A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.
Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,
nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem fee hadha 'l-masjid.
أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
Atee`oollaha wa atee`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.
Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:59)
As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.
He is Sultan li-man al-Mulk al-Yawm lillahi ‘l-Wahid al-Qahhaar.
لِّمَنِ الْمُلْكُ الْيَوْمَ لِلَّهِ الْوَاحِدِ الْقَهَّار
Whose will be the Dominion that Day? That of Allah, The One, The Irresistible! (Surat al-Ghaafir, 40:16)
That is what we need to put on our foreheads. In every sajda, in every ruku` , in every qiyam, in every prayer; hence, in everything we do, we have to know li-man al-Mulk al-Yawm lillahi ‘l-Wahid al-Qahhaar, “To Whom is the Kingdom this Day?” Allah is speaking from Himself to Himself, saying to Himself in His Heavenly Words that we cannot express or know in what way, this is something no human being knows. He is speaking with what we normally understand, for everyone.
Allah will order the last one, Sayyidina Israfeel (a), to blow the Trumpet and everything will die; there will be nothing left on Earth and Allah will say li-man al-Mulk al-Yawm lillahi ‘l-Wahid al-Qahhaar, “To Whom is the Kingdom today? Who can raise his head from his grave and say, ‘I am something?’” No one can say that! Since that is a Reality that will happen, li-man al-Mulk al-Yawm, Allah answered lillahi ‘l-wahid al-Qahhaar, the Kingdom is in His Hands and no one can have anything without Allah’s permission. So if we cannot understand this, we are losers. There is no power in anyone’s hands. We cannot say ‘this one is powerful,’ or ‘this one can do this or that’. A day is coming when everything will be shut down.
وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ
Muhammad is no more than a messenger; many messengers passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah will reward to those who are grateful. (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:144)
Shukran, yaa Rabb. Allah will reward all those who say ‘shukr, wa-shkuroo lee wa laa takfuroon. Allah (swt) is asking us to thank Him and not forget Him! Don't think we have power: no one has power in dunya. The only one with power is the one to whom Allah gave shafa`ah to intercede. Can you intercede? [No.] Can Awliya intercede? Yes they can, if there is permission.
مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ
Who is it that can intercede in His Presence except as He permits? (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:255)
So the only one who got that is Sayyidina Muhammad (s), no one else.
عن ابى سعيد الخدرى ادم فمن دونه تحت لوائى يوم القيامة ولا فخر
Adam (and who is below Adam) will be under my flag, under my shafa`ah on the Day of Judgment, and I say it without pride.
The Flag of Prophet (s) is always up, in both dunya and Akhirah and whomever comes under that flag will be safe. How to come under it? By reciting salawaat on Prophet (s)! We have to understand that everything Allah gave us is through Prophet (s); without him there is no rahmah on Earth, as rahmah comes from Allah being happy with Prophet (s), and He does not mind who is getting it or not, He will send and those who are making salawaat will take it.
Grandshaykh (q) told a story to show how much Allah will give. Someone said to himself that he will build a zawiya or masjid and leave it as a waqf, trust for Allah (swt), and anyone who comes there to do dhikrullah, he assigned a thousand golden coins distributed to who are present. If a thousand people come, everyone will take one coin. The next day, if a hundred people did dhikr they will each take ten coins. When Allah gives, He does not take it back because it is not from His ʿAzhamah to give and take, it is not befitting His Generosity. When Allah gives to Wali, even if the ʿabd runs away He will not stop giving. So those hundred people who were present at the end of the dhikr took ten coins each. The next week ten people came, how many coins will they take? One hundred. The week after only one person came, he took a thousand coins.
وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَـاةَ وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِآيَاتِنَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
My Mercy embraces all things; therefore, I grant it to those who ward off (evil) and pay the poor due, and those who believe Our Revelations. (Surat al-A`raaf, 7:156)
His Mercy encompasses everything we do, everyone’s `amal; that’s why in dunya Allah gives to Muslims and non-Muslims. However, to those whom Allah (swt) sent through their hearts to help and make waqf, if they were a thousand, a hundred, or even one person, they will take whatever is in that Trust. Like this group, for example, Allah assigned for them to get something after making dhikrullah, and they will not go out empty handed: not only will they take their share, but also the share of those who did not come. Allah will not say, “I am not giving it to you, I am waiting for them to come,” you will take whatever is assigned.
