Fatima’s Sermon (Fadakiya) In Madinah - 2/4
Al-hamdulil-Lah, Rabbi 'l-Alameen, wa salla Allahu 'ala Sayyidina Muhammadin, wa 'ahlih at-tahirin. [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad]. 'Ashadu an la ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la sharika la, khalimatan Ja’ala al-ikhlasa ta'wilaha, wa dhammaha al-qulubaha ma'usulaha, wa ’anara fi 'taffakuri ma’qulaha'.'
These were the sentences from the Sermon of Fatimat uz-Zahra, salam Ullah alayha [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad], in the Masjid un-Nabi addressing the companions. Now we said that, with "la ilaha illa Allah" Lady Fatimah, salam Ullah alayha, has actually explored three aspects of this great message of the Prophet. You remember, the Prophet used to say 'Qulu La ilaha illa Allah tuflahu - say La ilaha illa Allah and you will prosper.' You will succeed in your endeavors in life and in hereafter. So what is the real deeper insight into "La ilaha illa Allah"? Now, the first thing we discussed last night was what was mentioned by our great Siddiqah, 'Khalimatan Ja’ala al-ikhlasa ta'wilaha.' This is of course a sentence but the ta'wil of it, is ikhlas. The way it translates into your actions, it should be ikhlas.
It means that "La ilaha illa Allah" in itself, of course is something you utter. However, it has some implications. There is nothing to be absorbed to, to be attracted to, to be obedient to, to be subservient to except Allah. Now these things we may say, however they may manifest themselves. They should manifest themselves in our actions. And when they manifest themselves in our actions, this is the ta'wil of "La ilaha illa Allah" in what we do and this is the meaning of ikhlas. Ikhlas means purity. Now, purity in action and purity in one's soul and heart. Both of them have this meaning of khuloos, but with certain difference I mention now.
Before proceeding further, let me just read to you a Hadith from Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq 'alayhi as-salam [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad], in explanation of the verse in Surah Al-Mulk: "Alladhee khalaqa al-mawta wa al-hayaata liyabluwakum ayyukum ahsanu 'amala" (67:2). Allah has created life and death to test you to see who is best in conduct.
Who is best in conduct is a very, very interesting terminology. "Ahsanu 'amala" and very insightful purpose of creation. It doesn't say to test you to see whose good and whose bad. No. To test you to see who's better, and who's better, and who is still better. What about those who are bad? That's not my purpose of creation. I have created this life to see who would somehow move up the ladder of vicinity to Me, comes closer and closer and closer. "Liyabluwakum ayyukum ahsanu 'amalaa" (67:2). Now this is a different discussion.
However, the discussion is between the Imam 'alayhi as-salam and Sufiyan Ibn Awyain. Now Sufiyan Ibn Awyain is a very respectful Sunni scholar and very famous of course, a contemporary of Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq. Usually he came and discuss matters with Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq and the discussion between Sufiyan Ibn Awyain and Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq shows how the Sunni world actually was reacting to the teachings of A'imma 'alayhim us-salam , and how certain things had to be rectified by the Imam, because usually they thought that the more you pray, the more you fast, the more you recite the Qur'an without any deep understanding, that's enough. Now, Imam is actually rejecting that idea here.
He says 'Laysa ya'ni aktharu 'amala.' When Allah says "Liyabluwakum ayyukum ahsanu 'amala" (67:2), it doesn't mean 'aktharu 'amala' the one who acts more. I don't think at the time of Amir ul-Mu'minin anyone acted more on salat and fast and recitation than of the Qur'an than the Khawarij, who were the predecessors of ISIS, the same, the same mentality, the same thought. So it doesn't mean that, you have, these have to actually go beyond your tongue, go beyond your mind. It should penetrate into your heart and soul.
So "Liyabluwakum ayyukum ahsanu 'amala" (67:2), to test you to see who is best in conduct, doesn't mean 'aktharu 'amala,' the one who does it more. No. 'Wa innama al-israabah' its 'balakan aswabukum 'amala.' The one who does it more correctly, aswabukum. Isabah means to hit the target, isn't it? To do it something rightly. Now ahsanukum 'amala means aswabukum 'amala. Now what is Isabah? What is correctness? What is rectitude in doing these things? 'Innama al-isabah khashyatu Allah, wa an-niyyatu sadiqah wa al-hasana.' First of all, it should create in you khashya. Khashya is an experience of God's Presence. This is khashya. It's different from khawf. Khawf is or taqwa. This is fearing from consequences of our acts, yes? That's something we fear about future. Khashya is when you experience the Presence of God and that experience creates awe in your heart. This is what the worship should you, do it to you. If it doesn't, it means it is not Isabah, you are not hitting the target.
