الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي استجاب الأدعية من 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.

 

The secret to this existence is to truly understand where we stand, to truly grasp our place and our role. What is the purpose of the human being and why are we here on this earth. Is our purpose to maximise the sensory, to heighten the degree of pleasure and experience as we go through life, to seek the ultimate high, as the hedonists believe? Or is to acquire and accumulate as much stuff as is possible to make our passage through life as comfortable and easy as possible? Or is to acquire fame and renown, so that people talk of you and your accomplishments with awe and reverence, and your works live on in them after your death? Or is it scientific advancement – to understand more and more fully the mechanical workings of the world around us and in is, to uncover their secrets so that we can control and influence them more fully? Or is to ensure the preservation of the species and prevent it from going into extinction? The answer is none of the above, for no matter how praiseworthy and laudable some of these pursuits, they are merely by-products of our time here. They do not really define us, they do not really talk to our core purpose.

So, maybe, the reality is then that we do not have a purpose – we are simply meaningless lifeforms in a meaningless universe, going through the motions, insignificant in the wider scheme of things, here one moment and gone the next? Those who think this are even more ignorant than those who place the purpose of our existence in a by-product. Allah says,

أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْجَعُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “Did you suppose that We created you aimlessly/for amusement and that you would not return to Us?” The first thing you have to understand is what this world is. For all its glitter and superficial appeal, it has very little actual substance. It promises so much, but delivers so little. It is ultimately empty and unfulfilling. Its beauty is only skin-deep. It may have a golden veneer but inside it is worthless copper and brass. It is the abode of ghurur – deception. Abu Hurayra narrated that the Prophet asked him whether he wanted to see the entirety of the dunya. When he replied that he would, the Prophet took him to a rubbish dump full of skulls, faeces, rags and bones and said,

 

يا أبا هريرة هذه الرؤوس كانت تحرص كحرصكم وتأمل كأملكم ثم هي اليوم عظام بلا جلد ثم هي صائرة رماداً. وهذه العذرات هي ألوان أطعمتهم اكتسبوها من حيث اكتسبوها ثم قذفوها في بطونهم فأصبحت والناس يتحامونها، وهذه الخرق البالية كانت رياشهم ولباسهم فأصبحت والرياح تصفقها، وهذه العظام عظام دوابهم التي كانوا ينتجعون عليها أطراف البلاد

 

“Abu Hurayra, these skulls were once people who aspired as you aspire and hoped as you hope, but now today they are but skinless bones and tomorrow they will be but dust. And these piles of faeces were once all those various types of food which you sought after and earnt and then put into your stomachs, but now today they have become something people avoid. And these worn-out rags were once the clothes and regalia you wore, but now have become rags scattered by the wind. And these bones are the bones of your riding-beasts upon which you used to travel to the far corners of the land.”

Even the grandest things of this world, the seemingly permanent and immutable, disappoint. As Ibrahim demonstrated to his people when he pointed out to them that the stars, the moon and the sun all set. This world and all that is in it is but a temporary zone, a refugee camp if you will. Allah says,

 

وَمَا هَذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآَخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “The life of the dunya is nothing but a game and a diversion. The abode of the akhira – that is truly Life if they only knew.” Nothing in this world is meant to last, every structure and fixture is temporary. It is a place where we are accommodated while our true homes are determined. Everything we acquire here stays here, whatever we learn about this place and its workings helps us while we are here but benefits us not when we leave it behind and move on to our true homes which have been assigned to us. And those homes are assigned on the basis of our time here. If we show true aspiration and use our time to prepare adequately for what is to come, we are assigned the best of housing, but if we immerse ourselves fully in the camp, and consider it the be-all and end-all, and make no efforts to ready ourselves for when our time comes to move on, we are assigned the worst of housing.

Those who gain mastery over this refugee camp – or so it is made to seem to them – they are well-pleased with themselves and their efforts, but ultimately they are the poorest and worst-off of all its inhabitants when it becomes time for them to move on. Allah says,

 

يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “They know outward and superficial aspects of the life of this world but are heedless of the Hereafter.” They focused all their energy on the wrong things, and so at the end of the day were left with nothing. They misunderstood. The true purpose of our time on this planet, the real reason we are here is to know and worship our Lord and Creator. Allah says,

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

 

the translation of which is, “I have not created jinn and men except to worship Me.” The Arabic word for ‘worship’ comes from the root ‘abada. From the same root, we get the word for slave. So our purpose here is absolute slavehood to Allah. But unlike the masters of this world, our Creator is rich, beyond need. Our service to Him does not take the form of protecting Him, or helping Him in the acquisition of His rizq, or providing Him with pleasure and entertainment. No, there is no benefit for Him in our slavehood. Allah says,

 

مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُمْ مِنْ رِزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ يُطْعِمُونِ إِنَّ اللهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ

 

the translation of which is, “I do not require any provision from them nor do I require them to feed Me. Truly Allah, He is the Provider, the Possessor of Strength, the Sure.” All the benefit in the slavehood is for us. Firstly, it frees us and protects us from being enslaved to anything or anyone else, and the humiliation and degradation that that entails. And there is no doubt that it is part of the nature of the human being to fixate upon something. And if he removes his Lord from the equation, then something or someone else will inevitably step into the vacuum – whether that be idols or money or fame or sensory gratification or other people. All such masters make demands on you that are to their own benefit and often to your detriment. But that is not true of Allah. Everything He asks of you good for you, everything is to your own benefit. Allah says,

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بـِكـُــمُ اليُسْرَ وَلا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ العُسْرَ

