Friday Sermon

Hypocrisy and Betrayal And their Danger to Individuals and Countries

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “The hypocrites, both men and women, are all the same: they order what is wrong and forbid what is right; they are tight-fisted. They have ignored Allah, so He has ignored them. The hypocrites are the disobedient ones.’” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that our Master Prophet Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger; who said, “There are three signs of a hypocrite:  When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust.” May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

There is no doubt that hypocrisy is a serious disease and a fatal problem that threatens individuals and nations. It is one of most serious inner diseases that destroys one’s faith and destroys its foundations. It is a serious social and moral scourge that threatens security, safety and stability of the society. Therfore, its danger is greater than the danger of disbelief and shirk, because it spreads, in one nation, it will dismantle it and shatter its unity.

In addition, the weapon of treason is a critical danger that threatens countires and their existence as seen throughout history. Nations that have been destroyed, torn or even disappeared have experienced this because of inner elements of traitors and agents who sold their nations. The dangers that threaten countries from inside are far greater and more serious than those from outside.

We should know, however, that hypocrisy is of two types: major and minor. The first is the major hypocrisy, which is the more dangerous. It is the hypocrisy in belief that is to show Islam and hide disbelief. A holder of this form of hypocrisy will be an eternal dweller in the Hellfire, and even will be in the lowest degree in it. The second type is the minor hypocrisy. This is the practical hypocrisy, which means the devition from good manners. It means to show righteousness and hide otherwise. This type does not bring one out of Islam in total. However, it is a path to the major  hypocrisy, if its holder does not stop it.

The Glorious Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah tell us about hypocrites and their descriptions, morals and intrigues. These matters have never changed over time, and nations. Among the most important signs of the hypocrites are:

          * Lying, breaking one’s promise, dishonesty, and being abusive in enmity. These are among the most henious qualities of hypocrites as described by the Prophet (PBUH) and they are practical manifestations of hypocrisy. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Four are the qualities which, when found in a person, make him a sheer hypocrite, and one who possesses one of them, possesses one characteristic of hypocrisy until he abandons it.  These are: When he is entrusted with something, he betrays trust; when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he acts treacherously; and when he argues, he behaves in a very imprudent, insulting manner.”  Whoever meets these qualities, or one of them, becomes a hypocrite, and these qualities negatively affect the interests of the nation and destroy it.

It is often that we see hypocrites tell lies to decieve others, as Allah said, “There is [a kind of] man whose views on the life of this world may please you [Prophet], he even calls on God to witness what is in his heart, yet he is the bitterest of opponents.” When the Qur’an speaks about hypocrisy, deception, and dishonesty, it mentions this in connection with lying. Allah says, “They seek to deceive God and the believers but they only deceive themselves, though they do not realize it. There is a disease in their hearts, to which God has added more: agonizing torment awaits them for their persistent lying.” The Prophet (PBUH) has warned us againt lying, showing its consequences saying, “Be aware frim lying. Lying leads to transgression and transgression leads to the Hell-fire. A man continues to tell lies till he is recorded with Allah as a great liar.”  The Messenger of Allah once was asked, “Can a believer be a coward?” He said, “Yes.” He was asked, “Can he be a miser?” He said, “Yes.” He was asked, “Can he be a liar?” He said, “No.” Abu Bakr al-Siddiq described the lie as treason, saying: “Truthfulness is honesty and lying is dishonesty….)

In addition, betrayal and treason severe the bonds of love, incite hatred and leads to conflict, discord and corruption in dealings. The Prophet (PBUH) showed that treachery will incur regret on the Day of Judgment saying, “For every betrayer, a flag will be raised on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be announced (publicly) ‘This is the betrayal of so-and-so, the son of so-and-so.” He (PBUH) also said, “I will contend on the Day of Resurrection against three (types of) people: one who makes a covenant in My Name and then breaks it; one who sells a free man as a slave and devours his price; and one who hires a workman and having taken full work from him, does not pay him his wages.”

One of the most dangerous types of betrayal is to betray one’s homeland for a cheap price, as the case of radical groups and their followers.

Among the attributes that Islam has warned us from are: Abusiveness in enimitty. This is the source of every evilness, and the cause of deviation from the truth. Such a person who is abusive in his enitmy will trun the truth into falsehood and vise versa. Allah says, “There is [a kind of] man whose views on the life of this world may please you [Prophet], he even calls on God to witness what is in his heart, yet he is the bitterest of opponents.” The Prophet (PBUH)  said: “The most hated person in the sight of Allah is the most quarrelsome person.”

The most accurate description of the people of hypocrisy is that they are double -faced people. Even in our time we can say they are multiple-faced people. they are the most ficious persons. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “You will find the worst among the people a double-faced person who appears to some people with one face and to others with another face.”

