This month, the month of Surat al Zalzalah. The month of the reality of 11, the month of the reality of the ayna – the mirror, that when Prophet ﷺ describe that, ‘The believer – mu’min is a mirror to his brother and sister. ’ And that our life is a reflection, and one whom is busy purifying themselves so that to take away the bad character and the tarnish. And the zikr (Divine remembrance), the istighfar (seeking forgiveness), the awrads (daily practice) that are given are like the bucket of solutions.
That each tariqah (spiritual path) is given a bucket, put these solutions and have the students recite – these are the washing principles of how to purify the mirror. So, every awrad that we’re doing, the zikrs we’re doing, the associations we’re doing – these are all cleaning solutions and the… these lights, these energies are continuously washing, washing, and the tariqah’s busy not looking at people but looking at myself. Every situation that comes, all that Allah (AJ) is interested in – how are you going to react to it and how are you going to resolve it, and what type of character and tools do you have to perfect your character.
So, then our life is a series of tests – imtihans, difficulties, trials and tribulation all to purify. So, when Prophet ﷺ describe the mu’min (believer) that not just the one whom… and everybody is a mirror, but to be warned. That the ones whom are building themself, cleaning themself, the lights of faith are slowly entering into their reality, you are polishing and as result you will be a reflection to people, that when they look to you they don’t see you; they see themselves.
These subjects are very deep. This is not easy to pass over quickly. ‘Hmm what that mean?’ Means that when you look to these believers there’s two sides. The one looking… what’s the teaching? The guy’s looking at a believer, and the side from the believer - so the shaykh. When they look to the shaykh they see all their bad characteristics, that’s why the turuqs (spiritual paths), the guides and the importance of having a guidance. Have you ever seen somebody try to beautify themselves with no eyes? Because no mirror means you can’t see, you can’t see what your hair looks like, you can’t see what your face looks like, you can’t see if you combed your beard, you don’t know what colour you wore.
You’re not able to see yourself. So, when they can’t see, God bless them, Allah (AJ) give them more, somebody has to help them. But for our understanding of the analogy is that why you need guidance? Is because you can’t see yourself, you can’t see what you’re doing, what you’re saying, how you’re acting and to Allah (AJ) you’re just ugly. You’re not taking care of… you’re ungroomed. And we speak in allegories. So, you’re like… come out of the thing all sticky and say, ‘What is this, why you didn’t comb yourself, wash yourself?’ Because this is somebody coming new… doesn’t matter new to religion, just new to the turuqs - they haven’t been taking care of.
So, they come with like a wild character, wild appearance, not only physically they may have clothes that are all nice but we’re talking about the analogy of yourself and your nafs (ego). Why Prophet ﷺ gave this hadith? One of its understandings – was for guidance. You can’t guide yourself; you don’t see what you’re comprised of. You don’t see how you’re dressing yourself with character. And you can’t go before Allah (AJ) – The King of all creation with this look and this appearance, this character – this khuluq.
So, what you need is a mirror. So, somebody tells you: you’re going to have the most important interview in your life for work, for a job, for marriage – whatever it is in your life, could you imagine not taking care of your appearance? Then how would you go before Allah (AJ)? And that’s why this was a hadith for guidance in one of its realities and many, many deep realities. Nabi Musa (as) witnessed when he asked, ‘I want to see, Ya Rabbi I want to see You, I want to see who I’m speaking to,’ Allah (AJ) said, “You can’t see Me but I’ll show you one of My greatest signs.
” He witnessed what he had to witness – khashiya (dust) and was completely effaced, went to zero point down, brought back to life and witnessed what he witnessed, took the Muhammadan reality, “Ana awwalul Muslimeen” – renewed his faith. That, ‘What I witnessed of realities, I want that reality. ’ So, then there’s always one ‘ON’ and one ‘OFF’ because the mirror’s a binary code. Who’s ‘ON’ and who’s ‘OFF’? If both ‘ON’ they’re no mirrors, they’re just back and forth and both of them blind.
