بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
و الصلاة و السلام على أشرف المرسلين
و على اله و اصحابه أجمعين
Lesson from Shaykh Muhammad Faouzi Al-Karkari (may Allah sanctifies his secret) on the book “al adab al mardiyyah li salik at Tariqa al sufiyyah” from the eminent Shaykh knowing in Allah, sidi Muhammad ibn Ahmed al Buzidiy al Hassaniy ad Darqawiy (May Allah agree him).
The adab is an obligation and a basis in our Tariqa. It is trough adab that we build and establish spiritual states and that we shorten the path and that fear goes away. Every Sufi and shuyukh are known for their adab and their due respect of the Muhamadian Sharia. It is trough adab that appeared secret and that the Light has been revealed in a Universe where spiritual reality is the only reality.
“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it” “If you do good, you do good for yourselves”. Do good, and Allah will give you good. Many verses encourage to show propriety, not only an inner one, but outer as well, reflecting the inner one. Know that adab is from ta’dhim (to give importance, greatness) and the lack of adab is the result of a lack of Love. When Love grows, the ta’dhim and the adab grow as well. Which lead to the Tahqiq (secrets and spiritual reality). To the opposite, when Love diminishes, the heart goes astray and turns away from proprieties.
Chapter 1: do no visit the Shaykh without a gift
It is mandatory for the faqir to bring a gift, would it be a small one when visiting the Shaykh. Even if he was away for a short period (three days, for example). It is an obligation with deep hidden meaning that the disciple must taste. If he is poor and does not own anything, he will make the effort to find something to offer (even if the gift’s value does not exceed a piece of coal) on his way to the zawiyia, or he will help for domestic tasks within the zawiyia. As stated in the Qur’an: “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise” or “Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted – let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease ».
The Shaykh’s madad (support) does not reach the faqir who visits his master without a gift, as the one who goes to a well with no rope or wineskin. Water lies down, but he will not be able to benefit from it. It is still mandatory for the one who does not own anything and is impeach to bring something – despites all his efforts to do so- to visit his Shaykh. That breach will not be taken into account against him. Know, O faqir, that this is with that proprieties that you will quit greediness. Because the generous remains generous, whether he gives a lot or a little. In fact, the Shaykh has no consideration for gifts, it is only in order to educate the disciples and teach them purity in the presence of Allah azawajal. Know that sadaqa is more valuable than zakat, because the former is given with Love; it ennobles and raises those who can do the charity of a single date. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Protect yourself from the Fire.” He then turned his face aside (as if he were looking at it) and said again, “Protect yourself from the Fire,” and then turned his face aside (as if he were looking at it), and he said so for the third time till we thought he was looking at it. He then said, “Protect yourselves from the Fire, even if with half of a date, and he who hasn’t got even this, should do so by (saying) a good, pleasant word.”
The most pious is the one who gives all is wealth in the Path, as Sayiduna Abu Bakr as Siddiq (May Allah agree him). Never will the greedy enter in the divine presence. If you are planning to make a sadaqa for a question, you valued that very question and surely, Baraka will be found in the response. This way, useless queries will be avoided. It is also a proof of the presence of your heart and body, and you will leave as you come: with the heart.
Our Shaykh, sidi Muhammad Faouzi Al-Karkari (May Allah sanctify his secret) burned all his clothes, keeping only the one he was wearing. Walking barefoot all the way to see his Shaykh, sidi mawlay Hassan (May Allah sanctify his secret), in a total state of destitution. He had only a hundred dirham in his pocket that he gave as a gift to his Shaykh.
How do you want the Shaykh to guide you from mulk to malakut if you remain keen on worldly things? If you offer one Euro in this world, you will collect one billion in the hereafter. See this world as a market for al akhira.
When you want to make a sadaqa, it is better to give it to the Shaykh. With the knowledge that suits him, he is the one able to do what will benefit the real needy. As to you, murid, doing a random sadaqa can lead to destruction, done without clear-sightedness and wisdom.
