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.
But the way of learning, book learning that is the way of the ulema but this is not book learning, that is what he is saying. I will give you an example Ibn Ataullah who was an alim who became a sufi. He was originally an alim and then he becomes a sufi, then had openings and that is where we got the Hikam of Ibn Ataullah. Izzedin Abdul Salaam used to go sit in his class and he could say these words are coming directly in close proximity to the Merciful in other words he was saying it is not book learning. You cannot get this knowledge from books, you cannot get this knowledge from books and what he said is only the externalities of what he knew and perceived.
And this high degree of knowledge is an abridgement of the path of prophecy. In other words just as you follow the Prophets in their outward teaching, this is the following of the Prophets in the inward realities and it is not prophecy because only the prophets have access to revelation but it is inspiration, it is ilm haam Sayyidina Umar had this. The Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said the people that hear they have this inner hearing and Umar is one of them. Umar had this knowledge. The sahaba many of them had great access to this.
I mean this is what Allah says when Musa, when they came upon from Al-Khidr and he is not a Prophet. The majority of the ulema say that he is not a Prophet. Who was he? He says that he was a slave right. They found a servant from amongst Our servants. We gave him mercy, grace from Our presence and we taught him from Our presence. This is not book knowledge. Al Khidr had a different type of knowledge and then what did Musa say? The adaab of his question is amazing: May I follow you? First he is asking may I follow you in order that you might teach some of what you have been taught? He does not say all of what you have been taught. He is not assuming I can learn everything. Maybe can I follow you maybe so that you can teach me some of what you have been taught. You will not be able to be patient because knowledge is hard. This knowledge is knowledge that takes patience, it takes much perseverance, much practice. He said and how can you be patient about what you do not encompass in other words because you do not understand this how can you be patient to learn?
You will find me insha’Allah patient and I will not disobey you and that is the relationship between the student and the teacher. You have to be patient and then if the teacher. You have to be patient and then of the teacher if a true teacher and he tells you to do things then you have to do what they say for your own benefit. This is a path that will never be comprehended except by continuous practice. Tajiba is over and over again not one time. Tajibrhuh is to do it many times. People want to do it one time and then nothing happened. I did not get any benefit and Murrabural Hajj told me that even you do not worship Allah to have experiences. It is not why you do it. There are people who want to have experiences. I pray and nothing happens. I do this and nothing happens. I get up at night and nothing happens. If that is what you are trying to do then that is what you are doing the thing for whereas you should be doing it solely for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala and he said if Allah gives you gifts out of that alhamdulilllah because you are a servant of Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala and what cannot be acquired by taste will not be acquired by study and it is an obligation to believe in this and this is what is important to us. We should believe in this and its people so that you are not deprived of the emanations of their joy. At least you should believe in people so when you sit with them you are not deprived of the emanations of their joy so even if you are not one of them you are not deprived of their state. They are the people, the people that sit with them are not wretched. Just sitting with them is a blessing with those people. It is not making tazkiyah and saying we know we Allah’s elect and chosen are mot the Prophet said this is what I think about Him. We do not say anything Allahu Alim.
Everybody’s under like one friend of mine said about Murrabul Hajj he said he is still under the microscope of examination in other words as long as he is alive he is susceptible to fitna, he is susceptible to .....so we do not make any.....this is what we believe about them. This is our perception of them. That is tasdeek and this is what he is saying. Imam al-Ghazali said this is the least level of wilayah. It is the people that deny these people that are really in serious trouble really they are not well. If you sit with them you will know that they are not well and they are obsessed with attacking them and speaking ill of them. It is amazing, their hearts are just, they are not well and the fact that Allah has put them in, that is their state so do not be with those people. Do not listen to them. The people that talk about the awliyah are really not well. It is a bad state to be in. I once went to a dars and this man started attacking Abul-Hasan ibn Al-Shatir, why is he attacking him? Somebody the ummah has testified he was among the righteous so why do you want to put him amongst somebody else? Why risk that? It is a very strange thing to do but people do that but why do they do that? It is from the wonders of the heart. Those who do not see do not believe. They denied what they had no knowledge of nor did they have knowledge of its interpretation. That is what Allah says. They just denied it. They did not have knowledge of it. If they do not have any knowledge, if they have not reached guidance of this matter, they say these are just old lies. These are just lies that have been repeated before.
