الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي تقبل التوبة عن عباده المومنين، ويعفو عن سيئات عباده المستغفرين، 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 الكريم إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا للهُ

 

Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “[Final] judgement belongs to Allah alone.” And Allah says,

فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْك الْبَلَاغ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَاب

 

the translation of which is, “All you must do is transmit. The Reckoning is Our domain.” As human beings, it is our duty and our place to call to the right and to remind, not our place to pass judgement or to say where a person will end up. Judgment resides solely in the hands of Allah.

So, on that basis, we speak up for what we know is right and speak out against what we know is wrong. We condemn what is displeasing to our Lord with the harshest of condemnations – We hate what Allah hates – kufr, fusuq and isyan. Allah says,

 

‫وَكَرَّهَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ

 

“And He has made kufr, deviance and disobedience hateful to you.” Allah wants a pure and unsullied deen for His slaves. Any form of deviation, esoteric or exoteric, must be dealt with forthwith and nipped in the bud, not left to moulder and fester and permeate everyone and everything with its rotten scent.We must be harsh and swift in our treatment of wrong action, but that does not imply severity in our dealings with the perpetrators, especially in the absence of any working or workable justice system and the absence of any legal proof. There is a tremendous story of Sayyidina Umar ibn al-Khattab in the tafsir of Imam Qurtubi. And we all know that Sayyidina Umar was famous for his severity and his keen sense of justice. al-Qurtubi said,

 

روي عن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه أنه افتقد رجلاً ذا بأس شديد من أهل الشام؛ فقيل له: تتابع في هذا الشراب؛ فقال عمر لكاتبه: اكتب من عمر إلى فلان، سلام عليك، وأنا أحمد الله إليك الذي لا إله إلا هو {بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمنِ الرَّحِيمِ حـمۤ* تَنزِيلُ ٱلْكِتَابِ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْعَلِيمِ* غَافِرِ ٱلذَّنبِ وَقَابِلِ ٱلتَّوْبِ شَدِيدِ ٱلْعِقَابِ ذِي ٱلطَّوْلِ لاَ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ إِلَيْهِ ٱلْمَصِيرُ } ثم ختم الكتاب وقال لرسوله: لا تدفعه إليه حتى تجده صاحياً، ثم أمر مَن عنده بالدعاء له بالتوبة، فلما أتته الصحيفة جعل يقرؤها ويقول: قد وعدني الله أن يغفر لي، وحذّرني عقابه، فلم يبرح يردّدها حتى بكى ثم نزع فأحسن النزع وحسنت توبته. فلما بلغ عمر أمرُه قال: هكذا فاصنعوا إذا رأيتم أحدكم قد زلّ زلّة فسدّدوه وادعوا الله له أن يتوب عليه، ولا تكونوا أعواناً للشياطين عليه

 

It is reported that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, noted the absence of a man of the people of Shaam (who used to attend his assemblies). So he asked after him and was told that he had taken to drinking and was always in his cups. So Umar called for his scribe and said, “Write the following:

From ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab to So-and-so. Peace be upon you. I give praise to Allah. There is no god but Him. In the Name of Allah, All Merciful, Most Merciful: Ha Mim, The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Almighty, the All-Knowing. The Forgiver of wrong action, the Accepter of tawba, the Severe in retribution, the Possessor of abundance. There is no god but Him. The final destination is with Him.” (From Surat Ghafir) Then he sealed the letter and said to his messenger, “Only hand it over to him when he is sober.” Then he instructed everyone who was with him in the assembly to make dua for their brother’s tawba.

When Umar’s letter reached him and the man started to read it, he said to himself, “Allah has promised me that He will forgive me and warned me of His punishment!” And he repeated the ayats to himself again and again until he began to weep. And he stopped drinking completely and made sincere tawba. When Umar heard of this, he said to the people “This is how you should act when you come upon a brother who has slipped up. Point him along the right path, ask Allah to grant him tawba and do not be helpers of Shaytaan against him.”

In other words, do not humiliate your brothers no matter how much they have slipped up nor publically disgrace them. And they are the ones whom you know are guilty. The only time anything like that is justified is when their actions or words threaten the well-being of the wider community, whereupon the one responsible for that community does what needs to be done.

As for those about whom you merely have doubts, beware of that doubt and suspicion – there are few things more damaging to the ties that bind us and hold us together as a community. This was clear from the civil war that nearly resulted when the accusations were made against Sayyidatina Aisha and everyone started to suspect one another of being the source of those false rumours. If, instead of the bad opinion, they had maintained a good opinion of one another, the dangerous situation would never have arisen. Allah says,

 

لَوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ ظَنَّ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ خَيْرًا وَقَالُوا هَذَا إِفْكٌ مُبِينٌ

 

the translation of which is, “Why, when you heard it, did you not, as believing men and women, think well of yourselves and say, ‘This is clearly a lie’.” We must never view our brothers with suspicion and wonder if it is they who are the guilty ones, whether it was towards them that the khutba of last week was directed. The khutba of last week was directed towards us all, every one of us. None of us is ma’sum, immune to committing mistakes, none of us is perfect. None of us will go through life with a spotless record, never once having done something wrong. But that is not a cause for despair nor a reason for depression. In many ways, occasional slip-ups are a mercy. They are a way for us to gain access to the forgiveness of a benevolent Lord. Allah says,

 

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

 

the translation of which is, “Say: ‘My slaves, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’” We are not angels, incapable of wrong action, we are not Prophets, protected from wrong action, we are human beings. We have selves which command to wrong, Shaytan swims in our blood and never ceases to whisper in our ears. We err and make mistakes. The Prophet said,

كُلُّ ابْنِ ءادم خطاء

 

“Every son of Adam is a wrongdoer.” But that does not have to define us. That is not who we have to be and who we have to remain, for every believing son of Adam has access to the mercy of Allah if he turns back to Him. The Prophet said,

وخير الخطائين التوابون

 

“The best of wrongdoers are those who each time they wrong make tawba.” Our wrong actions do not need to define us and be who we are, tawba gives us the opportunity to make it simply something that we once did and left behind. The person who has made tawba is no longer a thief, he is simply someone who once stole something, he is no longer a liar and breaker of oaths and contracts, he is simply someone who once broke his word, he is no longer a drinker, he is simply someone who once drunk.

Our Lord is merciful. Mercy and Forgiveness are His Divine Attributes and He wants us to have access to them. The Prophet said,

 

لو لم تذنبوا لذهب الله بكم وجاء بقوم آخرين يذنبون فيستغفرون فيغفر لهم وهو الغفور الرحيم

 

“If you had not committed wrong action, then Allah would have taken you away and brought another people who committed wrong action and asked His forgiveness, so that He could then forgive them. He is the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” This is not to say that wrong action is encouraged – it is not. It is hateful in the eyes of Allah. But it need not be a point of no return. It need not be something that defines you and reshapes your persona and your sense of who you are. It is not too late. You are never too far gone. Those thoughts are simply whisperings of Shaytan who wants to pull you deeper and deeper into the mire. To the many of us who have slipped up along the way, who have erred and momentarily gone astray, succumbed to temptation and let our lower selves hold sway, let these words be solace. Wrong action need not be terminal, it need not even be a black mark against us. It can be the prod that sets us all the more firmly on the path to Allah. The Prophet said,

 

رب ذنب أدخل صاحبه الجنة قالوا وكيف ذلك يا رسول الله. قال لا يزال تائبا فارّا منه خائفا من ربه حتى يموت فيدخله الجنة

 

“The wrong action a person commits may well be the cause of him entering the Garden.” “How is that, Messenger of Allah,” they asked. He replied, “He continues to be repentant, fleeing from that wrong action and being afraid of his Lord until he dies, and that will take him to the Garden.” So have a high opinion of your Lord, learn to forgive yourself and turn in tawba to 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 secret to turning your life around, and making the wrong actions you have committed – and note, that I say, ‘Have committed’, not ‘continue to commit’ – making those wrong actions something positive is tawba. It is the key. But tawba is not truly tawba unless certain preconditions are met. Otherwise it is just empty words.

