How to acquire Hikmah (Wisdom)
Al-Fatiha. 'A'udhu bil-Lahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim. Bismil-Lah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Al-hamdulil-Lahi Rabbi 'l-alameen, bari' al-khalaa'iqi ajma'een. Wa as-salat wa as-salam 'ala asharafi al-Anbiya'i wa al-Mursalin, Sayyidina, wa Nabiyyina, wa habibi qulubina, wa tabibi nufusina, wa shafi'i dhunubina, Abil Qasim Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. Thumma as-salatu wa assalam 'ala Ahli baytihi, at-tayyibin, at-taharin, al-madhlumin. Wa la'anatu Allahi al a'da'ihim ajma'in min yawmi 'adawatihim ila yawm id-deen.
Amma ba'd, faqad qala Allahu Tabaraka wa Ta'ala fi kitabih, wa huwa asdaq ul-qa’ilin. Bismillahi, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. "Yu'ti al-Hikmata man yasha, wa man yu'ta al-Hikmata faqad utiya khairan katheer, wa ma yadhakkaru illa ulul al-bab" (2:269). Salawat ala Muhammad [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad].
When Allah Subhanah wa Ta'ala, reminds us of his endless bounties, He tells us in the Qur'an: 'Wa in tawwudu na'mat Ullahi la tuhsuha" (14: 34), "if you were to attempt enumerating and counting all of the blessings I have given you, you will not be able to do so". And so when we think of all the blessings that Allah has given us and merely thinking of them, we come to a sense of gratitude. That itself is a form of shukr, of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, we begin to wonder which of these blessings is the greatest of them all? Is it wealth that is the greatest blessing? Is it health that is the greatest blessing? It is the fact that I have knowledge that is the greatest blessing that allows me to work and earn a living.
Is it the fact that I have children that is a blessing? Is it the fact that I am free that is a blessing? Is it the fact that I live in an environment with security that is a blessing? What is it that is the greatest blessing of Allah? And even when we come to the aspect of religion, there are different aspects and levels that we seek. We seek a 'Ilm' which is knowledge. We seek courage, 'Shuja'a'. We seek patience, or 'Sabr', we seek convinction, or 'Yaqin'. We seek other worldliness or 'Zuhd', we seek 'Ridha', we seek it 'Itminaan', and we seek all, you know, 'Tasleem' and submission to Allah. And we begin to think, which of these blessings is the greatest blessing of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala?
So Allah does not leave us to guess. And He tells us himself in Surat Al-Baqarah, verse 269, He says, I have given you a lot and there are many things that you can be grateful for. And when you look at others, sometimes you envy them and say, if only I was as good looking as so-and-so, or if only I had a good voice like so-and-so, or if only I was as wealthy as so-and-so, or if only I had a big house or a big car like so-and-so.
But He says, this is the thing that you need to be envious of, the blessing that is the greatest blessing is "Yu'ti al-Hikmata man yasha" (2:269). He gives Hikmah or wisdom to whoever He pleases. "Wa man yu'ta al-Hikmah" (2:269) - and whoever has been given Hikmah, "faqad utiya khairan katheer" (2:269)- He has been given abundant good, not just khair but khairan katheer [Subhana Allah]. And this fact that Hikmah or wisdom is my greatest blessing is not something you will easily understand. Wa ma yadhakkaru illa ulul al-bab" (2:269). It is only those who have deep insights that will understand and appreciate why Hikmah is the greatest blessing of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. Now here there is a couple of things to observe from this aaya.
First of all, it appears that He does not give this to everyone. It is a precious commodity. He selects those who deserve it and gives them to the degree that they deserve. Why? Because He says: "wa man yu'ta al-Hikmata" (2:269), 'whoever has been given wisdom', "faqad utiya khairan katheer" (2:269), 'he has been given abundant good'. So it is not something that is commonly found. Whoever has been given those are the lucky ones. They have been given abundant good.
The second thing to observe about this, is that it is not something that you can choose and say, I want wisdom. "Yu'ti al-Hikmah" (2:269) - he gives Hikmah [Subhana Allah]. So anything else you can choose and go and get it. You can choose you want a very nice physique, you can go to the gym and work out. You can decide you want to look even better than you look, you can go get plastic surgery done. You decide you want more knowledge, go study, go to university, get more knowledge, you want more wealth, go find ways to do business and become rich.
But you want wisdom? No, you cannot go and take it. It's not readily available. 'Yuti al-Hikmah (2:269), He will give wisdom to whoever He pleases. "wa man yu'ta al-Hikmah, faqad utiya khairan katheera" (2:269) - whoever I give wisdom I give Hikmah then him, I have given a great amount of good. Now what makes this even more interesting and precious is that whenever Allah mentions scripture or the book, Al-Kitab, He says: "al-kitab wa al-Hikmah" (2:129).
For example, we see, He says "yatlu alaihim ayatihi, wa yuzakkihim, wa yuallimuhumu al-kitaba wa al-Hikmah" (62:2), you see, we say that everything is in the Qur'an, everything is in the Kitab. But he recites to them that the Kitab and Hikmah, when he talks of Ibrahim, alayhi as-salam, and the descendants of Ibrahim and from the descendants of Ibrahim, Muhammad and Ale Muhammad, alayhim afdhalu as-salatu wa as-salam [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad]. He says, "Am yahsuduna an-nas ala ma atahumu Allahu min fadhlih" (4:54), 'are people jealous because of what Allah has given them out of his own grace? ' "Faqad atayna Aala Ibrahima al-kitaba wa al-Hikmah, wa ataynahum mulkan adheema'(4:54), 'We have decided that we will give the children of Ibrahim the book and Hikmah, and we have given them a mighty dominion over mankind'.
