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Hierarchy of Saints Series, Vol 3

Saints Dwell in What Allah Likes

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

16 August 2010 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Ramadan Series 2010

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

(Mawlana asks for tissues to blow his nose.) Toilet paper. When your nafs becomes a toilet then you must be happy. You ask for tissues and they bring toilet paper. No, it is good, because Allah is teaching us that your ego must not be higher than that.

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

Ati`ullaha wa ati`u 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (4:59)

Two or three days ago, Mawlana Shaykh gave a suhbah, and said, "I have to go down to that level in order that we can learn where we are standing. And he said that, however high you think of yourself, you are never going to see yourself higher than a president or a king of a country. He said, "O presidents, O kings of countries! Where do you think you are going?" (someone offers Mawlana Shaykh tissues. He smiles and says, "Allah changed it. Okay put both together.") "Where do you think you are flying?" There is nothing higher than that in dunya, in the ego realm. This is important for us to learn, to understand later what are the meanings of the various levels and ranks. I will repeat them another time.

There is the level of Ghawth and then the five qutbs: Qutb, Qutb al-Bilaad, Qutb al-Aqtaab, Qutb al-Irshaad, and Qutb al-Mutasarrif. Then under every one of these there are the five different groups of awliya; Budalaa, Nujabaa, Nuqabaa, Awtaad, and Akhyaar. In order to understand their levels or what they do, because if we meet one of them, we see something of mughayyar at-tafkeer, contrary to what we think. You think this way, that is correct, but that wali is acting differently and you protest, complain, and sometimes you run away and say, "Oh, what is he doing?" You don't know; it might be a test for you.

Allah (swt) gave a big example in Holy Qur'an where He sent Sayyidina Musa (a), who came with Shari`ah, the heavenly constitution. He sent him to one of His servants to whom Allah gave a different kind of knowledge. He was not able (to keep patience with that one). innaka lan tastati` ma`eeya sabra. He (Khidr) said to him (Musa), "You cannot be patient with me." If he was patient, the knowledge would have opened up, but Allah wants us to learn, so He used this as an example for us. So to go along with someone to whom Allah (swt) has given a knowledge different from your knowledge, you will not meet (come to terms), because their knowledge is the destruction of the ego, they want to destroy your ego and kill it. So what did Sayyidina Khidr (a) do first? Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَا رَكِبَا فِي السَّفِينَةِ خَرَقَهَا قَالَ أَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا

Fantalaqaa hatta idhaa rakiba fi 's-safeenati kharaqahaa. Qaala akharaqtahaa li tughriqa ahlahaa. Laqad ji`ta shayan 'imraa.

So the two set out until, when they were in the ship, he made a hole in it. (Moses) said, "Have you made a hole to drown the folk therein? Verily you have done a dreadful thing!" (18:71)

When they went on the boat, what did he do? Allahu Akbar! He made a hole. It might be that he had some kind of drill at that time, so he drilled it. How did he make the hole? It didn't mention in Holy Qur'an that he had equipment. If there was equipment, it was a very old kind of equipment and it would take a long time to make a hole. But with the heavenly power Allah (swt) gave to him, alamnahu min ladunna `ilma, "We have taught him from heavenly knowledge." (18:65) By looking, he made a hole. So what happened? qala akhraqt, Sayyidina Musa (a) asked, "Did you make a hole in order to make it sink and drown the people within it?" Of course, that is the Boat of Safety. What is the boat? It is to take you from a shore to another shore. But that vehicle you went on is your ego. That is why awliyaa want to make a hole in your ego. They want to suck away your ego, to throw it out and then you don't need it anymore. Even if there are hundreds of holes, the body will fly, as when Sayyidina Jalaaluddin ar-Rumi (q) was whirling, he was rising and was lifted up as gravity was no longer able to pull him down.

Sayyidina Musa was unable to accept that hole, and he complained. Sayyidina Khidr said, "I told you, you are not patient." How did Allah (swt) give Sayyidina Khidr, al-jassaara hatta yukhatib Musa bi hadhal-khitab? He gave him that bravery or courage to speak like that to Sayyidina Musa, who is ulul al-adham, one of the five highest prophets. Sayyidina Khidr must be bowing to Sayyidina Musa, giving respect and honor to Sayyidina Musa. But Allah (swt) gave him that courage to teach, not Sayyidina Musa, because it may be Sayyidina Musa was hiding his reality from Sayyidina Khidr to teach us, so we may learn.

