الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل الأمر بالمعروف من علامات المومنين، والأقوياء من الأمة والناصحين، 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. قال الله تعالى في كتابه العزيز: كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ

 

Allah says, the translation of which is, “You are the best umma ever to be produced before mankind. You enjoin the right, forbid the wrong and have belief in Allah.” Throughout the history of this planet, there have been many ummas, and out of all of them, our Lord has picked out this umma as the best of them. Why? What qualities do we have that make us worthy of such an honour? Well, the first and foremost thing relates to our Messenger. We are privileged to have had sent amongst the greatest of all of Allah’s creatures, and his excellence reflects on all of us, those who love him and follow him. The other qualities are mentioned in this aya – unwavering belief in Allah and enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. It is only while we continue to do that that we remain worthy of Allah’s praise. As soon as we leave it, all we merit is his wrath, even more than other people because our lofty status means that the standards to which we are held are higher. Aisha narrated that the Prophet said,

 

عُذِّبَ أهل قرية فيها ثمانيةَ عشرَ ألفاً عملهم عمل الأنبياء قالوا يا رسول الله كيف قال لم يكونوا يغضبون لله ولا يأمرون بالمعروف ولا ينهون عن المنكر

 

“The people of a town among whom were 18000 people doing the good actions of Prophets were punished.” “How is that, Messenger of Allah?” he was asked. He replied, “Because they did not become angry for the sake of Allah and command the people to the right and forbid them from the wrong.”

Commanding the right and forbidding the wrong implies activity and not passivity, changing things and not letting them slide. The Messenger of Allah said,

 

من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده، فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه، فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه وذلك أضعف الإيمان

 

If any of you sees a munkar, he should change it with his hand. If he cannot, then with his tongue, and if he cannot, then within his heart. And that is the weakest form of iman.” This hadith applies to oneself as well as to other people.

As for other people, it is often misunderstood and wrongly applied. People think that it means you go around physically restraining everyone around you whom you see committing wrong action. That is not what it means. The first type of change, changing with the hand, is reserved for people in authority and may only be exercised over their flock: a parent over his children, a boss over his workforce, a teacher over his students, a commander over his troops, and an amir over his subjects. This last is the most important in this regard. Imam al-Qurtubi said, “It is not appropriate for everyone to engage in commanding the right (and forbidding the wrong with their hands). Rather, the only one who should do it is the Sultan, since he has the power to implement the hadd punishments, to imprison and to exile. So, it is his responsibility to put a strong, knowledgeable, trustworthy man in place in each town and command him to do that on his behalf.”

As soon as someone steps outside the limits of their authority, they bring about fitna and create a worse munkar. We are not here to physically police one another, that is the job of those who have been placed in authority over us. Thus, this ayat and this hadith considers the presence and acceptance of proper leadership to be a given, for that is the only way for the umma to function and be worthy of its degree of excellence in the eyes of Allah.

And even the second form of forbidding munkar is misunderstood. Certain people think the deen is all about puritanical zeal and confrontation, rooting out wrong action and publicly shaming people for it. The more you look for wrong action to forbid, the more of it you find, until all you find is wrong action and your life becomes one of constant disapproval. Our primary concern as Muslims must be for the well-being of our brothers and everything we do or say should be with that goal in mind. We know the harm that munkar causes and the threat it poses, both to that individual and to the wider society, but we do not take that as an excuse to show him up or demonstrate our own piety and superiority in relation to him. Then our so-called attempt at commanding the right simply becomes an act of riya’, showing off, minor shirk. No, we must exercise wisdom and maintain our adab. We must choose our moment and speak to them in a way that gets through to them. And if our advice falls on deaf ears, and the problem escalates and starts to enter into the public sphere, thereby threatening the well-being of the wider umma and society, then and only then do we take it to the authorities amongst us who can bring a halt to it.

And finally, the third type of changing munkar is not accepting it and changing it in the heart. We cannot be content to remain or to feel at ease in the company of those who openly disobey Allah, and think it but a small matter. All that is hateful to Allah must be hateful to us, otherwise we are complicit in their actions. The Prophet said,

 

من حضر معصية فكرهها فكأنه غاب عنها، ومن غاب عنها فأحبها فكأنه حضرها

 

“If a wrong action takes place in your presence and you hate it, it is as if you were not present at all. And if it takes place elsewhere and you love it, it is as if you were present when it took place.”

This is with respect to the wrong that you find in those around you. But the hadith also applies to the wrong you find in yourself. And indeed, it is on that wrong that you must be most severe. One of the men of Allah said that the believer/ the mumin is the one who is tough on himself but easy on his brothers, while the munafiq/ the hypocrite is the one who is easy on himself but tough on his brothers. In other words, the believer constantly takes himself to account while overlooking the faults in his brothers, while the munafiq is blind to his own misdeeds, but constantly sees faults in others.

