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How to Taste the Sweetness of Faith

“Love Allah (swt) and Love His Prophet (s)”

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

19 September 2014 Manchester, UK

University of Manchester Programme Sponsored by Madinah Society (2)

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem fee hadha 'l-masjid.

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Atee`oollaha wa atee`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:59)

[Du`a for Prophet (s)]

Muslim brothers and sisters, as-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Viewers everywhere, may Allah (swt) shed on you blessing from the Ocean of Prophet (s) and shed on us blessings from the Divine Ocean. We are people, we are weak servants, helpless. Whatever you have of muscles, power, money, wealth or responsibilities, to be president, minister, that’s all for dunya and it won’t give you anything in Akhirah. In Akhirah, only one thing can save you from punishment, and this is the word (in Madinah Society sign) ‘Madinah’, Madinat al-Munawwarah, `alaa saakinihaa afdala ‘s-salaat wa ‘s-salaam.

Madinah is a very nice name: the city of knowledge, the city of wealth for Akhirah, the city of the Beloved, Muhammad (s), the city of knowing each other, the city that Allah (swt) loved for His Prophet (s), the city that hosted Prophet (s). To awliyaullah, after Makkat al-Mukarrama Ka`bah al-Musharraffah, Madinat al-Munawwarah is the most beloved city in their lives. In the past, most scholars came from Madinat al-Munawwarah.

Respect for Ladies and Love of Parents is Sunnah

But now there are too many places around the world that people can study and learn and we hope at the University of Manchester you will be successful in your life, especially the ladies, because they are the ones that Prophet (s) loved most. He said:

حُبِّبَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ دُنْيَاكُمْ : النِّسَاءُ وَالطِّيبُ ، وَجُعِلَتْ قُرَّةُ عَيْنِي فِي الصَّلَاةِ

Hubbiba ilayya min dunyaakum an-nisaau wa ‘t-teebu wa ju`ilat qurratu `aynee fi ’s-salaat.

The Prophet (s) used to say, “Three things of your world have been made dear to me: women, perfume and the coolness of my eyes is in prayer.” (Nasaa'ee)

“Of dunya, first I loved ladies because they are the carriers of generations,” not the men.

Prophet also (s) said:

الجنة تحت اقدام الأمهات

Al-jannatu tahta aqdaami ’l-ummahaat.

Paradise lies under the feet of mothers. (Ahmad, an-Nasaa’ee, al-Haakim in his Mustadrak, ibn Maajah)

All of them are mothers. Do you love your mother or not? Everyone loves his mother, especially if she gives him some money! (Laughter) Everyone wants the best for his mother, more than their father; they look at the mother more than they look at the father, because the father, Allah didn’t give him that strong feeling toward his family. Always his eyes are outside, you understand? But the women, always their eyes are inside, in general, for their families, for their children. And our father wants the best for us, as our mother wants the best for us.

Allah (swt) urged in the Holy Qur’an in many places to look after the women and children, where He orders children about their parents:

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ وَلاَتَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمً

Allah has decreed not to worship anyone except Me and with your mother and father to be nice with them. Whether one or both of them attain old age in their life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. (Surat al-’Israa, 17:23)

“O Children of Adam, never say to your parents ‘uff!’ If your parents ask you anything, say, “I listen and obey,” as Allah wants us to listen to and obey our parents. Allah is ordering us, laa taqul lahumaa uffin, “Don’t say to them ‘uff!’” which is to say, “I don’t want to do this favor for you.” Wa laa tanharhumaa, “Don’t scold them,” don’t shout at them, don’t scream at them, even in a lower voice, never! Wa qul lahumaa qawlan kareema, “Say to them the nicest, sweetest words which make them happy,” Allah is ordering out of love in the Holy Qur’an to the Muslims, because the Holy Qur’an came for everyone, but who is Muslim is under the Message that Allah is giving through Holy Qur’an. “Don’t argue with them,” but are you arguing with your parents, yes or no? The majority say yes. You never said no to them? Everyone has!

