Go to media page

To Seek Leadership Is Forbidden in Tariqah

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

12 December 2010 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

After `Isha at Private Residence

(Suhbah at MP Dato Noora's home, with Dato Sri Mahmud, son of the Minister of Sarawak.)

As-salaam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajim. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah, nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`ala fee hadha 'l-masjid.

Dear brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, children and adults. Happy Hijrah New Year! Kulli `am wa antum bi-khayr, "May you be well throughout the year." It is the beginning of the year and we hope it will be a year of happiness for all of you and for ummat an-Nabi (s). Insha-Allah it will be a year of heavenly peace. We have to know we began our year with dhikrullah; from Tuesday until today we haven't had any interruption in making dhikr every night, like this group doing Mawlid an-Nabi (s), remembering Allah (swt), saying, laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah, and forgiving each other for the sake of Allah (swt), His Prophet, Sayyidina Muhammad (s)!

Allah (swt) reminded us always, by saying:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Alladheena aamanoo wa tatma'innu quloobuhum bi-dhikri Allahi `alaa bi-dhikri Allahi tatma'innu 'l-quloob.

Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah, for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction. (Surat ar-Ra`ad, 13:28)

Here, the use of the Arabic letter "lam" is a definite article, meaning, "the hearts will become tranquil." If we are in a problem, or in debt, or if we want peace between each other, we say, "Yaa Allah!" And Allah (swt) said, "O Muhammad, say 'Allah'!" How much Allah loves this word! We are not here for any business or for any projects; we are here only for the love of Allah (swt). "Love of Allah" also means love of Prophet (s), and "love of Prophet" means love of mashaykh, the sincere and pious people. That is why we love our shuyukh. We also have to love our family and parents, our communities, our groups, and our country.

Prophet (s) said:

Hubb al-awtaan min al-imaan.

Love of country (or nation) is from faith.

If you don't love your country, you don't have faith; that is what Prophet (s) said. You are Malaysian, so you must love your country as that shows faith. Everything in dunya and Akhirah is based on love. Allah (swt) loved us, so He created us. So love is important, like in the story of the Bedouin on Jumu`ah when Prophet was on the minbar giving the Jumu`ah khutbah. He said, "O Prophet! When is the Day of Judgment?" and Prophet didn't answer. And he asked a second time and Prophet didn't answer, and a third time he asked. Then Jibreel (a) came and said, "Answer him." In Jumu`ah you must not hold anything, even beads or a telephone; you must listen and pray. Prophet said, "It is a long journey. What have you prepared for it?" The Bedouin was one of pure heart, who came from the desert. He said, "Your Love, O Prophet! I love you." And Prophet said, "Kaafee ya `arabee, it is enough, you will be resurrected with the one you love."

Do you love this group or not? If so, then you will be resurrected with them with your mashaykh and with those you love. And Prophet (s) said, "Souls are like army batttaliions and those who love each other come together, and those who don't will separate."

Allah said to Prophet (s) in Holy Qur'an:

قُلِ اللّهُ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

quli l-lahu thumma dharhum fee khawdihim yal`aboon.

Say "Allah" then leave them in their discourse, playing. (6:91)

So what do we say? "Allah"! I will quote that saying in Kashf al-Ghummah, that Prophet (s) said that Sayyidina Musa (a) said, "O Allah! Teach me something, that I will remember You with it, and seek du`a from You with it." Allah (swt) told Sayyidina Musa, "Say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah." Say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah! And what are we doing here? We are saying, laa ilaaha illa-Llah; that is dhikrullah!

"O Allah!" Sayyidina Musa (as) said, "all Your servants say laa ilaaha illa-Llah. Give me something special that I won't share with anyone, that is private." In Islam there is no "private." What you have is for everyone; what you have of knowledge you have to teach. Spiritually, according to your heart you give, but you don't give jewels to those who don't know jewels; give candies and they are happy. Sayyidina Musa said, "All your servants say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah. Give me something special." Allah (swt) said, qul laa ilaaha illa-Llah. What is the meaning here? It means, "Don't see yourself above everyone." That was to Sayyidina Musa (a). Allah (swt) said to the Holy Prophet (s), qul innama `ana basharun mithlukum, "I am only a human being like you." Allah is teaching humbleness, which is important.

