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Run to Allah When You Have Difficulties

Shaykh Nour Kabbani

3 October 2015 Rochester, New York

Guest Speaker, Islamic Center of Rochester `Eid Dinner


Shaykh Nour Kabbani is trained in classical Islamic Sciences. A third generation advocate of moderate Islamic teachings, he is known nationally, as well as internationally. He is the son of Ahlu ’s-Sunnah wa ’l-Jama`ah scholar, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani. A medical doctor by profession, Shaykh Nour is fluent in Arabic, Turkish and English. I would like to call upon Shaykh Nour Kabbani.

Shaykh Nour Kabbani

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een wa man tabi’ahum bi ihsaanin ilaa yawmiddeen.

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. I’m honored to be in the presence of such scholars, `alims and haafidh, but there is something that is more than that. Someone can teach `ilm, knowledge, but not benefit people. `Ilm is not only by reading, studying and having a diploma. Prophet (s) did not read, write, study or have a diploma and the Sahaabah (r) learned from him, they didn’t go to universities and other facilities we have nowadays.

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur’an:

وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا

And whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:269)

Hikmah, wisdom, is what is important in `ilm. An `alim can read, but if he doesn’t have the hikmah he will not understand what he is reading.

وَاذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَى فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ لَطِيفًا خَبِيرًا

And remember what is recited in your houses of the verses of Allah and wisdom. Indeed, Allah is ever Subtle and Acquainted (with all things). (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:34)

“Read in your homes from ayaatillah, verses of Allah (swt) as there is wisdom there.” So they used to read Qur'an and Hadiths of Prophet (s) to get hikmah. Alhamdulillah, we have so many scholars nowadays and some have hikmah, but some don't. We are trying our best to know the wisdom of the `ilm, the knowledge that we study. Allah (swt) is Ahkamu ‘l-Hakimeen, the All-Wise, with the Holy Name, “Al-Hakeem.” He has created for a wisdom. Allah said:

وَلَوْ شَاء رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلاَ يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ

If your Lord had so willed, He could have made Mankind a single nation, but they will not cease to dispute. (Surah Hud, 11:118)

If Allah wanted He would have made only one Ummah on Tawhid, all saying, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llaah,” or all understanding Qur'an and Hadiths and doing their best to be good mu'mins, but He did not do that. People have different understandings and knowledge, and even with that, wa laa yazaaloona mukhtalifeen, they still can not understand or agree with each other, wa idhaa khalaqtahum, but Allah has created it that way. We can not object to what Allah (swt) decreed: He made certain people Believers and others non-Believers, certain people wise and others not wise. We have to accept everyone how they are because it is Allah’s (swt) decree.

How We Must Face Difficulties: Run to Allah, Read the Qur’an

When we are in difficulties, what happens to us? We become depressed, sad, angry, and we don't know what to do anymore. How can we vent our anger? What should we do? All of us have experienced that. We don't know what to do and the solution is right in front of us. Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur'an:

فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ

Run to Allah (from all that is false and evil)! (Surat adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:50)

If we want to be happy, this is what we have to do. Fa-firroo ila ‘Llaah, escape to Allah (swt). If you are in difficulty, if you are in a severe depression, if you are in sadness and misery, what do you do? We break windows and plates; we beat each other up; we abuse our wives, or our wives abuse their husbands or children. What do we do when we get angry? Allah (swt) says, “Leave all of that and escape to Me! Come to Me!” Fa-firroo ila ‘Llaah, it is an order! Where are we from that order? How do you escape to Allah (swt)? Which direction do you take? Do you go East, do you go West, do you go North, or do you go South? Which way to go? We want to escape, yes. Now our nation, Ummat Muhammad (s), is in a deep trouble! Where to escape? What do we do? Fa-firroo ila ‘Llaah, escape to Allah (swt).

