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And Hold Tight to the Rope of Allah

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

2 August 2013 Burton, Michigan

Jumu`ah Khutbah at As-Siddiq Mosque

All praise to Allah, Who has honored us with faith and Islam and, alhamdulillah, Who has made us from the ummah of the Holy Qur'an. Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illa-Llah wahdahu laa shareek lahu wa ash-hadu anna Sayyidina wa Mawlana Muhammadan `abduhu wa habeebuhu wa rasooluh ... Yaa ayyuha ‘l-mu’minoon al-haadiroon itaqullah wa ati`oohu.

O Muslims, believers! Taqwa, taqwallah is necessary and taqwallah comes when you have wisdom; when you have wisdom you can differentiate between taqwa and not having taqwa. If you are following the footsteps of Prophet (s), then you are following on taqwallah azza wa jal. When you have taqwa you are on Siraat al-Mustaqeem. If you exit right and left, then you drop taqwa from your heart.

Today is from Ramadan, and it is from the last ten days of Ramadan in which the Prophet (s) used to do `itikaaf. He (s) said:

شهر رمضان أوله رحمة ، وأوسطه مغفرة ، وآخره عتق من النار

Shahru Ramadaan awwalahu rahmah wa awsatahu maghfirah wa akhirahu `itqun min an-naar.

The first (ten days) of the month of Ramadan is mercy, the second (ten days) is forgiveness and the last (ten days) is salvation from the Fire. (Bayhaqi)

We are in the last ten days where, for those who are fasting, Allah saves them from Hellfire, He frees them from Hellfire. If you keep yourself as Allah wants, not exiting from the Way, then Allah will grant you freedom from Hellfire.

There are only four or five days left and then Ramadan will be over and Ramadan will remember us, as the Prophet (s) said, “It will be present on Judgment Day, witnessing for every one who fasted Ramadan and saying, ‘O Allah! Let me have intercession for that one.’”

Does Ramadan speak on Judgment Day? Yes, everything will speak on Judgment Day, even every cell of our body will speak on Judgment Day, may Allah forgive us! O Muslims! The main thing today we need to remember is what Allah said in the Holy Qur'an, something that He knows, for He knows everything as He is the Creator and He created everything. He knows the hearts of people and what they are thinking.

Allah (swt) said:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ

W `atasimoo bi hablillaahi jamee`an wa laa tafaraqoo.

And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:103)

Hold fast to the rope of Allah and don’t separate. What is the rope that Allah is asking us to hold on to? The rope has many meanings: the Message of the Prophet (s), the Holy Qur'an, hold tight to the ahadith of the Prophet (s), hold tight to the Prophet (s), hold tight to the Sahaabah (r), hold tight to the Four Rightly-Guided Imams, hold fast to good manners.

The Prophet (s) said:

‏‏ انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

Innamaa bu`ithtu li utammimu makaarim al-akhlaaq.

I have been sent to perfect the best of conduct (your behavior and character). (Bazzaar)

It means, “Verily, I was sent for one reason: to polish the ummah, to polish their hearts to love one another, to be like one body, not to be separated, to speak as one.” The Prophet (s) wants to be proud of his ummah on Judgment Day over all other ummahs; he wants his ummah to be shining. What do you think Allah will give to the Prophet (s) for his sake? He gave him intercession in order to send his ummah to Paradise. This is a fact found in many ahadith, including in Adab al-Mufrad by Imam Bukhari, where he said:

Allah calls the Prophet (s) on the Day of Judgment asking about his ummah and the Prophet (s) goes into sajda. He knows there if Allah wants to judge, then for sure the majority will be punished.

I don’t want to say everyone, but ‘the majority,’ because of the hadith of Sayyida `Ayesha (r). She said that the Prophet (s) one time said to her, “Yaa `Ayesha man hoosib `udhdhib, O `Ayesha! Anyone whom Allah calls on Judgment Day to question him or to be judged, for sure he will be punished, because for sure you have done something.” And it is between you and Allah (swt), Allah will forgive.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏"‏ مَنْ نُوقِشَ الْحِسَابَ عُذِّبَ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَتْ قُلْتُ أَلَيْسَ يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى ‏{‏فَسَوْفَ يُحَاسَبُ حِسَابًا يَسِيرًا‏}‏‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ ذَلِكِ الْعَرْضُ ‏"‏‏.‏ حَدَّثَنِي عَمْرُو بْنُ عَلِيٍّ،.‏

The Prophet (s) said, “Anybody whose account is questioned will surely be punished.” I said, “Doesn't Allah say, 'He surely will receive an easy reckoning'?” (84:8) The Prophet (s) replied, “This means only the presentation of the account.” (Bukhari)

So Prophet (s) said to Sayyida `Ayesha (r), “Pray to Allah (swt) that you will not be questioned.” The Prophet (s) is saying this to Sayyida `Ayesha (r), Umm al-Mu’mineen, zawjat un-Nabi (s), wife of the Prophet (s)! That is why the Prophet (s) said:

اللَّهُمَّ لَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَلَا أَقَلَّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ

Allahumma laa takilnee ila nafsee tarfat `aynin wa laa aqala min dhalika.

