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The Living Divine Favor of Reading Holy Qur’an

The Importance of Dhikrullah Series, Vol 5

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

23 July 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Suhbah after Fajr

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

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

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

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

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

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

Allahumma salli ‘alaa Sayyidina Muhammad hattaa yardaa Sayyidina Muhammad.

I heard from Sultan al-Awliya, Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani (q), that Allah (swt) has bestowed Ummat an-Nabi (s) with an important favor, one that He did not grant to any other ummah as it is a living favor, eternal, with no expiry date or limits, whereas everything else has limits and comes and goes and has no lasting existence. Any other favor He grants from His Will that doesn't come and go and is always there is a living favor.

Today, whatever we do in this meeting, we come and then we leave, and therefore the meeting has an end, but the living favor is divine and has no beginning and no end. Unfortunately, we don't keep the importance of that living favor in our hearts; we forget about it, sometimes we remember and sometimes we do not. But it is said, ajalla al-karamaat dawaam at-tawfeeq, “The best of miracles is the continuity of what you are doing,” especially something that lives forever. So if you keep doing even a little bit, Allah (swt) said:

اَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ

Laa yukallifullahu nafsan illa wus`ahaa lahaa maa kasabat wa `alayhaa maa ’ktasabat.

On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:286)

Even if you do a small portion from that living favor, it is as if you have done the whole requirement. And He didn't give that favor to any other nation, such as to Sayyidina Nuh (a), Sayyidina Ibrahim (a), Sayyidina Musa (a), Sayyidina `Isa (a), none of the main Prophets. What Allah (swt) gave to us, to Sayyidina Muhammad (s), is eternal. What He gave to the other Prophets was for their time and then stopped, but what He gave to Sayyidina Muhammad (s) didn’t stop and is continuous. So what did He give? It is a favor that He did not give anyone except this ummah and in it contains the secret of all the creation He created. So what He gave is not created, but every creation He created is contained within that Divine Favor.

And all Prophets, especially Sayyidina Musa (a), asked, “Yaa Rabbee! Give me something that you don't give anyone else.”

Allah didn't give, He said, “No, that is only for the Prophet (s).”

And Sayyidina Sulayman (a) was clever. He said, “Give me Mulk (Kingdom) that no one can have after me.” So Allah gave, and Sayyidina Sulayman conquered dunya but it is now gone. But for the Prophet (s), He didn’t give only dunya, He also gave Akhirah, which is everlasting and does not expire, a Divine Living Favor for Ummat an-Nabi (s) that never ends! Is the Qur’an Divine or not? Yes. Is the Qur’an created? No. Is the Qur’an Allah's Words? Yes. So when someone mentions Allah's Words, will Allah be happy with him or not? Allah (swt) says, `abdee yadhkurunee, “My Servant is remembering Me.” In what manner are you remembering Him? The most simple way to remember is to read Holy Qur'an. If you say “Alif,” Allah says, “`abdee dhakaranee.” If you say, “Laam,” Allah says, “`abdee dhakaranee.” If you say, “Meem,” Allah says, “`abdee dhakaranee.”

Allah expresses His Name, "Allah." So, Alif expresses the Greatness of Allah, because it is standing alone which represents Oneness/no partner, and Laam expresses Mulk (dunya) and Malakoot (Akhirah), while Meem represents Sayyidina Muhammad (s). So if you say, “Meem” Allah says, `abdee dhakaranee wa salla `ala nabiyee, “My Servant is remembering Me and praising My Prophet!” and He sends ten salawaat on you. Allah (swt) favored Prophet (s) and his ummah from all other Prophets, as everything they were given expired, except for Islam and the Holy Qur’an! Allah (swt) said:

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ

Inna ad-deen `indallahi al-Islam.

Behold, the only [true] religion in the Sight of God is [man's] self-surrender unto Him.

(Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:19)

He didn't say, “inna ad-deen `indaallahi al-tawraat aw Bani Israeel;” The Holy Qur’an contains everything that came before and everything that will come after, as it is Allah’s Holy Words. “Tawrat” and “Injeel” are human words written more than a hundred years after revelation of the Qur’an. Tawrat is a collection, and Injeel is a collection, but Holy Qur'an is not a collection as it was revealed and the same today (letter for letter). That means Holy Qur'an has no limits, and that is why people are recommended to read it, especially Muslims. Non-Muslims may not be able to read it because it is in Arabic, but otherwise, it is good to make dhikrullah, to try to learn to read and if you cannot read Arabic then pass your Shahaadah (index) finger over the aayaat, as Grandshaykh said that finger it is connected to the heart, and as you are reading the Qur’an passing your finger under the words, the light comes to the heart and will be a witness for you on the Day of Judgment. Also to learn more, you can check ma`anee al-Qur’an, meanings of Holy Qur'an, as converts are unable to translate the Arabic. But in any case, for converts and those born and raised Muslim who can read Arabic, when you read, Allah gave a specialty in Holy Qur'an, as Grandshaykh explained, “When they read any ayah of `adhaab, that ayah will immediately dress that person and suck all the `adhaab out from him, not leaving any punishment, because that ayah carries that secret.” These aayaat are talking, living verses, so for example, when you read any verse of `adhaab, punishment, Grandshaykh said a verse of rahmat or maghfirah follows it, so the ayah about punishment cleans you from inside and doesn't leave you with any kind of punishment for the Day of Judgment, and similarly, any ayah of rahmat will dress you with endless rewards by only reading it!

