Jumma Khutbah (17th July 2009): Consistency in remaining upright and steadfast

Sermon given by Sheikh Usama Khayyat

All praise is due to Allah Subhana wa ta?ala, who ordered us to be balanced in spending. I praise Allah Subhana wa ta?ala and I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except him. Allah Subhana wa ta?ala made marriage from one of his signs and he made it a great blessing upon mankind. I bear witness that Muhammad SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam, is his servant and final messenger sent to mankind. He is the one who ordered mankind to declare their marriages and he also prohibited them from being extravagant in their spending on such occasions. May Allah?s Subhana wa ta?ala?s peace and blessings be upon Muhammad SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam and upon his companions.

Fear Allah and prepare yourself to seek his provisions to help you on the day of judgement. Hold onto the word of Allah Subhana wa ta?ala for indeed Allah Subhana wa ta?ala is your (mowla) protector and how good a protector he is. Oh believers, indeed celebrate the blessings of Allah Subhana wa ta?ala. Have gratitude to Allah Subhana wa ta?ala and praise him for these blessings. And to enjoy all of these blessings which have been spoken about in our noble shariah. And Allah Subhana wa ta?ala has clarified the wisdom behind these blessings. Therefore, from the blessings of marriage, shariah has ordered us to establish the Walima or this ceremony by which of marriage, to show our gratitude towards Allah Subhana wa ta?ala.

The messenger SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam said that declare this nikah so it is known to the people. Also it has been reported in sahih Muslim and Bukhari that Abdur Rahman Ibn Awf may Allah be pleased with him, Marriage during the reign of prophet Muhammad SalAllahu alahi wa sallam said have the Walima even if it means just sacrificing one sheep. This shows the importance of the Walima. Despite all of that, you will find that many practises go against the practises of the shariah by adding to the celebrations. You will find the people go to extravagance when it comes to the wedding in spending great amounts of money on food, wedding halls etc which all go beyond the means of what is absolutely necessary. And then you find some who even wish to be extravagant even though they are people in the world who are suffering from poverty and they are going through great difficult days. Also you find some people extravagent in buying for the women, they spend great amounts of money in buying wedding clothes, jewellery etc to the extent that you find that they compete against one another in buying the most expensive wedding clothes.

With regards to women, they feel they want to be uniqu e in purchasing their dress even though it means spending ridiculous amounts of money. This makes us realise that people have forgotten the wisdom behind all these blessings and they have forgotten the one who has bestowed all these blessings on them. It is mentioned in a hadith reported by Ibn Hadan, that the Messenger SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam said that the best marriages are those which are most simple, those that lead to the facilitation of marriages. So that is the best form of marriage. And then in another hadith it mentions that one companion spent a great amount of money on his marriage and the process that is embedded as if he carved silver out of a mountain. So this shows that we find in the Shariah that there is a Prohibition of being extravagant. Allah Subhana wa ta?ala says oh children of Adam, adorn yourself in every place of pray and eat and drink but do not be extravagant and do not spend lavishly for Allah Subhana wa ta?ala does not like extravagance.

Likewise, we find other texts in the Quran and sunnah that prohibits this extravagance. For example in a Hadith quoted in the Musnaad of Ahmad Prophet muhammad SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam said eat and drink and wear clothes and give in charity but do not spend with pride and arrogance. Likewise in another hadith in Sahih Muslim noted by Abu Hurairah, the Messenger SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam said indeed Allah Subhana wa ta?ala likes three things but hates three things. As for those three things He likes, He likes you to worship none but Him and you don?t associate Shirk and He also likes that you unite together for the sake of Allah Subhana wa ta?ala and He hates that you report unnecessary statements from people, asking too many questions and wasting wealth.

So the question is how do we prevent ourselves from falling into such extravagance? Firstly we must remember that those blessings that Allah Subhana wa ta?ala has displayed upon us. We must thank Allah Subhana wa ta?ala by means of which He has shown us so we must show Allah Subhana wa ta?ala by being grateful to Him. And the best way of doing that is by adhering to the Sunnah of the Prophet SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam and that you study and look to the way that he was in terms of spending his wealth. And we find all of these event in the books of Seerah and also books of hadith. How the Prophet SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam was when it came to spending his wealth. For indeed his guidance is the best guidance that we can adhere to.

