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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

‘Eid Khutbah : Continuation of good deeds after Ramadan

laylatul-qadr

‘Eid Khutbah : Continuation of good deeds after Ramadan

The Transcript

First Khutbah (sermon)

Praise be to Allah Who has guided His believing servants to do acts of obedience and has made the ways of good and righteous deeds easy for them. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Who has no partners, and that our leader and Prophet Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger, the best of those who observed fasting and the optional night prayer, and the best of legislators who enacted laws and explained judgments. O Allah grant Your mercy, blessings and peace on the leader of the righteous and the leader mankind and jinn, and on his family, Companions and those who follow their way until the Last Day.

Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd [praise be to Allah].

Praise be to Allah Who has guided us to Islam. We can never be guided except with the help of Allah. Praise be to Allah Who has favored the month of Ramadan over all other months and made it a great opportunity to attain rewards by committing good deeds. During Ramadan, the believers compete in doing acts of obedience and spending in the cause of Allah. During this month, righteous deeds are doubled, mistakes are remitted, ranks of men are raised and supplications are answered by Allah. It is the month of benevolence and blessings. It is the month of mutual consolidation. During this month the provisions of Muslims increase, their faith becomes deeper and they compete in performing Taraweeh prayer, late optional night prayer, recitation of the Quran and giving charity to the needy among relatives, neighbors and poor people in general. This is in accordance to Allah’s saying which means:

“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.” [Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:133]

Allah also Says (what means):

“…And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:195]

The verses that encourage doing good in the cause of Allah are many. Therefore, we should continue the good deeds that we have initiated in Ramadan and extend them after its termination. You should know that the sign of the acceptance of a good deed by Allah is that you follow it with another good deed, and the sign of rejecting good deeds by Allah is that you follow it by committing sins. This should be well understood by those people who feel happy and relieved after the termination of Ramadan as they think that with the end of Ramadan they will be free to commit whatever sins they wish, and rebel against the commands of their Lord.

Allah is the Greatest – with every fasting and breaking of Fast, with each instance of growing of trees and the blooming of fruits, whenever a crescent appears and then grows and becomes a full moon, whenever rain falls and pours forth — Allah is the Greatest! Allah is the Greatest! Praise be to Allah.

Servants of Allah! Turn in repentance to your Lord and supplicate Him sincerely by offering your duty to Him. Be sincere in worship, supplication, in your fear of Allah and in your wish to attain His mercy. Rely on Allah in all your affairs. Seek His aid and protection, as He is the best supporter and disposer of affairs. He is the Savior and the Answerer of whoever asks Him with sincerity. Allah Says what means:

“And when My servants ask you [O Muhammad] concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:186]

Let us then listen to Allah’s call and believe in His Messenger. Let this assemblage be a reminder of His assemblage of the Resurrection when all the creations be gathered naked and barefooted, as they were originally created. We will be gathered at one place. The believers will be received by the Angels with good tidings and congratulations for the salvation from torture. The Angels will say to the survivors on that day:

“Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised!” [Surah Fussilat 41:30]

Allah describes the state of the believers on that day saying:

“[Some] faces, that Day, will be bright – Laughing, rejoicing at good news..” [Surah ‘Abasa 80:38-39]

As for the unbelievers on that day Allah describes them as such:

“And [other] faces, that Day, will have upon them dust. Blackness will cover them. Those are the disbelievers, the wicked ones.” [Surah ‘Abasa 80:40-42]

Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Illa Allah [there is no god but Allah], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd [praise be to Allah]. Allahu Akbar as numerous as the number of our sins until they are forgiven (by the virtue of this expression).

Glorified be Allah, Who is worthy of all glorifications? Allah Says what means:

“So exalted is Allah when you reach the evening and when you reach the morning. And to Him is [due all] praise throughout the heavens and the earth. And [exalted is He] at night and when you are at noon.” [Surah Al Rum 30:17-18]

O Allah! As you have sent to us Your Prophet Muhammad, make our houses well maintained and full of life (due to worship practiced therein) and do not condemn us on account of our bad deeds and be merciful to us as You are the most Merciful of those who show mercy.

O Allah! As You are The Most Gracious of those who show graciousness, and the Greatest of all those who claim greatness, make for us a way out of each distress and grief.

O Allah! Grant blessings on Prophet Muhammad, son of Abdullah, the Prophet of mercy and the Messenger of guidance, as many times as the number of those who offered prayers on him right from his mission until the Day of Resurrection.

O Allah! Grant him intercession on our behalf and resurrect us in his group and under his banner and decree for us to drink from his font (the Hawd) so that we never feel thirsty thereafter.

O Allah! Grant us a joyful life, a bounteous provision and a righteous deed! O Allah! Grant mercy on this gathering and grant us protection from error after departing!

Servants of Allah! Your actual joy of festivals should be through continuing to practice acts of obedience and good deeds, kindness to parents, maintaining the ties of kinship and kindness to relatives, the poor and orphans. Hasten in reconciliation among yourselves, since this occasion is the appropriate time for this purpose. Give measure and weight with full justice. Give preference to Allah’s judgment above your whims. None of us can be a true believer until his liking complies with the teachings of Allah’s Messenger. Know that: “Injustice will cause darkness on the Day of Resurrection.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

The Prophet  also said: “Whoever causes harm to others Allah will harm him, and whoever makes it difficult for people Allah will make it difficult for him.” [At-Tirmithi]

Let us raise our children according to the precepts of Islam. Let us teach them to lead a frugal life and manage financial affairs well. Let us teach them how to spend their money properly on the occasion of the festival of ‘Eid. Let us help those who have attained puberty to marry, in accordance with the Prophet’s saying: “O youth! Let those who can afford marriage among you marry! For marriage is apt to give stronger ability to restrain one’s gaze and protect one’s chastity.” O you youth who can afford marriage, let all of you hasten to marry. O you guardians of the girls, who are entrusted to you by Allah, hasten to marry them without imposing too many restrictions and complications with regard to dowers, by the coming festival they should be married to their suitable mates.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd [Allah is the Greatest. Praise be to Allah.] I seek Allah’s forgiveness for you, for me and all Muslims.

Second Khutbah (sermon)

Praise be to Allah, Who blesses us with repeated assemblies and festivals. He is the gatherer of mankind together against a Day about which there is no doubt, for Allah never fails in His promise. I praise Him for the success and bounties that He offers. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah to Whom all creatures will return. He has power over all things. I bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad is the leader of the righteous and the master of the followers of Allah’s way. May Allah grant blessings on him and all those who have followed his way until the Last Day.

Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd [praise be to Allah].

Servants of Allah! Know that charity obliterates sin, extinguishes the wrath of the Lord and protects from evil destinies. On that day ‘Eid, a Muslim should not forget his brother Muslims who are deprived of the joy of the festival on account of perishing due to famines and destructive wars that are taking place in their countries. Know that whoever is not concerned about the affairs of Muslims will not be counted as belonging to them. Let’s then remember the poor and the needy, especially those inflicted by drought in Africa, and those who strive in the cause of Allah. O Allah support them with Your victory and give them dominance in their land. O Allah support them and gather their hearts. You are the Answerer of all supplications.

O Muslims! Beware of arrogance and its manifestations, since the arrogant people will be resurrected the size of atoms and people will tread them with their feet. O pious Muslim women! Preserve your adornment and do not disclose it nor apply perfume in the presence of any men other than your Mahram relatives [those who are not allowed to marry you] or your husbands. Allah Says what means:

“And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance…” [Al Ahzab 33:33]

Let’s enjoy the ‘Eid festival without pride. Let’s entertain ourselves without neither exposure nor intermingling between the opposite sexes. Let’s proclaim Allah’s greatness, since Takbeer [proclaiming Allah’s greatness] is the slogan of Muslims during their festivals.

