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Spirituality in Action

VIP Guest HRH Charles, Prince of Wales (Part 2)

Hosted by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Manchester United Football Club, Old Trafford

4 February 2010 Manchester, UK

Event Moderator:

Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. We now have shortly arriving in this hall, His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, his entourage, and the VIP guests with him. Prior to his arrival, I would like to forewarn all of our guests to please remain seated at all times in order to maintain the safety and security of everybody, also bearing in mind all the safety aspects that I explained at the beginning of the program. Once again, I would like to remind all guests, please, at all times keep the mobile phones switched off.

Ladies and gentlemen, we begin with the second session with the Naqshbandi Ensemble and Moroccan Ensemble doing one of their famous nasheeds and welcoming the VIP guests to this blessed program today. We don't have time to name all of the VIP guests, but they will all be here shortly for everyone to meet and see. I would now like to welcome the Moroccan Ensemble and Naqshbandi Ensemble, who will do the famous nasheed and enlighten us all spiritually. Ladies and gentlemen, give them a round of applause, Naqshbandi Ensemble and Moroccan Ensemble. Thank you!

Ensemble Sings:

Huu Huu Huu Hayy Hayy Hayy

Huu Huu Huu Hayy Hayy Hayy

Huu Huu Huu Hayy Hayy Hayy

Huu Huu Huu Huu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

Hu Hu Hu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

One father, one mother, One home we call Earth

One Truth to uncover, One Creator who creates

Huu Huu Huu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hay

Hu Hu Hu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

These eyes see illusions, they see many when there is One.

These ears hear confusions, then there's two when there was One.

Huu Huu Huu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

Hu Hu Hu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

One God, one religion, His religion is love.

If we don't love one another, we're not religious enough.

Huu Huu Huu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

Hu Hu Hu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

One God, one religion, His religion is love.

If we don't love one another, we're not religious enough.

Huu Huu Huu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

Huu Huu Huu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

Huu Huu Huu Hu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

Huu Huu Huu Huu Hayy Hayy Hayy Hayy

Hay Hay Hay Hay Hay Hay Hay Hayy

Event Moderator:

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Ladies and gentlemen, shortly we will have the arrival of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. As a mark of respect and honor, I would request all guests to please stand up upon his arrival into this hall. With him will be an entourage of the VIPs, and as soon as His Royal Highness enters this hall we will have the Naqshbandi Ensemble and Moroccan Ensemble giving him an introduction with a fantastic display of spiritual musical extravagance. Ladies and gentlemen, I would request all members of the hall to please rise as a mark of respect to His Royal Highness and welcome him!

(Naqshbandi Ensemble and Moroccan Ensemble resume performance)

(His Royal Highness, Prince Charles of Wales enters)

Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales! Please give a warm welcome to His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales! Thank you ladies and gentlemen, the program will continue. I would now like to invite Imaam Chishti to take the program forward and introduce the future guest. Thank you.

Imaam Chishti:

Thank you very much, my lords, ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests, Your Royal Highness, Prince of Wales. We are exceptionally grateful to you, Your Royal Highness, for honoring us with your presence here today. Your presence alone acknowledges the importance of Sufism in the lives of thousands of British Sufi Muslims.

In the Islamic tradition, guests are designated with a very special status, as that of being the bestowers of the Mercy of God. So we thank you, Sir, and all of our esteemed guests, for allowing the rest of us to be showered with the blessings of mercy of God Almighty.

We have today representatives of the major Sufi Orders or paths in the UK: Chishti, Qadiri, Shadhili, Nizami, to name but a few. And we are also extremely honored and blessed to have amongst us the senior imaams and people from the various faith communities, and of course, notable dignitaries from civic and political circles, too many for me to list in person, but you are all exceptionally welcome.

Our host this afternoon is the esteemed and honorable Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, who is the spiritual guide of the Center for Spiritual and Cultural Advancement. His efforts are directed at bringing the diverse spectrum of religions and spiritual paths into harmony and concord. In recognition of Mankind's responsibility as caretaker of this fragile planet and of one another, Sufis are dedicated to spreading the principles of spiritual awareness through a holistic approach to the human experience, where mind, body, and soul should be balanced in order to achieve societal harmony and moral excellence. By contemplating and embracing such spirituality, practitioners themselves, as well as those who interact with them and society-at-large, benefit.

