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The Heavenly Scent of Allah’s Dhikr

Ramadan Series 2017, Vol 23

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

22 June 2017 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Zhuhr Suhbah

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillaahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem fee hadha 'l-masjid.

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

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

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, amma ba`d.

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

What is “ama ba`d?” When the professor gives a lecture, they begin with a forward and then say “and after that,” or, “henceforth,” we want “ama al-aan,” meaning what is now. “Ama ba`d” is the future, good or bad, but “ama al-aan” describes what we are doing at the moment, such as sitting in a majlis of dhikrullah. As we have mentioned before, when you begin dhikrullah with the tongue saying “Allah,” Allah creates angels from that breath to say “Allah” up to the Day of Judgment. If said twice, then two angels will be created, three times and three angels will be created, etc. The more you say, the more you get. Awliyaullah ask, “When someone enters Paradise, can they be thrown out?”

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Say, "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, for Allah forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surat az-Zumar, 39:53)

Allah will demolish all sins. When Prophet (s) was in the Divine Presence on Israa’ wa 'l-Mi`raaj, many scholars say that Prophet (s) saw His Lord with the eyes of his head, and we believe it. `Ulama know Shari`ah more than us. If they said it then, alhamdulillah, that is what we follow. What do Awliya say?

وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ

Above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Surah Yusuf, 12:76)

Above the knowledge of `ulama is the knowledge of Awliya. Then above the knowledge of Awliya is the knowledge of Prophet (s). So that breath that says “Allah” will not stop asking and begging Allah to forgive that person who mentioned Lafzhat al-Jalalah,“Allah.” Just by saying “Allah” one time that angel will say to Allah, “Don't let this person go to Hellfire, let him enter Paradise without account.” When someone enters Paradise, do they come out? When you go there, you never want to come back!

When Malak al-Mawt Sayyidina `Azra’eel (a) and Sayyidina Jibreel (a) came to Prophet (s) and asked, “Yaa Rasoolullah, do you prefer to stay in dunya or to go with us?” Prophet (s) said, “I do not want dunya. Let me go.” So that Lafzhat al-Jalalah “Allah” takes dunya away from you. It is not just for hadrah or playing, but that breath will turn you from an ignorant jaahil to a knowledgeable `aaqil. It takes you from the lowest level of Tawheed to the highest level of Tawheed.

Allah will allow the angel carrying your breath to surpass all your sins and throw them away on your behalf. He will come clean to Allah’s Presence and present the owner of that breath to Allah (swt), then Allah will grant that servant entry to Paradise. Saying “Allah” just once in your life is enough, so say it and don't worry about anything else, you will be granted! When we say “Allah,” He likes that. May Allah keep our tongues always like that. When the `abd calls on His Lord, there is nothing more precious to Allah! He likes His servant to persistently ask, beg, and request. Always ask for big things, not small. Allah will give. He is not like us. When He gives, He does not take back, but we are not like that. When we get upset from the one we gave something to, we take it back; however, Allah (swt) gives for you as is mentioned in Holy Qur’an:

إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ

Good deeds waive the sins. (Surah Hud, 11:114)

Good deeds erase bad deeds, but it’s not the opposite; Allah did not say “Inna ‘s-sayyi’aat yudhhibna al-hasanaat.” Once it enters the Divine Presence, no one can take it out except Allah (swt). He is Maalik al-Mulk. He waits every day for His `abd to remember Him.

وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ

And for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise. (Surat al-Ahzab, 33:35)

Males and females who remember Allah in every moment...it will be `Eid for us if we remember Allah every moment of our lives! So wherever the breath with Ismullah reaches, it cleans the whole area, and everyone present there. The evidence of this is from Shah Baha’uddin Naqshband (q), after whom this Tariqah is named[1]. It was like this in his time and afterwards. Sayyidina Amir Kulal (q) was the Shaykh of Tariqah at that time and Shah Naqshband (q) was his student. One day after intense dhikr, Allah opened for him the beautiful scent of the breath that pronounces “Allah” and he became attracted to it and could no longer continue the dhikr because of its beauty. Awliya can smell that breath, so he followed it. Sometimes you spontaneously smell something nice at home or in the mosque; that is a Wali or angel passing by. Although there was a beautiful scent coming from his breath as he made dhikr, he was so attracted to the stronger, more beautiful scent that he continued to follow it to the masjid of Sayyidina Amir Kulal (q). They are wa ‘dh-dhaakireena-Llaaha katheeran wa ‘dh-dhaakiraat, their dhikr is not like ours. When they came to the masjid, they changed into clean, pure white garments. Now some of us come here even without wudu, but Allah is Ghafoor ar-Raheem.

