29 August 2011 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
Suhbah after Fajr
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)
I think today is the last day of Ramadan and we are asking Allah (swt) to accept the fasting of Ramadan with all its shortcomings from our side. May Allah forgive us and change our imitation fasting to real fasting. Those who had difficulties of sickness or traveling or for certain reasons did not fast some of Ramadan can do it later. Don't let Ramadan be your muda`, prosecutor, on Judgment Day; keep Ramadan to be your friend by asking Allah (swt) to give you support to fast more Ramadans to come, in the best way!
The Prophet (s) said:
اذا اراد الله بعبد خير فقهه فى الدين
idha arada-Allahu bi `abdin khayran yufaqihu fid-deen.
If Allah wants good for His servant, He makes him understand His religion very well.
It means if you are trying to improve yourself and learn more about your religion instead of being lazy and not caring, Allah (swt) will put in your heart wa`izhan fee qalbih, someone to give guidance to your heart. Some people say, “We are looking for guidance.” If that is so, awliyaullah are waiting but you have to search and don’t give up. The Prophet (s) said, “If you are trying to find a guide and could not, Allah (swt) will make for you a guide from within your heart.” That guide from within your heart will teach you to step on your ego, as Islam is to step on your desires. If you don't do that, you are not perfecting your religion and you will be unable to improve.
During Ramadan all Muslims pray the five prayers, which encourages more i`baadah, and they take you to Paradise. But in Paradise there are different levels and not everyone is going to be in the same paradise; it depends on how much you have struggled in your religion.
When Sayyidina Jibreel (a) asked the Prophet (s) about Islam, Prophet described the five pillars, and that is Islam. If you want the highway, that is it, but if you want to stop on the highway to drink coffee or to eat and enjoy yourself, you need other facilities, not just the straight highway with nothing else to see. So Allah (swt) did not leave that topic after Prophet (s) explained the highway of five pillars; He ordered Jibreel (a) to ask about what is beyond that highway.
Jibreel (a) asked, “What is al-Imaan, faith?” Prophet (s) explained imaan it is a place to rest, filled with beautiful scenery. An tumin billah, “to believe in Allah,” but not without seeing or feeling anything. With the five pillars, when you offer prayers, fast, pay zakaat and perform hajj but without any taste, what gives it taste is imaan. On the highway there are petrol stations or you wouldn’t go there as you would be stuck. Imaan is the fuel to continue on the way of Allah (swt), to see His signs!
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ
Inna alladheena qaaloo rabbunaa Allaahu thumma ’staqaamoo tatanazzalu `alayhimu ’l-malaa’ikatu allaa takhaafoo wa laa tahzanoo w ’abshiroo bi’l-jannati ’Llatee kuntum tuw`adoon.
In the case of those who say, "Our Lord is Allah,” and who further stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time), saying, "Fear not nor grieve, but receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss) which you were promised! (al-Fussilat, 41:30)
That is the first level in Imaan, to believe in Allah (swt). Those who say, “Rabbunallah,” that is not enough. When He says, thumma as-staqaamoo, then they know that Allah wants them to keep on that highway to enter His heavenly garden. Then the angels will descend on them, al-malaa’ikat. He didn't say “malak” in the singular, but rather “malaa’ikat” in the plural. That means you don’t know how many angels will descend on you when you say, “Rabbee Allah,” or when you say, “amantu billah.”
قُلِ اللّهُ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ
Qul Allah wa dharhum fee khawdihim yal`aboon.
Say "Allah," then leave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling. (al-An`am, 6:91)
They say you cannot make dhikr by saying only “Allah,” but look at what Allah (swt) said: qul Allah wa dharhum fee khawdihim yal`aboon, “Say ‘Allah,’ then leave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling.” So if we make dhikr with “Allah” we are not falling into sin or making shirk, kufr, bida`, haraam. Allah (swt) said, “Say ‘Allah,’ and then leave them to their pla!.” That entertainment place on the highway is where you say “Allah,” and thumma as-staqaamoo, then you continue on.
