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“Do You Want Me to Tell You About the People of Paradise?”

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

18 December 2011 Melaka, Malaysia

Suhbah at Private Residence after Dhikr (2)

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. I am here not to teach you, but we are all here as students who seek knowledge. In academic studies you can say, “This is a professor, a doctor, a master,” but in Islam it is not easy to say, “I am a scholar” as there are various levels of scholarship and no one can easily reach the level Prophet (s) described as ‘scholars’. “Al-`Alim,” as you know, is one of Allah’s (swt) Beautiful Names, so The Alim of (All) Knowledge is Allah (swt). So we, as His servants, are still students of His knowledge.

As much as you become learned, you are still far from the reality. For example, in a university there are thousands of books written on Islam and still it is only a drop of water. There is much more to learn and you may have read many books, but only Allah (swt) knows everything! That is why He said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ

wa fawqa kulli dhil `ilmin `aleem.

Above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Yusuf, 12:76)

This ayah is enough to tell us that we shall always be students. It means above every knowledge, of a Gnostic, a businessman or engineer, there is one more knowledgeable, and so don’t think of yourself as being the “highest;” Allah (swt) does not like that. He said, “al-kibriyaau rida’ee, pride is My Robe,” symbolically speaking, and no one can claim that (quality). “Al-Mutakabbir” is one of His Beautiful Names, and He alone can say, “I am above everyone,” because He is the Creator and we are created. That is why Prophet (s) wanted to teach the Sahaabah (r), “Don’t raise your head, keep it lowered.” It means to humble yourself.

Prophet (s) also said, “Alaa ukhbirukum bi ahl al-jannah? Would you like me to tell you who the people of Paradise are?” We don’t know that for sure, but Prophet (s) gave us a sign of those who will enter Paradise. He said, alaa ukhbirukum, “Is it not worth telling you?” They said, “Na`am yaa Rasoolullah.” He said, kullu da`eefin mutada`af, “All who makes himself weak and helpless,” meaning the one who humbles himself, even if he is a leader of a community or whatever high position he may have. Are we humbling ourselves? Some people do and some don’t. Who is the one who can claim, “I am the best of servants.” Is it not the Prophet (s) that Allah (swt) has praised and said, “You are the best of My Creation!”

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِي

wa innaka la `alaa khuluqin `azheem.

You are of the most exalted character. (al-Qalam, 68:4)

Prophet (s) is the one who can say, “I am the best of Creation,” but what did he say instead?

اللهم لا تكلني الي نفسي طرفة عين و لا اقل من ذالك

Allahuma laa takilnee ila nafsee tarfat `aynin wa laa aqal min dhaalik.

O Allah! Don't leave me to my ego for the blink of an eye or less.

He said, “O Allah! Do not leave me to depend on my ego or my desires for the ‘blink of an eye.’” We blink between eighteen to twenty-two blinks in one minute, and Prophet (s) said, “Yaa Rabbee, don’t leave me to myself for a fraction of a minute.” I am not here to frighten you, but we are reading from the hadeeth of the Prophet (s), and he said, ad-deenu nasiha, “Religion is advice,” and so we are taking that advice given by the Prophet (s). Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “If you uphold four factors you will guarantee yourself from falling down. If you are in an association or a meeting and you want to be successful:

1. As-samt, “Don’t talk.” Be quiet and let everyone else talk, and listen to what they are saying and learn. You will hear both good comments and bad, but keep silent.

2. Al-istima`, “Listen,” to what they are saying. And this is from the teachings of the Purification of the Self, in which they teach you how to do both: to keep quiet and to listen well. People cannot keep quiet; they have this New Age talk show mentality. Allah knows what they say in these talk shows, which are coming from the east and the west, and then someone calls into the show and asks an unrelated question that throws the whole show off, or they ask something that results in a big problem. You must run from talk shows!

3. An-nadhar, “To observe.” Look at those who play chess: they are quiet, and you cannot ask them to move even though it might take two days to move one piece, especially the Russians, and they sit and observe. Also, look at their eyes; you can read their minds because when they are silent, observing, and focused.

4. Al-harakah, “Make a move.” Sayyidina `Ali said this 1400 years ago. So after keeping quiet and listening and observing and then making a move, you will be going in the right direction.