Sayyid Amir Kulal (q) was making dhikrullah with his jama`ah. Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) had come with Inayatullah, Allah’s Care, and both of their beautiful scents united. So what do you expect Sayyidina Amir Kulal (q) said when he saw Shah Naqshband (q) at the door, did he say, “Welcome.” No, he said in fact, “You? What are you doing here? Throw him out! He has no naseeb, no luck to be with us.” He ordered his followers to throw him out. For sure, they were jealous of Shah Naqshband (q), because he was the closest to Sayyid Amir Kulal (q). So like `Abdur Rahman liked to get mureeds to collect wood, he ordered his mureeds to throw out Shah Naqshband (q), who then began to worry.

He wondered, “What did I do? I don’t remember doing anything wrong.” Any of us might have done something wrong without being aware of it. “Above every knower is a (higher) knower.” Perhaps it is something you don’t recall, but the angels are there, writing.

When Sayyid Amir Kulal (q) said, “Throw him out!” as Shah Naqshband (q) sat at the threshold of the masjid, part of him thought, “I should stay,” while another part thought, “I should leave, I am a shaykh by myself!” There are too many like that nowadays from any Tariqah, not just Naqshbandi. The nafs, ego, tells you that you are right and your shaykh is wrong, which is not unusual. May Allah forgive us. We don't care and don't claim anything! Dunya is passing, so why do you want to claim something fleeting? Claim something that will stay.

Shah Naqshband (q) was in a struggle at that moment and thought, “I didn't do anything, why is my shaykh crushing me like that?” When Allah sends balaa’, obstacles, it is to reward you, not to demean or humiliate you. He likes to see you are standing straight like an evergreen tree every moment, showing no change of color, which represents Awliyaullah because they never change. Yes, they test their followers, but on the other side they petition Prophet (s), “My mureed is under a heavy obstacle, yaa Rasoolullah, take it away from him.” Prophet (s) presents you to the Divine Presence and that obstacle is lifted. If the problem is related to work or health, Allah will clean you. Keep faith in Allah (swt).

Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) is the imaam of Tariqah, Allah called him “King[2] of the Naqsh.” Of course, Allah is The Greatest One, no one can reach that level, but the king on Earth is respected by his citizens. So Shah Naqshband (q) is the king of engraving Ism al-Jalalah on the heart of the student. As soon as the shaykh gives baya and recites the ayah of baya’, with his special tools he engraves Allah’s Name which encompasses the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names and Attributes, on the heart. They are engraved on your hands: 81 and 18 = 99. He did not engrave it anywhere else but the hands, because they carry everything.

Shah Naqshband (q) was the King of Dhikrullah during, before and after his time, as past, present and future are the same for Awliyullah. There is no past, present or future in their knowledge, all of it is the same, subhaanAllah. So now this moment is going to be in the past, we are present moment by moment, not session by session or suhbah by suhbah, but by every fraction of a second. Allah knows best. Physicists tried to reduce the second to smaller units until they reached 10-22 (22 zeroes followed by 1). That is the moment for them, or even smaller, and of course it is smaller. Allah shows them His Miracles through these moments of khayr on the Ummah of Prophet (s), which are a source of blessing for everyone.

He is the King of Dhikr and his shaykh threw him out! How difficult is it for a person to be told to go out? “Don't show me your face!” he said, “I am fed up with you, go away!” After being thrown out, he humbly sat at the threshold of the masjid, made sajda and said, “Yaa Rabbee, I am happy with whatever my shaykh wants. If he wants to throw me out I am happy and if he wants to keep me I am happy. I want You and Sayyidina Muhammad (s) to be happy with me. O Allah, send me happiness.”

Be happy, don't think too much of your situation or problem, enjoy dhikrullah!