The best way that we can attain any good in this world and in the hereafter and therefore it is no surprise that Allah Subhana wa ta?ala made the prophet Muhammad SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam an exemplary example for us . As Allah Subhana wa ta?ala says in the Quran that indeed you will find in Muhammad SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam, the best of examples for those who wish for Allah Subhana wa ta?ala, and who wish for the goodness in the Hereafter.

Likewise we must also be connected with the Scholars and the people of knowledge and those who call to Islam, for they will guide us as to how we should spend our wealth in a way which is pleasing to Allah Subhana wa ta?ala. And this is one of the most effective ways in which we will be able to attain the correct knowledge and correct perspective as to how we should deal with our wealth. And as believers, we should be examples in ourselves for other people. The Prophet SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam mentioned in Sahih Muslim, whoever who introduces or revives a good deed in Islam, then he will have the reward of doing it and also have the reward of those who did that action as well. And whoever introduces an evil action into this religion, then he will have the sin of that and the sin of those who committed that act, for they heard it from him.

So we ask Allah Subhana wa ta?ala to make us of those upon the Quran and to act upon the Sunnah of the Prophet SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam. And we ask You to make us upon your servants who hear your statement and obey. Indeed they are the people of intellect. May Allah Subhana wa ta?ala make us benefit from the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam.

2ND KHUTBAH

All prays is due to Allah Subhana wa ta?ala, we thank Him, we seek refuge in Allah Subhana wa ta?ala from the evil of ourselves and from the evil of our deeds. Whoever Allah Subhana wa ta?ala guides none can lead him astray and whoever misguides Allah Subhana wa ta?ala none can guide him. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah Subhana wa ta?ala and I bear witness that His Prophet and Messenger and slave Muhammad SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam is the final messenger sent to mankind.

Since the religion of Islam is a balanced religion that does not go to extremes, then it is therefore no surprise that we find the Shariah and Islam that prohibits the vice of extravagance in our spending. Allah Subhana wa ta?ala says, oh children of Adam, adorn yourself at every place of pray and eat and drink but do not spend extravagantly and lavishly for Allah Subhana wa ta?ala does not like those who spend in such a way. Allah Subhana wa ta?ala has also said, and give those who are close to you in charity and give to the wayfarer and do not be extravagant in your spending, for indeed those who do so, they are the brothers of the devils.

And likewise Allah Subhana wa ta?ala says do not attach to your neck, meaning that do not be stingy. And likewise do not extend your hand completely, rather you should be balanced and in between that. And the people who adhere to being balanced in the way they spend, will receive blessings in their wealth and they will purify their wealth.

We ask Allah Subhana wa ta?ala to send peace and blessings on the Prophet SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam and as Allah Subhana wa ta?ala says Allah and his Angels give prayers on the Messenger SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam. Oh you who believe, give your blessings on the Prophet SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam. May Allah Subhana wa ta?ala also be pleased with the four rightly guided Khalifs Abu Bakar, Umar, Uthman and Ali and the rest of his Companions. And also those that follow them in righteousness until the day of resurrections. Allah Subhana wa ta?ala give strength and victory to the Muslims and give strength and victory to Islam. And protect the territories of the Muslims and protect them from the mischief of the evil doers. and unite the ranks of the believer and rectify the state of the rulers of the Ummah.

Oh Allah, give victory to the religion and to the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad SalAllahu alaihi wa sallam and to give victory to your pious servants and to those who strive in your way. And rectify the state of our rulers, and make them rule by the Quran and the Sunnah. Oh Allah Subhana wa ta?ala, protect the land of the Muslims and protect them from the harms of the evil doers. Oh Allah, protect us from our enemies and your enemies. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil. Oh Allah, make our affairs end in a good way, and save us from the punishment of the hereafter. And Oh Allah, rectify our religion for us which is a means by which we protect our affairs and save us and rectify our Akhira for us and increase in good and make for us a rest from all forms of evil. And save us, oh Allah, from the destruction.

Oh Allah, we ask you for the success of doing good deeds and save us from the evils. Oh Allah, cure those who are ill from among us and have mercy on all those who have passed away. Oh Allah, we have wronged ourselves and if you do not forgive us and have mercy on us, then we will be of the losers. Oh Allah, we seek refuge in you from the removal of your mercy and to be certainly punished with a calamity. Oh Allah, give us the good in this life and the hereafter and save us from the punishment of the hereafter. May Allah?s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah Subhana wa ta?ala and all thanks is to Allah Subhana wa ta?ala.

