Friday Sermon

Attaining the Merit of Being with the Almighty Allah: Its Causes and Benefits

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “It was He who created the heavens and earth in six Days and then established Himself on the throne. He knows what enters the earth and what comes out of it; what descends from the sky and what ascends to it. He is with you wherever you are; He sees all that you do.” 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.

Being with the Almighty Allah is a merit that gives the meaning of observance and the meaning of support. The first means that He, Glory be to Him, observes all of His creation, as He says, “He has the keys to the unseen: no one knows them but Him. He knows all that is in the land and sea. No leaf falls without His knowledge, nor is there a single grain in the darkness of the earth, or anything, fresh or withered, that is not written in a clear Record.” The Almighty Allah also says, “Do you not see [Prophet] that Allah knows everything in the heavens and earth? There is no secret conversation between three people where He is not the fourth, nor between five where He is not the sixth, nor between less or more than that without Him being with them, wherever they may be. On the Day of Resurrection, He will show them what they have done: Allah truly has full knowledge of everything.” Allah also says, “How could He who created not know His own creation, when He is the Most Subtle, the All Aware?”

As for the second meaning, i.e. the meaning of support and preservation, it is devoted to Messengers, Prophets, and righteous people from among Allah’s servants. The Glorious Qur’an refers to this sort of being with Allah in several occasions. For example, the Qur’an speaks about this sort when speaking about the two Prophets – Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them)- as the Almighty Allah says,Go, you and your brother, with My signs, and make sure that you remember Me. Go, both of you, to Pharaoh, for he has exceeded all bounds. Speak to him gently so that he may take heed, or show respect. ’They said, ‘Lord, we fear he will do us great harm or exceed all bounds.’ He said, ‘Do not be afraid, I am with you both, hearing and seeing everything.”  This is also the sort of being with Allah which Prophet Moses (PBUH) spoke about when, “ Moses’ followers said, ‘We shall definitely be caught.’ Moses said, ‘No, my Lord is with me: He will guide me.”

It is the merit that Allah gave to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his Companion Abu Bakr As-Siddiq during the Migration, as Abu Bakr said,I was in the company of the Prophet (PBUH) in the cave, and on seeing the traces of the pagans, I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) If one of them (pagans) should lift up his foot, he will see us.” He said, “What do you think of two, the third of whom is Allah?” In this regard, the Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an, “Even if you do not help the Prophet, Allah helped him when the disbelievers drove him out: when the two of them were in the cave, he [Muhammad] said to his companion, ‘Do not worry, Allah is with us,’ and Allah sent His calm down to him, aided him with forces invisible to you, and brought down the disbelievers’ plan. Allah’s plan is higher: Allah is almighty and wise.”

What a great merit that a servant attains the merit of being with the Almighty Allah. In such case, a servant will pay no attention to those who support him or attack him. In order that such merit be fulfilled, one must follow the due paths and must attain the necessary means. At the top of these means are: believing in Allah. Allah says, “Verily, Allah is with the believers.” The requirements of believing in Allah include as the Prophet (PBUH) said, “To believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in Qadar (destiny), the good and bad of it.” True belief means that one should reflect the manifestation of belief in his conduct, as the Prophet (PBUH) said, “The true Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and the true believer is the one from whom the people’s lives and wealth are safe.”

These paths also include: piety and benevolence. The Almighty Allah says, “For Allah is with those who are mindful of Him and who do good” and says, “and know that He is with those who are mindful of Him,” and “Verily, Allah is with the Benevolent.”. Piety means to do all that which pleases Allah and avoid any thing that displeases Him. It is a comprehensive word that encompasses all good things. The Glorious Qur’an showed us the meaning of Piety saying, “Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards East or West. The truly good are those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to their relatives, to orphans, the needy, travellers and beggars, and to liberate those in bondage; those who keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms; who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity, and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are pious.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Do not harbour grudge against one another, nor jealousy, nor enmity; and become as fellow brothers and slaves of Allah. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He should neither oppress him nor humiliate him. The piety is here! The piety is here!” While saying so he pointed towards his chest. “It is enough evil for a Muslim to look down upon his Muslim brother. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in Faith: his blood, his wealth and his honour.

