Monday 24 January 2022 \


Tests and trials from Allah

Shaykh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi ad-Dagestani with a group of his murids in village Chirkey, Dagestan

Sermon delivered by Shaykh Said Afandi in Chirkey village mosque after Tarawih prayer on 27 Ramadan 2005.

Muhyiddin al-Arabi, may Allah bless his soul, says that there was a night he was spending sleepless in the Qurtuba mosque when all the Prophets unexpectedly arrived there. All of them starting with Adam (PBUH) had come. “This surprised me and I wondered what gathering there was going on”, says Ibn al-Arabi. And he asked one of them, what was the reason of their gathering, what was their goal. And the answer was: “There was a very pious person. His name was Mansur al-Hallajj. And we have gathered here today to intercede for him, to ask the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to forgive him.

What was the reason this person needed Prophet’s (PBUH) forgiveness? It turned out that once al-Hallaj made an imprudent remark about Prophet’s Shafa’ah (PBUH). He said, if the Prophet (PBUH) had a chance to ask the Almighty Allah for anything he wanted, Muhammad (PBUH) should have asked for Shafa’ah for all the people (with no exception). But the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) asked for Shafa’ah only for sinners within his Ummah. This remark of Al-Hallaj became the reason the Prophet (PBUH) had not ever looked at him for years, even though more than 300 years had passed after his [al-Hallaj’s] death.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
- “Oh Mansur, was that you who said I showed a lack of determination in the matter of Shafa’ah? Do not you know that Allah suggests the words to say to the ones He loves?”

- “I know that, oh Allah’s Messenger.”

- “If I am the most beloved Allah’s slave, how can I say anything else but the words the Almighty Allah suggested me to say? This refers to the matter of Shafa’ah, as well. So what is my fault?”

There is a difference between what a person decides on his own and what Allah suggests him according to the Almighty’s purpose. Hallaj’s carelessly spoken word was the reason the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had not looked at him for 300 years. Abu Yazid Bastami says that all the prophets gathered together that night to ask the Prophet (PBUH) for his forgiveness.

Another situation took place in Bait ul-Muqaddas mosque. This was a mosque no one was permitted to stay at nighttime. Because at nights angels gathered there to worship the Almighty. But someday Ibrahim ibn Adham stayed in the mosque. He may have concealed himself or may be no one noticed him in there. It happened that he fell asleep. When people and watchmen left and locked the doors, Ibrahim remained alone. After a while angels packed the mosque. Some time passed and they began saying to each other:

“There is a human smell in here.”

It was the time Ibrahim ibn Adham awoke and he could hear this. One of the angels said: “I feel like here is Ibrahim ibn Adham, who is already two years back from Mecca.”

And another angel asked if it was the same Ibrahim, who is not allowed to enter Heaven and whose prayers are not accepted. Ibrahim thought of his deeds that could have been a reason for this.

The angel continued: “A couple of years ago he bought some dates from a marketer. While pouring dates from the stall into his bag, he saw one on the floor. Ibrahim picked it up and ate considering it one of the dates he had just bought. Actually that date had accidentally fallen down the stall of the marketer. Since that day Allah does not accept Ibrahim’s good deeds and the doors of Heaven are closed for him.” That was what the angel said.

After that Ibrahim went to Mecca and found that marketer’s place. He was surprised to see a young man behind the stall, since he remembered an old man. Ibrahim asked him: “I bought some dates here from an old man two years ago. Where is he now and who are you? I remember that this is the exact place.” The man answered: “That old man was my father. He died and now I work here.” Then Ibrahim told him he story about the date and asked him to excuse him or to take an appropriate payment. “I forgive you”, said the man. “But I have a mother and you should go and see her too.” Just imagine that this conversation is taking place because of a date! “You must apologize before my mother either. Because she also inherited a part of my father’s property”. And he had sisters to be apologized before, as well. What for the mother, she made it halal for him [forgave him].

When Ibrahim said he must go to young man’s sisters, their mother responded that she will apologize before them herself. Then Ibrahim returned to the mosque, where this entire story began. When he fell asleep, angels gathered in Bait ul-Muqaddas and started talking about him. They said this was the Ibrahim, who went to Mecca to apologize and the doors of Heaven opened for him.

A small date had become the reason for this entire story to begin. Think about it, are we paying much attention to these kinds of things? Have you ever thought of how often we eat each other’s food? If we will not be forgiven by Allah’s grace, there is nothing we can do to help ourselves. May Allah give us a chance to repent our sins!

Someone was driving us from Mecca to Medina during Hajj. There was a really interesting cassette playing in the car - a man was making du’a after Tarawih prayer. It was a long supplication accompanied with crying. Finally I could not hold back a tear either. This person was appealing to Allah and making du’a for all the Muslims. He said some things we had never heard before. First of all he mentioned Chechen people and begged Allah to take care of them, then he mentioned Daghestan and Palestine. I do not know the reason this man mentioned our motherland. Perhaps some our countryman told him something. May Allah enlarge our small majlis!