Written from the translation (name unknown) ? Islam Channel. If you know the name of the brother who translated this Khutbah, please let us know.

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Friday Khutbah (03 July 2009): Leadership through Example

Dear blessed brothers,

Let us increase our taqwa to Allah s.w.t. Fulfill all of Allah?s commands and refrain from all His prohibitions. Let us continue to be guided by the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet s.a.w. in leading our religious life.

My dear brothers,

Each one of us is a leader and assumes a leadership role, whether in our families, among colleagues and friends, or to anyone else who look at us for good examples through our actions. It is thus important for us to be aware of this role that we play, whether consciously or otherwise.

Allah s.w.t created Prophet Adam a.s. as His viceregent and a leader in this world. He was also equipped with knowledge to assume that role. The prophets and messengers after him were also tasked to lead humankind to the path of God.

For example, Allah s.w.t says to Prophet Abraham a.s. in surah Al-Baqarah verse 124:

?And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: ?I will make you a leader to mankind.? He pleaded: ?And also (leaders) from my offspring!? He answered: ?But My Promise is not within the reach of those who are unjust.?

My dear brothers,

From this verse, it is clear that every leadership position signifies a covenant and promise to Allah s.w.t. Secondly, the basis and core of leadership is to strive for justice and fairness in delivering duties, and to refrain from being unjust and unfair in all matters and responsibilities.

Let us reflect upon the life of our greatest leader, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. How was his leadership in his family life, within the Muslim ummah and even beyond Muslims? Suffice for us to say that he was always loved and needed by others because of his excellent character and his merciful dealings with each and every of God?s creation.

The Prophet s.a.w showed the best examples in leadership. He fulfilled the natural needs of humankind, through attributes such as trustworthiness, truthfulness, explaining the truth, and wisdom.

According to Islamic history, even before his prophethood, leaders of the Quraisy tribe had already called the Prophet as ?The Trustworthy One? or ?al-Amin? because of the Prophet?s integrity when offering his service and contributions to his society. Known as such in his community, the Prophet had created love and trust of others towards him. But he earned so because the Prophet placed his community before himself, and he was a selfless leader who only sought Allah?s pleasure and blessings for all that he did.

My dear brothers,

The Prophet s.a.w said in a hadith which means, ?Each of you is a leader, and each leader will be held accountable for what he has led.? (Hadith narrated by al-Bukhari)

So what can we learn and how can we improve in performing our leadership roles in life? For example, in our family life, each parent, say the father, will need to consider the needs of each family member fairly and not place his self-interest above the rest in making any decision. But more importantly, we must also be aware that real leadership in family life takes place through our own actions and behaviours. Our actions are being watched, especially by our children, and they take cue and model themselves after us, more than what we preach and say to them.

In our work life and in society, an effective leader is one who leads by example; the example of his acts and contributions. Infact, you may be an ordinary employee or worker, and you may not have any subordinates. Yet, if you are the most diligent or industrious, you will become an example to others, and with that, indirectly, you have become a very effective leader.

My dear brothers

So let us reflect upon ourselves and ask how have we carried out our leadership role, whether back at home, or at our work places, among friends or family? Do we hold on firmly and strongly to principles, and we pursue Allah?s pleasure and blessings, or do we place ourselves and our self-interests above everything else when we make decisions? Do we only criticise others, yet do not offer alternatives? Do we only order and command, but we do not give a helping hand to those under our charge? Have we strived to become a good example for others? In other words, do we lead through example? Let?s think about it, dear blessed congregation.

Imagine the outcome for our ummah and community, if each and everyone of us is a successful leader in his or her own right. So we ask Allah that He grant us continued guidance for us to perform our roles and responsibilities successfully in the best possible manner.

Amin.

Source: Friday Khutbah : Leadership Thru Example

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Friday Khutbah (20 February 2009): Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community

The following friday khutbah (sermon) delivered by Hesham Hassaballa, as part of a nationwide effort to focus on domestic violence by muslim Americans today.

We praise God, the Almighty, the Precious Beloved. All praise is due to Him. We seek refuge in the Lord from the evil tendencies of our selves and from the evil of our actions. We bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship except God alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (pbuh) is God’s Messenger and Servant.

