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The Meaning of Allah’s Oath by al-`Asr

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

11 August 2017 Lefke, Cyprus

`Asr Suhbah

(Suhbah in progress.)

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

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

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

وَالْعَصْرِإِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍإِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

By al-`Asr (the time)! Verily, Mankind is in loss, except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and exhorted each other to truth and exhorted each other to patience. (Surat al-`Asr, 103:1-3)

Allah gives an oath by `asr, indicating the frame of time; “al-`asr” is time, but it has various meanings. `Asr can be the time of Salaat al-`Asr, Allah gives an oath, Wa ‘l-`asr, inna ‘l-insaana laa fee khusr, “I am giving an oath by `asr that insaan is continuously losing.” He didn’t say, “inna ‘l-insaana laa fee hasanaat,” but He said, “laa fee khusr,” which means in sins, because hasanaat are from Allah and sins are from us. What we do in our daily life is part good and part bad. What is good comes from Allah (swt), and He gives an oath to Prophet (s) by the timeframe of `asr that people are either losing from sin or the opposite, which is hasanaat. So Prophet (s) said, “I have come to perfect that sign of losing, I want to bring them back to hasanaat.”

‏انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

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

He gave an oath to Allah (swt), “Yaa Rabbee, I will perfect them, I will not leave my Ummah without perfection.” It means he took the task of perfection on himself, and on the Day of Judgement he will carry the burden of presenting the Ummah clean on his shoulders. He is under that oath. We don’t pass an ayah in the Holy Qur’an as if it is only a story; no, there is a meaning! Allah (swt) wants His Prophet (s) to give an oath that he will carry the Ummah, which is why Prophet (s) said, “I have been sent to perfect my Ummah. I know they are weak and helpless because of too many sins.”

Allah gave an oath designating time, Salaat al-`Asr, and `asr also is the timeframe of a century, one-hundred years. To Awliyaullah it is not one-hundred years, but the length of the life of Prophet (s), which is sixty-three years. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) always insisted in his suhbahs that Allah (swt) is giving an oath on the sixty-three years of Prophet’s life, every moment of which is hasanaat, in Ascension! He is ascending, and who ascends continues to see things they haven't seen before. In every moment in his life, the Ascension changes. That is why if you read different Ahadeeth, you see Prophet (s) mentions one and then another a different way according to the Ascension: he is rising up in the Divine Presence, acquiring more `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa ’l-Akhireen.

So from that, Awliyaullah say that `asr is Salaat al-`Asr, that Allah gives an oath by that prayer, because it is so precious. He gives an oath by a century and by the life of Prophet (s). So the life of Prophet (s) is more to Awliyaullah; it is the life Allah (swt) gives an oath by in Surat al-`Asr, inna ‘l-insaana laa fee khusr, “Verily, the human being is losing.” (Holy Qur’an, 103:1)

As soon as you enter prayer and say, “Allahu Akbar,” here or anywhere else, Shaytan attacks you by sending gossips to your mind, then you don’t know if you prayed two, three or four raka`ats. That’s why you let the imam lead the prayer, and you rest and follow him; that way you don’t have the problem of forgetting.

One time, Grandshaykh (q) told the story about a murshid who was giving a suhbah to his students; he recited Surat al-Fatihah and explained it, then he said, “That explanation fits everyone from the common people in this room, as it is basic studies.” Then he read it another time and gave another explanation, “Only the `ulama can understand this.” After he read the surah a third time, he said, “None of you will understand it, except the one behind that pillar.” The students ran to see who was there, but he had left. According to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), that was Sayyidina Khidr (a). So yes, in real life there are things that Awliyaullah say or do that people don’t understand. What they are saying is true, but people use their mind and not their heart, so of course they won’t appreciate or understand what the shaykh wants them to learn.

Allah (swt) said in Surat al-`Asr, Wa ‘l-`asr, inna ‘l-insaana laa fee khusr, “The human being is losing,” illa ’Lladheena aamanoo wa `amiloo ‘s-saalihaat, “except those who keep their prayers,” wa tawaasaw bi ‘l-haqqa wa tawaasaw bi ‘s-sabr, “and their connection and discussion with each other is for goodness of the Ummah.” All the 124,000 Awliya are waiting for their followers to do the salihaat, real prayers that Allah likes, not to miss them, saying, “I will do it, I will do it,” and then reach Salaat azh-Zhuhr, then Salaat al-`Asr, and by the time they go to pray it is qada.

Also, we have to be very careful how we present ourselves when we pray. Narjullah `Azza wa jall, we ask Allah (swt) to forgive and help us. That’s why Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) said, “I respect the young ones because they have less sins, and I respect the elders because they have more hasanaat.”

One time he was in the state of haal, Ascension, because Awliyaullah ascend, Prophet (s) gives them that power. He said, “Yaa Rabbee! I want to pray two raka`ats for You in such a manner that no one before me has ever prayed, and I’d like You to accept it from me. I am completely giving my heart, my will, my 366 points in the body, concentrating all on Your Divine Presence and dhikrullah, yaa Rabbee. Accept it from me.”

As soon as he said, “Allahu Akbar,” a voice came to his heart, saying, “Yaa zhaalim! O oppressor! Today your prayer is rejected, because today you oppressed!”

Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) thought, “How did that happen? I prayed two raka`ats like no one has prayed before.”

He heard, “You did not, because I gave you 366 different points in your body for you to keep clean and give them back to Me as just I gave them to you, clean and balanced, not broken, but you did not, because you were an oppressor!”

There are points of power in the body as mentioned in a well-known Hadith of Prophet (s), and in Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture) they also use these points.

“When was I an oppressor, yaa Rabbee? Where did I do something wrong?” he asked.

Allah said, “When you said, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and wanted to pray two raka`ats the way no one before you prayed, you showed arrogance and pride, which made your ego want to show you can do better than others. So I reject your prayer, because you leaned more on your right leg than on your left.”

Allahu Akbar, he didn’t keep the balance. When you claim something, Allah knows what you are claiming. Because Allah (swt) doesn’t look at something bad and likes to look at something good, He doesn’t allow the angel on the left shoulder to write your sayyi`at, but allows the angel on the right shoulder to write the hasanaat. So with that hikmah, Allah (swt) said, “Illa ’Lladheena aamanoo wa `amiloo ‘s-saalihaati wa tawaasaw bi ‘l-haqqa wa tawaasaw bi ‘s-sabr, don't disconnect yourself from the community, from the brothers and sisters, from mureeds or ikhwaan, or anyone in dunya you respect in terms of their `amal, imaan and Islam. We must be very careful in how we address each other.

[Mawlana Shaykh Hisham to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim’s grandson, Mehmet]

Today, mashaa-Allah, you showed a lot of humbleness, I felt shy. May Allah bless you, and we congratulate you on your wedding. May Allah give you happiness in dunya and Akhirah. Keep like that and inshaa-Allah you will be stronger and stronger, happier and happier, as well as your parents, uncles, aunties. Inshaa-Allah may Allah (swt) keep you happy. We pray for you and we support you.

Wa ‘s-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah, Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil, Shaykh Mehmet, as well as grandson Mehmet. He is not arrogant and proud, he is humble. May Allah be happy with you, and inshaa-Allah we will see a child soon, one boy and one girl, and you stay at home!

Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah. Y’alla, wa ‘s-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.