Friday Sermon

Material and Spiritual Means for Facing Calamities
And the Necessity of Obeying the Authorities

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book “Our Lord! In You we trust. And to You we (always) turn. And to You is the final return.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

It is one of the universal norms that Allah tests creatures with difficulties, as He (Glory be to Him) said, “We created man from a sperm of mixtures to put him to the test; We gave him hearing and sight.”

To face these difficulties, Allah guided us to material and spiritual means. The external means that we should follow include knowledge, and following the precautions set by specialized entities. Moreover, the guidelines set by the official institutions must be followed, because following the authorities is a national obligation. The Almighty Allah said, “You who believe, obey Allah and the Messenger, and those in authority among you.” Also, Allah said, “you [people] can ask those who have knowledge if you do not know.” “People of knowledge in our case are the specialized people or institutions. Thus, it is not allowed to disobey the official institutions of the state.

Among the material means is the significance of “hygiene” Generally speaking, Islam pays much attention to hygiene, showing its necessity to protect humans from diseases and harms. The Almighty Allah said, “Allah loves those who turn to Him, and He loves those who keep themselves clean.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Purity is half of faith,” and said, “Clean your yards!” Yard here covers houses, schools, factories, streets, squares, etc.

Islam pays a special attention to handwashing as we see in ablution. The Almighty Allah said, “You who believe, when you are about to pray, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, wipe your heads, wash your feet up to the ankles.” Thus, washing one’s hands and elbows is a pillar of ablution. Moreover, in the beginning of ablution, it is recommended to wash hands three times, followed by rinsing one’s mouth and sniffing. Then one should wash his face and then the hands again up to the elbows.  The Prophet (PBUH) also said, “When one of you wakes up from his sleep, he must not put his hand in a utensil till he washed it.” Also, it is recommended to wash hands before and after eating. All this proves that religion goes in line with science. Keeping people healthy is one of the ultimate objectives of the Sharia, a point which is stressed by the Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) in which he states, “There shall be no harm nor reciprocating of harm”. So, we should take all the necessary and preventive precautions to prevent the spread of diseases through keeping away from hugging, kissing, shake-handing and masses.

In this vein, we stress that crises and hard times unveil people’s origins and manners. So, we should show mercy to each other and keep away from selfishness and all kinds of monopoly of commodities, with the intention of increasing prices. Besides, buyers should not be selfish when buying commodities, since this cause imbalance in the demand and supply system. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says, “None hoards but the sinner”; “the hoarder is cursed” and “None of you will be a true believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his companions and followers: –

Muslim brothers,

As for the spiritual means that we should seriously consider, they include the good reliance on Allah. Allah, Most High, says, “So, rely on Allah, for surely Allah loves those who rely on Him”. Reliance on Allah does not contradict with making use of reason. It is reported that one man once came to the Messenger of Allah and said: “Shall I tie it and rely (upon Allah), or leave it loose and rely (upon Allah)?” He said: “Tie it and rely (upon Allah).” So, it is a must upon us to make use of the reasons leading to the realization of well-being and the well-established scientific guidelines. Meanwhile, we should rely on Allah, Most High, on all our affairs.

The list of these reasons also includes supplication to Allah; Allah says, “Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves?” We are in a dire need to resort to Allah to remove this hardship from people and countries. We should seize this situation to reconnect our relationship with Allah.

They also include that man should protect himself with Adhkar to Allah. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “”A person will not be harmed by anything if he says every morning and evening 33 times, ‘In the Name of Allah by whose Name nothing in the earth or the heaven is harmed. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing” and “Whoever dismounts to rest in a place should say, ‘I seek refuge with the complete words of Allah from the evil of what he created,’ (audhu bi kalimati-llahi at-tammati min sharri ma khalaqa), and nothing will harm him until he remounts.”

