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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Fear of Allah is The Exit Route

The Translation of Friday Khutbah delivered by Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Uthman Kano on the 25th  Jumada Al- Awwal 1432 A.H (29th of April, 2011) @ Masjidul Sahaba Kundila, Kano by Abdullah Musa Abdul
Oh honorable Muslims! May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the best of callers onto the path of Allah, who feared Allah and depended on Allah, a true dependence who is none other than Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Allah was sufficient for him for his dependence on Him. He is our master, our beloved who calls us on to the path of salvation and who instills in us the fear of threading the path of destruction. Wallah! He did not hide even an alphabet in relating the message to his nation. The truth of the matter is that no single bird who flies with its two wings wherein there is knowledge in that but he explained it to us. He is the bearer of radiant face and the most honored forehead.  I echo similar greetings to his pure family and honorable companions (RA).
Oh my fellow Muslims! My sermon at this juncture is titled “The Fear of Allah is the Exit Route”
Verily, long aspirations, excessive material lust and inclinations towards Allah’s disobedience have made a dark blanket cover on most of the Muslims of this nation. Today, most of us are guilty of belittling acts of obedience. Part of the negative factors that point towards weakness in our fear of Allah is when we are relaxed on performing acts of obedience and our hearts trivialize sinful acts day in day out.
The heart’s relationship with obedience and disobedience is of different hierarchy according to the scholars. Originally, the heart of a believer is pure white just like white milk, but the moment he commits a sin especially a major sin like consuming alcohol, committing Zina or theft, then a black spot appears on the heart. If that black spot is not washed off immediately through the means of ‘Taubah’ (repentance) it will soon blacken the whole heart. It is a common knowledge that when urine touches our clothes, we rush earnestly to wash it off to avoid its foul stench. The dangers of sins wallah! Are weightier, we should not hesitate to wash off our sins and the water is repentance, a sincere repentance “Repent to Allah a sincere repentance”
Umar Ibn Khattab (RA) said, “Sincere repentance is having the feeling of remorse in the heart, a disturbance in the heart for the sins committed and making the intention of not repeating the sin again”. This is the only way to wash off our sins, if it is water, here it is, if it is detergent, here it is and if it is a perfume here it is. Allah is not after our physical water. Oh Allah! Enrich us with the wealth of repentance and the ability to correct our mistakes.
A decline in the fear of Allah makes us reluctant in obeying Allah that is why you will see people playing with prayers, Zakat, disobeying parents; in fact it makes people disrespect those who are seniors to them in age. In our religion of Islam, whoever is senior to us even if it is a month especially if there is blood relationship, it is a duty upon us to accord them their true respect. Take a look at twins, even Hussain accepts that Hassan is the senior and by that virtue he respects him.  The Prophet (SAW) said, “He who does not respect our seniors and does not have mercy on our juniors is not with us”
It is part of the negative factors that points towards a weakness in our fear of Allah that we play a lot with the Qur’an, reciting the Qur’an day and night is the cure for all calamities. “If you are in a depressed state and difficult situation, quickly recite the book of Allah, in it you have a an assured medicine”
Also, part of the negative factors is our belittling of Sadaqah.  Scholars used to say that Allah does hide three things in three things;
-Acceptance in Obedience:  So don’t belittle any act of obedience, don’t say just this small amount won’t make any difference, La! Allah can give you Jannah through that small amount. Allah is Shakur.  Even a smile can earn you Jannah.
-Anger in Disobedience:  Don’t say ‘just because I watched a movie, a football, looked at a woman or gambled ‘.  Moreover Allah is oft-forgiving. Don’t occupy yourself with the smallness of the sin; rather look at whose laws you have disobeyed.
-Allah does hide peoples honor in interaction: Don’t look down on anyone because of his appearance. Or his means of transportation, Allah has got nothing to do with that. Allah does give all these things to whomsoever He wants. However, these are not the yardsticks for measuring success in the path of Allah. “Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is most God-fearing, verily; Allah is All-Knowing, All Aware” Q: 49:13.
