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THE INTERNATIONAL JERUSALEM WEEK

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE MOST MERCIFUL.

THE FOURTH SERMON OF THE MONTH OF RAJAB, DATED 28/7/1445 AH – 9/2/2024 CE

TITLE: THE GLOBAL JERUSALEM WEEK: AL-AQSA, THE FLOOD OF THE UMMAH:

DUTIES TOWARDS GAZA AND ITS PEOPLE.

THE FIRST SERMON

All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, who honored His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with the miracle of Isra and Mi’raj. Allah, the Most Blessed and Exalted, says: (سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ) “Glory be to Him who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him some of Our signs. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.” [Quran 17:1] We praise Him, thank Him, seek His help, seek His forgiveness, and repent to Him. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide, and whoever He leads astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. O Allah, send peace, blessings, and mercy upon him, his family, his companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.

Thereafter, O servants of Allah, I advise you and myself to have taqwa (God-consciousness) of Allah, both in secret and in public, as it is the ultimate goal of all acts of worship and all obligations and prohibitions. Allah, the Most Blessed and Exalted, says: (يَاأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ  َتَّقُونَ) “O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous.” [Quran 2:21]

Beloved brothers in faith, this is the fourth and final meeting in the month of Rajab, and our sermon today focuses on the Global Jerusalem Week: Al-Aqsa, the Flood of the Ummah, and the duty of the Ummah towards Gaza and its people.

Introduction to the Global Jerusalem Week:

It is an open global initiative for all actors with the aim of dedicating the last week of the month of Rajab every year [which coincides with the anniversary of Isra and Mi’raj, and the anniversary of the Salahuddin Liberation and the liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Crusaders] as a global week of remembrance by commemorating it through various programs and activities in order to activate the Ummah’s role in the Palestinian cause, integrate religious institutions directly into practical projects to support Jerusalem and Palestine, and encourage scholars to lead their people in supporting and defending the cause. In addition, it aims to raise awareness among people about their duties towards Jerusalem and Palestine, and to achieve effective and collective communication between scholars, institutions, and activists of the Ummah, unifying their efforts.

Dear Muslims, the Supreme Committee for the Global Jerusalem Week has announced the launch of the “Global Jerusalem Week 4” activities under the slogan “Al-Aqsa, the Flood of the Ummah,” coinciding with the anniversary of Isra and Mi’raj and the Salahuddin Liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and in light of the blessed “Flood of Al-Aqsa” battle in Gaza.

This was announced during a press conference held today, Thursday (8/2/2024), in several countries, including Turkey, Qatar, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Algeria, Mauritius, Indonesia, Pakistan, and others.

The committee stated in its statement that “amidst the genocide and ongoing horrific massacres in Gaza, and the heroic struggles of the Mujahideen in defense of the entire Ummah, the anniversary of Isra and Mi’raj, which reconnects the minds and hearts to the close connection between the Sacred Mosque and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and bestows divine blessings upon the land of the Night Journey.”

It added that this connection and blessing are mentioned in the Book of Allah, the Most High, in His saying: (سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ) “Glory be to Him who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him some of Our signs. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.” [Quran 17:1]

And she pointed out that the commemoration of the Salahiyah Liberation of Al-Aqsa Mosque came “to confirm the responsibility of Muslim leaders, rulers, and peoples towards the blessed land if it is subjected to aggression and occupation; and what greater aggression than what is happening today in Gaza of extermination and destruction?! And what greater aggression than the behavior of criminal gangs in the West Bank?! And what greater aggression than what happens on the ascension path of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him.

She mentioned that the institutions of scholars in the nation and the active parties of groups, movements, and institutions in various fields have been accustomed to launching the International Jerusalem Week, indicating that the press conference is held in conjunction with parallel conferences throughout the day in a number of Islamic countries.

She sent a greeting to the people of the Gaza Strip who are holding onto the ember, enduring hardships and hardships, and to the heroic fighters who humiliated the Zionist enemy in the face of humiliation.

She called on the scholars, preachers, and callers of the nation to make the Friday sermon of today part of the activities of the International Jerusalem Week, and the discussion should focus on the duty of the nation towards Gaza and its people, repelling aggression, supporting the brave resistance and heroic fighters, and they should lead the popular and mass activities in the International Jerusalem Week as they are the leaders in mobilizing energies and arousing spirits.

Jerusalem in the belief of Muslims: O honorable Muslims, Jerusalem in Islamic belief has a prestigious religious status, agreed upon by Muslims of all sects, schools of thought, and orientations, it is the consensus of the entire nation from its farthest point to its farthest point, and it is not surprising that all Muslims are committed to the obligation of defending Jerusalem, being jealous of it, defending its sanctity, and sacrificing themselves in order to protect it and repel the aggressors. It represents in the perception and Islamic consciousness of Muslims: the first Qibla, the land of Al-Isra and Al-Mi’raj, the third of the holy cities, the land of prophets and blessings, the land of steadfastness and jihad.

