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The Etiquette of Companionship with Awliya, Part 3 of 3

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

13 September 2009 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

A`oodhoo billahi min ash-Shaytaani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem.

Nawaytu ‘l-arba`een, nawaytu ‘l-`itikaf, nawaytu ‘l-khalwah, nawaytu ‘l-`uzlah,

nawaytu ‘r-riyaadah, nawaytu ‘s-sulook, lillahi ta`ala fee haadha ‘l-masjid.

It's not simple to have real respect for the association with the shuyukh, because our minds sometimes goes away, it cannot focus. Shaykh is speaking but you are thinking about something somewhere else. And as it is said, "at-tariqatu kullaha aadabun, Tariqah is full of good manners and discipline." If there is no good manners and discipline, then it's very difficult to understand the tariqah.


لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً وَكُـلاًّ وَعَدَ اللّهُ الْحُسْنَى وَفَضَّلَ اللّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا دَرَجَاتٍ مِّنْهُ وَمَغْفِرَةً وَرَحْمَةً وَكَانَ اللّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمً

Laa yastawi 'l-qa`idoona mina 'l-mu'mineena ghayru uli 'd-darari wa 'l-mujaahidoona fee sabeelillahi bi-amwaalihim wa anfusihim faddala Allahu 'l-mujahideena bi-amwaalihim wa anfusihim `ala 'l-qa`ideena darajatan wa kullan wa`ada Allahu 'l-husna wa faddala Allahu 'l-mujahideena `ala 'l-qa`ideena ajran `azheema. Darajatin minhu wamaghfiratan warahmatan wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman.

Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in faith) Allah has promised good, but those who strive and fight He has distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward, ranks specially bestowed by Him and Forgiveness and Mercy, for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Suratu 'n-Nisa, 4:95-96)

Allah said in the Holy Quran, “faddala Allahu 'l-mujahideena `ala 'l-qa`ideena ajran `azheema...." Allah (swt) has made the ones who are mujahideen; how do you explain mujahid? The one who goes if you have a fight against aggressors. You have to go against those aggressors who are attacking you. You cannot sit and say, “O, never mind.” As they said to Sayyidina Musa (a):

فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَاهُنَا قَاعِدُونَ

“Qaloo ya moosa inna lan nadkhulaha abadan maa daamoo feehaa fadhhab anta wa rabbuka fa-qaatilaa inna hahuna qa`idoona.”(5:24)

They said: "O Moses! While they remain there, never shall we be able to enter, to the end of time. Go thou, and thy Lord, and fight ye two, while we sit here (and watch)." (Suratu 'l-Ma'idah, 5:24)

“Go you and your Lord, your Creator, and fight, we are sitting here. When you finish, come to us we are waiting for you." Allah said in another verse, “Faddala Allah al-mujahideena `ala al-qa`ideena daraja...” Allah will reward more and give more to those who are fighting the aggressors, more than those who are sitting and not doing anything. So if we really understand this verse, adaab as-suhbah means you will never sit still; you will always keep mujahid fi sabil Allah, running in the way of Allah (swt) and the way of Prophet (s).

What is the meaning here really? It means the aggressors are within you. Those who are fighting you and destroying your kingdom, or your country, are your enemies and your enemies are within you. You are represented as a kingdom; your system, your form, your body, your mind, your heart, your organs. So you cannot sit still and say, “fadhhab anta wa rabbuka fa-qaatilaa..., go and fight with your Lord and I'm waiting for you." You cannot say, “I'm sitting." No. You have to go and fight these enemies. And who are these enemies? This is the adab of the suhbah - to see who the enemies within you are, in order to come with a pure heart, a clean heart, in the presence of the Shaykh. You cannot come with a dirty heart. So you have to struggle. Jihad is to struggle. The meaning of struggling is not to blow yourself up and commit suicide for no reason. Yes, blowing yourself up against your ego is accepted! It means don't give a chance to your ego for anything. Destroy it!

That is why Grandshaykh (q), may Allah bless his soul, said, “You have four enemies within you." So how do you come to the suhbah when your heart is full of these enemies, dirty enemies, which are against Allah and His Prophet? (1) Nafs, ego or selfishness; (2) dunya, worldly desire or to love this dirty dunya with its temptations; (3) Hawa, bad desires; (4) Shaytan, devils, the evil within you. How are you coming and carrying these four enemies for Allah and His Prophet(s) and you are saying, “I'm sitting and listening?” So what do you need to do? You have to struggle against them. You have to make jihad against these enemies. These are the real enemies.

