"None shall return empty handed from Majlis Zikr" - Habib Muhammad bin Soleh Al Attas
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulilah, the jemaah at Ba'Alawi KL was blessed to have Habib Muhammad bin Soleh Al Attas from Yemen leading the majlis 'ilm and majlis zikr last night. Habib Muhammad said:
All praise be to Allah, Who has made this majlis beautifully fragrant with salawat and zikrullah. You should be grateful that Allah has inspired you to come here, that He gives you life and strength (tawfik) to gather at this majlis. I travelled from my country with the intention to revive sunnah Rasulullah s.a.w which is majlis 'ilm.
There is a hadith relating an event where the Prophet left his house and found a group of sahabah gathering. He asked them: 'What are you all sitting here for?' 'We are discussing about the religion and mentioning Allah's Names' said the sahabah. The Prophet didn't seem to be satisfied with the answer so he asked them again until Jibril came to inform him that Allah was indeed glad and proud of the gathering. It was related that Allah said: 'Look at my servants. I give them nafs and shahwat (desires/passion) yet they choose to get together in mujalasah (majlis 'ilm).'
O people, know that Allah is very proud of us. He will say out all our names, each one of us who are present at this majlis. He will give us a great bounty. We should be more encouraged to say His Name because He mentions our names at mala'ikatul rahman. With your presence here, you have in fact revived sunnah Rasulullah s.a.w. And Allah is 'sitting' with us. He said so in a hadith qudsi that 'I (Allah) sit with those who recite my Name in a group.' The Prophet s.a.w encouraged us to stop by at 'heaven's garden' i.e. majlis 'ilm because the rewards are tremendous. We are guaranteed gifts that are both zahir and batin. The apparent (zahir) reward of sitting at majlis 'ilm is tranquility, peace of mind and success while the batin reward is only known to Allah.
There is a hadith that outlines four benefits of attending majlis zikr namely peace, rahmah (mercy), the angels spreading their wings over us and Allah mentioning our names. And there is another hadith which is widely known that if we make zikr alone all by ourself, Allah will remember us by Himself; if we make zikr in a group, Allah will do the same. Only those who are ahlul ar-ruh, ahlul al-batin and ahlullah could understand this.
In another hadith narrated by Muslim, we learn about Allah assigning the angels with the task of searching for majlis 'ilm. Upon finding it, the angels would report to Allah and Allah would ask: 'Do they want heavens?' 'Yes' said the angels. 'Have they seen the heavens?' 'No' said the angels. 'If they were to see the heavens they would like it even more. Do they seek refuge from hellfire?' 'Yes' said the angels. 'Have they seen it?' 'No' said the angels. 'If they could see it they would be more frightened of it. Be witness that I forgive all their sins.' 'But there're a few among them who came for other reasons' said the angels. And God said, 'I forgive them as well!'
O people, know that your majlis has a resemblance to Majlis Rasulullah s.a.w. He would be pleased because this majlis is a combination of both majlis zikr and majlis 'ilm although he was known to prefer majlis 'ilm since he was a messenger of 'ilm, a murabbi. You are indeed blessed, there are plenty of inayah, hidayah, rahmah and sakinah in this special majlis. And imagine Allah mentioning our names! If we were to get an invite to a royal event we would prepare ourselves properly. How would you prepare for a majlis such as this, knowing that Allah sits with you? He who knows your zahir and batin. He knows your intentions and thoughts. So you ought to have adab at a majlis with Allah.
There are several types of zikr with the tongue, the heart or sirr (secret). The best of zikr is when you say it with the tongue but with your heart present at the same time. Should you fall into maksiat, quickly run and escape from sins, beg for Hir mercy. Allah could see you transgressing the limits. You should feel ashamed that nothing is hidden from Him as He is constantly watching you.
When you make zikr, imagine His Essence and His greatness, understand the meaning of His Names. The best zikr is to profess with the tongue with heart-presence and knowledge of the Names. You will then receive abundant rahmah. The Qur'an says, the best zikr is one that brings toma'ninah (calmness).
O people, do not think that you would go home empty handed. You have sacrificed a lot in order to attend this majlis. You have sacrificed your time, some of you asked your friends and neighbors to come along, some of you drove here, some came in their friend's car, some brought their kids along. You must have confidence that Allah will not let us leave this majlis empty handed, that is His promise. On our part, we must look for means for Allah to grant us His special bounties. We must have a good intention and be sincere.
People of other faiths (non-Muslims) spend a lot of money to make their gathering successful. Those present at their majlis are loyal and committed. What about us? Our deen is the Truth, therefore we should be more motivated and dedicated in making our majlis even more successful. The Prophet said we should not be alone in doing good. We must call other people to goodness. He said, whoever invite people to do good, his own goodness would be multiplied. So you should get more people to attend this majlis.
I am happy to be meeting you here, to see your bright faces. I have traveled a great distant to be here for zikrullah. There is a hadith that talks about a special group of people who is exempted from hisab. The sahabah asked the Prophet: 'What is their character like, to deserve such a special honor?' The Prophet said: 'They are people who meet one another because of the love that they have in their hearts and beause of Allah.' I pray that Allah will grant us the heaven of mutaqabilin where He removes all ill feelings of hasad (envy) and hatred from our hearts, so that we meet for the sake of love and for the sake of Allah alone.
May Allah bless the hosts of this majlis, strengthen their iman and make them beloved of Allah. If not for them, we would not be gathering here tonight. To the rest of you, thank you for coming to this majlis. May Allah purify us zahir and batin. May we live in His rahmah. May He grant us the honor of meeting Rasulullah, the anbiya and sahabah.
Let me reiterate, there are countless benefits of zikr and you will not leave the majlis unless Allah pardon all your sins. Rasulullah used to say to sahabah at the end of their gatherings: 'You may leave now. Allah has forgiven you!'
Towards the end of the majlis, Habib Muhammad bin Soleh Al Attas gifted the audience with an ijazah for Ratib Al Attas which was written by Imam Al-Haddad's guru, who amazingly composed the ratib on the same night as Ratib Al Haddad. Ratib Al Attas is best recited after Isha for protection against sihir, jin and shayatin. Wallahu a'lam.
The majlis was hosted by Sister Ina & Brother Ben of Ba'Alawi KL.