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Sunday 20th of June 2021
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Islam: the Complete Way of Life

Let us practice Taq’wa (piety and righteousness) in our daily life, and let us revere Allah and obey His Divine Commands.  Let us be heedful of our choices in this life and the likely consequences of such choices in the hereafter.  May Allah provide us all with the spirit of righteousness by way of His Divine obedience as our means of salvation.

 

Allah tells us in Surah 3 (Aali Imran), Ayah 102:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ

  “Oh you who believe! Take heed of Allah with the degree due Him, and do not die but as Muslims.”

We must ask then, how to understand Islam?  Who is a Muslim?  In what does a Muslim believe? What must he or she do?  How does someone become Muslim?

 

Allah informs us in this specific Ayah about two issues, one is Taq’wa (piety) and the other is Islam.  Allah wants from people to put themselves in the way of Islam and to practice Taq’wa (piety) to the fullest extent.  Islam and piety are not separable.  If a person wishes to practice Taq’wa and be a pious man, he must perform all the orders revealed from Allah, and by so doing he becomes a Muslim in a real sense.

 

The Arabic word “Islam” simply means “giving in, or submission” and derives from a word meaning “peace”.  In a religious context Islam means “willful and complete submission to the Will of Allah”.  Allah as we all know is the Arabic name for God, the Creator, the Almighty, a name used by Muslims and Christians Arabs, and other divine religions alike.

 

Islam is not a new religion, for it is the same truth that God had revealed through all His Prophets, and from them to every person.  Allah instructs us in Surah 2 (al-Baqarah), Ayah 136 as follows:

 

قُولُواْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

“Say [O People]: “We believe in Allah and in what has been revealed, and in what was revealed to Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaaq, Ya'qoob and the Tribes, and in what was given to Musa and Isa, and in what was given to the Prophets from their Lord; We make no distinction between them and to Allah we do submit (as Muslims)”

Allah also mentions in Surah 2 (al-Baqarah), Ayah 133, the answer given to Prophet Yaqoob when he asked his sons while dying, “What will you worship after me?”

 

قَالُواْ نَعْبُدُ إِلَـهَكَ وَإِلَـهَ آبَائِكَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ إِلَـهًا وَاحِدًا وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

“They answered:

We will serve [worship] your God and the God of your fathers, Ibrahim, Ismail, and Ishaq; One Lord only, and to Him we do submit [as Muslims]”

            We must mention that Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life.  Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness.  About 1½ billion Muslims can be counted these days, they range from vast array of races, nationalities, and cultures.  They can be anywhere across the globe, from the southern Philippines to Nigeria, and from Russia to America.  All are united by their common Islamic faith, a faith that is sturdy, enriching, and very rewarding.

        As Muslims we all believe in One Unique Incomparable God, and in the angels created by Him, as well as in the Prophets who received God’s revelations, which they brought forth to mankind.  In addition, as Muslims we believe in the Day of Judgment and the individuals’ accountability for their own deeds during their earthly lives.

Yes, Muslims believe in the chain of Prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others.  But God’s final message to man was revealed to Muhammad (pbuh), the Prophet of Islam.  This message was a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summation of all that has gone before.

The teachings of Islam are not limited to the above principles, since besides that Islam has many teachings that involve our actions, whether individual or of social affairs.  Allah says in the Quran Surah 2 (al-Baqarah), Ayah 177:

 

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَالْمَلآئِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّآئِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُواْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاء والضَّرَّاء وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces simply to the east or west [in prayers], but righteousness is that one Believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets.

And to give of his wealth [despite his love for it] to the kinfolk, the orphans, those who beg, the wayfarer, those who ask, and to emancipate the captives, and the ones who keep up prayer, pay the Zakat, fulfill the promises [when a promise is made], and who are patient in distress and affliction.  Such are the People of Truth, [verily] they are the Pious [Muttaqeen].”

Islam as a complete religion guides our lives, as individuals, as a family, or as groups, it also guides our social affairs.  If we want to be true Muslims we must not only learn the great teachings of Islam but also perform them well.  By this we can attain a truly good life and realize salvation in this world and in the hereafter.

 

Imam al-Saadiq was once quoted as follows:[1]

 للمسلم علی اخیه المسلم من الحق ان یسلم علیه اذا لقیه ‘

 ویعوده اذا مرض

 وینصح له اذا غاب

 ویسمته اذا عطس     

 ولیجیبه اذا دعاه 

 ویتبعه اذا مات

Some of the rights of a Muslim upon his Muslim brother are that

▪    to salute when he meets his brother,

▪    and visits him when his brother becomes ill,

▪    and when his brother is absent he wishes his brother benevolence,

▪    and that when his brother sneezes he invokes God’s mercy for him,

▪    and he is to accept his brother’s invitation when invited,

▪    and finally, he is to escort the funeral when his brother dies

 

I ask Allah to help us in applying these guidelines and forgive us our sins and efface our bad deeds and take our souls in the company of the righteous.

 

For the end of the 1st part of the Khutba, read Surah Al-Asr, take a short intermission, then start the 2nd part of the Khutba with a short Du’aa.

 

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