Go to media page

The Real Shaykh Advises Humility and Keeps Shari`ah

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

24 December 2011 Jakarta, Indonesia

Private Residence

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Final reward is for the pious ones and there is no enmity except for oppressors. We bear witness, Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun`Abduhu, Habeebuhu wa Rasooluh!

Allah (swt) created him in the best of manners and physical appearance. He ennobled him and granted him that. He beautified him and thus gifted him. He enlightened him and sent him as a Mercy to the worlds. Yaa Sayyidee, Yaa Rasoolullah! Yaa Rahmatan li 'l-`alameen! Excuse us from what we did and grant us from the Divine generosity that Allah (swt) Most High granted to you where He said:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

wa maa arsalnaaka illa rahmatan li ’l-`alameen.

(O Muhammad!) We have sent you not except as a Mercy for all the Worlds. (al-Anbiyaa, 21:107)

O My Master! So with the mercy from you, O Messenger of Allah, O ye who hears us, sees us, and loves us! We love you, but your love is the highest and the love from our side is the humble, lowest love.

O Our Lord! We ask you, O Lord of Glory, Magnificence and Omnipotence, to give from your Heavenly blessings and from the manifestations of Your Holiness and Your Beautiful Names and Attributes, and from the complete manifestations on the Beloved Chosen One, upon him the choicest peace and blessings with a salawaat that is countless and immeasurable! You are the One Who counted and measured them! O our Lord, give generously to our Prophet (s) without counting or measure! Our words are simple towards your grandeur, yaa Rasoolullah! O Allah! Send salawaat, peace and blessings upon the Beloved Chosen One, the Content Messenger, who was chosen to be the Mercy for the Worlds!

O Muslims! O Believers! It is not easy to speak from heart to heart. It is easy to prepare and write, but not easy to speak on what is given to us from their generosity. You and I are hearing and learning, but all of us are crazy. I was thinking, “What is my value as a person?” Don’t give too much value to yourself, saying, “I am this or that,” or, “I have a turban, a hat, a scarf.” Instead, ask yourself, “What is my value with what Allah (swt) has honored me?”

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ

wa laqad karamnaa Bani Adam.

We have honored the Children of Adam. (al-Israa, 17:70)

This has a meaning; Allah can say this about us, but what can we say about ourselves? It is important to ask yourself, “What is my value?” Evaluate yourself. Don’t say you are a shaykh as many shuyookh came before you and left thousands upon thousands of important books, and the shuyookh of today are reading their books. They cannot come up with something new as everything has to relate to what someone before us said.

So what is our value? We are like a scorpion that, when it finds no one to sting, kills itself. Today the shuyookh are like scorpions killing themselves because they think they are something and they value themselves too highly. I also make mistakes and say to myself, “What is my value?” Self-evaluation is not to count how much you have, but how much honor Allah (swt) has given you because of your progress in His Way. So as I evaluated myself, I thought, “I will go to a museum filled with all kinds of things, old and new. I will find an old shoe and then find someone to beat me on the head with it and say, “Correct yourself, because you are not more valuable than this old shoe!”

What do we have to do in order to correct ourselves? Today, at conferences, the shuyookh and muftis in attendance give you their business cards. I went to one such conference and was surprised that I had to read through so many titles just to reach their actual names: “Ph.D,” “B.A.,” “B.Sc.,” “Dr.,” “Master,” “Professor.” Where is the name? I couldn’t find it. Allahu Akbar!

Once a mureed went to see a shaykh and mashaa-Allah, by looking at him, one could easily tell that he is a shaykh and a wali. The mureed was a real `alim, but because of his sincerity he knew that man was a wali. He said, “O my shaykh, I want to be your student.” That shaykh said, “You want to be my student? My students are different. before I teach them the knowledge of Shari`ah and Haqiqah, I first teach them how to be humble. If you want it, you are welcome. If you don’t want it, it is up to you.” The mureed knew the wali was telling the truth and not cheating him. So he said, “Yes, I want to be your student. I extend my hand, please give me baya`.”

It is not easy to take initiation with high-caliber awliyaullah. I never saw Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) give baya` to anyone except Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and Mawlana Shaykh Hussain (q) and no others because they could not carry it. Today out of love and mercy, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) gives baya`, and now anyone who thinks they are a “representative” is also giving baya` without even knowing the its meaning!