* Among the signs of hypocrisy is: Corruption in the land while claiming reformation: The Almighty Allah says, “When it is said to them, ‘Do not cause corruption in the land,’ they say, ‘We are only putting things right,’ but really they are causing corruption, though they do not realize it.” Corruption has many forms: To spread fear in land, to implant weakness in the hearts of the honest believers, to promote deviant ideas, misconceptions, and to spread sedition among people. The Almighty Allah says, “They would only have given you trouble if they had gone out [to battle] with you: they would have scurried around, trying to sow discord among you, and some of you would willingly have listened to them- God knows exactly who does evil.”  He, The Most High, also says, “They said to one another, ‘Do not go [to war] in this heat.’ Say, ‘Hellfire is hotter.’ If only they understood!”   and says, “God knows exactly who among you hinder others, who [secretly] say to their brothers, ‘Come and join us,’ who hardly ever come out to fight.”

The list of corruption also includes deprivation of people from their due and degrading them. Allah, the Almighty, says: “And do not deprive people of their due and do not commit abuse on earth, spreading corruption.” It also includes destruction, vandalism, killing the innocent, terrifying the safe and the secure, delaying the fulfillment of people’s needs, not shouldering the due responsibility, bribery, nepotism, and the unlawful consumption of people’s money.

Laziness in offering acts of worship; and if done, their observation is not sincerely for the sake of Allah but for showing off, especially in prayer, which is the most sublime act of worship. Allah, Most High, says: “Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little” and “And what prevents their expenditures from being accepted from them but that they have disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger and that they come not to prayer except while they are lazy and that they do not spend except while they are unwilling.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said, “No prayer is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr (dawn) prayer and the ‘Isha’ (night) prayer; and if they knew their merits, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.” Jaber ibn ‘Abd Allah also narrated that he (PBUH) said: “O people! Beware of the hidden polytheism!” The companions replied, “O Messenger of Allah! What is the hidden polytheism?” He (PBUH) replied, “The man observes his prayer in the best way ever because people watch him.”

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 the seal and last of all the Prophets and Messengers our master Muhammad (PBUH), his family and companions.

Muslim brothers,

One of the signs of hypocrisy is to ally with the enemies, with the aim of causing harm to one’s religion and country. This may take place through espionage, treachery, transforming news and information and unveiling the secrets of the country. That is to say that the hypocrite is a person who allies with the enemies of his country, causing harm thereby to the interests of his family, neighbors and relatives. Allah, Most High, says, “So you see those in whose hearts is disease hastening into [association with] them, saying, “We are afraid a misfortune may strike us.” But perhaps Allah will bring conquest or a decision from Him, and they will become, over what they have been concealing within themselves, regretful”; He, the Almighty, also says, “And indeed, there is among you he who lingers behind; and if disaster strikes you, he says, “Allah has favored me in that I was not present with them.” (72) But if bounty comes to you from Allah, he will surely say, as if there had never been between you and him any affection. “Oh, I wish I had been with them so I could have attained a great attainment.”

The hypocrite feels happiness if any evil befalls the country or its citizens; or in case a trail afflicts them; or a disease spread among them; or if they are overtaken by a disaster. Allah, the Almighty, says: “If good touches you, it distresses them; but if harm strikes you, they rejoice at it. And if you are patient and fear Allah, their plot will not harm you at all. Indeed, Allah is encompassing of what they do.”

Yet, the new hypocrites have acquired new traits including lying, treachery, betrayal, breaking covenants and promises, stirring the public opinion, betraying religion, and the new kind of deception topped by the exploitation of religion to achieve the interests of those groups that want to exploit religion to reach positions of authority disguising in different forms of superficial and political religiousness, to the extent that they believe they are the only Muslims while others are not. They do so in order to provide legal coverage for their works. In addition to all of this, those new hypocrites are characterized with betraying the country, degrading it and selling it for a cheap price.

Allah, the Almighty, has promised to punish this kind of people, affirming that His Anger will befall them in His worldly life and the hereafter. Allah, the Almighty, says: “but the evil plot does not encompass except its own people.” He, Most High, even punished the greater hypocrisy with being hesitated, unstable and frightening. Allah, the Almighty, says: “Wavering between them, [belonging] neither to the believers nor to the disbelievers. And whoever Allah leaves astray – never will you find for him a way.” He, Glorified is He, also says: “they think that every shout is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?” Not only that, but Allah has driven their hearts away from understanding His and His Messenger’s teachings, thus guidance will not penetrate into their hearts. He, the Almighty, says: “That is because they believed, and then they disbelieved; so their hearts were sealed over, and they do not understand.” As for their punishment in the hereafter, He, the Almighty, says: “And among those around you of the Bedouins are hypocrites, and [also] from the people of Madinah. They have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, [O Muhammad], do not know them, [but] We know them. We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment.” The first punishment is thus in this life while the second will be in the grave. As for the greater one, it will be in the hereafter when He, Most High, will gather the hypocrites with other wrong-doers in the Hell-fire. He, the Almighty, says: “Indeed Allah will gather the hypocrites and disbelievers in Hell all together.” He, the Almighty, also says: “Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire – and never will you find for them a helper – (145) Except for those who repent, correct themselves, hold fast to Allah, and are sincere in their religion for Allah, for those will be with the believers. And Allah is going to give the believers a great reward.”

