Claremont Main Road Mosque. 11/11/2011.
Masjidul Ummah. 25/11/2011
Imam Noor Salie.
Khutbah. -"Celebrating Islam"
Almighty Allah exhort us: “You are the best of People evolved for mankind. Enjoining what is right, forbidding what is evil, and believing in Allah - (3-110)
And: Truth have now arrived and falsehood perished . For falsehood is by its Nature is bound to perish.
And: "This day have I perfected your religion (way of life) for you, completed my favours upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion and way of life." (5:4)
The prophet (saw) stated: for every “deen” (Way of Life) there is a specific morality and the specific morality of Islam is Modesty.
And:-- He has tasted the sweetness of faith who is pleased with Allah as his Lord – with Islam as his way of life and with Muhammad as his Rasool and Nabi. (Muslim)
All Thanks And Praise is due to Almighty Allah for having guided us to this great Deen (Way of Life) of Islam –and we ask Almighty Allah to guide us to Ihsaan –(The higher levels of consciousness) And we pray Allah to shower His love and blessings upon our beloved Prophet -Muhammad (saw).
We are celebrating our efforts in worshipping Allah throughout the year; celebrating the mercy, the forgiveness, and the protection from Hell fire that had come to cover all of us in the past year. Yes, indeed, we are celebrating all that, but we also celebrating something much more important. - the fact that we are Muslims and Mu'min– (Believers)
We are in fact celebrating, our being members of the greatest faith and way of life ever revealed to mankind, our being believers in the most beautiful and the most comprehensive scripture that ever descended from heaven to earth, --- our being followers of the greatest man that ever walked on the face of the earth, our being believers in Allah, the One and Only
Islam is the faith and way of life - that defines us, defines who we are, defines our identity. Islam is the religion and way of life that Allah has chosen for us, has perfected for us, and has granted --- us as the Quran has eloquently expressed: - "This day I have perfected your religion/ your way of life for you, completed my favours upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (5:4)
Islam is a favour, a privilege, and a bounty from Allah. Islam does not need us. We need Islam. All we have to do is to be grateful for such a great blessing and say, - "Praise be to Allah who has guided us to this: never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah" (7:43) - But why is it that we believe that Islam is such a tremendous bounty from Allah? Because there is nothing like Islam on earth:
It is Islam that has taught human beings that the Lord their God is One and Only. That He has no partners, no wife, and no son, and that there can be no compromise on the unity of God. – In Tauheed – Unicity and Indivisibility of Allah.
It is Islam that taught human beings that they are all equal and that no Arab is superior to non-Arab, nor a non-Arab is superior to an Arab and that the best of all of us is the one who is most righteous.
It is Islam that has taught human beings that they are all brothers and sisters created from a single pair of a male and a female. Therefore, Islam, unlike Hinduism, neither recognizes nor condones the idea of a caste system. Islam is a war on caste systems, on aristocracies, and hereditary social groups of all kinds.
It is Islam that has taught humanity the value of the intellect, the importance of the acquisition of Knowledge - reflection, and the role of the mind in attaining faith and peace with Almighty Allah – peace with one-self and peace with all of mankind and peace with the environment and the ecology.
Christianity teaches that one can never become a believer except when the Holy Spirit mysteriously occupies one's heart. Islam teaches that faith is the fruit of reason and it is through continuous reflection on the wonders of creation that faith can be obtained, maintained, and nurtured.
It is Islam that has taught humanity that people of all races, all colours, and all ethnicities are perfectly capable of attaining faith in the One and Only God. Muslims should never be confused about unity- Hindus believe that Hinduism is just for those privileged to be born in the faith and therefore they do not invite the "less privileged" to embrace their faith. Jews believe that they are the chosen race and even when they accept others to embrace Judaism; those converts are always lower in rank than those born as Jews. Islam rejects all that and calls upon all people of all backgrounds to submit themselves to their Creator. Once they do, they automatically become members of the community of Islam with the same rights and duties as any other Muslim. Islam is not, and can never be, the monopoly of one race or a certain linguistic group.
