How Can We Remove Spiritual Barriers?
English Bayan, 38 mins
10th June, 2021

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​How Can We Remove Spiritual Barriers?

​You will see that people of understanding, before they go on a journey, try to get information about the route which they are to take - such as whether the road is okay, whether there are any roadworks going on, or if there other issues which will affect the journey such as accidents and so on - and this is to ensure that they will be able to travel along that route easily. If a person finds out about an obstacle or an accident, then immediately the decision will be made to avoid that road, and an alternative route is sought. This is the case, isn’t it? This is what we do in life. Some people, however, take no precautions and make no preparation and just set off, so when they encounter the roadworks or the accident, they get stuck for hours which causes them severe distress. They sit there thinking ‘What is happening now?’ and they curse themselves for not having investigated the route beforehand.

​So let us consider this in respect of the path of Sulook. One thing is a journey to London or to Birmingham, but the journey to Allah is called Sulook. When someone embarks on the journey to Allah, those who have understanding and wisdom and Aql also think to themselves ‘What are the possible barriers on this path to Allah?’ SubhanAllah – this is a sign of a person of wisdom if he asks ‘What are the obstacles and barriers on this path to Allah? If there are any issues or delays that make me put the brakes on, I will incur a big loss.’ So first and foremost, he tries to attain the relevant information – and where does he make his enquiries? In the worldly context, the appropriate resources are consulted, like data-bases or news providers; and information about the hurdles and barriers on the path of Sulook is also needed, and that comes in the form of a guide - a Wali of Allah, a Sheikh. Such a teacher will provide guidance about the path and its possible barriers and obstacles and issues, so that the student has an opportunity to remove those barriers and clear the way.

Do you understand what I am saying? I am trying to explain with examples, SubhanAllah. Alhamdulillah, me and you and all of us, with the Fadhl and the Grace and the Mercy of Allah, are trying to travel on that path to Allah – SubhanAllah. Have we thought about finding out about the hurdles and obstacles that may arise on this path which may delay us or even prevent us from reaching Allah? Such obstacles may prevent us from arriving and cause us to go around in circles or sit in a traffic jam. We may think we know the path, but this is such an easy and useful point to enquire about.

Hadhrat Hakim-ul-Ummah, Hadhrat Thanwi sahib rahmatullah alayh, who was the Mujaddid of the science of Tasawwuf, presents very good points regarding Islah and improvement. He was such a great Wali of Allah that thousands and thousands of people followed his guidance and attained this path, and alhamdulillah, they deliver and distribute that Faidh to the world and it continues to reach people. He was a great Wali of Allah who analyzed and researched, and would explain everything in a very easy way. My Hadhrat noor ‘ala marqadah was a student of Hadhrat Thanwi, and due to this Nisbat, my Hadhrat Sahib would always present Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib’s statements about Tasawwuf in order to explain the path. On one occasion, Hadhrat shared a statement of Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib rahmatullah alayh, and this has come into my mind - so I will share it with you today.

Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib rahmatullah alayh stated that on this path of Sulook that we are travelling on, there is a very big barrier that a human being encounters which prevents him reaching Allah and stops a person from attaining the Ma’arifah of Allah, leading him to a long traffic jam where he remains stuck. He is unable to acquire the Ma’arifah of Allah and cannot attain Allah’s ‘Irfan, and furthermore, this stops him from entering Paradise. This barrier is such that it will not allow him to enter Paradise – indeed, it will cause the Doors of Paradise to close and the Doors of Jahannam to open; what a sad situation! What is that barrier? The diseases of the Batin, the internal diseases, the Akhlaqi illnesses – these are such a big barrier, and they are like huge roadworks on the path of Allah, in that they do not allow a human being to progress beyond that point. A person may be working hard and making a big effort and trying hard in terms of his Ibadaat, but he never looks at his internal Akhlaqi illnesses, the diseases of his soul, and does not try to remove them.

There is a beautiful point that we see here, for when a person embarks on this journey to Allah, he should not rely just on those external, physical actions, the Dhahiri Ibadaat. No, rather, we need to reflect on whether we have dealt with our Akhlaqi illnesses and look at whether we are removing them and eliminating them. Have we cleared the way so that we can make progress? When they are removed, then the path to Allah opens up for a human being; it is then that his journey starts in earnest, for the road is clear ahead and he can drive smoothly on the path to Allah; he is then able to adopt a beautiful method to reach Allah. So my friends, these Batini barriers and illnesses present a big obstacle for a human being. If a person does not remove these, then all his Mujahidaat and efforts are wasted.

