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Seek Forgiveness and You Shall Be Forgiven

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

18 August 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Suhbah after Zhuhr

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Dastoor yaa Sayyidi, madad.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`alaa fee haadha 'l-masjid.

كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ثقيلتان فى الميزان حبيبتان إلى الرحمن سبحان الله و بحمده سبحان الله العظيم

Kalimataan khafeefataan `ala al-lisaan thaqeelataan fi ’l-meezaan habeebataan li’r-rahmaan: SubhaanAllah wa bihamdihi subhaanAllahi ’l-`Azheem.

The Prophet (s) said, “There are two words that are very easy to say, yet very heavy on the Scale, most beloved to The Merciful: SubhaanAllah wa bihamdihi subhaanAllahi ’l-`Azheem”

This is the last day of Ramadan and we are asking for Allah's forgiveness. From two words, imagine how great Allah’s Mercy is and imagine how much it encompasses everything! Just remember two words that are very light on the tongue and very heavy on the Scale, even heavier than all your sins, so with them all your sins are erased: SubhaanAllah wa bihamdihi subhaanAllahi l-`Azheem; istaghfirullah.

This phrase is heavier than any sin ever committed in your life, and everything will be waived on the scale, by saying this phrase one time. However, take it as a tool, because people have become professional in continuing to make sins! Asbah ... fee kathrat adh-dhunoob. When one commits a sin, it becomes like his profession. He might stop for one day and then begin again the next day. What you have to do to become more professional in avoiding sins is to recite words to save you, which will be your way to safety.

For example, you might go on a highway where gangsters might be ready to attack, and certainly ou would take precaution to avoid running into them. In your daily life, it is as if a lot of gangsters are facing you: Shaytaan and his army! What precautions should you take against these gangsters? The police take guns to protect people from them. Allah (swt) tells us to recite the phrase, “SubhaanAllah wa bihamdihi subhaanAllahi ’l-`Azheem istaghfirullah,” as it will save you from Shaytaan wa junoodahu, Shaytan and his army.

You have to remember, the angels on your shoulders are observing what you are doing, one on the right and one on left. The angel on the right immediately records when you do something good. The one on the left does not immediately write down if you do something wrong; before he writes anything down, the angel on the right will tell him to wait in case you might repent. The angel on the left will not record the sin if the person repents within in 24 hours, then the angel on the right will record his repentance as hasanah and add on top of it.

The Prophet (s) said there are four words from Holy Qur'an that whoever says them will enter Paradise. Do you want to enter Paradise? Then say these words: “SubhaanAllah, w'alhamdulillah, wa laa ilaaha illa-Llah, w'Allahu Akbar,” and you may add to it as some scholars say, “wa laa hawla wa laa quwatta illa billahi 'l-`Aliyyi'l-`Azheem.” This is a guarantee of Paradise if you recite it every day!

Imagine there is a building with safety and health inspection. Allah gave you a body that is a world by itself. It doesn’t function off of electricity and not on any power, but it has its own power to move your head and limbs. Who is making the head move? What makes you see? The structure of the eye is so complex that they would have to create many machines to replicate images the eye reflects! Allah (swt) grants all this for free. Hearing with your eardrum can detect more than a seismograph that detects the slightest tremor of earthquakes deep inside the earth! The sound goes on the eardrum and beats like az-Zahra Ensemble musical drumbeats. Electromagnetic waves produce the sound you can decipher. For a PA system, an amplifier has many buttons you can fine-tune the sound to make it very sharp, and Allah gave you ears with no buttons (sound is already pretuned).

And some say all that (magnificent features of creation) comes by itself. From where, the rooftop? It comes from one cell, nafsin wahidatin; Allah (swt) created us from one cell and molded that cell in heavens and gave it that form. He ordered Sayyidina Jibreel (a) to go to earth and back to Paradise one qabda, handful of soil. He took a handful of soil to heavens. Anything in Paradise will not see punishment! We are not cursed like Iblees was cursed; we entered Paradise and we are muwahidoon, and that wascarried by the pure touch of Jibreel (a) and put in Paradise. There Allah molded it and sent to it the Light of the Prophet (s) and from it created a human being, which is pure!

Let’s look at the hadith of the Prophet (s):

يولد الإنسان على الفطرة

Yulid al-insaanu `alaa al-fitrah.

