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The Importance of Keeping One’s Promise

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

15 August 2011 London, UK

After Dhuhr at CSCA, Feltham

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-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`ala fee haadha 'l-masjid.

Ati`ullaha wa ati`u 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

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

We are not going to make a long one, but a short advice to myself and to you. Allah (swt) does not like that we pretend to be something but in reality we are not that. Allah likes people to be straight-forward. In this time, to be straight-forward you see many people around the world conspire against each other and hate each other and you are alone to struggle and be on the right path. It is not easy to come here and leave your work and visit Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah grant him long life.That is why we are struggling between good and evil, and also why Prophet (s) said, “(As the Last Days approach), the one holding his beads, who keeps promise will be like someone holding a burning coal.” We have to keep our promises or else we are lying to ourselves and to those we promised.

A Believer Fulfills His Promise

المؤمن إذا وعد وفى

al-mu’min idhaa wa`ada wafa

Prophet (s) said, “A mu’min is a mu’min if he fulfills his promise.”

One time Prophet (s) was going with the Sahaaba in a tour outside the city, and one or two Sahaabas asked, “Yaa Rasoolullah! We need to go to the next village to do some things and come back the same day. Can you wait for us?” He said, “I will wait.” `Asr passed, Maghrib came and they did not return. Prophet (s) did not go back to Madinah. When others asked about this, the Prophet (s) said, “A Muslim has to keep the promise.” The next day they came, but Prophet (s) did not leave before that. So when we promise something we have to fulfill it; we cannot step on our promise.

A shaykh of the Golden Chain said to his mureeds, “Go to the mountain after Fajr and wait for me there; I am coming.” So the man took food for one day and went to an area of Daghestan with greenery, forests, streams and trees. He arrived at noon, prayed Zhuhr, sat to eat, and prayed `Asr, Maghrib, then `Isha, and the shaykh did not come. We would have said, "The shaykh didn’t come, we will go back. Why are we waiting?" But he waited and stayed overnight, and the shaykh didn’t come, not the next day or the day after that. The mureed still had food and he ate, waiting patiently. He said, “My shaykh said, ‘Wait for me,’ so why do I have to leave?”

A week passed, the a month, and still the shaykh didn’t come. Winter was approaching and the mureed was still waiting, doing dhikr by himself, reading Holy Qur’an, reading Dala`il al-Khayrat, making salawaat on Prophet (s), waiting for his shaykh to come as a believer keeps his or her promise! Winter came and the leaves fell. He had eaten the fruit of trees which were then bare, so he made a wooden tool and cut into tree trunks and ate the sap, which was sweet and nourishing. Although he was able to go down to his shaykh, he waited. Not one mureeds came to say, “As-alaamu `alaykum. Do you need anything?” They only cared how to fill their pockets.

That mureed waited for his shaykh for a full year and he completed seclusion! After one year, finally a deer came to him and gave milk daily at `Asr and Maghrib. Then the mureed saw small animals coming around him; when he made dhikrullah, they listened. Another year passed and wild animals came and listened to the dhikr. Allah (swt) granted that to him because he kept his promise and he didn’t change! This continued for seven years, during which time he was not lonely because the animals kept him company and they were no longer wild. Wild animals represent those human beings who fight each other, who make bloodshed and kill, and who do not keep their promises!

Seven years passed and one day the shaykh came up the mountain and that mureed went down to greet him; he knew the shaykh was coming because his inner eyes were open. The shaykh looked at him and he said, “Are you crazy? I may have died or had problems, or forgotten, and you didn’t come down to see me?”

The mureed replied, “Yaa Sayyidee! If I came and broke my promise, you would not be coming here to give my trust. Now you are coming by permission of Prophet (s) to give me my amanat, because I didn’t break my promise.”

His reward after seven years was to be given his trust from Prophet (s)! That is why, if you promise to do something, it is important to keep that promise. When Sayyidina Husayn (r) promised to help the people of Baghdad against Yazeed, they let him down and Yazeed killed him.

They pleaded,“We promise you that all our children, all our wives, and all of us will be for you. We will sacrifice our lives for you, but come help us!” When he arrived at Karbala they ran away! After he gave his promise, his relatives and advisers in Madinah told him, “Don’t go!”

Sayyidina Husayn (r) said, “I gave a promise and I will go even if I am killed.”

He was in his forties. How did Yazeed dare kill Sayyidina Husayn (r), the grandson of Prophet (s)? They were so cruel as to cut him into pieces, what you would never do even to an animal!

So a mu`min is the one who when he makes a promise he keeps it. We made a promise to Allah (swt) that we would not lie, we would not steal, we would not do this or that, but when we came to dunya, we broke our promise. We ask Allah (swt) to forgive us and inshaa-Allah, with the shafa`ah of Prophet (s), we hope and ask that He will not take His face away from us, yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasoolullah! And may Allah (swt) keep our shaykh, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), happy with us in spite of false rumors going to him from some specific people, and you know who they are. These people are like muraa’ee, the one who shows you one thing, but in his heart there is something else. He wants to show you that he is the best. His clothes are clean, he gives the ummah a place to stay and feeds them with a little soup, and makes himself a Tarzan in that place, saying, “I am the king of the jungle!”

