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Adab in the Naqshbandi Tariqah, Part 1

Ramadan Series 2015, Vol 8

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

29 June 2015 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah from Great-Grandshaykh Sharafuddin’s Notes

The Power of Sultan adh-Dhikr

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.

Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een.

Before we go back to tafsir, Mawlana has signaled to us to speak about the reality of adab in the Tariqah and what should the mureed look for when he performs his adab and what are the importance and the status of good manners in the Way of the Naqshbandiyyoon. These are notes of Great-Grandshaykh Sharafuddin, the shaykh of our Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q).

It is important to know where we stand in order to improve, because when we know where to put our feet, not on the edge of a cliff, then we don't fall, as the ayah says:

أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَى تَقْوَى مِنَ اللّهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىَ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَانْهَارَ بِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Which then is best: he that lays his foundation on piety to Allah and His good pleasure, or he that lays his foundation on an undermined sand-cliff ready to crumble to pieces? And it crumbles to pieces with him into the fire of Hell and Allah guides not people that do wrong. (Surat at-Tawbah, 9:109)

Who builds his bunyaan, building on a cliff that is falling down, is he better or is the one who builds his building on fear of Allah (swt) and piety (taqwa) better? The one who builds on a cliff will fall into Jahannam and the other one will go to Jannah, so we want to know where we stand with respect to our years in Tariqah. Some people say we have the power to represent a shaykh; this applies to all Tariqahs and it applies also to all persons as mu’min and Muslim. Wa ‘l-adab al-hifzh `alaa ’l-ahkaam ash-shar`iyy, to keep all the principles of the Shari`ah. This is from the head of the Tariqah of the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi Order, Shaykh Sharafuddin, the uncle of Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q); I am quoting from his manuscript.

The Frame of Adab is Shari`ah

We have to follow what Allah (swt) ordered us and we have to follow what the Prophet (s) ordered us.

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا.

Leave what Prophet (s) forbade and take what he ordered. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:7)

Whatever the Prophet (s) brought you to do you must do, not to do only some of it or part of it, and what he prohibited you to do you must stop doing: that is the main frame of adab. Every part of Fiqh in Islam and every ayah of Holy Qur'an has its own particular adab, its way to follow; you cannot follow from the middle or the end, but must go with the entire ayah. Similarly with Hadith, you have to keep all considerations of a Hadith, not take part from the top or bottom. Also, you are not responsible for anything that Shari`ah left out. So it is not like the mentality of Western people, that when you say the word “Shari`ah” they are afraid.

To Eliminate Shaytan’s Influence and for Benefit, Always Begin with “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem” and Send Salawaat on Prophet (s)

Shari`ah is adab and every aspect of the Shari`ah has an adab, even to do the awraad you must first recite Shahaadah, ash-hadu am laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasooluh, because that cleans us, takes away all sins, and brings you pure in front of the `amal you are going to do according to Shari`ah. So the mureed has to follow this way.

كل أمر ذي بال لا يبدأ فيه ببسم الله الرحمن الرحيم فهو أقطع أو(فهو ابتر)

The Prophet (s) said, “Any action which does not begin with ‘Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem’ is cut off; it has no continuity.” (Ahmad, al-Musnad)

Any `amal you do without ‘Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem’ is without progress and fruits. so the first thing written here is something from which you get benefit and fruits. So we begin with Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem, which means “In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful” and then we send salawaat on the Prophet (s). You cannot begin with Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem only, but must add on “Alhamdulillahi rabbi ‘l-`alameen was-salaatu was-salaamu `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een, amaa ba`d”, which is the way to begin a letter, as well. This is jumping on the train of adab. In any `amal you must try to eliminate Shaytan, because any `amal you do Shaytan will try to spoil! So the saadaat an-Naqshbandiyoon are trying to teach us adab on everything we do and we will go through it in every aspect, like when you are pulling something to become stronger and stronger, and then you move with it.

Build Your Power to Fight Shaytan

وَأَعِدُّواْ لَهُم مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدْوَّ اللّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ

Wa a`idda lahum m'astat`atum min quwattin wa min ribaati ’l-khayl turhiboon bihi `adoowullahi wa `adoowakum. wa aakhireen min doonihim laa ta`alamoonahum allahu ya`lamahum.

Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. (Surat al-Anfaal, 8:60)

Prepare as much as you can from power, and from the horses that you prepare for fighting enemies; at that time you need many more horses to fight the enemy and if you don't have sufficient power do not fight,, so that you might frighten Shaytan away in order to do your good works. Whatever you give in way of sadaqa, Allah will reward you.

Monitor Every Breath with Discipline

You have to prepare yourself to be strong in your responsibilities, an yulaahi al-mureed jami` anfaashi. That is why we say we are not mureeds, we are only lovers to our shaykh and we follow what they say, but the real mureed has to observe every breath he breathes in and out according to Shari`ah. It means if you are angry with someone and breathing in and out with anger, that will bring you down one level, then you are not a mureed when you bring anger in your actions. So the mureed has to observe every breath. Do we have that? Partially yes, a little bit, okay, especially when you look at someone and he is not sleeping but meditating on their breath in and out and you think they are crazy, but they are not crazy, the heart is connected somewhere. If your heart is connected with Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s) that is okay, but if your heart is connected to dunya life that is not okay. You see many people and when you ask them what they are thinking they are shy to tell you that Shaytan has taken them in another direction, while they are supposed to meditate on Allah and His Prophet (s), but they are in fact listening to Shaytan.

So in many Tariqahs they focus on the breath in and the breath out, like breathing in "Huwa" and breathing out "Huwa”. The real mureed must not be heedless of breathing in and out according to Islamic Shari`ah. That contemplation or meditation has to be for Allah (swt) and Shari`ah says you have to meditate to Allah's Creation as that is the way you save yourself, as Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا اطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Behold! In the creation of Heaven and Earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding, those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and contemplating the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, (saying), "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose! Glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:190-191)

Sultan ash-Dhikr is Granted to the true Sultan al-Awliya

That is our way, which is very simple and very open! If you are following it, you are following in the footsteps of Prophet (s), and you will be following in the footsteps of awliyaullah and in the footsteps of Sultan al-Awliya (q)! You will be following the way of Islam. Allah (swt) said, “If you want to control your breath, it is through dhikrullah.” Those who do dhikrullah are able to look after and observe their breath, because they breathe in and out with dhikrullah.

Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) said many times that “Sultan al-Awliya” is not an easy title, it is a loaded person that he will be in his time as sultan of everything, so it is not a word that is so simple on the tongue. He was describing what is Sultan al-Awliya, and it means he has Sultan adh-Dhikr: if he is really Sultan al-Awliya he must carry Sultan adh-Dhikr and if he does not carry Sultan adh-Dhikr he is not Sultan al-Awliya, he is a wali but that title ‘Sultan al-Awliya’ is not fit for that person. There are so many people and so many Tariqahs, and each person considers his shaykh to be Sultan al-Awliya, and while that title can be on many different levels in Tariqah, it is really for the person who is on Sultan adh-Dhikr. That is why dhikrullah is the highest means for someone who wants to enter the Door of Heavens.

So what is Sultan adh-Dhikr? It depends on the shaykh of the time, and there are nine shaykhs of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain who carried Sultan adh-Dhikr.

Sultan adh-Dhikr means who has Tayy al-Lisaan, they fold the tongue; among the mashaykh are those with the powers of Tayy az-Zamaan, Tayy al-Kutub, and Tayy al-Lisaan.

يَوْمَ نَطْوِي السَّمَاء كَطَيِّ السِّجِلِّ لِلْكُتُبِ كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُّعِيدُهُ وَعْدًا عَلَيْنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ

Yawm natwi as-samaa ka tayy is-sijjil li’l-kutubi kamaa bada’naa awwala khalqin nu`eeduhu w`adan `alaynaa innaa kunnaa fa`ileen.

The Day that We roll up the Heavens like a scroll rolled up for books (completed). Even as We produced the first Creation, so shall We produce a new one, a promise We have undertaken; truly shall We fulfil it. (Surat al-Anbiya, 21:104)

“On the Day of Judgment, We fold the Heavens like a book The entire Creation is folded in a book.” So when a wali opens the book he knows all the secrets that are there. Tayy al-Lisaan is like Tayy al-Masaafa, when they through space and time, which I observed in Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) very well Tayy al-Lisaan and Tayy al-Masaafa, to fold move in space and then unfold and appear.