What he is saying is that this knowledge is a knowledge of tajribah. The beauty of that statement is what makes something a science is what Sir Karl Popper called its falsifiability something is scientific if it is replicable. If you cannot replicate it, you can prove it is not replicable so for instance if you freeze water like I learned water freezes at 32 degrees or O degree Celsius that is what you learn in school. Did you actually test that? No you just assumed it is must be true because they are telling you in school and it is in the books. That is taqlid. That is called taqlid. You just believe the authority because he is an authority and who am I to question his authority. I am just a humble insignificant bloke. He is a big professor.
So but if you take a thermometer and put it in the water and put the water into a freezer and you watch the water and it gets down to 32 degrees oh its ice. So you do the experiment yourself. There is a really nice book for people who have children. There is a book of replicating the great scientific experiments. A lot of the great experiments of human history are very simple to do like Newton when Newton refracted light and saw that were seven colours in refracted light. You just take a prism and put it in the sun and replicate it so this is also a replicable science. People that follow this science have the same experiences. They see the same thing and that is why somebody who has gone down that path and done it knows what to expect and also knows the pitfalls of it right.
That is what Ibn Ashar says he accompanies a teacher who knows the byways of this path. He knows the ways of the path and he will protect him from the pitfalls because if you go down a road and somebody knows the road watch out the bend coming up. If you are driving watch put the bend coming up. There is a big hole on the left side. If somebody knows the road he can tell you but if you are driving 80 miles an hour and you do not know there is a big hole and then you turn and then your car, you lose control, you crash. That is why on the roads they have signs, don’t they? They tell you soft shoulder ahead. Why? That is somebody who knew the road put the signs there for you. If you do not obey the signs you will endanger yourself so there is a tariqah and this is what the Prophets did.
They took the majority of humankind, the people that follow them. They are the real guides on the road but the shuykh are like those signs. That is what they are but the Prophets are the ones that put the signs. They are the ones that did the real work. The other ones are the lesser guide. They are not like the Prophets. The Prophet salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said the scholars and this is not outward this is the ulema the people of inward and outward knowledge. They have the outward knowledge like Shaykh Abdullah has outward knowledge then he was taqwa, piety, he has done dhikr all his life, he gets up at night, he does all that work so he has the inward reality as well so has these two realities. So they are the inheritors of the Prophets so you are taking from the inheritance of the Prophets so you are taking from the inheritance of the prophecy. So you sit with them and it is like sitting with the Prophets. It is the closest thing we have to sitting with the Prophets. Allah does not deprive people of every generation of having that blessing of sitting with the people of knowledge so that s what he is saying so the people that deny that, well. They have denied the people before them so look at what happened to the oppressors, the people who denied. Amongst them are people who believed in him and amongst them are people who do not believe in Him and Allah knows best who are the mufsideeen. He knows better who is guided.
And if they deny you said I have my actions, you have your actions,. I have my actions you have your actions I am free from what you do and you are free from what I do. I am not responsible for what you do and you are not responsible for what I do. So those who disbelieve, they say to those who believe if this really was good they would not have got it before us. This is hasad, for some people it is just hasad.
Do not think this is limited to the Prophets this is what he is saying, this is the whole point of this book, do not think this is limited to the Prophets and the awliya because the johar of the son of Adam of the children of Adam in the origin of its creation was made for this. We were created to know Allah this is what we are created for. We were created for marifah. What does Ibn Abbas say in the tafsir, to know Allah. Know that there is no God but Allah. But it is not book knowledge. Christian, a Jew a Hindu anybody can learn tawheed. They can study a book and they can teach it. You can have a professor of aqeedah here from Cambridge and he can teach you our creed better than a lot of Muslims wAllahi. They have Orientalists that have better book knowledge of the creed than a lot of Muslims do even some of the ulema they have deeper knowledge. That is not what he is talking about. Like iron, the iron was created to make mirror of it so you can see the forms of the world in it. Unless it oxidises. Deoxidising it, removing that rust or it becomes dry and it needs to be polished or it needs to be reframed because it was broken so you have to recast it and just like that every heart if it is overwhelmed by desire and by disobedience it cannot reach this degree, this level. No child except that it is born on fitrah. The fitrah, it is open to this knowledge The child is open to this knowledge, born like that and then he caused them to witness over themselves am I not your Lord? And they said balaa. So they cannot say on the day of judgement, we had no knowledge of this so we have already witnessed it. It is just a reaffirmation of what we have already witnessed our Lord in the unseen world. We have already witnessed Him that he is One and that He is our Lord and so it is a reaffirmation in the dunya of this reality.
