Zuhd - leaving dunya
Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
Masjid al-Iman, Oakland, Calif.
O Believers, Muslims! Everything around us tells us one thing: whatever you look at in this world is telling us one thing. You cannot prevent it from happening. However hard you try, of whatever you try of technology, or try to give of advice, whatever you are going to try, there is one thing that is obvious for every human being on earth. And that is that there is no one who is going to live forever. There is no one going to survive more than what has been given or planned for him or her. Look around the world. Everything has an age. When that age comes, that thing shuts down. From any living thing, anything that has a soul, one day is going to die. Is it not? Human beings or animals or trees, or nature. Anything that has something moving in it or shows life in it is going to end. There is now way that it is going to last. The other thing is that whatever you have made at one time is going to die. Anything that you can imagine, even a car, at one period of time is gone. A plane, a computer. So everything has a time limit. Since there is a time limit, why are we fighting for this dunya that is going to die also. Why are human beings, for what cause? Everything is ending. That is why there is no way that you can do to prolong or stretch out your life or the life others. So what are you running after? Running after “ad-dunya al-jeefatun,” “the corpse of this dunya.” “Ad-dunya raasu kullu khatiyya.” – “this world is the head of every sin.”
Dunya is a dry corpse. Like dogs biting on a dead corpse and eating or like cats. We must learn from the ibra (example) the Prophet (s) showed us.
“In kuntum tuhiboon Allaha, fa-tabi`oonee yuhbibkum-ullah.” – “If you would love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you.” [3:31]
Allah says, “Follow me.” It means follow the Prophet (s). Then Allah loves you.
What did Allah ask the Prophet (s) in Isra and Mi`raj? He asked, “Ya Ahmad, Ya Muhammad, if you love to be the best (or most pious) of human beings,” - “in ahbabta an yakun awr`a an-naas fazhad fid-dunya warghab fil akhira”
That word is directed to the Prophet (s), so what about us?
He said, “fazhad fid-dunya” - "leave the dunya behind you.” "Warghab fil akhira.” – “And seek the next life.”
The hadith continues, “Fa qaala Muhammad ‘Ya ilahee, wa kayfa azhad fid-dunya?’ Fa qaala ‘fakhudh min ad-dunya bi-qadri ash-sharaab wat-t`am wal-libaas.’”
Allah swt said to the Prophet (s), “Take from dunya only your necessity of eating, drinking and clothes.” “Wa la tatakhidh li-ghadin.” “And don’t keep anything in your home for tomorrow.”
That means that, “If you keep for tomorrow you are not fearing Allah correctly.”
“Wa duma ala dhikree.” “And keep on My dhikr. - Keep remembering Me.”
“Faqaala ya rabbu kayfa adumu `ala dhikrika. Faqaala –bi khalwati `an in-naas.”
The Prophet (s) asked, “O my Lord, how do I keep constant in Your Remembrance? He swt said, “By secluding yourself from people.”
That means, “There is no benefit from being among people. You have to take from dunya only your necessities from food, drink and clothes and not involve yourself too much in it. It is not going to benefit you. Building high-rises, construction, building huge companies, building up investment stocks, building this and building that. None of that is going to make you someone whom Allah loves. That will make you someone dunya and Shaytan love.
In order to do dhikr, seclude yourself from people where there is no one except Me. Then you can remember Me correctly - when there are no more distractions. What is left then? Attraction. To Allah. You will be attracted to Allah by His love, for His Sake.
The Prophet (s) then asked, “And what else should I do?”
Allah swt replied, “Make your sleep your prayers.”
It means sleep and pray to me at night. How many of us are praying at night? No one? All of us are sleeping.
The Prophet (s) asked, “And what else?” He said, “Ija`al ata`amaka al-ju`.” – “Make your food your hunger.” It means don’t sleep with a full stomach. Because excessive food will poison you.
If that is for the Prophet (s) what is for us?
He is the one whom Allah has chose and perfected, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and Allah is telling him (s) that in Laylat al-Isra wal Mi`raj, then what about us?
“`Allamaati hubbillahi hubb il-quran.” – “The evidence that one loves Allah is demonstrated by love of Allah’s Word, the Qur’an.”
“Wa `allamati hubbillahi wa hubb il-quran wa hubbi rasulillah.” – “The evidence that one loves Allah is demonstrated by love of the Qur’an and love of Allah’s Prophet.” That is an explanation of the ayat, “In kuntum tuhiboon Allaha, fa-tabi`oonee yuhbibkum-ullah.” – “If you would love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you.” [3:31]
It means you are following with your will of obedience (irada).
