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Adab of the Naqshbandi Tariqah, Part 10

Ramadan Series 2015, Vol 17

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

9 July 2015 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah

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 nawayna 's-siyaam, lillahi ta`ala fee hadha 'l-masjid wa ‘l-`itikaaf liman ya`takif.

As-salaam `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh. 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. Alhamdulillah `alaa ni`amihi zhaahiran wa baatinan wa nasa'luhu ‘l-tawbata wa ‘l-maghfirah wa ‘r-ridwaan li ‘l-haadireen wa ‘l-ghaa’ibeen.

The Meaning, Power and History of Khatm al-Khwajagan

We begin our session today by understanding the meaning of Khatm al-Khwajagan, that dhikrullah that we do usually on Thursday in the time of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), and in on Friday after `Asr in the time of Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani (q). The Khatm al-Khawagan, that awraad we recite, is like a washing machine washing us of all kinds of sins that we have done the week before up to the week coming. Every person wants to wash his clothes and wash his body, and the Prophet (s) urged through many ahadeeth that someone who takes shower on Friday and goes to the masjid, and taking shower means cleaning himself of all kinds of dirt, both physical and spiritual, who then makes ghusl and goes to the masjid, all their sins will be erased. So these showers can erase all the sins you have done in the past week. It’s not only that, but it takes you to the original time, as Grandshaykh (q) said, and as the Naqshbandi shaykhs say, when Sayyidina Muhammad (s) was migrating from Mecca to Madinah, all the souls of those who are in the Naqshbandi Order will follow and all those souls in other Tariqas will follow, and they migrated with the Prophet (s).

It is said that the Khatm al-Khwajagan was initiated by the Prophet (s) to Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) and from them to Khwaja `Abdul-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q), and he is the imam of Khatm al-Khwajagan. The Khatm means to finish a wird that has been given to you, and it is of two kinds: the small one and the big one. The small one is the one we usually do every day by ourselves, or on Thursday or Friday, and the big khatm is done on 108 stones. We won’t describe the procedures, but we might mention some of the small khatm.

Benefits of the Khwajagan

So why we do the Khwajagan? It is to clean and wash you of all anger, arrogance, bad manners and sins of the week before and it is to clean you and Allah will bless you and dress you with endless rewards when you decide to go to those who are doing the khatm, visiting the shaykh who is doing that, and it is becoming a spiritual place. As Grandshaykh (q) said, as soon as you decide to go there, angels are assigned to accompany you, like today famous people have fans who follow them; Awliyaullah assign someone to be responsible and fans to the one who decides to attend Khatm al-Khwajagan. Allah assigns angels to be with that person who is attending the dhikr, and you will not be alone, you will be dressed with angelic powers of those angels that accompany you.

Proper Preparation to Attend the Khwajagan

Adab of the Clothes You Wear

So the first thing we need to know is we have to dress in clean clothes when we go, not as we are dressing today, as someone might do dhikr in dunya clothes and might not change his clothes, and if there is some dirt on them the benefit of the Khatm al-Khwajagan is not perfect. So their recommendation is to take a cold shower, even in winter. I heard someone say, “Allahu Akbar,” which is good; it means he can explain to us the meaning of the gesture when he said “Allahu Akbar” that subhaanAllah, how much it is difficult to prepare for the Khatm al-Khwajagan, saying “Allahu Akbar,” where you express in Arabic the way he said it, it is very difficult for everyone.

Adab of the Shower

The order of the shuyookh is very difficult, to take a shower with cold water, but we see many people swimming in cold water among the ice, so why they can and we cannot? Some people might object why this Tariqah is so difficult, to take a shower with cold water, while there are non-Muslims taking showers with ice water! And Grandshaykh (q) and Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) said, and this is from his notes, “Who cannot find cold water,” and who cannot find cold water, “then use warm water,” he reduced it. So if you cannot have cold water, no problem, use warm water, but the intention is where you get the rewards: you made intention to get cold water or might be there is no cold water or he is sick so he cannot use cold water, but he will get the reward of using cold water even he used warm water. This is the first step in Khatm al-Khwajagan.