As far as Ihsan (i.e. benevolence) is concerned, the Prophet (PBUH) elucidates on its essence, saying: “Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not achieve this state of devotion, then (take it for granted that) Allah sees you.” By this, man becomes fully aware that Allah, Most High, is ever watching and that He, Glorified is He, never neglects anything, for He fully knows man’s actions, be they done in public or in secrecy, “Does he not know that Allah does see?”

Also, one of the means that enables man to be admitted into the Companionship of Allah, Most High, is patience. He, Most High, says: “And be patient; surely Allah is with the patient”; “and give good news to the patient, (155) Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah’s and to Him we shall surely return” and “And wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord, for surely you are before Our eyes, and sing the praise of your Lord when you rise.” In this connection, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Know that being patient to what one hates incurs considerable benefit.” Patience is defined as restricting one’s self not to show impatience, to prevent the tongue from complaining and to prevent one from being afraid. It is realized through striving against one’s self. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever has forbearance, Allah will help him. Whoever tries to be independent, Allah will enrich him. Whoever tries to be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is given a better or vaster gift than patience.”

 Being of good consciousness is also one of the reasons enabling man to be in the Companionship of Allah. People of this kind fully realize that Allah with them wherever they are: while traveling, staying at home or in seclusion, for nothing is hidden from Him, Most High. This was actually the belief of Prophet Joseph (PBUH) when the doors were tightly closed and all the means to disobey Allah were available to him, as he sought the Help of his Lord Whom he fully knew is always with him. That is why he (PBUH) said, “Surely my Lord made good my abode: Surely the unjust do not prosper.” This was actually the testimony uttered by the wife of the chief “and certainly I sought his yielding himself (to me), but he abstained.” As such, to be fully aware that Allah, Most High, is always with you is of great reward as it makes man full of fear of Allah, the Almighty, in this worldly life and thus secures His Punishment on the Day of Resurrection. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) narrated that Allah, Most High, says: “By My Power and My Majesty, I shall not make a person afraid or secure twice; whoever secures Me in the worldly life shall be frightened on the Day of Resurrection; and whoever fears Me in this life shall be secured on the Day of Resurrection.”

Mentioning the Remembrance of Allah is also one of the means enabling man to be admitted into the Companionship of Allah, “Therefore remember Me, I will remember you …” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they …”

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; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; and I bear witness that our master Prophet 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,

Being in the Companionship of Allah, Most High, will enable the person to gain great benefits in this life and the life to come. For example, he will be protected from all kinds of evil and harm. Allah, the Almighty, says: “Those to whom the people said: Surely men have gathered against you, therefore fear them, but this increased their faith, and they said: Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector”; “and whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him; surely Allah attains His purpose; Allah indeed has appointed a measure for everything” and “Is not Allah sufficient for His servant?” So, whoever truly relies on Allah, no enemy will defeat him; all his requests will be answered and all his desires will be realized. When we ponder over the Saying of Allah to Prophet Moses (PBUH) “and that you might be brought up before My Eyes”; “And I have chosen you for Myself”; “And wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord, for surely you are before Our eyes” and “and give good news to those who believe that theirs is a footing of firmness with their Lord”, we fully realize how great and virtuous is the Companionship?!

Being truly admitted into the Companionship of Allah is the most important means to the realization of serenity, tranquility and peace of mind; it enables man to keep away from all means of tension, unrest and depression. One who truly knows that all the affairs of the universe are run by the Will of Allah should not fell anxious. Allah, Most High, says: “Say, “O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent” and “Whatever Allah grants to people of mercy – none can withhold it; and whatever He withholds – none can release it thereafter. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”

In truth, being in the Companionship of Allah and being fully aware of His Greatness realize the highest levels of peace of mind, peaceful coexistence and social security. That is because if people truly know that they are not absent from His Sight, they will soundly behave and their morals will be good. As such, they will adhere to His Orders, keep away from His Prohibitions, not violate His Limits and utilize the reasons to lead a good life. In this way, one will live in peace with himself, family, neighbors, friends, society and the entire mankind.

