by Arshad Gamiet 18th February 2005.
“As-salámu 'alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”
A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem. Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem. Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”
All Praise is due to Alláh, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Alláh, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Alláh, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, sws, is His servant, and His messenger.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem! Ya Ay-yuhal-latheena ‘aamanut taqul-laaha, haqqa tuqaatihee wala tamu tun-na, il-la wa antum Muslimoon.”
O You who believe, - Fear Allah, as He should be feared, and die not except as Muslims.
Ya Ay-yuhal-latheena ‘aamanut taqul-laaha, wa qooloo qawlan sadeedaa. Yuslih-lakum a’maalakum wa yaghfir lakum thunoobakum, wamay yu-til-laaha warasoolah, faqad faaza fawzan atheemaa.”
O You who believe, - Be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever take Allah and His prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory..
My dear respected brothers and sisters
Today’s khutbah is about Al-Hijra. Last week, we entered a new Islamic Year, 1426 years after the Hijra. It would be appropriate for us to reflect a while on the significance of this important event in the history of Islam.
The widely used Gregorian calendar is based on the date Christians believe to be the birthday of Prophet Isa Alayhis Salaam, Jesus, peace be upon him. Why then, did the Muslim calendar begin with Al Hijra, the migration of Prophet Muhammad sws from Makka to Madinah? What was so significant about this event, that the history of Islam should be measured from this date?
The more you read about the Hijra and the more you reflect on what it means, the more you realise that there are 2 kinds of Hijra: the physical Hijra and the spiritual Hijra. That is, the physical migration and the spiritual migration. When our beloved Prophet Muhammad sws undertook the physical migration from Makka to Madinah, it was a journey from danger to safety, from oppression to freedom. We must remember that Prophet Muhammad sws could have remained in Makka, he could have sought an accommodation with the Quraish tribe, who offered him many incentives to give up his mission. They felt threatened by his teaching that spoke of One unseen God, rights for women and slaves, and justice for the poor. They even tried to bribe him by offering him wealth and status in the tribe. He could have enjoyed a peaceful and comfortable retirement in his mother city. But in a famous Hadith, he said,
“If they gave me the sun on my right hand and the moon in my left hand, I will not give up my mission until Allah gives me success, or I die in my efforts.”
Prophet Muhammad sws was unwavering in his obedience to Allah. But he was not going to migrate to Madinah without being tested again and again. In another Hadith, Rasul Allah told us,
"Shaytaan sits in the path (of every good action) that the son of Aadam (may try to take). He sat in front of him when he took the path to Islam and told him, ‘how could you leave the religion of your fathers and your fore-fathers?’ But he disobeyed him and became Muslim. Then Shaytaan sat in front of him in his path to Hijrah and said, ‘How could you leave your land and your sky?’ But he disobeyed him and migrated (from Makkah). Then he sat in front of him in his path of Jihaad and said, ‘Why should you do Jihad? It will only exhaust your wealth and body. You’ll be killed, your wife will marry someone else, and your wealth will be divided (to others).’ But he disobeyed him and went for Jihad." Rasul Allah then said, "Whoever does this, it is a duty upon Allah that He shall enter him into Jannah!"
Once in Madinah, Prophet Muhammad sws did not settle down to an easy life. He continued the struggle to establish justice, to remove oppression, to guide his new community and to create role models for future generations...
Prophet Muhammad had left behind his tribe, his home, his family, his city, his financial and emotional security for something much more important. He had to build the foundations of an Ummah, the worldwide family of Believers. For the first time in the history of mankind, a nation was born, that had nothing to do with race, or language, or tribe or skin colour. This was the first ideological community: the first nation to be defined by a simple belief that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad sws is the messenger of Allah. Here in Madinah, Prophet Muhammad sws could demonstrate in practice, how to combine matters of body and spirit, dunya and akhira, in a complete and harmonious, holistic lifestyle. Here he showed us how to relate to other communities like Jews Christians, how to protect the rights of non-Muslims within the Islamic state. Here was the first ever written Constitution that guaranteed the rights of minority communities. Until the end of time, the Madinah model will be the template for a balanced way of living, a perfect way of life.
Brothers and sisters, let us not lose the relevance of the prophetic Hijra to our own lives: If you live in a place where your faith and your very life is in danger, move away. We are told in the Holy Quran, that when the angels of death question those who sinned, they will accept no excuses. Was Allah’s earth not wide enough for you to move away from a sinful environment? They will ask.
At a deeper level, we can make Hijra as a spiritual migration. If our lives are too much concerned with material things, with your own personal vanities, our likes and dislikes, our comfort and amusement, then we need a to make a spiritual Hijra, spiritual migration. We need to re-organise our priorities in life. We need to re-focus our heart, our emotions and our desires on something higher and nobler than ourselves. Material things should never be the main goal in life. Our main concern should be, to seek the good pleasure of Allah in everything we do. If, in the process, wealth and good fortune does come our way, we should consider it as a by-product of serving Allah. Hold onto these things lightly, at arms’ length, not close to the heart. It should be a bonus, not the main agenda. There is a very beautiful verse in Sura Al Baqara that reminds us,
"14. Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: Women and sons; Heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (To return to).
