This week’s khutbah was focused on the ayats of Sura Al-Furqan, ayats 68-70 and the lessons within.
This section of the Quran is translated to say:
Those who never invoke any other deity beside God, nor take a life, which God has made sacred, except in the pursuit of justice, nor commit adultery.
Whoever does these things will face the penalties: their torment will be doubled on the Day of Resurrection, and they will remain in torment, disgraced, except those who repent, believe, and do good deeds
God will change the evil deeds of such people into good ones. He is most forgiving, most merciful.
Dear brothers and sisters, the lessons within the Quran are more than any of us can completely fathom and certainly the lessons from these ayats are more than the time permitted in this reminder but the imam attempts to summarize by speaking of the major points mentioned.
The first reminder is one about killing. Although this is primarily a reminder for those who are looking from the outside in on Islam, it is also a reminder for us all in the face of the misconceptions and the misinformation being spread from people claiming to follow the teachings of our faith.
As Muslims, the taking of any innocent life goes against the teaching of our faith. This is mentioned in the following hadith of our Prophet SAWS which is translated to say:
Whoever kills a non-combatant, innocent non-Muslims will not smell the scent of paradise
However, as we know from what we are seeing on the news, those who claim to be of our faith are killing other Muslims and this is specifically referenced in the Quran as reminded by the imam today.
In Sura An-Nisa, ayat 93 it is translated to say:
“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is Hell; he shall abide in it, and Allah will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement.”
Dear brothers and sisters, this is serving as a reminder for us that what we are being led to believe via the media is simply not a true representation of our faith and it is our responsibility as Muslims living in this time and place to educate those around us to the truth of Islam.
Alongside, that the ayats remind us of Zina. This is both cheating on your spouse and having illicit relations outside of the sanctimony of marriage. Unfortunately, we are living in a time and a place where this is now considered a norm in our society.
We must remind ourselves that not only is this against the decree of Allah SWT but with all things that have been forbidden to us, there is a worldly reason for them to be forbidden. An example of this is the new health problems that exist today because of this activity.
Expanding upon the definition of Zina, the imam reminded us of Sura Al-Noor, ayats 30 and 31 which are translated to say:
Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is AllAware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal acts)”
Dear brothers and sisters, the first step in solving the ills of our society is to be able to be candid and open in communication about them. Especially with our youth, we cannot rely on their teachers or their friends to educate them on topics which are so prevalent in their lives. By befriending our children, we can be in a position where they approach us first with issues such as these and thus enable us to educate them on the ills of modern society.
And lastly, the ayats in today’s reminder demonstrate a taste of Allah’s mercy. This reminder told us of two sins mentioned by Allah SWT and they are no small matter. To kill another and to spread disharmony in society through Zina are acts that weigh heavy on the scales against the soul.
However, as with the theme of the whole Quran, Allah SWT ends this passage by illustrating that the book of Allah isn’t about fear-mongering as people who have misconceptions might believe. In fact, it’s quite the opposite because Allah SWT mentions that such acts can still be overturned
And what does this act be that causes such a great overturn towards reward for these grave sins?
Allah SWT sets out three criteria for this to happen. 1. We must believe in Allah SWT. 2. We must follow these sins with sorrow in our hearts for having committed them. 3. We must strive to readdress the balance in society by doing good deeds to make up for the bad ones.
And that is the conclusion to the lesson for today’s reminder. We are advised about the gravity of the sins that we may fall foul to. The specifics we touched on then was killing and illicit relations. But despite the warning from Allah SWT about those who do these sins, He still ends it with a get-out clause as if to remind us to not be in despair if you are of these people who fall into this category.
Dear brothers and sisters, one of the tactics of Shaitaan is to convince us that we are beyond redemption, that we cannot be saved and that whatever we are doing or may have done is surely too much for Allah SWT to forgive. This tactic is powerful because the individual becomes full of despair and thinks what is the point in being religious as they have done so much ill already.
This reminder to us all today demonstrates the scale of Allah’s mercy and that it can eclipse anything one may have done. All that is necessary is to return to Allah SWT with humility, remorse and with a view to righting the wrongs one has committed by becoming an equally positive member of society.
May Allah SWT enable us to remain clear of these ills in society. May Allah SWT protect us from feeling despair at our shortcomings and may Allah SWT reward us for our attempts to reimburse society for our sins.