14 July 2015 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
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)
In summary, we explained the importance, rewards and benefits of the halaqa, fadeelat al-halaqa, to sit in a circle that was recommended and in the middle it will be empty because angels will descend and do dhikrullah, as mentioned in the many Hadith. The question came, “Where must women sit?” and it is recommended that ladies sit in rows behind the halaqa with space of two meters, six or nine feet behind the men. Also, when the dhikr is finished, the ladies depart first and then the men, as in the time of the Prophet (s), he ordered the women to leave before the men and when all the women left, the men can leave.
The Nine Principles of Fadeelat al-Halaqa, Rewards of the Dhikr Circle
We said there are nine different principles of the halaqa in order to achieve the full reward:
1. There must be a representative that is approved by awliyaullah, as in the time of Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil (q) when he assigns someone it means the shuyookh have given permission to that person to run the halaqa and these shuyookh will be connecting their permission all the way to the Divine Presence of Sayyidina Muhammad (s), al-hadara an-nabawiyya.
2. As the Prophet (s) said:
أَفْضَلُ مَا قُلْتُ أَنَا وَالنَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ قَبْلِي يَوْمَ عَرَفَةَ : لا إِلَهَ إِلا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ
The best of what I and the Prophets before me have said on the Day of Arafah is “laa ilaaha illa-Llah wahdahu laa shareeka lah.” (Bayhaqi)
“The best of what I said and all prophets before me is the kalimat laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammad rasoolullah.” So we explained these two, and we come to the third one.
3. This one is really scary, because if there is any mistake you will be thrown out of baraka and not get the benefit of halaqa and lose that what the Prophet (s) mentioned:
عَنْ أَنَسٍ - رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ - ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ - صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ - : " إِذَا مَرَرْتُمْ بِرِيَاضِ الْجَنَّةِ فَارْتَعُوا " قَالُوا : وَمَا رِيَاضُ الْجَنَّةِ ؟ قَالَ : " حِلَقُ الذِّكْرِ "
Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet (s) said: "When you pass by the Gardens of Paradise, avail yourselves of them." The Companions asked: "What are the Gardens of Paradise, O Messenger of Allah?" He replied: "The circles of dhikr.” (Tirmidhi)
So when you decide to sit in the halaqa, most important is to have the correct intention: first is to sit and connect your heart with the Divine Presence and remember Allah (swt); this is the purpose of all halaqas around the world. You must know that Allah (swt) is present with you and looking at you when you recite from His Beautiful Names and Attributes, and you don’t know with what Beautiful Name Allah will dress and bless you. There are Ninety-nine Allah's Beautiful Names and Attributes, but awliyaullah say there are infinite number of Names. You have to be careful what Name you are connecting to; you cannot say, “I am connecting myself to the Divine Presence” and then in your meditation, dhikrullah, when you recite ‘laa ilaaha illa-Llah’ and then you are losing the meditation on the creation of Heavens and Earth.
So what is important is rafa` al-khawaatir, to take away all the bad gossips and bad inspirations that come to you and to be careful. Like what happened to Sayyidina Adam (a): when Iblees came and tried to throw some gossips in the heart of Sayyidina Adam (a) and he ate from the tree. It has a spiritual interpretation of Grandshaykh (q) that is something else, that Sayyidina Adam (a) did not eat from the tree, he did not make that ma`siyya, but that the dharraat of human beings, the smallest particles of human beings, were present inside Sayyidina Adam (a) and they made him to move to eat from the tree that Allah forbade him to eat.
So rafa` al-khawaatir, taking away all these gossips, is very important when entering the dhikr to be clean before Allah (swt). That is going to be a struggle, prepare to defeat Shaytan, because as soon as you enter the halaqa making dhikr, lots of gossips come from Shaytan. An example of that is when you sit like that in your house there are no gossips of Shaytan, but as soon as adhaan for Fajr or Zhuhr or `Asr is called and you want to enter into prayer, all kinds of gossips enter your heart. That is to show us that Shaytan is after us when we are praying to Allah (swt). The only thing that keeps us safe from Shaytan is ablution. So take ablution and keep it during the day. When we go to halaqat adh-dhikr you must have at least ablution and preferred is to have a shower. You cannot come to dhikrullah with no ablution. If you lose wudu during the halaqa, leave it and make a new wudu. So it is a struggle, and you must know that if you cannot defeat Shaytan when you are in the halaqa, then you must leave the dhikr as you are harming the ones beside you on the right and left; if you cannot struggle, fight and prevent these gossips you are harming the one beside you.
