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You Must Empty Your Cup

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

1 June 2014 Los Angeles, California

Suhbah at Islamic Center of Reseda

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

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

Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashraf 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een.

Allahumma salli wa sallim wa baarik `alaa Sayyidi ’r-rusul, Sayyidina Muhammad (s). Law laahu law laahu maa khalaqna ’l-aflaak.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`alaa 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)

Allah (swt) loved His servant. He loves all of His servants and that is why He sent to them His messenger, Sayyidina Muhammad (s). He is the guide, the leader, the symbol; he is everything for us. Depending on how much love we have for the Prophet (s), Allah will send more and more. However, if the the cup is already full and you are not allowing it to be filled more with anything else, it will not be filled. So we must empty our hearts from `awaaliq wa alaa’iq ad-dunya, attachments to dunya and its obstacles. If we empty our hearts for Akhirah, then our cup will be empty and He will fill it with His Love.

Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

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

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)

It is very simple, not difficult. Allah is saying, “If you love Allah, follow Muhammad.” So if you follow Sayyidina Muhammad (s) with the Message he came with, Allah will love you and when Allah loves you, what are you to expect? There is nothing in this dunya. All prophets, who are infallible, have no sins and are in love with Allah (swt). So that miracle that Allah has put, as I mentioned yesterday, in Arabic is referred to as Hubb al-Ilahi, love for Allah (swt). When we have that hubb, it is then that we are hitting the target. As some Arabs will know, hubb consists of two letters, Haa and Baa. If you love Allah (swt), you are at the beginning of hubb, you have not yet achieved it. Allah will fill you until Haa becomes for you hayaat, life, which means that you have a living personality that Allah (swt) gives to you from Heavenly sources. When Allah gives you hayaat, there is no such thing higher than that in dunya. That is why it is said in history that both Sayyidina Khidr (a) and Alexander the Great were trying to reach the Fountain of Youth, that Heavenly water. How can they reach it if Allah does not send it to them? Allah (swt) sent it to Khidr (a).

That hubb for Allah (swt) is very pure, like our love for our child. If our child is sick we don’t sleep all night, but we sleep the whole night and forget about the Creator of our child! If we really connect ourselves, then we will be as the Prophet (s) mentioned in his hadith:

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،

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 Qudsiyy, Bukhari)

So what will He give you in return? Are you asking for anything in return or not? We are not asking, but Allah will give us from His generosity. What is He giving us? We are running daily to our work, but there is also some work to do for Akhirah; we do our dunya work, but there is also Akhirah work. So what will Allah give you? He will give you ears that can hear what we people cannot hear. Are we hearing? No, we are not. Is there anyone else in this room other than the people here? We are only hearing each other talking but, for sure, there are others, there are those who are everywhere and whom Allah has chosen and it is not in our hands. They are the sincere `ulama, scholars, pious people. Prophet (s) said:

العلماء ورثة الانبياء

The (genuine) scholars are inheritors of the Prophets.

It is very easy, bring a TV here; can we hear and see or not? If a human being can give you a TV set that you can see and hear, can’t Allah (swt) give you a Heavenly set that you can hear and see? Our heart is a TV and a sound system. The heart is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an 114 times. What are we doing with that? That’s what Allah wants to give us! He is not hiding it, He is saying, “Approach Me and I will give it to you.” He wants to give us hearing, “I will be his ears that he can hear with, I will be his eyes that he can see with.” Allah will give that person power in his eyes to see.

That is why we must not say it is too much; no, it is not too much! I am learning from people like you around the world. If we say, “I am a scholar, I am this or that,” the lecture will drop and we will not be able to continue.

The Prophet (s) said:

من توضع لله رفعه

Man tawada` lillah rafa`ah.

Whoever has shown humbleness, Allah (swt) will raise up.

So if we bring a TV here, we can see. What is in that TV that makes us to see? It is a box with a screen and it is receiving information through a system, but the common factor between that and what I am saying is that these electromagnetic waves--short, medium, long or acute--in this room made you to see, but you used a system, something in order for you to see. Sometimes people say, “This is too much shaykh, what are you saying? No one can see.” Who told you that? If you can see with the help of the TV, can you not see with your heart, which is Allah’s Creation? The TV is a man-made innovation.

