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Protocols for Meeting the Shaykh

Adab Towards the Shaykh, Part 3

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

3 March 2012 Burton, Michigan

As-Siddiq Mosque after Salaat al-Maghrib

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.

Allahumma taahir qalbee min ash-shirki wa ‘n-nifaaq. (Du`a of miswaak)

Please sit in a big circle because it has to be a halaqa, as mentioned by the Prophet (s) that angels come in circles over human beings who are doing dhikr. Allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammad (s)!


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.

We discussed this last week, this afternoon, and inshaa-Allah we continue tonight about the highest level of Islam that, in general, it is the State of Ihsaan, which the Prophet (s) mentioned to Jibreel (a), “It is to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him.” Of course we cannot see Allah (swt), but it means as if you are seeing Him, and if you were, how would your prayer be different? So it means you have to be very meticulous with every move you make. The highest level of Islam for sure, after the five pillars and the six pillars of imaan, is how to discipline yourself in order that you can benefit and learn from your teacher.

Regarding discipline, in addition to what we mentioned earlier today, when you enter an association of dhikrullah, you have to enter with full respect to everyone sitting in the association, and also make your heart manzu`a `anin ‘sh-shawaa'ib, “remove all distractions.” If you want to train a horse very well you put “blinders” on his eyes to reduce distraction and prevent him from looking right or left, “to make him blind” to everything but the road ahead. In the discipline of tariqah, you don’t look straight ahead but rather you look at where you put your feet. That means “don't raise your eyes,” put your eyes at mawdu` al-qadam, “the place where you put your foot.” Even on the street, Grandshaykh (q) often ordered us not to look anywhere except where we put our foot, i.e., on the sidewalk, not looking right or left.

Today where do we look? We never look at our feet, we might even fall in a ditch because we are looking right and left! So when we enter a session of dhikrullah, we put everything of dunya out and come in clean. This is not easy to do, but this is your duty. Just like at university, you have theory and a lab where you are trained, like a doctor has to do his residency. This (suhbah) is a theory, but then we have to train ourselves or there is no need to follow tariqah. We fulill our five pillars: prayers, fasts, giving sadaqa, Hajj, and we say, “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa habeebuhu wa rasooluh.” Therefore, why would we put ourselves through more difficulty (of following tariqah)? Because our hearts are guiding us towards perfection. That is why you come here.

Sayyidina Muhammad (s) taught the Sahaabah (r) perfection in their treatment of each other, besides their prayers and obligations. Just now this one (mureed) said to this one, "Fix this." Then he got angry and shouted at him, although this one deserves it, but he has no right to get angry at the other one even if he does not want to do it. It is better not to make yourself heard or to shout in front of people, although here it is not a problem as we are learning. In tariqah we must not only depend on the theory, but we must act on it and make our “residency,” which is as soon as you enter from the door, bring nothing of the outside world and focus exclusively on the teacher.

As we said in the morning, al-Asba`ee (r), a close friend of Imam Shafi`ee (r), said that he used to feel shy and even afraid to drink a cup of water in front of Imam Shafi`ee. Allah, Allah! How much we are in need of this advice.

سمعت الربيع بن سليمان ، يقول : " ما والله اجترأت أن أشرب الماء والشافعي ينظر إلي هيبة له "

ma’a w’Allahi ajtaraat an ashrab al-maa wa ash-shafi`ee yanzhur ilayya haybatan lah.

Ar-Rabi`ee bin Sulayman (a companion of Imam ash-Shafi`ee) said, “By Allah, I felt shy to even drink water while ash-Shafi`ee was observing me, due to his majestic presence.”

When you begin to disrespect, by thinking, “I am so close to the shaykh and his family and can go anywhere I want in his house,” then there is no more sense of awe or reverence, then you lose the feeling that he is a shaykh and a wali. You lose the respect, seeing him every hour of the day and entering with no respect nor by taking permission, until the shaykh gets fed up with you. This is why approaching shuyookh is like approaching fire, because there are too many red lines you might cross.

So, as soon as you enter from the door, use siwaak and recite, Allahumma taahir qalbee min ash-shirki wa ‘n-nifaaq, “O Allah! Purify my heart from shirk and hypocrisy!” Use one hand to cover your mouth as that is adab and everything in Islam has adab. The prayer preceded by the use of siwaak is equal to 27 prayers without siwaak! If you pray Fajr, Zhuhr, `Asr, Maghrib or any other prayer, and you make siwaak and say, “Allahumma taahir qalbee min ash-shirki wa ‘n-nifaaq” and then pray, that prayer has the reward of 27 prayers. What do you need better than that?

