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The Importance of Attending Circles of God’s Remembrance

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

6 October 2013 Toronto, Canada

Suhbah at University of Toronto

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. It's an honor to be here today in this beautiful hall and with these beautiful faces, like flowers in a garden.

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een.

To speak is not easy. To sing is more difficult, because singing in the love of that one they are singing for makes their songs vibrate energy that revives our organs and our heart. These songs about love and about respect and about unity and about everything that is good for us is not a deaf or mute singing, like when you mute the TV or you mute whatever instrument you are using. It doesn't have a mute, as soon as it comes out from the tongue it begins to move. That is good. It moves where? It moves in every direction. When we say “Allah,” qul Allah, as Allah said in Holy Qur'an to Sayyidina Muhammad (s):

قُلِ الله ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

Quli 'Llaah thumma wa dharhum fee khawdihim yal`aboon.

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

Say “Allah” and leave the rest who don’t want to say “Allah,” leave them alone. Say, “Allah!” Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadur rasoolullah!” That shahadah we said just now, is it moving or not? It is moving, because of what? Because it is an electromagnetic wave that is a short wave or acute wave or long wave or analog wave or digital wave or whatever (type) you want to choose, and that is moving forever. That electromagnetic wave, that energy in this universe never dies and that wave of shahadah that we said just now will never die! It is moving and it is saying in every moment and angels are repeating after us, “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadur rasoolullah.”

In our tradition, the Islamic tradition, Allah (swt) has angels that are moving through the streets:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏إن لله تعالى ملائكة يطوفون في الطرق يلتمسون أهل الذكر..."‏

Qaala Rasoolullah (s): “InnAllahi ta`ala malaa’ikatan yatoofoona fit'turuqaat yaltamisoon ahl adh-dhikr…”

The Messenger of Allah (s) said, "Allah, the Exalted, has teams of angels who go about on the roads seeking those who remember Allah…” (Bukhari and Muslim)

There are Allah’s angels that Allah created only to look for such associations. Where are they? Wherever they can find them and today they found one here out of maybe millions around the world. So that means angels are here among us. When you smell a nice smell, what do you say? Allahumma salli `alaa ’n-Nabi (s). Angels have a nice smell, their smell comes from salawaat on the Prophet (s), because Allah ordered them:

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

Inna-Llaaha wa malaa'ikatahu yusalloona `ala 'n-nabiyy, yaa ayyuha ’Lladheena aamanoo salloo `alayhi wa sallimoo tasleema.

Verily, Allah and His angels send praise on the Prophet. O Believers! Pray upon him and greet him him with a worthy salutation. (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:56)

“Allah and His angels are making salawaat on Prophet (s).” That salawaat has a smell. Those angels are making salawaat on the Prophet (s) with a nice smell and that smell is everlasting. Wherever they move, when these angels find circles of remembrance like this, they sit. Yaltamisoon ahl adh-dhikr, they are looking, “Is anyone remembering their Lord and Prophet? Is anyone remembering Allah (swt)? Is anyone remembering Adam (a), or Noah (a), or remembering Musa (a), or `Isa (a), or Muhammad (s), or good pious people? Where are they?”

This meeting is such a meeting. We are not coming here for business, we can do that outside. We are coming here for one thing: love. The love that Allah has spread in the hearts of people to connect with them. So this is showing us how much Allah gave to us of many good things that we need to fulfill, and He is supporting us to do that. Everyone of us feels tired at the end of the week, “Oh! I have two days to rest,” and what will he do in these two days? Relax. Some people relax in such gatherings, some people relax in another way. Those who come to such gatherings, what does Allah say about them, what does Allah mention about them? That is why it is an obligation on us to find such associations of remembrance of Allah (swt), find out where they are and come. Why? Because of what the Prophet (s) said,yaltimisoona majalis adh-dhikr, “There are angels of Allah (swt) who are looking for places where people remember Allah (swt) and they come and sit with them and they call out, fa yaqooloona hallumma li-haajaatikum, ‘We came to you, to your support!’ “and they will rub their wings on the faces of these people.”

This means there are angels everywhere, circumambulating us all the way to the First Heaven, Samaai ’d-Dunya, and they pet us or rub us with a beautiful smell with their wings! Fa yasa’lahum rabbahum, and Prophet (s) said that Allah will ask these angels who came to such associations that we are in it now, and Allah knows that, but He asks in order for us to know, and He asks them, “What were you doing?”

They said, yaa Allah yukabiroonaka wa yuhamidoonaka wa yumajidoonak, “Those people, O our Lord, they are praising You, glorifying You, mentioning You, happy with You that You brought them in unity as one person on one heart.”

All of us are sitting on one heart, listening to the maestro and everyone is happy.