So we have to keep that message in our hearts. Why did Allah (swt) say it? Because Allah loves His `abd, servants: men or women, parents, wives and husbands, Allah loves them, and He made Prophet (s) to love the most, first the female from the male, because as we said, they have the responsibility of carrying the generations. Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّهِ

W’alladheena aamanoo ashaddu hubban lillaah.

But those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:165)

“O, Muslims! If you are really mu’min, your love to your parents is very strong,” meaning, very strong to Allah (swt), ashaddu hubban lillaah, more than to anyone else. If you are a mu’min, it means your love is to Allah (swt).

لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى أكون أحب إليه من والده وولده والناس أجمعين

Laa yu’minoo ahadakum hatta akoonu ahabu ilayhi min waladihi wa waalidhi wa ’n-naasi ajma`een.

You will not be a true believer until you love me more than your children and parents and all creation.

(Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet said, “Are we claiming we are Muslim?” [Yes!] So Allah is saying, “No one is considered a Believer unless he loves Me more than he loves his father, children, and all humanity.” If we claim that we love Prophet (s), our love must be stronger, we must love him more than our parents, although Allah has stressed love to parents, and Allah has told us that we must take care of them, wa laa tanharhumaa, don’t say ‘no’ to them, don’t give them rude answers, but love them and accept them.

On the other hand, Allah (swt) said, “If you are mu’min, your love to Prophet (s) has to exceed all of that and your love to Allah has to exceed all of that!” Allah (swt) doesn’t order us to something without mentioning the importance of it. According to the hadith of Prophet (s) Allah says, “I have to be more loved, they have to love Me most if they are to succeed,” and the evidence: Allah (swt) showed His love to Prophet (s), if we love Prophet (s), we have to love Allah (swt); if we love Allah (swt), we have to love sayyidina Muhammad (s).

O Muslims, mu’min! Prophet (s) said:

ثَلاَثٌ مَنْ كُنَّ فِيهِ وَجَدَ بِهِنَّ طَعْمَ الإِيمَانِ مَنْ كَانَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِمَّا سِوَاهُمَا وَأَنْ يُحِبَّ الْمَرْءَ لاَ يُحِبُّهُ إِلاَّ لِلَّهِ وَأَنْ يَكْرَهَ أَنْ يَعُودَ فِي الْكُفْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ أَنْقَذَهُ اللَّهُ مِنْهُ كَمَا يَكْرَهُ أَنْ يُقْذَفَ فِي النَّارِ

There are three things for which whomever has them, then he has tasted the sweetness of faith: the one for whom Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to thank anything else; whoever loves someone and he does not love him except for the sake of Allah; and, whoever hates to return to disbelief after Allah has saved him from it, just as he hates to be thrown into fire. (Related Anas Ibn Malik, Tirmidhi)

“Three things, three issues, if you have them, you will feel the sweetness of faith.” Faith. What is faith? Al-imaan. What is imaan? It is simple:

امَنْتُ بِاللهِ وَمَلئِكَتِه وَكُتُبِه وَرَسُوْلِه وَالْيَوْمِ الْاخِرِ وَالْقَدْرِ خَيْرِه وَشَرِّه مِنَ اللهِ تَعَالى وَالْبَعْثِ بَعْدَالْمَوْتِ

Amantu billahi wa malaa’ikatihi wa kutubihi wa rusulihi wa bi ‘l-yawmi ‘l-aakhir wa bi ‘l-qadri khayrihi wa sharrihi min Allahi ta`ala wa bi’l-ba`tha ba`d al-mawti haqq.

I believe in the existence and oneness of Allah, His angels, His books, His prophets, and I believe in the Day of Judgement, and in Destiny, that everything good or evil is from Allah, and I believe in life after death (and resurrection.) All of them are true and right. (Imaan al-Mufassil)

Al-imaan is the second level of religion, in the Six Pillars of Islam. Prophet (s) said you will find sweetness in imaan if you have these three different principles. But what is imaan? We have to define it. When you are mu’min, believing in Allah (swt) and loving Him most, you will feel sweetness in your life.

