Die Before You Die
Anything that comes under the heading of God is derived from His Names and Attributes. You can know Him through these Names and Attributes. Al-Karim, the Most Generous, is an Attribute. We say that God is the Most Generous, but He is not “al-Karim!” That is, we say that He is the Generous, but we consider that an Attribute, not His Name. And God has a collection of Attributes. When we say, ‘x is generous,’ it means that x takes that generosity from that ocean of Generosity, God”s Attribute, which adorns x with the good manner of generosity. All these Attributes, together with His Names, are indications of the One Whose name is God.
“Allah” is the name which contains the collective meaning of all His Names and Attributes, the Arabic word translated as God. ’He taught Adam all the Names’ [2:31] of human beings, so that he could know his Lord through them. If I want to know someone, I know him through his name. I cannot know him through something else. Adam (s) knew God’s greatness through the Names of His creation. For that reason, in order to know our Lord, we have to know Him through His Names and Attributes. Everything in this world has a name, and that name indicates the one Creator. If you can trace the name to its source, you can reach your Lord. It is enough for a person to trace one name to find his Lord. That is the multitude of names that are meant in the Tradition, ’There are countless paths to God.’ Every name is a Path, a complete spiritual ocean through which you can reach your Lord.
The rank of saints is known by the number of Names that they know. If a saint wants to know the power of another saint, he finds it out by the number of “Oceans of Names” that he knows. Every Name is an ocean. There are saints who have only reached two oceans. Some, ten. Others, ninety-nine. Others, 1000. And there are saints who have gotten to know God through countless numbers of Names. Most saints know their Lord through two Names: Beauty (Jamal) and Majesty (Jalal), because through His Beauty meaning also through His Love He created all creation. All creation comes from no other than the oceans of Beauty and Energy. One of the Names of God is Al-Qadir, the Powerful, Who can say to anything ‘”Be” and it is’ [36: 82]. When God wills something to appear in creation, a power is sent from the ocean of Power or Majesty or Energy and gives existence to that particular beauty. Creation, therefore, takes its power from two oceans Beauty and Energy. To appear, it needs power; to take shape, it needs form. It is empowered with existence through Energy. It is adorned with form through Beauty. Everything that we see is from these two oceans.
Where are the other oceans? Where are the Ninety-Nine oceans, the 1000 oceans, the countless oceans that some saints know? This is hidden knowledge. It cannot be made known except through Mahdi (s). This is one of the secrets that the intellect of human beings cannot accept.
God is Great! He is higher than whatever you think of Him, and what you think is nothing. May God give us that power of understanding and knowledge which He gives to the saints and with which they support and connect the heart of every human being. Without anyone feeling it, they reach everyone through their hearts. Human beings are under the influence of drugs. They are under anesthesia. They do not feel what is going on in their hearts relating to the power of the saints. This is for all human beings. In these days, saints have thrown into hearts the power of heedlessness to make them unconscious while they are working on them.
Saints prepare hearts regardless of what you are doing in your daily life and whether or not you follow a saint. The saint who takes his power from God through the Prophet (s), the greatest and highest level, reaches everyone without leaving anyone out. He must reach everyone. He has a station. He is always found there. God looks at him in every second of the day. He adorns him with countless blessings. These blessings are sent out and dispersed to everyone of the Community. If God looked at ordinary human beings directly, they could not bear it. They would be annihilated. That is borne out in the Quran when God asked Moses to observe the mountain as He glanced at it with His Awesome Gaze. In one glance the mountain was destroyed and Moses himself could not carry the power of that event. But that lecture is for another time.
All saints have to go through an experience at least once in their life: to die before they die. The Prophet (s) said to the Companions, ‘Whoever wants to see someone who passed away before he has passed away, let him look at Abu Bakr as-Siddiq.’ He killed his ego. When are all of us going to die? God may give us the power to kill our ego and make ourselves “die before we die.”
Once my shaykh, through the power of God that He bestowed on him, took me back through all my years as if I was living my entire life a second time. One second of the man making ablution near the river was seven years for the man standing next to him. This happened to me except that one second for me was thirty-five years. I saw everything again, from the beginning of my life up to the age of thirty-five years, pass before me in sequence, everything.
These are saintly people. God has given them free permission. God has given them power. God’s knowledge is so great, so extensive, so vast. No one knows Him; not even Prophet Muhammad (s) knows all that God has bestowed. There is something unseen by all but God and even the Prophet (s) does not know it, although the Prophet knows many unseen things. Yet there is something reserved for God or else the Prophet (s) would be a partner with God and God has no partners! Yet the Wahhabis, ignorant people call us “associationists”. God has no partner but God gave many things to the Prophet (s) and to the saints, (wahban). Do not underestimate the power that God gave them.
After that life review, for forty days I did not know what I was saying. Everyone who sat with me said, ‘This man is crazy.’ No one understood what I was saying. I was mad in the Sufi sense, not as mentally-ill people are. I was speaking about the knowledge of Sufis and their teachings.
They said, ‘He is crazy and does not know what he is saying.’ Yet I knew, but no one understood except Shaykh Adnan, my brother. I was adorned with that state for forty days not sleeping, sitting always with Mawlana Grandshaykh, knowing. After forty days, my grandshaykh took that state away and placed it into my heart, hidden from people. When a master puts that state into your heart, you come back to your normal station, but now you can speak through them. Before that time, all the particles in your body speak. I felt everything in my body saying something! What could one listen to? I heard everything at the same time,. Every cell said something different. You could hear all of their discourses without one overlapping the other. You could understand what all of them were saying.
This is the power of the saints. They can hear everyone at the same time. If millions speak at the same time through their heart, they can hear them. No one interferes with the other’s channel. This is the nature of their connection. This is how they reach everyone. That state lasted for forty days. When it is generalized in your body, you are finished and people call you crazy. When it comes back to the heart, it reaches perfection.
May God give us the blessings of this day. May God show us the power of our shaykh, make him love us, and shelter us in his shelter, the shelter of the Prophet (s), the shelter of our Lord. God is the Creator. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar! God is great! No one knows how great.
We ask success from God through the Opening Chapter of the Quran, al-Fatihah
1. Tirmidhi, Tabarani, Ibn Kathir, Ahmad, Ibn Abi Asim, Tabari, Ibn Hibban, Suyuti.
2. Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah.
3. Muslim and number 24 in Nawawi’s Forty.