Annual Dhikr Majlis 2020
In this gathering of Dhikr today, in this Halaqah, there are some special qualities and features. As we know, today is the night of Jumu’ah, the night of Friday, which is a night of Barakaat and blessings, alhamdulillah. But along with this, the special nature of today’s gathering is that it is our special Majlis, our annual gathering of Dhikr. Every year we have been holding an Ijtima, and this is the Ijtima gathering for this year. You will be surprised, and will no doubt be thinking ‘What sort of weird Ijtima is this? In previous years, the place was so full that the people spilled out onto the pavements outside, but there have been no advertisements, and no invitations or announcements have been made. There has been no call, and no-one has been told about it. No publicity has been sent out, and there has been no advance notice. And no food has been prepared! So what sort of Ijtima is this?’ You will be thinking such things.
But in reality, all of these things are secondary. Ok, this is all fine when the time is right, but it is not the objective of the annual Ijtima gathering. The objective of the annual Ijtima is the acquisition of Allah’s mercy, and His Barakah, grace and blessings. That is the objective. Allah’s Rahmah and Karam and Fadhl and grace are not acquired through these secondary things. They come from other means. They are not bestowed in proportion to the numbers that attend. The annual gathering is not defined by a certain number of attendees, and only if the number is greater than a certain figure, then people will say that it is the annual gathering. No, it is Allah ta’ala’s selection and decision; it is He who ordains these matters. Is it the food that determines that it is the annual gathering? Is the situation in Madinat-ul-Munawwar the same today as it was previously? Right now, in Riyadh-ul-Jannah, is it as busy as it used to be? Or in Tawwaf, where there would be no place to sit in the Mataf at all? What is all of this? This is all the decision of Allah. It is the guidance of Allah, and we have to be pleased with Allah ta’ala’s decisions and say ‘Oh Allah, we are happy with what You have ordained!’
Will Allah ta’ala give Ijaza to come to the Masjid? If He does, we will take it. If Allah ta’ala ordains that we cannot come to the Masjid, then He will give that Thawab to us at home. It is the Thawab that counts. But some people act all brave, and say ‘No, no, we definitely have to go to the Masjid.’ No, don’t show bravery in front of Allah; rather, show humbleness and sincerity – remember this. Who told us that we can earn more than the decisions of Allah ordain? No! Allah ta’ala closes one thing for us, and He selects another. If He says ‘You cannot come now’, then we have to listen. We can’t say ‘No, I am going to go to the Masjid now and do this or that.’ Who can challenge or compete with Allah? Insaan should always submit to the plan of Allah. We aren’t aware of Allah’s Hikmah and wisdom. Our thinking should be ‘Our objective is Your pleasure and Ibadah. What do we need from the Masjid? What do we need from the Ka’abah? What do we need from those great sacred places? Everything can become the Ka’abah for us if You are pleased with us through it. Oh Allah, what is Your Hukm at this moment in time? If You tell us to go and stand in the wilderness and prostrate, then we are happy to do so. We will submit and obey.’
If you think about Safa and Marwa, does it make sense to run between those specific posts between the Safa and Marwa? People run between those hills – does that make any sense? People are told to take off their ordinary clothes, so they do so. When we are told to go to Arafat, we go to Arafat. We are sent to Mina, and told to spend the night there, and to throw stones at shaytan – but where is shaytan? All of this is what? This is the Deen, the path ordained by Allah. Whatever Allah orders, we will do that. That’s it – that is our objective. We cannot challenge. If a person decides to be brave before Allah, and starts competing and challenging, he is the most foolish person. He is not brave – he is foolish! We should always be happy with Allah’s decision. This gathering may not have been prepared like other annual gatherings, but it is not dependent on these secondary things. So what was our objective for the gathering? If it was this, then we wasted our time previously. What was our objective? Understand!
And then the second point: a gathering doesn’t happen due to these things. Do we think that Allah’s Rahmah, Allah’s Fadhl, Allah’s mercy, and Allah’s grace will only come with crowds and secondary things? No. Allah has said a very beautiful thing, that He is with you according to your desire and want. Allah is saying ‘Whatever My servant desires and wants, I go with that.’ If three people are sat and they have that desire, and feel that is all that can be done, but still they say ‘Oh Allah, this is the annual gathering’, through Allah’s Fadhl, the same Rahmah descends at that time, SubhanAllah. If you have the right intention for something, for instance if you want to pray Tahajjud, and you prepare for Tahajjud, you set the alarm, make the intention and prepare the plan, if Allah keeps you asleep and you don’t hear the alarm, when you wake up you would feel sad, wouldn’t you, because you missed it. But Allah ta’ala says ‘I know your desire, that you wanted to pray Tahajjud – go, I have given you the reward of Tahajjud.’ SubhanAllah! That is why the pious predecessors have stated that an elderly person should not think ‘I can never become a Hafidh’ – absolutely not! Have the intention, have the desire, and request Allah ‘Oh Allah, this is Your Qur’an and I want to do Hifdh of it. I don’t know if I can do it.’ Then start reciting and start learning, and alhamdulillah, in whatever state you pass away, Allah ta’ala’s Rahmah is not contingent upon anything, you will be addressed as a Hafidh of the Qur’an, SubhanAllah. Allah ta’ala has opened so many doors, and it is all based on your desire, your Niyyah, your intention and your preparedness.
