Friday Khutbah (18/7/2003) 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,
We have learned that the advice of wise Luqman comprises three important principles and an admonition for every parent. It is our belief as Muslims that protects our children from deviation and misguidance. Our religion teaches us that every child is born in a natural state and it is his parents who cause him to be a Jew or a Christian. As such, the relationship between the child and his parents is of the utmost importance in the lives of our children so that good manners, obedience, respect, righteousness and good relations exist.
Also, being observant of Allah and fearing Him and training the soul to be aware of Allah the Exalted in every action and every situation is equally important, as it will produce a generation that is upstanding, righteous, which is pious and fears Allah. Luqman summarised these deep meanings while addressing his son saying,
“‘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 ..."
Until he said,
“‘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)
As for the next stage of the council of this wise and loving father, who was keen that is son inherit every good that will benefit him in this life and next, he addresses his son - having established the belief in Allah’s oneness in his heart and the observance of Allah in his soul - saying,
“‘O my son, establish prayer.’” (31:17)
As if to say, “O my son, prayer is your link between you and your Creator. O my son, prayer is the way in which the souls are elevated to the highest rank.” And Luqman said, “Establish prayer” not just “pray” as ‘establishing prayer’ is not just performing it fully and completely, but also fulfilling its prerequisites, its essential components, as well as feeling reverence, awe and tranquillity, in addition to performing it on time.
Do we as parents make a conscious effort to find out if our children have preformed their prayers?
The Prophetic Companion, Abdullah b. `Abbas spent the evening at his auntie’s house - Maymunah, the wife of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, came when night had fallen and he asked, “Has the boy prayed,” and they replied, “Yes.” (Related by Abu Dawud)
So in the same we ask, “Has the child eaten? Has the child played? Has the child finished his homework?” We should also ask, “Has the child prayed?”
And the Prophetic Companion, Abdullah b. `Umar would say, “A child is taught to prayer when he knows his right hand from his left.”
Our pious predecessors would take note of their children’s prayers and question them concerning them. It was related a man from the Companions of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, asked his son, “Did you catch the prayer with us? Did you catch the opening takbir?” and when his son said, “No”, he responded saying, “A great good has eluded you, which is better than a hundred camels whose eyes are all black.” This being a figure of speech expressing the great loss inflicted by this action, which cannot be replaced by what are considered precious things in this ephemeral, worldly life.
As such one of the greatest things we can do as parents is to bring our children with us to prayer, placing them beside us, so that they can learn from our example of how to perform and preserve the prayer.
Therefore, my dear Brothers and Sisters,
Do not send forth a generation under your supervision who do not prayer, who have no link with their Lord and no link with their religion, as indeed we are sinful for doing so.
In addition, Luqman also places upon his son the trust of inviting to the religion of Allah, causing him to feel responsibility for his religion, saying,
“‘O my son, establish prayer, enjoin the good and forbid the evil and be patient with that which afflicts you, as indeed these are of the affairs that require resolve.” (31:17)
Inviting people to Islam, reforming their state, enjoining the good upon them and forbidding them from evil, with wisdom and gentle admonition, based on knowledge, is our purpose in this life. As such Luqman is addressing every parent as if to say, “Teach your child to be concerned about his religion, that he is responsible for inviting to it and to be the best example of those who practise it. Teach your child that his provision upon this path is worshipping Allah and turning to him in prayer and to be patient regarding that which afflicts the caller to Allah, whether it be via obstinate souls, hard hearts or harsh words, as all of these, “Are of the of affairs that require resolve.”
And so O Muslim youth, do not be hesitant after comprehending these deep meanings and be resolute, carrying the banner of your religion, calling to Allah with insight, understanding, knowledge and guidance and be patient regarding that which befalls you during all of this.
Luqman adds to his council, addressing his son reminding him of some of the qualities required of those who invite to the path of Allah, as we read in the Qur'an,
“‘O my son, do not turn your face away [out of pride], nor walk insolently in the earth, as indeed Allah does not like every type of vain boaster. But be measured in your gait and lower your voice, as indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is that of a donkey braying.” (31:18-19)
As if he is saying, “O my son, inviting people to good does not permit us to be arrogant with them, nor be conceited with them, in the name of being their religious leaders. In addition, don’t be conceited, don’t be arrogant and don’t walk around being insolent and boastful, with no consideration for people, as Allah hates this behaviour, as do His creation; ‘as indeed Allah does not like every type of vain boaster.’”
Indeed, we should have humility and walk humbly, remembering that we are no more than slaves of Allah and that greatness, strength, power and might are for Him alone. In addition, lower your voice out of good manners, self confidence, tranquillity due to the truth and strength of what you have to say and do not yell or be harsh when speaking, as no one does that except he is ill mannered, or doubted the value of what he has to say, or the value of his own personality. And see how the Qur'an describes a raised and senseless voice, likening it to that of the braying of a donkey and therefore, avoid this at all costs.
With this Luqman ends his advice to his son, by preparing him to be of those who invite to Allah, characterised by the manners of the righteous. Thus, Luqman’s council of his son advices every parent as follows: do not neglect your child’s education even at a very young age, as whoever did that has indeed been neglectful of his religious duties. The bad behaviour of children is a result of their parents’ actions, as whoever neglected to teach them the duties of their religion at a young age, then such children will be of little benefit to themselves, or their religion when they grow up.
Thus, it is upon us to take admonition from this council provided to us by Allah upon the tongue of Luqman, as,
“It is this Qur'an that guides to that which is correct.” (17:9)
“This is the book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for the pious.” (2:2)