Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
(Internal evidence indicates that this four-page paper was
written by Murshid Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti
in a state of fana-fi-Mohammed; it is undated and untitled).
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
In my early career I made many mistakes, serious mistakes and after the battle of Ohod learned I wisdom, so that thereafter never did I make a grievous mistake.
When I erred I prayed to God for forgiveness and did not blame another, and when another erred I prayed to God for forgiveness as if that fault was mine.
At first I set myself up as authority in all things and failed. To Allah I brought my failures; after that I set myself up as an authority for Allah and on all other matters disclaimed knowledge. Even when I knew, I disclaimed the knowledge and this brought many people to Allah, and they became my faithful friends and disciples.
When people came offering advice I listened and blessed them and sent them away and often accepted the advice. When they came with criticism or complaints of me, I veiled my condition and thanked them. I did not always accept the suggestions of friend or adversary but I carefully examined their every word to discover whatever weakness might be left in me.
I learned never to say: “Thou must” or “Thou must not” to any man.
I did not force my authority upon my disciples in my later years, nor did I refer to myself or family. In my early years I was so enthusiastic about my kin, and God took away one son in infancy and another in early childhood so I was bereft. I then learned that all people were God’s children and likewise my children. I have discovered the wisdom of Buddha who did not dote upon his son and his son became the one example among spiritual teachers where the son received the high realization of God while upon earth.
No matter how great the difficulties around me I did not complain—learned not to complain of poor food or bad weather or miserable treatment. I took all as from Allah.
Realizing that Allah had created every person, I felt there must be a person even in opposition and when I discovered the divinity in the opposition, they were crushed, crushed as upon no battlefield or in no debating hall. The enemy within me was crushed, and so those without me were crushed.
When I entered the city of Mecca victorious I treated all people as the children of Allah, friend and foe did I not recognize. And what was this victory? It was not the triumphal entry into Mecca. For all that I suffered from my kin, from Abu Sofian and Abu Lahab and their following, when I removed them from my mind, they were removed, and when I held them in my mind, my thoughts gave them strength.
I did not speak of myself or my family during spiritual counsel except to illustrate the Mercy of God or explain some spiritual vision or divine Hal, so that others would come to praise God.
I learned that one could not in the same breath talk of evil and praise God. Yes, one could refer to the most terrifying events, but so long as one did not characterize them as evil, it did not matter.
My own suffering I never referred to before my disciples, keeping that as a secret between myself and God, yet when others came with their troubles, I made it appear that their pains were great yet Allah’s Mercy was still greater and thereby was able to help many.
When I was in doubt about any course to act I referred to the Scriptures of the Hebrews and Christians, including even their traditions. If doubt still remained or there was nothing whereby to be guided, I entered into meditation and received the help from Allah to whom I offered full praise.
I never upon any circumstance referred to my virtues. If others discovered I had any I praised God and blessed them, because I knew that they were discovering God through the observance of virtue, one of the many ways by which one can approach God.
I never sought to win a single person by referring to anything that I had done. God was the doer. It so happened that many people who had opposed me bitterly were attracted. Why? Because when the Nufs is removed the cause for repulsion is eliminated.
If I did not equal Jesus, at least I cannot be blamed for not trying to emulate him, and if I did not emulate him in act, at least my heart was trying to make me like him and Moses and Abraham, upon whom be God’s everlasting peace and blessing.
Mohammed means the reflection of God’s characteristics within a human being. If that human wishes to be a human, that is not always a sin, yet at the moment of any type of personal reference, even with the highest moment, at that instant it is man, not God, who is speaking.
I learned to speak to others in their own language; that is to say, to pick up the mental and spiritual threads of their personality so that we become as one, not two, and then I could act as the higher conscience within each one, and never as man to man, person to person, but as higher self to lower and this was the secret of my great success.
I never sought justification from any person for anything I did, yet I did not abstain from receiving criticisms and condemnations and I much preferred to hear another speak against me than speak against any third personality.
Insofar as my philosophy and work were successful that was proven by history and no further evidence is needed before man.
Not only did I not compel anybody ever to do anything in my later years, but this is expressly stated in Qur’an.
When once I corrected a person for any evil, and he had repented, I never referred to that matter again. It was dead. If I thought of it, I prayed to God for forgiveness for that recreates evil in the world and I know now that the higher one is in spiritual evolution, the more dangerous is this process and the more terrible the karma therefrom.
I never enacted my discipline from anyone until and unless I had gone through it myself to have realized its results.
Upon all but spiritual matters I kept reserve and silence like any other man and did not require any more than a decent human respect and courtesy, so that when I did speak upon spiritual matters all the world around waited with bated breath and accepted my every word without the slightest question.
I learned that the less I spoke with authority, the more powerful the word with authority.
I very seldom emphasized anything except the very few things that have to be emphasized.
In the vision of Allah I escaped both the pain and sorrow, the joy and pleasure of earth and I did not refer to the latter without first cognizing the former.
If people praised me, I blamed them; if they blamed me, I praised God.
Holding the slightest ill-feeling about anybody in the mind gives power to the ill disposed, and to destroy them one thinks not at all about them.
Holding the slightest ill-feeling about anybody in the heart is a sin and holding the slightest good-feeling about anybody in the heart can be a still greater sin if it drives away the vision of the Deity.
I am no further away from earth today than in the past, nor will I be in the future, for where God is I am, and where God is not, I am not allowed to enter.
I war for God every moment and the nearer you are to me the more apt am I to chastise you for negligence. I am very jealous when you place your personal loves and affections high and I am roused almost to anger when you place the ego high and the nearer you are to me, the greater my wrath.
I am the scourge of the world. I helped build the Khaliphate and I also helped destroy it when it became effete, vicious and negligent.
The propagation of the Divine Message is in my keeping and I am jealous of my trust. When there is earnestness and sincerity I find no fault I surely do not condemn him.
Those who toy with spiritual things are my enemies, but I treat my enemies in a most unusual manner. My greatest victory is that they repent. If I crush them to earth and they repent not, it is no victory; if a thousand kindnesses do not make them repent, it is no victory. Victory is only final when they repent and until then for me there is no ease.
Many people came offering me advice and I blessed them, but when the soothsayers came I turned them from my door. Then they declared war upon me and raised a false prophet. I did nothing and that was their undoing.
I never gave my opponents strength by considering them important.
I gave more attention to the little babes playing at my doorstep than the leaders of the Meccans arrayed against me and that deprived my enemies of their power.
Except my leadership in prayer I sought no leadership and except desire for humility before God I sought no virtue, yet every person soon became my teacher and I listened most attentively.
No one knows what troubles I had; for years I dwelt with my enemies, was scoffed and jeered at, and when I became free from them, it was only to be surrounded by a group of quarrelsome women never giving me or each other peace. Yet I do not refer to this as patience or virtue and I consider all of it unimportant—the only thing that mattered was steadfastness to God.
When I had to speak to another to correct him, I considered it my sin also for not reaching him silently or showing by example.