Suhbah at As-Siddiq Institute & Mosque (ASIM)
A'oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.
Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah, nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta`ala fee hadha 'l-masjid.
Dastoor yaa Sayyidee, yaa Sultan al-Anbiya, madad. Dastoor yaa Sultan al-Awliya, madad. Dastoor yaa Sayyidee, Qutb al-Mutassarif.
Salaam `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Allah (swt) had sent us the Holy Qur'an as a guide and a Light to all humanity; any human being can open the Holy Qur'an and read it with the intention of finding guidance. Allah (swt) with His Endless Mercy will open for that person whatever he needs. Everyone is at a different level, so depending on the level you are at Allah (swt) will open through the Prophet (s) and through our shaykh and through Grandshaykh whatever you need.
What is opened to your heart when you read Holy Qur'an and Holy Hadith is different to that for an eminent scholar, or to what he or she has, or I have. Based on the level of understanding you have at that time, you will have an opening related to that level. When you look back, in the past you were at different level so the opening in the past was different and you see you have been advancing and at each level there was a different opening. Allah (swt) knows what is the opening and He will give it to you.
Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an:
فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ
Know, therefore, that there is no god but Allah and ask forgiveness for your fault, and for the men and women who believe, for Allah knows how you move about and how you dwell in your homes.
(Surat Muhammad, 47:19)
“Allah (swt) knows very well that you are moving in stations.” Qalb means “turning around”, Allah knows your rolling or alternating states, your moving about. So in each station you are at a different level and Allah (swt) knows very well your turning and mathwaakum, where you are sitting (your station). So where is your station? He knows you're rolling, your moving and your turning, and He knows your mathwaak (where you live, reside or stay). This is the middle of the verse, but what is the beginning of the verse? Your past can be different from your present, which is different from your future; therefore, the knowledge that is coming to you depends on your haal (state).
Allah (swt) said ‘f`alam’, he didn't say “f'amin”, and we have to know there is a very important difference. When we are at home praying Fajr--and inshaa-Allah we keep praying Fajr and for those who are not praying Fajr, we pray they will begin--at Fajr you can see the light coming up, yet you are between four walls and you have a roof over you. You 'believe' the sun is rising because you notice some light coming through although you don't yet see the sun, then you go outside and actually see the sun, so you know for sure the sun is rising, you are not just believing, you are seeing. Can you see the difference? You can know something and believe it, but if you haven't seen it then you don't know. So Allah (swt) said f`alam, ‘know there is no God but Allah’. This is a different state from believing, this is the state of seeing, a higher state, shuhood (witnessing). Nabi Kareem (s) is seeing, whereas we are believing. This is confirmed in the Holy Qur'an when Allah (swt) says, "Know that there is no God but Allah.” He is telling the Prophet (s), “Teach your nation Fa`lam annahu la ilaha illa-Llah w 'astaghfir li-dhanbik, then ask forgiveness for your sin.”
Nabi Kareem (s) will show you laa ilaaha illa-Llaah; knowing ‘there is no god but Allah (swt)’ is important in Tariqah, it is what will give you steadfastness and firmness, sulook, in your imaan. Our state now is that we have belief in laa ilaaha illa-Llaah, but we are in a state of thumma aamanoo, thumma kafaroo, we are sometimes in belief and other times in doubt (unbelief), but when knowledge sets in there is no more kafaroo (uncertainty) there is now `ilm (knowledge). This is called yaqeen, certainty: you can see the sun has risen and, therefore, you have certainty. So in beginning of sulook, to start in Tariqah you must have `Ilm al-Yaqeen, the Knowledge of Certainty. You know laa ilaaha illa-Llaah, but how do we come to know this, how do we get there? If we don't get to that knowledge then we are not firm in imaan, we still doubt Allah’s (swt) Existence.
Maybe the sun did not come up yet, or maybe the sun has already risen ten, fifteen or twenty minutes ago and you are still doubting. Sayyidina Muhammad (s) tells us about the Level of Imaan and that the higher Level of Ihsaan, which means to worship Allah (swt) as if you see Him, and even if you are not seeing Him you feel within as if you are seeing Him, then you are getting to the fa`lam annahu laa ilaha illa-Llah, seeing that there is no God but Allah. This is Maqaam al-Ihsaan, an ta`bud Allah ka-annaka taraah, to worship Allah (swt) as if you are seeing Him.
Now you are knowing the Truth, or worshipping as if you are seeing the Truth. How do we get to that state? How do we see the truth without actually seeing the truth? How do we pretend to see what we don't see? Some of us can see, but mainly we are at the beginning and we can't see, so how do you make yourself see what you don’t see? An t`abud Allah ka-annaka taraah, you worship Allah (swt) as if you are seeing Him: it means everything around you, everything you see has Allah's Power coming through it. No matter what it is you are seeing af`al-Allah. Every single thing that happens around you, no matter what it is you are seeing the Actions of Allah, the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah (swt), because they point you to your Lord, Allah Almighty.
So in everything we see, we have to see Allah's Power, His Beauty and His Names, in everything living or non-living. Everything is living in that it makes tasbeeh: in every thought, action, hearing, tasting, vision, you are seeing Allah (swt). Now you are getting into the situation of seeing the Wahdat of Allah (swt), because everything happening around you is laa ilaaha illa ’Llah, you are seeing The Oneness of Allah (swt) in everything: f`alam annahu laa ilaaha illa ’Llah. Now you see everything is laa ilaaha illa-Llaah and the Manifestation of Allah (swt), and this Name “Allah” is the container of all His Beautiful Names and Attributes. So if you are seeing the Oneness of Allah (swt) in everything around you, you are seeing Laa ilaaha illa-Llah. and you are starting to advance and travel on the Path, in the Tariqah.
Before you see that, there is no thaabit, firmness in faith and you are not steadfast in your imaan, so then what happens? You are thumma kafaroo, believing, but you are not seeing, you are thumma kafaroo. When you see Allah’s Manifestations in everything around you, then you can begin to see Allah (swt) and move towards that path w 'astaghfir li-dhanbik You start to see the Oneness of God, laa ilaaha illa-Llaah, and you are following the path; then you start to ask for forgiveness for your sins, you are getting rid of your bad characteristics.
You see the Oneness of Allah (swt) and someone comes to you and is cursing or yelling at you, what do you see? You see the action of Allah (swt) in that person, so what do you do? Your inclination is to get angry, but how do you ask forgiveness from Allah (swt)? You say “astaghfirullah” and rid yourself of that anger. So you saw the action of Allah (swt) and you started making istighfaar, which is ridding yourself of anger and the dhanb, sin of Mankind or the bad characteristics. The shaykh will send tests and trials to rid ourselves of these bad characteristics, which can be physical or spiritual. Laa ilaaha illa-Llaah: you see the action of Allah (swt), your inclination is to get angry, but instead you say “astaghfirullah”, which is cleansing for your bad character.
Maybe you see your brother getting a lot and you get a little, but with laa ilaaha illa-Llaah, you can see that action is from Allah (swt): you see His Holy Names al-Qaabid and al-Baasit, The One who Restricts and the One Who Gives. You start to feel that jealousy rising inside of you, but you rid yourself of it. This is `Ilm al-Yaqeen. You have `ilm, knowledge, and you are now steadfast because you are seeing all actions coming from Allah (swt), so you are shaheed al-Waahid, witness to the Oneness of Allah.
There are lots of other sins and bad characteristics which we must get rid of and do you know which one is the is the biggest? It is ‘I’, anaa, that is the biggest sin. But we cannot reach there, that is for `Arifeen billaah, Allah’s Lovers, and for Anbiyaaullah, the Prophets, and we are at their feet, following their footsteps, accompanying them where they go. That is for Awliyaa, but for us to stay at the door and to know that Allah’s Oneness is real, f`alam annahu laa ilaaha illa-Llaah, to rid ourselves of these sins and ask forgiveness for lying, jealousy, greed, illicit sexual desires, etc.
Prophet (s) was ordered to purify the men and women, Believers, and this is what the Prophet (s) does for us. He knows and He sees ‘laa ilaaha illa-Llaah’ and even further, I don't know, but our shaykhs know. He (s) also takes care of us by completing and purifying us and he knows the level of our station, maqaam.
Allah (swt) knows where you are going and with the blessing and support of the Prophet (s) who is following the order of Allah (swt), we are advancing in stations, and Allah (swt) knows muqallibukum wa mathwaakum, our stations and our final state: Allah (swt) knows where our final end will be. What happens if we don't know laa ilaaha illa-Llaah or we don't ask to know what laa ilaaha illa-Llaah is? What happens if we don't know there is a Creator or we don't believe in His Existence? What happens is, we keep living and keep living and keep living, until we are on our deathbed in hospital, in a nursing home or under rubble. Inshaa-Allah our end will be a very good one and we will be with our Prophet (s) and with our shaykh and inshaa-Allah we meet up with all of them.
فَكَيْفَ إِذَا تَوَفَّتْهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَضْرِبُونَ وُجُوهَهُمْ وَأَدْبَارَهُمْ
But how (will it be) when the angels take their souls at death, and smite their faces and their backs?
(Surat Muhammad, 47:27)
Now imagine we are lying on our deathbed and Allah (swt) is speaking to all of us, all of Mankind, the children of Adam (a). How will it be when the angels take our souls at death, does Mankind think of this? How would it be yadriboona wujoohahum wa adbaarahum, “the angels will beat their faces and strike their backs.” Why would they be hitting their faces and backs? Dhaalika bi annahum attaba`oo ... “they angered Allah (swt).” Allah Almighty has told us to direct our face to Him. When you direct your face to other than Allah (swt), the angels will come at you and slap your face and curse you because you put your face in a direction other than Allah (swt). You came to this life and directed it towards other than Allah, and what do you think they will hit you with? Chains, spears, fists, rocks? Allahs (swt) knows. We ask Allah (swt) to shelter us from that bad ending!
So adbaarahum, their backs, point to what they left behind, as when you turn your back on something your back is pointing to what you left. So when you are dying and coming to Allah (swt), what are you leaving? You are leaving dunya, so these people among Mankind have chosen to direct their faces to other than Allah and, therefore, they have chosen dunya over Akhirah! The angels are hitting their faces because they did not face Allah (swt) and they are hitting their backs because they faced dunya, they did not seek Allah's (swt) Pleasure, which is to rid oneself of bad characteristics. So when these angels come to take their souls, they come with the Manifestation of Allah's (swt) Jalali Names, al-Qahhar, The Subduer, and al-Jabbar, The Compeller, and He is The Avenger, Al-Muntaqim! They are coming with these strong names, again, Laa ilaaha illa-Llaah etc. Wa karrihoo ridwaanahu, they did not want to be part of the group that followed His Pleasure.
On the Judgment Day, where is the group that follows His Pleasure when their souls are taken? Nabi Kareem (s) says in his Hadith there will be seven groups of people that will be under the shade of the Throne.
سبعة يظلهم الله في ظله يوم لا ظل إلا ظله: إمام عادل، وشاب نشأ في عبادة الله ، ورجل قلبه معلق في المساجد، ورجلان تحابا في الله، اجتمعا عليه، وتفرقا عليه، ورجل دعته امرأة ذات منصب وجمال، فقال: إنى أخاف الله، ورجل تصدق بصدقة فأخفاها حتى لا تعلم شماله ما تنفق يمينه، ورجل ذكر الله خالياً ففاضت عيناه
Seven people Allah will give them His Shade on the Day when there would be no shade but the Shade of His Throne (i.e., on the Day of Resurrection) and they are: a just ruler; a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah; a person whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah; a man whom an extremely beautiful woman seduces (for illicit relations) but he (rejects this offer and) says, 'I fear Allah!'; a man who gives in charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the left hand does not know what the right has given; and, a man who remembers Allah in solitude and his eyes become tearful. (Abu Hurayrah. Bukhari, Muslim)
Do we know these seven groups? Do we know how many web pages there are to go visit different places for kayaking, through Travelocity.com, etc.? A`oodhu billah, we know so many other groups, but do we know about these very important seven? These are the people who thought about Allah's (swt) Pleasure and tried to please Allah (swt). We come to this world and we hurt each other by gossiping, lying, cursing and harming with whatever we want to say, but we forget why we are here on Earth and we forget that we want to be in these seven groups that are under the Shade of Allah (swt) on Judgment Day! We don’t know them, we don't look for them; some of us do, alhamdulillah. We have to know these seven categories because if we know them then we have to strive to be one of these groups so that Allah (swt) will be happy with us. Nabi Kareem (s) says the first is imaamun `adil, a just imam, a just ruler; anyone with power and authority has to be just to the people under him. Imaamun `adil. Where does `adl, justice, come from?
Sayyidina Muhiyuddin ibn `Arabi (q) says, al-`adl dhil al-mahabba wa ’l-mahabba dhil al-wahda, “Justice is the shade of love and love is the shade of Oneness, laa ilaaha illa-Llaah.” Allah (swt) loves His servants, when somebody like the Prophet (s) and the Anbiya, all the Prophets, reach that level of knowing laa ilaaha illa-Llaah, they love all His Creation. Why do you think Sayyidina Rumi loved poems? It appeals to everybody! Atheists, Jews, Christians, Muslims like to read his love poems because he has reached the level of knowing laa ilaaha illa-Llaah, because he reached The Source, and when He reaches there, then the divine love starts pouring out from his heart for all Creation!
Laa ilaaha illa-Llaah, in this state of Oneness they have love for everybody. When we believing men and believing women reach that station, then do we love everyone? Why do all grandshaykhs love everyone? Why do people of every religion come to the maqaam of Nizamuddin Awliya in New Delhi? Because they are in love of all Mankind. When you are seeing laa ilaaha illa-Llaah, in that station the love of Allah's Creation comes in, and when you love all of them you don't prefer one to another, you become just: f`adil wa law dhu 'l-qurba, you will follow justice even against your father or mother or a near one. That is real justice. Imaamun `adil. `Adl comes from love of Creation, which comes from knowing The One. So what is an imam, just someone on authority? What did Allah say to Sayyidina Ibraheem (a)?
قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي قَالَ لاَ يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ
He (Allah) said, "I will make you an Imam to the Nations." He (Ibraheem) pleaded, "And also (Imams) from my offspring!" He (Allah) answered, "But My Promise is not within the reach of oppressors."
(Surat al-Baqara, 2:124)
“O Ibraheem, I am making you an imam, a leader, a guide for them.” So imaamun `adil might not be just a ruler of Egypt or Iran, France, Chile; no, it can be a just Prophet or Awliyaullah. So they are under the shade of Allah (swt) on Judgment Day. Do we want to be with them? Yes, we want to be with imaamun `adil, we want to be with Sayyidina Ibraheem (a) on Judgment Day. and he said, “and from the following generations?” Some were and some were not, so Allah said laa yanaalu `ahdee azh-zhaalimeen, “My Covenant will not reach those who are oppressors.” We ask Allah to make us among those who are `adil!
Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfeeq bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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