The Procedure for Acceptance

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It was a system in our elders that they would meet each other. If they were in the area and there was a saintly person and the saintly person was in the same grouping with the same type of thought and ways then they would take the trouble to go and meet him. And if they had a good bond and also conformity in their temperament they would also ask them to check their works. If they had to write an article or book they would ask their elder or senior to go through their work and they would gladly receive and accept their suggestions. Hazrat Shaikh Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) would get his books checked up by Moulana Abdur Rahmaan Kemilpuri (rahmatullahi ‘alaih). Sometimes for half the book or one third of the book Moulana Abdur Rahmaan Sahib used to write ‘haza maa yudraa wa laa yufta’ – this is supposed to be known but it should not be publicised; it is alright for you to know it but to publicise it is a different thing, don’t publicise it. Hazrat Shaikh would say that most gladly, though he was not my shaikh and he was not someone I would take instruction from, but he was one of the seniors in our time, I would remove it. It would take so much of time to do the presentation and put the facts together, but as I would do the presentation he would say haza maa yudraa wa laa yufta, then without any reservation or hesitation I would leave it out. So there is a procedure for acceptance. You follow that procedure and Allah Ta‘ala will grant you that acceptance.

Sometimes it is that what we hear or what we talk about is thrilling, but it does not have a life; it is thrilling for that moment, day, week or one or two months, but it has no life. And sometimes it happens that there is no thrill or excitement in what we say or hear but it has a very subtle effect and it goes very subtly. Now this generally happens when the work is supported and complimented by your elders. Outwardly it seems that you are moving very slowly, but in reality you are going and you are moving strongly and steadily. Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) had come to Saharanpur, and although Hazrat Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was not his shaikh, he used to still treat him as his shaikh in respect and etiquette; in everything he would show as though it was his shaikh. And he had perhaps learnt something by Hazrat Saharanpuri, as Hazrat Saharanpuri had taught at Deoband for approximately two and half years. So in that time he may have learnt by him. Hence, he used to show that love and respect for him. While Moulana was there someone had come and he had some questions regarding Bahishti Zewar. Moulana asked him that what is it that you want to know about Bahishti Zewar. He said that there is a mas’alah that says that if the husband is in the east and the wife is in the west and the wife conceives and the husband does not deny it being his child then we will say that the child is legitimate. Hence, I cannot understand this. Moulana asked him, “Did you not understand the mas’alah or you did not understand the reason behind it.” He said that I have understood the mas’alah but I have not understood the reason. Moulana then told that Bahishti Zewar has got thousands of masaa’il, have you understood all the reasons behind them or you have not understood all. If you have not understood all the reasoning then just include this in that list of mas’alahs as well. Moulana Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was very excited when he heard this and he said, “He is coming to me for the past three to four days regarding the same mas’alah, and for hours I was explaining it to him, but I could not make any headway with this person. But in three minutes you got him wrapped up.” Anyway, this person went away. Now this is that ‘ilm that Allah Ta‘ala blesses you when you have the du‘aa of your elders. In simple words you will be able to overcome the problem. Moulana Thaanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was still around and another person came in. Now Saharanpur is like a well-established town and Thaana Bawan is like a farm. Saharanpur has streets, bazaars, shops, municipal offices, police offices, etc. So that is a village in comparison to it. Another person came up and he was dressed up in his suit, boot, etc. In that zamaanah, he was wearing sherwani and it was as though he was showing that he has a lot of feelings and regards for the ‘Ulama. Everybody has to make a presentation and they have to make the presentation to sell their product. If they don’t make the presentation then how is their product going to sell. Anyway he came and tells Moulana, that you know what, I am very much distraught. Moulana asked him and what is causing the distraught. He replied saying that people are talking against the ‘Ulama, again linking it to the Bahishti Zewar, regarding the mas’alah of the husband being in the east and the wife in the west. They have made this mas’alah into an issue. How can people speak out against the ‘Ulama? So he was speaking as though he has a lot of concern and emotions for these types of criticism and people’s remarks. So he says to Moulana that I will arrange a jalsah and I will call all those people so that for once and for all we will bury all those differences. You should explain your position on the mas’alah and show the reason and explanation. We will then iron all that out for once and for all. Moulana told him that before us there was another group, and that group is