The Millennium Discourses is a collection of discourses or dars given by Etsko Schuitema replete with wisdom and insight. Within the Darqawi Sufi order a dars is usually delivered by the shaykh or a designated muqaddam (representative) after a session of dhikr (remembrance or invocation), when all concerned are in a deep and quiet state. It is never rehearsed or prepared, it is spontaneous and can be described as the process whereby the shaykh teases out a theme which becomes apparent to him in the few moments of silence that follow the final recitation of Qur’an after the dhikr.
When one participates in the dhikr circle, one eventually starts to be connected by and with the other people in the circle. One stops existing as an isolated individual. The people who on a routine basis do dhikr together become connected in the unseen. This connectedness creates the possibility of great openings for everybody concerned. It is as if, when people sit in the dhikr circle they form a lens that focuses the Divine Light to such an intensity that it dissipates; any darkness within and the assumption that they are separate from existence. Those who sit in the circle become peaceful, undistracted and undisturbed, because they have pursued and failed frequently enough to have given up. Their eloquence is in submitting, not in commanding. It is a handing over of control rather than being in charge.
These discourses should therefore not be viewed as a position taken in a debate. They should be viewed as a totality and mulled over in order to taste the state of both the shaykh and the company of fuqara at the time. A further point of interest regarding this particular series of dars is that they were recorded in 2000 and 2001, a very significant time for us all. It was a time when the combative confrontation between Islam and the West had taken on both global and millenarian proportions. This means that there is a theme sitting at the root of these discourses, which is a struggle with what it means to be appropriate in these highly polarised times.