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Laylatu 'l-Isra wa 'l-Mi`raj: Naqshbandi Adab

Shaykh Nour Mohamad Kabbani

7 February 2024 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan, USA

A`oodhu billahi mina ‘sh-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillaahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Allah (swt) gathered the souls and said, “Am I not your Lord?” which means, “I will take care of you in dunya. Don’t worry about anything. When you are in dunya, come to Me.” Of course, we came to dunya and forgot everything we said back then.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) said, on that Day, Allah (swt) also gathered the souls of saints, prophets and of course the soul of our Beloved Prophet, Sayyidina Muhammad (s). He assigned the prophets their ummahs. The ones He gave to Rasoolullah (s) were separated into groups, and for each group there was a daleel, guide to show them the way.

Awliyaullah took a group of the Ummah. We don’t know who or what or how many, but Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) said at that time Awliyaullah knew and have never forgotten. Awliyaullah are not heedless; they are awake and alert.

Rasoolullah (s) said to Sayyidina `Abdal Qadir al-Jilani, Hadhrat Naqshbandi, and Hadhrat Dasuqi (qaddas Allahu sirruhu), “This is for you.” All shuyookh and saints took their share. The saint who took you on that Day is with you when you enter dunya, when you exit dunya, when you enter and exit the grave, and in-between. On Yawm al-Qiyamah, on the Siraat he is with you, and when you enter Jannah he is with you.

That is the saint assigned to you and your job in this world is to find out who he is. Did Sayyidina Musa find Sayyidina Khidr (`alayhi ‘s-salam) on his own, or did Allah (swt) show him a sign? Allah makes a way for the seekers to find their teachers.

Sayyidina Musa (a) said, “May I follow you so you can teach me?” It means, “You are my teacher.” He didn’t say, “We can walk together.” No, tu`allimanee mimma `ullimta “You can teach me from what you have been taught.” That means Khidr has a teacher, too.

That Waliyullah is going to be your teacher, (and a means to) rushdah, the right guidance to Allah (swt).

هَلْ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَىٰٓ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًا

"May I follow you [on the condition] that you teach me from the sound judgment you have been taught?" (Surat al-Kahf, 18:66)

“From what you have been taught of good work, good speech, good saying, good haal, good spirit, good state, good conduct.” Of course, Imam ar-Rusul is teaching everybody.

Sayyidina Musa (a) asked, “Yaa Rabbee, I want to meet that one.” Allah (swt) made them meet, otherwise Sayyidina Musa (a) could not find him. He said, “I’m going to walk for ages.” They came to the meeting point and continued, then he remembered from his khalifah, Sayyidina Yusha` (a).

If you want to find a teacher, Allah (swt) will make you find him, but you have to ask. If you’re not asking, they won’t show you. They won’t take you by the hand and say, “Come.”

You are not asking or wanting, you are running after something else in this world, not finding a teacher in order to be taught what he was taught. Who taught that teacher? That’s why you must have the chain, silsila, to which some object. Some groups ask who is the teacher, and his teacher? They go back 200 years and stop at two, three or four teachers and no more, finished. They ask, “I want to follow you but who was your teacher? Was he a true one or a claimant?”

When you seek a true shaykh, Allah (swt) will make you meet him, the one who makes you remember what you promised Allah (swt) on Yawmu al-`Ahdi wa 'l-meethaaq, the Day of Ahad, when you entered a contract. Allah (swt) said:

أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَـٰبَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا۟ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ

Did I not covenant with you, O Children of Adam, that you shall not serve the devil? (Surah Yaseen, 36:60)

“I gave you an oath, O Children of Adam.”

You have to remember what you promised Him. You didn’t promise Him to come here and enjoy yourself while you’re alive. Life is good, alhamdulillah, it’s Allah's favor, but that’s not your ultimate goal. You have another endeavor in this world. If you are connected with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), he will be with you here and when you leave this place and come back to that Light. If you have connected with somebody else, that shaykh will tell you who your real shaykh is. He’s not going to say, “I am your shaykh.” No.

