Channeling Negativity

[These are rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed db on Saturday, March 25, 2017]

Sometimes Allah (swt) puts a person in a situation where there is no way out for them, except by turning towards Him. There is nothing they can do to change their situation. Many times these situations prompt a certain emotional reaction. If the person reacts in a negative way, then that situation, which could have been a means of developing qurb (proximity) with Allah (swt), while not necessarily making them distant from Allah (swt), can surely leave them stuck. On the path of suluk (spiritual development), there is ‘uruj (going forward), wuquf (getting stuck) and ruju’ (going backwards, in reverse).

A woman who is listening to talks like these is obviously trying to come closer to Allah. There maybe something out of her control in her surroundings, in her environment, maybe in her children or in-laws that might be holding her back. So she may feel as though she is in a tug. So for example, maybe she comes to a gathering, or she reads, or she teaches and she drowns herself in the dhikr for Allah (swt), but when she comes back home, her husband is watching TV, or her kids want to watch a movie, so this complete rupture, culture shock creates an emotional reaction.

The first feeling is sadness and despondency whereby she loses her motivation and inspiration. That spiritual connection and yearning she had felt earlier gets lost. You have to protect these feelings from things outside of your control. You cannot lose it due to something that is happening even in your own home, because that will lead to depression. Your emotional feelings should not affect your spiritual feelings. To some extent you have to employ a certain level of ‘ajnabiyyat (alienation), even if it’s in your own home, or with your own spouse.

For example, let’s say I travel to Blackburn/London on the weekend, and spend that whole weekend sharing and listening to nasihah (counsel); after one to three days, all of our mind and soul would be redirected towards Allah (swt), and then on Monday, we go back to our research, and sometimes encounter different people. Now, because that is not my home, you can all understand and imagine how I compartmentalize that. I don’t let that other environment intrude in my relationship with Allah (swt). You may also have to do this with maybe your own family at home.

It doesn’t mean you become a stranger to your family, or you become a social recluse. It doesn’t mean you don’t function, and don’t fulfill your roles as a mother, daughter etc. It just means that you inwardly maintain the feelings for Allah (swt). In fact, you should reflect even more, and develop more fikr (concern) for others. You need to channel it in a positive way. It doesn’t matter if you think your in laws or husbands will not change. It’s in your control to keep your own mukhlis genuine concern for them.

If they don’t change, and you think they’re stubborn, then your fikr for them should be as stubborn. Your fikr should also be as inflexible and rigid. Your fikr should  refuse to bend and adapt. You should also walk with your armour protecting your own spirituality. All of us can be sad about our family, in-laws etc. but you need to channel that in a positive way. Like we discussed the term miskin yesterday — when you are feeling trapped by challenges with nowhere to move, then we should have yaqin [firm conviction] at that point. Miskin believes that Allah can suffice him, and ONLY Allah (swt) can suffice him. We can try everything, but miskin feels that no-one can help him except Allah (swt).

So there are two things that can happen; one thing that can happen is Allah (swt) will accept your du’as and bring about change. Another possibility is that Allah swt wants you to be in this test forever, so yes, some of you say, it’s been like this for 5-10 years etc. The question is, will you give into depression or will you maintain your yaqin and connection with Allah (swt)?

Lets accept it at this point — maybe it is impossible for those affecting you to change, but do you change? You will be amazed at the types of situations some women go through, for example, for some of them their husbands were totally off deen, but then these women created their own environment. They found a way to preserve and continually increase in their relationship with Allah (swt). We can say it is impossible as far as the present and past goes, but as for the future, only Allah (swt) knows, so you should always have hope that things could change for the better. Allah (swt) may choose to bring khayr. For some divine wisdom, He (swt) may choose not to change that situation; either way, we should be fine.

It is easy to go into depression, despair etc. I know women in such situations who kept going even though for them it was a traumatic experience. They didn’t just survive in deen, but in dunya also. The whole world can tell them they are finished, but anyone who goes through zulm, or a traumatic experience, they won’t be able to carry on unless they turn entirely to Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) will never keep a person in one state permanently. Allah swt has promised in Qur’an:

إِنَّ مَعَ ٱلۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرً۬ا
So, undoubtedly, along with the hardship there is ease. [94:5]

‘Usr is a word denoting extreme difficulty which Allah (swt) will follow up with yusr. You should always have hope in that promise of Allah (swt). For those of you who are studying online, you may have experienced exam anxiety at some point. However, ultimately, on the day of exam you are fine, because you know the exam will end in a couple of hours. Say you have an exam that starts at 9 AM and ends at 12 noon; guaranteed, it will definitely become 12 noon (if we live), and one way or another it will end. This notion of knowing the end will come lessens the difficulty. Allah (swt) wanted us to feel this in this verse too — that ‘usr will definitely end, and Allah (swt) will actually even bring ease. No matter how bad an exam goes, there is still happiness after it ends — you will celebrate its ending. Same goes for any situation Allah (swt) puts you in.

May Allah (swt) accept us, and every relationship for His sake. May He (swt) not allow things outside of our control affect our spirituality. May He make us the living embodiment of the ayah:

وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ
And exhorted each other to follow truth, and exhorted each other to observe patience. [103:3]

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Suluk Majlis, 30th Ramadan, 1436: Muraqabah Q and A

[These are the rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) in Stanger Masjid, South Africa on Jul 16, 2015]

[Audio is available here]

وَٱلَّذِينَ جَـٰهَدُواْ فِينَا لَنَہۡدِيَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَا‌ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَمَعَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
As for those who strive in Our way, We will certainly take them onto Our paths, and indeed Allah is with those who are good in deeds. [29:69]

Yesterday, we spoke to you about the mamulaat; that muraqaba and wuquf e qalbi have to be done in the context of backdrop of tilawat e Qur’an, Durud sharif and istighfar. Sixth practice is called Rabita e Shaykh. So in total there are 6 things. What does that mean?

Rabita e Shaykh

  1. One possibility of rabita e Shaykh is being in suhbah. You can be in a live suhbah, like you came for the Sunnah i’tikaf. If you are from South Africa, it is our expectation that every year you will sit in the Sunnah i’tikaf with us. We come here 2-3 times in a year,so you should come too. You can join us for Hajj, or when we are in England and Pakistan also. You can listen to the live bayans, or you can listen to the recordings. That is all suhbah.
  2. Second meaning of Rabita e Shaykh is correspondence; what and how often to write? Once every 2 weeks generally, some may write more or less than that. Some times I may write back saying you are writing too much or too less. So basically, write once every 2-4 weeks, plus as and when needed.

What to write in Correspondence

Write about muraqaba, your lesson, whether you are doing it, or not doing it, and if you are doing it then for how long. Write about your general spiritual conditions. You may write the problems which you are struggling with. This is your report of spirituality.

Other times people can write requests for duas or for salam. I rarely stop someone from writing, but every now or then I may tell someone to write less.

Many times what you will write is simply to inform me. There is no response, it keeps me on radar, keeps me up to date, a lot of time is spend reading, we read 98% of WhatsApp and 92% of the e-mails. This way I am informed, and I make dua.

Sometimes you may need feedback, for that you can WhatsApp as opposed to e-mailing. Whatsapp can be both one or two way correspondence. I will get around to WhatsApp 80-85% if you send it again you will probably get a reply.

Also, do not expect to get response when you know I’m extremely busy. Last year, I received messages that were urgent when I was in i’tikaf, so it is a good idea to see where I am. When I am in Pakistan, I am more available. People from other countries also make jam packed programs. So work out between one another. You can ask if I have free time in schedule. I usually do these things on the airplane, in the car or in Pakistan. In terms of 90-98% of resends, I will definitely get back to you.

Muraqaba Q&A

1. Am I ready for the next lesson?

You think if I keep doing my first lesson then I will be ready for the next lesson. No, if you start getting it a little, then go deep in your lesson. Like a text book. Some of you say I think I felt something in my muraqaba, I think I am ready for the next lesson. No you are not.

If you want to do enough dhikr to take out the sins, then you need to give it more time. You should not be in a rush to progress. Sometimes some people are given 2-3 lessons together also, but that is only because the Shaykh is giving them a lot of work to do because they might not be seeing them soon.

2. Can we give more time to a particular lesson to cure a particular sin?

Some of you had this question because you realized you had a problem and there was a cure for it. Every single latifah, when you do dhikr on it, it does your general tazkiyah, so when you are doing dhikr of qalb it will not only cure your lust, it is curing your whole batin; it will help in your envy, anger and pride also. Lust is its particular. Why do you have pride? You cannot say I have pride because Shaykh did not give me the lesson, you cannot blame it on the Shaykh! Every lesson does tazkiyah of the whole system.

Each latifa nourishes the other. Imagine 5 flowers on the same bed. If you water only one of them, water will go to the whole bed and all the other flowers will also get nourished. Similarly, when you do muraqaba on one lesson, it will help you with all the other areas as well. The climax (of tazkiyah from a particular sin) will be reached when you reach that lesson, all pride will be erased when you reach lesson 5. But when will sin be removed: when you do the first lesson.

3. Is there an entire cure to the sins?

First level of tazkiyah is that a person almost never sins on that feeling. They will never do anything sinful due to lust. You will not act upon it. But once or twice a year, they may slip. But it is still considered tazkiyah because they immediately do tawbah.

Second level is that the feeling is there, but sin goes away completely.

Third level of tazkiyah is that the feeling of sin also goes away. It takes a long time, decades, but it is possible. If a person does a lot of dhikr, and is following sunnah and has taqwah, then it is possible to get that, but one must always have precaution because you will never know whether you have reached this level or not.

Reality is that it is extremely rare to reach this level. As you progress, the feeling will go down, but to say that it has completely gone away, it is very difficult to say that. Even if the feeling goes away, latent feeling remains in them. We can never think any rule of Shari’ah is waved on us.

Shaykh says when Allah swt does not trust your nafs, then how can you trust your nafs? Allah swt gives these rules e.g. woman cannot show her beauty to others than this, this and this person. He says no she is just like a sister to me, her mother is like a mother to me. No, you can still not look at her, even if he is telling the truth, because the potential is always there.

4. Can we not do la ilaha illallah dhikr at all?

You have to do it 3000, 5000, 7000 times when you are on that particular lesson. That huge amount should not be done. If you say sometimes you do it, not at the rigorous level, then it can be done. You can say it every now and then. There is no problem in that. The sabaq means that thousands of times of dhikr will be done later.

5. On walking through earlier lessons

If you want to walk through your earlier lessons because you had done that earlier in the day, still spend 1-2 minutes on them before going to next lesson. Also you cannot do lataif simultaneously like a stereo sound system. Some people when they are planning to sleep they make 1 minutes muraqaba before going to sleep and the entire sleep is counted as dhikr but that is not your muraqaba of the day.

6. Can a person sit in a comfortable chair while doing muraqaba?

If someone says can I sit in a comfortable chair while doing muraqaba, like Nabi sws says that those who make dhikr while reclining. They can do so, there is no problem in how comfortable you are.

7. On skipping dhikr

If you skip dhikr, that is very harmful for you. Imagine a hifz student is doing 2 hours of practice regularly and then he does nothing for ten days. The teacher will say he is finished. He will be setted back at zero. To make sure you don’t miss it, you can erase the zero by writing a five. Sometimes just do it for this reason. Don’t let there be a zero everyday. Five is a decent amount, rather than one or two minutes. You will prevent yourself from sliding backwards.

8. What exactly do we make muraqaba of?

You only make muraqaba of Allah’s name. Allah swt mentions duas with asmaul husna, and when he mentions His name, Allah, the word used is dhikr. So our mashaikh say we should do dhikr with this name.

9. On Qaza of muraqaba

There is no qaza concept of muraqaba, but you can do it to be strict on yourself. If you fall below target, you can catch up the next day by doing some extra. You can make it required on yourself. But on the path of sulook it is not required.

10. Which lesson to give more time to if one has extra time?

If you made intention to sit for one hour at each lesson for 20-20 minutes, and you have another hour, generally it is better to give current lesson more time. But you can do as you want.