Do not make yourself belong in this world. Because for many people, the noble Qur’an and the hadith have no more effect on them, they are simply dead. “And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom? Thus it has been made pleasing to the disbelievers that which they were doing.” [s6.v122]
Chapter 2: do not stay too much with the Shaykh
One must avoid staying too much with the Shaykh so that the ta’dhim will not diminish. The presence without ta’dhim is harmful and in no way profitable. It is recommended to come close to the Shaykh for questions, teachings, prayer and dhikr.
Those who enter in the presence of kings must first conform to a strict proprieties protocol and must have a good reason to visit. If everyone could enter nearby kings, with no ta’dhim, the sacredness of this one would disappear. No good can result of this, neither for the king, nor for his people. What about the kings of the hereafter? Too long courses with the Shaykh with no ta’dhim can only drive the murid away. He will focus on the physical image of the Shaykh, and will be veiled from his reality. This can only lead to a diminution of the ta’dhim.
The Shaykh sidi Muhammad Faouzi Al-Karkari (may Allah sanctify his secret) is saying us: “Have a look to those who left the Tariqa, they used to stay too often with me, with no proprieties, while they could see the Light. However, they denied it because of their lack of adab. Arrived at Lam al qabd, ta’dhim become primary as it is the center of the circle. Know, o faqir, if you lack of adab would it be a short moment, the spiritual stream could cease. Those who give great ta’dhim to the Shaykh will be able to taste a tiny piece of his reality, to see him in mouchahada (vision while awaken) among the Prophets and angels, etc. The reality of the Shaykh can be understood only with the heart, with the inner vision (basira).
Chapter 3: Do not laugh too much with the Shaykh
It may happen that the Shaykh will laugh to test the disciple. When the Shaykh laughs with the disciple, this one should refrain laughing too much, and diminish his smile by modesty. It is important not to exaggerate laughing and be constantly in the adab, reminding oneself that every single occasion is a test from the Shaykh to the faqir. The presence of the disciple’s ego leads his heart to death and the lack of proprieties must be followed by repentance. The disciple must fight his ego until he feels shy in front of his Shaykh, as well as ashamed. “The believer is the mirror of the believer”, if you like laughing, know that you will be in the circle with the same name. If you want to know your position by Allah and the Prophet ﷺ, check the Shaykh’s place in your heart.
Chapter 4: Do not talk too much in the Shaykh’s presence
Being to talkative, loud or soft is an obvious lack of adab. The tongue has two aspects: or it talks, or it is quiet. The best talk is the dhikr “Allah”. To raise one voice above the Shaykh’s voice demonstrates a lack of proprieties as Allah ﷻ states in the Qur’an: “O you who have believed, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet or be loud to him in speech like the loudness of some of you to others, lest your deeds become worthless while you perceive not.”[s49.v2]
The Shaykh is not a Prophet, but he calls people to Allah, which gives him a part of prophecy. Ibn Arabi indicates that Waly take part of the prophecy due to their reminders (As Prophets were sent to remind what has been forgotten). Sayiduna Sulayman (aleyhi salam) was a great Prophet, and the hoot-hoot did an immense reminder. Therefore, the highest Waly’s state is the lowest Prophet’s state, and the highest Prophet’s state is the lowest Messenger’s state. To be known: the Prophecy and Rissala are always effective and never stops.
“Indeed, those who lower their voices before the Messenger of Allah – they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for righteousness. For them is forgiveness and great reward» [s49.v3]. The faqir must lower his voice, remain shy in presence of the Shaykh, and stay away from him. Following this, and he will be able to attire the virtue of those who fear and remind Allah ﷻ. “And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys” [s31.v19]. The Arabic word “moderate” indicates to give a precise direction: so is the Muslim planning to go out of his home to go to the mosque, may he be firm attached to his goal, without wasting his time or going astray from his path ( with useless detours).
This verse also invites us to lower the voice, which may be compared with the donkey’s shouting. To be noted the donkey sees in infrared, and so it is able to see demons. And it is when it sees a demon going down or up that it is shouting. Its meat is forbidden and going through this interdiction (eating its meat) can lead the sight of demons. You relate to shayatin when you become angry, because they enjoy your anger and raise their voice.
