Suhbah at Private Residence
(Shaykh Hisham reviews false advertisement from Bengali newspaper that features his photo with someone else as contact claiming to solve people’s problems for a fee.)
Today, I don’t want to say things that are controversial; in England we don’t do that, but Islam became now a business wherever you go and it is not as Allah (swt) said to the Prophet (s) in Holy Qur'an:
قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى
Qul laa asalukum `alayhi ajran illa al-mawadata fi 'l-qurba.
Say, “O People! I am not asking anything from you, no ajar, no wealth, but only to love my Family.” (Surat ash-Shoorah, 42:23)
You know it is haraam to pay the imam for his services, but now they argue how much he is going to be paid; he can be given a gift, yes, but not paid.
Some people like to see me, but some don't. (In previous months) I was scheduled to come here for Mawlid, but suddenly Mawlana Shaykh got sick and I went to Cyprus (to be with him).
(...) That they are willing to be speaking about the greatness of the Prophet (s), not only about love of the Prophet (s). I don't think people will not love the Prophet (s); even our "friends" love the Prophet (s). But your love is limited, although it is love, but above that, what Allah (swt) wants is that the Greatness of Muhammad (s) is recognized! Allah showed not only Ahlu as-Sunnah wa 'l-Jama`ah but all Prophets, “If Muhammad comes in your time, follow him, and his ummah is going to witness on you that you have delivered the message!” We know this because Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an, when Allah judges not Ahlu 'l-Islam but Ahlu 'l-Kufr, they will say, “We didn’t receive the message from Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) and Sayyidina Musa (a),” and the Prophet (s) will witness on them and the ummah will witness on them. We will discuss this after the prayer, inshaa-Allah.
(Suhbah resumes after salaat.)
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem:
أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
Ati`oollaaha wa ati`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.
Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:59)
The beginning of every event has to be with, “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem” and “Ati`oollaha wa ati`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.” Allah didn’t only say, Ati`oollaaha, “Obey Allah,” He said, Ati`oollaaha wa ati`oo 'r-Rasoola, “Obey Allah and obey Prophet (s),” and He said, wa ooli 'l-amri minkum, He didn’t say, “Ati`oo (obey) ooli 'l-amr,” but He added “ooli 'l-amr (plural),” to describe that there will be too many that you can follow, but if they are wrong don’t obey them, as obedience only came to Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s), man `ata rasool faqad `ata allah.
This is another verse, “Who obeys Prophet is obeying Allah (swt),” who is obeying Allah has to obey Prophet (s). And, “ooli 'l-amri minkum” came as an addition to show us that there is not one “ooli 'l-amr,” not just one sultan, but there are many sultans; it means there are many leaders and you follow the one who is right, and if he is not right there is no need to follow. You have the right to correct him, because if he is not right there is no need to follow him, because the order didn't come to “obey him” [it does not have the same weight as obeying Allah (swt) and the Prophet (s)].
And the Prophet (s) asked, “What is the best jihad, afdal al-jihad?”Today people think the best jihad is to kill someone. Go and kill your ego first! Before you tell others to go kill themselves or others, be an example and kill your self/ego!
The Prophet (s) said:
أفضل الجهاد كلمة عدل عند سلطان جائر
Afdal al-jihad kalimatu `adlin `inda sultaanin jaa'ir (in another version, aw kalimat al-haqq).
The best jihad is a word of justice (or a word of truth) before a tyrannical king.
( Related by Abi Sa`eed al-Khudree in Sunan at-Tirmidhi)
Kalimatu `adil, “the just word” is the best jihad, because when you say the word of haqq in front of the tyrant he is going to fight you, and Allah (swt) is saying through Prophet (s), “Don’t be afraid of him as the best jihad is to say the truth, even against yourself.” Also, Prophet (s) always taught the Sahaabah (r) to improve themselves, so the best jihad is to polish your inner self; you must correct yourself first and not say on your tongue different from what is in your heart; don’t be a chameleon changing colors, telling others, “I am with you!” while in your heart you hide something. Don’t be girgit. Sufi Saheb never changed! Multazam `Alaa.
و أفضل ما قلت أنا و النبيون من قبلي : لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له
Afdal maa qaal an-Nabi (s) wa ’n-nabiyoon min qablihi laa ilaaha illa-Llah.
