Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Sabr
الحَمْدُ للهِ، الحَمْدُ للهِ الذي جعل الدنيا دارَ الفتنةِ والبلاءِ، ليمتحنَ بها قلوبَ المومنين والفقراء، ويرى من كان منهم يُلقَّاها بالصبرِ والرضا، 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.
Know that as human beings, as carriers of the amaana, we must go through a process we call life. And in the course of that life, there will be days of hardship and days of ease; days when everything seems to conspire against you and days when everything seems to work for you and go according to plan; days when you suffer tremendous pain and illness and days when you enjoy the best of health. And that is even more true when you are one of the believers, for Allah says:
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آَمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
the translation of which is, “Do people think they will be left to say “We believe” without suffering trials and tribulations?”
This life is one long test and its purpose is to sort the wheat from the chaff, the people of the right hand from the people of the left hand. For it is only through adversity that a person's true character rises to the surface. The sheep may act like a wolf when in the company of other sheep, but as soon as he comes into contact with a real wolf, his true nature becomes apparent. And the same is true of us, the sincerity of our belief is known by us being placed in situations where it is hard to be a believer. And the stronger our claims to belief, the more it must be tested, and the more our hearts must be tempered and purified. As the Shaykh said on Saturday, the steel of the sword is made strong by plunging it into the fire and then plunging it into the water. And each successive time that is done the stronger it becomes.
And, that is why those are the closest to Allah and those who are the most beloved by him are those who undergo the greatest hardships and are tested the most, as is confirmed by the Prophet , صلى الله عليه وسلم, when he said,
أشدُّ الناس بلاءً الأنبياءُ ثمّ الصالحون
“The people who are tried the most are the Prophets and then the salihun (the right-acting).” The truth of this statement is readily apparent when you open the Qur’an and read the stories it relates of the Prophets and what happened to them - Adam , عليه والسلام, was expelled from the Garden; Nuh, عليه والسلام, was rejected and abused by his people for 950 years; Ayyub, عليه والسلام, lost his whole family, all his wealth and was afflicted by illness continuously for years on end; Yunus, عليه والسلام, was totally rejected by his people, for when he first went to them not a single one became Muslim, and was then swallowed by a whale; Ibrahim, عليه والسلام, was thrown into a raging fire; and our own Prophet, Muhammad, صلى الله عليه والسلم, underwent years of famine and physical and verbal abuse in Makkah, with rubbish, dung and entrails being poured over him on a daily basi, and lost all of his sons and most of his daughters in the course of his lifetime. But did this cause them to despair of the Mercy of their Lord or of the eventual victory which He had promised them? No, because they knew that each fresh trial was a purification. The Prophet said,
مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلَا وَصَبٍ وَلَا هَمٍّ وَلَا حُزْنٍ وَلَا أَذًى وَلَا غَمٍّ حَتَّى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا إِلَّا كَفَّرَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ
“No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor harm, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it is only the prick of a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his wrong actions on account of that.” They knew that affliction was but a sign of how much their Lord loved them.
The Prophet said , صلى الله عليه وسلم, when a man came to him complaining that his money had all gone and his body had become ill and debilitated,
لا خيرَ في عبدٍ لا يَذهبُ مالُه ولا يَسقَمُ جَسدُه، إن الله إذا أَحبَّ عبدا ابتلاه، وإذا ابتلاه صبَّره.
“There is no good in a slave whose money is not taken away, and whose body is not made ill. If Allah loves a slave, then he will try him, and then when he tries him, he will give him sabr.”
So, the closer you get to your Lord and the further you travel along the path, the more trials and tribulations you will undergo. But, we are weak human beings, so how do we cope when we are confronted by these tests. How do we get through them, and, indeed, benefit from them? The answer is provided in the hadith we just mentioned: We must have sabr. But what is sabr? Sabr is the fortitude and steadfastness to endure what befalls you and not complain about it to anyone but Allah. Sabr is the capacity to accept what happens with good grace and not look around for anyone to blame. That is sabr.
In the course of our lives, there are many types of affliction that befall us and their cure is always sabr. Allah says,
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
the translation of which is, “We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and life and fruits. But give good news to the people of sabr: Those who, when disaster strikes them, say, “إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ - ‘we belong to Allah and to Him we will return.’”
It is this quality of sabr that stops a person being lost like the rest of mankind. Allah says:
وَالْعَصْرِ إِنَّ الاِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ إِلَّا الذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
the translation of which is, “By the late afternoon, truly man is in loss, except for those who believe and do right actions and urge each other on the truth and urge each other on to sabr.”
It is this quality of sabr that defines the believer and makes him worthy of the admiration of Prophets, for the Prophet said:
“عَجَبًا لِأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ”
“The state of the believer is an amazing one, for there is good in everything that happens to him, and that is true of no one but the believer. When something joyous befalls him, he is thankful, - thereby making it good for him; and when something distressing befalls him, he endures it with sabr, - thereby making it good for him.”
This capacity to endure even the hardest of hardships and find good in them is a gift beyond compare. This quality of sabr is priceless indeed, as is confirmed by the Prophet , صلى الله عليه وسلم, when he said,
ما أعطِيَ أحدٌ من عَطَاءٍ خيرا و أوسعَ من الصبر
“No one has been granted a gift better or more comprehensive than sabr.”
