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Hierarchy of Saints Series, Vol 14

The Four Levels of Dhikr and the Heart of Sayyidina `Ali

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

27 August 2010 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Ramadan Series 2010

`Aoodhu 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 hadhaa 'l-masjid.

Dastoor ya Sayyidee, madad. As-salaam `alaykum wa rahmatullah. We have to always remember to ask madad from our shaykh, and he is taking madad from Prophet, whom Allah made khalifah of this Creation and a Mercy for All Humanity, Rahmatan li 'l-`alameen. Rahmatan li 'l-`alameen can also be rahmatan li 'l-`alamayn, the Two Worlds, and sometimes scholars explain `alamayn as ins and jinn, Mankind and jinn. But `alamayn can be dunya and akhira, because what is created is considered a creation. So there is mulk, this world's Creation, and malakoot, Heavenly Creation. He is mercy for both for heavenly creation and for earthly creation. And no one knows when Allah (swt) has created His Beloved Prophet (s). And from him all these Knowledges of Before and After, `uloom al-awwaleen wa 'l-akhireen, are coming. So we cannot say other than that Prophet (s) is the khalifah on Earth and in Heavens. May Allah keep us always in Presence of Prophet (s). To him there are doors that you can enter, big or small, but there are doors. Awliya know their doors.

We mentioned yesterday about the importance of the door of Sayyidina `Ali, karam-Allahu wajha wa `alayhi ’s-salaam, and we did not go into detail but we mentioned how Prophet (s) taught him to make dhikrullah with laa ilaaha illa-Llah. Also, as mentioned in many books of previous awliyaullah and by Grandshaykh (q) and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah give him long life, that dhikrullah are of different kinds and have different levels. One of them is Dhikru ’l-Lisaan, "dhikr of the tongue", to keep your tongue always in remembrance of Allah (swt) and always mentioning His Beautiful Names and Attributes, not only mentioning but it allows you to enter that Reality by always doing that dhikr of laa ilaaha illa 'Llah, laa ilaaha illa 'Llah, laa ilaaha illa 'Llah, which is the sword against our bad `amal, deeds. Ego always likes to be something. That dhikr is telling us, "There is no creator except Me. Don't listen to or believe your ego, as Shaytan can play with it."

So before going to Abu Bakr as-Siddiq's door, we say one of the types of dhikr is Dhikru ’l-Lisaan, Dhikr of the Tongue, and it is considered the first step to enter the Ocean of Heavens. That is why awliya can understand that from the verse:

مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَا نِبَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخ ٌ لاَ يَبْغِيَانِ

Maraja al-bahrayni yaltaqiyaani baynahumaa barzakhun laa yabghiyaan.

He has let loosed the two seas meeting together. Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress. (Ar-Rahman, 55:19-20)

That barzakh is an area of quarantine; it stops one ocean overtaking the other. If you want to pass from one ocean to another you have to enter that area, barzakh, and wait until they are ready to let you go to the other ocean. This is what happens among sea creatures. Scientists have found that the Mediterranean and Atlantic Oceans don't mix, and between them is to us, an imaginary line, but fish sense that line and they stop at it to enter that area of quarantine. When they are ready, they move to the other ocean. It means with those with Dhikru ’l-Lisaan who are in the ocean of Sayyidina `Ali, and that is why we begin with laa ilaaha illa 'Llah, and when we finish that, in the Naqshbandi Order, we go to remembering Him through the dhikr through the Name that encompasses all the Divine Beautiful Names, by "Allah". This is in jama`at, but when we do dhikr alone we begin with "Allah", Ismu ’dh-Dhaat. In jama`at, in a technical sense, we are all moving from one ocean to another ocean so we have to come with laa ilaaha illa 'Llah, laa ilaaha illa 'Llah, laa ilaaha illa 'Llah, laa ilaaha illa 'Llah, we are approaching the area where we have to go to the second ocean of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. So you have to stop there, and they check whether are you able to go on or you need a quarantine. You are going to be quarantined. You are going to enter there and they will keep you there until you are ready to go into the other ocean by remembrance of Ismu ’dh-Dhaat, "Allah". That is why it is said, falzam dhikru ’l-lisaan hattaa tattasil bi dhikru ’l-jinaan wa hiya al-martabatu ’th-thaaniyya. Keep with Dhikru ’l-Lisan, La ilaha illa’Llah, until it takes you to Dhikr adh-Dhaat, until you reach the other ocean, the Dhikr of Paradise, Dhikru 'l-Jinaan which is through Ism adh-Dhaat, "Allah".

