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The Light of Muhammad (s) is What Makes us Muslims

Mawlid Conference

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

1 February 2014 Chicago, Illinois

Suhbah at Watford Banquet and Conference Center

Salam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh. Alhamdulillah rabbi ’l-`alameen wa ’s-salaat `alaa ashrafi ‘l-mursaleen Sayyidina Muhammad (s) wa `alaa aalihi wa as-haabibi `ajmaeen.

O brothers, sisters, organizers, chairman, managers, audience: as-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh! It is not that we are after the reward of attending such a beautiful evening, and we are not after anything other than to say, “Yaa Rasoolullah!” There is no value in the world more than Rasoolullah (s).

I have to tell you that in the Middle East a long time ago, 40-50 years ago, when we used to hear about an `alim coming from Hind, India, scholars in the Middle East shook, they were afraid of them, because `ulama of India `ulamau ’l-hind `ulama al-haqaaiq, the `ulama of India are `ulama of realities. Usually everyone was worried because they are the kings of knowledge, and I’m not saying this to flatter you, I am saying this after having come back from India two weeks ago and I saw all those `ulama living and not living.

The living are not like the ones non-living, the non-living are stronger than the `ulama of today. We went everywhere, from Sirhind to Ajmer Sharif, to Nizamuddin Chisti (q), to Mu`inuddeen Chisti (q), to all the saints of the Naqshbandi Tariqah: Sayyidina Ahmad Farooqi Sirhindi (q) and all his students, all those following Sayyidina Ahmad Farooq Sirhindi (q), until Sayyidina Jan-i-Janan Habibullah (q). Really, I was looking. The Wahhabis say these saints are dead people, but let us compare: their places are attracting millions of people visiting them even though they are in their graves. What are Wahhabi people attracting to their graves? No one! So this will tell us that these saints are living, not like they say they are not living.

Who is pulling like a magnet the hearts of people, Muslim and non-Muslim? Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, European, Westerners, Americans, Australians, who is pulling them? How are they being pulled to come and visit and they pay their respects and go? O Muslims! It is because the line between these saints and Prophet (s) is open, it is not closed, the pipe is running. Our pipes are blocked, we have to polish them, we have to clean them. Like the story Dr. Anam mentioned about the hadith of the Bedouin, and `Ali mentioned it. I’d like to say that Bedouin didn’t want to hear anything; in reality, he wanted to know how far he was from Prophet (s), how far he is going to be, far away from or near to Prophet (s)?

He said, “I am not coming, yaa Rasoolullah,” as Prophet (s) had said, “It is a long travel. Where are you coming to?”

That Bedouin said, “I am not coming because I pray too much or fast too much, but I want to know, when I will be with you?”

That’s what it means, he wanted to know when he will be with his Prophet (s) in reality, not just by name. Today we are doing everything in imitation, by name. These awliya you have in Sirhind or in Delhi or in the South, they didn’t do that only by name, they opened the server, they opened the emails between them and Prophet (s)! Why do you accept emails and you can’t accept in your mind Prophet (s) connecting with everyone? Some simple mathematics: all of us here, when we say one salawaat, one...how many people are here? 500, 600, 700, 1000, and if all of us at the same say one salawaat on Prophet (s), such as, “Allahumma salli `alaa Muhammadin wa `alaa aali Muhammadin wa sallim,” all of us at the same time, can Prophet (s) send us back salaam to everyone in the same time? What kind of power is that, what kind of power? He can be with us one-by-one and no one overlap the other! He can reach everyone in the same time, in the same moment, even if there are hundreds, if there are thousands, if there are millions, if there are billions, he can reach them at any moment! He can:

حياتي خير لكم تحدثون ويحدث لكم ، فإذا أنا مت كانت وفاتي خيرا لكم ، تعرض علي أعمالكم فان رأيت خيرا حمدت الله تعالى وإن رأيت شرا استغفرت لكم

Hayaatee khayrun lakum tuhadithoona wa yuhdatha lakum fa idhaa anaa mitta kaanat wafaatee khayran lakum. Tu`radu `alayya `amalukum fa in ra’aytu khayran hamadt 'ِِِِAllahi ta`alaa wa in ra’aytu sharran astaghfarta lakum.