For the sake of protecting the country, its being, cohesion and safety, the watchful eyes of its sincere sons should be alert. Also, the efforts of all the noble people should be promoted to eradicate the treacherous, the spies and those who convey secrets to the criminal enemies; they should be disgraced before all people, so that they would be an admonition for anyone who thinks of following the path of treachery and betrayal, to protect our religion, country, honors, souls and our and our children’s future, as well as to please Allah and protect our country from being afflicted with such atrocities that afflicted those countries that neglected facing the treacherous and spies thinking this is an easy matter while it is not as shown clearly in the countries’ history.

Etiquettes, Society Public Rights and their Impact on the Development of the Society and Constructing its Civilization

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Say, ‘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, “My Lord has taught me good manners and He has taught me in the best way.” May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

Islam has come with an integrated approach that regulates man’s relationship with his Lord, other people, and the whole universe. The Islamic Shari’ah is rich with many etiquettes and good manners that contribute to the progress and prosperity of the society. From these manners is: The etiquettes of seeking permission to enter a place. Islam has ordered us to seek a permission making this etiquette a means to protect people’s privacy, as  the Almighty Allah says, “Believers, do not enter other people’s houses until you have asked permission to do so and greeted those inside- that is best for you: perhaps you will bear this in mind.” The Prophet (PBUH) taught us the etiquettes of seeking permission, including starting with salutation and then mentioning your name. Once, a man asked the Prophet’s permission (to enter the house). When he was in the house, he said:  May I enter? The Prophet (PBUH) said to his servant: Go out to this (man) and teach him how to ask permission to enter the house, and say to him:  “Say:  Peace be upon you. May I enter?” The man heard it and said:  Peace be upon you! May I enter? The Prophet (PBUH) permitted him and he entered. Also, Jabir narrated that, “Once, I sought permission to enter upon the Prophet (PBUH), so he said: ‘Who is this?’ I said:  ‘Me.’ The Prophet replied, “Me, me!’It seemed that he disliked that.”

Also, from the ettiquetes of seeking permission is to lower one’s gaze and not to look inside the house. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Seeking permission to enter (somebody’s house) has been prescribed in order to restrain the eyes (from looking at something we are not supposed to look at).” Also, Sa’d Ibn Ubadah narrated that once he sought permission to enter a house while he was standing in front of the door, so the Prophet (PBUH) said to him “when you seek permission to enter a house, do not stand in front of the door.” It is reported that whenever the Prophet wanted to seek a permission to enter a house, he would not stand in front of the door. Rather, he would stand to the right of the left side.

Another moral that Islam urged us to have is: the etiquettes of streets and public places: Islam stated that there are etiquettes that must be followed in streets. The Prophet (PBuh) said, “Avoid sitting by the road side.” The people then said, “O Allah’s Messenger, we cannot do without those meeting places in which we converse.” So he (PBUH) said, “If you have to sit at all, then fulfil the road its due rights.” They asked, ‘What are the road’s due rights?’  He replied, “Keeping the eye downward (so that you may not stare at the women), refraining from doing harm to the other and exchanging mutual greetings, and commanding the good and forbidding the evil.”Also, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Faith has over seventy branches – or over sixty branches – the uppermost of which is the declaration that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah; and the least of which is the removal of harmful objects from the road, and modesty is a branch of faith.”

Thus, one who uses the road or public facilities, should not speak loudly, annoy others, laugh openly or throw rubbish in streets. Rather, he has to put rubbish in the specified places. Also, he should not busy the roads or harm the bystanders, either through verbal or actual harassment.

Also, from the good manners is cleanliness. Islam made cleanliness and purification of the body, clothes and places an integral part of its rulings, for being intrinsic human nature and civilizational values. This is why Islam urged people to adopt a number of good manners that keeps one’s appearance good and pleasing. Allah praised those to keep themselves clean saying, “God loves those who turn to Him, and He loves those who keep themselves clean.” Also, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Indeed Allah is good and he loves what is good; and He is clean and He loves cleanliness…” He (PBUH) also said, “Purity is half of faith…’  Once, He (PBUH) saw a dishevelled man whose hair was untidy. He said: Could this man not find something to tidy his hair? He saw another man wearing dirty clothes and said: Could this man not find something to wash his garments with.”

The Prophet (PBUH) also urged people to clean their teeth in order to keep a good smell of their mouths and not to harm others. He(PBUH) said, “Had I not thought it difficult for my followers, I would have commanded them to use the siwak (tooth-stick) before every Prayer.”

These manners also include the etiquettes of dialogue. Dialogue is one of the means of developing acquaintance with others and correcting concepts. Islam has opened the door to dialogue among all peopl as a way to reach the truth without and any restriction or coercion. However, such dialogue should be away from taunting others, mocking them, or despising them. The Almighty Allah said, “And argue with them in the best manner.” and said, “[Prophet], tell My servants to say what is best.”Also, the Prophet said, “A true believer does not taunt or curse or abuse or talk indecently.” Thus, dialogue should be based on objective and authentic foundations that take the current circumstances into consideration.

