Date: 14th November 2014; 20th Muharram 1436
Allah (swt.) has created all the heavens and all the humans. He has showered His limitless blessings to the whole mankind. But within time the Ibadah of His slaves changed. His religion evolved across time and now we have the religion of Islam. Every Prophets had different responsibilities, they had their own Ummahs and their own way of spreading Allah’s name.
The Muslims among the children of Prophet Yaqub (Isra’il) (as.) during the days of prophet Dawud (as.) and before did not work trade or engage in manufacturing or fishing on As-Sabit (Saturday) also referred to as their day of Sabbath. This was made forbidden upon them by set of the rules of their times that Allah revealed. Allah the Almighty made it a test upon them exposing to the people the ones that disobey His orders from the ones that obey them. On Saturdays the whales and the fish appeared in plentiful. They came so close to the shore that one could almost catch them by hand. Allah inspired the fish to come near on Saturdays as they would not be caught, because the Children of Isra’il were not allowed to fish on that day.
They came in huge numbers to the sea shore of Aylah, where they packed not being frightened or scared away by anyone. On other days however, the whales and the fish would stay at the bottom of the see unseen, until it was the next Saturday, when the fish would emerge again. The case is, however, that the evil person can be easily driven by the devil toward disobedience. One of the people of that city was tempted by the devil when he desired to eat fish. The devil made it easy for him as he tempted him to improvise a trick to fish what he desires. So on the Saturday when this man saw a big fish swimming close by near the shore, he deviously tied its tail with a rope to a stump on the coast, and then he left.
When the day ended, the man came back and with his trickery he took the fish home. There he cleaned it and grilled it, but unexpectedly the smell escaped until it was all around the house. His neighbours came around questioning the source. At first he denied what he did, but when they insisted he said that he was grilling some fish skin that he had found.
On the following Saturday, the man did the same thing all over again. But this time when the people questioned him about the smell, he said “ If you wish you can do what I do”, and when they asked “ What is that you do?” he informed them about his devious way. As a result, these people started doing what he was doing.
These people went even further than the man had told them. They started improvising different means to that trick. It was said that on Friday some of them would dig holes on the shore, and they would channel them to sea, where the channels could be easily closed. When Saturday comes the fish will swim into these holes only to be entrapped in them. It was also said that they went on big boats and guided the fish through to the dug out holes and closed the channels keeping them captured there. On Sunday they would come and take out trapped fish.
This action was widespread and many of them practised it. The situation kept on mounting until they started fishing openly on Saturday and selling fish in the markets. This was among the greatest transgressions, an act of disobedience to Allah.
Reference: “The People of As-Sabbit” by Muslim Youth of Truth. Retrieved from: http://www.myot.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=192:the-people-of-as-sabit-saturday&catid=42:inspirational-stories&Itemid=203
These people were the transgressors in the context of Islam. Allah forbade them to fish on Saturdays but they disobeyed Allah and made a business out of this. Even now, we see so many people doing business with the name of Islam. All of us needs to be aware of this type of people.
In every generation, every Ummah of their Prophets had their own responsibilities, the people of Aylah were ordered by Allah (swt.) to refrain from fishing and like that us too as the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (saw.) bear a lot of responsibilities upon our shoulders. Lut (as.), Isa (as.) and Musa (as.) had Ummahs of their own and they were sent to separate civilizations. But Prophet Muhammad (saw.) was sent as a blessing to the whole mankind. There are three Prophets who were sent to this Dunya being a nation as themselves. One of them, we know as mentioned is Prophet Muhammad (saw.), another one was Adam (as.), who is the father of the world mankind and another one is Ibrahim (as.), he was a leader for the whole Muslim Ummah of his time. Ibrahim (as.) was not sent to any specific civilization he travelled to several places such as Mecca, Medina, Syria, Damascus etc. in the hope spreading the words of Allah, he was not confined to one civilization rather he was the Prophet of the whole Muslim world of his time. Islam was always our religion, it evolved but it actually remained the same. Allah says in the Quran:
He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Ibrahim and Musa and Isa – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him].
Surah Ash-Shura Ayah 13 (42:13) Translation: Sahih International
We need to realize that we are the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (saw.) and this makes us inseparable. This is unlike any other thing. A computer can be divided and we can have hardwares from different companies but Muslims are one as a single substance. There is no age, sex, division, racism, nationalism differentials in Islam. A Muslim is a Muslim and universally he will be recognized as a Muslim anywhere he goes. Wherever a Muslim goes, he needs to abide by the same Islamic code of conduct. He needs to perform Salah at every waqt, he needs restrain himself from taking interest and at all times follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (saw.).
One thing is that all of us tend to take this world as our home. Whenever, someone used to mention this Dunya as our home, the Prophet (saw.) used to become sad because we are only temporary guests to this world. Hadith says:
Ibn `Umar (rah.) relates that Allah’s Messenger (saw.) placed his hand on his shoulder and said: “Be in the world as if you are a stranger or a wayfarer.”
