After Salaat adh-Dhuhr
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`ala fee haadha 'l-masjid.
Ati`ullaha wa ati`u 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.
Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (4:59)
We got this place and we found a book of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim some time later transcribed in Sri Lanka, in which he said, "I am putting a place in the midwest that people can go and get benefit." I never saw that book until the late 1990's. We bought this place (in Michigan) in 1992 and the grand-opening was in 1993. And when I read that book I was surprised that Mawlana was looking forward into the future to see that there is going to be a place. When he first came here in 1993, he said, "I am seeing light coming from that shed." And he entered, it had lot of things there, garbage and wood, it was a very small shed. And he said to me and those who were around, "Mawlana Shaykh `AbdAllah appeared to me there. He is the qiblah for us, to whom we run for him to take us to the presence of Prophet (s)! Here you make a maqaam."
And, alhamdulillah, from that day until now, this place has been used for teaching spirituality and Sufism! With all our weaknesses and irresponsibility, we have tried our best. So whoever comes here is coming for Mawlana Shaykh and Grandshaykh, so here I am like you. You will be rewarded as the Prophet (s) said, for going to a masjid to pray in jama`ah, or to attend Qur'an recitation or a dhikr session, for every qadam, footstep, Allah (swt) gives you one hasanaat and takes away one sayyiat!
الحسنة بعشرة امثالها
al-hasanaatu bi `ashrati amthaaluha.
One hasanaat (goodness) is equal to ten and Allah takes away ten sayyiat (sins).
Count how many feet are between where you are and here. They count in miles here; every mile is 1,500 meters, multiply 1.5 kilometers by three feet and you get 45,000 steps and for each step, one hasanaat! Then multiply by ten as al-hasanaatu bi `ashrati amthaaluha, and you get 45,000 and multiply by the number of miles, for example from Chicago it is 300 miles, so that is 1.5 million hasanaat, just for coming here! And what about from Washington, or Virginia, or Texas, even if you come by plane it is the same. What about from California? So there is endless rahmat, mercy, and we don't know how much more Allah (swt) will reward, as Allah's Mercy and Generosity never ends. That is 1.5 million just for coming from Chicago to this masjid, so then how much will you be rewarded for being in the masjid? How much will you be rewarded to be in jama`at, or in seclusion for three days? All this counts, one-by-one.
So don't be sad, thinking, "Oh, we came and wasted time!" Don't let Shaytan say that to you. Sometimes gossips come, "Oh! Isn't it better to do `Eid in your home? Sit with your wife and children." Shaytan says that. Shaytan is always running to attack us. Keep ammunition to fight him, and that is dhikrullah. That is the only ammunition. Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah hasbee, "protects me." laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah, takes you to the Divine Presence. When you say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah it keeps Shaytan from attacking, and even if he attacks it will be cleaned. So don't feel sad that you spent time coming here and you lost time from making money. Never-mind, it will be a huge weight in your Balance on the Day of Judgment.
When Allah (swt) judges people and says, mustahiq an-naar, "That one deserves Hellfire!" immediately the Prophet (s) appears and says, "This one is under my shafa`a." "But he has no good `amal as all his life he did the worst that he could." And this is worst one that Allah is judging.
So you may have vapor of your `amal, as when you listen to Shaytan that `amal begins to boil away but their vapors remain, and they come back as a shower. Allah (swt) gave to His servants too many ways to be saved, and we are asking for His Mercy, Yaa Rabb, because we are weak servants.
