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The Station of Annihilation

Ramadan Series 2011, Volume 21

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

21 August 2011 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Suhbah after Salat al-Fajr

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

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`ala fee haadha 'l-masjid.

Ati`oollaha wa ati`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

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

Nawayna as-siyaam al-yawm min shahri ramadaan.

No matter how many times we repeat, “Ati`oollaha wa ati`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum,” whether we say it one time, one-hundred times, or one-million times, it will never be enough! If we say it from the beginning of our life to the end, or from the beginning of humanity in Sayyidina Adam’s time up to the Day of Judgment, it will not be enough.

When Sayyidina Adam (a) ate from the tree and disobeyed Allah (swt), he knew he had made a mistake; Allah showed it to him. Allah also shows us our mistakes. So after making a mistake, we must do as Sayyidina Adam (a) did: obey immediately and repent. But the problem is that too many times we think we are not even making a mistake and thus do not repent immediately. But Allah gave us a time frame: the angels of the left shoulder are ordered not to write a sin until 24 hours have passed, as we might realize our mistake and repent. On the other hand, Allah orders the angel of the right shoulder to write the hasanaat as soon as it happened, because if it is written it will not be erased. But when you remember your mistake, even if after 24 hours and repent, it will still be erased.

إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ

inna al-hasanaat yudhhibna as-sayyi’aat.

Good deeds waive the sins. (Hud, 11:114)

When we say “astaghfirullah,” it is something that Allah (swt) likes to hear from His servants. As we said yesterday, when you perfect your imaan, then you may be able to say, “I reached Dar al-Ma`arifah,” not the Divine Presence but near it. As soon as you enter the Divine Presence, you understand that everything you have previously learned is habaa’an manthooran, unimportant, when compared to ma`arifatullah. Whatever you have learned of `Ilm az-Zhaahir, is nothing compared to what you see in the Divine Presence, which is `Ilm al-Ma`arifah.

We Hear and We Obey!

Our example is the story of Sayyidina Khidr (a) and Sayyidina Musa (a). Allah told Musa, “If you are asking to learn, then go take knowledge from Khidr.” Do you think Sayyidina Musa didn't know more than Khidr? For sure Musa knows more, there is no question about it, but that is to show humbleness. Musa (a) happily obeyed Allah’s order without saying, “I am a prophet,” although he is from Ulu ‘l-Azzam, the five prophets highest in rank. Instead he said, sam`ina wa ata`naa, “We hear and we obey.”

Do not offer your opinion unless your shaykh asks for it; only say, “sam`ina wa ata`ana.” You are not losing anything; in fact, you will attract more love of the shaykh. The shaykh might test his followers but he is also under a test! Every moment of his life is a test, a challenge for him. There are 124,000 awliyaullah and if he is on the first level, he will be under a test from all the ones above him. Those on the top are also under a test from prophets or the Sahaabah, and therefore, he cannot raise his head.

Awliyaullah always know they are under big tests and alhamdulillah they take it, because Allah (swt) gave them that power. They accept and say, “sam`ina wa ata`ana,” as they are always in complete submission. So the lesson for us is that we have to always say, “sam`ina wa ata`ana.”

When Sayyidina `Umar (r) became Ameer al-Mu’mineen, he both wept and smiled, which was surprising to everyone around him. His wife asked, “O `Umar, why are you crying?”

He said, “I am under a big test now. The whole ummah is under me and I am responsible for them.”

When you are responsible for a group, then you must carry all their burdens; then it is better to be a shepherd than a sheep. Sayyidina `Umar (r) cried, but also smiled. His is known for saying, “Alhamdulillah, Allah (swt) did not put anyone above me; I am on the top!” He is on the top because Allah made him cry at the thought of that heavy responsibility for anyone who is hungry, homeless, destitute, depressed, or anything else. Allah will not ask them, He will ask Sayyidina `Umar (r).

When you reach nearness in the Divine Presence, you understand that everything before it was imperfect, incomplete, and meaningless. Everything in the Divine Presence must be perfect. So when you struggle to omplete your imaan, Allah (swt) will bring you to Dar al-Ma`arifah, where everything is `Ilm al-Yaqeen, “Knowledge of Certainty.” There you realize you are a servant of Allah (swt) and nothing more, and that the only One existing is the One Who created you. You have no existence, otherwise you would have the ability to give yourself a long life, and you cannot! So how can you claim that you are there?

The proof of this is in the stars. You see a star, but in reality that star is extinguished and you only see its’ light from millions of light years away; the star is non-existent but its light remains. Can a star continue to exist if Allah makes it not exist? Scientists say the universe contains new, old, and dead stars bigger than the entire Solar System. The sun in our Solar System produces atomic reactions every moment that heat the center of the sun to 50 million degrees Centigrade, and yet it still exists and and gives us light and heat! Awliyaullah are like suns; Allah (swt) gives to them and they give to their followers. At the same time, they have to realize that at any moment they are non-existent and that is why no wali can raise his head.

When Sayyidina Adam (a) disobeyed, he didn’t raise his head, he immediately went into sajdah and cried. Iblees disobeyed and raised his head, and Allah cursed him! Sayyidina Adam (a) immediately went into sajdah without giving it a second thought; he didn’t want to lose time. We lose so much time after making a mistake. Adam (a) cried for forty years, or according to some narrations for 70,000, and he didn’t raise his head until Allah (swt) said, “Yaa Adam! Raise your head, I forgive you.”

Grandshaykh (q) said, “The order of raising his head didn't come until the drops of Sayyidina Adam’s tears were equal to the number of human beings that were to come from him.” His tears were like rivers, each drop represented one human being. He repented on behalf of everyone before raising his head.

وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الأَسْمَاء كُلَّهَا

wa `alama adam al-asma kullahaa.

And He taught Adam the names of all things. (al-Baqara, 2:31)

Repentance Opens Heavenly Doors

Among them were the names of all human beings; he saw them one by one as he recalled their names, asking forgiveness on their behalf! That is why Allah (swt) put the light of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) in his forehead and He forgave all human beings for the sake of that light. This is what one prophet did. What then do you think about all the other prophets, and then the Seal of Messengers, Sayyidina Muhammad (s)?

So when they open Dar al-Ma `arifah to you, you realize your existence cannot be by itself but it is only by the light that Allah put in you. That light is from three sources: the light of Sayyidina Adam (a), the light of Prophet (s), and the light Allah (swt) put in you from the reality of the soul. That is why it is mentioned in Holy Qur'an:

وإعلموا أن فيكم رسول الله

wi' `alamoo anna feekum rasoolullah.

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

This means a portion of the light of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) is blended within you. That is why he said, “I observe that actions of the ummah,” as his light is combined with the light of Sayyidina Adam (a) and the light of Creation. Then they take you from the Ocean of Divine Nearness to the Ocean of Divine Knowledge, where you are dressed with shawaariq al-anwaar, “the rising of lights” that come from knowledge, and it is not just lights as you don’t get everything, but you are in ascension with that new knowledge which has no end. In dunya, knowledge is limited; the maximum amount of knowledge you get is from reading books. But when you enter the realm of awliyaullah, you see for them knowledge is unlimited.

Until you reach there, you must know you are incomplete. Your circle is still open, which means Shaytan can still enter. You must tightly close the lid of a jar making it air-tight or the food will spoil, and you must tightly close your circle until you are ascending; afterwards you won’t need the jar. That is why 124,000 awliyaullah are rising, one after the other. But Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an, even if they rise up:

وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ

fawqa kulli dhil `ilmin `aleem.

Above every knower is a (higher) knower. (Yusuf, 12:76)

Allah wanted to send Sayyidina Musa (a) to that `abd in order to tell us to go and take knowledge from there. We achieve that knowledge by entering the Valley of Annihilation. After completing your faith and ma`arifah, and entering into the Ocean of Knowledge, they take you to Dar al-Fana, “The Valley of Annihilation.” there you realize that whatever came from the completion of imaan, to Dar al-Ma`arifah and Dar al-`Ilm, is nothing more than a drop in the ocean of Dar al-Fana, where there is no existence. The only existence you witness there is what Allah (swt) manifests on you from His Beautiful Names and Attributes. You are completely immersed in the ocean.

You may have seen divers go into the ocean carrying an oxygen tank on their shoulders, like donkeys carrying a load on their backs, but fish do not carry anything. They have the ability to breath in that environment, but human beings do not. When the servant has perfected his imaan, reached the nearness to Dar al-Ma`arifah, entered the Ocean of Knowledge and then Dar al-Fanah, he will become like a fish swimming in the ocean. Allah will grant them eternal existence because they have perfected servanthood in dunya, and those who didn’t perfect servanthood in dunya must perfect it in the grave, as it might be difficult for them in Akhirah. Awliyaullah have authority to put their mureeds in seclusion in their grave for forty days, but Grandshaykh (q) said that is a thousand times more heavy and difficult than in dunya. Allah (swt) sends all kinds of tests there. Do not think the body is just laying in repose, no! That is how we see it from here, but in reality the body is still alive. Therefore, those who do seclusion by order of their shaykh in dunya are lucky, as they do not have to do it in the grave.

Lose Your Dunya for Akhirah

So when you enter the Valley of Annihilation, you drop all your relationship to dunya and focus on everything that is being manifested on you in that moment. You are entering the ocean of complete and full submission to Allah (swt) that enables you to exist by Allah's orders to your soul. After Maqaam al-Fana there is Maqaam al-Baqaa. There existence is allowed and by Allah’s (swt) permission, unlike a dead star that once existed, you will become a star that never dies. That is why life in Paradise is eternal.

On the other hand, those entering punishment are of different kinds; some have eternal punishment in Hellfire and some don’t, depending on their level of disobedience. This is why repentance must be done immediately. When you come home from work, make wudu and pray two raka`ats Salaat at-Tawbah. Allah (swt) likes those who do sajdah. Make sajdah and recite, “SubhaanAllah wa bihamdihi, SubhaanAllahu al-`Azheem, astaghfirullah.” May Allah bless us and forgive us.

These knowledges coming from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) are priceless; they are given only to certain people. You cannot find these knowledges anywhere from east to west, and they cannot be bought or sold. This is the only tap that is preparing everyone to reach the time of Mahdi (a); if he comes today, tomorrow or when you are in the grave, it will still be written for you as if you are in his time. If you are in the grave you will be brought back, as there will be no restrictions at that time. It will be barzakh, which is mix of akhirah and dunya.

At that time, who is preparing to follow Mahdi (a) will be made alive to follow him, not those who follow a false Mahdi. He will be Imam al-`Asr and will not follow any particular school of thought, but in fact he is the school of thought. He is not bringing you the secrets of `Ilm azh-Zhahir and `Ilm al-Baatil, he is bringing the secrets of Holy Qur'an! Don’t be lazy and say, “We are waiting for Mahdi (a), we are not going to work.” Prophet (s) didn’t allow the Sahaabah (r) to be lazy, he gave them work. It is better to work as laziness is not from us. The best of miracles is to be consistent in what you are doing. May Allah forgive us.

Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.