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A`udhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem

Nawaytu al-arba`een, nawayatu al-`itikaaf, nawaytu al-khalwah, nawatu ar-riyaadah, nawaytu as-sulook, nawaytu al-`uzlah, nawaytu as-siyaam lillahi ta`ala al-`adheem fee hadha 'l-masjid

Everyone of us likes to decorate his house with different pictures with different lights with different decorations. And all of you if you have guests you put most of what you can do to make the place nice and you tried your best here to make this room a nice room. So what you call it in English, you have a word for it? Cozy? 

If you have more money I think you would have built a palace and decorated it then it won’t be cozy anymore. Then it will be what – spectacular! From cozy to spectacular.

If you are a king what you do? You make a huge castle to look that no one can imitate you.  Is it not? You try your best not to be imitated. But still you are in limits. You can still be imitated and you are-  many can do the same as you did and they can make, it might be better than what you did. And that’s only to show hospitality to your guest.  

What you think about if you invited a very special guest what you do? Not like us we are, not like me- might be like them- [ALLAH] If you have the chance to invite a special guest what you do? You do your best for your guest to be happy with your invitation. You might put red carpet on the whole street to make him happy. Like your shirt [points to one guest]

What you think about the guest who is the Seal of Messengers? and has been invited- the only prophet from 124,000 prophets to be invited for the Night of Ascension? Huh? What you expect? Wherever he moved was not decorated? Of course it was decorated- heavens were decorated! And they are decorated relative to the greatness of the Decorator - al-Khaliq the Creator, one of His Beautiful Names and Attributes. Khaliq means no restriction of what He creates. He created heavens to host His Beloved servant Sayyidina Muhammad (s). He created angels to give salutation to Prophet (s) - that’s not something we can understand with our mind. 

Allah created angels to do what? To make salutations. That’s not something easy to understand. We come through it as if “ahh it is a normal issue.” Angels day and night their food, their energy, their existence is salutations [on the Prophet (s)]. They are continuously in salutations to Prophet (s) as Allah said in Holy Quran,  inna Allaha wa malaikatahu yusalloona `ala an-nabi  - Verily Allah and His angels are making salawat, praising Sayyidina Muhammad (s) . 

Here how many are we? 100, 200, 1000,one million, one billion, one trillion- that is still in limits if they all do salutations, but angels are not in limits. Allah is not in limits. Allah has no limit to His Greatness. They say Allah is making salutations to His Prophet (s). Then how much… we have to think how much is the respect Allah is giving to Sayyidina Muhammad (s). It’s not something [that can be grasped] by mind. Whatever you want to define or describe, the pen is limited to write, the tongue is limited to speak.  

You can’t know sweetness of water without tasting [drinks from water], and you can’t know greatness of the Prophet (s) without being present there.  You were present there? [No.] Do you think Prophet (s) will go without his ummah? No. So you were present or not? You were present!

Everyone is present because Sayyidina Muhammad (s) rahmatan li’l-`alameen – he has to show mercy to everyone of what Allah has created. He will not go without his entourage. Who are entourage of the Prophet (s)? His ummah - all of them. Do you think Prophet (s) differentiates - ‘come with me’. Allah showed the creation the greatness and perfection of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) by sending salutations to Prophet (s). When you want to praise someone you mention his name. Allah swt is praising Sayyidina Muhammad (s), mentioning his name and introducing him to angels and introducing him to the whole creation. According to how much you show love to Sayyidina Muhammad (s) you will be more nearer than anyone else to him. We are speaking me and you, human to human, but when prophets speak to prophets it is completely different. Their knowledge is different. What we are speaking like drops of an ocean.

We suffer in this dunya not because Allah wants us to suffer but according to what we are doing we are suffering.  People they say, “O we are suffering because Allah is punishing us.” Huh it’s not? Correct?

