Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Levels and Levels......

Friends, Dato and Tansri,

One Abubakar al Khattani and Abu Hasan ar-Ramli asked a tok guru and Shaykh, Abu Said al-Kharraz:
"Please tell us the stations in our journey to Allah? ".

al-Kharraz answered, " It has to start with repentance, repentance and repentance.....", and he went on,
" after this station, one moves on to khauf [ fear ]. From the station of khauf one move on to raja' [ hope ].
From the station of raja' , one move on to be a 'solihin' and 'solihah'.
Then, one gets elevated to being a mureed.
From being a mureed , one moves on to the next station, a state of  
ta'at, [ in complete obeyance ].
From complete obeyance one moves on to the station of mahabbah [ a state of unqualified love ]. 
From this station the next station is rindu [ 'lovesick' ].
The penultimate station on schedule is a steep hill to climb, leading to walliallah [ allah's friend ]
The last and final stop for the mere mortals is the station of the 
al-muqarrabin [ the one near to HIM ]

[ excerpt from haqq' iq at-tashawwuf, shaykh abdal qadir isa, [ circa 1920 - 1991 ]

Another sufi shaykh, al-Junaid al Bagdhdi, sultan al awliya of all shaykhs of his time, ten centuries earlier,  was asked a more direct and personal question by his fans:
" Shaykh, how do you achieve your current stature and state? "

" By staying under that staircase for over thirty years!..." , alluding to 'istiqamah ' and 'sabr' in doing the necessary 'legwork' a traveler had to undergo before they reach their status of a sufi saint. The 'legwork' is zikrullah, zikrullah and zikrullah and zikrullah, and good behaviour manners and adab...years and years of remembrance, total dedication  to the hala and the haram,and 'hablu minal llah' and 'hablu minan nas'.

At my personal level, being without a tok guru for decades, I have been oscillating, back and forth, back and forth, like a yo-yo, between the 3rd station, khauf, and the 4th station, raja' .
I get my occasionally 'endorhin high'  when on the rare occasion, when allowed to leapfrog to  a state of mahabbah, not stopping at the station of mureed and ta'at! 
This transient abberation in the order of things and adab is not long though. 
As fast as I get to that stage, I percolate down back to the station of  khauf [ fear ] and raja' [ hope ].

When you have been in this 'business' for some years now like i do,  the spirit is ever willing, but the flesh occasionally rebel! Waking up at 4 am in the wee hours of the morning  can be done for a period of two weeks, at the most three, but is a difficult proposition if it is to be done daily , seven days a week, 54 weeks in a year, come vacation  or working. 
This is in the realm of 'hubluminallah'. Beyond this come 'RINDU'. 
One cannot fake it.
Mere mortals like you and me, we fall back to where we are.

At my age now, I wish I can turn back the clock by 20 years. Then a decent Tok Guru would have entertained me and lead me by the hand over those slippery 'slope'.
Now, at 64, I am already afflicted by phd  [ 'permanent head damage' ], and no tok guru or shaykh, in their right mind, would want to waste his precious time and emotion  to 'teach an old monkey like me  new tricks'. So here I am permanently bivouked at station, hope.

...and to make things straight for the record, it is not just the lack of a 'mursyid tok guru'.
the potential student is also mainly at fault, not wanting to remove his cloth of egoism!
it is much a problematic student than the lack of tok guru.
i am to be blamed!

I guess there are many many millions like me.
In our thirties we have more than a passing interest in things 'tassawuf' but over the years we are too choosy about which  tok guru we go to. 

Central , from our perspective, rightly or wrongly, I think is , our reluctance to 'lose' our personal 'soveriengty'' to just any charlatan tok guru.
And currently there are just quite a number in the 'business'.
Bad and wrong 'tok gurus' can oftentimes be worse than no 'tok gurus' at all!
At the end, while waiting for the 'murshid' tok guru, we 'missed' the boat........
A problem of being too careful.

But insyaallah , even the station of hope is good enough.

Allah hummakh tim lana bi husnil khatimah , wa la takh tim alaina bi suul khatimah!
[ oh allah, grant a good ending to our lives and don't let end our lives with bad ending....]

Dr Nik

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