11. Does one have to make an out-loud intention before sitting?

In the intention of muraqaba, sometimes we say different things, you can think that but don’t say it out loud like close your eyes, bow your head etc. Generally better to start with intention that you are remembering Allah swt and Allah swt is doing dhikr of my qalb. Some people make intention out loud, but it is an aid to create the understanding, like they do in salah, but if understanding is there then is no need to do it.

12. Which lesson should one give more time to?

You will over time get the hang of this yourself. Generally you be getting to feel which lesson needs more time and which needs less time. There is no set formula or ratio.

13. Is it better to split the muraqaba or do it in one go?

Beginners cant do it for so long so better to break it down. If you can focus for 1 hour, then better to do it at a stretch, the deeper you will go the more tazkiyah will take place.

14. Is it necessary to close the eyes?

We close eyes to forget the world. In salah, which is a prescribed worship, so they keep their eyes open because it is sunnah, even if they concentrate more with eyes closed. But in muraqaba you are free to do what helps you concentrate more.

15. Which place is better to sit?

Don’t restrict muraqba to a particular place. In fact do it a little everywhere. We should try to bring it to all of our spaces. If we only do it in masjid, then we are training ourselves that you will only remember Allah swt in the masjid. Once Nabi sws told sahaba ra to pray sunnah rakat at home saying don’t make your homes graveyards.

16. Can a person do muraqaba in the car?

If you are free then you can even do muraqaba in car with the driver.

17. What if a person has neck pain due to sitting posture?

Neck pain is good, don’t be worried about it. It is perfectly fine. For so many efforts we have experienced physical pain. But it’s only initially, afterwards it will get better. If it gets stiff then in intervals you can try to soften it. If a person feels when I bow my head, it shifts my focus so then one should bow. If it does not matter then it depends on you.

18. Can this be shared with others?

You must openly share it with your family. Depends on a persons family as well. One thing is to tell them that let me do it. Second is that you tell them and make them do it also. But depends if they are ready for it or not.

On Tawajjuh

There is something called tawajjuh, I was going to tell this in another year but because you might have heard about it so I’m explaining it. In tasawwuf there is a concept called tawajjuh you might not fully understand this right now and that’s okay. When shaykh directs spiritual attention of his heart to the spiritual heart of murid, that is called tawajjuh. You can almost imagine it like a dua like O Allah, fill this person’s heart with Your name. Allah swt says in the Qur’an:

وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ
And from the evil of the envier when he envieth. [113:5]

It means that as soon as the feeling of envy comes in their hearts, it effects the person whom they have envy for. Similarly, when Shaykh has love, concern in their heart for their murid’s dhikr it also has an effect. One is to direct that envy, that would be stronger. If I dwell on that envy then the power of the emotion would be stronger. Just the same, shaykh takes that power of concern and directs it at a person like directing flash-light on someone.

One young Sahabi ra came to Nabi sws. In those days Nabi sws was asking if anyone has seen a dream after fajr. This Sahabi ra said that I started wishing that I also see a dream, so that when I tell my dream, he sws would turn his special focus on me. It was something there in the focus that he wanted.

All of you should work hard on your muraqaba, wuquf e qalbi and sunnah. We have enough instructions to get to work. Focus on what is known and understood. Don’t let yourself be distracted by what you do not know or do not understand. If you practice on what you know, Allah swt will guide you to what you yet have to understand.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Suluk Majlis, 28th Ramadan, 1436: Retaining the Feelings After Ramadan

[These are the rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) in Stanger Masjid, South Africa on Jul 14, 2015]

[Audio is available here]

قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن زَكَّٮٰهَا
Success is really attained by him who purifies it. [91:9]

The method of tazkiyah of our mashaik e Naqshband begins by making muraqaba of ism e zaat, ism e Aazam Allah, Allah, Allah, on the first five lataif. The establishment of the repetition; the takrar of Allah swt’s name is mentioned in a hadith of Sahih of Muslim. Nabi sws has said that the Day of Judgement will never come as long as there is somebody who is saying Allah, Allah. The ism e Aazam came here twice, muqarar.

Another question is whether one has to say it with their tongue, or with their heart. Normally you will not find people in their normal conversations saying Allah, Allah. Our mashaikh understood that the establishment of dhikr of Allah swt’s name was repetition. Because in Qur’an Allah swt has linked dhikr with the qalb:

أَلَا بِذِڪۡرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ
Listen, the hearts find peace only in the remembrance of Allah. [13:28]

وَلَا تُطِعۡ مَنۡ أَغۡفَلۡنَا قَلۡبَهُ ۥ عَن ذِكۡرِنَا
And do not obey the one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance [18:28]

So the repetition of Allah swt’s name is from the heart. Then that same method, by analogy of qiyas, is used for other points of the batin that Allah swt has mentioned in Qur’an; ruh, sirr, khafi, akhfa. The way you can understand this is through the difference of Chisti and Naqshbandi silsila.

The Chisti Silsila’s method of strong darb of spoken dhikr is trying to remove the stain. And the Naqshandi Silsila is going from within to take out the stain. Another way to understand is that the Chisti silsila is directly working on the nafs; they are trying to purify the stain.

You can imagine it like a piece of clothing. The Naqshbandi silsila tries to make the cloth white again with the dhikr of Allah swt’s name. The Chisti silsila tries to remove the stain, this way it will also become white. Either way, the person becomes clean and pure again.

Explaining the Reason for Multiplicity in Methods of Tazkiyah

Allah swt has made different ways. This is a blessing of Allah swt and it also shows His mercy. Like Allah swt made mutliple gates to Jannah. If somebody has a house and it has 7 doors, it is understood there are a lot of people coming to their house. Similarly Allah swt made several ways of tazkiyah:

وَٱلَّذِينَ جَـٰهَدُواْ فِينَا لَنَہۡدِيَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَا‌ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَمَعَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
As for those who strive in Our way, We will certainly take them onto Our paths, and indeed Allah is with those who are good in deeds. [29:69]

Allah swt Himself has said that the hidayah will never be singular or monotone. Subul is plural of Sabil; Allah swt is saying that we will guide you to paths. So we should never worry why there isn’t only one way of doing dhikr, why isn’t there just one curriculum in darul uloom, why are there more than one styles of teaching Qur’an, why are there more than one commentary and tafsir of Qur’an.

It is because Allah swt’s hidayah is like that. Allah swt’s hidaya, as mentioned in Qur’an, is manifold, multiple, subul. There will be paths to understanding Qur’an; different tafsir. There will be paths to understanding Hadith; different muhaditheen, different commentaries on hadith. There will paths to understanding Shari’ah; the four madahib. There will be paths of making dawah; different ways of doing dawah. There will be paths of doing tasawwuf and tazkiya; different silsila of tasawwuf. There will be paths to reciting Qur’an. There is multiplicity in every branch of our deen.

More Detail on Lataif e Khamsa

Understand again, when you make dhikr on the qalb of Allah swt’s name, then you are doing tazkiyah of the qalb. When you do tazkiyah of the qalb, the impure lust leaves and the pure lust comes. Allah swt says:

مَا تَشۡتَهِىٓ أَنفُسُكُمۡ
whatever your souls desire [41:31]

That is the pure desire which the people of Jannah will have. When you do tazkiyah of the ruh, then the unlawful anger, irritability, that leaves. What comes is the pure feeling of courage; shuja’a, bravery, ghairah, self-respect and dignity. When you make tazkiyah of the sirr, the greed, hirs; hirs means greed for dunya, greed for materialistic things, that unlawful hirs leaves. And what will instead appear is hirs for Sunnah, hirs for ibadah, hirs for akhirah; the person becomes deeply desirous of these.

When a person does tazkiyah of their khafi, that removes hassad, envy and bukhul; stinginess. Hassad and bukhul both are related to each other. It is because a person is stingy that they don’t like it when others get something, so they feel hassad for that person. What comes in its place is goodwill, well-wishing. Nabi sws has said ad-deenu Naseeha; deen is well-wishing. Generosity comes in its place.

This is also the answer to someone who asked that in our silsila, which lesson helps a person improve his adaab and akhlaq, so it happens in the 4th and the 5th lessons. One by getting purified of hassad and ill will. When one does the 5th lesson, it purifies one from the ujub, kibr, and takabbur. What they get in its place is humility, and akhlaq e azeema of the sunnah of Nabi sws. Sunnah character comes out in a person when they do tazkiyah of the 5th lesson.

This is a complete set; a complete curriculum. But then again, you have to do this for hours and hours, and do them for months and years. It is a process. We should not be afraid. You just have to put yourself through the process.

What to do When you Get the Next Lesson

Now I want to explain that when a person gets their next lesson, the subsequent lesson, they still do their earlier lesson. This should not be a misconception that I got the second lesson so I stop the first one. You still have to do the first lesson.

Second thing is that getting second lesson does not mean that you have completed the mission of the first one. You may think that I still feel some unlawful lust, so why am I getting the second lesson? What happens is that there is a basic core ability to do dhikr on a lesson. Once a person gets that, they maybe given the next lesson because they have to keep doing the earlier one.

You can understand it like this that one door of a treasure trove was opened up for you, and you now get the treasure. When you get a fair amount of it, you have not completely taken all of it, but you have taken some basic amount, then we open up the second door so that you can start getting from the second treasure. But you have to keep getting from the first one as well. That is why you have to continue with your previous lessons even when you get a new lesson.

The only difference is that now you should try to give your new lesson, the current lesson more time. You can imagine like you were a gardener and you were tending your garden. Your garden is your ruh; your batin, your innerself. If you were already doing dhikr on lesson one, you had been watering that seed for sometime.

That seed has some time to sprout into a seedling, a sapling and have some flowers and fruits. Then you get the new lesson, so lesson two is just a seed because you haven’t watered it yet. Which one should the gardener give more time? He has to give more time to the new seed. But he cannot neglect the first one either, otherwise it will wither. If you stop watering the first one, it will wither and fade away.

It depends on the student. Sometimes when we give them the second lesson, we would tell them to split their time equally; half, half. Or sometimes we would tell them that they have to spend more time on the second one. It depends on how well they have done the first. If they have done a very basic amount on the first, then we tell them to do it half, half. If you sit for 1 hour, then 30 minutes each. But if they have done the second lesson well, then we tell them to give the second lesson more time. So they may give 20 minutes to the first one and 40 minutes to the second.

It is important to show you that we give different advice to different people. That is why it is not always a good idea to share notes on this topic. So remember, when the Shaykh individually tells you something, he might tell the other person something different. You may do it out of a good intention like if someone got their second lesson, and I did not yet get the time to tell them how much time they should spend on the new lesson, but you tell him that you should do it equally because that’s what you were told.

Always know that personalized instructions are personalized. And the group instructions are for the group. Their notes can be shared and equally swapped with everyone. Different people will progress at different lessons, at different paces, at different speeds. They might be told different things about which one to focus more on, or which one to do less on. That is part of the personalized instructions. The individualized instructions are given to those who do their individual practice of dhikr. Continual individualized instructions are given to those who do continual individual practice of dhikr.

If you just do dhikr in i’tikaf and then leave it, we also leave our individualized instruction for you. Then it would go back to just listening to the bayan. Step one is bayan. Then the bayan encourages you to make dhikr. Step two is to make dhikr, for sometime. And step three is to correspond.

How and When to Correspond with the Shaykh

In our method of rabita; rabita means correspondence with the Shaykh, for us the way it works is that first you listen to the bayan, then live your life according to the bayan, do muraqaba and then correspondence is for the last touch. When you are writing to your Shaykh, the second thing to write is that I have been doing muraqaba for sometime. Not that I did it for 2 days.

Can you imagine a child who goes to a Hafiz and says I memorized Qur’an for 10 minutes and can you give me some tips? They will just say go and practice. But if a student says that for a month I have been practising for 2 hours, but there are two ayahs that I keep mixing up. So now the instructor will give guidance to that student regarding the problem.

The reason we do so many bayan is because unfortunately many people do not do individual practice. In khanqas where students are doing practice, they will only have one bayan and then they will do muraqaba for 6-7 hours. Having more bayan and majlis intensive initially is okay because you need the information, but you have to take it to the next level with your practice. Nothing will happen just by writing a piece of paper.