“Wa `allamaati hubbihi (s) hubba sunnatih.” – “The evidence of one’s love of the Prophet (s) is love of Sunnah,” - “Wa `allamaat hubb as-Sunnah hubb il-akhira,” - “ and the sign of one’s loving the Sunnah is love of akhira.”
“Wa `allamati hubb al-akhira, bughd ad-dunya.”- “ and the sign of one’s loving the akhira is hatred of dunya.” He did not say here only, “Leave dunya,” but He said to hate it. Who hates dunya? No one.
The Sahaba gave their life fee sabeelillah, in the Way of Allah. They left their countries teaching people about Islam. They left their homes, their families and their children to teach people. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (r) died at the gates of Istanbul, going to teach those people. Quthum ibn al-`Abbas (r) died at the edge of China. So many Companions went to Central Asia and other areas. They didn’t use a sword; they brought the light of the Prophet Muhammad (s).
“Wa `allamaati bughd ad-dunya hubb al-akhira” - “ and the sign of one’s hatred of dunya is love of the afterlife (akhira).”
If you want to be most pious and sincere of people, awr`a an-naas, then take only the necessities.
Bishr al-Haafee, one of the biggest `ulama in time of the Tabi`een, the time of Imam Shafi`i and Imam Malik. He said, “I slept and saw the Prophet (s) in a dream. He said, ‘Ya Bishr. Do you know why Allah has raised your level above the others in your community?’ I said, ‘I don’t know.’ He said, ‘Because you were looking after the pious sincere people who have no interest in dunya or love of it in their heart.’”
Such people might have a lot, they are rich, they might have something, but they give it fee sabeelillah at any moment. When you help a salih person to do da`wah, that is able to help those …
“The Prophet (s) added, ‘and you give advice to our brothers.’”
He was a big scholar, always advising them to leave dunya and hate it.
“And the Prophet (s) continued, ‘And your love to your companions. And you love all of them the same and you make them to love each other equally.’”
It means: you help them not to fight among themselves. It is easy to love the imam, but it is not easy to love the people here. If you love the amir, you must love the people in that place. You must love each other as you love the amir. Else that is not complete love.
“Wa mahabatik li Ahl as-Sunnah.” – “Your love to those who follow the Sunnah.”
Those who are not moving left or right; who are with haqq against baatil. There are many today who by name are Muslims but are not following the Sunnah of the Prophet (s). Where is that love of the Prophet (s)? If you are a leader in your community you must be differentiated from a normal person. You have to be a perfect symbol, representing Muslims and Islam. Why don’t you behave yourself, by following the Sunnah of the Prophet (s)? I am not going into that subject as it is an irritating one.
You have to love those who follow the Sunnah. Love those who take only what they need from this dunya. Instead today we are gathering money in banks.
I lived in one Gulf country whose name I won’t mention, and there the people - the rich and the elite - compete in how much they have in the banks. They will count how much one has more than the other. This is what they speak of in their gatherings.
What do they count? They don’t say 30 million dollars or 40 million dollars. They speak in billions of dollars. 7 billion dollars; 10 billion dollars. They talk of cash money.
Where is that zuhd, taking only what you need of dunya. And the Prophet said, “…and your following of the Sunnah.” This means, “Your following my Sunnah, not these ideologies from here and there. Nothing is deviating you here and there.”
Do you know schools of thought in Islam? You know four schools of Islam.
Mohammad Abu Zahra of al-Azhar University in Cairo, wrote a book called Taarikh al-Islam. He counted more than 434 schools of thought in Islam. What caused that division? For what reason? Is that what the Prophet asked us to do?
I will end up with a hadith, narrated by Muslim who said, "su'ila Rasulullah `an sawmi `Arafat.” – “They asked the Prophet (s) on fasting the Day of `Arafat.” That is the day of Hajj. “Qaala yukaffiru sannat al-maadiya wal baaqiyya.”
It means, “whoever fasts the day of `Arafat, Allah will forgive him from all the sins he committed the year before.” That means all the sins from this `Arafat to the previous `Arafat. “And He will forgive you the sins you will commit from this `Arafat to next year’s `Arafat.”
O Muslims, try to fast that day, because Allah will take your sins away and forgive you the last year’s sins and protect you from falling into sins in the following year up to the next `Arafat.