Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
19 July 2013 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan
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`alaa fee haadha 'l-masjid.
أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
Atee`oollaha wa atee`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)
مَّنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللّهَ
Man yuti`i ’r-rasoola faqad ataa`a ’Llah.
Whoever obeys the Prophet is obeying Allah. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:80)
Look at the greatness Allah gave to the Prophet (s): whoever obeys Prophet (s) is obeying Allah! We ask Allah (swt) to give us the power to obey Him and to obey His Prophet (s).
Today we will continue our previous discussion by repeating in a summarised way what we came across, that in their prayers people are of five different types:
1. The first one is the one who is oppressing his prayers, he doesn’t keep its limits, he doesn’t keep the perfection of its wudu, he doesn’t keep its time, pray it on time, and he doesn’t keep its ruku`, its sujood and its qiyaam in the right time and place, nor give these aspects their rights.
2. The second has kept the prayer’s time, keeps its limits and observes its principles, but he loses his prayer because of too much Shaytan’s whispering and gossiping in his ear; he follows what Shaytan whispers in his ear, who then takes him there; he forgets how many raka`ats he did, five or six or two or one, and is longer mindful of Allah (swt); his focus is on the whisperings of Shaytan in his ear.
3. The third one keeps the prayer’s time, keeps its principles, observes its limits and tries to push away the whispering of Shaytan, so there is a struggle between himself and Shaytan and he is busy in that in order that Shaytan does not steal his prayer from him, and that is also acceptable.
(4. The fourth one prays on time, perfects the rights and principles of prayer and wudu and goes deeply into istighraaq, fully present in Allah’s Divine Presence, and does not let Shaytan steal anything and all his care is how to perfect his salaat.)
5. The last is the one is who, as soon as he goes into prayer, saying, “Allahu Akbar,” he is immediately in the Divine Presence, putting his heart at the Threshold of the Divine Presence, asking Allah (swt) for forgiveness and Allah’s (swt) protection.
These are the five, so then we can say:
1. the first type of prayer we mentioned is mu`aqqib, punishable.Allah will punish that one because he didn’t keep its time, nor its principle, nor its wudu. He kept nothing of the rights of the prayer. So that person, who was listening to the whispers of Shaytan, is punished.
2. The second one will be taken to account; Allah will question and judge him, and audit him in his prayer: how he did his prayer, is he doing it in the right way? Or he is doing it in a way that laa taleeq bihi `azza wa jall, doesn’t befit the Rights of Allah (swt) on every one of us?
3. The third one is mukaffarun `anhu, the third type of prayer we mentioned, Allah (swt) knows that servant is running, that Shaytan is whispering to him, but he is running to avoid him. That one Allah will forgive, and Allah will change his salaat from imitational salaat, plastic salaat--if we can say that--to real salaat.
5. The fifth one is muqarrib min Allah, is the one that Allah brings him nearer to Himself. He opens for him His Doors; He doesn’t lock His Doors for him. He says, “Welcome, yaa `abdee!”
Look in Hajj time how many people wish that they can pray two raka`ats inside the Ka`bah, to enter into it...before we say, “to enter inside,” every Muslim wishes to be in the Haram al-Makki, at the Sacrd Mosque, Baytullah, to be there and observe his prayers there. And there is a higher-level person who not only wants to pray there, but to enter the Ka`bah and pray two raka`ats because you are praying inside the House of Allah (swt). That one who keeps his prayer, Allah will grant him that, Allah is not prohibiting. Many people might not keep prayer in their life and they get an opportunity to go inside the Ka`bah and pray two raka`ats, as they might be important people, official people. Allah does not look at your image, He looks at the heart: if your heart is to keep your prayer as much as possible clean and pure and throw Shaytan away and put your heart at the Threshold of Allah’s Door, be sure that you are not only praying in Ka`bah in Haram al-Makki, but Allah (swt) will cause you to pray in Bayt al-Maamoor, the House of Allah in Heavens! Allah gives you the manifestation, the tajalli, of the Fourth Paradise, which is where Bayt al-Maamoor is located, from that place, which is the reality of Baytullah, the House of Allah (swt). That is why it is said:
ما وسعني أرضي ولا سمائي ولكن وسعني قلب عبدي المؤمن
Maa wasi`anee ardee wa laa samaa'ee wa laakin wasi`anee qalbi `abdee al-mu'min.
