Suhbah at Centre for Cultural & Spiritual Advancement
A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani ‘r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani '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.
We thank Allah (swt) that He brought us together in dunya and inshaa-Allah in Akhirah under the wings, if we can say that, under the mercy of Prophet (s).
We are not seeking anything on this occasion or any occasion of dhikrullah in a masjid, house or center because dhikrullah, remembrance of Allah (swt) and praising of Sayyidna Muhammad (s), is `ibaadah, worship. In different countries they have their own culture and they express their love to Allah (swt), to Prophet and to their shuyukh differently. As a group with a Naqshbandi background, we seek to stay together, united, and to be under the blessings of our shuyukh that we know.
Alhamdulillah, Allah gave me the chance to see Grandshaykh `AbdAllah al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani (q), who was a fountain of knowledge. Without preparation he gave (inspired) advice, as Prophet (s) said:
Religion is advice.
Giving advice within the limits of Shari`ah is accepted. We are seeking their mercy when we show our unity to Allah (swt) and to Prophet (s). As I said, I traveled everywhere and I see different ways of praises in different cultures and countries. Some people praise in Arabic, some in Urdu, some in Chinese and Japanese, some in different Arabic dialects. They show their praise and love of Allah (swt) and, therefore, we must not criticize the way they express that. If you tell them this is something incorrect, they look at you like...in their hearts, they are praising Allah (swt) and Prophet (s) in the greatest way, which varies from culture to culture: in one place they do one way, in another place they do another way.
Prophet (s ) said:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مررتم برياض الجنة فارتع. 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)
These circles, halaq adh-dhikr, change and everyone is different from the other. Prophet (s) tried to bring the Ummah together, he did not criticize anyone, he supported everyone and if they asked him, “Is this acceptable?” he said yes, did not turn them back unless it was shirk. So we have to be careful, if there is Garden of Heavens on Earth, dhikrullah, we have to sit and listen and appreciate it.
These are days of `Eid, celebration. Prophet (s) said:
عيد الاضحى ايام عيد وفرح
Eid al-Adha is days of celebration and joy.
Some people don't know qawwali. I know in the Middle East it is strange for them to hear qawwali, they know another style of qasaa’id and anaasheed, same in North Africa, but in the Subcontinent they sing qasaa’id and anaasheed with instruments that attract youngsters who then listen and hear the music and feel energized instead of going to discos and clubs. So don't criticize cultures that you don’t know, first learn the culture well then criticize.
Like today, there are some lecturers from some countries where they studied the religion in a way that is different from others and, therefore, they only accept some things [that many Muslims do] and not other things. But others say, “We accept this and that, as long as it is within the limits of Shari`ah.” Our shuyukh, I remember Grandshaykh was 107 years old when he left dunya, and he used to sit and give advice event to a 12-13 year old child, and never got fed up. He always gave lectures without preparation, like a fountain always flowing, and what I studied in Haqiqah and Tariqah, I see many scholars have not reached his level of literal and spiritual explanation of Qur'an and Hadith.
He stunned `ulama of his time. In Damascus, on Mount Qasyoun, where As-haab al-Kahf are buried, his house is on top of that mountain. The first week of every month, ulama ash-Shaam, who are very famous for their vast knowledge, they are like oceans, like in India and Morocco, North Africa and around the world. On Sunday evenings, the highest-level ulama from various countries climbed that mountain, gathered at Grandshaykh’s house, and listened to his suhbah. He spoke without preparation. He only studied (read) Holy Qur’an and Dalaa’il al-Khayraat, and in any subject you asked him about he was a fountain of Shari`ah. Always he wanted us to be united, because in unity there is strength and without unity there is no strength. For the sake of peace and love, Allah (swt) will make us hold His rope.
وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ
Hold tight to Allah's rope and do not separate. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:103)
وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللّهُ وَاللّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ
They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah. (Surat al-Anfal, 8:30)
And what Allah (swt) planned is not like what you plan; Allah’s plan will happen. But what we see today is fighting and bloodshed, and Prophet (s) said in many Ahadith of the Last Days in many sihah (Hadith collections) that we see happening now that everyone can read and learn. Grandshaykh (q) taught us about these signs that will happen in the future, like we see today there is no more unity. In every home brothers fight brothers, sisters fight sisters, father and sons are fighting, mothers and daughters are fighting, shaykh and shaykha are fighting, children are fighting. There is no peace in the hearts.
I don’t have words to express what is happening, this situation that we are in. [Mawlana weeps.] Awliyaullah are not happy with the Ummah, because they are not united. They must unite, all of us, and be under one hand (authority). As I observed it, that was in the hand of Grandshaykh `AbdAllah, may Allah bless his soul, and then he passed it to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), and he wrote in his will that if Shaykh Nazim is not there, Shaykh Adnan; if Shaykh Adnan is not there, then Shaykh Hisham. It was a prophecy of their work in dunya, that they will be in different countries and places: if one of them is in that place listen to what he says.
That was happening. I traveled with Mawlana, he sent me everywhere and I went, as did Shaykh Adnan. When Mawlana passed away he appointed his son to represent him and we accept that, we say aamaana wa sadaqnaa, we hear and we obey. For the sake of unity, we have to admit everything and say that for Allah’s sake and Prophet’s sake let us fix our door inside the house:
فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ
Whoever forgives and makes peace, his reward is from Allah. (Surat al-Shura, 42:40)
We forgive and with whatever haqq all of us have, we forgive oppressors, because on the night of `Arafah, Prophet (s) made a du`a and asked Allah to forgive his Ummah.
رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ دَعَا عَشِيَّةَ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ لأُمَّتِهِ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ وَالرَّحْمَةِ ، فَأَكْثَرَ الدُّعَاءَ ، فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ : إِنِّي قَدْ فَعَلْتُ ، إِلا ظُلْمَ بَعْضِهِمْ لِبَعْضٍ ، وَأَمَّا ذُنُوبُهُمْ فِيمَا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُمْ فَقَدْ غَفَرْتُهَا ، فَقَالَ : يَا رَبِّ إِنَّكَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى أَنْ تُثِيبَ هَذَا الْمَظْلُومَ خَيْرًا مِنْ مَظْلَمَتِهِ ، وَتَغْفِرَ لِهَذَا الظَّالِمِ ، فَلَمْ يُجِبْهُ تِلْكَ الْعَشِيَّةَ فَلَمَّا كَانَ غَدَاةَ الْمُزْدَلِفَةِ أَعَادَ الدُّعَاءَ ، فَأَجَابَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى : إِنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَهُمْ " ، قَالَ : فَتَبَسَّمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فَقَالَ لَهُ بَعْضُ أَصْحَابِهِ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، تَبَسَّمْتَ فِي سَاعَةٍ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَتَبَسَّمُ فِيهَا ، قَالَ : " تَبَسَّمْتُ مِنْ عَدُوِّ اللَّهِ إِبْلِيسَ ، إِنَّهُ لَمَّا عَلِمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَدِ اسْتَجَابَ لِي فِي أُمَّتِي أَهْوَى يَدْعُو بِالْوَيْلِ وَالثُّبُورِ ، وَيَحْثُو عَلَى رَأْسِهِ التُّرَابَ
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ supplicated for forgiveness and mercy for his Ummah on the night before `Arafah. Then Allah ﷻ revealed to him, “I have forgiven them except their oppression of each other. As for their sins between Me and them, I have forgiven them.” He said, “O my Lord, truly You are able to reward the oppressed one more than what he suffered of oppression and to forgive the oppressor.” He ﷻ did not respond that night. The following day at Muzdalifa he repeated the supplication and Allah ﷻ responded to him, “I have forgiven them.” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ laughed and some of his Companions asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, you are laughing at a time you did not used to laugh?” He said, “I am laughing at the enemy of Allah, Iblees. When he heard that Allah had answered me, he fell down wailing and started throwing dirt on his head.” (Ibn Majah, Ahmad, Bayhaqi)
Allah said, “I forgive the Ummah but not a zhaalim (oppressor); I will judge him, but I will forgive a mazhloom. The zhaalim is Iblees, wa min `itaabi’i Iblees, those who follow Iblees and fitna are creating confusion. So Allah said, “I will also judge against an oppressor and send the oppressed to Paradise.”
Prophet (s) said, “Yaa Rabbee, Your mercy and paradises are so huge, so what about forgiving the zhaalim? Give him something from Your Paradise.”
There was no answer, and Prophet (s) was sad and Sayyidna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq and Sayyidna `Umar (r) saw that and kept quiet, then suddenly they saw Prophet (s) was smiling wide, then laughing, showing his white teeth and his face was pink.
Sayyidna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq and Sayyidna `Umar (r) said, “Yaa Rasoolullah, we saw you were so sad, and now you are laughing. What happened?”
He (s) said, “I laughed when Allah (swt) told me, ‘For your sake, I will forgive the zhaalim and give him My paradises,” and then Iblees was so upset that he threw dirt on his face and cursed himself, and I liked that.”
We don’t want Iblees to trick us, we want to be together, united, inshaa-Allah doing our best for Tariqah and cooperation, doing our best for everyone. We tried to express this many times in various situations in different countries, but still there are some who create fitna. We don’t want to be like them, we want to be under the order of Allah, “Hold tight to Allah's rope and do not separate.” (3:103)
May Allah forgive us and bless us. These gentlemen (qawwals) made our `Eid very happy. May Allah bless them and we thank you very much for carrying the flag of love to everyone.
Bi hurmati ‘l-habeeb bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah. [Du`a.] Wa ‘l-hamdulillahi Rabbi ‘l-`Alameen, al-Fatihah.
These qawwalis just showed their love to Allah and Prophet (s) in their way and another person showed their love to Allah and Prophet (s) in another way [by baking this cake with a design of Prophet’s nahl sharif, the Holy Sandal] which is in front of me [displays cake for audience]. Hundreds may object to this, but if we consider the love of the baker and how much effort they put into it, you understand this is not shirk, because it shows the design of Na`l Shareef of Prophet and this is how they expressed their love. We can only say may Allah grant us from the baraka of Na`l Shareef. This is a copy that shows their love, to show us. The qawwalis add music and this lady added sugar, not salt! Qasaa’id is sweet, it will open your heart, especially drumming therapy; instead of going elsewhere [bad], youth will be attracted by it and Allah will grant them ways to express their love to Allah.
You see the different cultures. The baker is from Kenya, Africa and the qawwalis are from Pakistan, far from each other. We have to accept everyone. Whenever people asked Prophet (s) something, he never said no, unless it was against Tawheed. Allah and Prophet (s) don’t like anyone to speak or commit shirk, to associate partners with Allah (swt), but the rest of sins He will forgive. Say “astaghfirullah” and Allah will forgive, inshaa-Allah.
Now they have asked me to cut this cake, and I feel bad as I cannot cut the design of Nahl Sharif, out of respect I don’t like a knife to come on it, so I will only cut the cake. Some will say this is shirk, but it is like cutting the ribbon when they open a new masjid or Muslim center, but what is the difference? At least the cake is sweet and the ribbon has nothing.
Bi hurmati ‘l-habeeb bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.
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