But when Allah (AJ) asks for a Prophet of Allah (AJ) that, ‘Go to one of My mirrors, go to one whom is highly purified in these realities. ’ Then what was the dialogue in Surat al Kahf about Sayyidina Musa (as) and Sayyidina Khidr (as), and that becomes an awareness for ourself – doesn’t matter what your rank is, doesn’t matter how big somebody thinks they are, when Allah (AJ) want to test them, put them before a mirror, the mirror is telling him that: ‘You’re not going to have patience with me.
’ And in their dialogue, all of the events that were happening, Sayyidina Musa (as) was preoccupied to say, ‘What you’re doing is wrong. ’ So, he’s the student, Sayyidina Khidr (as) is the shaykh. He asked for guidance, Sayyidina Khidr (as) didn’t ask to find a student – he didn’t pray to Allah (AJ): ‘Please send me students. ’ One is the student, one is the shaykh. In this example from the great Prophets of Allah (AJ), Allah (AJ) sanctify their secrets and raise them higher, Allah’s (AJ) allowing us to use that example from Holy Qur’an.
He’s coming, ‘I want to know of a knowledge to make me rushd (grow) in this haqqaiq (realities) of Sayyidina Muhammad ﷺ,’ he takes the role of the student, he goes to the teacher, goes to the teacher and says, ‘Teach me from these knowledges to make me rushd – cooked, ready. ’ The teacher says, “You won’t have patience because the little bit that you know you’re going to keep trying to find fault in me. ” Because this is our life example, and every test that came which we said was – the boat, he had a big problem with sinking the boat.
The slaying of the child and then not charging for the treasure and all the goods and riches. And each one he was busy trying to qualify his teacher – big danger because he’s coming to his teacher, he asked Allah (AJ): ‘I want to be taught,’ and Allah (AJ): ‘Okay, I have one who will teach you, I will grant him even a special secret to raise him to that darajat (spiritual rank) to be able to teach you. ’ Sank the boat, he found a problem, ‘Why you did that?’ Can… you’re not supposed do that with your teacher.
Slayed the child, ‘Why’d you do that?’ Again, found a problem because his intention was maybe to see that - I have a lot of knowledge, who is one of the ones that You are blessing and maybe let me prove my knowledge is higher. Otherwise, why was he finding fault in everything (as)? Why did he come to say that: ‘Why is this, why is that, why is that?’ And this is the adabs (manners) of the tariqah are teaching that - when you come into a mirror and you find fault, don’t think it’s the mirror because you haven’t seen the mirror, you haven’t even seen the reality of the mirror, and these are very purified souls.
What you’re finding fault in is something of your own existence. So, trying to discredit the teacher to maybe think that, ‘Oh I came for knowledges, why are you busy breaking a boat, slaying the child, and building fences? I thought you’re going to sit me down and convey all your secrets to me. ’ There was something of what he wasn’t getting and finding fault. So, then dealing with a mirror – it’s Allah (AJ) showing an adab, not the shaykh teaching, Allah’s (AJ) showing an adab that - look from the great Prophet of Allah (AJ) that he’s going and asking for this uloom and this knowledge which is the… a shaykh in the Naqshbandi chain so from whatever knowledge Sayyidina Khidr (as) has he gives it to the living shaykhs of this time – they inherit from his knowledge.
Sayyidina Abbas Khidr (as) is the supporter and the Shaykh in the madad (support) of the shaykhs of Naqshbandiya tul ‘Aliya (The Most Distinguished Naqshbandi Order). So, is… has a reality to give but the students too preoccupied in trying to find something wrong with him until the teacher says that, ‘This dialogue of us arguing is not working, this is where me and you we part. Out of ihtiram and respect you’re a big Prophet and we have to stop this, it’s like bickering.
’ But before he let him go, he gave him the example, because this is the mirror, ‘This problem you had with me Allah (AJ) was showing you your own life. If you stop trying to find fault in the mirror and understood the reality you would have seen Allah (AJ) was showing you miraculously your own life. The boat you didn’t like – your mom threw you in a boat, risked your life. Who… what mother would throw a child in a boat down a river in a crib and a basket?’ Because it was unconscionable, because when he had a complaint about the boy, he say… the boat he say: ‘Why would you break a boat like that?’ He explained later: ‘Why would your mom put you in a basket, for sure it was death.
