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Allah Loves Worship without Expectation of Reward

Ramadan Series 2019, Part 4

From Mawlana Shaykh Nazim’s Notebook

Dr. Nour Hisham Kabbani

9 May 2019 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah

[On video, the suhbah starts at 1:17:40.]

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Laa hawla wa laa quwatta illa billahi 'l-`Aliyyu 'l-`Azheem. Dastoor, yaa Sayyidee, Sultan al-Awliya, yaa Qutb al-Mutasarrif, madad.

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. May Allah (swt) accept our humble service. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah bless his soul and raise him higher and higher, has left behind Mawlana Shaykh Hisham and we are trying to follow his footsteps.

He says, yata`abbad al-`abdu lillah, “The servant worships his Lord,” and that is what is expected, dhaak al-matloob, that the servant worships his Lord. But what does Allah (swt) expect from us? He is expecting worship without any return or exchange. He says, “Deep inside of you, O human being, there is something that pushes you to worship,” something that doesn’t appear, it is hidden inside the ego and pushes the servant to worship. The servant thinks he is doing the worship or deed for Allah (swt), but inside is a hidden desire of the ego to do that worship, there is goal, gharad, an aim and expectation of reward from that deed. Lin-nafs gharad, the ego desires something. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim says you don't know it, because that desire is hidden, but if you scratch the surface a little bit you find what the ego wants.

Subhaan-Allah, last week Mawlana Shaykh Hisham told me, “Give Jumu`ah Khutbah with one ayah and one Hadith, it’s enough.” SubhaanAllah, Grandshaykh is saying, “If we make the whole khutbah three sentences this time, the speaker will say, “What will the people benefit from three sentences? They need an hour or two to see how much knowledge I have.” This objection is from the ego.

When I was going to prepare the khutbah, and we are all in the same boat with the ego riding us, my brother came and said, “Mawlana says do one ayah, one Hadith, so two sentences, with a little bit of explanation, three sentences and finished.” So the ego objected. Many actions of public speakers, imams, and even non-Muslims are merely because the ego wants to show itself, what Rasoolullah (s) called al-shirk al-khafiyy, hidden shirk. The nafs always wants a share of that. Mashaa-Allah, some speakers, even our own people, are so clever nowadays; they talk about shirk, shirk, shirk, and all they are doing is the worst shirk; mixing truth with falsehood, advancing their own agendas and goals.

وَلاَ تَلْبِسُواْ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُواْ الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

And do not overlay the truth with falsehood, and do not knowingly suppress the truth; (Surat al-Baqara, 2:42)

Don't mix truth with falsehood! To knowingly conceal the truth is hidden shahwa, desire, that so many imams fall into. Why?


Mawlana Shaykh Nazim says the root cause of this is desire, yakoon bi sabab at-tafaakhur, is they are proud and want to praise themselves and boast, what Allah (swt) describes that as hayaat ad-dunya.

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ

Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you.

(Surat al-Hadeed, 57:20)

In Surat al-Hadeed, dunya life is six descriptions, the fourth of which is tafaakhur, to praise oneself to others. The servant praises himself through his knowledge, his voice and qiraat recitation of the Holy Qur'an, his money, power and worship, because of the ego’s hidden desire pushes him to do the deed in the first place. So in Tariqah, grandshaykhs teach us, “Worship without expectation of reward, without any exchange, but purely for Allah (swt).” Who teaches that nowadays? Only grandshaykhs teach about shirk al-khafi.

The Hadith of the Prophet (s) mentions, “The shirk in my Ummah is more hidden than the noise of the ant walking.” Who can hear the ants' footsteps? Nobody. What Allah wants is for us to worship Him without expectation of anything in exchange. May Allah make us reach that high rank, Ikhlaas, `alaa lillahi ad-deen al-khaalis. Allah wants that from us, not for us to show our knowledge to get a position in university, or as an advisor to somebody, or to make a conference to make money, or to write books and go to book signings to make ourselves even higher, unless you have pure intention, but we don't! Pure intention is only for Awliyaullah.

How do you leave your ego? Awliyaullah say you leave your ego bi Rabbik, “by your Lord”. You cannot leave your ego by yourself. We say we want to fight our ego and purify it, but by yourself you can’t, so don’t say you can clean up your ego as you cannot. Ba lillahi yuzakiyy man yashaa: Allah will purify whom He wants.