And also Bani Adam in their fitrah they believed in the Lordship of Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala just as Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala said this is the fitrah of Allah. This is the original nature that Allah has created the human being on. They are the children of Adam so they are the models. The Prophets are the models for human beings but they are human beings. I am a man just like you but I have this revelation coming to me. All those who sow the seeds will reap the fruit and if you set out on the path you will arrive. If you seek you will find. That is in the Gospel. If you seek, you will find. But seeking is only achieved through struggle. If you sit on a couch and somebody says what are you doing. They say I am seeking my provision.
You are not seeking your provision, you are sitting on a couch. If somebody is sitting there I am hungry, he does not get up to go to the kitchen and make himself something to eat. He is waiting for somebody else to do it. I am waiting for the wife to come home (laughs) seriously that is what people do. They do not want to struggle themselves, they want somebody else to struggle for them so then he says and also finding a truly knowledgeable person who has this knowledge, who has gone on this path and if you have these two things come together it is tawfique from Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala. If you struggle with yourself and if you have the company of people who have struggled with themselves until they have overcome themselves until they have overcome themselves, that is tawfique from Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala. Until he himself or she herself achieves this level.
This is the true joy and the true delight of the children of Adam is in knowledge of Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala. So know that the joy of everything and its delight and its repose is that which is in accordance with its nature. The joy of everything is that which is in accordance with its nature and the nature of everything is that for which it is created so you have to know if you want to know the nature of everything you have to know its tellos, why it was created, what is the purpose so if you look he says the delight of the eyes is in its witness of beautiful things. If you see a beautiful face the eye is delighted. If you see a beautiful face the eyes is delighted. Why? Because it was created to witness beauty, that is what it was created to do so its joy is in fulfilling the purpose of its creation. That is where its real joy is, that is why the eye if it seems something ugly there is no joy in it, why? Because it was not created for that, it was created to witness beauty. That is the purpose and that is why Isa alayhi wa sallam when they all looked at the dead carcass of the dog. Isa said how white its teeth because he was in that state of mushahadah so he looked at the beauty even in the ugliness. That is what he saw. He saw the beauty even in the ugliness.
The delight of the ear is in beautiful sounds. The ear delights in beautiful sounds because that is why it was created to hear good and beautiful things. It delights in wisdom, it delights in speech of the righteous, it delight in truth because that is what it was created for likewise the ugliest sounds is the sound of a donkey because the ear hears its ugly sound. And the rest of the limbs. The tongue can taste good things that is why it delights in sweet things, it delights in sour things. It delights in those things because it was created to do that. It has taste buds on it. People like salty things. They say lassi is sweet or salty. Some people they like sweet, some people like salty. They are all there but that is the joy of these things and touching and to touch something beautiful.
And the ladha of the hearts specifically. And the joy of the heart is in the knowledge of Allah because that is why the heart was created. That is why the heart was created but when people are sick they take joy in cacophonic sounds. When people are sick they like to see ugly things. There are people that enjoy seeing terror, watching war because they are sick, they are unwell. They are people that take pleasure in those things, in being cruel to people because they are sick and in the same way their hearts....it is not real ladha he is talking about sa’adat, all those are false.
Everything that the son of Adam knows once you have marifah of it you rejoice in it anything that you have knowledge of you rejoice in it, even the game of chess. If you know how to play chess. You get excited. You are happy about it. And if he is prohibited from playing it. He does not want to leave it and he gets impatient, I really want to play. There are people that are obsessed with chess so he is saying if you have marifah of something you get a joy, that is the nature of the son of Adam even the foolish things, they get a joy. There are people that can do the most ridiculous things and they like to do them, they like to show you juggle ten plates and hold something on their nose really. There are people that can do that and they get a pleasure from that knowledge, that marifah, they have a knowledge of something.
And just like that if you have knowledge of Allah which is the knowledge of the greatest thing, everything you desire exists with Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala. Everything you desire exists with Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala. It is the highest, the truest thing, it is really and so for that reason he will be impatient without this witnessing, without this knowledge because this the joy of the heart is in knowledge. Everytime the knowledge is greater, the joy is greater. The greater knowledge you have the greater joy you have.
And like that if somebody knows the minister, he is so happy. I know the minister. There are people even Muslims they want to have their picture taken with the president. You go fill the gas tank up, the attendant comes, you do not say oh can I have my picture with you? To be next to the gas attendant. Why do you not do that? Because anyone can know the gas attendant but not everybody can know...and then they say oh see, they take the picture and put in their office. I am ashamed of (laughs). They put it in the office and people come in and oh yes I met the president. Why? Because he is happy. So if he knows the king he is just flying out of his skin. He knows the minister, it is a big thing but if he knows the king then it is like sheesh the minister. This is the way people are wAllahi it is amazing. It is pathetic. Nothing in existence is more honourable than Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala. There is no greater sharah because the honour of everything is because of Him.
