الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي أنزل القرءان، أعجز به أهلَ الفصاحة والبلاغة والبيان، وأمر عباده بالتدبر فيه والإمعان، 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 وأدّى 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 تعالى في كتابه الكريم شهْرُ رَمَضانَ الذِي أُنزِلَ فيهِ القرْآنُ هُدًى للنَّاسِ وَبيِّنَاتٍ منْ الهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ

 

Allah says in His noble Book, the translation of which is, “The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur‘an was sent down as guidance for mankind, with Clear Signs containing guidance and furqan (discrimination).” The month of Ramadan is a special month, a month of gifts and blessings. The Shayatin are locked up, our rizq is expanded and the effects of our actions multiplied. Even supererogatory acts have the weight of the fara’id. It is a month of togetherness, of reconciliation and acts of extraordinary generosity, a month of victory and openings, at the level of the individual and the umma. But most of all, it is the month of the Qur’an, for as the aya above tells us, it is the month in which the Book of Allah was sent down. Not just a part of it, but the whole thing, every ayat and every harf. How can that be, I hear you ask, when we know the Quran was revealed bit-by-bit over the course of twenty-three years, often in response to events that occurred in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, and those events happened throughout the year. The answer lies in the manner of revelation. Revelation occurred in two distinct phases, the first of which was from the Lawh al-Mahfudh, the Preserved Tablet, to the Bayt al-Izza, the House of Might in the Lowest Heaven. This happened on one blessed night in the month. Allah says,

 

حم وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ

 

the translation of which is, “Haa Mim, By the Clear Book, We sent it down on a blessed night.” Somehow, the timeless, uncreated Speech of Allah entered into the zone of creation. This is unfathomable, incomprehensible, impossible, an indescribable divine Attribute to which nothing can compare made accessible, imprinted upon the heart of a created being, even if that created being is the apex of created existence. And yet our Lord made it happen, and even more astonishingly gave us the capacity to recite it, hear it and understand it. One of Sayyidina Musa’s greatest miracles was that Allah spoke to him. Well, every time we hear the Quran recited, it is our Lord who is speaking to us and addressing us directly, an honour of the very highest nature.

Every letter, every syllable comes directly from the Presence of Allah, and yet our ears are able to hear it, and to taste it and enunciate it. And despite its vastness and unimaginable weight, a weight that crushes mountains to dust when placed upon them, our hearts are able to bear it in its entirety. As Allah says in surat al-Hashr,

 

لَوَ اَنزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ

 

the translation of which is, “If We had sent down this Qur’an onto a mountain, you would have seen it humbled, crushed to pieces out of fear of Allah.”

It is the way of this world that everything changes, everything is mutable, nothing remains the same – even rocks and stones, even the stars in the sky and the mountains on the ground. And the same is true of books – words are lost, languages forgotten, last copies are burned or destroyed. People misremember or misreport. But none of this has happened with the Quran – it has stood the course of time, remaining immutable and unchanged, and yet changing and transforming all who come into contact with it. It is the one constant in an every changing world, and will always be, forever guarded and protected. It is truly remarkable. Allah says,

 

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحافِظُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “It is We who have sent down the Reminder and it is We who will preserve it.” Now, some think this refers only to its Words, but that is not the case. It is not just the forms of the Words on the pages that have been preserved, but their meanings. The truths that they express and the rulings that they convey. Those ahkam will never be dated and will never cease to be applicable. They are addressed to each and every one us directly in whatever age, time or place we live. We are just as much their intended audience as the people who lived in the time of the Messenger of Allah. The Book is timeless, so the passage of time and changing of the age has no bearing on its contents nor their relevance. Every ruling that applied then applies now.

We cannot be like the Jews and Christians before us who took on some of their books and left other parts. We cannot brush aside rulings with the claim that they do not fit in with the mores of modern society and were only fit for a bygone age. If some of the rulings found in the pages of the Quran seem wrong and barbaric, offend our sensibilities, then something is wrong with our mindset, not the rulings themselves. If some cannot be implemented, then something is wrong with society, not the Commands and Prohibitions of Allah that are beyond time and place. Our work is not to reform but to restore. Not to question the teachings, but rather the state of a people and a society that cannot and will not accept those teachings. For if anything is flawed, it is us, not this great deen that is perfect in every way. The haqq is found with the Words of Allah, not the whims of people.

This Book’s usage of language is beyond compare and impossible for the human being, no matter how eloquent, no matter how educated to replicate. It was sent to a people to whom language was everything, a race of poets and storytellers who considered mastery of the word the strongest claim to nobility. They vied with one another in the beauty and complexity of their linguistic constructs and honoured their poets above their kings, placing their works on the walls of the place most sacred to them, the House of Allah in Makkah. People would flock from hundreds of miles just to listen to a few verses from their greatest poets, but in the face of the Quran, those same poets stood mute in admiration.

Even al-Walid ibn al-Mughira, one of the chiefs of Quraysh, and a man who never became Muslim, said to his fellow unbelievers after he heard the Quran recited,

 

وَمَاذَا أَقُولُ فو الله مَا فِيكُمْ رَجُلٌ أَعْلَمَ بِالْأَشْعَارِ مِنِّي، وَلَا أَعْلَمَ بِرَجَزِهِ وَلَا بِقَصِيدَتِهِ مِنِّي، وَلَا بِأَشْعَارِ الْجِنِّ. وَاللهِ مَا يُشْبِهُ الَّذِي يَقُولُ شَيْئًا مِنْ هَذَا، ووالله إِنَّ لِقَوْلِهِ الَّذِي يَقُولُ حَلَاوَةً، وَإِنَّ عَلَيْهِ لَطَلَاوَةً وَإِنَّهُ لَمُثْمِرٌ أَعْلَاهُ، مُغْدِقٌ أَسْفَلُهُ، وَإِنَّهُ لَيَعْلُو وَمَا يُعْلَا، وَأَنَّهُ لَيَحْطِمُ مَا تَحْتَهُ.

 

“What can I say? By Allah, there is no man among you who has more knowledge of poetry than I, no man who knows better the rajz or the qasida or any other poetic form, even the poetry of the Jinn. And yet, by Allah, what this man says is unlike any of it. By Allah, his words have an unrivalled sweetness and elegance, they are rooted in fertile soil and their branches rich in fruit. They are high and exalted and there is nothing higher, and they destroy and sweep away all words that are beneath them.” This man never believed in Allah and His Messenger, and yet this was the effect that the Book of Allah had on him. Another man, Labid, was reckoned the best of the poets of his day. His muallaqa was so praised and honoured that it was taken and hung from the walls of the Kaaba. People who travel days to hear him recite, and yet the moment he heard the Words of Allah, and at that time he was not yet a Muslim, he set aside his own words and dedicated himself to their service. He fell in love with them. He became a man of Quran and disliked to let any other inferior words pass his lips. Nothing could match them for eloquence, not even his own lauded poetry, and so never again wrote a line. For those who still had their doubts, who disregarded the proof of their own ears, Allah issued a challenge:

أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ قُلْ فَاتُواْ بِسُورَةٍ مِثْلِهِ

 

the translation of which is, “Do they say he has invented it? Say, “Then produce a sura like it…” But none of them responded. Not one even made the attempt, they could recognise when something was beyond their capacity. They could say nothing against the Quran, they could not help but admire it, indeed they coveted it. Allah mentions in His Book that they said,

 

لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ هَذَا الْقُرْءانُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِنَ الْقَرْيَتَيْنِ عَظِيمٍ

 

the translation of which is, “If only this Quran had been revealed to one of the great men of the two cities” In other words, their issue was not with the Quran itself, but rather with the one whom Allah chose to deliver it.

The Book of Allah, despite being in the purest of Arabic, transcends the boundaries of language. Its Words speak directly to the heart. A person does not even need to know a single word of Arabic to feel their power and attraction, even to grasp some of their meanings. For many is the time when the ‘Ajami tastes and understands something that passes the Arab by. These Divine Words are more than their letters and vowels, they are the vehicle of worship, transporting us directly into the Presence of our Lord. They are the highest form of dhikr, bringing tranquility and peace to the most troubled of hearts. Allah says,

أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللهِ تَطْمَئِنَّ الْقُلُوبُ

 

the translation of which is: ‘Only in the dhikr/remembrance of Allah can the heart find peace’. The one who goes through life without setting aside time to listen to it will know only anxiety and perturbation, the one who neglects to recite it will always have the taste of bitterness in his mouth. Theirs will be a life without meaning, empty and unfulfilled. So take advantage of this month of Quran to reconnect with the Book of your Lord and rediscover the joys of what it truly mean to be alive. Fill your day with His Words and you will not be disappointed.

 

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله العظيم لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو التوّابُ 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 رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: أهل القرءان أهل الله وخاصته

 

The Prophet said, “The people of Quran, they are the people of Allah, they are His intimate companions.” It you want to gain the pleasure of Allah and be one of His people in this world and the Next, then there is no better way than through the Quran, than through becoming one of the people of His Book. One of those people whose lives revolve around the Book of Allah, who live in it, live for it and live by it. Those who learn it and teach it, fill their moments with its recitation, reflect on its meanings and act according to its dictates and prohibitions. They are the best of people with Allah. Such people will know no sadness and feel no poverty. The Prophet said,

 

لا يحزن قارئ القرآن

“The reciters of Quran will feel no sadness.” And he said,

القرآن غنىً لا فقر بعده

 

“The Quran is wealth after which there is no poverty.” Such people will be honoured among people and honoured by Allah. They are the true nobility. The Prophet said,

 

أشراف أمتي حملة القرآن وأصحاب الليل

 

“The nobility of my umma are those who have memorised the Quran and those who stand the night in prayer.”  Such people will never know madness and will be gifted with the sharpest of intellects. The Prophet said,

من جمع القرآن متّعه الله بعقله حتى يموت

 

“If you memorise the Quran, Allah will give you intellect until the day you die.” For them is earmarked the best of this world and the best of the Next, but to be ranked among them, it is not enough to simply memorise the Words. Those Words must permeate your body and become part of who you are, they must find expression on your limbs as well as your tongues. When Sayyidina Umar came upon a man who was spending his entire time sitting in the mosque reciting and not doing anything else, he rebuked him, saying,

 

إنما أُنْزِلَ هذا القرآن ليُعمل به، أفاتخذتَ قراءته عملاً

 

“This Quran was but sent down to be acted on. Have you then taken its recitation as a job!?” Its recitation may be the best form of ibada, but that does mean overlooking its central purpose which is hudan, guidance, as Allah says in the aya with which we began this khutba:

 

أُنزِلَ فيهِ القرْآنُ هُدًى للنَّاسِ

 

the translation of which is, “In which the Quran was sent down as guidance to mankind.”

And to grasp that guidance, we must study it and reflect upon it, for its letters and words are not just beautiful sounds to be recited, but profound meanings to be pondered and reflected upon. Allah says,

كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آَيَاتِهِ

 

the translation of which is, “It is a Book We have sent down to you, full of blessing, so that people ponder its Signs.” The Quran is our Lord’s khitab, His direct communication to us, and He has left nothing unsaid, He has left no area of our lives without guidance. Everything we ever need to know to live our lives and govern our affairs is found within the pages of His Book, everything without exception. Nothing whatsoever is omitted. Allah says,

مَا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ

 

the translation of which is, “We have not omitted anything from the Book.” For every problem that we face, for every fitna that we endure, the answer and solution lie within the Quran. Nobody who has turned to it has ever been disappointed. He who is lost finds his way, he who is sick finds his cure, he who is in the dark finds his light, he who is exposed finds shelter and he who is alone finds company. The Book of Allah is a treasure that each and every one of us can access at every moment of our lives. It is the haqq/ the truth to which we hold while the rest of the world find themselves adrift and drowning in a sea of batil, falsehood and hawa/ whim. Indeed, when you have made it part of who you are, no batil can even touch you, let alone overcome you. Allah says,

 

لاَّ يَاتِيهِ ٱلْبَـٰطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلاَ مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ

 

the translation of which is, “Falsehood cannot reach it from before it or behind it – it is a revelation from One who is All-Wise, Praiseworthy.”

But in order to make it part of who you are, you must make sure to not try to make it subject to your whim, to not interpret it in the light of your wishes and your caprices. Hawa has no place in our lives, particularly in our interactions with the Book of Allah. Knowledge is the only basis upon which we act and according to which we understand the world. If you do not understand an aya, refer it back to the people of knowledge and do not make up your own interpretations, for such is the swiftest way to perdition and ruin. Allah says,

إن الذين يفترون على الله الكذب لا يفلحون

 

the translation of which is, “People who invent lies against Allah will not be successful.” The protection against this is holding to the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah, whose every word and every action was exegesis of the Book that he brought. The protection against this is true sincerity and keeping the company of the people of knowledge and the people of Allah. Learn the Book of Allah and recite it, reflect upon its meanings and act upon them. Eat and breathe the Quran, and make it your constant companion. Absorb it into your very being and you will become one of its people and enjoy all of the privileges that that affords you. We ask Allah to make us people of the Quran. We ask that He place its Words upon our tongues, fill our hearts with its meanings and make its Commands and instructions the sole basis by which we act. And we ask that He increase us in love for His Book and love for the one without whom none of us would have known it or ever had access to it, the Messenger of Allah. For it is only through him and his Sunna that any correct knowledge of the Quran is possible.

 

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.