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Hierarchy of Saints Series, Vol 11

Types of Baya`, Their Conditions and Status

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

24 August 2010 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Ramadan Series 2010

As-salaamu `alaykum. Allahuma salli ‘alaa Sayyidina Muhammad.

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani ‘r-rajim. 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 hadhaa 'l-masjid. Nawayna 's-siyaam.

As we said in the previous session, the Prophet (s) said, "If Musa was living, he would not be able except to follow me," because you have to follow the one that is higher than you. Also in Shari`ah, you have to follow the one who is more knowledgeable than you. And also in haqiqat, you have to follow the one that Allah (swt) guided to the right path and whose knowledge is more than yours. You have to follow that one. So the continuation of the previous session is that Imam `Abd al-Wahhab ash-Sha`raani (q) (d. Cairo 973 AH), one of the big scholars in Islam, said, idhaa raa'itu ahadun a`arafu minnee bi 't-tareeq lamadhtu `alayhi wa law kuntu ma`dhoonan min qabli li-shaykhin aakhir, "If I see in my way, my journey, that journey never ends, and whatever you do is continuous and difficult. You have to face all these difficulties until you are able to reach the highest level of peacefulness and relaxation."

As it happened with Prophet Muhammad (s), he was tested and all his life was with obstacles, although he was the Seal of Messengers. Allah (swt) made him perfect, made him Insaan al-Kaamil, "the Perfect Human Being." Allah completed him, which means He is perfect and Allah made him to reach perfection. When you reach perfection, it means you are not here; you are in the Divine Presence. The Divine Presence cannot accept anything except perfection. In akhirah, when Allah (swt) sends believers to Jannah, He makes believers reach perfection or else they cannot see Him in Paradise as Prophet (s) said, "Allah will be seen in Paradise." And that highest paradise cannot allow anything except perfection.

There are lower levels of Paradise where there are all kinds of people who reached different levels, but the highest Paradise does not accept anyone except those who reach the highest level. The Prophet (s) reached perfection in dunya when he was taken in Israa and Mi`raaj to qaaba qawsayni aw adnaa, within two bows' length. He reached the highest perfection while he was alive in dunya, so he is the one that has to be followed.That is why awliyaullah say, "This journey is long and you cannot reach perfection." Allah (swt) said:

وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ

wa fawqa kull dhi ilmin aleem.

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

It means there is something above everything; there is no limit, there is an infinite number of levels above and there is no limit to the levels of stations. As you move to one there is another, and another above that, so there are always more "aboves." So for the Prophet (s), all his life there were difficulties and he said, laa raahat fee ‘d-deen, "There is no relaxation in religion." You have to keep struggling. He struggled until he reached perfection.

إِذَا جَاء نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا

idha ja'a nasrullahi wal-fath, wa ra'it an-naasa yadkhuloona fee deeni llaahi afwaaja.

When Allah's support comes you will see people entering the Path of Allah in big numbers. (Surat an-Nasr, 110:1)

So Allah (swt) gave to Prophet (s) that nasr, victory, He also made the inheritors of Prophet (s) capable of giving victory to their followers, to enter into their hazheera, garden.They will enter inside their garden to be taken care of and to be safe, and they will be guided to that road to reach the presence of Prophet!

That is why Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhab ash-Sha`rani (q) said, "If I find someone more knowledgeable than me in the path, I will become his student." So don't say, "No, I don't want to be a student." You always follow and listen to someone who knows more than you; go and sit in his association. Don't say, "I have no permission." No, especially if someone is in the same order you are, listen to each other and don't argue; you might get wisdom. He said, "Even if I am given authority to conduct teachings or lead dhikrullah and I find someone in that tariqah who knows more than I do, I will listen to what he says. Even if there is one maa'dhoon in the east and one in the west, and one in the north and one in the south, one should go and listen to the one with more knowledge. Don't say, 'I am the shaykh.' No, you are not the shaykh. That is why I went to listen to one shaykh after another."

