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Neither Heavens nor Earth Can Contain “Laa ilaha ill ‘Llah”

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

5 March 2011 Burton, Michigan

Suhbah at As-Siddiq Mosque

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.

Ati`oollaha wa ati`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

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

Allahumma salli wa salllim wa baarik `ala Sayyidina Muhammad (s) wa `ala alihi wa sahbihi ajma`een.

Allah (swt) said in His noble Book:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

inna-Llaha wa malaa'ikatahu yusalloona `ala 'n-nabi, yaa ayyuhal-ladheena aamanoo salloo `alayhi was sallimoo tasleemaa.

Verily, Allah and His angels send praise on the Prophet. O Believers! Pray upon him and greet him. (al 'Ahzaab, 33:56)

“Inna” is for ta'keed, a confirmation that Allah and His angels are praising the Prophet (s). No one can elevate or raise themselves, but the ego, with all its bad desires and tricks, tries its best to tell you otherwise. It says to you, “You are the best and the greatest,” is it not? You know the ego is tricking you when it gives you a title that does not belong to you. Who can give a title to someone? No one can give a title to themselves or anyone else, because if it is not coming from Allah (swt), these dunya titles have no importance!

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَإِن تُطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَا يَلِتْكُم مِّنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Qaalati 'l-A`araabu aamannaa qul lam tu'minoo wa laakin qooloo aslaamnaa wa lammaa yadkhuli 'l-imaanu fee quloobikum wa in tutee`oollaaha wa rasoolahu laa yalitkum min `aamaalikum shayan innAllaaha Ghafoorun Raheem.

The Arabs declare, "We believe." Say (to them), "You do not. Rather say, 'We submit,' because belief has not yet found its way into your hearts. If you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not reduce a thing from your deeds. Allah is the Oft-Forgiving and the Most Merciful." (49:14)

So don’t say, “we believe,” say, “we became Muslim, we are not believers yet, until imaan has entered our hearts.” But how will you know imaan has entered your heart, who will tell you? Me, you, or someone else? No! It has to be from Allah (swt). Today people are making fake titles for themselves and we are seeing many of them fall down one by one in the Middle East. Why is it happening there? Because it is the Holy Land of prophethood; all prophets came from that area. So everyone who gave titles to themselves are now falling.

Who can give titles? Only Allah (swt), and He did not give titles to anyone except Sayyidina Muhammad (s). He didn’t say to anyone else, “You are `Abd Allah.” Sayyidina 'Isa (a) called himself “`Abd Allah.”

qaala innee `abdAllahi ataaniyya’l kitaaba wa ja`alanee nabiyya.

He said, “Behold, I am a servant of God. He has vouchsafed unto me revelation and made me a prophet. (al-Maryam, 19:30)

But Allah gave Sayyidina Muhammad (s) the true title of “`abdAllah.” Allah is saying, yaa ayyuhal-ladheena aamanoo salloo `alayh, “Me and My angels are sending praise on the Prophet (s)!” He gave him the title, “Praised One.” No one is praised except the Prophet (s) as Allah (swt) raised him. You cannot say “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” without saying “Muhammadun Rasoolullah.” You may say “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” millions of times, but you will not be rewarded until you say, “Muhammadun Rasoolullah.” One cannot become a Muslim unless they declare “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” followed by “Muhammadun Rasoolullah.” This way, Allah is giving greatness to Prophet (s). People don’t give the right to the Prophet (s). They say, “He was simply a postman who came, gave the message, and left.” What is this stupidity? Your Prophet (s) is your hero! You must praise him to show that he is our hero and the role model for human beings.

So we have confirmed now that without saying “Muhammadun Rasoolullah,” you cannot be a Muslim. Therefore, we have to say “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah.”

It is said, Laa ilaaha illa-Llah hadha al-ismil `azham alladhee hasala bihi al-fadal, wa law qaala biha mukallaf wa lam yutimma `amdan faqad kafar, “If one says ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah’ without intentionally saying ‘Muhammadun Rasoolullah,’ that is an indication of kufr (unbelief) in their heart.” Although whoever says ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah’ will enter Paradise, your heart must be engraved by ‘Muhammadun Rasoolullah’.

