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Remember Allah (swt) and He Will Remember You

The Importance of Dhikrullah Series, Vol 2

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

21 July 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Suhbah before Zhuhr Salaat (2)

Allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammad, hatta yardaa Sayyidina Muhammad!

A`udhoo billaahi min ash-Shaytani ’r-rajeem. Bismillaahi’r-Rahmani’r-Raheem.

Nawaytu ‘l-arba`in, nawaytu ‘l-`itikaaf, nawaytu ‘l-khalwah, nawaytu ‘l-`uzlah, nawaytu ‘r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`ala fi haadha ‘l-masjid.

Some people might misunderstand what we are speaking about. They always ask about dhikrullah, saying, "What is dhikr?" In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (swt) mentioned tens of aayaat about dhikrullah, such as:

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ

Fadhkuroonee adhkurkum, w ’ashkuroo lee wa laa takfuroon.

Remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful towards Me.

(Surat al-Baqarah, 2:152)

أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Alaa bi dhikrillaahi tatma'inna ‘l-quloob.

Truly in remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquility. (Ar-Ra`d, 13:28)

وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Wa dh-dhaakireena-Llaaha katheeran wa adh-dhaakiraati a`adda-Llaahu lahum maghfiratan wa ajran `azheema.

And men who remember Allah much and women who remember, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:35)

There are many aayaat about dhikr, and any way of doing doing dhikr is `ibaadah.

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

Inna nahnu nazzalnaa ’dh-dhikr wa innaa lahu la-haafizhoon.

Behold! It is We Ourselves Who have bestowed from on high, step by step, this reminder and behold, it is We Who shall truly guard it (from all corruption). (Surat al-Hijr, 15:9)

Here “dhikr” is the Holy Qur’an, which means any wahiy, revelation that was brought through Jibreel (a), who sat with the Prophet (s) at different times. It is said that the Prophet (s) and Jibreel (a) used to yatadaarasoon al-Qur'an, study the Holy Qur'an in Ramadan. Who was teaching whom? Allah (swt) knows: was it Jibreel (a) or the Prophet (s) teaching? Nevertheless, that revelation is the Holy Qur'an as well as the Holy Hadith of the Prophet (s), about whom Allah (swt) said:

مَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى

Wa maa yantiqu `ani 'l-hawaa in huwa illa wahyun yoohaa.

Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him.

(Surat an-Najm, 53:1-4)

And that is why when they accused Sayyida Ayesha (r) (when she lost her necklace in the desert), Prophet (s) did not give an answer until wahiy came, which was to show patience to the ummah.

So in a Holy Hadith narrated by Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Nasaa’i, Allah (swt) said:

يقول الله عز وجل:أنا عند ظن عبدي بي ،وأنا معه إذا ذكرني فإن ذكرني في نفسه ذكرته في نفسي، ومن ذكرني في ملأ ذكرته في ملأ خير منه، ومن تقرب إلي شبراً تقربت منه ذراعاً، ومن تقرب مني ذراعاً تقربت منه باعاً، ومن أتاني يمشي أتيته هرولة

Anaa `inda zhanna `abdee bee wa anaa ma`ahu idhaa dhakaranee, fa in dhakaranee fee nafsihi dhakartahu fee nafsee wa man dhakaranee fee malaa’in dhakartahu fee malaa’in khayran minhu wa man taqarrab ilayya shibran taqarrabtu minhu dhiraa`an wa man taqarrab minnee dhiraa`an taqarrabtu minhu baa`an wa man ataanee yamshee aataytahu harwalah.

I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself, and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly better than it, and if he draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length, and if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length, and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running! (Hadith Qudsi)

For example, if I think of Allah as al-Ghafoor ar-Raheem, “The All-Forgiving and The All-Merciful,” I will get His Forgiveness. He is saying, “I am precisely as My Servant thinks of Me!” So what do you think about Allah (swt)? Every time you have a problem, you say, “Yaa Rabbee!” Well, Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ

Id`oonee astajib lakum.

