A Contemporary Sufi Speaks: Mind, Desire, and the Billboards of the World A short talk given by Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen in September 28, 1986.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
A'udhu billähi minash-shaitänir-rajim. (May God protect us from satan, the rejected one.). Bismillähir-Rahmänir-Rahim. (In the name of God, the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.) May Almighty Allah bless us with His grace and His compassion. May He protect us with His compassionate grace. Amin.
May He save us from illness, from troubles, loss, and suffering. May He protect us from the many millions of sufferings that exist in the world. May He lift us up and support us. Amin. May all praise be to that One who is infinite grace and incomparable love, the One who gives us the undiminishing wealth of grace. Allahu ta'ala (God Almighty) is the One who bestows the wealth of the three worlds and protects us. May our prayers be to Him alone. There is no one worthy of worship other than Allahu ta'ala.
La ilaha ill-Allah Muhammadur-Rasulullah. (There is none other than God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.) Allah is the Truth and the kalimah. The path of the kalimah reveals the straight path to Him who is the Truth. With the kalimah, we wash ourselves and advance directly on the straight path to Him. The ash-shahadah kalimah is perfect purity.(1) It makes us perfectly pure. God's kalimah shows the purity of God's name and the unity and compassion of His name. We must reflect on this, my precious children, my brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, grandsons, and granddaughters.
Precious jeweled lights of my eyes, within ourselves we must understand with certainty the benefits for which we are searching. Each person takes from the earth according to his search. Good and bad are all within the earth. Poison can be found there. Everything exists in the earth. There are things in the earth that can exalt us and things that can bring us down. Even the water that we drink to quench our thirst is found within the earth. Water that we cannot drink is also there. There is oil that burns what is good. There is water that fosters what is good. Both are within the earth. What is there that cannot be found in the earth?
Man researches all these with his wisdom, with his levels of consciousness, and analyzes them. The sixty-four arts and the sixty-four sensual games, the sexual and fleeting sensual pleasures, are the one hundred and twenty-eight letters - the world. This is what man desires in the world. This is what he can easily take. Earth, gold, and woman, riches, vanity, pride, and envy are within these one hundred and twenty-eight letters. All the fighting, murder, and wars occur for the sake of earth, gold, possessions and property, livestock, wife, children, fame, titles, selfishness, jealousy, the 'I' and the 'you', the differences of color, race, and religion. Whatever a man researches, he grabs onto and through that acquires either good or bad.
Isn't there a difference between the trees that grow in the forest and the trees that are planted in the village? In the village, someone must make the effort to dig a hole and plant the seed. But things grow differently in the forest. On a farm, the ground is fertilized and watered. The farmer plows and prepares the land, taking into consideration the changes in the weather such as rain, snow, and cold. In the forest, the trees and plants grow and bear fruit on their own, but it takes much longer. When a farmer cares for plants, he is rewarded according to his efforts. If, however, he just sows a seed and does not care for it, he will not be rewarded. Left on its own, a seed will not flourish.
In the same way, each one must acquire good qualities from a sheikh and work hard in order to nurture the inner farm. Just as we learn to cultivate a farm little by little, it is necessary for a human being to learn the true state and wisdom from a sheikh and then mature. The world is within oneself. The human being is the world. All thoughts, desires, and cravings come from within. Precious stones, the nine kinds of precious gems, the radiant light, the beauty and resplendence of God, wisdom, His three thousand gracious attributes, all these are within a human being. These are God's qualities.
If a human being acquires every one of these qualities, then every word that comes from within him is a precious gem. If he acts with these qualities, then his words will be gems. Then he is an insan (a human being), whose value cannot be estimated either in this world or in the hereafter. Anyone who has received God's words, God's actions, and His wisdom is an insan kamil (a fully realized human being). No one can estimate his value. Everything else can be estimated, but he alone cannot. Why? Because the universe ('alam), the world of the souls (arwah), and all of everything are within insan. Since all that is good is within him, it is impossible to make a finite estimate of his true value. All the chapters, all the facets of God, are present within a human being. God's three thousand gracious attributes, His qualities, His actions, and His ninety-nine wilayats (divine powers) are all present within an insan. He has attained that beauty. It is impossible to fully assess an insan. To reach this state, one has to learn wisdom from a sheikh and grow little by little just as the crops on a farm grow and become mature.