called the a’immah-e-mujtahideen, what we call the four imaams, Imaam Abu Haneefah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shafi‘ee and Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahmahumullah). Then we have four imaams in tasawwuf; Hazrat Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jeelani, Shaikh Mu‘eenuddeen Chishti, Hazrat Bahaauddeen Naqshbandi, etc. You have all these people, they are imaams as well. Then you get imaams in hadeeth, Imaam Bukhaari, Imaam Muslim, Imaam Tirmizi, Imaam Abu Dawood (rahmahumullah). So you have imaams in fiqh and jurisprudence, in tasawwuf and in hadeeth. People have not spared them. So they have not spared us and they have not spared them. People continuously level criticism against them up to this day. Then above them you get another group and that is the Sahaabah-e-kiraam. And upto this day you find people who have made it their religion to speak out against the Sahaabah-e-kiraam, to swear them and curse them; they have made that their religion. And you get them up to this day. So you have this third group. Thus, you have the ‘Ulama, then the imaams and then the Sahaabah; and people have not spared them. Then you get a fourth group and they have not spared, they are the ambiyaa. One person is running down Hazrat ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) and another is running down Hazrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam). One is running down Hazrat Sulaimaan (‘alaihis salaam). Then it does not stop there. You get another group that speaks against Allah Ta‘ala. They reject Allah Ta‘ala and deny Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, what you do is that we have to do things in procedure and sequence. Therefore, first arrange a jalsah and in the jalsah people who have spoken out against Allah Ta‘ala try and iron out all their differences. Then in the second jalsah you iron out the differences that people have against the ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam). Then have a third jalsah to iron out the differences that people have against the Sahaabah-e-kiraam. The fourth jalsah have it for those who are against the imaams, and for the fifth jalsah I guarantee you that I will speak. Now that man had nothing to say. He had come with so much of expectations, and the way he presented himself with suit and boot he felt that Moulana will just buy his story. Hence, now he does not know how he will get out because he came with that expectation and that glorified approach. He then says that what is wrong if we have the jalsah. Moulana asked him, “Is this a command or is it a suggestion?” He said, “Moulana, how can I command you, it is just a suggestion.” Moulana said, “Alright, you gave your suggestion, jazakallah. You can now move on.” So you will have these types of people who will keep giving their suggestions and two cents. Someone will give their two pence and someone will give two cents. So you won’t get this world with someone who won’t want to give their suggestions. They keep giving their suggestions. You got a journey to undertake, so keep to your journey and hold to your vehicle.

Hazrat Haaji Sahib (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was stationed in Makkah and his mureedeen used to come to meet him there. It is a long story how he got there. Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) also lived with him in Makkah for approximately six months until Moulana felt that now Haaji Saaheb has a lot of time for me and lot of liking for me, and it came to a point where people were becoming envious and jealous that why does Haaji Saaheb have so much of time for Moulana Thaanwi and he does not have that time for us. Moulana could sense that this was going on, that there is a sense of envy, there is a sense of jealousy and people will express their jealousy in different ways. Moulana felt that up until now our relationship was good, but these people are levelling so much of criticism against me and are having so much of jealousy for me that it must not be such that it affects our relationship. I have come here on a good note and when I part then let me leave on a good note. It should not be that Haaji Saaheb has any ill-feelings for me. Therefore I will leave on a good note. While Moulana was there he saw a dream in which he saw a Turkish buzurg. His name was Khaleel Pasha. Moulana says that in the dream someone is telling me that why don’t you meet this buzurg. So I told the person in my dream that what is the need for to meet the buzurg. Because the buzurg is a like a guide and a vehicle. So there is no need for a second guide or for a second vehicle. If you are moving in one plane, do you need a second plane and a third plane? You have one captain, do you need a second captain and a third captain? You have a captain and he is taking you and guiding you, and you have confidence in him then why must you take a second captain and a second guide. Hence, why do I need to do this? Nonetheless, the dream ended and I related the dream to Hazrat Haaji Saaheb that this is what I saw. Hazrat Haaji Saaheb explained that what you said was right, that you have one person and you have the confidence in him, hence you don’t need to hop over to another person and a third person. You don’t need to do all this. But now as per my instruction you go there. Of your own if you went then that would have been wrong. Now as per my instruction you go. It is as though the captain is telling you to go. I am not going to go of my own accord. I am going as per the instruction of my captain, my head.