Allahu Akbar [Allah is The Greatest], Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illa Allah [There is no god but Allah] Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa Lillahi Al-Hamd  [Praise be to Allah.]

Lastly, do not forget to observe fasting for six days in the month of Shawwaal, as the Prophet  said: “Whoever fasts (the month of) Ramadan then follows it with six days in Shawwal, will be considered as if he has observed Fasting during the whole year.” [Muslim]

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

When the Night Equals a Thousand

 Muhammad Alshareef

laylatul-qadr

It was narrated that in the days that Musa alayhis salaam wandered with Bani Israeel in the desert, an intense drought befell them. Together, they raised their hands towards the heavens praying for the blessed rain to come. Then, to the astonishment of Musa alayhis salaam and all those watching, the few scattered clouds that were in the sky vanished, the heat poured down, and the drought intensified.

It was revealed to Musa that there was a sinner amongst the tribe of Bani Israeel who had disobeyed Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala for more than forty years of his life. “Let him separate himself from the congregation,” Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala told Musa alayhis salaam. “Only then shall I shower you all with rain.”

Musa alayhis salaam then called out to the throngs of humanity, “There is a person amongst us who has disobeyed Allah for forty years. Let him separate himself from the congregation and only then shall we be rescued from the drought.”

That man waited, looking left and right, hoping that someone else would step forward, but no one did. Sweat poured forth from his brow and he knew that he was the one. The man knew that if he stayed amongst the congregation all would die of thirst and that if he stepped forward he would be humiliated for all eternity.

He raised his hands with a sincerity he had never known before, with humility he had never tasted, and as tears poured down on both cheeks he said, “O Allah, have mercy on me! O Allah, hide my sins! O Allah, forgive me!”

As Musa alayhis salaam and the people of Bani Israeel waited for the sinner to step forward, the clouds hugged the sky and the rain poured. Musa alayhi salaam asked Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala, “O Allah, you blessed us with rain even though the sinner did not come forward.”

And Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala replied, “O Musa, it is for the repentance of that very person that I blessed all of Bani Israeel with water.”

Musa alayhis salaam, wanting to know who this blessed man was, asked, “Show him to me O Allah!”

Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala replied, “O Musa, I hid his sins for forty years, do you think that after his repentance I shall expose him?”

PART II

Ibn Jareer narrates on the authority of Mujaahid, that there was a man from Bani Israeel who used to spend the night in prayer. Then during the day he would fight the enemy in the way of Allah until the evening and he did this for a thousand months. And so Allah revealed:

Verily, We have sent it (the Qur’an) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (the Night of Destiny or the Night of Power). / And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr is? / The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah this night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months) (Al-Qadr 97/1-3).

Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala revealed the Qur’an in the most blessed month – the month of Ramadan. And on the 27th night of this month comes the Night of Al-Qadr (Laylatul Qadr), which is better than a thousand months. On the authority of Mujaahid, Sufyaan Ath-Thawree reports that Laylatul Qadr being better than a thousand months means that the good deeds performed on it, fasting on it, and standing in prayer on it are better than a thousand months worth of good deeds, prayer and fasting.

It is reported from Abu Hurayrah that when the month of Ramadan came, the Messenger of Allah said:

“The month of Ramadan has come, a blessed month in which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast; in it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained. In it is a night better than a thousand months, whoever loses the benefit of it has lost something irreplaceable” (Imam Ahmad and An-Nasaa’i).

It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, that Allah’s Messenger sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“Whoever stood in prayer on Laylatul Qadr in faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, he will have all of his previous sins forgiven” (Bukhari and Muslim).

This one night surpasses the value of 30,000 nights. The sincere believer who worries day and night about his sins and phases of neglect in his life, patiently awaits the onset of Ramadan. During it, he hopes to be forgiven by Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala for past sins, knowing that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam promised that all who bow down during the last ten days shall have all their sins forgiven. To achieve this, the believer remembers the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam’s advice in different sayings wherein he used words like ‘seek’, ‘pursue’, ‘search’ and ‘look hard’ for Laylatul Qadr.

Laylatul Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. The mu‘min should search for it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, passing the nights in worship and obedience. For those who catch the opportunity, their gift is that of past sins wiped away.

The Messenger of Allah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam illustrated for us some of the things we should be doing on this Grand Night. From his blessed Sunnah we find the following:

Praying Qiyaam (Night Prayer):

It is recommended to make a long qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many ahadith, such as:

“Whoever stands [in qiyaam] in Laylatul Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation [of Allah’s reward], will have all of his previous sins forgiven” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Making Supplications:

It is also recommended to make extensive supplications on this night. Aisha radi Allahu anha reported that she asked Allah’s Messenger sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam:

“O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylatul Qadr, what should I say during it?” And he instructed her to say, “Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa ‘fu ‘annee – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi).

Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship:

It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylatul Qadr is likely to fall. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. Aisha radi Allahu anha reported:

“When the [last] ten nights started, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam would tighten his izhaar [i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship], spend the whole night awake [in prayer], and wake up his family” (Bukhari and Muslim).

And she, radi Allahu anha, said:

“Allah’s Messenger sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam used to exert more [in worship] on the last ten than on other nights” (Muslim).

Have we estimated Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala correctly? Life is about people who take advantage of their opportunities to win the love of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’ala, and Laylatul Qadr is one of them.

Abu Darda radi Allahu anhu was one of those who found an opportunity and won that which is greater than the heavens and the earth. An adult companion of the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam cultivated his garden next to the property of an orphan. The orphan claimed that a specific palm tree was on his property and thus belonged to him. The companion rejected the claim, so the orphan boy went to the Messenger of Allah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam to complain. With his justness, the Messenger of Allah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam measured the two gardens and found that the palm tree did indeed belong to the companion. The orphan erupted crying. Seeing this, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam asked the companion, “Would you give him the palm tree and to you is a palm tree in Jannah?” However, the companion in his disbelief that an orphan would complain to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, missed the opportunity and went away angry.

But someone else saw the opportunity – Abu Darda radi Allahu anhu. He went to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and asked, “Ya RasulAllah, if I buy the tree from him and give it to the orphan shall I have that tree in Jannah?”

The Messenger of Allah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam replied, “Yes.”

Abu Darda radi Allahu anhu chased after the companion and asked, “Would you sell that tree to me for my entire garden?”

The companion answered, “Take it, for there is no good in a tree that I was complained to the Prophet about.”

Immediately, Abu Darda radi Allahu anhu went home and found his wife and children playing in the garden. “Leave the garden!” shouted Abu Darda. “We’ve sold it to Allah! We’ve sold it to Allah!” Some of his children had dates in their hand and he snatched the dates from them and threw them back into the garden. “We’ve sold it to Allah!”

When Abu Darda was later martyred in the battle of Uhud, RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam stood over his slain body and remarked, “How many shady palm trees does Abu Darda now have in Paradise?”

What did Abu Darda lose? Dates? Bushes? Dirt? What did he gain? He gained a Jannah whose expanse is the heavens and the earth.

Abu Darda did not miss his opportunity, and I pray to Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala that we do not miss our opportunity of standing to Allah on Laylatul Qadr.

Dear brothers and sisters, we do not obey, worship and revere Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala in a way befitting of His Majesty.

Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala revealed:

No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him. On the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand. Glory to Him! High is He above the partners they attribute to Him (Az-Zumar 39/67).

When someone dies we say inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Indeed to Allah we belong and indeed to Him we shall return). This is not a supplication just for when a soul is lost. It is a supplication for every calamity that befalls a believer, even if his sandal were to tear. Why? Because everything belongs to Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala and everything shall come back to him. Sit and try to count the blessings Allah has bestowed upon you. Have you ever tried to count stars?

And He has given you all that you ask for. But if you count the favors of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude (Ibrahim 14/34).

We have not understood the weight of this Qur’an that we rest on our high shelves; this noble book that was sent to give life to the dead. For even if our hearts were as solid as mountain they would have crumbled to the ground in fear and hope of Allah’s punishment and mercy. Could it be that our hearts are harder than that mountain?

Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, verily, you would have seen it humble itself and split asunder in fear of Allah (Al-Hashr 59/21).

Dear brothers and sisters,

as you fill the masjid for Qiyam-ul-Layl in the last ten nights of Ramadan, remember what Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala wants you to know:

…that Allah is strict in punishment and that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

There shall be a night, some night in your life, that you shall awaken in Jannah or Hellfire. On his deathbed, Anas ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu prayed to Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala, “O Allah, protect me from a night whose morning brings a journey to Hellfire.” Think about that morning.

Peace shall descend on Laylatul Qadr until the dawn.It may be that you shall leave the masjid after Fajr one day soon forgiven by Allah, Glorious and Most High.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Repentance – The only Way out of Hardships

Friday Khutbah (Sermons) 

o-allah-forgive-me

 by Imam Al-Madinah Al-Munawarrah  ’Ali Abd-ur-Rahman al-Hudhaifi
from the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, on Shawwaal 27, 1422 (January 11, 2002)

The Transcript:

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. May His blessings and benedictions be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allah and hold fast unto Islam. That is the most trustworthy handhold. It is the fear of Allah that sets the matters of one’s life and Hereafter right. Know also that Allah’s Sunnah ( His rules on His creatures) in this universe never changes. Allah says,

“No change will you find in Allah’s Sunnah (way of dealing) and no turning off will you find in Allah’s Sunnah.” (Surah Faatir 35:43)

It is in the Sunnah of Allah and His rules that whoever sows good will harvest good and that whoever sows evil will harvest evil. He says,

“Whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.” (Surah Az-Zalzalah 99:7-8)

It is a rule of Allah over His creatures that whoever takes the way that leads to the success of his life of this world and its pleasure shall attain whatever Allah has destined for him of this world and whoever takes the way that leads to the success of his hereafter and the Paradise, Allah will make him reach his goal. Also, whoever takes the way that leads to the success of both this world and the Hereafter, obeys Allah and abstain from sins, he will attain the success of this both world and the Hereafter. Allah says,

“Whoever desires the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell; he will burn therein disgraced and rejected (far away from Allah’s Mercy). And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it, then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated. On each –these as well as those- We bestow from the Bounties of your Lord. And the Bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden.” (Surah Al-Israa’ 17:18-20)

It is also of the rule of Allah to test His slaves with the good and evil. He says,

“We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good. And to Us you will be returned.” (Surah Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:35)

As for the Muslim, whenever any good affects him he knows that it is a favour from his Lord, for he knows that he deserves nothing from Allah by right and this belief will make him thank his Lord and praise Him. Also, if any evil afflicts him he perseveres and seeks the reward of his Lord, for he knows that, that is the result of a sin he has committed or that Allah wants to elevate his rank in the Hereafter. Allah says,

“And whatever of misfortune that befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:30)

The Muslim examines himself, review his deeds and repents for every sin he commits. As for the disbeliever, if any favour comes his way, he becomes insolent and arrogant and starts transgressing. And when any calamity afflicts him he despairs and becomes impatient. This world is his Paradise and his lord is his desires.

Brethren in faith! Muslims, these days, are afflicted with many calamities. Many causes have however been given for these tribulations. Some say that they are a result of the evil plan of the enemies, some say they are the result of our economic recession and some say they are the result of the Muslim’s industrial and technological backwardness etc. All this are just symptoms of the ailment. The real cause of this sorry situation is the Muslim’s negligence of their religion individually and collectively. Allah says,

“(What is the matter with you?) When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say, ‘From where does this come to us?’ Say (to them): It is from yourselves (because of your evil deeds).’ And Allah has power over all things.” (Surah Aal ‘Imran 3:165)

He also says,

“Allah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves.” (Surah Ar-Ra‘d 13:11)

Muslims in their history have passed through some periods which were more severe than the present one in afflictions and in which their enemies subjected them to persecutions. But then they made a sincere return to their religion with knowledge and Faith. They therefore, attained security and regained their honour, unity and wellbeing under the shade of Islamic law. This injury was healed and their condition became better. In this age, the calamity is actually great for the Muslim nation, but it remains and indisputable fact that the affairs of the latter generation of the Muslim nation will never be set aright except by that which set right the affairs of their predecessors. So, blaming the enemies of Islam for these calamities does not in any way absolve the Muslims from being responsible for their own woes, for how will the Muslims expect the unbelievers to solve their problems for them if they themselves fail to do so through the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of his Prophet and in the light of their interests and those of their coming generations?

The solution to Muslims’ problems therefore lies with Allah and then with their rulers and scholars by letting the people know all that is good, encouraging them to do that and warning them against all that is evil as far as matters of their religion and life is concerned. This is a great responsibility that requires strong will and sincerity.

Fellow Muslims! Whenever a calamity afflicts a community, the first step to take is to have a sincere repentance. Allah says,

“And all of you beg Allah to forgive you, O believers, that you may be successful.” (Surah An-Nur 24:31)

Every Muslim needs to have a sincere repentance. If anyone however says, ‘What is the relevance of my personal repentance to the rectification of the Muslims’ condition?’ He should be told that the cause of all good in this world and the Hereafter is the obedience to Allah and the cause of evil retribution is to disobey Him. He should also be told that, the repentance of every individual brings greater good and reduces calamities on the Muslims.

Muslims should also unite in the face of this changing world that aspires to change the creed of Islam and eliminate its values and laws.

Further, past nations were destroyed because of the existence of many sinners and fewness of righteous people. The sin of a single individual may destroy a whole nation. Allah caused the people of Thamood to perish because one of them killed the camel. He caused epidemics to spread among the children of Israel –even in the presence of Musa and Haaroon (peace be upon them) because some of them committed adultery. Allah says about some of the destroyed nations,

“So We punished each (of them) for his sins; of them were those on whom We sent a violent wind with shower of stones, of them there were those who were overtaken by awful cry, of them were those whom We caused the earth to swallow and of them were those whom We drowned. It was not Allah who wronged them, but they wronged themselves.” (Surah Al-‘Ankabut 29:40).

Zainab bint Jahsh narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“Woe unto the Arabs because of an impending calamity. Today the debris of the Gog and Magog has been opened to this extent. And he demonstrated that extent by making a circle with his index finger and the thumb.’ Zainab said: ‘I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Are we going to be destroyed while there are righteous people among us? The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Yes, when immorality and alcoholic drinking have become widespread.”

Do not therefore treat the matter of repentance lightly for it is the way out of all hardships. Hold fast unto the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger for they are the light and guidance that save from darkness and error.

