Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Ghulw
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل الدينَ الحنيف بين التفريط والإفراط، وجعل خيرَ الأمور هي التي وقع في الأوساط، 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: والذين إذا نفقوا لم يسرفوا ولم يقتروا وكان بين ذلك قواماً
Allah says in His mighty Book, the translation of which is, “Those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor mean, but take a stance mid way between the two.“ Muslims, Shaytan comes at people from one of two ways - either by encouraging them to do less and less or encouraging them to do more and more. Both ways lead to their destruction. This is clear when it comes to doing less and less, for that leads eventually to the abandonment of those acts upon which the deen is built, but how can it be a bad thing to do more and more, and why does Shaytan use that as a tool of misguidance? The reason is because it can lead to excess in the deen, a tendency that poses a great danger to individuals and society. The Prophet said,
إياكم والغلو في الدين ، فإنما أهلك من كان قبلكم الغلو في الدين
“Beware of excess in the deen. The only thing that brought about the destruction of those who came before you was excess in the deen.” And he also said,
هلك المتنطعون هلك المتنطعون هلك المتنطعون
“Those who go to excess will be destroyed. Those who go to excess will be destroyed. Those who go to excess will be destroyed.” (ghuluw), ‘going to excess’ means going beyond the boundaries of what is required and going to extremes. The Christians went to extremes by deifying their Prophet, by saying that Isa was the son of Allah, while the Jews went to extremes by considering themselves the special race and thinking that they had the monopoly on knowledge - and by extension considering all other races inferior - saying,
نحن أبناؤا الله وأحباؤه
the translation of which is, “We are the sons of Allah and those most beloved to Him.” And as a result brought Allah’s curse and anger down upon themselves. And we Muslims are in constant danger of the same, for those same tendencies exist within us. Already as an umma, we have split into more sects than those deens before us. And every time, it was some excess they went to in the deen that pulled them away from the jama’a/ from the main body of the Muslims. The shia went to excess in love of sayyidina ‘Ali and the family of the Prophet, leading to them rejecting and despising the rest of the Companions and the majority of the Muslim umma who took their deen from them, while the Khawarij went to excess in the literal interpretation of the law, rejecting any interpretation other than their own and considering those who adopted other interpretations to be outside of the deen. And it was adherents of these two extremist groups that assassinated two of the four khulafa ar-rashidin, Shia supporters killing Uthman, and khawarij supporters killing Ali. Indeed, not one of the early Muslim leaders was killed or defeated by the enemies of Islam, but only ever by extremist elements within their own ranks. And that pattern has continued throughout the ages. Hence, extremism, and specifically going to excess in the deen, poses a bigger risk to the Muslim umma than its enemies ever will.
And that is because excess in the deen is, by its very nature, divisive. It is the primary cause of fitna, and as Allah says,
والفتنة أشد من القتل
the translation of which is, “Fitna is worse than killing.” For people who go to excess, especially those who go to excess in matters of fiqh, tend to be puritanical and view matters in black and white. For them, there are only two categories of ruling: obligatory and forbidden. Hence, anything that contradicts their narrow world view, is considered bida and outside the pale of Islam. Anything I remember that when we were in Albania, reminding the people there of the deen of Allah and of their rich heritage, one group of such people declared us to be fasiqs and outside of the deen because we did dhikr together in a group. By their constant criticisms of other people’s actions, these people pit sons against fathers, and brothers against brothers, fraying the ties that link us together as Muslims until they eventually snap. And their excess in the deen leads them to believe that they are doing good, whereas in fact the reality is the exact opposite. For as it says in a famous hadith, “The believer is one who is harsh on himself but generous with others, while the munafiq is the one who is harsh on others but generous with himself.”
So, it is incumbent upon us to avoid taking things to excess. But, equally, we must be wary of going to the other extreme and being lax in carrying out those things that Allah has commanded us to do. Islam is a deen of balance, one that treads the middle way. Allah says,
وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا
the translation of which is, “In this way We have made you a middlemost community” Three men came before the Prophet. One of them said,
أنا أصلي الليل أبدا .
“I stand the whole night every night in prayer.’ Another said,
وأنا أصوم الدهر أبدا ولا أفطر .
“I fast every day.” And the third said,
وأنا اعتزل النساء فلا أتزوج أبدا.
