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The Importance of Adab in Tariqah

Grandshaykh `AbdAllah's Notebook Series, Part 14

Ramadan Series, Vol 24

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

29 June 2016 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Zhuhr Suhbah

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani '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

Atee`oollaha wa atee`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)

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Would the Prophet (s) accept to enter Paradise without his Ummah? Will a father leave his children behind? What about Prophet (s), would he leave his Ummah behind? No! But the Ummah has responsibility. The highest level of responsibility is what Prophet (s) said:

أدبني ربي فأحسن تأديبي

My Lord perfected my good manners and conduct. (Ibn `Asakir)

It means every moment of Prophet’s life was spent in adab. Prophet (s) said, “I have been sent to teach you adab,” which here means to avoid falling into sin. You might be a minister, a president or a king, but what is the benefit if you have bad adab? Islam is based on adab, and have to believe Prophet (s), not someone else! He said, “Allah perfected my adab,” and also:

‏انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct (your behavior and character). (Bazzaar)

You can be a president, but if you have no adab everyone will point at you and say, “What kind of president do we have?” You can be a minister or anything else, but there is no benefit if you have no adab. So what they insist from us is to know the adab we must follow. Alhamdulillah, most of Ummat an-Nabi, inshaa-Allah all of them, will be perfected by Prophet (s), but we have to know adab does not come easy, as an Arab proverb states, Man shabba `alaa shay’ shaaba `alayh. ‘Shabba’ means whoever grew up on something, it will not change even when his hair is white. That is why in Salaat an-Najaat, in the munaajaat you ask Allah to kill the nafs at-tifl al-madhmooma, the bad character your parents made you grow up on. When the child sees the parents fighting and not praying, not fasting or reading Qur’an, it reflects on their childhood and will be difficult for them to perfect their character when they grow up.

Al-adab huwa taraku ‘l-manhiyaat wa ijraa’u ‘l-ma`mooraat, “Adab is to leave everything forbidden.” If you have adab, do you walk on the street naked? When Adam (a) ate from the tree he fell into ma`siyya, he disobeyed, he let adab go when Allah said to him, ‘Don’t eat,’ and he ate. What happened? He became naked and the parts not allowed to be seen were exposed and he covered them with fig leaves.

فَأَكَلَا مِنْهَا فَبَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ ۚ وَعَصَىٰ آدَمُ رَبَّهُ فَغَوَىٰ

So the two of them ate of it, and their shameful parts were revealed to them, and they stitched leaves of the Garden upon themselves and Adam disobeyed his Lord, and so he erred. (Surat Taha, 20:121)

When he sinned, he was immediately exposed and everyone in Paradise saw his nakedness. He was ashamed in front of Allah and thought, “What will I do if Allah calls me this moment and asks, ‘O Adam! What did you do you? You listened to Iblees and not to Me?’”

So leaving adab makes you naked and fa tark al-manhiyyaat wa ijraa al-maa'mooraat, to leave the bad manners and stop falling into forbiddens will keep you dressed with the best dress of `ibaadah, worshipness. What did Adam (a) do? He went into sajda immediately. Sajda is the inner reality of Islam, because in sajda you are putting your head on the floor, which means you are accepting Allah (swt) as your Creator and that you are His servant.

When some people grow up on arrogance and other characters that are not accepted in Islam, like arrogance, jealousy, pride, and hate, they think everyone under them is nothing and they are everything. Adab in Tariqah is to tell you not to be a shepherd, but to be a sheep. Don't be the imam. We are fighting on who is going to be imam. Run away, because you are not going to accomplish anything! If there is no one in his level present, even a seven-year-old hafizh can lead the prayer as long he has wudu and his prayer will be accepted. Be like that, don't run to be the first one to stand up and be imam.

Today they push each other and people point at them, saying, “This is the imam,” and open the way. Then arrogance will come to that imam. When you are imam you will have thousands of objections, but when you are a sheep you will have none. Those praying behind the imam complain, “Why did he make the recitation so short?” and, “Why is his recitation so long?” Everyone behind will complain about your prayer. If you are leading a hundred people, a hundred complaints will come to you from the followers. You are under a very high-powered microscope from those behind you. Don't be imam, let someone else lead the prayer. “He made his prayer too long, he made it too short, why is the ruku` so long, why is the sajda too long?” Those behind him think that he is is sleeping, is it not?

