Shaykh Yusuf da Costa: Daily hammerings

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On many occasions, especially when our movement goes through unnecessary trauma, I think of the spiritual development of each one of us. Wanting spiritual development was the reason for us coming together originally, and such development was the goal that each one of us reached out to. I’m positive that many of the murids have already achieved some success in reaching their goal. Others, not prepared to comprehend properly the patterns of behaviour in spirituality, continue to slip and stumble, despite what is taught to them.

I have warned on many occasions about the difficulty of this path, especially about how we have to behave when it comes to stresses in relationships. I cannot over-emphasise the importance of this. Once, Mawlana was very upset with me because I didn’t wish him to kiss my hand. He became very angry and stepped back from me. I left his room traumatised because I had listened to someone who had told me that I am giving my hand for Mawlana to kiss. I could not believe this. Every time I used to stretch out my hand to Mawlana he would bring my hand up to his mouth to kiss it. In any case, I went back to the dargah distraught. Dhuhr came. What was Mawlana going to do with me? I was standing next to the chair in which he sits and I stretched out my hand to him. How was he going to react? He took my hand, kissed it, gave me his hand to kiss and hit me on the upper arm as if to say: “It is alright”. I do not know if at any time during my life I had felt such relief with regard to my relationship with anybody. In the period when all this happened I learnt so much. I did not say anything about him. I would not dare. I did not bad-mouth him. I would not dare. And he, from his side, helped me to overcome the trauma that I experienced because of what I had done.

We are all little midgets in spirituality; unrecognized little midgets; but we are all human beings with our short-comings and our frailties. The difference between us and others who are not on the spiritual path is that we are engaging our Lord to whatever degree we can, to attain spiritual stations. Part of the difficulty of this attainment is our own human natures and weaknesses. In my own personal case, for example, I have the tendency, now in my senior years, to get tired of people. If one is hammered the whole day, day after day and week after week with all the multifarious problems that come up amongst the murids and their families, then sometimes one gets tired of individuals that one must pay attention to on a regular basis. It is not good to be like this but if the murids know the daily hammering I receive from certain people then they would understand why I get tired of these people, refuse to have anything to do with them and take them out of my mind. It then becomes as if they do not exist for me anymore.

You see, one of the essential needs for any person on this road is that he should enjoy the privacy of his personal space; a privacy that frees his mind of all the problems that come his way and enables him to concentrate on his Lord. One of the most destructive aspects of this hammering by problems, is that the concentration on, and the engagement with one’s Lord are greatly reduced. This is so unfair. It is this unfairness that causes one to push the names and existence of certain people out of one’s mind. This is a psychological adjustment to satisfy a spiritual need. So few understand. And so few care. How is one going to walk this path working hard for spiritual achievement when there are so many different forms of hammering coming in one’s direction? One, just like every other single murid, has the right to a peaceful space free of other people’s problems within which one can develop; but that is not for some of us. It is for this reason and this is a very personal reason, that one makes psychological adjustments to empty ones personal space of those who are spiritual “robbers”. They rob others of the time and space for spiritual development by the things that they do.

I’ve always wondered when Shaytan was going to take heavy pot-shots at us. I have seen signs of this but I always wondered when he was going to arrange his forces to bring us to our knees. It is happening now. Faeeza and I have been receiving (I do not know what she has done) some very dirty, despicable hate mail from some quarter. At the same time we have been told that we are not welcome in Mfuleni anymore. At the same time there are now attempts to have our jamaat khanas in Burundi and Nkaneni Ark dismantled. And so many more things, all at the same time. This is very strange. Perhaps it is co-incidence. If it is not, then it is a consistent campaign by one or more individuals to start undermining our work. It is a most amazing the kind of climate we live in, in this era. I am not allowed to become angry with or to supplicate against such people. This is not a lawless country and eventually I might have to call in the law for protection. I suppose some of you might think this is very exciting but just at this stage when we are busy with a very serious project to stem the flow of anti-Sunni activities in this country, these other activities are happening. We must depend on our Lord’s decisions on these matters.[Unpublished 2012]



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