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Our "Modernity" Is to Be Content

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

20 March 2010 Burton, Michigan

As-Siddiq Institute and 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`ullaha wa ati`u 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

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

Qaala an-nabee ad-deenu naseeha. "Prophet (s) said, 'The essence of religion is advice.'" It means religion calls for all that is good and tells you all that is bad. That means naseeha, advice, has to be between these two issues: to call for good and to prohibit bad. Rasoolullah (s) has shown us what is haraam and what is halaal and he ordered us to learn.

طلب العلم فريضة على كل مسلم و مسلمة

talab al-`ilm fareedatun`ala kulli Muslim wa Muslimah.

Knowledge is an obligation on every male Muslim and female Muslim.

As we said on Friday, these days people are only interested in secular science; no one is thinking about what the Prophet (s) said, "Religion is advice." Also today, dunya people are understanding and following what the Prophet (s) is saying, although they are not Muslim! Even if dunya people are Muslim, in business they follow business advice but they don't follow advice of akhirah. We are not saying don't follow dunya advice, but balance: take advice in matters of dunya and on akhirah, as you are hiring advisers. How many advisers do they have in the White House? Thousands of advisers to run a country; I heard there are 8000 advisers, and from those most are specialized in certain issues in order to give good advice.

Sayyidina Muhammad (s) said, الدين نصيحة ad-deenu naseeha. "Religion is good advice".

Because you need more and more advice on religion than you need on businesses and running countries. For businesses and running countries you can see your enemy and you can take your precautions, but for Akhirah you cannot see Shaytan, who is hiding. That is why naseeha for akhirah is so important, because it will prevent Shaytan from coming to you. Shaytan is whispering in our ears and we are following that. If a Muslim, a mu'min, or anyone in dunya says to you, "Do this!" you will not accept it, you will question them. Why do you accept suggestions from Shaytan and you don't accept from scholars, `ulama? Even Adam (a) accepted when Shaytan whispered in his ears. That means advice is important for us. Such associations as this will take you to understand what poverty you are in, the poverty of akhirah. And still with what we are doing (of worship and learning), Allah (swt) is generous with us because He doesn't look at the mistakes of people; He is the Veiler, "as-Sattar." And what is better than remembering Sayyidina Muhammad? (s) It is the best thing we can do, to remember and celebrate. (Mawlana stands and sits.)

Poets say, if we did mawlid for Prophet (s) every day it is not enough. And the world is in different time zones, so it means the whole world is celebrating the mawlid of Prophet (s) continuously, and for that, Allah (swt) sends His rahmat on us. As Allah (swt) said

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

wa maa arsalnaaka illa rahmatan li-`alameen

We have sent you not but as a mercy unto the worlds. (21:107)

Prophet is mercy for us and if we don't remember Sayyidina Muhammad (s), we are not following in mercy. There are times that inayaatullah, Allah's care, comes. It is important for us at certain moments and that saves us, because of Prophet (s).

Sayyidina Khidr (a) was not able to receive knowledge without being blessed by rahmat. When Sayyidina Musa (a) came to him by Allah's order, as it says in Holy Qur'an, ataynaahu rahmatan min indina, "One of Our servants whom We blessed with mercy," that blessing and rahmat is Sayyidina Muhammad (s) who appeared to him. That is why awliyaa stand up when mawlid is recited, because at any time during the recitation of mawlid Prophet's (s) appearance may be there. You don't need a teacher; knowledge comes to your heart. When I say you don't need teacher, it means you don't need scholars, but you need a spiritual teacher.

So when you are blessed with rahmat, knowledge will come. You must be blessed to enter that city about which Prophet (s) said, "I am the city of knowledge and Ali (q) is its door."

O Muslims! Ad-deenu naseeha, "Religion is advice." It is very important to take advice, as Allah (swt) said, wa `amruhum shura baynahum, "Take advice on matters." (42:38) That means you accept what someone says and they accept what you say. Today there are stubborn people; you tell them, "do this," and they don't want to do it. According to their mind it is not acceptable, but according to Allah's wisdom and will, it is is different.

يَمْحُو اللّهُ مَا يَشَاء وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ

Yamhu al-lahu ma yasha'u wa yuthbit,

He waives away from you what He likes and He confirms what He likes. (13:39)

This one (in this audience), we told him not to go and he went. He regrets that he went. He was in a scary situation. If not for his attendance in mawlid by inayatullah he would have been in that earthquake, gone, bye-bye. Because vision is short and stubborn, you need heavenly eyeglasses. They say goats are the most stubborn because if you push it to the left he goes right, and if you push it to the right it goes left. Not sheep, but goats. So that is the problem.You can see and you can experience how much Allah (swt) saves you from issues you are unable to predict, but because of something that has been done, Allah (swt) is happy, Prophet (s) is happy, shuyookh are happy, and you are saved!