Prophet (s) says:

اتَّقُوا فِرَاسَةَ الْمُؤْمِنِ فَإِنَّهُ يَنْظُرُ بِنُورِ اللَّهِ

Fear the vision of the Believer for he sees with the Light of Allah. (Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree, Tirmidhi)

Be careful of the vision of the mum’in, because he can see from the Eyes of Allah!

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَإِن تُطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَا يَلِتْكُم مِّنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

The Arabs declare, "We believe." Say (to them), "You do not; rather say, 'We submit,' because belief has not yet found its way into your hearts. If you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not reduce

a thing from your deeds. Allah is the Oft-Forgiving and the Most Merciful." (Surat al-Hujuraat, 49:14)

Don’t say you are mu`min, say, “I submit.” Until imaan enters yours heart, say that you are a Muslim. So ask Allah and He will give you, but you must ask with ilaah, persistence, keep asking non-stop, because if you stop, you are reducing that power that will come to you, it will be less and less. Ask Allah (swt) as He likes His servants to ask Him. Allah likes Sayyidina Musa (a) so much, because he kept on asking and asking. Allah loves Sayyidina Muhammad (s) so much, because he was getting answers in his heart before he was asking, so he never asked and Allah gave him everything!

O Muslims! Yesterday the imaam recited the ayah:

لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

Had We sent down this Qur'an on a mountain, verily you would have seen it humble itself and cleave asunder for fear of Allah. Such are the similitudes that We propound to men that they may reflect. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:21)

That mountain shattered into powder as it could not carry that noor that Allah (swt) wants everyone to receive in their heart. We have to work hard. Allah is saying, “If We had revealed this Holy Qur’an on the mountain, the mountain would shatter,” so why do we stand up and raise our head in arrogance in the things we do? If Allah would not help, you could never be able to do anything! However, Allah (swt) revealed the Holy Qur’an on the heart of Rasoolullah (s) and it never shattered; his heart was bigger than the mountain or else how would he be going to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa and move in space where it took them around four years to reach Mars? As everyone knows, the Prophet (s) went and came back while his mattress was still warm. Allah stretched the time, as He can stretch whatever He likes. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:

وَإِنَّ يَوْمًا عِندَ رَبِّكَ كَأَلْفِ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ

Verily, a Day in the Sight of your Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning.

(Surat al-Hajj, 22:47)

So one day for Allah is a thousand years for us. Allah stretched time, because it is imaginary; there is no past, present or future, it is the same to Allah (swt). Imagine the greatness of our messenger, Sayyidina Muhammad (s), Habeebullah, how much Allah has given him, more than any prophet! He went against the laws of Physics, he penetrated through the atmosphere! If the space shuttle or person will go there it will be burnt. How much is the distance between us and the Sun? It is three million years and the temperature in the core of the Sun is 55 million degrees Celsius, but Prophet (s) penetrated. Scientists say there are 80 billion stars and every star is bigger than our solar system, and the Prophet (s) had to cross that galaxy. Were his eyes open or closed? They were open! He was seeing, hearing and talking, meaning he was seeing every corner or every place when he navigated as he went up to the First Heaven. Also, scientists discovered that there are 6,000 galaxies and all of them are bigger than our galaxy. Prophet (s) passed through that!

O Muslims! I am saying this because there are some people here who like that kind of talk, so I am speaking from that as we have all heard so much about peace, tolerance and acceptance when we were young, so let us change the course a little bit. If there are 6,000 galaxies and our galaxy alone has 80 billion stars, how many stars are there?

He passed through the First, Second, Third and Fourth [and so on] Paradise and the Prophet (s) stopped and talked in every paradise to give him the medallions, to check. Why did he stop? Why did Allah make him to stop? Was he not able to go on the Buraaq directly to where Allah wants him? But he stopped! Do you know why? For Allah (swt) to greet his Beloved One, to give him `azhamah, Greatness, not as a Creator, but as a servant of Allah (swt), to give him that medallion that he visited and checked and went into the First Paradise and went into Second Paradise, for the honor of the ummah and to show the ummah what kind of dresses Prophet Muhammad (s) is dressing, that they are Heavenly dresses!

