Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Mahdism
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل لكل شيء أجلا مسمّى، وجعل فيه تذكرة لمن يخشى،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
Last week we talked about one of the esoteric deviations that has crept/stolen its way into the philosophy and mindset of many so-called Muslims today, that of pereniallism, that of believing all unitarian religions to be essentially correct and valid, and Islam to be but one of the paths to Allah. But that is not the only deviation that has taken firm root among the MUslims today, for there is another belief that has become widespread and that is equally/ if not more pernicious, and that is that we are witness to the final days of this world, as is evidenced they say by the majority of the signs of the Last Day having been fulfilled, and nothing is left for us except to wait for the Mahdi and prepare for his arrival. Any event that happens is interpreted to fit in with this viewpoint, whether that be the Jews taking control over Jerusalem or the wars in Iraq or the large numbers of natural disasters that have befallen the world in recent times, such as the recent earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan or the floods in Bangladesh and Pakistan. For did not the Prophet say,
لا تقوم الساعة حتى تكثر الزلازل
“The Final Hour will not come until there have been a great many earthquakes.” And the more people study these signs, the more of them they see around them as having been fulfilled, until eventually they get caught up in the belief that we are living in the time of universal dhulm, jur and fasad, injustice and corruption, that immediately precedes his arrival and that nothing can lift that state of injustice and corruption, and return us to a state of perfect justice but him. For did the Prophet not say,
المهدي مني أجلى الجبهة أقنى الأنف يملأ الأرض قسطا وعدلا كما ملئت ظلما وجورا يملك سبع سنين
“The Mahdi is from me. He has a bald forehead and an aquiline nose. He will fill the earth with equity and justice, as it had been filled with injustice and crime. He will rule seven years.” While it is true that there are many hadith relating to the coming of the mahdi, dozens in fact, very few are acknowledged to be hasan, let alone sahih. Ibn Khaldun analyses a large number of these hadith in his Muqadimmah in the section entitled,
في أمر الفاطمي وما يذهب إليه الناس في شأنه وكشف الغطاء عن ذلك
“The Fatimid: The opinions of the people about him and the truth about the matter,” and expresses reservations about them, showing that there is doubt concerning the majority of their isnads, And, as a result, he and many others have not considered believing in the coming of the Mahdi to be an obligatory part of our Aqida - it is not one of the matters that if a person denies it, he falls outside of the deen. For essential tenets of faith may only be established by adilla qat'iyya (decisive proofs), and decisive proofs are considered to be of two types - Quranic ayats or mutawatir sahih hadith. The Mahdi is nowhere mentioned in the Quran, and as for the hadith, the number of them that may be considered authentic are far too few for them to be considered mutawatir.
We are not saying do not believe that a man know as the Mahdi, from the family of the Prophet and bearing his name, will come, for the preponderance of sources indicate that he will, but what we are saying is that people should not place so much emphasis on his coming, for it is a matter that is outside of our hands and beyond our control. He will not be a Prophet and will not bring anything new to our deen, for the deen in its entirety was brought to us by the Messenger of Allah. And there is no aspect of the deen that is dependent upon him or requires his presence before it can be fulfilled properly. There is no part of the deen that cannot be done now. There is no reason and no justification for waiting for him, and yet we find many people doing just that, claiming that to be the highest form of ibada today, quoting weak hadith which are often also found in the books of the Shia, such as,
أفضل العبادة انتظار الفرج
"The best form of ibada is waiting for relief/salvation," to back up their claim. Such people believe that our cause is hopeless today and that nothing can be done to return the Muslims to power and defeat the enemies of Allah until he comes.
Shaykh Nazim of Cyprus, for example, says,
"We do not accept that God be disobeyed, and that the Nation be tormented, and that the flag of Satan continue to be raised for one, two, or four more years, nor for one day more. Therefore, every morning we say, “Tonight he will appear;” and every night we say, “Tomorrow he will appear.”