And another word for Niyyah is Tasawwuf! This a key subject in Islam. All life-long a person strives to improve his Niyyah – and this is Tasawwuf, which is the way to clean one’s Niyyah, purify one’s intention and purify one’s thinking. Everything proceeds from one’s thinking. If I sit in the Masjid all night long, but my Niyyah is not present and I am thinking ‘What will I attain from this? What am I doing?’ - there can be pride, Takabbur, and other reasons - in that case, do you think that sitting in the Masjid will be successful? There is a big Hadith about this – you can read it and the Ulema-e-Kiram will tell us. An Alim will be called, and a second person who is a Shaheed, and another who spends in the path of Allah. Each will be called by Allah, but their deeds will be thrown back in their face, because Allah is Khabir and Baseer. Allah will say ‘You gave your life and your effort and your energy, but it was not for Me.’ This is such a great fact that we have to understand here. In the Hadith about Ihsaan that we study, the highest state is Ihsaan. Imaan, Aqeedah and belief are one thing, but the biggest thing that determines the right path for a person is his Niyyah, his intention.
Now, what is our Niyyah for the Ijtima? What is an Ijtima? Is it a gathering where people will come and see and pray and then say ‘Oh, what a big gathering! He is a great Sheikh; he is a big Pir!’ Is that what an Ijtima is? SubhanAllah – then where has everything gone? The gathering has gone, your money has been wasted, your wealth has been wasted, your time has been wasted, your effort has been wasted. Where has everything gone? Down the drain! The enjoyment and success come if we sit today with the right desire. We should have that passion now, that zeal now, that Jadhbah now, that same emotion we had before. Wallahi, I am sat in the Masjid – I absolutely feel like that, right now, just the same. Earlier today, I started thinking about the Majlis, and from the morning my emotions have been building and generating and being enhanced. The situation changed – illness receded, deficiencies disappeared, my energy levels rose, SubhanAllah. Previously I wasn’t capable of speaking much due to lack of energy.
So what is this? Don’t be put off because we can’t do this, or arrange that, or call everyone – no. The action we did previously we have to do today. But what is the crux of the matter? What is the real intention for the annual Ijtima, for this gathering? Why do we do this? In our Naqshbandi order, we see that in the Khanqah of Hadhrat Fazal Ali Shah Qureshi rahmatullah alayh, where I have sat, even until today there is an Ijtima in that place every year. In the Khanqah of my Hadhrat Sahib rahmatullah alayh, an Ijtima takes place every year also. So what is this event? With the Fadhl of Allah, mashaAllah, we hold this here every year as well. So how could we pass this year without a Majlis? It was Allah’s plan that the Majlis should be held this year in the way that Allah wants. Say SubhanAllah! Allah says ‘You are not going to eat today, you are not going to make noise or advertise or announce, but definitely you will hold the Ijtima.’
Do you understand what I am saying? Does this affect your heart? Yes? Why? What is your Niyyah? What is your intention? Why do we do the Ijtima, the Majlis of the annual gathering? I remember a Hadith at this point which I will present in your service, and the respected scholars are here to align me or correct me if needed. This is a very famous, well-known Hadith which is studied and read, and you will be aware of it. It may be Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah radhiAllahu anh who narrates this Hadith, which is present in Fazail-e-A’maal, and the Hadith relates that the gracious Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was out and about on one occasion, and where did he pass by? He passed by a gathering of the Sahaba, of the Companions radhiAllahu anhum. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam saw them gathered there and asked ‘Oh my beloved Companions, what is the reason that you are gathered together in a Majlis? What is your purpose for coming together?’
I am presenting the meaning of this Hadith to you here. So he asked ‘Why are you sat here gathered together?’ Now the Sahaba were surprised that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was asking, and wondered if there might be some particular reason for his asking why they were sitting there. Now the Companions obviously had great manners and Adab, and they felt very uncomfortable that there might be a question mark over their actions, so they said ‘Oh Prophet of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, we are just here expressing our gratitude to Allah. Oh Prophet of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, we are here doing Shukr to Allah subhana wa ta'ala. And what is the reason for our gratitude and our remembrance of Allah, which we all feel and are unified in? We are remembering Allah for the sole reason that Allah ta’ala has given us Hidaya to Islam. Allah ta’ala has sat us on the platform of Islam and sent such a great Nabi who has made us Ummatis, members of his Ummah. So for this great mercy and favour, we are grateful to Allah. and we thought that the best way to be grateful was to remember Allah – so we are doing Dhikr of Allah.’ This is the Hadith.
So why do you do Ijtima? Why do we gather together? The real purpose is that we gather together to be grateful to Allah, and we are grateful to Allah for this great Silsila of our pious predecessors, who worked their whole lives to purify us and cleanse us and to teach us. Those pious elders worked so hard to establish Deen, doing Tazkiyyah, purification, spending their whole lives in their Khanqahs for their Mureeds to clean their hearts and their lives. Who are the Mashaa’ikh, the pious predecessors? They worked hard, day and night, for the Makhluq of Allah, for the creation of Allah, so that the hearts could be cleaned and the platform of the Deen could be established. This was the life of the Mashaa’ikh. They don’t see day and night, but rather spend their lives in the Khanqahs, serving people and helping and assisting them to purify and cleanse their hearts. Alhamdulillah, the Faidh and blessings have come to us from our pious predecessors.