Thereafter, Ibn `Umar used to say: “When the night comes, do not wait for the day, and when the day comes, do not wait for the night. Take from your health for your sickness, and take from your life for your death.”
Reference: Sahîh al-Bukhâri
Another Hadith states that:
Abu Huraira (rah.) reported: The Messenger of Allah (saw.) said, “The world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the unbeliever.”
Reference: Sahih Muslim Hadith 2956
Let’s say that a person migrates from Bangladesh to America. Now that person may reside in America but his heart may crave for Bangladesh. Similarly, a Mumin’s heart lies in Jannah, that is why he is never satisfied in this Dunya. Allah mentions the ones who only take into account their wealth in this world. The Quran says:
No! Indeed, it is the Flame [of Hell],
A remover of exteriors.
It invites he who turned his back [on truth] and went away [from obedience]
And collected [wealth] and hoarded.
Surah Al-Ma’arij, Ayahs 15-18 (70:15-18) Translation: Sahih International
The disbelievers only care about the wealth in this world, they don’t worry about the Hereafter. We as Muslims, can never be like them. If a Muslim desires success in this world and the next then he should recite this dua from the Quran:
“Rabbana atinafee addunya hasanatan wafee al-akhiratihasanatan waqina AAathaba annar”
The meaning of this dua:
“Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”
Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 201 (2:201) Translation: Sahih International
Suppose a child is gifted a very beautiful house by his father. But the child denies to go inside the house rather he prefers to play in the garden which is inferior than the home. It is natural that the father will become angry. Similarly, Allah gets angry if we decide to deny our abode at Jannah. Allah created Jannah for us and He made it into a Paradise, this world was always meant to be a temporary place but if tend to get attached to this, Allah has the right to punish us.
Another example can be given about the robot spacecraft which was sent on a comet. If the spacecraft refused to come back to earth or refuse to work, NASA has the right to shut it down. (The robotic spacecraft died after Saturday) Just like that, if Allah sees one civilization is not devoted towards His worship then He deserves the right to destroy that civilization.
We need to identify our purpose in this life, which is to satisfy Allah (swt.). Allah says in the Quran:
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.
Surah Adh-Dhariyat, Ayah 56 (51:56)
We need to appreciate that all of us were Muslims, not all were blessed with Islam. Allah gave us a chance to ensure our place in Jannah. Many Jews and Christians without uttering the Kalima at the time of death. We are indeed blessed and we need to be always grateful to Al-Mighty.
For the Muslim Ummah, we must spread our market. When Prophet Muhammad (saw.) used to do business, he used to send milk to the outskirts of the Medina and it even went to Europe. This is the love the Prophet Muhammad (saw.) had for his Ummah, he wanted to share everything with his people. Today, we have the Jewish companies dominating the market, if Jews can do it why can’t Muslims? If we continue to ignore this, our market will further be dominated by Jewish products.
Trading needs to be done ethically with the rules of Islam. One cannot simply deceive his brother. If we tend to get greedy our Imaan will wear off by time. It is like building a house with three walls and when winter comes the absence of one wall will make us suffer. Islam is like that, if the Imaan and Hikmat is missing nothing will go right. The right sorts of techniques should be applied.
Ali (rah.) was once asked about the Pen of Allah. It was the first thing created by Allah by His Nur. Hadith says:
The Prophet (saw.) said “The first thing created by Allah was the pen, then, He ordered it to write, so it wrote everything that will happen till the Day of Judgment.”
Reference: Jami At-Tirmidhi, Abu-Dawud, and Ahmad
Everything was created by the Pen of Allah and for us humans we began with a hammer. The hammer then evolved into the feather pen then it became a fountain pen, then the ballpoint pain. Eventually we have the cursor and lastly we have the laser pen or stylus. Allah’s Pen is made out of Nur, for us we reached up till laser, it will perhaps be impossible to reach the level of making a pen out of light.
As Muslims, we no longer act as savages as we were. We no longer bury our daughters, we no longer devour the wealth of the orphans, do not eat what is forbidden and all of us need to earn our money properly. These are the ground rules set up for us and we need to abide by it. One crucial issue is about the interest in the corporate world. We all know that the corporate world, interest is something completely inseparable. So I (the Imam) met a man in Mumbai who talked about an interesting technique in developing Halal way of earning money. He said that he had a large portion of land which he used for farming and by which he grew his own crops. That earned him his own vegetable and food supply. For the ones this technique is possible it is best if we are able to detach ourselves from the corporate world and engage in a subsistence economy. Life can be harder but we can’t risk anything at the cost of Jannah.
I (the Imam) would like to end this Khutbah with a very sad news. Recently, the amount of women slavery and female prostitution has soured up at a perilous phase. If we as the Ummah of the Prophet (saw.) do not protest against evil, how can we expect our Imaan to remain high? If it goes like this, Jahiliyyah will once more reign in our society.