Jumu`ah Khutbah at Islamic Cultural Center (ICC)
O Believers, mu’mins! This is a Friday where Allah (swt) has honored his Prophet (s), honored him with Friday to be a holy day for Muslims, a holiday for mu’mins, a holiday for the whole universe. If Friday was not important, Allah would not have revealed it to Prophet (s) as a holiday where there will be unity between Muslims coming together and listening to each other and performing the prayer. Allah wants Muslims to be together, as He said:
يد الله مع الجماعة
Yadul-Llahi m`a al-jama`at.
Allah's Hand is with the group.
The Prophet (s) mentioned that human beings are under Allah’s Hand, which means Allah’s blessings. Wherever there is a gathering, if that gathering is for Allah (swt) and for His Prophet (s), then it’s a good gathering, and this is a good gathering that we are here every Friday. May Allah (swt) bless every masjid and every gathering that comes together in prayer for Allah (swt). Prophet (s) has his Companions, the Righteous Khulafaa (r), the khalifahs that were only for truth, the khalifah for Muslims, not only the four khulafaa who are the major ones, but every Companion (r) of the Prophet (s) was a khalifah of the Prophet (s), and the evidence of that is what Prophet (s) said in this hadith:
أصحابي كالنجوم بأيهم اقتديتم اهتديتم
As-haabee ka 'n-nujoom bi ayyihim aqtadaytum ahtadaytum.
My Companions are like stars (on a dark night); whichever of them you follow, you will be guided.
(`Abd ibn Humayd, ad-Daraqutnee, ibn `Adiyy, ibn `Abd al-Barr,
with unsound chains but the meaning is sound.)
“My Sahaabah (r), my Companions (r) are like guided stars, stars that guide you at night.” They are stars, but what kind of stars? When he says “stars,” we have to think why did Prophet (s) mention his Sahaabah (r) as stars? Because it’s very simple. If we expand the features of a star just a little bit, then we can understand why Prophet (s) said about his Sahaabah (r) like that, which is something unique to the Sahaabah (r), not for everyone, and which is so immense that we can’t know its beginning and we can’t know its end!
When Prophet (s) says, “My Sahaabah, my Companions (r) are like stars,” we know that stars in real life, in astronomy we know that one star might be bigger than all our whole solar system that we are living in, including the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, all of them, it’s all in one system. In astronomy or physics they say that one star is bigger, so huge, and there are stars that are so huge you cannot understand how big they are. So the Prophet (s) wants to tell us, “My Companions are like stars: if you follow anyone, aqtadaytum ahtadaytum, whomever you choose you follow, you will be guided because they are stars.” Since they are stars, we cannot know how big of knowledge Prophet (s) gave them, because Allah (swt) gave to Prophet (s) `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa ’l-Akhireen, the Knowledge of Before and After, which means the knowledge of Holy Qur’an.
Since Prophet (s) says, “I have been given the Knowledge of Before and After, and knowledge came through Holy Qur’an,” it means the Holy Qur’an, as of course we know, is not a book that has been created, it is Allah’s Own Words, which means something that belongs to Allah (swt), to His Own Words are not created, but are only Beautiful Attributes that describe His Greatness. So Holy Qur’an is an Attribute (of Allah) that no one can touch when he has no wudu. That’s why when someone is not ready or clean to touch it, he cannot, because it’s an Attribute, if we can say that, because it’s Allah’s Words, like “al-`Alim,” “al-Khaaliq,” “ar-Rahmaan,” “ar-Raheem,” “al-Quddoos,” or whatever different Beautiful Names and Attributes. The Holy Qur’an is not one Attribute, I can’t say a ‘star’ of Attributes, but the Holy Qur’an has no beginning and it has no end.