So to show Allah (swt) that he is moving in the right direction, Prophet (s) said, “O my Lord, don’t leave me to my ego for the ‘blink of an eye or less.’” How much is “less”? Perhaps less than a second, because in physics, time does not exist in the three-dimensions, but the fourth dimension, time, is only imagined. So people who study spirituality want to know through quantum physics what is the origin of time. They studied it and concluded it is a fraction of a second, and in the last ten years, they made an experiment to see how to measure that. They found in mathematics that you can go to 10-minus-22 (10-22) and they claim time can be read up to that point, which is very low in value, and if they go past that value to 10-23 then time disappeared and only energy or “taaqah” appeared, because at that point atoms become energy, which is the basis of the theory, “time equals energy.”

That is why in spirituality we say taaqah, energy is very important because you can reach people even if they are in China. If you are in Malaysia you can reach them through energy or telepathy. And there is evidence in Islam, when Sayyidina `Umar (r) was advising Sayyidina Sariya (r), who was in Damascus, and Sayyidina `Umar was in Madina. He said, “Yaa Sariya, al-jabal, keep an eye on the mountain, they might come from behind you!” Sayyidina Sariya (r) and other Sahaabah heard this, although they were 2400 kilometers away from Sayyidina `Umar! He was higher in spiritual levels and able to “see” and “hear” what normal people cannot. Sayyidina Sariya only heard and was not able to see Sayyidina `Umar.

That is an example of “channeling” the energy the way you wish, and another example is through technology. You channel the same energy through light bulbs, air-conditioning, and also through the TV or satellite. You are using the energy that Sayyidina `Umar (r) showed the Sahaabah (r) when he was 2400 kilometers away.

So with the highest level a human being can reach, at Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adna, the Prophet (s) said, “O Allah! Don’t leave me to my ego.” Allahu Akbar. Does Sayyidina Muhammad (s) have an ego? Allah (swt) sent Jibreel (a) to open his chest to take away that tiny black spot that is in everyone’s heart from where Shaytan enters, so Prophet (s) has no ego! And with this he taught us, “Don’t allow yourself be under the desire of your ego.”

That is why you see people fighting today, for a chair! Don’t leave yourself under the desire of your ego. That’s why today people are fighting and killing each other, for the chair (titles/ leadership/ power), and Prophet (s) said, “Run from the chair!” Allah gave it to him, but he ran from it. If Allah gives it to you it’s okay, but remember that Paradise is for those who are humble; Allah didn’t say Paradise os for whoever did not sin, but it is reserved for the humble. Sins maybe forgiven by saying, “astagfirullah.” That is why Prophet (s) said, “I have been sent as a messenger to perfect the human character or behavior and to raise human beings to the highest moral excellence.”

This is what Islam is all about: moral excellence! Islam is not only about praying the five prayers and fasting in Ramadan, which people do out of custom; they have been raised to pray so they are praying, but look at their character and behavior. Although the obligations must be fulfilled, Prophet (s) also said, “I have been sent to perfect you, to give you the best of manners.” So he wanted to teach the Sahaabah good manners and he said, “The People of Paradise are those who are humble.” And then he said, “Do you want me to tell you who are the people of Hellfire?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “Anyone who is arrogant and proud of himself.”

That one may think so highly of himself that he forgets one day the Angel of Death will approach, saying, “Come here!” and only by the mention of his name, that one will run. Can we say “no” to the Angel of Death? May Allah (swt) forgive us when we are dying.

Who are those whom the Prophet (s) asked the Sahaabah (r), “Who is the bankrupt one?” Does the Prophet (s) need to ask the Sahaabah? No, but he asked so as to remind them and us. They said, “The one who has no money.” He said, “No, that is not bankrupt. The one who has no good deeds is bankrupt.” They asked, “Even if he prays and fasts?” He said, “Even if he prays and fasts.” So they became worried and then Prophet (s) mentioned another hadeeth that explained it further, about backbiting.

When people backbite each other, on the Day of Judgment you will take your rights from that person, saying, “Yaa Allah, he backbited me and made fitna in my life, and interfered, and caused problems between me and my wife and my family, and I want my rights from him!” Allah (swt) takes that ones’ good deeds from him and gives them to you, and asks if you are happy, and Allah keeps giving to your satisfaction until that one has nothing left. If still you are not happy, Allah (swt) will put your sins on that one until you are satisfied, and then He will send you to Paradise! Allah (swt) then looks at that poor muflis, bankrupted one, who has nothing left of good deeds, and says, “I am The Merciful One! Are you happy with your friend?” That one will answer, “Yes.” So He says, “Take your friend with you and go to Paradise, both of you.” That is Allah’s rahmah!

وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَـاةَ وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِآيَاتِنَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

wa rahmatee wasi`at kulla shayin fasa’aktubuhaa lilladheena yattaqoona wa yoo’toon az-zakaata wa ‘Lladheenahum bi ayaatina yu’minoona.

My mercy extends to all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who do right and practise regular charity, and those who believe in Our Signs. (al-`Araaf, 7:156)

So since we have Allah’s mercy we must not fear anything, but we have to fear that we may lose Allah’s love. The goal of the `abd is His Love; as long as the love is there, don’t worry. Perfect your character, as Prophet (s) mentioned. Prophet (s) said, “If you raise two girls and they reach their maturity in Islam, you enter Paradise with no account.” Look how lucky we are and how we are blessed with the Best of Humanity.

(...) Once in a dark cave, Sayyidina Musa (a) heard someone reciting and noticed a man, and he knew that recitation in his heart, although it was not the time for it. The man was reciting, Alhamdulillah alladhee fadalanee `ala katheerin mimman khalaqnaa tafdeela.

“Praise to Allah, the One Who has favored me over many whom He previously favored, and He favored me more.” It is similar to this ayah:

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلاً

Wa laqad karramnaa banee aadama wa hamalnaahum fi ’l-barri wa ’l-bahr wa razaqnaahum mina ’t-tayyibati wa faddalnaahumwa `alaa katheerin mimman khalaqnaa tafdeelaa.

We have honored the sons of Adam … and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of Our Creation. (al-Isra, 17:70)

Sayyidina Musa (a) knew it was from the Qu'ran, for Sayyidina Muhammad (s). Musa (a) saw that man had no hands, arms or legs, so he asked, “How are you saying this?”

The man replied, “Yaa Sayyidina Musa! Allah favored me as He favored a lot,” because that man was not looking at Whether Allah (swt) gave him limbs or not, he only saw at the honor of having been created Muslim; that is enough honor and divine favor! So Sayyidina Musa (a) raised his hands and said, “Yaa Rabbee! Give him Paradise.”

The man said, “Yaa Musa!” How did he know his name? Allah (swt) was teaching Musa, “Allah made me Muslim,” to show the ni`mat of Islam cannot be compared to anything else in this life. That is why the Prophet (s) said:

لو كانت الدنيا تزن عند الله جناح بعوضة ما سقى كافراً منها شربة ماء

law kaanat ad-dunya tazinu `inda-Allah janaaha ba`ooda maa saqaa minhum shirbata maa'i.

If this dunya with everything in it had any value more than a mosquito’s wing, He (Allah) would not have given any kafir a drop of water to drink.

“If you are thankful, I give you more,” wa lain shakartum laa-azeedanakum and ghaniyyan shakir are better than `abidan faqeer. Our host helps schools, hospitals and orphans!

Do you know the story of `Abdur Rahman? Suddenly one night ten years ago, the father had a stomach ache, he ate something bad, Allah knows what, they say it was a snake. After one night his father died, and exactly one year later to the day his mother died, leaving nine orphans and the youngest was one year old. Alhamdulillah they found someone to care for them, as Allah will not leave anyone without care. Now he has married and has a child. Dunya doesn't mean anything to Allah! If you want to run after it, take it, but help others where help is needed.

That man’s wife came to me two years ago; she was not able to see. She has four children. So what we do we have to say?

wa la’in shakartum la-azeedanakum

If you thank Me, I give you more.

Alhamdulillah `ala ni`amihi, may Allah give us a lesson that everything in this dunya is going.

Abdur Rahman has six children and to provide for them he works as a auctioneer, although his hands are badly damaged. Allah is looking after him, and count how many are like that. That is why if we keep our head in sajdah day and night it is not enough, to say, “Yaa Rabbee, shukran lillah!”

May Allah forgive us and bless all of you, and bless the owner of the house as he gave us an opportunity to be here. He did his best for many people, I know without him telling me, and many people here did their best for everyone. May Allah bless them all.

Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.


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