Suhbah at Somali Mosque
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Let's do one takbeerat altogether:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, laa ilaaha illa-Llahu Allahu Akbar wa lillaahi ‘l-hamd! Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, laa ilaaha illa-Llahu Allahu Akbar wa lillaahi ‘l-hamd! Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, laa ilaaha illa-Llahu Allahu Akbar wa lillaahi ‘l-hamd!
Allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammadin an-Nabiyyi ‘l-ummiyy wa `ala aalihi wa saahbihi wa sallim.
As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. I am put in a position to speak, but I am not the best of speakers. I learned from my teacher; I heard some things and inshaa-Allah we will share some of them. Whatever comes through inshaa-Allah I will try to share with all of you.
Allah (swt) wants our salvation, that we be saved, to be in His Mercy, He doesn't want badness for us, as He said in the Holy Qur’an:
وَلَا يَرْضَىٰ لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَ وَإِنْ تَشْكُرُوا يَرْضَهُ لَكُمْ ۗ
He likes not disbelief for His servants and if you are grateful (by believing), He is pleased with you.
(Surat az-Zumar, 39:7)
Wa laa yardaa li-`ibaadihi ‘l-kufraa, He doesn't want kufr or unbelief, He is not satisfied with that. Wa in tashkuroo yardahu lakum, if you thank Allah (swt) then He is pleased with you, but He does not want you to be kaafir, non-Believer; He wants all of Mankind to enter the fold of Islam and the Prophet (s) came for everyone. He didn't come only for Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Africans or Asians, he came for all humanity! Allah (swt) sent him for everyone, because He told him (s), “Bring them to Me!” Therefore, Prophet (s) gave the Message and said, “O my Lord, haven’t I delivered the Message?” and his Companions (r) witnessed and said, "Yes, you did,” and they carried the Message all over the world and those that accepted the Companions (r) continue that Message until now.
So what is the Message? What does Allah (swt) want from us? We are on Earth, in dunya, immersed in this life, but Allah (swt) says in Holy Qur'an:
وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ طَرَفَىِ ٱلنَّہَارِ وَزُلَفً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلَّيۡلِۚ إِنَّ ٱلۡحَسَنَـٰتِ يُذۡهِبۡنَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِۚ ذَٲلِكَ ذِكۡرَىٰ لِلذَّٲكِرِينَ
And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Verily, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember. (Surat Hud, 11:114)
Allah (swt) is saying to everyone, “Establish prayer.” He told Sayyidina Adam, Sayyidina Nuh, Sayyidina Ibrahim and Sayyidina Isma`eel (`alayhimu ‘s-salaam) to establish prayer, aqimi ’s-salaat. Why, what is in prayer ‘at the two ends of the day and a part of the night close to the day time’? The scholars said the two edges of the day means Fajr, then Zhuhr and `Asr. The morning is the Fajr prayer, and then after the sun starts to go down they call it ‘`ashiyya’ in Arabic, so that is the other edge of the night, Zhuhr and `Asr, and the part of the night that is close to the day is Maghrib and `Isha. These are the five prayers. “And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night, because the good will take away the bad.” What is the good and the bad? They said when you are in this life you are going after your five senses: now you are in this mosque, but when we exit you see and hear what is outside, you taste and start speaking what is outside, and touching what is outside. The shuyookh, scholars said that all these are the five senses that take you away from dhikrullah. When you exit this door, you will be consumed by everything that will take you away from Allah (swt)!
How many people exit the masjid and start thinking of other than Allah (swt)? Try it, exit, you don't remember Allah (swt). Alhamdulillah we try to, but a lot of people don’t. Whatever you see, hear and feel outside directly enters your heart and affects you right away: your wife, husband, children, business, friends, bank account, phone, and all of us experience that, then what happens? You forget your Lord, Allah (swt), you start thinking about your money, credit cards, friends, about what you will do do tonight and tomorrow, how will you entertain yourself, what is your next plan, then everything preoccupies your mind and heart right away!
