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Those Who Struggle in Our Way

Ramadan Series 2017, Vol 3

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

29 May 2017 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Zhuhr Suhbah

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-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem fee hadha 'l-masjid.

Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een.

I think yesterday's advice was a little bit difficult and strong, so I am sorry I gave that lecture to everyone including myself, you and the viewers. It is not something to be scared about as rahmah is always coming.Allah yuradi hasanaat wa sayyia`at, will change sins to good deeds when we sit together like this. May Allah forgive us all and make us happy.

The most important designation or title to be given to a scholar or Wali is to be united together, and throughout different times the top of the Tariqat an-Naqshbandiyya al-`Aliyya, the Golden Chain, from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim back to Prophet (s), did not change its title. We say “Tariqatuna as-suhbat wal-khayru fi ‘l-jami`yya,” our Tariqah, Way, is accompanying the shaykh, which is the core of the Tariqah: to be together listening to each other in suhbah, wa ‘l-khayru fi ‘l-jami`yya, and the barakah, goodness is to be together remembering Allah (swt). That is the head and the rest follows; the head is to be friendly with everyone, to love and sit with everyone, not to be interested in who is or isn’t talking, then you listen and learn more. Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur'an:

وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا

They said, “We listen and obey.”(Surat al-Baqara, 2:286)

So obedience comes from hearing. It is not easy to listen when the shaykh is saying something, as Shaytan comes to attack us. The struggle is not to let Shaytan take us away from the audience and concern us with what we we have today. Our way is suhbah, that is the key. Our shuyookh know we are weak and cannot do it, but when we sit with them we will benefit as they benefit, as mentioned in a Holy Hadith:

أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي

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

And the angels say, “Yaa Rabbee! There is someone not from them who came to get something from one of them. Does he get that?” and Allah says that it is enough if he comes and attends and regardless of his intention he gets the same... That is how they taught us and this is how we learn.

Tariqah is not something easy, which is why all Awliyaullah like to have a shaykh guide them as that makes things easy. Sometimes you might do something according to your mind and it fails, and other times you do what Awliyaullah want and you reach what they want you to reach. May Allah make us His servants, as He said in the Holy Qur'an:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ

I have only created jinn and men so that they may worship Me. No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require they should feed Me. (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 51:56-57)

Yet no one is doing that, we are running after dunya like crazy. We are only complaining, not saying, “Shukran, yaa Rabbee! You gave me health and this, that.”

عن ‏ ‏أبي هريرة ‏ ‏قال ‏‏قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏إن الله قال ‏ ‏من عادى لي وليا فقد ‏ ‏آذنته ‏ ‏بالحرب وما تقرب إلي عبدي بشيء أحب إلي مما افترضت عليه وما يزال عبدي يتقرب إلي بالنوافل حتى أحبه فإذا أحببته كنت سمعه الذي يسمع به وبصره الذي يبصر به ويده التي يبطش بها ورجله التي يمشي بها وإن سألني لأعطينه ولئن استعاذني لأعيذنه وما ترددت عن شيء أنا فاعله ترددي عن نفس المؤمن يكره الموت وأنا أكره مساءته ‏

ولا يزال عبدي يتقرب إلي بالنوافل حتى أحبه، فإذا أحببته كنت سمعه الذي يسمع به وبصره

الذي يبصر به، ويده التي يبطش بها ورجله التي يمشي بها،

My servant does not cease to approach Me through voluntary worship until I will love him. When I love him, I will become the ears with which he hears, the eyes with which he sees, the hand with which he acts, and the legs with which he walks (and other versions include, “and the tongue with which he speaks.”). (Hadith Qudsi, Bukhari)

That is what we are doing, sitting here listening to verses of the Holy Qur'an and advice, which is voluntary worship, so we fall under that Hadith. By sitting with the shaykh we are like that, under khitab of `abd, to be a servant of Allah. `Abd is a general title, but the real `abd is the one who serves Allah non-stop.