It is Islam that has taught humanity that Almighty Allah is absolutely Just and Merciful and that He will never punish one person for the sins of others. Christianity teaches that Adam and Eve had bequeathed their sin to all their descendants and thus all humans are born in this "Original Sin" and therefore Jesus Christ had to be sacrificed on the cross to redeem humanity of its 'original sin.' Islam says, Humans are not born in sin. No person will be held accountable for another's mistakes. Every soul will pay for its own deeds. Divine justice is absolute. (41/46) Whosoever does any righteous deeds will benefit himself – and whosoever does any evil deeds –it will be against himself (Haamim Sajdah / Surah Fussilat) (41/46)
It is Islam that has taught humanity how to balance the needs of this life and the next. Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran –- Thus We (Allah) have made you (Muslims) as an Ummah justly balanced – (Not going into extremes in anything - in education – in ideals – that you may be witnesses and examples over all other nations – and the Prophet (saw) will be a witness over you (on the day of Hisaab). The Quran encourages us to develop communities that keep an equitable balance between extremes and is realistic in its appreciation of man’s nature and possibilities Islam came to eradicate extremism – even in religious matters - because extremism leads to fanatism) - Islam rejects both licentious behaviour and religious fanaticism. In tune with this injunction, Almighty God (Allah) calls on Muslims not to place too great an emphasis on the physical and material aspects of life.
Islam does not accept the idea that renunciation of this world is the best means to get salvation in the next. Catholicism and Buddhism teach that by living a reclusive life, one can attain higher spirituality. Buddhism even taught the recluse must make his living by begging. Islam rejects the whole notion of the alleged goodness of renouncing the world. Islam teaches that best means for advancement in the next life is by getting involved in the affairs of this world by commanding good and forbidding evil; by helping one another in righteousness and piety; by doing Jihad, by struggling against all forms of evil, injustice, tyranny, intolerance...Islam does not teach rejection of the world, it teaches involvement, struggle, change and transformation – A Muslim’s life cannot be static.
Islam is all about socialization –A Muslim is a Social being – Hajj is a major lesson in Socialisation – In Hajj we are part of 3 million people at the same time – and at the same place.
The Prophet (saw) also said – That a Muslim must leave the earth a better place than he found it –A Muslim must also be least problematic to Society and a Muslim must also respect people of other Faith traditions. Islam creates the space for us to interact with people of other Faith traditions without fear of losing our identities. Indeed, our very Muslimness ensures that we remain unique amongst Allah’s creation..
Creative interaction allows us to be enriched by the experience of people from– other cultures, and faiths traditions. We then become better human beings with an appreciation of the enormous potential for humankind to co-exist in peace and harmony and commitment to the achievement of structured solutions to social problems. To do otherwise is to invite unnecessary evil and pain –
Islam teaches -that in order to be successful, we should draw on the entire creation –– in finding solutions to our common problems. -- Islam is not merely another religious group with its unique dogma and bigotry. Muslims recognize that all people represent creation from a single being– with no claim of superiority over another (except in Taqwah): and to One God only are we accountable and to One God only is our return. This is the real meaning of the Quranic constant refrain, “we make no distinction among all our Prophets”.
Almighty Allah also says -- Do not revile those who worship others beside Allah, -(People from other Faith Traditions) - THEN they WILL BE moved by malice and ignorance and revile Allah; thus have we adorned every nation with their own works -- and unto Allah shall they thereafter return and He shall inform them what they have done. : (S6:108):
It is Islam that has taught humanity that - Women are NOT second class citizens – that there is NO differentiation of reward for Males and females in all acts of Ibadah. Islam has also emphasized the respectful treatment towards women, especially mothers. A mother in Islam is a very respected and honoured person. She is even placed third after Almighty Allah and His Prophet. (saw) -- She is awarded with that position because of her important role of preparing the new generations. She also goes through a lot of pain and suffering in the phases of pregnancy.
In Islam, it is considered as one of the biggest sins to disobey her (except in the case where she contradicts the law of Almighty Allah), or to speak harshly and in an abusive manner to her. Prophet Mohammed (SAW) also said: --Paradise lies underneath the feet of mothers." And he linked the level of faith of men directly to their treatments to their wives: " Prophet (saw) said " ." "The believers with the most complete Iman are those with the best character – and the best of you are those who are best to their wives & family."
We cannot go into the future with half of our humanity (OUR FEMALES) imprisoned in a subservient role. The full emancipation of women is vital to our future success and it should not be compromised in any way. It is Islam that has taught humanity that kindness to parents, to relatives, to neighbours, and to fellow humans is an essential part of faith and righteousness. - Islam teaches one cannot come close to Almighty Allah unless one acts kindly towards one's mother, father, family, neighbours, etc.
It was Islam that eradicated Alcohol, with all its evils, from Arabia. -It was Islam that ended all forms of prostitution, gambling, and intoxicants from the Arabian society. And it was Islam that opened all doors for freeing slaves.
It was Islam that uprooted racism from the Arab mind completely to the extent that the deeply racist and arrogant Arabs would accept to be soldiers in armies whose leaders were black Africans. And above all, it was Islam that transformed the idolatrous and superstitious Arabs into believing in the One and Only God. It was Islam that transformed them from idol worshippers into a people who could stand together in one line in prayer and prostrate their heads to the Almighty.
