Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
22 June 2016 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Alhamdulillah to be happy, not to be sad; to be smiling, not to be serious; to be glowing, not to be dark!
أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:59)
We are in a month that is very precious to the Ummah, because for sure it is the month of maghfirah, forgiveness, and who doesn’t like maghfirah? Everyone does, especially the elderly, because they made a lot of mistakes, while young ones are still making and moving on. That is why when Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) was asked about how he feels towards the elderly and the young, he said, “I am happy to see young ones because they have less sins than me; if they make du`a Allah will accept. And I am happy to see the elderly because they have more `ibaadah than me.”
Awliyaullah are explaining `ibaadah in this small sentence: “I respect the elderly because they have more `ibaadah and I respect the young ones because they have less sins.” This means he made himself respect both of them instead of respecting his ego and desires. He was expressing that everyone is better than him, older or younger, even if by only a day, which means he considers his age to be one day: between the elderly and the young. That is like when Sayyidina `Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q) sent his mureed to the cemetery to learn and take wisdom from the deceased. When he entered the cemetery there was a man following him from one grave to another. He went to the first grave, made du`a, read Fatihah and Surah Yaseen.
He said, “SubhaanAllah, that `alim died at the age of 70, 75, 80 or 50.”
The man following him said, “No, you are wrong, his age is not yet even one year.”
The mureed asked, “How was he only one year old? He was a famous `alim, so-and-so!”
“No, his age is one year.”
At the second grave, similarly the man said, “His age is six months, he died young and he was an `alim.” He was not finding anyone that had passed two years. The man told him, “This one is one year, this one six months, two months, two years,” up to two years maximum. It means that if you add all his `ibaadah, it doesn't equal more than one or two years, which means even if you are an `alim but have a slight smell of arrogance, you will be thrown out! The `alim will be judged even more severely, because Allah wants to give everyone a lesson that the `alim knows what he is doing and he is doing it without istighfaar. What happened to Iblees? Allah ordered him to make sajda, he was reluctant and Allah cursed him.
We cannot hesitate when we are ordered by Allah (swt), we must:
وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
And they say, 'We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness our Lord and to You is the end of all journeys. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:285)
The two-thousand years of Iblees’ `ibaadah was thrown out by one act of disobedience, so we have to be very careful! Awliyaullah advise the young because they are fresh and have more energy to do more `ibaadah than the elderly who must pray on a chair or cannot bend. That is why Awliyaullah emphasize the young: they can do what the old cannot and Awliyaullah can train them more than others. Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q), one of the Sultans of Awliya that Allah sent, used to sit in a circle with his follower and there was one special halaqa he conducted with only forty men in it. There were other halaqas with thousands and thousands of people, but the special circles he held in the week were comprised of forty men around him doing dhikrullah and li mahabbati ‘Llah wa mahabbat Rasoolihi (s), in love of Allah (swt) and love of Prophet (s) they ate food Allah provided and they always had special food. One lady passed by Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) and saw that after finishing dhikr they sat and ate. Forty roosters were cooked and brought to Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) and everyone took one rooster.
The lady said, “SubhaanAllah, Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani is so generous, feeding forty men with forty roosters instead of mixing a few roosters with rice. Let me bring my son, my only child, to be a student of Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) so he will also eat some of the rooster and bring the rest home, half and half.” She went to Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) and said, “I want my son to be your follower and to be like these men, these people.”
He said, “Okay, send him.”
Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) received him at the door and said to his helper, “Put him in the basement for forty days seclusion.”
He was young and strong. The lady came the next day to see her son among the people who are eating roosters, but didn’t find him. “Where is my son, where is my son?” she asked. No one answered.
Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) said, “He is somewhere.”
The second, third and fourth day her son was not showing up. After forty days the woman came to Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) and said, “Where is my son? I sent him here to eat roosters. Where are the roosters?”
Sayyidina `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) said, “In order to reach that level, he must first be in seclusion for forty days, only eating bread, water and vinegar.”
