Suhbah at As-Siddiq Institute & Mosque (ASIM)
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani rajeem. Bismillaahi ‘r-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem. 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. Dastoor yaa Sayyidi, madad. Dastoor yaa Sayyidi Qutb al-Mutasarrif. Dastoor yaa Sayyidi, madad. Madad yaa RijaalAllah.
As-salaamu `alaykum. Alhamdulillah, now we have cleaned our tongues (through dhikr). Our teachers say we use our tongues for useless stuff; we talk nonsense from east and west, we say a few good things here and there, but most of our talk has no value as it’s either gossip, lying, or cheating: useless! So our teachers say when we use our tongue in dhikrullah,mentioning Allah’s Name, this is how we clean our tongues from what we have done with it. Allah (swt) gave us the tongue to use it wisely, some people have no tongue; they get cancer on their tongue and then get their tongue cut off. Allah (swt) is able to send something on your tongue, or my tongue, on anybody’s tongue. You go to the dentist and he says, “There’s something on your tongue,” and they cut the tongue out, after which we can't speak anymore.
So look at the the favor of Allah (swt). He gave us the tongue so we can say things with it, and when we use it in a way that is not pleasing to Allah (swt) then we are misusing Allah’s Favors. Allah (swt) is saying, “Use My favors to thank me!” We have to thank Allah (swt) for the favors He has given us, so when we have a tongue, we must use it in dhikrullah, in mentioning Allah's Favors on us, in sending salawat on our Nabi (s), in promoting goodness and saying good things, not to use it in the opposite way. However, we all use it the opposite way, which is why we have to keep making dhikr, to clean the tongue so Allah (swt) can keep it until we die, because when we die we are all wanting and wishing to say the Shahadah and on our deathbed if we have no tongue, how are we going to say it? Yes, you can say it with the heart, but to say it with the tongue is everyone’s wish; everyone says, “O my Lord, make me say the Shahadah on my deathbed!” So if Allah (swt) gave us the tongue, then we have to know how to use it.
Understanding Allah's Favors is one of the essential things in life: we come to this world and we observe what’s around us, and when we find what’s around us, we say, “There is a Creator!” Allah (swt) has given us so many favors that when we look at them they have to guide us to The One that gave us these favors! Allah (swt) sent us on Earth, and He created all that's around us for human beings to find the way to acknowledge that there is a Creator and the Creator is The One that needs to be thanked.
In Surat al-Fatihah, we start with, “Alhamdulillah.” When we are reading Surat al-Fatihah, we say, “Alhamdulillah, praise be to Allah.” The perfect, the complete, the whole and the best praise! “Al,”or “the,” indicates the perfection. It means, if there is a praise that I can give, someone else can give a better praise than me, and the best praise is whose? It is Allah's Praise to Himself, by Himself; Allah (swt) is The One saying, “Alhamdulillah,” praising Himself, by Himself!
The higher you go in the form of praise, al-hamd, there is someone who can make a better praise to Allah (swt), so when we are seeing the favors of Allah (swt), we are thanking and praising Him, but there is someone else who is seeing the same favor or a different favor and thanking Him in a better way, and thanking Him until it goes to the Prophet (s), and what did the Prophet (s) say? “Subhaanak, Glory be to You!”
لا أحصي ثناء عليك أنت كما أثنيت على نفسك
I cannot praise You as is due, for You are as You have praised Yourself. (Tirmidhi)
The Prophet (s), the Perfect Human, said, ‘Subhaanak, Glorified is You! Laa uhsee thanaa’an `alayk, I cannot praise You as You deserve to be praised!’ We say, ‘alhamdulillah’ and we think we have done our job of thanking Allah (swt), but here the Prophet (s) is saying, “I can not praise You as much as You are worthy of praise, Anta kamaa athnayta `alaa nafsik, You are The One that will praise Yourself.”
That's why in Surat al-Fatihah, Allah (swt) is saying, “Praise to Me, by Me! Alhamdulillah, I am sending the praise to Myself, by Myself”, because no one can praise Allah (swt) the correct way, so Allah (swt) is saying, "Alhamdulillahi Rabbee!" Rabb means, "The One Lord that Raises All, Rabbi ‘l-`Alameen, Lord of All Worlds.”
Let's understand Allah (swt) a little bit more, as much as we can. No matter how much we say, “Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah,” true praise cannot be given to Him by anyone except by Him, our Lord, The Creator, The Nourisher, The Provider. Who created all these galaxies and for whom? Allah (swt) is our Lord, The One that Raises us up. He created the galaxies, moons, stars, sun, planets, rivers, lakes, seeds, fruits, vegetables, grass, flowers for us. He created the animals for us to eat their meat, milk and eggs. He created the seeds of wheat, corn, barley. He created everything around us, for Himself or for us? That is our Loving Lord. He created all of this so we can eat and grow: He is raising us like a father or mother raises their child, and provides what is needed to raise us physically and spiritually. Allah (swt) is The One that gives imaan and sent the Qur’an, the messengers, saints and angels. For whom? For us.
