Stories from Shaykhs of Sham ash-Shareef
To benefit all believers, Sayyidina Muhammad (s) said, “Eat and drink...” (Mawlana Shaykh Nazim says to his guest) As much as you eat and drink, the Prophet (s) is happy! It is a training in adab for the ummah, as the Prophet (s) often said, “I sit like the servant sits and I eat like the servants eats." This is a lesson in `uboodiyyah, servanthood, to all human beings, so they will not be proud, arrogant or oppressors! SubhanAllah
. Our sayyid (guest) knows such things and for our gathering to be blessed (I am saying this), for the barakah (of your visit)! The Prophet (s) said, adabanee rabbee, “My Lord granted me good manners,” he did not say, “My Lord taught me.” Therefore, to learn good manners is better than to learn knowledge.
There are no more good-mannered people, from East to West. Between the believers, the Muslims, we became those about whom the Prophet (s) said, “There will come a time where nothing will be left of Islam except its name and of religion except for its symbol." SubhanAllah
, there are no good manners left, the basis of our religion, as Prophet (s) describes it, "I sit as the servant sits," this is the teaching from Al-Haqq (swt) to him. What can we do? His Lord granted him good manners. Allah (swt) did not order him (to have good manners); Prophet (s) did not say, amaranee rabbee, "My Lord ordered me," rather, he said, adabanee rabbee, "My Lord granted me good manners."
With amr, “order,” comes force, but to be granted good manners is something else.
Allah (swt) likes servanthood from His servants. Allahu Akbar! The whole nation of the Beloved (s) has lost good manners, from their kings, their leaders and their scholars. Nobody is asking from the shaykhs because all their scholars have lost good manners. It is the attribute of the scholars (...) as mentioned in the Qur’an:
إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاء
Innamaa yakhshallaha min `ibaadihi ‘l-`ulama. It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah. (35:28)
Where are these scholars? They don't know their right hand from their left, and all they aspire to is to fill their stomachs!
There was one from the scholars of Damascus who was “saahib ahwaal” (in spiritual states) and he was an imam in the mosque in a place called Marja which the devilish people destroyed. The imam was a very nice person with a light spirit, from the awqaf (Ministry of Religious Affairs). His name was `Abdul-Wahhab as-Salahi. He had spiritual states, he had glory, and his voice, mashaa-Allah! May Allah raise his power and station. Sometimes when a person dies, after forty days they bake some bread to distribute. Sometimes that imam is looking for me to tell me there is a meeting of the awqaf. I am looking then to see to what he is pointing, like saying, “Salaam `alaykum. There is a gathering more important than this one and I want to go there!" Nobody else in the gathering knew this signal. May Allah bless his soul. He was very nice and had good manners. SubhanAllah
‘l-`Aliyyi ‘l-`Azheem. Now there is nothing left except “khushubun musannadah,” dry wood, there are no more (like him), as Allah (swt) in the Holy Qur’an:
وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ تُعْجِبُكَ أَجْسَامُهُمْ وَإِن يَقُولُوا تَسْمَعْ لِقَوْلِهِمْ كَأَنَّهُمْ خُشُبٌ مُّسَنَّدَةٌ
Wa idha ra’aytahum tu`jibuka ajsaamuhum wa in yaqooloo tasma` li-qawlihim ka-annahum khushubun musannadah. When you see them their bodies please you, but when they speak and you listen to their sayings, they are like propped-up timber. (al-Munafiqoon, 63:4)
May Allah (swt) forgive us and send us scholars from Shaam ash-Shareef, the land filled with shaykhs! Shaykh `Abdul-Wahhab as-Salahi had such glory and his voice was so loud. SubhanAllah
! Sometimes I came down to the market from Jabal Qasiyun to buy what was needed for my house, and when it was time to pray Zhuhr I went to his mosque. SubhanAllah
, not once did he lead the prayer, whether it was Zhuhr or `Asr, but he appointed me to be imam. I always said, "No, you!" but he insisted, saying, "No, it must be you."
After the prayer, he used to take me by my hand to a room that was connected to the mosque so the visitors may come inside. At that time people were busy; they did not come and therefore he used to make a meal called “Chun-chun,” tomatoes, onions and eggs fried together. He himself fried them and he used two loaves of bread, and he brought it and always called me saying, "Shaykh Nazim, come!" He ate with me and whatever was needed financially he gave me because I was not employed; I had no real work so he used to give me something. May Allah bless his soul! Several times he used to come.
One day he came, and due to our situation we did not buy anything in the market. They used to weigh pieces of fabric then. Once I paid 20 Siryan for fabric and, may Allah bless the soul of the mother of my children (Hajjah Anne rahmatullah `alayhi), who was an excellent tailor. She made me a jubbah from that fabric.