We are arrogant, the worst ones. You see yourself as the most important one. Don't see yourself as IT, "information technology". Don't say this about yourself, Allah can make a child more intelligent than you. Because a child has no sin, it is ma`soom. As soon as you become an adult and need to take a shower, then you are not ma`soom anymore. A child is ma`soom, and if he fasts Ramadan it is better than all your fasting. That is why you should encourage your children to fast Ramadan, as it will be written for you! I remember I used to pray at age four, and not only the obligatory prayers. I saw my uncles and Mawlana Shaykh, and at that time I didn't know Mawlana, but I saw different awliyaa that came to my father's house, and they all prayed different prayers. So I knew Salaat al-Awabeen, Salaat adh-Dhuha, Salaat al-Wudu, and Salaat at-Tasbeeh. I remember I used to pray all these prayers. And when you encourage children to pray, that reward will be written for you, and children are infallible ma`soom. So while your prayer is made with shaytanism or shaytanity, children's prayers are made with pureness and infallibility, ismah, so their prayer is immediately accepted as they have no sin. Our prayer might not be accepted, because angels have to carry it to Heavens and if they smell a bad smell, they cannot approach. What is the bad smell? It is the smell of partnership, to see yourself existing.
If you exist why do you die? "Existence" means continuity, always existing. Are you existing always? No, only Allah (swt) is existing, so you cannot claim that you are existing because today you are sitting here, and today you are not. And then after ten, fifty, or one-hundred years, your grave is unknown. Where is your father or mother? Gone. So myself included, we must not claim that we exist because this dunya is going to cease to exist also, as Allah (swt) said:
يَوْمَ تُبَدَّلُ الأَرْضُ غَيْرَ الأَرْضِ وَالسَّمَاوَاتُ وَبَرَزُواْ للّهِ الْوَاحِدِ الْقَهَّارِ
yawma tubaddalu al-'arđu ghayra al-'arđi wa as-samāwātu wa barazū lillāhi al-wāĥidi al-qahhār.
On the Day when the Earth will be changed to another Earth and so will be the Heavens, and they (all creatures) will appear before Allah, the One, the Irresistible. (al-Ibrahim, 14:48)
Then Allah calls people on the new Earth, as mentioned in Holy Qur'an. So where is your existence, when even the Earth you are buried in is gone? Allah brings you clean, back to a new Earth that is clean. Allah is going to create a new Earth for us, to bring us back to Him, so does He want to bring us back with our dirtiness? We are cleaned in our graves. As Grandshaykh (q) says, "Their punishment is in the grave and they will be cleaned there. And for ummat an-nabi, it is mentioned clearly that they are cleaned in the grave. Then they come on the Day of Judgment, clean." So our `amal is blended with shirk, and children's `amal is not. So encourage your children to pray and fast. And may Allah (swt) keep us always under the banner or wing of Prophet (s), or on his threshold, and on the threshold of our shuyookh. That is where we will be saved!
Always Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, used to bring the story of a big `alim in his time. That big `alim, aged 75, always goes to Jumu'ah prayer and gives the khutbah and always he says to people, "Allah says if you don't do this, Allah will put you in Hellfire." And so most of his khutbah was about `adhab, punishment, and people were frightened. He preached, "You must not do that as it will put you in Hellfire!" always nadheerun, warning. And Grandshaykh said nadheerun is only for the Prophet (s). Inna arsalanaak shaahida wa mubashshiran wa nadheera. You can give good tidings, but not make people afraid. That `alim was always nadheerun, and he never smiled in his life, always speaking of punishment, he never mentioned Allah's Mercy! Then one day he came to the masjid, covering his head and beard, and you could only see his eyes, wearing a special burqah made for him. Everyone was surprised. Oh! What had happened? He said, "O Muslims! O my brothers!" Previously he had never addressed the congregation as "brothers", only he threatened them. "O my brothers! Everything that I have been telling you all these years, I was wrong!" I
If only a Wahhabi imaam would say to their congregation, "Allah will save you, by His Mercy!" But they cannot, because they have taken the ummah in the wrong direction, like that imaam. Al`itiraf bil khata min al-fadeelah, "to recognize your mistake is goodness."
That imaam continued, "What I taught you all these years is wrong: you are all going to be in Paradises!"