In other words, our only hope of salvation and victory for the deen lies with the coming of this saviour, and we must direct all of our energy towards preparing for him and making dua for his arrival. No social regeneration, only personal transformation, despite the fact that the main sunna of the Prophet was the Madina, the establishment of a fully-functioning deen. What this implies is that there is no point in striving to establish the deen ourselves or restore the caliphate since the success of all such endeavours in these final days and hours is dependent upon the Mahdi himself being the one to undertake them. All efforts by others of a similar nature are thus necessarily doomed to failure, and thus to work towards them is a waste of time. This is the implication, and indeed I had a firsthand experience of this way of viewing things when I was attempting to explain to some Muslims a few years ago that paper money was riba and that it was incumbent upon us to mint gold and silver to use in its stead. The response I got? “The Prophet made it clear that the proliferation of riba will be one of the signs of the end of time, for he said,
بين يدي الساعة يظهر الربا والزنى والخمر
“Riba, fornication and alcohol will become rife in the time immediately preceding the Final Hour.” And at the end of time we know that kufr will remain uppermost in the land until the Mahdi comes and brings victory to the deen and prosperity to the Muslims. So there is nothing we can do.” In this way, he washed his hand of any responsibility and justified the status quo. Mashallah, do such people consider Allah powerless. Do they, based upon their own personal interpretation of world events, deem it impossible for Allah to bring help to the Muslim umma in its time of need except through the appearance of this one person? Do they not know that Allah says,
لاَ تَقْنَطُواْ مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللهِ
the translation of which is, “Do not despair of the Mercy of Allah.” For such a belief can only be the product of despair in the Mercy of Allah and a defeatist attitude, a belief that we as Muslims are powerless to change our situation. And that is indeed the case if you look historically at all of those who have championed the belief in the Mahdi, chief among whom were the Shi'a, who were always a minority and disenfranchised and thus felt alienated and excluded from power. As for amongst the main body of the Muslims, talk of the Mahdi and claims of his imminent appearance tended to be most common in times of great upheaval, such as after the Muslims had been expelled from Spain, or defeated by the British in India, or massacred by the Mongols in Baghdad: every time the Muslims suffered a humiliating defeat or reversal, these groups sprang up and many of them believed the end of days to be upon them, seeing signs of that all about them, just like these Muslims about whom we speak today. But the truth of the matter is that they were wrong and their interpretation of those signs was faulty. The truth of the matter is that the timing of the Final Hour is one of those matters that is known to Allah alone and no one else. Allah says,
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ رَبِّي لَا يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ثَقُلَتْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَا تَأْتِيكُمْ إِلَّا بَغْتَةً يَسْأَلُونَكَ كَأَنَّكَ حَفِيٌّ عَنْهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
the translation of which is, “They will ask you about the Hour: when is it due? Say: 'Knowledge of it rests with my Lord alone. He alone will reveal it at its proper time. It hangs heavy in the heavens and the earth. It will not come upon you except suddenly.' They will ask you as if you had full knowledge of it. Say: 'Knowledge of it rests with Allah alone. But most people do not know.'”
Not even the Prophets claimed to know exactly when the Hour would arrive, and so anyone who claims to possess such knowledge is telling a lie. Beware of them and beware of placing too much emphasis on studying the signs of the Last Day, for the more you look into them the more you will see them about you and the more you will convince yourself that events will follow an inevitable course and that there is nothing that can be done to alter that. It is that viewpoint that leads to despair and the abandonment of a large portion of the deen of Allah. Allah only brings change to those who change themselves.
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله العظيم لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو التوّابُ 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 تعالى في كتابه الكريم إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ آتِيَةٌ لاَّ رَيْبَ فِيهَا
Allah says in his Noble Quran, the translation of which is, “The Hour is coming, of that there is no doubt.” Yes the final hour is coming and yes it is important that we know that - so important in fact that there are many dozens ayats in in the Quran that warn us of it. Every Muslim must be aware of that and every Muslim must believe it. What is not important, however, is knowledge of when it is, for that is not a knowledge which will benefit any of us. Whenever the Prophet was asked about the Hour, he would never reply to the question directly but would instead direct the questioner to the matter that was more important,
مَا أَعْدَدْتَ لَهَا
“What have you prepared for it?” And as we know, the best form of zad/provision for a journey is taqwa. And taqwa is obeying the Commands of Allah and avoiding HIs prohibition - putting as much of his deen into practice as we can. The entire purpose of knowing of the hour is to spur us on to do more, not to do less because we are aware that things could come to an end for each and every one of us at any moment. The Hour must not find us idle and waiting for some saviour to come and change our situation but rather it must find us doing everything we can to establish the deen of Allah. We are people of action not people of waiting. As Imam al-Junaid said,
"Islam is a struggle without a truce." In other words, the struggle will continue unabated until the yawm al-Qiyamah, until this world comes to an end. The Prophet said,
إن قامت الساعة وبيد أحدكم فسيلة فليغرسها
“If the Hour comes and finds a sapling in your hand, you should continue to plant it.” The imminence of the Hour is not a sign for us to make less effort to obey the Commands of Allah because someone is coming who will bring those things about on our behalf, but rather it is a sign for us to do more, because the time in which actions will benefit us will almost be at an end. The hadiths of the Mahdi should have no effect on the way we act on a day-to-day basis and should have no impact on our lives. We must continue to place our trust in Allah and Allah alone and never despair of His Aid or Mercy. We must know that He will never leave this umma or let it be totally humiliated and defeated, but instead has promised us to renew this deen in every century. For the Prophet said,
إن الله يبعث على رأس كل مائة عام من يجدد لهذه الأمة أمر دينها
“Allah sends to this umma at the beginning of each century those who renew the deen.” Renewal, that restoration of the deen in all its magnificence and glory is what we must all be working for. And if and when the Final Hour does come and the Mahdi does appear, those will be the people who gather round him and fight by his side.
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.