12 March 2016 Feltham, London, UK
Suhbah at Centre for Spiritual & Cultural Advancement (CSCA) (1)
[Series source text: السنن الواردة في الفتن وغوائلها والساعة وأشراطها As-Sunan al-Waridah Fi ‘l-Fitani wa Ghawaali’ihaa wa ‘s-Saa`ati wa Ashraatihaa, by `Uthman bin Sa`eed al-Muqri ad-Daani; research and Hadith authentication by Dr. Ridaaullah bin Muhammad Idris Mubarakfuri; published by Daar al-`Aasima, Riyadh. Originally published 444 Hijri.]
A`oodhu billahi min ash-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.
It’s not how many people there are, it’s how many quality of people there are. Alhamdulillah those who are present today are from the good-quality people and not only here, but anyone sitting, listening and obeying are also, as Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:
وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا
They said, “We listen and obey.”(Surat al-Baqara, 2:286)
We listen and obey what Allah (swt) and Prophet (s) told us to do, and we also listen and obey what Sayyidina `Isa (a), Jesus, Sayyidina Musa (a), Moses and all other prophets told us to do, to prepare ourselves to always oppose what is negative and accept what is positive, as Prophet (s) said, even to the extent that if there is an obstacle in the middle of the road, a stone or something that bothers others, to go and remove it. That is from faith, imaan, to take whatever obstacle is in the way of people, not to say, “That doesn’t concern me.” You are living on this Earth where everything concerns everyone. To know whatever we have to know is to follow a guide, as Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur’an:
وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ
For every people there is a guide. (Surat ar-Ra`d, 13:7)
For every group of people, for every community, country, and even if there are only three people, they must have a guide, which is why Prophet (s) said:
إذا كنتم ثلاثة فأمروا أحدكم
If you are a group of three, appoint one as a leader. (Tabarani)
If you are three people, make sure to put one ameer, one person to be responsible and accept his decisions in what he tells us to do. It means Allah (swt) didn’t leave anyone, when He says in the Holy Qur’an wa li-kulli qawmin haad, “for every group of people,” for every religion there is a prophet. He (swt) brought Adam, Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa and Jesus (`alayhimu ‘s-salaam) to their people and He brought Sayyidina Muhammad (s) to his people as messengers. In between all these prophets there are hundreds of prophets that came to this world to guide humanity to what is good and to prohibit them from doing what is bad.
Ours is a simple meeting and Prophet (s), Sayyidina Muhammad, `alayhi afdalu 's-salaatu wa 's-salaam, said, “If you pass by Gardens of Heavens on Earth, sit with them.”
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)
Look where there is a Garden of Heaven, in which community, city, or village, wherever you can find them, then as soon as you find one, sit with them! How to find a Garden of Heaven on Earth? Prophet (s) said, idhaa marartum bi riyaadi ’l-jannah, ‘If you pass by a Garden of Heaven,’ which means he is describing a place considered a Garden of Heaven by Allah (swt), His Prophet (s) and all prophets. Now, whether you are an `alim, a scholar or not, a listener or not, it doesn’t matter. When you see some people in a Garden of Heavens, sit there, there will be blessings for you! This is what Islam teaches us.
We have to be careful and accept what is around us and 1400 years ago, when Sayyidina Muhammad (s) narrated this Hadith, his (s) Companions (r) asked a very good question, “What is that Garden of Heaven on Earth, yaa Rasoolullah? We see bloodshed on Earth and still there are Garden of Heavens?”
He said, “Yes, there are between fire, Allah can save people from that fire just as He saved His Prophet Ibrahim (a), Abraham, from the fire of Nimrood:
قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ
O fire! Be cool and peaceful on Ibrahim. (Surat al-Anbiyaa, 21:69)
“We ordered the fire to be cool and peaceful for Ibrahim,” when he (s) was sitting in that fire that was prepared for it for a year, building it up and up and up to reach a temperature that can melt iron. [2,800°F/1,538°C] They put him inside that very hot fire and Allah saved him, he didn't burn! What kind of body Allah gave to him? That's a miracle! Can’t The One that performed that miracle for Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) also do miracles for the Nation of Muhammad (s) today? We are in a big fire today, not knowing where we are heading and Prophet (s) gave to the Ummah a simple clue, guidance, “Go the Gardens of Heaven.” What kind of garden is it? Is it a garden of flowers and bees, or to sit in front of the TV or at lectures? What is it?