Brethren in faith! The religion of Islam commands the Muslims to be united and forbade them from disunity. Allah says,

“And hold fast unto the Rope of Allah (the Quran) and do not be divided among yourselves.” (Surah Aal-‘Imran 3:103)

He also says,

“And do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength departs, and be patient.” (Surah Al-Anfaal 8:46)

The religion of Islam while enjoining unity among Muslims, does not however mean that the non-Muslims can be attacked or denied their rights which they enjoy under the Islamic law. If many non-Muslims understand the justice of Islam and its beauties, they would embrace Islam and would not have blamed it for wrongful acts of some Muslims. Allah says,

“Say (O Muhammad to the people): ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him, be good and dutiful to your parents, kill not your children because of poverty –We provide sustenance for you and for them, come not near the shameful sins, whether committed openly or secretly and kill not any one whom Allah has forbidden except for a just cause (according to Islamic Law). This He has commanded you that you may understand.” (Surah Al-An‘am 6:151)

Brethren in Faith! Fear Allah as He should be feared, seek nearness to Him through righteous deeds and abstain from sins. Send forward good deeds before you meet Him and make good use of your life. Allah says,

“O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. Let every soul look for what he has sent forth for the morrow and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” (Al-Hashr 59:18)

Provide for yourselves answers that will save you from the hardship of the Day of Resurrection. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“The foot of man will not slip on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked of his life as to how he has lived it, of his youth as to how he has used it, of his wealth as to how he got it and in what he spent it and about his knowledge as to what he did with it.”

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

The Basis of Unity :: Friday Sermon

by : Yasir Qadhi

unity

I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad pbuh is His Servant and Messenger. May Allaah bestow peace and blessings upon him, his family and companions.

PART I

When we turn to ahadeeth of the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, we find that a small hadith might contain so much benefit that volumes can be written about it. As he himself said, “Indeed I have been given comprehensive speech.” In other words, a very small statement or a very small phrase will be able to carry a great meaning. This is the case with a particular hadith – the Hadith of ‘Irbad ibn Sa’riya, named after the companion who narrated it. This hadith is so well-known and comprehensive that when this companion’s name is mentioned, this hadith comes to mind. It is an authentic hadith reported in the sunan of Abu Dawud and the ja’mi of Tirmidhi as well as others.

‘Irbad ibn Sa’riya narrates: “Verily the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam delivered a sermon, which caused our hearts to tremble and our ears and our eyes to cry.” Notice the effect that the Prophet’s speech had on the Sahabah. And the Quran describes the Believers as such:

…when they hear the verses recited to them they fall down in sajdah and they cry.

This is the way of the Believer; he benefits from and loves to hear advice. And this is in contrast to the hypocrite and the weak believer, the Fasiq. Allah ‘azza wa jal describes them in the Quran:

Why is it that they turn away when they are reminded? / Why don’t they listen? / It is only the believer that benefits from advice and loves it.

The Sahabah were affected because of their sincere faith and dedication to the deen. They were moved and more importantly they paid attention. And this is a sign of Imaan; when a person finds he loves to attend religious gatherings and when Quran and Sunnah are recited, he is affected. And the opposite is also true. When a person does not care about religious lectures, khutbahs, sermons, seeking knowledge, or if he does not pay attention when the Quran and Sunnah are recited to him, then this is an evil sign befitting of the hypocrites and the kuffar. And that is why the Sahabah were the best of our generations. Sitting there they were affected by Prophet Muhammad’s sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam talk. Their hearts trembled and their eyes cried.

‘Irbad then goes on and says, “The Sahabah said, after the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam had finished the sermon, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we feel that you are about to leave us. The emotion in which you have delivered this talk was so intense that we feel that you are about to leave us. So give us some concise advice, give us a legacy. Give us, if you like, your last will and testament.’”

MashaAllah! Look at the Imaan of the Sahabah; after the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam finished his talk, they wanted more, in fact they demanded more. Unlike the people of today, they didn’t get tired or bored or look at their watches waiting for the Islamic knowledge to finish so they could go on with their lives. No, they wanted more because they realized that this was far more precious to them than anything the world contained. So they said, “Ya RasulAllah give us more; we want to hear more.” And this is why the Sahabah were the best of all generations. As the Quran says:

Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah.

So the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, due to his merciful nature, agreed to their request, and he gave another sermon, rather another small advice. And the reason that this lecture is so important is that the Sahabah had said, “Ya RasulAllah, give us a concise legacy.” Basically they were asking the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam to summarize for them what they needed to know, what were the essentials, and his last will and testament to the Ummah. So because they requested such beautiful advice, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam fulfilled their request. This shows that this hadith is a very important hadith, a hadith of high status, a hadith that every one of us should study. Think about it – this is the legacy that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam gave to the Sahabah when they asked him.

The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam started off saying, “My legacy to you is that I advise you to have the taqwa of Allah ‘azza wa jall. And I command you to listen and to obey,” meaning the rulers, “even if an Abyssinian slave becomes your leader.” To listen and to obey even if someone you do not like, someone you look down upon, becomes your leader. In the Shari’ah it is considered better to listen to the rulers even if they are not perfect, as long as they are not non-Muslims and committing open kufr. Listening to them is seen as a lesser sin than revolting and causing chaos, pandemonium, blood being shed, honor being dishonored, women being raped, and villages being pillaged. All of these things could be direct results of revolting against a ruler who is Muslim, even though you dislike some things about him. So the Shari’ah says that if there is a ruler and a leader who is a Muslim and is judging, in general, by the Shari’ah, then it is better, it is the correct thing to do, to leave him in power even if there are other problems with him; and you listen to and you obey him.

He went on and said, “He who lives long amongst you will see a lot of differing,” meaning amongst the Muslims. When he said, “He who lives long amongst you,” he was talking to the Sahabah, the first generation of Islam. And he said that amongst themselves they will witness a phenomenon that did not exist before. They will see something new that was not there before. And that is, there will be ikhtilaaf, differences of opinion. There will be Muslims disunited. And this is something that never existed during the time of the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam. When Prophet Muhammad sal Allaahu alayhi wa salla was amongst their midst this was unheard of because he was their Prophet, their leader, guiding them, advising them, and mediating between them. But he predicted this disease, ikhtilaaf, would appear shortly after his death, and would continue until the Day of Judgment. He predicted it because Allah ‘azza wa jall told him about it. And he did not tell the Sahabah that it would come after a thousand years or after a few hundred years. He said those who lived long amongst them, while Islam would still in its infancy, would be plagued by ikhtilaaf.

And it was exactly as he said. Shortly after Prophet Muhammad sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam’s death, in the middle of the khilaafa of ‘Uthman radi Allahu anhu, the neo-Khawaarij, the first splinter group, broke away from the Muslims. And then in the time of ‘Ali, the Rafidha broke away. And so on and so forth, it continued, the Muslims kept on breaking away from the Ummah to the point that now we have so many groups, methodologies, and movements, so many ways of understanding Islam, that we cannot even count them. So the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, because of his concern for us, because of his knowledge that Allah ‘azza wa jall gave him, warned us of a disease that would afflict all of us; the disease of ikhtilaaf, the disease of disunity.