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Those who believe and whose hearts find tranquility in the remembrance of God! Verily, in the remembrance of God do hearts find tranquility. (Surat ar-Ra`ad, 13:28)

Allah said in Holy Qur’an, with dhikrullah peacefulness comes to your heart. If you have a problem, difficulty, or sickness, mention Allah in your heart, in your mind, and with every cell of your body: let all trillions of cells call on Allah (swt). Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) began to say “Allah” with his forehead on the threshold in sajda. It was snowing, and that beautiful scent of his breath made him follow the breath of his shaykh, Sayyidina Amir Kulal (q). When they joined, he felt himself attracted to where his shaykh was pulling him and when he reached his shaykh’s masjid, although he came for khayr, to spread his knowledge, which is important, he was beaten.

In Tariqah, whether is be once, twice or one-hundred times, the beating never ends. Prophet (s) said, “I am the one most tortured and abused by my relatives and tribe.” What happened with Sayyidina Zakariyya and Sayyidina Yahya (a)? Sayyidina Zakariyya (a) ran from the unbelievers and hid inside a tree; Allah made that possible. Then the people cut that tree into pieces with a saw. Sayyidina Yahya (a) was beheaded. When Anbiya have big problems, what about us?

وَنَادَى نُوحٌ ابْنَهُ وَكَانَ فِي مَعْزِلٍ يَا بُنَيَّ ارْكَب مَّعَنَا وَلاَ تَكُن مَّعَ الْكَافِرِينَ قَالَ سَآوِي إِلَى جَبَلٍ يَعْصِمُنِي مِنَ الْمَاء قَالَ لاَ عَاصِمَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللّهِ إِلاَّ مَن رَّحِمَ وَحَالَ بَيْنَهُمَا الْمَوْجُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُغْرَقِينَ

And Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (from the rest), "O my son! Embark with us and be not with the unbelievers!" The son replied: "I will betake myself to some mountain: it will save me from the water." Noah said: "This day nothing can save, from the command of Allah, any but those on whom He hath mercy! "And the waves came between them, and the son was among those overwhelmed in the Flood. (Surah Hud, 11:42-43)

Sayyidina Nuh (a) was also tested by his son who ran away when the flood came, saying, “I am running to the mountain, where it is safe.” However, there was no safety, the flood reached everywhere. There is no safety on Earth today, so stay home and keep to yourself, because tests will come, especially for followers of the `ulama and Awliya, or even those with some degree of knowledge, as everyone has some kind of test.

Sayyidina Amir Kulal (q) tested Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q), who is known as the “King of Dhikrullah,” because he used the dhikr Ism al-Jalalah, “Allah” and Kalimat at-Tawheed, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah.” So as the snow covered him, he began to shiver because he was lightly clothed, but he remained in sajda and never raised his head. From the time they threw him out, he sat at the threshold asking and begging his shaykh to take him back. He had only done good for the Ummah. He recited dhikrullah by himself. When you speak, Awliya know what dialogue you engaged in, as anything you speak has a scent. Is it halaal or haraam, did you do something good with your dhikr or not?

So he was in sajda, covered in snow at the threshold of the masjid until Fajr prayer. Sayyidina Amir Kulal (q) went to the masjid for Fajr prayer and passed from the street through that door where Shah Naqshband (q) was in sajda. There were a couple of stairs before the hallway, on the second stair he stepped on his head and crushed it with his feet! Shah Naqshband (q) felt a very heavy load, but remained in sajda as he knew no one can step on his head except his shaykh! Then he opened his eyes from that unusual sajda.

Sayyidina Amir Kulal (q) said, “O, you are here? I have been looking for you all night. Come with me.” He cut his Tahajjud short, took Shah Naqshband (q) to his house, showered and dressed him with his clothes, and called him “King of Dhikrullah.” Awliyaullah take their followers to their homes (hearts) and then do not drop them from there. When they give baya`, immediately the certification is given on the heart of Allah’s Ninety-nine Beautiful Names and Attributes. When they give you initiation, it combines all the Names of Allah together with Ismullahi ‘l-`Azham wa ‘l-jami`ah wa ‘l-Sifaat. Allah will rejuvenate you and you will become another person. May Allah rejuvenate us and bring us to an awakened state, to know everything comes from and goes to Him! As when you give someone a plate of gold and another a plate of copper, which is better? The gold. If they give you a plate of another mineral such as diamonds, it is worth more than gold and silver; therefore, always aim high, not low. Ask, “Yaa Rabbee, take me to Your Paradise with no account!” as Prophet (s) said to Sayyida `Ayesha (r), “If you are made to give account, for sure you will be punished.”

