Be a Moth to the Flame of Love
From the realities of Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, as Taught by Shaykh Sayed Nurjan Mirahmadi
Audhu billahi minash Shaytanir rajeem
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
A reminder for myself, we are asking to take a path of being nothing. That if not for the Rahma (mercy) of Allah (Azza wa Jal) then we are non-existent. From the way of the Turuq, it is a school of adab. That we are not coming to show how much Qur’an we have memorized or how many Hadith we have memorized but these are the schools of adab and they teach us on how to have ma’rifah and how to have good character so that Allah (Azza wa Jal)’s rida (satisfaction) dresses us, and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)’s rida dresses us, Awliyaullah’s rida dress us and we should find success in our life in dunya, and most importantly in Akhirah.
Is your Shahada (Testimony of Faith) Real?
A reminder for ourselves that from these schools of akhlaaq, they are teaching us that before we think how big we are or how much we memorized or how much we have prayed, if you just come to your Shahada: ashadu an laa ilaha ilAllah wa ashadu ana Muhammadan abduhu wa Habeebuhu wa Rasuluh, you don’t see it. So your Shahada is not correct, it is an imitated Shahada.
أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إلاَّ الله وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًاعَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
“Ashhadu an la ilaha illa-lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasulu hu.”
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and
I bear witness that Muhammad ﷺ is the messenger of Allah.
So before we have to go into too much `uloom (knowledges) and trying to prove who is who and who is what, go back and always remember: Yaa Rabbi my Shahada is not real because I am not witnessing You, and I am not witnessing Sayyidina Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) described Maqaam al-Ihsan: to pray as if you see Allah (Azza wa Jal).
أَنْ تَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ كَأَنَّك تَرَاهُ، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاك
“An Ta’bud Allaha, Ka annaka tarahu, fa in lam takun tarahu fa innahu yarak.”
“It (Ihsan – Station of Excellence) is to serve Allah as though you behold [See] Him; and if you don’t behold [See] him, (know that) He surely sees you.” Prophet Muhammad (saws)
There are people, who through their heart, they can pray with what Allah (Azza wa Jal) wants them to see, they see it. There are many from Saliheen and Awliyaullah who in their salah see Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). And they say, “Assalaamu `alayka yaa ayyuhan Nabi,” [Peace be upon you O Prophet (saws)] (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) in present, then Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) must be facing them, not the back of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), but the wajhu kal kareem, the holy face of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) must be facing them.
They give this as an understanding that this is our goal: to reach to Maqaam al-Ihsan (Station of Excellence). And to make our Islam to be real, because if that Shahada becomes real then next is the salah. The salah becomes real. Then the zakat is that they sacrifice themselves entirely and they become Mukhlis, their whole life is to live a life of sacrifice. And their Ramadan is fasting through all of their senses.
Muttaqeen have taqwa (Consciousness) over all 5 Senes
The Muttaqeen is that they have taqwa (consciousness) over all five senses. They are not just saying that they have taqwa and they are granted taqwa. They have a taqwa of their hearing, where Allah (Azza wa Jal) accepted their hearing and they released a level of sincerity. They have taqwa through their seeing, they have taqwa through their breath, taqwa through their hearing and taqwa through their feeling and their qadam is based on taqwa. “Wa kono ma’as sadiqeen.”
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ ١١٩
9:119 – “Ya ayyuhal ladheena amanoo ittaqollaha wa kono ma’as sadiqeen.” (Surat at Tawba)
“O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true (in words and deed).” (The Repentance 9:119)
Ittaqullah, Allah (Azza wa Jal) is describing these Muttaqeen that they are completely in submission. It means this is the goal!
نیم پروانه آتش که پر و بال خود سوزم منم پروانه سلطان که بر انوار می گردم
Niyam Parwana e Aatash, ke paro baal e khud sozam
Manam Parwana e Sultan, ke bar anwar megardam
I am not a moth of the fire to burn my wings
I am a moth of the King, thus I roam in lights
[Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi (Rumi)][/quote]
[For more detail on fasting “Muttaqeen Teach You to Fast With All Five Senses”
What blocks us from reaching Station of Sincerity Is Our Incorrect Actions
Then we come into our own lives and they remind us that with all the naat shareef and crying because we are the people of love, Ahlul Muhabbat, so alhamdulillah we are almost halfway there. Because there are many people who don’t have the love and their practice and their `amal (action) is not based on love and muhabbat. Alhamdulillah that it is the way of muhabbat that we are making the naat shareef, we are making the darood shareef [praising upon prophet (saws)] we are making the mehfil, we are doing the Zikr.
