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Seek Knowledge

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

3 March 2018 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Zhuhr Suhbah (1)

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.

‎اطلبوا العلم ولو في الصين

Seek knowledge even if you must go to China. (Bayhaqi)

To “look for knowledge even as far as China” is an order to everyone. Who can seek knowledge by himself? One can only seek part of it, a little bit. Regarding knowledge, take any example, from engineering, medicine, law: you can always find people more knowledgeable than you. That means knowledge never ends. When Allah wants it to end it will, but that is knowledge of dunya.

No individual can say they know everything. Awliya know everything because the Prophet (s) gives them directly from his knowledge, but still they say, “We don't know anything.” They continue to seek knowledge because Prophet (s) said, “Seek knowledge, even in China.” Who can go to China? In the Prophet’s time, it was so difficult to go even from one village to another, and yet the Sahaabah reached China!

The Prophet (s) sent his cousin, Qutham ibn al-`Abbas (r), to the Far East. Sayyidina Qutham did not say, “No,” he said, “You (s) are sending me and, therefore, you will teach me.” It didn't mean teaching from notebooks, because Sahaabah were taught directly from the heart of Prophet (s). Like Awliyaullah, when they opened their mouths to speak, that wisdom came from a Wali above them to show that knowledge descends in a hierarchy from the Prophet’s heart to theirs.

That is why Ibn Ajeeba said, Al-`ilmu `ilmaan: `Ilmu ‘l-Awraaq wa `Ilmu ‘l-Adhwaaq. “Knowledge is of two types: Knowledge of Paper and Knowledge of Taste.” These two are also referred to as Ilmu ‘l-Haqaa’iq, Knowledge of Realities, and Knowledge of Books. However, books of our shuyookh are high caliber because they spend their time seeking knowledge, as Prophet (s) said.

For Awliya, sitting with mureeds is `ilm, sitting with family is `ilm, any kind of sitting is both `Ilm al-Adhwaaq and `Ilm al-Awraaq. If you compare books of Awliyaullah and scholars, you see a big difference. This book of `Ilm al-Awraaq speaks of dunya knowledge, how to do this and that, while the book of `Ilm al-Adhwaaq has so much sweetness that everyone likes it. `Ilm al-Awraaq does not give a taste like `Ilm al-Adhwaaq, which is organic, like today people want higher quality organic food versus toxic food.

We must keep their teachings in order to reach the realities we seek. When anyone travels from one place to another to seek knowledge, he upholds the Sunnah, what Prophet (s) asked his Sahaabah to do, that `abd, and they will be rewarded as if they received that knowledge from a Sahaabi or Wali. That is not something without rewards! `Ilm al-Awliya goes to the heart, then the ‘taste’ comes. `Ilm al-Awraaq goes to the mind and after a while, loses its taste. It is like the effects from a pill that become diluted after a few hours. But the effect of `Ilm al-Adhwaaq is always there, it never goes away, it remains in the heart. Whatever we hear from Grandshaykh `Abdullah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), including their teachings we share, are always rewarded, it is not just coming and then going.

“Seek knowledge even if you must go to China” as there is an immeasurable amount of knowledge. You may find millions of books in a library, but who is thirsty for these books? Make yourself a book for others, like Awliya do, to remain under that order to seek knowledge, and then every day Allah (swt) will open a new tajalli. That is why Prophet (s) urged his followers to seek knowledge even if it is far away.

We have to know this dunya is going. When Allah told Sayyidina Musa (a), “I will destroy Pharaoh,” and Bani Israa`eel waited and waited, Sayyidina Musa (s) complained in his heart and Allah (swt) said:

أَلَيْسَ الصُّبْحُ بِقَرِيبٍ

Is dawn not near? (Surat Hud, 11:81)

Allah left Pharaoh in charge for forty years for the people to become Muslim. Allah could have destroyed Pharaoh in a second, but He did not. He wanted the people of Sayyidina `Isa, Sayyidina Musa, Sayyidina Yunus (a) and all prophets to be His servants. That is why when Sayyidina Yunus (a) complained, he was taken in the belly of the whale: to make the servant worship his Lord. Allah likes His `abd to worship Him and not run away. Similarly, when Sayyidina Musa (a) approached the sea, Allah wanted it to become as big as this world to take in Pharaoh and his army so they would become Muslim, but His will was not that. If Allah wants every human being to become Muslim it will happen in no time, but Allah wants to see if people will follow Him or Shaytan, so He gives them time.

Allah (swt) sent messengers to inform people of His Greatness and Oneness. We only know His Oneness through Kalimat at-Tawheed: Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah. SubhaanAllah. May Allah open these knowledges to our hearts.

I often went to the beach with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and he liked to put his feet in the water whenever he went to another country. Your feet physically take you to bad or good, because even if you are sitting they move you. Hands don't do that. So Mawlana liked to put his feet in the ocean because it cleans the `abd of all his sins. Remember Sayyidina Yunus emerged (from the whale in the ocean) newly born. The Wali wants his followers to enter his ocean (of knowledge) whether they know him or not. The first time you see him you will be cleansed and rewarded: when that Wali sees you, he sends a signal to your heart that you will be rewarded.

May Allah (swt) guide us to His Way, the Way of Islam, the Way of Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah ‘alayha nahya wa ‘alayha namoot wa alayha nalqa'Allah.

Bi hurmati ‘l-habeeb, bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.


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