The Social Dimensions of Imán

A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem. Bisilláhir rahmánir raheem.

[Arabic Du’ah]

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,

“Successful indeed are the Believers. Those who humble themselves in their prayers. Who shun vain conversation. Who are payers of Zakat. Who guard their modesty. Save with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame. But those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors. Those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants. And who (strictly) heed their prayers. These will be the heirs. Who will inherit Paradise; they will dwell therein (for ever).”

In the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, the Deen is (Mua’amalah) and (Mua’amalah) literally means transaction but the word in the hadeeth is used in its widest possible sense to mean one’s conduct and behaviour towards others whether in business or in general – first and foremost with Allah, the Most Exalted. He, peace be upon him, also said: ‘(Aldeen Alnaseeha) and ‘(Nasseha) literally means advice but again the word is used to mean something wider to encompass sincerity in everything one does, whether related to acts of worship or personal relationships.

Of the ayat recited at the opening of this khutbah from Surat Al-Muminoon (The Believers), only two ayat refer to one’s obligation to Allah, Most Gracious, and the rest are devoted to one’s duties and obligations to one’s fellow human beings.

Let us look at another example – ayah no.36 of Surat Al-Nisa’a known as the ayah of ten duties (rights):

‘And serve Allah. Ascribe no thing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindered and orphans and the needy and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not of kin, and the fellow traveller and the wayfarer and the slaves whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loves not such as are proud and boastful’

Again the ayah refers to one duty that men owe to Allah, The Exalted, and the nine other duties are ones that men owe to their fellow human beings.

There is a very good reason for this. Good deeds, good conduct and good behaviour are but a reflection of one’s Iman. This is confirmed in the hadeeth:

‘Iman is sub-divided into some seventy (or sixty) sub-divisions, the most excellent of which is to testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and the least excellent is to remove harm from pathways’. Apart from the first one (not to associate partners with Allah) all relate to one’s obligations and duties towards fellow human beings.

Anyone who does not discharge his duties and obligations towards Allah, Most Gracious cannot fully discharge his duties and obligations towards fellow human beings. For this reason we can see that even acts of devotion and worship have a social aspect.

Salat: “forbids indecent deeds and evil”

Fasting: “that you may attain taqwa”. And a person who attains taqwa would know the rights of Allah and his duties towards His creations.

And in the hadeeth fasting is nullified: “If one does not leave off false witness and acting upon it, Allah is no need for his giving up food and drink”.

Zakat: “Take alms from their wealth wherewith you may purify them and make them grow’.

And the social advantages of Zakat are well known to all.

Hajj: “That they may witness things that are of benefit to them”.

And in the hadeeth, the social obligations are made a condition of Hajj that leads to total forgiveness. Al-Hajj Al-Mabroor “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit an indecent act or an evil deed returns (sinless) like the day he was born’
On the other hand if you want to know what distinguishes the kafir who does not believe in Allah and His true Deen from the true believer, then recite Surat Al-Ma’aoun:

” Have you observed him who belies the Deen * That is he who repels the orphan * And urges not the feeding of the needy “.

And in Surat Al-Haqqah, Allah, The Exalted, informs us why the person who is given his record of account on the Day of Judgment in his left hand is being punished in Hell Fire, may Allah save us from it:

” Lo! he used not to believe in Allah the Almighty * And urged not the feeding of the wretched”.

Second Khutbah:

” Before you (O Mohammed) We sent (Messengers) to many nations, and We afflicted the nations with suffering and adversity, that they call (Allah) in humility * When the suffering reached them from us, why then did they not call Allah in humility? On the contrary their hearts became hardened, and Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them * But when they forgot the warning they had received, We opened to them the gates of all (good) things, until, in the midst of their enjoyment of our gifts on a sudden, We called them to account, when lo! They were plunged in despair.”

[Arabic introduction]

Allah Most gracious states in the Holy Qur’an:

‘O My slaves! for you there is no fear this day nor is it you who grieve * You who believed our revelations and were Muslims * Enter the Garden, you and your wives, to be made glad’

But who is a Muslim? The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hand (might) mankind are saved”.

And Allah, the Most High says:

“Lo! those who have Taqwa will be in a place secure * Amid gardens and water springs’

The Prohet of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

“Observe Taqwa (of Allah) and be good to His creation (mankind)”

Every Muslim is responsible, each according to his/her ability and capability. Muslim communities are also collectively responsible for applying the Laws of Allah, for the defence of Muslims wherever they may be and for guiding and encouraging each other to do good for the welfare of all Muslims.

We in this community need to remind ourselves of our duties and obligations towards each other and towards Muslims and Islam in general. For this reason I would like to remind myself, first and foremost, and all who hear this today of this Hadeeth:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him said:

“Allah, the Exalted, will on the Day of Resurrection say ‘O son of Adam, I was ill but you did not visit me (to enquire after my health). He replies ‘My Lord how do I visit You and You are Lord of the Worlds?’ Allah, Tabaraka wa Ta’ala says: ‘Did you not know that (such and such) my servant was ill but you did not visit him? Did you not know that had you visited him, you would have found Me there?’

‘O Son of Adam: I asked you for food but you did not feed Me. He asks: ‘ My Lord, how do I feed You and You are Lord of the Worlds?’ Allah, Most High, says: ‘ Did you not know that (such and such) My servant asked for food but you did not feed him? Did you not know that had you fed him, you would have found that with Me (the reward)’

‘O Son of Adam, I asked you for water but you did not give Me water.’ He asks:

‘My Lord, how do I give You water and You are Lord of the Worlds?’

Allah, Subhana, says: ‘My servant (such and such) asked you for water but you did not give him water. Did you not know that had you given him water, you would have found (the reward for that) with Me?”

[Arabic dua’a to close]

Ameen! Aqeemus salaah!