Suhbah at Shah Jahan Mosque
Alhamdulillahi Rabbi ‘l-`Aalameen wa ‘s-salaam `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een.
Amma ba`d, yaa ayyuhal hafla ‘l-Kareem, hudoorikum hunaa, Your presence is here. O Muslims, brothers and sisters! I would like to thank the Woking Masjid for allowing us to come here and to spend some time with you, especially the organizers, the chairman, the imam and everyone who facilitated this program.
Allah (swt) praises Himself by Himself to Himself; no one can praise Him as He does. He is Badee`u ‘s-samaawaati wa ‘l-`ard. Hu Allah. Huwa ‘l-Haqq al-Mubeen is saying, “Praise be to Me!” Who can say about themselves like that? He said, “Praise be to Me that I created the universe. I am the Lord of everything that I create. No one can be anything except My servant and nothing more!”
Say, “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah, `alayha nahyaa wa `alayha namoot wa `alayhaa nalq ’Allah, bi idhnillah. ” Muslimeen, inshaa-Allah, mu’mineen, inshaa-Allah, muhibbeen an-Nabi (s) inshaa-Allah, muti`een lillahi, inshaa-Allah, muti`een li ‘r-rasool, inshaa-Allah, muti`een li 'oolil-amri, inshaa-Allah, bi Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Yaa Rabba ‘l-`izzatee wa ‘l-`azhamatee wa ‘l-jabaroot, yaa Rabbanaa wa Rabbee! Ighfir lanaa w ’arhamnaa...Oh Lord of Everything, forgive us! Andaka fi baitika.
Brothers and sisters, I might be the worst among all of you. We have:
فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ
Don’t praise yourself. (Surat an-Najm, 53:32)
Don't praise your ego, don't give a chance to your desires, especially the young ones.
Sayyidina Aba Yazid al-Bistami (q) was asked, "Why do you respect the young ones?"
He said, "I respect the young ones because they have less sins than me."
They asked, "Why do you respect the elderly?"
He said, "Because they have more `ibaadah than me."
Both sides, he was not giving his ego a chance to stand up. Our job is to stand up for Haqq and Haqq is not easy. Prophet (s) explained Haqq, no one today understands Haqq correctly. The English translation is "Truth," but there is more:
وَقُلْ جَاء الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا
Say (O Muhammad), "Haqq (Truth) has come and baatil (falsehood) has perished.” (Surat al-'Israa, 17:81)
Haqq here is: nothing on Earth can stand in front of the Creator, everything will vanish and be destroyed! The `amal of Shaytan will be burned and put down by Allah (swt)’s Power through His Qahr, as He is the Destroyer Who destroys all baatil! When Prophet (s) was in Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adna, Allah said, "O Muhammad, Describe Me!” Prophet said, "No one can describe You, yaa Rabb, but I can say that You are al-Qahhaar, You are The Destroyer!" The inspiration to Prophet (s) came, “What do you mean by ‘al-Qahhar,’ by ‘The Vanquisher’?” Prophet (s) said, "Yaa Rabbee, with Your Qahr, You destroy all sins. Sins will disappear from human beings with your Qahr!"
Allahu Akbar! So what is left then? Nothing! Be happy Muslims, mu'min! As long as you fast, pray, give your zakaat, do your Hajj, say Shahadah, you are in Paradise with no account! Allah, The Vanquisher, can erase all your sins with His Power! He can make Shaytan to not control human beings and be strong on them. Allah can destroy the `amal of Shaytan. What is the `amal of Shaytan? To make us to make sins. Allah (swt) will destroy that!
O mu’mins, Muslims! Allah Ta`ala is praising Himself because no one can praise Him as He should be Praised, it is impossible! Prophet (s) getting nearer, nearer, still that nearness seemed like a huge distance. It is like the horizon on the ocean: you reach a horizon and then there is another horizon, and for every horizon there is another horizon, more knowledge, deep water, more fish; the further you go into horizon after horizon, the more things you see. We cannot describe this, but we have to bring it to our mind in order to understand the greatness of Sayyidina Muhammad (s). As he approaches near, more nearness opens, more Ascension, more knowledge. In Ascension, every moment there is `ilm coming to Prophet (s). Allah (swt) opened his heart and Prophet (s) goes higher in Ascension. One of the meanings of this ayat:
وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ
Wa fawqa kulli dhi `ilmin `aleem.