Look at this country and look at our dirt, and then see that we have Imamahs and beards and Salah – were we capable of this? Could you ever imagine this purification that has come into our hearts? Where has it come from? From which Markaz? There is light and Noor in Bolton and in this country and in the world, and the Markaz, the source, is Gadai Sharif. And what was the source of the Gadai Sharif Sheikh? His source was Miskeenpura, which in turn came from Mousa Zai, and the Mousa Zai Sheikh’s Sheikh was in Qandahar in Afghanistan. And where did the Qandahar Sheikh take from? SubhanAllah, it goes back and back if you keep asking ‘Where did you get this from?’ And where does it go back to? SubhanAllah, to Siddique-e-Akbar! And if you ask Siddique-e-Akbar ‘Where did you get the Deen from?’ he will reply ‘I got the Deen from the heart of al-Mustafa sallallahu alayhi wasallam!’ SubhanAllah!
Are we so stubborn today? Are we so weak today? Don’t we have the intellect and understanding, and are we so busy and happily occupied in the work of the Dunya? And if something valuable comes to us in the world we cherish it and celebrate it, but SubhanAllah, shouldn’t we sit down and show gratitude to those people by whose efforts we have been taken out of Jahannam and sent towards Jannah? Say SubhanAllah. This is about being grateful – I am explaining this Hadith to you here. Just as the Sahaba-al-Kiram were grateful, we too should be grateful for our pious predecessors. Murideen like us gather once a year and send Esal-e-Thawab to those great personalities, and are grateful to them, saying ‘Oh Allah, You sent these pious elders of our order, and they purified us through Tazkiyyah, and they gave us the Deen and the light.’
Do you understand? This is the Ijtima, the annual gathering. And when this gathering takes place, Allah ta’ala’s Rahmah and mercy comes automatically. And just as when there were eight thousand in attendance, or however many, the same Rahmah and mercy have come, Wallahi, and the same Fadhl and grace and blessings, and the same number of angels that came before have come now, today. The same. Why? Because this is connected to the same names and Niyyah that gathered you together before. We will send that Thawab to Hadhrat Bahauddin rahmatullah alayh, to Hadhrat Salman al-Farsi radhiAllahu anh, and we will send the Thawab of our deeds today to Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh, to Hadhrat Mirza Mazhar Jaane Jaanan rahmatullah alayh, to Hadhrat Khwaja Ma’soom rahmatullah alayh, to Hadhrat Fazal Ali Shah Qureshi rahmatullah alayh, to Hadhrat Dawst Muhammad rahmatullah alayh, to Hadhrat Usman Damaani rahmatullah alayh. ‘Oh Allah, it is due to them that we are doing deeds today and are remembering You! Oh Allah, we send the Esal-e-Thawab to them! Oh Allah, elevate their status, instill Noor into their graves, put Faidh onto their graves!’
When the servant is grateful, SubhanAllah, Allah says ‘These are such servants of Mine that are sat together like the Sahaba-e-Kiram, and they are grateful to Me and are remembering My Name.’ And Allah ta’ala says ‘For being grateful and remembering Me and sitting together for this purpose, I am happy!’ The same Hal is present today. Allah will ask us ‘Did you sit due to being grateful for the Ni’mah you received via your pious elders? Is that why you came today, or was there some other reason for your attending the gathering?’ Wherever people are sat, don’t worry, you are not losing out, no matter from which corner of the world you have joined and have connected to this gathering and Ijtima.
Today the colour of this gathering is different; the situation is different. The characteristics are different, but it is the same Ijtima. It is a different time and a different year, but don’t you feel this, my brothers? Allah will give the same Rahmah, the same Karam, and the same mercy that we had in our previous gatherings. We will attain the same rewards, if not more, because Allah looks at sincere Niyyah, with no Riya, no showing off, no pomp, no glory, no grandeur, no numbers, no quantity, no advertisements. No one will say ‘Oh, today’s gathering was fantastic because lots of people came.’ Will anyone say that? What a Khalis, sincere, pure, clean gathering it is today, SubhanAllah! How fortunate we are that Allah ta’ala has seated us in this gathering today.
Today there is that same question that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam made to the Sahaba outside Masjid an-Nabawi when he said ‘Are you sat for this purpose, my Companions?’ The same question reverberates today. The Sahaba were worried and said ‘Have we done something wrong? Wallahi, we are sat for this reason, Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. We had no other objective.’ Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said ‘Don’t worry, listen to the glad tidings, SubhanAllah. I have not come to tell you bad news. Rather, it was me who was surprised, because I can see what you cannot see and can hear what you cannot hear. What you don’t know is that I have been speaking to Jibreel alayhi salam, who just came to me from the heavens. He came to me and said ‘Do you know what these people, your Sahaba, are doing? Allah ta’ala is proud of these people amongst the angels; He is proud of your Companions!’ Today it is the same for this Ijtima.
