Many of us have had the good fortune to have reached big ages or rather, to put it more accurately, that Allah Almighty has granted big ages to. Perhaps there are advantages in this, because one can continue, in one’s own humble way, to make ibadat to one’s Lord. Of course, when one also reaches a certain age then the burden of punishment for certain transgressions is removed. And so becoming old, is a very special blessing for many of us; that is why Nabi Muhammad (ﷺ) stated that blessings are with the old people. On many occasions I have had experiences of extreme rudeness and disrespect to senior people. I’ve seen these in homes and I see this in the community.
I ask myself on these occasions: “What is wrong with us that we have no idea of the deference with which we are supposed to regard all human beings, especially old people?” I, for example, get a continuous stream of hate mail from all kinds of people who do not identify themselves. I find it amazing that people who wish to correct my Islam, and there is nothing wrong if they wish to do that, show no respect and also do not identify themselves. What can I do to them? I’m going towards 80. I can’t fight them. But I would like to talk to them and teach them, if I am able to, some of the basic rules that govern inter-human relationships. Every now and then also I hear the things I have said about myself. I never say things like that. I never pretend that I am pious. What I do is to call myself and others to walk a road towards piety. Why is it necessary for Muslims to bad-mouth others in an attempt to correct their ways, as we say? But in the process, they pile major religious transgressions on themselves. To many of us words like respect and decency have no meaning. And perhaps each one of us, before casting tirades against others, should first examine our own personalities and their weaknesses and try to bring about major self-correction before worrying about others. I would very much like to sit down with some of those who backbite me, slander me and spread unbelievable lies about me. I would like to sit down and talk to them about how these characteristics have become a feature of so many of us. Many of us have travelled long roads in Islam. Each one, and I really mean each one, plots his or her own individual path in the religion, would one day stand in the Divine Court on his or her own, and justify to his Lord why he had walked that path. This is already a major burden that faces each one of us. On the Last Day, each one of us will be made to approach the Scale and everything that we did will now be measured by the Scale for Divine Approval or Disapproval. Doesn’t this worry one? There are even some murids whom I doubt whether they believe in the Last Day by their behaviour. They strut around and threaten and, I suppose, they consider this as acceptable behaviour in Tariqah. I have grown so tired of them, because I can see the spiritual damage that they are inflicting on themselves. Look at what is happening to this community. Look at the scandals that impact on this community socially and look at the private forms of scandals that individuals generate and the damage that is caused to them.
Surely, those in Tariqah must start to understand the rules of Futuwwah that govern their lives. It is an extra burden on one when one has to constantly remind certain murids that they must control their tongues and stop having personal agendas, which they try to operate within our structures. We must not defend what is wrong and what is unbecoming amongst us. Just as the perpetrators of hate mail or the perpetrators of personal anti-Tariqah activities within our structures; all of us will one day have to answer for our activities.
Just the fact that one has to one day “face one’s Lord” on each and every thing that one has done or that one was supposed to have done, and not done, is already a very serious matter. I think, that on a previous occasion I had told you that Allah Almighty opens for me occasionally a window on the Barzakh and what I saw, sent shivers down my spine when I woke later. Our behavior patterns tell us, and we will deny this, that we do not believe in the Barzakh and that we do not believe in the Final Judgment. If we did, we would not dare send hate mail to anybody or we would not dare slander anybody or we would not dare spread lies about anybody and we would not dare have hidden anti-Tasawwuf agendas in our structures.
In Tasawwuf, it does not matter the nature of the criticism that comes to you, you bow your head in submission, even if you are correct. If one devises ways and means of seeking revenge against the order because of criticism that had come in one’s direction, then it means that one is far removed from the teachings of Tasawwuf. I am pleased to say that this letter does not apply to the vast majority of you. I am pleased to say that, otherwise I would rather go and operate in another Tariqah. The hearts of the majority of you and by majority I mean almost all of you, are good hearts; sound hearts working towards peaceful hearts in the Hereafter. The few other odd hearts I have supplicated to my Lord about. I have asked Him: “O my Lord, if their presence in our Tariqah is part of Thy Will, I accept. But if there is no need for them to be with us, I ask Thee to let their plans to undermine our work come to naught, amin”.