Ikhtilaaf is such a severe disease that there is not a single issue except that we find Muslims differing about it. Forget the trivial matters of how to pray and fast. There are bigger issues such as the status of the Sahabah and the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, even the status of Allah ‘azza wa jall Himself and His names and attributes. There is not a single topic that you can think of except that you will find Muslim groups, sects, and deviants, all of them claiming to be Muslim, yet they have different ideas, methodologies, and opinions. It appears to be hopeless to bring any unification since there are so many groups. It is as the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said. Imagine. He was talking to the Sahabah so what of the situation now. How much ikhtilaaf is there? We have so much ikhtilaaf that there is not a community of Muslims on the face of the earth, except that they differ amongst themselves. Forget Muslim states, we’re talking about even local masjids in a community. Two masjids across the street from each other may have different opinions, ideologies, methodologies, agendas, and understandings of the same book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam. All of us have witnessed it. It is as if Muslims cannot become united. At least that is the way many Muslims feel.

The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam informed us of this disease and what will happen. Do you think that our Prophet, whom Allah ‘azza wa jall describes as the one who cares about you, the one who is merciful towards you, pitiful towards you, would tell us of the disease without telling us the cure? Do you think he would warn us of the impending problem without telling us the solution? No, wallahi it is not possible. He warned us of the problem and then immediately went on and he told us the solution. He said:

“So I command you (I put it upon you, the obligation is upon you) to turn back to my Sunnah.”

This is the solution. When you differ, when you have ikhtilaaf, then the obligation is upon you, to take this ikhtilaaf, to take this differing, back to the Sunnah. And obviously taking it back to the Sunnah means automatically you must take it back to the Quran as well. The Quran and Sunnah go hand in hand. As Allah ‘azza wa jal says:

If you differ about the smallest thing (if you differ about an issue) take it back to Allah and His Messenger, if you have Imaan in Allah and the Day of Judgment.

Meaning, if you do not have Imaan in Allah and the Day of Judgment, then you will not take it back to Allah and His Messenger. Only if you have Imaan will you then take it back to Allah and His Messenger.

But the question arises, how is it possible that there is still ikhtilaaf when the majority of Muslims of our time, those that call themselves Sunni, acknowledge that they go back to the Quran and Sunnah? The vast majority of what we call the conglomerate Sunni groups, even though amongst the Sunni groups there are so many splinter groups, claim the same thing: Our basis is the Quran and Sunnah. And yet, we still find ikhtilaaf.

This is because the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam did not just stop there at “take it back to my Sunnah.” He continued, “…and also, the Sunnah (the practice) of the rightly guided Khalifas after me.” Meaning, take it back to the Sunnah of the Sahabah, to the understanding of the first generation of Islam. And this is where the vast majority of Sunni groups fail; they take it back to the Quran and Sunnah, but they put a full stop there. Hardly any group, in fact there is only one group, says we must go back to the Quran and Sunnah based upon the understanding of the early generations.

The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam described that generation (specifically the four major Khalifahs) as Rashideen, meaning they have guided themselves, or Mahdi’een, they guide others. Take it back to their Sunnah.

The status of the Sahabi is not a trivial status. The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The best of all generations is my generation (those of the Sahabah), and then those that come after them (Tabi’oon), and then those that come after them (the Taba Tabi’oon).” Three generations. Meaning that in the entire history of mankind, from the time of Adam until the Day of Judgment, never will there be an entire group, an entire generation, better than the Sahabah. Never. And that is why Allah refers to the companions as such in Surah ‘Imran:

You are the best ummah that has ever been sent to mankind. You command what is good, you forbid the evil, and you believe in Allah.

What does it mean “the best”? Most Muslims think it means they are the best in their Imaan and taqwa; that they reached the heights of Imaan and taqwa and no one can reach those heights. This is of course true, but had this been the only meaning, then how would we be able to benefit from the Sahabah; what would there be for us to gain? If their Imaan reached the stars and ours can only reach a small amount, how would we be able to benefit from them?

Know with certainty that the Sahabah were of course the best in Imaan and taqwa, but they were also the best in their knowledge and in their understanding and implementation of the Quran and Sunnah. Therefore, the fact that they are the best generation means that their understanding is the best understanding. Their opinions are the best opinions. Their implementation of the Quran and Sunnah is the best implementation. Without this, they would not be the best. They were the best in everything; the best in Imaan, in taqwa, in knowledge, and in actions. So when we differ about something, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam commanded us to take it back to his Sunnah and the Sunnah of the early Khalifaas after him. And then he said, “Hold on fast to it [the Sunnah], cling onto it, bite onto it with your molar teeth.” Emphasis after emphasis, this is what will save you. As they say, a drowning man clutches at every straw. So too the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam is telling us, cling on, bite onto it (the Sunnah) with your molar teeth. This is what will save you from the fitna, from the ikhtilaaf, and from the disunity.

So the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam told us the disease, he told us the solution to that disease, and then he went a step further. He went a step further and told us the virus that causes that disease. He pointed out the reason why there will be this disease. He said, “And I caution you (I warn you) against newly invented matters.” These were matters of the religion that were not known to the early generations; that were not found in the Quran and Sunnah. Again, “I warn you against them, I caution you about them.” He went on: “Be careful because every single one of these innovations is qualified as a bid’a, and every bid’a is a misguidance, and every misguidance leads to the fire of Hell.” This is the virus that causes the disease of ikhtilaaf.

Think about it my dear brothers and sisters. Think about it. The Sahabah were one, they were united. They did not differ amongst themselves in the slightest bit with regards to this religion of Islam, the names and attributes of Allah, the concept of destiny, and any of the aspects of aqeedah. They did not differ. Yet we find in our time so many different groups. What must have happened?

Historically speaking, the first group came along, the Khawaarij, and they invented something which the Sahabah did not agree on. So the next generation found two opinions – that of the Sahabah and that of the Khawaarij. And then another group came, the Rafidha, and they invented a third opinion. And then the Qadariyyah, and then the Jahmiyyah, and then the Muht’azila and then the Asha’ira, until in our times we are surrounded by a myriad of groups and we do not know where to turn to.

So the cause of this problem was that people kept on inventing, adding, and appending to the religion of Islam, to the understanding of the Sahabah, to the Quran and the Sunnah. Bid’as (innovations), is how this disunity started and this is why it is still here. As the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“My Ummah will split into seventy-three groups. Every single one of them is destined for the fire of Hell except one.”

In an authentic hadith of Tirmidhi, the companions asked, “Who are they, ya RasulAllah?”

The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The group that follows what I am upon today and my companions.”

Once again, the emphasis here is put on “I and my companions.” This infers that it is essential to look at how the Prophet lived and how the Sahabi understood and implemented Islam from him. This statement is of paramount importance. We should understand that if we do not heed it, we will be left as the majority of groups have been left; with no standards, criterion, and judge of what is right and what is wrong.

My dear brothers and sisters, in this legacy he left us, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam shined a light on one of the most difficult problems the Muslim Ummah faces – the problem of ikhtilaaf, of disunity. He warned us of the divisions to come within the Ummah, but also gave us a solution – turn back to the Quran and Sunnah.

PART II

My dear brothers and sisters, this is the Hadith of ‘Irbad ibn Sa’riya, the legacy that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam left us upon. He said, “I have left you upon the shining path, its night is like its day. No one will deviate from it except that he wishes to be destroyed.”

“…Its night is like its day…” meaning anyone who wants to be guided will be guided; anyone who wants to search for the truth will find it. The path is clear. There is no darkness. Any Muslim who sincerely wishes to be guided, any, any kafir, any non-Muslim who sincerely wants to be guided, it is not possible that he will be misguided. The path is too clear; it is a promise of Allah ‘azza wa jal. The only one who will deviate from this is the one who follows his own desires, the one who does not want to be guided. This is the one who like the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said will go astray because he wishes to go astray, he wishes to destroy himself.