To Persist in the Higher Ways: the People of Determination

Now people might say, “I have been with my shaykh many years and he did not open on me all the ma`arif , `uloom and the secrets, why didn’t he?” That is because we are not following the way of Azha’im, People of High Determination. There are also Ahl al-Rukhsa, the People of Low Determination. The high ones take the shower with cold water and the ones who take with warm water are of low determination, and there is a big difference. The one who does with cold water are following the order, this is the first step, because the cold water will wake you up and you remember when you use cold water coming on your body, you shiver. For Tariqah if you shiver or don't shiver, you die or don't die, no problem, because you are going to Akhirah to find a better life there. So their objective is to take you to the highest level in Akhirah, where you say, “Yaa Rabb! I took a shower with cold water, not warm or hot water.” Today the people are taking with the rukhsa, the easy way out, and they are not following the harsh and hard way. Those Awliyaullah used the hard way and Allah opened for them. If you use the hard way, as Sayyidina Abu Bayazid al-Bistami (q) said when he was asking, “Yaa Rabb, open for me Your Door,” after many years he was insisting and persisting to get the Door opened and Allah (swt) said, “Leave your self and come, utruk nafsaka wa ta`al,” and that is not easy!

Shari`ah and Tariqah Recommend the Shower to Relieve Sins

We might say, “I am leaving myself. I am sitting after Fajr for half-an-hour or one hour.” Don't tumannin, don’t praise yourself and make an excuse, saying, “yaa Rabbee I am doing it.” No, you are not doing anything, you cannot do a favor for Allah, you are doing a favor for yourself if you follow this. That is why there is Adab ash-Shari`ah, the etiquette we must follow, and also Adab at-Tariqah, a protocol to follow. That is why they say in Shari`ah that you took that water when you are in need of shower, when you were junoob, and with that shower all the sins will drop from your body, even from your fingers, and you will be relieved of them by taking a shower. Even Shari`ah recommends that, and Tariqah recommends that, but unfortunately we are lazy.

Know Who is Conducting the Khwajagan and Show Respect

So when you decide to attend the Khatm you have to know who is going to be inside that room of the Khatm, that hall or that masjid. Who is there? Every time the khatm is performed by anyone, even by yourself alone, because Khatm as-Sagheer has to be conducted every day, are we doing it every day? No, we are not doing it. Khatm as-Sagheer, Grandshaykh (q) ordered that it has to be done every day. The big Khatm with the stones has to be done once a week. Now Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) saw it would be difficult for people, as it would be difficult for mureeds, and was doing it on Thursdays, he carried it. When he was young he conducted the Big Khatm and still they do it in Middle East. The Small Khatm is for daily, it takes only 10 minutes, but we don't take things with determination, we take it simply that we did something and that is it.

Now if someone very important invites you, if a president invites you, you shower, don't you. And not only shower, you might pour all the perfumes that your wife has over you in order to go, because you know there is a president there. What do you think about when a Wali is there? What do you think if there are not only a Wali, because this is the Golden Chain and you are at the bottom of the Golden Chain, which goes from down to up. So if you have a chain connected with a wire or thread, if you want the chain to make a sound what do you do? You shake it from the bottom, then all these links in the chain are shaking, shaking until they reach the top.

That is how Awliyaullah work, they don't go directly to the Prophet (s), that is not adab, that is why they go from one Wali to another Wali. For example: from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) to Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q) to Great-Grandshaykh Sharafuddin all the way to Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (q) to Sayyidina J`afar as-Saadiq to Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) to Sayyidina `Ali (r) to the Prophet (s). So when you move one link from the bottom all the chain moves up. That is why when you ask support, you ask support of the Wali that you connect to, and there are 124,000 Walis around the world, and there are high levels and there are lower levels. When you shake the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi Tariqah of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), for example, that will move to Grandshaykh (q) and all the way up. So when you decide to go to attend, this is second step after the hot water or the cold water in attending the Khatm al-Khawajagan: to shake the chain from the bottom and it will reach all the way to the Prophet (s). That is adab.

You Must Acknowledge to Yourself Both Your Public and Private Sins

So how do you prepare to go there? You must know you are going with all your sins and you must focus on all the sins you have done from the past week to the current week. You have to remember all the sins you have done in public in day-to-day life and the hidden sins: the sins people can see and the hidden sins you know you are hiding. We don't know what you are hiding and I know what I am hiding and I know the sins that people can see. There are sins you must acknowledge that you did publicly in open light and there are sins you did secretly between you and Allah.

For example, a public sin would be when you are coming late in the afternoon to pray Salat azh-Zhuhr nearly at the time of `Asr, and people can see that and say you are praying late. You can do that in Shari`ah but it is not recommended, in Tariqah you can, as in Shari`ah, but Awliyaullah will not raise you as when you pray as recommended, which is within one hour of adhaan.

