25 July 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
Suhbah after Fajr
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-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`alaa fee haadha 'l-masjid.
Allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammad (s) hatta yarda Sayyidina Muhammad (s)!
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.
وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً
Wa laa taqfu maa laysa laka bihi `ilmun inna s’-sam`a wa ‘l-basara wa ‘l-fuaada kullu oolaaika kaana `anhu masoolaa.
And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning) (Surat al-’Israa, 17:36)
Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur'an, “Yaa Muhammad! Tell them what they don't know,” because none of us know what will happen to us on the Day of Judgment. But Allah (swt) is saying, “Their hearing, their sight, and their conscience, all whatever comes under this, they are responsible for it and they are going to witness!” Inna ‘s-sama`a, “everything in you that hears.” Every human cell hears and has a special sound that no one can understand, except to whom Allah (swt) gave authority to understand and to hear, which are angels that record what you are hearing. Are you hearing Holy Qur'an or are you hearing pop music? Are you hearing hadith or are you hearing hard rock? Are you hearing dhikrullah or are you hearing what Shaytan is saying to you? Every cell in the human body is hearing; each has its own function of tasbeeh and, therefore, because it makes tasbeeh it also can hear.
وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ
Wa in min shay’in illa yusabbihoo bihamdihi wa laakin laa tafqahoona tasbeehahum.
There is not a thing but celebrates His Praises, and yet you don’t understand how they declare His Glory! (Surat al-’Israa, 17:44)
Everything that Allah created is praising Him but human beings don’t have the intelligence to understand nor the power to hear it. However, Allah (swt) gave authority to awliyaullah, those who are inheriting from the Prophet (s), who has `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa ‘l-Akhireen, Knowledge of Before and After, to hear their followers. Grandshaykh (q) said that Allah gave awliyaullah hearing such that if an ant is moving on a smooth rock in the east and he is in west, if they give the attention to hear that ant moving, they hear it like thunderstorm if they have permission, but they don’t as it is from maa laa yaa`nee, not important for them to listen to what their followers are doing, so they leave it as they have more important things to do: they are the Doors to the Prophet (s)! Every wali is a door to the presence of the Prophet (s) and is working hard to bring their followers to those doors. That is why you need a guide, because he knows the ins and outs, and he takes you directly so you don’t spend all your life and not reach anywhere. They know what you need and they put you at the door of the Prophet (s) from the power Allah (swt) gave them.
So inna s’-sam`a wa ‘l-basara, you are hearing, but also you might be hearing someone reading Holy Qur'an; however, there is no fiqh, (understanding, grasp), meaning you cannot have that attraction to it that is important to have, like from the beauty of Holy Qur'an, when someone hears Holy Qur'an he must bow and make sajda to Allah (swt).
Sayyidina `Umar ibn al-Khattab (r) always had problems with Islam before he became Muslim. He fought anyone who said, “I converted to Islam.” He could not accept that, but he didn’t know the Prophet (s) had made a du`a, “O Allah! Give me one of the two `Umars!” and Allah gave him Sayyidina `Umar Ibn al-Khattab (r). How did he become Muslim? They told him, “Your sister accepted Islam.” He was so upset that he went to her immediately, and everyone in Mecca feared him, no one could say anything to deter him or he would have beat them. He had a very strong personality. So he went to his sister’s home, where she, her husband, and Khabaab, the one teaching them Holy Qur'an, were reading Holy Qur'an. And she hid the skin or tree bark on which verses of the Holy Qur'an were written.
Sayyidina `Umar (r) asked her, “What am I hearing? Did you become Muslim?”
She said, “Yes, I became Muslim.”
He hit with such force that it her knocked her to the ground, and he said, “Show me that paper!”
While everyone was afraid of him, she said to his face, “No! You are dirty and you cannot touch it! First go take a ghusl, shower!”
Those words hit him hard, because she showed she was not afraid of him. “Now I am a Muslim and I am not afraid of non-Muslims, I stand up for Muslims!” That amazed him, and he wondered what had changed her. So he went and took a shower. Allahu Akbar! See how much he brought his ego down. When someone is arrogant in his opinion, it is impossible to advise him because his ego is there. He cannot accept to lower himself, but with the great power that Allah (swt) gave him, when she said, “You are dirty,” he realized something is going on there, so he took a shower with good intention to read that paper, and then Allah (swt) poured imaan into his heart.
He said, “Give it to me now.” She showed him the paper, which he read and said, “Take me to the Prophet (s)!” Then he became a Muslim in the presence of the Prophet (s).
So (in reference to what Allah said in the previous ayah), Sayyidina `Umar ibn al-Khattab (r) heard that his sister had become Muslim and went to see with his own eyes, which means first comes hearing then comes seeing. So the first level of imaan is to hear, and the highest level of imaan is ihsaan, to see. Why didn’t Allah (swt) begin the ayah by first saying “seeing” and then “hearing,” but instead He said, inna s’-sam`a wa ‘l-basara, “Verily! The hearing and the seeing,” starting with the lower level? You might hear and not accept, but if you see you are the first to accept as then there is no way to deny, as Allah (swt) showed you the truth. That is why a judge needs a witness, someone who has seen what took place; he will not conclude a court case by taking a decision based only on what was heard, so when there are no actual witnesses they throw out the case.
So in that ayah, Allah (swt) is showing that your body is your witness, saying, “Not only have I given you as-sama`, the hearing, but also I have given you al-basar, to see the Truth, in order to follow it. If you don't follow the Truth your vision will witness against you, saying that you saw the Truth but didn’t follow it! Inna s’-sam`a wa ‘l-basara wa ‘l-fuaada, then finally your heart will be a witness on you!”
Imam Nawawi (r) collected many ahadith supporting dhikr jahree (loud dhikr) and dhikr khafee (silent dhikr), which means there is a balance between the two. So in hilaq adh-dhikr, circles of dhikrullah, in which you do dhikr jahree, you are reciting, hearing and seeing the reciters, which means your ears and eyes are both working. Then your heart will be a witness on you, which is why the Prophet (s) gave importance to dhikrullah, as it saves us from many problems.
Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri (r) related that the Prophet (s) said:
عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيْد رضي الله عنه عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم قَالَ: يَقُولُ الله عزوجل: سَيَعْلَمُ أَهْلُ الْجَمِيعِ الْيَومَ مَنْ أَهْلُ الْكَرَمِ. فَقِيْلَ: مَنْ أَهْلُ الْكَرَمِ، يَا رَسُولَ الله؟ قَالَ: أَهْلُ مَجَالِسِ الذِّكْرِ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ,
Yaqool Allah `azza wa jall saya`lamu ahlu ‘l-jamee`i ‘l-yawma man ahlu ‘l-karam. Fa-qeela man ahlu ‘l-karami, yaa Rasoolullah? Qaala ahlu majaalis adh-dhikri fi ‘l-masaajid.
Allah (swt) says, “The people assembling on the Day of Resurrection will come to know who the People of Generosity are.” The Holy Prophet (s) was asked, “Who are the People of Generosity, O Messenger of Allah (swt)?” He replied, “Those who hold remembrance sessions in mosques.”
(Ahmad, Ibn Habban, and many others)
The Prophet (s) said, on the Day of Judgment Allah (swt) is going to announce to Ahlu ‘l-Jama`ah, all human beings who will gather on the Day of Resurrection in front of Allah (swt) to be judged, to make sure they know who are Ahlu ‘l-Karam, the People of Generosity (and Honor). They asked the Prophet (s), “Who are Ahlu ‘l-Karam, yaa Rasoolullah? We want to know!” Everyone would want to know who those Noble Ones are in order to improve, to be noble themselves. So for those of us who are following the footsteps of the Sahaabah (r), it is important to know who Ahlu ‘l-Karam are to follow in their footsteps. The Prophet (s) replied, ahlu majaalis adh-dhikr, “They are the people who gather for dhikrullah,” like this dhikr circle here or many other circles in different mosques, where people have nothing to do with dunya and they sit remembering Allah (swt), the Prophet (s) and pious people, as the Prophet (s) said:
قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عند ذكر الصالحين تنزل الرحمة
`Inda dhikri ‘s-saaliheen tanzilu ‘r-rahmah,
With remembrance of the pious ones, Divine Mercy descends. (related from Sufyan ibn `Uyayana in Imam Ahmad’s Zuhd)
So since we are mentioning the Sahaabah (r), Prophet (s) and the Greatness of Allah (swt), that Mercy is coming down on us now!
Abu Hurayrah (r) mentioned that the Prophet (s) said:
إن لله ملائكة يطوفون في الطرق يتلمسون أهل الذكر
Inna Lillah malaa’ikatan yatoofoona fi ’t-turuq yatalammasoona ahlu ‘dh-dhikr.
There are Allah's angels roaming the streets, looking for the People of Dhikr. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Allah (swt) has angels roaming the streets, yatalammasoona majaalis adh-dhikr, looking for the People of Dhikrullah. Why? Do angels walk on the streets or fly in the air? Angels are not like us; they don’t need to walk or fly, they move by glorifying Allah (swt), so their dhikr moves them around. If they are here and want to go somewhere, they can reach it in the same moment. Here the Prophet (s) is saying that Allah (swt) has angels that move in at-turuq, gatherings that follow a certain tariqah. (Allahu Akbar!) This is what the Prophet (s) said! They are roaming around, looking for those in tariqah (singular of “turuq”, the Way), about which Allah (swt) said:
وَأَلَّوِ اسْتَقَامُوا عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ لَأَسْقَيْنَاهُم مَّاء غَدَقًا
Wa law istiqaamoo `alaa ‘t-tareeqati la-asqaynaahum maa’an ghadaqa.
