Friday Khutbah (17/1/2003) delivered by Shaykh Muhammad Taher
DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translater and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from Allah. Indeed all praise is due Allah, we praise Him, seek His aid and ask His forgiveness. We seek shelter in Allah from the evil of our own souls and the evil of our own actions. Whoever Allah has guided then no one can misguide him and whoever Allah has caused to be misguided then no one can guide him.
I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone and I bear witness that Muhammad is his slave and messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and all of the righteous. Amin.
To proceed, …
The Imam saw that it would beneficial to continue the discussion regarding the heart of the believer; a heart which is alive, a heart which is interacts with the Qur`an and answers the call to faith. The heart of the believer is a heart which is filled with light that illuminates his path for him. Perhaps you remember the example given by the enlightened scholars, that of the heart being like a citadel and that its enemy is attacking it, storming its gates to reach its secrets. That enemy my dear Brothers and Sisters, is the accursed Satan who swore by the Almighty that he would expend every effort in trying to misguide the believers, lead them astray and prevent them from the path of Allah.
As Allah the Exalted says in the Qur`an describing the statement of Satan,
“By Your might I will lead them all astray except Your faithful servants.” (38:82)
In other words, Your servants who worship You alone, Your servants who are truthful, Your servants whose hearts are alive, Your servants whose hearts are pure and clean. And as we are all aware of the supplication of the prophet Ibrahim, may the peace of Allah be upon him,
“And do not disgrace me on the Day of Resurrection, a day when neither children or wealth will avail except for the one who came with a sound heart.” (26:89)
A sound heart is the one which worships Allah alone, is free from associating partners with Allah, free from innovation and misguidance, a heart which is sincere for Allah alone, a heart which is pure and clean of faults and destructive diseases.
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
So whoever wanted to protect his citadel from Satan’s assault and the attack of his enemy, then he should know the ways in which the gates may be breached and how they may be fortified, locked tightly and guards placed at their entrances.
The first of these ways by which Satan breaches the gates of the heart is via ignorance of Allah and His rights upon you. Such that whoever is ignorant of his Lord, Satan is able to gain mastery over him but whoever knew that Allah encompasses his actions, and that Allah knows what is hidden from the eyes and what the hearts conceal, and that Allah is swift in punishment, and that Allah is All Forgiving, the All Merciful, the All Hearing and the All Seeing, then the fear of Allah gains mastery over his heart, faith fills his soul and through constant remembrance of Allah, Satan flees and turns away. As Allah the Exalted says in the Qur`an describing the effect of remembrance on the hearts of the believers,
“Those who believe, their hearts become tranquil through the remembrance of Allah. Isn’t it through the remembrance of Allah that the hearts attain tranquillity.” (13:28)
Another diseases by which Satan breaches the gates of the heart is via envy, as the presence of envy in the heart provides Satan with the opportunity to change this creation to a base animal, who hates that those around him enjoy any good, changing him into a viper, which does not rest until it has released its venom into it victim.
As Allah the Exalted says in the Qur`an,
“Do they envy the people regarding that which Allah has given them from His bounty.” (4:54)
The definition of envy in Islam being that a person wishes that the bounty of Allah be removed from the person it has bestowed upon, regardless whether this bounty be related to the worldly life, or that of the hereafter. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, who narrates that the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Beware of envy as it consumes good deeds the way fire consumes wood.” (Related by Abu Dawud)
And it was said, “There is no rest for the one who envies; he is an oppressor in the guise of the oppressed and an enemy in the guise of a friend.” It is so dangerous that Allah revealed in the Qur`an,
“Say: I seek shelter in the Lord of the dawn … from the envious one when he envies.” (113:1 and 6)
Yet another of the gates through which Satan also tries to enter the heart is having a low opinion of your Muslim brothers and sisters, as whoever judges Muslims using their low opinion of them has degraded them, allowed his tongue to be critical of them and considered himself better than them. However, Allah the Exalted says in the Qur`an,
“O you who believe, avoid a great deal of suspicion as indeed some suspicion is sinful.” (50:12)
And on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, who narrates that the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Beware of suspicion, as indeed suspicion is the most deceptive form of speech.” (Agreed upon by al-Bukhari and Muslim) This is because suspicion is a form of lying, as it is built upon conjecture, personal opinion and the whisperings of Satan. This low opinion of Muslims and suspicion regarding them is a product of the malice of the suspicious person, as the believer is required to search for excuses for his brothers and sisters. On the contrary, it is the hypocrite who searches out their faults. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates that the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “It is sufficient evil that a person despises his Muslim brother.” (Related by Muslim)
Another way in which Satan attempts to penetrate the heart is through the love of wealth and if this gains mastery over the heart then it corrupts it and causes such a person to seek the acquisition of wealth through means other than those permitted by Islam. Consequently, you see such a person rushing and chasing the acquisition of wealth by any means at his disposal, not caring whether it is halal or haram, because as far as he is concerned the ends justify the means. In addition, after all of this you see him still being miserly with the wealth he has acquired, being tight fisted and fearing poverty, resulting in him neglecting his duties, not fulfilling the rights of others, so that he does not pay zakat and is miserly when giving charity.