Whomever God guides can never be misguided. Yet, whosoever God leaves to stray can never be guided aright except by His leave. We ask the Precious Beloved to send down His Mercy, His Prayers, and His blessings upon Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), upon his family, his companions, and the Muslims everywhere. Amen.

By now, everyone has heard of the truly outrageous and barbaric murder of Sister Aasiya Zubair, the estranged wife of the CEO of Bridges TV, who was found brutally beheaded in the offices of that TV station. Allegedly, her husband has confessed to her murder, and the incident has sent shockwaves all throughout the Muslim community in America.

Of course, the haters of Islam and Muslims are all over this, claiming that this is expected from Islam and Muslims. That contention is completely false. Domestic violence is a problem that transcends race, culture, color, and religion. It is a scourge that contaminates every society and socioeconomic status. It is a stain on the human condition, and to blame Islam for it is totally unfair.

Nevertheless, it is irrefutable that there is a big problem with domestic violence in the Muslim community. Refusing to say so in the interest of “not saying anything bad about Muslims” will not make it go away. It is, in fact, treason to the Muslim community, as one of the first things one must do in order to cure a disease is to recognize that the ailment exists in the first place. Denial is deadly.

The brutal and barbaric murder of sister Aasiya is a wake up call to our community that something must be done about domestic violence, and it must be done now. And it is a horrific state of affairs that such a brutal event had to take place in order to jolt the Muslim community into action.

Let us reflect over what marriage is supposed to be about. True, it is the vehicle through which sexual desire is legally satisfied. But that is a very small part of marriage. To get married is to enter into a contract with another human being to form the unit through which society is strengthened and the next generation is nurtured. The family unit is sacrosanct in Islam, and this sanctity begins with marriage.

And in the Qur’an, the images of marriage are ones of peace, harmony, love, and tranquility. In chapter 30, verse 21, it says: And among His signs is this: that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your [hearts]: verily in that are signs for those who reflect.

God describes it as a sign, or miracle, that He gave us mates from among ourselves. The Arabic word of the verse is taskunu: meaning a place where someone feels at “home,” as the word for home, sakan, comes from the same root word.

In another verse, the Qur’an describes spouses thus: They are your garments, and you are their garments. (2:187) What does a garment do? It protects one from the elements of heat and cold; it hides the faults that are hidden below the garment; it covers what should not be seen by others; and it also adorns and makes the wearer beautiful. That is the perfect description of what spouses do for one another.

Domestic violence and spousal abuse completely destroys that Qur’anic standard of love, mercy, tranquility, and protection. It betrays everything for which Islam calls in a marriage. It is blatant disobedience to God Almighty.

What does one try to accomplish by abusing his or her spouse? Achieving power? Achieving domination over another human being? Are they trying to enslave another human being? Why abuse one’s spouse? What logical explanation can there be?

There is no logical explanation. Spousal abuse – whether mental or physical – is totally and wholly unacceptable. Period. End of discussion.

Power lies only with the All-Powerful: All power belongs to God, and to His Messenger, and to those who believe… (63:8) True power does not come from dominating your spouse. No! True power comes from believing in God, being from among the believers, and following His commands and those of His Messenger (pbuh).

To those who abuse their spouses: Are you better than the Messenger of God (pbuh)? Do you think the advice of the Beloved Prophet (pbuh) was not worthy enough? Was his example not shining enough?

The Prophet (pbuh) said in a hadith: “Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?” In another hadith, he said: “Do not beat the female servants of God.” The Prophet (pbuh) never beat or struck any of his wives or children. It never happened. Is this not a good enough example for all of us?

Indeed, there will arise disputes among husband and wife. Yet, no matter how difficult the dispute may be, physical violence can never, ever, ever be an option. Never.

All of this that we discussed is on an individual level – between husband and wife. On a community level, we must get extremely serious about the issue of domestic violence. There must be zero tolerance for domestic violence. If any sister comes forward and claims to be in fear for her life at home, she must be take with the utmost of seriousness. She must be supported, protected, and the claim must be investigated.

There is no shame upon them if they come forward and report abuse, and they must not be made to feel ashamed. Our imams and community leaders must not tell the sisters to “be patient” with an abusive husband. Our communities must establish strong ties with social service organizations that help the victims of spousal abuse, and there are several excellent such organizations right here in Chicago as well as across the country.