So you look at the Qur'an and search, wherever you will encounter Kitab, you will see Kitab and Hikmah. Whether it is Dawud, whether it is Ibrahim, any prophet is told, we have given you the Book and we have given you Hikmah. So from this, we begin to understand that Hikmah is something that supplements Kitab, but it is also separate from Kitab that even after you have the knowledge of Kitab, there is something additional to be gotten and acquired that is Hikmah.
And so we want to understand what is this precious commodity that Allah does not say whoever, I have given wealth, I have given abundant good. Whenever I have given health, I have given abundant good. Whenever I have given knowledge, I have given it. He says whoever I have given wisdom he has been given khairan katheer, and it is so precious that only He gives it. Not everyone can get it. And it supplements Kitab but it stands apart from Kitab is something.
So what is it? Now if we try and look at the definition of wisdom and you can go look at this yourself on the Internet, on Wikipedia, and there are books on psychology as well that look and define what wisdom is, you will see that wisdom is something when we see it, we recognize it, but it's very difficult to define. There is some understanding of it when you read on this, the word wisdom now, not necessarily the word Hikmah in Arabic, you will see it is defined as: 'that sum total of knowledge and experience and a deep understanding of matters in such a universal manner that one is able to act in exactly the most appropriate manner that one needs to act at that moment and in that circumstance of their life'. So it is very difficult to define. There is a term that we use in English. We say hindsight is 20/20. I'm sure you've heard that. What does that mean hindsight is 20/20? If you speak to an optician or an ophthalmologist, they will tell you when your vision is perfect. When you don't need corrective lenses, then your vision is 20/20. Hindsight is 20/20.
It means that when we go through life, we make mistakes. But when we look back at our life, then we sometimes criticise ourselves or others and say, if only I would have made this choice instead of that choice, I would have done this or that. Right. If only instead of coming to Canada, I would have stayed in Pakistan, or if only instead of getting married at this age, I would have got married at this age or married this person, or if only I would have had children or not had children or gone to university, or not gone to university or taken this job or not taken this job, even though if we had made those choices, we would have had another regret and look back at something else.
But the fact of the matter is that we look back and we think that we made the wrong choice or that we could have had a better life if we would have chosen differently. So we say when you look back, it seems perfect. Hindsight is 20/20. Hikmah is the ability to act with 20/20 vision now without having to look back so that when you then look back, it still is as perfect now as it was in the past. So Hikmah gives an individual the ability to act in such a universal manner that it transcends human limitations and human emotions, it allows a human being to bring knowledge, experience and insights to decide that at this moment in my life, this is exactly what I need to do and this is the most perfect action that anyone could do, and act on that thought and that action. And by doing so, you have acted with wisdom. Now, whoever is given wisdom has this ability to act like this.
The issue, though, is that the only being that can act with absolute perfection and know the past before it happens, is Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. So we are asking for a very tall order here. We are asking for the ability to act like Allah would act. To act exactly as Allah wants us to act at that particular moment. We cannot become God, we cannot become Allah wa iyyadhu bil-Lah. So the only other way then is to surrender ourselves to such a degree that Allah acts through us. And by doing so, whatever we do in reality is driven by His hand and in that manner, because He now acts through us, that action becomes the most perfect action at that point in time. And so Hikmah begins to manifest itself.
And that is why you will see that when we look at the lives of the Anbiya' and Awsiya' and we look at the life of Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad]. And we look at the life of the A'immah alihimu as-salam, it is perfect in every step of the way, they act with Hikmah, isn't it?
When should the Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, do Hijrah, when should he not do Hijrah? When should he start the battle, when should he not start the battle? Should he fight from outside Madina? Should he fight from within Madina? The Battle of Khaibar[Badr] and Uhud was fought outside, the Battle of Khaibar was fought from within. You look at the life of Amir al-Mu'minin, alayhi as-salam, the same thing. The decision should I move to Kufa, should I not move to Kufa? When my people raise the Qur'an on the spear, should I stop the battle, should I not stop the battle? You look at the decision of Imam Hasan Al-Mujtaba alayhi as-salam, the same thing. Should I do jihad? Should I stop jihad? Should I make the peace treaty with Mu'awiya or should I not do the peace treaty?
You look at the life of Aba Abdillah Al-Husayn , from every step of the way. Do Bai'ah, no I wont do Bai'ah. Should I stay in Madina or should I go to Macca? On what date should I leave Macca? When I leave Macca, should I accept the offer from the people of Kufa or not accept the offer of people of Kufa? When Hur stops me outside Kufa, I have outnumbered him. Do I fight and kill Hur or do I not fight him? Then when I come to Karbala, do I stop at Karbala, do I not stop at Karbala? Then when I pitch the tents by the river and they want me to move, do I move the tent, do I not move the tent? When Abul Fadhli Al-Abbas wants to go for jihad, do I let him go for jihad, do I not let him go for jihad?
