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External Discipline of the Mureed with His Shaykh

Ramadan Series 2014, Volume 23

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

21 July 2014 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

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-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)

Those who are local and those who are overseas, may Allah give us the blessings of these days of Ramadan. We are in the last week of Ramadan and inshaa-Allah may Allah accept from us.

The previous session was about the last point of the discipline of the mureed with his shaykh: he must be sure that his heart is with one shaykh, not two or else he will split his love. Grandshaykh (q) said, “A windmill can irrigate one field. If it is used to irrigate two fields, it means only half the irrigation will go to each.” You cannot spread your love to two, it has to be to the Shaykh at-Tarbiyyah, the one who raised you since childhood through his manners, his behaviors, his good characters, his love, his teachings, his knowledge, his miracles, hence, everything. He is going along with you in your life and he is able to raise all of his students, even if they are many, whether one thousand or one million. Those who deny that, it is their problem, not ours. Allah gave a special power to Ahl adh-Dhikr, those who guide people to dhikrullah, to carry all their followers, even if big numbers.

So the last thing we were mentioning is to avoid looking at other than his shaykh, because if he does he will be struggling to reach the other side of the ocean. We also mentioned the discipline of the mureed with his shaykh. Now we will mention the external discipline of the mureed with his brother mureeds. We previously mentioned the eight points of internal discipline and now we will discuss the external discipline.

Eight Points of the External Adab from Mureed to Shaykh

1. To agree with his shaykh on all he says, whether it is preventing him from doing something or ordering him to do something. He must obey like a patient when the doctor says to do something and he will follow; he must submit and surrender.

2. He has to sit in the association of his shaykh with complete adab and must not lean on something like a cushion or a pillow. He must not yawn in the presence of the shaykh, not even in prayers, but unfortunately we do that and we must struggle to stop that. You must also not sleep. If you want to sleep stay home, because when you do that you bring the level of the suhbah down. And not only are people sleeping, but they are snoring! As soon as they sit for an advice of the shaykh, they sleep. SubhaanAllah, look at how Shaytan plays with us. There is no suhbah outside and no one is sleeping there, but inside there is suhbah and they are sleeping! He must also not laugh or smile for no reason, because the shaykh is looking, “Why is he laughing? I am not laughing and not giving permission to laugh during the suhbah.” You may laugh, smile or talk if it comes from the shaykh.

3. He must not raise his voice over his shaykh, especially during dhikr, without permission. The shaykh might tell someone to raise their voice, but you must allow the voice of the shaykh to be heard, not yours.

4. He must remain silent and not speak unless the shaykh directs him as this is disrespect for the shaykh who is giving an advice, because the shaykh is sitting in the majlis of Rasoolullah (s) and that is normal scholar. Just as during the khutbah, the minbar is Minbar Rasoolullah (s) and the mihraab is Mihraab of Rasoolullah (s).

The Sahaabah (r) never spoke when the Prophet (s) was speaking. `Ulama and awliya of the Ummah are the Inheritors of the Prophet (s), so when they sit, that sitting becomes important for Akhirah. Therefore, you don't need to smile, laugh or talk, as that is disrespect to the shaykh. You may see some people talking and some sleeping, which is disrespectful. If someone accompanies the shaykh without respect, if they are too much familiar with the shaykh they begin to answer back the shaykh, criticize him or to say ‘no’. They use their mind, because that familiarity makes them to do that. When you sit with the shaykh, you must know that it is like fire and it might burn you. I heard and experienced this many times with both Grandshaykh `Abdullah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q) and with Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil (q). Qurb as-sultaan naarun, to be physically near the king is like fire and you must respect the shaykh more than the king. If you make any mistake there they will throw you out, fire you.

Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, said, “When I am speaking, my heart is not with me, it is connected to the main source. I am only like a radio and what is coming to my heart I am revealing to you. So you have to be very careful that in that moment where I am giving you what is coming to my heart, if you begin to even scratch your head or hand a little bit, the power of the suhbah will drop down seven times, because then you make people to not pay attention to me and my suhbah but to your scratching.” Or when someone is coming from the door and people pay attention to the one coming and not to the shaykh, this is one of the major problems that will cause you not to benefit from the suhbah that day. What is your business to look at who is coming? Your business is to look at the shaykh and not with your eyes, your head must be down. Tariqah is based on adab, it is not like a Turkish bath where everyone comes inside and they all talk to each other and you don't know who is talking to whom. So don’t turn your majaalis with the shaykh into a Turkish bath by looking left or right, as it is not your business who comes and goes!

5. It is not allowed for the one entering the association to approach the shaykh and give him salaam. If he must, then he should only come to give salaam to the shaykh and then walk backward to his place. Better yet is to say salaam through your heart and go to your place. Don’t make a show of your greeting as the shaykh can see your heart. The Prophet (s) said:

اتَّقُوا فِرَاسَةَ الْمُؤْمِنِ فَإِنَّهُ يَنْظُرُ بِنُورِ اللَّهِ ‏

Ittaqoo firasat al-mumin fa innahu yanzhuru bi nooorillah.

