The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship

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A chapter from the book To Die Before Death, A Sufi Way of Life.

Chapter 1 Destiny
To Die Before Death, A Sufi Way of LifeMay God protect us from the qualities of satan, the rejected one. May God protect us from satan, the rejected one. A'udhu billahi minash-shaitanir-rajim. O God, O God, Ya Allah. O Merciful One, O Merciful One, Ya Rahman. O Compassionate One, O Compassionate One, Ya Rahim. O Ruler of the universes, O Ruler of the universes, Ya Rabbal-alamin.

O Merciful One who rules over everything in this world ('alam) and the world of the soul (arwah), the Leader of everything, the Foremost One who sustains everything, the Lord who created everything, You created everything with Your Grace and Your wealth. The things that You created are very intricate. You have created things that are supremely technical. No one else could have done the research or work that You have done. Everything You did was a novel, wondrous research. You investigated currents, magnetic forces, and all other forces, atom by atom. You are the only One who did the research and created everything. You are the Lord, the Rabb. You know what can be grown where, what can burn what, and what can control what. You are Allahu, the One of unfathomable grace and incomparable love, the bestower of the undiminishing wealth of grace. You are the Lord of all the universes. This is why we praise You.

You have all the power and all the benevolence to create, to fashion, to destroy, and to protect. You know what to protect, what to embrace, and what to destroy. You are the One of perfect purity. You will protect everything that is perfectly pure and destroy everything that is impure and does not join with You. You will take everything that is valuable and discard everything that is of no value. Among all the forces (shaktis), You will take the forces that are right and not the ones that are improper. You are the Foremost One of might and exaltedness, O Lord of the universes. This is why all lives pray to You. There is no doubt that You can do everything. We believe this.

Anyone who has wisdom, anyone who has absolute faith, certitude, and determination (iman), anyone who has trust in You, anyone who has even a little sense, even a little awareness, will not forget You. Only if a person is fascinated by the world, will he forget You. The fascination of the world and the qualities of satan will make a person forget You. Only a person who has the arrogance of satan will forget You, otherwise he will never forget You.

Such arrogance takes possession of man and causes changes to occur. O God, please correct such people and show them Your compassion. Give them compassionate hearts, destroy their pride, and give them qualities of peace and tranquility. Destroy the quality that says, "I," and give them the quality that says, "We." Destroy the quality that says, "Mine!" and give them the quality that says, "Everyone's." Make them give up their anger and give them patience. Make them give up the quality of saying, "I, I, I!" and give them the peacefulness of saying, "We, we, we." Make them give up the thought of "My property, my land, my forest, my country," and let them realize that this is God's kingdom.

Everything belongs to God-ourselves, our lives, our bodies-everything belongs to God. When we ourselves belong to Him, how can anything belong to us. The only thing that belongs to us is God. Please give us the clarity and the wisdom to realize completely that our only wealth is God. Please give us, who are of the human race, this clarity, and give other lives the appropriate qualities and wisdom, and protect us so that we may understand You.

O God, who can fully describe Your greatness? You are the ultimate technician, the greatest scientist. You looked at false knowledge, ignorance, and science and opened up true wisdom. You researched all forces and understood them. You know which force can destroy another, which can control another, and which can be used to create something else. You have created all these magnets and forces. You are the power, and with that power, You rule and control everything. There is no power that is similar to Your power, no wisdom that is similar to Your wisdom, no qualities that are similar to Your qualities, no words, actions, or conduct that are similar to Your words, actions, and conduct, and no compassion that is similar to Your compassion. There is nothing that is similar to You. Other than You there is nothing that all created lives can trust. They can believe only in You. They must accept You. Those that accept Your qualities have peace and tranquility. Those who act with Your qualities, speech, words, and actions attain tranquility and find heaven in their own lives. O Lord of the universes, You are the One who created this condition. Everything praises You-the earth, sky, sun, moon, and all created beings, earth life, fire life, water life, air life, and ether life. O Mighty One, there is no other Lord like You. It is the One who has such power that we call the One God.

