بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful.
إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ ,نَحْمَدُهُ ,وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ , وَنَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُور أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْسَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا ,مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ , وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ , وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of our selves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.
أعوذُ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنِ ٱلرَّجِيم
Seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled.
بِسْ مِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful.
وَالَّذِينَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيمَانَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُونَ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوتُوا وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ ۚ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
Waallatheena tabawwaoo alddara waaleemana min qablihim yuhibboona man hajara ilayhim wala yajidoona fee sudoorihim hajatan mimma ootoo wayuthiroona AAala anfusihim walaw kana bihim khasasatun waman yooqa shuhha nafsihi faolaika humu almuflihoona
And [also for] those who were settled in al-Madinah and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.
(Surah Al – Hashr, Quran 59 : 9)
My dear brothers and sisters, all praises are due to Allah the One that has blessed us with food, with shelter, with security, safety, and the greatest blessing of them all, which is that of Imaan, which is that of لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱللَّٰهِ, and that of the way of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). And the words that he brought via the angel Jibrael from Allah, the Quran.
In today’s Khutbah , I would like to remind us that every time we read the Quran, what do we do every day? When we want to read the Quran, what is the first thing we have to say before we say بِسْ مِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ , what do we say?
We say أَعُوْذُ بِاللّٰهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطٰانِ الرَّجِيْمِ. We say, I seek refuge in Allah. That is something that we seek from Allah every single day, which is refuge – something that we are taught from the very beginning, this idea of offering safety and security. And it’s something that has been in our history since the very beginning. But if we look at the great example of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh). They had this practice of jewar, which is that protection. If anyone would come to them seeking protection, seeking refuge, that they would offer that to them. And it was their obligation. And it was that person’s right. To have that not only before the hijra, not only before the migration of the Prophet (pbuh), but especially afterward. But even the Prophet, before he was a Prophet, signed a pact. Because of the tribalism that existed in the city of Mecca, that there was many a time where, if someone came to Makkah without jewar, without protection, they would be taken advantage of.
And so the Prophet signed on to this monumental agreement, saying that if anyone were to come to Mecca without protection, that we will be the people who provide them protection. That no one can take advantage of them because it was a tribal society. There was no governor, there was no police, the tribes would police each other. If you weren’t with the tribe and you were in big trouble, there was no one that had your back. And so the Prophet (pbuh), and those who signed onto that contract, said “we will provide that”. And years later, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “if I was called upon to fulfil that obligation, I would fulfill it even today, even after everything that’s happened”.
And so this idea of offering refuge, this idea of accepting those that are different, those that are strangers, is a part of our Deen and it’s a part of the way of our Prophet Muhammad, to not just do the bare minimum, but to go above and beyond. And that is something that we see, especially in the example of the Ansar and the Muhajirun. When the Muslims of Mecca left Mecca, they were in dire straits. They were in a very difficult situation. They had to leave everything. They left their belongings. Many of them left their families. They left them behind to make the Hijra, to make the migration to Madina. No one wanted to, no one was looking forward to it. “Oh, I get to leave everything that I’ve built over years of my life, everything that I’ve built, I get to leave it behind.” It was not necessarily a joyous thing, but they were there for the Prophet and they knew that this needed to happen.
And then the reception they received in Madina was not one whereby there was criticism. It was not a reception whereby there was all kinds of negative associations, but rather when they entered Madina, the people rejoiced that the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) and his followers and his companions have arrived to Madina.
And it was a great celebration. And one of the first things that the Prophet did was he paired each of the first people from Mecca with someone from Madina. And he told them “you are brothers and sisters”, and he paired them up and Allah praised those people of Madina. He gave them the name of Al-Ansar – the helpers – that from that day, till this day, until the end of time, they are known as Al-Ansar because they aided the Deen. They aided the Prophet (pbuh) by the help of Allah, by the will of Allah.
