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We Must not Neglect Tafakkur (Contemplation)

The Fiqh of Islam, Vol 12

Ramadan Series 2013

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

20 July 2013 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Zhuhr Suhbah

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 `azheem 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)

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Allah said in the Holy Qur’an:

طه مَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَى إِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى تَنزِيلًا مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ وَالسَّمَاوَاتِ الْعُلَى الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى

Taahaa. maa anzalnaa `alayk al-qur’an li-tashqaa illaa tadhkiratan liman yakhshaa. tanzeelan mimman khalaqa ‘l-arda wa ‘s-samaawaati ‘l-`ulaa. ar-rahmaanu `ala ‘l-`arsh istawaa.

We have not sent down the Qur'an to you to be (an occasion) for your distress, but only as an admonition to those who fear (Allah), a revelation from Him Who created the Earth and the Heavens on high. The Most Gracious is firmly established on the Throne (of Authority). (Surat Taha, 20:1-5)

Allah (swt) is revealing to His Prophet (s), and He mentioned his name “Taahaa. Yaa Muhammad! We did not reveal for you the Qur’an in order to put you in a difficulty, in heavy issues, in heavy stuff.” Allah (swt) is talking to the Prophet (s) through Jibreel (a), “O Muhammad! The Qur’an is My Words and My Words never made anyone to be in difficulties. My Words relieve people and everyone who is in a difficulty, the Qur'an will relieve him.” That is why He (swt) said, “We have not sent down the Qur'an to you to be (an occasion) for your distress”. Rather, “the Holy Qur’an is a means, a reminder for those who want to be remembered and those who are not running away from Me to bring them back to the Right Way, Siraat al-Mustaqeem. The Holy Qur'an is coming to you, yaa Muhammad (s)” tanzeelan mimman khalaqa ‘s-samaawaati wa ‘l-ard, “from the One Who created Heavens and Earth.”

Why was this ayah and many other aayaats revealed to the Prophet (s), where it is mentioned in Surat Taha: 1,2 and in Surat al-Baqarah: 185, Allah (swt) says:

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ

Allah wants ease and comfort for you, and He does not want difficulty for you. (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:185)

Allah (swt) wants for you the easy way, He does not want for you difficulty. Allah created us from His Mercy, from His Love to human beings, to His Servants. Allah (swt) created His Servants or else what does He need from us? Nothing. He created His Prophet (s) from His Light:

رواه عبد الرزاق بسنده عن جابر بن عبد الله بلفظ قال قلت: يا رسول الله، بأبي أنت وأمي، أخبرني عن أول شيء خلقه الله قبل الأشياء. قال: يا جابر، إن الله تعالى خلق قبل الأشياء نور نبيك من نوره،...

`An Jaabir ibn `AbdAllah qaala: qultu yaa Rasoolullah, bi-abee anta wa ummee, akhbirnee `an awwala shayin khalaqahu ’Llaaha qabla’l-ashyaa? Qaala: yaa Jaabir, inn Allaha ta`ala khalaqa qabla al-ashyaa noora nabiyyika min noorih...

When Jaabir (r) asked, “Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Prophet of Allah! What is the first thing that Allah (swt) created?” the Prophet (s) said, “The first thing that Allah (swt) created is the Light of your Prophet from His Light, O Jaabir...” (Musannaf `Abdu ’r-Razzaq)

The first thing Allah (swt) created is the Light of Muhammad (s) from His Light, and He created Creation from that Light. If He did not create human beings, is it going to affect Allah (swt)? This huge Creation that is above us, which is more difficult to create, Earth and Heavens, or human beings? People say human beings are more important than Heavens and Earth, but Allah says in Holy Qur'an:

لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

La-khalqu ‘s-samaawaati wa ‘l-ardi akbaru min khalqi ‘n-naas wa laakin akthara ‘n-naasi laa ya`lamoon.

The creation of the Heavens and Earth is greater than the creation of Mankind, but most of the people do not know. (Surat Ghaafir, 40:57)

Finished! The Creation of Heavens and Earth is far greater than the Creation of human beings, but too many people don’t know that or don’t think of that.

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Alladheena yadhkuroonallaha qiyaaman wa qu`oodan wa `ala junoobihim wa yatafakkaroona fee khalqi ’s-samawaati wa ’l-ardi rabbanaa maa khalaqta hadhaa baatilan subhaanaka faqinaa `adhaab an-naar.

