How to Make the Fellowship Grow
From The Golden Words of a Sufi Sheikh, Word#891.
A child asked the sheikh, “Do you have any suggestion as to how we can attract more people to the Fellowship and to our meetings so that we can make the Fellowship grow?”
The sheikh replied, “After you make yourself grow, it will be easy to make the Fellowship grow.
“These are the things you must have to help you grow; these are the things you must have at your meetings:
First is patience.
Second is inner patience, or sabür.
Third is contentment, or shakür.
Fourth is to give all responsibility to God, tawakkul-‘alalläh.
Fifth is to give all praise to God alone, al-hamdu lilläh.
Sixth is determination, determined faith in Allah.
Seventh is the absolute faith, the ïmän by which you can further establish and strengthen your determination.
Eighth is compassion.
Ninth is the awareness that there is only one family.
Tenth is equality, seeing all lives as equal to your own.
Eleventh is the sharp point of intellect that gives you the awareness to treat all lives as your own.
Twelfth is to be as concerned about the hunger of others as you are about your own and to give your food away.
Thirteenth is not to kill any life, not with a weapon, a thought, the mind, or the eyes; not to kill because of race or religion or color or beliefs. You must have the purity of the light of wisdom which will cut away these evil qualities.
Fourteenth is the subtle wisdom to be aware that the pain and illness of every life are like the pain and illness of your own body and life.
Fifteenth is the eye to see all lives as one.
Sixteenth is to realize that God exists omnipresently in all lives, to have absolute faith and trust in Him, to imbibe the qualities of His path, and to put them into action.
Seventeenth is to realize that all lives have both good and evil qualities. If evil qualities come, you must be forbearant and patient. If good qualities come, you must try to elevate them by giving them more wisdom.
Eighteenth is to do duty without selfishness or attachment.
Nineteenth is to realize the faults you may have committed in the past and to try not to commit those faults in the future. Then, if anyone else committed a fault, realizing that it may be the same fault you committed in the past, you must forbear with patience and show love. You must realize that the other person is not at fault and that you committed the fault first. Realize that, in time, others can correct themselves in the way you corrected yourself. While existing in a state of awareness, try to correct them gradually. Teach them the wisdom of peacefulness, establishing and conducting yourself in the state of tranquil brotherhood.
Twentieth is to realize the ways of justice within God and man and to perceive unity.
Twenty-first is to realize that God has created all kingdoms and that He rules them all with divine justice. He rules all lives with pure and perfect justice. Realize what that justice is, take it into yourself, and act accordingly.
Twenty-second is to become the king of your body. Within your body are many worlds and millions of creations—all the creations of all the worlds are within you. All the creations visible on the outside are seen within as shadow forms, as energy forms, as cell forms, as demonic bloodsucking forms, or as beastly forms. You must become king of justice for that world, making God’s justice into the justice of your rulership and bringing forth that justice to rule all the animals within you.
Twenty-third is to become human. If you are going to be a king, your justice must be consistent. Man’s justice must be brought to men; you must do duty with justice. The king’s justice must be brought into human justice, so that, as a man, you will be able to show that justice to all lives. Become human, dwell amidst human beings, and bring to your awareness the peace, tranquility, and justice of true man.
Twenty-fourth is conscience. God’s justice must be brought into your conscience, warning you at every moment. You must rule from within the compassion of your wisdom. “These twenty-four qualities are the twenty-four letters of the Kalimah, the word of God. If you accept the Kalimah into your heart, strengthening it, you will know with absolute faith that no one is worthy of worship but Allah, the One of limitless grace and incomparable love, the One who gives the undiminishing wealth of grace. If you understand this state and surrender fully, you will pray, ‘Lä iläha illallähu: There is nothing other than You, O God. Only You are Allah.’ If you spend every breath in Him, performing 43,242 prostrations to Him every day, you will grow. When you have progressed like this, you have reached the state where you can help the Fellowship grow.
“Now you must gently enter the beauty of God. You must gently enter His love. After you enter His love, you must nourish good conduct, respect, modesty, virtue, and fear of wrongdoing. I am asking you to grow within that culture of goodness. Each child must grow like this.”