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Companionship and its Impact on Character Building

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “On that Day, friends will become each other’s enemies. Not so the righteous.” 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.

Man is a social creature by nature; he lives in and interacts with his society which influences him. Though every man has his own personal characteristics that differ from others’, living with others has a clear and powerful effect on man’s thought and behavior, and this effect is effective in defining one’s destiny in this life and the Hereafter.

No doubt that we need a strong personality that is blessed with the best human values of humanness and the highest degree of patriotism, so as to have a generation that builds and does not destroy, develops and does not destruct, and prefers the interest of the nation over any other interest.

The Islamic Shari’ah has called to build one’s character so as to be a conscious one, which is aware of the risks, able to handle burdens of life, and able to avoid seditions and discords. The Almighty Allah said, “Beware of discord that harms not only the wrongdoers among you.”

The Shari’ah has also ordered that one should have a confident and unhesitating character that is aware of what is right, and follows the truth. The Prophet (PBUH) said,  “Do not let yourselves be ‘yes-men’, saying: ‘If people are good then we will be good, and if they are wrong then we will be wrong.’Rather, make up your own minds, if the people are good then you are good, and if they are evil, then do not behave unjustly.”

There is no doubt that one of the most important things that has a profound impact on the building of a human character is “Companionship”, as everyone is influenced by his companions and follows their thought, beliefs, and practices. This has been proven by texts of Shari’ah, reasoning, and life experiences.

Having a righteous friends is of great importance in building of a strong personality that if useful for its religion, nation and society. This was what the Prophet (PBUH) taught his Companions, including Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq who set the most wonderful examples in good company and loyalty to his friends, as it is clear in his saying to the people od Mecca when they said to him, “Your friend claims that he was taken on the journey to Bait Al-Maqdis and retuned on the same night?” Abu Bakr answered them , “If he said so, then this should have happened. I believe him beyond that…I believe him in conveying a Holy message.”

This was the practice of the Prophet’s Companions. They represent the best examples of good companionship that is based on brotherhood, altruism, loyalty, unity, positivity, compassion and cooperation. Al-Nu’man Ibn Bashir reported the the Prophet (PBUH) 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.”

To have a company of righteous people is a blessing in this life and in the Hereafter, as the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Allah, The Exalted, has teams of angels who rove about seeking out gatherings in which Allah’s name is being invoked. They sit with them and fold their wings round each other, filling that which is between them and between the lowest heaven. When [the people in the gathering] depart, [the angels] ascend and rise up to heaven. He (the Prophet) said: Then Allah, the Almighty, asks them – [though] He is most knowing about them: From where have you come? And they say: We have come from some servants of Yours on Earth: they were glorifying You (Subhana Allah), exalting you (Allahu akbar), witnessing that there is no god but You (La ilaha illa llah), praising You (Al-Hamdu lillah), and asking [favours] of You. He says: And what do they ask of Me? They say: They ask of You Your Paradise. He says: And have they seen My Paradise? They say: No, O Lord. He says: And how would it be were they to have seen My Paradise! They say: And they ask protection of You. He says: From what do they ask protection of Me? They say: From Your Hell-fire, O Lord. He says: And have they seen My Hell-fire? They say: NO. He says: And how would it be were they to have seen My Hell-fire: They say: And they ask for Your forgiveness. He (the Prophet p.b.u.h) said: Then He says: I have forgiven them and I have bestowed upon them what they have asked for,and I have granted them sanctuary from that from which they asked protection. He (the Prophet) said: They say: O Lord, among then is So-and-so, a much sinning servant, who was merely passing by and sat down with them. He (the Prophet) said: And He says: And to him [too] I have given forgiveness: he who sits with such people shall not suffer.”

Among the fruits of having righteous friends is that it is a cause to get the love of the Almighty Allah and a way to win paradise. Abu Hurairah reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “A man set out to visit a brother (in Faith) in another town and Allah sent an angel on his way. When the man met the angel, the latter asked him, ‘Where do you intend to go?’ He said, ‘I intend to visit my brother in this town.’ The angel said, ‘Have you done any favour to him?’ He said, ‘No, I have no desire except to visit him because I love him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious.’ Thereupon the angel said, ‘I am a messenger to you from Allah (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love him (for His sake).”

