The virtues of the First Ten Days of Thul Hijjah

Makkah friday khutbah By: ‘Abdur Rahmaan Sudais

Slaves of Allah! You are approaching virtuous days; they are the best days as the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said in an authentic hadeeth: “The best days in this life are the (first) ten days of Thual-Hijjaha. Furthermore, Allah swore by them in His Book, and when Allah swears by something, it is a reflection of its great importance. Allah says that which translates to: “By the dawn. And the nights of the ten daysa (Al Fajr:1-2). These are the first ten days of Thual-Hijjah and they include the day of `Arafah, about which the Prophet Sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “There is no day in which Allah frees more of His slaves from The Fire than the day of `Arafaha (Muslim). These ten days are concluded by the day of An Nahr (sacrifice); then follows the day of Al Qarr. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “The greatest days in the scale of Allah are the days of An Nahr and Al Qarra (Abu Daawood). The day of An Nahr is the major day of Hajj and the day of `Eid; the day of Al Qarr is the following day. Virtuous deeds have a magnified position during these days. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than the (first) ten days of Thual-Hijjaha (Ad-Daarimi), in another narration the companions asked: “Not even Jihaad for the sake of Allah?a he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “Not even Jihaad for the sake of Allah, except for a man who loses (sacrifices) both his wealth and life in a battlea (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah, At-Tirmidhi)

What great virtues and what a great season! What an opportunity this is to collect greater rewards than that of Jihaad, which is the best deed after sound belief and punctual salaah. This season represents a wonderful opportunity for those who want to compete in collecting rewards and a miserable loss for the idle, who shun such opportunities.

Slaves of Allah! Compete for and rush towards the forgiveness of Allah and paradise which is as wide as the heavens and earth and do not slacken and be unhurried, because the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “Being laid-back is best in every matter except for good deedsa (Abu Daawood & Al-Haakim). One must compete and march forward when it comes to working for the hereafter as Allah says that which translates as: “… So for this let the competitors competea (Al Mutaffifeen:26) and also, “.. So race to (all that is) good… (Al-Baqarah:148).

In this season, the roads leading to goodness are numerous, so do not miss out on any of them. The intelligent ones are those who exhaust themselves during this season to gain abundantly; you see many of them joining their days with their nights, continuously doing righteous deeds and hardly sleeping in order to get the most out of this season. On the other hand, you see those who put all their efforts into the attainment of worldly gains. The sad fact is that the result of all this effort would be, at most, the doubling of their capital – if indeed they do not actually lose it. As for the wise believers, nothing is dearer to them than increasing their efforts and righteous deeds that please the Lord, get them closer to Him and elevate their ranks; Allah told us what pleases Him in His Book and through His messenger; Allah will guide those who truly wish for goodness (if He Wills).

Salaah is one of the ways leading to goodness and something that Allah loves. The slave must be keen to perform it in congregation as Allah says that which translates to: “…And bow (in rukooa) with those who bowa (Al Baqarah:43), and the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said, “He who hears the Athaan (call for Salaah) and does not respond, his Salaah is not accepted, except with the congregation, unless he has a (valid) excusea (Ibn Maajah) The excuse is either fear, sickness or rain.

A slave of Allah who is guided would supply himself with optional salaah in these ten days, because it is a path to goodness and something that Allah loves. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “Salaah is the best thing that one can do, so perform as many as you possibly cana (At-Tabaraani) and he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “Two light rakaaat which you may think as insignificant to add to you deeds, is better for you than possessing the whole worlda (Ibn Al Mubaarak) he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said, as narrated by Abu Hurayrah, “The son of Aadam could not do anything more beneficial for himself than salaah, reconciliation (between Muslims) and being well mannereda (Al Bayhaqi and others).

These were three examples of good deeds that lead to righteousness, salaah, reconciliation and being well mannered which are better than anything else that the son of Aadam can do, yet you see some people slight the performance of obligatory salaah, let alone optional salaah; you see them instigating disputes between people; and you see ill-mannered people who have lost out on the great reward for having a good character. So let us repent to Allah from our sins, reform our situation and improve our manners.

A woman was praised in the presence of the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam for her salaah, fasting and other good deeds; her only flaw was that she harmed her neighbours. Upon hearing the praise, the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “She is from the people of the Firea (Ahmad). In reality, the guided ones are those who do all those things which please Allah and refrain from all those things that cause His wrath, as some of the scholars said: “Wisdom is to perform what you are obliged to, in the correct manner and on time; he who is granted wisdom has attained a great deal of gooda.

