"By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and ill-tempered, they would have dispersed from round about you" [Qur'an 3:159]
About himself the Prophet (pbuh) said:
"Allah has sent me as an apostle so that I may demonstrate perfection of character, refinement of manners and loftiness of deportment." [Muwatta; Musnad; Mishkat]
Muhammad (PBUH) (Blessings and Peace be upon him) was born in Makkah, Arabia, on Monday, 12 Rabi' Al-Awwal (2 August C.E). His mother, Aminah was the daughter of Wahb bin Abd Al-Manaf of the Zahrah family. His father, Abdullah, was the son of Abd Al-Muttalib. His genealogy has been traced to the noble house of Isma'il, the son of Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH) (May Peace be upon him) in about the fortieth descent. Muhammad's father had died before his birth and his mother died when he was about six years old making him an orphan. In accordance with the tradition of noble families of Makkah, he was taken by a foster mother, Halimah, to her village where he lived for a few years. During these years he was taken to Makkah several times to visit his mother. After the death of his mother, he was placed under the custody of his grandfather, Abd Al-Muttalib. When the grandfather died, he was under the care of his uncle, Abu Talib. By this time he used to look after sheep around Makkah and used to accompany his uncle on trade journeys to Syria.
In his youth he believed firmly in the Oneness of Allah (God)(SWT). He lived a very simple life and hated vanity and pride. He was compassionate to the poor, widows and orphans and shared their sufferings by helping them. He avoided all vices, which were commonly practiced among young people such as gambling, drinking wine, vulgarity and others. He was well-known as As-Sadiq(the truthful) and Al-Amin (the trustworthy). He was always trusted as a mediator between two conflicting parties in his homeland, Makkah.
The following is the main text of a Jumuah Khutbah given on June 20, 2008. (Ishaq Zahid)
Allah T'ala says in the Holy Qur'an:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَن يَرۡتَدَّ مِنكُمۡ عَن دِينِهِۦ فَسَوۡفَ يَأۡتِى ٱللَّهُ بِقَوۡمٍ۬ يُحِبُّہُمۡ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ ۥۤ أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ يُجَـٰهِدُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَا يَخَافُونَ لَوۡمَةَ لَآٮِٕمٍ۬ۚ ذَٲلِكَ فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ يُؤۡتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُۚ وَٱللَّهُ وَٲسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him,- lowly with the believers, mighty against the rejecters, striving in the way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleases. And Allah encompasses all, and He knows all things.
This Ayat gives five characteristics of true believers and gives us a very stern warning that if we don’t follow the path of Al-Islam, the religion of Allah T’ala, that he can replace us with someone else. He is not in need of us. He is not in need of any one, but we are in need of Him.
Let us use this Ayat as a means of self-evaluation. The five qualities mentioned in the Ayat are:
Each of these qualities demands its own time to study, reflect and act upon.
I will, insha’Allah make some points at least about the love for Allah T’ala.
It is clear that the love for Allah (SWT) should override any other love. It demands worship and obedience of Allah T’ala as He has instructed us in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) It demands rejection of any other love, worship and obedience. It calls for actions which emanate from a sound heart; actions which are pleasing to the Almighty.
Sometimes stories help us understand better. This is the story of Elijah and a blind man as mentioned in the Gospel of Barnabas.
`In the time of the prophet Elijah it came to pass that Elijah seeing a blind man weeping, a man of good life, asked him, saying: "Why weepest thou, O brother?" The blind man answered: "I weep because I cannot see Elijah the prophet, the holy one of God."
`Then Elijah rebuked him, saying: "Cease from weeping, O man, for in weeping thou sinnest."
`The blind man answered: "Now tell me, is it a sin to see a holy prophet of God, that raiseth the dead and maketh the fire to come down from heaven?"
`Elijah answered: "Thou speakest not the truth, for Elijah is not able to do anything of all that thou sayest, because he is a man as thou art. For all the men in the world cannot make one fly to be born."
`Said the blind man: "Thou sayest this, O man, because Elijah must have rebuked thee for some sin of thine, wherefore thou hatest him."
`Elijah answered: "May it please God that thou be speaking the truth: because, O brother, if I should hate Elijah I should love God, and the more I should hate Elijah the more I should love God."
`Hereupon was the blind man greatly angered, and said: "As God liveth, thou art an impious fellow! Can God then be loved while one hateth the prophets of God? Begone forthwith, for I will not listen to thee any longer!"
`Elijah answered: "Brother, now mayest thou see with thine intellect how evil is bodily seeing. For thou desirest sight to see Elijah, and hatest Elijah with thy soul."
`The blind man answered: "Now begone! For thou art the devil, that wouldst make me sin against the holy one of God."
`Then Elijah gave a sigh, and said with tears: "Thou hast spoken the truth, O brother, for my flesh, which thou desirest to see, separateth thee from God."
`Said the blind man: "I do not wish to see thee; nay, if I had my eyes, I would close them so as not to see thee?"
`Then said Elijah: "Know, brother, that I am Elijah!"
`The blind man answered: "Thou speakest not the truth."
`Then said the disciples of Elijah: "Brother, he verily is the prophet of God, Elijah."
`"Let him tell," said the blind man, "if he be the prophet, of what seed I am, and how I became blind?'
`Elijah answered: "Thou art of the tribe of Levi; and because thou, in entering the temple of God, lookest lewdly upon a woman, thou being near the sanctuary, our God took away thy sight."
`Then the blind man weeping said: "Pardon me, O holy prophet of God, for I have sinned in speaking with thee; for if I had seen thee I should not have sinned."
`Elijah answered: "May our God pardon thee, O brother, because as regardeth me I know that thou hast told me the truth, seeing that the more I hate myself the more I love God, and if thou sawest me thou wouldst still thy desire, which is not pleasing to God. For Elijah is not your creator, but God; whence, so far as concerneth thee, I am the devil," said Elijah weeping, "because I turn thee aside from thy creator. Weep then, O brother, because thou hast not that light which would make thee see the true from the false, for if thou hadst had that thou wouldst not have despised my doctrine. Wherefore I say unto thee, that many desire to see me and come from far to see me, who despise my words. Wherefore it were better for them, for their salvation, that they had no eyes, seeing that everyone that findeth pleasure in the creature, be he who he may, and seeketh not to find pleasure in God, hath made an idol in his heart, and forsaken God."'
End of the story
Allah (SWT) said:
قُلۡ إِن كَانَ ءَابَآؤُكُمۡ وَأَبۡنَآؤُڪُمۡ وَإِخۡوَٲنُكُمۡ وَأَزۡوَٲجُكُمۡ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمۡ وَأَمۡوَٲلٌ ٱقۡتَرَفۡتُمُوهَا وَتِجَـٰرَةٌ۬ تَخۡشَوۡنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَـٰكِنُ تَرۡضَوۡنَهَآ أَحَبَّ إِلَيۡڪُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَجِهَادٍ۬ فِى سَبِيلِهِۦ فَتَرَبَّصُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَأۡتِىَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَمۡرِهِۦۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَہۡدِى ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقِينَ (٢٤)
"Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your husbands or wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and Fighting in His Cause; then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the rebellious folk." [At-Tawbah:24]
Let us evaluate our own condition. Here is an example.
According to a Hadeeth, `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The two Rak`ah before the dawn (Fajr) prayer are better than this world and all it contains.''
Another narration goes: "The two Rak`ah before the dawn (Fajr) prayer are dearer to me than the whole world.''
If we say that we love the Prophet, what is dear to him should be dear to us. Otherwise it is no love at all.
Do we pray on time, regularly, daily five times a day? In fact, entry into the brotherhood of Islam is based on Prayer and Charity.
Speaking about the Mushriks, Allah T’ala says in Surah Taubah:
فَإِن تَابُواْ وَأَقَامُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتَوُاْ ٱلزَّڪَوٰةَ فَإِخۡوَٲنُكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِۗ وَنُفَصِّلُ ٱلۡأَيَـٰتِ لِقَوۡمٍ۬ يَعۡلَمُونَ (١١)
But if they repent and establish Prayer and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail Our revelations for a people who have knowledge. (9:11)
My brothers and sisters in Islam:
When we look at the world today, it appears that the entire world, including the Muslim Ummah, is deeply immersed in the love of this dunya, the materialism.
Propeht Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) had flooded the heart of his followers with reverence, awe, complete submission and a living relationship with the Almighty Allah T’ala, but these qualities now appear to be on the wane in the Ummah.
Prophet had repeatedly expressed his anxiety, towards the end of his life, that Muslims might be swallowed by the pleasures of the world like earlier nations. A few days before his death, the Prophet had apprised his companions of this danger. In a Hadith from Sahih Muslim, Kitab-uz-Zuhd, he said:
“… By Allah, it is not the poverty about which I fear in regard to you but I am afraid in your case that (the worldly) riches way be given to you as were given to those who had gone before you and you begin to vie with one another for them as they vied for them. And these may destroy you as these destroyed them.”
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani made a good statement about this: He said in a sermon:
“ It is perfectly lawful to lay hands on the world and its gifts, to possess it or even to accumulate it for a commendable purpose, but it is forbidden to set your heart upon it. You may allow it to stand at the door of your heart but it is prohibited to allow it to get inside the door, for it shall not bring any honor to you.”
A simple plan of self evaluation and action may be the following:
To begin with, make sure you earn from Halal means. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) preferred to live poor and gave everything away to those who asked for and were in need. So spend very very carefully on your needs, and slowly increase giving the rest for the love of Allah T’ala. About 1 billion people—one fifth of the world's population—live on less than $1 a day. Think about it. How would you feel if you just had $1, $30 for the whole month, or $365 for the whole year?
Then, on the theology side, 4/5th of the world is non-Muslim and Islam is misunderstood and our enemies are spreading false propaganda. Should we not give and strive for these causes?