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The Story of Shaykh Muhammad Zahid’s Deputy

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

21 January 2017 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Zhuhr Suhbah (1)

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillaahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah, nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem fee hadha 'l-masjid. Alhamdulillah nasta`eenuhu wa nastaghfiruhu wa nastahdeeh wa na`oodhu billahi min shuroori anfusinaa wa sayyee’aati `amaalinaa man yahdillahu falaa mudilla lah wa man yudlil falaaa hadiya lah.

At-tariqatu kullahaa adaab, “All of Tariqah is good conduct.”

It is said that the one who accepts and takes the way of Tariqah, Tasawwuf, must be careful in every action, because when you take the hand of your shaykh it means you are admitting and accepting to do everything correctly and any inappropriate action will be against you, especially when you are very close in Tariqah you will be questioned for the smallest mistake you make. This is a story of Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q), a shaykh of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain, and what happened to one of his khalifahs. We have to be very careful how we address what happened between him and his khalifah. According to Muhammad Zahid (q), who was three generations after Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (q) in the Golden Chain, he was looking at his followers to see who was more advanced. When he looked at the heart of his most advanced mureed, according to how he viewed him, he found him ready and decided to give him his Amaanah that was granted him on the Day of Promises, when:

أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ

[Allah asked] “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes!” (Surat al-Araaf, 7:172)

The Trust is kept for the khalifah according to his entitlement, without asking the recommendation of Awliyaullah of the Golden Chain, going all the way up to the Prophet (s). He gave a small glimpse to the heart of his mureed and opened to him the power to do what he had promised on the Day of Promises, which is a very high level: Haqiqat al-Jazbah, Haqiqat al-Fayd, Haqiqat at-Tawajjuh, Haqiqat at-Tawassul, Haqiqat at-Tayy, and Haqiqat al-Irshaad.

In dunya, particularly in some countries, you can get employment clearance [when you meet requirements]. The khalifah had clearance, but Muhammad Zahid (q) did not realize it was only low-level, not high-level clearance. The khalifah began to get some knowledge, which can be dangerous as it might make him a target. Even with the low-level clearance he was able to get the Six Realities, but on top of them there are more Realities that were not opened to him. Still, with whatever he was given, he was able to advise people and give a lot of recommendations, understanding and knowledge. In fact, he became like a walking encyclopedia of Islam.

Look, this is where the problem is. One day he was going to his house after `Isha prayer and as he was walking, he saw some people sitting on the streets and walkways smiling, laughing and drinking. Look how dangerous it is when you let your arrogance attack you: arrogance is the most difficult element that attacks people of Tariqah. When he saw them drinking, out of arrogance, a disease that was still in him and that Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q) did not notice, he said, "Alhamdulillah,” which is nice to say, but Allah knows best your intention when you say that. So when he said, “Alhamdulillah,” at that moment he was changed completely because he said it out of arrogance, praising himself, "Alhamdulillah, yaa Rabbee, I am clean and they are dirty." Because of that, Shaytan was able to enter through that hole of arrogance into his heart and put in him the bad desires of dunya; he blew it into his heart. With that in his heart, he was struggling. When the day of khatm came, he was unable to attend the Khatm al-Khawajagan and all the mureeds were waiting for him. They said, “He might be sick.” It was the next week, and he did not come to the dhikr association.

At that moment his shaykh, Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q), saw in a ru'ya, vision, the Prophet (s) saying to him, "Yaa Imam, it is your mistake, not his. You handed him his Amaanah when he is not right to carry it, so you have to clean him now and you are responsible in front of Allah."

Arrogance kills people, as Prophet (s) said:

انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct (your behavior and character). (Bazzaar)

Our manners are so dirty that we can be afflicted by them with any mistake. You cannot see two people sit together and not fight at the end. So he saw himself as clean and all those people on the street that were drinking as dirty, which is not nice for the People of Tariqah. In Shari`ah it is correct, but if you go to Maqaam al-Ihsaan you have to look from another perspective, in a better way. Aqaam al-`ibaad fee ma araad wa lahu ‘l-muraad fee ma yureed, you have to put people in the way that Allah (swt) likes. Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q) saw the Prophet (s) in the dream, saying, “You have to look at these people in a way to clean them, not in a way to ostracize them and consider them bad people.” So in this way he entered into janaba in Tariqah. When you enter arrogance or anger in Tariqah, the first thing the shaykh will tell you is to go take a shower or wudu in order to get rid of it. So that mureed who was a khalifah began to see when Shaytan was able to enter his heart and put that poison in him, that, “I am good and they are bad.” Allah (swt) made him suffer.

