Mahabba - LOVE
Love (Mahabba) is the crowning glory of men’s actions.
I hold to love more than all other things. Let us pray that GOD does not withdraw this bounty from us.
Love between disciples (Fuqara) and the master is infinite and increases constantly. One desires never to be separated. This love is a result of a spiritual secret and exists because we are united only for GOD. This love causes all cultural differences to vanish.
It is love which puts hearts to work together in harmonious movement and action.
Love is the spirit’s tutor. With it one is able to know all things.
When love inhabits the heart, nothing is difficult and everything which happens to one can be turned to spiritual profit. This is because, thanks to love, the veil separating us from reality becomes ever thinner. One experiences thereby a deep joy from this proximity and one becomes flooded with a profound perception of beauty.
It is love which provokes a wound, a cry. The cry comes from he who is drunk with the love of the master.
When GOD loves His servant, his qualities are covered with the Qualities of his Lord. It is as if a king invites us into his company and we find ourselves without clothes which are suitably clean and fitting to be in his presence, the king clothes us in his clothes and introduces us into his presence.
Love all creatures, whatever their religion might be or their race and opinions. Everyone has his place in the divine pattern. It is not for us to judge.
Two things are necessary and inter related in the practice: Invocation and orientation. If one has a grimy mirror with which to reflect the sun’s rays, two operations are necessary: The mirror must first be polished. The polishing is done with Dhikr. The mirror must be well directed towards the sun that it may reflect its rays more brightly.
Dhikr practiced regularly progressively makes carnal desires and impure thoughts vanish. In like manner if hunters go hunting in the forest and fire shots, all the animals take fright and flee only to return later in the day. But if the hunters come every day into the forest, the animals will eventually move to another location in the forest.
The key to the answer is in the dhikr. Thanks to dhikr, you may have the intuition to serve you in every situation. The important thing is to be there and to set down one’s roots in the dhikr and to persevere.
The two royal gates to access GOD’s mercy are invocation (dhikr) and generosity.
GOD raises him who lowers himself.
Some of you find it difficult to put themselves in the service of other men, but they nevertheless make the effort to do so. In such a way they will find the capacity to free themselves from the shackles which bind them to their souls.
When one encounters a fraternal relationship an intoxicating wine of love pervades. I am not referring to fraternity in its banal sense, but to that fraternity which is born of love, where hearts are in communion and the spirit is in harmony. This is indeed the royal bounty of GOD!
There is only light. The ego is contained within an envelope that prevents this Light from entering. The ordinary man only sees the darkness within. But when the envelope has been burst, the light of the heart can mingle with the Light of GOD in such a way that only divine light can be seen. “Wherever you turn is the face of GOD.... (Quran)".
Acknowledgement and gratitude are purveyors of grace.
Nothing is outside GOD. Everything is within His embrace. One can reflect on this when the truth of it has been understood. This understanding is a prerequisite. Modern sciences (of appearances) are of no use in this understanding. A scientist measures everything, evaluates it, and weighs it. He who is beyond this approach is not troubled by such trifles.
He who tries to find a way of grace through the works of Ibn Arabi or the other Sufi masters of the past is in fact only following their jellabas. They will only scratch the surface of such things. Methods change according to the time in which we live. Only the master himself holds the keys of method for esoteric progress and continuity.
At a certain level the need for GOD becomes like a drowning person’s need for help, when he calls out in despair. This need by its nature destroys all other desires.
He who understands the value of the shaykh knows that his relationship with him does not require exchange of words. “You see me. I see you and that is ample and bountiful".
Verbal teaching is not necessary. It is only the transformation of hearts which is important. Sidi Boumadiane, Sidi Hamza’s own master and Shaykh, only rarely spoke.
When GOD desires to bestow His grace on His servant, He places a breath of love in his heart. Thus the servant of GOD, although he may well be preoccupied with the affairs of this world, constantly experiences the divine taste of his Lord. Prophet ((...)) s also worked like us, but their hearts were not dominated by their work in this world. Their hearts remained constantly attached to GOD.
Understanding is not acquired through books. It would be too easy to lower oneself and collect all the books written about Sufism in order to acquire such understanding. True knowledge comes to you from inside, from your heart, only the heart can truly understand that nothing is outside GOD.
He who does not have a pure intention (niya) will not evolve in the way, even if he spends all of his life in the company of the Prophet ((...)) .
The middle way
It is important to work in this world because Divine Law demands that you provide for your family’s needs. It is also important to spend time taking care of your family’s welfare. At the same time you must put yourself to work in the service of the Tariqa. You must combine these three functions which constitute the basic references of your life. Thus little by little with constant Dhikr you will acquire the intuition necessary for every situation.
Look after your parents even if they have completely different opinions to yours. Tend to their needs. One of the greatest shames of the modern world is to get rid of one’s parents by sending them into a Home or an institution.
When one reads the life (see'rat) of the Prophet (...) one is struck by the similarity of those links which united him with his community to those one experiences living within the Tariqa. In fact it is one teaching and one relationship which is transmitted down to the present day.
Divine Law (Shari’a)
Application of the divine law (shari’a) is obligatory and is difficult, but remembering GOD (Dhikr) makes it easy for us. Dhikr is not affected by the constraints of Shari ‘a.
Respect of the injunctions of divine law (Shari'a) is like the wax on the cork which prevents the liquid from seeping out of a bottle. A receptacle can be filled with water but if the bottom is cracked all the liquid will escape. One may well attempt to refill the receptacle to no avail. This metaphor illustrates a disciple who does not respect the Shari ‘a.
Attachment to good works
One should not attribute importance to those good works which one accomplishes but only to Him in whose name they are done.
In order to receive those rays of light beamed out from the master, the disciples (Faqir - male disciple<> Faqirah - female disciple) heart must be clean and well directed towards the source of that light.
Real knowledge is obtained only with a humble heart. The way to acquire real knowledge is similar to the way in which a person desiring to drink from the water from a stream. He must lower himself and bend down in order to drink. Water is always to be found in the lowest place. We must become like the water.
Every stage of the voyage is more beautiful than the previous stage.
Everyone issues from the same light. There is no distinction.
We see only exteriors but the inner realities are hidden from our perception. Our bodies live in this world, but our inner beings live in another dimension, another realm. Access to this inner being is the entire function of the way.
Do not just seek Truth. Seek to purify yourself
The world is like an passing shadow. Thus when the sun rises over an object, a shadow appears for a moment then is dissipated. It is the same thing for this world in relation to its reality.
Those that have knowledge of GOD have no shadow. Truly it is only those who lack perception sees them as having shadows. It is in this way that one can understand the attribute of the Prophet (...) : that he cast no shadow.
He who can see the unity of GOD sees only that. Such a person perceives that all normal shapes and forms even those of other human beings are only illusions.
Imperfection and ugliness are not part of the nature of things but only in the impurity of our regard of them. The more the soul is at peace, perfect and pure, the more it is disposed to see in everything a manifestation of divine Light. Everything then becomes beautiful. Only the unpolished heart of the disciple makes things appear ugly.
Divine Light gyrates around the disciple’s heart. The runway must be entirely clear in order that the plane may land. In similar fashion if our heart is full of desires and passions, divine light cannot find a place to seat itself.
Wisdom is in the heart. He who wishes to find water in his well must dig for it. The more he digs, the more the water is abundant. If he ceases to dig, water will always remain at its minimal level. He who digs should never think that the water has reached its maximal level. He should continue digging, as the well has no limits.
Everyone should watch over his heart. All suggestions should be rejected. Also one should reject everything that is unhealthy and try to remain open to all of the divine graces, and to everything that is positive and that which favours his spiritual progress. But how to reject negative suggestions? When you feel their presence, you must tell your ego that it is wrong and that it is you yourself who harbours faults and not others. “It is I who is wrong. If I see a fault in another it is because it is in me. Otherwise I would not have seen it”.
The spiritual state.
The spiritual state is the manifestation of the disciple’s attraction, including his physical attraction, towards the spirit. The heart reacts in this way because it is not used to divine Light and that effects all of one’s being including the body.
The Opening (fath) is the sudden opening of Divine Reality and thus the end of illusion. It is like a snow ball thrown into the ocean, the snowball symbolising the nafs or ego and the ocean being Divine Reality. The snow ball is nothing else than frozen water and when thrown into the ocean it becomes water again, like a small drop in the ocean. The ego has only an transitory existence which is mere illusion if it is taken on its own separated from its origin. In like manner to the snow ball if one is sure of one’s own present state, and one’s consistence of the moment, it appears very different from water as if it were made of a different substance and has a quite different nature, in reality it consists only of a few drops of water similar to all the other drops in the ocean. There is only one water but it exists in different forms and states.
