Friday Sermon Archives Series, delivered 5th January 2001
From Sahl ibn Sa’d who said that Allaah’s Messenger said; “Beware of sins which are treated as being minor, just like a people who encamp in the centre of a valley, so someone brings a stick of firewood and someone else brings a stick until they are therefore able to bake their bread. Likewise, sins which are treated as being minor, and for which the person is taken to account will destroy him.” Ahmad & at-Tabaranee – classified saheeh
Abdullah ibn Mas’ood said; “The believer sees his sins as if he were sitting beneath a mountain which he feared was about to fall upon him, whereas the wicked sees his sins like a man who finds a fly settle upon his nose, (so he brushes it away from his nose with his hand, i.e. it is insignificant).” Bukhari
- The previous sermon focused upon evil companionship and led many to point fingers and ignore their own personal circumstances.
- However, it is clear that we all, as Muslims, are guilty of continually sinning, to the extent that it is now affecting entire communities.
- Muslims are involved in crimes of various types, drugs, benefit fraud, lying stealing etc. Muslims who have beards, who wear niqabs etc. giving yet another negative impression on our religion.
Those of us who have been caught by the system should not blame anyone else as Allaah tells us;
“We wronged them not but they were the wrongdoers.” Surah Az-Zukruf (43:76)
“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your own hands have earned….” Surah Ash-Shura (42:30)
Prayer: Our obligatory prayers are supposed to deter us from sin as Allaah says:
“Verily, Prayer prevents one from shameful and evil deeds.” Surah al – Ankaboot (29:45)
We are committing such sins that even amaze non-Muslims! The jilbaab is no longer being seen as a garment of piety/modesty, but of criminals! The beard and thobe are being seen as characteristics of gangsters/ghetto youth who are fashionable! It does however, reflect the shame and disgrace some Muslims are bringing on the rest of the community. How can we expect success when we are sinning excessively? Allah only accepts that which is good and pure. Abu Hurayrah narrated from our Messenger; “Allaah, the Exalted, is Tayyib (good and pure) and He only accepts that which is good and pure. Allaah has commanded the believers with what He has commanded the Messengers. He said; “O (you) Messengers! Eat of At-Tayyibat (all things good and pure), and do righteous deeds” (Surah al Mu’minun 23:51) and; “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you.” (Surah al Baqarah 2:172). Then the Prophet mentioned a man, who has been travelling for such a long time, that his hair is dishevelled and he is covered in dust, raising his hands towards heaven and praying; “O my Lord, O my Lord,” while his food is from illicit earnings, his drink is from illicit earnings, his clothes are from illicit earnings and he grew up on illicit earnings; therefore how can his supplication be accepted?” Muslim
All the fraud and illegal acts that are being done shall not earn us success in this life or the Hereafter. And know that our sin affects the whole community, even though we may believe it is confined to us alone; “The consequences of committing forbidden acts are not confined only to the persons who commit them, but the whole (community) has to suffer for them. It is therefore essential that the people who commit such sinful acts are monitored to save everyone from destruction / punishment. If this is not done then everyone becomes liable for punishment.
The necessity of enjoining good and forbidding evil
“The believers, men and women, are Awliya (friends, protectors etc.) of one another. they enjoin the good and forbid evil….” Surah At-Tawbah (9:71)
The Prophet was so adamant about this that he informed us; “Indeed if people abandon it, Allaah may cover them with a punishment from Himself.” Ahmad & others (authenticated by Ad-Diya ul Maqdisi, An-Nawawee and Sheikh Al Albanee)
The Prophet also informed us that failing to enjoin the good and forbid the evil prevents the supplication of the righteous among us from being answered; it inadvertently facilitates corrupt people to attain power, causes differences and dissension among people and incurs Allah’s wrath similar to how as His wrath towards Bani Israeel who also failed to take up this obligation. (Refer to p.8 of Ibn Taymeeyah’s book on the subject). Many of us are aware of the evil, corrupt acts that some Muslims among us are participating in, yet choose to remain silent thinking “Its none of my business!” We didn’t even attempt to offer advice to such individuals!
End of 1st part of sermon
Nu’am bin Bashir reported; “The Prophet said; “The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allaah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who board a ship after casting lots. some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper deck. Those who are in its lower deck, when they require water, go to the occupants of the upper deck, and say to them; ‘If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shall not harm you. If the occupants of the upper deck leave them to carry out this ambition / task, everyone would drown. but they do not let them go ahead with their plan and all of them remain safe.” Bukhara
If we continue to ignore wrongdoing around us, especially in our communities, we cannot expect success or indeed, blessings from Allah. In fact, we are at risk of the opposite. We must stop ignoring a person’s wrongdoing simply because they’re friends or Muslims. We give so much Dawah, yet we are in danger falling into errors of previous nations. Allaah said to Bani Israel;
“Enjoin you righteousness among mankind, while you yourselves forget to practise it? And you are readers of the scriptures? Have you then no sense?” Surah al Baqarah (2:44)
We tell others about the benefits of this faith and warn of the evils of this world, yet do not practice what we preach!
“O you who believe! why do you say that which you don not do yourselves? It is most hateful in the Sight of Allaah that you say that which you do not (yourselves).” Surah As Saff (61:2-3)
Know that if we do not desist from the evil we are committing nor enjoin the good and forbid the evil upon those who we know are sinning that Allah’s punishment may descend on us in ways that we wouldn’t have expected, i.e. our wealth, children, husbands, wives, health etc. One of the Salaf said; “If you see Allaah grant blessings to a certain person, and then you see that person continuing in disobedience to Him, then know that this is from Allah’s plan against him and that he is referred to by Allaah’s saying;
“We shall gradually seize them with punishment in ways they perceive not. And I respite them; certainly My plot is strong.” Surah al A’raaf (7:182-183)
This is a time for increased reflection and repentance as well as collectively enjoining good and forbidding evil.