Muhammad Zahid (q) in the dream now had an order to clean him from the Prophet (s), as he is a mureed and he made a mistake, so then the mistake was on his head. The murshid knows everything about you but does not show it, he covers it and works on it from back to back.

Muhammad Zahid (q) told his wife, “There will be someone coming to ask about me, tell him to wait and I will come.”

Look, the shaykh knows the community he assigned the khalifah to, that they are going through that problem, but he didn’t want to show that he can cure him in front of the followers because arrogance might enter his heart. The shuyookh are very careful. He went to Shah Bahauddin Naqshband’s (q) mosque, prayed two raka`ats, made sajda and asked Allah to forgive him and his mureed, because he knew about the story from the Prophet (s), the mureed did not know that the shaykh knew the story.

So he said to the mureed, the one who came to tell Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q) about the problem of the khalifah, “O my shaykh, the one you assigned to be khalifah, has not come to khatm for three weeks and his body is becoming black, as if there is no blood going in.”

Muhammad Zahid (q) said,“I will make du`a and you say ‘ameen,’ but on the other hand you make the du`a and I will say ‘ameen’ because your du`a is more accepted.”

He wanted people to know that the mureeds can do it, to hide and cover himself from arrogance. Arrogance is very difficult, it throws you out of Tariqah and it can throw you out of Shari`ah even, especially when you are very angry.

He said to the mureed, “You make du`a and I will say, ‘Ameen.’ The mureed was happy he will make du`a and his shaykh will say ameen. So he began to make du`a and Muhammad Zahid (q) was saying “Ameen,” and then the body began to clear up until it became like it was before. What happened? Because of the arrogance that was in his heart, that, ‘Alhamdulillah, I am pure and they are sinful,’ he did not realize that Allah made him pure and not as he thought, it was by himself. If Allah changes a thing, can anyone object? We have to be very careful when we are addressing something. Today all of us around the world, especially those who claim to be knowledgeable, have a lot of arrogance, not Awliyaullah, but those who are `ulama educated from books. Sayyidina `Ali (r) said to the Sahaabah (r), “That historians or those who brought books, filled dunya with books.” Like this khalifah was able to carry the Six Realities and one mistake threw him out.

Qul li-man yadda`ee fi ‘l-`ilmi falsafatan `arifta shay’an wa ghaaba `anka ashyaa,’ “Say those who claim to know something of philosophy, ‘You know something very small (meaning like an epsilon compared to everything) and everything else has been veiled from you.’”

Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “Even if you read all the books written on different issues, it is not going to make you a Wali.” The Wali is the one who realizes his mistakes first, then cleans his followers from their mistakes and then Allah dresses him with what He likes. That cannot be done except through associations like that. This is a story of Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari with his khalifah (from the Golden Chain shaykhs).

So when he made the two raka`ats and he saw the Prophet (s) in the vision, the Prophet (s) said, “You are responsible, you are the shaykh, clean him as he was before. You dressed him with the Amaanah without our permission so I am holding you responsible.” Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q) was one of Golden Chain shaykhs scolded by the Prophet (s) in the dream, “You gave him something for which he was not ripe yet,which you cannot do, so now I want you to clean him or else Allah’s anger will come on you!” That was to Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari, after Shah Bahauddin Naqshband, then Ala`uddin, Ya`qub, and `Ubaydullah al-Ahrar (q), these are four Awliyaullah in between.

The Prophet (s) was holding Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari responsible. When Awliya give their hand, they must clean the mureeds completely of their sins and and ask Allah forgiveness for him or her that is in baya` and then passing the Six Realities; while holding his hand he is passing those Six Realities when giving baya`. You cannot see it but that is what is happening in the baya`, when holding the hand of the shaykh that mureed will be cleaned; as the shaykh cleaned himself he will clean the mureed and the mureed will be as the day he was born, with no sin on him because the shaykh has the key to every mureed’s heart; every heart has the keys with their shaykh. As when Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) asked for the keys to his Amaanah.