Allah (swt) gave a secret to every ayah and every letter, so take any word, for example “dhalika” from Holy Qur'an, if you say, “dhaa,” Allah says “`Abdee dhakaranee.” even though it is normal Arabic, but because it is in Holy Qur'an it became divine. So only saying that demonstrative pronoun “dhalika” from the verse “dhalika ‘l-kitaab,” even though it has no meaning without the continuation of the ayah, but when you say “dha,” Allah says, “`Abdee dhakaranee, My servant remembered Me,” and when you say, “Laam,” Allah says “`Abdee dhakaranee,” and when you say, “Kaaf” Allah says “`Abdee dhakaranee.”

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ

Fadhkuroonee adhkurkum, washkuroo lee wa laa takfuroon.

Remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful towards Me.

(Surat al-Baqarah, 2:152)

So every verse of Holy Qur'an is remembrance of Allah (swt) and every ayah of `adhaab takes every punishment away, and for every word of Paradise, maghfirah or rahmah, Allah will dress you with that tajalli of His Mercy and Forgiveness! So read, as it accumulates. Shaytan doesn't want us to read and he will give you hundreds of excuses. I usually read in the morning, and you cannot imagine that yesterday when I began to read the telephone kept ringing, there were problems I had to figure out, which took three hours and made us to late for Dhuhr. After Dhuhr I went back and thought, “Alhamdulillah, there is no disturbance at his time,” and tried to read again, when another message came that required me to step in and solve it. It disturbs you day and night, so the best is to take the phone and break it! Now they have made people busy with these small handheld phones, and instead of taking time to read Holy Qur'an, people fill their time text messaging. Any time I begin to read Holy Qur'an, the telephone rings and sometimes I unplug it, as it is the best way.

So Shaytan doesn't let you enter a living favor, because it is his field to keep you away. That is why it is said al-Qur’an huwa tardu ‘l-ghaflah, bi ayyi wajhin tayyassar, “To read the Holy Qur'an is to throw away heedlessness from you.” SubhaanAllah, these are old quotes from scholars that came hundreds of years ago. At that time they didn't have ma`anee al-Quran in Turkish, Urdu or other languages, it was only in Arabic, and the only knowledge and education was Islamic as there was no other education. Everything focused on fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), hadith or Holy Qur'an; there was nothing else. And he said, “There will come a time when meanings of Holy Qur'an will be in many different languages so that other people may understand.” In any form, it will come to you and it was for those Muslims who do not know Arabic. This was indicated hundreds of years ago, that you would be able to understand in different languages. Even reading it in that form will throw away heedlessness!

That is why Grandshaykh `AbdAllah (q) and Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) said, “If you have ten volumes, masahif, of Holy Qur'an (you cannot say ten Qur’ans, as they are not different), when you complete a full khatm of Holy Qur'an from beginning to end, next read from a different copy of the Holy Qur'an, so as not to let them sit on the shelf and complain, hajaranee `abdee, “My servant deserted me.” If you have ten, read one, then another and another, because they will witness for you on the Day of Judgment. Although they are all written the same, this practice shows respect to Allah's Words, not to leave them on the shelf and you forget about the Holy Qur'an. Or you may also give your recitations as a gift and get ten more, because Holy Qur'an is living.

Laa taqool an adh-dhikra maqsooran `alaa taqrarina ‘n-nafiy wa ‘l-ithbat, “Don't say that dhikr is only to say negation and affirmation (i.e. ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah’); rather, dhikrullah is any living words.” If you use ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah’ it is dhikrullah and anything you read from Holy Qur'an is dhikrullah.

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

Inna nahnu nazzalna ’dh-dhikr wa inna lahu la-haafizhoon.

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

So do not leave reading Holy Qur’an. Whenever you have time, read it and don't be lazy by listening to Shaytan, as we are lazy and struggling, so we ask for Allah's Forgiveness. That is why in some masahif there is Du`a al-Qur’an at end, and for each letter there is a du`a with the plea, “Let Holy Qur'an be with me in dunya and Akhirah and take me to Siraatu 'l-Mustaqeem, and let it be a light in the grave and discipline us with the character of Holy Qur'an, as that is Your Beautiful Name, yaa Allah!” That is divine, even if you only read “dhalika,” that is a Holy Name of Allah (swt), so you can make dhikr of it.

ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

Dhalika al-kitaabu laa rayba feehi hudan lilmuttaqeen.