So that shaykh said, “Alright, I will give you baya`, but before that, you have to go down to the city, into the market and get a big basket of walnuts, then go to the masjid, pick up the oldest pair of shoes you can find and sit with them and the basket by the door.”

Grandshaykh (q) never gave baya` to anyone because until you studied the full course of Shari`ah and tariqah they put you under heavy seclusions and experiences, and by the time you finally passed all those tests, you might be 70 years old! That is when they gave baya`, which means you are following Shari`ah completely without making any mistakes, that you do not sway left or right, but remain steadfast and straight on the path. In tasawwuf you can’t make mistakes, as real tasawwuf springs from Shari`ah. Therefore, you can’t say, “I am a Sufi,” and you are destroying the Shari`ah of Prophet (s); that is haraam! Anyone who calls himself a “Naqshbandi,” “Qadiri,” “Chisti,” or “Shadhili” and breaks Shari`ah is not a Sufi, but a devil!

Shaykh `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q), the most famous ghaus and Sultan al-Awliya, said, “If you see a shaykh or man claiming to be a Sufi and flying in the air, know that he is Shaytan, as he broke the sunnat of the Prophet (s) by showing off!” Such a person is showing to people, “Look, I am someone different. I can take you to your imagination and give you hallucinations. I can make you high and give you ecstasy, so come to me!” They take everything from you and then throw you to the dogs. They don’t like lions because lions eat you up all at once, but dogs keep biting and give you more punishment. So be careful from these kinds of people!

That is why Grandshaykh (q) did’t give baya`, because no one can carry that responsibility. Also, you can not explain Shar`iah in any manner you like, you can’t play with it and say, “This verse means this and that one means that.” If that was the case, the Sahaabah (r) would have done it, but we didn’t see any of them breaking the meaning of the verses of Holy Qur’an! Today we see that: people explain (their amateur tafseer) without giving examples or being truthful. Such people are running after their own desires only to cheat others and build empires, for which they will be questioned by Allah (swt)!

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) gives baya` only to spread mercy, as now is a different century with a different tajalli; however, he reads this verse:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ

Inna alladheena yubaaee`oonka innamaa yubay`oon'Llah. Yadullaahi fawqa aydeehim.

Verily, those who give baya` to you (O Muhammad) are giving baya` to Allah. The Hand of Allah is over their hands. (Al-Fath, 48:10)إِ

This is an oath that they are giving to Allah (swt), they can not change it and play with the Holy Qur’an! They have to follow the Holy Qur’an and the sunnat of Prophet (s), and the Sahaabah (r) and imaams who came after Prophet Muhammad (s). So be careful of explaining the Qur’an the way you like, as cautioned in Holy Qur’an:

احْشُرُوا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا وَأَزْوَاجَهُمْ وَمَا كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَاهْدُوهُمْ إِلَى صِرَاطِ الْجَحِيمِ

Ahshuroo ’Lladheena zhalamoo wa azwaajahum wa maa kaanoo ya`budoona min doonillaahi fahdoohum ilaa siraati ‘l-jaheem.

Bring up, it shall be said, the wrong-doers and their wives and the things they worshipped besides Allah, and lead them to the path of the (fierce) Fire! (Surat as-Safaat, 32:22,23)

Going back to the story, the shaykh said to the mureed, “Sit near the masjid with your bag of walnuts and a pair of old shoes, then tell anyone passing by, ‘If you hit me once on the head, I will give you one walnut. And if you hit me twice, I will give you two walnuts.’ Do this all day, until walnuts are gone.”

The mureed said (in a derogatory way), “SubhaanAllah,” meaning, “How dare you speak to me this way! I am a big `alim!”

His shaykh said, “Right now, you just became a kafir (you just committed a grave sin)! Had you said ‘SubhaanAllah’ with happiness, that would have been appropriate, but you said it with pride and arrogance, not accepting my order, which means you have no chance in my tariqah. Therefore, go away.”

