1st Rabi’ul Awwal,1443 AH

(8th October,2021CE)

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST BENEFICENT THE MOST MERCIFUL

BEING THE FIRST SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF RABI’UL AWWAL 1ST RABI’UL AWWAL 1443 AH (8TH OCTOBER, 2021 CE)

THE GIFT OF MERCY: ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH

All Praise belong to Allah, Who said: (لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلالٍ مُبِينٍ) “Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book [i.e., the Qur’ān] and wisdom,1 although they had been before in manifest error” [Al-Imran: 164]. I testify that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that our leader and Prophet Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. He said: “I am but a gift of mercy.” He was sent with guidance, light, goodness and mercy.

Thereafter…

I enjoin you and myself to fear Allah the Almighty, and I urge you to obey Him. Allah Almighty says: (يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ) “O you who believe, fear Allah as you should fear Him, and do not die unless you are muslims” [Al Imran: 102].

Servants of Allah! Every Hijrah year, the anniversary of the birth of the gift of mercy and the bestowed grace comes upon us. In the Year of the Elephant, in the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal, on a Monday, the Prophet, the Chosen One, (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) was born, bringing the glad tidings of the birth of a new era, in which goodness will prevail throughout the universe, and mercy will spread its abundant shadows over the entire world. Allah Ta’alah says: (قَدْ جَاءَكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ. يَهْدِي بِهِ اللَّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلامِ وَيُخْرِجُهُم مِّنِ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ) “There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book [i.e., the Qur’ān]By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace1 and brings them out from darknesses into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path” [Al-Maaidah: 15-16]. And it is narrated from Al-Arbaad ibn Saariya (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) say:" I am the prayer of my father Ibraheem, the promised glad tiding of Isa, and the dream of my mother Aamina that she saw, and that is how the mothers of the prophets see”. It was what the mother of the Messenger of Allah, (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) saw when a light shone on him that lit up the palaces of Syria for him. And then he recited: (يا أيها النبي إِنَّا أرسلناك شَاهِداً وَمُبَشّراً وَنَذِيراً وَدَاعِياً إِلَى الله بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجاً مُّنِيراً) “O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, and a deliverer of good news, and a warner,and a caller to ˹the Way of˺ Allah by His permission, and a beacon of light. . [Al-Azhaab: 4546].

On Monday, corresponding to the twelfth of this month (Rabee’ul Aawal), in the Year of the Elephant – according to what is most correct – the Messenger of Allah, (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) was born. It is narrated by Abu Qatada al-Ansaariy, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he said: “On it I was born, and on it revelation came to me.” On that blessed day, the world was decorated and the universe was woke up to the birth of the best birth, the Haashimiy Sayyid al-Qurayshi Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib, the chief of Banu Hashim, the chosen one from the best of the core of the Arab , the most ancient in lineage, the most honorable in lineage, the most eloquent in speech, the clearest in expanation, the most weighted in scale, the soundest in faith, the most honourable of them as a group, and the most respected of people, from his father and his mother, and from the most honorable of Allah’s land, to Allah and to his servants, (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).

Allah Almighty chose him from the special group of the prophets, from the stock of the pure ones, and from the very elite class of the nobles, and from the best of grandfathers and the most honorable of fathers. The Messenger of Allah , (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah chose Kinana from the sons of Isma’eel, and chose the Quraysh from Kinana, and chose from the Quraysh, Banu Haashim, and chose me from the Banu Haashim, so I was the very best from the very best from the very best.”

The joy of his birth (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is the joy of the great Favour, and Allah the Almighty said: (يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُمْ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ *قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ) “O humanity! Indeed, there has come to you a warning from your Lord, a cure for what is in the hearts, a guide, and a mercy for the believers * Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “In Allah’s grace and mercy let them rejoice. That is far better than whatever (wealth) they amass” [Yuunus: 57-58]. The anniversary of the Prophet’s birth, (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is a great opportunity to renew our connection with the splendid prophetic history, which represents the way of salvation for humanity.

Looking at this biography, a person sees an image of humility as well as awe, modesty as well as courage, sincere generosity far removed from show off, honesty that is well-known among people, honesty in words and in deed, asceticism in the world when it comes, not looking forward to it when it is at its disposal, sincere devotion to Allah in secret and in open, with clarity of the tongue and steadfastness of the heart, strength of mind and good understanding, compassion for the old and young, gentleness, humility, tenderness of feelings, love of forgiveness, and pardon for the transgressor, staying away from harshness and cruelty, patience in states of distress, boldness in speaking the truth, and sincerity to Allah in utmost devotion, and these are the meanings of Islam that is accomodating.