There are indeed signs for men of understanding, those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and contemplating the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, (saying), "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose! Glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:191-192)

You cannot make tafakkur directly to Allah (swt); leave that as that is a ghaybu ‘l-mutlaq, the Absolute Hidden. No one can know the Reality of Allah’s Essence. Allah’s Essence...you only know Allah through His Beautiful Names and Attributes and through His Creation, that is Maqaam at-Tawheed. There is Maqaam at-Tawheed and there is Maqaam al-Ahadiyya, and there is Maqaam al-Mushaahadah, as well as many other maqaams. For us, because everyone speaks about, “Tawheed, Tawheed, Tawheed,” of course Tawheed is also to look at people around you. If you want to look further, first look at the people and see Allah’s Touch in everyone. Allah’s Greatness is in everyone!

We have the same name, me and Hisham (a mureed) have the same name, but he has a different touch, I have a different touch. Allah (swt) gave him different things, He gave me different things. Look at the greatness: every human being on Earth has his own unique characteristics, you cannot find two that are similar. How many softwares do you need for each different person? Different people, different software and different technology in everyone. You cannot see two that are the same. Even twins, when they grow up their character might be different.

So Allah (swt) is saying to you, alladheena yadhkuroonallah...wa yatafakkaroona fee khalqi ’s-samawaati wa ’l-ard, “Those who remember and understand and reflect their full focus on spiritual issues in order to move forward,” and we are lacking these spiritual issues. Everyone goes to study, which is okay, correct for sure, because we have to have a strong structure, a strong base. Everyone goes to study, but they drop the most important study: at-tafakkur, to reflect, to concentrate and reflect on Allah (swt)’s Greatness. How to do that? Think! SubhaanAllah, this great universe...Who controls it? What is there?

Yes, we differ in issues, the Four Madhaahib, not only Four Madhaahib, but 472 different madhhabs according to Shaykh Muhammad Abu Zahra of Egypt (Azhar University), one of the greatest scholars. He counted how many madhhabs in Islam? 472 madhhab. The base is one and the branches are many; the trunk is one, but too many branches, which is good! Al-Qassim ibn Muhammad ibn Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) said:

إِخْتِلاف اُمَّتِي رَحْمة

Ikhtilaaf ummatee rahmah.

The difference of opinion among my nation is a mercy.

“The differences among the ummah is a mercy,” but when they saw too many schools began to appear, `ulama in that time, after Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (q) and Imam al-`Awzaa`ee, who was the fifth strong madhhab coming up, they met and said, “No, let us concentrate on four. If we go too far, then it will be difficult for people to understand, and already they are killing each other! Those who follow Imam Malik are not happy with Imam Abu Hanifa’s students, and those students of Imam Abu Hanifa are not happy with the students of Imam Shafi`ee, and those who were not happy with Imam Shafi`ee are happy with Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, all mixed up, everyone.”

كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ

Kullu hizbin bimaa ladayhim farihoon.

Each party rejoices in that which is with itself. (Surat al-Mu’minoon, 23:53)

Every school of thought is happy with what they have, but we, if we are clever, we can take one and follow it. Don’t create fitna! Take one of these madhaahib, madhaahibu ’l-fiqhiyya, take one and follow it; you will find safety.

So you “want” to reflect? Allah says, “You have to reflect! You have to:

تفكر ساعة خير من عبادة سبعين سنة

Tafakkarru sa`atin khayrun min `ibaadati saba`een sannah.

To remember Allah (swt) (contemplate or meditate) for one hour is better than seventy years of worship.

Allahu Akbar! Or, khayrun min `ibaadati sannah, or in another narration in “one year”. It is two narrations and it is big! Allah (swt) is giving you...People today go and study fiqh, which is very important, yes, you have to study, and that is what we are doing in this course in Ramadan, but don’t forget the other side, you have to focus on it. Now there are too many scholars around the world who do good work. They teach fiqh, which is very good, but don’t drop the tafakkur, tafakkaru sa`ah. In one narration the Prophet (s) said, “If you reflect one hour in Allah (swt), what He ordered, tafakkur in Heavens and Earth, on Allah’s Creation, thinking and focusing, meditating and contemplating, it is more than worship of one year,” and in another narration, “seventy years.” So Allah (swt) will reward you; you are getting rewards as if you worshipped seventy years!

So yes, we teach that, because this is the line we took from the beginning. There are others that took the line of fiqh, but that does not mean you must not learn spirituality, Tazkiyyatu ‘n-nafs (the Purification of the Self). The whole criteria of the Prophet’s (s) message and the focus of his message is tahdheeb al-akhlaaq, to polish and improve the characters of a human being, and characters cannot be improved without spirituality, without rawhaaniyaat, without this feeling of meditation, thinking about Allah (swt)’s Greatness.

The Prophet (s) said:

انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

Innamaa bu`ithtu li utammimu makaarim al-akhlaaq.