There is a call to improve one’s words and reach the maqam where one barely talks. Those maqam’s secrets are not eating your fill, fasting, isolation, doing dhikr as much as one can to be with Allah ﷻ with the tongue and the hear. You must keep doing this until you enter the webs of the Divine Presence. The nets are as the spider’s web. It is weaving its web beginning with a central point where a pentagon or other sacred geometrical form can be found. If you can grab would it be a single line of this Hà (circle) that formed the web, you will enter the Presence. And if you can remain in the center, you will gain many benefits.
The one who does not want to go through this Path and undertake the big Jihad (Jihad al-Akbar), know that his vile and low (soufly) soul will command him (not the noble and high part).
To resume this chapter, it is recommended to diminish the number of words we say per day. Compel one to talk in a soft and noble way in order to attain complete silence. Only reclusion and fast can lead to that. Books that Shaykh sidi Muhammad Faouzi Al-Karkari advice to his disciples are the following:
- Commentaries of the Hikam by ibn Ajiba
- Qawa’id al sufiyyah by imam Asha’rani
- Kitab adal al mardiya by Shaykh al Buzidiy
- Hikam by ibn ata Allah As-Sakandari
Through studies of those books, fuqara and other will gain access to real adab with the Shaykh. And Allah ﷻ will reveal some things, and that adab is only a way to dive into the Light. Study of these books of proprieties is not meant to lead the Shaykh to the position of a king of the fuqara as servants. When the Shaykh makes comments about proprieties that should occur with him, disciples came to think that it pleases the master, that he needs servants or pulls down the disciples: it is indeed a huge lack of adab. Know that the Shaykh is like a toy through which the faqir will learn proprieties. And when the Shaykh will judge that the faqir fulfill them, he will make him enter in the presence of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ. Understand that adab with the Shaykh is essential to be able to enter the presence of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ with proprieties. What should it be with Allah’s presence?
This way, the Shaykh is preparing you to enter the divine presence and saying you: “Here you are with your Lord”. This moment, you will be allowed to get away from the Shaykh, and he will be happy about that. In this sense, our Shaykh sidi Muhammad Faouzi Al-Karkari (may Allah sanctify his secret) is telling us: “Being a king and having servants are not my purposes; my purpose is to lead you to Allah ﷻ. My biggest jihad an-Nafs is to stay with fuqara, talking with them and answering their questions. If I did not have this command of Allah ﷻ to be here, pass on the Light, answering questions, I would leave now with my clothes on the road for more than 10 years. You have not experienced this sensation, this happiness to walk in the mountains, empty roads, plains; talking to stones while they’re actually answering you, talking to trees while they’re actually answering you”.
Do not think the Shaykh is talking about proprieties to obtain kingdom with servants and subjects. Those who have that kind of thoughts about the Shaykh, they can give up the tassawuf and find another path as salafism or ikhwanisme… How do you want to be educated by someone you have doubt about it? Proprieties are meant to give access to the Light. Do not mistake yourself thinking that the Shaykh, sidi Muhammad Faouzi Al-Karkari want to obtain power or earn money. The zawiyia has been funded by the Shaykh himself, and the solicitor wrote “For Allah”. The money is from the rouqya, which he nurtured fuqara with. Were it not a command of Allah, he would not have taken any fuqara. Will come a time, when he will leave, tears will not diminish remorse.
Chapter 5: Do not sit at the left or at the right of the Shaykh
One must absolutely avoid sitting the same line (level) as the Shaykh, even if asked to do so. The faqir will show property finding a way to avoid it. When the faqir presents himself in front of the Shaykh, he must find a way to face him so that his heart, eyes and body are facing the master’s heart, eyes and body. During the gatherings (majma), the faqir shall place himself at the back (always in front of the Shaykh) to be facing toward the central point, behind which lays a great spiritual meaning.