Someone came to Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih). Moulana told him ‘mere paas kya rakha he, fulaa jageh jaa karke waha mureed ho jaao’. So he came back after some time, after two or three days to Moulana Qaasim Saaheb. Moulana told him, “Didn’t I tell you to go to the other place?” He replied, “Yes. Baaqi me tere mureed hu.” Meaning that I took the bay‘at as per your instruction, but I will still be your mureed. You told me to go there so I went. You told me to take bay‘at so I took bay‘at, but that was just a formality. That was his level of confidence. Now this is the thing that is going to carry you ahead. If you don’t have that level of confidence then you will keep dipping. Once you have it then one or two words is sufficient. It is like you are boarding a flight. You come to the counter, they look at your passport and they let you through. But if you don’t have the confidence then it is as if your papers are not right.  You are then fighting here, you are going to this embassy and you are going to that consulate, and you are asking for this recommendation and that recommendation, but nothing is working out. If you have got the confidence then your papers are right, and once you get to the counter they will let you through and rush you onto the flight.

See, unfortunately what is happening in this day and time is that there are too many people giving their two cents. He is giving his piece, and he is giving his piece, and we are getting lost in collecting all those cents. Sometimes the radio is giving it; sometimes the magazine is giving it, sometimes the media is giving it, sometimes the friends are giving it. If these are not giving then the Whatsapp is giving it. If that also is not giving then Google is giving. So you are getting so many two cents. I say, “Leave these two cents. The thing that the shaikh has got to offer, provided you have the confidence, is not millions, it is trillions compared to these two cents.” But you are not holding on, you are running after these two cents and leaving these trillions. Today’s beggars are such that they are so sharp that if you give them five cents and two cents they will say, “Boss, keep it. You need it more than me.” So exactly the same, this is what we are doing. We are running behind the two cents that this person is giving and what that person is giving, but what the shaikh is offering that you are not holding on to firmly. That person said this and this person said this. So how do I reconcile all these facts? This shows that you don’t have the confidence, and when you don’t have the confidence then you can’t move. Anyway, Moulana Thaanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) went up to this shaikh, Khaleel Pasha. So Khaleel Pasha says that I can speak about 3 or 4 languages, Arabic, Turkish and Persian. Moulana replied that I can speak Arabic but I am not so fluent in Arabic, because it is not a language spoken by us. As far as Turkish is concerned then I know one or two words. Like how we know one or two words of Afrikaans; hoe gaan dit? But if you talk of Persian then that is a spoken language and we write in that language. So I am quite fluent. As they got speaking, he tells Moulana that I am living in Makkah and I see all types of pious people in Makkah, as Makkah is the centre and I see people from all walks of life. But the class of people that I see who have excelled everybody else is the ‘Ulama of Deoband. They have excelled everybody. He is an independent entity and this is his finding and conclusion. So Moulana asked him that what is the basis. There must be a reason that you have ranked them such. He says that if you talk of knowledge then there may be others that have excelled in knowledge, in tafseer or hadeeth, or in any other branch. I cannot say that they have excelled – wa fowqa kulli zee ‘ilmin ‘aleem. But if you talk of deeni khidmat and focus on the sunnah then I have not seen anybody like this group of ‘Ulama. Moulana asks him that what have you seen in them. He says that I see them to be the most disinterested in the world. They are content and comfortable with their lot. You see, an ordinary person he also watches us. He sees, and he sees you that this is the gauge; that are you chasing after the things that I am chasing.