So he said, “Musta`milan li ’s-siwaak, you have to make sure that you do your siwaak before you enter to see your shaykh,” cleaning yourself and entering with full wudu. Because as the Prophet (s) said, “A prayer with a siwaak is rewarded 27 times,” so when you pray more, you will be rewarded more. Then, each prayer gets the reward of 27 prayers and as it adds up, you rise up in rewards and will reach the level of “seeing without seeing.” Allah (swt) is not doubling the reward of the prayer, , but multiplying the reward by 27 prayers! So that raises you 27 times higher and higher in the level of knowledge!

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim is opening this knowledge now; I never heard this before. Why is it 27 times and not 28? Everyone has a limit he has to reach; you rise and keep rising until you reach this level. There, you see what people cannot see, up to here (a level below). You are blocked by that veil on that platform so you cannot see beyond it, and so you have to be on top of that platform, and to be on top, Allah gave you an opportunity by each prayer being multiplied by 27, only by using the siwaak, dispite fulfilling any other sunnah. Why 27? Because it is the number that takes you to reach the (level of the) revelation of the Holy Qur'an!

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

Innaa anzalnaahu fee laylati ‘l-qadr.

Lo! We revealed it on Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Power."

(Surat al-Qadr, 97:1)

That means you will reach (the level of) Laylat al-Qadr because it occurs on the 27th of Ramadan, and by using the siwaak only you will reach that tajalli which takes you up to the level of revealing that verse, “Innaa anzalnaahu fee laylati ’l-qadr,” as if you were raised up to the level that you can see the light of Laylat al-Qadr. You will see that in every prayer, but you are not yet seeing it as your heart is not ready to see these knowledges. If you continue, as we said, ajall al-karamaat dawaam at-tawfeeq, “The greatest miracle is to be consistent in what you are doing.”

This means don’t say, “I prayed a lot, made a lot of salawaat, and now I will stop.” You cannot say, “I did a lot,” and you must know that when you reach your destiny Allah (swt) gives you this (seeing the light of Laylat al-Qadr). So it is by asbaab, a means to take you to that. So when you recite, “Allahumma taahir qalbee min ash-shirki wa ‘n-nifaaq,” you clean your heart of whatever in dunya distracts you.

And this is very important: al-Asba`ee (r) said, wa an la yadkhul `ala ash-shaykh bi ghayri istidhaan, “He has no right to enter a place where the shaykh is without permission." Permission is not needed if the shaykh is in the masjid, but if the shaykh is in the house it needs permission. So don’t put your shaykh under burden by entering the private rooms of the shaykh and disturbing his privacy. Even though you are close to the shaykh as a friend, it puts a heavy burden on the shaykh when you break the Shari`ah.

In summary, you cannot enter the house of the Prophet (s) without permission, unless you get permission for either eating or to ask a question. If you are given permission then go in, and don’t come early to sit and talk; that hurt the Prophet (s) when he sat with his family, his wife and daughter, and the Sahaabah (r) sat and listened. Even if you are very close and you did your best (to serve the shaykh) throughout your life, it doesn't give you the right to enter without permission. For any reason, you need permission to enter his house!

Similarly, to enter in prayer needs permission. When you say “Allahu Akbar,” you are entering the House of Allah; you are between the Hands of Allah. So awliyaullah said, “Immediately after you prayed the sunnah to prepare for the fard, obligatory prayer, recite the Shahadah three times to renew your tawheed, and then recite 100 times istighfaar, and then three times qul huw ’Allahu Ahad, and then you are ready to make your obligation.” They want to prepare you to be clean in order to enter your prayers.

You cannot enter the masjid without discipline. You must enter with the right foot, use siwaak, not speak with anyone and sit by yourself, then do the adab I just mentioned and gift the reward to the Prophet (s), then stand to pray. In the prayer, where must you look? Many people are looking right and left or scratching their nose while praying. You must look at the place of sajda, and be careful not to close your eyes, always focusng your gaze on the place of sajda. If I am looking at my sajda here, then I have to look at the place where I put my forehead, not looking here and there as so many people do. That is when you are still standing. When you go in ruku` (bowing) you must look at your toes; when you go in qiyyaam (standing) look at the place of sajda; when sitting in at-tahiyaat look at your thighs when you recite the Shahadah; do not look at the place of sajda.

Everything has a discipline and all this is mentioned in the Shari`ah, but people are not paying attention. These practices are the way to become higher and higher in spiritual discipline, that when the shaykh has his hand on your head or on your heart and he transmits knowledge to you, he will enable you to teach and represent him. So we ask Allah (swt) that we are able to have good adab with our shuyookh, so we are with them in dunya and akhirah.

Wa min Allah at-tawfeeq bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.


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