Dhikr of laa ilaha illa-Llah takes you from dunya, and it states Allah's Oneness, to show humanity, there is no Creator except Allah swt, "There is no god but Allah." That is denial of the ego and Shaytan, and denial of anyone who associates anything with Allah. Allah is One, He is the Creator and He is the One Who saves you, from Hell and from punishment, and He is the One Who sends you through His Mercy to be with Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! That takes you from dunya to the remembrance of Allah, so then you are entering Jannah, Paradise That is why it is called dhikrullah: it is good to remember Him by saying: Allah, Allah, Allah, which is dhikr of the heart, which is dhikr of Paradises. That is why in the Naqshbandi Order the first step they step, is the shaykh will carry you, has that power and lead you by your hand, and pass you through that quarantine in the blink of an eye and put you in that ocean of Ismu ’dh-Dhaat. And that is why the Naqshbandis begin with dhikr of Ism adh-Dhaat, when they are sitting by themselves quietly, and it is part of their awraad to do 2500 times daily recitation by tongue, and after that 2,500 by heart, up to 5,000 times, up to 10,000 times, up to whatever you can.

Grandshaykh (q) said, "O `Ibadullah, Servants of Allah! Faqsud hum w’ashtanshiq rawaaiha `alaa `arfihim at-tayyib. Run to these Naqshbandi shaykhs and smell their beauty through them, and smell their sweat, as they have already sweated, their sweat is the sweat of love in the Divine Presence, the sweat of beauty! Run to them to smell their beauty. You are never going to smell such a fragrance and you can never imagine how nice it is! Through that smell, fatafooz `alaa hadha ’l-jawhar an-nafees, you are going to be able to attain that beautiful gem, that beautiful diamond and it takes away all the obstacles on your way. And their way, the Naqshbandi Way, is the easiest way. They don't let their mureeds to be hungry, it is not a tariqah of hunger, and it is not a tariqah of wake up all night. Bal al-`itidaalu yas-habuhaa, moderation is their way. They are always moderate and they don't put you under too much pressure, as Allah (swt) said:

لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا

Laa yukallifullah illa wus`ahaa.

On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. (al-Baqarah, 2:286)

So they prepare you according to your capacity in a moderate way so that you go quickly. Wa kullu mujami` lahum zawiya. And every masjid is a zawiya for them; they can do their dhikr anywhere and no one can asks them what they you doing, as they are doing silent, khafee, dhikr. And their hearts are alway with the Presence of their Lord.

وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً

Wa man dakhalahu kaana aaminan w `alaa an-naasi hajju 'l-bayt man istita`a ilayhi sabeela.

Whoever enters the House of Allah is safe, and pilgrimage to the House of Allah is a duty on Mankind (who are able). (Ali `Imraan, 3:97)

Safety is there as you enter His House, so whoever enters it is in safety. Allah (swt) said to Prophet (s) directly in Hadeeth Qudsee:

ما وسعني أرضي ولا سمائي ولكن وسعني قلب عبدي

Ma wasi`anee ardee wa laa samaa'ee wa laakin wasi`anee qalbee `abdee al-mu'min.

My Earth did not contain Me, nor My Heavens, but the heart of My believing servant contained Me.

So that means if you let your soul enter the heart, and the ego has been cut down, at that time your soul and spirit can enter your heart, and then you find safety. That is why awliya found safety, because their ego has been prevented from entering their hearts. But by listening and obeying, and through love and respect, Allah cut their ego down and made an easy way for them to enter their hearts and then when they enter they are safe.

Wa man dakhalahu kaana aaminan w `alaa an-naasi hajju 'l-bayt man istita`a ilayhi sabeela. And there is an obligation to visit the House of Allah, and as a believer, like visiting the House of Allah in Meccatu 'l-Mukarrama, you have to visit the "House of the Heart". And when you circumambulate the heart you circumambulate the light that Allah (swt) is sending to your heart. Allah wants His servants to visit His House; those who are able, man istita`a ilayh sabeela, are in reality those who step on their ego, not those who are happy in dunya doing what they like, who say, "It is enough that we pray." Okay, you have to pray, but you cannot open the door of the house to those lights without stepping on your ego. Dhikrullah is the key to that door of that house with that light! Who entered is in safety, and Allah (swt) wants you to circumambulate that House, in that kind of movement that expresses your ecstasy. That is like in hadrah, expressing yourself in that movement, which is similar to circumambulating the House, which is expressing your love. That is not dancing, but going around the House. And at that time, you go around your own House that Allah made ready for you. And this moves on to why they said that remembrance is of four types in every level.