Levels have no limits at which the servant will stop; there is alway ascension, so go to the higher level. Alhamdulillah that Allah (swt) guided us to the highest! But when you are in an association and you are not in the presence of Sultan al-Awliya, if there is another maa'dhoon who is higher than you, go and listen and learn. Not everything has been given to you. So try to humble yourself. fa idhan luzoom khidmat ash-shaykh al-akmal minhu. "It is obligatory for a shaykh who knows himself to be lower than the other shaykh to sit and listen to that shaykh." As it is mentioned and happened in Holy Qur'an. Today they say, "where is it?" They are authorized to give lectures and lead dhikr, and they think they are so high that they prevent those who follow them from listening to someone else. That is a sickness in them. They tell them, "That one doesn't know anything and we know everything!" If that is the case, why did Allah (swt) send Sayyidina Musa to Sayyidina Khidr? Musa was at a higher level than him, but there was a knowledge given to Khidr that Sayyidina Musa did not have. Allah (swt) told him, "Go and seek him in a journey." So he went with his servant to seek him in that journey.

With everyone there is a taste that the other doesn't carry, and that is the case with Sayyidina Khidr (a) and Sayyidina Musa (a). So that is a sign to us, that if we are not near our perfect teacher, Sultan al-Awliya Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani (q), if there is someone of higher level than us coming to our area, he will be the one to conduct the suhbah and we will go and listen to him. But today the apples and oranges are together in one basket, so what can you do? The one who doesn't humble himself and listen to those higher than him will never smell the smell of tariqah, because refused to go to a higher paradise. That is because one paradise leads to another. You sit in one paradise and that opens to the second, then the second opens to the third, and so on. You cannot open from the first to the fourth, it is impossible.

Today even children know more than us, with children's video games. Sometimes I see children playing them, especially in Cyprus, not here. They are playing these games in which you finish one part successfully and it opens to another level, and it goes like a gate, and you move through it to open another level. It is as if the people who made these games, subhaanAllah, were inspired in their hearts! You don't jump from one level to a higher level; no, you go in a sequence and you have to go through all the levels. So the one who tries to jump through levels will stay in the first level and never reach his destiny, his goal.

Awliyaullah in previous times never gave baya` before the student reached a certain level. It was not like today, when the baya` is being spread quickly by Mawlana Shaykh, in his wisdom, since time is short and ignorance is filling dunya. But in the past, the seeker had to reach a certain level before the shaykh would give baya`, and only after he had a dream or vision of Prophet (s) authorizing him to give baya' to that one. Baya` was extremely difficult to get. As I said many times, Grandshaykh never gave baya` to anyone. We know of only two that have baya`, and of all those who came to him he never gave his hand and recited Ayatul-Baya`. They used to sit with him and say, "You are our shaykh."

Previously they used to give baya` in the way of the narration of Sayyidina `Umar (r), where Jibreel came in the form of a man wearing very shining white clothes, which was impossible in that area and time, since it was dust and desert, but he didn't have any sign of travel. He entered in the form of a man and sat on his knees with the Prophet (s) sitting in front of him on his knees, and their knees were touching and their hands were on their thighs. So in tariqah, the way of dissemination or transmission of baya` has to be in such way, as Sayyidina Jibreel (a) was in the presence of Prophet (s), putting his hands on his thighs. Then the shaykh has to make association with and receive authority from Prophet (s) in the night, in istikhara. And the Prophet (s) said:

ما خاب من استخار و لا ندم من استشار

maa khaaba man istikhaar wa laa nadm man istashaar.

No one failed who asked istikhara, and no one regretted who consults.

That answer comes from a high level. And one incident, the only incident we know that happened in this way, was with Shaykh al-Lasooni (q) in Istanbul, when Mawlana Shaykh (q) was young and went to him to follow and take baya`. He said, "O my son, your amanat is not with me." He didn't quickly give him baya` to "win" one more follower; they knew their limits. He said, "Your amaanah is with someone in Damascus. Go and find him, Shaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa`iz ad-Daghestani." How did he know? They had no relationship. There was a world war, a big war, and to make a long story short, Mawlana Shaykh went moving from one place to another, one place to another, to go to Damascus to take baya` from Grandshaykh (q).

