Khutba of Shaykha Fariha al-Jerrahi, Yonkers, New York, October 29th 1999
Praise on the Beloved Prophet, the Messenger of Love from the highest realms of Love to every human heart, transforming every heart into a loving heart. O Beloved One of Love. O Child of Love, O Master of Love, O Caretaker of the Infinite Ocean of Love, O Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim, may you pour down your love upon us, may you call Allah’s Love down upon us. On this blessed day, may all the Juma gatherings be in your Light, under your cloak, on your mount of Revelation. O Allah, may all the communities of worship and all the beautiful communities of return be blessed and exalted and may they each stand on their mountain of Revelation and receive the down-pouring of Allah’s Grace and Mystery and Love and Forgiveness. Amin. Alhamdulillah.
Let us see from Holy Quran what awaits us on this blessed day. Maybe we will pick from the actual day of Juma that Nur has selected from the three days of prayer…. What he has chosen for the Friday Noon Prayer is the beginning of Sura Baqara: "Alif Lam Mim. This is the Universal Book of Reality." O Allah we take refuge from all negativity all limitation, all darkness, with your infinite Mercy and Compassion. Amin.
"Alif Lam Mim. This is the Universal Book of Reality. The Divine Guidance, the Science of Certainty, open to those who live in total awe of Allah Most High, who constantly acknowledge the Divine Mystery, who are ceaselessly engaged in prayer and acts of generosity. Freely sharing whatever abundance we have divinely provided for them. These lovers respond wholeheartedly to the revelation streaming through you my Beloved, which is precisely the same message that flowed through all my previous messengers. The persons who in this way assimilate Divine Guidance directly from their Lord are the fully realized ones, the true human beings.
Interpretation of Quranic verses 2.1-5 in Atom From the Sun of Knowledge by Shaykh Nur al-Jerrahi Lex Hixon
What power, what clarity and what mercy shines forth here in this second chapter of Holy Quran! The first chapter is the Fatiha, the Opening. The key to the Book is the Fatiha, and the key to the mystic path, the key to all paths of return is the Fatiha. When I say the Fatiha, I mean every essential prayer in all the traditions, every prayer of the heart, calling upon the Divine Reality. Here in the second sura, Baqara, is the unfolding of the Fatiha, the unfolding of the Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim. Allah’s Mercy to humanity is explained here in some facets, in some detail.
First come the mystic letters, "Alif Lam Mim", which have been interpreted in the heart of every mystic, as well as by some of the great interpreters of Quran. As we know, one of the interpretations is that the Alif represents the Single and Unique Reality transmitting the Revelation to the angel messenger Gabriel, the Lam, who is bringing it to the heart of Mim, Muhammad, peace be upon him. This is the flow of the Divine Revelation out into creation. A deeper mystical understanding sees the Prophet himself as the original vessel of revelation in pre-eternity who then transmitted it to Gabriel who in turn brings the ayats to the consciousness of the embodied Prophet Muhammad, may divine peace always illumine him. Mim is also interpreted as the ummet, humanity. Alif Lam Mim is thus the entire unfolding of creation from the Source of Love and its return back to the Source along the paths of guidance.
The first words that come after this are: "This is the Universal Book". The divine drama of creation is here manifest in the form of a book of truth. It is both the book of pages and the letters of ink, and it is beyond that. It is the Book that is creation itself. Creation is a great book or mirror containing all the forms and letters through which to approach Reality. Within creation is Divine Guidance. Creation is structured by Divine Guidance. Creation is manifested to be a path of return to the Divine Beloved Protector of humanity and all living creatures. Every single atom that has emerged is loved by the Creator, is loved and created in Love and is desired. Divine Guidance is the desire of Allah Most High for the return of being into Himself.
"This is the Universal Book of Reality"—that is, for all creatures, for all human beings. There is no one, nothing created, that is excluded from this Book or from Allah’s Mercy, for this Book is Allah’s Mercy. It is the Mercy of Allah to manifest humanity, and it is the Mercy of Allah to call humanity back.