There are four types of dhikr in every level you go to. On the level of dhikr of laa ilaaha illa 'Llah and dhikr of Allah, Allah, there are four types. First is the dhikr that you mention. You may mention a Beautiful Name or make salawaat or whatever you want. Second is dhikrun tadhkuru bih: dhikr in which you mention Allah. It might be through His Beautiful Name. Third is dhikru tadhkuruk: the dhikr that mentions you. Fourth is dhikr yadhkuru bika: dhikr in which you will be mentioned.

The first one, dhikrun tadhkuruhu, dhikr tatrud al-ghaflah, the dhikr that throws away heedlessness. You are doing something good to throw away your heedlessness. The second is, tadhkur madhdkoorun imma al-adhab aw imma al-qurb, the dhikr that brings you near and saves you from punishment. The third is, wa dhikrun yadhkuruka. "Remember Me and will I remember you," so when you mention Him through His Beautiful Names, Allah mentions you in return. The fourth is, huw dhikrullahi li `abdihi wa laysa li `abdihi muta`allaq, "Allah mentions His servant without His servant having done anything." Without His servant mentioning His Names, His love, punishment or reward, there is a dhikr that remembers you. Who is "you"?

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

inna Allah wa malaa'ikatahu yusalloon `alaa an-nabi yaa ayyuhalladheena aamanoo salloo `alayhi wa sallimoo tasleema.

Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you that believe! Send blessings on him, and salute him with all respect. (al-Ahzaab, 33:56)

That is the one that without him mentioning Allah, He mentioned him. That is wahban, a grant from Allah. Nothing is a cause of what He does, or what the Prophet did, it is a direct grant from Allah. That is why awliyaullah say that representatives of Prophet have been chosen without them doing anything; he takes one and says, "You are Prophet's representative." Allah mentioned him. Who can dispute this? That is the highest dhikrullah, that He mentioned them.

And awliya are lucky, as because of Prophet they are mentioned. Inna Allah wa malaa'ikatahu yusalloon `alaa an-nabi. It means, "Follow My Way by doing as I do, and send salawaat on Prophet. Then you are following what I ordered in Holy Qur'an:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Qul in kuntum tuhibboon-Allaha faittabi`oonee yuhbibkumu Allahu wa yaghfir lakum dhunoobakum w’Allahu ghafoorun raheem.

Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Aali-`Imraan, 3:31)

Say to them, O Muhammad, "If you really love Allah then follow and love me, and then I will love you."

And the Prophet said, "When I love you, then Allah loves you."

That is why Prophet made it easy for us by saying, "Follow my son-in-law and cousin. I am the city of knowledge and `Ali is its door; open the door and enter through that way. If you want the other way, the hidden way, I am giving you Abu Bakr as-Siddiq." That is why it is said by many different awliya and scholars, it is certain that when Allah mentioned Abu Bakr as-Siddiq in Holy Qur'an, when they were in the cave, Prophet (s) said, 'O Abu Bakr! Don't be sad.'"

إِلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ السُّفْلَى وَكَلِمَةُ اللّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

Illa tansuroohu faqad nasarahu Allahu idh akhrajahu alladheena kafaroo thaniyy ithnayni idh humaa fi 'l-ghaari idh yaqoolu lisaahibihi laa tahzan inna allaha ma`anaa fa-anzalaa allahu sakeenatahu `alayhi wa ayyadahu bijunoodin lam tarawhaa wa ja`ala kalimata 'Lladheena kafaroo as-sufla wa kalimatullaahi hiya al-`ulya wa 'Llaahu `azeezun hakeem.

If ye help him not, still Allah helped him when those who disbelieve drove him forth, the second of two, when they (Prophet and Abu Bakr) were in the cave, and he said to his companion, "Be not sad (or afraid), for surely Allah is with us." Then Allah sent down His sakeenah (calmness, tranquility, peace) upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you saw not. (at-Tawbah, 9:40)

Which cave? Yes, we know it was Ghari Thawr, when they were migrating from Mecca to Medina, hiding. Hiding? For what? Does Prophet need to hide? He went for Mir`aj, who can touch him?