Other than You each energy, virus, force, germ, etcetera, is just a cell.1 Different aspects arise from each cell and say, "I." But every cell can be destroyed by another cell. Fire can burn the earth, water can destroy fire, air can move water, mountains and trees can block the currents of air. In this way, one thing controls another. The forces of the sun and moon can be subdued by clouds. The connection between the earth and the sky can be blocked by the clouds. When smoke and clouds are widespread, the earth cannot be seen from the sky nor can a person on land see the sky. This is how it is.

My love you, jeweled lights of my eye, my sisters, brothers, my daughters, sons, grandsons, and granddaughters. It is the same with our realization of the mystery of God. Just as the smoke and clouds can occlude the earth from seeing its connection to the sky and the sky from seeing its connection to the earth, the clouds of our mind and desire prevent us from seeing the connection between God and the hereafter (akhirah) and our life in this world. These clouds prevent us from seeing the connection that exists between God and us. We fail to see our life-connection. These clouds are the four hundred trillion, ten thousand thoughts of our mind. These viruses, these cells, these clouds come and hide our connection to the future. They hide our connection to God. Religions, races, scriptures, philosophies, desires, attachments, blood-ties, differences of colors, the many millions of thoughts, the thoughts of 'I' and 'you', property, livestock, wealth, desire for earth, women, and gold, and the thoughts of my house, my land, my wealth-these are the countless clouds brought about by the mind. Just as the clouds hide the sky from the earth, these clouds hide our connection to God and to the hereafter. They hide our clear connection to peace, and they hide the resplendence of life. By doing this, they prevent us from seeing the power of God and our connection to Him and the hereafter (akhirah).

The mind causes all this to happen. If we transcend the mind, God will not be far away from our life. The two of us will be very close. One looks at the other, and both are in the same place. God and we are both in the same place. Within each of us, there is a place where God lives. He lives in a place of truth. He dwells in a place within us where we nurture our wisdom, words, actions, and conduct within His qualities. His qualities, actions, and His three thousand gracious attributes are within a tiny piece of flesh.2 Without our realizing it, they exist in a specific region of our heart (qalb). God lives in that one place. The base desires rule over the rest of the body, but He rules over this divine kingdom. The rest of the body is ruled by cells, viruses, illusion, (maya), darkness, and fascinations. Each of these catch hold of and devour the other. As each one is being destroyed, it shouts, "My God." But the cell which is destroying it asks, "Who is God?" This is what happens when differences arise between two cells.

The clouds of the mind are the cause of these things. A person who transcends his mind will see the sky and the earth as one. He will know their connection. Just as the sky is seen when there are no clouds, the connection between God and man will be clearly seen when the mind is removed. When man can either transcend, control, or conquer the thoughts of mind and desire, the clouds of life that hide his vision will move away. When the clouds clear, the sky and the earth are clearly seen, are they not? Similarly, God, the hereafter, this world, and the truth in this world will be seen by man. Man can see this truth and understand it!

My love you, my jeweled lights of my eye. Each child must reflect. There are certain ways in which God does things, and there is a reason why the things He does turn out right. He puts everything in its appropriate place. God takes water and puts it back in water; water remains as water and there is no difference. He takes fire, throws it back into fire, and there is no difference. He takes the eighty-four types of air and gases and places them back into the air, and there is no difference. He takes the earth, throws it back into the earth, it joins together, and there is no difference. He takes the earth and puts it into earth, He takes water and puts it into water, He takes the light of the sun and puts it back into light, He takes the cool colors of the moon and puts it into the moon. He takes something which glows in the dark and puts it into other things that glow in the dark. Luminous objects exist in the clouds, and as darkness descends they begin to glow. The moon has this ability also. When the light from the sky falls on the moon and clouds, they glow. That light is cool. The moon and sun both give light, but the sun's light is hot and causes heat and perspiration while the moon's light is cool.

