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Tafseer Surat An-Naazi`aat

Ramadan Series, Volume 3

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

21 June 2015 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah

Salaam `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. 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.

I would like to say that Allah (swt) is Just. Huwa hakm al-`adl, He is just in everything and He gives the rights for every person because all of us are Allah's servants and Allah knows how much people are suffering.

The Prophet (s) said:

يأتي على الناس زمان القابض على دينه كالقابض على الجمر

There will come a time upon people when the one holding his religion firmly in his hand is like someone holding a burning coal. (Tirmidhi)

The one holding his religion is as the one holding a coal, and many of us are holding our religion, mu’min and Muslim, but there are a group of mu’min and Muslims that Allah rewards more than the normal mu’min and Muslim. We might wonder, why? Because Allah is just: He sees this group and he sees the other group that has been Muslim since their childhood through their parents. The other group is reverts or converts who came to Islam during a different period in their lives.

لإسلام يجب ما قبله

Al-Islam yajib maa qablahu.

The Prophet (s) said: Islam clears the sins of what came before it. (Sahih Muslim)

So these converts or reverts must be happy, because Islam gave them a new way. We have been responsible since we became mature, say 15 years of age, but the others Allah has cleared and erased everything [sins] from their notebooks when they came to Islam, so these are rewarded ones. First of all, the lives they spent here and there and after that they became Muslim, many years of sins have been taken away, but for us, it is as we are explaining in Surat an-Naazi`aat, the Naazi`aat are a group of angels that take the soul of the mu’min and kaafir. For a kaafir, they take it very harshly and we explained that meaning in that series of Ramadan and we are not going to repeat it.

I would like to say that those who are converts must keep their Islam strongly, because Allah loves them and guided them. They have been guided by Allah (swt) and we have been guided to Islam through our parents. Which is better? They are better when they become Muslim, better than everyone! So they have to be happy and enjoy their Islam and not question it or have any doubt of what has happened in their life.

First of all, they lost their parents, they lost their brothers, they lost their sisters, they lost their uncles, their aunties, and they stood fast holding the flag of Islam. Muslims who have been raised as Muslim from the beginning don't have that and they never thought about that, how much these converts are facing problems and how much those whom they love in their life are not talking with them, and with all that they are still holding fast to Islam, as Allah said:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ

Hold fast to Allah's rope and do not separate. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:103)

I will tell you a story. We have a masjid in Northern California in the Mountain View area. I used to go for dhikr in a place that we rented and turned it into a masjid, mainly on the weekends and Fridays.

Most of the people there are converts or they come for making dhikrullah and they are not Muslim, but they like that and some of them are Muslim. One day an old man came I saw he was very old and I asked the people to help him and he sat.

I asked him, “How old are you?”

He said, “I am 95 years of age.”

I said, “You are most welcome here.”

He said, “I heard about the meditation here.” They don't know about dhikr. He said, “Can I join?”

I said, “Okay, you are most welcome.”

We gave him a chair and he sat on it and attended. We prayed Isha, did dhikrullah and I saw his lips moving, trying to follow what we are saying, and after two hours he said, “Bye bye”, not “salaam `alaykum”, and he left. The next week he came and he attended the dhikr, you were there and I think Ishaq was there in Grant's dojo. He came and I don't know from where he heard that, but he said, “Salaam `alaykum” and we said, “wa `alaykum salaam” and he attended dhikr and prayed Isha and he left.

The third week same thing and the fourth week he said, “I heard they call you ‘shaykh’ and what do I call you, sir or shaykh?”

I said, “As you like.”

Then he said, “I enjoyed a lot of what I experienced here. Do you mind if I follow you in the exercises you are doing (Salaat al-`Isha)? I like it.”

What was going on in his heart, I don't know. Then he came the fifth week and said, “Shaykh, I like to be Muslim like you.”

I said “Okay”, and we taught him the Shahaadah and he said, “Ash-hadu laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasoolullah” and iqaami ‘s-salaat and we said, “Do you accept?” and he said, “I accept,” then he left.

Then the next week he did not come and we thought, “Oh! He took Shahaadah then he left,” as Shaytan comes against everyone:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ

O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it...But fear Allah. For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hujuraat, 49:12)

Don't be suspicious, don’t have bad thoughts about your brother. Those thoughts might take you to something wrong. So he did not come the sixth week or seventh week. I said, “Check on him.” The man who drove him went to check and found out he died. So that man with 95 years of sins died as a Muslim and yajib maa qablahu, Islam erases whatever comes before it.

