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The More Difficult an Action the Greater its Reward

Shaykh Nour Kabbani

19 December 2015 Chicago, Illinois

Suhbah at Private Residence

If I am in the desert, am I feeling good or bad? He said, “I am walking in this desert where there is no food or drink, I am tawakkulillah, putting my trust in Allah (swt) that He will send me my rizq. Am I on the right path or am I doing something wrong?” That is his understanding, which is a very high level of tawakkul compared to ours; we can't just point at something and say “Okay, we'll wait for our food and drink to come!”

His shaykh said, “Don't make your intention that you are making tawakkul, trusting your Lord to fill up your stomach. In that case, you are on the wrong way and that's not the trust in Allah you must have. Your concern should not be your stomach, your concern should be Allah (swt)!”

However, we eat and look forward to our next meal, thinking, “Okay, I didn't have breakfast so will wait for lunch, I didn't have lunch so I will wait for dinner.” Is this how we are meant to be, a dervish waiting for his next meal? We think to be a dervish is to be happy with whatever comes our way, even if it's the food, but that is not the concern of a dervish, who doesn’t even think about where he's going to sleep next, under a tree or a roof. Physicality is not the concern of a dervish, nor satisfying the pleasures of his body! He seeks Allah's pleasure and the way to gain the pleasure of Allah (swt) is not through physicality, it’s through the heart, the door of the heart has to open, but how? So a dervish is not saying, “I am trusting that when I stay in remote deserts to leave this dunya behind, Allah (swt) will give me my food.” It's not about the physical satisfaction, it's about spiritual satisfaction of the heart.

Allah (swt) teaches us in the Holy Qur'an how to open the door of the heart.

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ

And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: For those things, that are good remove those that are evil: Be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord). (Surat Hud, 11:114)

“Establish the prayer: pray at the two ends of the day and a little bit at night,” because prayer opens the channel of the heart, prayer is the connection. We think prayer is just to come pray two, three, four ra`kats and go. No! That is the door Allah (swt) is opening for us to connect with Him. Unfortunately, some people take prayer lightly, they say, “Ah it's Zhuhr time again. I have to take wudu and pray four ra`kats.” They find it heavy, because they don't want to open that door with Allah (swt). Nabi (s) said, As-salaat al-mi`raaj al-mu’min, “Prayer is the Mi`raaj (spiritual ascension) of the mu'min.” Mi`raaj is to leave this world and ascend to the Heavens, to enter the spiritual world to Allah's Divine Presence!

With His Grace and Favor, from His Divine Presence Allah (swt) opened to us the spiritual door: “Establish the prayer on the two edges of the day.” Some people said it’s Fajr and `Asr, others say it's Zhuhr and `Asr, but it is the day and a little bit of the night, which includes Maghrib and `Isha. Why, what happens when you enter prayer? We are living here in this world and our heart takes everything in day and night through our five senses: money, men, women, glitter, wealth, worldly attractions. So our hearts are open day and night to dunya. When we enter prayer, we shut ourselves off from dunya. Our eyes are fixed on the place of sajda, not looking right, left, up, down; our ears listen to recitations of Qur'an, Surat al-Fatihah, tasbeeh; our smell is focused on the sweet fragrance of salaat; our sense of touch is preoccupied with performing salaat; we don’t feel or notice anything else. So we are living day after day in this physical world, swimming with these physical senses and desires. When we enter prayer we shut all of that down. We are not anymore using our physical body in this world, we are now opening the heart to Allah's Divine Presence.

When the mureed spoke about being in the prairies and putting his trust in Allah (swt), the shaykh told him, “Don't put your trust in Allah (swt) for physical things. Don't think I am going to eat and drink whatever Allah (swt) sent me. That is good, but this shouldn't be your last hope or last wish or last goal of leaving dunya.” When we enter into prayer we shut our physical senses, and what happens then? When we are hudhoor, in prayer, Allah (swt) is sending His blessings and mercy on the one that is praying, and what is it doing in the heart? It’s cleaning whatever filth and sins and bad things we have accumulated from dunya. That's why He is saying, “Say your prayers,” because our heart is filled with dunya because of what we see and do every day. So in prayer, when we open that channel and shut off dunya, that light is cleaning our heart.

