Dear brothers and sisters, the Angel Jibreel brought down the Quran to us through the Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings of Allah SWT be upon him. It was revealed to the Prophet SAWS in the month of Ramadhan and for this we regard this month as the best of months. We know it was first revealed in the night of Power as we call it and this has become to be known as the best of nights.
This book is our living miracle in a world of gadgets, scientific breakthroughs and technology. There is nothing like it in this world and this reminder will never be able to fully do justice to that fact. However, the focus on today’s reminder is on the effect it has on our lives, our homes and our paths in this life.
The imam reminded us of the following ayat from Sura An-Nisa, ayat 174 which is translated to say:
O mankind, there has come to you a conclusive proof from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a clear light.
Dear brothers and sisters, in a world that is misleading and full of darkness for the believer, this is the clear advice being offered on what will provide that light in order to keep us on the path and not lose our way.
The imam mentioned the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS has said:
If anyone recites the Qur’an and acts according to its content, on the Day of Judgement his parents will be given to wear a crown whose light is better than the light of the sun in the dwellings of this world if it were among you. So what do you think of him who acts according to this ?
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to understand that the Holy Quran being the light has many explanations. One of the key ones for the youth growing up in the world today is that this book is the living miracle that each and every Muslim ought to be aware of.
First of all, this book is the most read, understood, memorized, discussed and contemplated book in the whole world and has always been this way from the moment it was revealed up until the last day of this life.
This book is such that it is being read all the time somewhere in the world due to the time zones that span the whole world. It is a book that, if the world was to burn every single copy of every single book in the world tomorrow, we would have the Quran back on paper within 24 hours due to the amount of people that have memorized it across the world.
This book is a book that is unaltered and cannot be altered due to the vast number of people who have memorized this book over the world. It is a book that is repeated in part in every single masjid in every town in every country in the world. And there is no variation, there is no discrepancy and there is no change. Nothing else written past, present or future has and will come close to this.
And secondly, and most importantly, this book is a source of happiness, healing and mercy. In a world where the hedonistic pursuit of one’s desires results in the chaos we see, the Quran is the true source of contentment until the return to our Lord.
The imam reminded us of the 82nd ayat of Sura Al-Isra which is translated to say:
And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.
And so, this reminder concludes with 5 practical tips we can take to achieve happiness from the book of Allah.
- Read it. It’s not given to gather dust in our homes. It ought to be a member of our family and all should witness it’s reading, especially children in the home.
- Try to memorize some of it. Allah SWT said in Surat-Qamar, ayat 17:
And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance
Since, this book is a guidance for all, regardless of nationality or language, not a single Muslim should ever think that this task is beyond them to achieve. However, it requires effort and focus which lies within the induvial to commit to.
- Try to ponder over the ayats of the Quran. Dear brothers and sisters, for those of us who are not native Arab speakers, this may appear like a difficult task. However, this is a question of attitude. Imagine this, you’ve just received a message from out of this world. This message is from your most beloved person. It is a message that is however encrypted. However this message is one you have waited your whole life for. It is the key to understanding everything about your beloved and about yourself. However, it’s encrypted. But good news, you can learn to decrypt the message as there are people who can help you do this. The question then is: Would you not then make the effort to decrypt that message? would you not then spend every waking minute wondering what this super message is to you? Would you not seek the best people to unlock this supernatural message that’s been sent just for you?
Dear brothers and sisters, this is the Quran. It’s encryption is the language of Arabic. And this is a message delivered from the Heavens by an Angel to a Prophet specifically for you. Why wouldn’t you make a small commitment to work towards understanding the book of your beloved Creator?
- Work on practically adhering to the lessons within the Quran. This book is a living book, unlike any other which talks back to the reader and guides them to the path of Allah SWT. And alongside that we have the example of the living embodiment of the Quran, the sunnah of the Prophet SAWS to help us live out the lessons of the Quran.
- Lastly, the Prophet SAWS said: The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it. So let’s spread wisdoms and lessons we learn from Quran. Let’s teach our youth how connected we are to the book. Let’s make the book of Allah SWT the central point in each of our homes.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are the nation to which belongs the single greatest miracle in existence today. However, the Quran serves not only to prove the authenticity of Islam but also provides each and every believer with a source of happiness that cannot be found anywhere else in life. The biggest tragedy that can befall us is that we do not realise this fact and that we don’t make the effort to acquaint ourselves with this living miracle and source of real happiness in this life.
I wanted to remind you of the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.”
As you can conclude from this hadith, each letter recited from the Glorious Quran is worth 10 good deeds.
