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Our Way is Association

Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

14 Ramadan 1427/6 October 2006

A`udhu billahi min ash-shaytaan ir-rajeem

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem

Nawaytu'l-arba`een, nawaytu'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu'l-khalwah, nawaytu'l-riyaadah, nawaytu's-salook, nawaytu'l-`uzlah lillahi ta`ala fee hadha'l-masjid

Ati` Allah wa ati` ar-Rasula wa uli 'l-amri minkum

Our Imam, Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q), Imam at-tariqat, was always saying our way is association, because through associations we learn. And when you have a gathering like this gathering, they are coming for advice. Ad-deenu marbutan bin-naseeha - "Religion is tied to advice" and advice is tied to association and association is tied to the way Awliya follow. That is the meaning of tariqah: to sit and get advice on issues we need, of both dunya and Akhira.

Awliyaullah don’t sit to waste their time and your time. They want to sit and speak in order that everyone benefits. And Allah (swt) looks at those who are sitting together in an association to advise each other of what they are necessary to follow. That is why the Prophet (s) said, Yadullah ala al-jama`at – “Allah’s (swt) support is over those who come together,” sitting together, remembering whatever they have forgotten of their religion and remembering what they need to learn from their shaykh.

Every association has its own taste and every association has its own understanding.

There are people, as Allah (swt) said:

وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لَّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

wa sakhara lakum maa fi’s-samawaati wa ma fi’l-ardi jamee`an minhu inna fee dhaalika la-ayaatin li-qawmin yatafakkaroona.

And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: Behold, in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect. [45:13]

Allah (swt) subjugated whatever is in heavens and whatever is in earth to your control. There are people who have power and have subjugated earth, earth follows them and they are able to do anything on earth that others might not be able to do. Don’t be tricked.

Even someone who can subjugate dunya, have control on dunya and can have control on you, on people thru his or her speeches or presentations, but they are blind as long as they did not get their amanaat from the Prophet (s), they are considered blind.

Anyone who did not reach to be able to get his trust from the Prophet (s) is blind. Even he can fly in the air. Even he can make you to see things by the speech that that person gives, makes you to see all kinds of visions. All these are illusions and imagination.

Grandshaykh told us that when you begin to feel pleasure in what you are doing of worship then be careful; stop doing it. Do something else. If you are doing dhikrullah, Allah (swt) and begin to feel some kind of pleasure from it, stop. Because that pleasure is not what we are seeking. If you are doing dhikr, then stop and read from Qur’an. That might come to you, that boredom. So then you continue, you don’t stop.

Easy to be by hallucination to see anything. Adam u was made to fall by the hallucination of Shaytan, his whispering [giving him the idea that he and his wife could be given everlasting kingdom, living forever.]

When the Prophet (s) came the idolaters heard the idols speaking and they made fitna to the Sahaaba and [even though] the Prophet (s) was there. Shaytan might come at any moment to trick people through many ways. You don’t want to be tricked by these illusions that make you in a trance. Your goal is not to see this or that. Like following a blind man with a stick and you are blind.

And you don’t have a stick. Too many people today have sticks. They don’t know the meaning of the stick Allah (swt) asked Sayyidina Musa (as), “What are you carrying in your hand?” He said, “That cane. That cane you are carrying, you have to know the importance of the cane.”

قَالَ هِيَ عَصَايَ أَتَوَكَّأُ عَلَيْهَا وَأَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلَى غَنَمِي وَلِيَ فِيهَا مَآرِبُ أُخْرَى

Qaala hiya `asaya atawakkau `alayha wa ahushshu biha `ala ghanamee wa liya feeha ma’aribu ukhra.

He said, “It is my staff: on it I lean; with it I beat down fodder for my flocks; and in it I find other uses.” [20:18]

He said, “I lean on the cane—it means I lean on you, Ya Rabbee, this cane is Sayyidina Muhammad (s).” Your cane is your shaykh, not the blind man. A blind man where he is going to take you, he cannot see, but because he has a cane, not a cane like Sayyidina Musa’s (as). You think he is going to take you somewhere. He is blind; You are blind, both of you will fall down.

The best of minerals are the rare ones. Anything that is rare is the best. Anything that is not rare, found in abundance then that one you don’t need it. That is going to be nothing; it is of no [special] importance, like iron, you can find iron everywhere and above iron there is copper. When people look, they say I want pipe from copper. Of course you don’t like iron but it oxidizes. But copper, while it lasts for some time, but better is silver. Better than silver is gold and better than gold is platinum. Iron you can find but gold and platinum you cannot find. Like diamonds they are rare. Other things are not rare.