Such company is also a cause to be resutrructed on the Day of Judgment with those righteous people. Anas narrated that, “A man asked the Prophet (PBUH) about the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment) saying, “When will the Hour be?” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Messenger.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “You will be with those whom you love.” [Anas said] we had never been so glad as we were on hearing that saying of the Prophet. Therefore, I love the Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar, and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them though my deeds are not similar to theirs.”

May Allah have mercy with Imam al-Shafi’i who said:

I love the righteous poelpe, even if i’m not one of them,
And I hope I can obtain their intercession;

And I hate he whose trade is disobedience,

even if we are the same in our deeds

Also, from the fruits of having righteous friends, it reminds one with Allah, the Exalted, and gives one good friuts in this life and the Hereafter. Ibn Abbas narrated,  “The Prophet (PBUH) was asked, ‘Which people with whom we sit are better?’ The Prophet answered, ‘Those who make you remember Allah when you see them, who increase your knowledge when they speak and those whose deeds remind you of the Hereafter.”

A true friend is indeed a mirror to his brother; he urges him to do good, forbids him from doing bad, and loves for him what he loved for himself. Allah, the Almighty, says, “By time, (1) Indeed, mankind is in loss, (2) Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. (3)”Anas (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” This is actually what has been done by the good companion who saw his friend deviating from the truth and following the path of the Satan; he advised him and told him about what he should do and warned him the consequences of showing disobedience to Allah, Most High. Allah says, “His companion said to him while he was conversing with him, “Have you disbelieved in He who created you from dust and then from a sperm-drop and then proportioned you [as] a man? (37) But as for me, He is Allah, my Lord, and I do not associate with my Lord anyone.”

How impressive are the following verses of poetry:

Indeed, a true brother of yours is the one

Who helps you, and harms himself for you

The one, when the difficulties of life weaken you,

Sacrifice himself to keep you sound

Just as a good companionship has a good impact in the life and the hereafter, the bad companion also has its negative impact, as it contributes to forming a character of negative, destructive and deviating attitudes, let alone the bad consequences it incur to its owner in this life and the life to come. Bad companionship truly destructs noble values, eradicates good morals, corrupts youths and new generations, hinders the course of work, and spreads rumors and corruption. So, a bad companion seeks to lead his companion away from obedience, with the help of corrupt creeds and destructive thoughts. The Noble Quran records a very explicit example for the bad companion, “And they will approach one another, inquiring of each other. (50) A speaker among them will say, “Indeed, I had a companion [on earth] (51) Who would say, ‘Are you indeed of those who believe (52) That when we have died and become dust and bones, we will indeed be recompensed?'” (53) He will say, “Would you [care to] look?” (54) And he will look and see him in the midst of the Hellfire. (55) He will say, “By Allah, you almost ruined me. (56) If not for the favor of my Lord, I would have been of those brought in [to Hell]. (57) Then, are we not to die (58) Except for our first death, and we will not be punished?” (59) Indeed, this is the great attainment. (60) For the like of this let the workers [on earth] work.” He, Most High, also says, And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, “Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way. (27) Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend. (28) He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told us the bad companion looks like the blacksmith, “The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one blowing the bellows. The owner of musk would either offer you some free of charge, or you would buy it from him, or you smell its pleasant fragrance; and as for the one who blows the bellows (i.e., the blacksmith), he either burns your clothes or you smell a repugnant smell.”

In addition, bad companion is considered a tool for destruction and wronging oneself and others. One of the worst effects of bad companions is those who try to allure you to the way of the deviant groups of destruction that call for corruption and spreading mischief on the earth; another bad effect is for the friend to allure his companion to the way of drug addition, because these two ways lead the person to the way of destruction and incurs Allah’s Wrath in this world and the Hereafter.

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 Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be him, his family and companions.

