Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Shahadatayn
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل النطقَ بالشهادتين مفتاحَ الإسلام، والتصديقَ بهما الطريقَ الوحيدَ إلى الإيمان، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدّى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع
الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.
Last week, we talked about the four madhhabs and the necessity of following one of them in these times when absolute and independent ijtihad no longer remains a possibility, but that does not mean that we call those who go outside their bounds kafir. Rather, so long as they say la ilaha illallah, Muhammad rasullah and do or say nothing that contradicts any of the central tenets of the deen, then we must consider them Muslims, albeit disobedient ones. We do not, as the Amman declaration does, consider their Islam to be acceptable and correct, but we do consider to be Muslims and must treat them accordingly. And that is all because of the power and significance of one simple phrase. The Prophet said,
أُمرت أَن أُقَاتِلَ الناسَ حتى يشهدُوا أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله، ويقيموا الصلاةَ ويؤتوا الزكاة، فإذا فعلوا ذلك عَصَموا مِنىِّ دماءَهم وأموالَهم إلا بحقِ الإسلام وحسابُهم على الله تعالى
“I am commanded to fight people until they bear witness that la ilaha illallah Muhammad rasulullah - there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; establish the prayer and pay the zakat. When they do that, their blood and property are protected from me except for the right of Islam over them. Their reckoning will be with Allah.” This one simple phrase is what distinguishes us from the kuffar - the first part of it distinguishes us from the atheists and idolaters and the second part distinguishes us from the Jews and the Christians. This one simple phrase is what unites everyone one of us in this mosque and connects us in brotherhood to Muslims throughout the world. This one simple phrase is the first pillar of the Deen of Allah and it is upon it that the entire matter revolves.
أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا رسول الله
As is clear from the above-mentioned hadith, it is by means of saying this phrase that a person emerges from the darkness into the light. The gates of Allah's pleasure, mercy and forgiveness which were previously closed to him are flung open, and good actions now benefit him and bear fruit. It is the key that unlocks the rest of the ‘ibadat - acts of worship and makes it possible for him to realise his potential as a human being, for as Allah says
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
the translation of which is, “I have not created men and jinn except to worship Me.” And it completely wipes the slate clean - all the wrong actions a person did before Islam are swept away as if they never existed. When Hind bint Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan who had mutilated Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet and eaten his liver after the battle of Uhud, went to the Prophet and became Muslim, he forgave her and accepted her immediately, making no mention of her past atrocities. In the eyes of Allah and in terms of her reckoning, they had never happened. And the same is true for everyone who takes the shahada - and alhamdulillah, this mosque has been witness to many such people in the short time that it has been established.
But this shahada also brings with it responsibilities, both for those who take it and for the community as a whole. For it is not just words but is a contract between yourself and your Lord - it is a contract to obey Him in what He has commanded you to do and obey His Messenger. And the bare minimum that He has commanded you to do are the pillars of the deen - the prayer, zakat, fasting Ramadan and hajj. By taking the shahada, you have given your word, so do not take such matters lightly. You must learn the basics of Islam. And we, the wider Muslim community, must be there to help new Muslims to do that. You must never think that your job is done by someone taking the shahadah - in truth that is but the beginning. He has need of your company and your guidance, for he has left what he is used to behind and has entered into unfamiliar surroundings. So please make extra effort to welcome new Muslims with open arms, keep company with them and be at hand to teach them what they need to know.
Although a simple enunciation of the two shahadas is enough to make someone a Muslim, it is only by affirming them in your heart that you become mu'min - a believer. And just as the shahada encompasses every act of worship, so too does it contain every doctrine of belief. A careful study of la ilaha illa Allah reveals that it contains every one of the Divine Attributes of Allah - HIs existence which is pre-eternal and goes on for ever; His absolute independence; His being disconnected from everything in-time; His Oneness in His Essence, His Attributes and His Actions; And His having Life, Power, Knowledge, Will, Hearing, Sight and Speech - as is amply demonstrated by Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib in his diwan in the poem Aqa'id at-Tawhid - the Doctrines of Unification, where he says:
معنى الإلهِ الغَنيُ عن سواهُ وله يفتقرُ مَا عداهُ
The meaning of the word ilah is He who has no need of anyone other than Himself,
and to whom everyone other than Him is in need.
Reflect on this for a second and you will see what a tremendous blessing this is from Allah and a tremendous mercy. A person’s salvation from the Fire lies in him having a complete belief in Allah and His Messenger at the time that He dies. In other words, it requires him to affirm all of the doctrines of belief in the moment that he leaves this world. But, as we know, people are often very weakened in those last moments and unable to call all those details to mind, so Allah gives them a short phrase that is easy to remember and even easier to say, and by means of which every one of those doctrines are affirmed - the shahada.
And that is why the Prophet said,
من كان آخرُ كلامِهِ لا إله إلا الله دَخَلَ الجنةَ
“Anyone whose last words are la ilaha illallah enters the Garden,” indicating the ruling for those who find the capacity to speak. And,
من مات وهو يَعلمُ أن لا إله الا اللهُ دخل الجنةَ
“Anyone who dies. knowing that there is no god but Allah enters the Garden,” indicating the ruling for those who cannot.
