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The Power of “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem”

The Benefits of Surat al-Fatihah Series, Vol 3

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

11 August 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Suhbah after Zhuhr Salaat (2)

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`alaa fee haadha 'l-masjid.

Allahuma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad (s) wa `alaa aali Sayyidina Muhammad (s).

In the previous session we spoke of the rewards that Allah (swt) gives to the one who recites Surat al-Fatihah along with the Basmalah, either separately or connected. There is more on this issue, so inshaa-Allah we can explain more in the coming sessions, but this is only to prepare us for some interpretations given by many scholars and awliyaullah on the verses of Holy Qur’an.

There are both literal tafaseer and interpretational tafaseer of Holy Qur’an. We will try to shed some light on these spiritual (interpretational) tafseers that were explained by numerous friends of Allah (swt), whom He described in the Holy Qur’an:

أَلا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاء اللّهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Alaa inna awliyaaullaahi laa khawfun `alayhim wa laa hum yahzanoon.

Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Surat al-Yunus, 10:62)

Saints of Allah have nothing to be sad about, because whatever they ask of Allah He will give, and they are following the footsteps of Allah, Who said:

ْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Qul in kuntum tuhibboona 'Llaaha fattabi`oonee yuhbibkumullaahu wa yaghfir lakum dhunoobakum w 'Allaahu Ghafooru 'r-Raheem.

Say (O Muhammad), "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:31)

If you really want to love Allah (swt), you must follow Sayyidina Muhammad (s). The awliyaullah follow the footsteps of the Prophet (s) step-by-step. If the Prophet (s) is asking from Allah for his ummah to be clean, what is the duty of awliyaullah? It is to ask for Allah to save his followers. If he is only sitting, eating, and drinking and not working hard for those who are taking his hand, why is he a wali?

Grandshaykh (q) said, “Are awliyaullah in need of their followers, or are the followers in need of the wali?” An `alim says the followers are in need of the wali. Actually, the wali is in need of the followers, Because of the followers, on the Day of Promises, Allah wrote them to be guided by him, so his job is to guide them to the Prophet (s), and the Prophet (s) will present the whole ummah to Allah (swt).

وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا

Wa ’r-raasikhoona fi ’l-`ilm yaqooloona aamanaa kullun min `indi rabbinaa.

And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say, “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord.” (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:7)

Raasikhoon are like mountains firmly planted like heavy anchors. We explained mountains as “pegs that make everything stable,” as when the earth was not balanced Allah sent mountains to stabilize it. So the awliyaullah are pegs, well-established, anchored, who say, “Yaa Rabbee! We believe everything is from you!” Here, what is “everything”? The secrets of the Holy Qur’an come to them one-by-one for their followers.

فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

Fa idhaa qiraat al-qur`an fasta`idh billaahi min ash-shaytani ‘r-rajeem.

When you read the Holy Qur’an, you must ask support from Allah against Shaytan, the accursed.

(Surat an-Nahl, 16:98)

That is why you see many muqri’een recite, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem” and then the verses, and they skip the Basmala, but the adab is to recite, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem” and then Basmala and then the verses.

When you enter a house, you go through the door and first you must knock on the door. If you knock Allah will open, but in His Way, not in your way, so you must knock! Ahmad al-Badawi (q) knocked at the door to teach him how to knock with adab, discipline. Don’t knock on the door saying, “O my Lord, open the door for me!” Who are you to say that? Awliyaullah are following the footsteps of the Prophet (s), who never asked for himself but only for the ummah.

So adab is to say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.” That is asking Allah to take Shaytan away from you. Here, “Shaytan” refers to the four enemies that everyone has in their heart and nafs, the lower self or ego, is the first enemy. At the time or prayer, the nafs tells you to delay it. This happens to us from a lack of imaan. To destroy the nafs you must say, “I seek refuge in You, yaa Rabbee, from lack of imaan!” Without imaan, how do you destroy the self? If you really have imaan you can come against the desire of the self. Alhamdulillah you are not lazy to come here; I am lazy, but you are not lazy!

So first is knocking at the door and asking Allah (swt) to destroy the four enemies, fa idhaa qaraati ’l-qur`an fasta`idh billaahi min ash-shaytani ‘r-rajeem.

Does Shaytan only come when you read Holy Qur'an? Yes, Shaytan comes especially then, so it means you must decide not to allow dunya to enter your heart as you cannot have two in your heart. If you really show hudoor, presence, ask Allah to take away Shaytan and keep you in the presence of Allah (swt), the Prophet (s), and mashaykh.

