Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani | Sunday, Mar 18, 2007 | Los Angeles, CA US
We as communities and people who love peace must always come to such meetings in order to find ourselves because when you share with each other then you can understand more about yourself and about the others. You can find your mistakes from the others when they advise you and they can find their mistakes when you advise them; and that’s what keeps everything in harmony. That is what Rumi meant when he said “I don’t know myself, I am a Zoroastrian or I am Muslim or I am Christian or I am Jew or I am this or I am that… I am everything”. It means let us share, let us be together, let us mix together, let us mingle together, let us unite together in order that we can bring a happy musical life to humanity.
I traveled mostly everywhere around the world. I met presidents, politicians, ministers, prime ministers, ambassadors, kings, princes, princesses, every kind of life, work of life, normal people, common people, and I found what Prophet (peace be upon him) said to be indeed the truth: “human beings are equal like the teeth of the comb”. What would be the difference between a king and a normal, poor person? Nothing. Both of them are going to die one day. Both of them are going to be buried one day. What brings them together is that Love, if they love each other, if that relationship grows with each other. It keeps the memories, it keeps the reputation, and it keeps the good character. That is what’s left behind. There is nothing else left behind. And we all go where God wants us to go. And that is why Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and peace be upon all other prophets, said: “there is no difference between human beings; they are equal as the teeth of the comb are equal. There is no difference except in righteousness, there are only different in righteousness, i.e., sincerity, piety or “taqwa” in Arabic.
That is our message today and I hope that I was able to find myself through you because it awakens me up to look into my mistakes and try to correct myself. When I look at history I find all these interfaith events. Today they say we have to make interfaith, and interfaith is important. Of course it is important and it happened in many religions and in many beliefs before. It happened and integrated with every one. Every one is like a candle and every candle is unique. This one is red, this one is yellow, this one is white. Everyone is happy with his candle and all of them give a flame; indeed they all give a light. So let everyone be everyone. Let him or her be himself or herself but let us be together. Like these flowers, white and red [Shaykh Kabbani points at two flowers in front of him], they are together and thus give a nice flavor. If they were both red it would only be one flavor. They are many colors, different flavors. We are different colors: one Garden with different colors. That is what is important. May God bless you and may God support all of us and may God help us to find ourselves.
I was planning to keep you for one hour and a half but I found these words important and I think if we can find ourselves we can achieve a lot. Let us take this lesson with us and go to that written board when we are going outside. I didn’t’ read what is written under; I read only “lost and found”. And I don’t know… she might know what it means [addressing someone in the audience]. So read that word “lost and found” because we cannot find ourselves if we are not lost. To be “lost” is a requirement. Don’t say “no, oh we don’t want to be lost”. No, it’s OK; lose yourself for some time, especially teenagers because they think they have to be lost. Because you have to know that you cannot taste sweetness without tasting sourness. Tasting sourness gives you an indication of how important sweetness is. Consider how much you can feel the happiness in you when you begin to feel the sweetness. A little bit of sweetness after a lot of sourness and you find yourselves very happy.
And I was explaining yesterday the difference of sweetness in our beliefs. I said that there is a sour belief: you believe there is a Reality you believe there is God but your beliefs are sour, they are not ripe yet, like some fruits that are not ripe. So you see them but you don’t taste them. So there is a belief that is sour and there is a belief that is very sweet and sugary because it has sugar in it. And in between these two there might be a belief that is sweet with Splender or with Equal or with Sweet-N-Low [brands of artificial sugars]; so it gives you taste but it is not yet giving you the energy. It is empty, there is nothing in it. So if we don’t become lost we cannot taste. And this is why Rumi said “I am looking for myself where I can find myself”. This is why Buddha was saying “I want to look to find myself, to find Reality”. And this is why every person is asking to find Reality. Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad (peace be upon him) was going into the cave every year in order to find himself until he reached 40 years of age and Archangel Gabriel came as he came for Jesus and came for Moses.
So all traditions were looking for Reality but first they felt the sourness because they were lost. When we are lost and can look into sweetness to find ourselves then our life become so sweet. Many people have difficulties nowadays because they are lost. Why didn’t Rumi have difficulty? His only difficulty was the pain of Love that was keeping him away from the Divine Presence. He didn’t have difficulty eating and drinking. But he had difficulty finding himself. O beloved brothers and sisters let us pray all together in different religions and beliefs that God may give us a revelation or an inspiration to our hearts to find ourselves.
May God bless you and thank you very much. Wa salaamu aleykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu. (Peace be with you, God’s kindness and blessings!)