The true shaykh is the one who knows who was for him on that day. These are the words of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q). You cannot jump into groups of other saints. They read and they know, because they are all alert, awake and seeing. They will send you to the proper one who took you as a trust from Rasoolullah (s).

When somebody comes to a shaykh, he keeps them until they’re ready to go to their true shaykh, as happened with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) and other saints. They keep you with them and preserve you, then when you’re ready, they send you to your true shaykh. You are a trust in their hands. Nowadays shuyookh just want to take everybody with them, whether they belong to them or not.

وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَـٰهَدَ عَلَيْهُ ٱللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

He who fulfills what he promised Allah, He will give him a great reward. (Surat Al-Fath, 48:10)

They’re happy making ba`ya. What is the ayah of ba`ya? Innalladhina yubayioonaka innama yubayioonAllah. Who give their hands to obey you, actually they’re giving their hands and obeying the promise they made to Allah (swt). When they’re reciting the verse of ba`ya, wa man awfa bimaa `ahad `alayhu 'Llaha. The one that fulfills the promise of Allah (swt), Allah (swt) will grant him, ajran `azheema, something big.

What did I promise my Lord? You are putting your hand in that shaykh’s hand. Does he know what you promised? He’s reciting that verse, “The one that what he promised his Lord, Allah (swt) will give a great reward."

If the shaykh doesn’t know what you promised your Lord, how would you know? It’s not a game. They have taken it as a game. May Allah (swt) forgive us and guide those who are promising people what they cannot deliver. The worse thing is if you make a promise to somebody and you cannot deliver on it. You’re taking them with you, but to where? Alhamdulillah, they are connected to real ones, so with that baraka everyone is saved.

If you are truthfully seeking a teacher, Allah (swt) will allow you to be in his company. And then what do you do? Fa laa tas'alnee `an shay’in. Khidr said to Musa, “If you are going to follow me, don’t ask me about anything.”

Mashaa-Allah (swt), today everybody comes to the shaykh with 10-15 questions.

قَالَ فَإِنِ ٱتَّبَعْتَنِى فَلَا تَسْـَٔلْنِى عَن شَىْءٍ حَتَّىٰٓ أُحْدِثَ لَكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْرًا

He said, "Then if you follow me, do not ask me about anything until I mention it to you." (Surat al-Kahf, 18:70)

The adab when you are with shuyookh is to approach when they tell you to come and when they speak, you listen. Today that adab is lost. When the shaykh tells you, then you are taking from him. This is the adab that Sayyidina Musa (a) was taught by Khidr (a). When you find your teacher, you are in his presence and listen to what he says. You don’t ask about things until that door opens to you, because the shaykh knows what’s in your heart and knows what bothers you.

Inshaa-Allah, we can be with real shuyookh, with Awliyaullah. Yaa Rabbee, allow us to find that saint who took us as amanah of Rasoolullah (s).

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) said the shaykh teaches you how to become Ummah Haqqiqi an-Nabi (s), a true member of the Nation of Rasoolullah (s). When you are a true Ummah by the discipline of the shaykh, he spiritually takes you to Rasoolullah (s) because you achieved that level and must see your imam, your Nabi (s). How can he be your Nabi if you don’t know him? You have to see him spiritually, not with these eyes, but with the eyes of imaan. When you reach Rasoolullah (s), he will take you to become `abd haqqiqi for Allah (swt).

The job of the shaykh is to make you a true member of the Ummah, and Rasoolullah’s (s) job is to make you a true servant of Allah (swt). Your journey ends with Allah (swt).

وَأَنَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ ٱلْمُنتَهَىٰ

And that to your Lord is the final Goal; (Surah an-Najm, 53:42)

To Allah (swt) is your end or finish line, al-muntahaa.

All the saints and prophets are rahmah, a mercy for you. They take you up with them with their wings.

وَٱخْفِضْ جَنَاحَكَ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Lower your wings for the believers. (Surat Al-Hijr, 15:88)

That means he takes you like a bird coming down on its nest. How does it come down? It slowly comes down on its baby birds.

