Ramadan Series, Vol 30
Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
5 July 2016 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een. Alhamdulillah li ‘lladhee hadaana wa maa kunna la-nahtadiya law laa an hadaan Allah.
First of all, we have to agree that without our `amal, regardless of what we do or don’t do has another explanation, but Allah created us Muslims from His love to Ummat an-Nabi (s), which is Ummat an- Marhooma. So Allah only gave Prophets miracles and Awliyaullah were given the power of karaamaat, a type of miracle, something special they can show their followers, which is how to always be with success by being consistent in what you say or do. To Allah, that specific karaamah from Awliyaullah is more powerful than miracles from Prophets, but we won’t go into that issue.
For Awliyaullah and Ummat an-Nabi (s), when we are praising Allah and consistently completing our `ibaadah that is a miracle by itself. That karaamah is a reminder that one day you are going to appear in the Presence of Allah (swt) and if you have done good you will see good. So al-karamah is to always do good, to be consistent in goodness, not to fall into the trap of Shaytan.
Ajal ul-karaamaat dawwam ut-tawfeeq, the best of miraculous ability, will always take you to consistently do good, but if you follow your ego, you fall. Ajal ul-karaamaat dawwam ut-tawfeeq has different levels:
وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا
Leave what Prophet (s) forbade and take what he ordered. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:7)
Whatever Prophet (s) gives you, take it: anything that he tells you, you have to do it, you can't say, “I did it already.” Sometimes you say to someone, “Recite Hasbun Allah for forty days.” He does it and says, “Nothing happened.” So then keep saying it! Allah likes people who are persistent, always trying to be consistent, not those who ask for advice and then stop practicing it.
When you listen to Prophet (s), that means you are listening to his Sahaabah (r) and what they poured into the hearts of the Tabi`een, and you listen to Awliyaullah. Be persistent in listening to them and in acting on what they guide you, because everyone needs a guide. Prophet (s) humbled himself and took Sayyidina Jibreel (a) as a guide, although he could guide Prophet (s) only to a certain level, up to the Sidrat al-Muntahaa, then said, “I cannot continue with you on your way, this is my limit.”
The shaykh will guide you to a certain level and then say, “Continue on this awraad.” This means the awraad is like big turbine drills plowing through earth or under the sea until they break through to the other side. When you do your awraad, it is not from you but from your shaykh and his shaykh through chain of `Ulama or Awliya up to Prophet (s), until the shaykh who is Al-Warith al-Muhammadi, Al-Ghawth, Sultan al-Awliya, such as Shaykh `Abdul Qadir Jilani (q), Abu Yazid al-Bastami (q) and Shah Naqshbandi (q). You have to pay attention and listen to what they ask you and you will succeed.
Grandshaykh `AbdAllah, may Allah bless his soul, mentioned a story of one of the shaykhs of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain, Shah Naqshband (q), who said suhbah is important in Tariqah. Shah Bahauddin Naqshband, may Allah bless his soul, said 12,000 times in his life:
طريقتنا الصحبة والخير في الجمعية
Our way is companionship (to be together in association) and the best is in the gathering.
“Our way is companionship, to be with our friends in an association,” like Sahaabah (r) were with Prophet (s): they are his Companions, no more no less; suhbah, companionship is necessary.
So one time a shaykh took a mureed with him on a journey after Fajr from the village to the city, and the shaykh said to his mureed, “I am busy, I have something to finish, running errands. Go to the mountain and I will come when I finish. Sit there, do your awraad and I will come.”
The mureed replied, “Na`am, yaa Sayyidee, sam`i`na wa ata`ana. Yes my shaykh, I hear and obey.”
Like those three reminders we spoke about yesterday, we explained one: if they give you a shovel and say, “Dig for your Trust through the seven Earths until you find your Trust,” you must dig. Don’t use your mind or you will say, “How I am going to dig, and with a broken shovel!” Even a shovel cannot dig that amount, it requires a turbine. In those days there were no turbines, but now we say to our shaykh, “We need a turbine.” Even a screwdriver initially came with a manual, now it is electric. It means your awraad goes fast now because there's too much zhulma coming on Earth and when doing your awraad you cut immediately through to save you from it, to pass through the tunnel and exit the other side. Your awraad takes you through the tunnel of Nafs, Dunya, Hawa, Shaytan: the four enemies of human beings attacking you. They want you not to go complete your awraad, to delay you from doing your awraad, which is why we lose it for the day, because we give too much priority to errands, distractions and then lose it.