The best of what the Prophet (s) and the Prophets before him said is “laa ilaaha illa-Llah.”
That is witness for you on Judgment Day; that is kalimatu ’l-haqq against baatil!
Look how merciful Allah (swt) is with us! On Judgment Day, Allah (swt) will bring the worst of Muslims and order the angels to open his records. Allahu Akbar. Yaa Rabbee maghfirah, tawbah yaa Allah, tawbah yaa Allah! What are you going to do when you go in the grave and the two angels come to question you? How many times we cheated and how many times we did wrong things! Laa hawla wa laa quwatta illa billaahi ‘l-`Aliyyi ‘l-`Azheem. We don’t think about that until we are near death. Allah orders the angels to open his records and he has ninety-nine records, each one bigger than from east to west. Every moment of your life is recorded, from when you came from womb of your mother until you die, and they put it on the Scale, which drops down as that man did all kinds of bad sins.
Then the order comes, “Take him to Hellfire!” At that moment one heavenly letter is delivered by an angel and placed on the right side of the Scale, and oooh, it is very heavy and all the sins will be thrown out because of that letter! What is written on it? Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammad Rasoolullah, one letter; that means one time in your life you said, “laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammad Rasoolullah,” and it saves you from Hellfire! So what do you think about the one who says it a hundred or a thousand times?
That is Allah's Mercy. And why did Allah give mercy to humanity? To indicate to humanity, “How much I Love My Beloved One, for whose sake I am drowning you in My Mercy as I made him The Merciful! We made you mercy, yaa Muhammad, and with that mercy I gave to you: Look after them!”
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
Wa maa arsalnaaka illa rahmatan li 'l-`alameen.
(O Muhammad!) We have sent you not except as a Mercy for all the Worlds.
(Surat al-Anbiya, 21:107)
And Prophet (s) is looking after the ummah, which we will not go into now. Allah (swt) wants to show the Greatness of His Beloved One, so why would He first create the Pen, the Throne, the Kursi or heavens and earth first? No, first He created what He loves most! Does Allah (swt) love the Pen or the Kursi more than He loves Sayyidina Muhammad (s)? Does He love the Throne more than He loves His Prophet (s)? Does Allah (swt) love the Kursi more than He loves Prophet (s)? If He loved the Pen more, He would have ordered the angels to make salawaat on the Pen, or if He loved the `Arsh more, He would have ordered the angels to make salawaat on the `Arsh, but He ordered them to make salawaat on the Prophet (s), no one else! That is proof that angels have been ordered by Kalaam al-Qur’an ghayrun makhlooq, the Uncreated Words of the Holy Qur’an! The Words of the Holy Qur’an are divine and not created; Allah (swt) did not create His Words, as they are His Words in His Essence and they were revealed to the Prophet (s). That is why in Arabic we say, Kalaamullaahi ‘l-Qadeem, “Allah’s Ancient Words.” They have no beginning and no end and no one knows their beginning or end. Asraar al-Qur’an, the Secrets of the Qur’an, are so many that no one can understand them.
Allah (swt) said to His angels:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Inna-Llaaha wa malaa'ikatahu yusalloona `ala 'n-nabiyy, yaa ayyuha ’Lladheena aamanoo salloo `alayhi was sallimoo tasleema.
Verily, Allah and His angels send praise on the Prophet. O Believers! Pray upon him and greet him.
(Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:56)
If the Prophet (s) was not already there, on whom are they going to make salawaat? So it means he, Sayyidina Muhammad (s), existed before the angels, as in the hadith of the Prophet (s):
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 bi-lafzh qaala: qultu ya Rasoolullah, bi-abee anta wa ummee, akhbirnee `ana awwala shayin khalaqahu ’Llaaha qabla’l-ashyaa? Qaala: ya 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 of 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)
And from the Prophet’s Light He created the `Arsh, the Qalam, the Kursi, samaawaat and araadeen, and the hadith continues for one page on what was created from that Light. Then He put that Light into Bahru ‘l-Qudrah, the Ocean of Power, where it began to turn. When a turbine turns it makes energy, so as the Prophet’s (s) Light was turning and turning so fast, energy appeared from that power, and from that expanding Light Allah (swt) created Creation!
