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Remember Our Lord

Shaykh Nour Kabbani

15 January 2016 Los Angeles, California

Jumu`ah Khutbah Islamic Center of Reseda

[Opening du`a of Khutbah.]

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا اطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ مَن تُدْخِلِ النَّارَ فَقَدْ أَخْزَيْتَهُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ

Behold! In the creation of Heaven and Earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding, those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting and lying down on their sides, and contemplating the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, (saying), "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose! Glory to You! Grant us salvation from the torment of the Fire. Our Lord! Any whom You admit to the Fire, truly You cover with shame and never will wrong-doers find any helpers!" (Surat Aali `Imraan, 3:190-192)

Allah (swt) is our Lord, our Creator, He created all of us humans, He created everything. Besides humans, Allah (swt) has created many creatures, many creations. When Prophet (s) came with the message of ‘Laa ilaaha illa-Llah wahdah,” unbelievers of Mecca said, "Who is that Lord you are calling us to? We have multiple lords, multiple gods, multiple idols. Why should we leave all of that and follow The One, Allah (swt), that you are talking about?" Al-Qurtubi (r) says one of the reasons these verses came down was because they asked for signs of that great Creator, al-Khaaliq.

Unfortunately, we are making mistakes in what we say and we are not aware of it. We have to understand that The Creator is Allah (swt). Nowadays we use a lot of words without knowing what the implications are. I would like to remind myself and everybody here of one thing: catch yourself before you say, "I created." We are now using the word ‘created’ often, "I created a file, the project, this and that."

What did you create? Creation is from nothing! When you have nothing and something happens, that's creation, not when you combine two things or click two buttons. It is a reminder for me and for everyone here that we must try to use other English words, such as, "I opened, made, constructed.," to avoid saying, "I created," because Allah (swt) is The Creator.

The Prophet (s) is telling the people of Mecca about their Lord, Allah (swt) and this verse of Holy Qur'an came down:

“Behold! In the creation of Heaven and Earth and in the alternation of night and day there are indeed signs for men of understanding.” (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:190)

You are asking for signs, so okay, "These are the signs of people of understanding, lubb." Allah (swt) is not saying li ooli ‘l-`uqool "for those with minds", or ooli ‘l-admigha "for those with brains", or ooli 'l quloob, "for those with hearts,” He is saying ooli ‘l-albaab, “For those with lubb, pure understanding." Those people have untainted minds uncorrupted by their desires, imaginations, worries and concerns of this world. Al-lub is al-`aql, the pure mind not attached to anything.

What does lubb or `aql do? Who are these people Allah (swt) is talking about, because the Quraysh of Mecca did not have pure minds, their understanding, hearts and beliefs were corrupt and everything was messed up and Prophet (s), also known as Abu Dhaahir, “the one that cleans up, purifies, makes us pure in front of our Lord,” came to clean it.

Allah (swt) is saying, "I have sent Signs in Heavens and on Earth which, for those with pure understanding, is as different as day and night." Who are they and are we among them? Let us see. Alladheena yadhkuroonallaaha qiyaaman wa qu`oodan wa `alaa junoobihim The men of pure understanding are the men that make dhikr to Allah (swt), wa qul ismu rabbik, "Mention the Name of your Lord, remember!” They remember their Lord standing, sitting, and on their sides, which means 24 hours a day. Any movement we make consists of these three things: sitting, standing or lying on our side. These men (and women) of understanding stand all their day and all their night mentioning, remembering their Lord, praying to Him.

In general, sometimes we only come to the mosque for Jumu`ah or `Eid. We remember Allah (swt) from `Eid to `Eid, twice a year. Alhamdulillah, some of us come every Jumu`ah, some every day, some a few times a day, but not five. However, Allah (swt) is saying if you want to get the pure mind that is not tainted by corrupt beliefs and ideas, we have to remember our Lord 24 hours a day. When standing, walking, moving about, sitting and lying down we have to make dhikr, remember our Lord by reciting du`as of the Prophet (s) before sleep, when waking up for tahajjud, etc.

Alladheena yadhkuroonallaaha qiyaaman wa qu`oodan wa `alaa junoobihim, “There are indeed signs for men of understanding, those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting and lying down on their sides,” and then what happens? Wa wa yatafakkaroona fee khalqi ’s-samaawaati wa ’l-ard, “and contemplate the creation of the Heavens and the Earth.” There is no contemplation without dhikrullah, remembering Allah (swt). Also, we cannot genuinely observe Allah’s Creation with a tainted mind, that would only be the whispering of Shaytan, all imaginary. We have to remember our Lord standing, sitting and lying down, and then we can enter tafakkur, contemplation of what Allah (swt) created in the Heavens and Earth, fee khalqi ’s-samaawaati wa ’l-ard. We ponder Allah’s Creation: the stars, galaxies, Earth, plants, animals, humans, oceans, streams, whatever Allah (swt) created and everything these people with pure minds observe, they say:

Rabbanaa maa khalaqta hadhaa baatilan! Subhaanaka!

Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose! Glory to You! (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:191)

When we start contemplating Allah’s creation of the Heavens and Earth, we will say, "O our Lord, You have not created this without wisdom, a reason or benefit. You even created Shaytan for a reason, in Your wisdom.” Everything is under Rabbanaa maa khalaqta hadhaa baatilan,"Our Lord! You have not created everything without Your wisdom!” Everything, even Shaytan? So these people with pure minds, that make dhikr, fikr, tafakkur, start to realize that everything in Creation has a wisdom by Ahkaam al- Haakimeen, The Wisest of the Wise, al-Hakeem, Allah (swt). And not only that, they will see it!

They say, Rabbana, “Our Lord." Maa khalaqta hadhaa, they are no longer only contemplating or thinking about it, now they are seeing things. So first there is dhikr, remembrance by the tongue, wa qul isma Rabbik, then there is tafakkur, remembrance by the heart. When these two are combined, there is mushaahada, seeing. How can you say hadhaa, "this" when you don't see it? They're focused on something they see. Then, Subhaanak. "Glory to You! You are Exalted! You create all with wisdom; nothing in Your Creation was created without wisdom and benefit!”

Then these people say, faqinaa `adhaab an-naar, "Grant us salvation from the torment of Hellfire." These people have been making dhikrullah 24 hours a day, contemplating in the Creations of Heavens and Earth, seeing things and saying, "O my Lord, You have not created this for no wisdom,” are asking for Allah’s salvation from Hellfire, from punishment because after all that, they are afraid of su'il `aqiba, the bad ending. What is the bad ending? We humans, Muslims, mu'mins have a problem: we like ourselves, we are proud of what we do and we show off, we have `ujoob, riya, kibr, sum'a and we do things not seeking the Face of Allah (swt), not li wajhillah, but we do things so people can say, “He (she) is great!”

These servants of Allah (swt) are asking their Lord to save them from being proud of what they have done of worship and their social status because they are afraid they will be in the same boat as Shaytan, who was so proud of his worship! He worshipped everywhere and was proud of his status among the angels. Shaytan was proud of himself! So when we are in that same boat, worshipping, praying, doing khayrat, good things, we have to be careful not to be proud like Shaytan, who said to Allah (swt), a`oodhu billah, "I am better than Adam. How can You order me to make sajda to him? I am better!"

These people with pure minds see and hear Shaytan’s whispering that is in all of us; everyone has the whispering of Shaytan in his ears and heart, nobody is safe from that because Shaytan is with us wherever we go. His sole purpose is to prevent us from doing good, and he tells us to do bad. He is with us when we sleep and when we wake up. The Prophet (s) said in Hadith that Shaytan will stand by your bed when you want to wake up for prayer at night and say, "No, sleep, the night is long!" If Shaytan doesn't leave your bedside, then he doesn't leave you when you are awake; he is always with us.

So these people that make dhikr of their Lord and observe and contemplate everything in Creation are now seeing and hearing that cursed one, Shaytan, telling them, "Be proud of what you're doing: your generous donations, the mosque you built and all your worship. Mashaa-Allah, you fasted three months. Be proud that you made Hajj ten times. Be proud, why not? You are doing it." That is what they are seeing, then they ask, "Our Lord! Protect us from the punishment of Hellfire," because Shaytan is going to end up there!

The good servants of Allah (swt), which is how Allah mentions them in Holy Qur'an, desire not to be away from the mercy and favors of Allah (swt) in Jannah. They're only concerned with faqinaa `adhaab an-naar, "Grant us salvation from the torment of Hellfire," because, “Our Lord! Any whom You admit to the Fire, truly You cover with shame and never will wrong-doers find any helpers.” (3:192) The wrongdoers will not have Allah’s support, this is His promise to them. We ask Allah (swt) to not make us from azh-zhaalimeen, the oppressors, the unjust, as Allah (swt) is just. How can we be from zhaalimeen, oppressors? Whoever oppresses others, don't be with them as they are unjust, so be careful!

The pure ones ask, "Our Lord, don't admit us to the Hellfire," because the wrong-doers will go there with Shaytan, who is leading them; rather, they are saying, "Our Lord, we have heard! Someone is asking us to come and join him in remembering and believing in Allah (swt).”

رَّبَّنَا إِنَّنَا سَمِعْنَا مُنَادِيًا يُنَادِي لِلإِيمَانِ أَنْ آمِنُواْ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَآمَنَّا رَبَّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَكَفِّرْ عَنَّا سَيِّئَاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الأبْرَا رَبَّنَا وَآتِنَا مَا وَعَدتَّنَا عَلَى رُسُلِكَ وَلاَ تُخْزِنَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّكَ لاَ تُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ

Our Lord! We have heard the call of one calling (us) to faith, 'Believe in the Lord,' and we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out our wickedness and take to Yourself our souls in the company of the righteous. Our Lord! Grant us what You promised us through Your Messengers and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment for You never break Your promise.

(Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:193-194)

They are asking, "Our Lord. We have accepted, so forgive our sins and make us among the pious and righteous and give us what You have promised us on the Day of Judgement on the tongue of Your Messengers, don't disgrace us then!" Here Allah (swt) is teaching us how to make du`a. Nowadays people say, "I am praying to my Lord, but it's not accepted," but we see in the next verse their Lord immediately accepted their prayer:

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّي لاَ أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِّنكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى بَعْضُكُم مِّن بَعْضٍ فَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ وَأُخْرِجُواْ مِن دِيَارِهِمْ وَأُوذُواْ فِي سَبِيلِي وَقَاتَلُواْ وَقُتِلُواْ لأُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلأُدْخِلَنَّهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ ثَوَابًا مِّن عِندِ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الثَّوَابِ

And their Lord accepted of them and answered them, "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You are members, one of another. Those who have left their homes or have been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in My Cause, or fought or has been slain, verily, I will blot out their sins and admit them to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, a reward from the Presence of Allah, and from His Presence is the best of rewards." (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:195)

Allah (swt) is showing us how to make du`a, to supplicate to Him, an answer for those who say, "I pray to my Lord, but my prayer is not being accepted. What's wrong with my prayer?" Allah (swt) counted the levels of these servants, and then said, "I accepted their prayer." So this is the answer if we want our prayer to be accepted. Today Ummat an-Muhammad (s) is in big chaos, trouble, fitna, confusion, so all around the world all Muslims are asking their Lord the same thing regarding what they are doing to each other: “O our Lord, save us!”

Allah (swt) is saying fastajaba lahum Rabbuhum, "I accepted the prayer of these servants." Are you from these servants? These are the conditions: "My servants asked Me and I accepted their prayer, and I am not going to waste their action, I am going to admit them to Jannah, but their conditions must be fulfilled.” So if we want to have peace on Éarth and in our community, we have to follow Muhammad (s)! These people are saying, "We have heard the call of Your Messenger, so we believe." That means they also heard the word of ‘laa ilaaha illa-Llah’, without the Messenger (s) and we also accept that.

If we want to be saved, why don't we do what they are doing? Who is remembering his Lord nowadays standing, sitting, sleeping? Very few. Who is thinking of the creation of the Heavens and Earth? Is anyone looking up to Heavens in the night sky to see the wonders Allah (swt) has created up there? Is anyone looking at the moon to see how it changes day-by-day and saying, “SubhaanAllah,” or so they merely say, "O yeah, it's just there, the 10th, the 15th, the new moon. The old moon is gone, now the new moon is up and it's a new month." Is anyone saying "SubhaanAllah, who put that moon there? Why did He put it there? From where does it get its light and how does it move? SubhaanAllah, mashaa-Allah." How many of us are remembering that? Few. How many of us are contemplating, "O our Lord, You have not created anything in vain." Few. How many people are asking their Lord to be saved from Shaytan? How many of us are humble in our prayers? When they say, Rabbana aamanna faghfir lana dhunoobana wa kaffir ana sayyi'atina wa tawafffana ma` al-abrar. what state are they in, humility or arrogance?

Where is the humbleness of Muslims nowadays? What do they carry on their shoulders nowadays, humbleness or arrogance? How do they walk nowadays? Those who asked of their Lord, Rabbana faghfir lana dhunoobana are crying! How many Muslims are crying nowadays, from the load on their shoulders? They are crying to their Lord, "O our Lord!" Faghfir lana dhunoobana wa kaffir ana sayyi’atina! They are talking about more and more and more wrong they've done. Who is admitting what they are doing is wrong? Or are they actually boasting about it, proud of it, announcing it everywhere?

Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadu ‘r-Rasoolullah (s). Astaghfirullahi ‘l-`Azheem, astaghfirullah i‘l-`Azheem, astaghfirullahi‘l-Azheem, wa atubu ilayh. Rabbana faghfir lana dhunobana wa kaffir anna sayyi'atina wa tawaffana ma` al-abrar. Rabbana wa atina ma wa attana ala rasoolika yawma ’l-qiyamah, wa la tukhzina yawmal qiyamah innaka la tukhliful mi'ad aqoolu qawlee hadha wa astaghfirullahi ‘l-`Azheem li wa lakum wa li sair al mu'mineen fa astaghfiruhu fa ya fawzan mustaghfirina astaghfirullah.

[Closing du`a.]

[End Khutbah.]


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