What to do when Shaykh leaves

You do what the Shaykh tells you to do. You do the homework. Our mashaikh explain it beautifully. Allah swt does not always send the rain, because too much of rain will damage the crop. After rain, the crop will need work and then the crop will harvest. The rain of Shaykh has to stop. Now that you have soaked it in, it is up to you how much output of dhikr and amaal you produce.

Sometimes a person goes in a panic mode, it can happen that afterwards the nafs strikes back. It happens to some people after Umrah and Hajj also. Nafs strikes back with vengeance. The result is that the person falls into some sin and then they panic. They start having these thoughts that I did the same sin again even after making so much tawbah, I committed the sin when I did not even want to do it again.

When the person panics, Shaytan takes a mirror to a person and magnifies this problem so then this is the only thing they notice. They start thinking that what is the point of all the muraqaba I did and all the time I spent time with Shaykh if I still fell into this sin. So do not panic.

The answer is yes nafs can strike, but then you have to strike back harder. If the nafs ever strikes back, you never kick it lying down, you get right back up and fight back. The coach is not upset if the person falls down. He is only upset when the fighter does not try.

Nafs is not defeated illa mashaAllah. When you leave, you will enter the ring again and the nafs will be waiting for you. The difference is that now you have the training to fight back, dhikr, tawbah, dua are all means of fighting back. So much so that even if you get up only to get knocked down again, even then you should get up. And even if this keeps happening to a person their entire life, that they keep falling back down but never stop trying, even that person will go to Jannah inshaAllah.

When we are not here, you will still have opportunity of suhbah, because 90% of the time I am giving bayan. Mostly where I give bayans, they are being broadcast, if there is no broadcast then go to the website and search for the topic you need, and listen to the recordings there. Many people do write to us that they benefit from those recordings.

Listening to live bayan is more beneficial because you would be in the same time zone as the Shaykh – it’tehad e zaman. You especially should listen to the bayan we gave in your area because Allah swt inspires us to give bayan according to the people of that area. Keep listening to bayans. When we come here again, then you should come for the bayan. There you will get more opportunity to get the personalized instruction through meeting.

That is enough. Because we have already trained people with similar frequency and we have seen them progress. Specific advice for you is that you have to do your practice. Imagine what will happen if a person did the practice and actually got rid of greed, envy, lust, arrogance etc? What would it be like to have a softness of the heart?

Brief Explanation of Asbaq (Lessons) after Lataif e Khamsa

The tazkiyah of these lataif have stages. One is to purity your nafs so much so that you do not commit a sin of that kind. Then next stage is to never look at a sin of that kind. Level three is to never think about a sin of that kind. That also takes a long time. That is why you should keep making the dhikr. Intention of doing tazkiyah is for life, there is no graduation. The grave is the graduation and day of Judgement is Convocation.

It takes about 1 to 2 years for the first phase; that a person gets freedom from sin. It takes decades for other diseases of the heart to be cured. This is because we are continually being around ghayr mahram in our co-ed environment, we are surrounded by all of this.

Lesson 6 is latifah e nafs. The person makes intention that my nafs is doing Allah, Allah. It is a cure for the treacherous nature of the nafs – rebellion – the ability of nafs to surge all of a sudden; to feel surge of anger, lust all of a sudden etc. It is not the norm. One is having an angry personality and one is a having surges of anger in panic or in an extreme situation. This dhikr cures that overpowering ability of the nafs.

Lesson 7 is qalib; referring to dhikr of Allah’s name from your whole physical self: blood, flesh, skin; the physical aspect. Lesson 8 and 9 are dhikr of la ilaha illallah. It is placed in a particular place in this sequence of tazkiyah. Why is this dhikr done later in Naqshbandi Silsila while other silsilas like the Chisti silsila usually do la illaha first and they do dhikr of ism e Aazam second.

One reason is the cumulative effect; you can call it the cumulative combined effect that the dhikr is supposed to have. What I am about to say, 99 percent of people will not experience this combined effect to the level I am about to describe it, because it is at a level of fanaa; the absolute cumulative combined effect.

What happens if someone does the dhikr of la ilaha first and Allah ism e Aazam second, and they do that dhikr so well, so deep, so intensely and they do it for years that they get the complete combined cumulative effect. So what happens in this case? When they did the dhikr of la ilaha first, then la is negation. They are negating. Literally it means you are negating that there is no god except Allah. But when you reach to the level of fanaa in this, you reach what is called kamil nafi; you end up negating everything, all ghairullah.

Like they say in Arabic: la maujood illallah, la marghoob illallah, la mahboob illallah, la matloob illallah, la ma’bood illallah, la ilaha illallah. Nothing exists except for Allah, nothing can be perceived except for Allah, there is nothing that I love except for Allah, there is nothing that I yearn for except for Allah, there is nothing that I seek except for Allah, there is nothing that I worship except for Allah, there is no god except for Allah – it is all there when a person reaches kamil nafi.

After nafi then there is illallah which is the affirmation of Allah swt. It is called isbaat; affirming Allah; that there is Allah, there is Allah. After that, when they do of dhikr of Allah, Allah then that is a second isbaat. So first nafi, then isbaat of illallah and after that another isbaat of Allah, Allah.

What happens when a person reaches fanaa in this, and this is where a few of you must have heard these type of things, this is where the concept of wahdatul wujud came from. What happened was that when a person would come out of such a dhikr, they come out of an experience that they had forgotten the whole world, they had forgotten themselves. They had done the kamil nafi, then the kamil isbaat and then again the kamil isbaat.

When they first came out of it, they had negated everything other than Allah swt from their consciousness. When they would come out they would feel that is Allah, this is Allah, you are Allah, I am Allah. Na’auzubillah as an aqeedah that is completely haram. But experientially, that was their feeling. They could perceive nothing except for Allah swt. They had erased everything. They had erased all creation, even themselves.

You can imagine it like a person has a very vivid and intense dream, and they dream that they are in front of the ka’aba. The instant they come out of the dream they will think this is Makkah, that is Makkah; their experience will feel like that. Their perception will be like that because of the intensity of the experience.

That’s why the mashaikh of Naqshband Mujaddadi Silsila realized that when a person has that experience, that is not the proper aqeedah, it is not a proper belief. So then they have a way of reconciling the experience with the belief. That is a very complicated area in tasawwuf. You don’t have to worry about it, because in the Naqshbandi Mujaddadi Silsila, there is no concept of wahdatul wujud at all, we don’t even try to reconcile it. We don’t accept it at all.

We understand that for others, it was not their aqeedah. It was just their perception. So we don’t critic them. But for us, we have nothing to do with it. We don’t get involved in it at all. Because of that we put the dhikr of la ilaha illallah second. Again, I am telling this only for those people who go so deep into it. I don’t think anyone here will ever be able to go so deep that they reach kamil fanaa.

What happens when we put dhikr of la ilaha illallah second? When you do dhikr of ism e Aazam, you are affirming, you are putting love for Allah swt back in your heart and removing ghaflah. It keeps going on like this. If a person does it at the level of perfect fanaa, now their whole batin is filled with dhikr, awarness and love for Allah swt. But along with that they might still have some connection with creation, they may still remember the creation, they may still remember her a little bit. Because they have not done nafi yet.

The purpose of la ilaha is mostly negation. Because they have already done isbaat of ism e Aazam, so now when this person comes out after nafi, they say this is ghair, that is ghair, you are ghair, I am ghair. And that is the truth, and that is aqeedah.

When they realize this, now they do the second affirmation of illallah so they affirm Allah swt. This affirmation after negation is so that they get closeness to Allah swt. This closeness is no longer tinged by the memory of the creation. In Arabic they call it negation between two affirmations. I know some of you did not understand most of what I said, but this much you understand that better to do la ilaha illallah later. This is a behind-the-scenes peek so trust your Shaykh in whatever lesson they are giving you.

First 5 lessons were the lataif e khamsa, that we have already covered, then 6th is latifah e nafs; curbing nafs, 7th is qalib; dhikr from physical self. Lesson 8 and 9 are two different ways of doing la ilaha illallah. One is doing silently and 9 is doing it with tongue. The preferred way of making dhikr is with stillness and composure. So the way to make dhikr of la illaha illallah is stillness, not trying to put down the Chishti silsila. if I were to teach Hanafi fiqh, it does not mean that Shafi’i Fiqh is being put down. They are just two different methods.

From lesson 10 all the way to 35, there is no dhikr of Allah, Allah, or of la ilaha illallah. It is just contemplation and reflection. You may have to contemplate on different verses like a person may contemplate on the verse:

وَهُوَ مَعَكُمۡ أَيۡنَ مَا كُنتُمۡ‌ۚ
He is with you wherever you are [57:4]

You should practice feeling it. May Allah swt accept all of you to reach till lesson 16, that is a great milestone in tazkiyah. You can’t do this alone. Can you read all the books of ilm of darul uloom alone? Knowledge gotten from the depth of teachers who are alim is not the same that is gotten from mere book readings. We should want to dive. We showed you all of this so you can dive.

I think all mashaikh should openly teach tasawwuf, if you don’t know how will you put in the effort? I view it as a duty as a Muslim that if I have learnt something, I should share it, I should share how I learnt it. Do not mistake my passion for anything else. How do people get the feelings of love for Allah swt at that level? It is only when they empty their batin of all the sins. All these things are hampering our feelings of Allah swt.

This is called tasawwuf, tareeqah, it is a path; a way and that way has been paved by the mashaikh. This should motivate you to do more muraqaba. This type of gathering is called a majlis. Some people ask what is the different bayan and majlis. I don’t need to explain it, you have already seen it. Majlalis are more specific. There are certain adaab of the path, certain things a person can do to help them go faster and deeper on the path. We will do those later inshaAllah.

Muraqaba has nothing to do with beating of your heart or breathing. So don’t set the Allah, Allah with the beating of the heart because the pulse and heartbeat and breathing everything is ghairullah. Be aware of only one thing i.e. the name of Allah swt.

A person may have a question that what am I doing exactly. You are imagining that your heart is saying Allah, Allah as if there is a speaker and you are listening to Allah, Allah from there. It is more of a listening exercise rather than a thinking exercise. The natural, essential and original condition of a heart with iman is to do dhikr. It comes naturally to us so we don’t have to do anything. We just have to listen to it.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Suluk Majlis, 27th Ramadan, 1436: Muraqaba is a Source of Tazkiyah

[These are the rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) in Stanger Masjid, South Africa on Jul 13, 2015]

[Audio is available here]

وَٱلَّذِينَ جَـٰهَدُواْ فِينَا لَنَہۡدِيَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَا‌ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَمَعَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
As for those who strive in Our way, We will certainly take them onto Our paths, and indeed Allah is with those who are good in deeds. [29:69]

There are 35 lessons in the Naqshband Silsila. The first 5 are called lataif-e-khamsa. Again remember that a part of your batin is called your latifah. The plural of latifah is called lataif. Our mashaikh looked in Qur’an and they found a few words; qalb, ruh, sirr. Then they found another word: wama akhfa. And from that they took out 2 things: khafi and akhfa. And then obviously the word nafs is also in Qur’an.

These are all different points where a person wants to make the dhikr of Allah swt. I was explaining to you the first lesson, which is formally called latifah-e-qalb. Qalb is at the left side of the chest. Understand the location of your physical heart is closer towards the centre of your chest. But the spiritual heart called qalb is closer to the outer side of the chest.

First you will understand this on the basis of trust, and then you will feel this on the basis of your experience when you make the dhikr/muraqaba yourself. Then we mentioned to you that Allah swt uses a word in Qur’an called sadr. Sadr means a person’s breast. Allah swt says in the Qur’an:

أَلَمۡ نَشۡرَحۡ لَكَ صَدۡرَكَ
Have We not caused your bosom to be wide open for you? [94:1]

فَمَن يُرِدِ ٱللَّهُ أَن يَهۡدِيَهُ ۥ يَشۡرَحۡ صَدۡرَهُ ۥ لِلۡإِسۡلَـٰمِ‌ۖ
So, whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He makes his heart wide open for Islam [6:125]

Whomsoever’s chest Allah swt expands for deen of Islam, they are on a nur from their Rabb. From that our mashaikh were guided that all of the spiritual aspects of our batin that Allah swt has mentioned in Qur’an, they will be located in our breast, in our torso, in our chest, in our sadr.

