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Don’t Teach What You Don’t Practice

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

8 April 2017 Jakarta, Indonesia

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

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

nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem fee hadha 'l-masjid.

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Atee`oollaha wa atee`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)

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. [...] The more we speak, the more we see ourselves very small: we are like ants, nothing. Comparatively, all knowledges recorded in books are like an ant. The only knowledge that has genuine meaning is what Allah (swt) gave to Prophet (s), what He didn’t give to anyone else: `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa ’l-Akhireen. So we are going back to Sayyidina Junaid al-Baghdadi’s definition of ‘al-faqeer’. The difference between Awliyaullah’s and the Prophet’s (s) understanding cannot be compared. If you gather the knowledge of all Awliya, it will not even be a drop compared to the ocean of knowledge of Sayyidina Muhammad (s).

On the many small islands in the middle of the sea there are many mountains, volcanoes and waterfalls. Waterfalls carry sweet water and the ocean has salty water, so who can mix those two together? SubhaanAllah! There are waterfalls on some islands, but where are they coming from? I saw a documentary about islands that showed an island much bigger than this room, with a waterfall of sweet water mixed with salt water, and it flows into the ocean. Its water has flowed for millions of years. Who is giving that? Allah (swt) wants to show His `Azhamah, Greatness. It is said oceans make up three quarters of the Earth, all salt water. There are islands floating on the ocean and not sinking, and they have waterfalls of sweet water. If you dig there, you find sweet water.

The Prophet’s knowledge that is opened for Awliyaullah is like that, it never ends. However, if you combined all the knowledges of all Awliya, it would be a drop compared to the Prophet’s knowledge. Awliya’s knowledge is important and flows like a waterfall. They teach their students from that knowledge. Some observe khalwah, seclusion, sulook, as Shaykh Mustafa does, and it is important. What will they get? We can say Allah has given every Wali an island in the middle of a salty ocean to do khalwah/sulook, and when his students make khalwah on Earth, spiritually it is khalwah on one of those islands.

Also, Allah (swt) chained one of the most evil ones on Earth, Dajjal, the Anti-Messiah, on one of those islands until the time comes for him to appear, then Allah will order the jinn to unchain him and he will come on Earth to make fitna, which we are now seeing in the Middle East. That is from Masih al-Dajjal.

When Sayyidina Junaid al-Baghdadi (q) was asked the meaning of poverty, to truly express that caused him to leave the association and disappear. His followers were surprised, because he never missed a session with his students, so why did he leave and run away? They began to doubt if he really knew the meaning of poverty. We mentioned all of this in order to explain poverty. The shaykh left and was not seen in the village for some time.

There is a big difference between`Ilm al-Haqiqah and`Ilm az-Zhaahir, Knowledge of Reality and knowledge based on doubt or theories that might be right or wrong, like in Physics. The shaykh left because at that moment it came to his heart, “What are you going to explain to them, yaa Junaid?” An angel came to him with inspiration. By him running away, the students thought Imam Junaid (q) didn't have an answer, but he did! Allah (swt) inspired his heart, “Show them the reality of poverty.” So he went home and did something that took time and after about a week he returned to the session.

Everyone was happy to see him, but also wanted to know where he had been. He was a big scholar and Wali, so they wanted to know the hikmah of his reappearance. He didn’t want to be inauthentic in his advice on the meaning of poverty, he wanted to be genuine and correct because, as we mentioned, a theory might be right or wrong. So he didn't want to theorize about poverty, to give an example he had not himself experienced, as it would be without basis. He wanted to prove to himself that his definition of poverty was 100% correct from the knowledge given to him from Prophet (s)!

Everyone was anxious to hear something. He is a fountain of knowledge, like the waterfall of sweet water that keeps giving non-stop. You may be surrounded by salt water, but unable to drink it, but a waterfall can satisfy your thirst. So he went to drink from the knowledge of poverty and its reality. It is said from a famous Muslim and Sufi scholar, Isma`oo wa aa`oo faidhaa awaytum fantafi`u, “Listen and comprehend, because you benefit when you understand.”