These five senses that we have are distractions, which is why the shaykhs, saints, scholars, `alims observed `uzlah, isolation, seclusion, `itikaaf, to keep themselves away from dunya, because once they use their five senses they forget their Lord. However, when you are in Allah’s masjid, you remember your Lord, so Allah (swt) is saying, wa aqimi ’s-salaat, establish the prayer. Why? Because when we enter prayer, we say “Allah Akbar,” we cannot pray without mentioning Allah. We bring Allah (swt) to mind, we are purifying our mind and heart with dhikrullah by saying aloud, "Allahu Akbar." Some people say don't do dhikr out loud, but when we say "Allahu Albar," it is not silent, it is out loud.
So the first thing in prayer is Allah: we focus our attention on, “I am now with my Lord, Allahu Akbar, He is Greater than any problem, worry, concern or difficulty I have. He is Greater than my prayer being presented to Him by the angels! Allahu Akbar! O my lord, Subhaanak!” We say, Allahu Akbar, Subhaanak allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabaaraka ‘smuka wa ta`ala jadduka, wa jalla thaanuka wa laa ilaaha Ghayruk, “You are the Glory! We are not worthy of You!”
Allah (swt) assigned us the five prayers to bring us back to His Presence. We are too present with Shaytan, with desires and matters that take us away from Him. help you much. You are going to leave it and go.
So aqimi ’s-salaat, “Establish the prayer, come to My Presence!” because when we enter the Presence of Allah (swt) and say “Allahu Akbar,” we are in qiyaam, you are standing, which means you are standing out of respect to Allah (swt). When you enter the sultan's palace, or when the sultan or king is coming, or let’s say the president or the mayor is coming, we all stand up, you don't sit! The president is coming and everyone wants to take a picture, picture with the president. So if the president or king comes we all stand up. When Allah (swt) is inviting us to His Presence we all have to be standing. That is why it is qiyaam and that is why we start prayer with qiyaam and we say, “Allahu Akbar.” So when we say, “Allahu Akbar” and we are in Allah's Presence, what happens? Now Allah’s (swt) pleasure is coming on you, because you are in the Presence. You say, “Allahu Akbar” and you enter into prayer; you are in the presence of your Lord. So what do you think comes? Mercy, blessings, forgiveness, pardoning, rahmah comes. Where does all of that go? It goes into your heart! The Light of Allah (swt), His Forgiveness, His Mercy, His Blessings!
In the old times, when you went into the presence of the sultan, he would not let you go without giving you a gift. Maybe a bag of gold, a bag of silver, but a gift for the people who came to him. So when you’re going into Allah’s Presence, you think He’s not going to give you anything? What kind of a Sultan is He? He gives! When we are entering into His Presence, what are we saying? We are saying “Alhamdulillahi Rabbi ‘l-`Alameen!” You telling Allah (swt) that You are so Generous! You are praising Him. Ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem, You are All-Merciful, O my Lord! Look how Allah (swt) is bringing us into His Presence and how He is teaching us to address Him so He can shower us with His Rahmah, with His Favors! And what do we do? We skip prayers, we miss prayers, we forget about prayers.
So when we enter the prayer in the Presence of Allah (swt), He is sending from His Generosity, from His Mercy! We are saying:
الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيم مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّين إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيم صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينُ
All Praise is due to Allah alone, the Sustainer of All the Worlds, the Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace, Lord of the Day of Judgment! You Alone do we worship and to You alone we return!
(Surat al-Fatihah, 1:4)
Alhamdulillahi Rabbi ‘l-`Alameen. Ar-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem. Maaliki yawmi 'd-deen. Iyyaaka na`budu wa iyyaaka nasta`een, He is sending His Support. Ihdina ‘s-siraat al-mustaqeem, He is sending His Guidance! When we are in prayer, we are receiving all that from Allah (swt) and it all goes in the heart. When it goes in the heart, it takes out whatever we did outside.
إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ
Good deeds waive the sins. (Surat Hud, 11:114)
When the Light and Forgiveness of Allah (swt) is coming through the heart, it pushes out the sayyi’aat, bad deeds, so whatever we did outside with our five senses--injustice, bad deeds, zina with the eye, gossip with the tongue--once we enter prayer, Allah (swt) with His Mercy is saying, “I will give you what is needed to push away the badness in you. I will give hasanaat, the Lights, the Forgiveness, and it will push out zhulumaat, the darkness and the evilness you acquired.” Inna ‘l-hasaanati yudhhibna ‘s-sayyi’aat.
