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The Key to the Heart is Alzheimer's

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

25 January 2011 Buenos Aires, Argentina

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani '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)

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.

First, I would like to say that it is an honor for me to be here. Before leaving yesterday morning, we spoke with Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani (q). We told him we are coming here and he said, "Give my salaams to everyone." When awliyaullah send their salaam, they send with it support and power. Their salaam is not like ours. It also depends on their level. There are 124,000 awliyaullah in this dunya (world), and they are from the first level all the way up to 124,000 levels of awliyaullah. That means there are 124,000 different levels. If we have a shaykh from the first of 124,000 levels, his salaam will be according to that level. The salaam of a wali from the second level will be of that level. The salaam of a wali of the last level of 124,000 comes from the heart of Prophet (s) directly.

In the time of the Prophet (s), his Companions (r) used to go in circles and come back a second time in order to get a second salaam from Prophet (s). His salaam is unlike any other; with it comes, beauty, love, and all other heavenly manifestations. Awliyaullah inherit that secret from the Prophet (s) among many other secrets, so try to return the salaam in order to get back the salaam of that wali. Allah (swt) said in Holy Quran:

سَلَامٌ قَوْلًا مِن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. Salaamun qawlan mir-rabbi 'r-raheem.

'Peace!' a word (of salutation) from a Lord Most Merciful! (Suratu 'l-YaSeen, 36:58)

That means salaam carries mercy, and mercy is forgiveness. Alhamdulillah, that salaam from Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani (q) reached everyone in one moment when he said, "Send salaam to them." In that moment, it reached every one's heart, and everyone here having tears in their eyes is a sign that his salaam reached their heart.

Alhamdulillah we arrived here after many years of thinking to come to Argentina. It was however, a little bit difficult. I am here in front of you not as a shaykh, I am not claiming anything. I am like you and you are like me, we are all mureeds of Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani (q). I am not here to say that I know more than you and have to teach you, no astaghfirullah. I am the lowest. We are not coming for anything except to see you, to spend some good time with you and then go back inshaa-Allah.

You are the seed of this country, and that seed carries a secret in it. Every seed has a secret, and that secret cannot come without being planted in the soil. Perhaps you might have many seeds and not know what kind of fruit that seed is going to give, even agriculture engineers don't know. For instance, they know that this is a seed of a watermelon, but they cannot describe the size or the color of that watermelon. Allah put a secret in that seed that only He knows the outcome of.

You have seeds for apples. You know it is going to be red or yellow, but you don't know how it will be from the inside. It might have worms, it might be tasteless, it might be sour, or you may not know whether it is big or small. There is a seed for every Creation that Allah created and that seed carries the secret for that fruit or that human being. No one knows that secret, it is planted inside that Creation, whether it is a tree, a fish, or a human being, it has a secret. No two can carry the same secret, it is impossible, even twins. They look alike, but they still have a different personality, different spirituality, and different secret in them.

Allah (swt) has made this group to carry a secret. It will not be shown now, but will be in the future. You will be like stars shining in dark nights. And our shaykh is always looking at that secret. That is why when you are in front of him, he doesn't need to look at you, he knows about you when he looks at your secret. He just looks at your secret and the seed that is planted inside your heart, and gets all the information about you. That is why we say that being too much near the sultan, is like being near fire. Because we are coming to his presence full of dunya (worldly) issues or problems, and he is looking at our hearts and seeing what we have done in the past and what we are doing in the present. But he does not show our reality, instead he hides it and tries to clean it, and that is why to meditate and to look at the shaykh through the heart is important.

As we all know, Allah (swt) has 99 different Names and Attributes. This is what we know, but in reality, His Names and Attributes are infinite. Everyone of us is appearing under the manifestation of one Name. And the Name differs from one person to the other. That is why `ulama (scholars) of Ahlu ’l-Sunnah wa ’l-Jama`ah, the`ulama of tasawwuf, say that there is not one (set) of 99 Names, but there are many many different (sets) of 99 Names. Of the 99 Names we know, among them are, "Allah", "ar-Rahman", "ar-Raheem", "al-Malik", "al-Quddus", and other Holy Names. These are one (set) of 99 Names, there are others of infinite numbers. Every person is with the Light of that Name that is special for that person. That is why Prophet (s) prohibited backbiting; because when you backbite someone, it goes back to Allah and His Prophet (s). We have to be very loving towards each other. We have to work with and help each other to become a strong community in order to build up our spirituality and to put our egos down.

There are many teachers around the world. One time I was asking Mawlana Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani (q) about meditation. He said, "O my son, what kind of meditation are you speaking about? If you are going to speak about meditation that some Indians do, that is not going to take you anywhere. You might experience something and feel that you have made an achievement, but that only comes to you because you are placing your first steps into meditation, you are not really opening the right door." So you feel something because your feet are at that door. The door might be opened to you but such kind of meditation is like plastic fruit, it only looks nice. Real meditation is the meditation that connects you with Allah and His Prophet (s), meditation that is built on Islam. If Islam is eliminated from it, it is as if you are getting plastic fruit only. If you try to connect to them with the reality of the Prophet (s) and the reality of Paradise, then they will give you the key for that through your meditation, and everyone is looking for that key.

Are you looking for the Key to Paradise? For sure you are, otherwise why are you coming here leaving your work? I have no job for you, but still you are doing your best and avoiding ten days or one week of work, for what? For one reason, and that reason is to get that key that gives us happiness in dunya and akhirah. However, that key cannot be given so easily.