So raghma `ala anfi ‘sh-Shaytan, in spite of Shaytan’s nose, we can complete our awraad qadah: if you didn’t do them on one day, double them the next day, the third triple them, or the fourth day quadruple, etc., in order to break through your tunnel and keep your turbine moving to reach the other side! They gave you from Fajr to Maghrib to dig your tunnel, do your awraad , which is plenty of time to do it. May Allah give us power to do our awraad consistently.
So he said to him, “Go up the mountain, it will take you one or two hours to go up, and I am coming.” The mureed was very happy to listen to the order of the shaykh whom he had accompanied from the village to the city; he felt overwhelmed and quickly ran to fulfill the shaykh’s order. He found a cave on the top of the mountain and sat there doing his awraad, and since the shaykh had said, “Do your awraad and I am coming,” he was overwhelmed to have the shaykh coming and thought, “Now he will come, now he will come, now he will come, I have to be ready with my awraad.”
He finished the awraad quickly and was waiting for his shaykh to come, and shaykh didn't come. So what you have to do? You wait. [Go back.] But the shaykh didn't say, “Go back if I don't come,” he said, “I am coming.” So the mureed was questioning and struggling with himself, “What shall I do, go back? But the shaykh didn't say go back. Why do I have to use my mind? Maybe I have to stay as there is something important for me to stay, or maybe the shaykh had to go to the village quickly. He said ‘stay,’ so I will stay.”
He had a little bit of food, which he ate and thanked Allah for the food he brought with him. Maghrib came, he prayed and the shaykh didn’t come. He began to hear animals approach. In these countries, and this is a true story from Daghestan, the shaykh didn’t show up and animals were coming, so he could not do anything but climb a tree. When `Isha came, he came down and prayed and went back up again waiting for the shaykh. The shaykh didn’t show up. Then Fajr came and he prayed and now his ego was saying, “Now I can go. I waited, but perhaps the shaykh forgot that he ordered me and he went back home. I will go.” Then his good ego said, “No, are you crazy? How is he a Wali and he doesn’t keep his promise? No, I will not go, I will stay.”
If it was us, after one hour we would leave immediately or phone everybody to catch the shaykh, “Where is he? What happened, he left me alone.” But Fajr came and he said, “Never mind.” The Prophet (s) said if a mu'min makes a promise he fulfills it:
المؤمن إذا حدث صدق ، وإذا وعد أنجز ، وإذا اؤتمن وفى
If a Believer speaks he tells the truth, if he promises he carries it out, and if he is entrusted he fulfills it. (Musannaf of Abd ar-Razzaq)
One time Prophet was going to a certain place and one Sahaabi (r) said, “I have work to do, I will go and come back. Can you wait for me?” So Prophet (s) said he would wait. The Sahaabi (r) went and was delayed until Maghrib.
The Sahaabah (r) told him, “What happened?”
He came to Prophet (s) and said, “Sorry, I got delayed.”
The Prophet (s) said, al-Mu’minu idha wa`ada wafa, “I promised you, so I fulfilled my promise. I waited.”
The mureed remembered his shaykh promised him, so he waited. On the second day the shaykh did not come, so he found water, food and shelter, and made a fire. Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, said when his food finished he began to eat fruit from the trees. His shaykh did not come for one week and the mureed’s ego told him, “Go! The shaykh is not going to come, he forgot about you,” and his good side said, “How could the shaykh forget me? He is guiding thousands of people, how is he forgetting me? No, I will stay.”
One week went, then two weeks, one month, three months, one year. The mureed’s beard and hair grew very long, there was no more food and winter was coming. He cut the soft part from branches to eat until one day Allah sent him a female deer that raised its leg and he sucked its milk. He was waiting to that extent, so Allah gave him sustenance because he was consistent. Allah (swt) said:
مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ
I do not want sustenance from them, nor do I want them to feed Me. Truly Allah is the Sustainer, Possessor of Firm Power. (Surat adh-Dhaariyat, 51:57-58)
Allah will provide. “I don’t want rizq from anyone, I provide for them! I only want their `ibaadah.” That mureed was worshipping and his rizq came to him. Had he not been consistent day after day, hour after hour, he would not have reached that level where a deer came to provide him milk. After one year, he began to do Khatm al-Khawajagan, the khatm of Sayyidina `Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q), Imam al-Khatm, and wild animals came and sat in a circle around him. Of course, the first thing in seclusion is that you will be attacked by wild animals, the wild nafs that is always within us. Allah shows you its reality: it might show up as a snake or a tiger or another wild animal in order to clean you from these kinds of egoisms that destroy you.
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا
The one who purifies himself will reach felicity and the one who corrupts himself will be lost.
(Surat ash-Shams, 91:9-10)
Allah gives good tidings to the one who comes against his bad desires and does whatever is good for him and does not look at bad desires and sins. So in that way, animals were no longer afraid of him and they wanted to attend dhikrullah with him.