No child is born except in innocence. (Narrated by Abu Hurayra. Bukhari, 2:23:441)

The Prophet (s) didn't mention Islam in this hadith; he said either his parents make him a Jew or a Christian or Zoroastrian, he didn’t say that parents can make him Muslim because everyone is Muslim from beginning of creation! Allah (swt) didn’t curse Sayyidina Adam (a) because he repented. Iblees did not repent because he was jealous, so Allah didn't forgive him. Jealousy prevents you from repenting. The Light of the Prophet (s) was shining in the forehead of Sayyidina Adam (a) and when he saw that, Iblees knew then the Maqaam al-Mahmoud, which he coveted for himself, would go to someone else! He thought that it would go to him because he made sajda in every handspan of Paradise, but Allah made his deed habaa’an manthooraa, like floating dust scattered about[1] and threw them in his face!

For us, Allah (swt) said, “O My Servant! You went so far, but come back.” Allah will forgive all sins. He will forgive you until your soul comes out from the last part of your life. According to scholars, tawbah is not accepted in those last moments, but according to awliyaullah, the Prophet (s) will be standing there beside the one who is dying and for every person who believed in tawheed, he (s) will make sure they go to Paradise!

Allah’s Mercy is all-encompassing, but we must repent in order to be in it. We are in the last day of Ramadan, so we repent. Anyone who has oppressed himself by disobeying Allah (swt):

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

Wa man y`amalu soowan aw yazhlim nafsahu thumma yastaghfirillah yajidillah ghafooran raheema.

If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nisaa, 4:110)

This means your sins are gone by istighfaar!

To visit the president, you have to clear security screenings and they have to check if you have an invitation or appointment, as if the president didn’t come from the womb of a mother and didn’t wear pampers! It takes a lot of work to see even the president’s barber, or the one who gives him his clothes in morning, his valet. Today stylists dress presidents and kings, and whatever they wear today is never worn again, thrown away, gone. But Allah (swt) is saying to all of us, “Come to Me! You don’t need an appointment!”

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

Wa law annahum idh zhalamoo anfusahum ja’ooka f ’astaghfaroollaaha w ’astaghfara lahumu ‘r-rasoolu la-wajadoo ’Llaaha tawwaaba ‘r-raheema.

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)

On that spiritual highway you can go full speed like a rocket, just by saying, “Astaghfirullah.” If you have remorse or regret, it is because you have nadam, because you feel bad about what you’ve done in your life. You become 70 years old and Allah still is generous with you, giving you health and wealth. You might think to yourself that you regret all the wrong things you did throughout your life, and you might ask, “How am I going to face my Lord?” That feeling of remorse is enough to be granted Allah’s Forgiveness! You are coming to Him with regret. If that inspiration comes to your heart, how much does it affect your life? It means you have done something wrong, and we all have done many things wrong. We pretend that we are angels coming from Paradise when actually we are molded with arrogance, pride, jealousy, hatred, possessiveness and all kinds of bad characters. We’ve counted seventeen bad characteristics found in human beings. No one can say that he did not commit a sin during his life. We must remember, the door is open to repent. Allah (swt), with His Mercy, has forgiven a lot of mudhnibeen and even turned them in to awliyaullah! They might have done one thing in their life which Allah liked, so he turned them into a wali.

It is said that al-Fudayl was a highway robber who attacked people on the road and stole from travellers, and whenever he found nothing he beat them violently. But Allah (swt) forgave him for something small he did. One day he was robbing and saw a beautiful slave girl, a jariya, and his heart was attracted to her.

An Arabic proverb states:

Nazhra f'abtisaman fa mawidan faliqaan fa tazawajan.

First a look, then a smile, then a date, then a meeting, then a marriage!

Without marriage that relationship is haraam, so do you want halaal or haraam? Alhamdulillah, all of you are married. To see his girlfriend, what did he so? He climbed the walls to reach her room. Once when he was climbing the tree or a wall to reach her room, he heard a voice saying:

أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَن تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ

Alam yaanee lilladheena aamanoo an takhsha` quloobahum li-dhikrillah.

Is it not time that the hearts of all who have attained to faith should feel humble at the remem­brance of God. (Surat al-Hadid, 57:16)

So he felt that address to him and from that beautiful voice and recitation he fell down (unconscious). Then he took a shower and said, yaa Rabbee, tubtu ilayk! “O my Lord! I repent from all I did.” Then he returned to his shack, not even a house, where he stayed listening, and he heard some people approaching and saying, “We must not go on this road or Fudayl might come and kill us all! We must go another way.” When he heard that, he repented to Allah (swt) a second time and went out to guide those four people on their way. Then he travelled to Haraam an-Nabawi and remained there until he died. That is someone who asked Allah (swt) to forgive him when he heard Allah say, "Is it not enough?”