“Then Allah will send angels on them, malaa’ikat. Don’t be afraid and don’t be sad, laa takhaf wa laa tahzan,” as Allah (swt) says in Holy Qur’an:
وَلَمَّا أَن جَاءتْ رُسُلُنَا لُوطًا سِيءَ بِهِمْ وَضَاقَ بِهِمْ ذَرْعًا وَقَالُوا لَا تَخَفْ وَلَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّا مُنَجُّوكَ وَأَهْلَكَ إِلَّا امْرَأَتَكَ كَانَتْ مِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ
Wa lammaa an jaa'at Rusulunaa Lootan see’a bihim wa daaqa bihim dhar`aan wa qaaloo laa takhaf wa laa tahzan innaa munajjooka wa ahlaka illa ’mraataka kaanat mina ’l-ghaabireen.
And when Our Messengers came to Lut, he was grieved on their account and felt himself powerless (to protect) them, but they said, "Don’t fear or grieve (as) we are (here) to save you and your following, except your wife: she is of those who lag behind. (al-`Ankaboot, 29:33)
When Allah (swt) sends angels on you, laa takhaf means, “My servant, don’t be afraid as I will put you in a paradise where you are raised higher and higher, always receiving more.” laa tahzan, “Don’t be sad,” means, “I am forgiving all your ancestors and I will not leave them behind.”
When you travel to an important conference they tell you to come alone, do not bring your family, but then you feel sad. However, Allah (swt) said, “I am bringing all your family!”(41:30) So Jibreel (a) doesn’'t just want us to get Islam, but also its taste by having imaan, which is: to believe in Allah (swt), His angels, His books, His prophets, the Afterlife, and in Destiny, both its good and bad. When Allah sends you angels, He orders Prophet (s) to open to you `Ilm al-Awwaleen wa ’l-Akhireen, “the Knowledge of Before and After.” That is why awliyaullah get traces from the ocean of the Prophet (s), which are enough to make them drunk!
Of the 124,000 messengers, each one has a message that Allah (swt) will cause you to know, and then to know each of His messengers by name. You won’t simply know there are 313 messengers, but you will know them by name and what their message is. Don’t you think that if Allah (swt) is happy with you He will give you knowledge of all prophets who came before and their messages in detail? He will reveal to you Qadr, khayrihi wa sharrihi, “the Destiny and its good and its bad,” and then wal-ba`tha ba`ad al-mawt, “details of Judgment Day.”
When a highways runs out they call it a “dead end,” but Allah (swt) doesn't have a dead end. He has the wide-open end, which is Maqaam al-Ihsaan, that which opens everything. You will enter that ocean and never come out, and you won’t want to come out! That is why you see awliyaullah, and keep their company, but really they are not with you as they are no longer there. It might be Allah (swt) gave them a way out from meeting people by allowing sleepiness to descend on them, because they have to disconnect from people to complete a special awraad.
That is why at the end of these thirty days filled with forty associations, awliyaullah look to determine what are the main bullet points we have achieved, saying, “O my son,” or, “O my children. What have you achieved in these forty days?”
1 The biggest bullet point or the main title of this series is:
أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
Ati'oollaha wa ati'oor-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-`amri minkum.
Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (an-Nisa, 4:59)
It is like the stick of Sayyidina Musa (a) that Allah (swt) turned into a living snake that consumed all falsehood and magic, and made haqq appear. “Ati'oollaha wa ati'oor-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-`amri minkum” eats every falsehood and puts you on the way of truth. Make that verse your wird and recite it one-hundred times daily; each time you recite it Allah (swt) will take from you every baatil and all 800 forbidden actions and will make it as if you have fulfilled all 500 obligations!