The physical heart is there, the lungs are there, the kidney is there, organs are there. This is also the centre of our life. Just like that, it is also the centre of spirituality. Sometimes you may encounter a person who comes up with a strange question. I call it a backward question.

Countering the Question of Similarity Between Hindus’ Concept of Chakras and Islamic Concept of Spirituality

The question is that you are saying these things are inside the chest; the qalb is in there, the ruh, and sirr and khafi. But the Hindus also have chakras. And the Greeks had something similar; and somebody had this and that. So I call it a backward question.

What does that mean? Yes, it is quite possible. And many ulema are actually are of the opinion that a lot of the false religions that exist in the world, historically originally they were some true religion. For example, we know that Allah swt sent prophets to warn every community.

In the Qur’an, we know of those prophets that Allah swt has mentioned. And they were mostly in, what today you call the Middle East. There is no mention in the Qur’an of the prophets and warners sent to China, or sent to India, or sent to Aztec, or sent to America. But we are sure that to every community of insan indeed a warner was sent.

It means that at some point, Allah swt would definitely have sent a prophet, or maybe multiple prophets; like the Bani Israel had thousands of prophets. Maybe even multiple prophets were sent to the people of India, and at some point, they corrupted those teachings. Maybe it was corrupted 50, 70 or 80 percent. But there maybe some elements of truths still there.

For example, Hindus believe in the concept of a ruh. They are not going to call it that necessarily. They also believe that there is more to a human being than just their physical self, and there is some spiritual self inside. To that extent they are correct. But of course what they believe about the reincarnation of the soul, that is incorrect. But the concept itself that a human has a soul that must have come to them through whatever was the revealed religion, and the original prophet or prophets (as) who were sent to that area.

It is quite possible that one of those prophets explained to them the same concept; that you have a qalb, you have a nafs; these things are all situated inside your body. That maybe what later got twisted and they called it Chakra. That is why we call it a backward question.

For example, if you say to someone that I believe in a ruh and they say you believe in that because you are from India. You would say no, this is in Qur’an. This is deen of Islam. The fact that the Hindus also believe in a soul, does not mean that it is wrong.

If Hindus have the same concept, so be it. I have seen it with my own eyes Buddhists in Thailand doing the exact same sajdah that we do; same points on the ground, same way, to the statue of Budha. Are you going to say that the sajdah is also wrong because the Buddhists do it? Do not be fooled by anyone who tries to bring this up.

There were Hindu Gurus and Yogis; they have worked and fasted also because they also understood this. This also might be something that trickled down from their true original religion; that fasting disciplines yourself. They have all types of fasts. They will tell you that our spirituality goes up when we fast, and they are correct.

Imam Rabbani rah explained this in a beautiful way. One thing is to wash a mirror with water, and one is to wash a mirror with urine. What the Hindus do, he says, they are also trying to work on spirituality. But because it is not pure, it is mixed with shirk, it is like washing the mirror with urine, it is najas and impure.

إِنَّمَا ٱلۡمُشۡرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ۬
the Mushriks are impure indeed [9:28]

Deen of Islam has tawhid, so it is like washing the mirror with water. That is why despite all of their efforts and fasting, meditations and spirituality, they still remain on shirk. Najasat is najasat.

Explaining Lataif e Khamsa

In the 5 lataif, first we want to explain to you qalb, ruh, sirr, khafi and akhfa. First I want you to remember their names in the order of the names. These words are all there in the Qur’an. Allah swt says:

فَإِنَّهُ ۥ يَعۡلَمُ ٱلسِّرَّ وَأَخۡفَى
He certainly knows the secret and what is even more hidden [20:7]

Allah swt is Ahkamul Hakimeen. Even mufasireen understood that there is no word Allah swt says wastefully. Every word conveys meaning. So when Allah swt says huwa ma ya’alamun sirr, Allah swt knows your sirr, wa and that which you keep hidden; so these are two separate things. Wao, comes for mughairah. It means that what is before is ghair, what is after is ghair; the two things are differentiated.

Allah swt knows your sirr. So we must do tazkiyah of this khafi and of sirr, just like jurists make qiyas. When they find a hukam, they find a similar case, they apply the rule to the similar case. What is inside me?

Why Sahaba Karam did not need Muraqaba and why we Need it

There’s another backwards question that Sahaba ra did not do it. We are first to say that Sahaba ra did not do it. There’s a long 4-5 hour answer to that question in a workshop called the Bidah Workshop. Short answer is that there are a lot of things that Sahaba ra did not do it.

Take the example of tajweed. At the time of Sahaba ra there were no tajweed courses. They never formally learnt this because they already knew this – it was their language. But we do learn tajweed formally because we need to learn it.

The tafsir, does it have just the ahadith and qaul of Sahaba ra? what’s in 18 volumes? It’s the explanation of the scholar. They will many times explain in a way that Sahaba ra did not explain.

In hadith science, there are different categories given to the chain of narrations of ahadith. Hassan means we cannot say with absolute gaurantee that Nabi sws said it, but we are 80% sure they said it. Hadith sciences were formally developed after Sahaba ra. They never did this hassan and other categories. If we did not have these categories then you will have only the tawatir category left, and 90% of things will be gone from hadith.

Another strong answer to this question is that this dhikr is done for an objective. It’s not a goal. It’s a means to an objective. Sahaba ra did not need a means because they had Nabi sws. They did not need tafsir, or darul uloom, they had Nabi sws. What you get from this dhikr is that your sirr, khafi, ruh etc are purified. Their ruh, sirr, khafi got purified by Nabi sws.

If a soil is dirty, there are 2 ways to purify it. One is to scrub and clean and put water on it. Another method is that the sun comes out and with its heat all traces of najasat are gone. Nabi sws is like sunlight; his noor purified Sahaba ra. Since we do not have Nabi sws so we have to do that scrubbing and cleansing.

Why do other Salasil have different ways of Doing Dhikr

Somebody may ask (advanced) why don’t other salasil do this dhikr? They have other methods. The method of Chisti brothers is mukhalafatun nafs. They beat down the nafs. They eat less, sleep less, talk less. They also do loud dhikr and it is like they are like beating the stains out. This is a method called darb lagana, they are trying to beat the impurity out. That method was also not used by Sahaba ra. Allah swt opened up different methods to reach the same goal.

First 5 adhakr is making intention of different places: qalb, ruh, sirr, khafi, akhfa. This is where the Shaykh comes in. Shaykh will tell you the second lesson. You cannot start on your own. When you make dhikr of Allah’s name that part gets purified. It means any potential sin of that part gets purified.

Latifa e Qalb: The feeling of lust, physical attraction for ghayr mahram is from the qalb. The more you do dhikr of Allah swt in qalb, the unlawful love will go away. There is a hadith of Nabi sws that for everything is a purifying polish and the purifying polish of heart is the dhikr of Allah swt. The person has to see, if the stain is light you will have to apply very little. If someone has been involved very deeply or with different people then the stain will be very deep and they will have to put in a lot of effort.

Latifa e Ruh: Some people are very flammable. They are reacting, irritable and always distressed, they are always worried. People talk like that, calm down you are stressing me out. His ruh is so stressed that the person in his company is also getting stressed. Suhbah is real. You think a stressful person can effect your ruh but not the pious people? You say, oh when I’m with her something happens to me, but you cannot say that about the pious ones?

There is a positive side of all of these feelings. We have to work to purify them, not to remove them completely. If lust was impure itself, then why are there hoor in Jannah? Nothing impure will be in Jannah, so it is not completely impure, but we have to purify it.

The positive thing in anger is ghairah – it is your dignity and self-respect. You will not be able to do jihad without it or defend your family. When you rid of the impure you will get the pure. This is also the case that because people have unlawful anger, that is why they lose faculty of desire to be a mujahid.

Latifa e Sirr: Sir is materialistic greed – love for the dunya. You can call it hirs. There is a good hirs and there is a bad hirs. Good hirs is being greedy for ‘amal us saleh, that the person wants to act more on the Sunnah. If a person does not feel that then it means they have the bad hirs.

Latifa e Khafi: Khafi is where a person has unlawful envy and jealousy and ghil; malice and spite for other people. All types of hostile feelings for others are from here; negative feelings, critical thinking, all the way to outright hatred. When this latifah is purified, then the pure feelings for others come up, like the noble feelings Nabi sws had for others.

Many times people don’t have positive feelings even for their fellow peer bhai. They would be fighting for the front row in i’tikaf. They think that it should only be me in the first row all the time, that I got here before him, who does he think he is better enough to sit in the first row? Allah swt says:

وَلَوۡ كَانَ بِہِمۡ خَصَاصَةٌ۬‌ۚ
and give preference (to them) over themselves [59:9]

To prefer others even if you are more needy, more desirous. Why not give others a chance? But when you put together the two of them then you have a clash. Then people make big deal out of little things; it is because of my town, or my rank. No, rather it is just a simple point of tazkiyah. A person who does tazkiyah of their khafi, they are cool, calm and collected with others, they can get along.

Be humble like the earth, don’t you see every piece of land is tolerant and accepting of another piece of soil? You can make a whole garden with one scoop of soil from different countries and mix it all together. They will all merge in.

We should try to get along and be accepting of differences. Chisti brothers do darb across all their lataif; they are beating the impurity to death. There is a game called whack a mole. You knock the nafs down. Another way is pulling it from under. Result is the same. You will get rid of it using either of the ways. Allah swt has blessed this ummah with 2 different ways of doing tazkiyah, and there are many more ways also.

Look at the concern people have, they want to take it out. They want these bad feelings out. It was their passion for tazkiyah. Sahaba ra also had this passion, for everything they would go to Nabi sws because they wanted it out. They were deeply desirious of tazkiyah; fasting in day and doing ibadah at night.

Latifa e Akhfa: Fifth is akhfa, it where a person has ujub, pride, arrogance etc. The greatest Sunnah of Nabi sws is his humility. If you are No. 1 at something it is difficult to be humble. Nabi sws was No. 1 in every way. He said first call me abd. Coming to fatah makkah, he was riding a camel but he lowered himself as much as possible and said Alhamdulillahi wahdah nasara abda – it’s not me who has won, rather it is Allah swt who has helped his slave. This is maqam e mahmood that he sws would humble himself in front of Allah swt like no one else has ever humbled himself before.

When akhfa is purified, then the ujub, arrogance, belittling and mistreating of others goes away, they get pure humility, sunnah humbleness. What wonderful Allah swt and beautiful mashaikh and method of tazkiyah. Even if we could get one of these qualities, we would be happy. Now you know why we ask you to do a lot of muraqaba. When you will do your lesson for hours daily then it can happen in months and you will get your next lesson. Five lataif are a plan of action. May Allah swt reward the mashaikh, they came up with the course of action, and push us on the course of action. If you only do muraqaba in it’kaf then you will only be stuck on first lesson.

On Knowing One’s Progress

People often ask that how do I know my progress? So strange that the person who is so careless about their downfall in spirituality are so careful about knowing their progress in it. First you should trace your downfall into sin and then think about progress.

The effect of muraqaba is seen outside of muraqaba. We are way below that level to feel anything in muraqaba. If you do not feel anything in muraqaba, but now you find it easy to lower your gaze, you remember Allah swt, you feel something more in salah that is the result you are looking for, that you want to stay longer in masjid. Stop looking for results, just do it.

If you find no other results whatsoever then do more muraqaba. You must do a lot if you want to change. Am I doing it wrong? Is the shaykh wrong? Is the Silsila wrong? No. The only thing wrong is that you are doing it too less and you have to do it more. it is a big thing for me to say, if you do it katheer and stay away from sin, I guarantee you will change. It is not possible that you do not change.

This is in Qur’an it is an inevitable inescapable truth. It is not dhikr, it is katheer that you have to work on. That is your choice. That is why people go to khanqah. People if only had to make 4-5 minutes of muraqaba, they would not need to go to these places. But people realized I’m so soiled I have to spend hours upon hours doing it.