Supplicate to Me and I will give you! (Surat al-Mu’min, 40:60)

He says He will give you, but ask! Now some people might get a response immediately, whereas some ask and the response is delayed. Don’t say, “My du`a was not accepted,” as that is haraam! Don’t have doubt in Allah's Acceptance, because He is as His Servant thinks about Him. If you think good, you get good, but Allah delays to test His Servant’s patience. Are we patient? Inshaa-Allah, but we are not. This means we are not giving the right thought about Allah (swt), which then becomes a sin without you even knowing it. With everything you think, say, “Yaa Rabbee! Shukran laka, yaa Allah! `Afwuk wa ridaak, farrij kuroobanaa, yaa Rabbee, yaa Allah! Farrij `annaa, yaa Rabbee, yaa Allah!” Will Allah (swt) not accept it? He will! “I am as My Servant thinks of Me!” And the Prophet (s) said the truth, with no doubts! The problem is that we are always complaining. There are people who only like to complain, and there are also people who are always quiet and patient. May Allah (swt) make us from the patient ones!

In the continuation of the hadith, Allah (swt) said, fa in dhakaranee fee nafsee dhakartahu fee nafsee, “If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself.” And since Allah (swt) said, “I am as My Servant believes in Me,” then I am saying, “Yaa Sayyidee, Yaa Rasoolullah! You stated that hadith related by Bukhari and Muslim and many other aimmat, and your words are wahiyy! Yaa Rabbee! Make us to be under the shafa`ah of the Prophet (s)!” Since we asked, I am believing that Allah (swt) will, and more than “will,” He has already confirmed it, as He said, “I am as My Servant requests; whatever he thinks about Me, I am there!” Yaa Rabbee! We think you are going to give us a huge Paradise with no beginning and no end and keep us with the Prophet (s)! This is a Holy Hadith, which means Allah (swt) revealed that hadith to the Prophet (s).

That means whatever you think Allah (swt) will give, He will give and generously, not like us. He (swt) said, fa in dhakaranee fee nafsee dhakartahu fee nafsee, “If he (My Servant) remembers Me in himself, I will accept his remembrance to Me and will bring him to be in My Divine Presence!" Here “nafs” for Allah is not like our soul, but rather it is His Divine Presence, as no one can exist with Allah (swt); there is no union or wahdat al-wujood. Allah (swt) is the Creator and the whole ummah is His Creation: the Prophet (s) is the Creation. So He is saying, “If someone remembers Me,” and every second of such associations are nothing but remembrance of Allah (swt), “I will bring him into My Divine Presence, I will not keep him away! Even if My Servant says, ‘Yaa Rabbee!’ I will say, ‘Yaa `Abdee! What do you want?”

Allah (swt) will come to you; don’t say He doesn't come! No, Allah (swt) comes, as He said, wa man taqarrab ilayya shibran taqarrabtu minhu dhiraa`an wa man ataanee yamshee ataytahu harwalah, “Who comes to Me a hand’s span, I come to him an arm’s length. Who comes to Me walking, I come to him running!” Does Allah (swt) run? That means He will be ahead of us in giving what we want. Therefore, quickly say what you want: we want to be with the Prophet (s), as he is always in the Divine Presence under the manifestations of Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes!

So Allah (swt) said, wa man dhakaranee fee mala’ainn dhakartahu fee mala’ainn khayra minhu, “If he remembers Me or mentions My Name in a group, I will make angels remember him in a better group,” which means in the group of angels. Like now if we say “Allah” in this group, Allah (swt) will mention the names of everyone present here, not only their names, but also the names of their ancestors back to Sayyidina Adam (a)! You represent your father, and if your father dies they say, “This is the son of Mahmoud, who is the son of (name), who is the son of (name),” and thus it goes back through all your ancestors up to Sayyidina Adam (a). When you ask for forgiveness, Allah (swt) does not only forgive you, but with His Generosity, He forgives all those who came before you. Do you think Allah (swt) loses anything by forgiving them? He will forgive, so take however much you want!

