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From the Lessons of the Prophetic Emigration: State Building

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Glorious Book, “But those who have believed, migrated, and striven for Allah’s cause, it is they who can look forward to Allah’s mercy: Allah is most forgiving and merciful.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that our Master Prophet Muhammad is His Votary and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

The emigration of the Prophet (PBUH) from Mecca to Medina represents a great historic event that has changed the course of human history. Actually, we are in a dire need to draw all meanings that contribute to the progress of our society and the building of its civilization. This emigration was a turning point between the truth and falsehood. It was a positive transformation towards the establishment of the Medina State on a sold ground of justice, equality, freedom of belief, preservation of human dignity, peaceful coexistence, social cohesion among citizens of one nation, and the cooperation in the economic activity in its different forms. The Prophet (PBUH) established the new state from various components that included:

Building a Mosque: The first thing the Prophet (PBUH) did when he arrived in Medina was building the Mosque because man’s relation with his Lord is the core of security. The true religiousness is the most important factor of building a personality that constructs and develops rather than destructs and demolishes. As much as one deviates from the true path of religion or as much as he misunderstands his religion, his character becomes troubled. Also, the Mosque has a social and scholarly message to promote in the society for its common good.

Economic Building: A strong economy is a key factor in building states and when it is absent, no state can progress. A strong and stable economy enables any state to fulfill its local and international requirements, as well as providing an honorable life for its citizens.  When an economy is weak, poverty and disease spread, life becomes disturbed, crises break out, morals go lost, and crimes increase. In such a situation, it is an opportunity for the enemies to work to bring the state down and push it into an endless mess.

Therefore, the Prophet (PBUH) was eager to make Medina a society of an economic power that would enable it to fulfill the needs of its citizens, defend itself, achieve its message of peace, security and reconstruction of the universe which is the message of Islam. Thus, the Prophet (PBUH) established a large marketplace in Medina to be a source of legitimate earning and commerce, and a place for the craftsmen. This Marketplace was called “Al-Manakhah”. Ataa’ Ibn Yasar narrated that “When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) wanted to appoint a place for the market of Medina, he went to the market of Banu Qaynuqa’and said: “This is not a market for you. It will always be your market and no duty will be levied on it.” the prominent figures among the Companions worked in trade and refused to be aided financially by the Ansar.  Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Awf narrated that When the emigrants reached Medina, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) established the bond of fraternity between Abdur-Rahman and Sa’d Ibn Ar-Rabi. Sa’d said to Abdur-Rahman, “I am the richest of all the Ansar, so I want to divide my property (between us). Abdur-Rahman said, “May Allah bless your family and property for you; where is your market?”

The nations that do not own or produce its food, clothes, weapon will not be able to govern their own affairs. It is said that “When you are benevolent to someone, you become superior to him; when you  abstain from accepting others’ help, you become equal to them; and when you are in need for someone, you become a captive to him.” The Prophet (PBUH) taught us that “The upper hand is better than the lower hand, the upper hand is the one which gives and the lower hand is the begging one.” No doubt that this applies to nations, institutions, individuals, as no one can deny the importance of money in our life and in the advancement of individuals and nations and in the development of people’s lives.

With knowledge and Money people build their own kingdom

No Kingdom maybe built on ignorance and poverty

The Prophet (PBUH) stated the regulations governing these transactions. He called for kindness and tolerance in buying and selling, saying, “May Allah show mercy to a man who adopts a kind attitude when he sells, buys and demands for the repayment of loans.” He also called for truthfulness and honesty saying, “The truthful, trustworthy merchant is with the Prophets, the truthful, and the martyrs.” The Prophet also forbade monopoly saying, “Whoever hoards food for forty days, he will be acquitted of Allah.” Moreover, he (PBUH) used to follow the process of selling and buying in order to guide people to what is right. Abu Hurayrah narrated that once the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) pass by a heap of corn. He thrust his hand in that (heap) and his fingers felt wetness. He said to the owner of that heap of corn, “What is this?” He replied: “O Messenger of Allah! These have been drenched by rainfall.” He remarked, “Why did you not place this (the drenched part of the heap) over the corn so that people might see it? He who deceives is not of us.”