Its station with Allah is so exalted that He saw fit to mention it more than ninety times in the Qur’an, and promised a reward for it the extent of which only Allah knows. For every other good action that man does, he receives a reward of between 10 and 700 times except for sabr whose reward is beyond reckoning. Allah says:
إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
the translation of which is, “Those who have sabr will be paid their wages in full without any reckoning”
So if some calamity befalls you - if you lose all your wealth, or fall terminally ill or someone close and dear to you passes away - then have sabr. Bear it with fortitude and do not despair of the Mercy of Allah. Be like Imam Malik , رضي الله عنه, who, when he was sitting one time narrating the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, was bitten by a scorpion. Such was his sabr, however, and his respect for the words of the Messenger of Allah, صلى الله عليه وسلم, that he did not move - despite the fact that the scorpion bit him another sixteen times until his skin turned yellow - and continued to narrate the hadith until he had finished it.
Remember also that adversity is a sign of your Lord’s love for you and that through it, your wrong actions will be forgiven, you will be raised up in the company of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, and you will draw nearer to Allah. Take comfort in this and know that one of the men of Allah has said, “When a man is raised on the Day of Rising and sees the extent of the reward that he receives on account of the trials, tribulations and afflictions that befall him during the course of his life, he will wish that all of his children, relatives and loved ones had died before him so that he could have received the reward for enduring those losses with patience and steadfastness.”
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر 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 الله تعالى في كتابه العزيز: “يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ”
Allah says, the translation of which is, “O you who believe, seek help in sabr and in the prayer. Allah is with those who have sabr.“
The type of sabr we mentioned in the first khutba - الصبر على البلاء “steadfastness in the face of adversity” - is but one of four types of sabr that the believer should seek to acquire. The other three are الصبر على الطاعة and الصبر عن المعصية and الصبر على النِعم:
الصبر على الطاعة - ‘steadfastness in obedience to Allah’ means holding firm to the Shari‘ah of Allah and persevering in the acts of worship that you have been commanded to do, whether they be connected to your wealth, your body or your heart. Some days, acts of worship that you found light and easy the previous day, feel heavy and difficult - suddenly getting up for Fajr or going to the mosque become a huge battle and you find yourself not wanting to do them. Sometimes the pull towards the dunya feels stronger than the pull towards your Lord. That is when you must have sabr, and be strong in the face of the weaknesses of your body and the whisperings of your nafs, and persevere.
الصبر عن المعصية - “steadfastness in avoiding disobedience to Allah” is fighting the impulses of the nafs to turn away from the Lord and give free rein to its appetites. It entails purifying it of its base and ignoble characteristics and replacing them with lofty and noble ones. Sometimes, this battle feels like a losing one and it feels as if you will never be able to tame it or get the upper hand. That is when you must have sabr and not give up the fight. Both these types of sabr are referred to when Allah says:
“وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا”
the translation of which is, “Have sabr along with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, desiring His face. And do not turn your eyes from them, desiring the attractions of this world.”
The final type of sabr, ‘الصبر على النِعم - ‘steadfastness in the face of the blessings of Allah’ means making sure to thank Allah for those blessings, not becoming proud on account of them and not using them to wrong or oppress anyone else. For the truth of the matter is that a blessing can be an even greater test for a believer than any hardship, since it entails a debt of gratitude, both to the Bestower of blessings and to the means by which it reached him. But if for one moment he takes it for granted and thinks it to be his right, all his good work is undone So have sabr when you receive those blessings and make sure to always thank your Lord and the means.
So, Muslims, take on the quality of sabr and enjoy its fruits in this world and the Next. And be one of the muhtadun, who have been promised salawat and mercy from their Lord, for Allah says:
أُولَئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
the translation of which is, “Those are the ones who will have salawat and mercy from their Lord; they are the ones who are guided.” They will have salawat from Allah, not just one by many. And given that one single salaat from Allah brings with it three benefits - ease and success in obeying Him, protection against disobeying Him and forgiveness for one’s wrong actions - can you even imagine what wonders await those to whom He has promised many salawaat?
We ask Allah to place among the ranks of the saabireen. We ask Him to give us the patience and the fortitude to bear whatever affliction befalls us, no matter how great, and allow us to find peace and contentment in what He has written for us. We ask Him to make us amongst those who, when afflicted, say:
“إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون اللهم أجرني في مصيبتي وأخلف لي خيرا منها”
“To Allah we belong and to Him we return. O Allah, give me refuge in my time of afflictions and give me something better than it in return.”
We ask Him to have mercy on all those among us who have passed away and gone on to meet their Lord! We ask that He grant them light and expansion in their graves, accept their right actions and overlook their wrong actions, and raise them up in the company of His beloved Prophet on the Day of Qiyama. And we ask that He place sabr in the hearts of those whom they have left behind and give them the strength and success to increase in right action and draw nearer to Him as a result. O Allah, to those of us who are in difficulty, grant ease; and to those of us who are ill and in pain, bring healing. O Allah, forgive us our wrong actions and grant the best of seals.
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.