Maulana Sheikh NazimThe Task of Sufi Centres
"You should not waste your time by fighting with other Naqshbandis. That is one of the tricks Satan uses to make you weak, I want you to direct your strength outwardly toward other people. You should not accuse each other of things and cause unrest. That is foolishness. People want to be led to the right path by you, to truth and reality - they are thirsty for that. You should not be sitting together telling each other what others should do - or not do. That is not what we want. I am happy when my followers gather crowds who feel attracted to them, also when they do it in their own home. You can tie on after the next - collect them. Look at Burhanadin - he is catching so many with his hook, that is what is important. It is not important if five people are sitting somewhere and making dhikr (remembrance) there, just to spend their time. Go and hunt! That is what is important, to be a hunter. I want everyone to be a hunter, not to fight between yourselves. No, go and hunt. Gather more and more people. Save the souls of people! Help and support each other for this purpose. Make tea parties or meals. Picnics, lectures, seminars from time to time. Direct your energies to the outside world, not against each other, wasting them. Don't make a 'religious' centre, make a social centre for social functions of every kind. Make everything which is not haram and what people like to do. Keep horses, many people like to ride. Set up libraries so that people can come and look. Don't charge any entrance fee, set up tea gardens where people can come and listen. Organise exhibitions for people to come and look. Give a free meal every week or every month to make people used to coming regularly. Organise car boot sales to attract people. Make exhibitions about different subjects to attract people, you have to use your mind a bit. You have enough of it to be able to attract people.
You could set up a kindergarten where working mothers could leave their children. Organise a meeting place for old people where thy can come together during the day time and relax. The state would even pay you for that. There are so many activities like that. Make a collection of beautiful birds. Make a collection of flowers, plants for sale or like a park or garden in which people can sit to look after them. There are so many possibilities, hundreds of things. Make evening classes for sewing. make oriental exhibitions, Indian, Turkish, Christian... These are the things you should be doing, not sit (in Berlin) and quarrel with each other. Organise a sale every week where people can buy things from warehouses. Advertise, put signs on the streets, so that people who are driving by will stop and buy something. It can be a very beautiful place. Make stamp collections, photo exhibitions, book collections. Bring all kinds of skins, wooden and handmade objects.
Tell people that you have a temple, synagogue and a mosque. Who wants, can come. They will come. People need so little to be pleased nowadays. If it is free, so many will be interested. Keep sheep in their enclosures and bring donkeys on which the young ones can ride.
You must work out these things I am telling you in detail and you must look who is an expert for what. Don't look if people are Muslims or not. Just see if they are interested, then they are welcome. It should be a place for the good of mankind without making a difference of religious beliefs or race, but it should be mainly for people from this country. Use the good old customs of the English; their costumes, their houses. With everything you do - try to make young people interested in their history, their old customs and good traditions so that these don't get lost in bad times. Make a peaceful centre for young and old, for every kind of people. And whichever means you need, Allah will send to you. He will send you so many helpers. If you start looking more and more, doors will open.
Make a scrapyard: rent or buy a big piece of land where you can put everything which people don't need anymore; lorries, cars, furniture, just write;" We are prepared to pick up anything for free." Then so many doors will open up. You can say that it is a charity which is helping poor people all over the world. Like Father Pierre in Paris - he is even more well known than the president. He is more than 90 years old but he is so eagerly busy to help people that everyone knows him in France. Everyone who wants to get rid of something calls him and he picks it up. Start by making a room for something like that in your basement, bring everything which people throw away and it will regain some value. Sell healthfood products, everything which is good for people and which interests them. You can do so many things here. Allah will give you success. Make camping for the children. You must say to people that you must not allow anything on the land which will harm them, physically or spiritually. We don't want that. We will do our best to make drug addicts stop, we cannot make them stop at once, but they can come and gradually we will bring them away from it.
