Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Ukhuwwa
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي آخى بين المومنين، وألّف بين قلوبهم وجعلهم في ربهم متحابّين، 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 وأدٌى 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 human being in his natural fitra state is a communal animal, not a solitary one. A part of him yearns for the company of others and feels incomplete so long as he is alone. When given the choice, human beings nearly always choose to live together, forming villages, towns, cities and nations, and forming close links, relationships and bonds to others.
These relationships formed with others may be based on any number of things - living together, working together, or having shared interests or shared beliefs, and they are the glue that holds any society together. And yet today, they are starting to disintegrate and dissolve. Despite the fact that more and more people are choosing to live in close proximity to one another, despite the fact that single cities now contain more people than entire countries ever did, people have never been more isolated. Indeed, many go entire days without any sort of meaningful interaction with another human being, conducting all their shopping in faceless supermarkets and all the rest of their time in their homes in front of their TV sets, with their doors padlocked and their windows barred. They need human company, but they trust no one and fear every one. The internet becomes the sole safe outlet. This is the society that we live in.
And that is because the majority of the relations that we do form do not have haqq as their basis - they instead tend to be based on some transient aspect of this world. They are based on something which fades and so they inevitably fade. The bond that linked the French revolutionaries together seemed profound and unbreakable, but within a few short years had morphed into hatred, distrust and betrayal. The link that binds work colleagues often disappears the moment one of them is promoted and the other is not. And the same is true for any relationship not based on something true, on something real, even when it appears to us to be completely solid, like that which links the Jews together. Allah says,
تَحْسَبُهُمْ جَمِيعاً وَقُلُوبُهُمْ شَتَّىٰ
the translation of which is, “You consider them united but their hearts are scattered wide.”. They might appear to be united and to be part of a single body, but they are not. Their hearts are not truly united, for that which binds them is baatil, no more real or substantial than the froth of the sea, and no matter how rich or influential they are or how much they spend, they never will be. True unity is only possible for those whose hearts have eschewed falsehood in favour of truth. True unity is only possible between those whose hearts are linked by Allah and who hold firm to the rope of Allah. Allah says,
هُوَ الَّذِي أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ لَوْ أَنْفَقْتَ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مَا أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ
the translation of which is, “It is He who supported you with His help and with the believers, and unified their hearts. Even if you had spent everything on the earth, you could not have unified their hearts. But Allah has unified them.” The proof of that is readily apparent if we look at the Ansar. Most of us think of them as a single entity, the people of Madina who welcomed the emigrants from Makka into their city and homes, but the truth of the matter is that they were made of two tribal groupings, the Aws and the Khazraj, who had hated and fought each other for generations. So great had been their hate for one another that they would often seize on the slightest excuse to take up arms against each other. Their ‘asabiyya to their respective tribes had made them implacable enemies, but Allah gave them a new ’asabiyya, one formulated not on any familial ties or pre-existent tribal alliances but on a mutual love of Allah and His Messenger. And, instead of enemies, they became brothers in the true sense of the word, ready to drop everything to help one another. Allah says,
وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنْتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا
the translation of which is, “Remember Allah's blessing to you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts together so that you became brothers by His blessing.” This bond, placed by Allah in the hearts of the believers, is so powerful that it even supercedes that of family. Your fellow Muslim is more your brother than a man who shares the same parents as you but has not entered the deen. For the link between members of a family often feels strain in troubled and difficult times while that between members of a Muslim ever grows stronger. And that is especially true in the modern age when dysfunction has become the rule rather than the exception. And that is why we saw the Companions in the early battles leaping to protect their fellow Muslims from members their own families, fighting and even killing them if necessary. Indeed Abu Bakr said that if he were to have met his own father, Abu Quhafah on the battlefield, and Abu Bakr was a very dutiful son who had a great love for his parents, he would have fought him. For the love Allah had placed in his hearts for Allah, the Messengers and the believers was far greater. Allah says,
وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ
the translation of which is, “Those who have iman have greater love for Allah.” They knew that the only brotherhood, the only friendship that would be of benefit to them in the long run, was that based upon love of Allah. They knew that their fellow believers had their backs, even on that day when each and everyone stands alone before our Lord and our brothers, mothers, fathers, partners and children run from us. For Allah says in surat az-Zukhruf,
الْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ
the translation of which is, “On that Day the closest friends will be enemies to one another - except for those who have taqwa.” Your friendship with those who have taqwa, those who believe, this bond that Allah has placed between us, will be the only one that lasts into the Next Life and does not fade when everything else of this world fades away. And the more we love Allah and His Messenger, and the more we work together to obey Him and put His commands into practice, the stronger that bond becomes. Until we once again become that unstoppable band of brothers that swept aside Roman and Persian empires that had stood for centuries in a short number of years and lived to see Islam established across a land mass stretching from Morocco to China. Until we once again sees Allah’s deen uppermost in the land.
