Selections from The Letters of Shaykh ad-Darqawi

27

Faqir, nothing is more beneficial to you than true sincerity with your Lord in what he has commanded you to do and in what He has forbidden you. By Allah, if you were like that with Him, you would see wonders since Allah Almighty says, "If they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them." By Allah, if we were true with Him, our enemy would be true with us. By Allah, if we were to restrain our abuse of the servants of Allah, our Lord would defend us against every harm and abuse. Then we would only only experience good from everything, and we would not see any evil in anything. The one who used to harm us would not harm us, and the one who used to cut us off would not cut us off. We will only have this after the death, obliteration, disappearance, departure and extinction of our nafs, and after our annihilation to our annihilation.

Peace

28

Faqir, safety lies in fleeing from all people except those who state is uplifting and whose words direct a person to Allah because people are ignorant of the Sunna of their Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and ignorant of their ignorance. We seek refuge with Allah! This ignorance is so great and immense that whenever they see someone who abuses his nafs, demeans it, humbles and humiliates, who is not concerned with it, and turns away from this world and its people, they look down on him, belittle him, are repulsed by him, and despise him, and declare themselves far from him. They hate him because they do not think that he is acting according to the Sunna. They think that he has innovation. They do not know that the door of the Sunna of Muhammad is that which he is following, may Allah be pleased with him, and that what they have is actually the innovation. The reason behind this state of theirs is that the sensory has overwhelmed them and taken possession of their hearts and limbs. It has left them deaf, dumb and blind. They have no intellect. How extraordinary! The realities have been turned upside down so that the Sunna becomes innovation and innovation becomes the Sunna! The blind man starts describing the Path to the one who is just like him. "We belong to Allah and to Him we return." There is no power nor strength except by Allah, the High, the Immense.

Peace.

36

I strongly advise you to follow the Muhammadan Sunna and to remember your Lord whenever your state is constricted and whenever it is expansive. You should say the prayer on your Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. This is because if you are like this, then you will truly be the slaves of Allah. Whoever is truly the slave of Allah is not the slave of his passion. He is a wali of Allah.

Take care! Again, I repeat - take care! Be careful not to anything distract you from your Lord since there is nothing in reality except Allah. "Allah was and there is nothing with Him, He is now as He was." Know that when a man has need of something, that is because of his ignorance and lack of knowledge. If it had not been for his ignorance, he would not need anything except Allah. The Mighty Qur'an and hadith of the Prophet both testify to this. Listen to the answer of the saint of Allah, Sayyidi Sahl at-Tustari, to one of his murids who said to him, "Master - food!" He told him, "Allah." The murid remained silent for awhile and then said, "We must have food." He told him, "We must have Allah." I say that, by Allah, in reality we and others have no need except Allah. If we are His, He is ours as in the past with others - He was theirs if they were His.

I also advise you to always keep together and to remind one another in your Path throughout your entire lifetime as those before you have done. Take care! Again, I repeat - take care! Be careful not to try to hasten an opening as some of you and others seek to do. If you do that, you will miss the excellence of the Path and its blessing, secret, baraka, and bliss because when someone wants to pluck something before it is permissible for him, that results in him being deprived of it. It is absolutely necessary that you keep together and have respect and esteem for one another. You should honour one another and show esteem for one another. Fulfil the contract of Allah when you make a contract. Love one another and show affection to one another as the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said. Be on your guard against being foolish and insolent and against treachery, dishonesty or abandoning the Path. Allah gives success.

Know that concern for a thing is something immense. We and you have no concern except for Allah's favour to us. The 'man' (rajul) denotes the one who does not lack strength, is not lazy and does not slack off. He fights his nafs. He gives it a little of the things which it hates and are burdensome for it until it is annihilated. "Annihilation is obliteration, disappearance, leaving your nafs, extinction," as the wali, Sayyidi Abu'l-Mawahib at-Tunisi, said in his Qawanin.

Peace.

