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THE VIRTUE OF REMEMBERING ALLAH A LOT AND THANKING HIM

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE SECOND SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF RAJAB,

DATED: 14TH RAJAB, 1445AH (26TH JAN., 2024CE)

TITLED: THE VIRTUE OF REMEMBERING ALLAH ABUNDANTLY AND THANKING HIM

THE FIRST SERMON

Praise be to Allah, we praise Him, seek His help, and ask for His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our sinful deeds. Whoever Allah guides, no one can misguide, and whoever Allah allows to go astray, no one 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. Allah says: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ) “O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].” (Suratul Al-Imran: 102) Allah says also: (يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيراً وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيباً) “O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through Whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.” (Suratun-Nisaa: 1)

(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلاً سَدِيداً * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزاً عَظِيماً)

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” (Suratul Ahzaab: 70-71)

Dear listening servants of Allah! Fear Allah and know that just as bodies need food, souls also need nourishment that can only be attained through the remembrance of Allah. The nourishment for the body is food and drink, while the nourishment for the soul is faith and righteous deeds. Among the righteous deeds is the remembrance of Allah, as it nourishes the souls and brings tranquility to the hearts. Allah, the Exalted, says: (الّذينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللِه أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ القُلُوبُ)

“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (Suratul Ra’d: 28)

Just as hearts rust like iron, their polish is the remembrance of Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) likened those who remember their Lord and those who do not to the living and the dead, because the life of hearts lies in the remembrance of Allah. He (peace be upon him) said, “The example of the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not remember his Lord is like that of the living and the dead.”

Therefore, the topic of our sermon today revolves around THE VIRTUE OF REMEMBERING ALLAH, AND GIVING GRATITUDE TO ALLAH.

Dear brothers! Know that Allah has commanded us to remember and thank Him while acknowledging His blessings. He says: (فاذكروني أذكركم واشكروا ولا تكفرون) “…so remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” (Al-Baqarah: 152)

He has commanded us to do so on all occasions, following the example of His Messenger, the noble leader of those who remember and give thanks. He used to remember Allah in all circumstances, whether in worship or outside of it. For example, after salaat, Allah commands us to remember Him in all positions, whether standing, sitting, or lying on our sides. He says:

(فِإِذَا قَضَيْتُمْ الصَّلاَةَ فَاذْكُرُوا اللهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَى جُنُوبِكُمْ،فَإِذَا اطْمَأْنَنْتُمْ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلاَةَ إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الـمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا)

“And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.” (Nisaa: 103)

He also encouraged us to remember Allah after performing the obligatory Hajj pilgrimage, saying: (فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمْ مَنَاسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُوا اللهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آبَاءكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا) “And when you have completed your rites, remember Allah like your [previous] remembrance of your fathers or with [much] greater remembrance.”

 (Al-Baqarah: 200)

 In the obligation of fasting, He says: (ولتكملوا العدّة ولتكبّروا الله على ما هداكم ولعلّكم تشكرون)

 “ (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu-Akbar; Allah is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” (Al-baqarah: 185)

Brothers and sisters in faith! How can we neglect the remembrance of our Lord, an act of worship that can be done by simply moving our tongues? It is an act of worship that can be done by the rich and the poor, as it does not require the possession of wealth no matter how little, and it does not require dedicating a specific time for it, although dedicating time for it is better and has a greater impact on the heart and encourages contemplation of its meanings. However, you can remember Allah while standing, sitting, or lying down, and even while performing your duties or work, and while walking on the road or driving in your car, in all circumstances, at all times and places except for impure places where it is not permissible to remember Allah.

And because we are in need of increasing in the remembrance of Allah, He did not command us to simply remember Him, but He commanded us to remember Him abundantly, as He says: (يَا أَيُّهَا الّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا)

“O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance and exalt Him morning and afternoon.” (Al-Ahzaab: 41)

And with the promises of great forgiveness and reward for those who remember Him abundantly, saying: (وَالذّاكِرِينَ اللهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللهّ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا), “…and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” (Al-Ahzaab: 35) in addition to them being the forerunner in the remembrance. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “The forerunner are foremost… They said: ‘Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘The men and women who remember Allah often.” (Muslim)

Brothers of faith! One of the greatest encouragements to remember Allah is the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him), “Shall I not inform you of the best of your deeds, the most pure in the sight of your Lord, the highest in your ranks, and better for you than spending gold and silver, and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks and they strike yours?” They said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Remembering Allah the Exalted.” Mu’adh ibn Jabal said, “Nothing saves from the punishment of Allah more than the remembrance of Allah.” (Tirmidhiy). And just as whoever neglects it, the devil takes control of him and manipulates him as he pleases: (ومن يعش عن ذكر الرّحمان نقيّض له شيطانا فهو له قرين) “And whoever is blinded from remembrance of the Most Merciful – We appoint for him a devil, and he is to him a companion.” (Al-Zukhruf: 36)

Part of what makes the remembrance of Allah more worthy is the fact that it is considered an act of worship like other acts of worship such as giving thanks to Allah, consciousness of Allah, making vows, sacrifices, and others. It must fulfill certain conditions, the foremost of which are sincerity and following in the way of the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), so that it does not become a futile and scattered act. Allah says: (فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو لِكَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلِيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا وَلاَ يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحْدًا)

“…so whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” (Al-Kahf: 110) (وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُوا اللهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلاَةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَذَلِكَ دِينُ القَيِّمَةِ)

“And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.” (Al-bayyina: 5)

