Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Putting Sunna into Practice
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل النجاحَ والتوفيقَ في طاعةِ الصادقِ الأمين، وجعل سنتَه وحياتَه تفسيرا وتوضيحا لكتابه الكريم، 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. قال الله عز وجل في كتابه العزيز: وما أرسلنا من رسول إلا ليطاع بإذن الله
Allah says in his noble Quran, the translation of which is, “We did not send any Messenger but for him to be obeyed by the permission of Allah.” In the course of this past month, we have talked about the necessity of loving the Messenger of Allah, and according him the honour and respect that is his right and due. And we have mentioned a number of ways of doing that - studying his seera, recounting his qualities of character, celebrating his mawlid and doing plenty of salawat upon him. But, by far the most important way any us can truly honour the Prophet is to obey him and follow his sunna. And then, and only then, can we say that we truly love him, as the poet said,
لو كان حُبُكَ صَادقاً لأطعتَهُ إنَّ المحبَ لمن يحبُ مطيع
“If your love were true you would have obeyed him,
for the lover is the one who obeys the one he loves.” And the lover is the one who wants to be with his beloved in every moment, to spend his life in his company. And that is only possible by taking his noble Sunna and putting it into practice, for that is what keeps him alive and in our lives. The Prophet said,
من أحيا سنتي فقد أحياني ،ومن أحياني كان معي في الجنة
What is this sunna about which we speak? It is the day-to-day practice of the Messenger of Allah in all its aspects - his actions, his statements and his qualities of character, as well as the actions, statements and qualities of character of those around him that met with his approval. For it was through them, his Companions, that the sunna was kept alive and transmitted to the next generations, and it was in conjunction with them that Madina, the city of the deen, was established. The Prophet said,
أصحابي كالنجوم بأيهم اقتديتم اهتديتم
Their actions were the actions of the Messenger of Allah, for they never embarked on anything until they had observed him and consulted with him and made sure it was part of his practice, even if that thing seemed of little consequence or they did not understand the reason why. In the Shifa, Qadi Iyad mentions that when ‘Umar looked at the Black Stone, he said, “You are a stone and can neither help nor harm. If I had not seen the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, kiss you, I would not have kissed you.” Then he kissed it. And he also mentions ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar was seen making his she-camel turn round in a particular place and was asked why. He said,”I don’t know. I once saw the Messenger of Allah doing it, so I do it.” They understood that the only way to Allah and to salvation was to follow His Messenger in absolutely everything without fail, and because of the remarkable people who they were, Allah enabled them to do so to such a degree that their own practices came to be ranked as sunna. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdu'l-‘Aziz, the famous Umayyad khalifa, said, “The Messenger of Allah made a Sunna and the people in command after him made sunnas. To adopt them is to confirm the Book of Allah and to act on them is to obey Allah and strengthen the deen of Allah. It is not for anyone to change the Sunna or alter it or to look into the opinion of those who oppose it. Whoever follows it is guided. Whoever seeks help by it will have victory. Whoever opposes it and follows other than the path of the believers, Allah will entrust him to what he turns to and will roast him in Jahannam, which is a bad ending.”
This is the reality of our deen, but even so, there have always been a misguided few who have sought to downgrade the importance of sunna and either limit its scope or make the Qur’an the sole criterion for judging the correctness of an action. Such people even appeared in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, causing him to remark,
لا ألفين أحدكم متكئا على أريكته يأتيه الأمر من أمري مما أمرت به أو نهيت عنه فيقول: لا أدري، ما وجدنا في كتاب الله اتبعناه
“Do not let any of you be found reclining on his bed when he hears an injunction from me which is from among those things which I myself have commanded or forbidden so that he says, ‘I do not know. We only follow what we find in the Book of Allah.’” And such a viewpoint is at the very cornerstone of modernism, for abandoning the sunna is the only way that they can justify adopting the institutions of kufr and adapting Islam to ‘meet the times’. For adapting Islam to the times is tantamount to saying that it was deficient in its initial form, as practiced by the Messenger of Allah and his Companions in Madina. So they disregard the sunna or interpret it according to their own personal whim, or remove it from the realm of law and fiqh and make it instead a matter of moral principle and personal conscience.
