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Dhikr Purifies You

Ramadan Series 2017, Vol 18

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

17 June 2017 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Zhuhr Suhbah

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

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

nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem fee hadha '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)

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Allah will turn any place of dhikrullah into Paradise, a masjid, a rawdah. Rawdah is in Heavens, but He makes that place Heaven on Earth. This is not from us, but from the Prophet (s):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مررتم برياض الجنة فارتعوا. 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)

“Go and find these Gardens of Heavens on Earth and sit there.” The Sahaabah (r) were surprised and asked, “Where can we find something like that on Earth, what are the circles of Jannah?” Prophet (s) replied, “They are halaaq adh-dhikrullah, the circles of dhikrullah.”

What more can we ask than for Allah to turn the place where we make dhikrullah into a Paradise from Heavens? Allah will not throw the one who entered Paradise in Hellfire; entering Paradise it final. Prophet (s) is saying, “Go sit there!” because then your account is finished, you are already in Paradise! May Allah bless these moments in which we are sitting here together and elsewhere around the world. May Allah support everyone. We don't reject or decline anyone, we respect everyone, as this is what Awliyaullah have taught us. First, our respect must go to Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s), to, “Praise Him morning and evening,” not only for two minutes here and there, but to keep Him in our hearts!

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا

O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance and glorify Him early and late.

(Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:41,42)

His remembrance must be kept in the mu’min’s heart and that is not something we are inventing or innovating, it is in Holy Qur'an and Hadith. This is why it is recommended to do dhikrullah, and dhikr has many meanings, it is not only to sit and call loudly or quietly on Allah, as He is The Only One to be worshipped; it is also to remember Sayyidina Muhammad (s). There is a trend among people nowadays, including some`ulama, to claim, “We rely solely on Holy Qur'an, not Hadith.” But Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُ

Leave what Prophet forbade and take what he ordered. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:7)

“Whatever Prophet gives you, take it,” and follow whatever he said in his lifetime, as well as whatever and we have to respect them. We have no right to demean or humiliate any of them, or, as some people say, “We won’t follow this or that shaykh as we are better than them.” Don’t do that. One time, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) took me to a circle of dhikr in Damascus, Sham, which is blessed: Allah (swt) will descend there with His `Arsh to judge people on Judgment Day, as mentioned in histories. After Mecca, Madinah and Masjid al-Aqsa, Allah blessed Sham.

Dhikrullah is important and it differs from one shaykh to another and we have to respect all mashayikh adh-dhikr. Mawlana took me to a big masjid in Damascus, to a Shadhili halaqat adh-dhikr where they were reciting Holy Qur'an and Asmaa’ullah. He saw I was hesitant. In my heart I thought, “Oh! My shaykh is better.”. He said, “Don't doubt other shuyookh, respect all of them them as you respect me with no judgement as everyone is asking the Prophet (s) to give him or her, and he (s) gives to those who deserve it.”

Wa kullun min rasoolillaahi multamisun, gharfan min al-bahri aw rashfan min ad-diyami.

All of them partake from the Prophet of God a handful of his oceans or a sip from his continuous rains.

(Shaykh Muhammad al-Busayri, Burdat ash-Shareef)

He said everyone Allah created, on Earth or anywhere, including the planets, takes from Prophet (s) and seeks to follow in his footsteps in whatever manner Allah created for them. We know there are other planets and Allah created on them, as there are scientific discoveries about that, and in Islam there are stories. But the most important thing is to know that Allah is al-Khaliq al-`Alim, The One Who Creates and The Knower. His power to create doesn’t stop or it would mean He does not have enough power, astaghfirullah al-`Azheem wa atoobu ilayh! I renew my Shahaadah by saying, “Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah.”