When you look back now, fourteen hundred years, every decision was absolutely perfect in every accuracy. People say that Husayn did not know he was called by the people of Kufa. He left and he was going to Kufa and then he was trapped in a desert and he was surrounded and he was killed. And wa ayadhu bil-Lah, he knew exactly what he was doing every step of the way. And when you studied and I have looked at some of this, Subhana Allah, even to the day he leaves Macca and heads out, and all the Muslims are leaving Macca and going towards Arafat and his small caravan is leaving Macca and going towards Kufa. There is such deep wisdom in everything, in every action that he does that you cannot criticise anything in any decision he made. That is Hikmah.
That is the fact that he has the knowledge of the Kitab. But when that Kitab becomes active and begins to manifest itself in action, then it manifests itself as wisdom. Why was he able to do this? Because he was such a surrendered being, that it wasn't him acting, it was Allah acting through him. [Naare Salawat, Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad]. And for those who might say that this is Kufr, I would remind them that we have a Hadith al-Qudsi that is accepted by Shia and Sunni Muslims that Allah, azza wa jal, says, that 'When a servant becomes mine and begins to perform extra acts of worship beyond what is fardh, the mustahab acts, then I make him mine. And the more he surrenders himself to me, the closer he comes to me until I become the eyes with which he sees and I become the hand with which he grabs, and I become the tongue with which he speaks. I make him such that his eyes become Ainu Allah, his tongues become Lisanu Allah, his hand becomes Yadu Allah' (Naare Haidari, Ya Ali) [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad].
So this hadith is there for everyone, but now look at Tarikh and find who was Lisanu Allah, who was the Yadu Allah, who was Ainu Allah, there you will find Hikmah and there you will find these surrendered beings. Like, for example, the hadith that says- Ittaqu firas ul-Mu'min fa innahu yandhuru bi aini Illah- beware of the perspective of a Mu'min because he sees with the eyes of God, and Allah when he reads qasida of His Habeeb in the Qur'an, everywhere He shows us that this Rasul is acting only on my orders. And as I say, He acts. "Ma yantiqu anil-hawa" (53:3), 'he does not speak out of his own desire'. "In huwa illa wahyun yuha"(53:4), 'I reveal then he speaks'.
"Wa ma ramaita idh ramaita wa la kinaa illaha rama" (8:17), 'O Muhammad, in the battle of Badr when you took a clump of soil and you threw it at the enemies, you did not throw, when you threw, Oh Muhammad, but Allah threw at the enemies. This is Qur'an, "ma ramaita idh ramaita" (8:17), 'you did not throw when you threw, O Muhammad', "wa lakin Allahu rama" (8:17), 'it was Allah who threw'. Is that shirk? Is that Kufr? We are the ones who are acting "Wa ma tashauna illa an yasha Allah" (81:29), 'you desire nothing except what Allah desires'. "Ma atakumu ar-Rasul fa khudhuhu" (59:7), 'whatever He gives you take it because he is only acting on my action'.
Whatever he does, I do. "Inna llladhina yubayi unaka innama yubaiyuna Allah, yadu Allah fawqa aydeehim" (48:10). 'O my Habib! On the day when the Muslims came to pledge allegiance to you and they placed their hand under your hand, those who pledge allegiance to you O Muhammad'. "Inna ladhina yubayi unaka, innama yubayiuna Allah" (48:10) - Tell them they are pledging allegiance to Allah and it is not your hand that is on their hand- "Yadu Allah fawqa aydeehim" (48:10). 'It is the hand of Allah that is on their hand'. So the hand of Muhammad is the hand of Allah. Why? Because it is surrendered. So every action he does, if he says I accept your baiya, he's acting exactly as Allah wants. That is Hikmah in that if he says I don't accept your baiya, there is Hikmah in that as well.
And so, Amir al-Mu'minin Ali Ibn Abi Talib, salawat Allahi wa as-salamu alayh [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad], he defines Hikmah as follow: 'Al-hikmatu shajaratun tanbutu fi 'l-qalb, wa tuthmiru ala al-lisan, Hikmah is a tree that is planted in the heart and its fruits manifest on the tongue. That means before a person will speak with wisdom, you will first have to see that wisdom is planted in his heart. So there is a cycle, that initially a person acquires knowledge. When they acquire knowledge, they plant that knowledge in their mind. When it sinks in their mind and they act on that knowledge, it gives them conviction, or Yaqin. When Yaqin enters their heart, it plants a seed of Hikmah and then that Hikmah is watered through Zuhd by turning away from the world and it is watered through humility or tawadhuh. And as it is watered by this, the seed sprouts and begins to grow of tree. And that tree of wisdom takes root in the heart.
Once this wisdom takes root in the heart, then it begins to burst out with fruits of wisdom. You now see that Hikmah in the tongue when they speak. You see wisdom in their actions. You see wisdom in their thought. You look at any book in this world. Besides scripture, that is from God, from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, by any other human author, you will see it does not last and remain alive and vibrant to this day, but open Nahj al-Balagha and see. To this day people when they read Nahj al-Balagha, they are amazed that how, what was said fourteen hundred years ago, the world has changed so much, it is still relevant today. Why? Because the speaker was filled with wisdom. He was one who could define the meaning of wisdom. And so with wisdom we act right. We say right. We think right. And we choose the right option from everything that is given to us.
