The Story of Imam Hussein
Friday Khutbah (27/2/2004) delivered by Shaykh Muhammad Taher
DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translater and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from Allah.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds, Master of the righteous, Whose enmity is only against the oppressors. And may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Imam of the pious, and those who follow him….
The Islamic Ummah has bid farewell to another year and welcomed a new one, and likewise the days pass and have passed. The haste of this life continues but has it occurred to you, oh Muslims, to say: “Where is this haste of life leading me? What will there be after the last round, at the end the road? What should I gather from this life, which we live and reside in, in which we strive and work, slave and toil, seeking livelihood and provision, recreation and pleasure, through the blessings of Allah?
Have you ever said to yourself on any day, did not Allah not say to us in his book?
“Blessed is He in Whose hands is the Dominion, and He has power over all things. He Who created Death and Life, so that He may try which of you is best in deed?” (al-Mulk 67:1-2)
And did He not say:
“To any that desires the harvest of the Hereafter, We give increase in his harvest; and to any that desires the harvest of this world, We grant it to him, but he has no share in the Hereafter.” (as-Shura 42:20)
Therefore, may my soul awaken from its slumber! This life is nothing other than a place of preparing for the Hereafter. This life is nothing other than a passageway to the Hereafter. This life is nothing other than a place of action and work for the reward of the Hereafter. This life is a place of longing and aspiration for meeting the promise, and witnessing what is promised, in the Hereafter.
So oh you who seeks the harvest of this life, and oh you who seeks the harvest of the Hereafter!
Your provision in this life is plentiful, and guaranteed, and Allah is the One who guarantees that. For Allah has said, before that last verse: “ Allah is gracious to His servants. He provides for whom He wills, and He is the Strong, the Mighty.” (42:19) Allah is kind to these people, and those people, and for each on of them is a share in this life. And no one will obtain more than what has been decreed for him in this life. Then there remains the harvest of the Hereafter, pure and true for whomsoever desires it and does righteous deeds for its sake.
Therefore, for the rich man and the poor, in the harvest of this life each one has his share. But in the harvest of the Hereafter it is not the same. In the Hereafter, those who have done righteous deeds come forward, and the people of sound and pure hearts. “On that day when money and children will benefit no-one, except whoever comes to Allah with a sound heart”. The righteous believers will rejoice in the Hereafter, after the hardship of this life, and the struggle against the self, the passions and desires, and against Shaitan, in order for there not to be disobedience to Allah, in committing vile deeds, consuming interest, and the consuming of people’s wealth in vain. On the other hand there are many people who become weary in the Hereafter. Many become weary, seeking pleasure and comfort for themselves, and leaving the commands of Allah. You will see them finding the prayer burdensome, seeing it as hard, exhausting work. Many wear out their bodies in order to obtain the benefits of this life, and regarding the afterlife they are heedless.
So come, let us hear what the Quran has to say about these wasteful people. And come, let us hear what the Quran has to say about those who are blessed in the Gardens of their Lord. After that, ask yourself. Are these people equal to these people? Is the one who seek the harvest of this life equal to the one who seeks the harvest of the next?
Allah says, after mentioning a group of prophets and righteous people and their offspring who followed them in excellence:
“But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed their lusts. Soon then, will they face destruction. Except those who repent and believe, and work Righteousness: for these Will enter the garden and will not be wronged in the least. Gardens of Eternity, those which Allah Most Gracious has promised to His servants in the Unseen: for His promise must come to pass. They will not hear any vain discourse, but only salutations of peace. Any they will have therein their sustenance, morning and evening. Such is the Garden which we give as an inheritance to those of our servants who guard against evil.” (19:59-63)
This is the price of Paradise, oh you who seek the Hereafter! This is the price of Paradise oh you who follow the Muhammad, peace be upon him. Allah gives paradise to those who have taqwa of Allah in this life.
As long as you are able to perform action do so, before you are unable to. Seize the opportunity of this life, before death approaches you.
“When their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, nor an hour can they advance in its anticipation.” (7:34)
A year has passed, and a year has come, so let each one of us ask himself today: What have I prepared for tomorrow? What did I do yesterday? Am I prepared for what is coming? Oh servants of Allah, have taqwa in your lives, in the times you spend, and in your actions.
“And fear the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah, then every soul shall be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly. (2:281)
Also, take a warning, a lesson, from the earthquakes that are happening here and there, in places like Iran, Algeria, Morocco, and know that they are nothing other than reminders and awakeners for the believers to prepare themselves for the earthquake that cannot be measured by the Richter scale. The day when the earthquake will last for hours, not seconds or minutes, when the earth is pounded to powder, when the earth is shaken to the utmost convulsion. When the great event occurs, and you will see the earth bringing low many, and exalting many, and when every nursing mother shall abandon her suckling baby. These earthquakes that you see today are nothing other than awakenings for the heedless, the sinners and the disobedient, to return and repent to the Lord of the Worlds. And we ask Allah to forgive those who have died in these events.
In the month of Muharram, a caller to Allah was for to flee from his da’wa, a brother of Muhammad, salla Allahu alahi wa salam. Both of them were on the same path. They had the same journey. They called to the same thing. Indeed, this brother is Musa, peace be upon him.
A prophet is not sent, except that an oppressor is placed in order to oppose him. A leader of da’wa does not carry his conviction, except that there is a tyrant that prepares to fight him. This is the sunnah of Allah, and you will not find in the sunnah of Allah any change. And if Allah did not defend some people from others, this earth would be thoroughly corrupted. In this month Musa was expelled from Egypt, expelled by the evil Pharaoh. Likewise, our own beloved Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was expelled from Mecca by the Quraysh, in this month. As Allah says in Surah al-Furqan: “ Thus have we made for every prophet an enemy from amongst the sinners; but enough is thy Lord to guide and to help.” (25:31)
Musa and the Children of Israel clashed with the sea. The army was behind them; death and the sea were in front of them. Where to, oh Lord? To Allah. Musa turned and called to Allah, and Allah is close.
“When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close: I respond to the prayer of every caller when he calls me.” (2:186)
The Children of Israel said:
“Oh Musa, they army will catch us!” And Musa smiled, as Muhammad, peace be upon him, smiled in the cave. He said: “By no means! My Lord is with me! Soon he will guide me! Where will He guide you? Pharaoh is behind you, the sea is in front of you!(26:61-62)
This dilemma had no solution. In the limited perspective of man there was no escape, but Musa said: “My Lord is with me and he will soon guide me.” At that point the command came. “Don’t delay, strike the sea with your staff, in the Name of Allah.” He struck the sea, and it split, it burst, and a path emerged for them. Musa and the Children of Israel walked. The tyrant came, to test them one last time in this life. But damned be the oppressors and tyrants, who always meet destruction. Either hearts curse them, while they are walking on the earth, or the earth swallows them, or Allah sends afflictions upon them, or Allah prepares for them the Fire.
Pharaoh arrived with his army, but Musa was saved. Allah said to the sea: “Come together!” and it did. That was the end of that criminal. When he realized the reality he said: “I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: and I am one of those who submit. “But it was too late for him. Allah then said:
“Now, but a little while before you were in rebellion, and you did much mischief and violence.” (10:90-91)
At that moment! In a way, Allah is saying: ‘After you have done so many horrible things, so many crimes, claimed to be the Almighty Lord, now you seek forgiveness. The answer is no.” And Musa was saved.
For this Messeneger, peace be upon him, shared with his brother the same joy of success and victory. He shared with his colleague the journey of da’wa and propagation of the Message of the Lord of the Worlds. In this beautiful day, the day of ‘Ashura, Allah saved his believing righteous slave, and the believers who were with him. He saved them from the plans of Pharaoh and his people. The Day of ‘Ashura remains as a day in which we are reminded of the destruction of the most dangerous of tyrants on the earth, and it remains as a day in which we are reminded of the victory of Allah, and his kindness and support for his believing slaves.
Our Prophet, peace be upon him, found the Children of Israel in Medina, fasting the day of ‘Ashura, and he asked: “What is this day?” They said: “It is the day that Allah saved Musa.” He said: “ We are closer to Musa than you.” For Musa is our brother, our beloved, and we carry the way of Musa, not you, and he fasted that day, salla Allah alaihi wa salam, as it is recorded in Sahih Muslim: the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “I hope from Allah (that this day) will be an expiation for (the sins of) the past year.”
It is from the Sunnah to fast a day before it, or a day after it, the ninth and tenth from this month, or the tenth and eleventh, as our Prophet said: “ It is for me to fast the ninth and tenth.” So may Allah be pleased with Musa, his da’wa, his way, his humility, and his sacrifice, and may Allah be pleased with Muhammad, peace be upon him, for his humility, courage, and sacrifice, for the sake of this Ummah. And may Allah be pleased with whoever follows his way, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, and sacrifices for the sake of his conviction, and is humble for the sake of his da’wa, and takes part in spreading his message.
I ask Allah to gather us with Muhammad, salla Allahu alahi wa salam, and Ibrahim, and Musa, and Isa, with the good and pure, the righteous martyrs, the pious and true, on the seat of truth next to the Lord of the Worlds.
1) Reflecting on the great wisdom behind the succession of the days and nights, months and years.
2) Among the reasons behind the creation of the sun and moon is that they are to be used to calculate time.
3) The wisdom of Allaah behind making Islamic calculations based on the sighting of the moon.
4) When and how the Hijri calendar started and the wisdom behind starting it with the month of Al-Muharram.
