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The Difference Between Habeebullah and Kaleemullah

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

10 February 2013 Chicago, Illinois

Suhbah at Muslim Education Center (MEC)

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

Inshaa-Allah I will not be too long. I am trying to be punctual, although it is very well-known that Arabs are not! In any case, alhamdulillah we have to thank the organizers who have arranged this place in a masjid, as Allah (swt) said:

وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ

Wa anna 'l-masaajida l'illah.

And that the place of worship are purely for Allah.(Surat al-Jinn, 72:18)

And they have invited us and they did their best. So we are very thankful and hope inshaa-Allah that we keep seeing these kinds of events because, as the Prophet (s) mentioned:

قال صلى الله عليه وسلم "المجلس الصالح يكفر عن المؤمن ألفي ألف مجلس من مجالس السوء"

“One association (like this one) will be rewarded so immensely because it is able to take 1,000 multiplied by 1,000 of bad associations and erase them.” Musnad Imam Ahmad

That means any kind of meetings on dhikrullah, love of Prophet (s), Mahabbat ar-Rasool, or any other kind of remembrance about what the Sahaabah (r) did are good associations. Even if there are just three people in an association, where they are sitting together remembering Allah and His Prophet (s), that will erase 1,000 multiplied by 1,000 majlis soow, bad gatherings, it can waive them. One such association is enough to do that!

That is why alhamdulillah, Allah (swt) is supporting Muslims who come for the Love of Allah and His Prophet (s) and nothing else. We cannot say, “O, we are praying.” No! We have to pray and fast, make Hajj and give sadaqa, zakaat, these are all obligations. We have to make tawheed, as these are all obligations and necessities for our life here and Hereafter. Just as we have to eat food every day, also our prayers and obligations have to be done in the same way. But regardless of the obligations, Prophet (s) said:

‏‏ انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

Innamaa bu`ithtu li utammimu makaarim al-akhlaaq.

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

He said, “I have been sent by Allah (swt) to implement within the community, within the society, within the family, between husband and wife and with the children, to bring them back to their normal life, which is the life of good manners.” That means to have husband and wife not shout at each other and the daughter fight with the brother, as that will break the family. “I came to fix your social life, the life that you are going to live here and which is going to be your savings for Akhirah.” You have to have some savings for Akhirah, as Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “I have to know and I have to learn.”

The Prophet (s) said:

أنا مدينة العلم و علي بابه

Anaa madinatu 'l-`ilmi wa `Aliyyun baabuha.

I am the City of Knowledge and `Ali is its Door (or Gate). (al-Haakim, Tirmidhi)

He is the way to reach the “City of Knowledge.” He didn’t say the “City of Obligations.” It means obligations are different, and although obligations are a must, to have good manners are not a must, it is a voluntary issue. Having good manners makes Allah (swt) happy with you and not having good manners makes Him unhappy. So Prophet (s) said, “I am the City of Knowledge,” meaning “Knowledge comes from me and not from anyone else.”

`Ulama get knowledge from what is expressed to them in books that came to us today through the imaams. Every `alim is teaching what he learned and in addition, he is teaching good manners. If he does not have good manners then he is not an `alim in eyes of Allah and His Prophet (s), because the knowledge of Shari`ah will take us to learn good manners. So if an `alim does not have good manners, then how did he benefit from his `ilm? So an `alim must be humble, he must be someone who is an example for everyone and inshaa-Allah all `ulama around the world will be like that.

Sayyidina `Ali (r) likes knowledge. When he said to the Sahaabah (r), “The entire Holy Qur'an and hadith are based on one point,” he was asked, “What is that issue?” He said, “If you have that issue, you are saved. The whole Qur’an is based on one issue, Ra’as ul-hikmati makhaafatullah, the highest level of wisdom is to have fear of His punishment and fear of being far from His Love.”

If everyone of us believes that we have wisdom, then we have to fear Allah (swt), raasu ’l-hikmata makhaafatullah. If you have fear of losing Allah's love and your love to Him, that is the fear, it is not the fear of only His Hellfire, but the fear to be away from Him when everyone is near Him on the Day of Judgment and in Paradise, as Allah said:

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاء وَالصَّالِحِينَ

وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقًا

Wa man yuti`i Allaha wa ‘r-rasoola fa’oolaaika ma` ’Lladheena an`am Allahu `alayhim min an-nabiyyina wa ‘s-siddiqeena wa ‘sh-shuhadaa’ wa ‘s-saaliheena wa hasuna oolaa’ika rafeeqa.

