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Proposed Title: Be Good to Those Who Treat You Badly

Shaykh Nour Kabbani

4 October 2015 Rochester, New York

Suhbah at Private Residence

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillaahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. Inshaa-Allah we’ll make one takbeerat together so we can start our meeting with takbeer of Allah (swt). Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, laa ilaaha illa-Llah! Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahi 'l-hamd! And let’s bring one salawaat on Prophet (s) inshaa-Allah. Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammadi 'n-Nabiyyi ‘l-Ummiyyi wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallim.

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillaahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu Sayyidina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een. Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa billahi 'l-`Aliyyi 'l-`Azheem. Dastoor yaa Sayyidee, madad.

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِي

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

In Holy Qur’an, Allah (swt) teaches us how to behave and said to the Prophet (s), “You have the highest manners.” Also, Sayyida `Ayesha (r) said that the Prophet's manners are the Qur’an. If we read the Qur’an, it’s not only stories of previous prophets or about war with the unbelievers and what happened to the Prophet (s) in this place or situation, but on top of that there are so many verses about human behavior, how a human being interacts with his father and mother, with his fellow Muslim brother and sister and within himself. Qur’an is about purification and making the human manners as excellent as those of the Prophet, because his manners were the Qur’an.

When we read Holy Qur’an and understand what we are reading, we have to act on that because if you have knowledge in Qur’an without the action, you have wasted Allah’s favor. It is said that on the Day of Judgment a lot of people will be among those that did not act on what they knew.

ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ السَّيِّئَةَ نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَصِفُونَ

Repel evil with that which is best: We are well acquainted with the things they say.

(Surat al-Mu’minoon, 23:96)

It means, “Push away the evil or badness, sayyi’ah, with that which is better.” Allah (swt) is saying if someone comes to you, and all of us are in this situation, if a brother or sister comes to you yelling, arguing, fighting, idfa`a billatee hiya ahsanu ‘s-sayyi’at, repel or push away that badness with something better. What does that mean? If I start yelling at you and I’m angry, at that time you must look at yourself: which characteristic are you going to face me with? You are being confronted by someone angry, it’s obvious because he’s yelling and screaming at you, so Allah’s order is “Repel that badness with what is good!” Look into yourself, especially young people because they’re all fiery, we say in Turkish, ‘deli kanlı,’ meaning his blood is boiling, he’s angry, especially teenagers can really do a lot of damage! We old ones can’t even walk anymore, so we just sit in our place and yell, but the young ones jump! Mashaa-Allah, some people can jump six feet, the long-jump record! But the young ones especially have to pay attention to this: repel badness with that which is good, best, or better.

We have a lot of young people among us. If you’re confronted by someone, look into yourself and see what good characteristic you have to face them with. When you show them goodness while they are showing you badness, what happens? If a person has faith, they will feel ashamed and see they are treating you badly while you are being so good to them. That might be a reason for them to repent. They will humble themselves, because they are seeing the goodness from you and they also have imaan, so they will repent. So by being good to someone that is bad to you, you are making them repent and humble themselves towards you.

Now, if you confront them with anger and badness, what happens? They are bad, and you are being bad to them, so it escalates: their badness and your badness becomes worse! A perfect example is road rage! Someone cuts you off, you cut them off even more. You go in front of them and brake! You’re escalating the badness you’ve seen with your own badness, but Allah (swt) is saying, “Don’t confront badness with badness, repel the badness with what is good.”

If you are able to show goodness to someone who is bad to you: first, you have controlled yourself; second, you have defeated your Shaytan, as Shaytan is in your ear, saying, “Tell him this and that”; third, you made your heart firm on imaan; fourth, you settled in the obedience of Ar-Rahmaan and in the disobedience of Shaytan.

It’s Allah's Order! Holy Qur’an teaches manners. Just by being good to someone who is bad, you have controlled yourself, defeated your Shaytan, made your heart firm on imaan, and settled into ta`at, obedience of Allah (swt) and into `asiyan, disobedience of Shaytan, because Shaytan is whispering and eating your ear off! So you have not only gained rewards because of what you have done, but also the rewards of the one in front of you: by their turning back to Allah (swt) in repentance, Allah is forgiving them and He is rewarding you for their repentance! So now we have two hasanaat, just by facing someone who is bad to you with goodness. Allah (swt) is the Best of Teachers.

الرَّحْمَنُ. عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ.

