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Alchemy of Happiness

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Event Name: Alchemy of Happiness
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 3/29/2019 8:41:01 PM
Transcript Version: 1


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of judgment. The people who have authority over other people, people that were responsible for the well being of other people and how they betrayed them. They betrayed their trust. If you have an army, what is an army for? An army is for defence, that is what an army is for. An army is to defend people from threats of aggression. If you use that army to aggress, they are not aggressors. The army are not aggressors, they just follow orders but if you use that army to aggress and kill people doing that, then you are responsible for every single one of those lives that you wasted on the day of judgment. People have no idea of the immensity of it. If they did they would not do it. If they did they would not run for office. It is only a fool that runs for office which is why the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said we do not give this affair to anyone that seeks it. Why? Because the very fact they are seeking it means they do not understand what it is. If they knew what it was they would flee from it so we are not giving to give you that authority. Why? Because you want it which means that is the indication that you do not know what it is, it is an immense responsibility. It is a burden and that is why he said a man who leaves this world and has never been an amir over anyone is successful. People want authority. Everybody wants authority because they do not know what it is. Even a man in a house the responsibility ‘everyone is a shepherd and every shepherd is responsible for his flock’. You are going to be asked about every single one of the people you were responsible for. So thinking has to take counsel with the wazir, the aql and he has to put the governer and the police under the authority of the minister so there is hierarchy so the police are not out of control. If he does that then the conditions of the kingdom are stabilised, you have a stable kingdom and the city flourishes and like that the heart must take counsel with the intellect. If you follow your heart without the intellect because if you follow your heart without the intellect. You have to listen to the minister. The king cannot do it on his own because the minister is the one who is in touch with reality. Where does he get his reality from? The minister. Where does the heart get the reality from? The intellect because the intellect is in touch with reality so the intellect, he needs to take counsel with the intellect. Counsel, not be controlled by the intellect, not be dominated by the intellect, not be dominated by the intellect but he needs to take counsel from the intellect. And he has to place the desire and the anger under its authority so these troops have to be under the authority of the intellect. Your ghadab and your desire, the intellect is the minister. The desire, that is the governer and then the anger is the police. So he is using this as a metaphor so you can understand. You can see it is in the big one you can see it in the little one. So the psychological condition is stabilised. People do not lose it so the physiological condition is stabilised. And so you arrive at the means of felicity from knowledge of the divine presence. That is the whole point. But if you place the intellect under the authority of the desire and anger, the soul is destroyed and the heart is wretched in the next life. That is what happens.

 

Know that the desire and the ghadab the irascible and the concupiscent souls are fetching servants of the nafs. They are fetching servants. They are the ones that got what you need. They protect you in the matters of food, drink, copulation, for the labour of the senses because you need those things in order to be well. And then the soul is the servant of the senses which is the net of intellect. So the senses are the hunting net of the intellect. It is how the intellect knows. It uses the senses as a net that it throws out to catch reality so that it can understand these things so you have sight, sound you have this as a hunting net.

 

And also the spies that are able to see the creation of Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala, Majestic is His Power and then these five senses are the servant of the intellect. And they are for the heart consciousness a lamp and a candle, the light by which they are able to see the divine presence. They are able to experience it. Because the delight of the senses and this is their portion of the stomach and the genitals. That is what the senses delight in. That is their jannah. The jannah of the senses is food and sex. That is the pinnacle of their delight in this world. These are insignificant in relation to this other delight which is the delight of divine awareness of divine consciousness. And the intellect is the servant of consciousness and the heart was created to see and contemplate the beauty of the divine presence so all of these things are servants for this heart. It is not the other way around but what happens in the world is that people make all of these things commanders and the heart becomes subservient.

 

So the one who is exerting his energies in this craft that for which he was created, this is a true servant.  From the youth of this presence, I only created jinn and ins to worship Me so if you are doing this you are indeed a true servant you are fulfilling what you were created to do. What this means is we created the heart, we gave it a mulk a dominion, we gave it a dominion and troops to protect the dominion and we made the soul its vehicle in order for it to traverse, travel upon this beast of the nafs from this dusty world to the highest of the heights and that is what we have been given.

 

So if he wanted to fulfil the right of this blessing then he sits like the sultan in the midst of his dominion and he makes this divine presence his Qibla, his direction and his goal and he makes the next life his true nation, birth place, his final abode and his nafs is his riding beast and the world is his waystation. It is only a temporary alighting place and his two hands and two feet are his servants and his intellect is his minister and his desire is his labourer. It is doing the labour and his wrath is his police force and his senses are his spies that he keeps in touch with his dominion and everyone of them is entrusted with a world or a domain, amongst these domains in order for him to understand the conditions of the domain so each one of these is there so he can know what is the condition or the state, what is going on.

 

And the ability the faculty of imagination is in the forefront of his intellect like a chief. It is able to gather the information of the jawasis. So what he is saying is your neocortex is in the front, the incredible ability that is unique in the human being, animals do not share this quality the ability for us to perceive, this ability of perception he is saying that this is like a chief and it takes in the news of the jawasis, the spies bring the news and tell them. The spies are the senses, it comes into the intellect, it tells them what is going on and then he says and then the memory is in the middle of the brain. This is like the map master. It is the one who knows the terrain and gathers all of the......he is listening, he is there next to the chief and he is gathering all the information and keeping it. He brings the map, this is happening over there, groups are massing over here so he brings that and he is maintaining all of this and when the intellect needs it, he is there to bring the information, that is the purpose of the memory. So if they bring the news to the minister, the aql, he is able to know the condition of his dominion in other words he can assess reality, in reality, so what he is saying is basically that this is an incredibly orderly system that we have been given and if it is used properly you will be in touch with reality and you will be fulfilling your purpose but just like out there things go very wrong.

 

They are going to be greeting you with flowers when you come in, when the army comes in, they are going to throw their flowers at you, the jawasis were not doing their job. Intelligence was not doing its job. They have weapons of mass destruction. Intelligence was not doing its job. They have weapons of mass destruction. Intelligence was not doing its job so now reality is distorted and what happens? Disaster. That is what happens disaster because they are out of touch with reality and then you have the shahwa is down there ‘we can make some money here because my salary is not enough so you know what I know the minister, I can get a contract with you’. The police force needs new guns. It does not need new guns but I am going to say that it needs new guns because I will get my 10% when we buy the new guns from such and such corporation that is making the guns. This is what happens.

