You can listen to Imam Adam’s Khutbah above (starts at 3:50), watch it below, or read the summary below.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا

waithmuhuma akbaru min nafAAihima

But their sin is greater than their benefit.

(Surah Al-Baqarah, Quran 2:219)

Alhamdulillah! All praises are due to Allah, the One who has blessed us with faith and imaan, the one who has blessed us with amal and that we practice on this imaan and we come to the prayers and we come and we remember Him. So Alhamdulillah, all praises are due to Allah, the One who gave us the ability to do that. Because no one does any good deed, except that Allah has allowed him to do it or Allah has allowed her to do it.

So whatever good we do actually comes from Allah giving us the taufiq and the ability to do that. So no one can become arrogant and say that, “I am doing these good deeds because of who I am and because of all the effort that I’ve put in,” but rather, “I am doing these good deeds by the will of Allah.” Anyone who does good deeds and becomes arrogant, then their good deeds disappear. Anyone who does good deeds to show off, then those good deeds disappear. May Allah protect us from arrogance. May Allah protect us from showing off.

In the time of the Prophet (pbuh) there are two main periods in his life. There is the Mecca period and the Medina period. There are many surahs in the Quran that are revealed in the Mecca period. They have to do with Imaan. They have to do with Jannah, they have to do with Jahannam. They have to do with reward. They have to do with Allah’s mercy. They have to do with Allah’s justice. They have to do with the names of Allah. They have to do with motivation and encouragement and stories of previous nations and previous Prophets(as). How did they live? How did they do, how did they act? How did their people respond?

So the first 13 years of the message of the Quran is dedicated to Imaan, the Day of Judgement, and so on. Then the Prophet (pbuh) moved from Mecca to Medina. In Medina, they established an Islamic city and in that city, now it became important to say, well, okay, now that we can actually live openly and publicly as Muslims, what should we be doing? That is when a lot of the rules started to be revealed– Surah Al-Baqarah, rules about marriage, rules about divorce, rules about business.

The actual default position is that everything is halal unless something makes it forbidden. A lot of Muslims think “everything is haram, unless something makes it halal. Unless the Prophet said, this is halal, everything is haram.” But actually it’s the opposite. The scholars say that everything is halal, unless there is some evidence from the Quran, from the sunnah, from the life of the Prophet (pbuh), his companions, that shows that it is forbidden. A lot of times our mindset becomes the opposite- that everything is haram at first, until we find evidence to prove it’s halal. But actually it’s the reverse.

So it was during this time in Medina that the prohibition of alcohol came down, that alcohol was forbidden. It’s interesting, for the prohibition of alcohol did not come all at once, but rather it came over a period of time. First Allah revealed the verse –

لَا تَقْرَبُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ

la taqraboo alssalata waantum sukara

do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated

(Surah An-Nisa, Quran 4:43)

don’t enter the prayer while you are intoxicated. Because when you are in prayer and you’re intoxicated, you might say something that is wrong. So that was the first thing that pointed to alcohol being wrong.

The second verse that was revealed said –

قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا

qul feehima ithmun kabeerun wamanafiAAu lilnnasi waithmuhuma akbaru min nafAAihima 

Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.”

(Surah Al-Baqarah, Quran 2:219)

They ask you regarding alcohol and gambling, tell them that in those things is a huge problem, a huge guilt, وَمَنَافِعُ – and some small benefits. You might win the gambling but وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا – the things that are harmful in them are worse than the benefit. That was the second verse to be revealed.

Then the third verse came a little while after

رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ  فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

rijsun min AAamali alshshaytani  faijtaniboohu laAAallakum tuflihoona

but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.

(Surah Al-Ma’ida, Quran 5:90)

that alcohol is from Shaytan and you have to avoid it. فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ – you have to avoid it. You have no option here. It was on that very day when this was revealed that the people of Medina threw out their alcohol.

Just yesterday a study was released, it was called the Global Alcohol Study. It was released and sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. So all of you that work at Microsoft- thank you for your contribution here insha’Allah.

