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August
08
2003
Islamic topics- Miscellaneous topics- Lesson (52): Adopting the manners which lead to Allah.
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

Religion is the life of man:

 Dear brothers, in today's lecture we will tackle the manners which lead you to Allah the Exalted.

 Dear brothers, before I start with the first fact, let me give you a brief introduction. As you know, there are tens or may be hundreds of activities in the field of commerce, starting with the paperwork in the government departments, then buying offices and warehouses, hiring employees, inviting companies to bid, selecting the goods, marketing, selling, collecting, accounting and having inventory counting. Thus, hundreds of activities are involved in trading, but all of which come down to one word, which is making profit, without which trading is meaningless.

 This obvious example is applicable to religious matters, for there are countless activities in religion, and in fact, religion involves in every detail of man's life. These activities start with attending a religious session, building a Masjid, writing a religious book, attending Islamic conferences, Da'wah (calling people) to Allah, offering good deeds and donating Sadaqah and Zakat. Thus, there are countless religious activities, but the important question is: Can you establish a connection with Allah after offering all these activities?

 Allah will not accept your deeds unless you repent and become upright, obedient, affectionate, sincere and devoted. You might offer tens of good deeds in the religious field, yet you might not be able to establish a connection with Allah, and therein lies the problem. Is whoever comes to the Masjid connected with Allah? Is whoever performs the five prayers connected with Allah? Is whoever adopts an Islamic motto connected with Him? Is whoever is interested in Islamic matters connected with Allah?

 In order to establish a connection with Allah, you should apply the Divine Method and become upright. Sawm, performing Hajj, paying Zakat, lowering your gaze, controlling your tongue and guarding your thoughts (from being affected with evil and forbidden ones) are ordained on you to establish a connection with Allah, so are you capable of doing so? Have you ever made Munajat (talking secretly with Allah)? Have you ever been submissive while performing Salah? Is your Salah in your house the same as the one you perform in the Masjid? Do you behave the same in private and public? Do you have Khalwah (a retreat from the world to establish a connection with Allah) and Jalwah (coming out into the light of day and return to the world after becoming a changed person)?

Establishing a connection with the Almighty Allah:

 We will be asked these questions dear brothers in the grave, and we will be reckoned accordingly. You might offer a very good deed, yet you seek the worldly life through it, Allah forbid. Actually, within the religious realm there are earthy interests, lusts, desires, powers and attractive diversions, so I would like to advise myself before advising you to check your situation with Allah and ask yourself: Is there any flaw in your relation with Allah? Do you feel affable with people to such an extent that you cannot stay alone not even for one moment? Do you feel estranged whenever you are alone? Do you feel deserted whenever you stay by yourself? Do you have a relation with the Almighty Allah?

 There are four cornerstones in this lesson:

 The first one is Silah (having a relation with Allah), and I did not say Salah, because the majority of Muslims offer Salah. However, Silah is to establish a connection with the Almighty Allah during your Salah, Allah says:

﴾And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance.﴿

[Ta-Ha, 14]

Allah also says:

﴾ Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah! ﴿

[Al-Alaq, 19]

 The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Salat (prayer) is light))

[Muslim, by Abi Malik Al-Ash'ari]

You are purified and pleased after offering Salah:

((O Bilal, give us comfort by it (i.e. prayer).))

[Abu Dawood, by Abi Al-Ja'ed]

  You should be present-minded because Salah is the believer's own journey (to the Almighty Allah), Salah is a covenant (between you and Allah) and Salah is Munajat (talking secretly with Allah):

((Not all those who pray are considered true devoted Muslims. I accept the Salah of the one who humbles himself during it to My Greatness, who refrains from fulfilling forbidden lusts, who never insists on disobeying, who feeds the hungry, cloth up the needy, who is merciful to whoever is distressed, who provides shelter to the wayfarer… All this he does (only) for Me.))