40

Faqir, the secret action is seventy times better than the public action, as is reported in tradition. Allah knows best, but we think that the circle of dhikr which our brothers, the fuqara', hold publicly - standing and sitting, in zawiyyas and in houses, in isolated places and inhabited places - is in the same position as the secret action since this age is an age of heedlessness. Heedlessness has overwhelmed people and taken hold of their hearts and limbs. It has left them deaf, dumb and blind. They have no intellect. Fervour for the deen has suffered in a similar way, and thus making dhikr public and well-known is better than concealing it, especially the circle of dhikr. It has great excellence and a clear secret since the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When you pass by one of the meadows of Paradise, graze there." He was asked, "Messenger of Allah, what are the meadows of Paradise?" "Circles of dhikr," he replied. And the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is no group of people who gather together to do dhikr of Allah, only desiring Allah's face by that, but that a caller calls to them from heaven, 'Arise forgiven! Your evil actions have been transformed into good actions.'" I told this to our brother in Allah, the Sufi scholar and sharif, Abu'l-'Abbas Sayyidi Ahmad ibn 'Ajiba al-Manjari, have Allah have mercy on him. He found it excellent and did not dislike it, may Allah be pleased with him.

Peace.

52

The ruh (spirit) and the nafs (self) are the same luminous thing from the world of light. Allah knows best, faqir, but it is not two different things even though it has two descriptions: purity and turbidity. The root is purity and the branch is turbidity. If were to you ask, "How is that?" I would reply that as long as the ruh retains its purity, excellence, radiance, beauty, nobility, height and elevation, then only the name 'ruh' is true for it. When it leaves its original purity, excellence, radiance, honour, height, and elevation, and becomes turbid by leaving its homeland and relying on other than its loved ones, then it is true to call it 'nafs'. We can designate it according to its low ranks - 'commanding evil", "reproachful", and other names, and we cane also designate it according to high ranks which are very numerous. It is said that it has as many imperfections as Allah has perfections.

My brother, if you wish to return to your homeland from which you came - and it is the world of purity - and to leave a foreign land behind - which is the world of turbidity - then act! If you ask, "How shall I act?" I reply, "Strip yourself of the world of impurity as a sheep is stripped of its skin. Forget it, and do not remember it at all." Then, Allah willing, your luminosity will grow stronger, i.e. the meanings will come to you with their immense, powerful, force armies. They will carry you swiftly to your homeland. However, test it. The knowledge of the realities lies in the testing.

There is no doubt that Allah knows the reality of the ruh since it has secrets which cannot be counted or enumerated as Allah said to His Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when the Jews asked about its reality. He did not know, rather he could not know its reality. When they wanted to question him about it, they said, "If he answers us, he is not a Prophet. If he does not answer us, then he is indeed a Prophet." He did not answer them until Allah taught him what to say to them. There is no doubt that incapacity is the attribute of the slave. Slaveness is nobility. Because of that, Allah praises His Prophet with it when He says in His Book, "Glory be to the One who travelled with His slave by night." He did not say, 'His Prophet' or 'His Messenger' or anything else. He chose the name 'slave' for him because nobility lies in slaveness. It is said that the nafs has a secret and that that secret did not manifest itself to any of Allah's creation except for Pharaoh. That is why he said, "I am your Lord Most High."

Peace

56

Listen, faqir! There was a certain person who kept our company for a period of about eight years. His state of affairs with us was that sometimes his love for us was strong and sometimes it grew weak. This all took place in the period of time which we mentioned.

One day while we were with him, we imparted to him a teaching of the heart which reached the very core of his heart, and Allah has the best knowledge of His Unseen. Because of that, he abstained from some of worldly things and inclined to us very strongly. Then suddenly the meanings came to him with all their vast armies. He had not had any prior experience of them, so they flocked to him and piled up until he supposed that no one on the face of the earth had more knowledge than he had at that moment.