That is why the way Awliyaullah count is different from the way we count. We count a hundred people here today, so the rewards will be counted for a hundred people, but in Reality everyone will take for more than one. If you make one salawaat on Prophet (s), you will take the benefit of that salawaat, but if Allah sends His Mercy for two, then you will take the benefit of two salawaat. If three people come, they will not take one, but each will take the benefit of three salawaat. This Allah’s Generosity. If you make a hundred salawaat, everyone present in that dhikr will get the benefit of one hundred multiplied by the number of people present in that association. If there were ten people, then the benefit would not be just one, but ten. So Allah’s (swt) Generosity has no end.
فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ
Remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful towards Me. (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:152)
لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
If you thank Me, I will give you more. (Surah Ibraaheem, 14:7)
“Thank Me and don’t deny My Generosity and Favors on you.” That doesn’t mean kufr, kufr is something else. Yes, it means kufr in the general sense, those who are outside the religion, but in that ayah Allah is saying, “Thank Me and don’t deny Me later.” What is our problem? We get something nice, but forget to thank Allah (swt). For example, we are very happy when we get acceptance in a school of our choice, and think we did that by our own cleverness, but Allah (swt) gave that, we don't have anything. Someone pious prays and sometimes Inayatullah, Allah’s Care, is descending on that sincere and pious person and their du`a is immediately accepted. Either Allah accepts it or not. Then that person is blessed by Inayatullah. We see many people go to a sincere, pious person to ask him to pray go to that poor person that he might accept. He prays and it might be that Inayatullah is descending on that person, then that prayer is accepted.
Awliyaullah are always looking for Inayatullah, because the du`a there is accepted. That is why sometimes we see that a du`a is accepted right away or in one day, and sometimes it is accepted in one year. That is because it didn’t come at the right time. When Inayatullah is away, acceptance will not be fulfilled. Inayatullah has to be at that moment. That is why they tell you, “Fill your time with `ibaadah when you are not working or not giving time to your family, fill it with `ibaadatullah, not with sitting in front of the TV playing games. Even children now know more than the adults about games. The ma`siyya comes on the parents, because you are using the time and breath that Allah gave to you on something other than `ibaadah. You have to be very careful.
People come and say, “We need a child,” there are so many, is it not? I saw one man last year who wanted to see me, him and his wife came to the office with a baby. They said, “This is from your du`a Shaykh Hisham. We didn't have a baby for seventeen years.” They had come for du`a. They were sincere, it is not me or him or you that made it possible, but Inayatullah! He was sincere when he was asking for a du`a and at that time Inayatullah was coming down and that du`a was immediately accepted. Don't think your wife got pregnant because of your cleverness: it is because of your shaykh's du`a.
That is an example and any example you give has to be authentic. For example, someone came to one of the shaykhs of the Golden Chain asking a question in the majlis, the association of dhikrullah. One person raised his hand to ask a question, which is bad adab, but the shaykh does not mind, because the meeting is a training session.
He said, “Yaa Sayyidi, Can I ask you a question?” Everyone in the session was going to beat him, because the shaykh cannot be asked. No, he will be asked. May Allah forgive us.
The shaykh said, “Say what you want.”
He said, “Yaa Sayyidi, can you describe poverty?” The shaykh did not say anything, but he closed the session and left. Everyone was worried that they will beat up that man, whom they assumed had made the shaykh angry and they did not know what to do.
The next day the shaykh came for prayer and said, “We will have the same session at 5 o'clock,” after Asr. Everyone was about to be surprised as to why the shaykh had left. He said, “I am not angry with that person; in fact, I am asking Allah (swt) and Prophet (s) to reward him for asking this question, as it will make people to know.”
In Holy Qur’an, you see Sayyidina Musa (a) was asking Allah for everything; he asked Allah the most questions. Prophet (s) never asked even a single question, but Allah made Sayyidina Musa (a) ask questions for us to learn. So the shaykh said, “This man is inheriting from Sayyidina Musa (a)!” and everyone was happy then. The shaykh continued, “He asked me about poverty.” If you ask someone to explain something to you, they will, but it might be missing the flavor. If you don’t add spices to the food you cook, your dish will be bland. That is why you need to add spices, to create flavor. Your explanation needs spice, you cannot give an answer without taste.
When a medical student completes their studies, they cannot operate without first practicing. Everything requires practice in order that you can give a proper answer. The shaykh said, “I am a shaykh, but I still need practice,” just as a child must continue to learn throughout his life. So don’t say, “I am an `alim.”
من قال هو عالم فهو جاهل
Whoever says he is an `alim, in reality he is ignorant. (Tabarani, Nisa’i)
That is because he lost the flavor, the taste. So the shaykh said, “He asked me a question and I have to answer him, but what will I say when I myself am not experiencing the meaning of his question? I have to live in poverty in order to give an example of poverty.” Today they ask you hundreds of questions, the Internet is filled with it, but did they experience it, did they taste it? No! They quote you what is written in books, about how much reward you will get, that much for dunya and this much for Akhirah, but they are not giving you the reality to having lived with it and been part of it!