So, 'Innama al-isabah khashyatu Allah, wa an-niyyatu sadiqah', and things should be done with good intention and with good intention and not creating mischief. Some people do things with good intention, but create mischief. 'Wa al-hasana,' of course. It should create benevolence, it should create kindness. It should create a good for humanity. This is, of course Isabah.
'Thumma qal,' then he said, you know you start an act, you want to do it for the sake of God. You started for the sake of God but then things lead you to somehow divert from that very pure thing that you are doing for God. 'Thumma qal al-ibqa'oo ala al-'amal hatta yakhlusa ashaddu min al-'amal.' To keep on going and making the act to be pure for the sake of God is more difficult than the act itself.
'Wa al-'amalu al-khalis alladhee la yureedu ayyahmalaka 'alayka ahlul illa Allah.' What is 'amal al-khalis? What's pure act for God? Is that you do it only for the sake of God, you don't want to be praised by it, for it. Actually you don't care anymore. Your love, your attention, your direction, everything is towards God. That's why you don't care at all. It's not important for you what people say about you, whether they praise you or criticize it is not important for you now. What is important for you is that you are absorbed to God's Greatness, to God's Love.
Now, why this is important because it changes us. It changes our soul, it changes our hearts, is not, we don't do it because of God, God doesn't need it, God doesn't need 'amalu al-khalis. ''Alaa lil-Allahi deen ul-khalis.' Deen should be khaalis for Allah. However, for your own sake, not for Allah, ok? It changes things in you.
Now, the ta'wil of "La ilaha illa Allah" is ikhlaas. In action, you do things for the sake of God and then you manifest "La ilaha illa Allah" in your soul, in your hearts. Then it goes beyond the acts, beyond the action. It goes beyond the action. The action is pure for God. You continuously do it purely for God. And when you say purely for God, it doesn't happen overnight. You have to increase in knowledge about God. You have to increase in love for God. And love, of course, needs knowledge because you cannot love someone who do you not know. You cannot say 'O God, I love you but I don't know you.' No. There should be some knowledge so that, that love comes.
Now, when acts continue to be purely for God, then that purity spills over into one's heart. And not only the acts will become pure, the person will become pure as well. So from the state of mukhlis. Mukhlis is someone who tries to purify his acts. Purify his acts, he would become a mukhlas. God purifies his soul, the acts would purify him. And when he becomes purified, of course, he becomes like A'imma 'alayhim us-salaam.
There is a, there's an extent to which we can do ikhlaas and purify and there are other levels of purity which is not in our hands. God should take us there and one would become mukhlas. And when you become muklas, when someone becomes muklas, then of course he knows God. He can describe God, he can talk about God. You know, when I talk about God, I talk about God of what I've heard from the Prophet and from the Imams. I cannot talk about God on my own accord. If I do it, you have to reject it, you have. Whenever I talk about God, God's Ruling, God's Attributes, you have to ask me 'Ok, who has said this? Where is it written?' Why do you ask that from me? Because I'm not an authority. That automatically means that you do not accept me as an authority rightly, because I'm not an authority. Why? Because only mukhlasoon could talk about God.
"Subhana Allahi 'an ma yasifoon" (23:91). "Illa 'ibaada Allahi al-mukhlaseen" (37:40). 'God is above whatever they describe except the mukhlasoon' - those who are purified. Why they can talk about God? Because by purity, God opens their heart, knowledge comes down to their heart and they can speak of knowledge. They can speak based on knowledge, not based on conjecture.
So when we discuss with each other, usually you see the friends sits round each other and talk about that 'In my opinion, God should be like that. In my opinion, God should do that. In my opinion, should be like that.' No, these are all just vain talk. Who has said God should be like this? Who has said God has certain Attributes? Anything, any description of God not coming from these mukhlaseen is just vain talk which you cannot, there is no authority, is not authorized talk about God.