That is why Allah (swt) is saying, “With what am I going to reward the one who mentioned Me in a group? With Paradise? No, there is more: I want to reward him to be sitting with someones whom he’ll never expect to be sitting with!” Who is the best to sit with? Sayyidina Muhammad (s) of course, and at the same time you will be with all Prophets, and Allah (swt) will mention you in a better association. This means He will introduce you in His Divine Presence, saying, “This is so-and-so and his father is Mahmoud,” and immediately angels will know who your ancestors are all the way up to Sayyidina Adam (a). You will be mentioned in front of them; they will witness that you said, “Allah!” and “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah!” If angels witness that you said, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” what will happen on the Day of Judgment? As witnesses in front of Allah (swt), they will say, “Yaa Rabbee! He mentioned Your Name and You put him in a better, heavenly association and he is in Your Divine Presence.” How can you go to Hell anymore; can Hellfire burn Light? No way!

As mentioned in the other hadith, Allah (swt) will dress you from the Beautiful Name and Attribute, an-Noor, “The Light.” How can fire burn Allah’s Beautiful Name? Hashaa, it is impossible! There is no way for fire, which is created, to burn something that is not created, because an-Noor is not created; fire cannot even see it! If you are dressed with The Noor, from Allah's Beautiful Names and Attributes, Hellfire will not see you; you will be veiled, because the Light will be manifest, and fire burns everything with a form and Light has no form. So when you are dressed with Light you actually become Light.

So if you mention Allah (swt), He will mention you in a better place, which means He will dress you with Light, and wherever you go you will be noticed. That is why the Prophet (s) said:

أصحابي كالنجوم بأيهم اقتديتم اهتديتم

As-haabee ka 'n-nujoom bi ayyihim aqtadaytum ahtadaytum.

My Companions are like stars (on a dark night); whichever of them you follow, you will be guided.

(`Abd ibn Humayd, ad-Daraqutnee, ibn `Adiyy, ibn `Abd al-Barr, with unsound chains but the meaning is sound)

Najm is a star, but we call it “najm” because it has the shining Light that Allah (swt) put in it. So if Allah (swt) dresses you from His Beautiful Name an-Noor, those who have open eyes can see that Light on you, but those who are blind like us cannot see it. All His angels can see. Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الأَسْمَاء كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَلاَئِكَةِ فَقَالَ أَنبِئُونِي بِأَسْمَاء هَـؤُلاء إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِين قَالُواْ سُبْحَانَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ َ

Wa `allama aadama ‘l-asmaa kullahaa thumma `aradahum `alaa ‘l-malaaikati faqaala anbioonee bi-asmaai haa’oolaai in kuntum saadiqeen. Qaaloo subhaanaka laa `ilma lanaa illaa maa `allamtanaa innaka anta ‘l-`aleemu ‘l-hakeem.

And He taught Adam all the names. Then He showed them to the angels and said, "Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful." They said, "Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise." (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:31-32)

He taught Sayyidina Adam (a) the names of all things and then told the angels, “Tell me what their names are going to be?” They said, “We cannot, yaa Rabbee! We don’t know except what You have taught us.” What did He teach them and what are these names? Anything created that you can think of has a name. Sayyidina Adam (a) knew the names of all angels, the salawaat that every angel is making on the Prophet (s), and what kind of wazeefa, recitation Allah (swt) gave to him. He (swt) taught Sayyidina Adam (a) the names of his children and what kind of tajalli is on everyone, which was all given because of the Light of Sayyidina Muhammad (s); if not for that Light on his forehead, Sayyidina Adam (a) could not memorize or understand the Divine Beautiful Names and Attributes; through that Light he was able to know all the names.

Any any rock you see on the street has a name. Do you think a rock doesn't have a name? It makes tasbeeh; we believe every rock, small or big, makes tasbeeh just as every drop of the ocean makes tasbeeh and Sayyidina Adam (a) knew all their names and their tasbeehs! Don’t think this is too much. This is Kun fayakoon, “‘Be!’ and it will be.”

In an Islamic tradition, it is said, amruhoo bayna ‘l-kaaf wa ‘n-noon, “Allah’s Creation comes between the letters kaaf and noon (in ‘Kun’).” Do you think Allah's Order is between kaaf and noon? It is beyond that! He doesn’t even need to say Kun, “Be!” because as soon as His Will comes, His Beautiful Name “al-Khaaliq” executes it. Does Allah’s Essence plan that? We cannot explain this, except that Allah is The Essence, which means The Reality of the Creator cannot be known. Even the Prophet (s) doesn’t know the Secret of His Existence! He Exists and no one else, because we are all His Servants. So His Beautiful Names and Attributes are the ones that manifest, that Name manifests “Itself”...in English can we use any word other than “It?” That is a problem, there is no way in you can adequately translate the Holy Qur'an as you do not have the right words. Saying “It” for Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes (is not adequate), but neither can you refer to them as “He” or “She.”