Then they are reminding us that with all that we are doing, it is not entering into the heart so that we can reach to the maqaams (stations) of sincerity. That is what is important in our lives, that with all that we are doing and reciting and crying [mic disturbance, and they want to fix it. Shaykh explains about that] (Don’t worry, it will be a distraction. Because in everything Shaytan comes to make a distraction and make everything upside down. Then this of what is coming of information will be cut..] It means that everything that we are doing is to reach that goal.
It is important for us that they give the goal. That we are trying to reach to see Prophet (s) to make our Islam to be real and to reach to Maqaamul Ihsaan. If we are not reaching there, there is something wrong in the `amal (action) that we are doing. When we are crying for naat shareef, and crying for the mehfil means that love is there. But what is it in the character that is not opening sincerity?
Take an Account of Yourself – Do Daily Mahasibah
That is the way where Prophet (s) describes, “Who knows himself knows his Lord”,
مَنْ عَرَفَ نَفْسَهْ فَقَدْ عَرَفَ رَبَّهُ
“Man ‘arafa nafsahu faqad ‘arafa Rabbahu”
“Who knows himself, knows his Lord.” Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)
It means these are the people of tafakkur, and contemplation. If I want to know my Lord I have to know myself. I have to sit on a nightly basis and make tafakkur, contemplate with my heart and in that tafakkur make a muhasabah (take an account). That every night, the way they taught us is that every night you make a tafakkur: that yaa Rabbi I want to reach and I am not reaching, my Shahada is not real, my salah is not real, my zakat is not real.
It is all by the Rahma (mercy) of Allah (Azza wa Jal) that He keeps us going because we are not yet Rijaalallah (men of God). Rijaalallah, Allah granted their ‘amal (action) to be real. If we didn’t reach to that, every night we should be in tafakkur and contemplation. Then they remind us: yaa Rabbi when I am making tafakkur what am I doing wrong? Who did I harm today? Who did I aggravate today? Who did I hurt with my tongue and I affected their heart? All of that would be an account that blocks the heart of the believer.
If we don’t take a nightly muhasabah, then we are wasting our time with all the ‘amal that we are doing, because you are going one step forward but ten steps back.
Bad actions Affect our Rizq (Sustenance)
Means you do all these actions of love, all these practices of love, but all day long we are hurting people with our hands, with our actions, with our tongue and we are doing things that maybe Allah is not pleased with, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is not pleased with, Awliyaullah are not pleased with. And we find no growth in our lives; we find nothing is growing, nothing is blossoming. And most of all your rizq will come short, your hand becomes short to what Allah (Azza wa Jal) wants to give.
Because when Allah (Azza wa Jal) has Rida and is satisfied, He is dressing upon the soul. Allah (‘Azza wa jal)’s Rids dresses the soul, and the rizq hits the soul, means the lights, beatific lights, and the knowledge, and angelic power dress the soul. When the soul is abundantly dressed, the rizq of the physical body is overflowing. Means when you run after dunya, dunya is running away from you, but when you are running towards Mawla to Allah (Azza wa Jal) dunya is chasing after you.
Why Can’t We See Prophet (saws) – He is right In front of Us
They begin to re-calibrate the compass; that if these things I am meeting this criteria, where my Shahada is not real, I have love for Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) but why am I not seeing Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)? Is he hiding from me? He is right there in front of me. All my salah, [we say] as-salaamu ‘alayka ayyuhan Nabi, but why is my ‘amal not good enough and Allah (Azza wa Jal) didn’t grant enough sincerity for this veil to be lifted? They begin to teach from these characters that when you take a muhasaba and accounting of yourself, everything will come under that account. Allah (Azza wa Jal) many times inspired Awliyaullah to look at my nature, and do not look at humans. Human beings have a big head and big ego, look at the nature.