If they had (only) remained on the (right) Way, We should certainly have bestowed on them rain in abundance. (Surat al-Jinn, 72:16)
If they keep following the Right Path or the Right Tariqah or Way, we will shower them! “Turuq” is the many different ways by which awliyaullah have reached the Prophet (s). As we said previously, every wali has his own tareeq or door to the Prophet (s) through which he takes his followers, while other walis have their own turuq, ways. The plural of “tariqah” is “turuq,” not “tariqaat.” So the Prophet (s) said, “Come to Allah through turuq. Yatoofoona fi’t-turuq, they are roaming in different tariqahs at the same time, when they are sitting and remembering Allah (swt)!” Because the People of Tariqah are the ones that sit in circles and remember Allah (swt), so angels find them and then they sit with them until Allah asks them (in continuation of the hadith):
فَيَسْأَلُهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ – وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ مِنْهُمْ: مَا يَقُولُ عِبَادِي؟ قَالَ: تَقُولُ: يُسَبِّحُونَكَ وَيُكَبِّرُونَكَ وَيَحْمَدُونَكَ وَيُمَجِّدُونَكَ
Fa yasaluhum rabbuhum, maa yaqoolu `ibaadee? Qaala taqoolu, yusabbihoonaka wa yukabbiroonaka wa yuhammidoonaka wa yumajjidoonaka.
Their Lord asks them, although He knows better about them, “What are My Servants saying?” They reply, “They are glorifying You, proclaiming Your Greatness, praising You and pronouncing Your Grandeur!” (Bukhari)
The angels said, “They are glorifying and remembering You in many ways and they have no one to remember except You, as there is no place in their hearts for any other than You!” “Tawheed,” Allah’s Oneness, means there is no place in your heart for your wife, your children, your family or anyone except Allah (swt). Allah (swt) took Sayyidina Yusuf (a) away from Sayyidina Ya`qoob (a), who loved his son so much that his progress in loving, worshipping and remembering Allah (swt) was slowing down and became an obstacle, so Allah (swt) wanted to teach him, “Don’t let anyone in your heart other than Me!” For wisdom, He (swt) made Sayyidina Ya`qoob’s other sons throw Sayyidina Yusuf in the well, and in so doing, they threw his desire and love for dunya from his heart! At first they were going to kill him; here “to kill” means “to completely cut down the ego.” However, through Allah’s Mercy on Sayyidina Ya`qoob (a), they took a different route and instead of killing him, they threw him in the well, which means, “Take your ego down and come to to Me with no ego!” This is what Allah (swt) gave to Sayyidina Ya`qoob (a), Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) and many other Prophets, meaning, “Don’t put anyone in your heart except Me!”
We are neither Prophets nor infallible; on the contrary, we are sinners! Inspite of this, without looking at what we have done wrong, Allah (swt) protects and dresses us with the manifestations of His Beautiful Names and Attributes, through which we remember Him in hilaq adh-dhikr, the circles of remembrance. By sitting in such associations, we become people on whom all these manifestations of Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes descend, which, in turn, make us appear in a rainbow of colors on the Day of Judgment in front of Allah (swt)! That is why in order to receive such blessings, awliyaullah insist their followers attend dhikr at least once a week.
Yatoofoona fi’t-turuq angels roam, looking for shaykhs and their followers of tariqah, about whom Allah (swt) asks, “What are they doing?” and the angels reply, “They are praising You, glorifying You, proclaiming Your Greatness and pronouncing Your Grandeur!” until the end of the hadith where Allah says, humu ‘l-qawmu laa yashqaa bihim jaleesuhum, “The one who sits with such people will never see shaqaawah, unhappiness in their life.” Then the angels say, “O our Lord! There is someone among them who didn’t come for Your Sake, but only came to see his friend.” Allah (swt) says, “I have forgiven him also!”