The list also includes giving out recommended charity; Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Fortify your money with and heal your sick people with Sadaaqah …”

In the Light of Surat Al-Israa’
And the Obligation to Obey People of Authority

All praise is due to Allah, who made His servant travel by night from the sacred Mosque to Al-Aqsa Mosque. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

The Almighty Allah supports His Messengers with miracles. One of these is the Prophet’s miracle of Al-Israa’ wa Al-Mi’raj (miraculous night journey and ascension to Heavens). Allah says in the Qur’an, “Glory to Him who made His servant travel by night from the sacred Mosque to the furthest Mosque (i.e. Al-Aqsa mosque), whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him some of Our signs: He alone is the All Hearing, the All Seeing.” When contemplating this miracle, one finds many lessons and insights. Among these lessons is: the absolute power of Almighty Allah. The will of Allah does not depend on the norms and causes, as Allah says, “When He wills something to be, His way is to say, “Be”- and it is!”

These lessons also include that: “with hardship comes ease” After the Prophet had suffered different forms of torture from the polytheists of Mecca for his conveyance of the message of Allah,  Allah granted him the miracle of Al-Israa’ wa Al-Mi’raj as a form of support and honor, and to be the ease that follows hardship. Allah said, “So truly where there is hardship there is also ease.”

Another lesson to learn is the great status of being a servant of Allah. Allah said about Prophet Muhammad, “…And revealed to Allah’s servant what He revealed.” This servitude to Allah is a form of honor and glory. This servitude is the thing that Allah wants from creature and it is the core of all Prophets’ messages. Another lesson to learn is the status of Al-Aqsa Mosque. It was the place to which the Prophet traveled on that journey, and then to the Heavens. It is the first Qiblah (direction of Prayer) for Muslims and the third mosque next to the Two Holy Mosques. We ask the Almighty Allah to support those defending it and to return it back to Muslims.

Another lesson to learn is: the great status, virtues and special significance of Prayer (Salat). When the Prophet (PBUH) ascended to the place called Sidrat Al-Muntaha in the sixth heaven, he was given three things: the five daily prayers, the last verse of Surat Al-Baqarah and the virtue that any one of the Prophet’s followers who died worshipping Allah alone without any partners will have his sins forgiven.

Another lesson to learn is: there are common bonds among religions. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.” Allah gathered all Prophets (peace be upon them all) on that night and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) led them in prayer, and they welcomed and praised him. Another lesson here is: making use of the available means. When the Prophet (PBUH) reached Jerusalem, he tethered Al-Buraq, as he said, “So I tethered it to the ring used by Prophets.” Another lesson is to ascertain the truthfulness of one’s belief. When the people of Mecca told Abu Bakr, “your friend claimed that he had a night journey to Jerusalem and retuned back before morning,” he asked them, “did he truly said so?” they replied, “yes”. He replied, “I do believe him. I believe him in what is greater…the Divine message.” This was why he was called Al-Siddeeq (the Testifier to the Truth).

With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you

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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his household, Companions and followers!

Muslim brothers,

In addition to this blessed journey, Surat Al-Israa’ spoke about kindness to one’s parents, as the Almighty Allah said, “And We have commanded people to be kind to their parents.” A special focus in Islam is given to kindness to one’s mother due to her endeavor in pregnancy, breastfeeding and upbringing. The Almighty Allah said, “We have commanded people to be good to their parents: their mothers carried them, with strain upon strain.” Once a person came to Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and asked, “Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (PBUH) said, “Your mother”. He again asked, “Who next?” “Your mother,” the Prophet (PBUH) replied again. He asked, “Who next?” He (the Prophet (PBUH) said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” Thereupon, he (PBUH) said, “Then your father.” In the Islamic Shari’ah, kindness to one’s mother is a key way to get the pleasure of Allah. A man came to the Messenger of Allah asking to go out for Jihad. The Prophet (PBUH) asked him, “Is your mother still alive?’ he said: ‘Yes.’ The Prophet said: ‘Go back and take care of her.’ When the man insisted, the Prophet replied, “Woe to you! Go back and serve her, for there is Paradise.’

