We ask support from our master, Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani, and we ask for support from our Lord Almighty and from the Prophet (s). Tonight is a very precious night laylat ar-raghaib, ‘the Sacred Night of Desires’. It is one of the most important nights in Islamic history for all human beings. It is the night that the Prophet (s) was transferred from his father to his mother’s womb. It falls on the first Friday of Rajab. All that you wish for on this night, God gives you for the sake of His beloved Prophet (s). In Islamic countries they celebrate this night with praising of the Prophet (s), remembrance of his life, remembrance of God in their hearts, and visits to mosques, which stay open throughout the night until dawn. They do not sleep. Unfortunately, in this country, no one knows especially Muslims that this most precious night is coming.
How are you going to be supported by your Lord? How can Islam be understood in this country if even Muslims do not know when this precious night falls?
This is a night you have to spend reading the Quran, reciting God’s Names, reciting stories of the Prophet’s (s) life, sending him salutations and worshipping your Lord. No one knows. Look in all the mosques. No one even speaks about this night. No one even mentions that this is the month of Rajab and that one is recommended to fast on Mondays and Thursdays. Who is fasting? Very few people remember to fast. Among the majority of Muslims no one even thinks of this important night, yet they want to spread Islam everywhere. How is this going to happen if we Muslims do not begin with ourselves before looking at others?
We ask our Lord to change the hearts of Muslims who ignore the fast of Rajab and cause them to give this month the value it deserves. In our countries, with our shaykh’s permission, we hardly sleep in this month. Last night Mawlana Shaykh celebrated this night in Nicosia with 500 people, praying, reciting dhikr, giving a lecture, then ordering them to go to their homes and supplicate until dawn. Here, no one even considers this night as different from other nights.
Were it not for this night, Islam would never have been. The Light which God had created in Adam (s) shone from his forehead. When his Lord created him and breathed His spirit into him, Adam (s) asked Him, “O My Lord, what is this lamp? This Light always shines on my forehead?” He said, “O Adam, that Light is the Light of my beloved Prophet and Messenger, the Light of my servant Muhammad (s), your son. From that Light I have created you. I have created him before I created you and I made that Light shine from your forehead.” That Light passed from Adam (s) to Noah (s) and from Noah (s) to Abraham (s) and from Abraham (s) to Ismail and so on, until it appeared in the Prophet (s).
Were it not for the Prophet (s), God would have never created the universes. When he ordered the Pen to write, “la ilaha ill-Allah,” (there is no god but God), the Pen wrote for 70,000 years of God’s Time. “One day in your Lord’s estimation is 1,000 years in yours” [22:47]. Imagine the duration of 70,000 heavenly years. That would mean 25,550,000,000 human years during which the Pen was writing.
When the Pen finished, it stopped. God told the Pen, “O Pen, write, “Muhammadun Rasul Allah,” (Muhammad is the Messenger of God). The Pen wrote this for 70,000 more years. Then the Pen asked, “O my Lord, who is this honored person, the Muhammad that you put Your name with his name?” God said, “Be quiet O Pen! Were it not for Muhammad (s), I would never have created anyone.”
No one knows when the Pen began to write la ilaha ill-Allah and no one knows when the Pen began to write Muhammadun Rasul Allah. That time is called pre-eternity, a time that no one knows except our Lord. The Prophet’s (s) name was already present at that time. And if the name was there, do you think that he was not there, as well? When you give someone a name, he must exist, at least spiritually. Whatever greatness you attribute to the Prophet (s), therefore, and however praise you give to him, you are still underestimating him. One great saint said, “Attribute greatness to the Prophet (s) and praise him, but do not say about him what Christians say about their prophet.” That is, do not say that he is God. God alone is God. All others are servants.
This is the Sufi belief. Sufis believe that God is One and everything else is His servant. Do not think that true Sufis have different beliefs. True Sufis know that the servant is the servant and that God is God. New people who proclaim themselves to be Sufis leave the toilet without knowing how to cleanse themselves! These cannot be considered true Sufis. Sufis must keep the Divine Law of the Prophet (s). They must keep all conditions and laws that God has shown us. They believe that God is merciful to everyone. This is a mercy from God. Yet, although God is merciful, we must show thanks on our part, worshipping Him and thanking Him for the favors He bestowed on us. That is the reason God is asking for our worship. Or did you think that the reason of our worship is to make God greater? Our worship is purely a measure of thanks to God for creating us and granting us countless favors.
