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Who are we, Ahl as-Sunna wal-Jama`at?

Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim
Allahumma Salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa `ala alihi wa ashabihi ajma`in

Who are we, Ahl as-Sunna wal-Jama`at?

A Talk by As-Sayyid Hisham Muhammad Kabbani, Chairman of As-Sunna Foundation of America

Respected brothers and `ulama and honorable sisters, I want to say that besides the `ulama who are here we also have Imam Senad, who is responsible for the Bosnian community in America and their Imam. We welcome him because he came recently from a trip to Bosnia and some other countries. May Allah give him help and support.

It is an honor and a pleasure that tonight we are here for Sayyidina Abdul-Qadir Jilani, Ghawth Azam. Ghawth Azam in the English languge means Arch-Intercessor. He is an intercessor for people in the presence of Muhammad (s) who is in his turn an intercessor in the presence of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) said in one hadith that there are some “who can intercede in His presence, by His permission.” Nowadays we have to say for every hadith that it is “authentic,” because today there is so much ignorance. Before, we didn’t have to say “authentic.” As soon as you say the hadith, everyone would understand, “This is a hadith.” We are Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama`ah and we must believe according to what Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama`ah have taught us and given to us. Not like the pseudo-`ulama of today who think so highly of themselves. May Allah protect Islam from ignorant people.

I am very happy that I am here today in a place, a Muslim center , where people come together to worship Allah (swt). Allah alone is to be worshipped, and Sayyidina Muhammad (s) is the one to be praised. Unfortunately some people confuse, nowadays, worshipping and praising. If we say we are praising Muhammad (s), they are saying we are worshipping him. If we praise a shaykh, they say we are worshiping him. If you ask a Muslim child a small question , “Who is Allah? Who is your Creator?” he will say “Allah.” “Whom do you worship?” He will say “Allah” We never tell the child, “Say Muhammad (s).” We never saw a child say “I worship Muhammad (s).” From where are they bringing these new ideologies, that that if you praise Sayyidina Muhammad (s) “too much” you are guilty of shirk? Allah ordered us to praise Muhammad (saw)!

In Islam there are no elections. From where do you bring this democracy? There is no democracy in Islam! Islam is bay`a to an amir. When you give your hand to the amir, he takes care of you. From where do you get this “board of trusties!?” And these “directors” and these other flashy names? But you are nothing but small children – sitting and thinking you are pharoahs. Allah (swt) is taking everything into account. And Allah (swt) is going to ask you about this on the Day of Judgment.

You are coming against Allah (swt) and his awliya – His saints. Even your teacher, your scholar, the teacher Ibn Taymiyyah, in his book Fatawa Al-Kubra, he was quoting this holy hadith from Prophet (saw), “Allah said,”(this is from Ibn Taymiyyah, your teacher) “WHOEVER COMES AGAINST A WALI, I WILL DECLARE WAR AGAINST HIM!” (“Allahu Akbar!” -from the crowd). This is your teacher, not our teacher. Although he was a good muhaddith, a good faqih, and good in Arabic, his `aqidah was corrupted. They say that Qadris’, Naqshbandies’, Rifa`is’, Chistis’ `aqidah is corrupted. No, their `aqidah is corrupted. (Allahu Akbar!) . Because our aqidah is the fountain , it is the essence of Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama`ah, the `aqidah of the Sahaba and the Prophet (s). And it is the state of ihsan.

Our `aqidah is not corrupted. Unlike them, we don’t say Allah is sitting on a chair. We don’t say that Allah has a direction. We don’t say Allah has a body. No, we say, “He’s with you wherever you are” . Who is better, who is stronger, who is more powerful, Allah or Shaytan? And Shaytan is with you everywhere, so Allah is not with you? They say, “No, Allah is not with you, His knowledge is with you.” No. You cannot call people mushrik or kafir. They say you have to say “tawhid uluhiyyah” or “tawhid rubbiyyah.” They are inventing too many tawhids nowadays. We say “La ilaha illallah.” This is what we know. Now they say “no, you have to say “tawhid uluhiyya” and “tawhid rubbiya.” Tawhid uluhiyya is to say “La ilaha illallah,” and then tawhid rubbiyya is to say, “La ilaha illallah” . The Prophet did not say , ” Say “La ilaha illallah” and “La ilaha illallah.” Prophet (saw) said, “La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur Rasulallah.”

What do we say? “We are Ahl as-sunnah wal Jama`ah.” Some people follow Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim . Ahl as-sunnah wal Jama`ah are the followers of the four schools of Islam. Ibn Hajar Asqalani , As-Subki, Imam Nawawi were of the `Ashari `aqidah and they were Sufi. They had imams, they had shaykhs. Even  Ibn Taymiyyah, had a Shaykh – Abdul-Qadir Jilani. He took bay`a on the hand of Abdul Qadir Jilani through six generations. How do you deny tasawwuf?

Ibn Taymiyyah’s followers, go and read his books. Did not Ibn Taymiyyah dedicate two volumes (Fatawa Al-Kubra, Volumes 10 and 11) of discourse to tasawwuf and seeking the way to Allah through awliya? Every book is 700 pages for a total of 1400 pages, every single word describing Sufism, and he said, “Tasawwuf is the state of ihsan and it is described in the Holy Qur’an as tazkiyyat-an-nafs. ” But because the term tasawwuf was derived from four different roots, it became tasawwuf. One root was suff, wool, and one from suffa – the soft sponge. And then he mentioned that Allah said, ” Who ever harms one of my saints, I will declare war against him.” Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned many times that awliya are at different stages. He defined tasawwuf as of three different types. Some people, they are mustaswifeen–they have nothing to do with tasawwuf but use tasawwuf for getting money – these are on one side. There are others using tasawwuf to attain fame, these are on one side also. But there are mutasawwifa who are really on the way of Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama`ah, on the way of Sayyidina Muhammad (s), they attained ma`rifah – they are ones with knowledge and these are the Sufis Ibn Taymiyya was following .