All who obey Allah and the Prophet are in the company of those on whom is the grace of Allah, of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the righteous (who do good). Ah, what a beautiful fellowship! (Surat an-Nisaa, 4:69)

If you are afraid that you will not to be with those on whom is Allah’s blessings, such as the prophets, the martyrs and the pious ones, then that is the real fear. So that is why Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “Ra’as ul-hikmati makhaafatullah,” we have to have makhaafah in our hearts.

Sayyidina `Ali (r) asked Prophet (s), “Yaa Rasoolullah! What is your way, your sunnah? I need to learn.”

And the Prophet (s) said, Al-ma`arifatu raasu maalee, “Knowledge is my capital, the capital that Allah has given to me to give to the ummah. I am the one who is holding the capital of the whole world. I am the one carrying all the necessary issues, elements and principles to the ummah. I brought for them knowledge and good manners, husn-al akhlaaq for the ummah.”

He (s) said to Abu Hurayrah (r), one of the biggest Muhaddith:

أوصى النبي صلى اللّه عليه وسلم أبا هريرة بوصية عظيمة فقال: { يا أبا هريرة! عليك بحسن الخلق }. قال أبو هريرة رضي اللّه عنه: وما حسن الخلق يا رسول اللّه؟قال: { تصل مَنْ قطعك، وتعفو عمن ظلمك، وتُعطي من حرمك}

Awsaa’n-Nabi (s) abaa hurayrata bi-wasiyyat `azheemat fa-qaal: Yaa Abaa Hurayrah! `Alayka bi husni ’l-khuluq. Qaala Abu Hurayrata (r): Maa husni ’l-khuluq Yaa Rasoolullah? Qaala: tassil man qata`k wa ta`foow `amman zhalamak wa tu`ti man harramak.

The Prophet (s) advised Abu Hurayrah: O Abaa Hurayrah! You must have good manners. Connect with the one who cut you off; forgive the one who oppressed you and give to the one who prevented you from reaching your desires. (al-Bayhaqi)

And Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r) asked, “O Prophet of Allah! What is the best of good manners?” meaning “what is the best I can learn from you; how should I behave?” What do you think the Prophet (s) said is the best of manners? The best manners are the capital that we learned from the Prophet (s) for our Akhirah. Everyone must ask, “Can I do that?”

Prophet (s) said, An tasila man qata`ak, “To connect with the one who cut you down.” It means the one who cheated you and ran away from you; you must go back to him and reconnect with him. It means don’t consider any mu’min or a Muslim an enemy, but try to go back and build the relationship. Don’t try to expose their bad manners, try to expose their good manners and build up the relationship.

Communities and families need to build up their relationships. If your husband or wife has cut the relationship, try to come back. Prophet (s) is teaching us the best of manners and characters. Let us simply ask ourselves if we are we doing that or not? Do we have this problem? Yes, we have this problem and everyone has a similar problem, if not with his family, it might be with his neighbor and if not with his neighbor, it might be with someone in the community and if not with the community, it might be with his friend or a business person. So Prophet (s) said, An tasila man qata`ak, “Connect back with the one who cut you.”

And then we see many people come and say every day, “ O, this person oppressed me, this person spoke bad about me, this person spread false rumors against me.” What did the Prophet (s) say? Wa an ta`foo `amman zhalamak, “Forgive the one who oppressed you.” Can we do that? This is what Prophet (s) is saying to Abu Hurayrah (r), Wa an ta`foo `amman zhalamak, “To forgive the one who oppressed you.” The Prophet (s) tried until the last moment to build the relationship back with Abu Jahl. In Ma`arikatع Badr, when they buried them after they had been killed, still Prophet (s) tried to give him Shahadah on top of his grave, as the Prophet (s) wants to reach all people, the whole Creation. He doesn't say, “This one is a Muslim and this one is not.” He extends his hand to everyone, wa an ta`foo `amman zhalamak,! There are too many people who oppress each other, but we have to forgive them. If we want that advice of the Prophet (s), then we have to forgive. Can we? Inshaa-Allah, but we must say, “We are struggling, yaa Rabbee! We are weak and helpless servants, what can we do? If You are not helping us, we are helpless! We are coming to Your Door, yaa Allah, we are coming to the Prophet (s)!”

It is said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

Wa law annahum idh zhalamoo anfusahum ja’ooka f ’astaghfaroollaaha w ’astaghfara lahumu ‘r-rasoolu la-wajadoo ’Llaaha tawwaaba ‘r-raheema.

