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Hierarchy of Saints Series, Vol 24

Maqaam al-Ikhlaas, the Level of Sincerity

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

5 September 2010 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Ramadan Series 2010

Allahuma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad. Salloo `alayh. Say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah!

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`ala fee haadha 'l-masjid.

Nawayna as-siyaam, insha-Allah.

Ati`ullaha wa ati`u 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (4:59)

As we said before, the heart that keeps declaring and manifesting the Oneness of Allah (swt), Maqaam at-Tawheed, that person and that heart will make his Shaytan exhausted. And the one who is always associating himself with Allah (swt), who whatever he does of good he says, "I did that, I gave money, I gave a donation for Pakistan." It is as if Pakistan became a commercial for everything, for violence, for disasters. I don't know what is happening in Pakistan. It might be there are too many mushriks there, too many people calling people to themselves. There is too much black magic there! I didn't see a Pakistani that didn't say, "I have black magic." It is rare to find someone who doesn't have black magic, like in Kenya, Ghana, Indonesia, etc., all these countries have black magic. May Allah take away that black magic! It is worthless when they use it on human beings. Black magic is really Shaytan preventing you from declaring tawheed. So the one who is prevented from tawheed will be exhausted by Shaytan. So what do you need? You need sincerity. When we have sincerity then we are going to throw out Shaytan from our hearts. And how you can achieve sincerity?

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

Yaa ayyuhal-ladheena aamanoo ittaqoollah wa koonoo ma` as-saadiqeen.

O you who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are pious (in word and deed). (at-Tawbah 9:119)

Those who have taqwa, what is Allah telling them? You must have taqwa, otherwise it is a waste of time. "Taqwa" is sincerity. When you have taqwa, He allows you to be with trustworthy people to take you forward. So be with these trustworthy people, who kept their covenant with Allah and never changed.

So taqwa is to be steadfast, and we are struggling with that. How do we achieve ikhlaas? In the Holy Qur'an there is a chapter, "al-Ikhlaas" that begins with, Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad. If you want to achieve sincerity, read Ikhlaas Shareefah. That is why awliyaullah order their followers to it read Surat al-Ikhlaas one-hundred to one-thousand times daily. When someone has a problem and I say, "Read yaa Fattah 100 times," they say, "daily?" What do you mean? Do you want it monthly or yearly? It is too much for them! We are busy. In what? Busy in business. So read Surat al-Ikhlaas, it will become manifest in you. When you are coming to Allah reciting Surat al-Ikhlaas, do you think that Allah will throw you out? If someone is knocking at your door and you say, "I am not answering," if that person is persistant, what will you do eventually? You open the door; either you shout at him or you welcome him. Allah is not like us. His door is from east to west, and if you want to go out, there is no way. That 'exit' is like a the eye of a needle! Then He will manifest on you the barakah of the holy Surat al-Ikhlaas.

But Shaytan makes us unaware of Surat al-Ikhlaas. If you go to a rich man, or a president or king, they give you medallions, showing you his generosity, by giving a medallion. You come a second time, he gives another medallion. You come a third time, he might not invite you again. When you make salaam to Prophet (s), he will answer you with a better salaam. Whoever makes one salawaat on Prophet (s), Allah makes ten salawaat on that person. Allah's salawaat on that person is far greater, that there is no description of it! The Sahaabah (r) used to pass by Prophet (s) and say, "As-salaamu `alayk, yaa Rasoolullah," and he replied, "Wa `alaykum as-salaam wa rahmatullah, yaa `abdAllah!" And then that Sahaabi (r) would pass another time and get another salaam from Prophet (s). Sahaabah used to show that sincerity by sending salaam on Prophet (s). And we are sending salaam on Prophet (s) from here, as-salaatu was-salaam `alayk, yaa Rasoolullah (s)! Do you think Prophet (s) is not answering? Of course he is! There are about 100 people here. So ten multiplied by 100 equals 1,000. Each one will get 1,000 hasanaat. And if there are 5,000 people you will get 50,000 hasanaat. If you want to get that benefit, go to Indonesia, where there are at least 5,000 to 10,000 attendees at every mosque!

