Suhbah at Private Residence
A'oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Dastoor yaa Sayyidee, madad!
أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
ati`oollaha wa ati`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.
Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (an-Nisa, 4:59)
As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh. I am here as a visitor, not a lecturer, and I might be the most illiterate one among you. I was invited to speak and therefore am obliged to speak advice from the best of suhbats, as the Prophet (s) said, ad-deenu naseeha, “Religion is advice.”
Religion, deen, is not a word that can be explained or expressed in moments. All of us would say, “Our deen is Islam.” It is so simple on the tongue, but so difficult to explain. It took Prophet (s) 23 years to perfect and deliver the message Allah (swt) wanted him to deliver. For example, if I say, “My name is Hisham,” it means I know everything about myself; I remember what I have done of good and bad, and every event that has passed in my life. So when you say, “My deen is Islam,” you must know everything that Prophet (s) taught the Sahaabah (r) in detail; othwerwise, our Islam is missing many factors and elements and is imperfect. We say, “Yaa Rabbee, make our Islam perfect!”
But you are not going to sit in the mosque and say, “Make my Islam perfect,” without trying to learn the message of the Prophet (s) which he delivered in 23 years. Today we are 1433 years after hijrah, and millions of books have been written about our deen and Prophet (s), yet we have been unable to explain all that the Prophet (s) put in the hearts of Sahaabah (r)! Even if we read all these millions of books we would still be ignorant because it is in the Holy Qur’an:
وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ
wa fawqa kulli dhil `ilmin `aleem.
Above knower is (higher) knower. (12:76)
Also, above every knowledge is higher knowledge, because if knowledge were to stop, then it is not within Allah's rights to say that. Knowledge is increasing in every moment and Prophet (s) is ascending as he is still in Mi`raaj. Anyone who says the Mi`raaj finished does not understand the reality of the Prophet (s). “Mi`raaj” means “ascending” and ascensions to `Azhamatallah `Azza wa Jal are non-stop because knowledge is non-stop! How can Allah prohibit or prevent his Prophet (s) to know knowledge that is being created in this moment? Is there knowledge in this moment? “Above every knower there is a (higher) knower,” and there is always higher knowledge, so Allah (swt) will not hide this new knowledge from his Prophet (s), who said, “I have been given the Knowledge of Before and After.”
What does “Before” mean? Does it mean before Sayyidina Adam (a)? We don’t know, the Prophet (s) knows. Allah (swt) is giving to the Prophet (s); He is the Creator and Prophet (s) is the servant. He is giving, and the Prophet (s) is ascending. So when Prophet (s) says, “ad-deenu naseeha,” it doesn’t really mean that religion is advice, it means anything that you have been advised of good is for religion, every action that is performed properly is from the religion. If you don't know the religion but you act properly according to your intelligence, it is Islamic religion as the Prophet (s) said, “ad-deenu naseeha,” meaning, “I am not going to give any bad advice since it is not from religion.”
Allah (swt) said:
فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا
fa alhamahaa fujoorahaa wa taqwaahaa.
He inspired the self of its good and its bad. (Ash-Shams, 91:8)
And He (s) said:
وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللّهُ
ittaqullah wa yu`alimmakumullah.
Fear Allah (swt) and He will teach you. (al-Baqara, 2:282)
He will continuously teach you. So let us ask ourselves, are we being taught heavenly knowledge?
فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا
Fawajadaa `abdan min `ibaadinaa aataynaahu rahmatan min `indinaa wa`allamnaahu min ladunnaa `ilmaa.
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. (al-Kahf, 18:65)
Some knowledge has been taught, but most are still being taught, following in the footsteps of the Prophet (s). Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
qul 'in kuntum tuhibboona Allaha fa `attabi`oonee yuhbibkumu Allahu wa yaghfir lakum dhunoobakum wa Allahu Ghafooru 'r-Raheem.
