Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
23 June 2016 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
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)
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi 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.
It is said that salutation has to be for Allah first, then to the Prophet (s), and then to the Saliheen, Sincere Ones, and that is why when you are ending your prayers, whether Fard or Sunnah, you have to read “at-tahiyaatu lillah wa‘s-salawaatu wa ‘t-tayyibaat.” The best salawaat you can read and the best `amal you can offer is for Allah (swt), and nowadays,best `amal, as Prophet (s) said that Allah (swt) said, is:
الصوم لي وانا اُجزي به
Fasting is for Me and I will reward it. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Prayer is for us, we pray for Allah to save us, it is for our benefit, but fasting is pressuring your nafs, ego, mahaabatan fillah, in love to Allah, and Allah (swt) will accept it and says, “I will reward you for fasting,” which means fasting is one of highest rewards. What will Allah reward us with? What was the best reward He gave to Prophet (s)? Mi`raaj! Allah (swt) will give the fasting person a mi`raaj to follow the way of Prophet (s) because Allah said in Holy Qur’an:
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)
So first, follow Prophet (s) and give love to him, as in at-Tahiyyaat: at-tahiyyaatu lillah wa ’s-salawaatu wa ’t-tayyibaatu as-salaamu `alayka ayyuha ’n-nabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatu, as-salaamu `alayna wa `aala `ibadillahi ‘s-saliheen. First, you are in a mi`raj ascending, so to reach at-Tahiyyaat you have to be a sincere servant. As-salaamu `alayna wa `aala `ibadillahi ‘s-saaliheen, then you are asking Allah (swt) to ascend you, because you are following the footsteps of Prophet (s), that ascension will be given to you as long as you are a sincere servant; and then your love goes to Prophet (s) and from him it goes to Allah (swt). Our mi`raj is going up to Prophet (s) with him, reaching a certain level that you are rewarded with, and everyone has been granted a different level for Ummatu ’n-Nabi (s) according to their sincerity. Narjullah `azza wa jall, we hope our levels will ascend all the time. That is why to reward us Allah made the at-Tahiyyaat part of prayers and it will be mi`raj of the mu’min. That is why when we reach the highest level by praying two raka`ts, you have to sit to do the at-Tahiyyaat, that is a mi`raj for you to be able to send greetings to Allah, to send praises and to send at-Tahiyyaat to Allah (swt). As-salaamu `alayka ayyuha ’n-nabi, “We are coming to you O Prophet (s), take us with you.” We are directing our focus to Prophet (s). He didn’t say, “As-salaamu alayhi,” but said, “As-salaamu `alayka,” which is the present tense. Anyone in prayer is in the presence of Prophet (s) and the Presence of Allah (swt). “As-salaamu `alayka ayyuha ‘n-nabi,” means as Kaf is dameer, goes back to Prophet as if addressing in the presence.
So if reaching a high level of spirituality and behavior you will be able to see Prophet, his Nour and his Rawhaaniyyah and he can appear to you in a dream and guide you and direct you. Awliyaullah are reaching that level and are being guided by Prophet (s); they don't do anything without asking Prophet (s). That is not only belief of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama`at that must also be belief of other groups. As the evidence is Imam Bukhari before he would write a Hadith he will make fresh wudu pray two raka`ts and lay down on his right side, and Prophet would come in a dream and tell him in which part to put it.
One time he was told that there is a person who has a Hadith far away, three- months travel. He went to that person by camel or horse for three months and when he reached that place he saw that person with his horse extending his hand with nothing in it but as if food in it to get the horse to approach and then when he came close he grabbed him. He turned back saying if that man can do that he can do anything. To that extend the Sahih is authentic, there is no mistake and that is why it is recommended by scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah, the Sahih Muslim or Sahih Bukhari and there are many books of Hadith. He used to see Prophet (s) telling him in which chapter to put each Hadith; every chapter in his Sahih is from the recommendation of Prophet (s) to him in the dream. This was 300 years after Hijra, after taking a long time to collect all these Ahadith. We have to clean ourselves in this month of fasting, where Allah (swt) said, “I will reward and provide what each needs to carry it.”