These manners also include: to ascertain the authenticity of any news. 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.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Deliberation comes from Allah and Haste comes from Satan.” In another Hadith he (PBUH) said, “Deliberation should be in everything except in the actions of the next world.” He also said, “It is an enough sin for a man to relate everything he hears.”  This includes to avoid narrating rumors or speaking about them, as this leads to promoting them.Allah said, “That you took it up with your tongues, and say with your mouths things you did not know [to be true], thinking it was trivial, but to God, it was very serious.” and The Prophet said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him not harm his neighbour; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him speak good or remain silent.”

Also, Lowering the Voice is one of the general etiquettes laid down by Islam. It means that man should not raise his voice beyond what is usual, especially in the presence of those who are of a higher position. The Quran records Luqman’s pieces of advice to his son, “And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” Allah, the Almighty, also praises those who lower their voices, especially in the Prophet’s presence. He, the Almighty, says: “Indeed, those who lower their voices before the Messenger of Allah – they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for righteousness. For them is forgiveness and great reward.”

Guiding the Lost is also one of these etiquettes; it means guiding him to the right direction through description or sending someone to guide him. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Beware of sitting on roads (ways).” The people said: “We have but them as sitting places.” Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “If you have to sit there, then observe the rights of the way”. They asked, “What are the rights of the way?” He (PBUH) said, “To lower your gaze (on seeing what is illegal to look at), and (removal of harmful objects), returning greetings, enjoining good, forbidding wrong and guiding the lost.”

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

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that our Master Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, companions and whoever follows his guidance to the Day of Judgment.

Muslim brothers:

There are other etiquettes and manners that Muslims should adhere to, including helping the needy which is considered as one of the most important and sublime acts in Islam. Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you.” The Companions replied, “How can we bring forth all of these (numbers of) charity, O Messenger of Allah?” He (PBUH) said: “The doors to good are many, including glorification of Allah, praising Him, saying “Allah is Great”, saying “there is no god deserved to be worshipped but Allah”, enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, conveying the message to deaf, guiding the blind, (helping people to) meet their needs, exert your utmost with those in dire need, and give aid to the weak as far as you can; all of these are acts of charity for yourself.” (Sahih Ibn Hibban)

The list of these etiquettes and manners also include giving hand to the weak and those of special needs. It goes without saying that social integration achieves the interest of the rich more than that of the poor, as it established balance in life. This is supported by Imam ‘Ali’s (may Allah be pleased with him) statement, “Allah, the Almighty, assigned particular portions in the rich’s properties as the provision of the poor; so if the poor get hungry, this will be the result of the rich’s misery, and Allah will for sure hold them accountable for that.” In truth, this care means a lot since it is viewed as a due right for the poor on the society. Allah, the Almighty, is near to those people with broken hearts and shows mercy to those who are merciful to His slaves, which is why a Muslim should not belittle any good deed even if it is a good word. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Do not consider any act of goodness as being insignificant even if it is meeting your brother with a cheerful face” and “You gain no victory or livelihood except through (the blessings and invocations of) the poor amongst you”; for Allah helps the one who helps his brother.

The list further includes showing respect to the elder; a point which is realized through dignifying him and not to humiliate him, for his old age and precedence to Islam should be taken into account. The elder should, on the other hand, be merciful and compassionate to the young. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “If a Muslim respects an old man, Allah will provide him with someone who shows respect to him when he gets old.” This actually shows how Islam is merciful, tolerant and just, to the extent that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated clearly that showing respect to the elder, memorizers of the Qur’an and fair rulers are different forms of glorifying Allah, the Almighty, “Glorifying Allah involves showing honor to a grey-haired Muslim and to one who can expound the Qur’an, but not to one who acts extravagantly regarding it, or turns away from it, and showing honor to a just ruler.” He (PBUH) also said: “He is not one of us who does not have mercy upon our young, respect our elders, and command good and forbid evil”.

The correct understanding of the tolerance of Islam indicates that showing respect is not confined only to Muslims of old age, for it has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has given charity to a Jewish family. Also, ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz is reported to have written to his governor in Basra saying, “search for the old, weak and poor from among the people with whom we have covenants, and give them out from the Muslim House of Treasury what meets their needs.”

Society’s members shall take care of its general interests; this is one of the society’s due rights upon its members. If we take the issue of overpopulation as an example, we have to highlight two points: first: some people consider their financial ability only, not paying any attention to the material and educational ones, as well as all kinds of care. It is not also the individual ability of the member that shall be considered; rather it goes far beyond that to capabilities of countries that shoulder the responsibility of providing the services that cannot be provided by the individuals of the society, which means that the condition and capability of the State is one of the most important factors that should be taken into account as far as population is concerned. It is true that he deserves not to live that person who wants to live for the sake of himself alone. So, uncontrolled overpopulation exerts bad impact not only on the individuals or the family but also on those countries that do not consider the findings of science in addressing the problem of overpopulation.

Second: few but strong people are better than the many but weak people referred to by the Prophet (PBUH) as “the scum”. That is because the uncontrolled population may result in extraordinary conditions that in turn hinder some countries from providing the basics of health, education and infrastructure; it also leads us to look like the scum. In fact, a man with sound intellect realizes that the most essential point is relating to the how-know. At that point, we can clearly state that the few but strong people are one thousand times better than the many but weak ones.