Some of the Ahaadeeth which mention the virtues of optional salaah are as follows: “Prostrate as much as you can, because whenever you prostrate, Allah elevates your rank by a degree and wipes out a sin from your recorda (Muslim) and in another narration: “Whenever a slave prostrates to Allah, Allah writes a reward for him, wipes out one of his sins and elevates his rank by one degree; so prostrate as much as you cana (Ibn Maajah). The way to perform salaah is as the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam described: “The night salaah is done two (rakaaat) at a timea (Al Bukhaari) and in another narration: “The optional salaah at night and during the day is done two Rakaah at a timea (Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and others).

Slaves of Allah! Another of the paths to righteousness and fields of competition is reciting the Quraaan. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “The best amongst you are those who learn the Quraaan and then teach ita (Al Bukhaari) he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “He who recites a letter from the Book of Allah will get a reward and each of these rewards will be multiplied ten times. I do not mean `Alif Laam Meema is one letter, but rather `Alifa is a letter, `Laam is a letter and `Meema is a lettera (At Tirmidhi) and he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “If one of goes to the masjid and learns a verse or reads two verses from the Book of Allah, is better for him than owning two she-camels, (reading) three are better than (owning) three, (reading) four are better than (owning) four and so ona (Muslim) and also, “Let him who wants to attain love for Allah and His messenger read from The Book of Allaha.

Another of the fields of goodness is fasting as the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam encouraged us to “Fast on Mondays and Thursdaysa (Ahmad & Nasaaai) and “Fast the day of `Arafaha (Muslim) also: “Fast like the Prophet Daawood (who fasted every other day)a (Bukhaari & Muslim). I do not know of any specific reference that relates to any special virtue for fasting these ten days in particular, but, having said this I would add that one should still fast during these days because of the general texts encouraging good deeds during these ten days.

Another way is giving in charity; `Abdur Rahmaan Ibn Saburah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “(Every day) An Angel calls out in the heavens saying, `O Allah! Bless and compensate for the wealth of the one who spends (for your sake) and ruin the wealth of the one who holds back (from spending)aa (At-Tabaraani) Also he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said to Bilaal, may Allah be pleased with him: “Spend (charitably) O Bilaal! – and do not fear that Allah will decrease your provision (due to your spending)a and he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam addressed Asmaaa, may Allah be pleased with her, saying: “Spend (charitably) and donat count (i.e. donat be cautious in spending in this manner) otherwise your provisions will become limited and donat hold back (from spending in charity) otherwise your provisions will be held backa (Bukhaari & Muslim) The Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “I swear that these three things are true: That giving in charity does not decrease the wealth of the slave ……..a (Ahmad & Tirmidhi). Giving in charity enables one to be among the seven categories of people who will be protected under the shade of the Throne of Allah; regarding this, the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “… and a man who gave charity so secretly that even his left hand would not know how much his right hand had spenta (Bukhaari & Muslim) also, “Charity given in secret extinguishes the wrath of Allaha. One of the best forms of charitable giving is to give someone a drink of water as the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “The best form of charity is giving someone water (to drink)a (Ahmad, An Nasaaai and Ibn Maajah).

O slaves of Allah! One of the best deeds in these days is to initiate Hajj as a way of drawing closer to Allah and fasting the day of `Arafah for those who are not performing Hajj. Allah willing we will talk about the virtues of Hajj in another Khutbah. Offering a sacrificial animal is also one of the most virtuous deeds that one can perform. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “He who does not offer a sacrifice while being financially able to, let him not come close to our masjid (i.e. pray with us)a and he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “When the ten days (Thual-Hijjah) have begun and one of you intends to offer a sacrifice, then let him not cut any of his hair or remove anything from his skina (Muslim) in another narration he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “Let him not cut anything from his hair or nails until he sacrificesa (Ad Daarimi).

These are examples of virtuous deeds, so take advantage of them; beware of laziness and neglect and know that Allah has favoured certain seasons over others, so let us take advantage of these opportunities and increase our righteous deeds; perhaps Allah will forgive us for our sins and shortcomings.

Friday Khutbah (11th April 2008): Adhering To The Quraan And Sunnah Is The Way To Salvation

Adhering To The Qurâ??aan And Sunnah Is The Way To Salvation
By Sh Salaah Al Budair – Imaam of Haram

These days, Islamic societies are being relentlessly attacked by Christianisation campaigns, impudent temptations and open war through misleading mass media controlled by callers to evil and corruption in order to westernise these societies and to divert them from their religion and path.

Indeed, the unbelieving nations live a disgraced life, suffer in infected sludge and move in moral and religious darkness. While some are alcoholics, others are addicted to music and another large number of them are enslaved by their lust. Their statutes are full of oppressive and unjust laws which they use to decide matters relating to their lives, chastity and properties.

“And he for whom Allaah has not appointed light for him there is no light.” (An Noor: 40).

