How does one reach the state of acquiring the secret knowledge and what makes a person special to Allah and the Prophet Muhammad
I have eyeglasses and without them, some people cannot see or read. If someone has a very heavy prescription, they cannot walk or find their way without their glasses. If that is the case, then how can we navigate or see through the different verses of the Holy Qur’an? How can we understand the meanings of Allah’s Words; they are not our words.
Without eyeglasses, we are all the same. We can open the Holy Qur’an and read it like a storyteller, but the Holy Qur’an is not a story book. If you have heavenly eyeglasses, you can put meaning on every verse of the Holy Qur’an; every letter would have no beginning and no end. But we are blind.
One time, a shaykh was in a masjid. When we say “shaykh,” which in previous times meant someone who is a scholar of Qur’an and hadith, who has experimented all kind of different ways in the Sufi order to reach Maqam al-Ihsaan (the Station of Perfected Character). So the shaykh was explaining Surat al-Fatihah. One time I was explaining Surat al-Faithah and it became a 300-hundred page book; there is no end in its description.
So he was giving irshaad, illumination, which is different from guidance. He read and explained the Fatihah and said, “This is for everyone to understand.” Then he read and explained the Fatihah a second time and said, “This is not for everyone. This is only for scholars,” because others did not understand, he used a higher level of explanation. Then he read and explained it at third time and said, “This is for awliyaaullah, not even scholars; it is for a higher level.” After that, he read and explained the Fatihah again and said, “This is not for awliyaaullah, but for that one sitting behind the pillar.” That was a qutb, at a high level. Everyone ran to see who it was, but that person took his shoes and ran from the masjid.
One cannot understand Kalaamullah, Allah’s Words, with these eyes, ears and tongue. You may go to many mosques or Islamic centers around the world and observe how they explain the Fatihah: Alhamdulillahi Rabbi ‘l-`alameen, “Praise to Allah, Lord of all the worlds;” ar-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem, “Most Merciful, Most Compassionate;” maaliki yawmi ‘d-deen, “Owner of the Day of Resurrection;” until the end… ihdina ’s-siraata ‘l-mustaqeem, “Guide us to the Straight Way.” Everyone knows that; it is knowledge for common people, yes. This is what they teach and it is correct. But if you follow the hadith of Prophet, the meaning will completely change. Prophet (s) said in a hadith qudsi:
ما زال عبدي يتقرب الي بالنوافل حتي احبه
As long as My servant approaches me through voluntary worship, I will love him.
If we say we love Allah, it is with limitations because our love is limited. When we say, “Yaa Rabbee, I love you,” we don’t feel we are saying the truth because it does not really come from us. But it is completely different when Allah loves you, then He changes you. Although you love Him you are still struggling, and that means there is an ego.
So Allah loves us to do things that He loves. “If My servant approaches me through voluntary worship, I love him.” That means not only through voluntary obligations, but through these meetings as well. You are not obliged to come here, but still you attend. The reward that Allah is giving you for coming to such meetings can never be described. If you say there are limitations, you are wrong!
When a group of people sitting together remember Allah, angels encompass them, and He asks, “What are they doing?” Angels reply, “They are remembering you.” Allah says, “Alright, I forgive them.”
This is an authentic hadith. If a holy hadith says, “I will love him if he approaches,” it means there are no limitations. Look at what Allah (swt) is saying, “If I love him, I will be his ears that he hears with.” But our speech is normal, and yet Allah is saying, “I will give power,” that means you will be able to hear tasabih al-mala’ikah, the dhikr of angels. Don’t say it is too much; it is not restricted!
Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا
Wa sakhkhara lakum maa fi ’s-samawaati wamaa fee ‘l-ardi jamee`an.
We subject to you whatever is in Heavens and in the Earth. (Surat al-Jaathiya, 45:13)
Whatever is in the universe and on Earth is under your control. Anyone can be a wali. Allah loves awliyaaullah because they are on the footsteps of Prophet (s). Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur’an:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
qul in kuntum tuhibboona Allaha fa ’ttabi`oonee yuhbibkumullahu wa
yaghfir lakum dhunoobakum wa Allahu Ghafoorun Raheem.
Say (O Muhammad), “If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:31)
We are struggling in the way we are following, but those who are really following become beautiful with what Allah is dressing them. You cannot hear what they are able to hear with that power. What are you interested in hearing, angels? I would be interested to hear the holy voice of Prophet (s) reciting Qur’an, as you cannot say, “I want to hear what Prophet (s) said to Allah,” as that is exclusively for him. But we would like to hear what the Sahaabah (r) heard. Yaa Rabbee, we are asking that we hear the voice of Prophet (s), the voice that Sahaabah (r) heard!
