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Spirituality in Modern Times

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

14 April 2015 London, UK

Central Foundation School

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een. Alhamdulillahi ’Lladhee hadaanaa li ’l-Islaami wa maa kunna li-nahtadee law laa an hadaanaa ’Llah. Alhamdulillah nahmaduhu wa nashkuruhu shukr ash-shaakireen wa nu`azzimuhu ta`zheeman yaleequ bihi yaleequ rabba ‘l-`aalameen. Ayyuha ‘l-haflu ‘l-kareem, as-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakaatuh.

I know there is not enough time for discussions on issues such as spirituality in modern life, as the moderator told me, and also about the soul, as it is not something easy to finish in twenty minutes, but in reality, not just twenty minutes, but even if one has twenty days or their entire life, it is impossible to understand the psychology of the human being! They asked us to speak about the importance of spirituality in modern life. It is a nice topic, but first of all we have to define, what is modern life? Many people speak about modern life, modern life, modern life, global village, technology, computers, but with all the computers and all the technology they have invented, they have not used more than two percent of the human brain and they don’t know 98% of it, maybe they will in the future.

So modernity was the cause for us and it was an honor for us to be called by HRH Prince Charles to speak about modernity because of a subject, a sentence that I previously mentioned and he was interested because he likes that topic. I ask and anyone can ask the same thing: what is the definition of modern life? Is it something special? No. Every one of us here says we are living in a modern life, but what about those who were living fifty years ago, what did they say? To them, they were also living a modern life. Those who were living 100 years, or 200 or 300 years ago considered themselves to be living a modern life at that time. Those who were living in the Stone Age were so happy to be living a modern life, even if they had a stone axe!

So then what is modern life? It is a mirage. Modern life is some decoration that you have put around you, but you forgot the origin, the main thing that doesn't change. Like today, every one of us follows someone; people follow a lady in a car and not a man. I was in California about ten years ago with one of the most intelligent people in Santa Clara, an area of technology development.

He said to me, “Come with me,” and I went with him, I wasn’t paying attention. Suddenly I heard the voice of a woman.

I said, “Simon, what is this? Do you have a woman in the car I cannot see?”

He said, “No, this is the navigation system I invented.”

I said, “But it’s speaking.”

He said, “Of course, it tells me to ‘go right’, ‘go left’, or ‘go straight’.”

So I realized that sometimes such navigations give many benefits to humanity, but they depend on this navigation system, man or woman, and they believe any directions it tells them in the car. We believe that what they are saying is true, but when we speak about spirituality or psychological problems in the body, they don't believe. Why do you believe a system, a small machine that takes you wherever you like, but you do not accept that God has sent us prophets to guide us, and they are better than hundreds of machines we are using?

When people are sick they go to a psychologist or psychiatrist to seek advice. These psychologists and psychiatrists studied and take their knowledge from books, but prophets give the books, they bring the books, and Islam asks us to believe in the books that prophets brought.

امَنْتُ بِاللهِ وَمَلئِكَتِه وَكُتُبِه وَرَسُوْلِه وَالْيَوْمِ الْاخِرِ وَالْقَدْرِ خَيْرِه وَشَرِّه مِنَ اللهِ تَعَالى وَالْبَعْثِ بَعْدَالْمَوْتِ

I believe in the existence and oneness of Allah, His angels, His books, His prophets, and I believe in the Day of Judgement, and in Destiny, that everything good or evil is from Allah, and I believe in life after death (and resurrection.) All of them are true and right. (Imaan al-Mufassil)

These are the Six Pillars of Belief, and one of them is to believe in His Books. The main books are known: the Qur’an, the Bible, the Torah, the Zaboor (Psalms) of Sayyidina Dawood (a), and many others. There are 114 Holy Books that God sent in order to purify, clean and raise us. That’s why the Prophet (s) said:

‏انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct (your behavior and character). (Bazzaar)

“I have been sent to build up, complete and perfect the behaviors and manners of human beings.” So the most important is the behavior, as what is the benefit if you pray and as soon as you finish, you fight with your wife or your husband? So we have within us, I don’t like to say it this way, but a negative way of thinking in ourselves. And to clear that, we have to clear the bad manners we have possessed and raised within our system and bodies.

That is why people go to doctors and say, “I’m pyschotic, I have a problem.”

They ask, “What is your problem?”

They answer, “I’m hearing voices.”

You’re hearing voices because your system is not balanced. In reality, he is not in need of a tablet, he needs someone that can understand what is going on in his body. There are seventeen bad manners that human beings carry, and if these seventeen bad manners are balanced, then everything is balanced in your system. You will not be Bi-Polar, you will become a normal person. I am Bi-Polar. Why? Because I need to increase my purity, I need to increase the system that God has trusted me with, to take care of my system; my body, my brain, all the different organs. I am giving them poison during my life, I don’t look at what I eat. About that Trust, Allah said in the Holy Quran:

إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا

We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the mountains, but they refused to undertake it, being afraid, but Man undertook it. Lo! He has proved a tyrant and a fool.

(Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:72)

“But he did not carry it. We honored him with it. We asked Paradise and Earth to carry and they refused, but the human being accepted it, innahu kaana zulooman jahoolan. We presented our Trust.” Allah said that He gave us a Trust and, “I need that Trust [returned to Me] as I gave it to you.” He gave that Trust to the Heavens and the Heavens said they cannot carry it, it is too much. And we saw what happened to Adam (a), because he was not able to carry the Trust in Heaven, so God offered that Trust to Earth, and Earth said, “We cannot carry it, there will be too much bloodshed and we cannot carry that!” He offered it to human beings and immediately without thinking, they accepted it. What he described us as? Innahu kaana zulooman jahoolan, “He (Man) was oppressive to himself and ignorant.” So our ignorance is what is delaying us from reaching the reality of understanding ourselves.

That is why the Prophet (s) said:

نعوذ بالله من منافق عليم اللسان جهول القلب

I seek refuge in Allah from a hypocrite who has an eloquent tongue but an ignorant heart. (Muslim)

“The worst I fear for my Ummah is a person who knows how to speak, but is ignorant in his heart.” He does not apply what Allah asked him to do or what he is teaching people, but he is applying on himself a different style of knowledge, negative knowledge. So we have to be very careful about our anger. Allah said:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Say, "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, for Allah forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surat al-Zumar, 39:53)

“O My Prophet! Say to My servants, ‘Don’t lose hope of Allah’s forgiveness!’ God will forgive everyone, but let them come to the door and ask for forgiveness and praise his Lord.”

The first ayah, the first sentence in the Holy Qur’an says, “Praise be to Allah (swt)”, alhamdulillaahi rabbi ‘l-`aalaameen, “the Lord of the Heavens and Earth, praise be to Him.” May Allah (swt) give us that power to praise Him day and night, inshaa-Allah.

We hope to see you next time for a longer duration, perhaps on a Saturday or Sunday, but this will be enough for now because they have to close down. Abbas arranged this program and he will be rewarded as much as there are people in this room. But the time became short as we were delayed due to the traffic. Still he will get the reward from the time he was waiting, from 5 o’clock until now.

Allah is Great and Allah is Merciful! That is why He is asking us to be merciful towards each other and not to be angry. Throw away the characteristic of anger from your heart. Anger is the trunk of the tree of all diseases, all spiritual illnesses. These seventeen illnesses will be taken away when you take anger from your heart. May Allah take anger from our hearts and keep us under the banner of the prophets, especially Sayyidina Muhammad (s), the Seal of All Prophets!

[Mawlana recites the Shahaadah with all attendees.] Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasooluh. [Baya`.]

Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.


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