I observe the `amal of my ummah. If I find good I thank Allah, and if I see other than that, bad, I ask forgiveness for them. (al-Bazzaar in his Musnad)

He said, “I see, I know the `amal of my ummah,” of everyone, one-by-one. Wajadtu kharyan hamadta ’Llah, “If I see something good, I thank Allah (swt)” for everyone at the same moment around the world! “If I see something bad...astaghfarta,” it means that our Prophet (s) is looking after us like a father looks after a child: every moment we do a sin he is making istighfaar to Allah on our behalf to present us clean to Allah (swt)!

There is no way to describe the power of Prophet (s)! Can the light be extinguished? Can the light be extinguished? No way! The Light is Light, Dawt ush-Shams, the noor of the Sun; can you put it down? No, and Prophet (s) is Light:

رواه عبد الرزاق بسنده عن جابر بن عبد الله بلفظ قال قلت: يا رسول الله، بأبي أنت وأمي، أخبرني عن أول شيء خلقه الله قبل الأشياء. قال: يا جابر، إن الله تعالى خلق قبل الأشياء نور نبيك من نوره،...

When Jaabir (r) asked, “Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you, oh Prophet of Allah! What is the first thing that Allah (swt) created?” the Prophet (s) said, “The first thing that Allah (swt) created is the Light of your Prophet from His Light, O Jaabir.” (Musannaf `Abdu ’r-Razzaq)

Awwal ma khalaqAllah noora Nabiyyika yaa Jaabir! “What Allah created first is My Light.” Qabatu qabdatan min nooree fa qulta lahu koonee Muhammad. Allah says, “I took one handful of My Light and said, ‘Be Muhammad!’ and Muhammad appeared.”

Can anyone put that Light down? No one. So if no one can put that Light down it means we have to know, as Muslim and mu'min, that Sayyidina Muhammad (s) is in us, as the ayah says:

وإعلموا أن فيكم رسول الله

W`alamoo anna feekum rasoolullah.

And know Allah's Messenger is in you. (Surat al-Hujuraat, 49:7)

He didn’t say, wa ana ma`akum rasoolullah,” aw “baynakum rasoolullah,” ma qaalullah aza wa jal, “anna feekum rasoolullah, Allah, Prophet (s) is with you, Prophet (s) is in you, his Light is within us, that is what makes us mu’min, that’s what makes us Muslim. It’s not because we are clever, it’s because of the Light of Muhammad (s)!

O Muslims, believers! That Bedouin came to Sayyidina Muhammad (s), I will not go through the hadith, but when he came, for him everything was silent and he didn’t see anyone as he was not focusing on anyone, and at that point from the desert that one who knows nothing:

رب اشعث اغبر لو اقسم على الله لأبره

Rubba ash`ath aghbara law aqsama `ala ’Llaahi la-abbarah.

There may be a disheveled, dusty person who, if he swears an oath by Allah, Allah will fulfill it.


“Verily, someone who is coming from a desert dirty, if he asks Allah, Allah will give,” came and his focus is Prophet Muhammad (s), nothing else. “What I want from Muhammad (s)? I want his love, as through his love I can reach to Allah’s Love (swt)!”

أَنَّ رَجُلاً، مِنْ أَهْلِ الْبَادِيَةِ أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَتَى السَّاعَةُ قَائِمَةٌ قَالَ ‏"‏ وَيْلَكَ وَمَا أَعْدَدْتَ لَهَا ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَ مَا أَعْدَدْتُ لَهَا إِلاَّ أَنِّي أُحِبُّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ إِنَّكَ مَعَ مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ ‏"‏‏.‏ ‏.

A Bedouin came to the Prophet (s) and said, "O Allah's Messenger (s)! When will the Hour be established?" The Prophet (s) said, "Wailaka (Woe to you)! What have you prepared for it?" The Bedouin said, "I have not prepared anything for it, except that I love Allah and His Apostle." The Prophet (s) said, "You will be with those whom you love!" (Narrated by Anas, Bukhari)

So Prophet did not answer the first time; he asked him, mataa as-sa`a, yaa Rasoolullah, “When will the Hour be established?” Then he asked a second time and Prophet (s) did not answer, the a third time and Jibreel (a) came and said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! Answer him.” At that moment, Prophet (s) said, safarun ba`eed fa maadha a`dadta lahaa, “It’s a long journey, what have you prepared?” He didn’t hesitate! The answer was with him, he was prepared as if he knew what Prophet (s) was going to tell him because his pipe was flowing, his heart was flowing, his connection was there, he could relate to Prophet (s) directly, he was not interested in anyone else except the Role Model, the Light, an-Noor, an-Noor al-Muhdaat, al-Rahmah Muhdaat ila ‘l-Ummah! And when Prophet (s) said, “What have you prepared?” he said directly, the answer was there, “I love you and I love Allah subhaanahu wa ta`alaa,” and Prophet (s) said, “That’s enough!”