Try to keep the order of the shaykh or you will come under difficulties. Don't think the shaykh is ordering you; rather, the Prophet (s) is ordering you. He meets with Awliya every day, every Wali, living or the deceased whom he (s) meets in the grave because his soul is free.

This zawiya is very nice and due to the carpet, we think this is a Garden of Jannah. What then do you think of the carpets in Jannah?

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مررتم برياض الجنة فارتعوا. قالو وما رياض الجنة؟ قال "حلق الذكر"

Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet (s) said, "When you pass by the Gardens of Paradise, avail yourselves of them." The Companions asked, "What are the Gardens of Paradise, O Messenger of Allah?" He replied, "The circles of dhikr.” (Tirmidhi)

Allah makes these circles of dhikr gardens of Paradise. He dresses them with rahmah. What is that rahmah? It is to be dressed with that Hadith: to see and hear with Allah's sight and hearing. The first step in moving in the direction of Wilayah is to hear the tasbeeh of angels. If given permission, Awliyaullah will grant their mureeds the ability to hear it. Someone with an hearing problem uses a hearing aid to hear people talk and when they take it out they hear nothing. Like this, Allah will give permission to the Prophet (s) and he gives permission to mashayikh to give a heavenly hearing aid to their mureeds. Then suddenly you will hear what others cannot hear. You will be shocked and think, “Am I imagining this or wondering?”

No, it is true. Sometimes you feel something or someone passing by you without seeing anyone, or you smell a nice perfume and see no one there: those are angels passing by, as mentioned in the Hadith:

ما جلس قوم يذكرون الله إلا نزلت عليهم السكينة و غشيتهم الرحمة و حفتهم الملائكة و ذكرهم الله في من عنده

And no group of people sit together remembering Allah except with tranquility descending upon them, mercy covering them, and the angels surrounding them, and Allah mentioning them to those in His Presence. (Muslim)

When people remember Allah, the angels come and scrub them, then they feel relaxed and what was previously closed begins to slowly open. That is the aim of Tariqah, not to teach you Shari`ah only. You must learn and practice Shari`ah whether you like or not. For example, you cannot say to Allah, “I will pray tomorrow.” No, you have to pray on time! You cannot say to Allah, “I will fast tomorrow.” There are many people who did not go on Hajj.

I ask them, “Why don't you go on Hajj?”

They say, “It is still early, we are waiting, there is a long time ahead of us.”

What if you die tomorrow? Allah will ask, “Why did you not do Hajj when you had power, when you were young?” Can you say, “I will make Hajj next year.” You may die. Don't postpone any Shari`ah order as we are responsible to fulfill it. Allah will judge us according to Shari`ah and then He will have mercy on us according to Haqiqah.

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَه ُُ وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَ

Whosoever has done an atom's weight of good shall see it, and whosoever has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it. (Surat al-Zalzalah, 99:7-8)

That is hukm ash-Shari`ah, the judgment of Shari`ah: this one to Paradise, the other to Hellfire. So in order to avoid that, you have to follow Shari’ah. On the other hand, there is hukm `ibaadihi fee karamihi, through His Mercy, Allah will forgive you and love you, so what you do in spirituality is different from what you do in Shari`ah. You must fulfill the obligations of Shari`ah, but it is up to you follow the path of spirituality. If you want to be dressed in heavenly mercy, fulfill Shari`ah and Tariqah.

‘Tasawwuf’ is a technical word. People of Tasawwuf aren’t committing bid`a, the way many construe it is wrong. Tasawwuf is the blending of Shari`ah and Haqiqat, which bears a child, Tasawwuf. That is to prefer Akhirah to dunya. In dunya, Shari`ah requires you to make your dunya life well and good, and Tariqah inspires you how to have much love for Allah (swt) and the Prophet (s). The first is through Shari`ah, which is a command, and the second is through love, which is voluntary. That makes Allah happy with you and your association, which will lead you to be a sincere `abd.