There is a Hadith which confirms this point, because the Walis of Allah all speak in the light of the Ahadith, alhamdulillah – they do so automatically. In this unique Hadith, Allah’s Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam told of the first three categories of people who will enter Paradise, SubhanAllah. Allah ta’ala will send these three types of individuals, these three groups, into Paradise first. And on the other side, there will also be three groups who enter Jahannam first. As soon as the decisions have been made, three groups will enter Paradise and three groups will enter the hellfire. So the first group who will enter Paradise will be the martyrs; as soon as the Doors of Paradise open, Allah ta’ala will allow them to enter. The second category will be the slaves of kings – in the olden days, there were such people, although you cannot find them now. These are people who obediently obeyed their masters as well as obeying Allah and not allowing anything to stop them worshipping Allah - these slave-workers will also enter Jannah. The third group who will be allowed to enter Paradise are worth reflecting on; they are the Fuqara – the Faqirs. Don’t think of a Faqir as a beggar who asks for things – no. Who is a Faqir? The Faqirs are those who don’t have very much; they may have a big family and many children, but they are weak in worldly, material terms. They are physically weak and do not have a lot of money or resources and may be poor. They don’t have wealth to draw on for the children who they are trying to raise.

Allah ta’ala puts them in this physical condition - and listen carefully to this point that comes out here. Where do wealth, status, poverty and health all come from? From Allah, and all of His decisions are based on Hikmah, on wisdom – remember this. Allah ta’ala wants to deliver one person to His Qurb in a certain way and Allah wants to bring another person to Paradise in another way; and somebody else goes to Paradise in a different way also. This is Allah’s Hikmah and His selection, and the world revolves around this selection and Hikmah. That is why we should not compete with each other, thinking ‘He is rich, so why am I poor? He is like this, so why am I not also like that? He has these resources and items, so why don’t I have these? Why am I ill, while he is healthy all the time? Why is he enjoying life and doing good business, while I am struggling with issues?’ This thinking is the biggest act of foolishness for a human being, and it is like a leg stuck out to trip you up so as to prevent you from obeying Allah ta’ala’s instructions. A Mu’min should never think like this – this is Allah ta’ala’s distribution; it is Allah’s selection and His decision. Our Iman and our Aqeedah should be such that in whatever situation find ourselves in this world, Allah has decided that this is the best thing for us. We should think that Allah’s decisions are excellent – not just good, but the best.

If Allah has decided that I should be poor, I will happily stay poor; if I am rich, then alhamdulillah. This applies to whatever status and condition Allah selects for you. If you are ill, that illness has come from Allah. If I see someone who is healthier than me, I won’t criticise the situation and think ‘Why hasn’t he got this illness? Why is it me who is like this?’ No – this is a very important factor and point. Everything is from Allah, and a person who is connected to Allah and has a relationship with Allah should not have these negative thoughts, because Allah ta’ala tests everybody and opens the path for everybody – and this Hadith proves this point.

There is another point that I would like to present in passing, which is that the Fuqara may be those who are poor with a big family, but they could also be wealthy - so what is the criteria here? These people will go into Paradise first – why? Is it due to being poor? No, no, no – there is another reason. What is our topic? The Akhlaqi illnesses and the internal illnesses generally. So why will the Fuqara go into Paradise? Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam also mentioned the three categories who will go immediately into Jahannam, so let us reflect on them also. Who are they? The first category are oppressive leaders, the second is those who don’t give Zakat, who play games with Zakat and do not give the proper amount – they will go directly into Jahannam also. And the third group are also described as Fuqara, which means that there are poor people who will go directly into Paradise, and poor people who will go directly into hellfire.

So the Fuqara are one of the three groups for both Paradise and Jahannam, so what is the reason for them being included in both? Some poor people with few resources and means will be going straight to Jannah, and others who are also without resources and means will be going to Jahannam at the same time. Why is this? The reason is that some Faqirs who are poor and had many needs due to having a big family, and whose resources were lacking, accepted the distribution and decision of Allah, SubhanAllah. A Faqir of this sort accepted and embraced his situation, and he was grateful and exercised Sabr. He demonstrated Shukr and Sabr, saying ‘Allah has selected me for poverty, and that’s fine.’ At the same time, he didn’t stop using the resources and the means to try to progress and succeed and to improve life for his children. He didn’t give up and close the doors but continued to work, whilst having Sabr all the time. What does Sabr mean in this context? He tried to reduce his level of poverty, but he didn’t resort to any Haram methods of earning money. Say SubhanAllah. This is called Sabr - when you accept the situation in which you find yourself. And this applies to anyone, for instance when someone is severely ill, but accepts his illness and has Sabr.

So, SubhanAllah, I have just remembered a Hadith in which it is said that if a sick person has Sabr and accepts that he is ill, but he also utilises resources that may cure his condition, while not becoming despondent or giving up, then Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said that if he recites ‘La ilaha illa anta Subhanaka inni kuntu min-adh-Dhalimeen’ forty times while suffering from whatever sickness he has, even if it is minor, then Allahu Akbar, he will be given the death of a Shahid! SubhanAllah. He exercised Sabr and remembered Allah and didn’t criticise or complain or go towards wrong actions, like using the wrong medicines or solutions or paths. What did he do? He demonstrated Sabr. Okay, Allah gave him a sickness, and then that person took the right means is response – he took the verse of the Qur’an and remembered Allah. The more sick he was, the more he remembered Allah; he turned to Allah more and made Dua to Allah asking for that sickness to be removed. Allah says that all these actions take such a person towards Paradise, and if he should die from that sickness, he will attain the death of a martyr; and if he is returned to health, then all of his sins will be removed – SubhanAllah.

So a Faqir who is poor but who has a clean Batin does not put any barriers up. He understands that this is the life and the path that Allah ta’ala has given him, and that by means of the difficulties that he faces, he will attain Allah’s nearness. He says to himself ‘This is my Ibadah’ – SubhanAllah. He thinks ‘Okay, so my children don’t have enough – other people have big houses and comfortable cars, while my children don’t have these things; other people have nice food to eat, while my children have nothing to eat; other people have nice clothes, while my children do not have clothes to wear,’ but he does not complain to anyone or cry to anyone, and he won’t adopt the wrong means or unlawful practices to earn money, telling himself that he is doing so for the sake of his children. Instead, he will have Sabr and will try and will work hard and do his best by adopting lawful means. Allah ta’ala has decided, and is saying ‘You try your best, and this is what I want to see – and this is the route by which I want you to bring you to My nearness.’ What is the conclusion? When that Faqir dies who was poor and had a lot of needs but was patient, Allah ta’ala says that the Doors of Paradise will be opened for that person first and foremost - SubhanAllah. The fact that he demonstrates Sabr is such a great thing – he displayed Sabr and Shukr and accepted his situation, and Allah opened the Doors of Paradise for him.

In the same way, a sick person who perseveres and does not complain and carries on living correctly and becoming closer to Allah, turning more to Allah and remembering Allah more rather than reducing his Adhkar, doing Dhikr in every situation, SubhanAllah, Allah ta’ala says to him ‘You are successful, and I have made you Mine – you are My friend!’ Look at this – we need to understand this point that whatever situation or condition Allah ta’ala gives us in life, we need to seek Allah’s Qurb through that situation. It is not just about doing one Ibadah and attaining success that way, no. A human being’s whole life is there to attain Allah ta’ala’s nearness; Allah ta’ala has given us life to attain His nearness through every way, means and method.

Now another Faqir, similarly poor and needy, did the opposite, Allahu Akbar. He didn’t accept his situation and his condition. He wasn’t happy, and thought ‘Why have I ended up like this? Why haven’t I got more? He has got that, but I have not.’ Allah has given the answer, which is that a person should be steadfast and happy with whatever Allah has apportioned for him – but no, he doesn’t come onto that path. His Batin doesn’t accept that, and he doesn’t accept any restrictions, and this increases his internal sickness, and he starts complaining even more. He says ‘Why are my children deprived? Why us? This is too hard, so let’s do this and try that – it is okay for us to take Haram means temporarily in our situation. Let’s get a big house with an interest-bearing loan, and after we have paid off the interest, we will seek forgiveness later.’ So then he gets a big house or a big shop or a big business - and Allah ta’ala allows these routes to be taken. But at the end of the day, what happens? That person’s children become disobedient, and the path through which Allah ta’ala wanted to raise him to a high station by being a true, honest, sincere Faqir, through which Jannah would have opened up, is lost. He didn’t accept his test and his challenge, and his internal sickness became worse.

