1119The Islamic World Comes Under Darkness at Times - Part 1 of 2
- Nov 6, 2013
Jumu'ah Khutbah: The Islamic World Comes Under Darkness at Times - Part 1 of 2
Imam W. Deen Mohammed (raa)
We begin with G-d's Name, Who is merciful to us, The Merciful Benefactor and Merciful Redeemer. That is, He is merciful to us twice for our life here and hereafter. Firstly, He is merciful to us by creating us in such a wonderful human form and creating us with a mind and intellect to enjoy the material world both with our bodies and with our minds or with our material life and our spiritual life.
Then He is merciful to us again, when we lose the way and can't see any further how to carry our life where we want it to go, He gives us revelation or guidance through one who deserves that special help from G-d, our Creator. And we are put into a good position again to start afresh with our life and to carry it where our souls want it to go, where G-d wants it to go.
G-d has put it in the soul that He created to know where to go. That is, if we clean our minds and hearts and have nothing deceitful in us and be not all for ourselves but for our community, G-d will let us know through our souls where we should take our lives.
We witness that G-d is One Alone. It means that He does not need anyone or anything to help Him manage His creation all of it, the skies and earth and everything therein. He has no partner or g-d with Him; He is G-d Alone. If anyone comes to Him, according to His Words in Qur'an, he comes as a servant.
We know all of the Prophets in Bible and Qur'an are written as servants of G-d, including Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, and all the Prophets and Messengers of G-d. Jesus introduced himself as a servant to G-d, in the Bible. And G-d says to Muhammed, revealing the Qur’an for the world, no one comes to Him except as a servant, not as a g-d or equal with Him.
G-d says in Qur'an, "I need not for you to feed Me (G-d)." He slumbers not and takes no sleep; He feeds but is not fed. That is G-d, the Creator. And we witness that Muhammed, to whom the Qur'an was revealed over 1,400 years ago, is His Servant and His Messenger. That is our creed, our declaration of faith.
Our faith is firstly in G-d, Who created everything and made possible all goodness and all good things. Secondly, our faith is in man. When we say that we witness that Muhammed is the Messenger of G-d and the Last Prophet, we are saying that we have faith in G-d and in man. G-d requires that we not only have faith in G-d, but that we have faith also in man.
So it is not good just to believe. We are to look at Muhammed the Prophet and see him in his personal life as a human being and in his life as a prophet, for he is also for us a sign, as Jesus was a sign, peace be upon them. He is a sign that G-d does not need man to get man where He wants man to go.
The whole world can fail the human being. The whole world can fail the human soul. But that does not mean that G-d is helpless and depending on man to carry the human soul to where He wants it to go.
When all of their knowledge runs out and can't help us, when all of their creations can't help us, when all of their teaching and preaching can't help us, G-d can revive the intellect of the human being and lift that intellect up to higher planes, where that intellect will experience revelation on the highest level and come into a much bigger focus and dimension of his reality.
Then G-d will cause him to come back down off the high plane or level that He lifted him up to back with his people on the ground and revive them and guide them, so they will have what their souls call for.
G-d never did anything stupid! G-d never did anything that was senseless! Whatever G-d did, it is intelligent. Whatever G-d did makes sense. Understand that, firstly.
We must respect G-d. G-d doesn't play. G-d doesn't stroke Himself. He doesn't need that; we need that. We don't have to believe in a G-d that needs us to worship Him; He doesn't need us to worship Him. He is not a g-d that needs us to thank Him; He doesn't need us to thank Him. A G-d that needs us to pray to Him and bow down to Him or glorify Him, G-d doesn't need that at all.
But G-d created us and we are His creation and His creation needs to obey the Creator. And the creation needs to acknowledge the Creator The creation needs to appreciate the Creator. The more the creation does that, the better the creation is; it becomes better and better.
It is for us that we have revelation. It is for us that we have prayers. G-d does not need our prayers; we give G-d nothing when we pray to Him.
Muhammed the Prophet said: "You cannot increase G-d by any little small bit by whatever you want to do for Him." This is what the Prophet taught to us. He is already perfect. And when He created the world, He didn't create it for Him to feed on it. He didn't create the world for the world to give Him strength. He created the world for man the whole world, everything.
The sky and everything up there and the earth and everything down here, the insects and smallest things in creation, G-d did not create that for G-d. G-d created that for us, man. And man is the only creature that we see finding joy, pleasure, usefulness in everything that G-d created.
Nothing that G-d created is without use to human beings and community life.
We have the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. There we have all kinds of insects and things on display, as well as technology. We see all the animals. We have courses taught now in our schools. No matter how small life is, plant or animal, it is of interest to us. But isn't it true that G-d created all of this for man?
Nothing else wants to know about all these things. It is only man who wants to know all these things and seems to bring all of these things into his environment to study them, to ponder over them, to find enjoyment in them. So the world and all things, as the Prophet has taught us and the Prophets before taught us, all things that you see or know of in this world are created for man.