Allah says that they loved the people who migrated to them. They loved them. And they had no desire for what the immigrants were given. And they actually preferred the others over their own selves Even if they were in abject poverty, even if they were in the worst of situations would still prefer the guest over their own.
And Allah concludes this verse as a message to us:
“Whoever is saved from the stinginess and the miserliness of their own selves, they are truly the successful.”
There’s this miserliness and this stinginess within us. You can call it the scarcity mindset – for example, there’s a pie, and if someone else gets a piece of that pie, then you think ‘where’s my pie gone?’. That’s scarcity mindset. The one that is saved from that type of mindset then they are the ones that are truly successful
In Surah At-Tawbah – the only surah in the Quran that does not start with Bismillah. It is a surah about Allah’s judgment, about his justice, his accounting, and in that surah Allah says:
“If one of the mushrikeen of Mecca come to you seeking protection, then give them protection.”
But even in those conditions where there’s uncertainty – what if this person is a spy or what if this person wants something bad? – It doesn’t matter. If they are seeking protection, then give them protection.
We see this throughout our history. Muslims in Spain, in Andalous, when Andalous was ruled by the remnants of the Ummayads in Turkey and other Muslim lands were run by the Ottomans. When the Spanish inquisition happened, the Muslims and Jews that lived in Spain, where did they go?
They went to the Muslim lands. They went to the Ottomans who welcomed them.
They didn’t say, “we have a disagreement”, but they welcome them into their lands. We see this as an example. I was reading about this book written by a photographer: Muslims who saved Jews in World War Two. In Albania, one of the people wrote: “At the time of Ramadan in 1943, seventeen people came to our village. They were all escaping the Germans. My family took in three brothers. We were very poor. We didn’t even have a dining table. But we never allowed them to pay for food and shelter. I went into the forest to chop wood and haul water. We grew vegetables in our garden, so we all had plenty to eat and the Jews, they sheltered in our village for 15 months and we dressed them up all as farmers like us, even the local police knew that the villagers were sheltering Jews. I remember they spoke many different languages and all of our villagers were Muslims and we were sheltering Allah’s children. We didn’t even have a dining table. We didn’t have much”.
And that reminds me of this verse, which I mentioned: “Even if they are in abject poverty, they didn’t have much, and they prefer others over themselves”. And so what we have to think about my brothers and sisters is, how can we rise to an occasion when people are in need. When there is an obligation to help our brothers and sisters, are we ready to live up to that obligation?
Speaking about our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. There’s been a lot of back and forth in the community – “who’s the good guys and who’s the bad guys? Was this the US and European withdrawal? Was it good or was it bad? Look at this propaganda. Look at this PR spin. Look at these politics. Look at this person who’s in charge of that. That person’s corrupt. No that person’s corrupt”. Behind all of that PR spin, and the media and politics, there’s millions of our brothers and sisters who have been at war for 20 years who just want to live their lives. And that’s who the focus should be on. Our brothers and sisters. What are the effects on the people?
We have a moral obligation, not just as an ummah but even as a country. Our country has been there for 20 years. And so there’s this obligation to our brothers and sisters from so many ways from so many avenues.
Remember the people, my brothers and sisters, that’s more important than all the other things. These people, our brothers and sisters, what are the impacts and the effects on them after all this that has happened? It’s on us to be there for them. Like the Ansar, we’re there for them.
Imagine being uprooted. Imagine leaving everything, your family, your possessions, your social status that you’ve built up, your name, your recognition, your business, your profession, everything leaving.
Five years ago after the election, people said, “we’re going to move out; we’re moving away”. Joking or serious, we didn’t actually do it. We didn’t have to. These people actually had to leave. We all have this obligation, not just to the people, still in Afghanistan, but also the people that are arriving here today. From all over the world, but in particular from Afghanistan. They’ve arrived and they’re all also going to be arriving.
And so for us, how can we serve our obligation to them?
Even if we ourselves are worried about all of our expenses and our kids and our mortgage and this and that. “They prefer others over themselves.” So we ask Allah, that He helps us to live up to that and to live up to that obligation to others. And especially to those that are seeking refuge.
