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The Dream of Imam Ghazali (q)

Ramadan Series 2014, Volume 8

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

6 July 2014 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

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

nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`alaa fee haadha 'l-masjid.

The first question from the forty questions (I will be asking about this series) is, what is the name of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s (q) shaykh? (Yoosuf an-Nasaaj.) Good to know. And we spoke about Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Hujjat al-Islam, who said it is an obligation to accompany someone who can lead you and guide you to the right way. That is someone who already has experiences in the way of gnostics, in the way of looking for the Truth. Not everyone looks for Truth, most are happy with what they have and some like to increase their knowledge more and more. These people have to look for someone to guide them in that way because there are a lot of obstacles. Obstacles for the good, to see how much you are patient and how much you will listen to the guide. We will continue the story of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali and his dream. He said:

At the beginning of my life I was denying everything, even the way of those who were pious and sincere, those following the way of Sahaabah (r) until I accompanied my shaykh, Yusuf an-Nasaaj (which means a weaver of carpets and so on). He began to polish me, giving me different tests until I reached a level that I began to receive good inspirations, no more bad inspirations.

When he says, “Allahu Akbar” in prayer, nothing takes him right or left and he is focusing on Allah's Greatness, on love of Allah and love of the Prophet (s). Grandshaykh (q) here is saying something between brackets, that when he was very polished by his teacher, he began to feel pity for everyone, like when you see people who are homeless. They have organizations, clinics, and hospitals, but the way awliyaullah work is in a broader spectrum.

The Fly and the Ink

He said, “One day it was the night of the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal, the night of the birth of Islam.” The birth of Islam came with the birth of the Prophet (s). No one can say, “Oh no, he got the message when he was 40,” no, he exposed the message of Islam at age 40, but Islam came with his birth. So he said:

One day, it came to me to help that person as they were going to hang him by wrong decision, wrong judgement. They were going to kill someone by hanging, they did that a lot at that time. I had to write a quick letter to save him.So as I was writing and almost finished, a fly sat on the pen, the quill that I was writing with. I said to myself, “Allah created this fly for the love of the Prophet (s) and also created the person I was trying to help for the love of the Prophet (s). I still have time to save that person, so let me feed this fly from this ink.”

So he froze his hand with the pen between his fingers until this fly quenched its thirst. At that time and at that very night, Allah was sending His Gaze on him and this was his action, so Allah immediately dressed him to completely throw away from his heart any kind of doubts and to clean his heart and to send to him, what we call in Arabic waaridaat, heavenly inspirations. He opened to him the scope of witnessing, Maqaam al-Mushahadah, witnessing everyone, knowing what is written for everyone around him. He was able to detect that from heavenly sources.

He Saw Allah in His Dream

That night he saw Allah in his dream:

Fa raa'itullaha ta`ala fi ’l-manaam, I saw Allah (swt) in my dream. Fa qaala lee, yaa Abaa Hamid da` shawaaghilak, “Drop everything that wastes and takes your time, as you don't need it. You don't need to work in dunya.” It is said in Arabic, ad-dunya jeeafatun wa tulaabuhaa kilaabuhaa, “Dunya is like a corpse and those running after it are like dogs.” So don't let it take all of your mind, (this doesn’t mean not raise your children in dunya, but don't let it take your Akhirah from your mind.) “Leave the running after dunya and run after those who I am looking after them with My Gaze.”

It is said that there are 124,000 awliyaullah and when one dies another replaces him. They are always under Allah’s Gaze. The Prophet (s) said:

العلماء ورثة الانبياء

Al-`ulama warathatu 'l-anbiyaa.

The (genuine) scholars are inheritors of the Prophets.

We got this number from Ibn `Abbas in his Tafseer Surat al-`Araaf. And He said, “Leave everything that is wasting your time and accompany those whom I have put on Earth to be under My Gaze, find them.” Can we find them? Alhamdulillah Allah guided us to great shaykhs, we saw what kind of knowledge they gave. Don't count the person that has a good shaykh and say, “O, he is safe,” no, you cannot! If you follow his order and his way you will be safe, but don’t sit and say, “O my shaykh will do it for me on my behalf.” You have to struggle and do, not to sit in the chair of the shaykh, as that is not laa’iq, good manners. You must keep that chair, because it reminds you of your shaykh. Don't sit on it! This is out of adab.

Allah said, humulladheena ba`oo 'd-darayn bi hubbee, “They are the ones who sold the love of this life and the Next for My Love.”

