Way of the Sufis
By Shaykh Abdal Qadir as-Sufi
The fuqara must ask always to be in change.
The du’a of the Muslim is, “O Allah, keep me in change.” Keep me always changing because everything is changing and every day Allah is on a new creation.
You must be renewing and renewing yourself. You have to always be in change. You must remember that the company of the fuqara is the highest company. You must keep each other company. You must travel to other places where there are fuqara. You must sit with the fuqara in every place. You must be an example to them and take example from them when you meet people of quality. Seek the people of knowledge, seek the people of love of Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and the people of love of Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. To take the adab of the great ones you have to sit with them, you have to sit with the people of knowledge. It is by your company that you are purified.
Tasawwuf is keeping company, then tasawwuf is listening, then tasawwuf is acting upon what you hear. There is only one enemy and that is your self. The nafs has nothing good in it. The worst of all things to the Sufis is the recognition of their own good qualities over and against that of other people – it is what sets them back and smashes them on the rocks of destiny. You must not look at your good qualities. You must consider them something that in themselves have been spoiled even by your being conscious of them. You do not look at your self.
You do not find fault with others, you find fault with your self.
You must look at your self and say, “What is wrong with it?” Harith al-Muhasibi went over his day, then went over his hours and then went over his minutes, then went over his breath until he had verified that it was pleasing to Allah, that it was acceptable to Allah. Two great ‘ulama met in Baghdad and they argued and fought with each other. At the end one of them said, “Let us meet tomorrow and discuss this matter further and the other one said, “No, let us meet tomorrow and make peace and forget all about it.”
This is the way of the Sufis – to begin again.
You must not be limited in your forgiveness of the faults of others but you must not have any measurement of any attention to yourself. Any consciousness of your self you must turn from. You must turn away from the nafs and the method of turning away from the nafs is not a psychological method, it is dhikrullah. (Surat ar-Ra’d, 28 ) “Only in the dhikr of Allah can the heart find peace.” You must do dhikr of Allah. You must remember Allah standing, sitting and reclining on your side. You must call upon Allah. You cannot afford to be out of the company of the people who love Allah for any amount of time in this age that we live in. You must be with the people who love Allah, you need them. You need the people of Allah because they will remind you of Allah. You need the people of knowledge because you have to be strong in your Deen and you have to be correct in your Deen in an age where every mosque has a different way of going into sajda, let alone the higher things of the Deen. You must speak well of people and have a good opinion of people. You must become people of futuwwa, you must become these people who are spoken of because of the high aspiration, the high himma you have which is on a universal scale that when you go to the Ka’ba, with all the troubles that are there, you must look for the people of Allah there and sit with them. Beware of the people of dunya. Beware of the people of dunya until you are safe, and when you are safe it does not matter where you go. If you are not safe then you must be careful. You must have taqwa and you must have wara’. You must take care, take care, watch, until you are on Sirat al-Mustaqim because when things go wrong you have to remember that all you have got is then to turn to Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Remember, even tawba is nothing to do with you – it is because Allah has decreed for you tawba because He wants you, so even that is not yours, it is not your good achievement.
Your asking forgiveness is not your good achievement, it is simply Allah claiming you and you recognising that He has claimed you. You belong to Allah. You have come from Allah and you are going to Allah. This is what you have to tell yourself. You must not be hypnotised by dunya.
Remember that Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, indicated that the small coin of the poor person is as dangerous as the gold of the rich, so you must be generous. To be generous is to follow the way of Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. You must be generous, you must have a good opinion of other people, you must not say bad things about other people and if you do say them you must go back and clean it out and you must ask their forgiveness. If someone is totally against you and totally in the wrong then you have to forgive them and you have to forget it and you have to go back and put things right. This is how the Deen has always been. This is how these great men have lived in the past.
Just finally to remind you – look what has become of futuwwa – the elders of the organisation of people calling themselves al- Fatah are tying dynamite to youngsters’ bellies and shoving them out to blow themselves up, when the people who fought with Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, pushed the young people aside in order that they could go and fight fisabilillah, fight in the service of Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So the whole Deen has to start all over again.
You are the people who must start it and in this continent is where it will begin. It is from your people and from your children, but you must have an adab to them, you must treat them with courtesy. You must treat your children with courtesy, you must treat the young with courtesy just as you must treat the old with courtesy. You must become the people of adab and if you become the people of adab you will be safe. If you become people of adab you will be Sufis. At-Tariqa kulluha-adab. The Tariqa is nothing but adab, that is all it is – adab.
You must also have some respect for yourself. That respect for yourself is only manifest by the fact that all the people around you are at ease and in harmony with you and pleased that you are there. This is how you must be. You must be a blessing on the earth. You must be a baraka for everybody. You must be ones that when you enter a room it all lights up because of your love of Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, your love of Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and because your tongue is supple with the name of Allah and not the matters of dunya. Dunya will not fail to happen. All its strategems and spoils will not fail to crash about your ears, they have always done it and they will continue to do it. When the People of the Cave came out, there they were again faced with the world and all its problems and all its difficulties, but Allah loves the people of tawhid and loves the people who love Him and this is the company, the company of the Sufis.
We ask Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, that we prefer to go to the company of people who only want to go to Allah in preference to anyone who may do anything to help us and give us advantage in this world.
We ask Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, to make us ready for the tests that come so that we can respond to Him and remember to praise Him in every situation. Alhamdulillahi ‘ala kulli hal.