In one hadith from Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad], he says: 'Qadi al-hakeem, an yakunu nabiyan', Hikmah is so lofty that one who is Hakim, one who has Hikmah, he is almost as close as being to a Prophet, being a Nabi. And that is why you see one of the individuals in history who is known as Hakim is Luqman. And there is an uncertainty about Luqman, whether he was a Nabi or he wasn't a Nabi, because he had so much Hikmah. He was a man blessed with so much wisdom that this Hadith rings true. 'Qadi al-hakeem, an yakunu nabiyan', that one who is Hakim, is so ennobled by Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and so honored by Him that it is almost as if he is a prophet.
Now the question that comes to mind here is, is it possible for a Non-Muslim to acquire wisdom? Is it possible for a Non-Muslim to gain some Hikmah? And the answer is yes. Why? Sometimes, and this is again explained to us through Hadith, a precious stone can also be found by someone who does not know its value. But if someone who does not know the value of a precious stone acquires it, it will not stay long with him.
You will see through the history of mankind, there are many people who have found nuggets of gold and gemstones and diamonds and corals and rubies, but it doesn't stay with them for long because they don't know its value. Sooner or later they will barter it and sell it to someone who knows its value. It will float from hand to hand until it comes to the one who deserves it the most. And sometimes wisdom or what was said in wisdom, the words of wisdom are lost in humanity, in books, in scriptures, in texts.
And they are picked up by an individual who does not know its value. And he speaks of them or she speaks of them without realising where it leads ultimately. And therefore, when you find wisdom, even if you find it with one who does not deserve it, take it from him because it rightfully belongs to a Mu'min.
We have, for example, in one hadith that says, this is again from Amir al-Mu'minin, alayhi as-salam, [Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad]. He says ' Al-Hikmatu dallat ul-Mu'min'. Hikmah is the lost possession of a Mu'min , 'fa'tlubuha walau inda al-mushrik'. So look for it even if you find it with the Mushrik. Why? 'Takunu ahaqqu biha wa ahluha' because you are more deserving of it to be the one who possesses that wisdom. So we search for wisdom through knowledge, but then it comes to us from Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala when we act on it and it manifests itself through Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. And I'll explain this very quickly as well.
But it starts with words of wisdom that we seek takes root, in our heart, and then acts on it. You will see people who do not understand how wisdom connects to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and how it is a remarkable gift from Him. They will speak of it, but it doesn't change or alter their life. It doesn't bring them to that higher level of submission where they surrender and Allah acts through them. But when it comes to a Mu'min and he realizes its value, then it takes him to that higher level of ma'arifa.
We have one hadith from 'Isa, alayhi as-salam, the Prophet Jesus or 'Isa, alayhi as-salam. He gives a very beautiful example. In the olden days when they used to light a lamp, they used to use different types of oils to light the lamp. Some of the oils used to give a lot of smoke. Some of the oils used to have a pungent smell. Some of the oils were very nice and fragrant that they would use to light their lamps. He says. 'If you come across a lamp that uses tar oil, but it is the dark of the night and you live at a time when there is darkness all around you, you will still use that lamp to get light to find your way, even though the smell bothers you and it is pungent because at that point in time you will bear the smell because the light is what you need. In the same manner, if you find wisdom with an individual who is not righteous, who does not deserve to have it, despite the fact that his character is pungent and is foul, take what you can from him because he is holding a light when you live at a time of darkness and you need that light from him.
So there is a beautiful wisdom in understanding this. Once we begin to acquire this Hikmah, and we begin to take this knowledge and it takes root in our hearts and we begin to surrender to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and then it begins to manifest itself. How does it manifest itself? Of course, when we speak, people listen to words of wisdom and they begin sensing that perhaps there is a tree here from which there is wisdom coming forth, or perhaps there is actions that we take where people might criticize in our lives at that point in time. But then 20 years later or after we pass away, they look back at our lives and they say this man had wisdom because everything he did seemed absolutely the right thing to do at that point in time in his life.
So it may not be apparent at that point in time, but there are signs by which you can tell wisdom in an individual. A person who acquires wisdom and acts on wisdom, you will find that their life is simple. You will find that their dress is simple. You will find that their food is simple. You will find that they are not greedy for this world as they are for the hereafter. And you will find that they find easy, what others find difficult in life, what people find unbearable about this life and its hardship for them. It is very easy to do.
Why? It is because they focus on the hereafter, on Akhira. So Allah takes care of their affairs for this world. And they focus on their inner self, on their thoughts and intentions, so Allah takes care of their outer self, which is their words and their actions, and they focus on their relationship with Allah and worry most about what does Allah think about this. So Allah takes care of their relationship with people and what people will think about this.
And you can experiment this with your own life, as I have with my own. Observe that when we run after this world, we are just chasing our tails, and life becomes harder and harder and we don't seem to be going anywhere. But when we focus on the hereafter and we say to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, I am focusing on the hereafter for Your sake, you take care of my worldly affairs. Then He takes care of it and things begin to open up.
Observe how that when you spend more time with Allah, than the ill feelings you have in relationships with others, He takes care of it, and it no longer bothers you. But when you ignore Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala you constantly stress about your relationship with others at home and outside. Why? Because Allah has a purpose for everyone and the purpose ultimately is driven towards surrendering to Him. So when we rise to fulfill the purpose of our existence, then the whole universe begins to conspire in our favor and everything begins to come together. Doors begin to open, the road begins to clear before us.