As I said, this is a special gathering today, my brothers. Our pious elders are selected people, not small or minor personalities. They come to guide the whole world. Today we talk of the Silsila Naqshbandia Mujaddidia – who is Mujaddidia? What is this Silsila? Who was the Mujaddid? Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani came after one thousand years – don’t you know the history of Islam? In the whole of the Indian subcontinent at that time, the scenario was different. There was darkness everywhere. What was happening at that time? Look at the history; pick up the Kitabs and read. There was Kufr, no Deen, and no Imaan. The Deen was changed to La ilaha illa’llah, Akbar Rasoolullah. This is what Akbar said – he told people to believe in him as the Rasool. He said ‘Prostrate to me’ and changed the Deen, introducing many innovations. There were big Alims of that time, including Fazi and other scholars, and a Tafseer of Qur’an was even written at that time containing no letters with dots. There were great Alims and scholars, but people sold their Deen at that time to the name of this king, saying ‘Yes, he is right!’ Imagine where the Iman of the poor people would go in such an era, when the Alim was saying that this was correct and permissable. This can happen!
So at that time, the Ulema followed the king and obeyed his orders, and the circumstances changed, due to which there was no Deen and Halal had become Haram, and Haram had become Halal. This was the so-called Deen-ilahi of Akbar, who was the king. But what is Sunnat-e-ilahi, my brothers? Every Nabi came in a dark time such as this, and Allah ta’ala continually sent His Prophets in times of darkness when the Deen had been extinguished. But at this time, the Final Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam had come and gone, so would the Silsila of Da’wah come to an end? Would the practice of Da’wah come to an end? No, Allah ta’ala kept it alive. Whenever darkness prevails over an era, as the generations and times come and go, Deen will continue to spread until Qiyamah. Whenever the tough times came, on that portion of earth Allah would send His Wali, His Friend, SubhanAllah, and he would revive the Sunnah at that time. He would revive the Deen and the Sunnah would come again, the Niqabs would come again, in such a way that across the whole generation, the Niqabs would be visible.
And you know, do people joke against the Niqab today? Don’t they all wear Niqab now, those who were joking? This is the planning of Allah - no one knows better than the wisdom of Allah. Who can laugh now? So the Wali of his time, when he comes, people have to follow him because Allah selects him. The Awliya’llah are selected people. They are selected. No one can question, saying ‘Is he right? Is he a Sayyid, or a Farooqui, or a he or a she?’ No! What was my Hadhrat? He wasn’t a Sayyid or a Farooqui, nothing of the sort. He had no pre-title. Allah selects. Whoever Allah ta’ala ordains and selects, then he becomes the Wali of his time. There is no condition in the sight of Allah such as Sayyidi, Farooqui, Siddiqui, or this knowledge or other pre-criteria like the acclaim of the world – no. Everything is based upon the decision and the selection of Allah. Allah can take the Deen from whoever He wants. He can select who He wants, bring forward who He wants, and choose any portion of earth in which He wants to revive His Deen. Who knew, decades ago, that there would be Masjids on this earth, Dhikr on this earth, that the springs of the Naqshbandi Silsila would gush forth on this earth, that the Shari’ah and Sunnah would be revived here? Did anybody know this decades ago?
So Allah ta’ala selects the Wali of Allah for this work of the Deen, and he who is selected cannot be held back by prisons or by Kufr. No negative conditions can surround him. Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh was just one man when he stood up, surrounded by Kufr in that generation. Read the history. Don’t you know the situation he faced, with that same king, that wild king, the worst king? That king had power in his court and had people and followers, but Allah created one of his Walis and sent him – and Allah’s selection is the greatest. At that time, someone strong and brave was needed, and just as, among the Sahaba, Hadhrat Umar radhiAllahu anh had bravery, strictness, and steadfastness, from the family of Farooqui Allah ta’ala selected another Farooqui, Hadhrat Sheikh Ahmad Farooqui. Obviously, that Jalal and firmness that you will see in every Farooqui was there. In every true, sincere Farooqui who follows the Deen, you will see those traits and habits. Allah ta’ala can bring forth who He likes to spread the Deen, and it is not compulsory that he has to be like that. Wherever He wants, with whoever He wants, Allah ta’ala sets a plan for whatever circumstances pertain.
SubhanAllah, it is not necessary that Allah ta’ala will spread the Deen from a big Masjid. Allah ta’ala can spread the Deen from a small Masjid. The Deen can spread from a small Khanqah in a mud hut – it is the Ikhlas that counts. This is the Ijtima, my brothers – this is why we hold an Ijtima. Allah ta’ala created Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani in the world, so where did he come, and what did he do, and what was his Maqam and status? One great event of Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh comes to mind – can anyone dare to speak like him? Only Allah’s Friend who He selects can speak in this way, for he is tasked with spreading the Deen. Now the king of that time made people do innovations and bow and prostrate to him – and Bid’ah leads to Kufr. Kufr had taken root at that time because the king would insist that people prostrate to him. So when he heard there was a Mujaddid, he called him, and Hadhrat said ‘I swear that I will not prostrate to you.’ Jahanghir was the king at this time, the son of Akbar. He said ‘How dare he say that he will not prostrate in front of me! Bring him here – how dare he say this?’
