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Hierarchy of Saints Series, Vol 23

The Five Principles of Maqam at-Tawheed

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

4 September 2010 Burton, Michigan

`Asr / As-Siddiq Mosque Ramadan Series 2010

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`ala fee haadha 'l-masjid.

Ati`ullaha wa ati`u 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (4:59)

Allahuma salli ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa `ala ali Sayyidina Muhammad.

We said in the previous session that when someone says, la ilaaha illa-Llah, it means he is denying everything in this dunya and confirming illa-Llah, the greatness of the Creator. Awliyaullah say not only are they denying what is in dunya, but also they are not even looking at what is in akhirah, as what they like is only to be in the Divine Presence. To them there is nothing except Allah's existence and nothing else for them exists! As Rabi`a al-`Adawiyya said, "O Allah! I am not worshipping You for Paradise and not from fear of Hellfire, but I am worshipping You for You Only!"

Today they have taught them, not tasty sufi speech on their tongues, but to say always "I", or "my students", "my this and that". It is better to say "our". People might say, "Why use plural?" That is because it avoids selfishness and egoism. When you say "we" it is many people, but "I" is one person. Today they put this in their heads with technology. Today there is the iPhone (ego phone) and the iPad. Why didn't they write "eyePhone"? That is Shaytan always making us say, "I". As we said before, in Maqaamaat at-Tawheed, you have to drop the three ya's: "lee, wa bee, wa minnee". Lee means, "for me," bee means, "by me" or "through me", and minnee means, "from me." That means everything, "from me" and "to me". No, it is "from You to You, yaa Rabbee! My appearance in this dunya is from You, and my bad `amal is from me, and my good `amal is from You!"

Don't say everything is "from me." Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an, 'Who cares for my wife and my children? Only myself.' Those are the traces that go with you all the way to Day of Judgement. Prophet (s) doesn't say "myself," but he says, "ummati, my nation," and awliya say "my students" to take to the presence of Prophet (s).

يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ الْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ وَأُمِّهِ وَأَبِيهِ وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَبَنِيهِ لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ شَأْنٌ يُغْنِيهِ

yawm yafirru 'l-marru min akheehi wa ummihi wa abeehi wa saahibatihi wa baneeh. likull imrin yawmaydhin shaanun yughneeh.

On the Day when a man flees from his brother, and his mother, and his father, and his wife, and his children! Every man that Day

will have concern enough to make him heedless (of others). (80:34-37)

Likull imrin yawmaydhin shaanun yughneeh. Everyone is fearful for himself, if he is going to be punished or not, and it is a fearful day! "On that Day everyone must follow My Prophet. Follow the Way I showed through My messengers." Wa yawma yufirru min akheehi wa ummihi wa abeehi wa saahibatihi, wa baneeh. "When you run away from your brother and father and mother and your wife and your children, also you run away from them in dunya when you are busy with Your Lord!" You want to be cleaned in dunya of everything but attachment to Allah.

That is why they went to Rabi'a al-Adawiyya (r) and said, "Why don't you marry?" she said, "I don't have time." She ran away. Even though it is an Islamic obligation, after her husband died she ran from her family, saying, "I am busy repenting to my Lord. My istighfaar needs another istighfaar to be accepted." As she did 100 istighfaar, it came to her heart that they were not accepted and she did another 100 istighfaar to make the previous istighfaar accepted.

So never say lee, "to me," and never say bee, "by me" and never say minnee, "from me." It is more respectful to speak in the third person; it is higher adab.

Man waqa` bi bihar at-tawheed ma yazdaad fee ayaamin illa muroor `atasha.

Who falls or leaves everything and left the love of dunya behind his back, (these are awliyaullah) they jump into the sweet oceans of tawheed, unity, where you will never quench your thirst; you will always be thirsty, like someone who is taking salt and is always thirsty.

That is why of the five pillars of Islam--Shahadah, Salaat, Zakat, Hajj and fasting in Ramadan--in the last you get thirsty. Allah (swt) said:

الصيام لي وأنا أجزي به

as-sawmu lee wa anaa ajzee bih.

Fasting is for Me and I will reward it.

"Ramadan is for Me; you are fasting for Me and getting thirsty for Me in Oneness Oceans. I will dip you in and dress you in oceans of tawheed." Allah (swt), in His wisdom, made us feel that thirst in our day in order to be sabab. This causes anyone fasting Ramadan to be dipped in the Ocean of Oneness without feeling anything. On the Day of Judgment he will come out dressed in that dress of a real muwahhid, not a fake muwhahhid who professes by tongue only. You are a real one, as you were dipped in the Ocean of Oneness. That is big and not small; that is something you cannot understand. You are going to be dressed by Allah (swt) in the dress of tawheed. Ayna 's-saa'imoon, "They will be called, 'Where are those who are fasting?'" and they enter a door to Paradise called "ar-Rayyan," which means "quenched thirst." Awliya like to quench their thirst in the oceans of tawheed, to appear as a wali on the Day of Judgment. And you don't know you are a wali.