Muslim brothers,

We all should beware of the bad companions and not to mingle with them, as Allah, Most High, says: “And it has already come down to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah [recited], they are denied [by them] and ridiculed; so do not sit with them until they enter into another conversation. Indeed, you would then be like them. Indeed Allah will gather the hypocrites and disbelievers in Hell all together – (140);” and “And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversation. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not remain after the reminder with the wrongdoing people. (68)” In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend” and “Do not accompany except a believer, and do not serve your food except to one with Taqwa.” ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) said, “Hold your opinions on people based on their friends, since man does not accompany but whom he admires.”

Yet, we affirm that character building through good companionship is a joint duty of the entire society, and all of us shall be fully aware of this duty, a fact which is recorded by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who said, “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects. The ruler is a guardian and responsible for his subjects; the man is a guardian of his family; the woman is guardian in her husband’s house and responsible for her wards; a servant is guardian of his master’s property and responsible for his ward. So all of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects”. So, we should care about educating and keeping our generations through the cooperation of the family, the school, the mosque, and all the other societal, educational, intellectual and media establishment, so that we could protract youth form falling prey to extremist thought of terrorist groups. We should also work on reinforcing national belonging, sine educating our sons and helping them choose their companions is a great responsibility; Allah, the Almighty, says, “O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Indeed Allah will question everyone who is responsible about his charge.”

O Allah! Provide us with good companions, and make us benefit from it

 

What to Come after Hajj?

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “As for those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah,’ and take the straight path towards Him, the angels come down to them and say, ‘Have no fear or grief, but rejoice in the good news of Paradise, which you have been promised.” 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

As we see, days, months and years pass very quickly. The life of man is just a counted number of breaths and every human has a predetermined age. This should be an admonition for people as the Almighty Allah says, “And He [Allah] is the One Who causes the day and the night to alternate, [as a sign] for whoever desires to be mindful or to be grateful.”

The reward of an accepted Hajj by Allah is to forgive one’s sins, so that a pilgrim returns as sinless as a newly born child, as the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Whoever performs Hajj and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commits sin, then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him.” Thus, a wise person has to take advantage of this virtue granted to him by Allah, and avoid all sins and approach Allah with a pure heart and sincerity.

A person who has performed Hajj must be thankful to the Almighty Allah for allowing him to perform this act of worship. Being thankful here means to continue performing righteous deeds, since righteous deeds are not confined only to certain times or certain places. Rather, they may be performed at any time as long as a person has attained the conditions to perform them. This was the practice of the Prophet (PBUH) as he used to keep on performing good deeds in compliance with the saying of Allah “Worship your Lord until what is certain comes to you,” and His saying, “The moment you are freed [of one task] work on, and turn to your Lord for everything,” that is: when you finish one act of worship, begin another act, seeking the pleasure of Allah, the Most High.

The continuity in performing acts of obedience to Allah is the most pleasing thing to Allah and is a sign for one’s good ending of his life. ‘Aisha is reported to have said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked about the act most pleasing to Allah. He replied, “That which is done continuously, even if it is small.” So, let him be happy the one whom Allah guides to perform acts of obedience, help people and spread goodness in his society and country.

If Allah guides a believer to perform Hajj, this does not mean that it is the final deed that a person can do, because acts of worship are numerous. He may approach the Almighty Allah through supererogatory prayers and fasting, helping people, caring for the orphans, visiting sick people, etc because the Almighty Allah raises ones degrees as a reward for these actions. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: ‘Allah say:  “… And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with nawafil (supererogatory) deeds until I Love him. When I Love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.’”

It is necessary that one’s performance of Hajj be reflected on his behavior and tolerance in dealing with other people. This is a sign of Allah’s acceptance of one’s Hajj. Thus, he should deal with people with good manners, correct his shortcomings that he used to do before Pilgrimage, behaves in a good way with his family, father, mother, husband and son, and have good ties with his relatives, as well as doing all acts of righteousness, as the Almighty Allah said, “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 aware of Allah.”