So he assembled his court, summoned Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh to come, and said to him ‘I have heard that you are refusing to prostrate or bow to me.’ He replied ‘I will only perform the action of bowing and prostrating in front of Allah.’ SubhanAllah. The king said ‘Do you dare to speak to me in this way?’ This was the king who had the highest status in the land. So he said ‘All I require is that you bow your neck to me’, but the Mujaddid replied ‘This neck will only bow to Allah!’ Then the king said ‘In that case, just tip your forehead down a little’, but again he said no. At this, the king ordered that his head should be forcibly made to tip forward, for the king knew he was a big scholar with a high rank, so he did not want to kill him. He ordered four or five powerful men to force his head down so that he could then release him. With great energy they tried to make his head incline, but the neck of the Mujaddid would not move even a few degrees because Allah ta’ala had selected him.
If a person selects themselves as a Hadhrat Sahib, the threat of prison would make them tremble and shake, but for the person who is selected by Allah, even prison cell becomes a Khanqah. And this is the greatest sign of the Wali of Allah, namely that he perseveres. In whose path? The path of Allah subhana wa ta'ala, persevering through difficulties and hardships, because he has been selected by Allah. The Wali of Allah is from Allah –Wilayat comes from Allah. A person who puts the stamp on themselves and gives themselves titles has no comparison to someone to whom Allah ta’ala gives the stamp of approval. Wallahi, that person is elevated many stages after the hardships. If one Masjid closes, it doesn’t matter. I swear by Allah, the whole city opens up for that Sheikh, for that Wali. Nobody can prevent the Deen of Allah from spreading. Can anyone stop Da’wah?
Can you see and feel the Ijtima now? Yes? Can you see it more than before? We will feed you afterwards as well, don’t worry! No problem, we will feed you as well. Can you feel the Ijtima now? Do you feel it and understand the Maqsad and the objective? Our understanding has changed. We have gathered here to be grateful to Allah for those Mashaa’ikh who showed us the Deen. We are gathered in order that we can repay the favour, and we don’t need numbers and quantity. Allah’s Rahmah has come, and you will return with the same reward, alhamdulillah, and the same Faidh and blessings and mercies of the Sheikhs of the Naqshbandi Silsila will come to you in Muraqabah and in Dhikr. The same Faidh.
So, back to the example. The king said ‘Oh, so he is the Mujaddid, is he? Then I will give him his last chance now. We must do this, because he is not listening, and I want his head to bow before me.’ So somebody from his court, one of his ministers, advised the king and said ‘What you can do is make an entrance that is lower than his height, a window perhaps, so that when he enters, he will have to bow his head because it is lower than his head.’ The king liked the idea and told them to take him out and to send him back into the court through a window that suited their purpose. But this was the Mujaddid who had been selected by Allah, so when he was told to enter in this way, he first put his feet and legs through, and then he put his head through, and thus he didn’t bow his head as he entered. SubhanAllah!
The king then said ‘Put him into the prison at Gwalior.’ Now this was a severe jail, but, as I said, the jail becomes a Khanqah for such people, and ten thousand people became Bai’ah at his hand at that place! And they said ‘Hadhrat, the whole nation is ready! Just give us Ijazah and in a few days we will cut off the king’s head, bring it to you, and give you the crown.’ Just listen to the reply the Mujaddid gave. He said ‘I have not come to cut off anyone’s head, and I haven’t come to wear a crown. Rather, I have come to purify his heart! SubhanAllah - when the king is reformed, then the whole country will be reformed!’ And this is exactly what happened. That same Jahanghir, through the company of that Sheikh, is from our Sheikhs, rahmatullah alayh. He became a Khalifah of Mujaddid Alf Thani. My Hadhrat Garam-e-Qadar would go especially to his grave and do Muraqabah – and how great would be the Muraqabah of my Sheikh when he went to Jahangir’s grave! I too presented myself there and did Muraqabah. Imagine the Anwaraat and the Faidh and the blessings from a Khalifah of Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh. So the heart of that same Jahanghir changed and flipped, and Adab and manners and comportment came to him, because the first lesson is Adab. And how much Adab did Allah ta’ala give him? When he used to go to Sarhand Sharif to meet Sheikh Ahmad Sarhindi Farooqui rahmatullah alayh, he would stop his convoy a few miles away, dismount from his horse, take off his shoes, and would walk the rest of the way to his Sheikh barefoot. SubhanAllah – and this was to show that he was not coming as a king, but rather as a Mureed. SubhanAllah – and what did the Mujaddid say? He said ‘Oh king, tell me: has your life not improved now that you remember Allah’s Name? When I come before Allah, I will be asked ‘What have you brought for Me?’ and I will reply ‘Nothing, oh Allah, just this Dervaish Jahanghir who has reformed himself!’