Gratitude to one’s mother includes being kind, honoring and pleasing her. Even after her death, one can make supplication on her behalf, asking Allah to forgive her, or give charity in her behalf. One should also be kind to his parents’ relatives. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The finest act of goodness on the part of a son is to treat his father’s friends in a kindly way.”

At the end, we stress on the necessity of obeying people of authority and the national bodies in each field. Legally, no one is allowed to speak on behalf of the state or its institutions in their areas of work.

The Ministry of Awqaf warns against following ill-intentioned voices, and calls upon everyone to receive directions and guidelines on public affairs only from the authorized platforms and official websites of the state.

O Allah! Help us to adhere to you religion; save our fathers, mothers, country, Egypt and all the world’s countries!

The Concept of Martyrdom and the Status of Martyrs

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “And the martyrs, with their Lord, will have their reward and their light.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

The Almighty Allah choses certain people from among His servants as martyrs, as He (Glory be to Him) said, “So that Allah may reveal the believers, choose martyrs from among you.” There are many virtues for martyrs. The Almighty Allah and His Angels testify that the abode of martyrs will be the Paradise; they are alive with their Lord, receiving their provision. Moreover, they witness the great bounty that their Lord has prepared for them, and they will find in the Hereafter all that Allah promised them. These and other virtues show the high status and position of martyrs for Allah says, “He will not let the deeds of those who are killed for His cause come to nothing; He will guide them and put them into a good state; He will admit them into the Paradise He has already made known to them.”

What a great deed that a man sacrifices his own soul for the sake of defending his homeland to get the status of martyrdom. It is a trade with Allah and it will never fail.  Allah says, “Allah has purchased the persons and possessions of the believers in return for the Paradise.” Thus, the status of martyrdom is one if the highest ranks in the sight of Allah.

Martyrdom for the sake of Allah has different types, the highest of which is martyrdom while confronting the enemies in defense of the nation and seeking the pleasure of Allah. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Nothing is dearer to Allah than two drops and two marks: a drop of tears shed out of fear of Allah and a drop of blood shed in Allah’s way. Regarding the two marks, they are: Marks left in the Cause of Allah and a mark left in observing one of the obligatory acts of worship of Allah, the Exalted.”

There are other forms of martyrdom that are not less than the previous one. These include any martyr who dies while protecting his nation or its assets. This includes a policeman who protects the places of worship, protects the tourists who visit our country, or protects and preserves the assets of the country. If he dies while faithfully performing his duty, then he dies for the sake of Allah. The same applies to a public official who preserves the public money, and dies while doing so.

The same applies to the one who dies while defending himself, his honor, money, or defending others and their money or honor. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who dies while defending his property is a martyr; he who dies in defense of his own life is a martyr; and he who dies on defense of his faith is a martyr, he who dies in defense of his family is a martyr.” All those persons die while defending their homeland, properties, honor or any other essences that Islam calls us to protect. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Every Muslim’s blood, property and honor are unlawful to be violated by another Muslim.”

As martyrdom is a blessing granted by Allah to the best of His servants second to Prophets, martyrs gain the best abode on the Day of Judgment. The virtues of martyrs include that: they do not suffer the throes of death. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The martyr does not sense the touch of death except as one of you senses the stinging of an ant.” They do not suffer the torture of the grave or its trial. One of the Prophet’s companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, why will the believers be tested in their graves except the martyr?” He said, “The flashing of the swords above his head is trial enough.” Moreover, the reward of their good deeds will not cease. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The actions of every dead person come to a halt with his death except the one who is on the frontier in Allah’s way. This latter’s deeds will be made to go on increasing for him till the Day of Resurrection, and he will be secure from the trials in the grave.” Martyrs will receive great reward from Allah as the Prophet (PBUH) said, “He [a martyr] is forgiven from the first drop of his blood that is shed; he is shown his place in Paradise; he is spared the torment of the grave; he is kept safe from the Great Fright (on the Day of Judgement).”

