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How to Reach the Level of Ma`arifatullah

Ramadan Series 2011, Volume 29

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

28 August 2011 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Suhbah after Salat al-Fajr

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.

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

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)

Every day brings a different tajalli and every moment brings a different knowledge that Allah (swt) inspired in the hearts of awliyaullah! Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an:

يَسْأَلُهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ

Yasaluhu man fee ‘s-samaawaati wal-ardi kulla yawmin huwa fee sha’an.

Of Him every creature in the Heavens and on Earth seeks (its need), (for) every day in (new) splendor He shines! (Surat ar-Rahman, 55:29)

For all Creation, every day Allah (swt) is in a different tajalli. That is why the knowledge of awliyaullah changes from time to time. We are currently living in the time of the worst ignorance the world has known, as haqq comes when baatil is on its highest peak and destroys it.

وَقُلْ جَاء الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا

wa qul: ja'a al-haqq wa zahaqa al-batil in-nal baatila kaana zahuuqaa.

Say (O Muhammad), “Haqq (truth) has come and baatil (falsehood) has perished.” (al-Israa, 17:81)

Truth came with the Prophet (s), and before him it came with Sayyidina `Isa (a), and before him truth came with Sayyidina Musa (a), and before him it came with Sayyidina Ibrahim (a), and before him with Sayyidina Nuh (a), and before him with Sayyidina Adam (a), and in between truth came with numerous prophets and messengers. Allah (swt) gave the highest truth to the Prophet (s) because He sent him as the Seal of Messengers, which means no more will follow him. Allah (swt) closed and locked it, so don't expect any other prophets to come. Anyone who says, “There is another prophet,” means he came after Islam.

After Sayyidina `Isa (a) there was another prophet and after Sayyidina Musa (a) there were other prophets, but after Sayyidina Muhammad (s) there is no other prophet. It is finished, so everything that Allah (swt) wants people to know came in the time of the Prophet (s), the time of Ummat an-Nabi, which is of two parts: those who accepted the da`wa of the Prophet (s), Ummat al-Ijaaba, and the ummah that didn't yet accept, Ummat ad-Da`wa. We say, “May Allah guide them to the truth.”

The reason why people are not coming to Islam are either out of ignorance about Islam or due to arrogance and pride in their hearts. Sayyidina Musa (a) came with religion to Bani Israel. Sayyidina `Isa (a) came with religion to complete that of Sayyidina Musa (a), but Bani Israel didn't accept the Injeel, New Testament, because of arrogance. Anyone who comes with something different from the one who came before is addressing the previous one’s followers, but out of arrogance they cannot accept the one who comes after. So they were arrogant and said, "No, we don't accept`Isa; he is not a prophet." That is why the Jewish community doesn't accept Sayyidina `Isa (a). When Sayyidina Muhammad (s) came, the Christians came against him out of arrogance.

Why did Sayyidina `Isa (a) say, “Musa is correct,” but the people of Sayyidina Musa (a) didn't say, “`Isa is correct.” The Hawariyoon, disciples of Sayyidina `Isa, were ordered to accept what Sayyidina Musa came with and they were believers, but Bani Israel didn't accept. When Sayyidina Muhammad (s) came, he said, “Your Islam is not correct if you don't accept Sayyidina `Isa (a) and Sayyidina Musa (a),” but their followers didn't accept him!

Similarly, with awliyaullah, if someone has a teacher and another teacher comes with a higher level, out of arrogance he will not accept the one with the higher level, although they know the other teacher has higher knowledge. Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an:

وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ

fawqa kulli dhil `ilmin `aleem.

Above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Yusuf, 12:76)

Therefore, a wali must not raise his head to say, “I know the most.” The wali must accept the wali of another group and vice versa; they must not be arrogant and say, “Only my shaykh and no one else has knowledge.” Alhamdulillah, if you are connected with a sultan you are lucky but you do not have the right to humiliate the other shuyukh under him, since there are 124,000 awliya and they all have been given secrets from the Prophet (s).

