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Dhikrullah Is the Water of Life and the Fountain of Youth

The Importance of Dhikrullah Series, Vol 6

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

24 July 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Suhbah after Fajr

Allahumma salli ‘alaa Sayyidina Muhammad hatta yarda Sayyidina Muhammad.

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani '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.

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Ati`oollaha 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)

Mashaa-Allah, this book, Talkhees al-Ma`arif fee Targheeb Muhammad `Aarif, is full of wisdom, not wisdom you take from the author, but he compiled a summary from many shuyookh and quoted them, so you don’t have to search. You would be surprised at what you see of ghina al-ma`anee, “richness of meaning” in this book!

As we said in the previous session, dhikrullah is living because it is divine, and in many places in the Holy Qur’an Allah (swt) urges human beings to make dhikrullah. Also before, during, or after the dhikr, you have to contemplate and meditate on what you recited, as you will be dressed with inexpressible heavenly dresses that are beyond our understanding, each dress of which is like maa’u ‘l-hayaat, “the water of life,” as Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ

Wa ja`alnaa min al-maa'i kulla shay’in hayy.

We made every living thing from water. (Surat al-Anbiya, 21:30)

وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ إِلاَّ عَلَى اللّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَق السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَكَانَ عَرْشُهُ عَلَى الْمَاء

Wa maa min daabbatin fi ‘l-ardi illaa `ala ’Llaahi rizquhaa wa ya`lamu mustaqarrahaa wa mustawda`ahaa kullun fee kitabin mubeen. Wa huwa ‘Lladhee khalaqa ‘s-samaawaati wa ‘l-arda fee sittati ayyaamin wa kaana `arshuhu `alaa ‘l-maa’.

And there is no creature on Earth but that upon Allah is its provision (rizq), and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register. And it is He Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and His Throne upon the water. (Surat Hud, 11:6-7)

For everything Allah (swt) created, He provided its rizq, which means He also made all human beings know they need Him! What is their particular need, everything? In the ayah, all creation--trees, animals and human beings--need Allah (swt) to give them rizq, otherwise they will die. Who provides food to fish in the ocean, or to animals, trees and human beings? Who provides angels with food?

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ

Wa maa khalaqtu‘l-jinna wa ’l-insa illa li-y`abudoon maa ureedoo minhum min rizqin wa maa ureedoo an yut`imoon.

I have only created jinn and men so that they may worship Me. No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me. (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 51:56-57)

Jinn are also dependent; if they have no food they die. Allah (swt) says, “I’m not asking you for anything as I am not in need for you! I am the One Who provides you with food, otherwise you will die.” You see hungry people everywhere and at the end they die. Last year there was news on the war in Somalia and how Somalis fled to Kenya. One lady had eight children when she left Somalia, and by the time she reached Kenya five of them had died! So if there is no food, there is no life. Therefore, everyone needs Allah’s provision, and He provides everything with food and water.

The strongest power on earth is water: nothing can stop it, as you saw with the tsunami how the water moved with such force! There are two powers on earth: fire and water. Although Allah (swt) gave fire for human beings to use, it is mostly destructive and not heavenly. Iblees said to Allah (swt), “You created me from fire and You created him from mud, so I am better!”

قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

Qaala anaa khayrun minhu khalaqtanee min naarin wa khalaqtahu min teen.

(Iblees) said, "I am better than him as You created me from fire and You created him from clay!"

(Surat Sad, 38:76)

Allah (swt) didn't accept the example Iblees gave as He (swt) created Sayyidina Adam (a) from mud molded with water, as without water there is no life, and the power of evil is fire, whereas the power of good is water. When Allah (swt) said, “We have made from water every living things,” water became stronger than fire and, therefore, water represents goodness and fire represents evilness. Fire cannot destroy water, but water can destroy fire.

