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Secrets of Grandshaykh's Seclusion

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

7 July 2010 Lefke, Cyprus

Suhbah after Hadrah / Laylat al-Israa wa 'l-Mi`raaj

As-salaamu `alaykum. May Allah (swt) give Mawlana Shaykh Nazim long life. He said that tomorrow, inshaa-Allah, there will be ziyarah of the holy hair of Prophet (s). Tonight Mawlana said, "In the time of Grandshaykh, we used to do it the same." We used to pray four raka`at Salaat at-Tasabeeh and two raka`at preferably before Salaat at-Tahajjud, as the Prophet (s) prayed with all prophets in Paradise when he went into Mi`raj. And we will be according to his niyyah. What he prayed, no one can reach; but according to that intention, we will pray the two raka`at before Tahajjud. We are following the footsteps of awliyaaullah and the footsteps of Mawlana Shaykh and Grandshaykh (q), may Allah accept us to be on the footsteps of Prophet (s). He said, "At the end, you will do suhbah for them." So since the hadrah is finished, we may do a small suhbah and then pray four raka`at Salaat at-Tasabeeh and two raka`at Salaat ash-Shukr, inshaa-Allah.

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani ‘r-rajim. 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 haadha 'l-masjid.

This suhbah is about one of Grandshaykh's (q) experiences in his lifetime. He had a seclusion of five years. When he was ordered to go into the army when he was 18 and he refused. At that time, the Ottomans, may Allah bless their souls, were leading the army and they were taking everyone for the army. But because his family had no one, only his mother and his wife, he didn't want to go. And he said that at the same time he was ordered for seclusion by Sayyidina Shaykh Sharafuddin (q), may Allah bless his soul. Awliyaullah's tests never end; from one side his mother and his wife, from the other side his uncle Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) ordering him for seclusion of five years. He said, "Whatever I saved of gold or money, I gave it to someone to replace me." And he went into seclusion for five years, eating only a small piece of bread and seven olives every day. It wasn't 40 days, not six months or one year--it was five years! Imagine someone alone by himself and in seclusion that long.

When his wife had to get him food, he would knock on the floor (in a room upstairs). She would hear it on the ceiling and come up to give him his food. One day she didn't hear his knocking and she said, "He might be doing his awraad, dhikrullah." Once a day he ate seven olives and a piece of bread half the size of your hand. He said, "When I entered seclusion I was very fat and when I left seclusion I was very slim." He said to himself, "Yaa `AbdAllah! If you are going to die, you will die. I don't care; we are going in (seclusion) to die." He was speaking to his ego, "If you are five years here, you are five years here! Don't try to come and trick me!" This kind of sainthood is a grant, like Allah (swt) grants prophets to be prophets, not by their actions and worshipping. Allah (swt) granted the 313 great, main awliya and out of them there are forty main ones, and out of those there are five; Allah (swt) grants them. Of these five, one of them is Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, and one of them is Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah give him long life.

So he said that his wife came and she didn't hear the knocking. Second day, no knocking. Third, fourth, fifth day no knocking. After five days, she went to Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) and said, "O my shaykh! `AbdAllah Effendi died, he is not knocking!"

He said, "Leave him alone. When he knocks, you can go up. If he doesn't knock, stay down. He is alive and he is on a mission."

I am saying this story as it is nice to be said on Laylat al-Israa wal-Mi`raaj, to remind us. It might be that some heard it and some did not, but each time we repeat a story it comes with a different flavor. So Sayyidina Shaykh Sharafuddin, may Allah (swt) bless his soul, was speaking so highly. That is very important in tariqah. That is why they are bringing this story, as it is so important for us. He was speaking so highly of Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) and his karamah.

I ask myself and those who are listening: what is the karamah of Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q)? Allah (swt) gave every wali something special to use on the Day of Judgment, next to Sayyidina Muhammad (s). So what was Shah Naqshband (q) given? Allah (swt) gave him two eyes that always, if anyone looked at him, were not like normal eyes, but double the size of our eyes. And his beard was long, down to the floor. Grandshaykh (q) used to describe it, that on the side it was so big, as I am showing now (one foot on each side), it was so wide and long. One time Grandshaykh (q) showed me Shah Naqshband (q), may Allah bless his soul and give Mawlana Shaykh long life. He said his eyes were always turning, the white overtaking the black and the black overtaking the white, moving like jaroosh, a grinding stone for flour. They are turning like that, very quickly. Why? Because he doesn't want to spend his spiritual power in dunya.

