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The Reality of Dhikrullah

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

16 March 2017 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

As-saalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.

كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ثقيلتان فى الميزان حبيبتان إلى الرحمن سبحان الله و بحمده سبحان الله العظيم

There are two words that are very easy to say, yet very heavy on the Scale, most beloved to The Merciful, “SubhaanAllah wa bihamdihi subhaanAllahi ’l-`Azheem.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Reciting this has erased all our sins, as if we have been born now, very simple and very easy. The Bedouin came to the Prophet (s) and said, “Yaa Rasoolullah, there are too many rules in Islam. Give me something easy as the Shari`ah of Islam is too much for me.”

يا رسول الله إن شرائع الإسلام قد كثرت علي فأخبرني بشيء أتشبث به؟ قال لا يزال لسانك رطبا من ذكر الله

A man came to the Prophet (s) and said, "O Rasoolullah! The rules of Islam became heavy on me, so give me news of something which I can maintain." Prophet (s) said, "Make your tongue wet with dhikrullah." (Tirmidhi)

And now all of us are asking for something easy, or else if the real mashayikh--not those of Tasawwuf--load you with the real Shari`ah, you cannot take it. So the Bedouin said, “There are too many things (obligatory duties) in Islam, so give me something I can do.” The Prophet (s) said, “Move your tongue, keep your tongue wet with dhikrullah,” which means dhikrullah is the highest of all `ibaadah. The main dhikrullah is the Holy Qur'an:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

Behold! It is We Ourselves Who have bestowed from on high, step by step, this reminder and behold, it is We Who shall truly guard it (from all corruption). (Surat al-Hijr, 15:9)

Allah (swt) said, “We have revealed to you the Holy Quran, ‘adh-Dhikr,’ and We are the One Who can protect it and it is protected.” Where is it protected? It is protected in the heart of every human being! Allah revealed it to the Prophet (s), who revealed it to the Sahaabah (r), who taught it to Ummat an-Nabi (s), so it is in the hearts of the Ummah.

Awliyaullah, `Ulama al-Ummah and al-Mutaqadimeen all say there is nothing better than reading Holy Qur'an, because it carries everything. When Allah says, inna nahnu nazalna adh-dhikr, “We have sent down the Dhikr,” that means any type of dhikr that brings you closer and closer to Allah, not in the physical sense, but in the meaning of:

أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي

[Allah said to the Prophet], I sit with him who remembers Me. (Hadith Qudsi. Ahmad, Bayhaqi)

“I am with the one who remembers Me.” To remember Him, you have to go through a process, to make tafakkur, understanding, that will take you to remember Allah, dhikrullah, and that is Qur’an al-Kareem. In khalwah, the shaykh orders you to read half or the entire Holy Qur'an daily. To recite one just (1/30th) takes about twenty minutes. so you complete three juz in one hour and fifteen juz (half Qur’an) in five hours, and the entire Holy Qur'an in ten hours.

Sayyidina `Ali (r) used to recite the entire Holy Qur'an in a short time and the Sahaabah (r) complained, “Yaa Rasoolullah, he is finishing quickly!”

Prophet (s) asked, “Yaa `Ali, what are you reading?”

He replied, “Yaa Rasoolullah, as you said, reading three ‘Qul Huw Allahu Ahad’ gets the reward as if you read the whole Holy Qur'an.”

So dhikrullah takes you to highest level and the highest level is to recite Holy Qur’an. How do you reach to recite Holy Qur'an in the most perfect way? The Holy Qur'an is Sultan adh-Dhikr: there is no book that resembles Allah's Holy Book, not even the entire Ahadith can be compared to it. Allah revealed Holy Qur'an to the Prophet (s) and the Prophet (s) gave it to the Sahaabah (r). What is the reality of dhikrullah? It is to remember Him, and to remember Him is very good, but that is not enough. When you read Holy Qur'an, Allah (swt) is with you sitting, as the Hadith mentioned, but not really sitting; rather, Allah (swt) is present with you in the Divine Presence. He brings you to the Divine Presence when you read Holy Qur'an. So if you like to be in the Divine Presence, read Holy Qur'an! You don’t see it now, but if someone can see the Reality of everything, they can see Holy Qur'an is the highest form of dhikrullah and that Allah brings you closer and closer when you recite it. That is why when someone interrupts you when you are reciting Holy Qur'an, that is against the etiquette; when you are reading, they must not interrupt and talk to you and you must not talk to them.