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَى جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
3:191 – “Alladheena yadhkurona Allaha qiyaman wa qu’odan wa ‘ala junobihim, wa yatafakkarona fee khalqis Samawati wal ardi, Rabbana ma khalaqta hadha batilan subhanaka faqina ‘adhaban nar.” (Surat Ali ‘Imran)
“Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and Contemplate the creation in the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Holy Quran)
Importance of Candle’s Light
One famous one was Jalaluddin Rumi (qadas allahu sirrahu). He was looking and making tafakkur and we have many naats and poetry about tafakkur. Rumi was making tafakkur and put a flame because they used a candle. The barakah of the candle is that; as soon as you light a candle for ‘ibadah (worship), there are Malayikah (angels) attached to that candle. As long as that light is lit, they are praising on our behalf to the Divinely Presence. So when they would read Qur’an or read darood they would light the candle. So he lit the candle and he was looking at the flame and was mesmerized by the candle. That this fire is the fire of `Ashiqeen, this fire is the condition of his heart. If my heart is not lit and I am not feeling the love for Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), not feeling the love for Allah (Azza wa Jal) then it is a dead heart. He was looking at the candle and he was lost in the understanding of being in ‘ishq, to be in love with the Divinely Presence and what he sees is the moth. The moth comes and it goes right into the fire.
سوخت عشق آتشین هم شمع و هم پروانه را گر نداری تاب این سوزنده آتش ، خام باش
بس که پروانه شود سوخته ی شمع ز عشق عارف از سوختگی، عاشق پروانه شود
[quote]The fire of Love burned both
the candle and the moth
If you can’t handle the fire, Stay raw!
The moth burns in flame of love, so much
The Gnostic from his own burning,
Falls in love with the Moth
[Amir Khusraw Dehlawi][/quote]
You pick and choose friends based on your Desires
It is a big (understanding). Allah (Azza wa Jal) is saying: with all your big size, and all your big head, you can’t sacrifice one bad characteristic, you can’t sacrifice anything. Everything has to be your way, everything has to be the way you like, you pick and choose friends based on you but not based on whom Allah (Azza wa Jal) loves and whom Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) loves. A Mukhlis doesn’t care what somebody did to them, this is not about vengeance, this is not about me, it is the me that has to die; my desires, my ananiyya my Fir’aun inside me that says:
فَقَالَ أَنَا رَبُّكُمُ الْأَعْلَى
79:24 – “Faqala ana rabbukumu al ‘Aala.” (Surat An Nazi’at)
and (Fir’aun) said, “I am your Lord All-Highest!” (Holy Quran)
That this one was bad to me, I am not talking to him any more. Who are you? Are you Fir’aun? Allah didn’t care about you.
A Mukhlis (says) samina wa ata’na, yaa Rabbi You want that one, I am of service, you don’t want that one, I am of service. They live their whole life with that understanding: it is not about what I want, it is not about what my desire is. It is my desire, my want, that is blocking everything from ikhlas (sincerity).
A Moth Goes straight to the Flame – Sacrifices itself for Love
He was looking at the flame and the moth went like a bomber right into that flame, not thinking anything of itself and it completely burns. Who can do that? Who can copy just one example of Allah’s creatures? Then he said, “Subhaanallah yaa Rabbi what coordinance you gave to this moth? How it sacrificed itself for Your love!” Why does the moth go to the flame? Have you seen the bugs outside? When you put candles, back home all the bugs go straight into the fire. Because they remember this fire, they see this is the fire of ‘ishq, of Divinely Presence and they don’t think anything going into that fire.
For us it is reminder that every time when you have that mushkilat (difficulties) in your life, it is not about you coming and making everything comfortable, everything payable, everybody in love and happiness and in romance. Allah is saying: you just copy, not all the Rasuls (Messengers), not all the Sahaba (Companions of prophet (saws)), all these buzurgan (elders/pious people), copy My moth. What do you call the moth [in Urdu]? [Parwana] We say butterflies are parvaneh.
مشین این جا تو با اندیشه خویش اگر مردی برو آن جا که یارست
که پروانه نیندیشد ز آتش که جان عشق را اندیشه عارست
Don’t sit here with your thoughts
If you are a man, go where the beloved is
As the moth didn’t think of the Fire
For the soul of Love, thinking is a disgrace
[Mawlana Jalaluddin Muhammad (Rumi)][/quote]
Allah (Aj) wants to Burn Everything Other than His love
Copy one of these parvana and I will be so happy with you.Means every time you hit the flame and every body knows when they have a fire, when things are coming short and you feel difficulty, means yaa Rabbi let it to go. Why is Allah ing you? Because He wants to burn everything other than His love. Everything else has to go!
حیلت رها کن عاشقا دیوانه شو دیوانه شو و اندر دل آتش درآ پروانه شو پروانه شو
Heelat reha kun ‘Ashiqa, dewana shaw dewana shaw
Wandar dil Atash dara, parwana shaw, parwana shaw
Put aside your clever schemes!