That is because in case large numbers of people do not cause but weakness, ignorance, backwardness and which are but heavy burden on the state, it is but as d

The Spirit of Collective work…and Its Guiding Principles

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Say [Prophet], ‘Take action! Allah will see your actions- as will His Messenger and the believers- and then you will be returned to Him who knows what is seen and unseen, and He will tell you what you have been doing.”I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His votary 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 never happened that a nation was built by speech and slogans. Rather, nations are built through knowledge, giving, and sacrifices. At the top of the means of building nations is the serious and dedicated work, as the Almighty says, “Say [Prophet], ‘Take action! God will see your actions- as will His Messenger and the believers- and then you will be returned to Him who knows what is seen and unseen, and He will tell you what you have been doing.” and as our Prophet (PBUH) said, “Allah likes when someone performs and action to perfect it.” Thus, both religiousmness and patriotism require us to work hard and exert serious effort for raising productivity,; our religion is the religion of earnest endeavour and perfection.

 If the individual is the key element to build a society, his real role will not be complete except through cooperation with the whole society. A person alone can accomplish some work, but to add his intellectual activities to his brothers’, and combine his work with that of others, the output will be much greater and more effective than individual work. This is why Islam has praised collective work and identified it a key foundation for the establishment of nations and civilizations. Collective work unifies efforts and makes use of collective energies to achieve the common iterest of the whole siciety. The Almight Allah says, “Help one another to do what is right and good; do not help one another towards sin and hostility.”

When we contemplate the Qur’an, we find that there are many verses calling to the collective work. For Example, when calling people to worship Him, the Almighty Allah says, “People, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, so that you may be mindful [of Him].”  Also, with regard to prayer, the most importnat rite of Islam, Allah says, “And Perform prayer” with the plural pattern of the verb “perfom”. Also, Allah says, “Believers, bow down, prostrate yourselves, worship your Lord, and do good so that you may succeed.”  Also, Allah addressed the Prophet (PBUH) saying, “Content yourself with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His approval, and do not let your eyes turn away from them out of desire for the attractions of this worldly life: do not yield to those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our Qur’an, those who follow their own low desires, those whose ways are unbridled.” Allah, The Exalted, also says, “Hold fast to God’s rope all together.”  In addition, Allah has warned us against disunity saying, “Obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not quarrel with one another, or you may lose heart and your spirit may desert you. Be steadfast: God is with the steadfast.”

There is no doubt that performing acts with such spirit of collective work will increase fraternity and strengthen the relations among individuals of the same society, and in such a way they come to materialize Allah’s saying, “This community of yours is one single community.” This is a menifestation of the saying of the Prophet when he said, “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.” When a wise man wanted to teach his sons the importance of unity and that it is the cause of strength and to warn them against disunity which is the cause of weakness, he brought a bundle of sticks, and asked “Who can break this bundle?  They tried but failed. Then, he asked them to untie them and gave each one a stick, and they were able to break it easily.

The man said:

When united, sticks are too hard to break,

but when separated, they will be broken one by one

The Glorious Qur’an gave us many examples that encourage collective work and show its impact on achieving the great goals. Here is the Example of Prophet Ibraheem (PBUH) when Allah ordered him to build the Kabah.
Ibrahim said to his son Isma’il: ‘O Isma’il! Allah has given me an order.’ Isma’il said: ‘Do what your Lord has commanded you to do.’ Ibrahim asked: ‘Will you help me?’ Isma’il said: ‘I will help you.’ Ibrahim said: ‘Allah has ordered me to build a house of worship here. Then they raised the foundations of the House (i.e., Ka’bah). Isma’il brought the stones and Ibrahim was building (the house).
The Qur’an reported this story sayin “As Abraham and Ishmael built up the foundations of the House [they prayed], ‘Our Lord, accept [this] from us. You are the All Hearing, the All Knowing.”

In Surat Al-Kahf, the Almighty Allah tells us about the just King Dhul Qarnayn when he passed by a group of a strange people. They asked him for his help, and he responded positively on the condition that they cooperate with him. They worked as one hand till they built such huge building that protected them from Gog and Magog. Allah says, “Then, when he reached a place between two mountain barriers, he found beside them a people who could barely understand him. They said, ‘Dhu ’l-Qarnayn, Gog and Magog are ruining this land. Will you build a barrier between them and us if we pay you a tribute?’ He answered, ‘The power my Lord has given me is better than any tribute, but if you lend me your strength, I will put up a fortification between you and them:  bring me lumps of iron!’ and then, when he had filled the gap between the two mountainsides [he said], ‘Work your bellows!’ and then, when he had made it glow like fire, he said, ‘Bring me molten metal to pour over it!’ Their enemies could not scale the barrier, nor could they pierce it.”