One youngster came to me; he is studying, married and has got children. So he came and said that I am afraid that I have the mahabbat of the dunya in my heart. I asked him that what do you mean that you have mahabbat for it in your heart. He replied saying that the equipment I have is far better than what the other students have. I have this and they don’t have. They have such simple things and I have so expensive things. So they are free of it. I asked him, “So how do you define dunya?” He replied that when you have more expensive and sophisticated things, that means that you have love for the dunya. I then explained to him that that is not how you define dunya. Moulana Room explains to us what dunya means. He says – dunya az khuda ghaafil budan. Because in the Quraan Shareef, Allah Ta‘ala speaks of the dunya in two ways. Sometimes as goods of deception – mataa‘ul ghuroor. Like how you have small children that are boasting over each other with their plastic scooters. He is boasting about his toy and the other is boasting about his toy. The man that is aged and matured and he is 60 or 70, when he sees this he says that what is all this? It is deception; you cannot attach any value to it. So what is he boasting about? So at that age you begin to understand that it is nothing, but just a pastime and sports, and goods of deception. Now the person that is attaching his heart to it he does not realise that he is attaching his heart to the wrong things; he feels that these are the things that he is supposed to be attaching his heart to. Now you don’t blame the small child because of his inexperience he feels that these are the things that I need to be attaching my heart to. But the one that is grown up, if he takes the same plastic scooter and match box toys that he has got with all big chachas with big grey beards, and one is saying I got this thing here and the other says I got that thing here. What will you say? Bhai, chacha you are really off. Doesn’t it look amusing? Won’t they look like clowns? So if we talk of these material things and discuss about these things boastfully then the malaa’ikah also look at us in the same way as we will look at these grown up people who are boasting of these things. So when the Quraan Shareef speaks of this then in one place it says mataa‘ul ghuroor – goods of deception, but in another place, in another context, the Quraan says “wabtaghu min fadhlillah” – search from the bounty of Allah Ta‘ala, and the bounty of Allah Ta‘ala here is wealth. So in one place Allah Ta‘ala is counting it as a bounty and in another place He is counting it as goods of deception. So what is the dividing line, that how do you say that this is the goods of deception and this is the bounty of Allah Ta‘ala? So Moulana Room explains this to us that what is dunya – cheest dunya az khuda ghaafil budan – what is the dunya? Dunya is that which distracts you from Allah Ta‘ala; it’s not your wife, nor your children, it’s not your wealth nor your property; they are not dunya. Dunya is that which distracts you from Allah Ta‘ala. In the midst of your business, I am still explaining to this person, that you have the best of equipment and that person has an ordinary box, you have the state of the art furniture and the other person has boxes stacked up with his clothes etc. and he is living out of that. But the person who is living like that feels to himself that I am such a pious person, I am a zaahid and I am living out of boxes, I don’t have proper furniture – dunya ke kutte ke paas jitne cheeze he, mere paas woh cheeze nahi he – the things that the people who are hankering after the dunya have, I don’t have those things, I am such a simple person, I am such a pious person, I don’t have these things. But that person who has got the state of the art furniture, not a second passes without him remembering Allah Ta‘ala. And he says, “Allah Ta‘ala make me maaf, I have got all these things, I am not supposed to be having these things.” He feels remorseful and he feels that he is not worthy of having these things. So there isn’t a second wherein his heart is unmindful of Allah Ta‘ala. So this person with all the wealth he has, is in the remembrance of Allah Ta‘ala. And this person with all his abstention he is in the dunya because he is filled up with self-glory, he is filled up with self-admiration, he is filled up with all these types of nonsensical things that are distracting him from Allah Ta‘ala. Here outwardly it seems that he has dunya but really he is with Allah Ta‘ala because there isn’t a moment where he does not think of Allah Ta‘ala, he is not grateful to Allah Ta‘ala; there isn’t a moment where he thinks that he is worthy of these things. So outwardly it seems he is in dunya, but really he is in the aakhirah and with Allah Ta‘ala, and he thinks that this is not a thing to attach my heart to and it is nothing more than the comfort of the eye. I can’t attach my heart to it, I can’t attach my mind to it. The real thing I am supposed to attach my mind and heart to is to Allah Ta‘ala, his mind is there. So his mind is right. You see the disparity, you see the difference. What we were taking about is that we listen to too many people and then we get ourselves confused. We listen to this bayaan here and see that kitaab there, this video and that Google and whatever else, and after listening to all these things we try to reconcile that where are we now; are we off the track or still on the right.