Prophet (s) built Sahaba against these enemies for 13 years in Mecca. 13 years before going to Medina. When he built his Sahaba on understanding of who the enemies are, then he went to Medina and established his state, kingdom, and he ordered his Sahaba, “Now, if anyone comes from outside who is an aggressor, you can fight. But first you have to fight yourself.”

And this can be explained in the story of Sayyidina `Ali, karram Allahu wajhu wa radi Allahu `anhu wa `alayhi 's-salaam. So the importance is to struggle against yourself when you are sitting in the presence of your Shaykh. If you cannot and you say, “I cannot do that”, try to overcome it. You will, slowly. But if you’re coming and sitting and you don't care, we consider that to be qa'ideen. Faddala Allah al-mujahideena `ala al-qaideena daraja... Those who are sitting and not doing anything to destroy these enemies from within their hearts, are qa`idoon, meaning they are not trying to do any progress. Those who are trying to struggle against their egos in the absence of the shaykh or in the presence of the shaykh, are considered mujahideen. Allah likes them more than those who are sitting. When you try to be (mujahid), tariqah will teach you how to fight against yourself.

So Sayiddina `Ali (r) (a), when Prophet (s) built the Sahaba to fight against themselves first before going and fighting others. They were tortured 13 years in Mecca. Why? Do you think Sayiddina Muhammad (s) was not able to go to Medina from the beginning, away from this kind of torture and abuse? But he wanted the Sahaba to learn to be patient, to learn how to fight their egos. Look at Sayiddina Bilal (r) when they were torturing him. Torturing, torturing, torturing and what did he do at the end? What was he saying? He was calling on his Lord. He was struggling. And with that struggle that Prophet (s) put in his heart he was not surrendering to their torture. He kept saying, “Ahad, Ahad." He was in maqaamu 'l-mushahadah. Ahad is the maqaamu 'l-mushahadah. The Beautiful Name, the Unique One, no resemblance. “Lam yalid wa lam yoolad wa lam yakun lahu kufoowan ahad. Qul huwa Allahu Ahad." `Ammar ibn Yassir (r), when they were torturing him, was not able to take it anymore. What did he do? He spoke against Prophet. Under what? Under torture. That's why if you look, Sayiddina Bilal (r) was struggling not to say it. He kept saying, “Ahad, Ahad." He wants Allah and His Prophet. Sayiddina `Ammaar ibn Yassir (r) was not able. It was too much torturing so he came and he said something that was not nice. They left him alone because he surrendered. The other one did not surrender to them. But Allah excused him in Holy Qur’an because he was under torture. So our duty is to torture ourselves. Not to need everything coming to you on a golden plate. No. You have to come against your ego in order to listen to the shaykh. You have to not listen to the ego. If you listen to your ego then you are not listening to the shaykh.

So Sayiddina `Ali (r) (r), when he was called. At that time, when they go for a fight, at the beginning of the fight they go one by one; one against one so you can see each other. So that wrestler from the kuffar group, unbelievers, was calling on Sayiddina Ali, “The one that they say he is 'asadullahi 'l-ghaalib', the Victorious Lion, to me he is like a woman. Let him come to me I want to fight with him." It means like a woman, no power. (Turns to Imam Sahib) Masha'Allah you are stronger – than your wife (laughter). “Where is that one who calls himself a lion, a victorious lion? Let him come. I will show him.” Big wrestler. So Prophet (s) didn't want to send Sayiddina `Ali because he had a problem with his eye. But since that one was insisting, so Prophet said, “You go.” He read on his eye and he sent him. And they were with the sword and Sayiddina `Ali in a few minutes, put him down and sat on his chest. According to the law of war at that time, if you put your enemy down you can kill him. So he sat on him and took his sword and wanted to cut his neck. That wrestler spit on Sayiddina `Ali. He filled his mouth with saliva and spit on Sayiddina `Ali. All that reflection of kufr from within that man coming on the face of that pure person, the cousin of Prophet(s) and the son-in-law that Allah described him as the Victorious Lion. All that bad smell of kufr coming from within that person came on the face of Sayyidina `Ali. Do you allow anyone to spit on your face? What would you do? You don't know.

So what did Sayiddina `Ali (r) do? He dropped his sword and moved. He said, “I'm not killing you; go, you are free." Now according to the rule of law there at that time, that is a shame on the wrestler. He cannot accept that. He has to feel that he died for the sake of his people.

