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Qoot al-Arwaah, Provision for the Soul

The Importance of Dhikrullah Series, Vol 9

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

28 July 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Suhbah after Fajr (1)

Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad hatta yardaa Sayyidina Muhammad (s).

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`alaa fee haadha 'l-masjid.

We are continuing about the importance of dhikrullah. We did not yet get to what kind of dhikr we have to recite but, in general, the Prophet (s):

‏‏ انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

Innamaa bu`ithtu li utammimu makaarim al-akhlaaq.

I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct (your behavior and character). (Bazzar)

Prophet (s) is saying about himself, “Allah sent me to humanity to improve them,” and not only to improve but “to complete the best of characters.” That means he knows we are not completely on the best of characters, because our bad desires influence us and he has to explain the medicine that we must follow to be able to take away, to dump from our life, these bad characters.

When the bad characters disappear, the good characters appear. Everyone has bad characters, which differ from one person to another. No one can say, “I am perfect!” and problems arise because some think they are, in fact, perfect and they don’t accept that perfection is only for Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s)! We are imperfect and Allah (swt) sent the Prophet (s) to complete that full moon, that perfection.

We are like the example of the moon: first it is a crescent and then slowly it reaches its peak and becomes a perfect moon, when the crescent becomes the full moon then the light is shining. So you need to change yourself from a crescent, because you have some good characters but still they are only a crescent. You have to make it a full moon and that moon cannot be completed except through the medicine that we have to take to be cured from the bad characters, just as a doctor prescribes medicine for patients in order that they are cured from sickness.

Go to the pharmacy and you will see thousands of different medicines, which means there are thousands of bad characters. If there are thousands of illnesses, it means the body is full of bad characters! That is why problems arise between people, especially in families, and they begin to argue with each other and develop more and more bad behavior towards each other and you see the family falls down. So in order to be able to cure ourselves, we have to listen to what the Prophet (s) said, “I have been sent to complete the best of characters,” because he is the best of character:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِي

Wa innaka la-`alaa khuluqin `azheem.

You are of the most exalted character. (Surat al-Qalam, 68:4)

Allah (swt) describes Prophet (s) in the Holy Qur'an as being “of the best character,” so can anyone describe that character? There is no tongue or heart (up to the task); not even among all scholars from the Sahaabah (r) up to today, no one can describe the best character of the Prophet (s)! It is endless. As much as you dive in the Ocean of the Prophet (s) you see his ‘best character,’ like in the ocean you see different kinds of fish, you see trees and even see volcanoes! How do volcanoes erupt down there and fire comes? Because of the strength of the fire it keeps coming out, coming out, and then it is extinguished and it keeps coming up, but the water hits it down. That is the bad character of Iblees appearing as fire, and the good character of human beings is:

وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ

Wa ja`alnaa min al-maa'i kulla shay’in hayy.

We made every living thing from water. (Surat al-Anbiya, 21:30)

So that “water” is purity; while fire is baatil and water is haqq, haqq destroys the baatil immediately. So as much as you dive in the Ocean of the Prophet (s), you see more and more the beauty of Allah’s Creation. Under water you will see more and more the Beauty in the Ocean of Prophet (s), as he is diving in the Oceans of the Divine Presence, by which we mean Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes; the Prophet (s) is being dressed from Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes. Not only with one Name, or two Names, or three; Allah is dressing him with all Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes! So that is why Prophet (s) said, “I came to perfect and complete your characters.”

What is that medicine the Prophet (s) is prescribing for the whole ummah? It is one very simple medicine:

اذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ

Fadhkuroonee adhkurkum, w ’ashkuroo lee wa laa takfuroon.

Remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful towards Me.

(Surat al-Baqarah, 2:152)

So Allah (swt) put a condition: “If you want to come to Me, it is open, no problem, but come to Me through remembrance,” through the many different prescriptions and medicines to remember Allah (swt). That means through different words that Allah (swt) likes, “Come, and I will open My Door for you! I gave you that trade: remember Me, I will remember you.”