He hurried to us to tell us what he had learned, as we lived a certain distance from each other. After he had spoken with us and we had answered him, he rejected what we said with vehemence and anger. That took place in a gathering of our brothers, may Allah be pleased with them. That had not been his habit with us before this, so we excused him. He would not release us. He continued to browbeat us with his knowledge oppressively. We appeared to him like a robber in front of his band. We did not accept what he said except for a part of it which we found to be true and irrefutable. When he had finished, he left us and went to some of the brothers who had a good intention in respect of us and sincere love for us. However, they had a weak state, and had no other power than that of knowledge. He uprooted them from their intention and from love and sincerity, and very nearly pulled them to one side after their good intention and sincere love.

May Allah be kind to him, he wished to make us move from the state of divestment to the state of means of subsistence. We told him, "If we were to return to what you wish us to return to, we would be excellent in our return since all of us have recognised this side and that side. But as far as you are concerned, you should only flee from the sensory lest it seize you as it has seized many of your companions, some of whom had even stronger states than yours. This is absolutely necessary if you wish to save yourself. Listen to what I tell you and hold to it, and do not hold to other than it. May Allah guide you! My brother, the sensory is very near to you since you recognise only it. Similarly, common people, or most of them, recognise the sensory and do not recognise the meanings nor the Path which leads to them, Now, if you desire those meanings, then flee from the sensory as we have fled from it. Strip it off as we have stripped it off. Fight it as we have fought it. Travel as we have travelled. My brother, if you desire the sensory, you do not want the meanings and your heart is not attached to them since whatever grows smaller in the sensory grows larger in the meanings. Whatever grows weaker in the sensory grows stronger in the meanings, and whatever grows stronger in it, grows weaker in them." He did not accept what we said. Then the sensory stripped him of the meanings which had come to him in all their array, just as we had warned him. He was left without a scent of them. Allah is the authority for what we say.

Peace.

62

Faqir, the great sickness is love of this world which strikes at the hearts. It is not the love which strikes the bodies since this world is a cause for our distance from our Lord. Had it not been for the love which fills our hearts, we would always be in the presence of our Lord. All that veils us from Him is the love of it which dwells in our hearts.

Intention is the elixir. If intention is present with anyone, then good must inevitably be present with him. If it is absent, the good is absent from him. No one was greater than our Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, among all creatures, but in spite of the majesty of his value and the immensity of his affair, whoever does not have a good intention towards him does not profit. Whoever does have it gains great profit.

Peace.

67

Shaykh, do not oblige the one who comes to you to say "Allah, Allah, Allah" constantly, to pray constantly, to fast constantly, or to recite constantly when his state is intense thirst for this world and devotion to idle talk. You should oblige him to perform the obligatory prayers and confirmed sunna prayers. He should leave whatever does not concern him and take on noble character. It is better for him to mention Allah once, pray one prayer, or recite one sura or the like of that with the state of the Shari'a of Muhammad than to do it a thousand times with the blameworthy state which is intense thirst for this world and devotion to idle talk, and absorption in misguidance. May Allah save us!.

Peace.

74

Know, faqir, that I wrote to some of the fuqaha' who objected to our state of poverty: "Peace be upon you. May Allah be kind to you, and may Allah rescue you and us from every misguidance! We have heard that you have abandoned your faults and occupied yourselves with the faults of others. Do you not know that it says in the Book of Allah Almighty, 'Do you order people to devoutness and forget yourselves ╔' (2:44) to the end of the ayat? Or perhaps you have no faults? Far be it from the one who is free of faults that he should see other than the Beloved! Only the one who has faults sees the fault. What fault is greater than seeing others who are all you see both day and night? There is no doubt that both the comely person and the ugly one only see their own face among people. Be comely and you will see comeliness. Be ugly and you will see ugliness. Shaykh al-Busiri said in his Burda, may Allah be pleased with him:

The eye may reject the light of the sun because of ophthalmia,

   And the mouth may reject the taste of water because of illness.

