2 June 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
When you make a circle you complete the chain, and if a dhikr circle is open, the positive energy finds a way to go out, so to close it is better.
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani '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)
Our religion orders us to sami`naa wa at`aanaa, “We listen and obey.” In the army when they give an order, it must be obeyed and then you can complain, but not before; you must accept and listen to the senior officer. Even if you are a senator or congressman, you have to follow the rules. If you still want to complain, go to your room and complain to yourself!
Today scholars, different religions or different schools and universities teach you what is good and what is bad. Is there anything else? When you study to be a doctor and the university gives you knowledge to heal people, is that good or not? And electricians, professionals, carpenters, anything you are taught is to follow specific instructions, which is to listen and obey. So you have to listen and obey those who are higher in knowledge, but the problem today is that everyone thinks he knows best and is happy with his ego and thinks he knows everything. That is why you have to keep checking how many mistakes you have made, and if you sit by yourself and evaluate what you did during the day, like if you have hidden camera recording everything you did and watch it later, you will say, “O! That isn’t me! My bad ego, my bad side did that!”
Religion did not come to hurt you or to harm any community. Whatever is heavenly is accepted as divine, which makes it holy and you must follow it. If you are following the constitution of politicians around the world, they have made their constitutions to suit themselves, but God is saying, “I made a constitution that fits everyone." When Sayyidina Moses (a) came, Allah (swt) gave him a constitution that fit the people of his time, and the same was true for Sayyidina Jesus (a). Likewise, when Sayyidina Muhammad (s) came, he brought a constitution that fit the people of his time and he is the Seal of the Messengers (s). There are scholars who teach you what Sayyidina Muhammad (s) brought, and those who teach you what Jesus (a) and Moses (a) brought. You choose what to follow as Allah (swt) is not going to force you, as He said in Holy Qur’an:
لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا
Laa yukallifullahu nafsan illa wusa`haa.
Allah does not burden any soul more than it can bear. (Suratu ‘l-Baqarah, 2:286)
Allah does not burden you with more than you can take. You can do good according to your capacity and you will find good, and if you do bad you will find bad. But because Allah loves you, He gives you a chance to repent and then bad becomes good. It is not like earthly law! According to earthly law, if you do good you find good and if you do bad you find bad. But in Islamic religious law, if you do good you find good and if you do bad, you can find good as long as you repent. This is true as long as you don’t hurt anyone, as long as your action is not against the teachings of Muhammad (s), Jesus (a) or Moses (a). They give you a chance to repent.
Allah (swt) is not like us. He created us and He loves us; if He didn’t create you, where would you be? You would never have known about your Creator! In a spiritual tradition of Sayyidina Muhammad (s), Allah (swt) said:
كنت كنزا مخفياً فأحببت أن أعرف فخلقت الخلق
Kuntu kanzan makhfiyyan fa ahbabtuhu an u`rafa fa khalaqtu ‘l-khalq.
I was a Hidden Treasure (and) I wanted to be known, so I created Creation. (Hadith Qudsi)
That means the Essence of God can never be known, but He created creation in order to be known.
Today I am going to discuss the importance of salawaat on the Prophet (s), which we have been discussing for more than a month. Allah (swt) gave us the Seal of Messengers (s) as a way to take us from the desire of earthly life to the desire of heavenly life, and this can happen through different prayers that we do on the Prophet (s), Sayyidina Muhammad (s), which we have explained in a series titled, The Greatness of Prophet Muhammad (s).
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Inna-Llaaha wa malaa'ikatahu yusalloona `ala 'n-nabiyy, yaa ayyuhal-ladheena aamanoo salloo `alayhi was sallimoo tasleema.
Verily, Allah and His angels send praise on the Prophet. O Believers! Pray upon him and greet him. (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:56)
Angels are ordered to keep doing prayers on the Prophet (s) non-stop, and as human beings we are ordered to follow what the angels are doing, to send salawaat on the Prophet (s) in every moment of our lives!
As we said before, there have been saints, sincere servants of Allah, who have seen the Prophet (s) in dreams and he dictated to them different forms of salawaat. For example, there may have been a sincere person in Morocco, one in Tunisia and one in Indonesia, and each of them saw a dream of the Prophet (s) in which he dictated to them a salawaat and they gave it to their followers to recite. The scholars compiled these salawaats in books, in order to combine the benefit of all these prayers. They selected prayers that, if you read them in the Arabic language, are amazing. Nothing can compare to what has been given to these sincere and pious awliyaullah through dreams and visions, and we have mentioned many of them.
Today I want to ask, what are the benefits we get when we pray on the Prophet (s)?
