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 attach themselves to the Ahlullah , 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 Taala, 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 Taala (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 Taala. 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 mashaa`ik 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 and Tazkia, and instead of guiding, they misguide. They then become a trial for the people.
The true Mashaa`ik dont promote and advertise themselves, nor do they canvass for mureedeen. They dont chase after name and fame. They dont hanker after Dunya. They wish to remain concealed, but Allah Taala 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 wont to say :
There is only one way to meet Him (Allah), Seek the road from those who have already found Him.
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