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The Difference Between Real Knowledge and Book Knowledge

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

25 November 2013 Princes Town, Trinidad

Suhbah at Macoon Street Mosque

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

[Mawlana invites one of the scholars of Trinidad up to podium.]

It is said, anzil an-naasu manaazilahum, give respect to everyone according to his level. We are here today all of us equal, the same. Bismillahi ir-Rahmani ‘r-Raheem… (du’a). O Prophet of Allah, intercede for us in the Presence of the Lord Almighty!

O Brothers and sisters! Islam is not something that is only in books, nor something that one only speaks about, but Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an:

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُُ

Inna ad-deena `inda Allaahi al-islaam.

The religion in Allah’s view is Islam (submission to His Will). (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:19)

That means that there is someting very profound in Islam; we have to understand it and taste it as without taste we will be like parrots, repeating without understanding. If we take this bottle of water and you are thirsty in the desert, and I am not thirsty and I have a bottle of cold water and I tell you this bottle of water is nice, cold and sweet but I am not giving it to you, or else I give you the plastic bottle but not the water; I will drink it. So, as is said by many scholars and especially by ibn `Ajeeba, there are two kinds of knowledge: Knowledge of Books, which you can read but not taste, and Knowledge of Taste. When we study medicine or law or engineering, we go for practice, for residency, but when we study Islam, I don’t know why we don't go for residency to taste and to practice. What we are understanding and reading? For example, the Prophet (s) said one very simple one line:

‏‏ 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)

“I have been sent to complete and perfect the good manners in you.” Are we experiencing that hadith of the Prophet (s)? Let everyone ask himself. When Prophet (s) mentions a hadith, we have to do it and to taste it! So when the Prophet (s) said, “I was sent as a messenger to perfect your good manners,” so if that is what we need, then why do we get angry? Is anger from good manners or bad manners? Ask anyone--young, middle aged or old--does he have anger in himself or not? It is so simple! Let us ask ourselves. If the Prophet (s) said, “I have come to perfect your manners,” why are we getting angry, why are we hating each other, why are we jealous, why do we lie, why are we greedy, why do we want everything for ourselves? So it means Islam is not just reading books, as we are doing, but it is also to taste, the taste that the Prophet (s) wants us to taste. And the Prophet (s) mentioned it: “I have been ordered, I have been sent O human beings, to perfect you.” That means the Prophet (s) was sent by Allah (swt) as Rahmatan li ‘l-`Alameen and without that rahmat no one is able to go to Paradise, that is for granted! If we don't get that rahmat that Allah granted to the Prophet (s) for human beings, we cannot enter Paradise! Don’t depend on your `amal, as it cannot take you anywhere.

وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاء مَّنثُورًا

Wa qadimna ilaa maa `amiloo min `amalin faja`alnaahu habaa’am manthoora.

And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did (in this life), and We shall make such deeds as floating dust scattered about. (Surat al-Furqaan, 25:23)

“We come to what they have done and throw it in their faces!” Our `amal is soup blended with all kinds of bad manners.

فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ

Fa laa tuzakoo anfusakum.

Don’t praise yourself. (Surat an-Najm, 53:32)

Don’t praise yourself! Always say to your self (ego), “No, you are wrong! I will never follow what you are saying.” Don't give an opportunity to Shaytan within ourselves. Allah (swt) gave us something that we need to try to understand from Holy Qur'an. Don't think that Holy Qur'an is only what they translate to you in the commentary, but every letter of Holy Qur'an is a letter of noor, where that comes from the Holy Divine Name al-Noor. There are examples in Holy Qur'an. Every letter in Holy Qur'an has a meaning, but we don't know it, we know it through a word. But there are letters in Holy Qur'an that are not words, but they are full of secrets.

When Sayyidina Jibreel (a) came to the Prophet (s) and said to him, revealing Surat Maryam, and he said, "Kaaf," you know, “Kaaf. Haa. Yaa. `Ayn. Saad” and “Faa. Haa. Yaa. `Ayn. Saad.” When he said, "Kaaf," what did the Prophet (s) say? He said, `alimtu, “I knew.” He did not connect them “Kaaf. Haa. Yaa. `Ayn. Saad”, connected to each other. When he said, "Kaaf,” the Prophet (s) said, "I knew." What did he know?

So that is an ocean of knowledge, where Allah (swt) said:

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

Fawajadaa `abdan min `ibaadinaa 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 Presence. (Surat al-Kahf, 18:65)

That is for Sayyidina Khidr (a). What, then, about the Prophet (s)? He said, “I have been taught the Knowledge of Before and the Knowledge of After.” So why Surat Maryam begins with Kaaf? Kun fa yakoon. The first letter of Creation is Kaaf in “kun.” Allah's Order is between the Kaaf and the Noon, so when he (Jibreel) said, “Kaaf,” the Prophet (s) said, "I knew," and what he knew we don't know. And whatever Allah (swt) gave him, from his love the Prophet (s) will give to the ummah and there are people who will understand whatever Prophet (s) sent to them.