So Allah’s Beautiful Name immediately manifests “Itself” and we cannot explain it other than that; His Self goes back to Allah, Himself, and Itself goes to the Name. “It” manifests Itself with appearances. When Allah’s `Iraadah, Will comes, even without saying “Kun” His Beautiful Name, al-`Alim, “The All-Knowing,” will immediately put the infrastructure and by the Name al-Khaaliq, “The Creator,” people appear.

Allah (swt) can make this universe appear in one moment, even without bringing Sayyidina Adam (a) and Hawwa (a); however, He (swt) wanted to show cause and effect in this dunya, so He created men and women. You can see the Greatness of Allah (swt), how from one mother and one father He brought six-billion people on earth!

So if you remember Him in an association, He remembers you in a better association to His Angels. In another narration explaining the first hadith, the Prophet (s) said that Allah (swt) said:

لا يذكرني العبد في نفسه إلا ذكرته في ملاء من الملائكة

Laa yadhkuroonee al-`abdu fee nafsihi illa dhakartuhu fee mala’ain min al-malaa’ikah.

No servant of Mine mentions Me in himself except I mention him in an assembly of My Angels.


Allah (swt) is saying, “If My Servant remembers Me in a group, or by himself in himself, then illa dhakartahu, you have to believe that for sure I will mention him in front of a group of angels.” Why mention him in a group of angels? Khassastu lahu, “I have especially given him a group of angels to make dhikr until the Day of Judgment in the same way he mentioned Me.” Now we are saying, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” and we believe we have already been mentioned in front of a group of angels, who will recite, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” on our behalf until the Day of Judgment, and the rewards will be written for us!

We cannot imagine what Allah (swt) gave to the Prophet (s)!

أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَ

Alam nashrah laka sadrak.

(O Muhammad!) Have We not expanded your chest for you? (Surat ash-Sharh, 94:1)

Allah (swt) is saying, “(Yaa Muhammad!) We have taught you from everything!”

One time Jibreel (a) came to the Prophet (s) and said, “Kaaf.” The Prophet (s) said, `alimtu, “I knew that.” He said, “Haa.” The Prophet (s) said, `alimtu, “I knew that.” He said, “Yaa.” The Prophet (s) said, `alimtu, “I knew that.” He said, “`Ayn.” The Prophet (s) said, `alimtu, “I knew that.” Then he said, “Saad,” and again the Prophet (s) said, `alimtu, “I knew that.”

They say the letters “Kaaf. Haa. Yaa. `Ayn. Saad,” are Asmaaullah, Names of Allah (swt) and special codes that if you can decode them you will go through a tunnel and enter an ocean of Allah's Beautiful Names and Attributes that has no beginning and no end! So when Jibreel (a) came to Sayyidina Muhammad (s) to tell him, “Kaaf,” and he was happy to bring the revelation about it, the Prophet (s) said, `alimtu, “I knew that,” as Allah (swt) gave him `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa ‘l-Akhireen, the Knowledge of Before and After. That means every name that begins with “kaaf,” the Prophet (s) knew them all, whether it is a dunya word or an akhirah word, and whether the kaaf is in the beginning, middle, or end, there is a secret in that word, as it is taking from Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes. The Prophet (s) said, `alimtu, “I knew Haa! I knew Yaa! I knew `Ayn! I knew Saad!” and Jibreel (a) was surprised.

The Prophet (s) already knew and he did not tell Jibreel (a) because it’s not allowed as that knowledge is exclusively for the Prophet (s). These abbreviations mentioned in the Holy Qur’an are keys for Asmaaullah al-Husna, Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes, that are oceans of Names that Allah (swt) never opened except to His Prophet (s). Many scholars say that no one knows their meanings and there are oceans of knowledge behind them.

