Sidna Shaykh Dr Abdalqadir as-Sufi here writes about the nafs and the relationship with the shaykh. In this case his own shaykh, Shaykh al-Kamil, Muhammad ibn al-Habib – rahimahu Llah -.

Sidna Shaykh Abdalqadir wrote:

“Now from the embattled position of the self as it is, we cannot but be well aware that it is of its nature to continue the struggle, to sabotage the end of hostilities, for it thrives on struggle and seems to gain life by its own continued self-destruction. This means that the self is going to be constantly seeking the very company that will keep it constantly trapped in a cycle of pain. If you desire to be punished you will not rest till you find the executioner. You may work your way through a whole series in the desperate desire to prove that you ‘want out of it’, but see what a cruel fate has always provided you with a destructive partner. In other words for the embattled self, the other is fairly certain to turn out to be the enemy, and hell will, after all, seem to be other people.

Returning now to our point of departure, we have agreed that, knowing as we do that the self is in an endless loop of repeated battles, we must be done with the game of suffering and rediscover that deep basic sanity which we desire and which we cannot but recognise in this perfectly balanced and radiant figure of Muhammad, peace be upon him.

We wish to recover, if you like, our Muhammad-nature. And the means is transmission.

It is enough to sit with someone for transmission to take place. Instead of seeking again the partner of battle and further pain, we now turn to the Shaykh, who is completely at peace, utterly turned away from all the tremors within us and utterly withholding of either approval or disapproval, the two drugs on which our continued self-survival depends. ‘The shaykh is contagious,’ said a follower of Shaykh al-Kamil. If you sit in the sun you get sunburned, that is enough. For the moment we do not know why, we have no science yet to indicate why and how this should be so, for it certainly does not accord with the solid mechanistic psychology we are with such difficulty trying to leave behind, because it is a psychology based on the very dialectic that traps us.

The Shaykh is simply the living exemplar – he is not a Messenger, for the Message has been delivered – but you could say that he is the Message. He is a Qur’an and a furqan. He is a gathering-together of forms, a unifier, and he is a separator, a discriminator, one who makes choices and selects and rejects without struggle.

The mind must be cleared of the whole superstitious, authority-projection idea of the guru that is so prevalent in our society. He is not, and this must be established, a super-guide, a powerful figure, an authority. He is not going to tell you how to live your life, what house to buy and what job to take, although he may well know these things. He in no way takes on the burden of your problems, precisely because from the point of view of his deep sanity these problems do not exist. He is merely a mirror in which you may, if you are patient enough, see yourself at last. He is an openness, and an emptiness. He is fully surrendered to his creature-state, to advancing age, and to changing seasons, and to the sameness of days. And for this reason he is utterly turned away from us; he greets us and feeds us and counsels us, but he is not caught up, there is no yes to our no, and no refusal of our yes. In some exasperating or frightening way he does not see us. We could kill him. He really does not care! So what then is happening inside this man? From our sick point of view it certainly seems to be a super-defence system that we can envy. He is unassailable, we are vulnerable. He wins, we lose.

We still see things this way. So we decide to imitate him.


~ by The Murabit Blog on 08/25/2010.

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