Similarly, a person cannot ride a wild horse immediately. How do wild horses, bulls, and elephants live? They find food when they are hungry. When they are thirsty, they go to the watering hole. Later, they lie down and sleep. They do not undergo any difficulties. If we raise a horse, cow, or goat in the village, we must take care of it, wash it, and let it graze or bring it food. We breed them, milk them, and make them plow the land or pull a cart. In this way, they are a great help to man, but their lives are very difficult. They are trained to help human beings a great deal. After having been of so much help throughout their lives, in the end they even sacrifice their bodies for human beings to eat. Not only that, they give their skin and bones for humans to use. Having performed all this duty, the animal surrenders its body, its flesh, its skin, its bones, its life, everything to the one who raised it. The animals that live in the wild do not experience such troubles. But the animals that we raise in the village face so many difficulties.
Children raised by the sheikh are also in this state. The sheikh must strive hard for all lives in this world and in the hereafter. He does his work, treating all lives as his own, treating all souls and all they possess within as his soul. He feels that they are all his own body, his own blood, his own skin, his own life. He works hard for all. This is the understanding arising from the wisdom of God's qualities. A sheikh takes and nurtures all the good that arises from these qualities. He cuts away what is bad or evil. He explains the difference between the sun and moon, day and night. He demonstrates how to cut away the murders and evils that are in the one hundred and eight letters, and surrenders only to what is in God, the three letters alif, lam, mim.(2) He reveals with clarity the wealth (mubarakat) of the three worlds of awwal, dunya, and akhirah that exists within these three (letters).
The dunya, or world, is our body. Awwal is the ruh or soul. Akhirah is Allah's paradise. He explains these three states. The period when life is formed is awwal. The time when the body is formed is the dunya, or this world. Akhirah is God's kingdom of the pure soul. There is the kingdom of the soul, the kingdom of this world, and the kingdom of God. We must realize that we live in these three kingdoms. Races, religions, scriptures, and differences do not exist there.
We must think. We find communism in the world today. Communists and others deny the existence of God. They say there is no God. If this were the case they would perish, wouldn't they? The ones who say God exists would survive, and those who say there is no God would perish. But like the trees that grow wild in the forest and like the wild animals, they too receive their share of sustenance and live.
Domestic animals live in civilized areas where humans live. They live for the sake of others. They help others. God does not live for the sake of Himself. Truth does not exist for its own sake. Fire does not exist for itself. It provides heat to all. Water and air do not exist for themselves. The sky and earth always give benefits to others. They do not have the thought that makes them exist for their own sake.
Likewise, the wisdom that we learn from a sheikh is to live for the sake of others. Our qualities and ideals should make us realize that what we have is for others. We must lose ourselves, forget ourselves, and conduct our lives only for the sake of doing duty toward others. Our food must be given to others. Even our own comfort should be sacrificed in order to make others comfortable. We learn and understand, we give and join in unity with equality, peace, justice, and conscience in order to reach that good state. This is the state of God's qualities. God has three thousand gracious attributes. Our actions, our conduct, and our behavior should be the qualities of God. The wisdom of this state is called gnanam, or divine wisdom, and it is a resplendence. That resplendence is insan, a true human being.
The one who resplends within this form of insan is an insan kamil (a fully realized human being). He is the sheikh, the teacher. You must absorb every word that comes from him. Just as there are countless stars in the skies and so many other valuable treasures like precious gems lying within the earth, all these will be revealed from within the insan kamil. All these stars are contained within his body. All the valuable treasures that lie within the earth are his property. This is his wealth. God's wealth is within him. Apart from this, he has no other wealth. It is our duty to realize this, attain this state, receive these treasures, and do service to our soul. We must learn from the sheikh and attain that faith, certitude, and determination which knows no doubt. When a glowing ember touches water, what happens? It loses its flames and becomes a charred, black piece of wood. Then we only see a burnt piece of black wood, not the water or the fire. Like this, when we study from the sheikh and the sheikh's wisdom falls upon us, there will be no world or desire left. Both are cut away. What remains is the charcoal. This body is all that remains of what is called man. The other two (world and desire) are destroyed. The 'I' within both of these is destroyed.