“I avoid the company of women and will never marry.” So, the Prophet said,
أما أنا والله إني لأخشاكم لله وأتقاكم له لكنى أصوم وأفطر ، وأصلى وأرقد ، وأتزوج النساء ، فمن رغب عن سنتي فليس منى
“As for me, I have more fear and taqwa of Allah than any of you, and yet I both fast and do not fast, pray and sleep, and marry women. Whoever turns aside from my sunna is not from me.” So, the middle way entails keeping to the sunna of the Messenger of Allah and the boundaries that Allah set us, as preserved for us by the great awliya and ulama and each succeeding generation. That is the desired moderation for which the Muslim must strive, not what today is being sold to us by hollywood and the media as moderation. For what they term ‘moderation’ is nothing but the opposite extreme - the Muslim who enters and wins the Miss USA contest, the Muslim who tows the party line. As for the Muslim who mentions Shari’a or who prays five times a day, he is a fundamentalist and extremist, and is lumped into the same category as terrorists and misogynists. We must not allow them to define us in such terms. The parameters of the deen are clear and have been meticulously preserved for us. The boundaries are defined - all we must do is stay inside of them. That is moderation. That is the middle way. Going back to the sunna of the Messenger of Allah and implementing it in the present day. As Imam Malik said,
ولا يُصلح آخر هذه الأمة إلا ما أصلحَ أولها
“The end of this umma will not be set aright by anything except that which set it right at the beginning.” And that sunna is not a narrow, constricting noose as some will have you believe, but rather a broad highway, allowing great diversity and difference of opinion. The deen is ease, as the Prophet said, not hardship, and differences of opinion are a mercy, not a curse. Everyone has different capacities and so the deen stretches to encompass them all - from the strict adherence to the letter of the sunna of Ibn Umar, to the ijtihad and broad interpretation of Ibn Abbas, from the sternness of Umar ibn al-Khattab to the gentleness of Abu Bakr. All of them fell within the middle way that is Islam. So we ask Allah to make us people of the middle way, and keep us well clear of the two extremes. And that he set this umma aright by means of that which set it aright in the first place.
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 الله عز وجل في كتابه الكريم: قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا أَهْوَاءَ قَوْمٍ قَدْ ضَلُّوا مِنْ قَبْلُ وَأَضَلُّوا كَثِيرًا وَضَلُّوا عَنْ سَوَاءِ السَّبِيلِ
Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “Say: ‘People of the Book! do not go to excess in your deen, asserting other than the truth, and do not follow the whims and desires of people who were misguided previously and have misguided many others, and are far from the right way.’” This excess in the deen, this ghuluw that we have been talking about does not just appear from nowhere but rather is caused by a number of factors.
The first of those is a lack of knowledge, or to be more precise, limited knowledge. For a little knowledge misunderstood is far more likely to take you to excess than no knowledge at all. I know one student of knowledge who studied fiqh for a year and then went back to the UK and starting teaching people that it was obligatory for girls to wear hijab from the age of six, having fundamentally misunderstood a passage in a book he studied. And many of you have met young men who have memorised a handful of hadith, about trousers above the ankles or other such issues, and as a consequence think they have achieved knowledge and are in a position to take others to task. But instead of knowledge, all they have done is deepen their ignorance and that has led them to excess.
But there is a cure, and that is for them to continue along the path of knowledge and listen with open hearts and open ears to those who have it. Two thousand of the khawarij returned to the jama’a after sitting and listening to Umar ibn Abdal-Aziz for a single session.
A second primary cause of going to excess is hawa, following one’s own whims. Allah says,
ولا تتبع الهوى فيضلك عن سبيل الله
the translation of which is, “Do not follw hawa/ whim for it will lead you astray from the way of Allah.” This means doing whatever you want to do for some selfish reason, and then seeking justification for it afterwards. Accepting one position and rejecting another based on what suits you and not what is most pleasing to Allah. And that is its cure, seeking to please Allah rather than to gratify your self.
And then there is self-satisfaction and self-deception (‘ujb and ghurur). Because you think you are right and what you are doing is the best, because you think you are right-acting, then you think anyone who is not doing what you are doing is wrong-acting. But Allah says,
فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَى
the translation of which is, “So do not claim purity for yourselves. He knows best those who have taqwa.” That feeling of self-satisfaction, that you are better than others because you are doing something that others are not, is one the primary causes of people going to excess, and one of the biggest proofs that there is no good in it. Mutarrif ibn Abdallah said,
لأن أبيت نائما وأصبح نادما أحب إلي من أن أبيت قائما وأصبح معجبا
“I prefer to sleep the whole night and wake up in a state of regret, than to stand the night in prayer and wake up self-satisfied!”
This also can be cured. According to Abu al-Layth as-Samarqandi, there are four ways of doing that. The first is seeing that success is in the hands of Allah. If you see that, then you will be so overwhelmed with gratitude to Allah that you will not feel self-satisfied.
The second is looking at the blessings that Allah has given you. If you see those blessings, then you will be so thankful that you will not have time to feel self-satisfied.
The third is to have fear that your action may not be accepted. That fear will preoccupy you from feeling self-satisfied.
And the fourth is to look at the wrong actions you have committed before that. If you fear your wrong actions might outweigh your good, then your self-satisfaction will decrease correspondingly. And how could someone feel self-satisfied when he has no idea where he will receive his book on the Day of Rising.
These things all lead to excess in the deen if they are left unchecked, and cause a person to split from the jama’at and develop a bad opinion of his Muslim brothers. And as the Prophet said,
بحسب امرئ من الشر أن يحقر أخاه المسلم
“It is enough evil in a man for him to have a low opinion of his fellow Muslim.” For, by being overly preoccupied with the perceived faults of others and speaking out about them, a person tends to overlook his own faults and defects. And forgets the fact that the very act of speaking or thinking badly about one’s fellow Muslims is many times worse that any of the faults they see in them. There is nothing that drags a man more swiftly to the Fire than his tongue. So we ask Allah to protect us from ignorance, whim and self-satisfaction, and give us a high opinion of our Muslim brothers. And we ask Him to preserve this umma from excess and extremism, and make us once again that middlemost community that lives and breathes the sunna of the Messenger of Allah. And we ask Him to protect it from those who find nothing better to do than badmouth their Muslim brothers and spread lies and slander about them.
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.