By Sheikh Bassam Obeid
Dear brothers and respected sisters, Allah the Almighty has said in the greatest surah in Al-Qur’anil kareem, Suratul Baqarah, what can be translated as, “And thus We have made you a just nation, in the middle, not to the extreme to the right, or the extreme to the left that you will be witnesses over the people, and the Messenger (SAWS) will be witness over you, over this ummah. Dear brothers and respected sisters, to be in the middle, not at the edge, not to the extreme because if you go to the extreme, it is very close to fall into what Allah (SWT) forbid upon us as Rasulullah (SAWS) said, The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Al halal is clear in Al Islam. Al haram is clear in our religion.” In between, there is some doubt or grey area that the scholars know these areas. At the end of the hadith, the Prophet (SAWS) said, “If you take your sheep, or you let your sheep eat at the edge of your neighbor, it is easy to fall into the neighbor’s property.” It means if you are at the edge, it is easy to go into haram, so that’s why if you are in the middle, you are on the safe side all the time. This is nature of our religion.
Brothers and sisters in Islam, I want everyone, Arabic speaker, non-Arabic speaker to memorize the word “wasatiyyah.” In Al-Qur’an (Quran – 2:143) From this word “wasatan” al wasatiyyah in everything at the level of al-i’tiqad, belief, faith. At the level of Sulook and Manhaj, behavior. At the level of Thashreer, at the level of al-i’tiqad , at the level of al-mua-amalath, the treatment with others and everything. This is Sirath-al-Musthaqeem. What Allah (SWT) said in Al-Qur’anul kareem, Allah described the da’wah of Rasulullah (SAWS), what Rasulullah (SAWS) call people upon. Al ayah said, “Indeed, verily, you are calling others to the Right Path. This Right Path is the path of Allah (SWT).” The nature of this seerah, of this path, of this da’wah, the da’wah of Al Islam, the wasatiyyatul Islam is distinguished from any other da’wah, not only for the people of philosophy, even for other religion. Allah (SWT) named the others. Everybody who memorized Suratul Fatiha, everyone knows who are, and everybody knows the right path of Allah, the right path of Al-Islam is different from the path of Christians and Jews. This is the right path of Allah (SWT). What does it mean? It means to be in the middle, not to be in the extreme. This is the man’haj of Allah (SWT).
Brothers and sisters in Islam, Imam Ahmad narrated in his Musnad, The Prophet (Alaihis-salat-us-salaam) said, “Be aware, don’t be the extremist. Don’t be an extremist in the deen under the name of Al-Islam, Al-Aqeedah, whatever it is. Don’t be an extremist.”Why? Because people before you, Allah destroyed them because they were extremists; Al-hadith authentic, brothers and sisters in Islam. Why did I say is different from Christianity and Judaism? Because Allah in the Al-Quranul Kareem said, (Quran – 4:171) They used to be in the extreme. Allah talked to the People of the Book, Don’t go to the extreme. When the Nabi (SAWS) performed hajjatil wa’dah, Abdullah bin Abbas was with him, he told him, The Prophet (Alaihis-salat-us-salaam) when he was in Musdalifah, he asked Abdullah bin Abbas, he was a young man, he said, “Go, Abdullah, and pick up some pebbles for Al Jamarah.” Abdullah bin Abbas Al Fakih (RA), he went and picked up very small bean-sized pebbles. He brought these pebbles and put them in the Prophet’s (SAWS) hand. The Prophet (SAWS) looked at them and said, “Like this. Oh people, when you want go to Al-Jamarat, pick very small pebbles like this.” He said, “Don’t be extreme in the deen.” This means that when you throw a rock at Shaitan, you bring a big rock. No, this is Don’t do ijtihad. When Rasulullah (SAWS) mentions in the authentic hadith or Allah (Jalla jalālahu) said something in Quranul kareem, “Don’t do your ijtihad, that’s it. Stop here.”
All the scholars said Rasulullah (SAWS) forbids upon us to be extremists in the belief, in behavior, in worship. Everybody knows when Rasulullah (SAWS) wanted to do i’tikaf in Ramadan, all his wives made a tent inside the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. He said, “What is this?” The wives wanted to do i’tikaf. He asked them, “You need to worship Allah?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “No, not like that.” He ordered his sahabah to take down all the tents. Extremism in everything, even in ibadah. “Even your body that carries your soul has a right over you.” He said, “Those who go to the extreme in everything will vanish. They will destroy themselves. No results. No benefit for themselves or for their ummah.” He mentioned it three times in Sahih Muslim. “Don’t make it complicated or hard on yourselves. If you do so, Allah (SWT) will make it harder.” This means as long as Rasulullah (SAWS) was with them because after Rasulullah (SAWS), there is no revelation
The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Before you, there were nations. They made it hard on themselves then Allah (SAWS) made it mandatory upon them, and they couldn’t fulfill it.” Rasulullah (SAWS) said, “Look at their traces after they left. look at their Atheera, look at their the caves, the small rooms that they built in the valleys and mountains. They used to worship Allah but they couldn’t continue like that and they left it, and that’s what left from them, and he mentioned They couldn’t fulfill what they promise and what they made as a vow.