My dear brothers and sisters, the religion of Islam is a perfect religion. We all say this to the point that it has now become a cliche and we don’t even understand what it really means. Going back to the Quran, Allah says:

Today I have perfected your religion for you and completed my favors upon you and I have been pleased with Islam as your way of life.

What do we understand of Islam’s perfection from this verse? It means that the Islam of the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, the Islam that was practiced by the companions, that is the perfect Islam; there cannot be an Islam better than that. Time or place is irrelevant; there is no such thing as reversions or evolutions of Islam. We do not make distinctions and say there is a Pakistani Islam, an Arab Islam, a Lebanese Islam, or a Philistini Islam. Nor is there such a thing as an 18th century Islam and a 20th century Islam. Islam does not evolve. Our beliefs don’t evolve. Our fiqh, the fundamentals of our fiqh do not change. We are not talking about the minor differences that the Shari’ah has allowed us to undertake from time to time and place to place. We are talking about the broad general laws of Islam; they do not change from time to time and place to place. Therefore, when we find this differing, the solution is to take it back to that perfection as it existed, in the time of the Sahabah when there was no ikhtilaaf.

My dear brothers and sisters, we find many aayaat and ahadith where the importance of unity is stressed. Some of these include:

…hold on fast all of you to the rope of Allah and do not be disunited.

The believers are brothers so reconcile between them (Do not let them fight with one another).

And the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“All of you together be brothers in worship of Allah.”

We all know the importance of unity, yet we also know that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam predicted that the Muslim Ummah will be disunited. In fact, the Quran itself predicted it as Allah says:

Those that have split up the religions and become into parties and groups, you have nothing to do with them.

The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam also warned us against innovation. As he said in one hadith:

“Whoever innovates in it or supports an innovator, then the curse of Allah and the curse of the angels and the curse of all of mankind will be upon him (Allah will not except from him any good deed).”

In another hadith the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“On the Day of Judgment I will see a group of Muslims and I will recognize them by the signs of wudu. I will recognize them as Muslims and I will say come to me. But the angels will come in between and they will beat them away from me. So I will tell the angels, ‘These are my Ummah, these are the people of my Ummah,’ and the angel will respond, ‘You do not know what they have changed after you.’” In other words you do not know what they have innovated into the religion after you. So the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam will say, “Go away (be away, go off). I have nothing to do with you if you change anything after me.”

What is the basis of Muslim unity? We know we have to be unified and that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam has cursed innovations and rejected them. So what is the basis? How do we unify when within the Muslim Ummah, two extremes are present.

The first extreme is that a person considers any and every difference to be a big deal. If you differ with them about anything, then you become a’oodhubillah, a kafir. Even the smallest difference such as whether you say ameen out loud or silently, and immediately the conclusion is made that this person is a deviant, and a kafir. This is the one extreme. The other extreme is the exact opposite, which is to ignore every single difference of opinion. Such people just want the masses to come together. They prefer quantity over quality so they ignore every single ikhtilaaf. It does not matter what they say about Allah, the Sahabah, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, etc. As long as someone claims to be a Muslim, they are okay. This is the other extreme.

As usual, the true correct group of Islam and the Muslims is always in the middle, between the two extremes. Not every single ikhtilaaf should lead to ikhtilaaf of the hearts. Not every single difference of opinion should lead to boycotting, leaving, or considering someone to be a deviant or a non-Muslim.

What is the criterion then? How do we know which ikhtilaaf is important and which one can be ignored? In reality, this is something the scholars are qualified to do. They are the ones who in general know what is important and what is not. But there is a simple rule of thumb that most of us can apply. We should rely upon the scholars who follow the way of the Quran and Sunnah and the early companions. Turn to them. If they make a big deal about an issue, then make a big deal about it. And if they trivialize it and say no big deal, do not make a big deal about it. Let us always see if the companions disagreed about an issue or if they were unanimous in their opinion. The Sahabah did differ about many things but their differences never led to a problem of the heart. They may have had a difference regarding a certain opinion, but they were still brothers in Islam because these differences were trivial. If we find that the companions were unanimous about an issue, then we too should follow the unanimous opinion. For example, if the companions were unanimous against a certain act, yet someone claims it to be from the Shair’ah, then the general rule of thumb applies and we should rule with the unanimous opinion that the act is not correct.

Take it back to the early generations of Islam; this is a simple rule of thumb. Ask youself, “Is this understanding, this belief, this aqeedah, this practice, shared by the Sahabah? Is this methodology I’m being asked to follow, something that was implemented by the companions, by the Tabi’oon, by the Taba Tabi’oon?” They were the ones with the correct understanding so if they implemented it, then alhamdullilah. If not, then it must be a newly invented matter.

A point of caution is that we must realize that unity and brotherhood is based upon a person’s Imaan. The stronger a person’s Imaan is, the stronger your brotherhood and love must be for him. And the weaker it is, then the weaker your brotherhood and love will be. So your brotherhood for a Muslim who does not pray five times a day, or who does not fast the month of Ramadan, or who is involved in a major sin, or who is involved in a major innovation is not like the brotherhood and unity you feel towards a Muslim who is pious, prays five times a day, fasts the month of Ramadan, and avoids the major sins.

But it is not black and white, and this is the mistake most Muslims make; there are shades of gray in between. You look at every single person and you see the good in him as well as the evil, and accordingly you love him for the good and you hate him for the evil. So the unity will be based upon his Imaan. Unity is not a slogan that we unite with every Muslim who says, “I am Muslim.” No. Unity is based on adherence to the Quran and Sunnah. The closer a person adheres to the Quran and Sunnah, the closer our unity is with him. And if someone disagrees with the Quran and Sunnah, and the understanding of the early generations, then he is the one causing disunity by refusing to go back to the Quran and Sunnah and by refusing to go back to the understanding of the early generations, not us. This is the person who is breaking away from us and we are not breaking away from him.

PART III

What is so important about the salaf and the scholars of the past and the Sahabah and the Tabi’oon that we have to follow them? I will quote a few proofs to illustrate the importance of taking this ikhtilaaf back to them. The first set of proofs is the Quranic proofs, the aayaat of the Quran which prove the high status of the Sahabah. And there are literally dozens of verses in the Quran discussing the status of the Sahabah.

Of them:

Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah.

Allah has testified that he is pleased with the Sahabah. Therefore, should we not go back to them when we differ?

You are the best Ummah that has been sent to mankind.

The second set of evidences is the ahadith of the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, some of which have been quoted earlier already:

“The best of nations is my nation, and then those that come after them, and then those that come after them.”

The hadith of ‘Irbad ibn Sa’riya: “I command you to follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khalifas after me.”

The hadith of seventy-three groups, and when he was asked who the one safe group was he said, “That which follows what I am following and my companions.”

The third set of evidences is the statements of the companions themselves. When innovations spread and the Khawaarij came and then the Shi’a and the Rafidha and so on and so forth, the companions advised those after them to stick with the Sahabah of the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam. Realize that in the time of the Sahabah, three deviant groups came and yet, not a single Sahabi ever went to those groups. As Ibn Masoud said, “Follow us and don’t innovate after us because it is sufficient for you what we are upon (What we are doing is sufficient for you, don’t do more than that).”