He said, “Yaa Rabb, open the Six Realities for me, open Your Door, the key to my Amaanah!”

Allah gave first to the Prophet (s), then to Awliyaullah and `Ulama al-Ummah; He gave them keys to clean their hearts, like Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi, when he said, “O Allah, give me my keys!” You want your keys, but you will lose it, like the khalifah of Sayyidina Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q) lost it in one word by saying “alhamdulillah”, which is recommended by the Prophet (s), but when you go into Maqaam al-Ihsaan it changes, the Scale there is more fine, like a digital scale. So Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q) was holding the keys of his mureeds and gave the mureed without asking the Prophet (s) and Sayyidina Shah Naqshband. When every shaykh wants to give the Amaanah after the baya`, he must first ask permission from the Prophet (s) and from the shaykh or else it is not accepted. The Shaykh at-Tariqah at that time was Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (q): if he is not present, as Grandshaykh said, when the teacher is giving you baya`, if he gives you your Amaanah, Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (q) has to be a witness and must appear there in front of the shaykh and say, “Yes, go ahead.” If he does not appear, the mureed is not to be given any of these realities.

Like when Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) asked Allah for the key and after long time became tired of asking, then one day a man came to him and said, “Do you want your key?”

He said, “I don't want the key except from the Keymaker.” That was arrogance. So what happened to him? He left him for six months, not knowing how to recite Surat al-Fatihah and Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) looked everywhere for him and after six months he appeared and Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi told him, “O Sayyidi, I need the key.”

He said, “Now it has a price, whereas before it was free.”

Ahmad al-Badawi (q) said, “O Sayyidi, I will give you all my wealth, what do you want?”

He said, “I am not after your dunya wealth, I want your heart.”

He had to clean him from arrogance as he refused to take the key from him. He sought something big, asking for the key directly from Allah Himself, bypassing his shaykh and Awliyaullah, and bypassing the Prophet (s)! So he said, “No,” and left him for six months without giving the key, then he appeared and said, “On one condition, if you surrender your heart to me,” and he said to him, “Okay, look into my eyes,” and he looked and he took out from heart of Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) like a vacuum, clearing all the previous knowledge he had studied and learned. Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi (q) left without knowing anything, like someone with dementia in the eyes of people, but not in the eyes of shaykh, who emptied him of all garbage accumulated in his heart since childhood. We ask our shuyookh not to put us in that test, but to give us knowledge directly.

So he left him for six months wandering in the streets. He was a great Wali, his maqaam is in Egypt, where every year on his urs two-to-three million people visit. After six months, the shaykh appeared to him again and said, “Look into my eyes,” and he sent from his eyes all kinds of knowledge into his heart. That knowledge is clean, not blended with all kinds of things from the mind. That perfected him and cleared him as if he was newly born. He sent him to speak to people and make da`wah. After that, no one was able to look into Sayyidina Ahmad al-Badawi’s (q) eyes or they fainted. So he covered his eyes with a burqa, because nothing was veiled to him; he could see through the thick burqa, but it was to prevent people from seeing his eyes as it could burn them. So he became like the reflecting glass you can see from behind (two-way mirror): he saw the people, but people could not see him.

One beautiful word the mureed of Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q) said with arrogance was thrown in his face, Allah rejected his `amal for one word, as:

دِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاء مَّنثُورًا

And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did (in this life) and We shall make such deeds as floating dust scattered about.

