Monday, March 24, 2008

വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച യു.എ.ഇ യിലെ പള്ളികളില്‍ നടന്ന ജുമുഅ ഖുതുബ (ഇംഗ്ഗീഷ്‌ തര്‍ജമ )

വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച യു.എ.ഇ യിലെ പള്ളികളില്‍ നടന്ന ജുമു അ ഖുതുബ (ഇംഗ്ഗീഷ്‌ തര്‍ജമ )
( Friday Sermon-Memory of the prophet Muhammad's birthday)
Praise be to You as it is worthy for the glory of Your Face and for the majesty of Your kingdom. O Allah, Praise be for You as You praised Yourself. Our Lord, Thanks be to You for all Your Grace and for all Your gifts. Our Lord, we thank You, we give our allegiance to You, we believe You, and we trust You. I bear witness O Allah, that only You are God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is Your Servant and Your Messenger. O Allah, bless Prophet Muhammad and bless all Your Prophets and Messengers, bless their families, their companions and all their followers until the Day of Judgment. Surely the most true word is the Word of Allah and indeed the best guidance is the guidance of Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him. Dear Believers, I remind you and myself to be conscious of Allah and to obey Him. I warn you and myself of the consequences of being disobedient to Him and from going against His command. The strong and wise person is he/she who submits to Allah and works for the Hereafter. The week and ignorant person is he/she who follows his/her own desires and wishes without concern for Allah's rules. And all of you must know -- that the heaven is real and the hell is real and that Allah will surely resurrect the dead. "Thanks are for Allah Who has guided us to this. We could not truly have been led aright, if Allah had not guided us." (Al-A'raf 7:43) Dear believer brother every year at this time, Muslims around the globe commemorate with profound love and abounding joy the birthday of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (s) . In keeping with Allah's (swt) Way, His Sunna of recollecting the birthdays of the prophets as special events in the history of mankind, Muslims have found unique Islamic forms of worship to express their joy, their gratitude and their connection to the birth of the Master of Humankind and Jinn, Sayiddina Muhammad al-Mustafa r. His greatness reflects the Greatness of His Creator, and his purity outshone that of angels, mankind and spiritual beings. His advent on this earthly sphere was accompanied by extraordinary signs and miraculous occurrences, harbingers of the inestimable effect our perfect leader, the Prophet of Islam r, the Guide of the believers, was to have on history. Therefore, does it not behoove the Muslims to commemorate the one who brought us independence from other than Allah (swt), who took us from unbelief to faith, from idolatry to monotheism, founded our Nation and gave us our identity as Muslims? He gave us more than a nation––he gave us an ummah! Why not rejoice in that event—remember his greatness, his courage, his leadership—and thank Allah (swt) for that day He favored and honored us to be of the Nation of Muhammad (s) ? As the Best Nation on earth, will we not enter Paradise first for the greatness of our prophet? A nation is only as great as its greatest man or woman. What then of a Nation, whose greatness is derived from the Incomparable Perfect Man, whose creation preceded all others? His very nature was not simply heroic, not just great––no, it was magnificent––not as appreciated by limited minds of men, but by the Creator Himself, for Allah (swt) praised our Holy Prophet (s) in countless verses of Qur'an, and He swore an oath by his perfect character when He I said, "And lo! Thou art of a tremendous nature!" [68: 4] And the Prophet (s) was most pleased when he was mentioned in the Holy Qur'an in Surat al-Isra, attributed as "`abd", saying, "Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place." [17: 1] When the Prophet (s) migrated to Madinah, he found the Jews fasting that day. Upon inquiring as to the reason, the Prophet (s) ordered his community to fast that day, saying "We have more right on Musa u than they do." Thus, the day of independence for Bani Israil became a day of worship for the Muslims. As the followers of Muhammad (s) , is it not appropriate for us to say, "We have more right on commemorating Muhammad (s) than any other nations in commemorating their prophet?" Yes, and let us praise Allah (swt) on that day and rejoice in His mercy as He ordered, "Of the favor and the mercy of Allah let them rejoice." [10: 58] This order came because joy makes the heart grateful for Allah's (swt) mercy. What greater mercy did Allah (swt) grant to mankind than the Holy Prophet (s) himself, about which He I says, "We did not send you except as a mercy to human beings?" [21: 107 ] Let us recall then, with love and fervor, joy and deep emotion, the birth of our Beloved Prophet, as Allah Himself I commemorates without cease, in His final revelation, the births of the Prophet Yahya u, "So peace on him the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life (again)!" [19: 15] And similarly, Sayiddina `Isa u, "So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"! [19:33]. Similarly the conception of Sayiddina Ismail u, Sayiddina Ishaq u and of the Virgin Mary u were mentioned in the Qur'an. We also find another birth commemorated in the verse, "In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth." [46: 15] Ibn Abbast in his Qur'anic commentary explains that this verse was revealed in reference to as-Siddiq al-Akbar (r). What then of the one who is higher in station, who is the Seal of the Prophets and Master of all Mankind? The mention