Beware of the Believer's intuition, for indeed he sees with Allah's Light.

(Narrated Abu Sa`eed Al-Khudri, Tirmidhi)

6. Then to serve the shaykh is your duty. If you serve, you will be served. If you don’t serve, you will never be served. So try as much as you can, because they need serving in their associations or in the dining area, as all khaniqahs have huge dining areas. Don’t sit waiting for the cup or spoon to come to your mouth. Go help, especially in cleaning. No one helps, except for the same five or six people every day. So what did we say? To help in cleaning at ribaat, dargah, zawiya or khaniqah, such as cleaning carpets or plates, and not to expect the shaykh to serve you. You serve externally by showing love to the shaykh and that you are not lazy. People like to sit and not do anything, both men and women. When you serve, the shaykh will serve you from heavenly knowledge, faman khadim khudim. That is an important word, “The one who serves will be served.”

Look at that story of Sayyidina Musa (a). He had a neighbor who was not believing in him, an elderly man, perhaps in his 80s, as is mentioned in the story. He came to Sayyidina Musa (a) and said, “Yaa Musa! You are my neighbor and I am coming to you to ask you if you could lend me a big pot, as I have guests coming today.” Sayyidina Musa (a) said, “O kaafir, you did not believe in me so I will not lend you the pot!” The man said, “Alright, what can I do?” and asked a second time, “Please if you can help me.” Musa (a) said, “No,” and the man left.

Allah (swt) spoke directly to the heart of Sayyidina Musa (a) as he is Kaleemullah, saying, “O Musa! Why did you chase that person away, why did you not give him your pot? What would be the harm? It might in fact, attract him to Islam.” Sayyidina Musa (a) said, “O Allah, he is not a believer.” Allah said, “O Musa, I have been giving provision to that man for 80 years and he did not believe in Me. I gave him a good life and I am The One Who Decides. If you don't give him that pot, I will not be happy from you.”

Sayyidina Musa (a) became worried and afraid. Look at how much Allah (swt) cares for His servants and how much He wants us to live nicely with good adab in religion, because religion is the key to Paradise. Musa (a) ran after that man with the pot. The man said, “Why are you running after me now, when you chased me away before? I will not take your pot until you tell me what happened.” Sayyidina Musa (a) said to him, “O my brother, Allah (swt) told me that He has served you for 80 years and you did not believe in Him and He said if I don’t give you that pot, He will not be happy with me.” That man said, “Yaa Musa, if your Lord is like that, then I accept you! Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Musa Rasoolullah.” So if you serve, you will be served. If you do good, you will get good, and if you do bad you will still get mercy, because if you are a Believer and repent you will be forgiven. When you serve by praising Allah (swt), by making dhikrullah and salawaat, you will be supported by Allah (swt).

7. Always come to the association of the shaykh. Don’t say, “I am sick today,” or “I have to take my children to visit their uncle,” or “I promised to take them to the restaurant.” You are wasting money, eat at home. On the other hand, it is alright because you have to make sure they live a nice life with you, but you have to attend the shaykh’s associations.

8. If the shaykh is in a far away country, you must go visit him as much as you can, once or twice a year, and make the intention to visit your shaykh as much possible. To visit the one who is raising you up taraqee wa tarabee, is to be raised in higher states and when you are rising up you will remain under their gaze, protection and discipline.

Shaykhs Built Up Their Mureeds on These Principles

1. First is al-ijtim`a, associations.

طريقتنا الصحبة والخير في الجمعية

Tariqatunaa ‘s-suhbat wa 'l-khayru fi 'l-jami`yya.

Our way is companionship (to be together in association) and the best is in the gathering.

(Shah Baha’uddin Naqshband)

Our tariqah, way, is association, ijtima` and the best good is in the gathering. So our way is to sit together and to know each other.

2. Second is al-istim`a, sit together, then you will hear the knowledge that is `Ilm al-Yaqeen. You will get the Reality of Knowledge, because you will hear from the shaykh his life experiences and what he has achieved, he will give you that on a golden plate. You listen to him or to the one who is assigned as senior mureed or representative. So first you come and sit, which is association, then you listen and then you follow, al-ittib`a, as is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an,

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Say (O Muhammad), "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat Aali-'Imraan, 3:31)

3. So you sit, listen, follow and then you al-intif`a, benefit. You cannot benefit from reading a book, as you have to see the manners, how the shaykh approaches you and how he is very careful not to make you upset. He takes care of you in the same manner as raising a child. What is meant by ‘shaykh’? We spoke of Shaykh at-Tarbiyyah in everything we have previously mentioned, the shaykh who raises you up from bad manners to good manners; not the Shaykh at-Ta`leem, shaykh of teaching `Ilm, because the student of Fiqh and the mureed can have many teachers in `Ilm, but only one in Tarbiyyah, discipline.

4. When you find the shaykh is the Inheritor of the Prophet (s), then you will have that shaykh as a teacher and he will give you ijtim`a, istim`a, ittib`a, and intif`a. When you get that knowledge by these means, then you realize that the teaching of the shuyookh is completely higher than the teaching of `ulama, as the teaching of shuyookh is `Ilm al-Fiqh as well as Internal Knowledge.

