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Become Zero and You Will Be Raised

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

1 May 2010 Singapore

Dhuhr/ Shaykh Ibrahim’s Residence

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

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

nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`ala.

Ati`ullaha wa ati`u 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

Obey Allah (swt), obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (4:59)

We always ask support from our shaykh, may Allah give him long life, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani. Awliyaullah are always under the tajalli of the verse in the Holy Qur'an:

Ala awliyaullahi la khawfan `alayhim wa lahum yahzanoon.

Behold! Verily on the friends of God there is no fear, nor shall they grieve. (10:62)

And that is what we are expecting and experiencing since Mawlana was young, and I've known him since 50 years ago. He is always of high moral excellence and very good manners. He never spoke in a way that hurt anyone. He always tried to cover the mistakes of people, in order that everyone feels happy and feels that he is the one people go to and be around, because Allah (swt) lets rude ones down and people leave them. People run to nice people and to soft people. And Mawlana Shaykh was always in a situation in which he followed the footsteps of Sayyidina Muhammad (s).

I asked him many times recently, "SubhaanAllah! Mawlana you are like a fountain; you don't prepare anything, you are speaking directly."

And he said to me many times, "Whatever they send to me, I speak."

We are at his threshold. We are not high people; we are in the first stages that we can express and say to ourselves we are muhibeen. It means we love him and we are in that level. I am speaking about myself, not about you. I feel I am in the first level. I don't declare or announce that I am khalifah. I leave that on the side. I am not with Mawlana Shaykh to be his khalifah, but because I love him. And people who are in love with him, only his love, love of Prophet (s), and love of Allah (swt) matters to them.

In the Holy Qur'an, in Surah al-Kahf, Allah (swt) told Prophet (s) to express himself:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ

Qul innama 'ana basharun mithlukum yooha 'ilayya.

Say (O Prophet), "I am but a mortal man like all of you." (18:110)

This is a message for me and for everyone, that Allah (swt) taught the Prophet (s) to say to humanity, Sayyidina Muhammad (s), (Mawlana stands and sits) is the Seal of Messengers, and the lover of Allah (swt), and with that Allah said to him, "Say, yaa Muhammad, 'I am only a human being like you, but the difference is that Allah reveals to me but does not reveal to you.'"

Revelation is for Prophet (s) and inspirations are for awliyaullah. Allah humbled Prophet (s) in the Holy Qur'an by the above verse, although, as we said, he is the one that has been described in Suratu 'l-`Isra:

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِه ِِ لَيْلا ً مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَه ُُ لِنُرِيَه ُُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا

Subhaana al-ladhee 'asra bi`abdihi laylaan mina al-Masjidi al-Harami 'ila al-Masjidi al-'Aqsa al-ladhee baaraknaa hawlahu linuriyahu min 'ayaatina.

Glorified be He Who took His servant for a journey by night from al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Mecca) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighborhood that We have blessed, in order that We might show him Our Signs. (17:1)

Allah (swt) called him `abdun lillah, "His servant." Not everyone can reach the level of servanthood, only prophets, and awliyaullah are trying their best to be `abd also. Are we trying to be `abd also? If so, we have to humble ourselves. You cannot be `abd when you are not humble. Is Iblees `abd or not? Of course, Allah created Iblees as the head of angels and then He cursed him because he made one mistake: he disobeyed the command to make sajdah to Adam (a). Allah brought him down and threw him out, but he is still a slave of Allah (swt). His problem is that he didn't like the order, but he still believes in Allah (swt) as the Creator. Allah threw him from the station of `abd into nafs al-ammara bissu` (nafs that urges evil), to the mud of the ego, because he had a very big ego. So we must learn a lesson that when Allah (swt) gives you a rank, don't go over the limit of that rank, and don't pretend to be something different. No, you have to know your limits.

So our limit is, we hope they accept us as lovers to our shaykh (q), lovers of Prophet (s), and lovers of Allah (swt). We cannot say we are this or that, because if we are mistaken, what will happen? The shaykh can call you whatever he likes, but you cannot call yourself whatever you like. Even if the shaykh calls you with a title, "You are my representative," don't use that word in order to build yourself up; that is not acceptable. If the shaykh says, "You are a khalifah," and shaykhs can say this, don't use that word or title to uplift yourself.

Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an:

فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ

Fa laa tuzakkoo anfusakum.

Therefore, justify not yourselves. (53:32)

Don't praise yourself, and don't give an excuse to yourself to make your ego bigger and bigger. Allah (swt) said of Prophet (s), qul innama 'ana basharun mithlukum yooha 'ilayya, "Say, 'I am only a human being like you, but I have revelation, you don't have revelation.'" Allah wanted to teach us a lesson, that He made the Seal of Messengers to say, "I am only a human being like others."

Can you say this? Allah (swt) gave Prophet (s) a title, but ordered him not to use that title. If the shaykh gave you a title, can you change and make your name to accept the level of lovers? Don't jump too high! It is not recommended to jump too high. Those who like to accept what we are saying, it is up to them. Who are not accepting, it is up to them. We ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness, and they have to ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness. We ask Prophet (s) for intercession and they have to ask for intercession. We are asking for our shaykh's love, and they are asking for shaykh's love. If they keep on with what they are claiming for themselves, it is up to them. If they want to change, it is up to them.

Every surah in the Holy Qur'an begins with bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. It means every `amal can move inside. And bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem is comprised of 19 letters. Those who carry Allah's Throne are 19, and those who are taking care of Hellfire are 19. It means, if you add 1 and 9, it becomes 10. Zero is not considered, so without the one, zero has no meaning. And Who is The One? It is Allah (swt)! If you reach the level of zero, it means if you humble yourself and take away from yourself the title of khalifah, representative, or the head of this and that, take it down and become zero, then you have a meaning! Beside the one you become ten, which means Allah will give you knowledge! Awliyaullah took knowledge because they became zero. When you become zero, Allah can send to you. When you are not zero, you might consider yourself one, and there is no "one" beside Allah! If you think you are "two" beside the "one," it can't be: there is only One! Allah is One! The Creator is One! But human beings are too many.

Sayyidina Muhammad (s) is the only one Allah (swt) raised his name with His name, and he is the Seal of Messengers! But Allah said, "Yaa Muhammad, humble yourself." What does he have to do to humble himself? He must say, "I am only a human being like you." When you become zero beside the one, Allah (swt) will raise you up. So either you will be with the 19 who are carrying the Throne or the 19 looking after Hellfire, and both sides are good. Those carrying the Throne will be uplifted. If you are with the ones responsible for Hellfire, saying, bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem, they will also intervene and intercede for you on the Day of Judgment with the power of those 19 letters.

Every surah of the Holy Qur'an begins with, bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem and the first revelation was "`Iqra! Read in the name of Your Lord!" So Prophet (s) said, “Any `amal that does not begin with bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem is cut; there is no fruit from it.” It means every action has to begin with bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Sayyidina Sulayman (a) had jinn under his control by the power of bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem, which Allah (swt) gave him and gave people to listen to him. That is why he was able to forgive Queen Bilqis (r). With Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem you may change what happened. He changed her heart from the letter he sent to her, which began with bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. All her advisers told her to go to war. She said, “No, I received a very nice, merciful letter.” So if you want to solve your problem, Allah (swt) will open what is closed for you with recitation of bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem, and you will see your problems dissolved and you are a better person.

Since we began broadcasting Mawlana Shaykh live daily on Sufilive, before that, for the past eight or nine years we broadcasted on Sufilive in America every Jumu`ah and every dhikr. Then in Cyprus we began broadcasting daily only last year because there was no Internet there. Before that we had 100 to 150 viewers; now we have up to 700 people watching every live broadcast. During 24 hours in a week we have 500,000 minutes watched, meaning daily around 7,000 to 10,000 people are watching.

I was telling Mawlana Shaykh, "We have 300 suhbahs now and Sufilive has translated these into 10 or 12 different languages. And, subhaanAllah, you are bringing more and more."

He said, “The one who is connected to awliyaullah, Prophet (s), and heavens, always new things come. Allah (swt) created the self and inspired the self with good and with what is bad. So when you connect with heavens you get inspired, when you connect with dunya, you get dunya. My heart is connected with Ahkirah.”