 

That happens inside the self. You are looking outside and thinking look at all these problems in the world. It is all messed up, no you are messed up. Seriously you are a reflection. All of that is reflecting to us, our inner states. This same confusion that reigns outside is reigning inside and that is the reality outside is just expressing the reality inside of the human condition. This is the state that human beings are in because they are not following this incredible order that was given to them in fact more than that they are even denying it. They just deny it, flat out that there is an order here so if you want to understand why there is chaos outside, you just need to understand the chaos inside. When your irascible nature is controlling your rational nature, when you cannot control your anger and you can understand why things are chaotic out there. Why everybody is angry out there. If you see anybody one of these is rebelling against you, you have to struggle  to suppress the rebellion. If the troops are rebelling, if they are out of control, you need to suppress the rebellion, do not kill them, you do not want to kill them, you do not want to kill them because the kingdom is not sound, it is not stable except with them, you need them, you need the concupiscent, you need the desire, you need anger. If you do not have those, the anger is your police force,  you cannot defend yourself if you do not get angry you cannot defend yourself. If you do not have desire in you, there are no farmers to plough the fields to bring the food to the market place. If you do that you will be felicitous and you will fulfil the obligation of this blessing, and the robe of honour will come to you in time. This robe of honour. If not then you are damned and there is nothing but punishment and chastisement that you warrant.

 

This section is called three things that joy or felicity or happiness is based on and by sa’adat he means the joy of the next life so he says complete joy or the completion of joy is based on three things: the faculty of the irascible, the concupiscent. Those are the terms that we use in the West. If you go into ethics they are a little quaint now. We do not really use that term any more: irascible or concupiscent. So there is concupiscent, the irascible which is from ira, the latin word for anger. We still use the word irate, if somebody is irate, they get very angry and then concupiscent soul or the concupiscable which is the lustful soul or the soul of the appetites of the stomach and genitals and then the rational component or the faculty of knowledge.

 

So he says it is necessary for these matters the ghadab and the shahwa to be balanced and moderate in order that the concupiscent soul not increase and cause someone to deviate and fall into rukhas meaning lenient matters where they are just not working on themselves at all so it destroys them or the irascible nature increases and that causes him to incline towards unruliness, ungovernable. Somebody who is defiant and recalcitrant. They are not following the rules or orders so this problem he is saying the self gets imbalanced in these two ways.

 

So if these two strings are balanced by the guidance of the rational soul then they will follow the path of guidance. Anger if it increases then it becomes very easy to strike or to kill. That is the extreme of the sin of anger because anger is actually, the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said do not get angry and if he said do not get angry it is a prohibition on getting angry which means do not allow your anger the ulema say it does not mean do not get angry but do not allow your anger to cause you to do things that take you outside of yourself and result in harm to others so he is saying if ghadab increases if the irate nature, the irascible nature increases in the self then it will lead to somebody losing control and you see that a lot in people that do not have control over that aspect of themselves. They will lose it. They will become very emotional. They become in situations where they are not in control of themselves. They can lash out at people, they can lash out verbally, they can lash out physically at people and also I mean this is a particular problem now around the globe.

 

 I will give you an example they have a programme, I do not know, if they still have it on Arab television which is called like candid camera and they will do things like they will hide a camera and they will have a scenario. They will have a situation where somebody will do something very bothersome and it is a spinoff of an old programme in America in the sixties, I do not know if they still have it. They used to have a programme where they would do things and hide a camera and people would.....like they have a fake policeman and he will just give a person a hard time for no reason. There is no real reason why he should be doing that and people would respond to this. Now in the West on that programme, people used to get bothered by it people would get upset and after a little while and they would tell them you are on candid camera and they will all laugh. In the Arab version almost every single time right before they went to blows some big giant guy would come out and hold the man physically back and it was nothing funny about it at all. It was actually really troubling to see the behaviour because people do not have that patience.

 

Now there are reasons for that, there is a lot more stress people are under a lot more pressure. There is a lot of oppression. We tend to forget the average person in the average day in the Muslim world is the victim of forms of oppression if they just go to get for instance their drivers license. There is a whole experience involved in getting your drivers license. If you go California where I live you might be a little miffed if you have to wait half an hour in some of the Muslim countries you have to bribe people just to get something that the government is supposed to give you just because you are a citizen but it does not work like that so people go through these experiences and they lead to certain states of mind.

 

I have a friend here some of you might know him, he has an advertising company and in that advertising company he had a campaign for tea ‘straighten out your state, just relax’ so the campaign was all about if you drink the tea you are going to calm down so he had a scenario where this guy comes in and he is asking to get some rukhsa some official paper that he needed and the guy tells him come back later you know like two hours or something so he gets really angry but he remembers drink tea so he goes he drinks tea and then he comes back and he says I told you to come back in two hours, he goes he drinks tea and then he comes back and he says I told you to come back in two hours. Two hours, two weeks, it does not matter. But that is social commentary on a commercial because that is the state that people are in. It is not tea that is going to help you. That is why advertisers are false advertisers. They might help a little bit (laughs). But that is what he is saying if you allow this soul to get out of hand the irascible soul you will end in this state where you could even kill somebody and that happens to people. They strike their wives or the wife strikes the husband in less common situations but it happens. So people fall into domestic violence because they cannot control themselves so the wife says something and one of the things I have pointed this out many times. One of the things for people who have not heard this, one of the things that husbands and wives get into is they fall into these what they call in pop psychology dysfunctional relationships. What will happen people in marriages they learn buttons to push if the wife gets angry at the husband she says something you are just like your father so that just sets him off or he says to her you are just like your mother or whatever. They have these buttons, they push the button and the person completely lost it. They lose control of their character.

 

I had my seven year old. I heard some screaming upstairs. One of them was screaming, the other one was looking sheepish. I said what is going on here? He said I pushed his buttons. So I was pleased he understood what he was doing because children learn that also. There are buttons to push but these are automatic behaviours that people get into. What this is really about. This science is about learning instead of being automatic like an automaton you have buttons that just react and you are not behaving as a conscious human being, what he is challenging you to do is fully realise your humanity, your consciousness so you are no longer behaving in a reactionary mode because that is what the irascible and the concupiscent soul are reactionary souls. They are souls that are just reacting to events. You see something you desire, you cannot control yourself. You go on automatic pilot. You get into a certain situation and you cannot control yourself. You react and become angry. People do it all the time. A good example of the irascible soul, there are people that just argue that is all they do. Every conversation they get into, they have to argue. Every single situation, they cannot control themselves because they are on this automatic pilot. He is saying is if these are not balanced in the self then this is the situation that you have. If the irascible soul is deficient, there is no jealousy, there is no zeal to protect what needs to be protected, honour. On the other hand it can be deficient so somebody that for instance if you see the situation in Lebanon. That should get your head boiling. It should not be something that you just watch and go and have your dinner, which is what a lot of people do. It just does not mean a whole lot to them because that aspect of their soul is diminished. Also you can have it is diminished in the right things but it is excessive in the wrong things go that is also another type of imbalance that occurs.