And he said to Allah (swt) in his dream:

For your glory, yaa Rabbee, let me taste the coolness of the good thought about them: to find them, have no doubts about them, have good thoughts regarding them and to feel happy upon seeing them.

It is mentioned in many places:

عند ذكر الصالحين تنزل الرمة

`Inda dhikr as-saaliheen tanzal ar-rahmat.

To mention pious people, rahmat comes down.

When we see them, what comes down? Allah knows and His Prophet knows. He is feeding them, wa kullun min rasoolullahi multamisan, everyone is seeking from the Prophet (s).

O Allah! Let me feel the smell of their presence! Let me see where they are going and let my tongue describe where to go on this Gnostic journey and learn from them. I have failed my life and I have denied everything. Guide me in my life and guide me to the coolness of finding them.

The answer that came to him through the dream was:

Qad fa`ltuha, “I have done it for you. I have put their coolness in your heart, you will never doubt them. You asked and you left dunya for My Love, I am giving you.”

He asked with sincerity. We make du`a sometimes, but our du`a does not always come true and we don't see the answer although Allah (swt) said:

ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ

Idoo`nee astajib lakum.

Call on Me, I will answer you. (Surah Ghaafir, 40:60)

“Ask Me, I will answer you!” Yet, we don’t see the answer because our du`a has to connect with good manners, with conscious and unconscious. Why was his du`a accepted? Because he was in a state of complete submission.

Synchronizing the Conscious and Unconscious Connects Us to Heavens

When we are making our du`a, scientists found that our mind is vibrating with lots of fiery vibrations, so our mind is more with dunya than with Akhirah. They found that if you relax yourself and bring these vibrations down, do you know? O psychiatrists! How many vibrations are shooting of the brain? They say that there are hundreds coming out in a single minute. If it becomes 4-17 vibrations per minute, like a gearbox where you are synchronizing the two sides, connecting that tube of information to come through, then at that time you are in a mood of relaxation that comes in dhikrullah. That is why shuyookh give you dhikrullah to put you in a state of relaxation that has no more than 4-17 vibrations per second. So when you ask, it comes.

When you are not synchronized, (one from here, one from there), whatever you ask of du`a it does not go to the right place, but when you sync them then your du`a is accepted. Why? Because he left that fly to suck from the ink, as Allah created him from the love of the Prophet (s) and created the fly from the love of the Prophet (s) as well. That is what came to him and that is when he asked:

O Allah let me have good thoughts about them. Allah replied in the dream, “I did it for them. And the similarity between you and them is that both of you left dunya for Me, so I am connecting you to them. I am manifesting on you Lights from jiwaree al-Qudsee, My Holy Nearness, from My Presence I am sending these Lights to you.” I woke up very happy.

Before he woke up, he said that he heard Allah saying to him in the dream:

فاخرج منها مختاراً قبل أن تخرج منها صاغرا

Fakhruj minha mukhtaaran qabl an takhruj minhaa saaghiran, “Go out from dunya now by your will voluntarily before you are forced to come out (day of death). Come out by your choice rather than by force on death. I have already sent on you My Gaze and My Lights by My Nearness.” I woke up very happy.

Sitting in the Shaykh’s Place or Chair is not Permitted

So where you have to go when something like this happens? To your shaykh. No one can sit in the shaykh's place. I will mention a story regarding that. If you want the reality, you have to follow what happened before you and if you were not present for certain reasons, it does not mean it did not happen, it did. You cannot sit in the shaykh's chair wherever you are. You must always respect the shaykh’s place with adab.

Because of her piety and sincerity in her niche or in her chair, Allah made Sayyida Maryam’s (a) place a place where du`a is to be accepted. He made Sayyidina Zakariyya (a) to go there to ask for a child. He went to the niche of Sayyida Maryam (a), even though Sayyidina Zakariyya (a) is a prophet and Sayyida Maryam (a) is not.

كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقاً

Kullamaa dakhala `alayhaa zakariyya al-mihraaba wajada `indahaa rizqa.

Whenever he (Zakariyya) entered her prayer niche, he found with her provision. (Aali-`Imraan, 3:37)

Whenever he entered her place, Zakariyya (a) would find provision there, spiritual and physical. So that synchronizes the du`a, it makes the gearbox to run. Do you want your du`a to be accepted? Make it in a place that is accepted, such as, Madinatu 'l-Munawwara and Meccatu 'l-Mukarrama. So you want his chair go in his grave then for a few hours. Do you dare to do that?