If the moon is thrown into the sun, it will lose its power. When the sun emerges, the moon loses its power. When sun dispels the darkness, the moon loses its power, because its power exists only in darkness. It is the same way when God gives a man wisdom. As soon as the perfectly pure qualities of wisdom come into him, the world loses its power. Illusion (maya) loses its power, the mind loses its power, attachments lose their power, and selfishness loses its power.

When God's qualities, God's actions, God's speech, and God's conduct come into us, the world will change into a powerless entity. All attachments will become powerless. The One Benevolence will show its compassion through its three thousand gracious attributes, and all lives will be seen as one's own life. All sorrow will be one's own, and all tiredness will be one's own. This is how the connection to Truth begins, and in that state man does what God does. Truth is placed in the place of truth and is not destroyed. When God's words are placed in man's words, they are not destroyed; they are protected. Other forces cannot destroy that. When man adopts God's actions, and acts accordingly, they will not be destroyed. When God's vision, His thoughts, His focus, and the beautiful qualities of patience, contentment, surrender (tawakkal), and praise of God (al-hamdu lillah) are established in man, the qualities of all the cells are changed. In the face of these qualities, the four hundred trillion, ten thousand energies become powerless, and the clouds of the mind lose their power.

When God took water and placed it in water no differences could be seen. No differences could be seen when He put fire in fire, air in air, and earth in earth. When earth is stirred, earth mingles with the earth and becomes one. When clouds are beaten and stirred they join with other clouds and drift away. The mind can be made to leave in the same way. No matter what sins we may have gathered in our life, when we join truth with truth no differences will be seen. When wisdom is joined with wisdom there will be no differences. When God's qualities are joined with human qualities no differences will be seen.

When we take on God's actions and act accordingly, there will be no differences. When we adopt God's conduct and act accordingly, there will be no differences. When we act with God's patience and contentment, when we act with surrender, praise of God, and His qualities, there will be no differences. Then peace and tranquility enter our life, and our soul is liberated. The characteristics of God come within us, the light of God and the heart (qalb) of God comes within us, and His resplendence of perfect purity comes within us. Then we realize that we and God dwell in the same place. The clouds move away and the darkness is destroyed and transformed. Mind and desire are reduced and their thoughts are suppressed, and peace, tranquility, and the kingdom of God can be realized within us.

When this kingdom of God is known within us, we realize the truth that God lives within us. We must understand this truth. This is the truth, but it can only be realized in the place where no differences are seen. God joins each thing to its appropriate section. He takes what is bad and places it in evil, and He takes what is good and places it in goodness. In this way, that which is bad will destroy other things that are bad. Each of these bad cells will destroy the other. But truth will not destroy anyone or anything. Therefore, truth has to be placed in truth, and good qualities have to be placed in good qualities. These things will cause other things to grow, whereas the bad things will only destroy.

God created the world, and it is through the world that He will destroy the world. He created fire, and it is through fire that He will destroy fire. He created air, and it is through air that He will destroy air. He created water, and it is through water that He will destroy water. He will destroy the earth with the earth. He will ruin the sky with the sky. Each cell can destroy another cell. But, truth will protect truth and cause it to flourish. Similarly, each of our qualities destroys another quality and causes us distress. It is our thoughts that bring us difficulty. It is our intentions, thoughts, and actions that torment us. Each of our thoughts hurt us. Each of our attachments torments and tortures us. Each selfish blood-tie torments us over and over again and cuts into us as if we were undergoing an operation.

Like this, it is our own thoughts that cause suffering, difficulty, trouble, sorrow, and tears. It is our own thoughts that cause our blabbering and lack of peace. In our ignorance and lack of wisdom, we gather these things. These are the clouds that sever our connection to God. The connection between God's truth and us is a very close connection. God is closer to us than our own life, but our mind and desire hide that connection. Our thoughts, intentions, and attachments hide this connection. Once we push these things away, how easily the connection between God and us can be realized. The world disappears and the hereafter (akhirah) opens up. Allah resplends, our heart (qalb) embraces Him, and there is bliss. There is peace!