Grandshaykh (q) used to tell the story of Ibraheem ibn Adham, who was a king in his time. He is buried near Damascus. He was womanizing, drinking, killing this one and that one, not caring about repentance nor accepting to pray and fast, but rather doing everything he thought was good to satisfy his desires. His room in the palace was covered by a very high dome and he often slept there to see the stars. Once after a night of drinking and womanizing he slept there, and when he was half asleep, he heard knocking on the dome. He realized someone was walking on it and thought, “Is this real? Who can reach there?” He was a king whose -bodyguards were stationed all over the palace, but he was drunk, so he looked up and saw someone passing.

Someone called to him, “Yaa Ibrahim!” by his name, not addressing him as ‘King,’ as if he knew him well, and that put fear in his heart. “Yaa Adham! Did you see a camel here?”

Ibrahim ibn Adham said, “Are you crazy? Although I am drunk, I know there is no camel on the top of my dome!”

That one (an angel) said, “I am looking for my camel that was entrusted to you on the Day of Promises when you accepted Allah as your Lord and promised to be His Servant, so give it back to me now! I am convinced I will find it, but you will never find Allah (swt) in your condition!”

That came to Ibrahim ibn Adham’s heart like a bullet. He left his kingdom, took a shower and became azhad az-zaahideen, the Most Ascetic of Ascetics. He did that by repenting. He looked at that dome and saw that man looking for his camel, and that one said, “I can find my camel but you cannot find your way to Allah (swt), so repent!”

This is the last day of Ramadan, yarmud adh-dhunoob, which takes away all sins. Those who didn't fast for specific reason (that we don't need to know) for every day can give one meal for a poor person; they put that money aside and give it to someone who knows poor people to give them.

To add to Grandshaykh’s story, he said Allah does not like one thing from His servant. anything you do, Allah will forgive because there is nothing in it of the rights of other servants. Everything you do is between you and Allah (swt) as you are trying to destroy Allah's rights, so that is between you and him. But one thing Allah won’t forgive, and that is if you break someone’s heart, either by screaming at them, attacking them or being very angry or showing jealousy. If you break someone’s heart, there is no way to glue that back and no way for repentance, except on one condition: that you go to that person and ask his forgiveness! If he forgives you, then Allah (swt) will forgive you for destroying the rights of that person by humiliating him or damaging his reputation. That is oppression, especially when you attack your parents, especially your mother, and that is what Allah hates most!

Once when I was 20 years old, my brother and I decided to go to Sham to visit Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q), although we had a university exam the next day. Our mother was angry and said, “Where are you going? You have big exam tomorrow.”

Stubbornly, we said, “We are going!”

Most people here have that obstinance; they are stubborn.

She said, “Don't go,” and we said, “We are going!” and took the car keys and drove to Damascus.

When we came to Jabal Qasyoun and went up to Grandshaykh’s house, as we approached to knock on the door, he opened it. Sometimes they are tough with the words they use.

He said, “You ate dirtiness and came to me?” That is nicer than what he actually said! “W’Allahi, if you ever again make your mother upset, I will not open my door for you! Go ask her for forgiveness, because you broke her heart!” and he slammed the door.

How did he know; he didn’t even have a telephone. We hadn’t spoken any bad words to our mother, we simply said, “We are going,” and she said, “No, don’t go.” So we went back and apologized, we studied and passed the exam, then she said, “Now you can go.”

The Prophet (s) said:

الجنة تحت اقدام الامهات

Al-Jannatu tahta aqdaam al-ummahaat.

Paradise is under the feet of the mothers.

Also, Allah (swt) said:

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

Wa qadaa rabbuka alaa ta`budoo illa iyyaahu wa bi ’l-waalidayni ahsaana.

Allah has decreed not to worship anyone except Me and with your mother and father to be nice with them. (Surat al-Isra, 17:23)

Don't say "oof" too much to their (parents’) face. You have no right to say that “oof” and if you do, the Prophet (s) will not look at you on the Day of Judgment! Allah said, “Don't scold your parents, but speak to them with good manners.” Say, “O my father, O my mother,” with adab. Unfortunately, I am declaring that we Muslims have no discipline in that. Disrespecting ones’ parents is not from Islam, but many Muslims have no discipline and they shout at their parents and at their brothers; they don't speak nicely.

If you disagree with someone you need to follow a protocol to address that issue. People with high manners speak to others with diplomacy, in order not to hurt anyone but to get the message across. We don't have that, we only shout, which is why we have to be very careful because Allah will not forgive anyone who shouts in the face of his mother or father. You have to make them happy, even if they are not Muslim and they ask you to take them to church, you have to take them all the way to church! That is the extent of our good manners, even in dealing with a non-Muslim.

May Allah make us listen and understand. Today so many people have a lot of problems with their children ages 15-30.

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


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[1] Holy Qur’an, 25:23.