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)
It is said that, “Neither My Heavens nor My Earth contain Me, but the heart of My believer contains My Light.” You cannot “contain,” you cannot dare to say your heart “contains” Allah, but “contained the Manifestation of the Light” that He will send to your heart, that Light which will shine in your heart and give it power in order that you will be always in the Presence of Allah (swt).
Allah said in Holy Qur'an:
فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ
Run (away immediately) to Allah (from harm)! (Surat adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:50)
So our prayer is the gateway of running to Allah (swt) and there is no other way. How can you run to Allah without the prayers? The prayers are, as the Prophet (s) said, “You are between the Hands of Allah (swt), you are praying in the Presence of Allah (swt), there are your prayers.” So, these prayers are like polishing your heart, slowly, slowly, like you polish a stone to become a diamond, they keep polishing it, is it not? They keep polishing it, polishing it, polishing it until the diamond comes shining out of the rock. Our hearts are like rocks, they are not like diamonds, no one can convince himself that his heart is clean. People say, “My heart is clean,” but your heart is clean when your prayers are clean. Your heart is clean when you become like a spotlight for people, when people run to you, then Allah makes people run to you in order to get some power from you to guide them. That power means the guidance, to guide them to perfecting their prayers and their salawaat by perfecting your salawaat. At that time your heart will be perfected, your heart will be clean.
قلب الموءمن بيت الرب
Qalbu ’l-mumin baytu ’r-rabb
The heart of the believer is the House of Allah.
So when you say, “Allahu Akbar,” what are you including in your prayer? When I say, “Allahu Akbar,” and enter the prayer, what kind of obligations are within the prayer? Look how much greatness Allah (swt) gave the prayer, so much power. As soon as you say “Allahu Akbar” it means you are facing what? The Qiblah, Ka`bah. That means you are in a pilgrimage, a spiritual pilgrimage to Ka`bah, so you can imagine Ka`bah in front of you. Can you pray right or left or must you pray straight towards the Ka`bah? Straight to Ka`bah. So when you say, “Allahu Akbar,” you are in a spiritual pilgrimage. Do you think if you are in a spiritual pilgrimage, that Allah is not going to give you support, that He is not going to welcome you? No, rather He says: “O My Servant, come! I am with you as long as you remember Me,” and the prayer is to remember Allah (swt). When we are remembering, we say, “Yaa Rabbee, Allahu Akbar!” and that is why Prophet (s) used to pray a lot of nawaafil and this is Prophet (s) who has been in Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa already, but he was praying nawaafil, voluntary prayers, the Sunnah, in order to keep his relationship there always open with the Divine Presence, with Allah (swt).
So when we say, “Allahu Akbar,” that door opens for us to go on a pilgrimage and in pilgrimage you face lot of good things and you will face lot of bad things. If you keep with the good things you will be on a straight line to Ka`bah and if you deviate to exit you lose your Ka`bah; you are exiting where there might be a danger for you, Shaytan is waiting, it will be a dangerous situation. But if you are keeping the straight line, the highway, your goal is the Ka`bah, you imagine and you are facing the Ka`bah in front of you, that will take you to be worshipping inside Ka`bah from your place:
وَمَا ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ بِعَزِيزٍ
Wa maa dhaalika `ala’Llaahi bi-`azeez.
That is not at all difficult for Allah, Who has no equal. (Surat Ibraaheem, 14:20)
That is not difficult for Allah (swt) and Allah will give it! So let our prayer be the way to Hajj, to pilgrimage, a spiritual pilgrimage, a spiritual ascension, because when you speak about spirituality, not physicality, when you connect your heart with Ka`bah through your prayer, Allah connects you to Bayt al-Maamoor. He will open for you that level, Allah is Generous, al-Kareem and He gives as much as you want, so take, but also do (act)!
So then what comes in your prayer? Second: you are fasting. Are you fasting in your prayer? Do you eat when you are praying? Do you drink when you are praying? Do you chew gum when you are praying? No. So what are you doing? You are fasting. And Allah said:
الصوم لي وانا اُجزي به
As-sawmu lee wa anaa ajzee beeh.
