ALLAH The Most High says:
“If you (really) love ALLAH then follow me, ALLAH will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (S3 V31)
“These are the limits of ALLAH, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah - it is those who are the wrongdoers.” (S2 V229)
“These are the limits [set by] ALLAH, so do not approach them.” (S2 V187)
“And those are the limits [set by] ALLAH. And whoever transgresses the limits of ALLAH has certainly wronged himself.” (S65 V1)
“And whoever disobeys ALLAH and His Messenger and transgresses His limits - He will put him into the Fire to abide eternally therein, and he will have a humiliating punishment.” (S4 V14)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “On the Day of Judgment some people will come with as many good deeds as the mountains of Touhama, and then when they are presented they are transformed into scattered dust.”
They told him: “Describe them to us because, by ALLAH, we fear being one of them.”
He said (peace and blessings be upon him): “By ALLAH! Indeed, they were fasting, praying, and exhausting themselves in devotion for part of the night, but when they saw something unlawful, they rushed at it. So ALLAH renders their deeds fruitless and threw them into Hellfire.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked the Companions: “do you know who the bankrupt (muflis) is?” His Companions replied, “The bankrupt among us is one who has neither money with him nor any property.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The real bankrupt of my Ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with much of prayer, of fasting, and sadaqah, but he will find himself bankrupt on that Day as he will have exhausted the funds of virtues–because he reviled others, brought calumny against others, unlawfully devoured the wealth of others, shed the blood of others, and beat others; so his virtues would be credited to the account of those who suffered at his hand. If his good deeds fall short to clear the account, their sins would be entered in his account and he would be thrown in the Hellfire.”
ALLAH said: “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqun (pious - see V.2:2). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. » (Quran S49 v13)
According to Abou Tha’laba Al khouchani Djourthoum ibn Nachir (may ALLAH be pleased with him) the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “ALLAH, may He be Exalted, has prescribed duties, do not neglect them! He has established limits, do not go beyond them! He has forbidden certain things, do not transgress them! He kept quiet about certain things through mercy, not by omission, do not try to know them!”
The well beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “You are all the sons of Adam and Adam is of clay, the best of you is who most fears God.”
Our well beloved Sheikh Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) repeated often: “The best evocation is remembrance of ALLAH at the time of His commandments and interdicts, thus upholding the rights of ALLAH.”
Here is a passage of a letter of advice to the disciples of our beloved Sheikh Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) on this subject:
I recommend both to you and to myself that which ALLAH commands and orders us. That is to say, to preserve the sacred limits and to perform the Divine order according to your efforts and your ability, because these days, evidently, the principles of Divine order have collapsed, either entirely or partially, and people passionately love that which harms them in this world.
We can observe that there is no longer any awakening that could allow for hearts to return ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) and that allows respect for the sacred limits of ALLAH, be they orders or proscriptions.
These days, no one has any longer the power to put into practice ALLAH’s instruction in all its aspects, except for he who is adorned with the dress of the knowledge of ALLAH, or he who approaches it.
By these words our beloved Sheikh orientated he who came to him with the claim to divine love: “The sign of love while traveling on the path is accomplishing those good deeds that satisfy the well beloved (peace and blessings be upon him) complying with his commandments, interdicts, following his words and acts.”
After that, he quoted the following: “You disobey ALLAH all the while manifesting love for Him. This is an absurdity of surprising contradiction because if your love was true you would obey Him. Is it not true that the lover obeys his beloved?”
You should know that heedlessness is the root of all disobedience. However, a heart awakened to the presence of its Lord can but obey Him.
Sahl Tustari (may ALLAH have mercy upon him) said: “I know no disobedience more serious than that of disobeying our Lord” because it leads to all the others. This is the meaning of the hadith in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When committing fornication, the fornicator is not a believer.”
Said ibn Joubayr (may ALLAH have mercy upon him) has been questioned about reverential fear, he answered: “the greatest fear is the fear of ALLAH which comes between you and disobedience until it draws you to obedience.”
As for obedience to ALLAH:
Know that he who has obeyed ALLAH, has evoked Him (dhakarahou) and he who has disobeyed Him, has not evoked Him and so he cannot be considered as one who evokes God (dhakir).
Evocation (zikr) of ALLAH:
Evocation of ALLAH is in reality beneficial fear, so know that he who disobeys Him is not a dhakir of ALLAH, despite abundant glorifications (tasbih) or recitations of the Quran.
The most receptive hearts are the best.
ALLAH said: “Those who believe, and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Quran S.13 V28)
According to An-Nou’man ibn Bachir (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “That which is lawful is clear and that which is unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters, very few people know whether they are lawful or unlawful. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honour, but he who falls into doubtful matters [eventually] falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who grazes his flock around a reserved area. He is not far from entering. Truly every king has his own domain, and truly Allah’s domain is that which He has prohibited. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it is pure, all the body is pure, and which, if it is diseased, all of (the body) is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.”
Abu Hurayra, may ALLAH be pleased with him, said: “The heart is the king of the limbs, if it is good, the limbs will be good and if it is bad, the limbs will be bad.”