The duty of the Ummah towards Gaza and its people: O Muslim nation…

Our duty as a Muslim nation towards Palestine is a great duty, and our role in supporting them is a very serious one:

1- One of the first duties is to purify our intentions, renew our faith, connect ourselves with Allah, seek His help, and rely on Him in all our actions, jihad, and sacrifices… Then we should be certain that jihad is the pinnacle of the Islamic spear, and in it lies our honor and glory.

2- Every Muslim family should instill in their hearts and the hearts of their children that the issue of Palestine is their issue, their greatest concern, and their main occupation, and they should teach their children from an early age the love of Allah, His Messenger, and the love of jihad in the cause of Allah, and that the love of Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque is part of their faith… and they should protect them with the protective shield against the claim of equating jihad with terrorism, and that jihad is a sacrifice in order to repel the usurper, defend honor, expel the occupier, and let the word of Allah be the highest, and that terrorism is the occupation of the lands of others, looting their resources, terrifying their peaceful people, and shedding the blood of innocent people, including the children, women, and men of the country.

3- Supporting the oppressed and helping them to the best of their ability is the duty of every Muslim, and every Muslim should allocate a portion of their budget to support their oppressed brothers and sisters, under the name of “Project Palestine” at least once a month. Those who give more, Allah will increase for them. And let us raise our children to set aside from their expenses to support the children, orphans, and homeless of Palestine.

4- For those who are unable to participate in jihad with wealth, it is their duty to fill their hearts with love for the mujahideen, a love that compels them to make people aware of the justice of their cause, the obligation to support them, and to encourage people to donate to them. They should spend the nights in prayer, with a heavy heart and wounded soul, praying for Allah to relieve their suffering and grant them victory. The arrows of the night are sharp and never miss their target.  (لَيْسَ عَلَى الضُّعَفَاءِ وَلا عَلَى الْمَرْضَى وَلا عَلَى الَّذِينَ لا يَجِدُونَ مَا يُنْفِقُونَ حَرَجٌ إِذَا نَصَحُوا لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ) “There is no blame upon the weak or upon the ill or upon those who do not find anything to spend for jihad, if they are sincere to Allah and His Messenger. There is not upon the doers of good any cause [for blame]. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful” (Quran 9:91).

5- Participating in marches and solidarity rallies with the besieged and defenders of Al-Aqsa and the holy sites.

6- Contacting our brothers and sisters in Palestine through phone and internet to show support, declare solidarity, and provide necessary support to confront the enemy. And let us not forget to pray for them.

O scholars and leaders of the Ummah,

The protection of Al-Aqsa and the return of Palestine are in your hands. It is your duty and obligation. You are the carriers of the message, and one of your greatest responsibilities is to show the Ummah its role in supporting Palestine and reclaiming Al-Aqsa from the usurping Zionists. You should strive to establish justice, rectify the affairs of the people, support the oppressed, and strike the oppressor, no matter their position or authority. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The best jihad is a word of truth in the presence of a tyrant ruler.” And Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The master of martyrs is Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib, and a man who stood up to a tyrant ruler and enjoined good and forbade evil and was killed for it.” (Ibn Majah, authentic chain of narration).

THE SECOND SERMON:

All praise is due to Allah for His kindness and blessings. We thank Him and put our trust in Him. He says in His Noble Book: (وَلَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَهُ الدِّينُ وَاصِبًا أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ تَتَّقُونَ (52) وَمَا بِكُمْ مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ) “To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. And to Him is [due all] worship constantly. Then is it other than Allah that you fear?” (Quran 16:52). We praise Him and thank Him and believe in Him and rely on Him. Whoever Allah guides, there is no one who can misguide him, and whoever Allah leaves astray, there is no guide for him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, without any partners, in glorification of His Majesty. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, who called to His pleasure, conveyed the message, fulfilled the trust, advised the Ummah, and by him, Allah removed the darkness. He strived in the cause of Allah with true jihad until certainty came to him. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) complete a month of fasting except for Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more in any month than in Sha’ban.” O Allah, send peace, blessings, and mercy upon him, his family, his companions, and his brothers.

Thereafter,

O servants of Allah, it is advisable at this time to remind the Muslim nation of the guidance of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in the month of Sha’ban in preparation for the blessed month of Ramadan.

Fasting in Sha’ban and the worship of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in it.

O noble Muslims, Allah Almighty praised the month of Ramadan in His book, saying:  (شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ القُرْآَنُ) “The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed” (Al-Baqarah: 2/185). And He clarified that it contains the Night of Decree, which is better than a thousand months. So the Muslims paid attention to this great month and exerted themselves in worship through prayer, fasting, charity, performing Umrah to the Sacred House, and other acts of righteousness and goodness.

When the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw the people’s attention to the month of Rajab in the pre-Islamic era, and their glorification and preference of it over the rest of the months of the year, and saw that Muslims were eager to honor the month of the Qur’an, he wanted to show them the virtue of the remaining months and days.