[Ad-Dailami, by Harithah bin Wahab]

Salah entails uprightness and sincerity:

 I hope that your life and mine will not be spent in vain, and that we never waste our life on trivial matters or waste our money (on things which displease Allah). Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the earth, swore by the life of our Prophet, peace be upon him, when He says:

﴾Verily, by your life (O Muhammad, peace be upon him), in their wild intoxication, they were wandering blindly.﴿

[Al-Hijr, 72]

 What a life, the Prophet, peace be upon him, lived! It is the one which deserved to be sworn by since no minute of it was wasted. Unlike the Prophet, peace be upon him, we are distracted by many problems from the Almighty Allah, we are driven away from Him due to many quarrels and we are deflected from the purpose of our creation because of the worldly concerns.

 The most important question is: Can you establish a relation with Allah? Everyone can enter the Masjid, offer perfect Wudu (ablution) and perform Salah, but is he connected with Allah? Are you able to lower your gaze and refrain from looking at anything prohibited? Can you worship Allah in private? Is your uprightness, when you are alone, different from that when you are among people?

 Dear brothers, these are key questions. Salah entails uprightness in your deeds and sincerity in your heart, and when you have these two elements, you will feel the closeness to the Almighty Allah. When you are with Allah, Allah will always support you, and everything will be easy for you, but if Allah abandons you, everything will be against you. I always keep say, O Lord, what has the one who is connected with you lost, and what has the one who is far away from you gained?

 Each one of us dear brothers needs to call himself to account from time to time, and let him be honest with himself and ask, "Am I pleased with my prayer? Do I read the Quran every day? Am I satisfied with my reciting? Am I submissive when I read the Quran? Am I fully submissive when I remember Allah? Is my heart close to Allah? Do I feel fear in my heart whenever Allah is mentioned?"

Why do not we apply what we read in the Quran in our daily life?

﴾The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts﴿

[Al-Anfal, 2]

 Have you ever rejoiced out of your love to Allah? Have you ever wept out of fearing Allah? The one, who feels nothing whenever he reads the Quran and offers Salah, surely has a serious flaw (in his soul). Practising Islam is easy, for you can donate money, you can attend a religious session and you can do whatever needs a physical effort, but can you feel the closeness to the Almighty Allah (in your heart)?

((Salah is the basis of all the religion, whoever keeps it and gives it its rights he would have kept the faith, and whoever destroyed it or forgot it then he had destroyed the faith.))

[Al-Baihaqi in Shu'ab Al-Iman by Umar]

Salah cannot be accepted without repentance, uprightness and sincerity:

 The Almighty Allah says:

﴾ Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salat (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salat (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times, etc.]﴿

[Maryam, 59]

 Scholars agreed upon considering "given up Salah" voiding it from its gist not abandoning it. The believer should offer his five prayers, should perfect their Ruku' (bowing down), Sujood (prostrating) and submissiveness and should feel that he is with Allah. As I said in the sermon today, "When a servant stands for prayer, Allah the Glorified says; 'Remove the veil', and if the servant turns away, He says, 'Replace the veil'."

 Is it logical to perform the orders of the Creator of universes, as meaningless moves, words, Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar [ Allah is the Greatest]) and Tasleem (is the concluding portion of the Muslim prayer (Salat), where one recites As-Salamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah ("Peace and blessings of Allah (God) be unto you") once while facing the right, and once while facing the left.? Absolutely not! If there is something wrong with your Salah, then there is something wrong with your uprightness and intentions. In order to have an accepted Salah, one should offer repentance, should be upright and should be sincere to the Almighty Allah. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((O Bilal, give us comfort by it (i.e. prayer).))

 The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to be relieved whenever he preformed Salah, and the believer should be relieved in Salah as well. This can be achieved when he offers his Salah with full submissiveness in order to feel the closeness to Allah.