The first benefit is that you are obeying Allah (swt)'s order, when He said, yaa ayyuhal-ladheena aamanoo salloo `alayhi, "O believers! Make salawaat.” When someone obeys Allah (swt), He will give him what he cannot imagine because he is doing salawaat on the Prophet (s) as Allah ordered. Obedience takes you to Paradise and disobedience takes you far from Paradise. So the first benefit you get when making salawaat is to follow and obey the ayah, “Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you.” (4:59) Therefore, we are in obedience.
How many times did Grandshaykh (q), and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah give him long life, say, “I like when someone speaks on the Greatness of the Prophet (s), and I would like al-Azhar to offer a course on the Greatness of the Prophet (s), in order to feel attached to the Prophet (s) and his family.”
Allah told the Prophet (s) to say:
قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى
Qul laa asalukum `alayhi ajran illa ’l-mawaddata fi ’l-qurba.
Say, "No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin." (Surat ash-Shura, 42:23)
The Prophet (s) didn't ask for anything from his ummah but for us to love his family and treat them well.
That is why in every salawaat we include, “wa `alaa aalihi, at-tayyibeen, al-abraar, al-mukhliseen, al-mukhlaseen,” as that is his Holy Family! You cannot just say, “Allahumma salli `alaa Muhammad,” which is disrespectful if you don't add, “wa `alaa aalihi, on his Family,” and then, “`alaa as-haabihi, and his Companions.” The family comes first since they are from his Light and blood.
So the first benefit when we make salawaat is obedience to Allah (swt). Allah said, Yaa ayyuha ’Lladheena aamanoo salloo `alayhi, so we are saying, Allahumma salli `alaa Muhammadan wa `alaa aalihi wa sallam. That is Grandshaykh's (q) simplest version so as not to burden you too much, since we are now living in the days when there is so much darkness and negativity on earth. Sincere people don’t give you half a page or two pages of salawaat, but give you something simple you can do easily. Then you can also read Dalaa’il al-Khayraat.
Grandshaykh (q) came up with one special salawaat that is:
اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَسَلِّم
Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad wa `alaa aali Muhammad wa sallim.
The Prophet (s) said:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : « يأتي على الناس زمان القابض على دينه كالقابض على الجمررواه الترمذي.
Qaala rasoolullah yaatee `ala an-naasi zamaanun al-qaabidu `ala deenihi ka’l-qaabidu `alaa ’l-jamr.
The one holding his religion firmly in his hand is like someone holding a burning coal.
He said that there will come a time when the one holding his religion will be like someone holding fire! He holds himself from jumping into the fitna of others and although his ego is pulling him into it, he holds himself back.
So the believer today is like that, with the global economic crisis, family separations, courts and judges who don’t know of the difficulties between parents and children and who might give wrong decisions and you have to carry that burden. So everything today is dissolving and deteriorating, and people don’t know what to do. The rich are richer and the poor are poorer, such that you cannot find a middle class and people are suffering and it is difficult to hold your belief because of what you see happening in the outside world in different countries. So the first benefit of sending salawaat on the Prophet (s) is to keep Allah's Order in the Holy Qur’an; making salawaat on the Prophet (s) and his Holy Family is the most honorable level of servanthood, so always make salawaat, such as, “Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad wa `alaa aali Muhammad wa sallim,” or, “Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammadini 'l-faatihi limaa ughliq wa 'l-khaatimi limaa sabaq, naasiri 'l-haqqi bi 'l-haqq wa 'l-haadi ilaa siraatika 'l-mustaqeem wa `alaa aalihi haqqa qadrihi wa miqdaarihi 'l-`azheem.”
And the Prophet (s) said:
من صلى علي واحدة صلى الله عليه عشرا
Man salla `alayya marratan sal-Allahu bihaa `alayha `ashara.
If anyone invokes a blessing on me once, Allah will grant him ten blessings. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Whoever makes one salawaat on the Prophet (s) will get ten salawaat from Allah (swt), so make salawaat now! Our salawaat is earthly but Allah's salawaat is divine, so what kind of salawaat will He give you? Allah gives according to His Greatness and His Grandeur, `Azhamatillah, He will give you what you never imagined! Therefore, when you face difficulty make salawaat on the Prophet (s), and when Allah (swt) keeps sending rewards to you, that salawaat on the Prophet (s) is a washing machine for human beings! One benefit is that it cleans you of sins, so if you do one salawaat and then Allah sends ten on you that will clean you as if you are innocent. This does not apply to someone who kills, such as suicide bombers, but to those who commit common sins.
