(Note: This event included many non-Muslims.)
Allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammad wa `ala aali Sayiddina Muhammad!
A`udhu billahi min ash-Shaytan i`r-rajeem. Bismi`lLahi `r-Rahmani `r-Raheem.
Nawaytu ’l-arba`een, nawaytu ‘l-`itikaaf, nawaytu ’l-khalwah, nawaytu ’l-`uzlah,
nawaytu ‘r-riyadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`ala fi haadha 'l-maqaam.
I know that after listening to Sahib and Anwar, you are not willing to hear from me because what I'm going to say? I was also happy with what they have done. Allahu akbar! Sayyidina Abu Dharr al-Ghafari (r), one of Prophet's (s) best companions, was reciting Holy Qur'an in a very melodious voice, and didn't know that Prophet (s) was behind him. Today reciters are not any more reciting in melodious voice. Some people today say recitation must be in a normal voice. But I ask you, did anyone hear the Qur'an from Prophet (s)? No one heard. What we heard are the voices of normal people. Even we didn't hear the voices of imam arba'a, the Four Imams. Who heard from the Prophet (s)? What kind of voice do you think Prophet (s) had? What kind of voice compares to the voice of any Sahabi (r)? What do you think about Prophet (s)? Except Sahaba, they heard voice of Prophet (s), and what kind of voice they heard? All of them heard the same voice. Allah سبحانه و تعالى gave everyone a certain way of hearing the voice of Sayyidina Muhammad (s). His voice is like a rainbow that changed with the audience.
These reciters with us tonight, their beautiful voices are coming from the beauty of the voice of Prophet (s). If we put all reciters from the beginning until the end, all their beauty together is not able to reach a drop of Prophet’s sweetness, because Sayyidina Muhammad (s) received the whole Holy Qur'an straight from the Creator. The Prophet (s) received the whole Holy Qur’an qurbiyyah, it means the closest possible nearness that a servant can be in the Divine Presence of his Lord. And he (s) received that heavenly voice of the Creator because the Holy Qur'an is not created; it is Kalaamullahi 'l-qadeemi - Allah's Ancient Word. The language of Jannah is Arabic and Allah سبحانه و تعالى gave to His Prophet (s) in that language.
What do you think about that sweetness that Prophet (s) heard?! The mercy of Holy Qur’an is so sweet! When you want mercy for someone you give the best to him. Don't think that you can, when you read Qur’an, that you are understanding or carrying the sweetness of it. Allah سبحانه و تعالى is ar-Rahman, ar-Raheem ,and He will change our voice from disgusted voices to beautiful voices. They are the ones we have to hear from them. So Prophet (s) was listening to Abu Dharr al-Ghafari reciting in very melodious voice.
Prophet was so happy and said, "Ya Aba Dharr."
لو أعلم أنك تستمع لقراءتي لحبرته لك تحبيرا
He said, "Ya Rasulullah! w`Allahi I never knew you were behind me. If I knew you were behind me, I would have tried to be more sweet in reciting Qur’an, in best melodious way, that makes you happy with me."
So Muslims, the sweetness of the voice is important to make everyone happy. Without sweetness of voice, people can't be happy. When fathers or mothers call their children, they use the sweetest voice, and they must be happy. We must use that voice with each other. What kind of language do we use with each other? Very wild language. (Mawlana speaks to the reciters) Subhanallah, Allah سبحانه و تعالى made you to be in this country with so nice voices, to make praises on Prophet (s) without stopping. I am so surprised!
I will tell you something you never knew about. When I was to recite Qur’an, the whole city came to listen from the whole area. I was known everywhere as the "little Abdul Basit". I recited in melodious voice until I became 16 years of age and, like any child, I took pistachio, throwing it up and tried to catch it in my mouth and eat them. One day, I tossed a pistachio with the shell still on it, and it went all the way into my chest. I couldn’t breathe well for 2-3 days. They took me for surgery and they went through the vocal chords with a camera and small tweezers to catch it. It took 8 hours to bring it out. From that time my voice was cut, not any more as it was before. So it was a lesson for me that you must not act childish. Anyone who acts childish will harm himself without knowing.