However, it is very saddening that some Islamic societies have been affected by this westernisation so much so that it has attacked their established concepts, changed their customs, weakens their strength and destroys many aspects of their lives. Allaah says: “And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion if they can.” (Al-Baqarah: 217).

Brothers in Islaam! There will be no religious stability nor actualisation of Divine promise or safety from retribution and calamities except by holding fast unto the Book of Allaah which He revealed to His Messenger; for that is real protection, the astounding evidence and the ever-illuminating light. It is a revelation that whenever it was revealed to the Prophet it weighed heavily on him, he would lower his head, his face would become morose and his forehead would sweat profusely. â??Aaâ??ishah said: “I have seen while he was been revealed to on a very cold day ad when the revelation ended, his forehead would sweat profusely.” He, himself, used to say: “Sometimes, revelation comes to me like a clattering of bell and that is the most trying experience I get when the revelation is being revealed to me. It would then leave me until I have comprehended the revelation.”

The Qurâ??aan is a great sign and a weighty Word. Allaah commanded His Prophet to hold fast unto it and never deviate from it. He says “Then We put you on a (plain) way of (Our) commandment. So follow you that and follow not the desire of those who know not.” (Al-Jaathiyah: 18).

The Prophet himself informed his nation that the only guidance lies in clinging unto the Qurâ??aan when he said: “I am leaving for you two things if you hold fast to them you will never get astray: The Book of Allaah and my Sunnah.”

His companions used to receive the Revelation with honour and acceptance. They would abide by its commandments, surrender to its judgment and guidance without hesitation or preference to other options. Ibn Buraidah narrated from his father that he said: “While we were sitting at our drinking place on the sand and we were three or four persons with a jug with us and drinking liquor for it was then lawful, then I left for the place of the Prophet and greeted him.

The verse that prohibited alcohol drinking was then revealed: “O you who believe! Intoxicants, Gambling, Al-Ansaab (i.e. animals that are slaughtered on stone-altars for idols) and Arrows (that are used for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of the Satanâ??s handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that in order that you may be successful. Satan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allaah and from Salaah (the Prayer). Will you then not abstain?” (Al-Maaâ??idah: 90-91).

I afterwards went to my companions and read the verse to them. One of them was holding his alcohol in his hand having drank some and the rest was still in his cup, but he turn the cup just below his upper lip. They all poured away what was in their jug and said: “We abstain, Our Lord! We abstain, Our Lord!”

The verse was revealed when they were holding their cups in their hands and it was the command of Allaah that prevented them from reaching their lips. Those who were holding cups of alcohol broke them and those who have taken a mouthful coughed it out. Containers of alcohol were broken in al-Madienah. Such is the commandment of Allaah. One should have no option except to submit and surrender to it.

Also, when Allaah revealed the verse: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies.” (Al-Ahzaab: 59) the Ansaar women came out as if there were sieves on their heads because of their garments.”

Ibn `Abbaas also narrated another incident of the companionsâ?? total submission to the commandments of Allaah and His Messenger. He said: “The Messenger of Allaah saw a golden ring in the hand of a man so he pulled it off and threw it away and then said: “Will one of you knowingly take a burning charcoal and put it in his hand!” When the Messenger of Allaah left the scene, the man was told: â??Take your ring and make use of it (in something else)â??. The man replied: “No, by Allaah! I will never take it since the Messenger of Allaah has thrown it away.” (Muslim).

Fellow Muslims! The only safe way and protection from the trials and temptations of this age is fast adherence to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and then the path of the righteous predecessors of this Ummah. That is the only way out of tribulations. Jundub Ibn Abdullah Al-Bajalee told the people of Basrah about the two revelations (the Qurâ??aan and Sunnah): “Hold fast unto the Qurâ??aan for it is the guidance during the day and light during the night. Take them into practice however hardship and poverty that may cause you. When any calamity befalls you sacrifice for it your money rather than your religion. If the calamity is beyond what your money can bear, sacrifice your blood for it, for the actual deprived person is the one deprived of his religion. There is no poverty after entrance into Hellfire.”

Huthaifie Ibn Yamaan told Aamir Ibn Mitr: “What will be your position if people take a single way and the Qurâ??aan takes another way?, which of the ways will you follow? He answered “I will be with the Qurâ??aan, die with it and be resurrected with it.”

Brothers in Faith! Hold fast unto this revelation sincerely you will be shown its effects in your deeds, sayings dealings and all your affairs and you will live a prosperous life and die for your religion and loyalties.

Let each and every one of us present himself before the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah and see whether he is among the obedient ones or among the negligent ones. Let everyone beware and reform himself. Hasan Al-Basrie said: “May Allaah have mercy on a slave who places himself and his deeds in front of the Book of Allaah, if his deeds are in accordance with the Book of Allaah he praises Allaah and asks Him for increase and if the deeds are contradictory to the Book of Allaah he rebukes himself and amends immediately.”

