الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل النجاحَ والتوفيقَ في طاعةِ الصادقِ الأمين، وجعل سنتَه وحياتَه تفسيرا وتوضيحا لكتابه الكريم، 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 وأدٌى 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.

 

In our khutba of a few weeks ago, we mentioned that the first and most significant way to show love for the Messenger of Allah was to follow his Sunna. For, in reality, that was the purpose for which he was sent. He was the Messenger of Allah, transmitting the Message of our Lord to us. But unlike conventional couriers and messengers, his message was not just verbal and not just related to a specific issue or other. It was a comprehensive, all-encompassing message to every single person on this planet. He transmitted the message of his Lord with every fibre of his being, with his words and his periods of silence, with his actions and what he refrained from doing, and with his states and the manner in which he conducted himself. He was our iswa in every aspect humanly possible. Allah says,

 

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللهِ إِسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللهَ وَالْيَومَ الآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللهَ كَثِيراً

 

the translation of which is, “In the Messenger of Allah, you have an excellent example  for all those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and do a lot of dhikr.”

His purpose was to transmit. Allah says,

يَأُيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ آِلَيكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ

 

the translation of which is, “Messenger, transmit what has been revealed to you from your Lord.” Our purpose is to observe, emulate and obey. Allah says,

 

وما أرسلنا من رسول إلا ليطاع بإذن الله

 

the translation of which is, “We did not send any Messenger but for him to be obeyed by the permission of Allah.” This obedience is universal. Every command and every prohibition, indeed for the truly sincere, every recommendation, and what is merely implied as opposed to being explicitly stated. Allah says,

 

وما آتاكم الرسول فخذوه وما نهاكم عنه فانتهوا 

 

the translation of which is, “Whatever the Messenger brings you you should take [on] and whatever He forbids you you should leave.” The word maa here covers every single aspect of what he brought. It is as general and non-specific a word as you find in the language. His entire affair is Sunna, and not just what he himself said and did, but what he affirmed and condoned of the words and actions of those about him. In other words, the whole society that sprang up around him and the day-to-day workings of that society are part of the sunna.

He is our unique source for everything that makes us Muslim, indeed for everything that makes us human. Without his example to guide us, we would just be dumb, ignorant animals, the only thing differentiating us from cattle being our ability to speak. Sayyidina Umar said,

 

إن الله قد بعث محمداً ﷺ إلينا ولا نعلم شيئا وإنما نفعل كما رأيناه يفعل

 

“Before Allah sent us Muhammad, we knew nothing, so we did as we saw him do.” The time before the advent of our Messenger was called the Jahiliyya, the time of ignorance. Well now we live in a time of compound ignorance, of double ignorance, a time when the truth is known and people still forego it in favour of falsehood, and then claim that that falsehood is the truth. They not only do not know, they do not know that they do not know. They think they have understood food and nutrition, but the tradition of the meal is becoming more and more lost, they think they have understood relationships, but more and more marriages and families are becoming broken, they think they have understood the environment and the natural world, but it is becoming ever more polluted and eroded, they think they have understood politics and governance, but inequality and injustice becomes more and more the norm. Ignorance reigns supreme.

The path of knowledge, this deen, the secret to this life, is very simple – there are no complicated theories. As Sayyidina Umar said,

نفعل كما رأيناه يفعل

 

“We did as we saw him do.” He kissed the black stone, they kissed the black stone, he ate pumpkin, they ate pumpkin, he married, they married, he took zakat, they took zakat, he forewent riba, they forewent riba, he called the world to the deen, they called the world to the deen. They gave his Sunna pride of place and made it the overriding criterion in their lives, they did not relegate it to the optional and make the deen instead about Quranic principles and Islamic mores and codes. This deen is not theoretical it is living and lived. The Prophet said,

 

كلُّكُم يدخلُ الجنةَ إلا مَنْ أبى، قيل: ومن يأبى يا رسولَ الله؟ قال: مَنْ أطاعني دخَلَ الجنة، ومن عصَاني فقدْ أبى

 

“Every one of you, (i.e all of my community) will enter the Garden except for those who refuse.” They asked, “Messenger of Allah, who will refuse?” He replied, “Whoever obeys me will enter the Garden. While whoever does not obey me has refused.” By not obeying, he means abandoning. Setting aside the Sunna in favour of some other path, some other criterion for action. It is against this that we must be on our guard. When the Sunna becomes incidental rather than core, temporal rather than timeless. When we start to interpret the actions of the Messenger of Allah in the light of some higher set of principles rather than making his way the guiding principle.