Going to the zawiyia is equal as going to the mosque. The person places himself facing the qibla in a state of dhikr and nothing else is allowed. The zawiyia, as the mosque is meant to do pious deeds and so shall the faqir check his intentions. The disciple shall not go the Allah’s house pointlessly, but with his wealth to nurture the fuqara morning and evening, his brothers in the Path: he came to work for Allah. Examine your intentions before visiting the Shaykh!
The Shaykh is the murid’s qibla and as in prayer, he shall head his body and heart toward his spiritual qibla. Indeed, the prayer is not valid if facing next to the qibla (right or left): be careful always to head yourself toward the Shaykh, as the sacredness of your inner qibla is greater than the visible one (Mecca) highlighted by a saying of the Prophet ﷺ when talking to the Ka’ba: “How great are you and how great is your sanctity, however, the believer is more sacred than you are!” If the believer has more value than the qibla, what about the Waly? Abu Abbas al Mursiy, May Allah be pleased with him said:
“They hypocrites are apprehensive lest a Surat be revealed about them, informing them of what is in their hearts. Say, “Mock [as you wish]; indeed, Allah will expose that which you fear.”” [9:65]
And so is the faqir sitting for hours doing dhikr, focusing on the Light; hoping will be revealed secrets and mysteries to him… permitting himself to sit on the right or the left of his Shaykh. It is but foolishness. Know that the Shaykh asks you to sit with properties to show respect to this Light he gave you by a handshake (during the bay’s), being its source, the sun by which the Light reaches you. Sit in front of him, hoping his sun will reflect in your heart to form a star, as mentioned by our Prophet ﷺ: “My companions are like stars, whichever of them you use as a guide, you will be rightly guided,”
Abu Harayrah narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Allah Almighty said: “Whoever shows hostility to a friend of mine, then I have declared war upon him. My servant does not grow closer to me with anything more beloved to me than the duties I have imposed upon him. My servant continues to draw near me with extra works until I love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hands with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask something from me, I would surely give it to him. If he were to ask me for refuge, I would surely grant it to him. I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death and I hate to disappoint him.”” [Sahîh Bokhari 6137]
Those who look to their Light-giver Shaykh shall now understand what’s in front of them is loved by Allah ﷻ, his hearing is Allah’s hearing, his sight is Allah’s sight, his hand is Allah’s hand, his foot with which he walks is Allah’s foot. When the Shaykh is speaking with you, who is speaking? If he is watching you, who is watching? …
In this perspective, the faqir can reach a very high ta’dhim! But if he remains carefree, he will turn off from the qibla by sitting next to the Shaykh, facing other disciples, running away from the sun to look at the stars. Shall they remember the bay’a, when this verse was recited:
“Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you, [O Muhammad] – they are actually pledging allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is over their hands. So he who breaks his word only breaks it to the detriment of himself. And he who fulfills that which he has promised Allah – He will give him a great reward.” [S48-10]
Sayiduna Shaykh (qaddas Allahu sirrahu) repeated this verse until the Light appeared in front of your eyes. Ô faqir, it came first trough hearing (as stated in the hadith of the Waly), then the sight and the touch which is no other but the Shaykh’s hand. After all, the Shaykh asked you to do the istighfar (asking forgiveness). Then, he is working on your senses. Senses he realized in the basmala.
When the Light the faqir contemplates moves right and left, shall he knows that is a proof his properties and the Shaykh’s importance is not high enough.
How can he hope the Light will stay in the center if he did not place the Shaykh in the center of his sight? But the Shaykh is ashamed to inform the faqir of such a lack.
Allah ta ala made the Shaykh’s heart the location of His Sight; his heart is the point of the down of Allah’s sight. Such as, you realize how important it is to be in front of the Shaykh. The master does not value how you look like, but only for the heart and the amount of love for the Shaykh in it. If there is a lot, it is only due to the love the Shaykh had previously for you. Reach the love for the Shaykh the one who goes through the inner and outer door of properties, with the soul, the heart and the body. The master loves the disciple when he finds many good which make apparent the in the Shaykh’s heart the reality of the murid. Therefore, will Allah ta ala look and love him too. Know that Allah loves a disciple only because the Shaykh loved him.
