Friday Sermon

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

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “God wants ease for you, not hardship.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger; who said, “I have been sent with the easy and pure monotheism.” May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muslim brothers,

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

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

Conceal yourself with generosity for                   everything is by generosity concealed

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

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

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

The Concept of Pledge of Protection in the Modern Time

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Honor your pledges: you will be questioned about your pledges.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that our Master Prophet Muhammad is His votary and Messenger; who said, “The best of Allah’s servants are those who fulfill their covenants.” May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

Islam is the religion of security, peace, righteousness, kindness and goodness. The fulfillment of one’s covenants is undoubtedly a moral and sublime human value, as it builds trust and brings about safety and security among peoples of the world. With this value, the bonds of cooperation, fraternity, development and progress will increase among individuals of the society. This is why the fulfillment of one’s covenants is part of one’s faith and a sign of honesty and benevolence. It is a manner cherished by Allah, a Prophetic trait and an Islamic value.

 Islam has ordered its followers to adhere to the fulfillment of covenants, promises and agreements and it has strongly affirmed this. The Almighty Allah said, “Honor your pledges: you will be questioned about your pledges.” He (Glory be to Him) also said,” Fulfil any pledge you make in God’s Name and do not break oaths after you have sworn them, for you have made God your surety: God knows everything you do.” This means: commit yourselves to fulfill every covenant you have made, whether it is between you and the Almighty Allah, or between you and people, and do not break your oaths once you have sworn them, as you have made God a witness over you. He who makes a pledge, must honor it, and he who makes a promise must fulfill it.

The Almighty Allah has told us that those who fulfill their pledges are beloved to Him and are the truthful and righteous people. Allah, the Exalted, said, “Indeed! God loves those who keep their pledges,” and said, “those who keep pledges whenever they make them; those 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 God.” Allah, the Exalted, showed that those people are the people of great reward and the people of Paradise, as He said, “Allah will give a great reward to the one who fulfils his pledge to Him.” In another verse, the Almighty Allah showed this great reward saying, “Those who are faithful to their trusts and their pledges; who give honest testimony; and are steadfast in their prayer; they will live in gardens with honor.”

The Prophet (PBUH) has placed a high value on the fulfillment of one’s pledges, and warned against breaking them as the betrayal of one’s pledges causes corruption in societies and leads to the loss of trust among people as the Prophet (PBUH) said, “There are three signs of a hypocrite:  When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust.” He (PBUH) also said, “Muslims have to stick to the conditions they make, except the conditions that make the lawful unlawful, or the unlawful lawful.” Also, the Prophet (PBUH) warned against betrayal saying, “When Allah will gather together, on the Day of Judgment, all the earlier and later generations of mankind, a flag will be raised (to mark off) every person guilty of betrayal, and it will be announced that this is the perfidy of so and so, son of so and so”. Ibn Kathir commented: the wisdom of this is that the sin of betrayal is invisible, and people do not see it. So on the day of Resurrection it will become announced so that people will know what those people did and the Almighty Allah will disgrace them before all creatures.

Among the pledges which the Islamic Shari’ah has commanded us to respect and fulfill is the pledge of protection. In the modern terms it means: the permit, visa or entry permission issued by one country to the citizens of another country to enter its lands, either as tourists, visitors or residents according to the international conventions, conventions and agreements in dealing with diplomats or those of the same capacity or according to bilateral agreements between the two states. This happens by any legal means accepted by the host State in accordance with its laws.  Once such a person obtains the residence permit or the visa, he/she is considered protected within this state, and this agreement given to him becomes binding to all of its citizens and residents. It shall not be revoked, circumvented, or derogated from, both in terms of the Sahri’ah and the law. Any person from the public who finds any breach that affects the security of his nation, he must refer the matter to the authorized person, so that the bodies of the State can handle the matter in the light of the regulations. Ordinary persons have no right to handle the matter themselves least this would cause chaos and indiscipline.

It goes without saying that the fulfilment of one’s pledges comes at the top of the obligations imposed by the Sahri’ah, law, patriotism and humanness. As our religion has stressed the importance of the pledge of protection, making the pledge given by one Muslim as given by all Muslims, so what is the case when this pledge is regulated by both religions and law as one reinforces the other? No doubt that this reinforcement obligates the necessity to fulfill pledges and promises, not to violate them or even compromise them.