And He asks them, “What are they doing?”

And they say, “They are making takbeer, they are making takbeer to You Allah, they are praising You, glorifying You.”

And Allah says, hal raa-awnee? “If they are doing that, did they see Me?” Can you see? You cannot see. We cannot see. Hal raa-awnee?

Yaqooloo laa w ’Allah, “No by Allah, they didn’t see You.”

And Allah answers, “What do you think if they see Me?”

He is telling angels, “What do you think if they see Me?” That means Allah is seeing us, Allah is seeing us! We have big beard, big turban, and we might be punished more than someone with no beard and no turban as we know the truth and we do the opposite. Someone who has no beard may say, “Yaa Rabbee, I am not mukallaf, I am not responsible,” he might find a way out of it. But Allah wants to find a way out for everyone, for the one with a big beard or the one who has no beard, or the one who has a small beard, Allah wants to save everyone.

He asks the angels, “Did they see Me? If they see Me what will they do? If they are not seeing Me and they are doing takbeer, tahmeed, tamjeed, if they see Me what will they do?”

And the angels say, “If they see You, O Allah, they would not only sit one time, one hour and do dhikr, they would make dhikr 24 hours when they see You, when they see Your Beauty, when they see Your Mercy, when they see You through Your Beautiful Names and Attributes, when they recite that, when they learn it, when they understand about You through Your Beautiful Names and Attributes!”

“If they see that, they will be more in `ibaadah to Me, they will worship Me more, they will never stop worshipping.”

And Allah asks them, “What kind of dhikr are they asking, what do they want from Me?”

So what do you want from Allah (swt)? Ridaak wa ‘l-Jannah!

They said, “Yaa Rabbee, they are asking you all these takbeer, tajmeed, tahleel, as they are asking you for Your Jannah and Your Paradise and for their safety.”

And then Allah says to the angels, “Why are they asking Jannah? Did they see it?”

And they say, “W’Allahi, they didn’t see it.”

And then Allah says, law raa-awhaa? “How is it if they see it? How is it if they see My Paradise?”

They say, “They will increase asking for it, they will ask more and more for Your Paradise.”

I am quoting this hadith, because it is one of the strongest hadiths on the circle of remembrance, in order to make everyone happy at the end. Now everyone is listening and wondering, “Is it going to end or are we going to stay here for two hours more?”

So He says to them, “What are they seeking refuge in Me from? They say ‘a`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem, why? What are they afraid of?”

And they say, “They are afraid of Your Hellfire.”

And Allah says, (I am translating to finish more quickly), “Did they see My Hellfire?”

They say, Laa w’Allahi, “No, yaa Rabbee.”

He says, “If they see it, what will they do?”

“They will run and ask more refuge in You in order to be saved from Hellfire.”

And if you look at our `amal today, I don’t say everyone, but we, all of us are struggling between good and evil. This world is a struggle always between good and evil: you do good, you do evil and there is a struggle. One day you do good, thumma aamanoo, one day you do bad, thumma kafaroo.

And Allah says, “What if they see My Hellfire?”

They say, “They will worship You more.”

And Allah says, “Tell them I make you all witnesses.”

And Allah doesn't need witnesses, and He said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا

Yaa ayyuha 'n-nabiyyu inna arsalnaaka shaahidan.

O Prophet! Truly We have sent you as a witness. (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:45)

“I am sending you, O Muhammad, as witness.” And Allah is making the angels witnesses, which means Prophet (s) is witnessing on angels, because Allah created him first, before Creation. Allah is giving the witnessing to angels, for angels to witness what is He going to say? And Prophet (s) knew that, because Allah taught everything to him, `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa `Uloom al-Akhireen. He said, “I make all of you witnesses on Me that I have forgiven them.”

With such a gathering sitting here for one or two hours, we get the mercy of Allah (swt) and we get the forgiveness of all our sins that we have made before!

And what did He say? “I put you witness that I have forgiven them.”

Qaal an-nabi, yuqooloon that angels say, “Yaa Rabbee, there is one among them who is not from them, he came for a certain reason.”

Might be he wants to sit and see what is this, what kind of religion. I am seeing different kinds of religions here, different kinds of people, not everyone is Muslim, there are some non-Muslims, and they are sitting with that community that is remembering their Lord, so what do the angels say? “We see among them one who is not from them,” and Allah says, Allah qaal hum al-julasaa laa yashqaa bihim jaleesuhum, “They are the ones that anyone who sits with them who is not from them, he will enter Paradise like them.”

