Interaction with one another

Dear brothers and sisters, the khutba this week was on a particular hadith of the Prophet SAWS and as with all hadith’s, they are best understood when analysed with context and thought.

This one in particular though is self-explanatory so we will begin by translating it as was mentioned by the imam earlier:

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection:

O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him?

O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me?

O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.

Dear brothers and sisters, the hadith is a long one and there are three main lessons to derive from the hadith but alongside that the theme of this reminder will also be commented upon.

The first reminder was of visiting the ill. This is a communal obligation and so if we hear of someone being unwell, it is an obligation upon at least one of us to visit the sick. In this city, we even have a local Muslim charity that visits the sickest of us all in hospices and care homes. Google the Myriad Foundation and you will see every day Muslims fulfilling this obligation to the next level.

However, we ought to remind ourselves of some pointers when doing this so that we keep etiquette even with a task as rewarding as this one.

Firstly, we should notify them before we come over. This is to avoid times when they are asleep, receiving medication or general courtesy.

Secondly, a small gift. It acts as charity and it’s even more rewarding if it assists in the emotional wellbeing of the sick.

Thirdly, whilst some patients enjoy the company, we don’t want to overburden the unwell and so keep the visit short and sweet. 20-30 minutes should suffice.

Fourthly, engage your brain. That means a couple of things. For example, if you are unwell then avoid the visit so you don’t pass it on. It means when you are there don’t focus on what’s wrong with them and it also means reflect upon your own self and be thankful to Allah SWTfor your own health and pray for the ill person.

The second and third part of the hadith was about feeding others food and drink. Dear brothers and sisters, we don’t live in a time where we know of our neighbourhood’s plight and that is a shame. It is often the case that if our neighbour in the street is going hungry then we are at risk of being caught out as mentioned in this hadith.

However, Salahadeen Masjid, alongside countless others in the county, have a system in place where we can avoid this transgression. On the stairs coming into the main hall we have a food box which is directly connected to your hungry neighbour. Let’s make it a habit each Friday to come to this masjid with one item of food. Even if it is a Smart Price can of beans for 23p, if we all brought one thing each week, the box would be overflowing and the food banks of this city would be catered for by the Muslims of this city. Surely, a habit worth establishing insh’Allah.

Dear brothers and sisters, these were the lessons of this hadith but by giving three examples, there is an overall theme and lesson to remember.

By mentioning these three things, the hadith reminds us that Islam is not about performing the actions of our faith only. It is not about the 5 prayers, fasting and giving the annual zakah only and thinking that is the end of it.

Of course, these things are needed from us, but by thinking this way, it is a narrow viewpoint and we need to remind ourselves that through this hadith, Allah SWT is speaking to us of collective responsibility.

A great example of this was the atrocity that fell upon this city last month during Ramadhan in the Arena. As Muslims, we automatically acted upon the lesson of todays hadith.

There were stories of taxi drivers who stopped charging money for the victims. There were stories of the local residents opening their homes in the middle of the night so that strangers had somewhere to sleep in the emergency. There were stories of off duty nurses and doctors passing by and giving up their spare time to help the wounded, offering critical first aid to those whose lives could still be saved.

This, dear brothers and sisters, that was the theme and lesson of today’s hadith and reminder. What today’s reminder tell us is that it doesn’t need an atrocity to bring out the best of Muslims, we have a need for heroes every single day. Through food banks and through visits to the sick, we have opportunities to demonstrate compassion for each other and thus be of those on the Day of Resurrection that are not posed the questions as stated in today’s hadith.

May Allah SWT fill our hearts with compassion. May Allah SWT instill into our hearts the need to look after others. And may Allah SWT reward us for our kind actions towards others.

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Divisions within our Ummah

One of the questions that is on the lips of those watching the news these days is about the different sects of Muslims.

It is clear to most of us that there are groups in Islam. We have the common Sunni/Shia divide publicised in the media but alongside that we are also aware of the Ahmediyya group, the Ismaili group just to name a few.

However, most of us aren’t aware of the basis of this division or how important it is for us to address this in our personal lives. To illustrate this latter point, the following hadith is mentioned in which the Prophet SAWS was asked by the companions on groups. He replied:

The Jews are separated into 71 groups, and the Christians are separated into 72 groups and my people will separate into 73 groups all in fire expect one : they asked which one group oh Messenger of Allah : he said the ‘group’ and in another narration, what I am on and my Companions

Dear brothers, the Quran also mentions this in Sura An-Nisa:

And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers – We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.

Dear brothers, the need to identifying that one group to belong to is clear enough but with 72 incorrect ones, how does one achieve this?

First of all, we need to identify the divisions. People are divided based on doctrinal divisions and based on Ideological divisions.

Doctrinal division is based upon the belief system. The major groups here are publicised and well known such as Sunni, Shi’a doctrines. What isn’t so well known is that these are broken down further into groups.

The second type of division is based upon Ideological reasoning. Within this type of division you have the Traditional Islam taking up the vast majority of muslims at around 96%. Other groups here are Islamic Modernism and Islamic Fundamentalism.

Other reasons for division and groups can be defined under schools of Islamic Law with people falling under the Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and Hanbali group.

And the list goes on dear brothers, groups are split into sub-groups until eventually you begin reaching the number mentioned in the Hadith.