So whoever comes with sincerity, with qul Huwa Allahu Ahad, the door is open. Sincerity is the pulp of all sayings and actions, af`al. That is the secret and the main seed of sincerity. It is the fruit that has the qushra, shell, of your sayings and your actions. The indication of sincerity is what appears or manifests through your sayings, what you speak and how you act. If you speak well and are respectful to everyone, that indicates sincerity. Sincerity is to be patient with the one you don't like, with whom you can never meet eye to eye, and that is very difficult. There it shows sincerity, as he is Allah's servant also. Allah sent him as a test for you to see how you are going to take it.

To save the fruit you need the shell, and to save your sincerity, you need a shell which are the actions and sayings. Whatever is inside manifests in the shell. If the fruit inside is rotten, then the shell is finished as well. So the shell must not be rotten, meaning, your actions and saying must be of a higher level. How do you speak to someone important? Very nicely, so that you can attract them towards you. How do you speak to Allah and then to Prophet (s)? It is important to stand when Prophet (s) is being mentioned. Here we would be standing and sitting without end, but people are not accustomed to it.Therefore, stand in your heart. People ask me, "Is there a problem? Why are these people standing and sitting?" What should I say? So, be normal.

Sincerity is the fruit, and if there is no sincerity, then what do you have inside? What do you do with a dry shell? You don't throw it; it is something important. What you do with it? You burn it. Burn your bad actions and your bad sayings. Punishment is to clean and Hellfire is to burn bad actions and to keep the pulp clean. Try to throw away your bad actions and bad sayings from yourself.

Listen, O Believer! O Muwwahid! Allah said in the Holy Qur'an:Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا

rabbul-maashriqi wal-maaghrib fattakhidh-hu wakeel.

(He is) Lord of the East and the West. There is no god but He. Take Him therefore (as your) Disposer of Affairs. (al-Muzzammil, 73:9)

Be careful, He is the Creator of East and West, but there is a meaning here. Yes, He is the Creator of the beginning of the sunrise, shawaariq al-anwaar, the rising lights. He is the Creator of the rising lights and Creator of the setting lights. But it is immediately followed by la ilaha illa-Huwa, bringing your attention to what is much deeper. La ilaha illa-Llah means, "There is no Creator except Allah." la ilaha ill-Huwa means, "There is no Creator except the Unknown Essence." That is `ism adh-Dhaat, which is qul Huwa, before "Allah," meaning, "more Unknown." So if He is Lord of East and West, then He is the One that is Unknown. Even the light of east and west goes down, but His Essence is Unknown. And then He said:

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ وَرَبُّ الْمَغْرِبَيْنِ فَبِأَيِّ آلَاء رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ

Rabbu 'l-mashriqayn wa 'l-maghribayn, fa bi ayyi `aalaai rabbikuma tukkadhibaan.

(He is) Lord of the two Easts and Lord of the two Wests. Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny? (ar-Rahman, 55:17-18)

"He is the Lord of the two Easts and the two Wests." Why are you lying on Allah? Is there more than one east and more than one west, is there more than one sun? Yes, it must be, or else He would not say it in the Holy Qur'an! Rabbul-mashaariq wal-maghaarib, "He is the Lord of the Easts (plural) and Lord of the Wests (plural)." There is no end to easts; in every moment He is creating easts. There are infinite numbers of easts and wests. So to accept you, you have to say, "la ilaha illa-Huwa." Awliyaaullah order those who are more in seniority, to recite 100 to1,000 times Laa ilaaha illa -Huwa after laa ilaaha illa-Llah. And that is why in baya` we recite Allahu, Allahu, Allahu Haqq, to enter that ocean of The Unknown.

When He said, Rabbu 'l-mashriq wa 'l-maghrib, "Lord of the East and the West," what does it mean? Allah is Noor-us-samawaati wal-`ard, the rising sun that shines over everything. That is why we were explained in previous sessions about shawaariq al-anwaar, when you throw away all these veils and the dust that prevents you from receiving the rising lights. Come to Him with nothing, then you will receive these rising lights and they will manifest in your heart!

Who is The One to Whom all the Lights of all the Names and Attributes are manifested? It is the Prophet (s)! He is Mashriq (east) and Maghrib (west) that is rising all the time and downloading all these Names and Attributes. One of his names is al-Mashriq and al-Maghrib, because Allah said, rabbu 'l-mashriq; that is where all rising lights come from. That is because Allah is his Lord and that is why He raised Prophet's name with His.