He said, "Why did you do that?"

So Khidr said, "I told you, you will not be patient with me! Wait for the second step."

That first incident is easy. The second one was, they left the boat and it was sinking, sinking, sinking. When they reached the other shore, Sayyidina Khidr killed a boy.

فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلَامًا فَقَتَلَهُ قَالَ أَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا زَكِيَّةً بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ لَّقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا نُّكْرًا

Fa antalaqa hatta idhaa laqiya ghulaaman fa qatalahoo qaala aqtalta nafsan zakiyyatan bi ghayri nafsin laqad j'ita shay'an nukra.

Then they proceeded until, when they met a young man, he slew him. Moses said, "Have you slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard of) thing you have done!" (Surat al-Kahf, 18:74)

Sayyidina Musa (a) said, "How? First we understand the boat, but now you are killing someone who did no sin."

Sayyidina Khidr (a) repeated, "I told you that you are not going to be patient with me."

That is why it is very difficult to go along with these awliyaaullah. Yesterday they were telling me there were viewers on Sufilive who could not go along. They love the shaykh, but they said, "We see things around the shaykh that we don't understand." They are around the shaykh but cannot understand, how it is that the shaykh does not object. He is in complete submission to Allah's Will, whatever Allah put for him. For such people, whatever comes or goes, they submit. People cannot accept or understand, so they complain. But they have to know that the wali's knowledge is not equal to the knowledge of normal people. If Allah (swt) doesn't give you that knowledge, you cannot understand the work of someone who has that knowledge. It is like what happened with Sayyidina Musa (a), who is not a normal person--he is a prophet and a messenger--but Allah (swt) didn't give him that knowledge, to show him, "What I give you, I give you. What I give someone else, don't try to ask about it."

And then Khidr did the third thing for Musa.

فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَا أَتَيَا أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ اسْتَطْعَمَا أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْا أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَارًا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُ قَالَ لَوْ شِئْتَ لَاتَّخَذْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا

Fa antalaqa hatta idhaa atayaa ahla qaryatin istat`amaa ahlahaa fa abaw ayn yudayyifoohuma fawajada feeha jidaran yureedu an yan qadha fa aqaamahoo qala law sh'ita lattakhadhta alayhi ajra.

Then they proceeded until, when they came to the inhabitants of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused them hospitality. They found there a wall on the point of falling down, but he set it up straight. (Moses) said, "If you had wished, surely you could have exacted some recompense for it!" (Surat al-Kahf, 18:77)

The third incident was, they entered a village and saw a wall completely falling apart and the treasure that was under it was going to be exposed. So Sayyidina Khidr (a) immediately restored the wall, although when they entered they asked people to host them and they refused. This means that when someone harms you, return it with goodness. And Sayyidina Musa (a), in his Shari`ah, constitution, it is written, Al-`ayn bi 'l-`ayn, "An eye for an eye." If someone pokes your eye, you poke his eye. Wa 's-sin bi 's-sin, "and a tooth for a tooth." If someone broke your tooth, you break his tooth. In another Shari`ah of Sayyidina `Isa (a), whoever hits you on your right cheek, turn the left for him to hit. In the Shari`ah of Prophet (s), the highest level of ihsaan is to submit. If they hit you, don't move, because when you turn, as Sayyidina `Isa (a) said, "When they hit you on your right, turn for them your left," ego is there. It is saying, "I am better than you. You are hitting me on my right, and I am turning for you my left, beat me also." There is some kind of egoism there. But in the Maqaam al-Ihsaan as taught by Prophet (s), you submit. They beat you on the right, they beat you on the left, they beat you on the head, wherever they beat you, you are submitting.