Prophet Moses (PBUH), Allah’s interlocutor, asked Allah, Most High, to support him with his brother Aaron (PBUH), so that he would sustain and back him in performing the mission assigned to him by Allah, the Ever Exalted. Referring to this fact, Allah, the Almighty, says: “[Moses] said, “My Lord, expand for me my breast [with assurance] (25) And ease for me my task (26) And untie the knot from my tongue (27) That they may understand my speech. (28) And appoint for me a minister from my family – (29) Aaron, my brother. (30) Increase through him my strength (31) And let him share my task (32) That we may exalt You much (33) And remember You much. (34) Indeed, You are of us Ever Seeing.”

Also, whoever carefully examines the Biography of the Prophet (PBUH) would discover that the life of the Prophet (PBUH) witnessed brilliant chapters of cooperation, participation and collective work between him and his companions. In this regard, ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan (Allah be pleased with him) said: “We have accompanied the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) in his journeys and at home; and he used to support us with the little and the much.”

The Prophet (PBUH) furthermore used to help them in work and buildings, and used to urge them to gather together and to divide. About the battle of Al-Khandaq(i.e. the Trench), Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Azeb (Allah be pleased with him) said: “I saw the Prophet (PBUH) carrying dust with us on the Day of the Battle of Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) and I saw that the dust was covering the whiteness of his Abdomen, and he (the Prophet (PBUH) ) was saying, “(O Allah)! Without You, we would not have been guided, nor would we have given in charity, nor would we have prayed. So (O Allah!) please send tranquility (Sakina) upon us as they, (the chiefs of the enemy tribes) have rebelled against us. And if they intend affliction (i.e. want to frighten us and fight against us) then we would not (flee but withstand them). And the Prophet (PBUH) used to raise his voice with it.”

Also, when our Master Salman Al-Farisi (Allah be pleased with him) wanted to plant three hundred palm tree to set himself from slavery, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said to the companions: “Help your brother.” Salman said, “They helped me with palm trees; the man would bring thirty palm trees; another would bring twenty; a third would bring fifteen; and the others brought according to their ability until I collected the three hundred palm trees. Then, the Prophet (PBUH) ordered me to dig for them, and said, ‘When you finished, come to me so that I would plant them myself.’ Salman continued, “I dug for them and my companions aided me; when we finished, I went to him (PBUH) and told him upon which he (PBUH) went with me; and we started to set the trees to him and he used to plant them with his hand.”

In this connection, he (PBUH) praised Al-Ash‘ariyin for their spirit of collective work that prevailed most of their behaviors and actions even in the most difficult situations; he (PBUH) said about them, “When the people of Ash‘ari tribe ran short of food during the holy battles, or the food of their families in Medina ran short, they would collect all their remaining food in one sheet and then distribute it among themselves equally by measuring it with a bowl. So, these people are from me, and I am from them.”

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

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness that there is no god deserved to be worshipped but Allah; and I bear witness that our master Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, companions and whoever follows their guidance to the Day of Judgment.

Muslim brothers:

Collective work that we are aspiring to is that one that builds, not destroys, and that gathers, not divides. It is that work that is based on legal foundations like solidarity between the members of the society in a way that won’t make us see any hungry or needy persons in the society; it is that work that is based on educational foundations like scientists’ cooperation with each other in their scientific research, or like students’ cooperation in their academic and scholarly achievements; it is that kind of work based on national foundations like working for achieving the progress of the country in all fields.

It is not that kind of work that is based on destructive calls that call for killing, destruction, blood-shedding, and destruction of countries and the attempts to weaken them or make them collapse; these calls that are based on lying, defamation and forging the truth, and that don’t consider religion, or a country or conscience.

The collective work we are aspiring to is the constructive work that is for the benefit of religion, country and humanity- these integrated items that cannot dispense with one another. We are actually in a dire need to entrench this spirit in the minds of our children and to turn it into a way of life according to which they should act, so that love and harmony would prevail among the members of the one society, and our nation would achieve the highest ranks on all levels. We affirm meanwhile that when the spirit of collective work prevails among the Egyptians, they could turn what others view impossible a reality.

O Allah! Make us secure in our countries, guide our rulers (to the right), and protect our countries from the treachery of the treacherous and the corruption of the corrupt!

Moderation and Facilitation as Manifestations of Greatness of the Islamic Shari’ah

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “God wants ease for you, not hardship.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger; who said, “I have been sent with the easy and pure monotheism.” 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 goes without saying that the manifestations of greatness of the Islamic Shari’ah are very numerous, and at the top of this greatness come the moderation and facilitation in their purest meanings. Thus, in the Shari’ah one finds not any hardship, strictness, or difficulty. These treat features should not be questioned due to the acts of some of extremists who think that religiousness requires adopting rigour and strictness in practicing Islam, and thus they introduced extremist approaches that attracted many people under the slogan of religiousness and precaution. In this way, extremism became a field for them to compete. It was as if their slogan is “much extremism means much religiousness and piety to the Almighty Allah.” This proves only that they are ignorant of the greatness of this religion, its moderation and kindness, as the Almighty Allah says, “and placed no hardship in your religion, the faith of your forefather Abraham. Allah has called you Muslims––both in the past and in this [message]––so that the Messenger can bear witness about you and so that you can bear witness about other people.” And our Prophet (PBUH)  said, “This religion is easy, and no one will ever overburden himself in religion, except that it will overcome him. So, follow a middle course (in worship); if you can’t do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings, and gain strength by worshipping Allah in the mornings, afternoons, and during the last hours of the nights.”

