By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ)
Once, when taking a walk through a park, with some friends, we came across a fountain, wherein were numerous 1 cent and 2 cent coins. On noticing this, it came to mind, that since the 1 cent coin and the 2 cent coin have negligible value – in fact, no worth or value is really given to these coins – they are generally discarded in a fountain, after some ‘wish’ is made.
…And if the wish is such, that it would definitely be accomplished with money, then a mere 1 cent or 2 cents would not suffice for the fulfilment of the grand wishes of those who throw with any such hope…
Nevertheless, I presented this analogy to my companions:
The value of the 1 cent coin, after having separated itself from the R5 coin, or the R100 note, diminished. It ‘depreciated’, so to speak.
…So many pass by such fountains, and yet no one considers taking one or a few of those coins.
However, when that 1 cent coin attaches itself to the R100 note, then its value and worth is considered just as that R100 note. When the 1 cent coin attaches itself to the R100 note, its value will increase – It is now part of R100.
And if that 1 cent coin prefers its ‘independence’ then inevitably, that would be to its own loss. It will then be considered worthless and insignificant, and will be discarded in some fountain or thrown on the street.
In a like manner, when Saalikeen (those who seek Allah) attach themselves to the Ahlullah (the people of Allah), by keeping their pious company and emulating them in their actions, speech and character, their value increases. When we keep the company of friends of Allah Ta’ala, then Insha-Allah, we will, through the blessings of their value, also acquire some worth
If there is sincerity, the Saalik will also become as valuable and precious.
My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (DB) had given a wonderful analogy when he visited South Africa, and observed the sand of the gold mines in Gauteng.
He explained that the sand which remained in the company of gold, became ‘golden’ in colour. Something as ordinary as sand took on the hue and shade of something as precious as gold. So too, one will notice that the sand which contains coal, becomes black in colour.
Hazrat then compared the ‘golden sand’ to the person who sincerely befriends and associates with the Ahlullah. Such a person will not only acquire the same colouring as ‘gold’; he will become gold.
…Those who think they can tread the path to Allah Ta’ala (Sulook) on their own and also become so ‘valuable’, are quite mistaken.
Even our honourable and respected Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) had said : “People addressed me as, ‘Molvi’, until I attached myself to the blessed company of Shamsuddeen Tabrezi. Then people began addressing me as ‘Maula-e-Rum’ (The Master of Rum).”
Then again, the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (RA) became ‘Sahabah’ because they attached themselves to the blessed, august and exclusive company of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam).
…This ‘Suhbat’ (companionship) of the Ahlullah is the medium of spiritual achievement.
However, great caution should be exercised in choosing a mentor. This warning cannot be emphasized enough.
Just the garb of piety or flowery speech does not make a person a Wali (friend) of Allah Ta’ala. Some ‘peers’ have ulterior and worldly motives; especially of milking their mureedeen (disciples) of their money. They just give their mureedeen, wazaa`if and some tasbeehs to read. There is no education, no disciplining, and no reform.
…If there is no Deen in the Shaykh, how will his mureeds change their lives? …When the Shaykh is a prisoner of nafs (ego) and shaytaan, how will it be possible for him to free his mureeds from nafs and shaytaan ?
Therefore Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) had said:
“Develop contact with a righteous one
So that through his company and du`aa you may succeed,
But search for a guide who is awake in all situations
So that you too may become awake.
And if you should remain in the company of the vanquished,
You too will become vanquished.”
There are many who make the claim of being mashaaikh but are themselves caught up in the snares of nafs and shaytaan. They have not even recognized their own nafs, have no experience in the field of Islaah (reformation) and Tazkia (purification of the soul), and instead of guiding, they misguide. They then become a trial for the people.
The true Mashaaikh don’t promote and advertise themselves, nor do they canvass for mureedeen. They don’t chase after name and fame. They don’t hanker after Dunya. They wish to remain concealed, but Allah Ta’ala sometimes chooses for them to be known.
Thus, when choosing a Shaykh, consider the Shaykh who is learned, practical on his knowledge, pious, trained and experienced in the field of Islaah and Tazkia, and acknowledged by the Ulama-e-Haq as one who is truly Sahib-e-Nisbat and Waliullah. It is through attaching oneself to such a Shaykh that the Saalik will acquire value.
Hazrat Dr. Abdul Hay Saheb (Rahmatullah ‘alaih), who was a senior Khalifa of Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah ’alaih), was quoted to say :
“There is only one way to meet Him (Allah); Seek the road from those who have already found Him.”