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The Benefits of Contemplating Your Lord’s Creation

Ramadan Series 2017, Vol 7

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

4 June 2017 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Zhuhr Suhbah

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Allahumma salli `alaa Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem fee hadha 'l-masjid.

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Atee`oollaha wa atee`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:59)

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. If our voices are low, it is because everyone is fasting alhamdulillah, but we have to raise our voice: As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh! The reward is there. When you raise your voice, you get the better of everything; if you lower your voice, people don't hear well and you get less, so be strong. Islam is strong in its peacefulness. You have to be strong and forgiving. Say “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.

This camera takes the picture, records it and then stores it, so you may retrieve that picture any time you want. Allah (swt) gave us an instrument that can store all the information He wants and that you want. The Prophet (s) was always:

لي ساعة مع الرب وساعة مع الخلق

I have one image, one side (or one hour) with my Lord and one side (or one hour) with the people.

“I have one face with Allah (swt) and one face with people,” means he is the intermediary, the one who takes from the Creator as His servant and gives to the Ummah. The most important, precious thing Allah (swt) wants His servants to do every day as much as possible is to remember Him, that He created everything. That is Maqam at-Tawheed. Azhamat Allah ‘azza wa jall, wa `azhamat an-Nabi (s). `Azhamat an-Nabi ka-`abdin min `ibaadillah, lahu qudrah faa’iqah, akhtaarahu ‘Llah min bayn al-jamee’. Allah chose Prophet (s) to be everyone’s Intercessor. Allah (swt), The Creator, likes to be praised, which is why He praises Himself. SubhaanAllah, we praise Him but our praise is not sufficient. He praises Himself, “SubhaanAllahi wa bi hamdihi subhaanAllahi 'l-`Aliyyu 'l-`Azheem, astaghfirullah,” He made these two words a ticket to His Paradise, so our situation here is as He said in Holy Qur'an:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا اطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Behold! In the creation of Heaven and Earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding, those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, (saying), "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose! Glory to You! Grant us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:190-191)

Ponder the Creation of Allah. Tafakkur fi-Llah is not easy, no one can contemplate that, so to understand, first contemplate something important at your level. That is why Allah (swt) said, yatafakkaroona fee khalqi ‘s-samaawaati, “They ponder the Creation of Heavens and Earth.” Tafakkur fi-Llah is beyond our capacity, it is too high for us, that is for Prophets and Awliyaullah, not for us as we are ordinary people. One day we say one thing then the next day another, it is like soup. They call it ‘YouTube,’ but it should really be called “SoupTube,” as everyone hangs their dirty laundry there and on Facebook, which should be called “Backbook,” as it takes you to all that Allah made haraam. It is a bad book and everyone is using it today. Think about it, yatafakkaroona fee khalqi ’s-samaawaati wa ’l-ard, “O mu’min, I want you for Akhirah, not for dunya.” Make tafakkur on something precious, on the Creation of Heavens and Earth.” That is something tremendous.

لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاس وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

Truly the creation of the Heavens and the Earth is greater than the creation of Man, yet most Men do not understand. (Surat Ghafir, 40:57)

We should meditate or contemplate something that is indescribable. Who created this sky and all these Heavens upon Heavens with seven levels without any support posts? A building needs posts to support it, but think about how these Heavens have no support. It is by Kun fa-yakoon; contemplate that because, “The Creation of Heavens and Earth is greater than the creation of human beings.”Concerning the creation of human beings, we only understand two percent of our DNA. In the Holy Qur’an, when Allah says the creation of Heavens and Earth is greater than the creation of human beings, it shows how far away and how ignorant we are. Everyone is focused on how dunya will save us, but it will not save us. If dunya can save you, let it increase your life, add more years. Can anyone or anything do that? No, only Allah (swt) can. He sent Sayyidina Jibreel (a) and Sayyidina Mika’eel (a) to ask the Prophet (s) in his last days, “Do you want to come to Rafeeq al-`Aala, the Divine Presence, or to stay for as long as you wish in dunya?” He chose to be with Allah (swt), not to be in dunya, which is tafakkur.

When Sayyidina Jibreel (a) was revealing Surat Maryam to the Prophet (s), he began by reciting “Kaaf,” and Prophet (s) said, `Alimtu, “I knew.” What is he asking when he says “Kaaf?” On every letter Prophet (s) said, “`Alimtu.” It is a letter, but there is a whole heavenly universe behind it. No one can reach the depth of the letter “Kaaf” in Surat Maryam, and still there are many Kaaf in Holy Qur’an and each has a different ocean.