This is a very real danger, especially in this modern era, and is insidious in the way that it can creep into your way of thinking without you even realising it. An example can be found in the widely-held view on slavery, that the Deen came to abolish it in all its forms, despite the fact that the Prophet is known to have owned slaves and his Companions continued to do so after his death, or the view on polygamy that Islam came to discourage and do away with it, despite the lived practice and example of the Messenger and his Companions.

Making the deen about values and principles instead of practice and example simply removes its bedrock and opens the door to making it into any form that appeases your hawa. It can be whatever you want it to be, all that limits it is the breadth of your imagination when it comes to your interpretation of the ayats of the Book of Allah. There is no truth, only your version of it. You can use them to justice any and everything. And that is indeed what we see happening. All these people claiming they represent the deen and they are its only correct practitioners. Whereas in fact they are simply following their hawa. And hawa is inherently selfish and self-serving. It is destructive and creates division, for no two people’s hawa are ever completely alike. Thus it never creates anything meaningful or lasting, but sows the seeds of its inevitable collapse in the moments of its inception. The only defence against the excesses of hawa is to tether it. Then and only then will build something beneficial, meaningful and lasting. The Prophet said,

 

لا يؤمِنُ أحدُكُم حتى يكونَ هواهُ تبعاً لما جئْت بهِ

 

“None of you believes until his hawa is subservient to what I have brought.”  Until it is subservient to the Sunna, and the Sunna becomes the main criterion according to which he structures his life. Every decision we have to make, every course of action we want to embark upon, every dispute we become embroiled in, we must refer it back to Allah and His Messenger, and accept what they give us without demur and without complaint. Then and only then will things begin to go right.

 

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.

 

People should not misunderstand the Sunna or think that it is limited to what is reported in the hadith literature of the actions and words of the Prophet. Sunna was transmitted as much by action as by word, for the Companions emulated their Messenger studiously and did exactly as he did. What they did is as much a part of the Sunna as what they reported him as having done. If they were to have done something different, they would have been called to task by their fellow Companions. This is confirmed by the statement of the Messenger of Allah transmitted by Ibn Abd al-Barr,

أصحابي كالنجوم بأيهم اقتديتم اهتديتم

 

“My Companions are like stars – whichever one of them you follow, you will be rightly guided.” Now while the provenance of the hadith is disputed, its meaning is sound. The Prophet said,

 

فعليكم بسنتي وسنة الخلفاء الراشدين المهديين، عضوا عليها بالنواجذ وإياكم ومحدثات الأمور

 

“You must follow my sunna and the sunna of the Rightly-Guided Khalifs. Cling to it fiercely and beware of new things.” The sunna of the rightly-guided khalifs is the sunna of the Companions because they consulted with them and did not embark upon an action until they knew it to be sound. Our knowledge of many of the most important elements of our deen stem from their time. And without them, we would not have known how to act or what to do in all such circumstances. No one can claim to follow the Messenger of Allah, can claim to love the Messenger of Allah, until he follows ands loves them. They are our link to him, and if that link is broken, damaged or degraded, we will be cut adrift. Anyone who casts aspersions on them or paints them in a negative light, that person insults the Messenger of Allah and accuses him of being gullible and blind, since he surrounded himself with them, invited them into his home, and befriended them, saying,

المرء على دين خليله فلينظر أحدكم من يخالل

 

“A person takes on the deen of those whom he takes as close friends and companions, so look closely at those whom you befriend,”

Furthermore he placed them in positions of authority over parts of his community, and allowed them to marry his daughters. Did he not instruct Abu Bakr to lead the prayer in his absence, and marry not just one but two of his daughters to Uthman ibn Affan? Did he not entrust Muawiya with writing down verses of the Quran and place an army under the command of Usama bin Zayd? No, the only way to protect the name of the Messenger of Allah and preserve his Sunna is through honouring the names of his Companions and preserving their Sunna. They must be considered an extension of him, for they are the people amongst whom he chose to live and to whom he chose to transmit a message that he knew was for the whole of mankind. Qadi Iyad says,

“Part of respecting and obeying the Prophet, consists in respecting his Companions, obeying them, recognising what is due to them, following them, praising them, asking forgiveness for them, refraining from discussing their differences, and shunning and showing enmity to those who are hostile towards them.”

He was pleased with them and never spoke out against them, never delivered a warning as would have been obligatory for him if they were a potential source of misguidance. Indeed, his Lord was pleased with them and expressed His pleasure in His Timeless Book. Allah says:

لَقَدْ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنِ المُومِنِينَ إِذْ يُبَايِعُونَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ.

 

the translation of which is, “Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave allegiance to you under the tree.” This verse is not abrogated and its meaning has not been nullified. That contentment of Allah applies now as much as it did then. Allah remains pleased with them and how could he pleased with anyone who alter and corrupt His deen?

The Prophet loved his Companions immensely, and praised them constantly. He said,

 

إِنَّ اللهَ اخْتَارَ أَصْحَابِي عَلَى جَمِيعِ الْعَالَمِينَ سِوَى النَّبِيِّينَ وَالمُرْسَلِينَ،

 

“Allah chose my Companions over everything else in existence except for the Prophets and the Messengers.” He never had anything bad to say of them, not even of the least of them, so how can anyone belittle them in even the slightest of ways? If they do so, they betray the Messenger of Allah, and put their entire deen at risk. They incur his displeasure and bring upon themselves the displeasure of their Lord. There can no success for anyone who holds enmity for them in their hearts. Rightly-guided Muslims throughout the ages have always understood this. Indeed Imam Malik mentioned that,

 

كان السلف يعلمون أولادهم حب أبى بكر وعمر كما يعلمون السورة من القرآن

 

“The salaf used to teach their children to love Abu Bakr and Umar in the same way that they used to teach them suras of Quran,” To do the opposite and hate them, to curse them and speak badly about them and disregard their sunna, is a sure and swift path to destruction. The Prophet said,

 

مَنْ سَبَّ أَصْحَابِي فَعَلَيْهِ لَعْنَةُ اللهِ وَالمَلَائِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ لاَ يَقْبَلُ اللهُ مِنْهُ صَرْفاً وَلاَ عَدْلاً

 

The Prophet said, “Anyone who curses my Companions has the curse of Allah on him, as well as that of the angels and all people. And Allah will not accept any exchange or recompense from him.” This applies to each and every Companion without exception. None of them may be cursed or disparaged in any way, and whatever disputes and conflicts that occurred between them is none of our affair. We honour them all, including Muawiya and those who were on the opposite side of Sayyidina Ali at Siffin, and anyone who does not is not worthy of our time or attention, no matter his credentials or apparent level of knowledge. The company of such people is poison, and their words are without benefit, no matter how much honey they are laced with. No one can love the Prophet and his family unless he also loves the Companions. So beware and keep from their circles, and bring back to life the sunna of the khulafa ar-rashidin.

We ask Allah to increase us in love of Him and His Prophet. And we ask Him to increase us in love of His family and Companions and give us the means to defend them from any who seek to revile them and cast aspersions upon them. We ask Him to allow us to see the truth as being true and give us the strength to follow it and falsehood as being false and give us the strength to avoid it. We ask Allah to join the hearts of the Muslims in this difficult age and give victory to His deen.

 

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 خديجة وعائشة وسائر أزواج النبي، 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 (3) 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.