الصيام لي وانا اجزي به
Fasting belongs to Me and I reward for it. (Bukhari, Muslim)
So in that time we have to understand, as Prophet (s) had said that we must not be mutakkabbir, arrogant, be a simple person. Grandshaykh (q) said, “If an `alim is sitting and reciting Qur’an out of arrogance, it will be thrown in his face as Allah does not like the arrogant one. The one who is young and reciting and making mistakes will be rewarded more than the `alim.” He feels shy from people to hear him making mistakes, he is rewarded more than the one who knows Holy Qur’an, but it will be thrown in the face of one who is arrogant. So in this holy month, don't forget Holy Qur’an as it will be shafi`ee, interceding for us on the Day of Judgement.
Anyone who says, “I am `alim,” is jaahil, because `Ulama know the meaning of `alim, it is a siffat of Allah (swt), it is one of the Beautiful Names and one of His Attributes, al-`Alim. The `alim knows that is the Name of Allah, so if you say you are `alim you are jaahil. How can you say that in front of Allah (swt)? They instead say taalib al-`ilm, student of knowledge. You can still find `Ulama of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama`at `Ulama who, upon giving advice or a lecture, say, “We are students of knowledge, we are always in Ascension.” Their `ilm is growing up. For every moment of your life you need `ilm and that is not enough: even in the grave if you are not `alimun jaahil, you will ascend! Whoever says he is `alim is `alimun jaahil, ignorant.
Grandshaykh (q) continues), “If anyone claims I have a mind, thinking, ‘I am mature,’ he is ahmaq!”
Just because Allah gives you `aql you are not `aaqil, you are trying to be intelligent, but when you put kibriyya, pride in it, then you are ahmaq for associating yourself with Allah and that is not accepted. That means when claiming, “I am `aqil!” he does not need advice, he gives advice. This story will explain it.
In the time of Sayyidina Abdul-Qadir Jilani (q), a mureed was given permission to teach and lead dhikr and so on. He taught the followers and the mureed had a son whom he had built up to be talib al-`ilm until he was progressing very well and up to the standard of advising people. When he was granted his `ijaazah, not like they say today, a ‘doctorate,’ now everyone becomes a Doctor of Fiqh, Doctor of Hadith, doctor this, doctor that. So he said to himself after he got his ijaazah from his shaykh, “Really, I have more knowledge than my father.” And he had learned more `ilm than his father, but what he had learned was `Ilm al-Awraaq, Knowledge of Papers, not `Ilm al-Adhwaaq, Knowledge of Taste. So you are focusing on books, but not on the ‘taste’ of Islam, which gives the reality behind every book you read, every word you speak, or every story you tell.
So he said, “I am better than him. If I give the lecture instead of my father, I will make all these students so surprised and astonished, stunned, shocked, because of the level of my `ilm!” His father was `aqilu ni`mat for him! If your father is 70, 80 years of age speaking with barakah, anything he speaks will be planted in your heart and you will be rewarded for it; therefore, it is barakah for you! Even a few words he says is enough to put all his mureeds in Paradise!
Grandshaykh (q) said according to the Hadith of Prophet (s), the secret of anaa jaleesu man dhakaranee, “I am sitting with the one who remembers Me," that Awliyaullah know Allah is watching them, so they cannot be arrogant. So the real `alim who does not say, “I am `alim,” but says, “I am taalib al-`ilm” has the power to spread what he knows to all his mureeds and raise them up to his level.
