Know Thyself


God provides even a mosquito with its food. When you say God is the Provider, it means He cannot but provide everyone. You cannot say that God is a Provider and yet accept the He leave one unprovided for in all His creation.

‘I have created spiritual beings and human beings to worship and remember Me. I do not want anything from them. I do not want them to feed Me. God is the One Who provides the Lord of Unbreakable Might’ [51:56-58].

God provides His creation without being asked. The Virgin Mary (s) was visited by her uncle the Prophet Zachariah (s) who used to check on her during her seclusion. She never went outside her prayer station. He was responsible for her provision.

‘Whenever Zacharias came to her temple, he saw provisions there and asked her: ‘From where did you get this?’ She would answer him: ‘God provides everyone as He likes, He is the Provider!” [3:37].

If it did not rain, there would be no crops. Life would be threatened. Do not, therefore, think that God cannot provide for people. God is the Provider. If we correct ourselves and we come to Him by returning some of the love He gave to us, God will provide everyone on this earth. He sends the animals their provision. Do you see animals starving? Why are human beings starving and not animals? There must be a reason. Human beings, if they do not work, cannot find provision for themselves, but not animals. God provides for them. This is because animals submit and surrender to God.

Surrender to your Lord and you also will provide everyone. But we do not surrender. We do not submit. Animals submit. They know that their Creator is going to give them something. They do not work. They go to the streets to locate their food and eat. See whether even an ant is missing its provision. According to some, ‘instinct’ drives it to food. We ask, ‘Who sent it the inspiration that some call instinct? Why are animals not worried?’ All animals eat and none are starving. This is because all animals have surrendered to God’s Will. Surrender to your Lord. He gave you will to make you free. ‘Say: O my Lord, you made me free. I am very thankful, and I believe in you.’ This is what He wants. And if you make mistakes, do not worry. Turn back to Him and say, ‘Forgive me.’

Submit to God’s Will. Surrender. Break that barrier between you and your Lord. If you do not break it, you cannot surrender. The barrier is ‘You’ and ‘Me.’ You say to your Lord, ‘You,’ and you say to yourself, ‘Me.’ You must not say, ‘Me.’ You must say ‘You’ every time. There is no ‘Me’ in the act of surrendering and submitting to God’s Will. If there is a ‘Me,’ it means that you are not surrendering to God. You need to fight and struggle with your ego until your ego says, ‘I no longer exist.’ When you reach that point, God is going to reveal Himself to you. One great saint said, ‘I saw my Lord with the eyes of my Lord.’ This means, ‘I cannot see with my own eyes.’ He has no more sight except through His Lord. That saint is no more. His Lord appears. When your Lord appears, you can `see’ your Lord. One group of spiritual people call this experience ‘complete emptiness’. They reach a station where there is nothing. Absolute nothingness. They say, ‘We have reached perfection.’ They have reached something, but it is not perfection. They are unable to cross and go beyond that stage, so they think it is the ultimate goal. When you reach nothing, you stand at the door of complete existence in God’s existence.

When some spiritual people reach complete emptiness, they need a means to cross. They do not find that means. With that means, they can cross and find complete existence. Opposite complete non-existence there must be complete existence, just as opposite the creation there must be God the Creator. A bridge is in between. To cross from one to the other, you must take that bridge. God said in a sacred Tradition, ‘I was a hidden treasure unseen and wanted to be known and so I created this universe.’ When you do not see Him, you think in terms of nonexistence. No. When you reach complete emptiness–and it is a high station–you must find the bridge that leads to complete existence which lies across it, for there is a higher station, and a higher one yet. Just as God said, ‘Above every knower there is a greater knower’ [12:76]. We must also know that ‘Above everyone that holds a station there is someone at another station.’ The one above can see the one below, but the one below cannot see the one above. How then can we say that the station where we stand is the last one? We cannot see beyond it. That is why God warned us that one cannot know all knowledge no matter how close one approaches. You will still only have partial knowledge. Complete knowledge belongs to Him. Do not, therefore, say as they say when they reach complete emptiness, ‘This is the final station.’ This is a valued and an adequately elevated station for you, but there must be someone whom God has placed higher. Do not underestimate the power of God. God is never limited. There are endless stations. Wherever you reach, there is something more.

Take an example from life. How can they speak of absolute emptiness? In our limited materialistic knowledge we speak of empty spaces. This entire galaxy wherein lies our solar system is but a point inside a bigger galaxy. That bigger galaxy is a point in yet another galaxy. If you take even galaxies millions of light-years away, with all their greatness, they are seen moving at indescribable speeds in completely empty space. Where are they going? There is no end to this motion in space. According to our worldly knowledge, they are moving into ‘empty space.’ Beyond that we cannot move to a higher explanatory station. According to spiritual knowledge, however, there is no empty space. Space is always full of creation and knowledge, but you can never understand your Lord although you may be attaining the highest station in some spiritual order or system of beliefs. For as high as you reach, there is a higher station than yours

The Creator is so powerful that He creates what cannot be understood by the mind. No one can evaluate God’s power. That is why saints and prophets declare their weakness. They say, ‘O our Lord! We are helpless.’ May God send the light of understanding and know-ledge to our hearts.

God is never far away. They say, ‘No one can know his Lord,’ or ‘No one can see his Lord,’ but the Prophet (s) said, ‘Whoever knows himself, will know his Lord.’1 If you do not see your Lord, it means that you still do not know yourself. If you reach a level where you know your Lord, it means that you have come to know yourself. But if you do not even know the self that is within you how are you going to know the Creator? It is impossible.