There is an Arabic proverb, “The one who is struck with a stick is not like the one counting how many strikes he gets.” How can someone answer the question of poverty when they haven’t experienced the pain of it or they consider themselves rich? ‘Poverty’ means that you have nothing. Iblees has nothing, he lost. The shaykh said, “I didn’t taste poverty, I had two or three silver coins [stashed] for emergencies.” He did not consider himself to be poor because he had those silver coins at home. “Therefore, I went home and distributed everything I had. Now I don’t have anything: not in my home, my children’s home, or my wife’s home. In case of an emergency, I have nothing. I did this so that I may be able to answer your question: now I can define poverty for you, as I am truly poor. I gave away whatever I had. I am old and unable to work, so now I feel the pain of the impoverished.”
Have you ever tried living under a bridge homeless and collecting food from garbage containers on the streets? I saw many like that in California, collecting food from dumpsters near restaurants. That is poverty. Alhamdulillah, with His Generosity, Allah granted every one of us food, water, money and everything. We have to say “alhamdulillah wa shukran lillah.” The shaykh said, “This is a very good question you asked me. Yes, I wasn’t feeling the poverty, because in my mind I knew I had those coins at home.” There was no paper money in those days, as it had no value, gold has value, but is now hidden in banks.
When you are sincere, your du`a is accepted. When you are always saying, “Shukran yaa Rabbee, shukran yaa Rabbee,” Allah says, “If you thank Me, I will give you more.” Allah gave us a good trade as He is Generous; like when you go to someone who is wealthy, they will test you in the beginning but give you lots of things when you leave. Allah (swt) will give you lots of things when you say “shukran, yaa Allah.” Make sure you send that message to everyone you know, to say “alhamdulillah wa shukran lillah” one-hundred times every day. If you cannot, then say it at least once a day. Why do we pray two raka`ats Salaat ash-Shukr? Awliya assign it to us so that we may thank Allah (swt) for His Favors. Allah knows how much you love Him and He knows everything you do, but if it is dirty, He does not look at dirty things. That is good tidings for us. Allah with His Greatness and Beauty, Jalaal wa Jamaal, Majestic and The Beauty of His Two Names: Allah looks at His servant with Jamaal, Beauty, not with anything dirty. So we have to thank Him for that. He is Seeing us and Hearing us, He is Present with us! Awliya have reached that level, wa sami`oona wa nazeeroona, He is Hearing us and Seeing us, He is with us.
أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي
[Allah said to the Prophet], I sit with him who remembers Me. (Hadith Qudsi. Ahmad, Bayhaqi)
وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
And We are nearer to you than your jugular vein. (Surat al-Qaaf, 50:16)
Allah is nearer to you more than you are to yourself! So when Inayatullah coincides with the moment you are making du`a, it is immediately accepted, this is what you have to know. If you see no response to your du`a, don’t say it was not accepted; rather, it didn’t coincide at that moment with Inayatullah, Allah’s Care. That is why you must be persistent in your du`a, keep asking! That is why the best du`as are those made in sajda when your forehead is on the floor, because the forehead is the place of sajda. Look at how delicate Grandshaykh (q) was in his affairs. When I was twenty or twenty-one, we kissed his hand or feet and he used to say, “When you kiss my hand, I am afraid you will put it on your forehead. You may kiss my hand, no problem, but don’t put it on your forehead.” Many people do that, but he said, “The forehead is for sajda. Just kiss the hand and go.” This is how much he was careful of every detail. Don’t put the hand to your forehead, which is for Allah (swt).
So the best time for acceptance of du`a is in sajda and also before saying salaam at the end of your prayer. The du`a will be accepted if Inayatullah is coming down at that moment. We lose these small details, but Allah will give them. That is why I said in the beginning that Allah (swt) inspired that man to make a place like a masjid where people could make dhikr or read Qur’an, and anyone coming there would take a coin. If a thousand people come, they will take one coin each and if a hundred people come, they can take ten coins. Allah will not say, “No, I will give you only two and keep the rest,” nor, “You take one and I will keep the rest,” no! Allah will give you the rest! What does He want to do with it? Also, He will reward you as if you said it a hundred times. So be persistent on your awraad, your dhikr, reading Holy Qur’an and Dala’il al-Khayraat. Everyone knows they can do it, because they have the time. People say. “We have no time.” The awraad and dhikrullah doesn’t take more than one hour if done slowly and 15 minutes if done quickly. Do you not have one hour a day? If you say “no,” it means you are not telling the truth. May Allah (swt) keep us under His Mercy in dunya and Akhirah.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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