Go to media page

Faith and Piety Are the Traits of Saints

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

8 December 2012 Burton, Michigan

`Isha Suhbah at As-Siddiq Mosque (2)

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.

Madad, yaa Sayyidee.

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)

As we know, there are two types of people in every religion, but let us speak about Islam. There are really three types: one group is the normal people who don’t have enough knowledge about their religion and they practice without knowing details; the other type is `ulama, the scholars who attended school and studied books about Islamic jurisprudence; and there is the third group, about whom Allah says in the Holy Qur'an that they are His Friends:

أَلا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاء اللّهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَكَانُواْ يَتَّقُونَ

Alaa inna awliyaaullaahi laa khawfun `alayhim wa laa hum yahzanoon. Al-ladheena aamanoo wa kaanoo yattaqoon.

Behold! Verily on the Friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; they who have attained faith and have always been conscious of Him. (Surah Yunus, 10:62-63)

Allah said those people are ‘His Friends,’ Awliyaullah, the Saints, which means they have nothing to fear: “Those who are His Friends, the Saints, those who really believed.” Al-ladheena aamanoo, Allah (swt) didn’t say, alladheena aslamoo, “those who are Muslim.” Of course everyone is Muslim, but Islam is the Five Pillars and Imaan is a different level, the Six Pillars, and you know that. Alladheena aamanoo wa kaanoo yataqoon, “Those who are different from ordinary believers and scholars, awliyaullah, those who are believers, mu’min, who reached one level higher than the Five Pillars, they reached the level of Faith, Imaan, and they reached understanding of the meaning of the Creator and the servant and they believed, and kaanoo yataqoon, (not only believed but) they have taqwa: they are aware of Allah’s Ma`rifah about His Beautiful Names and Attributes. They are able to understand their levels and know where to put their efforts in order to seek that Gnostic way of knowledge, to reach the Divine Knowledge as Allah (swt) said:

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

Fawajada `abdan min `ibaadina aataynaahu rahmatan min `indina wa `allamnaahu min ladunna `ilma.

So they found one of Our Servants, on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge from Our Own Presence. (Surat al-Kahf, 18:65)

“We taught him heavenly knowledge,” refers to Sayyidina Khidr (a), known in English as Elijah or St. George; you see we cannot even agree on one name, so how can we agree with each other? But that is another subject. So the awliyaullah don’t only have faith when they pray. You can pray and still have weak faith, and you can fast and your faith is weak, you can go for Hajj and your faith is weak, but awliyaullah’s faith is not weak because they reached level of fulfilling all the requirements of having faith that cannot be reached except through wa kaanoo yattaqoon, having taqwa, the awareness that one day they want to progress to Allah's (swt) Love, when His Beauty will be dressed on them!

So there are three different levels of people--normal, scholars and awliyaullah--and if they are presented to you on a golden plate, which will you take? Without thinking, you will take the ones who have taqwa, as in “those who believe and have taqwa,” because they are most aware of what will benefit the ummah. It is okay to follow any of them, but if you follow ordinary people you might fall into mistakes, and if you follow ordinary scholars, `ulama, your faith will not be complete. However, if you follow awliyaullah your faith is complete, so people follow awliyaullah.

So what is the difference between awliyaullah and scholars? We have explained this, but to elaborate, we will discuss the example of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (q) and his older brother, Ahmad. Ahmad al-Ghazali was a big `alim and Abu Hamid was also a big `alim, but the older one was stronger in knowledge, so people when they looked at them they said, “Oh! Ahmad al-Ghazali is knowledgeable.” He fulfilled the first level, and Abu Hamid (q) followed him in his prayer and Ahmad al-Ghazali was the imaam in every prayer in jama`at in the masjid: Fajr, Zhuhr, `Asr, Maghrib and `Ishaa.

One day Abu Hamid (q) stopped praying behind his brother and everyone became suspicious about that and fitna spread. Ahmad al-Ghazali heard about it and went to his brother and asked, “Why are you not praying behind me?” No answer. He asked again, “Why?” His brother was quiet. then he went to his mother and said, “My brother Abu Hamid is not praying behind me anymore and I don't know why.” He was an `alim and as an `alim he must know, but he didn’t.

His mother went to Abu Hamid and asked, “Why are you not following your brother in prayer?” He didn’t answer and she insisted he tell her, saying, “I am your mother and you have to answer me!”

Allah (swt) commands that you must listen and obey, samina wa atana, your mother and father! Even if your father or mother is Hindu or Christian and they ask you to take them to their shrine, temple or church, your duty is to take them to the door and wait for them until they have finished and then take them back. Islam doesn’t say to you “dishonor them,” not even if your parents follow a different religion. People don't know that about Islam, they think Islam dishonored non-Muslims, which is not correct. All human beings are Allah’s (swt) Creation. We are not different in creation, in honor, in body, but we are different in religion, so you respect people of other faiths and they will respect you.

The mother insisted he tell her and finally he said, “O my mother! I didn’t want to say, but my brother is diving in a ditch of blood, so I cannot pray behind him. He is immersed in blood.”

