Many of us, if not all of us, came into this Tariqah with major baggage of sins and indiscretion that we had generated over the years. In many cases, there has not been consistent sincere repentance for all our bad deeds, and there were also no sincere apologies to Allah (ﷻ) for what we had done, and a promise that we will not do that again. To ask for repentance and to promise not to repeat the sin are two essential elements in a process of appealing to one’s Lord, to wipe one’s Record clear. There must also be, of course, as I have written in a previous letter, the understanding that repentance erases the contents of one’s Book. This is perhaps one of the major graces that Allah (ﷻ) has granted us. He has provided us with a means of cleaning our Books.
Sometimes, because of the communities in which we live, and the generally accepted contraventions of Islamic laws and regulations, we become easy targets to Shaytan and his emissaries. This is because we have not acquired the chains of spiritual steel around the hearts to resist these satanic temptations. We have not acquired this, and so we become easy targets; and in the process, we continue to break the rules even though we know that those are Divine Rules, and they must be respected. One of the matters that I have come across on numerous occasions, and which I have not spoken about yet, is the case of which married men acquire temporary entertainment for themselves. This is very common, and in many cases, they indulge in extra-marital sex. I don’t believe that a married man would “go out” with a woman just to hold her hands. The problem is that his wife is pure because her sexual activities are within the confines of the law. The husband is in a state of spiritual, and sometimes even physical, impurity because of the kind of sin he had committed. He then goes to his “pure wife” with his impure body, and uses her as a wife despite the filth that he is carrying around with him. The belief that this filth can be washed away by a bath is an illusion. It can only be removed by intense repentance.
I sometimes think of the indignity that our wives have to go through when they know that their husbands are fornicating, or at least “fooling around”. This indignity plunges to unbelievable depths in those cases where husbands use prostitutes for extra entertainment. I do not know how these women manage. The embarrassment must be so severe in them and whatever dignity they might’ve had, is erased by being used by a husband who is in an impure spiritual state. How do these women manage? How do they give love to such a husband? How does the husband, in a state of such impurity, give love to a faithful and decent wife? I remember that on one occasion a woman came to complain to me that her husband had fathered a child from another woman. My anger was so intense that I told her to throw him out. She refused his advances after that and he threw himself out. Do we know whom we are playing around with when we do this to our wives? Do we know who women are? Do we know that Allah (ﷻ) creates through them and sends all souls through them? Do we know this? Do we know that some of the greatest spiritual figures of all time were women, such as the wife of Pharaoh, the mother of Nabi Isa (a.s.) and the daughter of Nabi Muhammad (ﷺ)? What if your wife is steadily moving towards a special spiritual station that Allah (ﷻ) had prepared for her? What if it is so, and you go to her in a state of major spiritual impurity. I do not even want to mention the consequences of such actions. Allah (ﷻ) is preparing a special spiritual station for someone that you are busy despoiling.
I have always said, and I will say again, although I will not encourage it, that if a husband feels that he is not obtaining the kind of satisfaction that he needs from his wife, and he has even gone for therapy to help him, and the problem has not been solved, then I would suggest to such a man to take a second wife. If however, “messing around” is just part of the prevalent culture amongst young people, then the matter is different.
I want to appeal to all males, whether Naqshbandi or not, if you are one of those individuals who mess around, even occasionally, then you should go to your prayer mat and perform intense repentance, as I had explained at the beginning of the letter. You must drop all those activities and walk a path of holiness; a path of struggling, both personal and social, for special graces from your Lord. We must change our attitudes, even if the social cultural practices encourage fornication, and it is like a social tsunami, then we must be prepared to stand on our feet and oppose it. Being in Tariqah is not a joke or a game. It is a serious decision that was taken to spiritualise one’s life. And one must try very hard to steer away from all those activities that Allah (ﷻ) declared haram. The road of holiness and to holiness is a road lined with the halal. Tasawwuf brings us on this road and Tasawwuf keeps us on this road. If you are on this road, and there is no reduction in your haram activities, then something is radically wrong. Tasawwuf has to do with purification and when there is only pollution and not purification, then we all must have a good look at ourselves. Every remembrance of God purifies, and every act of forgetting God pollutes. And every time one is in a process of sinning, the kind of sin that I have mentioned, then one’s iman leaves one. One is then in a state of kufr. I do not say this; I am only repeating what the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said. When one fornicates, or commits any other grievous sin, then one has no faith during the process of the sin. One’s faith leaves one, like the taking off of a piece of clothing.
One of the reasons that many of us take wrong decisions with our spirituality or do not want to follow the instruction of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim with regard to the spirituality, is because of the periods of faithlessness that we go through. I cannot believe this. That state of faithlessness remains until one makes intense repentance. And so one, of course, goes to one’s legal mate whilst she has iman and you have none. And then so many things sometimes go wrong in our lives and we do not know why. I know this is a very strong letter but the sin of fornication is a very strong sin. We ask Allah (ﷻ), in all sincerity, that He must protect all of us from this sin and that He must guide us to walk a faithful path with those mates that He has granted us and to accept our repentance for our indiscretions, amin.
NB: We should all have a good look at the verses of the Qur’an on the fornicator and the fornicatress (the zani and the zaniah). They are not allowed to marry believing men and women until they made tawbah and led a pious life. These rules teach us the the importance of spiritual education, and that the spiritually purified are only allowed to marry the spiritually purified. And so, what about a husband or wife who fornicates?