O Allah! Admit us into Your Companionship and Victory; include us into Your Infinite Mercy and provide us with sincerity in all our affairs; protect Egypt and all the World’s countries

Unity of the Nation: the Way to Its Strength

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Hold fast to Allah’s rope all together; do not split into factions.” 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 Prophet (PBUH) came with a message calling for unity and harmony, and forbidding division and discord. In this way, he (PBUH) gathered the scattered Arabs, making them one nation, and united them with the bond of brotherhood. The Almighty Allah says “Surely, believers are brothers.” He, The Almighty, also says, “And brought their hearts together. Even if you had given away everything in the earth you could not have done this, but Allah brought them together: Allah is Mighty and Wise.” The Prophet (PBUH) has ordered Muslims to promote love, compassion and sympathy, as he said, “The example of 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.”

However, this command to be harmonious was not limited to Muslims among each other. Rather, it is a general command for all people, as the Almighty Allah says, “O mankind! We created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should recognize one another. In the sight of Allah, the most honoured of you are the ones most mindful of Him: Allah is all Knowing, all Aware.” This was what the Glorious Qur’an confirmed when it spoke about human fraternity between the Prophets and their adversaries. For example, Allah says, “To the people of ‘Ad We sent their brother, Hud;” and says, “to the people of Thamoud We sent their brother, Saleh.” He, the Almighty, also says, “To the people of Midian, We sent their brother, Shu’aib.” After narrating the stories of those Prophets, the Almighty Allah said, “This community of yours is one- and I am your Lord: be mindful of Me.” And in another verse, the Almighty Allah says, “This community of yours is one- and I am your Lord: Worship Me.” Imam Al-Baghawi said, “The Almighty Allah has sent all Prophets to establish the religion, affection, unity, and to eliminate division and dissent.”

It goes without saying that Islam’s call for unity, and the rejection of division and selfishness are factors for preserving the strength of the country and the safety of society. An individual, no matter how strong he is, will remain weak as long as he lives in a weak society. On the contrary, when a weak individual lives in a strong society, he draws his strength from strength of the society. Therefore, Islam fosters the value of citizenship, and stresses that a homeland belongs to all of its citizens. Unity of the nation requires the negation of any form of distinction between its children on the basis of religion, color, or gender.  No Arab is preferred to non-Arab, and no white man is preferred to a black one or the vise versa except with piety and righteous deeds. Hence, the Constitution of Medina between the Prophet (PBUH) and the Jews of Medina came to approve this meaning. It guaranteed for the Jews all the rights given to Muslims including liberty, security, and peace. It obliged them also to jointly defend Medina along with Muslims, as a sign of a strong assertion that the homeland in Islam gathers all citizens as long as they carry their duties and responsibilities.

Islam also fosters the value of collective work, making unity, cooperative efforts, and the rejection of differences the duty of the Muslim nation in every time and at every place. This is the command of Allah  in the Glorious Qur’an, as He, the Almighty, says, “Hold fast to Allah’s rope all together; do not split into factions” Also, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Allah is pleased with three things from you, and He is angry with three things from you. He is pleased that you worship Him and do not associate anything with Him, and that you take hold of the rope of Allah altogether, and that you give good counsel to the one to whom Allah gives command over you. He is angry with you for gossip, squandering property, and asking too many questions.” The Prophet (PBUH) set an example for the unity, cohesion and integrity of the nation saying, “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other.” He (PBUH) illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands.”

The Glorious Quran gives examples for that kind of unity that maintained the security of countries and the safety of the society. Prophet Joseph (PBUH) is a case in point; he devised a clever plan that decrees that all the inhabitants of Egypt cooperated with each other and united to realize their goals on their ground. They truly cooperated and supported each other, each according to his own capacity; they had the desire to realize their goal. They thus managed to achieve the welfare and prosperity of their country. In addition, they protected it and made it an economic power, to the extent that people from all the corners of the earth came to take from the provisions of Egypt. In this regard, Allah, Most High, says: “He said: You shall sow for seven years continuously, then what you reap leave it in its ear except a little of which you eat. (47) Then there shall come after that seven years of hardship which shall eat away all that you have beforehand laid up in store for them, except a little of what you shall have preserved: (48) Then there will come after that a year in which people shall have rain and in which they shall press (grapes).”

In the same connection, Islam calls for any matter that could help unite the nation. For example, it calls for mercy, leniency and affection. Allah, Most High, says: “Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah; surely Allah loves those who trust.” That is to say that mercy, leniency and affection are reasons for maintaining unity and bringing hearts together. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the afternoons, and during the last hours of the nights” and “I was sent with the tolerant Hanifiyyah.”

