The meaning and the significance of the hadra is that it is like a shaking loose. It is a
shaking loose of the things that normally worry you. It is like letting go of the chains so that you can find out who the being is that is there beyond the chains. What are the chains? The chains are the things that bind us, it is our ideas of who we are and our
limitations. We are so trapped in our history and in our own life stories. This person is convinced that his name is Petrious. That person is convinced that he is Salahuddin. The third person is convinced that her name is Fatima. Who is that being that Allah brought into the world before it had a name? Who is that creature that came into the world straight from his presence, pure?
..all humans were born in fitra.
Before it took on the garb of whatever the identity is that it developed over time. The Rasul (s.a.w.s.) said that all humans were born in fitra. All human beings are born pure, fresh from the presence of their Lord. It is their parents and their societies that turn them into Jews and Fire Worshippers and whatever. What the hadra does is it helps you to shake loose those things that you have become so that you can remember who you actually were – this being fresh from the presence of the Lord, this being that has just come from an infinite place of bliss. This being who knows where he came from and knows where he is going is an infinite place of bliss, doesn’t take this place of limitation and restriction and chains too seriously. In fact he lives to shake it off.
So there is a point in the hadra where you are doing the hadra. There is a point where you are deciding to do the dance and then there is a point where the hadra does you. When you become one with a movement in which you are like a puppet, like a doll in the hands of the puppeteer and in that moment you remember your true nature, our independence is a dream, it is a nightmare, we are no more independent then we are independent of air. Separate yourself from what is not yourself and in five days you will die. You can’t manufacture water within your body. You cannot grow food within yourself. You cannot produce oxygen within yourself. You are completely dependent. You are hung up on a single breathe like a puppet hung up on a string. The hadra allows you to remember that.
Separate yourself from what is not yourself and in five days you will die.
That you are just a puppet dancing at the hands of the Lord, that you no longer have an independent will. You no longer stand apart from your Lord, that you become the vehicle whereby he walks, he sees, he touches existence, whereby he sees himself. So when you start the hadra you have to do it deliberately, you have to do the dance and follow the movement but allow yourself to give in. Then you eventually…..
Your body moves almost as if it belongs to someone else. Because the apparent noise of all of that happening, you are sitting in the presence of the Lord. In the apparent outer agitation, you are absolutely still in the throne room, you are in that place that your being knows very well because it is the place that it came from, from before endless time and it is the place that it is going to return to till after endless time. You are in akhira. You are in the world that is to come.
May Allah grant us success on this Path.
May He grant us nearness to Him.
May He grant us annihilation in Him.
May He grant us death before we die.
This discourse was given by Shaykh Ebrahim after a dhikr session on 27 April, 2004.