Back Home Next  Back to Home Page  


Khutba #19

Specific Criteria for Humanity = Salvation


Let us practice Taq’wa (piety and righteousness), and be in awe of Allah by revering Him and obeying His divine commands.  Let us be aware of our final destination, our eventuality and departure into the everlasting life.  May Allah provide us all with the spirit of righteousness by way of His divine obedience as best assets for our salvation.


Allah says in Surah 8 (al-Anfaal), Ayah 29:


يِا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إَن تَتَّقُواْ اللّهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْقَاناً وَيُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

“Oh you who believe!  If you remain conscious of God, He will grant you a Criterion,

and will efface your bad deeds,

and will forgive you your sins. 

For Allah is the Lord of Mighty Grace”

We intend to discuss specific criteria for humanity.  One of the features characterizing modern man is that he always seeks to reform.  He seeks reform of social and economic institutions, of philosophical and religious traditions, yet he does not have the will to reform himself.  If man does not put his inner house in order, he cannot put order and shape to the world around him in a meaningful manner.


By trying to seek reform, modern man is assuming that everything around him is imperfect, be they institutions or traditions.  Yet, he himself needs reform.  His attitude manifests itself in nearly every facet of life.  It is wrongly based on the assumption that man as he is today is perfect, and that the institutions and traditions (which had perennially guided and nurtured him) are imperfect, because they no longer conform to the nature of the modern man.


Thus to this man, time and space and the material world as determined by them become the criteria of the truth.  So, he rejects whatever does not conform to the times, as out of date.  This is the heritage of the European renaissance.  In this attitude man in his earthly nature “becomes the measure of all things”.  In Islamic terms however man in his “earthly nature” is called Bashar and not in his universal nature or Insan.


We as Muslims believe that humanity does not limit itself to the body.  Human perfections and mobility do not confine to man’s physical aspect.  This topic has attracted attention not only in human knowledge but also in various divine religions.


We do not believe that learning is a criterion for humanity.  We believe that knowledge is very important but it is not a criterion for humanity.  We believe that although knowledge is one of the requisites of humanity, and although the importance of awareness of the self and of the society and of the world cannot be denied, but all this is still inadequate.  A person may be very learned, but if he has bad character, he would be considered to be an inferior human being?


Another view is that love is the desired criterion and if one bases one’s character on the love of human beings, he has real humanity.  In religion this is called self-sacrifice, Imam Ali is quoted to say:[1] 


أحبب لغیرک (لاخیک) ما تحبّ لنفسک     

وأکره له ما تکره بها

Love for others what you love for yourself,

and detest for others what you detest for yourself.



This actually applies and belongs to all religions.  This has been stated in our traditions and it is truly the logic of love.   As we know that in Hindu Schools and in Christianity much emphasis is laid on love, but they have gone so far as to lose sight of everything else and maintain that love is to be a course of action in all circumstances.


Another measure (criterion) for humanity is freedom.  What does this mean?  In modern schools of thought much emphasis is laid on freedom as one of the criteria of humanity.  Is this view correct or is it not?  The answer is that it is both correct and incorrect, but as the sole criterion for humanity, it is not.


Piety is a central theme for man to be on the “straight path”.  We have an important saying from Imam al-Hasan (a.s.). He says:[2] 


واعلموا انه من یتق الله یجعل له مخرجا من الفتن ویسدده فی امره ویهییء له رشده ویفلحه بحجته ویبیّض وجهه ویعطه رغبته مع الذین انعم الله علیهم من النبیین و الصدیقین والشهداء والصالحین

“Be aware that the person who puts the fear of God in his heart (practices piety),

Allah will provide for him an outlet from life’s troubles,

and straighten up his affairs,

and provide him with the path of guidance,

and boost him in his arguments

and enlighten his face,

and grant him what he wishes

and let him be with those upon whom Allah has bestowed His Grace,

to be with the Prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs, and the pious ones.”



Piety is an important basis for deliverance and salvation.  According to the Quran one of man’s aims is to achieve falah meaning blissful salvation.  The Arabic word Fallah means farmer or cultivator.  Similarly if man cultivates conditions conducive to his enhancement in spheres and dimensions of his nature, he will become free from the shackles of selfishness and lustful passions.  Such a man is said to have achieved falah and to have 'blissfully prospered'.  The Quran declares that this form of blissfulness depends on self-making, the basis of which are:


    Controlling the excessive built-in (natural) urges and lustful seductions,

    Performing the good deeds as defined by Islam,

    Working for the good through construc­tive and positive efforts,

    Resisting tendencies toward evilness, and at the same time co-operating for the good,

    Betterment of the environment by diffusion of virtues, and prevention of evil works.


We ask Allah to protect us from evilness and falsehood and help us lay a foundation with moral values according to the rules of our Lord.


For the end of the 1st part of the Khutba, read Surah Al-Asr, take a short intermission, then start the 2nd part of the Khutba with a short Du’aa.


Allah emphasizes in Surah 34 (Saba’), Ayah 28 a very important point: He says:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلاّ كَافَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

“We have not sent Thee, [O’ Muhammad] but as a Universal Messenger,

[both] as bearer of Glad Tidings and to Warn,

but most men understand not.”