I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct (your behavior and character). (Bazzaar)

This is one of the Prophet (s)’s greatest hadith. “I have been sent to correct and polish the character of human beings,” to polish. The difference between fiqh and Tazkiyyatu ‘n-nafs is that tazkiyyat is inside the rock. You have a rock, you brought it from a mine from one mile or two miles down, you keep going down in the Earth to find these rocks which contain diamonds. The issue is the diamond, is it not? To get the diamond you have to cut the rock, to get to the tiny piece that is valuable. The fiqh is protection for that diamond; with fiqh you cut the limits and boundaries in order to get inside to the fruit, which is what we want. The Prophet (s) said, “I have been sent for that, to bring that noor that is inside you out, into appearance!”

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ

Allaahu nooru 's-samaawaati wa 'l-ard.

Allah is the Light of the Heavens and Earth. (Surat an-Noor, 24:35)

The focus is on the light. Without the light there is darkness, as light makes everything shine. If no light, darkness appears. So the light is in meditating, in tafakkur, in thinking, and in order to do that you have to strengthen your belief, you have to try to do what Allah (swt) wants you to do. The Prophet (s), out of thankfulness to Allah (swt)--not only by tongue by saying, “Shukran lillah,” but by action--was worshipping until his feet were swollen; this is by action.

And Allah (swt) said:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة ٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرا

Laqad kaana lakum fee rasoolullahi uswatun hasanatun liman kaana yarjoo’Llaaha wa 'l-yawma 'l-aakhirah wa dhakara’Llaaha katheera.

Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and (who) remembers Allah often. (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:21)

You have in the Prophet (s) a role model, don’t follow anything else! Allah said, “Yaa Muhammad (s)! You are the role model of the best character, I did not send down the Holy Qur'an to you for you to be miserable.” Maa anzalnaa `alayk al-qur’an li-tashqaa illaa tadhkiratan liman yakhshaa, “I didn’t reveal the Holy Qur’an for you to be miserable,” illa tadhkiratan liman yakhshaa, “I only sent, revealed it for them, and I revealed it to you Yaa Muhammad, fee laylatin mubaarakatin, on a blessed night:

حم وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِين إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِين فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيم أ َمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ ِ

Haa. Meem. wa ’l-kitaabi ’l-mubeen innaa anzalnaahu fee laylatin mubaarakatin innaa kunnaa mundhireen feehaa yufraqu kullu ‘amrin hakeem ‘amran min `indinaa innaa kunnaa mursileen.

Haa. Meem. By the Book that makes things clear, We sent it down during a blessed night for We (ever) wish to warn (against evil). In the (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom by Command from Our Presence for We (ever) send (revelations). (Surat ad-Dukhan, 44:1-5)

Allah (swt) is saying to the Prophet (s), innaa anzalnaahu fee laylatin mubaarakatin, “We have revealed the Holy Qur’an for you, yaa Muhammad, on a very blessed night,” feehaa yufraqu kullu ‘amrin hakeem, “in it is everything, every smallest...,”:

وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

Wa laa ratbin laa yaabisin illa fee kitaabin mubeen.

(There is not) anything fresh or dry (green or withered), but is (inscribed) in a Clear Book.

(Surat al-An`am, 6:59)

“Every matter, living and non-living has been described in the Holy Qur’an. I am giving it to you fee laylatin mubaarakatin,” on 15 Sha`baan, that night that Allah has revealed the Holy Qur’an on the Prophet (s). But Allah (swt) also says:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

Innaa anzalnaahu fee laylati ‘l-qadr.

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power. (Surat al-Qadr, 97:1)

Is there any interference? It means it has been revealed in 15 Sha`baan, Laylat al-Bara`ah and also on Laylat al-Qadr. Does it mean one time on Nisfu Sha`baan and one time on Laylat al-Qadr? Yes. One time for the Prophet (s), to tell us, “O human beings! Don’t think you can understand the Holy Qur’an. The only one to understand the Holy Qur’an is the Prophet (s).” And Sha`baan is the month of the Prophet (s), where the Prophet (s) said:

رجب شهر الله، وشعبان شهري، ورمضان شهر أمتي

Rajabun shahrullah wa Sha`baanu shahree wa Ramadaanu shahra ummatee.

Rajab is Allah's month, Sha`baan is my month and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah.

(Abul-Fath ibn Abi Fawaris in his `Amalee from al-Hasan)

Rajab is the month of Allah (swt) and Sha`baan is the month of Prophet (s), so He sent it to him in his month according to the level of Prophet (s). He revealed it to the highest one who can carry the secret with it:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِي

Wa innaka la-`alaa khuluqin `azheem.