One time I was praying Salaat an-Najaat as imam and I heard some people behind me snoring, they fell asleep. According to the Naqshbandi Golden Chain shuyookh, may Allah bless their souls, that is one of the most recommended sajdas. Grandshaykh (q) said, “When a real shaykh of the Golden Chain who carries the secret goes into sajda, all the spirituality, roohaniyya of the mureeds will pass in front of them. In 24 hours they observe the spirituality of every mureed.” That is a very valuable sajda, because they are passing in front of the vision of the shaykh through his heart and Prophet (s) said:

اتقوا فراسة المؤمن فإنه ينظر بنور الله

Beware the vision (gaze) of the Believer for he sees with the Light of Allah. (Tirmidhi)

They look at the `ibaadah and `amal of their mureeds through the vision Allah gave them in their heart and if they see any nuqsaniyya, deficiencies, they seek Allah's (swt) forgiveness on their part.

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

If they had only, when they were unjust (oppressor) to themselves, come to you and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nisaa, 4:64)

“When they oppress themselves,” means they have nuqsaniyya, deficiencies, and therefore, “they come to you, yaa Muhammad (s), and ask Allah’s Forgiveness in your presence.” So Awliyaullah inherit from this verse and when they go into their sajda and see their followers passing with their names one by one, anyone who extended his hand for baya` will be under the shaykh's support in dunya and inshaa-Allah in Akhirah. That does not mean we have to worship the shaykh, worship is only to Allah (swt).

When Allah ordered Iblees to make sajda, he refused, because he had that pride, “How am I going to make sajda to someone who has just been created? I was created before him and I have been worshipping for 2,000 years!” The shaykhs can see the shaytanic qualities in their followers and they can fix it. Narjullah azza wa jal, we hope we can be fixed by Awliyaullah. Every night they have that work to do. So why be imam and carry such responsibility? Let them carry the responsibility and you can be free! Carrying responsibility is not easy. You will be asked! Allah will come to you on the Day of Judgment and say, “These people took baya` with you and what did you do with them? Did you carry their loads? They believed you would carry them to the Presence of Prophet (s) and the Divine Presence of Allah (swt): did you do that, O shaykh, O imam?”

There are 124,000 Wali and there are 124,000 `Ulama. They all inherit from 124,000 Prophets. Each Wali inherits from a prophet, every Sahaabi (r) inherits from Prophet (s) and they all inherit from different prophets. These inheritors of the Prophet (s) are responsible on the Day of Judgment and will be asked, “Did you show the Way to those who extended their hands to you and take baya`? Did you help them repent?”

Grandshaykh (q) said the shaykh is ordered every 24 hours to look at the mureed three times and when he looks at you he is not going to give you a candy, he is going to make a problem for you. When you are in a problem, know that the shaykh is looking at you, so how are you going to behave? Once a long time ago, I was in university and we used to go to visit Grandshaykh (q).

One day at five o’clock in the afternoon I decided to go to Sham to see Grandshaykh (q), but the next day I had a big exam and my mother said, “You cannot go.”

I said, “I am going!”

She said, “No.”

I said, “No, I am going,” and we began to struggle.

Out of love I wanted to go to Grandshaykh, but out of respect I should have stayed. In the end I decided to go. I took the car and went through the border at Sham, all that hassle through immigration, standing in line, and it was difficult. It was summer and after a while I managed to pass the line and continue to Sham. Grandshaykh (q) was in his house on the steep mountain which you had to climb. There was a place to park, then you climbed a hundred stairs to reach his house.

We reached and I wanted to knock on the door, but he opened it before I could, looked at me and said very sternly, “You cannot come here without your mother’s permission. Go back!”