So when "La ilaha illa Allah" manifests itself in one's heart and soul, it would elevate the person towards God. It would gives a knowledge of God to him and therefore ta'wil of "la ilaha illa Allah" which is ikhlaas, would raise a person towards Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. So the ta'wil of "La ilaha illa Allah" is ikhlaas. 'Ja’ala al-ikhlasa ta'wilaha.' This is one aspect as Fatimat uz-Zahra, peace be upon her, mention.
The other aspect: ' Wa Dhammana al-quluba wa mawsulaha.' Mawsul is the meaning, the reference for what we say, the reference for the sentence. Now you say "La ilaha illa Allah", what's the reference for you? What's the meaning for it? Where can we find the true meaning of it? The true meaning of it, you cannot find except in your hearts. 'Dhamman al-quluba mawsulaha.' The reference for this meaning is in the heart.
Now, there's always this question. Can we see God? Well, yes, we can see God, but seeing God needs a different faculty. Not eyes, you cannot see God with eyes. In a sense you can say, can, you should say, can we have knowledge of God? Yes, we can have knowledge of God, not just philosophizing about God, knowledge of God in the sense that you know something of Him. You know something of Him.
Last year we discussed, when we talked about Siddiqah. We discussed about the station of Siddiqeen, which one of the most important of it is knowledge. However, every human heart has a way to God. You can see God by your heart, by seeing, it just like when when you want to understand something you say, I see. I see, doesn't mean that you see by your eyes, you comprehend.
There is a faculty in our soul which can comprehend God and this we can say, we see God. There's no name for it, we call it ma'rifah. But there's no name for the, what that faculty leads us to. Now eyes, it leads us to see. The ears, it leads us to hear. However, the heart, it leads us to what? We don't know, what to say, to see? To comprehend God? To know God? We have no name for it. But there is a ma'rifah coming into the heart when you truly believe in "La ilaha illa Allah".
Usually when people talk 'Well why can't we see God?' I ask them 'Can you see, for example, can you see, the smell of the fragrance of lavender for example? Can you see it?' Yes, you can see it, in the sense that you can smell it. You can comprehend it. You cannot see the sound, but you can hear the sound. You cannot hear the colour but you can see the colour. We can comprehend but there are different faculties for it.
About God, yes you cannot see the God with your eyes. You can't hear His voice with your ears. However, there is a faculty that is heart, in which His ma'rifah comes and that again requires purity. The heart, which is the centre of the soul, we don't mean this physical heart, is the centre of the soul. It gives life to the soul. As the heart gives life to body, that heart, spiritual heart, is life to the soul when it receives the knowledge from God. And is through that heart that we comprehend God in the Day of Judgment. We see him. "Wujoohun yawma 'idhin naadirah " (75:22), "Ila Rabbiha nadhirah"(75:23). There are certain faces on that day which are quite fresh, delightful because they are looking at their Lord. Looking what? With the heart.
So 'Dhammana al-quluba mawsulaha.' So the meaning of La ilaha illa Allah, the reference to it, you can find it in your hearts. But why don't we find God in our hearts usually? We try to pray. We have a, we have a sort of very thin connection, thin connection. Something in us tells us that we have to be grateful to God, we have to worship God. But sometimes it's not very strong. Sometimes it becomes strong but sometimes, most of time, it's not very strong. Why? Because our attention is diverted towards other things. We are preoccupied by what God has given us and we do not think about God himself. And this is of course, a sort of calamity for human beings.
So 'Dhammana al-quluba mawsulaha.' And of course, is not only in the hearts. 'Wa ’anara fi at-tafakkurin ma’qulaha.' Now, if someone hasn't just started to get that enlightenment in the heart. If someone hasn't started to start acting based on "La ilaha illa Allah", is there a way to realize Allah? Is there a way to realize that there is no God in this world but Allah the Creator? Yes, intellect, reasoning.
There is something lit in our mind about God. We can look at His signs and we can realize that He is there. "La ilaha illa Allah", is a word. It is manifested in your intellect, is manifested in your heart, is manifested in your actions. So this is the way Fatimat uz-Zahra, peace be upon her, starts her khutbah in the mosque. 'Ashadu an la ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la sharika la, khalimatan Ja’ala al-ikhlasa ta'wilaha, wa dhammana al-quluba mawsulaha, wa ’anara fi at-tafakkurin ma’qulaha.' Very deep, of course.