4. As the Prophet (s) said to his Sahaabah (r), if you do not wish to lose your action, your `amal--praying or fasting or dhikr--then keep your heart safeguarded from harming those who are on the right and on the left. You are at that moment producing lots of negative energy that will hit the one on the right or the left, and the Prophet (s) told the Sahaabah (r) better at that time to leave if you don’t want to struggle against Shaytan's power. If you don’t do that you will be khaa'ib, disappointed, as you will not get any benefit or reward from dhikrullah.
5. If someone comes or goes during dhikr, don't look at him, you have no right to look right or left. to speak, to sleep or to joke. You must throw away any action that is not connected to the action of halaqat adh-dhikr. Even if someone falls down and dies, you have no right to go and touch him, until the halaqa is done, because you are disturbing a very sacred ritual in religion. The dhikr is for Allah and it is greater than anything else. If one dies or ten, you don't touch them until the halaqa is finished. Don't look at what people are doing, your intention is to make dhikrullah, and remember when you say “Allah, Allah” or “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Allah” Allah says:
أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي
I sit with him who remembers Me. (Hadith Qudsi. Ahmad, Bayhaqi)
This means Allah’s Manifestations of His Beautiful Names and Attributes are there. How then can you be away from the Presence of Allah (swt)? Then when you really connect your heart to Allah, you will see visions that you cannot stop, and that is for advance mureeds: they can see visions coming through when making dhikrullah.
6. You have to accept and believe that the representative that has been assigned, that the absolute permission has been given to him on deciding what to recite, what to read and whatever inspiration comes to his heart. Don't judge or argue with him, as the shaykh appointed him, so you must follow. Also, we have to know that the one assigned for halaqat adh-dhikr has been tested by the shaykh and it is not our business to argue, but we just follow.
7. You notice this a lot: yesterday when we were reciting dhikrullah before Maghrib, I was going to stop it when they say salawaat on the Prophet (s) in a loud voice. They were saying “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” also, but if they are not on the same sound and the same voice, it is better not to make it jahree, loudly because everyone has different tone of voice and it is going to be chaotic to the ear and it will disturb the heart. So when you make dhikrullah, you have to make sure your voice blends in with the others, and all the voices have to be on the same rhythm, not one high and one low; otherwise, then the halaqa is gone because it is like someone is shouting and shouting, there will be no more softness in dhikrullah. Not only that, when the voices don't blend in with each other, the angels will run away. There will be no angels so it is a waste of time. If you know that you cannot blend in, then don't raise your voice, keep it low, and let those who can blend in together. This is very important condition of the halaqa to let voices blend in the loud dhikr. If you are in hidden dhikr, it is no problem. We have to be very careful.
8. Ask istighfaar before we begin and also when we finish. With the first forgiveness, you are cleaning yourself, being washed and showered by istighfaar before you enter the halaqa. When you finish dhikrullah, then you make istighfaar again for anything that Shari`ah and Tariqah cannot accept, such as any gossip. In-between the beginning and end, you must fix your sitting and must not move about unless you are in pain.
9. The representative must know the different levels of istighfaar. If he doesn’t, it means he is not up to the standard to lead the dhikr and there is doubt about who appointed him. So if he appointed himself or a so-called ‘shaykh’ that does not have any spiritual powers appointed him, that representative is not up to the standard to guide people. That is why we ask Wahhabis who say, ‘There are no guides in Islam, you guide yourself,’ why are they guiding themselves by the four imaams Imam Abu Hanifa bin Nu`man, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi`i and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal? All the Muslims around the world follow them. Salafism is not a madhhab, the Salaf were those pious ones up to three centuries after the Prophet (s), and only those three centuries and finished; all the rest are guided by the four imaams. Alhamdulillah this is our answer, that we must have guides also in this time, and we chose our guide! For everyone is a direction to follow, so we follow that direction that will take us inshaa-Allah to the presence of Prophet (s)!
وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا فَاسْتَبِقُواْ الْخَيْرَاتِ
And each one hath a goal toward which he turneth; so strive as in a race in all virtues. (2:148)
That representative has to look to the levels of those attending when giving the advice, he can see everyone's hearts by permission of big shaykhs of the Golden Chain. That representative must be able to see the hearts of those who are listening, and according to their level he guides them to istighfaar and awraad that they do in the day or evening or in halaqat adh-dhikr. They have to always taraqqub, observe themselves in order to be beneficial to their followers.
If you do that kind of halaqa 40 times successfully, with all the principles and rules, then Allah will make you ascetic, to drop dunya from your heart. If you do another 40 halaqa of dhikrullah with all the principles, then Allah will make you also drop Akhirah, which means He will take you to His Love, to the Love of the Prophet (s) and good people:
مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُولَٰئِكَ رَفِيقًا
With those whom Allah has blessed among the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the Martyrs, and the Pious Ones. What wonderful companions they are! (Surat al-Nisa, 4:69)
To be with those good people. That is according to the principle of Sayyida Rabi`a al-`Adawiyya (q): “O Allah! I am not worshipping You to attain Paradise or for fear of Hellfire, but only because I love You. I am not interested in dunya or Akhirah, I am interested in Your love.”
That will take you to the Station of Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa, following the Prophet (s). That is the power of the halaqa of dhikrullah. There are angels that come down and do dhikrullah with you who come from Jannat al-Ma’waa, the Seventh Heaven, and they will raise you to Jannat al-Firdaws. Allah will make that halaqat adh-dhikr a piece of Jannat al-Maawaa or Jannat al-Firdaws, as in the Hadith of the Prophet (s), “If you pass by the gardens of Paradise sit there.” Allah will make that place where you are doing dhikrullah a Paradise. If you were not able to reach that, then they give you the benefit of dhikrullah and the Seven Heavens other than Jannat al-Maawaa and Jannat al-Firdaws.
Also, if you keep these conditions during the halaqa, Allah will make you sabab, a cause for those from Ummat an-Nabi (s) who will be punished in Hellfire. If there are 70,000 of them in your area written to be punished because of their sins, if you recite 70,000 “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” in the halaqa, you will take the 70,000 sinners to Paradise as they are your neighbors. That tajalli coming down on you and spreading to them will turn their sayyiaat into hasanaat because of you and the halaqat adh-dhikr. So the halaqat adh-dhikr is very important and you must follow these nine principles and tack them to your forehead and emember them always and you will end up in Paradise, inshaa-Allah.
It is said that who says “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” but his heart is fully connected with dunya without remembering Akhirah, he will get a benefit from 700 to 7,000 rewards. These rewards are oceans where no one has the knowledge of how big they are. They are a Hidden Treasure, as mentioned in the Hadith:
كنت كنزا مخفياً فأحببت أن أعرف فخلقت الخلق
I was a Hidden Treasure (and) I wanted to be known, so I created Creation. (Hadith Qudsi)
It is a Hidden Treasure that Allah will be hiding and keeping for you. Saying “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” is heavier than the Scale. If a person makes dhikr “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” and his heart is in fear of Allah, Allah will give him hasanaat as much as between Heavens and Earth, and as much as between East and West. If someone will make dhikrullah of Laa ilaaha illa-Llah with full love of Allah, the Scale cannot carry it. Whoever recites “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” for two-and-a-half months, he will buy himself from Hellfire, Allah will reward him. If he recites “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” for two-and-a-half a second time, he will be resurrected with Sahaabah (r) and `Ulamaa al-Muttaqeen.
May Allah forgive us. May Allah bless us. We close this topic on Fadaa’il al-Halaqah, and inshaa-Allah next time we will see what we are going to discuss.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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