Above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Surah Yusuf, 12:76)
Above every Ascension there is another Ascension as it never ends. As much as Prophet (s) is going up, new Ascensions are opening up. Awliyaullah understand that the Prophet (s) doesn't have one Mi`raaj. Is Allah poor to give only one Mi`raaj? Allah is al-Kareem, He gives without account! When He invited His Beloved Prophet (s) to Mi`raaj, do you think He counted how many Mi`raaj He opened? He is giving, “Take what you want!” That is why `ulama al-ummah say, “Prophet (s) has Ma`arij (plural), not just one!” Prophet (s) is in Ma`arij at this very moment! Don't think he is in the grave, as some say. Allah, Who brought him to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa, will Allah keep him in the grave dead? Haashaa! Impossible! Imam Suyuti (r) said in his tafseer that the Prophet (s) said:
أنا حيٌّ في قبري
Anaa hayyun tariyyun fee qabree.
I am alive, fresh in my grave.
ما من أحد يسلم عليَّ إلا رد الله عليَّ روحي حتى أسلم عليه
Maa min ahadin yusallim `alayya illaa radd-allaha `alayya roohee hatta usallim `alayh.
No one prays on me except that Allah will send back my soul to me to return his greeting.
(Ahmad’s Musnad, Bayhaqi’s as-Sunan al-Kabeer, Abu Dawud’s Sunan)
“Come to me. I will take you to the Divine Presence, but come.” Imam Suyuti (r) said that in every moment around the world people are doing salawaat. How many of us are there here, 500 or 1,000? Everyone of us is doing salawaat. Allah will send the ruh (soul) to Prophet (s) and take and send and take; do you think that astaghfirullah, Allah is playing a game? Allah sends the ruh and it is there forever, because there are always people making salawaat on Prophet (s). That “naray takbeer” is enough to burn all the sins! When you say “Allahu Akbar,” it means “Akbar” is far greater and bigger than any sin! Where is the sin going to show up? Are there any engineers or doctors here? What is the difference between ‘epsilon’ and ‘infinite’? Epsilon is the smallest you can find and infinite goes on forever. What happens when you put them together? Epsilon disappears.
When you say “Allahu Akbar,” Akbaru ’l-Akbar, it doesn’t end. Now we say ‘Allahu Akbar’ and if we say it another time, Allah will open another ocean of His Greatness to our hearts. Don’t think that our hearts are dead; with "Allahu Akbar" our hearts are alive! Prophet (s) is ascending in that ocean. When you make salawaat on him, Allah (swt) sends his soul. Meaning, as Imam Suyuti (r) said, that it is impossible that Allah will take the soul, because you might find one on top of a mountain and another one in another city; therefore, Allah (swt) is keeping the rooh of Prophet (s) in his body and that is why he said, "I am fresh alive in my grave."
So if we say, “Yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasoolullah, yaa Rahmatan li ’l-`Alameen, adriknaa yaa Rasoolullah,” do you think he will say “no.” To be generous is from the honor of Arabs, from the character of people. If you call on someone, will he not say, “Yes.” Whenever you make salawaat on Prophet (s), you must understand that he is looking at you! Look at his greatness that he sends salawaat on you, he is present for you and he sees you in the same moment. Even if all of us here make salawaat on Prophet (s), he is looking at everyone at the same time. Can anyone from human beings do that?
I cannot look at two people at the same time. To look at him, I have to turn. Prophet (s) does not need to turn, he is looking straight, seeing and answering everyone at the same time! So what are we? We are nothing!
Allah (swt) said:
لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
If you give thanks (to Allah for His favors), I give you more. (Surat Ibrahim 14:7)
More of what? Awliya thank Allah for what He has given them of knowledge. So what will He give them, more money? No. He opens more and more knowledge for them, as knowledge never ends. We cannot say that “knowledge ends,” because then you are criticising Ismullahi ’l-`Azham! As much as you give Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes of high level and respect, it is epsilon, small. With that small praising of Allah (swt) and salawaat on Prophet (s), Allah will be happy with you and give you more. That is why He said, “Praise be to Allah (swt), He the Lord of humanity,” meaning [Lord] of everything. What do you want but to be in the Hands of ar-Rahman? When you say “Allahu Akbar” and enter the prayer, He dresses you with the meaning of “Ar-Rahman, ar-Raheem.” Will there be any sins left on you then? How many words are there in “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem?” Three: “Ism,” “Rahman,” and “Raheem.” What is hidden in these three words?