Allah Most Merciful! It is He Who has taught the Qur’an. (Surat ar-Rahmaan, 55:1-2)

Ar-Rahmanu `allama 'l-Qur’an, “He taught the Qur’an.” If someone confronts you with evilness, what do we do? We don’t act bad toward them, we have to obey Allah (swt), so we act good! By acting good toward them, they either repent [if they have imaan in their heart] or they escalate, and we don’t escalate. One, we have controlled ourselves; two, we have defeated Shaytan; three, our heart is firm on imaan; and four, we are now settling in ta`at ar-Rahmaan, in the obedience of The Rahmaan.

Allah (swt) continues in the same verse, nahnu a`alamu bi-maa yasifoon, “We are more aware with what they say.” That means, if someone is confronting you with badness, don’t think Allah (swt) is not hearing. Don’t think Allah (swt) is not knowing what they are saying. He is saying, “Nahnu a`alamu, We are more knowledgeable, bi-maa yasifoon, We are more aware with what they are saying!” So if someone is confronting you with badness, yelling and screaming and coming toward you, don’t think that Allah (swt) is not hearing what they are saying. Allah (swt) is looking at you now. He is seeing them, but He is looking at you! He is sending you a test! “Are you going to obey My Order in Holy Qur’an? Are you going to obey what I have revealed to my Prophet (s) in Holy Qur’an? Push away what is bad with what is good. I am not looking at him anymore, because I am sending him to you. It’s your test!”

So if a bad person comes toward us, a bad or sister, yelling and screaming and confronting us with something, and we are not aware of Allah's Commandment, we are committing the sin now, even if we are not doing anything! You have to be aware of Allah (swt)’s Commandments. When we read the Qur’an we have to understand what it means, but we don’t. That’s why you need a teacher. That’s why you need a hazraat, a guide! People don’t understand it nowadays. People think that they can read Qur’an and go. No! If that was the case, Allah (swt) would have sent the Qur’an from Heavens, like the unbelievers were asking. They said:

تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَّقْرَؤُهُ

Bring down to us a book (from Heavens) that we may read." (Surat al-Israa’, 17:93)

“Why don’t you just bring us down a book from Heavens? We can read it.” He would have done that. These unbelievers did not want a guide. They did not want to follow Nabi (s). Why? Because they were proud. They said:

فَقَالُوا أَبَشَرًا مِنَّا وَاحِدًا نَتَّبِعُهُ

What? Shall we follow a man from among us? (Surat al-Qamar, 54:24)

“How can we follow a human being like us?” So the one that does not follow is the proud one, who does not want to think that there is someone better or more knowledgeable than him, because they’re afraid they’re going to lose their status. A lot of people nowadays don’t follow guides because they want to be the guide! They want to be the top one. They don’t want to go under someone, because they’re proud.

Okay, my question to them is, you have made khatm of Qur’an, mashaa-Allah. I’m not talking about non-Arabs, I’m talking about people like myself, Arabs, and the people that understand Arabic from among the non-Arabs. Mashaa-Allah, you do khatm al-Qur’an, you read this verse, idfa` billatee hiya ahsanu ‘s-sayyi’ata nahnu a`alamu bi maa yasifoon, “Repel evil with that which is best: We are well acquainted with the things they say,” and you did not do it. What will be my answer or his answer in front of Allah (swt)? You made khatm 20 times and you did not understand this verse? If you had an excuse, okay, but someone like myself, knowing Arabic, what excuse do they have? That’s why you find a teacher to teach you these things. These are teachings of our shuyookh, they’re not my words; they’re the teachings of my teachers. That’s why you see the Sufi shaykhs, when they are confronted with badness, they’re good! Prophet (s), when he was confronted with badness, what did he do? He was good!

When Sayyidina Hasan (r) was confronted with badness, he was good. There’s a story about Sayyidina Hasan, where a stranger came and saw Sayyidina Hasan (r) at the door of his house and started cursing him. Imagine, cursing the grandson of Prophet (s)! Sayyidina Hasan (r) did not speak. It is in the traditional Islamic books. Sayyidina Hasan did not speak, and he said, “O old man, maybe you’re tired or hungry. Please, let me give you something to eat. Maybe that’s why you’re angry. O old man, please rest a little bit.” That man continued to curse Sayyidina Hasan (r)! After he finished everything, Sayyidina Hasan (r) told his helper to go inside and get something. The helper went inside and got a gift, and Sayyidina Hasan gave that gift to the man. He said, “This is your gift.” That man was acting badly to Sayyidina Hasan (r), but Sayyidina Hasan (r) gave him a gift! Then that bad man said, “Yaa Hafid ar-Rasoolullah, O Grandson of Nabi (s)! I witness that you are the true Grandson of Nabi (s)!” and he repented. He went back from what he had done, because Sayyidina Hasan (r) was complying with the Holy Verse that says whenever someone is confronts you with badness, confront them with goodness.

