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Toleraance as a Belief and Practice

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Allah wants ease for you, not hardship.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, who said, “I have been sent with the tolerant pure religion.” 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 universal message that made tolerance and easiness a way of life. There is no hardship in the provisions of this religion. The Almighty Allah says, “He has chosen you and placed no hardship in your religion.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The religion (of Islam) is easy, and whoever makes the religion a rigour, it will overpower him. So, follow a middle course (in worship); if you can’t do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings and seek help (of Allah) at morn and at dusk and some part of night.” Thus, tolerance in Islam is not a just a spoken word or a slogan. Rather, it is a part of Muslim’s belief and should be a way of life. It is a principle that the Almighty Allah commanded His servants to embody in their dealings, and a reason to get the pleasure of Allah. The Almighty Allah says, “Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you?”

However, what we seek is to make tolerance a daily-life practice because Islam’s call for tolerance is a call for to practical application. In various occasions in the Qur’an, the Almighty Allah calls upon servants to pardon each other and be tolerant. Allah says, “Good and evil cannot be equal. [Prophet], repel evil with what is better and your enemy will become as close as an old and valued friend.” The Prophet (PBUH) applied tolerance in his dealings with people. He was the best example for his nation and for all humanity. He said, “I have been sent as mercy.” Aisha said, “Whenever the Prophet (PBUH) was given an option between two things, he used to select the easier of the two as long as it was not sinful; but if it was sinful, he would remain far from it.”

We should openly ask ourselves: do we apply this practice in our life? Do we make it an approach for interacting with each other? Tolerance is a noble behavior that should be applied by the Muslim in all aspects of life. These aspects include: tolerance between the two spouses. Marital relationship is a unique relationship; it is a great gift from Allah Who showed us that it should be based on affection, mercy and good relationship. The Almighty Allah says, “Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquility: He ordained love and kindness between you.” He –Glory be to Him-  also says, “Live with them in accordance with what is fair and kind: if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something in which Allah has put much good.” Allah also says, “Wives have [rights] similar to their [obligations], according to what is recognized to be fair.”  The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” He (PBUH) used to encourage men to deal well with their wives. For example he said, “A believer must not hate (his wife) believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics he will be pleased with another.” Moreover, before his (PBUH) death he said, “Treat women nicely.”

Thus, tolerance should be a mutual behavior between the two spouses, and a human law that organizes life. What beautiful words that Abu al-Darda’ said to his wife that “When you find me angry, try to please me; and when I find you angry, I will try please you.” This is a mutual relationship based on justice and forgiveness.

Tolerance with neighbors: The Almighty Allah says, “Worship Allah; join nothing with Him. Be good to your parents, to relatives, to orphans, to the needy, to neighbours near and far.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Jibril kept recommending treating neighbours with kindness until I thought he would assign a share of inheritance.” Another Hadith tells us that “he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should treat his neighbor with kindness.” In another Hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.’ It was asked, ‘Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘One whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil.’” Also, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “The best of companions in the sight of Allah is the one who is best to his companions, and the best of neighbours in the sight of Allah is the one who is the best of them to his neighbor.” Moreover, He (PBUH) said, “He is not a believer whose neighbour spends the night in hunger.”

In addition, tolerance should prevail among colleagues at work, universities, schools, and so on. The Glorious Qur’an stipulates rules to strengthen the relationship between all people, as the Almighty Allah says, “O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may know one another. Surely the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware.” The Prophet (PBUH) was the best of people with all people and with his companions, so he (PBUH) used to deal with his Companions and all people in the best of manners; he used to treat them well, visit patients, care for them, give charity to the poor, pay back debts on behave of  debtors, and forgive people. The Almighty Allah said, “By an act of mercy from Allah, you [Prophet] were gentle in your dealings with them. Had you been harsh, or hard-hearted, they would have dispersed and left you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them. Consult with them about matters.”

As for showing tolerance in roads and transportation, man is liable to be hurt from others, especially if we take into account the fact that there are some people who might be harsh and intolerant. So, how wonderful it is to meet people’s harm with tolerance. In this regard, Allah, Most High, says, “And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another: should I not guide you to something doing which you will love one another: spread out salutation among you.” It is also important to abide by the regulations of roads and transportation including dealing kindly with the elderly and women and seriously considering people’s feelings. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says, “Kindness is not to be found in anything but that it adds to its beauty and it is not withdrawn from anything but it makes it defective.”

Tolerance may also be relating to money. In truth, spending money in the Cause of Allah is a proof on one’s true belief in Allah and His Messenger. In addition, it is a clear indication that this man is upright. Spending money is a characteristic of the believers and a means to bring hearts together. It is furthermore a means to reach righteousness. Allah, the Almighty, says: “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is All-Knowing of it.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said, “Generosity makes a person close to Allah, close to Paradise, close to the people and far from the Fire. Stinginess makes a person far from Allah, far from Paradise, far from the people and close to the Fire.”

Man should also show tolerance at times of selling, buying and repayment of debt. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “May Allah show mercy to a man who adopts a kind attitude when he sells, buys and demands for the repayment of loans.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “The best people are the ones who are excellent in paying off debts.”

In truth, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to urge people to be tolerant and lenient and to be true models of human fraternity; he (PBUH) said, “He who gives respite to someone who is in straitened circumstances, or grants him remission, Allah will shelter him in the shade of His Throne, on the Day of Resurrection, when there will be no shade except its shade” and “There was a person who used to loan money to the people and he used to say to his servant: ‘When an insolvent person comes to you, show him leniency so that Allah may forbear our faults.’ So when he met Allah (i.e., when he died), Allah forgave him.”

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

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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds Whose Mercy and Guidance we seek; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

Muslim brothers,

One of the greatest acts of tolerance is that relating to good word. In this regard, Allah, Most High, says, “and say good to people” and “And tell My servants to say that which is best.” One should speak good with all people, irrespective of their colors, race or beliefs. It is actually a conclusive proof on one’s good manner. It is said, “Good manner is an easy matter; it is but a face with a wide smile and lenient speech.”

Allah, Most High, ordered Prophet Moses to say gentle speech with Pharaoh who was very arrogant. Allah says: “Go, both of you, to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed. (43) And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah].” In the same connection, we should keep away from all forms of ill speech; Allah, the Almighty, says: “And they who turn away from ill speech”; “O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice” and ” Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded.” In the same vein, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward): a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.” Muslims should furthermore keep away from all kinds of indecency in speech as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “A true believer is not involved in taunting, or frequently cursing (others) or in indecency or abusing.”

Tolerance stands on the middle between extremism and negligence – both are far away from the middle course of Islam that is tolerant, kind and lenient.

O Allah! Grants us tolerance in all our sayings, deeds and affairs! O Allah! Reconcile between us and protect our country and all of the world’s countries.

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.