So we come back to Sultan adh-Dhikr. What I saw that story is that in late 1970's the Prime Minister of Lebanon, he was a very good person, with the mayor of Tripoli, Lebanon were going for Hajj. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) was in our home in Tripoli, Lebanon. They came asking Mawlana to accompany them and Mawlana said, "No, I cannot, I have things to do. I am going back to Damascus, I cannot do that.” They were disappointed as they love Mawlana Shaykh; then the PM was Rasheed Karami. So in any case, they left and after finishing Hajj they knew that Mawlana Shaykh was in Tripoli and they came to visit and complain. They contacted us and said they have a claim against Mawlana Shaykh, a nice claim, not in the bad meaning. They came and said, “Yaa Shaykh! We love you, we invited you to come with us for Hajj and to do it in an easy way,” because as PM they do with great hospitality, “and you preferred to go with someone else!”

We were looking at them wondering, what are they saying? And the story is that when they were in tawaaf they said Mawlana Shaykh Nazim was there and they were speaking with him and they did tawaaf with him and he was accompanied by two people, one on each side, and we know these are awliyaullah. All of us knew that Mawlana Shaykh Nazim was here in our home during the Hajj. Had they seen him from afar, we would understand they confused him with someone else, but in this case, they had spoken with him!

That is Tayy al-Zamaan wa Tayy al-Makaan, like the technology that when you call someone in China, in one second they connect you. About that power or energy, as everything goes back to energy, that no one knows how it works, Grandshaykh said, “After I die you are going to see miracles in the world, beginning with people being able to reach each other in a few seconds.” That was about 60 years before all these computers and phones.

So the Tayy al-Zamaan is folding space, Tayy al-Makaan is folding time and Tayy al-Lisaan is folding the tongue to recite dhikrullah very fast. Grandshaykh (q) said that Sayyidina Bayazid al-Bistami (q) had the power to read the Holy Qur'an in a very short time, in less than one minute with that power. He said that the nine awliya that I mentioned in the book Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition (2003), go buy the book, some of them did that two or three times or nine times maximum, except one who was able to complete the Holy Qur'an from beginning to end with the power of Tayy al-Lisaan; not only one time, but with every breath in and out he completed a full reading of the Holy Qur'an!

Today if they listen to us they will say we are crazy, but we are not crazy, we saw that! We did seclusion and we saw some of these miracles, and if you did not do seclusion and did not have a powerful shaykh who can do that, you will say it is impossible. We say, may Allah open that to your heart one day.

That is Sultan adh-Dhikr, breathing in and breathing out completing the Holy Qur'an in one breath and Great-Grandshaykh Sharafuddin did that. Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q) did not speak on behalf of himself, but Mawlana Shaykh Nazim explained on his behalf, and we will not explain it as people's hearts might not except that. Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) did Sultan adh-Dhikr on every breath and he asked to die on the same day as Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and he died on Monday at age 63 years in Rabi`ul Awwal.

Awliyaullah meditate on the universe and take information; that is how they observe and control their inspirations and control Islamic Shari`ah well, and are able to correct themselves when they see themselves moving away. Alladheena yadhkuroona ’Llah, in every moment they are in control of their body. When some people stand up, they might have low blood pressure and they feel faint, so all your body must work together. …and they have massage chair to make you relax. That contemplation will be like massage for your heart. then laying down, the whole system will be... and so that will take you to meditation and contemplation in the creation of Heavens and Earth, meaning the reality of that creation of Heavens and Earth will be opened to you with dhikrullah.

What will Sultan adh-Dhikr open? The wali granted that power can see all his mureeds individually at the same time: he sees them and looks at them and one does not overlap the other. Then what do you think about the Prophet (s)? He can see all the Ummah and all Creation and all the Heavens and all Creations, because Allah said "Laa ilaaha illa-Llah" and raised Prophet’s name with His Name to give him power to reach all Creation!

The mureed cannot be heedless of his breathing in and breathing out. That is not difficult when you train in yourself, as when you do dhikrullah and say “Allah, Allah” and meditate in your heart, time after time you will feel the heart saying “Allah, Allah” even if you close your mouth, and as soon as you begin silent dhikr you feel your heart doing dhikrullah of “Allah, Allah, Allah” non-stop. All this has to be within the limits of Shari`ah. We will stop here and continue tomorrow. So yesterday, Mawlana mentioned to go through that as mureeds need that to improve themselves.

Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfeeq bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.


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