But he entered there for a certain reason: to pass that authority to Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, that knowledge Allah is sending, anzalaa allahu sakeenatahu `alayh, He manifest His tranquility peacefulness, love, mercy on them. It means when they entered the Cave of Sayyidina Muhammad (s), it is like As-haab al-Kahf, the Companions of the Cave. Where did they enter?

أْوُوا إِلَى الْكَهْفِ يَنشُرْ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُم مِّن رَّحمته ويُهَيِّئْ لَكُم مِّنْ أَمْرِكُم مِّرْفَقًا

Fa awoo il al-kahf yanshur lakum rabbukum min rahmatih wa yuhayyi lakum min amrikum mirfaqa.

Betake yourselves to the Cave: Your Lord will shower His mercies on you and disposes of your affair towards comfort and ease." (Surat al-Kahf, 18:16)

"Run to the cave, O People of the Cave!" fa-ooo ilaa al-kahf, who is that cave? That is Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! It's also like when He ordered them to enter the fulk al-mashhoon:

وَخَلَقْنَا لَهُم مِّن مِّثْلِهِ مَا يَرْكَبُونَ

wa khalaqnaa lahum min mithlihi maa yarkaboon.

And We have created for them similar (vessels) on which they ride. (YaSeen, 36:42)

Sayyidina Nuh put everyone in that ark, fulki 'l-mashhoon, the boat of Sayyidina Nuh (a) is like the heart of Sayyidina Muhammad (s). Literally it is the boat of Sayyidina Nuh but it is also an indication that if you run to that boat, you will be in safety.

"And We have created something similar to it in which you can ride." And what is similar to that boat? Where that boat is Sayyidina Muhammad (s), the ones similar are Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq and Sayyidina `Ali, and awliya, according to their levels, to take ummat an-nabi to safety. So that is why Sayyidina Abu Bakr entered the boat and the cave, and Allah sent that sakeenah on them, that peacefulness, and He defeated their enemies for them, meaning, the enemy that attacks and whispers in ears of people, Shaytan. So those who entered with Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq are going to be with him in that cave and they were present, and generation after generation and century after century, those receiving their sainthood from Abu Bakr as-Siddiq have authority to bring people to safety. Through their power and their spotlight they attract people to safety.

About Sayyidina `Ali, Prophet (s) said, "I am the city of knowledge and `Ali is its door." So what did Sayyidina `Ali do? He was the door of safety, they were not able to enter the city except through Sayyidina `Ali. He was the guardian for the Prophet (s), although Prophet doesn't need this, but he put these sahaaba, (about whom he said):

أصحابي كالنجوم، بأيّهم اقتديتم اهتديتم

Ashaabee ka 'n-nujoom bi ayyihim iqtadaytum ihtadaytum.

My Companions are like stars. Whichever of them you use as a guide, you will be rightly guided.

So Sayyidina `Ali was in Prophet's bed when the Quraysh made their conspiracy to kill the Prophet (s). Who went in that bed? Is that a normal bed or something special? That is the bed of prophecy, and he received the secrets of prophecy! When they opened the door and found Sayyidina `Ali there, they were blocked. That means that no Shaytan can go through that door! So Sayyidina `Ali is at the heart of every believer, meaning, "I am the ocean of knowledge in the heart of every believer and `Ali is there at the door." That means when you enter the door, you enter the cave, and the door is Sayyidina `Ali and inside is Sayyidina Abu Bakr!

That doesn't mean Abu Bakr is higher than Sayyidina `Ali, or that Sayyidina `Ali is higher than Sayyidina Abu Bakr, nor that they are higher than Sayyidina `Umar. The Prophet (s) loves and guides all of them the same, but he might have more family love toward Sayyidina `Ali, as he was his son-in-law and cousin and the first young person to accept Islam.

So that heart of the believer is where Prophet's city is ready, and if you are able to go through Sayyidina `Ali to that city, you receive what awliya receive. May Allah open that city for us! Whoever enters it is safe. That means safety is in that city, and in that heart which Allah (swt) gave you. Every heart is different; in some hearts that city will expand and be huge, and in some it will be smaller, depending on the capacity of each one. Next time we will go into what Prophet put in Sayyidina Abu Bakr's heart.

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

(It is an ocean, Sayyidee!)

That is Mawlana Shaykh's ocean that he hasn't opened yet; these are some drops that came out by mistake! (laughter) When they open you will be finished! No one will think about this dunya.


Copyright 2010 Sufilive