A martyr will come on the day of Judgement with the fragrance of musk. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “One who is wounded in the way of Allah-and Allah knows better who is wounded in His way-will appear on the Day of Judgment with blood oozing from his wound having the color of blood but with the fragrance of musk.”

With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you

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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his household, Companions and followers!

Muslim brothers,

Our martyrs remain memorable as examples of sacrifice, bravery, and honor. To honor them, the Almighty Allah grants them the real eternal life as He (Glory be to Him) said, “[Prophet], do not think of those who have been killed in Allah’s way as dead. They are alive with their Lord, well provided for, happy with what Allah has given them of His favor; rejoicing that for those they have left behind who have yet to join them there is no fear, nor will they grieve; [rejoicing] in Allah’s blessing and favor, and that Allah will not let the reward of the believers be lost.” Also, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Their souls are in the insides of green birds having lanterns suspended from the Throne, roaming freely in Paradise where they please, then taking shelter in those lanterns. So their Lord cast a glance at them and said: Do you wish for anything? They said: What shall we wish for when we roam freely in Paradise where we please? And thus did He do to them three times. When they say that they would not be spared from being asked [again], they said: O Lord, we would like for You to put back our souls into our bodies so that we might fight for Your sake once again. And when He saw that they were not in need of anything they were let.”

It is noteworthy that whoever hopes to be a martyr, faithfully asking Allah for that, Allah will grant him the status of a martyr. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who asks Allah for martyrdom, Allah will raise him to the high status of the martyrs, even if he dies on his bed.”

What a great reward that Allah grants to those whom He chooses as martyrs! They accompany Prophets and pious people, as Allah said, “Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be among those He has blessed: the Messengers, the truthful, those who bear witness to the truth, and the righteous- what excellent companions these are!”

O Allah! Grant Your mercy for martyrs; save our country, Egypt and all the world’s countries!

Human Values in Surat Al-Hujurat

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, ‘My Lord has guided me to a straight path, an upright religion, the faith of Abraham, a man of pure faith. He was not a polytheist.’” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, who said, “I have been sent to perfect good manners.” May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

The Glorious Qur’an is rich with many verses that fosters good manners and moral values. Indeed, there are full Surahs (Qur’anic Chapters) that establishes the ground of a society based on lofty human values, such as Surat Al-Hujurat, which calls for may values including:

Ascertaining the authenticity of news, especially when such news is related to public affairs: The Almighty Allah said, “Believers, if a troublemaker brings you news, check it first, in case you wrong others unwittingly and later regret what you have done.” Islam builds everything on certainty. In the story of Prophet Solomon (PBUH) and the Hoopoe, when the later told Prophet Solomon about the sun worshippers, describing the news as certain, Prophet Solomon did not take its speech for granted. Rather, the Qur’an tells us, “Solomon said, ‘We shall see whether you are telling the truth or lying.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said, “It is enough sin for a man to relate everything he hears.” Imam Al-Nawawi commented saying, “A person usually hears true and false news. If he relates everything he hears, then he should relate the false news.” Once, a man related to ‘Umar Ibn Abd Al-Aziz something bad about another man.  ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz said, “If you are liar, than you ae subject to the Qur’anic verse, “Believers, if a troublemaker brings you news, check it first;” and if you are truthful, then you are subject to the Qur’anic verse, “…a backbiter, slander-monger.’” If each of us pays attention to ascertain the authenticity of any news before relating it, rumors would disappear.

Among these values: avoiding backbiting. The Almighty Allah says, “Do not speak ill of people behind their backs: would any of you like to eat the flesh of your dead brother? No, you would hate it. So be mindful of Allah: Allah is ever relenting, Most Merciful.”  Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) asked the Companions, “Do you know what is backbiting? They said: Allah and His Messenger know best. Thereupon the Prophet said: Backbiting implies your talking about your brother in a manner which he does not like. It was said to him: What is your opinion if what I say about my brother is true? He said: If what you say of him is true, you in fact backbited him, and if that is not in him it is a slander.” Moreover, a person is required to defend his brother in his absence. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “If a Muslim defends his brother’s honor in his absence, Allah will protect his face from the fire of Hell on the Day of Resurrection.”