Unfortunately, people are not accepting the others, as happened in history between the four imams: Imam Abu Hanifa an-Nu`man (r), Imam Malik (r), Imam Shafi`i (r), and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r). Their followers did not accept the others, although they may have accepted a little bit from Imam Shafi`i because he was the teacher of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. They even fought among each other. Shaytan’s main goal is to make fitna between people, which is destroying the nation. If your shaykh is the highest, keep that in your heart; don't go to the other shaykh and say, “You are nothing and my shaykh is everything.” In that case, you are backbiting awliyaullah for no reason! Two brothers or two sisters fight because of arrogance. If there is fitna between two brothers, what do you expect among the whole ummah; do you expect there will be no fitna among them?

Allah (swt) said:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعا

Wa a`taşimoo bihabli allahi jamee`aan.

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves (unite). (Aali Imraan, 3:103)

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

Yaa ayyuhan-naasu inna khalaqnaakum min dhakarin wa untha wa ja`alnakum shu`ooban wa qabaaila li-ta`arafoo inna akramakum `inda-Llahi 'atqaakum, inna-Llaha `aleemun khabeer.

O Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has taqwa. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (al-Hujuraat, 49:13)

They make an imaginary line and say, “If you cross it we will shoot you.” Who made that border? Allah (swt) said, “We made you nations and tribes that you may know each other.” No borders! Now you can't go anywhere without them saying, "Do you have a visa?" Bangladesh and Pakistan had to jump over India to make a border, and you cannot cross from one Arab country to another without showing a visa. That shows the arrogance and selfishness of human beings.

Allah (swt) wanted to test Sayyidina Adam (a) and He sent Jibreel (a), who covered himself. He looked at Sayyidina Adam (a) and said, “O, you look to me like a human being. How is that possible? I thought I was seeing myself.”

Sayyidina Adam (a) said, “No, I am here.”

Then he said, “Then we have to divide the Earth. We have to be sure that you take your part and I take my part.” They agreed to divide the Earth.

Sayyidina Adam (a) said, “Oh, but I have a wife. We are two and you are only one.”

Jibreel (a) said, “No, I take half and you take half.”

He said, “No, you take one-third and we will take two-thirds.”

“Why do you want to go all around the world? Isn’t half the world enough for you and your wife? I’ll take two-thirds and you take one-third!”

“No, you take one-third and I will take two-thirds!”

They began to fight and stopped when they got tired. Sayyidina Adam (a) made a line and said, “From this stone to there is mine, and from this stone to there is yours.”

The Earth is round, not flat, so how do you divide it? Sayyidina Adam (a) is a prophet and people say he knows the truth of matters, but this was the human nature from his dhurriyya, offspring and descendants. We were in his back although we had not yet come to dunya, and it was causing Sayyidina Adam (a) to behave like that; it was not from him, but his reaction showed how much Mankind was taking on the characteristics of evil power. It was a struggle of good and evil from the time of Sayyidina Adam (a). His two sons, Habeel and Qabeel, killed each other for the sake of dunya. Qabeel fought Habeel for dunya, and they fought and fought!

Then, Sayyidina Adam (a) was under Jibreel (a) and used his leg to push the stone to make his part bigger, pushing as much as he could to increase his portion. How much was pushing a stone going to increase his space? Finally Jibreel (a) said, “Yaa Adam! You failed the test. I am Jibreel.”

Borders establish by men are prohibited as Allah (swt) said, “Don’t separate.” That border is separating you from Akhirah. We are trying to claim everything for ourselves by putting up a border, but awliyaullah don't put borders for people because Akhirah is the goal of humanity. Their dunya is within their Akhirah, but their Akhirah is not within dunya.

Allah (swt) said:

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Rabbana atinaa fi 'd-dunya hasanatan wa fi ’l-akhirati hasanatan wa qina `adhab an-naar.

O our Lord! Give us goodness in this life and goodness in the Next Life, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:201)

He didn't reverse it and say, “Rabbana atinaa fi ’l-akhirati hasanah.” What comes last is always the goal and what comes first is the way to achieve it! Awliyaullah know if they build up their `ibaadah in dunya then Allah (swt) will give them Akhirah. That is why they call everyone to be covered by the mercy brought by the Prophet (s), and awliyaullah inherit that and they call all people to their ways. That is why we cannot speak of one wali against another. I have my shaykh, alhamdulillah, and I am happy with that way, and he has his shaykh and he has his way. In front of the Prophet (s), Sahaabah (r) are all the same, although they have different spiritual levels. All Sahaabah (r) are going to be on the same level in Akhirah; they are all Prophet’s (s) Companions!