You are of the most exalted character. (Surat al-Qalam, 68:4)

“You are on the best of manners,” according to that power, according to the power of Prophet (s) that Allah gave to him and according to the Light that Allah dressed him when He created the Light of Prophet (s) before any creation, He revealed the Holy Qur’an at that level of Prophet (s). In Ramadan He revealed it for the ummah, for Allah’s Servants. They cannot understand as Prophet (s) understands, even if you brought all `ulama together...bring them together, all of them from after the time of the Sahaabah (r) up to today, bring them all together and they would not understand the Holy Qur’an. They understand some, of course, but the meanings of Allah’s Words never end; you cannot make a limit for Allah’s Greatness in His Words, and Holy Qur’an is Allah’s Words.

So some scholars say that the Holy Qur’an was revealed on the night of 15 Sha`baan by coming out from the Hidden Treasure to the Preserved Tablets. It can be seen by the Prophet (s) on the Preserved Tablets, and that was on 15th of Sha`baan. It came down from the Preserved Tablets for the Ummah on Laylat al-Qadr, 27th of Ramadan. So that’s why it is very difficult to understand the spiritual aspect and realm of Holy Qur’an, but we can understand there is something that is hidden.

Fiqh is for getting you, as we mentioned in the previous session, the chestnut (shell) which protects the fruit inside; fiqh protects the fruit, which is the spiritual realm, Tazkiyyatu ‘n-nafs, Purification of the Self. That is al-akhlaaq, which is highly important. Akhlaaq an-Nabi tan`akisu `ala ‘l-makhlooqaat, “The conduct of the Prophet (s) is reflected on humanity.” When he said, innamaa bu`ithtu li utammimu makaarim al-akhlaaq, “I have been sent to complete,” he said, li utammimu, “to complete.” It means he is completing us, he is completing our character, he is not depending on us, and to complete our characters is by how? Not only messages, not only by ahadeeth, but by fiqh. Who is doing fiqh today, who is applying it today? It’s not easy.

عن عبد الله بن بسر رضي الله عنه أن رجلا قال: يا رسول الله إن شرائع الإسلام قد كثرت علي فأخبرني بشيء أتشبث به؟ قال لا يزال لسانك رطبا من ذكر الله" الترمذي.

Yaa Rasoolullaah inna shara`ia 'l-islaam qad kathurat `alayya fa-akhbirnee bi-shayin atashabbath bihi. Qaala: laa yazaal lisaanak ratban min dhikrillah.

A man came to the Prophet (s) and said, “O Rasoolullah! The rules of Islam became heavy on me, so give me news of something which I can maintain.” Prophet (s) said, “Make your tongue wet with dhikrullah.” (Tirmidhi)

“Really, really, I am telling you, yaa Sayyiddee, yaa Rasoolullah, that the different rules that we have to achieve in Islam I cannot, it is too hard for me.” That is why if you go into fiqh and you go deep, it gets harder and harder; it’s not easy for everyone to learn that, especially for common people: you give them the basics, but when you go deep and deep it’s not easy any more.

Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami, radiAllahu ta`ala `anhu, and we are going from one level to another, was one of the greatest scholars in Islam who came after Prophet (s) by six or eight generations. He said, “Yaa Rabbee! I am coming to You, open for me.” He said, kayfa wasoolu ilayk, “How can I come to You? How can I reach You?” What did He tell him? What? A voice came from Heaven to his heart, itruk nafsaka wa ta`al, “Leave yourself and come to Me; don’t come to Me with your self, as there cannot be two there. Come alone! Drop your desires completely,” and he dropped. Sayyidina Abu Yazid (q) asked, “How can I do that?” and He said, mazbalatan li `ibaadee, “Be a dump for My Servants.” It means, “Anyone harming you forgive him, anyone disconnects with you connect back with him, anyone that oppressed you forgive him, anyone who stole from you forgive him, and come.”

It’s a long story, so he made himself a dump for human beings, but when he reached that level of humble servant, he said, “Yaa Rabbee! I am going to pray two raka`ats that no one has ever prayed like that,” because he saw the level he is in. You cannot say, “Allah will not open the eyes of people or their hearing to what is going around them.” Without even being present they know, and that is a fact! Now when people reject this, they are rejecting the hadith of Prophet (s) which is considered a Holy Hadith, Hadith Qudsi:

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،

Man `adaa lee waliyan aadhantahu bi ’l-harb wa maa taqarraba ilayya `abdee bi-shayyin ahabba ilayya mimmaa aftaradtu `alayhi wa maa yazaalu `abdee yataqarabu ilayya bi’ n-nawaafil hatta uhibbah. Fa idhaa ahbaabtahu kuntu sama`uhulladhee yasma`u bihi wa basarahulladhee yubsiru bihi, wa yadahulladhee yabtishu bihaa wa rijlahullatee yamshee bihaa.

