It was a warm summers morning back in 2004. When the skies were clear and it was promising to be a good day. Before the Fajr prayer, the birds were doing their usual prayers of humming and singing. Worshipping Allah in their own way. Some brothers along with their teacher entered a newly acquired building, which was a sharp contrast to outside world. The dark and silent outside to that of the warm and bright indoors. I was part of these fortunate brothers, whom were an only a handful back then. Alhamdulillah
Many people struggle in life. Especially in relation to fulfilling the commands of their religion, namely islam. The underlying reason for this is laziness. Many people who do take the initial steps on their journey to Allah soon stop and do not go any further. This is a crucial discourse in which shaykh Ahmad Dabbagh addresses this issue of laziness and forgetfulness. We learn how if we do not seek to change our states our current stage will go from bad to worse. There are seven stages which leads a person to eventually becoming cursed to hell for good. Like the father of devils, iblis!
The following is a transcript of the talk (almost word for word) on laziness which you can listen to here:The Seven Stages of Laziness
The Seven Stages of Laziness
After the opening kuthbah…
First of all we thank Allah for enabling us to remember him or at least trying to in this day and age, and seek his infinite pleasure. Whilst majority of people have misled themselves or by shaitan. We are also in danger all the time. No one except the messengers and the prophets have been saved or been guaranteed that they will leave this world with iman. On the other hand the messengers and the prophets were also very fearful of Allah. The more you know about someone the more aware you are of them. Today i would like to comment on the seven stages of laziness or forgetfulness you can say. The masters of the path of purification have mentioned. As many of those who begin the spiritual path to Allah become lazy and this results in spiritual deaths. Although you do not need to know the terminology or terminologies, but maybe you and i can benefit as a result of this knowledge. A person who travels, (travel here means a person who wants to become successful forever by attaining the pleasure of Allah). He does not want to become a puppet of his nafs or evil people, a person who wants to be free. One person has one master, and the other has several masters. Who would be in a better and comfortable position? Who can fulfil the wishes of his master? The one who has several masters will not be able to fulfil any of the commands of his masters as they will all be pulling him in different directions, one will pull say get me this and the other will say get me this. The one who has one master can easily and successfully fulfill the commands. When you have several masters you cannot be successful. Many people set on this path, whilst trying to please shaitan, his nafs, and also allah. This is very wrong. This is why it is said you become the slave of one. The person who is a slave to his nafs, yet he claims to be a slave to Allah, whilst trying to please shaitan aswell what is his stance?
The signs to know if you are a slave of Shaitan are whoever and whatever is inviting you to disobey Allah is the shaitan.
Some people have several masters. Moreover the person who has become a slave to his nafs has never-ending masters. As the nafs never subsides from its desires. Whereas some people are slaves of their families. For example when the time for marriages comes, people say i don’t want to do anything wrong but its my family saying this and that. Why are they confused? When they have said i believe in the shahadah. When we have accepted Allah is our lord and that the messenger (saw) is our role model. The prophet (saw) said (when the tribes had gathered against him, his uncles and cousins) that “i will not leave the command of Allah even if you were to place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left”. We should be like this, not move from Allah & his prophet (saw) no matter what. Some people are slaves of fashion and society, i want to follow this and that look like this and that. It is a sign of lowliness that a person who is supposed to follow allah and his messenger (saw) that he gets agitated when someone looks at him. That, “i feel odd doing this or wearing that, when everyone else is doing something else. If everyone turns into a donkey will you want to follow suit? Allah says make me happy and i will make you independent of everyone and everything else – a free person. Since if Allah does not want harm to come to a person then no matter what happens no harm will come to that person. A person who Allah does not protect will be harmed by anything.