 Religion is full of details which cannot be summarized even in volumes. However, the entire religion can be summarized in few words, given man longs to concise words as much as he longs to give details. If we would like to refer to religion in concise we can say that it is to establish a connection with Allah. As you know, Ash-Shahadah (it is saying Ashhadu anna la Ilaha illa Allah wa Ashhadu anna Muhamadan Rasoolu Allah (I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah Alone and that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is His Messenger) is uttered once in the lifetime of the Muslim, the patients and travelers are excused from offering Sawm, and the poor is excused from offering Hajj and Zakat. Thus, a Muslim can be in a perfect relation with Allah though he cannot offer Sawm due to being sick and he cannot offer Zakat and Hajj due to being poor. The only Fard (obligation) left is Salah, which is the repeated daily Fard that one cannot be exempted from under any condition. In addition, the first thing Allah asks man about on the Day of Resurrection is Salah, and if the way it is performed is accepted, all his deeds will be accepted, but if it is rejected, his deeds will be rejected too. Pay attention to the meaning of the following Ayah:

﴾ Those who remain constant in their Salat (prayers);﴿

[Al-Ma'arij, 23]

 "Constant" here does not mean offering Salah all the time, but rather it means being with Allah all the time and establishing a connection with Him through Du'a (supplication), Istighfar (asking Allah's Forgiveness), Dhikr (remembering Allah), Munajat (Talking with Allah secretly), Tasbeeh (laudation), Tahmeed (praising Allah), Takbeer (to say "Allah Hu Akbar" [Allah is The Greatest]), Tahlil (to say: "la ilah ha illalah" [There is no Deity wroth of worship but Allah Alone]) and reflecting on the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth. The more perfect the performance of our Salah is, the more exalted we will be in the Sight of Allah.

Man's value is appreciated by adhering to Allah's Orders and Prohibitions:

 I would like to mention the following incident. While the Prophet, peace be upon him, was with his companions, they passed by a grave, so the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Praying two Rak'at of nawafel that are the least and the simplest to pray is better for the man in this grave than the worldly life you live in.))

[Ibn Al-Mubarak, by Abi Hurairah]

 Glory be to Allah the Oneness and the Greatest! Man is in need of two Rak'at:

(Is better for the man in this grave than the worldly life you live in.))

[Ibn Al-Mubarak, by Abi Hurairah]

 When man dies, everything comes to an end, and though he might own billions. Everything will be over:

((Praying two Rak'at of nawafel that are the least and the simplest to pray is better for the man in this grave than the worldly life you live in.))

[Ibn Mubarak, by Abi Hurairah]

 As long as we are alive, we are able to do everything we want like repenting, so that we might meet Allah while He is pleased with us. Man can rectifying his deeds, ask Allah for forgiveness and fix all his bad deeds.

﴾ Allah will change their sins into good deeds﴿

[Al-Furqan, 70]

 As long as man's heart beats and he is alive, and as long as he is able to turn to Allah with sincere repentance, there is still a chance for him. Our problem, as Muslims, is the gap between our religious practices and abiding by what pleases Allah. Someone might come to the Masjid (to offer Salah), yet his daughters and family are not following what pleases Allah. Let alone, the sounds of all the entertainment means are loud, and songs which are prohibited according to decisive religious texts are listened to.

 Most families waste their time in listening to songs, watching soaps and movies and surfing TV channels, and while the boys are watching special channels behind their parents' back after midnight, the daughters have their own means of entertainment which is not Islamic. The family adopts certain manners (which are against Islam), yet the head of the family is Muslim and he has the picture of Ka'bah hanged on his wall, and he adorns his store with the following Ayah:

﴾ Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad, peace be upon him) a manifest victory.﴿

[Al-Fath, 1]

 Not to mention, he hangs a small Quran in his car and a small tablet of "In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful". Are these not religious guises? They are meaningless in the Sight of Allah, and what really counts is refraining from doing whatever Allah prohibits and adhering to His Orders.