Shaytan is playing with all of us, making fitna between two brothers, two sisters, three brothers, three sisters, a hundred brothers, a hundred sisters, thousands and billions, so what should we do? The imam repeated it three times. Asta`eedhu billah:

وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللّهِ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing. (Surat al-`Araaf, 7:200)

When Shaytan touches you or whispers in you, his badness comes to you. Allah (swt) is telling us, but unfortunately, only some of us understand it, some of us don't. That's why we have to look for people that have wisdom, so we can learn from them. He says, “Seek shelter in Allah (swt). He is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” How do you seek shelter in Allah (swt)? We want Allah’s support, we want to run to Allah (swt). He says, “Fasta`eedh billah.” It’s a sign of what? Before you start reading the Holy Qur’an, you say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem.” Qur’an! Allah (swt) says, “Open My Book and escape to Me.” The Qur’an is on the shelves, hundreds of them and some have not even been touched. People claim they want to find a way, a solution, and iis on the shelves! Fa-firroo ila ‘Llaah, escape to Allah (swt), the Holy Book, al-Qur'an!

Allah is telling us, “When Shaytan touches all of you human beings in your heart, Muslim and mu'min, fasta`eedh billah!” It is a sign to say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillaahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem” and open and read the Holy Qur'an. Once you start reading it, you begin receiving the beauty of the Holy Qur'an: the happiness, the mercy, and the noor that is in the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur’an is noor, is guidance! We are seeking guidance from politicians, from I don't know where, but why? The guidance is already sent by our Creator. The noor is there; the guidance is there, but it sits on the shelves and collects dust. And people, not even the Arabs, read it! I understand in this country it is pretty hard to learn and read and understand Arabic, so they have an excuse, but us Arabs, we have no excuse! It is our Book in our mother language! Therefore, how can we not open the Book and find out what Allah (swt) wants from the Muslims? It's in there!

Let's escape a little bit into the Holy Qur'an, to Allah (swt), because it is Allah’s Words. Allah is talking to us through the Holy Qur'an and Prophet (s) said in a Sahih Hadith:

من قرأ حرفًا من كتاب الله فله حسنة، والحسنة بعشر أمثالها

Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. (Tirmidhi)

Whoever reads one letter of the Holy Qur'an, Allah (swt) will give them hasanah. What is hasanah? It’s rahmah, Allah's gift. What does hasanah do?

إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ

Good deeds waive the sins. (Surat Hud, 11:114)

When you have the darkness of evil, sins, look for the hasanah because it takes away the sayyi`aat. Prophet (s) is saying that each letter of Holy Qur'an is hasanah, so why don't we open the Qur'an and read and understand? So let’s escape a little bit to Allah (swt) in Allah’s Holy Words. We don’t want to make it a heavy meeting, we want to make it a happy meeting. Let's speak a little bit about Sayyidina Ibraheem (a), Allah’s intimate Friend, Khaleelullah. It was Hajj, and Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) raised the foundation of the House of God. What did Allah (swt) say? Asta`eedhu billah.

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

Indeed, the first House (of worship) established for Mankind was that at Bakkah (Mecca): full of blessing and a guidance for the worlds. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:96)

فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۖ وَمَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ

In it are Signs Manifest, (for example), the Station of Abraham. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage there is a duty men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey, but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:97)

Allah (swt) is saying, “O Muhammad (s)! Know that the first House put for people on Earth was Ka`bah, in Bakkah[1]. Tell the nations of Jewish people that objected[2].” So the Jewish people were angry at Prophet (s), saying, ‘Why did you do that? Jerusalem was the first Qibla before Ka`bah! All anbiyaa, prophets were in that Holy Land, why did you change your Qibla?” According to Imam Suyuti in his tafseer, Ad-Durr al-Manthoor, this ayah came down when the Jewish people commented on the shifting of the Qibla and Allah said to Prophet Muhammad (s), “Tell them, no, not Baytu ‘l-Maqdis, but Ka`bah was the first Heavenly House put for people on Earth.”

