September 3, 2000
Shaykh Nazim gives a Practical Lesson in Work
After performing salat al-`Asr in the mosque, followed by the ahzab (litanies of tasbih, du`a and Quranic recitation after salat), Shaykh Nazim requested the stronger men present to follow him. He then walked a long distance through paths and thickets on the 200-acre farm, reaching the flat marshland. There he proceeded to give a highly educational demonstration of tariqat principles by means of a practical lesson.
Assigning a number of men, he directed them to take down the large number of dead trees scattered throughout the marsh. His first order was general, and the men set about the task.
At first they simply cleared already fallen timbers, working in small teams. This proceeded without incident, smoothly.
Then came time to fell the trees still standing. A number of groups formed and volunteers came forward to cut the trunk. One person tried, then another, using a small chainsaw. However they did not meet with success. Each person threw out his opinion of how to proceed. Meanwhile the Shaykh looked on, amused.Another group, down in the marsh, set about trying to push over a tree by brute force. With twelve men pushing, they were unable to budge the trunk. They called for the sawyer, who came with the chainsaw and attacked the trunk. Finally, with a loud crash the tree came tumbling down.
Shaykh Nazim, now gave an order: take a rope, and pull the tree down after it has been cut.Some took the order seriously, others, ignored it, others stood around. Attempts were made to cut another tree with chainsaw, then with an ax. Little progress was made.
Finally, while the Shaykh said nothing, one brother followed his order, obtaining a heavy and long rope. One brother scampered up the tree and looped the rope around a sturdy limb.Those below grabbed hold from both ends of the rope, about seven or eight on each end. The tree was in the middle now, with taught rope pulling from above.
Now the group seemed to find the key: and one by one, men took turns chopping the base of the tree with an ax. Using the name of Allah, the entire group chanted "Allahu Allah Haqq" in unison with each chop. Suddenly, each axmen seemed to acquire super powers, chopping 50 or even 100 strokes without tiring.The first tree, pulled by the ropes, came crashing down. Then a second, a third and a fourth.
The lessons were apparent to all: the directions of the emir are explicit and must be followed; teamwork and cooperation is essential; Dhikrullah gives strength and perseverance.
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