Hajj must leave its moral effect on the behavior of the pilgrim; Hajj is not a void ritual act performed without a purpose or a goal. Rather, it is an act of worship that is obliged to purify humans. The Almighty Allah said, “The pilgrimage takes place during the prescribed months. There should be no indecent speech, misbehaviour, or quarrelling for anyone undertaking the pilgrimage- whatever good you do, Allah is well aware of it. Provide well for yourselves: the best provision is to be mindful of Allah- always be mindful of Me, you who have understanding.” Also, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Whoever performs Hajj to this House [Ka`ba] and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commit sins (while performing Hajj), he will come out as sinless as a newborn child.” Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “The reward of an accepted Hajj is paradise, and the sign for this is that a pilgrim returns from Hajj abstinent from this world and desiring the hereafter, andto abandon whatever evil deedshe used to do.”

If acts of worship do not affect man’s morals and refine his behavior, they have no value in the world or in the hereafter. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Do you know who is a poor? They (the Companions) said: A poor man amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth. He (PBUH) said: The poor of my Umma would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakat, but he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire.” Also, He (PBUH) was asked about a woman who used to do much prayer, fasting and charity, but she used to behave badly to her neighbors, he (PBUH) said, “She will be in the Hellfire.”  Then, he (PBUH) was asked about another women who used to do little prayer, fasting and charity, but she never harmed her neighbors, he (PBUH) said, “She will be in the Paradise.

Good end is one of the deeds that man shall be keen on. It means that Allah, Most High, will guide the slave to keep away from doing what incurs His Wrath, to facilitate for him the ways to repent from sins and acts of disobedience and to enable him to do acts of obedience and good deeds, and then he dies on that good case.

Just as man’s good life in this worldly life relies on his deeds, guiding him to good deeds is thus a sign of good deeds; a fact which is recorded by the Prophet (PBUH) in his Hadith, “Surely, (the rewards of) deeds are decided by their last actions. Another narration yet reads, “‘Deeds are like vessels. If the lower part is good then the upper part will be good, and if the lower part is bad then the upper part will be bad.’” Thus, man shall strive to attain a good end and to be ready to the meeting of Allah through doing good deeds, a point which is deduced from the Saying of Allah, Glorified is He, “So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” As such, whoever fears Allah, obeys His Orders and keeps away from His Prohibitions would be guided to good deeds on which he shall pass away, a fact demonstrated by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) who said, “When Allah wants good for a slave, He puts him in action.” It was said: “How does he put him in action O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “By making him meet up with the righteous deeds before death.” That is to say that man’s last actions are what decide his end; if Allah guides a slave to obedience and worship and constantly do good deeds, his end will certainly be a good one and he will be of the prosperous who will be admitted into the Paradise. Allah, Most High, says, “And as for those who were [destined to be] prosperous, they will be in Paradise, abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will – a bestowal uninterrupted.”

One of the lessons deduced from Hajj is that the slave- pilgrims and others- shall show total surrender to Allah, Most High, while seriously considering the rationale. He shall firmly believe that the matter belongs completely to Allah and that what He, Most High, destines will certainly be realized. He, the Almighty, says, “It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error;” “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;” and “And if Allah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except Him. And if He touches you with good – then He is over all things competent. (17) And He is the subjugator over His servants. And He is the Wise, the Acquainted [with all]. (18)” It is thus clear that total surrender to Allah is of the signs of belief and pillars of Islam. So that this will be realized, man shall have good belief in Allah; so when he is satisfied with Allah’s Destiny and totally relies on Him, he will gain satisfaction, serenity and safety.

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 Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be him, his family and companions.

Muslim brothers,

Pilgrims have come back with their sins totally forgiven and their efforts appreciated. They are also rewarded for their deeds. Yet, they shall beware of being deceived by people’s praise to him, since labeling one as “a pilgrim” is not at all one of the main fruits of performing this duty, nor is it a reason for feeling pride and showing off. On the contrary, he, after coming back, shall show modesty and fear Allah. Hajj is in actuality, duty of great reward; whoever observes it and endures its hardships will for sure find its fruit in his heart, a matter that will be in turn reflected in his life as he will show modesty before Allah; his soul will denounce arrogance and his obedience will be free from showing off. So, whenever he sincerely does any act of obedience while having good intention, this will certainly cause him to do another good deed; the situation will continue as such from an act of worship to another and from an act of obedience to another until he reaches the level of Ihsan (i.e. benevolence), which is a sign of accepting man’s obedience.

Allah, Most High, mentions that the true believers who hasten to do good deeds fear their deeds will not be accepted, which is why they fervently hope Allah will accept them and reward them in return “Indeed, they who are apprehensive from fear of their Lord (57) And they who believe in the signs of their Lord (58) And they who do not associate anything with their Lord (59) And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord – (60) It is those who hasten to good deeds, and they outstrip [others] therein.” Commenting on these verses, Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “even though they are true believers of good deeds, they fear Allah. ‘Aishah, Mother of the Believers, Allah be pleased with her, said, “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, ‘And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear.” [23:60] Is this the one who commits adultery, steals and drinks alcohol?’ He said: ‘No, O daughter of Abu Bakr’ – O daughter of Siddiq – rather it is a man who fasts and gives charity and prays, but he fears that those will not be accepted from him.’”

It is thus clear that the true believer does not care about doing many acts of worship and recommended acts in the same way he cares about the acceptance/not acceptance of deeds and as much as these acts of worship are positively reflected in his life. Allah, Most High, ordered His Prophet (PBUH) to strive in doing acts of obedience and not to humiliate any deed that he will consequently abandon it and not to show admiration for his many deeds, since Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) clearly stated that pride is one of these things that render the reward of deeds null. Ibn ‘Abbas, Allah be pleased with them, narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “The three things that render the reward of deeds null are: feeling proud of opinions; stinginess being obeyed; and desired being followed.”

O Allah, help me remember You, expressing gratitude to You and worship You in the best manner; and guide us to keep on the Straight Path of Obedience and Worship

Eid Al-Adha Sermon

All praise is due to Allah; Allah is Great, Allah is Great, Allah is Great, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest; Allah is altogether greater; and Praise be to Allah in abundance; and Glory be to Allah in the morning and at night; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, companions and whoever follows them to the Day of Judgment.

Muslim brothers,

The blessed Adha Day is a day of good, blessing, righteousness and benevolence. It is one of Allah’s Witnessed Days, since it is in these days have to do with one of the great pillars of Islam, that is, pilgrimage; it is a Day of sacrifice, giving, thanking and happiness with the Blessings of Allah, the Almighty, Who says, “Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) also says, “The greatest day in Allah’s sight is the day of sacrifice and next the day of Al-Qarr (i.e. resting).” The day of Al-Qarr is the day that comes next to the day of sacrifice, because people rest in Mina city in this day after completing the works required in the Day of Sacrifice.

Whenever the blessed Al-Adha Eid comes, we remember the story of sacrifice and redemption- the story of Abraham and Ishmael (Allah’s Peace be upon them). The Wisdom of Allah, the Almighty, decrees that He would afflict His believing slaves with trails so that He would distinguish the bad from the good; He, Glorified is He, says, “And that Allah may purify the believers [through trials] and destroy the disbelievers.” Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael were afflicted with great tribulation; Abraham (PBUH) saw a vision that he should slaughter his son “Ishmael” (PBUH); a fact about which Allah, the Almighty, says in the Qur‘an, “And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” Out of the fact that the father wanted to share the considerable reward with his son through showing total submission to Allah, the Almighty, he told his son about what he saw “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think;” and Ishmael offered the most perfect example of submission and surrender, “He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.” That is to say that the father and the son have offered a wonderful example of sacrifice, total surrender and full submission to His, Glorified is He, Order.

The Divine Law decrees that affliction should be accompanied by ease, and that trials should be followed by relief, which is why the Blessings of Allah, the Almighty, consecutively sent down for the sake of the father and his son. Allah, Glorified is He, says, “And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead, (103) We called to him, “O Abraham, (104) You have fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. (105) Indeed, this was the clear trial. (106) And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.” These verses carry Divine Testimony for the trail as being sore and for the two noble Prophets as being righteous and instantly watching Allah. Then Allah, the Almighty, saved Ishmael with a great sacrifice, and answered the supplication of Abraham to be of good reputation, “And grant me a reputation of honor among later generations.”