So many people I have met who go for 40 days in jama’a and in hundreds of cases they come back and they do not change. They say when I am on tabligh I do not do sins. It is because you are in a masjid, you are covering it up, you are not purifying it. Jihad is not a substitute for ilm, ilm is not a substitute for tabligh, tabligh is not a substitute for tazkiyah, tazkiyah is not a substitute for jihad/ilm/tabligh etc.

That is why all of effort of deen should be under Awliyah and ulema. The day it falls under regular people, like in jihad also people have their own passions and ideas they are talking to you without the guidance of ulema and wilayah of the awliyah, you can even outright end up being astray.

If a person says I spent 4 months in tabligh and tell me I am not changing, then you need to do your tazkiyah first. You have to tell them openly that I will come back to tabligh but I have to fix myself first, when I fix my lust then my dawah will be more. We want to train and give you better version of them back. It is a great misconception to have a rivalry between tabligh and tasawwuf. In a hospital does the department of cardiology have a rivalry with other departments? A person should go to the department of their disease. If a person has lust, desire, anger, etc they need to get their tazkiyah done.

Every work should be open and public and shared. Then you will see something else. Don’t you see what happened when people who were pure went to tabligh? The tabligh leader is one of the greatest waliUllah of Allah swt in this century. He did phenomenal work for tabligh because he got his wilayah from tasawwuf and ilm from the ulema. More people after completing their tazkiyah should go to tabligh.

And most dangerous thing for tabligh is the same thing that happened to people of darul uloom; they got their degrees along with their pride, and then you have ulema who have pamphlets and fatwas against one another. That is the worst thing that can happen to the work of ilm. The best thing is that people who have tazkiyah they enter the work of deen. I will get into trouble for saying all this today there will be people who will be misrepresenting and misquoting my words, but this needs to be said.

Imagine if all 3 efforts are done by the people who are pure, then what will happen! You should think that I love taking Allah’s name this is the best use of my time. This is naqshbandi mujaddadi silsila. You need a Shaykh to be guided along the path, not just to come for bayan. Try and make effort, you will see the results yourself.

We have seen people put effort and get results, we also saw people who got lazy and only did it for 4-5 mintues, they did not see the results. Shaykh can only guide and encourage, you have to make the effort. Tazkiyah will not come at the expense of any effort of deen, it is impossible. May Allah swt accept us for any path for tazkiyah and may Allah swt take out all of these feelings of pride, lust, greed etc out from us.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Muraqaba & Muhasiba

[These are rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Omar Mukhtar on Ramadan 25 in Post Asr Majlis, South Africa i’tikaf, 2015]

25 attributes of a true mu’min

وَٱلَّذِين جَـٰهَدُواْ فِينَا لَنَہۡدِيَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَا‌ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَمَعَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ

As for those who strive in Our way, We will certainly take them onto Our paths, and indeed Allah is with those who are good in deeds. [29:69]

In last year’s i’tikaf we have covered the 25 things that are important to become a true mu’min.

  1. To correct your niyyat (intention)
  2. Have qilat e kalam (to speak less)
  3. Always remain in a state of wudhu
  4. Learn the masnoon du’as of Nabi sws
  5. Have a life of it’teba e sunnah
  6. Have Shukr in one’s life
  7. Have Sabr
  8. Sleep right after ‘Isha
  9. Be consistent in tahajjud
  10. To do ihtamam of all the nawafil
  11. Have khushu and khuzu (concentration) in one’s salah

We have already covered in great detail from point 1 till 11. In this series we will be doing point 12 onwards.

12. To do Muraqaba

Muraqaba is an amazing thing. Whoever wants to develop love for Allah swt in their hearts, muraqaba is one of the easiest ways to get that. For example, if someone told you that I have cooked a biryani for you, especially in Ramadan, you would be very excited to have it after aftar.

If someone tells a little child that I will give you an ice-cream if you do this for me, the child would do anything to get that ice-cream. Because the word ‘ice-cream’ triggers a feeling of enjoyment in that child. And biryani triggers enjoyment for you. Similarly, the word muraqaba can also trigger enjoyment in you.

This is what happened to the Awliya Allah. For them muraqaba is like food. It gives them enjoyment. The WaliUllah would take out hours from their time for this; they wanted to do muraqaba all the time. They would always make themselves free and do it. For us, it is like medicine. We have to force ourselves to do it.

Developing the Habit of Muraqaba

There is no way a lover wants to spend only a few minutes with their beloved. We are amazed that some mashaikh used to do muraqaba all night long. They would do it in their free time. It was their hobby. We should also try to develop this craze for muraqaba. How? Just do it.

In the beginning, it is tough but then you will see yourself being attracted towards it. Any time that you get free, you would want to do it. Our mashaikh say that a person should do as much muraqaba as they can. The more sugar you put in the tea, the sweeter it gets.

Some people smoke so much; the chain smokers – they smoke one cigarette after another. Our mashaikh were chain muraqaba doers. In the West there is a saying that to leave an addiction you need a higher addiction. This is the highest addiction possible.

Take out a time that is convenient for you. After i’tikaf, you can make a schedule. For example, you may keep a time for muraqaba after fajr, or after zuhr or asr etc. Then fix that schedule and do not change it.

We give it less priority and always move it for some other task. This way you will not be able to switch it so easily. We should do it every day and view it as our meeting with Allah swt. Otherwise Shaytan will keep you so engaged in the world that you will not get any time to do it.

Do muraqaba when you are fresh and you are free from worries. Awliyah Allah used to prefer tahajjud time for muraqaba, and between asr and maghrib. Those who are free at this time should do muraqaba at that time, otherwise you can always choose another time which is easier for you.

A Wise Anecdote by Imam Abu Hanifa

Hadrat Imam Abu Hanifa rah was once in a place where salah was going to be offered. Some people said we will have food and then pray, and some said we will pray and then have food. Imam Abu Hanifa rah had food and then prayed his salah.

Someone asked him that howcome you preferred food over salah? He said, no I made food my salah. Meaning I ate first so that I can have full concentration during my prayer, while others wanted to pray quickly so they could enjoy their food.

You should concentrate on the word Allah Allah Allah, ignore all the other thoughts coming to your mind. Imagine you are in a room and their is a lot of noise coming, you will not scream back at the noise, right? In fact, you will focus more at what you are doing so sooner or later you will become unaware of the noise.

Beginner’s Struggles

The easiest way is to just sit and do it. Many of your questions will be answered automatically because your heart will become cleaner. Our mashaikh say that initially when we sit it is like cleaning the room. When you start cleaning, the dirt starts flowing. When you do it for a few minutes or hours, the dust will go down. One day you will yourself say that I cannot wait to sit for muraqaba.

Another way to understand is through the example of driving. On the first day, you do not enjoy driving at all because you are so worried. One person was driving with his instructor who was telling him something, and he was so worried that he said stop talking I’m concentrating right now! But when you keep driving you get the hang of it and you start enjoying it. Just like that once you get the hang of muraqaba, you will be able to do it for hours.

13. To do Muhasiba

Do your muhasiba. Look at your own self everyday and see what you did the whole day and what you did not do the whole day. You should think of all the sins and do tawbah. And do shukr for all the good deeds you were blessed with because it is not in our own hands. Best time to do muhasiba is when you are going to sleep. Imagine as though this is the last day of my life.

Some awliyah used to speak so little they would write down whatever they spoke in the entire day on a piece of paper and then see if they had spoken anything bad. They were so detailed that they would write down everything. This is one way to increase spirituality.

Just doing mamulat is not enough. Check whether you had concentration during your mamulat or not, in your salah, at the masjid, how did you feel while fasting? Do muhasiba everyday.

For example, we see in MNCs that there is a huge yearly audit. All the departments are trying to put all the bills together and some are working all night long. Just imagine this is self-audit and Allah swt can call us any night. If you do istighfar every night, it is like you are sleeping with a clean heart. This is what we should do every night.

Hadrat Umar ra told one of the Sahaba ra that you should come and remind me everyday of death in case I forget. And when he got one single white hair, he told that Sahaba ra that you do not need to remind me anymore as I will remember now because of this white hair.

In contrast, look at us, we are so ghafil (negligent)! So many people tell us last Ramadan we had done so much good deeds, this year we cannot, last year we could lower our gaze or stop a certain sin, but now I cannot stop myself in this Ramadan.

This is because we are not doing our muhasiba, if we were doing muhasiba we would be aware and we would have caught ourselves the minute we had slipped. We are so ghafil so we slip. Revive this habit of doing muhasiba. Do it now in these nights to get in the habit.

You may assess yourself by asking did I spend every second of i’tikaf the way I should have? Every second here is priceless, we should not let even one second go to waste. In the washroom, while doing wudhu, before sleeping stay in dhikr, then you will get the reward for doing dhikr 24 hours a day.

Then Allah swt will grant you deed e kasur (ability to see ones own faults). If you are not careful, Shaytan will put you in a trap that you are doing so well. Do not worry about these sins etc. Make dua that Allah swt grants us deed e kasur and that if at anytime we have inclination towards any sin, we should catch ourselves right then.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Suluk Majlis, 25th Ramadan, 1436: Getting Closer to Allah swt

[These are the rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) in Stanger Masjid, South Africa on Jul 11, 2015]

[Audio is available here]

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱذۡكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ذِكۡرً۬ا كَثِيرً۬ا
O you who believe, remember Allah abundantly. [33:41]

We were telling you of three things that our Mashaikh say that brings a person closer to Allah swt.


First was it’teba-e-Sunnah; to follow the sunnah of Nabi e Kareem sws, every and any sunnah. Every sunnah brings with it an ocean of belovedness. One drop of sunnah makes a person beloved to Allah swt in the amount of a bottomless, endless ocean.

Imagine if a person does not just adopt one Sunnah, rather adopts all of the Sunnahs, then all of the Sunnahs will attract all of the belovedness of Allah swt. The more a person wants to be beloved to Allah swt, the more they would follow the Sunnah of Nabi e Kareem sws.

Allah swt is the perfect Being, and He made the perfect deen, He sent us the perfect Qur’an, and He gave us the perfect Nabi sws. We chose to be the imperfect followers of that perfect Nabi sws. We chose to be the imperfect worshippers of that perfect Allah swt.

2. Kathrat-e-Dhikr

Second thing is Kathrat-e-Dhikr; to make a lot of dhikr of Allah swt such that you never forget Him.

وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ ٱلۡغَـٰفِلِينَ
…and do not be among the heedless. [7:205]

Do not ever let yourself be from among those people who forget Allah swt. So strange that actually this is what we are. We are living lives of ghafileen (negligence). If you ask a person, he says I do not remember Allah swt at home, I do not remember Allah swt at my office, I do not remember Allah swt in the market. I do not remember Allah swt in the mall.

So what is going to be the consequence? You are not going to remember Allah swt in Salah. It is guaranteed. I have never met anyone who says I never remember Allah swt outside of salah but I only remember Allah swt inside salah.

The only way you can remember Allah swt inside salah, is when you remember Allah swt outside of salah. But we do not think like this. We just give up. We pray, we do not feel anything, we say okay fine so be it. So be it, I will pray heartless prayers for the rest of my life. What a strange decision to make.

Nobody says it like that, but I am expressing our actions into words. Like they say in English that actions speak louder than words. This is an action of ours that we content ourselves with the heartless prayers. This is why we need our mashaikh to guide us.

Our mashaikh explain that no, do not keep praying like that; do not think it is out of your reach.

ٱذۡكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ذِكۡرً۬ا كَثِيرً۬ا

…remember Allah abundantly. [33:41]

You can remember Allah swt. But what you will have to do is that you will have to remember Him outside of salah in order to remember Him inside of salah. There is another extreme; that person who always remembers Allah swt outside salah. I have never met anyone like that either; that they say that I always remember Allah swt outside of salah, but I am not able to remember Him inside of salah. It is not possible.

If someone always remembers Allah swt outside salah, they will definitely remember Allah swt inside salah. Now it is clear that the realm for us to make effort is not just in the salah, it is also outside salah. For that we need training;

How to remember Allah swt? When to remember Allah swt? Which dhikr do I make?