"This is a valid measure. By Allah, if we were ill, water would taste bitter in our months. If the faces of our meanings were good, then our sensory faces could only be good. People are like a mirror for those who look at them. Whoever has a comely face sees a comely face in them. Whoever has an ugly sees an ugly face in them. It is not possible for the comely to see one who is ugly as it is not possible for the ugly to see one who is comely. Because of this, Shaykh Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali al-Kharrubi, may Allah be pleased with him, said,

'Say to those who see what they reject in us,

    "Because of the purity of our drink,

you see your own faces in us."'

"Fuqaha', we were like you, or worse than you, when we found the states of the people ugly and our states excellent. A lot of people were like us – Shaykh 'Izzu'd-din ibn 'Abdu's-Salam, Shaykh al-Ghazali, Shaykh Ibn 'Ata'allah, Shaykh Ibn al-'Arabi al-Hatimi, Shaykh Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili, and their likes, may Allah be pleased with them. Then Allah opened their inner eyes and illuminated their secrets and removed the veil of illusion from them. They looked for ugliness and did not find any report of it. Listen, fuqaha', to what one of them said: 'Had I been obliged to see other-than-Him, I would not have been able to do it since there is nothing else with Him, so how can I see it with Him?' They said:

'Since I have recognised the divinity, I do not see other-than-Him.

    Similarly otherness is forbidden with us

Since I have gathered together what I feared would separate,

     today I have arrived gathered.'

"They said, 'Those who have achieved realisation refuse to see other-than-Allah. They said:

'Say: "Allah" and leave existence and what it contains

    if you have any doubts about achieving perfection.

If you have realisation, all except Allah

    is non-existence, both individually and as a whole.

Know that had it not been for Him, you and all the worlds

     would have been nothing but obliteration and extinction.

Had it not been for Him, the existence of one whose existence is not

    intrinsically his would have been absolutely impossible.

The gnostics are annihilated and do not see anything

    except the Great, the Truly Exalted.

They see that other-than-Him in reality

    is temporary in the present, past and future.'

"That is how it is. The business of dhikr is vast, and the favour of Allah, His generosity, openhandness and mercy is vaster and vaster still. What is that you find that you reject, dislike, abhor, and find heavy except the dhikr of Allah Almighty in the houses as Allah – glory be to Him! – has commanded in His Book? The Almighty said, 'In houses which Allah has permitted to be built and in which His Name is remembered ╔' to the end of the ayat. (24:36) Or are you worshipping your Lord while the one who reject tempts you? If this is the case, then do not accept it from the one who does it. Turn him aside and strike him in the face. Only the ignorant and the one who is pleased with himself think well of him. We do not see anyone in your area worshipping Allah as you claim. Rather we see that some of the students who recite the Qur'an do not pray most of the time. As for the use of tobacco, hashish, sodomy, slander, calumny, and the like of that which our Lord has forbidden us, we will not say anything to you or them about that. We do not see you hastening to anything like you hasten to talking against the people of the Tariqa, may Allah be pleased with them. It has become a general necessity for you in all lands. The people who are affiliated with Allah are those who turn in repentance from that to Allah. Do not be preoccupied with them and their faults as if Allah Almighty had rendered you secure from faults. The truth is far from that! 'No one feels secure against Allah's devising except for those who are lost.' (7:99)

"The upshot is that if you desire counsel and safety from disgrace, then turn to Allah, your Lord to repent of your wrong action, since Allah Almighty says, 'Turn to Allah, every one of you╔' to the end of the ayat (24:31). The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Turn in repentance. I turn in repentance seventy times every day." Another hadith says a hundred times. This was in spite of the fact that Allah Almighty had forgiven him any wrong actions, past and future. We see that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was rising through the stations. Whenever he reached a station, he found one higher than one before it, even if that station was high, i.e. a station of security. Would that we could reach a station such as the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had turned from! The good deeds of the devout are the bad deeds of the best. The good deeds of the best are the bad deeds of the near. You must absolutely turn in repentance to Allah and restitute any injustice shown to people. You should avoid lying, slander, calumny, and all forbidden and disliked things. You must be aware of the repulsive things which are in your hearts and which Allah has forbidden you, inwardly and outwardly. Heedless students, what you have outwardly is what we have mentioned and clarified.