Whoever comes against a saint of Mine, I declare war on him. And My servant does not approach Me with anything more beloved to Me than what I obligated him with, and 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)

من تقرب إلي شبراً تقربت منه ذراعاً، ومن تقرب مني ذراعاً تقربت منه باعاً، ومن أتاني يمشي أتيته هرولة

Man taqarrab ilayya shibran taqarrabtu minhu dhiraa`an wa man taqarrab minnee dhiraa`an taqarrabtu minhu baa`an wa man ataanee yamshee aataytahu harwalah.

If he (My Servant) draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running. (Hadith Qudsi)

Look, He connected them, and this is a Holy Hadith, that means it’s a revelation from Allah to Prophet (s) to tell people. He connected it. He said, “Who harmed one of My Awliya I declare war on him,” then immediately He say, “If someone come to Me one hand I come to him one arm.” He is giving a chance. “Don’t harm My Awliya, My Saints, My Friends, because I gave them what I did not give you, so don’t deny on them.” If you deny them, you declare war on Allah (swt). “What did I give them? Those who approach Me through voluntary worship, nawaafil, I will love them; they are Mine, My Lovers, I love them. I will give them hearing that I didn’t give anyone; they can hear whatever they like.” Not like jinn, istaraqa ‘s-samaa’. They only reach a certain level in skies; they cannot go above the level of samaa ad-dunya, the first level of this universe. We cannot call it Heaven, but samaa ad-dunya, the samaa of this world. They reach there in order to spy and put their ears in order that they can hear, and immediately a shooting star will come hitting on them. He (swt) mentioned that they steal:

إِلاَّ مَنِ اسْتَرَقَ السَّمْعَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ مُّبِينٌ

Illaa man istaraqa ‘s-sam`a fa-atba`ahu shihaabun mubeen.

Except one who steals a hearing and is pursued by a clear burning flame. (Surat al-Hijr, 15:18)

So they reach that level and they try to listen, but there is no permission and the shooting star comes hitting on them. But for awliyaullah, Allah is saying, “I gave them hearing, authority that I did not give to anyone.” It means He did not give hearing to jinns, means they cannot do that, they cannot hear, which means awliyaullah are higher and they can see what is going in samaa ad-dunya. They can see what is going wherever Allah wants them to see!

So He put it together after He said, “Who comes against My Wali, I declare war on him, but still there is chance to repent: if he comes to Me I come to him, and those who come to Me worshipping through voluntary worship,” means through all kinds of worship that Prophet (s) has asked us to do, “if they come to Me like that, I will open for them, I will give them hearing and vision, I will give them power to see what people cannot see.”

So Sayyidina Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) reached that kind of level where people are able to see, and he said, “Yaa Rabbee! I will pray two raka`ats that no one has ever prayed before,” meaning in his time, not Prophet (s) and the Sahaabah (r), but people in his time or after his time. But wherever he reached, he said, “I am going to pray two rak`ats no one has ever prayed before.” He said, “Allahu Akbar,” and he was there, seeing and hearing what no one has seen or heard before. He finished at-tahiyyaat: “As-salaam `alaykum wa rahmatullah...” angels, whatever he was seeing, we don’t know. “As-salaam `alaykum wa rahmatullah,” and from Allah (swt), he was in that position, an angel gave him a sound in his heart, “Yaa Zhaalim, O Oppressor!” Zhaalim. “Your prayer is not accepted, it is the prayer of a zhaalim, and it is thrown in your face!”

Look how much awliyaullah suffered! To hear that voice from Heaven, what will that do to his feelings? The one who was saying at a moment, “I am going to pray two raka`ats that no one has prayed,” and then at the end of the two raka`ats, he was kicked out, saying, “Yaa Zhaalim!” If he, in that situation (was called) “Zhaalim,” what about us? If he was able to pray according to that hadith that there are people who can reach that level: Allah (swt) gave them special hearing, special vision, special talk, special power in their hands, special noor and power in their feet that they walk in Siraat al-Mustaqeem. Allah (swt) gives, He is Generous; He doesn’t hide what He wants to give, He gives to everyone, but, “Come to Me.”

Now this is our explanation. “O Abu Yazid! You asked to come, and the answer came through your heart, ‘Leave your desires, leave yourself and come to Me.’ ‘How should I come to you?’ ‘Make yourself a dump,’ and you did that. So why do you want to make yourself, why were you claiming something, to make two raka`ats that no one did before? Why? Be happy with what you have. Why did you claim something there?” There it is sensitive. That is why in your countries, other than Mecca and Madinah, if you think of doing something wrong, and you planned it, but didn’t yet do it, it is not written as something against you, because it is not yet materialized. But, if in Mecca and Madinah you think of something wrong, it is written immediately against you, because Ka`bah is in Mecca and in the Fourth Heaven there is Bayt al-Mamoor, and the angels are always in tawaaf in the Fourth Paradise. So Abu Yazid al-Bistami (q) was in a sacred place, in a place that we don’t know where it was, through his heart. Allah opened to his heart and he was able to reach that level, as the heart has Five Levels: Qalb, Sirr, Sirr as-Sirr, Khafaa, Akhfaa, The Heart, the Level of Secret, the Level of Secret of Secrets, the Level for Prophet (s) and the fifth one, no one entered there, it is in Allah’s Hands.