The Medina Charter: After migrating to Median, the Prophet (PBUH) founded a strong state whose foundations are recorded in the Medina Charter. He (PBUH) did not only suffice with establishing brotherhood among the migrants and the supporters, but also wanted to highlight a very human connect through the Medina Charter which is considered the greatest document in the history of mankind ever, as it laid down the rights and duties for all the society’s members and established the rules of peaceful coexistence among the citizens of the one country on one hand and among human fellows on the other, which is why it is viewed as the greatest human document on existence throughout history. This is proved by the treaty concluded between the Prophet (PBUH) and the Jews of Medina along with others. He (PBUH) gave those Jews all the rights of Muslims, including security, peace, freedom and joint defense against the Media. One of the important terms of this Charter is “The Jews shall stand with Muslims as long as they defend the Medina; the Jews of Bani ‘Awf are one nation with Muslims, for the Jews is their religion and for Muslims is their religion.” The Charter also highlights the freedom of religion, security and joint defense against any aggression against the Medina.

This means that the civilian State in Islam includes Muslims and non-Muslims; they have the same rights and duties of the Muslims, on condition that they should abide by the social regulations that keep all the rights and duties of all the members of the society topped by peacefulness, non-aggression, not to break the terms of the social contract (the Charter) that regulates the relation among all mankind.

Peaceful coexistence among all mankind is a religious duty and a social necessity imposed by man’s reality. It will never be realized unless all people feel that they are the nationals of one country with the same rights and duties as Muslims, without any discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, etc. Allah, Most High, says, “There shall be no compulsion in religion.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions applied this principle practically. They did not force anyone to embrace Islam, nor did they demolish a church or synagogue or any House of Worship. On the contrary, places of worship were respected by Muslims, since Islam guarantees the freedom of worship for all mankind, taking into account the fact that nobody will have the ability to change this principle of diversity, as this is against the Divine Will. Allah, the Almighty, says, “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?” So, respecting beliefs, rights and duties of others is the cornerstone of building the State, since it has its impact on the relation between nations and societies for every nation has its own creed and principles which they adhere to and view as the most sublime, which is why Islam forbad us from criticizing the followers of other beliefs in any way that might harm them based on the fact that religions came to achieve the happiness of mankind. Allah, Most High, says, “And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus, We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.”

In the same way, Islam implants the principle of righteousness and good neighboring with non-Muslims, a fact which is stressed by Sharia texts that showcase how Islam shall be practically applied in the Muslim society. Allah, Most High, says, “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”

Islam orders its followers to kindly deal with non-Muslims and to care about their feelings even in debates and conversations. It further urges Muslims to argue with them in the best way, ” And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”

As such, the Medina Charter shall be a model example to be followed in preserving the human dignity that in turn attempts to achieve the national cohesion, with the aim of building the State and civilizations.

With that said, I ask Allah, Most High, 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 votary and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, his companions and whoever follows his guidance to the Day of Judgment.

Muslim brothers,

One’s home has a lofty status in the soul, as loving and belonging to countries are among the natural instincts upon which man was created. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) offered the best example ever in loving his country and belonging to it when he said, “How sweet of a land you are and how dear you are to me, and if it were not that my people expelled me from you, I would not have lived in other than you.” Also, when he (PBUH) migrated to the Medina and settled therein, he asked Allah, Most High, to make him love Medina more than Mecca and to make it replete with security and stability, “O Allah! Make us love Madina as much as we love Makka or even more.”

The religion-state relation is one of integration, not disagreement, and preserving countries is one of the ultimate objectives of the Sharia that should be kept, because economy cannot be stabilized unless there is continual security. Defending, protecting and sacrificing for countries is a Shari obligation and a national duty upon he who lives on its land and takes its heaven as a shelter. In truth, loving countries is not restricted to mere feelings and sentiments, but rather shall be translated into actions and good behavior which is useful for both the individual and the entire society. Therefore, we shall scarifice to make it strong.

At that point, we stress that true patriotism is not mere mottos or phrases; rather, it includes belief, behavior and giving; it is a system of life and a feeling that is aware of the challenges facing it, that makes people feel pain for its pains and to be happy for achieving its dreams, and that makes us all-ready to sacrifice in defense of it and its dignity.