If you look at it, there are a lot of ways to do dhikr. You can find huge books on adhkar. Imam Nawawi (rah) has a book called Kitaab-ul-adhkar. It has so many different duas, sentences, kalimat, recitations, recitals. Then there are books and booklets of so many duas and so many adhkar and so many litanies we call them Aurad-o-wazaif.

Making a Comparative Assessment of Different Types of Adhkar

You should want to think about this like you think about your dunya; you make a little comparative assessment. People today for anything, even buying a watch, would say show me two or three more. They would not just go and buy a watch. They would say tell me about the different features, I want to compare and then I will select. Anything you buy practically today, you will have this intention.

So then why do you not want to select the dhikr that is the most beneficial for you? That dhikr that will be the most efficient and most effective. For that you will have to see where does the problem lie. If the problem lies in your tongue, then the most effective dhikr would be the dhikr of your tongue. And if the problem lies in the heart, then the most effective dhikr would be the dhikr of the heart.

Let’s take the example of salah. What is the problem in your salah? Do you have difficulty in reciting surah Fatiha? Are you unable to say Sub’haana Rabbi al-Azeem? Are you unable to say Sub’haana Rabbi al-Aalaa? That is not the problem. The tongue is making dhikr. Tongue can say at-tahiyaatul lillah, tongue can say salawat; tongue is doing all the dhikr perfectly in salah. That means the tongue is not the problem.

Dhikr of the Heart is beneficial if the Problem Lies in the Heart

This means that heart is the problem. That means that the most effective, most potent, most necessary and beneficial dhikr, in this situation that a person says I do not feel anything in prayer, is the dhikr of the heart. Because the problem lies in the heart.

Let’s suppose you go to a doctor and you say I have knee pain and he injects you in the shoulder. And then he gives you daleel that the whole blood system will eventually make the medicine get to your knee. You would say inject me in my knee directly. Similarly Mashaikh-e-Naqshband inject into the heart directly. This muraqaba and dhikr-e-qalbi injects Allah swt’s name in your heart. Keep injecting Allah swt’s name into your heart and then see what happens.

Keep sitting there (in muraqaba). Something will happen. It is not possible that nothing happens. Allah swt has declared in the Qur’an:

تَبَارَكَ اسْمُ رَبِّكَ
Glorious is the name of your Lord. [55:78]

Full of barakah is the name of your Rabb. It is a fact. It is guaranteed that if you learn how to take this name with your heart, your heart will get barakah, blessings, faiz and noor. Your heart will be connected to Allah swt.

How Can Just the Name of Allah Have Such a Great Effect: A Shaykh’s Response to the Intellectual Mind

One of our teachers in Jamia Ashrafia wrote a whole book just on the barakah of the name of Allah swt. Once when Ibn e Sina heard about the effect of the name of Allah swt, it was too much for his intellectual mind to take. He raised a question in majlis: I don’t understand that how can just a name of Allah swt have such a big effect? The Shaykh listened to the question.

Later he called Ibn e Sina Khar – O Donkey! Now Ibn e Sina’s face was red with embarrassment and insult. Anyway the Shaykh continued with the majlis. After a while he turned to ibn e Sin and said did something happen? Ibn e Sina said yes you called me donkey! The Shaykh then said if just the name of a donkey can have so much effect on you then why can’t the name of Allah swt have an effect!

Not Being Able to Taste the Sweetness of Salah is a Problem

How is it that you pour sugar in milk and it does not get sweeter? Sugar starts coming at adhan, then wudhu then the takbeer Allahu Akbar, and you still do not taste the sweetness. If someone  had this physical problem he would go for a check up that I have lost my taste for sugar. You have to go to shaykh that Shaykh! I have lost the taste of sweetness of Salah.

Is Dhikr the be-all for Everything?

People wonder if dhikr really is the be all for everything like Mashaikh say. It is but not if you are just doing dhikr for some minutes. If a company claims a money-back guarantee on their detergent, and you are clever so you take a speck on the cloth and stain will not go away. What will happen if you try to return their product? They will say no you did not take enough detergent to remove the stain.

Similarly, our Mashaikh say years of anger, lust, envy, pride cannot go away through minutes of dhikr. Same with any medicine. If a doctor says take 500 g daily and you go and take a 100 g pill only. Then you go back to doctor and say that it did not help. He will say you did not take the right quantity.

If you want to do a small amount of dhikr, you can learn that from small booklets. But if you want to fulfil the Qur’anic command of dhikr-e-katheer, you will need a Shaykh. I have never met a person who has learnt dhikr-e-katheer all by himself. Some of the dhikr, they can do it. Yes, there are some tasbeehat but that’s for little dhikr, it is temporary so you can get the dhikr-e-katheer later. But people got lazy and never aimed for the dhikr-e-katheer.

Is it Necessary to Have a Shaykh to Learn Kathrat-e-Dhikr?

If someone asks that in order to learn dhikr why do you need a shaykh. Where is that in Qur’an? Allah swt says:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱذۡكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ذِكۡرً۬ا كَثِيرً۬ا
O you who believe, remember Allah abundantly. [33:41]


There are two types of people in Qur’an; those who remember Allah swt a lot and those who make a lot of dhikr and those who are told to make a lot of dhikr. If Allah swt is telling there are people making a lot of dhikr and telling you to make a lot of dhikr then what does common sense tell you? That you should learn dhikr from those people. We take Tafseer from Mufasireen, Fiqh from Fuqaha, Hadith from Muhaditheen we take Dhirk from Dhakireen. This is Ahl-al Sunnah Wal Jama’a. You need to have all four. Tasawwuf is that branch that teaches you how to take dhikr from dhakireen.

Explaining Tareeqat

Our pious predecessors had dhikr-e-katheer of tareeqat. They got the dhikr but they knew the Sunnah of Nabi sws was to help and guide others. So they paved a path of marble and diamond and gold. That’s called tareekat. They said I will hold your hand and take you along this path to Allah swt. Because if there are a few people Mashaikh literally do hold the hand of men and take bayah (pledge) from them.
Allah swt says:

ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ
Take us on the straight path [1:6]

O Allah guide us on the straight path. 

Which path?

صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ
The path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace [1:7]

It is the path of people with whom You Allah swt are pleased. So these people are already there on the path whom Allah swt has blessed and they have also been mentioned: Prophets, Siddiqeen, Martyrs, Virtuous believers.

Dhikr is learnt and taught like Fiqh, Qur’an, Tajweed, Shair’ah. You think the most critical thing i.e. how to control lust, how to lower gaze, how to escape from sins, how to get rid of envy, you think this is the only thing that will not be taught? This is the greatest thing to teach and learn.

Difining Role of a Shaykh

Alhamdulillah, right from the time of Nabi sws uptil today it is being taught. Sahaba (ra) taught Tabieen, Tabieen taught Taba-Tabieen and it continues chain by chain right up till today. It’s so strange people get scared from it. If I say I’m alim, mufti I want to teach you Fiqh or that I’m a Qari and I want to teach you Tajweed you say okay.

But if I say I’m a Shaykh, you will say what is shaykh. You know something? You can go to Jannah if you don’t know Tafseer, but you can’t go to Jannah if you don’t have a pure heart.

If you have Qaris and no Shaykh, you will have Hafidh who are murderers, who go on raids. You send your youth to a Qari but not to a Shaykh. You can clearly see those who went through Shaykh and who bypassed Shaykh. People of Durban would know.

We try to explain to them and guide them. It’s not enough to come to a bayan. Bayan gives you direction. You need to be led to that direction. If I tell you that you have to love Allah swt, and you go back now then you will not be led anywhere. You need to follow up and follow through.

Bayan is the beginning. Some of you leave it at the bayan. You come to bayan and you keep beginning at the beginning. If you say your heart was effected, I want love for Allah swt, then how can you not quench this thirst? You will drink by learning dhikr.

Ultimate Benefit of Tasawwuf

Benefit of tasawwuf is that you learn dhikr. One is reading a book, reading Hadith on google and it is quite another thing to learn Hadith from a Muhadith. One is randomly making dhikr on an odd night thinking I will make dhikr now, then I will do in the next Ramadan. It’s not going to work.

I accept that something is better than nothing. If I love you, I want you to have everything. Why should I be content with that you just listen to a bayan? You should not be content with it. It’s doable. Mashaikh hold your hand and guide you all the way. You slip, they help you get up, you are ignorant they give you knowledge, you forget they remind.

So many ulema get trained by Mashaikh. They have the knowledge but they need a guide to guide them along the path. If ulema need the guide, then regular people like you need guide all the more.

In olden days when you had to drive you would have to take out the road atlas, but now mashaAllah you have Shaykh. It might be tomtom or whatever you call it here. You make a wrong turn it will tell you to turn right.

You can drive on your own and you can drive with shaykh. Qur’an and sunnah are map, shaykh is the guide to guide you along the path to get close to Allah swt. It’s a light and simple thing. You get scared and make it a big thing. If in worldly learning someone is weak in studies you take tutions. It’s the same I’m a bit weak in taqwah, in tawbah, sunnah, haya. You get a tution.

Busting the Myth of “I’m too Busy”

If there is a doctor and he is told that you have to work an extra hour, he will say I’ll do it. Shaykh says you have to do an extra hour, he will say I can’t do it. If there is a business man who runs a business. Shaykh says you have to do extra dhikr, he will say no I’m too busy. Business partner will say why not get that extra shop? He will say I’m not busy for that.

Moral of story is that people are not too busy.

Auditor vs. Registered Student

We have observed that the people who have a Shaykh are more likely to do dhikr. Like in university there are auditors, they disappear after a few weeks, they don’t do their readings, they don’t submit papers. Then their are registered students. They come regularly, listen to lectures. In every single  case the auditor learnt less than the regulars.

That’s why we want you to be with a shyakh. You can be an auditor and come to bayans but it will not help you as much. The regular students will try to do dhikr and he will have hope because he knows that he has a shaykh and they will think what if I have a break through? I will tell my Shaykh, he will give me the second step. I will have someone to tell.

You won’t be able to keep moving if you don’t get a Shaykh. This is not a secret society, no cult, no shaykh worship, just by registering no miracle will happen to you. I wish it were as simple like that. Once an old woman came to me and she said please just blow on my grandson so that he becomes pious. I said O old woman! If the blow would work like that I would leave bayan and just walk around blowing over. I wish I had a magic wand but it doesn’t work that way.

Alhamdulillah I’m still amazed at that where Allah swt picked me from and where did He put me. It is great karam of Allah swt. It is a great wisdom of our Shaykh. This is the noor and power of nisbat. It means these great people have a great connection with Allah swt. Sometimes even wondrous things happens.

I spent 12 years sitting in it’ikaf with my shaykh and one night in Australia he turns to me and says this year you are doing it’ikaf in South Africa. I said shaykh I have been doing it in Zambia for the past 12 years. I tried 3 times getting out of this. I was trying anything. Third time I got little reprimanded and scolded for questioning the decision. He said the same way Nabi sws sent Mu’az ibn Jabal (ra) the same way I’m sending you.

For a few days I kept crying to Allah swt. But my only hope is your ikhlas. It’s your attractive force that can take anything out of the shaykh. The tap gets wet if there are good glasses. There are switches but no electricity. But once something is plugged in then electricity comes.

Explaining Bayah

Bayt means to make a commitment to Allah swt. Allah swt said to Nabi sws

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ ٱللَّهَ يَدُ ٱللَّهِ فَوۡقَ أَيۡدِيہِمۡ‌ۚ فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفۡسِهِ
Those who pledge allegiance with you (by placing their hands in your hand)__ they, in fact, pledge allegiance with Allah. Allah’s hand is over their hands. [48:10]

Even for Nabi sws those making bayah to you are actually making bayah to Allah swt. We intend that I have no hope in myself but I’m putting my hopes in You and I’m taking hold of a shaykh by coming to bayan, listening to their teachings, practising it and through this I hope that my heart will become full of love for you. This is bayah.

[Those taking bayah should do the following]

1. Listen to live bayan.

And listen to recordings especially of it’ikaf majalis even of last year’s done in South Africa. My job and duty is to give bayan and majlis. Your job is to listen with your heart and try to practice those teachings. We have other topics on the website as well. There is Qur’an tafseer too, it is spiritual. Next few days come or listen to broadcast and follow these few day of Ramadan.

