“But now in our time, we may say – and we are hearing and seeing, also – that the scholars, ulama, who came before our time were stronger than we are; they could understand more than we do. Yes, it is so. Therefore, our writers or thinkers can do only a translation from their books, changing some words and giving them back to us. They are not making their hearts work; therefore, they are taking an easy way instead of a difficult way, saying, ‘To take from those is easy.’ But to take by the way of their faith – that is difficult, so that in our time you may find so many doctors, but all of them are taking their texts, their material, from this book, from that book, making a dissertation and giving it, and when that is written and signed, they are said to be doctors. Yes, nothing from themselves. Bring something from yourself, because you have something, also.
The Prophet (s) brought something for common people so that they could understand. Then he also brought a kind of knowledge which is only for those who can understand by their faith, according to their faith, and the Prophet gave it to them. Each time, each century may be different; a lot of people’s understandings may improve, and the Prophet is giving to them so that they may understand.
A grandshaykh, Muhiyuddin ibn al-Arabi, may Allah bless him, brought such meanings that people were astonished. They were saying, ‘From where does he bring this? We are looking, looking in books, looking in the Quran. Not the same; we don’t see this. From where does he bring it?’ As at the time of beloved Muhammad (s) the unbelievers were saying, ‘We never knew of such things and no one has ever said them. From where does he bring such kinds of things (not saying ‘knowledge’)?’ Also in our time, so many scholars are objecting to Muhiyuddin ibn al-Arabi, may Allah bless him, and they are never saying that what he brought is knowledge.
That understanding – from where did it come to Muhiyuddin? Because he had very bright faith, like a very powerful light; not like a searchlight, no – like a laser. A searchlight a little boy may have.
Where was it, that laser light, before? Was it absent and then created, coming into existence, or was it already in existence? Do you think that?
No, Allah Almighty made that person to appear and make it clear. It was on earth, that power. Muhiyuddin ibn al-Arabi had such a powerful faith-light in his heart, and he saw.
And another, Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, and Bayazid Bistami; then Naqshbandi and Daghestani – don’t be astonished about where they brought that from. The Prophet kept a special kind of knowledge for those people, as Allah Almighty was ordering him: ‘You must give that to some people, not to all.’ It is private, because if someone speaks of it generally, it will be an unknowable, un-understandable thing. And if a person does not understand a thing, he may throw it away.
There is a famous diamond in Istanbul; perhaps it is one of the biggest diamonds on earth. It was found by a street sweeper. He found a stone in a dustbin, looking at it like this like that, and taking it to a maker of wooden spoons, saying ‘See what this is.’
He looked at it and saw that it was a important thing. ‘Give it to me and take this spoon,’ the spoonmaker said, giving this big spoon, wooden spoon and the sweeper put it like this. (It was important to carry a spoon in case there was rice or soup to eat. In earlier times, everyone would carry around a spoon, as one might carry a pistol.)
The sweeper gave that diamond worth millions of pounds for one spoon, a wooden spoon. And that spoonmaker took the diamond to a jeweler, and the jeweler gave a lot of money and took it from him, and then cut and polished it. Then the Wazir, the chief minister, heard that there was such a diamond, and paying money to the jeweler, he bought it.
Then the sultan asked for it and the wazir gave it to the sultan as a gift. Now people are looking at it, astonished at such a beautiful diamond. But it was with a sweeper at the beginning and he never knew its value. To him, its value was only one spoon, a wooden spoon.
Therefore, don’t think that wisdoms may given easily to those who do not understand their value. Therefore, Allah Almighty ordered His beloved Prophet Muhammed (s), ‘You must keep those diamonds, and to whomever can understand their value you must give.’ And it is written on the Preserved Tablet who may given.”
~ Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil an-Naqshbandi
Source: Liberating the Soul, A Guide For Spiritual Growth: Volume 2, page 133-5.