When you are occupied with outward forms, you lose the meanings.  Therefore, the one
    who is occupied by looking at outward things by externals is going to lose his inner life.

    Religion is not only an external structure which has outward forms but it has an inner
    reality too.  Now in our time our scholars are making Islam, only an outward form and
    are speaking on and on about those magnificent forms from the outward aspect.  But they
    can’t imagine how magnificent it is inside.

    However it is so difficult to enter into the internal side.  There are guardians, asking from
    those who are trying to enter, an identity card and asking them, “To whom do you
    belong?  What is this identity card?”  If a person shows an identity card saying, “Servant
    of his Lord,” and if it is signed by the Prophet Muhammad (sal), and by his sheikh, he
    may enter; if he has a real identity card of being ‘abd-Allah, the servant of Allah Almighty,
    then the doors will be opened for him to go in.  But if his identity card shows, “This is a
    worker for devils,” or “A slave of his ego,” or “A slave of this life or of dunya (the
    material world),” he is refused; he can’t enter.  Whoever is sometimes for his ego,
    sometimes for Satan, sometimes for dunya, sometimes for hawa, a slave to his desires,
    never gets in.

    Therefore it is so difficult for a person to be successful, to make himself free from the
    hands of his ego and from dunya or from the hands of Satan.  Therefore we must
    consider what is in Islam.  We must look at that magnificent structure, the edifice of
    Islam, to see what is in it and what it is for.  For what is Islam, for what purpose?  What
    is the main goal of Islam, of Iman, of praying and of fasting?  Are they ends in
    themselves? Yes, we must know.

    Worshipping is not an end in itself.  They are not ends but rather they are the means of
    taking you to your Lord’s Divine Presence by making you His obedient servant.  And to
    be an obedient servant takes you into His Divine Presence.

            
THE INTERNAL ASPECT

which is neglected

DUE TO THE OUTWARD FORMS

Sheikh Nazim