With perfect trust, we must learn this state from the sheikh. Then every point of wisdom will be like a star. In every pore, a word of God will resplend and radiate. In every drop of blood, only God's name will be spoken. In every gaze, only heaven will be seen. We will see the unity of our brothers and sisters everywhere. Wherever we look, we will see hands that embrace others with love. There will be no hands that strike others. The hands that murder will not exist there. Allah's qualities do not hit or murder others. We must embrace everyone in this way.
The human beings in this world must be trained to work hard. There is a difference between wild animals and domesticated animals. Wild animals are self-serving. Animals that are trained by human beings sacrifice themselves for others. A human being who can attain this state is true insan. He will achieve victory in the kingdom of this world, the kingdom of the soul, and the kingdom of God.
To realize this, we need a true sheikh at all times. There are four hundred trillion, ten thousand different sheikhs, and they preach sex and mantras (incantations). All the sixty-four arts have mantras. The sixty-four sexual pleasures have mantras. Everything that is seen is one of the arts. People draw and sketch everything they perceive with their eyes. Whatever they see, they interpret as a sexual act. They perform sexual games in the night and then perform these as dances in the day. Such dancing is the world. The mind goes here and there, gathers things, and dances with them in broad daylight. The whole world is inside us. We bring forth such things from within and then play with them. We neglect the realm of light and take only night. We need a true sheikh to explain the difference between these two. We must rid ourselves of pride, envy, jealousy, deceit, and satan.
At the time of the creation of Adam (A.S.), Allah revealed a brilliant resplendence to all. He asked who would accept this light, but that light absorbed all other lights. It was then that earth said, "I will accept that light."
"O earth," God replied, "you have sought your own ruin. This is a perfectly pure light. No one else agreed to accept it. Yet you say, "I will accept it." All right, I will give this light to you, but you must return it to Me without the slightest blemish. You may use it and take whatever benefit you can from it. The profit or loss will be yours, but you must return My treasure back to Me." That treasure is the pure soul, the light of God. Allah created this body out of earth, fire, water, air, and ether, and then placed this light within it. He placed on the forehead the light of the lam, the Nur, that is wisdom. He inserted the soul within this form through the mim, Muhammad, which brought life and beauty. Ahamad. Muhammad. The beauty of the heart is seen resplending in the beauty of the face.(3) Wisdom resplends in this beauty.
It was this resplendence that satan envied in Adam (A.S.), the primal man. When God created Adam (A.S.), He commanded everyone to pray behind him. But satan refused to do so. God said, "Worship Me. Prayer is due to Me alone. Stand behind Adam and pray."
Again satan refused. "I will not stand behind Adam. I will worship You, O God, but I will not stand behind Adam and pray." Satan had become proud.
"O satan. Bow down. Pray." Yet again satan refused. "O mal'un, O degenerate one. Bow down and pray." Still, satan would not bow down. "O satan, prostrate in worship."
"I know how to worship You," satan replied, "but I am not going to stand behind this man and worship You. You created me out of fire. You created this man out of clay. If Adam and all of the children of Adam turn toward me, I will help them, but if they turn toward You, I will cause them suffering until their last day."
"O satan, you do not have a place here anymore, O mal'un (the degenerate one), lahannam (the one who has gone astray), jahannam (hell) will be your home," God explained to satan. "All karmas, all curses, and all evils are in you." God spoke these three words and cast him away from heaven.
Vanity, envy, pride, and vengeance are all within satan. Then God said, "Those who follow Me will never follow you, while those who follow you will not follow Me. Those who accept you, O satan, will not accept Me. Those who love Me will take My qualities and actions. But those who accept you will seek only your world, that which is hell." It was in this state that satan was cast out of heaven into this world which is hell.