What is there? We go or want to go to Ka`bah, but what is in it? What is in Mecca that all of us want to go there and do our Hajj? Allah (swt) explains: we escape to His Mercy. You take yourself out from this dunya, out of work, you take yourself out of your family, too, because sometimes family can be a problem. You take yourself out of yourself which has a problem with all the thoughts that come in your head. You dive into the stories of the Qur’an of the Pious Ones and the Prophets and you try to find a happy, peaceful way. So He says, “Indeed, the first House of worship established for Mankind was that at Bakkah, full of blessing.” There is barakah there. When we go to Ka`bah, it's not only four walls, there is bi bakkata mubaarakan, there is a lot benefit, goodness, khayr for us there, for those who visit! Wa hudan, and there is guidance there fi ‘l-`alameen, to everyone, fee aayaatun bayyinaat, there are clear signs there at Maqaamu ‘l-Ibraheem. Now, this is what we are going to talk about, inshaa-Allah, the Station of Ibraheem, `alayhi ‘s-salaam. We love Sayyidina Ibraheem (a), he is our father.

مِلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

(It is) the religion of your father, Ibraheem. Allah named you ‘Muslims’. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:78)

Allah (swt) is saying in the Holy Qur'an, millata abeekum Ibraheem, “On the way, the religion, on the deen of your father, Ibraheem.” Huwa sammaakumu ‘l-muslimoon, “He called you Muslims and your religion is of your father, Ibraheem.” It is an honor for us that our father is Sayyidina Ibraheem (a). So we go to Maqaamu ‘l-Ibraheem, we do our tawaaf, pray two raka’ats, all of us do that, alhamdulillah, but what really is Maqaamu ‘l-Ibraheem? Is it only an encasement where you stand behind it and pray or is it something else? Maqaamu ‘l-Ibraheem, the Station of Sayyidina Ibraheem, what level did he reach? Because he is our father, we also have to follow his footsteps, which are only in Islam as he is Muslim.

Characteristics of Maqaamu ‘l-Ibraheem

1 He was generous in the Way of Allah (swt).

Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) was a very wealthy person who used his wealth in the Way of Allah (swt). He honored his guests, he was very generous to his people, he gave them`ilm and from his wealth, that's one thing. By being generous, he had gained a higher level of imaan because:

الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ

The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend. (Surat al-Anfaal, 8:3)

So Sayyidina Ibraheem spent from what Allah (swt) gave him, that was the level of his imaan.

2 He sought Allah’s Guidance and asked for a helper.

Second, he sought guidance from Allah and was saved:

وَقالَ إِنّي ذاهِبٌ إِلىٰ رَبّي سَيَهدينِ رَبِّ هَب لي مِنَ الصّالِحينَ فَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ

He said, “Indeed I am going toward my Lord, who will guide me. O my Lord! Send me someone from among the righteous.” So we gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy. (Surat as-Saffat, 37:99-101)

Nimrod, the tyrant of that time, threw Prophet Ibraheem (a) in the fire and Allah (swt) saved him. After he was saved, he said to his people, “I am going to my Lord, wa qaala innee dhaahibun ilaa Rabbee,” but where is ‘the Way’? Sayyidina Ibraheem was seeking the Way, that's why he said, sa-yahdee, “Surely, my Lord will guide me to the Way. I am going to my Lord!” But where is the way? Sa-yahdee, “He will guide me. I am sure He will guide me.” So he made du`a, Rabbee hablee min as-saaliheen, “O my Lord, give me someone from the pious ones to help me find my way to you.”

He wanted guidance and he asked for support from the pious ones as helpers to help him find the Way. You need a helper to help you find the Way, you can not find it by yourself. Even Sayyidina Musa (a) asked for help. From whom? He asked Allah (swt) for help from Sayyidina Haroon, right? He asked Allah (swt), “I need a helper. Give me someone that will help me in my mission.” So Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) asked for a helper, Sayyidina Isma`eel (a). Allah (swt) said, “We gave him the guidance of ghulaamin haleem,” a young man who is forbearing, very tolerant; haleem is the one who doesn’t rush things; when something bad happens to them, it doesn’t shake them from the inside, they are stable; if someone hurts them, they are patient. Allah (swt) gave him a ghulaamin haleem, a tolerant boy, some say 10 years old, others 15, but he was a young boy. When he reached Sayyidina Ibraheem, at that time he could walk with him and help him in his chores.

فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانْظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَىٰ ۚ

And when (his son) was old enough to walk with him, (Ibraheem) said, “O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you. So look what you think? (Surat as-Saffat, 37:102)

3 He had superior manners and obeyed Shari`ah.

He said, “O my son, I see in the dream that I am slaughtering you.” Look at the adab of Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) and his compliance with Shari`ah! Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) is asking Sayyidina Isma`eel shooraa’, counsel, saying, “O my boy! I am seeing in the dream that I am slaughtering you; consult with me. Fanzur, look into this thing. What do you think about it?” That's why when we have to do something, we must mashmala, consult others. Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) consulted a boy, his son, so sometimes can consult sons or daughters if something pertains to them, as in this example when Sayyidina Isma`eel (a) was going to be slaughtered and his father asked, “What is your opinion?”

قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ

He said, “O my father! Do that which you are commanded. Allah willing, you shall find me of the steadfast.” (Surat as-Saffat, 37:102)

Sayyidina Isma`eel (a) said, “O my father, do it!” Look at his imaan! What 10 year old boy will tell his father, “Yes father, please slaughter me! What are you waiting for, do what you are ordered, don’t hesitate! Satajidunee inshaa-Allahu min as-saabireen, “By Allah's Will, tou will find me patient.” Even Sayyidina Isma`eel (a) asked for Allah’s help, he said, “Inshaa-Allah.”

إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You (alone) we worship and You (alone) we ask for help. (Surat al-Fatihah, 1:4)

He is saying, “O my Lord, I obey Your order for me to be slaughtered, but I seek help from You, Inshaa-Allah.”

4 They both surrendered and were very obedient, so Allah accepted their intentions.

Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) surrendered his son to Allah (swt) and the boy also surrendered himself to Allah (swt).

فَلَمَّا أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ

Then, when they had both surrendered (to Allah) and he had flung him down upon his face…

(Surat as-Saffat, 37:103)

They became so pure and took themselves out of the equation. If we were going to be slaughtered, we would ask ourselves 100 times, “What am I throwing myself into?” How many of us say, “What I am getting into? I am getting involved in this thing, what is this?” Then no aslama, they became very, very obedient to Allah (swt)’s Order.


وَنَادَيْنَاهُ أَنْ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا ۚ إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ

We called unto him: O Abraham! You have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. (Surat as-Saffat, 37:104-105)

Then Allah (swt) said, “O Ibraheem! You have fulfilled the dream and made it become a reality.” So what did Sayyidina Ibraheem do? He offered his son as a sacrifice to Allah (swt), Who accepted the sacrifice based on his niyyah, intention!

إنما الأعمال بالنيات

Verily, actions are by intentions. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) showed his niyyah when he took the knife, put the child on the rock in Mina, and wanted to slaughter the child. He tried to cut his son’s neck once, then twice, then three times, but the knife didn’t cut! That is against the laws of Physics. He showed the niyyah, he fulfilled the action, but Allah (swt) did not give permission for the boy to die. So Allah (swt) said, “I accepted your niyyah, and your action, as if you slaughtered your child, but We are going to spare him for you.”

إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلَاءُ الْمُبِينُ وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ

Indeed, this was a clear test and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice and We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times. (Surat as-Saffat, 37:106-108)

5 He surrendered his wealth in Allah’s Way, his son to Allah’s order, and himself when Nimrod

threw him in the fire.