So it was a reason for that man to repent from what he had done and to acknowledge Sayyidina Hasan’s virtue, because when you are good to someone, what happens? You acquire the virtue of hilm, of haleem, the virtue of forbearance, tolerance and patience. You have also acquired and made yourself steadfast in `ilmillah, in the knowledge of Allah (swt), which is the Holy Qur’an. By confronting the badness with goodness, you acquire the virtue of patience, as Sayyidina Hasan (r) was very patient, haleem with this person. He acted upon `ilm, which is Qur’an, and he also defeated Shaytan and controlled his anger. He became mustaqeem fee maa amarahu-Llah, steadfast on what Allah (swt) has ordered. That person who just confronts badness with goodness.

This one verse is enough for the whole nation of Muhammad (s), Ummati Muhammad (s), by just obeying one verse, one Commandment of Allah (swt). He is saying, nahnu a`alamu bi maa yasifoon, “We know what they are saying. Don’t think that I don’t know what this person in front of you is saying!” Someone does badness to you and Allah (swt) says to push that badness away with goodness. I don’t want to mention these things, as we all know. Someone attacked you, harmed you, whatever, you confront them with goodness! Don’t escalate it by confronting them with badness. Allah (swt) is not saying, “Push away the bad with what is worse,” but He is saying push away the bad with the best. That is in Surat al-Mu’minoon. If someone wants to go read, it’s at the end of the chapter.

People don’t understand the Qur’an. They read Qur’an, but they don’t understand it. They don’t understand why we need teachers, guides, shaykhs and saints. The Sahaabah (r) needed it and they knew the most eloquent in Arabic. If you read the history of Arabs, their Arabic was so eloquent, was so high. That’s why when the Qur’an came it was a mu`jizah, miracle, because they could not come up with such a thing. It was so high! Allah (swt) was capable to send them the Qur’an, and they could read and find, but no! Allah (swt) sent them Sayyidina Muhammad (s), a guide! Sayyidina Muhammad (s) said, “I was given the knowledge of the previous ones and the latest ones, everything!”

الرَّحْم. عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ. خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ

Allah, Most Merciful! It is He Who has taught the Qur’an. He has created Man.

(Surat ar-Rahman, 55:1-3)

If Prophet (s) knew everything. Allah (swt) says, `allama ‘l-Qur’an, He taught the Qur’an. To whom did He teach the Qur’an? To Prophet (s). Khalaqa ‘l-insaan, then He created Man, but taught Prophet (s) Qur’an. Okay, why didn’t Prophet (s) come to earth with the Qur’an in him? Why did he need Jibreel? People don’t understand! They say no teachers, no guides, no shaykh; read Qur’an and do Sunnah and you’re okay. Allah (swt) is going to question them, “Did you do the Commandments in My Book?” Our teachers recite this Hadith:

من حوسب عذب

Who will be judged will be punished for sure. (Bukhari)

Prophet (s) did not do anything except when Jibreel came and told him what to do. So many times we read in Holy Qur’an that Prophet (s) was faced with something or was asked a question, and he waited for wahi. Why? You think Prophet (s) doesn’t know how to answer? Yes, he does! But it’s a teaching for us, that you need a guide. And the guide of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) was Jibreel (a).

In the Holy Qur’an there a lot of verses that teach the prophets’ stories, the battles of Prophet (s) and the difficulties he faced, but also there are a lot of verses that teach manners. One of the verses that we are talking about is in Surat al-Mu’minoon.

[Hamidiye Academy students arrive.] A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillaahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. Idfa` billatee hiya ahsanu ‘s-sayyiata nahnu a`alamu bi maa yasifoon, confront and push away what is bad with what is good. We were saying that if Ummat Muhammad (s)--Arabs, non-Arabs, Pakistanis, Turks, Kurds, everyone--acted on this one Commandment, there would be peace all over the Islamic world. If everyone who was confronted with badness had acted with goodness, in compliance with the Order of Allah (swt) in the Holy Qur’an, no one would be fighting anywhere in the Islamic world.