Islam is the religion of preserving the covenants and agreements, a religion that does not admit cheating, deception, or betrayal. It has never been proven that the Prophet (PBUH) -since the beginning of his call- or his Companions have deprived anyone from safety, or have broken any promise of protection they had granted to anybody. In this regard, Allah, Most High, addressed his Prophet (PBUH) saying: “And if you fear treachery on the part of a people, then throw back to them on terms of equality; surely Allah does not love the treacherous.” Also, there was a covenant between Mu’awiyah and the Byzantines, and he was going towards their country, to suddenly attack them upon the end of the covenant. A man came on a horse, or a packhorse saying, “Allah is Great! Allah is Great! Let there be faithfulness and not treachery.” When they looked, they found that he was ‘Amr ibn ‘Abasah. Mu’awiyah sent for him and questioned him (about that). He said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: ‘When one has covenant with people, he must not strengthen or loosen it till its term comes to an end or he brings it to an end in agreement with them (to make both the parties equal).’ So Mu’awiyah returned.” Not only that, but the greatness of Islam is also crystal clear in its highest ranks in Allah’s Order to His Prophet (PBUH) to protect and provide shelter to whoever seeks protection from him, even if he is a polytheist or a warrior. Allah says: “And if one of the idolaters seek protection from you, grant him protection till he hears the word of Allah, then make him attain his place of safety; this is because they are a people who do not know.”

The Prophet (PBUH) has actually instilled these noble values that achieve security and safety for the entire humanity, both in saying and action. He (PBUH) is reported to have said: “Whoever killed a Mu’ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling),” and “The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and the believer is the one from whom the people’s lives and wealth are safe.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) offered the greatest example ever in fulfilling covenants, even with his enemies. Telling about the Battle of Badr, Hudhayfat Ibn Al-Yaman (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Nothing prevented me from being present at! The Battle of Badr except this incident. I came out with my father (to participate in the Battle), but we were caught by the disbelievers of Quraish. They said: (Do) you intend to go to Muhammad? We said: We do not intend to go to him, but we wish to go (back) to Medina. So they took from us a covenant in the name of God that we would turn back to Medina and would not fight on the side of Muhammad (PBUH). So, we came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and related the incident to him. He said: Both, of you proceed (to Medina); we will fulfill the covenant made with them and seek God’s help against them.”

As such, we affirm that it is our duty to keep the covenants and pledges our country abides by towards anyone coming to it, and to be cooperative in protecting his blood, honor, property and privacy. It is also our duty to offer him hospitality to convey to him the beloved image we want to transmit about the greatness of our religion, the depth of our civilization and the advancement of our humanity in a way that contributes to forming the image we want about our religion, country and society, which is actually the case of the developed and civilized nations and peoples.

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 deserving to be worshipped but Allah; I bear witness that our master Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, companions and whoever follows them to the Day of Judgment;

Muslim brothers:

Islam is the religion of justice, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. A Muslim is always- whenever and wherever he goes, an embodiment of security and peace. Also, when he travels to another country, be it a Muslim country or not, the visa granted to him by this country looks like a pledge of safety whereby he feels secure and safe and, on the other hand, is considered a pledge of safety from him to the people of that country by which they feel secure and safe on their selves and properties. Accordingly, he had to abide by the laws of this country and to fulfill his duties honestly and faithfully. He is not allowed thus to unlawfully take anything from their properties, to commit aggression against their honors or to betray them in any way, so that he would serve as the best ambassador for his religion, country and civilization. So, once he entered this country, he has to adhere to (their laws) and make covenant with Allah, Most High, to be faithful, lest he would be from those to whom the Saying of Allah, “And those who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder that which Allah has ordered to be joined and make mischief in the land; (as for) those, upon them shall be curse and they shall have the evil (issue) of the abode.” In his Al-Umm, Imam Al-Shafe’i (may Allah have mercy upon him) says: “When the man enters a non-Muslim country in terms of a pledge of safety given to him, he is not allowed to take anything from their properties- be it little or much- even if this country was at war with Muslims. That is because as they offered him safety, he in turn shall offer them safety, and because nothing is lawful to him at times of safety except that which is lawful to him from the properties of Muslims.”