Say (O Muhammad), "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. ('Ali Imraan, 3:31)
If you are loving Allah (swt), then follow Muhammad (s). It doesn’t mean you love one day and then stop, but that love must be continuous in every moment of your life! Every cell in your body must say, “Allah!”
أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
Alaa bi dhikrillahi tatma'in al-quloob.
Truly in remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquility. (Ar-Ra`d, 13:28)
To be in love is to talk to the one you love, to express your love. There is a kind of love between male and female that, if it ends, is not considered true love. In most marriages love turns into love of family. The real love that began with the love of the boy and the girl slowly decreases and more love goes to the family as a whole, to the children and the wife. But real love is to The One, Ilaahee Anta maqsoodee wa ridaaka matloobee, “O Allah! You are my goal and Your good pleasure is what I seek!”
Prophet (s) reached Qaba Qawsayni aw Adna. You cannot be closer than the Prophet (s). It means you are going to be on that way. We cannot love Allah (swt) the way Prophet (s) does; it is too far, we just cannot. But Allah (swt) is saying, “If you really claim that you love Me, then love My Prophet, follow him and I will love you!” We want the love of Allah (swt), not the love that goes from us to Him, which is only plastic and has no meaning; the real love is what comes from Allah to us! Allah (swt) is saying, “If you claim that you love Me, alright, I am accepting, but follow Muhammad!”
So what does it mean to “follow Muhammad (s)?” What do scholars say? They say it means to follow his sunnah and listen to his naseeha. Yes, that is true. But on a higher level, it means to ascend with him, as he (s) said, itabi`oonee, “Follow me.” He is in ascension, so go behind him and follow. How will you do that? Catch and hold him in order to reach where you want. “And if you follow me, where I go you go, to reach the reality of the Station of Muhabbat, yuhbibkumullah, Allah loves you.” You are holding the hand of the Prophet (s)--his love, his jubbah, any way you want to describe it--then you are going up with him as he approaches nearer and nearer in Qaba Qawsayni aw Adna. That is an ocean of nearness, and he is approaching nearer and Allah (swt) is creating more and more knowledge to give to the Prophet (s), who is giving to awliyaullah!
Thus, ad-deenu naseeha, “Religion is advice,” is to advise what Allah (swt) is opening to you in the Mi`raaj. There are people to whom Allah (swt) manifested light to the vision of their hearts, and they are continuously following Muhammad (s) in his Ascension; their life is Prophet Muhammad (s). “I believe in Allah, His angels, His books, and His prophets...” but that belief has to be expressed with action. So is “ad-deenu naseeha” to advise yourself and myself to follow what the Prophet (s) told us to do? What has he told us? Of course we have to pray and fast, we are not talking about these obligations--you can’t be a Muslim if you don’t pray, fast, pay charity and do Hajj, whoever is able--but you cannot claim you are following the naseeha if you are not stressing one important aspect in Islam, which is what the Prophet (s) mentioned in his hadeeth:
انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق
Innama bu`ithtu li utimu makaarim al-akhlaq.
I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct (to perfect your behavior and character). (Bazzar)
Prophet (s) is saying, “My responsibility and first priority is to make sure that Allah's servants, ummat an-Nabi (s), have good manners and good behavior.” If you don’t have good manners and good behavior, if you have no shyness, then do whatever you like because you are already like a highway robber. If you are not ashamed of anything, do whatever you like because there is no way to correct you. But the Prophet (s) said, “I have been sent to correct, to complete and perfect human behavior.” It means there is one-hundred percent reality that every one of us has the capacity or capability to perfect our manners and behaviors if we are following the advice of the Prophet (s), because he said so!
This means he is saying, “It is my responsibility. I have been given the power that if anyone seeks perfection, I will dress him with it.” There is a word in Arabic used to confirm and restrict; you cannot run out of that circle. Prophet (s) said, “I have encircled; there is no way except to make my ummah perfect and complete in front of its Lord.” Because Prophet (s) knows his ummah is not going to do that, so he asked Allah (swt), “Give me shafa`ah, yaa Rabbee!” Look at the ummah today, we are in great need of his shafa`ah!