If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:64)

So we are struggling and are in difficulty, including me. I want to say that I am not better than you. No, astaghfirullah! It might be that I am under the feet of people. I say for myself that I don't deserve but the door there, to be at the shoes. We don't say that we know something and we are better, no! Iblees came and took Sayyidina Adam (a) in one moment, in one second from Paradise! He cheated Adam (a) even though he was a prophet and was carrying the Light of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) in his forehead. Who is the first one to make sajda in this whole universe? Who? Everyone will say it is Sayyidina Adam (a), but it is not. It is Prophet Muhammad (s). That is because his Light is in the forehead of Sayyidina Adam (a), so the first one to make sajda was Prophet (s) in spirit. So our duty is not to listen to what is inside us. The problem is that we listen to our bad desires and begin to fight with each other.

And then he said, Wa an t`utee man haramak, “The one who prohibited for you to reach a successful business or food or anything else out of jealousy,” as many people are jealous of each other and end up in a loss because of jealousy to each other. So the Prophet (s) is saying, “Who forbade you to reach something, forgive him and give to him.” Don’t say, “No, I will not give him,” as the rich person must give the poor person and then the poor person will make du`a for him and both sides can get something.

So Sayyidina `Ali (r) is asking the Prophet (s), “What is your sunnah, yaa Rasoolullah, what do we have to learn?”

The Prophet (s) said, al-ma`rifatu raasu maalee, “My capital is knowledge.” Knowledge is what we need. Knowledge doesn't come from extensive reading, no! Look at both of these microphones, do they not look similar? But one has no sound and the other does, even though they both are similar. One has a voice and the other does not. When you connect it, then it has a voice. So what do we need? We may read hundreds and millions of books, but if our plug is not connected to saints, to awliyaullah, we cannot reach anything and, therefore, we cannot speak as you have to be plugged and that comes from humbleness. When you are humble you can plug yourself, waiting for an opening in order to say something that will benefit yourself and others. Now this (microphone) is plugged so it works. You need the Muhammadi Plug. [Naray takbeer, Allahu Akbar! Naray risaalat, yaa Rasoolullah!] Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad! If we don't have that plug, as Ibn `Ajeeba, a famous scholar said, Al-`ilmu `ilmaan, `Ilm al-Awraaq wa `Ilmu ‘l-Adhwaaq, “Knowledge is of two kinds, the Knowledge of Papers and the Knowledge of Taste.” “Knowledge of Papers” means that people take knowledge from reading papers and writing books, and If we have the “Knowledge of Taste,” then our `ilm can reach everyone. And how to do that is to connect to Prophet (s), and if you have good manners you will be connected the Prophet (s) as he is not far: he is seeing and hearing and checking on us.

As we mentioned yesterday, the Prophet (s) said:

حياتي خير لكم تحدثون ويحدث لكم ، فإذا أنا مت كانت وفاتي خيرا لكم ، تعرض علي أعمالكم فان رأيت خيرا حمدت الله تعالى وإن رأيت شرا استغفرت لكم

Hayaatee khayrun lakum tuhadithoona wa yuhdatha lakum fa idhaa anaa mitt kaana wafaatee khayran lakum. Tu`radu `alayya `amalakum fa in ra’aitu khayran hamadt 'allah ta`ala wa in ra’itu sharran astaghfarta lakum.

My life is good for you as you will relate from me and it will be related to you, and when I die my passing will be better for you. (Meaning, “My death is better for you than my life, because then I can pray for you.”) I observe your deeds. If I find good I thank Allah, and if I see bad, I ask forgiveness for you. (al-Bazzaar in his Musnad)

“I observe one-by-one in the same time.” Look at that power and that greatness that Allah gave to Prophet (s). He can see everyone at the same time without anyone overlapping the other one! He said, Wal-`aqlu asloo deenee, “And the mind is the origin of my religion.” Without a mind there is no religion; we would be drunk. Can you learn from a drunk person? If we are drunk in dunya, it means we are not paying attention and we don’t have our mind set on Akhirah, it is set on dunya. So real knowledge takes you to Allah (swt) and is the origin of religion.

Wa al-hubbu asaasee, “And love is my foundation.” Look at the Companions of the Prophet (s); they left everything to reach the love of the Prophet (s), and it goes and goes, I will not read everything because we have to be on time, but I will read something that is important and nice to us. We have two imaams here, one of them brought many to Islam and mashaa-Allah Imam Senad, Allahu Akbar.