These are the beautiful and extraordinary paths of Tasawwuf; these are the great effects. What is the Sunnat-e-Ilahi in the face of Ikhlas and sincerity? When there is darkness, that colour changes, and the situation changes; that generation changes and is reformed. So many great Sheikhs came from Hindustan after the Deen spread. That is how Allah subhana wa ta'ala spreads His Deen – by means of people, not through numbers. I will tell you another point. Will Imam Mehdi alayhi salam be a Prophet? No. He is also a Wali of Allah. Imam Mehdi alayhi salam will also be a Wali of Allah, a Sheikh, like the Mujaddid rahmatullah alayh. Just as Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh revived the Deen, he will do the same. What will happen to him? He will be living in Madina, a normal person, but one with Taqwa and Adab, and his Ibadaat will be such that everyone respects him. But no one will know that he is Imam Mehdi alayhi salam. He will be a normal human being, but people will love him and be in awe of him, just as people are with the Walis of Allah. People will respect him and will ask him for Masaa’il and ask him to make Dua for them. He is an inhabitant of Madina and those who know him will say ‘Oh he is a pious person, let’s go and ask him for Duas.’ Maybe thousands of people will have asked him to make Dua for them! This will be his history. This is his history - he won’t be a Prophet.
So what will happen in that generation? The king of that time will preside over fighting and quarrelling and differences of opinion, such that a battle will start. A clash will start, and then it will increase, and the circumstances will become hard. Just listen to what I am saying, which is mentioned in the Kitabs, and then compare to today’s generation. Such a time will come, and then Mehdi alayhi salam will come. So that king will pass away, after which there will be fighting and quarrelling amongst the princes, and such a big Fitnah will arise in the country that murder, quarrelling, fighting and disputes will spread. People will go to him and say ‘Hadhrat, you are pious, you are a good man. People listen to whatever you say, so go and put yourself forward to arbitrate so that the killing and the quarrelling and the murder can stop.’ Mehdi alayhi salam will say ‘I can’t, I can’t,’ and will make excuses. He will then leave and go to Makkah, and he will hide there while people look for him, hoping that he can stop the murdering and quarrelling and disputation. They will find him in Makkah Sharif and will plead with him and force him to accept their Bai’ah in Makkah. And in one night, overnight, Allah ta’ala will inspire him and open his heart and instill all the Anwaraat and the Noor and the power and energy, and by means of this he will spread the Shari’ah and the Deen, in the same way that Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh did.
Did Imam Hussain radhiAllahu anh go to where he went so that his neck could be cut, or to get a title, or to become the leader? No! He went to revive the Deen, to revive the Shari’ah, to revive the Sunnah. For this did he strive and give his life. That is the same Maqam. He didn’t come asking people to pray to him or to prostrate to him – no Wali of Allah comes for this reason. Rather, Adab for the Wali of Allah is automatically instilled. That same Adab that the Sahaba gave to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam comes into the student for the Wali of Allah, for the Wali of Allah who revives the Sunnah, who spreads the Sunnah, who has two tools: in one hand is the Qur’an, and in the other hand is Sunnat-e-Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. He has no third tool. He doesn’t know about earning money, or advertising, nor does he have any interest in telling people to submit to him or to worship him. Qur’an and Sunnah – nothing else, whether it is Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh or Imam Mehdi alayhi salam. Imam Mehdi alayhi salam will do the same. Overnight, Allah ta’ala will make him the Mehdi alayhi salam and give him all the qualities and the strength and the energy and the tools. He will become the Mujaddid of his time – not a Nabi, but the Mujaddid of his time.
My brothers, all these things will happen with the plan of Allah. Allah’s Deen has to spread. How could it be that Imamahs would not be in the world, that beards would not be in the world, that Purdah is not in the world, that Allah’s Deen is not in the world? How could there be a generation like this? No. When darkness comes, one of two results will follow. Either the Adhab of Allah wipes away the people from the earth, or Allah ta’ala sends His Wali to revive the Deen and to revive people, SubhanAllah. And for the person who takes his hand and follows that guide, the springs come forth. There are restrictions and hurdles and obstacles, but remember: this is the path of Ishq, Muhabbat and love. The only people who succeed in surmounting the hurdles and hardships and obstacles are those who have love. Tests and challenges will come, and they have to be met. He who steps back is a Munafiq, as he says ‘Oh, I can only go this far, and then I have to go back.’ No! And then when the struggle starts, they run away. Do you think it will be a game when Imam Mehdi alayhi salam comes? Do you think it will be easy? SubhanAllah! The only people who will be able to stand with him will be those who have Shari’ah and Sunnah in their lives. How could the Munafiqeen succeed with him? No way. To do so, alhamdulillah, you need a chest full of Ikhlas, with Sabr and endurance and patience, and the willingness to give everything for the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
‘Man Ahabba Sunnati fa qad Ahabbani’ – whoever loves, understands this. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is saying ‘No one can attain my nearness who is against my Sunnah.’ Nobody. If someone feels pain and difficulty and shame in following the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, despite the fact that he may pick up the Qur’an and kiss the Qur’an and do Sajdah, nothing at all will be accepted of his Islam. Zero! Imam Mehdi alayhi salam will say ‘This is not Islam at all!’ Islam is only one path: submit to the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam one hundred percent. No shame. Say SubhanAllah! Do you understand? Are you enjoying this Ijtima? This is the message of the Ijtima. There is no new message, just the same message that Hadhrat Hussain radhiAllahu anh brought: ‘I don’t have any need for leadership. I just want you, Yazid, to follow the Sunnah – nothing else. Come onto the path of Shari’ah and accept Halal as Halal and Haram as Haram. Stop the singing and the use of musical instruments – all of this should stop.’