The second part of the shahada is Muhammad rasulullah - Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And indeed the shahada and thus a person’s deen is incomplete without it. He is the one whom Allah sent to show us how to live our lives and worship Him. It is only through him that we have access to the Words of Allah and it is only through him that we can gain knowledge of our Lord, as is amply demonstrated in surat al-Ikhlas when Allah says:
قُلْ هُوَ اللهُ أَحَدٌ
the translation of which is, “Say Allah is Absolute Oneness” The fact that the ultimate encapsulation of tawhid is preceded by one little word, ‘Say’, addressed to the Prophet, shows us that it is only through him that such knowledge may be obtained. And it is only through following his teaching and his example that any of us can hope to please our Lord. Allah says:
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآَخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
the translation of which is, “You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.” And Allah says:
قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
the translation of which is, “Say, ‘If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive you for your wrong actions. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’”
And it is this command to follow the Messenger of Allah that makes Islam a deen - a comprehensive way of living - and not a religion, for the Prophet led a full life, engaging in marriage, trade, governance and jihad as well as acts of worship. So, by affirming that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, we enter into a contract to follow his sunna in all aspects of our lives.
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، وأشهد 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 عز وجل في كتابه الكريم: شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَأُولُو الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ
Allah says in His Noble Qur’an, the translation of which is, “Allah bears witness that there is no god but Him, as do the angels and the people of knowledge, upholding justice.”
If what we mentioned in the first khutba were not enough, there are numerous hadiths that amply demonstrate the incomparable value, merit and worth of the shahada. Abu Saeed al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,
قال موسى عليه السلام: ياربِّ عَلِّمنى ما أذكرُك به وأدعوك به، فقال ياموسى قل لا إله إلا الله، قال موسى: يا رب كلُ عبادِك يقولون هذا قال: قل لا إله إلا الله قال:لا إله إلا أنت إنما أريدُ شيئا تخُصُّنى به. قال: يا موسى لو أن السمواتِ السبعَ فِى كفة، ولا إله إلا اللهُ فى كفة، لمالت بهن (لا إله إلا الله)
“Musa said, ‘My Lord, teach me something by which I can remember You and with which I can call on You.’ Allah replied, ‘Musa, say La ilaha illa Allah.’ So Musa said, ‘My Lord, but every single one of Your slaves says that!’ Allah again replied, ‘Say la ilaha illa Allah.’ So Musa said, ‘La ilaha illa anta - there is no god except for You. All that I want is for You to give me a dhikr that is for me alone!’ Allah replied, ‘Musa, if the seven heavens were to be placed in one side of a scales and la ilaha illa Allah in the other, La ilaha illa Allah would outweigh them.’” And the Prophet also said,
يؤتى برجلٍ إلى الميزانِ ويؤتَى بتسعةٍ وتسعين سِجِّلا كلُّ سِجِّلٍ منها مدُّ البَصَرِ فيها خطاياه وذنوبُه، فتوضَعُ في كفة الميزانِ ثم تَخرُجُ بطاقةٌ مقدارُ الأنملةِ فيها شهادةُ أن لا إله إلا اللهُ محمدٌ رسول اللهِ فتوضَعُ في الكفةِ الأخرى فتَرجَحُ بخطاياه وذنوبِه.
“A man will be brought to the scales whereupon 99 scrolls containing his crimes and wrong actions will be brought forth, each one stretching out as far as the eye can see, and be placed upon one side of the scales. Then a small strip of paper the size of a fingertip will be brought out with la ilaha illa Allah written on it and will be placed on the other side of the scales. And that small strip of paper will outweigh all his crimes and bad actions.” And he said,
ما من عبدٍ يقولُ لا إله إلا اللهُ مائةَ مرةٍ إلا بعثَهُ اللهُ يومَ القيامةِ ووجهُه كالقمرِ ليلةَ البدرِ ولم يُرفَعْ لأحدٍ يومئذ عَمَلٌ أفضلُ من عملِه إلا مَن قال مثلَ قولِه أو زاد
“Any slave of Allah who says la ilaha illa Allah 100 times will be raised up by Allah on the Day of Rising with his face lit up like the moon when it is as its fullest. And on that day, no action will be raised up so high, except for that of those who say the like of it or more.” And he said in a hadith qudsi, narrated by Ali ibn abi Talib,
يقولُ اللهُ تعالى لا إله إلا اللهُ حِصنِي فمَن دخله أمِن عذابي
“Allah says, ‘La ilaha illa Allah is my fortress - and whoever enters therein will be safe from My punishment.” These are just some of the hundreds of hadiths which enumerate the countless blessings of the shahada. Although one’s obligation is met by saying them once with the intention of fulfilling the first pillar of the din, many of its treasures are set aside for those who let their tongues run moist with it. And that is why the ‘ulama and the shuyukh advise us to say it as frequently as we can and fill every moment of time with it. Ibn ‘Ashir, the famous Maliki scholar from Fes, said,
وهي أفضلُ وجوهِ الذكر فاشغل بها العمرَ تفز بالذخر
“It is the best form of dhikr
so occupy the moments of your life with it and you will obtain the treasure.”
We ask Allah to grant us that treasure by making us people of la ilaha illallah muhammad rasulullah - people who embody it, people who live by it and people who repeat it constantly. We ask Him to give us a great Islam and always keep us among the ahl as-sunna wa jama’at. And that He keep us strong in the deen, and increase in knowledge of Him and the sunna of His beloved Prophet. And we ask Him to continue to guide the people of this city to Islam and continue to fill this mosque with the sound of shahadas and takbirs reverberated through its rafters!
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 أبي بكرٍ وعمرَ وعثمانَ وعلي ، وعن سائر الصحابة أجمعين، خصوصا الأنصارَ منهم والمهاجرين، وعن التابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
اللهم اهد ولاة 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 أمراءِ 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