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Adab in the Naqshbandi Tariqah, Part 3

Ramadan Series 2015, Vol 10

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

2 July 2015 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. As-salaam `alaykum wa rahmatullahi ta`aala 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. Alhamdulillahi ’Lladhee sharrafanaa bi shahri ramadan al-mubarak wa nahnu ‘l-yawm fi ‘l-khaamis `ashr minhu `aad-allahu ta`ala `ala ‘l-ummati ‘l-islaamiyyata jamee`an bi ‘l-khayr wa ‘l-barakah.

Every action that we do has to coincide with what Allah likes and every speech we give has to correspond to what the Prophet (s) likes. Also, every matter that concerns us in dunya has to be required through Shari`ah, we cannot do something that is not accepted by Shari`ah, and that is the real adab. We use adab in many matters and everything has its own adab. For example, you cannot put Holy Qur'an on the table upside down, it has to be facing upward so Surat al-Fatihah is at the top. Adab for Holy Qur'an is in how to carry it, nor can you put it on the floor. Everything has adab. In your prayer you have to show adab and also cut all bad gossips that come into the mind as much as you can. Talking to someone in a nice way is adab and everything in dunya is based on adab.

With his question, “When is the Day of Judgement”, when the Prophet (s) was on the minbar giving a khutbah, the Bedouin showed adab to the Prophet (s), who gave an answer that made all human beings come into what the Prophet (s) likes. You know the Bedouins come from the desert, so they are not refined like gold is refined, and he addressed the Prophet (s) like he addresses someone from the desert, “mata ‘s-sa`ah yaa Muhammad?” and the Prophet (s) did not like to answer as that relates to Judgment Day, so he waited for Sayyidina Jibril (a) to come with the answer. So the Bedouin asked a second time, although he did not respect the Prophet (s) by asking him directly, and then a third time he asked, and Jibril came and said, “Allah sends salaam, answer him,” so there was a heavenly order. Look how humble the Prophet (s) is; he did not say to himself, “That one came from the desert and did not speak to me nicely.”

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ

Say, "I am but a man like yourselves.” (Surat al-Kahf, 18:110)

Prophet (s) came with adab to teach the Sahaabah (r). They did not like the way the Bedouin was speaking with the Prophet (s); within themselves they were not happy, especially Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r), but also they could not say anything out respect for the Prophet (s).

The Prophet (s) said, “What have you prepared for Judgment Day?" Like when you are going camping, you prepare all kinds of provisions such as food, knives, forks, bread, rice. So the Prophet (s) asked him “What have you prepared for it?” and he (s) knew the Bedouin would not say he prepared barley and wheat; no, he wanted that jewel to come out of the Bedouin for the Sahaabah to hear! He said, “What have you prepared? It is a long travel,” coming from Australia to here, East to West, cutting a huge distance to come here, it is such good adab coming so far.

Allah (swt) said:

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ

O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer.

(Surat al-`Araaf, 7:31)

“Take your ornaments to every masjid,” but in reality it is not only that, it is to “take your spiritual ornaments”, which is to stop backbitingm spreading rumors and doing false actions that are not accepted when you want to go to a masjid: clean yourself! That’s why the Prophet (s) ordered us to prepare for Jumu`ah by taking a shower before going to the masjid, it is adab. Grandshaykh and Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil used to prepare for Jumu`ah on Thursday night and then take another shower to prepare for the lecture, as we need to clean ourselves from Shaytan every moment and they wanted to be clean as much as possible, although we cannot say perfect.

So the Bedouin got what he needed and knew he could not prepare wheat and barley, but must prepare spiritual food. What is the best spiritual food that you must take for the Last Days or Judgment Day? Although is was a Bedouin he had a strong, intelligent mind and a heart full of al-hubb al-ilaahi, love of the Divine Presence and the Prophet (s)!

That Bedouin replied to Prophet (s), laa min kathrat as-salaat wa la min kathrat as-siyaam, “Not that I prayed too much or fasted too much, I have to do that, but I love you, yaa Muhammad!” How great is that, coming from someone who only loves sheep and goats in the desert? He said, “I love you, yaa Muhammad! That is my contribution, my provision that I am going with: with every breath in and breath out I am meditating on that on love of Allah and you!”

