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Heavenly Knowledge Gives the Taste of True Faith

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

26 July 2010 Nairobi, Kenya

Nisf Sha`baan at Pangani Mosque

Introduction by local imaam:

As we have said before, we have in front of us a great scholar and just to sit in the association of such scholars is a great honor. We are so happy to have such a high scholar among us tonight. May Allah (swt) bless us this night for its blessings and also to pray that the whole Ahlu ’s-Sunnah wa ’l-Jama`ah be successful.

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham:

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatu

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem, Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa 's-salaatu wa 's-salaamu `ala ashrafa 'l-Mursaleen, Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa saahbihi ajmaa`een. We thank Allah for enlightening our hearts with Islam and imaan. We ask Allah to inspire what we say and we seek from our shaykh, Shaykh Nazim to inspire us with what we say.

O Muslim brothers and sisters! It is an honor for me to be here today, especially with the Mawlana Imaam, mashaa-Allah he is one of the guided and knowledgeable people in Islam. And I am in this masjid, of the (where Allah said):

وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ

wa inna al-masaajida lillah.

Mosques are for Allah. (Jinn, 72:18)

And this masjid is baytullah, house of His houses on Earth. Anyone who enters a masjid:

وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا

wa man dakhalahu kaana aamina.

Whoever enters (the House of Allah), he will be safe. (Aali `Imraan, 3,97)

Allah (swt) said, “Anyone who enters His house, will find safety.” That means not just Ka’aba, but all mosques are for Allah. Anyone who enters a masjid will find safety. Inna al-masaajida lillah aaminan, "Who enters the house of Allah (swt) will find safety," a safe haven. Do you know what a safe haven is? A safe haven is everything that is free, no taxes, or no punishment. In dunya's constitutions, they flood you with taxes in order to punish you. You are working for them. But Islam doesn't say that. Rather it says, “whatever you do is for you.” Allah (swt) ordered for Muslims to give only 2.5 percent of their money, but today the tax is a punishment that goes up to 50 percent sometimes. Instead of giving you taxes, Allah (swt) gives you rewards by man dakhalahu kaana aamina, “whoever enters the house of Allah (swt), will be safe.”

(audio cut ...) because we are peaceful people, we have nothing. We have only the best of what they can have, but they don't have what we have. We have Allah (swt), they have Iblees. Whoever has Allah, will find safety. Whoever has Iblees, will find fire. But we are in fire because Iblees is everywhere today. You go outside this masjid, Iblees is on the road, in the house, on Facebook. They are spoiling our children by making everyone interested in internet; you cannot study now without the Internet. … all in fire. But Allah changed the fire into بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا bardan wa salaaman, “cool and safe,” (21:69), changed the fire into cool a breeze, to safety.

قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ

Qulnaa yaa naaru koonee bardan wa salaaman `alaa Ibraaheem.

O fire! Be cool and peaceful on Ibrahim. (Surat al-Anbiyaa, 21:69)

He changed it to freezing, made the fire as if it was a mountain of ice. And made the mountain of ice a miracle for Sayyidina Ibrahim (a). Allah made the fire salaaman. This means it did not affect him, because Allah gave him safety.

So if we enter a masjid, it is safe, that mercy comes, you feel relaxed. O muslims, most of us, if not all, have difficulties. Where do you turn your face to get out of difficulties? You turn your face to Allah, you come to the masjid. You read Qur'an, you feel relaxation and happiness. Where did the Sahaabah (r) turn their face when they had problems? To Prophet (s), because he was present, they could see him. In masajid for sure there is the presence of Prophet (s) because Allah is there, and wherever there is the presence of Allah, there must be the presence of Prophet (s). There is in this masjid (points to calligraphy) , La ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah, it is a real visual example. And it is not La ilaaha illa-Llah only, or Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah. Allah raised Prophet (s). If you write his name, Muhammad (s), it is not shirk. He raised his name before Creation on Laylat al-Isra wa 'l-Mi`raj, the Night Journey and Ascension. “We have raised your name, we have raised you.” You cannot raise a name without raising the person.

وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ

Wa rafa`na laka dhikrak.

And We have elevated your (s) remembrance! (94:4)

Therefore wherever there is a heavenly presence, the manifestation of Allah’s 99 beautiful Names and Attributes, you have the presence of Prophet (s). Sahaabah (r) turned their faces to Prophet (s), asking the Prophet (s) to give them safety, Allah will give us safety. When we ask for the sake of Prophet (s), Allah will give.