Fellow Muslims! You have in your possession an infinite treasure that is the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah but yet where are those who follow their injunctions? Where are those who submit themselves to them? Where are those who answer their call?

The Glorious Qurâ??aan has given us admonitions, warned us as the Prophet also warned against falling in the abyss of ignorance and disobedience. Were these admonitions useful for us? Everyday we pass on evenings and mornings a threat that frightens the hearts; are we heedful to this threat?

Abu Dardaaâ?? narrated that the Prophet said, “We were with the Messenger of Allaah one day , when he cast a look at the sky and said: This is a time in which knowledge will be withdrawn from people so much that they will not be able to withhold any thereof. Ziyaad Ibn Lubaid Al-Ansaarie then asked, â??O Messenger of Allaah! How can it be withdrawn from us while we recite the Qurâ??aan, for by Allaah, we read it as well as our wives and children.â?? The Prophet answered, â??O Ziyaad! I have been counting you among the knowledgeable people of Al-Madienah! Are these not Jews and Christians reading the Torah and Gospel with working with anything thereof?â?? (Ibn Maajah).

Some scholar commented on this Hadeeth and said, â??As their recitation of their book did not benefit them because of their non-practising of their injunctions, so also will be you.â??

Fellow Muslims! Attacking the texts of Qurâ??aan and Sunnah by dishonouring and desecrating them or feeling that it cannot fulfil the needs of ever-changing life or subjugating it or twisting it in order to make it fit the modern age in matters that some irreligious people wrongly feel that Islaam is the obstacle to their progress likes issue of equating women with men in every aspect of life, taking usury, perpetrating forbidden acts, exterminating the concept of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil and vice, giving the disbelievers opportunity to damp their ideological wastes in the name of literature, art, freedom of opinion and other issues that the texts of Islamic law has decided on as clearly and broadly as daylight. This attack may lead to this Ummah losing its identity, honour and religion which Allaah favours it with.

It is then incumbent on us, fellow Muslims, to honour the two revelations (i.e. the Qurâ??aan and Sunnah) in such a way that will prevent us from disobeying them or befriending those who deny them or keeping silent when they are attacked or laughed at what they contain. Whoever insults Allaah or His Messenger or dishonours them or says or does anything that explicitly ridicules them or makes jest with the religion (of Islaam), or dishonour the Qurâ??aan or desecrate it has become a disbeliever in what is revealed to the Messenger of Allaah and went out of the Fold of Islaam. The Prophet said, â??whoever apostates kill him!â??(Bukhaarie).

Dear Muslim! Fear Allaah as regards your religion into which He guided you and with which is by abstaining from all that contradict it or contaminated it., You should carry out your duty towards it in all your affairs in order to be saved from the threat that is in this verse, “And if you tune away (from Islaam and the obedience to Allaah), He will exchange you for some other people and they will not let your likes.” (Muhammad: 38).

Brothers in faith! Fear Allaah, be conscious of Him and do not disobey Him, â??O you who believe, fear Allaah and be always with the truthful.â?? (At Tawbah: 119).

Brothers in Islaam! The Prophet was compassionate with his Ummah. He is full of pity, kind and merciful to them. He feared for them ignominy and disgrace; and sins and disobedience. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allaah said, â??The likeness of me and my Ummah is like that of a man who kindled a fire, then when it lighted all around him butterflies and other flying insects keep on falling into it, while the man keeps on preventing them from falling into it. But they overpower him and fall into the fire. Such is the likeness of me and you. I am preventing you from falling into the fire and saying, â??Come away from the fire.â?? But you overpower me and insist on falling into it.â?? (Muslim).

Such is how the ignorant and the disobeying men with their sins and lusts will fall into hellfire on the Last Day in spite of the Prophetâ??s efforts in preventing them from doing so. They therefore will fall into fire because of their weak intelligence, just as the butterflies fall into the fire of this world, for both are striving to destroy themselves out of ignorance. So beware and be on guard before a day comes in which no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before not earned good through his faith.

Brothers in Islaam! Hold fast unto the rope of Allaah, even if people leave it and escape to Allaah from temptation of this age. The Prophet said, â??Verily, in front of you are days of patience. Being patient in those days will be like holding a live coal. Whoever does good deed then will have the reward of fifty men who work as he does. The companions asked, â??The reward of fifty men among them?â?? He answered, â??The reward of fifty men among you!â??