يحشر المرء مع من أحب

Yuhshar al-maruw ma` man ahhab.

Each person will be resurrected with the one he loves.

“You will be resurrected with the one you love! You love me and Allah, so you will be with Allah on the Day of Judgment, you will be there safe.”

O mu’mins! O Muslims! Allah said in Holy Qur’an, and maybe we have heard it many times:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Qul in kuntum tuhibboona 'Llaaha fattabi`oonee yuhbibkumullaahu wa yaghfir lakum dhunoobakum w 'Allaahu Ghafooru 'r-Raheem.

Say (O Muhammad), "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat Aali-'Imraan, 3:31)

To follow: if you love Allah, follow Muhammad (s). Follow how? Ash-Shari`ah says bi ‘l-ahwaalih, bi ‘l-afaal w’al-harakaat, “By tongue, by action and by movement.” This is what we explain in Shari`ah, but what does it mean in reality? It means you don’t follow anyone if you don’t have love to him; it means that love that is within your heart, even if only a drop of the love within your heart is love for Prophet (s), it is enough for him (s) to take you where he is going, because as an example, a father would not leave his son or daughter to the hands of wolves even if there is no love inside their hearts! What do you think if there is love there? And Allah planted the love of Prophet (s) in the hearts of the mu'mins, in the hearts of the Muslims, that’s why He said, “If you really love Allah, follow Muhammad!” means “Love Muhammad!” in kuntum tuhibboona 'Llaaha fattabi`oonee… “tabi`oonee” is to follow the Prophet (s).

Where is the Prophet (s) going? Prophet (s) is going to the Love of Allah, which means “Follow My Love and you will be with Me!” O Muslims! Allah said in Holy Qur’an:

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

Wa law annahum idh zhalamoo anfusahum ja’ooka f ’astaghfaroollaaha w ’astaghfara lahumu ‘r-rasoolu la-wajadoo ’Llaaha tawwaaba ‘r-raheema.

If they had only, when they were unjust 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-Nisa, 4:64)

When the ummah does something wrong, we must run to Muhammad (s), as Allah mentioned in Holy Qur’an, “When they are oppressors to themselves they come to Muhammad (s), they say ‘astaghfirullah’ there and you say on their behalf ‘astaghfirullah’.” Let’s say, “astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah”...all sins are waived. You don’t believe that? Then ask the ayah, Wa law annahum idh zhalamoo anfusahum ja’ooka f ’astaghfaroollaaha w ’astaghfara lahumu ‘r-rasoolu la-wajadoo ’Llaaha tawwaaba ‘r-raheema! “If they are oppressors to themselves, they come to you Muhammad asking fogiveness, and you, Muhammad, I am ordering you! You have to make forgiveness on their behalf and I will forgive them!”

Someone asked me to explain about the permissibility of Mawlid because some people say it is bid`a. I said to them, these people are like Ya`jooj aw Ma`jooj; those who say it is bid`a, they come from every side, even in India they followed me, saying that going to shrines is bid`a. I said, “The bid`a is to ask about (the permissability of) Mawlid, necause Mawlid is an obligation: there is no Islam without Mawlid, without the birth of Prophet (s)! His birth is Islam and if you deny his birth you deny Islam, then you are accepting your ego, you are not accepting Prophet (s)!”

So don’t argue with these people! I argue with them a lot and they come from left, right, up, down, completely Yaajooj aw Maajooj and you will waste your time answering them. Leave them in what they like. Allah said in Holy Qur’an:

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)

Leave them alone playing with what they like; they have some toys with Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab, they collected some toys so let them play with that, we don’t bother with them, we don’t bother with them, we do what we want to do and what we do is this way and this is Ahlu ’s-Sunnah wa ’l-Jama`ah! What they are doing is up to them. May Allah forgive us and forgive them and guide them to the right way and guide us to the love of Prophet (s)!

