Saints Address The Souls while Scholars Address The Mind
Tariqatuna as-sohbet wa khairu fi jamiat’- The way of our Tariqat is association with the Sheikh and goodness lies in the congregation This is the root of our Tariqat. Allah Almighty made Shah Naqshaband the main pillar of the most distinguished Naqshabandi Order. He is one of the guides who take people on their way to the Divine Presence, so that they never lose their direction towards Allah Almighty. He was saying: “We are teaching people, so that they never lose their way, and their efforts never go without benefit.”
It is a short way, a safe way, a happy way. Everyone is walking, moving by themselves, or time makes
them move. So many people are not moving, only time makes them move. And at any moment they may reach to an end, as every beginning must have an end. The movement of people must stop one day, and then they will find themselves in front of two entrances. On one of them is written: ‘The Way of Paradise’, or the way on which people reach to the Divine Presence. On the second entrance is written: ‘The Way of Hell’, who steps through that entrance should be taken to Hell. There is no safety on that way. It is a terrible end.
Day by day we are approaching that day. One more day has passed. It is going to be one day less, and the day will come when we reach to that entrance. The Naqshabandi Order is taking people in a direction, where their destination in the end will be Paradise. It is the way of the Prophets and the Saints. It is difficult for our egos but happiness for our souls. Everything that is going to be difficult for our egos finally should give us an enjoyment, a pleasure.
Most people are carried on the second way, and Shaitan is walking ahead of them with his devils and soldiers. Who follows that way finally should reach the entrance to Hell. Why are they going on that way? They are running after it, because their egos are enjoying that way.
If you are not using your will-power, your ego will take you in that dangerous direction. Every association in our Tariqat makes people to pay attention, so they don’t follow their ego, but follow the way of the Saints and Prophets. Every association with the Sheikh gives a spiritual power to our soul, so that we may be able to use our will-power against our ego’s will. If you are not taking power, spiritual power, it is difficult to prevent yourself from following your ego.
Therefore we are in need of those people who have spiritual power and who may also give support to our spirituality, so that we can be able to say to our physical demands, to our ego: “No, I am not following you, I am following the way of the Saints and Prophets!”
Every association gives that power secretly through your soul. Whether you know it or not, feel it or not, doesn’t matter. But this power must be given through every association. It is not important, what we say, or what we hear. What are we saying here? Even if I am reading a newspaper, it doesn’t matter. You are in the operation-room, and you are covered. What is important is to attend the association of the Sheikh, and his spiritual power will go through everyone. When you are sitting here, blessings are coming from Heavens, coming from Allah Almighty, and those blessings make you powerful. We may say anything through our associations, and it doesn’t matter. Even if you hear it or not, or you make yourself keep those orders or not. To be here, to attend the association of the Naqshabandi Order, gives you that spiritual power, which makes your soul to be stronger than your ego. Your spiritual power is increasing, so that you can use your will-power against your ego. You may even say: “I can never remember what sheikh says.” Sheikh’s address is not to your minds. Ulema and scholars address your mind; Awliya, Saints address your souls. Therefore, anytime when you are faced with something, what your soul has already caught and kept reaches you at that time and gives you that power.
Therefore, association with the Sheikh is a most important pillar in the Naqshabandi Order. Always we are under the spiritual supervision of the Sheikh. But our physical body also has a right to visit him at least once a year. It may be every week, or every month, or once in 40 days, but don’t make it longer than 40 days not to come for an association. This will keep a person going towards his destination, Paradise.
Now, in our days, there are going to be less and less people, who have been authorized in such a way. If they are not authorized and they are only imitating it gives power also, but when authorized people make association their full power comes through your hearts, and the heart is the station of the Sultan, the Throne of the Sultan. The Sultan’s power runs around your physical body to take it towards its direction and destination.
The Seal of Prophets, Muhammad, (Peace be upon him) taught his companions, above all else association, by taking them as his companions, by entering them into association with him. Accordingly, the Inheritors of the Prophet, the Naqshabandi Masters, stress the importance of “Sohbet”, association with the Sheik, as the essential pillar in the training of seekers. Shah Naqshaband, the illustrious Imam of the line of Masters that we follow, the Imam after whom the Path is named and without whom there would be no Naqshabandi Tariqat, always used to repeat in his assemblies: “Our Way is Sohbet, association, and all good things result from congregating”. He furthermore stated that if anyone attended an assembly of this way even for five or ten minutes, he would derive such immense spiritual benefit from that brief encounter so as to outweigh the benefits that would be gained by seven years of supererogatory worship.
Another important point to understand is that whenever any group of our brothers or sisters meet for the sake of Allah Almighty, unanimously joining their hearts with the Masters of this way, that meeting will attain to the level of an association with the kind of beneficial effects just described. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only beneficial meeting is the one where the Sheik is physically in attendance. When our brothers or sisters meet, one of them must be the channel for inspiration to come from the Sheik, one must speak and the others listen; one must take from the Sheik and the others, through him from the Sheik. The Naqshanbandi Way is the Sufi Path adhering most closely to the practices of the Holy Prophet (Sal), and association in this manner was his way, and the way of his companions, as he always appointed a leader to preside in his absence.
If you cannot find anyone for association, even two Mureeds can come and sit together. They may say: “Audhu bi’llahi mina shaitani rajim, Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim”, and then one of them can say: “La ilaha illallah” , and the other one: “Muhammad Rasulu’llah”- and they may ask: “Oh our Lord, keep us on Your right path, the way of Your Anbiya and Awliya. Keep us and prevent Shaitan and devils from affecting us, protect us against their tricks and traps!”. A few minutes is enough, and that mercy may cover them and protect them.
May Allah bless you and shelter your physical body and protect our souls from falling into the hands of devils. May He make a way for those who fall into their hands to save themselves. We are asking for real power for our Naqshibandi Order to collect people, and to move towards Allah Amighty’s Divine Presence.