This was narrated by Grandshaykh. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim by Aleppo, Hama, and Homs. The war was very fierce where the French and English were fighting each other inside Damascus. And Mawlana landed in Homs and stayed one year in Khalid ibn Waleed's maqam; he is buried there. He was not going out, he was studying Shari`ah. It was like khalwah in one room. Then slowly he was moving to Damascus, but he didn't know where to go. He ended up in a place called Midaan, which still exists, and he asked people there, "Does anyone know a Daghestani shaykh?"

They said, "Yes, there."

Why did he go to that area, not to Marja for example, or to Rukn ad-Deen or Romana? Because Allah (swt) guided him. He reached the door of that house and Grandshaykh opened the door and said, "Come."

He said, "Sayyidee, I am on my way and they sent me to you. I am on the way for Hijra to Madinatu 'l-Munawarra."

Grandshaykh said, "Stay here tonight and I will make istikhara."

That is the formal way, maa khaaba man istikhaara, and you will not be disappointed if you make a request to see Prophet (s) in a dream. So he said, "You rest and spend the night, I will make you food." And they didn't talk more. The next morning after Fajr he said to him, "Yaa waladee! There is no permission to go to Madinatu 'l-Munawarra. There is more need for you to be in your country." And he sat as Sayyidina Jibreel (a) did with Prophet (s) and he gave Mawlana Shaykh baya` and sent him to where there was war, back to Cyprus. Mawlana didn't say, "No." It was his first time meeting the shaykh and he gave Mawlana the order to go back. Look at how much belief he had, when he had that intention, and he was counting the days until he would go to Madinatu 'l-Munawarrah and be mujaawar, the neighbor of Prophet (s)! It was as if Grandshaykh blew up all his expectations.

But Grandshaykh was teaching him, "No, it is not according to your expectations, but according to our decision." People might expect a lot, but awliyaullah will change it for you and cut it down. And then the shaykh passes that baya` to that mureed one-to-one, and passes to him what he needs to know from tariqah. And then after he is sitting, he takes the right hand of the mureed as if shaking hands. After that, they both recite istighfaar, then recite Ayat al-Baya`:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَوْفَى بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

innalladheena yuba`oonak innamaa yuba`yoonAllah. yadullaahi fawqa aydiyhim faman nakatha fa innamaa yankuthu `alaa nafsihi wa man awfaa bimaa `ahada `alayhullaah fa-sayu'tiyhi ajran `azheema.

Behold, all who pledge their allegiance to thee pledge their allegiance to God: the hand of God is over their hands. Hence, he who breaks his oath breaks it only to his own hurt, whereas he who remains true to what he has pledged unto God, on him will He bestow a reward supreme.

Then they close their physical eyes, and by the power of the shaykh the eyes of the heart will open. That is real baya`! All of them are real with Mawlana's barakah, but that is the formal, strong baya`. As soon as they close their eyes, by the power of Prophet (s), the shaykh opens the eyes of the mureed's heart. Then when he opens his eyes, he will see himself in a different level. That cannot be described; you feel goosebumps and your whole body is numb, receiving. You are able then, at that moment, to begin dhikrullah bi `ism adh-dhaat.

The shaykh will make talqeen as you make talqeen at the grave of the one who just passed, saying, yaa `AbdAllah qul ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah... the tradition of reminding the deceased to recite Kalamat ash-Shahadah.Today they throw the body in the grave and run for the inheritance, and those who came to be with the family run to eat the food cooked on behalf of the deceased! The loved ones give them food, since they came to the graveyard, and everyone is running to eat rice and meat! (no adab) So that talqeen `ism adh-dhaat, which encompasses all the Names of Allah, passes from the shaykh's tongue and heart to the mureed's tongue and heart. I am speaking here of the Naqshbandi Order. Then the shaykh will give talqeen on the heart of the mureed as if he is in the Divine Presence, visualizing what he was not able to see before. He is seeing something he was not able to see, and his heart is pumping and trembling, and he will say `ismullah. He says, Allah Huuuuuuuuuuu. Allah Huuuuuuuuuuu. Allah Huuuuuuuuuuu Haqq, three times. What the mureed receives from hidden treasures in these moments is only for him or her, and the mureed has no right to mention or disclose what the shaykh opens to his heart, and this will be a secret.