Who puts a child that can’t breathe, can’t walk, can’t talk and throw them in a basket? This was your life; you were that basket. This boat is your analogy, not me. ’ Because he’s busy thinking is Sayyidina Khidr’s (as) life that, ‘Why I have to accompany your life and see these things. ’ Says, ‘You weren’t accompanying my life. Allah (AJ) was showing you your life, I was merely your guide to take you for it but you didn’t have the patience to see your life through me.
The boy that you slew and you had all your objections, what about the man that you pushed and the guard that you push. You’re a Prophet of Allah (AJ), how you committed an offence like that? That was your life. So, that to show you sometimes there’s a hikmah (wisdom) – Allah (AJ) operates with a hikmah. Why to question it, you weren’t questioned? Why are you questioning Allah’s (AJ) Will here? It was your life. ’ Because he’s thinking again he’s following Sayyidina Khidr’s (as) life.
And Sayyidina Khidr’s (as) teaching: ‘No, this is your life. Allah (AJ) sent me here to give you these three examples, this is the miraculous nature of your life He’s going to show you. And then the wall that we built and you wanted money for it and you’re so upset about it, you went to the daughters of Shoaib (as) and you watered their sheep and charged no fee for the hopes of the reward of a wife. You had no problem there so when I’m telling you we have to build this for no fee because Allah (AJ) will give our reward and these are to protect these children’s… their inheritance.
Why you had a problem with it? This was you. You didn’t have a problem when it was happening for your wife – to have a marriage. ’ So, means that was an immense reality of Surat al Kahf and the ayna (mirror), that when the student comes and meets a mu’min either from a distance – doesn’t have to meet in person. Anytime they deal with a mu’min and higher because from mu’min they go – mohsin, from mohsin they go – mukhles (sincere). These are very purified mirrors.
What you see of what you don’t like is actually you, you haven’t seen them at all. Good God you need how many years of purification through your heart to see who that person is, what station and where they’re standing in their reality. Your interaction with them is merely Allah’s (AJ) showing who you are. Remember you came from out of nowhere in the woods, having never looked at yourself with a real eye. You may have though you were beautifully groomed for the Divinely Presence.
As soon as you interact with the shaykhs, they are the ayna – they are the mirror that Allah (AJ) wants you to look at, and every interaction with them, every waswas (whisper) that comes to you, everything you dislike, everything that is happening and… ‘Why is like this? What’s like this? What’s like that?’ It’s all your life that you’re seeing. You’re not seeing the shaykh. This is not the shaykh’s life, it’s your life that you see through the mirror.
So, that is an immense reality for us. All the interactions, good God now nobody has any ability to communicate, nobody has any eloquence in their communication, everybody’s angry, everybody now has an opportunity. When they say, ‘Go to the store and get something,’ oh you better believe it’s going to be late. Why? To see what you’re made of. The same 30 dollars you donate if something you got for 30 dollars came halfway or came late or came something… oh, how much you get angry.
Where are the good khuluq (character) of people that say, ‘Alhamdulillah bi iznillah in the way of Allah (AJ), what does it matter. ’ You didn’t put 10,000, you put 30 dollars, but it shows your character. Then you give donation, you watch online, whatever your interaction is Allah’s (AJ) ni’mat (blessing) that - interact with these mirrors so that you can see who you are. Because Allah (AJ) wants somebody clean, not somebody who thinks they can see.
He says… Allah (AJ) describe: ‘You have eyes but you don’t see. ’ We’re not talking about dressing nicely with suits but Allah (AJ) say: ‘What’s your spiritual dress? What’s your spiritual reality? So, that when you presented to My Divinely Presence, I want to see the good character, the medallions of good character that are dressed upon your soul. I want to see the beatific heart. ’ Allah (AJ) doesn’t look to the surah (face), doesn’t look to your shekl and to your form, doesn’t look to your wealth and status, ‘Oh, this one has nice clothes, let me look at him more.