Satan's state of jahannam and lahannam (of hell and going astray) are within a human being. The qualities of Satan are also within a human being. When Satan is jarred or shaken, anger rises from the bile. Satan resides in our bile. And if the bile becomes even more shaken, it makes one crazy. There are ninety-six kinds of crazinesses, such as craziness for love, craziness for intoxicants, craziness of the bile, and craziness of lust and attachment. There are so many kinds of crazinesses. For all these the only true physician is God. Otherwise, if one craziness goes another will come. It is for this that we need wisdom and God's qualities. They are the only cure. We must reflect and escape from hell. We need unity, peace, God's tolerant qualities, qualities of equality, qualities which are pure and filled with love, the compassionate, beneficent qualities, and His wisdom. We need His unity, without the slightest hint of division. These are His qualities, His kingdom, and His beauty. We must form this house and have these qualities within us. Only then will the resplendence that is God enter within us.
We must think of this and gather people together in love and unity. This is the way of a true sheikh. If the children act with faith according to the state of each quality, it will work. But, if you slip or sway, even by an atom, that can lead you in another direction. Just a small word can cause you to deviate from the path. In America, if you take the wrong exit on a highway, you have to travel many miles before you can turn around and go back to the correct exit. One wrong turn causes you to go so many miles astray. You undergo so much difficulty before you can turn around. In the same way, we must strictly adhere to every word spoken by the sheikh. Then we can arrive at our destination with ease.
We must reflect on each thing. The state of the children and their hearts should be in the same state as the sheikh's eyes and ears, the sheikh's nose and mouth, the sheikh's hands and feet, and the sheikh's heart. The children who are his students must be in the same state as he. But if they become distracted looking here and there, what is being given by the sheikh will not enter. If a person is shooting at something, he must take exact aim. If he looks somewhere else while pulling the trigger, the bullet will miss its mark. While studying, when you are listening, you must keep your heart open and be watchful and observant. Then, everything that is said will penetrate. If other thoughts are present, they will become a barrier, preventing the sheikh's words from entering. Whether these are thoughts of color differences, racial differences, religious differences, egoism, pride, vanity, vengeance, or jealousy, they will prevent the sheikh's words from penetrating. Such things belong to Satan, to hell, and will cause difficulty. Such differences will deflect the sheikh's words. The true words must be allowed to penetrate directly.
There is a main highway that goes from here to California. We can never reach California by taking the side roads. Like that, having come this far we must find that highway, the one road to Allah, the one route that goes straight to Him. If we take the backroads we will be touring the world, but not going toward God. This is the world, dunya. Our goal is akhirah, the divine kingdom. If we stop at intersections and claim, "This is my road. This is the road that goes to the president's house, the governor's house, or to the chairman's house, or to the minister, to the church, to the Pope or the priest," if we wander about investigating the side roads, we will not reach our goal. The map shows the direct path, the direct highway. Follow that highway. Do not take any detours.
Even one who has progressed and learned more and more, even a sheikh, must attain liberation. If the sheikh becomes proud and says, "Oh, I have wisdom now. I have become great. No one is greater than I am," then everything is lost for him. The children who learn from him will do well, but what will happen to the sheikh who thinks he has learned it all?
The sheikh must always be a slave, an 'abd. With love and compassion he must be a slave to the children and embrace them. He must keep feeding them with milk. He must embrace them to his heart and feed them on the inside, feed their heart and comfort them. There is no place for anger or hatred. If a mother raising a child proclaims, "Oh, no one is greater than I am," she cannot raise that child properly.
Continue to Part 2
(1) The ash-shahadah kalimah: The affirmation of faith - Ash-hadu al-la ilaha ill-Allahu wahdahu la sharika lah; wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu WA rasuluh: I testify that none is god except God alone; He has no equal. And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.
(2) alif, lam, mim: Three Arabic letters. In the transformed man of wisdom, these letters are represented as: alif-Allah; lam-Nur, the light of wisdom; mim-Muhammad (SAL.).