وَٱخْفِضْ جَنَاحَكَ لِمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Lower your wings for the ones who follow you from the believers.

It means, “Take them with you.” He is the rahmah to take you to Allah (swt).

If a shaykh accepts people and is not able to give them that end, muntahaa, that destination, he is liable and will be questioned. He will be a highway robber, like on a journey some bandits raid your caravan and take you. The shaykh who cuts off the road to Allah (swt), claiming he is the one who can take people to muntahaa, Allah‘s Divine Presence, is like a highway bandit.

“Smokey and the Bandit” (old movie title). Smoke is Shaytan’s waswasa. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) said that anybody who smokes, the waswasa of Shaytan is in his mind, heart, body and soul. Don’t smoke.

May Allah (swt) forgive us. Inshaa-Allah (swt), we can be at the door of Awliyaullah and have Awliyaullah accept us, and as a rahmah they take us to Huzoor ar-Rasool (s), and from there Rasoolullah (s) takes us to the Divine Presence as true servants of Allah (swt). Ameen.

Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb (s), wa bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.

[Continued after Adab Laylat al-Israa wa’l-Mi`raaj.]

A`oodhu billahi ‘s Sami` al-`Aleem min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillaahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), our teacher and master, said if somebody tells you that a sultan opened his treasury, get your refund check. You go on YouTube and suddenly want to get refunds, 500, 600, 900 from the government. If a sultan opened his treasure and tells you, “Come, take as much as you want.” Will you go or not? Yes, you will go. If you don’t then there’s no mind. But if you have a good mind, you go in. How much do you take? As much as you can carry. If that sultan tells you, “Come again,” you take as much as you can carry, you load up. He says, “Go empty this and come back. If you want to come back a hundred times, a thousand times, do it.”

Allah (swt) has opened His treasuries for you, O insaan! Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) is reminding us. Allah‘s Rahmah, Maghfirah and Tawfeeq, success here and Hereafter, are open 24/7. Come and take them! If you want, bring your car, truck, a train or a ship and load up as many times as you want.

Allah (swt) has opened Treasuries of the Seven Heavens and beyond for you, O insaan. Why don’t you seek them? How do we seek them? What did Allah (swt) say in the first verse of Surah an-Najm? Asta`eedhu billah:

وَٱلنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَىٰ

By the star when it descends. (Surat an-Najm, 53:1)

Our shuyookh in Tariqah Naqshbandiyya and Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (q) explained that the star is Sayyidina Muhammad (s). He has come down on Laylatu 'l-Mi`raj, traversed the Seven Paradises,went to `Arsh and beyond. Wa 'n-najmi, the Star, Rasoolullah (s) has come down in Laylatul Mi`raj for you.

If you want to find how to gain access to Seven Skies and gain access to treasures of Jannah, the `Arsh, the Throne, and to the treasure of Dhaat, the Divine Presence, you have to follow Rasoolullah (s). He has come, wa 'n-najmi idhaa hawaa, "By the star when it descends," to teach you his way.

Awliyaullah also explained that verse as the star, which is the seed of love, has come down from the sky of the Divine Presence to the Earth, to the heart of Rasoolullah (s) and brought up plants without a trunk.

وَٱلنَّجْمُ وَٱلشَّجَرُ يَسْجُدَانِ

[Before Him] the stars and the trees prostrate themselves. (Surat ar-Rahman, 55:6)

In Surat ar-Rahman, Allah (swt) is talking about najm, the plant without a trunk, a pumpkin that grows on the ground.

Wa 'n-najm, that seed of love when it falls into the heart of Rasoolullah (s), it makes a plant on Earth. You gain the Love of Allah (swt) with that plant on earth. Through that plant, flowers come up, the flowers of Haqa’iq and Ma`arif, the flowers of Realities and Knowledge of Allah (swt).

