Discourse delivered by Shaykh Ebrahim, 15/9/18. 
Audio available at the bottom of the page.

Tonight was indeed a very special night. Tonight we did the Dhikr. You did it with commitment, you did not hold back, you did it in the spirit of emptying yourself of yourself. That’s how one does this dhikr – you do it in the spirit of a complete disclosure of your being, of a complete opening up of your chest, knowing full well that you will not and cannot stand up to scrutiny. Knowing full well that your being is a web of duplicity, deceit and self-deceit.

In our normal day-to-day lives we play these games, upon games, upon games of wanting to make sure that we don’t offend, make sure that we treat well and treat properly and in the process we lose our way through our lives. We mince ourselves out of our lives.

This night, the night of Dhikr, where we know our Rabb will embrace us irrespective of our duplicity, irrespective of our inauthenticity, irrespective of our deceit in our lives. For no other reason that he loves us breathtakingly, He loves us to a degree that makes the love of a mother for a newborn infant paltry. He loves you to such an extent that every single, minute metabolic detail of your being that happens moment by moment keeps you alive is as a result of Him commanding ‘kun fa yakun’ (‘be and it is’). If you are in the hands of such a generous Rabb, who makes it all happen for you irrespective of your game playing, your deceit, we can afford to be as we were tonight in His Presence. We can afford to be in His Presence naked – no restraint, no holding back, no playing a game, no worrying about about what that one across the room thinks.

It is that single thought “what will they think” which robs us of our ecstasy, which robs us of the heart aching beautiful truth of our being. It is this claim of self sufficiency, of being unassailable, to having whole hearts which is in fact our death trap. The only useful heart is a broken heart. The only useful heart is a heart that has been crushed because it’s like grapes – the wine, the juice, is released when they’re crushed. The sweetness of a man comes out when his heart is broken. Any man who has not had a broken heart, who doesn’t consistently have his heart broken, that man you can suspect of the disease of self sufficiency and a lack of compassion. How can the one who has not had his heart broken have compassion for any other?

This Dihkr is for the breaking of hearts. This Dhikr is for the release of constraint. This Dhikr is for the abandonment of the illusion that we are in any way self sufficient. We are completely, nakedly, absolutely given up to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. This Dhikr is a celebration of that truth. I’m honoured to be among brothers who could demonstrate in this Dhikr tonight that they have that taste, that they know that reality.

I pray that my Rabb keeps me in your company for very long. And that he keeps us growing in depth on this extraordinary mystery which is unfolding here, which is not the mystery of the successful, it is not the mystery of the whole ones and the healthy ones and the sane ones. It is the mystery of the broken and bereft, it is the mystery of those who are heart broken, it is the mystery of those who are beyond redemption and at a complete loss.

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