The fourth set of proofs is the proofs from history, Islamic History. From Islamic History we see that the Sahabah were united in their beliefs and in their theology. These deviant groups that came after them, not a single companion was amongst them. The Khawaarij, they numbered in the thousands, and they fought the Sahabah in many wars. Never did any companion leave the ranks of the companions and join the Khawaarij. Ali radi Allahu anhu himself was alive when the Rafidha were there and he had some of them executed. Likewise, the Qadareeya, they too appeared when the Sahabah were alive. None of the companions joined them. And the same follows for the other three generations as well. The group of the Sunnah, Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jam’a, or the Sunni Muslims, they were distinct and clear. There was only one Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jam’a for over two hundred and fifty years. Any other group had other names. Be it the Jahmeeya, the Mu’atazila, the Asha’riya, the Qulabeeya, the Qadareeya, and others. But the Ahlul Sunnah were always one. So for the first two hundred and fifty years, it was clear who was following the Sunnah and who was a deviant.

The fifth set of proofs is a logical proof. Obviously, the best generation that we should go back to for a criterion, for a reference, is the Sahabah. So from a common sense point of view, we need to have a standard, and that standard is the Sahabah.

And the last set of proofs is a realistic proof. This proof becomes apparent if we examine many of the groups today. All of the groups today claim they follow the Quran and Sunnah. They claim to be Sunni groups, following the Quran and the Sunnah, and at the same time claim each other to be kafir. So realistically speaking there must be something more and we believe that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam must have told us about it. He could not have told us the problem without telling us the solution, and he did. Realistically speaking, the solution is not just the Quran and Sunnah, which of course is the fundamental, but the Quran and Sunnah based upon the understanding of the early generations.

There is a famous slogan that we hear amongst many Muslim groups. “Whatever we disagree about we will ignore, and whatever we agree about we will cooperate in.” This slogan is not a precise slogan, rather it should be: “Whatever we agree about we will cooperate in, whatever we disagree about we will take it back to the Quran and the Sunnah and the understanding of the early generations.” With this slogan, we will be united.

My dear Muslims, unity does not come from quantity; it comes through quality. It comes through a person’s Imaan, taqwa, and adherence to the Quran and Sunnah based upon the understanding of the early generations. If a person does not wish to be upon that understanding, then he is the one causing problems, he is the one breaking away, he is the one becoming disunited and fractionalized.

Therefore, in conclusion I advise you just as the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam advised the companions, to have the taqwa of Allah ‘azza wa jal, and to listen and obey – to listen and obey even if your rulers are people whom you do not like because you will see, you have seen, and all of us have seen, a lot of ikhtilaaf. So when we see it, let us revisit the Sunnah of the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khalifas after him. Hold onto this, stick with this; this is the way we will be united, this is the way that we will be saved. And I caution you, just as Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam I warn you against innovations, against bid’as. Because every single innovation into this religion is a bid’a, and every bid’a is a misguidance, and every misguidance leads to the fire of Hell.

I pray that Allah ‘azza wa jal guides us to the correct understanding of Islam. That He makes us united as Muslims, submitting ourselves to Him. And that He resurrects us upon Imaan. Ameen.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Competing for the Hereafter…

by ‘Abdul-Bârî ibn ‘Awad ath-Thubaytî

 I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad r is His Servant and Messenger. May Allaah bestow peace and blessings upon him, his family and companions.

Brothers in Islaam, fear Allaah as He should be feared and be mindful of Him openly and secretly.

“O you who believe! fear Allaah as He should be feared and die not except in the state of Islaam.” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:102).

Fellow Muslims, Our Almighty Lord says

“And march forth in the way (which leads) to forgiveness from your Lord and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious.” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:133).

He also says:

“Race one with another in hastening towards Forgiveness from your Lord, and towards Paradise, the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allaah and His Messengers. That is the Grace of Allaah which He bestows on whom He pleases. And Allaah is the Owner of Great Bounty.” (Al-Hadeed 57:21)[1]

Dear brethren,

when one carefully looks at peoples’ behavior, he will notice different kinds of competition. Some people do compete over this mundane world as to conquer and hold it in their possession; some compete over the attainment of high positions; some compete to achieve fame and stardom and some compete on building luxurious houses just as if this world is an everlasting one.

Let us leave those people moving directionlessly in their fake pleasures and ponder over a better and sublime competition; a competition that is encouraged by the Glorious Qur’aan. It is a race towards the Pleasure of Allaah and the Paradise, a competition in the field of righteous deeds. It is a competition in which the participants are wise people who are aware that this live is short hence they compete with one another in investing their lives in acts of obedience to Allaah.
The Messenger of Allaah saws kindled the fire of race towards what pleases Allaah in the hearts of his companions when he said:

“The Mufarridoon have gone ahead!’ The companions asked: ‘Who are the Mufarridoon O Messenger of Allaah!’ He answered: “They are those men and women who remember Allaah much.” (Muslim)

He also said

“Should I teach something with which you can catch up with those who have gone ahead of you and outstrip those who are behind you and none will be better than you except the one who does as you do?’ They said: ‘Yes! O Messenger of Allaah!’ He said: ‘You should glorify Allaah, exalt him and praise Him 33 times at the end of every prayer.” (Muslim)

He also said:

“If people had known the reward of Aadhaan and the first row (in the congregational prayer) and would not get a way to it except by casting lots they would have certainly done that; and if they had known the reward in the midnoon prayer, they would have raced with one another to attend it. If they had known the reward in the late evening prayer (‘Ishaa) and the dawn prayer (Fajr) they would have attended it even if they had to crawl.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim).

When you read the stories of the Sahaabah, you will see that they are resolute, enthusiastic and serious as far as good deeds are concerned to the extent that the poor among them do compete with the rich in carrying out meritorious acts even though they had no excessive money with which they could compete with them in acts of charity.

Some poor companions came to the Messenger of Allaah saws one day and asked him of what they could do to be ahead of the rich in terms of reward.

They said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah! The rich people have made away with rewards. They pray as we do, fast as we do and spend their excessive wealth in charity.’

He answered: ‘Has Allaah not provided for you what you can do charity with? Indeed, every glorification (Subhaanallaah) that you do is charity, every exaltation (Allaahu Akbar) that you do is charity, every praise that you give(Alhamdulillaah) is charity, every ‘Laailaaha illa Allaah’ that you say is charity, enjoining what is good is charity, preventing evil is charity and even doing marital intercourse with one’s spouse is charity.’

They said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah! How can we enjoy ourselves and still get reward for it?’
He replied: ‘Tell me, if he does it in an unlawful way, is it not going to be a sin? Likewise is when he does it in a lawful way, he is going to get a reward for that.” (Muslim).

Here is a good example of the Sahaabahs’ competition with one another in the field of meritorious deeds. In the days of the Battle of Badr, Sa‘d ibn Khaythamah draw lots with his father as to whom of both will participate in the battle. Sa‘d’s lot emerged and his father told him: ‘My son, give me preference over yourself today.’Sa‘d answered: ‘If it is other things beside Paradise I would have done that.’So Sa‘d went to the Battle of Badr and was martyred. His father later took part in the Battle of Uhud and also got martyred.

The noble and commendable competitions that occurred between Aboo Bakr and ‘Umar is also well-known though ‘Umar never succeeded in outstripping Aboo Bakr. To cite an example, the Messenger of Allaah saws once called upon his companions to give charity.

‘Umar saw that as an oppurtunity to outstrip Aboo Bakr and he said: ‘Today, I am going to surpass Aboo Bakr.’ He said: ‘So I came with half of my property. The Messenger of Allaah r asked: ‘What have you left for your family?’ I answered: ‘As much as this.’ Then Aboo Bakr came with all that he has and the Messenger of Allaah r said: ‘What have you left for your family?’ He replied: ‘I left for them Allaah and his Messenger.’ It is then that I said: ‘I shall never compete with him on anything again.” (At-Tirmidhee).