In this context, we affirm that showing happiness with the Eid is an act of worship and obedience. In other words, it is the right of the Muslim to be glad with the Eid, since the signs of lawful happiness shall be clear in such days. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) came to Medina, the people had two days on which they engaged in games. He asked: What are these two days (what is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Allah has substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice and the day of the breaking of the fast.”This happiness actually reflects the greatness of this religion and its tolerance, and how it fits the human nature. The day of Eid is a day of happiness and making all people happy. During the Eid days, Muslims should spend generously on their families, offspring and relatives in every lawful way, including food, drinking, clothes, costs, etc., which are all among the acts for which man gets reward. In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “You do not spend anything by which you desire the face of Allah Almighty but that you are rewarded for it, even what you place in your wife’s mouth.” As well, man should be keen on making all people around him happy, especially the poor, the needy and the orphans, so that none of them would be in need in this day.

Slaughtering the sacrificial animals has been legitimized to realize the noble humanitarian meanings, with the aim of spending generously on one’s family and maintaining solidarity among the members of the society. It is also a revival to the way of Prophet Abraham (PBUH) and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), with the aim of getting close to Him, Most High. It is further an act of worship whose doer will be greatly rewarded by Allah, and one of the Rites of Allah that should be glorified, “That [is so]. And whoever honors the Rites of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” Not only that, but it is also a good sacrifice whose ultimate objective is that to fulfill the piety of Allah, the Almighty, that urges people to do all good acts, keeps them away from all evil and leads them to obtain the content of Allah, Most High, “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.”

In this regard, we emphatically stress that we shall translate the fact that offering a sacrificial animal is one of the signs of greatness and progress of Islam, so we should not slaughter the sacrificial animals at the entrances of building or houses, nor should we do that in streets, alleys, or in front mosques or hospitals, since all of these acts will result in health issues. Islam has prohibited harm, “There shall be neither harm nor reciprocating harm.” In addition, our religion orders us to cleanse roads and to keep any harm away from them, counting this as an act of belief. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Belief has over seventy branches – or over sixty branches – the uppermost of which is the declaration: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’; and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road, and modesty is a branch of belief.”

Along with slaughtering, we also stress that the recommended act of offering a sacrifice is realized through the promissory notes of sacrifice that help distributing the shares to those who truly deserve them in dignity.

Second Sermon

All praise is due to Allah; Allah is altogether great; and Praise be to Allah in abundance; and Glory be to Allah in the morning and at night; all praise is due to Allah Alone; and may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions and whoever follows his guidance to the Day of Judgment.

Muslim brothers,

In the Eid day, we should be keen on strengthening social bonds and relations, with strengthening the ties of kinship as the most important of these relations ever, since it is regarded one of the greatest duties and best acts of obedience as it brings love among relatives and harmonizes people’s hearts. The fruits of maintaining the ties of kinship are recorded in the Prophetic Hadith, “Anyone who wants to have his provision expanded and his term of life prolonged should maintain ties of kinship.” In truth, maintaining ties of kinship requires pardoning and forgiveness and to meet evil deeds with good ones, which is why Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but the one who maintains ties of kinship is the one who, when his relatives cut him off, maintains ties of kinship.”

It is also recommended to promote social relations among all mankind through visiting each other, shaking hands, exchanging greetings, knowing each other, and spreading affection among all mankind, which is regarded as one the most important acts of worship that brings forth the Love of Allah, the Almighyt. Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “A man set out to visit a brother (in Faith) in another town and Allah sent an angel on his way. When the man met the angel, the latter asked him, “Where do you intend to go?” He said, “I intend to visit my brother in this town.” The angel said, “Have you done any favour to him?” He said, “No, I have no desire except to visit him because I love him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious.” Thereupon the angel said, “I am a messenger to you from Allah (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love him (for His sake)”

In this day, the Prophet (PBUH) used to walk to the place where he would offer his prayer. ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said, “It is recommended to walk to the place of prayer in the Eid. In addition, he (PBUH) used to walk in one way and go back from another way; Jabir Ibn ‘Abd Allah, “When it is the day of Eid, the Prophet (PBUH) used to go in one way and to go back in a different one,” so that they both would testify for him on the Day of Resurrection, and so that a large number of people would meet in this day and thereby exchanges greetings. Jubair Ibn Nufair (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that when the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) met on the day of Eid, they used to say to each other, “May Allah accept from us and from you.”