That is why it never ends; it has to be connected to Ahkirah. So saying this, I feel it is better that sometimes I am speaking from Mawlana Shaykh's (q) and Grandshaykh's (q) notes instead of speaking directly from the heart. Because we are in the situation that we have to show (respect) to our shaykh, we have to humble our self to say, we are going to speak from what they have mentioned, and because they have written already that which will cut our ego, instead of sitting and speaking from what is in our heart.

When you read Mawlana Shaykh's notes, it is not from you. So I feel some words carrying heavenly meanings and it's better to say those instead of speaking what we are inspired to say for this suhbah. (...) I will give an explanation from Grandshaykh's (q) time. I was with him from 12 or 13 years of age and we never heard Grandshaykh (q) say to anyone, "You are the khalifah." I have a book of their notes like this and more than 300 others. He used to say, "I have two students: Nazim Effendi and Shaykh Hussayn Effendi." No one opened the subject of khalifah. Did you hear in any hadith of Prophet (s) from Sahaaba (r) that anyone said, "I am khalifah.” Did anyone dare? Not even Sayyidina Abu Bakr (q)! In Holy Qur’an, Prophet (s) mentioned he is speaking to the Companions (s), not to his khalifah, because that word carries a lot weight and responsibility. So we never heard Grandshaykh (q) say that; he used to say, “Go do dhikr in your areas.”

They were `ulama, not people who have backgrounds in "Sufilive jurisprudence"! Mawlana Shaykh never called anyone khalifah. May Allah (swt) give him a long life. He is using that word because it is easy to understand and at the same time he cares for people and says that to keep them feeling happy, in order that they continue in what they are doing, because this is how the ego works. If you praise someone he works with you and if you criticize him he comes against you. So Mawlana gave them the title of khalifah. However, in the time of Grandshaykh (q) not once did anyone say, “I am khalifah," because it is disrespectful. May Allah (swt) give Mawlana long life, because we don't want to see any khalifah! We want to see Imam Mahdi (a) because he is from khalifah: what do you want to see?

With my respect, if I made someone unhappy I apologize, but it is good to explain. If you say khalifah what does it mean? It means, "Let the master go, I want to sit in his place as I am going to be second one!" Did you hear Prophet (s) say, “My khalifah is this one.” He only said when he was sick and sweating (on his deathbed), “Abu Bakr, go and lead prayer.” He did not say, “Be my khalifah until a shoorah council (is convened).” And later the Sahabah (r) said the khalifah was Abu Bakr (q). So with all my respect to the brother, (...) don't worry, all those who are saying they are khalifah, me and Shaykh Adnan are accepting. Allah (swt) said, “Say you are only a human being," and so we are. Allah (swt) revealed that and if you like that title, take it, no problem!

I will remind you of Grandshaykh's (q) story of how Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) may Allah (swt) bless him passed away. I ask a simple question to those on the internet only we are reminding ourselves as brothers. Do you know how Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) died? If you consider yourself khalifah, you must know everything about khalifahs, what is past and what is today. If you don't know the hadith of Prophet (s) or the know seerah of your shuyookh, how are you saying you are khalifah? You must know all the way to the Prophet (s), the seerah (biography) of each khalifah. We don't want to ask now and make a quiz, but if you are khalifah you must know, and it is a simple question: how did Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) pass away? This is also a simple question: who was Grandshaykh's (q) shaykh? It was his uncle, do you know that?

He passed away, as related from Grandshaykh (q) to us, because he was diving into the contents of the secrets of Suratu 'l-Anaan, where is it mentioned about anbiya and descendants, to extract their names from the name of Prophet (s), to know the names of all those descendants, his followers in his time and in the time of Mahdi (a). I am asking brothers on the Internet, did you know that? He extracted the names of the 40 khulafah and 59 deputies of Sayyidina Mahdi (a)! It is a simple question that if you are khalifah you must know. Did you come across their names? If you did, alhamdulillah. Then he came across mashaykh and then across israaqioon, high level, and then rijaalu 'l- mudabiroon, and then 313 grandshaykhs, every shaykh on the foot of one messenger. Do you know all their names extracted from Suratu 'l-Anaam? I am asking what Mawlana told you? I am asking because this is an important question (that shows if you are truly khalifah).