Do you think they heard what we are hearing? Allah revealed the Holy Qur’an very slowly, it took 23 years. When Prophet (s) was reading to Sahaabah (r), do you think his voice was like ours? When he was reading to them, he was throwing that light to them that filled their hearts and was giving them oceans of knowledge that no one can ever know. If we say, “Who was the highest in seniority in time of Prophet (s)?” everyone would say, “Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r).” He is older than Prophet and was the first to believe; also, Prophet gave him the authority to be imaam when Prophet was sick. This means that Sayyidina Abu Bakr accompanied Prophet all his life.
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (swt) said:
إِلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللّهُ
سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ السُّفْلَى وَكَلِمَةُ اللّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
Illa tansuroohu faqad nasarahullahu idh akhrajahulladheena kafaroo thaniyy ithnayni idh humaa fi ‘l-ghaari idh yaqoolu li-saahibihi laa tahzan inna allaha ma`ana fa-anzala ’Llahu sakeenatahu `alayhi wa ayyadahu bi-junoodin lam tarawhaa wa ja`ala kalimata ‘Lladheena kafaroo ’s-sufla wa kalimatullaahi hiya al-`ulya w ‘Llaahu `azeezun
If you help him not, still Allah helped him when those who disbelieve drove him forth, the second of two, when they (Prophet and Abu Bakr) were in the cave, and he said to his companion, “Be not sad (or afraid), for surely Allah is with us.” Then Allah sent down His sakeenah (calmness, tranquility, peace) upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you saw not. (Surat at-Tawbah, 9:40)
He called him saahib, “companion” or “friend.” Sayyidina Abu Bakr knows all the ahadeeth of Prophet (s), but how many ahadeeth did he relate? Perhaps 25 or maximum 30. Where are the rest? He did not release them, because Prophet gave those ahadeeth to him with all the secrets that no one can carry. Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r) related the most ahadeeth, about 4,000 to 5,000. He once said, “I learned two kinds of knowledge from Prophet: one I share with everyone, and if I were to share the other, they will cut my throat.” Who will cut his throat? Who was he referring to at that time? It was the Sahaabah (r). If he would have shared that knowledge with them, they would never understand, even though they were Sahaabah. Therefore, he kept that knowledge, and this is hadith sahih.
So when Allah loves someone, He manifests on them “ismullah as-Sami`,” the knowledge and power of hearing. What level of hearing depends on level of the servant. Allah (swt) is “al-Khaaliq,” the Creator. If we say, “He created and then stopped,” that is a limitation of His Greatness, which cannot stop. It means He is continuously creating and if He stops once, He is not Allah! That Beautiful Name is where Creation comes from and this is the Essence which no one knows, we only know the Attributes.
When Allah (swt) says, “I am the All-Hearing, as-Sami`,” or “al-Khaaliq, the Creator,” or “al-`Aleem, the Omniscient,” He is manifesting these Beautiful Names and Attributes in every moment, creating a new level of hearing in His Kingdom, which has no beginning and no end! Therefore, if that servant is dressed with the Beautiful Attribute “as-Sam`i,” Allah will be his ears that will enable him to hear everything, even a worm in the middle of the Earth or an angel on the top of this world. And if we say any less, we are trying to lower the Greatness of Allah.
Sayyidina Da`ud (a) was able to hear every movement at the top of the mountain. Sayyidina Muhammad (s) is able to hear the tasbeeh of malaa’ikah, angels, and anything that moves!
O Muslims! We are still in alif, baa, taa, thaa. Isn’t it true that all words come from the alphabet? Is there anything outside the alphabet that begins with alif and ends with yaa? The alphabet has every word. Why is alif always standing and all the other letter
(lying motion) are prostrating to alif? Everything is in prostration to alif. The last letter is yaa, which is the first name of Prophet (s), “YaaSeen.” Surat YaaSeen is the heart of Holy Qur’an, so this means Prophet (s) is heart of the Holy Qur’an. The first letter is alif and yaa, so every knowledge is between Allah and Prophet, who gives what he wants to the ummah.
Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur’an:
لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا
لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
law anzalnaa haadhaa al-Qur’ana `alaa jabalin la-ra’aytahu khaashi`aan mutasaddi`an min khashiyatillah.
Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder (shatter to dust) by the fear of Allah! (Al-Hashr, 59:21)
This means it can’t carry the manifestation of the letters; in fact, nothing can. Sayyidina Musa (a) asked to see.
قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي وَلَـكِنِ انظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Qaala rabbee arinee anzhur ilayk, qaala lan taraanee wa laakin unzhur ila ’l-jabali, fa inni ‘staqarrra makaanuhu fasawfa taraanee, fa lamaa tajalla rabbuhu li ‘l-jabali ja`alahu dakkan wa khara Musa saa’iqan, falamma aafaaqa qaala subhaanaka tubtoo ilayk, wa anaa awwal al-mumineen.