O Lover, be mindless! Become mad!
Dive into the heart of the flame,
Become fearless, Become a moth
[Mawlana Jalaluddin Muhammad (Rumi)][/quote]
Liberate my soul.
Fill me with your love and
release me from the two worlds.
If I set my heart on anything but you
let fire burn me from inside.
take away what I want.
Take away what I do.
Take away what I need.
Take away everything
that takes me from you.
[Mawlana Jalaluddin Muhammad (Rumi)]
We just saw a big fire [in Fort McMurry, Edmonton, AB Canada], 70,000 [people evacuated], sayhatan wahidatan means that in one moment Allah (Azza wa Jal) gave a command and an entire city was taken out by that fire.
36:49 – “Ma yanZhuroona illa sayhatan wahidatan ta akhudhuhum wa hum yakhissimoon.” (Surah Yaseen)
“They do not await except a single Blast/Shout: it will seize them while they are disputing among themselves!” (Quran 36:49)
Allah (Azza wa Jal) is giving us so many different examples that: when I don’t want something, I don’t want it in you. The understanding of jahannam is what? Everybody has to go through the Fire. Why? Because all that exists other than Allah (Azza wa Jal) is going to be burnt! All this garbage you are bringing with you of your nafs, your desire, your money and all the things you want, you have attached them to yourself. In My Kingdom none of that can come. First go through the firewall.
We have computers so Allah (Azza wa Jal) is again teaching us through our computers. That everybody who has worked on computers, they have a firewall. Why? They are not going to let that virus inside. If Allah is teaching you through the computer that your virus cannot get into that computer because it will shut it down, then how am I going to let your virus enter into My Paradises?
Means these are then the realities of our life. Why wait for Allah to burn (us)? Why wait for Allah to say, “You have too much excess baggage, let’s keep it right here and start to burn it away.” ‘Ashiqeen (lovers) and Ahl at Tafakkur (people of contemplation) understood. That “Yaa Rabbi I am half way there, I have the love. You granted me a huge ni’mat that you put this love.” “Qul in kuntum tuhibbon Allaha fattabi’oni, yuhbibkumUllahu...”
قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّوْنَ اللَّـهَ فَاتَّبِعُوْنِيْ يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّـهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوْبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ٣١
3:31 – “Qul in kuntum tuhibbon Allaha fattabi’oni, yuhbibkumUllahu wa yaghfir lakum dhunobakum wallahu Ghaforur Raheem.” (Surah Surat Al ‘Imran)
“Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me Sayedena Muhammah ﷺ , [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Holy Quran 3:31
Allah (Azza wa Jal) says: I gave you half way, I gave you love to seek out Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and I am going to love you. When I love you, I am very jealous when I look at your heart, I don’t want to see a woman in your heart, I don’t want to see your Mercedes in your heart, I don’t want to see your bank account in your heart. I don’t want to see your ananiyya that you pick and chose based on who has been nice to you and who has been bad to you. You be a servant of Mine and whoever did whatever they did for you or did to you, it is none of your business.
I am your Lord, I am the one who sustains you and you are My servant, and you merely serve Allah (Azza wa Jal). These are the Mukhlis. They don’t put their opinion in anything. Allah loves one and they dispatch them and they send the Message. Allah doesn’t love that one, they have nothing to do with it, but they don’t put themselves in the middle of that scenario.
هزار مست چو پروانه جانب آن شمع نهاده جان به طبق بر که این بگیر و بیار
Hazar mast cho Parwana janib aan Shama’
Nehada jaan ba tabaq bar ke een begeer o beyaar
Thousand lovers ecstatic like a moth
moving towards that candle of light
Offering their souls on a silver plate
Begging, O Beloved take this!”
[Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi (Rumi)][/quote]
شمع دیدم گرد او پروانهها چون جمعها شمع کی دیدم که گردد گرد نورش شمعها
Sham’a dedam gerd oh, parwana ha chon jam’a haa
Sham’a dedam ke gardad girde noorash, sham’a haa
[quote]I saw a candle, moths around it in groups
I saw a candle that the candles whirl around its light
[Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi (Rumi)][/quote]
In everything in our lives they want us to take a tafakkur that try to reach a level where we willingly burn all the excess baggage. When Allah (Azza wa Jal) is showing the fire is very near, in one moment another fire comes. In one moment another catastrophe comes, in one moment an earthquake comes, a tsunami comes, and everything will be taken away. And at that moment you will be in the presence of Allah (Azza wa Jal) with only your character.