First, to get there you need mahabatallah, mahabbat al-rasool, mahabbat al-mashaykh, love of Allah, love of the Prophet (s) and love of mashaykh. So at that time you must focus and have taamul:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Inna fee khalqi ’s-samawaati wa ’l-ard wa’khtiflaafi ’l-layli wa ’n-nahaar la-ayaatin li-ooli ’l-albaab. Alladheena yadhkuroonallaha qiyaaman wa qu`oodan wa `alaa junoobihim wa yatafakkaroona fee khalqi ’s-samawaati wa ’l-ard rabbanaa maa khalaqta hadha baatilan subhaanaka faqinaa `adhaab an-naar.

Behold! In the creation of Heaven and Earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding, those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and contemplating the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, (saying), "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose! Glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:191-192)

And Allah (swt) said, “We protect the Holy Qur'an from any alteration.”

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَه ُُ لَحَافِظُونَ

Inna nahnu nazalnaa 'dh-dhikri wa inna lahu la-haafizhoon.

Verily, We sent down the dhikr and surely, We will guard it (from corruption). (Surat al-Hijr, 15:9)

So when reciting you must also contemplate, then Allah will open the door that no one can open by himself. So when we say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem,” we are asking to destroy our self that is riding on everyone. We believe this, but we don't act on it; to act is to surrender to Allah (swt), not showing any will.

So next is dunya, and when you want to read Holy Qur’an you leave dunya. Fa idhaa qaraati ’l-qur`an fasta`idh billaahi min ash-shaytani ‘r-rajeem. You have to leave dunya at that time. When you open Holy Qur’an to read, telephones ring, people come asking questions, and Shaytan will not leave you to really focus when reading Holy Qur’an because at that time you are entering the ocean of meditation, which is a huge threat to Shaytan!

تفكر ساعة خير من عبادة سبعين سنة

Tafakkarru sa`atin khayrun min `ibaadati saba`een sannah.

To remember Allah (swt) (contemplate or meditate) for one hour is better than seventy years of worship.

When you are reciting Holy Qur’an and completely enter the state of contemplation and tafakkur, Allah will reward you as if you worshipped seventy years!

You can finish reading Holy Qur’an in one day if you read a juz in twenty minutes. He calculated it as 20 hours or say 24 hours. So as if you read the whole Holy Qur’an, tafakkur sa`at, if you contemplate one hour, it is like worshipping 70 years by reading Holy Qur’an for one hour. To really go into recitation of Holy Qur’an, you must enter into contemplation and leave dunya; enter the ocean and reality where Allah (swt) is waiting to dress you, but to enter you have to leave your desires. When you read Holy Qur’an, cut everything around you and then your pleasures are only for Allah (swt).

The fourth enemy within us is Shaytan, who was first an angel named Azazeel. When he disobeyed, Allah turned him into Shaytan by cursing him. Shayateen have wives and children, and some interpretations say they get married, give birth and don’t die.

الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ

Al-khabeethaat li ’l-khabeetheena wal-khabeethoona li’l-khabeethat.

Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure. (Surat an-Noor, 24: 26)

The bad ones marry each other: Iblees and Ibleesa are famous and they marry and get children, but they don’t die because Allah (swt) postponed Iblees’ death until the end of this dunya. Allah gave him opportunity as he asked, “Give me life so I can mislead all of them (humans)!” And so Shaytan doesn’t die. Any human being who acts like Shaytan is maradat al-jinn. Some mu’min jinn marry and die. At the beginning, Iblees was an angel, so at the beginning they had angelic power but Allah cursed them and turned it to the shaytanic power of fire. But jinn marry and they die. The kaafir jinn work with shayateen al-ins, the bad human beings. Shaytans don’t want to work with anyone because they are so powerful. And the maradat al-jinn, the most tough of jinn, work with human beings that dress the character of the jinn who are kuffaar. And they take from the shayateen and that is why they are able to do black magic, to harm men and women, like the two angels in the kingdom of Sulayman (a).

وَاتَّبَعُواْ مَا تَتْلُواْ الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَى مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَلَـكِنَّ الشَّيْاطِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَارُوتَ وَمَارُوتَ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّى يَقُولاَ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلاَ تَكْفُرْ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِ وَمَا هُم بِضَآرِّينَ بِهِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلاَ يَنفَعُهُمْ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُواْ لَمَنِ اشْتَرَاهُ مَا لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلاَقٍ وَلَبِئْسَ مَا شَرَوْاْ بِهِ أَنفُسَهُمْ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ

They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon. The blasphemers were, not Solomon, but the evil ones, teaching men magic and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (such things) without saying, "We are only for trial; so do not blaspheme." They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah's permission and they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls, if they but knew! (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:102)

They teach what will harm families, men and women. So yes, sihr exists and is black magic. They did black magic against the Prophet (s), so they can also do black magic against shuyookh, especially some Egyptians and Moroccans, Gulf Arabs, Africans, and in North and South America. Everywhere there are people who do sihr to destroy family ties and to destroy love between shaykh and student. They blow on the food to make it poison and offer it to shuyookh, `ulama and everyone. So if the Prophet (s) was affected by sihr, cannot shuyookh also be affected? Presidents? Can it not it be done on anyone? So what to do? Knock on the door by saying, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem,” and for certain there are specific words to read, but in general we read “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem” to destroy sihr.