To understand awliyaullah is very difficult. But we are giving these examples so that even if we can't explain, at least we can understand their powers. So Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) said, "O presidents and kings! I am sorry to say this," and I am quoting, "but I have to say it. You are sitting in your big palaces and sometimes meeting other presidents. And then a bell is ringing. What do you do? You leave the important session entirely and run, responding to that bell. Because that place is calling you, 'Come, come to me, I am waiting. I love you. I want to see you there. I cannot be without you. Leave your palace and come to my toilet quickly!' So you leave your palace and go down to that place." Especially if you have a bad stomach, it keeps ringing and you might cancel all your meetings!

Allah is showing no matter how you can be the highest, don't think you are the highest. "I made you to be in need for the lowest." Don't see your ego. Awliyaaullah don't like you to as-sima`, listen to your ego or to something coming out of your ego; they want you to listen only to what Allah and His Prophet (s) are ordering you.

مَّنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللّهَ

Man y`ooti` r-rasoola faqad ataa` Allah.

Whoever obeys the Prophet (s) obeys Allah. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:80)

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا

Ma `atakaum ar-rasool fakhudhoo wa nahakum `anhu fantahoo.

Leave what Prophet (s) forbade and take what he ordered. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:7)

So, in order to understand, Imam Shadhili (q) said, Alfaw abaauhum daalleen, "They followed traces and footsteps of their ancestors who are on the wrong way." Don't follow their footsteps or their traces, they are daalleen, "on the wrong path;" they deviated from the right path. Prophet (s) said, "We are, nahnu ummatan wasatan, a moderate nation, in the middle, not on the two extremes." We are not on the right side too much and not on the left side too much, but in the middle. We are not so liberal; we have to know our limits. Know your limits, like in a country you have laws and you have to know your limits, you cannot trespass them.

Why do some people say, "You have to be liberal, if you are liberal your Islam is good." No, that is not correct. You are liberal in the meaning of what Islam is giving you, in the knowledge of the constitution. And you are liberal in the meaning of what your country's constitution is. You cannot trespass against it. Can you trespass against the police and say, "I don't want to give my ID or my driver's license." What will happen? You will go to jail. If the police say, "Give me your ID," what do you say? "Yes, sir! This is my ID." Be moderate. Don't say, "no," or you will end up in jail.

Awliyaullah look at you and they know what is your ID. If they say, "Give us your ID," you don't say, "no." This means you have to submit. When you don't submit to your shaykh, you're finished. Even if you do whatever you like to do, you cannot be raised up. Al-amru fawqu 'l-adab. Amr, the order of the shaykh, is above your knowledge, even if you are the biggest scholar. How a scholar of Islam, those who knew that matter, came to the shuyookh and it might be that the shaykh is not on the academic level of the scholar, but he is a wali in spiritual, heavenly knowledge, which is better. You have to surrender to him even if you are the biggest scholar and you know everything. No, you know everything by awraaq, papers, but you don't know everything by taste. Taste is different. Even if he gives you a small sip of taste, any, it is enough for you to save you on the Day of Judgment, because he gave you something that refreshed your body Today they say an "energy pill" gives you energy.

So Imam Shadhili (q) said, "Don't follow your ancestors who deviated; if they were wrong, don't follow them." ألِفوا ما وجدوا آباءهم الضالين عليه.Alfaw maa wajadoo abaauhum ad-daalleen `alayh, "They followed the footsteps of their ancestors, but they were wrong." But, as we said, when the wali gives you an order, the wali is above your decisions and your knowledge, so even if you think it is wrong, you must do it.

Of course Sayyidina Khidr knew you cannot make a hole in a boat. But he made a hole, as there was a wisdom to save that boat from the king who was a tyrant. He was taking the boat of every poor person. Allah didn't show that knowledge to Sayyidina Musa, but showed it to Khidr. So when they asked Imam Shadhili (q) about sim`a, hearing, he said, "Be careful of what your ego wants you to hear. Only hear what Allah wants you to hear. Ego likes you to hear itself and it doesn't allow you to hear what Allah wants."