I will mention a story that I witnessed. When Grandshaykh (q) was sick in his last days, not too far, he got sick and it was a Friday between `Asr and Maghrib. We used to do dhikrullah in his zawiya, or his khaniqah or his ribat, whatever you call it, and he ordered, “Where is Shaykh Nazim?!” like that. “When he comes, let him lead the prayer and the dhikr, because there was still a little bit of time.

When Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil, may Allah bless his soul, came; I have to admit that I am not believing he died. In our hearts he is living, in this dunya he is not here. So we used to make a place like this in the mihrab, in the corner of the zawiya, where you can sit and see him. We put a mattress that he can sit on and Mawlana at that time had some khalifahs, some people representing him here and there, as all shaykhs and as Mawlana Shaykh. Grandshaykh (q) ordered that Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) lead prayer and dhikr. We finished praying and now it was time for the dhikr. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) came and did not sit on the mattress of Grandshaykh's place, but on the side showing, “This is the chair of my shaykh, I cannot sit on it; whether he is alive or not, I cannot sit on it.” That is respect, discipline.

Then one of Grandshaykh’s (q) representative came all the way from the other side, sat on it, took his miswak, hit it on the head of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) and said some unpleasant words that I will not repeat. The people there wanted to beat him up, but Mawlana Shaykh said, “No, leave him.” Then they came to him and said, “Leave or we will throw you out!” Mawlana continued and he did not sit on it, with adab and respect to the chair of his shaykh. It is not a holy chair that you cannot sit on it, but you don't sit on it when giving an advice, because your personality is not the personality of the shaykh who was sitting on it. Leave a space, as you cannot sit in his maqaam. No one can sit in the place of another wali. So don't over think that you can carry what the shaykh is carrying or you can do what the shaykh is doing. No, you cannot! You can do according to your capacity.

The Difference between Shaykh and Shaykh as-Suhbat

So Imam Ghazali (q) continued:

I woke up very happy and went directly to my teacher, Yusuf an-Nasaaj, and told him the story of my dream. He smiled and said, “Yaa Abaa Hamid, O Imam Ghazali, this is just the beginning. These are the rewards we give in the beginning.

So there is a difference between “shaykh” and “shaykh as-suhbat.” Very few can be at the same time shaykh and shaykh as-suhbat, you can carry those who accompany you. A shaykh can be any shaykh who is pious and sincere, can be a wali, but not everyone can be shaykh as-suhbat, where you can be with him at all times. When Grandshaykh (q) was ordered to take that responsibility, when his shaykh, Shaykh Sharafuddin (q), was leaving dunya, as they feel that coming, he wrote his will to carry on to Grandshaykh `Abdullah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani (q). When he told Grandshaykh, “You carry the responsibility,” he said, “No.” Not, “No I am disobeying,” but “No, what is the benefit? When I make an advice in an association and I have 200, 300 or 5,000 people, if I don't raise them to the state that I am in, what is the benefit? I don't depend on what they do, but I depend on what I reached, then I will accept.”

And that was granted, I don't want to say how. So it was granted that when he mentions any wali in his subhah, that wali is responsible to dress the person from his secrets, from the Lights that he is dressed from the Prophet (s), he is responsible to dress the person (attending).

So if he speaks about five shuyookh in a suhbah, then those five shuyookh will give you, and if he speaks of 10, then 10 will give you, it is a chain reaction.

So the shaykh said, “This is the beginning, but if you accompany me, you will not believe it. I will open your eyes for you, I will open your baseerah, and you will be able to see what cannot be seen. At that time you need kohl. You will be so happy with what you see, it will be like kohl on the eyes of people. Where kohl is so beautiful on the eyes of people, I will make what you see like kohl on your eyes.

Any Seeker on the Way Must Have a Shaykh

If Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (q) is saying that, then why are they ignoring Tasawwuf, why are they ignoring when these things have been said? He would never write it if it had not been mentioned. He said also, “It is important for any gnostic who wants to begin this journey to have a shaykh, you cannot do it by yourself. Even if you have it and have all the requirements for it, you still need the shaykh to prescribe for you how to go on that highway, as you cannot do it by yourself.”

Before the Prophet (s) left dunya, he assigned the four guided khalifahs. He was so close to them one after one in order to guide the Sahaabah (r) to the right way up to the Day of Judgment. Today there are inheritors who are inheriting from the Prophet (s) through his khulafah and through their khulafah, they carry that responsibility up to today. Everything I have mentioned is from Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (q). And he said:

The seeker, as-saalik, in the journey must have a shaykh. The mureed is in need in order that he will follow the shaykh until he takes him to the presence of the Prophet (s).