We are not saying we are free from that, but we are different, not a muraa’ee, who shows that he can do everything but is actually cheating. His clothes are clean but his heart is dirty. He does not like anything for anyone and doesn’t care for anyone but himself. He doesn't care for his wife or his children. You see him wearing very nice clothes, trimming his beard, using perfume, but the heart is najis, filth that cannot be purified. He uses his religion and his position to eat from the people, saying, “Give me, give me, give me! I want to do this, I want to do that,” and he doesn’t even care if he eats every forbidden thing in order to reach his goal. He hides his true nature from pure people, the sheep who don't know better, saying, "Mawlana said this, Mawlana said that,” and people believe him as it is unthinkable to lie about what Mawlana Shaykh Nazim said!

So they use religion to eat from people. If they are preaching and people give them as a gift, it is okay, but if they are trying to mix trade with religion, that is prohibited. Prophet (s) prohibited taking money for reciting Qur’an, because you cannot sell the Holy Qur’an! Even now in bookstores they sell the Holy Qur’an and that is not allowed. You cannot sell the book of Allah (swt)! You can give it as a gift, and someone who takes the Holy Qur’an can give a donation, but to buy or sell the Qur’an is not permitted. Allah (swt) compensates booksellers by making people buy other books from them.

Normal people are not aware of what is inside that muraa’ee’s heart, that he is only showing off, but those who can look at hearts know what he is doing. Allah (swt) said that He left them to lose their way, not caring for them, because they are not the people to care for. Al-muraa’ee is someone who shows off, and Allah (swt) will give him a hard time on the Day of Judgment. So may Allah (swt) keep us away from showing off, as in this verse:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاء رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا

وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

Qul innama ana basharun mithlukum yooha ilayya annama ilahukum ilahun wahidun faman kana yarjoo liqaa rabbihi falya`mal `amalan salihan wala yushrik bi`ibadati rabbihi ahad.

Say, "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me that your Allah is One Allah. Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness and in the worship of his Lord admit no one as partner. (al-Kahf, 18:110)

Prophet (s) is saying that whoever wants to reach his Lord and see Him, to be with Him on the Day of Judgment, let him do something good, and he must not say that Allah (swt) has a partner. “Yushrik” means to associate partners with the Lord, so he must not make shirk with Allah (swt). When you read this verse, it means, “Don't make shirk.” It was revealed to Prophet (s) because in his time there was one person making a lot of shirk. He did something good and said, "I did something: I gave this one a lot of money. I did something: I hosted this one and gave food to that one." No, it’s Allah (swt)! This is hidden shirk, which all of us are falling into today. That ayah came to Prophet (s) to say, “Don’t be muraa’ee.”

That is the meaning of muraa’ee: don’t show that you are good, saying, “I am giving. I am doing. I am saying." No, leave it to Allah (swt), because Allah is The One Who is giving the good. You didn’t do good, Allah did good on your behalf! So it was a very strong message from Prophet (s) when Allah (swt) revealed in the Holy Qur’an, “Say to them that they must not be partners to Me as if they are the ones feeding people! I am moving his hand to give that one money or food, not him!” So don’t put anyone there.

We ask for Allah’s forgiveness and that He takes away these deficits and shortcomings from us, and we say: Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah al-`Azheem al-ladhee laa ilaaha illa Hu al-Hayyu ‘l-Qayyum wa atoobu ilayh innahoo at-tawaabu ‘r-raheem min kulli dhanbin wa ma’seeyatin wa min kulli maa yukhaalifu deen al-Islaam, yaa arham ar-Raahimeen, min kulli maa yukhaalif ush-shari`at, min kulli maa yukhaalif ut-tareeqati, min kulli maa yukhaalifu ‘l-ma`rifata, min kulli maa yukhaalifu ‘l-haqeeqata, min kulli maa yukhaalifu ‘l-`azheemata, yaa arham ar-Raahimeen.

Astaghfirullahu ‘l-`Azheem wa atoobu ilayh, astaghfirullahu ‘l-`Azheem wa atoobu ilayh, astaghfirullahu ‘l-`Azheem wa atoobu ilayh. Rabbana wa laa tuhammilna maa laa taqata lanaa bihi wa`fu `anna waghfir lanaa w ’arhamnaa anta mawlaanaa fansurnaa `ala ‘l-qawmi ’l-kaafireen. Rabbana la tuzigh quloobana ba`da idh hadaytanaa wa hab lana min ladunka rahmah innaka anta ‘l-Wahhaab.

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