The state of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) was totally different. If they had a problem, they would refer it to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). That was the final port of call. Hazrat Hanzhalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is distressed and he says why is there this type of fluctuation. When I am by Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) it seems as if I can see Jannah and Jahannum, everything is before me. When I come to my wife and children then I am a different person. So really I think I have turned a munaafiq. Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) who is the head of all the auliyaa and Sahaabah says that I also go through such conditions, but then he cautions Hazrat Hanzhalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) that if you go through this then the right thing is not remain at home, but go to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and present the case to him. Now that is the procedure. If Hazrat Hanzhalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had to remain at home and carry on crying in this manner what would have happened? He would have fallen into a ditch of despondency and despair thinking to himself that by Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) I am a different person and by my family I am a different person altogether. So really, I have fallen and I have fallen miserably. Had he taken it by himself he would have caused problems. Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is explaining that there is a procedure and that is to follow Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) will not be with us for all our life, he will be here for some time and then move on, but he will show us that these are the types of people you should be following. It is as though by you following them you have followed me. ‘Alaikum be sunnati wa sunnatil khulafaair-raashideen – you follow them then it is as though you have followed me. After the khulafaa-e-raashideen there will be other khulafaa and then their khulafaa. There won’t be a time when there won’t be khulafaa. After the khulafaa-e-raashideen there will be other khulafaa who will be dispensing hidaayat – Laa yazaalu taa’ifatum min ummati qaaimeen ‘alal haqq. So these will be the khulafaa standing on the haqq. They will be firm on the haqq, they won’t be wavering. How will you know that they are the true khulafaa? You will understand this if their elders had also endorsed them and the basis on which their elders endorsed them is that they are sound in their practice and in their knowledge. If they are strong in their knowledge then they are strong in their practice as well. Now you understand that there is a consistent plan. So Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is telling Hazrat Hanzhalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) that you cannot be taking the decision in your own hands. Imagine if Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had not guided Hazrat Hanzhalah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), what would have happened? So this is the procedure. Although the guide is Allah Ta‘ala, but Allah Ta‘ala made a system – innama ana qaasimun wallahu yu’tee – I am going to be dispensing, but the real giver is Allah Ta‘ala. He is going to be providing. My work is to dispense. Allah Ta‘ala could have given directly, but He made the nabi the means to distribute these favours. So this procedure will carry on in every zamaanah. Hence, they go and take the whole thing up to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and he puts a closure to it, that this is not how you are going to view it. So you see the importance of this system and the importance of this procedure.

And the problem that we have today is that there are so many things clouding the mind. Now to dissipate and break down all those things that are clouding the mind is not an easy thing, it is a difficult thing. The easy way is that you find some person like that and then hold firmly to him and don’t speculate, that this is what the second person said and the third person and the fourth person. When you are listening to so many people then every person has got his two cents. Then you are confused that now what should I do, what to take and what to leave out, and how to prioritise; what should I do first and what should I do next, how should I work it out?