(3) Ahamad. Muhammad: The state of the heart or aham. Ahamad is the heart (qalb) of Muhammad (SAL.). The beauty of the heart (aham) is the beauty of the countenance (muham, Tamil; muhayyan, Arabic) of Muhammad (SAL.). That is the beauty of Allah's qualities. This is not merely a name that has been given. It is a name that comes from within the ocean of divine knowledge (bahrul-'ilm). Allah is the One who is worthy of the praise of the qalb.
Part 2 I will relate the story of a sheikh. There was once a great sheikh. He was a very evolved person, filled with light. For a long time Satan repeatedly assumed different forms, trying his hardest to spoil this sheikh and lead him astray. But Satan failed. Eventually, the sheikh's disciples all received gnanam and were even able to fly in the skies. They had all left and he was alone.
It was at this time that the great sheikh developed a desire. He thought, "I wish I could go straight to heaven to see God, while I am in this body itself, while I am still alive. After all, I am a great sheikh. There is no one greater than I. I must go to heaven."
Satan rubbed his hands gleefully. "Now I have a way to enter!" he thought. "Now he has turned toward my path. This is my opportunity!"
Quickly, Satan took the form of an angel. He approached the sheikh and said, "O great one, as-salamu 'alaikum. May the peace of God be upon you."
The sheikh replied, "Wa 'alaikumus-salam. And God's peace be with you too. Where are you coming from?"
"God sent me especially to you, to escort you to Him. He sends His greetings, His salams. He sent me to find out what your intention is. That is why I came. It seems that you have a desire to see heaven while you are in this body itself. God has sent me to escort you to Him in order to fulfill your desire."
The sheikh was very happy. "Oh, has God heard my thoughts? Has He sought to fulfill my prayers? I did have this great thought, I am ready anytime to go and see God."
"All right, be prepared. I will return after maghrib (the sunset prayer) and bring you," instructed the angel who was Satan
The sheikh was very happy. "Oh, I'll be ready!" he exclaimed.
Satan left and then clapped his hands. All the other satans came and said, "O Satan what is troubling you now? Why are you bothering us like this? What do you want?"
"Today we have a chance to destroy the world," Satan told them. "There is someone I have been trying to corrupt for so long but have never had a chance. Now the time has come. I need a donkey. Who will turn into a donkey?"
"I'll be a donkey," one of the satans answered.
"Good. Now get some pigs' blood," Satan ordered. "Soak a black cloth in that blood and bring it to me." The satans went to work, butchering some pigs, soaking a cloth in their blood, and bringing it to Satan
"It is time for maghrib. We can go now," Satan announced. Then he took the donkey and returned to the sheikh. The sheikh was eagerly waiting. Again Satan appeared in the form of an angel and said, "As-salamu 'alaikum. We must go to heaven now."
"Wa 'alaikumus-salam," replied the sheikh. "We have brought you a horse." It was really a donkey. "Climb onto the horse. We are going to heaven and must travel far. You may be frightened along the way so it is best that I blindfold you."
The sheikh was so excited that he said, "All right, blindfold me. I am willing to do anything you ask." Then Satan blindfolded him with that black cloth dipped in pigs' blood, and immediately all the sheikh's gnanam and wisdom left. All the good things flew away.
As they were going along, the angel who was Satan asked the sheikh, "You say you want to go to heaven, but have you seen hell?"
"No, I have not seen hell," the sheikh replied.
Then Satan asked, "Isn't it better for you to take a look at hell before you go to heaven? Only then can you know the difference."
"Ah, what you say is quite true," the sheikh agreed. "I have never seen hell."
"Hell is on our way," Satan said, "so perhaps you can take a look. We don't have to stay too long. Shall we go and see it?" And the sheikh agreed.
Then Satan summoned all the satans and told them to magically decorate the seven hells with the most beautiful things possible: gold, precious gems, tasty fruits, and lights. Then Satan took the sheikh to the first hell and removed the blindfold. When the sheikh opened his eyes, the sand looked like milk. There were so many different kinds of fragrant flowers and fruits. Satan offered him one of the fruits. "Oh, this is a wonderful, delicious fruit!" the sheikh exclaimed.