For example, how many ayaats are there in Holy Qur'an? Six-thousand six-hundred sixty-six (6,666) and some scholars say 6,623. Look at the hidden meanings there. In that are the oceans that the secrets of Allah’s Words that Allah wanted for humanity to read in His Words are in those 6,666 ayaat. Four sixes. In numerology, `ilm al-arqaam wal-ahruf, every word has a meaning in numbers. 6,666 = four sixes, but add them together and they shrink. In video (production), when you want to put a big file you compress it, but you get a clearer picture. So bring them, the 6,666 and add them together: 6+6 =12 +6 =18 +6 =24. 2+4 =6!

Khalaq as-samaawaati wal-ardi fee sittati ayyaam, Allah created the Heavens and Earth in 6 days. And how many surahs are in Holy Qur'an? 114 and add them 1+1 =2 =4 =6, back to six. What is in six? Allah created Heavens and Earth in six days. So that is why the Prophet (s) knew what Allah gave to Jibreel of knowledge. He knew it before Allah gave to Jibreel (a)! Allah gave to Prophet (s) what He wanted him to know before anyone, `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa ‘l-`Akhireen, Knowledge of Firsts and Lasts! When he (s) said, “Kaaf,” Prophet (s) said, "I knew," and when he (a) said, "Haa," Prophet (s) said, "I knew," and in the hadith, Jibreel (s) got astonished that he knew; that means he (s) knew more than Jibreel, and that knowledge is only for the Prophet (s)! And he (a) said, “Yaa,” and the Prophet (s) said, “I knew….” And there are five letters and these relate to the heart of the human being that has five levels.

So everything relates back to Allah (swt) and in Holy Qur'an there is scientific information that we don’t know. Allah (swt) gave us as He said in the Holy Qur’an:

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ

Sanureehim aayaatina fi ’l-lafaaqi wa fee anfusihim hattaa yatabayyana lahum annahu’l-haqq.

Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the Earth) and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. (Surah Fussilat, 41:53)

“We will show them Our miracles in the future on the horizon,” so that is why at the time of the Prophet (s) Allah revealed to him only and it had the scientific side and the Shari`ah side, but only Shari`ah side was opened at that time because there was no technology at that time.

مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لَّا يَبْغِيَانِ

Maraj al-bahrayn yaltaqeeyaan. Baynahumaa barzakhun laa yabghiyaan.

He let forth the two seas so that they meet together. Between them is a barrier that they do not transgress. (Surat al-Rahman, 55:19-20)

Allahu Akbar! He made the two oceans to meet together and scientists found that any two oceans there is a barrier between them, like take the example of Gibraltar, Jabal at-Tariq, where the Atlantic and the Mediterranean meet, baynahumaa barzakhun laa yabghiyaan, between them is a barricade; they do not mix. Allah (swt) made it so that that huge ocean, the Atlantic does not take over the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean does not take over the Atlantic as between them is a quarantine. If some fish from the Mediterranean want to go to the Atlantic, they must be in that quarantine for forty days in order to “accommodate”(acclimate to) the new environment on the other side and vice versa. Technology (was revealed) in Holy Qur'an 1400 years ago! We have to taste Islam, we have to taste Qur`an.

Sayyidina Yusuf (a), his father--without going into the story--was crying for him for many years and what happened to him in the end? He became blind, correct? Is correct? [Yes!] They react well! His father became blind. What happened, what did Sayyidina Yusuf (a) do? When his brothers came he sent his shirt to his father to put over his face and f’artadda baseera, immediately he regained his vision! He could smell the shirt (scent) of his son from far away and his people were saying, “Why are you mentioning Yusuf all the time and he died forty years ago?”

He said, “No, I am smelling his smell (scent)!”

So what happened with the shirt? When they came with the shirt and put it on their father, he was able to see. So what is in that shirt? If a shirt can make miracles, do you deny miracles of the Prophet (s) and his Sahaabah (r)? With a shirt Sayyidina Ya`qoob’s sight came back! So sincere, pious scientists in Egypt wanted to study how could the shirt cause the sight of Ya`qoob (a) to come back. It’s a miracle and it’s a knowledge for us that Allah (swt) put a lot of scientific issues in the Holy Qur`an. They took the shirt of any person to see what could be in the shirt. They thought, “Why do we change our shirt every day?” If we change it! (Laughter.) It depends on our wives, if they are going to wash it or not, or you sweat all the day and sleep near your wife and she will kick you out of the bed (saying), “Go and change your shirt!” (Laughter.)