Awliyaullah say and Grandshaykh (q) informed us, what we know from Holy Qur'an is what we are reading, but the secrets that Prophet (s) revealed to the Sahaabah (r) and they revealed to the Ummah, and especially to Awliya, that when you are reading Holy Qur'an, on any letter of Holy Qur'an there are 24,000 meanings, even if it is repeated in different words in Holy Qur'an. Take the ‘Alif,’ for example, wherever it is mentioned it carries a different 24,000 meanings. Awliyaullah read with that secret and it depends on their level.

What is Sultan adh-Dhikr?

Grandshaykh, may Allah bless his soul, said that nine of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain shuyukh were able to read Holy Qur'an with Sultan adh-Dhikr. What is Sultan adh-Dhikr? Sultan adh-Dhikr is when you are holding something precious, you say it is the sultan; for example, the highest level of jewelry is sultan al-jawaahir, the best of gems. Sultan adh-Dhikr is the highest level of reciting Holy Qur'an with its highest meanings. Nine Awliya were able to recite Holy Qur'an in a way that with every letter 24,000 meanings came to their hearts! Don’t think it is too much, no. When Allah grants, no one can see what you are getting, so take it and say, “Amanna wa sadaqna!” because these Awliyaullah are trustworthy.

These nine are in different levels of Sultan adh-Dhikr; one of them might have read Sultan adh-Dhikr once in his life. Now we read the entire Holy Qur’an in ten hours, but to recite it with Sultan adh-Dhikr might take all your life. Some Awliyaullah of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain were able to recite Sultan adh-Dhikr receiving the 24,000 meanings on each letter and it took them all their life to reach that. Some were able to do it two times, some three, some four, five times, six, seven, eight and nine times. Nine Awliyaullah from the Naqshbandi Golden Chain were able to read Holy Qur'an with its secrets of Sultan adh-Dhikr, some were able to read one time, some five, some six times, but one of them by his nearness to the Prophet (s) in the Divine Presence was able through every breath in and every breath out to make Sultan adh-Dhikr, and those who are connected with him are able to receive that, those to whom he extended his hand in bay`a, he dressed them with that power, and although for sure they cannot see it in dunya, they will see it in Akhirah.

Some of them from the Ummah were able to see it, it is leaked to them by mashayikh, and for that reason some mashayikh might say something in public that people will not understand and will cut their neck (thinking it is kufr), as Abu Hurayrah (r) said:

حَفِظْتُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وِعَاءَيْنِ : فَأَمَّا أَحَدُهُمَا فَبَثَثْتُهُ ، وَأَمَّا الْآخَرُ فَلَوْ بَثَثْتُهُ قُطِعَ هَذَا الْبُلْعُومُ

I have been given two different types of knowledge from Prophet (s): one I shared with everyone, but if I share the other, they will cut this neck of mine. (Bukhari)

“The Prophet (s) gave to my heart two kinds of knowledge: one I shared with everyone (which is Hadith an-Nabi and `Ilm ash-Shari`ah); and the second one I didn't share because they would have cut my neck.” Who is he referring to? He means the Sahaabah (r), as they might consider he said something wrong, but in fact he got that knowledge from the Prophet (s).

Sultan adh-Dhikr is the highest level of perfection in recitation of Holy Qur’an and, as I said, nine Awliya were able to reach that level in their life, and some were able to read it two times, three times, five times, ten times, and one, the highest, was able with every breath in and every breath out to make khatm al-Qur’an with its secrets! When Sayyidina al-Mahdi (s) comes, the first thing he will need is his constitution, he will establish the laws, and from his heart he will transmit the light of Sultan adh-Dhikr to Ummat an-Nabi (s). All books at will go to the ocean, only Holy Qur'an will be left with its secret and everything will appear, as Allah (swt) said:

وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

(There is not) anything fresh or dry (alive or not), but is (inscribed) in a Clear Book. (Surat al-An`am, 6:59)

Everything fresh or dry, alive or not alive, is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an with its secret that Mahdi will open. Now and in the future, Allah knows best when that will happen, when His Order will come, we have to wait. We hope that if we did not see it in dunya that inshaa-Allah when they take us to the grave then Allah will open Sultan adh-Dhikr. Awliyaullah are surprised when that secret comes to them and when they pass it to you, from every letter it will come up, like when you have small letter you use a magnifier; now everything is hidden in the letter and in the words, you cannot see them, because:

وَمَن كَانَ فِي هَـذِهِ أَعْمَى فَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ أَعْمَى وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيل

But those who were blind in this world will be blind in the Hereafter and most astray from the Path. (Surat al-Israa’, 17:72)

Whoever is blind in this world is blind in the Next. We are blind now and we need to get that information out from each letter that our eyes see when we read Holy Qur’an. That is why it is recommended to recite Holy Qur’an every day, to open your day with the light of Holy Qur’an coming to your eyes, then to your heart. So you need magnifier to see the smallest details in each letter and with that magnifier you can make them bigger and learn the secret coming from Holy Qur'an. That is why in seclusion they recommend to read the Holy Qur'an. Sayyidina `Ali (r) heard from the Prophet (s) that to recite three times Qul Huw Allahu Ahad ta`di ‘l-Qur’an, is the equivalent of reading the entire Holy Qur'an. So before he slept he recited three Qul Huw Allahu Ahad (Surat al-Ikhlas), three Qul a'oodhu bi rabbi ‘l-falaq (Surat al-Falaq), three Qul a'oodhu bi rabbi ‘n-naas (Surat an-Naas), then Surat al-Fatihah.

And the Prophet (s) said to the Sahaabah (r), “Whoever completes the reading (khatm) of the entire Holy Qur'an tonight, I will give him my jubbah.” The Sahaabah (r) didn’t read like us, they read perfectly, they paused were indicated and took their time. The Sahaabah went home and Sayyidina `Ali (r) sat with relaxing his wife Sayyida Fatima az-Zahra, and then returned to the Prophet (s) and said, “Yaa Rasoolullah, I finished it,” and the Sahaabah (r) said (protesting), “What is this?” and Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “As you said, I recited three times Qul Huw Allahu Ahad.”


All Creation is Contained in Two Letters

There are two letters in that surah within which is all Creation! One of the meanings of Qul ‘Huwa,’ all Creation is in there. Awliyaullah take secrets from ‘Huwa.’ Allah is saying, “Yaa Muhammad, say ‘Huw Allah!’ The One that no one knows is Allah! The One that no one can see is Allah! But I will appear to My servants in Paradise, so they can see Me!” Allah will manifest His Beautiful Names and Attributes on everyone in Heaven, to see Him. May Allah grant us that! That is the importance of Sultan adh-Dhikr, and all that knowledge is embedded in ‘Huwa’: Qul Huw Allahu Ahad, no one knows in these two Arabic letters, ‘Haa’ and ‘Waw.’

May Allah (swt) make it easy on us. We don't remember death, but death is in front of our eyes. We don't remember because we are so busy in dunya. When you remember death and are preparing yourself to sit and make muraqabah to remember Allah, all dunya matters will come in that moment: your telephone will be ringing, your computer will be open, your wife/husband is shouting, your car is damaged, your children, everything will come when you sit reading Holy Qur'an or make salawaat. How many times they call you at home? And the adab of reading Holy Qur'an is not to talk and not to be interrupted. May Allah forgive us.

I think this is enough for us.


I was not going to give a suhbat, but regarding the passing of one person I respect, Shaykh Achmad Hasyim Muzadi, the former leader of Nahdlatul `Ulama, which is Ahl as-Sunnah wa 'l-Jama'ah in Indonesia. Please pass this message to them. Under Nahdlatul `Ulama there are at least one-hundred million people, all of them on the Sufi Way, but from different tariqats. I ask Shaykh Habib Lutfi, the president of Nahdlatul `Ulama, to whom I give my respect and love, to give our condolences to the people of Indonesia and to Nahdlatul `Ulama regarding the death of Shaykh Achmad Hasyim Muzadi, who respects us a lot. I was there with him in December at a conference hosted by the Minister of Social Welfare for Ladies, and it was packed. He presented me to give a speech, they know me. Yesterday he died, and I was planning to see him on my next trip. May Allah bless him and his family, and bless Ahl as-Sunnah wa 'l-Jama'ah and Nahdlatul `Ulama. May Allah give his family patience and give him Paradise, inshaa-Allah. There are forty million Naqshbandi mureeds in Indonesia from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim’s line and from Shaykh Abah Anom, a very famous shaykh who passed away at age 109.

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


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