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Don’t Be Pleased with Yourself

Shaykh Nour Kabbani

21 June 2015 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Zhuhr Suhbah

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een. Dastoor yaa Sayyidi, yaa Sultanul Awliya.

Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, `Azeez Allah!

Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Kareem Allah!

Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Subhaan Allah!

Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Allah Allah, Sultaan Allah!

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Mashaa-Allah laa quwwata illa billah. As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

Allah (swt) created the human being and made him complete and perfect, as He says:

لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَاهُ أَسْفَلَ سَافِلِينَ

We have certainly created man in the best of stature. Then We return him to the lowest of the low.

(Surat at-Teen, 95:4-5)

Laqad khalaqna ‘l-insaana fee ahsani taqweem,“We have fashioned human beings in the best form, in the best shape,” thumma radadnaahu asfala saafileen, “then we reduced him to the lowest of the low.”

Allah (swt) is the best teacher, He taught the Holy Qur'an to the Prophet (s). Since we are human beings, Allah (swt) has created in us with characteristics of Shaytan: envy, jealousy, self-admiration (we admire ourselves) and grandiosity (we think ourselves grandiose). Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom, put these characteristics in human beings and all of us are prone to that, none of us can say, "I am free of feeling grandiose, jealous, envious, hatred to someone”, and the way we live life is conducive to that.

You are a manager in a corporation, you start having feelings of importance or that you are superior; life makes us go through these characteristics, we live it, we cannot say we are not greedy. Once you are in the middle of a business transaction, you can become as greedy as can be, and as oppressive as can be, to get everything for ourselves. Why? Because we are human beings, from human nature we have been created that way. Each one of us, when we get any kind of position, religious or worldly, we start to experience feelings of grandiosity, superiority, importance, of being a king and everyone around us is just there to serve our needs.

How to get rid of that? Some people, some pious servants that are trying to get rid of that feeling of grandiosity, for example, but every time we try to do that we are put in a situation in which we feel even more grandiose, more superior! The more you want to break away from that desire of being important, Allah puts you in a position to feel more superior. That is a training, because Allah wants us to reach perfection, so what did He tell his Nabi Muhammad (s), the Most Perfect, the Most Knowledgeable and Wise among Creation? If all those characteristics were in us, we would feel so big! That was the disease of Shaytan. So Allah is telling the Holy Prophet (s), and as a teaching from him (s) to our shuyukh, and from our shaykhs and teachers to us, that if we are put in that situation what should we do?

If Allah (swt) is giving us knowledge, piety and respect among people, what do we do, how do we fight that so we don’t fall in the trap of Shaytan? Shaytan was given respect by angels and also respected himself, he was pleased with himself and angels were pleased with him. He was their teacher, but still Allah was displeased with him! So when a human being has a position of superiority and grandiosity and becomes pleased with himself and the people around him become pleased with him,we have the same example of Shaytan: he was pleased with himself and the angels around him were pleased with him, and still that did not prevent the displeasure of Allah (swt).

So if any of us are pleased with our position and the people around us are pleased with our position, but Allah is displeased, what happens? We are cast out, kicked out! So to be happy and pleased with oneself and the people around us, and for them to be pleased with us does not prevent the displeasure of Allah, and that person and whoever is around them can be in big jeopardy. So it is a disease to be pleased with oneself. Allah (swt) is teaching the Prophet (s) in Surah Kahf, “Tell them” to get rid of that bad trait that we have, asta`eedhubillah:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ

Qul innamaa anaa basharun mithlukum yoohaa ilayya..

Say, "I am but a man like yourselves....” (Surat al-Kahf, 18:110)

“I am but a human being, like you.” To get rid of this grandiosity and superiority that we feel among Mankind that, “I’m a special man among men, a special person,” Allah (swt) is saying and of course teaching us to say the same thing, “I know that disease in Mankind, and tell them, O Beloved Prophet, that you are just as them. The only difference is that you are guiding them to My Way."

That’s it. I am not special, we are not special among Mankind, humans; the only difference is that Allah made some of us the guidance to His Divine Presence. So don't expect miracles and paradises from your teacher. What did they ask the Prophet (s)?