The honour is because of Him and from Him. Every wondrous thing in this world that you wonder at and are amazed at it they are just traces of His power, His creative power. Everything that amazes you in this world is just a trace of Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala’s creative power. There is no knowledge greater, more precious, more inestimable than His knowledge and there is no joy more vast than the joy of His knowledge and there is no presence like the presence of the divine. This the malah. All the joys of the desires of this world are connected with the nafs. They are all related to the ego. All of them. Everything that you have is related to the nafs and it all comes to an end with death. All the pleasures of this world they end with death. It does not matter what you can think of and before you die. There are people that lose their appetites. They do even want to eat. They get to a certain age. Food does not even taste good any more. All the ladaat of dunya, they go. That is part of the end of life, the genitals and the stomach, the joys of those two, they go so he says but the joy of knowledge of Lordship is connected to the heart, the human consciousness, it does not end with death. All the pleasures of this world they end with death. It does not matter what you can think of and before you die. There are people that lose their appetite. They do not even want to eat. They get to a certain age. Food does not seem to taste good any more. All the ladaat of dunya, they go. That is part of the end of the life, the genitals and the stomach, the joys of those two, they go so he says but the joy of knowledge of Lordship is connected to the heart, the human consciousness, it does not end with death.
So all the joys end with death but the joy of knowledge with Allah does not end with death because all the joys in this word are connected to the senses and the heart is not of the senses. Consciousness is not of the senses. The joy is even greater when you die because the marifah expands and becomes purer and more knowledgeable. Its lights are greater because he leaves darkness and enters into light. He leaves the darkness of this world and enters into the light of the next world. Know that soul of the children of Adam is an abridgement of this world. It is muktashirah. That is what Imam Ali said you think that you are some insignificant mass no real significance to you and in you the entire cosmos exists and one of the extraordinary things about the human being and this is something that a nobel prize winner discovered was that if you measure the greatest things in this world and you measure the smallest things in the world, their sizes, the biggest and the smallest thing and you add them together and divide by two it is approximately the human being so we are literally we are the barzakh between the physical world, the subatomic world and the microcosm, we literally are the barzakh between these two things. This is where Allah has put human beings so we are an extraordinary creature. There is a beautiful book called the power of 10 if anyone has ever seen that, it just keeps taking things by the power of ten and going out of space into the skin. It starts with the human being sitting and they move out and move in. It shows that within us our vast worlds as vast as what is out of us. Inside of our bodies is a vastness that is not less significant than the vastness of the cosmos and that is who we are and that is why human being have been degraded. They have been made to believe they are insignificant that they are meaningless, pointless and therefore that are they are the lowest of their nature. Shahwa. That is all they are they for to eat drink, copulate, laugh, dance and be entertained until they die. That is all it is no human beings are something vast. That is what he is telling us. Every form that you see in the world there is the trace of it in the human being.
Look at the bones in your body are like the mountain. The bonesin your body are like the mountain. The mountains hold the earth together. They are the p eg. You have these bones in your body. Your flesh is like the earth. Hair is beautiful. It adorns the person, just like the foliage adorns the earth. Your blood is like the rivers. Your lungs are like trees. Look at the bronchial tree and what do trees do? They breathe air, they breathe our carbon dioxide and they exhale oxygen. We breathe in oxygen and we exhale carbon dioxide. The trees are lungs and we are their lungs. So all of these things out there are in you and he says he could go on greater detail about this. And in your interior are all of the craftsmen of the world. The power in your digestion is like the cook. There is a cook that is mixing. There are ingredients. In Chinese medicine they call it soup of the stomach. It is a soup and just like you can ruin soup, your digestion can be ruined if you put the wrong ingredients in. You eat the wrong things. And what it is in the liver is like the baker. The liver is like the baker. It takes the glucagon and stores the glucagon and then when we need it, it releases it and it os all happening in your body. And in your intestines it is like the tanner, as it is coming through it takes the impurities out. That is what the tanner does, takes the impurities out and keeps what is good what is useful. And the thing that is making the milk white in the breast and the blood red is like the dyer. You have the dyer who makes the wool and dyes the wool that is in your body there are things that are giving colour, the haemoglobin in your body is like the dyer. So you have all these crafts. I could go on with details but you get the idea. My whole point is to tell you how much is in your interior that is going on.
