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Be Like the Turtle, not the Rabbit

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

19 December 2011 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Suhbah at Private Residence

As-salaatu was-salaam `alaa ashraf al-anbiyaa wa ’l-mursaleen. Brothers, sisters, daughters and sons, children, may Allah bless you all. Every time we come, we go; every person in this life comes and goes and no one stays behind. Also, we came here and we met every night, and one day or in one moment it is going to end. We look forward inshaa-Allah to another time visiting with you here.

This life will not stay yours, it is going to end.Why will this world end? Because Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an, liman al-mulk al-yawm:

يَوْمَ هُم بَارِزُونَ لَا يَخْفَى عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْهُمْ شَيْءٌ لِّمَنِ الْمُلْكُ الْيَوْمَ لِلَّهِ الْوَاحِدِ الْقَهَّارِ

Yawma hum baarizoona laa yakhfa `ala ’Llahi minhum shayun limani ’l-mulk al-yawma lillahi al-waahid al-qahhaar.

The Day whereon they will (all) come forth; not a single thing concerning them is hidden from Allah. Whose will be the dominion that Day? That of Allah, the One, the Irresistible! (Ghaafir, 40:16)

Allah (swt) says this when He takes the souls of everyone, when He asks Sayyidina Israfil to blow the trumpet and everyone on Earth dies. Azra’eel, Jibreel, Malik, Munkar and Nakeer (a) will all die and no one will remain except Allah (swt): no angels, no souls, nor will anyone be able to raise his hand. Allah (swt) took them all and there will be no movement, then He will ask, “To Whom is the Kingdom this day?” No one will be able to answer. He will reply to Himself, “To Allah, the One, the Destroyer!”

This answer will be for those who thought they would live forever, so we must know we are not living forever. Whatever your high position is in dunya, you cannot take it with you. Look at the Pharoahs; they thought they were going to come back so they built secret rooms and filled them with jewelry. Not only did those who came later take their jewelry, but they took their bodies and put them in museums where they are making money from their display!

Today a leader in dunya (Kim Jung Il) died. His people were happy he left dunya but they made a show of crying as they have been trained to cry. He told his people, “I will come back; I will ve reincarnated through my son.” No one likes to hear the word “death” because it frightens people. When you know someone who is dying, when you see them you feel the torment of pending death because you fear that reality. That tajalli, the manifestation of death, comes on that house and the family cannot sleep because the tajallli of khawf, fear, accompanies it. They cry and they cannot sleep if there is a dead body in the house becuase they are frightened. If a man and wife sleep in the bed together and one of them dies, the other one will run away. Can a husband or wife sleep beside their deceased spouse? You were happy with her and she was happy with you, so what happened? The tajalli that comes with the Angel of Death and it frightens you.

What can we say? Everyone will face death, child or adult. So what are we preparing for that day? What are we saving? Don’t tell me, “I have savings in the bank,” as that will not help you. Whether you have millions, hundreds of millions or you have nothing, it is not going to save you. Whether you are rich or poor, what is going to save you is what you did in your life, what you saved in the bank of Akhirah.There is “Ra'ia Bank,” and “CitiBank,” but I never saw “Akhirah Bank.” that is the biggest bank where you can save your `amal and multiply them hundreds and thousands of times with your generosity, sincerity or piety. If you put in ten hasanaat, Allah (swt) will multiply them up to seven-hundred times! If you say “astaghfirullah” ten times, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, get seven-thousand hasanaat in the Bank of Akhirah.

Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an, rabbanaa atina fid-dunya hasanah:

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fi’l-akhirati hasanatan waqina `athaba an-naar.

Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire!" (al-Baqara, 2:201)

O Allah! Give us one hasanah; even one is enough to save us in dunya or in akhirah! What do you think about seven-thousand hasanaat? Which bank gives more, the dunya bank or the akhirah bank? The akhirah bank! So where do you have to save your money?


If you build a musallah, where you pray, this becomes a place from where you collect for Akhirah, and all that you see doesn’t disappear; the light and energy are there. Even if you destroy these walls, the heavenly camera took the picture of this meeting just and you can see it even after hundreds of years. [cut] and ... still speaking and what you have been granted of the rewards for Akhirah.

Therefore, we have to think and say, “Yaa Rabbee! We are weak servants, we are helpless. If You don't save us we are losers!” Don’t say, “I am a scholar, a professor, a rich person.” That doesn't mean anything; it is nothing. Be rich in character and behavior, as Allah (swt) said about the Prophet (s):

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِي

wa innaka la-`alaa khuluqin `azheem.

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

“For sure, yaa Muhammad, you have unlimited greatness in your character and a moral excellence that no one else can reach!” Our duty is to know that we cannot reach that point, but we should know about the highway to approach it.

In the story of “the turtle and the rabbit,” Ythe turtle and the rabbit challenged each other, “Who will reach the end of the highway first?” The turtle moves very slowly and the rabbit moves very fast. Many people say, “Go to Hajj,” and many people answer, “I am not yet ready. I am not going to cover my head, I am not going to wear sunnah clothes.” Men think they are free, that only women have to cover, but Allah (swt) also ordered men to cover themselves with an Islamic symbol! The rabbit said, “I have time, the turtle is very slow and I can reach the end of the highway in seconds. Let me entertain myself.”

nawm azh-zhaalim `ibaadah.