Sayyidina Musa (a) said, “Yaa Rabbee! I am your ‘Kaleem.’” Musa (a) is Kaleemullah, correct? (Yes). Musa (a) Kaleemullah wa Muhammad (s) Habeebullah, correct? So Sayyidina Musa (a) asked, “Yaa Rabbee! I am Your Kaleem, the one who speaks with You directly without veils and without Jibreel (a), and Muhammad (s) is Your Beloved One, Your Habeeb, Your Lover. What is the difference between Kaleemullah and Habeebullah? What is the difference between al-Kaleem and al-Habeeb?”

Allah (swt) said, “Yaa Musa! Al-Kaleemu ya`malu bi-ridaa mawlaa, ‘Kaleem’ does according to what Allah likes; he would never do something that Allah dislikes. You do whatever Allah likes, so we all must do whatever Allah likes, but al-Habeeb is different: Allah does what His Habeeb likes.”

O Muslims! When we raise ourselves from the level of Kaleem to the level of Habeeb--in the Presence of the Prophet (s), as the Prophet (s) is present--if we do what the Prophet (s) orders us to do, what does the hadith say about if we follow the way of the Prophet (s)?

ولا يزال عبدي يتقرب إلي بالنوافل حتى أحبه، فإذا أحببته كنت سمعه الذي يسمع به وبصره

الذي يبصر به، ويده التي يبطش بها ورجله التي يمشي بها،

wa laa yazaalu `abdee yataqarabu ilayya bi’ n-nawaafil hatta uhibbah. Fa idhaa ahbaabtahu kuntu sama`uhulladhee yasma`u bihi wa basarahulladhee yubsiru bihi, wa yadahulladhee yabtishu bihaa wa rijlahullatee yamshee bihaa.

My servant does not cease to approach Me through voluntary worship until I will love him. When I love him, I will become the ears with which he hears, the eyes with which he sees, the hand with which he acts, and the legs with which he walks (and other versions include, “and the tongue with which he speaks.”). (Hadith Qudsi, Bukhari)

So it is based on love, it is based on al-Habeeb. If you have love, if you follow voluntarily what Allah likes--because we are at the level of Kaleem and we will be raised to the level of Habeeb--then Allah will love us and when Allah will love you, He will be your ears that you can hear with, He will be your eyes that you can see with, He will be your tongue that you can talk with, He will be your hand that you can move with, He will support your feet that you can walk with on Siraat al-Mustaqeem, so you can walk towards the Habeeb, the Nabiyyullah, towards Sayyidina Muhammad (s)!

That is why Allah sent Sayyidina Musa (a) to one of His servants, as is said in the Holy Qur’an:

فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا

Fawajada `abdan min `ibaadina aataynaahu rahmatan min `indina wa `allamnaahu min ladunna `ilma.

So they found one of Our Servants, on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge from Our Own Presence. (Surat al-Kahf, 18:65)

Allah wants to raise Sayyidina Musa (a) from (the station of) Kaleemullah to Habeeb, to show him the power of Prophet (s), to show him the love of Prophet (s)! Allah said, “Yaa Musa! You are My messenger. I have sent you from among the Five Most Noble Messengers and gave you the power of Kaleem to talk to Me, but I didn't give you the power of Habeeb. You can talk to Me, but Habeeb, when someone is in love he doesn't talk, he only wants to look at his beloved. When Prophet (s) reached Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa, all he wanted was to see his Lord, and don’t think that the Prophet (s) could not see that with his two eyes. Imam Nawawi (r) said in an explanation of the first verse of Surat al-’Israa that the Prophet (s) saw Allah (swt) in the Night of Ascension “with the two eyes of his head.” So when you are in love you are drunk, you are in ecstasy and can no longer feel yourself. This is for dunya. What do you think about Akhirah? What do you think about Allah (swt)? How much do you think the Prophet (s) is in love with His Lord that He brought him to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa? So Kaleemullah does something or acts to make His Lord happy, but for Habeebullah, His Lord will do something to make His Habeeb happy.

Allah said to Sayyidina Musa (a), “When you want something you must go walking with your stick to Tur Sina, Mount Sinai, and go to the top of the mountain and then ask me, but My Habeeb, no! I don’t do that for My Habeeb. I send My Habeeb to bed to rest, and I sent Jibreel (a) to bring him to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa in a moment! I say to him (s), “I am not letting you to get tired, no! Take rest and I am sending to you Jibreel (a) to bring you up!”

