Friday Khutbah (August 20, 2004) 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.
The righteous ones who came before us, may Allah be pleased with them; whenever a grievance or misfortune descended upon one of them, in some affair of the affairs of this life, they dealt with it. Or, if their actions and activities and circumstances stumbled and sank to the lowest level, they returned to themselves, and placed the blame on themselves. One would say: “Indeed I have committed a sin. Indeed I have been negligent in giving Allah His right. I have oppressed myself. I have oppressed a bondsman from the bondsmen of Allah. I have neglected an obligation from the obligations of Allah. I have violated a sanctity from the sanctities of Allah.”
How quickly this person returns to his Lord, repenting, seeking forgiveness, saying what his father Adam said, and his wife, when they were expelled from Paradise.
“Our Lord, we have wronged our own souls. If You do not forgive us, and bestow Your mercy upon us, we shall certainly be lost.” (Al-‘araf 7: 23)
This is a confession of sin, this is regret, this is seeking forgiveness, this is feeling helpless, this is seeking help from Allah against the soul that commands to evil, this asking for His mercy, with complete certainty that there is no strength and no power except in the help of Allah and His mercy. Otherwise we shall be from the losers. This oh Muslims, is the affair of the believing individual. If something good happens to him he thanks Allah, and says Alhamdulilah, All Praise be to Allah, who by His blessing good deeds are completed. All Praise be to Allah who guided us to this. Were it not for Allah’s guidance we would not have been guided. And if he is afflicted with something bad he blames no-one except himself, and he does not accuse anybody except himself. Allah says: “Whatever good happens to you, is from Allah. But whatever evil happens to you, it is from yourself.” (an-Nisa’ 4:79)
This was their motto. This was their deen. This is the affair of the believer; that he attributes every favour to Allah, Exalted is He, for He is the Possessor of Bounty and Blessing, as Allah says: “And you have no good things except that it is from Allah.” (a-Nahl 16:53) and he attributes every evil that afflicts him to himself.
Some of the Salaf, may Allah be pleased with them, used to say: “Indeed I see the evil result of my disobedience in the ill nature of my wife and the ill nature my riding animal. Meaning, that when his wife was being difficult, or his riding animal was being stubborn, he would say: “I have definitely committed an act of disobedience.” “This is a result of my disobedience.” The Salaf were very sensitive to these issues. Their hearts were awake. They were aware of the power of Allah.
Disobedience is a calamity for people. It is a calamity for the individual in his life. It afflicts him with anxiety. It afflicts him with dismay. It afflicts him with diseases. It afflicts him with everything that kills his good spirits. It makes his life loathsome and wretched, as Allah said, Exalted is He, when Adam and his wife descended to the earth. “He said: Get down, both of you, together, from the Garden, with enmity one to another: but if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from Me, whosoever follows My guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall into misery. But whosoever turns away from my message, verily for him is a wretched life, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgement. He will say: ‘Oh my Lord! Why hast thou raised me up blind, while I had sight before? Allah will say:
“Thus did you, when our signs came to you, you forgot them, so on this day, you will be forgotten. (Taha 20: 123-26)
The individual may live a wretched life, and he will have wealth, children, and everything that he could possibly enjoy in this life, but the wretchedness is in his own soul, in his heart. It is all internal. He complains about it although he has everything that he desires and craves for. Fear and dismay fill his heart. He fears everything. He fears sicknesses and disease. He fears death. He fears the unknown future. He fears losing his blessings. He fears the descent of punishment. This is all the evil result of disobeying Allah. This is the effect of sinning and disobedience on the soul. This is a result of distancing oneself from the remembrance of Allah.
Oh Brothers and Sisters!
Indeed obedience and uprightness, and having taqwa of Allah, these are the things that grant people a pleasant life in this world. And the best reward is in the life to come. Allah says:
“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily we give him a life that is good and pure, and we will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions. (Nahl 16:97)
It is narrated that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be please with him and his father, said: “Indeed, for a good act, there is brightness in the face, light in the heart, abundance in provision, strength in the body, and love in the hearts of creation. And indeed, for an evil act, there is blackness in the face, darkness in the heart, weakness in the body, lack in provision, and hatred in the hearts of creation.”
Some people think that the evil results of disobedience and its punishment will be delayed until the next life, to be accounted on the Day of Judgement. No. There is an accounting in the next life, and there is an accounting in this life. Allah punishes some people in this life, especially those who are not punished according to the Shariah. If you have not been held accountable by the Law of Allah in this life, don’t think that you won’t be held accountable, by Allah, in the next.
Oh Brothers and Sisters!
It is upon people to know that Allah gives respite but does not overlook. Allah is not unaware of what the oppressors do, and what the disobedient ones commit. He is giving them respite, then He reminds them. He reminds them with some punishments, and Allah says:
“Wickedness has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that Allah may give them a taste of some of their deeds, in order that they may turn back from evil.” (Rum 30:41)
Wickedness has appeared in every place, in the east and the west, trials and sicknesses and epidemics, famine and desiccation, floods and destructive storms, devastating earthquakes, anxiety, confusions, dismay, agitation, all of this, because of what? Because of what the hands of men have earned, because of disobedience and sins. “That Allah may give them a taste of their deeds.” Allah does not hold them accountable for everything that they do. If He were to do so the whole earth would shake with them, and darkness would descend upon them from the sky. Indeed Allah, by His Mercy and Kindness, does not punish for all actions and sins, only for some of them, as He says:
“If Allah were to punish Men for their wrong-doing, He would not leave, on the earth, A single living creature: But He gives them respite for a stated term. When their term expires, they would not be able to delay it for a single hour, just as they would not be able to anticipate it for a single hour.” (Nahl 16:61)
Man must ask himself: Why am I being afflicted with what I’m being afflicted with? It is appropriate for us to take ourselves to account, to look into what is around us, into our circumstances. We must look into our relationship with Allah, our connection with Allah, have we been negligent and careless and disobedient? Let us treat our souls. With sincere and true repentance let us cure our hearts. Disobedience has its misfortunes, and it has an outcome for the soul and for people and for provision. In disobedience, the bondsman attaches little importance to his Lord.
“And such as Allah shall disgrace, none can raise to honour.” (Hajj 22:18)
Brothers and Sisters
Look to yourself, and your hearts, in every moment of every day. Look at your relationship and your connection with your Lord, who created you and watches over you, who shaped you in your mother’s womb and brought you out. Are you being obedient? Are your fulfilling your responsibility to Allah? Seek forgiveness from Allah, with sincere repentance, and renew your connection and relationship with Allah. We ask Allah to facilitate this for us and forgive us. Amin.