The Prophets Station of Bashariyya
Sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam
Khutbat al-Jumu'ah, October 24, 1997
Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, Masjid at-Tawheed, Mountain View, California
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem
was-salaat was-salaam ala Sayiddina Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam
Allah (swt) gave us happiness and good tidings in these verses, which Iwill read in English. In Surat al Kahf, verse 107, it says, " For those who believe and work righteous deeds, they have for their entertainment the gardens of paradise." 108, "Wherein they shall dwell. No change will they wish for from them." 109, "Say, if the ocean were ink, wherewith to write out the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would be the words of my Lord, even if We added another ocean like unto it for its aid." In 110 it says, "Say, I am but a man like yourselves, but the revelation has come to me that your God is One God, whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as his partner."
In these verses, we see that Allah (swt) promised that who does well, He will give them paradises. Those who are believers, who accept Islam, not only accept it without any `amal (good deeds), as you can be Muslim without `amal--but here He is emphasizing that, "Oh Muslims, Oh Mu'mins, You have to do good `amal." And He is emphasizing on the action of doing good. It is not only, "I am believing, I am a Muslim, and I do bad. I am praying my prayers and I do bad." No. Allah put it alongside belief, thus it is on par with belief.
You can be believer, you can say "La Ilaaha Ill-Allah Muhammadun RasulAllah", but you might not perform good deeds. The condition is that you have to be a believer and you have to good deeds. Those who do good works, they will have the Paradise of Firdaus. They are going to live therein forever. They are not going to be anywhere else. Allah is going to reward them for their Iman and for their `amal.
Without `amal, you will not get the Paradise of Firdaus. Allah might send you somewhere else. But, with good `amal, you will attain Jannat al Firdaus.
Muslims must work hard for good `amal--not just thinking, "I am coming and praying, and I believe that Allah is our Creator and Sayyidina Muhammad (saw) is his Messenger," rather "I have to work for the benefit of the community, for the benefit of Muslims. Then I will attain Jannat al-Firdaus".
We are all Alhamdulillah believers. If we were not believers we wouldn't have come here. So we have to believe in the Message of Allah (swt). What Allah (swt) sent to us through Sayyidina Muhammad (saw), we have to accept. We cannot take part and leave a part. Either we take everything together and try to progress, or our attainment of paradise is incomplete. We might attain a lesser degree in paradise.
And we don't want that. Everyone wants something more because Allah(swt) is so generous. Allah is the Absolute Generous One. We want to do more to attain more.
Allah (swt) continues saying, " Say!" - "Qul Ya Muhammad (saw)!" It is for Him to say, "Say O Muhammad! If the oceans were ink wherewith to write the words of my Lord, the ocean would be finished, completely finished, the ink would be finished, the pen would be finished, even if we add oceans upon oceans upon oceans, all oceans would be finished, yet Allah's Words would never finish." It starts, " Oh Muhammad, say to them...," because Sayyidina Muhammad (saw) already knows, it is not for him, it is for us to know. Because that one who has been called for 'Isra and Mi`raj, knows the importance, knows the Oneness of Allah, knows the greatness of Allah (swt). Allah is saying to him, "Qul!" Say to whom? Say to them, to the nation, to Allah's servants, to human beings. It is here that we have to see that there is a difference between the status of Muhammad (saw) and the status of all human beings. Allah is telling him, "Qul Ya Muhammad" - "Tell to them O Muhammad, because you already know. I have called you to My Presence because you are the precious diamond in this universe. You know My Greatness. So say to them what you know about Me. Say to them that even if the oceans were ink...""
This is how our minds work, through imagination and imagery. Therefore Allah is giving us an example in the Holy Qur'an in order for us to understand, the imagery of "the oceans being ink, to write Allah's words" And then imagine that ocean will end, whereas Allah's words will never be exhausted. Even if you add ocean after ocean after ocean after ocean." So it means our knowledge is what? It is nothing. All this knowledge that we are proud of today, computers, technology, engineering, physics, medicine, is nothing, compared to Allah's words, compared to Allah's knowledge, compared to Prophet Muhammad's (saw) knowledge. If all this engineering, and technology, and medicine is nothing. It means that the knowledge of Sayyidina Muhammad (saw), that Allah gave to him, can do miracles. It can change everything in this universe. The knowledge of Holy Quran that we can understand, can change the whole universe. Where is that knowledge. Where is that science, because as Allah described in the Holy Qur'an our knowledge is nothing, it is of no value.
It means: "Tell them, Ya Muhammad, what you know about Me. About My knowledge and how the knowledge We gave to them is nothing compared to My knowledge. Even if oceans are added upon oceans are added upon oceans, My words, My knowledge never ends." So we are very small. So then the knowledge that Allah(swt) sent to us through the Holy Qur'an can do miraculous powers. Where is that knowledge? We have to look for that knowledge, we have to make research. Not research for sciences, not research for technology only, because it has no value.
That will not take you to paradise, but Allah's knowledge will take you to paradise. And since the knowledge of human beings compared to Allah's knowledge is as nothing, we ust realize just how much we are lacking. And that is why we are ignorant of that knowledge. That is why Prophet (saw) said to us, in the continuation of the verse, "Oh Muslims, oh human beings, Allah's knowledge never ends. Even oceans upon oceans..."
