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What is Tawheed?

Real Tawheed Series, Part 1

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

29 August 2014 Burton, Michigan

Jumu`ah Khutbah at As-Siddiq Mosque

As-salaamu `alaykum.

O Muslims, Believers, mu’mins and muslih, and mujtahid and imam and scholar and wali and father and mother. We are Muslims, that is honor for us: sharafuna bi sharafanabiyi (s), our honor is through the honor of Prophet (s) and Allah honored His Prophet (s) with endless honors that no one can understand!

فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى

Fa-kaana qaaba qawsayni aw adnaa.

And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer. (Surat al-Najm, 53:9)

If we understand the meaning of Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa then we can understand and know to what extent Allah (swt) honored Prophet (s), but we cannot understand to where Allah asked Prophet (s), and this is not a Hadith, but rather this is an ayah of Holy Qur'an, so there is no question that he reached Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa. There are different tafseer about this, which is okay.

That place, if we say “place”, although we can't say “in that time or place” as Allah (swt) is above time and place, but if we say that we really understand that ayah completely, then we can understand the honor of Prophet (s). But we cannot understand it as it has no limit; where is ‘two bows of an arrow or less’? ‘Less’ makes Ascension continuous because it is impossible and against Islamic belief to say people can unite with Allah (swt), because you cannot ‘unite’ and wahdatu ‘l-wujood is not acceptable in Islam, so there is no unity between us and Allah (swt), but there is `abd, servant, and there is Creator: the Creator creates and the `abd obeys, so you cannot put those together.

About this ayah, Imam Nawawi said in his Explanation of Sahih Muslim, Sharh Sahih Muslim, that Prophet (s) saw Allah (swt) in the way that Allah showed him, not in his way as a prophet but with permission of what Allah gave, to the eyes of his head, but there is no unity in that as `abd is `abd and Creator is Creator. So our honor is from the honor of that one whom Allah allowed to reach Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa, to ‘two bows-length of an arrow and less’, which means it is a continuous Ascension, because continuous ‘less’ means when you move closer, still there is less; there might be an ocean remaining, and that is to show him “you have to keep moving.”

So Allah (swt) is bringing His Prophet (s) through that Mi`raaj, which no one can understand: it's a belief, you have to believe that Allah brought Prophet (s) with body and soul, and that is what we believe. How? That Allah (swt) knows best “how” and it is not our duty or position to question which buraaq transported Prophet (s) or where that buraaq stopped, or even where Jibreel (a) stopped! There are issues that we as Muslims simply have to say, sam`ina wa ataa`naa ghufranaka rabbana wa ilayka ‘l-maseer, “We listen and we obey.”

This is Tawheed that Allah (swt) wants to show the whole universe, “I did not bring My Prophet (s) to be with Me physically,” or then you are breaking the Tawheed [where His Unique Station as Creator is beyond Creation]. For Prophet (s), we cannot say ‘distance’ but there is a position that “he is `abd and Allah is Creator”, so to save us Allah said to Prophet (s), “Iqraa!” to reveal to us something that we don't know. He asked Prophet (s) to read, but what to read? It is like a key to open the door. “Yaa Muhammad, read!” Prophet (s) said, “What I am going to read, yaa Rabbee?” What to read? And another time Jibreel (a) hugged him, pressed him to his chest and said, “Yaa Muhammad! Allah is sending you that ayah, read!” It means that ayah is the beginning of Tawheed:

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

Iqraa bismi Rabbika ‘Lladhee khalaq.

Read in the Name of the One Who created. (Surat al-`Alaq, 96:1)

“I am the Creator, they are not! You are the `abd, I am the Lord!” And reading what? In His Name, that's an honor: “Read in My Name, that I am The One that created all Creation--not their statues, not their prophets--it’s Me that created Creation, tell them that! Don't keep them in obscurity or vagueness as this is not a grey area here. Allah (swt) is Creator and His servant is Sayyidina Muhammad! I even made all angels praise you, but you are `abd and I am Creator.”

... Allah is the Creator and we cannot create anything; no one can create anything. Can you create an ant? Take the smallest creature, an ant; can any scientist, chemist, physicist or biologist create an ant? Look at the ant, the smallest creature, can you see its stomach? You cannot see its digestive system, but it eats, drinks, lives, makes tasbeeh. `Ulama say that the soul or the life of animals is...that soul or life is the tasbeeh, and they are in continuous tasbeeh, but when that tasbeeh stops in them they die.

Allah is giving us signs to read in His Name. He created viruses, the smallest living species, they say today. As for the ant, it is so small, we don’t know even where is its head, its legs, even the biggest microscope can see but we can't know where is the stomach, where is the front and where is the back?

No one knows. Allah (swt) is the One Who created, He knows.

That's why He said:

قَالَتْ نَمْلَةٌ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّمْلُ ادْخُلُوا مَسَاكِنَكُمْ لَا يَحْطِمَنَّكُمْ سُلَيْمَانُ وَجُنُودُهُ وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ

Qaalat namlatun yaa ayyuha 'n-namlu 'dkhulu masaakinakum laa yahtimannakum sulaymaanu wa junooduhu wa hum laa yash`uroon.

One of the ants said, "O Ants! Enter your homes unless Sulayman and his armies unknowingly trample you." (Surat an-Naml, 27:18)

He knows what He created, Allahu al-`Alim, that is one of His Beautiful Attributes. “I created and made the ant to speak in front of Sayyidina Sulayman (a), Qaalat namlatun yaa ayyuha 'n-namlu 'dkhulu masaakinakum laa yahtimannakum sulaymaanu wa junooduhu wa hum laa yash`uroon. That small ant whose movement you cannot hear, nor can you hear it eat, but that ant spoke to millions of ants at the same time and all of them heard its declaration.”

