الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي أرسل رسولَه على خُلُقٍ عظيم، وجعل محبتَه الطريقَ الوحيدَ إلى النعيم، 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.

 

There is no doubt that the key to this existence for the human being is to become fully in tune with the wishes of his Creator, to do only what is pleasing to Him, to say only what is pleasing to Him, think only what is pleasing to Him and feel only what is pleasing to Him. To love with the love of Allah and hate with the hate of Allah. In other words, to feel attraction for what Allah loves and repulsion for what He hates, whether that be beliefs, actions, objects or people. We love something or someone because our Lord loves it and despise something or someone because our Lord despises it. That is our criterion, and whatever comes before us must be examined and weighed up in that light. Pleasing to Allah? Take in and embrace. Displeasing to Allah? Turn aside and discard. We start with taking on what Allah loves the most, and leaving aside what He hates the most, and gradually move forward from there, cleansing ourselves of everything even marginally displeasing to him, and incorporating anything that is even remotely pleasing to him. Allah says, in a hadith qudsi,

 

‫وما تقرب إليّ عبدي بشيء أحب إليّ مما افترضته عليه ، ولا يزال عبدي يتقرب إليّ بالنوافل حتى أحبه ، فإذا أحببته كنت سمعه الذي يسمع به ، وبصره الذي يبصر به ، ويده التي يبطش بها ، ورجله التي يمشي بها ، ولئن سألني لأعـطينه ، ولئن استعاذني لأعيذنه

 

“My slave does not draw near to Me with anything more pleasing to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him. And he continues to draw nearer to Me by means of the nawafil until I love him. And when I love him, I become the hearing with which he hears, the sight with which he sees, the hands with which he strikes and the feet with which he walks. Were he to ask Me for something, I would give it to him, and were he to ask Me for protection, I would grant it to him.” Therein lies our path to ourselves to the love of Allah, to becoming part of what is pleasing to Allah. Therein lies our path to fulfilment, contentment and success. So what is the biggest obligation in the deen, the thing that Allah loves most in His slave? Iman. What does iman entail? Belief in Allah and in His Messenger. Allah says,

 

فَآمِنُواْ بِاللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ النَّبِيءِ الاُمِّيِّ

 

the translation of which is, “Believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet.” This is the starting point, the key, without this there is nothing. The Messenger of Allah is the most beloved of all creation to Allah, for he is the embodiment of all that is pleasing to Allah. So he must be the thing that is most beloved to us. If not, then we have missed the point entirely, and deviated from the path to success. Allah says,

 

قُلْ إِنْ كَانَ آَبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُوا حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي القَوْمَ الفَاسِقِينَ

 

the translation of which is, “Say: ‘If your fathers or your sons or your brothers or your wives or your tribe, or any wealth you have acquired, or any business you fear may slump, or any house which pleases you, are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and doing jihad in His Way, then wait until Allah brings about His command. Allah does not guide people who are deviators”

Qadi Iyad says about this aya, “This aya is enough of an exhortation, indication and proof of the necessity, obligation and importance of loving the Messenger, and the degree to which he deserves that love, for Allah rebukes those whose wealth and family is more beloved to them than Allah and His Messenger and threatens them, saying, ‘…wait until Allah brings about His command.’ Then, at the very end of the aya, he numbers them among the people of fisq/ the deviators and declares that they will be among the lost and will not be guided by Him.” For such people have not truly given their hearts over to their Lord. They do not love what He loves, they do not give it precedence, and so they are false in their claim to love Him. They are deluded and astray. They have closed the door to right guidance.

Love is simply the logical progression of iman. Iman is not simply the intellectual acceptance that there is a god and a Messenger, it is the impulse and desire to shape one’s life according to what He wants of you and asks of you, to become pleasing to Him. And you will never be pleasing to Him unless you are pleased with that with which He is pleased. And He is pleased with nothing more than the Messenger of Allah.

Iman is not possible without love of the Messenger, without it the door to Allah is closed. Allah says,

قُلِ اِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ

 

the translation of which is, “Say if you [truly] love Allah [as you claim], then follow me (in your actions, states and desires – accompany me, do what I do, love what I love), and Allah will love you and forgive you your transgressions.” If you do not follow me at every level, if you do not love me, then the love of Allah that you claim is false, and your wrong actions and transgressions will overwhelm you and come to define you, for they will pile up and not be forgiven.

The degree of a person’s iman depends upon the degree of his love for the Messenger of Allah. No love means no iman, while the upper levels of iman – its kamal/ its fullness and perfection, can only be reached by giving him precedence over all other things in creation, even your own parents and your own children. The Prophet said,

 

لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى أكون أحب إليه من أهله وماله والناس أجمعين

 

“None of you believes until I am more beloved to him than his family, his wealth and all people.” This is the form of love the Companions had for their Prophet. They lived to please him and wanted to remove anything that displeased him. When the Messenger of Allah was informed about the statement of the leader of the munafiqin mentioned in surat al-Munafiqin, la-in raja’na ila-l-madinati la-yukhrijannal-a-‘azzu minhal-adhall” – ‘If we return to Madina, the mightier will drive out the inferior,” he was angered and distressed. The son of this munafiq, Abdallah, who was one of the believers heard of this, and immediately came to see the Messenger of Allah, whereupon he apologised for his father’s words and offered to bring him his head. And although the Messenger of Allah refused his offer, what this story does show is the extent to which the Sahaba placed the wellbeing of the Messenger before everything else.

Another example is found in the story of the sahabiyya, Sumayra’ bint Qays. She lost five members of her family at the battle of Uhud – her two sons, her father, her husband and her brother, and yet the only question that was on her lips, the only concern that was in her heart was, “What has happened to the Messenger of Allah?” When she was told he was well, she said, “Let me see him!” And then when she saw him, she said,

 

كل مصيبه بعدك جلل يارسول الله

 

“Every affliction is as nothing now that you are safe, Messenger of Allah.” Her love for him and joy at his well-being made all of the tremendous loss she had suffered seem slight in comparison and unworthy of attention. And he was not just more beloved to them than their nearest and dearest, but also than themselves. Allah says,

النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَى بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ

 

one translation of which is, “The Prophet is preferable to the believers than themselves” And the Prophet said,

لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى أكون أحب إليه من نفسه

 

“None of you believes until I am more beloved to him than himself.” The Companions thought nothing of putting their own lives in danger so long as it meant that the Messenger of Allah was saved. Take the example of Talha ibn Ubaydillah – he used his own body as a shield at Uhud to protect the Messenger of Allah, suffering more than 70 wounds in the process and losing the use of one of his arms. And he continued to stand between him and the enemy until he knew he was safe.

Or take the example of Zayd ibn ad-Dathina, who was captured by Quraysh and was threatened with execution. “Would you not prefer that you were now home with your family, and Muhammad was here in your place?” they asked him. He replied, “By Allah, I would not wish the Messenger of Allah to be so much as pricked by a thorn in exchange for me being safe at home with my family.” Abu Sufyan said, “I have never seen a people have such love for their companion as the Companions of Muhammad have for him.” And then they executed him.

We ask Allah to grant us that level of love for the Messenger of Allah.

 

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.

 

The love of which we speak is not some abstract, intangible emotion. It has signs and it has consequences and and these, by necessity, find expression in the realm of action. If you truly love, then its signs will be manifest and self-evident. If they are lacking, then know that the love that you claim is false and but empty words. What are these signs by which this love can be recognised? In his Shifa, Qadi Iyad lists eleven of them:

1) The first is putting his Sunna into practice wherever possible, obeying his commands, avoiding his prohibitions and taking on his adab and akhlaaq in times of ease and hardship, and joy and despair.

2) The second is setting aside one’s own whims and appetites in favour of what is pleasing to the Prophet.

3) The third is not feeling any anger with people except if that be for the sake of the pleasure of Allah. Anas ibn Malik said,

 

قال لي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: يا بني، إن قدرت أن تصبح وتمسي ليس في قلبك غش لأحد فافعل. ثم قال لي: يا بني، وذلك من سنتي، ومن أحيا سنتي فقد أحبني، ومن أحبني كان معي في الجنة

 

“The Messenger of Allah said to me, ‘My son, if you can be without any grudge in your heart against anyone in the morning and evening, then be like that.’ Then he added, ‘My son, that is part of my sunna. Whoever gives life to my sunna has loved me and whoever loves me is with me in the Garden.’”

4) The fourth is keeping your tongue wet with mention of the Messenger of Allah, for as the Prophet himself said,

من أحب شيئاً أكثر من ذكره

 

“Whoever loves something, mentions it a lot.” This manifests itself in a person’s dedication to reading or writing his seera, remembering and commemorating the events of his life and especially his birth, and praying for him and singing his praises constantly. This was the hallmark of the noble Companions of the Messenger of Allah, and of the great men of Allah of this umma, men like Qadi Iyad, Imam al-Jazuli, Imam as-Suyuti, Imam al-Busayri and others, men whose lives, whose words and whose thoughts were fashioned by their immense unquenchable love for him, men who continue to mention and praise the Messenger of Allah even after the deaths by us reading and reciting what they wrote about him. May Allah give them an immense and everlasting reward and may He give us a love of the Prophet to rival theirs.

5) The fifth is great yearning to meet him and be in his company. Every lover yearns for their beloved, and with each passing moment that yearning grows stronger. Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder.

It is narrated that when Bilal was near to death, his wife called out, “O what sorrow!” So Bilal replied, “O what joy! Tomorrow I will be in the company of those I love, Muhammad and his party!”

And it is related that a woman said to ‘A’isha, “Show me the grave of the Messenger of Allah.” When she showed it to her, the woman starting weeping and wept until she died.

These were people who sat in the company of the Messenger of Allah, but that yearning is not limited to them. Indeed, it is narrated that many of those with the greatest yearning to meet him are amongst those who never got that chance because they came into this world after he had passed. Abu Hurayra narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

 

أشد أمتي لي حباً يكونون بعدي، يود أحدهم لو رآني بأهله وماله

 

“Those in my community with the strongest love for me are the people who will come after me. Some of them would give their family and wealth to have seen me.” May Allah grant us that degree of sincerity in our love for His Prophet.

6) The sixth is exalting and respecting him whenever anyone mentions him by name or alludes to him, and displaying humility. Ishaq at-Tujibi said,

“Whenever the Companions of the Prophet heard his name after he died, they felt humbled, their skin trembled and they wept. And it was the same with many of the Followers.”

7) The seventh is loving those who love the Prophet, and loving his family and his Companions for his sake. And standing against those who hate them and curse them. Whoever loves anyone, loves whomsoever he loves, and they were certainly people whom he loved:

The Prophet said about his grandsons, al-Hasan and al-Husayn,

 

من أحبهما فقد أحبني، ومن أحبني فقد أحب الله، ومن أبغضهما فقد أبغضني، ومن أبغضني فقد أبغض الله

 

“Whoever loves them loves me, and whoever loves me loves Allah. Whoever hates them hates me, and whoever hates me hates Allah.” And he said about his Companions,

 

الله الله في أصحابي، لا تتخذوهم غرضاً بعدي، فمن أحبهم فبحبي أحبهم، ومن أبغضهم فببغضي أبغضهم، ومن آذاهم فقد آذاني، ومن آذاني فقد آذى الله، ومن آذى الله يوشك أن يأخذه

 

“Allah! Allah! My Companions! Do not make them targets after me! Whoever loves them loves them by his love of me, and whoever hates them hates them by his hatred of me. Whoever does something hurtful to them does something hurtful to me, and whoever does something hurtful to me does something hurtful to Allah. And whoever does something hurtful to Allah is about to be seized.”

Indeed, whoever loves someone, loves not just everyone but everything he loves, and that was certainly the case with the Salaf of this Umma, for Anas ibn Malik once saw the Prophet reaching for the pumpkin in a plate, and said, “I have loved pumpkin from that day.”

8) The eighth is hating anyone who hates Allah and His Messenger, feeling enmity towards all who have enmity towards him, avoiding all who oppose his Sunna, and finding every matter that goes against his Shari‘a burdensome. The true lover yearns for the company of those who love him and hates the company of those do not – they repulse him to such a degree that he would hate to spend even a single minute, nay even a single second, with them. Allah says,

 

لاَ تَجِدُواْ قَوْماً يُومِنُونَ بِاللهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ يُوَادُّونَ مَنْ حَادَّ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُواْ آبَاءَهُمُ أَوَ اَبْنَاءَهُمُ أَوِ اِخْوَانَهُمُ أَوْ عَشِيرَتَهُمُ

 

the translation of which is, “You will not find people who have iman in Allah and the Last Day having love for anyone who opposes Allah and His Messenger, though they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers or their clan.” Many of the Companions fought and killed loved ones, even their fathers and sons, to gain the pleasure of the Prophet, as we mentioned in the first khutba.

9) The ninth is love for the Qur’an that the Prophet brought, and by means of which he guided and was guided. This love for the Qur’an shows itself in frequent recitation of it, reflection on its meanings, and putting its laws and prescriptions into practice. Ibn Mas‘ud said,

 

لا يسأل أحد عن نفسه إلا القرآن، فإن كان يحب القرآن فهو يحب الله ورسوله

 

“No one needs to ask himself about anything except the Qur’an. If he loves the Qur’an, he loves Allah and His Messenger.”

10) The tenth is having compassion for his community, giving them good counsel, and working hard to do whatever is best for them and remove from their way whatever might bring them harm.

11) And the eleventh is doing without in this world. In other words, true love of Allah and His Prophet dictates that there is no space left in the heart for the baubles of this world. Allah says,

مَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِنْ قَلْبَيْنِ فِي جَوْفِهِ

 

the translation of which is, “Allah has not allotted to any man two hearts within his breast.” Love of Allah and His Messenger and love of this world simply do not combine in a single heart – one will force the other out. If one’s love is sincere, then nothing will turn him aside from his beloved, not even all the gold in the entire world. The believer cannot be bought and his love is not for sale.

Whoever manifests all these signs has perfect and sincere love of the Messenger of Allah. It is this towards which we must strive and these qualities which we must attain. That is the goal of every sincere believer. We ask Allah to grant us a true and enduring love of His Messenger, and make our longing for him bear fruit and grant us access to his company in the world of the Unseen and in the Hereafter, for our Lord has promised that we will be in the company of those whom we love. May that love for him bear fruit in the re-establishment of his Sunna and the revival of this great deen that he brought. And may he keep us always in the company of those who embody his way and his character. Ameen.

 

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