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The Necessity and Function of the Shaykh | Sohbet from 5 Sundays on Tasawwuf


Ya Ayyuhalladheen Aamanu Ittaqullaha Wa Kunu Ma'a As-Saadiqeen

O you who believe, be conscious of Allah and keep company with those who are true to their word.
- The Quran, 9:119

Beginning November 8, and continuing through Dec, Jan, Feb and March Islamic Sufi Study Center of Charlottesville is Organizing a Program titled, 5 Sundays of Tasawwuf. This monthly program address the elements of Tasawwuf, spiritual Islamic practice.

Themes selected for 5 Sundays are:
1) The necessity and function of the Shaykh
2) Sohbet or the oral tradition
3) Ikhlas or sincerity
4) Tarbiyya or the training of the mureed
5) Dhaahir & baatin - balancing the inner and the outer

The program includes speakers: Shaykh Ahmed Abdur-Rasheed, mainly of the Naqshabandi tradition; Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee, mainly of the Shadhdhuli tradition; and for the first Sunday it was Dr. Sulayman Nyang, distinguished professor from Howard University who delivered the talks.

In the first series, the speakers touched upon a main characteristic of Sufi path, that is, "The Necessity and Function of the Shaykh". Its highly recommended for anyone even modestly interested to understand the Path of Sufism from those who walk the Path - to listen to these talks. These talks come from those who have spent their lifetime in this rich and living tradition and few of the most rare individuals of our time who literally have crossed the earth, traveled to the farthest of geographical boundaries to find their path, their Murshid (spiritual guide) and to find truth. May Allah continue to bless Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee and Shaykh Abdur-Rasheed and all guest speakers in this event for their pure dedication and service to the path and have mercy upon those who come in their presence.

'Wa hadaina humma siratal mustaqim' Allah says, "And We guided them to the Straight Way." After the seed of blessing has fallen on the fertile soil of the heart by the grace of Allah Subhanuwatala one must not let it wither. Rather one must place that seed in the grace, in the care, that is to say of a farmer who will protect it from the many ways that it can be destroyed. In the care of that farmer, the seed will mature and bear fruit and accord with its true being. This verse that I recited in the beginning refers to that type of care, "And We guided them to the Straight Way."

Rumi says, "In the Ocean of the Soul it is impossible to swim and you may drown. The only solution is to get on the Ship of Safety." So the Seal of the Prophet, sallalahu 'alaihi wa sallam declared, "I am that Arc in the Infinite Ocean, as are those who are my successors who share my vision. We are the Ship of Safety in this Ocean. Do not try to swim away."

And Hafiz says, "In the Domain of Love do not take even a step without a guide. For on this road, he who has no guide will lose the way for sure."

.. To take guidance there are 3 steps which a person must undertake: The first which Sayyidina Musa (Prophet Moses) took which is to put everything else behind you with the intention to find the truth, knowing you don't know the truth. Because if you know the truth, why would you be seeking it?

The second is to go where ever you have to go. And do whatever you have to do and where ever you have to go to find the truth.

And the third step we call sohbet, which means to enter into the company of someone who for whatever reason that you can imagine or think, might be, might be, in touch with the truth that you are seeking.

Another poem from Rumi from Mathnawi, Inshallah, the translation,

Those spiritual window shoppers who idly ask
'How much is that?'
And then when you ask them they say, 'Oh I'm just looking.'
They handle a hundred items and put them all down.
They are shadows, with no capital.

What is spent is Love
and two eyes that are wet with weeping.

But these they walk into the shop
and their whole life pass in that moment in that shop"

- from the Dars (teaching) of 5 Sundays of Tasawwuf by Shaykh Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee, Director of Green Mountain Branch of the Shadhdhuli School, Khalifah of Shadhduli Sufi Way

[>] Click here to download and listen to Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee's talk infused with deep wisdom and practical advice on The Necessity and Function of Shaykh.

[>] Click here to listen to the audio version of the talk by Shaykh Rasheed on The Necessity and Function of the Shaykh.

. Video of the talk by Shaykh Rasheed via Youtube are also available. Click here.

".. likely in America we have radical individualism. Many of us are so radically individual, - "Me too ism" as well call in America. .. so if you have that attitude, you will not have a Shaykh, because you have this "Me too ism", 'Ya I'm educated, So I can think for myself' - if you do that you make a big mistake. "

- Dr. Sulayman Nyang, distinguished professor from Howard University, Talk from 5 Sundays on Tasawwuf
[>] Click here to download and listen to Dr. Sulayman Nyang's heartly talk.

[>] Visit the 5 Sundays on Tasawwuf page for archived audio and more

The second of these series are coming on 6th December 2009. This will focus on the 2nd theme, Sohbet or the oral tradition: discourses on the value of spending time with a living teacher – sharing life, food, companionship with the Shaykh and other students - learning directly from the tongue of the Shaykh rather than from books or CDs – discourse and storytelling as media of teaching. Along with Shaykh Nooruddeen and Shaykh Rasheed, guest speaker will be Dr. Mustafa Drame, professor of French Language and African Oral Traditions at the University of Virginia.

If you are around the East Coast or even in USA, you are recommended to be blessed to be among these Shuyukh from sufi traditions and listen directly from them in the coming Sundays. For details of the program, location and direction, visit Green Mountain School website: the shadhdhuli school for tranquility of being and illumination of hearts

Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing
that we see too late the one that is open.
- Alexandar Graham Bell

In your own land seek the hidden flame.
It is unworthy of man to borrow light from elsewhere.
- Mansur al-Hallaj

# Reference

. Shaykh Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee
. Circle Group
. Shaykh Ahmed Abdur Rasheed


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Technology of the Heart: The Necessity and Function of the Shaykh | Sohbet from 5 Sundays on Tasawwuf
The Necessity and Function of the Shaykh | Sohbet from 5 Sundays on Tasawwuf
Technology of the Heart
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