Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : No Morality, No Integrity… No Future

Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : No Morality, No Integrity… No Future

- by Imam Suhaib Webb,  ISBCC (Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center)

on 16-March-2012

English Translation of Khutbah by Imam Suhaib – The Video:

Good parenting is like being a Good Muslim

My beautiful daughters, I am blessed with two of you, Zainab (left) and Anam (right).

My beautiful daughters, I am blessed with two of you, Zainab (left) and Anam (right).

“A father cannot give a better gift to his child than a good education.” (Tirmidhi)

Becoming a parent was an amazing experience. I am blessed with two beautiful baby girls and I pray to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (Glorified is He) that He raises them as good and pious human.

Good parenting is like being a Good Muslim – both require continuous struggles to stay focused on our goals (that is, if we take the time to even set them in the first place), being conscious of the consequences of our choices, an ongoing and honest evaluation of ourselves, and the best efforts to improve our condition.

“Allah does not change the condition of people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran, Surah Al Ra’d, 13:11)

The struggle is real but Allah is the best facilitator and He, out of His infinite mercy, has made His deen (religion) easy – ad-deenu yusrun (Bukhari) – and many times I find that it is our lack of knowledge, or a structured routine to bring that knowledge to practice that prevents us from moving forward. Therefore, we need to reflect on and plan ways and steps to take in raising ideal children by the enabling grace of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (Glorified is He). And the key to success, I feel, is in starting in a small but consistent, meaningful and qualitative way – making the foundation of these deeds strong and grow from there.

We should work on to become a student of knowledge. Read books and scholarly research on Parenting in Islam. We should find guidance from the beautiful examples of our beloved Nabi (Prophet) Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him). He was sent as a mercy to the whole mankind (Quran, Surah Al Anbiya, 21:107), sent to perfect human character (muatta) in every role including that of the father and indeed Allah (swt) has kept the best examples in his conduct (Quran, Surah Al Ahzab, 33:21).

We have to serve as a role model to our children. Action speaks louder than words—and this is where we seem to fall short in today’s intellectual era where a vast amount of knowledge is easily available but only a small fraction of conforming ideals and character traits are seen in people. Rather than telling our children not to be on the iPod or watch too much TV – we can show them through our actions and read a book together!

Model the best character. Always advise with kindness. Teach patience by practicing patience and perseverance. Delay gratification and focus on teaching them routines. Stay silent and never discipline when angry. Verily anger destroys faith as aloe spoils honey (Baihaqi). Behave with your spouse, parents, relatives and friends kindly and courteously as our elders and scholars have recorded many incidents of people not respectful to their parents or spouse and they reaped the ill consequences of their actions by similar and unpleasant treatments from their children later in life.

Be a friend. Always make sincere effort to understand your children’s perspectives and do not force yours. Show love and empathize. Be easily approachable. Shall I not inform you about the person who is forbidden from the Fire and for whom the Fire is forbidden? Anyone who is close to people, soft and lenient (Ibid).

Create a balance between work and home—Our child’s education is equally or more important than work and hence, the need for our commitment to spend quality time with the family. Invest time in establishing an ideal learning environment at home.

Train Your Child in the Best Character and Etiquette. Keep Allah in mind wherever you are; follow a wrong with a right that offsets it; and treat people courteously (Tirmidhi). We find three great qualities from this hadith (prophetic narration) that we can inculcate in our children:

God Consciousness – Our children need to be trained to be conscious of their actions and learn the consequences of good and bad choices.

Accountability – You make the mess, you clean the mess. From a young age, always give them choices and do not be afraid to let them make a mistake, as that will provide an opportunity to impart a valuable lesson on responsibility, which they will hopefully always remember.

Courtesy – This character trait should be part of an early training we provide our children. They should always be kind and courteous to their parents, teachers, peers, siblings and to all of God’s creation. Courtesy is rooted in mercy for others and this is a required characteristic of a true Muslim – courtesy must be extended to the teacher, to knowledge, and to the environment of learning.

We must learn to pray to Allah (swt) regularly for our children, learn the du`a’s (supplication) from the Book of Allah and the examples of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and recite them from the heart to attract the mercy, guidance and acceptance of Allah (swt) as he is the true Murabbi (Nurturer) and can make up for our shortcomings in guiding and shaping our most valuable trust—our children. Indeed whomever Allah guides is truly guided, and whomever He misguides no one can guide him.