As I said before, all his life Sayyidina Ya`qoob (a) was so attracted by Sayyidina Yusuf (a) that even when he disappeared, after his brothers threw him in the well, Sayyidina Ya`qoob was still looking forward to meeting him and repeatedly mentioned his name in every association. To teach him, “Your love must be for Me, Allah, not for Yusuf,” Allah delayed Yusuf (a) meeting his father for thirty-seven years because they loved each other, but Allah was telling them, “No one can be in your heart other than Myself, keep your heart for Allah.”

ما وسعني أرضي ولا سمائي ولكن وسعني قلب عبدي المؤمن

Neither My Heavens nor My Earth contain Me, but the heart of My believing servant contains Me.

(Hadith Qudsi, Al-Ihya of Imam al-Ghazali)

If you don’t balance these two wings, you will lose the ability to fly and will fall down. So don't mix dunya with Akhirah, do as Sayyidina `Ali (r) said:

اعمل لدنياك كأنك تعيش أبداً ، و اعمل لآخرتك كأنك تموت غدا

Work for your dunya as if you will live forever, and work for the Next Life as if you are dying tomorrow.

How does someone live forever? They would try to take everything, wouldn’t they? “And do for your Akhirah as if you are dying tomorrow.” O viewers! This is the best example, “To do your best in dunya as if you are living forever,” and to remember the other half of the poem of Sayyidina `Ali (r), “To do for Akhirah as if you are dying tomorrow.” If someone knows he will die tomorrow, he will worship day and night. Fulfill your Shari`ah and your Tariqah, then Allah will bless you.

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And those who struggle in Our (Way), We will certainly guide them to our Paths for, verily, Allah is with those who do right. (Surat al-`Ankabut, 29:69)

Allah promises, “If you come to Me walking, I will come to you running. If you come to Me by one step, I will come to you ninety-nine steps.” Allah wants His `abd to come to him with just one step, and He will send him ninety-nine steps. Such meetings, which don't take one hour or half-an-hour, are so valuable to Awliyaullah: you are taking one step, and they are coming to you by ninety-nine steps!

What does Allah say next? “I will sit with you,” and then He says:

عن ‏ ‏أبي هريرة ‏ ‏قال ‏‏قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏إن الله قال ‏ ‏من عادى لي وليا فقد ‏ ‏آذنته ‏ ‏بالحرب وما تقرب إلي عبدي بشيء أحب إلي مما افترضت عليه وما يزال عبدي يتقرب إلي بالنوافل حتى أحبه فإذا أحببته كنت سمعه الذي يسمع به وبصره الذي يبصر به ويده التي يبطش بها ورجله التي يمشي بها وإن سألني لأعطينه ولئن استعاذني لأعيذنه وما ترددت عن شيء أنا فاعله ترددي عن نفس المؤمن يكره الموت وأنا أكره مساءته ‏

ولا يزال عبدي يتقرب إلي بالنوافل حتى أحبه، فإذا أحببته كنت سمعه الذي يسمع به وبصره

الذي يبصر به، ويده التي يبطش بها ورجله التي يمشي بها،

My servant does not cease to approach Me through voluntary worship until I will love him. When I love him, I will become the ears with which he hears, the eyes with which he sees, the hand with which he acts, and the legs with which he walks (and other versions include, “and the tongue with which he speaks.”). (Hadith Qudsi, Bukhari)

“I will grant you to hear what people cannot hear and to see what people cannot see.” Allah will show us with our eyes that when we move one step, He moves ninety-nine steps. Look at your hands, He gave you their meaning. You will see that “81” in Arabic on the left hand and “18” on the right hand, which totals ninety-nine. “If you come to Me by one step, I will give you ninety-nine dresses, and you will never regret it, I will make you happy in dunya and Akhirah! Don’t complain about anything, just relax, stay calm and come with one step, I will make it ninety-nine. 1 + 99 = 100, which is one and zero.