(Surat al-Furqan, 25:23)

Tariqah is not something easy, it is difficult; that is why it is better to be a sheep and not a shepherd or then you will be responsible. You can speak on behalf of your shaykh, but it is better not to claim to be a shaykh or then you will be in a bad situation. We are not claiming to be a shaykh, we are saying we are like you, only following our shaykh and his khalifah, all of us are on that way. So what did we learn now? The shaykh passes the Amaanah through baya`, it passes through all the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names and Attributes, because when you put your hand, the right hand is naturally marked with the Arabic number “18” and the left hand is naturally marked with the Arabic number “81”; therefore, 1+8=9 and 8+1=9, 9 and 9. Nine jumps to ten which is one and zero: that means you reach the Ocean of Surrender and acknowledge The One, Allah. And Alif in the Arabic alphabet is said to be “Allah” and Ba in the Arabic alphabet is said to be “Muhammad” (s). May Allah keep us with the Prophet (s) and Awliyaullah all the time!

Alhamdulillah that khalifah of Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q) waafaq at-tariqah wa khaalaf ash-Shari`ah, did something agreeable with Shari`ah but disagreeable with Tariqah. A chocolate candy is wrapped in nice foil, but it is chocolate. The ‘alhamdulillah’ is the nice wrap, Shari`ah, and the chocolate is the Haqiqah means ‘to taste’. Wrap yourself well against arrogance with Tariqah, and don't think you have the best mind or you will create misunderstandings with people for nothing. Grandshaykh (q), may Allah bless his soul, said, “If a person is afraid from Allah (swt), they must run to Him.”

فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ

Run to Allah (from all that is false and evil)! (Surat adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:50)

We have to run to Him with Shari`ah and Haqiqah, we cannot leave one and keep the other! If you leave Shari`ah and keep Haqiqah in the heart, people see you as naked. The chocolate is there, but not the wrapping. You have to keep both as Imam Malik said, “Who keeps Shari`ah and Tasawwuf has reached the Reality.”

Hasan al-Basri (q) said, “Don't let any Sunnah down even if it is something small, do it; if it is a big sin against Shari`ah, drop it as it will lead you to danger, but what may be very small in Tariqah, do it because it might lead you to Reality. To reach perfection don't belittle any action, laa tuhaqiroo sagheera, consider every action important.” Sayyidina Hasan al-Basri said isma`oo wa aa`oo faidhaa awaytum fantafi`u, “Listen and comprehend, because when you understand you will benefit,” but if you take it through your mind and don’t balance through the heart it will not benefit you, so keep Shari`ah and Tariqah. Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.

This is Muhammad Zahid al-Bukhari (q), one of greatest Golden Chain shaykhs. He was scolded by the Prophet (s) and by Sayyidina Shah Naqshband and told, “How did you give the Amaanah to someone who is not yet ready?” In his view the mureed was ready and in the view of all of them he wasn't, and so in the Scale he saw himself as good and the others as sinners and said, “Alhamdulillah.” If Allah changes and takes a mu’min and put him into kafir, who can interfere? No one! That is why Rabi`ah al-Adawiyya used to make excessive istighfaar day and night, and when `ulama came to her and said, "Take a husband," she said, “I am busy.”

“Busy with what?”

“Busy with istighfaar.”

“And why are you making istighfaar?”

“Because if the Angel of Death Azra`eel (a) comes now and takes my soul, will he take it with anger or mercy?”

“We don't know.”

“Since you don't know, I am busy with istighfaar.”

That is why we have to do istighfaar and inshaa-Allah you all get complete clearance from Prophet (s) and from Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) give everyone what they like. This is a message in general, for everyone. Allah knows best. If Allah wants to give, in a moment He will give; we must have faith in this, then inshaa-Allah we will be saved. Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammadin wa `alaa aali Muhammadin wa sallim. Do not belittle any action. For example, we make wudu but do not pray the two raka`ats Tahiyaat al-Wudu, that belittles it. However, those two raka`ats are better than the whole dunya, which in Allah's eyes does not weigh more than a wing of a mosquito!

To remove something in the road, something that affects those coming behind you, is from imaan. One time I was with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) and we were walking in like a jungle and he said, “There is a rock, so move it from the way,” and I pushed it with my foot. He said, “You failed! How do you move something Allah created with your feet? Pick it up and move it with your hand.” [Ameen!]

Sayyidina `Uthman (r) arranged the Holy Qur'an (in sequential chapters). How clever they were and what memories they had, like a copy machine, and without `iraab, no tashkeel (diacritical markings); their recitation was perfect. Here today, if there is no tashkeel, no one can read it. Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.


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