When Allah (swt) created the Light of Prophet (s), He ordered the angels to make salawaat on him. Was that a continuous order or not? Allah (swt) said, “O My Angels, make salawaat!” Did Allah (swt) cancel that? Can you show me any verse from the Holy Qur'an that says salawaat has to be stopped? No, which means the angels are doing excessive salawaat on the Prophet (s)! Today they tell you, “Don’t do excessive salawaat as it will be shirk!”
So which angels are doing salawaat? Allah (swt) said, “Verily, Allah and His angels send praise on the Prophet.” This is a khitaab `umoomi, a common address, which means that order continues from the first angel created all the way to today and forever. Every angel that is being created is ordered to do non-stop salawaat on the Prophet (s), all of them!
Do you think Allah’s Greatness can be compared with anything? You can tell ten people you know to make salawaat, which they do, but after a while they get tired and stop. So you go to ten more and after a while they stop too. Does Allah (swt) need that? No! He told the angels, “Make salawaat!” and they are continuously making salawaat.
Moreover, if one angel says, “Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammadin wa `alaa aali Muhammadin wa sallim,” he just made one salawaat, but do you think his next salawaat will be the same? Allah (swt) doesn’t make copies, He doesn’t use a photocopy machine! The second salawaat is going to be different to the first and the third is going to be better than the ones before, so more and more secrets come from these salawaat. Also, from every salawaat Allah (swt) creates another angel making salawaat that is different than the salawaat of the other angel. Like this He creates another and another, from the second, the third, the fourth salawaat, continuously creating non-stop! Allah (swt) never said to them, “Stop!” Rather, He is saying, “Make salawaat!”
Allah (swt) ordered the angels to make sajda to Sayyidina Adam (a) and we all know that sajda was for Noor an-Nabi (s), which was in the forehead of the Prophet (s) as Allah (swt) said:
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ
Wa idh qulnaa li ’l-malaa’ikatu ’sjudoo li aadama fa sajadoo illa iblees.
And when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!" they all prostrated themselves, except Iblees. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:34)
They went into sajda for the Light of the Prophet (s), Fa sajadoo illa Iblees, “They made sajda except for Iblees.” What can you understand here; did you find any secret word? Other than “obedience,” Allah said, fa sajadoo, “They made sajda.” Read the Qur’an from beginning to end and tell me if you see any verse where Allah (swt) says to His Angels to raise their heads from sajda. Not one verse said, “Enough! Raise your head.” So what are they doing now? They are still in sajda! Look at Allah’s love to the Prophet (s) and how He is making His angels do non-stop salawaat on him, each of which has to be different from the other. They are not millions, billions, trillions, or zillions, there is no counting their numbers! They are all in sajda, not raising their heads out of respect to the Prophet (s).
Does the one to whom Allah (swt) gave such greatness have sins? Does the Prophet (s) make sins? Of course not! Allah (swt) gave that Greatness to Sayyidina Muhammad (s), but then why did He (swt) say in the Holy Qur'an:
إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُّبِينًا لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ
Inna fatahnaa laka fathan mubina, li-yaghfira lakallaahu maa taqaddama min dhanbika wa maa ta-akhkhar.
We have opened to you a distinguished, distinct opening so as to absolve you from all previous and future sins. (Surat al-Fath, 48:1)
Did the Prophet (s) have sins? Allah (swt) created him from His Light, and he was the first to be created, according to hadiths mentioned in the Musannaf of `Abdur Razzaq, known as “Hadith Jaabir,” how then, “I made for you a big opening to forgive you maa taqadama min dhanbika wa maa ta-akhkhar, from the former sins and from the latter sins.” It leaves you astonished, stunned in the mind; that is mind-boggling. How? Because Allah (swt) said to Sayyidina Muhammad (s), alam nashrah laka sadrak, “Why are you worried, yaa Muhammad? I am making your chest so expanded with good tidings for you, to make you happy!” wa wad`ana `anka wizrak, “and taking your sins from you.”
