Khutbas by Shaykh Muhammad
Khutba on Tasawwuf
Muslims, I counsel you and myself to have taqwa of Allah. This Deen of Islam is a Deen of Akhlaq / the embodiment of good character, so anyone who surpasses you in good character also surpasses you in the Deen.
Purifying the nafs and training it to take on noble qualities of character and act in accordance with the Sunna is the beginning of a journey that leads to love of Allah and being with Him.
Allah says, “Say: If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive you for your wrong actions.” And Abdallah ibn Masud narrated that a man came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and said, “What do you say about a man who loves a people even though he has never met them?” The Prophet replied, “A person will be with those whom he loves.” And Samnun said, “The lovers have taken all of the nobility of this world and the Next”.
A person will be with those whom he loves. They – the lovers – are with Allah in this world and with Him in the Next. One of the ‘Arifin said, “The masakin – the poor and destitute – in this world are those who leave it behind without tasting the best of what it has to offer.” “What is the best of what it has to offer?” he was asked. “Love of Allah, Knowledge of Allah and remembrance of Allah”, he replied.
The way to good character lies in two things as was indicated by Shaykh Abdal Qadir al-Jilani when he said, “Be with the Haqq without creation, and be with creation without yourself”. In other words, the bridge between a slave and his Lord may be crossed in but two steps – one step by means of which he leaves his self behind and one step by means of which he leaves creation behind. He leaves his self behind and completely removes it from the picture by means of the relationship between him and other people, and he leaves people behind and removes them from the picture completely by means of the relationship between him and his Lord. So he ceases to pay any regard to anyone unless he be someone who guides him to Allah and to the path which leads most directly to Him.
Tasawwuf is one of the main pillars of suluk (noble conduct), which is founded upon one single principle – giving people the best of what you have to offer and protecting them from the worst of what you have to offer.
In order to do this, one must first acquire these noble qualities of character – knowledge, generosity and forbearance (Sabr). Knowledge guides a person to where and to whom it is best to direct his acts of kindness, and teaches him the difference between what is agreeable and good, and what is disagreeable and repugnant.
Generosity allows him to overlook and forego any rights that he feels are due to him.
And Sabr allows him to persevere in doing such acts of goodness, and helps him to control his anger, bear mishaps with patience and fortitude, refrain from doing anything that causes harm to others, and refrain from revenge and meeting like with like.
Muslims, Allah says in His Noble Book, “Tell my slaves that I am the All-Forgiving, All-Merciful, and that My punishment is the Painful Punishment.” And He also says, “The Abrar are in an-Na’im and the Fujjar are in Jahim.”
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The Garden is closer to you than the buckle of your sandal. And the fire is like that too.” This hadith is narrated by Bukhari from ‘Abdallah ibn Masud.
Therefore it is necessary for the Wayfarer to take the two noble qualities – those of fear and hope – and to balance them against each other. And that is because fear keeps him away from acts of disobedience and hope gives him love of acts of obedience.
Then it is his love for Allah that drives him swiftly into the Presence of his Lord. And anyone who truly knows Allah will find that there is nothing more beloved to them than Him, except if it be something that brings them nearer to Him or helps them to travel the Path towards Him more quickly.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was the most fearful of people towards His Lord because he was the one with greatest knowledge of Him.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said “I am the most knowledgeable of you with respect to Allah and have the greatest fear of Him.” Bukhari transmitted this hadith from ‘Aisha.
Sufyan ath-Thawri said, “Those who are most dear to Allah are five in number , “A zahid man of knowledge, a sufi faqih (scholar of fiqh), a humble rich man, a grateful poor man, and a sharif (descendant of Prophet) who follows the Sunna.