Friday Khutbah (02 March 2007): Reviving the individual

Friday Khutbah (02 March 2007): Reviving the individual

Alhamdulillah. Thanks to the Almighty for everything that He provides. Nothing in this world can replace the feelings of holding on tight to Him. Found an article from islamonline. Very inspirational and motivating. Enjoy~

By Arshad Gamiet

Individuals committed to serving Islam, are like building bricks fused together to form a solid wall. Each individual, like a brick, must be strong and capable of withstanding the loads and stresses that he or she is called upon to bear. Just as each brick must be fully burnt and purified in a kiln and pass certain minimum standards, an individual also has to go through a process of training and development in order to be an effective ambassador of Islam. But what is involved in this construction of the individual? What has the individual got to do in order to prepare for this God-given role? These are fundamental questions because a prerequisite to the revival of Muslim society is a revival of the individual or the self.

The starting point in this process is what the Qur’an calls the human heart. Look at yourself and you will find inside you a whole universe â?? emotions, desires, urges, and instincts â?? which motivates you from within. The heart does not mean the pump which pushes blood around the body; it means the center of the personality that pumps motivations, desires, and urges and which makes us do what we want to do. The Qur’an goes on to explain that this is the key to ourselves. Our success depends not on what we are physically nor on what we do, but on what lies at the center of our personality.

On the Day of Judgment, successful only is (the one who comes to Allah with a sound heart ) (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:89)

A hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says:

Beware,there is a piece of flesh in the human body. If it is right, then the whole body is right and sound; and if it is corrupted then the whole body is corrupted. Look, this is the ‘heart’.(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

According to the Qur’an, the basis of corruption stems from within ourselves. The social institutions may be corrupt, there may be exploitation and abuse in the economic and politics spheres, but the basis of all these diseases lies inside our hearts.

What is it that stops mankind from seeing right and doing what’s right and turns them blind? The Qur’an explains, (It is not the eyes which go blind but it is the hearts within breasts which go blind) (Al-Hajj 22:46)

Then, the heart is the basic starting point for any positive change or any effort to improve our current situations. We have to purify the heart and then summon it to the service of Allah, through service to mankind, whether it be in a professional career, in government, in political institutions, or in economic ventures. Our whole attention must be focused on this continuous refinement of heart. All the rites that have been prescribed by the Qur’an reach out to purify the deepest regions of our self.

The Qur’an says,

(It is not their meat nor their blood (the sacrificial animals), that reaches Allah: it is your taqwa (piety) that reaches Him) (Al-Hajj 22: 37)
If the individual is the primary building block of society, then the heart is its foundation within each person. The important question therefore is how should we set about preparing this most basic element. First we must understand that the heart must submit totally and exclusively to its Creator. It cannot be compartmentalized â?? we cannot dedicate one piece of it to Allah and another to some other “god,” like our wealth, our status, our career, our families, and so on.

Allah is One, indivisible, and wants our service to be undivided to Him. So long as we remain divided within ourselves, so long as our hearts lie in a 100 places, so long as our eyes are set to 100 directions, so long as our destination is not one but many, we shall never be able to achieve that first condition for building a strong and pure Islamic personality.

We should remember that nothing of this world is going to be of use to us when we die however hard we may have striven for it and however valuable it might seem to us. We must recognize that the prizes we should want are not the worldly possessions received from human beings like ourselves. It is only our Creator who can put a real value on our striving and bestow the real reward.

In the Qur’an, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is told to ask [Shall I tell you of a business which will save you of painful torment?] (As-Saff 61:10).

This “business” amounts to people person committing their whole undivided being to Allah alone and selling themselves in order to seek His pleasure. This is the first step towards the building of the individual. The second step is to love Allah.

The Qur’an says (And there are some among men who take for themselves objects of worship besides Allah, whom they love as they love Allah, and those who believe are stronger in love for Allah) (Al-Baqarah 2:165).

It does not say that one must love only Allah and no one else. Love is a blessing given to us by Allah, which is manifested in so many aspects of life. In Islam, however, love must be foremost for Allah and the Prophet.

What is love? Perhaps it cannot be defined in terms that adequately reflect its nature and importance in people’s lives. It is not possible to define it by a formula as we define a scientific fact, nor can we define it by a mathematical equation. But still each one of us knows what love is and can tell, from personal experience, the powerful force it is once it comes to reside in the heart. It becomes the overpowering force in life. It captivates you, it grips you, it moves you and it makes you prepared to do anything for the sake of it. Once love is there, what you do is not something that has to be imposed upon you, because you need imposition only for the things you do not love.

Iman is something that must penetrate deep in our heart and generate love for Allah and His Prophet more than for anything else. Unless that happens inside you, you cannot get the real taste of iman. According to a famous hadith, nobody can taste iman unless Allah and His Prophet are more beloved to him than everything else. But we must remember that this love for Allah and His Prophet is not of a kind to take us into the seclusion of a monastery. It is a love that makes us do our duty to Allah while we are in the street, at home, or at work â?? everywhere we live as servants of Allah, willingly making every sacrifice required of us. Whether or not we have that love is something for each one of us to closely examine. One of the criteria is that if you love something, one of your most intense desires is to get nearer to it. Now we have a way in which we can come nearer to Allah and talk to Him, and that way is the prayer. When someone performs prayer, they actually comes nearer to Allah and talks to Him.

