Why Does a Person’s Relationship with Allah ta'ala Become Weak?
Alhamdulillah, this is the first night of our Jumu’ah gatherings after Ramadhan. Allah subhana wa ta'ala has instructed mankind, and it is man’s duty to obey those orders of Allah. Allah is our Malik, our Controller, our Creator – everything happens due to Allah. Allah is everything to us, so when Allah instructs man, it is our duty to obey the orders that Allah gives. This is the relationship between man - the servant - and Allah; Allah’s order comes, and man accepts. As long as this process is happening, the relationship between Allah and His servant remains in existence – remember this. If we don’t obey Allah’s orders and yet think that we still have a connection with Allah, this is deception. The right relationship with Allah is that when the order comes, the servant obeys the order - if the person implements the task, then the relationship is maintained.
So what we need to think about is, if Allah ta’ala is the Malik and Khaliq and everything is in His control, why does mankind not obey Allah’s orders? Why does a person become casual and negligent in respect of this? Why do his body and mind become unreceptive to these orders, and why do his hand and heart reject them? There is a reason for this, which is that shaytan and Nafs are the biggest barriers for man, and they make a person commit sins, and they prevent him from obeying Allah ta’ala’s orders. They deviate him by throwing their net over him and by making every effort to stop man obeying Allah ta’ala’s order, so that Allah ta’ala becomes displeased with him, and his relationship with Allah ends. And what is left for mankind if his relationship with Allah ta’ala has ended? There is nothing left - once that relationship has ended, that’s it. So these are the two biggest enemies of humankind which deviate us; they are always looking for some way and some trick by which to stop us from obeying some order of Allah. And every single order is like all the orders – how can a man dare to reject any one order? In whatever form it comes, how can a person not accept and obey an order that comes from Allah? So this is the means by which shaytan and Nafs weaken a person’s relationship with Allah.
Now alhamdulillah, the pious predecessors have given this matter their attention, especially the four Salasil of Naqshbandia, Qadiria, Chishtia and Suhrawardia, the four orders of Tasawwuf – and we are connected to the Naqshbandi order. These four orders enable Tazkiya - purification - to take place, and they are the four schools of Tasawwuf. These elders and teachers have taken lessons from the Qur’an and Hadith and have delivered them and shared them with the people. These four orders of Naqshbandia, Qadiria, Chishtia and Suhrawardia have the same basic objective, although methods may vary – and this does not mean that one is wrong or that they have contradictory elements. No – these changes came in to meet the needs of the eras and the successive generations. In the era in which the Qadiriya developed, there were people in a certain locality who had specific needs, so the laws and principles of Tasawwuf were applied in the light of the Qur’an and the Hadith; and the same process happened with the Suhrawardi and Chishti orders – and the same applies also to the Naqshbandi order. The Naqshbandi Silsila came after the others, and until today and for the days which are to come, the methods of the Naqshbandi Silsila are applicable – and they are all derived from the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the Hadith, and they make it easy for a person to practice the Deen. This Silsila will enable everyone until the end of time to practice, alhamdulillah. Say alhamdulillah. All the other Silsilas are there, and nobody rejects them – alhamdulillah, they are all correct – but due to its ability to engage with the atmosphere and condition of today’s generations, this Naqshbandi Silsila does more work these days.
So our pious predecessors, in the light of the Qur’an and Hadith, have shed light on how to oppose shaytan and Nafs, so that man can stand firm and not deviate, and is able to practice the orders of Allah subhana wa ta'ala. Those pious elders worked hard and strove and analysed, and the results that came out were designed to make it easy for a person to apply the Ahkams of Allah in his life. No matter how severe an era and generation comes - even if Dajjal and the worst of shaytan comes - the methodology that they derived from the Qur’an and the Hadith means that no generation will be prevented from implementing Allah ta’ala’s orders if they engage with those practices. If nothing stops a person from obeying Allah ta’ala’s orders, then his connection with Allah will remain strong, and a community whose relationship with Allah is strong will never be a failure – Allah ta’ala has announced in the Qur’an that those who follow His way will never fail. Why? Because Allah’s help is with that person or that community, so they will never fail, neither in this world or in the Hereafter.