بَلَى إِن تَصْبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ وَيَأْتُوكُم مِّن فَوْرِهِمْ هَـذَا يُمْدِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُم بِخَمْسَةِ آلافٍ مِّنَ الْمَلآئِكَةِ مُسَوِّمِينَ

No, but if you are patient in adversity and conscious of Him, and the enemy should fall upon you all of a sudden, your Sustainer will aid you with five-thousand angels swooping down! (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:125)

Allah will support you: He has prepared angels whom He mentions in one verse as “alf” one-thousand, and in another five-thousand and in another three-thousand. Mawlana said Allah prepared angels row after row in the First Heaven to help the Muslims, and all you have to do is ask madad from Him:

إِذْ تَقُولُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَلَن يَكْفِيكُمْ أَن يُمِدَّكُمْ رَبُّكُم بِثَلاَثَةِ آلاَفٍ مِّنَ الْمَلآئِكَةِ مُنزَلِينَ

[And remember] when you said to the Believers: "Is it not enough for you that your Sustainer will aid you with three-thousand angels sent down? (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:124)

They’re numbers of angels ready to support Muslims to achieve nasr, victory on that ego, shirk, corrupt manners and behavior, and you can only learn this if you follow true grandshaykhs. If you follow those claiming to teach others, they themselves need teaching. So Mawlana Shaykh Nazim is saying that when you ask support from Allah (swt), He will send you the Soldiers of Light, Junood al-Anwaar. Whenever a zhulma, darkness comes to you from Shaytan from his waswas, whispering, and from al-akhlaaq adh-dhameema, the bad manners, Allah (swt) will send you a Light to push them away.

وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَاء الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَجَعَلْنَاهَا رُجُومًا لِّلشَّيَاطِينِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابَ السَّعِيرِ

And we have (from old) adorned the lowest Heaven with lamps, and We made them as missiles to drive away the evil ones, and have prepared for them the penalty of the blazing Fire. (Surat al-Mulk, 67:5)

Allah decorated the lower Heaven with lanterns of Light that are made to kick Shaytan away. So when you ask, “O my Lord! Help me against the darkness that came upon me!” Allah (swt) will send you Jundee, a Soldier of Light. Those are Awliya. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim once said, “I am a Jundee, Soldier of Light.” Allah sends them to take away the darkness of shirk and bad manners.

The more lights that come into the heart and push away bad manners, the more clarity you get. When you pray with complete sincerity, without expectation of reward, when lights come from your shaykh and from malaa`ika, angels, the first thing that happens is that you will be able to observe your Covenant. Allah (swt) will open to your vision the Lawh Al-Mahfouzh, Preserved Tablet, and then you will know your servanthood contract with Allah: specifically, what did He order you to do on that Day of Promises when He gathered everybody? He gave you something to do in this world and when you ask madad from Him, He comes to you and the Lights open to you, and you will be able to see your agreement.

Sometimes an agreement is in the drawer, but when the time comes you open it to review what your agreement was with that person, then you start fulfilling your contract. Allah (swt) will allow you to start fulfilling your contract. Everything is recorded in the Lawh Al-Mahfouzh, everything that is private, everything for time and in general. That is why some verses of Holy Qur’an are mansookh, only applied to a certain time and then another verse takes over. Some of what is written in the Lawh Al-Mahfouzh is also only for certain times and specific people, but for each of us our agreement is in The Preserved Tablet. With that Light that Allah will send, you will be able to see it, as long you do not want a reward.

I was invited to a Sufi conference, and the first thing that came to my mind was, “How many people will be there?” Where is that coming from? That is from ego that wants to be known. “Oh! There are only going to be ten people, so it’s a waste of time.” If you go there to serve Allah (swt), the Prophet (s) and your shaykh, then it doesn’t matter if there are five or fifty. Why don’t you go when there are five? As long as the ego is pushing us from the inside, we will not be able to look at the Lawh Al-Mahfouzh, we will remain in darkness and never be able to look at our agreement.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) continues: Allah wants you to read your agreement with Him and fulfill it, to be the opposite of blind. He wants you to see, to leave blindness. Whoever is blind in this life and unable to read their agreement with Allah (swt) is also blind on the other side and in worse shape than here. Yajjiban yakhruj min saffatil aamaa, “a human being has to exit from the characteristic of blindness.” That is our way in tariqah, that is why we are following Grandshaykh, so his light enters our hearts, with his light we can see our agreement. People say, “Don’t follow a shaykh!” Then who do you follow? Follow yourself, you can read, you can do this and that. “My self tells me to only go the conference if they are going to pay me $5,000!” That is goodness? No, that is expectation of something in return. So whoever is blind in this world has lost in both worlds.

Grandshaykh is saying, mafrood `ala kulli mu’min `an yakhruj min dhaak al-`amaa hattaa tuftah `aynayh “it is necessary for every Mu’min to get out of this blindness; for his eyes to open and to look on the Preserved Tablet to see what Allah really wanted him or her to do in this world.” When you look, Allah will open to you `Ilm al-Yaqeen, The Knowledge of Certainty, the highest level of faith; and `Ayn al-Yaqeen, so you will be able to view, not only know the realities; and He will open to you Haqq al-Yaqeen. So you don’t only speak about realities, you witness and become realities.