Among the meaning of al wassatiya in Al-Islam Allah taught us what we should say, (Quran – 2:201)“Oh Allah give us in this dunya, hassanah, a good life, a good status, and in here after hassanah, which is to save you from Hell-fiire, and let you enter Paradise and prevent us from the punishment of Hell-fire. Also what the rightous people, and religious people, and knowledgeable people told Karun Do you know Karun at the time of Musa (AS)? The people, they told him, don’t forget your naseeb, your share from dunya. Al-Islam, Allah doesn’t want that, don’t totally forgot Al-akhirah, and do good to others as Allah (SWT) did good to you. The Prophet (SAWS) used to say to make this du’a, to invoke Allah (SWT), “Oh Allah, make my religion, not the religion of Islam, that means to be religious, my behavior and deen, make me follow the religion because this is the salaah. Make my dunya good because I’m living in this dunya.” Allah doesn’t want from the Muslims to live in a miserable life, circumstances, situations. Of course, Muslims do not ask to be poor, to live in troubles. Don’t do that. One sahabi, not in Madinah, he was living far from Madinah, he came to Prophet (SAWS) once. He was a young and very strong man. When he came after a year, he was very skinny, very weak, sick. The Prophet (SAWS) told him, What’s going with you? Why did you change? what changed you? He says, “I left you, I asked Allah (SWT) this du’a.” What is your du’a?. “To ask Allah, Oh Allah, all the punishment that you want to punish me in the Hereafter, the Akhirah, do it right now in dunya because I want to be in Akhirah clear.” He said, You cannot support it.” It is ijtihad but it is false, it is wrong ijtihad that to cure his body, that is to live a good life in dunya, Rasulullah (SAWS) taught him to say (Quran – 2:201) This du’a is an anti-poison medicine. The first poisoned his body. The anti-poison is because the poison is his own du’a, his own word, his own ijtihad, but the treatment is Allah’s Word, Allah’s Verse in Al Qur’an Kareem. and Rasulullah (SAWS) prescribed it for him, this is a prescription of Rasulullah (SAWS) to treat his body. I’m advising myself and you too to say this all the time and teach your children to say it too.
Dear brothers and respected sisters, indeed this khutbah is not because of what is going on in Nice, France, but because al-Islam regardless of what’s going on today is Deenul Wasath. I want for our youth to understand the wassatiyatul Islam, to know that this is the religion of Allah (SWT). This is the siratullah, the siraatul mustaqeen that Rasulullah (SAWS) called others to it, to be in this or that extreme. This is the nature of our religion. The other reason, I think, all the leaders and Muslim leaders, especially imams, they have to protect their communities, all Muslims male or female, especially females because the Muslim women, they wear the hijab which is the identity of Islam. The men may not, when they go they think you are Hispanic or you are here or there, but the Muslim women when they wear hijab, their identity is with her. The aim, it is a goal, it is a target for all Muslim leaders to protect and to clarify the aqeedah of al-Islam, the way of al-Islam, the nature of al-Islam what Allah (SWT) said and what Rasulullah (SAWS) called others upon it is al wassatiyah, wassatiyatul Islam.
Another thing in our religion, it’s not acceptable to kill any innocent, and I’m not saying that because of what’s happened in Nice. This is our religion, our faith, our aqeedah. You cannot kill an innocent person. Allah (SWT) said, (Quran – 35:18) (Quran – 53:39)If your neighbor did something wrong, I cannot come and kill you, or punish you, you are innocent. Brothers and sisters in Islam, when Allah (SWT) did Thashrre-al-Jihad. We shouldn’t be ashamed of it, it is part of our religion. It is one of the principles of al-Islam, but the right jihad. Allah (SWT) said in Surat at-Tawbah, and I want everyone to understand what Allah said (Quran – 09:111) When Allah (SWT) mentioned how Muslims do jihad, they fight and they get killed, that you have to face like a man to man, face in the battle field, not to go and kill innocents. It’s not jihad to kill people who do haram, that’s not your business. Allah (SWT) said, (Quran – 42:48) “The best children of Adam (AS), the last and the final messenger, Allah said it is not your business to take care of all the people.