We often tell the story of prophet Dawud (PBUH) who asked Allah to show him the Scales of justice. The Almighty showed the Scales, one of their dishes was as large as the Universe. Dawud fainted as soon as he saw this. And then he came to consciousness and asked: “Oh Allah! Who could ever fill this enormous dish with [good] deeds? It would not be that big if there was nothing to fill it with, would it? But it would be small, because a vessel for something small must be also small. Who can fill this dish with such great good deeds?” And Allah’s answer was: “I can fill it with a single date for my beloved slave.” May Allah accept our deeds and make them heavy for those Scales!

Anyways Allah tested us, examined us - our country fell apart. There was such a powerful state that could never be demolished by anyone in the world. But we never think about it.
You can find stories of former people and their prophets in Qur’an. Nowadays no revelations are sent to us and no one tells about them. Amazing stories take place these days, but we do not give them a meaning. Just think about it, if there was somebody trying to demolish Soviet Union, how could he have done it? And how did this great state fall apart without a single shot? Who dared to do this? That was Allah showing His might!

In the old days people were used to say: “I cannot pray; I do not have enough time”. Religions were victimized and people tried to get away with excuses, it was difficult to profess a religion and to pray. But now Allah will say: “You used to offer excuses, but now you have no difficulties. So show Me now, what are you capable of.”

Today there are no restrictions on professing religion. And if we do not worship, what excuses are we going to offer? What are we prohibited to do today? There are no prohibitions, especially here, in Daghestan! You would not find this kind of freedom in both spiritual and material matters anywhere in the world. That is why we have seen a lot. Allah tested us and found out what escapes in our hearts. The Almighty says:
أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُتۡرَكُوٓاْ أَن يَقُولُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا وَهُمۡ لَا يُفۡتَنُونَ "Do men think that they will be left alone on saying "We believe" and that they will not be tested?" (29:2)  وَلَقَدۡ فَتَنَّا ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ‌ۖ فَلَيَعۡلَمَنَّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُواْ وَلَيَعۡلَمَنَّ ٱلۡكَـٰذِبِينَ "We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are truthful and would know the liars." (29:3)

Allah says that He will not leave us to be believers just in words. We see that Allah does test our faith and of those before us. May Allah not give us more complex challenges. Therefore preserve Islam - that is my admonition to you.

Shadhili and Naqshbandi Shaykhs preserved Islam. No one else could do that. Islam reached us thanks to them. They preserved Islam to this day and the ones who followed them are on the right path. Maintaining good relations with Tariqa people will be the best for you. There is nothing more compulsory and pure than that. Never act tactless towards Sufis, because they are links of silsila (spiritual chain) that is coming right from the Prophet (PBUH). This is not a small thing. Think about it, anything you say to an ustaz does not only concern him. For instance, there were some people who had argued with Nechayevka’s ustaz and then came to me and said they were murids. And I have turned them down also. They would never be able to become murids even though they would be born again. How can a person repudiating my ustaz be my murid?

Follow the true shaykhs if you want to be happy both in this life and in the Eternity. May Allah help you! There is nothing better for you than this. Allah did not make me happy and you unhappy. He did not put someone to the straight and narrow and mislead the other. Allah gave us the right to choose, so that we can pick out whatever we want. Choose the best things; no one forces you choose wrong ones! It all depends on you. If someone picks out the good, then he will be with the good. If someone picks out the evil, then let him be with the evil. This is not about what Allah gives us; this is all up to us. What is chosen for us by our zarra [in pre-Eternity (azal)], that is what Allah predestined us.

An example can be given here. If you want to move a ring, you should move the finger it is slipped on. The things chosen for us by our zarra are predestined for us by Allah. Let us be the ones who have chosen the best! And we always have a choice. Allah says in the Qur’an: وَإِنِّى لَغَفَّارٌ۬ لِّمَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا ثُمَّ ٱهۡتَدَىٰ
"And verily I am the Most-Forgiving for him who repents and believes and acts righteously, then follows the right path." (20:82)
We are taught everything. Allah never lies to us; He would never say that if we had no choice. We have a chance to follow any path we want. May Allah help us to choose the right one!

A great person said: “Muslims are given a good fortune; we can observe the rules of our religion anywhere freely. Our forefathers had problems with this. Islam is a perfect religion, where everything is made easy and foreseen.” For instance, Hajj is obligatory to perform just at a certain time of year. Wherever is a Muslim, he must make for Mecca, the only place his Hajj will be accepted, and he must visit Kaaba and stand at the Mount Arafat. A Muslim can visit these places wherever he lives. But what would we do if Allah made it obligatory to perform our daily prayers just at a certain place?

A person is permitted to pray at any clean place, he is not made to go do it at a special place. Everything is easy, and all necessary facilities are offered. A person may shorten and postpone the prayers while traveling and he may substitute tayammum for wudu if no clean water is available. All the possible difficulties are foreseen and all the facilities needed for worshiping are offered. So let us worship! You see, we are not made to do anything that is beyond our power. We are not made to perform such an arduous tasks, chop off a hand if there is no water for ablution; we are not made to travel long way to pray; you may pray anywhere. So pray and worship! Is not this blessing? What can be better than this?


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