Ism, is “Ism-illah,” the word is pronounced like that. Bi means “By,” the beginning of Ism. The Name is “Alif.” The letter “Baa” is an Alif in sajda to the big Alif that is standing. The “bi Ismi” in “Iqra bismi Rabbika,” the Alif is always standing and Baa is “Muhammadun Rasoolullah,” who is always in sajda to Allah (swt) and whose name begins with Alif. In the Arabic alphabet, Baa is the second letter and Alif the first, as it is “Allah,” always standing. The Baa, which is Sayyidina Muhammad (s), is laying down, always in sajda to Allah (swt).
In writing “Bismillah” the Alif was taken away; it is there, but hidden. How many words are there? “Bi-ism,” “Rahman” and “Raheem.” Which letter is hidden in all three words? The “Meem” is hidden in Ism, Rahman, and Raheem. And they are: “Muhammad,” “Ahmad” and “Mahmood.” Allahumma salli `alayka yaa Sayyidee yaa Rasoolullah!
The name of the Prophet (s) is mentioned three times in Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. In Ism the Meem is in the end representing the name of the Prophet (s), in ar-Rahman, “The Merciful.” Allah (swt) dresses him with rahmah, which is why he is “Rahmatan li ’l-`Alameen,” he is entering the Ocean of ar-Rahman. From that Knowledge and Beatiful Names, Allah is giving him rahmah.
In ar-Raheem, “The Most Beneficent,” the One Who forgives everyone by the shafa`ah. [Shafa`ah] of whom? Of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! So Prophet (s) takes from the manifestation of the Beautiful Name Rahman and dresses him with rahmah, and then with Raheem which comes at the end, Allah dresses Prophet (s) with love for the ummah to give his shafa`ah. That is our Prophet, Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! Be happy! If they open from the secrets of Holy Qur’an, this whole world would sink and still would [not fully] understand! Awliyaullah are stunned when they read! When Sayyidina Jibreel (a) came to the Prophet (s) to read Surah Maryam, he said, “Kaaf.”
Prophet (s) said, “`Alimtu.”
Jibreel (a) was surprised. “How do you know?” he asked. Allah gave all the knowledge that is behind the Kaaf to Sayyidina Muhammad (s). Jibreel (a) said, “Haa.”
Prophet (s) said, “`Alimtu.” .
One by one after each letter: Kaaf, Haa, Yaa, `Ayn, Saad, Prophet (s) said, “I knew.” He knew before Sayyidina Jibreel (a)!
How many letters are in “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem?” There are 19. If you recite it in dunya, it will go over the Balance on the Day of Judgement, as it is very heavy. If you say “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem” once, for example, if Allah is punishing someone in the grave and his son says ‘Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem,’ then according to the hadith of the Prophet (s), the `azhaab (punishment) in the grave will be lifted! As Prophet (s) covered his family, Sayyidina `Ali (r), Hasan and Husayn (r), and Sayyidah Fatima (r), with his cloak, he said:
قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى
Qul laa as'alukum `alayhi ajran illa al-mawaddata fi 'l-qurbah.
Say (O Muhammad), "I do not ask you for a reward except the love of my family."
(Surat ash-Shura, 42:23)
There are 19 angels of punishment and for every letter that you say in Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem, one of those punishments will be lifted. There are 19 letters in Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem and 19 letters in the names of the family of the Prophet (s). Meaning, they are taking from the reality of the three Meems and Allah (swt) is dressing them from the secret of Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. It is an order in the Holy Qur’an about the family of the Prophet (s). Allah said to Prophet (s), “Say to them, ‘I don’t need anything from you. I want one thing and that is to love my family, Ahlu ’l-Bayt.’” It is an order in the Holy Qur’an to love the family of the Prophet (s)! If you love them, you will win. Yaa Sayyidee, Yaa Rasoolullah, we love you! We love your family! We love everyone who says they love you! Keep us with you! Do you think Allah (swt) will leave any sin on you when you love the family of Prophet (s)? So the Prophet (s) said:
انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق
Innamaa bu`ithtu li utammimu makaarim al-akhlaaq.