Brothers and sisters in Islam, this is the way that Allah did Thshreer in al-Qur’anul kareem, fight like a man, not being sneaky and kill innocents. Brothers and sisters in Islam, to be honest with you, it is my humble and personal observation in Islamic centers and Muslim communities that the target is you and the religion of al-Islam, not only the extremists because the extremists two or three years ago, they appear, but to attack Islam, attack Rasulullah (SAWS), attack al-Qur’an, attack hijabi women years ago, so al-Islam is the target, but this is not but an excuse, we are not fools, we are not dumb. We have to be careful. We have to say this and that also. Why from day one the French press said, “This is Islamic terrorism.” Maybe you heard as I did, this guy is not religious at all, he was a drunk man. This was the French police report. Why do they want to put this as Islamic extremism? Al-Islam does not have anything called extremists. We should distinguish, al-Islam is Deenullah. You cannot accuse al-Islam in any way. If you want to accuse some Muslims, yes because Muslims are not angels, that’s true. To accuse al-Islam, to attack al-Islam, you cannot say that, it’s not acceptable, we reject that, we refuse that.
When a young Christian man killed a few people in the church in South Carolina, why did they not say “the Christian extremist?” They did not say that. What the Jews are doing in Palestine, why won’t they say “extremist Jews?” What the Buddhists are doing up to today in Burma, why won’t they call “Buddhist extremists?” Only “Islamic extremists” we don’t accept that, we reject that. Everyone should reject that, but this doesn’t mean that there are no bad Muslims, no they are, they are many, but the percentage of Muslims that are more than 1.5 billion, how come you judge al-Islam or Muslims in this? They cannot say that. Plus very important comment that the Muslim government in all Muslim countries, and the Muslim people, the reject and condemn the extremists. Do you think there is any Muslim government in Muslim countries who accept it? No, they are against it. Why would you still say that, if a majority of Muslims reject it, all the Muslim governments reject, Muslims are extremists, Islamic extremists? This is not acceptable for us. We have to be clear on this.
The last thing I would like to say, the victims of these extremists, 99% are Muslims. Look what they do in Iraq, Syria, Libya. Muslims are attacked by extremists from the West, this is not acceptable. May Allah take care of us. Only Allah (jallah jalaluhu) can take Muslims away from this situation.
By Tammy Little
Each year in the days leading up to the beginning of Ramadan, my children start what they call “the kindness list.” It’s a list of nice things they want to do for strangers during Ramadan, such as donate toys, books, and clothes, open a door for someone, or simply give someone a compliment. Among things on their list this year was, “feed the cat in the backyard.”
. . . . There’s a cat in our backyard?
Soon enough, Ramadan began and the “donate pile” of toys and books started to build in the living room. A few days later, we loaded up these items and dropped them off at a local women and children’s shelter. After doing this, we stopped to get our car washed. As we sat in the waiting area, I noticed a woman looking at me from across the small room, so I smiled at her.
“Are you a nun?” she asked. My children giggled quietly. “No, M’am,” I replied.
“Excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude,” she continued. “But what are you?” She pointed at my hijab.
I smiled again and said, “I’m a Muslim.” Then I don’t know why, but before I could stop myself, muscle memory took over as I blurted out, “And we’re not bad people.”
She said, “Well, honey, I know that.” Before I knew it, she had gotten out of her chair and was walking toward me with her arms out. “Can I give you a hug?” she asked. How could I say no to that?
Then we chatted about our children, our cars, the price of gas, and where to get some fresh-picked corn. When my car was ready, I stood up to go. She took my hand and said, “It was so nice to meet you.”
“You too,” I replied, smiling.
We’re not bad people.
adapted from a speech given by Imam Rahman Khan of Masjid Ash Shaheed
“Allah is the Arabic term for God. Stand up for God, fight for God, work for God and do the right thing, and go the right way, things will end up in your corner.” –Muhammad Ali
Allah has brought home our brother, our champion Muhammad Ali. May Allah be pleased with him, forgive his sins and grant him the highest station of paradise.
Allah chose to bring him home at a time when Muslims were in dire need of positive attention. For well over a week, Muhammad Ali was on every TV station, every media outlet. You couldn’t turn around without seeing a remembrance of Muhammad Ali. His Janazah was flooded with over 15,000 people who came from all over the world to pay respect to Muhammad Ali. The world paused and reflected on the man, the athlete, the legend, and the humanitarian that we had lost.
So it was no surprise that millions of people all over the world were tuned in to see Muhammad Ali’s janazah. Millions of people got that impact of being reminded that he was unapologetically Muslim.