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My Companions are Like the Stars

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

2 January 2015 Feltham, London, UK

Grand Mawlid at Centre for Spiritual & Cultural Advancement (CSCA)

A'oodhu billah mina 'sh-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.

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

nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta`ala al-`Azheem fee hadha 'l-masjid.

كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ثقيلتان فى الميزان حبيبتان إلى الرحمن سبحان الله و بحمده سبحان الله العظيم

There are two words that are very easy to say, yet very heavy on the Scale, most beloved to The Merciful, “SubhaanAllah wa bihamdihi subhaanAllahi ’l-`Azheem.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

As we said the last three days from Thursday, Friday, Saturday, the Prophet’s presence is for the benefit of the Ummah and without his presence there is no benefit. According to their levels, Awliyaullah are not one, they are 124,000, including 7007 Naqshbandi shaykhs, 313 of which are from a higher level who are at the feet of the 313 Ashaab al-Badr, Sahaabah (r) that were with Prophet (s) at the Battle of Badr on 17th Ramadan. We cannot ignore Awliyaullah, we cannot say ‘there is only us and no one else.’ There were 124,000 Sahaabah (r); you cannot say they aren’t Sahaabah (r)! Prophet (s) gave each Sahaabi something and he raised them according to what he saw of benefit for the Ummah. Some of them memorized the Holy Qur’an, some of them memorized the Holy Hadith, some of them narrated thousands of Ahadith, some of them mentioned 25 Ahadith. It is related that Sayyidina Abu Bakr Siddiq (r), who was the closest to Prophet (s), only narrated 25 Ahadith, because this is what he was ordered to do.

Prophet (s) had meetings and associations with the Sahaabah (r) that they attended or not, depending on their businesses, and travels where the Prophet (s) sent them for da`wah to Yemen and elsewhere. Some of them, like Abu Hurayrah (r), narrated 4,000 Ahadith. We cannot say the one who went to Yemen and educated the people of Yemen but was not with the Prophet (s) is any less important to the Prophet (s) because all of them are jewels, which is why the Prophet (s) said:

صحابي كالنجوم بأيهم اقتديتم اهتديتم

My Companions are like stars (on a dark night); whichever of them you follow, you will be guided.

(`Abd ibn Humayd, ad-Daraqutnee, ibn `Adiyy, ibn `Abd al-Barr,

with unsound chains but the meaning is sound.)

We are studying Islam with non-Muslim professors in universities; they have `ilm, but Allah did not give them guidance. Prophet (s) emphasized, “My Companions are equal in levels, they are like stars,” finished. What kind of stars? He knows better, as-haabee ka ’n-nujoom, what kind of stars? Now we look up at the stars from here and we don't even know ourselves, so how are we going to understand the stars? Grandshaykh (q) said, “Every person has a star in the sky and his name is written on it.” Awliyaullah don't look at you physically, they look at your star and know everything about you from it: what is your purpose, why you have been created, and what you will do in your life. They know everything about you, but they are not allowed to expose it, they keep that knowledge hidden.

وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن الْعِلْمِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

(O Mankind!) Of knowledge, only a little is communicated to you. (Surat al-Isra, 17:85)

When the Prophet (s) says, “My Sahaabah are like stars,” it means they guide you by their Light. To navigate, we find our way by following stars and constellation that lead to the Northern Star, but who is sitting on that guiding star?

وَلِلّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ

Lord of the East and West. (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:115)

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ وَرَبُّ الْمَغْرِبَيْنِ

Lord of the Two Easts and the Two Wests. (Surat ar-Rahman, 55:17)

First Allah (swt) said, “The Lord of the Sunrise and the Lord of the Sunset,” then He said, “Lord of the Two Sunrises and Lord of the Two Sunsets,” and then He said, “Lord of the Sunrises and Sunsets.” Everyone has a sunrise and a sunset: when a soul rises up it enters the womb of its mother and the Prophet (s) knows about it as Allah (swt) informs him because Allah created him first. Lord of the Two Risings of the Soul and Lord of the Two Settings of the Soul, and any of His Creation has life in it, which is why Awliyaullah are stunned, astonished. What can they do? They cannot do anything without Allah's permission: they see the Realities, but don't interfere.

However, Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (q) interfered once and when he was leaving dunya he saw the consequences of that interference: he kept falling from his deathbed.

He interfered one time: when there was a drought in his country and no wheat crops, all the mureeds, his followers in Bukhara came to him and said, “Yaa Sayyidee, no one has any food due to the drought, so can you make du`a?”