Islam also calls for spreading mercy and peace among the members of the society, irrespective of their different creeds. Allah says: “and you shall speak to men 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.” Relying on this Qur’anic order, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to kindly deal with non-Muslims, accept their gifts, answer their calls and visit their patients.

The duty of time and the Fiqh of Priorities oblige all the sincere members of the society who are fully aware of the difficulties we are facing to unite, so that their country will reach sufficiency on all levels; doctors should cooperate to meet all the needs of their country, and so are layers, engineers, farmers and teachers, etc. All of them should cooperate to develop their country; each according to his own ability and specialization; all energies and capabilities should be utilized to sever country, since this is one of the main pillars of our religion as Allah, Most High, has addressed us with the plural form that excludes none at all “He it is Who made the earth smooth for you, therefore go about in the spacious sides thereof, and eat of His sustenance, and to Him is the return after death” and “But when the prayer is ended, then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah’s grace, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.”

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; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; and I bear witness that our master Prophet 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,

He who carefully examines history will realize that division and disagreement are of the reasons that lead to defeat and weakness, which is why the Noble Quran teaches us to beware of “And be not like those who became divided and disagreed after clear arguments had come to them, and these it is that shall have a grievous chastisement” and “And obey Allah and His Apostle and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient.” In truth, division and disagreement make the dignity of the Ummah vanish away and weaken it. In this regard, it is enough to know that he who calls for division and dies while doing so, it will be as if he dies in the pre-Islamic period.

For this, Islam combats any behavior that leads to division and disagreement including racism which is one of the results of the disgraced party-spirit of the pre-Islamic period. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Allah, Most High, has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting in ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a miserable sinner. You are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust.” He (PBUH) also shows all people are equal in duties and rights, “O mankind! Your Lord is One; your father is one, there is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab or for a non-Arab over an Arab except with Taqwa.”

O Allah! Unite us; bring our hearts together and guide us to what pleases You and makes You content with us; protect Egypt and grant it success!

The Rights and Reponsibilities of the Youth

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “They were young men who believed in their Lord, and We gave them more and more guidance.” 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 stage of youngness is one of the most important periods in one’s life. It is the stage of physical strength, maturity, vitality, activity, giving, hope and openness. There is no doubt that young people are the basic element of any nation. They are its heart and power, and no one can deny their important role in building homelands, and in the renaissance of nations and their progress.

The Glorious Qur’an has described that the stage of youngness as the stage of strength that comes between two stages of weaknesses, namely childhood, and elderly. The Almighty Allah said, “It is Allah Who creates you weak, then gives you strength, then weakness after strength, together with your grey hair:” This is why Prophets were always sent when they were young. The Almighty Allah said about Prophet Joseph “When he reached maturity, We gave him judgement and knowledge: this is how We reward those who do good.” He, The Exalted, also said about Prophet Moses “When Moses reached full maturity and manhood, We gave him wisdom and knowledge: this is how We reward those who do good.” Ibn Abbas said, “Allah send not a prophet except he is a young; and no scholar acquires knowledge except in his youngness.”  We know that when Prophet Abraham confronted idolaters, he was young. The Qur’an reports this saying, “Some said, ‘We heard a young man called Abraham talking about them.” The Qur’an also spoke about the acumen and intelligence of Prophet Solomon when he was still young saying, “And made Solomon understand the case [better].” In the story of Prophet Moses, the daughter of the righteous man said, “Father, hire him: a strong, trustworthy man is the best to hire.” Also, about Prophet John, the Almighty Allah said, “[We said], ‘John, hold on to the Scripture firmly.’ While he was still a boy, We granted him wisdom.”

Because of the importance of this period in a person’s life, the Prophet (PBUH) showed that Allah, the Exalted, will ask every servant about it on the Day of Resurrection. This is to encourage people to best exploit this period in a way that benefits him. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The feet of the son of Adam shall not move from before his Lord on the Day of Judgement, until he is asked about four things: about his life and what he did with it, about his youth and how he spent it, about his wealth and how he earned it and spent it upon, and about his knowledge and what he did with what he knew.”