I was in Kenya with this gentleman who is completely stubborn and also with other people. Ishaq was there, and we went for celebration of Prophet's birthday on an island. To come to that island you need to fly from Nairobi for one hour and then take a boat to that island. The first person who inhabited that island was from the descendants of Prophet (s). He established Islam and Mawlid an-Nabi there, and today you see thousands attending that mawlid. They never allowed pictures to be taken in that mawlid. Why, I don't know, but they don't want to advertise it. So imagine if a camera is not allowed, video is even more not allowed, and broadcasting is completely not allowed! When they say video and broadcasting is not allowed, it means nothing is allowed. When I came, I said let people see what is being done here and maybe more people will come. So for the first time in 135 years, going from generation-to-generation, it was the first time that mawlid at Lamu was broadcast. That one with the long beard who likes to sleep was not interested in broadcasting. This other one who is next to him, Ishaq, from Fajr time was jumping from one roof to another in order to get lines to get the broadcast. Is that correct? And so that evening it was broadcasted and everyone around world watched and they called their relatives in Lamu saying, "We saw you on the Internet." It was because of that, I spoke in Arabic.

Friday afternoon we had to leave the island and take a plane and go back to Nairobi. Until the plane arrived we were sitting. There is no airport, only a landing place and waiting under the trees. So at that time it came to me from Grandshaykh (q), because usually I do that when in the plane or car or boat, to recite:

bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

Dhaalika taqdeeru 'l-`Azeezi 'l-`Aleem.

Such is the Decree of (Him), the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge. (41:12)

Allah (swt) assigned two angels on this ayah that if you are in a problem they carry you and you will be saved. Grandshaykh (q) used to say, "Even if you are in the middle of an explosion and you recite that, you will be saved." It came to me to read it, and I was reading it silently before the plane came. I was with the manager of the airport, and nothing but empty land with a chair and table and donkey here and here, nothing around us, and some foreigners coming to the island as it is a resort. So he took me to the stairs to go up the small plane and he said, "Pray for me." I gave him two ta`weez, ruqya, and he took them, kissed them and put it in his pocket.

I went on the plane and sat in the first seat, reciting, bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. Dhaalika taqdeeru 'l-`Azeezi 'l-`Aleem. Suddenly I began to hear shouting, then screaming, and more screaming. Laa hawla wa laa quwatta illa billah. They said, "The propeller has hit the boy. His head is chopped off!" That boy was going to board the plane when his boarding pass flew out of his hand, and when he ran to get it he went under the plane and the propeller began to suck him in! Then the manager who had taken the two ta`weez jumped to protect him, but both of them were being sucked to the propeller. At that moment I was calling on Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and Mawlana said the hands of Prophet (s) and Grandshaykh (q) was between them and the propeller! And they experienced something strange: the propeller was pulling them in and a huge force was pulling them out. Then a big hit came on them and the boy fell down far from the propeller and the general manager fell down as well, but they didn't get sucked in. The propeller hit on top of the head of the boy, on his metal ta`weez on the top of the turban. It hit and cut the ta`weez in half and didn't cut the turban! Until now no one knows what kind of miracle happened, that saved that boy and general manager!

Then the boy was covered with blood, but not on his head. When that huge power of Prophet (s), Grandshaykh and Mawlana Shaykh came, he fell down on his teeth and that bled. An Italian doctor examined him and said, "It is impossible." And the general manager was shivering, but safe. That is for the barakah of Prophet (s), from celebrating his birth. That barakah saved not only the boy, but saved us all. We were on the plane and it was half-full, but that happened so they stopped the boarding, and they told everyone to get off the plane as we couldn't fly now, they had to see the boy. And then checking the propeller they found the two tires of the plane were flat! So the other miracle is that they were going to fly with flat tires, which means a crash landing, but all the passengers were saved! The boy was sacrificed but not killed, in order for the airplane to stop that flight because of the damaged tires. That was the barakah of Prophet's birthday celebration and awliyaullah didn't want that accident to happen. Everyone would have been killed. There was another captain on that plane, Ahmad Fouad, who said that it would have crashed due to those tires.So whatever good amal we do, we don't know what will give us reward from Allah (swt), it might be something small. He is asking a small thing from all of us, that we say "thank you" to Him, shukran yaa Allah.