of his (s) birth in Qur'an is more subtle and more exalted, closer to the angelic realm where Allah (swt) said, "Indeed, there has come to you Light and a clear Book from Allah." [5: 15] Qur'anic commentators have concluded that the "Light" as mentioned here is the Holy Prophet r, and his birth is the turning point of a new cycle in the history of humanity: bringing the Divine message of Islam and the Holy Qur'an. The Qur'an relates the supplication of `Isa u on behalf of his Disciples when he said, "O Allah, send for us a heavenly table that we will eat from; and it will be a feast (`eid) for the first of us and for the last of us...." [5: 114] That feast was held in honor of a heavenly table, sent down from paradise full of food: seven loaves of bread and seven fish, as mentioned in traditional commentary on that verse. For a table of food, an `eid was held. What then for the coming to mankind of one who would serve not their worldly needs, but one sent by Allah (swt) as the Intercessor for all nations? Does not this day deserve at least an annual commemoration? Allah (swt) also mentions in the Holy Qur'an how He brought together the souls of the prophets before creating their physical forms: "Behold! Allah (swt) took the covenant of the prophets, saying: I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him help? Allah said: Do ye agree, and take this my Covenant as binding on you? They said: We agree. He said: Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses." [3:81] If Allah (swt) mentioned his birth before this worldly life, in the presence of the souls of all prophets on the Day of Promises, does that day not deserve commemoration, as it is commemorated in the Qur'an? What of Allah's (swt) mention of the Prophet's (s) birth in hadith, when He told Adam u, "If he comes in your time you must follow him." If Allah (swt) is reminding us of this great event, who are we to say "forget about it?" We know there are only two `eids in Islam and no others: `eid al-adha and `eid al-fitr. Therefore, people must not confuse `eid with commemoration (dhikra). The Prophet Muhammad's (s) birthday is not an `eid, but it is an exceedingly important event that took place for humanity in the Light sent with him––the message of Islam––which brought the two `eids. What then can we recall of the birth of the Prophet (s)? What is known of it? According to Ibn Kathir's, Al bidaya wal nihayat and Dhikra mawlid rasulillah, "Paradise and the skies were decorated and angels moved about in continuous processions, the palace of Chosroes was shaken and the fire of 1000 years ceased to burn." All these events happened on the night and within the moment of the Prophet's (s) birth. So, it is not `eid on a particular day, but it is a universal blessing from Allah (swt) to humanity, for which reason its commemoration is needed. He was the most honored and perfect creation that Allah (swt) created as a servant, and raised him by putting his name with His Name, elevated him on the night of the Ascension and revealed to him the Holy Qur'an. If Allah's (swt) creation rejoiced at the advent of the Prophet (s) on the day of his birth, what about us, for whom his birth is the greatest favor, and the means by which we were granted the religion of Islam? Is it not illogical to say, "We must not rejoice on that day," when all heavens and all creations were doing so, in the most auspicious manner? Imam al-Fakhr al-Razi said, "The Prophet's (s) importance is a favor for all human beings and Allah (swt) has honored the Arabs by him and improved their status for the sake of the Prophet (s). From bedouins raising sheep as shepherds, they became leaders raising nations. For the sake of the Prophet (s), He took them from utter ignorance to the station of knowledge, enlightenment and leadership. He put them over all other nations, better than Jews and Christians, who were always proud of Moses (as) and Jesus (as) and the Torah and the Gospel. Allah (swt) made them better than everyone, so He made the Arabs and Muslims proud of their Prophet (s) above anyone." Muslim narrated that, "Abi Qatada (r) said that the Prophet (s) was asked about fasting on Monday and he said 'That was the day I was born.'" This hadith is clear evidence of the importance of the commemoration of the Prophet's (s) birthday through worship. Al-Hafiz ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in his book Lataif al-maarif (p. 98), in explaining this hadith of Muslim said, "It is good to fast on the days that Allah (swt) honored and favored his servants." Thus, commemoration of the Prophet's (s) birthday by any form of worship, starting with fasting, was derived analogously by the great scholars of jurisprudence, who concluded that all forms of worship according to the Qur'an and Sunna are meritorious to perform on that day. This includes recitation of Qur'an, loudly or quietly, individually or in congregation, praising the Prophet r—amongst the most meritorious forms of worship, feeding people, charity and remembering Allah (swt). Hasan ibn Thabit (r) recited this poetry about the Prophet (s) on the day of his death saying: I say, and none can find fault with meBut one lost to all sense: I shall never cease to praise him. It may be for so doing I shall beforever in Paradise, With the Chosen One for whosesupport in that I hope, And to attain to that day I devote all my efforts. Dear Muslim brothers: We pray to Allah to grant us his blessings in this memory, and make our prophet (May Allah's peace and blessing be upon him) most beloved to us than ourselves and children.

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