Now, then as someone who is mukhlas, someone who is purified, she can now explain and talk about God. 'Al-mumtani'u min al-absaari ru'yitu.' Of course, it's impossible for the eyes to see Him. We have some traditions. We say that some of the mu'minun would see God in the Hereafter or says that the Prophet saw God when he went to mi'raj. All these traditions are either wrong, not authentic, or they should refer to seeing by the heart, not seeing by the eyes. It's impossible, whether it's in this world, whether it's in akhirah, whether it's in Paradise. Something which is not physical, how can you see with your eyes? It is not possible. Unless if of course it is manifested in His creation like what we are seeing. We are seeing of course, the Power of God, the Manifestation of His Names. Yes, these are visible. But the Essence of God can never be seen.
'Al-mumtani'u min al-absari ru'yitu, wa min al-alsuni sifhatu.' You cannot ascribe any Attribute to Him because He's above every Attributes, only names manifest. This, this is of course, I don't want to go into details about this because this opens a sort of a different avenue of discussion. 'Wa min al-awhamin kayfiyyatu.' And no imagination can ever imagine how He is. And that's true. Whatever you think about God and you say this is how God is, that is your creation. God cannot be captured by imagination. What about Hereafter? When we go to the next world? No. Still the imagination cannot capture the Essence of God. What we see until eternity are just Manifestations of His names.
Then she says something very important, which I want to discuss now and end my talk tonight. 'Dharahaa,' talks about creation. 'Dharahaa bi mashiyyati, hawanaha bi qudrati.' Created the creation with His power. 'wa dharahaa bi mashiyyati.' And started it, spread it with His will. 'Min ghayra hajaatin minhu ila takwinaha, wala faa idatin lahu fee taswi rahaa, illa tathbeetan li hikmati wa tanbeehan 'ala taa'ati.' He Created everything without any need, without any need for His Creation. 'Wala fa idatin lahu fee taswiraha.' And there was no benefit in giving its forms, except to reconfirm His Wisdom and to allude to the Creation that they should obey Him.
Now, what does this mean? First of all, He's God. Does God have a purpose in Creation? This is a question usually asked by many people, what is the purpose of God Creating us? Here we have to distinguish between two different things. The purpose of the Creation, the Creator and the purpose of the Created. We are the Created. What is the purpose of the Created? Qur'an talks about this purpose very, in length.
First of all, "Wa ma khalaqtu al-jinna wa al-insa illaa liya'budoon" (51:56). 'I have Created Jinn and Ins to worship me.' This is not purpose of God or for what He is doing. It is purpose of the Created. Our purpose is to worship and to grow by worship. " Liyabluwakum ayyukum ahsanu 'amala" (67:2). Our purpose is to be tested here in this world, to be to seen who is better in conduct and then of course, in the next world we go closer to Him based on what we do and we continue worshipping Him. That's our purpose. This is the purpose of the Created.
But what is the purpose of God Himself in Creating us? What's the Purpose of the Creator? Now, some people have mentioned a statement which they claim is a Hadith. It maybe Hadith, but if its Hadith, it should be interpreted in a different way. They say that 'Kuntu kanzan maghfiyyah, fa ahbabtu an ughraf, fa khalaqtu al-khalqa li kay ughraf.' 'I was a Hidden Teasure, I liked to be known. Then I created the Creation to be Known.' So this is my purpose. Now, if this is true, question, did God need to be known? It was 'Kanzan maghfiyyah - I was Hidden Treasure.' So what was the need to be Known for Him? This is something strange if we say that the purpose of God for Creation was to be Known. If this, even if we accept this, then what is the purpose of God in Creation? I don't know whether you ever thought about this yourself or not.
Now, I want to say something very strange here, and that is what, of course, is in a different way is mentioned in this khutba, and that is you cannot talk about God's Purpose because this is a human thing. Purpose is what is in human to attain something which they don't have. Purpose is to get a perfection which is not existent at the moment. This is purpose. And that's why every Creation of God, from the Angels to the Laws of Creation, they have purpose. Every human being should have purpose. And that purpose exists here. It exists in the Hereafter, it exists in Paradise. We always have purpose. Why? Because we always need something to to attain which adds to our perfection.