Then come the inspired words: "…The Science of Certainty open to those who live in total awe of Allah Most High". Within this creation is the Science. Science is knowledge and Science is based on Divine Knowledge of Allah. This is what we are to seek within creation—His Knowledge. Who are we? Who is our Lord? What is the path of return? What are the qualities of Allah? What is pleasing to Allah? What are the qualities of a human being?
Then the Quran goes on to explain: "… those who live in total awe". This is the first qualification of the human being, the believer, the lover of Allah – this one lives in awe, simply in awe of Allah, with open heart and constant expectation in the Presence of one’s Lord. This is the awe, the not knowing, of the ones who await Allah’s Manifestation in Revelation, moment by moment. These are the ones who hold and feel the Presence of Allah in their heart.
"Who constantly acknowledge the Divine Mystery…" This is the unknowing. The followers of many of the great paths are in this essential state of unknowing, as we see in Christian mysticism and in all the other mystic traditions as well. We don’t know—the Divine Mystery knows. Allah knows, and yet Allah fills us moment by moment with knowing, but we don’t know the next moment. We don’t know how Allah will Be, how Allah will Manifest. Part of this acknowledging the Divine Mystery is to refrain from judgment. Here comes one of the great counsels to humanity—to not judge, because to judge means we know. As we are of those who don’t know, we cannot judge—we can only pray for Allah’s Mercy upon all humanity. We cannot even judge ourselves, much less other beings.
The next quality that emerges is, "…who are ceaselessly engaged in prayer and acts of generosity." The believer is ceaselessly engaged in prayer and prayerful action—not only the five daily prayers, or those prayers enjoined on people by their spiritual tradition, but ceaseless prayer and acts of generosity. There is no separation between prayer and generosity. As we pray, we are praying to the Generous One. Implicit in the prayer is the belief that Allah is Generous, that Allah will be present to our prayer, and will shower Mercy upon us through our prayer. The prayer is simply the act of witnessing the Beloved who is All Generous, All Merciful, and then flowing with that generosity of love: "…Freely sharing whatever abundance We have Divinely Provided for them." A prayer is not a real prayer if it is not surrounded by acts of generosity.
"…These lovers responded wholeheartedly to the revelation streaming through you my Beloved, which is precisely the same message that flowed through all my previous messengers". Here is the great statement of Universal Islam, coming through the diamond heart of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Here is the healing for humanity. All of the Messages of Love, all of the Messengers are one. It is essentially one Message that flows in many beautiful forms. Belief in universality is a quality of the believer. At the end of Sura Baqara Allah affirms that if we do not confirm all the traditions, then we cannot truly call ourselves completed and mature believers. Only by affirming all the prophets, all the books, and all the messengers are we believers in the full sense.
The persons who in this way assimilate the Divine Guidance directly from their Lord are the fully realized ones, the true human beings." So here traced by these ayats is Revelation from the beginning, the Alif, all the way into the great realms of the unfolding of creation into manifestation. At the peak of this manifestation stands the True Human Being, the Insan Kamil. The one who wholeheartedly embraces the Revelation and lives it entirely and completely, fully dedicated to this Revelation, is the Insan Kamil. The fulfillment of Prophecy is the Insan Kamil. This is the one who embodies all the Divine Names, the one who embodies Divine Revelation in subtle form, and the one who, as Sheykh Nur says, is "poised on the threshold of this world and the next", who is poised on the barzak of humanity and divinity, who is poised between the community and the Lord, who is this doorway, this threshold. As we know, "darvish" means threshold—the one who is on the threshold. Ya Insan Kamil, Ya Insan Kamil, Ya Insan Kamil. Grace us with your completion, with your perfection, so that we may also become complete and perfected.
We might say that the nature of the Insan Kamil is to bring about Insan Kamil in other beings. Insan Kamil is the divine form, the perfect Divine Form, the perfect mirror. The Insan Kamil of all Insan Kamils is the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and he is called the Perfect Mirror of Truth. So the dedication of the perfected human being is to awaken and to bring about the perfection in all human beings. This is what our tariqat is about.