Impressive are the following lines of poetry:

Keeping covenants is of the nobles’ traits … And breaking them is of the means’

For me, there are no good characteristics … But to keep cordiality and covenants

O Allah! Guide us to the best of manners and make us avoid the worst of them, for you only are capable of this.

Word’s Trust and Responsibility
Ragab 1, 1437 AH/April 8, 2016 CE

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Sermon Plan

  1. Word’s importance in Islam
  2. Tongue restrain is a sign of one’s faith
  3. Word’s responsibility is a legal and ethical duty
  4. Word’s serious impact on individuals and communities

Sermon Topic

The divine graces on man are great, innumerous and countless. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Should you try to count Allah’s blessings, you could never compute them!” (the Quran, 16: 18). Tongue is one of the best blessings, as Allah, the Almighty, says, “Have We not given him two eyes, and a tongue, and a pair of lips” (the Quran, 90: 8-9).

Allah also beautifully perfects man’s tongue with the ability to speak. Allah, the Almighty, says, “The Most Gracious has imparted the Qur’an [unto man]; He has created man and has distinguished him with the ability to clearly express his feelings and thoughts” (the Quran, 55: 1-4).

One’s word is one’s title and means to approach others and administer life affairs. The kind of concern and significance that Islam pays to the word is unprecedented, even at times of amusement. A word may bring about the success of a nation and the misery of others. A word may protect and preserve lives and honors and may shed blood and dishonor.

The divine command is definite in imposing tongue restrain and prudence to safeguard people’s honors and avoid idle talks. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Not even a word can he utter but there is an ever-vigilant watcher with him” (the Quran, 50: 18). Man’s parts are all subject to tongue. If the tongue is straight, they are straight, but if it is deviated, they are deviated

Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “When a child of Adam wakes up in the morning, all of his body parts bow to the tongue. They say, ‘Fear Allah regarding us; we are only part of you; if you are straight we are straight and if you deviate, we are deviated” (al-Tirmidhi).

The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) explained to Mu‘adh Ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) that one’s tongue may take one to paradise or hellfire. Mu‘adh said, I accompanied the Prophet on a journey. One day I was near him… the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) asked, Shall I not inform you about what governs all of that?’ I said, ‘Of course, O Messenger of Allah!’ Therefore, he (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) grabbed his tongue and said ‘Restrain this.’ I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah! Will we be taken to account for what we say?’ He said: ‘May your mother grieve your loss O Muadh! Are the people tossed into the Fire upon their faces, or upon their noses, except because of what their tongues have wrought’

A word is a trust; a person must carefully utter his words in due observation and fear of Allah. One’s word may admit you to the highest rank of paradise and can bring you down to the lowest abyss of hell. Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “A person may say a word that pleases Allah so much that He will raise high this person’s status in the hereafter, even though the person might have thought the word he said was insignificant. Similarly, a person may say a word that displeases Allah so much that He will send this person to the hellfire, even though the person again might have though the word he said was no issue” (Al-Bukhari).

Since the good word is indicative of one’s faith; the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent.”

Allah orders us to speak the truth with all people without distinction, to tell the right reformative and constructive talks and to avoid all kinds of disruptive and destructive speeches. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: “And speak to people good [words]” (the Quran 2: 83). Another Quranic verse commands the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him): “Tell My servants that they should speak in the most kindly manner [unto those who do not share their beliefs]:” (the Quran 17: 53).

Allah also says, O you who believe, be aware of Allah and speak only the truth; He will direct your works, and forgive your sins. Indeed, whoever obeys Allah and His messenger has triumphed a great triumph (the Quran, 33: 70-71).

Success and forgiveness are made contingent upon the good word and truthful speech. Islam is keenly concerned with verifying information and vindicating the truth of all statements, especially the widely circumnutated ones. Actually, it is absurdity to believe all claims and statements. Allah, the Almighty, says, “O you who believe, if a wicked person comes to you with any news, then you shall investigate it. Lest you harm a people out of ignorance, then you will become regretful over what you have done” (the Quran, 49: 6).