G-d needed nothing. We should first know G-d as The Real G-d, then we will have real faith, strong faith, undying faith. Then we will have strong interest, undying interest in the mission. Without these things brought to your mind and conscience, religion for you is like passing through a flower garden.
As long as the wind is blowing the beautiful smell in your nose, there is pleasure in passing through the flower garden. But there is a stockyard close by and if the wind changes, you will be passing through the flower garden, but you are smelling the stockyard.
That is how religion is in this world. As soon as something bad comes into their nose or senses, they lose the good relationship or good experience in religion. It should not be that way. Your mind should be converted to G-d. Islam is the only religion that I know of that insists upon your mind being converted to G-d.
We say, "I witness." "I witness" is given also in the Bible. But it was not established by the followers of the Bible, except for a few. Muhammed the Prophet came to say it is important that your mind and your intelligence convert to G-d not just your spirit and your soul. Your mind and your intelligence should witness this Truth, that G-d is Creator of everything. G-d is G-d, and G-d has lifted up man not only created him, but lifted him up in his intellect so that he will be a guide for the whole world of mankind.
The place for us to start is in the heart, but we are not just creatures of the heart. The animals have hearts and sometimes they display sentiments of the heart that attract our attention. We will be amazed and it touches our heart from their hearts. But I don’t think any of them can touch us with their intellects, with their minds like we can touch each other with our minds. We are superior to all created things, in our minds and in our intelligence.
G-d created a human being and gave that human being a superiority over other creatures and life He made, and that superiority is not in his feelings, not in his heart but in his intellect, in his mind.
So would He be a G-d making sense, if He didn't establish that human being in his intelligence and if He didn't tell them to develop their minds and cultivate their minds and respect their human intelligence and to use the tools of intelligence for their future good and benefit and conscience.
If He didn't do that, He would not even make sense after making the human being like that and then ignore the great wealth and value that He gave that creature when He gave him reasoning, intelligence and intellect.
So when you say, "I witness that there is but One G-d," you are supposed to say that with rational sense. And there is plenty rational guidance in the Qur'an that forces us to the conclusion that there is a G-d over all this creation. And that that G-d is not two or three or four or many, that that G-d is One. The creation itself points to One G-d, not to more than one.
That is the rational conclusion you should make. And if you don't have that when you come to Islam, when you hear the teachings of Islam, when you read the Qur'an, you should be guided to that kind of conclusion. And when you take your Shahadah or Declaration of Faith, it should be from the intellect, not from the heart and spirit.
This religion prepares us to accept responsibility for the community life of man on this planet earth. The great messengers and teachers of G-d come from mankind and they put mankind in the right position and on the right road.
But in time because man is encouraged by religion to engage the world so that it becomes a better world as a home for the human soul, or in trying to protect the human soul, man gets too involved in material things and things of the flesh and forgets what he was given from the messenger or the prophet that started him on the road.
Pretty soon, he is so far lost that he has to have another messenger or revivalist or someone to bring him back to where he is supposed to be. This happens, it has happened and will continue to happen. Muhammed the Prophet prophesied that his community would go down and fall under darkness, but it would be revived.
He promised his community, and that is us we are his community and all of the people who follow the Qur'an and Islam knowing that it was revealed to Muhammed the Prophet; there are over 1 billion of us now on this earth in most of the countries of the world.
Muhammed the Prophet told us that at the head of every 100 years, there would be someone to revive the religion. Now if he said these things, should we be thinking that the Islamic world is all right all the time? How can it be all right all the time, if the Prophet said it was going to go into darkness, even after he had guided it right; he had set it up correctly?
He himself said it was going to go down. He himself said that at the head of every 100 years, there would be someone to revive it, a mujeddid, to bring back the newness or freshness – as it was before.
So we shouldn't then think that the Islamic world is in good shape all of the time, if what he said is correct. There are going to be times when the whole Islamic world is under darkness and not finding its way. But we shouldn't give up hope, because he said that there would come at the head of every 100 years a revivalist. What is he saying?
Do you think you can watch your calendar and say, "It's a hundred years at this moment, brother. The revivalist is here." No, that is not how it works. In the Arabic language, Islam is science, Islam is revelation, Islam is language that is on the level of the common man and at the same time is much higher than the grasp of the common man.
You need a special man inspired by G-d at times, or sometimes it is a woman, who will get us back to where we are supposed to be in our thinking. When the thinking is corrected, the thinking then can correct the heart. But when the thinking is in the dark, all we can depend on is the heart, and at first the heart is innocent and good.
When Muhammed said "every 100 years," it has to be translated or interpreted. The word in Arabic for 100 is "niat" and a death is "miat." These two words have the same essential constitution, when it comes to lettering. So when the Prophet said a hundred years, it was a play on "death."
Whenever his community dies, there is going to be one to resurrect it. Whenever this community dies to the right perception and way to live and practice Islam, there will be one to revive that understanding, to give it life again.
And the call to prayer begins with the word "life." First, we acknowledge G-d, that He is more important than anything else. Then you say, "Come to Prayer." That is the first pronouncement of the Call. The word is "Hayya," which is used to call someone and it means living.