And, the next verse goes on:
15. Say: Shall I give you glad tidings of things far better than those? For the righteous are Gardens in nearness to their Lord, with rivers flowing beneath; therein is their eternal home; with companions pure (and holy); and the good pleasure of Allah. For in Allah.s sight are (all) His servants,-
16. (Namely), those who say: “Rabbanaa in-nanaa aaman-naa fagh-fir-lanaa, thunooban-naa, waqina athaaban-naar.” "Our Lord! we have indeed believed: forgive us, then, our sins, and save us from the agony of the Fire;"-
17. Those who show patience, Firmness and self-control; who are true (in word and deed); who worship devoutly; who spend (in the way of Allah.; and who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning.
Dear brothers and sisters, we all know how the [Gregorian] New Year is celebrated here in the West: lots of merriment, fireworks and alcohol. Let us mark our Islamic New Year with personal introspection, reflection and re-dedication. Let us refocus our attention on pleasing our maker, and achieving that noble status that He has assigned for us. Let us make a fresh start, to steer our lives from where we are, to where Allah wants us to be. There cannot be a more important journey in our lives.
“Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen. Was-salaatu was-salaamu alaa Khairil mursaleen. Muhammadin-nabeey-yil Ummiy-yee, wa-‘alaa aalihee, wasah-bihee, aj-ma’een.
All praise is due to Alláh, the Lord of all the Worlds; may the greetings and peace be upon the best messenger, Muhammad, the unlettered prophet; and upon his family and upon all of his companions.
Innalláha wa malaaikata yusallúna alan nabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallú alayhi wasalli mú tas leema.
Behold, Alláh and his angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Ask for blessings on him, and salute him with a worthy greeting.
Allahumma salli alá Muhammad, wa ala áli Muhammad, kama salayta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali Ibrahim. Allahumma barik ala Muhammad, wa alaa áli Muhammad, kama barakta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali ibrahim. Fil ála meen, innaka hameedun majeed.”
O Alláh! Send your greetings upon Muhammad and his family, just as you sent your greetings on Ibraheem, and his family. O Alláh, send you blessings on Muhammad and his family, just as you blessed Ibraheem and his family. In both worlds, you are praiseworthy and exalted.
Sub’ hanallahi wal hamdu lillah, wala hawla wala quwwata illah billah yu althi yual theem.
My Respected brothers and sisters in Islám,
Brothers and Sisters
How many of us have personally helped to prepare a dead person for burial? Those of us who have never done so, may even cringe at the thought. But seriously, this is an important experience, and I will strongly recommend that if you are ever asked to help wash and ghusl a deceased brother or sister, do not refuse. Go ahead and accept. Overcome your fear and hesitation. This can be a profoundly moving experience. It can be a life changing, or rather, life-improving experience. Preparing a dead body for burial does in a very dramatic way, confront us with the question, How well-prepared are we, to face our Maker? What preparations have we made, for our own death? Certainly, we need to constantly re-arrange our life’s priorities….
Two weeks ago, the officials at Englefield Green Cemetery, just round the corner from here, asked for help with a Muslim burial. It was wonderful to see how at short notice, 5 brothers from our community, and several students from the Islamic Society at Royal Holloway University, did the ghusl and janaazah . None of them even knew the deceased, who was a Maths teacher at the American School. Alhamdulillah, our students and the wider community are quick to help anyone in need. Here was a total stranger, who died and was buried by his brother Muslims. May Allah allow us all to have such dignity and care when our bodies are returned to the earth, insh-Allah. Where death and burial is concerned, this has been a big learning experience for all of us.
Allah says, in The Holy Qur'an: "Kullun nafsun thaa ikatul mawt."
"Every soul will have a taste of death."
"Wherever you are, Death will find you, even if you are in towers built strong and high."
And in another verse:
“No-one knows what he will earn tomorrow, and in which land he will die.”
Dear brothers and sisters, Let us not forget that in the noonday of life, we walk in the shadow of death. In the peak of our prosperity, we are just a few paces away from poverty and in the prime of our good health, illness lurks in the shadows nearby.
We will, insh-Allah, come back to the subject of death in the future khutbahs. In the meantime, let us pray to Allah, that He will give us time enough to complete our Hijra, our migration, from where we are now, to where Allah wants us to be, where we ought to be, totally and completely in submission to His Will.
May Allah allow us to complete the best of our deeds, before our death, And once we have received true guidance, may Allah strengthen us so that we do not backslide and our hearts do not deviate.
“Rabbana latuzigh quloobana, ba’da idh hadaitanaa, wahab lanaa min ladun-ka Rahmah, innaka antal wah-haab.”
“Rabbi ‘ja’alni muqeemas-Salaati wamin Thur-riyyati, Rabbanaa wata qabbal du’aa. Rabbigh-firlee, wali-waali-dayya, walil mu’mineena yawma yaquoomul hisaab.”
“O my Lord, make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also, my offspring. Our Lord, accept my prayer. O our Lord, cover us with Your Forgiveness, me, my parents and all Believers, on the day of Reckoning.”
May Allah accept our prayers, Ameen! Aqeemus salaah!
This khutbah, and others, can be downloaded from our website at www.khutbahbank.com