That verse, the ayah kareema, the honorable verse, says, “Establish the prayer at the two ends of the day and little bit at night,” because hasanaat, the good things, the blessings, the mercy, yuthhibna, take away sayyi’at, the bad things. So when we enter the prayer, Allah (swt) sends the light and mercy to take away the badness what we have accumulated in our hearts from sins and love for other than Allah (swt). These days, people love so much other than Allah (swt). That is shirk: to make another person or thing or creation equal in your love for Allah in your heart, unless it takes you to your Lord, like the love of good people, the saints, love of Prophet (s). Allah (swt) tells us, “If you love Me, follow Prophet (s), then I will love you.”

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

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)

So we have a license to love Prophet (s), and in doing so we are not wrong as that's how we get the love of Allah (swt)! But to love the wealth and pleasures of this world is not acceptable, because then we love two things in our hearts. Either we want dunya or we want Mawla, Allah (swt). When we stand in prayer, Allah (swt) sends the mercy to take away our love of dunya, and the light to take away our attachment to it, and that's why we have to keep our prayers.

الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ

Those who remain steadfast to their prayer. (Surat al-Ma’arij, 70:23)

They remain consistent with salat, which means they are hudhoor, in the Divine Presence all the time. When we open our day with prayer, our teachers say that light continues until the next prayer, until the next prayer, until the next prayer...so in 24 hours, Allah’s Light and remembrance,dhikr, is continuously cleaning our heart from sins of attachment to this dunya.

Unfortunately, nowadays some people take prayers lightly, some people don't come to prayer, some say, “I will pray them all at night.” Alhamdulillah, at least they are praying. Our teachers have always said, “Pray your prayers even if it’s qadr, even after its allocated tim, because that is a debt to Allah (swt).”

One of the saints said, “I realize I have a debt to my Lord and nobody else can pay it for me, so I got busy paying it.” That debt is our obedience to Allah (swt). We must obey Him and nobody else can do it for us. On the Day of Judgement, nobody else is going to take the sins or badness from another person, everyone will be to themselves. That debt is prayer five times a day, and fasting. And whatever is heavy on us, our teachers say, “Whatever action you feel is heavy, when you complete it that heaviness will be on the Heavenly Scale, meezaan, bringing such high value.”

On the Day of Judgement, the Scale will be set up, everyone will be in front of it, so if prayer is heavy here, in the other life when it’s put in the scale it will be heavy. The heavier it is in this world, the heavier it becomes in the other world, more valueable. So whenever you feel, “I can’t do that, it's too heavy,” if you complete it, it will be heavy then. Whatever is easy and light for us to do here will be be very light on the Scale, with less value.

Nowadays following our desires and our natural instincts is very easy: to go out with someone, to smoke, lie, cheat; but to not lie or not smoke is heavy, fasting is heavy, Hajj is heavy, which is the meezaan Allah (swt) gave us. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim says use that meezaan. When you are trying to do something good, when it's heavy, understand it's going to be heavy on the Day of Judgement. If we are trying to do something and it’s light, it's easy to do, it's a piece of cake, if it's a bad thing, it's going to be very light on the scales, without value. To be present in dhikr, to be good to our parents, to welcome a brother that harmed you, to be patient with sickness and disease, to be under an unjust ruler are all heavy. So when when we use that balance in our daily life, it encourages us to do those things that are heavy, as then we understand how to compare it to value on the Scale in the Hereafter.

This is a big secret from Mawlana, as people ask, “How will my Scale be on the Day of Judgment, heavy or light?”

What we do in this world, if it's hard for us to wake up for Fajr and we keep saying, “Five more minutes, ten more minutes, then I’ll get up,” if we pray Fajr it's going to be very heavy with blessings on our Scale, and if we don't get up, if we sleep, our blessings will be less. So when the mureed was asking for advice from his shaykh, his shaykh told him, “Don't be busy with only filling your stomach, also be busy with opening your heart to Allah's Divine Presence.” And Allah (swt) is teaching us in the Holy Qur'an that the way to do that is to be present is the five prayers. When we establish the prayer, that mercy and light will come into our hearts and take away all the sins and badness that we accumulate daily. When something is heavy, deal with it, bear the burden, take it, because you are now hoping for it to be heavy on the Day of Judgement, inshaa-Allah.

We ask Allah (swt) to bless our meeting and to bless us in this holy month, to bless our children, our families, our fathers, mothers, friends, our brothers and sisters, and all Ummati Muhammad. May Allah (swt) guide us to and keep us on the Right Way, in the company of good ones. May Allah (swt) take away afflictions from all human beings, from us, and from Ummati Muhammad, especially in this heavy time, but if we are patient in this heavy time Allah (swt) will reward us more on the Day of Judgment.

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


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