Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Importance of Action
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل منفعة العلم في الأعمال، ونجاح العمل بالإخلاص فيه لله الواحد الفعال، 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 وأدى 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.
قال الله عز وجل في كتابه الكريم: ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “Enter the Garden because of what you did.” Muslims, the reality of this deen of Islam is that it is a deen of doing, a deen of action. Islam is not how much Qur’an you know or how many hadith - Islam is not a deep understanding of the books of fiqh or endless talk about how to put the world right - Islam is putting whatever it is we know into practice. For knowledge is a two-edged sword - it lifts up a person in the eyes of Allah and testifies on his behalf on the Day of Qiyama when it is acted upon, but when it is not acted upon, it testifies against him on that Day when a person needs every positive witness he can get. Bashar ibn al-Harith said,
العلم حسن لمن عمل به ، ومن لم يعمل ما أضره
“Knowledge is good for the one who acts by it. But there is nothing more harmful than it for the one who does not act.” And it was upon that basis that the Messenger of Allah taught the deen to his Companions, carefully doling it out to them in amounts that he knew they would be able to take on and immediately put into practice in their lives. He never taught them anything that they could not do or that he himself was not already doing. And that is one of the reasons that the Quran was not all revealed at once, but rather over the space of twenty-three years. To give the Muslims the opportunity to put everything they were taught into practice. For the great fear of the Messenger of Allah for his umma was not that they would lack knowledge, but rather that they would not act by what they knew. Mu’adh ibn Jabal narrated that he said,
إني لست أخاف عليكم فيما لا تعلمون ولكن انظروا كيف تعملون فيما تعلمون
“I have no fear for you with regard to what you do not know. Rather you must look to how you put what you do know into action.” The Prophet feared that the people of knowledge of his umma would become like those of the of the Bani Isra’il, about whom Allah says:
مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا
the translation of which is, “The metaphor of those who were charged with the Torah but then have not upheld it, is that of a donkey loaded with weighty tomes.” The great men of the sahaba understood this implicitly and so they took great care to only learn what they could implement in their own lives. It is said that Umar ibn al-Khattab spent twelve years memorising surat al-Baqara and that, with every ayat that he learned he made sure that he had fully put into practice before moving on to the next one. For the reality is that a thing is not truly known until it has been put into practice. Before that it is just words and information. Abu ad-Darda’ said
لا يكون الرجل عالما حتى يكون عاملا
“No one can be a person of knowledge until he is a person of action.”
And Dawud at-Ta’i compared a man who spends his life acquiring knowledge but does not act by it to a warrior who spends his life acquiring weapons but never uses them on the battlefield, and where is the point in that?
And Sufyan ibn Uyaynah said,
من عمل بما علم فهو العالم، ومن ترك العمل بما علم فهو الجاهل
“The one who acts by what he knows is an alim. While the one who does not act by what he knows is a jahil.” For ignorance is not ‘not knowing’, ignorance is knowing what to do and yet still not doing it. We have been placed in a unique position in this world today. The majority of people are lost - they wander aimlessly through the world unsure of where to go and unsure of what to do. They chase after the world because they see no alternative, they partake of the haram because they do not know what is halal. But we do know! We know what we should be doing. Allah has given us an understanding of the sickness of the world in which we live and has taught us the cure. We cannot claim the excuse of ignorance, and so our responsibility is that much greater and we have that much more to answer for. We must act. We must put into practice the solutions we talk about, otherwise we will become like those who say what they do not do. Allah says in surat as-Saff:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لا تَفْعَلُونَ كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ تَقُولُوا مَا لا تَفْعَلُونَ
the translation of which is, “You who believe! why do you say what you do not do? It is deeply abhorrent to Allah that you should say what you do not do.” And al-Walid ibn Uqba narrates that the Prophet said,
إن أناسا من أهل الجنة يتطلعون إلى أناس من أهل النار فيقولون: بم دخلتم النار فوالله ما دخلنا الجنة إلا بما تعلمنا منكم؟ فيقولون: إنا كنا نقول ولا نفعل
“People from the Garden will look across to people from the Fire and ask them, ‘How did you end up in the Fire? For, by Allah, we ourselves only got into the Garden because of what you taught us.’ They will reply, ‘We used to say but not do.’”
It is deeply abhorrent to Allah and takes a person to the Fire because it is the very height of hypocrisy. Abdallah ibn al-Mu’tizz said,
علم المنافق في قوله وعلم المؤمن في عمله
“The knowledge of a hypocrite lies in his words while the knowledge of a believer lies in his actions.” A person who knows one sura of the Quran, puts it into practice fully and lives by it is preferable to a man who knows the entire Quran and the books of hadith and yet neglects to implement them in his life.