O Allah! Make it a blessed Eid full of security, blessings and welfare for Egypt and the entire world!

Lessons Drawn from the Prophet’sFarewell Sermon

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Today I have perfected your religion for you, completed My blessing upon you, and chosen as your religion Islam.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

The Almighty Allah sent His Messenger (PBUH) with guidance and the true religion to bring people out of darkness into light, and from misguidance into guidance, and to lead them into the path of salvation and happiness in this life and in the Hereafter. Thus, he (PBUH) called for the best values and sublime manners, and conveyed the Message of his Lord in the best way, devoting his entire life to promote human values through his sayings, actions, and practices.

When the Prophet (PBUH) performed the fifth pillar of Islam, i.e. Hajj, he (PBUH) stood on the mount of Arafat, at in the greatest human gathering at that time, explaining the rituals of Hajj to his Companions, and to the whole Muslim nation to come after them. He (PBUH)highlighted the human and moral values that he hadalwayes called for throughout his life, as he felt that he might die soon. Thus, his sermon (PBUH) included many great lessons and insights that represent a way of life for all humanity.

Among these lessons is establishing the principles of justice and equality among all people: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “O People! Verily your lord is One, and your father is one; an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action. The best among you in the sight of Allah is the most pious one…”  He (PBUH) made piety and good deeds the standards of preference, in accordance with the saying of Allah, “People, 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 Allah’s eyes, the most honoured of you are the ones most mindful of Him.Allah is all Knowing, all Aware.” Thus, all people are equal in rights and responsibilities without any discrimination or racial prejudice. This is the meaning of justice which is the standard measure of nations’ uprightness. The Almighty Allah said, “When you speak, be just, even if it concerns a relative.” He, the Almighty, also said “And, if you judge between people, to do so with justice,” and “Do not let hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to awareness of Allah.”

Among these lessons also is: The inviolability of souls, properties, and honor. Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Abu Bakrah narrated on the authority of his father that “Once the Prophet (PBUH) was riding his camel and a man was holding its rein. The Prophet (PBUH) asked, “What is the day today?” We kept quiet, thinking that he might give that day another name.  He said, “Isn’t it the day of Nahr (slaughtering of the animals of sacrifice)” We replied, “Yes.” He further asked, “Which month is this?” We again kept quiet, thinking that he might give it another name. Then he said, “Isn’t it the month of Dhul-Hijja?” We replied, “Yes.” He said, “Verily! Your blood, property and honor are sacred to one another like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this city of yours. Let those who are present inform those who are absent because those who are absent might comprehend (what I have said) better than the present audience.” In this situation, the Prophet (PBUH) drew the attention of his Companions, with this eloquent manner, to the sanctity and inviolability of blood, money, and honor. Thus, it is prohibited to transgress against them in any way. Islam calls for the promotion of safety, peace and security, and wishes that all people enjoy a stable life, without discrimination or differentiate between one individual and another, regardless of his gender, color, or religion. The Islamic Shari’ah guarantees these rights for every human being.  Allah, the Most High, said, “Do not take the life that Allah has made sacred, except by right. This is what He commands you to do: perhaps you will use your reason.”

The Shari’ah makes the killing of one soul without any legal justification as equal to killing all people as Allah said, “We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person- unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land- it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind.”To stress the sanctity of blood, the Prophet (PBUH) warned again in this sermon against killing saying, “Do not revert to disbelief after me by striking (cutting) the necks of one another.”

