When a hen lays enough eggs, her effort is then to incubate her eggs, and we observe how she sits on the eggs, and is so committed to the process, that she only leaves her eggs for a few minutes in a day, when she needs to eat and drink.
As is well-known, it takes 21 days for the eggs to hatch - that is, if they were properly incubated by the hen. So for almost all that time, the hen sits on the eggs, and the embryo develops inside the egg in that period of time, until a chick pecks its way out of its eggshell and is hatched.
When life comes into that chick, the chick does not require any assistance to come out. It does not wait for its mother to crack the shell so that it may come out. It is able to crack the shell itself.
Once the eggs hatch, the hen continues to stay on the nest for weeks thereafter, occupying herself in raising her chicks. She teaches them survival skills and how to look for food.
Together with providing her chicks with warmth and the shelter of her wings, she passionately protects her brood from anyone who dares to disturb them. She constantly worries over them and keeps them close to her, knowing that her little ones are vulnerable to predators. …We have seen how the chicks hide under the wings of the mother hen.
A beautiful lesson is drawn from this natural phenomena :
The Saalik or Mureed who takes cover and refuge in the sanctuary of the Shaykh-e-Kaamil will find spiritual life being generated in him. The Suhbah (company) of the Shaykh-e-Kaamil is akin to the incubation process, whereby spiritual life is generated into the Mureed.
Just as there is a required period for the chicks’ development and growth, so too, the Mureed or the Saalik is required to spend sufficient time with the Shaykh to draw that spiritual life within his heart. Naturally, and it should go without saying, the intention should be sincere.
In the company of the Shaykh-e-Kaamil, the sincere Saalik finds a change overcoming his heart, he finds the love and fear of Allah Ta’ala flourishing in his heart, he finds the courage and capacity to give up sins, and he finds the inclination and strength to do good deeds.
…Many a time, through the noble company and guidance of the Shaykh, the Mureed is able to abandon sins more easily. Of course, some striving (mujahadah) and sacrifice (qurbaani) are required. …But it becomes easy to become ‘muttaqi’ or pious in the right company.
…And this is the Command and Direction of Allah Ta’ala (i.e. to be in the company of the pious):
“O You who Believe, Fear Allah and join the company of the Truthful ones
(the pious, the Auliya Allah).”
[Surah Taubah 9 : 119]
Through the Suhbah, Dua and Tawajjuh (attention) of the Shaykh, the Saalik is then able to easily crack the shells of all ma`siyyat or sins. He will be able to un-shackle himself from the chains of nafs and shaytaan. And when a person makes ‘fanaa’ of (i.e. destroys) the evil desires of his heart (qalb), Allah Ta’ala grants that heart, ‘Hayaat’ (life).
Once there is life in the heart, all parts of the body will function properly, as has been explained by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam).
“There is a piece of flesh in the body, if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoiled, the whole body gets spoiled – and that is the heart.”
Thus, the heart is the focal and central point for reformation and spiritual life. The simple and most successful means to the heart’s reformation is ‘join the company of the Truthful Ones.’
‘My journey has become easy;
Even the winds have changed direction.
…when your hand came into my hand,
Even the lamps of the road lit up.’
Like the hen, we find that the Kaamil Shaykh offers protection to those who come under the wings of his spiritual care and nurture. He guides and directs them to recognizing the predators which are out hunting them – i.e. nafs and shaytaan. He teaches them how to find their spiritual food, through various good deeds and through good character; through following the Sunnah and through practicing on Deen and Shariah.
He, himself, is constantly burdened with the responsibility and obligation of attending to them, but earnestly continues in his efforts.
The Auliya Allah are ‘mahfooz’ (protected by Allah Ta’ala) so the Shaykh-e-Kaamil is also in the special protection of Allah Ta’ala, and in this manner, those who keep his company benefit from that protection, especially against nafs and shaytaan.
…And this is the experience of those who are sincere Mureedeen and Saalikeen. It is said that those who remained in the company of the great Shaykh, Hazrat Abu Sulayman Darani (RA) did not suffer adversity or misfortune, nor did evil thoughts come to their minds, nor did negative feelings enter their hearts – such was the protection found in his companionship.
If anyone is seeking this ‘Hayaat-e-Qalbi’, the Suhbah of the Ahlullah is the simplest recourse in obtaining the same.
One of our Mashaa`ik had defined Deen as the name for ‘Hayaat-e-Qalbi’.
If a person develops ‘Hayaat-e-Qalbi’, then life will automatically come into his Deen. And the definition of ‘Hayaat-e-Qalbi’ is none other than the adoption of Taqwa. Abstinence from sins brings about Hayaat-e-Qalbi. This brings knowledge into practice. Aml comes to life.
In a Hadeeth, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi waSallam) said : ‘…Taqwa is here.’ and he pointed towards his heart, repeating this statement thrice.
Taqwa is the life of the spiritual heart. Without Taqwa or ‘Hayaat-e-Qalbi’, there is only the casing of Deen.
Presently, what we have is the shape and form of Ibaadaat. Even though our bodies are occupied in Ibaadaat, there is no spirit, soul or ‘kaifiyyat’ because there is no Hayaat-e-Qalbi, because there is no Taqwa – because there is no abstinence from sins.
In fact, without Hayaat-e-Qalbi, there are so many who can be seeing the truth, but at the same time they are not seeing; since there is no acknowledgement by the heart. Many can be listening to the truth, but in reality, they are not listening, since there is no belief and acceptance in the heart.
The heart which has no ‘Hayaat’ is a heart devoid of the Tajalli of Allah Ta’ala. Such a heart has become hardened, so much so that it is not even considered a heart…
Allah Ta’ala says regarding the Bani Israeel :
‘Thenceforth were your hearts hardened : They became like a rock and even worse in hardness.’
[Surah Baqarah 2 : 72]
May Allah Ta’ala safeguard us from the hardness of the heart, from death of the spiritual heart, and may He, out of His Infinite Kindness, bless us all with spiritual life and strength. May Allah Ta’ala afford us the good fortune that our life and death be amidst His Auliya Allah and that we too become His Friends.
By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (RA)
 Tajalli : Special Mercy