[Every human will go through tests and trails. Different problems and situations throughout his life which causes him to go through ups & downs. This is a fact which is undeniable. What we must do is, learn how to deal with our situation and not be afraid and brush our problems under the carpet, in hope they will simply disappear. Shaykh Ahmad dabbagh mentions how to learn from these times of difficulty and turn it around for our benefit. Here in this world and the world to come].
Discourse notes: – 30/08/2012
A person exercises to make his body strong and fit. It helps to develops his body. People who do not train and exercise then they are more prone to diseases and illnesses. Similarly, people who do not get trained in the spiritual sense then they will be spiritually sick and unhealthy, which will ultimately condemn them to hell. Many people cannot see the spirit. So, they have a difficulty to train the spirit. People cannot even take care of their physical bodies, despite seeing the deterioration of their bodies. They have a difficulty to maintain it. People need personal trainers in order to help them to reduce their weight and get healthy. Now what to say about the spirit? When people cannot see the object which is far more important. Likewise, through the revelations and the prophets, the humankind were taught how to train their spirits. Now people who listen to them they will develop their spirits.
Everyone has the capability to develop their souls. Everyone is born on fitra. It is the people who destroy their abilities. This also has an effect on their lives in this world. Remember, no one is free from Allah. The person who claims that he is ‘free’, he is only a runaway slave who will soon have to return to the master.
The spiritual path is nothing more than a spiritual training course.
**The seven methods of spiritual training used by the mashaykh to develop the seeker.**
1) Through Dhikr & reflection: -
Dhikr is the life and heart of the remembrance of Allah. Reflection is deep thinking which is engaging the spirit in reflection of life. The awliyah do this in every state. They do Dhikr & Fikr. Who try to understand the realities of life. Fikr is also known as murakabah. This is the energy a person needs. This is the food in the spiritual path. The effect of Dhikr cannot be seen physically people tend to think this does not have much effect. When in reality it does. A person he himself feels it. He feels down, feels lost and thinks he does not know what to do. – These effects start to appear after a few weeks and it is not immediate. Just like not eating food for one day there is not much effect. Similarly missing one or two days Dhikr will seem like a person is still fine. However, in the long process of time the negative effects will be felt.
Sometimes in this state of weakness shaitan finishes him.
2) Is through personal Amaals:-
This is one aspect of training aswell. Dhikr & murakabah is the energy, whereas the Amaals help to bring in the remembrance of Allah in a persons daily life. The mashaykh say ‘if one does not engage his nafs in the remembrance of Allah, then his nafs will make him engage in evil acts’. – so, people who are busy most of the time they are in many ways safe. Since their nafs cannot make them engage in evil acts.
- ‘The empty mind is the workshop of the devil & nafs’.
3) The third way a person is trained is through the Islāmic gatherings: – These are like tablets which the doctor gives to the patient. This is beneficial for both groups of people. It helps a person who is practicing, to be reenergised and motivated. It also gives them the ability to find new source of help and support. For the ones who are not practicing Islam then it helps them to build a thirst within them to start practicing. Many people complain that they started the journey to Allah but have stopped. This is because they have stopped one of the training components.
- The gatherings are like petrol stations where even if a plane is flying high. It’s has to come down and refuel its tanks. Otherwise the planes/cars will stop working one day. It will run out of the petrol and soon become stranded.
- These three methods of tests are in the power/ability of the person. He can choose to easily maintain them and reach Allah.
There are some tests in which a person is trained by Allah. In these tests a person has no choice but to go through them. They have no choice in these. These tests are things like:
They are like getting a promotion opportunity for the servant. As a servant through the right reactions to tests set by Allah can attain many blessings and rewards. This is why Allah loves the prophets the most as they are the ones who are heavily tested from amongst creation. In a normal gale/storm an eagle finds it hard to push on and reach his destination. However these also help push the eagle higher into the skies. they support you reach high stations of the closeness to Allah. Sometimes a person faces opposition from family/society/friends. All these are vital chances to advance. Look at the commandos, they go through severe training to protect & help the government. Similarly a person who wants to reach Allah and attain his closeness, he will also have to become a ‘commando’ spiritually.
5) The person is trained in the ‘spiritual gym’ through personal states/moods:-
These are internal tests. Whereas before (in number 4) they were external tests. Allah places different states on people to see how they cope and react.
What type of mood are you in? Sad/grieving/happy/or in pleasure?
- A person does not commit sins just by ‘feelings’ unless he puts his feeling into actions. For example, a person who hits someone out of anger unjustly, will have committed a sin. Whereas just feeling angry about a situation is not sin.
If a person is feeling down, then he should do the bare minimum. The obligatory acts of Islam and recite 100 times sura iklas everyday. this will help him get out of the miserable state he is in.
However, even in that state, if he does the Amaals & Dhikr as prescribed by the teacher. Then this act will be done only for Allah. As before when he was feeling ‘upbeat and happy’ his nafs had a share in the worship.
6) Is through the tests set by the teachers:-
They can sometimes, to help quicken the journey to Allah put a person in a test and if he passes it. Then he is given a spiritual push which helps him reach the stations of the closeness of Allah faster than he would have ever reached on his own.
7) Is by visions & dreams:-
many people who begin the journey to Allah are led astray by dreams & visions. They come to the path firstly for this reason. To see something from the unseen and when they do. Then slowly shaitan misleads them. There are countless examples of how many people of the past have fallen into this trap and been led astray. Secondly, just like a person is tested in the physical world. A student can be tested in the spiritual world as well. He may be given certain blessing just to see how he reacts and what his outcome is. Does he become more humble & obedient to Allah or does he begin to brag about his blessings and becomes arrogant?