What have we learned from that? It means, “O my friend! O my beloved son! Sell your dunya for Akhirah; buy Akhirah and sell dunya; then you will win both!” That is the sub-title. When you buy this dunya full of desires other than Allah (swt) you will be a loser, but when you sell your dunya to gain your Akhirah, then you gain both.
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Rabbana atina fi'd-dunya hasanatan wa fil-akhirati hasanatan wa qina `adhab an-naar.
O our Lord! Give us goodness in this life and goodness in the Next Life, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:201)
When you are stepping on your ego to get away from your dunya, Allah (swt) opens Akhirah to you and there you find entertainment and happiness that you can never have in dunya.
2 “O my son! Come here and be careful of keeping bad company,” of those who don't care for Akhirah, what we call “gangs.” fa innahu kas-sayf, yahsanu mandharahu, “He looks nice to you but in reality he is the most ugly one.” Don’t become friends with those who have bad character as they will make you fall into darkness. They ask, “Why are you fasting? What is the point?” That is what many Muslims say. I hear this Ramadan many Muslims are not fasting in Indonesia, the biggest Muslim country in the world. Don’t be with such people!
If you commit a sin other than leaving the five pillars of Islam, Allah (swt) will forgive you, but if you commit the sin of leaving the fast, Allah will not forgive! If you look at something haraam and then make wudu and ask forgiveness, Allah (swt) will forgive. But if you don’t fast (without a valid excuse), then you missed it and have to make it up later with punishment, like if you don't pray (without a valid excuse), you will have to pray on the roof of Hellfire until you’ve completed all the prayers you missed! Similarly, those who missed fasting will have to fast in Hellfire until they make up their missed days. Muslims and believers will eventually enter Paradise, but first they will have to be punished in Hellfire. It is not like that for unbelievers because they will be there forever.
These are excellent reasons to not keep company with those who say, “You don’t need to do those obligations.” If you lose the obligation the loss is forever, but if you commit a sin you can ask forgiveness and be forgiven. Fasting is one of the main pillars that holds up the structure, so be careful if it is beginning to fall!
3 “O my son! Don't be lazy, be like the ant;” collect food in summer to eat in winter, which means collect spiritual food in dunya to eat it in Akhirah. Be like an ant which is small but which doesn't say, “I am tired.” It continues in its task and Allah (swt) guides it. SubhaanAllah! You can observe an ant and determine where is food. How does it know? After a while you see hundreds of ants going the same way. Who guided them? Be an ant and Allah (swt) will guide you, but be arrogant and Allah will not guide you. Be humble, not raising your head to say, “I am a peacock,” or, “I am a shaykh.” Who here is a shaykh?
4 “O my son! The rooster is better than you. Be like a rooster.” This means wake up at night like a rooster, before anyone else; wake up and call to people when they are sleeping, “Wake up! Fajr is coming!” It means, “Don't leave good `amal.” Be like someone who wakes up before Fajr and prays tahajjud and then Fajr. Don’t be like a chicken, but be like a rooster, both men and women, waking up when everyone is sleeping. Be a rooster to wake up all the chickens. Every one of us is a chicken; a rooster is the level of manhood, but chickens didn’t reach the level of manhood yet. We are still struggling.
5 “O my son, be careful of lying.” The Prophet (s) prohibited lying. When the Sahaabah (r) asked, “Does a mu’min commit adultery?” He said, “Yes, he might.” Then they asked, “Does a mu’min steal?” He said, “Yes he might.” then they asked, “Does a mu’min lie?” Prophet (s) said, “As for that, no.” Don’t lie! What you promised Allah (swt) on the Day of Promises, you must fulfill in dunya, so be careful!
6 “O my son, you have to know that Allah (swt) will rejuvenate the dead hearts with the light of wisdom as He rejuvenates the Earth by sending rain.” Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an:
وَأَلَّوِ اسْتَقَامُوا عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ لَأَسْقَيْنَاهُم مَّاء غَدَقًا
wa law istiqaamoo `ala at-tareeqati la-asqaynaahum maa’an ghadaqa.