The Global Alcohol Study found that:

  • no amount of consumption of alcohol is safe, whether you are a light, moderate, or heavy drinker.
  • Drinking is the leading cause of death and disability for people aged 15 to 49.
  • The myth that one or two drinks a day is good for you is simply a myth.
  • The studies that were released saying that it is good for you are actually being sponsored by the alcohol lobbies.

So the aides of the biggest companies got together and created the alcohol information survey and said, “oh, alcohol is good for you if you drink one or two a day.” But actually they are making money out of that so, of course, they are going to say that. But this new study that was released was unbiased and it said that giving up drinking completely is the only way to avoid the health risks associated with alcohol. So this is something that was revealed in the Quran many, many centuries ago, SubhanAllah. So this is something that every Muslim already knows and in the study they found, of course, that Muslim countries had the least amount of alcohol consumption compared to the rest of the world.

So in this study, I was quite impressed that people are acknowledging the harm of alcohol. They’re saying that there is not just correlation but direct causation between the consumption of alcohol and heart disease and between the consumption of alcohol and cancer. So heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death in this country and around the world. One of the leading factors for both of these things is alcohol consumption. SubhanAllah.

This was a very in-depth study. They studied and combined 600 studies. They had studied 28 million people over a very long period of time. Of course, the alcohol lobbies came out yesterday and they said, “oh, this is nothing. It’s not conclusive.” They tried to put their spin on it, of course.

So my message is especially to our young folks. When you listen to popular pop culture, popular music, TV, or movies, or whatever, then alcohol has been given a very high status- that it’s so much fun and you make friends and you can have women and you can have this, and you can have that, if you drink alcohol. And we know that Superbowl commercial. Every other commercial is an alcohol commercial, right? So we see how much marketing and how much push there is for people to do that.

A professor at Cambridge said in regards to the study and these diseases (heart disease and cancer related to alcohol abuse and alcohol consumption). He said, “These diseases of unhealthy behaviors, facilitated by unhealthy environments and fueled by commercial interests putting shareholder value ahead of the tragic human consequences, are the dominant health issue of the 21st century.”

This is the problem in the 21st century- that you have companies whose interest it is to harm you, to harm me, to harm everyone. Because the more we eat, for example, sugary foods, the more harm we will suffer. The more we drink, sugary sodas and drinks, the more harm we will suffer. But these companies, they profit off of that. And unfortunately, America is now ruled less by the government and more by special interests and the corporate lobbies.

So what we as Muslims have to do is we have to be well-informed. We have to be well-informed and we have to not fall for this. We have to not fall for the things that are advertised to us day in and day out. Especially when it comes to my young people, when it comes to the consumption of alcohol in particular, because of the way it is sold and the way it is glorified in our country today.

Now, something we have to realize from this is that Allah, He is All-Wise. Allah is Al-Hakeem. We didn’t have this research two days ago, but Allah told us in the Quran 1,400 years ago and He made this thing haram for a reason. He didn’t just make it haram because He felt like it, or because it benefits Him. But rather He made it haram because it’s good for us.

If you create some kind of amazing invention, maybe a new program or software or device and you want people to use your invention and learn how to use it, what do you do? You release a manual to go along with it that teaches people how to use it. What are the different parts, and how do you make sure you maintain this device so it doesn’t break down, and so on.

Well, when it comes to the Quran, the Quran is this manual for us. Allah created us and then gave us the manual on how to live our lives. I’ve heard a lot of young people say, why is this halal? Why is this haram? Unfortunately their minds are focused more on what is halal and haram and not understanding why is it that way.

A lot of times our old age parenting method is, “this is haram and that’s it. No questions asked.” But actually there are reasons behind these things. There are things that have been explained by the scholars as well. There has to be a level of submission and acceptance as well that this is from Allah and He is All-Wise. He tells us to do things or to avoid things for a reason. It’s not just out of the blue. It’s not just because He feels like it. But rather there’s something behind that.

Then some people they ask, “well, why did Allah create this haram thing in the first place? Why did he create alcohol and then make it haram?” All we have to realize is what our true purpose in this life is. Our true purpose in this life is to worship Allah. Allah says in the Quran –

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

Wama khalaqtu aljinna waalinsa illa liyaAAbudooni

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.