Our Lord! And make us submissive towards you and from our offspring a nation obedient to You – and show us the ways of our worship, and incline towards us with Your mercy; indeed You only are the Most Acceptor of Repentance, the Most Merciful. (Quran, Surah Al Baqarah, 2:128)

“Our Lord, soothe our eyes with our wives and our children, and make us leaders of the pious.” (Quran, Surah Al Furqan, 25:74)

Are You Like Her?

Source : SuhaibWebb | By Maryam Amirebrahimi

AMushafs I stood amongst millions of pilgrims from across the globe, I noticed a girl walk up to two elderly women sitting in front of Masjid al-Haraam.

After greeting them both, I noticed her asking if the women may be interested in a bag. One of the two women accepted it eagerly, excitedly pulling out one item after another. “A toothbrush!” she exclaimed with such delight. I realized these women might be amongst the very poor who traveled to Makkah with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

As I watched the young girl and the two women, I saw the elderly woman pull out a small box with the widest grin on her face. As she held the box and fumbled to open it, she exclaimed with pure joy, “A mushaf (copy of the Qur’an)!”

The girl was taken aback. “No…no,” she stammered to correct the elderly woman. “It’s just a small box with things for…” The woman could not hear the girl beyond her enthrallment as she continued to try to get it open. She kept exclaiming her joy for the mushaf while the other elderly woman across from her grinned. Finally, she got the box opened and stared at it blankly. The girl sadly repeated what she had been trying to share, what she now knew the elder woman had unfortunately discovered. The girl mumbled with embarrassment, “It’s not a mushaf…it’s a sewing kit.”

The elder woman looked up from the box and peered into the girl’s face. The woman’s excitement re-appeared in her eyes, her smile lighting up her face full of soft wrinkles. She exuded with passion, “Please, give me a mushaf. Please, get a mushaf for me!”

Watching this, I was absolutely floored. This was a woman whose face, body and clothing were marked with signs of age, difficulty and poverty. And while many may not have looked twice at her because of her appearance, because of her sincere love and excitement for the Qur’an, she may have had a greater station with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) than all the rest of us combined.

Many of us consider great individuals in our communities to be those whose names are celebrated; some of us judge a person’s worth by the number of subscribers, comments or likes on their Facebook. Some of us consider those with hoards of followers on Twitter as those who are superior. Some of us look to Imams (religious leaders), scholars or pious individuals in our mosques as those who have a special place with Allah. But the reality is that we have no idea whom amongst us are the inhabitants of Paradise and who may be closest to Him to Whom we will all return. And perhaps those who are truly special with Him are those who are unknown to us. Perhaps it is because of them that Allah (swt) sends angels of mercy and protection to surround them and in turn, envelop us because of our proximity to such special people.

Some of us in the West are being tried with one of the greatest forms of tests in this life, and that is the test of luxury and ease. Will we continue to remember Allah, love His Book and cling to His path even amidst our comfort? How will we work to be of those whose hearts soar and eyes light up at the possibility of holding His Book and hearing His words?

For many of us living in lands of wealth and ease, accessing the Qur’an is as simple as clicking on an app, going to a website or taking it off our home’s bookshelf. Yet how many of us make a point to do so? How many of us put in the effort? How many of us, like this incredible woman who did not even have a mushaf, choose to have the Qur’an embellished in our lives?

Superstitions at the Speed of Light

The QuranIt would be hoped that the Muslim mind would have some natural reservations when it comes to believing in falsehoods and superstitions, since the Quran establishes for us an approach to knowledge founded on factual information and evidence.

Allah says: “Say: Bring your proof, if you are truthful.” [Surah al-Baqarah: 111]

A Muslim believes in empirical evidence and in the knowledge gained through accurate observation and experimentation. A Muslim believes in reason and the conclusions the rational mind arrives at when free from the influence of personal desires and vested interests. A Muslim believes also in the truth of Divine Revelation.

Therefore, proof as a Muslim sees it is either empirical, rational, or – in matters of the unseen – scriptural.

This is clear from Allah’s words:

“Allah brings you forth from the wombs of your mothers knowing nothing, and He provides you with hearing, sight, and a heart, that perhaps you might be thankful.” [Surah al-Nahl: 78]

In this verse, Allah defines the sources of knowledge that can bring a person forth from the snares of ignorance.