Grandshaykh (q) asked his shaykh, “If I am going to accept khilafah on this Naqshbandi Order, then I must be granted that whoever comes in my association must be raised to my level," and he was granted that by Prophet (s). Therefore, even if someone comes looking for you now and sits in the suhbah beside you for five minutes in dhikrullah or advice, and does not interrupt because he sees the speaker talking, because tariqatuna as-suhbat, ‘Our Tariqah is accompanying the shaykh,’ laa yashqaa jaleesahum, the one who sits with them for even five minutes will be like them and will be rewarded as if he is one of them, even if his intention was not to listen to advice!
Religion is advice.
When he is just coming to get something and sits there, five minutes is enough to turn him into mureeds like the rest, in the same level. Grandshaykh `AbdAllah said to Grandshaykh Sharafuddin (q), “If you accept that condition, then I accept to be khalif, otherwise what is the benefit when as soon as they go out of the door Shaytan will come and too many sins will happen and take the benefit of the suhbah away? So I want them to be in my level and I will deposit them in the ocean of Prophet (s), if you accept, and I will put that as a Trust for them on Judgment Day.”
So that man has `aql because he said, “I know better than my father.” Your father has the barakah and you have the books. In books you cannot get taste, but when you have taste and books you are merging things together, you blend them in nice way, you still read books but you have a nicer interpretation. So he thought, “I hope the day comes when my father dies and I get my chance to show them what I can do!”
Because the father was a Wali, he is khalifah for what? To pull whatever comes to your heart and clean it. He saw that and felt in his heart that his son is wishing for him to die, in order to allow him to speak to the mureeds and that they will then follow him. So two days later his father called him and said, “Yaa waladee! I am sick. I want you to give an advice to the mureeds, because every day they listen to my advice, but I am tired so you go instead of me.”
Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, six months or a year of his last days, I still recall his words at Jumu`ah. Usually he made suhbah and dhikr after `Asr until Maghrib, but that day he said, “I am not feeling well.” He wanted to teach us a lesson. We went to his house and were so happy to run and tell Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) to quickly come and do dhikr and give suhbah. Mawlana was reluctant to give the suhbah because he knew that he is talib al-`ilm; he was a sincere person and saahib wilayah in the Naqshbandi Golden Chain.
He said, “I will come.”
We said, “No, we must bring you,” and we made him hurry because he had just returned from Salaat al-Jumu`ah.
Then we went to Grandshaykh (q) and he said, “Nazim Effendi,” addressing him with respect, “I don't feel well. You do dhikr and suhbah.”
It was a test. Usually Grandshaykh (q) had a hall where they did dhikrullah and a mattress or two where he sat raised up a bit so he could see all the mureeds, then when he finished we would take them away. That was ready for Shaykh Nazim to sit when he came. We fixed it well for him to sit and he refused, saying, “I am not in that level.” That is an `alim, not like the son of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s khalifah. He said, “I cannot sit there, I am not at that level yet.”
Shaykh Nazim sat on the floor next to the mattresses and when the time came for dhikr, people came in and sat, and one came from Daghestan. Daghestani people are tough, and I don’t like to say this, but they are also harsh because they have lived difficult lives in Russia in the ex-Soviet Union [where they were religiously persecuted]. So one of the assigned mureeds, I won’t mention his name, came in and went all the way past the lines and sat where Grandshaykh (q) sits, where Shaykh Nazim was supposed to sit, as it was empty because Shaykh Nazim was sitting on the floor. He took his big miswak and hit Mawlana Shaykh on his head. He is `aqil, an idiot!
He said, “This is your place and this is my place. I will conduct dhikr and khatm, you keep quiet.”
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim did not say anything, but the people were very upset, so they took him out of the majlis and screamed and shouted at him!. This is to show you the difference between the genuine `alim and the `aqil. He thinks that he has big `aqal. I don't know the Daghestani language; I managed with Turkish language when Mawlana gave suhbah, I could write it in Turkish, but not Daghestani. Grandshaykh (q) sometimes gave suhbah in Daghestani mixed with Arabic and Turkish, and I could understand it then and the meaning of the suhbah is completely different. So that idiot one, his translation is completely false, but he is `aqil, an idiot. That is the difference between `alim and `aqil: ignorance is the problem. If you are taalib al-`ilm you are okay or else you are a loser.
