الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي أمر بالإخلاص الإنسان، وجعله سر القبول وحسن الإيمان، 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.

 

We talked last week about belief, but you will notice that all of the qualities mentioned in the ayats that follow are actions. Belief is not something that is divorced from action, it is the purifier of action. The true believer is not the one who pays lip service to iman, he is the one who obeys the Commands and avoids the prohibitions. Imam al-Bukhari said, “I narrated hadith from over one thousand men of knowledge. But I narrated only from those who say belief is words and action, not those who say that belief is but words.” And the Messenger of Allah said,

لا يُقبَل إيمان بلا عمل ولا عمل بلا إيمان

 

“Allah does not accept imaan without action nor action with imaan.” Throughout the Book of Allah, imaan is paired with ‘amalun salih. It is not truly possible to have the one without the other. Action is non-negotiable, but unfortunately in these modern times, all too many do not view it that way. How often do you hear people say iman is in the heart? How often do you hear them quote the hadith of the Messenger of Allah,

 

لا يدخل النار من كان في قلبه مثقال ذرة من إيمان

 

“No person who has even an atom’s weight of imaan in his heart will enter the Fire,” and on the basis of that say that it is enough to accept Allah and His Messenger in your heart even if you do nothing of the actions of Islam. To say this is to misunderstand iman – it is not the same as tasdiq, which is accepting the truth of Allah and His Messenger in your heart. The Messenger of Allah, said, speaking of iman,

 

الإيمان بضع وسبعون شعبة؛ أعلاها قول لا إله إلا الله، وأدناها إماطة الأذى عن الطريق

 

“Iman has seventy or so branches, the highest of which is saying La ilaha illa-llaah, and the lowest of which is clearing harmful objects from the path.” The two branches that are described here are both actions, one of the tongue and one of the body.” Every time the believer is described in the Book of Allah, he is described by what he does not simply by what he believes in his heart of hearts. Allah says,

 

الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقّاً

 

the translation of which is, “Those who establish the prayer and spend out from what We have provided them, it is they who are the true believers.” And He says,

 

‫إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّه

 

the translation of which is, “The believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, then do not doubt and do jihad with their wealth and their lives in the Way of Allah.” And He says,

 

‫إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِذَا كَانُوا مَعَهُ عَلَىٰ أَمْرٍ جَامِعٍ لَّمْ يَذْهَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَسْتَأْذِنُوهُ

 

the translation of which is, “The believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, and who, when they are with him on a matter of common concern, do not leave until they have asked him for permission.” So the believer is the person of action. But actions too have their pitfalls and cannot be relied upon. The Messenger of Allah said,

 

لن يدخل أحد الجنة بعمله

 

“No one will enter the Garden by means of their actions.” They asked, “Not even you, Messenger of Allah?” He replied,

 

ولا أنا، إلا أن يتغمدني الله برحمة منه وفضل

 

“Not even I, unless Allah encompasses me in His mercy and favour.” In of themselves, actions bring no benefit – they only matter when they find acceptance with Allah. And they only find acceptance with Allah when they are done with the right intention, when they are done with ikhlas. al-Fudayl said,

 

إن العمل…إذا كان صواباً ولم يكن خالصاً لم يقبل حتى يكون خالصاً،

 

“If an action is correct but not sincere, it will not be accepted, and will never be accepted until it becomes sincere.” No matter how good the action, no matter how plentiful, it will be worthless without the right intention. Even were you to pray the whole night and fast every day, give all your money away, it would be of no benefit to you without ikhlas. In a long hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah said,

 

إنَّ أول الناس يُقضى يوم القيامة عليه رجلٌ اُستشهد فأُتي به فعرَّفه نعمته فعرفها ، قال : فما عملت فيها ؟! قال : قاتلت فيك حتى اُستشهدت ، قال : كذبت ، ولكنك قاتلت ليقال جرئ و لقد قيل ، ثم أُمر به فسحب على وجهه حتى أُلقي في النار ..