Prophet (s) said the Gardens of Heavens must be:
Religion is advice.
If you want to have perfect religion, you advise the Ummah, the nation, community from your knowledge in order to give it to everyone. So Prophet (s) said, ad-deenu an-nasiha, “Religion is advice,” which, as he said, is to sit in an association of scholars where knowledge is being expressed. So when the Companions (r) asked him, "What are these Gardens of Heavens?" by Prophet’s heavenly eloquence, everything he says is Revelation. It’s very simple to make everyone find what they are looking for. So the Prophet (s) replied, "They are the circles of dhikrullah,” where you mention only Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s) and the `ulama teaching us how to reach the Divine Presence of Allah and the Divine Presence of Prophet (s), which is by sitting with those whom Allah put as guides, “And for every nation there is a guide.”
“For sure, for every group of people there must be a guide,” He has assigned one for every group of people and those assigned take care of that group, which can be three, one-hundred, hundreds and thousands, but there must be one person to whom Allah has given authority to do that, and Allah said:
أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (Surat an-Nisaa, 4:59)
Simple. So whoever guides you through these three rules, ‘obey Allah, obey Prophet, obey the authority,’ that guide is a good guide. There are bad guides: Iblees was a bad guide, he said to Adam (a), "Eat from that tree," from which Allah prohibited him to eat. There are all the trees in Paradise, but He said, “Do not eat from that tree,” and Adam approached it. So what happened to Iblees? He was kicked out, he and all human beings, but Allah gave human beings a way out of it: to obey Allah, obey Prophet and obey the authority. He didn't say to obey Shaytan, to obey Cain or Pharaoh, or bad ones, Allah said: “Obey Me!” So hilaaq adh-dhikr, the Circles of Paradise that Prophet (s) mentioned you have to follow are these circles where people sit receiving advice about what to do, good advice you are seeking, not advice about following your bad desires, as Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur’an:
فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا
He inspired the self of its good and its bad. (Surat ash-Shams, 91:8)
Everyone knows what is good and bad. Wa li-kulli qawmin haad. If Allah (swt) sees His servant trying to find someone to guide him, He will make for him a guide from within his heart!
" إِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى بِعَبْدٍ خَيْرًا ، جَعَلَ لَهُ وَاعِظًا مِنْ قَلْبِهِ يَأْمُرُهُ وَيَنْهَاهُ "
If Allah (swt) wants goodness for His servant, He will make for him a guide in his heart.
(Abu Na`eem al-Ispahani in Hilyat al-Awliya)
Allah loves His servant who is trying to approach Him and from within your heart He will guide you by creating a heavenly element in your heart that always gives you good advice and inspiration from within you. That's what Holy Qur’an and Hadith say, and the most important advice for the `alim is to not see himself higher than the student, thinking, “I’m a PhD, a doctor in Islamic Studies,” and he puts that title with his name, but then he will not reach anywhere (of higher knowledge and understanding). An `alim, scholar, is a flashlight but with no battery, he did not recharge his battery, because to recharge it he must do what he is telling you to do, then his light will reach you or else it enters through one ear and exits from the other, so that's the problem.
So they asked Prophet (s), “What are the Gardens of Heavens, yaa Rasoolullah?" He said, "The circles of dhikrullah," like these circles, where you receive these nice fragrances of Heavens and hear and see what cannot be heard or seen when you enter such associations. You might say, “Oh! I didn’t see anything, I'm sitting…” Yes, you didn’t see, but you are going to see if you keep doing what we tell you, like when the doctor gives you medicine you have to take it for long time to complete treatment, you expect good results if you don’t take it; no, you have to wait until your body accepts what the doctor gives you. You can't say to the doctor, “No, I will not take what you gave me.” The tree doesn’t give you the fruit directly, first it’s bitter, then it becomes sour, then sweet. You take the medicine and you improve.
Why don’t you take the medicine Allah (swt) asks of you in the Holy Qur’an and Prophet (s) is mentioning to you, when Allah (swt) said, Atee`oollah wa atee`oo ’r-rasula wa ooli 'l-amri minkum, “Obey Allah, obey Prophet (s) and obey those in authority.” Why did Allah (swt) this? If you follow, then you will see improvement. So wherever there are such associations of Paradise that you are swimming and diving in, the words that come to the heart or mind are a download stored there and when you need them you have to remember the code or you will not access them! There are too many people sitting in these associations who, although it is already downloaded in their hearts, they forgot the code, but on the Day of Judgement Allah (swt) will bring that goodness out.. When you do something good Allah rewards you, and that doesn’t die, it will not be changed to a sin, but sins can be changed to good deeds. If you sin, if you did not repent it sits there by itself unchanged until you repent and then it goes away.