Also, part of the contributing factors is playing with the act of obedience. Statements such as attributing success to individuals instead of Allah are prohibited by the Prophet (saw). Such as saying, ‘had it not being because of the skills of the driver, we would have died’ this statement is pure kufr. ‘Had it not being because of this amulet, the thieves would have been successful’ This is not true, the deceiver has deceived you, he has usurped your money and has snatched away your eeman.
Shirk, theft, homosexuality, Zina, lies, hypocrisy, materialism, betrayal, backbiting, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking that people trivialize are all pointer to the lack of fear of Allah. A minor sin if it accumulates it kills someone. May Allah protect us. If Allah’s disobedience is rampant and His obedience is minimal, you will see that people indulging in sins will keep on delaying their repentance and will repeatedly say “I will repent, I will repent” This is what is referred to as “Procrastination’ it is the greatest thing Satan wants for you to say ‘I will, I will’ not “I have”. If a servant makes ‘I will’ on his path to akhir (hereafter), then he has surely killed himself. Arabs have this adage on procrastination, that “Procrastination is the biggest theft of time”. If you have to say “I will” then preferably say it when threatening to punish someone like “I will retrench you from work” because here you are expected to forgive but on your path to akhir don’t say “I will repent tomorrow” because you don’t have the guarantee that you will see tomorrow. A second is not in your hands, if you inhale oxygen, exhaling carbon dioxide is not in your hands, and it is in the hands of Allah.
You will find out that procrastination weakens our heart as regards fearing Allah. Satan is the orchestrator of procrastination he tells you how you young you are and you will believe him but nay, he is your enemy. Can’t you see that even Childs given birth to die the next moment, some die even before their birth?  Therefore procrastination is a sign of the weakness in us of the fear of Allah. Hence, the moment a person commits a sin, he should quickly wash it off through the means of repentance, istighfaar, remorse, sobbing and promising never to commit the sin again. If Satan were to succeed in encouraging you to revisit the sin then, “Do not despair of Allah’s mercy, Allah forgives all sins”
My fellow brothers, Pre-occupying oneself with this world and her deceptions makes someone to forget what is ahead of him of hereafter. Following the heart desires can make someone oblivious of the dangers of lying in the grave and the questioning of the Day of Judgment and the reckoning. The book of records, is it going to be received by the right hand or the left hand? Nobody cares.
Today it seems as if we were created to reside permanently in this world, people are fighting because of it. That is why an Arab poet said, “We want to reside permanently in a house where there is no permanence, or have you ever heard of a shade that never recedes?”
Oh fellow Muslims! Allah has prepared many goods for those who fear Him, for example Allah is saying; “But for him who fears the standing before his Lord, there will be two Gardens (i.e. in Paradise) Q: 55:46. Al Imamul Qurtubi, Abu Abdullah Ansari said; what is meant with ‘Maqama Rabbihi’ is whoever remembers that one day he will stand in front of Allah and abstains from sins, lies, hypocrisy, betrayal, oppression, Zina and homosexuality, betraying ones children and wives and other similar vices, and prevent his heart from her lowly desires, and enters into an internal battle between self and the soul will enter Jannah. The soul drives one to sin. Everyman has got two enemies; Satan and his soul and you have to overpower them. The heart beautifies and Satan confirms, he whispers into our hearts i.e. “Who whispers in the breasts of Mankind” Q: 114:6. You will discover that a man has four beautiful wives, but yet Satan beautifies for him a strange woman. Subhanallah! You will find a man who is richer than everybody but yet engulfed in amassing for more and more whether through halal or haram means, that is Satan. A wise person is one who remembers that standing (in front of Allah) and concludes that all these things are useless.