 

So he says in both religion and worldly matters, when it is balanced you will see patience, courage and prudence so by patience here he means temperance and by courage, hikmah so you have these three virtues and these are called the cardinal virtues in both the Greek and the Islamic tradition. The Greeks felt that the moral virtues were four, sabr or iffah which is the ability to control oneself, courage, hikmah which is prudence or wisdom, practical wisdom and the three of these when they were balanced. They led to adl  or justice so you were a just human being and this is also related to classical medicine which is Tibb al Unani if you go to Pakistan, the humdar brothers, people know the humdar brothers. That is all based on this Tibb al Unani which is Greek medicine. Tibb al Unani is based on the idea of that you have four humours in the body and each one of these four humours should be in a balance but if it loves balance then it overcomes the other three humours and you get certain behavioural characteristics so they actually see it is illness and so the idea in having this balance is related to these virtues so for instance the phlegmatic personality is somebody who is depressed, the sanguine personality is somebody – there is excess there and you have these four qualities, blood, bile black bile, and phlegm and depending on the balance of these humours was the state of the person and there is a belief that food affects these and Imam al Bajun says one the proofs that the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam acted in accordance with this understanding is when he ate dates, he used to eat with salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam cucumber. He would say this cools off this because dates in this medicine are hot and dry and cucumbers are cold and wet so they balance. If you look at an egg, an egg is a balanced food in this science. The white is cold and wet and the yolk is hot and dry. It does not mean it is dry, like dry meaning lacking in moisture in its substance but it has to do with the qualities that they talk about.

 

So each of the foods are classified under this and there are extraordinary books written in the Islamic tradition where all the foods have been classified for instance coffee is very hot and dry. Hot and dry things are good for memory. Desert people are hot and dry and they have better memories than city people. People that are cold and wet tend to be slower in their mentation than people who are hot and dry but all of them lead to imbalances. The best thing is to be balanced between these so that also relates to these qualities so if you look at iffah or temperance, sabr. Sabr relates to the ability to control the shahwa so temperance relates to the concupiscent soul in that you can control the self. The shajah relates to the irascible soul. The irascible, courage is a mean between foolhardiness, being impetus, getting angry too quickly, running into the fray without really thinking about what you are doing and between cowardice which is not having enough control. It is a balance and hikmah is related to the ilm or the rational soul, wisdom and prudence. So that is what he is saying when they are balanced you get these three virtues. And like that the concupiscent soul if it increases then you get profligacy and debauchery. You get people that transgress the boundaries and if it is deficient then you will see this dissipation where there is no energy and you will see laziness, slothfulness and slothfulness is a deadly sin also because desire, you need desire to act. People without desire ...the energy of desire is a very useful energy that needs to be challenged within the right venues.

 

If it is balanced then you will see the iffah. When the concupiscent soul is balanced, you see temperance of contentment. People eat, they have enough food, they do not need to go to extremes. They have their relations, they have relations within moderation so that is basically he is saying when you have this balance in the soul then people are healthy and you have these virtues.

 

The next section is the section on the states of the heart with its troops. So he says know the heart with its troops has states and qualities or attributes. Some of it is called virtue and others it is call it vice. Some of it is called good character and others. It is called bad character. So with good character, with beautiful character he reaches the degree of felicity and with bad character or vile character he is destroyed and falls into damnation. And so each of these are four different types of species of akhlaq. So each one is a genus:

 

·         The character of demons

·         The character of ruminants

·         The character of predators

·         The character of angels

 

So deeds, foul deeds when they are related to eating, drinking, sleeping and copulation. These are the qualities of the ruminants. They are the beasts. This is the character of the beasts. So people that overeat. It is a bestial quality. People that drink too much, people that sleep too much, people that copulate too much, these are all the bestial qualities and what he is saying is that they have the character of the bahaim. So they are closer to the behima than they are to a human being and again that is one of the things that you see people are becoming more bestial, obsessions with all of these things. If you look at the time that people put into food is amazing. Ibn Ata’ullah says and this is 9th century quite late people will be at the greengrocer and they will spend long periods of time looking at the fruit, feeling the fruit, to pick the fruit. He said that they will take a piece and squeeze and make sure it is just ripe and put each one in. He said when they go to pray they pray like the chicken pecking so he said the things for the stomach they give all of this time. For their prayer, they give no time and he said the prayer is eternal. It is going to Allah. The food that you are picking out is going to the toilet. That is where it is heading.

 

So he said what a state that human beings are in. So this is what he is saying if these are your obsessions then you are like the ruminants. You are like beasts and also deeds that are related to anger, striking, killing, argumentation. These are the characteristics of predators, aggressiveness. That is what the predators have so your character is closer to the lions and the lepers. It is not human. And also the qualities of the ego, nafs. Things like subterfuge, faithlessness, disloyalty, deception. Strategies, plotting and planning. Those are all qualities of the demons so when that is your focus you become a demonic character and if you do not think that people plot. People plot, people plot in the most petty of matters. People will plot your downfall at the office, a place where you work. There are people that are literally plotting to make sure you do not get the promotion. This is the state of people. This is going on all the time.  All around us. These are the states. There are ruminants out there, predators and demons. Some people are an admixture of all three.

 

And then he says and also the actions are the deeds of the intellect and intellect unfortunately he is using intellect as a very specific meaning now we use intellect to refer more to cognitive processes, mathematics and things like that. The aql, the real aql is a light and it restrains the soul from it caprice. That is the real role of the aql. It is there to do that. The deeds of the intellect are mercy. Why? Because have mercy on those on the earth and the One in the heaven will have mercy on you. That is revelation. Revelation illuminates the intellect so once you know that rahma is a reason for which rahma is bestowed upon you, you become a more merciful person so that is the intellect when it is functioning properly. It is directing our soul to those things that are beneficial to the soul in the next life because that is the purpose of the intellect is to benefit you not here but in the next life as well as here but importantly is the next life because it is eternal. So your temporal existence is going to determine the nature of your eternal existence so if you are a person of intellect then the intellect is going to be guiding you in that way.

 

Knowledge, increasing one’s knowledge, striving to be a person of knowledge. Jahiliya is ignorance. The Shaykh talked in the class on seerah about the age of ignorance like the man who said I am from Huzayah. I am from the tribe of Huzayah. If they go astray I go astray. If they are guided, I am guided. That is the age of ignorance. I just follow my tribe. My tribe right or wrong. My country, right or wrong. We are number one. That is all ignorance. Somebody who is knowledgeable transcends those types of imitations of ignorance because that is what ignorance is. It limits people and also charitable actions. Actions that are beneficial and good and these are the characteristics or virtues of the angels. So now you are moving into the angelic realm. The people that are preoccupied with these are on the angelic realm and then he says know that within the shell of the son of Adam are four things:

 

·         The dog

·         The pig

·         The shaytan

·         The angel

 

So in each person are these four qualities. Quality of the dog, quality of the pig, quality of the demon and quality of the angel.

 

The dog is blameworthy in its qualities but it is not blameworthy in its form. Its form is not blameworthy, the way it looks. Nothing wrong with the way it looks but it is blameworthy in its behaviour so if you train a dog, a dog can actually become a praiseworthy creature but if he is not trained he is blameworthy. He is jumping all over, he is spilling things. He is aggressive. If he sees something he does not know, he starts growling. He does not why he is growling. It could be a friend not a foe but he does not distinguish between friend and foe. He is just in that aggressive mode so the dog, that is the state of the dog.