Shaykh al-Husayri (r) said there are five principles in tawheed: Raf` al-hadath, the same word used for the shower you take after you experience your desires, but it has a different meaning. It means that Allah (swt) does not increase or decrease. Hadath is something that happens daily. For example, you go to work, you meet a person, or you’re given a higher rank. Your life is changing, you are becoming older day after day. Raf` al-hadath means "to keep in mind that Allah (swt) never changes." He is Allah, not more and not less. The second principle is, wa ifraadu 'l-qidam, meaning, "There is only One that is post-Eternal, ancient, the only One that is today as He will be tomorrow, only One that never changes, without beginning or end." These two are very important: there are no changes for Allah (swt), He is as He was before, now and forever; and, He is the only One like that.

The third principle is hajur al-ikhwan, to be away from everyone else, “Leave the ikhwan and come to My Door. Don’t look behind you.” An example is, Sayyidina Bayazid al-Bistami (q) was walking with his followers when he saw a lady coming from the other side, and as soon as they approached he hugged her. They were near a house and he entered the house with the lady and closed the door. His followers fell into speculation, saying, “What happened? Is this the conduct of a wali? This is not a wali, he did something wrong.” Except there was one person, who stood at the door waiting for his shaykh to come out.

Sayyidina Bayazid said, "What are you doing, my son?"

He said, “I am waiting to do khidmah."

“Where are your brothers?”

He said, "My job is only to be waiting, ready to serve you, and it is not my job to know what my brothers are doing. My entire focus is on you, exclusively!"

Sayyidina Bayazid said, “Come inside, my son. The others had bad thoughts, but this is my sister. You are the only one that understood and you didn’t mind whether this was my sister or not. You were only concerned about when I would open the door and when you could do khidmah. Bring two witnesses and marry my sister.”

So that mureed became his khalifah. This is a very important lesson: don't play with awliya! If that happened to us, we would only look backward (to find dirt), to backbite as much as we could. Hajur al-ikhwan is to be concerned with only yourself, not with others.

The fourth principle is mufaaraqat al-awtaan, "to leave your birth country or what you inhabit"; leave your "inn,” and to go to Maqaam at-Tawheed, which is la ilaaha illa-Llah. The Prophet (s) said, hubb al-awtaan min al-eemaan. "Love of country is from faith," but you try to leave even that. You want no connection to the country to which you are going, so most of your connections are to the country from where you came. “What is your watan?” they ask. Wattin qahraba al-manzil, “Find a house to put your electricity or telephone bill.” Wattin means “find a bank” to pay your bills today. You don’t have to go every month to pay, but you find a house to take that responsibility. Separate with all these connections to the watan you inhabit. Also, your soul is inhabiting your body, so it means, "Leave your ego and free your soul from your connection to the desires of the body." Today people are so connected to their bodies and how beautiful they look, jogging, going to the gym, where there are too many shaytans! Why do they want to become healthy?

La yastaakhiroona sa`atan wa laa yastaqdimoon, “For every nation there is a time to go,” and every person is a watan, a nation. Each cell in the body is like a huge factory, with its own defenses and production. Allah (swt) counted them and knows everything about every cell, and they are all coming to His Presence on the Day of Judgment. Don’t jog and go to hell’s gyms. As it says in the first verse we read, you are not going to be delayed one hour or moved forward one hour. If you run from here to Antarctica, you are not decreasing or increasing your life. Don’t bother to run, but also don’t judge those who are running because Allah (swt) made them run, to make them healthy. And if you don’t run, then Allah (swt) made you like that, to be healthy in that way. People are judging each other, and they are coming to me and complaining. Why? Allah knows what is with you and what is not with you!

The fifth and last principle is wa nusyan ma `ulim, "to forget what is known". Whatever you have achieved in your dunya, forget about it as it will not benefit you. That is why awliya forget about dunya. They live in the moment and they don’t mention what was before, like someone who lost their memory; awliya have heavenly Alzheimer's Syndrome! Don’t bother with it, but bother yourself to say, Laa ilaaha illa-Llah. Dunya keeps you from seeing shawaariq al-anwaar, the sunrise of heavenly lights.

Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, the ghawth of his time, may Allah sanctify his soul, said, “How dare you say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, when your heart is full with many ‘ilahs,’ gods!” For a wali to say that is big. Kayfa taqoolu laa ilaha illa-Llah wa qalba mamlu'a bi'l-aaliha, "How are you sanctifying and praising; how are you worshipping?" Because you are not saying, la ilaaha illa-Llah in a real sense; it is blended with the idols within you! It is like you are really saying, "there is no ilah" except you, like the Quraysh before Islam worshipped their idols. Don’t say to your idols, “There is no god except you, my idols!” Sayyidina Abdul Qadir was saying, “Don’t put any statues in your heart.” Love of money or love of self are statues that block the real tawheed. La yanfa`uk tawheed al-lisan wa anta `al shirk, "It is not only speaking of papers, but when awliya speak, they dress us with whatever they are speaking." Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q) said that, to dress anyone who reads that and to take out the statues of the heart and replace them with the real meaning of la ilaaha illa-Llah.

Awliya are not playing. They remind you of your mistakes, but they also take away the wrong you are doing. The normal scholar will remind you, but will not take away that mistake of having idols in your heart. That is not going to give you benefit, but it is like making prayer on a dirty carpet; you must first clean it. So it is not going to benefit you to have a correct word with a dirty heart. For awliya, dirtiness is not love of dunya; they already left that. For them, dirtiness is love of Akhirah. As Rabia al-Adawwiya (r) said, “O Allah! I am not worshipping You for love of Paradise nor from fear of Hell, but for love of You.” That is the reality of love, not like the cliche when they say, “Islam is peace and love.” The reality of love is to go through the path to ma`rifatullah, and then you see what people cannot see and hear what people cannot hear.

An example is, even if you bring all the best singers and musicians in this world, they cannot be compared with the singing of one angel. When you begin to say truly, la ilaaha illa-Llah, the tasbeeh of angels comes to your ears and you become drunk from it! It is said that if one houri of Paradise would show her finger, from the beauty of her finger and its beautiful perfume, all in dunya would faint! What is perfume? Today they sell you tons of perfumes, but awliya give you real perfume: to say, la ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah. You cannot say la ilaaha illa-Llah without saying Muhammadun Rasoolullah. That is our safety. Whoever wants to get upset about this, let them do so!

Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q) said, Al-qalb al-muwwahid yudnee shaytan, “The heart that is always mentioning the Oneness of Allah will exhaust his Shaytan.” The one whose heart is always in tawheed, always saying la ilaaha illa-Llah, that one’s shaytan will get exhausted. That is killing him and it is a sword against him. The mushrik yudnihi shaytan, you know, the one who makes partners with Allah (swt), it will make this shaytan exhausted. Don’t say, "I am not mushrik." Yes, we are. “Of course we are not mushrik! We are Muslims!” But that is not what Sayyidina Abdul Qadir (q) is saying. He is saying that the heart that has no one other than Allah (swt) will harm shaytan. The heart that doesn’t mention any except Allah, and the full heart that is in that tawheed makes his shaytan exhausted. But the one who makes his heart open for all kinds of worldly desires, and also heavenly desires, that heart is doing partnership with Allah (swt) so his shaytan will exhaust him. That is why Muslims are exhausted today. Muslims are exhausted because we are molding elements together, like molding a statue from that clay you form. You are molding a statue, which is dunya, together with pure heavenly Paradise elements and you are trying to put it into a statue. That is why your prayers have to be for Allah (swt).

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاء رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

Qul innamaa 'anaa basharun mithlukum yoohaa ilayya annamaa ilaahukum ilaahun waahidun faman kaana yarjoo liqaa rabbihi fal-ya`mal `amalan saalihan wa laa yushrik bi-`ibadati rabbihi ahada.

Say (O Muhammad), "I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your God is One God (Allah), so whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (Surat al-Kahf, 18:110)

Prophet (s) is so humble! With all that Allah (swt) gave him, he said only, "But I am different in that it is revealed to me." What is different? That means a huge difference, someone who can receive wahiy.

Prophet (s) is telling us, "Don’t worship nicely and then run to your work and not keep worship in your heart." Deal with dunya matters, yes, but don't leave worship from your heart. The one who likes to meet with His Lord on the Day of Judgment, let him do a good `amal. What is that? To put no partner with His Lord. Don’t put yourself with your Lord, saying, “I am an engineer, I am a doctor, I am a carpenter.” Do you do that? Your honor is not with what you do, nor from any degree, but only Allah’s honor is what counts! Can you go to Allah (swt) on Judgment Day and when you are called, you say, “O, my Lord! One second, I have a degree.”

“What is your degree?”

“I am a doctor," or, "I am a carpenter.”

“We don’t need a doctor or a carpenter here.”

“I am a lawyer.”

“We don’t need one, there are no disputes here.”

“What do we need then?”

“We need to have no partner to Allah (swt).”

What does it say in Holy Qur’an about those who refute`ism adh-dhaat?