There is one very good person, representative of Mawlana in Lebanon and he does dhikr with about fifty or sixty people. His daughter is married to someone here and he is a distant cousin to me. He got his retirement, sold his house, and decided to come to stay with his daughter I think in Portland, Oregon. He prepared everything and had heart attack and died. He had nothing with him, so suddenly. So don't miss an opportunity to do goodness, because by missing an opportunity of goodness we might miss a lot. Also, goodness erases badness. Allah (swt) is always generous; He doesn't make badness stuck there. If you do something good it waives what is bad. Allah (swt) saved us because of the celebration of Prophet's birthday and it is also because Ishaq did his best to broadcast it. I told him to forget about it. He went from roof to roof to roof and from five buildings, one to another! It was a difficult job, but consistency is good. Keep trying to do it, and Allah (swt) will make it for you. But when you don't bother, Allah (swt) will still be generous, but you will have less. Still Allah (swt) will reward you for something, but try as much as you can.

As I said, we were going to crash, all 43 people on that plane. It would have crashed if we had taken off, but Allah made that propeller hit the child and with Mawlana's barakah, to push him away from that and save him and save us, as we would have taken off with damaged tires. That is the barakah of Prophet's birthday, and that is why they say if we do mawlid for Prophet (s) everyday, still it is not enough. Wa law `amilna mawlidan li-Ahmad kullu yawmin qad kaanab wajib. So we are asking Allah (swt) to save us for the barakah of Prophet (s) and the barakah of awliyaullah and barakah of Grandshaykh and Shaykh Nazim (q).

So we will end up with this story, which I told to some people. There was a fisherman living on an island, and he goes everyday catching 10-12 fishes. He and his wife and son and daughter are living very humbly, what you call a "low-class life," very poor life, sleeping on the floor with his pillow. I was surprised when I entered that house built 135 years ago by the one who brought Islam to that island. His bed and pillow are made from straw, and the wall is made of mud. There are all kinds of spiders living there happily! (laughter) Today if we don't have air-conditioning or heaters, we cannot live. There was no bathroom in the whole house; you have to go behind the trees to make wudu and come back.

So that fisherman is happy with 12 fish. What does he do? He takes a book and reads about Islam, and too many books. Then comes `Isha and he goes to bed. Next day he goes on his boat fishing, comes with fish and grills them or fries them. His wife mills the wheat, makes bread, and they are happy. This is their daily life until they die. A cousin of that fisherman went to the west and came back with a PhD in Economics and Business Administration. What to do with that PhD? Put it in the toilet. Modernity is not determined by a piece of paper, it is to be content with life. That fisherman was content with a mud house and wife and children; that is modernity for him. You might have a palace and you are not happy; that is not modernity. Then you are living in a palace and he is in a shack. You are content with what Allah (swt) gave you.

I was looking in a magazine and saw a yacht worth $250 million belonging to some royalty in an Arab Gulf country. It has a movie theater and disco even. And he went overseas to be treated because he has a kidney problem and he is not happy. What to do with the yacht? It is not modernity. His modernity is with his kidney, and our modernity is with Prophet (s)!

So his cousin said, "I came with a PhD."

"O, what is PhD? Is it candy or a fish?"

"No, it's a paper."

"O, we have a lot of paper, we use it somewhere. What you want to do with that paper? It is toilet paper. What do I do with paper?"

"O, now I can teach you. You are fishing, why not take with you someone and you double your fish? Give your partner ten and then make a business. Then after a year, get two boats. Then after a few years, you can get a warehouse and in 30-40 years you will be a big businessman."

"What should I do after that?"

"Then you retire, you sit at home with your wife and children and relax."

"O, I am already sitting at home with my wife and children. I have to spend 20 years to build myself up to sit with my wife and children?!"

Today they teach you to not spend time studying religion, all effort is pouring into one thing: secular studies. They used to live longer than today and the average life was longer than today. Today you don't know what is in your food. You had no hormones before. It might be hormones of dogs and pigs and cheetahs and you might become an orangutan tomorrow (laughter); this is (the state of) food today. That man is fishing in the sea and getting pure fish with no preservatives and the water is clean due to salt. He is living happily, he might live to 110 years.

O Muslims, O believers of whatever religion you are, Islam saves you and tasawwuf saves you; tazkiyyat an-nafs makes you content with what Allah (swt) has given you.

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