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What Can Make Your Spiritual Engine Bigger?

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

13 December 2011 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Private Residence

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.

Alhamdulillahi rabbi ’l-`alameen wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi ’l-mursaleen sayyidina wa nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa saahbihi ajma`een. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem, wa ’l-`aqibatu li ‘l-muttaqeen wa laa `udwaana illa `alaa azh-zhaalimeen. Wa nash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llahu wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa laa matheela lahu fee `uloowwi shaa’nee wa `azheema sultaanihi, wa nash-hadu anna sayyidina Muhammadan `abduhu wa habeebuhu wa rasooluh, arsalahoo rahmatan li ’l-`alameen wa diyaa’an wa nooran saati`an fi ’l-akwaan wa khaleefatullahi `alaa ardihI. `amma ba`d fa yaa `ibaadullah, ittaqullah fee maa `amar w ’antahu `amma nahaa `anhu wa zajar.

O Believers, who are seeking the Truth! There are many seekers trying to reach the end of the tunnel, but not everyone can reach it. You might be at the beginning of the highway and you want to reach the end, but the problem is, you go one step forward and then one step backward and remain in the same place. Some might go two steps forward and one step backward, but they only move forward a little bit. Those who are clever might use donkeys to take them forward, but it takes time to reach; others may use horses, or cars. Some days they go over the speed limit and it is dangerous if they make a wrong move. They will be responsible because they know the Truth and they made a wrong move. If you don’t know the Truth and make a wrong move, you are not going to be questioned because you are over the speed limit by a little bit, so the policeman will say, “Don’t do it next time.” And if you alter the speedometer (so it does not register) and go over the speed limit it may be fatal and you will be responsible.

So awliyaullah say, ajalla al-karamaat dawaam at-tawfeeq, “The best of miracles is to be consistent.” The biggest miracle is not to go over the speed limit, but to keep the movement of a turtle and don't run like a rabbit and alter the speedometer because you might fall into a well or a hole and kill yourself. Awliyaullah recommend their students to take everything easy, not quickly, to go steadfastly and keep within the speed limit. If the speed limit is 120 km/h then keep to 120. If you go 125 km/h, since it is in that range, it is not a problem because they know the desires of the self. Our nafs, the self, is ordering everyone to go over the speed limit and fall into a hole after which you cannot come out, and the example is Iblees.

Do you know Iblees? (Yes.) How, did you see him? If you saw him then you know him, but if you didn't see him then you don't know, only Allah (swt) knows what Iblees did was a big mistake and so He cursed him, and Allah (swt) didn’t curse anyone except Iblees! Al-la`na laa tajuz illa `alaa Iblees, “You are not permitted to curse anyone other than Iblees.” Some people use bad words and curse each other but that is haraam, because the only one to be cursed is Iblees, as he knew the truth and disobeyed. Anyone who knows the truth and disobeys must repent immediately, because Allah (swt) is not going to curse you, as He said in the Holy Qur'an:

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلاً

Wa laqad karamna Bani Adama wa hamalnaahum fi ’l-barri wa ‘l-bahri wa razaqnaahum mina ’t-tayyibaati wa faddalnaahum `alaa katheerin mimman khalaqnaa tafdeela.

We have honored the Children of Adam, provided them with transport on land and sea, given them for sustenance things good and pure, and conferred on them special favors above a great part of Our Creation. (al-Israa, 17:70)

Allah honored you and every human being, so you cannot speak to each other in a rude way. That is disrespect to someone whom Allah (swt) honored. Today you see thousands of talk shows on which two people speak with opposite views and they curse each other. Those presenters and those who are broadcasting are disobeying Allah's orders! That is why our ego, the self, always thinks it is first in whatever we do; therefore, they only accept what the ego says, not what Allah says.

The ayah came to the Prophet (s) to lower their voices in prayers in Maghrib and `Isha. Why? The Sahaabah (r) even used to raise their voices in daytime prayers, Zhuhr and `Asr, but Allah ordered them to lower their voices because the unbelievers were cursing Allah and His Prophet. To that extent, Allah didn’t like someone to curse an opponent and then it will reference Allah and His Prophet; that is not accepted. How many of us didn't give attention to this point? Even scholars dishonor what Allah honored!

So Allah wants Iblees to listen and obey, but even though he knew the Truth--that Allah is Creator, and he is `abd, he still believes--he asked Allah, “Give me a long life until Judgment Day so I can mislead all of them!” Allah (swt) accepted that du`a of Iblees for you to see if you are good or not. So Muslims, don't go over the speed limit! This is the maximum way you can go, and if you go over you will fall. Allah said, “If someone builds his home or tent over a cliff of fire, he will fall into the fire.” So don’t go over the speed limit or you will fall. Why do you want to do more? If you want to be safe, recite the shahadah and the five prayers, fast in Ramadan, give charity, and perform the Hajj. That is the speed limit. If you want more than the speed limit, you can increase it but then make sure that you remain steadfast, which means get a bigger engine for your car. Check your engine, your heart; how much horsepower is in your heart? If it is able to take more, give it more and your car will go faster, your speedo will increase. Faster cars have more horsepower.

If you want to have a bigger engine, you have to know that it is not going to come by only doing your daily awraad, making salawaat, or praying Salaat an-Najaat or Salaat at-Tahajjud. That will not increase the size of your engine; it will take you to the end of the speedometer but not beyond, because that is the size of your engine. What can make your engine bigger? It is so simple:

هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِي

Huwa alladhee ba`atha fi ’l-ummiyyin Rasoolan minhum, yatlu `alayhim ayaatihi wa yuzakkeehim wa yu`allimuhumu ’l-kitaba wa ’l-hikmata wa in kaanoo min qablu lafee dalaalin mubeen.