Evidently, restraining one’s tongue is an indication of perfect faith and good Islam. It is also a means to Paradise. Allah describes the believers as “those who abstain from vain talk… Such are the inheritors; they will inherit Paradise, wherein they abide forever” (the Quran, 3, 10-11). Sahl Ibn Sa‘d (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, “Whoever can guarantee (the purity of) what is between his two jaw-bones (i.e. tongue) and what is between his two legs (i.e. private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him” (al-Bukhari).

The word is a legal and ethical trust and duty. It can unify the nation and mobilize determination. It can turn enemies into friends and hate into love. It is also capable of thwarting the plots of devils. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Not equal are the good and the bad response. You shall resort to the one which is better. Thus, the one who used to be your enemy, may become your best friend” (the Quran, 41: 34).  Undoubtedly, good words make good friends, refine souls, remove grief and anger and fill hearts with contentment and happiness, especially when backed by truthful smiles. Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Your smiling in the face of your brother is an act of charity (al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad).

The trust of word ordains the declaration of good and truthful words free from lies, deception, perjury, fraud and misreported and ignorant talks. Allah, the Almighty, says, “And do not say, as to what your tongues falsely describe: “This is lawful and that is forbidden;” that you seek to invent lies about Allah. Those who invent lies about Allah will not succeed” (the Quran, 16: 116).

It is also a trust to prove truthful in advice and consultation. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) even declares that perfect religion is extending of advice. Tameem al-Dari narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Religion is extending of sincere advice. We said: “For whom?” He replied, “For Allah, His Book, His Messenger and for leaders and masses of Muslims” (Imam Muslim in his authentic collection).

Abu Hurayrah also narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, One who is sought for consultation is called accountable for his advice (Abu Dawud).  Extending sincere advice and truthful consultation can reform people and promote security, safety and prosperity.

Word is a double-edged sword; when truthfully and honestly said, it leads to construction and building but when falsely coined, it leads to destruction and corruption. Word is not a slight matter in man’s life. One’s transactions of sales, contracts and treaties are all dependent on truthful statements.

It is unhidden that good words yield great positive effects on people relations. Kindness to one’s neighbors is a bridge to Paradise and hurting them is a means to hellfire. Abu Hurayrah said, “the Prophet was asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, a certain woman prays in the night, fasts in the day, acts and gives in charity but injures her neighbors with her tongue.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘There is no good in her. She is one of the people of the Fire.’ They said, ‘Another woman prays the prescribed prayers and gives bits of curd as charity and does not injure anyone.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘She is one of the people of Paradise (al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad).

The good word also has a deeply good effect on creating good relations with Muslims and non-Muslims alike, insomuch that Allah commands nice words even with enemies of Allah. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Go, both of you, to Pharaoh, for he has transgressed, and speak to him nicely; so that he might bethink himself or [at least] be filled with apprehension (the Quran, 20: 43-44).

Considerably, the written words also have deep positive and negative effects. Both written and said words are two forms of trust. Each penman shall respect the duty of his/her pen and avoid all possible errors. Indeed, one’s pen reflects his/her ethics and opinions. A writer shall use his/her pen in advocacy of the truth and calling for virtues. Al-Jahez said, “Pen is one of the two tongues [sword and tongue]. Indeed, the pen is longer in life and more surviving in effect!” The pen is sharper and stronger than a sword is. As such, spreading false news, misreporting facts and defaming people as well as other forms of social slanders are all forms of dishonesty and treachery.

Let writers fear Allah and know for sure that their writings will stand as witnesses for or against them before Allah; the poet, may his soul rest in peace, said:

Writings live long after their writers die

Only write a thing therewith you are pleased to see on the last Day

Let each person realize the responsibility s/he bears for his/her words before Allah, conscience and all the creation as well. One shall care for their words, lest they may disunite hearts, create social disruption in the society, cut off kinsfolk’s ties or spoil relations of peoples.

We badly need good and sincere words for the good effect they have on promoting love and friendship and eliminating disunity and grudge.

Success and forgiveness are made contingent upon the good and truthful word. Allah, the Almighty, says, “O you who believe, be aware of Allah and speak only the truth; He will direct your works, and forgive your sins. Indeed, whoever obeys Allah and His messenger has triumphed a great triumph” (the Quran, 33: 70-71).