Wa kullun min rasoolillahi multamisan.

Everything is taking from the Presence of the Prophet (s). (al-Burdah)

As Awliya are taking from Prophet (s), angels have also been ordered to reveal to Prophet (s) to say ‘Kaaf,’ which means, “Yaa Muhammad, I give you everything you want from the Ocean of Kaaf,” and there are so many Kaaf in Holy Qur'an.

فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ

Run to Allah (from all that is false and evil)! (Surat adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:50)

Run to Allah, that is your place! The first letter in “Ashaab al-Kahf” is Kaaf. What is the ocean behind it? Meditate on it. What did the Prophet (s) say?

تفكر ساعة خير من عبادة سبعين سنة

To remember Allah (swt) (contemplate or meditate) for one hour is better than seventy years of worship.

Engineers make tafakkur to their computers before the session begins, but it is registered already, not on these cameras, but angels register that we are sitting in such a meeting discussing tafakkur. So nothing will be lost, everything will be given to those who deserve it. When you recite “Kaaf, Haa, Yaa, `Ayn, Saad,” that is different from the Kaaf in Surat al-Kahf:

فَأْوُوا إِلَى الْكَهْفِ يَنشُرْ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُم مِّن رَّحمته ويُهَيِّئْ لَكُم مِّنْ أَمْرِكُم مِّرْفَقًا

Betake yourselves to the Cave: Your Lord will shower His Mercies on you and disposes of your affair towards comfort and ease." (Surat al-Kahf, 18:16)

Fa’woo ila ‘l-kahfi means “run to Allah (swt),” run to your cave, to your treasures that Allah prepared for you; run and take shelter in that cave in your heart and contemplate Allah’s Creation. Our heart is a cave: our mind is dunya and our heart is Akhirah. That is why there is always a struggle between the heart and mind: the heart wants to go with Akhirah and the mind wants to go to dunya.

Ilaahee Anta Maqsoodee wa Ridaaka Matloobee, “O Allah, You are my goal and Your Pleasure is what I seek!” When Allah is happy with someone, He gives them ridaa, Paradise. So when the Prophet (s) says, “Tafakkarru sa`atin khayrun min `ibaadati saba`een sanah,” this is a sa`at in which we are sitting contemplating the Greatness of Allah (swt), of Prophet (s) as Allah’s servant, and of the Creation He created. Is it not magnificent that Allah first created the Prophet (s) from His Light? No one can reach that! If we were to contemplate thousands of years, we could not reach what Prophet (s) reached. As-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alayka, yaa Rasoolullah, yaa Rahmatan li‘l-’Aalameen, yaa Shafee` al-Mudhnibeen!

He made a meeting like this equivalent to seventy years of worship. We are sitting here remembering Allah (swt), His Prophet (s) and His Creation, taking a lesson; this is equivalent to seventy years of His worship, and Awliyaullah say it is even up to seventy-thousand years and some say up to seven-hundred years, because it multiplies as it is moving, saa`atun ba`da saa`ah, it is going to be multiplied and rewarded without limits. So if you make tafakkur for one hour today and for another hour tomorrow, it will be the reward of seventy years’ worship for the first hour, then another seventy years will be added, and it will continue to multiply exponentially until the Day of Judgement. You don’t know how much Allah (swt) will reward you.

وَإِنَّ يَوْمًا عِندَ رَبِّكَ كَأَلْفِ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ

Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:47)

We count 365 days in a year, but there are no limits in Allah’s Divine Presence. When the Pen was ordered to write “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” it became tired. The Pen was created from the Prophet’s Light; as was everything, including the Kursi and `Arsh. So Allah first created the Light of Prophet (s) and from that Noor He created Creation, which means that Noor is owned by the Prophet (s), is it not? That is why Allah said:

وإعلموا أن فيكم رسول الله

And know Allah's Messenger is in you. (Surat al-Hujuraat, 49:7)

It is not how some people interpret, “You must know that the Prophet (s) is with you.” No, it means Prophet (s) accompanies everything Allah creates and is the prophet for each Creation. Whatever Allah creates is from the Prophet’s Light:

رواه عبد الرزاق بسنده عن جابر بن عبد الله بلفظ قال قلت: يا رسول الله، بأبي أنت وأمي، أخبرني عن أول شيء خلقه الله قبل الأشياء. قال: يا جابر، إن الله تعالى خلق قبل الأشياء نور نبيك من نوره،...