There are some myths about refugees. You might’ve heard, “refugees are here just to take our jobs, take advantage of our social services”. That’s not true. Who would leave all of their life for a rent payment that pays half the rent? Who would do that, leave their language and leave their country and leave their job and leave everything – who would do that?
There’s another myth that refugees commit crimes. Many, many studies have shown that native-born people commit much more crime than immigrants and refugees.
Another myth is that refugees have trauma. They have PTSD. “You don’t know what they’re gonna say or what they’re gonna do.” But actually just a minority of refugees have persistent trauma. Of course, there’s the initial stress for them – “how am I going to survive? How am I going to live?” The majority are able to eventually are able to acclimate. They’re able to adapt, and that is how Allah has created us.
So what can we do to help? What can we do to help in this kind of situation? Of course, there’s our financial ways that we can help, by offering our financial resources, by helping get them set up with the basics – whether it’s food, whether it’s shelter, language services, interpretation.
But do you know what the number one thing is that helps refugees adapt, and get some semblance of some semblance of what their life used to be? What is is that helps them get over the emotional trauma of being uprooted? The thing that helps the most is community. Number one thing is community. When they come here, they see the community that they can be. That social network is the most important thing.
One therapist was giving a story about how he was helping a Bosnian woman with her trauma. She was just very isolated. She always talked about how isolated she was, and what she’d been through for a long time. And so one day he decided to help her to figure out how the public transportation system works. He went with her onto the bus. She didn’t know much English, so he helped her read the map. He helped her find out how to get around. And once she was able to get around, she was able to visit, and she was able to develop her social network in her community. She was no longer isolated. Her health improved immeasurably, her depression improved immeasurably. She was able to get out of that. So the number one thing that we can offer is community.
Just like the Ansar, they offered the community. They didn’t just offer them financial resources. They didn’t just offer them the basic needs, but they offered them a community. So when we see someone new, someone who is foreign, how can we be welcoming to them? When we come to the masjid, do we only say Salaam to the same people or can we go beyond that? When we see someone new, someone looking around for the wudu station, we should go to them and welcome them. That person is obviously out of place. That person obviously doesn’t know what’s going on. This person maybe has kids. They want to figure out what programs and services we offer. If you don’t know, connect them with a person who knows.
How can we be welcoming in that way? So we ask Allah that He helps us to follow the way of the Prophet, and the way of the Muhajirun and the Ansar and of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh).
Finally, before I conclude, here’s one message that is related to the different conversations I’m hearing. It’s very important, my brothers and sisters, that we preserve the true meaning of Sharia. We cannot let one party or one person dictate what Sharia means.
We have to own the word ‘ria‘. It is the ‘path to water’, in Arabic. Sharia is being good to your parents. Sharia is establishing your salah . Sharia is being good to your neighbor Sharia is coming to the Muslims, welcoming refugees. Sharia is praying together in congregation. Sharia is to uphold the good and the word that Allah uses for good is Al- Ma’ruf. It’s something known. It is something universal. It doesn’t require PR. It doesn’t require all these kinds of convincing.
So let’s not put Sharia in the hands of someone who we don’t know what they’re going to do with that word. We ask Allah to help us, we ask Allah that He fulfills the needs of those in need. We ask a Allah that He helps all our brothers and sisters around the world that are suffering, all those that are oppressed. May Allah alleviate their oppression and give justice to the oppressors. We ask lots Allah that He cures those that are sick and He forgives and has mercy on those that have passed away, that he reunites us with our loved ones in jannatul firdaus, the highest levels of paradise, that He gives us a shade on the Day when there is no shade, but His.
We ask Allah that He reunites us with the Prophet Mohammad in the Hereafter, in the akhirah, that we drink from His fountain, that we be among the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad, that we be raised with those that are righteous, with those that are knowledgeable, with those that are among the followers of the Prophet Muhammad.
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
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.