Did Allah punish the Prophet (s)? The Prophet (s)  was suffering. He was abused he was tortured he was suffering, he was struggling for the benefit of the Ummah. Do you think Allah is punishing him? Allah is rewarding. Don’t put in your mind if you are suffering you are being punished; you are being rewarded. If you are patient you reach your trust - they give you your jewels in your hand.   If you are not patient - they give you candies, enough. 

What is rahmatan li’l-`alameen? Our mistake is we judge others. We say, “O this one is not praying – he is a bad person; he is out of Islam!” How  do you know? It is Allah’s judgment. You judge yourself. Because the Prophet (s) said, “man `arifa nafsahu faqad `arafa rabbahu - who knows himself knows his Lord.”

This one was crying [points to Waleed]. If I left him crying not putting my hand on him, he would make everyone here to cry - he has that power of jadhba-  attraction. If he cries everyone will cry behind him. That is why I called him near me to control him. If he stayed over there he would cry until ladies thought he was giving birth. Why is he shouting and crying? Crying out of love to Sayyidina Muhammad (s).

His family are all like that in Lebanon, Beirut. So how much you suffer, how much you are rewarded. He came to me one year ago. He said, “I have a job and I am applying for a promotion to be manager for nine different centers in North Carolina.” He drove all the way to Michigan, 12 hours attended dhikr, and he didn’t stay;  then drove back 12 hours because he is crazy and went back all the way. He asked to make du`a: “I am applying to make nine centers under me.” He called the next day - they gave him not only nine centers but they gave him all of North Carolina. He struggled coming going doing his awrad, reciting his Quran, reading his Dala’ilu ’l-Khayrat, doing everything,  Allah gives.

Allah gives, but know yourself. If you don’t want to know yourself that you are not perfect- because we think ourselves perfect [Waleed cries] Why do we go to doctors? When we are sick we go to a doctor because we know our body is not perfect. Your soul is not perfect so why don’t you go to a spiritual guide, a spiritual doctor, to fix your soul to stand by your limits? “man `arafa haddahu waqafa `indah - Who knows his limit stops there.” Do you know your limit? If you know your limit you stand by your limit.  Don’t exceed your limit.

Some people  say, “We are competing for this job but someone else took it.” Ok, relax, be patient. If Allah wanted you to take it you would have taken it.

Our problem is we struggle like a fish out of the ocean. So Allah gave Sayyidina Muhammad dunya and akhira and the Prophet (s) said, “Ya Rabbee! I am nothing.” When he was in Laylat al-Isra and Mi’raj Allah asked, “Who am I and who are you?” the Prophet (s) said, “You are my Lord and I am your servant. I am Your servant. To Your Greatness I am nothing.” 

Today we are like roosters. Put two roosters they fight immediately. Men are roosters and women became roosters. Shaytan enters because they don’t know limits - they fight. When we know limits we are very nicely living, no difficulties. If problems come and you are patient Allah rewards you and takes it from your way. Sayyidina Muhammad (s) I was the most abused prophet by his people. Look his uncle was planning to throw him in the ditch he dug. So our problem today is how to know our limit. 

What we need to know if we exceeded your limit or not, very simple- check your anger.   If you don’t get angry means you did not exceed your limit you are patient you are submitting to Allah. If you get angry- what will happen? As Prophet (s) said, “OAbu Bakr Anger (ghadab) is kufr!”  Kufr means disbelieving in Allah . When you get angry. How do you know if you get angry or not- ask someone to give you a slap on the face - what you do? Stay straight. Don’t give him the other side. Sayyidina `Isa said, “If someone hits the right side, turn your face and give them the left.” But Ihsan -  the level of moral excellence in Islam [ALLAAAH] means if you hit someone on his face there can be no movement. Because if you move it is making your ego to say, “No, never mind,  I am better than you. I am giving my cheek to you.” [Instead] You [must] keep firm. If he gives you another one on your left he gives you it - if not, alhamdulillah.

So do you like someone to slap on your face? do you want someone to slap you on the face? Do you want one? [No.] Say “yes.” 