وقالوا لن نؤمن لك حتى تفجر لنا من الأرض ينبوعا أو تكون لك جنة من نخيل وعنب فتفجر الأنهار خلالها تفجيرا

And they say: "We shall not believe in you (O Muhammad), until you cause a spring to gush forth from the Earth for us; or you have a garden of date-palms and grapes, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst abundantly.” (Surat al-Israa’, 17:90-91)

When the disbelievers came to the Prophet (s), they asked him all these things: “Make water gush to us from Earth, show us your miracles!” or, “Why doesn’t a paradise appear to you and you are dwelling in that paradise?” or, “Why don’t you fly into Heavens? And when you fly up to Heavens, bring us down a book and we can read.” So they expected from their teacher or guide miracles and extraordinary things, that is what they wanted, and Allah is telling His Holy Prophet (s):

قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّي هَلْ كُنْتُ إِلَّا بَشَرًا رَسُولًا

Say, "Exalted is my Lord! Was I ever but a human messenger?" (Surat al-Israa’, 17:93)

“Tell them, ‘Subhaana Rabbee, Exalted is my Lord! Hal kunta illaa basharan rasoola, am I not only a human, a bashar like you, rasoola, but a messenger?’” So when people follow a teacher or guide, they shouldn't expect other than the guidance to their Lord. Whoever is speaking and giving guidance to the Lord, people around him should not expect anything from that person except the true guidance. When we enter the presence of our shuyookh, imams, ` ulama, scholars, speakers, professors, saaliheen, the pious ones, we are asking for the guidance to our Lord, nothing else! So Allah is saying, “O My Beloved, tell them, ‘I'm just a human like you. Don't expect extraordinary things from me.’”

If Allah (swt) orders His servant to do extraordinary miracles, they do it, but not from themselves; rather, they keep to themselves and appear like everybody else, human. “But the difference is, yoohaa ilayya - Revelation has been sent to me and Revelation is the guidance to our Lord, Allah (swt).” Why? Because Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) tells us we are down a road that is a dead end; this life is a dead end. What happens at the end of this life? Death. So we are going down a track or a road that is a dead end. What do we do when there is a dead end? We go back. So Allah is telling us in the Holy Qur’an, “Come back, you are going down a dead end. Come back to Me!” Wa aneeboo ilaa rabbakum, “Turn back to your Lord,” wa aslimoo lah, “and surrender to Him, accept Islam.”

وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ

And return (in repentance) to your Lord and submit to Him. (Surat az-Zumar, 39:54)

How do we turn back? We come to the presence of a teacher, wali, scholar, a knowledgeable person so that we find the guidance back to our Lord and, alhamdulillah, we are blessed to find such a place, a venue, such a teacher, such a prophet, the Best of Guides (s), telling us the way back to our Lord. We are seeking the guidance back to our Lord, that is our aim of life. We are down a dead end, or as Mawlana Shaykh also said, we are down a ‘wrong way’, of acquiring a status in life to boost our envy, jealousy, anger, greed and grandiosity. It’s all a boost: whenever we are going down this life acquiring and acquiring, we are just boosting and boosting and boosting our bad manners. So we are down a wrong way and how do we prevent that from happening?

We find a guide that will show us the guidance back to our Lord! Whenever we have that feeling of kibr, arrogance and grandiosity, we tell ourselves what Allah revealed to our Prophet (s) to say, “I am just a human like anybody else.” If Allah has given that human a special trait or a special gift, that gift is only guidance of fellow humans to our Lord, nothing else.

Allah (swt) tells the Prophet (s):

وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

And indeed, (O Muhammad), you guide to a Straight Path. (Surat ash-Shooraa, 42:52)

Innaka la-tahdee ilaa siraatin mustaqeem, “Surely you will guide people to the Right Path.” So our Beloved Prophet (s) is a guide to the Right Path, not to the wrong way, but the right way. If we go down the wrong way, try it, drive down a wrong way street and go the speed limit, 35 or 40 MPH, what happens? If you are going full force in this life acquiring wealth and status but is the wrong way, what happens? A truck will come the other way and crush you. If we are going down a wrong way, we will have an event that will come full speed and crush us, and that is death. When death comes and we are crushed, then we understand that we were down the wrong way, so before death comes, before punishment comes, we have to turn back from the wrong way and follow the guidance of the guides back to our Lord. We ask Allah to keep us on the Straight Path and to keep us with our guides that show us the way back to our Lord.

Wa min Allahi tawfiq, bi hurmati ‘l-habib wa bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah!