Friday Khutbah (February 18, 2005) 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.
We are Muslims; so why is it that we do not stick to our ‘Shari’ah, our religion? Why do we not obey it and apply it? For the essence of every Muslim, is to be Muslim, in other words, to surrender to Allah and His instruction and to follow and emulate the Messenger of Allah (SAW) in things he encouraged and to leave the things he disliked.
“O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not let your deeds come to nothing!” (Surah Muhammad 47:33)
Why do we have such neglect for the laws of Islam? Why are we distanced from our religion?
There are many reasons for this, the Imam concentrates on 4: Firstly, weakness of faith, secondly, weakness in character, thirdly, the intellect’s dissatisfaction with some of the rules of Islam and fourthly, the lack of Islamic knowledge.
1. Weakness of faith
There is no doubt that this is an obvious cause, in fact it is the basis for not sticking to Islam. Due to its importance, at the beginning of the call to Islam, the Qur’an focused on changing people by strengthening and nurturing their faith.
It is narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari that
Aisha said about the Qur’anic method “If the Qur’an first told the Arabs not to drink alcohol and commit adultery, they would have said “No, we cannot”. The Qur’an reinforced their hearts with the fear and love of Allah.
So the connection (to the deen) is based on both strength of faith and sticking to Allah’s Law. The heart imbued with strong faith rushes to goodness and obedience and distances itself from sinning and wrongdoing as it fears Allah the Most High, though it does not see Him. Allah states in Surah Al-Mulk:
“But there is forgiveness and a great reward for those who fear their Lord though they cannot see Him” (67:12)
But who is conscious of this? Is it not an individual’s duty? Are people not rewarded with different levels in Paradise on the basis of their strength or weakness in faith? Or are you not in need of competing for a higher place in Paradise?
If your weakness of faith and belief has become a matter of great ease for you (to overcome), then stop committing sins. But in fact, you are accustomed to it and have become a slave to your desires and devoted yourself to them without resistance. You have become the prisoner of Shaitaan and he does whatever he wants with you.
It is true that desires are tempting and the soul inclines to them and loves them, but do not forget that the path to Paradise is surrounded by things that are disliked. It is related in Bukhari that the Prophet (SAW) said:
“Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked things, while the Hell fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions”
So the strength of your faith lies in fearing Allah, seeing Him (in everything you do), doing good deeds, being consistent in Allah’s remembrance and keeping the company of those from your friends who are good.
2. Weakness in character
Anyone who hinders you from following the Deen dilutes the strength of your own character. If the company you keep do good, then you will do good and if they do bad then you too will do bad. Following the characteristics of those around you is inevitable and the weak character is at risk from negative influence by those who commit bad deeds.
Despite personally feeling that you are being steadfast, this weakness has made you hesitant and scared of people accusing you of being a fundamentalist, an extremist, complicated and rigid.
How many people have said to themselves that they will adhere to Allah’s Law and hold onto the way of Mustafa, the Chosen (SAW), but fear being labelled an extremist or a fundamentalist?
How many women have found their path to Allah and have been guided and wanted to wear a dress of modesty and dignity, which Allah the Most High has made obligatory on them, but were scared of what people may say and of being made fun of? They have preferred disobedience to Allah over the wishes of people and the desires of the soul as a result of weak character. The Qur’an reminds us at Surah Tawba, (9:13):
“It is Allah who is more deserving of your fear, if you are true believers”
How can you fear people and not fear the Lord of people?! Know then that those people that you feared and whose mocking you feared in the world will be the first who will disown themselves from you (they will not want any blame on them) on the Day of Judgement and they are in the hands of Allah the Exalted as mentioned in Surah Baqara, (2:166):
“On the Day those leaders who were being followed disown their followers, when they all see the suffering, and when all bonds between them are severed”
As for the third reason:
3. Hidden knowledge and the intellect’s refusal to accept orders in Islam
Saying ‘I am not satisfied with this law’ is showing bad manners to your Creator. It is necessary to know that there is no contradiction between the intellect and religion because the source is One. Allah created the intellect and also sent down the Revelation, so where then is the contradiction?!
Due to the intellect being restricted and weak, there are certain things which remain hidden from it. Giving precedence to the intellect alone, without revelation has led some people to abandon Allah’s Law as they use only their intellect as a measuring device; what the intellect accepts they follow, what it does not accept, they leave.
Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RA), as reported in Abu Dawud, said:
‘If the religion was based on the intellect alone, the bottom part of the leather sock would be wiped as opposed to the top and yet I saw the Messenger of Allah wipe over the top of his leather sock’
All thanks and praise is to Allah that our religion values intellect and protects it. Islam does not do away with the intellect or its function, its ideas and freedom, on the contrary, the intellect has its own place. How many verses are there in the Qur’an where Allah Subh, addresses those with wise and sound intellects and calls on them to think, ponder and observe so that they may come to know the reality.
If you let your intellect rule over religion, you will accept things then reject them in a process of mistakes and corrections. This cannot be accepted from you as a Muslim; one believes in Allah as His Lord, Islam as his religion and Muhammad as his Messenger and Prophet SAW. In Surah Nur it is stated:
“They say, ‘we believe in Allah and His Messenger, and we obey’: but even after that some of them turn away: they are not really believers.
When they are called to Allah and His Messenger SAW in order that He may judge between them, behold! Some of them turn away. But if the truth happens to be to their liking, they are quite willing to accept it.
Is there a disease in their hearts? Or have they begun to doubt? Or do they fear that Allah and His Messenger SAW may deal unjustly with them? Indeed it is they themselves who do wrong.
When the true believers are summoned to Allah and His Messenger SAW in order for Him to judge between them, they say ‘we hear and we obey’. These are the ones who will prosper: whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger SAW, fears Allah, and keeps his duty to him will be triumphant.” (24:47-52)
4. Lacking the desire to acquire knowledge
Islam asks us to learn and Islam is the faith based upon knowledge. The very first verses revealed in the Qur’an were:
“Read! In the name of your Lord who created: He created man from a clinging form. Read! Your Lord is most Bountiful One who taught [by means] of the pen, who taught man what he did not know.” (96:1-5)
With knowledge a person increases in faith, certainty and acts in accordance with Islam. Misconceptions occur to those who do not seek knowledge because their knowledge lacks any depth and, worse still, they give dawah about things they do not know about. In Surah an Nahl, the Qur’an advises:
“all the messengers We sent before you were simply those to whom We had given the Revelation: you [people] can ask those who have knowledge if you do not know” (16:43)
O’Muslims - Study the Qur’an and the words of the Prophet SAW and his Sunnah. Bring yourselves closer to Islam and the way of obedience to Allah and the Prophet SAW.