Posted in Words of Wisdom

Allah’s magnificence in you comes with your surrender


Shaykh_London2013From: Murshid Shaykh Taner Ansari

Allah is wise. Allah is merciful. Allah is all knowing. Allah is the accountant. Whatever attributes that are covering you and that you are utilizing are Allah’s. Allah is using you to manifest these attributes in different degrees.

As your surrender increases, this manifestation increases in you according to Allah’s will, not according to your will. Whoever Allah loves and manifests His qualities to a greater degree is closer to Allah. However much of Allah’s magnificence is being manifested in you, it belongs to Allah. Everything is Allah’s. We have nothing.

At times, some people refer to a shaykh as a big shaykh. What’s a big shaykh? A big shaykh is the one who has surrendered more than anybody else has. Allah’s manifestation of His attributes is more in him than in anybody else.

Posted in Events, London

‘Madness of Majnun’: Sufi Benefit Concert, with Poetry

Sunday 12 October 2014, 6pm – 8:15pm

Kensington Unitarians, 112 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill Gate, W8 4RT

He was told: “What if Layla were not?” He said: “I would have wept her into existence.” – from ‘Majnun Layla’ by Qassim Haddad

This event is a voluntary donations concert towards the completion of a new Sufi centre, but you are welcome to attend in peace regardless of your contribution.

We are delighted to have the Turkish ney virtuoso Murad Ferhad. He is joined by Stanislaw Vidya on Bulgarian flute (kaval), Cheong Li on Chinese violin (erhu), and Khaled Hakim on daf and vocals to perform traditional Sufi music. There will be a specially created piece on the myth of Orpheus.

Poetry from Orpheus and Eurydice, Majnun and Layla, and the Persian Sufi poets.

We would be so pleased if you brought something small to share in a little feast with everyone – even if it’s just a tangerine.

Grand Shaykh Taner Ansari of the Ansari Sufi Order will be there to talk about the new Sufi Centre and to lead a short zikr meditation for humanity.

Suggested donation of £8.

For more info: or ring 07821 182696

(kindly supported by Kensington Unitarians)

Posted in Words of Wisdom


by Murshid Shaykh Taner Ansari

Shaykh Taner Ansari
Shaykh Taner Ansari

Your expectations are very important. What are you expecting? Can Allah give you both? Yes. At the end of the prayer, we say, “Rabbanaa ‘aatinaa fid-dunyaa hasanatan wa fil ‘Aakhirati hasanatan wa qinaa azaaban naar.” This means: “Allah, give us goodness in this world and in the Hereafter and protect us from the torment of fire.” Remember that Allah is able to do all things. It’s all up to you. What do you want? Which program do you want to sign up for?

But each program has a consequence. In the ehli Dunya (people of the world) program you work hard, but you don’t get anything at the end when you die. In the ehli Akhira (people of the hereafter) program you get a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But in the Sufi program you get a lot of this, none of this, and all of that. Which one?

In the Suratal Waqi’ah (Chapter: The Event), Allah says that Allah divides people into three groups on the Judgment Day: the ones whose books are given from the right hand, the ones whose books are given from the left hand, and the ones whose books are sent before. We’d like to be in the group whose books have been sent before. In other words, paying our dues here and NOW, not in the Hereafter or in Hell.

As Sufis we make sure that when we die, we don’t owe anybody anything. We have paid for our mistakes here. We want to pay our dues here and be free and clear because we just want to be with Allah. We don’t want to talk about our debt before Allah.

Posted in Words of Wisdom

Sufism is a Training Program

by Murshid Shaykh Taner Ansari

Shaykh Taner Ansari

Allah says in the Quran-i-Kerim that He has put the summary of what you are supposed to do on your neck. The Sufis believe that this is zikr. Our bodies are doing zikr all the time, whether we are aware of this or not. Your heart is saying “Allah, Allah” with every beat, and your lungs are saying “Hu, Hu” with every breath. Everything in the universe is making zikr all of the time as well, whether we know this or not. In this way, Allah showed us the path to the target. The target is Allah. Then, Allah created distractions in order to separate the sincere from the insincere and to test the true believers to see who would keep their attention on Allah and who would become distracted.

Allah has also shown us how to disregard these distractions. All of the rules for right behavior that are contained in the Quran-i-Kerim are designed to bring you to the target and to help you avoid the things that will distract you from Allah. Sufism is a training program that helps you to learn to be a single-minded and single-targeted person. In order to reach the target, you need the training, education and discipline of Sufism. You also need perseverance and patience, wisdom, light, obedience and good intentions. You particularly need the intention to learn.

First step is having the intention to go to Allah. Then Allah sends teachers who act as guides to help people learn what they need to learn in order to get to the target, which is Allah. Thus, everything comes from intention and communication. This is implicit in Allah’s manner of working things out. He understands how our minds work and knows what kinds of things distract us. Allah is the designer of our physical makeup, including our brains. Our brain is one of the most important parts of the body—it is the command module that houses all the buttons that affect our behavior and thoughts. Allah is in your heart and He tells the brain what to do, but there are many other forces competing for your attention as well. Shaytan is competing for your attention, the television is competing for your attention, people who want to sell you things are competing for your attention. Everyone is after your attention but your attention is supposed to be directed to the target. Unless you have a firm focus on the target, you will be diverted.

How can we avoid these distractions? That is where the laws of Allah come into play. There is hakim (wisdom) in the things that Allah tells us to do. These laws are all designed to appeal to your brain and to provide you with the means and methods to keep your focus on Allah.

For example, Allah says that if you want the world, He will give it to you but you will have no share in what comes after this world. He tells the believers to lower their gaze and protect their eyes from forbidden things. If you do not follow this rule, your attention will go to whatever you are seeing with your eyes. The image of that thing makes an imprint in your mind, which distracts you from the target and takes you away from Allah. On the other hand, if you occupy yourself entirely with the things that take you to the target, then they will help you get to the target. It is that simple.

Posted in Words of Wisdom

Sufis Must Have Above Average Actions

Shaykh Taner and Shaykha Muzeyyen Ansari in Germany (August '14)
Shaykh Taner and Shaykha Muzeyyen Ansari in Germany (August ’14)

By Murshid Shaykh Taner Ansari


Remember that we are Sufis. This means that we are above-average people. We have to have above-average actions. It is expected of us to do the best action, not just what is expected by custom or practice or what our neighbors do. For example, it is expected for us to have compassion for our enemies. That is what our Prophet (pbuh) had. Each time they swore at him or tried to hit him, he asked Allah to forgive them because they did not know any better.

Once upon a time, you did not know any better either. Earth is a school. Everyone starts with nothing and begins learning and leaves with some degree of knowledge, that is, whatever they have accumulated during life here on Earth. But no one comes here in a perfect state. We have to tolerate every one’s incompleteness because we are in a learning stage no matter how old we are.

The Prophet (pbuh) talks about the men who used to sit on the saffa in his mosque. This saffa was a raised area or platform in the mosque. A certain group of young men used to come and sit on this saffa and make zikr. They were called the Ahl-i-Saffa, people of the Bench. These were the ones who desired to be closest to the Prophet (pbuh). In these stories they are shown to be the people who are raised up, indicating their rank in connection with the Prophet. This rank comes from following a higher order of behavior, as we have been discussing.They wanted to be closest to the Prophet (pbuh) in order to understand, to learn and to model themselves upon the Prophet’s behavior. That is what we should do too.

P. S. We are Sufis. We are expected to do above average action. This does not mean we are better than anybody else and we do not claim to be better than anybody else. as a matter of fact, we are not our target, Allah is.