Allah Almighty has not created us with dual or multiple faces. He gave our original forefather one face, a face that always gave expression to how his heart felt. He did not give his face one appearance for some people and another appearance for other people. It was always the same face. In other words, what his face represented, was always he. The concept of the single face and its physical expression has come down to us till today. And so we do not adapt our faces according to circumstances or according to the people we are engaging with. This is so important for us to understand.
People with single faces never have hidden agendas in their relationships with others. They are what they are, and so it is very easy to associate with them, to establish relationships with them and to work hand in hand with them. These people, in a certain way, are the cream of our associates, and also the cream of humanity. Because we draw our murids from varieties of groups we cannot confirm, in any way that all of us are single-faced people, because you see, although we all say so, we all do not come into Tariqah for the same pure reasons. It is something that I have been aware of for a long time but I have never spoken about it. Because of the nature of the path and the nature of the goal and the difficulty of attaining that goal, you see people stumbling and falling over all the time. They are unable to walk steadily and to keep their goals in mind, because of their hearts. They have the many-sided faces; those who have not come into Tariqah for spiritual attainment but for material possessions or some kind of status; and the Tariqah eventually ejects them.
You must watch this process of ejection; how in Tariqah people come in and they can’t stay in, because their hearts are not 100% for the path and so, like in many other cases, they either drift out quietly or are ejected. Of course, because others are mirrors of ourselves we must take special note of this. We must take special note of the specialization that takes place on this path and how the path chooses those that it wants to remain. Strange thing to say, eh? It is almost as if the path is a living organism that keeps within its boundaries only those who have single faces and single hearts. In fact, you see, it is a living organism because it involves the movement of human beings in a certain direction under the guidance of a shaykh for spiritual attainment. Where there is no such movement, there is no path. So the path is the movement of like-minded people with single faces, holding hands and linking hearts for special heavenly stations.
I do not know whether there is anything better to strive for or to be involved in on this planet than to be in a movement of people who love each other for Allah’s (ﷻ) sake, and who know that the attainment of such love also means the attainment of a special station by our Lord. They also know that on the Day of Judgment Allah Almighty is going to call out for all of us to hear: “Where are those who love each other in My Honour?” and these people will enjoy the Divine Shade as part of their heavenly station. When others are in the “heat of the sun” they are going to be enjoying Divine coolness from their Lord. We must not forget what we can attain even if it means that as we progress we have to accept that people are being ejected from the path. The direction we are walking does not have to do with us. It has to do with our Lord. He has decreed it like this and it is recorded in the “Book” by Him, a recording that cannot necessarily be expunged and that recording of our path has also been made part of our personal structures. And so we walk the path in terms of a Divine recording of our direction; as recorded in our “Book” by our Lord. We have to fall down in prostration with whatever gratitude we have and that we are capable of expressing. However, the gratitude is not only because of the station but it is also because of the decree and the application of the Divine Will in our lives. We must see and we must understand, and we must appreciate that Allah (ﷻ) says in the Qur’an:
قُلِ اللهُ ثُمَّ دَرْهُمْ فِى خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْهَبُوْنَ
Say: “Allah.” Then leave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling (vi: 91).
As we walk this path we must say Allah (ﷻ) as many times as we can and start pushing away from us those of “games” and “vain talk” so that the “atmosphere” in which we operate is one in which we receive the “breathings” of our Lord; “breathings” that sustain us, keep us walking straight and keep our hearts and faces single-facetted.
There is so much about this that I can talk about. You know, in the Qur’an Allah Almighty speaks about not having created people with two hearts. In other words, He has only given us one heart with a single set of characteristics and a single set of desires. There are not two hearts with contradictory characteristics and contradictory desires. This is what this letter is all about.
When I speak about the single face and the single heart I am referring to this verse in which Allah Almighty tells us that He has not created us with two hearts:
مَا جَعَلَ اللهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِّنْ قَلْبَيْنِ
Allah has not made for any man two hearts (xxxiii: 4).
I so much want all of us, especially me and you, to understand how we must be with each other. Sometimes this is a painful process, because it is difficult to deal with those who have “two hearts”, but we must all be patient with ourselves. Those who do not in fact belong with us will eventually have to go, to help bring peace among all of us, so that we may continue the work that has been ordained for us. We must also supplicate to our Lord asking Him to be of those people of single-faces and single hearts, those who are striving to love each other in Allah (ﷻ). Sometimes the burdens that come from those with many faces are heavy, because of the spiritual disturbances that are caused within our ranks. But you and I have to bear it. When I was in Matric I learned a part of a poem by Shelley. He said, something to the effect, that if Winter is here can Spring be far behind. Sometimes we have to carry the spiritual burdens of Winter because the spiritual benefits of Spring are not far behind. We ask Allah Almighty to always be with us in what we do and to clear our path of those people and those matters that cause burdens to us, amin.