Majestic Magnificence Of Allah And The Value Of Our Worship
Our Grandsheikh is focusing on and bringing into people’s awareness a very fine point so that they might act upon it. No one, not even the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sal) himself, is going to reach any rank in the Divine Presence by means of his acts of worship; and even if the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sal), was to be offered a reward for his devotions, he would not accept it; he would say: “I expect no reward for my acts of devotion.” magnificence
Grandsheikh also says that if the Prophet Muhammad (sal), declared that his worshipping was as nothing and that he never could depend upon it – how can we depend upon our worship? If two prostrations of the Prophet’s devotions were put in a scale and weighed up against the combined devotions of the Nations, his two prostrations would be heavier; and if his declaring the Unity of Allah once (La ilaha illa’llah) was weighed up against the sins of all the Sons of Adam, it would destroy all of those sins. From this you can understand what the power and rank of our Prophet is in the Divine Presence.
If a person is expecting any reward for his devotions, it means that he sees his own actions as being good enough and worthy of a reward from Allah. Whosoever thinks that his actions or worship are suitable for the Divine Presence has no knowledge of Absolute Truth (Haqiqa) and its Secret Knowledge. Therefore, you may see them worshipping enthusiastically, pushed on to ever more devotions just because they are thinking: “These are good actions and I shall reap my reward for them,” but it never occurs to them that those actions aren’t suitable for the Divine Presence.
Whoever knows that even the Prophet’s devotions are not suitable for the Divine Presence will perform his devotions because Allah has ordered him to perform them, but he will never regard those acts as being worthy of Allah’s reward. Whenever he is performing worship or doing a good deed, he will be ashamed of it, and say to himself: “How shall this ever reach the Divine Presence, it is so pathetic.” But he knows that he has been ordered to worship, so he worships with out expecting anything in return.
But there is another group of people who are very proud of their devotions, and say: “We performed such an amount of devotions did so-and-so many actions, for which we shall reap rewards corresponding to our efforts; hard workers get paid good wages.”
You must be careful not to misunderstand me, nor to turn the intended meaning upside down; no doubt, as a result of what we are saying here, some people will accuse us of discouraging our followers from worship – far from it, Allah is my witness! We are never discouraging anyone from worship, we are only teaching people the highest good manners (adab) with their Lord Almighty, and that adab is: not to be contented with the amount of your worship while you effectively destroy its merits with your pride and with your thinking that is will be first-class in the Divine Presence; it is better to present your worship to your Lord, saying; “Oh my Lord, I am ashamed to send this before Your Divine Presence – forgive me my shortcomings and inability to worship or thank You as You deserve to be worshipped and thanked.”
I heard of one great Saint who, every time he came to the mosque to pray with the congregation (Jamaat), would wait until everyone had entered, and only then enter the mosque himself, standing next to the shoe-rack and praying there. Then, as soon as the prayer was finished, he would run out of the mosque, saying: “Praised be the Lord, for He has covered for me the badness of my condition so that no one could detect it. If those people were to know what I am really like inside, they would chase me out of the mosque, throwing their shoes at me and beating me with them.”
Those who know the true value of their deeds regard them as being totally pathetic and worthless; they are always ashamed of them and seldom raise their heads to the skies out of their great humility. But there are many others who say: “We are Bishops, we are Cardinals, and we are more than Cardinals.” Some say: “Oh, I am a renowned Sheikh of Islam, I am extremely learned in the religious sciences, and I am a big and important man.” In order to see what may really be their case, we should just leave them after their deaths for three days, and then we should come to see what is beginning to happen to their bodies. Now, we may anoint people with a good perfume and they may smell very nice, but that is not what counts here: leave them for three days after their death and then see if Allah is giving them a good fragrance – if there arises a bad odor, then all their titles are useless.
Every religion teaches people to be humble, but the ego (nafs) always likes to show itself off as being the best, the most excellent, the most learned and most competent person of all. That is the basic mistake of the ego, and the Prophet was sent to liberate people from the bonds of such foolish thoughts. The most humble person among all the Sons of Adam was our Prophet, Peace be Upon Him, and in order to teach us humility, he said: “I am the greatest noble person of all the Sons of Adam on the Day of Resurrection, (and I say this completely) without pride.” In this, instruction is to be found for everyone who has been given rank by his Lord: there is no cause for pride, pride is for Allah only; everything that has been given to the Sons of Adam comes from their Lord Almighty, and at any moment He may take it away from them and leave them with nothing.