In Shari`ah, if blood comes out of a cut or wound you have to renew your wudu, so “He is immersed in blood,” means, “I cannot pray behind him.”

She went to his older brother Ahmad, the `alim, and told him, “He says you are praying immersed in blood, so how can he pray behind you?”

To clarify, blood is no an impurity for it is clean, it carries your whole system. Without blood you die, or they say you need to take two or three units of blood to restore your red blood cells. Blood is clean, but when it issues, Allah wants us to stop praying and make a fresh wudu. A lady (on her period) stops praying and a man with a cut must make fresh wudu.

So he began to think, “I am not in blood. How am I in blood? Did I kill someone? No. Did I cut my hand? No.” Then he asked his brother, “What blood am I in?”

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (q) said, “O my brother! With all my respect to you, I cannot pray with you as you are immersed in blood. Every time you say ‘Allahu Akbar,’ is not blood in front of you?”

He said, “Can you elaborate?”

Abu Hamid (q) said, “O my older brother! You are preparing a fatwa on the verse fa`taziloo 'n-nisaa’a fi'l-maheedh, ‘Don’t approach (be intimate with) women during their period (2:222),’[1] and every time you pray all your mind is focused on that fatwa, immersed in blood, so how can I pray behind you?”

Look at the distinct knowledge between an `alim and a wali! Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (q) was a wali and he knew what his brother was thinking as soon as he began the prayer,so Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (q) could not pray behind him, although according to Shari`ah you can pray, no problem, but awliyaullah are so precise and sensitive like a digital balance scale in every issue in their lives, including worship. When they say, “Allahu Akbar” they must only focus on being between Allah’s Hands in the Divine Presence, and on Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes, and they cannot leave their thoughts to go left or right! That is a very high level. When they say “Allahu Akbar,” their mind must not focus on anything other than He Whom they worship, the Creator.

So who is better to follow? If you can find a wali, find one, and if there is no possibility to find one then follow an `alim. There are 124,000 awliya, so if you don’t find one, the Prophet (s) said, “If someone is really looking for guidance, Allah will make wa`izhun min qalbih, a guide from his own heart.” Allah makes your own heart a guide for you because you are asking for a guide, but if you are not asking for a guide, they leave you to fall on your own.

Those who have a guide are lucky. Alhamdulillah, we cannot say of ourselves that we are something as we are nothing, but we are guided by a saint, a guide who is very close to the love of Allah (swt) and the love of Prophet (s), he is in love with Allah (swt) and the Prophet (s) and with ummat an-Nabi (s). That is why guides are too many, not just one or two, but look! Search for someone and you will find.

عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سِيرِينَ , قَالَ : " إِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدٍ خَيْرًا جَعَلَ لَهُ مِنْ قَلْبِهِ وَاعِظًا يَأْمُرُهُ وَيَنْهَاهُ قَالَ : وَيُجْرِي اللَّهُ الْخَيْرَ عَلَى يَدَيْ مَنْ يَشَاءُ أَوِ الشَّرَّ عَلَى يَدَيْ مَنْ يَشَاءُ " .

Idhaa araada’Llahu bi-`abdin khayran ja`allahullahu min qalbihi wa`izhan, yaamuruhu wa yanhaahu. Qaala wa yujriyy’Llahu’l-khayra `alaa yaday man yashaau aw’ish-sharra `alaa yaday man yashaau.

Allah will guide you to a guide and if not He will appoint in your heart a guide, it will order him (the good) and prohibit him (the bad). He said, and Allah will let goodness flourish through someone’s hand and make evil to flourish through someone’s hand.

Therefore guides are many, but they are on different levels, like a pyramid starting from the base going up, up, up to the highest peak and that is why the awliyaullah respect each other. Each mureed thinks his guide is highest, but they must not attack each other. In the first three centuries, first came Imam Malik (r) and then after him Imam Abu Hanifa (r) and Imam Shafi`i (r) came 260 years after Imam Abu Hanifa. Similarly, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad were at different times. Their followers reached a level of killing each other for disputes on different understandings of Shari`ah and that was not accepted!

Today mureeds of the same shaykh are trying to kill each other, and for what? “I am better than you and you are not better than me.” For what? Prophet (s) said:

لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى يحب لأخيه ما يحب لنفسه

Laa yu'minu ahadukum hatta yuhibbu li-akheehi maa yuhibbu li-nafsih.

None of you believes until you love for your brother what you love for yourself. (Bukhari and Muslim)

If you want to be real mureeds you must love for your brother what you love for yourself. That means not making gheebah and nameemah, not spreading false rumors against each other, as what is the benefit? Today there are different journeys in different tariqahs and the shaykhs are all awliyaullah, and you see the mureeds attacking each other. You can understand people fighting about whose shaykh is better, but fighting in the same order? Now you have enemies from the same order! As I said in the afternoon, we have to criticize ourselves first, laqd dhatee; don’t criticize the others, criticize yourself first! But today we want to criticize our home first, mureeds of same shaykh.