But, what they fail to realise is by doing so, they fail even to follow the Quran. For it is impossible to follow the Qur’an without following the sunna, and indeed is a direct rejection of certain ayas within it, for Allah says,
وما آتاكم الرسول فخذوه وما نهاكم عنه فانتهوا
the translation of which is, “Whatever the Messenger gives you you should accept and whatever He forbids you you should forgo.” And rejecting part of the Quran, part of the revealed Words of Allah, is the same as rejecting it in its entirety. So anyone who disregards the sunna as a source of law and bases his deen entirely on the Quran is an unbeliever - such people are no longer part of the umma of the Prophet, for he said,
من اقتدى بي فهو مني، ومن رغب عن سنتي فليس مني
“Whoever follows me is of me and whoever wants to abandon my sunna is not of me.” The sunna is the very heart of the deen, and holding firm to it is the secret to success in both this world and the Next, especially in these troubled times. As the Prophet said,
المتمسك بسنتي عند فساد أمتي له أجر مائة شهيد
“The one who clings to my sunna when the community is corrupt will have the reward of a hundred martyrs.” We ask Allah to increase in love of His Messenger and make us people who honour him in the way he should be honoured and cling to his sunna. And we ask His help in bringing the parts of the sunna that have died back to life and restoring it in its full glory and magnificence.
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.
One consequence of the approach taken by the Modernists and their rejection of a large part of the Sunna in favour of modern kafir institutions, is that today there are many Muslims who no longer truly understand what the sunna, or what the deen of Allah is. When we say, ‘Follow the sunna of the Messenger’, they immediately think in terms of how they dress, how they eat, how long their beard is, whether they use a miswak or not etc., or they think about how they pray, which days they fast and which duas they recite for certain occasions. Thus, sunna in the minds of most people is limited to the personal sphere, the zone of the individual, cosmetic appearance and the ibadat. And the entire area of the deen that is mu’amalat, your day-to-day transactions with your fellow Muslims and the world around you, the fiqh of how you trade, how you rule and are ruled, how you deal with criminals etc., a part of the deen that occupies some 80% of what is found in the books of fiqh, all of that is brushed aside and considered of lesser importance in the scheme of things. So long as our personal contracts with Allah are in order, then the form of our social contracts do not matter.
This a faulty and limited understanding of the deen, and misses the entire point about why the Messenger of Allah was sent. Mankind was in darkness and needed a light to show them the way. That light was Sayyiduna Muhammad. Allah says,
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لَا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
the translation of which is, “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of his Light is that of a niche in which there is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive,neither of the east nor of the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon Light. Allah guides to His Light whoever He wills and Allah makes metaphors for mankind and Allah has knowledge of all things.”
According to Ka’b al-Ahbar, Ibn Jubayr and others from among the Companions, “the metaphor of his light” refers to the light of the Messenger of Allah.
He is the misbah, “the lamp”. But the light of that lamp must pass through a glass before it can reach us and if that glass is opaque, blackened or dirty, it reaches only dimly if at all. That glass is the sharia, the set of laws Allah prescribed to this umma, a complete package that gives us guidance in every aspect of our lives.
The true sunna of the Messenger of Allah is none other than the establishment and implementation of the deen in its totality, and anyone who is content with anything less is not truly following his sunna. The true lovers of the Messenger of Allah, the true defenders of his sunna are those who strive to recover what has been lost of the deen, those who do not rest and do not stop until it has been established in all its glory. The true lovers of the Messenger of Allah are those who come to a place that is in darkness and leave it in light, those who come to a place without deen and leave it a Madinah, for that was the way of our noble Prophet.
Even if a man spends his entire life praising the Prophet and says salawat on him, even if he dresses in a thawb, has a long beard, fasts Mondays and Thursdays and fills his night with prayer, if he is content with the status quo in which we live today and does nothing to change it, then know that he is further from the sunna than the Muslim who does not necessarily do any of the above but works tirelessly to rid society of riba and the institutions of kufr and re-establish the Madinan model. So, show your love for the Messenger of Allah and honour him by following the teachings of our Shaykh and restoring the deen in its entirety. That is the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah and that is the Sunna of his Companions and all those who followed in their footsteps. We ask Allah to place us upon their footsteps and give us the success and strength to put His Deen into practice.
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، وعن خديجة وعائشة 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.