5. This next point is often missed by many; however, it is very important, as mentioned by many representatives or shuyookh of Tariqah: you must know that when the shaykh is giving a lecture, it may only be for the group that is listening. Therefore, you cannot go to common people and mention to them what the shaykh is saying to you privately, because some people cannot carry it.You must not carry any kind of knowledge that the shaykh put in your heart through his associations to those whose minds and hearts cannot carry that. You may only give them what they can understand or else they may criticize him and unknowingly criticize the Prophet (s) and Allah (swt) as the shaykh is getting his knowledge from the heart of the Prophet (s), from the Sahaabah (r), `ulama and awliya, as his heart is connected. So you don’t have to tell everything. Today, people want to show the grandeur of their shaykh, so they say things to other people that the shaykh told them privately, which might cause the others to criticize the shaykh or to run away.

Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “Talk to people what they know,” meaning at their level. He said, “Do you like or love for Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s) to be criticized because of something that comes to your heart?” So you have to be very careful in that, because many people today show their love to the shaykh and say things that are not normal and not accepted. This is recorded from Sayyidina `Ali (r), so don’t talk to people about things they cannot grasp and understand. Too many people today talk like that and then we face a problem. We are not talking about something relating to Shari`ah as that can be debated, but something spiritual that belongs to the heart. They cannot see it because they did not reach that level, they don’t have the light in their heart to understand that level, although the have a light as they are Muslim, but it is like a flashlight that can be strong or weak. A strong light can see everywhere, whereas a weak light can only see a little bit. If the light they have is small, don’t give them a big light where only a weak light can work, as it cannot take more than that. If you have a lamp here that can withstand 100 watts and you put on a 220 volt bulb it will explode. You are exploding these condensers that are used to minimize the amount of electricity that comes to your home. If you put condensers that are too big, that will burn the light. So don’t give more to people. Sayyidina `Ali (r) warned us, “Tell people what they know. Do you like or love for Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s) to be criticized because of something that comes to your heart?” That is why we have to be very careful.

6. Lastly, have sabr, patience. You must have patience with your shaykh, as he might want to polish you. The gem is always inside the rock, such as a diamond, and you have to crack the rock in order to bring the gem out. So the shaykh wants to crack you, to polish you and hit you with an axe, not to give you sweets all the time or then you become a spoiled brat, because then you want everything ready-made just by sitting nicely. You think that because you follow the shaykh or take him here and there, that you are so close to him? No, you might be the last one in his presence! You have to be patient, because he is cracking you and that is not going to be sweet.

I mentioned that story about when I had finals at university and Grandshaykh (q) said, “Go back and make your mother happy first, then come back when she gives you permission.” At end of that story Grandshaykh (q) said, “The shaykh is ordered to follow his mureeds by telepathy from afar,” as Sayyidina `Umar (r) spoke from Madinah and Sariya (r) heard him in Sham. And yes, awliyaullah have that power. He said, “When I look at the mureed, I don't give him sweets or something that may please him, I give him an obstacle and difficulty, and then we look to see, is he getting angry or is he patient?”

The Prophet (s) is observing the `amal of the ummah:

حياتي خير لكم تحدثون ويحدث لكم ، فإذا أنا مت كانت وفاتي خيرا لكم ، تعرض علي أعمالكم فان رأيت خيرا حمدت الله تعالى وإن رأيت شرا استغفرت لكم

I observe the `amal of my ummah. If I find good I thank Allah, and if I see other than that, bad, I ask forgiveness for them. (al-Bazzaar in his Musnad)

Be careful of what you do. You have to be patient with the shaykh in order that he may take you to the shore of safety, like Sayyidina Khidr (a) and Sayyidina Musa (a), when Khidr (a) put a hole in the boat, which against Shari`ah. Then he killed the boy and then built the wall where they kicked him out when they were tired, but he still gave them good by building the wall. So you have to be patient on tarbiyyah, discipline of the shaykh when he is raising you up.

The Adab of Mureed to Mureed

We have now finished the external adab from mureed to shaykh. In the adab of mureed to mureed, what kind of advice do they give us?

1. Mureeds must not accuse other mureeds of anything, they must not backbite their brothers and spread false rumors, they must not eat their flesh, as Allah (swt) mentioned in the ayah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ

O you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible) and spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would abhor it! But fear Allah. For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hujuraat, 49:12)

Be careful of having bad thoughts about your brothers, don’t spy on them and backbite them. You don’t like to eat the raw flesh of your dead brother, that is the first principle. So what must you do?

2. That is the second principle: advise them and teach the ignorant among them how to treat each other. When you show a nice behavior they will give a nice behavior. Show them love and respect, in order to show them love, respect and advice, as the Prophet (s) said:

الدين نصيحة

Ad-deenu naseeha.

Religion is advice.

There are three different principles for the one giving naseeha, the senior mureed, the one whom the shaykh assigns, and there are also three principles for the one being advised, so it is from both sides. We will continue this next time, inshaa-Allah.

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


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