Rabia al Adawiyah is a famous lady in the Muslim world from the time of the tabiin (The
    generation immediately following that of the Sahabah or Companions of the Prophet on whom
    be peace) upto now; since the thirteenth century she has been a well-known personality in
    Islam.  She had the honour of being a beloved servant of her Lord, Allah Almighty, and we are
    honoured to mention her name here and we are asking for her barakah, her blessing, for us
    also.

    Look at those who are asking to be with their Lord; How they were.  I am saying this so that
    when ladies say, ?We are always in the background, men are always upfront no; Allah
    Almighty gives you honour.  Sometimes you may be upfront, also. That is Rabia, may Allah
    bless her.  Every night, from sunset to sunrise, she would pray one thousand rak?ts.  Yes, she
    had pleasure in being with her Lord Almighty always.  But we say our prayers quickly, to run
    away, if we even come to pray.  Now in our time more ladies pray than men; if you look, you
    can find that at this time they are more than men ? double.  It is for this reason that the
    Prophet Muhammad (sal), said that when the time approaches for Qiyamah, the Last Day, you
    will be able to find more religious people among ladies and more among villagers than city
    people.

    Rabia  prayed every night, never becoming tired.  The Prophet Muhammad (sal) said, My Lord
    made me love prayer, salat, as I love my eyes. As he said, Prayer is Mihraj (that is, for each
    individual worshipper, salat, the Islamic prayer, has the significance of an ascension to the
    Divine Presence similar to the Holy Prophet's ascension to Heaven and to the Presence of his
    Lord during his Mihraj) for Allah's servants.  He gives them the honour of Mihraj when they
    pray.?  These are such people as understand what honour is, the perfect honour, and perfect
    pleasure and perfect satisfaction and peace.  When a person is with his Lord, he gives his
    whole life to be with Him.  For this reason earlier people (among Christians more than among
    Jewish people) built monasteries on mountains.  For what?  To be with their Lord (that was at
    the beginning; later they enjoyed themselves and fell down).  Therefore, the perfection of
    religions is in Islam and perfect pleasure for mankind is in praying.  To the extent that people
    can pray, can worship, that way is going to open to them.

    Rabia would sit in the desert and around her deer were sitting and listening, yes; as a cat
    comes and sits in front of you, in that way they were listening. They know the good people
    and also the bad people, and the cruel people as to who they are.  She sat reciting the Holy
    Qur?an and they listened.  Don?t be surprised that those deer came and listened to Rabia al-
    Adawiah.  Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran that when David (alai) recited the psalms, the
    mountains and everything on those mountains and the birds would come and listen to his
    heavenly recitation.  In such people there are examples for you, O Sons of Adam, O believers.  
    The path is correct; you can go on it.  But we do not go on it; we go after our egos.  It is
    tasteful, going around after our egos!

    Of what are we in need?  We are in need to be patient.  People have lost patience now;
    therefore they do not come to pray.  Praying needs patience; if no patience, you can't pray.  
    You must be patient so that you may pray and you may taste.  Without being patient you can't
    reach that pleasure.  Everything is going to be difficult at first, not tasteful, but afterwards it is
    going to be tasteful.

    Hu Rabbi! Rabia al-Adawiyah said, ?At first, when my sheikh gave me the zikr Allah Allah
    Allah Allah Allah Allah Allah it was so heavy.  But I never gave up my wird and my dhikr, as
    my grandsheikh had ordered me.  Allah Almighty sees when you are bearing that difficulty for
    the sake of the love of your Lord.  He opened to my heart from His divine love.  I left
    everything else when that pleasure came.  Now no zikr can be tasteful to me except to say
    Allah Allah Allah.?

    What does it mean? O my Lord, I like to be with You, to be with You.  But people of no mind
    are objecting, What is dhikr. Animals do not understand about dhikr.  There is a well-known
    saying, The one who does not taste does not know. The one who tastes it, knows.  All of you
    are mature people except this boy.  This boy does not understand what mature people taste; as
    yet he does not know.  Therefore, those people who object to dhikr, to tariqats, are still like a
    little boy, children yet, not understanding. May Allah make us to know, to taste.

    Now people are of two kinds.  Some of them reach maturity and taste during this life.   The
    second kind of people do not taste; they go, they die, before maturity.  They can't get into the
    first group.  The first kind of people are going to be with their Lord forever because they say, ?
    O my Lord, I want to be with You. For this reason we say, Allah Allah Allah Allah Allah? or
    we say, La ilaha illallah, la ilaha illallah, la ilaha ill-allah, and dunya calls us, our nafs calls us, ?
    Come to us, and we refuse, saying, No! La ilaha illallah, la ilaha illallah. I am asking for no one
    else.  When we are victorious, we will say, Allah Allah Allah, and everything will say with us,
    Allah Allah Allah, the whole universe making dhikr.  That is sultan adh-dhikr (The repetition of
    the holy Name Allah is referred to here as the King of dhikrs or litanies of remembrance of
    Allah Almighty).  May Allah give us His dhikr's pleasure.

    There was a lady, also, They are telling me to say for the pleasure of our daughters and
    sisters, Grandsheikh Abdullah's mother's sister-in-law.  She was always saying, La ilaha ill-
    Allah.  La ilaha Illallah.  La ilaha illallah.  La ilaha illallah.  La ilaha illallah.  La ilaha illallah, and if
    anyone said something to her, she would say, O my son! O my daughter! May Allah also
    make as tasteful for you as He has made for me this La ilaha illallah.  Tasteful, sweet, La ilaha
    illallah.  La ilaha illallah.  La ilaha illallah.  La ilaha illallah.  La ilaha illallah, with the rosary-
    tasbih (The repetition of Allah?s Name, generally using a string of one hundred beads (also
    called tasbih or subhah) to count or maintain concentration).  Even at the time of sleeping, her
    fingers were moving, never stopping and still she is in her grave like this.  May Allah make His
    dhikr, His remembrance, tasteful for us, also.



                                                 






          

THE BLISS AND PLEASURE OF LOVE

after the

HEAVINESS OF STRUGGLE
Sheikh Nazim
THE STORY OF RABIA AL ADAWIYA'S STRUGGLE