So he said, “I left the association abruptly as I felt I could not correctly define the meaning of poverty. I wanted my explanation to be based on the reality of poverty that we learned from Prophet (s).” Who can define poverty? Anyone would say that poverty is someone with no wealth, correct? [Yes]. He said, “In reality, the one who asked me was an angel, in order to teach my students the reality of poverty. I am happy that he reminded me and refreshed my mind to go and investigate poverty. Had he not asked that question, no one would have known the true meaning. So I will tell you the reality of the definition of poverty.”

He continued, “There is a literal meaning and a very subtle meaning. The literal or physical meaning is when he asked me the question, I was going to open my notes to answer him, but something blocked me and I was obliged to go home. Then it came to my heart to take a shower, make wudu, pray two raka`ats, make tafakkur and see what comes to my heart on the meaning of poverty. The inspiration came, ‘Yaa Junaid! How will you define poverty when you currently have wealth, the three coins you saved in your closet for future emergencies. That is a big mistake! Your explanation will be worthless.’ I thought, ‘Give these coins to the poor and return with nothing, then you will understand the meaning of poverty.’”

When Allah (swt) raised Sayyidina `Isa (a) to Heavens, he knocked at the door of the First Heaven and it opened for him.

The angels asked, “What are you doing here?”

He said, “Allah has raised me and I am knocking at your door.”

The angels said, “You were entitled to go to higher paradises, but first we must check something. What are you bringing?”

They searched him and found a needle. Although it is something he needed, it is from mata`ad-dunya, so they could not let him enter Heaven with it and they sent him back. Sayyidina Junaid (q) began to understand from `Isa’s (a) story that if you carry anything in dunya with the intention of emergencies or any other reason, then you are not completely putting your trust in Allah (swt), but rather in mata`ad-dunya. You are rich that you have a needle and thread, so how can you define poverty when you are carrying wealth from dunya?

So he gave away his three coins, returned to the majlis and said, “I distributed those coins among the poor in order for me to taste the true meaning of poverty. I now have nothing left at home, not for my family or my future.” He even ordered his daughter to distribute before nightfall any food or wealth that came, so there would be nothing left at home.

Then one night, he asked his daughter, “Did you distribute anything today?”

She replied, “I didn’t, because today I did not have anything.”

He said, “That's impossible. I am trying to sleep but am restless, turning right and left. I think there is something still in the house.”

Then she remembered, “Yes! Someone gave a little bit of meat for you that I kept on top of the cupboard.”

He immediately distributed it, then returned home and slept. He stayed in this state for some days, in order to feel the reality of poverty. Then he told his students, “Now I can explain the real meaning of poverty. You have to live in it in order to understand it. Moreover, the spiritual meaning of poverty is that you are poor, you are in need of the knowledge of Prophet (s) to come to you. That is the real meaning of poverty.”

Poverty of dunya is for the people of dunya, but poverty for Ahl ‘ut-Turuq, People of Tariqah, is that they don’t have the real meaning of Shari`ah or Tariqah, they are poor in that subject. So you must be sincere in studying Shari`ah and Haqiqah, then poverty will go away from you and you will become like a spotlight.

So he understood the reality that when you are in need for something, you like to get it, is it not? Otherwise, you are poor. All of us are poor in our relationship with our shuyookh, going back in our silsila all the way to Prophet (s), because we are not keeping their orders and the awraad they assigned us, so we need to take it back by renewing our connection with our shaykh!

May Allah give us the power to always be with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and Grandshaykh (q) and to be in the Presence of Prophet (s) in the best way. May Allah forgive us and bless us and take us from poverty to the Reality of knowledge. Dunya is going to finish and you won’t get anything worthwhile from it, but in Akhirah you will have that treasure of your awraad.

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

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