Guest Speaker, Youth in Motion Annual Awards Dinner at TASC
I’ve been asked to speak about something we can’t see: spirituality, the Unseen. We have seen a lot of images, things people do, places they travel to, the people they are with and talk to, but also all of us travel with unseen creatures. Don’t think you are alone, you have somebody accompanying you and you also have two more beings with you, one on your right and one on your left, and you also have Shaytan/evil; these are our unseen companions. We think we are alone when we are in a room or in a meeting, but that’s not the case. You think you are alone with one or two people, but there is another companion in the room, in your dialogue, in your speech, in your acts and in your intention. Our young ones, we are growing old so we must say ‘young ones’, are full of energy, full of steam for Islam, for deen and helping people, but you must be aware that both evil and good are accompanying you; wherever we go there is an evil being with us, and good creatures or beings also with us.
Let’s clear the air with some spirituality, and say takbeer together, and let everyone join in: Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Laa ilaaha illa-Llah! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar wa illa il-hamd. Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammadan wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallam.
I am here representing my father, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, and my grandfather, Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi, may Allah (swt) have mercy on his soul and bless him. What we just did we all know, but sometimes we forget. Allah (swt) said on the tongue of His Holy Prophet (s), “I am with the one who makes dhikr of Me,” and this is for the young ones. Allah (swt) said to Prophet (s) in a Holy Hadith:
أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي
I sit with him who remembers Me. (Hadith Qudsi. Ahmad, Bayhaqi)
When we takbeer, when we say “Allahu Akbar,” the mercy of Allah (swt), His power comes on the meeting. When we say the name of Prophet (s), his spirituality comes into the meeting. When you young ones go out, wherever you go you must say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r Rajeem. Bismillahi `r-Rahman ‘r- Raheem.” You are doing work for Allah (swt) and maasha-Allah your achievements are goodness, khayrat; you are doing good things, helping people, Allah’s servants, as He created them all. When you’re doing this work, say, “Bismillahi `r -Rahmani `r-Raheem” and you'll pull down the mercy, rahmah of those Names, ‘Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem’ and your work will be blessed; otherwise, it is not blessed. You have to be careful, as the Prophet (s) said:
كل أمر ذي بال لا يبدأ فيه ببسم الله الرحمن الرحيم فهو أقطع أو(فهو ابتر)
The Prophet (s) said, “Any action which does not begin with ‘Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem’ is cut off; it has no continuity.” (Ahmad, al-Musnad)
“Any work that does not start with ‘Bismillah’ is cut off,” it does not reach it’s goal. Any work you do, any meeting or association you are in, you have to first say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash -Shaytani ‘r-Rajeem. Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Raheem,” and then your work will reach it’s goal. Speaking about spirituality, our teacher, Shah Naqshband (q), said that he used his power and started watching Shaytan.
Does Shaytan exist? Yes, he does. Do we see him? No, we don’t, but if you don’t see something don’t say that it doesn’t exist. Some people see angels and Shaytan. Prophet (s) saw Shaytan, Sayyidina `Umar (r) saw Shaytan and there is a famous story about him going down one alley and Shaytan would go in the opposite direction. Why? Sayyidina Umar (r) could see him and Shaytan was afraid of him!
We don’t see Shaytan, but he is busy everywhere, in every meeting there is a shaytan or multiple shaytans who try to break up the friendship that Mr. Ahmad was talking about earlier; they are trying to spoil the good work people do. Every time we are in a meeting, we have to be aware of the Unseen, the spiritual beings. Shah Naqshband (q), Grandshaykh of the Naqshbandi Way, said that he used his power to watch Shaytan and he never saw him sleep or rest. Wherever there was a meeting he was there to break it up to ruin it and to make enmity between people.
When you travel to distant countries, who is going to be your friend there? Don’t say. “I will call someone there.” No, your friend is Allah (swt): you don't have to look far, you don’t have to go online or get on the phone and ask people to help you because Allah is always with us!
َهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ
Allah is with you wherever you go! (Surat al-Hadeed, 57:4)
“He is with you wherever you are,” so before you start your journey, say, “Bismillahi ‘r-Rahman ‘r-Raheem” and He is with you! He is always with us, but we are heedless. Our teacher said that wherever we are Shaytan is present, but he could not be in the presence of Prophet (s) and the Companions (r) because they had spiritual strength, but we don’t have that strength. Shah Naqshband (q) said that when we are in a meeting we should talk about the pious ones, the good people, and when we do that Allah’s pleasure, happiness and mercy will come down, but if we talk about bad people Allah’s anger and wrath will come down.
When you are mingling with people, wherever you go talk about the well-documented stories of the Sahaabah (r) and Prophet (s), and add that to your ‘curricula’ of discussions with people. That has to be present in each of your discussions and if you can’t do that, begin with “Bismillahi ‘r- Rahmani ‘r-Raheem” and people’s hearts will open up and they will receive the Light that is in the message, that’s the first point. The second point is spirituality and all Sufis have it, not the ones who are trying to be Sufis but the true ones, the Safa, who are happy wherever they go and in any situation: whether they have food or not, or if they have a bed and or not, they are happy in any position Allah (swt) puts them in. He may have raised them high, and you might be raised high in some countries or you may be put down low; however, that shouldn’t distract you from your work. You need to accept whatever Allah (swt) has given you and that is called ridaa, satisfaction. That is the true teaching of Islam: to be happy with whatever happens.
All the migrants from Mecca to Madinah used to live in the masjid and sometimes they had no food or place to sleep, but they were happy. You are like them, migrating from one city to another, from one country to the next. You have to be like the Sahaabah (r) and be happy with whatever happens, don’t say, “I don’t have a coat and it’s raining today,” or, “I only have one shirt and it’s freezing here in the Himalayas.” Try to get that satisfaction in your heart, that is for all of us to know!
happy with whatever comes your way. I pray that Allah (swt) blesses you in your work and gives you long life, inshaa-Allah may you live to be 90 or 100 years old like Sister Theresa. Spread goodness, spread the pleasure of Allah (swt) and keep Shaytan away from you.
May Allah (swt) bless us and shower us with His mercy. Ameen. [Du`a.]
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