As Sufis, our principle aim is to provide practical solutions to the various challenges that face British Muslims based on the traditional Islamic rulings. Our focus is, therefore, to use the traditional roots of spirituality taught through the many spiritual masters throughout our community that exist in the world, and many that have strong links here in the UK, in order to redress and purify our communities of the many issues that they face in the modern world.

The initial impetus for the revival of this silent majority in the UK came about after a meeting of two great shaykhs, namely Shaykh Muhammad Hisham al-Kabbani and Shaykh Syed Naseeruddin Naseer, whose anniversary of departure from this physical world actually falls on this day, may God have mercy on his soul! Both of these most esteemed shuyookh felt that the voice of the majority of the Sufi Muslim communities in the United Kingdom was not being projected well enough, both in society-at-large, but also specifically in government policy-making circles. Here it was decided that organizations should be supported which would work specifically to ensure that the open-minded, tolerant, and accepting philosophy of Sufism and the Sufi communities was projected at a national level.

I'd like to conclude by quoting from the famous Sufi master, Rumi, somebody who is very well-known throughout the West. I think it summarizes and encapsulates the entire philosophy of our understanding of how we should interact and how we should deal with each other, people of faith and people of no faith. He says:

Come, come,

whoever you are,



lover of leaving,

it doesn't matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.


even if you have broken your vow a hundred times,


Come again.


Thank you so much for listening to this opening welcome. And once again our warmest welcome to our royal and honorable guest, Your Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales and of course, all the rest of you, thank you so much. I'll leave you now in the hands of the musicians who have travelled from various parts of the country, but also various parts of the globe as well, to give you not only musical compliment, but hopefully spiritual food. Thank you very much.

(Moroccan Ensemble and Naqshbandi Ensemble resume performance)

Event Moderator:

Your Royal Highness, Prince of Wales, Your Eminence, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, my lords, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished scholars, friends. It is a privilege and honor for us to have a Birmingham, UK band to perform today at such a blessed event where, due to Sufism, so many people from diverse communities and backgrounds have come together. We ask Allah to bless you all more and we begin with his Holy Name, the One who is Most Loving, the Beautiful One, bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem!

(Performance of `Aashiq al-Rasul commences)

Event Moderator:

Ladies and gentlemen, there you have `Aashiq al-Rasul doing a fantastic performance in front of you. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to invite today's host, His Eminence, Shaykh Hisham al-Kabbani, to come forward and deliver his keynote speech and his heartfelt thanks to all the guests today.

Keynote Address of Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani:

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi ta`ala wa barakaatuh. Your Royal Highness, thank you very much for coming. It is a day for us that we are going to discuss it for hundreds of years; we will tell our grandchildren about it. It is such a magnificent day that our tongues are frozen to say anything, but I will defrost it a little bit in order to deliver a small message. (laughter) First of all, I am sending greetings from my shaykh, who is in this picture, Shaykh Nazim Adil, may Allah give him long life, and on behalf of all shuyookh and on behalf of everyone here, to say something to keep in ourselves that happy event.

It is my honor to introduce this distinguished and diverse audience from different faiths to your esteemed personage,Your Royal Highness, Prince of Wales, without counting the faiths, not only the Sufi faith but many faiths are present here, composed of people from different walks of life and from as many nations and origins.

This gathering is like a magnificent garden of flowers abounding with an array of indescribable colors, above which shines the gleaming rainbow of Your Royal Highness, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. Such gatherings that you have attended, Your Highness, are the hope of humanity, because you are of royal blood and everyone likes to look at royal blood. The Royal Family always throughout history is in the hearts of people. And you are in our hearts, you and your mother, the queen, and your family. They are a source of light, they are the beacons of every seeker, they are oasis in every desert, they are waves in the sea, they are the spring of every river we drink from, they are the crystal of every gem that we wear as necklaces around our necks, they are the heavenly dew in every leaf, they are the life-blood of animated beings, they are the stars, suns and moons in every firmament, they are the super-powers that swim in the universe of knowledge, beliefs, philosophy and traditions. You are that and your kingdom is that, and we hope that your kingdom will live forever, and that God gives life for generations after generations, enjoying this country!