How are you going to know yourself? By surrendering to God’s Will. Surrendering to God’s Will means accepting whatever is to you without complaining. If your wife fights with you, you must not complain. If you fight with her, she must not complain. At that time there is surrender. If you find some people complaining about you and cursing you, ignore them. Do not care about what they are saying. That is surrender. Who made them speak? You or your Lord?

You have to know this nothing can move if God does not want it to move. No one can speak if God does not want him to speak. No one can do anything if God does not make him do it. Therefore you have to know that everything is from Him. That is the way saints became saints. They accepted. When they accepted and effected a complete surrender to God’s Will, they reached Him. When they reached Him, they reached sweetness and beauty. They were no longer able to come back to this world spiritually. Their spirits are in His Presence. If we can reach that level, God will bless us. No one knows what kind of blessing He is going to give. These blessings are from His Generosity. Saints are blessed ones.

There is the Holy Torah and the Psalms, the Holy Gospels and the Holy Quran. Are there any more books? These are the main books of the major religions of the People of the Book. They refer to these books as holy which means ‘sacred’. One day our shaykh met a priest and told him, ‘O your holiness!’ The priest said, ‘Do not say ‘your holiness!’ I am not holy!’ He said, ‘How is it that you are not holy? Do you not read the Holy Bible?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘If you read the Holy Bible and do not become holy, why then are you reading it? What is the benefit? If the Bible cannot make you holy, or the Quran, or the Psalms, or the Torah, or the Gospels, then what are you doing? This means that you are not reading properly! You are only reading words!’

‘Holy’ means ‘sacred’. It means that the reader is present in the Divine Presence! He is right there, in God’s Divine Presence, never away from that Divine Presence. That is a holy one, a sacred one, adorned by God with holiness as God adorned His book with the same holiness. If you are not such a one, it means, O rabbi, O priest, O Muslim scholar, that you are not benefiting from reading the Bible or the Torah or the Quran. If you are not going to become holy people, it means that you are reading as Satan reads. Satan too can and has read the holy books.

Many people follow gurus nowadays. They go to Hindu temples just as they go to mosques, churches and synagogues. People go to all kinds of spiritual gurus. Yet what is the benefit? Are they getting anything? Are they becoming holy? If they are not becoming holy, they should leave these gurus. It means that they themselves are not finding their way. Try to find your way. The one that does not show you the way is not a holy one. A holy one must have effect on you and on your life. If he cannot affect your life, there is no benefit.

Moses (s) came and affected some people. These people became holy. Jesus (s) came and the same thing happened. Muhammad (s) came and the same thing happened. That was 1,400 years ago. What about the present time? Where are the hidden saints that still affect people? Search for them. If you find them, hold fastto them and refuse to listen to your ego. One day the ego accepts. The next day it rejects. Once your ego says, ‘Yes, this is a holy man,’ accept and do not change your mind. If you change your mind, it is a sign that your ego is cheating you. Satan is trying to deceive you. Do not listen. Try to connect your heart with your Creator through that holy person.

You can never reach a goal without a means. There must be a means to guide you and show you the way. Thirty or forty years ago it was still the same as thousands of years ago. Saints ordered their followers to go into seclusion and trained them severely to prepare their spirits to be in the Divine Presence. Nowadays there is no permission for that because people are completely dedicated to chasing after material life. If one has ten dollars in the bank, he wants to make it twenty. If he has ten thousand or a million, he wants to make it twenty thousand or two million. What for? Everyone is chasing the material world. No one seeks after spirituality other than a rare few such as those at this gathering. If a disciple shows his shaykh surrender above fifty percent, he will train him and send him into seclusion, but no one is yet coming to fifty percent. We are all under that. When you reach that mark and above, you will leave everything and say, ‘I have finished. I cam coming to you. I want to stay in your presence, surrendering myself. Whatever is going to happen, let it happen. I do not care about my family nor anything else. I only care about my Lord.’ At that time he will be happy with you. He will raise you quickly and send you back to your family with more support and more power but you have to surrender.

May God make us surrender to our master in order that he will support us. Since we came to America, we tried to find some people who surrender. It was impossible except for a few. We say, ‘The rare is non-existent.’ There are a few who surrender. They accept to leave everything and to surrender to God, but they are very rare. That is why we speak now. We speak through the tongue. When you listen, you are happy sitting there. You feel that light and power, but when you go, it is over and done. Everything disappears. It does not in fact disappear from the heart but it is veiled. From there comes the lack of surrender. When the light outweighs the darkness, there is surrender. All Sufi orders and everything in them is based on surrender. If you do not surrender, you can never reach your aim or your goal.

A follower once said to his shaykh, ‘O my shaykh, how am I going to surrender to you. Let me surrender to you as a dead person surrenders!’ The shaykh said, ‘No, even a dead person does not surrender completely. In our Sufi Order we do not accept the surrender of a dead person for he still has a will. According to all religions, when God takes the soul away, the dead one still sees and hears and feels everything, but he cannot open his eyes or speak. That power is taken away. I want the surrender of tree-leaves in autumn. When they fall the wind carries them. Wherever the wind carries them, the leaves will never say anything. Go East. Go West. Go North. Go South. It might be that the leaf falls into the fire and is burnt, but it will not say anything. I want such surrender. If you reach such a level, we accept you in our Way.’

If there is surrender of the heart, you can taste what our shaykh said through us. Everyone can taste and feel at that time. Unless there is complete surrender, however, you will feel it only while you are here. When you go away, you will not longer feel it in your heart, only in your mind, even though it is still in the heart. Our will is unimportant. If we surrender to His will, He will show us miraculous powers.

We ask success from God through the Opening Chapter of the Quran, al-Fatihah.


1. as-Suyuti, Mawardi, Al-Jarrahi; also attributed to Yahya b. Mu’adh ar-Razi.

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