And Ibn Taymiyyah was a follower of the Qadiri tariqat, and he mentioned in his books two of its adherents, Saqqati and Junayd. He also discussed Sayyidina Abu Yazid Al-Bistami, from the Naqshbandi tariqat. Then he mentioned from the women’s side Rabia al-`Adawiyyah. And he gave explanations of what people did not understand from the words of these awliya,  and excused their utterances (shatahaat). He felt that these people when saying many of their teachings were in the state of ma`rifah, in a state of annihilation, and in a state of kashf. He even admitted the kashf (visions) in his book Fatawa Al-Kubra of 37 volumes. Those who read Arabic go to the volumes 10 and 11 and you will find it.

So of whom should we be afraid? We must say haqq against baatil. Allah said in the Holy Quran, “Those who remember Allah (swt), and those who make dhikr.” And he said “those,” the plural. He did not say individual, He said jama`ah. And it is in the Holy Qur’an. So what is the problem here? Thereis no problem. Did Allah not order us, “Pray on Prophet (s) and praise him”? So if we stand and praise the Prophet (s), is this not the order of Allah from the Holy Qur`an? We are standing and saying “As-salamu `alayka ya ayuhan-Nabi, as-salamu `alayka ya Rasulallah, as-salat was-salamu `alayka ya Habibullah, was-salatu was-salamu `alayka ya Shafi`ullah, was-salatu was-salamu `alayka ya Nabiullah.” Alhamdulillah we are standing and giving salams.

Who says Prophet (s) doesn’t hear us? Didn’t the Prophet (saw) say, “Whoever greets me, I will hear him, whoever greets me from afar, I will receive his greetings”? We are far from Medina – if we praise the Prophet (s), he will receive it immediately. And Allah ordered him, “If anyone praises You, give back the salutations.” And Allah says, “Whoever is Praising My Prophet Muhammad (s), I will reward him ten times.”

Did not the Prophet (s) say, ” The `amal of my ummah will be presented to me in my grave”? He didn’t limit this to either nighttime or day – this state is continuous. It is continuous, not stopping. The Prophet (saw) is in continuous observation of the `amal of the ummah. If our acts are good, he (s) praises Allah (swt), If they are bad, he (s) asks Allah (swt) for repentance on our behalf. What more do you want from our Prophet (s)? He is in continuous action. The Prophet (s) said, “Allah has forbidden the Earth to eat the flesh of prophets.” The Prophet (s) is in continuous action – so this means he is in continuous action with his body in the grave. And it is Riyadhul-Jannah, his grave is a Garden of Paradise for the Prophet (s).

The followers of the Salafi school say that the Prophet (s) is sitting in a grave, 6 feet by 3. No. It is a Paradise, and it is so wide that no one knows its limit. It might be wider than universes. So if he is being given the observance of the actions of his ummah and he is in continuous action, it means that he is in continuous light. And he said on the Night of `Isra and Mi`raj, “I saw Musa (as) praying in his grave.” How did he see Musa – praying, standing or sitting,or laying down? What kind of vision did he have? What kind of sight? It is reality! Prophet (s) said, “I saw Musa (as) standing, praying in his grave.” If the Prophet (s) said standing, praying in his grave (he didn’t say he was standing “without a body but with a soul;” no, he said “standing, praying in his grave”, then we have to take the meaning literally, as the Salafis say you have to take everything literally. So we take it literally. How do you stand and pray? Show me, let someone stand and pray. With his body, and that’s why Allah (swt) gave the awliya a station that he has never given anyone else. And it is especially for them. No one can reach that level.

Sayyidina Mohammad (saw) is the Seal of Prophets (s), he is the Beginning of prophets, he is the End of prophets. He is encompassing everything, like two poles, two magnets. One magnet is positive, the other negative, pulling together. Pulling the universes together. His prophecy is from the beginning, that is why Sayyidina Muhammad (s) said, if we have minds to understand, “I was a prophet when Adam (as) was between clay and water,” and, “I am the Seal of Prophets.” So he is older than the time from the beginning of creation to the end of creation. Between his poles is the creation. He is the poles of the magnets that are holding everything, by Allah’s permission – through the Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad (s). And that’s why Allah (swt) said, “If not for you, I would not have created anything.”

If you are Arab, alhamdulillah. That is something to be happy for because Prophet (s) was Arab. The respect for us as Arabs comes from respect for Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad (s). The Arabs’ respect comes from Prophet (s), Sayyidina Muhammad (s). And he said, “There is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab except in righteousness.” You are coming here to celebrate and remember a personality that Allah has given spiritual powers – Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani. And by doing so you are also giving respect and love to Sayyidina Muhammad (s) because Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani is his grandchild.

Before I conclude, I would like to say that, alhamdulillah, Allah will protect this nation. And we are on the right path. We are happy to say, “May Allah (swt) share whatever rewards He is giving to this meeting held for the sake of and the praising of Muhammad (s), and whatever Allah is sending of blessings to Abdul Qadir Jilani, and all Sufi orders, and all spiritual people, and all Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama`ah. May Allah share with us his blessing on Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani, and the blessing on Sayyidina Muhammad (s). And we ask Allah (swt) to bring all hearts back to Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama`ah. To be of one heart and in unity, insha’Allah.


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