So he heard it, “Yaa Zhaalim!” It came through an angel to his heart.

Abu Yazid (q) said, “Yaa Rabbee, O Allah what did I do wrong?”

And then it came to his heart, an inspiration, ilhaam came from an angel, “You claimed something that is not yours, you were proud of it, you were filled with pride when you said, ‘I want to pray two rak`ats that no one has prayed before.’ Okay, I am to judge you according to what you have claimed.”

How do we pray today? Kanakrik duyook, as the Prophet (s) said, “Is like the rooster pecking the floor.” People today are like that in their prayer, especially youngsters, they don’t give it it’s right. That prayer will be thrown in your face, by fiqh it is not complete. You stole from, you stole its arkaan, its principles, the conditions of the prayer, and it will be thrown in your face.

“So why you claimed? Don’t claim. You claimed? Okay, now there is hisaab, I am judging you according to that. You oppressed yourself in the prayer.” He was zhaalim to his nafs.

And he was thinking to himself, “What did I do?”

And the answer came, “You were zhaalim to your self,”

He was thinking, “What I did to myself?”

The answer came to his heart, “You were leaning on your right leg for a longer time than the left leg. Your right leg was carrying more weight and it was objecting, complaining, ‘Why you leaned on me more than the left?’”

وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ أَلَّا تَطْغَوْا فِي الْمِيزَانِ وَأَقِيمُوا الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا تُخْسِرُوا الْمِيزَانَ

Wa wada` al-meezan allaa tatghaw fi 'l-meezaan. Wa aqeemu 'l-waznu bi 'l-qisti wa laa tukhsiru ’l-meezan.

And He has set up the Balance, that you may not transgress (due) balance, but observe the measure with equity and do not fall short of it. (Surat ar-Rahmaan, 55:7-9)

“Keep everything balanced, don’t make one heavier than the other. I gave you two legs, the two must be the same. You must balance, you are not sick, or can claim that you are sick, you were leaning on one and not on the other. You were zhaalim to the Trust I gave you, the body that I gave you. I trusted you to keep it balanced.” All of us, we are not keeping our body balanced by (committing) sins. That is why people get sick, get this and that.

So that is for someone whom Allah (swt) opened his eyes and ears. The Prophet (s) was coming to polish our good manners and bring them up. Everything in fiqh, if you really go down into it, is to polish us and clean ourselves, to have good characters by imitating and following the Prophet (s), as Allah said in Holy Qur'an:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Qul in kuntum tuhibboona 'Llaaha fattabi`oonee yuhbibkumullaahu wa yaghfir lakum dhunoobakum w 'Allaahu Ghafooru 'r-Raheem.

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)

And Allah (swt) said, Taha. maa anzalnaa `alayk al-qur’an li-tashqaa, “I didn’t reveal the Holy Qur’an for you to get difficulty, to be miserable.” No, illaa tadhkiratan liman yakhshaa, “I am sending that for those who are not fearing Me, or those who are away from My Presence, those who lost My Love, to bring them back, to guide them, to be on right track, not running left and right.”

جَاءَ ثَلاَثَةُ رَهْطٍ إِلَى بُيُوتِ أَزْوَاجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَسْأَلُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَةِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَلَمَّا أُخْبِرُوا كَأَنَّهُمْ تَقَالُّوهَا فَقَالُوا وَأَيْنَ نَحْنُ مِنَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَدْ غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ‏.‏ قَالَ أَحَدُهُمْ أَمَّا أَنَا فَإِنِّي أُصَلِّي اللَّيْلَ أَبَدًا‏.‏ وَقَالَ آخَرُ أَنَا أَصُومُ الدَّهْرَ وَلاَ أُفْطِرُ‏.‏ وَقَالَ آخَرُ أَنَا أَعْتَزِلُ النِّسَاءَ فَلاَ أَتَزَوَّجُ أَبَدًا‏.‏ فَجَاءَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏ "‏ أَنْتُمُ الَّذِينَ قُلْتُمْ كَذَا وَكَذَا أَمَا وَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لأَخْشَاكُمْ لِلَّهِ وَأَتْقَاكُمْ لَهُ، لَكِنِّي أَصُومُ وَأُفْطِرُ، وَأُصَلِّي وَأَرْقُدُ وَأَتَزَوَّجُ النِّسَاءَ، فَمَنْ رَغِبَ عَنْ سُنَّتِي فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي ‏"‏‏.‏

