Suhbah after `Isha at Private Residence
Dastoor yaa Sayyidee, madad! Allahuma salli `alaa habeebika al-Mustafa. Allahuma salli wa sallim wa baarik `alayhi wa `alayhi afdalu ’s-salaat wa ’s-salaam.
(Shaykh Hisham stands) Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahi 'l-hamd! (du`a)
I am not pretending or claiming that I know more than you, and also you are not claiming that you know more than me, as you are accepting that I speak, but my shaykh is my support and he is supporting me and supporting you.
Every meeting has a beginning and an end, and every visit has a beginning and an end, and every journey has a beginning and an end. When we travel and we meet, there is a time we spend together and then it is over. This is similar in dunya: there is a time in which we come to this life and a time when we leave this life. And when we come we are pure, as the Prophet (s) said:
كل مولود يولد على الفطرة فأبواه يهودانه أو ينصرانه أو يمجسانه
yulid al-insanu `ala al-fitrah, wa imma abawaahu yuhawidaanihi aw yunasiraanhi aw yumajisaanihi.
Human beings are born in purity and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian, or Zoroastrian.
Whoever that human being is, he is born in purity according to that hadith of the Prophet (s), who also said, “His parents make him a different religion.” It may be Jewish, Christian, or Zoroastrian, but at the beginning, the birth, he or she is pure. So as we grow up, we build and accumulate what is good and what is bad. Good is from Allah (swt) and badness is from ourselves. And that is where we have to sometimes remind ourselves as Allah swt said:
وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَى تَنفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Wa dhakkir fa inna ‘dh-dhikra tanfa`u ‘l-mu’mineen.
And remind (people), for reminding benefits the Believers. (Surat az-Zariyat, 51:55)
I get benefit and you get benefit if we follow the ayah. Anyone can refresh our memories and remind us of what we were, what we are, and what we are will be in the future. That is why the stage is open, and anyone who likes to come here, the mic is open and you can speak; I and Dr. Azhari will sit down and anyone who would like to speak can come forward.
I don’t know what to say, but when they were singing the qaseedas praising the Prophet (s), a hadith came to my mind, and Mawlana Shaykh said, “Explain that hadith, because it is necessary in our days because our children don’t sleep.” We are losing our children and many of us have the same problem. They say, “My daughter is traveling to study outside (the community or country),” and then when the crisis hits they come crying, “My son/daughter is having this or that problem!” That is your mistake from the beginning. Not everyone can control himself or herself when they go out, especially in non-Muslim countries and even in Muslim countries. Foreigners come to Malaysia or Indonesia, which are Muslim countries, but when they come home, their parents say, “We lost our son or daughter.” So today the fire is everywhere.
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : « يأتي على الناس زمان القابض على دينه كالقابض
على الجمررواه الترمذي .
Qaala rasoolullah (s): yaatee `ala an-naasi zamaan al-qaabidu `ala deenihi ka’l-qaabidu `ala al-jamr.
The Prophet (s) said, “The one holding his religion firmly in his hand is like someone holding a burning coal.”
What will happen if you hold a burning coal? It burns, we know, but it is painful! You are holding your religion and it is painful and today, if you let it out you will be burned more. The one holding onto his religion is as if he is holding a burning coal, yet it is better to burn your hand than to burn the whole body! How do we burn the whole body? By being liberal, to do what you like, to be free.
This is the problem of today, they call for freedom. You can be free, but not in religion. You can pray the way you like, fast the way you like during the year, voluntarily, on whatever day you like. But really that is not being free. to be “free” means to have no restrictions, using marijuana, going with gangs, boys and girls dancing, going on Satanic ways. That is liberal, but not in the sense that you are free to do what you like in religion; here we mean “no restrictions” in dunya way.
If you leave a horse without the bridle, what will happen to the horse? It will run and you will have to lasso it to bring it back. Not everyone can do that, only experts can do that. So the horse is running and you don't even have a rope, then how are you going to the Prophet (s) and stopping your ego from running? Your ego is like a wild horse running away: you cannot catch it, it it is too fast, and only those with ropes can catch it, the awliyaaullah, who put out the rope and bring everyone in.