What sins, as also mentioned in the other ayah, maa taqadama min dhanbika wa maa ta-akhkhar? Prophet is infallible, he has no sins; therefore, this refers to the sins of the ummah. The Prophet (s) was worried about the ummah and he wants the ummah to be saved. This ayah shows us, “Don’t worry, yaa Muhammad, about your ummah! We know you are carrying their sins and giving them your `ibaadah.” Do you think the Prophet (s) is keeping his `ibaadah for himself? No he is giving it to the ummah. “Don’t worry, yaa Muhammad! Our Mercy is bigger! If you are worried about your ummah, I am expanding your chest and opening for you a big opening and I am forgiving for you their sins, what are before and what are after! Don’t worry.”
That is small taste of the Greatness of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! Awliyaullah are in awe to understand the reality of the Prophet (s), but whatever level the wali reaches in his ascension, he cannot understand the Greatness of the Prophet (s), and however much the Prophet (s) is ascending in the level of Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa, there is no way he can understand the Greatness of Allah (swt), Who is laa shareek lah, without partner! So the Greatness of the Prophet (s) is not shirk, as some think, but it shows the greatness of Maqaam al-`Uboodiyya, the Station of Servanthood that the Prophet (s) is entering, and that is what matters.
For awliyaullah it is mind-boggling and they cannot understand; it’s impossible. Who can understand what you cannot see? You cannot understand the level of the Prophet (s) or then you would be on his level, which you cannot be. But you can understand something from the different wisdoms put here and there, and you can bring an understanding that opens the minds of listeners to the reality of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)!
So awliyaullah have two kinds of characteristics that Allah gave them, as mentioned in the hadith of the Prophet (s):
من عادا لي وليا فقد آذنته بالحرب
Man `adaa lee waliyyan faqad aadhantahu bi ’l-harb.
(Allah [swt] said) Whoever comes against my wali, I declare war on him.
(Hadith Qudsi; Bukhari, from Abu Hurayrah)
So, “Don’t come against My awliya!” Allah (swt) mentioned that in the Holy Qur'an, how then can people deny it? In Islam, if you don’t understand something don’t deny it, but rather say, “I don’t understand it.” I was in a conference in which the president of one of the biggest universities of Islam in the Middle East spoke, and we became very friendly. He is a very big `alim, but he is humble. I asked him the tafseer of one ayah. He said, “O Shaykh Hisham, don’t put me in a corner as I am not a scholar in tasawwuf. I am head of the university and a scholar in fiqh, hadith and tafseer, but not in tasawwuf.” He is Shadhili, a tariqah person, but to show humbleness, he said, “I cannot get these secrets out.” He said, “I don’t have enough knowledge so I don’t deny, I accept.”
He didn’t say, “I am coming against a wali,” because Allah (swt) said, man a`daa lee waliyyan aadhantahu bi ’l-harb, “Whoever comes against My wali, I declare war on him.” Today they declare war on all awliya! They are blind; if you are blind, how can you see? You will deny everything, saying, “I see nothing, so it is not there!” but awliyaullah are there.
رب اشعث اغبر لو اقسم على الله لأبره
Rubba ash`ath aghbara law aqsama `ala ’Llaahi la-abbarah.
There may be a disheveled, dusty person who, if he swears an oath by Allah, Allah will fulfill it.
It means don’t look at the external image, look inside the hearts of saints. If he is with that image he says, “Yaa Rabbee!” and Allah (swt) says, “Yaa `Abdee!” So if you don’t know say, “I don’t know.” Allah (swt) said, “Whoever declares war on My wali, I declare war on him!” And the hadith continues:
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 yazaala `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 awliyaullah are of that type. Allah gave them two characteristics: if they have question either they ask the Prophet (s) in dream or in a vision. And this hadith declares they can see, as the Prophet (s) said, “If you approach Allah by voluntary worship, Allah will give you eyes with which you can see and ears with which you can hear.” Like when Sayyidina `Umar (r) spoke from the minbar in Madina and he was able to speak to Sariya in Damascus: he could see, speak and hear from far! So they can “see and hear,” awliya have that power, or they ask in a dream.
The evidence? We say the most exact book, after the Holy Qur'an, is Sahih Bukhari and everyone agrees Sahih Bukhari is the most authentic book after Holy Qur'an. How did Muhammad Isma`il al-Bukhari record ahadith? First before he classified a hadith in his book, before he went to sleep he made wudu, prayed two raka`ats and then slept, and he saw the Prophet (s) in the dream authenticating the hadith and telling him where to put that hadith, under which heading and title. That means the Prophet (s) reaches the ummah through dreams or visions!
