Manchester United Football Club, Old Trafford
4 February 2010 Manchester, UK
Recitation of Holy Qur'an.
JazakAllah khayr, ahsant, barakAllahu feek. My lords, ladies and gentleman, as-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi ta`ala wa barakaatuh. Today, we're all gathered here at the invitation of His Eminence, Shaykh Hisham al-Kabbani, qaddas Allahu il `Ali, who is a great Sufi Master, as you all know. ... I would like to welcome right at the beginning, an imaam who has been recognized by the Royal Household and has been given an honor by the queen herself, one of the most active Sufi imaams in the UK who has been working tirelessly for the unification of Muslims throughout the UK. Prior to the guest's arrival, we have a video of His Eminence, Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani, for all the attendees and the guests to hear. I would like the technical team to prepare for the airing of the video and I'm sure each and every one of you will listen attentively to the message that the grandshaykh gives today.
Message from Sultan al-Awliya Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani (recorded):
O our beloved and respected attendees! We are coming to speak some words for this assembly for this management. (...inaudible...) thinking a good thing about such a weak servant, and that is an honor granted from you to such a weak servant. But you are giving respect to me and I am asking from my Lord to grant to you heavenly respect. There is a hadith, a holy saying from Holy Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Sayyidina Rasoolullah (s), man lam yashkuri 'n-naas, lam yashkurillah, "Those who are not thanking people are not thanking their Lord." It is an order if a person does something well, to say for him, "Thank you, shukran." And here, this assembly through the efforts of His Highness, Prince Charles, thanks to him also. May Allah (swt) grant him much honor for here and Hereafter.
If I was able to go there with my physical being, I would be running, but now I am reaching up to 90 years old; therefore, I am apologizing to His Highness that I am not able to come for such a respected assembly. May Allah grant them high stations through heavens! I am nothing, but if the Lord of Heavens wants to grant someone something, He may do that. I can't come with my physical being, but I don't say that my spiritual being is not there, for it must be with you; only with my material being it is difficult for me to be with you. I am thanking you that you invited me! I am asking forgiveness for me and for you. SubhaanAllah, Absolute Glory is for our Lord. Thank you for listening. If you are sending some halwa (sweets), I am ready to eat also! (laughter) As-salaamu`alaykum!
Mashaa-Allah. We would like to pray for the long life of His Eminence, Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani (q). Ladies and gentlemen, jazaakAllah, please be seated, thank you. I would now like to invite on the stage one of the most active Sufi imaams in the UK, whose tireless work has been recognized by the Royal Household. Initially, as a young student he studied Arabic Islamic Studies at al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. He was awarded "Member of the British Empire" for his many services to the Muslim community, in January 2008. He runs his own supplementary school for young British Muslims. He also holds the post of Director of Engagement. Imaam Chisti is a very active person in interfaith work and was recently appointed Chair of the Rochdale Multi-Faith Partnership. I would like to invite him on stage and address the gathering with his speech. Thank you.