 

And like that the demon and angel. The blame and praise of these two creatures is in their qualities. It is not in their forms. The Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said God does not look at your forms but at your deeds and what is the state of your heart and intention. That is what Allah looks at. He does not look at your outward forms. It is not in their form or how they have been created and like the pig is blameworthy in his qualities, in his characteristics. He is not blameworthy in his external appearance. You cannot blame a pig for the way it looks but the way it behaves, that is another thing.

 

And the son of Adam was commanded to expose the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge, with the light of intellect. That is what human beings were commanded to do by Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala to do. To expose the darkness of ignorance with the light of intellect and the light of intellect is guided by revelation so that you have been given an intellect and if it is illuminated by revelation then it can dispel the darkness of ignorance but if it is not, it cannot because no matter how intelligent a person if they do not have a knowledge to balance these things out. If they do not have a knowledge that tells them in this situation you behave thus, in this situation you have behave thus you will not know, you will not see your own behaviour, you will not challenge yourself. You will not look at your intentions.

 

So all of this is out of fear of this fitnah. Fitnah is a beautiful word in that it conveys an immense amount of meaning in one word. The word fatanah means to test the metals for impurities so when you heat metal and it begins to melt away, you get what is called dross. That is what fitnah does. It reveals the dross of humanity. So I will give you an example. When you had the cartoon controversy in Denmark, remember that. See everybody is like now it is over. Fitnah is over and everybody goes...the cartoons are still there. They are still there. You can look it up on the internet or wherever. They are still there. The fitnah is over. Now the 30 dead people, they are dead. They are in their graves now because of that fitnah or however many people died. So the fitnah is over. That is what fitnah is. It reveals peoples character based on the circumstances.

 

Now in Mauritania, how did they respond to the fitnah? Unfortunately the news did not cover Mauritania. They, the ulema had an evening where they all got together in a huge auditorium and people came and they recited Qasidas against Denmark so they had a poetry protest. Then the next day they had a demonstration. Before the demonstration they handed out flyers – the adab on protest and amongst the things that they guided the people to was not to anything inappropriate, not to break the law, not to throw anything, not to attack or harm the Danish embassy because it was an embassy that was legitimately there and so it had the umman of the Muslims. So that is how they deal with it, the fitnah. They dealt with it like Muslims but other people. They did not. They dealt with it like the dog. The irascible soul. They completely lost it. They went crazy and threw things. A lot of it is that it is an opportunity to do that because there is a lot of pressure. A lot of those people they are not religious people. They just oh a riot. Seriously they just go to be a part of what is happening. Something is happening. I mean there is some places I know, there is some in South Asia, any excuse for a good riot. In Karachi, it is not today. True or not true. That is what people want to go out and just not because they are in a state and so the circumstance provides the excuse to behave accordingly. That is what fitnah is. So out of fear of fitnah we have been commanded to dispel ignorance with intellect in every situation because in every situation if it is an ethical situation there is either jahal or aql.

 

Now one of the meanings of jahal or aql. Now one of the meanings of jahal is also to act with zealousness. To act without hilm. Hilm is forebearance. He was the most forebearing of men. He never lost it. If you study his seerah you will not see that the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam ever lost control of his nature. It did not happen because he was always in possession of his aql. The aql restrains. Even when he was angry his anger was measured. It was measured. It was appropriate because there is a time for anger. It is not just to accept everything and do not get angry. No you should get angry and things should make you angry that are unjust, that are improper but how does that anger manifest. That is the difference. So the Prophet there is none of you except that he has a demon. Even I have demon. The Prophet. Even I have a demon but Allah has helped me with my demon so he became a Muslim. So he is telling you that you have a demon. When Aysha got very angry once, the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said did your shaytan give you a visit? She said do I have a demon? Everybody has a demon so now you know so what is going on? Are you behaving as a human being or are you under the influence of a demon in your behaviour? That is the question. Is this from your demon? The Greeks believed that too also they called it the damon. That there was a spirit that influenced people and it was either negative or positive. So those are the four things.

 

The qalb is the irascible soul. The metaphor of that. I gave a talk in Oxford and I was talking about the Danish cartoons and I said in that talk that if you have a sleeping dog and you take a stick and you hit it and then it bites you who is responsible? Is the dog responsible for biting you or are you responsible for eliciting that response from the dog? That is an ethical question and one of the Muslims got really upset that I was comparing Muslims to dogs but I was basing it on this idea that this is part of Muslim ethical tradition that the dog is the irascible part of your soul and the dog is a good quality when it is guarding. When the dog is guarding but if it is biting your baby and tearing its leg off like the pitbull. People that have pitbulls and so the neighbour’s baby is out playing so his pit bull goes over and ....that happens in America. You have people who have pit bulls. There are people who have pitbull natures and they are not aware of it so if you do not have your pit bull nature on a leash so when it is going crazy, you are restraining it so it does not go and eat next door’s baby so that is the dog’s nature and then you have the khinzir nature. People have the khinzir nature. The pig nature. The pig eats all day long. It lives in its own filth. If it gets too hungry it will eat its own children. That is the pig. So that is the pig nature will actually destroy the human being if it gets out of control but if you can control it then it becomes beneficial for you.

 

Then shaytan the demon then the malak. He also calls it the shaykh which is the sage as well. Like that is the concupiscent and irascible so it has to be under the sovereignty the control of the intellect so that they do not do anything except with the command of the intellect. The intellect is the one guiding the concupiscent and irascible, the dog and the pig, it is the shepherd. The intellect is the shepherd of these two qualities. If he is able to do that then the result is beautiful characteristics. The result is virtue. That is the result that the person becomes a virtuous character and these are the qualities of angels and this is the seed of felicity in the next life. You are planting the seeds of felicity in the next life by acting according to this. But if they act in contradiction to that and serve the concupiscent and irascible soul the result is vile qualities. The result is vicious character and these are the qualities of demons and these are the seeds of wretchedness in the next life. This will manifest in a dream as if he is standing in a state of total construction serving the dog and the pig. So somebody sees in a dream that they are serving a dog or a pig and they are in a state of construction. This is what it means. That is what he is saying in the science of dreams, that is what that means. And this type of person is comparable to the one who takes a group of Muslims prisoner and hands them over to kaafireen to disbelievers. It is as if you are taking the intellect prisoner and you are giving the intellect the Muslim. You are giving then over to the kaafireen. That is what he is saying. That when you surrender your will to the concupiscent and your irascible soul to the pig or the dog and the demon this is what you have done, you have surrendered Muslims to the kaafireen because they are ingrates, they do not appreciated the naimah, blessings.

 

So how will you be on the day of judgment if you have jailed the angel? Your intellect. Under the sovereignty of desire and anger you have taken the king and put the king under the sovereignty under desire and anger, how will your state be? So you have put the king into the hands of the dog or pig.