We must teach our children, especially our young men, that to be a “man” does not mean beating one’s wife into submission. That is not a measure of strength, but rather profound and pathetic weakness. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The strong man is not one who can wrestle someone to the ground. Rather, the strong man is the one who can control himself when he gets angry.” We all must heed this Prophetic wisdom.

If we know that a man is an abuser, he must not be allowed to marry again and continue the cycle of abuse. Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali of the ADAMS center in Virginia first made that call, and I echo it. Sister Aasiya was the third wife of her accused killer, and the two other women filed for divorce because of spousal abuse. How could this be? It does not matter who the man is; if he is a abuser, and does not want to change, then he should not be allowed to marry. Period.

My heart bleeds for the family of sister Aasiya. My heart bleeds for this terrible tragedy. My heart bleeds for the countless other women – Muslim and otherwise – who endure terror at home at the hands of those who should be their best and closest companions.

And my heart burns with rage at those who think that beating their wives is sanctioned by our beautiful faith. They are terribly mistaken. Islam does nothing of the sort, and God does not accept this terrible behavior. Neither should the Muslim community.

Wake up, Muslim community! Wake up! There must never be another Aasiya Zubair. There must never be another instance of an “honor killing.” Nay, from this day forward, there must never be another spouse who goes home to a place where she does not feel safe. As Muslims, who are accountable before God on the Day of Judgment, we must eradicate the stain that is domestic violence from our community, once and for all.

Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago doctor and writer. He is co-author of the Beliefnet Guide to Islam, is Deputy Director of Illume Magazine, and blogs at God Faith Pen.

via Friday Khutbah (Sermon) on Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community – City of Brass.

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Friday Khutbah: Mankind’s need for Islam

MANKIND?S NEED FOR ISLAM
from Radio Islam
by Imâm al-Haram Husayn ibn ?Abdul ?Azîz Aal Sheikh

All praise is due to Allâh, Lord of all the worlds, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allâh, his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allâh in your words and deeds, for

?Whoever fears Allâh, and keeps his duty to Him, He will provide him a way out (of every difficulty), and He will provide him from sources he could never imagine.?
— (At-Talâq 65: 2-3 )

Dear Muslims! The greatest blessing that Allâh bestowed on mankind is His sending of Muhammad ? peace and blessings be on him ? with a pure religion that brings all good to mankind and protects them from all that is evil through its principles of justice, brotherhood, freedom and peace.

Brothers in Islâm! The faith that the Prophet established its pillars is the source of all good and felicity for those who follow its guidance. This faith is the pure tree with ripe and everlasting fruits.

Allâh says,

?See you not how Allâh set forth a parable? ? A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches (reach) to the sky. Giving its fruits at all times by the leave of its Lord??
— (Ibrâheem 14: 24 )

Islâm is the treasure of all good for mankind without which they will go astray and live in misery and loss.

Allâh says,

?By the time! Verily! Man is in loss, except those who believe and do righteous good deeds and recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience.?
— (Al-Asr 103: 1-3 )

The Islâmic creed with which the Prophet Muhammad was sent is the bringer of all good and prosperity and the preventer of all evil and its causes. Whoever adheres to it will ever remain on the straight path. He will not be carried away by whims nor deceived by the beauties of this world.

Allâh says,

?Then whenever there comes to you guidance from Me and whoever follows My guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve.?
— (Al-Baqarah 2: 38 )

Brothers in faith! Only through true faith can man know his appropriate place and march on the path marked for him with light and sure knowledge. He will follow only the right guidance and live his life in righteousness in line with his pure nature and clean conscience far from ugly deeds and behaviours.

Fellow Muslims! The impact of faith is great in the mind and its fruits are wonderful. Apart from its purification of the heart and developing it, it is also an infinite living treasure. It gives man power, perseverance, firmness, peace of mind and hope in this world where there is unending war between truth and falsehood; good and evil, it gives absolute security, complete guidance and perfect light.

Allâh says,

?Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allâh do hearts find rest.?
— (Ar-Ra?d 13: 28 )

Whoever lives in the vastness of faith, holds fast to its strong rope and follows its illuminating light by living a life that will make him understand the infinite wisdom of Allâh, His vast Mercy, His past laws and His Divine Power. That will then give him peace of mind, because he will know then that whatever good that comes his way has already been predestined for him and that whatever calamity that he suffers has also been predestined for him. He will have no doubt nor worries but march on with firm step towards his virtuous goals.