That’s why when the Sahaabah (r) learned from Prophet (s) `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa ’l-Akhireen, what is `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa ’l-Akhireen? Allah (swt) didn’t create the Holy Qur’an, we can’t say that and in Islam, if anyone says Holy Qur’an is created he is outside the realm of Ahlu ’s-Sunnah wa ’l-Jama`ah, outside of correct Islam. It’s like the Attributes that have no beginning, because Allah (swt) has no beginning and no end and the descriptions of these Beautiful Names and Attributes are with Him, describing Him. So the Holy Qur’an is describing Allah (swt) in different ways and that’s why the first surah of Holy Qur’an begins with alhamdulillaahi rabbi ‘l-`alameen, “Praise be to Allah, the Creator of humans, angels and jinn.” To show the greatness of that, He is praising Himself by Himself. He is not in need of our praises! He said, “Alhamdulillaahi rabbi ‘l-`alameen, “I’m praising Myself to Myself by Myself!”
So from when there was no beginning, Prophet (s) got this `Uloom al-Awwaleen. It means, even before human beings were created Holy Qur’an was there, because it’s Allah’s Words. And Prophet (s) said in a strong hadith:
كنت نبي و ادم بين الماء و الطين
Kuntu Nabiyyin wa adamu bayna 'l-maa'i wa 't-teen,
I was a prophet when Adam was between water and clay.
كنت نبيا وآدم بين الروح والجسد
Kuntu nabiyyan wa adam bayna ar-roohi wa ’l-jasad.
I was a prophet while Adam was between soul and body.
He said, “I was a prophet when Adam was between clay and water,” so it means Prophet (s) was a prophet, but a prophet on whom? A prophet on what Allah wants him to be a prophet on; we don’t know, but he was a prophet before Adam (a).
That’s why he said:
دم فمن سواه إلا تحت لوائي يوم القيامة ولا فخر
Adam faman siwaahu illah tahta liwaa'ee Yawma 'l-Qiyaamah wa laa fakhr.
Therefore,Prophet (s) said, “Adam and whoever is other than him will be under my flag on the Day of Judgment, without vanity.” (Ahmad, Musnad)
“Adam and who is under Adam are under my flag on the Day of Judgment!” And Allah (swt) ordered Sayyidina Adam (a), “If Prophet (s) comes in your time, you and all other prophets must be following him.” So what Allah taught Prophet (s) from knowledge, from where there is no beginning from these knowledges, he said, “Allah gave me knowledge from `Uloom al-Awwaleen,” and what is `Uloom al-Awwaleen? It is in Holy Qur’an, as Allah (swt) said in Surat ar-Rahmaan:
الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ
Ar-Rahmaan. `Allama 'l-qur'an. Khalaqa 'l-insaan.
(God) Most Gracious! It is He Who has taught the Qur'an. He has created Man.
(Surat ar-Rahmaan, 55:1-3)
Allah (swt), through His Beautiful Name ar-Rahmaan, `allama 'l-qur'an, “Taught the Holy Qur’an.” There was no Creation because after that He said, khalaqa 'l-insaan, “created Man.” Ar-Rahmaan, Allah, ‘`allama 'l-qur'an, taught the Holy Qur’an,’ then ‘khalaqa 'l-insaan, created human beings. So who is there? Between the Siffat al-`Alim, Allah has the Beautiful Name al-`Alim, The Knower, through that Beautiful Name and through al-Khaaliq, the Creator, there was ta`leem, knowledge there that He taught to someone. Who is that someone? Ar-Rahmaan. `Allama 'l-qur'an. Khalaqa 'l-insaan. Between that Siffat, Attribute of al-`Alim, and the other Siffat, al-Khaaliq, “the Creator,” there is ta`leem, knowledge. He taught someone, but whom? And Prophet (s) said, “I was a prophet when Adam was between clay and water,” and, “I was a prophet when Adam was between ar-rooh wa ‘l- jasad, soul and body.” So who then learned that? It’s the Prophet (s)! It’s the Prophet (s)! Allah (swt) taught him in the life when He created him as a prophet in Paradise, and Ahlu ’s-Sunnah wa ’l-Jama`ah agree on that, so no one can deny the power of Prophet (s) and what Allah (swt) has taught him. So what Allah taught Prophet, he taught his Sahaabah (r) and that’s why he said, as-haabee ka 'n-nujoom, “My Companions (r) are like stars.” He didn’t say, as-haabee mudarriseen, “My As-haab are teachers,” or “As-haabee, my Companions are warriors,” he didn’t say that. Prophet (s) said, “My Sahaabah (r), my Companions are like stars.”
Do we like to look at stars? Everyone likes to look at stars. Can you be there? No. Sahaabah (r) were there, not physically sitting or standing in the star, but it is a metaphoric explanation, an interpretation that, “They are so immense in their knowledge that their knowledge cannot be given except to them.” What Prophet (s) gave to his Sahaabah (r) he didn’t give us. First of all, why have the Sahaabah been honored? Because they heard Prophet (s). Did we hear Prophet (s)? No, we learned about Prophet (s) from one who said this, then the other said this, then the other until it came to us, so we ourselves did not. We are not like Sahaabah who heard Prophet (s), sat with Prophet, ate with Prophet, heard him reciting Qur’an. No.
What kind of a voice does the Prophet (s) have? What kind of a beauty does the Prophet (s) have? What kind of strength and power does the Prophet (s) have? If Sahaabah (r) are like stars and he described them like that, then what is he; is he a star or he is a universe? If he is a universe of knowledge, is it a complete, real explanation that he is ‘a universe’? The universe that we are seeing consists of six-thousand galaxies and in our dunya there are eighty-billion stars in one galaxy. Is he a universe? If Sahaabah (r) are stars, then Prophet (s) is encompassing them and then he is a universe, but he was not only a universe, he ascended to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa. If he is a universe, he cannot ascend in Paradise in dunya, but he ascended! Allah (swt) called him, invited him and he was able to come up. So what he was then, like me and you? Like his Sahaabah (r)? No way! Allah gave him `Uloom al-Awwaleen wa ’l-Akhireen, knowledge that no one can understand! Is he a moon, as people say, reflecting the light of the Sun? Is he the Sun reflecting that light, like the Sun reflects light? Is he a universe or (is there) more that Allah gave to him? Allah is showing His Greatness in Prophet (s) to human beings that, “I’m raising him up to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa!” Can anyone raise him? No! Where is Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa? How far or how near is it to Allah’s Divine Presence? No one can reach, even Prophet (s). Still there is, as Allah said, Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa, “The Station of Two Bows' Length or Nearer [to Allah]).”
“Two bow’s-length of an arrow” means “two hands” or “two arms in nearness or less.” He said that, but no one can be in the real Divine Presence, a little bit distinguishing him as a servant of Allah (swt) and Allah as Creator. Prophet (s) yes, he is a servant of Allah (swt) and he is happy to be servant, with all that Allah (swt) gave to him!
Look at history, what did Fira`un say when he saw the people of Egypt and suppressed them? He said, anaa rabbukumu ’l-`alaa, “I am the highest god, no one is above me! I am God!” because out of arrogance he thought that he had become something. What do you think about Sahaabah (r), when Prophet (s) said to them, “You are stars in a dark night.” Still they were humble. What do you think about Prophet (s), who went to Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa? He was the most humble! What did he say?
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.
“Yaa Rabbee! Don’t leave me to my self for a blink of an eye.” That’s big! “O Allah! Don’t leave me to my self, to my ego!” Prophet has an ego? Hashaa! “(Don’t leave me) to my self for a blink of an eye or less,” means, “for less than a blink of an eye, don’t leave me to my self or I will be lost in Your Greatness with no atom,” dharra in Arabic, which is the smallest measure of an atom that they are finding today, a micron. “To that extent, if I’m going to be left to my self I will lose my self. Yaa Rabbee! I will be a loser.”
What about us? We are arrogant: we are arrogant in our actions, we do not make or try to make peace together, we are not trying to unite together. If someone opens a mosque here, they say, “Why he opened a mosque?” Increase the mosques! If there is a mosque in every street, it’s better! Don’t make a problem out of it. Someone may say, “Why they made another mosque? It’s enough mosques in the area.” No, it’s not! Sahaabah (r) built mosques everywhere: they made their homes mosques, they made their homes a restaurant in the meaning of restaurant today, they opened their homes for anyone coming on their street not finding a shelter, they gave them shelter and food for three days and asked them, “What can we do to help you?” They never looked at someone, like a homeless person, with a bad eye and they never looked at someone who is not a Muslim with a bad eye, but they looked at them with full faith, thinking, “This person is a human being like us and there is no difference.”
Someone asked me something in an interfaith program and I didn’t have an answer so quick. They asked, “What is the problem to have interfaith where people are meeting together, to know each other, but sometimes there are frictions?” Yes there are, but who makes the frictions? It’s this head. If all of you take this head out, all of you are the same. Is there any difference? No difference, the head is what makes us different. It means that every problem is here in the mind; the ego is in the mind but the heart is clean, because Allah (swt) said:
ما وسعني أرضي ولا سمائي ولكن وسعني قلب عبدي المؤمن
Maa wasi`anee ardee wa laa samaa'ee wa laakin wasi`anee qalbi `abdee al-mu'min.
Neither My Heavens nor My Earth contain Me, but the heart of My believing servant contains Me. (Hadith Qudsi, Al-Ihya of Imam al-Ghazali)
So it means the heart can contain the Light of Allah, but not the mind as the mind is too much, saying, “I want to do this, I want to do that.” You will never see in all of Holy Qur’an or in hadith that Prophet (s) said laa, no. He never said “no” to anyone, but always he is submitting to what is needed. He never said something that made people unhappy!
O Muslims! O Believers! We go back to the beginning, to the hadith in which Prophet (s) said: “Follow my Sahaabah (r) and you will be guided, as they are stars in dark nights.” What is a dark night? You cannot see the stars now in daytime, but you can see them in the dark, in the night and on dark nights, because in daytime there is light shining. So it means when the light shines in the heart of the believer, “the dark night” means the darkness from the heart of the believer will go away and only there is the Sun, and that Sun is the Light of Allah that He manifests on you through His Beautiful Name, an-Noor.
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ
Allaahu nooru 's-samaawaati wa 'l-ard.
Allah is the Light of the Heavens and Earth. (Surat an-Noor, 24:35)
“Allah is the Light,” which means His Beautiful Name an-Noor dresses the whole universe and the whole Heavens and Paradises! Allaahu nooru 's-samaawaati wa 'l-ard, “Allah is the Light of Heavens and Earth.” Okay, since Allah is the Light of Heavens and Earth, what we can benefit? If we are on the right side, we are under the Light and if we are under the wrong side, we are under the darkness of Shaytan. So you want to be with the darkness or you want to be in the Light? Allaahu nooru 's-samaawaati wa 'l-ard, “Allah (swt) is the Light of Heavens and Earth” means He will shine your light on you and then you become a star! He shined that light on the Sahaabah (r). That’s why Prophet (s) described them as stars, different stars shining that you look at them and say “SubhaanAllah!” Do you want to be like that? Yes!
Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:
سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا
Sakhkhara lakum maa fi ’s-samaawaati wa maa fi 'l-ardi jamee`an.
We subject to you whatever is in Heavens and in the Earth. (Surat al-Jaathiya, 45:13)
Allah has put under your control what is in Heavens and Earth, everything, which means, Allaahu nooru 's-samaawaati wa 'l-ard, if you want to be Light of Heavens and Earth that Allah gave to you, that by saying in another ayah, Allah put under your control samaawaati wa ‘l-ard, Heavens and Earth, but go for it!
يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَن تَنفُذُوا مِنْ أَقْطَارِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَانفُذُوا لَا تَنفُذُونَ إِلَّا بِسُلْطَانٍ
Yaa ma`ashar al-jinni wa’l-insi in in istata`tum an tanfudhoo min aqtaari’s-samawaati w ’al-ardi fa ’nfudhoo laa tanfudhoona illa bi-sultaan.
O you assembly of jinns and men! If you can pass beyond the zones of the Heavens and the Earth, pass! Not without authority shall you be able to pass! (Surat ar-Rahmaan, 55:33)
Yaa ma`ashar al-jinni wa’l-insi, “O human beings and jinn! Do you want to penetrate from this universe and Heavens to My Presence? Yes, do that! I gave it to you, fa ’nfudhoo, do it, but by making that Light shine in your heart by following what Prophet (s) came with. Fa ’nfudhoo, try to penetrate!”
Then Allah immediately said, laa tanfudhoona, “No, you will not be able to do it. You can, I gave you the permissibility, allowing you to go in, no problem, but laa tanfudhoona illa bi-sultaan, you cannot penetrate without a sultan!” “Sultan” has many meanings here, but we will go with one meaning: laa tanfudhoona illa bi-sultaan, sultan here is Sultaan ash-Shari`ah, to follow what Allah likes and loves, and Allah described what He likes and loves:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Qul in kuntum tuhibboona 'Llaaha fattabi`oonee yuhbibkumullaahu wa yaghfir lakum dhunoobakum w 'Allaahu Ghafooru 'r-Raheem.
Say (O Muhammad), "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:31)
“If you really love Me and I want to love you, fattabi`oonee. Qul, yaa Muhammad! Qul in kuntum tuhibboona 'Llaaha fattabi`oonee yuhbibkumullaah, if you really love Allah, follow Muhammad (s) (and) Allah loves you!” So it’s our duty to do what? To follow, to follow the way, but to follow whom? To follow Sayyidina Muhammad (s)!
And Prophet (s) makes it easy for us. He said, “You want to be guided? Look at the stars and take any one of my Sahaabah (r) and follow his way and this takes you to my way.” Okay, look how merciful the Prophet (s) is!
عن عبد الله بن بسر رضي الله عنه أن رجلا قال: يا رسول الله إن شرائع الإسلام قد كثرت علي فأخبرني بشيء أتشبث به؟ قال لا يزال لسانك رطبا من ذكر الله" الترمذي.
Yaa Rasoolullaah inna shara`ia 'l-islaam qad kathurat `alayya fa-akhbirnee bi-shayin atashabbath bihi. Qaala: laa yazaal lisaanak ratban min dhikrillah.
A man came to the Prophet (s) and said, "O Rasoolullah! The rules of Islam became heavy on me, so give me news of something which I can maintain." Prophet (s) said, "Make your tongue wet with dhikrullah." (Tirmidhi)
One person came to Prophet (s) and said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! (There are) too many principles of Islam and it’s becoming very heavy on me. I can’t do all of that.” There are many (requirements) and you can’t do them all. The Prophet (s) said:
يسروا ولا تعسروا
Yassiru wa laa tu-`assiroo.
Make things easy and don't make things difficult. (Sahih al-Jaami’)
Why make things difficult on people, when you see their capacity is such that they cannot do it or fulfill it, and yet you are pushing them to do it? They cannot do it! There are many people today that look at a mistake from you. Why (push them so hard)? Are we ma`soom, infallible? No, we are not ma`soom. So what did Prophet (s) say? Yassiru wa laa tu-`assiroo, “Make things easy, don’t make it difficult.”
Like you go to Hajj and they say to you (at the Jamaraat), “You cannot throw pebbles at this time, it has to be after Zhuhr.” `Ulama came with a fatwa that you can do it, because today if you don’t do it at that time--before Zhuhr for example, and it is preferable before Zhuhr--but if you cannot do it, yassiru wa laa tu-`assiroo. Ad-darooraat yubeeh al-mahzhooraat, “Necessity waives the forbidden.” So if it is forbidden, do it (if you must) as Allah is saying, “I’m lifting the prohibition (in this instance).” It is a principle in Islam, so you cannot say, “Don’t do it.” With all these millions of people, how many people will die if all of them go at one time (to stone the Jamaraat)? So they say, “Do it or delay it and that is accepted.”
So to that man who said, “Yaa Rasoolullah! There are too many principles of ‘do this, do this, do this, do this,’ but I cannot do all of that. Give me something easy,” Prophet (s) said, “Make your tongue wet with dhikrullah.” It means, “Remember Allah and keep your tongue moving (in dhikrullah).” When you talk, saliva comes to your tongue and your mouth becomes wet. He said, “Make your tongue wet,” which means don’t backbite. You cannot do that? Don’t make sins by backbiting, so make your tongue say, “Allah” or “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah” or whatever tasbeeh you want.
O Muslims! May Allah forgive us and may Allah bless us.
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