Rumi said in his poetry, "We have a way from this visible world to the Unseen, there is a way." This is the way of the Sufis, the way of the knowledgeable people, the wise man and the wise woman who do their best through their hearts. They work with good intentions, for we are the companions of religions' messengers: Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, Noah, Abraham, and those who came before. They gave us the message of all beliefs, even to secularists. They are human beings. We love them and they love us. We accept everyone. As Rumi said and Imaam Chishti just mentioned that poem, "We have a way from the house to the garden. We are the neighbors of cypress and jasmine."

"Everyday we come to the garden," and we are coming to your garden, Your Royal Highness, "to see a hundred blossoms; your presence gives blossoms to everyone's hearts." These people came from everywhere to see you and see that royalty that is within you, in order to scatter these blossoms among the lovers.

"We fill our robes; my robe is full of them, your robe is full of them, and every robe is full of them, overflowing.

"Behold our words," Rumi said. "They are the fragrance of those roses. We are the rose bush of certainty's rose garden."

O our esteemed royal guest, God said in the Holy Qur`an and in the Bible and the Torah:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

Inna khalaqnaakum min dhakarin wa unthaa wa ja`alnaakum shu`oobaan wa qabaa'ila lita`arafoo. Inna akramakum `inda Allahi atqaakum.

We have created you from male and female, and We have made you into nations and tribes in order that you can know each other. And the best among you are the most pious, (the most spiritual). (49:13)

And this gathering, like many gatherings around England and around the world, are gatherings of wisdom and happiness. May God bless you with happiness. May God bless you with His love. May God bless you in every possible way. I am an ant; in respect to you, I'm nothing. I'm a normal person coming in your presence to address you. That is a great pleasure for me and everyone in this audience to thank you very much for coming. May God bless us, bless everyone here, and bless you. Thank you very much. I will end with a prayer; I hope I'm on time! (laughter)

Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem. Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, was-salaat was-salaam `ala ashraf al-mursaleen, Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `ala aalihi was-sahbihi ajma`een. Allahumma aja`l awwal liqaaina haadha salaahan, wa awsatahu falaahan wa aakhirahu najaahan. Allahumma aja`l awwalahu rahmatan wa awsatahu ni`matan wa aakhirahu takreematan wa maghfirah. Alhamdulillah aladhee tawada` kulla shayin li `azhamatih, wa dalla kull shayin li `izzati, wa khada` kulli shayin li-mulkih, w 'astaslama kulla shayin li qudratih, w 'alhamdulillahi 'Lladhee sakana kulli shayin li-haybatih wa adh-hara kulli shayin li-hikmatih wa tasaaghara kulli shayin li-kibriyaaih. Allahumma ayqithna fee ahabbi 's-sa`at ilayka yaa Wadud. Rabbana taqabbal minna w`afu `anna w 'aghfir lana w 'arhamna w 'ahdina ila al-Haqq wa ila tareeqi 'l-mustaqeem. Subhaana Rabbika Rabbi 'l-`izzati `amma yasifoon wa salaamun `ala al-mursaleen w 'alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen. Fatihah.

At the end I would like to say that I whispered in the ear of His Royal Highness that we are looking forward to the second event, so we will see! Thank you very much.

Event Moderator:

Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. Ladies and gentlemen, as you've afforded the Prince of Wales an easy entrance and a respectful entrance in this hall, I urge all members of this room to please remain seated and afford him an honorable and graceful exit from this hall.

Once again we would like to thank everybody for attending this auspicious, spiritual, beautiful gathering today. Once again on behalf of His Eminence, the great shaykh, Shaykh Hisham al-Kabbani. Thank you very much, jazakum Allah khayr, ahsant, baarak Allahu feek. Please remain seated until our special guests leave the event, thank you.

(Moroccan Ensemble and Naqshbandi Ensemble resume performance)