5) Muslims must base all dealings and records according to the lunar calendar.
6) The Musim nation must be distinguished and not follow other religions in their customs and manners.
All praise is due to Allaah Who created everything that exists and Who masterfully perfected his religion. I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah Who has Power over all things. I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, the bearer of glad tidings, and the warner, who invites to Allaah's Grace by His leave and who is as a lamp - spreading the light of guidance. May Allaah have mercy on him, his companions and their true followers.
O people! Revere Allaah and always be conscious of him. Be aware that there is manifest wisdom in the alternation of the days and nights and in the succession of months and years. It is incumbent upon us that we utilise the days and nights by performing righteous deeds within them and differ from those that fill their time with evil deeds until death overtakes them.
Allaah has given us two indicators in the day and night; in the day there is the sun while at night there is the moon. Upon the emergence of each new day, life is renewed and every worshipper summons up his energy to practice more acts of devotion. It is because of this that Allaah has likened sleeping at night to death while likening waking up during the day to resurrection. He has said that which translates as: “It is He who takes your souls by night [i.e. when you sleep] and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein [i.e. by day] that a specified term [i.e. One’s decreed life span] may be fulfilled. Then to Him will be your return; then He will inform you about what you used to do” (Al An'aam: 60).
It is a manifestation of the mercy of Allaah towards His worshippers that He has made the sun and the moon follow exactly computed courses. By observing the sun, people can know the different seasons and by looking at the moon, people will be able to deduce the beginning and end of each month. Allaah has divided the year into twelve months as He said that which translates as: “Indeed, the number of months with Allaah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allaah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion [i.e. way], so do not wrong yourselves during them...” (At-Tawbah: 36).
Of the four sacred months, three are consecutive: Dhu’l-Qi’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Al-Muharram. The fourth is Rajab which lies between the months of Jumada Al-Aakhirah and Sha’baan.
An example of the easiness of Allaah's religion is that the calculation of the beginning and end of each Islamic month is based on the sighting of the moon. Therefore, every person will be easily informed of each new month, regardless of whether they are literate or not. The advent of a new month is known by the appearance of the crescent in the west after sunset; once the crescent is manifest, one month has come to an end and another has begun. Therefore, we also come to know that the day starts at the sunset and not at midnight, because the first day of the month is marked by the sunset of the last day of the previous month.
The Islamic calendar was first introduced during the era of the Amir Al-Mu’mineen, or leader of the believers `Umar ibn Al-Khattaab , may Allaah be pleased with him, during the sixteenth or seventeenth year after the Hijrah, or migration of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, sought the peoples advice on when the Hijri calendar should start. Some held that it should have started from the birth of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, whilst others thought that it should have begun from the very first day that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam began his mission. Another group believed that the calendar should have started from the emigration and the last group held that the calendar should have begun from the death of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, agreed with those who wished to start the Islamic Calendar with the Hijrah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam due to the fact that this marked the point in history when Allaah differentiated between truth and falsehood by giving the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam real power and authority which was manifested in the form of the first Islamic State.
The companions were also consulted on which month should mark the beginning of the year; ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab and ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan, may Allah be pleased with them both, chose Al-Muharram due to it being a sacred month and because it follows the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which is when the Muslims perform Hajj, or the pilgrimage, which was the last pillar of Islam that Allaah enjoined upon the Muslims. Al-Muharram also follows the month in which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam pledged allegiance to the Ansar (His Madeenan supporters) to emigrate to Madeenah and this pledge of allegiance was one of the introductory acts of emigration. Due to all these reasons, Al-Muharram was deemed the most suitable month to begin the Islamic Calendar.
Servants of Allaah! We must be thankful to Allaah for such an easy method of calculation. The Muslim nation must have a distinct and independent identity which is derived solely from the essence of Islaam. It is incumbent on the Muslim nation that it be distinguished from other nations as far as morals, manners and entire way of life are concerned. This nation cannot be a subservient one that is always tending towards the blind imitation of others; this kind of blind imitation will not entail any goodness or prevent any evil. On the contrary, it will cause the Muslim nation to become weak and depend on others and this will cause it to forget its past glories. This nation will never be reformed except by following the very same methodology that reformed it in the past. We have learned that the day starts at sunset, the month starts once the crescent is sighted and the year starts from the day of the emigration of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. This is the method followed by the Muslims of the past; their jurists recorded dates according to this method in their books when handling issues, such as the time of settling debts and other similar matters.
“And a sign for them is the night, We remove from it the [light of] day, so they are [left] in darkness. And the sun runs [on course] toward its stopping point. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing. And the moon - We have determined for it phases, until it returns [appearing] like the old date stalk. It is not allowable [i.e. possible] for the sun to reach the moon, nor does the night overtake the day, but each, in an orbit, is swimming.” (Yaa Seen: 37-40).
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