Abu Darda (r) said that the Prophet (s) said:
To attend a gathering of dhikr is more rewarded than praying one-thousand raka`at and attending one-thousand janaazah (following the deceased to the grave), and it will be more rewarded than visiting one-thousand sick persons. (Imam Ghazali, Ihya Ulum al-Din, Vol 1)
In a long hadith, Abu Hurayrah (r) said that the Prophet (s) said:
إن لله ملائكة يطوفون في الطرق يلتمسون أهل الذكر ، فإذا وجدوا قوما يذكرون الله تنادوا : هلموا إلى حاجتكم . قال : فيحفونهم بأجنحتهم إلى السماء الدنيا ، قال : فيسألهم ربهم ، وهو أعلم منهم ، ما يقول عبادي ؟ قال : تقول : يسبحونك ويكبرونك ويحمدونك ويمجدونك ، قال : فيقول : هل رأوني ؟ قال : فيقولون : لا والله ما رأوك ، قال : فيقول : وكيف لو رأوني ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوك كانوا أشد لك عبادة ، وأشد لك تمجيدا وأكثر لك تسبيحا ، قال : يقول : فما يسألونني ؟ قال : يسألونك الجنة ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو أنهم رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو أنهم رأوها كانوا أشد عليها حرصا ، وأشد لها طلبا ، وأعظم فيها رغبة ، قال : فمم يتعوذون ؟ قال : يقولون : من النار ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوها كانوا أشد منها فرارا ، وأشد لها مخافة ، قال : فيقول : فأشهدكم أني قد غفرت لهم . قال : يقول ملك من الملائكة : فيهم فلان ليس منهم ، إنما جاء لحاجة . قال : هم الجلساء لا يشقى بهم جليسهم
Inna lillaahi malaa’ikatu yatufoona fi’t-turuq yatalamasoona ahli’dh-dhikr ...Fa yahuffoonahum bi ajnihatihim ila ‘s-samaai ‘d-dunya...
Allah (swt) has angels roaming around the majaalis adh-dhikr, circles of dhikr. When they see a group of people sitting and remembering Allah (swt), they sit with them. Then they spread their wings over them up to the lowest heaven.
Here “yahuffoonahum,” derived from the root word “haffa,” means “to rub,” as in the hadith, huff ash-shawaarib wa `afoow `anil-laha, “Rub the moustache (to make it less dense) and leave the beard.” So the angels will rub you with their wings; “bi ajnihatihim” means you will be touched by an angel. When angels touch you, do you think you will go to Hellfire? How can an angel touch you with mercy then dump you in Hellfire? Sitting in majlis adh-dhikr even once is enough to take you to Paradise with no account! This is because angels have already rubbed their wings on you (in dunya), like how you rub a stone to polish it. Similarly, angels come to polish you, which is “haffa,” to polish. So they polish you one dhikr after another, like polishing a stone, until a diamond is revealed at the end! That Light from the Beautiful Name “an-Noor” will dress you and enter your heart.
So Allah (swt) asks (and He knows best about them), “What are My Servants saying?” The angels reply, “They are making tasbeeh, takbeer, tahleel and tahmeed.” Allah (swt) asks, hal ra’awnee, “Did they see Me?” The angels say, “By Allah, no they didn’t.” Then He (swt) asks, wa kayfa law ra’awnee, “How will they be if they see Me?” And the angels reply, “If they see You they would be more strong in praising You.”
There is something hidden here. Allah (swt) asks them, hal ra'awnee, “Did they see Me?” which means there is a possibility of seeing Him, and He asks, “What would happen if they saw Me?” which means awliyaullah are allowed to enter the Divine Presence under the umbrella of Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes, where they see the manifestations of these Names. That is why their `ibaadah is stronger than others, which shows that the People of Majaalis adh-Dhikr are going to see Allah (swt) in Paradise, as the Prophet (s) said, “They will see Allah in Paradise depending on their levels.”
Allah (swt) then asks, fa maa yas’aloonee, “What are they asking Me for?” Doesn’t Allah (swt) know? Of course He knows, but He wants to bring His Angels as witnesses for Ummat an-Nabi (s) to say, “Yes, they were in dhikr! So the angels reply, “They are asking for Your Paradise.” Allah (swt) asks, “Did they see My Paradise?” and the angels answer, “No.” Then Allah (swt) says, “If they saw Me, what would they do? The angels say, “They would run for it more earnestly, leaving dunya completely and focusing only on Akhirah.”
Then Allah (swt) asks, “What are they seeking refuge from?” The angels say, “They are seeking refuge from Your Hellfire.” Allah (swt) asks, “Did they see My Hellfire?” The angels say, “No, they did not see it.” Allah (swt) asks, “And what if they saw it?” and the angels say, “Fa-firroo ila-Allah! They would be running to Allah (swt), away from its fire and punishment with greater speed and fear!” Then Allah says, fa ush-hidukum annee qad ghafartu lahum, “O My Angels! I am making you witnesses that I have forgiven them (the People of Dhikrullah)!” Then one of these angels says, “There is one among them who is not of them; he came only for a little while to get something from someone.” And Allah (swt) says, humu ‘l-julasaau laa yashqaa bihim jaleesahum, “They are the ones with whom if anyone comes and sits, they will be with them on the Day of Judgment and in Paradise.” (Narrated by Bukhari)
It is important for people who are asked about this to know how to answer, as these days there are too many questions on dhikrullah, which is, in fact, mentioned in every book by big scholars of Islam! May Allah (swt) forgive us.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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