Now every person is saying in his mind that I do understand that there is an outer dimension to Islam and an inner dimension to Islam. The outer dimension, how do I get it right? Either in the jamaat, I will get my namaaz right or in the madrasah I will get it right. But the inner dimension how do I get it right? If I don’t get it right then it is an incomplete Islam. So how do I get the inner dimension right? If there is the command of ‘Perform your namaaz’, then there is the command of getting your ikhlaas right. If you could not get your namaaz right on your own then you needed some guidance and instruction etc. Hence, the inner dimension, can you get it by yourself? We hear the famous story of Shibli and Shaqeeq Balkhi. Shaqeeq Balkhi tells him that you have lived with me for so long, what have you learnt? He replied that I have learnt eight lessons. The shaikh says ‘Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji‘oon, you have lived for thirty years with me and in that time you have only learnt eight lessons.’ He says that I can’t speak a lie. I have to tell you the truth. So he says ok tell me what are those eight lessons you have learnt. He then gives the eight lessons that he had learnt. The shaikh says that may Allah Ta‘ala bless you. All the teachings that are in the Taurah, Zaboor, Injeel and Quraan you have got all those teachings right. You have got it in perspective. Now I ask you, what did he get? Did he get the inner dimension or the outer dimension? The outer dimension of it, give it to a hifz boy, in fifteen minutes or half an hour he will be able to take the Fazaail-e-Sadaqaat and learn just the outer dimension of those lessons. In about half an hour he will get it right. But it took him 30 years to learn. So what was it that he was learning? Was he learning the outer dimension or the inner dimension? If he was learning the mahabbat of Allah Ta‘ala, was it the inner or the outer dimension? If he is learning ikhlaas then was it the inner or outer? Just by him repeating those words or giving a bayaan on that or taking instruction from someone what did it require? Now suddenly we say that we don’t need all these things. Na‘oozubillah, these types of words are very dangerous. We say that ta’leem is fardh, don’t we say that education is fardh? Now if someone says that madrasah and ta’leem is not fardh or waajib, what is he doing? He is making inkaar and rejecting a fardh. So if you say that we don’t need a khanqah and don’t need tazkiyah then he is rejecting a fardh. Like the madrasah and ta’leem is fardh, so too is tazkiyah fardh. If this was the duty of the nabi then is this not a duty of the nabi. So like you have to get the outer dimension right similarly you will have to get the inner dimension right. However you get it, but you will have to get it right. Experience shows that you will have to get it under the guidance of someone. It is possible that someone does individual study and gets it right, but tell me how many got it right like that? Can you show me one person like that in this world today that got it right like that, he learnt from the computer or google or through skype and he became a very good ‘aalim. Show me one person that came up like that. Or he became a good qari through skype. So experience shows that it is not possible though logically it seems that it can work out. The mind says that I got the facts, I can learn it and I can perfect it. Logic says that it can work out, but the reality shows something different altogether. So the abundance of information that we are getting from all sides is the thing that is clouding our minds and we cannot see right from wrong. Unfortunately we are falling into the quagmire of wrong and we cannot see it. Sometimes there is jealousy going around, sometimes there is backbiting going around, sometimes there is greed going around. We blind ourselves from tazkiyah and then we don’t realise that we are becoming a victim to this. Sometimes we are having jealousy, pride, sometimes spiting someone else or running down someone else or another department of deen and we don’t realise what is happening. Imagine, running down a department of deen amounts to rejecting something. And deen is so important and the thing lesser important than deen is a Muslim. We talk about riba and we talk of the severity of the crime that it has got seventy levels; the lowest level is – ay yankiha be ummihi – the lowest level is that a person commits zina with his own mother and incest, and the worst type of riba is that we insult, we humiliate and disgrace someone, this is the worst type of riba. If we don’t have the tazkiyah right then can’t we become victims of this? Disgracing someone, running down someone, that I am the one and my group, my movement we are the greatest, we are the ones doing everything and what is your group doing? You are insignificant, you are nothing. Can you see how it goes and how it amounts to rejecting one chapter of deen, a chapter of deen that the nabi was sent to teach. He had to go and teach this thing, and today we get stuck in one thing, and the second thing gets rejected. Can you see the confusion? How the mind gets clouded. That is why I say don’t ever fall into this; making these comparisons. Don’t fall into this. Look at the stance of Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) when he was asked regarding Alqamah and Aswad, two leading taabi‘een. Imaam Abu Haneefah himself was a taabi‘ee and it is possible that they were in his zamaanah, but they were of a higher level. Hence, they were of his own era, they were not the Sahaabah. So he is asked as to who is superior. Look at his reply. That is a lesson for us. He says that I don’t find myself fit to even take their names. So I can’t be the judge and draw a comparison. So when we are asked about these types of things, madrasah, jamaat, khanqah, which is better, then say that we are not in the position to make a comparison. If Allah Ta‘ala has to just enlist us in these groups in this world and in the hereafter then this in itself is an honour and a means of respect for us. But for us to take a decision that this is better than that, then it is as though we are saying that the nabi was doing that work at an inferior level and the other work at a superior level. We are humiliating a work which was the work of the nabi. If tableegh was his work, then tazkiyah was his work and ta’leem was his work; all were his work. So you see, what we hear and talk that is causing a big cloud in our minds, and when it is creating a cloud in our minds then it is creating confusion. So one of the reasons why it has become so difficult to progress in this path is this confusion.