Shaykh Ahmad Zayn-ad’Dahlan is a very famous scholar from the early 20th century who wrote many books such as As-Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, the first book we translated to English. In his book Taqreebu’l Usool, he wrote that Muhammad bin `Ali Tirmidhi said, “Allah's servant will come on the Day of Judgment looking at the Scale, because Allah is going to judge everyone according to what they did, and he will not see “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” in the Balance. So then the servant will ask, "Where is it? I used to recite “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah” all my life, but I cannot see it. Where is it? Because it will make my `amal (good deeds) strong.”

You have to know that Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah is going to save you from punishment on the Day of Judgment! That is why it is imperative to keep reciting Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah as much as we can, as it will disable Shaytan from moving. But on the Day of Judgment when you look for it you will not find it. Why? Allah’s servant will ask, “Yaa Rabbee, laa ajidhou fee meezaanee, “Where is it, I can’t find it in my Scale?” And then a voice comes and says to him, “Yaa `abdee, Laa ilaaha illa-Llah is not something easy. It is the difference between belief and unbelief, maa bayn al-kufri wal-imaan. It is not something that has no power, rather is something very heavy. Not everyone can carry it. Even the Balance that can contain the entire Heavens and Earth is on one side.”

And that is what we are seeing. Earth is not even a dot in our solar system; the Balance is bigger than Earth, our galaxies and the entire universe, because it can take it like a ring in a desert. In fact, it can take much more than that.

Do not think Allah is not going to reward Muslims and mu’min. A Muslim may not be a mu’min, but a mu’min is a Muslim. One can be a Muslim by saying, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah,” but they might still drink acohol or be involved in other such activities. This whole universe can go on one side of the Balance and might even disappear. So don’t think Allah is not going to reward Muslims. Just one declaration of “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah” is going to give you unlimited rewards as it is bigger then the whole Balance. The Balance is like a pin in the desert in comparison to Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah, and the universe is like pin in the desert in comparison to the Balance.

So they will say, “How can a created Balance hold something that is Uncreated? Allah is Uncreated and He creates. The Balance is created, but Laa ilaaha illa-Llah is not created. It is Allah's confirmation, negating and confirming that there is no Creator except Allah. Allahu Akbar!

The voice will come and say, Laa yas`uha ’l-meezan, “The Balance cannot contain it,” which is created. The universe is also created, so it too cannot contain La ilaaha illa-Llah. The Heavens is also created. That means that the one who says, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah,” is above Heavens. Idha nazalat fee 'l-majlis imma yadhak aw yabqee, “When the manifestation comes on the gathering, there may be a tajalli of laughing or crying. Right now we are laughing, this is a tajalli of mercy.

Thus, neither Heavens nor Earth can contain Laa ilaaha illa-Llah. And the proof is in what Prophet (s) said, “subhaanAllah wa bihamdihi tamlau ’l-meezaan,” which is what you say in sajdah. In ruk`u you say, subhaanAllahil-`azheem wa bihamdihi, and in sajdah, subhaanAllah Rabbee al-`ala wa bi hamdih. Why does it change in sajdah from ruk`u? It is to tell you that He is the Most High, so give Him a prostration. Thus, in prostration you must remember that Allah is the Highest and you are the lowest. The lowest makes sajdah to Highest, and no one on Earth is high. That is why Prophet (s) said, “The most lovely time is when Allah calls me`abd.”

SubhaanAllah, look at how great Islam is; it teaches humbleness. Sayyidina Adam, Sayyidina Nuh, Sayyidina Ibrahim, Sayyidina Musa, Sayyidina `Isa (a) through Sayyidina Muhammad (s), hence, all prophets are happy to say, “I am a servant.” Servanthood teaches you humbleness. Whoever denies this shows arrogance. They humiliated Sayyidina `Isa (a) in front of His Lord by saying, “You are the son of God.”

It is said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَإِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ

wa idh qaal Allahu yaa `Isaa ‘bna maryam a’anta qulta lin-naas ittakhidhoonee wa ummiya ilahayni min doonillahi qaala subhaanaka maa yakoonoo lee an aqoola ma laysa lee bi-haqqin in kuntu qultuhu faqad `alimtahu t`alamu maa fee nafsee wa laa `alamoo ma fee nafsika innaka anta `allama ’l-ghuyoob.