 

And know today that the human being is in the form of Adamic creature but tomorrow the realities will be revealed and the true state will be shown so what he is saying is that you might have the form of a human being but your meaning is dog or a pig or a demon and that meaning is going to manifest and that is why one of the blessings of this ummah is the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said it will not have transmogrification externally. The external form will not be transformed into a pig or a donkey or a rat. That will not happen to this ummah, any of the ummah which includes ummah dawah, ummah istijabal because the ummah is the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam we forget this the European, the Asians, the Americans they are all from in our belief, they are all from the ummah of the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam we forget that, they are his ummah because the ummah ad-dawah, people that were invited to his path and the people that responded to the invitation. They are all considered from the ummah which is why the ummah of Lut are the people he was sent to. They are called the people of Lut. They did not believe in him but they are still his people. So even the people that disbelieve in the Prophet are from his ummah.

 

So from the blessings of the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam there is no outward transformation. People will not be exposed. You can see pigs and donkeys all these animal forms that are low, you will see them out there. One of the interesting things about extinction is that it is not the pigs that are going extinct, it is not the cockroaches, it is not the rats, it is the high quality of falcons, it is the eagles, it is the lepers, that is what is going to extinct. It is not these common creatures. They are the ones going extinct. Because those qualities in human beings are going extinct, because we are the reflection of, all of creation is in us so those things the whales that are going extinct, that is because those qualities in us are disappearing. That is what happens out there. It is a reflection. So there are plenty of cockroaches, really there are plenty of pigs but those high qualities are leaving. One of the things that Moroccan poet Shaykh ibn al Habib said the cosmos are meanings set up in images. You see an image but there is a meaning behind the image.

 

Whoever understands this is among the people of discernment in other words people that perceive meanings as opposed to the sensory, the sensoria are there we experience the sensorial but all of the sensoria have meanings. Why are we attracted to flowers? What is the attraction? Why are we attracted to colour? Because they reflect meanings. They are qualities of God, beauty so what you are seeing is jamal and that is what you are attracted to and jamal is an attribute of God so you are witnessing an attribute of God manifesting in creation and that is what you are attracted to. If you do not see that, you are like the beast. You are a person of sensoria because you are not recognising the meaning. Why are we attracted to beauty? Because it is an attribute of God. Why do we not like ugliness? Because God is not ugly and that is why the fitrah nature when it is healthy it is not attracted to those things that are ugly. When the nature becomes distorted, corrupted it is actually attracted to ugly things. It likes ugly sounds. That is why if you look at the way people dress today, it is ugly dress really. They put like ugly tattoos on their bodies and they do these things because they are not well. Those are all indications of their states but they are unaware of that. They are not even aware that they are sick because people in fitnah will not do things like that. Those are distortions of the fitrah state. Human beings have always dressed....if you look at embellishment on Muslim clothes, why do Muslims put embellishments on their clothes? Why in Afghanistan? Why do they do that? They could just have a functional cloak but why do they do the embroidery? What is that? It is in their nature, they are people of ihsan. So they make things beautiful. 

 

You can make just a functional carpet but why make the design. That is an ugly design in my estimation but why make the design. Why did whoever did this do this? Whoever made this here, why did they do this? They took time to do this. We could just be sitting up here in a functional thing without flowers just sitting here. What is that in human being that wants to do that? That is ihsan, ihsan means to make beautiful. Ahsana means to being about husun. Asma al Husnaa the beautiful names of God. Why are they beautiful? Because they are qualities of God. Anything that you see beautiful in the world is manifesting a quality of God. Those are the meanings of the forms so the forms are there but the meanings in the forms are what the people of discernment see. They do not see the externals. They see the internals. The eye of the heart not the outward eye. So this is what he is saying that there are people out there that you see them in the form a human being but they are not humans, they are demons. They are pigs, dogs. That is the reality of their state.

 

And it is not for you or me to judge because we could be in the same thing so you are pointing the finger at somebody else, look at that dog over there and you are a dog yourself. So it is much more important to be concerned with your own state. What is my state? Not what is their state? What is my state?

 

So those who are overwhelmed by the irascible soul they will stand on that day like a dog. And those who are overwhelmed by their concupiscent soul they will stand on that day as a pig. Because the forms follows the function. The forms follow the qualities. In physiology you say form follows function, whatever the function of the organ is, the form follows the function whatever the function of the organ is, the organ is going to be designed to fulfil the function. So this is the reality. So the forms will follow the meanings. So people see in their sleep the reality of their inner state. So now you know the reality of man his internal reality is one of these four. So it is absolutely necessary that the person is vigilant and observes his movements his states of movement and stillness to see among which of the four does he belong so this is about introspection. Looking at yourself. Reflecting on your behaviour. Your character. What am I? Am I a pig, dog, demon or am I an angel?

 

Because these qualities emerge in the heart and will remain with him until the day of judgment. These are the qualities so whatever your heart is filled with. If it is filled with ager that is the reality. If it is filled with desire that is its reality. If it is filled with treachery, unfaithfulness then it’s got the demonic qualities and if it is filled with good then it has the angelic qualities. Those are its realities.

 

So if those things the righteous perpetual truths that go on forever, your dhikr, your prayer, your charity, your zakat, your hajj, all of those qualities every good act that you did even smiling in the face of your brother and sister if you are a sister even smiling in the face of your brother and sister that is a charity that goes on, it is perpetual so all of these qualities are going to be preserved by Allah and these are all the seeds of felicity. These are all the things that you are planting here and you will reap the harvest in the akhirah.

 

And if anything remains other than that these are the seeds of wretchedness, these are the seeds of damnation. The son of Adam is neither free or released from motion or stillness, you are either doing something or you are not doing something. You are either in a state of haraqah or sakinah. In the duas of the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said in my motion and in my stillness. So you are in one state or the other and your heart is like a glass. It is like a glass.

 

And the foul characteristics are like smoke and like darkness. They are going to distort the glass so that you cannot see through the glass. So if these are bad qualities reach the heart then they cause a darkness that does not enable you to see with clarity.

 

And the good characteristics are like light and clarity. If they reach the heart they purify the heart from the darkness if disobedience, from the darkness of disobedience. If these good qualities are being acted then they cause a light to emanate in the heart so the heart becomes functional. You can see with it. The Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said follow up a bad deed with a good deed so it wipes it. The effects of it are wiped away. It is a polishing because there is oxidation that occurs and that is what he is saying.

 

And the heart is either illuminating or it is darkening. It is one of the two. It will either endarken or enlighten and no one has salvation except if they come to Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala with a sound heart.

 

There is no benefit on that day except for the one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.