Imam Shafii used to say; “You see this world, it is a big dead animal that gives off a foul stench, dogs have surrounded it, each wanting to eat from the meat. If you a sane person covers his nose and does not partake in the barbecue, then he will be peaceful, but if you want to partake in the feast, the you will have to fight with the dogs, hence you become one of them” What an interesting statement, full of eeman and wisdom. He also said; “Allah has some servants who are intelligent, they have divorced this world because of its trials and tribulations, when they realized that it is a home of test, they made this world a sea and made their righteous deeds as a ship to sail over the world”
Oh Allah1 give us the ability to pass through, make us successful and make our day of standing before you a day wherein we will be among those that will be told; “(And it will be said to them), “Verily, this is a reward for you, and your endeavor has been accepted” Q: 76:22. Ask yourself, are you like that? Whosoever does evil knows it and whosoever does well knows it. Allah says; “Nay! Man will be a witness against himself {as his body parts (skin, hands, legs etc) will speak about his deeds} Q: 75:14. Ibn Kathir also holds similar opinion with that of Imam Qurtubi.
In a Hadith reported by both Bukhari and Muslim from Anas Ibn Malik (RA) who said, “The Prophet (saw) delivered a sermon, the type I have never heard before”  (we too have never heard it before because it is from the mouth of the leader of all the scholars, whose scholar is Allah) that; “ Wallahi! Had you know what I know, you would have laughed a little and cry much” A comprehensive speech indeed, full of meaning, “had you know what I know (of Allah’s punishment reserved for the oppressors, the unbelievers and the hypocrites and the good He has prepared for the believers). Why the excitement about this world. It is authenticated in Bukhari and also Muslim that the Angel of Death came to take the soul of Musa Ibn Imran (AS) and he slapped him (Angel of Death) thus removing his eyes. And the Angel went to Allah and complained; ‘O Allah! You have sent me to a servant who does not want to die’ Allah said; “Oh Musa (AS) do you want Me to leave you and give you a life equivalent of all the breath of all the creations? He said ‘Oh Allah! If I said yes, what is going to happen after that?’, it was said to him; ‘DEATH’ then he said if at the end I’m still going to die, then I’m ready to die now”
Then why the fight, this world is just like excretes and the Prophet (saw) said; “This world is a prison for the believers and paradise for the unbelievers”. Some say; but even among the believers there are some who are blessed with wealth, kingdom and dominion. Scholars said all those things compared to akhir (hereafter) are nothing. That is why
It is said that people are divided into four categories. Those that will:
-exit from Aljannah to Aljannah
-exit from Hell to Hell
-exit from Hell to Aljannah
-exit from Aljannah to Hell
The first category (Oh Allah! make us among them) is the one who exits from the luxury of this world, a luxury that is free of shirk. The type Ibn Taymiyyah is saying; “Had the sinners and the innovators know the tranquility we are in, which Allah has placed in our hearts, they would have fought with us with everything they have just to get it”. The blessing of dependence on Allah, the blessing of turning to Allah, the blessing of blaming oneself at the time of trials and tribulations, these are sweeter than everything and they are not found in everybody. That is why one A’lim is saying that if you want to ascertain the true believers, then don’t look at their gatherings on Fridays or their chanting on hajj ground, but rather look at them at the time of calamities and trials. The yardstick of knowing a true believer is when he falls back to Allah at the time of trial after committing a sin. Anas (RA) said the companions broke into tears and the Masjid was buzzing with cries and filled with the thought of hereafter after hearing this Hadith.
