I promised some people I'd post a few points from a recent weekend with Sidi Hakim Archuletta, on my blog...so here it is, insha'Allah...they're not a linear set of points (as he says his lectures aren't either)...just things that stuck out for me...
I should start by saying that meeting him was itself a healing for me -- his presence really warmed my heart and I found myself missing him before he even left, subhan'Allah. I pray Allah bring us together again soon.
"There is a part of the body that, if sound, the entire body is sound"
and that part is the heart.
(Hadith #6 reported by Bukhari and Muslim)
Much of his message this weekend was about coming together as a people and a community. He mentioned that one Shaykh said that the flood in the time of the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) was one of water, and that the flood of our times is one of separation. In light of this he advised us to never eat alone and added there is a hadith in which we were told that the one who eats alone eats with Shaytan. We as Muslims believe we are what we eat (so eat whole, halal, organic foods made at home!), and we are also who we eat with, and how we eat (eat with people, with your hands, on the ground!).
He touched on the long-term problems we are creating by being distant from family and friends -- situations where mothers are raising children in isolation, having to put them in front of TV sets so they can get their work done, and the adverse effects of such parenting on both mother and child.
At the heart of his message was this advice of coming together, knowing our neighbours, visiting one another, eating together, praying together, and being together.
"the one who knows himself knows his Lord."
"the believer is a mirror to his fellow believer"
Sidi Hakim also spoke quite a bit on the differences between genders. One Moroccon Shaykh said the wisdom behind men being obligated to pray in congregation while women may pray alone -- that it is partially because men need to be made to come together whereas women naturally incline towards doing so.
He brought to light the fact that it was not by any accident that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) when he received the revelation, ran to his wife Khadija for comfort and consultation. So, he said, from this men should realize the need to consult their wives, to listen to them -- he told us that Shaykh Darqawi said the beginning of the path is to hear/to listen...this means men should not always feel the need to fix things or feel their wives are just complaining, but that they just need to listen!
Sidi Hakim also spent a lot of time on some basic elements of life: breathing and standing. He made us realize that most of us don't breathe. Breath is life. The more you breathe, the more you live. Real breathing means you feel the breath in every part of your body -- right to your finger tips. He showed us how our standing is not in line with our natural way of doing so -- we lock our knees, we walk rigidly, our bodies are clamped together (especially those who pump weights!), our sitting ruins our posture...things to keep in mind in our daily lives...
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
"the root of all ailments is cold" ... so stay warm!