Salah is the top act of worship:

 My lecture today comes out of my heart so that it might reach yours. Many Islamic appearances are obvious such as the physical ones. You may know someone who offered Umrah, so he wore a white garment and Musk, and he held turquoise rosary. Such a man was keen on looking his best as a Muslim, yet many sins are committed in his household, his daughters act in a way that does not please Allah, his wife's manners do not please Allah and his children never seek the Islamic teachings, because he did not pay enough effort to keep his children obedient to Allah. Unfortunately, this is the reality of Muslims. When we follow what pleases the Almighty Allah, we will never be defeated by our enemy due to fewness:

((Twelve thousands would never be defeated due to fewness.))

[Abu Dawood and At-Tirmizi, by Abdullah Ibn Abbas]

 Muslims today are one billion and 400 million, yet they do not have the upper hand, and they are controlled by other nations in thousands ways. Allah says:

﴾And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers. ﴿

[An-Nisa', 141]

 Establishing a connection with Allah the Exalted is the most essential thing. Thus, the Muslim should oblige himself to read five pages of the Quran daily after Al-Fajr Salah, he should oblige himself to reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth and he should offer Prophetic Adhkar (plural of Dhikr [remembering Allah]), like saying Subhan Allah wal Hamdulelah wa La Ilaha Illa Allah wa Allahu Akbar [Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah, there is no Deity worth of worship but Allah Alone and Allah is the Greatest] as it was reported in An-Nawawi's Book. Offering these deeds is important since man swings between Satan's whispers and angel's guidance. Let alone, when man becomes far from remembering Allah, he will be seduced by Satan and will be indulged in the pleasures of life, in a chat which does not please Allah or in affairs which will deviate him from the Right Path:

﴾And obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.﴿

[Al-Kahf, 28]

 Salah is the head of all acts of worship. A scholar said, "You will find the sense of Sawm (fasting) in Salah, because when you fast in Ramadan, you refrain from eating and drinking, and you do the same in Salah. You will find the sense of Hajj in Salah, because when you offer Hajj you head towards the Sacred House of Allah (Ka'bah) and you do the same in Salah. Moreover, you will find the sense of Zakat in Salah as well, because when you offer Zakat you donate money, and since time is crucial in gaining money, you spend some of your precious time to offer your Salah. Also, in Salah you utter Ash-Shahadah, saying, Ashhadu anna la Ilaha illa Allah wa Ashhadu anna Muhamadan Rasoolu Allah (I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah Alone and that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is His Messenger) in your last sitting and the one in the middle (in the second Rak'ah).

Islam is all about uprightness:

 Islam is all about being upright, and without uprightness, your Islam will become mere void rituals:

﴾And when they stand up for As-Salat (the prayer), they stand with laziness﴿

[An-Nisa', 142]

 Without uprightness, you are a person who does not concern about religion, and who does not care about the religious books, researches or anything that is related to religion, because all you are concerned about is the worldly life. However, when you become upright, Allah will cast light in your heart. Allah says:

﴾O you who believe [in Musa (Moses) (i.e. Jews) and 'Iesa (Jesus) (i.e. Christians)]! Fear Allah, and believe too in His Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him), He will give you a double portion of His Mercy, and He will give you a light by which you shall walk (straight), and He will forgive you. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.﴿

[Al-Hadid, 28]

 Allow me to say these words from the bottom of my heart addressing yours: Unless you are upright on the Path of Allah, you will never reap the fruits of this religion. Having a religious position, being expert in religious matters and being famous in the religious realm will do you no good if you do not have a prominent position in the Sight of Allah.

((A disheveled dusty man came to the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, so the Prophet welcomed him heartedly and warmly. He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said to him, "Let me welcome the one whom Jibrael told me about his coming.'' The man asked, "Did Jibreal tell you about me?" The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said to him, "Yes, brother he did. You are a low profile person on earth but a beacon in Allah's Sight".))

