Friday Khutbah (11/7/2003) delivered by Shaykh Muhammad TaherDISCLAIMER: 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 to 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.
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
Shall we not learn something from the Qur`an? Shall we not take from its benefit, its direction and guidance, so that it causes both us and our children to be reformed and be successful?
The Qur`an is the book in which there is every good, “In it is a guidance for the pious” (2:2), it guides to that which is best and commands that which is best. But where are we in relation to all of this?
The Noble Qur`an is the speech of the Lord of all creation; it narrates to us the council of a father to his son and an advice for every affectionate father and compassionate mother, to be taught to their children and so they may travel the same path and follow their way, the path and way of the successful, in both this life and the next.
As Allah the Exalted reminds us in the Qur`an,
“It is this Qur`an that guides to that which is correct.” (17:9)
Allah the Exalted teaches us in the Qur`an,
“And remind them of when Luqman said to his son whilst instructing him. ‘O my son do not associate anything with Allah, as indeed associating anything with Allah is a great transgression.’ And We have enjoined upon the human being [to be dutiful to] his parents, his mother carried him enduring fatigue upon fatigue and his weaning lasted two years. So be grateful to me and your parents and to Me is the final destination. But if they endeavour to make you associate with Me that which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in this world with kindness and follow the way of those who return to Me. After which you will all return to Me and I will inform you about all you used to do. ‘O my son, even if it were the weight of a mustard seed and was [hidden] in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, Allah would bring it forth. Indeed Allah is the Sublime the All Knowing.’” (31:13-16)
Indeed, it is truthful advice and a sincere council from a father to his son, as a father wants nothing more for his son than to guide him to every good. It is the advice of a man to whom Allah gave wisdom and he acted according to it, teaching it to his son until it became a legacy in his soul, so that he may become wise and righteous, as it is from wisdom that a father is eager that his son inherits from him everything that will benefit him in his religion and his worldly life.
Indeed, it is the advice of Luqman to his son, who at the same time was advising every parent as if to say, “Listen to my words and learn what I have to say and teach it to your children.” Similarly, the Qur`an would not have related this statement unless Allah the Exalted was pleased with it, as it is indeed wise council and a beautiful and beneficial reminder. As such, it is a lesson for every Muslim to learn, teach and adopt, as to cause its establishment in the hearts, minds and souls of future generations.
Indeed, Luqman begins his council with the greatest of affairs in this life - that of belief. In other words, a belief that is free of polytheism, which is the greatest transgression and a sin that will not be forgiven except through belief in the oneness of Allah. He advises us as if to say, “Teach your children the meaning of true faith to the extent that they attach themselves to this religion, in the same way that the body is connected to the soul, a connection so strong that if one is separated from the other it results in death.”
In other words, raise your children to love Islam and make the oneness and greatness of Allah firm in their hearts and souls. As the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is reported to have said in a hadith, “Let the first thing you teach your children be the phrase: la ilaha illa Allah (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah).” (Related by al-Hakim)
The reason for this is so that the child feels his association with Islam
upon hearing it, attaching his heart to it and causing it to be established in
his soul. In contrast don’t allow your child to be involved in speech which is
worthless, as it is impossible to know what evil his heart will incline
towards from what he hears or what he himself says.
The second piece of advice is Allah’s council regarding parents, which He includes within the advice of Luqman to his son, as the Qur`an reminds us,
“And We have enjoined upon the human being [to be dutiful to] his parents, his mother carried him enduring fatigue upon fatigue.” (31:14)
The advice is for the child, as he is in need of council regarding this
matter and he should be reminded constantly and continuously of it, so that he
knows the true value of the generation that sacrificed their time and effort
for his sake, as if we are being told, “Teach your children from an early age
to be dutiful to their parents and raise them to love being obedient to them.
In addition, make them understand that this is something which Allah loves His
slaves to do. Similarly, teach them that this is something that they will
never be able to repay their parents for, even if they spent their lifetimes
trying. Also, a special mention is given to the mother, who has the greatest
position of respect in this regard.”
It is related that a man was making tawaf around the Ka’ba whilst carrying his mother and as such he asked the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Have I fulfilled her right [upon me].” He, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, replied, “Not even one cry of pain.” (Related by al-Bazzar)
If this did not suffice one cry of pain then what about the pain endured whilst carrying him in her stomach for nine months, the pain endured during birth, the period of breast feeding and the sleepless nights due to worry about his health in addition to the time and effort sacrificed for his up bringing and education?
To this effect the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, taught us to preserve this elevated status granted to the mother when a man came to him and asked him as to who was the most deserving person of his kindness and company in this life? The Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Your mother.” The man then asked, “Then who?” The Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, replied, “Your mother.” The man then asked, “Then who?” The Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Your mother.” The man then asked, “Then who?” The Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, replied, “Your father.” (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And we should teach our children that being dutiful to their parents is a major cause in them entering Paradise, whose width is that of the Heavens and the Earth, as the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Indeed he is ruined, indeed he is ruined, indeed he is ruined, the one whose parents reached old age while he was with them, one of them or both of them and he didn’t enter paradise.” (Related by Muslim)
The third piece of advice is to teach our children to be observant of Allah, that Allah has knowledge of all things, no matter how small they may be. We should teach them that Allah is observing them and is aware of all that they do, whether it be publicly or privately, so that their souls becomes firm upon Allah’s obedience, fear of Allah enters their hearts and so they become aware that Allah is Ever Watchful over them. As Allah reminds us of the advice of Luqman to his son in the Qur`an,
“O my son, even if it were the weight of a mustard seed and was [hidden] in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, Allah would bring it forth. Indeed Allah is the Sublime the All Knowing.” (31:16)
In other words, imagine a soul that knows even this tiny seed, which has no real significance or value was embedded in solid rock and as such was invisible, or it was in the heavens, which are so huge and expansive that we see the greatest of stars and planets as no more than tiny lights twinkling from afar, or that it was placed somewhere in this vast earth in which we live, “Allah would bring it forth.”
Such a soul who knows this with certainty will take into account every action they do in minute detail. If you teach your children this in their formative years, it will cause it to be firmly fixed in their hearts and run through them, in the same way that blood runs through their veins. Such a child will be the best of children for you, the best of slaves for their Creator and the best of worshippers in their religion.
So my dear Brothers and Sisters,
These are the principles we should teach or children to open their minds from an early age, as these were the same principles Luqman taught his son while advising him. They are three basic steps whose sequence is not haphazard and as such, we should take each step one by one, so that they have the greatest effect on the personality of every Muslim child.
The first stage is that of belief based on firmness in faith, which causes a Muslim to be representative of everything he believes, his faith being firmly fixed in his heart and soul. This in turn causes his relationship with his parents to be based on love, good manners, respect and obedience and finally, even if he does stray from the right path, he knows that Allah is Ever Watchful over him, which in turn should be reflected in the behaviour of every Muslim child.