It is said in an account of Shaykh `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (q) that one of his khalifahs had a son who was a big `alim.Every time he would sit in an association of his father and hear him give a suhbah. When that khalifah spoke everyone paid attention in pin-drop silence. The son thought, “I am a bigger `alim than my father. If he gives me a chance to speak, I could make everyone dance with the knowledge of what I will tell them.” That kalifah knew his son’s desire to speak because he is a wali. People have all kinds of desires. For example, if they are the son of a shaykh, they want to make everyone their slaves.

So then one day the khalifah said to his son, “I am tired this week, so this time you go and make advice to everyone in Jumu`ah.” Out of joy, the son kissed his father’s hand. When Jumu`ah came, he went up on the minbar and began his very eloquent speech, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani ‘r-rajim. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem, alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafa 'l-mursaleen.” But as soon as he began the Jumu`ah khutbah, everyone started to fall asleep. He was surprised, thinking, “I have the best khutbah and they are sleeping?” He continued to hope they would wake up, but even after one hour everyone continued to sleep and some even took their shoes and left! He was so depressed that no one listened, thinking, “I spoke better than my father, so why didn’t they listen to me?”

His father came and said, “Yaa waladee, O my son! Arrogance and bad desires are not in our tariqah as we are straight-forward people. O my son! When I speak, I make sure that I do not see anyone, and I direct my speech towards myself. My advice is for my ego and my desires. I am self-evaluating my good and bad actions. When you humble yourself everyone listens to you, but when you see yourself as better than everyone, they all fall asleep.”

When you go to a conference, you see ten-to-fifteen people giving 45-minute speeches. If you look into the crowd, you see most attendees are sleeping. This is because you are not advising yourself. You must see yourself lower than everyone and not deserving of anything. That advise is for you, not for them! You are falling into a well of dirtiness and you have an unpleasant smell; you ask yourself, “Why do I smell bad?” Of course you do; look where you are! But when you are in the ocean or river of knowledge, you smell nice. Be humble as then you will have a pleasant smell; if you are arrogant you will have an unpleasant smell and everyone will run away.

Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) said, “There was a shaykh from the Naqshbandi Golden Chain. One time in the masjid he was giving his usual advice and that week he explained Surat al-Fatihah. He said to himslef, ‘I have read and explained it in a way that only awliyaullah can understand.’ Then he explained it a second time and said, ‘This time only the imaams can understand.’ Then he explained it a third time and said, “Only the shaykhs can understand this explanation.’ Then he read it a fourth time and said, ‘This explanation is for everyone (common people) to understand.’ Then he read it one more time and said, “No one will understand except for that one who is behind this pillar, as this is a special explanation just for him.’ Everyone ran to see who was behind the pillar but that man immediately ran away; it was Khidr (a).”

So the different tafseer that awliyaullah make is not meant for everyone, it is only for a certain group of people at that time. Everyone has a different level of understanding and they will all take according to their own level. That is why the speech of awliyaullah reaches everyone and every person thinks it is meant for them, although it might be meant for other awliyaullah or jinn present. With the barakah of Prophet (s), Allah (swt) ordered Prophet (s) to bequeath to the awliyaullah (they inherit from him). That is why Imam Busayri (q) said, wa kullun min rasoolillahi multamisun, “Everyone is taking from Rasoolullah (s).”

Alhamdulillah, we have been blessed with shuyookh who give us knowledge that benefits us in this life, and if we follow their ways, we have to also follow the Shari`ah they show us, not the Shari`ah that people cheat us with! There are many who want to cheat others by explaining Shari`ah in their own corrupted way. May Allah (swt) protect us from falling into that problem.

The first letter of “Allah” is “alif.” We will not go into the meaning now, but if you remove the alif what is left? Lam, lam, and ha, which reads “lillah,” meaning, “for Him.” If you remove one lam, it reads “lahu,” meaning, “to Him.” If you remove the other lam, then it reads “hu,” which is “The Unknown.” Every letter of the Holy Qur’an has an ocean of meanings!

In the Arabic alphabet, the letter “baa” is horizontal because it is in sajda. In previous times, dots (nuktas) were not used in the alphabet, so the baa, taa, and thaa, all three letters are in sajda and the dots were added later. Why was there one dot added under the baa and placed in the middle and not on the side? Why were there two dots added to taa and placed on the top? Why were there three dots added to thaa and placed on the top? Think about this.

May Allah (swt) forgive us and bless us.

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