That is when you fight someone and you have the power to kill or forgive, but you don't kill him, you forgive him. When Sayyidina Ali (r) and the Sahaabah (r) were in battle along with Prophet (s), they did mubariza, dueling, one-to-one fighting. And one kafir wrestler said, "Where is that `Ali? I will kill him and put him down and teach everyone a lesson," since they knew that Sayyidina Ali was "Asadullah al-Ghalib," the Victorious Lion, who was always winning. And he called, "Bring that lady here," not to lower the level of ladies, but he was trying to humiliate him, to say he was not a man. At that time, Sayyidina Ali had a problem with his eye, and Prophet (s) put his holy saliva on it and it came back to normal. Then he fought that kafir, and in two minutes he put him down. He took the sword to kill him and that wrestler spit in Sayyidina Ali (r)'s face! What did Sayyidina Ali do? He threw down his sword and said, "You are free (to run)!" What is that? The law in that time was that if you put the enemy down, you killed him. That was humiliating him, as he wanted to be killed as a brave fighter.

He said, "Why are you not killing me?" and then the discussion began.

When you sit with non-Muslims you have interfaith. To solve any problem you need to discuss the facts. They began to negotiate, and Sayyidina Ali (r) said, "I will not kill you."

The wrstler said, "Kill me!"

Sayyidina Ali said, "No."

The wrestler said, "You have to kill me!"

Sayyidina Ali (r) said, "How can I kill you? Before you spat on me, I would have killed you in the way of Islam, but now I want to kill you from anger."

So to satisfy the ego is not Islamic; what is Islamic is to do everything for Allah (swt).Allah (swt) said, "Say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah," and Sayyidina Musa (a) said, "Give me something special." Allah said, "If the whole of the seven Heavens and the seven Earths were on one side of the Scale, and laa ilaaha illa-Llah was on the other side of the scale, laa ilaaha illa-Llah is heavier than everything else."

O Muslims! This is good tidings! You coming here and remembering Allah is important, because we can see how all tariqats and sufi shuyukh from beginning to end were teaching dhikrullah, and I am quoting from this 500 year-old book and as Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani is teaching us. Some people say, "Don't read books. You are not supported because you are reading books." Don't they know, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim has rooms full of books? He has two rooms in Damascus full of books and manuscripts of Grandshaykh (q). In his house in Cyprus he has four rooms full of books. If you go to my home in America, the whole basement, from here to the far end, is full of books, in Arabic and English, on whatever topic you think you can find. Also it is full with manuscripts; I have collected 400-year-old manuscripts. We have books not because we don't have knowledge, but in order to learn.

So to say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, is heavier than the Heavens and Earth. Our associations are to remember, and nothing else. In Kashf al-Ghummah, of which Mawlana has two volumes which he keeps on the shelf next to him; don't think Mawlana doesn't read! The Prophet (s) said, "Not one servant says, laa ilaaha illa-Llah at any hour during the day or the night, Illa tumisat sayiatihi, "except all his sins will be erased." Say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, Muhammad (s) Rasoolullah! And on the other side all hasanat will be given. What do you want easier than that? Look at how easy Islam is! Where are the scholars who teach that? Why are they hiding this? This is our Islam!

There is another hadeeth, "On the the Day of Judgment, Allah (swt) will take one of the people, and he is the worst of people, on the Day of Judgment and He will take him from all the people around and open for him his notebooks, his records, like all the data in your computer, and all your records will be there. He opens for him ninety-nine records. Each record is mithal magd al-basar, wherever your eyes are reaching to the horizon, and it is full of sin." It means, who is that person? May Allah (swt) not make us that person! May Allah forgive us. That person is in trouble, with sins that reach to the horizon, and when you reach that horizon there is another horizon. So He opens for that one ninety-nine records and He puts that on the Scale, and that person thinks he is haalik, "destroyed," and there is no way for rahmat. And when he thinks he is finished, Allah (swt) will send an angel with a ticket that has "laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah" written on it, because he is from ummat an-Nabi! Although he has a lot of sins, he said one time, laa ilaaha illa-Llah,so that ticket will be put on one side of the Scale. On one side are his records and on the other side is laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah, and that will be heavier than his sins! Nothing can be heavier than the Beautiful Names and Attributes. And Prophet (s) said, "Who says, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, it is the ticket that supersedes all deeds." It supersedes everything!