Ahl al-Haqaayiq carry a tremendous responsibility
Ahl at-Turuq, Ahl al-Haqaaiq, Ahlu Sunnah wal Jama`ah, carry a tremendous responsibility. They are trying to wear the Sunnah and keep the Sunnah to show their love for Sayyidina Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). If you have love for Sayyidina Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), you are an ambassador for Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). And Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) is Rahmatan lil `Aalameen:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ ١٠٧
21:107 – “Wa maa arsalnaka illa Rahmatan lil’alameen.” (Surat Al Anbiva)
“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (The Prophets 21:107)
He (saws) was not beating or cursing the people or making tribal disputes. Prophet ﷺ broke all the barriers. He (saws) loved everyone, he tried to bring everyone to the love of Allah (Azza wa Jal).
Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) is then teaching: if you are going to be my ambassador for `ishq, for love. That you fight only yourself, you come only against yourself, and the only enemy you should have is yourself. And every night you are sitting in tafakkur and crying, yaa Rabbi this self is like a zombie, it is not going anywhere. And every night I look at myself and realize that I did everything wrong that day, I am loving everything other than You.
How Many People Move for Money but not For Allah (aj)?
How many people made a hijrah into this region (West) with the intention for money and not for Allah and His Rasul? You moved away from Allah and His Rasul. The intention was for money. What did Allah show you with that? In one day, eight hours that intention was burnt [Wildfire in Fort McMurry, Edmonton, AB Canada 2016]. Now you look back and there is nothing there. This is a sign. There are a tremendous amount of believers in this area and Allah (Azza wa Jal) loves them.
Allah (Azza wa Jal) is warning us: that if you are loving dunya, this dunya is going; if you’re happy with your bad character, you are going to see difficulty in the grave. But if it is Me that you love and Sayyidina Muhammad (saws) that you love, then take a nightly accounting, take a muhasabah that: yaa Rabbi what am I living for? Am I living for money and my day to day pay? Money is everywhere but I should be living a life in which I am serving. Serving Allah (Azza wa Jal) through His Beloved Sayyidna Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), of khidmat Nabi al-Kareem means that do whatever you can do for the love of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).
You travel great distances [to come for Zikr and see Mawlana Shaykh Nurjan] for the love of Sayyidina Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), why? So that maybe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)’s nazar will be upon you and that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is happy with you and take mushkilat and difficulty away from you.
I pray always for myself and a reminder for myself that difficulty is all around us, don’t be so quick to think that we have to throw it off and get it prayed off, but to find the hikmat and the wisdom. That if a moth goes into the fire and completely surrenders itself for the love of Allah (Azza wa Jal), Oh, we are `Ashiqeen of Sayyidina Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), at least we can put the wing near the flame to get a little bit (of burning) and say, “Okay the difficulty is making my life a little bit sweeter.” When you have difficulty you cry unto Allah (Azza wa Jal), when you have difficulty you cry unto Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam): yaa Sayyidi yaa Rasulul Kareem, take my case to Allah (Azza wa Jal).
That is dear to them but why do you have to be in difficulty to achieve that? You can achieve that every night, yaa Rabbi I don’t need difficulty, I love you so much, I am trying to change my character, I am going to beat myself down, every time somebody offends me, I am going to go with more love to them. Every time they insult my character I am going to go with more love for them. I am going to scrub myself, I don’t need You to scrub me.
We pray that Allah (Azza wa Jal) open these realities in the holy month of Sha`ban and now Laylatul Bara`ah is coming in which Allah (Azza wa Jal) writes the destiny of the souls. We pray that Allah (Azza wa Jal) writes a good destiny for us, for rizk, and satisfaction, and the light of Islam , Iman and Maqaam al-Ihsan and the nazar of Sayyidina Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) be upon us, nazar of Awliya to be upon us, and their rida and satisfaction to dress us. Ilahi anta maqsoodi wa ridaka matloobi (O My lord, you are my Aim, and your satisfaction is what I seek)
Subhaana rabbika rabbil `izzati `amma yasifoon wa salaamun `alal mursaleen wal hamdulillahi rabbil `aalameen.
[Special thanks to sister Saira and sister Hafsa for their help with transcribing this suhbat.]
- “Huda lil Muttaqeen” – Who Are Muttaqeen? Taqwa & Yaqeen
- “Muttaqeen Teach You to Fast With All Five Senses”