I do not like it when someone comes and complains about someone else. Grandsheikh is just transmitting; out of respect for a sheikh you should never bring him any bad news. You should never come to him and make him worried about anything. That is bad behaviour. You must always try to bring him good news to make him happy so that he will pray for you, because if your Sheikh is happy with you then your Grandsheikh is happy with you too. Which means that the Prophet, peace be upon him, is happy and then Allah is happy with us too. That is why you should never bring any bad news to your Sheikh, this is very important, you need this advice a lot.
You can come and tell me that someone new has taken shahada. That someone has come to see you and was happy with you. That you have made a teaparty and the people were happy. We have given this or that to someone. He was very happy. We have given charity, food, tea. We have met a bishop, a priest, we have shown respect to the official people of this town and they are happy with us for helping them to uphold the respect in this town. We are visiting hospitals, prisons, psychiatric institutions to give people hope for the future in there. We have married so and so. we have collected old clothes and organised a flea market. We have made an arrangement with this or that restaurant to pick up all the leftovers to give to poor people. We serve soup to poor people everyday. Just don't let there be any dirt there.
People who come and want to stay for a few days must be clean as much as possible. At least to a degree that other people will not be put off. Don't let mad people come, or people who will harm others with their actions and their looks.
If someone insists in behaving in such a way that people will hate our centre, you have to inform the police to take such a person away.
Only allow clean people, who look tidy. No dirty, drunk, nasty people with bad looks. Send all those away. We do not accept abnormal creatures. Normal people must come, people with normal behaviour. Those who disturb others are excluded. And give people the respect they deserve according to their level. Whoever comes to spend three days or more should pay a reasonable sum because they will get breakfast, tea and meals. You can combine breakfast and lunch and then serve food again after the evening meal. You must look at what is cheap but suitable for the guests. Especially when you organise seminars you must see what is appropriate. You must see that they are at ease and keep everything clean. Even the poorest of us should pay something when they come into the centre. Four or eight pounds to support the centre in the name of belief and in the name of truth to train a good generation with good manners. Everyone, especially my followers, must try to give some financial support for this place. Not just expect something from it, but at least make a small contribution. They should not come and show their empty pockets. Whoever comes must give something for the centre, for the holy place. It is not important how much poor people give, even if they just chop some wood, look after the plants, clean up...but they must do something, not just put their feet up and hang around. They can do that in their spare time, but whoever lives there must do at least two hours of physical work for the centre daily. And they have to take part in the communal prayers, at least once a day.
Who should organise and give orders? Who is responsible?
That is something which you should work out for yourself. Whoever want to give most of their time. I am seeing so many brothers who are just lying around without a job, just waiting for their wives to serve them. They are neither doing this or that. These are the kind of people who should be kept busy on a permanent basis in a centre like that so that they are kept fit in a physical as well as a spiritual sense.
Put a string of lamps around the whole place and illuminate it at night. On holy nights, Muslim and Christian, the whole place should be lit up. Little lamps like that are so cheap and they do not waste electricity. The place should shine like a star so that everyone wonders what is happening there. One group of people should carefully look after the visitors. If you can find someone from the North, the South, the East, the West, who has the talent for that and whose mind is working and does not get tired easily, bring them to do such a job. Install a place to repair pianos. Give lessons in piano. Why not? So many people would be interested. Advertise. Make film evenings with video.
You can have many more ideas than these. Everything is possible and the government can give you grants if you contribute to education and health. There is enough room for all of that. Make a free psychiatric centre, a free healing centre. You can get free samples from pharmaceutical manufacturers and hand them out for free, the more you help other people, the more light you will get. Allah loves it when you help others. Make a room for free births with midwives. A clean place with a midwife with five or ten beds for natural births without caesareans, people will be so thrilled. If they want to give something, they can. If they can have a natural birth people might like to contribute with £4000. There are so many things you can do. Try to do your best for others and don't worry. May Allah give you success according to your good intentions. Don't stop your imagination from the endless possibilities of what you can do. Even if you can just do 1% of this it is an honour and useful for humanity. I don't expect you to do 100%. Take everything which people throw away and use it or send it to other countries as spare parts and make it in a way that the government will support you and not ask you to pay taxes. You must register the place as a charity for humanity.
Thank you.
München - 01.10.1993
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