He said, “O my Lord! Show Yourself to me, that I may look upon You.” Allah said, “By no means can you see Me (directly), but look upon the mountain; if it abides in its place, then you shall see Me.” When his Lord manifested His glory on the mount, He made it as dust, and Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses, he said, “Glory be to You! To You I return in repentance, and I am the first to believe.” (Surat al-`Araaf, 7:143)
And it is in another ayah where Allah says, “The mountain shattered, but why did not the heart of Prophet shatter?” What kind of heart does Prophet (s) have? If not for Sayyidina Muhammad (s), no one would be able to read the Holy Qur’an, they would shatter. Today we are reading the Holy Qur’an, but no one could carry it if it was not for the intercession of Prophet (s). He is reducing it for us. You cannot get electricity from the main source, the turbine, as it will burn everything. That is why there are transformers, big lines coming to a house. Similarly, we would never be able to carry the Holy Qur’an without Prophet’s (s) intercession, we would shatter. Allah says, “I will give power to see what people cannot see.”
That is why we must be careful. Allah says, “I will give awliyaaullah the power to see.”
اتقوا فراسة المؤمن فإنه ينظر بنور الله
Ittaqoo firaasat al-mu’min fa-innahu yanzhuru bi-noorillah.
Be careful from the sight of the believer, because he is looking through the light Allah gave him.
أولياء الله تحت قبابي لا يعلمهم غيري
awliyaa’ee tahta qibaabee, laa ya`lamuhum ghayree.
My Saints are under my domes; no one knows them except me. (Hadith Qudsee)
It was authenticized even by Ibn Taymiyyah:
من عدى لي ولياً فقد آذنته بالحرب
man `adaa lee waliyyan faqad aadhantahu bi ’l-harb.
(Allah (swt) said) Whoever comes against my wali, I declare war on him. (Hadith Qudsee)
Then He said, “I will be his tongue with which he speaks.” It means he does not need to prepare anything; even if a thousand people are sitting, he can address them, and one address is enough for everyone to take and feel that lecture was for him.
Then Allah (swt) said, “I will be his hand with which he senses.” He can change. It means everything you can think to change, you can.
“I will give power to his feet to walk places where no one can walk.” No one from us can claim to be anything! Allah made you a professor, He made you an engineer, He made you a banker, you this, and you that. But no one must think, “I am better than the other.” With all you have been given, still you should be humble. If you are proud you will be nothing, zero!
It is mentioned in `Abdul Wahhab ash-Sha`rani’s book from 700 years ago that he had a mureed who was like many other mureeds, who learned a lot and at the same time was a scholar. One day he came to the shaykh and said, “O my shaykh! I learned a lot from you and now I want to spread this kind of knowledge, and I ask you to give me
The shaykh said, “Okay, but first I am going to give you something to do and then I will check on you.”
He was happy, but the shaykh was looking at him with the vision Allah gave to him, and he saw that mureed made a mistake. Now for normal people there is no mistake and they would be teaching. But when the mureed said that, he made the shaykh blind to know his personality and his psychology. The shaykh found arrogance in him, as the mureed thought, “I learned a lot and will spread your teaching because I am something.” Does the shaykh not know if you are ripe to teach others? If he did not say that to you, it means you are still not ready.
So he said, “Okay, before I give permission to do that, to prepare you, first bring a straw basket filled with walnuts (a delicacy). Then sit by the door of the masjid and put your shoes in front of you. Say to anyone who enters, ‘I will give you one walnut if you beat me once on my head with my shoe, and I will give you two walnuts if you beat me twice, with my left and right shoes!’ Continue doing that until the whole basket of walnuts is empty, and make it a big basket! Then return to me and I will see the next job to give you before you go and teach.”
That mureed was a scholar, a big shaykh. He looked at his teacher and exclaimed (in anger), “SubhaanAllah! Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah! In our culture, when someone becomes angry, sometimes they proclaim that loudly. So the meaning of that was, “I am not happy with what you are giving me.”
His teacher said, “O, you are angry! Don’t you know what Prophet (s) said in the hadith, al-ghadabu kufrun yaa Aba Bakr, ‘Anger is unbelief, O Abu Bakr.’ When you become angry you lose your sensibility. Why are you angry?”
The mureed said, “You are telling me they should beat me with my shoes? Laa ilaaha illa-Llah !! SubhaanAllah!!!”
The shaykh said peacefully, with patience and adab, “Yaa waladee, O my son! If a kaafir says, ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah,’ he becomes a Muslim and all his sins are waived. But the way you said that to me with anger, instead of giving you rewards, Allah gave you sins! A kaafir becomes a Muslim, but for the same words, you are now a sinner with no luck to
continue with me, so go.”
Tariqah is not only reading books, it is to reach the station of “the hearing, the seeing, and the tongue that can speak, the hands that can sense, and the feet that can walk in the Way of Allah (swt).”
May Allah forgive us. May Allah bless us. May Allah make this a blessed night! We say kullu `aamin wa antum bi khayr and we ask the professor to recite a qasida, and then we will open the Holy Hair of Prophet (s).
khayri ‘l-bariyya nazhra ilayya. ameen. O Best of Creation, give a glance to me.