Go to media page

Sunnah is to Love for Others what You Love for Yourself

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

14 October 2011 Burton, Michigan

Jumu`ah Khutbah at As-Siddiq Mosque

O Believers! We have to know that we have not been created without wisdom, as our Lord, Allah (swt), created us in His wisdom. Therefore, it is not only that you have to eat, drink and entertain yourself, but to also take care of those around you who are in a need of a smile, advice, enlightenment, education, good character, good behavior and moral excellence. Besides what we are trying to do for ourselves, there are other things we need to do for the community, and if we don’t fulfill that need it means we are stingy in giving to others what we have.

Sayyidina Muhammad (s) said:

‏‏ انما بعثت لاتمم مكارم الاخلاق

Innama bu`ithtu li utimu makaarim al-akhlaaq.

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

Whatever he said about worship and obligations are only the basics and we have to do them: pray and fast. In every religion you have that, which is to improve yourself and you have to do it. But for others, the Prophet (s) said, “I have been sent to perfect human nature,” because our nature is to love the self, not someone else. We love ourselves and we want everything for ourselves. You get angry because ours is a nature of anger. Everyone in his life has moments of anger when they don’t know what will happen; they might break the law and fall in the trap of evil power.

There is a perpetual struggle between good and evil that is impossible to run away from. It began on day one, with the struggle between Cain and Abel, the sons of Sayyidina Adam and Eve (a). One son was more generous and the other was more stingy, so they began to fight. So the problem is, we live in moments of struggle: one moment we are good, smiling and happy, and the next moment we have gossips, different thoughts in the mind that make us angry, and when we are angry we lose everything. So (to address this issue), the Prophet (s) brought up his Companions on the best manners, which is essentially how to love for others what you love for yourself. He said, “You are not considered a believer until you love for your brother or your sister what you love for yourself.” He didn’t say, “You become a believer when you pray,” he said, “Who loves for others what they love for himself or herself.” So it is our duty to look into this matter.

When you love for your friends what you love for yourself, then everyone will love you and you will become a role model for everyone to praise. That is why Islam is coming from both sides: combining the discipline that Moses brought, Shari`ah rules, with the spirituality that Jesus brought and wrapping these two together: rules and spirituality.

Islam is not only the five pillars they are teaching today: to accept God, to pray five daily prayers, to fast the month of Ramadan, to pay charity and do pilgrimage once in your lifetime. That is the foundation, but Islam is more: there is the Station of Imaan, which is faith: to believe in God, His angels, His messengers and prophets--Noah, Jesus and Moses, and Sayyidina Muhammad (s)--and you cannot say you believe in Muhammad (s) and not the other prophets; you have to accept all prophets and all holy books: the Torah, Bible, Psalms of David and the Holy Qur'an.

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ

Aamana ‘r-rasoolu bimaa unzila ilayhi min rabbihi wa ’l-mu’minoona kullun aamana billaahi wa ma`alikatihi wakutubihi warusulihi laa nufarriqu bayna ahadin min rusulih.

The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believes in Allah, His angels, His books, and His apostles (and say), “We make no distinction between one and another of His apostles.” (Surat al-Baqara, 2:285)

If you do that, you are a real Muslim. How significant is that, that we must do it? It is a principle in Islam: when you accept all prophets and everyone on Earth, you will fulfill what the Prophet (s) related, as mentioned in the Holy Qur'an:

لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا

laa yukallifullahu nafsan illa wusa`aha.

Allah does not put a burden on anyone more than he can bear. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:286)

Everyone can carry only so much. For example, we have some friends visiting from Africa or hot countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Here we are wearing normal shirts, but they want to wear thermal underwear to stay warm! So everyone has a specific thing he can carry. If you wore two thermals in summer you would need ten air conditioners, while in the same climate they need a chimney filled with wood that burns continuously to feel warm!

Allah (swt) said He is not going to give anyone more than they can carry, and as everyone is different from the other, don't criticize others as they are carrying as much as they are able! Don’t say it is incorrect, innovation, haraam or bid`a, because if you give them more it is as if you are giving the load of a bus on a car; the car will not move. Everything is according to its capacity and that requires discipline.

The last, highest level in Islam is Maqaam al-Ihsaan, “the Station of Moral Excellence.” After you do the five major obligations and then believe in God, His angels, His messengers, His holy books, life after death and the divine decree, you reach that station.

No one will stay here forever. If you are really powerful enough, as your ego says, then make yourself not die! There is a big question mark. Why do people have to die, why don’t they live forever? Who brought them and who took them? Since we will leave this world, those questions indicate a weakness in faith. The Pharaohs of Egypt who built the great pyramids said, “We will never die!” but they died 5000 years ago.

We need moral excellence to polish our egos, that self which may have good and bad desires. When good it is everything is okay, but when it is bad, look out! There are many, many bad desires. We counted seventeen in a book on that subject. In all, there are 800 bad desires and 500 good desires. It is hard to know all of them, so today we learn to fight our ego. To give an example, I will tell you this story, then end.

Sayyidina `Ali (r) is the son-in-law of the Prophet (s), may Allah ennoble his face. In those times they fought duels; that is bravery and chivalry, not like today, when they throw a bomb and no one knows who will be killed, and they do suicide bombings, which is wrong. There was one famous wrestler warrior who called out the son-in-law of the Prophet (s), insulting him with bad names to challenge him to a duel. They were fighting and suddenly lost their swords, then Sayyidina `Ali (r) put down the enemy wrestler and according to the rules of war at that time, who puts you down may kill you. So when Sayyidina `Ali (r) put him down he raised his sword to kill him, but that man spat in his face. Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “Now I will not kill you.”

He said, “No, it is your right to kill me!”

Sayyidina Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “No, I will not, because if I kill you now it will be out of anger, not out of seeking truth.”

That man said, “If you are doing that, then I accept this religion.”