Why is shirk the most hated? This is because we have made the things that were ment to serve us our masters. Don’t submit to anyone thinking they will cause harm and benefit. As only allah can do this. Muhammad (saw) is the messenger, which means we must follow him. This is why we say to the Christians that if Jesus is the son of god then how can you follow him. As the tests and trials he went through he could manage them as he is a supernatural being “a god”. This is why we have a human role models and this argument of “the son of God” is false. Allah has said if only angels were on earth then Allah would have sent an angel as a messenger on the earth. However since we are humans this is why Allah sent human messengers. This is why we say to the Christians Allah only sent humans as prophets. We do not believe in Jesus as being the “god” or the “son of god”. This is why Allah sent to us the human messengers so that we can follow them. But, spiritually they were super human, This is what the prophet (saw) also said, i am a human being like you only that allah has chosen me to be a messenger. SO, look at yourself, you are now 15/20 years old, ask your self have you made everyone happy? This is why allah says only try to i will become happy it does not matter if you reach the goal or not. (we must keep trying through thick and thin)
Allah will as a result please us, in this world and the hereafter. A Muslim makes a person happy not because he wants to but it is allah who has said so. – To deal with the creation of Allah gently. A jewish boy who used to come and sit in the gatherings of the prophet (saw). A few days passed in which he did not come and as a result the messenger (saw) asked where is he? i have not seen him for a few days. When he (saw) was told that the boy had fallen ill, he (saw) went to visit him. He (saw) did not say “why are you coming to my gatherings when you are not even a muslim”. When the prophet (saw) went to see him, he (saw) released that the boy was in his death-bed. His father was to his side and the messenger of Allah said to the boy “i am the messenger of allah and believe in me”. The boy looked at his father who did not say anything, and then the messenger (saw) said it again. This time when the boy looked at his father, his gave the go ahead and the boy died on iman. The companions said that when the prophet (saw) came out of the boys house he was smiling and said today Allah has saved a person from hell. From this we can learn that this is why the awliyah do not say to the hindus, non muslims immediately when they come to the gatherings, become muslim. Since this approach is not good always. Maybe because of the good they do during the gathering(s) can be a means for his/her accepting islam. As allah has said that any good the non muslims do, they get rewarded in this world and the greatest reward for a non muslim can get is the iman. This is why a person should be careful, as sometimes a sinful life also leads to a person dyeing without iman aswell, just as a good act can lead to a good end. Sometimes a person dies without iman due to his stubbornness in sin and disobedience of Allah .
Jalaludin Rumi said that sometimes one sitting in the company of the Awliyah is better than 100 years of worship because of the teachings and illumination one gets. Yes, those who sit there wilfully in not wanting to change they will not.
Imam nizam uddin awliyah and the other masters of the path to Allah say that when a person travels on the way to Allah he is called a saliq – A person who has set on a path to reach Allah. If he has stopped in the journey somewhere, he is called a waki. He should not confuse that he has reached his goal. Many people think that just sitting in the majlises of the awliyah they have reached the goal when they have not! If one does not do the prescribed deeds he/she will not reach anywhere. You have to travel the path and reach your goal. If the masters of the path like syyiduna abdul qadir jilani had to travel the path then who are me and you? If a person stops doing the murakabah, the sheets or anything related to the course of self purification he has become a waki. The worse station than that is called a raji – a person who has returned back. These are people are who return back to their previous sinful state. That is why many people stay years and years but do not achieve anything. Physically they are there but do not achieve anything. These people are in more danger as they think they have reached somewhere but they have not. This happens due to laziness and forgetfulness.
Nizam uddin awliyah (ra) and others have mentioned 7 stages of laziness and forgetfulness:
1) The first one stage is turning away. Whatever he was doing he stops, the prayers, fasting , the amals etc. If he continues in this state and does not consult his teacher or consults but his consult stays as just consultation like the hypocrites in madinah who wilfully did not change. His state will not change. If he continues in he’s ways of always delaying things for tomorrow, then it becomes the second stage.
2) If he reaches the second stage it is called the veil. where a barrier is erected in front of the person and Allah. Now he indulges in the world and does not remember Allah. His conditions are getting worse and worse.
