Video Clip #94:
On the Courtesy of the spiritual aspirants
towards their Shaykh  BY: His eminence, the erudite Imam, Shaykh Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn at-Tijānī al-Ḥasanī On the Courtesy of the spiritual aspirants
towards their Shaykh  “Thus has He revealed to you and to those before you,
Allah, the Mighty, the Wise”, [Quran 42:3] So Allah ﷻ is the “Shaykh” of the Prophet ﷺ They said, “Whoever does not have a Shaykh,
then Satan is his shaykh”. The Prophet ﷺ has a teacher and an educator (murrabi) who is educating him ﷺ “Verily, Allah had taught me courtesy,
so how beautiful is my courtesy” [Hadith – Suyuti] So the best of educators (murabbis)
is my Lord (rabbi) So the Prophet ﷺ has as his Shaykh and Teacher,
our Lord Exalted and Glorified is He. and he ﷺ has another teacher, Gabriel (Jibril) peace be upon him. (For example), one time the Prophet ﷺ was sitting
with S. JIbril when an angel came and addressed the Prophet ﷺ saying, ”
Allah ﷻ is giving you the choice either to be “A servant and a prophet”
or be “A king and a prophet” so our Prophet ﷻ looked towards Jibril
(seeking his opinion) and S. Jibril pointed out “Be humble” and the Prophet ﷺ immediately obliged him He ﷺ replied, “I choose to be a prophet and a servant” (Note how) he ﷺ did not question Jibril (pbuh).
(That’s one’s relationship with the Shaykh) So the Prophet ﷺ, himself, has a Shaykh.
And he ﷺ is the Shaykh of the Companions Who is the Shaykh of the Comapnions? Then (this role of) tarbiyyah was subsequently
passed along (to inheritors) You must know, the rules of courtesy (ādāb) that a murid
should observe towards his Shaykh i.e. a seeker of (spiritual) tarbiyyah or a wayfarer (salik) must abide by certain rules of courtesy towards his Shaykh but if he was not a spiritual aspirant or a wayfarer,
e.g. one seeking to study fiqh: can study with one teacher for a while, then leaves to study with a second teacher & with a third. No problem. But things are different for a seeker
of tarbiyyah and suluk Such aspirant seeker has a set of “rules of courtesy”
that he must observe, the first of which: He must firmly believe (without a shred of doubt)
that his Shaykh is the most perfect of Shuyukh If he does not believe that, then he will
start looking for a better one Otherwise, why stay with this particular Shaykh? If he believes that there is a more complete Shaykh elsewhere, then he can’t sit (with the first one) He must search for the more-complete
or the more-perfect Shaykh And when one believes that there is a more-complete Shaykh, the sanctity of his Shaykh undeniably vanished from his heart, and when that happens, his Shaykh has no choice
but to keep him away from the rest of his murids. (In a graceful manner). Slowly, but surely,
the Shaykh will (remove him from his circle) because the sanctity of his Shaykh
decreased in his heart. and this is most dangerous thing for a seeker
(no proper prestige for the Shaykh in one’s heart) He won’t succeed as a spiritual aspirant
(Can’t be considered as one when that happens) The second rule is that the seeker must deal with and treat his Shaykh with the utmost
respect, and observing all of the rules of courtesy meaning what?
Meaning that he must respect his Shaykh
and treat him with decency and gravitas and not just the Shaykh, but everything
that belongs to the Shaykh as well i.e. everything that belongs to the Shaykh
is (part of him) i.e. for example
(the seeker) should not touch the Shaykh’s pen should not sit where the Shaykh sits (e.g. his chair) should not wear the Shaykh’s clothes (same with) everything that belongs to the
Shaykh: property, spouse, children, … etc. should be respected
(out of respect for the Shaykh) So (a seeker) must have proper
respect to his Shaykh The third thing that a spiritual seeker must observe
and this is very important he should not try to compete with his Shaykh
for his level (or station) A seeker may come and concludes,
“The Shaykh is just a regular guy, I can be better than him one day. (All I need) is just work a bit harder. Pray more,
remember more, memorize the Quran .. and I will be better than him one day” If he thinks in this way,
his spiritual upbringing (comes to a halt) These are the main three points.
After that, the compulsory manners When he enters into his Shaykh’s presence,
he must enter with solemnity of manners: he lowers his head (and gaze)
i.e. he should not stare at his Shaykh so first: the murid should not stare at the Shaykh i.e. the Shaykh should not look and finds one
staring back at him. This is lack of courtesy Never stare at the Shaykh (no matter what) then he enters his presence with
respect and reverence, then kiss his Shaykh’s hand
and sits down and he should be sitting lying on one side.
He sits (in a way where he can stand up instantly) e.g. the way one sits for the tashahhud
during the prayer (e) and he should not speak unless the Shaykh gave him permission to speak The way he sits with his Shaykh is like a fisherman
waiting for whatever rizq falls in his net i.e. he awaits whatever Allah ﷻ will send
to him on the tongue of his Shaykh. He does not start to speak before his Shaykh
and he does not raise his voice over that of the Shaykh and he should not call his Shaykh
if he was standing far from him He goes to him first
(not call from afar) And when he wants to request something
from the Shaykh, he does so with his heart i.e. doesn’t go to him and goes, “I want this,
I need that, I …..”. No. he feels the presence of his Shaykh
and then makes his request with his heart If he sees a vision, he (can share it) with his Shaykh,
not in order that the Shaykh interprets it he does not wait for an interpretation from the Shaykh If he shares any other issue with the Shaykh,
he should not await a reply. Once he informs the Shaykh, that’s enough.