Who put the people here? Did you bring yourself? No way. You were hooked to come here. Those who have the luck to come to such associations are lucky. They know that the rope pulled them to something that is not dunya business, in it there is only praising the Prophet (s) and naseeha, advice. So if you let your ego run you cannot catch it. And don’t come and say I lost my son or my daughter. You were responsible. You are responsible. Sometimes, some children go and come, they are okay, and some go out of control - then they go to drugs and rehabilitation and then run back from you and back to gangs. There is nothing you can do. So what to do? What we have to do is from childhood raise them very Islamic, raise them to pray five prayers, wake them for fajr. Make them pray, don’t say they are young, no. Look at these children they are young and they grow up like that, and they will never leave Islam, their religion.
Three-to-four hundred years ago, all the Muslims would study was Islam, Qur’an, fiqh, and hadith. When you go to Al-Azhar University or other such institutions, they teach Islamic religion and their students become scholars, whom Allah gives the best way of life, with all kinds of agriculture, livestock, they raise their children in the best way and they are happy. To them, that is modernity. In the Stone Age, very ancients times when they had stone hammers, whoever had that hammer was looked upon at the possessor of the latest technology of the time; it was their “modernity.” Every period of time is modern for those living in that time.
We in the twenty-first century did not discover technology; previous people also had their technology. They were happy with horses and the one without a horse was happy to have a donkey. Do you have a donkey? You are a donkey and I am one also! I didn’t see donkeys in Malaysia; maybe you need to import them. So being modern then was to have a donkey and the one walking was not modern. Now to be modern you have a car, and a house that is air-conditioned, MRI, dialysis. At that time they had nothing but prophetic medicine and they were living a nice life, as they were living on fitra. Do you know what fitra is? (Charity?) No, it is living in a natural manner. Their belief was strong in Allah (swt) and in the Prophet (s).
So in our time if we want to be successful, the Prophet (s) said one thing that is very important, ati`mu ta`am, “Give food.” Give food and feed people. If you want to turn your life into jannah, a paradise, bring them to such associations and feed them, and make them recite Holy Qur'an and do dhikrullah.
There are so many ayats about dhikr! Qul Allah! The Wahhabis say it is haraam to say Allah. You heard that? One of their complaints in the forty questions they sent to Raja Ashman is that it is haraam to say “Allah” in dhikr. (According to them) You can say, “laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” and you cannot say, “Allah,” “Huwa,” or “Hayy.” Wahhabis never accept that you say that aloud. Have you heard that, one of their main complaints?
Allah said in Holy Qur'an:
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)
So what did Allah say? “Say ‘Allah,’ and leave them in their play.” Who wants to object, let them go to Hell. Say, “Allah!” Allah! thumma dharhum fee khawdihim, “Leave them playing in whatever they like to do, in their foolishness.”
So the Prophet (s) said, ati`m at-ta`am, “Offer food,” and what do they do? They come. They are not coming to me here, they are coming to eat. When you invite people they come to eat. and there are two kinds of food: physical food and spiritual food. So the owner of the house is inviting everyone for both physical and spiritual food. When the Prophet (s) is saying, “Feed the people,” it means feed them both physical and spiritual food. Ad-deenu naseeha, “Religion is advice;” that is food for the soul and it elevates you in such meetings.
Some people say, “I am losing my faith.” So many say that today. Let them come to such meetings. If there are no such meetings, it is too bad. These spiritual associations build communities. In previous times this was community center where people came and heard advice. Today, what is a community center? People wearing bathing suits, playing tennis, learning martial arts, playing cricket, volleyball, golf, polo, football, wasting their time. What is the benefit as Shaytan is playing with them. They say, “This is how we are, modern.” Is this modernity? We are losing our children because we say this is modernity! Such meetings as these are important, this is a real community center. They say, “Create some sports to allow children to work off their energy.” They have too much energy in something else: boys sneaking and peeking at the girls, and girls peeking at the boys!
In the time of Sayyidina Bayazid al-Bistami, may Allah bless him, there was person whose village was in a drought. There was no rice in that time, mostly there was flour. Nothing was living anymore, the drought completely damaged that city. So they came looking for Bayazid to make du`a, and they found him living down in a dry well, secluding himself from everyone.
They said, “O Bayazid, we need help.”
“I am busy.”
“Please! There is no food, no water, people are dying, ladies are dying.”
“Leave me alone, I am busy.”
They said, “For Allah's sake and the Prophet (s)'s sake.”
He came out. “For Allah's sake and Prophet's sake, what do you want?”