Just as Islam forbids transgression against souls, it also forbids transgression against properties as the Almighty Allah said, “You who believe, do not wrongfully consume each other’s wealth but trade by mutual consent.” He, the Exalted, also said, “Do not consume your property wrongfully, nor use it to bribe judges, intending sinfully and knowingly to consume parts of other people’s property.” To preserve people properties in general terms, the Sharia’h has forbidden theft, imposing a deterrent penalty thereof, as the Almighty Allah says, “Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are man or woman, as punishment for what they have done- a deterrent from Allah: Allah is almighty and wise.” The Shari’ah has also forbidden illegal usurping of land in any way, as our Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever usurps unlawfully even a hand span of land,his neck will be encircled with it seven times on the Day of Resurrection.”

Islam also prohibited violation of honors or defaming them in any way, affirming that there is no difference between Muslims’ honors and those of non-Muslims in this regard. Affirming the prohibition of fornication, Allah, the Almighty, says, “And go not nigh to fornication; surely it is an indecency and an evil way.” In the same connection, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prohibited slandering of chaste women, and even counts it among the major sins “Avoid the seven destructive things.” It was asked: (by those present): “What are they, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “…and slandering chaste women who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.” He (PBUH) further declared unlawful to verbally abuse others, and even considers it an act of Fusuq (disobedience to Allah), affirming “”Reviling a Muslim is Fusuq (disobedience of Allah) and killing him is (tantamount to) disbelief.”

One of the lessons deduced from the Farewell sermon is also calling for unity and warning against division. He (PBUH) is narrated to have said, “Satan has despaired of ever being worshipped in this land of yours, but he will be obeyed in some matters which you regard as insignificant, and he will be content with that.” So, we should unite and hold fast to the covenant of Allah in fulfillment of the Divine Order “And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited …” 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.” We should take into account that disunity is not of the Religion of Allah, “Surely they who divided their religion into parts and became sects, you have no concern with them …” Islam calls for unity and bans conflict and disunity.

As well, one of the lessons is to hold fast to the Book of Allah (the Almighty) and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) as he (PBUH) says, “I have left among you, that which if you hold fast to it, you shall not go astray: The Book of Allah; and you will be asked about me …” The Book of Allah (Most High) is the everlasting miracle that falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; it is the Book that never ever changes. It is through the Qur‘an and the Sunnah that Allah totally eliminates all whims and differences. He, Most High, says: “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.” Adherence to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet is a sign of faith and a proof of piety; Allah, the Almighty, says, “But no! By your Lord! They do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission.”

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; I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be him, his companions and family to the end of time.

Muslim brothers,

Out of the fact that the Farewell Sermon includes the human values that keep man’s dignity and secures his security and safety, it is considered the first universal declaration on human rights. One of the lessons deduced from the sermon is showing the ability to status of women and their position in the Islamic Shariah. Affirming the high status of women, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recommended men to treat them well, since they are the counterpart of men, meaning that they have mutual rights and duties. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “You have rights over your women and your women have rights over you.”

Islam honors woman, be she a mother, a sister, a daughter, or a wife. It gives woman a number of rights that secures her happiness and prosperity in this life and the life to come, and preserves her dignity. When he (PBUH) was asked, “Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (PBUH) replied, “Your mother.” He again asked, ”Who next?” “Your mother”, the Prophet (PBUH) replied again. He asked, “Who next?” He (PBUH) said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” Thereupon, he (PBUH) said,” Then your father.” He (PBUH) also said, “Whoever has three daughters and is patient with them, and feeds them, gives them to drink, and clothes them from his wealth; they will be a shield against Fire for him on the Day of Resurrection.” Another narration reads, “Whoever looks after two daughters, or three daughters, or two sisters, or three sisters until he passes away, he and I will be brothers like these two sisters, and he held up his forefinger and middle finger together.” Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Act kindly towards woman, for woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked part of the rib is its top. If you attempt to straighten it, you will break it, and if you leave it, its crookedness will remain there. So act kindly towards women.” The word “good” in the Hadith is fully inclusive as it indicates that men should be characterized with all the traits of true men when dealing with women.

We are in dire need to apply these noble values that gathered all good for the entire humanity. They actually have no precedent in the human history, as they laid down the human rights and established the basic moral principles that, if carefully examined, will cause peoples’ happiness in this life and the life to come.

O our Lord, accept from us for you are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing; and show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.