And behold, Allah will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say unto men, ‘Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?’” He will say, ‘Glory to You! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would indeed have known it. You know what is in my heart, and I know not what is in Yours, for You know in full all that is hidden.’ (al-Ma’idah, 5:116)

What will happen if you are questioned on the Day of Judgment? You shake from fear in front of a normal judge! That is why on the Day of Judgment, people will be running for shaf`a (intercession) of Prophet (s). So Allah will reprimand Sayyidina 'Isa (a) on Judgment Day, “Did you dare say to people, ‘Take me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’” Prophet (s) never claimed to be God.

It says in the noble Qur’an:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ

Qul innamaa anaa basharun mithlukum yooha ilayya.

Say (O Prophet), "I am but a mortal man like all of you." (18:110)

Sayyidina `Isa (as) said, “I am Allah's servant. Allah gave Me the Book and taught me to pray and to give zakaat.” But with all our love and respect to Sayyidina `Isa (a), Sayyidina Muhammad (s) never claimed any title. The Holy Qur’an is teaching us the difference between Prophet (s) and all other prophets.

And it is quoted in a famous hadith that Prophet (s) is will be making shaf`a for everyone, including their prophets. So in ruku` you have to say, “subhanAllahil-`azheem wa bi-hamdihi,” don’t cut it. Many people don’t include “wa bi-hamdihi.” tamla ma bayna ’s-samawaati wa ’l-ard, “All things between Heavens and Earth are full of angels making that tasbeeh and all of that is rewarded to you when you recite that. “SubhaanAllah wa bi hamdihi” fills up what is between Heavens and Earth. And as we have mentioned before, due to the enormity of the Balance, all of Heavens and Earth will go into it and disappear, like a ring in an ocean. And then he said, alhamdulillah, tamlau ’l-meezaan. “Alhamdulillah” fills and takes over the Balance. Tamlau ’l-meezaan, the Balance is contained by “alhamdulillah.”

So the Balance can contain the whole Heavens and Earth, what have we lost? What is between Heaven and Earth can disappear into the Balance and “alhamdulillah” filled the meezan, so where can anything else go? That is why that servant will not be able find Laa ilaaha illa-Llah, as it is above Creation and it cannot be contained by something that is created. This is something you need to think about; it cannot be written in a book, and here we have only explained three lines!

What happened to that beautiful expression, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah?” Who do you please when you say, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah?” Allah (swt) is happy from His servants when they say, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” and follows it with, “Muhammadun Rasoolullah.” Allah and his Prophet (s) are happy with anyone who says, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah.”

What comes from that when you say it? If we are not looking for rewards, something higher happens. What happens to an `abd when he says, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah?” Our selves are not satisfied because we are not giving our lives to Allah and His Prophet (s) as the Sahaabah (r) did. We are giving our lives only to our own selves, we are not remembering the Presence of Allah and His Prophet (s).

Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ

Allahu nooru ’s-samaawaati wa ’l-ardi mathala noorihi ka-mishkaat feehaa misbaah.

Allah is the Light of the Heavens and Earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a niche and within it a lamp. (an-Noor, 24:35)

And Prophet (s) said in Hadith Qudsi:

ma wasi`tnee samawaatee wa laa ardee wa laakin wasi`ani qalbi `abdee al-mu'min.

Neither My Heavens nor My Earth contain Me, but the heart of My believing servant contains Me.

So that is telling the ego, the self, “You are not ilaah (gods),” because everyone has taken their desires as their god. That is why when we pray, although it is fard it is not perfect. As soon as we begin to pray, we begin to think as Shaytan begins to whisper. Why is it not recommended in prayer to close your eyes? When you say “Allahu Akbar,” you have to look where you are going to make sajdah. When you close your eyes, you travel through space with all kinds of gossips that fill your head.

That is why one school of thought differs from another. For example, in the Hanafi School of Thought, you don’t recite anything, only the imaam says, “Allahu Akbar” and you do not think “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.” And as soon as Surat al-Fatihah begins, hundreds of gossips enter the mind. In the Shafi`i School of Thought, you recite behind the imaam; while he is saying “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem,” you are reciting at the same time, so less gossips enter this way. Even when reciting the Fatihah, the imaam stops for one minute, in order for you to read al-Fatihah. Then he recites the surah and if you know it, you read behind him. That way, there is less chance of sending the imagination here and there. Thus, when we pray, we have to look where we are making sajdah, not closing our eyes. Too many people close their eyes, then Shaytan immediately comes and tests you in the prayer. In that case, what will be our reward for saying “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah?” We will leave it until next time.

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