He said, “No, you have to kill me."

He (r) said, “I'm not killing you."

He said, “No! You have to tell me why. You were able to cut my neck and now you say you don't want to kill me”?

He said, “O wrestler, O brother!” You see, the secret of guidance. “I was killing you for Allah's sake. I was fighting with you because you asked me. I won and for Allah's sake I was fighting. But now if I kill you, it will be for my ego's sake, because when you spit on my face you made me very angry. And now if I will kill you it will be to make my anger down, to satisfy my ego, so I cannot. Our Prophet didn't teach us that way. He said, 'Don't fight for your ego, fight for Allah (swt)'. So I cannot fight you anymore."

He said, “Is this Islam?”

He (r) said, “Yes, this is the core of Islam."

He said, “Ash-hadu ann laa ilaha illa-Llah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah.”

You cannot fight except against your ego. Your ego is what creates troubles within you. So Grandshaykh (q), may Allah bless his soul, said, “The power of one of these four enemies that we have mentioned, they have so much power that they can take a human being into destruction." That's what you see today. All of these nuclear weapons are for what? To take humanity into destruction. Allah wants to show, “OK, you think you know more? You are going to destroy yourself." That's why they are fighting now and they are worried about the countries that are trying to get the nuclear weapons, because they are going to destroy themselves and destroy the others.

So these four enemies, he said, are taking humanity into destruction and every one of these enemies are stronger and more powerful than 7 million unbelievers coming together against you. One of these four enemies is stronger than 7 million unbelievers trying to destroy you. One of them, at a time. And each one of them at a time is using 800 forbiddens. There are 800 forbiddens that Prophet(s) warned his Sahaba from falling into. One of these forbidden 800, which are under every enemy and under these four enemies, is stronger and more powerful than 7 million unbelievers that put their forces together to come against you. So that's why don't underestimate the power of the ego. You have to take it away from yourself by continuously doing your awrad daily. This is the way awliyaullah can guide you to be against that. And then, he said, the hadith of Prophet (s), “al- jihad ul-muttasil `ala wa `azham min al-jihad al-munfasil.” The jihad that is always connected and continuously connected is far better than the jihad that you do against an aggressor and you finish with it. So there are two types of jihad in this meaning here. One is continuous, which is the jihad against your ego. This is far better, a`zham, greater, than the jihad that is done one time and stopped, meaning against an enemy. Its one fight and then they finish. But this continuous one is never ending. Because it is always within your veins. It is always within yourself. It is always within your blood. It is always within your organs. It is always within your self, your mind, your heart. That continuous struggle against your self is far better and greater to Allah (swt) than the struggle, the jihad that stops and ends quickly.

So he related a story of Imamul 'Azam, Abu Hanifatul Nu'maan. He was with his students walking, moving, and he had the company of some of awliyaullah at that time. There were so many awliya at that time. Like Dawood at-Ta`y, Sulayman ad-Daaraani, Abu Ja`far al-Haddad, that even Ibn Taymiyya agreed on these awliya and mentioned them in his books. He went into a journey, si’ahah, like Mawlana after the suhbah everyday, he goes around. Why do they go around? What is the wisdom of it? “Man ahya sunnati `inda fasaada ummatee fa lahu ajru mi`ata shaheed.” People wonder why the Shaykh is going around. They say, “O it's because he's sitting all day, he needs to go around." It's not true. “Who revives my Sunnah when people leave my Sunnah - rejuvenates my Sunnah - Allah will reward him the reward of 100 martyrs.” Ihya` as-Sunnah, to revive the Sunnah, for awliyaullah is an obligation. It is not considered voluntary for them. No, it is an obligation for them. Prophet's (s) Sunnah is to go out with the Sahabah daily to learn knowledge from everything around them. To understand why Allah created them? And everyday new knowledge comes. Not only that, but by their moving around they reflect the blessings that are coming on Prophet (s). He(s) reflects it on the people he's seeing. So awliyaullah, from that perspective, are reviving the Sunnah as they are going around. Wherever they move there is a blessing coming and reflecting that power that Allah gave to them upon the people around them. So si’ahah, journey, traveling, or taking what do you call it? It's not a walk, a promenade, a stroll. Going around is a way of reviving the Sunnah of Prophet(s).

