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How to Know if a Teacher Is Worth Following

The Fiqh of Islam, Vol 19

Ramadan Series 2013

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

27 July 2013 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi ta`alaa wa barakaatuh.

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah, nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta`ala fee hadha 'l-masjid.

As-salaamu `alaykum. All of you here and wherever people are seeing through the Internet, may Allah (swt) bless you all.

Dhikrullah cannot be defined in our language because it is the life; dhikrullah is the life of the angels. Angels are continuously in dhikrullah, so dhikrullah is a heavenly issue that we have to do it and to remember The One Who created everything, to remember the Greatness of Allah (swt) and to know how much we are dependent on Him and how much we are so like nothing in comparison to whom Allah (swt) loves!

He loves the people of dhikrullah, so if we are from the people of dhikrullah then Allah (swt) will honor us. If we are not of that then Allah will dishonor us, because dhikrullah is related to Allah directly. You are remembering Him, no one else, and this is part of tawheed, that you are remembering the Oneness and declaring the Oneness of Allah (swt). So as much as we are remembering as much as we are approaching the Divine Presence and as much as we are forgetting is that much we approach someone whom Allah doesn't like, Shaytan.

And that is why, as mentioned in the previous session, you have to have a teacher, a guide, someone you take as a role model. But you have to look at him: is he following his ego or following Allah (swt), because:

أخوف ما أخاف على أمتي الشرك الخفي

Akhwafu maa akhaafu `alaa ummattee ash-shirk al-khafee.

The Prophet (s) said: What I fear most for my ummah is hidden shirk. (Ahmad mentioned like it)

In your eyes he might be doing well, but in reality he might be trying to promote himself, by doing something in front of you and when he is away from you doing what is heedless and following his own bad desires. So it is said that you have to know from whom you are taking dhikrullah.

Ibn Qayyim writes in his al-Waabil as-Sayyib:

والمقصود أن الله سبحانه وتعالى ﻧﻬى عن طاعة من جمع هذه الصفات فينبغي للرجل أن ينظر في شيخه وقدوته ومتبوعه فإن وجده كذلك فليبعد منه

Wa ‘l-maqsood anna ‘Llaaha Subhaanahu wa Ta`ala nahaa `an taa`ati man jama`a haadhihi ‘s-sifaat, fa yanbaghi li ‘r-rajuli an yanzhura fee shaykhihee wa qudrathi wa matboo`ihee fa in wajadahu kadhaalika falyab`id minhu.

Allah prohibited us to follow those who carry the character of heedlessness and the character of bad desires, so whoever possesses these two characteristics you must run from him. Therefore when the student needs a guide, “He must look carefully, is that guide always in dhikrullah or is he not in dhikrullah, but rather is he following his desires?”

It means if he see his shaykh is not always in dhikrullah then leave him, don’t follow him. If you see him following dhikrullah then follow him.

A story that I saw myself and Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q), whose line is coming from the Prophet (s) all the way to Ahmad al-Faruqi (q) to Habeebullah Jani-Janan (q) of India, then to Sayyidina Khalid al-Baghdadi (q) then to some awliyaullah and then it came to him, he said, and this is what I saw, speaking about Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim, may Allah give him long life, “I never saw him except in dhikrullah.” And I am more than 50 years with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and always he is doing dhikrullah and his dhikr beads are in his hand until he wants to refresh his wudu, then he drops the beads from his hand. Otherwise, always his hands are moving, meaning that his heart is working, it is not necessary to make dhikrullah by his tongue, it can be from his heart.

That shows importance of dhikrullah for everyone. Unfortunately, some people today say, “O don’t do that, O that is bid`a, O don’t count [your Dhikr]!” etc., but I will quote a story of someone whom Ahlu ‘s-Sunnah wa 'l-Jama'ah are not okay with his ideology, and that is Ibn Taymiyya. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, his student, is relating a story about him:

و حضرت شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية مرة صلى الفجر ثم جلس يذكرالله تعالى إلى قريب من انتصاف النهار ثم التفت الي وقال هذه غدوتي ولو لم أتغد الغداء سقطت قوتي أو كلاما قريبا من هذا وقال لي مرة : لا أترك الذكر إلا بنية إجمام نفسي وإراحتها لأستعد بتلك الراحة لذكر آخر أو كلاما هذا معناه