Kalaam al-Awliya are like rare minerals. You don’t go to copper and leave the gold. Iron is everywhere on the internet. Everyone knows how to bring you iron. A blind person cannot bring you gold. He can bring you what is in reach of his hands, pebbles. Pebbles are everywhere on the mountain. A wali will bring you gems from the mountain.

Be careful, don’t lead the jama`at and become like a blind association. Then we fall into a trap of blindness, all of us, so that we cannot come out of it. Abu Jahl was blind to the reality of Prophet (s). That is why he was always coming against him, against him, against him.

Teachings of Awliya take you from the blindness of dunya to the highest level. And all this power of what we just explained comes through humility; thru tawada`.

And Grandshaykh, may Allah (swt) bless his soul, said that tawada` is to respect everyone. Not to respect people when you feel that they are important or when you feel they are closer to you. Or you feel more content with them. That is not true humility. Tawada` is to make sure that you can be with a child giving a high level of importance and respect just as you are with a king giving a high level of respect. It is to give that same respect to the child and to listen to that child as if his words were so important.

You have to learn from people. Everyone says one word to you, it is very important to you. You keep quiet, you listen, you learn. We have to keep quiet, listen and learn. When we are able to respect everyone, then Allah (swt) will give us more and more and bring us nearer and nearer. You cannot abandon people and don’t talk to them because you don’t feel relaxed to speak with them. You cannot, if you want to be improving, you cannot abandon people because you feel you are not at ease or comfortable with them.

When you don’t feel comfortable with someone, sit with him more. Then you are struggling with your ego to overcome that sickness. That is a sickness. Anyone you don’t feel comfortable with, invite him for dinner. Give him respect. Then that person will feel so happy. Then you overcome your illness. These are the teachings of Awliya. These teachings are more important to give a remedy to the shortcomings of people. To give them remedies is more important than to make them to see things that are imaginary and are unreal. Because what these people see of imaginary things, they will be happy to eat from the tree.

People will be happy; they will stay in that level and don’t want to go more. You trick them, they trick you and Shaytan tricked you all.

What we need is to cure each other. To cure each other we need to observe the sickness and then to cure the ones around us with humility and love and respect. How many times I ask someone, “Is that one calling you and speaking with you?” “No, for many days.” The other one I asked, said, “That one doesn’t talk to me or speak to me.” What is going on? The character of a shaykh is to bring everyone together that everyone likes, not one group and the other group, there are no groups.

Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) said, “Our way is association and the goodness is in the group,” the whole jama`at. It means you have to build bridges with the whole jama`at, to be sure the whole jama`at is happy and the whole jama`at loves each other. Then you are fixing the problem, not putting fire over fire, making more flames.

Grandshaykh said, "My teacher, [meaning Shaykh Sharafuddin], with his greatness [such] that Sultan Abdul Hameed used to stand up for him when Sultan Abdul Hameed used to go to visit him and when he goes to visit the Sultan, when a child goes to meet him in the association he stands up and gives respect to that child as if that child is a fully mature man, and he will sit with him and give him a suhbat and ask how his father and his mother are and at the end he gives him money or candy and sends salaams to his parents.

Giving suhbat to a child, that is secret there, the child is pure. So when he gives to the child, all his connections are open to the ancestors and descendants. So through that child he can reach the whole ancestors and descendants. So he speaks to him respecting and through him that secret passes. So he said, zuhd doesn’t come except through humility, tawada`. When you reach that level of asceticism then Allah (swt), he will open for you the secret of humbleness. The most humble is Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and the most arrogant is Iblees.

When you are humble Allah (swt) will open to you the door to the Prophet (s). When you are arrogant and you don’t see anything except your own way, and see everyone else's way as wrong then you end up in the hole of Iblees.

We have to be very careful which way we are looking. If we are looking to the way of the Prophet (s) then we become humble. If we fall in the trap of Iblees we think what we are doing is the best and everyone else is doing is the worst. That is our experience. In our many years with Grandshaykh and Mawlana Shaykh. How many times we fell down and then they pulled us up. That is from 50 years of experience. That is not something coming easy. It is only after they grind you completely.

We will continue next time.

You look worried; we have to be very careful, you have to be careful, they have to be careful, I have to be careful.

This notebook is from 40 years ago. Years pass. Who said I would be here. No one—and meet all these beautiful faces. I don’t know if they are beautiful or not.

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