Maulana Sheikh NazimBut our nafs is still sleeping

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Lord of the heavens, the Creator of all existence. Everything in existence He created. Anytime He wants to take it all away, He can. Therefore, He is the Mighty (al-Aziz), the Glorious. No one can stand in front of Him. No one can be victorious against Him. Yes? No power can stop Him. All power originates with Him, Don't suppose that something He gave to you works for you. No. All works for Him. He is absolutely victorious.

When is religion alive? This must be an important point for everyone to know. We are living in a time of different ways of thinking. There are so many different ideas and schools of thought, because our egos make themselves out to be a prophet or to be a most important person, or to be the first of those who may be pointed out by people, "This is the one." This is a great, heavy thing that is put upon a person. It is sufficient as a test or an examination from God Almighty for a person to be pointed out by people that is such-and-such a person. But our ego, our animal soul (nafs) now wants to be pointed to by hands, by fingers, that that is that person. This is the hobby of our egos. But our ego, our animal soul is still sleeping. If it can find a chance, it wants to be the first. Truly, each an ego is waiting to find a chance to be Pharaoh or a Nimrod or a Nero or any tyrant from among tyrants. Don't imagine that our egos are now very quiet, sitting. No! They may deceive you; that is the characteristic, the well-known characteristic, of egos.

God Almighty says, "Truly the animal soul (nafs) impels toward evil" (13:53) (inna-n-nafsa la-ammaratun bis-sou). When he says, "ammaratun," it is exaggeration - so much! You can never imagine what your ego may command, may order you to do - such bad, such bad, such bad things! Everyone's ego!

That is how, from the time of Prophet Joseph (as) from his mouth, through his sayings, God Almighty speaks and teaches. God Almighty, in His Divine way, is still teaching people, speaking of the past and instructing future people, listening people. Joseph (as) was a prophet and he had an ego. All the prophets, peace be upon them all, have an ego, but they can command it. They are kings of their egos and their egos are slaves to them. That is the difference between ourselves and prophets and saints. We are slaves to our egos. The king's Throne, our hearts, we leave to our ego, saying to it, "You should be here. You can command us," and we say to it, "I am your slave." God Almighty is warning people, because if you put your ego on the throne of your territory, your body, no doubt its orders will be the worst. What is it going to say to you? If it can find the chance to sit on the throne of Pharaoh, then it is going to order you the worst things, saying, "Oh people, you are my slaves, you are My servants, and I am your Lord!" Yes? Anything incorrect in this? It is correct. God Almighty says that our egos order us to do the worst things.

Therefore, in our time, in this 20th century whose end we are reaching (the last quarter is passing away and we are going through to the 21st century), now people have found such freedom that before no one could dream of such a thing, of such freedom. If your ancestors, O Londoners, were to awaken, coming from cemeteries, they would first cut off your heads. They would say, "What is this?" People with no shame, living in this country? Who are these people? Where have they come from?" Yes - they would fight the people living in our time, in London, and also everywhere else, not only in London. Because we are in London now we are saying this, but even in Turkey, if the Ottomans came, they would fight the people living in Turkey now; in Arabia they would fight them, also. In every kind of a country, from East to West, if the previous inhabitants of those territories came, they would fight the people who are now living on earth because they would say, "What is this? What is this ignorance among people, what is this immodesty?"

We are so proud that civilization has reached the peak of freedom. Still people are asking for more freedom. What is that freedom? To make a throne for everyone and to put him on it, making him sit and say, "I am your Lord. Come to me," everyone declaring that he is the Lord of this world and of the worlds. That is what people now want of freedom, so that no one can command them - the Lord of the heavens cannot command them. They can order anything, they can do anything.

Yet if I say that now everyone claims to be like a prophet, it is still a lower position. But our egos never want to be lower; they want to be higher. Someone told me a story which shows our time's characteristics, how our egos go on. A person went to look around a mental hospital. One patient said, "I am a prophet. I am unknown but still I am a prophet." Then, when he began shouting so much, there was another one sitting in a high place, with a long beard, calling, "What's the matter? What are you quarreling about?" The person who was visiting said, "This one claims that he is a prophet." "One minute" - a big book in front of him; turning pages, turning, and then he said, "He is a liar because I never sent such a prophet."

That is the characteristic of our egos. Don't imagine that now they are calm. When they find the chance, they are going to do everything. Therefore, throughout his life the Prophet (saws) proclaimed or warned by saying, "Oh my Lord, don't leave me in the hands of my ego." And all the Companions, all the saints, were afraid of their egos. The Prophet (saws) had Divine protection. His animal soul or ego (nafs) was never commander over him, never, but he taught us. "Oh people, you must be very careful. I am warning you about your egos. Too dangerous, too powerful wrestlers, yes? You don't know at what time they may throw you down. You must be very careful." He was asking, "Oh my Lord, don't leave me in the hands of my ego." We put it on the throne of our territories, of our bodies, and say, "Enjoy yourself. As you like. This is London."

This is faith. This is a religion. It is not a game. We must be serious about our faith and our religion. Now we will say something important on that point. In our time, there are so many thoughts because everyone claims to be something. No one agrees to be nothing, and the highest honor in the Divine Presence is to declare that I am nothing, O my Lord. But our ego is never going to agree to be nothing. No. How can it be? I had printed, also, a card, writing on it that I am such and such a person, with letters after my name (a visiting card). Yes, I am registering my personality. Then you are telling me to be nothing?!!!

