Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Shafa'a
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي خص نبيَه بالوسيلةِ والشفاعة، وأدخل بها من وحّد من أمتِه إلى الجنة، 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.
The Messenger of Allah holds a unique position within creation and has a special station with his Lord. And that holds true just as much in the Next World as it does in this one, for there he will be granted the maqamun mahmud - the praiseworthy station, a station granted to none but him. Allah says:
عَسَى أَنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا
the translation of which is “It may well be that your Lord will raise you to a Praiseworthy Station.” But what is this praiseworthy station? According to the mufassirin, it refers to one of two things, or possibly to both of them: the first is that it will be him who holds aloft the banner to which all believers, past and present, including the previous Prophets, Messengers and their followers, will flock on the day of Qiyama. The Prophet said, as narrated by Anas,
معي لواءُ الحمدِ يوم القيامة، وأنا أولُ من تُفتَح له الجنةُ ولا فخر
“The Banner of Praise will be with me on the Day of Rising and I will be the first for whom the Garden will open, and that is no boast.” This banner will be given him to hold and no one else and he will be the focal point, the gathering point for all believers. All will come to him and stand beneath his flag on the Day of Rising and that place in which he stands will be the maqamun mahmud. That is the first honour his Lord will grant him on that day. The other is that he will be granted the shafa‘a, the capacity to intercede with Allah. And this is the second interpretation that the mufassirun give to maqamun mahmud, for Abu Hurayra narrates that when the Messenger of Allah was asked what the praiseworthy station was, he said,
المقام المحمودُ هو المقامُ الذي أشفَعُ فيه لأمتي
“The praiseworthy station is the station in which I intercede for my umma.” This honour has not been and will not be granted to any other Prophet - it belongs solely and exclusively to the Messenger of Allah. He himself said,
لكل نبي دعوةٌ يدعو بها، واختبأتُ دعوتي شفاعةً لأمتي يوم القيامة
“Every Prophet has a supplication that he makes. I have reserved my supplication for intercession for my community on the Day of Rising.” In other words, Allah permitted His Prophets to ask on behalf of their communities and promised them that their supplications would be answered. But the Messenger of Allah chose to store that supplication up for the Day of poverty and terror, because that was the place he felt it would be of greatest benefit to them.
According to Qadi Iyad, there are four forms of shafa‘a that have been granted to the Messenger of Allah. The first of these is the general intercession - this is when he intercedes on behalf of all the believers, both from his umma and previous ones. In a long hadith narrated by Anas ibn Malik, the Prophet relates that on the day of Rising, the people will approach each Prophet in turn, Adam, Ibrahim, Musa, and will ask them to intercede with Allah on their behalf. But each of them will refuse saying that it is not their right and will send them on to the next Prophet until Isa finally sends them to our own Prophet, Muhammad, who finally be the one to accept, saying,
‘I am your man.’” Then straight away go to his Lord, prostrate before Him and intercede on their behalf, and they will be granted relief from the harshness of the sun and the hardship of the standing on that day when there is no shade except for that directly granted by Allah. In that moment at that place he will intercede for every one of them along with most of the rest of creation. Anas ibn Malik narrated that he said,
لأشفعَنَّ يوم القيامة لأكثرَ مِمَّا في الأرض مِن حَجَرٍ وَشَجَرٍ
“I will intercede on the Day of Rising for most of what is on the earth, including its rocks and trees.”
The second level of intercession granted the Prophet is that of having people of his umma enter the Garden bighayri hisaab - without any Reckoning, as has come down in a narration from Abu Hurayra,
فيقال: يا محمدُ، ارفع رأسَك، سل تُعطَه، واشفع تُشفَع، فأرفعُ رأسي، فأقول: يا رب أمتي، يا رب أمتي. فيَقُولُ: أدخِل من أمتِك مَن لا حسابَ عليه من الباب الأيمنِ مِن أبوابِ الجنة، وهم شركاءُ الناسِ فيما سوى ذلك من الأبواب.
“It will be said, ‘Muhammad, lift up your head. Ask and it will be given to you. Intercede and your intercession will be granted.’ The Prophet will say, ‘I will raise my head and say, ‘O Lord, my community! O Lord, my community!’ He will say, ‘Admit [to the Garden] through the righthand gate those of your community who will not have to undergo the Reckoning. [The rest of your umma] can share the other gates with all the other people.’”
The third level of intercession granted the Prophet is reserved for those of his umma who affirmed the Oneness of Allah but whose actions brought them to the Fire. The Prophet said,
فيقال لي: ارفع رأسك، و قل يُسمَع، واشفع تُشفَع، وسل تُعطَه. فأقول: يا رب، ائذَن لي فيمن قال: لا إله إلا الله. قال: ليس ذلك إليك. ولكن وعزتي وكبريائي وعَظَمتي وجِبريائي لأخرجَنَّ من النار من قال: لا إله إلا الله.
“I will be told, ‘Lift up your head! Speak and you will be heard. Intercede and it will be granted. Ask and you will be given!’ I will say, ‘O Lord, give me permission for the one who says, “There is no god but Allah”.’ He will say, “That is not your affair, but by My might, My pride, My immensity and My greatness, I will bring out of the Fire those who say, “There is no god but Allah.”
Thanks to the intercession of the Prophet, no matter how heinous a person’s actions, so long as there is but a single grain of belief in his heart, Allah will bring him out of the Fire and admit him to the Garden. Ibn Abbas narrates that the Prophet said,
فيقول الله تبارك وتعالى: ما تريدُ بأمتك؟ فأقول: يا رب، عَجِّل حسابَهم، فيُدعَى بهم، فيحاسَبون. فمنهم من يدخل برحمته، ومنهم من يدخل الجنةَ بشفاعتي، ولا أزالُ أشفعُ حتى أُعطَى صِكاكاً برجالٍ قد أُمِرَ بهم إلى النار، حتى إن خازنَ النار ليقولُ: يا محمد، ما تركتَ لغضبِ ربك في أمتك من نِقمَة.