If you are sick and then cured, what do you say? “Alhamdulillah” or “shukran lillah.” So when you say “shukran lillah,” it means, “O My Lord! I am thankful that You cured me of my sickness!” especially people who have grave sicknesses, Allah cured them because they remembered Him. That is why when you go to awliyaullah and say, “I have a sickness,” they say, “Recite this and then you will be cured.” So then you say, “Alhamdulillah, shukran lillah.” So Allah (swt) is saying, “Fadhkuroonee adhkurkum, washkuroo lee wa laa takfuroon, “Remember Me and I remember you, and thank Me and don’t be ungrateful.” It means, “If you remember Me, I immediately send My Angels to remember you!” and they immediately send you spiritual emails, messages and their beautiful reflections to dress you with the Beautiful Name by which you remembered Allah (swt)!

Therefore, Allah’s Remembrance is of no comparison to ours, so then, “If you don’t thank Me,” then Allah (swt) is not happy with you because you remembered Him but you didn’t thank Him, as you have to thank the Generous One. So, “Thank Me and don’t be lazy!” Here “takfuroon” is not to become non-Muslim, but it means “don’t be hesitant in thanking Allah (swt).” If you delay giving thanks, then you fall into the trap of Shaytan and bad smells come from you, because Shaytan always tries to find places where he can be with you in order to make you smell bad.

Once Grandshaykh (q) said to me, “Come and help me cut my fingernails.” Mashaa-Allah, he had a big knife, and I have never seen before in my life how he cut his nails with it, holding his finger up and then in one movement he cut the nail. He began with the small finger on the right hand, which is adab, discipline. He didn’t begin with just any finger; adab is to begin with the little finger on the right hand, and he used the knife to cut the nails and didn’t cut himself! He cut the four fingers (going left, to the index finger), but not the thumb. Then he went to the left hand and started on the left side with the little finger, completed the four fingers and then went back to the right thumb, cut it, and then cut the left thumb.

He said once, “Come and cut my nails.” I had seen him cutting once and had memorized it, so he was testing me, and he gave me the knife! I said, “O Mawlana! I have something else,” and took out the clippers and began with the small right finger. Everything has adab and a right way. If you don’t do it the right way then you are disrespecting the sunnah of the Prophet (s). I started with the little finger of the right hand, the other three fingers and then the left hand, the right thumb, and then the left thumb. He said, “Very good.”

I saw it once and learned it, but I never did it with the knife or tried that. So don’t try to do that with the knife. Imagine! This is to show you that there were no clippers in the time of the Prophet (s). How did they cut their nails? With a knife. See how they spoiled us? Cutting with a knife shows manhood! You are still a baby. So why did we mention the nails? Because Grandshaykh (q) said, “Shaytan always wants to accompany you and tries his best to disrupt dhikrullah.” So when you do dhikrullah, he tries to approach in order to take you away from that dhikr. If you throw him out he comes and hides himself under your nails. That is why the sunnah of the Prophet (s) is to cut your nails because it is the nesting place of Shaytan and if your nails are long, he will hide himself there. Now these days people go to salons to get manicures, even men get their nails trimmed with a little bit of length and women keep them longer to make the nails appear nice, and Shaytan sits under these nails spoiling the ladies and men.

So dhikrullah will chase away Shaytan and bring Allah’s happiness and satisfaction for you. Dhikrullah ties you to the love of Allah, which you inherit through your dhikrullah, which also opens the Door of Forgiveness. What is everyone waiting for? Forgiveness! Dhikrullah will open the Door of Forgiveness and polish the heart from rust. Our hearts are full of rust. We are as if copper, and when oxygen and copper combine, it immediately oxidises to become rust. So that means we have elements of bad characters that, when they combine with each other, they burst into a new sickness, and one sickness varies from another.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) explained that when he entered seclusion, Grandshaykh (q) told him, “Count your bad characters.” Every wali must count his bad characters! And it is known that there are 800 bad characters. Mawlana told me, “I was trying on the first day, asking myself, ‘How can I count 800 bad characters?’ In six months I only counted and reached 187 bad characters.”