The eyes of a wali have spiritual power; when they look at someone they carry from him all his problems and mistakes. When they speak of someone, they take all his problems and mistakes. They don't speak of someone for enjoyment, saying things that are not nice, no. They take it as a responsibility to present that person clean in the presence of Prophet (s). Allah (swt) gave awliyaullah that power. So when he was looking, he didn't want to spend that power in dunya; he was leaving it for Akhirah. That's why he was trying not to focus his eyes on anything in dunya. He was entitled; Allah (swt) gave him that and Allah Almighty was saying, "Yaa Shah Naqshband! I am giving to you, that wherever that light reaches from your eyes on those people, on the Day of Judgment I will order you to spread the light of your eyes right and left, and then down from every side." It will be like a rectangle; whoever will be inside that rectangle will enter Paradise by the shafa` of Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q).

That is why it is called, "Tariqat an-Naqshbandiyyati 'l-`Aliyya." The Wahhabis ask, "Why do you say 'the most high tariqah'?" That is high, because it has secrets in it. We see a lot of questions about that on the Internet. So Grandshaykh (q) said that when Shah Naqshband (q) sends that light right and left and then down, perpendicular, he will be able to fill four paradises from the Muslims. He said that in the association of awliyaa where Sayyidina Bayazid (q) was present. He said, "We, the rest of awliyaa, should be ashamed if we cannot fill the rest of paradises, when only one is going to fill the first four!" So when Grandshaykh (q) was speaking about that issue, something happened. And because of what happened in that seclusion when Grandshaykh (q) was not knocking anymore for his wife to get him food, they took him on a mission, may Allah (swt) bless his soul and give Mawlana Shaykh long life! What happened?

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim said that some of the love in Grandshaykhs' heart moved toward Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q). That is a problem we face in our life. Your love is not enough for one shaykh, so how can it be for two shaykhs or three shaykhs or four shaykhs? So some of his love went to Shah Naqshband (q), and then his love for Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) was less by that amount. So for that reason he was in a spiritual experience, in a trance, where Shah Naqshband (q) came to him. Where Grandshaykh (q) was doing his seclusion, the window opened and Shah Naqshband (q) appeared and said to him, "Yaa waladee, I need to take you on a trip." So he took him, and wherever their eyes reached, their feet were there. That means they were moving in space, not like rockets, but faster than the speed of light at 300,000 km/second. And he said that to go and come back took them seven days and seven nights. Wherever they were moving took three-and-one-half days until they reached a place and they stopped. Allah (swt) knows and Prophet (s) knows and awliyaa know how far that was, because whatever distance they moved in space, that horizon might be farther than three-and-one-half days of moving.

He saw something from the horizon and Shah Naqshband (q) said, "My son, are you seeing something in the horizon?"

Grandshaykh (q) said, "Yes Sayyidee, I am seeing." Allah (swt) gave them power to see.

Shah Naqshband (q) said, "What are you seeing?"

Grandshaykh (q) said, "Yaa Sayyidee, you know better."

Don't show knowledge or 'ilm in front of the shaykh. If he asks a dunya question, answer; don't say, "You know better." If it is about this world, answer. If he asks about high knowledge, keep your discipline, don't talk. But they like some comments at the end to make them happy. This is what I saw with Grandshaykh (q); Mawlana Shaykh Nazim used to stand up after suhbahs and make jokes, and Grandshaykh (q) was saying, "O Nazim Effendi! You make me happy." They carry the responsibility of their followers who come with different ideas and different ways, which is very heavy for the awliyaa.

In any case, they were looking at that figure appearing slowly, and they moved fast toward them until they were able to see clearly. Then Shah Naqshband (q) said, "Do you know who this is?"

He said, "Yaa Sayyidee, you know best." He knows! He is so near, but he didn't say, "I know;" he said, "You know better."