What did Allah(swt) say after that? He said, "Say, I am a human being like you, but it is revealed to me." What is the meaning here? Many people now a days say, "Ah, Muhammad (saw) isn't like us, but he is better than us because it is revealed to him." But that is not the meaning of the verse. It means, "I am a human being that has understood the Glory and the Greatness of Allah (swt), and no one else can attain this knowledge." However high a station we reach, still we are in limitations. The meaning of, "I am a human being like you," is not " I am a body, a physical body so you are not better than me and I am not better than you except in that I receive revelation." No, it means, "Oh Muslims, even with what Allah gave me, of greatness and prophecy and revelation, still I cannot know all Allah's knowledge, it is still in limitation, even for me." That verse doesn't mean that you have to minimize the role of Sayyidina Muhammad (saw) as it has been explained by new scholars of Islam, no!
The majority of scholars of Islam gave importance to that verse, in which Sayyidina Muhammad (saw) is showing the people, "Even with my greatness, even with the power that Allah gave to me, even with Isra' and Miraj, even with revelation, still I am limited in knowing Allah's knowledge. But you are limited in knowing my knowledge." Sayyidina Muhammad (saw) is emphasizing. "You are in limits with respect to my knowledge and I am in limits with respect to Allah's knowledge." Oh Muslims, Allah doesn't accept any shareek. And that's why Sayyidina Muhammad (saw) said in this verse, "I am a human being," it means, " I am not associating myself with Allah (swt). That is why my knowledge is not equal. And, as Prophet Muhammad (saw), the Seal of Messengers, no one can reach my level. You have to know your limitation, and I know my limitation to my Lord."
Zuhair ibn Jandab (r), one of the Sahaba, said, "What is the reason for the revelation of the verse that says, "Say, 'I am but a man like yourselves, but the inspiration has come to me, that your Allah is One Allah: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.'?" That verse came to show the difference between us and Prophet(saw) and between Prophet (saw) and Allah (swt). Allah is saying, "Say, I am a human being like you, but it is revealed to me," means, " I know my limitation, and you know your limitation, but it is revealed to me that if anyone wants to do an `amal, who would like to be in the presence of his Lord, but because he cannot attain the knowledge of his Lord, he is limited, let him do a righteous `amal, a good `amal for his Akhirah. "Who likes to be in thepresence of Allah in Akhirah, let him do right `amal. And he must not associate anyone with Allah's worship."
Why did that verse come? It is not about the association of worshiping someone with Allah (swt), that verse doesn't mean that, as they are saying nowadays. They are labeling mu'min and Muslims by means of verses of Qur'an that Allah has revealed regarding unbelievers, Jews and Christians, those whoe were idol worshipers, or were associating someone with Allah. That verse is saying, "Don't associate anyone."
According to Zuhair ibn Jandab (r), he came to Sayyidina Muhammad (saw) and said, "Ya RasulAllah, sometimes I do something for Allah (swt), I do `amal that I want to please my Lord, and I will do it for Allah's happiness and love for me, but when people know about it, I will be happy for people to know about what I have done."
Then Prophet (saw) said, "Ya Zuhair, don't associate anyone in your worship." This means don't be happy that people know about what you have done, because this is your associating. Your stand in front of Allah (swt) as if you are proud of what you have done. It means you want the people to respect you and love you because you have made this `amal. It is not purely
for Allah (swt). Nowadays we are seeing people happy---when they do something they want everyone to know. When they make fundraising, they want everyone to know how much they have paid for masajid, or for Islamic causes.
Why? Because they will be famous in the community and people will mention about them, "Oh, they are very good people." That is your association of your `amal in the presence of Allah with someone else. You don't need that. It is not haram, but it is incomplete.
As, some scholars said, there are two kinds of `amal. There is `amal al-mubtadi`een and `amal al-kamileen, the `amal of beginners, and the `amal of perfectionists. This means that those who are in their Islam, trying to progress, like to show that they are doing something. Those who have attained a station of perfection, a station of tazkiyyatun-nafs, purification of the self, they don't care if anyone knows what they have done or not, because they are doing it for Allah (swt). Oh Muslims, our `amal must be for Allah's sake, and our `amal must be hidden. No one must know what we have done. Then at that time, we will not allow our egos to play with us.
The most dangerous thing, Prophet (saw) said, "The thing that I am most afraid of for my nation is hidden shirk, the hidden associations of the deeds of my nation, that they will be proud in front of the community, and say, 'We have done this.'" That is where you are putting yourself up in the presence of Allah(swt). You must hide yourself. When you give something with your right hand, your left hand must not know. When you write a check, no one must know except yourself. Oh Muslims, Allah (swt) is merciful with us, and He is sending to us, in Islam, so much happiness, so much greatness, and so much love, that if we really follow the way of Sayyidina Muhammad (saw), we will attain happiness and we will see that our children will never be lost, because Allah (swt) doesn't like to be a tyrant to His servants. Allah is generous with His servants. If we are good, we are going to see good. If we are doing something wrong, we are going to see something like it. Oh Muslims, clear your hearts, and clean your hearts, and open yourselves to Allah's love. Allah (swt) said, "My mercy encompasses everything." May Allah put us under that mercy.
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