 Hence, seek exaltedness in the Sight of Allah. By Allah dear brothers, the clipping of a nail of a young devoted Muslim might worth millions of men, because of his sincerity and uprightness, and let me give comfort to every young person by reciting the Ayah below:

﴾Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, in their present life and after their death? Worst is the judgement that they make.﴿

[Al-Jathiyah, 21]

 By Allah, vanishing the universe is much easier to Allah than not elevating the believing pious Muslim to the highest ranks in the worldly life and in the Hereafter, but everything is done in its preordained time. The Islamic rule goes as follows, "He who hastens to the accomplishment of something before its due time will be punished by being deprived of it". In other words, whoever pleases the Almighty Allah and is sincere and obedient, will never be in a lower rank than others, but rather, he will be ahead of the others, and Allah will raise high his fame.

 Most people say that they are upright, but this is according to their claims not according to the standards of Shari'ah (Islamic law), and therein lies the problem. Someone might claim to be upright, yet he backbites or sits with a non-Muhram (women whom he is allowed to marry) woman (like his sister-in-law), and he considers this very normal saying, "Come on man, she is my wife's sister, so she is just like my sister". The Prophet, peace be upon him, said in that respect:

((The husband's brothers and relatives are death (The husband's brothers and relatives are the most dangerous to the wife).))

 How can he claim that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was wrong? Does he think that he is doing the right thing? Another man might claim to be upright, yet he eats ill-gotten money and finds no problem with that, and he says to you, "Allah blessed us with so and so merchant who is investing our money and gives us a constant interest". He is comfortable with that as the constant interests relieving him from calculating and accounting, but he forgets that this is Riba (the constant interest is but Riba), and Riba is a serious violation of Shari'ah.

 A man may claim that he is upright, although his money is gained from suspicious resources, his social affairs involve sitting with non-Muhram women and he does not lower his gaze. These are sins. I hope that when you claim that you are upright, you should measure your uprightness according to the standards of the Method of Allah, not to the ones of people around you or the standards of the riffraff. Actually, the majority of people nowadays say to you, "I am not a Prophet, so do not be rigid", but Allah the Exalted says:

﴾So stand (ask Allah to make) you (Muhammad, peace be upon him) firm and straight (on the religion of Islamic Monotheism) as you are commanded and those (your companions) who turn in repentance (unto Allah) with you﴿

[Hud, 112]

 Well yes, you are not a Prophet, peace be upon him, and you will never become as honored as the clipping of a nail of a Prophet, peace be upon him, but you are ordered by Allah to follow the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and become upright like him.

((Verily Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers, peace be upon them.))

 As you know disinfecting a syringe before giving an injection to a patient, is obligatory whether the one who will give the shot is a nurse or a doctor. Similarly, uprightness is indispensible, and it should be attained by an ordinary believer or even a very simple one. One should be upright while making money, while spending it, while controlling his limbs, while acting and while remaining fixed. Unless you make a paradigm shift and change your bad habits, which you develop from your family (like playing backgammon all night long for fun), you will not become upright, and so you will be turning a deaf ear to the Prophetic guidance:

((Whoever plays with dice, it is as if he were dipping his hand in the flesh and blood of a pig.))

[Muslim, by Sulaiman bin Buraidah by his father]

 Playing Backgammon is Haram (prohibited), yet some people find it normal. Some matters are prohibited and others are Makruha Tahreeman (anticipated to be Haram, but not certain). The Prophet, peace be upon him, clearly indicated the prohibition of some actions. Nevertheless, some people find nothing wrong with backbiting and calumny. For instance, they start talking about a woman, saying that she is not clean and that her husband is very simple-minded to such an extent that he does not notice that, and so forth. How do you dare to say such things?

Controlling the tongue is the best deed:

 It was reported in the relic:

((Slandering a chaste woman perishes the deeds of one hundred year.))

[Mentioned in the relic]

((…the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Shall I not tell you of the basis of all that?" I said, "Yes." He took hold of his tongue then said, "Restrain this." I said, "O Prophet of Allah, will we be brought to account for what we say?" He said, "May your mother not found you, O Mu'adh! Are people thrown onto their faces in Hell for anything other than the harvest of their tongues?"))