Wa malaa’ikatihi: If you have imaan, you are going to feel sweetness from the angels around you. How to find sweetness in His angels? They are around us everywhere, but we cannot see them. Some can see, awliyaullah can see them and whoever Allah wants to see can see. That means if you want the sweetness of imaan, you must believe in His angels, then you get sweetness from them, not candy, but heavenly candy with a taste that stays with you forever! In Paradise, what is Allah going to give? In many places it is mentioned that when you are in Jannah, when Allah gives you the Paradise, everything you taste there is continuous and every taste is new and they accumulate: you taste one thing, then another, then a third...and none of them overtake another, you keep tasting on the same tongue, with the same mind, same eyes, same face, if you believe in angels!

Wa kutubihi: If you claim you are a mu’min, you must have imaan and with imaan you will taste all the books that Allah sent to His messengers, and of course on top of all of them is Holy Qur’an.

Wa rusulihi: If you want to taste the halaawat, sweetness of Islam, you have to believe in all Allah’s messengers who came to humanity, Allah has sent them, 124,000 prophets. You have to believe in all of them. If you believe in Prophet (s), that will lead you to believe in all of them. That’s for Ummat an-Nabi (s); for other nations, they have to believe in their prophet, but for Muslims, if you believe in Prophet (s) you believe in all of them at the same time. That has only been given to Ummat an-Nabi (s) and you will be rewarded; just as all other prophets’ nations are rewarded, you will be rewarded like that, on top of what you will be rewarded for believing in Prophet Muhammad (s).

Wa bi ‘l-yawmi ‘l-aakhir: You have to believe in the Day of Judgement, khayrihi wa sharrihi, what is good, what is evil, it’s on top of your head. Will you be going to Paradise with no account or go to Paradise after Judgement?

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَه ُوَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

Faman ya`mal mithqaala dharratin khayran yarah wa man ya`mal mithqaala dharratin sharran yarah.

Whosoever has done an atom's weight of good shall see it and whosoever has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it. (Surah az-Zalzalah, 99:7-8)

When Allah judges, you either receive punishment or Jannah. Which do you want? You want Jannah, no? Inshaa-Allah! Between Paradise and punishment, the halaawat al-imaan appears: you believed in Prophet (s), the sweetness of imaan, and he is there preventing angels of Hellfire from taking you to Hell, because Allah gave him Intercession, shafa`ah. Allah (swt) gives him the power of Intercession in Allah’s Presence on the Day of Judgement, where Prophet (s) will ask for all the Ummah to go to Paradise, those who did good and those who did bad, “Yaa Rabbee, take them all to Paradise!” Will Allah say ‘no’ to His Prophet (s), the Beloved One?

Take a dunya example: if your son asks you something, do you say ‘no’? Most of the time you say, “Yes, take it!” So if Prophet (s) asked Allah (swt)...I cannot understand, I am helpless, with no tongue able to speak of Allah’s Greatness, the Creator of this Universe! The Creator of the six-thousand galaxies, each one bigger than our galaxy, and what Allah created of Creation no one knows, because no one reached all His Creation! That Greatness, that Divine Power, how are we going to stand in front of it?

Halaawat al-imaan of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali

Everyone believes the teachings of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (q), but they may not know that early in life, he doubted and questioned everything, he didn’t accept anything; I don’t like to say it, but he even doubted religion. He questioned himself, others, and he didn't know what to do. What did he see? He saw a very nice shaykh, Yusuf an-Nasaaj (q), from whom he asked questions and he liked the answers and began to follow him. One day he saw Allah (swt) smiling in a dream.

Allah (swt) said to him, “Yaa Muhammad bin Muhammad Abu Hamid al-Ghazali! The way you are going is wrong! Drop the world from your eyes voluntarily or it will be taken from you by force!” meaning, leave dunya when you are still strong or dunya is going to leave you by Allah’s Orders, and then you lose.

He woke up and told Yusuf an-Nasaaj (q) the dream. Yusuf an-Nasaaj (q) said, “O my son, you didn't see anything yet! This is halaawat al-imaan: when you put your foot in Tariqah this is the beginning of Tasawwuf! You are now at the beginning of the first step. What then do you think the second step will be, or the third?”