So how did Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) pass away? Because it was too much to bear on his heart to extract these names, just as a diver descends in the ocean, the pressure becomes stronger and he will die. So when Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) went there to extract names, he was giving tajalli from there that comes on us to benefit these students, to be able to call upon these names and get their help! That is mentioned by scholars in the hadith to call on RijaalAllah for help. I am only speaking for clarification, to make sure people do not get into a big fitna caused by Shaytan. Prophet (s) said, “The one who knows haqq and does not say it, it means he is eating Shaytan!” If you know a reality say it! I am saying out of love to you (to save you from sin), but if you don't want to take it (what can we do)?

So Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) got these names for us to get that barakah and tajalli. May Allah (swt) bless Shaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa`iz (q) that he passed them on to us! Always there are things you may not know. Sayyidina Imam al-Bukhari searched for these things, and you also have to search. So Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) said, “I am passing these secrets to `AbdAllah Effendi,” not "shaykh" but "Effendi, mister" as they never say the title. I know when Mawlana Shaykh signs his name, he writes "Khadim of poor people." You cannot give a title for yourself!

Mawlana is always very nice, he gives titles to everyone. Because he likes people to be happy and we have to know about Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's way. He said to you many times, “If you like a building, I will give one to you." You see this moon, on the night of the full moon he says, "I give it to you; you may take spirituality, not physically.”... just now I spoke about the moon, how it comes to him on the first night of Ramadan and he holds it in his hand. That is spiritually and I am not going into that. And every night of Ramadan finished the moon comes and I hold it. So at the beginning and at the end, I hold it.

Prophet (s) said, “Fast when you the moon and break fast when you see the moon.” It means literally that you have to see it, I do not accept people breaking the rule and government rules. Although he used to say, “To me a day before it is coming fast with your country.” You have to keep the rules and today too many people break the rules.

So Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) said, “`AbdAllah Effendi, I am leaving this dunya in three days and this is my will. Whatever awliyaullah give to me, I am giving to my successor.” It means to the one who will inherit at that time. Three days before he left Shaykh Sharafuddin said, “You are my khalifah.” Not ten years before, not five years before, because that is adab (to respect the shaykh who is still living). Now, if Mawlana calls someone khalifah, he has hundreds. That does not mean to make confusion for people because everyone is saying, “I heard this one,” and the other one is saying, “this one.” In this way, this tariqah is breaking. Mawlana Shaykh has wisdom; why he called (this one and that one khalifah)? Because you don't want the shaykh to die, you want him to live a long life! It is inappropriate to act like that.

So Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) said, “I am leaving in three days; this is my will. Show it to people when they bury me and not before.” And do you know what happened after that? I wrote it in the Naqshbandi Sufi Way. When they were washing him with ablution and Grandshaykh (q) said as soon as they washed him, he opened his hand and water collected in it. Many mureeds came and drank from his hand, then they took ablution because that water was from the divine reality.” About the will and succeeding Shaykh Sharafuddin as khalifah, Grandshaykh (q) said, “Yaa Rabbee! I am not interested in human beings, what they think about me, as I don't want my ego to play with me.” So he threw the will.

Grandshaykh (q) went into seclusion all his life and one time he went for five years continuously, eating only bread and olives. Five years of not seeing his mother or wife, and then he was only 18 and his mother needed him a lot. Five years later he came out. All these seclusions of one-year or five months in Madinatu 'l-Munawwara. (Mawlana stands, recites salawaat and sits.) So he said, "Yaa Rabbee, I don't want my ego to play with me."

My shaykh called me khalifah. It is up to him for me. I am a normal person. I am not going to exalt myself and give an excuse. I am khalifah. I am not saying this out of disrespect. No, I am saying with love to you, especially to Shaykh Abdul Kerim, and I visited you in Brooklyn, New York and we had bread with you. No, I am not an enemy to you, no problem. I respect you, I love you, but it is good to remind people. I am older than you, so give me respect because of my age. And I used to visit. You can visit, most welcome, you and your group.