What Batini sickness did he have? He had Takabbur – pride. He had no Sabr, no patience, but instead he had Kibr, pride and haughtiness. He stood up and challenged Allah, saying ‘No, I don’t accept what You have decided for me, oh Allah.’ This is Kibr, and shaytan did the very same thing when he stood in front of Allah and said ‘What is this? I am made of fire, and he is made of soil - so how can I prostrate to him?’ He challenged Allah, saying ‘I don’t understand this – I am better.’ The human being thinks in the same way, thinking ‘Why am I poor? Why should I be downtrodden? Everyone else is enjoying themselves and they don’t pray Salah. I remain poor and my business is failing, and they sin while I don’t sin, yet all this is happening to me. I might as well do what they are doing.’ Such a person did not persevere and was not patient and could not accept. He couldn’t follow the path ordained for him and did not understand Allah’s selection. Look at the lesson in this Hadith! And what was the conclusion? After a few days, he passed away – everyone is going to die, after all. And of those two Faqirs, the first one was taken to Paradise because he had cleaned his soul, but the other person, the second type of Faqir, he was one of those who will be the very first to be taken into Hell.

So this is the barrier that we have to deal with. It does not matter how much Dhahiri Ibadah we do – we have to remember one thing. Allah ta’ala says that success in the Court of Allah ta’ala will be determined by what? By our Batin, by the state of our soul. If we have Kibr and Hasad and envy and hatred and Haram and swearing and anger within us, as well as Bukhl and malice or any of the other diseases that can affect us within, then how can we succeed? But we are not worried about these things – nobody cares about these sicknesses today. We may emphasise on our Dhahiri worship, our physical deeds, but this type of worship will fail in front of Allah. When the sins emerge from within us, from our Batin, then Allah ta’ala will wipe away our physical worship. This message comes from Allah ta’ala Himself! All the Prophets who came to this world came for just one purpose; they came with one mission, every one of them, which was to improve and rectify your Akhlaq, your character. The Imam-ul-Ambiya, our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said ‘I have come here to complete and seal Akhlaq, to teach you how to clean your Batin.’ All forms of worship have been given in order to wipe away the dirt from our Batin, but we don’t pay attention to this, and we don’t face up to it.

So Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib rahmatullah alayh made a beautiful statement when he said that we need to realise that the biggest barrier on this road to Allah is our Batini state, our internal sicknesses. The condition of our Batin is what counts, so we all need to do Tazkiyah. My brothers, the Tazkiyah sheets, the daily sheets that I have given to you, are not a game. Everything comes from Allah – remember this. Everything comes from Allah, and today, in this environment, Allah ta’ala has given us this system of the Tazkiyah sheets whereby the Sheikh can do the Islah of his Mureeds. And it is obvious that some people understand this path and follow the light of this path, and the light of the Naqshbandi Silsila is spreading, alhamdulillah. And those who take the benefit of this Noor and who have some understanding and wisdom, they will reach their destination – remember this. Those who do not follow the principles and don’t follow the guidance of the Sheikh, and who see things in a negative light and snigger at these things and regard them as minor, they have no Yaqeen - so how will they get to the destination? Our path is one. When you take the hand of the Wali of Allah and do Tawbah, the meaning of that Tawbah is this: ‘I will start my life from here with your guidance. Allah ta’ala has showed me the path through your guidance so that I can attain Allah’s nearness and Qurb.’

This is the Qur’anic path that Allah ta’ala has defined to us in the Qur’an. Take the guidance from the teacher – this is the path that the Qur’an has defined. In Surah Al-Mumtahina in the Qur’an, Allah ta’ala explains: ‘Oh My respected Nabi, the believing women will come to you (as well as menfolk) so give them guidance and give them Bai’ah. Accept their pledge of allegiance and take promises from them, the promise of purity and remaining free from Shirk and from this sin and that sin.’ In short, the emphasis was on the Batini sins in this comprehensive verse in Surah Al-Mumtahina. Look at this verse. Who is Allah telling this to? To the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Allah is saying ‘My servants will come to you, oh My Prophet, so accept their Tawbah and give them Bai’ah.’ There are different types of Bai’ah, like that given when embarking on an expedition, and Allah has defined these. In Tasawwuf, it is Bai’at-at-Tawbah, Bai’at-at-Tazkiyah, which is the Bai’ah referred to in this verse, where Allah says to take the promise that they will not murder nor lie nor do this and the other sin; and all these promises are taken from them so that they can attain purity of the Batin – say SubhanAllah.