Servants of Allah! The true celebration of the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is shown by loving him and following him. It is the right of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) upon us to love him. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “None of you believes until I am dearer to him than his father, his children and all people.” In the companions’ love for the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) we have a good model. This is Zaid bin al-Dathna, when the people of Mecca were about to kill him; Abu Sufyan said to him when he came to be killed: I adjure you by Allah, Zaid, would you like that Muhammad is with us now in your place, and you are in your family? He said: By Allah, I do not like that Muhammad is in his place now where a thorn pricks him while I am sitting with my family. Abu Sufyan said: I have never seen anyone love anyone like the companions of Muhammad love him. (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).

Servants of Allah! Loving the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) requires following him in his words and actions, (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) and requires reverence for him and adherence to his way. Whoever loves the greatest Messenger and the most honourable prophet, then he must establish evidence of his love by acting in accordance with, and following the law of Allah, the Almighty and Sublime. Allah Ta’alah says: (قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ) “If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, and Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Aal-Imraan). And the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “None of you will believe until his desires are in accordance with what I have brought.” Whoever loves him and follows him will be resurrected with him, (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) in the highest heavens. Allah Ta’alah says: (وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَئِكَ رَفِيقًا) “And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be in the company of those blessed by Allah: the prophets, the people of truth, the martyrs, and the righteous—what honourable company! [Nisaa: 69].

One of the rights over us is that we love him with a sincere love that is above all love for parents, children, money and our own selves. He (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “All my people will enter Paradise except for those who refuse.” They said: O Messenger of Allah, who will refuse? He said Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys me has refused".

Among the requirements of his love is to follow his example and emulate his moral character, actions, sayings and other conditions, (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) as the Allah, the Most High, says: “You have had a good example in the Messenger of Allah” [Al-Ahzaab: 21].

I say all these and ask forgiveness from Almighty Allah for me and you, so seek His forgiveness.

THE SECOND JHUTBAH

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has no partner, and the guardian of the righteous. I bear witness that our Master Muhammad is His servant and Messenger sent as a mercy to the worlds. O Allah grant your peace and blessings on our master Muhammad, his household and entire companions.

As to what follows,

Servants of God, every year comes this good and honorable occasion, which should be an opportunity for us to unite, and stand together in unison, with heart filled, but the reality is otherwise, because this occasion opens an unending discourse between the proponents of the permissibility of celebrating the Prophet’s birthday and those who regard it as innovation in the religion. A dialogue in which voices become hoarse, throats are raised, and there is seperation and turning back to one another among the callers to Islam and among the Muslim scholars, as well as the general Muslim populace. The mosques that is suppose to be a venue to contain and resolve this difference becomes the theater for this uninterrupted struggle. Would like to maintain a position between this and that, to introduce on this issue.

There are three things, there are the so-called legitimate holidays, there are the so-called public religious occasions, and there are the so-called international days. As for the legal holidays, they are Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, and they are feasts that come after acts of worship that Allah imposed on us all with limited methods, and it is not permissible to add to them or decrease from them. These are our festivals dear Muslims- Eid al-Fitri and Eid al- Adha. Then, is the occasions like the Prophet’s birthday, the Ascension, the Prophet’s migration, the night of the middle of Sha’ban, the Battle of Badr, the conquest of Makkah, all these are occasions, we do not call them feasts in the legal religious sense, but rather they are occasions that constitute stations for refueling faith and spirituality, after being distanced from those generations, which drank from the prophetic source of wisdom, and it does not fall under the so-called devotionals, which need legal evidence that talks about its legitimacy. Its legitimacy is indicated by universal purposes and general principles, and even partial texts as well.

As for the third type, the International organizations and institutions have agreed to designate international days, such as the World Environment Day, the World Anti-Drug Day, and the International Day for People with Special Needs. These are also days that we must go through in our contemporary religious discourse, to present our Islamic values that include comprehensiveness and Godliness as a goal, with morality in content, with humanity by extension, and with universality as broadness. This is the middle position, and to Allah belong all praises, the lord of the worlds.

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