And the time for action is now - not tomorrow or next year or after I sort out my personal issues or after I get my finances sorted out. In a very famous hadith from ‘Amr ibn Maymun, the Prophet said,
اغتنم خمسا قبل خمس : شبابك قبل هرمك وصحتك قبل سقمك وغناك قبل فقرك وفراغك قبل شغلك وحياتك قبل موتك
“Take advantage of five before five other things come to pass: your youth before old age; your health before sickness; your wealth before poverty; your free time before you become busy; and your life before you die.” None of us can guarantee how we will be tomorrow, whether we will be alive or dead, healthy or desperately ill, and so we have to take full advantage of the moments that we have. We must live in the now - and never leave till the morrow what we can do today, for procrastination is the sworn enemy of action and very often leads to the action not being done at all. It is narrated that al-Hasan said,
إياك والتسويف فإنك بيومك ولست بغدك، فإن يكن غد لك فكن في غد كما كنت في اليوم، وإن لم يكن لك غد لم تندم على ما فرطت في اليوم
“Beware of procrastination, for you living today and not tomorrow. If you have a tomorrow, then you can live tomorrow as you were today, and if you do not have a tomorrow, then you will regret having fallen short today.” And Abu al-Jalad said,
قرأت في بعض الكتب : إن سوف جند من جند إبليس
“I read somewhere in a book that the phrase ‘I will do such-and-such in the future’ is one of the soldiers of Iblis.” In other words, don’t say that you are going to do something, just go ahead and do it.
And remember why it is we give these khutbas and why it is you come to them. Not to absorb information, but rather to learn things that one can implement in one’s life. We do not, for example, talk about the marketplace or the waqfs simply to relay interesting tidbits about how Islam was in the past, but rather to encourage everyone here to go out and do what they can to bring that about. That is Islam. That is the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah, who put into practice every ayat of the Quran so that Aisha said about him that his character was the Qur’an, and that is the Sunnah of the Companions and all of those who followed in their footsteps. So we ask Allah to place us upon their footsteps and give us the success and strength to put into practice the knowledge that He has given us. And we ask Him to protect us from knowledge that we do not act upon.
أقول قولي هذا و أستغفر الله لي و لكم و لسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.الحمد 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 النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: لن يدخل أحدكم الجنة بعمله، قالوا: ولا أنت يا رسول الله؟ قال: ولا أنا إلا أن يتغمدني الله برحمة منه وفضل
The Prophet said, “None of you will enter the Garden by his actions.” “Not even you, Messenger of Allah?” they asked. “Not even me,” he replied, “unless Allah covers me with HIs mercy and bounty.” I have narrated this hadith so that all of us may be aware of the reality of the matter and that is that success is granted by Allah and not by anything we do. That is not to say we do not act, for Allah has commanded us to act, but rather that we must not rely upon ourselves and our actions. We must instead rely solely upon our Lord. We are weak and powerless and, in truth, cannot even accomplish the simplest thing. All power and all strength belongs to Allah. Allah says,
وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ
the translation of which is, “Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He wills. The choice is not theirs.” It is only when we realise our total incapacity and hand over the affair completely to Allah that we can accomplish anything. And, indeed, when we do that we can accomplish everything, for Allah’s Power is absolute and encompasses all things. And that is how a tiny community of poorly-armed Muslims defeated the two greatest empires of the time and conquered the majority of their lands. That is how one man’s dua protected Morocco and pushed back the French invaders. And that is how one man’s call to Islam has led to communities of Muslims being established in dozens of countries throughout the Western and Eastern world. All of those who did this were human beings, but human beings who trusted implicitly in their Lord. And one quality that was shared by all of these people was sabr. Allah says,
كَمْ مِنْ فِئَةٍ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَةً كَثِيرَةً بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ
the translation of which is, “How many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allah's permission. Allah is with the people of sabr/patience.” They kept on doing what they were commanded to do, regardless of success or failure, secure in the knowledge that success was in the hands of Allah and was not something with which they had to concern themselves, and that its time was known only to Him. And they knew that on the journey they would be tried and tested, for Allah says:
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آَمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
the translation of which is, “Do people imagine that they will be left to say, ‘We have belief,’ and will not be tested?” But that did not deter them from holding firm to the course upon which they had set themselves. And that should not deter us. Just because we do not see immediate results does not mean we should abandon one course of action and move onto another. Allah has given us the knowledge of which courses of action are the right ones to take, and so we should rely upon Him and do them. For after the difficulty will come ease, and the victory of Allah will not be long in coming. That is a promise from Allah, for He says in surat al-Baqara,
أَلَا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ
the translation of which is, “Be assured that Allah's help is very near.” But remember, to obtain that help and the promised victory, your intention must be purely for Allah. Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari says in his Hikam,
الأَعْمالُ صُوَرٌ قَائَمةٌ، وَأَرْواحُها وُجودُ سِرِّ الإِخْلاصِ فِيها.
“Actions are but propped-up shapes - their spirit and life lies in the existence of the secret of ikhlas/ pure sincerity within them.” So, without ikhlas, every act that we do, every project that we embark upon, will be dead in the water. So we ask Allah to grant us a pure ikhlas in all our actions, and that He give us the patience to see them through and the promised victory.
إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ (3) وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.
رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تَدَعْ فِي مَقَامِنَا هَذَا ذَنْباً إِلاَّ غَفَرْتَهُ، وَلاَ عَيْباً إِلاَّ سَتَرْتَهُ، وَلاَ مَرِيضاً إِلاَّ شَفَيْتَهُ وَعَافَيْتَهُ، وَلاَ مَسْجُوناً إِلاَّ طَلَقْتَ سَرَاحَهُ، وَلاَ مُسَافِراً فِي بَرِّكَ وَبَحْرِكَ إِلاَّ سَلِِمْتَهُ وَغَنِمْتَهُ.
إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.