The duties of the month of Sha’ban include several sections:

Narrated by Usama bin Zaid, may Allah be pleased with him, that he asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, saying: “O Messenger of Allah, I have not seen you fasting any month as much as you fast in Sha’ban.” He said, peace be upon him: “That is a month that people neglect between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which deeds are raised to Allah Almighty, so I love for my deeds to be raised while I am fasting.”

And Usama’s question, may Allah be pleased with him, indicates the extent of the companions’ interest and adherence to the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

Indeed, the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to fast in Sha’ban, except for a few days, as reported by Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, in the authentic Hadith.

Of course, there must be an important reason behind this specification of fasting in such a month, and this is what the Prophet, peace be upon him, drew attention to by saying: “Indeed, it is a month in which deeds are raised to Allah Almighty.”

So, the deeds of the worshippers are raised in this month every year, and the deeds are presented on Mondays and Thursdays of each week. Thus, the Prophet, peace be upon him, loved for his deeds to be raised to the Lord of the worlds while he was fasting, because fasting is a form of patience, and he said: “Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.”

The month of Sha’ban is a great month that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, glorified, so it is incumbent upon us to glorify it and increase in worship and seeking forgiveness in it, just as the authentic narrations have mentioned from the Prophet, peace be upon him, in this regard.

And indeed, the fasting of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in the month of Sha’ban is one of the months of the year, as he used to fast in Sha’ban what he did not fast in other months. In Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, it is narrated from Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said: “I did not see the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, completing the fast of a month except for Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any month than in Sha’ban.” Bukhari added in another narration: “He used to fast the whole of Sha’ban.” And Muslim narrated: “He used to fast Sha’ban except for a little.” And in another narration by An-Nasa’i, narrated by Aisha and Umm Salamah, they said: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, used to fast Sha’ban except for a little, rather he used to fast the whole of it.” And there are many similar narrations.

O servants of Allah, it is appropriate at this time to draw the attention of our honourable Muslim listeners to the knowledge of how to deal with the annual temptation that occurs in the month of February on the fourteenth day called Valentine’s Day.

The origin of Valentine’s Day: Valentine’s Day is a pagan Roman holiday that continued to be celebrated even after the Romans embraced Christianity. The holiday is associated with the priest known as Valentine, who was sentenced to death on February 14, 270 CE. This holiday is still celebrated by the disbelievers, and they spread immorality and vices on this day.

What is the ruling on celebrating Valentine’s Day? It is not permissible for a Muslim to celebrate anything from the holidays of the disbelievers, because the holiday is part of the Shariah that must be adhered to according to the text. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “Holidays are part of the Shariah, methodology, and rituals that Allah, may He be exalted, said about them: (لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنْكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا) ‘To each of you We prescribed a law and a method’ [al-Ma’idah 5:48], and He said: (لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنْسَكًا هُمْ نَاسِكُوهُ)  ‘For every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies that they may mention the name of Allah over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals’ [al-Hajj 22:67], such as the qiblah, prayer, and fasting. There is no difference between their participation in the holiday and their participation in other methodologies. Indeed, agreeing with them in all the holidays is agreeing with disbelief, and agreeing with them in some of its branches is agreeing with some of the branches of disbelief. Rather, holidays are among the most distinctive features of the divine laws and the most prominent of their rituals. Agreeing with them in them is agreeing with the most specific laws of disbelief and its most prominent rituals, and there is no doubt that agreeing with this can lead to disbelief in general.”

Supplication: O Allah, make this country safe, secure, generous, and prosperous, and likewise all the Muslim countries, O Lord of the worlds. O Allah, feed us when we are hungry and make us feel safe when we are afraid. O Allah, reform the youth of the Muslims and make them a support for Islam and the Muslims.

O Allah, reform the women of the Muslims and the girls of the Muslims, and protect them from immodesty and indecency, and make them a support for Islam and the Muslims. O Allah, reform the scholars of the Muslims, the rulers of the Muslims, the wealthy of the Muslims, and the leaders of the Muslims, and make them a support for Islam and the Muslims. O Allah, nullify the plots of the enemies of Islam, and nullify, O Allah, their schemes that they plot. O Allah, we seek refuge in You from their evil, and we seek refuge in You, O Allah, from their evils. O Allah, we ask You to reconcile the hearts of the Muslims upon the truth. O Allah, support the Palestinian people and lift the siege from them. O Allah, remove distress and alleviate hardship. O Allah, heal their sick and the sick of the Muslims. O Allah, free the captives of the people of Palestine and the captives of the Muslims. O Allah, make us secure in our homelands, and reform, O Allah, our rulers, and grant them success in what You love and are pleased with. O Allah, forgive our dead and the dead of the Muslims, O Most Merciful of the merciful and O Lord of the worlds. And may Allah send blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

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