This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:2)

For example, “muttaqeen” can be a dhikr. So Allah said, “For sure, this Book laa rayba feehi, there is no doubt in it, and it is guidance for pious servants.” That ayah alone will dress you with piety even though you are not pious, and will make you pious as you are reading what Allah (swt) gave us. I am reading, “Alif, Laam, Meem, yaa Rabbee dhalika al-kitaabu laa rayba feehi hudan lil-muttaqeen, “There is no doubt in this book, and it is guidance to those with taqwa, and anyone reading Holy Qur'an there is no doubt in him.” So that means He described you already as “muttaqeen,” meaning as ‘a mu’min,’ you do not have doubts, as you are reading the Holy Qur’an with a full belief, so it becomes guidance for you to be pious! It cannot be other than guidance except to the muttaqeen, and since you are reading that verse, you are dressed with being of the muttaqeen, which indicates Holy Qur’an is a guidance for muttaqeen.

So then you are dressed with that dress and when you are dressed on the Day of Judgment, do you think that dress be taken away from you? The quality of a generous person is that when he gives you a dress, the next time he sees you, he will give you a new dress. You give him a dress every time he comes to you and that way they accumulate. But you will not take it back later and say, “Give me back the dresses I gave you.” So every dress you take from Allah (swt) will accumulate up to the Day of Judgment, not up to the day you die, as the Qur’an is the Living Words of Allah.

For example, if you take a computer and press the keys to write “Allah,” or order it with your voice, the computer will continuously write or say, “Allah, Allah, Allah,” and you can hear it with your voice, then it will keep writing forever, until you die; if you keep charging the battery it will keep saying, “Allah, Allah, Allah.” Also, when you are reading Holy Qur'an, will these aayaat not keep reading it? Any verse you recite will continue to read by itself, and not until death, but until Eternity, without stopping!

Dhikrullah is different from dunya dhikr: Akhirah dhikr is continuous! So if you make khatm of Holy Qur'an in one or three days, the Holy Qur'an is moving in one khatm by itself, by heavenly computers. If you read it in one complete sitting, in one day every day, then Allah will make angels recite khatm on your behalf. If you do khatm every month, and you read one juz every day, then it is as if in every month, one khatm is read by angels. And if you read another khatm, then it will be repeated by angels the next month. Dhikrullah is dhikrun hayy, it is not dormant like our dhikr, it is a continuous and living dhikr.

For a beginner who wants to enter into this guidance of shuyookh al-kummal, he has to take the permission to read Holy Qur'an from them as part of the daily awraad. That is why they say to read one juz daily and not to miss it unless you are traveling or you have guests or you are sick. So they give you one juz to read daily, then they are able to witness for you and make sure that is written for you, and they present you in the presence of the Prophet (s) and to the Divine Presence, saying, Yaa Rabbee hadha min ummattee, “O my Lord! This one from my ummah has read the Holy Qur'an.” And you take that certification of authenticity, then you will never be heedless; you will become more and more wise, especially young ones, as they can read and memorize easily, not like the elderly who can no longer memorize. Don’t let your children not memorize the Holy Qur’an! If they do not memorize the entire Qur’an, at least they can read Holy Qur'an and make the khatm, but don't drop reading of the Holy Qur'an and leave it on the shelves.

So as we said, dhikrullah is not only tard ul-ghaflah, “to repel heedlessness,” but it is a Living Favor that never ends, as it is the Divine Words of Allah (swt). To read it means you are remembering Him and Allah will be happy with His servant who remembers Him. That is why He said, Fadhkuroonee adhkurkum, “Remember Me and I remember you.”

Sayyidina `Ali al-Khawwaas (r) said, “There is no better honor for a person, and the only karamah a person can be happy with is dhikrullah.” Here ‘dhikrullah’ means dhikr of “laa ilaaha illa-Llah” or “Allah” or dhikr coming from Holy Qur'an, as all these `asmaa are coming from Holy Qur'an. So by this dhikr, he becomes so near, “jalees,” which means “sitting beside” (metaphorically), that he will be so near the Divine Presence because he is remembering Allah (swt).

One mureed of Sayyidina `Ali al-Khawwaas (r) was ordered to make seclusion for one continuous year. It is not easy. When you go for forty days you begin to count the days, and the last week seems like more than forty days! So he was in seclusion for one year, and as soon as he felt a miracle, he would mention that to the Shaykh, because in seclusion you have to report to the Shaykh every day if he is near, and if not, then report to him spiritually because the Shaykh has to know what happened to you. So he mentioned that particular karamah that happened on that particular day. He went to the Shaykh and forgot that he was still in seclusion, which means he was continuously in that karamah, which was there every moment, but he was veiled. The Shaykh said, “You were in a major miracle, sitting in the Nearness of Allah (swt) for one year, not feeling that daily karamah, and now you are coming here to tell me you experienced a miracle that is small?”

Sayyidina `Ali Hujwiri (r) said, “Dhikrullah is one of the main poles in the Way of Allah (swt).” So don't drop reading Holy Qur'an and try to read at least one page daily.

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


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