All these worlds that are in you and they are all preoccupied with your service. They are at your service. They are all doing this work for what. To serve you. Your consciousness, that is all it is there for to serve your heart. They are all there to serve your consciousness. What is your consciousness there to serve? If each one of these has a purpose what is the purpose of the summation? You are meaningless. You do not have a purpose. There is no point to existence. That is what these ignorant people tell them now. All of this that is going on all marvels so he says all of this is in yourself and you are completely heedless of this. They never get rest. The heart is pumping thousands of gallons. If you look at what the heart does in a day. If you had to do the buckets you would be completely worn out. You could not do in a day what your heart does. Your physical body could not carry in a day what your heart is carrying in a day. You would be completely wiped out. Your breathing, your lungs. You are inhaling and exhaling. The digestion. If you had breakfast this morning, they are working down there. You are just sitting here. They are down there working. We need the gall bladder, send down more bile. Too much fat this morning. We need to break this down and then the pancreas: too much sugar. Emergency release insulin and insulin is going out grabbing the sugar getting it to the liver. The liver, too much sugar, we need to convert it into glycogen store it here, move that. It is all happening. It is a factory in there and there are all of these workers. You are sitting here in a complete state of heedlessness. How many blessings. He is completely showering you with blessings inwardly and outwardly and we are in heedlessness, complete state of heedlessness. And you do not give gratitude to the one who gave you all of these blessings. How do you give gratitude? Shukr is to exert all of these blessings that all your Lord has given you to all your Lord intended for them. That is shukr, that is gratitude. This knowledge of all of these things is a vast knowledge. The knowledge of anatomy and physiology and it was a very important knowledge of Imam al-Ghazali. He actually wrote a book describing all the wonders of creation. It is considered a very important knowledge and like that the knowledge of medicine. Anybody who wants to look into himself and look at the wonders of God’s creation, he needs to have the knowledge of three things from the divine attributes.
You should know the creator of the individual is Omnipotent and has complete capacity over perfection. He is not incapacitated by anything and that is Allah. There is no action in the world that is more wondrous than the creation of the human being. From a vile drop of fluid. There is nothing like it and the perception of the person in this wondrous from just as Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala as Allah has made him in this wondrous form. He has fashioned him in this wondrous form just as Allah has said we have created the human being from a mixed fluid. We know now that it is a mixture of the male and female coming together and the genetic material is mixed. It is amazing. It is mutafin afjaaj. It is a singular with a plural which is very rare in Arabic. It was a problem for the mufasirruun. They talked about it. This is what happens. You get the sperm and the ovum come together. All of the genetic material they being together, it is vast. They come together and then We try him. It is a tribulation and you should know that His recreation of the first creation will be easier. If you think it is impossible you are insane because to do something a second time for us is easier a second time. For Allah, it is all the same but for us it is easier we should know if He created us the first time He can certainly do it the second time and now we have these fools who think they can clone human beings themselves. They think they can recreate a human being and they do not think Allah can recreate us.
Really they theoretically believe that the ability to recreate you from your genetic material is on the horizon. They believe that they are going to be able to do it and they do not believe that Allah can do it. The first is to know He has complete qudara and the second is to know Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala that He has complete knowledge so He is Omnipotent and Omniscient because He encompasses all things. He could not make all of these wonders and marvels unless He had complete knowledge and the third that you should know that His kindness, grace, His mercy, His providence, His care is connected to engaged with all these things and there is no end to it and should see this in the flora and fauna and the minds and all this vast power that He has displayed in creating these beautiful forms and colours that we witness in the world. Because all of these things are the key to knowing the divine attribute and this is an honourable knowledge. It is the knowledge of wonders of God’s creation and to know the vastness of God, the majesty and magnificence of God subhanahu wa-ta'ala and His power. If you know this preciousness and this honour, this perfection, this beauty. Once you know the essence of the heart of consciousness that this essence is a precious essence. It was given to you and after that it was hidden from you this gift. If you do not seek out what has been hidden from you this treasure in your heart and you are heedless of it, you love, you forget, it is a greater tragedy and loss on the day of judgement for you.
Exert every effort in seeking it and leave the preoccupations of this world all of it because every honour what does not manifest in this world in the next world it will be joy without grief and perpetuity without cessation and power without incapacity and knowledge without ignorance and great beauty and majesty.
But today nothing is more lower than this thing. It is impoverished, neglected the honour is tomorrow. If this alchemy is thrust on the essence of the heart until he is free from being like animals and he achieved the ranks of angels so if he returns to the desires of this world, animals are preferable to him on the day of judgement because they go to dust and he goes to punishment and chastisement. We seek refuge in Allah from that and we seek refuge in Allah and we seek His protection. What a great master He is, what a great giver of victory.