If you look at how you pray five times a day, you will have a barometer in your hand to find how much you love Allah. Once you are praying to Him, you are in front of Him, you are near to Him, you are talking to Him, you are responding to Him in gratitude, you are asking for His forgiveness. Prayer is not just a ritual in which you go through certain postures. The soul has to surrender itself exclusively to Allah and love Him. This love is like a seed that, as it grows, envelops the entire personality. This will make us the sort of person Islam needs today.

The next question is how to nurse and cultivate this seed of faith. The most important nourishment for it is the Qur’an. We know that the first workers for Islam got their training from the Qur’an. It was their guide, their light, their leader. It is a treasure house of soul-stirring inspiration and wisdom. We should spend much effort in trying to understand the Qur’an. But we must know that the real test of benefiting from the Qur’an lies in translating those divine words and ideas into action in our own daily life.

The Qur’an says that when people really listen to it, their faith will increase. The eyes of those who truly listen to the Qur’an, allowing their hearts to be affected, will well up with tears that trickle down their cheeks. Sadly, many of us listen to the Qur’an or read it, but our hearts are not moved, nor do our lives change. It is as if water is falling on a rock and flowing away. Our task is to replace this hard rock with soft absorbent soil so that the Qur’an may nourish the seed that has been planted. We should always study the Qur’an as if it were being revealed today. One of the greatest injustices we do to the Qur’an is to read it as if it were something of the past and of no relevance to the present.

The next method of sustaining the seed of iman is to develop a strong bond of brotherhood. Brotherhood reinforces people’s lives like nothing else. The Qur’an says (Withhold yourself with those who call upon Allah in the early morning and nightfall) (Al-Kahf 18: 28). As soon as you have planted the seed of iman in your own heart, you will recognize it in others. You find that there is some sort of harmony between you and them.

The final method to nourish the seed of iman is da`wah â?? to strive and invite others to the path of Allah, the same path as you are following yourself. Again, if the faith is there inside you, this is a necessary outcome of it. As iman increases you get aroused and you want to go out and tell everybody what you think is right, or call upon them to join your mission and your group. Moreover, as your group grows, your iman grows as well, each reinforcing the other, and that is how the whole of life becomes integrated and turns into a path to what pleases Allah. To sum up, you, the individual, are the key to the Ummah, and your heart is the key to you.

* Based on a Friday sermon delivered at the Royal Holloway,University of London, UK, on April 30, 1999. Courtesy of http://www.khutbahbank.org.uk. Arshad Gamiet is a South African writer living in the United Kingdom. He is a co-founder of the Khutbah Bank.

Friday Khutbah (09 Feb 2007): Lesson from Hijra

Lesson from Hijra

[audio:friday-khutbah-09-feb-2007.mp3]

It coincides with the beginning of the new Hijra year, which is capitol and important occasion in the history of Muslims. What we can do perhaps in few minutes is just highlight in very brief manner seven lessons that we can learn from this event of Hijra (the Migration to Madina).

First Lesson:
The first lesson reminds us with the grace of Allah and his generosity and care about his creation by sending prophets and Messengers to guide humans to the path of Allah and to bring people forth from darkness into light as we read in the Quraan Allah counts his favours. Indeed Allah has bestowed his favour upon the unlettered people, when he sent to them a prophet from among themselves, rehearsing to them.The verses of Allah, to purify them and to teach them the book and the wisdom, even though hence for, they have been in manifest error. This grace of Allah was never a monopoly of the Israelites, nor was it a monopoly of the children of Ismaiil either, but, it was a grace that embrace the whole of humanity, as we read in the Quraan Indeed we have sent in every nation a messenger, meaning teaching namely, worship Allah and ovoid false gods.

The Quraan makes it clear that this mission include it all people, even though some names of the prophets do not appear in the Quraan, Allah says there is no nation or group of people, except that a warner has been sent to them.