Do not think that Sufis can accept the view that Sufism contradicts the Divine Law? This was never, is not, and can never be the case. From the Prophet (s), from Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) and from Ali (r) to all Sufi masters, there has been the utmost respect and guardianship of the Divine Law. We mean true Sufis masters, not those who proclaim themselves to be Sufi teachers and masters and bring forth all kinds of nonsense and foolish ideas which they try to pass off as Sufism. What is Sufism? Sufism means that one does not raise one’s head from prostration. One finds them beardless, turbanless, neglecting the Prophet’s (s) Sunnah, yet proclaiming themselves Sufi teachers; speaking about Jalaluddin ar-Rumi, Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi and Abu Yazid al-Bistami. Abu Yazid al-Bistami, Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi and Jalaluddin ar-Rumi deny them! These saints do not accept them because they are going against the Divine Law.
Pseudo-Sufi teachers claim that there is no need for ablution. How can there be no need for ablution? One of the Prophet’s (s) titles is that of “Prophet of the People of Radiance.” A Tradition says, “The first ones I am going to call to my presence to enter into paradise, to see God in heaven and to keep company with me, are those people, radiating light like the sun’s from head to foot because of ablution.”1 Everyone of you that performs ablution is going to be among those lucky people. When Abu Hurayrah (s) was questioned as to why he washed more of his body than necessary, he answered that he wanted himself to shine from every limb on that day. How then can some so-called Sufis ever say, “There is no need for ablution?” They claim that they perform ablution by inhaling, then exhaling all their impurities. It is better to do that in restrooms not in mosques. You can come into mosques only after taking ablution! Nothing can purify you except ablution. We reject what such people say. These people who call themselves Sufis are not true Sufis, but are harming Sufism. They are the ones giving Sufism a bad name.
The Prophet (s) once asked Bilal, “O Bilal, I heard your footsteps in paradise. What are you doing (to merit this)?” Bilal answered, “O my beloved Prophet, whenever I perform ablution by day or wake up at night for ablution (after going to the rest room), I pray at least two cycles of the prayer of ablution.2 We must not relieve ourselves as animals do–without even cleaning ourselves–and then step into mosques and claim that we want to pray. We are not saying this for new Muslims but for Muslims of long-standing. We discuss these things frankly based on the Tradition, “There is no shyness in religion.”
The Prophet (s) said, “Purity is half of faith. I am afraid for those of my Community who come to prayer without purifying themselves after passing water.” Many people here go to rest rooms and come out without purifying themselves, then perform ablution and come to prayer. This is not acceptable. Prayer in that case is not accepted. You have to wash and clean yourself when you pass urine. If you do not wash yourself, you cannot come to prayer. You have to clean yourself before coming to prayer. How else are you going to stand in prayer in the Presence of your Lord and hope that your prayer will be accepted? It is not going to be accepted, although it is better than nothing in comparison to the people who do not pray at all.
All must purify themselves both physically and spiritually. It is nonsense to say, “I only need to clean myself spiritually.” For beginners, never mind for the time being. As for we who have been Muslim for some time, we must come to prayer in a purified state whether we are going to pray in mosques or in our homes. We must be very careful in these matters. Do not go passing urine everywhere like dogs or donkeys or monkeys do, feeling no shame, as if the shaykh does not see you with the spiritual power granted to him by God to observe his followers. If the shaykh does not see you, the two angels on your shoulders do. If the two angels on your shoulders do not see you, your Lord does. Do you not feel shame at this? Go to the rest rooms of the airports and gas stations of America. There no one feels shy at the lack of modesty standing and passing water side by side like dogs. Is this respect and perfected behavior? You must be in a private enclosure. No one must see you. That is the perfect behavior of Islam. It teaches you how to maintain respect with everyone, including yourself.
Sayyidina Ali (s) never in his life looked at his private parts. This is why he received this title of honor, the salutation that we mention after his name which means “may God ennoble his face.” He never let his eyes look at his private parts. What about us nowadays? Leaving aside our own private parts, we look at other people’s private parts and describe them! On television they; teach everyone, including children, how to date and how to look at each other’s private parts. What kind of civilization is that? An animal is better than this.
We are too much in sin. We need quick and safe ways to approach our Lord. We have to know that this precious night of desires is one of those ways of approach. Wherever we look, we find ourselves in sin. That is why you have to search for such places where they are making associations for the sake of God, remembering their Lord and remembering the Prophet (s) so that you can approach quickly. Do not, therefore, miss such associations.
We ask success from God through the Opening Chapter of the Quran, al-Fatihah.
1. Bukhari, Muslim.
2. Bukhari, Muslim.