However, Allah the Exalted says in the Qur`an,
“As for the one who gave, was pious and believed in the best reward then We will make ease, easy for him but as for the one who was miserly, thought himself free of need and denied the best reward, then We will make difficulty easy for him. And will his wealth avail him when he is destroyed, falling into the hellfire.” (92:5-11)
And in the hadith we find the statement of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “O son of Adam, if you were to give from the bounty [bestowed upon you] it would be better for you and if you held on to it, it would be worse for you. And do not blame those who beg and begin with those who you support, and [know that] the giving hand is better than the receiving hand.”(Related by Muslim) And in another hadith he, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Wealth is not reduced by the giving of charity, the more you forgive the more Allah elevates your rank and no one was humble before Allah except that Allah the Exalted raised him.” (Related by Muslim) Also, Allah says in the Qur`an,
“Indeed you do not honour the orphan, nor do you encourage the feeding of the poor but you consume inheritance, devouring it and you love wealth more than anything.” (89:17-20)
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
We cannot encompass nor enumerate the many ways in which the heart can be attacked, as they are many but we have tried to concentrate on the most important diseases of the heart. However we should ask here: how can we rid ourselves of them and how can we cure them?
Know that if Allah wanted good for His slave then he will make the faults of his soul manifest to him and whoever was blessed with this then he should not fear as,
“Indeed, the human being is well acquainted with himself.” (75:14)
Through the knowledge of such faults the cure becomes possible. However, the disaster lies in that most people are ignorant of their own faults, they see the faults of others but they do not see their own. Nevertheless, we remind ourselves here of some of the means by which we may be cured. Firstly, be inseparable from the Noble Book [the Qur`an], causing yourself to be conjunction with it, what it orders and whatever qualities Allah describes His slaves as having, then adopt such qualities. Furthermore, whatever He has forbidden or however He has described the disobedient then distance yourself from such matters.
In addition, be inseparable from the sunnah of the Prophet may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as every good lies in emulating him, especially in his behaviour and manners and take him as your example in everything you do, as Allah says in the Qur`an,
“Indeed you [O Prophet] are upon a magnificent character.” (68:4)
And when ‘A`ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked regarding the first ten verses of surah al-Mu`minun [the Believers, no. 23] she replied that this is what the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was like - his character was that of the Qur`an. What was this character? It was forbearance, justice, patience, recognising Allah’s bounty, humility, abstinence, modesty, forgiveness, shyness, courage, fine speech, dignity, mercy, good behaviour and good companionship. As Allah says in the Qur`an,
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah there is a beautiful pattern of conduct for whoever’s hope is in Allah and the hereafter and whoever remembered Allah much.” (33:21)
Secondly, search out a sincere friend who has insight and piety, who can help you combat your own soul, remind you of Allah and the hereafter, as the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is reported to have said, “A person is upon the religion of his closest companion,” so we should examine whose company we keep. As Allah says in the Qur`an,
“And cooperate with one another for piety and righteousness and do not cooperate with one another regarding sin and aggression.” (5:2)
And the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he love for himself.” (Agreed upon by al-Bukhari and Muslim) The Commander of the Faithful, ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, would say, “May Allah have mercy on a person who points out my faults to me.”
“Indeed there is in this a reminder in this for whoever has a heart, or listened and bore witness.” (50:37)
We ask Allah the Exalted to aid us in becoming acquainted with our faults and help us in purifying our hearts and souls from their diseases. Amin.