We can attain peace and tranquility in our life. We must reflect on this. As long as we do not attain this state, it is our own evils that obstruct us. The cells and viruses that we ourselves cultivate are what bring us difficulty. These destructive cells will ruin our life. When truth is placed in truth, it grows and brings peace. God takes what is good and places it in that which is good, and there are no differences. He places what is bad with what is bad, and they continually destroy each other.

Religions, castes, and scriptures cause destruction. They are the cause of the destruction of the world. Each specific fire that each man keeps within him burns and destroys something else. The bombs that each man makes destroy other areas. Man's qualities destroy his own life as well as the life of others. The five elements within him and the four hundred trillion, ten thousand qualities are the 'cells' that destroy the world. These cells, viruses, and germs are in man. They are like a magnetic force or an electrical current. When these qualities of 'I' and 'you' join with man, they are the cause of destruction. We must think about this. We must think about this.

My love you, my jeweled lights of my eye. Try to study within yourself. Understand within yourself and do this research. The connection between God and us is a very close one. It is so close, but the enormous mountain of the mind keeps us from seeing it. Break down that mountain of arrogance, break down the 'I', and develop the mountain of compassion, this mountain is soft like wax. It should be developed in such a manner that it gives and bends with melting love. These qualities of God must be developed. The clouds, the storms, and the viruses of mind, desire, and thoughts should be controlled and destroyed. The mountain of arrogance should be broken down, and the desire that says, "This is mine, this is mine," should be beaten and removed. God's qualities of patience and contentment, trust in God, giving all praise to God, and saying, "God is great."3 should be put there in their place. That station of peace should be placed there. God's compassion and His qualities should be placed there and protected. Then the resonance and resplendence of the One of divine bliss, the Supreme Treasure known as Allahu, will be seen. The eight heavens of this world and of the hereafter (akhirah), the heavenly beings, prophets, the lights of God, the ones who explain, the favorites of God, men of wisdom,4 men of clarity, men with unity and God's qualities will all be seen. As our wisdom expands and keeps unfolding, this tiny place that the eye cannot see becomes larger than the eighteen thousand universes. It is a secret place of God. It is a place of peace, a peaceful heaven. We can see this mysterious place, and if we attain peace in this beautiful place, how blissful that will be.

My love you. Heaven and hell, good and bad, do not exist elsewhere. Our qualities alone are our heaven. What we do, our actions, are our decreed destiny (qala qadir). The pen is in our hands, and we write the evidence that is considered for our final judgment. The final decision is based on this writing. God looks at it and says, "This is your destiny (nasib). We will make this your destiny."

In some situations, we try very hard to push things away, and when it is beyond our limit we say, "That is our destiny." We try all our remedies on someone who is sick, and when they do not work we say, "That must be his destiny." In the same way, God also gives us the final judgment saying, "This is his nasib." He gave us everything. He gave us all ninety-nine qualities and kept only one to Himself. He says, "I gave man all My wealth, but man does not understand and comes to Me carrying the burdens of hell. Therefore, I will make that his destiny (nasib)." So God says, "You can return with the same things that you brought to Me." God places His signature saying, "This is rightfully yours."

We create heaven and hell for ourselves. Whatever aspect we develop becomes our own, and the resulting harm or benefits are created by us. Do we take the section of hell and try to destroy hell? No. We should push it aside and move on. There is no need to destroy it, just move on. If a dog comes to bite us, we just move on. We do not stop and try to bite the dog in return. Similarly, when evil follows us we should tell it to go away and move on. We should not spend time with it. It will shout for a while and then leave. Like this, the world will come swirling around us for a while, but if we do not look back, it will go away. Sins will also follow us for a while, but if we do not turn back, they will go away. They will say, "This is not the place for us," and go away. Many things will follow us for a while. If we look back and smile broadly at them, if we become happy in them, then they will overcome us. But if we do not look at them, they will go away saying, "This won't work. This man will trample me. I cannot enter him."

Just as a prostitute dances and catches hold of a man, these viruses and this world catch hold of us. Like a prostitute, they decorate themselves with make up, they dance, they act, and they catch hold of us. Each cell does this. All the four hundred trillion, ten thousand qualities do this in order to catch us. But if we do not look back at them, if we have faith, certitude, and determination in the One God, and proceed along the path, they will not come near us. They will stay far away. They will follow us for a while and then leave us and go away.