Like water, dhikrullah is also living and divine. As water destroys fire, dhikrullah destroys every evil thing within you, not leaving anything bad; it enters the body and goes wherever there is evil, meaning, if you are doing something that Allah (swt) does not like then you are listening to Shaytan, who says, “Do this, do that,” and if you do it, you will be dressed from Shaytan's dresses! You have been given a fire within yourself, which is why people get angry and why they build the biggest trunk of kufr, anger, because it makes you to go out of your mind. Here we are using the word “kufr,” unbelief, because in a state of anger you become uncontrollable, then little by little you move from “thumma amanoo” to “thumma kafaroo.” Here “thumma kafaroo” does not mean to be an unbeliever, but rather to make mistakes and be dressed by Shaytan. Dhikrullah, which is the Fountain of Youth, destroys the fire in you and is why you attain peacefulness when you make dhikr, as Allah (swt) said:

أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Alaa bi dhikrillaahi tatma'inna ‘l-quloob.

Truly in remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquility. (Ar-Ra`d, 13:28)

Verily, with dhikrullah hearts become tranquil! If your heart is not tranquil it means you have to make more dhikr, as the more you make dhikr the more your anger will drop. If you do less dhikr you will still have anger, which indicates you need to do more as Shaytan has already dragged you to his side! So when dhikrullah comes it is like water over fire, destroying all the badness in you and it becomes the Fountain of Youth: wa ja`alnaa min al-maa'i kulla shay’in hayy, “We made from water every living thing.” (28:30) Dhikr is that pure water, which is why awliyaullah or Sufis have been described as “saafi,” crystal pure.

Abi Sa`eed al-Khudri (r) related and Imam Ahmad (r) recorded that the Prophet (s) said:

عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَا مِنْ قَوْمٍ اجْتَمَعُوا يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ بِذَلِكَ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ إِلَّا نَادَاهُمْ مُنَادٍ مِنْ السَّمَاءِ أَنْ قُومُوا مَغْفُورًا لَكُمْ قَدْ بُدِّلَتْ سَيِّئَاتُكُمْ حَسَنَاتٍ

Maa min qawmin ijtama`oo yadhkuroonallah, laa yureedoona bi dhaalika illaa wajha, illa naadaahum munaadin min as-sama’i an qoomoo maghfooran lakum qad buddalat sayyiaatikum hasanaat.

Whenever people assemble together to remember Allah (swt) just seeking His Face, a caller calls from heaven, “Stand up! You have been forgiven. Your sins have been changed into pious acts.”

(Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad)

“It means Allah (swt) is telling us) “From your dhikrullah, I have changed your sins into hasanaat!” This means it destroyed that fire, those bad characters in you that you slowly acquire from Shaytan that become very strong inside you.

Jabir ibn `Abdullah (r) narrates:

قَالَ جَابِرُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ ب: خَرَجَ عَلَيْنَا النَّبِيُّ صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم فَقَالَ: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، إِنَّ لِلَّهِ سَرَايَا مِنَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ تَحِلُّ وَتَقِفُ عَلَى مَجَالِسِ الذِّكْرِ فِي الْأَرْضِ. فَارْتَعُوا فِي رِيَاضِ الْجَنَّةِ. قَالُوا: وَأَيْنَ رِيَاضُ الْجَنَّةِ؟ قَالَ: مَجَالِسُ الذِّكْرِ. فَاغْدُوا وَرُوْحُوا فِي ذِكْرِ اللهِ وَذَكِّرُوهُ أَنْفُسَكُمْ. مَنْ كَانَ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يَّعْلَمَ مَنْزِلَتَهُ عِنْدَ اللهِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ كَيْفَ مَنْزِلَةُ اللهِ عِنْدَهُ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ يُنْزِلُ الْعَبْدَ مِنْهُ حَيْثُ أَنْزَلَهُ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ

Kharaja `alayna ‘n-nabiyyu sallaAllahu `alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, fa qaal: yaa ayyuha ‘n-naas, inna lillaahi saraayaa min al-malaaikati tahillu wa taqifu `alaa majaalis adh-dhikri fi ‘l-ardi farta`oo fee riyaadi ‘l-jannah. Qaaloo wa ayna riyaadu ‘l-jannah? Qaala majaalisu ‘dh-dhikri, faghdoo wa ru’hoo fee dhikrillahi wa dhakkaroohu anfusakum man kaana yuhibbu an ya`lama manzilatahu `indallaahi falyandhur kayfa manzilatullahi `indahu fa innallaaha yunzilu ‘l-`abda minhu haythu anzalahu min nafsih.

The Holy Prophet (s) came to us and said, “O people! There are armies of Allah’s angels who come to dhikr sessions on earth and stay there. So eat wholeheartedly from the gardens of Paradise!” The Companions said, “Where are the gardens of Paradise?” He replied, “Dhikr sessions, so remember Allah (swt) morning and evening and continually remind yourselves of Him. Whoever wants to know his own status and station in the Sight of Allah (swt) should see what he deems of Allah (swt), because Allah (swt) ranks a person as he believes Him in his heart.”

(Abu Yala, Musnad; al-Bayhaqi; al-Hakim said its chain of narrators is sahih.)

Jaabir (r) said, “The Prophet (s) came out to us and said, ‘O People! Allah has armies of angels who stand at the circles of dhikr on earth and say, ‘Enjoy the gardens of Paradise to graze in them!’” and the Sahaabah (r) asked, “Yaa Rasoolullah! Where are these heavenly gardens?” to which the Prophet (s) replied, “Majaalis adh-dhikr, the places where dhikrullah is going on,” which means we must run to where dhikr is going on, as dhikr is a blessing which takes away all sins and destroys them!

Our duty is to run to majaalis adh-dhikr as it is the most honorable form of worship because `ibaadah and faraa’id, obligations, will stop but dhikrullah does not stop. Everything you are ordered to do in dunya will end, but in Akhirah we are ordered to make dhikr. The food and source of existence of the people of Akhirah is dhikrullah, where happiness and entertainment are dhikrullah. Everyone will make dhikr there and every dhikr has a musical tone by which every `abd will know his level. `Alam anna jami`at-ta`at tazool, wa amma `ibaadah tahleel wa tahmeed laa tazool. “The `ibaadah and obedience to Allah (swt) in tahleel and tahmeed never ends, it follows you all the way to heaven! There it is an obligation to keep praising and mentioning Allah (swt), as He (swt) mentioned in Holy Qur'an:

وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنَّا الْحَزَنَ إِنَّ رَبَّنَا لَغَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

Wa qaaloo alhamdu lillaahi alladhee adh-haba `anna ‘l-hazana inna rabbanaa la-ghafoorun shakoor.

And they will say, "Praise be to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) sorrow, for our Lord is indeed Oft-Forgiving, ready to appreciate (service).” (Surat al-Fatir, 35:34)

دَعْوَاهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلاَمٌ وَآخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Da`waahum feehaa subhaanaka allahumma wa tahiyyatuhum feehaa salaamun wa aakhiru da`waahum ani ‘l-hamdulillaahi rabbi ‘l-`aalameen.

(This will be) their cry therein: "Glory be to You, O Allah," and "Peace!" will be their greeting therein, and the close of their cry will be, "Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds!" (Surat Yunus, 10:10)

The People of Paradise will say, “Subhaanaka allahumma!” and their salutation to Allah (swt) is “Salaam, Peace!” as one of Allah's Names is “as-Salaam,” The Bestower of Peace. It is also mentioned that the People of Paradise will be inspired by Allah to praise and glorify Him (swt) with each breath, which means your breath in heaven is dhikrullah; not one breath goes out or comes in except by dhikrullah, “SubhaanAllah, alhamdulillah, wa laa ilaaha illa-Llah w ‘Allahu Akbar!” The Prophet (s) said that there are four words from the Holy Qur’an that you can make dhikr with as much as you like:

أفضل الكلام بعد القرآن أربع وهن من القرآن : سبحان الله والحمد لله ولا إله إلا الله والله أكبر

Afdala ‘l-kalaam ba`d al-qur’an arba` wa hunna: subhaanAllah w ’alhamdulillah wa laa ilaaha illa-Llah w’Allahu Akbar.