You Must Pray within One Hour of the Adhaan

I am quoting Grandshaykh (q) on this issue. He said:

If you pray your prayer within the one hour of the adhaan, not delaying it, it will be written with high rewards, especially in these times, that Allah will open a tajalli and reward you with the benefit of having done Hajj. If you pray your five prayers on time Allah opened from His Endless Mercy more than He opened before and the rewards will be equal to Hajj, so five prayers, five Hajj, if you really want to step into Tariqah, which is not easy, there is lot of struggle.

One time Grandshaykh (q) said that if someone comes to a majlis, for example like this gathering, “I am going to assign 1,000 coins to that majlis, so everyone who comes, even if 100 people, they take 10 coins and if 50 people then each will take 20 coins. I assigned that amount of money. I am giving 1,000 coins, whether you come 50 or 100 it is the same.” Then Grandshaykh (q) said, “Look at Allah's Mercy on the Day of Promises when everyone who acknowledged Allah (and we all did) was dressed with endless rewards.” However, when we came to dunya and we did not comply with what we promised on the Day of Promises, so that rahmah that was supposed to go on them will go on those who decided to do what was ordered. In Tariqah it is the same, therefore, when you go for khatm, based on the power of the Wali you're following Allah will dress the People of Tariqah, the mureeds, with that tajalli because the Wali will ask Allah (swt) to dress them for the sake of the Prophet (s).

Preparing our Thoughts and Intentions: Establishing Our Mindset

So you attend and the benefit of those who did not attend will be given to those who attended, it will double and double and double. Also, we must think about we are going to such a place and go with clean minds and clean bodies, and we must remember our sins and repent them before we go there. He said, Yatadhdhakir ma zhahara wa ma batan min aathaamihi wa ma`aasi li ya`taqid annahu ‘l-`aasi al-mufrit, “He must remind himself of both his external and internal sins, and he has to believe that he is the only one with excessive sins and the biggest sinner.

فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ

Don’t praise yourself. (Surat an-Najm, 53:32)

Don’t praise or give excuses for yourself, come against yourself, that is the importance of Khatm al-Khwajagan. Fa yastahiqq adh-dhahaab ilaa dayyin bi mukhaalafat nafsihi, “When he thinks that way, that he is the excessive sinner, then he says, ‘I have to go there, because I know there will be change in my life and change in my sins and Allah will forgive me my sins for the baraka of coming on that majlis,” and he says, ‘Yaa Rabbee!’ after he decides that and after his taking shower and going to Khatm al-Khwajagan at the masjid, he has to think that all the souls of the Masters of Naqshbandi Golden Chain are there ready to dress him in heavenly clothes when he comes with this adab. That will be done, Allah will give that permission for the sake of the Prophet (s)!

We have to say in our hearts, “O Allah! You have taken me from zhulmat al-`adam, the darkness of Absolute non-Existence, you pulled me out of non-Existence into the Light of Existence, from `adam to wujood, and you have blown into me from Your Rooh”, as Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي

I breathed into him of My Spirit. (Surat al-Hijr, 15:29)

Allah blew into me from the Soul and He created for that person. You have offered me the best of mind, and You guided me to Your Tawheed, an`amta `alayya n`im laa tuhsaa, You have blessed me with endless favors that I cannot count.” All of this you have to remember when you are going to attend the Khatm. “You have exposed me, You have introduced me to the Prophet (s) and the the Inheritors of the Sahaabah and the A’immah and Awliya! You have opened to me all the realities with which You honored me on the Day of Promises, but all that You opened to me I dirtied with my sins, and my heart died from being full of that dirtiness. Fa nawaytu yaa ilahee bi-hadha ‘l-ghusl tatheera ‘l-jasadi min hadhal-najaasa, I intended with that ghusl to clean myself from that dirtiness, for that to make my heart alive and clean it with the water with which You created everything alive:

وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ

We made every living thing from water. (Surat al-Anbiyaa, 21:30)

Wa bi-maa’i ‘t-tawbati, “I am coming to You with the water of repentance, so accept this from me for the sake of Your Prophet and Awliya.” Then pray two raka`ats and recite three Shahaadah, 25 times Astaghfirullah, one Fatihah, Alam nashrah [Surat al-Inshirah] seven times, Surat al-Ikhlaas eleven times, Surat al-Fatihah seven times, laa ilaaha illa-Llah ten times, salawaat ten times, then present all he read with humbleness and complete fear of Allah (swt) and repentance to souls of Ahl al-Khwajagan.

Then he leaves his house to go to the place of Khatm, and he takes clean clothes with him because when he is going from the home until he reaches the place of Khatm there might be negativity reflected on him along the way, so when he gets there he has his clean clothes in bag and dresses in them when he reaches and it will be clean. He calls on the souls of Awliyaullah, afraid from them because did not keep his promise to them, and he is mostly afraid of the Prophet (s) he did not keep his promise to him, and similarly he did not keep his promise to Allah (swt).