Once I went to my shaykh, Ibn Taymiyya. He sat after praying Fajr salaah, doing the dhikr of Allah until midday. He said to me, “This dhikr is my breakfast in the morning. If I do not eat this food (i.e.,dhikr), I will become weak and I only avoid dhikr to give my nafs some breath to prepare it for dhikr at another time.” (Related by Ibn Qayyim in his al-Waabil as-Sayyid)

He said, “One time I came to the masjid and we prayed Fajr with my teacher, Ibn Taymiyya, and he sat after Fajr and was making dhikrullah.” This is for those who deny dhikr. Do they deny dhikr or not? They say, “No, this is Sufi stuff, don’t do it.” This is Ibn Taymiyya who is doing it, whose ideology the Salafis follow. We pray for them, that Allah guides them to Ahlu ‘s-Sunnah wa 'l-Jama`ah. He was sitting there, at least O Salafi, don’t criticize the Sufis when they do dhikr as your teacher was doing dhikr. If you want to criticize, then criticize Ibn Taymiyya first! Is that not fair? It is fair for everyone.

So Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya is describing his shaykh and said:

I came and prayed Fajr with him and then my teacher was sitting after Fajr prayer and in one sitting making dhikrullah up to Zhuhr time, not moving or going anywhere but in one sitting, remembering Allah (swt) until the middle of the day.

This is mentioned in strong hadiths from Bukhari and Muslim which we mentioned many of them yesterday and we will mention some today. How many hours is that? From Fajr, say 5 o'clock to 12 o'clock, that is seven hours sitting making dhikrullah.

Thumma ‘l-tafata ilayh, wa qaala hadhihee ghudwatee, “And then he looked at me and said, 'This is my food. If I don’t do that my power will drop. If I don’t eat my food, my power, my energy will drop down.' And he said one time, ‘Adh-dhikru li‘l-qalbee mathalu ‘l-maa'i lis-samak,’ he compared the heart to the fish.”

The heart is swimming in water, like fish swim in water; if you take the fish out of water, what happens? It struggles. Put it back in water, it survives. If you take the heart out of water it struggles and becomes rusted. If you put it back in the water it surrenders. What is that water? It is Maa al-Hayaat, wa Haqq al-Hayaat wa Hayaat al-Abadee, “That is the Fountain of Heavenly Youth,” the fountain of water that gives you life and the heart likes to swim in that heavenly fountain of water, and at that time it will be submitting to Allah (swt) . You cannot come to Allah (swt) like you are entering somewhere, you must first clean your heart and then enter.

You cannot visit a leader like it is a normal situation, you must first shower and dress well and then go. Why when we pray our five prayers a day and remembering Allah (swt) through these prayers, why do we not dress well like when we go to see a leader or our boss? Do you dress like that? No, you dress your best dress and then go. The best dress is dhikrullah. The heart is always yearning to go back to its water and cannot enter without dhikrullah and to drop bad desires, the ego from the heart.

That is why Bayazid al-Bistami (q) asked, “Yaa Rabbee! How can I reach you?” kayfa ‘l-wusoolu ilayk, and he heard a voice that came, al-wusoolu ilaynaa an tatruka nafsaka wa ta`al, “Yaa Aba Yazid! You want to come to Us, okay, but leave your self and come,” which means “leave your desires and heedlessness and come, then you will find Us.” So if you see the shaykh is not engaged in dhikrullah, which is the food, provision of your soul, as the big teacher of Salafis, Ibn Taymiyya acknowledged that dhikrullah is necessary in order that you can give strength to your body, to your energy. And he said, I am quoting that because it is important for Ahlu ‘s-Sunnah wa 'l-Jama`ah to have an argument for those Salafis who deny dhikrullah when their teacher is committing to dhikrullah!

And one time Ibn Taymiyya said, as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya relates, laa atruku ‘dh-dhikra illa bi niyyati ijmaami nafsee, “He said to me, ‘I don’t leave dhikrullah except to give myself a little rest.’” Because when you make dhikrullah, entering into it is not easy. You are struggling with Shaytan and Shaytan doesn’t want you to enter in it, so he tries to pull you away. It is a fight within your heart when you are doing dhikrullah. Try, begin making dhikrullah and you see how difficult it becomes. You make first 100, second 100, third 100, and then it becomes heavy, heavy, and heavy, not because it’s dhikrullah, but because you are fighting your desires. Your desire doesn’t want you to make dhikrullah. So he said, “I sometimes stop doing the dhikrullah, bi niyyati ijmaami nafsee, in order to give myself some time of rest, then I will have my power back and I begin another time to do dhikrullah.”