For the honor for the ummah Prophet (s) gave these dresses, not these [physical] dresses; Allah dresses him with His Beautiful Names and Attributes, not only Ninety-nine, but there are sets of Ninety-nine Names. I attended a meeting in al-Azhar one time and they said that there were sets of ninety-nine, not just ninety-nine. Some of these names we know, the scholars, they know. I am not a scholar, but I am hearing; they know more. If you ask me, I say Allah’s Oneness is described by you, by everyone, when we look at someone and we see the greatness that Allah has put in his eyes, in his ears, his hands, his feet, his organs. He is qaa’imun bimaa yureedullah `azza wa jall an yakoona qaa’imun bih, “that person will be existing or appearing with whatever manifestation Allah wants him to appear.” That’s why it is very difficult to fight with someone, because if you have a gallery with many paintings and Shaykh Sa`eed Jumah goes to the gallery and looks at the paintings, saying, “Oh, very nice paintings and engravings!” as they carved some of them and he was very amazed and he left. Before he left, he saw one of them and he said, “Oh, what is that? It’s so ugly! It’s too ugly, it cannot be here, it might be out of place.” Laa tu-`ayyib ahada. Every painting or every carving to become a piece of art. Allah (swt) made everyone a piece of art. That is `azhamah, so don't say anything bad about anyone, because Allah carved them out of His Own Self by Kun fa ya kun! So when you say something bad about someone you are saying it about Him (swt) and He is not happy.

Deen is advice. People asked Prophet (s). If you don’t advise people, you will be responsible, they will be responsible. Ad-deenu naseehah! Finished, period! Ad-deen, the religion of Islam, is advice. They make interfaith programmes, which is good, alhamdulillah, but they don’t know their own intra-faith programme, how to fix themselves. One man came to Rasoolullah (s), because deen is naseeha, “religion is advice,” and Prophet (s) said:

أن رجلاً قال للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ أوصني، قال‏:‏ ‏"‏لا تغضب‏"‏ فردد مراراً، قال‏:‏ ‏"‏ لاتغضب"‏

A man asked the Prophet (s) for an advice and he said, laa taghdab, "Do not get angry.” The man repeated that several times and he (s) replied, "Do not get angry!" (Abu Hurayrah, Bukhari)

Don't get angry. Don’t think anyone is going to save you from your anger or to save you, only the shafa`ah of Prophet (s) will save you! He will intercede for us on the Day of Judgment. Allah gave him the shafa`ah, saying, “Do whatever you want (with them).” We are not going to go into that now, but Allah gave him the salaahiyyah, responsibility, and it’s the work of Prophet (s) for his ummah. All ummahs come to Prophet (s), all prophets with their nations. Why? Can’t other prophets intercede for their ummah? No, they cannot, they come to Prophet (s).

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

You are the best of nations evolved for Mankind. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:110)

We are, because we are the followers of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! Our greatness, not the greatness in the meaning of superb, but what Allah gave to us is because of Prophet (s). He gave us the most important word in every religion, laa ilaaha illa-Llah!

So the Prophet (s) went, as Allah gave him the power to cross this universe, to cross paradises. Why? To give him honor. He stopped him in every place to give him honor, to say to His angels, “This is the Prophet (s), dress him from your Paradise!” They will pick the best dress, not like this dress, but the best dress that Allah dressed. Every Paradise is a different tajjali, a different manifestation. Tajjaliyaatullah laa tu`addu wa laa tuhsaa, Allah’s manifestation on human beings cannot be counted. He will dress Prophet (s) from the manifestation of His Light in the First Paradise.

All prophets come to Prophet (s) for shafa`ah. Allah sent Prophet (s) through every paradise and then the paradises gave him the best of dresses they have. Then when the dresses were done, Prophet (s) went to the Second Paradise with Sayyidna Jibreel (s). Did Prophet (s) need a guide? He can go directly, he doesn’t need a guide, but he was showing humbleness that, “Yaa Rabbee, I am coming through a guide.” Tawaad`u, that is the humbleness of the one who went through the Seven Heavens; can he not go from Mecca to Madinah without a guide? Prophet (s) went to Mi`raaj; therefore, can he also not go to Madinah from Mecca without a guide? Of course he can, but he showed us that, “You need my way, you need to follow my tiba`, my message; if you want to be guided, this is the way of guidance.”