من حوسب عذب

(Yaa `Ayesha!) Who will be judged will be punished for sure. (Bukhari)

Only anbiya are ma`soom, no one else. So he said to her to ask not to be taken to account at all, because if we are taken to account we will be in a problem. Everyone, young or old, have problems. Surrender your affairs to your Lord and He will take care of you. There are three things that you must put on your forehead, awliya are expecting their followers to keep these three things in mind. We will mention those tomorrow or Saturday inshaa-Allah. Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah. Inshaa-Allah may Allah accept from all of us the fasting of Ramadan. Ramadan is for Allah to reward the Ummah.

الصيام لي وأنا أجزي به

Fasting is for Me, and I give the reward for it. (Bukhari)

May Allah reward us from His Endless Rewards! When you say “Allah,” you must thank Him that He make you say His Holy Name: there is no greater ni`mah, blessing! The sweetness of saying “Allah” cannot be described on Earth or in Paradise. Only Allah knows the benefit of what He gives His servant, and whatever He gives is unlimited. You can receive them in dunya or Akhirah, but all these dresses will be dressed on you immediately, as soon as you surrender your soul and you will not leave dunya without them. So what is better than to say “Allah!”

We have to thank Him that He allowed us to say His Name. If you say, “I speak on behalf of the president,” they tell you to go away. Allah said, “Qul Allah, say ‘Allah’”. What do you want more than that barakah? When He gives you permission to say “Allah,” it comes with honor; everyone will honor you when you mention the name of your king, president, or teacher, but these are all zaa’il, they will disappear and are of no importance. What then if He allowed you to say “Allah”? He could have frozen your tongue or made you doubt, or believe it is shirk and kufr. Allah gave us the privilege to call Him by His Name, He didn't say, “Qul ar-Rahman,” but “Qul Huw Allah,” because it is the Name that encompasses all His Names.

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّـهُ أَحَدٌ اللَّـهُ الصَّمَدُ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

Say He is Allah, The One, Allah The Eternal! He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like Him. (Surat al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

It encompasses “ar-Rahman” and all Names, and angels see us with that medallion when we say His Name. May Allah make us continue to call on Him every moment and every fraction of a second! When they went to 10-22 seconds, they found no time there; time is energy and imaginary, it is past, present, and future combined into one.

The first to go make sajda was Sayyidina Muhammad (s), when Allah created his Light. When his mother gave birth to him, he was calling on Allah, asking for his Ummah to be forgiven. He was in sajda all his life. Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad. Allah honored us to say “Allah” and “Muhammad” (s). May Allah keep us with Prophet (s) in the Divine Presence under the Manifestation of the Name, “Allah.” There is no higher Name. Who can call themselves by that name? No one, not even Pharaoh, who claimed, “I am your highest lord!” No! Allah cursed him even in dunya and ordered Jibreel (a) to close his mouth when he said:

وَجَاوَزْنَا بِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ الْبَحْرَ فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ وَجُنُودُهُ بَغْيًا وَعَدْوًا حَتَّى إِذَا أَدْرَكَهُ الْغَرَقُ قَالَ آمَنتُ أَنَّهُ لا إِلِـهَ إِلاَّ الَّذِي آمَنَتْ بِهِ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ وَأَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

We took the Children of Israel across the sea. Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said, "I believe there is no god except Him in Whom the Children of Isra`eel believe. I am Muslim (of those who submit to God in Islam)."

(Surah Yunus, 10:90)

At that moment, Sayyidina Jibreel (a) took mud from the ocean and threw it in Pharaoh’s mouth to prevent him from saying “anna min al-Muslimeen.” What happened to Jibreel (a) with Allah when he did that is another story. May Allah bless us inshaa-Allah and always give us the honor to say “Allah.” We previously mentioned that it took Sayyida Rabi`a (r) seven years to continuously say “Allah.” Before that, whenever she said it, all kinds of obstacles came, as that Name carries a heavy load. That is why I said it is easy to make salawaat, but when you make the dhikr “Allah Allah,” it is very heavy. Still, you must do it, because the Beautiful Names carry a lot, then inshAllah Allah will open.

She said, “Then when Allah opened for me through something like the hole of a needle, a light struck me and I was able to say it continuously.” May Allah make us to say “Allah often” and inshaa-Allah we will feel our hearts continuously saying it.

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


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[1] Tariqah is always named after the Wali.

[2] In Persian, “Shah” means King; Emperor; the Greatest One.