Heart and deeds are linked in such a way that if the heart is good, the other limbs will be good, and they will accomplish acts of obedience to ALLAH refraining from any disobedience.
If the heart is corrupted, the other limbs will also be and they will commit sins and they will be careless. Without doubt, they will neglect accomplishing good deeds and definitely transgress sacred limits and rights of ALLAH.
Ibn ‘Ata ALLAH (may ALLAH have mercy on him) said: “One of the signs of the death of the heart is absence of sorrow after neglecting the accomplishment of one of the duties and absence of regret after committing a fault”.
The messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “O You who dispose of the hearts, incite our hearts to your obedience.”
Criteria for election are not physical aspects but purity of the heart.
ALLAH the Almighty said: “And when you see them, their forms please you” (Quran S63 V4)
ALLAH the Almighty said: ”And how many a generation have We destroyed before them who were better in possessions and [outward] appearance?” (Quran S19 V74)
Abu Hurayra (may ALLAH be please with him) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “ALLAH- may He be exalted- does not look at your body nor your apparence but at your heart and actions””
In another hadith of the well beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), we can read: “God does not look at your faces but at your hearts.”
Heart is the place of divine lights.
The well beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When ALLAH desires good for his servant, he unlocks his heart.”
According to Ibn Mass‘oud (may ALLAH be pleased with him): “When light penetrates the heart, it dilates and expands.” We asked: “What is the signs that proves this?” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) answered: “Turning towards the eternal abode, turning away from the abode of delusion with disinterest and preparing for death before it occurs.”
Ibn ‘Ata ALLAH (may ALLAH have mercy upon him) said: « The lights are the mounts of the hearts and the secrets.”
He also said (may ALLAH have mercy upon him): “The light is the army of the heart, likewise obscurity is the army of the passionate soul. When ALLAH wants his servant’s triumph, He sends the army of the lights to help him and ward off floods of darkness and troubles.”
Thus, the spoken zikr is a quest, a training of external senses so as to unify all thought on ALLAH until the heart lives perpetually in His Presence.
Ibn ‘Ata ALLAH (may ALLAH have mercy upon him) said: “Do not forskake the zikr pretexting that while your tongue evokes ALLAH, your heart is not present. Indeed, it would be even worse to completely abandon evocation of ALLAH than evoking Him without the presence of the Heart. ALLAH may raise you up from the “distracted presence of the evocation” to the “presence of the awakened evocation”, then to the presence of the evocation with the presence of the heart until the evocation with the presence in the disappearance of everything but the Evoked One.”
Our well beloved Sheikh Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “The presence is the spirit of deeds.”
Here is an example of one of the particular disciples of our beloved Sheikh Sheikh Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), the noble master Mohammad Al Ghali Boutalib (may ALLAH be pleased with him).
He was famous for his endeavor to obey ALLAH The Most High. One day, whilst evoking his litanies, oriented and absorbed by the presence, his young daughter fell from the top of the house. He paid no attention to her, his concentration was not affected. He was not disturbed, on the contrary, he remained immobile until the end of the litanies.
It was his habits to take particular care of all his adoration, embellishing them by respecting the rules of recitation. It is said that, after Icha prayer, He would only evoke the Lazim, without adding anything, and he would recite it for about two hours in a state of reverence, paying great attention to the elocution, completely absorbed in the divine presence.
Al-Qushairi, (may ALLAH have mercy upon him) said: “Spoken zikr leads the servant to the constancy of the zikr by the heart. If the servant evokes his Lord both with his tongue and his heart, He attains the perfection of his state.”
Thus, the first step is the spoken evocation, and if this does not allow the lights to open the door of the heart to awaken it, this is because it is imperfect (faulty). A heart that is not receptive to the spoken evocations of ALLAH is in a state of unawareness, and in such a state, it is unable to govern. Indeed the heart can be compared to a king who ordains and all the limbs to soldiers who obey and execute his orders.
Know that the lights descend on those who evoke ALLAH like a rain of salvation. If the heart is receptive, its door will open and the lights will enter in order to fill it, dwell there and deepen its irrigation according to the intensity of the lights. In this way, the heart benefits from divine gifts, knowledge and secrets, etc.
But if the heart is not receptive, so heedleess of ALLAH’s evocation, this is because it is inhabited by other than ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted), and in this case the lights cannot penetrate it. In this precise situation, they go back to their place of origin and this is constantly repeated.
Nuri (may ALLAH have mercy upon him) said: “The first thing that appears in the heart of he for whom ALLAH whishes happiness is a light. Then this light becomes a glow (brightness), then a ray, then a moon and then finally a sun. When the light appears in the heart, the world and all that it contains loses all value for him, when it becomes a moon, man renounces the hereafter and all it contains. When it becomes a sun, he no longer sees the world and its content nor the hereafter and its content: he only knows his Lord. Then his body is light, his heart is light, and his speech is also light “Light upon light, Allah guides to His light whom He wills.”(Quran S24 V35) The transformation of the ordinary man into the complete spiritual man is then achieved.