They said, “Please pray that we have rain.”
He said, “I need someone to say, ‘Ameen,’ and I will recite the du`a.”
That is an issue for a community center and all of us are falling into this mistake, but the self is strong and we don’t know what we are doing.
He said, “I want someone who didn’t commit a sin in his life to say ‘ameen;’ if you find him bring him to say, ‘ameen.’”
Who does not have sins? How many sins do you have? As we have hairs on our head, we cannot count our sins! So they went around, asking in villages and cities until they found one old person, who said, “I will go to Bayazid al-Bistami (q).”
Bayazid said to him, “Are you the one who said, ‘I didn’t do any sin.’”
He said, “Yes, my shaykh.”
Bayazid said, “Did you ever do anything?”
He said, “I did one thing and I repented.”
Bayazid asked, “What was it?”
He said, “One time I was going to jumu`ah and as customary, I would look at my feet.”
And today you are driving so you cannot look down or you will cause an accident, and everyone today when walking looks around everywhere.
“I was walking to the masjid, and in the middle of the path, in my right eye, I don’t know how it moved, but I saw a house on the road and their laundry was hanging out to dry, and my eye focused on some underwear, and I looked at it. Immediately, I didn’t continue on my way, but rather I went back home as I was going early for jumu`ah. I took a skewer, put it in the fire, made it red hot, and then I scalded my eye to teach it not to look at whatever is haraam. That is what I did and I will remember it all my life.”
And so that man said, “Ameen,” and Bayazid (q) made du`a, and suddenly the rain fell and continued for forty days and all vegetation came back to life!
In 1969, I was in Mecca with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani, and we were making tawaaf in Umrah before Hajj. We made the first round of tawaaf, then the second round, third round, and after the third round Mawlana stopped. Usually you continue, and Mawlana raised his hands, “Yaa Rabbee, we are coming to Your House and we didn’t come for rulers.” It was very hot, “O Our Lord! Shower us.” And he began the fourth round and from nowhere, clouds came with great thunder and lightning, and then it rained, until the water reached up to here our necks! People left the courtyard of Ka`aba as there was no way to pray there, as you would have been under water, and so we went under the domes they have all around as it was not crowded like today, and we waited. Mawlana said, “I didn’t say, so we can continue our tawaaf.” We were not able to go back to Jeddah as the streets were blocked. There was no way to move as Mecca was blocked, the water could not go anywhere. So these awliyaullah make du`a.
We go back to the story of our community center. The real community center is the House of Allah. Their real taste is to be with Allah and His Prophet (s). Our taste today is how to make our children happy, and now all the problems of parents come from the children and how to make them happy. The father wants this and the mother that, and the daughter doesn’t listen and... this is the way, “Feed them in your homes.”
I remember Shaykh Adnan’s and my father had a house ten times bigger than this house; the hallways were ten times bigger than this hallway, like 700 square meters. It was a very old house that was demolished during the war. And too many scholars came to our house as my uncle (a scholar) did not have space to host them. So we were raised around them, and as much as you make an environment like this, you will save the children or else they will waste time on music, games, movies, and the Internet. Today is you ask, “What are you doing, my son?” he will answer, “I am studying on the Internet, doing research.” But if you check later, he is chatting on Facebook and YouTube.
أفشوا السلام ، وأطعموا الطعام ، وصلوا والناس نيام ، تدخلوا الجنة بسلام
afshoo as-salaam, wa ati`m at-ta`am wa salloo bi’l-layli wa ’n-naasu niyaam tadkhul al-jannat bi ’s-salaam.
The Prophet (s) said, “Give greetings (of peace), feed the people and wake up when the people are sleeping, you will enter Paradise in peace.”
That means make them wake for fajr, and then, afshoo as-salaam; what is that? Say salaam to people. (It means) not only say, “salaam `alaykum,” but make safety, in the way you deal with people: listen to to their problems and make peace with everyone. Are we making peace? Every second person is fighting with each other. Even in this mawlid group there might be problems between one or two people. Tadkhul al-jannat bi ’s-salaam, “You will enter Paradise in safety,” and so if you want Paradise in your life for your children, then give food and get up to pray when people are sleeping and you will enter Paradise! Attend these sessions more and more and the barakah comes to those who are hosting and those attending. (...) You see these people? Everyone is going to eat and they are happy.