He is saying the five prayers are the way to purify and redirect yourself to Allah (swt). The Prophet (s) said in a Hadith that if you have a river flowing next to you and every day you take a shower in it five times, do you have any dirt left? No! So Allah (swt) is saying, “Don’t be dirty!” Especially if we die dirty, it’s a big problem: we will be cleaned in the grave, fire will clean you, no problem! But it is best to be cleaned here with water, like the Prophet (s) said, with the river; throw yourself five times a day in the river, you get cleaned.
There was a story of a Naqshbandi saint, Sayyidina `Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q), who was walking in a town with his students; `alims often had their students walk with them. This pious man was walking with his students and a woman was cleaning her house and did not notice the shaykh was passing by and accidently threw dirty water on him! What did the students do? We all get angry, even at a little bee sting; we don’t want to simply kill the bee or hit it, no, we want to smash it to pieces! Look at the anger that comes out of us. Those disciples rushed into the woman’s house without permission and started yelling and screaming at her, “How dare you throw that dirty water on the shaykh!” and she didn’t know. The shaykh stopped his students and was very mad at them. He said, “I did not get angry at this lady, because I know my badness.” Every one of us here knows his badness, we don’t claim we are good and pure. Allah (swt) says, don’t claim purity for yourselves, He purifies us.
فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ
Don’t praise yourself. (Surat an-Najm, 53:32)
وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاء
Allah purifies whom He wills. (Surat an-Noor, 24:21)
Shaykhs are at a very high level, because they know their Shari`ah, their way. The shaykh said, “I know the badness in me and actually I thanked my Lord that water came down on me, because I know I am worthy of fire!” Look at the adab, manners of the shaykh, and nowadays people attack shaykhs, Sufi saints, as they lack understanding.
So when Allah (swt) had made a river, like the Prophet (s) said (to pray five times a day), “Throw yourself in the river five times a day, no dirt will remain!” Wa aqimi ’s-salaat. That is why you have to pray do the five prayers, because Allah (swt) does not want us dirty. Alhamdulillah, we prayed Maghrib at the masjid here, then inshaa-Allah we are going to pray `Isha, because that is the other part of the night, wa zulafan min al-layli, the close part of the night to the day, Maghrib and `Isha, after which you can sleep, no problem. You don’t have to stay awake, but you may. The Prophet (s) slept, his Sunnah is to sleep then wake up for Tahajjud, an hour or a couple hours before Fajr, but you sleep after `Isha and wake up for Fajr. Allah (swt) said, wa zulafan min al-layli, the close part of the night, He did not burden us to pray the whole night. You can, it’s a good worship and sometimes the Prophet (s) prayed all night until his legs were all swollen, but he also told his Sahaabah (r), “I sleep, then I wake up to pray.” That’s what we do.
So when Allah (swt) is calling us to His Presence, showering us with Mercy and Forgiveness, His Light stays in our heart, but when we go out again darkness comes back into our hearts. That’s why we wait for the next prayer, and the prayer after that, so we keep cleaning ourselves.
ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ
That is a reminder for those who want to remember. (Surat Hud, 11:114)
What state are we in when we finish prayer? You must be happy when you finish prayer, you feel good, light, so remember, “I’m going to pray again, because I felt good when I finished this prayer.” When you remember how well you felt during your prayer, you want to wait for the next prayer, you don’t want to miss it, and that is:
الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ
Those who remain constant in prayers. (Surat al-Ma’aarij, 70:23)
They are daa’im, continuously in prayer, because they know how good they felt when they prayed and they want to keep that happiness flowing, because without prayer we are depressed. People who don’t have faith have a very difficult time coping with the world. Allah (swt) is saying, “Come to prayer! Don’t miss the prayer.” Since we have five senses, which are the doors of all that darkness to come into our hearts, the five prayers are the five doors for all the Light to come into our hearts: five senses, five prayers! Thank you for listening. [Du`a.]
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