Second Lesson:
The second lesson from Hijra reminds us, not only with the phenomenon of sending prophets, but also choosing prophets, as the role model of their people in particular, and humanity at large. Indeed Allah choose the best for his mission, to convey his mission, and that is why Muslims differ. With some literatures we find in previous scriptures, attributing majors sins to those great prophets, for indeed when Allah sent his prophets as he says Allah knows best, where to put his message, or to entrust his message. And surely Allah will not entrust his message, except to the people, who are the purest of hearts, the most clean in their souls, and the most truthful in their words. These are the prophets, respected by Muslims, and indeed all of those good qualities and the essence of that message, has been embodied in the mission of prophet Muhammad, the Man who was truthful as he was called even by his people before his mission.
Third Lesson:
Thirdly, Hijra reminds us with some of the luminous aspects as well as the dark aspects of human nature. It reminds us with the dark aspects in the form of the opposition, and the stance, taken by the idol Arabs, in the face of the call to Allah. Their pride, and vanity and refusal to follow the truth, even though they know it, as Quraan sometimes caught them, admitting, this is the truth, not only this, moving on from there, even to try to prevent and discourage people from following the path of truth, and worst of all, torture, even kill those who chose Islam as their way of life.But in the meantime, we don’t look at humanity with pessimism or optimism, there are both elements there. We look at the luminous aspect of human nature, in the position of the believers, who persevered in patience, in the face of all hurt and assaults against them, and their adherence to the truth that has been revealed onto them, and their readiness to sacrifice their properties and their persons to please Allah.

Fourth Lesson:
The forth lesson from Hijra reminds us with great models and examples of trust in Allah and dependence upon him. Especially when the going becomes rough and difficult, here we see the elect of Allah Muhammad, with his companion Abu Bakr hiding in the cave of thour and those who pursuing them to kill them, reach, just the mouth of the cave, and scared not for himself, but for the prophet, Abu Bakr whispers in the prophet’s ear, if any of them even looked under his feet, he will see us. But then, we get the response of some one who never wavers in his trust in Allah under any circumstance, he tells him with great fortitude, don’t you grieve, suffice Allah, for us, Allah is with us.
Fifth Lesson:
Fifthry, it reminds us also, of the duty of a Muslim, when he or she, can not even fulfil their basic, duties, to migrate, not to migrate to make more money or get higher position, no, the real migration require sacrifice is that intend to be able to practice Islam and carry the message of Islam to the rest of humanity.
Sixth Lesson:
The sixth lesson from Hijra that it reminds us, that Islam is not a religion, in the commonly understood or perceived meaning of religion. In the secular west, and even among some religious people, where religion has been marginalised, to refer only to acts of worship, or certain beliefs, or some aspects of moral behaviour. It reminds us, that Islam is a complete way of living.For the early Muslims, they could have simply stayed in Mecca, rather than leaving their properties, and suffer. They could have prayed secretly in their homes or in the desert. They could have fasted, they could have paid zakat. Who that prevented them from doing this, but that was not the point, the Hijra was not just about going to a place where they can pray and fast or pay zakat, but to a place where they can implement the teaching of Islam in its entirety and comprehensiveness.

In all aspects of their individual, spiritual, social, moral, economic, and yes political life, or way of governess in accordance with the guidance of Allah, that is realizing the true vision of Islam. A complete and comprehensive vision, that is based on understanding of Allah, understanding of the nature of the human, understanding of the universe that Allah created for our use, and the relationship between all ofthose, and achieving the higher objectives of Shariaa, or the higher objectives of the final comprehensive way of life, rather than religion, used in the west.

Seventh Lesson:
Finally, migration also reminds us of the duty of Muslims, to defend or fight for legitimate freedom and their legitimate rights. And stand in the face of all forms of aggression against those rights, against tyranny, oppression, ethnic cleansing, occupation. Even if that requires as a last resort, military confrontation in the battle field. That is why we see the first verse as the scholar suppose, give the Muslims for the first time the right to carry arms, instead of the stage, where they were required to hold back their hands and perform salat, they come a time.And we read it clearly in chapter Haj, that permission has been given to those who have been fought against, not they fought against other, that indeed they were wrong. And that Allah is able to give them victory. And the Quraan continues those driven from their homes, without any due cause, or reason, except that they said our lord is Allah. So let us remember in this place and time our brothers and sisters who are suffering all kind of oppression, murder, ethnic cleansing, occupation and destruction in every place in the world, praying to Allah to destroy those who are occupying and destroy those who are inflicting murder, injustice, bloodshed against them. May Allah help them to restore thdr legitimate rights and destroy those who are destroying them, for indeed Allah is able to do it.

We pray to Allah as we reflect in this few minutes on some of the profound lessons of Hijra. We pray to Allah to reform us as Muslim as to be de servant of his victory, for his victory is promised, not to Muslim who pay lip service to Islam. Allah said indeed we have decreed upon us that we give victory, not to Muslim, but to believers. May Allah make us in higher degree than official Islam give us the quality of Mumin as to deserve his long promised victory which is coming. [Please listen to audio for reminder of the khutbah]

Friday Khutbah (12-Jan-2007): Light & Darkness

“The person who takes a bath then comes to the group prayer (Friday Jummah/Khutbah), then offers the prayer that was destined for him, and then keeps silent till the Imam finishes the sermon, and then prays along with him, his sins between that time and the next Friday would be forgiven, and even of three days more” (Reported in Sahih Muslim, with similar hadiths in Abu Dawood,Ibn Majah, and Ahmad bin Hanbal).