 

Section on the wonders of the heart

 

So he says that know the heart has two doors to the knowledges: the uloom sciences, Sciences in the old use of that word to know. One of them is for dreams or really visions he means here because Muslims discriminate between dreams that are from the ego and nafs and spiritual experiences that happen during sleep that are from Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala

and then the second is in the waking states or the waking consciousness so it is the external door to the outward world. When he sleeps he shuts the door of the senses because the experience that occurs in the sleep it is not of this world. You are entering into the world of meanings. This world has meaning but most people are overwhelmed by the sensory perception of the world, the sensorial so they do not delve into the meanings, they do not see the outward form. The Quran says they know the outward of this world but about the real world there in a state of heedlessness so people experiencing the world experience and somnambulant state, they are sleepwalkers. The world is like dreams but they do not know what it really means. People have jumbled dreams – in Surah Yusuf when the king asks them what his vision is. They say this is just meaningless dreams because they do not know what it means so they just deny it has meaning and that is a very common strategy for dealing with what you do not know what something means when you are ignorant of something you become its enemy because you do not know. Or that does not mean anything because you do not understand it. That is one way of dealing with meaning is to deny meaning because you do not understand it. He is saying that when you sleep you are shutting off the world of the senses because the senses are the biggest veil that Allah has made for man. Senses veil you from reality and people that are of the senses they cannot get beyond the senses so they are trapped in the senses which is why in many traditions the basic strategy was t flee from the senses so if you look in Hinduism, Buddhism, they go to great means to turn off the sensorial to try to get to meaning.

 

In the Christian tradition, the same is true. The monks would literally completely detach from the word, go to monasteries often in deserts because desert is a very useful place to shut off the sensoria because there is so little stimulate you in terms of the senses. If you look at the Ibrahim alayhi sallam it is amazing that he put his family in Makkah, because it is a place he described it as a valley without any foliage and often the desert was a place where people went, hermits, monks, desert fathers, they literally went into the deserts of Sinai and attempted to disconnect from the world.

 

Islam if you look at the early period of the Prophet’s spiritual life, what did he do? He went to a cave and a cave is sensory deprivation. If you go into a cave you deprive yourself of the senses because one of the things you deprive yourself from is light and light is a major door to the senses, external light.

 

One of the things you do as a strategy to help your prayer if you are somebody who is easily distracted. It is usually makruh to close your eyes during prayer but it is permitted if you are somebody who is easily distracted because the eyes open up the door of the senses and so this is what they would do is disconnect, meditation, all of these different things but at the end of the Prophet’s life or not even at the end but later when he is in Madinah. He is praying in front of his wife and she is literally on her bed in front of him and he is in tahujjud in a complete state of witnessing with Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala and completely distracted by any external temptations or forms and even when he went on the Miraj. You could imagine if the unseen is being unveiled to you because that is what was happening. There is inward sensory experience also so there is a sensory experience of the unseen world. It is inwards not outward but it is an experience but his vision was not distracted by the unseen world because he was so focused on his Lord even in the midst of all these wonders that are being revealed before his eyes. His eyes did not divert, neither did his heart because his heart was completely in tune with reality and reality is unicity. Reality is unicity, absolutely unadulterated oneness so there is no other in reality there is no distraction in reality. Reality is pure. So what he is saying is when you sleep you are being deprived of the door of the senses and you are opened up to an internal door. Door of the inward and there are elements of the unseen that are being opened up to you in the unseen world and it is from the alam al malakut so this is a door to knowledge to the heart. This is why the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said true dreams are 1/46th of prophecy. 1/46th of prophecy and true dreams are the access that the average human being has to prophecy and that is why people will see dreams come true. They will have meanings revealed to them in dreams and these are related to prophecy. That is what that hadith means so it is a door to perception, dreams. It is an opening to the malakut which is what in the Gospel is called the Kingdom of the heavens and there are many references to this in the Gospel. Isa alayhi sallam talked about the Kingdom of the heavens being revealed to his disciples. So those things that are from the unseen world. It is like a light that is revealing things and perhaps this understanding and illumination of these things is stipulated upon some knowledge of the interpretation of dreams in other words he will not be able to understand what they mean unless he has access to interpretation of dreams and not everyone has that knowledge. That knowledge is limited to certain people. Abu Bakr had knowledge of the meanings of dreams so the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam himself had to ask Abu Bakr what dreams meant because that was one of the knowledges that Abu Bakr radiallahu anhu had so interpretation of dreams is not a knowledge that everybody has. Some people have it. It is haram. If you do not know the interpretation of dreams to tell people what dreams means because true dreams are a portion of prophecy so it is as if you are making commentary on something from the unseen world that is true so you should not do it if you do not have knowledge of it and then he says as for what is of the outward people think that this is what the waking state is that they think the waking state of reality but the waking state is actually a dream for most people. They are not in reality. They only think they are in reality so that is what people think this outward door of perception is but he said it is what you see between sleep and they also think that what is seen between sleep, what is seen while you are awake is something you should have knowledge of. That you have knowledge of. That you have knowledge of it because you see it while you are awake but it is not true. People see things all the time but they do not know what it means. There are signs all around the people. There are signs everywhere but they do not know how to read them but they assume they do because they are in a waking state. They might not necessarily assume they know what their dreams are but they automatically assume they know what their outward perception of, what a tree means. They just assume they know what things are in the outward . He is saying it seems natural they would do that but in reality what they are seeing in the outward is nothing of the real world.

 

They are signs, they are indicators. That is all they are. They are indicators. That is all they are. They are indicators. Nothing of the real world but they think it is the real world because they are trapped in this outward world veiled by their senses. But what is understood in this state is not sleep and it is not this normal wakeful consciousness. That is what should be more worthy of understanding of this marifa of it than what they know through their senses so understanding reality that is what people should have knowledge of not of this assumed state of what knowledge is. This outward experience of this world that they are assuming is reality and then he says what you should know concerning this matter is that the heart is like a mirror. The heart is like a mirror and the Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz which contains all of what Allah has decreed in the world is also like a mirror because in it is the reflection of every existing thing so it is like a mirror also.

 

And when one mirror is placed in front of the other mirror then you see the reflecting in that mirror of all the things that are on the other mirror. You put one mirror next to the other mirror. It is going to reflect what is in that mirror. I do not know if you have ever done that. If you put two mirrors together.  It is a very strange phenomenon so what he says and this is part of Imam al-Ghazali’s teaching that he believes that the heart is open to unveilings. So he says if the heart is pure and free of the preoccupation of and the desires of this world then it will see what the world is in reality. It will see the realities and he says that but if it is preoccupied with desire and filled with the world, this kingdom of the heavens is veiled from it so it does not have access to it. It does not have any access to it.

 

But if in the state of its sleep it is free of the attachments of the sensory then it is able to view or look upon this malakut world. The mulk is the world of senses it is everything you can see and touch. The malakut is the world of the unseen which is around us. It is also true alongside of us and so he is saying that you will be able to see the essences of this other world and you will some of the meanings that are in the Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz. Some of these realities not all because it is only Allah that knows all of the unseen but people have these unveilings from that world. Of all people the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam had the greatest fortune of that.