Allah (swt) is creating from Isma ‘l-Khaliq with no time limitation, no end, no time zone: His creation is continuous. That is for Allah, The Creator, not like a human being brings one child after another over generations. From the Holy Qur’an, we know about jinn and angels, and there are other Creations that we don't know about which Allah revealed exclusively to the Prophet (s). From His Noor, Light, He creates Creation continuously without limits; we are only like the tip of this pen. This Earth compared to the universe is not even the tip of this pen, it is nothing compared to the greatness of the universe! If we accept we are like this tip, what can the tip of this pen do in this huge universe? Nothing.

That’s why when Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) saw the Sun coming up, he said, haadha Rabbee, “This is my Lord!” and when it set, he said, laa uhibbu-laafilee, “I don't like that which sets.” That is to teach us The Creator is greater than everything. He said, “I don't like what comes and goes, my Lord must always be there.” Then he saw the Moon and said, haadha Rabbee, “This is my Lord!” but when the Moon set he said, “I have turned my face to The One Who created the Earth and Heavens.” [Holy Qur’an, 6:79] If you look at the Earth from the space shuttle, it disappears as you move further away.

لو كانت الدنيا تعدل عند الله جناح بعوضة ما سقى كافراً منها شربة ماء

If the value of this dunya weighed the wing of a mosquito, Allah would never give a cup of water for the unbelievers to drink. (Tirmidhi)

To Allah (swt), dunya doesn’t weigh the wing of a mosquito, this whole dunya has no importance: the wing of a mosquito weighs more than dunya because it doesn’t sin, but we do. Here we may question, why did Allah allowed Iblees to cheat Sayyidina Adam (a)? Normal tafseer says that when Iblees gossips, Allah (swt) rewards those who ignore it, so obey Him and oppose Iblees by making dhikrullah, remembering Allah. When you mention His Name Allah is happy with you and turns your place into a paradise. No one can find anything better than that!

Prophet (s) was in Meccatu 'l-Mukarrama praying Taraweeh with Ashaab an-Nabi (s) and after they broke their fast and prayed Maghrib, before Salaat al-`Isha, Prophet (s) waited for Jibreel (a) to descend with the wahiyy of Laylat al-Qadr, with all that mercy for him and his Sahaabah (r). A small example is when a boy and girl intend to marry, both families bring gifts for them. Prophet (s) anticipated heavenly dresses for his Ummah. Angels descended with limitless rewards and encompassed the entire place.

Then Jibreel (a) came to him and said, “Angels cannot come down any further,”

Prophet (s) said, “Yaa Jibreel, I have been promised and am waiting for that mercy to spread over all the Ummah.”

Jibreel (a) said, “They are coming, but they cannot come down lower as they cannot tolerate the bad odor coming from the mouths of some of the Sahaabah who ate raw onions and garlic.”

Prophet (s) was surprised. Angels are subtle to that extent. When you finish all your `amal, praying, recitation of Holy Qur’an or dhikr, angels carry it to the First Heaven, but because of what we ate or said they are not happy, so they don't approach us. We have to be careful when we are angry or in any situation because if they don’t like our behavior so won’t bring us blessings.

Sayyidina Muhammad (s) said, “Yaa Jibreel, I will ask the Sahaabah (r) who among them ate raw onions and garlic, and have them leave in order for the angels to come with rewards.” Of course he (s) felt shy to ask the Sahaabah (r) to leave, because:

أدبني ربي فأحسن تأديبي

My Lord perfected my good manners and conduct. (Ibn `Asakir)

So he told Sayyidina `Umar (r), “You ask them.” This is a true story told to us by Grandshaykh (q). Some people claim that most Ahadeeth are bid`a, but we don’t care about them!

Sayyidina `Umar (r) told the Sahaabah (r), “Those who ate raw onions and garlic, step outside the circle. Prophet (s) will give you your rewards after the smell is gone.”

But they wanted to pray with Prophet (s), they didn’t want to be outside the circle, so they didn’t move, no one went out, because they wanted halaaq adh-dhikr with Prophet (s). You cannot describe what it means to pray with him (s)!