Fasting is for Me and I will reward it. (Hadith Qudsi)
Allah will reward for the fasting. It is not compared to the fasting of Ramadan, Ramadan is an obligation, but we are speaking here of what the prayer includes within itself, so in these two raka`ats or three raka`ats or four raka`ats, you are fasting. So when you are praying these raka`ats you are fasting, not eating, nor drinking, not doing anything, prohibiting yourself from food for that period of time. If you eat in your prayer, your prayer is gone; you cannot take a sandwich and eat it and you are still praying. So fasting is included in the prayer.
Then Tawheed, what is the sign of Tawheed? What is the sign, the action for a non-Muslim to become Muslim? What has been asked from you first? What do you have to say? (Mawlana raises his index finger), “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah,” and you cannot give salaam and leave the prayer without saying Kalimat at-Tawheed at the end. Why at the end and not at the beginning? That is to wrap it up. You are wrapping the prayer with Tawheed, so Shaytan cannot as you wrapped it already with Tawheedu’Llah.
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ َ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَد وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَد
Qul huwa’Llaahu Ahad, Allahu ‘s-Samad, lam yalid wa lam yoolad wa lam yakun lahu kufoowan ahad.
Say, “He is the One God, God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being. He begets not nor is He begotten and there is nothing that could be compared to Him.” (Surat al-Ikhlaas, 112:1-4)
“Say, O Muhammad, the Unknown One, that no one can know except through His Beautiful Names and Attributes and no one can see him.” Allah (swt) can be seen in Paradise, at a certain level as mentioned in hadith of the Prophet (s), but Allah cannot be seen in dunya, “Say yaa Muhammad, He is the One who cannot be seen, is Allah, Unique, Ahad, One in Uniqueness in manifestations of His Beautiful Names and Attributes, al-Ahad.” Allahu’s-Samad, Allah is now describing himself as: as-Samad, the One who doesn’t need anything from anyone, the One who is not dependent on anyone, He is Self-Sufficient, and everyone is dependent on Him, all Humanity. Lam yalid wa lam yoolad, that is all Tawheed. That is why when you pray sunnah it is recommended to recite Surat al-Ikhlas, that is Tawheed. Lam yalid wa lam yoolad, “He doesn’t give children, have children nor is He born,” that is Tawheed, believing in Allah’s Oneness. Telling people that Allah has a wife or what they describe Him with different kinds of statues...we are not following anyone except our Prophet’s (s) religion. So He is the one with no children and is not born, does not give children to Himself. Wa lam yakun lahu kufoowan ahad, “And He has no one with Him or like Him whatsoever.” All of us are owned by Him, no one can be united with Him. We disagree with Wahdat al-wujood, as it is not Islamic; it is a mere philosophy.
So the Five Pillars of Islam are inside the prayer. You are making Tawheed, you are praying, you are fasting and you are going for Hajj. As soon as you say “Allahu Akbar,” you go on a spiritual Hajj that takes you on different levels of ascension depending on the heart, and we saw (in previous sessions) the levels of hearts that exist. And the last is sadaqa, charity. How, do you give charity during prayer? Do you give money to poor people? No, but the charity is the dunya work you do, so when you are capable of working and making money, you are dropping that work for Allah’s sake to pray. So that means that is a sadaqa, that prayer has a sadaqa, it contains sadaqa; you dropped what you were going to earn and turned it into prayer to Allah (swt). So the time that you would be going to work is now sadaqa of time for your Akhirah.
So that is why prayer is polishing the heart as it contains the Five Pillars of Islam which make up the structure of the Building of Islam. When you build something you have to put a structure, so these Five Pillars of Islam contained inside the prayer are the structure of the building that is going to go up now, the Building of Islam. So first, that will give power to the heart.