So when Allah (swt) mentions you in front of angels, what will He dress you with when you mention Him through these Names? That is why it is recommended to make dhikr with these Names: Kaaf. Haa. Yaa. `Ayn. Saad; Alif. Laam. Meem; Haa. Meem.`Ayn. Seen. Qaaf; Haa. Meem; Alif. Laam. Raa, repeating them one-hundred or fifty times. We don’t know because we are blind, but when you study these ahadith, this knowledge comes until you are able to decode it. The Prophet (s) didn’t need to decode it as he was already granted this; the decoding is for awliyaullah.

Every letter in the Holy Qur'an describes an ocean of knowledge, not just the abbreviations, but also the words, like when you read, “Alhamdu.” When Jibreel read, “Kaaf,” the Prophet (s) said `alimtu, “I knew it,” which means in every moment, whatever Allah (swt) created from the letter “Kaaf,” in the second moment He will create oceans of different meanings of that letter from His Oceans of Beautiful Names and Attributes! And in the third moment He will create more and so on; it’s not a one time thing only.

If it is was only once, how is He al-Khaaliq, The Creator? “Al-Khaaliq” means that He is in continuously creating a new creation in every moment, He is continuously creating new knowledge for Prophet (s). That’s only for the Prophet and awliyaullah inherit from the Prophet (s) who gives according to their capacity. That’s why when Allah (swt) opens the heart of a wali, you no longer see him running to dunya, but rather backing up and focusing all his attention to Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s). So as soon as you read, “Kaaf,” whatever has been created of Oceans of Beautiful Names and Attributes are given to the Prophet, and the second moment is not going to be like the first, because every moment to Allah (swt) is 1,000 or 50,000 of our moments:

وَإِنَّ يَوْمًا عِندَ رَبِّكَ كَأَلْفِ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ

Wa inna yawma `inda rabbika ka-alfi sannatin mimma ta`udoon

Verily, a day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning.

(Surat al-Hajj, 22:47)

تَعْرُجُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ

Ta`ruju 'l-malaa'ikati wa 'r-roohu ilayhi fee yawmin kaana miqdaarahu khamseen alfa sannat.

The Spirit and the angels ascend to unto Him in a day whose length is 50,000 years.

(Al-Ma'arij 70:4)

Allah (swt) said that the ruh ascends to Allah’s Presence in 50,000 years. This means, that second will be drawn to a longer time, during which Allah (swt) will open Oceans of Beautiful Names and Attributes for His Prophet (s), and more and more until Eternity! There is no end, SubhaanAllah!

I heard from Grandshaykh (q), may Allah bless his soul, that after Allah judges people and gives shafa`a to the Prophet (s) to intercede and then the Prophet (s) intercedes for Ummat al-Islam and they enter Paradise, then Allah (swt) will send them to different creations that He created. We say that Ummat an-Nabi (s) is 400 billion souls, and we mentioned one hadith that according to scholars, Ummat an-Nabi (s) is 384 billion people, so what Grandshaykh (q) said is a round figure. In reality it is 372 billion souls, Ummat an-Nabi (s) alone from the time of the Prophet (s) up to the end, and what is there before from other umams, nations?

When Ummat an-Nabi (s) is in Paradise, they will be sent to other creations for giving advice; they are not going to sit. They will carry that Light and go out to give advice to other nations. That is why Allah (swt) said:

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

Kuntum khayra ummatin ukhrijat li’n-naas taamuroona bi’l-ma`roofi wa tanhawna `ani’l-munkari wa tu’minoona billaah.

You were the best of people evolved for Mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:110)

Allah (swt) said, “If he mentions Me in himself, I will mention him openly in a group of angels,” wa laa yadhkuroonee fee mala’ illaa dhakartuhu fee rafeeq al-`alaa, “and if he mentions Me in a group, I will mention him in My Presence, higher than angels!”

As Allah (swt) said, “I am as My servant thinks of Me,” so we believe Allah is al-Ghafoor ar-Raheem! Yaa Rabbee! With the Prophet’s intercession, we believe You are going to send us to Paradise with no account and no punishment and to make us drink from his cup and from his Hawd, and from his river!

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


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