There are four best words after Holy Qur'an: SubhaanAllah w ’alhamdulillah wa laa ilaaha illa-Llah w’Allahu Akbar.

That is why we recite this after prayers, as these are words mu’mins will also recite in Paradise. Everyone receives a different meaning and taste, as Allah's Grace and Heavenly Food never ends; so each time you recite these, different pleasures will come to you; not physical pleasure, but rather the pleasure of mentioning Allah (swt), where you can see His Presence in front of you and His Presence is your pleasure. In Paradise, if you want physical pleasure you can have it, but rather, every pleasure is dhikrullah that will never end and every pleasure in Paradise is different from the other.

Take this room, for example, is it full or empty? We are only present where we are sitting and the rest of the space in between us is empty. In dunya you can take pleasure from where you are sitting, but in Paradise every particle and space will give you a different pleasure. There is no empty space in the environment Allah (swt) will give you; you can take pleasure from everything in front of you while everything speaks to you to know the reality and secret of that place and it is not like dunya.

That is why Allah (swt) said about awliyaullah:

أَلا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاء اللّهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Alaa inna awliyaaullaahi laa khawfun `alayhim wa laa hum yahzanoon.

Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Surat al-Yunus, 10:62)

That is why awliyaullah have ordered their followers to do dhikrullah at least once a week. Grandshaykh (q) used to do Khatm al-Kabeer, The Big Dhikr, where they distribute 108 stones for attendees to count on. If there are a hundred people, each one gets a stone and the imam keeps eight and the number of stones you get depends on how many people are present. You might not even get a stone if there are more than a hundred people.

Grandshaykh (q) said that every stone is heavier than Mt. Uhud, which means Allah (swt) will give you hasanaat the weight of Jabal Uhud! If you have no stone, all those stones are added together so that all one-hundred stones are for you, each of which is heavier than Mt. Uhud, which will be written for everyone present. That was al-Khatm al-Kabeer, which we are no longer doing today; instead, we are doing Khatm al-Sagheer, The Small Dhikr, as ordered by Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), which goes all the way up to Sayyid as-Salawaat. Normally this was to be recited every day, but now we are reciting it once a week. Grandshaykh (q) said it is like a washing machine to take away all our sins, about which we now understand why khatm is necessary, because like water that extinguishes fire, dhikrullah extinguishes all bad characters in us and changes them from bad to good behaviors, as we mentioned.

In another hadith, Abdur-Rahman al-Jili (r) said that the Prophet (s) said:

If a group of people gather for dhikrullah, then Shaytan and his group are expelled to the door of the masjid, where he says to his group, “Come, come, come! Check them; did they finish or not?” and they say, “No, they did not finish,” after which Shaytan hits himself on his head. His group says, “What is wrong with you?” and he says, “I am worried that mercy will come over them (those doing dhikr) and they will never be punished!”

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: (إذا مررتم برياض الجنة فارتعو) قالو وما رياض الجنة ؟قال حلق الذكر

Qaala Rasoolullah (s), idhaa marartum bi-riyaada ’l-jannatu farta`oo. Qaaloo: wa maa riyaadul-jannah? Qaala: Hilaq adh-dhikr...

Anas bin Malik (r) related a hadith that the Prophet (s) said, “If you pass by the Gardens of Jannah, sit there and graze.” They asked, “What are the Gardens of Paradise?” The Prophet (s) replied, “The circles of dhikr.” (Tirmidhi)

That is like this circle here! We will continue in the next session with more on the benefits of dhikrullah.

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


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