بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ
وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, La ilaha illallah,
Wallahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahil hamd
“Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, there is no god but Allah.
And Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.”
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.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “when a person dies, their deeds come to an end, except for three things-”
The first thing he said is a continuous charity. Something which the person leaves behind which continues to give benefit. It could have been a tree that they planted, from which animals and humans continue to benefit from that tree. It could be a building constructed, a masjid for example; anything from which others can benefit that is a continuous charity.
Number two – knowledge from which others derive benefit. You produce some knowledge, and humanity benefits from that knowledge or any creatures of Allah benefit from that knowledge and that is part of your legacy.
The third thing the Prophet (pbuh) said is الوَلَدُ الصّالِحُ – a righteous child who prays for that person after that person passes away.
So the question, my brothers and sisters, is what is our legacy? What is it that we are leaving behind? What is it that when our time on this earth ends, that people will continue to benefit from?
Sometimes when we talk about legacy, if you look at something purely secular, you say, “well, legacy is that I can be like Steve Jobs, or Elon Musk and everyone’s talking about me. Everyone is using the product which I produced.” And then some people despair and they say, “even if I conduct such great research, my name will be in the textbook this generation, then some other scientists will come and build some other research off of it, and then my name will be gone. How long really will my name be remembered? A hundred years from now or two hundred years from now. So does legacy really matter? Or is it something which is a fool’s errand?”
But in Islam, legacy is something totally different, my brothers and sisters. Legacy is something totally different. As Muslims, we believe every act can be that good seed. The Quran describes the good seed which is planted and turns into a good tree which continues to provide benefits. The Quran compares that good seed to a good word- you said one good word and as a result of that good word, you change someone’s life.
But on the Day of Judgement, there will be people who are raised up before Allah and they will see a mountain of deeds and they will say, “Ya Allah, I didn’t do all of this. Ya Allah, I didn’t do this much. I wasn’t this generous, or I didn’t teach this much. Where did all these good deeds come from?” And Allah will respond, “you taught someone these words, who taught someone these words, who taught someone these words, and every single word was counted for you. Every single letter was counted for you.” This one time when you thought your $1 did not really matter in the grand scheme of things, but you gave that dollar, you gave what you could and that reverberated. It continued. Allah made that sincere generosity. He made it prosper and grow in a way that you could never have imagined.
But where it starts with, my brothers and sisters, is sincerity. Sincerity can get us so far. Just being genuine- not hiding things, not hiding behind other intentions, but sincerity and genuineness in our family life, in our relationships, in our pursuit of worldly happiness and happiness in the hereafter. Sincerity.
There’s a story about an evil person- in some narrations, a woman, and in some narrations, a man- who lived a life of sin, errors and mistakes that they fell into. And this person saw a dog that needed water. The dog was thirsty, and this person lived a life of evil. Yet, that person had a sincere moment of genuine concern for a creature of Allah and that person gave water to that dog and quenched the dog’s thirst. Allah says that on the Day of Judgment, that person’s mistakes and sins will be forgiven, and they will receive paradise. SubhanAllah. So Allah’s mercy is vast, and what it starts with is sincerity. An insincere reaction would be, “well, let me just go feed some dogs and I can do whatever I want. Let me just go quench some dog’s thirst.” That would be an insincere way to understand that story. But that dog was a turning point in that person’s life, on the path to paradise.
So for us, what is our legacy that we are leaving behind? When we leave this earth, when inevitably our time on this earth comes, then what will remain of us? Not amongst the people, on the tongues of the people and in the ears of the people, and in the textbooks- all of that doesn’t matter. What will remain with Allah? What good are we leaving behind when we leave this earth? Will the people say, “good riddance. Now we can breathe. We can take a sigh of relief.” Or will they say, “Man, what a loss!” And people’s perception can be skewed, of course. But when it comes to your own family members, when it comes to the people closest to you, how will they feel? Wo what are we doing my brothers and sisters to leave that legacy for ourselves and for our families? I ask Allah that He helps us to do that.
The story of Eid al-Adha is the story of legacy. It’s the story of Ibrahim (as) who was our father in faith.
وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ
Waithi ibtala ibraheema rabbuhu bikalimatin faatammahunna qala innee jaAAiluka lilnnasi imaman qala wamin thurriyyatee qala la yanalu AAahdee alththalimeena
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, “Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people.” [Abraham] said, “And of my descendants?” [Allah] said, “My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, Quran 2:124)
Remember when Allah tested Ibrahim with many different tests فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ and he was able to succeed? قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا – Allah said to him, “I will make you a leader of the people.” What did Ibrahim say? What was his response? Did he say, “Ya Allah, what will my title be? Ya Allah, what is the salary? Ya Allah, what is the location? Near the water, by the trees, at the mountains, where?” He said, قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي – what about those who come after me? What about them, Ya Allah? Will they be given this leadership? So Ibrahim’s first concern was not about the situation of his leadership, but about what happens afterward.
So as Muslims, we must think beyond our own selves, and the world and the time and the place that we live in. Everything tells us, “only you matter. No one else matters.” That’s not correct. As Muslims, we are able to think beyond our own needs, beyond our own selves, beyond our own wants and desires, and think about the greater good. That is how Ibrahim thought. Ibrahim thought about not just the present, but he thought about the future.
So as a community, as an ummah, as a nation, let’s think about what is it? What is it that we want to build? Because we are not in it alone. We are not in it by ourselves. Rather, we are in it together. We can all together build a legacy that lasts. Something that when we rise on the Day of Judgment together, we can be proud of, then we will wonder, actually, “Ya Allah, where did all this come from?” It came from your contribution to your community, it came from working together from your collaboration and your cooperation, as Allah says –
وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ
wataAAawanoo AAala albirri waalttaqwa
And cooperate in righteousness and piety,
(Surah Al-Ma’ida, Quran 5:2)
Work together on righteousness and piety. Work together on good. So my brothers and sisters, we have to think about what is it that we are leaving behind? What is going to be our legacy? It doesn’t have to be something huge like “I am going to be a billionaire and I’m going to create this product and it’s going to change the world.” It starts with your family. It starts with your neighbor. It starts with your peers, your co-workers. It starts with the person on the street.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “the lowest form of imaan is that you see something harmful in the road, and you remove it.” How beautiful is that? He didn’t say the lowest form of imaan is this specific remembrance of Allah or this dua or this prayer. He said the lowest form of imaan is that you do something. You take action. You see something wrong with the world and you fix it. So what is it that you see? What sight has Allah given you uniquely and specially? When you see something broken, you fix it. What is it that Allah has given you to see that is broken, and you take it within your own hands to fix that broken thing?
Allah says He does not change your people until they change themselves. So the change cannot come from outside. The change must come from within. This is something which the Quran teaches us. So I ask Allah, that He gives us all the foresight and the ability to leave a legacy behind when our time on this earth comes.
And we don’t talk about death as Muslims and fall into despair. We talk about death because it is something which is inevitable and it is a reality of life. It’s something which we must prepare for and it’s a reminder for all of us of what is truly important. When someone has a near death experience, their life changes. They are never the same because they realize what is truly important. So as Muslims, we try to realize that before that time comes. So may Allah help us to have that realization. May Allah help us to commit acts of good. May Allah make us from those who see injustice and strive for justice. We ask Allah that He helps us to follow the way of Ibrahim (as). 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.
For the next three days, it’s important for us to make the taqbeerat after the Salah, like we were doing before the Salah, because this is how we glorify Allah. This is how we remember Allah in these days. In times of challenges, in times of good, in times of bad, this is how we remember Allah, “Allahu Akbar.” So I want all of us to remember that. I want all of us to have a joyous Eid with our family, and to make that time for our children, for our families. We make the phone calls, even the ones we don’t want to make. The ones that we know we should make, we should make those phone calls. Reconnect and mend those family relations because Allah will connect with you. May Allah help us all to do that. You all have a blessed Eid. May Allah bless you all and your families. Ameen Ya rabbul Alameen.
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
وَسَلاَمٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ
وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Subhana rabbika rabbi alAAizzati AAamma yasifoona
Wasalamun AAala almursaleena
Waalhamdu lillahi rabbi alAAalameena
Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe.
And peace upon the messengers.
And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
(Surah As-Saffat, Quran 37:180-182)
“Blessed are You, O Possessor of Majesty and Honor.”