What had happened? Everyone was so happy, they were speaking to each other! You cannot speak in Jumu`ah or even carry beads, you must not do that, it is haraam. If your cell phone rings and you reach inside your pocket to turn it off, your prayer is gone already. You have to come to your prayer awake, with no phone to distract you. I see some people during the khutbah sending text messages! IT people, "Intelligence Terminators."
So the imaam said, "O my friends, my brothers and sisters! Today I saw a dream." People might see a dream and they say, 'It is only a dream, never mind, who cares?' He said, "I saw a dream that the Day of Judgment came and Allah called me. I was among people and my turn was coming. He asked me, 'Do you want to be judged, you, now it is your turn, O My servant!'" Because even if you are a non-believer you are still His servant; you cannot say you are not. "'O My servant! You warned all My servants about Hellfire, and I am going to be with you as you were, warning them of Hellfire, and you never spoke to them about My Mercy! wa rahmatee wasi`at kullu shay! My Mercy has encompassed everything! wa sabaqat rahmatee `ala ghadabee! My Mercy outweighs My Anger! Where did you leave My Mercy?! Why did you leave it behind? Based on what you have done, I am going to judge you action-by-action. You were warning them of the smallest mistake, so I am going to judge you on your smallest mistake!' I said, "I have nothing! I am praying and everything!" But I had completely forgotten things I had done that were so small, until Allah brought them to one balance and brought the good ones to the other balance, and the good ones were not heavy and the bad ones were heavier!"
And that goes back to the hadith of Prophet (s), that Allah asks one `abd, "Do you want Me to judge you by My Mercy or by your `amal?" The servant said, "Alhamdulillah, I have good `amal, and I never did anything wrong." So Allah put his good `amal on the Scale and it was heavy, and the bad deeds were not much. So again the servant said he wanted to be judged according to his `amal and not according to Allah's Mercy. And so Allah took one of his eyes and put it on the Scale of bad `amal, which now became heavier than all his good deeds! He did not recognize Allah's Mercy! Who gave him eyes to see? He was only thinking, "I, I, I," "I prayed, I gave charity." Then you are mixing yourself with Allah and His Mercy. So he was ordered to the Fire, but Prophet (s) appeared immediately and said, "He is under my shafa`, I will intercede for him." So our Grandshaykh taught us not to depend on our deeds, but on the shafa` of Prophet and the guidance of awliya!
Back to our previous story. The imaam said, "Then Allah said to me, 'I am judging you according to what you have done. You threatened My servants and I will judge you the same!' Allah brought my `amal and they vanished, habaa'an manthoora, 'Now you deserve Hellfire. O My angels! Take him!' (In the dream) I saw them taking me to the Hellfire, and one flame from Hellfire burned my hair and my beard completely. I screamed, "I will never repeat it! In all my Jumu`ah khutbahs and lectures I will never mention punishment, I will only mention mercy!" Allah said, 'It is TOO LATE, take him!!' And then Prophet (s) appeared and said, 'Yaa Rabbee! Give him to me,' and I went to the side of Prophet (s). When I woke up, I found that my hair, mustache, beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, all were burned off! I could even see the black marks from the Fire, so I covered myself with this burqah."
Then he lifted it and showed everyone and they were all amazed. Grandshaykh (q) said, "I was amazed." That is a lesson and a miracle, too. If Allah (swt) wants to make things happen, He can. From that day he spoke only good tidings, and the people never heard any more from him about Allah's punishment.
O Muslims! Try to speak of the Mercy of Allah (swt), then you will find it. If you speak only of punishment, you will be punished with them. No need! Let them be happy. When you make people happy with the Creator, then Allah will be happy with you. Don't show bad character. Try to keep it under control, or else your ego controls you. When our ego controls us, we lose. May Allah bless us and forgive us.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
Mashaa-Allah, that subhah came because some people were criticizing in their hearts, "Why did we come here?" from Shaytan's gossips. May Allah (swt) make it easy in their hearts.