Allah (swt) is also sends the tests, the trials! For whom? For us, for al-`Alameen, the Worlds, alhamdulillahi Rabbi ‘l-`Alameen. He is the Lord Who created everything around us and in us! Who gave us kidneys, a heart, eyes, ears and a tongue to speak and understand that what’s around us and in us is all a grant, a favor from Allah (swt). How can we ever thank Him enough for the air we breathe, the oxygen we take in, who created that? You go six miles up in the atmosphere and there is no more oxygen and if you go a little farther in the atmosphere closer to the sun we burn. Who created all of that and why? Why create all of this in and around us, and let us enjoy it? So we can give the thanks to our Lord, so we can see and acknowledge His Favors, and start to say, "O my Lord! I want to now advance to see You, I want to reach You!" So from whatever we see around and in us, it’s the passage to start that road to the Divine Presence.
What comes after Alhamdulillahi Rabbi ‘l-`Alameen? The start of the road to the Divine Presence: Ar-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem, “The Compassionate, The Merciful.” What is rahm, rahmat? We say Rahmaan and Raheem. What is mercy? Our teachers describe mercy as the softness of the heart and having a soft heart and to want good for someone, that is mercy, so Allah (swt) says, "I am The Merciful." That means, Allah (swt) wants the good for us, so He shows us the way to goodness. Also, the word in Arabic, rahmah, comes from the word rahm, which is the womb, because the womb engulfs or encompasses the baby. The womb has so much love for the baby that it covers it and makes it grow safely, so rahmah, mercy, comes from “ar-rahm”, enclosing or engulfing with love whatever is inside, and that is what Allah (swt) is doing when He gives us His Favors: in and out He is covering us with His Love!
الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيم مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّين إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيم صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينُ
All Praise is due to Allah alone, the Sustainer of All the Worlds, the Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace, Lord of the Day of Judgment! You Alone do we worship and to You alone we return!
(Surat al-Fatihah, 1:4)
Maaliki yawmi 'd-deen: when He loves us this much and gives us everything around us, we acknowledge He is Maalik, our Owner, and that he is the King of Kings, The One that has control over everything. Iyyaakaa na`budu wa iyyaaka nasta`een. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah sanctify his soul and raise his station in Paradise higher and higher, said iyyaka means "You”, so in Surat al-Fatihah we are saying, "Iyyaka, You." Our teacher also said when you say “You,” that means you are seeing the one to whom you are talking, “ka.” Or we could have said, "Iyyahu na`budu, He do we worship," but no, we are saying, "It is You Whom we worship and from You we ask support and help”, we are addressing someone directly.
Our teacher said the reality of that Path when it's taken correctly with the praising of Allah (swt) and acknowledging that He is The God, is: alhamdu, praising / lillahi, God / Rabbi, the Lord and Nourisher / al-`alameen of the Worlds / Ar-Rahmaan, The Compassionate /Ar-Raheem, The Merciful. If we are taking that road correctly by giving the praises of Allah (swt) hamd, by acknowledging His Lordship (lillah), by acknowledging that He is the Creator of us and everything else (Rabb), that He is The Compassionate that gave us everything we need, both around us and in us (Rahmaan), by acknowledging that He is Ar-Raheem, The One that is making us spiritually grow and The One that Owns us and our religion, Maaliki yawmi ‘d-deen, Owning that Day, then on that Day we will say, "Iyyaka, it is You we worship!” This means at that stage of ‘iyyaka na`budu’ we are going to see Allah's Divine Lights that start to appear on us, and will be able to say, “You we worship!” which is no longer the Unseen: at that point we are able to see the Divine Lights shining on our heart, mind and spirit, we will be able to stand in the Divine Presence witnessing and saying, "You we worship and You we ask for help!"
Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, ar-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem, Maaliki yawmi 'd-deen. These are the Attributes and Names of Allah (swt), which means we are knowing and learning the Attributes of our Lord. At the end of that Allah (swt) says, “I am the Owner of that Day, yawmi ‘d-deen!” which is Yawm al-Qiyamah, when everyone stands up in front of their Lord, and then we are able to say, “You we worship!” as we are able to see it, which is gnosis, the ability to see the Divine Light and Mercy.
We ask to see it! We ask Allah (swt) to allow us to continue on that road of praise and acknowledging that He is our Lord. We ask Allah (swt) for His Mercies, which is why we say, “Salaamun qawlami ‘r-Rabbi 'r-Raheem.”
سَلَامٌ قَوْلًا مِنْ رَبٍّ رَحِيمٍ
"Peace," a word (of salutation) from a Lord Most Merciful. (Surat YaaSeen, 36:58)
We ask to be in the Divine Presence standing up with our teachers, with our Prophet (s), able to see and receive that Divine Light that comes upon us. O our Lord! Grant us this for the sake of Your Beloved One, Sayyidina Muhammad (s). O Allah! We ask that you grant us the way to continue on this Path of acknowledging Your Attributes and Names and acquiring the knowledge to be able to receive Your Divine Lights! O our Lord, grant us this for the sake of Sayyidina Muhammad (s).
May Allah (swt) accept our du`a and bless all of us. Whoever has troubles in their hearts, inshaa-Allah, may Allah (swt) lift them. May Allah (swt) lift all the difficulties we have in our minds, hearts, bodies, families, with our work, environment, communities. O Allah! Lift all difficulties of our families, friends and of all those who ask us for du`a!
Bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.
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