Because Allah has set this universe in such a manner that it is meant to help you reach Him. It is meant to help you get to Him. It is when we forget Him that we get off the right path and now everything is dark around us. But the moment we turn towards Him, everything begins to seem to fall into place. It is not a coincidence that everything begins to fall into place. It is because that is the purpose of our lives and now we are rising to fulfill that purpose. If you can recite a Salawat ala Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
So now I want to mention just two things very quickly as to why wisdom is denied to us to our degree. We have spoken about the Awsiya' and Anbiya' and Ahl al-Bayt and the Imams, alaihimu as-salam, and how they are completely surrendered. But we can acquire wisdom to our degree. We may not be able to attain that maqam, but we can acquire some wisdom and it is important to do so. Why is it so important to do so in this day and age?
I don't think I need to spell this out to you, but we all know that we live in difficult times. We live in such difficult times that even within the context of the Ummah, within the context of Muslims, there is so much disagreement and so much confusion and so many groups and so many sects and so many divisions, even if you zoom in into one group of Shi'a or Sunni, you will find within that there are groups within groups of different Manhaj, of different goals, of different ideas, of pro this and anti this. And there are people in the name of 'Ilm who sit as scholars but confuse others, mislead others, say things that young minds get confused about, divides people and thinking, is this right or is that right?
When we are caught in this cyclone of confusion where we cannot decide who is right and who is wrong, we have looked at knowledge, we have looked at Qu'ran, we have looked at Hadith, we have heard both sides of the argument, we still can't tell who is right, who is wrong. At that point, what will rescue us is wisdom, because if we have Hikmah, we will immediately see the right path and we will not be misled to the wrong path, because that is what Hikmah does, isn't it? We said Hikmah is the active form of the Qu'ran. It is besides the Kitab. It supplements the Kitab. It acts in a dynamic manner. So you will immediately that wisdom within us will tell us which is the right path.
But wisdom is not easy to find, because we cannot say I want wisdom, I'm going to go to the Hawza or I'm going to read a book and acquire wisdom. Allah gives it 'Yuti al-Hikmah man yasha' (2:269) He gives wisdom to whoever He wills and whoever He gives wisdom has been given a great amount of good. So it is not our choosing. What we can do is make our hearts fertile so that the tree is ready to plant. Once we make our hearts fertile and ready, it is Allah who will drop that seed in that fertile land of our heart from which the tree will grow.
But getting to that point is the challenge, isn't it? Finding that wisdom. Forget about finding wisdom in ourselves. Finding a wise person is difficult. You might spend your life going around Canada and you might not find one person. If I want to find someone wealthy, even if I'm on the highway, I look around when I'm stuck in traffic and I see someone with the big expensive car, I might be able to tell there is a wealthy man.
If I want to see someone who is really physically well endowed and very well, I could go to the gym and see someone there, right? If I want to see someone who is very good looking, maybe I'll go see, I don't know, at a beauty salon whenever somewhere you go find them. You want to see someone who has a high social status, there are places you can go. You want to see the wealthy and powerful, you can go to large corporations, you can go to the parliament, you can see those who are in power. You can find anybody of any category. Even if you want to find people of knowledge, you can go to the universities, you can go to the Hawza, you can go to the Masajid. You will find the Ulama mashaAllah. You will find 'Ilm.
But if you want to find a Hakim, where will you find a Hakim? You could spend entire life looking for him. And the Hukamah who are wise, they purposely hide themselves, and they will not give their Hikmah to anyone who is not deserving, because they have been instructed by Allah not to share this to anyone who does not deserve it. We have this in ahadith, both from previous scriptures and from current scriptures. You look at, for example, in the Bible, the Christians quote, in the book of Matthew's Chapter seven, verse six, they quote, Jesus, Nabi Isa, alayhi as-salam, as saying, Do not give that which is holy to the dogs and do not throw, do not cast pearls to the swine.
Now, this verse itself tells you that Isa alayhi as-salam as well, what was his opinion about dogs and pigs. Today those who follow him, argue with us that Muslims don't like dogs and Muslim think dogs are low, and shouldn't be kept in the house. And Muslims think pigs are najis, this is Jesus himself in the Bible saying do not give that which is holy to the dogs and do not cast pearls before the swine. And when you ask the scholars of Christianity the way they explain this, what does it mean: do not cast pearls before the swine? Obviously, Jesus did not mean literally pearls. Don't throw them before literally pigs. What does it mean do not cast pearls before the swine? They will tell you it means do not share wisdom with those who are not deserving because they will not know its value [Subhana Allah].
And we have the exact same hadith from Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. Now he says the same thing, that give knowledge and wisdom to those who deserve it, because giving wisdom to those who don't deserve it is like throwing gold and gemstones before khanazeer, before pigs. So we ask two questions, just two points very quickly. Why is it that sometimes we seek wisdom, but it is denied to us? And this is more for myself and inshaAllah, a point of reflection for the rest of us. One of the reasons that I find when I look at Hadith as to why Hikmah is denied is this excessive love for pleasure, for Duniya, not to fulfill a physical need, but to lust for it with excessiveness, so that one is obsessed and addicted to physical pleasure.