’ Allah (AJ) looks to the heart of the believer. Maybe it completely decimated appearance physically but a heart like gold that shining from Divinely lights. That’s all that Allah (AJ) looks to – is to the heart of that servant. That you lived a life in their mirror and you constantly fought and found your faults in every agitation you felt, every interaction that you felt, everything that you’re feeling it’s a story about you - for the wise ones. And then they write, ‘Oh this like this, and this like this and this is my life, and I’m impatient, I’m agitated, I’m angry – all my things, all my characters.
’ Because Allah (AJ) not going to call you to account of the shaykh – say, ‘Come on give us the report,’ because Allah (AJ) describe when they were describing about Sayyidina Ibrahim (as), He says… the Jewish and Christian got together and say, ‘Sayyidina Ibrahim is with us. ’ Allah (AJ) say: “He’s neither with you, neither with them. He’s his own man. He’s hanif. You worry about your grave. I’m not calling you to account of who people are, what their actions were.
I only want to know about you and your grave. ” So, then the turuqs are an immense reality of that hadith and that hadith is a symbol of why we need guidance. We need a life with a mirror. We need to interact and look into the mirror. Every interaction, every email, every activity that you involve yourself with, being online, getting angry, ‘Why they didn’t answer my questions?’ Getting angry with the response from the questions. Sending an email say: ‘I’ve sent an email, you didn’t reply.
’ So, what? You weren’t the president of the heavens and nobody replied. Send it again, send it again and patiently wait until something comes. But it shows in the character Allah (AJ) sees – you have impatience, you have hidden angers, you… all these issues Allah (AJ) wants them resolved. And then imagine the very powerful mirror in which you do your muraqabah (spiritual connection), where you say, ‘Ya Rabbi I want that mirror all the time. ’ And the people who are hesitant to take the step then the middle of the… late at night everyone’s sleeping, everyone’s out of the way, pray your Salatul ‘Isha (nighttime prayer) late.
Some cultures I don’t know why they want to pray it fast and quick. You pray your maghrib (Sunset prayer) on time, pray Salatul ‘Isha late. Why? Because you’re being rewarded all the way to the time of Salatul ‘Isha, and when you pray your Salatul ‘Isha late most likely everybody is now gotten out of the way. At the end of your Salatul ‘Isha your attahiyat (sitting on knees during prayer), ‘Salaam alaykum, slaam alaykum’ and then sit, you’re at Rauza e Sharif (Holy Burial Chamber), put some salawats (praises upon Prophet Muhammad ﷺ) and just ask yourself to be in the presence of Prophet ﷺ and with the shaykh, ‘I’m asking for my Shaykh to be present and this his nazar (gaze) be upon me, his presence to be in front of me’ – that is the mirror that begins to reflect.
And with that light in front of me ‘What have I done wrong? What is my bad character? Why was I angry? Why did I do?’ You can lie to yourself but you cannot lie to them. They’re the mirror of truth that comes to be present with you in the meditation and say: ‘No, this was wrong, this was wrong, this was wrong,’ and that’s the hisaab (account), muhasabah (accounting). Because their light comes and the more you’re able to connect and the more you’re able to be consistent with it that is the light of your muhasabah – your accounting, because their light is there and you’re now, ‘Yes, I feel that was wrong, I feel what I said was wrong, my character was wrong.
I did get angry. ’ And then you write it that tomorrow inshaAllah be better, or for one week you’re in the same issue then you know you’re not doing better - something’s wrong. Then I’m going to penalize myself and I’m going to do more this, more that, more that so that you understand what you’re doing wrong and it stops. Otherwise, you just keep, keep, keep and then nothing’s happening. We pray that Allah (AJ) give us an understanding of these realities and what Allah (AJ) want to dress us and bless us with of these immense realities and to perfect ourselves to reach towards these lights and this holy heart of Sayyidina Muhammad ﷺ.
Subhana rabbika rabbal ‘izzati ‘amma yasifoon, wa salaamun ‘alal mursaleen, walhamdulillahi rabbil ‘aalameen. Bi hurmati Muhammad al-Mustafa wa bi siri Surat al-Fatiha. Click the link now to subscribe. .