Awliyaullah train their followers to learn and understand the way of Tariqah, good manners and behavior. The first step of the mureed is to kill his ego; if he doesn’t do that, he will be under stress and he will not get anything. Like Iblees, he hesitated a moment and Allah (swt) cursed him. How many times do we disobey Allah (swt) and the orders of Prophet (s)? In every halaqa and our every movement there is disobedience!
فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ
Don’t praise yourself. (Surat an-Najm, 53:32)
Don't try to praise or give excuses to yourselves as Allah knows best what you are doing and what you intend! Sayyidina Hasan al-Basri (r) said, ash-shaab yakoonu ka ‘n-noor al-muzhhir, “The young one will be like a spotlight, attracting so many creatures.”
When you have a bright light, at night you can see different moths attracted to it. They see something special that we cannot see, so they run there. Awliyaullah like to train the young and put them in seclusion at an early age, because then all their lives they will be like a spotlight. Sayyidina Hasan al-Basri (r) is advising us to raise our children in an environment of pious and sincere people, not around those who backbite and spread false rumors. If you want to eat honey, you must get stung! Bees will sting you, but everyone wants the honey. If you want honey, prepare for rough days as Prophet (s) said:
اخشوشنوا فان النعم لن تدوم
“Live a rough life because favors do not last forever.”
(Ibn Abi Shaybah; at-Tabarani with different wording.)
If Allah (swt) sent a favor on you one day, the next day you might lose it, so be careful. “Live a rough life,” means don’t live a high level dunya life, live a simple life in dunya. Like you see billionaires today who are so happy; with their fancy jewelry, homes, cars and yachts that is not going to benefit them when they die. Go to Egypt and see the pharaohs. What did they gain from dunya? Nothing. They made hundreds of thousands of slaves build pyramids for them, and all we know is those places were built and their owners died. That is the benefit of the pyramids, for us to take an example to be careful.
It is important for us to understand, as Sayyidina `Abdul Khaliq Ghujdawani (q) said, “In 24 hours we look at our deeds (audit) to see if we have done something wrong and then we ask for forgiveness.” That is our duty. Our shuyookh tell us, “Before you sleep, try to remember what you did wrong that day and make istighfaar. Awliyaullah are under severe obligation, not just in 24 hours, but between one moment and the next to realize if they spent that breath in the way of Allah or Shaytan! There is a big difference between a Wali, an `alim and a common person. We are common people; we can ask Allah for forgiveness once in 24 hours and He will forgive, but Awliyaullah are under heavy burdens. Be a sheep, don’t be a leader, don't run to be a Wali! What are you going to get? A big burden on yourself and your followers. A Waliullah must raise his mureeds to his levels.
When Grandshaykh Sharafuddin ad-Daghestani (q) wrote his will, he told Sultan al-Awliya, Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani (q), “I am appointing you as my heir. I give you baya` on that,”
Grandshaykh (q) said, “Yaa Sayyidi, I respect your order, but I don’t want it. I cannot carry it!”
That is a big thing to say to your teacher, to reject his order. He was looking at what will happen after that order. For himself, he could immediately have said ‘yes’, but for the benefit of the followers he insisted, “I cannot accept it unless a condition is satisfied, then I will accept.”
Grandshaykh Sharafuddin (q) said, “What you are asking? In Tariqah, anyone who is ordered something must immediately say ‘yes.’”
He said, “I say ‘yes’ yaa Sayyidi, but on one condition, for the benefit of the mureeds. I don’t want to have differences between me and my followers, I want to be on the same level and rank as them. I cannot be on a higher level and they on a lower level. I want anyone that sits with me even for five minutes in my association to be raised to my level. If you can get me approval of that condition, I accept. If I cannot get my mureeds, those who follow me, to be on the same high level as mine, then what is the wilaya for? I am saying this out of love to the mureeds. If you can get me that I am ready; otherwise I will waste my time and theirs.”
