The 1-Cent Coin
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
Once, when walking through a park with some friends, we came across a fountain with many 1-cent and 2-cent coins. On noticing this, it came to mind that since the 1-cent and 2-cent coins have negligible value – in fact, no worth or value is given to these coins; they are generally discarded in a fountain after some ‘wish' is made.
If the wish were such that it would be accomplished with money, then a mere 1 or 2 cents would not suffice to fulfil the grand wishes of those who throw with any such hope.
Nevertheless, I presented this analogy to my companions:
The value of the 1-cent coin diminished after separating itself from the R5 coin or the R100 note. It ‘depreciated', so to speak.
Many pass by such fountains, yet no one considers taking one or a few of those coins.
However, when that 1 cent coin attaches itself to the R100 note, its value and worth are considered just as that R100 note. When the 1 cent coin attaches itself to the R100 note, its value will increase – It is now part of R100.
If that 1 cent coin prefers its ‘independence', then inevitably, that would be to its own loss. It will then be considered worthless and insignificant and discarded in some fountain or thrown on the street.
In a like manner, when Salikin (Seekers of Allah Ta'ala) attach themselves to the Ahlullah (People of Allah) by keeping their pious company and emulating them in their actions, speech and character, their value increases. When we keep the company of the friends of Allah Ta'ala, then insha Allah, we will, through the blessings of their value, also acquire some worth.
The Salik (Seeker of Allah) will also become as valuable and precious if there is sincerity.
My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh ), had given a wonderful analogy when he visited South Africa and observed the sand of the gold mines in Gauteng.
He explained that the sand which remained in the company of gold became ‘golden' in colour. Something as ordinary as sand took on the hue and shade of something as precious as gold. So too, one will notice that the sand which contains coal becomes black in colour.
Hazrat then compared the ‘golden sand' to the person who sincerely befriends and associates with the Ahlullah. Such a person will not only acquire the same colouring as ‘gold'; he will become gold.
Those who think they can tread the path to Allah Ta'ala on their own and become so ‘valuable' are quite mistaken.
Even our honourable and respected Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (rahmatullah' alayh) had said: “People addressed me as ‘Molvi' (one who has knowledge) until I attached myself to the blessed company of Shamsuddin Tabrezi. Then people began addressing me as ‘Maula-e-Rum' (The Master of Rum).”
Then again, the Sahaba (rahiyallahu ‘anhum) became ‘Sahabah' because they attached themselves to the blessed, noble, and exclusive company of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
This ‘Suhbat' (companionship) of the Ahlullah is the medium of spiritual achievement.
However, great caution should be exercised in choosing a mentor. This warning cannot be emphasized enough.
Just the garb of piety or flowery speech does not make a person a Wali (friend) of Allah Ta'ala. Some ‘peers' have ulterior and worldly motives, especially milking their mureedin (disciples) of money. They give their mureedin some Waza'if and tasbihs to read. There is no education, disciplining, or reform.
If there is no Deen in the Shaykh, how will his mureeds change their lives? When the Shaykh is a prisoner of nafs (ego) and Shaytan, how can he free his mureeds from nafs and Shaytan?
Therefore Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (rahmatullah ‘alayh) said:
“Develop contact with a righteous one
So that through his company and du'aa, you may succeed,
But search for a guide who is awake in all situations
So that you, too, may become awake.
And if you should remain in the company of the vanquished,
You, too, will become vanquished.”
Many claim to be Masha'ikh but are caught up in the snares of Nafs and Shaytan. They have not even recognized their own nafs, have no experience in the field of Islah and Tazkiah, and instead of guiding, they misguide. They then become a trial for the people.
The true Masha'ikh don't promote and advertise themselves nor canvass for Mureedein. They don't chase after name and fame. They don't hanker after Dunya. They wish to remain concealed, but Allah Ta'ala sometimes chooses for them to be known.
Thus, when choosing a Shaykh, consider the Shaykh who is learned, practising on his knowledge, pious, trained and experienced in the field of Islah and Tazkia, and acknowledged by the Ulama-e-Haq as one who is truly Sahib-e-Nisbat and a Waliyyullah. By attaching oneself to such a Shaykh, the Salik will acquire value.
Dr. Abdul Hay Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh), who was a senior Khalifa of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullah ’alayh) used to say :
“There is only one way to meet Him (Allah),
Seek the road from those who
have already found Him.”