What do you think if you are sitting with Sultan al-Awliya of that time or of any time? “Sultan al-Awliya” is not a title that can be given haphazardly! It is a title appointed to some people who are saints. We mentioned miracles of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q); they are all given by the Prophet (s). We cannot call just anyone “Shaykh ul-Akbar” or “Sultan al-Awliya,” so be careful. Abu Hamid never accepted to be called that, just as Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) never said that about himself, never! Mureeds said it. Awliya are ashamed and shy to mention their titles in front of the Prophet (s). They prefer to be known as “`AbdAllah,” Allah’s Servant.

Everyone has seven names, not just one name. You have one name in dunya that your parents gave you and six other names in the Presence of Prophet (s) and in the Divine Presence of Allah (swt). You will be lucky if you know your name among the awliya as then you will know your name in Paradise.

So I will tell you another story about Abu Hamid al-Ghazali...all of that is from love to Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s). He used to pray behind his eldest brother, Ahmad al-Ghazali, who was a scholar. Although Hamid al-Ghazali was more knowledgeable than him, after praying behind his brother for many years, one day he didn’t come for prayer. The brother thought maybe he was sick. Then the second prayer came and he didn’t come, then he didn’t come the next day and the whole week after that. So the brother went to speak to Abu Hamid.

He said, “Yaa akhee, do you have a problem, are you sick, do you need help?”

“I cannot come,” Abu Hamid replied.

“Why not? The people might begin to gossip.”

“I am younger than you, you are the eldest, but I cannot pray behind you any more.”

So the elder brother went to their mother and said, “Hamid loves you so much. Can you go and ask him why he is not praying behind me?”

She went to her younger son, Muhammad Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, and asked, “Why are you not praying behind your brother?”

He said, “My mother, please leave this topic.”

She said, “No, I need to know, is there a problem?”

He said, “No, but there is a fiqh issue, so I cannot pray behind him.”

She said, “What is that?”

He said that, “When he prays his wudu goes, and if he has no wudu how can I pray behind him?”

She went and told his brother, who said, “No, never did I pray without wudu!” So they both went to Abu Hamid and asked, “What do you mean?”

He said, “Whenever you are in the prayer, as soon as you say ‘Allahu Akbar’, your mind goes completely to a fatwa you need to answer, and that fatwa makes you lose your wudu.”

The imam was surprised and wondered from where Abu Hamid got this knowledge. This is halaawat al-imaan: when you love Allah and His Prophet (s), Allah opens for you the sweetness of faith, sweetness of knowledge.

Abu Hamid asked, “O my brother, do you have a fatwa on your table or not?”

He said, “Yes.”

“What does it involve?”

The brother said, “It involves blood.”

“How am I going to pray behind any man whose thinking is only on that blood, as if he has been dumped in it?” His wudu was gone, as if he was drenched in blood.

“You have a fatwa about the periods of women,” (sorry ladies but I have to say this, that Allah gave them permission not to pray), “so when your thoughts are on that subject, how am I going to pray behind you? You are going into that fatwa, it is as if your thoughts are in that blood and you are touching it; therefore, I have to leave the prayer and renew my wudu.”

That’s halaawat al-imaan!

Halaawat al-Imaan of Sayyidina Musa

Sayyidina Musa (a) asked Allah (swt) to show him one of His...when Allah (swt) was telling Sayyidina Musa (a) about His Last Messenger, Sayyidina Muhammad (s), in that hadith of Prophet (s):

علما امتي كانبيا بني اسرائيل

`Ulamaa ummattee ka-anbiyaa Bani Israa'eel.

The scholars of my nation are like the prophets of the Children of Israel. (Ihya of Imam Ghazali)

Musa (a) wanted to see one of those `ulama from Ummat an-Nabi (s) who inherit from prophets, to know them as he wants to love them, because Allah is praising `Ulama ‘l-Ummah.

So he asked, “Yaa Rabbee, show me one `alim from them.”

Allah (sw) said, “I will show you. Go to that place, you will see one of them.”

Then Allah ordered the soul of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (q) to go there and Sayyidina Musa (a) asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name? I will tell you. My name is Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Muhammad Abu Hamid al-Ghazali.”

Musa (a) replied, “SubhaanAllah! I wondered how the `alims of Ummat an-Nabi (s) are like the scholars of Bani Isra`eel, but I found that you know nothing! Because I asked your name, so you say Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, why did you have to say your name seven generations back? It is a waste of time.”