So what did Grandshaykh (q) do about that title, khalifah? That word is too heavy. Students may call you by titles, but when you come to the shaykh, if he is alive it is not nice. Be how Grandshaykh (q) was to Shaykh Sharafuddin (q). So he took the will and said, “I am not going to praise myself. I am not going to accept, and I don't want to be known except as 'Hajji `AbdAllah.'” He took the will and tore it and threw it, and no one in Turkey knew his station, not even in his own village!hey know him as "Hajji `AbdAllah" even until today. Even after he left dunya, they sent a handmade cane. Do you know what was written on it? Everyone knowledgeable knows. And you know where the cane is? It is in my house, written on it "Hajji `AbdAllah Bin Hussayn," not even the title "representative"! He used that cane the last four years of his life. I took it after he passed away, and no one in that village knows his as "shaykh" or "khalifah". He left and migrated because they did not accept him. So he came to Aleppo in 1942 during World War II.

This is a continuation. When Grandshaykh (q) passed away he said, “I am writing my will,” and he wrote in the will--if you want to believe or not it's up to you--he wrote, "After many seclusions for Nazim Effendi I made him khalifah." He did not say, “Hussayn Effendi.” We did not know why, but he said, “I have appointed two people to be around him, if they are not there then someone else can be there." And I will not repeat the two names here and might be these two people don't deserve it. But Grandshaykh (q) mentioned, "It might be better people." In any case, Grandshaykh (q) signed it and put two copies, and said, “One copy you put in my coffin and one copy you keep to show people, but Nazim Effendi is my successor." And he explained what has been left and who will take what: who takes the house, the zawiya, everything is detailed in there. I still have a copy, but not signed. So when Grandshaykh (q) left the dunya, what we prayed on him and so on, we will mention next time.

So what happened then, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim said, “Before I leave bring me the will.” He read it and said, “Put it back in the safe.” After Grandshaykh (q) passed away we went to Beirut and Mawlana Shaykh was not showing the will to anyone, and told me and my brother to put it in the safe, and we kept the key. And Mawlana Shaykh left after ten days.

My uncle in Lebanon said, “I want to see the will.”

We called Mawlana and he said, “Okay let him read it.”

So we looked in the safe and there was no will; it disappeared, nothing there, gone with the wind! It was gone. So why did it go? Because Mawlana Shaykh did not want anyone to give him that title. Because if that title does not come from heavens, he does not want it. Mawlana Shaykh said, "I am not going to depend on old mureeds, I am going to look for new ones. I have given my word that I will not return to Turkey.” In his life he said, “I am not going to Turkey.” New people don't know these things. But when Grandshaykh (q) passed away Mawlana moved to Europe because in the Middle East people are not interested in tariqah. And then he moved all tariqah in 1972 to England, and all these people were new, and he is known as "Shaykh Nazim." He began to call people to awliyaullah and he never opened his mouth to say, “I am khalifah.” He used to say, “He is my shaykh,” and only recently we began to say "sultan."

O our Brothers! Awliyaullah don't want to show their stations. So my humble apology to all of you if I said something you are not happy with. But don't cut and paste, keep the lecture (intact) until the end. When you cut and paste (my words) you are responsible in front of Allah (swt). I am clearing that confusion because it is becoming hard on my heart to say, “My shaykh is there and I want to be his successor.” So if anyone has a question ... we know these issues. It is very hard to see Mawlana Shaykh is sitting and we are saying this; we want him to live and see Mahdi (a)!

Sayyidina `Umar (r) said, “If anyone says Prophet (s) is dead I will cut his neck!" Then he saw Abu Bakr (q), who recited the verse of Holy Qur'an:

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ

Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? (3:144)

Sayyidina `Umar (r) said, "Yaa Abu Bakr (q), I read the Qur'an many times but it is as if I never came across this verse."

It was written there because love of the shaykh takes everything from your heart. You don't want to see your shaykh sick. One week ago Mawlana Shaykh was not well, so we stayed awake all night. Did you know that we called every ten minutes to see if he was okay? Every ten minutes, you can ask my wife, Mawlana Shaykh's daughter. We cannot bear to see Mawlana Shaykh ill; that is too difficult on our hearts.

May Allah (swt) forgive us and grant us the power to say we are sorry. You can come and visit as like; you used to visit before.

May Allah (swt) benefit us from this and support us and bless us. This is for everyone, not only for some people. This came because I opened this book and this suhbah came.

Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.