So that gives us an idea of the difference between what we understand of baya` and what is the reality of baya`. And you can compare now which one is stronger: what we are receiving today or what they were receiving before? Which is stronger? In reality, what you are receiving today is higher, but you cannot see it. It will be given without your knowledge. Before it will be given and you can know it, your body will know what it has been given and you can feel it daily, that contentment, and the level in which you have been put, and the level from which you are ascending. You are not given that baya` unless you went into the journey, and you have reached the level of muhibeen, lovers, having passed through Darajaat al-Mubtadi'een, "Rank of the Initiates"; and Darajaat al-Musta`id', "Rank of the Prepared"; and then you reach Darajaat al-Mureedeen, "Rank of the Mureeds."

So the mureed in Naqshandi Tariqah is like a shaykh; he is not given until he is like a mountain, then he is given baya'. In previous times you went to these three levels and then you became a mureed, then they gave you baya`. Today they give the baya` since there is too much ignorance. You are not allowed to see it, as children are not given diamonds since they don't know their value and cannot be trusted to protect them. Awliyaullah say, "There is the box and we will keep it for you." But in previous times they gave you the box and you saw it, since you had already passed through the three levels. Today, if we stay in the level of muhibeen, that is a great job you did. So the shaykh is giving ismu 'dh-dhaat on the follower's heart by saying, "Allah Huuu, Huuu Allah." It means from the Beautiful Name "Allah," you have to go further into the Absolute Unknown of the Reality of the Essence, as mentioned in Surat al-Ikhlaas, Qul (Sayyidina, Yaa Muhammad): Huwa, "Say: the Unknown, that is Allah!"

As a mureed you begin with the opposite; you begin with "Allah," because Allah (swt) can be described by 99 Names: Allah, ar-Rahman, al-Quddoos, as-Salaam, and so on. Allah (swt) leads you through the 99 Beautiful Names so you can reach the reality that you will never know about, and it is in Allah's Hands, Allah's treasures. "Say,Ya Muhammad! The One Who cannot be known is 'Allah'!" So we begin with Allah, then Huuuuu; we don't begin with Huuuuu. In Holy Qur'an you begin with huuuuu, then Allah. So he will give you that and you will see the Divine Attributes and visions of the Divine Presence in different colors. You will make istighfar and read ikhlaas and you will be put in the silsilah, the chain and rabitah of your shaykh and you will be connected in that chain.

You will not do that until you are sure. You cannot give baya` and then one day you are strong and one day you are weak, as Allah (swt) says in Holy Qur'an"

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ آمَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُواْ كُفْرًا لَّمْ يَكُنِ اللّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلاَ لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلاً

thumma amanoo, thumma kafaroo, Inna alladheena aamanoo thumma kafaroo thumma aamanoo thumma kafaroo thumma izdaadoo kufran lam yakoonillahu li-yaghfir' lahum walaa li-yahdiyahum sabeel.

Lo! those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way. (4:137)

So that is why they don't give the strong baya` today; that cannot happen until it is known that you will not change, until you know that your shaykh nabiyyun `anhu fee tarbiyyat al-khalq, represents the knowledge given to him from the heart of Prophet (s), in order to raise up his mureeds and those who come for guidance. So Prophet (s) said, "Mention that Allah (swt) is the cure for hearts." (Daylami in Musnad al-Firdaws) All that is by being connected to Insaan al-Kamil, the Perfect Human Being, Prophet (s)! We will continue next time with that.

So the baya` before has its own taste and with it you feel able to know things that you never knew, because the body is allowed to see what the soul is seeing. They give you a password for that, and allow your access, and you are a seeker in that journey. But today the baya` is general and you are given more, but you are not allowed to see it as it is too much darkness all around. Before it was less and today is higher and that depends on the power of the shaykh. So try to reach the real baya`, then you will experience the taste of real fruit, not only see the fruit but to taste them! That is what is the end-goal for awliya on their followers, a tasty garden, that you move from one to another and taste the honey and the fruits.

May Allah (swt) bless us and may Allah forgive us.

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