 What a great statement by ufyan al-Thawry when he said, “Knowledge for us means knowledge of the concession (rukhsah) stated by a trustworthy scholar.
As for strictness, anyone can show strictness.”

Tolerance in Islamic Sahri’ah is not a word to be said, or a slogan that is raised, but it is a divine approach, and one of the principles that the Almighty treats His servants with, and orders us to promote among themselves. He, the Exalted, said: “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear,” and He said, “Allah wants ease for you not hardship.” Also, He the Most High, said, “Allah wishes to lighten your burden; man was created weak.”

And in the clearest verse to show Allah’s forgiveness, the Glorious Qur’an says, “Say, ‘[Allah says], My servants who have harmed yourselves by your own excess, do not despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” and He, the Almighty, says, “Your Lord is the Most Forgiving, and full of mercy.” And in a nother verse, He says, “unless they repent, make amends, and declare the truth. I will certainly accept their repentance: I am the Ever Relenting, the Most Merciful.”

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “When Allah created the creations, He wrote on His Throne:  ‘My Mercy has preceded My Anger.’” And in a Qudsi Hadith, Allah says, “O son of Adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven, then you ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earthload of forgiveness.”

The Almighty Allah has called His servants to pardon and forgive others in many occasions in His Glorious Qur’an. for example, Allah says, “Be tolerant and command what is right: pay no attention to foolish people.” He, Glory be to Him, also said, “Good and evil cannot be equal. [Prophet], repel evil with what is better and your enemy will become as close as an old and valued friend, but only those who are steadfast in patience, only those who are blessed with great righteousness, will attain to such goodness.” He also says, “Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Allah is most forgiving and merciful.”

There is no doubt that when reviewing the life of the Prophet (PBUH) we will be certain that he (PBUH) was the best example of humanness, tolerance and facilitation. In this regard, Aishah said, “Whenever the Prophet (PBUH) was given an option between two things, he used to select the easier of the tow as long as it was not sinful; but if it was sinful, he would remain far from it. By Allah, he never took revenge for himself concerning any matter that was presented to him, but when Allah’s Limits were transgressed, he would take revenge for Allah’s Sake.”

Let’s review some examples of his (PBUH) life in calling to Allah with wisdom and good admonition. Anas Ibn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I was with the Prophet (PBUH) when a man came and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have committed a sin liable of ordained punishment. So execute punishment on me.” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) did not ask him about it, and then came the (time for) prayers. So he performed Prayer with Messenger of Allah (PBUH). When Messenger of Allah (PBUH) finished Prayer, the man stood up and said:  “O Messenger of Allah! I have committed a sin. So execute the Ordinance of Allah upon me.”He (PBUH) asked, “Have you performed Prayer with us?” “Yes”, he replied. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Verily, Allah has forgiven you.”

And Abu Hurairah said: A bedouin urinated in the mosque and some people rushed to beat him up. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Leave him alone and pour a bucket of water over it. You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult.”

Also Aishah reported that a child was brought to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and he it urinated on the garment of the Prophet. The Prophet (PBUH) asked for water and poured it over the soiled place.

Mu’awiyah Ibn Al-Hakam As-Sulami (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I was praying with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). A man in the company sneezed, and I said: May Allah have mercy on you! The people gave me disapproving looks, so I said: “May my mother lose me! Why are you staring at me?” Thereupon, they began to strike their thighs with their hands. When I saw them urging to me to remain silent, I became angry but restrained myself. When Messenger of Allah (PBUH) concluded his Prayer, I have never before seen an instructor who gave better instruction than he, may my father and mother be sacrificed for him. He neither remonstrated me, nor beat me, nor abused me. He simply said, “It is not permissible to talk during Prayer because it is just for glorifying Allah, declaring His Greatness as well as recitation of the Qur’an.”

There is no doubt that if we carefully examine the Book of our Lord, Glory be to Him, and the Sunnah of our Prophet (PBUH), we will certainly find different kinds of tolerance, easiness and forbearance that totally eliminate all forms of extremism and violence from which our World suffers today. For example, as far as creed is concerned, we find that Islam did not force compel anyone to embrace it; on the contrary, it guarantees freedom of belief for everyone. He, Most High, says: “There shall be no compulsion in religion;” and “And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force men till they become believers?”