That is important, because when God Almighty created the ego, He ordered it, "Come forward," but it went back. Ordering, "Go back," and it came forward, doing the opposite. He asked it, "Who am I and who are you." It claimed to be something, saying, "I am myself and You are You. You are You and I am myself in front of You, I am something." It means to say, "I seek God's forgiveness," that if You are something, then I am something, also. If You are in existence, I am in existence, also. I am something. I must prove my existence, it claimed. Never saying that You created me; You are everything, I am nothing, not saying that.

That is a battle, going on from the beginning up to the end. Therefore, how is your ego, your nafs, going to agree with you without making a visiting card? You have one, also. Everyone must make a visiting, writing on it, "I am something!" The ego never wants to be something, never agrees to be something. Rather, it can find a chance, it says, "I am everything!"

"Beware!" is written in certain places - "Beware of the dog." It is written within ourselves, also. What kind? A mad dog may bite you, but this is a dragon - a dragon with 70,000 heads, poisoned heads. If the real form of their egos were to appear to people, everyone would fall down and die. Therefore, we must be very careful of our ego, of our nafs. How can we be careful? How can we be able to protect ourselves, if we have such a terrible companion? It is the companion, the partner, with us, with our personality. Then how may we be able to be victorious over our ego (nafs)?

Yes, we are living in a time in which that useless but harmful freedom gives more power, more authority, to our egos, and everyone says, "I am a prophet," or "I could be a prophet," or "I can speak as a prophet speaks," or "I can think as they thought," and want people to follow his way, each one more than the other. For this reason, religions are now only something looked at from outside. People look at that church, that synagogue, that mosque, and pass through it to the pub. Yes! No need for us. What was this church? What is that mosque? What is that synagogue? We must go to bars, pubs.

Who is commanding those people? What thing commands them except their egos? Their egos are saying this because the ego never finds enjoyment in a mosque or in a synagogue or in a church. For this reason, now in our time religions are simply forms, even though God Almighty never leaves His servants without shelter against their egos, against satans. There must always be a shelter for those who are asking a protection from devils in every time. That is Divine Justice. Divine Justice makes that shelter for everyone, so that if anyone is running away from satans, he may be under protection.

Now, we may say that there are three heavenly religions on earth: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Then, whoever feels fear of satans may run into one of these three shelters. Yes, I may say to people who are asking for a shelter that they can run into any one of these three shelters. If one of them keeps them or protects them, it is all right. If anyone finds a shelter in Christianity, asking for a shelter and finding a shelter from the hands of satans and from the hands of his ego, that is alright. No discussion, no argument with him. I am saying: Stay in that shelter. However, you must be very careful. If you can find a strong entrance, you may go in and you may lock it, but be careful about the back. There may be holes in the back. Satans may enter. You must look all around to see if it is all right. Don't be like a heedless person, escaping from the enemy and entering a fortress. It has only a strong door, but the back is all destroyed. Yes, because we look and we see that every religion except Islam is like a show. It is all right outwardly, as people claim in their writings, but the back is full of so many holes, so many destroyed walls, so that a thief may easily enter it. Therefore, we are advising any person who is asking for a shelter from satans to take care, inspecting everywhere. If it is all right, then he can stay. Otherwise he must look for a strong and safe shelter.

Then, we should speak about Islam and about two others, both of them claiming to be partners in shelters for people in our time. If you can find two things in any religions, it is alright. It means that it has a living power, that it is alive and can protect you, One thing is if a religion gives you fear of God, it is young, it is powerful. If it can give you love of God, then that is also a sign that it is alright.

If you can find both of them anywhere except in Islam, continue. Go, no need for a new shelter. However, you must not lie about it, because liars are accursed. If that power was with that shelter, God Almighty would never have sent Jesus Christ (as), the Messiah, after Moses (as), and if that shelter, also, was sufficient and strong, He would not have sent the Seal of the Prophets (saws) six centuries after Jesus Christ (as). You must think about it. Now you can find only in Islam the fear in God Almighty and the love of God Almighty. I met a famous scholar who lived in western countries, in England. He was saying, "I visited the tomb of a saint in Damascus. When I first stood before the grave, I was trembling and I couldn't stop trembling. That was Muhiyuddin, Muhiyuddin ibn al-Arabi's tomb. A fear came on me and I was trembling. I couldn't stop. Then after that, a deep love fell on my heart," he was saying.

A saint represents the life of a religion. No one can now take me to a Christian saint's tomb, although they have so many saints, and make me feel fear or feel hope or make me feel love. However, I can bring anyone to such a place, making him tremble and feel fear, and at the same time love, deep love, for his Lord Almighty.

Thus, we have people, people alive now, who in no other religion except Islam represent such Divine Attributes, making people fear, making people love, through himself or herself; this is specific to the living religion of Islam. You may find in the presence of such a saintly fear, and at the same time love, for your Lord Almighty. These are important signs that we are speaking of, "Praise belongs to God," (al-hamdullillah), we are in a strong shelter.

- 07.06.1985
BookTheDivineKingdomVolume1, CategoryChristianity, CategoryJudaism, CategoryIslam, CategoryEgo
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