The first point to make in reference to this difficult topic is that we must respect all the great scholars of Islam. Especially those which make the four schools of Islamic law.

They were great scholars and may Allah SWT reward them for their great work.

For those who are accustomed with people belonging to a defined and named group, this topic is often one that results in emotional reaction in people and heated debates and yet the answer, as with all things in relation to our faith, is a simple one.

Which group does one belong to? Which is the 1 of 73?

Dear brothers, the answer lies in the Glorious Quran.

Several verses interpret to saying “Obey Allah and Obey His Messenger” SAWS. Therefore a true Muslim should only follow the Glorious Quran and the correct and proven teachings of our beloved Prophet SAWS.

The true Muslim can agree with the views of any scholar or defined group, provided that they conform to the teachings of the Quran and the teachings of the Hadith.

If such views go against the Glorious Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet SAWS then they carry no weight, regardless of the reputation of the scholar or of the group.

And by that same account, if such a view is found, it does not mean that everything else that scholar or group says is against the Glorious Quran or Sunnah.

In essence, it means then that the true Muslim is one that is forever a student of the Glorious Quran and a student of the Sunnah of the Prophet SAWS.

He will forever require to refer back to these sources of knowledge in order that he remain in the correct group and that is the default and first group, the group of the Prophet SAWS and his companions.

It also means that he cannot be lazy in his faith and blindly follow a group of people. He should always be attempting to read the Quran with understanding and adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet SAWS. And most importantly, he should constantly be in supplication to his Lord asking for guidance regarding the path of the one true group.

And dear brothers, this should be the aim of every Muslim as this way of being is the best way for us to be a united Ummah once more.

May Allah SWT give us the ability to understand the importance of the true group within our Ummah. May Allah SWT give us the ability to follow the advice in belonging to the true group and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in belonging to the correct group.x

Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.

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How we deal with Masjids (Mosques)

Islam has made the masjid the heartbeat of the Muslim society. It is the hangout of Muslims where they meet one another daily, not only to perform the obligatory prayers but also for other acts of worship and activities that are beneficial for the Muslim community.

The following Hadith talks of the masjid in which the Prophet SAWS said:

Whoever ate garlic or onion should avoid us, to avoid the masjid and stay at home as the angel get affected by whatever the son of Adam gets affected by.

Dear brothers, most of us can interpret this hadith to talk of not smelling a foul smell when coming to the masjid but we can expand upon this further by saying that this is about consideration for others.

And so similarly we have, especially at Jumma, brothers trying to weave in and out of rows in their attempt to leave the hall. Show consideration and come to the front of the hall if you plan to pray so that people don’t get trapped in front of you.

But that is not the main point that this khutba is attempting to make. The title of this about dealing with Masjids.

Dear brothers, what do you see when you look at this masjid? For most of us, we use this as a place of worship. Somewhere to read our Jumma prayers, our daily congregational prayers, our Taraweeh prayers in Ramadhan.

However, this building is a house of Allah and it has the potential to offer much more. But before this point is expressed further, there is an ayat of the Quran in Sura Al-Noor:

Shining out in houses of worship, God has ordained that they be raised high and that His name should be remembered in them, with men in them celebrating his Glory morning and evening.

Dear brothers, this is the function of the masjid. This is what Allah SWT has told us a masjid needs to do. This is how we need to deal with the masjids such as the one in which we are sat.

Are we delivering on this responsibility placed upon us by Allah SWT?

We are blessed in Manchester in that we have over 50 masjids in this city. We are seldom more than a 10 minute drive to the nearest masjid. And yet besides Friday, Eid or Taraweeh prayers, the masjid is less than a third full.

We need to bring it into our hearts. To make it feel like a second home. Our nearest masjid to our home should be so well frequented that we notice little changes like new paint work or something out of place. It should take the place of cafes, cinemas and other social venues.

Allah SWT talks of coming to the masjid in Sura Al-Araf when He says:

O children of Adam, dress well when you are at worship, and eat and drink as we have permitted but do not be extravagant; God does not like extravagant people.

Dear brothers, putting effort in our attire in the masjid is part of the complete picture we need to build in order to make this house of Allah fulfil it’s potential.

We live in a time where the Muslim Ummah is attacked in the media almost daily. We feel embarrassed, lost and lonely when events before us are unfolding in the so-called name of Islam.

Its at times like this, the masjid has the potential to become our solace in protecting us from that. But in order to do that we need to make it a place we want to visit beyond worship and prayer.

Specifically this masjid, our website is just the start. But from that we need to get together as a community and offer services in this house of Allah for our local community.

So-called “Coffee mornings” for locals, for the elderly, for those interested in Islam. Presentations, lectures and classes for all ages, and on all different types of skills from vocational to religious.

The following hadith applies to this khutba in which the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:

Whoever went to the Masjid, and does not want except learning good or teaching good, he would get the reward of doing and completing Hajj.

Dear brothers, we have a base from which to do just that. We just need community participation and community involvement. This place is a community centre that is awaiting its community.

Let’s begin today by suggesting ideas via our website, email or telephone on how we can make our masjid an example of how should deal with a masjid.

May Allah SWT enable us to fulfil the responsibility of the masjid. May Allah SWT enable us to fulfil the potential of this masjid and may Allah SWT reward us for the efforts in fulfilling the responsibility of the Masjid.

Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.

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