Our people don’t understand the Qur’an; our people who go to universities and teach Qur’an don’t understand and act on it! The people who teach Qur’an are not aware of this ayah or they would have repelled badness with goodness. This is coming from my teachers, what I heard from them. This is against all these people that are killing, burning, maiming and drowning, and doing all sorts of things we see on TV nowadays. Let them read these verses!

[But whatever they may say or do,] repel the evil [they commit] with something that is bet­ter. We are fully aware of what they attribute [to Us]. And say, “O my Sustainer! I seek refuge with You from the promptings of all evil impulses and I seek refuge with You, O my Sustainer, if they come near me!’

(Surat al-Mu’minoon, 23:96-98)

These are three verses next to each other. They don’t understand Arabic, and they are Arabs; they don’t understand Qur’an, and they teach Qur’an. A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. A`oodhu billahi min ash-shayateeni min al-insi wa ‘l-jinn. We seek refuge in Allah (swt) from the Shaytan, the Cursed One, and from all shayateen of human beings and jinn. Allah (swt) said there are shayateen in human beings:

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ مَلِكِ النَّاسِ إِلَهِ النَّاسِ مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَ النَّاسِ

Say, "I seek refuge with the Sustainer of Mankind from the evil of the whispering, elusive tempter who whispers in the hearts of men, from all [temptation to evil by] jinn as well as men.” (Surat al-Nas, 114:1-6)

There are shayateen among ins, Mankind, and there are shayateen among jinn. Those people are shayateen. They accept or don’t accept, it’s up to them, but one verse can correct all the Islamic world, all the way from Pakistan, to Egypt, to Maghrib, to Argentina, to Australia.

A Muslim has to give goodness when he is confronted with bad. It is obvious, there is nothing to it, and when they do that the person who is on the other side will feel remorse, will regret what they have done, and they will turn back to their Lord. That is the point, not the point that I am better than you. “Look I am good!” No! The point is that if the bad ones have imaan in their hearts, they will feel ashamed at what they have done and they will turn back to their Lord, saying, “O my Lord, I was bad, astaghfirullah. I sinned, astaghfirullah!” That is the point, not that we are good. “Hey, look at us! We are doing good, we are good to you!” No! That is even worse, as that is pride. Shaytan said, “I am good, he is bad.” To whom? To Adam (a)! He said, “I am better than him.”

So if we, myself, or my teachers, or anyone says, “We are the good ones and you are the bad ones,” we are worse! That’s not the point. The point is, you want the person in front of you, brother or sister, to turn back to their Lord, Allah (swt)! That’s the whole point of being good, like Sayyidina Hasan (r), when he was confronted with that old man cursing him. That old man witnessed, “You are the true Grandson of Prophet (s)!” and he repented from what he had done and turned back to his Lord. That is the point of being good to people, to be a good example, of course, but also to have that person in front of us turn to goodness, because Allah (swt) is saying to us, nahnu a`alamu bi maa yasifoon, “We are more knowledgeable, more aware of you, than what they utter, than what they say.” What does that mean? “I am sending My servant to you. I am going to make him or make her say bad words to you. Now I’m going to look at how you act.” If He sends me to you, knowing that I am bad and cursing you, He says to you, “I will take care of him for you.” If a sister comes to you and yells at you, Allah (swt) says, “I know better what they are saying.” That means, “I will take care of her for you. If she deserves punishment, I will punish her, and I’m stronger than you in punishing her. If he deserves to be punished, I will punish him for you, and I am stronger than you in punishing him. Nahnu a`alamu bi maa yasifoon, “I am more aware of him than you.” So don’t say, “I am going to punish him.” No! Allah (swt) says, “If they deserve punishment, I will punish him for you, and I am stronger than them, but if they deserve forgiveness, I am sending them to you to feel the regret and remorse so they can turn back to Me and I forgive them.”

So if I am bad and Allah (swt) wants to forgive me, He will send me to my brother. I will act bad to him, but he will confront me with goodness, after which I will feel remorse and say, “O my Lord, I did it wrong! Forgive me.” Allah (swt) will forgive, and then I will become good. See the depth of the teachings of our teachers, the depth they go, the sight they see!

اتقوا فراسة المؤمن فإنه ينظر بنور الله

Beware the vision of the Believer, for he sees with the Light of Allah. (Tirmidhi)

Beware and be aware of the mu’min, of his insight, because he is looking with the sight of Allah (swt). This is Hadith: the saints look with the Light of Allah (swt). So when someone does bad to them, they are seeing that “Allah (swt) has sent this servant to me, and this servant is going to be forgiven; that’s why they sent him to me.”

