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Dhikr Surpasses Supplication

The Fiqh of Islam, Vol 24

Ramadan Series 2013

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

1 August 2013 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah

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`alaa fee haadha 'l-masjid.

Salam `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh. Wherever you are around the world, we are simple people and you are simple people. You are making sajda, we are making sajda to Allah (swt). So we are the same. Allah (swt) said:

وَذَكِّرْفَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَى تَنفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Wa dhakkir fa inna adh-dhikra tanfa`u ’l-mumineen.

And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers. (Surat adh-Dhaariyat, 51:55)

I get benefit you get benefit. Fa dhakkir, remind about what? About the Creator and about Creation, through Creation you know the greatness of Allah (swt). That's why Allah mentioned in Holy Qur'an that it is important:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Inna fee khalqi ’s-samawaati wa ’l-ard wa’khtilaafi ’l-layli wa ’n-nahaar la-ayaatin li-ooli ’l-albaab. Alladheena yadhkuroonallaha qiyaaman wa qu`oodan wa `alaa junoobihim wa yatafakkaroona fee khalqi ’s-samawaati wa ’l-ardi rabbanaa maa khalaqta hadhaa baatilan subhaanaka faqinaa `adhaab an-naar.

Behold! In the creation of Heaven and Earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding, those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and contemplating the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, (saying), "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose! Glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:191)

Those who make dhikr in 24 hours, they are remembering Allah standing, sitting and lying down, going to work or coming from work, or in the house; whatever they are doing they remember Allah, but Allah (swt) added on that wa yatafakkaroon, “they have to reflect on the creation of Heavens and Earth.” We are asking, as Allah said:

ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ

Idoo`nee astajib lakum.

Call on Me, I will answer you. (Surah al-Ghafir, 40:60)

We are asking Allah to grant us that and dress us with that. So in our life everyone is like a tree, like how you plant the tree. When you plant a seed, what happens? The shoot will come out and you can see it; the seed you cannot see it, it is gone, you dig and there is no more seed, only you see what is coming up. Also human beings are like seeds, but (composed of) a different matter with different qualifications, and after a while it becomes a child and the child does not stay a child, he or she will grow. Just like the seed doesn’t stay a seed, it will grow into a tree and become the main trunk with many branches. Also human beings were a living species in the womb of the mother, from the father and mother, and Allah (swt) will create a child and cause that child to grow and it becomes like a tree with different branches. You might have a dead tree, yabisa, that is dry, and you might have a living tree that is blossoming and gives fruits. These fruits come from obedience to Allah and from dhikrullah, as without dhikrullah there is nothing. As a tree needs water every day or every week, also the human being needs water to keep it alive and that is dhikrullah. So if you make dhikr, your heart, which is the main trunk of the body and keeps it alive, that dhikr makes it to be alive. If you don’t make dhikrullah you are killing and drying that heart, which becomes dark and where Shaytan comes and enters.

The difference between dhikr of the heart and dhikr of the tongue is a great difference. The best dhikrullah is dhikr of the qalb, heart, to make your heart work. As you know, in the emergency room operations sometimes the patient is brought in and the heart has stopped, so they use electric shock to make the heart muscles move. The heart also needs an electric shock. The power of dhikrullah by tongue is less than the power of dhikrullah by heart. So from dhikrullah by tongue, you need to make an electric shock to make the dhikrullah move the heart in order for the body to survive. You will be pumping light that dhikrullah produces, the Heavenly Light that goes to every part of the body and makes dhikr of “Allah” in every cell. Say, “Allah!”

قُلِ الله ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

Quli 'Llaah thumma wa dharhum fee khawdihim yal`aboon.