Shaykh `Abdul-Wahhab asked me, “Who made this jubbah for you, Shaykh Nazim?"
I told him, "Your servant, the mother of my children." Astonishing, he liked it! He also bought a piece of fabric that was pre-cut and several tailors told him it was not enough fabric to make a jubbah.
Then he called, "O Umm Muhammad!" to the mother of my children.
She answered, "Yes, Sayyidee."
"Allah bless you! Please look at this piece of fabric I bought. All the tailors told me it is not enough to make a jubbah, but you fit for it.”
She replied, "As you like.” She measured him and tailored a jubba that was perfect for him. After that, he used to say, “The most famous tailor is Umm Muhammad!” the mother of my son, Muhammad (Shaykh Mehmet). May Allah bless her soul.
What can we do O Shaykh? May Allah bless you. May Allah forgive us and correct our situation. Do you know Shaykh Yahya as-Sabbagh from Shaam? You were not in his time. After `Isha prayer he left the mosque and upon reaching his home, he looked behind him and saw a long line of dogs had followed his steps. Then he called his wife and said, “Bring whatever food you can find in the house as my group is behind me,” and he fed the long line of dogs! He was also a person with spiritual states and although he was illiterate, he used to give explanation of the words of Shaykh Muhiyudeen Ibn `Arabi (q).
When you enter the mosque of Muhiydeen Ibn `Arabi, the maqaam is on the left side. I often went there with my master, Shaykh `AbdAllah
al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani (q), for Jumu`ah prayers and I carried his shoes. After prayers, Shaykh Yahya as-Sabbagh sat on the left side near the maqaam of Sayyidina Muhiydeen Ibn `Arabi and did not go down. However, whenever Shaykh `AbdAllah
(q) passed in front of him, he immediately stood up to greet him, and I never saw him reply to the greetings of Shaykh `AbdAllah
(q) while sitting. He called those beside him, "Come quickly and help me stand up!" Also, Shaykh `Abd Allah al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani (q) always greeted him while standing, never while sitting.
Once there was an invitation in one of our brother's house for someone who passed away, to which Shaykh `Abdul-Wahhab as-Salahi (q) took me. I entered and saw Shaykh Yahya as-Sabbagh (q) sitting there in his usual place. Once he asked me, "O young man! Who is your shaykh?"
I replied, "My master is Shaykh `AbdAllah
He said, “Hold fast to him for he is the only one who meets with the Prophet (s) yaqzhatan, in a waking state, not in his dreams! Hold fast to him!"
May Allah raise his station and grant us benefit through him. When you mention the name of righteous ones, mercy descends on the meeting. Is it not true? Allah Allah!
My Lord, forgive us and grant us repentance and remove every burden from our bodies. These are your servants and they have come all the way here to give us honor.
You coming here has dressed us with honor, for which we can never give your proper due. They told me that a shaykh is coming from Bahrain. I said, “He is coming because he has been ordered to come.” Welcome to him! You have honored us, mashaa-Allah! He is like my son. Look over there! (Mawlana Shaykh Nazim kisses his hand.) (laughter)
Guest: From now on I will always kiss this [my own] hand! Imam ar-Rufa`i used to say, "When I was far, I used to send my soul to kiss [the hand of the Prophet] in the World of Souls. For forty years, I’ve been carrying the musk of the Prophet’s scent on my hand. Whoever likes to kiss the Prophet (s) may kiss my hand." So now whoever wants to kiss Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) may kiss my hand, because his scent will forever remain in my hand!
Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem. We are asking for your du`a.
Guest: Praise be upon the most honorable Prophet, Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and those who follow him in goodness up to Judgment Day. Laa hawla wa laa quwatta illa billahi 'l-`Aliyyu 'l-`Azheem. O Allah! Bestow us with Your grants, praise our Prophet (s), our Master (s), and keep us firm on the right way. O Allah Almighty! Praise the soul of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! Praise the body of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! Praise the heart of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)! Praise the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (s)! Praise the Station of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and his Family and Companions (r)! O Allah Almighty! Grant the perfect praising to our Prophet (s), a praising that may solve all problems and remove every difficulty. O Allah! Shower us with Your Mercy. For the sake of the Great Master, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q), forgive us and everyone, and the rest of the Muslims from East to West. Grant us and all those who are attending, those who have come with us and all Muslims, those living and deceased, from his secrets and his support, and make us from those who love him, and those who are keeping firm between his hands. Wa sallAllahu `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad, an-nabiyyi ’l-ummiyy wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallim, for the sake of the Beloved Prophet (s). al-Fatihah.