We fight and say we don’t understand each other. That is true, we don’t understand each other because we have these bad characters in us and when they come together, they give birth to a new bad character that you never imagined! What is happening today is, there are too many sicknesses that did not exist before, caused by hormones they put in food or by manipulating genes in agriculture, the fertilizers they use on fruits and vegetables, the preservatives in preserved foods, etc., which all burst into new sicknesses that were not there before. So the mistake is ours, which is why we recite this salawaat at Fajr:

Salawaat for Shifa`a

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّد بِعَدَدِ كُلِّ دَاءٍ وَ دواءٍ وَ بَارِك وَ سَلِّمْ عَليهِ وَعَلَىهَمْ كَثيرًا كثيرَا وَالحَمْدُ لله رَبّ العَالَمِينْ

Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammadin wa `alaa aali Sayyidina Muhammad bi `adadi kulli daa`in wa dawaa`in wa baarik wa sallim `alayhi wa `alayhim katheeran katheera, wa ‘l- hamdulillahi rabbi ‘l-`aalameen.

O Allah! Upon Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad be blessings, according to the number of every illness and cure. Bless and grant peace to him and them, many times, endlessly. And praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. (The Naqshbandi Awrad Book)

Through this salawaat, as soon as we say, “O Allah! Praise the Prophet (s) on the number of sicknesses and cures,” Allah (swt) takes away all (spiritual and physical) illnesses from us and gives us the cure! So after He cures us, we send salutations to Prophet (s), to his Family (r) and to his Sahaabah (r). Every sickness has a remedy, as Prophet (s) said, “There is a cure for every sickness.” For every spiritual sickness from these 800 bad characteristics, you must make salawaat on the Prophet (s) in this form before they burst into new forms (of sickness) in your body.

Reciting this salawaat will take away all the rust from our hearts and give us qoot al-arwah, “provision for the soul,” as in the example of Sayyida Maryam (r):

كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقاً قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّى لَكِ هَـذَا قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ إنَّ اللّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاء بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Kullamaa dakhala `alayhaa zakariyya ’l-mihraaba wajada `indaha rizqa. qaala yaa maryamu anna laki haadha qaalat huwa min `indillaahi inna Allaha yarzuqu man yashaa'u bi-ghayri hisaab.

Whenever he (Zakariyya) entered her prayer niche, he found with her provision. He said, "O Mary! From where does this come to you?" She said, "From Allah, for Allah provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure." (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:37)

Whenever Sayyidina Zakariyya (a) entered her niche, he found qoot al-arwaah. He asked her, “From where is this?”

She replied, “It is from Allah”

Is it food or is there an emphasis on something else that Zakariyya (a) saw there? What did he see? He saw the Reality of the Prophet (s), who was nurturing, teaching, and raising her! That is the rizq: to learn from the Prophet (s)! Innamaa bu`ithtu li utammimu makaarim al-akhlaaq, “I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct.” He completed her there as he completed Sayyidina Khidr (a), when Allah (swt) said:

فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا

Fawajadaa `abdan min `ibaadinaa aataynahu rahmatan min `indinaa wa `allamnaahu min ladunnaa `ilma.

And they found a servant from among Our Servants to whom We had given mercy from Us and had taught him a (certain) knowledge. (Surah al-Kahf, 18:65)

Allah (swt) dressed Khidr (a) with the Manifestation and Reality of Prophet (s), then he was taught Heavenly Knowledge. So first he must take from the Prophet (s) and then dive into the Oceans of Knowledge. Similarly, Sayyidah Maryam (a) took from the Spirituality of Prophet (s), then she was able to dive into that rizq, provision. That is why when Zakariyya (a) went to her mihrab, he found the Presence of the Prophet (s), and for that reason, he returned there and made du`a, then his du`a was answered; it was not just because the place was holy due to the presence of Sayyida Maryam (a), but because of the Reality of Sayyidina Muhammad (s), and Zakariyya (a) was given a child because of it!

Allah (swt) said:

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

Wa law annahum idh zhalamoo anfusahum ja’ooka f ’astaghfaroollaaha w ’astaghfara lahumu ‘r-rasoolu la-wajadoo ’Llaaha tawwaaba ‘r-raheema.

If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:64)

Sayyidina Zakariyya (a) understood the Reality of the Prophet (s) is there, so he made du`a for a son, and Allah granted his request. So Provison for the heart and soul is dhikrullah, as without it you cannot enter. Dhikrullah is to remember Allah. How does Allah make dhikr and what is the evidence? The evidence is:

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

Inna-Llaaha wa malaa'ikatahu yusalloona `ala 'n-nabiyy, yaa ayyuha ’Lladheena aamanoo salloo `alayhi was sallimoo tasleema.

