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The Pursuit of Perfection

Dr. Nour Mohamad Kabbani

Khutbat al-Jumu`ah

2 June 2023 Burton, Michigan USA

As-Siddiq Institute & Mosque (ASIM)

O Believers! May Allah make us understand what is truly valuable. It is that time of year again: elections! Everyone has joined the fray. And Allah has put in human beings a character that is al-kamaal: the request to be perfect. Like the Lexus slogan: "Pursuit of Perfection." You can take wisdom from it, because it is true. Allah has put in human beings the desire to be high and strong, and to be known and to be perfect in actions and speech and in everything you do and say.

You want people to look and say "O, what a perfect one!" But He (swt) did not make the pursuit of perfection for dunya. It is in order to follow al-Insan al-Kamil, the Perfect Human Being, Sayyidina Muhammad (s). Since the beginning the perfect human beings of every time are the prophets.

So Allah has created in human beings the desire for perfection. Where can one find perfection in another human being? So Rasoolullah (s) is the last prophet and Allah has made him perfect. Nowadays we don't see Rasoolullah (s) as he is in his holy tomb. But we still can see the saints and they are perfect ones. We want to learn perfection from them, as we learn to walk and talk and dress. That is as Lexus claims, "The pursuit for perfection."

Human beings misuse that character and instead seek perfection in amassing money and acquiring wealth. After becoming a billionaire, what is next? They seek prestige, jaah. When they are growing up, all teenagers want to be successful, rich, well-known. When you are young you are a bit on the crazy side, but when you mature you realize wealth comes and goes; you might amass it but Allah might take it away.

So you get wealthy and then you want prestige. You try to build a brand name. That it is still not enough; they continue seeking perfection in acquiring positions: CEO, COO, CFO, and whatever they want. And after that they want to be rulers, because these positions and titles are not enough. So after seeking perfection first is to acquire money, then positions, and then to become rulers. Then that one wants to be ruler of the world, like Nimrud and Fir`awn, who said, "I am your highest Lord."

So the fray you see out in the world us they try to become world leaders. What happened to those leaders before you, O blind one? Allah swt loves His servants and wants them to use that ni`mat (favor) doing what is right. Find the perfect human being and act and do like him. That is the prophet of your time (s).

I read in Sura Aali `Imran:

قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ سُنَنٌ

Qad khalat min qablihim sunan.

Ways of life have passed away before your time.(Surat Ali-`Imran, 3:137)

Allah swt is saying: "O My servants, there were people who passed before you. What happened to them?" How many presidents passed before this one? Who was the first president 200 years ago? Was it Washington? Where are they? Qad khalat. The world emptied them, not only presidents of the US, but kings of Europe.

One time they took our teacher to a place in Spain to a huge monastery, and they said, "This is the royal burial place." All the kings of Spain are buried there. What happened to them? Allah said:

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُوا۟ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ

Have, then, they [who reject this divine writ] never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before them? (Surah Yusuf, 12:109)

Travel on earth and take a lesson that what comes after this life is better and more lasting and more enjoyable. This life is going to finish. This dunya did not remain for mu'min or kaafir, this world is not for me or our children or ancestors: they will go, too. No one stays in this world. You are spending that power, that request and desire for perfection, and that is why you are zhaalim, an oppressor to use it in inappropriate places. They are all going to be the next emperor and next king and next MP. Everyone is waiting in line.

So what do they do? After they die, they leave them alone underground. People are passing away, Hollywood stars, and kings and royalty, important ones have all passed away and they accomplished something you cannot achieve. So travel on earth and see. Look, this is the burial place of such-and-such king. Are his companions with him? They left and did not benefit him. They laid him or her down and what happened? They left you by yourself and with your deeds, with what you have done. If you have done good, there remains a good reputation.

Anbiya and Awliyaullah are still mentioned by goodness, and in Akhira, Allah gives them thawaab, rewards. But the bad ones in dunya are cursed in different groups, and in Akhira, Allah will take care of them as He promised and His Promise is Haqq. O mu'min! You have to be aware. Don't follow this and that, but follow the Perfect One (s). Don't follow those who were only busy in seeking posts and position and status. Seek that One who was honored in dunya and in the Divine Presence, in front of all Creation. The One for whom all stood up and saluted: the Perfect Human Being! If you follow him (s), they will salute you here and salute you there.

So don't be like others running after the prestige of this world. It did not last for presidents or kings or queens. The superior one is the one who followed his Nabi (s). Did you follow him? If you did, you would have found all you 'lost'.

فَٱعْتَبِرُوا۟ يَـٰٓأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَبْصَـٰرِ

Fa`tabiroo yaa oolul-absaar

Take a lesson, O those possessing sight. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:2)

Sight by eyes and insight by heart. They have sight by eyes but no iman to see with their hearts. Take lessons from people that came before. What happened to all the nations that did not respect their prophet or harmed the heavenly messengers? Starting with Sayyidina Nuh (a) and going through Qawmi Lut, and so many prophets and the peoples to whom they were sent, Allah knows them.

It is not about buying a Lexus. That is prestige, "I have this and I own that." Continue in your way, that is why Allah guided us to have `aqal, mental faculties, only the people with insight can know. You get through the fruit peel to the core. But the `aqal is covered with hawaa, passions and desires. The peel of the fruit is something you throw away. Once you throw your desires, your mind will be able to tell you what is valuable and what is not. Who eats the peels, humans or animals? Animals do.

Those following their hawaa, desires, will fail. But those following the Last Messenger (s) will be successful. Whatever Allah has destined for you is written. Your rizq, provision is coming. Even mu'mins are not aware of what they are reading in the Holy Qur'an. The Arabs read and some understand the Holy Qur'an and some do not. The `ajam, non-Arab, reads the translation. Now you must ask, is the translator Insaan Kaamil, a perfected human being, or a person chasing the peels? If you are chasing peels then the mind is wrapped up. Release your mind and `aqal and it will tell you what is beneficial for you.

Our teacher taught us that if there is a diamond in one pot and a rock in the other pot, the one with no mind will take the rock. Don't seek prestige in the world unless you follow Insaan Kaamil, then Allah promises your reputation will be good.

وَٱجْعَل لِّى لِسَانَ صِدْقٍ فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرِينَ

Waj`al lee lisaani sidqin fi 'l-Aakhireen.

And grant me the power to convey the truth to those who will come after me. (Surat Ash-Shu'ara, 26:84)

"Make me among those who spoke the right words in the latter times." Allah accepted Sayyidina Ibrahim's (a) du`a. Allah says: "We have given truthful words to Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) and Ishaq (a)."

So do your part and don't get mixed up in the fray of this world's wealth and position; rather enter the health and wealth of the Hereafter. May Allah correct our words and deeds.


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