(Surah Adh-Dhariyat, Quran 51:56)

that, I created mankind for what? For my worship. What is the meaning of worship in our deen? This was something that I was asked last week when I went to an interfaith retreat. When I arrived here at MAPS, I met Pastor Terry, a very nice man, very amazing human being. He actually left his church to fight against Islamophobia full-time. So for a period full-time, he was going to rural areas in Washington and talking to people about Islam and trying to fight against Islamophobia. He would get death threats and, “why are you doing this?” and, “you’re not a Christian anymore.” He was doing this, SubhanAllah.

So I met him- I was very inspired by his work and he invited me to come to a Christian village. I said, “what do you mean?” He said it was a Christian village in Eastern Washington and they have interfaith week and “I want you to come and teach there as the Imam.” I said, “so you want me, one imam to go to a village full of Christians. I just got here a month ago and I don’t know what’s happening. This is what you want?” And he said, “yeah, yeah, it’s called this. Just type it in.” So I typed it into Google maps and then I said, “what are the directions? How long does it take to get there?” And it said, “No route found. No road founds.” I’m like, “Can’t even get to this place- how do you get there? Then I researched it and I found you have to drive over to Wenatchee then to Shalane. From Shalane, you take a two hour boat up lake Shalane and you get there and it’s surrounded by mountains. So you come out and you’re surrounded by mountains and it’s a beautiful place.

So over there I was supposed to lead the discussion on Islam for five days. We discussed Islam, the basics of Islam, some differences and some similarities between Christianity and Islam so that they could learn the true religion of Islam from an actual Muslim. People were very interested. They had lots of questions.

One of the topics was, “What is the purpose of life? What gives life meaning?” So my answer was from the Quran where Allah says وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُون – I have created mankind for my worship. But the thing is you don’t just leave worship by itself because in English, when you hear ‘worship,’ what do you think of? You think of salah and dua but you don’t think of much else when you hear the word ‘worship’ in English. But in Arabic, the word is, يَعْبُدُونِ – The word is عبد from servant or slave of Allah.

You recreate your life instead of directing your life in your own way, according to your desires, according to what you see on the internet, what you see on advertisements, what you see on this and that. Instead of directing yourself in ways that other people push you towards. Instead of all that, you direct your life according to Allah and that is the true meaning of worship in Islam. As long as you direct yourself to Allah, that is what it means to worship Allah. It doesn’t mean simply pray. Prayer is a part of that, but it’s not all of it.

So I explained that the scholars of Islam say, when you eat, you are strengthening yourself in order to then go out and serve Allah and fulfill your responsibilities as a husband, as a wife, as a father, as a mother, as a son, as a daughter. You fulfill your responsibility to your family and to your neighbors and to those around you. You fulfill your responsibility to Allah then even that eating becomes an act of worship.

Actually, the scholars even say, if you sleep you’re strengthening yourself to then go out and serve creation and to serve Allah, then your sleep becomes an act of worship itself. My son, he’s two years old. He sleeps 12 hours a day. That means he does 12 hours of worship. Alhamdulillah. That means a lot of us do a lot of worship already, just by default by having the right intention. That is the beauty of worship in Islam- that it is not constrained to simply halal or haram or this or that, but actually it’s a whole lifestyle.

It’s a direction of your life. The Prophet (pbuh) said that part of it is “loving what Allah loves and hating what Allah hates.” It’s one thing to say, “oh, I left alcohol because of this global alcohol study. I left alcohol because of the effects I see around me.” And it’s another to say, “I avoid it because Allah hates it. I love doing this thing because Allah loves it.” That’s a high level of imaan. That’s a high level. Not everyone has that. You have to get there. You have to work yourself up. But that is what a part of it is, that you love what Allah loves and you hate what Allah hates.

So we were explaining the ideas of worship. Even when it comes to charity- the poor people came to the Prophet (pbuh) and they said, “ya Rasulallah, you tell everyone to give money to the poor and that you will get good deeds in return and you’ll get ajr with Allah. But the problem is we are the poor. We don’t have money to feed ourselves let alone to give others. So how can we engage in charity?”