Verily, Allah and His angels send praise on the Prophet. O Believers! Pray upon him and greet him. (Surat al-'Ahzaab, 33:56)

That means Allah makes dhikr an-Nabi (s), He is always mentioning the Prophet (s) to the angels! Therefore, the Prophet (s) is always in Ascension. So with that dhikrullah, Allah will take all the heaviness and al-wahsha baynahu wa bayna al-`abd, whatever keeps the servant from his Lord’s Presence, Allah takes it away with dhikrullah and brings him forward, after which He bequeaths him from an-Noor, His Heavenly Light where:

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ

Allaahu nooru 's-samaawaati wa 'l-ardi mathala noorihi kamishkaatin feehaa misbah.

Allah is the Light of the Heavens and Earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a niche and within it a lamp. (Surat an-Noor, 24:35)

He will give from that Light to the one reciting tasbeeh, tahmeed, tahleel and takbeer, as Prophet (s) said, and these four words, “Subhaan-Allah, alhamdulillah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, Allahu Akbar,” are from the Holy Qur’an. So when you are reciting them from the Holy Qur’an, Allah (swt) will clean you and dress you, as that is the way to enter the Divine Presence. It is by these four words that He likes, as the Prophet (s) has mentioned.

Upon your death, everything of `ibaadah, worship and faraa'id, obligations, are stopped; but dhikrullah never stops. You will be doing dhikrullah in your grave and in Akhirah. In Akhirah, it will be your provision, just like the angels’ food is dhikrullah, which is how they became eternal. So when Allah (swt) sends us to Paradise--and may He write us to be from Ahlu’l-Imaan with Grandshaykh (q), Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), and the Prophets--every moment your dhikr will appear to you and will be a pleasure for you, as it is a provision for believers. An example is how newscasters read the news written on a teleprompter, and each time after they read it a different news item appears. So in Akhirah you will be shown from the Preserved Tablets what to read at that moment, and it is for your own pleasure and everything you recite is different from one moment to the next. It will be an eternal recitation which will change at every successive moment.

One spoon of honey tastes nice, then a second spoon and then a third, but after that it becomes too sweet. In Paradise there is dhikrullah, which gives sweetness that cannot be found in this entire universe! It is a separate and special sweetness preserved exclusively for the People of Paradise! Allah (swt) gave to awliyaullah from that sweetness in this dunya, because they were able to connect their dhikr in dunya to akhira. If you are able to connect like that, you will taste that dhikrullah of Paradise. We ask for Allah to connect us, to open for us that manifestation of dhikr in dunya and Akhirah!

If you want to be under yatafayya dhilu ’l-`Arsh, the Shade of the Holy Throne that Allah created (swt), Allah said:

طه مَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَى إِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى تَنزِيلًا مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ وَالسَّمَاوَاتِ الْعُلَى الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى

Taha. ma anzalna `alayk al-qur’an li tashqa illa tadhkiratan liman yakhsha tanzeelan mimman khalaqa al-arda was-samaawaati 'l-`ula. ar-rahmanu `ala ‘l-`arsh istawaa.

We have not sent down the Qur'an to you to be (an occasion) for your distress, but only as an admonition to those who fear (Allah), a revelation from Him Who created the earth and the heavens on high. The Most Gracious is firmly established on the Throne (of Authority). (Surah Taha, 20:1-5)

So Allah allows mu'mins to sit under the Throne. What is that under? To have a “shade.” What kind of shade? Is there a shade from the sun? In Heaven there is nothing burning your head like the sun, so what is that dhil al-dhaleel, “the shade that shades you?” It is something hidden, not known; it is another Beautiful Manifestation of the Throne for Ahlu ’l-Imaan. You will go and visit there and come, and it is ziyarah! So sleep on wudu, and when you sleep only one of 49 parts of your soul stays behind and the rest goes to make sajda under `Arsh ar-Rahman. If you want to purify yourself and feel comfortable in your life, make wudu and then make salawaat until you fall asleep, then your soul will go under the Heavenly Throne and make sajda, and then you will get peacefulness and all misunderstandings between you and people will disappear!

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


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