The Concept of Emigration between the Past and the Present

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “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.” 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.

When the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) were severely harmed at Mecca, the Prophet (PBUH) allowed them in the fifth year of his mission to immigrateto Abyssinia, saying to them: “In abyssinia, there is a king who does not do any insjuce to anyone. So, join his land till until Allah relieves you from your distress.” So, some of the Companions immigratedto Abyssinia, and they enjoyed there a safe life and neighborhood and freely practiced their religion until they were informed that the people of Mecca entered into Islam, so they decided to return again. However, they discovered that the news was untrue, and they came to be harmed and tortured again, the Prophet (PBUH) allowed them again to immigrateto Abyssinia for the second time, and the immigrants at that time were headed byJa’farIbnAbu Talib.

When the people of Quraysh knew that those migrants were enjoying a secure life under the protection of the fair king of Abysenia, they wanted to get them back. Therefore, they sent a delegate asking the Negus to demand the return of the migrants. He answered them saying: “Nay, by God, they shall not be betrayed – a people that have sought my protection and made my country their abode and chosen me above all others! I will not give them up, until I have summoned them and questioned them concerning what these men say of them.” Ja’far Ibn Abu Taleb came and stood before the King to refue the claims of Quraysh ans said: O King, we were people steeped in ignorance, worshiping idols, eating unsacrificed carrion, committing abominations, and the strong would devour the weak. Thus we were, until Allah sent us a Messenger from out of us, one whose lineage we knew, as we knew his truthfulness and worthiness of trust and his integrity. He called us unto God, that we should testify to His Oneness and worship Him and renounce what we and our fathers had worshiped in the way of stones and idols; and he commanded us to speak truly, to fulfil our promises, to respect the ties of kinship and the rights of our neighbors, and to refrain from crimes and from bloodshed, to perform prayer, give charity, fast.. (andJa’far went on mentioning the good deeds in Islam). So, we believed in him, worshiped God alone, setting none beside Him, counting as forbidden what He has forbidden, and as permissible what He has allowed. For these reasons have our people turned against us, and have persecuted us to make us forsake our religion and revert from the worship of God to the worship of idols. That is why we have come to your country, having chosen you above all others; and we have been happy in your protection, and it is our hope, O King, that here withyou we shall not suffer wrong.” The Negus asked if they had with them any revelation that their Prophet had brought them from God and, when Ja’far answered that they had, he said: “Then recite it to me,” whereupon Ja’far recited a passage from the Surah of Mary. The Negus wept, and his bishops wept also, when they heard him recite. Then, the Negus said, “This has truly come from the same source as that which Jesus brought.” He said to the Meccans, “by God I will not deliver them unto you.”

When contemplating these twoemigrations to Abyssinia, one becomes sure that the emigration of the early Muslims was not anemigration from the land of belief to the land of disbelief, as the original ruling is do defend one’s land, not to abandon it out of fear from an oppressor or aggressor, but it was anemigration from a land of fear to a land of security, asthe Negus, at that time, was not a Muslim. However, he was a just ruler who secures the people who saought his protection. This is why it is said, “The Almighty Allah grants victory to a just state even ifit is a disbeliever one, and He, the Exalted, does not support an injust state even if it is a Muslim one.” Sovereinty may stand strong with disbelief, but it will not stand intact with injustice. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has put the just ruler in a high position, and high status on the Day of Resurrection, heading the seven categories of persons whom Allah will give them His Shade on the Day when there would be no shade but the Shade of His Throne. Thisposition for the just ruler comes because, with his justice, the whole society will be upright, and with his injustice, the whole society will corrupt.

When the Almighty Allah permitted the Prophet (PBUH) to immigrate to Medina, he was supported by Allah (Almighty), because this immigration was a positive transformation to build the state, achieve peaceful coexistence and harmony, and to achieve unity so that the Prophet (PBUH) could convey the message of his Lord, the Almighty, to all people. Allah, Glory be to Him, said, “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.”

