Sometimes one comes across a statement in the Qur’an or elsewhere, an explanation of which does not satisfy one. There is a statement in the Qur’an, for example:

وَ اعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِيْنُ

Worship Allah until you gain certainty (xv: 99).

Many of the scholars have explained this certainty as being death. I was never very happy with this explanation, because the word yaqin involves an understanding of one’s belief system. In fact, yaqin has to do with the strengths of one’s beliefs, and I could not understand why scholars would consider the word yaqin here to mean death; whatever the case might be. I think we should look at this verse in another way, because it doesn’t matter what the level of worship of one is or whether one worships at all, one will still experience death, one way or the other. The verse, and here I plead repentance from my Lord if my interpretation is off the mark, deals in fact with the worshipping individual; the individual who engages himself in so many different forms of worship that he attains a station by his Lord at which there is no doubt in his heart about his Lord’s existence. Yaqin here refers to “having no doubt” at all with regard to all those matters that form part of our belief system. In other words, his worship of his Lord is so intense that there comes a time in his life that his Lord grants him certainty with regard to His existence and all the other aspects of belief that is part of our faith.

I ask myself: “How does this come about?” Fortunately I have been able to draw on different forms of resources to find a reply to this question. I look, for example, at someone to whom my Lord has granted Wilayah. In some of these cases, the Wilayah is accompanied by karamat. I have seen this in action in some of the very pious people I have met. The karamat they perform is unimportant to them, but it does give an indication of experience of certainty by these individuals. Mawlana Fazlur Rahman Ansari once described how Mawlana Abdul-Alim Siddiqi, both of Karachi, stopped the rain from falling to allow his audience to go home. I am sure that to Mawlana Abdul-Alim Siddiqi, the fact that he could have control over certain forces of nature, must have proven to him, beyond any doubt, of the existence of The Eternal Being. Miracles of both the Prophetic, and Awliya’ kind, are only possible if there are forces at work beyond our understanding, which can cause these miracles to happen. The rain could only be stopped from falling by Allah Almighty Himself or by His agents, whatever the case might be. I am also positive that when that happened, and it was a very minor happening, it strengthened the faith of Mawlana Abdul-Alim Siddiqi; if this was at all necessary. In Lefke, also, I’ve come across similar karamat exhibited by Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani, and to which I just shook my head in amazement. Can we say that these individuals had reached a station in their spiritual development at which Allah Almighty had granted them certainty? I think it is so.

You see, as one strives from the sake of one’s Lord and in His Name and in His Cause; one does not do the striving because of what one wants to attain. It is always just for the sake of one’s Lord. This kind of striving with different forms of worship, takes one to a different dimension of human activity. It is within the realm of this dimension, only doing things for one’s Lord, that different stations are granted to one. Part of these different stations, are different forms of certainty. And so within these stations, one comes to know that there is certainty of the heart, and that there is certainty with regard to all other aspects of one’s belief system. So those people at these stations, with this kind of certainty, have no doubt whatsoever as to the Divine Existence and everything else that goes with that.

I have told you on many occasions how special some people are to their Lord and the different graces they have been blessed with. Many of us do not know this or do not understand this. At the stations mentioned, Allah Almighty opens, sometimes gradually and sometimes swiftly, doors to experiences of the Unseen. That is why the Awliya’ only smile patiently at those who have no understanding of the processes at work in the Heavens.

Three years ago in 2010, Mawlana spoke to me about my spiritual growth. I have not mentioned this to anyone except my wife. My son and some others were present when he spoke to me. There were four matters he mentioned. These were Allah (ﷻ) and His Messenger’s (ﷺ) satisfaction with me because of my work in South Africa, the state of my spirituality, the station I had reached, and that my son would succeed me as his representative in South Africa. My son took notes while Mawlana spoke. I have not spoken about these matters to you but today I fear, because of the extent that some of you are defying me. I fear for you, because of you. Perhaps what I am dictating might help.

My reaction was not one of jumping with joy, but more a strange bewilderment at having received these very special graces from my Lord. Mawlana had spoken to me previously about this station, but I had pushed it out of mind, because I did not understand the nature of the station. Today I understand a little of it. It is not always easy to assess the reaction of other people’s hearts, or even of one’s own heart, to blessings, which our Lord has preserved for certain people. He mentions this in Suratul Fatihah:

صِرَاطَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ

The path of those on whom Thou has placed special blessings (i: 7).

What I received was so special that I was unable to even react with a “shukr” or an “Alhamdu lillah”. Bewilderment does this to a person; there is the inability to react to what is good or even bad, because the information received just overwhelms one. I remember reading in a book some years ago about how a teacher in a madrassah went into hiding after he had received the news that our Lord had granted him Wilayah, “Divine Friendship”.

A few weeks later Shaykh Hisham wrote me a letter about my station. One is not sure how many would react about all of these or whether it will be the usual “Capetonian derision”, but that is not what I want to talk about. When Mawlana gave me this news, did it also mean that I might be granted certainty about the Divine Existence? One is sure if it would be like that, because Wilayah at the level of my station, must of necessity include certain spiritual grants. I am positive that once the full flowering of the station comes to pass, I would find myself at a spiritual dimension at which there is no doubt as to the existence of my Lord and the existence of all other matters unseen, but that is in the “Hands” of our Lord. I have no say in that matter. We only have wishes and desires.

Even when one considers the nature of some of the blessings that our Lord has granted people throughout the long course of history, what can one say? It is through these matters and also the different displays of certainty by some individuals that we see the existence of our Lord. Others may doubt, but not the Awliya’, not those to whom our Lord has placed the reality of His Existence in their hearts. They are the true believers, because they have come to know, through the experience of the Divine that the Divine exists. We must appeal to our Lord that He grants us the same kind of certainty that He has granted others, amin.

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

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