I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct (your behavior and character). (Bazzaar)
Prophet (s) was sent to humanity to do what? If you go and knock at the door of a rich person asking for bread or rice, he will give or not? Yes, He will give. If you come to the door of the masjid and they are having a feast that day, they will tell you to take. If you ask Allah, al-Kareem, “The Generous,” do you think he will say “no.” No one can be “al-Kareem” except Allah, you can be “`Abdul Kareem.” That’s why Allah (swt) said:
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
Say, "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, for Allah forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surat al-Zumar, 39:53)
Don’t lose hope from Allah’s Mercy, He will forgive all sins. So if Allah has sent Prophet (s), is He not able to make everyone to believe in Prophet (s), in one declaration? Yes, but He didn’t. The Prophet (s) went through so much difficulty. He said, “I am the most abused prophet by my family and my tribe.” Why? To carry us, to carry our mistakes. He struggled on our behalf. When you struggle a lot in your life, Allah says, “What do you want? I will give you.” If you work hard in a business, what does your boss say to you? He says, “Very nice,” and gives you what you want. The Prophet (s) struggled, not for himself, but for us! If the Prophet (s) asks, Allah (swt) will Give. Prophet (s) will ask for his ummah. Do you think Allah will say “no.” He will say, “Take them to Paradise!” We will go to Paradise with no account, but we must still perform our prayers, our fast, our Hajj, our charity and all other obligations that Allah asked. Prophet (s) is confirming that he has been sent with a purpose, but in this hadith he didn’t say that he has come to establish Islam, he went higher. Although Prophet (s) came for Islam, he didn’t say that in this hadith.
What is religion and how many categories does it have? Islam, Imaan, and Ihsaan, three levels. The highest level is Ihsaan. Prophet (s) said, “I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct,” meaning Maqaam al-Ihsaan, “The Station of Moral Excellence.” To reach Maqaam al-Ihsaan, you have to be both Muslim and mu’min. The Prophet (s) was not in need to mention Islam and Imaan, as it is understood that you must perform your obligations and have imaan, but you will not be able to perfect your manners. That is why Prophet (s) said, “I have been sent to perfect and complete your good manners.” It means you will never go to the grave without the Prophet (s) perfecting you! This requires a little bit of thinking, “I have been sent to complete,” not as they translate it to ‘perfect.’ How will he complete the good manners?
Prophet (s) already took it on his shoulders that you will be a complete person when you die; he will complete your spirituality, your self, your manners and everything else, then the angels will move you to the grave. If Prophet (s) completes us, will there be anything left? If Prophet (s) is completing you, will there be any sins left? No more sins will be left written on you! But it is on one condition: you have to be a Muslim and mu'min. Not bring someone from the street once and say “I am perfect now.” No, but those who are completing their religion and doing their obligations. Although there are ahadeeth concerning the issue of someone coming who doesn’t know anything about Islam and will be forgiven if they sit among Muslims, but that is a separate issue. Prophet (s) said, “I am completing you.” If the Prophet (s) is completing us, that means we are clean.
So what did Prophet (s) ask from us then? He said, "Yaa Abu Hurayrah! You have to carry the good manners.”
Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r) asked, “What are the good manners?” There are roses here, they are good and not made of plastic, they are perfect. Imagine: which farm and soil they were planted in, which store they were sold in, who bought them and was their money halaal or haraam? There are a lot of question marks in the details of this flower vase.