Then what about Rabbu 'l-mashriqayn wa 'l-maghribayn? That has no shareek, no associate to Allah. He is the Lord of Prophet (s), Sultan al-Anbiyaa (s), and Sultan al-Awliyaa. That is the indication of the one who receives directly from the Prophet (s) and gives guidance to the ummah. And that is also an indication that Allah gives to the beloved Prophet (s), one who is Sultan al-Awliyaa. Fa bi ayyi `alaa rabbikuma tukhadhbaan, so who gave you permission to say, no? He is al-Mashriqayn and al-Maghribayn.

Muhiyyudeen ibn al-`Arabi (q) said, "The presence of Sultan al-Awliyaa is always facing the Prophet (s) to receive directly from him." What about the Creator of Easts and Wests? That means He is the Lord of all awliyaa that He gave to Prophet (s). They are shawaariq al-anwaar, spotlights moving in this universe, bringing the kernel of sincerity, lubb al-ikhlaas. When they carry that sincerity, they become ayah min ayaatullah, a sign from Allah's Signs.

One of Shaykh Sharafuddin's (q) names was "ayaatun min ayaatullah tamshi `ala al-`ard". When you enter these oceans you find yourself saying, "What I am doing here?" That is why most awliyaa are waiting for the day when Allah calls them to the Divine Presence. When we know that Allah mentioned Prophet (s) as mashriq and maghrib, as mashriqayn and maghribayan, and as mashaariq and maghaarib, then we know there is no way to be sincere except through him. So we have to be always knocking on the door, calling, "Yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasoolullah!" But don't come alone; bring someone with you. If you come alone, they will not open because there is no sincerity in you. You have to bring someone that is accepted, a means, wasilah, vehicle. If you bring your shaykh with you, for sure he has more access than you. When he says, "As-salaamu `alayk yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasoolullah!" it is different from when we say it. He says it with sincerity, so then they will open the door. For those with no sincerity, they will get rewarded, but the door might not open. You must keep saying it every day and you must not get tired; keep knocking.

"Enter houses through their proper doors." Who are the doors? They are awliyaaullah. Prophet (s) said:

انا مدينة العلم و علي بابها

'Ana Madinatul-`ilmi wa `Aliyyun baabuha.

I am the city of knowledge and `Ali is its door.

Sayyidina `Ali (q) is the door. In every time, there is an inheritor for Sayyidina `Ali (q). So come with him and then you see the city. Who did Prophet (s) take with him as a companion in his migration? He took Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r). There was never a moment that he was away from Prophet (s). Therefore, he is always inside the city not outside. Inside you will find another door for you to be sure you are in the presence of Prophet (s). That is why the Naqshbandi Order is called The Golden Chain, it comes from two great humans that are with Prophet (s). Sayyidina `Umar (r) and Sayyidina `Uthman (r) are also among the greatest Sahaabah (r), but they have other assignments, other things to do. The Naqshbandi Tariqah connects these two sources in Sayyidina Jafar as-Sadiq (q). When we come with these two sources, then Shaytan becomes exhausted. When that happens, dunya comes to you. But right now, we are slaves to dunya. We are running after work, after dunya.

Indama tatajarrad min tabi`ati nafsak al-haywaaniyya, "When you strip from yourselves your animal characteristics and from wujood al-imkaani, from the possibilities of your existence, then you can come to al-wujood al-jam`i, the collective existence. When you leave the indi existence, you will be with collective existence of awliyaa and Prophets in the Divine Presence, al-wujood al-imkaani la qeema lahu, the existence of possibilities has no value. Al-wujood al-ilaahi lahu kullu qeemah... ma`rifat ul-qaaree, the Divine Existence that is a very precious ocean that has endless depth. You can dive and dive, and still it is as if you didn't dive at all. That is why laa ilaaha illa-Llah takes you to wujood ilahi, the Real Existence. In dunya if you say laa ilaaha illa anaa, and this is our actions that proves we are saying that "There is no god except me." That is not going to take you anywhere, dunya will become your master and you will become slave to dunya. When you say laa ilaaha illa-Llah, then dunya will become slave to you. Say it with sincerity and Allah will open to your heart.

May Allah forgive us and may Allah bless us and we will continue next time.

Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.