لِّمَنِ الْمُلْكُ الْيَوْمَ ۖ لِلَّـهِ الْوَاحِدِ الْقَهَّارِ

To whom is the Kingdom this Day? To Allah, The Unique, The Irresistible. (Surat Ghafir, 40:16)

When everyone on Earth dies, Allah will descend to the First Heaven and say, “To whom is the Kingdom this day? To Allah, The Unique One, laa shareeka lahu, al-Qahhar, I am The Subduer! I will forgive all your sins, and smash them and take them from you and dress you with rahmah!”

We must follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (s), in kuntum tuhiboon Allah fatabi`oonee:

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)

How do you follow someone? “Ittib`a” is to follow in their footsteps. Check what you are doing wrong so that you may understand what is making that problem for you. Some people have problems, are patient with it, those are Awliyaullah; we have problems, but are not patient. We try to solve it with our hands and reasoning, but we may fall.

Prophet (s) said:

عن‏ ‏أبي هريرة ‏ ‏رضي الله عنه ‏أن رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قال‏ ‏إياكم والظن فإن الظن أكذب الحديث ولا تحسسوا ولا تجسسوا ولا ‏‏تناجشوا ‏ ‏ولا تحاسدوا ولا تباغضوا ولا تدابروا وكونوا عباد الله إخوانا.

Beware of suspicion for it is the worst of false tales, and don't look for the other's faults, and don't spy and don't falsely inflate prices and don't envy each other and don't hate each other, and don't desert (cut your relations with) one another. O Allah's slaves! Be brothers! (Narrated by Abu Hurayrah. Bukhari)

Be servants of Allah as brothers and sisters! Carry the responsibility of the community like the Sahaabah (r), who did their best to carry the responsibility of the whole Muslim world. May Allah take away those who are attacking and killing people, and bring peace on Earth.

There are four enemies after us and they are stronger than enemies of war with tanks and airplanes. For Awliyaullah, these four enemies are more important than the enemies of war. In 1996, with permission of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim I was in khalwah. We had come with family to see him and he said, “Prepare to do khalwah in two days.” I had not come prepared to make seclusion. He said, “Go and make seclusion in Damascus in my special room that is always locked, the house is empty.”

سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

We hear and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all, so forgive us). (Surat al-Baqara, 2:285)

I was happy on one hand and worried about the family on the other. If permission comes for khalwah, do not be worried about your family during your absence, don't let that feeling enter your mind. If your shaykh orders you to do khalwah, you must comply. He made everything possible for me: to go from Cyprus to Lebanon to Syria in 1996. So I did khalwah and will not mention what I saw, as there is a book on that (Fifty Days, by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani). However, I will mention in the last ten days, I began to notice something in the four corners of the room and my mind was worried about what was coming from there. The corners became like a hole, but if I looked straight at it I saw nothing. In my peripheral view, I saw a hole and heard the sound of a snake rattling from all four corners. When I came out of that khalwah, Mawlana said to me, “Awliya were afraid that you would die, because of the strength of that khalwah.”

The four enemies are nafs, dunya, hawwa and Shaytan. Shaytan is the last, he puts his stamp on it. Who can say they don’t have these four enemies? Do you have ego, love of dunya, desires, and whispering of the Shaytan? Especially when you say “Allahu Akbar” and enter the prayer, he comes from every side to distract you from good to evil, not from evil to good.

Also, when you tell someone they are doing something bad and that they have to take their Shaytan away, they get upset. Sometimes the shaykh will go along with the desire of the mureed, but it will be a test and will put the mureed in difficulty; however, at the end the shaykh will have mercy and help, but that is only to teach.