Did the Shaykh hear you? That’s it. Don’t expect the Shaykh to come back to you.
No. (If he does so, fine. It not, also fine) Also of the manners to be observed:
a murid should not sit to eat with his Shaykh, unless the Shaykh allows him to. But he can bring the food to his Shaykh, and then
waits at the door (while his Shaykh eats) and he should not be thinking, Why doesn’t he
invite me (eat with him)?”. Unacceptable. You don’t sit to eat with him unless
he invites you or (allows you to) if the Shaykh reprimands you in front of others,
you should thank him, not be upset with him If the Shaykh shouts at you in front of others, know
that he cares about you and that he is teaching you and if (always) acts in a friendly way with you,
know that he might be scheming (to drive you away), so when he is “loosey-goosey” with you,
don’t act in a similar manner. you must keep your solemn and
respectful manners, if you act back in a similar way, then
(know) this could be a “plan” But the more he acts friendly towards you, the more you (should) act with respect and reverence (As the Sufi saying goes), “Sit on the carpet,
and beware of being (very) loose” So reprimand is better, i.e. the Shaykh reproaching you
is better than when he is friendly with you, Everything uttered between the Shaykh and the murid
is a secret (not to be shared with others) (The murid) should not tell it to anyone, even if
the Shaykh did not specifically say “This is a secret” If (the murid) was sitting with the Shaykh
and witnessed something, he should not go out and share “I saw such and such”.
This is (another) secret to keep He cannot share, “While I was sitting with the Shaykh, someone came and … “. This is treason This doesn’t work. And (such murid) is not
qualified to be in the company of Shuyukh If you sit with the Shaykh and then left him,
it is as if you did not see anything in a way, when you sit with the Shaykh, you are like
“I do not see, I do not talk, I do not hear” When you leave your Shaykh’s presence,
never leave with your back to him and even when you pray, don’t pray in front of him
(where your back will be facing him). No. (You should always be facing the Shaykh) When you leave his presence, you walk backwards
with your face towards the Shaykh When the Shaykh orders you (to do) something the first thing to do is to make sure you heard
and understood his order properly be clear about all things related to it, so that
you end up carrying it out correctly When he tells you, “Go do ….”, don’t run blindly. (Think about it and get clear about all factors related to it) and beware to ask him, “Why?”
Don’t ask him, “Why should I do that?” The “why” is not your business And even if his command goes against your own
understanding of the Law, you still execute it Because whatever the Shaykh asks of you is valid
according to one view of the Law (that you don’t know) So when the Shaykh asks you to do something, you
do it diligently without being detracted by anything You have to be 100% sure that Allah’s satisfaction
is (the same as) the Shaykh’s satisfaction and that His displeasure is
tied to your Shaykh’s displeasure and that whatever Allah ﷻ bestows on you comes as a result of your Shaykh’s satisfaction with you similarly with whatever hardships Allah ﷻ uplifts
(because of the Shaykh’s satisfaction) This must be your creed, (so one must make sure of that) and these are the rules of courtesy
to observe in the Shaykh’s presence Your company (following) for the Shaykh
should be free of desires (you should not follow him) because you are seeking spiritual opening or (higher) ranks, no. You must deeply believe that just reaching (and finding) a (true) Shaykh of Tarbiyah is the greatest blessing you can ever have, and hence you are not looking for something more.
That’s it Praise is due to Allah that I found
a Shaykh of Tarbiyyah I just love him and that’s all.
(You don’t look for anything else) Don’t think that ….
(you need something more) The Shaykh of Tarbiyyah for example When he asks you for your opinion, don’t think that he
does so because he doesn’t know (what to do) he asks you just to (make you happy), as a way to (develop your relationship with him), but he knows he doesn’t ask for your opinion
(out of ignorance) Don’t compare yourself with any other murid, e.g. don’t
think, “Why did the Shaykh grants this to others and not to me?” “Why did he do this with so-and-so
and not with me?” No. Being truthful.
You must be truthful when dealing with the Shaykh What does that mean? Don’t show him more (love)
than what you actually have in your heart? e.g. if you love him just 50%,
don’t show that you love him 60% No. The loves that shows (in your speech
and actions) must reflect the 50% Don’t try to force yourself for more (Being truthful is essential) for the Shaykh
to help you on your path Truthfulness.
No truthfulness, no tarbiyyah. “The Shaykh’s absence is the same as his presence”
You must believe that the Shaykh knows everything about you whether you are travelling or not, sleeping or not
sick or healthy. He is (always) with you because your spirits (arwah) are intermingled for you can’t find a (true) Shaykh of tarqiyah or tarbiyah whose spirit (roh) is not intermingled with that of his murid such a Shaykh is always with his murid
(with his spirit) with you in travel, at home, … etc. Suppose the Shaykh traveled,
(for you) it is the same as if he is still here e.g. suppose you have the habit of
visiting your Shaykh every day and the Shaykh traveled
You must keep your habit you go to where he is accustomed to sitting
and greet him, i.e. he is there. Passed away, traveled ..
he is at the same place you go to the same place and greet him
exactly as if he is present. Don’t say, “Well, the Shaykh traveled” or “He died”.
No. A (true) Shaykh does not die. The one who dies is not a (true) Shaykh. You are wasting your time
(if you are in the company of such person) The (true) Shaykh does not die. He is in that the same place he used to sit in (his Zawyah) He is there. So you can go
and greet him (as if he …) What else? These were some of the rules of courtesy (ādāb) that
a murid should observe towards his Shaykh Website: www.en.sheikhsalah.com
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