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In Dhikr You Are with the One You Love

Shaykh Nour Kabbani

18 July 2015 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Eid al-Fitr

Maasha-Allah! May our numbers increase! Allah (swt) loves jama`ah, He loves people to come together and alhamdulillah this `Eid a lot of people came from all over the United States, like Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) used to say, “From East to West and from North to South there is One controlling and supervising everybody.” This gathering is an example! We have come together from all corners, from all directions, and we are here in their majlis, association; it’s not my or one person’s majlis, it is the majlis of Naqshbandiyya, the Naqshbandi Masters, our grand shaykhs, as Ali sang earlier, “the majlis of sufiyya.”

Sayyid `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q), may he look upon us today and may we be blessed with his stations and light, has a famous prayer he read at night:

“O My Lord, qad khalaa kullu habeebin bi-habeebih, at night every lover is alone with their Beloved.” Everyone is alone at night with the one he loves, no one else is around. He said, wa anta habeebu ‘l-mujtahideen, “You are the Beloved of those seeking Your Divine Presence.”

This afternoon when we were in the masjid, we sat and made dhikr, with whom? Allah (swt) is sitting with us, as He said:

أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي

I sit with him who remembers Me. (Hadith Qudsi. Ahmad, Bayhaqi)

“I am with the one who is making dhikr, to Me.” So when we are making dhikr and we are alone, or even if there only one or two people, who are you really making dhikr with? To be hard on the ego, to sit for two or three hours making dhikr, we should understand that we are not with our ego, now we are alone with our Beloved, with Allah (swt), and that is seclusion. When our grand shaykhs send us into seclusion we are supposed to be alone and if we can’t tolerate two or three hours in a masjid making qasidas and dhikr, how can we tolerate being in seclusion for forty days and nights? When we are in seclusion we must think, “I am not alone, I have taken myself away from everybody except The One I love; as Sayyid `Abdul Qadir al Jilani said, ‘When the darkness comes and night falls, everyone is with the One that he loves, and You are my Beloved.’”

When we sit alone making dhikr or even not making dhikr, pick up your beads, take them from your pocket. Whenever grand shaykhs had free time alone and away from people, they made dhikr of “Allah, Allah, Allah....” They were with The One they loved. When we have time alone don’t think it’s bad or, “I am bored, what can I do?” You have the chance to be alone with The One you love! Allah (swt) has taken the children away from you, maybe they are at school. Allah (swt) has taken your spouse from you, he or she is at work. Allah (swt) has taken your parents away, they are at your brother’s or your cousin’s house, so what should we do? Pick up your beads and start. That is the teaching of grand shaykhs of the Sufiyya, the teaching of Sayyid `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, who says, “When I am alone at night and darkness comes, I make du`a to my Lord that everyone is with their lover.”

We previously explained that darkness is ignorance, the ego, the lower self, low desires, so when that dark ego takes over a human being that person is with the thing or the one that he loves. That means that when we are alone with our ego, our desires, which will take us in every direction, so we follow our grand shaykhs: pick up the beads and start saying, “Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah,” trying to be with The One we love, not with our desires that will take us here and there to fulfill their pleasure.

When we were at the masjid this afternoon and let’s say some of us were bored, but we don’t need any entertainment, what we need is to make dhikr by ourselves and if people are leaving the masjid and there are just one or two people left, it doesn’t matter as you are with your Lord! It doesn’t matter whether there are a hundred people or no one here. The shaykh sits down, and we have stories from our grand shaykhs of some who sat by themselves making dhikr because they were with The One they loved, they were not alone.

When we sit and make dhikr, what happens? When we say, “Allah, Allah, Allah” the locks in our heart start to open with the light of Allah (swt): When we are asking for Allah's light to come down how can it not come down? When we are saying Astaghfirullah Astaghfirullah asking forgiveness, how can it not come down. When the light is coming down from dhikr what happens?

“I am with the one who is making dhikr.” The heart starts to receive that light and the person starts to clean himself up from all of the sins that they have accumulated, from all the desires we have taken on.

Dervish Yunus is a very famous saint; his name is Yunus Emre or just Yunus, but he was known as Dervish Yunus. He studied sacred law and became a judge who presided over a court and decide serious matters. With some cases he had to give a verdict of capital punishment, which is a heavy verdict. In some states now capital punishment is still allowed. Yunus sat in a court and reached a verdict of capital punishment, although he knew in his heart that it was not correct, but he had no evidence to save the prisoner whom he judged until he went to a shaykh who guided him as to what to do. He followed the advice and saved the person from death.

Later he went to the shaykh and said, “I want to become your student.”

The shaykh said, “Okay, I will take you, you are now my student and what you need to do now is to go and clean the toilets.”