The Messenger of Allâh said,

?Observe the rights of Allâh, He will protect you; observe His rights upon you, and you will find him before you. If you ask, ask of Allâh; if you seek assistance, seek it from Allâh. Know that if the whole world gathered together to benefit you, they could not do so except by that which Allâh has destined for you; and if they gathered together to harm you, they could not do so except by that which Allâh has destined for you. The pens have been raised and the sheets have dried.? (Which means everything has already been predestined by Allâh.)

True faith gives man certainty, confidence and power to persevere. IF he is in bliss, he will not be arrogant, but will rather praise his Lord and thank Him and if he is afflicted with calamity, he will not despair, but will rather have patience and be satisfied with his fate. This is because he exemplifies his faith with clarity and power of will, and derives his power of forbearance during hardship from it. Nothing will then be able to divert him from his faith and his seeking for the pleasure of his Lord. He will rather increase in purity, sincerity, truthfulness, patience and firmness.

The Messenger of Allâh said,

?The affair of a believer is wonderful; all his affairs are good for him and that is for none except the believer. When he gets a bliss he thanks Allâh for that, and that is good for him and when a calamity befalls him, he is patient and that is also good for him.?
— (Muslim)

Brothers in Islâm! A nation that is governed by the Islâmic creed and its life is controlled by the realities of faith is a powerful nation in itself; a nation that has a natural immunity that enables it ? with permission of Allâh ? to overcome all hardships and trials; and prevent its children from being affected by despair during calamities. It will rather be a nation that calamities and trials only increase it in good, reform and constructive life. It is actually a nation that has passed through all kinds of tribulations in its long history. If any other nation were to have a similar experience, it would have disappeared from the pages of history. Yes, it is a nation that has been promised a clear victory.

?Allâh has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds that He will certainly grant them succession (to the present rulers) in the earth as He granted it to those before them and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islâm). He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me.?
— (An-Nûr 24: 55 )

Brothers in faith! Abandoning the pleasant source of faith, its realities and light of Islâm cause dangerous crises. Perpetual darkness and a life that is devoid of happiness or bliss.

Allâh says,

?But whoever turns away from My reminder, verily, for him is a life of hardship and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.?
— (Tâhâ 20: 124 )

The winds of evils that blow among mankind these days as well as wars and instability are all a result of keeping away from the divine path. True faith and the correct concept of freedom and equality.

Allâh says,

?And transgress not the limits. Truly Allâh likes not the transgressors.?
— (Al-Baqarah 2: 190 )

Therefore as long as the life is not based on the foundation laid by the Creator, as long as the wise men of the world do not fully recognise sources of evil and as long as the solution to the worlds problems is not based on comprehensive justice and common-sense, there will never be any visible end to wars and the ship of this world will not find its way to the port of peace ? regardless of efforts exerted towards this goal.

Fellow Muslims! Some world communities are afflicted with some calamities. The frightening danger does not lie in these incidents but in the methods taken to face the problem and overcome it. Common sense should be used in tackling them and proper steps should be taken to avoid their reoccurrence. Investigation should be adequately made and conclusions should not be hastily drawn in order to avoid more severe consequences.

Allâh says,

?O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a piece of news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.?
— (Al-Hujurât 49: 6 )

The Messenger of Allâh said, ?Deliberateness is from Allâh, while haste is from Satan.?

Brothers in faith! Muslims nowadays are passing through difficult situations and they are surrounded by dangers that threaten their very existence. They are therefore looking towards better conditions. However, there is a fact that should be clear to everybody: this community of ours has a special nature that distinguishes it from other people; that is its belief which is based on total and complete submission to Allâh, the Exalted.

It is this very belief and action according to its injunctions ? in all spheres of one?s life that can guarantee the much desired peace and security.

Allâh says,

?Truly, Allâh defends those who believe.?
— (Al-Hajj 22: 38 )

Therefore, there is no way for this nation out of its present predicaments except by faithfully returning to Allâh, adhering truly to the sunnah of the Prophet and being sincere towards its religion inwardly and outwardly.

There is no way out except by loving Allâh and his Messenger with all the hearts and abiding by His law in governance and arbitration and in all matters of life.