So the third level is the one who says, “I am rich,” he is ghaniyyun miskeen, a ‘poor rich one,’ whom you pity. So yes, he is ghaniyy with books, but he has no taste.
So we finished the story of Grandshaykh and Shaykh Nazim (q) and now we go back to the story of `Abdul Qadir Jilani's (q) khalifah. He went to the minbar, sat there and said, “As-salaaamuuu `alaaykummm wa rahmatullaaahii wa barakaatuuhuu,” in a very nice pronunciation, as when you become `alim they teach you that. He began his lecture and after two or three minutes, one after one, the whole majlis went into sleep because he is `aqil, idiot: he thought he was highly qualified to sit in his father's place as he is ghaniyy in `ilm, rich in knowledge, but not rich in taste, so it means nothing then.
Everyone slept, did not pay attention, some looked at him, some slept. We are talabat al-`ilm. He got upset, thinking, “Why did they sleep? I am trying to give them the knowledge I studied all these years and now they are sleeping. What kind of respect is that?”
What kind of respect do you have when you want your father to die, so you may take his place? His father wants to take that poison away from his heart.
He went to his father and said, “I gave them a lecture from such high level knowledge and they slept, and sometimes you give them a lecture that is so simple, and yet they listen and are awake! What is the wisdom behind this? I am giving a highly prepared lecture, but they are sleeping in mine!”
His father said, “Yaa waladee, you have to pay attention. When I give a lecture, I say this lecture is for me to fix my ego, my bad desires. The naseeha is for me to act on first, not that I should sit on the minbar like a peacock, thinking, ‘I know more than you.’ Then, your advice is like Iblees'. When Allah ordered him to make sajda he refused, he was reluctant and Allah cursed him. You give a lecture and are arrogant, but you are more in need of that lecture than them. That is the difference between your lecture and mine: my lecture is full of nour because I know my limit. You are arrogant, you don't know your limit, so go into seclusion and I will show you what to do.”
Anyone who says, “I am `alim, learned,” is jaahil, ignorant. If he is talabat al-`ilm, he is okay and whoever says, “I am `aqil, a thinker,” is an idiot, as Allah (swt) said:
وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ
Above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Surah Yusuf, 12:76)
So how can you say you are an `alim? There is an `alim above there, there is an `aqil above you that has real `aqal, not `aqal with soup of the dunya. And who says, “I am ghaniyy, wealthy with knowledge,” you are actually ghaniyyun miskeen, a poor person with what your learned from books that does not benefit anyone! May Allah (swt) protect us from praising ourselves.
Praises have to be to whom? At-tahiyyaat, when you pray two rak`ats between the Hands of Allah (swt)--then you are ready after the first raka`t, ruku`, qiyaam, sujood, and you do the second raka`t, preparing with two sajdas to Allah (swt)--then you are ready to send salutations to Allah, then arrogance is gone you are ready to move forward. That is why at-Tahiyyaat is a must, your prayer is not accepted without it. When you say, ‘As-salaamu `alayka, yaa Rasoolullah,’ when the Sahaabah (r) greeted the Prophet (s), he replied, ‘Wa `alaykum salaam wa rahmatullah.’ So when we say salutations to Allah, He sends His salutation, and then you send salutation to Prophet (s), “As-salaamu `alayka ayyuha ‘n-Nabi, peace be upon you, O Prophet!” then greetings to the `Ibaadullah as-Saaliheen, the Sincere Ones and the whole Ummah, and then you are ready to make Shahaadah, “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasooluh,” and then you wrap it with salawaat on Prophet (s)!
May Allah (swt) wrap our suhbah today with the rewards He grants Shaykh `Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (q) and Grandshaykh and Mawlana Shaykh, and wrap all that with these salawaat.
As-salaam `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.
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