He said to the richest one in the village, “If you have any grain, bring it to me.”

That one brought a handful of grain. In that time, they ground grain on a mill pulled by two oxen. Shah Naqshband (q) put his head in the bridle and began grinding the handful of grain, which turned to flour, [and more and more flour came pouring out of the mill, even though the first handful was finished]. He said, “I give you permission from now until sunset to take from this flour,” and the people were able to fill all their bags and their homes. I was going to speak about Sultan al-Dhikr, but the suhbat has been directed to go this way instead.

According to Grandshaykh (q), Shah Naqshband (q) said he would ask permission from the Prophet (s) to intercede for the Ummah. That is only one high-level Wali from 124,000 Awliya. You cannot find such Awliya today. Grandshaykh said when he was born, his mother and father were surprised because the whites of his eyes were bright white and the pupils were very black and constantly turning so the white covered the black and the black covered the white, from the time of his birth until he left dunya. He tried to preserve the power of his eyes, not like people today who look at everything, clean and unclean. Today too many insist they are Awliya! Yes, perhaps, by barakah of the shaykh you are a Wali, but Wilayah is not so easy. You can be a Wali from Awliyaullah, because, as I said, when a Wali gives you permission to lead dhikr, for sure he supports you and he gives some secrets and power to manage the mureeds and tell them stories and to teach them, but not Sirr al-`Azham: that secret is not in the hands of children, and all of us are children. Such power need rijaal Allah, real men (and women).

So when Shah Naqshband (q) was born, he completed the khalwah in the womb of his mother for nine months and ten days and avoided seeing any haraam from the time of his birth, keeping his eyes pure. We are quoting Grandshaykh (q), not another guide: we quote from our sanad (silsila, chain) from the shaykh we lean on. One must have a strong sanad all the way from the Prophet (s) for Hadith to be accepted. Also in Tariqah we have sanad to tell a story passed down from generation to generation, so when Grandshaykh (q) tells a story it is 100% correct.


One time Grandshaykh `AbdAllah, may Allah bless his soul, showed me Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (q) in his house in Sham. Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (q) was sitting with Grandshaykh (q), then I came and Grandshaykh (q) said it is Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (q), who was just leaving. He is not so tall and not so short. He has silver teeth and a long, wide beard that you can see from behind him. He said from birth he covered his eyes so as not to see any haraam, because on Judgment Day he will let the Light of his sainthood that he preserved pure and clean go out like when a laser ray, it zooms very sharp, you see it continuing. On Yawm al-Mahshar, the Day of Resurrection, the Light of his eyes will cover human beings, Ummat an-Nabi (s), going out from his right eye and returning to his left eye. [It goes out from his right eye and from there] it will go straight as long as Allah wants it to go and then turn as long as Allah wants it to turn and go to his right eye. All those under that Light will fill four Paradises, that is what one wali can do!

On the Day of Promises, the Prophet (s) asked for helpers and Allah gave him 124,000 Prophets and on their footsteps 124,000 Awliya and with that light Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (q) will fill four Paradises. Grandshaykh (q) said the Lights of the rest of the Awliyaullah will fill the rest of Paradises and then the Prophet (s) will intercede to purify the Ummah, then he (s) will send what Allah has given to him to Paradise.

Allah gave the power to fill four Paradise to Shah Naqshband (q), but once he interfered in something and Allah punished him. Why? Imagine the greatness of Shah Naqshband (q), the whole Tariqah is named for him! Previously it was called ‘Siddiqiyya’ and ‘Tayfouriyya’, but when called ‘Naqshbandiyya’ it became the Most Distinguished Tariqah, although the other Tariqahs are correct, but Naqshbandi Tariqah takes from the Prophet (s) through two sides: from Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) and from Sayyidina `Ali (r).

The incident was when Shah Naqshband (q) replaced the ox and turned the mill himself to grind the wheat and then he left. On his deathbed, when Allah ordered Malak al-Mawt Azra`eel (r) to take his soul, he fell from the bed and was crawling on his chest, saying, “Yaa `Afoow, yaa `Afoow, yaa `Afoow! O Forgiver! O Forgiver! Forgiver!”

His students witnessed this and said, “O our shaykh! You are a Wali and your sins are waived by dhikrullah of ‘laa ilaaha illa-Llah’ and you gave your life to teach the Ummah, so why are you falling?”

Shah Naqshband (q) did not answer and kept crawling on his chest, saying, “Yaa `Afoow, yaa `Afoow, yaa `Afoow!”