This is a famous story. He stayed in the Daghestan mountains for seven years, was consistent on his `ibaadah, waited for his shaykh. After seven years a vision of Rawhaniyyat an-Nabi (s) appeared to his shaykh in which Prophet (s) said, “Go give him his Trust as he is ready to carry the responsibility of Tariqah and Shari`ah.” Tariqah is the core of Shari`ah. He was ready, not like today when everyone claims he is a great qutb or ghawth! No, everyone has to know tahammul al-adaad, that Tariqah is to carry the unpleasant things from people. He must carry their burdens and forgive all the harm they did to him. When we forgive Allah will forgive us because we are also sinners.
The shaykh climbed the mountain and the mureed sensed his shaykh was coming and ran to him, hugged him and kissed his hand.
The shaykh gave him the final test and said, “Yaa ahmaq, O idiot! What happened? I did not come for one day, two days, three days… go back to your family, go back home! What are you doing here?”
The mureed was shocked. What to answer? The shaykh gave him a hard time. If we were in his place, we would have run by Maghrib, not even waiting for the next day! We would have left. He waited for the ‘next day’ for seven years! The shaykh wanted an answer from him in order to give him his Trust.
He said, “O my shaykh, had I gone you would never have come by order of Prophet (s) to give me my Trust.” It means his heart was open. “If I had left I would have lost my Trust, but you ordered us, ajall al-karamaat dawaamu't-tawfeeq, that the most amazing miraculous power is to remain consistent in asking:
ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ
Call on Me, I will answer you. (Surah Ghafir, 40:60)
“Ask Me and I will respond, if I don’t respond in dunya I will reward in Akhirah, but be consistent.”
His shaykh said, “Sadaqta, yaa waladee! You said the truth, my son! Had you left that Trust would not have been given to you, it would have been kept for you for Akhirah.”
Everyone was entrusted by Allah (swt), as the Holy Qur’an says:
إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا
Indeed, We offered the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains, but they refused to undertake it, being afraid, but Man undertook it. He proved to be a tyrant and a fool! (33:72)
Heavens and Earth both knew it was too much as they would have to bring it back clean, so they said, “We cannot, yaa Rabbee, it is too much.” He offered it to human beings and they accepted, and so they were ignorant and oppressors to themselves.
The shaykh said, “Ajall al-karamaat dawaamu't-tawfeeq. You did right, O my son. Had you listened to your ego, you would have left and lost your Trust, but you didn’t leave, you listened to the shaykh’s order.” When your guide gives you something for your benefit, don’t question it. Questioning is according to the scale of your mind, but you must not, you must use your heart. Your mind is connected to dunya, so use your heart without your mind. That is why Prophet (s) said, “When you give sadaqa, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand gives.”
ورجل تصدق بصدقة فأخفاها حتى لا تعلمَ شمالُه ما تنفق يمينه
[Among those under the shade of Allah is] the man who gives charity and conceals it such that his left hand does not know what his right hand spent. (Bukhari)
Don’t look at what you are giving. If you look and count there is no barakah, but if you give without your left hand knowing there is barakah. The first action will have ego in it and you will become proud of yourself, saying, “I gave, I gave,” especially people who put up signs like “Al-Muhsin al-Kabeer, The Great Benefactor so-and-so, doctor so-and-so, king so-and-so, president so-and-so.” Prophet (s) said to hide it, don’t show your left hand what your right hand is giving.
Then the shaykh gave the mureed his Trust and sent him as his khalifah in Daghestan to promote Islam according to Shari`ah and Tariqah. Consistency is very important in Islam, because it is a way of miraculous power you create within yourself. When you are persistent in asking for Allah’s (swt) forgiveness or whatever you want, continue with whatever you decided and make du`a, then Allah will accept, id`oonee istajib lakum. That is the meaning of ajall al-karamaat dawaamu 't-tawfeeq, the best of miracles is to be consistent.
If you get tired of asking, remember laa raahata fi ‘d-deen, “There is no relaxation in religion,” which means you cannot say, “I am tired of praying the five prayers, doing my awraad.” Even if you are tired you have to do that. If you cannot pray standing, pray sitting; if you cannot pray sitting, lie down. Even if you cannot move your body, move your eyes! Don’t let Shaytan to take you from your prayers. Some people say, “We are working.” Okay, there are allowances: at work you can pray secretly just with your head, move your eyes, say to yourself, “Alhamdulillahi Rabbi ‘l-`Alameen….” then lower your head and say to yourself, “Subhaana Rabbee al-`Ala wa bi hamdih.” You can do this anywhere necessary, so don’t leave your prayers. Repeat that prayer properly when you return home.