The sleep of the oppressor is worship.

Even the dream ... [cut]

The turtle is going non-stop and doesn’t have time to go to the disco, he only has time to reach the end of the highway. The rabbit has time to do this and that, thinking he will reach the highway, no problem. He goes from one movie to another and to the disco, takes the credit card of the husband and goes from one shopping mall to another! (laughter)

If you say to someone, “Why don’t you go on Hajj?” they say, “I am still young. I will live my life and at the end I will repent.” What if Azra`eel comes while you are young? He doesn't know about young or old; when your time comes Allah (swt) may tell him to take your soul! The rabbit is laughing at the turtle because he is able to pass him, but the rabbit’s mind is always on the disco, beaches or movies. Today the worst character among men and women is to use drugs. They say, “A marijuana cigarette is better than a normal cigarette because it is less toxic.”

وَذَا النُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَى فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ أَن لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Wa dha ’n-nooni ith-thahaba mughaadiban fazhanna an lan naqdira `alayhi fa-naada fi ’zh-zhulumaati al-laa ilaaha illa Anta subhaanak! Innee kuntu mina ‘zh-zhalimeen!

And (remember) him of the great fish, when he went off in wrath, thinking that We had no power over him! But then he remembered in the deep darkness (of his distress), "There is no god save You, Exalted and Glorified! I am of the oppressors!" (al-Anbiya, 21:87)

The rabbit is always high (intoxicated) and lazy until one day he reaches the finish line. He still thinks the turtle will never reach it, but the turtle is moving slowly and one day he is coming. This means death will reach us one day, that it is moving towards everyone slowly and one day it will come. May Allah (swt) save us from that. We say here, all together, Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasooluh. Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah.

Death is coming, so why do you quarrel and fight, or run after desires of your ego? Some desires are accepted and some are not; follow those that are accepted. Make everyone happy in the family, in the community, in the nation. You say, “I am a businessman.” No, you are a thief! Be truthful and don’t rob everyone! Don’t line your pockets for yourself and don’t line the driveway with all kinds of cars; don't cross your limit, don’t overindulge. Be in Allah's Way and don’t fear anything!

The Prophet (s) said:

اذا لم تستحي فافعل ما شئت

Fa in lam tastahiyy faf`al ma shi't.

If you don’t feel shy or ashamed, do whatever you like.

In entertainment today so many people are naked. That is the fashion, but you are not fashionable or naked, you and everyone here are old-fashioned. Keep the old fashion since antique is good, it is valuable. If anyone asks you, “What is your religion?” say, “Islam! I am Muslim.” That is antique. I am sorry to say that today's ladies especially, but not anyone here, want to be fashionably dressed and they look naked. What about you? You are antique! Men who also dress in a very indecent way, in tight clothes, because they want to follow fashion. Allah (swt) doesn't like fashion, Allah likes antique! If someone gives you a choice to take a fork that is new or 500 years old, which one will you take? Anyone with a mind will take the antique one!

Don’t say, “I am shy to dress as a Muslim and to have a beard.” If you are able to have a beard you must have one. Some people in this country cannot have one, it doesn’t grow. (laughter) When I was 20 years old I made Hajj, where we met a man to whom they said we must pay respect, but he didn’t have a beard. It was in my heart, “Why doesn’t he have a beard?” I found out later that he came from this part of the world and his beard didn't grow. It came to that person, “He likes you to have a beard,” and one day I was sitting there, saying salaams to people. He said, “SubhaanAllah, Allah created this Creation with wisdom. All are different, some with beards and some without.” I didn’t say one more word, and he said, “Where you are sitting, it was wood from the time of the Prophet (s).” There was a well and he said to people, “Get water and let them drink.” He was 110 years old and he died at the age of 120.

A mureed of Grandshaykh (q), `Abbas Qaari, represented Mawlana Shaykh Nazim when Grandshaykh passed away. He was from Uzbekistan and in 1967 he was 105 years old. His house was a school for memorization of Holy Qur'an, Madrasat ash-Shoonaa. The school for children was below and a bedroom, living room and bathroom were above. His floor was smaller than this room. His dinner was a gravy of tomato sauce with bread. We went the following year and they said his wife had passed away. They married when he was nearly 80 years of age. Would you marry at that age? No one knows his wife because she was completely covered with a chador, a burqa. She entered the bedroom and for 27 years she didn't go out; she was in `ibaadah until she went to the grave. For 27 years she did not go out and she was not saying, “O my husband, give me your credit card. I want to buy jewelry and this and that.” It was 27 years and Allah knows what `ibaadah she did in that room. She entered as a bride and 27 years later she left for the cemetery, Jannat al-Baqi`.

When you speak about real sincere, pious people you find yourself so far away from that, like a rabbit injected with heroin. We say, “O Allah! Give us long life, give our children long life, and give us a healthy life. We are weak servants and we cannot do too much. What we are doing is less than a turtle.”

Allah said in the Holy Qur'an:

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

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

If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee 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)

Arhamna yaa Allah, …arhamna yaa Allah, … arhamna yaa Allah. Bi hurmatil Mustafa … Wa salaamun `alaa ‘l-mursaleen walhamdulillahi rabbi ‘l-`aalameen.


Thank you very much to the group who invited us this week, to everyone who invited us and to those who did not invite us but who joined us. May Allah forgive us and forgive everyone.