If you see Prophet (s) you are happy to go tell people, “I saw Prophet!” is that not so? And sometime you might like to pretend you have seen him, but can you do that? No, you are unable, you might do anything in dunya, but when it comes like that you are afraid. So he is seeing the Prophet (s), and you cannot lie on the Prophet (s), you cannot say, I saw the Prophet (s) if it is not true, you will never dare to do that. So when awliyaullah say if you recite this salawaat in this form you will be rewarded as if you recited 100,000 salawaat that is authenticated by the Prophet (s). So there is connection from the Prophet (s) through dream to His Ummah. And even those who don't accept they might see the Prophet (s). If Allah wants them to see the Prophet (s) they see the Prophet (s). And they are guided and they are guided. So alhamdulillah that Allah made us from ummat an-Nabi (s).
And the most important is to observe kalimatu `adil `inda sultaanin jaa'ir, “The greatest jihad is to say a word of truth in front of a tyrant.” What is the worst that can happen? We lose our job. W’Allahi it is thousands of times better to lose our job than to lose Allah's forgiveness!
I was in Egypt and the Mufti of Egypt, `Ali Gomaa, told me, “Azhar University used to have one-thousand students studying tasawwuf classes and now we don’t have fifty people because donors don’t want that class to be taught.” Tasawwuf is Maqaam al-Ihsaan, the core of Islam. The structure of Islam is the Five Pillars and their plan is the Six Pillars of Imaan and the perfection of that is the Station of Ihsaan, to worship Allah as if we are seeing Him. The problem is, we are doing for dunya and not trying to do for akhirah.
And I end with this hadith. The Prophet (s) asked the Sahaabah (r), “Who is the muflis, bankrupted one?” and they said, “The one with no money.” He said, “No, it is the one with no `amal.” They said, “Even if he prayed and fasted?” He said, “Even if he prayed and fasted.” The meaning is through another hadith that people lose their `amal through backbiting and false rumors they spread for a person to be hated by the community, so Allah will take from the oppressor and give to whom he oppressed. And so even if he is an imaam, many imaams stand at the beginning and they are leaders of prayers, but although they are a leader they are gossiping.
This one (host) is `ateeq. He is the head of the Shuraa Council, the only one in 1996 who said to them "No, I don't accept," when we came to the Shuraa Council saying we want to hold the International Islamic Unity Conference and they refused to support it, but he said, “You don’t accept, but I accept and all of you are free to accept or not,” and all of them came to the conference! Al-Muflis, the one with no wealth, is not poor in dunya; he might be richest one, even an imaam.
May Allah support us. May Allah forgive us and take all difficulties from you and everyone.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
In Indonesia there at least twenty to thirty-thousand people at each suhbah. The last one I went to had 200,000 and the `aqida of Ahlu as-Sunnah wa 'l-Jama`ah is very strong there, and it is the biggest country with orphans, whom they are teaching to memorize the Holy Qur'an. One school that is owned by one of our students, who built it four years ago. The first building can take hundreds of students. Now he has seventeen buildings, and he has seven-thousand orphans other than normal students, and all of them must memorize the Holy Qur'an. We are living in America, saying it is the best place for the future of our children, while in Indonesia they are securing the future of their children in akhirah. Here they are getting the Bank of America!
Q & A
Q: Yaa Shaykh, who is head of tasawwuf? Where did it start from, who got inspiration to start this?
A: The Prophet (s) started it, to teach us to leave bad desires and go to good desires.
Q: Is there any hadith about this, mentioning it by name?
A: Allah (swt) mentioned it in the Holy Qur'an, “Take from their wealth and purify them. Verily your salaat is peace for them.” Imam Abu Hisham as-Sufi (r) was the first one to be called Sufi in the year 125. Imam Malik (r) taught him and Imam Malik took from the Prophet (s). Imam Abu Hanifa said, law laa sannataan la-halaka nu`man, “If not for the two years I spent with Ja`far as-Sadiq, Nu`man would have perished.”
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