By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi

The Most Effective Way of Safety and Security17
Khutbah at ISOC – Jumad al-Ula 13, 1438/ February 10, 2017
By Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

 

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُمْ بِظُلْمٍ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمُ الْأَمْنُ وَهُمْ مُهْتَدُونَ {الأنعام 82}

Those who believe and do not cover their belief with injustice, it is they who have security and they are rightly guided. (Al-An’am 6:82)

Those who wish to have safety and security, they should know that safety and security do not come with injustice. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the 3 rd President of our country is known for his famous saying, ‘ I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.’ It is written on the wall of Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC.

I pray that our country be safe and we all live together with safety and security. However, the way to achieve security is not through fear, hate, prejudice and discrimination. There are no short cuts for safety and security. Security cannot come by creating arbitrary laws and discriminatory practices. It comes when people treat other human beings as equal; when they respect and honor others human rights and take care of the poor and needy. This law applies here and everywhere. The famous civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere.’ We must care for justice for all people.

Yesterday, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion against President Trump's travel ban. This is significant and historical. We hope that the highest court in this country will also honor this opinion and uphold the moral and human values as well the clear mandate of US Constitution and Bill of Rights. But there are many challenges. As they say the battle is not over. There could be many other discriminatory laws introduced and other Executive Orders may create problems for minorities, especially Muslims. We pray to Allah to guide those who are in power and to help those who are suffering injustice.

As Muslims, we should remember that if we follow the right path then there is no need to fear or grieve. Allah has told us in the Qur’an:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنْتُمْ تُوعَدُون َ(حم السجدة 30)

Indeed, those who say, "Our Lord is Allah," and take the straight path, the angels come down to them and say "Have no fear or grief, but rejoice in the good news of Paradise, which you have been promised. (Surah Hamim al-Sajdah 41:30)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ {13}أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ {الأحقاف 13-14)

Indeed, for those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah,’ and then follow the straight path there is no fear, nor shall they grieve. They are the people of Paradise, there to remain, as a reward for what they were doing. (Al-Ahqaf 46:13-14)

عَنْ سُفْيَانَ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الثَّقَفِيِّ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قُلْ لِي فِي الْإِسْلَامِ قَوْلًا لَا أَسْأَلُ عَنْهُ أَحَدًا غَيْرَكَ قَالَ أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ بَعْدَكَ قَالَ قُلْ آمَنْتُ بِاللَّهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَقِمْ (مسند أحمد 14869)

Sufian al-Thaqafi reported, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me about Islam in one word that I would not ask anyone other than you (according to Abu Mu’awiyah he said, “Anyone after you”).’ The Prophet –peace be upon him- said, ‘Say I believe in Allah and then follow the straight path. (Musnad Ahmad 14869)

Istiqamah is an important concept of Islam. It has several meanings:

  • to follow the straight path, the way of Allah
  • to be straight, without any deviation and without extremism
  • to remain firm on one’s principles without giving up under difficulties or challenges.

We are living at a time of many problems and difficulties. Many people say that it is a time of ‘fitan.’ (plural of fitnah). Fitnah is a test and trial. It could be temptation to do wrong and evil, and it could be persecution and suffering. It also means confusion and commotion when people do not know the right from wrong, the truth from falsehood and the good from bad. It is a time when people lose their faith and do not trust each other. Fitnah brings rumors and divisions among people. It causes doubts and fears to grow. It brings misunderstandings and it inflames anger, violence, wars, suffering, torture and persecution. All these things are happening in the world today. The Prophet –peace be upon him- said in a Hadith,

عن أبي هريرة -رضي الله عنه- أن النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال" بادروا بالأعمال الصالحة فتنا كقطع الليل المظلم، يصبح الرجل مؤمنا ويمسي كافرا، ويمسي مؤمنا ويصبح كافرا، يبيع دينه بعرض من الدنيا " (رواه مسلم، كتاب الإيمان 118)

Hasten to do good deeds to overcome the trials coming like the dark patches of night: a person shall get up in the morning as a believer and by the evening he will become a disbeliever; in the evening, he will be a believer but by the morning he will become disbeliever. He will sell his religion for a little worldly gain. (Muslim, Book of Iman 118)

Some people during the time of fitnah curse the time. We are told by the Prophet –peace be upon him- not to curse the time, because time is Allah’s (Al-Bukhari 5827). Cursing time would not help. It is people who use the time or abuse it. We should use the time wisely. The people of faith and trust in Allah can turn the problems into opportunities; they can turn the tragedies into mission and action plan.

Istiqamah is a principle that we should follow. Let us be steadfast and keep our connection with Allah and continue doing the good things.

وعن أبي عبد الرحمن معاذ بن جبل -رضي الله عنهما- أن رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال: اتق الله حيثما كنت، وأتبع السيئة الحسنة تمحها، وخالق الناس بخلق حسن (رواه الترمذي 1910)

Mu’adh ibn Jabal –may Allah be pleased with him- said that the Prophet –peace be upon him- said, “Be mindful of Allah wherever you are, follow up the evil with good, you will wipe away (the evil) and associate with people keeping good manners.

(Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 1910)

Last two weeks have shown us that we have around us many people of good will, people of different faiths and cultures. They were moved by the spirit of justice and compassion. They came out in rain and cold weather to stand for justice. Women of many faiths came out wearing Hijab to show solidarity with Muslim women. We should be thankful to them. The Prophet -peace be upon him said, ‘Those who do not thank people they do not thank Allah.’

We have many good neighbors who are coming out of their ways to express care and concern for us. We are very thankful to them. We should promote good relations with them. Support is a two-way street. When people help us, we should also help them. When we help others, they shall help us. We should be in the forefront of all causes of justice.

Islam is the religion of peace. Peace is our message and peace is our mission. Let us drown the voices of Islamophobia with our deeds of kindness for all people. Let us bear witness to the universal justice of God.

May Allah keep us on the right path and bless us. Ameen.

 

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