There was a wrestler, a big one taller than him [points to Waleed] He is one of the main basketball players - very famous in the Middle East.  there was a wrestler who came to Grand Grandshaykh.   He has a dagger here, a gun here, a sword here, coming to the shaykh – when he was in seclusion on the top of a mountain. “I am coming to you. I want tariqah! I want initiation!”

Awliya didn’t give initiation in previous times - it was very difficult to get it.  He has a sword and a dagger - any shaykh would be afraid and give 100 initiations, but the Shaykh was firm . At that moment he looked at his heart and the Prophet (s) appeared to him and said, “Ya waladee! This man is loyal to me - he loves me. He wants to repent. Teach him.” 

He was angry his anger destroyed him, wrestlers they build up the ego to make them fight. They teach them when they are sitting on the chair “you are better, beat him, kill him!”- they make him angry to go knock down the opponent. So the anger is the problem, the shaykh looked and saw his heart full of anger, he wants to teach him, the order came from Prophet to teach him.

[The shaykh said:] “My son I am sending you on field trip into the city. There will be a man selling sheep stomachs and intestines - all these smelly things - go behind him and with all your force give him a slap on his neck where he is carrying these intestines and tell me what he will do.” 

He went, [thinking,] “O tariqah is nice - beating people.” He went and hit him on his neck from behind.   The man looked at him very angry but he didn’t open his mouth. The wrestler became more angry - he wanted to hit him more but the man didn’t say anything he only turns his face and got angry. The wrestler went back and told the shaykh. “Ok next day go and beat the next man as much as you can with full power.” The next day he went and saw the second man hit him with all his hand hit him on the back, that man looked at him laughing. The wrestler left him and went. He told the Shaykh, “What is this tariqah. I want someone to beat him.” “Never mind. Tomorrow one more- now leave the city and go to the village. You will see a village man with his buffalo and he is plowing with his buffalo the land, soil. Take that stick and beat him on his back until the stick breaks.”

He went and saw an old man 75 years old, plowing. So he took the stick as the shaykh said and beated him. The man didn’t look back, didn’t smile or get angry, but put his feet and pushed on the plow to make the buffalo go faster.  He hit him again the man hit the plow again. The third time he hit him the stick broke.

If you were there what would you do- if someone beat you with a stick? What would you do? Nothing? What! You became a wali already? You run away because you don’t have a stick to beat him back. 

So the stick broke. The old man ran to him and said, “Please open your hand; let me kiss your hand. O my son I know my shaykh has sent you because I have sins and with this stick he is removing these sins from me. So don’t be my plaintiff on the Day of Judgment because I made your hand to feel pain by beating me. So forgive me for the pain I gave to your hand.” 

He went to the shaykh surprised he didn’t know what to say. He was stunned. The shaykh said, “The first one was a beginner in tariqah - he showed you anger. The second one was ready – musta`id - to get his trust. He smiled to tell you, “O my shaykh I know you sent him to test me.” So there is still ego there. The third one is at the level of mureed the level of a real student. He knew it was a test and he knew he had to not turn his face. He knew he has to plow more because he did something wrong.

Tests and suffering it raises all your levels.  That’s why they send these on us, suffering. By knowing limits where you can reach is what is needed because if you know it you don’t exceed it. If you don’t exceed it you know what is the level of ego negativity within yourself and you try to eliminate it. That’s why the Prophet (s) said “Who knows himself knows his Lord.”  

May Allah guide us to know our Prophet first; to know our shuyukh and we are asking Sayyidina Muhammad (s) to take us to the Presence of Allah to the Divine Presence,  wa min Allah tawfiq. Bi hurmati 'l-Fatiha.

That is a very important point to think about it: 

to give our anger down;

to know our limits;

to know ourselves;

and whatever comes is for rewards and for raising your levels, it is not for lowering levels and not for punishment.

Allah doesn’t want to lower anyone, He wants to raise everyone higher and higher with Sayyidina Muhammad (s) wa min Allah tawfiq. Bi hurmati 'l-Fatiha.