May Allah (swt) make us from those who can get that Light, Junood al-Anwaar; that is who we need, those Soldiers of Light who kick away Shaytan when it puts all the darkness on you. And when you ask madad from Allah, He sends a light to kick that whispering away; then you can achieve that reality of servanthood Allah has loaded on us. May Allah (swt) makes us from those who reach that, who can see, who are not blind. May Allah (swt) open our eyes, not just the eyes of our head, but the eyes of the heart, the `aqilah. There are two eyes, al-`aqila an-nazhariyya wa’l `aqila ‘l-`amaliyya, two eyes of the `aql in the heart: an-nazhariyya, one power to be able to see far ahead from the knowledge of Allah (swt); and the other eye is `amal, to make the deed according to that knowledge. The farther the heart goes into the oceans of knowledge the farther the deeds the servant can do. These are two eyes in our heart that will inshaa-Allah open up and we can fulfill our covenant of servanthood with Allah (swt).

What happens when you become servant to Allah (swt)? Allah will give you sama`, lisaan, basr min qudratih: hearing, speech and sight from His Power. When the servant is give power from Allah's Power you can turn this whole universe upside down. Ista`eedhu billaah.

قَالَتْ إِنَّ الْمُلُوكَ إِذَا دَخَلُوا قَرْيَةً أَفْسَدُوهَا وَجَعَلُوا أَعِزَّةَ أَهْلِهَا أَذِلَّةً وَكَذَلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ

She said: "When kings enter a country, they despoil it and make the noblest of its people its meanest; thus they behave. (Surat an-Naml, 27:34)

The Queen of Sheba, Bilqees, said, “When the sultans come to a village they ruin it, corrupt it, and seize power from the unjust ruler and give the rights back to the people.” But tyrants say, “Oh! They corrupted our rule!” According to the unbelievers, their Real Sultan, when Saahib az-Zamaan comes he will take the rulers on top and put them at the bottom, he will turn them around. That means the ego will not rule any more, rather the Muslims and Mu’mins will be put on top. That’s why we are waiting for Saahib az-Zamaan: he will turn dunya upside down, first within you. Then whatever rules you, like the inner tyrant that says, “If there are five people at this conference, then don’t attend, only consider attending if there are fifty,” who puts puts matters under your feet, it will become your servant and the Ruh and Mu’min will be on top, worshipping their Lord without any reward. The same thing happens externally: all the tyrants will be put at the bottom and Believers will be on top.

When Rasoolullah came the tyrants were put to the bottom one by one, and the Believers became the rulers. Externally it happens and internally it will happen. And we need Jundee, a Soldier of Light. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim was a Soldier of Light, and Mawlana Shaykh Hisham is a Soldier of Light. If you ask Allah to support you, He will send a Soldier of Light and when you get the power you become a Soldier of Light inside and out. May Allah make us among those who follow the Light, yukhrijahum min azh-zhulumaati ila an-noor: Allah will take you out of the darkness into the light.

During the darkness your light is Shari`ah: at night your light is the Moon, so in the darkness when you don’t know how to move you follow the Divine Message, Shari`ah. All prophets had Shari`ah: Musa, `Isa, Noah, Adam (a) all had Divine Message. You follow the moonlight to guide you out of darkness to light, and when you reach Haqiqa, Reality, then it is like you reached the Sun, you see everything. But in the darkness you need the Shari`ah, the Divine Messages that came through prophets. May Allah make us from those who follow the Light to Allah’s Divine Presence.

O Allah! Make us among those who are on clear vision following Rasoolullah (s). Allah told Prophet (s) to say, “O Muhammad, say, ‘This is my way. I am calling to God, I am fully seeing. I am not blind:

قُلْ هَـذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَاْ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي

Qul hadhihi sabeelee ad`uw ila 'Llahi `ala baseeratin anaa wa mani'-taba`anee,

Say (O Muhammad!): "This is my way: I do invite unto Allah,- on evidence clear as the seeing with one's eyes,- I and whoever follows me. (Surah Yusuf, 12:108)

Awliyaullah and Anbiyaaullah, all are following Rasoolullah. Inshaa-Allah we will be with those who are following. Yaa Rasoolullah, accept us as your followers! Ameen, ameen, ameen.

Bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.

So when you scratch the surface you find that hidden desire of the ego. When there is an invitation, people ask, “Will food be served afterwards?”

You say, “There is dhikr.”

“But, is there food?”

So you say, “Langar,” and the people will come, but otherwise, no one comes.


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