Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Shukr
الحَمْدُ للهِ، الحَمْدُ للهِ دائِمِ الفَضْلِ والإِحسان، الذي يستحِقُّ أن يُشكَرَ في القلبِ والجوارحِ وعلى اللِّسان، وأن يُحْمَدَ في وَقتِ الفَرَحِ وفي وقتِ الِامتِحان، نَحْمَدُهُ تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، مَنْ يَهْدِ اللهُ فلا مضل له، ومَنْ يُضلِلْ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ، ونَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، له الملك وله الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا ومولانا مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُه وَرَسُولُهُ، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدّى الأمانة ونصح الأمّة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحقّ، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعَلَى آلِهِ وأَصْحابِهِ ومَنْ تَبِعَهم بإِحْسانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّيْنِ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ اللهِ اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون، يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا، يُصْلِحْ لَكُم أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا، يا أيها المسلمون اتقوا الله فيما أوصى وأمر، وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر. قال اللَّهِ تعالى في كتابه العزيز بعد أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم، “وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنْ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ”
Allah says, the translation of which is, “Allah brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing at all, and gave you hearing, sight and hearts so that perhaps you would show thanks.”
وقال تعالى “اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ لِتَجْرِيَ فِي الْبَحْرِ بِأَمْرِهِ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْأَنْهَارَ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ دَائِبَيْنِ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ وَآَتَاكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ وَإِنْ تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ”
And He also says, the translation of which is, “Allah is He who created the heavens and the earth and sends down water from the sky and by it brings forth fruits as provision for you. He has made the ships subservient to you to run upon the sea by His command, and He has made the rivers subservient to you, and He has made the sun and moon subservient to you holding steady to their courses, and He has made the night and day subservient to you. He has given you everything you have asked Him for. If you tried to number Allah’s blessings, you could never count them. Man is indeed wrongdoing, ungrateful.”
Muslims, we have a generous Lord! He gives us being and life and sustains us regardless of whether we acknowledge Him as our Lord or not! He has made us His khulafaa (viceregents) on the earth and has caused the rest of creation to serve us - even the sun and moon, and the night and day. And yet, most of us take these things and many other blessings like them for granted. Most of us do not display gratitude - most of us are oblivious and ungrateful. Allah says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ
the translation of which is, “Allah shows favour to mankind but most of them are not thankful.” And Allah also says:
وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً ثُمَّ نَزَعْنَاهَا مِنْهُ إِنَّهُ لَيَئُوسٌ كَفُورٌ، وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَاهُ نَعْمَاءَ بَعْدَ ضَرَّاءَ مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ ذَهَبَ السَّيِّئَاتُ عَنِّي إِنَّهُ لَفَرِحٌ فَخُورٌ
the translation of which is, “If We let man taste mercy from Us, and then take it away from him, he is despairing, ungrateful; but if We let him taste blessings after hardship has afflicted him, he says, ‘My troubles have gone away,’ and he is overjoyed, boastful”
This is the state of most of mankind! But we are not most of mankind. We are Muslims - members of the greatest umma ever to be produced before mankind - members of the umma of the Prophet Muhammad, صلى الله عليه وسلم. And so we must conduct ourselves accordingly. We must emulate the one whom Allah sent to be a model and guide for us, and all the other Prophets and Messengers, and be thankful slaves.
‘A’isha, رضي الله عنها, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, used to stand in prayer during the night for so long that his feet would become swollen, so one night she asked him why he used to do that when Allah had already forgiven him everything he had ever done and everything that he would ever do. He replied:
“أفلا أكون عبدا شكورا”
“Should I not be a grateful slave?” This quality of shukr, this capacity to be grateful, is one of the characteristics by which Allah elevates and describes His Prophets in the Quran - when He refers to Nuh, عليه والسلام, he calls him an عبد شكور “a grateful slave” and when He refers to Ibrahim, عليه والسلام, he describes him as being شاكرا لأنعمه “thankful for his blessings”. They knew that everything that came to them, everything that happened to them, was a blessing from Allah. And they knew that it was from Allah’s fadl - His grace and bounty - not because they inherently deserved it, and so they were grateful. As Allah says:
وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا
the translation of which is, “Were it not for Allah’s favour upon you and His mercy, not one of you would ever have been purified.”
Allah’s favour to us is of three types: blessings relating to this world such as health and wealth, blessings relating to our deen such as right action, taqwa and knowledge of Allah, and blessings relating to the next world such as our being compensated for the tiny amount of good actions we do with an immense and everlasting reward. He is the source for all of these blessings - there is no other source. Any believing slave who reflects on this cannot help but be overwhelmed by the generosity of his Lord and the scope of His blessings and feel grateful.