So the reminder is to be consistent. Grandshaykh (q) used to say put three nails, like invisible push pins in your forehead reminding that you must be consistent in what you are doing. The first nail reminder is about digging with the broken shovel. You must be consistent whether you get your Amaanah or not; your goal is not to reach it, your goal is to do what they told you.
On the highway, if you drive over the speed limit what happens? You get a ticket and will be punished. So when you are consistent in doing something, as they ordered you do it, don’t let them punish you later for not executing their orders because they will deprive you of many things. So no, do your job: if the shaykh told you to do this, then you have to do it as he is an Inheritor of Prophet (s). These guides, Awliya that came through history from Adam (a) all the way from Prophets, Sahaabah, Awliya, scholars, all of them teach us that the guide is guiding you to Allah and His Prophet (s), and whatever Prophet (s) said we have to apply it.
The guide is also always telling you to make salawaat on Prophet (s), that is best the guidance for all of us. Even if you have a broken shovel and he told you to dig, dig, don’t stop! Don’t say, “I have this obstacle, I have that problem.”
The second reminder is for when some people say, “We put an alarm clock on our nightstand to wake us up, but we shut it off and continued to sleep.” What to do? Put it far away and let it ring. This way you are obliged to get up and shut it off, then you will already be up. But don’t listen if Shaytan says, “Shut it off and go back to the bed.” You will already be awake! A reminder helps us to be careful: a broken shovel will lead you to your Trust but a broken mind will not, so don’t follow your mind!
The third reminder is: if your rizq is in the East and you are in the West and they tell you to go get it, go get your rizq! Like when the message comes to the ant, “Your rizq is in the East,” and the ant is in the West, that small distance for us is a big distance for it, but you see it moving from the beginning of the carpet, picking something up and going back to its place. Who guided that ant? It does not only move, it picks something up and carries it to its place. That means you have to be like the art which, for sure, cannot go from West to East, it might die on the way; maybe someone will step on it and it will die. But the example is law masha mash an-namli, even if you are traveling at the pace of an ant, travel continuously, don't say, “Oh, it is impossible!” If the shaykh says, “Go to the East,” you go, don’t say, “No, it’s too much.” Don’t let your mind object to your shaykh's order.
The third reminder is: if your shaykh tells you, “Take this bucket and go empty the ocean,” you should take that bucket to the shore, fill the bucket and try to empty the ocean. [A mureed smiles like this is a joke.] If you smile like that, you lose! They tell you, “Your Amaanah is there, go empty the ocean and you will get it.” What do you do? We requested Shaykh Abdur-Rahman to cut some wood and he said, “Yes, I will do it!” He cut half the forest down and he is asking for more logs to cut. So ‘empty the ocean’ means just that, empty the ocean! That is your safety: to remind yourself you cannot do it, but you have to struggle and take the order into consideration. They told you to do your awraad, so do it. Whether you are able or not is up to them, but start your awraad daily.
May Allah keep reminding us and give us what is good and take away what is bad. Ameen.
Wait! Between two prayers Allah sometimes gives hours. When you pray your sins are forgiven, and between the prayers you have to make sure you do your awraad. If not, come to the second prayer and you will have time for it, like between different classes you have ten minutes free. After your prayer, take the opportunity of having ten free minutes to do your awraad, it will not take too much time. Some people say, “Oh, we cannot do it!” Do the lover’s level, the first level: 1500 Allah, Allah, 100 Laa ilaaha illa-Llah and 300 salawaat. It doesn’t take more than ten minutes, then you will be free for the rest of the day. The Adab at the beginning is important. Do you recite the Adab? [Na`am, Sayyidi.] Alhamdulillah. Allah (swt) is Ghafoor ar-Raheem. These are teachings for us to be consistent in our good deeds, not to be:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ آمَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُواْ كُفْرًا لَّمْ يَكُنِ اللّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلاَ لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلاً
Those who believe, then reject faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject faith, and go on increasing in unbelief, Allah will not forgive them nor guide them on the Way. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:137)
One day you are praising, the next day you are backbiting, so what is the benefit? Allah does not like backbiting; anyone who backbites, it will be like an axe on his head. We don’t want that. May Allah forgive us.
Inshaa-Allah, next we will explain the Haqiqat of Ismullah al-`Azham, the Reality of Allah’s Greatest Beautiful Name under which all Names and Attributes come, al-jami`ah li ‘l-asmaa`i wa ‘s-sifaati, the Name that encompasses all the Attributes and Names. Some Realities no one can explain, but we only shed light on it from what Awliya have said and what we have learned from them.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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