Such things only come to catch hold of our mind and our qualities. If, the moment they try to latch onto our qualities, we throw them behind and move on, they will not affect us. They will promise us fame, gold, silver, women, places, and cities. They will clamor, "Look at this. Look at that. You can have it." But if you do not look behind, they will say, "We cannot do anything to this man," and go away.

The four hundred trillion, ten thousand thoughts come in this manner. If we drift toward them, laugh, and embrace them and feel happy, they will grab hold of us. But if we brush them away, they will leave. When a dog tries to bite us, we move on. We do not try to bite it back, because it will bite us. If we bend down, it will bite us, if we stretch up or move it will bite us, if we pick up a stick or a stone it will bite us. Therefore, we must stand still and say, "O dog, why are you coming with me? Go away. I haven't harmed you. Just go away and do your work." Then the dog will move on and we can continue. We should do the same thing with each thing that comes to grab us. We should say, "Oh no, I am not coming with you. There is no need for you to follow me," and move on.

Why do the dogs of desire and the monkeys of the mind come and swarm around us? They come to catch hold of us. But there is no need to be afraid. If we look at them without fear and say, "Go away monkey," it will leave. The dog of desire snarls, growls, wags its tail, and walks around. Just chase it away and it will lose its strength. The mind will lose the strength of the 'I'; it will lose the strength of arrogance. Then it can be caught and tied up behind the kitchen. The monkey of the mind and the dog of desire can be caught and tied up, and we can do our work. We have to reflect upon each of our thoughts. The four hundred trillion, ten thousand spiritual energies try to kill, devour, and destroy each other. Nothing good comes out of this.

One wakes up and tries to kill another, then another one arises and tries to kill something else. This goes on and on. Scriptures, religions, arrogance, karma, and differences of colors that declare 'I' and 'you' are very similar to this. They are all forces that destroy each other. But God's qualities and actions, that truth, nourish everything and make everything grow. Such is the power of God. Everything else is a cell or a virus. They are like magnets that grab hold of things one by one. These have magnetic energies, but God's qualities and actions are a power and they have a connection to truth. Everything else has a connection to these magnetic forces. This energy is found in iron. A magnet can pull upon the iron and separate it from the soil. Similarly, the magnet of illusion, base desires, and cravings exists within man. If this magnet comes near the mind, it exerts its pull upon the mind. As long as the four hundred trillion, ten thousand kinds of energies are present in the mind, they will be drawn to the magnet of illusion and stick to it. This is the magnet that pulls upon the desires and attachments of the senses. Illusion pulls on the mind and separates us from God's qualities.

This is the force of satan. Arrogance, karma, illusion (maya), and the three sexual energies which are the sons of illusion (tarahan, singhan, and suran), as well as desire for possessions, anger, miserliness, envy, fanaticism, and the five heinous sins of desire for intoxicants, of lust, theft, murder, and falsehood-these seventeen forces or energies are the darkness within the mind of man. These magnets will pull on the four hundred trillion, ten thousand kinds of thoughts within man. Then they will draw man towards them saying, "Come, come, it is here, it is there," and show him different sights and scenes.

God's qualities, His truth, His power are the only things that can put an end to these energies. These energies usually become caught in the net cast by the magnet. Only Truth can change and transform these qualities. We should place Truth among them. Then we can attain peace and tranquility, and we can see the kingdom of God within us. We will see God and the kingdom of God within us. We will see the Light known as Allah. We will see that good conduct, that love and affection which is His. We will see Him and know His state. We will see the value of God and the true value of man. The outside form, the body, is not man. There is a man within him and that man is a resplendent soul. He has attained the resplendent light of the soul. Such a man is connected to God. Of the six kinds of lives, he is the man who is connected to God. Earth life dies when there is no earth. Fire life dies without fire. Water life dies without water. Air life dies without air. Ether life, which is the life influenced by the magnetic forces of illusion and its glitters, dies without ether. God life, the light, the life of man, the soul of God, will die without God. It lives in its connection with Him. These are the six kinds of life. We must reflect on this.