Say "Allah," then leave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling. (Surat al-An`am, 6:91)

Allah said that in the Holy Qur'an. O our Salafi brothers! You say that you cannot do dhikr by saying “Allah,” that it is haraam and that you must do dhikr of “laa ilaaha illa-Llah.” O our friends the Salafis, Allah said this in the Holy Qur’an, Quli 'Llaah thumma wa dharhum fee khawdihim yal`aboon. “Say, ‘Allah,’ thumma wa dharhum fee khawdihim yal`aboon, and don’t bother with them.” Leave them in their ways, in their nonsense, playing! We don’t need them, they are playing with toys. But when you say “Allah,” you are not playing with toys, you are calling the Creator directly. Don’t they say, “Don’t make intercession, go to Allah directly.” Why then don’t they make dhikrullah, “Allah, Allah, Allah.” Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an, “Yaa Muhammad! Say ‘Allah’ and don’t bother with them. They are going to come to you bowing their heads to Allah (swt), making sajda.”

Dhikru ’l-qalb yuthmiru ‘l-ma`arifah, the fruit of dhikru ‘l-qalb, when the heart makes dhikr, is knowledge; knowledge will be coming into your heart. What did Sayyidina Yunus (a) say? He said, laa ilaaha illa Anta Subhaanak! Innee kuntu min azh-zhaalimeen, “There is no god but Thee! Glory to You! Certainly, I was one of the oppressors.” If he didn’t make dhikr in the belly of the whale, he would have been left there until Judgment Day, but he made the dhikr that Allah loves the most, Laa ilaaha illa Anta Subhaanak! Innee kuntu min azh-zhaalimeen! Except when he got upset with his people he left them; Allah (swt) sent him to his people and they didn’t accept him and he got upset and left. Allah gave him a lesson to teach him, “Don’t pray against your people, don’t ask Me to destroy them. You go and deliver your message.” He got upset with them because they did not listen and he left his people, ghaadhiban, and was angry with his people. He went to the beach to observe Allah's Greatness and a whale came and swallowed him and he would have remained in hthe whale’s belly until the Day of Judgment.

فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنْ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ, لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ.

Falawla annahu kaana mina al-musabbiheena lalabitha fee batnihi ila yawmi yubb`athoona.

And had he not been of those who exalt Allah, he would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected. (Surat as-Safaat, 37:143-144)

If he had not been of the musabbihoon, those who make tasbeeh, the people of dhikrullah, praising Allah, thanking Allah (swt), remembering Allah (swt), Allah would not have ordered the whale to spit him out and he would have stayed there. So dhikrullah will take you out from your darkness into light when you are doing dhikrullah either by tongue or by heart. Heart dhikrullah is stronger, because it will dress you with knowledge and it is stronger that dhikrullah by tongue. Allah (swt) brought him out from the whale and if we make dhikrullah like Sayyidina Yunus (a), “Laa ilaaha illa Anta Subhaanak! Innee kuntu min azh-zhaalimeen, You are the Creator, there is no god except Allah (swt)! Yaa Rabbee! I am sorry, verily I was from the oppressors,” not like the way we say it with our tongue, “I am an oppressor.” When Sayyidina Yunus was saying that from his heart, with full confidence that he was an oppressor, then Allah (swt) gave him back life.

Inside the whale, is there light? It is darkness, there is no light. He was in darkness when he said, “Laa ilaaha illa Anta Subhaanak, You are the Creator, yaa Rabbee, there is no god but You!” and speaking directly to Allah. “Anta, You are the One, yaa Allah, the Creator, and I am Your weak servant, the oppressor!” When he declared that and began his tasbeeh with that, then after a while Allah (swt) took him out of that darkness, and that tasbeeh has light in it and that light showed him the way inside the whale and the whale spat him out. So Allah (swt) will make our heart move from darkness, take us from the darkness and spit us out into Heavenly Light, noor. That noor is beyond our mind. Inshaa-Allah if there is time we will mention it.

Dhikrullah by heart will give us ma`rifatullah and will instigate love of Allah (swt) and take you from sins and then take you to do muraqabah. When this Light is so strong in your heart, it will make the heart move, and when it moves it begins to see what is in the universe, like a child in the womb of the mother when it is moving. How is it moving? Who made it to move? You? No way, and if he didn’t move to turn his head down, then he would die. So that means there is a system to do muraqabah, to make the heart move in the right direction, or else you need a C-section. What is that C-Section? It is to polish you to have a good character, that the Prophet (s) said, “I was sent to perfect and complete the manners of the ummah.”