"We will now mention the inward – pride, showing-off, envy, vanity, slander, calumny, deviation from the right way, stupidity, greed, miserliness, and other repulsive qualities with which it is not permitted for the believer to fill his heart. It is permitted for him to purify his heart of them by night before day, and while sitting before standing if he can do that. If not, he must search for a doctor throughout all of North Africa, in the cities and the deserts. If he finds him, he should not leave him and should not leave him and should cling to him until he purifies his heart for him of the foulness which has afflicted it and of all his faults. If he does not find him in North Africa, then he should set out for the East immediately. Do not delay until you can go with the hajjis. Go quickly there so that repentance will not be delayed. Then you would need yet another repentance since delaying repentance is a wrong action which obliges repentance. 'Someone who turns in repentance from wrong actions is like someone who has no wrong actions,' as the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said. It says the Book of Allah, 'Your Lord has made mercy incumbent on Himself╔' to the end of the ayat (6:54), and 'It is He who accepts tawba from His slaves╔' to the end of the ayat. (42:25)"

Peace.

86

I want you to respect and exalt the presence of your Lord because respect is the cause of profit. Whatever election and baraka is obtained at the hand of any of the people of Allah is only through respecting and exalting them. Had it not been for that, no one would have obtained any of it. By brother, you did very well in recording our words, may Allah repay you well! Knowledge is the quarry, and writing it its tether. Tether your quarry to the firm mountains.

As for your statement, "The tongue and pen are with me," we do not know whether you have them or not. Test yourself at the moment of your neediness, the moment when people blame you and the moment when you do not satisfy your appetites. If your breast is expanded, then there is no doubt that you have the true heart. Our evidence is found in the Book of Allah Almighty, "Is he whose breast is opened to Islam, and who therefore is illuminated by his Lord...? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah!" We think that this is a very great and appropriate testimony.

The lofty Islam is the Islam of Ibrahim which the Sufis have. They, may Allah be pleased with them, are such that their hearts find the moment of hardship the same as the moment of ease. They find the moment of illness the same as the moment of health. They find the moment of affliction the same as the moment of well-being. They find the moment of poverty the same as the moment of wealth. They find the moment of abasement the same as the moment of elevation. They find the moment of constriction the same as the someone of expansion, and so it. That is like Sayyiduna Ibrahim, peace be upon him, whose heart was ecstatic in the strongest possible constriction - or we could say affliction or trial. O Allah! Make us and all those connected to us belong to the path of Ibrahim by the rank of the Best of Creation, our lord, master and beloved, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

My brother, be on your guard against interpreting any ayat of Qur'an with an inadequate interpretation. Go to the utmost in its commentary and then you will be right. If you do not go to the utmost in its commentary, then you must necessarily err since it is the Immense Qur'an. The meanings of the immense can only be immense. None knows its interpretation except Allah. When those masters, and scholars of outward knowledge were interpreting, would that their recitation might distract them from its commentary so that Allah could give them an opening to its inward meanings. Then they would combine the knowledge of the outward with the knowledge of the inward, or the knowledge of the Shari'a of Muhammad with the knowledge of the reality. Then they would give commentary on it as many of the perfect men have given commentary, may Allah be pleased with them and may He give us the benefit of the their baraka!

If you were to say, "The Qur'an testifies to other ways in addition to that of Ibrahim, I would ask, "Is the one whose breast is only expanded by the existence of his appetites and desires the same as the one who has withdrawn from his appetites and desires into the contemplation of the immensity of his Lord?" No, by Allah, by Allah, by Allah!