Jaa’a thalaathatu rahtin ilaa buyooti azwaaji ‘n-nabee (s) yas’aloona `an `ibaadati ‘n-nabiyya (s) falammaa ukhbiroo ka’annahum taqaaloohaa fa qaaloo wa ayna nahnu min an-nabee (s) qad ghufira lahu maa taqaddama min dhanbih wa maa ta’akhkhara qaala ahaduhum ammaa anaa fa-innee usalli ‘l-layla abadan. wa qaala aakharu anaa asoomu ‘d-dahra wa laa uftiru. wa qaala aakharu anaa a`tazilu ‘n-nisaa’ fa laa atazawwaju abadan. fa jaa’a Rasoolullah (s) fa qaal: antum alladheena qultum kadhaa wa kadhaa amaa w ‘Allahi innee la-akhshaakum lillaahi wa atqaakum lahu laakinnee asoomu wa aftir wa usalli wa arqudu wa atazawwaju ‘n-nisaa’ fa man raghiba `an sunnatee fa laysa minnee.

A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet (s) asking how the Prophet (s) worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, “Where are we from the Prophet (s) as his past and future sins have been forgiven.” Then one of them said, “I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever.” The other said, “I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.” The third said, “I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever.” Allah's Messenger (s) came to them and said, “Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers). (Bukhari and Muslim)

This will shed a little light on that a little bit, and this is a hadith by Bukhari and Muslim. Anas ibn Malik (r) related that three different groups of people came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet (s) to learn from them how the Prophet (s) was praying at home. When we go through the different styles of salaah, we see that the Prophet (s) used to have different styles, different ways of praying, and they all have their own secrets and their own different taste. We don’t have to look at it from only one perspective of fiqh, we have to look at many other issues that come with it. Falammaa ukhbiroo ka’annahum taqaaloohaa fa qaaloo, when they asked them and they mentioned to them how the Prophet (s) was praying, they said, ayna nahnu min an-nabiyy (s), “We cannot do what he can do,” because in the other hadith, the Prophet (s) was praying until his feet were swollen:

قَالَ صَلَّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَتَّى انْتَفَخَتْ قَدَمَاهُ فَقِيلَ لَهُ أَتَتَكَلَّفُ هَذَا وَقَدْ غُفِرَ لَكَ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ قَالَ ‏ "‏ أَفَلاَ أَكُونُ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا ‏"‏ ‏.‏.‏

Sallaa Rasoolullahi (s) hattan tafakhat qadamaah, fa qeela lahu atatakallafu haadhaa wa qad ghafara laka maa taqaddama min dhanbika wa maa ta’akhkhar. qaal: afalaa akoonu `abdan shakooraa.

Allah’s Messenger (s) performed salaah until his feet were swollen, so it was said to him, “You burden yourself like this, while your past and future sins have been forgiven?” He said, “Shouldn’t I be a grateful worshipper? (Tirmidhi)

That hadith is under Baab ash-Shukr, The Chapter of Thanking Allah (swt), because it is an answer for when they asked him, “Why, yaa Rasoolullah? Allah has forgiven your former and latter sins.” Why? Does the Prophet (s) have sins to forgive him? Of course everyone needs Allah’s Forgiveness, but the Prophet (s) is the Lover of Allah (swt), what sins would he have? He is ma`soom, infallible, he has no sins, but he was carrying the sins of his ummah. Allah (swt) wanted to please him and said to the Prophet (s), “You are concerned for your community, but I have forgiven them!”

يَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ وَيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ

Yaghfira laka Allahu maa taqaddama min dhanbika wa maa ta'akhkhar.

That Allah may forgive you your faults of the past and those to follow. (Surat al-Fath, 48:1,2)

“We have forgiven him of whatever sins from before and from after.” How? He (s) has no sins. How then? It means, forgiving the sins of his ummah from the past and in the future, until the Day of Judgment. Look at the meaning of the hadith. That interpretation of the hadith is not in the books of fiqh. It is from our teachers, it is a spiritual aspect of religion, that the Prophet (s) was carrying on his shoulder a very heavy load of sins from the ummah, and Allah (swt) was saying to him, “We have relieved you from your burden, the big load on your shoulders, the load of the ummah.”

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ وَوَضَعْنَا عَنكَ وِزْرَكَ الَّذِي أَنقَضَ ظَهْرَكَ وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ

Alam nashrah laka sadrak wa wada`na `anka wizrak. Alladhee anqada zhahrak.