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ

Wa maa aataakumu 'r-rasoola fakhoodhoo

Whatever the Prophet (s) gives, you take! (al-Hashr, 59:7)

We are asking for the sake of Prophet (s), to give us safety, and Allah will give. At-tawassul wal-waseelah, “the seeking of intercession and the intermediary.” Because Allah said, “What you ask, I give.”

The hadith of the blind man is very famous. He came to Prophet (s) and said, “I would like to pray Fajr behind you, but I cannot see. People are sleeping, or they go their own way and no one takes me. Can you pray for me or teach me a du`a I can read that Allah gives me my sight, my vision?” Prophet (s) said, “Can you be patient?” He said, “No.” Because it is on Allah's way to be patient. He said, “No.” Maybe someone else would have said “Yes.” And this hadith is mentioned in the book of Ibn Taymiyya, we are quoting from their sources. He said, “No, I cannot.” Prophet (s) said, "Go to the ablution place, take ablution, and pray this prayer."

اللهم اني اسئالك و اتوجه اليم بمحمد نبي الرحمة. يا محمد اني اتوجه بك الي ربي في حاجتي هذه لتقضي لي. اللهم فشفعه في بجاه عندك.

Allahuma innee as'aluka wa atawajjahu ilayka bi-muhammadin nabiyyi 'r-rahma. Yaa Muhammad innee at-tawajjahu bika ila rabbee fee haajatee haadhihi li-tuqdaa lee. Allahumma fashaffi`hu fiya.

O Allah! I ask of You and I turn my face towards You by virtue of the intercession of Muhammad (s), the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad (s)! I have turned to my Lord by virtue of your intercession concerning this need of mine, so that it may be met. O Allah! Accept his intercession concerning me. (Ibn Majah)

He said, “O Allah! I am asking you and directing my face toward You and directing my face to Your Prophet (s) to You.” He didn't say, “Directly to You Allah,” but, “I am coming to You through your Prophet (s).” He was calling upon Muhammad (s). He was not in the presence of Muhammad (s), because Prophet (s) was not in the wudu area. Yaa Muhammad (s), innee atawajjahu. He said, “Yaa Rasoolullah (s), I am directing my face to you to go to my Lord. O Allah, let him intercede for me for this problem that I have.” Oh Allah, shafi`hu fiyya. And we missed one thing in the beginning, nabiu 'r-rahmah, “prophet of mercy.” As soon as he finished, he opened his eyes and he could see. He was the first one to come pray Fajr with Prophet (s), with no assistance.

Sahaabah (r) used this same hadeeth after the life of Sayyidina Muhammad (s). It was mentioned with Sayyidina `Uthmaan bin `Affaan (r). There was a person who used to come to Sayyidina `Uthmaan (r) because he had a problem. They say it was only in the time of Prophet (s), but it happened again in the time of Sayyidina `Uthmaan (r). And it happened before Prophet (s) came to Earth, with Sayyidina Adam (a), when he asked for intercession for the sake of the beloved one, Sayyidina Muhammad (s), and Allah gave to him. So this person came to speak with Sayyidina `Uthman (r), with Amir ul Mu'mineen. He was standing by the door where Sayyidina `Uthman (r) was sitting inside. He waited for two or three days and couldn’t see him. He was frustrated and sad. They were not letting him in, there is something like that, they don't let people to come in. He was standing by the door for many days, and he was finally so frustrated, he started crying. One Sahaabi (r) saw him and asked, “Why you are crying?” “I have a problem and no one can answer for me except Amir ul-Mu'mineen. I am at the door and he is looking at me and not seeing me,” replied the man. The Sahaabi (r) said, “Do you want to hear a prayer I heard Prophet (s) teach someone? Say this prayer before trying to see Sayyidina `Uthman (r) tomorrow. Read this prayer of the blind man , and say Yaa Muhammad innee at-tawajjahu bika ila rabbee fee haajatee haadhihi li-tuqdaa lee. Allahumma fashaffi`hu fiya.