وآخر تعلَّم العلم وعلَّمه ، وقرأ القرآن . فأُتي به فعرَّفه الله بنعمته عليه فعرفها ، قال : فما عملت ؟! قال : تعلَّمت العلم وعلَّمته وقرأت فيك القرآن ، قال : كذبت .ولكن تعلَّمت ليقال عالم و قارئ و قد قيل ، ثم يؤمر به فيُسحب على وجهه في النار فيُلقى فيها والعياذ بالله.        وآخر وسَّع الله عليه وأعطاه من صنوف المال. فأُتي به فعرَّفه الله نعمه عليه فعرفها ، قال : فما عملت فيها ، ألا أنفقت فيها ؟!، قال : ما تركت من سبيل تحبُّ أن يُنفق فيها لك إلا أنفقت فيه ، قال : كذبت ، ولكنك فعلت ليقال جواد وقد قيل ، ثم أُمر به فسُحب على وجهه حتى أُلقي في النار

 

“The first person to be judged on the Day of Qiyama will be a man who died a martyr. He will be brought forth and informed of this blessing his Lord gave him and he will know it. Then his Lord will say to him, ‘What did you do to bring this about?’ And the man will reply, ‘I fought for Your sake until I was martyred.’ Thereupon Allah will say, ‘You lie. Rather you fought so that people might say you were brave and they did indeed say it.’ Then He will command that the man be dragged on his face and cast into the Fire. Then another will come who studied knowledge and taught and recited the Quran. He will be brought forth and informed of this blessing his Lord gave him and he will know it. Then his Lord will ask him, ‘What did you do?’ and he will say, ‘I studied and taught knowledge and recited Quran for Your sake,’ So Allah will say, ‘You lie. Rather you studied so that people might say you were an alim and a qari and they did indeed say it.’ Then He will command that the man be dragged on his face and cast into the Fire. We seek protection with Allah from that. Then another will come whom Allah made rich and to whom Allah gave all sorts of wealth. He will be brought forth and informed of this blessing his Lord gave him and he will know it. Then his Lord will ask him, ‘What did you do with it?’ and he will reply, ‘I spent my wealth in every single way that you love wealth to be spent.’ So Allah will say, ‘You lie. Rather you did what you did so that people might say that you were a generous man and they did indeed say it.’ Then He will command that the man be dragged on his face and cast into the Fire.”

We ask our Lord to make us people who act, not just people who pay lip service, and we ask that He give us true sincerity in each and every one of our actions so that they are all for His face and His face alone.

 

أَقُولُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ الْعَظِيمَ لِي وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ المُسْلِمِينَ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ.

 

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

 

In this world, there are three times of people – those who have no sincerity, those with some sincerity and those with true sincerity.

The people of the first category are the most numerous and include all unbelievers and the hypocrites. It does not matter how sincere a person appears to be, if his sincerity is not for Allah, then it is as if he has none at all. Whether he is selfless or selfish, whether he acts to please himself or to please others is immaterial and ultimately meaningless. His actions carry no weight with Allah, not even if be the most prolific doer of good deeds on the planet. The Messenger of Allah said,

 

يؤتى يوم القيامة بأناس لهم أعمال كجبال تهامة يجعلها الله هباء منثوراً، قيل: يا رسول الله جلهم لنا، قال: إنهم يصلون كما تصلون، ويصومون كما تصومون، ويأخذون من الليل كما تأخذون ولكنهم غير مخلصين

 

“People will be brought forth on the Day of Qiyama with actions [piled up so high] they are like the mountains of Tihama, but Allah will make them like scattered dust.“ He was asked, “Messenger of Allah, clarify for us who they are.” He replied, “ They pray as you pray, fast as you fast, and take a portion of the night as you take a portion of the night, but they have no sincerity.”

The people of the second category are the majority of the believers – they do what they do with the intention of pleasing Allah but at the same time they also seek the pleasure and approval of people and seek to gratify themselves and appease their sense of self-worth. Their intentions are mixed. This is common indeed, but the fact that it is common does not make it acceptable. In fact, it is dangerous in the extreme, for it is an example of what is known in Arabic as riyaa’, something against which our Messenger repeatedly warned us. Even at its most basic and seemingly harmless level, riyaa’ is like a malignant cancer. Unless you treat it, it will grow and grow until it consumes your heart entirely. Abu Sulayman ad-Daaraani said,

 

إذا كانت الآخرة في القلب جاءت الدنيا تزاحمها

 

“If the akhira is in someone’s heart, the dunya comes to try and force it out.” There is room in your heart only for one, and if you allow this world in, it will not be content until there is no place left for the Divine. Each time you do something for the sake of creation, your connection to your Lord becomes weaker. It is a form of shirk, the only unforgiveable crime in the eyes of Allah. The Messenger of Allah said,

 

إن أخوف ما أخاف عليكم الشرك الأصغر. قالوا: وما الشرك الأصغر يا رسول الله؟ قال: الرياء

 

“The thing I most fear for you is lesser shirk.” “What is lesser shirk?” they asked. He replied, “Riyaa’.” In this hadith, the Messenger of Allah is speaking to this umma, to the believers, for he says ‘alaykum. It is an affliction that can and does affect us, but, alhamdulillah, it can be treated and at the very least stayed, if not cured.

The treatment is twofold. The first part of it is muhaasabah. Keeping a careful watch on your own words and actions and evaluating your aims and intentions carefully. Sayyidina Umar used to say,

حاسب نفسك قبل أن تحاسب

 

“Take yourself to account before you are taken to account.” And the second part dua and ist‘aana. We say in the Fatihah, iyyaka na’budu was iyyaka nasta‘in. You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help. In a sense, the second part of this aya is an explanation of how we achieve the first. We must seek and ask the help of our Lord and He will do for us what we cannot accomplish alone and purify our intentions. The Messenger of Allah said about riyaa’,

 

يا أيها الناس اتقوا هذا الشرك، فإنه أخفى من دبيب النمل، فقال له من شاء الله أن يقول: وكيف نتقيه وهو أخفى من دبيب النمل يا رسول الله؟ قال: قولوا: اللهم إنا نعوذ بك من أن نشرك بك شيئاً نعلمه، ونستغفرك لما لا نعلمه

 

“People, take care to avoid this form of shirk, for it is harder to see than an ant.” One of them asked, “How can we avoid it , Messenger of Allah, if it is harder to see than an ant?” He replied, “Say, ‘O Allah, we seek refuge with You from associating with You anything about which we know, and seek Your forgiveness for associating with You anything about which we do not know.’”

The people of the third category are the elite – the chosen few, the mukhlasin. This is the rank to which we should all aspire. They see beyond the transient to the eternal, beyond the temporary to the permanent. They see Allah’s hand in everything and do everything, even the seemingly most mundane of actions such as eating and sleeping, for Him and Him alone. He has become the ears with which they hear, the eyes with which they see, the hands with which they strike and the feet with which they walk. They are the masters of this world, for they are with the Master and no part of His creation has enslaved them. Nothing distracts them from the task they have been set and success comes seeking them out. Their deeds are the only truly meaningful ones, the only ones that bring transformation to both themselves and the world around them. They are the people of increase, in this world and the Next. The Messenger of Allah said to Sa’d,

 

إنك لم تعمل عملاً تبتغي به وجه الله تعالى إلا ازددت به خيراً ودرجة ورفعة

 

“Whenever you do a deed, seeking the Face of Allah by means of it, you will increase in good, in rank and in station.” We cannot hope to have success unless we ourselves are those people, or we have such people in our midst. When we find these people we must cling to them and never let them go.

We ask Allah to make us people of true sincerity, people whose ultimate goal in everything that they do is the Pleasure of their Lord. We ask our Lord to purify our hearts and give the dunya no portion of it. We ask Him to make this world serve us and be our riding-beast, and not make it our master. And we ask that every time we forget or are distracted, He remind us and return us to the Sirat al-Mustaqim.

 

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.