So, it is related in Imam Ahmad’s Musnad, marfu`an, hadith from Prophet (s), Akhthiroo dhikrullahi ta`ala, “Do dhikrullah excessively,” and what is the ceiling of ‘excessively’? The Prophet (s) put a ceiling, “Do it excessively,” excessively, excessively, excessively, like someone who is among people doing dhikrullah “laa ilaaha illa-Llah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” not paying any attention to anyone: that is excessively. Keep doing, going up and up, until people begin to see he is crazy:

أَكْثِرُوا ذِكْرَ اللَّهِ حَتَّى يَقُولُوا مَجْنُونٌ

Akthiroo dhikrullahi hattaa yaqooloo majnoon.

Remember Allah (swt) so much that people start saying, “He has gone mad.” (Ahmad, Musnad)

Until they say about you, “You are crazy!” Akthiroo dhikrullahi ta`ala hattaa yaqooloo majnoon. Don’t stop until you hear a word saying, “O! This one is crazy, leave him alone.” And today if you want to sit to do your awraad and be busy with that, people come and say to you, “What are you doing? Leave, come sit with us. You are crazy, it is too much praying.”

And it is said in some places and I heard it from people who are leading the Muslim community in America, but they are Salafi, and many people follow them. Every year they hold a conference and you know who they are. One of their leaders, who was a president of that organization said, “If the Prophet (s) comes in this time, he will wear jeans.” And also, “Don’t do too much prayers. You are only obliged for five prayers, do your five prayers and go to the mall and entertain yourself.” That is a guide, a shaykh, they call him (by the title) “`Allamah. `Allamah Mufti Saab,” I don’t want to give names, but they are like that. He says, “Do your prayers,” of course do your prayers, but do you want to be in first Paradise or with the Prophet (s)? There is a big difference. If you pray and fast you are in the first Paradise, but to be with the Prophet (s) you have to struggle!

وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن فقراء المهاجرين أتوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقالوا‏:‏ ‏"‏ذهب أهل الدثور بالدرجات العلى، والنعيم المقيم‏:‏ يصلون كما نصلي، ويصومون كما نصوم، ولهم فضل من أموال‏:‏ يحجون، ويعتمرون، ويجاهدون، ويتصدقون‏.‏ فقال‏:‏ ‏"‏ألا أعلمكم شيئًا تدركون به من سبقكم، وتسبقون به من بعدكم، ولا يكون أحد أفضل منكم إلا من صنع مثل ما صنعتم‏؟‏ قالوا‏:‏ بلى يا رسول الله، قال‏:‏ ‏"‏تسبحون، وتحمدون، وتكبرون، خلف كل صلاة ثلاثًا وثلاثين‏

Dhahaba ahl ad-duthoori bi ‘d-darajaati ‘l-oolaa, wa ‘n-na`eemu ‘l-muqeem yusalloona kamaa nusalloo wa yasoomoona kamaa nasoom wa lahum fadlun min amwaalin yahajjoona ya`tamaroon wa yujaahidoona wa yatasaddaqoon fa qaal: alaa u`allimukum shay’an tudrikoona bihi man sabaqakum wa tasbiqoona bihi man ba`dikum wa laa yakoona ahadun afdala minkum illaa man sana` mithla maa sana`tum. qaaloo balaa yaa Rasoolullah. qaal tusabbihoon wa tuhammidoon wa tukabbiroon khalfa kulla salaatin thalaatha wa thalaatheen.