The man was happy, he took wudu, prayed two raka`at, and read the hadeeth. He went and as soon as he arrived at the door, Sayyidina `Uthman (r), from where he was sitting on the cushion, said, “We are not seeing you for a long time. Why are we not seeing you for so many days? Come! Enter!” Sayyidina `Uthman (r) stood up from the cushion and asked him to sit down on the cushion. He said, “What’s your problem?” The man told him his problem and Sayyidna `Uthman (r) solved his it. Allah gave us prophetic power to use it, not to say, “This is shirk, kufr, bid`a, and haraam,” but to use this ammunition against Iblees. His heart breaks when you use the intercession of Prophet (s). He hates Prophet (s), he doesn’t hate Allah. Because Maqam ul-Mahmud is for Prophet (s). He was making sajdah asking for Maqam ul-Mahmud. He hates anyone who calls on Prophet (s). Iblees hates Prophet (s) and Allah cursed him because of that. Iblees saw the light of Prophet (s) on the forehead of Adam (a), and refused to bow. After the adhaan, Prophet (s) asked us to make du`a for Maqaam ul-Mahmud. Iblees hates it when we make intercession to Prophet (s). He hates Prophet (s) and anyone who intercedes through Prophet (s). He was successful in those days to find a group of people who were listening to him unfortunately. It’s lucky for him, now he found people who agree with him... We are asking, "Yaa Rabbee, change their hearts back to Ahlu ’l-Sunnah wa ’l-Jama`ah. Because we like everyone to be together in heaven.

من قال لا اله الا الله دخل الجنة

The Prophet (s) said, man qaala laa ilaaha illa-Llah, dakhala 'l-jannah,

Whoever says there is no God but Allah, he will enter Paradise.”

He said, “Come to Muhammad (s),” Wa maa aataakumu 'r-rasoola fakhoodhoo, “Whatever Prophet (s) gave to you, take.” He gave you obedience, to obey Allah, and Holy Qur'an because it is Allah's word. Astaghfirullah. “When they are oppressors to themselves, they come to you, O Muhammad (s).” This means, when they do something wrong, they come. This is not only for the time of Sahaabah (r), when Sahaabah (r) did something wrong, but it is for all of us. You must learn.

Don't you commit a sin? There is no one who hasn't committed a sin. Even Adam (a) committed and he is a prophet. But prophets are infallible, they have no sins. Other than prophets, everyone can make a sin. When you do a sin and you know it, what is your duty? To reflect your mind on what you have done during the day and to correct yourself, you will be rewarded the reward of 70 years of worship.

تفكر ساعه خير من عباده سبعين سنه

Tafakkur sa`atin khayrum min `ibaadati sab'eena sannah

Contemplation for an hour is better than worship for 70 years.

This does not mean obligatory worship, but nafl, anything like qasaa'id, etc. If you reflect at the end of day and you come to Prophet (s) and ask for forgiveness, he will ask for intercession and Allah will forgive.

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

wa law annahum idh dhalamoo anfusahum jaa’uka fastaghfaroo 'Llaha wa 'staghfara lahumu 'r-rasoolu la-wajadooLlaha tawwaaban raheema

If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah (swt)’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful. [4:64]

They will ask forgiveness and they will find Allah (swt) forgiving. What better can we ask for than this?

Everyone is flying for income tax, they are afraid when they come to audit their companies, especially in western countries. They are afraid the government will find that they made a mistake. So what do you do? You audit your [spiritual] books, reflect, do astaghfar. Don't worry, repent. Allah said:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Qul yaa `ibaadiy 'Lladheena asrafoo `alaa anfusihim laa taqnatoo min rahmati Allahi inna Allaha yaghfiru 'dh-dhunooba jamea`an innahu huwa 'l-ghafooru 'r-raheem

Say, O My servants who transgressed against themselves, do not despair of Allah's mercy for Allah forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, the Merciful. (39:53)

"O my servants," asrafoo are those who did a lot of bad actions, wasted their time, and indulged in everything they like and followed their egos. Qul yaa ibaadiyya alladhina asrafu 'ala anfusihim la taqnatu min rahmatillah inna-Llaha yaghfirudh dhunuba jami'a innahu huwal ghafurur rahim. Not like people who one day have imaan, one day kufr, but those whose lives were wasted on all kinds of bad desires. Allah will forgive them all their sins. Allah will forgive you all kinds of sins, but make astaghfar. Don't sit watching television, "I am busy watching TV, the news, or I am the on the Internet." What are you doing on the Internet? Looking at Facebook, getting more friends? You are getting friends, and you can see all kinds of badness there. Repent, give time for repentance!

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ

alladheena yadhkuroon'Llaha qiyaaman wa qu`oodan wa `alaa junoobihim wa yatafakaroon fee khalqi's-samaawaati wa'l-ard.

Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the Heavens and the Earth. (3:191)

Those who pray standing, sitting and lying down. This means your five daily prayers; sometimes you are sitting, or sometimes lying down making dhikr, but he added something, “They will reflect on the greatness of Heavens and Earth.” Samawaati wal `ard. So our duty is to reflect, think, meditate on what we have to do. The Prophet (s) urged Sahaabah (r) to meditate on the greatness of this Creation; he didn't urge them to stop, to keep thinking about their Akhirah.

لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ

law anzalnaa haadha'l-quraana `alaa jabalin la-raayatahu khaashi`an mutasadi`an min khashiyatillah.

Had we sent down the Qur'an on a mountain, you would have seen it split asunder from the fear of Allah. (59:21)

Allah said "if", but He didn't do that. "'If' We reveal, 'if" We send down this Holy Qur'an on a mountain..." What did Allah mean by “mountain." All of the Earth and the entire universe. "If We send down the Holy Qur'an on a universe, that universe would disappear."

And Sayyidina Musa (a) asked, “Let me see You, O my Lord!”

“No, you cannot see Me.”

The mountain is Allah's Creation, as are Heavens and Earth. If Allah sends down the Qur'an on the universe, that universe will shatter. Like Sayyidina Musa (a) fainted and fell down, Allah did not send on that universe because will shatter. But the heart of Prophet (s) will not shatter, it can hold it. Look at greatness of Sayyidina Muhammad (s). Muhammadun basharun, wa laysa ka 'l-bashar, “Muhammad (s) is a human, but he is unlike a human.” Muhammad is a human being, but not like us. Basharun, but not bashar. What does that mean? Human but not like us. Imam al-Busayri (q) knew the reality, "You can say he is basharun, a human being, but not like other human beings, bashar." Bal huwa yaaqootatun wan-naasu kal-hajr, “But he is a jewel, and the rest of mankind is but rocks.” He is an expensive jewel, we are like pebbles, rocks. The gem is important, not the rocks.

So Allah (swt) gave us a way to repent, by the door of His Prophet (s). Can I come to this masjid and give a talk without permission from the committee? No, I cannot.

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً

Wa idh qaala Rabbuka li 'l-malaa`ikati innee ja`ilun fi 'l-ardi khaleefah.

Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a deputy on earth." (2:30)

We have made on earth a representative, a khalifah. You have to go to him.

The Prophet (s) said, “I am the city and ‘Ali is the door.” Can we say "Allah is the Divine Presence and Prophet (s) is the door?" This is example, have to go through Prophet (s).

مَّنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللّهَ

Man `ata'ar rasul fa qad `ata Allah,

Who obeys Prophet (s), obeys Allah (swt). (4:30)

Whoever obeys what he said, obeys Allah. The Holy Qur'an is giving him greatness by saying, “Whoever obeys you obeys Allah.”

But Allah gave a higher order, higher than that, showing his love to Prophet (s).

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

Inna-Llaha wa malaaikatahu yusalloona `ala 'n-Nabi,

Verily Allah and His angels send their prayers and salutations upon the Prophet (s).

Allah and His angels are praising and they are making salawaat to Prophet (s). How many malaaika? Ten, twenty, millions, or billions? He did not say, qismu malaaika, “part of his angels,” He said, “Allah And His angels.” How many? Ten or an infinite number? At that moment, Allah is al-Khaliq, and every moment He is creating, and those who are constantly created are under the order of constantly praising Prophet (s). And what kind of praises? He said, yusalloon. Allah's Greatness cannot be like a human being. If you make salawaat, or darood [darood - prayers upon the Prophet], you have a certain way, and someone else might have a certain way. How many different ways are there of reciting salawaat? It is very limited, but not for angels. Each angel cannot repeat the same darood a second time, or a third time. Each time it must be different. And every angel must be different, at every moment there has to be a different `Azhamatullah, “Glory and Greatness of Allah.”

O Muslims! Islam is not a playground, it is knowledge. Ibn Ajeeba, one of the greatest scholars of the 20th century said, "There are two different kinds of knowledge, `ilmu 'l-awraaq, wal `ilmu 'l-adhwaaq, “Knowledge of paper (written) and knowledge of taste.” You can write on a paper, “This water is sweet,” but you cannot truly know how sweet it is until you taste it. Heavenly knowledge is a dzauk, taste, and not everyone has that knowledge. Ahlu ’l-Sunnah wa ’l-Jama`ah `ilm ul-dzauk, they have knowledge of taste. The others have papers, no taste. They give you plastic fruit. It looks normal but it is plastic, you cannot taste it. Ahlu ’l-Sunnah wa ’l-Jama`ah give you real fresh fruit because they pick from the tree of heavenly knowledge at that moment, because their hearts are connected, and they give to you. May Allah forgive us and bless us and give this country, Muslim and non-Muslim, real happiness.

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