رأيت بالمنام كأني بين يدي كتاب الفقيه ابن عبد السلام. وفي يدي الأخرى أوراق من الشعر فتناول أستاذي الكتابين مني

وقال لي كالمستهزئ: أتعدلون عن العلوم الزكية من أكثر من هذه فهو عبد هواه وأسير شهوته ومُناه! قال: بهذا الشعر يسترقّون قلوب الجهلاء

And he said, raita bi'l-manaam ka-annee bayna yadayya kitaab al-faqeeh ibn `abd as-salaam. wa fee yadee al-ukhra awraaqan min ash-sha`r. fa tanaawala ustaadhee al-kitaabayn minnee wa qaala lee ka'l-mustahzee ata`diloona `ani 'l-`ilm az-zakiyya, "I saw in a dream, as if between my hands is the book of one of the famous scholars, Ibn Abdus-Salaam. And in the left hand, awraaqan min ash-sha`r, 'papers of poetry.' One is a book of a very scholarly wali; he is a scholar and a wali at the same time. And in the left hand is a book or papers of poetry."

Today they study Sayyidina Jalaaluddin Rumi's (q) poetry. Do they know more than that? They explain but do not understand the taste of his poetry; they read it as a poem.

Imam Shadhili (q) continues, "I saw my teacher standing and saying, fa tanaawala kitaba faqeehihi biyameenihi wa awraaq sha`ar bi yassaarih. "I saw the books of Abdus-Salaam in his right hand and in his left hand, a book of poetry. And he said sarcastically, ata`diloona `ani'l-`ilm az-zakiyya fa ashar ila awraaq ash-sha`r fa ramaahaa fi 'l-ard, 'Are you balancing? What kind of value are you giving? You are preferring the poetry over the scholarly writings of that faqeeh?' And he took the poetry and threw the papers on the floor. He said, fa man akthar min hadha fa-huwa `abda hawwaahu wa aseeru shahwatahu wa munaahu, 'Who will give more attention to these papers of poetry,' (opposed to the real knowledge of awliyaullah), fahuw `abdun marquqan li 'l-hawaa, 'he is slave of his desires,' wa aseeran li shahwatih, 'and he is a prisoner to his bad desires and he is also a prisoner to what is muna, something that is good but he became a prisoner to that arrogance or pride of that kind of knowledge that is in poetry.' And he said, yastariqoon quloob al-juhalaa, 'This poetry is only to attract the hearts of heedless people.'"

When they write these songs and sing them, it is not in Allah's Way. It is describing dunya and making all children, youth, and adults run to it. They don't listen to Imam al-Busayri (q), they say it is bid`a. When someone is describing Prophet (s) and something heavenly, they say, "Oh, that is bid`a." They run after their desires.

لا يَقدرون على معرفة الله فيتمايلون عند سماعها و لا اكتساب العرفان

laa yaqdiroon `alaa ma`rifatullah fa-yatmaaeelooona `inda simaa`iha, "They have no will for goodness." Wa laa 'ktisaab al-irfaan, and "to reach Gnosticism," Allahu Akbar! They sway when they hear Shakespeare. You see how they go and dance. Especially these songs of Hollywood and the Middle East. There are more cable stations now for Arabic popular music than stations teaching irfan, Gnosticism, real spirituality.

ولم ينالوا الذي يناله أهل الشهود

Wa lam yanaaloo alladhee yanaalahu ahl ash-shuhood.

They will never reach what the People of Vision will reach.

They are only listening, and they think what satisfies their egos is all there is. But they are not able to visualize that what they are hearing is what Allah wants. Allah wants you only to hear dhikrullah. He wants you to hear only His Name and to be remembering Allah and his Prophet (s).

أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

alaa bi dhikrullahi tatma'inu 'l-quloob.

In the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction. (13:28)

And that is what Grandshaykh (q) is mentioning:

وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْقَائِمِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ

Wa taahhir baytee li 't-taa'ifeen wa 'l-`akifeen war-ruka`i 's-sujood.

And sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or stand up, or bow, or prostrate themselves (there in prayer). (22:26)

Allah has gheera, possessiveness. He wants His servant to be for Him only, not for Iblees or Shaytan. He wants you to be only for Him! When Prophet (s) demonstrated he was for Him, Allah raised him, calling him for Mi`raj. He raised him by putting his name with His Name before all Creation, because He loves him. He doesn't want anyone to share that. What are we doing? We are running after ourselves and our desires and excitement. La in lam yantahi dhaaliman la, "If that oppressor who does not follow the footsteps of Prophet (s)..."

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ

Qul in kuntum tuhiboonallah, fattabi`oonee yuhbibkumullah.

If you say you love Allah, then follow me. Allah will love you. (3:31)

Don't listen to what is coming to your ear. You have to check, as you are not yet ready. If you don't have a real shaykh but only a fake shaykh, what comes to your ear might not be correct. A real shaykh can correct you from far away and even fix your hearing. Allah said if you are an oppressor, not listening to what He likes, he will flip you upside-down. Heavens will be Earth and your Earth will be Heavens.

He said, "No, it is not what you are explaining." See how the shaykh interferes quickly. إذا كانت الروح بأمطار العلوم دارّةوالنفس بالصالحات نباتة idhaa kaanat ar-roohu bi-amtaari'l-`uloomi daaratun wa an-nafs bi saalihati nabaatatun, "If the soul has been showered with heavenly rain, the rain of knowledge, it is going to be daaratun, like pearl, glowing and shining, and whatever the ego is doing will come out from it, as when grass grows it comes up and grows under the rain of that knowledge. That is okay. That is why, with the knowledge that Allah showered on Sayyidina Khidr (a), he was under it. Whatever his nafs did, whatever he did, was okay. Although he made a hole in the boat, killed the boy, and built the wall, it was okay. Meaning he gave you a vehicle with a hole, it cannot reach anywhere. But even if it has a hole, the way you are going has lots of holes and will make all your good `amal disappear. You must be careful. Then when you are careful, kill the boy (the ego). And when you submit, `allamnaahu min laddunna `ilma. When he stopped Shaytan from attacking the treasures of your heart, he made it safe for you in a safety box so Shaytan cannot touch it.

Therefore, if the showers on the soul are daaratun, showering you with that knowledge, the soul will grow, and then the heavenly self will do what is written according to Allah's Will. Then فقد ثبت الخير كله thabat al-khayr kullih, "Confirm whatever you do."

But what if the self was successful, war-roohu maghloobatan, and the soul is defeated by the ego? That is why you have to be careful of what you listen to. Today when they go to the music areas, they sway. So he said, . اذا كان النفس غالبة إلا حصل القحط والجدب, idha kaana an-nafs ghaalibatun illa hasal al-qaht wa 'l-jadab, "If the ego was successful, then there will be no crops and there will be drought." Everything will be finished. Whatever you do is not going to be fruitful. Fa anqada al-amr wa ja ash-sharr kullahu, "Therefore, we say al-amr fawq al-adab, do what they say." Don't say, "What is this or that?" Kill the boy, kill the boy!

Sayyidina Musa (a) is teaching Ummat an-Nabi that if you allow the soul to be conquered, all of your affairs will be upside-down and evil will come. So then what do you need? You need Allah's words that will guide you, and the words of His Prophet (s) or knowledge of His Prophet (s) that will cure you. Allah guides and Prophet (s) cures. Allah shows you the way; that is His will, and Prophet (s) shows you what you need. Awliyaullah take from the heart of Prophet (s) as he guided the Sahaabah (r). Awliyaullah can follow the way of Sahaabah (r), how they were interacting with Sayyidina Muhammad (s), the Seal of Messengers.

وأهل الحق إذا سمعوا اللغو أعرضوا عنه. وإذا سمعوا الحق أقبلوا عليه

Wa ahlu 'l-haqq idhaa sami`oo al-laghwa `aridoo `anhu. wa idha sami`oo al-haqq aqbaloo `alayh.

"If People of Haqq hear nonsense they leave it, and if they hear words of truth they run to it.

وَمَن يَقْتَرِفْ حَسَنَةً نَّزِدْ لَهُ فِيهَا حُسْنًا

wa man yaqtarif hasanatan nazid lahu feeha husnan

And if any one earns any good, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof. (42:23)

"And those We reward more and more"

So these are some of the characteristics of awliyaullah. We will continue next time, explaining more and more, until we come to describe the levels of different awliya.

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