Think, for example, on the fact of your sitting here today, listening to this khutba as Muslims. In a time when the vast majority of mankind are floundering around in darkness and kufr, unaware of the existence of their Lord, Allah has given you belief and knowledge of Him. He has singled you out for the blessing of Islam, the greatest gift a human being could possibly hope for. So is that not blessing enough for you? Is that not enough of a reason in itself to thank Him? We cannot help but feel profoundly grateful.
And if reflect further, we will realise that our gratitude and thankfulness is itself a blessing of the highest order, and is something that we must also be thankful for. It is narrated that Dawud, عليه والسلام, said,
“يا ربِّ كيف أشكُرُك وشُكرِي نِعمةٌ عليَّ مِن عندِك تستَوْجِبُ بِها شُكرا؟”
“My Lord, how can I be grateful to you, when my gratitude is itself a blessing from you that I must thank you for?” Allah replied,
“الآنَ شَكَرتَنِي يَا دَاوُود.”
“Now, you have truly thanked Me, Dawud.”
Now; we understand the degree to which Allah has blessed us and the gratitude that is due to Him, but how can we possibly thank Him? In truth, there is no way we can adequately thank Him for all the countless gifts He has bestowed upon us. But, even so, Allah has given us the means to express our thanks to Him - He has given us tongues, He has given us hearts and He has given us limbs.
Shukr of the tongue is expressed in two ways: the first way is by speaking about the blessings your Lord has given you. Allah says:
“وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ”
the translation of which is, “And as for the blessing of your Lord, speak out!” And the Prophet said,
“التَحَدُّثُ بِنِعْمَةِ اللهِ شُكر”
“Speaking about the blessings of Allah is shukr.”
The second way is by hamd - praising Allah. The basic formula for doing this is by saying al-hamdu lillah and is the way that Allah Himself taught us to praise and thank Him, opening His Book with those Words. There is no better way of expressing your thanks to Allah with your tongue, and simply by saying it, you bring further blessings upon yourself. The Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said,
“ما أَنعمَ اللهُ عَلى عَبدٍ مِن نعمةٍ صغُرَتْ أَو كبُرتْ فقال الحمدُ لِلهِ إِلا كَان قد أُعطِيَ أفضلَ مِمَّا أَخَذَ”
“There is no slave who says alhamdulillah upon receiving a blessing from Allah, large or small, except that Allah will grant that slave another blessing better than the one he received.”
Shukr of the heart is acknowledging in your heart that every blessing that comes your way is from Allah and from Allah alone. Shukr of the heart is having certainty about that. It is narrated that Musa, عليه والسلام, asked Allah how Adam, عليه والسلام, was able to thank Him for the incredible blessings He bestowed upon him, by creating him with His own hands, blowing His ruh into him, making the angels bow down to him and teaching him the names of everything. Allah replied,
“علِمَ أنّ ذلك منّي، فكَانت معرفتُهُ بِذلك شُكرا”
“He knew that those things were from Me. And the fact that he knew that was his shukr.” This knowledge of which we speak is a conscious awareness and implies a perfect tawhid - an awareness that Allah is One and that He is the only Actor - an awareness that nothing comes to pass except through His Power.
However, a word of warning. The fact that the ultimate source of every blessing we receive is Allah does not mean that we overlook the means by which it reaches us. The Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said,
“لا يشكُرُ اللهَ مَن لا يشكُرُ الناسَ”
“The one who has not thanked people has not thanked Allah.” In other words, Allah does not accept the shukr of the slave who does not thank the means, so make sure to always thank people, whoever they may be, when they do you a good turn.
Shukr of the limbs is wearying out the limbs in worshipping Allah. It is performing actions for no reason except for the sake of Allah. It is obeying Allah not because you have to but because you need to. This aspect is best expressed by the hadith we narrated earlier from ‘A’isha, رضي الله عنها, that the Messenger of Allah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, used to stand in prayer at night for so long that his feet would swell in order to express his gratitude to his Lord.
This is the reality of shukr, the highest form of worship and noblest quality of character. So we ask Allah ta'ala to fill our hearts with the reality of thankfulness to Him accompanied by the words and actions that naturally flow from it.
أقول قولي هذا و أستغفر الله لي و لكم و لسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيمالحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين كما ينبغي لجلالِ وجهِهِ وعظيمِ سُلطانِه، أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته. قال الله تعالى في كتابه العزيز: “وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ”
Allah says, the translation of which is, “Give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful.”
Allah does not command us to be thankful because He has need of our thanks - Allah is Rich, Beyond need. No, He commands us to be thankful because He wants the best for us and wants us to continue to enjoy His blessings.
قال الله تعالى: “وَمَنْ شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ”
Allah says, the translation of which is, “Whoever gives thanks only does so to his own gain. Whoever is ungrateful, my Lord is Rich Beyond Need, Generous.”
