[These are rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Omar Mukhtar on Ramadan 22, in Post Asr Majlis, South Africa i’tikaf, 2015]
[From 25 attributes of a true Mu’min]
17. To have humility and humbleness in oneself
Mashaikh say if you compare yourself to a dog, even a dog is better than us. It eats less. He is dutiful even when just a few pieces of bread are thrown on the floor for him to eat. He won’t even ask if he is not given any food. Still he is up all night guarding his master and his property. Allah swt has given us so much food and so much variety; unlimited amount, different cuisines, different tastes, we have most of it everyday. There is no day when you don’t get any food. You just have to tell at home that cook this, and you get that food which we eat and eat and eat and then keep on sleeping at tahajjud and some of us even sleep through fajr.
The master sometimes beats the dog. The dog doesn’t hit the master, rather comes back and sits at the feet of the master. And us, even if a small shortcoming comes, we stop coming to masjid. We stop praying in jama’a. If you ask someone that why have they stopped coming, they say oh! Business is not well so I’m not coming these days. You are giving up baitullah for that? You are giving up masjid for that? For this short period of problem which will go away?
Dog will stay and guard even if it sleeps out on the cold floor or in the heat of the afternoon. He still goes back to his master without any complains. We have such comfortable beds. If you are comfortably tucked in your bed in winter nights and nafs or shaytan tells you just stay here it’s so cold etc. Tell your nafs that I’m worse than a dog! If we imagine this it will give us humility and humbleness towards Allah swt.
Once a school master had a dog. Everyday when he would go to another city, the dog would go with him to the train to see him off and would go back to pick him up. They did this for years. Then once the master passed away. The dog kept going to the station looking for the school master for 9 years… Allah swt says make du’a and I will give you, you don’t even have to wait for 9 years. Once a shaykh wrote about dog:
راتیں جاگیں کریں عبادت
راتیں جاگن کُتے
Staying awake and praying at night
The dogs are also awake,
Superior to you
بھونکنوں بند مول نہ ہوندے
جا رڑی تے سُتّے
They never stop barking
And go and sleep on a pile of rubbish,
Superior to you
کھسم اپنے دا در نہ چھڈّدے
بھاویں و جّن جُتّے
They never leave their master’s door
Even when beaten with shoes,
Superior to you
بلھے شاہ کوئ رَخت وِہاج لَے
نہیں تَے بازی لے گئےکُتے
Bulleh Shah! You had better achieve something!
Or the dogs will win this contest,
Superior to you
You wake up for tahajjud but for a very short time and want people to think of you as a wali! While the dog stays up whole night and doesn’t want anything. If you have a small sustenance problem you complain. O! the dogs are awake for their masters, so you should also be awake for tahajjud, do not be worse than the dogs.
This is because they could not even miss one tahajjud. They wanted to be true servants of Allah swt.
We are so forgiving of ourselves. We just look at our good deeds. And for others we only look at their faults. It should be the opposite. Look at ones own faults and disregard the faults of others. Make du’a for deed e kasur so Allah swt opens up the sins on you so you do more istighfar. If you look at your good deeds you will never travel on this path of tasawwuf.
The sahykh told only two things that make up tasawwuf:
- Look at one’s own faults
- Overlook the faults of others
Don’t hate the sinner, hate the sin. If someone gives bribes, hate the sin of giving bribe, don’t hate the person. Sinner can be better because when they do tawbah they will have more good deeds. The day non-Muslims get hidayah and become Muslims, all of their sins will be forgiven they will become better Muslims than us. Sometimes in a country of non-Muslims we get this feeling; it creeps into our hearts.
Remember the story of Bani Israel. There were two people; one was very pious and would prolong his ibadah and do long sajdah. Other was very sinful and didn’t use to do any istighfar. So much so that people were distant from that sinner. The pious man once looked at that person, he felt ujub – pride – and made du’a that Allah swt don’t raise me with this person in akhirah. What happened was that the sinner was sent to jannah because he had the taufeek to do tawbah. And that person’s du’a was also accepts, and he was not raised with that man and since that man was now in Jannah, the first one was put into Jahannum.
If you ever get this feeling that I’m better then you should make tawbah. If you are in the company of awliyah, then make dua that we don’t even deserve to be here so also forgive all of our sins. You are as-Sattar- you have hidden our sins.
وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