What is in the shirt? And he (a) said, “I smell the smell of Yusuf,” and so there must be a smell in the shirt that made his sight return. So they took the shirts of different people and examined them. They found in the smell of sweat there are 52 different elements, 52, and one of these elements can give the sight back to people! One of these smells if you put it over time on the face of a person who has a certain kind of disease he gets back his sight. They found this out four or five years ago in Egypt. And for sure, that is a miracle of Holy Qur'an, but Holy Qur`an made Sayyidina yusuf (a) to know and Sayyidina Ya`qoob (a) to know from that smell, “I am sending that shirt to you to get your sight back.” Everything is by Allah’s Cure, everything is by Allah’s Order, by yourself you can’t do anything. Means to tell us that everything you do needs a means, a vehicle. “I sent a vehicle for my father to get his sight back.”

So that means, “O human beings, you have to have a guide!” Sayyidina Muhammad (s) went to Heavens by himself: when he went to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adna, he left Jibreel (a) behind. He cannot go from Mecca to Madinah by himself when he migrated? Why did he ask for a guide through the desert? That is to tell us, “O human beings, you cannot jump the ladder in one shout, you have to go slowly, you have to have a guide to guid you through your way, we need a guide, we need someone better than us!” And there are many better than us: you can recognize them and they can teach us something special, because you are the best ummah:

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ

Kuntum khayra ummatin ukhrijat li’n-naas…

You are the best of nations evolved for Mankind. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:110)

“You are the best ummah that has been sent to humanity,” kuntum, is in the past tense, “you ‘were’ the best ummah,” when? When were we? When the Prophet (s) came? But Allah (swt) is saying that “You were the best of ummahs,” and that means from the beginning of the Creation you were attached with Prophet (s) when Prophet (s) was between mud and water:

كنت نبي و ادم بين الماء و الطين

Kuntu Nabiyyin wa adamu bayna 'l-maa'i wa 't-teen.

I was a prophet when Adam was between water and clay.

And in another hadith:

كنت نبيا وآدم بين الروح والجسد

Kuntu nabiyyan wa adam bayna ar-roohi wa ’l-jasad.

I was a prophet while Adam was between soul and body.

He was there, Prophet (s), on whom? There must be an ummah there--you were there, you were with him! Al-warahoo junood jannana, “The souls are like battalions coming together;” Allah wants us to come together. That is why the Prophet (s) said, and I will cite the hadith and end, to give a good tiding, to feel happy. Are you feeling happy? [Yes!] I say again, are you feeling happy? [Yes!] Not you. (Laughter.)

The Prophet (s) said:

Man `ajabu imaanan, “Who has the most astonishing faith in their hearts? Who are these Creations, who are these creatures that Allah created?” And the Sahaabah (s) immediately said, al-malaa’ika, yaa Rasoolullah, “The angels, yaa Rasoolullah.” And the Prophet (s) said, “How can the angels not have astonishing imaan when they are in Heavens and always praising Allah and making salawaat?” They looked at each other and wondered who could it be then, if not the angels? “Of course angels have imaan, but who has the most astonishing imaan?” They were thinking and then they said, “The anbiya, prophets,” and he said, “Wa kayfa laa, how would they not be so when Jibreel (a) is coming to them and they are seeing what they see as messengers and prophets?” Then they looked and they were very happy then as it was their turn, and they said, “Yaa Rasoolullah, then your Companions, they have the best imaan” The Prophet (s) said, “How would you not have strong imaan when you are with me? I am telling you everything, of course your imaan is strong. Who else?” They did not know what to say. The Prophet (s) allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad said, “Qawmun yaatoona min ba`dee yuminoona bee wa lam yarawnee,” or in another narration, “..lam ikhwanee, they are a people who come after me. They believe in me and they did not see me, those ones are my beloved one, those ones have the most imaan and they are my brothers,” and this is you! (SuhbaanAllah) Ummatun-Nabi (s)You are coming after the Prophet (s) and believing in the Prophet (s) and reading Holy Qur'an, doing the best we can, a little bit but never mind, fighting with each other. (Laughter) May Allah forgive us and may Allah bless us.

May Allah send His Beloved One, Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! Some people say that Allah chose Sayyidina Muhammad (s), is it not? It is okay, I see it is good, but it is not a situation of choosing as Allah does not choose, He creates. Allah created Prophet (s) the best, there is no choosing; the word ‘choosing’ is for our understanding, but what Allah created first is as mentioned in the hadith when Jibreel (a) asked the Prophet (s) what Allah created first:

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،...