O Allah! Don't leave me to my ego for the blink of an eye or less.

“O Allah! Don’t leave me to my nafs for the blink of an eye.” Today, who is not left to his ego and his desires? All of us need our desires first, our desires in everything, even in eating and drinking there are desires.

The Prophet (s) said:

نحن قوم لا نأكل حتى نجوع، وإذا أكلنا لا نشبع

Nahnu qawmun laa naakul hatta najoo`, wa idhaa akalnaa laa nashbi`a.

We are a people who do not eat unless we are hungry and when we eat we do not fill out stomachs.

“We are a people who don’t eat until we are hungry.” this is to feel (compassion) with the homeless. This month is the month for the homeless. Ramadan yarmad adh-dhunoob cleans us from our sins by our charity, by our donations to the poor people. If Allah questions us, He will find so many sins! So the Prophet (s) wants to tell his Sahaabah (r) about desires even in eating and he taught them about not snacking. If you snack you are grazing all day like sheep and today most people snack.

Prophet (s) said, “We don’t snack. We don’t eat until we feel the pain of hunger.” The Prophet (s) used to put stones on his stomach from hunger. Jabal Uhud spoke to the Prophet (s) and said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! By Allah's Order, I will turn myself into a mountain of gold from which to spend on Ummat an-Nabi (s).” The Prophet (s) said, “No we don't need that.”

He used to rub his stomach, which had a stone tied to it. There was no food except dates. One day there were only three dates found in the house of the Prophet (s) and he (s) came and asked, “Yaa `Ayesha! What do you have for me to eat?” She said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! I had three dates, but a beggar came and I gave them away.” The Prophet (s) then went to Sayyidina `Ali (r) and Sayyida Fatima az-Zahra (r) and asked, “What food do you have?” and they said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! We don’t have anything except two dates, one for her and one for me.”

O Muslims! What we waste of food in Ramadan is amazing; we are so picky on what we have to eat and what we have to drink. Prophet (s) said, “We are a people who don’t eat until we are really hungry,” because then we can feel what they are suffering. Wa idhaa akalna laa nashbi`a, the Prophet (s) said, “We eat when hungry,” and you feel hungry one or two times a day so you eat, but not snacking all day long. They raise the children like that, spoiling them, and we are spoiled because we were raised like that.

Wa idhaa akalna laa nashbi`a, “And when we eat we don’t fill our stomach, we go halfway.”

وعن أبي كريمة المقدام بن معديكرب رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول “ما ملأ آدمي وعاء شراً من بطن، بحسب ابن آدم أكلات يقمن صلبه، فإن كان لا محالة؛ فتلث لطعامه وثلث لشرابه، وثلث لنفسه‏"‏‏.‏

No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for his breathing. (Tirmidhi)

Prophet (s) said, “One-third of your stomach must be for food, not more, one-third for water, and one-third for air and you will never see sickness.” People come and say, “I have this problem and that problem.” Yes, because you have so many desires that you fulfill and now you have to face some difficulty for Allah to erase your bad desires. And Allah made it like that for Ummat an-Nabi (s), to give them some difficulty in order to be forgiven before Judgment Day. So the Prophet (s) said, “When we eat, we eat little, not to fill our stomach; we stay a bit hungry and we stop eating.”

The Prophet (s) came with a Message for us on how to make us perfect in our manners. When you sit to eat, especially in Ramadan, eat from what is in front of you and don’t extend your hand to take something else as that is bad adab. Take from what is in front of you, don’t look at what is in the hands of someone else. In everything, the Prophet (s) has given us details on how to perfect our manners and polish our hearts.

What does Allah want us to do in Ramadan? As we are all fasting in the same time, from Fajr to Maghrib, although it differs in different countries from one time to another time, but all of them fast from Fajr to Maghrib. So we are all sharing one body, which is Ramadan and that is what Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur'an:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ

W `atasimoo bi hablillaahi jamiyy`an wa laa tafaraqoo.

Hold fast to Allah's rope and don't separate. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:103)

“Hold fast to the rope of Allah and don't separate,” keep unity. In every unity you will get Allah's hands on that unity:

يد الله على الجماعة

Yadul-Llaahi `ala ‘l-jama`ah.

Allah's Hand is over the group. (at-Tabarani)

Allah's Hands are over those people who are gathering together.