Shah Naqshband (q) said, "This is your shaykh, Shaykh Sharafuddin." Out of respect, don't show `ilm in front of awliyaaullah. He said, "Do you know the one that is next to him?"

Grandshaykh (q) saw a huge creature, like an animal walking on four legs. Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) was putting two huge saddlebags on both sides.

Shah Naqshband (q) said, "Yaa waladee, do you know what he is doing and do you know what that animal is? That is Iblees; Allah (swt) chained him for your shaykh."

That is his karamah (specialty miracle). Every wali has a karamah. He is taking the sins of his followers and the sins of ummat an-nabee, throwing them in that saddlebag and presenting the mureeds. Whoever, wherever they are, if they fight with each other, if they speak against each other, the awliyaa don't mind; it's a test, they are testing mureeds with each other to see who will be more patient and who will be listening and keeping as much patience as possible. All of them are equal in the eyes of the shaykh.

So he said, "This is your shaykh and he is taking the dirtiness of all his followers and throwing it in these bags. And he is taking the dirtiness of ummat an-nabee and presenting them clean to Prophet (s). Yaa waladee, this is the biggest khidhmat that a wali can do."

Don't let your heart split into two. Water from one windmill can suffice a field, although it may be very difficult. When you want to water two fields with water from that one windmill, both fields will not get enough water, then the crops will die. So there is one shaykh. Keep your love to your shaykh, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah (swt) give him long life. He is your shaykh, so if you split your love into two, there is less connection to the shaykh. The shaykh is shaykh; the others are not shaykh. We call each other "shaykh," but we are muqaddim, seniors. This is like a wali, or like if Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (q) said during his lifetime, "I am the khalifah of Prophet (s)." Did he say that? There is no way! You cannot say, "I am khalifah" in the lifetime of the shaykh. That is a mistake we are all making. Sayyidina Abu Bakr (q) became khalifah after the Prophet's (s) passing.

The khalifah can have a governor, a waalee, the one in charge. Yes, you are a governor, you are a waalee of this city, but you are not khalifah for all places; you are in charge only for the city or place the shaykh has assigned for you. But it is important to know that as many people take baya` and we have to tell them, and I tell them, "I am not the shaykh. I am like the car; I drove you there, but when you get there, finished, you have your connection to Mawlana Shaykh. If you like me it is okay, if you pray with me it is okay, but the reality is that your shaykh is Mawlana Shaykh." That has to be confirmed as it might become a danger when you split your love to two people. You have to be careful.

So Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) said, "Yaa waladee, this is a big danger." Awliyaa have adab; he didn't say, "it was a mistake." He said, "Your love will be split. Then that will affect your love to Shaykh Sharafuddin. My responsibility to you is through your shaykh, not through someone else. If you want to come to me, you come through your shaykh, not another way. Don't split." So it took them another three-and-a-half days to return, which ended up in seven days. This is a long story. And you know Grandshaykh (q) used to make long suhbahs, even three or four hours, and during the day maybe five or six suhbahs. Even if a child came there and whenever someone comes to sit there, he would begin to speak like a fountain and wouldn't stop. And Grandshaykh (q) passed that secret to Mawlana Shaykh. We were there, me and my brother, and we had the opportunity to see that; Mawlana Shaykh Nazim was shaking in front of him.

So he returned after seven days and he was very tired. His wife came and he was weak. He said, "For seven days my soul was out of my body. I came out of my body like a dead person, and I returned and entered my body, and it was the same as before."

So when awliyaa leave and come back into their body, they know every smallest piece of their body. You cannot understand the power of awliyaaullah! May Allah (swt) bless us and make us unite and make us as one person in front of Mawlana Shaykh, for us all to hold tight to the rope of Allah (swt) and not to separate. All of you are coming for one purpose, to come and visit Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and to give our love to our shaykh. There is nothing else here; it's a dead city. They put it in the newspaper here that Lefke would be dead if not for Mawlana Shaykh Nazim!

May Allah (swt) forgive us and bless us for the love of Prophet (s) and our shaykh. So now we pray as Mawlana said, to pray two raka`at.