Each one of these lives live in different places. If they do not have the connection to that particular place, they will die. There are the six kinds of lives, and we must analyze them with our six levels of consciousness. By doing this, if we can find out which life belongs to God, we will attain peace. If we ask who we are, we will find out that we have a connection to God, and that our souls are connected to His power and His ninety-nine attributes (wilayats) that control everything. All the creations have thirty-six characteristics (tattwas). Man has ninety-six. These, along with truth, absolute faith (iman), and divine knowledge ('ilm) add up to ninety-nine. God is the hundredth power.

If man develops and acquires these ninety-nine within him, the hundredth one, the resplendence of God, the Nur, will shine within him. Then he will have peace. That will be heaven and paradise. We must understand this. This is what is known as God. This is God. If we do not develop and acquire this state in the right way, then our life will be a hell that we ourselves have developed.

My children, it is we who prepare either heaven or hell for ourselves. Our destiny (nasib) is written with our own hands, then handed over to God, and He gives the judgment. The good and evil (khair and sharr) are in Allah's responsibility, the essence and the manifestation (dhat and sifat) is developed by man. God has created us and given us the destiny of a created being. He has given us ninety-nine characteristics (tattwas) saying, "This is your destiny. Go accomplish what you have to with this and come back. If you gather good things, you will attain heaven, but if you gather what is evil, then you will attain hell. Whatever you bring back will be your final judgment. I will finalize that as your destiny. I am giving the decision of your destiny into your hand (qala qadir). Go, finalize it, and come. Whatever conclusion you reach (qada) becomes your decreed destiny (qala qadir)." If we do not realize this and prepare hell for ourselves, then God will not give us heaven. God has not said, "Whatever I have given you is your destiny!" He will change your destiny according to your intention. Whenever you ask for forgiveness, instantly He will forgive you. As you repent and as your understanding of yourself increases, He will forgive you. As you intend Him more and more, He will grant you the benefits. If He had already written your destiny, He would not grant these things. He has given you the ability to repent (taubah), and He has given you forgiveness. Since He has given you both the faults and the remedy for it, He grants forgiveness when you ask for it.

Further, if God had already written your destiny, there would be no need to pray. Prayer has been reserved for you, so there is no such thing as a pre-written destiny. For mankind, God has provided repentance, striving, and His forgiveness, and through these, you can gain victory. You should not say, "It is already written and there is nothing more to do." You must make an effort. He has given you the ninety-nine characteristics (tattwas) with which to strive. Ask and He will forgive. Intend Him and He will give. Ask; intend; He will give and forgive. If you knock, it will open. Ask and it shall be given. He will give.

Don't be foolish and worry about all the things you have heard people say. Use your wisdom and look deeply within. Allah says, "I will forgive. Ask for forgiveness, ask Me and I will give you what you ask." If He had already finished writing your destiny, then He would not grant this.

God waits until you are placed in the grave. He waits until the final Day of Judgment, and then He is the One who asks the questions. You are the one who brings the good and the bad. If He had already written the outcome, there would be no need for you to gather good or bad, and there would be no need for the One who had already written your destiny to stand in judgment. But because there is something for Him to judge, He is waiting to see what you bring. If He had already allotted hell to you, why would He have the two angels write an account of what you are doing? If there is something still to be written, then there is room for change and forgiveness. According to the good you do, there is heaven. According to the evil you do, there is hell. Use your wisdom.

Prophet Muhammad, the Rasulullah (SAL.), placed the Qur'an in the hands of his followers and said, "In order to understand this, go even unto China to learn divine knowledge (`ilm)." Within one word in the Qur'an, there are thousands of meanings. Don't hold on to just one meaning. Look within and there will be another meaning. Within that is another meaning, and within that is still another. As you uncover meaning after meaning, you will see Allah at the very end. When you go beyond all the messengers (rasuls) and look within, you will find Allah. The angels are also there. Go beyond them and look, go beyond everything and look, and then you will see heaven. Go beyond heaven, and Allah is there. Do not pray for heaven. Go beyond and look. Allah will be there.