 

And then if he shuts the door of the senses then this imaginal world will emerge. This is a technical term. It is not really imagination but it is the imaginal world. So what he will see is under the veil of the externalities so what he is saying is when shut off the senses you still got the imagination so there is still a filter. You do not see even the reality of the unseen world as it truly is. You are still veiled by the nature of your experience.

 

Then he says you will not see reality as it truly is, it will not be unveiled to you completely because you are still filtered by your experiences in this world as long as you are in this world there are filters. But if you die in other words your heart dies. Your sensory consciousness dies so the possessor of the heart, the imagination goes, the senses go. The imagination is the body. It is still a type of veil. It is something we need. We need the senses to have some knowledge of reality but the senses veil us and the imagination you need to have some knowledge of reality also but it still a veil. The reason that we can imagine paradise is that we have an imagination so you can think of things of the unseen world that you are told: angels. We can imagine beings that are made out of light, that have things. We do not know what they are in reality but Allah has given us an imagination and the imagination is a door to perception of reality but it is still a filter just like the senses are a filter.

 

Then he says at that time you will see without any illusion and you will see without any imagination. We have removed the veil from you and now you have piercing sight. You see reality as it truly is. That is what happens when you die and that is what you will feel like you have woken from a dream. When you die it is an awakening because you are no longer veiled by the senses or the imagination. You are going to experience things as they truly are.

 

So what he is saying is that your heart is a mirror. Now what is a mirror? Is the mirror the thing itself? It is not, is it? It is a reflection of the thing. When you look in the mirror you wonder do I really look like that? Is that how people are perceiving? You do not know because you cannot see yourself. It is a very strange thing that Allah has done for all of us. We can see other people but we cannot see ourself except through a mirror. But the mirror, is it distorting it? You know how mirrors distort sometimes. Your face looks longer then it does, shorter or wider. That is like that also. The heart you do not know is my perception of reality distorted if you are in introspective person. A lot of people do not think of these things. So the mirror might be distorted. It might need reframing. It might need recasting. So that is what Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala said in Surah Al Kahf. We have removed the veil from you so now you see every single sight as clear as day. And know that there is nobody except that sound thoughts will enter his heart and the clarification of truth will enter his heart by way of inspiration. Everybody will have true inspiration if they are human, they are going to have true inspiration in life like Winston Churchill said everybody stumbles on the truth at least once in their life but like myself they usually get up brush themselves off and carry on. That is what kufr is. It is when you know the truth but you just choose to ignore it. You choose to cover it up. He is saying people will be exposed to the truth in their life and their hearts will be open to the truth by way of inspiration. They will not be by way of the senses, it is something that comes by the way where it came from.

 

Because the heart is from this other world. It is not of this world. Your consciousness is not of this world. It is of another world. That is what consciousnesses and that is why sleep is so important because that is what sleep does. It is a door to that other world. It is a door to that other world. You will hear people say it isn’t that strange? I had a dream and then it happened, isn’t that strange? They cannot understand it. Isn’t that strange? Isn’t that weird because they do not know what it means. Most people are cut off from these realities so when they experience them they experience them it is strange, wondrous. There are other people and that is their normal state. It is not strange at all. It is just their normal state because they have much more access to reality than most people.

 

The senses were created for this world. The world of the mulk, of the dominion of the outward dominion and for that reason he is veiled from looking onto the other world if his heart, if he is not empty of the distractions of the senses so if you are not empty of these distractions then you are veiled. You do not have access which is the state of most people. We are preoccupied and then he says but do not think that this capacity is open during sleep and death only.

 

Do not think it is only these two means, you have to die or go to sleep to see reality. Know it opens to those in a wakeful state to those who are sincere in their jihad and in their riyadhah and that is why Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi from Morocco, he said whoever is sincere for forty days, since for forty days seeking God, his heart will open. The baseerah is open so if you have sincerity in your struggle and spiritual exercise and you are free of this desire and anger. These are the two great enemies, shahwa and ghadab. The concupiscent and irascible soul. If you are not free of their sovereignty so that your quwa and nadhika is the one who has authority over them and from foul character and from vile deeds. You are not freed from these also so not only do you have to be sincere in your struggle but you have actually have to be realised. This is what in this tradition, there are these stages. The first stage is takhliya, the emptying out and then you go to tahliyyah and then the final stage is tajliyah which is where you have the unveiling so the tahliyyah is emptying the self of the desire and anger and emptying the self of vile characteristics and then the tahliyyah is embellishing. The self, adorning the self with Prophetic character that you begin to follow the sunnan not just the outward sunnan. There are plenty of people who cut their moustache or trim their nails or wear their robe a certain way or eat with three fingers or go into the masjid with the right foot or go out with the left and say with the duas when they do certain things, when they drink and eat whatever they do they follow the outward sunnan which are important. They should not be belittled in any shape or form because they are part of the Prophetic character. They are the externals of the Prophetic character but who are the ones who take on the inward Prophetic character, the akhlaq of the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, his forbearance, his patience, his mercy, his charity, his generosity, his kindness, his humility. That is the tahliyyah. Adorning the self with the qualities and characteristics of the Prophets and all of the characters of the Prophets are in the character of the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. He has all of the characters and qualities of the Prophets. So this is what he is saying.

 

If you do that then these things will happen, so if he is sitting in an empty place, a place like the mehrab, that is where Maryam was, right. She was in the mehrab, what was she doing? What was the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam doing in the cave of Hira? What was he doing in his tahujjud? He was in a place where he was free from distractions and he basically cut off the inroads of the senses and opened up his inner eye. You have this eye and it is closed and you close it like that and you do not see anything. You open it suddenly and you see things. You have an inner eye also. The inner eye for most people is not only closed, it is like a spiritual cataract.

 

One does not have access, it is literally blinded by the veils of wrong action, by the veils of ignorance, by the veils of desire, all of these different things, that is what is what the state of the spiritual eye is. The spiritual eye is more sensitive than the physical eye. Look at what happens when a little piece of dust gets in your eye or a hair like a hair follicle from your eyelash if it gets in the eye and look what displeasure and distraction you fall into. You cannot even open your eye. You cannot see. The spiritual eye is more sensitive than the outward eye and the spiritual eye if you open it up and look what we fill our sensory eyes with. They are all inroads to our spiritual eye. So the spiritual eye is blinded by the senses and one of the most extraordinary aspects of the Prophetic character is lowering the eyes even when the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam walked. He said one of the adabs of the road is khatil basar when you are on the road so what about all these forms that we take in. What about all the images? If you live in North America, the average person takes in over 3000 advertisements a day. 3000 advertisements a day so the modern world is just completely spiritually blinding people. That is what it is doing. The modern world is like a spike being driven through the spiritual eye of man and that is why we are blinded by a species. We do not even know there is a spiritual world because we do not have access to it anymore. We have been cut off. We have been severed from our roots. Our roots are in the unseen world. Our roots are not here. When you look at the tree, the trees roots are not in the seen world, you cannot see the roots the tree is dead. You have to pull the tree up to see the roots but the roots of the tree are in the unseen world that our roots are in the unseen world. That is why we are alive. So people cannot see those roots. They do not even know they exist, if a child looks at a tree, it does not know it has roots. You have to some level of knowledge to know that trees have roots. The same is true for the human being. You have to know what are our roots. Where do we come from? What is our source? What is our seed? How do we grow?  Where did consciousness come from? What is the purpose of consciousness?