Islam has paid great care for the young people and stipulated their rights, and their duties. They have the right to education, guidance, and good preparation. The Glorious Qur’an reported the dialogue between Luqman and with his son, in which Luqman taught his son religious values, and urged him to promote reform and giving. The Qur’an says, “Luqman counselled his son, ‘My son, do not attribute any partners to Allah: attributing partners to Him is a terrible wrong.’” The Qur’n also says, “[And Luqman continued], ‘My son, if even the weight of a mustard seed were hidden in a rock or anywhere in the heavens or earth, Allah would bring it [to light], for He is all subtle and all aware. Keep up the prayer, my son; command what is right; forbid what is wrong; bear anything that happens to you steadfastly: these are things to be aspired to. Do not turn your nose up at people, nor walk about the place arrogantly, for Allahdoes not love arrogant or boastful people. Go at a moderate pace and lower your voice, for the ugliest of all voices is the braying of asses.’”

This was what the Prophet (PBUH) used to do with the young people. He (PBUH) would pay them great care and was so keen to teach them and implant in their hearts and minds the great principles of religion, love of knowledge, and excellence. Ibn Abbas said, “I was with the Prophet (PBUH) one day when he said: ‘O young men! I will teach you a statement: Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him before you. When you ask, ask Allah, and when you seek aid, seek Allah’s aid. Know that if the entire creation were to gather together to do something to benefit you- you would never get any benefit except that Allah had written for you. And if they were to gather to do something to harm you- you would never be harmed except that Allah had written for you. The pens are lifted and the pages are dried.’”

Having been given good education and proper training, they should be given the right to empowerment in the positions of authority; each according to his knowledge, abilities and efficiency. This is actually how the Prophet (PBUH) did, for he (PBUH) made use of youth’s energies and even gave them the chance to take the responsibility of challenging tasks, to the extent that he (PBUH) entrusted the affairs of his Message to a young man whose age does not exceed twenty, that is, Al-Arqam Ibn Abi Al-Arqam (Allah be pleased with him) whose house was the headquarter of the Prophet and his honorable companions in the very beginning of the Islamic Da’wah. In addition, he (PBUH) made Usamah Ibn Zayd (Allah be pleased with him) the leader of the Muslim army even though he was under 18.

Following the footsteps of the Prophet (PBUH), ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) used to ask young men to attend the sessions he used to hold for the elderly; he even used to consult them about all matters, saying: “Even though you are young, this should not prevent you from offering your opinions, for knowledge is not confined to the elderly, yet Allah, Most High, grants it to whom He wills.” So, it is reported that many youths used to attend his sessions. ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Abbas is a case in point; he used to attend ‘Umar’s session and give his opinion on different matters that ‘Umar said about him, “he has a truthful tongue and a judicious heart.”

This was not restricted only to young men; rather, young women have also played an important role in making the Islamic civilization at times of war and peace. For example, Asma’ Bint Abi Bakr Al-Siddiq (Allah be pleased with her) played a very outstanding role in the Prophetic Hijra, as she used to provide the Prophet (PBUH) and her father (Allah be pleased with him) with food and drink. Even at times of war, their role was very important. In the battlefields, they used to water soldiers and give them medical aids. For example, Anas Ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said, “On the day (of the battle) of Uhad when (some) people retreated and left the Prophet, I saw `Aisha bint Abu Bakr and Um Sulaim, with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible hurrying with their water skins (in another narration it is said, “carrying the water skins on their backs”). Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people.”

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; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; and I bear witness that our master Prophet 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,

In truth, the duties imposed on young people are many including fortifying themselves with knowledge and culture; they should not stop learning, for science continuously advances, so our youth have to cope with the latest developments and activities. They should also take into account the requirements of the labor market and the needs of the country through receiving training courses and acquiring the necessary experience, so that they would be qualified to face challenges. They should understand that Allah did not order his Prophet (PBUH) to increase from any worldly matters but knowledge. He, Most High, addresses His Prophet (PBUH) saying, “O Allah! Increase me in knowledge.”