Shukr is the peg that stop blessings blowing away. Ibn ‘Ata’illah al-Iskandari, رضي الله عنه, says in his Hikam,
“مَن لم يشكُرِ النِعَمَ فقد تعرَّض لِزوالِها، وَمَنْ شَكَرَها فقد قيَّدها بِعِقالِها”
“He who is not thankful for blessings opens the way for them to vanish away, whereas he who is thankful for them ties them down so they cannot escape.” And, indeed, shukr does not just protect and preserve the blessings that you have, but opens the way for more. Allah says:
لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
the translation of which is, “If you are grateful, I will certainly give you increase.” So, when Allah grants you something good - such as good health or lots of wealth or good looks or precocious talent - then make sure that you are thankful for that. And make shukr your constant companion for as long as the blessing lasts - do not allow yourself to take it for granted for even a single moment or feel inordinately proud on account of it. For as soon as you forget the One who granted you that blessing and stop thanking him for it, you run the risk of incurring Allah’s wrath and its being taken away.
As we have said, shukr is a quality that every Muslim must acquire, but that does not mean that all Muslims are the same when it comes to the degree of their thankfulness.
Some only thank Allah for the blessings that come their way. And that is the state of the vast majority of Muslims.
Others thank Allah for blessings and afflictions alike, in the knowledge that afflictions are simply blessings in disguise. These people are the elect - they do not despair of the mercy of their Lord. They greet afflictions, be they loss of wealth, loss of health or loss of loved ones, with alhamdulillah - “All praise belongs to Allah” - on the tongue, and contentment with the decree of Allah in the heart. On the Day of Rising, they will be the first to be invited into the Garden, for the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, has said,
“أوَّلُ ما يُدعَى إلى الجنَّةِ الذين يحمَدون اللهَ عزّ وجلّ في السَّرَّاءِ والضَّرَّاء”
“The first ones to be invited into the Garden will be those who praise Allah in both times of joy and times of hardship.”
However, the highest degree of shukr - that of the elect of the elect - is not seeing the blessing or affliction at all because all they see is the Bestower of blessings. No individual blessing distracts them from the fact that everything that comes from their Lord is blessing and that their Lord’s hand is in every thing. And so, their state is one of constant and permanent thankfulness.
May Allah open our hearts so that we may understand and witness the incredible generosity and wisdom of a Lord whose blessings are uncountable and uncounted, a Lord who never leaves us to fend for ourselves but sustains us and cares for us in every instant. May Allah grant us tongues which are always wet with His praise and His thanks, hearts which are always filled with gratitude and contentment, and limbs which move only out of obedience to Him. May Allah grant us the shukr of the elect of the elect.
اللهم أعِنَّا على ذِكرِك وشُكرِك وحُسنِ عِبادتِك. اللهم أَوْزِعْنا أَنْ نَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى وَالِدِينَا وَأَنْ نَعْمَلَ صَالِحَاتٍ تَرْضَاهَا، وَأَصْلِحْ لَنَا فِي ذُرِّيَّاتِنَا، إِنَّا تُبْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَإِنَّا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ.
إنَّ اللهَ ومَلائِكَتَهُ يُصلُّونَ على النَّبِي يَا أَيُها الذينَ آمنوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وسَلِّمُوا تَسْليماً. اللهمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّم وبارِك عَلَيْهِ وعلى آلِهِ وصَحْبِهِ أجمعين.
وارض اللهم عن الخلفاء الراشدين المرشدين الحنفاء ساداتنا وأئمتنا أبي بكر وعمر وعثمان وعلي ، وعن سائر الصحابة أجمعين، خصوصا الأنصار منهم والمهاجرين، وعن التابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
اللهم اهد أولات أمور المسلمين لما يرضيك ولاتباع سنة نبيك صلى الله عليه وسلم وثبت أقدامهم على الصراط المستقيم وأصلحهم يا رب العالمين.
اللهم بارك على شيخنا، و على أميرنا، وعلى جميع أمراء وزعماء المسلمين.
اللهم بارك على المسلمين في هذه المدينة ووفقهم لما تحبه وترضاه يا أكرم الأكرمين.
اللهمّ أَعِزَّ الْلإسلامَ والمُسِلمينَ (3) واَخْذُلِ الكُفْرَ والكافِرينَ، وانْصُرِ المُجاهِدينَ في سَبِيلِ اللهِ. واجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وكَلِمَةَ الكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلى.
ربنا ءاتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الأخرة حسنة وقنا عذاب النار.
اللهم لا تضعْ في مقامِنا هذا ذنبا إلا غفرْتَه، ولا عيبا إلا سترْتَه، ولا مريضا إلا شفيتَهُ وعافيتَه، ولا مسجونا إلا طلَّقْتَ سراحَه، ولا مسافرا في برِّك وبحرِك إلا سلِمتَهُ وغنِمْتَه.
إن الله يأمر بالعدل والإحسان وإيتاء ذي القربى وينهى عَنِ الفحشاءِ والمُنكَرِ والبغي، يعظكم لعلكم تذكرون، ولَذِكْرُ اللهِ أكبر والله يَعْلَمُ ما تَصْنَعُون. وقُومُوا إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يرحمكم الله