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Join date : 2011-06-29

PostSubject: THE COLOUR OF ISLAM   Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:18 am

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Khutbah - "The Colour of Islam."

Tennyson Street Masjid - Salt River - 17th/12/2010.

Diep River Mosque - 24th/12/2010

Malmesbury Masjid - 31st. December 2010
ALMIGHTY ALLAH INSTRUCTS US IN THE HOLY QURAN - "O mankind! We have created you from a single pair of male and female, And made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other. The Most Honoured of you is he who is the most Righteous " surely Allah is All Knowing, Aware".-- Surah 49/v13

The Prophet (saw) stated: -- "Do not Hate and dislike one another - -Do not be jealous of one another- -Do not cut off relationships with one another- -but be brothers to each other and true servants of Almighty Allah."

As a Community worker -I am often struck by the strong impact of local custom and cultural practice that infuses the religious practice. This is not unusual since we must expect that issues of language, culture, origin and locality would play a role in shaping the expression of religious life and aspirations of any community.

Having travelled fairly extensively - I find in South Africa that the development of our religious practice has tended to evolve along artificially rigid lines -- that have become somewhat oppressive, appearing to exclude not only Muslims of other cultural traditions but also people of other faith traditions..

ALMIGHTY ALLAH ALSO INSTRUCTS US IN THE HOLY QURAN--"And thus we have willed you to be a community (Justly Balanced) and of the middle way so that [with your lives] you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind and that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) might bear witness to it before you"--- SII/143: - The Quran encourages us to develop communities that keep an equitable balance between extremes and is realistic in its appreciation of man’s nature and possibilities – rejecting both licentious behaviour and religious fanaticism. In tune with this injunction, Almighty Allah calls on Muslims not to place too great an emphasis on the physical and material aspects of life. --- Since Allah also wills our worldly desires and urges, there is no inherent conflict between the spirit and the flesh. Thus in this (UMATAN WASSATAN) “community of the middle way” we should strive to live our lives so that we may be an example to all of mankind as our beloved Prophet (saw) is an example to us

Almighty Allah also exhort us - (SIB HA TAL-LAH) The colour (baptism) of Allah is Islam -- No way of life or faith can be better than the religion chosen by Allah, for His servants. We are indeed His worshippers. Quran ch2/v138

Sibha means "dye" "TONER" or "colour". The Arab Christians in Madinah - used to mix a dye or colour in the baptizing water to signify that the baptized person had a new colour in life. -- Allah says in the Holly Quran that: "Our Sibgha (colour/religion) of Allah is Islam - and which Sibha (religion), can be better than the religion of Allah?" -We do not need a specific “Bar coding” special identification (special code of dress / length of beard etc) to identify us as Muslims. Our Faith should be imbedded in our hearts and in the way we portray Islam.

Islam is not exclusive to any one country or any one territory. Islam is not a territorial faith. -- Islam is neither a mystical doctrine nor a philosophy or a collection of soulless beliefs and rituals, but a real living and all embracing way of life. Islam is not a wooden dogma or a traditional religion, but a faith that touches the deepest parts of the heart and the soul of every human being..

Almighty Allah stresses in the Quran that mere compliance with outward forms of ritual does not fulfil the requirements of piety. - "True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west – but the truly pious person is he who believes in Allah, and in the last day, and the angels, and the revelations, and the prophets, and spends his substance –OUT OF LOVE FOR Allah) – upon his near family and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for the freeing of human beings in bondage and is constant in prayer and renders his Zakaah. And [truly pious are] they who keep promises THEY make". S2;177: -

But it is extremely challenging to have absolute faith, and to follow, one’s conscience. Indeed it is often unpopular and leads to much misunderstanding. But such an approach does allow us to engage the humanness of our creation. It offers us access to the realisation that we are all created equal, with a passion for justice and equity in safeguarding our rights and the rights of all of mankind.

We learn that, in order to be successful, we should draw on the entire creation – and that includes people of other colours, faiths and cultures – in finding solutions to our common problems. -- This is why we have Islam. - Not so that we can merely be another religious group with its unique dogma and bigotry. Muslims recognise that all people represent creation from a single being– with no claim of superiority over another (except in Taqwah / piety / God-consciousness): and to One God only are we accountable and to One God only is our return. This is the real meaning of the Qur’anic constant refrain, “we make no distinction in our Prophets”. Thus, Muslims are not slaves to the dogma preached by religious leaders who wish to interpret scripture for us. The relationship of the Muslim is directly with Almighty Allah. Guided by the words of the Quran and influenced by the examples and personality of our Prophet (saw); Muslims trust in their intellect and faith that they will be rightly guided and act justly. Muslims emulate and imitate the examples of the great Prophet of Islam (saw); but they also strive to be imbued by the 99 names/attributes of Allah.

