In his Friday Sermon of September 16, 2011 the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib profoundly reflected on the spiritual significance of attaining true self knowledge. The human self is capable of transcending its earthly moorings by contemplating the Spirit of God. Through a deeper awareness about the human condition in an ultimately transient world, true believers find the “face” of Allah in every situation they encounter in life.
Read from the extracts:
The “people of the truth” fall into two categories. Those of the first get married, have children, houses, crops, but their hearts are not attached to these duties, which are not veils for them (which can hinder them from the contemplation of God) ... They no longer see themselves, but only God, Sublime and Exalted, because for the “people of the truth”, the being of the world is the Being of God; in reality, everything comes from Him.
The second category of “people of the truth” always love God, and are consumed by the love of God and the knowledge of God in His essential unity, and they know their self and they destroy it (their ego) and affirm the unity of their self and God, they retain their self, and they are destroyed in their self, and they remain in their self and they hate what occurs outside their self, and love the hidden interiority of their self, and they despise their self because the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “He who knows his self knows his Lord” ["Ma’n ara’ a nafsahu faqad ara’fa rab’bahu"].
This is also one of the revelations which I received at the beginning of the Divine Manifestation, whereby God taught me His wonders, that I may become even closer to Him, and that I trust Him, by knowing myself profoundly…
Moreover, when they attach their vision “outside” of their ego, whatever the thing they see, it is their self which they see, and what they contemplate is their self, because for the “people of the truth” the world and their self are one and the same thing; what they see, it's verily their self which they see. Like the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “I saw my Lord through the (merciful) eye of my Lord.”
This is also one of the revelations which I received from Allah at the beginning of the Divine manifestation along with the revelation: He who knows his self knows his Lord.
In another Hadith the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “I saw God through God.”
The Holy Prophet (sa) said such words because the world with all its parts has no real existence. Since the world has no real existence, it has no power or action of its own. If the “people of the truth” are beaten or insulted, they consider that these actions are those of God, and not those of others.
As for them, therefore, all that they understand is that of their self, for Almighty says: “Whither you turn is the face of God.” (2: 116)
For this reason, the “people of the truth” say that all creatures are nothing but our (one) self, all human beings are our brothers, belief and unbelief, beloved and enemy, pure and impure, heaven and hell, wrath and mercy, good and evil, wealth and poverty, praise and scorn, holiness and hunger, insignificance and greatness, life and death, sickness and health, right and wrong – this is the same for them, because the meaning of: “Whither you turn is the face of God.” They became very clear. Anyone who understands the meaning of “Whither you turn is the face of God” reaches a complete understanding, and whatever he sees, “the face of God” is what he sees but God knows best…
When the sincere aspirant perceives within himself the first effects of this divine attraction which is to experience pleasure every time he thinks of the Glorious Supreme Reality, he must make every effort to enhance and strengthen the experience and at the same time banning everything that is incompatible with it. He needs to know, for example, that if he spent an eternity to work in this communion, this would count for nothing, and he has not fulfilled his duty as he should have.
The Prophet of Allah (sa) said: “The heart of the believer is the throne of God” and another of his statements: “The believer's heart is the highest heaven.” This is the secret of hearts, the seat of the Tawheed wherein the spiritual birth occurs. Our consciences are only a virgin in which only the Spirit of truth can penetrate. Then the individual soul becomes pregnant, like Mary, of a Messiah who delights the heart. Not the Messiah who travels on land and sea, but the Messiah who is beyond the limitations of space. So when the soul has been impregnated by the Soul of the soul, through such a soul the world is fertilised.
Dispenser of divine grace – God places His gift on the palm of His hand and therefrom He provides for those who are the object of His mercy. He who knows himself, knows his Lord, that is to say: If I know myself, I know God. The heart is a game, not the body.
True self-knowledge is therefore to contemplate in oneself the Spirit of God. The only reality is that it is through Himself that He sees Himself and by Himself He knows Himself.
May Allah guide us on the right path and illuminates our hearts to understand the sermon today. Ameen.