How big is that? It is not like us, we are weak, but Allah is giving us a chance in every moment: “O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer.” The ornament of the Believer is to love of Allah, love the Prophet (s) and love of awliya, not to put a medallion [of hilya or na`l sharif]; no, you put a spiritual medallion that Allah (swt) and the Prophet (s) can see, that angels hang on you due to that love!

What did Rabi`ah al-`Adawiyya (r) say to show her adab and love, like the Bedouin? She said, “Yaa Rabbee! I love You with no limits, there is nothing in my life but Your Love. If You put me in Paradise, shukran yaa Rabb, and if you put me in Hellfire, shukran yaa Rabb; that is my love, even I would not feel in Hellfire due to my love of You.”

So the Bedouin said, “I love you, yaa Rasoolullah!” then the Prophet (s) gave an answer based on that. If he had said something else, Prophet (s) would have answered differently. When the Bedouin showed the highest adab that he loves Prophet and said, “I love you,” the Prophet (s) said, “You will be resurrected with the one you love.” That is out of love. All of Shari`ah, Ma`rifah, Haqiqah and `Azeemah, all of the specific attributes and descriptions in your understanding Islamic principles, show that however much you love Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s), that is what Allah requires of us!

Grandshaykh `Abdullah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q) said about Awliyaullah, “Don't ever think that you are highly sincere and pious.” Yet never, from the beginning to the end of their life, none of their `ibaadah was in perfect adab and Shari`ah; he said they all tried their best, but they all showed their inability to complete perfect worshipness of whatever Allah (swt) or the Shari`ah asked them to do. No one can hit the ceiling, no one can be on the roof: as much as you try to raise yourself by struggling against the ego and perfecting yourself, you may go up and up, you become a wali and sincere person, but you cannot fulfill the requirements that Allah asked of us.

It is very difficult, because whatever you do has to be perfect, which is why only the Prophet (s) achieved what Allah wants of perfection, because Allah raised him and perfected him:

أدبني ربي فأحسن تأديبي

My Lord perfected my good manners and conduct. (Ibn `Asakir)

So when Allah perfects it, there are no holes in it. For Awliya there are small holes, but for us there are big, huge tubes, with small holes then the water will drip out of the holes, leaking, slowly, slowly, and later it will empty if you don’t refill it, but for us it is broken so everything goes quickly and nothing remains.

What Allah requires from us is completely impossible to achieve, but your duty is to try by walking that line in that direction and whether you achieve it or not, your duty is to just do it. Your duty is to pray Salaat al-Fajr now, even though too many gossips came your ears and you did not achieve perfection, but you did what you need to do. Gossips came, but Allah (swt) will erase that from our mind and will not punish us for the gossips coming without our control, they come and they come and you cannot control them.

The Prophet (s) said to the Sahaabah (r) when he took them to Mt. Uhud, where the sun rises from the opposite side, so when Ishraaq came and the sun was rising, reflecting its light on the Sahaabah (r), so their shadow was in front of them.

The Prophet (s) asked the Sahaabah (r), “If anyone is able to catch his shadow, I will give him my jubbah."

You know everyone will fight for the jubbah of Prophet (s), so they tried to catch their shadows and as fast as they went, still they were all unable to catch it, until they reached the foot of Mt. Uhud, which is a mountain from Paradise. Grandshaykh `Abdullah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q) said if you put all the mountains on Earth on one side of a scale and put Jabal Uhud in the other, Jabal Uhud will outweigh them all as it carries a lot of secrets! The Sahaabah (r) ran and tcould not catch their shadows until they reached Jabal Uhud, because it is a holy place.

Then the Prophet (s) said, “Turn towards me,” as he was behind them. They turned to him and he said, “Now run towards me,” and they ran and their shadows were behind them, and they continued until they reached the Prophet (s). He said, “Dunya is like that: when you ran after your shadows you could not catch them, so don’t waste your time running after dunya, it is like your shadow in front of you, you run but you cannot catch it. When you showed adab by facing me, and showing love to me, that is showing you love Allah (swt) and you came to me, then dunya was running behind you and became your slave. When you were running after dunya you could not catch it, you were a slave to dunya, but running towards me the dunya will ran after you.”

So this is teaching them adab, for people to be able to carry what Allah wants from us in Shari`ah and in Haqiqah. It is very difficult to come to perfection, there is no way. You will be raised up, but not in the way you think, like, “Oh, I am showing adab, I have to be on the top.”