Yunus said, “O my shaykh! I have knowledge, I have studied Shari'ah, Fiqh and Hadith. I can give verdicts on serious Islamic matters and you might use me for something other than cleaning bathrooms.”

The shaykh replied, “No, go to the bathrooms and clean the dirt.”

The shaykh was trying to teach him that maybe he has knowledge or multiple knowledges, but his inside is dirty and what he needed to do was first clean the dirt. As long as dirt is in our hearts we can never take the veil from our hearts.

Allah (swt) says in Holy Qur’an, also narrated in this Hadith:

إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ إِذَا أَذْنَبَ كَانَتْ نُكْتَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ فِي قَلْبِهِ فَإِنْ تَابَ وَنَزَعَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ صُقِلَ قَلْبُهُ فَإِنْ زَادَ زَادَتْ فَذَلِكَ الرَّانُ الَّذِي ذَكَرَهُ اللَّهُ فِي كِتَابِهِ ‏{كَلاَّ بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ}"‏

When the Believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished, but if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases until it ascends over his heart. That is the raan (stain) mentioned by Allah Most High [83:14], “No! Rather, the stain has covered their hearts of that which they were earning.” (Tirmidhi)

If we commit a sin, Allah (swt) is saying that a stain of sin will come on our hearts, the stain of sinning. Nabi (s) also said when the servant commits a sin, there will be a trace of darkness in his or her heart. That darkness will increase by the sins as we commit and becomes bigger until it takes over the heart and extinguishes it’s light..

In the following verse, Allah (swt) says:

كَلَّا إِنَّهُمْ عَن رَّبِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّمَحْجُوبُونَ

Verily, on that Day they will be veiled from their Lord. (Surat Al-Mutaffifin,83:15)

So sinning is basically veiling us from our Lord, and that is the darkness that `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q) was talking about: the night, when everyone is with the things they love. If the thing we love is a sinful desire, that darkness increases and that veil becomes thicker and bigger and bigger until there is no more light. When you go to a hotel and you want to sleep until 3 o’clock in the afternoon, you close the very thick curtains and the whole room becomes dark until we slowly, slowly decrease the light in the room. Your heart is a room. Allah's Light shines on the heart. When we pull the veils of sin we are pulling the curtains one by one and the light gets less and less until you get to the big curtain that turns off the light completely. Imagine your heart is in darkness with no light!

Nabi (s) is Rahmatan li’-`l Alamin, a Mercy to All the Worlds and he tells us how to remove these veils. The shaykh of Sayyid Yunus told him to first clean the dirt by taking the veils from his heart, and then he could come and give knowledge and light. So Nabi (s) said the way to remove these veils through three things we have to do:

1. We have to stop doing that sin; acknowledge the sin and going against the orders of Allah (swt), whatever order it is.

2. We ask forgiveness, by saying “Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah....” That’s why dhikr is very important.

3. We don’t return to the sin. You asked forgiveness and then you don’t go back to it.

The Prophet (swt) says that if we do that and continue on that road, we are now polishing the heart. It is Hadith Sahih, there is no question about that Hadith: we start to polish the heart from the dirt that comes with sinning. So the way to take away the veils and allow Allah’s Light to enter the heart is through dhikr and to be in dhikr every week is good, to be in dhikr every day is better, but to be in dhikr every moment is the best. Not to be heedless of Allah (swt) for a moment is the best, to see Allah's power in each moment is the best thing we can do!

Who is with me? It goes through the chain, but Allah (swt) is with me. Who is with him, with her, with each one of us here? Allah (swt), He has encompassed all of us: He is The First, He is The Last, He is The Manifest, He is The Hidden. Al-Awwalu, wa ‘l-Akhiru wa ’zh-Zhahir wa ’l-Baatin. Allah (swt) is with each of us; when we look around we should not see ourselves anymore, we should see Allah's Qudrat, His Power, Might, Creativity, Strength, Mercy. We are now unveiled from Allah (swt). He is The One Who is here, not us, no, no, no, we don’t exist; what is here and everywhere is Allah (swt).

When we become aware of that, afterwards we can never be unaware of God. When you go outside and see the trees, you know that Allah created them, you see the chickens, the clouds, He created them. You start to see the signs of Allah (swt) in each and every thing you look at. That happens with constant remembrance of Allah (swt), when we are no longer heedless of Him through constant remembrance, is dhikrullah.

Inshaa-Allah may we always continue in dhikr and never be heedless of Allah at any time! O our Lord, keep us in constant remembrance of You, may the the veils of our hearts be lifted and may the locks of our hearts be opened, may we receive the Light of Habeebullah (s), who is the Light of Allah (swt).



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