“Allah will ask me, ‘What do you want Me to do with your community?’ I will reply, ‘O Lord, make their reckoning quick.’ He will call for them and they will be judged. Some of them will enter the Garden by His mercy and some of them will enter the Garden by my intercession. And I will continue to intercede until He gives a paper of good deeds to men who have been commanded to the Fire. So the Guardian of the Fire will say, ‘Muhammad! You haven’t left any scope for the anger of your Lord against your community!’” Alahumma sali ‘ala Muhammad.
The fourth level of intercession is for the those who have already been granted the Garden. The Prophet will ask that each of them be given a station higher than that merited by their good actions. And that is why we find it narrated of so many of the salaf and the men of Allah that they used to ask for the intercession of the Prophet despite their high station with Allah. So we ask Allah to grant us his intercession and repay him with the best a Prophet can be repaid from his community. And we ask Him to bless him abundantly.
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.
There are a number of ways in which a person can make himself eligible for the intercession of the Prophet. The first of those is to ask him for it. Now, there are some people within the Muslim umma who claim that is forbidden to ask for shafa‘a from the Prophet and that it is a form of shirk, because, they say, he is dead and the dead are incapable of doing anything. And asking that which is incapable of doing anything is shirk. These claims are easily refuted, for although the Messenger of Allah no longer walks the earth, he is not truly dead. Anas narrates that the Prophet said,
الأنبياءُ أحياءُ في قبورهم يُصَلُّون
“The Prophets are alive in their graves, praying.” Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzi said on this matter, “It is confirmed in the Sahih from the Prophet that the earth does not consume the bodies of the Prophets; that he met with previous Prophets on the Night of the Isra in Jerusalem, and later the same night in heaven (during the mi’raj); that whenever a Muslim sends him salams, Allah returns his ruh to the Prophet so that he can return the salam, and many other such things. When all these matters are taken together, they prove decisively that when we say the Prophets are dead, we simply mean that they are in the Unseen in a place we cannot see them. The reality is that they are alive and in existence, just like the angels, who despite the fact that we cannot see them, are alive and in existence.”
And that is also shown by the fact that we say, “Assalaamu alayka ayyahu-n-nabiy - Peace be upon you, O Prophet,’ in the prayer, directly addressing the Prophet. And you do not use the second person pronoun, ‘you’, unless the one you are addressing is alive and in existence and can hear you. So the objection that the Prophet is dead is not a valid one. And even were it valid, still the fact that it has been the ijma, the practice of all the great men of this community to ask for intercession should be enough for us. There is a wonderful story narrated in the Shifa of a visit the khalifa Abu Ja’far made to the grave of the Prophet. When he entered the rawda, he wanted to know the correct adab for making dua there, so he asked Imam Malik whether he should face the qibla or face the Messenger of Allah. Imam Malik replied,
ولِمَ تَصرِفُ وَجهَكَ عنه وهو وسيلتُك ووسيلةُ أبيك ءادمَ عليه السلام إلى الله تعالى؟ بل استقبلْه واستشفعْ به فيشفَعَه الله
“Why would you turn your face from him when he is your means and the means of your father, Adam, to Allah on the Day of Rising? I face him and ask him to intercede on my behalf, and Allah will grant his intercession.” This is the adab and this is the dua of all true men of knowledge and all true men of Allah from the time of the Prophet until the present day and anyone who says or does otherwise belittles the Messenger of Allah and cuts himself off. You must never think for one moment that it is your own actions that guarantee you success and entrance to the Garden, for the reality is that are but two ways in, as the Prophet mentioned in the hadith we quoted in the first khutba,
فمنهم من يدخل برحمته، ومنهم من يدخل الجنةَ بشفاعتي
“Some will enter the Garden by His mercy and some will enter the Garden by my intercession.” His intercession, his shafa’a is the key that unlocks the gateway to the Garden and opens the way to the Pleasure of our Lord, so we must use whatever means are available to us to obtain it. These means include asking him for it, as we have said, saying ‘la ilaha illa-l-lah’ with true sincerity, saying much salawat on the Prophet and making the following dua after every adhan,
اللهم ربَّ هذه الدعوة التامة، والصلاة القائمة، آت محمدا الوسيلة والفضيلة، وابعثه مقاما محمودا الذي وعدته
‘O Allah, Lord of this perfect call and established prayer, give Muhammad the wasila and the fadila, and grant him the praiseworthy station that you promised him.’ None of these paths should be neglected. We ask the Messenger of Allah to intercede on our behalf and ask Allah to grant us his intercession. Let us finish with the dua of Shaykh Ahmad al-Huwaarii, mentioned in the Hafidha of Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib:
تشــفع يا رســــول الله فينا فما نـرجو شفـاعة من ســـواك
أغث يا خير خلق الله قوما ضعافــا ظلهــم أبـــدا لواكـــــا
وســارع فـــي إغاثتنا فإنا نري المولي يسارع في رضاك
عليك صـــلاة ربك كل حين وآلك كلهم ومـــن ولاك
Intercede for us, Messenger of Allah, we do not hope for intercession from any but you.
Grant help, best of Allah’s creation, to a weak people whose protection is always your banner,
Hasten to aid us, for we see that the Lord is swift to please you.
May the blessings of your Lord be upon you in every moment, and on all your family and those who are your friends. Amin.
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.