الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل منفعة العلم في الأعمال، ونجاح العمل بالإخلاص فيه لله الواحد الفعال، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير،  ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.

قال الله عز وجل في كتابه الكريم: ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

 

Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “Enter the Garden because of what you did.” Muslims, the reality of this deen of Islam is that it is a deen of doing, a deen of action. Islam is not how much Qur’an you know nor how many hadith – Islam is not a deep understanding of the books of fiqh or endless talk about how to put the world right – Islam is putting whatever it is we know into practice. For knowledge is a two-edged sword – it lifts up a person in the eyes of Allah and testifies on his behalf on the Day of Qiyama when it is acted upon, but when it is not acted upon, it testifies against him on that Day when a person needs every positive witness he can get. Bashar ibn al-Harith said,

 

العلم حسن لمن عمل به ، ومن لم يعمل ما أضره

 

“Knowledge is good for the one who acts by it. But there is nothing more harmful than it for the one who does not act.” And it was upon that basis that the Messenger of Allah taught the deen to his Companions, carefully doling it out to them in instalments, in amounts that he knew they would be able to take on and immediately put into practice in their lives. He never taught them anything that they could not do or that he himself was not already doing. And that is one of the reasons the Quran was not all revealed at once, but rather over the space of twenty-three years. To give the Muslims the opportunity to put everything they were taught into practice. For the great fear the Messenger of Allah had for his umma was not that they would lack knowledge, but rather that they would put that knowledge into action. Mu’adh ibn Jabal narrated that he said,

 

إني لست أخاف عليكم فيما لا تعلمون ولكن انظروا كيف تعملون فيما تعلمون

 

“I have no fear for you with regard to what you do not know. Rather you must look to how you put what you do know into action.” The Prophet feared that the people of knowledge of his umma might become like those of the of the Bani Isra’il, about whom Allah says:

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا

 

the translation of which is, “The metaphor of those who were charged with the Torah but then have not upheld it, is that of a donkey loaded with weighty tomes.” The great men of the Sahaba understood this implicitly and so they took great care to only learn what they could implement in their own lives. It is said that Umar ibn al-Khattab spent twelve years memorising surat al-Baqara and that, with every ayat that he learned he made sure that he had fully put it into practice before moving on to the next one. For the reality is that a thing is not truly known until it has been put into practice. Before that it is just words and information. Abu ad-Darda’ said

لا يكون الرجل عالما حتى يكون عاملا

 

“No one can be a person of knowledge until he is a person of action.”

And Dawud at-Ta’i compared a man who spends his life acquiring knowledge but does not act by it to a warrior who spends his life acquiring weapons but never uses them on the battlefield, and what is the point in that?

Sufyan ibn Uyaynah said,

 

من عمل بما علم فهو العالم، ومن ترك العمل بما علم فهو الجاهل

 

“The one who acts by what he knows is an alim. While the one who does not act by what he knows is a jahil.” For true ignorance is not necessarily a ‘lack of knowledge’, ignorance is not knowing the implication of that knowledge that you have. For example, you do not really know that prayer is obligatory if you are not doing it. That simply implies that you do not know what ‘obligatory’ means.

We have been placed in a unique position in this world today. The majority of people are lost – they wander aimlessly through the world unsure of where to go and unsure of what to do. They chase after the world because they see no alternative, they partake of the haram because they do not know what is halal. But we do know! We know what we should be doing. Allah has given us an understanding of the sickness of the world in which we live and has taught us the cure. We cannot claim the excuse of ignorance, and so our responsibility is that much greater and we have that much more to answer for. We must act. We must put into practice the solutions we talk about, otherwise we will become like those who say what they do not do. Allah says in surat as-Saff:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لا تَفْعَلُونَ كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ تَقُولُوا مَا لا تَفْعَلُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “You who believe! why do you say what you do not do? It is deeply abhorrent to Allah that you should say what you do not do.” And al-Walid ibn Uqba narrates that the Prophet said,

 

إن أناسا من أهل الجنة يتطلعون إلى أناس من أهل النار فيقولون: بم دخلتم النار فوالله ما دخلنا الجنة إلا بما تعلمنا منكم؟ فيقولون: إنا كنا نقول ولا نفعل

 

“People from the Garden will look across to people from the Fire and ask them, ‘How did you end up in the Fire? For, by Allah, we ourselves only got into the Garden because of what you taught us.’ They will reply, ‘We used to say but not do.’”

It is deeply abhorrent to Allah and takes a person to the Fire because it is the very height of hypocrisy. Abdallah ibnul-Mu’tizz said,

علم المنافق في قوله وعلم المؤمن في عمله

 

“The knowledge of a hypocrite is found in his words while the knowledge of a believer is found in his actions.” A person who knows one sura of the Quran, puts it into practice fully and lives by it is preferable to a man who knows the entire Quran and the books of hadith and yet neglects to implement them in his life, or worse still thinks their rulings to not be appropriate for this age.

The time for putting them into action is now – not tomorrow or next year or after I sort out my personal issues or financial difficulties. In a very famous hadith from ‘Amr ibn Maymun, the Prophet said,

 

اغتنم خمسا قبل خمس : شبابك قبل هرمك وصحتك قبل سقمك وغناك قبل فقرك وفراغك قبل شغلك وحياتك قبل موتك

 

“Take advantage of five before five other things come to pass: your youth before old age; your health before sickness; your wealth before poverty; your free time before you become busy; and your life before you die.” None of us can guarantee how we will be tomorrow, whether we will be alive or dead, healthy or desperately ill, and so we have to take full advantage of the moments that we have. We must live in the now – and never leave till the morrow what we can do today, for procrastination is the sworn enemy of action and very often leads to the action not being done at all. It is narrated that al-Hasan said,

 

إياك والتسويف فإنك بيومك ولست بغدك، فإن يكن غد لك فكن في غد كما كنت في اليوم، وإن لم يكن لك غد لم تندم على ما فرطت في اليوم

 

“Beware of procrastination, for you are living in the now, not tomorrow. If you do have a tomorrow, you can live tomorrow as you were today, but if you do not have a tomorrow, you will regret having fallen short today.” And Abul-Jalad said,

 

قرأت في بعض الكتب: إن سوف جند من جند إبليس

 

“I read somewhere in a book that the phrase ‘I will do such-and-such in the future’ is one of the soldiers of Iblis.” In other words, don’t say that you are going to do something, just go ahead and do it.

And remember why it is we give these khutbas and why it is you come to them. Not to absorb information, but rather to learn things that one can implement in one’s life. We do not, for example, talk about the marketplace or the waqfs simply to relay interesting tidbits about how Islam was in the past, but rather to encourage everyone here to go out and do what they can to bring that about. That is Islam. That is the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah, who put into practice every ayat of the Quran so that Aisha said about him that his character was the Qur’an, and that is the Sunnah of the Companions and all of those who followed in their footsteps. So we ask Allah to place us upon their footsteps and give us the success and strength to put into practice the knowledge that He has given us. And we ask Him to protect us from knowledge that we do not act upon.

 

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.

 

الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته. قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: لن يدخل أحدكم الجنة بعمله، قالوا: ولا أنت يا رسول الله؟ قال: ولا أنا إلا أن يتغمدني الله برحمة منه وفضل

 

The Prophet said, “None of you will enter the Garden by his actions.” “Not even you, Messenger of Allah?” they asked. “Not even me,” he replied, “unless Allah covers me with HIs mercy and bounty.” Some might read this hadith and think that it contradicts the ayas mentioned in the first. But it does not. It simply indicates the reality of existence. We are slaves and Allah is our Lord, we are in need and He is without need. Allah says,

 

يا أيها الناس أنتم الفقراء إلى الله والله هو الغني الحميد

 

the translation of which is, “People, you are poor, in need of Allah, while Allah is beyond need, Praiseworthy.” There is no obligation on Allah. The created being cannot say, “Because I have done this, You must do that.” Actions are important – they are an essential element of success in this world,  they must be in place for a person to enter the Garden, but by themselves they do not guarantee anything. They are but empty husks whose worth is determined by the intentions behind them. The Prophet said,

إنما الأعمال بالنيات

 

“Actions are only by intention.” And Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari said in his Hikam,

 

الأَعْمالُ صُوَرٌ قَائَمةٌ، وَأَرْواحُها وُجودُ سِرِّ الإِخْلاصِ فِيها.

 

“Actions are but propped-up shapes – their spirit and life lies in the existence of the secret of ikhlas/ pure sincerity within them.” Their worth is determined by the sincerity and direction of the intention and whether they are accepted by Allah. For He is not duty-bound to accept them. It is all by His fadl, His generosity and bounty, and although He has promised that fadl to those who believe and do right action, no person can ever feel that their Lord owes them, that because they have done this or that, they are due this or that in exchange. That would nulllfy gratitude and change the nature of your relationship with your Creator. You would start to feel you are owed something by Him, when nothing you do actually benefits Him in any way. Allah says in a hadith qudsi,

 

يا عبادي لو أن أولكم وآخركم وإنسكم وجنكم كانوا على أتقى قلب رجل واحد منكم ما زاد ذلك في ملكي شيئًا يا عبادي لو أن أولكم وآخركم وإنسكم وجنكم كانوا على أفجر قلب رجل واحد منكم ما نقص ذلك من ملكي شيئًا

 

“My slaves, even if all of you, the first to the last, man or jinn, were to be as god-fearing as the most god-fearing man among you, it would not increase My kingdom in any way, and even if all of you, the first to the last, man or jinn, were to be as ungodly as the most ungodly man among you, it would not decrease My kingdom in any way.” Nothing that we do is in His interest, it is all in our own. But He wants what is best for you and so He sends Prophets to guide you, and places Signs everywhere to remind you. And if you are reminded and act in the best possible way, then you will have done good. But He does not owe you payment for your actions, since you have done nothing for Him. And payment is only in exchange for services or goods rendered. The fact that your actions can take you to the Garden is a mercy from Him and a most generous gift – He is under no obligation.

So, if we want success and acceptance, we must turn to Him. We must put all our hopes in Him and nowhere else. We cannot rely on anything else, least of all our actions. Those actions themselves, right guidance, are a gift from Allah. He creates them just as He creates our forms, and He imbues them with success or otherwise. Ibn Rajab said,

“Both the Garden and the action [that leads there] are part of the generosity and mercy of Allah to His believing slaves. And that is why the people of the Garden say when they are admitted to it, ‘Praise be to the One who guided us to this, for none of us would have ever been rightly-guided were it not for Allah guiding us.’ It is only after they have acknowledged where the blessing of admittance to the Garden and right guidance comes from by directing their praise to Allah, that they are addressed with Words, ‘This is the Garden that the you have inherited by your actions.’”

And in one of the duas transmitted from the Messenger of Allah, he says,

 

اللهم لا تكلني إلى نفسي طرفة عين

 

“O Allah, do not make me reliant on myself for even so long as the blinking of an eye.” Not myself and not my actions. Instead, make me reliant solely upon You. The whole affair is in His hand, while we are weak and powerless and, in truth, cannot even accomplish the simplest thing. All power and all strength belongs to Allah. Allah says,

 

وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ

 

the translation of which is, “Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He wills. The choice is not theirs.” It is only when we realise our total incapacity and hand over the affair completely to Allah that we can accomplish anything. And, indeed, when we do that we can accomplish everything, for Allah’s Power is absolute and encompasses all things. And that is how a tiny community of poorly-armed Muslims defeated the two greatest empires of the time and conquered the majority of their lands. That is how one man’s dua protected Morocco and pushed back the French invaders. And that is how one man’s call to Islam has led to communities of Muslims being established in dozens of countries throughout the Western and Eastern world. All of those who did this were human beings, but human beings who trusted implicitly in their Lord. And one quality that was shared by all of these people was sabr. Allah says,

كَمْ مِنْ فِئَةٍ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَةً كَثِيرَةً بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

 

the translation of which is, “How many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allah’s permission. Allah is with the people of sabr/patience/perseverence.” They kept on doing what they were commanded to do, regardless of success or failure, secure in the knowledge that success was in the hands of Allah and was not something with which they had to concern themselves, and that its time was known only to Him. And they knew that on the journey they would be tried and tested, for Allah says:

 

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آَمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “Do people imagine that they will be left to say, ‘We have belief,’ and will not be tested?” But that did not deter them from holding firm to the course upon which they had set themselves. And that should not deter us. Just because we do not see immediate results does not mean we should abandon one course of action and move onto another. Allah has given us the knowledge of which courses of action are the right ones to take, and so we should rely upon Him and do them. For after the difficulty will come ease, and the victory of Allah will not be long in coming. That is a promise from Allah, for He says in surat al-Baqara,

أَلَا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ

 

the translation of which is, “Be assured that Allah’s help is very near.” His Word is truth, and He does not break His promise. We ask Allah to grant us knowledge of his deen, and translate that knowledge into action. And we ask that He imbue and bring those actions to life with a sincere intention that is for Him and Him alone. We ask that He give us the success to turn to Him in all that we do, and make us a people of right action, a people on the Sirat al-mustaqim, a people who never become self-satisfied or think they have arrived, but always seek their Lord’s pleasure and ask for His kindness, guidance and mercy.

 

إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ  أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وعن أم المومنين عائشة التي أمرنا الله في سورة النور أن ندافع عنها، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ، وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.

رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.

إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