You know, in Salat ul-'Asr , we just prayed Salat ul-'Asr here, the dua of Salat ul-'Asr, we recite "wa a'udhu bika min nafsin la tashbah", 'and I seek refuge with you oh Allah from a nafs that is never satisfied and never satiated', no matter no matter how much it eats it wants more, no matter how much it indulges it wants more. We have one hadith from Imam As Sadiq, alayhi as-salam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad], he says, 'Man zahida fi id-dunya athbata Allahu al-hikmata fi qalbih,i wa antaqa biha lisanihi'- whoever abstains from this world, whoever does not take from this world more than what he or she needs, then Allah plants wisdom in his heart, again, plant. He gives it root in his heart. And once He does it, He makes him speak wisdom through his tongue. Notice again, Allah makes him speak, wa antaqa lisanihi, he brings it out on his tongue. But the condition is Zuhd.
And in the hadith of Mi'raj we have that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala tells his Habib that: O my Habib, when a person hungers himself and keeps his stomach empty, and does not indulge in it excessively, I give him wisdom and this wisdom becomes a Noor and a Burhan. It lights the way in front of him, so that in life he knows exactly what he needs to do in life, and it becomes a source of Rahma and Shifa for him. And then Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says, 'Fa yalamu ma lam yakun yalam'. And then he begins to realize and know that which he would never have known otherwise. In other words, I give him knowledge which he could not have acquired through any other source. 'Wa yubsiru ma lam yakun yubsir', and he begins to see and perceive things that he could never have perceived before.
And that is why when Ibrahim, alayhi as-salam, surrendered himself completely Allah says: "Wa laqad nuri Ibrahim malaquta as-samawati wa al-ardh" (6:75), 'we showed Ibrahim so that he was able to see the kingdoms of the Heavens and the Earth'. And we have this in Hadith as well, that if it was not for the Shayatin who are constantly going around you, and keeping you heedless so that you don't think of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, you would have been able to see the angels in the heavens even while you were in this world. Right?
And Allah says again in the Qu'ran, "Law ta'lamona 'ilm al-Yaqin" (102:5), "La tarawunna al-jaheem" (102:6). If you had 'ilm al-Yaqin, you would have seen the fire of hell. You would have seen it here in this world. You would not need to see it in the hereafter. So this is one of the things that we need to be careful about. And there are so many ahadith in the interest of time that I will not list here.
But essentially we have one hadith that, in summary, it says that the heart can only hold wisdom when the stomach is not always full, not that you don't eat, but that you do not over fill it and eat with lust. And it says when a person eats with lust and passion and desire for the sake of the pleasure of food, then his heart vomits any wisdom in it. It throws up wisdom. So this is very clear. 'Man akala ta'aman sha'watan, harrama Allahu ala qalbihi al-Hikmah'. Whoever eats food with Sha'hwa, with lust, Allah makes wisdom haram on his heart. He will never acquire wisdom on his heart. It doesn't matter how much knowledge or how many years he studied or what he does. So this is the one reason that wisdom can be denied.
The other reason, and we will conclude with that, is arrogance or Takabbur, that a heart that is arrogant will not acquire wisdom. And this we acquire in a beautiful hadith from our seventh imam, Imam Musa al-Kadhim, salawat Allahi wa as-salamu alayh [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. And again, look at the analogy from an Awwaluna Muhammad, Awsatuna Muhammad, Aakhiruna Muhammad, Kulluna Muhammad' [Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] [Naare Salawat, Allahumma Salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad].
Every one of them, when they speak of Hikmah, their example is that of a tree being planted, of being established, Imam al-Kadhim, alayhi as-salam, says, He says in order to plant a tree, the land has to be fertile and has to be soft. Many of you do gardening in summer, isn't it? When the ground is hard or there's a lot of clay, you can't plant anything. You have to dig it out, remove the clay and put soft soil in it. You have to soften the earth. That's when you can plant something in there. And the Imam says the Takabbur makes the heart hard, when the heart is like a solid, smooth rock, wisdom can never be planted there. It requires Tawadhuh, or humility to soften the heart. And once it is softened and then Allah can plant his tree of wisdom where it is deserving. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense why arrogance would stop us.
Because us now conclude and bring this to a full circle. We said that Hikmah is only given by Allah. We said it is a precious commodity. We said Allah gives it to only those who deserve it. We said wisdom is the ability to act in the most appropriate manner at every time and under every circumstance. We said this is not possible except by Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, then we said because we can't become Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, the only way possible is for us to surrender. When we have surrendered completely, then Allah acts through us. And because Allah is acting through us, that is why wisdom manifests itself through our actions. Now, if the ego stands in the way and there is an I, then how will Allah act through us?
That submission will never happen, because Allah wants to use me, use my tongue, use my hands, use my life, to manifest Himself and make me and Ayat from Ayat Ullah, so that people see Allah everywhere they turn. 'Aynnama tuwallu, fathamma wajhu Allah' (2:115), 'Wherever you turn there you will see the face of Allah'. That is what He wants, that everything, the sun, the moon and his Asharafu al-makhluqat [the best of His Creation] should be a mirror for his 'Asma.
But now for Allah to use me, I have to first remove that mindset "I", that ego, that takabbur, that I am better than others, "Ana khairun minhu" (7:12). I may not say it, but in my thoughts and in my actions, that is what is stopping from that state of surrender. The moment humility comes in, and I don't take credit for anything in myself, whether it is knowledge, whether it is beauty, whether it is wealth, whether it is goodness, whether it is charity, and I give all credit to Allah and say in my physical self, I am just a glorified animal.
But Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, it is His grace that through the sadaqa of Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad and through His guidance, "Al-Hamdulil-Lahi alladhi hadana li hadha, wa ma kunna linahdatiya law la an hadana Allah" (5:43), 'All praise be to Allah who guided us to this, and we would never have been guided, had Allah not guided us to this'. So giving Him all credit when I surrender with humility, that is when He is able to take over and say, now when you throw, I throw, when you see, it is I who is seeing.
And so we begin to see now that wisdom requires me, because I have a physical self and I have a spiritual self. When I focus on the physical, when I focus on addictions and desire, I blind my spiritual self. And so excessive indulgence in the world, stop spirituality and stops wisdom growing in my heart and arrogance stops it as well. When I fight these two and I move them to the side, then Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala blesses us with wisdom.
And the more wisdom we acquire, the more we will appreciate Muhammad and aali Muhammad, alayhum as-salaam. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
A person who acquires wisdom in the true sense, even if he is not Muslim, is not a Muslim, he will eventually come to Muhammad and Aali Muhammad because he will realize this. They define wisdom itself. There is no higher level of submission to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and there is no one in the history of humanity who has acted with such aptness and such preciseness at every moment of their lives, like these individuals.
And so it is a blessing for us to have these role models. And inshallah, we try and acquire that level so that when Allah says: "Yu'ti al-Hikmah man yasha" (2:269), that we may be among those that Allah willds to give a part of His wisdom, so that when He gives us, we can be grateful for this khairan katheer, that He has given us. If you can recite a Salawat alaa Muhammad wa aale Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].
We have recently marked the day of Arbaeen and in the coming week we will be mourning for Rasul Allah himself and his shahadat. So we are now in that middle phase where the Ahl al-Bayt alayhimu as-salam, have returned to Karbala for Arbaeen, and now they have returned or are returning back to Madinah. Many of those who went for Ziyaara to Karbala for Arba'een and were blessed with this opportunity. I'm sure all of us at some point, even when we were in the Masajid and we were seeing this live broadcast of Karbala, a thought must have come to us that Ya layt, if only I was there. And so there is this Hasra in our hearts that we can't be with Husayn , every Muharram and every Arbaeen.
So before I come to the Masaib, I want to share with you how you can go for the ziyarah of Husayn whenever you please. Imam Al-Sadiq alayhi as-salam, says to one of his Ashab called Sudair [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. He says to Sudair: O Sudair, Do you go for the ziyarah of Husayn every day? Sodair says: No, Oh Maula. He says then: O Sudair, do you go for the Ziyarah of Husayn every week? He says: no, Ya Ibna Rasul Allah. He says: do you go for the Ziyarah of Husayn every month? He says: La, Ya Ibna Rasul Allah. He says: O Sudair do you go for the Ziyarah of my jadd Husayn at least once in a year? He says: Maula, I try and go once a year, but I'm not able to go every year. But now they are in Madinah so Sudair is thinking how would I go for the Ziyarah every day? So now the imam explains to him. He says: O Sudair you don't have to go to Karbala to go for the Ziyarah of my jadd Husayn. So all you have to do is go to the top of your home, to your terrace or under the open sky and turn towards Karbala and say: Asalaamu alaika ya aba Abdillah, assalamu alayka, wa Rahmat Ullah. O Sudair, you do this once a day and Husayn will reply you. You have gone for the Ziyarah of Husayn.
You see how the Ahl al-Bayt open up themselves to us. If we cannot go to Shaam then the Ahl al-Bayt say don't worry, Quburuna fi qulubi muhibbina, our graves' are in the hearts of those who love us. Look inside. You will find the Haram of Husayn. Now ask yourself how do I purify myself so that the Haram of Husayn is sacred? You heard on the day of Arbaeen that when the Ahlal-Bayt, alayhimu as-salam, were returning from Shaam towards Karbala, the first Zair of Husayn, Jabir bin Abdillah al-Ansari had reached Karbala. And Jabir had gone to Furat, and he had done ghusl, and he had come back with his servant Atiya. And, he had done tawaf of the Qabr of Husayn, saying: Assalamu alaika ya Aba Abdillah, wa ala al-arwahi illati hallat bi finaik, and Jabir had thrown himself on the Qabr of Husayn, and Jabir had fainted, and when Atiya sprinkled water on his face and Jabir woke up we are told, Jabir cried: Husayn! Ya Husayn, ahabibun la yujibu habiba.
Oh Husayn, does a friend not reply a friend when he says salaam and then Jabir said: but oh Husayn, how will you reply me when they separated your head from your body? And then Jabir saw a cloud of rise from the horizon. And he said to Atiya go see who these are. And Imam Sajjad and the women of the Ahl al-Bayt came. And Imam Sajjad moved Jabir to the side, and Jabir said 'Ya Ibna Rasul Allah, tell me what qayamat happened on this land. And Imam as Sajjad took Jabir with him and said Come, I will show you oh Jabir.
Ya Jabir hahuna qutila rijaluna. Jabir, this is where they killed our men. Ya Jabir hahuna subiyat nisauna, O Jabir this is where they tied the women in ropes. Then he took him to another place and said: Ya Jabir hahuna ukhriqat khiyamuna. This is where our khiyam was, this is where they burnt it down. Then I don't know why, but Imam Zayn ul-Abidin took Jabir is to one particular place where Hurmala shot the arrow on the neck of Asghar, then he said to him, Ya Jabir, Hahuna dhubihat atfaluna. Jabir, this is where they slaughtered our children as well.
Ajrukum ala Allah! Bas the Ahl al-Bayt stayed in Karbala. Imam Husayn had given his Wasiya to Imam Sajjad that O my son Ali, when you come back to Karbala, do not allow the women to stay in Karbala. Take them back with you to Medina. Imam Sajjad announced to the women, some say after three days or some say after seven days: we must now return back to Medina, prepare to return to Medina, the Mahmils were bent together to go when all the women were on their camels and ready to go, Zainab asked where is Rabab? Rabab was crying on the grave of Husayn.
Some of the muwarrikheen say that Rabab never returned to Medina. Some say she returned to Medina. But when the Ahl al-Bayt insisted that there is nothing here but the desert and Rabab stood from the grave of her Aqa and Maula, she made a promise to Husayn and said: Maula, now that I have seen your body trampled and shattered under the hot sands of Karbala with the sun beating down on it, bila' ghuslin wa la kafan [without ghusl al-mayt and withour shroud], Rubab makes a promise to you. From this day onwards, Rubab will not sit under the shade. Ajrukum ala Allah. This kafela returned to Madina.
Now, when this kafela came close to Madina, they stopped on the outskirts of Madina. They were not ready to enter the city. Imam Sajjad called the person leading the caravan Bashir bin Jazlab, he said to Bashir. O Bashir, your father was a poet going to Madinah, announce to the people of Medina and tell them we have returned. Bashir went into the city of Medina, calling out, Ya Ahla Yathriba, la muqama lakum! O people of Madina, Madina is not worth staying in anymore. The kafela of Husayn has returned. Bashir bin Jazlam said, the people of Medina dressed in black, they began streaming out to the outskirts of Medina. Bashir says, when I tried going back, there were so many people on the road to Imam As-Sajjad, I could not even go ahead of them.
This Kafela came towards the Imam. One by one they began offering their condolences and asking Ya Ibna Rasul Allah, what happened to you in Karbala and Shaam? Imam Sajjad began explaining to them. They built a pulpit and a mimber for him. He went up on the pulpit and began praising Allah. After he had done that, he began saying to them, O people of Madina, my Jadd Rasul Allah said to the people 'Qul la asalukum alihi ajran illal mawaddata fil qurba' (42:23), O people! I do not want anything from you in reward except that you love my family.
O people of Madinah, if Rasul Allah would have said to them, I do not want anything except that you torment my family. By Allah, they could not have done more than what they have done to us. Ajrukum ala Allah! Then Imam as-Sajjad said O people of Madinah. When my father was leaving for the last time, he said to me O Sajjad when you go back to Madina, give my salam to my Shi'a and tell them Husayn, Husayn missed you on the day of Ashura and Husayn says to you with salam, when you drink water, do not forget the thirst of Husayn. If you see any Ghareeb, do not forget Husayn.
Suddenly there was a voice of crying. People begin to move apart. The brother of Husayn, Muhammad Al-Hanafiya came forward, Muhammad Al-Hanafiya, was an old man. Muhammad Al-Hanafiya was blind. He came close. They brought him to Imam as-Sajjad. He began crying to the Imam and saying, Bunayya ayna akhi al-Husayn? My son Ali, where is my brother Husayn? Imam Sajjad said to Muhammad Al-Hanafiya, Ya Amm, ataituka yateeman, I have back come to you an orphan. Wa laisa ma'i illa an-nisa, I don't have anyone with me now except women. Do not ask me where is Abbas, where is Aliun al-Akbar? They all now rest in Karbala. Ajrukum ala Allah! This kafela began coming towards Madina. When they got to Madina the arbaab of aza said, when Zainab saw the Masjid of Rasul Allah, when Zainab saw the Qabr of Rasul Allah, she could not come down from the camel.
She fell from the camel and called out ya Rasul Allah, Zainab condoles you over our Husayn.. Umm Kulthoom began crying 'Madinatu Jaddina! La taqbbalina! Fa bi 'l-azani wa al-hasarati ji'ina, Madina do not welcome us anymore, we have come. La rijalan wa la baneena, Husayn is not with us anymore. Ajramkum alla Allah. Umm Salama came to Zainab, Zainab what happened to you? Your hair has turned white. Your back is bent.
Umm ul-Baneen came to Zainab. Zainab when people say to me that someone killed Abass. I do not believe anyone could kill Abass. But when I hear that your Rida was taken, then I know they must have killed Abbas. Zainab came to the Qabr of Rasul Allah. She took out the shirt of Husayn. She kept it on the Qabr of Rasul Allah, ya Jaddah, I brought you a hadiya from Karbala. The Qabr of Rasul Allah began to tremble.
Shabash Zainab, she carried this from the Shaam to Karbala, Karbala to Madinah. Zainab came to the Qabr of Zahra, Amma! Zainab has returned. Zainab tera Yusuf mera Shabbir kahan he? Zainab to luta aayi gharibon ki kamai, nikli thi to sab kunbe ko aulad ko lekar, aayihe fakat Aabide naashad ko lekar. What shall Zainab say to her mother? Amma! I gave my Aun and Muhammad, I could not save your Husayn, I gave my Abbas and Qasim, I could not save your Husayn. Aliun il-Akbar took a spear on his heart, I could not save your Husayn. Amma! If only Zainab could show you the marks of ropes on her head and the whips of Shimr on her back. Wa Husaynah, Wa madhlumah, Wa gharibah. Matam al-Husayn.