Any wrong that you see in yourselves and can change with your hands, in other words, any munkar that you are capable of leaving, you must leave. You must stop, you must desist, you cannot blithely continue. As for those wrong actions that you cannot leave, whether that be because of darura, such as riba, or addiction, such as drugs, you must speak out by asking your Lord’s forgiveness and making sincere dua to Him that He gives you the strength and capacity to put them aside, and you must make the change within your heart by acknowledging their wrongness and truly regretting the action. As a way of doing this, the Messenger of Allah used to encourage his people to show their hatred of fusuq and disobedience to Allah by saying to themselves,

 

اللهم إنّ هذا منكر اللهم إنّ هذا منكر اللهم إنّ هذا منكر

 

“O Allah, this is munkar/wrong! O Allah, this is wrong! O Allah, this is wrong!”

You cannot hope for success as an individual nor as a society until you make those changes. Allah does not change a people until they change themselves. It does not matter how much dhikr you do or how much prayer – if you remain embroiled in munkar and make no effort to leave it, they will not benefit you or set your affair right because your heart and body will not be in a state or position to accept them. Allah is tayyib and only accepts what is tayyib and munkar is far from tayyib. We ask Allah to make us people who recognise what is good and follow and recognise what is bad and avoid it.

 

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 رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إنَّ الْحَلالَ بَيِّنٌ ، وَالْحَرَامَ بَيِّنٌ، وَبَيْنَهُمَا مُشَبَّهَاتٌ لا يَعْلَمُهَا كَثِيرٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ، فَمَنِ اتَّقَى الْمُشَبَّهَاتِ اسْتَبْرَأَ لِدِينِهِ وَعِرْضِهِ، وَمَنْ وَقَعَ فِي الشُّبُهَاتِ كَرَاعٍ يَرْعَى حَوْلَ الْحِمَى يُوشِكُ أَنْ يُوَاقِعَهُ، أَلا وَإِنَّ لِكُلِّ مَلِكٍ حِمًى أَلا إِنَّ حِمَى اللَّهِ فِي أَرْضِهِ مَحَارِمُهُ، أَلا وَإِنَّ فِي الْجَسَدِ مُضْغَةً إِذَا صَلَحَتْ صَلَحَ الْجَسَدُ كُلُّهُ، وَإِذَا فَسَدَتْ فَسَدَ الْجَسَدُ كُلُّهُ، أَلا وَهِيَ الْقَلْبُ

 

The Messenger of Allah said, in a very famous agreed-upon hadith narrated by an-Nu‘man bin Bashir, “The halal is clear and the haram is clear, and between them are doubtful matters about which most people do not know. Whoever is careful when it comes to doubtful matters keeps his deen and his honor clean, but whoever who strays into doubtful matters strays into the haram. He is like a shepherd who allows his flock to roam and pasture right at the edge of a sanctuary – eventually they will go too far and graze inside. Every king has a sanctuary, and the sanctuary of Allah is those things he has made haram. In the body there is a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound, but if it is corrupted and diseased, the whole body is corrupted and diseased. That piece of flesh is the heart.”

This deen is a deen of limits and we must stay within those limits and not see them as being arbitrary, trivial or negotiable, or make our hawa, our unrestrained appetite, our boss.  It has the capacity to make anything, no matter how depraved, no matter how cruel, no matter how despised in the eyes of Allah, seem justified. The human being can convince himself of almost anything when he sets to one side the boundaries of the deen and the laws of Allah.

Some wrong actions seem less bad than others. You can come to it and say to yourself, “This is not so bad when compared to what else is being done by others in this age.” There is no doubt that this age is a difficult one – one in which fasaad is the norm rather than the exception. There is no doubt that societal and cultural pressure is huge. There is no doubt that the nafs commands to wrong. But none of that is an excuse, especially when we are surrounded by brothers and sisters who act as a constant reminder. Allah gives us guidance in every moment of every day. We are blessed in that way. We can never consider it justified to transgress the boundaries of the deen. This deen is a pasture that is circled on all sides by walls. Within those walls we are safe. Outside of them we are lost. And due to the limitless mercy of our Lord, there is a grey area that alerts us when we are going too far and getting too close to the edge. Do not belittle the boundaries of the deen, do not think like the christians that it doesn’t matter what you do because Allah will forgive. Wrong action is a disease that infects and blackens the heart until it becomes incapable of right action or even belief, as the Messenger warns us in the hadith with which I began this second khutba. So beware. Be on your guard. Hold yourself to account in every moment.

There are a few wrong actions which are especially insidious in this age, given their prevalence and how widespread and normalised they have become. Drinking and fornication are chief among them. In wider society, there are few negative connotations attached to either of these practices. Indeed, they are often considered positive and praiseworthy. You are a stud, or you are a person of culture and breeding if you serve and consume certain types of alcoholic beverage. They are synonymous with success and high culture, as well as with having a good time, and so, many of our youth cannot help but be seduced.