In Holy Qur’an, Allah commanded the Prophet (s), “Say, ‘I am only a human being, like you,” and that is not to humiliate the Prophet (s), but to show his level of adab!

So what do awliyaullah recite daily, as we said before? “Yaa `Afoow, yaa Ghaffaar”, remembering to ask forgiveness of Allah, which is adab: Allah is teaching us the adab, “Don't come to me directly, My Messenger is there.”

وَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا

Enter houses through their [proper] doors. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:189)

Enter the homes from their doors, you cannot jump in from window. Allah teaching us in Holy Qur'an, “You cannot come directly to Me”, when they oppress themselves by not achieving the requirement of adab, meaning their egos oppressed them, which is the spiritual interpretation, “They have to come to you, yaa Muhammad.” The literal meaning is, “When they oppress themselves, go to Sayyidina Muhammad (s).” That is adab as he is assigned to speak to the whole Ummah!

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:64)

“When they are oppressors, jaa’ooka, they know there is no door except through you, yaa Muhammad. They need for you to make istighfaar for them, although they made istighfaar, but it is mixed with their bad manners and bad character, so they have to come to you, yaa Muhammad, and they make istighfaar, which has to be cleaned, then you make istighfaar on their behalf. When they do that it is cleaned, because you are on the highest level of adab, where Allah (swt) said and is confirming to all Children of Adam--both those who are alive and those who died-- “Verily you, yaa Muhammad, are of a tremendous character!”

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِي

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

What is “tremendous”? I can say this is a tremendous meeting of 50-60 people, to me it is tremendous, because usually, for example, if you are sitting with 2-3 people then 50-60 people arrive, it is tremendous. If there are 100 people, it is more tremendous than only 50 people. When you have 100,000 people it is more tremendous, but still you are not approaching the horizon [of greatness]. That means adab never ends, you are continuously approaching. When we show adab to the Prophet (s) then showing that your door is the only door to Allah, and the Prophet (s) is Rahmatan li'l-`Alameen, then he will dress you with his tremendous character, which might be bigger than this entire universe, as compared to Heavens, the galaxies and planets are nothing, like a ring in a desert!

So adab is to go to the Prophet (s), he is the door Allah mentioned it in the Holy Qur'an, then who will guide you? You need a guide to guide you, you cannot go with your ego, bad desires and bad adab to make salawaat on the Prophet (s), you have to be clean! So `ulama and sincere, pious Awliya guide you, and an example our shuyookh gave is that a mureed, student, human being, has to put three signs, or Mawlana mentioned ‘three nails’, meaning three principles:

1. If you are in the West and your provision is in the East, you will be ordered to go collect the provision that Allah has mentioned to you, like an ant has been ordered. You might die on the road and you cannot reach without spiritual power, but you have to say, “I have been ordered to go from West to East.” Then you move like an ant, you don’t say, "I might die on the way," no. You have to move as Allah said, “Whatever the Prophet (s) gives take it.”

2. If they gave you broken shovel and said, “Dig, you will get your amaanah, Trust”, but people say, “How to dig? That broken shovel will not reach down even three meters!” They are using their minds. If you tell someone, “Take this is broken shovel and dig, there is a diamond there.” what will he do? He does not care anymore, broken or not broken, he will dig because of his love of dunya! First our teachers say, “You will get your amaanat, rewards if you dig by doing your prayers,” but people close their ears, they don't want to hear what Allah is saying. So adab is to dig, not to ask questions. That is what Allah ordered, that is Shari`ah and you cannot give wrong excuses to yourself.

3. If someone gives you a bucket and says, “Take this bucket and empty that ocean!” and when you take the water it spills out and goes back to ocean, still you have to do it as you might find a diamond in there!

How do they find gold? They go to a mine, sift rocks from water and find gold or diamonds. When there is something like that you use a bucket, but when Awliya say, “Empty the bucket and you will get your spirituality, then people say it is impossible. Nothing is impossible for Allah! He likes sami`na wa at`anaa, that we listen to Allah and obey, we listen to the Prophet (s) and obey, and we listen to our sincere scholars and obey, as Allah (swt) said:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Say (O Muhammad), "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surat Aali-'Imraan, 3:31)

And still we have a lot more to know about those who are sincere.

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


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