That is why the Prophet (s) asked the Sahaabah (r), "Who are the ones with the highest level of imaan?" They said, "The angels." He said, "They are worshipping Allah and seeing the truth. So how then will they not believe?" Then they said, "The prophets." He said, “How are they not going to have faith when they see Jibreel?” And they said, "The Sahaabah." He said, "How are they not having faith when they see me every day?" They said, "We don't know." He said, "There are people coming at the end of times who believe in me without seeing me. They are my brothers, ikhwanee."

That is you! We are accepting the Prophet (s) and we are not seeing him, and yet we are following him. Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasooluh. ‘Alayha nahya wa ‘alayha namoot wa ‘alayha nalqa-Allah!

As we said many times, for who is not running after dunya, Allah (swt) makes the dunya a slave to him, to run after him. What Allah gave Sayyidina Sulayman (a), from that line Allah will give since he was not looking at dunya. Regardless of what treasures come, nothing is going to change in that person. That is why Allah (swt) gives to awliyaullah. Don't think awliyaullah are not rich; all awliyaullah are rich because Allah gives them generous hands so they can help the ummah. If a man of dunya has been given something, his hand is tight and he doesn't open it, but sincere, pious people give what Allah (swt) gave them.

Sayyidina `Ali (r), said, "If Allah (swt) gives to someone, he must use that wealth to help others. Allah tests him to see if he is helping or not. It is not for him to keep his wealth for himself, but to help people.” And that is what we were discussing about Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani (q), who always said, “Ata`m at-ta`am, If Allah (swt) gave the whole dunya to me, I would spend it all to feed the people.” So Allah gave to him! He was very rich and fed everyone spiritual food. He said, "Keep your heart so it is always remembering Allah.” To make dhikr in your heart, to read Holy Qur'an and Holy Hadith, to remember Allah's Name, to visit the sick or homeless is all dhikrullah; any good `amal is dhikrullah.

Allah (swt) will give anyone who keeps that ma`rifat al-haqq, to know about your Creator; not to actually know Allah (swt) but to know about Him. That is a big mistake that people fall into; they don't say, “I know about Allah,” but for them, ma`rifah means “to know Allah.” You cannot be in dunya and Akhirah and “know” Allah (swt) as your are created. Ma`rifah is to know about His Divine Presence, and through the Name “Allah” you know the descriptions of the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah. What is behind that Name no one knows. Allah (swt) described one of His Names, the main Name, “Allah”, through the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names and Attributes and many others, but more than that no one knows.

Allah (swt) said:

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ

qul huwa Allahu Ahad.

Say, "He is Allah, the Unique One!” (Surat al-Ikhlas, 112:1)

“Huwa” is the complete Unknown; no one knows the Reality of the Essence of what Allah describes, only Allah knows.

Grandshaykh (q) said, “Anyone who keeps dhikrullah is like a battery that is charging.” A battery charger looks like a heart; it holds four batteries in four chambers. Look at the signs; sometimes there is a charger with two batteries here, but today it is four, to confirm that description. If you keep your heart charged with dhikrullah you will learn all kinds of realities! The first one is ma`rifatullah, to know about your Creator. When you know about Him, Allah (swt) opens knowledge to you. Knowledge comes to many people in dreams. Laa yaghni min al-haqqi shay’an. It doesn't make you different because it is a dream, but when you see the Prophet (s) in a dream it is different.

Grandshaykh (q) said, “Don't come to me with dreams. Dreams are something you see when you close your eyes. Don't dream! You need visions, you need to see the realities that come with them, and then come and say, ‘I am seeing this and this and this.’” What you are seeing, Allah (swt) wanted for you only. Don't think because you are seeing it, you are high. No, you are lower than everyone; when you tell what you are seeing it means arrogance is there, and arrogance cannot take you to knowledge or ma`rifah. The Prophet (s) said, “I am only a human being like you.”