The culture and civilisation of Islam were not wrought by Arabs alone nor by Muslims alone. People of other creeds and many nations were partners in this great adventure. Tolerance was engendered by the faith of the early Muslims and it was practised to a far greater extent than today. - Those who believe,- and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabeans, who believe in Allah and the Day of Judgement and do righteous deeds, have their reward with their Lord; neither is there fear for them nor are they to grieve - S2:62:

I believe that such a view of Islam creates the space for us to interact with others without fear of losing our identities. Indeed, our very Muslimness ensures that we remain unique amongst Allah’s creation.. Creative interaction allows us to be enriched by the experience of others – other cultures, faiths and traditions. We then become better human beings with an appreciation of the enormous potential for humankind to co-exist in peace and harmony and commitment to the achievement of structured solutions to social problems. To do otherwise is to invite unnecessary evil and pain - for Almighty Allah also says: Do not revile thOSE who worship others beside Allah, lest they are moved by malice and ignorance and revile Allah; thus have we adorned every nation with their own works and unto Allah shall they thereafter return and He shall inform them what they have done. (S6:108):

The Quran calls the People of the Book (Christians and Jews primarily): Say: "O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with Him; that we take not, from among ourselves lords and patrons other than God." If then they turn back, say you (to them): "Bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e., those who have surrendered to God’s Will)." (3:64)

We need to know and respect other's religious beliefs and cultures. However, there seems to be resistance and objection to the interfaith process from orthodox religious factions. (Especially in our community) This unnecessary fear of the other is the reason for interfaith meetings, conferences, Symposiums and dialogue. --"Let there be no compulsion in religion, for the right way is distinct from the wrong way." 2:256
Interfaith is not giving up one's faith or compromising one's beliefs --but it is a process of self-education about others through interactions and exchange of views. It is coming together on a common ground as fellow human beings. - In a world full of hostility, we must instil love and achieve mutual trust and respect.
We as South Africans must sent a message to the rest of the world that we do not like to import centuries-old hatred into our fertile soil. It is not necessary for the different nationalities and different religious and cultural groups, which comprise the rainbow nation of South Africa, to completely melt down and lose their ethnic and religious identity. Thus, the concept of "melting pot" must change to a "salad bowl," in which all the ingredients are encouraged to preserve and display their distinct individual tastes and flavours. –
I believe -- Through the interfaith process, we can mature somewhat via programs like interfaith dialogue, and through lectures affecting different issues in our community. -- In this way, we can bring together people from different faiths and ethnic backgrounds and hopefully help them to know each other better, in an attempt to please our common Creator and enjoy religious harmony, a hallmark of South African life.
We need the interaction between the different faiths for world peace. The last 100 years, has been one of the bloodiest. In less than 100 years, we have seen two world wars, the second one killed at least 30 million people. - Korean War, Vietnam War, the use of Atom & Nuclear bombs, Israeli war ON PALESTINIANS , India/Pakistan wars. Gulf wars, concentration camps, and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, 20 million refugees worldwide including 2 million in Bosnia alone and several million in Palestine.

IN CONCLUSION: -- I believe that a vital first step towards healing is that our mosques must become–more open to the very diverse cultures and life experiences of South Africans of all walks of life. --- More voices must be heard from our PULPITS so that different perspectives on issues can engage our minds. We must create an environment where the voices of our young sons and daughters – can be heard so that their views can enrich our discourse on contemporary society. We must bring an end to what I call “the tyranny of religious dogma”. (Where some persons want to dominate the pulpit) – This is an unhealthy state of affairs. With all due respect to our learned Scholars –a lot of our baggage comes across in our speeches and Khutabs – and people get a little tired of this.

All viewpoints should be subjected to incisive intellectual debate and consideration -- in order to find acceptable solutions and avenues for the challenges that face our emerging democracy. -- Above all we must accord women their rightful place in ALL our mosques and in our society and we must insist that they make their contribution to the fullest extent. (All Our Mosques must be women and child friendly) -We cannot go into the future with half of our humanity imprisoned in a subservient role. The full emancipation of women is vital to our future success and it should not be compromised in any way.

There is widespread poverty, unemployment, low educational achievement. We are victims of Islamophobia which leaves us marginalized, and demonized. We are increasingly being seen as the ‘enemy within’ as acts of mindless terror are being done in our name. We all know that Islam condemns terrorism. We have to deal with a hostile media, and with an increasingly worried and suspicious Global community.

My own view is that -- No amount of marches or writing wonderful articles and making fiery speeches will put matters right,-- unless and until we also provide practical, living proof that we deserve respect and that our presence here and elsewhere is a real asset to our neighbours and fellow human beings.