He said, this is very wise:

Inna sabeel ad-deenu ghaamidan, The way of religion is mysterious it is difficult to understand and sabeel ash-shaytaan katheera, the ways of Shaytan are too many, they are everywhere and that is dunya. In dunya, Shaytan is active. You see the people following Shaytan are so many, because it is everywhere and as the Prophet (s) mentioned:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : يأتي على الناس زمان القابض على دينه كالقابض على الجمر

Qaala rasoolullah yaatee `alaa ’n-naasi zamaan al-qaabidu `alaa deenihi ka ’l-qaabidu `alaa al-jamr.

The one holding his religion firmly in his hand is like someone holding a burning coal. (Tirmidhi)

The one holding his religion is like one holding coal fire in his hands. We will stop here and continue with the hadith of the Prophet (s) tomorrow.

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

The Seven Groups under Allah’s Shade on Qiyamah

I will mention the beginning of the hadith, where the Prophet (s) said that there are seven groups of people who will be under Allah's Shade on the Day there will be no shade. They did not let me go, they said, “Say the hadith, because some people are leaving.” Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r), said that there are seven whom Allah will give shade on the Day of Judgment.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمْ اللَّهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لَا ظِلَّ إِلَّا ظِلُّهُ الْإِمَامُ الْعَادِلُ وَشَابٌّ نَشَأَ بِعِبَادَةِ اللَّهِ وَرَجُلٌ قَلْبُهُ مُعَلَّقٌ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ وَرَجُلَانِ تَحَابَّا فِي اللَّهِ اجْتَمَعَا عَلَيْهِ وَتَفَرَّقَا عَلَيْهِ وَرَجُلٌ دَعَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ فَقَالَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ فَأَخْفَاهَا حَتَّى لَا تَعْلَمَ يَمِينُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ شِمَالُهُ وَرَجُلٌ ذَكَرَ اللَّهَ خَالِيًا فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاهُ

There are seven persons whom Allah will shade on a Day when there is no shade but His: a just ruler; a young person who grew up in the worship of Allah; a person whose heart is attached to the mosques; two persons who love each other, meet and depart from each other for the sake of Allah; a man whom a beautiful woman of high status seduces but he rejects by saying, “I fear Allah”; a person who spends in charity and conceals it such that his right hand does not know what his left hand has given; and, a person who remembered Allah in private and he wept. (Sahih Muslim, Book 5, Number 2248)

When there will be no shade, the brains of people will be burning:

1. Imaamun `adil, a just imaam. He does not take sides and makes the right decision, alhamdulillah. If he makes the wrong decision, alhamdulillah, his intention is good.

2. Shaabun nasha’at fee ta`tillah, a young child raised on Allah’s worshipness.

3. A man or woman whose heart is so connected to the masaajid. They like to go to mosques.

4. Wa rajulaan tahaabaa fillah ajtama`a `alayh wa tafarraqa `alayh, Two men or women who met on Allah’s Love. Their friendship is on Allah’s Love and their friendship is to be raised well. They go to Allah’s masaajid, meet on Allah’s Love and separate on Allah’s Love.

5. A man who finds a beautiful lady and the possibility of some kind of inappropriate interaction occurs, but he says, “No, I cannot, as I fear Allah.” (I tried to soften it, but in hadith we cannot. So let me explain it well). Rajulun da`at-hu imraatun dha ’l-husni wa ’l-jamaal, A man whom a lady of high status and beauty calls to sleep with him and he says, “No I cannot, I fear Allah.”

6. Someone who gave a donation in secrecy, did not tell anyone. You see today, they give out brochures advertising how much they gave. It is a commercial business now, what can you do. So someone gave a donation and hid it from his left side to know what his right side did. Meaning, hid it from himself.

7. A man or woman who made dhikr by themselves until their eyes flooded with tears. This is muttafaqun `alayh form Bukhari and Muslim.

Now look where we fit in. Do we fit in anyone of them? I don't think so. Only those who are young might fit and those who are adults and went through these Shaytan routes, but the rest of us must say Astaghfirullah al-`azheem wa atoobu ilayh, and inshaa-Allah Allah will forgive. We are all sinful servants. That hadith puts all of us in Hellfire. Yaa Rabbee, be Merciful for us! Make the Prophet (s) to intercede for us, as without that we will not be safe! Grandshaykh (q) said, “Whatever hadith you read, if it speaks about `adhaab, it takes away `adhaab from you, and if it mentions rahmah, then you are dressed with that rahmah.” So for this hadith, yaa Rabbee, dress us from Your Shade!

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

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.


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