The disciple must remain firm toward his ego, and the Shaykh knows how difficult this Path is, the Jihad al Akbar. Easy is the little Jihad where you can be killed with a sword. Whereas the Jihad al Akbar is a continuous, restless journey.
It is asked from the faqir the show adab to all the believers. Indeed diverse degrees exist within the adab, such as show love to elders, the Prophet’s family, the children, etc. But the faqir must love every believer without any distinction. What about the Waly’s love, when he put out the disciple from the darkness of passion to the Light of certainty; from hell to paradise; from jail to freedom. Obviously, the utter most importance should be given the Shaykh.
The Adab should be reflected in every part of the disciple: his mouth, his eyes, his hearing, his sex, his stomach… As an example, he should not exaggerate in his food. The faqir who is doing zina or masturbation and show up at the zawiyia to know Allah ﷻ has been separated from this benefit. Shall he ask the Shaykh’s authorization to get married if he cannot refrain. Become like a robot, beyond reproach in your property, shaped by the divine Mercy, on the footstep of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ contemplating the Light and Secrets. Those will be manifested through trivial pious movements and actions. Another manifestation that will help the faqir is the property linked with the ma’rifa (Divine knowledge) which is acquired during his progression.
To summarize this chapter, know that between the Shaykh and the disciple is an Alif al Muqaddar. This Alif is straight (not curved or bended), so be straight in front of the Shaykh. He is the central point and his purpose is to lead the faqir to the Alif. Its knowledge – for whoever reaches it- is a complete and true science. But before, stay upon this straight line and do not bend at its left or its right. Remain in the presence and the love of the Shaykh. Do not go away from the Shaykh like those who had taken science and left, thinking they could understand byt hemselves.
Chapter 6: Do not look too much at the Shaykh
May the faqir lower his head with timidity and humility without gazing too much at the Shaykh. The faqir doing dhikr, infatuated with passion and love (few will even see the ism “Allah” in light going out from the Shaykh) is allowed to contemplate. Because he would have went beyond the material image of the Shaykh. Only the faqir staying in the luminous manifestation of the Prophet ﷺ will be able to fix his gaze at the Shaykh, because at this very moment, the Shaykh would have disappear within the Light, and it will appear intensely on the Shaykh. When the Light increase in his heart, he will see it more on the Shaykh than any other pious people among believers; and if it keeps growing, he will contemplate the Light in the all creation, but this is only a high, pure and noble station. Sayiduna Shaykh Mohamed Faouzi Al-Karkari (qaddas Allahu sir ahu) says: “Aren’t you ashamed, as a murid, that this is the first thing I give you?” During the bay’s, the murid sees the Light everywhere whereas the Shaykh al Buzidiy ( the author of the book we’re going through) took more than 16 years to reach it! This degree is given to us after few day spent in the zawiyia; and despite of it, the disciple keeps doubt, criticism the Shaykh pretending he wants to become a king with servants. This misconception will mislead the murid to the Shaykh disapproval.
The monk Bahira, recognized the Prophet ﷺ through a cloud. And you, Ô faqir, you can see directly the cloud and the Light of Sayiduna Muhammad ﷺ, and you come by the Shaykh telling vision when in fact, those are only proof against you for the Judgment Day. And so because you did not give enough ta’dhim to the Prophet’s reality and his Light ﷺ.
Those who begins in the Path and don’t have reached the status where the Light do not come during their vision shouldn’t look at the Shaykh but briefly, such as the person lowering the gaze after looking at the sun because of its intensity. Sidi Shaykh Muhammad Faouzi al Karkari (adds Aleyhi sir ahu) says: “You, ô faqir, who reach this level right after the bay’a, you don’t even know how to sit next to the Sun, few years would be required just to know how to sit in front of the Shaykh!”.
This Tariqa is the Tariqa, which begins with the end, where everything is given in the beginning without being asked anything. The Light has been given even before undertaking the path. Those who do not show respect to it will have a lack of adab. Sayiduna Shaykh says: “Shame on you, if after seeing the Light, you have a lack of adab. And if you do not show enough adab to the Shaykh, watch out not to consider him as anyone! If the Shaykh consider himself as part of “normal people”, or even less, the faqir must be firm with the conviction that the Shaykh is the highest, noble and close from Allah in this world.”