So our responsibility is to follow the Prophet (s) and if we follow, Allah loves us. You may follow through prayers or through fasting, but it is not going to be enough. You must remove yourself from bad character and embrace good character. Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur'an:
فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا
fa alhamaha fujooraha wa taqwaha.
He inspired the self of its good and its bad. (Ash-Shams, 91:8)
That does not mean to be good with your family, but at the same time cheat the system and fill your pockets with wealth. Cheating the nation or anything is for the love of your self. Such people think, “I will love myself and leave the rest in pain,” while everyone goes to sleep hungry. The leaders are going to be asked on the Day of Judgment, “Why did this one sleep hungry?”
Awliyaullah are always worried from scolding. There are awliyaullah who can scold anyone, they have permission from the Prophet (s) because when they scold they carry burdens from you. They carry the illness and the responsibility as they have made you upset. So don’t be sad, be happy when the shaykh shouts at you! If you are thrown from the door, come from window. Don’t say, “I am changing shaykhs,” as that is very wrong.
Allah (swt) said, “We don’t send verses of the Holy Qur’an except to frighten people.” It means we make the people afraid and from the secret of that verse, Prophet (s) dressed awliyaullah to scold you, and even then you may not say, “I didn’t do that.” The shaykh knows you didn’t do it, but he wants to carry from you the mistakes you made, and polish and dress you with good manners. And with that scolding the oxidation of the heart will get cleaned, as copper oxidizes when put in sunlight. They take the rust away! So don’t be upset when the shaykh scolds you, but run away when the shaykh praises you! Be careful, there is something hidden there! He is checking your behavior, are you going to behave well or not?
So Allah (swt) wants us to follow Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and Ahlu’l-Abaa, the People of the Cloak, whom Prophet (s) covered. They are Sayyidina `Ali (r), Sayyidah Fatimat az-Zahra (r), Sayyidina al-Hasan (r), and Sayyidina al-Husayn (r). Prophet (s) covered them with his cloak and they are his real Ahlu’l-Bayt. And if you count the letters of their names, Muhammad (s), `Ali (r), Fatimah, Hasan, Husayn, it is nineteen letters. Also “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem” and “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah” have nineteen letters, and there are nineteen angels of the Hellfire. What is the secret behind it? There is big secret there. If you add one and nine, it equals ten. If the zero is placed in front of the number one, it goes back to one, because then the zero has not value and also it is not considered a number. Allahu Akbar! We will leave this for next time.
May Allah (swt) forgive us and bless us. There are big changes and modifications coming. A new era is opening up and many ahadeeth of the Prophet (s) have been realized. So the best for you, and the advice from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and awliyaullah, is to keep to yourself and your family safe. Do not go out on the streets at night, but sit home and remember Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s). Look after yourself, your family, and your children. You should not be concerned with whatever is going on outside. Do not ever get involved in any kind of demonstrations.
Prophet (s) said:
inna bayna yadaya as-sa`at al-layla al-muzhlim.
There is going to be a lot of confusion in the Last Days like chunks of dark nights.
There will come a time of afflictions when one who sits will be better than one who stands, one who stands will be better than one who walks, and one who walks will be better than one who runs. Whoever exposes himself to these afflictions, they will destroy him, so whoever can find a place of protection or refuge from them should take shelter in it. (Narrated by Abu Hurayrah; Bukhari and Muslim)
If you have no work, don’t go out, not even with friends for a cup of coffee or to the movies. This coming year is full of incidents. May Allah (swt) save this country and save all Muslim countries around the world, and all human beings.
May Allah (swt) give us power to follow Prophet (s), the way of his inheritors, and the way of `ulama al-Islam as the Prophet (s) said, “The scholars are on the footsteps of the prophets of Bani Isra`eel.” And so real and sincere`ulama direct you and guide you to sincerity and piety, as we have mentioned, “Religion is advice.”
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.