Khutba # 23
Let us all practice Taq’wa (piety and righteousness), and revere Allah and obey His divine commands. Let us be heedful of our choices in this life and their likely consequences in the hereafter. Be aware of our final destination, our eventual end and departure into the everlasting life. 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.
Allah tells us in Surah 3 (Aali Imran), Ayah 102:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ
“Oh you who believe! Take heed of Allah with the degree due Him, and do not die but as Muslims.”
Surely we will meet Allah and be taken to account for our deeds of this life. We may meet our end any moment, and its timing cannot be put off. The good news is that it will be painless for those who are conscious of Allah and follow His Divine Commands (al-Muttaqeen).
The scientific and industrial discoveries have expanded enormously in our age, and it is difficult to enumerate them. There was a time when man valued his freedom most and even sacrificed his life for it. Now however, man has become enslaved by production and consumption. As a result man has shown an unsettling reaction, proclaiming he finds life meaningless! Why may we ask?
The Holy Quran emphasizes that all pomp and splendor of life is meaningless if it is devoid of faith, spirituality, and Divine Directives. Throughout history, religion has been misinterpreted at times and even neglected, due to misunderstanding. There are many religions in the world each of which claims to be the complete one and the only true one. Neutral observers therefore become confused, perplexed, and perhaps averse to any religion.
The concept of religion in Islam is unique. It is true that genuine religion must come from God for the right guidance of man. And it is equally true that man’s nature and major man’s needs are basically the same at all times. This concept leads to one conclusion, and that is: There is only One true religion coming from the One and the same God.
In this monotheistic perspective of Islam, all aspects of life, as well as degrees of cosmic manifestation, are governed by a single principle and unified by a common center. The Power of God is all-encompassing and there is no other power but His; for there cannot be two orders of reality. “La Ilaaha illa Allah” ultimately means that there is no Divinity, Being or Reality other than Allah: the Absolute Being or the Absolute Reality.
Religion is considered as the Divine Guidance sent through all the Prophets to people of all ages and of all nations. Of these religions Islam is the Final One. That is why the Prophet (pbuh) claimed not to have brought a new religion, but to have affirmed the Truth as claimed by the previous Prophets. The Quran says in Surah 5 (al-Maa’ida) Ayah 48:
وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ
“And unto thee [O’ Prophet!] We have revealed this Divine Book, setting forth the Truth, confirming the Truth sent before it, and a guardian over it…”
Imam Ali says in Nahjul Balaaghah:
In this manner ages passed and times rolled on, fathers passed away while sons took their places, till Allah deputed Muhammad (pbuh) as His Prophet, in fulfillment of His promise and to finalize the Prophethood.
Muhammad’s pledge was taken from the [preceding] Prophets,
his qualities were highly reputed and his lineage was honorable.
The people of the earth at his time were divided in different parties, their aims were diverse and their ways were dissimilar.
They either considered Allah to be like His creation or twisted His Names or turned to other than Him.
Through Muhammad (pbuh) Allah guided mankind out of falsehood and with his efforts took them out of ignorance.”
According to the Quran and Hadith, Islam sees itself as heir to this long chain of Prophets. In Islam we believe in all the Prophets. However, Islam does not believe it has inherited the Prophets’ teachings by neither temporal nor historical transmissions. In Surah 33 (al-Ahzaab), Ayah 40 the Quran calls Muhammad (pbuh) as the “Seal of Prophets." Fourteen hundred years have passed and they confirmed this assertion, for there has not been another heavenly manifestation of the Truth. The Quran has re-established “al-Deen al-Hanif” meaning the absolute Truth within the nature of things. Allah says in Surah 30 (al-Room), Ayah 30:
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يَعْلَمُونَ
Set thou thy face uprightly to the Faith, in harmony with the nature Allah has made for man: No change can there be in the creation of Allah: That is the upright religion, but most people do not know”
Islam considers authentic religions as based on the truth al-Islam or “surrender to God”, meaning not only what was revealed through the Quran but the previous authentic religions as well. Thus, the Quran calls Prophet Abraham as Muslim, meaning one who is in the status of al-Islam.
Islam legislates a set of sensible rules and laws based on ethics. The responsibilities of individuals and society are made clear for all, be it black or white, urban or rural, man or woman, great or small, servant or master, rich or poor, in ordinary or exceptional circumstances. The Quran says in Surah 14 (Ibrahim), Ayah 24:
أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ
أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاء
”Do you not see how Allah sets forth a parable?
A goodly word is like a goodly tree, whose roots are firmly fixed, and its branches are in heaven.”
The Islamic system is a complete religion and superior to any secular system; it is of more benefit to humanity. The Quran says in Surah 30 (al-Room), Ayah 30:
ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يَعْلَمُونَ
“…This is the upright religion, but most people know it not.”
Islam had directed people to high ethical principles long before Western civilization arose. According to the commandments of Islam, one must make ethics one's primary goal and to base the laws upon the ethical values. To forget ethics and to base laws on material interests will gradually draw a society into materialism. The Most Noble Messenger said in this connection:
Secular ideas nowadays challenge the Islamic world often, and there is danger of misunderstanding and deviation about Islam. The way of Islam is essentially Gnostic. Therefore Islam must respond to other systems claiming to be scientific. When Muslims built schools on European models and teaching their subjects, its students moved towards multiplicity and secularism.