â??When it is a Friday, the Angels stand at the gate of the mosque and keep on writing the names of the persons coming to the mosque in succession according to their arrivals. The example of the one who enters the mosque in the earliest hour is that of one offering a camel (in sacrifice). The one coming next is like one offering a cow and then a ram and then a chicken and then an egg respectively. When the Imam comes out (for Jummah prayer) the Angels fold their papers and listen to the Khutba. (Narrated in Bukhari and Muslim)

â??Whosoever recites Surah Al-Kahf on Friday will have a light illuminated for him between the two Fridaysâ? (Narrated by Nasaâ??i Bayhaqi & others)

Anyway….Subhan Allah the Khutbah today, as always was very good..very informative. The Imam talked about the concept of light and darkness (in the Qur’an), and how it applies to our lives as Muslims, both in this dunya, and in the Hereafter. In Surat An-Nur it’s described:

“…Light upon Light! Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of Everything (24:35).”

“Or [the state of a disbeliever] is like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with waves topped by waves, topped by dark clouds, (layers of) darkness upon darkness: if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! And he for whom Allah has not appointed light, for him there is no light (24:40).”

This concept of light and darkness can be viewed as Heaven and Hell, it can be viewed as guidance and misguidance, or Success with Allah verses ‘success’ with shaytan. There are many ways to look at it, but the bottom line for us as Muslims, is to strive in Allah’s Cause, and reach for the light. How unlucky we’d be if we were (or are) among those who are in the darkness. SO, what can we do to stay away from this darkness? the Imam said foremost: let not shaytan influence you. You can choose to be amongst those who Iblis influences, or you can be amongst those who follow the Word of Allah [swt]:

“(Iblis) said: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism) (38:82-83)”

“(Iblis) said: “See this one whom You have honoured above me, if You give me respite to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few! (17:62)”

“(Iblis) said: “Because you have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. not be dutiful to Allah Ta’aala) (7:16-17).”

Allah has a plan for us all, and if we are amongst those chosen to stay in the Path of Allah, then that’s what will happen. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have to work for it though, because shaytan still has the power to influence those who forget about Allah. Anything associated with Shaytan is definitely NOT good for us as Muslims. If we associate ourselves with Haraam things or situations, then we are associating ourselves with shaytan…if we associate ourselves with the disbelievers, then we are associating ourselves with shaytan. The Qur’an clearly tells us to stay away from these things and these types of people, yet we still (not excluding myself) continue on in this manner. I find this ayat to be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!::

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya (friends, protectors, helpers) they are but Auliya of each other. And if any amongst you take them (as Auliya), then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those pople who are the Zalimun (5:51).”

It is stated SO clearly, that I find it impossible to disregard the message. I know how hard it is to understand or apply it to our lives (especially since many of us live in a place dominated by non-Muslims). I feel it personally, especially since my own blood family is Christian. My mother, who converted from Christianity, has a relgious Christian family. My own half brother and half sister are Christians (my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, neices, etc.) I love them very much, and it’s hard to know that I cannot change their beliefs. Also, my friends….the majority of them are non-Muslims, so what am I to do in that situation? I don’t think I can completely disregard all of them, but I can just try my best to keep these relationships very basic. What is most important to me, is what Allah Commands, and He knows what is best for all of us. I guess the message is not to let this life get the best of you. Ask Allah to always make you remember Him, and to remind you of what your purpose in this life is (that is to worship Him Alone, and to spread the Word of Islam in a manner that pleases Allah). Once again, easier said than done, but as Muslims, I think it’s so important that we stay close together–this way we’re not influenced by the Mushrikun, and that we become more knowledgeable, and worship Allah in a more perfect manner. If our Ummah was united, I think it would be easier to apply the teachings of Islam to our lives, because we would only be surrounded by other Muslims who would be trying to do the same thing. It’s hard…but of course, Allah did not intend that we lead an easy life, and enter Paradise just like that. This is our calling..our Jihad: to live life in accordance to the teachings of Islam, no matter how many obstacles stand in our way, and no matter how impossible it may seem. Also, we can’t just pick and choose the parts that we feel apply to our lives. If we submit ourselves as Muslims, we have to submit completely and whole heartedly–submit our entire self: mind, body and soul, and live our lives exactly how Allah has prescribed for us. It may take time to do that, but we should all be on that road, attempting to change our lives–tweak out the bad and find goodness in Islam and Allah’s Straight Path Insha Allah.

Ameen Ya Raab

source: halabissa‘s journal