So when a person does this action, SubhanAllah, and when Allah ta’ala has opened this path for a person, it is Allah’s tremendous and massive favour and Karam and Ihsan on that person that in these dark days and nights, when our Deen is spoiled and the Sunnah is finished and the situation around us is very disfigured and negative, Allah has opened such a great path in front of us. But people are such misers, and they don’t have any understanding, thinking ‘Oh, this Dhikr is just a waste of time.’ No, no – this is a very deep message that Allah ta’ala has given here, and Allah ta’ala has set us on a very great mission, on a path that takes us to the Akhirah. Allah is saying ‘This way will take you to your destination.’ This is a great path and a great method, so don’t consider Tazkiyah to be a minor matter. It is a hugely important and fantastic path that Allah ta’ala has given to us, and it is a massive favour and mercy and grace from Allah upon us that is greater than we can imagine. Through this guidance that Allah ta’ala has given to us, we have been given a path and a methodology and a Tariqa. So come, follow this great guidance that Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib rahmatullah alayh has taught us and remove the barriers that are in front of you on this path to Allah – remove the Batini obstacles.

‘Oh Hadhrat Sahib, how can we remove them?’ The answer he gave was ‘Do Katheer Dhikr – don’t you read the Qur’an?’ This is what he said, rahmatullah alayh. Such great Walis of Allah took Bai’ah at the hand of Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib rahmatullah alayh – you know about this. Such great personalities were his students, great people who did so much work for the Deen. Mufti Shafi Sahib rahmatullah alayh was one of Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib’s students, and he wrote the great Tafseer Ma’arif-ul-Qur’an – read it. When the Batin is clean, then the flowers of Deen emanate and the meanings of Ahadith come out and the commentary of the Qur’an flows, bringing the real message to mankind. Those were the people who took Bai’ah with Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib rahmatullah alayh. It is stated that Mufti Shafi Sahib rahmatullah alayh sat in front of his Sheikh, for even though he was a great personality himself, he was the student of Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib rahmatullah alayh. When he sat in front of his Sheikh, another contemporary who observed this – I cannot remember his name just now – described the state of Hadhrat Mufti Shafi Sahib rahmatullah alayh. And Hadhrat Mufti sahib rahmatullah alayh himself said to his son, Mufti Taqi Sahib ‘You don’t know what state used to overcome your father when he sat in front of his Sheikh.’ Mufti Taqi Sahib, who is alive today, said ‘My father sat down in front of me and physically showed me how he used to sit in front of his Sheikh, Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib.’ The Faidh didn’t come from nothing, and he didn’t become such a great personality just like that, and Allah ta’ala didn’t give him the chance to do the work of the Deen for no reason. He annihilated himself and lowered himself and humbled himself – he would sit with his eyes and mouth open, but he had lost awareness of everything but his Sheikh. He would sit for hours in front of him, not knowing what planet he was on! His sincerity was such that he would be in a state of near unconsciousness at that time – that is how Hadhrat Mufti Shafi Sahib rahmatullah alayh would sit in front of his Sheikh, Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib rahmatullah alayh. He had such humility and would lower himself accordingly.

Whatever generation and era comes, Allah’s path will remain open; it will remain open until Qiyamah - remember this. If these paths close, then the root will be cut off. Allah will always create a Jamah that will be on the path of Haq to attain Allah’s nearness, and if that ends and if Shari’ah and Sunnah ends, what will happen then? Tell me. Reflect on this Amal: could you imagine that there would be a Jamah that for thirty years would be present in the Masaajid, and on every person’s head there would be an Imamah? Could you imagine that Allah ta’ala would create such a Jamah in the western hemisphere, in a country whose ideology and methodology is far removed from Deen, and that Imamahs would be present even on the children’s heads? SubhanAllah. So Deen will not stop and the Noor of Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam will never end – it will spread, for sure. As for me and you – who are we? We didn’t know what the Imamah was or what the blessed beard was or the beauty of white attire, but Allah ta’ala will create human beings until Qiyamah who keep the Deen alive. The contrasts and the challenges will come, but SubhanAllah, Allah ta’ala has mentioned the signs in the Qur’an in respect of {أَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱلرَّسُولَ} and there will always be those who do this, alhamdulillah, so Allah will spread His Deen in every environment and in every era and in every country.

People who practice the Deen will continue to be born, and their job will have nothing to do with fighting or arguing or disputing; rather, they will have one function, that whatever action they do should be according to Allah’s desire and His selection and in line with His Tariqa. They will do Amal in their lives and will physically adopt the Halal ways of life, saving themselves from all wrongdoing and taking the right path and employing the right methodology. So if Allah ta’ala has opened this path for us, say SubhanAllah! And if we don’t appreciate and value that, my brothers, there is only one cure and one solution, which is to remove the barriers that are getting in the way on this journey. What we need to do is eliminate the Batini sicknesses, and Hadhrat Thanwi Sahib has given us the solution as to how to achieve this – what a beautiful point. The solution for this is to do Dhikr of Allah abundantly – that is why he told his Mureeds to do Dhikr abundantly. What other reason is there to prescribe Dhikr? He used to hold the Majalis every morning and evening and invite people to come and sit with them, so that they could remove the barriers inside themselves and arrive to Allah.

People say ‘I don’t want to do Dhikr, but I want to reach Allah. They say ‘This path is too hard – I feel sleepy and drowsy.’ Brothers, this is not the issue – this is not some minor action that we are doing. The path that I am prescribing to you is exactly the right path, because if you don’t remove the Batini sicknesses, no Ibadah will take you to Allah. At the end, you will be asked, ‘Whose money did you consume? Whom did you backbite against?’ We will present all of our Qur’an to Allah, and it will be said ‘Very good, MashaAllah – you have read a lot of Qur’an. Your Salah is also very good, and you prayed Tahajjud as well, and also gave Sadaqaat.’ That person’s head will lift as he thinks ‘Yes - I have succeeded!’ but then Allah ta’ala will say ‘Let us look at the other side now. Who did you backbite against? Tell me. What lies did you tell people?’ And a line of people will be stood saying ‘He oppressed me, and he did this and that,’ to the extent that all of the A’maal that he did in the world will be wasted – those people will take them away from him due to his Batini sicknesses. They will go towards Jannah, and he will go towards Jahannam because he didn’t work hard and make effort in following the right path.

My brothers, this is where we should be making our biggest effort. At every moment we should be looking at ourselves to check that there is no malice and no hatred and no envy and no anger or fighting or quarrelling inside us; we should be making sacrifices and be prepared to give and take. There should be no Kibr, no pride, and no thinking that you are the best. Allah can take away everything that He has given you whenever He wants – it is Allah who keeps you on the right path. If we don’t have this conviction, we should never think we are okay, whatever Ibadahs we may be doing. People will take those deeds away from us in the Hereafter. People say ‘Oh MashaAllah, he is praying Salah so he is forgiven; he is this and he is that, so he is forgiven’ – but in Allah’s Court, it will come out that he swore at someone, that he transgressed the rights of that child, that he did not fulfil the rights of his daughter, that he oppressed his wife, that he did not maintain relationships with his relatives, that he was disobedient and rude to his parents and would swear at his mother and would disrespect his father. Did Allah ta’ala not explain this law and principle? The Qur’an says ‘Beware – do not even say ‘Uff’ to your parents.’ You cannot challenge them at all. Is this not the case? So where will all those good deeds and our worship go then?

We don’t place any emphasis on Akhlaq and the importance of cleaning the Batin; we don’t place any emphasis on character. It is a sign of Qiyamah that people will run after the external deeds, but there will be so much dirt embedded in their hearts. People will look at their external deeds, at their Sujood, and will be saying Salam to them and kissing them, but they won’t see the dirt and impurities that are lodged in their hearts. Kibr is such a terrible sin – there is no sin worse than Kibr. Allah says ‘How can Kibr come into a person?’ What is Kibr – pride? Pride is when someone considers others to be inferior to him, thinking ‘I am this, but he is not. I practice this, but he doesn’t practice it.’ Shaytan immediately injects feelings of superiority into his mind, as he thinks ‘I do this practice, but he doesn’t do it. I have status and knowledge, but he doesn’t. I do these actions, but he doesn’t do them – so I am better.’