Who can do that? We need microphones, speakers and every day we have to change to a better model and so on. Allah doesn't need that, He made an ant to say something for Sayyidina Sulayman (a) to take ibraa, a lesson, of how that voice went to millions of ants. The instruction was, khulu masakeenakum, “O ants run to your doors, to your homes, fa-firroo ila-Allah, “flee to Allah” (Surat adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:50), no one can save you except Allah, run before Sayyidina Sulayman (a) comes and steps on you with his army or you will all be killed!” And all the ants heard that and ran to a house, but what kind of house? Cement, brick, wood? Where did they hide themselves? In a house that they made from mud, according to our understanding? Allah (swt) wants Sayyidina Sulayman (a) to know, “I gave you the power because I wanted you to know that ants speak and you know what they said. O Sulayman! If we don't give, you can't know anything!”

Sayyidina Musa (a), with all his greatness as one of the big Five Prophets Allah (swt) made him go to Sayyidina Khidr (a) to learn some Divine Knowledge--knowledge that was hidden from Sayyidina Musa--for a wisdom, saying (in effect), “As much as you come nearer to Me, still you must go to someone not from your level to learn from him.”

Allahu Akbar! These ayahs show Tawheed... that you cannot make Allah have a partner, child, wife, or make him to go to toilet. Allah said in Holy Qur’an:

مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ كَانَا يَأْكُلاَنِ الطَّعَامَ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الآيَاتِ ثُمَّ انظُرْ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ

Maa al-maseehu ibnu maryama illa rasoolun qad khalat min qablihi ar-rusulu wa ummuhu siddeeqatun kaanaa yakulaani’t-ta`ama undhur kayfa nubayyinu lahumu al-aayaati thumma ’ndhur annaa yufakoon.

Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! (Surat al-Maa’ida, 5:75)

Kaana yaakullaani ’t-ta`am, Sayyidina `Isa (a) and his mother are eating food, which means they go to the bathroom. Does Allah go there, istaghfirullah? I don't understand how their limited understanding is?

Allah said, “Yaa Muhammad (s) I am revealing to you to read, read in My Name, and when you read in My Name you will find secrets!

iqra bismi Rabbika, in the name of Allah (swt). When we read and also every `amal must begin with Allah's Name or not accepted, it is being cut (without success or benefit). Allah mentioned to us to say His Name as, "Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem". When you say "Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem" that is a sign of your Tawheed.

كل عمل لم يبدأ باسم الله فهو أبتر

Qaala ‘n-Nabi (s) kullu `amalin lam yabdaa’u bismillah fahuwa abtar.

The Prophet (s) said, “Any action you do that did not begin with Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem is cut (there is no barakah in it, the barakah will disappear).”

Every `amal (deed) that does not begin with Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem is cut, it will not progress; therefore, you must say "Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem" on everything, without counting as a good tiding as it is mentioned in Hadith by Ibn Abbas (r), a famous Sahaabi who wrote tafseer of Holy Qur'an:

إذا قال المعلم للصبي بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم فقالها كتب الله له براءة للصبي وبراءة لوالديه وبراءة للمعلم من النار

Idhaa qaal al-mu`alim li ’s-sabiyy Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem fa-qaalahaa, kutib Allahu lahu baraa’tun li ’s-sabiyy wa baraa’tun li waalidayhi wa baraa’tun li ’l-mu`allim min an-naar.

Ibn Abbas (r) said, “When the teacher says to the child, ‘Say, “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem” it will be written for the child, for the teacher, for the mother and father that they are freed from Hellfire.”

That is bara'atun min an-naar, innocence from Hellfire. If a teacher instructs the student or a parent tells the child to say, "Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem”, immediately the teacher, the father, the boy or girl that said "Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem" will be written as innocent from Hellfire! So teach children to say "Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem" and let us teach ourselves to remember always to say "Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem" on everything we do, then we will have baraa’tun min an-naar, safety from Hellfire!

All of us are coming to Jumu`ah for what? For safety from Hellfire! We come and perform prayer and if Allah accepts it alhamdulillah, and if Allah did not accept it, alhamdulillah, you try to progress and do better. If you say "Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem", and your son or daughter is free from Hellfire then what if you pray juma or say your prayers--what Allah will give you?

O Muslims! This is another Hadith mentioned by Ibn `Abbas (r) and mentioned by Daylami and by Imam as-Suyooti in Dhurr al-Manthoor in the biggest tafseer. He said that Prophet (s) said:

قال رسول الله من قرأ بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم كتب الله له بكل حرف أربعة آلاف حسنة ، و محا عنه أربعة آلاف سيئة ، و رفع له أربعة آلاف درجة

The Prophet (s) said: Whoever recites “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem,” Allah will write for him for each letter four-thousand good deeds and erase from him four-thousand sins and raise him four-thousand levels. (Narrated Ibn `Abbas, Nuzhatu ’l-Majaalis)

And how many letters are there in Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem? There are nineteen and you multiply by 4000, so how much do you get? You get 76,000, subhaanAllah! I was going to say 76 million! So 76,000, is that easy? And you multiply every hasanaat by 10, or by 700 as it is mentioned by Prophet (s) and as mentioned by Allah in Holy Qur’an, Wa muhiya `anhu arba`ati ’l-alf sayyi`at, and Allah (swt) will erase 4000 bad `amal, sins. Wa roofiya lahu arba`ati ’l-alf darajaat, and he will be raised up 4000 levels!

O Muslims! I don’t want to go through all of it, but you must be happy that you are a Muslim. Allah (swt) gave us easy things to recite and save us by sending endless mercy on us by saying, “Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmaani ‘r-Raheem”, through which He gives 4000 hasanaat, erases 4000 sins and raises us 4000 levels!

May Allah (swt) forgive us. Du`a.


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