3) The following stage happens is that he becomes separated from Allah. He gets separated from allah and he indulges in all his desires. Hr is not concerned with the separation with Allah. When the people do dua in this stage it does not get accepted as he/she is not remembering Allah. As Allah only remembers you when you remember Allah, properly. If a person reaches this stage and does not consult his shaykh for a cure, coming sometime to the gathering then disappearing. He moves to the next stage. Allah does not need us we need Allah. He only pays attention to us when we do to him. Allah (swt) does not even consider the dua of a heedless person!
4) The fourth stage is confiscation. This means confiscation of the extra blessings. This is when a person becomes practicing, Allah sends extra blessings for his spiritual journey. The dreams and the good feelings he got when he used to do the ibadah, gets taken from him. Many people reach this stage. who are also very adamant in their evil ways. As they think it’s a joke reaching Allah, their attitude is “if we do the course its okay, if not then its still okay”. A normal person who messes with someone gets harshly treated and told who the person is. What about with Allah? when we do not take the journey to him seriously then things will be taken away!
5) The next is the confiscation of primary good/ blessings. This is when a person who before coming on the path to Allah, a person may have been just a simple muslim i.e just praying, fasting etc. These blessings/ abilities to do good are also taken away at this stage. – before whatever good he had in him, is taken away.
6) Contention is the sixth stage. This stage is very dangerous as a person becomes content with the separation with Allah. This is why you find many people who say “i am happy. You will go to your grave and i will to mine, so don’t bother me with your lectures!” They do not pay heed to their evil lives. However, if anyone wants to turn back to Allah even on this stage he can. All the results that he had before that has been taken away from him is many times a good thing as this will bring him back to Allah. When people reach this stage and are persistence on sin and rebellion to him, Allah then opens the all the doors to sin for the individual. Women? Money? Everything and every door is opened for the person. Allah gives a person all he wants out of complete despise of the individual because he is doing things against the commands of Allah.
Allah says to these people that he gives them all they want of the world, then suddenly Allah holds them to account when they were least expecting it! On the day of judgement Allah will also forget these people. As they forgot him.
7) The final stage of laziness, due to the contentment & separation of Allah is known as becoming the enemy of Allah. As the person has not returned to Allah and sought the cure rather continued his sinful life. He begins to dislike Allah and his messenger being mentioned to him. They become deaf to the good advice of Allah and his messenger a person gives. They absolutely hate hearing the good advises, the names of Allah and his messenger (saw). Like many of the devils do, they completely hate hearing the name of Allah and his messenger! This is a stage when you see a person hating to hear the commands of Allah. You will notice when you say to a person let’s go and pray he will say “ o no, i have to do this and that”.
The example of the muslim in the mosque is like a fish in the water. Whereas the example of the hypocrites are like the birds in a cage, whilst they are in the mosque. They feel very anxious and agitated. When it should be the case that our hearts should be yearning to go the masjids. Hypocrisy was not only during the time of the prophet (saw) but it also exists now. Imam hasan al basri said “i will be more happy knowing i have no hypocrisy than spending a mountain of gold in the way of Allah”. Now, imam hasan basri was a great wali of Allah.
There is one stage further which is called the khatm-e-kulub. – A stage which the shaitan (iblis) in on. This stage is where the heart is sealed and stamped for good.
This is the final stage in which if a person is a non muslim the kufr stays in the heart, and the Muslim who is disobedient to Allah stays there. Now it is regarding these people Allah said it does not matter if you warn them or not. It will not affect them. This is not because of Allah leading people astray, the fault is of the individual. It’s like a person who takes drugs and destroys his immune system, he then no longer benefits from the good food as his system has been destroyed. Similarly, many people destroy their sexual/reproductive system by doing silly evil sexual practices, now when they want to marry they can’t. The mashaykh say if anyone reaches the first stage he should turn back and go to Allah. Before ita too late. May Allah (swt) save us from the sinful lives and from going astray. Amin
Remember the greatest harm they (the devils) will do to you is when then make you commit sins and make you think you are okay in the state you are in, that being the sinful , astray life.
The seven stages of laziness.pdf
Servant of Allah.