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاء رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

Qul innama anaa basharun mithlukum yooha ilayya annama ilahukum ilahun wahidun faman kaana yarjoo liqaa rabbihi falya`mal `amalan saalihan wa laa yushrik bi-`ibadati rabbihi ahad.

Say, "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me that your Allah is one Allah. Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness and in the worship of his Lord admit no one as partner. (al-Kahf, 18:110)

When your shaykh asks you, “Are you seeing dreams?” say, “Yaa Sayyidee, you know.” When he asks you, “What are you seeing?” then say it. If you come with ten pages of dreams, that is okay to make people happy, but it is not knowledge as the ocean of knowledge does not come through dreams! When you go diving they give you goggles and when you use them, you say, “Allahu Akbar! What is this? There are so many colors of species living in the water! Who made them like that? Who created them?” Why do you see underwater with goggles what your naked eye cannot see? Allah (swt) gave you eyes to see under seven Earths and above seven Heavens, but no one is using them; they want to use goggles.

Awliyaullah are diving in oceans of ma`rifah. Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) wandered in the desert for 25 years and drank rain water and ate from bushes. Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) was accused of making fitna and they stoned him, threw him in the dump and left him for dead. After they stoned him, he was unconscious for seven days and when he awoke he was still in the dump, details of which we narrated many times. He looked for something to eat and found some smelly bones in the dump. He reached to take a bone to eat a little bit, and he heard a dog growling, “Be careful, yaa Bayazid! This is our territory. What are you doing here?" Dogs lined up, saying, "Don’t touch our food!” Allah (swt) gave him knowledge of animals’ language, as the people had wrongly stoned him but he gave himself to Allah (swt) and to Islam.

Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) replied to the dogs, “Look, there is humbleness here. Allah created you and created me. I don't object to your creation, so don't object to my creation.” Look how he brought himself down. He said, “Allah created you as a creature and gave you life, and I respect that. Let us share, no problem.”

They said, “Okay, no problem. That side is for you and this side is for us. You take whatever comes on that side, and what comes on our side we eat. That bone is on your side, so eat it.”

He did. Then, after being accused in the city, he left and went to the ocean where he saw a boat sailing and he jumped aboard. In the middle of the ocean a huge storm came and the vessel was going to sink. At that time everyone was a believer, not like today. Now, if you tell them Allah (swt) caused something, they say, “No, we have technology. We have to fix it and make it like this or like that.” At that time the captain didn't say, “We have to move the sail.” He said, “No, there must be someone on board who is disobedient, and that is why Allah is sending this affliction on us.” No one volunteered to say he did something, so the captain said, “We will make a list of names, choose one name, and then throw him in the ocean.”

Bayazid (q) knew they would choose someone innocent, and that it was a test for him. He put his hand in to take the name and out came his name. He was chosen, so they threw him in the ocean. He said, “I am not going to come out of the ocean until I reach the Reality, where no one has reached in his time. If not, I am going to be in that ocean. If you want to take my soul, take it.” And Allah (swt) gave him the power, as Grandshaykh (q) said, to go to seven different zhulumaat, darknesses where there is no light because Allah cannot open the realities immediately; you have to dive into the Absolute Unknown.

When you come to Allah with absolutely no knowledge or visions of dreams, only dhikrullah, He will make you dive into different zhulumaat, just as the child is born in three realms of darkness as mentioned in Holy Qur'an 1400 years ago and which they now discovered. When you pass these three levels of darkness you reach the newborn baby’s knowledge.

When he reached there he heard many voices and a higher voice that he had never heard before, saying continuously, “Huuuuu!” Bayazid (q) sent his power to where those voices were, to count them, but he was unable to count them all. When the power opened to him, he realized all the voices were under a guide who was guiding them in dhikrullah. Immediately a voice said, “Yaa Abu Yazid! What are you doing there?” That was Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) and since the time of Abu Bakr (r) they were doing dhikr in that ocean. That was a good tiding for Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q), and many generations later, Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) came. That is knowledge Allah (swt) gives you to know about the Divine Presence. That is the real dhikr!

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