That’s why you say, "Laa ilaaha illa 'Llaah” as it erases all the sins, as the Prophet (s) said:
من قال لا اله الا الله دخل الجنة
Whoever says ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah’ enters Paradise. (Mustadrak of an-Nisaburi)
Enter Paradise! When you make dhikr you enter the Gardens of Paradise and the Prophet (s) mentioned this to the Ummah, so follow it! That is what is pulling you here and to other events with other shuyookh, with other awliya, and all of them will guide you to the same ocean. One is a river, one is a stream, but all take you to the same ocean. So wherever you connect you find you are connected, Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur'an, wa li kulli qawmin haad, He has assigned one for every group of people, an assurance that you will be guided by someone who will come to you in your life to guide you, guide the community, guide the country, guide the world! Other than that you are wasting your time, other than that will not be beneficial.
The Prophet (s) told us to prepare ourselves and after that there will be a rise of goodness, religion, in yourself, in the community, in the country. That is what we see: when any prophet came the community rose up, up, up, and then fell into a decline because of the people living after that prophet accumulating sins. So in order not to leave the community confused and in darkness, 1400 years ago the Prophet (s) predicted what will happen in the future and many were recorded by his Sahaabah (r) and authentic saints, and we are seeing it happening today in our lifetime in this 21st century. People before us thought it was happening in their century, but it was not so clear, so obvious as it is now in this century.
I have these three books of six volumes published in Saudi Arabia about the Prophet's predictions of the Last Days that I chose because it is important where it is published, as then no one will object to its authenticity. The title is As-Sunan al-Waridah Fi ‘l-Fitani wa Ghawaali’ihaa wa ‘s-Saa`ati wa Ashraatihaa by Abu Muqri ad-Daani, originally published in the year 444 Hijri, written 1,000 years ago. This is the series that inshaa-Allah we will go through, not here only,but wherever we are until the end of Ramadan, for people to know what the Most Trustworthy Person, Sayyidina Muhammad (s), the Perfect Man says, because you can question what others say, but the Prophet (s) was witnessed to be and everyone in his time, Muslims and others, accepted that he (s) is as-Saadiqu ‘l-Masdooq, the Most Trustworthy One, and known by his tribes that he is the Seal of Messengers (s) through his knowledge, the Revelation and the Holy Ascension when Allah (swt) invited him to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa. So he (s) said, and I will quote one Hadith:
يوشك أن يأتي على الناس زمان لا يبقى من الإسلام إلا اسمه ولا يبقى من القرآن إلا رسمه ، مساجدهم عامرة وهي خراب من الهدى ، علماؤهم شر من تحت أديم السماء ، من عندهم تخرج الفتنة ، وفيهم تعود
There will come a time upon a people when nothing remains from Islam except its name, nothing from the Qur’an except the form of its letters, mosques will be built but are empty of guidance, their scholars will be the worst people beneath the sky, and chaos will emerge from them and return to them. (Bayhaqi)
People will witness a day coming when only the name of Islam is mentioned, not its essence, realities, or teachings. Today Islam equals how Donald Trump defines it. I heard yesterday there was a big issue in Chicago and they stopped him from appearing at a rally [due to violent protests]. I am not against anyone, everyone is free to say what they want, but what I want to say is Islam does not need anyone to explain it, it’s obvious: Islam is salaam, peace, and Muslims around the world are good people, but unfortunately the message that is reaching non-Muslims about Islam is as if Islam is an empty body, distorted, like a balloon full of air that you poke and it disappears. For them Islam is nothing! That is what we are seeing from 1400 years ago, laa yabqaa min al-Islami illa ismuhu, that there is nothing left of Islam but its name. That is how they speak about Islam, as if they know about it, while today even high-level scholars confess they know only a drop about Islam, not an ocean. That is why we see millions of books of Ahadeeth and Tafseer, commentaries and teachings of Holy Qur'an, that no one knows! Even scholars say, “Our knowledge is but a drop in an ocean.” How then will non-Muslims express Islam? So they only look at Holy Qur’an from the cover and outside, they don’t go in deep, they study it with no wudu or shower as if it is a university textbook and they don’t know what they are teaching, they distort the name of Islam! Even worse, Prophet (s) said there will be nothing left of Holy Qur'an except its calligraphy, which is the heart of Holy Qur'an; not only to draw it but also to understand its sweetness through its holy verses, that is the real calligraphy. Today there is no such thing, they only look at calligraphy of Holy Qur'an as an art, but each of Allah's Ninety-nine Beautiful Names and Attributes is an ocean that covers Heaven and Earth with knowledge! How many prophets and `ulama came to describe:
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
Allah is the Light of the Heavens and Earth. (Surat an-Noor, 24:35)
They could not even understand the meaning of what ‘Allah’ represents: Asmaaullah al-Husnaa, Allah’s Ninety-nine Beautiful Names and Attributes, that every Name has a different remedy and Manifestation. So they think ‘an-Noor’ is the Sun, but they don’t know its meaning, that Allah (swt) described, “Allah is the Light of the Heavens and Earth,” meaning Allah is The Creator of Heavens and Earth from the Light He created for them, but these understandings are oceans. You can say that Allah has Ninety-nine Names, as He said:
وَلِلّهِ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا
To Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names, so call on Him by them. (Surat al-A`raf, 7:180)
“Call Allah by these Beautiful Names and Attributes,” which means there is a secret in each of these names,which is why Prophet (s) said there will be nothing left of Holy Qur'an but its rasm, writing. Where are the millions of tafseers of Holy Qur'an? No one is studying them, is it correct, shaykh? At that time the masaajid will be filled up with people but their hearts are empty, their masaajid are empty, with no light in them. So that is why now they are making manaabir, without understanding Islam, so they are harming the reality of Islam by causing non-Muslims to see it as not good. Today that is what people are doing in the name of Islam and there will come a time, as the Prophet (s) said, when they guide you in a wrong way, they deviated and you deviated with them, their scholars at that time are the worst people on Earth. Like today what is going on in the Middle East, people are fighting and killing but claiming to be `ulama and khalifah when they are the worst under the skies and in this universe! From them will come the fitan, confusion on Earth and in them it will return.
إن الله لا يقبض العلم انتزاعا ينتزعه من الناس ولكن يقبض العلم بقبض العلماء حتى إذا لم يترك عالما اتخذ الناس رءوسا جهالا فسئلوا فأفتوا بغير علم فضلوا وأضلوا
Allah will not remove knowledge by pulling it out of people, but He removes knowledge by removing scholars, until when there will be no scholar left and people will take ignorant leaders. They will ask them questions and they will give fatwas without knowledge, misguiding themselves and misguiding others. (Muslim)
For example, who can replace Muhammad Isma`il al-Bukhari’s knowledge, or Imam Muslim, Imam Nawawi, or Ibn Katheer or any other great scholar? No one! When they go, finished! I have an uncle who is very well known in the Middle East, he memorized Holy Qur'an when he was seven and they call him mawsu`ah, a walking encyclopedia of Islamic knowledge. The Archbishop of Orthodox Christians visited him, as he often met such people, because he was very friendly with them. They asked him questions and he answered. Once they discussed one point until the Archbishop said, “What is the meaning of that word?” although he was highly knowledgeable in Arabic linguistics.
My uncle said, “It means this and this.”
The Archbishop said, “ I don't agree,” because he was also well educated in language.
My uncle said, “Go in my library to fifth shelf, and behind three books there is a book, bring it, open it to page 85, line 27 and you will find your answer.”
The Archbishop pulled the book out from where my uncle had said, opened it to page 85, line 27 and found the answer to his question! There were `ulama with that extent of knowledge and when they die there will be no replacement. The Prophet (s) said, “There will be a time when Allah does not pull out the knowledge from the hearts of scholars, He pulls out their souls with their knowledge and there will be no substitute, that knowledge is gone.” That is the Sign of the Last Days: Allah takes their knowledge until the people will not find a genuine `alim, they only find a plastic `alim, and they will begin to find not `ulama, but only leaders, heads that are ignorant but want to put programs for Muslims although they don't understand anything about religion; they are misguided and will misguide others!
May Allah (swt) protect the Ummah from such `ulama that the Prophet (s) predicted 1400 years ago and we are seeing today. May Allah send peace and happiness on Earth, inshaa-Allah and may Allah guide us to goodness. Wa `alaykum salaam wa rahmaatullahi wa barakaatuh. We will continue this later.
Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfeeq bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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