Abu Moosa al-`Asharee (r) narrated that the Prophet (s) said:

الْمُؤْمِنُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ كَالْبُنْيَانِ يَشُدُّ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضًا ‏

Qaala Rasoolullah (s) al-mu’min li ’l-mu’min ka ’l-bunyaa yashuddu ba`duhu ba`dan.

The Prophet (s) said, "A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other." The Prophet (s) then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced. (Bukhari)

The Muslim, mu’min is like one building. You know that when you are building you reinforce everything by tying everything to each other; when you tie wood or cement block with the steel bars you get a strong structure. The Prophet (s) said, “Mu’min to mu’min is a strong structure as no one can divide you and you will be together to the end.”

He (s) said:

مَثَلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي تَوَادِّهِمْ وَتَرَاحُمِهِمْ وَتَعَاطُفِهِمْ مَثَلُ الْجَسَدِ إِذَا اشْتَكَى مِنْهُ عُضْوٌ تَدَاعَى لَهُ سَائِرُ الْجَسَدِ بِالسَّهَرِ وَالْحُمَّى

Mathalu ‘l-mu`mineena fee tawaaddihim wa ta`atufihim mathalu ‘l-jasadi idhaa ashtaka minhu `udwun tada`a lahu saa’irul jasadi bi ’s-sahari wa ‘l-humma.

The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body: when any limb of it aches the whole body aches because of sleeplessness and fever. (Muslim)

The example of the believers is by uniting in their happiness and their sadness, feeling together and to help each other. Fee tawaaddihim wa ta`atafihim mathalu ‘l-jasad and the body, just like how you have the arms and how you have the legs, all are different parts that make a perfect system and Allah honored human beings with that. If one part of the body is in pain, what will happen to the body? The whole body is in pain. So the Prophet (s) wants to tell us, “Don't be in pain by dividing yourself, keep yourself like a building structure with no separation, no fight.”

وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَهُمْ

Wa amruhum shoora baynahum.

Who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation. (Surat ash-Shura, 42:38)

Wa amroohum shoora baynahum, “make shoora between each other.” Your matters, your projects your strategy, your thinking, your planning must be one through consultation.

When Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r), after the time of Prophet (s), the ummah began to divide and separate and those who left Islam, murtaddoon, they came and said to Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r), “We used to pay zakaat to the Prophet (s), but we are not going to pay it now, we will pay it to our own leaders.” Sayyidina Abu Bakr (r) did not like that and Sayyidina `Umar (r) said, “Yaa Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r)! Accept what they said, don’t take zakaat from them and our army has already left by order of the Prophet (s) and we don’t have enough army to face them.” Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) said, “Yaa `Umar (r)! I am not going to let them change what the Prophet (s) ordered them. Zakaat is arkaan al-khamsa, from the Five Pillars of Islam, and if I let them leave it and not pay, the whole ummah will stop paying. I am fighting this.” So with a small army, he fought them and defeated them and brought them back to Islam. Wa `amrookum shoora means you have to consult in order to give the best opinion.

And Abu Hurayrah (r) related from the Prophet (s), iyyakum wa ’dh-dhan, “Be careful from doubting each other.”

عن ‏ ‏أبي هريرة ‏ ‏رضي الله عنه ‏أن رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قال ‏ ‏إياكم والظن فإن الظن أكذب الحديث ولا تحسسوا ولا تجسسوا ولا ‏ ‏تناجشوا ‏ ‏ولا تحاسدوا ولا تباغضوا ولا تدابروا وكونوا عباد الله إخوانا.

Beware of suspicion, for it is the worst of false tales and don't look for the other's faults and don't spy and don't hate each other, and don't desert (cut your relations with) one another. O Allah's slaves! Be brothers! (Narrated by Abu Hurayrah. Bukhari)

If you are not really sure 100%, don’t doubt:

وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ

Wa laa tajasassoo wa laa yaghtab b`adakum b`adan ayyuhibbu ahadukum an yaakula lahma aakheehi maytan fa-karihtumooh.

And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would abhor it. (Surat al-Hujurat, 49:12)

Doubting is a sin; if you doubt your brother and doubt falsely, then you are making a sin and you will be questioned on the Day of Judgment. Allah will not forgive you until the oppressor will forgive you or else the first right is Allah's right on His servants and He alone can punish or forgive. Most scholars, the majority of scholars, say whatever you have not done of obedience, Allah might forgive as Allah is Rahman and Raheem, but if you harm someone by doubting and spreading rumors against him, and make fitna by abusing him through doubting, then Allah will take the rights of that person first from you on Judgment Day and He might take all your good `amal, and still he (the oppressed) asks for more!