When we criticize, we see too much violence in speeches that attack each other, and for what, for dunya? The shaykh is guiding you to Akhirah and in the same Sufi Order they fight for dunya, for mansab, position, because everyone wants to sit on the chair (seat of authority) and represent the shaykh! Okay, represent shaykh and do what you want, but don’t criticize your brother, as Allah and His Prophet (s) ordered you to cover each other!

Allah (swt) said:

وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ

Wa laa tajasassoo wa laa yaghtab ba`dakum ba`dan ayyuhibbu ahadukum an yaakula lahma akheehi maytan fa-karihtumooh.

And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would abhor it. (Surat al-Hujuraat, 49:12)

But they are backbiting and spying, for what? They claim, “The shaykh gave me permission; if you don’t believe it, go ask the shaykh!” But how can you ask the shaykh (when you are not allowed to enter his presence)? They are using the name of the shaykh for no reason! We have to be careful.

Unfortunately, I am seeing a lot of this happening among mureeds all around the world. There are too many different soups of knowledge, and now only the knowledge of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order coming from Mawlana Shaykh is clean and pure, while the knowledge coming from representatives is no longer clean and pure; it is not like crystal water but is now blended with all kinds of garbage taken from outside the realms of Islam, Imaan and Ihsaan, outside what Prophet (s) in Shari`ah, Fiqh, Qur’an and Hadith! They claim it is from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) and it is incorrect!

I dare them to say in front of me that Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) told them this, and I can reach him in two minutes and ask him! There are good representatives, but there are too many forged ones claiming things that are not correct and we need to build our home. All mureeds’ home is our Sufi Order; we have to build it and make connections with each other, not separate.

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

Ya ayyuha an-naasu innaa khalaqnaakum min dhakkarin wa unthaa wa ja`alanaakum shu`ooban wa qabaa’il li-ta`arafoo, Inna akramakum `ind-Allahi atqaakum. inna Allaha `aleemun khabeer.

O Mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the Sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (Surat al-Hujurat, 49:13)

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ

W `atasimoo bi hablillaahi jamiyy`an wa laa tafaraqoo.

Hold fast to Allah's rope and don't separate. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:103)

But they are dividing and separating because they all want to make themselves khalifah. Take it! That station is not given by money nor position; the khalifah is someone who is really connected. I am not claiming, but I am challenging! Me and my brother have khilafah from two shaykhs, Grandshaykh (q) and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q)! Show me anyone in tariqat that has khilafah from two shaykhs! In the whole Golden Chain on down, you don’t find any khalifah with two shaykhs’ ijaza, two wings! We got it from Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his secret, and we got it from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah give him long life, like two wings of a plane: it moves!

Irshaad is not easy, it is something that is granted. Some are claiming they get direct inspiration from Grandshaykh (q) and some from this Sufi Order go even further and say they get inspiration from the Prophet (s), and they are lying! May Allah bless Grandshaykh (q) and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), because they brought us, built us and love us! No one in this Sufi Order got from Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q) except two and no one from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) except three. I am challenging all of them! Let them come and tell me if they have (`ijaza) or not! Alhamdulillah, we have our way and we are continuing in that way. Who likes it likes it and who doesn’t like that, we won’t be bothered too much, but they cannot face us to say, “We have something.” No, they don’t have. To be a wali is not cheap and it is not from a bazaar or flea market; rather, it is wahban, a divine grant from Allah (swt)!

From everyone, we (Shaykh Hisham and Shaykh Adnan) were the most near to Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, even when we were young. He and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) took good care of us, and we were raised in their laps. Do these people (frauds) know Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q)? Just recently they learned of him and they did not know Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) and that is why we are above everyone of them, and Mawlana Shaykh (q) is so happy with us. I can see him and hear him, whenever I want, he opens the line. May Allah forgive us and may Allah support us

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

May Allah forgive those who are backbiting, Allah is going to punish them:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدَافِعُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُو

Inna Allah yudafi`oo `anil-ladheena amanoo.

Allah will defend those who believe. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:38)

Allah defends the believers! He does not defend the backbiters or a nammaam, one who spreads false rumors (slander), who make up a story and it goes around, like now they put something on the Internet and it goes around and around until finally it is accepted as fact because they don’t go back to research if it is true or not and they think that because so many people said it, it must be true. Allah knows who is on haqq and who is on baatil!

So we do sins, of course, we are not ma`soomeen, infallible; we are not prophets. May Allah take our rights from them (who spread nameemah)! We are getting all their hasanaat, as on the Day of Judgment, by Allah’s Order you must give your hasanaat to the one you backbited! And the oppressed say, “It is not enough, yaa Rabbee!” after that Allah gives the sins of the one they backbited to the backbiters! So truth is truth. We don’t say we want revenge as that is not accepted in our Way, but we ask, “O Allah! Guide them to understand and correct their mistakes!” And with that, may Allah also make us understand our mistakes so we can correct ourselves.

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


© Copyright 2012 Sufilive. All rights reserved. This transcript is protected

by international copyright law. Please attribute Sufilive when sharing it. JazakAllahu khayr.


[1] Prophet (s) said, laa hayaa fi ‘d-deen, “There is no shyness (to discuss matters) in religion.”