What is wrong with my eyes that it has dried up and does not shed tears? What is wrong with your eyes that it has dried up and does not shed tears? Why is it that Qur’an is being recited and we are inundated with reminders to fear Allah, yet we are deviating further away from Allah’s teachings? Allah does send down destruction upon the Muslims if after knowing Allah yet deviate. This is confirmed in the Hadith of Abu- Da’wud; “Nations of the world will be scrambling you by the end of time, and the companions asked, ‘Oh Prophet (saw) of Allah, what will happen to our numbers? And the Prophet (saw) said; you will be superior numerically but qualitatively we will be like the scum of the earth. Because Allah will test us with two things, Love of this world and fear of death”
Oh you the gatherings of the faithful, sincere fear of Allah propel a Muslim to distance him from sins and hasten towards performing deeds of righteousness.  It is part of the sincere fear of Allah that for example take the life of Umar Ibn Khattab (RA) an honorable man, a high profiled companion whose fear of Allah made him to say that; “Wallahi! If an announcer has to announce on the Day Judgment that ‘Oh people, Allah asked me to tell you that everybody will enter Jannah except one individual’ Umar (RA) said. ‘I’m afraid that I might be that single individual” What is remaining for you Ya Umar (RA)?  You have seen the Messenger (SAW) of Allah; you believed in him, the Prophet (SAW) called you Farouq ul Islam (the distinguisher of the truth from falsehood) and to crown it up, the Prophet (SAW) married your daughter Hafsat (RA). Isn’t it so? (SAW) said; “Had Satan knew that Umar (RA) is on this path he will change his route”. You are the one that mentioned many things which were later revealed in the Qur’an. And still you consider not yourself pious until you see your two legs in Jannah.
What can you say about me, who has overwhelming sins? Ask yourself, how I can fear Allah, how can I take the burden of my sins on the Day of Judgment. Umar (RA) once asked Udhayfah (SAW) in an authentic Hadith; “Ya Udhayfah, please did the Prophet (SAW) mentioned me among the hypocrites? He was afraid of hypocrisy because it is a great danger. Udhayfah (RA) answered him in the negative and said he will never confirm that for anyone after Umar (RA)” What is noteworthy here is that Umar (RA) was not complacent about his companionship because of the fear of Allah.
Because you are knowledgeable then what, who are you better than? Because you are an Imam or because you have memorized the Qur’an doesn’t mean you are better than others if you don’t fear Allah. Of course these are positive factors that are enviable because they lead to the path of Jannah. Or is it because you have money and built masajids and feed the poor, then what? The bigger gist is that, those that were foremost in all these acts (Companions) were inundated with the fear of Allah.
Once Abu Bakr (RA) was seated opposite to the Prophet (SAW) and the Prophet (SAW) said; “Whosoever is interested in seeing someone who has been saved from the Hell-fire should look at Abu Bakr Sadeeq (RA)” Abu Bakr (RA) broke in to tears as a result of the fear of Allah. Once also, the Prophet (SAW) asked Bilal (RA); “O Bilal! What is it that you do? Because I saw your footprint in Jannah” You think Bilal jumped into celebration by partying? You have no celebration and happiness until you are forgiven but not in this world if only we reflect. Bilal broke into tears and said; “Ya Rasulullah (SAW)! I can’t recall of any act except that whenever I perform ablution I observe two Rakah” The Prophet (SAW) said; “That is the reason”. From this, the scholars said, if anyone performs ablution, it is expected that he performs two rakahs of nafil and it is called ‘Sunnatul Wudu’. Oh Allah! Make us successful. This is the fear of Allah.
Oh fellow Muslims! We have to be careful in obeying our whims. This makes a person blind from seeing the truth and following it. Long aspirations make a person forgetful of hereafter; it prevents him from preparing for a long journey. That is why Allah praises His servants saying; “They fear of a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (from the horror of the Day of Resurrection)”.Q:24:37.
Al  Hassan Basri is saying; “Oh fellow brother, ask yourself, what can you say about a Day when we will stand in front of Allah naked and barefooted?” The standing which will be equivalent to 50000 years, with no eating, no drinking and the sun will be brought near our heads miles length, heads will be boiling.
Oh fellow Believers! We should be grateful to Allah for being part of the nation of the Prophet (SAW) who has ‘Ash-Shafaatu ula’. Follow him with sincerity, adhere strictly his religion, abandon what he has forbidden if only you want to be successful.  Safeguard your wealth, safeguard your prayers, safeguard your religion, safeguard your business and be truthful, safeguard even traffic rules.
Let me ask, if someone in this gathering lost #50,000 how many people will return the money if they found it? In hundred only 10% may be and this is a serious indication that we are in a big problem. All that has befallen us of calamities and denigration is our fault and we have to return back to Allah and seek for repentance.