Today, right now, that Nafs is present; that desire is present. And when Imam Mehdi alayhi salam comes, he will be the Mujaddid of his time, and he will spread the Deen of Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh in the same way. Can a person stay alive on this earth who turns his face from obedience of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam? The question doesn’t arise. Even animals eat bread and chickens – are we here for this reason? What are we? The biggest measurement gauge for a human being is the Sunnah. That Deen is Afdhal, that worship is Afdhal, that Ibadah is Afdhal in which the colour and effect of the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is visible. Nothing can be accepted without Sunnah. If you are seeking guidance and acceptance of deeds without Sunnah, do you think you can say you have a high status and are pious and are a Khalifahh?
No matter, Allah ta’ala says that in those same places He will send those revivers, like Hadhrat Abdul Qadir Jilani rahmatullah alayh, Hadhrat Mohiuddin Chishti rahmatullah alayh, Hadhrat Shahabuddin Suhrawardi rahmatullah alayh, Hadhrat Bahauddin Naqshband rahmatullah alayh. Allah ta’ala says ‘I have no need for titles!’ The effect of the Naqshbandi is that Hadhrat Abu Bakr as-Siddique’s colour becomes visible. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam left two things, two flowing rivers, two colours, two effects. What are they? There are two proofs that a person has Nisbat with Hadhrat Abu Bakr as-Siddique radhiAllahu anh: one is Ishq, extreme love, and the other is ‘Ittiba, obedience. Hadhrat Abu Bakr as-Siddique radhiAllahu anh said ‘Oh Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, I want to continue to see your blessed face. I want to spend my wealth on you. I want to entrust my daughter in marriage to your hands.’ SubhanAllah, Jibreel alayhi sallam was surprised at his wearing clothes for the sake of his Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam. He descended and said ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, as-Siddique has worn these clothes today, and in the heavens, all the angels are wrapped in the same blankets in imitation of as-Siddique-al-Akbar!’
So this is Silsila Naqshbandia – you get Ishq, the love, and you also get ‘Ittiba, the obedience to the Sunnah. That is why the true Naqshbandi student of the true Naqshbandi Sheikh, who has the right Niyyah and sincerity, will love following the Sunnah and doing ‘Ittiba. He will never be ashamed to be obedient to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. He will never step back or feel down or low and under pressure, no. SubhanAllah – say SubhanAllah!
So, my brothers, alhamdulillah, with the Fadhl of Allah, the emotions of the occasion are here. Everything will be fine. This is a serious gathering, this Ijtima. Don’t waste time! The time is about to come – look around at what is happening. Could anyone imagine that this would be the Hal of our Salah, that we would have to have distance between us, and use something to clean our hands? And maybe the Masjid will be closed tomorrow – then what will we do? Will we force our way in here in that case? No! If Allah wills, He may say ‘I want to close the Masjids. This is the decision of Allah that I want to close My House.’ It is the decision of Allah if He wants to stop these gatherings, and we should respect that. Should we force our way in? No, rather do Tawbah and Astaghfar and say ‘Allah, we are pleased with what You have ordained. We will do Tawbah and Astaghfar.’ Allah says ‘I will tell you where to do My Ibadah. If you are My true servants, then go wherever you want. Do My Ibadah, and I will give you the Thawab. But if you try by force to go against My will, then I will wipe away those necks!’ Say SubhanAllah!
When such conditions arise, my friends, then don’t be obstinate and stubborn in front of Allah and question and challenge. Hide yourselves away. Accept Shari’ah in respect of whether we should come or not or do this action or not. Obey the Shari’ah and the Sunnah. Don’t try to be brave when you are not meant to be brave, when this is not what Allah wants. Why are you trying to be brave in front of Allah? Allah has spread such a sickness that now He tells us that another version of the disease has come. So the Niqab is worn, and Allah says ‘Will the disease go away by wearing the Niqab?’ Why do we cover our faces – and why don’t people respect this? They say ‘We’re brave – we don’t need to wear face-masks.’ Are you being stubborn in front of Allah? No, Allah says use the means and the tools – Shari’ah gives Hukm. Allah subhana wa ta'ala says ‘When I give Adhab, then you have to protect yourselves. When I send Adhab and disease, then I give you the precautionary measures, the tools, and you should use them.’ On the other hand, don’t say ‘I will wear these and then I won’t get sick.’ No – wear them. Follow these precautionary measures and protective measures, and then have Tawakkal ‘ala’llah, rely on Allah.
So Allah tells us to follow the protective measures fully when the disease comes. Follow the guidance and follow the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam as well in such times. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam took precautions. For example, it is related in Hadith that there was once a person with a severe disease who came to take Bai’ah. So Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said ‘I will not place my hand on your hand to give you Bai’ah, rather, sit at a distance and I will take your allegiance verbally.’ So the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam gave him Bai’ah from a distance, SubhanAllah. Who is telling us this? The Shari’ah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is telling us this. It is telling us not to shake hands. Why? Because maybe the disease will spread through this. Yes? Be careful and be cautious. This might make the disease spread. But don’t have the Niyyah that the social distancing measures will save you. Who will save you? Allah, the Rabb, will save you. Don’t feel in your heart that you can only be saved by doing this, no, but also don’t be obstinate in front of Shari’ah. Whatever law accords with Shari’ah and Sunnah, use those protection measures, use the precautionary measures, use social distancing measures, and this will reduce the chances. Allah ta’ala is the one who stops the disease, and Allah ta’ala is the one who saves you, but the Shari’ah orders that we should follow the guidance measures. We have to follow the Shari’ah in this case.