Among these values: to avoid defaming one another. This applies when such defaming is done with words or actions. The Qur’an prohibits such conduct saying, “Woe to every fault-finding and backbiter”. This covers those who defame people or give them bad nicknames. Abu Masu‘d (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said, “When we were ordered to give alms, we began to work as porters (to earn something we could give in charity). Abu `Aqil came with one half of a Sa` (special measure for food grains) and another person brought more than he did. So the hypocrites said, “Allah is not in need of the alms of this (i.e. Abu `Aqil); and this other person did not give alms but for showing off.” Then Allah revealed: – ‘Those who criticize such of the Believers who give charity voluntarily and those who could not find to give in charity except what is available to them.’ (9.79)”

It also includes not to laugh at others; a true believers should not laugh at others. Allah, Most High, says, ” O you who believe! let not (one) people laugh at (another) people perchance they may be better than they, nor let women (laugh) at (other) women, perchance they may be better than they; and do not find fault with your own people nor call one another by nicknames; evil is a bad name after faith, and whoever does not turn, these it is that are the unjust.” So, our religion prohibits us from all what harms others. One of the main traits of the true Muslim is that he should not harm others; he should be a source of good and benefit for mankind.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) bans all what harms people’s feelings either in words or action or with sign. In truth, he (PBUH) used to encourage all what elevates man. In this regard, Umm Mosa narrated that Abd Allah Ibn Masud was once mentioned in the presence of Ali who highlighted some of his virtues and then said, “One day Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud climbed a tree and his legs became visible. His legs were very skinny, so the companions started laughing. The Prophet asked: “What are you laughing at?” We said: “We laugh at his skinny legs, O messenger of Allah”. The Prophet said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! His legs will be heavier on the Balance (on the Day of Judgment) than Mount Uhud.”

With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you

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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon His slave and Messenger Muhammad (PBUH);

Muslim brothers,

One of the greatest values highlighted by Sura Al Hujurat is strengthening the bonds of fraternity and reconciliation among mankind. Allah, Most High, says: “The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you.” So, reconciliation is of the greatest values promoted by the Noble Sura and called for by our Purified Religion that lays down the foundations of a coherent, tolerant human society where the value of coexistence is promoted in an atmosphere of love and affection, away from conflict.

As far as family is concerned, the Quran instructs us to send those known for righteousness in case a conflict takes place between a husband and his wife and they are unable to settle it; Allah, Glorified is He, says: “And if you fear a breach between the two, then appoint judge from his people and a judge from her people; if they both desire agreement, Allah will effect harmony between them, surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.”

This spirit of reconciliation extends to include the entire society, so that reconciliation would prevail in it. In this regard, Allah, the Almighty, says: “There is no good in most of their secret counsels except (in his) who enjoins charity or goodness or reconciliation between people; and whoever does this seeking Allah’s pleasure, We will give him a mighty reward.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) highlights the great reward prepared by Allah for reconciling among mankind “Shall I not inform you of what is more virtuous than the rank of fasting, prayer, and charity?” They said: “But of course!” He said: “Making peace between each other. For indeed spoiling relations with each other is the eraser of religion.”

So, the true believer makes reconciliation among people a way of life that when you see him, you see good. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Some people open the door to good and close the door to evil, and some people open the door to evil and close the door to good. Glad tidings to those in whose hands Allah places they keys to good, and woe to those in whose hands Allah places the keys to evil.”

O Allah! Guide us to the best of manners, for none guides to the best of them but You; and protect me from the bad manners for none can protect us from them but You; keep our country and all the world’s countries!