O Muslims! It is very important to know about that and to know what we are doing. What is important is to say, "laa ilaaha illa-Llah" and to have a pure heart and not to be arrogant.

And here is a story of a Naqshbandi student, not now, but 500 years ago. He said that a man was a student to a shaykh for many, many years, mudattan taweelan, and he was serving him. Then that mureed who had stayed with his shaykh for twenty, thirty or forty years complained, lam tuhsil haalat al-qalb aw lam tatahasan haalat al-qalb, that his heart had not improved.

The shaykh said, "What is the improvement you are talking about? What is the goal? What do you want out of that improvement?"

He said, "The ni`ma that I achieved from you, I will give to the others."

Look at how tariqat is so delicate. Either accept it or say, "We are lovers, not following on the level of mureed."

He said, "Whatever I get from you, O my master." He had served him for many, many years, so it was like saying, "I was a servant in your house for a long time and I have become old. What are you going to do with me? You will not throw me in the street."

His shaykh said, "What do you want?"

And he said, "Whatever spiritual ni`mat I get from you I will take and distribute for others."

Is that good or bad? The shaykh said, "That is the real corruption in you, the real heretic, fasaad." What did he do? He said, "Whatever I get from you I will share with the others."

The shaykh said, "The whole problem is from that bad intention. O my son, don't repeat it another time or I will throw you out. Don't ask, 'I want to teach others and make summaries of lectures and be a shaykh to teach others.' That is the wrong niyyah. You are daring to tell me that you want to learn from me to make yourself a leader in the community? That is egoism and corruption. It means your intention from the beginning was not love of dhikrullah and love of the shaykh, but it was to be a leader in the community to be obeyed. Go and leave from here!"

That is a teaching and the shaykh will not throw him out, but there are people in this tariqat or other tariqats around the world who want to be a leader. Why do you want to be a leader? Be a sheep and let the shepherd take responsibility. Take your chair and put it by the shoes. Don't ask to be respected; respect comes from Allah (swt), not from humans.

The shaykh was well-mannered, and after he shouted at him he said, "O my son! You have to take that bad idea from your mind to be a teacher, to make lectures and teach others. This is the wrong way; take that out of your mind and remember what Allah (swt) has given us of the great favors. It is our duty not to ask to teach, but to go sit in a corner with all this knowledge in you and say, shukran lillah wa'l-hamdulillah! Thank Him and He will give you more. Don't ask for that permission, it has to come by itself." And not everyone will have that kind of power; it is for very few. Those who think they are doing dhikr, leading dhikr and doing suhbah and that includes me, I am not saying this does not include me. Those who are doing that dhikr and suhbah and making da`wah have to correct their intentions and they must know that it is from Allah (swt) and they must thank Allah for what He gave them. Don't throw jewels in front of those who don't understand, but give them candies and they will be happy.

O Muslims! O Lovers of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim! Dhikrullah will save us, and bring us from Hell to Paradise. And keep saying, laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah. I spoke with Mawlana just before I came, at 5 o'clock our time here. He sent his best salaam to all of you and he asked, "How is your travel?" He spoke with my wife and with me in Turkish and Arabic. I personally told him, "All around the world people are putting on black turbans," and he said, "This is the year of black turbans." He asked about the visit to rhe maqam of Shaykh Isma`il in Malaka and there were 500 there, or 400 with 100 of the others. He sent his best regards and I will now play his voice, to hear as a blessing for all of us, inshaa-Allah. Mawlana prayed Duha and is now coming to speak:

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: How are you?