What about someone who has everything? Who is absolutely perfect? Is there anything that he should attain? No, there is no purpose there. So you cannot talk about Purpose of God the way you talk about purpose of human being, is not possible. You know, it's like what? It's like the question, when did God Create this world? Have you ever thought about this? When did God start to Create this world? Ok. The question is wrong because God Created time, by Creating the world. So before the time, there is no end, there is no meaning for it, so you cannot ask when did God Create the world and you cannot ask what is the Purpose of God in Creating the world, because that is a human thing again.
And this is what Fatimat uz-Zahra is saying here. She says that He Created 'Tathbeetan li hikmatih' - to re-confirm His Wisdom. That is His Wisdom is actually His Perfection is flowing out. It's not for Him to attain something, is to make others to attain something, and that's not the purpose per say, like what we talk about the purpose. And then for what He has Created, for everything that He has Created, there is a purpose. Every single human being, every single animal, every single Angel, they have a purpose in their endeavour, in their journey towards God and purpose, of course, the Ultimate Purpose is Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.
Now the Ultimate Purpose is Allah and Allah is Infinite. So our journey is infinite. From here to infinity we will journey towards God, towards perfection and we are going to seek excitements. The way we have come to this world and we have seen excitement in this world. There are lots and lots of more excitements when we move to the hereafter, when we move to barzakh, when we move to Paradise and this excitements becomes more and more exciting as we move closer and closer to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.
Some people say when we go to Paradise, do we have any purpose? Actually, we don't know what is purpose in this world. Yes, when we go to Paradise, the purpose becomes real, not just like play and sport of this world, which is every purpose is like a play because it ends very soon. It comes to an end. There the purpose is real. Now, what is the purpose of people like Fatimat uz-Zahra? People like the Prophet, people of like Amir ul-Mu'minin? To have been elevated to such a high position, of course it is for us to follow them, for us to learn from them, from these words of wisdom.
In Surah Yusuf 'alayhi as-salam, Yusuf mentions that Allah has purified us. We do not commit shahr in any way. This "La ilaha illa Allah" has manifested itself in us in its ultimate form. ''Dhaalika min fadli Allahi 'alaiynaa wa 'ala an-naas" (12:38). 'This is a Grace of God on us and on people,' because people by looking at us, they can come closer.
Al-hamdulil-Lah, these role models, which are set for us, like the Prophet, like Fatimat uz-Zahra, like Amir ul-Mu'minin, they are set at a very high level that no matter how much we endeavour, we cannot finish exhaust our journey towards them and a real role model should be like that, that no matter to what level you reach, what level of ma'arifa you reach, you still look up to them, you still look up to learn from them.
And the problem is that these people cannot be tolerated in society. These people cannot be, because they are not like other people, because everyone else would see that they are much higher, they cannot be tolerate. And this is what happened, of course, to Fatimat uz-Zahra, peace be upon her and of course to Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet, to Prophet himself.
There is one very heart-breaking story account of when Amir ul-Mu'minin 'alayhi as-salam, finished burying Fatima peace be upon her and he stood crying on the grave, turning towards the grave, towards the mosque of the Prophet where he was buried. And he said 'As-salaamu alayka Ya Rasul Allah, anni wa an illatika al-nazilati fi jawaarik as-saree'ati illa ahabik.' Ya Rasul Allah, I greet you from myself and from your daughter who very quickly joined you, very quickly came to your side. However, of course she prospers now beside you, she has come in a better world but what should I do?
'Kallah Ya Rasul Allah, an safiyyatika sabri, wa raqqan atajallali.' Ya Rasul Allah, now my patience is, has come to it's limits. Now that you have gone, your daughter has gone, Fatima has gone, my patience has come to its limits. 'Kallah Ya Rasul Allah, an safiyya tika sabri, wa raqqa anha tajjallali, fa "Inna li-Llahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'un" (2:156), falaka isturja at il-waliy'ah.' Now the, what you had left with me, the trust is returned to you. 'Awkhudata ar-raheena amma huzni fa sarma, wa amma layli fawsaha. La hawla wa la quwata illa bil-Lah al-'Aliyy al-'Adhim. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad].