Bismillahi wa salatu wa salamu ala Rasulullah wa ‘ala jami’il ambiyai wal-mursalin wa ‘ala ahlihi wa sahabihi ajmain, amin.
We testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ta’ala. We declare His Oneness, acknowledge His Supremacy and indispensability and offer our profound gratitude to Him for His over-flowing generosity and all-encompassing mercy. May the best of Salam and prayers be on the best of servants and of creation, the Sayyed of Prophets and the zeal, Hadrat Habibullah Muhammad Mustafa (alaihi wa ahlihi wa sahabihi salawat wataslimat attamuha wa akmaluha). We also send our prayers with reverence and love to the saintly elders who are our links to Rasulullah r, those who had laboured to nurture the seedling of sunnah throughout the ages thus preserved this great Deen in its pristine state for us and generations unborn, the posterity.
We are approaching the end with all the signs, the presages to the end emerging one after the other. Muslims have become very weak, our Iman is fading out just as our love for wealth, status, entertainments and pleasure is getting stronger making love for and submission to Allah and concern for the Akhirah secondary issues. Our beloved Nabi Rasulu Karim Muhammad Mustafa r had declared:
“There will come such a time when only the name of Islam will remain on my Ummah. Believers will do only a few Islamic customs and they will not have any Iman left. Qur’an al-Karim will only be recited. They will not even know of the commandments and prohibitions. Their only thought will be about eating and drinking. They will forget about Allah I. They will worship money only. They will become women’s slaves. They will not be contented with earning a little, nor will they be satisfied with earning much.”
This exalted statement presents in the most graphic way the blue print of the state of the Ummah today. In this very critical and very appalling situation the fear of having a good end, that is, dying in the state of Iman and with Allah’s pleasure should grip every sincere believer. Those great people who lived in the age when Islam was not only professed but was sincerely implemented in practical life and when the basis of honours and elevation is taqwa and zuhd (world renunciation), were still in great fears of the end providing a pointer to us, their weakling posterity, as to how much fear we should have for our end.
This gathering is intended to be a starting point to success for all believers, who are concerned with how their end will be. Alhamdulillah, Allah I has given us the tawfiq to be here and He has also placed in our hearts the desire to get closer to Him. All that is left is to work diligently on the path of Allah’s most beloved; avoiding the prohibitions, obeying the commandments, working for the happiness of Allah’s creation and for the promotion of righteousness, peace and well-being.
A great noble of Islam t simply but very perfectly capture the key points to Allah’s rahma and to good end in the following words:
I am with my Lord in compliance, with my nafs (ego) in opposition, with creatures in (taking and giving) advice, and with Dunya (the worldly) only in necessity.
Indeed, the truly successful is he who labours to comply with Allah’s laws and commandments, who stands strongly and steadfastly in opposition to his ego’s nasty and excessive desires, who live in this world treating creation with mercy and who takes and his contended with little of the worldly glitters and gold. This is the whole message of this workshop and whatever follows from these are valuable illustrations to drive these points home.
It is my hope and fervent desires that all participants at this workshop will go back home with the light of Iman ignited in their hearts and with the ardent zeal to work for a good end. These we can achieve using our moments here wisely, giving all our hearts to all the programmes and turning away from all distractions. If the desire for Allah’s love is developed here and all that is learnt are acted upon with diligence we will, insha-Allah, end our lives in Allah’s love and eternal pleasure.
My darling brothers and elders, the mark of true wisdom is in using this temporal life to procure the eternal. We need to exert ourselves to use our every moment here to work for that which is everlasting. Time spent in frivolities, past times and useless occupations will surely bring regrets on the Day of Qiyama. So as we inch towards our graves let us know halal as halal and stick to it, let us know harams as some deadly poisons and run away from it. Let us long for the company of the Allah fearing ones or endeavour to read the record of their extremely auspicious lives. Salat is sacred and the most apparent symbol of Iman, we must learn it from books of fiqh, and observe it properly within time. Entertainments and pleasures negative to Islam are becoming a way of life, so we need to be extremely careful not to overflow the boundary set by our Lord, Owner and Sustainer, Allah I.
We must reflect deeply and sincerely enough to grasp the fact that neither in worldly endeavours nor that of the Akhirah can one gain anything just by wishing or desire. Lip service and empty words will only end us in eternal disappointment. We need to work hard now that we can, for Dunya is ephemeral, temporal, and soonest we may be in our graves. The exalted Imam ‘Ali Ramitni t said:
Do and do not count. Confess your shortcomings and continue your work.
The Imam of the ahl bayt and the fourth caliph, Hadrat ‘Ali Murtada t was also reported to have said:
The one who longs for Paradise will rush towards good deeds; the one who fears the Hell fire will put end to his vices (sins and evils); the one who has a firm conviction in (the imminent arrival of) death will lose all his passions; and the one who really knows the Dunya will find disasters easy to bear.
May Allah I make our presence in this workshop a means to firm conviction (yaqin) and a means to sincere efforts to correct our lives so that we can walk on the path of true men of taqwa in this world, end our lives on their path, rise with them on the Day of Qiyama and trail behind them to Allah’s eternal rahma in Jannat.
Once again, we welcome you all to this gathering of aspirants towards Allah’s love. Let us pray fervently together and individually for His love and be convinced that we will not be denied any of our wishes in this blessed gathering. Surely, everything is easy for Allah I. And praise be to our Karim Lord, Allah I, the Owner and Lord of the worlds.
Faqir Abdulqadr An–Naqshbandi Mujaddidi – Nigeria