If you want to gain access to where Rasoolullah (s) has gone through, you have to get the seed of love that comes down from the Divine Presence to your heart, then you are following the path of Habeebullah (s), mahabbah. That’s why He (swt) said:

مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَىٰ

“Your companion has not gone astray nor became deluded.” (Surat an-Najm, 53:2)

That means he knew exactly what he wanted: Allah (swt). When that love settles in your heart, you will not waiver or seek anything else. While Habeebullah (s) went through Isra and Mi`raj, he did not seek or look for anything. Allah (swt) said that the seed of love that entered his heart did not change his essence, the exclusive Habeeb of Allah (swt), nothing else.

The way to Allah (swt) is to follow Rasoolullah (s) in muhabbatullah, that you only want Allah (swt), nothing on Earth, nothing in Heavens, nothing in Sidratul Muntahaa, nothing in `Arsh, nothing nowhere else. “Your companion has not gone astray and he has not become deluded.”

That is where Rasoolullah (s) went. He came down, wa 'n-najmi idhaa hawaa, "By the star when it descends." That najm, star, is Rasoolullah (s). In his heart is the seed of love. If you want Allah (swt), that seed of love has to transfer from the heart of Rasoolullah (s) to the heart of your murshid, your shaykh, Awliyaullah, and from their hearts to your heart. Mina 'l-qalbi ila qalbi sabeel, from heart to heart a way.

That’s why we come to Awliyaullah, not for anything else. We come to Awliyaullah to gain that seed of love they have in their hearts and they throw it into our heart. That’s what we need. Yaa Rabbee, we are asking for that seed of love. When you water it with imaan and Tawheed, it makes plants for you that allow you to see, smell, taste Allah’s Divine Presence. That’s the way to Mi`raj. Inshaa-Allah (swt), all of us will get up there.

In the past, a slave had a master who told him to farm the fields. The slave planted barley and his master told him, “I want wheat.” When the harvest came, the master looked and it was all barley.

He yelled at the slave, “What’s wrong with you? I told you to plant wheat.”

“O master, I planted barley thinking it’s going to be wheat.”

“Are you crazy? You harvest what you plant.”

“O master, you harvest what you plant. Why are you planting disobedience to Allah (swt) and you want to harvest from Jannah?”

How can you plant something else in your heart, another love, and you want to harvest the love of Rasoolullah (s) and the love of Allah (swt)? You will never, ever harvest that. You have to harvest the same kind. If you harvest in your heart the love of other than Allah (swt), you will harvest that. But if you plant in your heart the love of Allah (swt), you will find that in Akhirah.

That is why it is said ad-dunya mazra`atu ’l-akhirah, dunya is the farm of Akhirah: whatever you plant here, you will get over there. Know what you plant in your heart.

Now some mureeds returned from Umrah. You gained some love. Don’t put the love of other stuff in your heart anymore. Know which love really matters. Don’t put the love of other than Allah (swt) in your heart.

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ

And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah . But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:165)

They take equals. It means they love them the same as Allah (swt) in their hearts. So it means, “Yeah, we love Allah (swt) and other stuff, too.” But those who believe, their love is greater for Allah (swt). Try to be from them.

That is the seed of love that Rasoolullah (s) had in his heart and that seed of love brought him all the way up in Mi`raj to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa, the closest a creature can reach to his Lord. That is the maqam of Rasoolullah (s). He is continuing. As I heard from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, adna, closer. How much closer? If you say ‘closer’ you can still say closer and closer. There’s no end to ‘closer’. He is continuing. Rasoolullah (s) has not stopped. Our teacher, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), has not stopped. Grandshaykh `AbdAllah ad-Daghestani (q) has not stopped. They are getting closer and closer and closer. There is no limit to 'closer'. Not only in this dunya were they close, they are continuing their journey to Allah (swt). It does not end.

لَتَرْكَبُنَّ طَبَقًا عَن طَبَقٍ

You will surely travel from stage to stage. (Surat al-Inshiqaq, 84:19)

You will keep riding from one level to another level. These are not my words. I heard all of this from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q). There’s no end to the stations of closeness. May Allah (swt) make us have that seed of love that they gained in their hearts. With that seed of love we follow Rasoolulah’s (s) way of love. That is why he is Habeebullah. If you follow him, Allah (swt) will love you. May He make us from them, inshaa-Allah.

Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb (s) wa bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.


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