There are three types of hearts:
قلب خال من الإيمان وجميع الخير فذلك قلب مظلم قد استراح الشيطان من إلقاء الوساوس إليه أنه قد اتخذ بيتا ووطنا وتحكم فيه بما يريد وتمكن منه غاية التمكن
Qalbun khaalin min al-imaan wa jam`ee al-khayr, a heart that is empty of faith and does not believe in anything; such a person is always drinking, womanizing, lying, cheating and doing what Allah (swt) does not like and he never thinks of his prayers. During the day he is busy with dunya and at night he is busy with nightclubs, and doesn't care about anything heavenly. That heart is empty of goodness, there is no goodness in it. Fa dhaalika qalbun muzhlim, such a heart has no faith in it; this is a heart which is darkened in which there is no light, you cannot see anything. Now you are seeing with the light, but if you put the lights off you see nothing. So it is like that, the heart is in darkness, and you cannot pull it out! That heart is zero, it is dead. As when someone is in the hospital you see (on the heart monitor) electromagnetic waves and the lines are moving, but when the heart is dead it becomes a straight line and finished, flatline, no life in it.
So Shaytan has no need to enter, as it is already dark, it is already useless. Why does he have to waste his time? Shaytan's time is precious as he wants to keep something for everyone, so why does he have to spend time on someone whose heart is already dead? It is dead! So qad istaraaha ‘sh-shaytaan min ilqaa’i ’l-wasaawis ilayh, “Shaytan is relaxed now, not tiring to run after this person because that person already has whispering and all kinds of gossips coming to his ears,” and he took that heart as a house for him and even more, a watan, country for him. He comes in and goes out, comes in and goes out and makes that person backbite everyone. Even if he is a scholar, even if he is a shaykh, if his heart is dead he will backbite, he will speak about people, he will discredit them, he will try to give them a bad reputation and spread false, bad rumors. Everything he does, he does not care. That person’s heart is dead and he will never see any goodness in his life.
قلب قد استنار بنور الإيمان وأوقد فيه مصباحه لكن عليه ظلمة الشهوات وعواصف الاهوية فللشيطان هنالك إقبال وإدبار ومجالات ومطامع فالحرب دول وسجال وتختلف أحوال هذا الصنف بالقلة والكثرةفمنهم من أوقات غلبته لعدوه أكثر ومنهم من أوقات غلبة عدوه له أكثر ومنهم من هو تارة وتارة
The second heart is one that has been enlightened with the Light of Faith, with the Light of Imaan, and like a pilot light in his heart, it is always there. As soon as he wants to do good `amal it shines, it ignites the heart, this pilot light. That little bit of faith that Allah gives you when you are striving for good and trying hard to throw Shaytan away, will fill your heart and Allah puts for you a pilot light that will ignite for you immediately as a spotlight on everything to show you what you need. That is there, that pilot light is there waiting for you as you have imaan, and you say, “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah.”
The problem is, like someone with a kerosene lamp or a flashlight, if you put a towel over it, can you see anything? It gets very dim and you can only see something vague there. If you take away the towel the light shines. So that heart that contains some faith and whose owner has put a lamp in it, and Allah (swt) put a pilot light for him, if his heart is covered with these “towels of gossips” and whisperings and is full of desires...he has faith, but for example he likes to go drink, making a sin, or go womanize making sin, or lie and cheat and backbite and curse; he is not humble, there is no mercy in his heart, but yet he prays. So there is light, but it is on pilot and you still have to ignite it.
So there, Shaytan can go in and out of that heart, he is using it to whisper, “Oh! This one is bad, when you finish your prayer, go attack him, speak about him.” So as soon as he says, “As-salaamu `alaykum rahmatullaah, as-salaamu `alaykum rahmatullaah,” he begins to attack or if he is giving a suhbah or a lecture, he is beginning to attack and backbite people, or if he is praying, he wants to finish quickly because something urgent came to his mind or to his ear that he wants to immediately act on and harm others. Such a heart is one which Shaytan can go in and go out of.