[At-Tirmizi and the Hadith was authenticated by Ibn Majah and Al-Hakem by Mu'adh]

  In another Hadith, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((The faith of a man cannot be straight unless his heart is straight, and his heart cannot be straight unless his tongue becomes straight.))

[Ibn Abi Ad-Dunia by Anas, may Allah be pleased with him]

 Controlling your tongue is one of the most exalted deeds at all, so is controlling your eye, ear and other limbs:

((Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, "Be modest in front of Allah for He has a right to your modesty." We said, "O Messenger of Allah, we have modesty, all praise is due to Allah." The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "That is not what I meant. Having modesty with Allah is to protect the mind and what runs through it, to protect the stomach and what fills it, and to remember death and trials. Whoever wants the Hereafter should leave the ostentation of the worldly life, so whoever acts like this has been modest with Allah as is His right."))

[Sunan At-Tirmizi 2458]

Sins and shortcomings are obstacles in the way of reaching Allah:

 My words to you today are from my heart to yours. You might be a famous scholar among people, a religious man and an honored person, but you might not be like that in the Sight of Allah. Even if the entire world praise you, this will be useless if you do not please Allah. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Seek exaltedness in Allah's Sight.))

[Ibn Adi in Al-Kamel, by Ibn Umar]

 Dear brothers, whatever minor or major sin you insist on committing is but an obstacle in the path to Allah, and it will block this path.

﴾Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight... are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).﴿

[At-Taubah, 24]

 Leasing a house and refusing to give it back to its owner, who is in dire need of it, because the law is on your side, is not uprightness.

﴾ and the dwellings in which you delight ﴿

[At-Taubah, 24]

 Old rental houses are leased for trivial sums of money, yet the leaseholder keeps paying the same money with clear conscious for a house which is leased nowadays for 30.000 Liras, but was leased forty years ago for 150 Liras only.

﴾The commerce in which you fear a decline and the dwellings in which you delight ﴿

[At-Taubah, 24]

 As a Muslim, you should not import forbidden commodities claiming that you are forced to do so or be extremely hospital to a company's agent who drinks intoxicant and offer him wine:

﴾Are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).﴿

[At-Taubah, 24]

 This means that when your love to your wife, father, brothers, kinship, successful business or luxurious house makes you disobey Allah, you should know then the path to Allah is blocked.

Uprightness and the good deed:

 In concise words, every major sin or minor one, on which you insist is but insurmountable obstacle in the path to Allah, but if you do not insist and you repent then the path is paved and easy. Man might have million Islamic behavior, but all of which means nothing if there is no connection with Allah, and it is like making a call from a dead phone. It does not matter if you scream or whisper while using such a phone, for you are talking to yourself as long as the phone is out of order. Whenever there is uprightness, the phone is working (there is a connection with Allah).

 The gravest error at all is to have no connection with Allah, and in this case you will not benefit from your cleverness, your kindness, your courtesy, your social intelligence or people's love to you. Thus, though your worldly matters are perfect, your connection with Allah is not good because of your sins which block the path to Him. Here is another fact: Uprightness entails negation, but do you know how? The upright person does not lie, does not backbite, does not eat ill-gotten money and does not spread calumnies between two brothers, all of which starts with "does not" (negation). When the path of reaching Allah is full of obstacles because of sins and shortcomings, but you start to repent from those sins one by one till the path to Allah is clear, this is not considered a start yet. After clearing the path, you need to offer good deeds in order to exalt and these good deeds include devotion, forsaking sins, refraining from whatever is forbidden and giving (such as Sadaqah).

 Good deeds include donating money, teaching others from your knowledge, serving your mother and family, giving Sadaqah, offering advice, checking on a sick person, visiting a patient, feeding a cat or any other good deed that you can do to any of Allah's creation. Hence, the good deed is your steps on the Path of Allah. Accordingly, you need to clear the path first then walk on it.

 Removing the obstacles is achieved by uprightness, and heading on the way to Allah is achieved by offering good deeds which exalt you. Therefore, this great religion can be condensed into three words: uprightness, good deeds and having a connection with Allah. Nevertheless, these three words need Islamic knowledge, so seeking it is an obligation. Hence, you should get acquainted with Allah, because this is the essence of religion, given knowing Allah is gained through His Creations, through His Actions and through His Words (the Quran).