So Sayyidina `Umar (r) said, “I will pass between the rows and everyone must blow and I will smell their breath! If I smell anything bad, I will beat him up!” They were all afraid of him as he was jalali, majestic, not like Sayyidina `Ali, Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq or Sayyidina Uthman (r), who were diplomats. The angels were afraid when Sayyidina `Umar (r) said one word, like when Munkar and Nakeer (a) came to question Sayyidina `Umar (r) in his grave, “Who is your Lord? Who is your Creator?” He said, “Why ask me? Ask yourself!”

Those Sahaabah who had eaten raw onion and garlic had to go out and join from afar. Some people freshen their breath with mints or gum. Allah gave us dhikrullah to refresh our spiritual and physical power so that angels can approach us and take all good `amal of human beings up to the First Heaven: prayer, fasting, reading Holy Qur'an, etc. So how can we make our tongues and mouth clean for the angels to come down and take that up? By dhikrullah, that is how to clean and purify yourself, and make your breath fresh so angels are able to hug and rub you!

ما جلس قوم يذكرون الله إلا نزلت عليهم السكينة وغشيتهم الرحمة وحفتهم الملائكة وذكرهم الله في من عنده

And no group of people sit together remembering Allah except with tranquility descending upon them, mercy covering them, and the angels surrounding them, and Allah mentioning them to those in His Presence. (Muslim)

‘Haffa shayy’ is to rub or polish. Whenever people make dhikrullah, Allah sends His angels to sit with them. We don’t know how many. Angels encompass them, rub and pat them, are happy with them, and sit with them in circles up to the First Heaven. How big of circles? We don't know if they are tiny or vast, the size of this whole universe. The Heavens are outside the realm of dunya: stars and planets are in dunya, but Heavens are part of Akhirah, Azaali Abaadi. Allah created them, we don’t know when. From their dhikrullah, He will send His servants to Paradise on the Day of Resurrection. May Allah make our breaths clean in Akhirah and in dunya with dhikrullah! As soon as you open your mouth to say one of Allah's Beautiful Names and Attributes, that is dhikrullah:

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ

Huw Allahu 'Lladhee laa ilaaha illaa Huwa 'l-Maaliku 'l-Quddusa 's-Salaam!

He is Allah, the One Whom (there is) no god but He, the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Giver of Peace. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:23)

To say any of His Names is dhikrullah. Grandshaykh (q) said, “As soon as you intend to make dhikrullah and you say any of Allah’s Beautiful Names such as “ar-Rahmaan” even once, that moment it appears in Heavens.”

What is the distance between you and Heaven? If you want to calculate as physicists do, it is beyond calculation. There are heavenly numbers that we don't understand, with that speed they go by kun faya kun. Any moment you recite dhikrullah, by kun faya kun it immediately appears in Heavens on the Lawh al-Mahfoozh. How many miles did it move? If we moved towards Heavens and tried to calculate the distance in miles we would be losers, we would never reach. Instead, we reach by dhikrullah that even surpasses the Seven Heavens! Awliyaullah say the distance between one heaven and another is 500,000 years, but what kind of years? Allah made one night, Laylat al-Qadr, worth more than a thousand months!

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. (Surat al-Qadr, 97:3)

Consider every dhikrullah, each recitation of “ar-Rahman, ar-Raheem.” How many rewards will you receive? One night of dhikrullah is better than a thousand months, so we are lucky Allah granted us to make it! That refreshes our breath, our body and our mind. Allah rewards us with that.

So when Sayyidina `Umar (r) asked the Sahaabah (r) to move outside the circle, they thought about the treasures the others would get, but not them. The Prophet (s) promised, “I will keep them and give them to you after the prayer.” Then their hearts were satisfied and tranquil, mutma`inna quloobahum. Dhikrullah is important in everything we do: walking, working or driving. When you make dhikrullah, eventually your tongue will do it by itself. Mureeds reach a state in which they don't need to think about it; as soon as they start, the tongue begins to make dhikr without it moving. Many of you have observed that.

