|The Life of a True Soofi (4)
Combining the Rights of Khaaliq Ta’ala and Khalq
There remains a question about a Kaamil attending to creation. Does this not prevent him from attention to Khaaliq (the Creator-Allah Ta’ala)? The response to this is that the question is irrelevant in respect of a Kaamil who is fully accomplished in the Path of Sulook. The reason for this is that in view of the Kaamil’s magnanimous spirituality his attention towards creation is not obstructive to him remembering Khaaliq.
Furthermore, his service to creation is by the Command of Khaaliq Ta’ala and his purpose in this is carrying out the order of Allah Jalla wa Alaa and pleasing Him. Thus, his attention towards creation is solely for the sake of Allah. His engrossment with khalq (creation), therefore, is not obstructive to his engrossment with Haq Ta’ala. In fact this attention to creation is to fulfil the rights (huqooq) of creation.
The Aayat: “Indeed you have plenty of work during the day,” incidentally points to these rights.
The rights are: correcting the public and providing moral and spiritual guidance. However, one should not become forgetful of the Rights of Haq Ta’ala in fulfilling the rights of makhlooq (creation). It is for this reason that before stating the right of creation the Right of Allah is mentioned in: “Stand up the night,” and after mentioning the rights of makhlooq it is stated: “And take the name of your Rabb.” The indication here is: “Don’t forget about Us in your work.” He has given a reminder at the beginning and at the end.
An Easy Concentration Method
For ordinary folk a simple and beneficial way of achieving concentration, through the grace of Allah, comes to mind. One should think that Allah Ta’ala has, for example, “asked me to recite for Him the Qur’aan. I am reading to Allah for He has asked me to recite to Him.” Concentration can easily be gained with this meditation.
Thereafter, Allah Ta’ala states:
“Forget about everything and turn towards Him.”
This means that besides the Ahkaam mentioned you are furthermore instructed to forget about everything else – Tabattul. Your knowledge of everything else and love for others should be overwhelmed by knowledge of Him and love for Him. The effect of the former being overwhelmed surfaces when there is a clash of interests. For instance, two opposing works are faced at one time; the one is in fulfilment of the relationship with Allah and the other is due to the relationship with others, and combining both is not possible. On such occasions to choose the work of Allah and to abandon that which is in conflict to the Pleasure of Allah, is forgetting about others (Tabattul). It does not mean: to have nothing to do with anyone. However, excessive association with people is harmful.
Further Allah Ta’ala declares:
“He is the Rabb of the east and the west. There is no one worthy of worship but Him. Therefore, hand over all your affairs unto Him.”
In other words, have Tawakkul. Thus, Tawakkul is another requisite for the Ahl Sulook. He says that He is the Lord of the east and west. Thus, whatever condition He has put you in there is definitely wisdom in it.
It is proven that in most cases of spiritual depression (qabz) the heart and soul are thoroughly purified. Thus you should not become dejected. Place your trust in Allah Ta’ala. There is some healthy reason for your state.
The mention of east and west is so appropriate for qabz and bast (spiritual depression and exuberance). The east resembles bast in which lofty spiritual states settle over a person (just like with the rising of the sun in the east the world becomes apparent). And the west resembles qabz (in view of the setting of the sun cloaking everything in darkness). Thus the portrait of the east and west is to be found in a human being as well.
And just as the sun becomes hidden in the west, it does not become non-existent, similarly, one’s spiritual excellences do not become non-existent due to qabz; these merely become hidden. Then with bast the excellences reappear.
The summary of everything that has been said is that there are a few mandatory practices of the Ahl Sulook mentioned here, namely, Qiyaamul Lail which is Tahajjud, Tilaawat of the Qur’aan (with tarteel), Tableegh of the Deen, Zikr, Tabattul and Tawakkul.
Relations with Friends and Foes
Then there are two relationships with others. One is with friends and supporters. This has been alluded to in: “Indeed you have plenty of work during the day.” Disseminating the Deen, and providing spiritual training and guidance are the objects mentioned here. This is in view of the relationship with friends being one of love and affection. By virtue of the natural love and affection with friends the rights and duties of this type of relationship are spontaneously fulfilled. Hence, this was not spoken of at length and force here.
The dealing with adversaries again quite possibly results in excesses and inadequacies being perpetrated. Thus, the conduct relevant here was mentioned with importance and at length.
“Be patient over what they say and leave them with beautiful conduct.”
The meaning of this is that one should exercise patience over the problems caused by adversaries and their infliction of harm. Leave them with decorum. Let not the flame of animosity burn out of control and one ends up inflicting even more harm upon them.
Hajr Jameel (in the Aayat) means dissociating in such a manner that one does not feel distressed.
Revenge by Allah
With the teaching of Sabr Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was then consoled by Allah Ta’ala declaring that He will take revenge:
“And leave to Me those in denial; those who bask in pleasures. Give them a short period of grace.”
In other words: “Leave this matter with your opponents to Me. We will take revenge in full”. It is the timeless way of Allah Ta’ala to take revenge from the adversaries of the Ahl Haq. Thus, it is only appropriate to exercise Sabr because when there is someone more powerful than one to take revenge then why worry? According to this Timeless Way of Allah Ta’ala the adversaries are disgraced in this world and in the Hereafter.
We have seen many a time the consequence
Of this delay in deliverance
Whoever interfered with the Ahlullah
Was seized by the Wrath of Allah
Allah has not disgraced a nation
As long as they did not hurt the heart of a saintly-person
In conclusion, the programme for the Ahl Tasawwuf which is mentioned in the Aayaat recited consists of Qiyaamul Lail which is Tahajjud, Tilaawat of the Qur’aan (with tarteel), Tableegh-e-Deen, Zikr, Tabattul and Tawakkul.
This bayaan covers fully and comprehensively the spiritual programme of the Ahl Tasawwuf, through the Fadhl of Allah Ta’ala. It is thus appropriately titled, Seeratus Soofi.
(Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Quddisa sirruhu)