There are many matters in our religion that we have to deal with in very special ways as we walk this path of Tariqah with our hand in the hand of our shaykh. I’ve spoken to you on numerous occasions about the obstacles on this path and how difficult it is to see to all the observances that come one’s way. One sometimes comments that perhaps the criticism of Tariqah flows from the inability of people to be involved in the observances of Islam as were expounded during the initial stages of Islam. Perhaps this is the difficulty. In our Tariqah we have gone back to the initial stages and are trying very hard to walk in the footsteps of those who, during the first century, carried the flag of Islam. This was the greatest generation, the generation of Jihad.

We are also a generation of Jihad, but at another level. We also carry the banner of Islam, but in another way. Our Jihad is to spread the remembrance of our Lord and of His Message to those who do not remember Him or might not have received the Message. So, although our banner also says La ilah illallah, Muhammadur Rasulullah (), we raise it high to achieve in a similar way what the keepers of the banners during the first century of Islam tried to achieve.

After more than 1400 years, of course, things have changed dramatically in the direction and the religious content of the Ummah. Certain events, in fact certain very dramatic events, have not only divided the Ummah into small pieces, but in the process many of these groups hold swords to each other’s throat. It is this weakness of division that has enabled other countries to push us around on the international stages and to encourage us to use our weapons against each other. Was this in the heart of Nabi Muhammad (ﷺ) when he started his journey on this planet? When he predicted that the Ummah would be divided into 73 sects? What was he telling us? Was he talking about peace and justice or was he talking about war and antagonism? What was he telling us when he spoke of the Last Days and all its signs and the coming of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and Nabi Isa (a.s.)? What was he telling us? Sometimes when one looks around, especially at the international scene, one says or rather one asks: “O my Lord, what has happened to us over more than 1400 years? Where are the brothers of our Prophet (ﷺ) and where are his sisters?”

Here and there, there is still a little light shining as those with Divinely-inspired hearts spread His Message and His Remembrance. This is what it was all about at the beginning of Islam, but today the Muslims are forgetting the remembrance and the Message. We must all think very hard about what we are a party of. Fortunately for us, here and there on the planet, there are still the inheritors of the Prophets (a.s.).

I am explaining some of these things to you, because now, in my very senior years, I have come to realise the extent to which Muslims have diverted from the path of Islam. My mind boggles when I read the history of Muslims, here and elsewhere, and I see the extent to which they have refused to continue to grapple with all the challenges in the Ummah. Here in South Africa, despite the many dangers facing the majority of Muslims, there have been no concerted attempts, even by Tariqah groups, to grapple with these challenges. The fact that the Naqshbandi Order had to start a Sunni Alliance on its own, tells the whole story at this stage in our history. It did this to counter-act not only the religious divisions in our community, but also acceptance by this community of a reduction in the Prophet Practices. If nothing else, this major reduction in the Divine input into the community’s hearts of all those favourable blessings, is perhaps the most dangerous development in this community during this century. Every single day, many of the Prophetic Practices that are part of this community’s religious practice, are being dropped under the impact of other discourses. And all the blessings that the community would normally have received through these Practices, especially after the fard salahs, have now disappeared.

It is a sad reflection on all of us that we have become party to the dropping of Practices that brought upon us graces and blessings for the spiritual development of our hearts. I was thinking the other day that at one time the recital of Ayatul Kursi was a very common practice after the fard salah. So, let us say that only 10 000 Muslims did this five times a day. Can you imagine the massive number of this verse that was going into the Heavens from this community and the limitless Divine Response to it every single day? Today that is all gone, and just as we are losing Ayatul Kursi, we are also losing many of the other adhkar, recitals and supplications that were part of this community’s practice every day. When a community loses the Sunnah, it also loses its religion, and in our case, it is also the extent to which we are losing the massive Divine Response.

Let me come back to what we were talking about. We were telling you that part of our good fortune not only here in South Africa, but all over the world, is that Allah Almighty has prepared certain individuals to be the beacons of His religion during this post Prophetic period. Many of them, not necessarily highly educated in the Shari’ah, but with hearts vibrating in the remembrance of their Lord and under Divine Inspiration, are giving new direction to communities. Some of them, as our history relates, were unique individuals by their Lord and through their personal sacrifices they were able to keep the spiritual tap open for its waters to continue to quench the religious thirst of good people. These people, with their hearts for their Lord and with hearts that only know their Lord, are striving in front in this community to lead it away from division to piety. I am sure that many of them have been classified by their Lord as being of His Friends, because the tasks they are performing in keeping the spiritual taps open, can only be performed by His Friends. Friendship from their Lord had given them the capabilities to keep these taps going and to continue to quench thirsts. One does not know what would have happened if there were none of these people on this planet. What would have happened to us? We would have been rudderless, directionless, without goals. Here and there one of His Friends calls out to the Ummah, giving direction. If it were not for them, I do not know what our destinies would have looked like.

I do not think that I have ever yearned so much for the coming of some historical figures to help us in a major purification process of this planet. Unless our Lord sends these people, our destinies are going to look very dim. We ask Him: “O our Lord, send to us of your favourite pious ones to help us in steadying our feet as we walk in Thy direction, amin.”

[Letters to Seekers on the Spiritual Path Vol 2 – Unpublished 2012]

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