Mid-Ramadan 2017

Mid-Ramadan

Arshad Gamiet     9th June 2017?

Jurgens Centre Englefield Green Surrey

“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, peace and blessings on him, 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, – Be aware of Allah, with correct awareness, an awe-inspired awareness, 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 takes Allah and His Prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory.

In the opening verse of Sura An-Nisaa’, Allah says:

“O mankind! Show reverence towards your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate and from the two of them scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;― Be conscious of Allah, through Whom ye demand your mutual (rights) and (show reverence towards) the wombs (that bore you): for surely, Allah ever watches over you.”

My respected Brothers and Sisters,

With the Grace of Almighty Allah, we reached the 14th day of Ramadan. Alhamdulillah, we’ve enjoyed the Days of Mercy and now we are enjoying the days of Forgiveness. As you all know, the 1st ten days are Days of Mercy, the 2nd ten days are Days of Forgiveness and the last 10 days are the Days of Freedom from Hell Fire. Insha-Allah, Allah will grant you and me, and all our loved ones, Allah’s Divine Mercy, Forgiveness and Freedom from the Fire. Say “Ameen!”

Ramadan is the month of fasting, the month of spiritual discipline,  of getting even closer to Allah and intensifying our good works. It’s not only a time of hunger and thirst, and then gorging ourselves with a big meal after sunset. That’s not Ramadan! This is the month of Allah, and it’s the month of the Quran. This is the best chance we have to mend our bad habits we’ve accumulated over the past year. This is our best chance to find Allah’s Ridwan, Allah’s Good Pleasure. As we are reminded of a Hadith Qudsi, Allah declares that:

“Fasting is for Me, and I will give rewards for it.

Sura Al Baqara clearly explains the purpose of fasting:

“Ya ay yuhal latheena aamanu, kutiba ‘alaykumus siyaam, kama kutiba alal latheena min qablikum, la al-lakum tat-taqoon.”

O You who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn taqwa, (self-restraint).” [2:183]

Taqwa is cautious and constant Allah-awareness; it’s about constant vigilance over our thoughts, our words and actions: that’s the meaning of Taqwa.

As we fast, we enjoy the satisfaction that we are giving up our delicious food and drink, our leisure and amusement so that we can please our Lord and Life-Giver. Allah tells us in the Hadith Qudsi that all our other duties concern the poor, the needy, our families and ourselves, but fasting is for Allah alone. It’s a special way of showing our love, gratitude and obedience to Allah.

Fasting teaches us to tame our ego, our lower passions, al-nafs-al-ammara-bis-sow. This is the lower self that clings to the earth, and drags us towards all the hateful and shameful behaviour, like envy, greed, jealousy, anger, hatred, revenge…

One thinks about the murderous events in Manchester and London recently, but I’ll say more about that later…

Fasting helps us to be disciplined. It helps us to strengthen our conscience. This is the higher self, which in Arabic is called al-nafs-al-law-waamah. This is the self-reproaching nafs, this is the higher self that constantly blames itself and seeks to put right all the errors and sins of the lower self. Throughout our lives we struggle with this greater Jihad, of trying to control our desires and passions. Our thoughts, our words and our actions must always be good and pleasing to Allah. Once the Muslims returned from a battle, and Prophet Muhammad sws said to them, “You have completed the lesser Jihad, now you must engage with the greater Jihad This is the struggle to control and to purify your inner-self.

I pray that every one of us here will use this Ramadan as an opportunity to fight the most important of all struggles, the Greater Jihad of taking control of our lives, taking control of our lower passions and desires. This struggle to cultivate self-discipline is not only for Ramadan. It’s a lifelong struggle. Shaitan will always try to deceive us. Shaitan will make our evil nature seem pleasing to us. But we must be on guard. Whenever an evil thought comes to mind, we must resist it. We must remember what pleases Allah, and must say,

“A-oothu bil-laahi minash shaytaanir rajeem”: “I take refuge in Allah from Shaytaan, the Cursed One”.

Remember that! Always take refuge in Rahman from Shaytaan. Never forget Rahman. When you forget Rahman, you’ll befriend Shaitaan!

Remember that Allah will hold us to account for our actions. We do not want to be among the losers, the ones whose end is hellfire, Jahannam, wal A-oothu bil-Laah! We want to be among the winners, the ones who will enter paradise, al Jannah firdaws.

The 1st citizens of Al Jannah were Adam and Eve. Remember how their disobedience cost them dearly. They were cast out. They became outcasts.

Remember the prayer of Nabi Adam, alayhis salaam, which every pilgrim recites on Arafat, on the day of wuqoof:

“Rabbana thalamna an fusana wa il-lam tagh fir lana wa tarhamna lana koonan na minal khaasireen”

O our Lord! We have truly wronged our own souls, and if You do not forgive us ad have mercy on us, we will surely be among the lost ones.”

Allah gives us these reminders for our own benefit. My dear sisters and brothers! From this Ramadan, let’s you and I spend our lives, purifying our thoughts and words and actions, so that when we die we have a purified heart and soul (qalb saleem). We want our Ruh, our soul to be as pure and unblemished as it was on the day we were born. Now, say: “Ameen!”