People need religion:

 You can conclude that the entire religion is based on knowing Allah, so that man will rush to obey Him, and on knowing His Method, so that man will worship Him. Hence, it is all about knowledge, uprightness, good deeds and being connected with Allah, and happiness will be fulfilled then. The religion is a voluntary worshiping based on certain knowledge which leads to eternal happiness.

 Our lecture today is about the major matters in religion which are manifested in reflecting on the creation of the heavens and the earth, in pondering over Allah's Actions and in comprehending His Words (the Quran). Also, it is about knowing His Method such as the rulings of Salah, Sawm, Hajj, Zakat, Biyoo' (selling and buying), marriage, divorce, trust, remittance, collateral and assault.

 The first Major matter is to know Allah through His Creations, Words and Actions, then you should seek His Method. Knowing His Method and following it entail actions; you refrain from whatever is forbidden and adhere to Allah's Orders. For instance, uprightness requires abstaining from committing sins, while offering good deeds needs taking actions. Furthermore, Establishing a connection with Allah can be done through Salah which can be performed while you are in a bus,, through making Munajat and weeping, through making Du'a, through asking for Allah's Forgiveness and through glorifying Him by Tasbeeh, Tamjeed and Ta'zeem.

 The title of this lecture, as I see it, consists of four words: Knowing Allah, through His Creations, so that you would rush to obey Him and Knowing His Method, so that you would abide by it and worship Him thereupon. The believer is supposed to forsake Haram, given there are thousands of forbidden actions believer may commit in his daily life, like imitating people (making fun of them). Believe me some people spend an entire evening that goes on till 1.00 am imitating people although doing so is forbidden in Islam, and it indicates disrespect to people.

 As I said earlier, uprightness requires forsaking (Haram), whereas good deeds are achieved by endeavoring and giving, and both matters are crowned with the connection with Allah the Exalted, whether in Salah (while you are standing, sitting, prostrating, bowing down and reciting Fatihah and other Suwar in the Quran) or in other religious acts like making Du'a, seeking Allah's Help, invoking Him, making Munajat, laudation, praising, Takbeer and Tahlil. This is how religion should be, but we have turned it into void rituals and books which cannot make you successful unless you comprehend them. Bear in mind that religion is like air that should be inhaled by everyone with no exceptions. Thus, no party, group, country, or era can claim to be the only representative of religion, because it is for everyone just like air.

Going back to the basics of religion:

 Dear brothers, it is necessary to review the basics of religion from time to time, because man might be consumed by details and less important matters. For instance, he may study a very secondary religious matter and become fond of it to such a point that his time is entirely consumed by it, and then he starts judging people according to their knowledge of that secondary matter. This secondary matter is just like a brick in a 100-floor-building, and being consumed by such details is exceeding the limits in religion.

 The problem is that Muslims have seriously deviated from Aqeedah and the Islamic behavior. Moreover, despite the huge number of Muslims (about one billion and 300 million Muslims), Allah's Promises to them has not fulfilled yet. This is really a crucial, because Allah's Promises shall be fulfilled (but the problem is with Muslims).

﴾ And who is truer to his covenant than Allah?﴿

[At-Taubah, 111]

﴾ And who is truer in statement than Allah?﴿

[An-Nisa', 87]

  Always remember that vanishing the entire universe is much easier to Allah than keeping His Promises to the believers unfulfilled. However, none of the Divine Promises are fulfilled (because of Muslims' shortcomings and deviations). Unfortunately, Muslims do not have the upper hand, they cannot make their own decisions and the other party controls them in thousands ways, which is really serious. As an individual, the Muslim might not be able to put the entire Ummah on the right track, but the least he can do is to rectify himself.

Translation  : Noura Sharabi
Edited by      : Kawthar Hajj Saleh