That's why today people are harming themselves, not only with physical actions but they are doing all kinds of sins. Sins will cut your life down. Allah doesn't like His servant to do sins. If you sin, repent immediately. Today, people ask, “Pray for my son, pray for my daughter, they are lost.” Lost from what? The wilderness? This is civilization, civilized countries will not protect you from committing a sin. People are lost, men and women. So open your mind, don't be childish. If you are not childish, for sure the presence of Prophet (s) will be with you.
Tonight during the hadrah, I sat on the floor because I felt the presence of Mawlana Shaykh, from him to Grandshaykh. And when the name of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) comes, (Mawlana stands) we show respect to Prophet (s). For 800 years in the time of the Ottomans, when the sultan sat with all his cabinet ministers and the name of Prophet (s) was spoken, he stood, showing respect. What you think about Prophet’s (s) presence? Don’t think he is away, these praises immediately bring his attention to us. That's why Prophet (s) likes melodious voice. He doesn't like the voices of donkeys.
Allah سبحانه و تعالى mentioned in Holy Qur’an that the worst, disgusted voices is of donkeys. It means when you only speak of dunya and not of Akhirah, your voice is like the voice of donkeys. When you praise Allah سبحانه و تعالى and His Prophet (s), even if your voice is not beautiful, Allah will make the angels dress that voice in beauty. As soon as we open our mouth angels are ready to take in the sweetest way the praises on Prophet (s). Anyone who recites Holy Qur’an, angels dress your voice in beauty and sweetness.
When Allah سبحانه و تعالى said in Holy Qur’an, “ar-Rahman. O Muslims! O human beings! As you have to believe in Moses (a) and Jesus (a), you have to believe in Sayyidina Muhammad (s).”
Muslims have no problem believing in other prophets, but you have problem! Those who do not believe in Sayyidina Muhammad (s) have a problem. We (Muslims) believe in Moses, Noah, and Jesus. You have to believe in Prophet Muhammad (s)! If Allah asks did you believe in Moses, what we say? “YES!” No problem then, go to Paradise. O, do you believe in Jesus? “YES!” But, you ask them, “Do you believe in Muhammad (s)?” and they say, “no.” If you believe in Moses and Jesus and Muhammad, your blessings will be tripled. And those who believe in Muhammad (s) will go with Muhammad (s)!
O people! Allahu akbar kabeera! So what is their problem with Sayyidina Muhammad (s) I don’t understand? We have no problem with Sayyidina Musa or Sayyidina `Isa. Why do you have a problem? He brought mercy for you, ummatan-marhooma! They are going to come to Muhammad (s) and ask for his intercession. You do not believe, you believe, alhamdulillah, we cannot say more than that. (Mawlana sits) Allah, Allah!
So, I will not keep you long. The most important thing Abu Dharr (r) said to Sayyidina Muhammad (s) was, “If I knew you were behind me, I would recite Holy Qur’an in the best way I can.” And these reciters here tonight are getting from the sweetness of the voice of Prophet Muhammad (s). People with good voices, even if they are not Muslim, take from the sweetness of Sayyidina Muhammad (s). But they are lost and we say ‘”Ya, Rabbi bring them back to normal.” If you take for dunya, you are not going to take for akhirah. Open your hearts, your ears and say (like the Sahaba) wa qaaloo sami'na wa ata`ana ghufraanaka rabbana "We heard, we listened, we obeyed,” because we are going to be asked.
May Allah forgive us. May Allah bless us. May Allah bless Mr. Friedman and all his family. And bless the marriage of Hassan with Emma, and Hussayn with Elizabeth. Make them happy and make their grandparents happy with them. May Allah forgive us. And we will see, inshaAllah, those who are not married, you will find someone to marry because this is our Muslim way of life.
bi hurmati’ l-habeeb, bi hurmati ’l-Fatihah.