Dearest Sisters and Brothers, I pray that when death finally comes to you and me, then we will meet Allah while His angels recite these beautiful words from the last verses of Sura Al Fajr:

“Ya ay-yuhan nafs-al-Mut’mainnah! Irji-ee Rabbikee raadiyatan-mar’diyyah! Fad-khulee fee ‘ibaadee, wad’ khulee jannatee”

O Purified Soul, well pleased with yourself, and well-pleasing to Me, enter you among my devotees, enter you my garden.

All praise is due to Allah, 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. Amma ba’ad, And, after this,

Behold, Allah and his angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Ask for blessings on him, and salute him with a worthy greeting.

O Allah! Send your greetings upon Muhammad and his family, just as you sent your greetings on Abraham, and his family. O Allah, send your blessings on Muhammad and his family, just as you blessed Abraham and his family. In both worlds, you are praiseworthy and exalted.

Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen. Was-salaatu was-salaamu alaa Khairil mursaleen. Muhammadin-nabeey-yil Ummiy-yee, wa-‘alaa aalihee, wasah-bihee, aj-ma’een.

Ammaa ba’ad:

InnAllaha wa malaaikata yusallúna alan nabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallú alayhi wasalli mú tas leema. 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.

Part Two:

Soob’ hanallahi wal hamdu lillah, wala hawla wala quwwata illah billah yu althi yual theem.

All glory is for Allah, and all praise is for Allah; There is no power and no strength except with Allah.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As we endure the hunger and thirst of these long summer days, let’s be mindful of those who aren’t fasting by choice. There are millions of refugees around the world who go to bed hungry. We mustn’t take things for granted. Allah is testing us. When we invoke Allah’s Holy Names of Mercy and Compassion each time we say: Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem, surely we must show some evidence of Mercy and Compassion in our behaviour?

By now, our whole character should be infused with Allah’s mercy and compassion. This is one of the big lessons of Ramadhan. This is how we can acquire the “colours of Allahsibghatul-Laah. And that is why it is important for us to pay our Zakat during this month. Zakat is the 2.5% of unused wealth that goes to the poor and needy. Let us try to remember these important lessons of Ramadan. Every Friday we will have some cash collections for a worthy cause. Please give generously, as Allah has been generous with you.

Some Muslims think that Ramadan is a time to ‘go slow’ and to avoid exerting ourselves. If we had the opportunity, some of us would want to sleep all day until iftar! This is wrong. Ramadan is not a time for hibernation. Hibernation is for those polar bears in the Arctic and grizzly bears in North America. It’s not for wide awake Muslims like us, eager to win Allah’s good pleasure!

Ramadan is the time we should be busy reading and understanding the Quran, studying our faith and trying to improve our knowledge and our character.  All that information must lead to moral transformation. It’s a time of spiritual renewal and revival.

Many important events took place in Ramadan:

  • The Holy Quran was revealed in Ramadan.
  • The Battle of Badr took place in Ramadan.
  • Makka was conquered in a bloodless battle by Prophet Muhammad sws during Ramadan.
  • Tariq bin Ziyad conquered Spain during Ramadan. The list goes on and on…

So remember, Ramadan is not an excuse for laziness. It is a time for improving ourselves, improving our mind and body and spirit. We must welcome Ramadan like a long lost friend.

Finally, I’d like to say a few words about the tragic events in Manchester and London recently. We should not be in any doubt about this. Murder is wrong. Killing innocent people is wrong. The Quran warns us that even if we take one person’s life without just cause, it is like taking the lives of all humanity. And if we can save just one life, it is as if we have saved all of humanity.

Killers are criminals. I doesn’t matter what they choose to call themselves. Acts of terror are totally forbidden in Islam.  It’s the polar opposite of Islam. In this holy month, we should also pray for the many innocent lives that were lost not only in London, Manchester, Brussels and Paris, but also in  Baghdad, Aleppo, Kabul, San’a and too many other places of conflict around the world. We ask Allah to bring all  the conflicts to an end. O Allah, let all people enjoy peace, and dignity and justice.

May Allah accept our fasting which we do only for His sake. We do not fast just to lose weight or to show off to others, how religious we are. We fast because we love Allah, and we want to please Him. We owe Him so much. Fasting is a very small thing that HE asks us to do, only for Him.” Allah doesn’t specify how much, 10 times, 70 times or 700 times. Allah gives rewards for fasting, from His limitless bounty, “bi ghairi hisaab,” without limits.

I pray that you and I will be amongst those whom Allah loves and rewards, without limits.

Brothers and sisters, to conclude our khutbah:

InnaAllaha, Yamuru bil adel, wal ihsaan, wa eetaa-i zil qurba; wa yanha anil fuhshaa-i, wal munkari walbaghi; ya-idzukhum lallakum tathak-karoon. (Sura 16:90), Fadth kuroonee adth kurkum, wash kuroolee walaa tak furoon [2:152]. wala thikrul-Laahi akbar, Wal-Laahu ya’lamu maa tasna’oon.” [29:45].

Surely Allah commands justice, good deeds and generosity to others and to relatives; and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, so that you may be reminded.” “and Allah says, Remember Me: I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject faith.” “and without doubt, Remembrance of Allah is the Greatest Thing in life, and Allah knows the deeds that you do.”        

 Ameen.    Aqeemus salaah