In the eighth year of emigration, the Almighty Allah gave His Prophet a victory at Mecca and the Meccans embraced the religion of Islam in large numbers. By this, the concept of emigration turned froma narrow and limited meaning addressing physical movement, to include wide implications that cover all walks of life. With the liberation of Mecca, migration from one place to another became inapplicable after it had been a requirement at time of weakness, as Allah, the Exalted, said, “When the angels take the souls of those who have wronged themselves, they ask them, ‘What circumstances were you in?’ They reply, ‘We were oppressed in this land,’ and the angels say, ‘But was Allah’s earth not spacious enough for you to migrate to some other place?’ These people will have Hell as their refuge, an evil destination,” The ruling of emigration changed after the conquest of Mecca, by the saying of the Prophet “There is no emigration after the conquest of Makkah, but only Jihad (in the Cause of Allah) and a good intention.”

When SafwanIbnUmayyah embraced Islam, it was said to him, “No belief is accepted from the one who does not make emigration.” He said, “I will not go home till I visit Medina. He went to Medina and went tothe Prophet (PBUH) who asked him “Why did you visit us, O Abu Wahb?”  He answered, “I was informed that that no belief is accepted from the one who does not make emigration?” The Prophet said, “Go back to Mecca andtell them that there is no Hijrah now, It is just Jihad and intention.” the Prophet (PBUH) also said, “A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue or his hands. And a Muhajir (an emigrant) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden.”

The physical migration from Mecca to Medina is no longer applicable, However, all other noble meanings of emigration are still present. The Prophet (PBUH) stated that the real migration is to move positively towards what is better such as turning from laziness to seriousness and hardworking;  and from selfishness to altruism, sincere human fraternity, belief in diversity,freedom of belief, good neighboring relations, the work to build man religiously, scientifically, intellectually, and behaviorally, morally, economically, and socially. Such person is the one who will be able to build his country, make civilizations, work for all humanity, and preserve the dignity of man as a human being.

The proper understanding of the true meaning of the concept of Hijra indicates thatthere is a particular kind that never ever stops; it is that kind that has to do with transformation from ignorance to knowledge, from misguidance to guidance, from bad morals to good ones and from corruption to reform in a way that contributes to building civilization and the construction of the universe, since our religion is a religion of construing and reform. Allah, Most High, says, “He has produced you from the earth and settled you in it.” So, our nation is one of work, not laziness; a nation of construction, not destruction and corruption; a nation of civilization, not backwardness.

As such, every Muslim, who loves his religion and is proud of it, has to work on achieving its superiority and the dignity of his own country, away from all kinds of deviance and extremism like migration to other places to join the terrorist groups and organizationsunder the false pretext of performing Jihad, or the unlawful immigration that led to destruction and humiliation, since it is legally and lawfully prohibited because countries are as scared as homes. So, just as no one shall enter others’ housesbut after getting their permission, it is prohibited to enter others’countries except through the lawful and legal ways to do so. In other words, just as no one likes others to unlawfully or illegally gets into their countries, he should not accept that towards other countries.

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

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon his slave and Messenger Muhammad, his family and companions.

Muslim brothers,

Celebrating this blessed occasion, we should not forget that Al-Muharram is one of the Sacred Months, so it is recommended to perform fasting in it. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Prayer offered in the middle of the night is the most excellent after the prescribed prayersand the most excellent fast after (fasting) in the month of Ramadan is the fast in the month of al-Muharram.” Muslims are also strongly recommended to fast the Day of ‘Ashura’; Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, I hope, will expiate for the sins of the previous year.” It is also reported that when he (PBUH) came to Medina, he saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’. He asked them about that. They replied, “This is a good day, the day on which Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Moses fasted this day.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “We have more claim over Moses than you.” So, the Prophet fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day).Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) said, ” When the Prophet (PBUH) fasted the Day of ‘Ashura’ and ordered Muslims to fast it, the companions said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, it is a Day that the Jews hold in high esteem,” so he (PBUH) said to them, “When the next year comes, God willing, we would observe fast on the 9th But the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) died before the advent of the next year;” meaning that he (PBUH) would fast the ninth and the tenth days. So, it is recommended to fast the tenth day of Al-Muharram, and it is strongly recommended to fast the 9th and the 10th days of it.

I ask Allah to guide us to what He loves and is satisfied with, and to make this new Hijri Year one of goodness, blessings and victory to Egypt and all other Muslim countries!

 

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

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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 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