There is no reality but Divine Reality.' La ilaha IL L'ALLAH ' (There is no Deity except Allah)
Every person is bound to those qualities which he possesses. The wise man thinks himself superior to all men on account of his knowledge. The rich man prides himself for his wealth and hapless they remain thus fixed in their sickness. Only spiritual education can help them to free themselves.
The ego (nafs) often refuses constraint and then begins to put out suggestions to proceed further in its gratification. The Sufi way has the contrary effect: When something attracts us towards a worldly thing the Way prevents us from responding to its call. Within the Way one has to avoid stumbling into a fixation of one thing only of this world. It is better to allow events to unfold by themselves by GOD’s will and in His time while remaining firmly and constantly anchored in one’s practices (Dhikr, etc)
Each disciple is an antidote for another disciple. Each one has a strong point where another is weak. And can thus help the other to overcome difficulties.
You should never allow negative suggestions to insinuate themselves into your heart. If you do, your heart will become like a dirty stable. Try to keep you inner self clean and pure. Dhikr enables you to eject all impurities that remain.
Wisdoms of Ibn Ata'Allah Alexandria :
Do not abandon the Dhikr even when your heart is not present while your tongue is mentioning GOD. Yet more serious would be complete absence of the mentioning of GOD by neither tongue nor heart. Perhaps GOD will raise you from distracted dhikr to a more concentrated practice with your heart present and finally to the level where nothing is present except that which is mentioned. “And that is not difficult for GOD” (Quran XIV: 20)
Do not take for companions those whose spiritual state does not stimulate you and whose words are not an indication of GOD.
Purity and Intention
Deeds are but dead forms of which the spirit lies in the purity and intention which is found in them.
Judgement- Destiny and Intuition
To watch out for those faults which are hidden within yourself is better for you seeking out those mysteries that are veiled to you.
Former spiritual aspirations cannot pierce the walls of destiny.
Hope in GOD
The effort that you expend obtaining that which is guaranteed to you and the negligence you show in acquitting yourself of what is expected of you reveal a darkening of your perception.
There is no minor fault in the reckoning of divine justice; and there is no great fault in the reckoning of divine mercy.
There is no good deed considered by GOD in his mercy more than the one which you have forgotten and which you considered trivial.
He sends you inspiration to bring you out of the prison of your being into the free space of the contemplation of the Divine.
You are free from that of which you despair, but you are a slave to that which you desire.
The pure heart
Prayer purifies hearts. It opens the door to the mysteries.
Light accompanies the intimacy of hearts and minds.
Asking good questions is half of learning.
Muhammad (Essential Sufism)
A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey.
Traditional (Essential Sufism)
Whatever you have in your mind - forget it;
Whatever you have in your hand - give it;
Whatever is to be your fate - face it!
Abu Sa'id (Essential Sufism)
For every sin but the killing of Time there is forgiveness.
Traditional (Essential Sufism)
If someone remarks: "What an excellent man you are!" and this pleases you more than his saying, "What a bad man you are!" know that you are still a bad man.
Sufyan al Thawri (Essential Sufism)
A seeker went to ask a sage for guidance on the Sufi way.
The sage counseled,
"if you have never trodden the path of love, go away and fall in love;
then come back and see us."
Jami (Essential Sufism)
The poet Hafiz wrote
"The sun never says to the earth,
'You owe me.'
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky."
IF words come out of the heart, they will enter the heart, but if they come from the tongue, they will not pass beyond the ears.
Al-Suhrawardi (Essential Sufism)
Pray for what you want, but work for the things you need.
Modern Traditional (Essential Sufism)
The Thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it.
Bayazid Bistami (Essential Sufism, p. 37)
Happy are those who find fault with themselves instead of finding fault with others.
Muhammad (Essential Sufism)
If men had been forbidden to make porridge of camel's dung, they would have done it, saying that they would not have been forbidden to do it unless there had been some good in it.
Muhammed (Essential Sufism)
What is done for you - allow it to be done.
What you must do yourself - make sure you do it.
Khawwas (Essential Sufism)
Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it would overwhelm.
Whatever we perceive in the world around us tends to reflect who we are and what we care about most deeply, as in the old saying, "When a thief sees a saint, all he sees are his pockets."
Robert Frager, Heart, Self & Soul, The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony
By : Sayings of Shaykh Sidi Hamza el Qadiri el Boutchichi