O Muslims! Our duty as Muslims is to extend our hands to everyone. Prophet (s) spent 18 months praying towards Masjid al-Aqsa, Qudsi Shareef, Bayt ul-Maqdis, 18 months extending his hands to everyone, because in Masjid al-Aqsa there was the religion of Judaism and the religion of Christianity, extending his hand to everyone in order that they can bring them to what is needed to be in unity, as all of us are coming from Allah. Allah created us equal.

االناس سواسيه كااسنان المشط

An-naasu sawaasiyatan ka-asnaani' l-masht.

Sayyidina Muhammad (s) said: People are equal like the teeth of a comb.

People are all equal.


لافرق بين عربي ولا اعجمي الا بالتقوى

Laa farqa bayna `arabiyy wa laa `ajamiyy illa bi’t-taqwaa.

There is no difference between Arabs and non-Arabs (one race and another) except in piety.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ

Yaa ayyuha ’n-naasu innaa khalaqnaakum min dhakarin wa unthaa wa ja`lnaakum shu`ooban wa qabaaila li-ta`aarafoo, Inna akramakum `ind-Allahi atqaakum.

O Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily the most honored of you in the Sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. (Surat al-Hujuraat, 49:13)

We are repeating this verse over and over, repeating it and we have to repeat it. “We have created you from one single male and female and made you nations and tribes to know each other, but the best among you are the sincere ones.”

O Muslims! I know from myself and everyone that we are struggling for sincerity. There is something within us always, I think that shaytaan in our ears is bi-polar. One time he becomes jinn mu’min, one time he becomes a devil. When he is a devil, he begins to tell you things that are not good, “Hate this one, shout at that one, don’t listen to that one, make enmity with everyone,” and sometimes he turns into a mu’min jinn, giving you good advice. Is it not sometimes you get something good in your heart? And sometimes he whispers in your ears something that you become, I cannot say it; you become something not nice.

And the evidence is our father, Sayyidina Adam (a). He was okay at the beginning, he was okay with Iblees, the Cursed One, the bad one, he came to him trying to trap him and to try to make him accept what he said, not what Allah said. Allah said, “Don’t eat from that tree,” and Shaytan said, “Eat from that tree.” Who is the one to whom Adam (a) listened? Shaytan. So that is why we have be careful from a moment of heedlessness. That might escalate from a small problem to a bigger problem, it might be a small problem you begin with and you end up in prison! Be careful. May Allah (swt) bless us and support us in dunya and Akhirah.

Allah said, “O Muslims, O people, you are equal!” Allah doesn't discriminate. Allah sent Judaism with Sayyidina Musa (a) and sent the Bible (New Testament) with Sayyidina `Isa (a) and sent the Holy Qur'an, the Message of Islam, with the Best of Messengers, Sayyidina Muhammad (s), the Flower of the Messengers (s) and says, “Take, you are free.” Allah made us free to accept. They say there is no democracy in Islam. I am not saying that there is or there isn’t, I am not entering that subject, but Allah made everyone free to choose. Are you not allowed to choose what you like in Islam? You are allowed or not? This is what? The new word that they use? What is the name for it? “Democracy,” because Allah made it free and you choose what you want: you choose what is good or what is bad, it is up to you.

Yes, the Prophet (s) had given majlis ash-shoora to his Sahaabah (r), but when there is no more Sahaabah (r) to give the right opinion and came tyrants, what do you do? Do you still go to a shoora and make mistakes or to ask the people what they want, you have to give the baya`, is it not? That ruler is going to take baya` and we ourselves need a baya`, we need baya` to the Prophet (s). All the Sahaabah (r) gave their baya` to the Prophet (s). Ask Prophet for his hand and we are asking, “Yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasollullah! We are asking for baya` through our shuyookh,” because you cannot go through the door directly, you have to go nicely through permission and when permission is granted we say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem,” and we raise our hand to Prophet (s) to take baya` to Prophet (s), everyone through his own shaykh, by saying:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَوْفَى بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Inna ’Lladheena yuba`yoonaka innamaa yuba`yoon Allah. Yadullaahi fawqa aydeehim, faman nakatha fa-innama yankuthu `alaa nafsihi wa man awfaa bimaa `ahad `alayhu ’Llaaha fa-sayu’teehi ajran `azheema.

Verily, those who swear allegiance to you (Muhammad) swear allegiance only to Allah. The Hand of Allah is above their hands, so whoever breaks his oath does so only to his soul's injury, while whoever keeps his covenant with Allah, on him will He bestow immense reward. (Surat al-Fath, 48:10)

Finish, we give from our side, if we die now we die clean, you gave your baya`. Now who is responsible? Prophet (s). We say “Yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasoolullah, we are weak, it’s in your hands, our baya` is in your hands.” May Allah forgive us, may Allah bless us, may Allah bless those who organised this event. We could say more and more, but they want to do some hadrah for you. As-salaamu `alaykum.


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