Look at the difference between Kaleemullah and Habeebullah. When Allah wants to guide someone, He will do so without giving a notice to anyone. Allah (swt) said:

إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

Innaka laa tahdee man ahbabta wa laakin Allaha yahdee man yashaa wa Huwa `alamu bi ’l-muhtadeen.

It is true you (O Muhammad) will not be able to guide every one whom you love, but Allah guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance. (Surat al-Qasas, 28:56)

There is a story related by Imam an-Nasafi (r) that one time the Prophet (s) wanted a ring. There were highly professional people in the community, like today they have professional people, and in Madinah at that time some of them made nice rings. See the relation here, the extending of the hand. Some people say, “Muslims don't do interfaith,” but Prophet (s) was the first one to show the respect to other religions. He asked a Jewish man to make a ring for him and said to him, “Make a ring for me with the inscription ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah’ and bring it to me.” Why did Prophet (s) choose a Jewish man? He could have chosen a Muslim, but intentionally he chose a Jewish man in order to build a relationship, to bring them to accept him. Therefore, when he accepts Prophet (s) he accepts Allah (swt), and then accepts Islam. Prophet (s) said, “Write ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah’ because I love the Name ‘Allah.’ That is the Best Name that I love in dunya and in Akhirah, so write it for me. When you finish, bring it to me.”

So when that Jewish man was finished, he brought the ring to Sayyidina Muhammad (s) on which was written, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadan Rasoolullah,” and the Jewish man was astonished. Prophet (s) looked at the ring, and on it was written “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah,” but it was added with, “Muhammadun Rasoolullah,” and it was not increased by the jeweler.

At that moment, as Prophet (s) was about to ask him, Jibreel (a) came down and said, “Yaa Muhammad (s), don't ask. Allah sent me to tell you that you wanted the Best Name to be on that ring and Allah wanted the Most Beloved Name to Him to be on that ring, which is your name!” [Naray Takbeer, Allahu Akbar! Naray Risaalat, yaa Rasoolullah! Naray Hayderi, yaa `Ali!] Look at Allah's (swt) love to the Prophet (s)!

I will relate another story from Ibn Abbas (r). One time a Jewish man was reading the Tawraat and he opened and found the name “Muhammad (s)” written in four places in the Tawraat. So he took a mikshata, scraper and took the name of Muhammad (s) away as he didn’t want it there. At that time, the Tawraat was written on leather, so he scraped it quickly and erased the name of Muhammad (s) and not just erased, but when there is something you don't like you remove it as you don't want to see it. The next day he opened the Tawraat and found the name of the Prophet (s) mentioned not four, but eight times in the Tawraat! Allah is making it. He took the scraper and scraped the name, he erased and obliterated it; he took the name away and then he was happy, thinking, “Now it is okay and it is not in my Tawraat any more.” Then he slept.

The next day he awoke and sat down to read as they do every day. He opened the Tawraat and he found the name of Muhammad (s) on the first page, then in another place and twelve more times in the same book he had been erasing! He closed the book and went from Sham to Madinah to see Prophet (s). When he arrived, he found that the Prophet (s) had left dunya. He went to Sayyidina `Ali (r) and said to him, “Yaa `Ali! I came, when I am seeing his name appear more and more in Tawraat, and said, ‘This is the Prophet of the Last Days.’ So I decided to come see him, but found him deceased. Can you bring his cloak for me to take barakah from what he was wearing, for me to smell it?”

That is from love! When Allah wants to guide, don’t say, “This is this,” or “This is that,” no way! He will guide anyone. So don't fight with your children when some people come and say, “O my children are going this way and that.” They will come back, just pray for them and don’t fight with them. When you fight with them, they will run more. Pray for them and they will come back.

He then took the cloak, smelled it and said, “Yaa Rabbee! I am becoming Muslim, Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa habeebuhu wa rasooluh. Yaa Rabbee! I am helpless, I am a weak servant! If you accepted my Islam take my soul now, as I don't want to be away from my Prophet (s)!” At that very moment, that man died. Sayyidina `Ali (r) was watching. He took him, made ghusl for him, shrouded him and then took him to Jannat al-Baqi`a and buried him.

All of this took place in one second! Look at Allah's Karam, His Love to Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and his servant!