Dear brothers and sisters, in this country and in this masjid there are people with varying degrees of skill when it comes to reciting the Quran.
There are those who have memorized the Quran, for them the act of completing the recitation is very achievable and they do so multiple times in this blessed month Mash’Allah.
There are others who have no knowledge of Arabic, who are maybe at Qaida level and who would struggle to read a page from the Quran. I want to relay the beauty of our faith and the beauty of this month insh’Allah by sharing the next two hadiths with you. The first one is specifically for those of us who aren’t fluent but have a desire to read the book of Allah SWT.
If you are in this category, don’t be disheartened by the level you are at. To struggle and strive in this task has no shame, in fact it is the opposite. Use this month to get going whether it’s through the help of a teacher, a class or even a Quran audio or app. The following hadith helps illustrate in which the Prophet SAWS said:
Verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have TWICE that reward.
Dear brothers and sisters, those who struggle will have twice that reward. May Allah SWT let that statement resonate in your hearts and give you the drive to begin today insh’Allah.
The final hadith I wanted to share on this topic is in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.”
So then if we look at all the hadiths in today’s reminder, we could potentially earn 700 good deeds per letter recited in this month. And for those, unsure whether to recite because you are struggling to get through each page, for you each letter is worth 1400 good deeds insh’Allah.
Now ask yourself, can you even count that many good deeds you’ve done in the past year. This is the blessing of Ramadan and this is the blessing that is the Quran and this is the blessing that is the religion of Islam. May Allah SWT give us all the drive and ability to recite from His Glorious Quran.
This week’s reminder is about intellect and evidence from Quran and Sunnah
Dear brothers and sisters, we spoke last week of the great gifts that we have been given from Allah SWT and one of those we spoke of was the revelation that is the Glorious Quran.
However, one of the ones we are going to touch upon in this week’s reminder is that of intellect or the human mind to think, to understand and to comprehend.
So in this day and age, where we have the revelation from Allah SWT. A direct speech of our Lord, the master of the Day of Judgment, in a form that is guarded and is free from any deviation since the day it was revealed, why is is then that we have those who disbelieve?
Allah SWT spoke of this in the Quran and the imam mentioned it today. Sura Imran, ayat 101 can be translated to say:
And how could you disbelieve while to you are being recited the verses of Allah and among you is His Messenger? And whoever holds firmly to Allah has [indeed] been guided to a straight path.
Dear brothers and sisters, as you may know, each and every ayat of the Quran has a blessing and a lesson for us to ponder upon. If we look at the translation of this, we can derive that it is only the defiantly disobedient who hold on to their desires and their inertia for ignorance do they remain in a state of disbelief.
We hear again and again of people who come to Islam after studying the Quran and in fact we heard of this once again in the news this week with the German Far-Right political party, known for its anti-muslim rhetoric, having to release a statement because one of it’s executive members reverted to Islam. Allahu Akbar.
We have people who disbelieve, reiterating a narration that the mind and the spirit cannot co-exist. They claim that science disproves religion and that if there was a mindful person then they cannot be believers in religion. In essence they place science in place of religion and they dismiss the opinion of those who believe as not using their heads.
So how does one tackle this firstly and secondly why is there this disagreement between the two?
Firstly, we need to understand that science and religion are not opposite to each other. In Islam, we are taught to have critical thinking, the Quran tells us to ponder, to give it some thought. Indeed, when the Quran was being revealed, each letter, each word, each ayat was meticulously read and studied for lessons and for guidance.
The Quran is the verbatim word of Allah SWT. In other words, it is the direct speech of Allah SWT without translation, via the Prophet SAWS. So, if we ponder the verses of the Quran, does it make us at odds with critical thinking or with science?
The misfortune we have growing up in this country is that we are not taught the impact that Islam actually had on sciences. From glasses to coffee to the actual concept of organised learning, i.e. universities, these all came from Islam.
We have pioneers throughout history in all areas of critical thinking and in all areas of science. On top of that, we have the glorious Quran itself telling us about areas of science, challenging man to replicate the miracles within the book, asking us if we can see these miracles then why do we not believe?
Just a layman’s study of the Quran will discover topics such as Astronomy, Geology, Biology with detailed explanations on the human embryology and the water cycle. This contradicts the narrative that science and religion cannot exist as the Quran is also a book of science as well as being a complete teacher in life.
We don’t need to fall silent when we hear of those who claim religion has no place in the mind of a critical thinker as we have a book here that not only encourages it but then challenges it through scientific facts which could not possibly have been known 15 centuries ago.
So with that being said, how is that we still have people that disbelieve or disagree with the message?
This part of the reminder can be divided into two parts. Firstly, the disagreement can be due to the hadith being fabricated, the translation being misinterpreted or worse still, take out of context to suit a certain opinion.
We ought to take a lesson from this in that, especially in this time and place of misinformation, we ought to be conscious of this danger and thus spend effort in verifying what we hear from reputable teachers we know.
The second reason can be down to our own shortcomings when it comes to understanding the lessons in the Quran and from the hadith.
The imam mentioned a hadith in which the Prophet SAWS is translated to have said:
Verily, the (peoples) before you were ruined because of their disputation in the Book. All the parts and the Ayat of the book of Allah confirming each other, put what you know into action and whichever you have no knowledge about then leave it for it’s scholar.
Dear brothers and sisters, we can derive an important lesson from this hadith and that is we should avoid the habit of being the online Sheikh. This phenomenon has come about through the advent of the internet where these days everybody shares their opinion on complex topics and often without study and indepth knowledge of the subject.
We ought to remind ourselves that those hadiths and ayats being commented on are usually done by people who dedicate their lives to this area of study and for us to refute or comment is disrespectful at the very least and actually contradicts the overall message of using our brains wisely.
After all, if there is a topic on Rocket Science, we wouldn’t dream of going on a forum and debating the points with other experts unless we are experts ourselves.
The lesson here again is to follow the advice and guidance of teachers that have proven to be of good reputation and have sound knowledge. For most, the first port of call is their local imam.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have been blessed with sound mind and a thirst for the truth. Let us not be of those who waste it in mindless activities and instead use it for the pursuit of the truth and guidance that comes from the Quran and the Sunnah.
The final testament or the Glorious Quran as we know it, is a book unlike any other.
We revere it as we know it to be a direct communication from Allah SWT to us via the Prophet Muhammad SAWS.
And within this book, to set it apart from any other are characteristics that make it unique. There are miracles of which we are still learning its magnitude. There are also miracles in the application of the Quran in that it is still only a single version without deviation after fourteen centuries or that somewhere at any given time there is someone reciting its words.
But the khutba today is focused on the advice that is found in the Quran or the inherent wisdom that can be attained from the Quran. This is the focus of this weeks khutba.
And to just demonstrate this point by an example, we know that there is the Ten Commandments that are followed by Christians. But scholars in Islam also speak of the so-called Ten Commandments of the Quran. But do most of us know where these are in the Quran or what they are?
Before we analyse them, let’s recap where they are found. In Sura Al-Anam, ayat 151 to 153, we recite the words of Allah SWT which are translated as saying:
Say, ‘Come! I will tell you what your Lord has really forbidden you. Do not ascribe anything as a partner to Him; be good to your parents; do not kill your children in fear of poverty’— We will provide for you and for them— stay well away from committing obscenities, whether openly or in secret; do not take the life God has made sacred, except by right. This is what He commands you to do: perhaps you will use your reason.
Stay well away from the property of orphans, except with the best [intentions], until they come of age; give full measure and weight, according to justice— We do not burden any soul with more than it can bear— when you speak, be just, even if it concerns a relative; keep any promises you make in God’s name. This is what He commands you to do, so that you may take heed
This is My path, leading straight, so follow it, and do not follow other ways: they will lead you away from it— This is what He commands you to do, so that you may refrain from wrongdoing.’
Dear brothers and sisters, for those of you who were counting, those three verses just constituted ten commandments passed over to us by Allah SWT.
And how did the scholars reach the conclusion on them being commandments? Each verse ends with the word command in the context of Allah SWT commanding us to follow what preceded it in the verse.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the advice that is offered in the Quran to each and every one of us. However, for many, Arabic is not a native language and therefore it can prove to be difficult to gain the benefit from the book of Allah SWT.
Therefore what follows are 5 things that we can each do in order to reap the benefits of being of the book of Allah SWT.
- Learn Quranic Arabic – We have lessons in this masjid for all ages and capabilities. Just ask for more information.
- Follow the commentary of the Quran. Just google Tafsir of the Quran and you can get access to a wealth of knowledge on the Quran and the lessons within.
- Use the advice in the Quran in it’s context. By this we mean that it is not enough that you take the literal translation of the Quran and stop there. We need to understand that the content of this book is from Allah SWT who made the mind-boggling vastness of the universe or the complexity of the human brain.
Therefore to read a translation (or even just the Arabic) and think that you have understood the wisdom of the quran is not doing it or yourself justice.
The word Ayat of the Quran is actually better translated as Sign (s-i-g-n) and not verse and therefore each ayat is a sign for those who reflect and ponder and fully digest what Allah SWT is saying.
This action requires help for most but now, thanks to the internet, can be delivered in the form of lectures from scholars in video, audio or text format.
This is the best course of action for those of us who wish for a greater understanding of the book of Allah SWT.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to understand that the only tangible connection to Allah SWT and the Prophet SAWS is the book of Allah SWT. It is from Him to us for us. In other words, there are words within this book that apply to the lives of each and every one of us in this day and age.
Therefore doesn’t it make sense to begin the journey today to unlocking the guidance within this book?
May Allah SWT enable us to understand the Quran. May Allah SWT enable us to gain wisdom from the Quran and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in understanding the Quran.
Ameen Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.
Dear brothers, the topic of this weeks’ khutba is contemplation of the Final Testament of our Creator – the Quran.
As Muslims, we are instructed to ponder on the words of the Quran. Allah SWT mentions this in Sura Al-Furqan, ayat 30 in which it is translated as saying:
And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Quran as a thing abandoned.
Dear brothers, the scholars are in agreement that in this context, the understanding we need to take from this ayat is that the abandonment that is being spoken of is the lack of understanding and contemplation of the meaning behind the words of the Quran.
But let’s break this point down further. There are 114 suras in the Quran. Chapters as we translate it to being. This is not strictly the best English word to describe Sura. But more importantly for this khutba, we have 6236 ayats in the Quran. This is translated as verses. Again this is not strictly true and this point is explained further.
The word Ayat is not verse dear brothers. If we look at the literal translation of this word then we see that it actually means ‘evidence’ or ‘sign’. That means that within this Quran, we have 6236 signs for us to contemplate on or evidences for us to think about! This is a remarkable statement of fact.
Allah SWT tells us of the above in the Quran and the following ayat demonstrates this as it is from Sura Saad, ayat 29 and it is translated as saying:
This is a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, that they might reflect upon it’s verses (or ayats) and that those of understanding would be reminded.
So dear brothers, if we know that there is a sign within each small ayat of the Quran then we need to ask ourselves, what is preventing us from gaining access to the most important thing in all our existence.
This Glorious Quran is divine, it is out of this world and it is our connection to Allah SWT, the universe and beyond. What is it that is therefore preventing us from pulling out all the stops and dedicating our lives to understanding this book?
Again we can refer to a Sura of the Quran. Ayat 24 of sura Muhammed is translated as saying:
Then do they not reflect upon the Quran, or are there locks upon their hearts?
Dear brothers, nobody in this room wants to be referenced on the Day of Judgment as being of this group mentioned.
The Quran has a direct connection to your heart. It has the ability to move you, to inspire you and to change you unlike anything or anyone in this world. We can start this journey today and inspire to becoming at one with this miracle in our lives.
According to Hadith, the Prophet SAWS said to Abdullah ibn Masood: “Recite for me the Quran”. He said: “O Messenger of Allah! Should I recite to you and it was revealed to you?” He said: “Yes, for I like to hear it from others.” “I recited Sura an-Nisaa until I reached the ayah, “How will it be then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you O Muhammed as a witness against these people?” He then said: “Stop now.” I found that his eyes were tearful.
Dear brothers, the hadith mentioned here demonstrates the power of the Quran even on the best of creation. We need to aspire to having this reaction when we listen to the Quran also.
So with that being said, what follows are 3 tips for understanding the Quran:
- Always purify your intentions. This was the khutba last week and it is about sincerity in intention.
- Use a reliable translation and commentary if you don’t understand Arabic. We have some in our masjid and online on our site. And on the topic of internet references, YouTube is now a rich source of knowledge on the Quran. Channels such as Quran Weekly are great as well as video series called the Quranic Gems.
- And lastly, don’t give up. The Quran consists of around 80,000 words which may sound daunting. However, by learning only 125 words you will know the meaning of half that number. In other words, 125 unique words are repeated 40,000 times. Learn another 125 words and you will know the meaning of 7 of every 10 words in the Quran. Dear brothers, a 250-word list is what stands between us and knowing most of the words of the Quran. Google 250 Quran Words to get a free list online and begin today.
And in conclusion to this khutba, Sura Al- Baqara, ayat 281 is translated as saying:
And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.
May Allah SWT unlock our hearts for the Glorious Quran. May Allah SWT drive us to understand the Quran and may Allah SWT reward us for our understanding of the Quran.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
Dear brothers, we carry on the topic of Ramadhan in this week’s khutba and of course, this is a topic that we can span across many Friday’s. But specifically this week the focus is on the blessing of this month and that is of the revelation of the Quran.
The following Sahih Muslim hadith emphasises the power of certain Sura’s in the Quran:
From Abu Umamah al-Bahili r.a., he said he heard Rasulullah (peace and blessings be upon him) say: “Recite the Quran as it helps the reader come the Day of Judgement. Read Zahrawain, which is Surah al-Baqarah and Al-Imran, because they will come on the Day of Resurrection like two clouds that will provide shade to its readers or as two groups of birds in flight in the goal to defend its readers.
Read al-Baqarah, for the blessing and those having read it will be with no regrets and the readership having read it cannot be controlled by witchcraft.
The hadith is emphasising the benefits of the reading the Quran dear brothers. However, for some of us, the idea of reciting the second and third sura of the Quran is quite a challenge.
For some of us the Arabic language is taught solely for the Quran and so if we don’t recite often enough we begin to forget how to do so.
Dear brothers, we are in a situation here where the greatest connection to our Lord, our afterlife, our destiny is the Glorious Quran and yet we are in danger of forgetting it.
In Sura Al-Furqan, ayat 30, Allah SWT speaks of these times when it says:
And the Messenger has said: “O My Lord, indeed my people have taken this Quran as a thing abandoned.”
My dear brothers, at the very least we must strive to not be of these people. We can be proactive in learning to recite the Quran. Let’s get the Glorious Quran back onto our tongues and into our hearts.
The following is a 3 step guide on how each and every one of us can achieve this insh’Allah.
By the end of this guide, even those who have never recited the Quran before will be able to recite as much as they wish and without having to find classes to attend for learning.
And dear brothers, recall from previous khutbas that Allah SWT gives greater reward to the one who struggles to recite as he is learning to do so.
Step 1, go to the Masjid website. For those who do not know it is www.salahadeenmosque.org.uk Along the top you will find a section called Education and underneath that there are three items.
The first item is Listen to Quran. Here you can pick any ayat from any sura and it will play it either once or as many times as you like in case you wish to memorize.
The second option is Read Quran. This is for those who have forgotten or want to learn to read Quran. The Quran is displayed as if you were holding it in your hands. You hear the recitation and the section is highlighted on the Quran so you know what is being read.
This option also has translation of each section you are reading and for those who cannot read Arabic at all, it has English transliteration too.
The third option is the Kurdish Quran which has both the Arabic and the Kurdish translation.
Step 2, make intention now to recite just one level above what you have done previously. For those brothers who have not recited Quran at all, it could be just one ayat. For those who are a bit rusty then maybe a page. The key here is to start minimal because then you can only improve.
Step 3, meet that intention through the resources mentioned on the website and aim to make that habit consistent through this month.
My dear brothers, it is a struggle to find anyone these days that cannot access the internet. Now is the time to use it to take that step closer to Allah SWT and the Glorious Quran inshAllah.
May Allah SWT help us recognize the blessings of the month of Ramadhan. May Allah SWT protect us from the group that have abandoned the Quran. And may Allah SWT enable us to return the glorious Quran to our tongues and our hearts.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
Uthman Ibn Afan (May Allah be pleased with him) has narrated that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has said:
“The best of you are those who learn the Quran and then teach it to others”
There are many amongst us who struggle to recite the Quran, especially living in this country. In fact, the following Hadith is escpecially applicable to those:
“Verily the one who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly and precisely, he will be in the company of noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through it’s verses, then he will have TWICE that reward”
Furthermore the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said:
“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it. And the hasanah is multiplied by 10. I do not say Alif-Laam-Meem is a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.”
What a great gift we have as muslims to be given the ability to read the words of Allah SWT. Surely the success of this life lies in the remembrance of Allah SWT and what better what than through the recitation of the Quran?
Going back to the first Hadith mentioned, the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him has said that those who memorize or learn the Quran should not do it for just themselves but that they should teach it to others then so that there is a benefit for a greater number of people.
Furthermore, it is important to be aware of the following ayat from Sura Al Furqan that states:
“And the Messenger Will Say “O My Lord!, My people have abandoned this Quran””
We need to be wary that we do not fall into the group of muslims that the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him, complains about.
Abandoning the Quran takes many forms:
There is the reading of it, the understanding of it, how to live by it and how to teach it to others. We need to strive to do all of the above.
The Prophet is reported to have said:
“It will be said to the companion of the Quran after he has entered paradise, “Recite and rise” For every verse he recites he will rise on level in Paradise until he reaches the last verse with him i.e. in his memory”
This hadith mentions the merit of those who memorize part or all of the Quran. We should all memorize as much of the Quran as we can until our last breath for every ayah we memorize will result in higher ranks in Jannah! Inshallah!