On many occasions when we have looked at all that we’ve achieved, or rather, at all that we have been made to achieve, we stand in deep gratitude to our Lord. You see, it is always very easy to talk of blessings and graces or whatever the case might be, but to define those graces or blessings, is generally very difficult. There are occasions when these blessings come into an area of space and of time as we know it, and then it takes certain forms some of which are definable. We ask Allah Almighty at certain times for blessings. When our Lord answers our prayers, the blessings come in different ways; some which we can understand and define, and others we do not have the faintest idea what they are about.
Our organisation has been in existence for little over ten years [as at 2012], and at the beginning our shaykh, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani of Cyprus, gave us the instruction to build 100 mosques in the poorest areas. Part of this building programme was to see to it that the people were fed, clothed and provided with ablution facilities. At the time this instruction was given, many of us must have thought: How is this possible? How were we going to carry out an instruction that was going to cost us, at a monetary level, an enormous amount. And all the additional things, made the whole project appear impossible or too distant.
On numerous occasions it was mentioned to the murids that they have to be for Allah Almighty, coupled with the belief that if one is for Allah (ﷻ), He is for one. This is a difficult concept because of the way our minds have been programmed over the years. Many of us are unable to comprehend a special relationship with Allah Almighty, and so, how can one expect Allah (ﷻ) to be for one if one could not even understand this special relationship? Certain times I have said that we are people of little faith, and when I said this, I included myself as one of the people. I think that as one progresses along the spiritual path, and as one works very hard with all the different forms of religious services available, then Allah (ﷻ) grants one understanding. This understanding comes mainly in the form of inspiration received at certain stations.
Again, these stations are only attained through intensive work with different forms of ibadat, the implementation of the appropriate rules of the Shari’ah in one’s life, working tirelessly in the Cause of Islam and walking the path of the seeking of knowledge. All these factors or variables are governed by the condition of one’s heart. And so, all-in-all, one is taken to certain stations by one’s Lord according to the degree that He has made one obey Him, His Messenger (ﷺ) and those in authority over us. This movement to stations happens all the time until one reaches a station at which one’s Lord is satisfied with one and grants one what our Lord calls Divine Friendship. I am saying all of these things to you, not that I have achieved them, but rather that I know about them. I am also saying all of these things to you because of our understanding of the instructions given to us by our Shaykh.
I have always believed that what our Shaykh has asked us to do can only be achieved by those who occupy the station just mentioned. But one can go further than this. One also believes the attainment of what our Shaykh has asked us to do can also be achieved by those who are working towards this station, either in a weak or strong way. Let us come back to what we were speaking about initially. When Mawlana Shaykh Nazim instructed us to carry out certain functions amongst the poor people, we were faced with a massive task of accumulating funds. We needed these funds not only to build the mosques and jamaat khanahs, but also to feed the poor on a regular basis. I know that none of this could take place without proper religious attitudes. We had to be strict with all different forms of religious services. We had to appeal with sincere hearts turned towards Him. And, of course, we had to make sure that whatever we did, we did for His sake and with the initial mention of His Name in the Bismillah hirrahman nirrahim. These matters in themselves were also major tasks. And so, we had to bring together the tasks we were instructed to do by our Shaykh and also the tasks associated with our religious personalities. Just to exclaim: “O our Lord, we are for Thee and what we do is for Thy sake,” required a major reprogramming of our religious attitudes. The large number of personal wirds, weekly congregational dhikrs, weekly fasting, giving sadaqat, and whatever else, helped in this orientation. And, of course, on numerous occasions, we appeal to our Lord for help. It was always, and it is still like that, asking Allah Almighty to see to our needs.
We do not know. We also do not wish to make rash claims, but how is it possible for this Order to grow as it did, for large numbers of people to become murids, for the construction of mosques and jamaat khanahs, and to commence and to perform all the other multifarious duties that we are known for? We truly believe that we have been able to do all of these because of Allah Almighty’s Help. We dare not think otherwise. We see on a regular basis how He opens doors for us to gain access to funds, how He inspires the murids to dig deep into their pockets to help, and how people, little known to us, come and make major financial contributions to our work. Today, Thursday 12 July 2012, the same thing happened. I could only say Alhamdu lillah; not only for the donations, but also what all of these matters have done to the strengths of our beliefs. It is a very strange thing to say, but when one sees one’s Lord in operation, one’s faith increases and one’s dependence on Him becomes intensified. I have always said that if one wants to know about our Lord, look at His Workings and be with the righteous.
A few months ago I addressed the groups going to do da’wah work in the country areas. I might have said it then or before: “How can you want to work in the Cause of Allah Almighty and your tongues are never wet with His remembrance and your hearts never vibrate with His Names?” It is only people whose hearts are for Allah Almighty that Allah Almighty can use to help the hearts of others to turn to Him. Or to put it in another way: It is only if our hearts are for Him that He can engage us in a very small portion of His guidance to bring others to Islam. How else? Allah (ﷻ) is the One that guides. He grants us a minor portion of work in His Cause to help to bring people to the Truth. How can He use us if our hearts are filled, not with His remembrance, but with the remembrance of other than Him? We must all think about these matters like this. Guidance is in the “Hands” of our Lord and we are allowed to make a contribution to a highly sophisticated process of changing people’s hearts. Although the greatest honour in all of this lies with the recipient of the guidance. But how great is the honour not, for those who are engaged even in a small way in this process?
If you bring all of these matters raised in the letter together, then perhaps we can start understanding what we mean by blessings, by graces and by the opening of doors. We ask Allah Almighty to strengthen us with faith in Him, to appeal to Him for those needs that only He can satisfy, and to help us to bring to fruition the construction of 100 religious structures for His sake and in His Name, amin.
[Letters to Seekers on the Spiritual Path Vol 2 – Unpublished 2012]