"This is hell," Satan told him.
"Who said this is hell?" demanded the sheikh. "This looks like heaven to me."
Satan showed him wonder after wonder, one after another. At each sight, the sheikh exclaimed, "Oh, they must be crazy to call this hell."
Finally, Satan made a throne for him in the seventh hell. The platform and throne were made from the bones and skulls of dead people. Ghosts came to dance like celestial maidens. There was music, dancing, and many fancy things. The food was delicious. Everything was adorned with various types of precious stones, flowers, and fruits. "This is the seventh hell. Now that you have seen this, do you really think this is hell?" Satan asked.
"Who is the fool who called this hell?" exclaimed the sheikh. "This is really heaven. They are all crazy!"
"Let's talk about that later," Satan suggested. "Now let's rest for a while." Then the music began and celestial maidens danced before the sheikh. He was reclining on a beautiful couch. There were jewels and ornaments everywhere. The women's teeth dazzled like precious gems. But in truth, those women were demons and ghosts.
Soon they brought food. What was the food really? It was worms and maggots from the graves and blood from dead bodies. This is what they brought to him. But the sheikh was not aware of what was happening. He had lost all awareness. He ate what was placed before him. He really enjoyed the meal. He found it delicious. Then Satan asked, "What do you think of this hell? How was the food? Was it tasty? Did you enjoy it?"
"Oh, I have never had any food as tasty as this," answered the sheikh. "I have never tasted fruits as delicious as these. This is really heaven. Who is the fool who gave the name hell to this place?"
"This is how fools talk, you know," Satan told him. "They go on shouting and saying,
"Hell, hell is so horrible." They frighten people, preventing them from coming here, but they can only really know about this place if they do come here."
"Who are you?" asked the sheikh. "I am the chief angel in charge of hell," Satan replied.
"Someone else has to take over from here if you wish to go further. But now you have seen this place that you think is heaven, would you like to stay here for a few days?"
"Oh, yes! I would like to stay here for a few days," the sheikh quickly replied.
But Satan said, "You cannot stay here without God's permission. That is the one prerequisite. Each person must agree to stay here, and God must give permission. So, sign this book saying that you are willing to stay here for a few days."
The sheikh signed the book. Instantly, all the lights vanished, and it became pitch black. Then he saw ghosts and demons dancing and singing. Snakes and scorpions were crawling over him, stinging and biting him. "You wretched being," they hissed. "You deceived all our people, took them away from us, and sent them to God. You would not let them stay with us." They continued to attack him. "Where is the angel who brought me here?" cried the sheikh.
"Where is the light? It is dark. They are biting and tugging me."
Then a voice came, "I am right here. This is hell, the real hell."
"Is this hell?" he asked. "What did I see before?"
"That was just our advertisement," Satan explained. "That was the billboard we display, because no one would ever want to come here, if they saw what it is really like. From the time a child is born, this kind of advertisement is used to entice them to come. What you see in the world are our advertisements. All that you saw here earlier are merely the billboards that we erected to lure people. But what you see now is the real hell."
"Oh!" the sheikh wailed. "Have I come to hell?"
Satan said, "Now your chapter is closed. We only display these billboards until people actually get here."
Part 3 Such are the billboards of the world. Whatever our mind sees and desires in this world, Satan places before us as a billboard. Satan is within us. Our bad qualities are Satan There is darkness in our life, and there is also light, which is the good part of our life. This world is the darkness of our mind and desire. On the other side lies the light which is unity, love, and purity. We must think of each of these. Unless we realize this state, we are in hell. We create our own hell. The advertisements, the billboards, are within us. Our own mind displays them. Satan entices us through these billboards. If we are fooled by them, we fall into the deep pit of hell.
All the advertisements we see in the world are satan's magic. If we regard these as precious or valuable, if we have pride believing that we are learned and think, "I am a teacher, a great guru," then we fall into that pit of hell.