In whatever respect, whether in terms of Deen or Dunya, Islamically or otherwise, never think you are better than someone else. Always consider yourself lower – why? Because you are lower, since whatever you have was given to you by Allah. If you have some knowledge today, it could be that Allah ta’ala will take that out of your heart tomorrow; and Allah might allow that person who you think is lower than you to do some action that will cause his forgiveness and will take him to the heights. If a person thinks he is better than another person for any reason, thinking ‘He is this, I am that; he is lower, I am higher; I have done this, that and the other actions, and I have qualities and attributes’, then beware! Everything is given to you by Allah, and if Allah gives, He can take away as well. The Maqam and the status that Allah ta’ala has given to you, the Ni’mahs of the Deen and of the world, Allah will call you to account for all of these in the Hereafter. There will be accounting, and you will asked ‘I gave you this, so what effort did you make?’

The biggest sadness of a Sheikh is that he thinks ‘Allah ta’ala has given me such a big Jamah and Allah ta’ala will ask me about my students, so how do I protect them?’ All night long he thinks about this, and he prays for his students and chases them up, asking ‘Why are you not coming to the gatherings?’ Why else would he do this? The true Wali of Allah has pain and regard and concern for every Mureed and student because he will have to give the response to Allah tomorrow. Allah will say ‘You, teacher – I sent you to that human being and I gave you responsibility for him.’ It is not easy to be a Sheikh because it comes with a great responsibility. If you look at it in worldly terms, people say ‘Oh look – he’s a Sheikh and has so many Mureeds who stand up for him and give Salam to him – he is a big man,’ But if you ask that person, you may find that he is very hesitant to give Bai’ah – this is what you find in a true Sheikh, like my Sheikh. And if my Hadhrat had not given me instruction, I would be like a stone, sat in the corner – what status have I got? But when the Sheikh gave the instruction, then I had to do that. You have to follow his orders, don’t you?

This is not a game or a tradition or some cultural practice – you will have to give an account for everything. You will be asked on the Day of Judgement about everything for which you have responsibility in Islam. Allah will say ‘I gave you a responsibility, so how did exercise that responsibility? How did you fulfil that duty?’ My Hadhrat Sahib, after he gave me Ijaza, wrote to me in many of his letters, saying ‘Beware – adopt tenderness and gentleness with your students.’ SubhanAllah – he was not worried about me, but about my Jamah, about my students, because he knew that I would be asked about them tomorrow. Has any Sheikh such as this passed away before? Tell me. He told me this even when I didn’t have a single student, saying ‘Beware! Be gentle and tender with your Mureeds. Take care of them, ignore their faults, and don’t give them difficulty.’ Why? Because he was on such a status that he knew that this is how to reform the Makhluq of Allah – and this is the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam as well. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam was given guidance from Allah that he should love the Sahaba – you can see this in many events in history. Allah ta’ala gave this instruction to Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, saying ‘Present yourself in this way; he is like this, so present yourself accordingly.’ Allah ta’ala also told Hadhrat Musa alayhi salam to adopt gentleness with the people. He was told to speak with them gently; this is the method. Is this not the case?

So for every responsibility that Allah ta’ala gives to a human being, accounting will take place for that; Hisab will take place. Allah ta’ala has opened this path for us, my brothers, so understand this subject of Tasawwuf and follow this path correctly. No gathering of Dhikr should be left, for we should think ‘If I die tomorrow, what answer will I give to Allah for missing this opportunity today to remove the barriers?’ Abdundant Dhikr is such an action that, by means of this, the Batini illnesses of a human being are eliminated; Dhikr gradually eliminates and removes them. What a great cure this is – Kibr will go, Hasad will go, malice will go, all through Dhikr of Allah. But shaytan comes and says ‘Oh, leave Dhikr – what is the benefit? Are you benefitting from this? You are sick and this won’t help to cure you. You have a mental health problem, and this won’t help you. You are looking for Noor in Dhikr, but there is no Noor in your heart or in your life.’

Never listen to shaytan’s advice. This is the cure that Allah has prescribed, and this is the solution through which you get success. A person with Iman should have total Yaqeen and think ‘If Allah has prescribed this as the solution, this will give me the cure. Qur’an gives Shifa, so through Qur’an, I will attain the cure.’ {ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ} – there is nothing that can bring peace to our hearts except Dhikrullah – {أَلَا بِذِڪۡرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ}. So how can anyone say that doing Dhikrullah will not bring benefit? There is benefit – it will happen. It does happen - so don’t ever leave Dhikr of Allah! Keep on doing it, persist in doing it, and inshaAllah, the Batini sicknesses of the human being will be eliminated.

May Allah ta’ala give us all the Tawfeeq to do this. Ameen

Recite Durood Sharif
18th Jun, 2021