What is better, adh-dhikr or ad-du`a? Allah said, idoo`nee astajib lakum, “Call on Me, I will answer you.” It is said that dhikrullah is to praise Allah and du`a is asking for one’s self. There is a big difference! Awliyaullah submit, they don’t ask for themselves, they only make dhikrullah. Dhikrullah is to look into one's heart and see there is no one except Allah (swt).

ما وسعني أرضي ولا سمائي ولكن وسعني قلب عبدي المؤمن

Maa wasi`anee ardee wa laa samaa'ee wa laakin wasi`anee qalbi `abdee al-mu'min.

Neither My Heavens nor My Earth contain Me, but the heart of My believing servant contains Me.

(Hadith Qudsi, Al-Ihya of Imam al-Ghazali)

It is said that neither the Heavens nor Earth contained Me but the heart of My believing servant contained Me.” That is noor. That dhikrullah is noor, and Allaahu nooru 's-samaawaati wa 'l-ardi, Allah is Light/Noor of the Heavens and Earth. That noor comes from dhikrullah, you are praising Allah (swt). It is recommended every moment in your life to praise Allah (swt). When you say, “O Allah I am a weak servant, I cannot do more,” then when you show that, Allah will create angels to do dhikrullah, to continue on your behalf, to make it as if you are in full worshipness the whole day and the whole night. But you have to start the car, turn the ignition, then the car works, then it moves. The ignition, the key is dhikrullah. Du`a is sual al-`abd, the du`a is asking of a servant to Allah (swt). It is mentioned that dhikrullah is through His Beautiful Names and Attributes.

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’.”

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

What do you want more than that? If you say that, Allah will be happy with you! Two words, very light on the tongue and very heavy on the Scale. That means they will push the sins away, these two words are so heavy they will push the Scale down and you will enter Paradise. SubhaanAllah wa bihamdihi subhaanAllahi ’l-`Azheem. If you say them, Allah (swt) will give you Paradise, Allah will open for you light in your heart, and open light for you in Heavens.

The Prophet (s) said:

يَقُولُ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مَنْ شَغَلَهُ ذِكْرِي عَنْ مَسْأَلَتِي أَعْطَيْتُهُ أَفْضَلَ مَا أُعْطِي السَّائِلِينَ ‏

Man shaghalahu dhikree `an mas’alatee a`ataytuhu afdala maa oo`tee ‘s-saa’ileen.

The Lord, Blessed and Most High is He, has said, “Whoever is too busy with the Qur'an for remembering Me and asking Me, then I shall give him more than what I give to those who ask.”


“If someone becomes busy with My remembrance, man shaghalahu `an dhikree akthar min mas’alatee, more than he asks Me, I will give him more than anyone else, afdala maa oo`tee ‘s-saa’ileen, I will give him more than what I give to those who ask! If you ask Me, I give you, and if you praise Me, I give you more.”

So praise Allah (swt) with hamd, tahmeed, tamjeed, takbeer and tahlil, and don’t be cheap!

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ الأَسْلَمِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ سَمِعَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَجُلاً يَدْعُو وَهُوَ يَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِأَنِّي أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ أَنْتَ اللَّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ الأَحَدُ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَقَالَ ‏ "‏ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَقَدْ سَأَلَ اللَّهَ بِاسْمِهِ الأَعْظَمِ الَّذِي إِذَا دُعِيَ بِهِ أَجَابَ وَإِذَا سُئِلَ بِهِ أَعْطَى

The Prophet heard a man supplicating and he was saying, “O Allah! Indeed, I ask you by my testifying that You are Allah, there is none worthy of worship except You, The One, The One Who does not beget nor was begotten, and there is none who is like Him.” So the Prophet (s) said,“By The One in Whose Hand is my soul, he has asked Allah by His Greatest Name, the one which if He is called upon by it He responds, and when He is asked by it He gives.” (Tirmidhi, Sahih ibn Hibban)