Allâh says,

?It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allâh and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any opinion in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allâh and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.?
— (Al-Ahzâb 33: 36 )

Now is the time for dead hearts to awake! Now is the time for the heedless to remember Allâh and for the one deep in the sea of sin to cling to the ship of salvation!

Allah says,

?Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by Allâh?s reminder and that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture (the Torah and Gospel) before (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were rebellious, disobedient (to Allâh).?
— (Al-Hadîd 57: 16 )

O journalists! The obligation of the mass media is to understand its role. The mass media should build and not destroy; correct and not damage. It should be occupied with issues of high importance not trivialities. Let it be an avenue for guiding the Muslim children to their religion and actions that lead towards unity of Muslims, sincerity to this great religion, serving and defending it faithfully.

?And who is better in speech than he who invites men to Allâh?s (religion) and does righteous deeds and says I am one of the Muslims.?
— (Fussilat 41: 33 )

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Hajj [Pilgrimage]

Dear brothers and sisters: My talk to you today is Hajj and its benefits. Allah says in the Qurâ??an: â??And proclaim to the people the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel. They will come from every distant pass that they may witness (i.e., attend) benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known (i.e., specific) days over what He has provided for them of (sacrificial) animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.â? (Al-Hajj: 27-28)

Dear brothers and sisters: Hajj is one of the greatest signs of Allah that what Muhammad brought is, in reality, the religion of truth; for no human power can gather pilgrims every year from all parts of the world with hearts full of yearning and love, who experience difficulties yet rejoice at leaving their homes and families, feeling that the hours of performing Hajj are the greatest of their lives and spending generously for this purpose.

Ibn â??Abbaas said, â??When Allah commanded the Prophet Abraham to proclaim Hajj amongst the people, he said, â??My Lord, how can I convey the message to the people when my voice cannot reach them?â?? Allah said, â??You call; it is Our duty to make it reach them,â?? so he stood in position and said, â??O you people! Your Lord has chosen a house, so perform pilgrimage to it.â?? It was said that the mountains were levelled and his voice reached all parts of the earth. All that were in the wombs were made to hear the call and everything that heard it responded. So those for whom Allah has decreed Hajj until the Day of Judgment responded, â??Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk (Here I am at your service, O Allah, here I am).â??â?

In this regard, I would like to say that Allah has mentioned it clearly that there are benefits for mankind. These types of benefits are indefinite in number. These benefits are not restricted to one particular area, or time of history. The benefits one may get from the performance of hajj are much more than to be counted. These benefits are good for people in this world and in the hereafter.

Dear brothers and sisters: let me mention some of the benefits for the individuals and for the Muslim society.

As far as the individual benefits are concerned, the following is a partial list of these benefits:

Renewal of the remembrance of Allah and strengthening the relation between the individual and the Creator. The chanting of the pilgrim is nothing more than a confirmation from the creature to Allah, i.e. by saying: Lab-bayk Allahum-ma Lab-bayk, Lab-bayk laa sharika laka Lab-bayk

Remembrance of the Day of Judgement. During Hajj the presence of few million peoples gathering at Arafat in one place, at one time for one purpose, is an indication and a sign of a hereafter. The dress of white towels and clothes are sign of coffins. Such type of remembrance is very important in making a person to remember death and the resurrection.

The performance of Hajj wipes out the sins of a pilgrim. This is a type of a new beginning that helps a person not to lose hope in this world. On the contrary he would strive effectively to please Allah after his sins and mistakes are wiped off. In this regard Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: â??whoever performs pilgrimage without uttering immodest speech or abusing others, he returns just a new-born ( Muslim)

A person sacrifices through the performance of Hajj. He leaves his family, business and country. He spends lots of money, time, effort and energy; and he bears lots of difficulties due to travelling; all of these are for the pleasure and love of Allah. This type of sacrifice helps the individual to overcome all his difficulties in his daily life. The person who strives and sacrifices is amore successful person than a one who does not strive and sacrifice.

The performance of Hajj is a theoretical and practical training course for the individual on the following habits and manners: Patience, Perseverance, humility, organization, management, tolerance, co-operation, kindness, sympathy, politeness, affection, concern, helpfulness etcâ?¦

Dear brothers and sisters: We hope and pray that every Muslim make an effort to perform Hajj at least once in his life-time and let your Hajj be an act of repentance from sin. Finally, we ask Allah for forgiveness and to accept our deeds and prayers.