So Allah is giving an oath in this Surat an-Naazi`aat, and we mentioned the Naazi`aat are the group of angels who take the souls of the unbelievers in a very harsh way, but the interpretational or spiritual meaning is that Allah gave an oath by the nafs ash-shareefa, the honorable self, the soul that was sent from Yawm alastu bi rabbikum qaaloo balaa, [the Day the souls were asked by Allah, “Am I not your Lord?” and they replied, “Yeah, Verily!” ] when Allah sent that soul to Earth and we became human beings because of that soul Allah sent. So that is Allah giving an oath by the angelic power that Allah is sending in their lives to take the bad characteristics out of the self, just as the naazi`aat take the souls of the unbelievers and the sinful Muslims who need to be punished in a harsh way, but inshaa-Allah no Muslim needs to be punished. So they take out those bad characteristics as Allah informed of what is good and what is bad:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا

qad aflaha man zakaahaa.

Verily he succeeds who purifies it [the self]. (Surat ash-Shams, 91:9)

The one who purified himself, his characteristics, his behavior, what will Allah reward the one who is trying to take out every bad behavior from your body, from every cell? When you are swimming in the ocean your whole body is wet, covered with water. So when these honorable angels try to pull out from the self the bad desires, they go into every cell of the body. It is not easy to become a perfect person, that is why perfection is only for the Prophet (s) because Allah dressed him with that.

So that power that Allah gave you when you pull all your bad desires away it is like pulling your soul from your body: you put your desire down and you follow only what Allah likes you to follow, which is very difficult, but Allah gave you power to do that because He showed you what is good and what is bad. So when the nafs is purified and it is gharaq fee hubb al-ilaahiy wa fee bihaar ash-shawki wa ‘l-mahabbah, when you are drowning it in the oceans of `ishq and love, it will be invigorated from all its locks, because it is locked within your body. This body is veiling the Reality, it is hijab al-jasad, the curtain of the body that is prohibiting anything good to be done, because first it wants its desires; the body and all your pleasures come through the body hiding what you can do when you reach the level of the purified soul, swimming like you are swimming in the universe attaining all kinds of spiritual improvement.

And the commentator said, “You will be running towards guidance of Allah (swt) and you will have more power than other people, and as much as you have power you will see visions.” Like you cannot see the sun on a cloudy day, is it not? This means the clouds are hijab preventing the Sun from being seen. Similarly, the light of the soul is stopped by veil of the body. When that veil is taken out, like the clouds moving forward, then you see the Sun, you see the reality because now we are in zhulmah, darkness. When that darkness is taken away we can see the reality and then we can understand, or else we never understand.

The evidence of that is...in your life, some people, not everyone, cleaned their souls so when they die their souls have no hijab, veil, so they can reach and that is why Allah (swt) is giving an oath, wan-naazi`aati gharqa “those souls who are diving in that Divine Reality”. Then your soul becomes like the Mudabiraat: you begin to see deceased people coming in the dream, you can see some of the deceased people guiding you towards your destiny. Sometime people come to you saying, “I saw that dream, I saw pious sincere person with a beard and light coming through his face, guiding people through dreams.”

One person, one time Mawlana (q) said to me, “Find me this man,” and showed me a picture, “He is from Africa.”

I said, “Mawlana, where in Africa?”

He said, “I don't know, you find him.”

That was to teach me something. So I took the picture and gave it to someone who is a pilot, an airline captain, to try to find that person. He has turban and beard, he is an old man, and I said, “Try to find him”, because that captain goes from masjid to masjid in city to city. He came to me after six months and said, “I cannot find him.” After two to three years I traveled to Ghana. I had the picture of that man in my bag and asked the shaykh there, “Do you know this person?” Then I was passing through the Ghana airport on the way back from the Ivory Coast and I saw a man running towards me, the man in picture, subhaanAllah! It was Shaykh Zakariya, I found him!

He told me, “Last night, my shaykh came in the dream and said to me, ‘My representative is coming. Go and meet him.’”

I asked him, “How did you know this shaykh?”

He said, “Since I was 14 years old I saw this shaykh come to me, guiding me.” When you purify the self, then you have that power to guide people through dreams. He said, “Since I was 14 years old, I followed this shaykh and he looks like you, the way you are dressed.”

I said, “Do you have a picture?”

He said, “No.”

I took out a picture of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) and said, “Is this him?”

He said, “This is my shaykh! I had baya` with my shaykh in the Naqshbandi Order since he gave it me in the dream and he guides me daily.”

When I left Cyprus, Mawlana (q) said, “Dig wells in Africa” and gave me money for it.

The man said, “We have no water here in this area. We have no water.”

I said, “That is from someone who is a wali, he told me to make a well, so try. How much to drill?”

He said, “14,000 Euros.”