So Imam Abu Hanifa was with his students and some awliyaullah were accompanying him. He knows that they are awliyaullah. Like he said, “If not for two years I spent with Jafar as-Sadiq (q), the grandson of Prophet (s) and one of the 12 Imams, I would have been lost. He taught me spirituality.” So, they were going around and (distorted sound) on their way walking - either they were walking or riding on their horses, donkeys or mules, or whatever they had - and they listened to the stories, or to what Imam Abu Hanifa was teaching them and telling them. And as they were moving they saw seven young ones coming from the other side. As soon as the Imam and the students faced each other, they said, “As-salamu `alaykum.” It is a Sunnah. Today, from the hadith of Prophet that we mentioned yesterday, “ifshoo as-salaam min assunah” to say, “As-salamu `alaykum” is from the Sunnah. Today you cannot say it because as Prophet said the condition of the Last Days, the sign, is you don't say salaam except for ma`rifah, to the one whom you know. Before you give to the one whom you know and the one whom you don't know. Now, all of you, go on the street and if Muslims see you, they will say, “As-salamu `alaykum” because all of you are dressing the Sunnah dress; wearing the loose dress, hat, turbans. You can be identified easily. Today, Muslims cannot be identified anymore. They lost their identity because they look like other people and you cannot differentiate between them now. So how will you say salam to them? They lost that Sunnah also. One after one.

So as soon as they saw the Imam, Imam Abu Hanifa, they said salam. And Imam Abu Hanifa answered them with a better salaam. He asked them, “Where are you going?" They didn't know that he is the Imam. They said, “We are going to see the Imam, Imamul A`zham, the Greatest Imam…” because at his time he was the greatest of a'immah, “...in order to seek knowledge in his presence, for the sake of Allah and His Prophet (s).” He said to them – look, an Imam is speaking with young children maybe 15 or 16 years old. He doesn't say, “Who cares for them. Let someone else speak with them." No, he makes sure that he follows the Sunnah of the Prophet. Prophet used to speak with the elder just as he speaks with the younger.

He asked one of them, “What are you asking to learn from the Imam”? One of them said, “I want to learn at-tafseer from the Imam”, the explanation of Holy Quran and hadith. The second one said, “I would like to learn hadith from the Imam." The third one said “I would like to learn fiqh from the imam.” And Imam said, “No problem.” Then one of them said, “I want to learn something from the Imam that allows me to feel a taste of Islam. Tadhdhawaq al-Islam. I want to taste the sweetness of Islam. That's why I'm coming to the Imam.” And the Imam looked at him and he said, “Faddala Allah al-mujahideena `ala al-qa`ideena daraja...." He read that ayah of Allah (swt). Faddala Allah al-mujahideena `ala al-qa`ideena, "Allah is more favorable with those who struggle for their knowledge more than those who are sitting and not thinking about learning. They only know how to pray." This is what we see today. They pray their prayers, they fast their fast, and that's it. What else do they do? They don't study, they don't learn.

And he asked one of the awliya, Dawood at-Tayy, “What do you understand to be the difference between al-mujahid wa 'l-qa`id; the one who is going for jihad, struggling against himself, and the one who is sitting and doesn't care?” He said, “The meaning of mujahid, to me, is the one who revived the Sunnah of Prophet. Even one Sunnah, and he is considered mujahid fee sabeel Allah. And the one who declines a Sunnah is considered, to me, qa'id, sitting and not caring for anything. So it means the difference is big. The one that is mujahid, the martyr; the meaning of the martyr; shaheed, mujahid, is the one who is struggling to revive one Sunnah. And he who revived one Sunnah will get the benefit and reward of 100 shaheed . That, to me, is the meaning of the one who is struggling in Allah's Way. But the one who is sitting, is the one who is careless of reviving the Sunnah of Prophet (s).”

Yesterday, Mawlana Shaykh (q), may Allah give him long life, was strictly, in his suhbah, guidance, asking the Muslims, “Don't say you lost respect. Don't complain that you are under the feet of western nations. Don't say you are humiliated...” he is telling Muslims, “...because you humiliated the Sunnah of Prophet (s). You canceled the Sunnah of Prophet (s). You destroyed the Sunnah of Prophet (s). You are not following it and this is a warning for you...” Because they say in Arabic, if you see your neighbor's son crazy; crazy meaning going astray; you like it and you don't care. But if you see your son going astray, you cannot be careless. You have to pay attention. You have to guide that child. You cannot leave it. You are leaving. You came against yourself by leaving the Sunnah of Prophet (s) and you are coming and complaining? Prophet (s) said in many ahadith. He said, “I'm speaking about that one hadith because this is your identity. You lost your identity. That is your identity, that's how people know you are Muslims. They have to see it.” Today they give you your I.D., to see your identity.