Regarding following the prophet, Allah says: (فَمَا آتَكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللهَ إِنَّ اللهَ شَدِيدُ العِقَابِ) “…so whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” (Al-Hashr: 7)

And He says: (لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فـِي رَسُولِ اللهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لـِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللهَ وَاليَوْمَ الآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللهَ كَثِيرًا)

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” (Al-Ahzaab: 21)

Dear listeners! Some of what people have introduced to the gatherings of remembrance of Allah today, is not part of the legitimate remembrance at all, claiming to be a means of getting closer and communicating with Allah. These practices come from some Muslim men and women, to the extent of going into the state of Jazbu (claim of being in perfect union with Allah) and actions of the insane person, as well as strange movements, where the one in this state of trance claims to see the celestial realms, he’s lost in this state of trance or absent-mindedness, he gets amazed by these visions in himself, and those around him. And among the most abhorrent of these practices is when women engage in such behavior in the presence of foreign men, which has no precedent in the practices of our earlier pious predecessors who remembered Allah much.

Revelation, vision, and inspiration are among the blessings of Allah bestowed upon His servants in their continuous remembrance of Him. These blessings do not lead to the commission of sins. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not insane, but rather he was blessed by his Lord. It is narrated that he said, “Increase in the remembrance of Allah until people say, ‘He is insane.” (Narrated by Ibn Hibban, Ibn As-Sunni, Ibn ‘Adi, and Al-Bayhaqi)

The meaning of this statement (in the hadith above) is not for a person to pretend to remember Allah spontaneously like a mad person. Rather, the intention behind the hadith is to highlight what the hypocrites say to the Muslims who remember Allah abundantly. This is supported by the narration of Ibn Abbaas, “Remember Allah in a way that the hypocrites say, ‘You are showing off.'” (At-Tabaraani)

We ask Allah Ta’alaa to make us among those who remember Him abundantly, those for whom He has prepared forgiveness and a great reward. And may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

THE SECOND SERMON:

All praise is due to Allah, the One who deserves all praise. We praise Allah for His favor, blessings, kindness, and goodness. We bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, without any partners, and we bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his family, his companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.

Dear Muslim listeners, the incidents of kidnapping and murder have been increasing in our beloved country recently. We offer our condolences to the families of the deceased and sympathize with ourselves as citizens. We ask Allah for safety, well-being, and reduction of such disasters. To highlight the seriousness of this crime and its similarity to the greatest sin of associating partners with Allah, Allah has linked them in the Quran. Allah says, (وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللهِ إِلَهً آخَرَ وَلاَ يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الّتِي حَرَّمَ اللهُ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ) “And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right…” (Surah Al-Furqan: 68).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Avoid the seven destructive sins! They asked: O Messenger of Allah, what are they? He said: Associating partners with Allah, sorcery, killing a soul which Allah has forbidden except by right, consuming interest, consuming the wealth of orphans, fleeing from the battlefield on the day of fighting, and slandering chaste, believing women who are unaware.”

Dear listeners! If we want to eliminate these dangerous incidents, we must turn back to Allah and cooperate together in order to rise above the manipulations of the oppressive tyrants in power and positions. Sometimes crimes are committed as a reaction to the evils of leaders. Allah says: (إِنَّ اللهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللهَ بِقَوْمٍ سُوئًا فَلاَ مَرَدَّ لَهُ وَمَا لَهُ مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ وَالٍ) “…Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.” (Ar-Ra’d: 11)

Dear Servants of Allah, it is incumbent upon us to keep the issue of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif close to our hearts, in these intense and bitter moments. To Allah we direct our complaints and upon Him is our reliance. Up until now, the brutal bombardments have not ceased, and their machine guns continue to rain fire upon the heads of the innocent people. After one hundred and thirteen days, the number of Palestinians killed has exceeded twenty-five thousand, including men, women, and children!

The occupying government has also blocked humanitarian aid from reaching Gaza, including food, water, medicine, and other essential goods. Death due to hunger and infectious diseases has become a new reality in Gaza! Muslim leaders remain silent, paralyzed by inaction. How long will they remain idle? We rely on Allah, the best of protectors! We ask Allah for their well-being, safety, victory, and triumph. Do not forget to include them in your righteous prayers day and night, and we hope for donations and charity for them.

Servants of Allah, despite all of this, the good news of victory for the resistance forces continues to emerge on the battlefield, confirming the favor and grace of Allah. This is before the promised ultimate victory mentioned in the prophetic narration where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The Hour will not be established until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims will kill them until the Jew hides behind a rock or a tree, and the rock or tree will say: O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Except for the Gharqad tree, for it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (Narrated by Muslim)

Supplication: O Allah, strengthen Islam and the Muslims, and humiliate disbelief and the disbelievers. O Allah, nullify the plots of the enemies of Islam, and nullify their schemes. O Allah, we seek refuge in You from their evil. O Allah, we seek refuge in You from their harm. O Allah, we seek refuge in You from their evil plans. O Allah, unite the hearts of the Muslims upon the truth. O Allah, grant victory to the Palestinians and lift the siege from them. O Allah, alleviate their suffering and remove their distress. O Allah, heal their sick and the sick among the Muslims. O Allah, free the captives of the people of Palestine and the captives of the Muslims. O Allah, grant us security in our lands. O Allah, rectify the affairs of our leaders and grant them success in what You love and are pleased with. O Allah, forgive our deceased and the deceased of the Muslims. O Most Merciful of the merciful and O Lord of all worlds.

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