Abu Hurayrah (r) related:

The Muhajiroon came to the Messenger of Allah (s) and said, “The wealthy have gone with the highest ranks and lasting bliss.” He asked, “How is that?” They replied, “They offer salaah as we offer it, they observe fast as we do, (and as they are wealthy) they perform hajj and `umrah and go for jihad, and they spend in charity but we cannot, and they free the slaves but we are unable to do so.” The Messenger of Allah (s) said, “Shall I not teach you something with which you may overtake those who surpassed you and with which you will surpass those who will come after you? None will excel you unless he who does which you do.” They said, “Yes, please do, O Messenger of Allah!” He (s) said, “You should recite, ‘Tasbeeh (SubhaanAllah), tahmeed (Alhamdulillah), takbeer (Allahu Akbar)’ thirty-three times after each salaat.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

There were Ansaar of Madinah and the people who migrated from Mecca to Madinah, the Muhajiroon. So the poor people of Muhajiroon came to the Prophet (s) and said, dhahaba ahl ad-duthoori bi ‘d-darajaati ‘l-oolaa, “The people of richness, the rich people, took the high rewards,” because they have money, they have wealth, and they gave it to Prophet (s) without count, like today people give but they don’t know where they are giving. They like to give, but they don’t know where they are giving. It might fall into wrong hands. So today it’s dangerous to give if you don’t know where you are giving. So they said, “They people of richness went with all the rewards and ‘n-na`eemu ‘l-muqeem, the best, highest levels of Paradises,” and they were saying to Prophet (s), yusalloona kamaa nusalloo, “They pray like us and fast like us,” wa yasoomoona kamaa nasoom, wa lahum fadlun min amwaalin yahajjoona ya`tamaroon, “and they have favors of money that Allah granted that they use for Hajj and for `Umrah,” wa yujaahidoona wa yatasadaqoon, “and they give charity and fight for Allah's sake.”

And they were sad. A poor one is a sad person when he sees the rich ones have everything from mata` ad-dunya, of material wealth. You see they have cars today, bank accounts, they have nice places, they go and come. Allah gave and you cannot say no: to whom Allah gives, He gives. So the poor are sad as they cannot be like that. These people can give everywhere, they are giving, helping, they pray, they fast, they make Hajj and `Umrah, they have the facility and the money. The poor don’t have that, so they get sad.

So they are telling Prophet (s), “The people of richness took everything! They took dunya and from dunya they are going to take Akhirah also!” and the Prophet (s) said, alaa u`allimukum shay’an tudrikoona bihi man sabaqakum, “Do you like me to teach you something that if you learn it, Allah will make you ahead of those whom you think are ahead of you? You will be ahead of the rich people or will be like them in Allah’s Eyes, and He will dress you and favor you and no need to be sad.” Wa tasbiqoona bihi man ba`dikum, “And not only you will overtake those in your time, but you will surpass those who come after you, you will be ahead of everyone!” wa laa yakoona ahadun afdala minkum, “and no one will better than you! You will be the best,” illaa man sana` mithla maa sana`tum, “unless they do the same of what I am teaching you, they will be like you and you will be like them.” They said, balaa yaa Rasoolullah, “Yes, of course, yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasoolullah!” He (s) said, tusabbihoon wa tuhammidoon wa tukabbiroon khalfa kulla salaatin thalaatha wa thalaatheena marrat, “After every prayer is done, you recite each 33 times, “SubhaanAllah, alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, 33 times; you will be richer than those people who got all these rewards, you will be ahead of them.”

So we are poor, what should we do? Say “subhaanAllah” 33 times! Say “alhamdulillah” 33 times! Say “Allahu Akbar” 33 times. If you do that after every salaah, you will be ahead of everyone. That is dhikrullah, that is what the Prophet (s) is teaching and those Sahaabah (r) whom he was addressing, fukaraa al-Muhajireen, the poor Muhajireen who left Mecca and came with nothing but their clothes, nothing else, they didn’t take anything with them, they are poor and Allah is granting them richness!

We are poor! We ask, “Yaa Rabbee! Grant us richness in dunya and Akhirah!

And this hadith is mutaffakun `alayh, from Bukhari and Muslim.

`Ali ibn Abi Talib (r) reported that the Prophet (s) said to his daughter, Sayyida Fatima az-Zahra (a) and to Sayyidina `Ali, radiAllahu `anhuma wa karramAllahu wajhahuma wa `alayhima ‘s-salaam:

وعن علي رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال له ولفاطمة، رضي الله عنهما‏:‏ ‏"‏إذا أويتما إلى فراشكما، أو‏:‏ إذا أخذتما مضجعكما - فكبرا ثلاثًا وثلاثين، وسبحا ثلاثًا وثلاثين، واحمدا ثلاثًا وثلاثين‏"‏

Wa `an Ali (r) anna Rasoolullahi (s) qaala lahu wa li Fatima (a): idhaa awaytumaa ilaa firaashikumaa aw akhadhtumaa madaja`akumaa fakabbiraa thalaatha wa thalaatheen wa sabbihaa thalaatha thalaatheen wa ahmidaa thalaatha thalaatheen.