He it is Who raised among the inhabitants of Mecca an apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, although they were before certainly in clear error. (Jumu`ah: 61:2)

You have to be very careful within the words. Allah (swt) said, yatlu `alayhim, “he reads for them.” I can also take and read the Holy Qur’an and you can listen, but immediately after yatlu `alayhim, He said wa yuzakkeehim, “and he purifies them,” then, yu`allimuhum, “he will teach them!” So to learn how to get a bigger engine, you must first purify your heart, because our hearts are rusted. Some people get a heart attack because they have different kinds of problems. Similarly, the spiritual heart is like copper exposed to sun, which oxidizes, becomes copper dioxide and the significance of the copper is lost.

So the Prophet (s) yuzakkeehim, has to purify their hearts. How do you purify your heart? Allah (swt) said to Sayyidina Muhammad (s), “Purify them!” You cannot purify yourself; you have to go through Sayyidina Muhammad (s). You cannot purify yourself by keeping your beard or hair long or by wearing a jubbah. Santa Clause also wears a jubbah, so that is not a big issue; he puts on a nice red hat and a nice red jubbah and gives presents to make people happy! You can become a clown, paint your face and put on a big nose, but that is not purifying the self: you have to go to the Prophet (s) to be purified!

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem, Wa maa arsalnaa min rasoolin illa li yuta`a bi idhnillahi wa law annahum idh zhaalamoo anfusahum jaa'ooka fastaghfarullah w ’staghfara lahumu 'r-rasoola la-wajadoollaha tawwaaba 'r-raheema.

We sent an apostle but to be obeyed in accordance with the Will of Allah. If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto 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-Nisaa, 4:64)

“When they are oppressors to themselves, they go to you, yaa Muhammad!” That ayah of Holy Qur’an is for all times and means, anyone who knows that he did something wrong, jaa'ooka fastaghfarullah, “Let him come to you, yaa Muhammad (s), and ask forgiveness!” So go to your room and turn off the light. I often saw Mawlana Shaykh Nazim turn off the light before Fajr, sitting in the dark with only a candle in front of him. That means sit and contemplate that you are coming to the door of the Prophet (s), saying, “I am only a weak servant. Allah said in Holy Qur’an, law annahum idh zhaalamoo anfusahum jaa'ooka.” Like the Bedouin who came to the grave of the Prophet (s) and said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! I didn’t see you in dunya so I am coming to your grave and seeking forgiveness for my sins; forgive me!” and Allah forgave him.

You have to go to that door, to the presence of the Prophet (s), sit by yourself and say, “Yaa Rabbee! I am coming to the door of your beloved Prophet, Sayyidina Muhammad (s). Yaa Sayyidee! Yaa Rasoolullah!” Is he hearing or not? We are saying it from here, “Yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasoolullah! We are sinful servants, ill and full of sicknesses. In your presence we are asking for forgiveness. Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah. Tubna wa rajana `ilayk yaa Rabbana, yaa Rabbana, yaa Rabbana 'ghfir lanaa maa madaa yaa wasi` al-karami, “We have reformed our ways and have returned to You (O Allah); forgive us what preceded, O You, the Most Generous!”

This is what Allah (swt) said you must do, so now that you did your job, the Prophet (s) will ask forgiveness in return. If you don’t go and knock on the door and ask the owner of the house to let you in, then how is he going to open the door? The Prophet (s) is the door to the Presence of Allah (swt)! Say to the Prophet (s), “Yaa Sayyidee! I am full of sins. Astaghfirullah! Astaghfirullah! Astaghfirullah!” Then you will find Allah not only tawwaaban, “Forgiving,” but He also added to that, raheema, “Merciful.”

When you do istighfaar in the presence of the Prophet (s), even if you don’t see the Prophet (s) through your heart, by showing weakness Allah (swt) will show you mercy. He didn’t say how big that mercy is; it might cover the whole universe, but ask! If you go to someone generous and he has a box of dates or chocolates he presents to you, you take one chocolate, and because he is generous and sees that you like chocolate, he will give you the box? But if you give Allah the box (trust in Him), He gives you the whole box! You cannot imagine how big “rahmatullah” is! He will give, so be happy, be reasonable and know that you are a sinner. Don't say, “I am better than you,” or then you fail. Allah (swt) doesn't like arrogant, proud people. People can only be higher from one another in `ibaadah, not in social rank; therefore, your `amal and character must be better.

وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ

Fawqa kulli dhil `ilmin `aleem.

Above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Yusuf, 12:76)

A wali might not have the knowledge of a scholar but the ranking is not by knowledge, it is by ma`rifat. An-nafs, the self, is what makes you higher or lower, and Allah's Heavenly Scale is accurate, more than the delicate jeweler’s scale. When it comes to sins, it might be that awliyaullah or angels can play with it a little to prevent you from facing a problem. That is why Allah (swt) said, “Run to the cave! Allah will spread His mercy to you.” That cave is Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! Run to Muhammad (s) and you will reach the mercy of Allah.

وَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا

Watoo ’l-buyoota min abwaabihaa.

Enter houses through their doors. (al-Baqara, 2:189)

Allah (swt) didn't say to not enter through the doors, but to enter through the door where the Prophet (s) is, which is the door to Allah!

Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.