Third, they should be keen on benefiting from previous experiences and beware of self-conceitedness. So, they should make use of the wisdom and expertise of people of long experience. In fact, relations among successive generations should not be based on exclusion or conflict; rather, thry should be based on integration and mutual advice. So, our youth beware of destruction and corruption in fulfillment of the Divine Order, “And do not go about in the land exultingly, for you cannot cut through the earth nor reach the mountains in height.”

Fourth, they should renew their intention for serving religion and nation. Man is actually rewarded for his sincere intentions and sincerity in doing his duties. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “(The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended.”

Fifth, they should seize any opportunity to exert more efforts to realize their goals, taking into account the fact that the reaching one’s goal needs considerable efforts and that the trust is heavy. That is because the society we live in rapidly changes, thus it has no place but for those who exert their utmost and properly carry out the duties assigned to them. So, if we want to turn our ambitions into reality and reach the status we aspire for ourselves and our country, we should exert our utmost.

Sixth, they should repay the debt to the country that provides them with education and from its provision they eat. We should be qualified with determination, insistence, knowledge and creativity. We should raise the motto of bringing and giving to serve this country and defend his land.

O Allah! Bless our youth; protect them from all evil; guide them to construct this country and to what realizes the interest of people and the country. O Allah! Protect Egypt and all the world’s countries.

The Nation of “Read” and “Perfect” Between Schoalrs of the Nation and Scholars of Sedition

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Say, ‘How can those who know be equal to those who do not know?’ Only those who have understanding will take heed.’” 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.

Islam has called people to seek knowledge and praised seriousness and diligence in acquiring it. This is so clear from the fact that the first revealed verses from the Glorious Qur’an are Allah’s saying, “Read! In the name of your Lord who created: He created man from a clinging form. Read! Your Lord is the Most Bountiful One. Who taught by [means of] the pen, who taught man what he did not know.” Thus, the first Divine command was to read, which is the first means of knowledge. Then, the verse referred to the “pen”, which is the way to record and transmit knowledge. This shows for all people the virtue of knowledge, and is an encouragement to acquire it. It is thus evident that Islam is the religion of science and knowledge, and that this nation of Islam is a nation of science and civilization.

A complete surah in the Qur’an is called “Al-Qalam” (The Pen), which starts with Allah’s saying, “Nun, By the pen! By all they write,” as an affirmation of the importance of the tools and means of science. It is a sufficient indication of the significance of knowledge that the Almighty Allah did not command His Prophet (PBUH) to ask for an increase of any of the world affairs except with regard to knowledge. The Almighty Allah, says, “Say, ‘Lord, increase me in knowledge!’”. Moreover, the Prophet (PBUH) equated the pursuit of knowledge with striving for the cause of Allah, and that such action leads to Paradise. He (PBUH) said, “He who goes forth in search of knowledge is considered as struggling in the Cause of Allah until he returns.” He (PBUH) also said, “”Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge.” Thus, knowledge is one of the pillars of the building of nations, as it leads to its advancement and progress.

The Glorious Qur’an has praised scholars, regardless of their specializations, as the Almighty Allah said, “Allah will raise up, by many degrees, those of you who believe and those who have been given knowledge: He is fully aware of what you do. He, the Exalted, also stated that scholars are the ones who fear Him most, saying, “It is those of His servants who have knowledge who stand in true awe of Allah. Allah is Almighty, most Forgiving.” Given this status, scholars are declared by Allah as the witnesses to His Oneness, As the Qur’an says, “Allah bears witness that there is no god but Him, as do the angels and those who have knowledge. He upholds justice. There is no god but Him, the Almighty, the All Wise.”

The Prophet (PBUH) emphasized this, showing that the people of knowledge are the heirs of the Prophets in terms of guiding people and calling them to the path of Allah and to the path of truth and reformation. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only that of knowledge; and he who acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.” The Prophet (PBUH) also said, “The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon to the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness).”

It goes without saying that the scholars whom the Almighty Allah honored and whom the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) praised are the true scholars of the nation who realize the greatness of the responsibility that they carry. It is the responsibility of knowledge, calling to Allah, and explaining His commands. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “May Allah cause to flourish a slave (of His) who hears my words and understands them, then he conveys them from me.” The faithful scholars have understood the mission for which Allah has chosen them. It is not a mission to earn money with; it is more sublime and lofty. The Almighty Allah commanded His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to say, “Say, ‘If I have asked you for any reward, you can keep it. It is Allah alone Who will reward me: He is witness to everything.” Also, the Qur’an reported the statements of Prophets: Noah, Hud, Salih, Lot, and Shu’ib (peace be upon them), “I ask no reward of you, for my only reward is with the Lord of the Worlds.” All Prophets speak in the same affirmative tone confirming the unity of their goal, approach, faithful intent, and devotion to Allah.