قلب محشو بالإيمان قد استنار بنور الإيمان وانقشعت عنه حجب الشهوات وأقلعت عنه تلك الظلمات فلنوره في صدره إشراق ولذلك الإشراق إيقاد لو دنا منه الوسواس احترق به فهو كالسماء التي حرست بالنجوم فلو دنا منها الشيطان يتخطاها رجم فاحترق وليست السماء بأعظم حرمة من المؤمن وحراسة الله تعالى له أتم من حراسة السماء والسماء متعبد الملائكة ومستقر الوحي وفيها أنوار الطاعات وقلب المؤمن مستقر التوحيد والمحبة والمعرفة والإيمان وفيه أنوارها فهو حقيق أن يحرس ويحفظ من كيد العدو فلا ينال منه شيئا إلا خطفه
The third one is qalbun mahshoowwun bi ’l-imaan waqad istanaara bi nooru ’l-imaan, that heart is stuffed with imaan, not one place is empty from imaan. In the third level his heart is completely full, like a perfect moon. Waqad istanaara bi nooru ’l-imaan, “And imaan gave him so much light and that light will affect the other people's hearts who sit with him or with her!” Whatever it is, that reflection from him to others or from the others to him, it goes and comes. That one, inqasha`at `anhu hujuhu ‘sh-shahawaat, “All the curtains or veils of bad desires or good desires are lifted up from him.” He doesn’t any more fall into that trap of desires, even good desires are lifted! There are good desires that you can do and there are bad desires and from both desires he is clean; he doesn’t want the good desires, he wants Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s). That heart is protected by Allah as your prayer is, if you keep its time, keep the principles of prayer, keep its limits, make its wudu, and Allah (swt) protects that prayer for you. Also, that heart will be protected by Allah (swt), He takes away all darkness from his heart and keeps the power of the Light, as light emits energy and emits heat, so that heat is described as, "The heat that attacks Shaytan and burns him when he comes to your heart." So Shaytan cannot approach because Allah (swt) is protecting you. If Shaytan approaches you, your heart is hurisat bi ’n-nujoom fa law danan minhaa ’sh-shaytaan yatakhattaaha rujima fakhtaraq, “It is kept safe and protected by shooting stars.” In the heart there are shooting stars and when Shaytan approaches and your heart is protected by shooting stars it will hit on Shaytan and burn him completely. That heart is really what Allah (swt) described, those who are reaching that level:
أَلا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاء اللّهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَكَانُواْ يَتَّقُونَ
Alaa inna awliyaaullaahi laa khawfun `alayhim wa laa hum yahzanoon. Al-ladheena aamanoo wa kaanoo yattaqoon.
Behold! Verily on the Friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; they who have attained faith and have always been conscious of Him. (Surah Yunus, 10:62-63)
“Those people who are My Saints, My Friends, My Sincere Servants, laa khawfun `alayhim, they must not fear anything.” Laa khawfun `alayhim means, “no one to worry about them,” wa laa hum yahzanoon, “and no one think they are sad,” because Allah is protecting their hearts, because they kept their hearts clean, they filled it with faith, with Noor al-Imaan. Al-ladheena aamanoo, “Those who believed” with real belief, not imitational only. “Real belief” means following correctly in the footsteps of the Prophet (s). Wa kaanoo yataqooon, “And they were sincere,” they were pious, they were fearing Allah (swt).
So it is said the example of the three different hearts is like three homes. One, as Grandshaykh (q) was describing, there is a king’s house, a big palace and then there is a shack by it where they keep the hay. So the thief comes and will he go steal from hay or does he go to the house of the king to steal? He goes to the heart of the king to steal. So Shaytan does not go to the heart of the first level, a heart that has no light as it is already dark. He runs after the treasures. So like the three houses, one house is for a king, full of jewels; the second one is a house that has some stuff in it, not like the king’s; and the third is completely empty. So which one will the thief steal from? The king’s one. Idhaa fa in qulta? min al-bayti ‘l-khaalee, if you say, "From the empty house," it doesn't click in the mind for why he has to go there.
قيل لابن عباس رضي الله عنهما : إن اليهود تزعم أﻧﻬا لا توسوس في صلاﺗﻬا فقال : وما يصنع الشيطان بالقلب الخراب ؟
That is why Sayyidina Ibn Abbas (r) said, “There were a group of people, Jews, that came to Prophet (s) and said, ‘Yaa Muhammad (s), in our prayer we don’t have any whisper or gossips in our ears, we focus.’ Faqaal, he (s) said, ‘What is Shaytan...Shaytan is not going to run after a heart that is already kharabb, destroyed, completely in ruins. Shaytan is not going to go to ruins.” That means, “Your hearts are ruins, go and make your heart alive by bringing imaan to it.”
May Allah (swt) bring imaan to our hearts and we will continue in the next session.
Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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