Also test your heart again. Does it seek help from the Immense Qur'an, the hadith of the noble Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, from the shaykhs of the people of the outward and the people of the inward, from the brothers, from Allah, and from His Messenger? If you find that it seeks help from Allah, then it is a great heart. If not, then it is lower than the one who possesses this state. Therefore, you should not leave him until you are like him - and your dye is his dye and his dye is your dye. When someone takes from Allah and His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, all creatures seek his help, high and low, absent and present, near and far, dense and subtle. Whenever his support is strong, their support is strong. Whenever his support is weak, their support is weak. However, we think that if he is perfect, whenever his help in one direction is strong, he turns to the other direction so that there will be balance between the two directions which are seeking help from him so that neither of them will be obliterated. Such is the person who possesses this heart, or we can say, possesses this immense station, until the extinction of this world. Allah is the authority for what we say.

Peace.

107

Injustice inevitably destroys the one who perpetrates it when the end of its term comes because it seems to them that he has done it deliberately. So they kill him because of the error which they discern in him. By Allah, I used to think that it was people who despised me, thought me a fool, belittle me, demeaned me, abased me, considered me ignorant, and failed to recognise my worth. When Allah opened my inner eye and illuminated my secret by His generosity and open-handedness, then I found that my nafs was the one doing that to me and no one else. I found that my self was the one doing that to me, and no one else. I found a large number of ayats which indicate this. Allah Almighty says, "Allah never changes a people's state unless they change what is in themselves," "Allah does not wrong people in any way; rather it is people who wrong themselves," "Whatever evil befalls you comes from your self," etc. When I recognised this, I saw that one doing the injustice was myself, and I did not see it as coming from my fellow men. This was so much the case that when someone came to complain to me about anyone, we saw that the injustice only originated from himself. We did not see it coming from any other direction.

May Allah bless you! Know that when you recognise your worth and the height of your position in reality, all of existence recognises your worth and the height of your position. If you are ignorant of it, existence is ignorant of it and does not recognise your value at all. This is because your self, faqir, inasmuch as it is knowing or ignorant, right-doing or vicious, is, in reality the whole cosmos with the one who has recognition, not with the one who is destroyed. You see only the cosmos which everyone sees. You also see that the cosmos injures you while it is only your self which injures you. By Allah, if you were to overcome it - or we might say, kill it - you would overcome all created things, great and small. Allah is the authority for what we say.

Peace.

199

There was a woman who was one of the lovers of Allah, may Allah make many like her! Whisperings had got the better of her for many years and oppressed her greatly. It was so extreme that at certain times she would almost stop speaking because of the intensity of her anxieties and sorrows. I used to remind her and warn her against listening to the chatter of the self throughout that entire period.

Then her son wrote a letter to me about her. I answered him and said, "By Allah, there is only good in your mother. There is no evil in her except that she listens to all the illusions which come to her. Illusion is baseless. We have pointed that out to her, and we have reminded her and cautioned her about it as much as we can. Part of what I told her is that whispering used to overwhelm me and make me conceive the impossible. It would tell me, "Look at the sky. There are arrows of fire falling from it which will burn you up from head to foot." I looked at the sky and, just as the voice had told me, it was falling on me. That happened I don't know how many times, until my breast was terribly constricted and I was distressed and grieved. Then I went to an isolated spot with the intention of killing myself. Allah is the authority for what we say. Then I said, 'The only thing I can do is to surrender my will about myself to Allah. He can do whatever He likes with me, be it happiness or wretchedness.' Then I completely avoided retreat and fled from it entirely. I used to converse with people and not separate myself from them. I talked with them and did not remain silent for a certain period of time. Then I completely forgot those whisperings through the overflowing favour of Allah. Every harm left me, i.e. those impossible forms which illusion had been making me imagine withdrew from me and completely vanished. Not a trace of that remained. I add not add anything to the obligatory and confirmed 'ibada which Allah has made obligatory. Then great favour and a clear secret appeared to me. The reason for that was that I had surrendered my will about myself to my Lord to do with as He wished. He could make me happy or wretched, show mercy to me or punish me, bring me near or put me far away, make me enter the Garden or make me enter the Fire. I had relief from what had afflicted me and, by Allah, I was completely delighted. Praise and thanks be to Allah!"

