I suppose that all of you are aware of the fact that groups of murids are going to certain of the country areas. Their major task has been to establish a congregational dhikr in the towns in these areas and also in adjacent poor areas. The first trips about a month ago , were mainly of a fact-finding nature. We had sent out five groups to six areas and they were very successful with their work. They have now started to go out for their second trips. These people are following in the footsteps of a number of murids who have been engaged in this type of work for the last few years. Of course, you all understand that almost all the murids are going to be called on at some time during the next few months to do this work. How I envy all of them. It is very sad for me in a sense that I do not have the energy to do some of these trips myself.
Many of you might be asking what the organisation is up to with regard to these trips. I have, on numerous occasions, told you that we try as hard as possible to implement as much of the Prophetic Practice in our lives and in our organisation. The sending of people to other areas to raise the banner of Islam and to establish the remembrance of Allah Almighty are, of course, part of the Prophetic Practice. And that is why we find the graves of the Companions (r.a.) spread all over in other countries. They were the first missionaries of Islam under the instruction of Nabi Muhammad (ﷺ). Many of them went to countries such as China and I have always wondered how they did their missionary work with people who could not understand Arabic. This is part of the blessing of Islam. What the present groups are doing here in Cape Town is exactly the same process started by the Companions, and it is another way of getting involved in the Blessings and Graces from our Lord. Perhaps this is of His greatest Blessings and Graces. What can be greater as a blessing than to raise the banner of Islam where it is not and to make people remember their Lord in areas where Allah Almighty has been forgotten? Are there blessings greater than these? I do not think so.
It might surprise many people that most of those that I have sent up country are not scholars of Islam. One does not need a vast knowledge of Islam to tell people about this religion or to make such people recite different dhikrs. I think this is the most surprising aspect of our work in the country areas; people with a very limited understanding of Islam go where there is no Islam and tell people about this religion. As a consequence people recite Shahadah. In a previous letter to you I have indicated that when it comes to the reciting of Shahadah, this is Allah’s (ﷻ) Work and He allows us to participate, on a very small scale, in that work. This is the reason why we never say: “We have made people Muslim”. We never say this. We only say: “People have come to recite Shahadah by us”. Allah Almighty honours us by allowing us to participate, in a very small way in His Work. Guidance is of Allah’s (ﷻ) Domain, and so we are deeply grateful for the fact that our task is just to listen to the Shahadah recited by others. Already this is such a massive privilege for us.
When these groups went up country originally, they just stayed for one day or part of it. Now they have to stay for two days and not only work in the town but also in the adjacent poor areas. We have a strong belief that most of the blessings for this kind of work lie in the dilapidated shacks in these areas, because we also believe that in many cases the hearts of the poor people are just for their Lord. Of course, in many cases there are thriving business people in the towns. And although they come to our congregational dhikrs, their hearts are not always empty of everything other than Allah (ﷻ). This kind of emptiness of hearts that are primarily for their Creator is characteristic of many poor people when they come over to Islam.
Just this morning (Wednesday, 18 April 2012) I had a visit from a lady from Blikkiesdorp and she told me two things. The one, that Islam is not a game and the other that she wants to be for Allah (ﷻ). She objected when somebody referred to them in Blikkiesdorp as being under-privileged. She said: “How can we be under-privileged when our Lord is with us?” These statements came from a very poor woman who lives in a tin shack in Blikkiesdorp and is a revert to Islam. You see, we must start taking notice of what Allah Almighty places in the hearts and on the tongues of those servants of His whom we classify as the down-trodden. Many of them see themselves as highly privileged because of their attachment to their Lord; or should I rather say, the attachment of their Lord to them. Socially deprived and generally uneducated, these people have opened their hearts to the Presence of their Lord. We work hard to achieve this through various religious activities. They have achieved it on account of their social deprivation. We must learn! We must learn!
But let me come back to our work in the country areas. This is the beginning of a major sweep by our organization in the poorest parts of the country towns; a sweep that we pray will not only bring people into Islam, but will also encourage people calling on their Lord to remember Him. Those who are going are specially privileged and even if they only get one individual in whose heart Allah Almighty’s Name is renewed; this action would be more than what the Scale can handle. While dictating this letter I cannot really believe what ordinary citizens can achieve for their Lord if their hearts are for Him. I strongly believe that hearts that are for Allah (ﷻ) and in which the Presence of Allah (ﷻ) is seldom absent are the great achievers of special stations for themselves and for others. How else then? How else does one explain when an individual, extremely shy and soft-spoken can stand in front of others and deliver a talk on Islam without hesitation? People like him are people whose hearts are for their Lord, and we call out to our Lord to extend this privilege to all of us. I think it was Imam Rumi who said that if one wishes to be with Allah Almighty, one should be with His Friends. Perhaps I can put this in another way: if one wishes to be with Allah Almighty, be with those in whose hearts is the Presence of Allah (ﷻ). I’m sure Imam Rumi would not mind if I change his words a little bit, because I am also of his Tariqah. We go down in sujud to our Lord with the words, Alhamdu lillah.
[Letters to Seekers on the Spiritual Path Vol 2 – Unpublished 2012]