When the magicians came against Sayyidina Musa (a) they brought snakes, but he brought a real snake that ate up all their sihr snakes and when they witnessed that power, they believed in the Lord of Sayyidina Musa (a) and Haroon (a). Some forms of sihr is too harmful, and therefore, some have been authorized to take it away. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) gave us that power. Inshaa-Allah soon we will give something to read, to understand what is sihr. So knock and enter the Door of the King of Kings! If you want to visit the king, can you enter without permission? So when you want to eneter, you vcannot jump inside from the window or they will arrest you as a trespasser! You have to enter through the door, which also has a lock, whose key is “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem, I am seeking refuge in Allah, billah, “by Allah.”

If Allah (swt) doesn’t open we will be stranded outside between the hands of Shaytan! To open the lock you have to be clean and pure, which is why you cannot read the Holy Qur'an and be impure. Unfortunately, and many people put Holy Qur’an on the floor, which is disrespect to Allah’s Ancient Divine Words! So whoever wants to read Holy Qur’an, which is Allah’s Words and Allah’s Dhikr, if you call Him by any words, for example, “Alif. Lam. Meem,” when you recite like that you are entering munajaat, a heavenly conversation, which you want to be a genuine conversation, not mixed with ego. So who will take you there? When you decide to read Holy Qur’an, there are angels assigned to take you to Munajaat al-Habeeb, not just the conversation, but the Divine Presence, where you will be in a full state of love, approaching Him by His Own Words!

If someone wrote a book and heard only a paragraph of it recited, he will be so happy! Therefore, what do you think if someone is given the opportunity to read Allah’s Divine Words? It is honor and pride for us to open the Holy Qur’an and read! If some people don’t know how to read Arabic, they may only look at the pages and there is Light coming from the Arabic. That is adab with the One you love. Adab is to have what He gave you always between your hands.

So what is needed when you enter there? To have complete purity of wudu and to pray two raka`ats of wudu, and then recite Holy Qur’an. You have to purify your tongue, which can take you to Hellfire! Through that tongue you express your feelings. Some people use it to mock others and come against everyone to show they are higher. So we have to take refuge in Allah by saying, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem,” and then you enter the conditions to read Holy Qur’an, which removes Shaytan and his bad manners! So when you recite, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem,” any sin you previously committed will be waived completely! When you say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem,” it means, “I am seeking refuge in Allah from Shaytan, the rejected,” and then whatever wrong Shaytan tempted you to do before that is forgiven, and you are taken the treasures of Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem!

Allah (swt) said:

وَأَوْفُواْ بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ

Awfu bi-`ahdee ufoo bi `ahdikum wa iyyaaya farhaboon.

Fulfill your promise to Me and I will fulfill My promise to you, and fear none but Me.

(Surat al-Baqara, 2:40)

“I created you `abd, servant, so I fulfilled the promise and it is now a requirement for you to fulfill your promise. I gave to you and you are My `abd. Even if the angels do something wrong, I curse them. Then you become Shaytan, and there is no forgiveness for them. So the biggest weapon against your biggest enemy is to recite, ‘A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem’ and I will come immediately to your rescue because I promised!”

Say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem,” and, “You are The One with Perfect Generosity because You said, ‘If you call Me I will give you.’”

There are three levels when you say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.” Kalimat al-isti`adha, “the Words of (Seeking) Refuge” are three: sifaatiyya afa`aliyya wa dhaatiyya.

The Prophet (s) said:

اللهم إني أعوذ برضاك من سخطك وأعوذ بمعفاتك من عقوبتك وأعوذ بك منك . لا أحصي ثناء عليك أنت كما أثنيت على نفسك

Allahuma innee a`oodhu bi-raaka min sakhatika wa a`oodhu bi mu`afatik min `uqoobatik wa `oodhu bika minka laa nuhsee thanaa’an `alayka kamaa athnayta `alaa nafsik.

“I seek refuge in You from You being angry with me, and secondly I seek refuge in Your Cure from Your punishment, and then I seek refuge in You by You; no one praised You as You praised Yourself.” (Muslim, Tirmidhi)

This is the way the Prophet (s) explained ‘A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.’

May Allah forgive us and we will continue later.

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


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