We see Hindus going to Sayyidina Imam `Ali Hujwiri’s shrine, maqaam, and Sikhs, non-Muslims and Muslims, they’re all coming! Why? Because they see good in Sayyidina `Ali Hujwiri, right? Why do Hindus and non-Muslims keep coming back to him or to Baba Sayyid Fariduddin or other saints in Multan and everywhere else? Because they are seeing goodness! When they see the goodness coming to them in their families, in their health, because they go there and they ask their Lord, the Lord is One! We don’t have to go into details about what they think and what they believe, as it’s between them and their Lord, but they know that this servant, Imam `Ali Hujwiri, it happened before that somebody went to him and was cured! Somebody came to this maqaam and was successful! Same with Ayyub Sultan Hazretleri in Istanbul and others such as Mevlana Hazretleri. They go there and say, “Yes, I went to this person’s maqaam or shrine, temple or mosque [I am talking about the Hindus, for example] and I heard that that person went there and asked from their Lord, and it was given!” So he goes back and tells his friends to go there.

So, because there people are going to Sayyidina Imam `Ali Hujwiri’s tomb and to the rest of the saints, they are finding goodness and turning back to their Lord in repentance, they are coming back to a saint! You think Allah (swt) is not slowly going to give them guidance and hidayah? Their heart likes that saint, which means their hearts are becoming closer and closer together. Is Sayyidina `Ali Hujwiri going to become Hindu? No, it’s the opposite! That Hindu, Christian, Jew will slowly find the sweetness of that place and of `ibaadah, and slowly will accept the guidance of Islam.

So if all the Muslims around the world just acted on being good against the badness of people, everyone would become good, because they would turn back to Allah (swt) and repent. When Shaytan whispers, and we follow that, we do bad, so we are asking support to be good by not listening to Shaytan. “O my Lord, give me support! I am seeking refuge in You! I am seeking support from You against the whisperings of Shaytan, and I ask You, O my Lord, that they not be present here.”

That’s in the third verse (26:98), because when two people are confronting each other, Shaytan comes right away to make that fire even worse, so you are telling your Lord, “I seek refuge in You against the whisperings of Shaytan and against their presence here.” So when Shaytan is not present between you and your brother or sister and you are acting good with the support of Allah (swt), your fellow brother and sister will become repentant and seek forgiveness from their Lord, and Allah (swt) will forgive them and will forgive you, because you are the reason for their forgiveness. This is from the hikmah of our teachers.

So remember: when someone is bad to you, you have to say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem.” If you [Hamidiye Academy students] don’t remember anything I’ve said, it’s okay for now, until you get bigger and start reading and understanding Qur’an. Until then say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem,” when someone is against you or wanting to harm you. A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Don’t fight back! Turn away and go. Don’t act like they say nowadays, “Be a man and face each other.” Allah (swt) is saying "be a good man and face each other," not "be an evil man and face each other." For now remember to say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem,” and inshaa-Allah people around the world, Muslims, will understand this one verse and will behave well to those acting badly towards them. Inshaa-Allah Allah (swt) will forgive all of us, support us in spreading good and in acting on His Orders.

It’s very hard. When anger overtakes a person, you don’t see anything in front of you. That’s why Nabi (s) told the Arab, “Laa taghdab.” There was a desert man who came to Nabi (s) and said, “Awsinee, give me an advice!”

وَعَنْهُ أَنَّ رَجُلاً قَالَ: { يَا رَسُولَ اَللَّهِ! أَوْصِنِي.‏ فَقَالَ: لَا تَغْضَبْ, فَرَدَّدَ مِرَارًا.‏ قَالَ: لَا تَغْضَبْ } أَخْرَجَهُ اَلْبُخَارِيُّ.‏

Abu Hurayrah (r) narrated: A man said to the Prophet (s), “O Messenger of Allah! Advise me.” The Messenger of Allah (r) said, “Do not get angry.” The man asked repeatedly and the Prophet (s) answered each time, “Do not get angry.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (s) said, “Laa taghdab, don’t get angry!” three times, because when we get angry we forget everything, we don’t see anything anymore. It’s fire; it’s fire that’s going to burn you and whatever is in front of you! That’s why we say right away, “Wa qul Rabbi a`oodhu bika min hamazaati ‘sh-shayaateen wa a`oodhu bika Rabbi an yahdaroon.” If we say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem,” that should take care of everything because Allah (swt) knows our intention, that we don’t want to confront badness with badness; we want to confront badness with goodness.

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


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