The question that irresistibly comes to the mind is this: that was the past, what about now? Can Islam revolutionize the world today as it did to seventh century Arabia? Is Islam relevant today? Does Islam have anything to offer today's world? Yes, a great deal. For us, Muslims living in the West, it would be reasonable to focus on what Islam has to offer to our Western society
The West, as the seventh century Arabia and as any other society for that matter, has its own virtues as well as vices. -- Islam can improve and enhance all the virtues while eliminating -- or, at least, minimizing -- the vices. In a society where alcohol is the number one cause of criminal death and injury; where alcohol costs billions of dollars each year in medical expenses and property damage; where alcohol consumption causes the death of hundreds of thousands of people annually; where alcohol is a major cause of rape and domestic violence -- Is there any faith more able than Islam to prevent all the ills of alcohol?
In a society as violent as the South Africa where some 80,000 lives are taken every year by handguns alone; where a small percentage of the world population consume a large percentage of the world's illegal drugs despite the arrest of some drug dealers every year; where a car is stolen and hijacks take place every few hours; where a woman is raped every few minutes – Islam has a lot more to offer than merely putting more cops in the streets. Islam teaches that prevention is better than cure and that crime can best be reduced by taking care of the family, the community, and the neighbourhood. Islam attaches great esteem and honour to the role of the mother because when she takes proper care of her children, the whole society benefits.
Islam reminds the fathers of their duties, encourages the neighbours to take care of each other's needs, strengthen community bonds, advocates commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong instead of apathy and individualism. Islam always eliminates problems from their roots.
In a society afflicted with intense individualism, excessive materialism, fierce consumerism, and unabashed sensualism; ---- Islam has the intellectual and the spiritual power required to rectify all the excesses of the society because Islam preaches moderation and balance in all worldly and other-worldly affairs
The problem is we have the theory, but we don't have the practitioners. We have the revolution but we do not have the revolutionaries. And as there can be no democracy without democrats, no socialism without socialists, there also can be no Islam without real Muslims. Islam is a message that is in constant need for messengers to deliver it to the world. -- Yes, the Book (instruction Manual) of Almighty Allah is there, the guidance of the Prophet (saw) is there, the testimony of history is there, but where are the real Muslims?
Where are the messengers to carry the message forward? Where are the revolutionaries? They effectively do not exist.-- What does exist in the world today is some sort of "de-Islamized" Muslims. -- People who call themselves Muslims, but the Islam they practice is a vague shadow of the Islam described in the magnificent words of the Holy Quran and as exemplified and personified by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw).
Muslims who practice an Islam without spirit, an Islam without a message to humanity, an Islam without a mission, an Islam without ambition... An Islam without identity. Islam will never revolutionize the world, as it once did, unless there are “real” Muslims, as they once existed in the time of our beloved Prophet and the Sahaabah iqraam-- Muslims from the inside-out, Muslims in thought and in action, Muslims in theory and in practice, Muslims in private and in public, Muslims in the Mosque and outside the Mosque. Muslims in spirit, in intellect, and in emotions.
I wish to conclude: The road to produce such Muslims is long and hard. It is perhaps more realistic to focus on just one good first step –“ Iqra’h” – READ ? RESEARCH? ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE/ BECOME INTELLECTUALISED“”. This first step, I believe, would be to raise and educate a generation of Muslim youth who will take great pride in their great faith.
A generation of young Muslims whose identity and purpose will be purely Islamic, a generation of Muslims for whom Islam comes first and everything else - national, ethnic, racial, linguistic identity - comes, at best, a distant second-- a generation that totally believes in what the great Khalifah Sayidina Umar once said, " It is only because of Islam that we gained 'izzah' (honor, dignity, and pride), and if we seek 'izzah' outside of Islam, Allah will humiliate us-
Let Us Pray: -- We thank You O Allah for having given us another Day of Eid - for we don't know if we will get another chance next year. –
We thank You O Allah - for choosing Islam as the way of life for us for if we were left astray, we would not have been guided.
O Allah - We thank You for giving us this noble Quran, the Criterion and the Guide and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw). We thank You for increasing our awareness of Yourself, and we pray that we always continue to remember You in good times and in bad times.
O Allah -We pray You to forgive our shortcomings in our Salah, our Zakaah and our recitation of Quran and accept from us what we are able to do and multiply the rewards -
O Allah help us to present the real pattern of Islamic life and social conduct. Let our living examples appeal to the non Muslims who have gone weary of western family life. O Allah - Help us to encourage them to think over and examine closely the social commandment of Islam. And perhaps in this way we may be able to render a valuable service to this country and to Islam.
- Our Lord, Please accept all our DUAS, for "You are the Hearer, the Knower of DUAHS and forgive us for You are the most forgiving." (Amin)