How is it that those whose relationship with Allah is strong succeed? How could Allah leave His servants who are close to Him? He could never do so. Allah ta’ala only leaves human beings when their relationship with Allah has become weak due to not obeying Allah ta’ala’s orders. So alhamdulillah, the pious predecessors worked on this point, and they shared their method by which, if implemented, shaytan and Nafs will be prevented from deviating a human being. It could be that a person gets weak, but their ability to attack is reduced, and that human being therefore stays firmly and strongly on the path of obedience to Allah ta’ala’s Ahkams; he starts to obey them and practice them. What is that Tariqa? Wa-dhkurullah! It is that which Allah has said – do Dhikr of Allah. SubhanAllah – Dhikrullah.
Once, a Sahabi requested the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, saying ‘Ya Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, give me a Nasiha. Give me some advice which will enable me to practice regularly and allow me to attain the destination of success.’ So Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam stated ‘For this, you should always remember Allah – kullu ayaanihi; at all times you should remember Him, and you should never get lazy and negligent about this. Whether you are at home or outside, at a Shajr or a Hajr – wherever you are.’ So remember Allah everywhere; whether you are next to a tree or a plant, you should be doing Dhikrullah. Immerse yourself in Dhikrullah, because this is the way to save yourself. When you do Dhikrullah, the objective is to enable yourself to follow the orders of Allah; remembering Allah makes it easy for you to do so. The orders of Allah that seemed hard become easy for a person who does Dhikr.
That is why the pious predecessors have stated that you should not delay in doing Dhikr, thinking that you first need to become pious and upright – no. Start Dhikr immediately, because it will bring benefits straightaway- the results will follow. The Dhakir will not tread the path of deception where shaytan tells him ‘Oh, you are not a good person – your Salah is no good and Dhikr is no use to you. You leave so many actions, so what is the point of remembering Allah? You commit sins and do wrongful actions, so why are you doing Dhikr?’ But it is precisely in order to correct those wrongs that the servant does Dhikr of Allah. That is why a person does Dhikr. Our Hadhrat noor ‘ala marqadah used to say that the objective is not the action of Dhikr itself; rather, the objective is Allah’s obedience. This is the objective – to become obedient to Allah. Dhikr is both a supplication and a medicine; both qualities are present in Dhikr – that is how fantastic and tremendous is this action which Allah ta’ala has given to a human being.
Look, Ramadhan has gone, and alhamdulillah, every person made consistent efforts in Ramadhan – striving and Mujahidah in worship was done. But when Ramadhan departs, shaytan is freed from the shackles and all the negatives return. What is the reason for this? It is that Nafs and shaytan are present again. That is why a person should go towards Dhikr in abundance straight after Ramadhan – in this way, these tricks can be avoided. Then we can avoid any laziness in that Tahajjud that we have been praying and whatever other things we did – there should be no negligence in this respect. And the cure for laziness and negligence is to immediately take hold of Dhikr. Those individuals among the men and womenfolk who did not learn Dhikr in Ramadhan will find that they get deviated because shaytan will deceive them, saying ‘You have done enough – that’s fine, it’s okay. Now you can enjoy the rest of the year. Do what you want because Allah is Ghafoor-ur-Raheem, and you spent Ramadhan in a good way and accumulated so many deeds, so you have no need to do anything else.’
So many people become lazy after Ramadhan. The day after Ramadhan finishes, or the third or fourth day, you will see that many people who made a lot of effort in Ramadhan will slip and fall, and eventually they return to the level they were before Ramadhan. That is why we should immediately pay attention to this and make sure that we maintain the habits that we developed. There is one cure for the efforts of shaytan to deviate us: to save ourselves from this deviation, we should take hold of Dhikrullah, for this will enable us and make it easy for us to follow the orders of Allah, just as it was easy for us to do so in Ramadhan. Allah ta’ala has shown us both parts – how easy it was to do good deeds, and how easy it was to leave the sins. Was it not easy? It felt so easy, didn’t it? The most sinful of people left his sins, and those who did not pray Salah prayed Salah easily. Allah ta’ala made it easy for us and thereby gave us the message: ‘It is easy to practice!’
