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First Criticize Yourself

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

19 April 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Suhbah before Khatm

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani ‘r-rajeem.

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Madad yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasoolullah, yaa Rahmatan li-l-`alameen! Dastoor yaa Sayyidee, madad.

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Ati`oollaaha wa ati`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)

The Prophet (s) said:

أفضل الجهاد كلمة عدل عند سلطان جائر

Afdal al-jihad kalimatu `adlin `inda sultaanin jaa'ir (in another version, aw kalimat al-haqq).

The best jihad is a word of justice (or a word of truth) before a tyrannical king.

( Related by Abi Sa`eed al-Khudree)

Today when you say “jihad” in a mosque, people immediately think, “Go and fight!” But this hadith says, “The best of jihad, the best struggle, is speaking a word of justice or a word of haqq, truth, in front of a sultaanin jaa'ir, sultan tyrant,” which means a tyrant who has power and control and is abusing that. And here what is the meaning of “sultan?” People only understand it to mean, “We have to go and fight with the sultan,” but the Prophet (s) said, “Don't come against the sultan; try to pray for the sultan.”

So we have this hadith to “say the truth in front of a sultan who is a tyrant,” and the other hadith says, “pray for the sultan.” So what is the real meaning of the first hadith I mentioned? Who is your sultan? Now for everyone, his sultan is his self--yourself, ourselves, myself, his self--the sultan is that selfish ego that always wants to take you away from the Hands of Allah (swt) to the hands of dunya and Shaytan! So before you fix the sultan that governs the country, you have to fix the sultan within you and ignore anything it tells you you follow.

Is there anyone who doesn't follow himself or herself? Do you follow yourself? (Istaghfirullah.) That is a better answer, meaning, “Yes, I know myself, istaghfirullah.” So it means Allah will forgive. Every one of us follows our sultan, our ego, which never wants to take you to Allah (swt) and always takes you from Allah! Therefore, the best jihad is jihad against that self. Everyone knows that hadith, in which the Prophet (s) said to the Sahaabah (r):

رجعنا من الجهاد الأصغر ، إلى الجهاد الأكب

raj`ana min al-jihaadu 'l-asghar ila 'l-jihaadu 'l-akbar.

"We returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad,” and they asked, “Is there a greater

jihad than fighting in the way of Allah?” and the Prophet (s) said, “Yes, it is jihad an-nafs, the fight against the self.”

So the challenge of creatures living on earth, both Muslim and non-Muslim, is to try to convince ourselves that we are not on the right way. Husbands and wives fight because today everyone wants to be sultan. That is why anyone fights, because they want to be sultan, claiming, “I am sultan!” and the other says, “No, I am sultan!” You don’t want to accept what he says and so you fight with your wife or she fights with you and you fight with your neighbors, all because your ego says, “You are the best! Don’t let them put you down. Don’t listen to them, listen to your own mind and follow what your mind tells you!”

Why did Allah (swt) send messengers and holy books? Why did Allah send the Holy Qur'an as the heavenly constitution of Islam? Because He (swt) wants them to follow the Way of Haqq. So our duty is to fulfill the best of jihad, which is to come against our self, the ego. If someone said something bad against you, say, “May Allah (swt) forgive you,” and don’t fight. Say “istaghfirullah.” One recitation of “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” is heavier than the whole Scale and therefore, heavier than all your sins!

The Prophet (s) said:

من قال لا اله الا الله دخل الجنة

Man qaala laa ilaaha illa-Llah dakhal al-Jannah.

Whoever says ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah’ enters Paradise.

So the best jihad is to fight the self by saying “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” which is really saying, “O my ego! You are not my ilah, but Allah (swt) my Creator is my ilah and I will not follow you!” But sorry to say that today people are saying, “Laa ilaaha illa ‘ana, there is no God except myself!” Like Pharoah said, “Ana rabbukum al-`alaa, I am your Highest Lord (to be worshipped)!” (79:23)

We must take this into consideration. I am not saying it only to you, but I have to take an example from it as I am falling into that mistake. So I say to everyone, first criticize yourself, then you can know what kind of mistakes you are doing daily, then record your mistakes and ask forgiveness.

May Allah bless us and bless you all and may Allah give us the best of dunya and best of akhirah, as Allah (swt) said:

بَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Rabbana atina fi'd-dunya hasanatan wa fil-akhirati hasanatan wa qina `adhab an-naar.

O our Lord! Give us goodness in this life and goodness in the Next Life, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:201)

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


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