The following is an excerpt of the transcript of a Sacred Activism Study Circle (Halaqa) by Shaykh Mendes, entitled “The Way of Love”, held on 2nd November 2016. Full audio is available here
The Realm of Absolute Indivisibility
On the spiritual path, there are two dimensions that are the highest dimensions that most people reach in terms of spiritual growth, spiritual evolution, awareness and consciousness. They are what’s called the hadhrah al wahidiyyah (the presence of oneness), and the other is called al hadhratul ahadiyyah. One is from Allah’s name Al Wahid, and the other is from His name Al Ahad. So what’s the difference?
When you’re in the dimension of wahidiyyah, Allah gives you direct knowledge of His Names and attributes. But when you’re in the dimension of ahadiyyah, the differences, distinctions, and demarcation between the names and attributes of Allah disappear, and all you experience is Absolute Oneness. You don’t even see yourself in that place. Nothing exists in your perception at that level of consciousness except Allah. This is why Surah al Ikhlas begins, “Say: He is Allah, He is Ahad.”
Ahad is absolute indivisibility. The person who is in the realm of Ahadiyyah does not see ar Rahman, ar Rahim, al Malik, al Quddus, as Salam, all these Divine Names. He just sees the Divine Being and nothing else, he doesn’t even see creation. If you get to those levels of spirituality without first going to the hadhrah (dimension) of Prophet Muhammad SAW, you will be made to go back to the dimension of Prophet Muhammad SAW because it is only through him SAW that you reach Allah SWT’s presence. And it is through Him that the Light of the chosen one has enveloped you, and you cannot go beyond it even for one fingertip without his Light covering you. You will be annihilated, you will burn up.
The Spiritual Reality of the Prophet SAW
So returning to the Muhammadan dimension and humbling ourselves at its threshold is obligatory, because he SAW is our means to the Divine Presence. This spiritual dimension of Muhammad does not refer to the man, but the dimension—the man and the dimension are connected. They’re not separated, but the dimension is a more cosmic and metaphysical aspect that the man of Prophet Muhammad SAW is an ayah (sign) of.
You must realize that it is in this particular dimension, that for the knowers and the gnostics, the veil is lifted for them regarding the reality of the Prophet SAW. So until you reach this point in your spiritual journey, you really don’t know who is the Prophet Muhammad SAW. You may have read all the books of sirah, biography, shamaail, khasaais, all the documentaries and all the stories and the poetry, you still really don’t know him, until Allah admits you to the hadrah Muhammadiyyah, until your consciousness is raised to the dimension of the Prophet SAW.
Awakening to Your Higher Consciousness
In the Qasidah al-Burdah, the author Imam al Busiri said, “How can he be understood/fathomed in this lower world, how can his reality be grasped in this lower world, by a people who are sleeping and distracted from him by their dream?”
So he’s talking about most human beings. Most human beings are asleep to higher consciousness. And if you’ve not woken up into your higher consciousness, you will not know who Prophet Muhammad SAW truly is. You will just think he was an Arab man who lived over a thousand years ago, and he came and he lived for 63 years, and he died, and that’s it, and he’s a great man, and you love and you follow him, but you really don’t know him. To truly know him is to know him in the spiritual dimension.
The reality of the Chosen One, God bless him and grant him peace, is the reality of every being from the beings of existence. To put it another way, the great scholar and sage of Senegal, Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse (who lived for 75 years, wrote 75 books and had 75 children) said in his tafsir of Surah al-Kahf, that the entire universe is nothing except the cosmic body of the Prophet SAW, and everything in the universe is a part of that body.
This is not aqidah, you will not find this in the books of aqidah, this is a spiritual experience. This is not based on logic, syllogisms or rational deduction. This is a spiritual experience that many men and women have had over the centuries of applying the spiritual training systems that the Prophet Muhammad SAW left with us.
The Spiritual Reality of the Universe
So if you understand it, you know that you and I are part of the spiritual body of the Prophet SAW. If you realize, everything around you, the trees, the cars, the people you love, the people who get on your nerves and irritate you, everything in creation is actually a part of his reality SAW.
How will you treat people now? How will you treat the plants, the trees, the ants, and even the predators, the snakes and the scorpions, if you know that everything is part of his reality SAW? How will you treat them except with the utmost adab, with the utmost care, kindness and respect, because you know that their inner reality is the reality of Prophet Muhammad SAW.
This is what Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse said: the spiritual reality of this universe is that nothing in reality exists except Allah, who exists absolutely, and Rasulullah SAW, who exists contingently (meaning at a cosmic level). That’s it. There’s only Allah and Prophet Muhammad SAW.
So those people who reach this level, when they say the shahadah, they are saying, “I see that nothing exists absolutely except Allah, and that nothing exists relatively except Muhammad SAW.” And Muhammad, meaning the entire creation. We’re not talking about Prophet SAW the man, we’re talking about the reality of creation, that is Prophet Muhammad SAW, that inner reality, that haqiqah, that spiritual reality that is the reality of every creation, that is the messenger and the message from Allah to us.
So now, everything in creation, good, bad, ugly, the good, the evil, the light and the darkness, everything now becomes a message from Allah that gives you greater and greater knowledge of who Allah is.
Alhamdulillah, Shaykh Muhammad Mendes (USA) will be coming to Singapore on 1st and 2nd April 2017 for a series of spiritually invigorating, enlightening and soul-replenishing lectures and workshops.
Delve into the depths of your inner being, seek and find the Light of the Divine within yourself, and heal the brokenness inside through witnessing the Majesty and Beauty of Muhammadan Love with Shaykh Muhammad Mendes.
1 APRIL 2017, 9AM – 1PM, MASJID MYDIN AUDITORIUM
Prophetic Parenting: Raising God-Conscious Children in the 21st Century
Workshop Ticket Price: $28
Purchase here: http://propheticparenting.eventbrite.sg
1 APRIL 2017, 8PM – 10PM, MASJID SULTAN AUDITORIUM
Spiritual Awakening: Cultivating Positivity in Life
Lecture Ticket Price: $15
Purchase here: http://cultivatingpositivity.eventbrite.sg
2 APRIL 2017, 9AM – 1PM, MASJID SULTAN AUDITORIUM
The Way of Love: Joys and Realities of Marriage
Workshop Ticket Price: $28
Purchase here: http://wayoflove.eventbrite.sg
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Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes embraced Islam at 17 years old and went to obtain a B.A. in Arabic Studies. Subsequently, he embarked on the study of traditional Islamic sciences for more than 20 years in Mauritania, Syria, and Nigeria, under the tutelage of scholars like Shaykh Murabit al Hajj, Shaykh Muhammad al Yaqoubi, Shaykh Muhammad an Ninowy, Shaykh Khalil Abdur Rashid, and Shaykh Mustafa Turkmani. He holds ijazaat in Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamic Spirituality, Theology, Prophetic Narrations, Qur’anic Exegesis, Logic, and Grammar.
Currently, aside from serving as the Founding Director of SacredService for Human Liberation, he also serves as the Imam of the Atlanta Masjid of al-Islam, and is a researcher and Lead Qur’anic Arabic Instructor at Fawakih Institute Atlanta.
He is a teacher, father, husband, servant of the community, and lifetime student of knowledge who devotes much of his time and energy to inviting people to live lives of spiritual and material significance, unite based on their shared humanity and appreciate their God-given diversity.