The Road of Certainty
My intention was to present a coherent and intellectually binding article after I had revisited a site that not only questioned the aqida of Shaykh-ul-Islam but also spoke of him and his work in distasteful terms. As one can imagine I was in a state of great anger and wished to put forward a contribution that would silence those who resort to such means, not that I was willing to play in the hands of such perpetrators, but I wished to eliminate such injustice and relieve others of having to be subjected to such a mindset without understanding the reality.
The Prophet has said, “hast is from the devil.” Thus upon reflection on the issue at hand I will do the contrary, I proclaim to speak from the heart rather than from the confines of my mind. Is it not so that extreme indulgence in any given entity is more harmful than good? Is not Islam a religion of moderation? Certainly this is a truthful proposition hence why Islamic tradition teaches us that excessive questioning can lead to doubt and one should refine from such a practice. Therefore I judge that in the above-mentioned issue, no answer is a better answer than any answer because the latter leads to more questions, as it is not the solution that is sought but far damaging motives. Thus, read ahead only if you too wish to perceive the condition of my heart.
Alix Philippon writes in an article titled “Bridging Sufism and Islamism”, Shaykh-ul-Islam is “acknowledged as none less then the leading religious authority in the present era…bestowed on the basis of his spiritual qualities.” It had an insightful effect on me; verstehen allows embodiment of the worldview from a perspective other than ones own, if a non-Muslim can profess such a thing, was others and I blind? Yet we proclaim Islam? Rebuttal is not always the key as truth speaks for itself and it was speaking to me.
I would need to be excused for presenting a personal account of my life experience but I am a great believer in understanding the world through the actions of others. Therefore before you is an account of Shaykh-ul-Islam’s profound effect in my life.
I needn’t worry about my analytical endeavour in regards to the ‘salah’ question or other allegations as concentrating my concerns elsewhere are far more important in regards to what I wish to achieve spiritually. Stripping the human of all doubts and inclinations to the bare minimum and essence of existence will allow such people to envisage the character of Shaykh-ul-Islam as someone who has changed lives, revived hearts to obtain the nearness and pleasure of Allah SWT and His Rasul SAW. He has the ability to revert our peripheral concerns of din and replace them to the central objectives of our lives forsaking worldly desires.
The desire for Islamic learning, by Allah’s SAW Grace, has been grounded in me from as far back as I can remember but it was difficult for me to judge whether what I was learning captured a true reflection of Islam. Such uncertainty can damage ones desire to move forward. How can one truly be certain that what they are being taught in a true reflection of the Islamic creed?
I have been fortunate to have an affiliation to the mission through family therefore I was a regular at various events across the country but I was unaware of the leader except through narratives of others. At first it uneased me greatly that people could speak so much about an individual and elevate his position to degrees that I saw as ‘unislamic’. What a fool I was, I am now uneasy in writing these very words.
It was usually in the summer that others and me would get a glimpse of Shaykh-ul-Islam whilst there was a gathering in London or Manchester. Of course it would be from afar that I listened and most talks were in Urdu, a language, which I had very little understanding of and that of course did not allow me to absorb the knowledge that was being transmitted.
A time came in my life where I became extremely saddened by my spiritual condition and tired of what I now call ‘born Muslim’ syndrome whereby Islam is a way of life because of ones parents yet one does not display the characteristics or actions of a Muslim. My future looked bleak.
I became active in the mission but it did not reflect my internal state, I was not at peace and something had to be done. As I began gradually gaining knowledge of Islam I became aware of internal conflicts amongst Muslims on various areas of the faith, specifically concerning the character of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.
I heard a lecture of Shaykh-ul-Islam in which they discuss the status of the Prophet SAW, especially the condition of a mumin when it comes to loving the Prophet SAW and how it should replace all other worldly loves as beautifully explained in a Quranic Ayat. Although I cannot at present recall the exact lecture, it struck a cord in the depths of my heart and I realised the sorry state I was in. It was then that I was certain that if anyone was to be believed it was this man. I was certain with all the might in my body that if I hold tight onto the rope of Shaykh-ul-Islam it will lead me to the rope of Allah and His Rasul.
I understand the significance of the words Allah speaks of in the Quran, when He declares, “Are those equal, those who know and those who do not?” Indeed this rhetorical question is answered for me again and again when I gaze upon the beautiful face of Shaykh-ul-Islam.
Indeed the truth does speak for it self, it is not enough to understand Shaykh-ul-Islam through the mouths of others, tasting it on ones own tongue will lead to a life long thirst, hidden in the core of ones heart it will prove difficult to speak of the ecstasy of longing and verily words will not suffice.
I have felt burning desire in my heart to gain nearness of Allah SWT and the love for the Prophet SAW; I have lost control of my sense engaged in the Dhikr of Allah. Most of all I have looked into my heart and attempted to rectify the mistakes that darken my soul suppressing it from the infinite pleasures of its Lord. I know that I can only admit to tasting these droplets of faith because of Shaykh-ul-Islam, indeed I can only thank Allah SWT everyday for allowing me such an opportunity. I am wise because all I know is that I know nothing and this I learnt when the ayn-al-Qalb opened to Shaykh-ul-Islam.