So the Prophet (pbuh) explained for us the true meaning of sadaqa and charity. Charity is not just something that you give in money only. He said that, “saying SubhanAllah is sadaqa, saying لآ اِلَهَ اِ لّا اللّهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُوُل اللّهِ is sadaqa, removing something that is going to harm people from the road is charity. You plant a tree, that is charity because that tree will become shade. It will become fruits for the animals and for the people, smiling at your fellow Muslim is charity. SubhanAllah. Spending time with your wife or with your spouse is charity.” So he expanded the meaning of charity.

A lot of times we become very narrow minded and we think worship is only salah and charity is only giving money but the Prophet (pbuh) explain that worship is so much more and charity is so much more. SubhanAllah. So our purpose is to change our direction in our world view. Our worldview is not the worldview of everyone around us, that whatever everyone else is doing, we will do that. But rather our worldview is the worldview of Allah, of His messenger, of the Quran, and the sunnah. So that’s the first reason.

The second thing is that this life is a test. Allah explains many times in the Quran,

لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا

 linabluwahum ayyuhum ahsanu AAamalan

that We may test them [as to] which of them is best in deed.

(Surah Al-Kahf, Quran 18:7)

so that we can test them. Allah has no need for our test. It does not benefit Him in anyway. When the doctor tells you to open your mouth so he can check inside your mouth, or he says, let me put the stethoscope on your chest, so that I can listen to your heartbeat. Is he doing that because it benefits him? Is he doing that because it’s fulfilling his need in some way? No, he’s doing it because it benefits you because it’s good for you, right? It’s good for you. That’s why he’s telling you to do it.

So Allah tells us that He has created us for worship. This worship is not good for Allah and does not benefit Him. When we avoid alcohol or anything that Allah has forbidden, it’s not because it’s good for Him or it benefits Him in some way. It’s because it is good for us, because it benefits us. Just like the doctor who tells his patient, you have to take this medicine and the patient can say, “no, I don’t really want to. I don’t really feel like taking this medicine,” and the patient will only be harming himself or herself.

Allah has prescribed for us and He has given us the free will. He has given us our choice- that we can do what we like. Here is the manual. Here are the instructions. I have created you. I’ve given you this body. I have given you this trust and this Amana. Now it’s up to you to decide how you want to act. He’s given us that free will. And based on your actions, you will receive Ajr or you’ll receive Allah’s justice and may Allah protect us from that.

Another thing that came up in this discussion (and I will end with this), is that a non-Muslim was interested in becoming Muslim. And they said, I really want to become Muslim, but I can’t leave alcohol. I can’t leave betting. At that point, what do you tell them? “No. Okay, fine. Don’t become Muslim.” Instead, you tell them, well, this is a process, right? Step-by-step process. People become Muslim and we want to give them the whole list of everything, “by the way, some of the things in the list aren’t even correct, but just what we know. Here’s the list.” But in actuality, it takes time and Islam is a step-by-step process. The Prophet (pbuh) tells us that it’s a way, it’s a path. In the Quran, Allah tells us, الصراط المستقيمis a path. It’s not one place. It’s a path. Some people are here on the path. So we have to have patience with each other and we have to take things step by step.

So we ask Allah that He gives us wisdom. We ask Allah that He protects us. We ask Allah that He gives us good in this life and in the next life. We ask Allah that He fulfills our needs. If anyone is sick, O Allah cure them. That if anyone has any kind of illness ya Allah are cure them, that if anyone has passed away, have mercy on them and forgive them and have mercy and give their family patience. And we ask Allah to return our Hujaj and the people that are making Hajj safely and soundly to their homes. And may Allah accept their Hajj from them. And may Allah also make us from the Hujaj and invite us to His house one day inshaAllah. Ameen.

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin.

بِسْ مِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ ،الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ 

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful. All praise is to Allah, and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah.

عِبَادَ اللّهِ  إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ  يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا

 وَأَقِمِ الصّلَاة

Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein.  And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters.

And, establish the prayer.

What did you think? Please share your reflections and questions below.

And come back next week for another khutbah!