Let us make one thing clear - If we Muslims are to have any future in the modern world, for our children and grandchildren, then that future will not come from alienating the very people Allah wants us to invite to Islam. - Our Non Muslim neighbours deserve nothing less from us, than the utmost respect and courtesy. -- And if we don’t know how to do it, we will have to learn very quickly, how to express our concerns using beautiful speech, wisdom and equally gracious manners. Our future, and the future of our children here in the West, will depend on it. Allah warns us in Surah 47.verse 38. If you turn back from the way of Allah – He will substitute in your place another people – and they will NOT be like you.

I Pray Almighty ALLAH to guide us to the straight path and enable us to follow the examples set by the greatest teacher and leader of mankind – our beloved Prophet, sws.

Rab Bana – Our Lord! --Help us always to remember You, so that we may dedicate our lives to Your full service -- not out of any fear, but out of love for the One Who is most perfect, the Lord of the unseen, the Lord of this life and the life to come.

Rab Bana – Our Lord! Cause this gathering to be a gathering of Mercy and our leave-taking after this - full of your protection and do not create in us or amongst us, and in those that follow us, misery and misfortune. -– Our Lord! Condemn us not if we fall into error and lay not on us a burden greater than we have the strength to bear.

MUHARRAM MUBARAK! Kullu ‘AAm Wa Antum Bi Khayrin Ma’assalama Was-Sihhah. -- May Your Entire Year be filled with Goodness, Peace and Well-Being- (In Shaa Allah)

May the New Hijri Year bring us all great Joy and peace, with justice?

The Successful Believers PDF | Print |
Khutbah –The Successful Believers.

Masjidul Ummah Ottery-19-11-2010.

C.M.R.M.- 26-11-2010.

Almighty Allah exhorts us: "The True Believers that will be successful and eventually win through. Are Those who those who show absolute humility / God consciousness in their Salaah; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (captives) whom their right hand posses, for (in their cases) they are free from blame; but those whose desires exceed these limits are transgressors. Those who faithfully observe their trusts and covenants; and who (strictly) guard their prayers, these will be the heirs, who will inherit Paradise: They will dwell therein (forever)" Surah Al Mu’minoon 1-11

.”The Prophet (saw) stated: whosoever bears witness that there is no deity but Almighty Allah And that Muhammad (saw) is the Apostle of Allah – Almighty Allah will make them successful here and the Hellfire unlawful for them.

We are almost at the conclusion of yet another academic year for our young Brothers and Sisters - and they have all been facing extra pressure in order to meet deadlines. Excelling in their academics is one of the main priorities at this stage of their lives since, with the help of Allah, it will assist in paving their future and contributing positively to the society we live in.

While none of these goals should be erased from our agenda we should ask ourselves about - the proper definition of success. -- Since we are finite human beings, the future for us will always be unclear. Yet, we have immeasurable blessings because of the generosity of Almighty Allah. Allah promises the believers success here and in the hereafter -- In Surah Al Mu’minoon (The Believers) Chapter 23- 1-11

I would in this Khutbah – very briefly like to reflect on some highlights of verses 1-11- of this Chapter.- These verses from Surah-Mu’minoon takes its name from the first verse. The name of the Surah reflects its theme and defines its subject. It begins with the attributes of the true believers (Yaa ayuhal latheena Aamanu) and continues with the signs of 'Iman in oneself and in the universe. The tone of the Surah is that of declaration and calm argument, --of sentimental logic and of feelings that inspire the thought and the consciousness. - Its second opening verse pictures the scene of absolute submissiveness in Salaah. According to a Hadith related by 'Urwan bin Zubair, (ra) ' Sayidina Omar (ra) said: " This Surah was revealed in my presence and I myself observed the state of the Prophet (saw) during its revelation. When the revelation ended, the Prophet (saw) said: "on this occasion, eleven verses have been revealed to me, and the person who measures up to them, will most certainly enter paradise'. Then he recited the initial verses of the Surah" [Ahmad, Tirmithy, Nassa'ey, Hakim].

Allah begins by saying: Qad Aflaha al Mu’minoon -which means Successful indeed are the believers. This means that Allah guarantees the believers success. We all want to be successful. We all want to have a meaningful existence and most of us will do anything within our power to avoid failure. Humans naturally strive to excel, and Allah is telling us how to do just that. We excel through being Mu’mineen- believers. In order for someone to be considered a Mu’min, he/she must have Iman. - Iman is to have unwavering faith in Allah, His Angels, His Messengers, His Books, The Day of Judgment and the Divine Decree…. but also more. It is what IS in the hearts, and actions that are coupled with their beliefs. -. It is more than just a claim, Al Mu’minoon (The true Believers speak through their actions- not their words).