It’s enough? When we entered, they were reciting Qaseedat al-Burdah written by Muhammad ul-Busayri (r). That qasidah is considered one of the best qasaa’id in the praising of Prophet (s) and it is recited everywhere. Imam Muhammad al-Busayri (r) wrote many qasaa’id and one of them is al-Burdah. One day he had a stroke and he could not walk, and he recited that qasidah, praising Prophet (s) at night, and he said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! My heart is for you, my mind is for you, my blood is for you! I am in this situation, no one can help me except you!” And he went to sleep and he had a dream: he saw Prophet (s) putting his hands on top of him where he had the stroke and he woke up cured, as he was before! These are awliyaullah that can relate to Prophet (s).

Imam al-Bukhari (r), when they say there are no saints, Imam al-Bukhari (r) every hadith that he recorded he asked Prophet (s) before he slept, “Is that correct or not?” and in his dream he got an answer from Prophet (s) whether it was correct or not. Then he asked Prophet (s), “Under which chapter should I include it?” and in the dream, Prophet (s) would tell him in which chapter he had to put it.

Awliyaullah are there! Might be here among us, who knows? But for sure we know that Prophet (s) is here. Don’t think it is too much! We are his ummah, we are his people, we believe in him, we are asking him, “Yaa Sayyidee, yaa Rasoolullah, yaa Rahmatan li ‘l-`Alameen ajibnaa, unzhurna yaa Rasoolullah bi nazhratin minka yaa Rasoolullah, yaa Habeebullah, yaa Ab al-Batool!” Will he say “no”? We are calling on him and he would say “no”? He will say, “yes”! We don’t have eyes to see, but to awliyaullah He gave eyes to see, because they struggle with their ego a lot.

I will give you an example of how to struggle with the ego and then we will finish. One of the saints, very famous, Abu Yazid al-Bastami (q), and I am going to mention something here that some people say, “Why do you mention this?” but it’s better to mention it so never mind. I will quote Ibn Taymiyya in Majmoo`a Fataawa Ibn Taymiyyah al-Kubra, in Volumes 10 and 11, he spoke about `Ilm at-Tasawwuf wa `Ilm as-Sulook, and every volume is 1,000 pages, explaining tasawwuf, and he says, “I accept Abu Yazid al-Bistami, I accept Sulayman ad-Dayraani, I accept Sirr is-Saqati, I accept al-Junayd, I accept Rabi`ah al-`Adawiyya.” He mentioned them and he took bay`a through six generations to `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q)! I’m not mentioning this because I love him, that we will leave what is between us and him on the Day of Judgment with Prophet (s) and Allah (swt), but because he mentioned that Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) is a saint.

To continue, Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) asked, “Yaa Rabbee! Open to me Your Door as I like to enter through Your Door, I like to come inside!”

Are we asking that? We have to come with Prophet (s), figuring that Prophet (s) is with us and opening us to the Door where Abu Yazid (q) was standing and all his mind is with Prophet (s) and asking, “Yaa Rabbee! Let me come inside!”

Kayf al-wusool ilayk? The answer came through a haatif rabbaani, a telephone call from an angel, because we don’t understand unless we use technical words in this time, or a message came, a text message, or Whatsapp! Something came, saying, Kayf al-wusool ilayk? Utruk nafsaka wa ta`al, “Leave your self and come to Me. mujarradan `ani ’d-dunya, Drop the whole dunya from your eyes and come to Me, then I will open for you My Door.”

And Abu Yazid (q) said, “Yaa Rabbee! How can I do that?”

The angels brought the inspiration to his heart, mazbalatan li `ibaadee, “Make yourself a dump, a garbage place for My servants.” It means, “Carry their problems, teach them, call them to the Love of My Prophet (s) asthat is My Way,” and that is the way of `ulamau ’l-Hind.

I thank you and I say, Yaa Rabbee, bless the `ulama of Hind, because they brought us the religion clean, very clean! They fought the bid`a, they didn’t accept it and they kept the religion clean. And may Allah (swt) bless us from them and be sure we have not spoken yet about Pakistanis, we are coming to `ulama of Pakistanis next time! [Laughter.]

As-salaamu `alaykum.


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