Grandshaykh (q) gave an example of a hunter: when he shoots his gun the prey falls, then you hear the sound of the shot, with seconds between the two. He said when you do dhikrullah you kill your ego, then you hear Allah’s rewards coming to you. If you don't kill the ego by disobeying (shooting) it, you will not hear the sound of the gun. So if you want your `amal to go up quickly, do it with dhikrullah. Wa laa dhikrullahi akbar, “There is no way to describe how great dhikrullah is.” Allah says that, “Verily dhikrullah is greater than anything you can imagine.”

وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ

And indeed, remembrance of Allah is the greatest [good]. (Surat al-Ankabut, 29:45)

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) was in khalwah with Grandshaykh `AbdAllah in Madinatu 'l-Munawwara. Mawlana Shaykh’s khalwah was nine months and Grandshaykh’s was one year. Shaykh Nazim (q) only went out for the prayer in Haram ash-Shareef; the rest of the time the room was closed. When Grandshaykh (q) entered that seclusion in 1967, he covered all the windows with wood, so there was no sunlight. They used an olive oil lamp for reading. Grandshaykh (q) was like a waterfall: du`a came from his heart and he recited Holy Qur'an, Dalaa’il al-Khayraat and dhikrullah non-stop. He said, “I have closed the door on dunya and will emerge dead or alive, it’s up to them.” Grandshaykh (q) never came out except to make wudu; he spent one year inside that room.

When he was 18 years old, Grandshaykh Sharafuddin (q) ordered him into seclusion in a cave in the Daghestan mountains. For five years, he didn’t go out. In 24 hours, he ate one piece of bread the size of your hand and seven olives, and he said sometimes he didn’t even feel like eating that. He was very heavy when he went in, 200 kg, and when he came out he was very slim. That is why we have one foot in dunya and one in Akhirah, but with the barakah of dhikrullah, both feet are in Akhirah. SubhaanAllah.

There is khalwati jalwati, seclusion in the company of people and family, but still you must keep your tongue busy only with Akhirah. The thirty days of Rajab are for khalwah, then come the ten days of Sha`baan in which you may speak, but only in certain circumstances, there is relaxed permission (jalwati).

Grandshaykh `AbdAllah told Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), after that khalwah a man came to him and said, “I want to renew my baya` to you.” Out of respect, Grandshaykh did not ask who the man’s shaykh was. He said, “When he approached to take baya`, I never smelled such a sweet, beautiful fragrance as the one from his mouth. It was a scent of dhikrullah not found in dunya and I have been with that for forty years. That `alim was from Iran and joined Tariqat an-Naqshbandiyya al-`Aliyya.”

Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) said it is the beautiful scent of dhikrullah that cleans your entire body, so make dhikrullah during the day and at night, saying, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah, laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah `alayha nahya wa `alayha namoot wa `alayha nalq ’Llah.”

Whenever someone approaches Awliyaullah, first their smell arrives. When they make dhikrullah, as soon as they remember Allah (swt) the information is immediately attained and reaches the First Heaven. I asked about this in my heart and received the answer from Grandshaykh (q) through spiritual means. Day and night he never stops making dhikrullah, making his breath very clean. People came to him due to that nice smell. They say don't go to a blacksmith, as for sure his fire might burn you; rather, go to a perfumer as you will get a nice fragrance on your hand, so run to that.

When you give them salaam, by the smell coming from your mouth Awliyaullah detect your good and bad `amal. They know we are lazy and they make istighfaar on our behalf, as Allah ordered the Prophet (s) to make istighfaar on behalf of the Ummah

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

If they had only, when they were unjust (oppressor) to themselves, come to you and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nisaa, 4:64)

They ask Allah for forgiveness and Prophet (s) intercedes on their behalf, forgiving them. So Awliya can detect whether it is a good or bad smell (baraka or sins). Every smell has its own category, it’s deeds are recorded, and Awliyaullah see them. May Allah (swt) keep us in a good state with Awliyaullah. Inshaa-Allah we will continue next time. a bad smell indicates sins,

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