The Messenger of Allah (s) said to me and to Fatima (a), “When you go to bed, recite, takbeer (Allahu Akbar)’ thirty-three times and tasbeeh (SubhaanAllah) thirty-three times and tahmeed (Alhamdulillah) thirty-three times." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Idhaa awaytumaa ilaa firaashikumaa aw akhadhtumaa madaja`akumaa, “When you go to your bed to sleep or you lay down to rest,” fakabbiraa thalaatha wa thalaatheen wa sabbihaa thalaatha thalaatheen wa ahmidaa thalaatha thalaatheen, “Make takbeer 33 times, tasbeeh 33 times and tahmeed 33 times: ‘Allahu Akbar,’ ‘SubhaanAllah,’ ‘Alhamdulillah,’” mutaffaqun `alayh, related by Bukhari and Muslim.

Abu Hurayrah (r) narrated that the Prophet (s) said:

إِنَّ لِلَّهِ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمًا مِائَةً غَيْرَ وَاحِدٍ مَنْ أَحْصَاهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ ‏"‏

Inna lillaahi tis`ata wa tis`eena isman mi’ata ghayra waahid man ahsaaahaa dakhal al-Jannah.

Indeed Allah has Ninety-Nine Names, one hundred less one. Whoever counts them shall enter Paradise. (Tirmidhi)

Abu Hurayrah (r) narrated that the Prophet (s) said, “Allah has 99 Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes; whoever counts them or memorise them or reads them will enter Paradise,” and all tasbeeh or dhikrullah is done through these Beautiful Names and Attributes. It is said by many scholars, not many, but the majority of scholars say that the 99 Beautiful Names and Attributes are the better-known Names and easier on the tongue to address, but there are many, many other Names of Allah (swt) that you can make dhikrullah with.

And the importance of dhikrullah is to make Allah (swt) happy, as He said:

أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي

Anaa jaleesu man dhakaranee.

I sit with the one who remembers me. (Ahmad, Bayhaqi)

So it has too many fawaaid, many benefits, too much benefits and we will count some of them. We mention one of them now:

Dhikrullah yatrud ash-Shaytan. Dhikrullah will chase Shaytan, Allah (swt) will throw him out from your heart when you are making dhikrullah. He cannot enter a fortress. Dhikrullah is our fortress in dunya, it prevents Shaytan from attacking, he can come to the wall, but he cannot enter. If you get heedless one moment he enters immediately, you have to be careful. Wa yakma`ahu wa yakthuruh, “and with dhikrullah Allah will put Shaytan down and break him into pieces.” So the first time you break him down and break him into pieces; the first time, by saying “laa ilaaha illa-Llah” or any of the dhikr that we mentioned already, it breaks him down and down.

Imam at-Tirmidhi said in his Sahih, from `AbdAllah ibn Mas`ood (r), one of the biggest Sahaabah, narrated:

لَقِيتُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي فَقَالَ يَا مُحَمَّدُ أَقْرِئْ أُمَّتَكَ مِنِّي السَّلاَمَ وَأَخْبِرْهُمْ أَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ طَيِّبَةُ التُّرْبَةِ عَذْبَةُ الْمَاءِ وَأَنَّهَا قِيعَانٌ وَأَنَّ غِرَاسَهَا سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَلاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ

Laqeetu Ibraaheema laylatu israa bee. fa qaala yaa Muhammad, aqri’ ummataka minna ‘s-salaam, wa akhbirhum anna ‘l-jannah tayyibatu ‘t-turbah. `adhbatun al-maa’i wa annahaa qee`aanun wa anna ghiraasahaa subhaanAllahi wa ‘l-hamdu lillaahi wa laa ilaaha illa-Llahu w ’Allahu Akbar.