It happens. We are all human beings and human beings are weak. We slip up. As the Messenger of Allah said,

كل ابن آدم خَطاء

 

“Every human being does wrong action frequently.” We understand this, but what we cannot understand are these wrong actions being justified, especially alcohol. We sometimes hear people say that alcohol is not so bad because it was not prohibited immediately and many of the Sahaba used to drink in the early days of Islam. Thus it cannot be intrinsically bad. Indeed the Quran mentions that there are benefits for people in it, so consuming it is borderline okay, is it not? No it is not! In the Book of Allah, as we all know, there are abrogating and abrogated – and the ruling of Allah is based on the final ayat revealed. For us, the people of this age, there is no gradual leaving of it. It has never been permissible for us. There is a reason it has been assigned a hadd punishment. It is a kabira – a major wrong action, not a minor one. And in many ways, it is one of the worst, and not just because of the drunkenness that results. It is rijs, it is najasa, impurity, and a poison for the body and especially the heart. Even in moderation, it is not okay.

The Messenger of Allah called it the umm al-khabā’ith, ‘the mother of all evil’. And if you want to hear a voice from the culture in which it is revered, William Shakespeare called “it the enemy that men put in their mouths to steal away their brains…and transform themselves into beasts”.

And Uthman ibn Affan said in one of his khutbas, “A god-fearing man of one of the previous peoples used to frequent his local place of worship, passing by the house of a wicked woman. One day, this woman sent out her servant to invite the man in as he was passing. As soon as he stepped in the door, she locked it behind him, and said to him, “If you do not do one of three things then I will scream and say that you tried to rape me, and who will they believe now that you are inside my house. You must either sleep with me, kill this boy – for she had a young boy with her in the house – or drink this large glass of wine.” So the man chose the wine, thinking it the least of them in terms of wrong. But no sooner had he drunk than he fell under its influence and ended up sleeping with the woman and killing the boy. So keep away from it, it is the mother of all evil. By Allah, iman and alcohol can scarcely co-exist in the heart of a believer – one will surely force the other out.”

Alcohol is incompatible with this great deen. Here, Sayyidina Uthman tells us that it forces out belief. And in the Quran, in Surat al-Ma’ida, Allah tells us,

 

فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ

 

the translation of which is, “and, by means of wine and gambling, to debar you from dhikr of Allah and from the prayer.” The Messenger of Allah said,

 

من شرب الخمر لم تقبل له صلاة أربعين صباحا

 

“The prayer of the one who drinks wine will not find acceptance with Allah for forty days.” So as Allah says,

فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُنْتَهُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “Will you not desist?!” It brings you nothing but ruin in this world and the Next. It makes you ugly, it makes you stink. The angels who record your good deeds cannot bear to be near you. It adversely affects the lives of all who are near you. One of the Companions said, “If you marry your daughter to someone who drinks, you have condemned her to a life of zina. For he says things when drunk that are legally binding on him such as the words of divorce.” And it makes you an outcast in your own family. When you drink, it is like you are setting fire to your life. Indeed it is worse, for Ka’b al-Ahbaar said, “I would prefer to drink a glass of burning fire than a glass of wine.”

This is the effect that it has on you, but never forget the effect that it has on those associated with you, especially when you do it publicly. In people’s eyes, you and they are all tarred with the same brush. They assume that they also do it or at the very least approve of it, and soon you will have damaged an entire community and put their work in jeopardy by destroying their honour and good name in the eyes of the wider society. This is a stark warning to us all and applies not just to drinking but to all wrong actions that are done publicly. The Messenger of Allah said,

كل أمتي معافى إلا المجاهرين

 

“All my umma are excused except those who openly [commit wrong actions].” And Bilal ibn Ya‘d said,

 

إن المعصية إذا أخفيت لم تضر إلا صاحبها فإذا أعلنت ولم تغير أضرت بالعامة

 

“When a wrong action is done secretly, it harms no one but the one who does it, but when it is done openly, and is not checked, it harms the community in general.”

We ask Allah to forgive us and protect us and our communities from major wrong action. And strengthen us and make it easy for us to let them go and give them up if they have their hooks into us. We ask Allah to restore this umma to its promised position and make us worthy once again of being called the best umma ever to be produced before mankind.

 

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.

اللهم اسق عبادك وبهائمك، وانشر رحمتك وأحي بلدك الميت (3) اللهم اسقنا الغيث ولا تجعلنا من القانطين (3) اللهم اسقنا غيثاً مغيثاً مريئاً نافعاً غير ضار، عاجلاً غير آجل (1) اللهم أغثنا، اللهم أغثنا اللهم أغثنا

 

As I sure you all know, we are undergoing a severe drought here in Cape Town. The city and the people are in desperate need of water. When this happened to the Messenger of Allah, it was his Sunna to establish the rain prayer, as well to make impassioned duas for rain in the course of his Jumua khutbas. So our Amir, Hajj Rhomeez, has organised a rain prayer for Sunday the 19th February. We will gather in Wynberg Park at 8 am. I encourage everyone to come. Please bring prayer mats and snacks as we will be eating together following the conclusion of the rain khutba.

I would also like to make a second announcement. To celebrate its 72nd anniversary, the MJC is hosting a khatmul Quran at Darul Islam Masjid in Surrey Estate between Asr and Maghrib today. They have issued us with a personal invitation, so if anyone would like to attend, please go and speak to Hajj Rhomeez after the prayer. He has suggested that we go as a group at 6 pm and stay until Maghrib.

 

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