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.
True brotherhood, ‘ukhuwwa’, the brotherhood that we strive for and which existed among the Companions is not just some concept to which we pay lip service. It is not enough to simply refer to someone as your brother while disregarding all the duties of brotherhood. And that is the trap that too many of us have fallen into in a superficial age where labels have become all important, in an age where what you are called is more important than what you do. Go into any Muslim community and see for yourself. How often do we hear people address one another as akhi or ukhti but failing to do anything significant for them when the chips are down? How is that brotherhood? It is totally unnatural and unreal. Do real brothers and sisters address each other by their family connection, saying, ‘Brother, I am going to do this’ or ‘Sister, I am going to do that’? No, they take their connection as given, they know who they are and act towards one another accordingly.
Well, as we have mentioned, the connection between Muslims is stronger even than family, so why should we address our Muslim brothers and sisters in that way? And, moreover, it is disrespectful - you do not know their station with Allah nor their station in society, and yet you insist on bringing them down to your level and making them the equal of yourself. Would you address your father as akhi? No, but he is your brother in the deen. Would you address your mother as ukhti? No, but she is your sister in the deen. Similarly, you should not address your elders nor your teachers with akhi, but rather use a term of respect. And nor should you use akhi for your youngers, but rather make use of a term of mercy like son or nephew. And as for those who are your same age, if you think highly of them and assume they are further along the path than yourself, you would never have the temerity to call them akhi. Rather, call them ‘sidi - my master’ instead, for that way you protect yourself from ujb and bad opinion.
That is the heart, that is the first part of true brotherhood, preferring your brother to yourself. And not just when it comes to the opinion you hold of him, but also when it comes to your material possessions. For true brothers share what they have, both in times of hardship and those of ease. This was best demonstrated by the Ansar, who when the Muhajirun arrived from Mecca with nothing to their name, shared everything they had with them, even to the extent of giving them a choice of their wives. Indeed, the Ansar preferred to let themselves and their families go hungry rather than to see any of their Muslim brothers go without. Abu Hurayra narrated,
أن رجلاً بات به ضيف فلم يكن عنده إلا قوته وقوت صبيانه؛ فقال لامرأته: نَوِّمي الصِّبية وأطفئي السراج وقَرّبي للضيف ما عندك؛ فنزلت هذه الآية وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ
“A guest spent the night in the house of a man who only had enough food to feed himself and children, so he said to his wife, ‘Put the children to sleep, put out the light, and put whatever you have in front of our guest.’ Thereupon, the aya was revealed: “and prefer them to themselves even if they themselves are needy.”
The true brother constantly looks out for his brothers and self-guards their well-being. He feels their hardship more keenly than he feels his own and offers them his aid and support without ever having to be asked. When his Muslim brother died, a man of the salaf saw to the needs of his family, making sure they had everything they needed for the next forty years. In his eyes, they were no different to his own family.
The true brother only speaks well of his brothers, and stands up for them when others speak badly. He seeks seventy excuses for him, and when even that is not enough, he holds back his tongue. We all have faults and if that is what we concentrate on, that is all we will find. We speak out about a brother only when we have something good to say. As the Prophet said,
من كان يؤمنُ بالله واليومِ الآخر فليقلْ خيراً أوِلْيصمُتْ
“Let whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day say something good or remain silent.” But that does mean that we overlook wrong action. Our concern for them extends to the Next World, so if we see them doing something that jeopardises their deen, we are duty bound to tell them. But always with wisdom: always in a way that criticises the act and not the man, and always in private, not in the presence of other people. Imam Shafi‘i said,
من وعظ أخاه سراً فقد نصحه وزانه ومن وعظه علانية فقد فضحه وشانه
“Whoever reminds his brother in secret has given him nasiha and honoured him, but whoever reminds him in public has disgraced and dishonoured him.”
This is the brotherhood which exists between us and to which the past month of Ramadan, and most especially the day of Eid, has borne witness. And this is the brotherhood that we must strengthen at every turn and carry with us throughout the rest of the year and throughout of the rest of our lives. It is what gives our strength and makes us like a well-built wall with no gaps for our enemies to exploit. It is what makes us unstoppable.
We ask Allah to join our hearts together and make us once again a single body. We ask Him to strengthen the ties between us and to increase our love for each other inwardly and outwardly. We ask Him to bless all our brothers who are struggling and give them victory, and all our brothers who have died and fill their graves with light and baraka. And we ask Him to join us with those whom we love in the Garden, and place in the company of His Noble Messenger.
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، وَعن عائشةَ وسائر أزواج النبي، 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.
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.