قُلِ اللّهُ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

qul Allah wa dharhum fee khawdihim yal`aboon.

Say "Allah," then leave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling. (al-An`am, 6:91)

Say “Allah” and leave them in their playing. They say don’t say, "Allah," so then what else is there to say, "Shaytan"? What should you say when you have a problem? Do you say, “Yaa Hollywood”?

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ

wa maa muhammadun illa rasool. qad khalat min qablihi 'r-rusul. afaman aw qutil anqalabtum `ala aa`aqaabiku wa man yanqalib `alá `aqibayhi falan

yadurra allaha shay'aan wa sayajzee allahu ash-shaakireen.

Muhammad is no more than a messenger; many messengers passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah will reward to those who are grateful. (Aali Imran, 3:144)

At the Station of Qaaba Qawsayn, Prophet (s) saw Allah (swt)! As Imam Nawawi (r) said, "We have not yet reached Maqaam at-Tawheed; the only one to reach it is the Prophet (s)." He is the only one to reach the Divine Presence, the reality of reaching qaaba qawsayni aw adna. And the mushrik, one who puts partnership of dunya with akhirah, is not yet outside awhaal ad-dunya and will be exhausted by Shaytan. There is not one person outside that, even who has ten or one-hundred billion dollars, multiple luxury homes and cars. Everyone has a problem and no one can say, "I have no problem." Because Allah (swt) is teaching you, when you have problems you should remember Him, but you don’t. When you have no problems, you reached Maqaam at-Tawheed; like awliyaullah don’t care about dunya, who dies, dies. What is better, to be in dunya or akhirah? So if someone comes to a wali and says, “I am sick, I am in a problem. Make du`a.” What du`a? Go to Akhirah, it is better. But with their mercy they make du’a, and their du’a is strong.

May Allah (swt) cure us and take away the shirk from our hearts. Say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah. Say, Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. Say, Qul hu allahu ahad. (Surat all-Ikhlas) If you recite it daily you will be saved, despite whatever comes from difficulties and miseries. They dress you with that; the awliya dress you with the reality of tawheed. They are not like you. They don’t speak to give you advice. Even if no one is going to say, laa ilaaha illa-Llah and no one is going to say Surat al-Ikhlas, they dress you. They already have the dress and they dress you one by one. Whether you do this or not, they have to dress you since you took their hands. They are under that responsibility. They have to dress you, since they are responsible in prescence of Prophet (s).

Why do they say Ghawth, Qutb, Nujaba, Nuqaba, Awtad, Akhyar? These are different types of awliya and all are for helping and serving the servants of an-Nabi. They cannot leave you without clothes. Can you walk naked in the street? Someone will come and dress you, since we are all naked in dunya. We are making a partnership of dunya and Akhirah. They have dresses ready and they dress you with those.

According to the wali's level you get a dress, and the higher level has a higher dress, wa fawqa kulli dhi `ilmin `aleem, until you reach Sultan al-Awliya. When he dresses you, then Prophet (s) will dress you and that dress is far higher than what the Sultan dresses.

May Allah (swt) forgive us and bless us and we will continue at Fajr, inshaa Allah. We remind everyone that we began that series to explain what we know in Islam. It is not, as they say, that there is no hierarchy. In fact there is a reality of a pyramid and a hierarchy and awliyaullah have different things they do and duties. As of today we have made 23 or 24 suhbats, all of them to describe what these awliyaullah do, to describe the Ghawth, what he does and to describe these five groups of awliyaullah. And then we come to the senior Muslims in these communities, to shed a light on this knowledge that no one is touching today.

Today what are they touching on? Only politics, as if the only concern is dunya and nothing else. Mosques are used to promote political agendas. You can rent another hall and speak about what you want, but speak about Akhirah in the mosque and speak about politics or dunya matters in another hall. Why do you bring such subjects to the podium of the mosque? Leave the masaajidu lillaah, the mosques are for Allah, and don’t speak about what the president did or the cabinet did or foreign policy or what is our right or not our right. The masjid is for worship! There you read Qur’an and hadith, pray and do dhikr. Don’t make halaqa circles and say, “You like jihad?”

“Yes, I like jihad.”

“Okay, let’s go and blow someone up.”

“Then what about Allah?”

“No, He is busy, it is Ramadan now. And when we’re making jihad we have to make taqiyya and disguise ourselves and go dancing at discos, to blend in with people. And then we make explosives and save the ummah.”

What, saving the ummah? You are putting the ummah in difficulties and problems! Mosques are Allah's Houses. Don't make any partnership with Him by bringing something else into the masjid. When we come into the masjid we are bringing our dirty politics, when we should say, “Don’t discuss this here. Rent a hall and speak about it there.”

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