If he enters that house, he cannot leave even if that house is going to fall on his head! This is to know how strict the Naqshbandi shaykhs are on this issue: even if something happens, that he must finish the Khatm al-Khwajagan because that is the most important matter in the Tariqah, to perform it weekly or daily. He does not look to his right or his left, like in Shari`ah someone keeps to himself when praying: the best prayer is when you don’t give attention to the one on your left or on your right as you are between the Hands of ar-Rahman. Bayna yadayy ar-Rahman, you cannot give attention to this one or that one, it is not recommended, although you do it. Today as soon as people finish two raka`ats Sunnah and wait for the imam to come lead the prayer, they talk with each other.

Don't say, “I am 20 years or 30 or 50 yrs in Tariqah and I did not see anything!” You did not keep adab of Tariqah, you did not keep the adab of Shari`ah, you did not keep adab with your shaykh nor with the Prophet (s) nor with Allah (swt), so what do you expect?

Like the one who came to his shaykh and said, “I love you. I served you for 27 years and cleaned everything, and I am `alim in Shari`ah, hadith, tafseer and Holy Qur'an. I believe you, and I love you. These 27 years I never said to you "No", but you did not give me my amaanah, you did not open for me.” There are people who come to their shaykh and after one year want the shaykh to open to them all secrets to them, and he said, “I see many people with no knowledge and you are pouring into their hearts. What happened to me? Why is that not happening to me?”

He said, “You want me to give you that? Okay, then you go to market get a basket, fill it with walnuts and everyone coming entering he has to hit you on the head one time. You give him one walnut and he hits you give two walnuts. This is your job, finish that and then come to me.” So sit at the back of the masjid and in the story it shows, this is a story to know how much you have to be open-minded. “You take shoes and hit me one time, take one walnut, and if you hit two times take two walnuts,” and he said to his shaykh, “Are you speaking to me to do that? I am an `alim…” so that arrogance and pride was preventing him from reaching.

If we have arrogance and pride, of course they are not opening. So that is why today the Awliyaullah are hidden and they are not giving those secrets, there is no one fit, and no one ready to carry that diamond when you are ready then they give to you. They are keeping it secret to give to you on Day of Judgment, for sure you will take it on the Judgment Day or in the grave, but not in dunya unless you are able to carry it.

That is why Awliyaullah order their followers to have lot of hayaa’, shyness in their hearts, that all these Awliyaullah are present and the Prophet (s) is looking at them and looking at the awrad that person is doing, so you have to have shyness to say that you are existing, you have to see yourself dead in their presence, you have to say, “I am nothing in front of Your Prophet, yaa Allah. and in front of Your Awliya!”

When he finishes the Khatm he has to go back to his house with his eyes on his feet, and not looking backwards or forwards, right or left, unless he is driving or on camel, and he must not look left or right, only focus forward, and go home, not talking with anyone, and reach your room and then do half hour laa ilaaha illa-Llah and and that will wrap the Khatm not to be lost and then you say awda`tu hadhal-Khatm `inda habeebik al-Mustafa, I put that Khatm in the hands of al-Mustafa (s). Then that Khatm will be saved for you until Judgment Day, and then if the mureed is like that, continuing on this Way, then Allah and the Prophet (s) will open and then Awliyaullah will open on him Divine Knowledge.

فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا

So they found one of Our Servants on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge from Our Own Presence. (Surat al-Kahf, 18:65)

Significance of the Number Forty

They will open to him from Divine Knowledge and then he will assign him seclusion for forty days. What is the significance of forty days?

وَوَاعَدْنَا مُوسَىٰ ثَلَاثِينَ لَيْلَةً وَأَتْمَمْنَاهَا بِعَشْرٍ فَتَمَّ مِيقَاتُ رَبِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً

We ordered Musa thirty nights, and We completed them with ten more, thus the communion with his Lord was completed as forty nights. (Surat al-Araaf, 7:142)

Allah ordered Sayyidina Musa (a) thirty days to open for him and then He added ten more days because there was some sort of polishing more for His Prophet, Sayyidina Musa (a); He mentioned thirty days and ten more days. What is the thirty days and the ten more days? Why do we say “40” as in forty abdaal, forty Awliyaullah, forty days of seclusion, forty mihraab where different Awliyaullah prayed, forty years Sayyidina Musa (a) was lost in Sinai Desert...what does the number “40” carry? We will explain next time, inshaa-Allah; if we have time we will come to it later.

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


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