Who told him? There was no telephone at that time, they were rare. Who told him I was coming? He was waiting at the door and said something to me that I cannot repeat; he scolded me, “Why are you coming here with no adab? Go back! Come back when she is happy with you.”

I went back and she said, “What happened?”

I said, “I have been kicked out.”

It was a lesson, it means come with respect, adab, which is the ruh, soul of Tariqah, the goal of Tariqah and Shari`ah.

I told my mother what happened and she said, “Did you study?”

I said, “Yes, I studied before I left.”

She said, “Okay, tomorrow you can go if you pass your exam.”

I passed the exam and went back to Grandshaykh (q). His helper, Abdus-Salam, was answered the door. Grandshaykh (q) said, “Yaa waladee, I have to tell you something and you must put it on your forehead. The shaykh, the real guide, looks at the mureed three times a day by order of Prophet (s). He sees him falling down and helps him get up. When I saw you coming, I had seen that you had fought with your mother and so I could not let you go without fighting that arrogance in you that was making you fight with your her.”

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

Your Lord has decreed you shall not serve any but Him, and to be good to parents, whether one or both of them attains old age with you; say not to them 'Uff' neither chide them, but speak respectfully to them.

(Surat al-Isra, 17:23)

“Don’t say ‘uff’ to your mother,” or say, “No!” in their faces, as if to say they are bothering you! Allah (swt) ordered in us Holy Qur’an:

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ

وَلاَتَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمً

Allah has decreed not to worship anyone except Me and with your mother and father to be nice with them. Whether one or both of them attain old age in their life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. (Surat al-’Israa, 17:23)

“Don't say ‘uff’’ to them nor shout, say something nice.” Show me one person who does not argue with his mother, is there anyone? Feesh maalakum, Allah ordered us not to come against them. When you don't like what they say, leave without arguing. The shaykh looks at you three times a day. Grandshaykh told me, “I was looking at you and a vision came to me that you were struggling with your mother and shouting. Don’t you think your niyyah is enough? You wanted to come to see me and then you would have been rewarded twice: the first time by niyyah to come to see me and the second because you listened to your mother, but you lost both of them.”

If you are intending to come to the Wali:

إنما الأعمال بالنيات

Every action is according to (its) intention. (Bukhari)

If you want to go, you are rewarded for your intention to go to his house, which is a masjid and we believe that. When an obstacle comes and you cannot go, then you have the niyyah. Like someone intends to go to Hajj and something big comes and prevents them, they get the reward as if they went. Grandshaykh (q) said, “Innama ‘l-a`amalu bi ‘n-niyyat: you would have had the reward of coming to visit me and you had the intention to obey your mother, but you lost both of them. Don't bother your mother or your father.” When we were young, we thought our parents were too old-fashioned, that they don't know what we are doing or have a mind for technology or modernity, they are not this or that, etc. No, they are better than you, they are closer to the Source, raised in a time of less sins. Today there are too many sins, everywhere you turn your face there is a sin. Adab is to leave the forbiddens and accept the orders, and one of the orders is to not say “uff” to anyone. Mothers are the umbrella of all humanity:

الجنة تحت اقدام الامهات

Paradise is beneath the feet of mothers. (Nisaa’i, Tabarani, Ahmad)

Mothers represent the Ummah. The word ‘mother’ is Umm al-Kitaab. Allah (swt) said Holy Qur’an is “The mother of all Books,” Surat al-Fatihah, so Umm al-Kitaab means “Mother of Everything.” That is why you have to show adab. When you see an obstacle in the road, it is adab to remove it and higher adab is to move it with your hand, it is bad adab to push with your feet, because:

وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ

And there is not a thing but celebrates His praise! (Surat al-Israa’, 17:44)

So if you see a rock, for sure it is making tasbeeh; therefore, adab is to use the hand and not the feet, which are for kicking Shaytan. May Allah kick Iblees out of us. Inshaa-Allah we kick Shaytan out. So that is how you perfect your manners and your adab. Tomorrow inshaa-Allah we will speak about the one who came to the shaykh and said, “I want you to give me baya`.” What happened to him? Inshaa-Allah tomorrow we will go through it.

Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfeeq, bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.


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