Allah (swt) said to Prophet (s) in a Holy Hadith:
أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي
I sit with him who remembers Me. (Hadith Qudsi. Ahmad, Bayhaqi)
The shuyookh want their followers to be in the same level as them in order to be be on the same note when they do dhikrullah, not on a different level where one is lower and one is higher and the shaykh becomes arrogant and more proud of himself. It is the same with the proud alim who thinks, “I am an alim.” Awliyaullah say, “You will be `alimun jaahil, an `alim who is ignorant.” You were taught `ilm, but you are not practicing what you have been taught.
Prophet Muhammad (s) taught to look into yourself. If you desire something, don't love it and be too attached to it or your nafs will ride you. Don't let your ego ride you by attaching yourself too much to dunya; balance comfort and roughness. Sayyid al-Bashar, the Master of the Universe, slept on a straw mattress! Yahu! Allah (swt) mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لَّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the Heavens and on Earth. Behold, in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect. (Surat al-Jaathiyah, 45:13)
He made whatever is in the Heavens and on Earth under Prophet (s) and called him to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa. Prophet (s) slept on a mattress of straw and when we sleep on a mattress that we don't like, we want to change it. “This suits my back, this one is firm, that one is soft, this one has springs, this one has a memory foam.” Now mattresses have memory and we don’t, all our memory goes when we sleep, we forget everything! A mattress these days not only has ‘memory’, but also gives coolness in summer and or warmth in winter! There are water mattresses, air mattresses, ten different kinds of mattresses and still we are not happy.
Prophet (s) slept on a hard straw mattress that leaves an imprint on your back. That is the issue! That’s why he said, ikhshawshanoo fa inna an-ni`am lan tadoom, “Live rough, because favors don't last,” one day you will lose it. Favors might last in dunya, but won’t follow you to the grave. If you lived rough you will be handled well, but if you were living a very high life you will not be handled well by the two angels, Munkar and Nakir.
We have to be very careful and pay attention. Grandshaykh (q) said, “If you desire or love something, don't get attached to it too much.” He used to tell us, “Look now, how do you hold the misbaha? You must hold it with your fingertips. It is easy to drop it when they order you, “Don't follow dunya,” but if you grasp it well, when they tap you to drop it, how can you leave dunya? You are already holding it tightly, al-qaabidu `ala al-jamr, grasping it completely, then you cannot let it go from your hand.
This is why generous people are respected by Allah (swt) and stingy people are not. Stingy people don’t open their hands to give what Allah gave them. Be a good, generous one, don't be stingy! These are all bad characters. Don't clench dunya with your fists, drop it from your eyes and then any moment they order you for Akhirah you will reach Allah’s Happiness! When you hold dunya with your fingertips you can drop it at any time because you don’t care, but if you clench it firmly then you are in big problems. Don't be attached too much to the desires of dunya. A car worth a thousand dollars can take you from your home to work and is better than a hundred thousand dollar car that can do the same thing. Why are you wasting money? Use something that doesn’t waste money. May Allah (swt) guide and direct us towards the Reality of Islam and imaan.
Grandshaykh `Abdullah al-Faiz Daghestani (q) saw in a vision that on Judgment Day, Allah (swt) will recite Surat al-An`am from Himself to Himself. It is His Ancient Words. When Allah revealed it to Jibreel (a), did He use a voice or not? That is an exclamation mark! When Allah revealed the Holy Qur’an to Jibreel (a) ayah after ayah, surah after surah, was it with a voice or not? It was revealed the way Allah wants, but we don't know how; on the Day of Judgement that secret will become known.
When Allah (swt) manifests Himself as The Judge of human beings, He will recite on Ahl al-Mahshar for the Believers, khaasatan Ummat an-Nabi (s), and they will hear Surat al-An`am with all its secrets and will know if it is with a voice or not, but in dunya no one knows anything about that. People will faint from its beauty and enlightenment, from the beautiful words coming from the Divine Presence to Ahl al-Mahshar! We can say that Allah revealed the Holy Qur’an to Jibreel (a) to reveal it to Prophet (s), but in what way we don’t know, we only know that Jibreel (a) took the Wahiyy and went to Prophet (s).