`An Jaabir ibn `AbdAllah qaala: qultu yaa Rasoolullah, bi-abee anta wa ummee, akhbirnee `an awwala shayin khalaqahu ’Llaaha qabla’l-ashyaa? Qaala: yaa Jaabir, inn Allaha ta`ala khalaqa qabla al-ashyaa noora nabiyyika min noorih...

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 created my Light first, before Creation,” before anything else is the Light of the Prophet (s), and we can go deep into that, but that Light,Allah wanted him to be a guide to illuminate to give to every person and every human being in his heart! The Prophet (s) is not far away: if you call him from here, he hears you and is listening! Do you accept Imam Suyuti? (Yes) No one can reject Imam Suyuti, and in his book ad-Durr al-Manthoor he said the Prophet (s) is alive in his grave, and it is not me saying this, it is Imam Suyuti who knows what he says. Why? Because of the hadith:

Man salla `alayya radd-allaahi roohee ilayya hattaa usallimu `alayh.

Whenever someone recites salawaat on me, Allah sends my soul back to my body so that I reply to him. (Imam Suyuti, ad-Durr al-Manthoor)

He says, “I am wondering, with all these millions of Muslims reciting salawaat on the Prophet (s), every moment in 24 hours there must be someone reciting salawaat on the Prophet (s). Can it be that Allah takes his soul and then returns it every time? There is no time between the salawaats that is why it is that his soul is in his body all the time as we send salawaats and Allah gives him permission to send salaams back to us.” That is Imam Suyuti (r)! And he (s) also said (as narrated by Imam Suyuti):

من رآني فقد رآني حقا

Man ra'aanee fir-ru'ya fa sa-yaraanee haqqan.

Whoever saw me in a dream will see me in reality.

And what did Imam Suyuti also say in his explanation of this hadith? He said that anyone who saw the Prophet (s) in the dream is going to see him in reality, and he says also in explanation of this hadith, I am quoting him:

Some scholars say that he will see the Prophet (s) in Akhirah on Yawm al-Mahshar, the Day of Resurrection, but everyone is going to see the Prophet (s) on that Day. No, it means that every mu'min who makes salawaat on Prophet (s) and saw the Prophet (s) in the dream, when he is in his last seven breaths will see the Prophet (s) before he passes away! Not one soul will go without seeing Prophet (s) from those who are Muslim and mu’min!

Be happy and smile, as this is the best of the cream that all of us (will be) under the wings of Prophet (s) on Day of Judgment!

And in the book Adab al-Mufrad by Imam Bukhari, (it states) the Prophet (s) said:

On Judgment Day, Allah gives me permission to make shafa` and I go into sajda to make du`as and Allah opens to my heart all kinds of du`a that were never opened to my heart before, and I make that du`a. And Allah says to me, “Yaa Habeebee, O beloved one, irfa ra`sak, raise your head and sa'l tu`taa, ask and you will be given.” And the Prophet (s) says, “I don't want anything that I want that I asked in dunya and I only ask one thing: give me my ummah.”

Do you want anything else? (No.) You must be happy, but do your obligations. The hadith continues:

And then Allah says take one-third of the ummah and I take them, and then I go into sajda another time and Allah opens to my heart all kinds of du`a that were never opened to my heart before, and I am making that du`a for I don’t know how long in that sajda and Allah says to me, “Yaa Habeebee, raise your head and sa'l tu`taa, ask and you will be given!” And the Prophet (s) asks for his ummah to be given shafa`. And Allah grants him another third, “And then I go into sajda and Allah opens to my heart all kinds of du`a that were never opened to my heart before, different from the first two sajdas and Allah says to me, Yaa Habeebee, raise your head and sa'l tu`taa, ask and you will be given!” And the Prophet (s) says, “I want the rest of my ummah.” And Allah says, “Take all of them out, except one person,” to show to Prophet (s) and everyone, “That I am Arham ar-Rahimeen, the Most Merciful of the Merciful. I gave shafa` to Sayyidina Muhammad (s) No one is more merciful than Me,” and takes out that one last person still in the Fire and says you are free to go with the others to Paradise.

May Allah make us from these, (Ameen) to be with Prophet (s) in dunya and Akhirah (Ameen) because he (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 kahan wafaatee khayran lakum. Tu`radu `alayya `amal ummatee, wa in wajadtu khayran hamadt 'allah wa in wajadtu ghayrah astaghfarta lahum.

I observe the `amal of my ummah. If I find good I thank Allah, and if I see other than that, bad, I ask forgiveness for them. (al-Bazzaar in his Musnad)

That is through angels or directly, whatever different scholars say and we believe as Ahl as-Sunnah wa 'l-Jama'ah say, “The Prophet (s) is observing us.”

May Allah (swt) bless us and bless this country more and more, and next time when we come may we see your grandchildren!

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

Was-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.


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