Let us take an even closer look at this one ayah. Qad Aflaha al Mu’minoon. Allah begins it with قَدْ “Qad” and when this word appears before a verb (in this case, أَفْلَحَ “Aflaha”, “he succeeded’) it shows two things:

(1) It appears before something that will surely (most certainly) occur. This denotes the meaning of: certainty, it is definitely going to happen. Also, Qad could also denote the PAST tense…so this matter has already happened in the “time” of Allah. This should give us all hope…we already are victorious.

2- ‘Qad’ makes the verb after it in the past, present and future tense, so it will give the meaning: certainly, the believers will succeed and will be successful and are successful and were successful…

" In Surah RUM 30:6)-- This declaration of success to the believers is also declared "It is a Promise of Allah, and Allah never fail in His Promise – But most of mankind does not understand.

Allah (SWT) says in Surah Al-Bayinah (7-Cool, "Those who have faith and do righteous deeds, they are the best of creatures. Their reward is with Allah: Gardens of eternity, beneath which rivers flow;" The word Allah uses for ‘success’ is أَفْلَحَ “Aflaha”,(FALAAH) and a Muflih is one who is successful.

Aflaha is derived from the letters ف ل ح (fa-laam-ha) and it literally means to split something and cleave it. A Falaah is a farmer. How does success relate to farming? a farmer is one who splits the earth, sows the seeds, waters it, watches it, and takes care of his farm, tending to it every day with great care. A Falaah is a person who puts in all the effort. A person who wants to achieve his goals and breaks them down into tasks and milestones with determination and consistency.

A Muflih then is a person who works hard and consistently. Al-Muflihoon are the people who are successful and this success is not because of luck or good fortune, it didn’t just happen, but because they put in the work and effort to reach their goals.

(2) "Those who humble themselves in their prayers;" Those who offer their Salah (prayers) with ABSOLUTE consciousness and full submissiveness". Ghaushi’oon here means to express absolute sincerity, God consciousness and humility. Khushoo is a condition of the heart and the body. - Khushoo’ of the heart is to fear and stand in awe OF Allah, and Khushoo’ of the body is to bow one's head and lower one's gaze and voice in Allah's Company. In Salah, one is required to show Khushoo’ both of the heart and of the body and this is the essence of the prayer.

When the Prophet once saw a person offering his prayer while playing with his beard, he remarked: "IF HE Had Khushoo’ in his heart, his body would have manifested it". Though Khushoo’ is actually a condition of the heart, as stated by this tradition, it should be manifested and reflected by the mind and the body.

Khushoo is also to believe and act with absolute consciousness of Allah -- Angel Gabriel came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him: "...Then tell me about Ihsaan -." He said "It is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, and while you do not see Him yet truly He sees you."

The Scholars also inform us that - Khushoo is also: 1. A disposition free from stress or emotion - 2. An untroubled state; free from disturbances and 3. A state of peace and quiet - serenity; tranquillity; placidity; repose; quiet, calmness; composure; equanimity. Sayedina Ali (ra) says the calmness (i.e. humility in Salah) is in the heart.

Wal Latheena Hum Anil Lahwi Mu’ridun (And Those) "Who avoid vain talk" Literally, Laghwan - is anything nonsensical, meaningless and vain, which is no way conducive of achieving one' s goal and purpose in life. The true believers pay no heed to such useless things and show no inclination or interest in them. This attitude has been described in Surah Al-Furqan " .. The true believers when they pass an individual or group indulging in evil or sinful talk, they pass by with avoidance and with dignity". [25:72]:

The True believer is a person who possesses a right thinking mind, pure nature and fine taste. He has no inclination to indecent things and can articulate in useful and healthy and constructive discussion - but never indulge in idle talk -- The true believer should have a fine taste of humour, but is not given to ridicule, nor does he indulge in dirty sex jokes. Abu Hurairah Narrated: That the Prophet (saw) "said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say what is good or keep quiet; and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (or insult) his neighbour; and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously." Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd: -- The Prophet (saw) also said, "Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him." (Ibn Kathir says that "vain talk" is something which has no benefit in saying or in actions. (IK)

Wal Latheena hum Lizakaati Faa Ilun - "Who are active in deeds of charity (Zakah)" Abu Kabshah Al-Ansari relates that the Prophet "(saw) said: "I swear upon three (things) and ask you to memorise my words: Sadaqaah (charity) taken from property will never decrease it; - Narrated Adi bin Hatim: I heard the Prophet saying: "Save yourself from the Hell Fire even by giving half a date in charity!" (MS)

Wal Latheena hum li Furujihim Gaufithun* Illa alaa azwajihim oumaa malakat aymanuhum fa innahum ghayru malumin* --- "Those who abstains from sex,* except with those joined to them in the marriage bond or whom their right hand posses, for (in their case) they are free from blame." -- - Celibacy is not permitted in Islam- Marriage is strongly encouraged and is considered a sign that reflects the Bounty and a Sign of the Creator. " And among His Signs is, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find peace and tranquility in them, and He has put between you love, affection and mercy. Verily in this are signs for a those who reflect" [s30:v21]. –

The facets of wisdom supporting the institution of marriage are numerous and diverse; Marriage establishes the best method for slaking one's innate sexual drive and satisfying it in a lawful and rewarding way. –The prophet (saw) stated: Nothing gives greater Joy and meaning to the love between two people than the institution of Marriage.- Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet (saw) said: "It is written upon the children of Adam, their portion of zina (adultery, fornication) of which he is sure to reach. Is - The two eyes, their zina is the looking (at that which is unlawful of the opposite sex); and the two ears, their zina is the listening (to licentious things, lies, backbiting, troublemaking,); and the tongue, its zina is sensual speech --- (and the hands, their zina is to strike and to do fraudulent acts; -- and the feet, their zina is approaching (that which is unlawful); and the heart ardently desires and the private parts either confirm or contradict the act." (MS) -- Ibn Abbas reports that the Prophet said: "None of you should meet a woman in privacy unless she is accompanied by a relative within the prohibited degrees)

Famanibtaghaa waraa a thaalika fa ulaa ikahumul Aadun* "But those whose desires exceed those limits set by Allah Almighty are transgressors" - Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "When an adulterer commits adultery he is not a believer (at that moment). When a thief steals he is not a believer (at that moment). When a man drinks wine he is not a believer (at that moment)." (BS) Ibn Abbas said, "The light of faith (Iman) is taken away from the one who commits illegal sexual intercourse." (BS)

Wal Latheenahum Li amaanatihim Wa ahdihim Raa un* "Those who faithfully observe their trusts and covenants" The most sacred contract a Muslim enters into is the marriage contract- Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet (saw) said: "A Hypocrite has some distinguishing signs; first when he talks he lies; when he makes a promise he breaks it; and when something is entrusted to him he misappropriates it." and when he has a quarrel with someone he exceeds all limits of decency and morality.

Wal Latheena hum Alaa Salawaatihim yugafithoon" -- And who (strictly) guard their prayers" -- The true believers strictly adhere to the prescribed times of the prayers. They perform them with due regard for their pre-requisite conditions and articles, with clean body and dress and necessary ablutions. They do not recite mechanically but understand what they recite and are conscious that they are supplicating their Lord like humble servants-- Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar(ra): I asked the Prophet (saw) Which deed is the dearest to Allah?" He replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times." (BS) Qatada says Yuhaa'fethoun" (guard) is to preserve or guard its times and give it its full Rukhu (bending) and Sajdah (prostration), and Allah (swt) has opened his description of the believers with Salah and he ended it with Salah, which gives you an indication as to its importance." (IK)

Ulaa ikahumul Waarithoon "These will be the heirs, (They will on the day of judgement be judged fairly by Allah Almighty and will be destined to paradise)

Alathina Yarithoonal Firdousa Hum Fihaa Gaulidoon -- Who will inherit Paradise: they will dwell therein (forever)" -Allah (swt) says, "On that day other faces will be calm, glad for their efforts past, in a high garden where they hear no idle speech. Wherein is a gushing spring, wherein are couches raised and goblets set at hand and cushions arranged, and silken carpets spread." (88:10-

CONCLUSION – Next time when we hear recitals commencing with Yaa Ayuhal Latheena Aamanu - let us reflect on the virtues of the real true believers – which are a seedbed of faith – especially in an environment in which truth is denied and its votaries insulted and persecuted - Faith coupled with consciousness in Prayer- charity – abstinence from indulgences must surely lead us to success here and in the hereafter and to Almighty Allah’s pleasure.

We Pray Allah Almighty -- O Allah, help us to build faith, Iman, confidence and self-esteem. -

O Allah! Help us to activate fully all the many talents and gifts that you have given each one of us.

O Allah! Let us be excellent personal examples in all the roles we have to play, in the family, in the workplace, and in wider society. When our life is over, let us return to you having fulfilled the best of our deeds, and having left a rich legacy for future generations to build on

O Allah! help us to present the real pattern of Islamic life and social conduct? Let Our living examples appeal to the non Muslims who have grown weary of western family life. Help us to encourage them to think over and examine closely the social commandments of Islam and In this way let us render a valuable service to this country and to Islam.

Eid Khutbah - Malmesbury 2010 PDF | Print |
Malmesbury Mosque – Eid Khutbah. 17/11/2010

Celebrating Islam.

Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great -

Almighty Allah exhort us: “You are the best of People evolved for mankind. Enjoining what is right, forbidding what is evil, and believing in Allah - (3-110)

And: Truth have now arrived and falsehood perished . For falsehood is by its Nature is bound to perish.

And: "This day have I perfected your religion(way of life) for you, completed my favors upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion and way of life." (5:4)

The prophet (saw) stated: for every “deen” (Way of Life) there is a specific morality and the specific morality of Islam is Modesty.

And:-- He has tasted the sweetness of faith who is pleased with Allah as his Lord – with Islam as his way of life and with Muhammad as his Rasool and Nabi. (Muslim)

All Thanks And Praise is due to Almighty Allah for having guided us to this great Deen (Way of Life) of Islam –and we ask Almighty Allah to guide us to Ihsaan –(The higher levels of consciousness) And we pray Allah to shower His love and blessings upon our beloved Prophet -Muhammad (saw).

We have congregated here today - to celebrate in solidarity with the Hujjaaj who have come down from Arafat – having completed some of the rites of Hajj. – We are also celebrating our efforts in worshipping Allah throughout the year; celebrating the mercy, the forgiveness, and the protection from Hell fire that had come to cover all of us in the past year. Yes, indeed, we are celebrating all that, but we also celebrating something much more important. - the fact that we are Muslims and Mu’min– (Believers)

We are in fact celebrating, our being members of the greatest faith and way of life ever revealed to mankind, our being believers in the most beautiful and the most comprehensive scripture that ever descended from heaven to earth, --- our being followers of the greatest man that ever walked on the face of the earth, our being believers in Allah, the One and Only

Islam is the faith and way of life - that defines us, defines who we are, defines our identity. Islam is the religion and way of life that Allah has chosen for us, has perfected for us, and has granted --- us as the Quran has eloquently expressed: - "This day I have perfected your religion/ your way of life for you, completed my favours upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (5:4)

Islam is a favor, a privilege, and a bounty from Allah. Islam does not need us. We need Islam. All we have to do is to be grateful for such a great blessing and say, - "Praise be to Allah who has guided us to this: never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah" (7:43) - But why is it that we believe that Islam is such a tremendous bounty from Allah? Because there is nothing like Islam on earth:

It is Islam that has taught human beings that the Lord their God is One and Only. That He has no partners, no wife, and no son, and that there can be no compromise on the unity of God. – In Tauheed – Unicity and Indivisibility of Allah.

It is Islam that taught human beings that they are all equal and that no Arab is superior to non-Arab, nor a non-Arab is superior to an Arab and that the best of all of us is the one who is most righteous.

It is Islam that has taught human beings that they are all brothers and sisters created from a single pair of a male and a female. Therefore, Islam, unlike Hinduism, neither recognizes nor condones the idea of a caste system. Islam is a war on caste systems, on aristocracies, and hereditary social groups of all kinds.

It is Islam that has taught humanity the value of the intellect, the importance of the acquisition of Knowledge - reflection, and the role of the mind in attaining faith and peace with Almighty Allah – peace with one-self and peace with all of mankind and peace with the environment and the ecology.

Christianity teaches that one can never become a believer except when the Holy Spirit mysteriously occupies one's heart. Islam teaches that faith is the fruit of reason and it is through continuous reflection on the wonders of creation that faith can be obtained, maintained, and nurtured.

It is Islam that has taught humanity that people of all races, all colours, and all ethnicities are perfectly capable of attaining faith in the One and Only God. Muslims should never be confused about unity- Hindus believe that Hinduism is just for those privileged to be born in the faith and therefore they do not invite the "less privileged" to embrace their faith. Jews believe that they are the chosen race and even when they accept others to embrace Judaism; those converts are always lower in rank than those born as Jews. Islam rejects all that and calls upon all people of all backgrounds to submit themselves to their Creator. Once they do, they automatically become members of the community of Islam with the same rights and duties as any other Muslim. Islam is not, and can never be, the monopoly of one race or a certain linguistic group.

It is Islam that has taught humanity that Almighty Allah is absolutely Just and Merciful and that He will never punish one person for the sins of others. Christianity teaches that Adam and Eve had bequeathed their sin to all their descendants and thus all humans are born in this "Original Sin" and therefore Jesus Christ had to be sacrificed on the cross to redeem humanity of its 'original sin.' Islam says, Humans are not born in sin. No person will be held accountable for another's mistakes. Every soul will pay for its own deeds. Divine justice is absolute. (41/46)

Whosoever does any righteous deeds will benefit himself – and whosoever does any evil deeds –it will be against himself (Haamim Sajdah / Surah Fussilat) (41/46)

It is Islam that has taught humanity how to balance the needs of this life and the next. Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran –- Thus We (Allah) have made you (Muslims) as an Ummah justly balanced – (Not going into extremes in anything - in education – in ideals – that you may be witnesses and examples over all other nations – and the Prophet (saw) will be a witness over you (on the day of Hisaab). The Quran encourages us to develop communities that keep an equitable balance between extremes and is realistic in its appreciation of man’s nature and possibilities Islam came to eradicate extremism – even in religious matters - because extremism leads to fanatism) - Islam rejects both licentious behaviour and religious fanaticism. In tune with this injunction, Almighty God (Allah) calls on Muslims not to place too great an emphasis on the physical and material aspects of life.

Islam does not accept the idea that renunciation of this world is the best means to get salvation in the next. Catholicism and Buddhism teach that by living a reclusive life, one can attain higher spirituality. Buddhism even taught the recluse must make his living by begging. Islam rejects the whole notion of the alleged goodness of renouncing the world. Islam teaches that best means for advancement in the next life is by getting involved in the affairs of this world by commanding good and forbidding evil; by helping one another in righteousness and piety; by doing Jihad, by struggling against all forms of evil, injustice, tyranny, intolerance...Islam does not teach rejection of the world, it teaches involvement, struggle, change and transformation – A Muslim’s life cannot be static.

Islam is all about socialization –A Muslim is a Social being – Hajj is a major lesson in Socialisation – In Hajj we are part of 3million people at the same time – and at the same place.

The Prophet (saw) also said – That a Muslim must leave the earth a better place than he found it –A Muslim must also be least problematic to Society and a Muslim must also respect people of other Faith traditions. Islam creates the space for us to interact with people of other Faith traditions without fear of losing our identities. Indeed, our very Muslimness ensures that we remain unique amongst Allah’s creation..

Creative interaction allows us to be enriched by the experience of people from– other cultures, and faiths traditions. We then become better human beings with an appreciation of the enormous potential for humankind to co-exist in peace and harmony and commitment to the achievement of structured solutions to social problems. To do otherwise is to invite unnecessary evil and pain –

Islam teaches -that in order to be successful, we should draw on the entire creation –– in finding solutions to our common problems. -- Islam is not merely another religious group with its unique dogma and bigotry. Muslims recognize that all people represent creation from a single being– with no claim of superiority over another (except in Taqwah): and to One God only are we accountable and to One God only is our return. This is the real meaning of the Qur’anic constant refrain, “we make no distinction among all our Prophets”.

Almighty Allah also says -- Do not revile thOSE who worship others beside Allah, -(People from other Faith Traditions) - THEN they WILL BE moved by malice and ignorance and revile Allah; thus have we adorned every nation with their own works -- and unto Allah shall they thereafter return and He shall inform them what they have done. : (S6:108):

It is Islam that has taught humanity that - Women are NOT second class citizens – that there is NO differentiation of reward for Males and females in all acts of Ibadah. Islam has also emphasized the respectful treatment towards women, especially mothers. A mother in Islam is a very respected and honored person. She is even placed third after Almighty Allah and His Prophet. (saw) -- She is awarded with that position because of her important role of preparing the new generations. She also goes through a lot of pain and suffering in the phases of pregnancy.

In Islam, it is considered as one of the biggest sins to disobey her (except in the case where she contradicts the law of Almighty Allah), or to speak harshly and in an abusive manner to her. Prophet Mohammed (SAW) also said: --Paradise lies underneath the feet of mothers." And he linked the level of faith of men directly to their treatments to their wives: " Prophet (saw) said " ." "The believers with the most complete Iman are those with the best character – and the best of you are those who are best to their wives & family."

We cannot go into the future with half of our humanity (OUR FEMALES) imprisoned in a subservient role. The full emancipation of women is vital to our future success and it should not be compromised in any way. It is Islam that has taught humanity that kindness to parents, to relatives, to neighbours, and to fellow humans is an essential part of faith and righteousness. - Islam teaches one cannot come close to Almighty Allah unless one acts kindly towards one's mother, father, family, neighbours, etc.

It was Islam that eradicated Alcohol, with all its evils, from Arabia. -It was Islam that ended all forms of prostitution, gambling, and intoxicants from the Arabian society. And it was Islam that opened all doors for freeing slaves.

It was Islam that uprooted racism from the Arab mind completely to the extent that the deeply racist and arrogant Arabs would accept to be soldiers in armies whose leaders were black Africans. And above all, it was Islam that transformed the idolatrous and superstitious Arabs into believing in the One and Only God. It was Islam that transformed them from idol worshippers into a people who could stand together in one line in prayer and prostrate their heads to the Almighty.