Grandshaykh (q) told us a story that I will mention, about a village with a rich and pious man. He said to his son, “When I die and they put my coffin inside a room, I don’t want to spend the night by myself. I will give a lot of money for someone to be with me.” In those days, they would not put sand over the body, but place it in a room. He was a very pious and wealthy man and that was his condition. His son said, “Alright.” When the father died, the son sent a message to the village asking, “Who will like to spend the time with my father in the room for this amount of money?” No one agreed, as there was so much fear and terror to be in the same room with a deceased person. It is not easy. Some people used to go the cemetery for forty days to do seclusion. Can you do that? In previous times, when the shaykh wanted to bring his mureed higher to struggle against his desire, he would order him to go to an empty grave, open it and sit inside to do their awraad there for forty days. Sayyidah Nafisa at-Tahira (r), one of the the grand-grand daughters of Prophet (s) who is buried in Egypt, dug a grave in her house and every day would read seven juz of Holy Qur'an. On the way to Fajr prayer, Imam Shafi’i (r) would pass by her and learn the meanings of Holy Qur’an from her. Today if we sleep in a dark room, we get afraid. If someone dies in your house, you have difficulty sleeping there and you feel like running away.
So going back to the story, an elderly wood cutter decided to spend the night in the grave. He came with a rope and an axe, and that is all he had from this dunya. During the day, he would carry the wood on his shoulder and go and sell them. He said, “Wallahi, I will go and take that gold. I will be rich and live happily.” He came to the son of that man and said, “I will accept the offer.”
The son said, “Alright, I will open this after Fajr and give you the money.” So they went inside.
According to the hadith, the two angels came and asked, “Who is your lord?” Allah (swt).
“Who is your prophet?” Sayyidina Muhammad (s).
“What is your religion?” Islam.
“What is your book?” The Holy Qur’an.
So as he was sitting and waiting, making his awraad, suddenly the two angels, Ankar and Nakeer, came. They looked at the coffin and then at this man, and began to debate. “This man is dead,” they said, “we can ask him anytime, but this one is alive and perhaps, he might run away!” So they began to ask him, “What is your name? What is this with you, a rope? Where did you get it? What is the name of the place, is it Muslim or not, is halaal or haraam? How much you bought it for?” And they weren’t even finished with the rope, and they still had to ask about the axe. Then Fajr came and he ran out saying, “I don’t want the gold! They were asking me about the rope all night, how I am going to answer for gold?” He ran away.
So we have to be careful. Prophet (s) said, “I am coming to complete your good manners.” Meaning, our manners are not good. I cannot claim to have good manners, no! All of us have something wrong in us, we have to perfect ourselves. Do you sometimes get angry at home? Anger is one of the bad characteristics, we have to throw it out of our lives. The big trunk of bad manners is anger, and all the others are the branches. If you kill that, everything will be fine. When you don't get angry and smile, the opponent will get angry to see you smiling. Step on your desires, on your ego.
So the Prophet (s) said, “I came to complete you.”
Sayyidina Abu Hurayra (r) asked, “What is the best character?”
وأوصى النبي صلى اللّه عليه وسلم أبا هريرة بوصية عظيمة فقال: يا أبا هريرة! عليك بحسن الخلق. قال أبو هريرة رضي اللّه عنه: وما حسن الخلق يا رسول اللّه؟ قال: تصل مَنْ قطعك، وتعفو عمن ظلمك، وتُعطي من حرمك
The Prophet (s) advised Abu Hurayrah (r), “O Abu Hurayrah! Keep good manners.” He said, “Yaa Rasoolullah, what are the best of manners?” the Prophet (s) said, “to connect with the one who severed relations with you; to forgive the one who oppressed you and to give to the one who prevented you receiving your rightful claim.” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi)
He (s) said, an tassil man qata`k, “To connect back with the one who cut you down (reestablish broken relationships) even if he oppressed you. Can anyone do that? Yes, but it is still a struggle. An ta`afoo `amman zhalamak, to forgive who oppressed you, someone who hates you, the one who backbites you and spreads rumors against you, and that is what Allah likes. Tu`tee man haramak, “To give to the one who cheated you and took your money,” give to whom prohibits what you deserve. The one who knows you are not in good relations, he goes and speaks bad about you in order that someone else will not give you what you deserve, but Prophet (s) forgave that one also. So forgive the one who boycott you, spoke bad about you and prevented you. May Allah forgive us! May Allah not ask us, like the old man with the rope, that story is full of wisdom and is not a real story but is to teach us how to be careful in our life. Mashaa-Allah, you are here not for anything but to be with Prophet (s)!
May Allah keep us together in dunya and Akhira and dress us with Rahmat al-Was`iya.
Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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