It is mentioned in Sahih ibn Hibban that the Prophet (s) heard a man making du`a and he was saying:

Allahumma innee as’aluka bi annee ash-hadu annaka Anta ’Llah laa ilaaha illa Anta al-Ahadu s’-Samad al-ladhee lam yalid walam yoolad wa lam yakun lahu kufoowan ahad. “O Allah! I am asking You to be witness that I say that You are the Creator and You are The Only One, al-Ahad, Unique, and as-Samad, Who does not need anyone, is independent of anyone, The One that has no children, lam yalid walam yoolad, and has no partners.” The Prophet (s) said, w’alladhee nafsee bi yadihi, “I give an oath,” to show how much it is important. Without giving an oath, whatever the Prophet (s) said people believed, but to confirm to you what was revealed to me of this du`a he said, laqad sa’ala ‘Llahu bi-Ismihi ‘l `Azham, “He asked Allah by His Greatest Name.”

He asked Allah when he read that, and I will read it another time and all of us will read it: Allahumma innee as’aluka bi annee ash-hadu annaka Anta ’Llah laa ilaaha illa Anta al-Ahadu s’-Samad al-ladhee lam yalid walam yoolad wa lam yakun lahu kufoowan ahad. We said it, alhamdulillah, so we will get the barakah of that du`a, where the Prophet (s) said that man through that du`a asked Allah by means of His Greatest Name. All prophets were asking (seeking) in their life to ask Allah by His Greatest Name. Allah didn’t give it and no one knows what is the Greatest Name of Allah (swt). Some scholars and awliyaullah say it is in the beginning of the first two or three ayats in every surah, from the beginning to the end. Ismullah al-`Azham, The Greatest Name is in one of them although it is not recognized as He only gives to the Prophet (s), and what Allah wants him to know he knows. As the Prophet (s) said, laqad sa’ala ‘Llahu bi-Ismihi ‘l `Azham, “He asked Allah by His Greatest Name,” so he knew. “He asked Allah by His Greatest Name, wa idhaa su’ila bihi a`taa, that if anyone asked by it, it is answered.” If anyone wants his du`a to be answered immediately, it must be by Ismullah al-`Azham. And we don’t know where, but the Prophet (s) is mentioning through that hadith that it is in those two lines, Ismullah al-`Azham is there.

Su`ila ba`du ahli ‘l-`ilm, some scholars asked, ayyuma anfa`oo li ’l-`abd at-tasbeeh aw al-istighfaar, which is better for a servant of Allah, to praise Allah or to ask forgiveness of Allah? Which is more beneficial, better for us? What is better, praise or istighfaar? If you praise and don't make istighfaar, in the mind of people you have to make istighfaar first and then praise. That comes out easy. I made a sin and praised Allah? No, I have to say “astaghfirullah” and come clean. So which is higher? Praise or istighfaar? I confused you, because the first was the right answer, to praise.

It is said if you have clean clothes, you need to put incense or bakhoor on top of them or perfumes. It is advisable to put it on clean clothes, and on dirty clothes what is the benefit to put perfume and incense? You need to put soap and water. So how then, if we are dirty by sins? Istighfaar will clean us to be able to put perfume on the clothes you are going to wear. So for sure praise is higher, but istighfaar is what cleans you and polishes you, and grants you cleanliness and presents you clean, and makes you able to receive the manifestations of Allah's Beautiful Names and Attributes. Then you can put the perfume and incense; you don’t put perfumes and incense on dirty clothes. So don’t praise Allah (swt) without asking for forgiveness. Make istighfaar and then praise Him.

Rabbana zhalamnaa anfusanaa, Allah said that we should say:

قَالاَ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

Qaalaa Rabbana zhalamnaa anfusanaa, wa in lam taghfir lanaa wa tarhamanaa laa nakoonanaa min al-khassireen.