I said, “Try.”

So they began to drill and at 40 meters clean water gushed out and now the whole area is drinking fee sabeelillah, free. This is how awliyaullah come through dreams and guide you.

This is another example. There was a man named Zirara; after he died in a dream they asked him, “What is the best `amal you can do?”

He said, “The best is ar-ridaa, to be happy with what you have and lose hope of what you don't have, don't look for (anticipate) it.”

Don't have long term visions, like people plan ahead for 2020, 2030 and make strategies. Don't do that. Ar-ridaa is to be happy and content, satisfied with what Allah gives you. Some of them said that they saw waraqa ibn bishr fi ’l-manaam, wa qulta ma fa`l Allahu bik.

The man in the dream asked him what he did. He said, Qaala najawt, “I was saved.”

He asked, “How were you saved?”

He said, “I was saved through my struggle in life.”

He asked, “What is the best `amal you did in your life to be saved?”

He said, al-bukaa min khashyatillah, “To cry from fear of Allah.”

So fear Allah and you will be saved! It is said that one lady with the plague died and her father saw her in the dream and said, “My daughter, tell me about the Hereafter.”

She said, “We came to amrun `azheem, a tremendous matter. N`alamu wa laa na`mal. We know and we don't act.”

It means, “We know everything in Akhirah but we don't act on it, it comes without action, but ta`mal wa laa ta`lamoon, you act but don't know. We know but we don't act and you act but don't know.” That is because of that veil on the Sun of every human being until they purify themselves.

She said, w'Allahi tasbeeh aw tasbeehataan aw rak`at usalli lillahi khayrun min ad-dunya wa maa feehaa. “To make one tasbeeh or two, or one or two raka`ts is better to me than the entire dunya.”

لو كانت الدنيا تعدل عند الله جناح بعوضة ما سقى كافراً منها شربة ماء

If the value of this dunya weighed the wing of a mosquito, Allah would never give a cup of water for the unbelievers to drink. (Tirmidhi)

That is why it is said that the dunya does not weight to Allah more than weight of the wing of the mosquito. When the hijab is taken away you see everything and the example of that is the cloud before the Sun: you don't see the Sun but when the cloud moves the Sun is shining. So what we want to say from this is for those who are converts, they are lucky as most of their life is cleared [of sins] because they converted. Although they are veiled but ... we ask Allah to give them and us support.

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الرَّاجِفَةُ تَتْبَعُهَا الرَّادِفَةُ قُلُوبٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَاجِفَةٌ أَبْصَارُهَا خَاشِعَةٌ يَقُولُونَ أَإِنَّا لَمَرْدُودُونَ فِي الْحَافِرَةِ

The Day when a violent convulsion will convulse [the world]. Hearts that day will be in agitation, cast down will be (their owners') eyes, [And yet,] some say, "What! Are we indeed to be restored to our former state?” (Surat an-Naazi`aat, 79:6-10)

Instead of commotion, it will be a day that the Earth will shake, the Sun and planets will be shaken, and surprisingly, I read:

The unbelievers say in their mocking defiance, “Surely death is the end of all things. How, after we are dead and bones, shall we be returned? Then we shall be in terrible loss.” They mean this in biting mockery, but there will be indeed account taken and they will indeed go to terrible loss because they will go to perdition. (Tafsir Ruh al-Bayan by Shaykh Isma`eel Hakki)

The evidence of the wonderful working of the spiritual world is stated in the first five verses:

وَالنَّازِعَاتِ غَرْقًا وَالنَّاشِطَاتِ نَشْطًا وَالسَّابِحَاتِ سَبْحًا فَالسَّابِقَاتِ سَبْقًا فَالْمُدَبِّرَاتِ أَمْرًا

Consider those [stars] that rise only to set and float [through space] with floating serene and yet overtake [one another] with swift overtaking, and thus they fulfil the [Creator's] order! [Therefore,think of] the Day when a violent convulsion will convulse [the world]. (Surat an-Naazi`aat, 79:1-5)

“The whole world as we see it now will be in violent revolution.” How are we seeing it today? In violent revolution. It will be like a huge earthquake destroying all relics but that will affect only those things subject to change. They will suffer violent convulsions prior to their destruction, but Allah and what is related to him do not change. “There abided nothing but the face of Allah.” (Tafsir Ruh al-Bayan) So through this verse, Allah is telling us what is happening today, and by one letter of Holy Qur'an Allah is giving an oath. Allah can give an oath by anything, by a thing, by a letter, and here, by the letter “Waw”, like people say, “Wow!” They don't say “mashaa-Allah”, so it is good that they are mentioning the letter “Waw”.

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


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