At the present there are about 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.  Nowadays Muslims form the majority in more than 50 countries of the world.  Today Islam is regarded as the fastest growing faith in the world because its beautiful message has been reaching millions in the far corners of the earth.  All Muslims believe that in Islam the universal proclamation is plain and easy to understand.  Though some people in the West say the Quran is a dead letter of historical interest, the Quran speaks to all who would engage its text and try to understand it.   It is a constant fountain of enlightenment and divine guidance to anyone who seeks it and tries to be blessed by it.  The Quran is generous limitlessly.  Ponder about Surah 61 (al-Saff), Ayah 9; or Surah 48 (al-Fat’h), Ayah 28, and see for yourself.  Surah 9 (al-Taubah), Ayah 33 says:


هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ

He it is, [Allah] who has sent forth His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He [Allah] may make it prevail over all religions, even though the unbelievers may detest it.

According to this Ayah, the mission entrusted to the Prophet of Islam is universal.  Though revealed more than fourteen centuries ago, the Quran continues to reach humanity, and it speaks to us directly, in a miraculous way inviting us to Islam and forbidding us from taking up other ways.  The Quran eloquently says in Surah 6 (al-An’aam), Ayah 153:


وَأَنَّ هَـذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ

ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

 “(Allah Commands): Verily this is My Path, straight, so follow it, and do not follow other ways; for they will deviate you from His path”

The Quran enjoins the believers to invite others to the faith and salvation, and it cautions against pointlessly disputing with them.  The literal meaning of Islam is surrendering one’s will to Allah i.e. losing oneself for the sake of God and surrendering one’s own pleasure for the pleasure of God.


The prime message of Islam is the Oneness (unity) of God, meaning the Creator of the world is One, and He alone is to be worshipped, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.  The follower of this belief is thus a Muslim.  Muslims have beliefs in:


    God’s angels,

    Previously revealed books of God,

    All the Prophets, from Adam to Muhammad, including Jesus,

    The Day of Judgment

    And indeed the decree of God (Qadr).


Islam believes that each person is born pure. The Holy Quran tells us that God has given humans a chance to choose between good and evil and to seek to please God through faith, prayer and charity. 


Islam’s main message is to worship God and to treat all God’s creations with kindness and compassion.  Rights of parents especially in old age, are clearly stated, and so are the rights of the orphans and the needy.  Women’s rights were safeguarded 1,400 years ago.  When the rest of the world was in deep darkness. Islam’s teachings encompassed every imaginable situation and it’s rules and principles are truly universal and have stood the test of time.


A major recommendation of the Prophet (pbuh) about pleasing Allah goes in the following manner:[3]  


أمّا علامة البارّ فعشرة: یحبّ فی الله ویبغض فی الله ویصاحب فی الله ویفارق فی الله ویغضب فی الله ویرضی فی الله ویعمل لله ویطلب الیه ویخشع لله خائفاً مخوفاً طاهراً مخلصاً مستحییاً مراقباً ویحسن فی الله.  

There are 10 characteristics of the man of Taq’wa (piety):

  1. He loves for the sake [in the way of] of Allah

  2. He makes enmity for the sake of Allah

  3. He enters companionship for the sake of Allah

  4. He gets separated for the sake of Allah

  5. He becomes angry for the sake of Allah

  6. He attains contentment by way of Allah

  7. He produces for the sake of Allah

  8. For the fulfillment of his needs he asks Allah

  9. He shows in humility and humbleness to Allah, with the virtues of fear of Allah in sincerity, modesty, and carefulness

  10. He performs good deeds for Allah



Western critics of Islam judge Islam in the light of recent failures of Muslims in science and technology.  We should add the effect of the historical wars between the West and Muslim states (Middle ages).  Also the culture dispute and clash between the two camps should not be forgotten here.  Besides, we have to remember that the vital elements of Islam have been removed for the last two centuries, when Western colonialist occupied the Muslim countries.


How can Islam be responsible for the failure of the Muslims while it does not rein them?  The answer to that question is clear: Islam without belief in the Oneness of God, social Islamic justice and moral absolute values, is not Islam at all.  Islam is an organic unity.  It breaks down when its vital elements are cut off and isolated from the others.


We believe the future of the Muslim World is dependent upon educating and training our youth according to the true teachings and values of Islam.  We ask Allah to help us in promoting the understanding of Islam and the Muslim people by providing accurate and balanced information, and presenting all its aspects to all levels in the societies.


We quote a saying from Imam Husain, the 3rd Imam.  Imam al-Husain has said:[4] 


أیّها الناس ان رسول الله قال من رأی سلطاناً جائراً مستحلا لحرام الله ناکثا عهده مخالفا لسنة رسول الله یعمل فی عبادالله بالاثم والعدوان فلم یغیر علیه بفعل ولا قول کان حقا علی الله ان یدخله مدخله.

“O people, the Prophet of God said,

“A person seeing a belligerent ruler who is a tyrant,

who has made the forbidden by Allah as allowed (legal),

who has broken Allah’s promise,

who opposes the Sunnah and Tradition of the Prophet,

who acts with sin and tyranny: 

So when such person does not act against this kind of ruler through practice or speech,

it is Allah’s right to make such a person enter the same place the ruler will enter; meaning Hellfire”.



In the end, we beseech Allah to help us keep on the straight path and do all works he ordered for us.

Finally, let us read Surah Al-Nasr with a short Du’aa to close the Khutba.


[1] Nahjul Balaaghah by Imam Ali, Letter 3.

[2] Tuhaf al Uqool, Page 232. 

[3] Tuhaf al-Uqool, Page 21.

[4] Al-Khawarizmi, Vol. 1, Page 234.  Also al-Tibari, Vol. 7, Page 300.  Also Ibn Katheer, Vol. 3, Page 280.

Back Home Next  Back to Home Page  go to top of page