There is no doubt that whisperings are multiplied when someone is in retreat or silent. If Amina is as we were, then it will leave her. There is also no doubt that whisperings only impose themselves on the best of people. Listen to what happened to Shaykh ash-Shadhili, may Allah be pleased with him. He reports: "One night I was reciting 'Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind, the King of mankind, the God of mankind, from the evil of the insidious whisperer who whispers in peopleÕs breast, and comes from the jinn and mankind.' Then it was said to me, 'The evil of the whisperer is the whisperer who comes between you and your Beloved. He makes you forget His kindness and reminds you of your evil actions. He makes little of that which is on the right and makes much of that which is on the left to make you turn from good opinion of Allah and His Messenger. Watch out for this door! Many people - worshippers, the ascetic, the people of earnestness and striving - have been taken by it.'"

Shaykh Ibn 'Abbad also reports the words of Ibn 'Ata'llah, "Whoever expresses himself from the carpet of his own goodness is silenced by his bad behaviour towards his Lord. Whoever expresses himself from the carpet of Allah's goodness is not silenced by his own bad behaviour." Shaykh Ahmad ibn Abi'l-Hawari said, "I complained to Shaykh Abu Sulayman ad-Darani about the whisperer. He said, "If you want him to leave you alone, then whenever you sense him at any moment, rejoice. If you rejoice, he will leave you alone since Shaytan hates nothing so much as the joy of the believer. If you are distressed by that, it will increase." Part of what will confirm this is what one of the Imams said, "The one whose faith is perfect is afflicted by the whisperer. The thief does not bother entering a ruined house. (al-Jawahir al-Hisan)

Peace.

223

I advise all of you, elite and common, men and women, old and young, slaves and free, to follow what Allah has commanded you. It is that you do not delay the prayer beyond its proper time, and that you allow yourselves no indulgence in delaying it. You should pray in a group and not pray individually except with an excuse. Allah knows best, but the valid excuse is very rare indeed.

May Allah have mercy on you! Know that the reason which prompted me to say this to you is that I notice that many of the brothers delay the prayer beyond its proper time. They allow themselves indulgence in delaying it. They pray alone even when they are in a group. "Very evil is what they do." Even if they were to be among the masters of hearts, by Allah, they are still sober. They are not intoxicated and withdrawn from their sensory experience so that they should do that. May Allah give you success!. You must therefore be on your guard about this.

Forget remembering yourselves by remembering your Lord. Do not be the reverse and forget to remember your Lord by remembering yourselves. The one who remembers himself is the one who plunges into his appetites and is immersed in that. As for the one who remembers his Lord and forgets himself, he is only immerse in the meanings in which all of the awliya', may Allah be pleased with them, are immersed. They abandoned their appetites and did not remain with them because they were ashamed lest their Master should see them with something other than Him, so understand! May Allah make your understand! Avoid what you are forbidden and occupy yourselves with what you are commanded to do. May Allah give us success!

Know that I see many of the brothers who are always in a state of anxiety, sorrow, distress, and fraud. That is because they turn away from their Lord and turn to their passion. Had they been the opposite of that and turned to their Master and turned away from their passion, then their anxiety, sorrow, grief and turbidity would have left them, Allah Almighty says, "If only the people of the cities had believed and been godfearing, We would have opened up to them blessings from heaven and earth." "Whoever shows fear of Allah – He will give him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect. Whoever trusts in Allah – He will be enough for him. Allah always achieves His aim." "Whoever shows fear of Allah – He will make his affair easy for him. That is the command of Allah which He has sent down to you." There are many more ayats and hadiths like this.

Peace.

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