So our duty is to be humble. Look at leaders or presidents of countries today. Look anywhere, take the Arab world for example, see how they are proud of themselves and are glued to the chair and they cannot leave it because they have been elected by false elections and have become leaders everywhere, even in Bosnia, even in Egypt, even in Tunisia and even in other countries everywhere! When leaders do something, they become proud of it. The Prophet (s) reached Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa! O Muslims! Imagine that your Prophet (s) reached Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa, which means the Divine Presence. He was so near to the Nearness of the Divine Presence, that we cannot say it is a place, but he was so near that no one is able to be in that Nearness, and yet what did he say? He said:

اللَّهُمَّ لَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَلَا أَقَلَّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ

Allahumma laa takilnee ila nafsee tarfat `aynin wa laa aqala min dhalika.

O Allah! Don't leave me to my ego for the blink of an eye or less. (al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, al-Bayhaqi in al-Asmaa wa’s-Siffaat, Sunan al-Kubra of an-Nisaa’ee)

Sayyidina Muhammad (s), Sayyid al-Bashr, The Master of all the Universes, Heavens and Earth! Allah (swt) created him as a loyal servant. He said, Allahumma laa takilnee ila nafsee tarfat `aynin, “O Allah, don’t leave me to myself for the blink of an eye.” Ya`anee opening and closing your eyes, blinking. How many times do you blink in one minute? Eight to nine times. He said, “Don't leave me to myself for one-ninth of a minute,” which means every eight or ten seconds you blink one time, and the Prophet (s) is saying, “Don’t leave me to that, yaa Rabbee, as I will lose! Laa takilnee ila nafsee tarfat `aynin, “Don’t leave me to my self, to my ego, my desires.”

That is the Prophet (s), the one who is m`asoom, innocent! What about us? Prophet (s) was humble in the Eyes of Allah (swt). So let us try to learn from the Prophet (s) tonight on how to be humble. To be humble is to learn how to accept everyone and not just to listen to them, but to accept what they say and not to be stubborn.

I will tell you a story about something that happened frequently in the past, but now you don't find that many guides anymore who teach humbleness. Now where to find them? Perhaps some `ulama don't like it and don't accept it, but it is a fact. One scholar was from those who Allah describes in the Holy Qur’an as “His Friends.”

أَلا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاء اللّهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Alaa inna awliyaaullaahi laa khawfun `alayhim wa laa hum yahzanoon.

Behold! Verily on the Friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.

(Surah Yunus, 10:62)

Such a person, that wali, that follower, that sincere servant of Allah had many followers. Many people would come to him and one of them was a sincere scholar. This scholar had been at the door of this shaykh for 27 years as his student. One day this scholar was with his teacher. He said, “O Sayyidee, my loved one, I have been at your door for 27 years doing everything you want, but I am not seeing anything, I am not feeling any benefit.”

The shaykh said to his student, Yaa waladee atumanin rabbak, “Are you doing a favor to your Lord? Your Lord is in fact doing a favor to you! If you are learning from my teaching, which is from Holy Qur’an, and good manners and behaviors of how Prophet (s) was behaving, as that is what I am teaching, how are you arrogant with your knowledge? It is up to you (to make progress).”

So that student said, “No, no, show me a way! How do I get rid of that arrogance?”

The teacher said, “It is simple. Go to the market,” and some scholars might say what is this? This is a teaching, a training. Like you go to a doctor, but to become a doctor you have to do your residency to learn, you have to be trained. Also in Islam, you have to learn from scholars, from shuyookh, on how to be humble. They try to teach you that in order that you will be able to reach Allah’s (swt) and Prophet’s (s) Love. And so he said, “Go to the market and buy a basket of walnuts, then go sit by the door of the mosque and say to each person entering, ‘O my beloved one, take a walnut! If you hit me with the shoe one time, I will give you one walnut and if you hit me two times, I will give you two. If you hit me three times, I will give you three,’ until your basket is finished, then come to me.”

He looked at his shaykh and said, “Are you addressing me?”

The shaykh said, “Yes, who else do you think I am addressing, there is no one else here.”

Look at the arrogance, the nafs, the ego, how it cannot accept. His shaykh, who was 85 or 95 years of age, who taught him for 27 years gave him a small test, to test himself by himself! He said, “Me? I am a shaykh!” after spending 27 years with his shaykh.

The teacher said, “Here there are no scholars. Here we are humble and simple people. One day we are going to be in the grave. You must humble yourself, so let them beat you and then come back to me.”

To teach what? To teach humility, to be humble. Here to “accept” means to accept people and their harm on you and to forgive them as Prophet (s) said, Wa an ta`foo `amman zhalamak, “To forgive who oppressed you.” May Allah (swt) forgive us from all of our sins and we say, “Yaa Rabbee, we are struggling and we are asking for Your Help and the blessing of our Prophet (s).”

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


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