Anyway, I am not a Mufti, and I am not giving you Fatwas – the respected scholars have guided us to do this and that and the other. Whatever the respected scholars tell us and advise us, in terms of doing this, and not doing that, whatever Fatwas have been given by the respected scholars, then it is Lazim, compulsory, for us to follow those Fatwas. It is Lazim for us. If we are brave and want to come out in opposition to them, don’t be brave in front of Allah subhana wa ta'ala. Am I right or am I wrong? This is the right point of view. Who knew that Allah ta’ala would send us such a disease and illness, or that another variant would come and start spreading? Are these normal circumstances that we are living in? Are these normal times? Tell me!
There is a Hadith where the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam foretold that such a time would come that every successive day would be worse than the one before. When you wake up one morning you will hear a new piece of bad news; when you awake the next morning, a new quantity of the disease; when you awake the next morning, the disease has taken a new direction. Is this not the case? This is the case. So at this moment in time, should we stand up and be obstinate? Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam told us about this Maqam, about this phase, when Fasaad and disorder and injustice would be common, when the Shari’ah and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam would not be practiced, not in this country or that country or any country. Today, if you put on your glasses and look into the mirror of the world, everyone is in the same situation. The same plain, level playing field is everywhere. The disease has spread all around the world – there is no country of the world that is free from this disease. No country on the planet. When these conditions spread around the world, the time is close – the signs of Qiyamah are close.
When you see these signs, that is the time when the Mujaddid will come, but people won’t just be sat waiting. Allah ta’ala removes them, and the cry goes up ‘Corona, Corona – he has gone, he has gone!’ Within seconds, a person’s tide can turn, and then nothing can save him or her. No. When the Shari’ah gives a Hukm, then implement the order, but who can dare to save us? If Allah ta’ala can spread such germs and bacteria and viruses which we do not understand, then what will save us from this? Who can save us? In these circumstances, it is the Hukm of Shari’ah that we should do this and that and the other – it is Lazim. Muftis and respected scholars of this time have instructed us and guided us to take these protective measures and to pray Salah like this with distance between, and to follow these rules, go to the mosque like this, sleep like this. Listen to those laws and rules clearly, and that is how to implement your Iman is this day and age.
Am I right or wrong, my brothers? You cannot make laws of your own and follow your feelings and Daleels. We cannot create our own Thawab – I have told you this clearly. Who gives the reward? Does the Masjid give out the reward? No, Allah gives the reward. If Allah says ‘Sit at home and pray, pray Jumu’ah at home and do your actions at home’, then will you not get Thawab for that, the same Thawab? Absolutely, you will get the same Thawab at home that Allah gives in the Masjid. For example, if there are only a few brothers sitting in the Ijtima gathering, are we not getting the Thawab? Everything I have said to you explains that we get the same Thawab, if not more. Allah says ‘I go according to the Niyyah of My servant, according to the Niyyah of that human being.’
So brothers, alhamdulillah, today we are here at the Ijtima, but we do not know what the circumstances will be tomorrow. The Deen, however, will not stop, SubhanAllah. Allah ta’ala’s Da’wah cannot stop, and Allah ta’ala’s message will not stop. The direction can change, and the strategy can change, but the Da’wah will continue. The method can change, but the Da’wah will continue. Outwardly, today’s Ijtima does not look the same, but it has the same effect. It is being held at the same time of the year.
Now I remember this – see how some people, mashaAllah, attain goodness. Some brothers sent me flowers for the Ijtima, and I thought ‘How did these flowers come? How did they know it was the Ijtima again?’ SubhanAllah, Allah ta’ala instills that feeling in the hearts – imagine this. Allah ta’ala put recognition of the fragrance in their hearts. Did you know there was to be the Ijtima today? How did they realise? They sent flowers for today’s Ijtima, for they had that same feeling. They thought ‘The Ijtima was in December before, so maybe’ – but even I didn’t know! Allah ta’ala placed the same illumination, the same Deen, the same revival – and more Malaa’ikah than before! And Allah ta’ala, in the heavens, with the angels, is more proud than before that these servants of Allah’s are doing the Ijtima again. And the Mashaa’ikh are happy also – Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani rahmatullah alayh, Hadhrat Bahauddin Naqshband rahmatullah alayh, they are all replying ‘Our Jamah has sat down together!’ And they are grateful that their Deen has come to these people and that their hearts are purified.
My words are simple and humble. Maybe you like them, maybe you don’t, but this is reality that I am sharing with you. This is the reality! May Allah ta’ala unlock and open our hearts - everything that I am telling you is a fact. So come, let us do the Dhikr of Allah inshaAllah, and especially in today’s Dhikr, as I said, with Allah ta’ala’s mercy, grace and blessings, the Fuyudh and Barakaat of our pious elders will be present in the gathering.
وأخر دعوانا أن الحمد لله رب العالمين
31st Dec, 2020