It is said: « The sun sets with the approach of night, the sun of the heart never sets.”
This topic is quite vast, deep and subtle, we cannot discuss it further.
And ALLAH knows best.
ALLAH THE MOST HIGH said : “Certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest” (Quran S29, V45)
A man asked Salman as Farisi (may ALLAH be pleased with him): “What is the best deed?” Salman answered him: “Have you not read the verse of the Quran which said: “certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest.””
ALLAH THE MOST HIGH said: “So remember Me; I will remember you” (Quran S2, V152)
On the authority of Abu Harayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Allah the Almighty said: “I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.”
It is said in one tradition reporting that ALLAH said in one of his revealed scriptures: “For he who remembers Me and does not forget me, I will activate his heart to love me so that when he speaks, he speaks for Me and when he remains silent, he does it for Me.”
Verses of the Holy Quran and prophetic hadith about merits of evocation are so numerous that it is impossible to count) or enumerate them.
We can talk about “Evocation of ALLAH (zikr)” when a person gets rid of heedlessness and oblivion, the heart being in constant presence of the Truth.
May ALLAH have mercy upon Yahiya ibn Mou’adh because of what he said: “Zikr is greater than Paradise because zikr is the part that goes to ALLAH and Paradise is the part that goes to the servant, and because ALLAH’s approval is within the zikr and the servant’s satisfaction is within Paradise.
Abou Bakr Al-Wassiti was asked: “Do you want some food”
He answered: « Yes. »
He was asked: « Which kind?»
He said: « A mouthful of evocation (zikr) of ALLAH, with the purity of certainty, at the table of spiritual knowledge, using the fingers of good opinion of ALLAH, on the plate of contentment of ALLAH the Glorified.»
It is said that ALLAH, may He be Exalted, said to His friend Ibrahim (peace be upon him): “Do you know why I have chosen you as a friend ?” Ibrahim (peace be upon him) answered: « No my Lord. » ALLAH said: “Because your heart is never unaware of Me, and whatever the situation, I notice that you never forget Me.” Ibrahim said: “Lord! If you had not ordained us to evoke you, who would dare to evoke you out of respect and reverence, glory be to You!”
These words of Musa (peace be upon him) have been narrated: « O Lord! How could I recognise who you love and who you do not ? ALLAH, may He be Exalted, answered: “O Moussa! When I love a servant, I give him two signs” Musa (peace be upon him) said: “O Lord, what are they ?” ALLAH, may He be Exalted, replied: “I inspire in him My evocation (zikr) so that I evoke him in the celestial kingdom and I protect him from forbidden things so that I do not visit My chastisement and My wrath upon him.”
Jesus, son of Mary, (peace be upon him) said: “Content (fortunate) is he who has evoked ALLAH and has solely evoked ALLAH, content is he who fears ALLAH and fears no one but ALLAH.”
Cheikh Ahmed Rifa’I (may ALLAH have mercy upon him) said: “Make evocation of ALLAH the Qibla of your preoccupation and an illumination for the oratory of your thought, and know that the reality of the comfort that derives from the evocation of the Beloved, is forgetting all that is not Him. Indeed who he absorbed in the evocation of ALLAH, the Exalted, no longer evokes any other. He is astonished before the marvels of His Creation. His entity melts before the beauty of His Benevolence and he is absorbed by the oceans of the evocation of His Generosity.”
Here is some advise, and what a good example, from he who said, may ALLAH have mercy upon him: “Make your good relationship with ALLAH the Most High the same as the one that you would have with your servant whose conduct would satisfy you. Thus your mind would be at ease because you would not find in him neither disturbance nor contrariness nor anger. So what you do not wish your servant to do to you and do not approve for yourself, do not do and do not approve for ALLAH the Very High, because He is your true Master, and know that, He also, does not approve nor accept it for Himself.”
During a religious celebration, Imam Ali (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “This day is a day of celebration for he whose fast has been accepted by ALLAH and accomplishment of all his prayers has been rewarded. Everyday ALLAH is not disobeyed is a celebration.”
Obedience represents the means of access (wassila) to the knowledge (marifa) which is, for he who has attained it, the most perfect act of obedience.
"My God! To You be praise and to You be Thanksgiving as much as Your Whole Knowledge knows about Your Attributes and Your Names and Your Praises by which You praise Yourself in Your Own Word, and by which each of your creatures praises You, with all the expressions of praise by which You mention Yourself, and by which all Your creatures mention You and to the extent of what Your Knowledge embraces and for all the blessings upon us that Your Knowledge encompasses."
Infinite praise and thanksgiving be to ALLAH The Most High Who never ceases to shower His blessings on us through the special Mercy and blessing of our beloved Prophet Muhamad (pbh), the secret of existence, the seal and uncontested master of all the prophets, and the imam of the messengers, and of our perfect teacher, the universal irrigator, the seal and lordly pole of all the saints, at the privileged and unique station, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret).
The poor servant in need of ALLAH, the Most High,
Mohammad al Mansour al Mohiedine Tidjani.
Zawiya Tidjaniya El Kubra of Europe