We don’t realise what happens in the mind. The mind is about the most sensitive thing in a man’s life. A friend of mine, about over 30 years ago, he was proposing to a certain girl, and he was very interested and keen. Anyway he was interested and the way he was dressed, I thought it was going to work out. And obviously he was dressed for the kill. At that time there was still that shame, respect and dignity. There wasn’t the type of flirtation that we have presently. So he went and as protocol, he had the ice-cream etc. and the girl is sent with the tray and in that time you must quickly see and she will move away quickly. That is the correct way and the way of nobility and respect. Thus, he saw whatever he needed to see and he came away. When he came back I saw he was very pulled up. I told him that you went so anxiously and now you are so pulled up. He tells me, “Forget it.” So I asked him to tell me what happened. He replied saying that she served the ice cream but it was loaded with the smell of onions. I understood what happened. The mother must have kept the ice cream with the onions under and the smell must have got into the container. He thought to himself that if she can’t look after this ice cream how is she going to look after me. That was his whole finding and conclusion. I told him that I feel pity for the girl. That was the stupidity of the mother, not the girl and you bowled her out because of this. How unfair of you. Anyway he got married to some other girl thereafter. What I wanted to show you from this story was that see the effect of the surrounding. The surrounding of the ice cream was not right and when the surrounding was not right it affected the person so much that he made a decision against that girl and he ruled her out saying that I don’t want to go back to that house. Now the same happens to our minds and hearts. Our minds have that level of sensitivity. It is very sensitive. Its perception is very high. We are listening, talking and engaging with people and articles, and these are surroundings, and unfortunately one of these surroundings can affect our minds. And we do not realise that we have become a victim, and then to rub it and delete it from the mind is not anyone’s guess. To put it in is so easy. The mind has just accepted it. But for the mind to then obliterate and rub it out is not an easy thing. It is not easy, it is difficult. That is why they ask you when they put you on to a disciplinary program that you remain committed to it. Thereafter, the progress you will make will be in leaps and bounds, but you will have to remain committed to it. But like I said there is a protocol. If you abide to the protocol you will not be affected by the environment. However, you don’t just become so strong.

That small sapling that is coming out of the ground it is not so sturdy. A small wind can come and push it from this end to that end. What is going to happen to it? It will get uprooted. It needs the protection of a nursery so that nothing can affect it. When it is strong and sturdy now it can stand on its own.  Now the opposition will make it even stronger. When the tree is strong and the wind is pushing it from one side to the other the farmer will tell you that that wind is good for the tree because it is deepening its roots. As the wind comes, in this it is deepening its roots. But this is for the one that has grown up. But for the one that is still growing up, for him to think that he is like the one that is grown up then the comparison is not right. To say that that so and so buzurg did that, then why can’t I do it; bhai, understand where you are and understand where he is. Don’t compare yourself to that person. That is the mistake that straightaway we want to compare ourselves to that person. When you are still at the nursery level you require all that hifaazat, and by you remaining committed you will get that strength, you will get that stability. Then you can stand on your own and the opposition will make you even more powerful. Now a person who is strong in the jamaat work and is committed, when he hears about a problem he becomes even more concerned. When he hears about the problems in Brazil he becomes even more energetic, that I must go and work there. But that is not for everybody. If he is still in the beginning stages and he is still a toddler and straightaway you send him there and he sees the girls on that side, he will say, “Hey, I was missing out these things all these years, I have to make qadha for all these years.” Now this is what the beginner will do. And the person who is straight and firm, when he will go and see all this, it will bring up his imaan. He will say that these are the children of the Sahaabah, how can they do this? So he is going to cry and make du‘aa, and be a different person altogether. He will try to make things work. He will stay for a few months and he will send a follow up jamaat. So this is the case of the one who is firm. But if it is a beginner and he does not have that type of stability, then his outlook will be that when in Rome do as the Romans do. They are a little bit easy-going, talking to girls, to women, if we are so strong then how are we going to get Islam to them. So you get all these types of khiyaalaat coming in.