The Merits of Prophet’s Companions
Jumada al-Akhirah 16, 1437 AH/March 25, 2016

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Sermon Plan

  1. Prophet’s Companions: High Position and Lofty Merits
  2. Their Merits in the Quran and Sunnah
  3. Love of Prophet’s Companions is a Sign of Belief
  4. Encouragement to Follow Their Examples
  5. Banning Insults and Impugnance of the Prophet’s Companions
  6. Examples of the Prophet’s Companions

Sermon Topic

Allah chose the best of people to the company of his prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him); they sincerely believed in his message and upheld his cause proving most truthful in faith, deepest in understanding and best in good deeds. Those are the Prophet’s Companions, who fearlessly conveyed the divine message to all corners of the world and won the divine pleasure and good praise: “The first forerunners [in the faith] among the emigrants and the Helpers and those who followed them with good conduct, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him; He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment” (the Quran, 9: 100).

It was a generation decreed to make the difference and change life. They bore the torch of light to all humankind. It is beyond our abilities to realize their merits. However, it is sufficient to know that if we give a great deal in charity as huge as the mount of Uhud, it is even less than a handful or half of a handful of the Prophets’ Companions; the Prophet said, “Do not abuse my Companions, for by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if any of you would have spent as much gold as Uhud Mount, it would not equal a Mudd or even half a Mudd of one of them” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

They undertook the burdens of promoting the religion and paid the ultimate sacrifice in that cause to support Allah and His Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him): “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties in exchange for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed; it is a true promise He made in the Torah, the Gospel and the Quran. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your commitment which you have made. Such is the great success” (the Quean, 9: 111).

It is the Prophet’s right upon us to read his biography and follow his example and law. Likewise, we shall read the biographies and know the merits and virtues of the Prophet’s Companions to follow their ideal ethics and obedience to Allah. Their life is rich with useful lessons and reminders. Actually, Allah chose them as the best group to accompany his Prophet and promote his message. They are divienly decreed to be the best and most perfect of all Muslims. Unprecedenetd in piety and devotion, the human history never knew their like—as they are the first forerunners and the closest to Allah’s Pleasure (the Quran, 56: 10-14).

 In celebration of their high status and merits, Allah honored their company of his Prophet in the Divine Word “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating in prayers, seeking the grace and pleasure of Allah. Their mark is on their foreheads from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the farmers, so Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward” (the Quran, 48: 29).

This verse dceclares them true believers, sincere servants and dedicated worshippers who are frequently bowing and prostrating in prayers. They only seek the grace from Allah and the worship left marks on their bodies. You can easily identify them by their fear and love of Allah. That is why they won the divine pleasure—the greatest of graces: “Surely, Allah was pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you under the tree; He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquility upon them and rewarded them with an imminent conquest” (the Quran, 48: 18).

If we reflect on the Sunnah of the Beloved Prophet, we have several indications to their great excellence, high position and loftiness. The following are just examples of these prophetic statements:

  • “The best of my people are those of my generation. Then those succeeding them, then those succeeding them, then people would come whose witness would precede their oath and their oath will precede their witness” (al-Bukhari and Muslim). Simply, they are the best in faith, advocacy and console of the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him).
  • Imam Ahmad narrated that Ibn Mas‘ūd (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allah looked into the hearts of His servants, and found that the heart of Muhammad is the purest of all, so He chose him for Himself and sent him with His message. Then He looked into the hearts of His servants, next to the heart of Muhammad, and He found that the hearts of his companions were the best of people’s hearts, so He made them supporters of His Prophet, who defended His religion. So whatever the Muslims think is good is divinely good and whatever they think is bad is divinely bad.”
  • The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) described them as the source of Muslim security, as he said, “The stars are a source of security for the sky; when the stars disappear there comes to the sky what has been promised (of dooms). And I am a source of safety and security to my Companions and when I would go away there would befall my Companions) what they have been promised and my Companions are a source of security for my people and when they would go there would fall my people what they have been promised” (Muslim). The Companions were the source of relief from heresies; their blessings extended to bless two successive generations.
  • Abu Sa‘īd al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Time will come when a group of people will wage a war and it will be said, ‘Do you have with you anyone who has accompanied Allah’s Messenger? They will say, ‘Yes’; and then victory will be given to them. Then a time will come when a group of people will wage a war and it will be said, ” Do you have with you anyone who has accompanied the companions of Allah’s Messenger?’ They will say, ‘Yes and then victory will be given to them. A time then comes when a group of people will wage a war, and it will be said, ” Do you have with you anyone who has been in the company of the companions of the companions of Allah’s Messenger?’ They will say, ‘Yes; and victory will be given to them” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).
  • Allah also testifies to their benevolence, generosity and struggle in pursuit of Allah’s pleasure. Allah promised them eternal paradise: “But the Messenger and those who believed with him fought with their wealth and their lives. Those will have all that is good, and it is those who are the successful (88) Allah has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide eternally. That is the great Success” (the Quran, 9: 88-89).
  • ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Once the Prophet commanded us to give in charity. Meanwhile, I had some property; I thought it was time to surpass Abu Bakr in a good deed. I brought half my property. The Messenger of Allah asked: What did you leave for your family? I replied: The same amount. Abu Bakr brought all that he had. The Messenger of Allah asked him: What did you leave for your family? He replied: I left Allah and His Prophet for them. I said: I shall never compete you in anything” (al-Tirmidhi).
  • The love of the Prophet’s Companions is a sign of firm faith and true love of the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him), as He said, “[I emphatically command you to fear] Allah regarding my Companions; do not make them objects of insults after me. Whoever loves them, it is out of love of me that he loves them. But whoever hates them, it is out of hatred for me that he hates them. Whoever harms them has harmed me and whoever harms me has offended Allah; whoever offends Allah shall soon be punished” (al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad from ‘Abdullah Ibn Mughaffal).
  • The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) even made the lover of al-Ansaar a sign of faith and their hate a sign of hypocrisy: Al-Barā’ Ibn ‘Azib narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said in respect of al-Ansaar: “None loves the Ansaar but a believer, and none hates them but a hypocrite. So Allah will love him who loves them, and He will hate him who hates them” (al-Bukhari and Muslim). Anas Ibn Malik also narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Love for the Ansaar is a sign of faith and hatred for the Ansaar is a sign of hypocrisy” (al-Bukhari).

For the Sharia, abusing the Prophet’s Companions is strictly forbidden; Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said: “Do not abuse my Companions! Do not abuse my Companions! By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if any of you would have spent as much gold as Uhud Mount, it would not equal a Mudd or even half a Mudd of one of them” (Muslim).”  ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar further said, “Do not abuse the Companions of Muhammad; an hour of anyone of them is better than a forty-year worship of anyone of you” (Ahmad in Fadā’il al-Sahabah). We have to respect and honor them in recognition of their lofty position and merits.

The life of the Prophet’s Companions personified the grandness of faith and sincere love of Allah and His Prophet. It was a real translation of the high morals; they proved the best leaders in sacrifice and giving and the best masters of generosity, knowledge and good deeds. As such, the proved truthful: “For the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allah and [His] approval and supporting Allah and His Messenger, [there is also a share]. Those are the truthful” (the Quran, 59: 8). Outstanding examples include the following:

  1. ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (may Allah be pleased with him) spelt in the Prophet’s bed at the Night of Migration exposing his life to grave dangers while knowing that the polytheists besieging the house to kill him.
  2. Suhayb, the Roman, (may Allah be pleased with him) also sacrificed his wealth in support of the Religion and the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him). When Suhayb t decided on migration to Medina, the disbelievers followed him. They insulted him claiming that he had come to Mecca as a worthless tramp, but their town was gracious enough and thanks to them he managed to make a good deal of wealth. They gave orders that he would not leave. Seeing this, he offered a compromise to give away all his wealth to them, so they let him depart peacefully; they eventually agreed to release him on condition of giving away his wealth for them. Arriving at Medina, the Prophet gave him good tidings, “The bargain proved lucrative, Abu Yahya! the bargain proved lucrative, Abu Yahya i.e. the nickname of Suhayb.” Allah I then revealed, “And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah. And Allah is truly kind to His servants” (the Quran, 2: 207) (Ibn Hibban in his authentic collection).
  3. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) gave the best moral example and noble ethics. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Who amongst you is fasting today? Abu Bakr said: I am. He again said: Who amongst you followed a funeral procession today? Abu Bakr said: I did. The Prophet again said: Who amongst you served food to the needy? Abu Bakr said: I did. The Prophet said: Who amongst you has today visited the sick? Abu Bakr said: I did. Thereupon, the Prophet said: Anyone in whom these good deeds are combined will certainly enter paradise” (Muslim).
  4. ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) once went out at night when he passed by a woman and her children; she had a pot on the fire. The children were crying. ‘Umargreeted her with peace and she replied. He did not like to say: “O people of fire, so he called them: O people of light, may I come closer? he asked. ‘Come closer or leave us, she responded. ‘Umar drew closer and asked: ‘What is the matter? We are detained by the night and the cold,’ she replied. Why are the children crying? ‘Umar inquired. She said, “They are hungry.” What are you cooking,’ ‘Umar persisted in asking. There is only water boiling until the children fall Allah will judge between me and ‘Umar, the woman said, unaware of the one with she was speaking.

‘Umar immediately went to the state granary and put together the necessary provisions in a bag, and said, ‘Put it on my back, O Aslam.’ I objected and said, ‘I will carry it on your behalf.’ ‘Will you carry my burden for me on the Day of Resurrection?’ he wondered. I placed the load on his back, Aslam said, and he carried it to the woman. ‘Umar placed some flour into the pot and added some fat. He blew at the fire until smoke came out of his thick beard. He took off the pot from the fire when the food was ready. He said: ‘Let me have a plate.’ When the plate was brought, he dished the food and placed it in front of the children. ‘Eat,’ he said to them and the children ate until they are full. They kept praying for ‘Umar, unaware of his identity, saying that he is worthier of the emirate than ‘Umar! ‘Umar stayed with them until the children fell asleep. He gave them the remaining provision and then took leave of them saying: Say good when you visit the Commander of the Believers. On the way, he turned to me and said: O Aslam, hunger kept them awake and made them cry; I loved to keep their company until I see in them what I just saw. I did not like to leave them unless I see them in comfort (Imam Ahmad Fada’il al-Sahabah).

Female Companions

Female Companions also have great situations of giving and support of Allah’s religion. The following situations are exemplary of their contributions:

  • Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), the Mother of the Believers, had a great role in the promotion of Islam and defense of her husband i.e. the Prophet, for whom she paid the ultimate sacrifice and consoled him. She gave him a comforting message saying, “By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you, for by Allah, you keep good relations with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, entertain your guests generously and assist those who are stricken with calamities” (al-Bukhari).
  • She was so loyal to the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) that he kept her praise after her death. ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet well praised Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) whenever her name was mentioned. One day, I felt jealous and said. What makes you remember an old teethless woman of red gums, who died long ago while Allah replaced you with a better one? In reply, Allah has not replaced me with a better than she; she had faith in my message when people disbelieved, believed me when people belied and aided me with her wealth when people deprived me, and Allah gave her children from her to the exclusion of other women” (Ahmad).
  • Nusaybah Bint Ka‘b al-Ansaariyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) also sets a good example to follow. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “During the battle of Uhud, I did not turn right or left but I had seen Um ‘Umarah fighting to defend me.” Someone came in determination to kill the Prophet but whenever he wanted to pierce the Prophet, she confronted him. He kept hitting her with the sword until her shoulder blade was badly damaged. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “What a grave pain you endure, Um ‘Umarah! In reply, she said: I can endure more and more and more, O Prophet. He responded, “Ask me for anything, Um ‘Umarah! She said, “I want to accompany you in Paradise.” The Prophet responded, “You are not alone but you and your family will be with me.” I do not care what may befall me in this world after that, she said. (Siyar A‘lam al-Nubalā’)
  • If we really seek for progress, advancement, salvation and divine pleasure in this world and in the hereafter, we shall follow the brilliant examples of the Prophet’s Companions in life and ethics. The Prophet encourages us to follow in their footsteps saying, “I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and hold fats to that; beware of newly-invented matters, for every innovation is a way of misguidance” (Ibn Majah from al-‘Irbād Ibn Sariyah, may Allah be pleased with him).

We have to take lessons and clue children and women in the noble morals of the honorable Companions, and the way they followed the Prophet and sacrificed their lives and wealth in support of the religion.