The faqir must remain in the presence of Allah ﷻ, the Prophet ﷺ, the Shaykh. Being in the presence of Allah ﷻ and the Prophet ﷺ permanently will increase the ta’dhim in the murid’s heart. His proximity will lead to truthfulness and excellence. Those who received and committed in Allah’s path, have for sure, fear Him. And those who fear Allah ﷻ will be loved. Those who love Him have forgotten themselves and reached the fana; being among those who return to their Lord.
Chapter 7: Do not mention scientific question in front of the Shaykh
Within the zawiyia, the Shaykh give orders, information; and often, the faqir will comment the Shaykh’s decisions. When the Shaykh decided the build a zawiyia in a certain place, the faqir retort and will highlight his opinion. But the Shaykh decide something, he only do because of a divine inspiration of a vision from Allah ﷻ. Would he ask to build a zawiyia on a river, the faqir executes!
So when the Shaykh ask to a disciple to translate a precise subject and to share with on social media for instance… No other faqir should come along, even if he meant to help! It is a great lack of adab to go against the Shaykh’s instruction. Would it happen, the action would lose its sense and the outcome would not be the same. The Light of this faqir would vanish and his representation of the Shaykh will change without him to realize. Stay your place, ô faqir, in total submission and trust to the accomplished Shaykh. Because those who will go against the Shaykh’s will would have prevent a great wisdom from the Shaykh. Shall he not imagine reaching vision of the unseen by doing so.
This kind of behavior from a foolish disciple can be linked with this verse: “Man was created of haste. I will show you My signs, so do not impatiently urge Me.” [s.21, v.37]. This means that he is always ahead with his tongue, wanting things quickly and easily. This man is likely to commit zina, drink alcohol, etc. but when he is facing the Shaykh, he wants a quick fath. He wants to see the Light, angels, even though he was the biggest sinner. “We will show them Our signs” Allah ﷻ promise signs, the disciple do not hurry and is patient, or will prevent those signs (if acting against the Shaykh).
The disciple must leave behind every kind of science he has. Even an illiterate does have sciences (his past, wisdom, science). Nonetheless, what can be found from the Shaykh will not be found elsewhere. This is the example of one faqir thinking about the third secret for almost 2 years in vain. Because this secret cannot be reach on one’s own.
The most knowledgeable should without a doubt give up all his science for the Shaykh’s one, because his is only dust compared to. He could discuss physics, medicine, astronomy, biology, archeology, fiqh, or anything else with the Shaykh because he knows very well all those profane sciences. And those who are reluctant being guided by a Shaykh are sharia scholars because it is one of the biggest veil. As mentioned by sidi Ahmad ibn Ajiba (May Allah agree him): Their science veiled them to their Teacher. Outer science (Sharia) is a veil for the Tariqa. Those who will enter the journey in Allah’s path are common people craving for Allah ta ala or scholars who are driven by their work to seek what is behind the Shaykh’s teachings.
When sharia scholars are observed, redundancy can directly be found in them, even for the easiest thing in the Tariqa: wearing the muraqa’a. Where the scientist would meditate on its colors, the sharia scholar would not see anything behind it. Would a scholar enter the Tariqa, shall he stay quiet until Allah ta ala gives him the fath. We can take the example of imam Mali (May Allah agree him) who was a true lawyer, scholar of outer sciences. He used to walk barefoot in Medina streets and if he was not asked why, people would treat him as a fool. When someone asked him, he answered that he was simply ashamed to walk with his sandals a place where Allah’s Messenger ﷺ had placed his foot. In this example, we acknowledge subtle senses in him, behind his visible actions. So is it for the muraqa’a.
Past scholars tasted what today’s scholars lost. If a famous maliki scholar was asked to take off his sandals when entering Medina, he would treat people as crazy, but if the Shaykh sidi Mohamed Faouzi Al-Karkari would ask the very same thing, how easy would it be.