 

the translation of which is, “Allah wants ease and wealth for you. He does not want difficulty and hardship for you.” And secondly, true slavehood to Allah satisfies and fulfils a human being at the deepest of levels, it makes him whole and restores him to the fullness of his being. For it was Allah who created us and Allah who best understands our needs. Not for the slave of Allah is that deep sense of pointlessness and futility that often gnaws away at the heart of the human being and fills him from time to time with despair. Not for the slave of Allah is the need to use whatever means are to hand to escape from the drudgery of our lives. There is no drudgery when you place yourself in His hands and truly know Him. For true slavehood implies knowledge. To truly be a slave, to truly serve, you must know your Master. That is why the mufassirin often interpret Allah’s Words, li-ya‘budun, ‘to worship Me’, to mean li-ya‘rifun, ‘to know Me’. Thus, every endeavour we undertake, every action we do, should be for the purpose of increasing in knowledge of Allah. Anything that takes us away from that should be avoided. Make your Lord your goal and you will have success in everything that you do.

 

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.

 

Apart from knowledge, the heart of worship is supplication, is directing all your pleas and requests to the One who truly provides.  The Messenger of Allah said,

الدعاء هو العبادة

 

“Dua is ibada.” It lies at its core and its heart. Indeed, the word salaat/prayer, the main act of worship in this great deen of ours, is a synonym for dua. Dua is the acknowledgment of the true state of existence, that there is one source for everything and that He alone provides. We deserve nothing, we have no rights over Him and He has no duty of care over us. Why should He facilitate our survival and well-being at the expense of the survival and well-being of other parts of His creation such as the plants and animals that make up our food and clothing, or the land and trees that are cut down or dug up and turned into our cities and homes? He owes us nothing – everything that comes is from His is fadl and ziyada – bounty and increase. The treasurehouses of existence are His, everything belongs to Him, and nothing belongs to us. There is much that He gives without our asking, but the choicest and most important things are held in storage for those who come to ask for them. That is the only way to get them. They are withheld from everyone else. Those things are the the things that truly determine whether our time on this world is a success or not.

If we lack the aspiration and do not turn to Him and ask Him for those things, then our time in this abode will be a failure and we will have incurred His displeasure and wrath. The Prophet said,

مَنْ لم يَسأل اللهَ يغضبْ عليه

 

“He who does not ask Allah incurs His anger.” And what is the result of His displeasure? He washes His hands of you. Allah says,

 

قُلْ مَا يَعْبَأُ بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْلَا دُعَاؤُكُمْ ۖ فَقَدْ كَذَّبْتُمْ فَسَوْفَ يَكُونُ لِزَامًا

 

the translation of which is, “Say: ‘What has My Lord to do with you if you do not call on Him? But you have denied the truth, so punishment is bound to come.’” And He assigns you to the worst  and most painful of destinations. Allah says,

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي – أي دعائي – سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ

 

the translation of which is, “Those who are too proud to worship Me – i.e. to make dua to Allah – will enter Jahannam abject.”

We must continuously ask Allah for everything – no request should be seen as too small. And that is especially true when we are in difficulty or when we are facing up to situations over which we clearly have no control or influence. This is the daar al-ibtilaa and such situations are the tests by means of which Allah sorts the wheat from the chaff. He wants to see if we will tunr to Him or turn elsewhere, or succumb to despair. If we sincerely turn to Him, He will remove the difficulty, if we do not it remains. The Prophet said,

 

لا يردُّ القضاءَ إلا الدعاءُ

 

“Nothing keeps away hardship that has been decreed for us except dua.” This is one of His guarantees to us. He will answer our duas. Not always in the form that we expect, but always in the form that is best for us. The Prophet said,

 

ما من مسلمٍ يدعو ليس بإثمٍ ولا قطيعةِ رحمٍ، إلا أعطاه اللهُ إحدى ثلاثٍ: إما أن يعجلَ له دعوتَه، وإما أن يدَّخِرَها له في الآخرةِ، وإما أن يدفعَ عنه من السوءِ مثلَها فقال أحدُ الصحابةِ: إذاً نكثِرُ يا رسولَ الله؟ فقال  صلى الله عليه وسلم: (اللهُ أكثرُ)

 

“No Muslim makes a dua for something – so long as it is not for something which a wrong action or a breaking of family ties – except that Allah gives him one of three. Either He grants HIs request swiftly, or He stores up that dua so it benefits him in the Hereafter, or He protects of from some bad thing of a similar level that was due to come his way.” One of the Companions asked, “Then must we must [supplicate] a lot, Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Allah is more.” In other words, Allah always gives more than we expect. But we cannot rest on our laurels and think that we have done what we need to do. The process of dua is an ongoing one. If we are truly sincere in our request, then it is not a token gesture, a ritual we do once and then forget about. That is not how it is with matters of the heart. Our supplication must be in earnest, it must be taḍarru‘, it must be impassioned, real, sincere. The rain prayer that we recently did is not the end of it, we cannot see that we have done our duty and now just sit back and wait. As soon as we start to assume, and think that something is our right, that is when we spoil and reverse the effects of our dua.  Dua is not a ritual, it is an asking, a pleading for help, an act of turning fully to the sole Actor in existence and placing oneself fully in His hands. So let us continue to ask our Lord, let us continue to plead with Him, that He give us everything that we need and grant us the best of this world and the Next. And that He remove this drought and give us rain. You alone provide the water and send down the rain, Allah, so send it down upon us and encompass us in Your mercy. There is no god but You, no Provider but You, hear our duas.

 

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

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.