Muslims have an identity that you can check, when you see them. It's their turbans, al-amaa'imu tijaan al-`Arab. Turbans are the crowns of Arabs, of Muslims in general. Allah gave you a crown and you refused it. What is better than a crown? What do kings put on their heads? A crown! What did mala`ika come with fi ghazwat Badr? When Allah sent mala`ika to support Sahaba, they came with crowns, with turbans on their heads. Musawwameen, like if you can call it an extended piece of light behind angels. This means, O Muslims, this is the identity of support. The angels came with that to show that this is the identity that Allah likes. This is the identity against kufr, the unbelief. It is to show your identity that you are a believer. He gave hijab for ladies, He gave turbans for men! Don't say only hijab for ladies. You have to wear turbans or else you are losing a main practice of Islam. As it is not allowed for ladies to take away their hijab, it is not allowed for men to take away their honors which Allah gave to them, that turban, and imitating others. And the example of that is the identity that angels came with turbans when they were fighting against the kuffar. It is a verse in Holy Quran. They lost it and now you are coming and complaining? Al 'ama`imu tijaan al-'arab; turbans are crowns. When Allah sends angels with these crowns it means they are full of manifestations and blessings. You cannot say, “No, there is no blessings with it." Allah would not have mentioned it in Holy Quran, “musawwameen.” He mentioned it.

So, wa man wada'ha wada'hu Allah; who puts it down, Allah puts him down. Wa man a`azza a`azzahuLlah; whoever puts it up, Allah will put him up. Wada`a Allahu `izzahum! Allah will put down ,as Prophet (s) said, “man wada`ha wada`a Allahu `izzahum”; whoever puts their turbans down, Allah will put their dignity, their power, and their greatness down. That's why we are down today. Don't come and complain. That is jihad. Jihad is not to go blow yourself up. Jihad is to show your identity. You are Muslim. They only come against ladies that they don't have their hijab. You also don't have your hijab on your head! You have to be an example. Not that you want the ladies to be an example for you. They are an example for each other and you are an example for men; for each other. So reviving one of the Sunnah of Prophet (s) will raise you up. We lost that idea. So what happened to us? We came down! Lowest possible! You are afraid - not afraid - you feel shy to say you are Muslim! They are changing their names! People are coming to the West and changing their names. They are shy, I don't like to say they are afraid; no, they are shy with their names. Put your name and don't care! If they like it, they like it. If they don't like it, this is you.

And Dawud at-Ta`y answered, “If you as a person will come against your ego, against your four enemies, only for a blink of an eye - not continuous but for a blink of an eye, you are considered to be a mujahid.” You are considered to be under the tajalli of that verse, faddala Allah al-mujahideena `ala al-qa`ideena daraja; Allah will give you honor, and reward you more than He is giving to the one who is sitting. If you are coming against your four enemies only for a blink of an eye.

And he said that the meaning of mujahid is the one who struggles continuously. It is as if he struggled continuously for 40 years against unbelievers! He will get that tajalli and he will get that reward for a blink of an eye of struggling!” And the Imam said,”Ya Dawud...” - Dawud at-Ta`y was one of the awliya and was with him - “...Where are you getting this knowledge from? It didn't open to me." See how the awliyaullah and the imams used to go together to learn from each other? He said, “I'm taking it from the hadith of Prophet (s), 'al- jihad al-muttasil a'la wa `azham min al-jihad al-munfasil ', continuous jihad is higher in level than the jihad that stops; discontinues. That means jihad against your four enemies will go all the way until you die. Because the four enemies are within you and they are going to come against you until you die. That is the jihad that awliyaullah like...”, and he said, “...that is my understanding."

We will continue later insha-Allah. Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfiq, bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.

Remind me, I want to explain about Qubbatu 'l-Arzaaq, the Dome of Provisions. This came first but we have to finish this. Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfeeq. May Allah forgive us; we are weak servants and helpless. May Allah grant us these rewards. He is Generous. May Allah grant us without doing anything. What can we do? Even in a blink of an eye we cannot do! So may Allah grant us, with the barakah of Mawlana Shaykh (q) and barakah of Grandshaykh (q) and the blessings of Prophet (s), Allah will grant us that. But you have to know that these are the words of shuyukh. There is light in it. If you listen to it, it's enough to raise you up to that level, insha’Allah. This is what we hope and this is what we believe, that our Lord is so generous with us that He will grant us without asking.

Bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.