Have We not expanded for you your breast? And We removed from you your burden that weighed so heavily on your back. (Surat ash-Sharh, 94:1-2)

So they said, ayna nahnu min an-nabee (s), “Yaa Rasoolullah! How can we do that?” We cannot compare ourselves to the Prophet (s) for Allah has forgiven him. One of them said, qaala ahaduhum ammaa anaa fa-innee usalli ‘l-layla abadaa, “I will pray all night continuously, non-stop,” and the other said, wa qaala aakharu anaa asoomu ‘d-dahra wa laa uftiru, “I will fast the whole year, never breaking the fast, except at Maghrib time,” and the other said, wa qaala aakharu anaa a`tazilu ‘n-nisaa’ fa laa atazawwaju abada, “I will never approach women in my life, I will be celibate.”

So the first one said, “I will pray forever,” and the second said, “I will always fast,” and third said, “I will never approach women.” Fa jaa’a Rasoolullah (s), the Prophet (s) came and said, antum alladheena qultum kadhaa wa kadhaa, “Are you the ones who said this and this to my wives?” Amaa w ‘Allahi innee la-akhshaakum lillaahi wa atqaakum lahu, “I give an oath that I am the most conscious of Allah, most fearful of Allah (swt) among you.” Look they were happy with what they were doing: one was going to pray forever, the other one fasting the whole year and the third one not approaching women, but he said, “Still, what you will do compared to what I am doing, I am the most fearful of Allah (swt),” and that means in the whole universe. Wa atqaakum lahu, “and I am the most pious among you.” Laakinnee asoomu wa aftir, “But I fast and break fast,” meaning, “I don’t fast continuously. Allah gave that ruksa so why do I have to license it for the ummah?” Because if the Prophet (s) had agreed, then all the Muslims would be obliged to fast all year, pray all night and be away from women. That’s why he said, “No, I am the most fearful and the most pious, I fast and break my fast.” Wa usallee wa arqud, “I pray and I sleep.” If he (s) had said “yes” to him, then all of us would have been obliged to pray all night, but the Prophet (s) said, “No, I pray and I sleep.” Wa atazawwaju ‘n-nisaa’, “And I marry. I don’t say, ‘I don’t marry.’” Fa man raghiba `an sunnatee fa laysa minnee, “Who does not like my Sunnah is not from me.” Meaning, he is telling them, “What you are doing is not my Sunnah!”

I know people from when I was younger who would fast the entire the year, and their country which is Iraq, was very hot. They would fast the entire year and break their fast only five days: one day of `Eid al-Fitr and four days of `Eid al-Adhaa. They would fast for the rest of the days. So that is why fiqh is important, as it will also direct you to the literal meaning of ahadeeth and how to live your life, but you need the other side of the hadith so as to help you balance your life; you need the interpretational side of the hadith, which is Tazkiyyatu ‘n-nafs.

So we are ordered to make tafakkur, contemplate, meditate and focus on everything that Allah created in this universe and see the Greatness of Allah (swt). Imagine, the heat in the core of the sun is 50 million degrees centigrade! Prophet (s) mentioned in the ahadeeth of the Last Days that are coming in front of us, “Allah (swt) will order the Sun to come over the heads of people by 50 meters.” If we cannot take the heat of today as we need air conditioners, what then do you think about the heat of 50 million degrees centigrade? And Allah with His Qudra, Power, will bring the sun down to 50 meters, but it will not make us to die! It will not burn you, but will make you suffer and boil your brain. You will feel the pain, but still remain in your body. It is not like you will be finished and completely disintegrated, as you would in a normal fire. You will not be disintegrated, but will feel the heat of the sun. If the core right now is 50 million centigrade, Allah knows how hot it will feel when it is at 50 meters above our head!

O Muslims, be nice and be good.

وأوصى النبي صلى اللّه عليه وسلم أبا هريرة بوصية عظيمة فقال: يا أبا هريرة! عليك بحسن الخلق. قال أبو هريرة رضي اللّه عنه: وما حسن الخلق يا رسول اللّه؟ قال: تصل مَنْ قطعك، وتعفو عمن ظلمك، وتُعطي من حرمك

(رواه البيهقي).

Awsaa ‘n-nabiyyu sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallim Aba Hurayrah bi-waseeyyati `azheematin fa-qaala: yaa Aba Hurayrah! `alayka bi-husni ‘l-khuluq. Qaala Abu Hurayrah: wa maa husnu ‘l-khuluqi yaa Rasoolullah. Qaala: tasila man qata`k, wa ta`foo `amman zhalamak, wa tu`tee man haramak.

(Narrated by Bayhaqi)

The Prophet (s) said to Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (r): “You have to observe the best of conduct.” Abu Hurayrah (r) asked, “What is the best conduct?” Prophet (s) said, “Connect with the one who disconnected you, forgive the one who oppressed you, and give to the one who prevented you from getting what you like, help him.”

Is that not difficult? That is the best of characters. We will continue later, inshaa-Allah.

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


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