Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
to Texas, December 2002
Shaykh Hisham addresses the attendees at Friday Jumu`ah prayer, Irving Mosque, Dallas.
Arriving in the late afternoon of the12th of December 2002, 8th of Shawwal 1423 hijri, at the DFW airport accompanied by two senior students, Shaykh Hisham was whisked away in a van to the home of Syed Shahzaman in Allen, a suburb of Northern Dallas, where a large gathering of followers and students awaited his arrival.
Long-time disciple and representative, the founding president of AMIGO, Ustadh Abdul-Haqq Sazonoff had arrived earlier that day to look after the necessary final prepararions for Shaykh Hisham's trip.
Wearing the ever-elegant velvet-tipped white Naqshbandi turban, and a long grey woolen jubba (robe), Shaykh Hisham embodied the Holy Prophet Muhammad's (s) Sunnah when he stepped out of the van, staff in hand. His trademark long white cottony beard flowed in the gentle evening breeze and welcoming all who came to greet him with an angelic radiance.
|Shaykh Hisham, a "Hasani" and "Hussaini" Sayyid who hails from an well-reputed family of scholars in Lebanon, proceeded to give a heart-warming suhba (spiritual discourse) to the gathered crowd, in which he emphasized "submission," and obedience to Allah and His Prophet (s) as signs of true love. The association started with the Quranic verses: "Ati`ullaha, wa ati`ur-Rasula wa ulil amri minkum"- "Obey Allah, Obey Prophet (s) and those who are in authority among you." It was followed by a beautiful session of Naqshbandi Dhikr (Khatm-ul Khwajagan) and a sumptuous dinner prepared by the Naqshbandi sisters. Guests were lavished with delicious "biriani" after consuming so much spiritual food!|
A number of murids stayed back to accompany the Shaykh, enjoying the wonderful hospitality of Syed Shahzaman and his family. They were rewarded in the early morning hours before Fajr by the opportunity to pray "salatu tahajjud" (prayers of night vigil) behind Mawlana himself! Shaykh Hisham then went on to lead them through Fajr prayers followed by morning dhikr and waza'if. The murids had a short rest before preparing themselves for the Friday prayers.
Mawlana came out in the mid morning and then allproceeded to the Irving Mosque for Jum'a prayers. This beautiful place is run by Shaykh Mohamed Mohamed of Sudanese descent, leader of the Mukashafia tariqat in Dallas.
The members and attendeed of this mosque welcomed Mawlana Shaykh Hisham in a unique and heart-warming way. Shaykh Mohamed came and started singing self-written qasida (hymns) praising Mawlana in Arabic and English. It had a typical Afro-Arabic tune to it, the sincerity and simplicity of which touched every heart. Mawlana due to his unmatched humility and adab, sat on the ground with his head bowed down while listening to the recitation of the qasida which was later joined by other members of the mosque.
Mawlana then gave an inspiring sermon (khutba) and led the hundreds of devoted Muslims in Juma prayer. He reminded everyone of the need to take care of the spiritual life and explained how "hidden" spiritual knowledge becomes "expressed" for the one who is granted such knowledge. While he sat during the second adhan of Juma and during the du`a, his holy countenance resembled that of his Shaykh and mentor, Grandshaykh Nazim, which could .not escape even the lenses of the digital camera.
Again, a full meal was served at the Irving Mosque to all the brothers and sisters. Mawlana was then taken to a murid's house for rest. He entertained the entourage with light-hearted jokes and anecdotes.
Murids from other cities in Texas kept arriving to Dallas throughout
the day to meet him and often their first encounter with Mawlana was an
emotional one. The Sahykh continued to accommodate private consultations
amid this intensely busy schedule in an amazing manner.
That evening Mawlana was invited to the house of brother Moinuddin, a prominent member of the Dallas Ahlus Sunnah community. The house was full as hundreds gathered to see and hear the wali who brought the Light of Guidance and Love of the Prophet (s) to America. The crowd was not disappointed, as they were served the beautiful nectar of spiritual food, complete and prepared from Prophetic realities. The suhba flowing from the Shaykh's blessed tongue focused on the importance of following the Prophet (s) as he (s) is the "Sultan" of the Muslims.
Furthermore, Mawlana said, what is needed to produce honey in a bee- are the queen bees. Otherwise one finds only "wasps" that bite and sting. The Awliya (who are inheritors of the Prophet's (s) knowledge and states) also inherit this function, servings as "queen bees" to their followers. They are the ones making "honey". They create an oasis around them in the desert of this worldly life, making it as green as possible! Mawlana reminded that financial difficulty in this world is nothing to Sufis, as they rely on heavenly support. Mawlana then led the gathered crowd in an exceptionally powerful dhikr, the tajalli (spiritual emanation) of which was vibrating around the house, raising the wintry temperature and leaving everyone in tears. It was a heavenly experience.
After another grand meal, this time of a more typical Bangladeshi style,
with kababs, curries, korma and polao rice, Mawlana returned to his temporary
hub, Syed Shahzaman's house. One of Mawlana's traits was how he always
moved first, ahead of anyone, although he moved with ease! His steps are
slightly hurried, as was the Sunnah of the Prophet (s). Murids would have
to run and rush every time to cope with his pace, to make sure things
were ready. Once he returned to Syed's home that night he did not sit
with the murids anymore, again exemplifying the Prophetic (s) sunnah of
resting in the earlier part of the night and worshipping in the later