Even though you may try to eliminate these four enemies from attacking you, you still might hear them, but the effect might not be as strong. The only way to crack that obstacle is by reciting Kalimat at-Tawheed, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammad Rasoolullah.” The worst Shaytan can do is to take you from Islam to unbelief. If a non-Muslim wants to become Muslim, Shaytan will not be happy. What do you say when you have decided to take Islam as your religion and become a true mu’min? Kalimat at-Tawheed. That is the ticket to Paradise. These four enemies will disappear when you say “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammad Rasoolullah.” That is why Prophet (s) said:

مَنْ قَالَ حِينَ يَسْمَعُ النِّدَاءَ: اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ هَذِهِ الدَّعْوَةِ التَّامَّةِ، وَالصَّلاةِ الْقَائِمَةِ، آتِ مُحَمَّدًا الْوَسِيلَةَ وَالْفَضِيلَةَ والدرجة الرفيعة، وَابْعَثْهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا الَّذِي وَعَدْتَهُ انك لا تخلف الميعاد؛ حَلَّتْ لَهُ شَفَاعَتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

Whoever hears the call to prayer and says, ‘Allahumma rabba hadhihi ‘daʿwata t-taammah wa ‘s-salaati ‘l-qaaʾimah aati muhammadan al-waseelata wa ‘l-fadeelata wa ‘d-darajata ‘r-rafeeʿah wa-’bʿath-hu maqmaan mahmoodan alladhee waʿadtahu innaka laa tukhlifu ‘l-meeʿaad,’ My Intercession for him on the Day of Resurrection will be permissible. (Bukhari, Tirmidhi)

The last thing you say is “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammad Rasoolullah.” Say Kalimat at-Tawheed whenever you are blocked: that is enough to erase all your sins and take every obstacle away by Allah’s Generosity. That is why at their graveside we remind the deceased to say, “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa habeebuhu wa rasooluh.”. When you bury someone, it is a meritorious to stomp your foot on the ground, and demand, “Say! ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammad Rasoolullah.’” That is talqeen, whatever is on your tongue is passed on theirs. When they say Kalimat at-Tawheed, all their sins will be erased completely. So Kalimat at-Tawheed are the magic words and Allah likes you to say, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah, Laa ilaaha illa-Llah, Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah, `alayha nahya wa `alayha namoot wa `alayha nalqa'Allah inshaa-Allah.”

By saying it, we are intending to step on our nafs and to be a good servant of Allah. You are not yet `abd, because you are not yet acknowledging in your heart that He is The Creator and you are created; you have one foot here and one foot there. But when you say, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah,” you take that first step in the struggle and put yourself on the right track to take you on the path. Then you will begin to struggle between what you need and what your ego needs. Awliyaullah let their mureed struggle in order to raise them higher and higher. So when those who are seeking that way do `ibaadah, Allah keeps raising them up, and for the Prophet (s) to dress the Ummah. May Allah keep us on that track and to say initially, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah,” and to acknowledge that we are `ajaz, helpless. Say the sweet word of Kalimat at-Tayyibah on your tongue.

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Surat al-Fatihah.

Those who lived before the time of the Prophet’s Message, do you consider they will go to Paradise or Hell? The Message didn’t reach them; there was no Message between the time of Sayyidina `Isa (a) to the time of the Prophet (s), which is 500 years. What do you think: will they go to Hellfire or Paradise? It is a big question. Awliyaullah don't step in that, they leave Judgment to Allah, but they do not know. That is the mistake Wahhabis made by saying Prophet’s father, mother, and uncles will not go to Paradise, because the Message did not reach them, and Allah knows best. Allah will forgive the ancestors of those who convert to Islam: because of that one person who accepted Islam, Allah will forgive all of them. Wa rahmatee wasi`at kulla shay, “My mercy has encompassed everything.”

وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَـاةَ وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِآيَاتِنَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

My Mercy embraces all things; therefore, I grant it to those who ward off (evil) and pay the poor due, and those who believe Our Revelations. (Surat al-A`raaf, 7:156)

Yaa Rabbee, let us be under that rahmah!

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


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