You need a guide to take you through the alleys and deserts from Mecca to Madinah.. Don't we have Madinah and Mecca in our hearts? Yes, we have. We love Mecca and Madinah, they are part of our prayers. We are doing our prayers looking towards Mecca. They are inside, but we need guides to navigate the way as by ourselves we do not know how to get there. Like when you are sick you need a doctor to navigate through your body, you cannot do it yourself, you need a doctor.

O Muslims! Allah respected His Prophet (s) and He said:

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

You are the best of nations evolved for Mankind. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:110)

“You were the best of ummahs that came to humanity.” Al-amr bi 'l-ma`roof wa 'n-nahiyy `ani 'l-munkar, adjoining what is good and forbidding what is wrong He said in the past, but where in the past? In the Day of Promises. “You were the best, you will be the best.” We are the best ummah, but worst in `amal. We were there on the Day of Promises in front of Allah, raising our hands, saying, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah.” If we don’t say “Muhammadun Rasoolullah,” our “laa ilaaha illa-Llah” is not complete, tawheed did not complete itself, so we have to say, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah.”

O Muslims! Today there are so many different things on the Internet that are taking Islam into a valley and making it to fall down. I don’t like to say this, but we have to be careful. We are giving our children a system where it is easy to see everything (bad). What Allah prohibited, these phones allowed it and we are keeping quiet. They tell you, “The teacher gave me a project, I have to use the computer.” They are putting the computer in everything. It is okay for work, science or medicine, but it is dangerous for something else. So we come back to the beginning, where we said if you put a TV here we can catch the electromagnetic waves here that produce a picture. Also put one here (in your heart) and that is:

‏انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

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

If you want an open TV in your heart, be as the Prophet (s) wants you to be. He said, “I have been sent to perfect your characters.” He is saying, “Allah has sent me to complete and perfect the best of behaviors.” So our duty now is to not only do the five prayers, to fast in Ramadan, make zakaat and do Hajj, as these are obligations, but we must also complete and perfect our behaviors and the behaviors of our children. That is what’s important.

And if you want to dig deeper into this ayah, those who understand Arabic can understand that Prophet (s) took on our responsibility, that no one will leave this dunya without being perfected, and it is his responsibility to perfect our character. When that person is at the time of death, he is guaranteed that he will be completed and perfected by the Prophet (s)! We are asking Allah (swt) to put in our hearts the good manners, that there are too many bad manners that are not going to count here, but the main one is anger. Do you get angry? Yes. We have to be very careful when anger possesses us. Some people come to me and say, “I have been possessed, I see activities in my body,” and it is true, there are jinn, but there are ways to deal with that. Some people feel that. So we also are being possessed, because the Prophet (s) mentioned:

كان شيطاني كافراً فأعانني الله عليه حتى أسلم

Kaana shaytaanee kaafiran fa-a`ananee’llahu `alayhi hattaa aslam.

My Shaytan was an unbeliever but Allah assisted me until he accepted Islam.

(Bayhaqi’s Dalaa’il an-Nubuwwat)

“I am the only one who rode on my Shaytan.” Prophet (s) mentioned there is a way that Shaytan can enter our hearts; there is a small black door through which Shaytan can go inside. So we are under two choices, two ways: either we follow Rahmaan, the good way, or Shaytan, the other way. May Allah protect all of us. May Allah make us follow Rasoolullah (s)!

I thank you very much for giving me this chance to see some of those whom I met a long time ago. Inshaa-Allah there is a lot of support coming to Muslims from every side, especially from some Arab countries where they are trying to change most of their scholars and are opening for the Four Madhahib, and this is a big change. If that happens it will be great for Muslims, as then there will be no more differences, and as long as the trunk is united, as is said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ

W `atasimoo bi hablillaahi jamiyy`an wa laa tafaraqoo.

Hold fast to Allah's rope and don't separate. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:103)

As long as the trunk is there, we can fix the branches. May Allah change our hearts for the better.

I want to apologize for being late. We don't consider any difference between the speaker and the listeners, for in this way the Light enters the heart. If the speaker thinks something big of himself, it is like Iblees; he could not accept when Allah created Adam (a). So we accept everyone, inshaa-Allah. We learn lots of lessons during our life, but inshaa-Allah the biggest hope is to see the Muslim ummah together. One main country is now changing some of its rules, which will influence the Muslim world; we will not mention its name as they know and Allah knows.

Wa ‘s-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

Al-Fatihah. Ameen.


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