When Jaabir (r) asked, “Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you, oh Prophet of Allah! What is the first thing that Allah (swt) created?” the Prophet (s) said, “The first thing that Allah (swt) created is the Light of your Prophet from His Light, O Jaabir.” (Musannaf `Abdu ’r-Razzaq)

Allah put that Light in Bahr al-Qudrah, where it continuously circumambulated, and no one knows for how many years. Awliyaullah say Bahr al-Qudrah is continuously turning around the Essence of the Prophet (s) like bees circumambulate their queen and make their hive. There in the Ocean of Power, that Light circumambulates its nucleus, which is the Light of the Prophet (s). There is still much to do to be able to reach and circumambulate the Reality, Haqiqat al-Ashyaa. That is why Allah (swt) ordered you to contemplate the creation of Heavens and Earth, you must first begin with dhikrullah as it is the door.

Like a lecturer rehearses many times to deliver a good lecture, you must prepare to circumambulate in Bahr al-Qudrah. When you do that you will begin to know Ma`rifatullah. Why did Allah create the Light of the Prophet (s) first? We don't know, all we know is He wanted to elevate the Prophet’s name and person. He is `Abdun Mutlaaq, there are no restrictions on him, but everyone else has many.

The reward Allah gives for contemplating is equal to seventy years’ worship, meaning seventy years of life in spiritual terms, as generally, the average lifespan in dunya is seventy years. Allah (swt) is telling us that for one hour if we sit together and contemplate Allah’s Creation, He will give us the reward of seventy years of worship, years that will be dressed by angels as the best worship. On the Day of Judgment, you will be rewarded as if you had spent seventy years in full worship. Additionally, if you contemplate for another hour the next day, it is as if you did another seventy years in worship: your prayers, your fasting, your Hajj and Shahadah will be in complete perfection and by Allah’s Mercy it will be written for you. So for every hour of contemplation, you take seventy years’ of benefits in Akhirah.

Subhaan-Allah! One hour of contemplation gives you seventy years of pure worship that is done by angels and saved for the Day of Judgment: you will appear before Allah (swt) shining like a star in the Heavens. So if you do it for two hours, it is equal to 140 years, three hours is equal to 210 years, and the reward increases exponentially and is not decreased. Furthermore, Iblees and his armies have no access to touch it, not even if you sin, because if Prophet (s) said you have that, then Shaytan cannot play games, he does not have power there.

Contemplation/meditation is very important in teaching spirituality and is the way to overcome all your obstacles and problems. All your difficulties will be taken away from you by tafakkur.

لي ساعة مع الرب وساعة مع الخلق

I have one image, one side (or one hour) with my Lord and one side (or one hour] with the people.

“I have one hour with Allah and one hour with all of Creation,” it means all of Creation entered in that Hadith of the Prophet (s). “I have one hour with Allah” means the Prophet (s) will take from the hour he has with His Lord and dress that on the one who is contemplating for one hour, sitting in an association or alone. No one can touch that. Lee sa`atun ma` al-khalq means, “I will take from that hour when I am with Allah (swt) and dress all Creation with it,” because Creation is created from his Light. W`alamoo anna feekum Rasoolullah, “and you have to know the Prophet (s) is in you,” baynakum wa feekum wa ma`akum, “among you, in you, with you.” May Allah (swt) keep us there! W`alamoo anna feekum Rasoolullah, “You have to know the Prophet’s Light is with you.” As much as you expand, it expands. If you sit for one hour, Allah gives you the reward of one hour when the Prophet (s) is ‘sitting’ with Allah. As much as you go to higher levels, you will reach a level beyond which you cannot go, as Jibreel (a) said to Prophet (s), “I cannot go past this limit, Yaa Rasoolullah.” You will reach a limit in spirituality that you cannot exceed: that is your limit and where Allah wants you to reach. Everyone will reach their level according to how much they spent their life in dhikrullah and contemplation. Allah will make them reach the limit He wrote for them. Wa kullun min Rasoolullahi multamisan, and at the end, all of us are taking from the Prophet (s): all Sahaabah (r), A’immah, and Saints.