Then the Divine Message came to him, "Why did you interfere in My Qudrah, Iradatee, My Will, and give grain through a miraculous way? You did not take permission from the Prophet (s) or from Me! My Will was to give them difficulty to see who can carry it and keep his prayers correctly. You interfere and now you are making istighfaar and I will forgive you, but tell all Awliyaullah after you not to interfere in Allah's Will!”

That is why Awliyaullah never interfere in Allah's Way. Why is Naqshbandiyya known as at-Tariqat Naqshbandiyya al-`Aliyya, The Most Distinguished Tariqah? Because the Awliyaullah of this Way are not allowed to use their miraculous power, they are allowed to pray and heal through prayer but not through miracles.

One time I asked Mawlana (q), “Why don't you cure that ill person (in the family), why don't you use your power?”

He said, “If I cure that family member, then (to be just) I must also use that power to cure every other sick person, I cannot cure one and leave the others. No, Allah does not say ‘this is family and this is not family,’ it must be for everyone.”

Shah Naqshband (q) was falling off the bed, saying, “Yaa `Afoow, yaa `Afoow, yaa `Afoow,” for a good deed, when he performed the miracle. Allah (swt) also made Awliyaullah like stars in the sky: He gave Sahaabah (r) to the Prophet (s) and He gave Awliyaullah on the feet of the Sahaabah (r) for us to be guided, as the Prophet (s) said, “My Companions are like stars (on a dark night).”Awliya are also like stars, not like the Sahaabah (r) but in their capacity. Prophet (s) said whichever one you follow you will be guided, he did not say follow ‘that one’, he said ‘whichever one you follow you will be guided’. So any mureed of a Wali can be a guide, he or she is carrying a secret. Why do people like Naqshbandi Tariqah and any others? Every Tariqah has thousands of branches with their own fruit and all of them are sweet, not sour! Otherwise, the Prophet (s) would have said, “My khalifahs are my stars.” He has four khalifahs, but he said, “My Companions are like stars,” which means there are many.

In Pakistan and India, how many people follow Chishti Tariqah? You cannot say their Awliya have no power: their power attracts millions of people to their shrines, they are alive in the Presence of Allah (sw), provided with spiritual provisions.

بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

No, they live, finding their sustenance provided in the Presence of their Lord. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:169)

You cannot deny that! Whichever of them you follow, you will be guided. So when Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) appointed a representative, they must have a secret because Awliyaullah only appoint by permission of the Prophet (s), not by permission of people. It might be they carry a candle or a match, but at least it gives Light to three to four people and that is okay; the other one might give Light to ten people and another may give to a thousand people, but all of them, wa kullun min rasoolullah multamisan, all of them are taking from the Prophet (s), so you cannot deny that! That is why Allah (swt) said about Awliyaullah:

أولياء الله تحت قبابي لا يعلمهم غيري

My saints are under My domes; no one knows them except Me. (Hadith Qudsi)

You don't need recognition from people; it might be someone in the corner is a Wali, but you think you are the Wali, like Sayyidina `Ubaydullah al-Ahrar (q), buried in Samarqand. He said, “Before I die, take my turban and call all the big representatives, my khulafaa.” Sayyidina Khalid al-Baghdadi (q) had 299 khulafaa and all of them have secrets. Our Naqshbandi Golden Chain goes through him.

Sayyidina `Ubaydullah (q) said, “Take my turban, throw it up in the air and whoever's head it lands on is my khalifah. Do that before you bury me.” So his khalifahs assembled and sat on cushions, not on the floor as they were big khalifahs, and they threw his turban up in the air and it circumambulated them several times, and came to the door where one person who always polished the mureed’s shoes sat, and it landed on his head! Grandshaykh (q) said when Sayyidina `Ubaydullah’s turban was circling his khulafaa, they tried to raise their heads (so they would be chosen) and he always laughed when he said that. The turban went to the one shining the shoes once, twice, then a third time it went to the same person and before they could again throw the turban in the air a fourth time, Sayyidina `Ubaydullah (q) said from his deathbed, “That is enough! That is the one I have chosen!” No one knew him, but he was a big `alim of Shari`ah and Tariqah.

أولياء الله تحت قبابي لا يعلمهم غيري

My saints are under My domes; no one knows them except Me. (Hadith Qudsi)

We don't know where the secret is, so our duty is to say, Amanaa wa sadaqnaa, “We hear and we obey,” to give respect, not expect respect.

فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ

Don’t praise yourself. (Surat an-Najm, 53:32)

Don't build your ego, it will take you to Hellfire, so kill your ego, like Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) when Allah made the fire cool for him:

قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ

O fire! Be cool and peaceful on Ibrahim. (Surat al-Anbiyaa, 21:69)

Had Allah (swt) said ‘bardan’ without ‘salaama’ Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) would have been frozen, but immediately Allah said, ‘salaama’ making it a cool breeze inside a big fire. Today we are inside a big fire, all dunya is in a big fire and Awliyaullah trained us through their love to be able to pass through that fire by following the Hadith of the Prophet (s):

عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى الْأَشْعَرِيِّ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : " إِنَّ بَيْنَ يَدَيِ السَّاعَةِ فِتَنًا كَقِطَعِ اللَّيْلِ الْمُظْلِمِ يُصْبِحُ الرَّجُلُ فِيهَا مُؤْمِنًا وَيُمْسِي كَافِرًا ، وَيُمْسِي مُؤْمِنًا وَيُصْبِحُ كَافِرًا ، الْقَاعِدُ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْقَائِمِ ، وَالْمَاشِي فِيهَا خَيْرٌ مِنَ السَّاعِي ، فَكَسِّرُوا قِسِيَّكُمْ وَقَطِّعُوا أَوْتَارَكُمْ وَاضْرِبُوا سُيُوفَكُمْ بِالْحِجَارَةِ ، فَإِنْ دُخِلَ يَعْنِي عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْكُمْ فَلْيَكُنْ كَخَيْرِ ابْنَيْ آدَمَ " .

Before the Hour comes, there will be a tribulation like patches of dark night. A man will get up a Believer and go to sleep an unbeliever, or will go to sleep a Believer and wake up an unbeliever. The one who sits at that time will be better than one who stands and the one standing will be better than the one walking and the one walking will be better than one running. Break your bows, cut their strings and strike your swords against stones. If someone comes to kill any of you, then be like the better of the two sons of Adam. (Narrated Abu Musa al-Ash`aree, Abu Dawud, ibn Majah)

It means don't interfere! In Tariqah, don't interfere regarding who is who and for Shari`ah don't be like crazy ones who are killing people: try to kill your ego! Say, “Allah”, wa dharhum fee khawdihim yal`aboon, as Allah (swt) said to the Prophet (s) in Holy Qur'an:

قُلِ الله ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

Say "Allah," then leave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling. (Surat al-An`am, 6:91)

You are doing dhikrullah in one masjid, now try to do it in two, and if doing in two do in three, and if doing in three do in four! Before he left dunya, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) told me, "Hisham, try put forty mosques, buy churches and make them into mosques, and I want a zawiya on every corner." That is according to the Hadith of the Prophet (s):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مررتم برياض الجنة فارتع. قالو وما رياض الجنة؟ قال "حلق الذكر"

Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet (s) said: "When you pass by the Gardens of Paradise, avail yourselves of them." The Companions asked: "What are the Gardens of Paradise, O Messenger of Allah?" He replied: "The circles of dhikr.” (Tirmidhi)

“When you pass by Gardens of Heaven,” so make your stores, shops, homes a Garden of Paradise and don't concern yourselves with those who [do otherwise]. As-sulhu khayr, peace is goodness, which means reconciliation is better; you are not losing anything when you reconcile as you step on your ego!

May Allah (swt) forgive us and bless us for the sake of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and Awliyaullah, all of them! May Allah bless you and we thank you for coming and we will see you next time, if Allah wishes. Dunya is not going to last forever, Signs of the Last Days have appeared, we are now in them, so do your duty and most important, don't backbite as the Prophet (s) said:

عن‏ ‏أبي هريرة ‏ ‏رضي الله عنه ‏أن رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قال‏ ‏إياكم والظن فإن الظن أكذب الحديث ولا تحسسوا ولا تجسسوا ولا ‏‏تناجشوا ‏ ‏ولا تحاسدوا ولا تباغضوا ولا تدابروا وكونوا عباد الله إخوانا.

Beware of suspicion for it is the worst of false tales, and don't look for the other's faults, and don't spy and don't falsely inflate prices and don't envy each other and don't hate each other, and don't desert (cut your relations with) one another. O Allah's slaves! Be brothers! (Narrated by Abu Hurayrah. Bukhari)

Then we will be saved. How are we losing, not losing anything? Let us not speak ill of this person and that person, let us enjoy one another’s company. I don’t want to say this, but Grandshaykh (q) said if you drop one slander you will be rewarded as if you completed the worship of ad-Dahr, all Mankind! To drop one sin is better than completing all prayers, worship, because it is stepping on your ego!

May Allah bless us and make us all together, united.

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


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