Now let us turn to Hadith to further Illumine our Quranic verse. (Opening the book...)
"Reports the non-violent warrior of Divine Love, upon him be peace: I have been ordered and ordained by Allah Most High to wage spiritual warfare with my people until they clearly witness that there is no reality apart from Allah, and that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is a messenger of Allah, until they perform pure prayer and give selflessly in charity. Then only will they have gained true protection."
Interpretation of Hadith in Atom from the Sun of Knowledge
Sadaqa-r-Rasulullah—and the Messenger of Allah speaks the Truth to hearts waiting and hungry for the Truth.
So this is a sword—this Hadith is a sword of Light. Only the perfected ones, the humble ones, could wield such a sword as this, because in the hands of anyone else, it becomes oppression and pain upon other human beings. The great mystics, and among them Ibn Arabi, have stated that they themselves waged warfare against those Imams and ‘ulama who made life difficult for people, who with their religion stood on top of people, imposing difficulties upon them. It was the way of the great sheykhs and mystics to offer the easy path, for this is what Allah Most High has given us.
Spiritual warfare is not against humanity; it is against the negation of humanity and it is supremely against the enemy of humanity, the one whose very purpose in being is to lie in wait for humanity, to deceive humanity and to pull humanity down in any way possible. From above he waits in the form of spiritual arrogance, subtle pride. When believers have fought the battle against the lower self, have become firm on the path, are established in salat, and follow the beautiful Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad as perfectly as they can, then that one waits for them in the form of subtle pride. As dervishes we have to be most careful of pride. This is spiritual warfare.
It takes a master such as our lineage masters to distinguish the subtle appearance of the deceiver within us. May that principle of protection continue to operate in our tariqat, as we are under the gaze of the Pirs. Once we take the hand of the shaykh, the sword of holy warfare will not cease to operate until we are in our grave, because we are not free from the deceiver until we are in our grave. It is closer to humility to think that there is never a time when we can afford not to be heedful.
"I have been ordered and ordained by Allah Most High to wage spiritual warfare with my people…" This is what is happening in every tariqat and every community of Islam, in every spiritual community.
"…Until they clearly witness that there is no reality apart from Allah". This is what shines forth when the deceiver is removed. Then the great cry from the human heart comes forth, knowing and affirming what it always knew, that Allah alone is the Reality, and that Muhammad, peace be upon him, as the mirror of perfect humanity, is the Messenger of Allah. This is confirming both Allah’s Reality, the Sole Reality, and the exalted place of humanity within that Reality.
"…And until they perform pure prayer…" which is the natural state of the human heart.
"…And gives selflessly in charity." When we affirm the Truth with our entire being in praise we ourselves become charity, love.
"…Then only will they have gained true protection." This is the prayer of the Prophet al-Amin, from the time he cried out for humanity as an infant until the Day of Resurrection when he will be interceding for humanity at the Throne of Mercy. Throughout all our lives he is praying for our protection, our salvation and our victory. Amin. Hu.
Peace and Blessings be upon you O Chosen One,
O Specially Selected for the Message of Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
Peace and Blessings be upon you O Praiseworthy, O Most Praising
Peace and Blessings be upon you Perfect Mirror of Truth,
Ahmed, Mahmud, Mustafa, Mujtaba, Muhammad
Peace and Blessings be upon your Radiant Family
Your daughter Fatima,
Aysha, Khadija and all your blessed wives and consorts,
Your mother Amina the Pure and Abdullah the Entrusted,
And all your progeny, physical and spiritual
Your Blessed Spiritual Progeny, Your Mystic Inheritors,
Peace and Blessings be upon you,
Dressed in the Green Cloak and bearing the Banner of Praise
Peace and Blessings be upon every Prophet who came to humanity,
And their communities and their families
Peace and Blessings be upon all humanity
Peace and Blessings be upon Sheykh Nur al-Anwar al-Jerrahi
Sheykh Muzzafer al Aziz al-Jerrahi,
Pir Nurreddin al-Latif al Jerrahi
Peace and blessings be upon all of the dervishes,
And upon all humanity.