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

You were the best of Nations evolved for Mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:110)

“You were the best of Nations” means, what did you do before coming to dunya? In that era, where there is no zone, no time, no environment, nothing from dunya, you were present in Heaven. “You were there when your Nation was written as the best of Ummam,” because seventy years of worship is given to you by doing one hour of contemplation. About two hours have passed now, which is equivalent to 140 years of worship, and we did not get to 700 yet, we are describing the lowest level.

That is why Awliya say muraqabah or rabitah is very important in sulook. Rabitah ma` an-Nabi (s) or Rabitah ma` ash-Shaykh is the connection that ties you with Allah (swt) and the Prophet (s). For this reason, rabitah is very important in Tariqah as Allah mentioned in Holy Qur'an:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ

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

This is what connects you, it is al-`itisaam bi hablillah, to hold tight to the rope of Allah, to Rasoolullah (s). He is ar-Raabit, the one who connects everyone. That is why you can say salawaat easily. I have to say the truth as we are not hiding anything. Saying “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” is heavier, because it is loaded; there are so many important secrets and situations in Laa ilaaha illa-Llah through which Allah (swt) wants us to remember and know Him. It is not difficult to sit and make salawaat, it easily comes on your tongue, but to say “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” or “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah,” is heavier, more majestic.

The Prophet (s) makes it so easy, without obstacles, like fish swimming in an ocean. Imagine, think! Where do you take this knowledge from, a book? No, it is from taste! You can read hundreds and thousands of books, but they may have no taste. On the other hand, when you taste something you get halaawat al-imaan, the sweetness of the faith. Some say, “Don't make too much salawaat on the Prophet (s).” Your tongue makes salawaat by itself! When it comes to making salawaat, it is easy on the tongue. You can make dhikrullah as well, you do it as part of your daily awraad, but it is heavier on the tongue, as it is more loaded. Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammadin wa `alaa alee Muhammadin wa sallim.

You need a key to open a door, and the master key for everything is Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. It describes the importance of Ahlu ’l-Bayt: there are nineteen letters in Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem and the names of Ahlu ’l-Bayt consist of nineteen letters. That means:

عن ‏أبي سعيد الخدري قال رسول الله ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏إني قد تركت فيكم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا بعدي ‏الثقلين ‏أحدهما أكبر من الآخر كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء إلى الأرض ‏وعترتي ‏أهل بيتي...

I am going to leave you with something you will never deviate after. One is bigger than the other: the Holy Qur’an and the secret of the Holy Qur’an that Allah (swt) knows. Allah’s Qur’an is a Straight Path like a rope coming from Heaven to Earth, and my Family. I love them and you must love them.

When they asked Prophet (s), “What are you leaving us?”

He replied, “I am giving you the Book of Allah and my Family.”

That is enough honor for you, that Allah created you Muslim and mu’min, and gave you all kinds of tastes and manifestations you get from Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s), a taste that you never experienced before, but keep focusing on it through contemplation. To contemplate for one hour is better than seventy years of worship, but even if you don’t live for seventy years, that is enough to get you to Paradise. Besides the fara’id, obligations, that one hour is better than seventy years of worship. If you live for eighty years, contemplate for one more hour. May Allah (swt) grant us to dive in those Oceans of Knowledge in which Awliyaullah dive!

That is not one ocean, but many oceans and levels. In the Ocean of Power, when the Pen was circumambulating the Light of the Prophet (s), every Creation was also turning as they too were created from the Light of the Prophet (s). When Allah ordered the Pen to write, He said, “Write ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah’”and the Pen wrote for 70,000 years. When he finished, Allah ordered it to write “Muhammadun Rasoolullah.”

The Pen asked, “Who is that ‘Muhammad’ whose name You put besides Your Name?”

Allah (swt) said:

يا محمد لولاك ما خلقت الجنة ولولاك ما خلقت النار, وفي رواية ابن عساكر: لولاك ما خلقت الدنيا

O Muhammad, were it not for you I would not have created Paradise, and were it not for you I would not have created Hellfire, and were it not for you I would not have created the world.

(Daylami, Ibn ‘Asaakir)

“I created them for him: you are for him or I would not have created you! You will obey him on the Day of Judgment to write what he is going to tell you, that all of his Nation will go to Paradise, so note that from now I am giving permission.”

We don't want to go deeper.

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


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