So Sayyidina Abu Hurayra (r) mentioned this hadith from Prophet (s):

عن ‏ ‏أبي هريرة ‏ ‏رضي الله عنه ‏أن رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏قال ‏ ‏إياكم والظن فإن الظن أكذب الحديث ولا تحسسوا ولا تجسسوا ولا ‏ ‏تناجشوا ‏ ‏ولا تحاسدوا ولا تباغضوا ولا تدابروا وكونوا عباد الله إخوانا.

Iyyakum wa ’dh-dhaan, “be careful of doubting” because doubting is akdhab al-hadeeth, the speech that has the most lies is what is mentioned between each other based on doubts.” Akdhab al-hadeeth, “the most lying speech is about doubts” as it might not be correct.

The Prophet (s) continued, “Wa laa tajassasoo, don’t spy on each other.” We spy on each other a lot, saying, “Look at what this one is doing and what the other is doing.” Wa laa tahassasoo, “And don’t try to ask this and that, spying through speeches,” as all of them might be wrong. Wa laa tahaasadoo, “Don’t envy each other,” wa laa tabaaghadoo, “Don’t compete with each other except in religion.”

You can compete for that as much as you like, such as, “This one prayed four raka`ats, I will pray eight.” Why not? Some people pray eight raka`ats in taraweeh and some people pray twenty. This is competition in religion and it is acceptable, but not in dunya matters. So if your brother has a store, for example, a gas station with a price of $3.50 per gallon for petrol, and your store has a price of $3.40 per gallon, don’t compete. I am talking about Muslims. Don’t compete! If he has a gas station, go put your gas station somewhere else and if he has a grocery store, open yours somewhere else if you want to, just don’t compete with each other. Wa laa tahaasadoo, “Don’t get jealous from each other.” Prophet (s) is teaching us how to perfect our character. Wa laa tabaaghadoo, “Don’t hate each other.” Do we hate each other? Some, might be. Wa koonoo `ibaadallahi ikhwaana, “and be Allah's servants, brothers and sisters.” How do you treat your brothers? With respect, love and happiness, you respect your brothers and this is what the Prophet (s) is asking from us. Even if they don’t respect you, never mind, you respect them.

And in another hadith:

An tasila man qata`ak

Connect back with the one who cut you.

Connect with the one who cut you off. Now we see too many families around the world, that brothers hate each other and even make stories to humiliate the other brothers or sisters in the community. The Prophet (s) did not like that. The Prophet (s) said:

مَنْ نَفَّسَ عَنْ مُسْلِمٍ كُرْبَةً مِنْ كُرَبِ الدُّنْيَا نَفَّسَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ كُرْبَةً مِنْ كُرَبِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَنْ يَسَّرَ عَلَى مُعْسِرٍ فِي الدُّنْيَا يَسَّرَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمَنْ سَتَرَ عَلَى مُسْلِمٍ فِي الدُّنْيَا سَتَرَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ فِي عَوْنِ الْعَبْدِ مَا كَانَ الْعَبْدُ فِي عَوْنِ أَخِيهِ

Whoever relieves a Muslim of a burden from the burdens of the world, Allah will relieve him of a burden from the burdens on the Day of Judgement and whoever helps ease a difficulty in the world, Allah will grant him ease from a difficulty in the world and in the Hereafter and whoever covers (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will cover (his faults) for him in the world and the Hereafter and Allah is engaged in helping the worshipper as long as the worshipper is engaged in helping his brother. (Tirmidhi)

Whoever helps his brother, Allah will help that person. So if we are in need of Allah’s help, then go and find a brother who is really in need and help him. Why Allah put zakaat and Zakaat al-Fitr? Zakaat is to help from the rich to the poor, to help each other and Allah will help you.

الْمُسْلِمُ أَخُو الْمُسْلِمِ لاَ يَظْلِمُهُ وَلاَ يُسْلِمُهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ فِي حَاجَةِ أَخِيهِ كَانَ اللَّهُ فِي حَاجَتِهِ وَمَنْ فَرَّجَ عَنْ مُسْلِمٍ كُرْبَةً فَرَّجَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ كُرْبَةً مِنْ كُرَبِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَنْ سَتَرَ مُسْلِمًا سَتَرَهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim. He doesn't oppress him and doesn't put him into ruin, and whoever is concerned for the needs of his brother, Allah is concerned for his needs, and whoever relieves a Muslim of a burden, Allah will relieve him of a burden from the burdens of the Day of Judgment and whoever covers (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will cover (his faults) on the Day of Judgment. (Tirmidhi)

Wa man satara musliman satarahullaahu yawma ‘l-qiyaamah, “Whoever covers for his brother, Allah will cover for him on Judgment Day,” He will not expose him. May Allah (swt) forgive us!



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