So keep this practice consistent, and to implement the Deen is not hard; the method is to do Dhikr of Allah consistently and regularly. And those people who did not learn will come off the track, so what they should do is turn to a person, to a friend of Allah, learn the Dhikr and then do it regularly. A prescription of Dhikr will be given to you, so then start doing Dhikr in that way. As for those people who have already learned Dhikr of Allah, it is surprising if they are lazy. If this is the case, it is obvious that they really prefer the life of the fire in the Hereafter over the life of Jannah – their physical actions testify to this. It is a clear physical statement that if those who have learned Dhikr do not do Dhikr and are lazy and casual and do not do it properly, then they are clearly saying ‘We want Jahannam,’ because they have thrown down their tools by not doing Dhikr - they have torn down the defensive wall. The question of not doing Dhikr should not even arise, and they should never contemplate being casual or lethargic or inconsistent. Rather, they should try harder and work harder – otherwise, they will come off the track. They have themselves destroyed the protection that Allah ta’ala has given by which they can remain obedient to Allah.
So this is the topic of today’s discussion, and the conclusion is that if we do not take hold of Dhikr, then we will become lazy and lethargic in respect of Allah’s orders, and shaytan and Nafs will deviate and distract us, and this in turn will cause our relationship with Allah to end. That relationship will become progressively weaker and then you will see what becomes of a human being in those circumstances. It is no good just waiting for the next Ramadhan – in the meantime, the Dunya will change, and your life will deteriorate, and a person can become totally finished in this way. So, my brothers, what we should do regarding the Ni’mahs that Allah ta’ala gave us during Ramadhan is hold on to them, and for this, there is only one Tariqa. And if you have learned the Dhikr of Allah and have taken the company of a friend of Allah, these are two great Ni’mahs that Allah ta’ala has given to us - Dhikr of Allah and Sohbat-e-Awliya. Whoever attains this and doesn’t take the benefit, then there is no one who has deviated further than that person, in this world or the Hereafter – remember this. If a person attains both of these things and then doesn’t take the benefit from them, then listen to the announcement of the Qur’an: there is no one more deviant than that person in this world or the Hereafter. No one is further from the path, no one more deceived, and no one more deviated than such a person, because he is acting as if he has decided that he wants to go into the fire.
Say, for example, that you are walking with an umbrella in your hand, and it starts to rain. If you don’t open the umbrella, you are accepting that you want to get wet; your actions make it clear that you want to get drenched. If somebody sees you, they will think ‘Why doesn’t he open his umbrella? How come? It must be that he likes the rain and wants to get soaked.’ He will think ‘I had better not say anything because he has an umbrella in his hand, and he doesn’t look mad and yet he is not opening it – so maybe he likes getting wet. It doesn’t look good to me, because he will get wet and cold and may end up with flu, but Khair, if that is what he wants, no problem.’ That is what people will think of such a person. In the same way, if someone has learned Dhikr of Allah from a Sheikh and has taken his hand and done Bai’ah with that friend of Allah, and yet after that, if he is lazy and does not maintain that link and doesn’t do Dhikr or develop his relationship with his teacher and has not established the Rabtah with the Sheikh – the importance of which I have explained before – then he has accepted that ‘Khair, that’s fine – I will die as a deviated person.’ Such a person is not opening the umbrella and is not utilising it, and instead he is just going along with the times and the issues of the age, and is saying ‘I accept the effect of all these things, so I won’t use this umbrella.’ To live in this way is a very bad situation for a human being – he is effectively throwing himself into Jahannam.
Let us make Dua to Allah that Allah ta’ala allows us to open our internal eyes and give us appreciation of what we have in order that we can be successful in the Akhirah.
وأخر دعوانا أن الحمد لله رب العالمين
15th Jun, 2021