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Be a Stranger in Dunya

Shaykh Nour Kabbani

10 July 2015 Burton, Michigan

Jumu`ah Khutbah at As-Siddiq Institute & Mosque (ASIM)

Qaala Allahu ta`ala fee kitaabihi ‘l-munzil `alaa lisaan nabiyyihi ’l-mursal: wa man kaana fee hadhihi `amaa fahuw fi ‘l-Aakhirati `amaa aw adallu sabeela.

Alhamdulillah, we have reached the last seven days of Ramadan and this might be the last Friday. What have we learned from Ramadan? What is Allah teaching us, and what is the Prophet (s) trying to teach us through this month? The Prophet (s) said to Sayyidina ibn `Umar (r), “In this world, be ka-ghareeb, a foreigner, stranger. Live in dunya, but don’t be of the people of dunya; be as a traveler and pass on to the other life.” This is the highest teaching of the Prophet (s) to his Companions (r), who followed his teachings and the Tabi`een (r) followed the teachings of the Companions.

وَمَن كَانَ فِي هَـذِهِ أَعْمَى فَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ أَعْمَى وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيل

But those who were blind in this world will be blind in the Hereafter and most astray from the path.

(Surat al-Israa’, 17:72)

Blind against what? What are we not seeing? To not see guidance to the truth, he is also blind in the Hereafter; if he did not find truth in dunya he is not going to find it in the Hereafter and he is more astray.

In Ramadan we give up food and drink and all the bad manners that we normally do because it is training to abstain from this world. We are making our body fast from pleasure of this world, and we are making our heart fast from love of this world, so when the Prophet (s) says to Sayyidina ibn `Umar (r), “Be in dunya, but not of the people of dunya,” it means, “take love of dunya from your heart as it will not benefit you in the Hereafter. Be like a traveler: come and go.” So in dunya, we need to find guidance to the Divine Presence and that is why we are fasting.

Sayyidina Hasan al-Basri (r) was one of the Tabi`een born in the time of Sayyidina ibn `Umar (r) and it was said that his mom served Sayyida Umm Salama (r), Mother of the Believers, and that Sayyidina Hasan al-Basri (r) lived in her house and sometimes he cried and Sayyida Umm Salama (r) nursed him. He learned asceticism from the Companions of Badr as that was the teaching of the Prophet (s) to His followers and that is what the Sahaabah taught the Tabi`een. He was very famous in relinquishing dunya, so his students, who were Tabi` at-Tabi`een, the third generation after the Sahabah (r), asked him, "What did you learn from the Companions?" Today there are so many things to digest and so many roots and books to learn from. He said, “I learned four things from the Companions.”

1) “I knew that no one else would take my rizq, provision, wealth, food, my breathing, my knowledge, so my heart was satisfied. I had no more concerns and my heart became tranquil.” Also in fasting, our heart is satisfied because we know at the end of the day we will eat, so we go about our business at university, our work, and come back at night and eat. So the Prophet (s) said we don't need to worry, like the birds who go out at night and come back in evening full. So we know that Allah (swt) is going to give us our food. No more worry in our heart about where money is coming from, we know our provision is coming to us alone and no one will eat another's portion. So he said, “My heart was satisfied,” so don't put worries in the heart, as we don't worry about fasting and not eating at night.

2) “I knew no one but me will perform my `amal, so I got busy with them by myself.” No one is going to fast for you or me today, either I do it or not, and when I do it, I do it by myself. No one can take over your burden of being hungry or thirsty, and no human helps another in his worship, “So I got busy in my worship.” He was not worried about his provisions because he knew Allah will provide.

وَمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّـهِ رِزْقُهَا

There is no animal on Earth except that its sustenance depends on Allah. (Surat Hud, 11:6)

يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ أَرْضِي وَاسِعَةٌ فَإِيَّايَ فَاعْبُدُونِ

O My servants who believe! Truly My Earth is vast, so worship Me alone. (Surat al-`Ankabut, 29:56)

3) “I know that Allah (swt) is watching over me, observing me, so I was shy for Him to see me doing a sin.” When we are fasting, when we want to do a sin, do we think twice before we do that? Yes, we do. When we are fasting and want to cheat someone, do we think twice? Yes we do. When we are fasting and want to lie, do we think twice? When we are fasting and we want to be with the opposite sex, lawful or unlawful, do we think twice before we go to the opposite sex and start a conversation? Yes, we do.

4) “I knew death is waiting for me.” We have to meet somebody, we have to meet someone.

قُلْ إِنَّ الْمَوْتَ الَّذِي تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ مُلَاقِيكُمْ

Say, "The death from which you flee will truly come to meet you” (Surat al-Jumu'ah, 62:8)

“Teach them ya Muhammad that death is coming to meet them.” He said, “I prepared my provision to meet My Lord.” Why do we fast? We know one day we will meet our Lord, and we want him to be happy with us and give us the rewards, so basically fasting is summarizing all that Hasan al-Basri (r) knew. He knew rizq, provision, sinning and deeds and death. So all of them are in a state of fasting, which makes us think twice before we stop it or stop worshipping. Fasting reminds us we are meeting our Lord and emphasizes the teaching of Nabi Kareem (s), that we should be a stranger in this world and travel to the Divine Presence. So fasting is the way to go.

Nowadays they say here, "”We are in a Christian country, what would Jesus do in case this happens?" We all think, “What would Jesus do? or “What would this one do or what would that one do?” the Prophet (s) said:

من عرف نفسه فقد عرف ربه

Who knows his self knows his Lord.

Ask yourself, “What would I do if I were fasting?” If you are in a difficult situation and you have to cheat or lie, just imagine, “I am fasting today, so can I do this or not?”

If you are at university and you see someone of the opposite sex, tell yourself, “I am fasting today, can I speak to that person?” May Allah protect us, if we are in a situation where we are offered alcohol--because some Muslims drink but when they are fasting they don't--so if you are offered a drink, imagine, “I am fasting, should I do what is in front of me? Would I hurt someone, fight, lie, talk back to my parents, hurt my children, burn, maim or kill anyone? No!” So if at anytime you are about to do something wrong, ask if you would do it while fasting. If you know yourself, you know your Lord. Tell yourself (imagine you are fasting), “I am fasting, can I do this? If it is just a little look (to glance at the opposite sex with pleasure), then if I am fasting I will not do that.”

Fasting is obligatory on us in order to reach Allah’s Divine Presence and it is favor of Allah (swt) to be fasting and following the orders of the Prophet (s) and to follow the Companions (r) and to follow teachings of the Tabi`een (r).

O our Lord, this is the last ten days of Ramadan! We ask You to forgive us all our sins and shortcomings from the day we were born, for the sake of Nabi Muhammad (s) and for sake of this holy month of Ramadan!


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