There was one very well known and famous wali who lived about 1,000 years ago, Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q). He was a very big `alim (scholar) studying Shari`ah and a very big sufi. He was always in prayer and was always teaching Shari`ah, how to follow the way of the Prophet (s) and Islam. And at the same time, he was teaching Sufism as well. The definition of "sufi" is how to improve your moralities, your behaviors, and how to be a perfect individual in the community."

So one day he was sitting in his zawiya or dergah, and was saying, "Yaa Rabbee, O My Lord, open for me Your Door!" This I think is what everyone wants. They want that Allah open for them His Door. "Yaa Rabbee, O My Lord, open for me Your Door! Yaa Rabbee, O My Lord, open for me Your Door!" He was sitting and requesting until a man appeared. This man looked at him and left.

Then after one or two weeks, he saw him in the street and said to him, "O Ahmad! Do you want the key for that door of Paradise?"

Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) replied, "Yes, I would like the key to enter in Allah's Divine Presence."

The man said, "I have the key for you."

How do you think he answered? He is proud of himself, that is the problem. We must not be arrogant and we must not be proud. This is the problem of the ego.

He said, "I don't take the key from you. If Allah wants to give me the key, I will take it directly from Him. You take it (away)."

What was wrong if he had taken the key? No, this is the disease and the illness: we are stubborn and proud of ourselves. May I jump to another story which fits perfectly here?

Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa`iz ad-Daghestani (q) was traveling with one shaykh in Damascus, Shaykh `Abdul Wahhab as-Salahi. In those times they didn't have cars, they traveled in horse-drawn carriages. Both were traveling on that carriage to visit Sayyidina Muhiyyudin ibn al-`Arabi (q). One person appeared, held the horse, and asked them a question. The question was not for Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa`iz ad-Daghestani (q),but for Shaykh `Abdul Wahhab as-Salahi. He asked, "Who is your shaykh? Is he your shaykh, or are you his shaykh?"

`Abdul Wahhab as-Salahi said, "He is not my shaykh and I am not his shaykh."

That person immediately disappeared. That was one of the awliyaullah who will appear in the time of Sayyidina al-Mahdi (a), his name is Sayyidina `Abdur-Ra`uf al-Yamani (q).

`Abdul Wahhab as-Salahi asked Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa`iz ad-Daghestani (q), "Where is he?"

Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa`iz ad-Daghestani (q) answered, "I am seeing him, he is there."

He asked, "Why can't I see him?"

Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa`iz ad-Daghestani (q) replied, "You cannot see him because of the bad smell of your ego.What was wrong if you would have said, 'Shaykh `AbdAllah is my shaykh.?'" That is arrogance.

So awliyaullah run away from arrogant and proud people, as they have in themselves a very bad smell. That is why we have to be careful, we have to polish our ego. When Ahmad al-Badawi (q) said, "I don't take the key except from the Key-maker," that wali disappeared and left him with nothing. Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) was knocking at the door asking Allah for the key when he heard a voice, "Yaa Ahmad! My Key is with that wali that came and you refused him. Go back and get it from him."

That wali left him for ten months and Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) was crying and crying; that is meditation. He was crying and pleading from Prophet (s) to reopen the door and ask for that wali to come and give him his key. After six months he appeared to him.

He said, "Yaa Ahmad! Do you want the key now?"

He replied, "Of course. I need the key," and the key is with Shaykh Abdur-Ra`uf.

The wali said, "When I came before, I was offering the key for free, but now you have to pay."

He said, "Whatever I have of money I will give you. I will give everything to have the key!"

Awliyaullah don't need your money. They are not after your money, they can easily get money from Allah. If they need money, anyone can easily come to them on the street and put money in their pocket.

Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) asked, "What do you want?"

He said, "I want all the knowledge you have, as it is blended with your ego. That is what I want from you. You will not even be able to read Fatihah."

Today people get sick and forget everything from Alzheimer's disease. He made him as if he had Alzheimer's (total memory loss). Everything that awliyaullah do or make, the proof of that is always found in medical science.

He said, "Look into my eyes." Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) looked in his eyes and pulled all his knowledge out, leaving him with nothing. When someone has Alzheimer's, he doesn't know anything, even himself. Do you want reality? Do you want knowledge? Become an Alzheimer's patient! They will open for you. But if you want to make your self as if you know everything, then they will leave you alone. You have to have submission, they will give you everything. You need the key for the door.

So that wali left him for six months not knowing anything except for one thing, that he was reciting in order to open the door of the Divine Presence. Children were running after him saying, "Our grand mufti became crazy! He doesn't even know Fatiha!" And they began to throw stones at him. Since he saw that wali, he knew he was on the way to Paradise, because he was being beaten by stones. When you are beaten by stones, know you are on the right way, the way of Alzheimer's. When children will beat you with stones, know you have Alzheimer's now, then you are on the way to Allah. I will leave the rest for next time. May Allah (swt) forgive us. And may Allah bless us and support us.

Shaykh `Abdur-Ra`uf, you are our boss for akhirah. For how many years do I know you now, 21? And I know `Abdul Matin also for 12 years. Yes, `Abdul Matin came 3-4 times to Michigan, studying there. Mashaa-Allah, from just two, three, or four people, there is a big group now. We didn't continue the seed. You have to remind me tomorrow. I have Alzheimer's! Remind me of the seed and of the door. Because when you have no mind, it is more easy. A child has no mind; it has to be carried, kissed, and pampered because it has no mind. If we go back to being young, then Allah will send awliyaullah and mu'min jinn to clean, pamper, and take care of us. Inshaa-Allah, we are asking our Lord. (Du`a)

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