Does Islam agree with agnostic secularism? Of course not, not at all! Secularism implies ideas and institutions of purely human origin, not derived from God. Anything whose origin is human can be considered as non-Divine.
Allah says in the Holy Quran, Surah 17 (Israa), Ayah 9:
إِنَّ هَـذَا الْقُرْآنَ يِهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا
“Verily, this Quran guides to all that is most upright, and gives believers who do good deeds the glad tidings that theirs will be a great reward.”
He also says: Surah 16 (al-Nah’l), Ayah 89:
وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَى هَـؤُلاء وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
“…We have sent down to thee [O’ Muhammad],
this Divine Writ explaining everything, and as a guidance, and a glad tidings unto all who submit themselves to God.”
Islam is the gateway to correctly view the reality of things personal, social and cosmic based on a correct manner of behavior and a precise method of interaction between men. In Surah 5 (al-Maa’ida), Ayah 16 we read that the Quran directs: “Guides to the truth and a right path” which means the road of right belief and correct action.
Islam satisfies not only the spiritual but also the material needs of man in moderation. It improves man’s knowledge of God and at the same time it improves man’s own knowledge of his self. Islam teaches mankind about the secrets of life versus the nature of man. Islam teaches mankind about good and evil, about right and wrong. Islam purifies the soul from evilness, clears the mind from doubts, and strengthens the character and corrects the convictions of man. This can only be achieved when man faithfully observes the spiritual duties and physical regulation.
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.
Let us present a brief history of Hadhrat Fatima al-Zahra, the daughter of the Prophet (pbuh). Khadija, Fatima, and Zainab had highlighted the greatness of woman and illustrated womanhood in such a way as to be the superb example. Hadhrat Fatima was the wife of Imam Ali, and the mother of al-Hasan and al-Husain, Zainab Al-Kubra and Umm Kulthoom.
Fatima was brought up in the family of the Prophet (pbuh) and took heart enthusiastically in the knowledge and wisdom of the Prophet (pbuh). Fatima was deeply loved by her father and she was very close to him. Due to the perfections of her character and the depth of her faith, the Prophet loved her and appreciated her to the extreme.
When Fatima was in the marriageable age, many men asked her hand in marriage, including Abu Bakr and Omar. But the Prophet said, “I am waiting for the revelation in these connections”. But Fatima married Ali, who grew up in the same noble house of the Prophet (pbuh).
When Ali approached the Prophet requesting the hand of Fatima in marriage, the Prophet approved his request. The Prophet entered his house to take Fatima’s opinion about the matter. He said to her, “Oh daughter! You know fully well that Ali was the first faithful. I had prayed to God to give you the best husband. God glory to Him has selected Ali to be your husband, so, what is your opinion?” Fatima remained silent. The father took her silence as the token for her agreement (as used to be the habit in those days). One month afterwards the marriage took place, it was during the 2nd year of Hijrah. On the marriage night the Prophet held Fatima by hand and handed her over to Ali and said,
“Oh Ali, Fatima is the best wife for you”
Thereafter, the Prophet would address Fatima and say:
“Oh Fatima, Ali is a good husband for you”
Then he would say:
“Now, both of you move towards your real home” 
The house of Ali was next door to the Prophet’s house. It was the house of purity and piety, as was praised by the Holy Quran in Surah 33 (al-Hujuraat), Ayah 33, whereby God took it on Himself to keep away all kinds of spiritual uncleanness (sinfulness) from them. In this house Ali was the father, Fatima al-Zahra the mother; and al-Hasan, al-Husain, and Zainab, Umm Kulthoom, were the children. This home is an ideal example or a prototype for every family to emulate in every age.
While Fatima knew that Ali did not possess material wealth, she knew well that he was rich in faith, and endowed with great wealth of goodness of character, self-sacrifice, and devotion. She was aware that Ali’s youthful period was spent struggling for Islam and defending it wholeheartedly. And that paramount in Ali’s mind was the service to Islam and contributing to its welfare.
The lives of Ali and Fatima are a school for the succeeding generations, so the people may learn a lesson from them. As a family they were well coordinated in their relationship and the chores of the house. On the one hand when Ali got free from work outside the house, he used to lend a helping hand to Fatima. On the other hand, Fatima on her part tried her best to keep Ali happy. Both led a life of mutual love and affection, not even calling each other by their names, rather when Ali addressed her would say, “Daughter of the Prophet,” and when Fatima addressed him she would address him as “Amir al-Mu’mineen”.
They were ideal in raising and training their children. They responded to their children with love and affection. They loved their children a great deal, to the degree that they never said anything hurtful or damaging as to bring sorrow to them.
Of the four Supreme Women in the World, Fatima is one, as has so specified the Prophet (pbuh). Fatima is the heir of all honor and virtue.
Finally, let us read Surah Al-Nasr with a short Du’aa to close the Khutba.
 Nahjul Balaaghah, Sermon 1, Page 4.
 Safinatul Bihaar, Abbas Qummi, Vol. 1, Page 411. Also I’lm al-Yaqeen, by al-Kashaani, Page 439
 Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 1, Page 353.
 Bihaar al Anwaar, Vol. 43, Page 93. Also Amaali al-Siddooq, Page 38.
 Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 1, Page 358.
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