Allah says: “And pursue not that of which you have no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing, or of the heart, will be enquired into.” [Surah al-Isra’: 36]

This verse prohibits us following that which is not supported by evidence and defines for us the sources of evidence.

By way of our hearing, we learn about revelation. By way of our sight, we acquire empirical knowledge. By way of our hearts, we are able to reason and make determinations.

By employing this methodology, the Muslims of old were able to emerge from the age of ignorance that they had been living in and become the vanguard of history, leading civilization forward.

They did not suffer from any conflict between rational knowledge and spiritual belief. Theirs was a perfect harmony between the two which brought about a full realization of their human potential.

This is in stark contrast to the pitiful state that Muslims are in today. Muslims are practically cut off from the empirical sciences, which have witnessed startling transformations and discoveries at a rate unprecedented in history.

Muslims societies are plagued with fables and superstitions that stifle their intellectual output and that bring about nothing but confusion. For some, the distinction between fables and superstitions on the one hand and revealed knowledge on the other has become obscured. Ready acceptance of strange and unnatural claims is seen as a natural extension of our belief in the unseen. Some people are eager to accept the flimsiest of claims and the most unsubstantiated of reports. Beneficial and sound knowledge, on the other hand, is met by some people with suspicion and stiff resistance.

Fables and strange tales spread around, traveling at the speed of light. Indeed, the speed with which rumors and fables spread through society might become a new figure of speech to indicate fantastic speed. Sheikh Muhammad Rashîd Ridâ wrote something once about the visionary bequest of Ahmad, the bearer of the Kaaba’s keys, foretelling the end of the world. Thereafter, Sheikh `Abd al-`Azîz b. Bâz wrote a specific response to this fable, though some people were surprised that he saw it worth his effort to refute such a ridiculous tale. Alas, we see the tale in its various guises reappear year after year.

Modern technology has allowed such stories to spread and circulate faster than ever. The Internet, satellite broadcasts, cell phones, and other advancements in communication have exposed to us how weak Muslims are in sorting and verifying information and how easy they are willing to absorb ideas that are contrary to both the teachings of Islam and to good sense. They have shown us the simple-mindedness and gullibility of a wide section of the population.

How often to reformers have to waste time combating false reports that spread like viruses, lethal and insidious, unchecked by any immunity.

Religious people are often the victims of myths about saints, the Mahdi, and the Hour. Sick people are susceptible to instantaneous diagnoses about magic curses, with cures that are often ridiculous and contrary to Islamic teachings. Many wives are plagued by superstitions involving curses, Jinn, magic charms, and the interpretation of dreams.

People seeking quick wealth are often taken in by the tempting promises of mediums who claim that with the assistance of Jinn or other people, they can help uncover for them buried treasure.

The general public seems not to have the patience to try and understand things or to acquire accurate knowledge. They are not sufficiently prepared for critical thinking. They are attracted to the new and strange. A person might sit in on a lecture or hear a sermon and remember nothing that was said except for something that was strange and unusual. The same can be said for reading periodicals. Some people have no interest except in those articles that have the least benefit or value, but that provide them with strange and attention-getting anecdotes for conversation.

However, Allah directs us as follows:

“Those who hear advice and follow the best thereof, such are those whom Allah guides, and such are people of understanding.” [Surah al-Zumar: 18]

It never ceases to amaze how an erudite scholar or scientist who is able to employ his mind to great effect within his field of secular study can at the same time you find him in another setting with his head reverently bowed down, awaiting the arrival of Khidr or the appearance of one of the Companions or prophets who is to participate in their gathering. It leaves us to wonder how such good sense can reside in the same mind with such foolish superstition.

Does a Muslim’s faith in the unseen – in matters that cannot be subjected to empirical scrutiny – give him license to discard sense and discretion in what he accepts to be true?

When superstition to run rampant in people’s lives, they dissipates their mental powers, making them incapable of critical thinking. Superstitions blacken the image of Islam.

Superstitions take away people’s confidence in themselves and their own abilities. It is that confidence which is so vital to the pursuit of knowledge, to inventiveness, and to excellence.

Noble, healthy civilizations have no respect for superstitions. We must make it a priority to reform our approaches to education, to developing critical thinking skills. No one who is concerned about the future of Muslim society can fail to see the importance of doing so. We should not allow our problems and circumstances to distract us from this. Indeed, only in this way will we be able to develop a strong basis to meet the challenges that confront us.

By : Sheikh Salman al-Oadah

Picture Perfect : Generation Gap

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