2. Practising the dhikr.

Everyday try to recite Qur’an. Try 1 juz, or 1/2 juz, if you are new then start with whatever you can daily. As long as you do it daily it will always increase. Reach average of 1/2 juz.

Then do istighfar 100 times. Like we wash our face, every day clean your heart.

Recite Durud Shareef. Everyday we must revive our connection and show love to Nabi sws. People say I haven’t remembered Nabi sws in weeks. We have to recite durud to express our love for him. 100 times with feelings.

Two dhikrs of the heart: Wuquf e qalbi. Qalb is the spirtual heart, wuquf means you want heart to be stuck on Allah swt. Allah swt says

رِجَالٌ۬ لَّا تُلۡهِيہِمۡ تِجَـٰرَةٌ۬ وَلَا بَيۡعٌ عَن ذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ
By the men whom no trade or sale makes neglectful of the remembrance of Allah. [24:37]

You can get detailed explanation from the website of last year’s majalis. Always try to have feelings for Allah swt. Remind yourself of Allah swt, that He is watching me, He is with me, He gave me everything etc.

Fifth is that muraqaba. What are you doing in muraqba: More detail on website and in coming days. Do it when you are free. Then sit in any comfortable position. Breathing normal. Heartbeat irrelevant. You want to be remembering Allah swt from your spiritual heart of your ruh. You will just make intention: Ya Allah I want to remember you and so much and intensely that I want to forget everything else in the world.

Focus on Allah’s name.

وَٱذۡكُرِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلۡ إِلَيۡهِ تَبۡتِيلاً۬
And remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion.  [73:8]

It’s like your heart is silently reading Allah swt’s name, just make the intention and keep sitting with this intention. It will take a few weeks of doing it everyday for 10-15-20 minutes. If you do it daily within a few weeks you will get some feeling. You will start remembering Allah swt and you will begin disconnecting from the world.

The best part is that

فَٱذۡكُرُونِىٓ أَذۡكُرۡكُمۡ
So Remember Me, and I will remember you. [2:152]

You make dhikr of me I Allah swt will make dhikr of you. Allah swt will send hidaya and noor on your heart. You will not feel it, and you might get thoughts, you maybe sleepy, Allah swt will still be remembering you because of your intention and noor will still be coming.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Suluk Majlis, 24th Ramadan, 1436: Abdundance of Dhikr

[These are the rough notes of a talk delivered by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (db) in Stanger Masjid, South Africa on Jul 10, 2015]

[Audio is available here]

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱذۡكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ذِكۡرً۬ا كَثِيرً۬ا
O you who believe, remember Allah abundantly. [33:41]

Previously we had told you our mashaikh-e-Naqshband explained that there are three major things: It’teba-e-Sunnah, Kathrat-e-Dhikr and Suhbat-e-Shaykh, on the path of sulook. Today we are going to talk about Kathrat-e-Dhikr.


Kathrat-e-Dhikr means to remember Allah swt a lot; to remember Allah swt abundantly; to remember Allah swt excessively; to remember Allah swt so much that no ghaflah remains. That is how much you have to remember.

In the first few sessions, we told you to make dhikr for ten or twenty minutes. Then we started telling you to make dhikr for one hour, then two hours. Now we are going to tell you more. It is not about hours.

Three Ways of Kathrat-e-Dhikr

There are three ways in which we can think of kathrat-e-dhikr. First is the beginner. The beginner is told to do it twenty minutes in a day. That is not kathrat, but it is what they are told to do initially.

Generally the bare minimum of kathrat is considered fifty to sixty minutes. That is considered that you did something properly. Understand this from an example: you will not find it worth mentioning it to me if you study for fifteen or twenty minutes a day.

Understanding “Kathrat” in Kathrat-e-Dhikr

Kathrat what does it mean? It is in your own understanding that what you consider significant. Another way to describe it is to make the dhikr of Allah swt significantly. Ten to fifteen minutes is not even worth a mention. That is insignificant. But normally if you do something for an hour, and you do it for one hour everyday, then you feel that okay this is something. Now you can actually say I am doing that. it’s worth something.

If someone says that I study for one hour a day,  then I will say yes you are a student. If you say I memorize Qur’an one hour everyday and I am going to do it for years, I will say okay you are a student. In one hour, generally in terms of our own human sensibility and understanding, we feel that yes that is significant. That is something. If you do not get the feeling about dhikr that what you are doing is something, then it means it is nothing.

When you come and say I make five to seven minutes of muraqaba, then our feeling is that it is nothing. What is there even to mention? That is unremarkable. It is not worthy of mention.

Now we have told you our secret: we trap you by saying do it for ten or twenty minutes a day. Once we have caught you, we say do it for an hour a day.

Third Level of Dhikr: Reaching Your Goal

Then there is a third level. Third level is not about one or two hours. Third level means make as much dhikr as you need to in order to fill your heart with the love for Allah swt, and that all the ghaflah goes away.

For example, in aftar, did you set a time limit for yourself that I will eat for ten minutes? No, you will say I will eat until the hunger goes away. So the third level of dhikr is to make dhikr until the ghaflah goes away. That depends on you now.

If you are already a dhakir person, you are connected to Allah swt, it might mean a few minutes. It might mean a few hours. Or it might mean that even a few hours cannot do it. Make as much dhikr as required to make the ghaflah go away, just like you eat as much as you require to make the hunger go away; you drink as much as required to make the thirst go away.

Another way to understand the third level is what is the purpose of dhikr? You want that your heart should be connected to Allah swt. You want that your heart should remember Allah swt in salah. So you should just keep making more dhikr. Keep on making more dhikr until you reach your goal.

Let’s imagine that a person has a heart that if he remembers Allah swt for seven-hundred hours then his heart will open up. Now it is up to you; if you do it for an hour a day, it will take you seven-hundred days to reach that opening.

If you do it for half an hour a day, it will take you fourteen-hundred days to reach that opening. That is pretty much the reality. For most of us it is like that there is a certain amount dhikr that we need to do so that it opens up. You do not know what it is though. So keep doing it until  it opens up.

Example of a Gold Digger

Normally we give another example like this; if you tell a person that there is gold in this place, and you tell him with yaqeen and absolute certainty that we have done some type of scanning deep underground, and that we can tell you with certainty that there is gold, but we cannot tell you how deep it is.

Is that going to be a problem for him? He does not care, he says you are certain that there is gold  here? I say yes. You do not know how deep it is? I say no. He says, no problem. I do not care how deep it is. If it is there, I am digging. So he starts digging.

The first day when he digs, he does not find gold. So second day he will come back again and dig. He will keep digging for days and weeks and months; it does not matter. He will keep on digging until he strikes gold.

Just like that you have imaan, so the noor is there. But you need to start digging. You should keep digging. It is a matter of yaqeen – you will reach it. Do not think that I sat in muraqaba and I could not feel anything. You will reach it.

But you just have to dig more. Dig longer. Dig harder. Maybe some of you might not reach in ten days of it’ikaf. It depends on how high you are; the altitude of your ghaflah also effects the depth of your dhikr.

Climbing Down from the Mountains of Ghaflah Before Digging the Gold of Dhikr

If you have reached the heights of ghaflah, then first you will have to climb down from the heights of ghaflah; that itself may take ten days. And then the digging may start. Do not think this does not have an effect on you; everything has an effect on you. Because you did all year long surfing, chatting, misdirecting gaze; and not only year long, but for several years. That has had an effect on you.

All of this has put you back. You are not even starting at the beginning. You have climbed the heights of ghaflah, like we climb the mountains of sins, so first we have to come down from all of that even before the digging can begin.

When you sit in muraqaba, something is happening. But it is not the gold right now. It is not the gold-digging, rather it is descending from your ghaflah. So do not think that nothing happened. You say that I sat for twenty minutes and say I felt nothing.

Something did happen, it is impossible that nothing happens. I am telling you this sitting in masjid in wudhu that it is impossible that nothing happens. You might feel nothing. Your feeling nothing is different and nothing happening is something different.

A Beautiful Example of Travelling Without Being Aware of it

Once our Hadrat Jee gave a beautiful example. He said that when a person is travelling in an airplane, there are some people who have the window seat, so they see things. Other people have middle seat in the middle section, they see nothing. But the fact that they do not see anything does that mean that there is no travelling taking place? They are also travelling but they do not see anything.

Progressing despite not feeling anything in Dhikr: Possible?

When you are sitting in muraqaba, you are travelling on the path of getting closer to Allah swt even if you feel nothing. The proof for this is in Qur’an:

فَٱذۡكُرُونِىٓ أَذۡكُرۡكُمۡ
So Remember Me, and I will remember you. [2:152]

Allah swt says in the Qur’an that you make dhikr of Me, and I Allah will make dhikr of you. So the travelling was not actually based on your dhikr of Allah swt to begin with. The travelling is based on Allah swt’s dhikr of you.

You sit in muraqaba and feel nothing, Allah swt still makes dhikr of you. You sit in muraqaba and fall asleep, Allah swt still makes dhikr of you. You sit in muraqaba and have worldly thought, Allah swt still makes dhikr of you. You sit in muraqaba and make niyyah of dhikr, you end up having sinful thoughts, even then Allah swt makes dhikr of you.

The only one condition to be successful in muraqaba is that you begin with the niyyah of dhikr. If you begin with the niyyah of dhikr, after that what happens does not make a difference. It makes a difference in the quality, but it means that you can never be deprived entirely as long as your initial niyyah was of dhikr. And that it is. That is why you will see that when our mashaikh conduct muraqaba, they warm you up a little bit. They say some sentences to make sure that you get the niyyah of dhikr. Then they stay quiet. We did our job; we told you bow your head, go deep in your heart, make the intention that you are remembering Allah swt, that is it. You made the niyyah of dhikr.

Actions are based on Intentions

Nabi sws has said that actions are based upon intentions and everybody will have that which they make intention for. That you all are able to do.

You may come back and say that I sat in muraqaba and felt nothing. But if I ask did you make niyyah of dhikr in the beginning? You would say yes of course I made niyyah. Look at this part of it. You are good to go. If you made niyyah of dhikr, you are doing well. Any and every time you sit in the niyyah of dhikr, something happens. You may not be aware of it. Are you doing dhikr for your awareness of that happening? No, if you are doing it, it happens.

Are you travelling so that you are aware of moving? In plane travel sometimes you do not even feel like you are moving. You feel like you are sitting still. Our kids ask that Baba when is the plane going to move. I would tell them it has already taken off. We are flying; we are moving. But they do not know; they do not feel it. It is the same in your muraqaba.

Importance of Making an Intention Before Dhikr

Now it is easier; you just have to sit with the niyyah of dhikr for one hour. Sit for an hour having made the niyyah of dhikr at the start of the dhikr. That is the beginning, but overtime you will become more focused, more aware, less sleepy, you will have less thoughts. But that is a process. It takes even more than ten days to do that. Let me make the visitors happy, three days nafl it’ikaf – may Allah swt accept my word – is enough to make the process start, inshaAllah.

It depends on your ikhlas. Niyyah does not take time. The success of niyyah is based on ikhlas. The success of intention is based on how sincere that intention was. Even if someone comes in one majlis, for one night, but they came for the right reason, they came with a sincere intention, they have khulus-e-niyyah, even that one majlis would be enough.

Importance of Having Sincerity in Intention

Actually it is the barakah of your ikhlas, not the barakah of your Shaykh. Why else would we come in a masjid other than the intention to remember Allah swt; other than the intention of wanting to connect to Allah swt? It is the niyyah that you have to make. You sit with that intention and you keep sitting.

I was giving the example of digging for gold. You keep digging. Let’s say that I tell you it will take you one year. The gold digger will say no problem, I will give one year of my life if I get gold. This dhikr of Allah swt is infinitely more priceless than gold. Because the particular dhikr that you are trying to get in muraqaba, you are making dhikr of Allah swt’s name, that is called fana.

وَٱذۡكُرِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلۡ إِلَيۡهِ تَبۡتِيلاً۬
And remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion. [73:8]

Tabattul tabteel means that you focus on Allah swt so much that everything else goes out of focus. You remember Allah swt so much that you forget everything else. That is gold. That is not an ordinary dhikr. Muraqaba is that path that is leading to the pure gold dhikr; which is called fana, istighraq, mahw – that you erase yourself when and you are aware of only Allah swt. Yes, that path is a little bit long. It will take sometime.

Simply speaking, just keep sitting. That is what the gold digger does; he keeps digging and keeps on digging more and more. That is all you have to do.

Another example is that when you are in a state of it’ikaf, or if you go for Umrah, you do not need to analyze. You must stop analyzing now. You must stop thinking that why this, and why that. You simply scrub.

Scrubbing without Analyzing: Example of a Launderer

When the dirty clothing goes to the launderer, he does not analyze why did this stain come, where is the stain from, how long has the stain been here. Rather when he sees a stain, he starts scrubbing. He does not think anything else. He is not interested in the history of the sin, he is not interested in the anatomy of the sin, he is just scrubbing.

If the stain does not go out, he adds soap. He does not pause or ask questions. He adds soap and water and scrubs more. If the stain is still there, he adds more soap, and scrubs more. This is what you are doing. You are washing your heart. You just have to add more soap. The soap is the dhikr of Allah swt. No need to sit here and think that why can I not focus, what sin did I do. When you are here, do not think, do not analyze. Just scrub.

How to Motivate Yourself when you do not Feel Anything in Dhikr

It is this desire of yours that you must keep presenting to Allah swt. Why do you sit in dhikr everyday? People say that I cannot sit everyday because after three or four days of feeling nothing, I find it hard to motivate myself to sit. That is true that is how you feel.

Understand how you can motivate yourself. You want to sit and express this niyyah to Allah swt everyday. You want to present this wish to Allah swt everyday. You want to pick up the shovel and show that you want the gold.

Importance of Being Regular in Muraqaba

You should think how can I skip even a day to show Allah swt that I want this. This is what will make you keep going. Everyday when you sit with this niyyah and talab, and you keep having this desire and intention so many times; so many times you try to dial your heart, one day it will pick up. It will not be able to resist taking your call if you call it everyday.

This is called istaqamah; perseverance. Perseverance is not in your ability to focus, rather persevere in your desire, in your thirst and wish to remember Allah swt, and persevere in presenting that wish by sitting in muraqaba. This is why you must sit everyday.  And the longer you sit, the better.

Learning Muraqaba Takes Time

We have also explained this to you that you are learning muraqaba. And when you are learning something, you have to give it more time. We are not claiming to make you into dhakireen in an instant. We are making you learners of dhikr.

That can be done in three, four or ten days. We want you to get so hooked on it, that it stays with you when you leave. Then you will have to keep on doing it when you leave and then it will open up for you. If nothing else, then it is time better spent than surfing, chatting, extra sleeping.

You will get reward of dhikr, but you will also get qurb; you will draw near to Allah swt. That is why while making dhikr you have to make niyyah that Ya Allah I am making dhikr because I want to be closer to you. I want my heart to fill up with love for you. Allah swt pours that love in the heart of that person.

A Beautiful Saying of Mualana Rum rah

Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi rah expressed this in a beautiful way; he said that water is thirsty for the one who thirsts for it. You will succeed when the water becomes thirsty for you. What you have to do is that everyday you have to express your thirst for it. Everyday when you are sitting in muraqaba, you are expressing your thirst for Allah swt. That is not so difficult to do.

You must inculcate and ingrain this habit in yourself while you are here. We want that when we walk into the masjid, we see people always doing muraqaba. What happens is when we go for a walk, we always see some who are chatting, or some who are this or some who are that. Make more dhikr-e-qalbi.

Boot Camp of Dhikr

When we come to it’ikaf we realize how weak we are. Have you ever seen an athlete in intensive training say that they can not train? Have you ever seen someone who goes for the spring training to a camp who says I am not able to do it? Have ever you seen a soldier in boot camp who says I cannot do it?

It’ikaf is like boot camp. It is intensive training. We do push you, but we do it out of love for you. I know you can do it.

Proof that all of you can do Dhikr-e-Katheer from Qur’an

لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَا‌ۚ

Allah does not obligate anyone beyond his capacity. [2:286]

And Allah swt told us:

 ٱذۡكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ذِكۡرً۬ا كَثِيرً۬ا
Remember Allah abundantly. [33:41]

If Allah swt told us to remember Him excessively, that very same Allah swt has already placed in us the ability to remember Him excessively. Allah swt never commanded us to do something that we are not capable of doing. Do not think that there maybe some people who can make dhikr-e- katheer, but that is not me.

Tasawwuf is for Everyone

Every single one of “Alazeena aamano” is capable of doing dhikr-e-katheer. Tasawwuf is not for some unique and special people who have a temperament of dhikr. The only question is that are you “alazeena aamano” or not? It is not a question of whether I am a dhikr type of person, or am I an ilm type of person, or am I a tabligh type of person, or am I a khidmah-al-imdad type of person.

Deen came to finish this that what kind of a person you are. Deen came to make you the type of person who is a mu’min. When Allah swt says “Ya ayyuhal lazeena aamano” Allah swt says, do this, feel this. That is who we are supposed to become.

Why are you worried about who you are? Look ahead at what you are supposed to become. Look at what Allah swt wants you to become. So when Allah swt says “Ya ayyuhal lazeena aamano”. You know when you would want to hear this? You would want to hear this on the Day of Judgment.

You would want your Allah swt to call you and say: Ya ayyuhalazeena aamano – O you who had imaan! In this world when you heard my Qur’an, and you heard me say “ya ayyuhal lazeena aamano”, you responded; you did it. So now on Day of Judgment, Allah swt will call you “ya ayyuhal lazeena amano”; O you who had imaan! You said labbaik to this call in the dunya, now I ask you to come inside Jannah.

How we should feel about Allah swt Addressing us in Qur’an

Our whole life is for the sake of this call “ya ayyuhal lazeena aamano”. We should be so happy that Ya Rabb e Kareem! You even addressed us; You honored and graced us by choosing to address us. We were nothing. We are mortal creature. We are impure and deficient.

We should think:

Ya Allah you want me to remember You? This is the vision you have for me? This is what you think I should be doing; that I remember You? Ya Allah I got deluded!

The world was telling me I should remember it. The actors were telling me that I should remember them. The celebrities were telling me that I should remember them. The news was telling me that I should remember it. The cars were telling me that I should remember them. Everything was calling me to remember them.

But ya Allah now that I know that you called me to remember You, I do not hearken or heed anybody else’s call anymore. I have no interest in those other things. Now all I want is to remember You. 

A Sweet Invitation from Allah swt

Allah swt is saying remember Me a lot; remember Me when you are alone; remember Me in gathering; remember Me when you are sad; remember Me when you are happy; remember Me in masjid; remember Me in home; remember Me all the time. That is what I want you to do. It is a sweet invitation from Allah swt. Such a kind and merciful Allah swt.

Why do You Allah swt want us to remember You? I want you to remember Me, because actually I want to remember you.

فَٱذۡكُرُونِىٓ أَذۡكُرۡكُمۡ
So Remember Me, and I will remember you. [2:152]

Allah swt tells us that if you remember Me I will remember you, and I want you to remember Me a lot.

Secret Comes Out

The secret comes out that Allah swt wanted to remember us a lot. Allah swt wants to remember us all the time. What a kind and wonderful Allah. How can we not remember that Allah who wants to remember us?

Dhikr is a way of life. It is not something that you do for five or ten minutes. That is why the people who make dhikr are called dhakireen; Allah swt makes it clear in Qur’an that there will be people who take this call and make it their way of life.

وَٱلذَّٲڪِرِينَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرً۬ا وَٱلذَّٲڪِرَٲتِ
…and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember (Him)… [33:35]

There are people who did it; they remembered Allah swt excessively. Their whole life became dhikr. Their prayer became dhikr, their home became dhikr, their family became dhikr, their work became dhikr. That is how deep this deen is. We do not realize, we are so caught up in the world, we have navigated the depths of dunya but we do not even know the surface of deen.

We are plunging deep into our careers and professions; knowledge; ideas; wishes. You have to go deep in deen. The way to go deep in deen is by making dhikr of Allah swt.

The Reason we need Mashaikh

All of those verses were there in Qur’an. But this is why we need mashaikh. Just like these verses are in Qur’an but we need fuqaha and mufti to take those verses and extract for us the laws of Shari’ah, and to guide us through fatwa. Similarly, we need our mashaikh and awliya ullah, to take these verses of Qur’an and extract the teachings of hidayah, tazkiyah.

We could have never figured this out on our own. We would have just kept reciting that verse in tarawih or in our own individual recitation. Some people recite the verses in Qur’an that begin with “ya ayyuhal lazeena aamano” but it does not even occur to them that my Allah swt is talking to me; my Allah swt is inviting me; that my Allah swt is asking something of me.

We need guidance and help. We need to be shown, the mashaikh just point the way. They guide and explain and they have made it so clear for us. When we sit with our mashaikh and learn from them, this path of dhikr becomes clear. So much so that we think that ya Rabb, where was I all this time? What have I been doing all these years? Howcome I never learnt this before?

You have to make dhikr of Allah swt as much as you can. make this muraqaba as much as you can. Once it opens up, then there will be a new phase. What happens when you touch gold? Then you get something called yaqeen; you get mushahada; you get that experience.

Absolute Certainty in Faith lies with People of Tasawwuf – Imam al Ghazali rah

This is what Imam al Ghazali rah wrote in his Munqidh you get yaqeen that Allah swt exists because you would have experienced the dhikr of Allah swt. You would know He is real, you would know He is Haqq. It is a great yaqeen. Once you touch that gold then there is no skepticism, agnosticism, doubt, atheism that can ever touch you.

You can be locked up with an atheist for a thousand years, and you can listen to him for a thousand years, it will still not effect you. Because you would have experienced it. You get yaqeen.

That is why Imam al Ghazali rah said that yaqeen lies with the ahl-e-tasawwuf. The greatest yaqeen lies with the anbiya. Obviously none of us can get that. So he said that I went searching to see who next has this yaqeen. And he said that I found the Auliyah Ullah they next had this yaqeen. He has written in his works the name of his own shaykh Hadrat Khwaja Abu Ali Farmadi rah. He taught Imam al Ghazali rah this yaqeen.

When you strike this gold, you get yaqeen. Then you do not have to force yourself to sit anymore. Then you will want to sit. A new phase will start.

A Unique Reason to Pray Salatul Hajah

Our own Shaykh had this practice when he was a young man, that he before making muraqaba he would pray two raka’at Salatul Hajat and then make dua that Ya Rabb e Kareem my need is that no one should disturb me in dhikr. And then he would sit for hours.

We thought Salatul Hajat was only for worldly needs. People pray Salatul Hajat when they have a financial difficulty, or a court case. Our mashaikh understood that the greatest need we have is of deen. Our greatest need is that we need Allah swt.

That is also something that you can do in it’ikaf; pray salatul Hajah in the middle of the night and tell Allah swt You are my need. You are my be all end all. If you start talking to Allah swt like that you will see things happen. Allah swt answers the call of the caller. Allah swt answers the yearning of the one who yearns for Him.

Example of a Saqi: Presenting our Hearts to Allah swt

Like Maulana Rum rah said that water is thirsty for the one who thirsts for it. All you have to learn is this thirst. You do not even need to learn how to drink. You just need to learn the thirst, Allah swt Himself will give you to drink.

In Arabic-Persian they have a word for this called “Saqi”. Saqi is the one who gives to drink. In Arabic/Persian poetry they talk about Saqi. Saqi means Allah swt. And the bowl or the cup is your heart. You have to present the cup to the One who gives to drink. That is muraqaba. You are just sitting and presenting your cup.

May Allah swt reward our mashaikh-e-Naqshband that they opened up this path of dhikr-e-qalib. It is so clear from Qur’an. It is a Qur’anic dhikr. May Allah swt accept us for this path. May He make us true to our mashaikh. May Allah swt accept me to teach you properly the teachings of our mashaikh. May you get everything pure and prestige from their teachings. May Allah swt help and guide you on this path.

وَآَخِرُ دَعْوَانَا أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