It is quite wonderful that Aboo Bakr participated competitively in all aspects of good deeds; be it spending in the cause of Allaah, worship and propagation of Islaam.

Actually, entering the competition for meritorious acts creates in a Muslim a desire to meet up with those who are above him in terms of devotion, Da‘wah and Jihad. Some ‘Ulamaa while commenting on the verse:

“Hasten towards all that is good” (Al-Baqarah 2:1448) said: “Whoever beats others to the righteous deeds in this world will be the foremost on the Last Day and the foremost people are the highest in position.”

Allaah says while lauding the foremost:

“Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they use to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” (Al-Anbiyaa 21:90)

The above verses are enough to make a Muslim aim for the highest possible rank through a noble race towards all acts of worship. As for the Taabi‘een, they have laid a great example in the arena of competition over good deeds. They used to rebuke their souls whenever it lagged behind in the race towards righteous acts and they would tell it:

“The Sahaabah rode behind the Prophet saws on the backs of the perfectly breeded race horses and we are riding on the backs of lame donkeys. Do you then want to hamper our movement so that they can win the Messenger of Allaah saws while we remain on the way? ..By Allaah, we shall meet up with them even though we have to crawl so that they will know that those they left behind are really men.”

If you therefore, want to increase your reward in the hereafter, hasten to join the arena of the great race, for you are now in the season of good deeds. The highest thing that people can compete for is the Paradise which is as wide as are the heavens and the earth. Allaah says:

“Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our slaves who have been Al-Muttaqun (pious and righteous persons).” (Maryam 19:63)

These are the last days of Ramadaan; days of bounties and rewards. It is a period in which supplications are answered and it is the best time to beseech the Lord of the heavens and the earth. For this let the competitors do compete.

Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim reported from Aaishah that she said:

“In the last ten days of Ramadaan, the Prophet saws would tighten his loincloth, spend his nights in worship and wake up his household.”

These three short sentences explain the manner in which the Prophet r spent the last ten days of Ramadaan in the most beautiful way. You all know how busy the Prophet r used to be, yet he would not allow this best season to go unused in acts of worship. He would devote himself exclusively during these ten days to Ibaadah, seeking for Allaah’s reward. He would do all this, regardless of the fact that Allaah has forgiven him all his sins. What then are we doing?!!

The phrase ‘ would tighten his loincloth’ is used figuratively to mean: ‘he would exert all efforts and vigor in the acts of ‘Ibaadah’.The Messenger of Allaah would preoccupy himself with different kinds of worship throught the day and night. You would see him standing in prayer, doing a lot of Istighfaar, reciting the glorious Qur’aan and raising his hand in prayer doing all these in the quest for Lailatu-Qadr upon which a Soorah -that will continue to be recited till the Day of Ressurection- was revealed:

“We have sent it (this Qur’an) in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know the night of Al-Qadr (Decree). The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees. Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.”

Yet, it is quite unfortunate that Satan do overpower some people and prevent them from remembrance of Allaah and other acts of worship during these good and merciful seasons with trivialities like how to spend the Eid nights, what to wear, passing the night in pastime and the day in sleep hence making them lose the reality of fasting and the blessing of Laylatul-Qadr (night of majesty).

Dear brethren, your Lord is throwing His doors of Mercy opened and is providing you with means to prosperity. Why then would some people be unheeding?! He is saying:

“O ‘Ibaadee (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the mercy of Allaah, verily Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islamic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him (in Islam), before the torment comes upon you, then you will not be helped.” (Az-Zumar 39:53-54)

Footnotes
[1] This verse is included by the translator for its direct connection to the topic.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

The Ramadan Sermon Of Rasulullah (SAW)

Ramadaan Greeting Card 2012 Beautiful Islamic Wallpapers

Salmaan Al-Farsi (RA) reported that Rasulullah (SAW) delivered a sermon on the last day of the month of Sha’ban. In it Rasulullah (SAW) said:

“O People! The month of Allah (Ramadaan) has come with its mercies, blessings and forgiveness’s. Allah has decreed this month the best of all months. The days of this month are the best among the days and the nights are the best among the nights and the hours during Ramadan are the best among the hours. This is a month in which you have been invited by Him (to fast and pray). Allah has honoured you in it. In every breath you take is a reward of Allah, your sleep is worship, your good deeds are accepted and your invocations are answered.

Therefore, you must invoke your Lord in all earnestness with hearts free from sin and evil, and pray that Allah may help you to keep fast, and to recite the Holy Qur’an. Indeed! Miserable is the o­ne who is deprived of Allah’s forgiveness in this great month. While fasting remember, the hunger and thirst, o­n the Day of Judgement. Give alms to the poor and needy. Pay respect to your elders, have sympathy for your youngsters and be kind towards your relatives and kinsmen. Guard your tongue against unworthy words, and your eyes from scenes that are not worth seeing (forbidden) and your ears from sounds that should not be heard.

Be kind to orphans so that if your children may become orphans they will also be treated with kindness. Do repent to Allah for your sins and supplicate with raised hands at the times of prayer as these are the best times, during which Allah Almighty looks at His servants with mercy. Allah Answers if they supplicate, Responds if they call, Grants if He is asked, and Accepts if they entreat. O people! You have made your conscience the slave of your desires.

Make it free by invoking Allah for forgiveness. Your back may break from the heavy load of your sins, so prostrate yourself before Allah for long intervals, and make this load lighter. Understand fully that Allah has promised in His Honour and Majesty that, people who perform salat and Sajdah (prostration) will be guarded from Hell-fire o­n the Day of Judgement.

O people!, if anyone amongst you arranges for Iftaar (meal at sunset) for any believer, Allah will reward him as if he had freed a slave, and Allah will forgive him his sins. A companion asked: “but not all of us have the means to do so” Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “Keep yourself away from Hell-fire though it may consist of half a date or even some water if you have nothing else.”

O people! anyone who during this month cultivates good manners, will walk over the Sirat (bridge to Paradise) o­n the day when feet will tend to slip. For anyone who during this month eases the workload of his servants, Allah will make easy his accounting, and for anyone who doesn’t hurt others during this month, Allah will safeguard him from His Wrath o­n the Day of Judgement. Anyone who respects and treats an orphan with kindness during this month, Allah shall look at him with kindness o­n that Day. Anyone who treats his kinsmen well during this month, Allah will bestow His Mercy o­n him o­n that Day, while anyone who mistreats his kinsmen during this month, Allah will keep away from His Mercy.

Whoever offers the recommended prayers during this month, Allah will save him from Hell, and whoever observes his obligations during this month, his reward will be seventy times the reward during other months. Whoever repeatedly invokes Allah’s blessings o­n me, Allah will keep his scale of good deeds heavy, while the scales of others will be tending to lightness. Whoever recites during this month an ayah (verse) of the Qur’an, will get the reward of reciting the whole Qur’an in other months.

O people! the gates of Paradise remain open during this month. Pray to your Lord that they may not be closed for you. While the gates of Hell are closed, pray to your Lord that they never open for you. Satan has been chained, invoke your Lord not to let him dominate you.”

Ali ibn Talib (RA) said: “I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what are the best deeds during this month’?” ‘Rasulullah (SAW) replied: ‘O Abu-Hassan, the best of deeds during this month is to be far from what Allah has forbidden’.”

Towards and Outstanding Ramadan

Fasting and Furious

[Audio Verson not available due to server problem,chk Video link in the above link “Fasting and Furious” ]

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