If they had (only) remained on the (right) Way, We should certainly have bestowed on them rain in abundance. (Surat al-Jinn, 72:16)
Just as there is greenery on Earth, Allah (swt) will send rain and nourish your heart, so be a worshipper and don’t run from Him; instead run to Allah (swt), run to the Prophet (s), run to the Sahaabah (r), run to the five pillars, run to imaan and to the Maqaam al-Ihsan!
7 “O my son! Keep taqwallah in your heart.” If you keep taqwallah you will get profit from Allah (swt) without trade. Only show sincerity and piety. inna akramakum `inda-Allahi atqaakum, “To All they are the best and most honored ones,” and He gives them profits. Don’t hide badness for others: don’t keep the best for yourself and the worst for your brothers and sisters!
Grandshaykh (q) often told the story of two partners who sold flour for many years and their business grew. There were a lot of ants outside their warehouse, and because of the piety and sincerity of the partners, the ants carried any flour that fell outside the warehouse back inside. The partners often witnessed that and they understood from it that they were giving in the way of Allah and Allah gives from ten times more up to 700 times more, or even to infinity! One day, after 25 years partnership, the ants began to take from inside the warehouse to the outside, and one partner noticed that.
He said, “What is going on? Why are they taking from inside to outside?” He called his partner and said, "Today we divide and split!” The other partner asked why, and he said, "Today I saw ants taking our flour from inside to outside, so you must have done something wrong!”
The other partner replied, “W’Allahi I didn’t do anything wrong!”
The first partner said, “Go and think about it.”
The second partner returned, saying, “I realize what happened! As usual, today they brought a bucket of eggs and I took the bigger ones and left the smaller ones for you. That was my mistake.”
The first partner said, “That’s it! That is betrayal: you’re ego is betraying you and me!”
This illustrates the ego will always betray you unless you split from it. Order it, “O ego! I am not going to give you any chance.” Declare war on it: don’t give the ego what it wants. If it sees a bite of food in your brother’s mouth, it wants that bite for itself! So be sure you have taqwallah in your heart, then you will win.
8 “O my son! Consult with the one who already has experience and went through through trial and error; don’t ask your stubborn mind.” When you give advice to people, they say, “Okay, I will think about it and then decide.” Iblees decided for himself and he failed! Don’t be like Iblees, deciding for yourself. Your turban nor your jubbah will benefit you; they are only clothing. You must purify your inside. When you are in Allah's Way you will be like a spotlight; people will not be attracted to your clothes but rather to your smile and to your humble spirit! That is what attracts people to awliyaullah. So ask the one who has experience in these matters; he will give you free advice whereas he paid for it with a lot of struggle!
Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q) spent 25 years in the desert, eating from bushes and drinking water from plants. You get all that for free! They went through the struggle, so if you apply what they tell you, “Do this, do that, make istighfaar, make dhikrullah, make salawaat on the Prophet (s),” you receive from them and won’t need to go through seclusions as they will give it to you for free! What is better than that?
9 “O my son! Anyone who says to you that evil has to be destroyed by evil is lying!” That is what they say today: “Let them fight ‘evil against evil’ and they will finish each other and then we can take over.”They lied to you and will join together against you. The truth is that evil can only be fought by haqq and that comes from Allah (swt)! Al-khayr yudfee ash-sharr, kama yudfi` an-naar almaa, “Just as water extinguishes fire, haqq extinguishes evil.”
If we follow these nine points we will be safe, and if we don’t follow them still we will be safe because awliyaullah are carrying that burden from us as long as we show interest and struggle to achieve these nine Akhirah points. In numerology, nine equals zero: if you surrender and become zero you get all these points!
May Allah (swt) reward us and change our imitation fasting and prayers to genuine, and change our ego from bad to good , and may we follow the love of Allah (swt), love of the Prophet (s), and love of awliyaullah, each other and all humanity! May Allah guide us.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.