The word Shariah is thrown around a lot in the media and so it is worth mentioning a few introductory points on this topic as part of the reminder.
Shariah is the law of the Quran and literally it means “A path to life giving water”. In fact the word Yarrah in Hebrew from which the word Torah is derived, means exactly the same thing and so this concept is Abrahamic and is applied to all three monotheistic faiths.
Shariah is the right to protect the rights of 5 areas. They are: Religion, Life, Family, Sanity and Wealth. It is designed so that it can create a society based on justice and equity for each member of that society.
However, it is worth noting that it forbids it to be imposed on any unwilling person. Our Prophet SAWS demonstrated that Shariah may only be applied if people willingly apply it to themselves and never through forced intervention by the state. Since Shariah is based on absolute justice, there is even an example we can take from history where the jewish King Solomon ruled as a just monarch based on this fundamental principle of Shariah law, namely justice.
So, let’s go into the next part of this reminder and a breakdown of the 5 areas based on importance.
The first is religion. To protect the religion of Islam in this time and place is paramount to us all but what does it mean? Unfortunately we have lunatics that have an extreme interpretation of this but for us it means to protect our religion through providing the correct narrative on our religion. It means to communicate with our colleagues, neighbours and friends and tell them or show them the correct meaning of Islam. It means to show them the beauty of Islam through charitable acts, friendly acts and act of humanity. This is the best way to protect our religion and to fight in the cause of Islam is to go against the tide and insist that despite what the media may sometimes portray Islam as, this is a religion of peace, compassion and contentment.
Besides the external threats, we need to protect this religion internally, that is to remind ourselves of the dangerous threats that present themselves internally. Distractions of the 21st Century that take us away from this religion such as entertainment, smartphones, social media etc. Looking up to false role models such as entertainers, sportsmen etc are all falling under this category and need to be recognised and avoided so that we don’t fail on the most important of areas.
The second area of importance is the protection of self. There are the obvious points to note here such as the forbidden acts of killing unjustly, persecution of others, protection of the needy such as the poor and the orphans etc. However, it is worth mentioning here some of the more subtle areas of the time and place and how we must protect ourselves from it. One of the biggest sins is backbiting, slandering and gossiping about others. This is also an area that has recently reached epidemic levels through social media and other forums where the anonymity that comes from not being face-to-face means that the fingers on the keyboard replace the tongue in performing these hurtful and sinful acts. Be mindful of the behaviour that one is conducting both in person and online and remember that anonymity that may be enjoyed online is still accountable on the Day of Judgement.
The third area to mention is that of family. Obvious examples that fall under this category are fornication before marriage which damages the body and mind as well as the soul and the grave sin of adultery that destroys whole families and generations.
Other points to mention under family that are more subtle is the need for protecting the vulnerable in the family. The women and children need to be protected not only from the obvious threats of our time and place but also from the subtle threats that come from popular culture, from classmates and from the parts of society that are damaging to the family unit. The protection of this comes in the form of befriending our family and educating our family. Don’t be the patriarchal parent who just lays down the law to others. Show your human side too and the family will relate better and thus be in a position to understand and respect your guidance towards them. If the family unit is strong in communication and interaction with one another then nothing can penetrate that barrier that is created through love and respect for one another insh’Allah.
The next one is the protection of the mind. Shariah not only encourages us to protect our wisdom, our intellect and our sanity but also protects those who do not possess this element of themselves. For example the imam mentioned the hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
A woman who had committed adultery was brought to Umar. He gave orders that she should be stoned. Ali passed by just then. He seized her and let her go. Umar was informed of it. He said: Ask Ali to come to me. Ali came to him and said: Commander of the Faithful, you know that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: There are three (people) whose actions are not recorded: A boy till he reaches puberty, a sleeper till he awakes, a lunatic till he is restored to reason. This is an idiot (mad) woman belonging to the family of so and so. Someone might have done this action with her when she suffered the fit of lunacy.
Dear brothers and sisters, we indeed are protected if we don’t possess our minds but we also need to protect our minds from becoming ill. Obvious examples of this are the prohibition of drugs and alcohol as they affect the mind and impair the wisdom and good judgement. However, alongside this are again more subtle things we need to protect ourselves from. Tools of shaitaan that may look appealing but are damaging to the mind. Adult videos which are proven to cause brain damage or even news of distress all designed to affect the mind, sadden the heart and cause despair which can lead the person to becoming lazy in their worship or worse still move away from religion altogether. We need to be conscious of protecting our mind and that comes from surrounding ourselves with happiness through family, pious people and through the remembrance of Allah and recitation of the Quran.
Lastly, the protection of wealth. The imam reminded us of ayat 46 of Sura Al-Kahf which translates to say:
Likewise, wealth and children are an attraction of this worldly life; yet honorable deeds that last forever are better rewarded by your Rabb and hold for you a better hope of salvation.
Dear brothers and sisters, the obvious examples of this are protection against wasting money on items that have no value and actions such as gambling your money away. However, there are more subtle examples that we overlook and those are such as dealing in usury or interest as its mechanism is designed to steal your wealth in the long-term, it is things like addictions to tobacco and vaping that serve only to addict the person to part from their money. We need to remind ourselves that the money we possess is a trust between us and Allah SWT and we will be asked how we spent our money on the Day of Judgement.
Dear brothers and sisters, we live in a time and place where the fundamentals of our faith are being spun into taboo subjects and it needn’t be so. By education ourselves on these subjects we can both pass on the knowledge, dispelling misconceptions and protect our religion in the process, thus fulfilling the first and most important area of this reminder.Read More
There is an ayat, ayat 9 in the Quran in Sura Nisa which is translated as follows:
And let those [executors and guardians] fear [injustice] as if they [themselves] had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we study what the scholars tells us about the meaning behind this translation then one of the opinions of this ayat is about inheritance unfairly being kept by some that was entitled for others.
However, to go into the tafsir of any ayat is more than a single khutba and certainly more than this summary so the point of this is about justice. More importantly it’s about the realisation within the wrongdoer.
Dear brothers and sisters, one cannot avoid the news informing us of an increase in disease, death and other reasons of stress. In times like this, how do we handle the information thrown at us without being stressed or in despair?
What the ayat earlier is teaching us is to be God-conscious or to have Taqwa. And it is Taqwa that will provide true protection of the self, family and other things of value.
So what do we mean when we say Taqwa? And how do we belong to the Muttaqeen or those who are God-conscious? And when does this time begin?
First of all, the concept of being concious of a God is there within us from when we are born. An Oxford University study performed a few years back in the Centre for Anthropology and Mind concluded that young people have a default setting to believe in a supreme being because they assume everything in the world was created with a purpose.
Therefore the concept of Taqwa isn’t something that we inherit. It’s actually something that we are born with. And it is the dunya that erodes it away over time.
The Quran mentions the need for this in various places and one is referenced today in Sura Alahqaf, ayat 15 in which Allah SWT says:
And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.”
Dear brothers and sisters, man is being told by Allah SWT the timeline of life. From being dependant on his Parents, to reaching adulthood. The point here is that man is told to ask Allah SWT to make him grateful. To make him aware of what Allah SWT has done for him up to that point, to make him aware and thankful for everything that was done before he was even born into this world. And before he was independent and self-reliant on his living.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is the meaning of being conscious of Allah SWT and it is with this understanding that you can get true protection of the self, of one’s family and of your life’s worth – be it wealth, health or anything else.
We live in a world that is designed to make us forget this. How often is it that we see something on TV and we ask ourselves, has this person forgotten Allah SWT? Is he not fearful of his return to his Lord?
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to strive to not be of those who have forgotten Allah SWT and so in conclusion, this khutba outlines 3 things we can all do to achieve this:
- Recite the Quran with feeling. It should be the aim of everyone to read the Quran with understanding of what Allah SWT is telling us. We should aim so that we can contemplate and ponder over the meanings of the verses of the Quran and act upon what we learn.
- Be with Good Company. It is very important to be associated with good people because who we are is who our friends are. If we involve ourselves in the wrong crowd then whether we like it or not, their bad influence will rub off on us and we will end up like them.
- Learn religious knowledge. A person without knowledge is like someone walking along a track in complete darkness. Most likely the steps he take will cause him to wander astray. Our greatest danger lies in our ignorance of Islamic teachings and in our unawareness of what the Quran teaches and what guidance has been given from the Prophet SAWS.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are only too aware of the challenges that these practical steps may pose. However, there is a solution that addresses all three of the points raised and that is the very place in which you are sat listening to this khutba.
This masjid has been blessed with teachers, scholars and volunteers all working hard to bring knowledge, understanding of Quran and a place for good company for each and every one of us.
Speak to one of us or look at the notice board in the masjid or on our website and you will find classes tailored to your needs. And if you find that there is a class that is missing then tell us and we will work to deliver that class to you.
Protection of self, family and worth comes through connecting with Allah SWT and that connection can begin today with intention and steps towards attaining Taqwa.
May Allah SWT protect us all. May Allah SWT give us Taqwa. And may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in attaining Taqwa.
Ameen Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.
The Evil Eye’ is not a new concept or one that is local to a given community. It has various names all over the world from ‘Ayn-al-hasad’ in Arabic, or ‘Chashm-e-budd’ in Urdu.
These terms refer to a gaze from one person to another which may cause affliction or ill-luck to the other. These gazes are often associated with envy, jealousy or even extreme admiration. The gaze can be intentional or unintentional.
Unfortunately, modern cultures reject this phenomenon. They are not able to connect it with any sort of reasoning or logic and therefore pass it off as something fictional like a superstition.
As Muslims then, where does one stand on the concept of the evil-eye?
For a Muslim, the acceptance or rejection of anything is based on what the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Prophet SAWS record on the topic.
Allah SWT says in Sura Al-Qalam, ayat 51-52:
And indeed, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes when they hear the message, and they say, “Indeed, he is mad.”
But it is not except a reminder to the worlds.
The concept of the evil eye is mentioned when one ponders on this selection of the Quran. To make one slip with their eyes is to give reference to this topic of the evil eye.
Also, the Prophet SAWS has referred to the evil eye as has been mentioned in the following hadith:
The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye.
Dear brothers and sisters, just to clarify here before continuing. This isn’t saying that the evil eye is so powerful that it can overtake the decree of Allah SWT, it is trying to highlight and emphasise the importance of guarding against this phenomenon.
And this phenomenon is real, as is mentioned by the Prophet SAWS. So with this knowledge to hand, how does one go about trying to protect oneself from such dangers?
There are two types of protection that we need to think of when we are talking about the Evil Eye and they are Reactive and Proactive.
So let’s begin with Reactive treatments. Contrary to what some communities in the world will advocate, the best form of treatment is not wearing amulets or taweez. Allah knows best.
Instead, we refer back to the hadith and to the verses of the Quran for protection and treatment of the Evil Eye.
Like all treatments, we ought to go to a practitioner for the correct treatment for the evil eye. Normally, the imam of the masjid can assist in this matter.
However, for the purposes of this khutba, it is worthy to note that Ayat Al-Kursi in Sura Baqara, Sura Al-Fatihah, Sura Al-Falaq and Sura An-Nas have hadiths referencing their potency in treating the evil eye.
And so on to the second type of protection, which is just as important, is the proactive type.
By this dear brothers and sisters, I am talking about how we can prevent one another from inadvertently afflicting the evil eye.
Remember, even extreme admiration can cause the evil eye. For example, a parent’s look at their child. Don’t think from the English name given to this that the afflicter needs to be evil. This is why it is more important that we understand and implement the tools to counteract this.
So, whenever we see anything good with one another, we should not see it with envy or jealousy. Rather we should make it a working practice to be happy for them and to pray to Allah SWT and seek His blessing for the other person as well as for themselves.
This comes practically in the form of the phrase “Mash’Allah”. Often it is used to show appreciation for something good so what does it mean?
Roughly translated into English it means “God has willed it.” In other words, by reciting this you are acknowledging that it is Allah SWT who has blessed the favour and you are recognizing this fact.
By reciting the phrase and being acutely aware of this meaning, one will be able to recondition their mind to fulfil the proactive type of protection because one will naturally then remember Allah SWT and this will lead to appreciation of the blessing He has given them.
Let’s aim to educate ourselves and one another on this everyday danger in our lives.
May Allah SWT protect us from the evil eye. May Allah SWT equip us to protect one another from the evil eye. And may Allah SWT keep us away from prohibited methods of protection from the evil eye.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.Read More