The Prophet (s) said:

I met Ibraheem (a) on the night of my ascent, so he said, “O Muhammad! Recite salaam from me to your nation, and inform them that Paradise has pure soil and delicious water, and that it is a flat treeless plain, and that its seeds are: SubhaanAllah (Glory is to Allah), Alhamdulillah (all praise is due to Allah), Laa ilaaha illa-Llah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest.” (Tirmidhi)

“When I went for Israa’ wa 'l-Mi`raaj, I saw Sayyidina Ibraheem (a).” Allah wanted him to see Sayyidina Ibraheem (a), fa qaal yaa Muhammad aqri’ ummataka ‘s-salaam, that simple, that word, “O Muhammad! Send, read to your ummah my salaam.” Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) is asking the Prophet (s), requesting to send his salaam to Ummat an-Nabi (s), yaa naaru koonee bardan wa salaaman `alaa Ibraaheem, where Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) tasted the peacefulness when Nimrod wanted to throw him in fire, and Jibreel (a) came and said, “Do you need any help?” and he replied, “The One Who sent you knows what I need.” And Allah said:

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)

If He had said “cool” only and stopped there without saying “peace”, he would have frozen, but He said bardan wa salaaman, “cold and peaceful”, peaceful cold, as if he is in Paradise. He is sending that salaam to Ummat an-Nabi (s), that experience that he had hot/cold. “The fire is hot” means you are struggling with worse than Nimrod, that is Shaytan! You are struggling with Shaytan! So, “I am asking Allah (swt) to dress them as He dressed me, with that peacefulness and that coolness.” That’s why today we don’t feel that heat within your heart because Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) sent that salaam to Ummat an-Nabi (s). And when you say salaam, what we have? It means Allah...it means when you send salaam it means you are sending peacefulness on people, wa `alaykum as-salaam yaa Ibraaheem (a). So he sent salaam to Ummat an-Nabi (s) to everyone, with no exceptions! To everyone.

Be happy that Allah created us from Ummat an-Nabi (s)! The grandfather of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) sent salaams to all of you around the world, to every Muslim! Wa akhbirhum anna ‘l-jannah tayyibatu ‘t-turbah, “And tell them that Jannah is very tasty, sweet and has a sweet, tasty soil.” What kind of soil is that? Tasty and sweet, fertile with sweetness. Wa anna ghiraasahaa, “and the plants of it,” when you have nice fertile soil you plant in it, so it is all planted, “And tell them to plant more, those plants are ‘subhaanAllah w ’alhamdulillah wa laa ilaaha illa-Llah w 'Allahu Akbar.’” Those are the plants of Paradise! Every time you say, ‘subhaanAllah,’ one plant is planted there for you and your name is written on it.

Today there is in Canada a botanical garden and you pay them and they put a special flower in a color that you like, they mix all these genes and bring the color you like, like painting and they call it by your name. They sell it under your name. So on every heavenly plant that you plant by saying “subhaanAllah w ’alhamdulillah wa laa ilaaha illa-Llah w 'Allahu Akbar,” on every time you say “subhaanAllah,” on every time you say “alhamdulillah,” and every time you say “Allahu Akbar,” one plant, one plant, one plant. If you say 100 times after every prayer, you have 500 plants, times three, as three different types of plant in each tasbeeh, those are 1500 plants every day and your name is written on each of them, and how can there be such a garden with your name written in it without you being present there? No, you will be present in your garden as this is your special garden, a garden of dhikrullah, and by glorifying and thanking Allah (swt) and praising Him you will get that barakah!

Also narrated by Imam Tirmidhi, hadeethun hasanun sahih, related from Jabir bin `Abdullah (r) that the Prophet (s) said:

مَنْ قَالَ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ ‏.‏ غُرِسَتْ لَهُ نَخْلَةٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ

Man qaala subhaaAllahi ‘l-azheem wa bi-hamdihi ghurisat lahu nakhlatun fi ‘l-jannah.

Whoever says, “SubhaanAllah al-`azheem wa bi-hamdihi (Glory is to Allah, the Magnificent, and with His Praise)” a date-palm tree is planted for him in Paradise. (Tirmidhi)

“Every time you recite ‘subhaanAllah wa bi-hamdihi’ Allah will plant for you one date palm in Paradise.” Is it going to be like dates that we are eating here, or is it a special date? Dates of Earth, the Prophet (s) used to eat seven dates with one cup of milk every day at brunch-time and it gave him power for the whole day, he (s) said that relieves people from head problems, brain problems and removes poison from the body. That is from the date tree on Earth, so do that. What about the date tree in Paradise?

So we leave you with this, and make dhikrullah as much as you can and we continue, inshaa-Allah, next time.

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


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