undertaken by a salik with guidance from his murabbi. "If you remain where you are, without a murabbi," said Baba Aziz, "you are not going to go anywhere!"
So know the levels of your nafs, he said.
Amarah - is the nafs which is constantly urging you to commit sins.
Lawamah - is the nafs which sometimes make you obedient and at other times transgress.
Mutmainnah - is the nafs of one who is always at peace and accepting the decree (takdir) of his Lord.
Radhiah - is the one who completely accepts the af'al (actions) of his Lord upon him.
Mardhiah - is the soul of one with whom God is pleased with. Not a bad word comes out from his mouth.
Kamaliah - is the most perfect one. Outwardly he keeps his acts of devotions well (ibadah); inwardly, his heart is continuously bowing towards his Lord (tawadduk). He is one who meets the Lord in the morning and in the evening. He meets the Prophet in his wake and in his sleep.
"And beware of aghyar and akhdar!"
Aghyar are things that veil you from Allah, be they your job, your spouse, children etc.
Akhdar is dirtiness of the heart due to lack of remembrance of the Lord (not saying zikr Allah).
That is why said Baba Aziz, Wali Ismail of Kelantan is steadfast in his istighfar:
Astaghfirullah mimma siwallah
wa kullu syai'in ya qul Allah
That is seeking forgiveness from Allah for not saying (zikr) Allah,
when everything else is saying Allah.
May I be forgiven for any errors in transmission.