As for acts of worship, the Prophet (PBUH) called for easiness, facilitation and keeping away from fanaticism; he (PBUH) is reported to have said: “O people! Some of you make others dislike the prayer, so whoever becomes an Imam he should shorten the prayer, as behind him are the weak, the old and the needy.” Also, when some people complained to him (PBUH) that Mu’adh (may Allah be pleased with him) elongated the prayer, he (PBUH) instructed him, saying: “Do you want to cause hardship to the people? O Mu’adh! Do you want to cause hardship to the people, O Mu’adh? Why don’t you recite: ‘Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High’ and ‘By the sun and its brightness’ and the like?’” In another narration (for the same Hadith), he (PBUH) is reported to have said: “Praying behind you are the old, the weak and the needy.” Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, “Once the Prophet (PBUH) entered the Mosque and saw a rope hanging in between its two pillars. He said, “What is this rope?” The people said, “This rope is for Zainab who, when she feels tired, holds it (to keep standing for the prayer.)” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Don’t use it. Remove the rope. You should pray as long as you feel active, and when you get tired, sit down.” Furthermore, Jabir Ibn ‘Abd Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “We set out on a journey. One of our people was hurt by a stone that injured his head. He then had a wet dream. He asked his fellow travelers: ‘Do you find a concession for me to perform tayammum (dry ablution)?’ They said: ‘We do not find any concession for you while you can use water.’ He took a bath and died. When we came to the Prophet (PBUH), the incident was reported to him. He said: ‘They killed him, may Allah kill them! Could they not ask when they did not know? The cure for ignorance is inquiry. It was enough for him to perform tayammum and to pour some drops of water or bind a bandage over the wound (the narrator Musa was doubtful); then he should have wiped over it and washed the rest of his body.” Also, when ‘Umran Ibn Husayin (may Allah be pleased with him) suffered fistula, he (PBUH) instructed him and said: “Perform prayer standing; if you cannot, then sitting; and if you cannot then while lying on your side.’” He (PBUH) further said, “The earth has been made for me (and my followers) a place for praying and something with which to perform Tayammum (to purify oneself for prayer). Therefore, anyone (of my followers) can pray (anywhere) and at any time that the prayer is due.” In truth, the Prophet (PBUH) has is a practical personification of tolerance, so that it became a brilliant image that bears witness to the greatness of Islam. For instance, we find him (PBUH) saying about prayer- the greatest of the religion’s rituals-, “When I start the prayer I intend to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child, I cut it short because I know that the cries of the child will incite its mother’s passions.”

As far as transactions are concerned, the Islamic Sharia recommended tolerance, easiness and alleviating hardship and embarrassment from among people in selling, buying and asking for due debts. Allah, the Almighty, says: “O you who believe! Do not devour your property among yourselves falsely, except that it be trading by your mutual consent; and do not kill your people; surely Allah is Merciful to you;” and “And if (the debtor) is in strait-ness, then let there be postponement until (he is in) ease; and that you remit (it) as alms is better for you, if you knew.” In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “May Allah have mercy on a person who is lenient when he sells, lenient when he buys, and lenient when he asks for payment.” Being tolerance in selling means that the seller shall not be a miser, who takes too much profit, who monopolizes his commodity and who defrauds the weight, while tolerance in buying means that the buyer shall be easy with the seller and that he shall not diminish things to people. As for tolerance when asking for debt, it means that a man shall be lenient and gentle when asking for his debt.

The Prophet (PBUH) told that tolerance in transactions is a cause for attaining safety in the Hereafter. He (PBUH) says: “A man was admitted into the Paradise because he showed tolerance at time of selling and buying.” He (PBUH) also said: “A man from among those who were before you was called to account. Nothing in the way of good was found for him except that he used to have dealings with people and, being well-to-do, he would order his servants to let off the man in straitened circumstances [from repaying his debt].” He (PBUH) then said, “Allah said, ‘We are worthier than you of that (of being so generous). Let him off.’” Furthermore, he (PBUH), telling about some scenes of the Day of Resurrection, said: “Allah, Most High, would say to the Angels, “Look in the Fire! Do you find anyone who did a good deed?” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “They looked in the Fire and actually found a man to whom it will be said, “Have you ever done a good deed?” The man would reply, “No, but I used to show tolerance in selling, whereupon Allah, Most High, would say: “Show my servant tolerance as he showed tolerance to my servants.”

With that aid, I ask Allah to forgive me and you.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness that there is no god deserved to be worshipped but Allah; and I bear witness that our master Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, companions and whoever follows their guidance to the Day of Judgment.

Muslim brothers,

The principle of tolerance in Islam is not restricted to the point of dealing with Muslims each other, but rather it is a comprehensive way of life that covers all people. Our Lord, Glory be to Him, ordered his believing slaves to kindly deal with all mankind, “and you shall speak to people good words’” and “Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.” A sheep was once slaughtered for ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Umar when he asked his slave, “Have you given any to our Jewish neighbor? Have you given any to our Jewish neighbor? I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “Jibril kept on recommending that I treat my neighbors well until I thought that he would order me to treat them as my heirs.’”

Tolerance of the soul is another kind of tolerance; it means that it should be generous and to do good to all mankind. Imam Al-Shafe’i (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:

Conceal yourself with generosity for                   everything is by generosity concealed

Don’t show humiliation to the enemies               for the enemies’ mockery is affliction

Don’t expect a miser to show tolerance for         a thirsty will not find water in the fire

O Allah! Grand us the correct understanding of our religion; guide us (to the Right Path) and use us as guides; and make us a means for others’ guidance