We are talking about Sayyidina Ibraheem’s station, maqaam, and let’s test ourselves as to where we are in comparison. Allah continues in the verse:

سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Peace be unto Ibraheem! Thus indeed do We reward those who do right, for he was one of Our believing servants. (Surat as-Saffat, 37:109-112)

Allah (swt) witnessed that he was from the mu’min servants and Allah’s Witnessing is Haqq. That reality came true for Sayyidina Ibraheem (a), because Allah (swt) said, “You are a mu'min.” So Sayyidina Ibraheem’s station is the station of imaan. He is a mu'min as Allah (swt) is saying, but what did he do? One, he gave up his wealth fee sabeelillah, from his maal, money, and land in the Way of Allah, all of which is very well known. Second, he gave up his son, part of his family, in the Way of Allah. And what was the third thing? Did he give up himself, too? He was thrown in the fire. Did he give up himself? Yes. Did he accept to be thrown in the fire? Yes. Why? Because when Jibreel (a) came to rescue Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) when he was thrown in the fire and asked him, “Do you have anything to tell me?” Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) answered, “Do you know, I accept the decree of my Lord.” He gave himself up when he knew he was going into the fire and die. So he gave up his wealth, his son and himself: that is the Station of Sayyidina Ibraheem (a)!

Did anyone of us reach that? Everyone can check himself, but did some group of people reach that this year? Yes. We all know about it: the Hajjis that died in Mina. They gave from their money in the Way of Allah (swt) to reach Ka`bah, they gave up their families in the Way of Allah by leaving their families behind, and did they give themselves in the Way of Allah (swt)? Yes, they did, they were going to do Hajj. So those who died in Mina are true mu'mins.

Why were they there to begin with? For Allah (swt)! And we know when we go for Hajj, something may happen that we may die. In the past, it was certain Hajjis would die, because before there were planes, trains or cars, they used to go on foot, by camel or horse or some other animal, and they went to their neighbors and say, “Please, hakkini helal et! Give your halaal to me, that if I did something wrong to you, you forgive me.” That was the practice of the old Hajjis, they asked forgiveness from their families,because they didn’t know if they will, which shows they were giving themselves up in the Way of Allah (swt).

The Hajjis that died in Mina died fully mu'min, as witnessed by Allah (swt) to Sayyidina Ibraheem (a), who also gave up his wealth, his son and himself. The Hajjis gave up their families to go to Hajj, and Sayyidina Ibraheem accepted he would burn in that fire and asked for no help except from Allah (swt). “Hasbi Allahu wa ni`mal wakeel,” was the only thing he said when he was thrown in the fire. “I don't need Jibreel, I don't need anyone else, I only need my Lord! Hasbi Allahu wa ni`mal wakeel, Allah is enough for me.”

قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ

O fire! Be cool and peaceful on Ibraheem. (Surat al-Anbiyaa, 21:69)

Allah (swt) hears, Allah is not deaf, astaghfirullah. We don't have to shout as Allah hears you even if you whisper to yourself in the slightest way, even when an idea comes to your mind, Allah hears it and knows it. So Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) was ready to give up himself, and Allah (swt) said, “This deed is from My mu'min servant.” The Hajjis that passed away in Mina this year are from the true mu'min servants, they went as shaheed. We ask Allah (swt) to make us from the mu'min servants, from the ones that bring Muslims and mu'mins together, that make the people to wake up to read Holy Qur’an and Hadiths. May Allah (swt) unite us, as we have more in common than differences: we all pray to the same Lord, the same Ka`bah, we all follow the same Prophet (s), we all love the Sahaabah (r) and the Holy Family of the Prophet (s), we all love to read Qur’an and Hadith. There is more in common between mu'mins around the world that we love. We ask Allah (swt) to forgive all the mu'mins and all Muslims.


As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.


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[1] ‘Bakkah’ is the name of Mecca in the Hebrew Old Testament. In Arabic it means, “The one that breaks the necks of tyrants.”

[2] When the Qibla turned from Baytu ‘l-Maqdis in Jerusalem to Baytullah al-Haram in Mecca.