The first is that it must be made before it is too late, and by too late we mean when a person is on his deathbed or when he has witnessed with his own eyes one of the final major signs of the end of time. Allah says,

 

وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الْآَنَ

 

the translation of which is, “There is no tawba for people who persist in doing wrong until death comes to them and who then say, ‘Now I make tawba,’” The greatest example of that is Fir‘awn who only declared his belief when the flood waters had engulfed him and he was staring death in the face. But he was too late.

The second precondition for tawba is belief in Allah and His Messenger. No matter how remorseful a disbeliever, and no matter how many good actions he does to make up for his wrong actions, no tawba will ever be accepted from him, for how can you turn to One whose very existence you deny?! Allah says,

وَلَا الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ

 

the translation of which is, “Nor is [there tawba] for those who are disbelievers.”

The third is that the tawba be naṣūḥ. Allah says,

 

يَأَيُّهَا الذِينَ ءَامَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللهِ تَوْبَةً نَصُوحاً

 

the translation of which is, “You who believe, make nasuh tawba to Allah.” Al-Kalbi said, “Nasuh tawba is [four things]: feeling regret in the heart, seeking forgiveness on the tongue, immediately ceasing to do the wrong action, and making a firm intention to not go back to it.”

The first of these, nadm – regret, is very important. Indeed the Prophet has said,

 

الندم توبة

 

“Regret is tawba.” But it is also often wildly misunderstood, and confused with guilt, something which has no place whatsoever in the deen and which is reprehensible in the extreme. Regret is thinking badly of the wrong action and wishing that wrong action had never come into being, while guilt is thinking badly of yourself and blaming and reproaching yourself on a constant basis for what you did. Guilt is holding on to one’s wrong actions, dwelling on them and making them a part of your psyche and being while true healthy regret is letting them go and keeping the heart clear of them. Imam al-Junayd said, “Nasuh tawba is to forget the wrong action and never again call it to mind, for the one whose tawba is accepted comes to love Allah. And he who truly loves Allah forgets all that is other than Him.”

The second, seeking forgiveness on the tongue, is necessary, since for forgiveness to be granted, the slave must ask for it. Tawba must be a conscious act. The tongue gives expression to what is in the heart. Indeed, the words should never be far from our tongue, for we always have need of our Lord’s forgiveness. Even the one free of wrong action, the Messenger of Allah, said,

 

يا أيها الناس استغفروا الله وتوبوا إليه فإني أستغفر الله وأتوب إليه في اليوم مائة مرة

 

“People, make tawba to Allah and seek His forgiveness, for I make tawba to Allah and seek His forgiveness one hundred times a day.”

The third is that you immediately stop doing the wrong action for which you are making tawba. It is not tawba to ask forgiveness for stealing while continuing the whole time to steal. The Prophet said,

المستغفر باللسان المصر على الذنوب كالمستهزئ بربه

 

“He who asks forgiveness with his tongue while continuing to do wrong action is like someone who openly mocks his Lord.”

The final one is making a firm intention to not go back. Asking Allah’s forgiveness for drinking alcohol while making a date in your diary to go out drinking the next weekend is not tawba, it is lying and hypocrisy. Part of this intention is making sure that you avoid the company of people whom you know will making doing that action probable. You must change your companions otherwise you are lying to yourself and your tawba is not truly nasuh.

Tawba is a necessary part of being Muslim. The Muslim cannot blithely go through life committing wrong, justifying it to himself or even to others, thinking it of small import and never returning to His Lord. That path will inevitably lead to kufr, and is a sign of hypocrisy. No, it is only by us returning to Allah on a constant basis, that He returns to us and remains permanently by our side. It is only then that we can hope to get anything done and hope to restore this deen to the glorious position it once and will again occupy. We ask Allah to forgive us our wrong actions and forgive us our trespasses and transform them into right actions. And to make us people of tawba, people who turn to Him sincerely and keep on turning to Him throughout our lives.

 

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

 

O Allah, hear our impassioned dua for rain. The city and the people are in desperate need of water. To that end, following the Sunna of our beloved Messenger, 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. And please do not dress up. This occasion is one of humility. Wear your every day clothes and the men should wear something that can easily be turned inside out such as a jacket.

 

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.