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The Spiritual Reality of Mirroring:

How Sayyidina Muhammad (s) Reaches Every Human Being

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

11 February 2017 Feltham, England, UK

Suhbah at Centre for Cultural and Spiritual Advancement (CSCA)

(Suhbah in progress...) This is min-al ma’thurat, “from the importance of doing something” that Awliyaullah do, we follow them in their doing, whether we understand it or not, never mind, they understand. Because you are following them:

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)

Allah said, “If you love Allah, follow Prophet.” So you follow blindly, you cannot ask. Awliyaullah inherit the secret from Prophet (s), you don’t need to ask them because in every session they are giving to you from their experiences, in every meeting like this meeting, in every dhikr like this dhikr. If at the beginning of any `amal we make the intention nawaytu 'l-arba`een and believe, “Yaa Rabbee! With this `amal I am entering the maqaam of nawaytu 'l-khalwah, seclusion,” then all your `amal will be written for you as if you are doing them in seclusion, which is far higher.

So when the shaykh orders you into seclusion, it means he is willing to dress you in all kinds of whatever he inherited from Prophet (s). When you pray and complete your awraad, you must know your shaykh is looking at you in every moment, directing you through your heart. That is the beginning of the seclusion: nawaytu 'l-arba`een, “I make niyyah to sit here for forty days.” Although you do not sit, the niyyah is like that, so you will be dressed as if you have done arba`een, forty days, which allows you to enter seclusion. Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, entering into seclusion, and nawaytu 'l-`uzlah, to be away from everything: people, family, children, wife, dunya. Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah, nawaytu 'r-riyaada, ar-riyaada means your intention is to continuously struggle to reach the Divine Presence; therefore, that will be written for you because you made that intention with an open heart, so Allah (swt) will not keep you away from getting these rewards. He sends them to Prophet (s), who sends them to the shaykh and the shaykh sends them to us.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah, nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu s’ salook. “Nawaytu 's-salook” at the end means all you have gained in these different stations, the last of which is salook, to begin to move, travelling and going on that journey. This is a journey now, sitting here. Look, without announcing there is an event here tonight, mashaa-Allah people came, which means this is a session of happiness and Divine Presence. Our aim and goal is nawaytu 's-salook, meaning, “I am ready to take that journey.” The shaykh first prepares you for forty days. Of course, when you decide to do khalwah, an example is when you play a game on your phone and stream it on the TV. That technology is taking information from Islam, from Tasawwuf, spirituality. Mirroring is acceptable in Tasawwuf, and even in Shari`ah:

المؤمن مرآة اخيه

The believer is the mirror of his brother (or sister).

It means when you look at any one of them they will reflect your characters, your behaviors, because they are mirroring you. When you look at him you see yourself, and that is what the Hadith says, al-mu’min mi'rraat akheehi. In Tasawwuf, we say that Prophet (s) is the Mirror for all Creation. When Allah (swt) looks at Muhammad (s), through His creation of the Perfect One, he (s) is the mirror for everything that appears in dunya. Whatever manifestation comes on Prophet (s) he mirrors to his Ummah and to all human beings. He is the mirror that is in the Divine Presence through which everything comes to be known. Muhiyuddin Ibn Arabi (q) said that when Allah wants to look at His Creation, He looks at the mirror of Prophet (s) because it reflects what he said, “I have a face with the people and I have a face with Allah (swt).”

لي ساعت مع الله و لي ساعت مع الخلق

I have one hour in the Divine Presence and one hour with the Creation.

Prophet (s) is a mirror for both dunya and Akhirah, Allah made him like that. That is why He brought him (s) to the Divine Presence, to mirror everything through him. The example is simple: today in technology you see “mirroring” from one place to another, from your phone to a TV. One movie or video will mirror on the other screen and can go anywhere, it is no longer one, it is on many different devices. This is an example for us to understand that Allah (swt) gave that to Prophet (s)! When he says something, it goes to all human beings without leaving anyone behind. That is Rahmatan li’l-`Alameen, reaching people with one heavenly video clip, and everyone will get it. Now on your mobile phones by pressing one button you can send to millions of people at the same time. Everyone is connected, and everyone must be connected to Prophet (s), either willingly or unwillingly, because as part of Creation we are connected, as Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

وإعلموا أن فيكم رسول الله

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

You must know that Prophet (s) is in you, with you and among you! So one clip, in one press of the button, will go from one person to millions and billions, to all Creation, including living and non-living: those who died and those still alive will see and be informed of everything that is going. If you are not punished, your grave will be Rawdatan min Riyaadh al-Jannah, which can move and reach anywhere as then you are free in your grave. So the importance of the intention “nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah” is that it prepares you to achieve these different levels in order for you to begin your journey. All of this is preparation is for whatever is coming. Every moment something new is coming, you don’t know what is happening in the universe in every moment. It may be that some stars are distinguished but still their light is moving and you can still see them for one million years in quantum physics. You can see the light coming as if the star is there but it is already dead, extinguished. (What) Allah wishes, Allah’s Will, has to happen. When He orders the star to vanish, it extinguishes, but the light still travels to you at the speed of 300,000 km per second. With that speed it might need one thousand years to reach you, and they see the star and say it is still there, but in reality it is not there.

يَوْمَ نَطْوِي السَّمَاء كَطَيِّ السِّجِلِّ لِلْكُتُبِ

The Day that We roll up the Heavens like a scroll rolled up for books (completed).

(Surat al-Anbiya, 21:104)

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an that on the Day of Judgement He will fold this universe like you fold a book and then He will bring the dead up, as He created them from the womb of the mother, he will create them from the womb of the grave, they will come up, because the first part to be created was the coccyx, the tailbone. The tailbone never dies. In physics they found that it cannot be destroyed. They took the coccyx of a person and cremated it until it became ashes. They then checked the ashes and discovered that one cell of the coccyx was still alive, even after being exposed to such powerful heat. They took another coccyx and crushed it to powder and when they checked it they again found a cell alive. That is from where Allah (swt) will show every `abd where his coccyx is, his rooh will go there and from there he will appear.

So, when the shaykh orders you for khalwah it is different when you order yourself for khalwah. When the shaykh orders you for khalwah, the permission comes from Prophet (s) for that mureed to enter khalwah, it is not the opposite! Today they ask the shuyookh, “When can I go into khalwah?” The mureeds want to enter khalwah. That khalwah becomes a plastic khalwah, plastic fruit; it looks nice but it is artificial, it is not real. You need to not be notified and for the shaykh suddenly to tell you, “Come! You are going for khalwah in two days.”

One day Grandshaykh (q), may Allah bless his soul, called for Shaykh Nazim (q) from his house; he was sitting with him, telling him, “The order of Prophet (s) it is for you to do khalwah in Baghdad at the grave of Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani. The order has come and you have to go to the maqaam of Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani and do your khalwah there.” Tarku ‘ladab, if he asks questions, “How can I do this, how can I do that?” Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) kept strong and said, “Naam, yaa Sayyidi.”

He said, “Yalla, bismillah.”

What do you expect he did? He didn’t go back to his house to change clothes or pack a bag, to prepare himself or to prepare his organic or chemical medicine, to prepare a toothbrush, to put some money in his pocket (to last) for forty days or call his wife and check the children. Suddenly, the shaykh had said to him, “You go to Baghdad.” He had no money, nothing. He went down to Damascus al-marji, to the city center. When he entered there, I was waiting to see what he wanted to do. The shaykh had given him permission, the order, so he came. The buses there took you to Baghdad, Iraq. Now it is still safe, mashaa-Allah.

He stood there, saying, “What to do, what to do?” when a truck came and stopped right in front of him. He looked and saw that the driver was a mureed from Aleppo.

The driver asked, “Where are you going?”

He said, “Yaa Shaykh, I am going to Baghdad.”

The driver said, “Okay, I will come with you.”

So he went with him. Has anyone told you that story? I think I wrote it in the Naqshbandi book, which means you didn’t read it! He went in the truck and gave a good suhbah, because the driver was a mureed who gave him food, money, and took him at the maqaam of Sayyidina `Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (q). He parked his truck and took him inside. As soon as he entered, a very tall man, perhaps six-and a-half feet tall, was standing at the door blocking the entrance with his arms, saying, “Welcome, yaa Shaykh Nazim. Come! I will be serving you by the order of your shaykh and Prophet (s) for forty days seclusion. I am the hidden Wali for this maqaam, to take care of Sayyidina `Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (q).” Then something happened there, it is mentioned in the book, so you can read it.

When they give you the order to enter for khalwah, they arrange the way for you. Of course it was Mawlana Shaykh `AbdAllah (q) who spiritually arranged all that and made the truck driver come at the right time and place to take Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) to Baghdad. He completed his forty days and came back. Hajjah Amina (q) had gone to Grandshaykh (q) and he had said, “Don’t worry, he is under my vision, he will come.” So that is when you get the order from their side, but when you ask, “I want to make seclusion,” that is the ego asking. They know when you are ready and if you are not ready they will not waste your time telling you to enter khalwah. That means they would be punishing you, because when khalwah becomes difficult the shaykh will carry from his mureed because it is dangerous.

When Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) ordered my last khalwah, when I finished and came out, he said, “I was looking at you every day. I was worried that you would die from the heavy things coming down. I was with you, monitoring you.” In his way he was asking, “How you are doing? Is everything done, are you okay?” During khalwah, I heard Mawlana supporting me. In the last days he tested me with snakes, but I will not go into that subject. In any case, when they order you for khalwah it means they will reflect what they want from you through their power. That is why Allah (swt) said:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا اطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Behold! In the creation of Heaven and Earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding, those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, (saying), "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose! Glory to You! Grant us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:190-191)

أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي

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

About this verse, “Those who remember Me and reflect upon the creation of the Heavens and the Earth,” Mawlana said that door will open to them and they will begin to look at the universe from their place and be able move in the universe not at the speed of light but at a speed that no one can reach except Awliyaullah!

When Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) was tested and the `ulama called for him to be hanged because he had done something that in their mind was against Shari`ah, he was thrown in the dump, and when he came out of the coma he went to the beach, to the water, and threw himself in the ocean, saying, “Yaa Rabbee, I will not return until I see my Reality of what You gave me.” Then he went deep in the ocean and took a boat with other passengers and they threw him in the ocean because they thought he did something wrong. Still he said, “Yaa Rabbee, I am not returning until I see Your Truth deep in the ocean!”

Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q), may Allah bless his soul, said that Allah gave Abu Yazid al-Bastami (q) the power to dive deep in oceans after oceans, not oceans of dunya but of Akhirah, until he reached a place that was completely closed, without light, but he could hear human beings saying, “Huu,” making dhikrullah with Huu, Qul Huwa Allahu, Huu. That's why in dhikr you mention “Huu,” that is an ocean that belongs to a Wali that looks after it and the mureeds sitting with him reciting “Huu.” He is taking care of them, preparing them for Akhirah.

Abu Yazid al-Bastami (q) saw it was Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q) who would appear in dunya after hundreds of years! He was able to see the Reality of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order and Sayyidina Shah Naqshband (q), and he realized that was not his territory, it was not for him, so he backed down and came out of these Oceans of Knowledge.

So all Naqshbandis around the world that are connected through the Naqshbandi Golden Chain or not, including those who are Naqshbandis by name[1], all Naqshbandi mureeds from the day Allah created them and made them from that line until the Day of Resurrection, the Day of Judgement, their souls (rawhaaniyya) are there with Shah Naqshband (q) in that ocean that no one can reach except Awliyaullah! That's for everyone, they don’t distinguish this one or that one, no. There is nothing like that, all of them are on the same level. Seclusion takes you in many directions, on many journeys. That’s why ‘as-salook’ is at the end: Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah, nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu ‘s-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem. May Allah (swt) keep us with the salook and bless us.

I would like to read that Hadith for you. I read it many times, but I repeat it now because this is a different subject that is the prediction of Prophet (s) about what is happening today:

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ,إِذَا كَانَتْ أُمَرَاؤُكُمْ خِيَارَكُمْ , وَأَغْنِيَاؤُكُمْ سُمَحَاءَكُمْ , وَأَمْرُكُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَكُمْ , فَظَهَرَ الأَرْضِ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ مِنْ بَطْنِهَا وَإِذَا كَانَ أُمَرَاؤُكُمْ شِرَارَكُمْ , وَأَغْنِيَاؤُكُمْ بُخَلاءَكُمْ , وَأُمُورُكُمْ إِلَى نِسَائِكُمْ , فَبَطْنُ الأَرْضِ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ مِنْ ظَهْرِهَا

When your leaders are the best among you, your affluent ones are generous, and your matters are decided through mutual consultation among yourselves, then the surface of the earth is better for you than its interior (life is better than death). But when your leaders are the worst of you, your affluent ones are stingy and your women are made in charge of your affairs, then the interior of the earth is better than its surface (your death is better than life). (Tirmidhi, Baab ul-Fitan)

Look at how far Prophet (s) is looking, saying if your leaders are the best, if they help and are generous with their citizens, and you have good shura, good judges (who cannot be bribed), then to be alive is better than to be oppressed, but if your leaders are the worst of people like we see today, and no one can say there is a leader who is completely clean, and those who are rich are the most miserly.

On CNN they were featured a house in Los Angeles on sale for $350 million. Give those millions to Africa, it is better, it's only a house! Wa umoorukum ilaa nisaa’ikum, “And your decisions are in the hands of the ladies,” not good ladies, but those that want to force something on you. That's why it is better to always solve the problems between you and your wife, not to come in a difficult situation. If that's happening, and today we see not our ladies, but those that take power and become leaders of their countries, is it not? In the Philippines, Bangladesh, in many places. Prophet (s) mentioned that Hadith 1,400 years ago.

Ladies are running countries. Yesterday there was an election in Bangladesh and ladies fought among each other, which is a sign. Prophet (s) said at that time it is better to be dead, in the earth, rather than to be alive on top of the earth. May Allah (swt) protect us from what is coming of dangerous and difficult times! Stay in your homes and don’t go out at night unnecessarily, go out in day time.

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



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[1] Of the 124,000 living Awliya (as narrated in Hadith), 7007 of them are Naqshbandi shaykhs with mureeds.