The question that irresistibly comes to the mind is this: that was the past, what about now? Can Islam revolutionize the world today as it did to seventh century Arabia? Is Islam relevant today? Does Islam have anything to offer today's world? Yes, a great deal. For us, Muslims living in the West, it would be reasonable to focus on what Islam has to offer to our Western society

The West, as the seventh century Arabia and as any other society for that matter, has its own virtues as well as vices. -- Islam can improve and enhance all the virtues while eliminating -- or, at least, minimizing -- the vices. In a society where alcohol is the number one cause of criminal death and injury; where alcohol costs billions of dollars each year in medical expenses and property damage; where alcohol consumption causes the death of hundreds of thousands of people annually; where alcohol is a major cause of rape and domestic violence -- Is there any faith more able than Islam to prevent all the ills of alcohol?

In a society as violent as the South Africa where some 80,000 lives are taken every year by handguns alone; where a small percentage of the world population consume a large percentage of the world's illegal drugs despite the arrest of some drug dealers every year; where a car is stolen and hijacks take place every few hours; where a woman is raped every few minutes – Islam has a lot more to offer than merely putting more cops in the streets. Islam teaches that prevention is better than cure and that crime can best be reduced by taking care of the family, the community, and the neighborhood. Islam attaches great esteem and honor to the role of the mother because when she takes proper care of her children, the whole society benefits.

Islam reminds the fathers of their duties, encourages the neighbors to take care of each other's needs, strengthen community bonds, advocates commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong instead of apathy and individualism. Islam always eliminates problems from their roots.

In a society afflicted with intense individualism, excessive materialism, fierce consumerism, and unabashed sensualism; ---- Islam has the intellectual and the spiritual power required to rectify all the excesses of the society because Islam preaches moderation and balance in all worldly and other-worldly affairs

The problem is we have the theory, but we don't have the practitioners. We have the revolution but we do not have the revolutionaries. And as there can be no democracy without democrats, no socialism without socialists, there also can be no Islam without real Muslims. Islam is a message that is in constant need for messengers to deliver it to the world. -- Yes, the Book (instruction Manual) of Almighty Allah is there, the guidance of the Prophet (saw) is there, the testimony of history is there, but where are the real Muslims?

Where are the messengers to carry the message forward? Where are the revolutionaries? They effectively do not exist.-- What does exist in the world today is some sort of "de-Islamized" Muslims. -- People who call themselves Muslims, but the Islam they practice is a vague shadow of the Islam described in the magnificent words of the Holy Quran and as exemplified and personified by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Muslims who practice an Islam without spirit, an Islam without a message to humanity, an Islam without a mission, an Islam without ambition... An Islam without identity. Islam will never revolutionize the world, as it once did, unless there are “real” Muslims, as they once existed in the time of our beloved Prophet and the Sahaabah iqraam-- Muslims from the inside-out, Muslims in thought and in action, Muslims in theory and in practice, Muslims in private and in public, Muslims in the Mosque and outside the Mosque. Muslims in spirit, in intellect, and in emotions.

I wish to conclude: The road to produce such Muslims is long and hard. It is perhaps more realistic to focus on just one good first step –“ Iqra’h” – READ ? RESEARCH? ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE/ BECOME INTERLECTUALISED“”. This first step, I believe, would be to raise and educate a generation of Muslim youth who will take great pride in their great faith.

A generation of young Muslims whose identity and purpose will be purely Islamic, a generation of Muslims for whom Islam comes first and everything else - national, ethnic, racial, linguistic identity - comes, at best, a distant second-- a generation that totally believes in what the great Khalifah Sayidina Umar once said, " It is only because of Islam that we gained 'izzah' (honor, dignity, and pride), and if we seek 'izzah' outside of Islam, Allah will humiliate us-

Let Us Pray: -- We thank You O Allah for having given us another Day of Eid - for we don't know if we will get another chance next year. –

We thank You O Allah - for choosing Islam as the way of life for us for if we were left astray, we would not have been guided.

O Allah - We thank You for giving us this noble Quran, the Criterion and the Guide and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw). We thank You for increasing our awareness of Yourself, and we pray that we always continue to remember You in good times and in bad times.

O Allah -We pray You to forgive our shortcomings in our Salaah, our Zakaah and our recitation of Quran and accept from us what we are able to do and multiply the rewards -

O Allah help us to present the real pattern of Islamic life and social conduct. Let our living examples appeal to the non Muslims who have gone weary of western family life. O Allah - Help us to encourage them to think over and examine closely the social commandment of Islam. And perhaps in this way we may be able to render a valuable service to this country and to Islam.

- Our Lord, Please accept all our DUAS, for "You are the Hearer, the Knower of DUAHS and forgive us for You are the most forgiving." (Amin)

Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great - Allah is great .

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