 

So if you sit in an empty place and you turn off the inroads of the senses and you open up your inner eye. Internal hearing just like you have external hearing you also have internal hearing like the hafidh, people hear hawafidh, this is not like mad people who see and hear things also, these are people who have....and part of that is people have unveilings as well. Mad people. Unveilings can lead to madness also so the veilings of the world are also a rahmah of Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala. If the world was unveiled to you, you would go mad and that happens to people. Door of perceptions can be opened and people can go mad. Door of perceptions can be forced open with drugs and people have experiences. You have inward sensory experiences and inward meaning experiences. You have inward terrestrial experiences so they are different and there is a whole science of discerning what experiences are and it is not just us. The Catholic church has this science. Buddhists have this science. Hindus have this science. This is known in other traditions also not in the same way in our tradition but they do discern between different types of experiences. The Catholic church has a science of discernment and they believe it is a gift of the holy spirit that you are able to determine whether an experience is a genuine spiritual experience or whether it is an emotional experience that you think is a spiritual experience. You have got people in Pentecostal states speaking in tongues, feeling the holy spirit throughout their body. They have physical sensations. Do not deny their reality. If you meet people that have been born again they have had very real experiences.

 

They have had very real and powerful experiences and that is why often their faith is very strong but a lot of those experiences are not spiritual experiences. They are actually, they are inward experiences that sometimes have physical aspects to them but they are of the inward sensory not the inward meaning so they are not true experiences but that is a knowledge to discern between these type of things. It is a sophisticated knowledge that people have. So people can be deluded. This is very easy. That is why when you really dip into serious practice you need a guide. You cannot do this on your own and Imam al Ghazali did and he is very rare. They are people that do do it but the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam had Jibril alayhi sallam so then he says and then his heart is entrained with this malakut so this is called muraqabah which is where he is in a state of awareness of the divine presence. He is not saying it with his tongue until the ego is completely defaced so he does not experience the world. This is what they call fana and this is from the book so we are just looking at what he is saying about this knowledge so he says then this capacity is open. And then he begins to see in a waking state the same as the true visions in his sleeping state so his waking state becomes in which his spiritual inner eye is open. He begins to see the world as it truly is in reality. He is no longer veiled so he is experiencing the divine presence.

 

This is the state of the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam without a doubt and it is the state of his sahaba and it is the state of the salihun you know if you are with the shuykh like Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah and I have travelled with them and seen them. That is the state he is in all the time. He is looking out and you are seeing him look out but he is not seeing what you are seeing. You sit with Murrabul Hajj. I mean you see it. You sit with him and he is another state. He is present absent. He just does dhikr all the time. He does dhikr in his sleep and I lived in his tent with him so I slept on the bed with him. He does dhikr in his sleep. He reads Quran in his sleep I saw it with my own eyes. There was a man in Morocco, he did salat un nabi in his sleep. He would snore, he was literally snoring and doing prayer on the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam so I have seen it. It is like the people who see are not like the people who are told about something. People doing prayer on the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam and they are sleeping.

 

Then he sees the spirits of the angels, the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. It is in the gospels and it is talked about a lot. The kingdom of the heavens and the earth. It is the same teaching and he sees things you cannot elucidate and you cannot articulate in a book. These are things that I cannot write about. The earth was folded up for me and I saw its various easts and wests. What does that mean? Now we know that at every horizon there is a new east and a new west. As you are moving there is always a new east and west. It is not just one east and west. We know that it has multiple easts and wests based on where you are right so the Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam I saw all of the earth. It was shown to me all of the different horizons of the earth so he had knowledge of multiple horizons.

 

It is an unseen experience and like that we showed Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. It is in the Quran. We showed Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. Why? So that he had certainty. So he had certainty, yaqin. This is how the knowledge of the Prophets come. They do not have book learning. Their knowledge is not of the books. They were not taught by books. We learn by books. The Prophets did not have book learning. The Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam had learning by just having the hand placed in his back in the hadith. It is a sahih hadith. I knew everything by just having the hand having been placed on my back at the point of the seal of prophecy and he said I knew everything. So those are the doors of perception that the Prophets have. We learn through the senses, we touch, dissect, feel, take apart, we open up the heart, we look in the four chambers. There are people that know the heart has four chambers and they do not have to look inside the heart because it is unveiled to them but this is how we learn by taking things apart. There are people who do not learn to do that. They look at something and they know what it is because it is unveiled to them. Disconnect, detach, cut off in order to go to Him, in order to be open to your Lord you need to detach from other than your Lord. It means to disconnect from everything, to purify the heart from everything and to beseech him with your entire being. It is to beseech him with your entire being. People make dua right people I make dua. Maybe they are thinking about other things. How they are just not really there. People when they pray they are not present at all. The sahaba according to hadith a man was shot with an arrow, they waited until he prayed to pull it out because he did not feel it. We have that in the books because he was in prayer and he was completely obvlious to pain. Those are real experiences that people have.

 

This is the path of the people of tassawuf and Imam al Ghazali is you read his al-Munqidh min al-dalal he said they were basically four types of knowledge. Scientific knowledge. Philosophical knowledge. People that used theories, it is not scientific in that way but people would come up with theories. They could be right or wrong. It is what we call opinion but not opinion in the modern sense of the world. Opinion is a type of knowledge. Opinion is conclusions that are arrived at after much thought. It could be right or wrong. It is not like knowledge in that way but it is a type of knowledge. It is not just uneducated, we call it educated opinion but it used to be that is what opinion meant and then there is revelation which is from the Prophets and then there is kasht which is the knowledge of the people of tassawuf and he also felt that the people of tasawuuf that he felt that their path was the soundest path because it led to a type of faith which is rooted in believing what you were told actually that you have experienced the truth of these things and he felt that was truly following the Prophets salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam because you were not just following him in words and deeds but you are actually following him in his state in the same way you cannot follow him in his words and deeds as he was indeed and the same is true in his state but that is what he understood and it is not the, just like you have fuqaha that are a disaster, you have people who claim tasawuuf are a disaster and part of the problem is when the majority of people today are so far I mean people from South Asia you know what the state of the pirs, it is a disaster. You go to Egypt and Morocco and a lot of the Muslim world and you look at the people who have these claims and they have given tasawwuf was part of Islam. It was the inner dimension of Islam and the best book for it is Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din, that is the best book that we have in this science.