We have to think about this. Each one of us must think about this and ask for forgiveness. Do not merely think, "Oh, I have done wrong." Instead, if you have done wrong, know that God is the forebearant One who can forgive you. Ask Him and He will grant you forgiveness. Pray to Him. Worship Him. Allah is One who forgives. He is One who gives you what you ask. He is One who can change what has been written. Even though He is the One who gave it to you, He will change it for you. Even though He is the One who said it, He has the power to change it. Each one of you must think about this.

During our life, we must gather all that is beneficial. To do this, we must have absolute faith, certitude, and determination (iman) in Almighty God, (Allahu ta'ala Nayan). We must live our life with this certitude; our words, our actions, and our conduct must be as one. To receive His grace, we must live and grow in this way, gathering the truth within our heart (qalb). Our hearts must be God's treasure, and He must be the life within our heart. If we can place that life, that treasure, and His qualities within our heart and then bring them into our actions, then that is the peace in our life and that is heaven.

Precious jeweled lights of my eyes, every child must reflect on this. In order to receive this benefit, try to live as children with absolute faith, as children with wisdom, and as children with certitude. May God help you toward this. May the One of limitless grace, the One who is incomparable love, grant you His grace. O God, forgive us for whatever we have done earlier in our ignorance, knowingly or unknowingly. May You forgive us always for the wrongs we commit unknowingly and grant us Your grace. Even though we have eyes, we are blind. Even though we have a mouth, we are mute and unable to speak to You. Even though we have a tongue, we are without the tongue with which to talk with You. Even though we have hands, we do not know how to receive Your goodness. Even though we have the legs You gave us, we are unable to walk to You. Even though You gave us the heart filled with the plenitude of the light of Ahmad,5 we do not know how to use that heart to ask for forgiveness from You. Even with the wisdom that You have given, we still do not know how to speak to You and beseech You. We are fools. You created and gave us the twenty-eight letters,6 but we do not know how to speak to You or ask for forgiveness from You through each of those letters.

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate (Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim). Whatever You begin and whatever You end is in Your hands. You are the Creator (ar-Rabb). You are the Compassionate One (ar-Rahman). You are the Merciful One (ar-Rahim). We cannot live without knowing You. You are the One who gives us our food and water. Because of that certainty, we have faith in You. Please give us faith, certitude, and determination O Creator, O Compassionate One! Forgive us for all the faults we have done before this moment. Whatever faults my children and I have already committed, forgive us, and from now on, give us the clarity of wisdom and absolute faith. Give us good qualities and good actions and make us go on the good path. Give us an exalted life in this world, a life of living with You, a life of coming to You, a life in which You gather us unto You. May You make this a victory for us and grant us Your grace. O Allah, may You forgive all our sins. We committed them unknowingly in our ignorance. Forgive us. Forgive us. Please forgive us. So be it. So be it. So be it. O Ruler of the universes. Amin. Amin. Amin. Ya Rabbal-'alamin.

1 Throughout this talk Bawa Muhaiyaddeen says the word 'cell' in English. But his use of this word is quite different from its standard connotation. In his book The Guidebook to the True Secret of the Heart, Vol. 1, two chapters are devoted to this subject. "God took one cell, a dot (nuqat) from the alif (the Arabic letter for 'A' signifying the One Allah). He placed the eighteen thousand universes, the fifteen worlds, the appearances, hell, heaven, and everything within that one cell . . . . From that cell God has created everything else." p. 98

3 sabur, shukur, tawakkal, al-hamdu lillah and Allahu Akbar

4 nabis, olis, qutbs, auliya, gnanis

5 Ahmad is the heart of Muhammad (SAL.). The beauty of the heart (aham) is the beauty of the countenance. (muham, Tamil; muhaiyyan, Arabic) of Muhammad (SAL.).

6 Footnote - 28 letters


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