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali said, “Yaa Sayyidee, it's true, but I want to give you the answer: when Allah asked you what is in your hand, you could have said it is a staff or a cane or a stick, but you didn’t!”

وَمَا تِلْكَ بِيَمِينِكَ يَا مُوسَى . قَالَ هِيَ عَصَايَ أَتَوَكَّأُ عَلَيْهَا وَأَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلَى غَنَمِي وَلِيَ فِيهَا مَآرِبُ أُخْرَى

"Now, what is this in your right hand, O Moses?" He answered, "It is my staff. I lean on it and with it I beat down leaves for my sheep and (many) other uses have I for it." (Surah TaHa: 20:17-18)

“You said, ‘I lean on it, I guide my flocks with it, I have many other things with it,’ when you could have just said that it is a cane. So you asked me and I tried to give you an answer, but I said to myself, ‘Why, when He asked you about the cane, did you explain that you are carrying the cane for many reasons?’”

Sayyidina Musa (a) said, “Yaa waladee, yaa Aba Hamid! I wanted to stretch the time where I was speaking with Him in His Divine Presence! I am Kaleemullah, I wanted to stretch that honorable time. It doesn’t happen often. Allah was speaking to me, ‘What is in your hand?’ I didn’t want to only say, ‘I have a cane.’”

Abu Hamid said, “Yaa Musa! I am in your presence, one of the Five Big Prophets, and I wanted to stretch the time with you too, in order to get benefit from you.”

O Muslims! These are issues that we don’t know except through Halaawat al-Imaan! So that’s why we said:

امَنْتُ بِاللهِ وَمَلئِكَتِه وَكُتُبِه وَرَسُوْلِه وَالْيَوْمِ الْاخِرِوَالْقَدْرِخَيْرِوَشَرِّوَالْبَعْثِ بَعْدَالْمَوْتِ

Amantu billahi wa malaa’ikatihi wa kutubihi wa rusulihi wa bi ‘l-yawmi ‘l-aakhir wa bi ‘l-qadri khayrihi wa sharrihi wa bi’l-ba`tha ba`d al-mawti haqq.

I believe in the Existence and Oneness of Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Prophets, and I believe in the Day of Judgement, and in Destiny, in its good and its bad, and I believe in life after death (and Resurrection.) All of them are true and right. (Imaan-al-Mufassil)

You Will Be Resurrected With the One You Love

And in the Last Day, on the Day when there is punishment and good, we hope that inshaa-Allah all of us go with Prophet (s) to Paradise. It is narrated in Muslim by Anas bin Malik (r) about the love of the Prophet (s):

أَنَّ رَجُلاً، مِنْ أَهْلِ الْبَادِيَةِ أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَتَى السَّاعَةُ قَائِمَةٌ قَالَ ‏"‏ وَيْلَكَ وَمَا أَعْدَدْتَ لَهَا ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَ مَا أَعْدَدْتُ لَهَا إِلاَّ أَنِّي أُحِبُّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ إِنَّكَ مَعَ مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ ‏"‏‏.‏ ‏.

A Bedouin came to the Prophet (s) and said, "O Allah's Messenger (s)! When will The Hour be established?" The Prophet (s) said, "Wailaka (Woe to you). What have you prepared for it?" The Bedouin said, "I have not prepared anything for it, except that I love Allah and His Apostle." The Prophet (s) said, "You will be resurrected with the whom you love!" (Narrated Anas, Bukhari)

One day a Bedouin came to the Prophet (s) and asked him about the Hour, the Last Day. The Prophet (s) said, “What have you prepared for it?”

He said, “Yaa Sayyidee yaa Rasoolullah, what I prepared is not a lot of prayers or fasting, I have prepared...because I love you a lot.”

And Prophet (s) said, “People will be resurrected with whom they love.”

If you love Madinah, you will be resurrected with the People of Madinah, meaning, you will be resurrected with the Prophet (s). Who loves Madinah, Allah loves you!

This pamphlet, and we have more in the car if needed, is a summary of what the majority of scholars say about Tasawwuf and it shows the majority accept it.

Wa salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakaatuh.


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