A friend of mine was telling me that he was in Joburg for some work and the person who was accompanying him said that I want to go to visit my shaikh. So he said alright, maybe I can benefit from his spirituality. When they go up there he sees that his daughter or his wife, with no scarf on her head she is coming to meet them. The girl is coming to meet these people. All these years we learnt that men have to be separate and women have to be separate. If women are coming in they have to have their heads covered. But I don’t see these things over here and yet he is a shaikh. Nevertheless, they sat down and the shaikh tells him that why are you keeping a full beard, couldn’t you keep a designer beard. He tells me that I learnt that I mustn’t get engaged in discussions, so I told him that the razor blades are gone expensive. I just said this to close the topic. So what I was telling you was that there are so many thoughts out there. He is giving his two cents, he is giving his five cents, and everybody is giving something. So what to take, and who take from, and who not to take from? Everybody cannot compare himself to every level. One person is still at the infantry stage and you are sending him to such a place and he has not found his footing, the chances are that he will get lost. You take a sapling and put it in a place that is full of floods, hurricanes, what is going to happen? One person went to Brazil and came back. So I told him that you should have spent more time there. He replied that what happened was that I needed to hire a car. I went to the car rental and there was some woman there and her name was Mrs. Mercedes. I told her that I needed to hire a car. She tells me that you have to embrace me first before you fill all the documents. I had to struggle for almost one hour trying to influence her that this is not right. So I ask you that if it is a normal person and Mrs. Mercedes comes there what will Mr. BMW do? Can you see all the types of things that are carrying on in the world? How long are you going to make sabr? Can a normal person endure all these situations? So he says that this was one thing that I came across at the airport where the car rental places are. Then I saw another woman from her shoulders till her thighs and she is absolutely naked, no clothing at all. Her entire body is revealed. And it was like normal, nobody was saying anything that is this woman right in her head or what? Now I ask you that if you send someone who has not learnt taqwa and he cannot control his eyes, what will happen to him? Yes, the person whose imaan is very strong and he went through a training, then when he sees these things he will get very angry, and then for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala and for the sake of Islam he is going to work; not 24 hours but 25 hours a day to see that he can get everything right. That person is going to work at a different level and this person at a different. That is why – yak dar geer muhkam geer – you see these influences; they come in a roundabout way, but they are not in conformity with the ways of our elders.

What is required is a strong conformity with the ways of our elders. And if we don’t have it then slowly we are going to drift away. I say this repeatedly and I am not ashamed to say it again and again, and it is something that was passed on from above right till this generation; they say, “apno ko mat chor aur doosro ko mat cher” – your style, that which you have inherited from your elders, don’t leave that out. When we say ‘what you have inherited from them’, in other words the things that they have consensus on then hold on firmly to it. What there is disagreement in then leave that on one side. Don’t worry about that. The things that are agreed upon from the beginning, hold on firmly to it. For you to overcome the cloudiness and fog and to get light then this is the easy way. Apno ko mat chor – you got this from above and it is moving in a straight line then hold on firmly to it.

Doosro ko mat cher – don’t you interfere or start off new things, this program, or this internet, this video clip, don’t get hooked up in all these things. I have got someone and something that is agreed upon then let me hold on to that and I mustn’t experiment and interfere with other things because there may be something that is attractive and appealing and I may get hooked up on to it, and once I get hooked up I will be totally lost. So what I got then let me hold firmly to it and the other things let me leave it aside.