The two of them [Adam & Eve] said, “O Allah! We oppressed ourselves. If you don’t forgive us and send Your Mercy, we will be losers.” (Surat al-`Araaf, 7:23)

We must first say, So first is asking forgiveness, istighfaar, then you will be rewarded by praising Him. “Laa ilaaha illa Anta Subhaanak! Innee kuntu min azh-zhaalimeen, there is no Creator except You, I am an oppressor.” Sayyidina Yunus (a) humbled himself and confessed his wrongdoing, so the whale spat him out. Dhikrullah is better than du`a, but du`a is necessary to take you to a clean dhikrullah when you do it, to be clean, not to be dirty.

Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) asked the Prophet (s) to teach him a du`a to recite in his prayers. This hadith is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim. And the Prophet (s) said, “Qul, say, yaa Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, ‘Allahumma.’” And look how he begins it:

أَنَّ أَبَا بَكْرٍ الصِّدِّيقَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ لِلنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ عَلِّمْنِي دُعَاءً أَدْعُو بِهِ فِي صَلاَتِي‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ "‏ قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي ظُلْمًا كَثِيرًا، وَلاَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ، فَاغْفِرْ لِي مِنْ عِنْدِكَ مَغْفِرَةً، إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Abu Bakr as-Siddiq said to the Prophet (s), “O Allah's Messenger (s)! Teach me an invocation with which I may invoke Allah in my prayers." The Prophet (s) said, "Say, ‘Allahumma innee zhalamtu nafsee zhulman katheeran wa innahu laa yaghfiroo dhunooba illaa Anta faghfirlee maghfiratan min `indika wa ‘rhamnee innaka Anta ‘l-Ghafoora ‘r-Raheem.’ O Allah! I have wronged my soul very much (oppressed myself) and none forgives the sins but You, so please bestow Your Forgiveness upon me. No doubt, You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful)." (Bukhari, Muslim)

You begin by blaming yourself: Allahumma innee zhalamtu nafsee zhulman katheeran. If someone is entering to see a leader, first you will say, “Forgive me.” So what do you think about Allah (swt), when someone is entering the door of Allah (swt), what would he say? He wants to show humility. The Prophet (s) is showing Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) humility, to say, “Allahumma innee zhalamtu nafsee zhulman kabeera, I have oppressed myself, too much oppression, wa innahu yaghfiru ‘dh-dhunooba illaa anta, and there is none to forgive Me except You. Faghfirlee maghfiratan min `indika wa ‘rhamnee, so forgive me with a special forgiveness from You and wa ‘rhamnee, send Mercy on me, be Merciful.”

That is for Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r), who was the Companion of the Prophet (s), whom he took:

إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا

Idh yaqoolu li-saahibihi laa tahzan inna Allaha ma`ana.

And he said to his companion, "Have no fear for Allah is with us." (Surat at-Tawbah, 9:40)

He was Companion of the Prophet (s) migrating from Mecca to Madinah.

And then comes the praising, “Innaka anta ‘l-Ghafooru ‘r-Raheem, You are The One Who Forgives and You are the One Who is Merciful.” So this hadith combined tawassul to Allah (swt) by maghfirah, praising Him by asking for forgiveness. So let us say the dhikr that the Prophet (s) taught Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) and, inshaa-Allah, we will be saved by that du`a in this life and th eNext Life by the barakah of that du`a:

Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem. Rabbanaa zhalamnaa anfusanaa wa in lam taghfirlanaa wa tarhamnaa lana koonanna min al-khaasireen. Sorry, that is du`a of Sayyidina Adam (a). The du’a of Sayyidina Abu as-Siddiq (r) that Prophet (s) taught him is: Allahumma innee zhalamtu nafsee zhulman katheeran wa innahu laa yaghfiroo dhunooba illaa Anta faghfirlee maghfiratan min `indika wa ‘rhamnee innaka anta al-Ghafoor ar-Raheem.

May Allah bless us and may Allah grant us His love, and bless us with the barakah and love He granted to the Prophet (s) and to awliyaullah!

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

Grandshaykh said, “If I lose something, I am the thief because I let it be stolen.”


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