If we say we want to go to heaven, where is heaven? After all, heaven is inside us. Heaven is not somewhere else. Hell is also inside us. Where does God dwell? God is within us. We are within God, and God is within us. If we have God's qualities, actions, and wisdom, then God resides within us. But if we are in the state of Satan, then both Satan and hell are inside us. Your qualities, your state, and your good deeds are heaven for you.
Instead of understanding this, if we live under the impression that heaven and hell are elsewhere, we are wrong. What you see now while you are alive is the magic of hell. If you want to go to heaven while in your body, you must look within. If you develop the light side, you will see heaven within you while you are still alive. This is why we need a sheikh. But, we must be humble; we need to be a slave to learn! One who becomes proud will end up like the sheikh in the story. One must be humble and always remain a slave to God. One must be a slave. That duty is heaven. The station where God dwells is within us. That is heaven. That is God's kingdom.
Without discovering this kingdom within himself, if a person thinks he can find heaven elsewhere, that will only cause his destruction. We do not need to look elsewhere. The separations are within us. These are the thoughts that bring forth murder, vengeance, evil, differences of race, religion, and color within us. These are the magics that adorn and decorate us inside. This is the work of Satan We are deceived when we see this and we turn toward evil.
My children should not become vain and proud because they are a sheikh, or a learned one, or one who preaches. You must always be a student to a student. You must be a child to your Father. A father must be a child to his child and feed him milk. To a father, we must be a father and give care. To God, we must be His child. If we want to teach wisdom, we must play like a child among the children and teach. Vanity and pride are not things we should learn. We should think about this, all of it, otherwise we will not be able to attain that state.
Each and every child, in your lives, no matter how great you may become, do not think that you are great and therefore you must go here or there. Everything is inside you. Becoming great or becoming small is within you. When you look correctly you will know.
When Satan comes and tries to deceive you, you must realize that it is Satan When darkness approaches, you must recognize that this is not the light. You must know the difference between these two. And for that you need the appropriate qualities, actions, and wisdom.
Studying, learning, and understanding are one thing, but the most important accomplishment is to firmly establish His qualities, His actions, and His state within you. To do so you must have faith, certitude, and trust in God. These are not to be found in race or religion, but in God's compassionate qualities, God's actions, and God's unity. It is from within God's state, from within His ninety-nine attributes that you can receive these treasures. You cannot receive these treasures, this wealth, in any other way. Every child must imbibe the knowledge of wisdom, and step by step find the clarity of God's state. We must research that. This is the greatest blessing we can ever hope to receive.
When we perform duty, we must have unity and exalted ideals. If a piece of flesh were to be severed from our body, how much it would hurt! Like that, when a thorn pricks another child, we must feel that child's pain as if it were our own. We must make sure that we do not prick or hurt any life. We should not punish anyone. We must embrace them with our love, comfort and kiss them with our wisdom, treat them as our own life, treat them as our brothers and sisters, and protect and comfort them. This is the duty that we must perform. But we cannot go and embrace a snake. We must use our wisdom. We must subdue it with our love and send it away. Any evil beings you come upon, you must treat with love and send them on their way.
Similarly, when anger, pride, and egoism enter us, the sheikh of wisdom will pour the water of his grace upon us and reduce the flames to charcoal. With his wisdom and qualities, he will pour his qualities and destroy this evil. He will reveal what is good. For this we need the faith and certitude of iman. If we can learn this state, it will bring good results. The learning we receive on the inside and the outside, without vanity, without pride or envy, will be the most useful. Then we can attain our victory in this life.
My brothers and sisters, may God help us and give us His compassion. Then you will work to help the rest of the world, all lives, without any selfishness or pride. That is God's work. It is God who resides within you and does the work. When you become a slave ('abd) to Him, He will be a slave to you and perform your duty. Just as water and earth join to bring forth a rich harvest, God and insan must join to bring forth the praise of God and the growth of the wisdom and good qualities within man. God cannot do this by Himself. He must enter insan and give the explanation. Just as earth and water unite to bring forth a good harvest, similarly, through an insan or man, God explains what is good and bad and bestows what is beneficial. We must understand this. Amin. Amin. As-salamu 'alaikum. May the peace of God be with you.
M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen