الحَمْدُ للهِ، الحَمْدُ للهِ الذي جعل الدنيا دارَ الفتنةِ والبلاءِ، ليمتحنَ بها قلوبَ المومنين والفقراء، ويرى من كان منهم يُلقَّاها بالصبرِ والرضا، نَحْمَدُهُ تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، مَنْ يَهْدِ اللهُ فلا مضل له، ومَنْ يُضلِلْ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ، ونَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ  وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، له الملك وله الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا ومولانا مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُه وَرَسُولُهُ، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدّى الأمانة ونصح الأمّة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحقّ، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعَلَى آلِهِ وأَصْحابِهِ ومَنْ تَبِعَهم بإِحْسانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّيْنِ.  أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ اللهِ اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون، يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا، يُصْلِحْ لَكُم أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا، يا أيها المسلمون اتقوا الله فيما أوصى وأمر، وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.قال الله تعالى في كتابه الكريم أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آَمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ

 

Allah says in His noble Quran, the translation of which is, “Do people think they will be left to say “We believe” without suffering trials and tribulations?” Muslims, it is part of the reality of this world that we will undergo hardship and come face-to-face with grief and tragedy. It is an inevitability, for things are transient and come and go, friends and family are born and die, and our bodies are easily afflicted by illness, disease and loss of strength. Every moment that we live on this planet is a test, and with good reason, for this is the dar al-ibtilaa, the abode of testing. Allah created this zone of existence and placed us in it to test us, to sort the wheat from the chaff, the success stories from the failures. Its purpose is to determine our final destination/ our maṣīr. Allah says,

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا

 

the translation of which is, “It is He who created death and life so that He could test you to see whose actions are the best.”

In this ayat, our Lord mentions death before life, for it is one of the greatest tests in this abode. We are, every one of us, mortal, as are all the people around us whom we love, revere and respect. Life is not a permanent state of affairs, no matter how much it may feel that way. Death will intrude upon our lives, often suddenly and without warning, and our final destination will be determined by how we prepare for it and how we respond to it.

No one is immune, not even those whom Allah loves the most. Our own Messenger lost both his parents while still in infancy, then his beloved first wife and uncle in the space of a few short months not long after he had begun the mission entrusted to him by his Lord. And that is to say nothing of his children, for all of his sons and most of his daughters died in the course of his lifetime. Only one of them outlived him, Sayyidatina Fatima.

There is no doubt that death is a tremendous shock, especially when it is of a loved one, the moment you realise that someone you had always expected to be there for you is gone from this abode and that you will have to spend the rest of your life without their company. No one is immune to this sadma and this feeling of intense grief at your loss, for it is your loss, not theirs, death is always better for the mumin – this reaction is natural, you would not be human if you did not feel it. Look at the Companions when the Messenger of Allah passed away. Some were in such a state of shock that they could not accept that it had happened, they no longer even recognised themselves nor had any awareness of what they were saying. They stumbled about as if drunk and only sobered up when Sayyidina Abu Bakr uttered his famous words and reminded them of the Words of Allah. But despite the intensity of their grief, they did not for one moment despair of the mercy of Allah. Their certainty consoled them. They knew that death was not the end, but rather simply a change of state. When a person leaves one abode and goes to another. And for the mumin, that abode is better in every way. The Messenger of Allah said,

 

إنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ إِذَا حَضَرَهُ الْمَوْتُ بُشِّرَ بِرِضْوَانِ اللَّهِ وَكَرَامَتِهِ فَلَيْسَ شَيْءٌ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِمَّا أَمَامَهُ فَأَحَبَّ لِقَاءَ اللَّهِ وَأَحَبَّ اللَّهُ لِقَاءَهُ

 

“When death comes to the believer, he receives the good news of Allah’s Contentment with him and the Honour that awaits, and there is nothing more beloved to him than what lies ahead. For he loves to meet Allah and Allah loves to meet him.” So the Companions mourned not for the fact that the Messenger of Allah had passed away, but rather for the fact that they would be without his company for the remainder of their time on this world. But that sorrow did not pull them down into a spiral of melancholy and depression, but rather spurred them on to increase in good action so that they could be worthy of enjoying his company once again in the abode that is to come. We ask Allah to make us worthy of being a part of that company, and reunite us and our loved ones in the zumra of the best of creation.

Everything in this world is a test, not just death and hardship. Even things which outwardly appear to be blessings – life, ease, good health, wealth, family. And sometimes, those things represent a harder test than their opposites. When the Prophet spoke of the thing he feared most for his umma, he did not mention death nor illness nor poverty nor military defeat. Instead he said,

 

إن أخوف ما أخاف عليكم ما يخرج الله لكم من زهرة الدنيا قالوا: وما زهرة الدنيا؟ قال: بركات الأرض

 

“The thing I fear most for you is what Allah brings forth for you from the flowers of this world?” “What are the flowers of this world?” they asked. He replied, “The blessings of the land.” In other words, enjoying the good life as people like to call it. When everything comes easy and the blessings pile up. In many ways, this test, the test of ease and wealth is the harder one, for they have a lustre and allure that dazzles and bewitches and makes you forget their true source. The exultation in their acquisition can consume your heart and leave little space for the necessary thankfulness to your Lord. And that is the swiftest path to ruination. Allah says,

 

فَلَمَّا نَسُوا مَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّى إِذَا فَرِحُوا بِمَا أُوتُوا أَخَذْنَاهُمْ بَغْتَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ مُبْلِسُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “When they forgot what they had been reminded of, We opened up for them the doors to everything, until, when they were exulting in what they had been given, We suddenly seized them and at once they were in despair.” The Quran is full of stories of men who let their wealth or strength deceive them and consume them and make them forgetful, such as the people of Ad or Qarun, but this does not mean that the good things of this world are a bad thing. On the contrary, they are a test and the best are tested. Indeed, the majority of the ten who were promised the Garden were men of wealth of wealth and tremendous physical prowess. They took the test and passed it with flying colours. Their wealth/ their strength was a badge of honour for they took it and made use of it in the way of Allah, and had hearts full of shukr. We ask Allah to give this community and umma the test of strength and wealth, and give it the tools to pass it and avoid its dangers and pitfalls.

 

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 الله تعالى في كتابه العزيز: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ إِنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

 

Allah says, the translation of which is, “O you who believe, seek help in sabr and in the prayer. Allah is with those who have sabr.” The times that we live in are difficult, there is no doubt about that. This umma is beset on all sides, Muslims are demeaned and attacked, vilified and abused. Hardship follows hardship and trial follows trial. But our Lord gives us the tools to endure and indeed to thrive. The primary quality that enables the mumin to get the best out of these difficult times is that of sabr, often translated as displaying fortitude, being steadfast and patient. The sābir does not rail at the world or curse his fate or feel bitter and hard done-by. Instead he is always content. He gets the best from every situation, and no situation defeats him. This is why the Prophet said,

 

ما أعطِيَ أحدٌ من عَطَاءٍ خيرا و أوسعَ من الصبر

 

“No one has been granted a gift better or more comprehensive than sabr.” Every believer has access to this gift, so do not neglect it and do not let despair or let a feeling of hopelessness find its way into your heart. Do not be like those who think that the defeats and setbacks we suffer in this world are somehow significant and meaningful,  about whom Allah says,

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَّقُولُ آمَنَّا بِٱللهِ فَإِذَا أُوذِيَ فِي ٱللهِ جَعَلَ فِتْنَةَ ٱلنَّاسِ كَعَذَابِ ٱللهِ

 

the translation of which is. “There are people who say they believe in Allah, but then, when they suffer harm in Allah’s way, take people’s persecution for Allah’s punishment.” They have no sabr. Rather, the moment they face defeat, they lose hope in Allah and give in to despair. And it is in that their defeat lies, not in anything that actually happened to them. Allah says,

وَمَنْ يَقْنَطْ مِنْ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّهِ إِلَّا الضَّالُّونَ

 

the translation of which is, “No one despairs of the mercy of Allah except for those who are misguided.” There is no power except with Allah. No matter how helpless our cause appears, no matter how many apparent setbacks we suffer, no matter how little progress or advancement we seem to be making, no matter how insurmountable the odds, no matter how powerful and unassailable the enemy seems to be or how weak and hopeless our own position and how oppressed our people, do not despair, do not lose hope. It is all part of the Plan of Allah, and He is the best of planners. In the face of His plan and His design, all their machinations and plots will come to naught. Allah says,

 

وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيُثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوكَ وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

 

the translation of which is, “When the unbelievers are plotting against you to imprison you or kill you or expel you: they are plotting and Allah is plotting, but Allah is the best of plotters.” These plots of theirs may appear substantial, but they cannot harm us, if we turn to Allah and have sabr. They will simply be like water off a duck’s back. Allah says,

 

وَإِنْ تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئاً

 

the translation of which is, “If you have sabr and taqwa, their plots will not harm you one bit.” So whatever happens to you in life, do not lose hope and do not think you have been abandoned, but rather meet it with sabr and fortitude. Be with the ṣābirin, those who,

 

إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ

 

the translation of which is, “When disaster strikes them, say, “إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ – ‘we belong to Allah and to Him we will return.’” We ask Allah to give us sabr and keep us always in the company of those who have sabr and never despair of the Mercy of our Lord. We ask Him to overturn the plots of His enemies and cause all of their efforts to fail and be in vain. And we ask Him to give us and the Muslim umma success and victory and place the Word of Islam uppermost in the the land and word of kufr undermost. We ask for a lasting success in all of our endeavours, and the capacity to be content with whatever our Lord has written for us.

 

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.