Laziness is a sin from Shaytan, who pulls energy from you and you feel down. That is why many people don't work and want to get benefit from the government. But if they work their hardest and best and cannot do more and then they take benefits, that is okay as he is trying his best. Not like in Europe, where they live as “common law” spouses without marriage, or they marry but only to have children the government will pay for, more than if they worked twelve hours at a job. Allah (swt) doesn’t like people to be lazy and the Prophet (s) didn’t leave one moment unoccuppied until Sayyida `Ayesha (r) said, "O Prophet! Why are you praying so much; your feet are swollen. Allah (swt) has forgiven you, as He said:
إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُّبِينًالِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ وَيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ
Inna fatahnaa laka fathan mubeena li-yaghfira laka Allahu maa taqaddama min dhanbika wa maa ta'akhkhar.
Verily (O Muhammad), We have laid open before you a manifest victory, that Allah may forgive you your faults of the past and those to follow. (Surat al-Fath, 48:1,2)
And He has rewarded you of what you are doing and saved your ummah.” And the Prophet (s) said, “Shall I not be a thankful slave?”
Once in 1974, I was in partial seclusion with Grandshaykh (q) and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q). They get up three hours before Fajr, and their sajda in Salaat an-Najaat takes twenty minutes, then they pray Salaat ash-Shukr and Salaat at-Tasbeeh, then two hours more. I never saw them sitting; rather, they stand making du`a inspired in their hearts, coming on their tongues, du`a such that you never heard before! Mawlana Shaykh's legs are swollen and he stands in prayer for two hours.
Today it is too hard for us to stand for more than two minutes, let alone two hours’ long du`a, so make salawaat on the Prophet (s) often, and make the secret, private sajda that Allah (swt) will reward and give you ten salawaat and take away ten sayyi`aat, and one salawaat is enough to clean you from all sayyi`aat! And if after one salawaat you are clean, then whenever you forget to make salawaat on the Prophet (s) and you sin, Allah (swt) will waive it because He saved the balance of salawaat in your account. In this way you will remain clean for 24 hours, which is one reason why awliyaullah say don’t be one minute without wudu or then Shaytan takes you away with his evil power because you lost your protection. Salawaat is protection that you don't want to lose! For maintaining wudu, Allah (swt) will raise you ten levels, and are Allah's levels like human beings' levels? No, when He raises you ten levels it means He raises you ten paradises higher to be nearer to the Prophet (s)! That is what you get from one salawaat.
When Allah gives it is according to His Greatness, so whatever you think a level is, it is more than that. For example, if reaching the horizon is a level, when you go that distance you will see there is still more, that you didn't reach the horizon because it is continuous, like on an airplane you can go west but “west” doesn’t end, so you keep going west, if from east the sunrise goes from west, as much as you go there is west, like an airplane.
In this series, we will continue to mention the forty-five benefits of reciting salawaat on the Prophet (s), his Family (r) and the Sahaabah (r) found in these three pages (that Mawlana is holding), and what great Shaykhs explained, based on ahadith of the Prophet (s) mentioned in many scholars’ books. These three pages might take all of Ramadan to explain! When you make salawaat in these different forms, you will experience forty-five benefits. About this, many Gnostics (who reached the presence of the Prophet (s) and then the Divine Presence) said that if you don't have a Shaykh at-Tarbiyyah, the Shaykh that disciplines you, freqeunt recitation of salawaat will take the place of that and polish you, like polishing a diamond in a certain way, and will replace negative energy with positive energy that will enlighten you and those around you! Some say in that state you will never feel thirst for more knowledge as you are filled with knowledge, then that diamond will appear in you.
The Prophet (s) said:
الا وان في الجسد مضغة اذا صلحت صلح الجسد كله، واذا فسدت فسد الجسد كله، الا وهي القلب.
Alaa inna fi’l-jasadi mudghata idha saluhat saluh al-jasad kullihi wa idhaa fasudat fasad al-jasad kullahu. alaa wa hiya al-qalb.
In the body there is a small piece of flesh; if that piece of flesh is rectified then the whole body will be rectified and if it becomes corrupt then the whole body will become corrupt, and truly that is the heart. (Bukhari and Muslim)
`Abdul Ghani al-Nablusi (r) says, “When you add dhikrullah to the salawaat it will become so hot.” That is why many people come to me and say, “When we do dhikr or salawaat we feel so warm, and we want to drop it,” or, “We cannot recite the daily five-thousand ‘Allah, Allah’ because we feel very heavy.” `Abdul Ghani Nablusi is saying, “Yes, that is true, it makes you so hot because it takes you to the Divine Presence, and since you are not ready for it you pull back.” That is why you feel no energy to recite what needs to be recited from dhikrullah or salawaat, which we will explain later in more detail.
May Allah bless us and forgive us.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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