Hajjah Naziha: We are in Malaysia.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: What are you doing there?

Hajjah Naziha: Everyone here is kissing your hands and feet! Send salaam to Hajjah Anne from me when you visit her grave. We came from Singapore and are in Malaysia now, and will go to Indonesia on the 27th of this month. It is going to be around three weeks traveling.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Shaykh Hisham is doing a great job and his sa`ee is accepted. How are the children? I am praying Duhaa, but stopped to talk. It began to rain in Cyprus and inshaa-Allah it will be more and more this year. (Mawlana is very happy about rain.)

Hajjah Naziha: We went to Australia. All the mureeds here are happy with you and are kissing your hands.

Shaykh Hisham Effendi: As-salaamu `alaykum, Sultan al-Awwaleen wal-`Akhireen! Allah, Allah, Allah. Your barakah is reaching here and we are full with people here, all wearing black turbans.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: This is from your himmah (zeal) and efforts.

Shaykh Hisham Effendi: This is from your high himmah! We went to the maqam of Shaykh Isma`il and there were hundreds of people on boats.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Mashaa-Allah, you are doing well.

Shaykh Hisham Effendi: From morning time to evening it is busy.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim: Did they give you food?

Shaykh Hisham Effendi: Yes Sayyidee, and we left 10:00 a.m. and reached the maqam of Shaykh Isma`il at 4:00 p.m.! Hundreds of people were there, and then we returned to Kuala Lumpur at night. They were all wearing black turbans and I told them that this is the year of Mahdi (a). All over world people are putting on black turbans; as you ordered, they did. And all here are sending salaams to you and kissing your hands, from the prince to the servant. We are going to Indonesia, where they put your name everywhere, on signs on every street it reads, "Mawlana Shaykh Nazim ar-Rabbani al-Haqqani." We will be in very big gathering there, with hundreds of thousands of people in one big stadium they rented for dhikr and Mawlid.

(End of suhbah.)

(Mawlana Shaykh Hisham asks Dato Sri Mahmud to speak.)

(Dato: Thank you very much. I would like to say that I have never seen so much love in all my life! There are so many of my old friends I have not seen in a long time. I came to see Mawlana through my friend Zaharuddin, as my family is in crisis, attacked by black magic. After some help it reduced the pain, but the problem kept coming. Alhamdulillah, Allah has shown me the way to Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, and everything is improving minute-by-minute. Thank you so much Shaykh Mawlana. Thank you, all my friends, for helping us. Before my father retires, he wants to set things right and then retire, so then Sarawak will be a better place, inshaa-Allah. He has done a lot of things for the ummah and insha-Allah we will have a lot of people join us in Sarawak. I am extending my invitation to Shaykh Mawlana to come to Sarawak to speak to our people, to Europeans, to our Muslim brothers and sisters, and to our friends who have not yet embraced Islam. (...) I hope that Allah (swt) will give barakah to us all. And I have never heard takbir and dhikrullah like this, ever! Thank you all for letting me come here tonight.)

He is happy and we are all happy, because all our sins are forgiven by saying, laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah. Say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah! This lecture will be online on Sufilive.com tonight, if anyone wants to download it. I would like to thank Dato Noora and her husband Hajji Sulayman, and Abdul Jalil and his wife, who could not make it tonight as she is sick. May Allah (swt) bring us here again and I am so happy that Dato Sri Mahmud met his old friend, Faysal. I was surprised that he saw his old friend beside me and he forgot the shaykh and went to his friend, then he sat on my left! (laughter) And I probably have been his friend more than, or the same as, Dato Sri Mahmud. May Allah make this a happy year for all of us, and for your father, the chief minister, for this country, and for those sincere ones who are running this country, and that they continue running it as it is now.

(Group photos are taken.)


Inshaa-Allah, baya` is to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah (swt) give him long life, and it will go to Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q), then to Prophet (s)! laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah! Inshaa-Allah we will see you next time and may Allah bless you. I will see you the next time we come to this country and I look forward to seeing Shaykh Mahmud, inshaa-Allah. As-salaam 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.