The true scholars of the nation are those who spent their time and effort for the sake of Allah, and used their knowledge in the service of their religion and their homeland. Thus, they lead people through the path of moderation, tolerance and mercy. Therefore, their call yielded good generations who build and never destroy, raise human dignity, and coexist with all people in peace, security and safety. This is actually the beneficial knowledge that benefits man after death. In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: Ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him.” He (PBUH) used also to seek refuge with Allah from knowledge that neither benefits nor builds nor cultivates manners and ethics. He (PBUH) said, “Ask Allah for beneficial knowledge and seek refuge with Allah from knowledge that is of no benefit.” He (PBUH) furthermore used to supplicate Allah, “O Allah, I seek refuge with You from knowledge that is of no benefit, a heart that is not humble, a supplication that is not heard and a soul that is not satisfied.”

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; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; and I bear witness that our master Prophet 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,

Sincere scholars of this Ummah are the ones who guide us to the righteous path; they are people of righteousness and moderation; they are the ones who carry the flag of moderation in every time and protect the religion of Allah from the corruption of the extremists and the interpretation of the ignorant.

As for those semi scholars who exploit religion to reach their goals and purposes, they have indeed violated the limits and allowed themselves to issue fatwas that harm people, not benefit them; that divide not gather; that destruct not builds and that opens the doors to Takfir in this Ummah, a matter that Islam has warned us against. In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Any person who called his brother: “O unbeliever” (has in fact done an act by which this unbelief) would return to one of them. If it were so, as he asserted (then the unbelief of man was confirmed but if it was not true), then it returned to him (to the man who labeled it on his brother Muslim).

Those so-called scholars exploit extremism, fanaticism and imposition of restrictions upon people as a way to them in spite of the fact that it is totally away from the tolerance and moderation of Islam that removes all hardships from people. Allah, Most High, says, “He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam).” So, keeping away from the ease of Islam is against its tolerant moderation for which it is known. Allah, Most High, says, “And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.” Moderation means justice and ‘itidal means keeping away from extremism that is the main cause in the destruction of nations. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “O people, beware of exaggeration in religious matters for those who came before you were doomed because of exaggeration in religious matters.’” Sufyan Al Thawri is reported to have said, “For us, knowledge is but a license (to be given to people) in light of correct understanding. As for extremism, everyone can do it.”

Those scholars who stir up unrest are exactly like those who talk on no basis of knowledge and who do not understand the need of the Ummah to make use of moderation and ease. They do not realize that the construction of the world is one of the objectives of Sharia and that people will not respect our religion unless we achieve superiority in our worldly affairs. Those who do not understand this fact direct their speeches and preaching to prohibit people from the worldly life, a matter that caused so many laymen to misunderstand the relation between religion and the worldly life, to the extent that they understand that mysticism is none but isolation from life, neglecting the Saying of Allah, “Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”

In this vein, issuance of fatwa by those unqualified persons is misguidance and a way to lead people astray. Fatwa based on no knowledge has caused considerable harm to people. Jabir Ibn Abd Allah (Allah be pleased with him) narrated, “We set out on a journey. One of our people was hurt by a stone, that injured his head. He then had a sexual dream. He asked his fellow travelers: Do you find a concession for me to perform tayammum? 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؛ 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.”

We are actually in a dire need to restrict to our specializations and to exert our utmost in what we can do in fulfillment of showing fear to Allah, respecting knowledge and consideration of the danger of word, for words served many times as the causes for destruction and corruption; so silence is better than that speech that causes harm and does not bring benefit. As such, if those who do not know keep silent, there will be no disagreement at all. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, ” “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be hospitable to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain good the ties of blood relationship; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, must speak good or remain silent”.

O Allah! Show us the way of righteousness and help us adhere to it; show us the way of misguidance and keep us from it; teach us what benefits us, increase our knowledge and protect Egypt and all the world’s countries