It is said that the Prophet (s) asked, “Yaa Jibreel, from where do you get the Wahiyy?”
Jibreel (a) said, “From the Divine Presence, but it is covered behind a veil. When I receive the Wahiyy, I see a hand delivering it and I bring it to you.” Delivering it how, to his heart? Whatever Allah revealed to Jibreel (a) was in the way that He wants and then Jibreel delivered it to Prophet (s).
Prophet (s) said, “Next time, don’t come to me without opening that veil and seeing who is giving you the Wahiyy.”
Prophet (s) trembled when the Wahiyy came, because he was worried if it brought mercy or punishment of Allah against his Ummah.
وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا
Leave what Prophet (s) forbade and take what he ordered. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:7)
Prophet (s) said, “Look who is there behind the veil,” he ordered Jibreel (a) to check. The next time Jibreel (a) came with the Wahiyy, he asked, “Did you see who is behind the veil?”
Jibreel (a) answered, “It is from you to you: you delivered it to me! The hand I saw was yours: you delivered the Wahiyy from Allah (swt) to you, then to me, then again to you!”
That is why in his name “Muhammad,” there are two meems: one is the explanation of the Holy Quran's verses, meaning “Muhammad (s)” and the other meem is for interpretation, as Allah gave Awliyaullah the power to interpret within the limits of Shari`ah. They don't jump before Shari`ah, transgressing their limits, they are very strict on keeping the limits of Shari`ah.
The sound of the recitation of Surat al-An`am from the Divine Presence will make everyone faint. No one at that time will be proud, they will begin to feel ashamed and shy of what Allah (swt) is honoring them with, and upon hearing that nice recitation from the Divine Presence they will all go into sajda. Allah will give Prophet (s) the power of Intercession to intercede for his Ummah. Yaqa’oon ’ala ‘l-`ardh, because hayaa’an min Allah `Azza wa jall, after shyness from Allah (swt). That’s why Awliya, `ulama and common people will be shy: why did they not really read and learn the Holy Qur’an in their lives?
Prophet (s) said any hafizh who memorized the Holy Qur’an will be asked more than anyone else, not common people like us, we are not hafizh, but those `ulama who claim they are hafizh must understand and study the meanings of Holy Qur’an and act accordingly. If they do not, they will be punished for it. For common people like us, yaa Rabbee, we are helpless. Ummat an-Nabi (s) are strong with their Prophet (s), but helpless within themselves. Give us and them support, give us power and energy so we can do as much as we can, by Your Grace, yaa Rabbee, yaa Allah, to hear what is necessary to be heard and to understand and respect the Holy Qur’an!
One time it came to the heart of one of the mureeds of Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) to build something to honor and show love to the Holy Qur’an. He built an entire room of gold and put the Holy Qur’an in it, to be in a nice place. Now we are putting the Holy Qur’an on floors, on windows, near shoes, especially if you go to Mecca and Madinah, they leave the Qur’an on the floor, they don’t put it on their laps. May Allah (swt) grant the Qur’an shafa`ah, to intercede for us! The Qur’an will intercede for Ummat an-Nabi (s), for anyone who reads it. Every letter will come on the Day of Judgement to ask Allah’s forgiveness on your behalf and will not leave until you are forgiven! That’s what Allah gave to Ummat an-Nabi (s), for His love for His Prophet (s)!
We know in the Holy Qur’an there 6,666 verses and around 400,000 letters, each considered an individual letter, even if repeated many times in the Holy Qur’an, because it is in its allocated place. Also, each letter is considered a new letter that will intercede for you on the Day of Judgement and Allah (swt) will dress you from its barakah. May Allah keep the Holy Qur’an in our hearts, not to forget it, to read it as much as we can, especially in this holy month, in order for Allah to be happy with us inshaa-Allah.
Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah. Wa ‘s-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.
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