January 23rd, 2009
Note: Inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama, as the 44th President of the United States of America. The first time in history, a black man became the President of the most powerful country in the world.
Khutbah Jumuah of Muharram 26th, 1430H (Jan. 23rd, 2009)
All praise is due to Allah (swt), the Fashioner of Mankind as He wishes, He created Adam and Hawah (Eve) as He is pleased, so the children of Adam may do on this Earth as they please, and they would not do anything unless Allah subhanahu wata'aala, the Lord of the Worlds wished. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah Alone; and I bear testimony that Muhammad is the slave and messenger of Allah. May Allah subhanahu wata'aala shower His tremendous blessings upon the holy Prophet Muhammad, who was sent to the whole world as a mercy, so he would enjoin people to do certain things, which would lead them to paradise; and forbid certain things that could lead to Hellfire.
May the blessings of my Lord be upon him (Prophet Muhammad), his entire household, his companions, and whoever follows their footsteps willingly until the Day of Accountability.
O you who believe, fear Allah, as He ought to be feared, and die not; unless as Muslims, that is, in state of submission to Allah.
O you people! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife, Eve, and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual rights, and do not cut the relations of the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is ever watchful over you all.
O you who believe, fear Allah, and always say that what is good, thus, your deeds will be perfected for you, and your sins would be forgiven; and whoever obeys Allah, and His messenger has indeed attain the greatest success.
Brothers and Sisters in Islam, Allah subhanahu wa'aala has blessed this Ummah by given us Al-Qur'an. So we would not go astray, and rather, live our lives in accordance to the guidance of Al-Qur'an and the authentic Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, sala Allahu alayhe wasallam. If we look into the Qur'an, Allah subhanahu wata'aala says:
(27) See you not that Allah sends down water (rain) from the sky, and We (Allah) produce therewith fruits of various colors, and among the mountains are streaks, white and red, of varying colors and (other streaks which are) very black. (28) And likewise of men and Ad-Dawâbb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and cattle, are of various colors. It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving. - Sűrat Fâtir or Al-Malâ’ikah
Brothers and Sisters in Islam, all these differences, in our colors, in crops, vegetations, fruits and among the mountains which have streaks: white and red, of varying colors and (others) very black. Men and Ad-Dawâbb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and cattle, all have various colors. It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving. This is why Allah subhanahu wata'aala also says:
(4)And in the earth are neighboring tracts, and gardens of vines, and green crops (fields), and date-palms, growing into two or three from a single stem root, or otherwise (one stem root for every palm), watered with the same water; yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat. Verily, in these things; there are Ayah (proofs, evidence, lessons, signs) for the people who have knowledge.- Suratu Ra'd
As human beings, we have the tendency to look at each other as if our origin is different. But we all know very well that, we are all from the same father, and mother: Adam and Eve. So the differences in our pigmentations have nothing to do with our preferences. I did not choose my father and mother, neither did you all. Allah brought us forth from our fathers' loins and our mothers' wombs, without any choice from you or me. Hence, why do we dwell here on the earth with all these disdain, degradations, discriminations and what have you, as if you made the choice to be of the color that you have today? Allah, the Exalted, made that decision for you and me. Thus, we might be grateful to Him, and not be ungrateful, by looking down upon one another, or calling each name that we know are offensive.
Brothers and Sisters in Islam, there are many stories of racial discriminations which tell us that no matter what age we are living in, many of us are still full of ignorance. So let us ask ourselves: Is this the case among Muslims today? Here in the United States, and in the Muslim world? The ayah (verse) tells us why many Muslims do discriminate and treat each other with disdain. The answer is very simple, it is because they lack piety and do not fear Allah. And Allah, the Highest says: "innamaa yaksha Allaha min' ebaadehe Al'ulamau" meaning, "It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves (Allah's servants) that fear Allah, verily, Allah is All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving."
Who are those who have knowledge?
Ibn Abbas; radiya Allahu anhu, (may Allah be pleased with him), said, regarding those who have knowledge, "Al 'alim bir Rahmaan, (a person who knows Allah) is a person who does not associate anything with Allah, he or she obeys Allah and refrain from disobeying Him."
Ibn Masoud; radiya Allahu anhu, (may Allah be pleased with him), said, regarding those who have knowledge, "They are not known by the abundant numbers of hadith (traditions of the Prophet) they memorized, but rather, they are known by the abundance of piety they posses."
Hassan Al Basary, rahimahu Allah, (May Allah sends His mercy upon him), said, regarding those who have knowledge, "A knowledgeable person, is a person who fears The Most Beneficent, in private and shows interest in what Allah has encouraged people to show interest in, and renounces what Allah has despised. Then he recited the verse: "innamaa yaksha Allaha min' ebaadehe Al'ulamau" meaning, "It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah, verily, Allah is All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving."
Saeed ibn Jubayr, rahimahu Allah, (May Allah sends His mercy upon him), said, regarding those who have knowledge and therefore fear Allah, "Fear of Allah, is that (invisible barrier) that stands between you and disobedience of Allah, the Greatest and the Highest."
Imam Malik, rahimahu Allah, (May Allah sends His mercy upon him), regarding those who have knowledge, said: "Indeed, knowledge is not by the abundance of narrations; rather, it is a light that Allah, the Exalted inserts into the heart (of a pious servant)."
Brothers and Sisters in Islam, it is unbecoming of a Muslim, who believes in Allah and in the Day of Judgment to be fearless of Allah, and His severe punishment. There is no doubt that the differences of our pigmentations have nothing to do with our preferences.
Now, we are right here, in Pittsburgh, city of hills and mountains, rivers and bridges, just like the ayah says: "and among the mountains are streaks white and red, of varying colors and (mountains) which are very black." None of us should be discriminated against because his or her skin color happens to be black, just like these mountains that we are surrounded by, in this beautiful city. Because, these are differences found in colors of vegetations, plants, mountains, and moving creatures, they are signs of Allah! Therefore, these signs should never be used as tools for discrimination. Furthermore, whosoever fails to refrain from this despicable act of discrimination, is indeed wallowing in the annals of ignorance, and playing with the wrath of Allah, because he or she is making jest of Allah's signs.
I have uttered these words, please let us heed them and take lessons from them. And I hereby seek Allah's forgiveness for all of us. Ask for His forgiveness, He is Oft Forgiving, The Most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, Allah subhanahu wata'aala is the Lord of the Worlds, May He shower His tremendous blessings upon the holy Prophet Muhammad, ( Peace be upon him), who was sent to the whole world as a mercy, so he would enjoin what is good, which would lead to paradise and forbid what is evil, that would lead to Hellfire,
May the blessings of my Lord be upon him, all his household, his companions, and whoever follows their footsteps benevolently until the Day of Judgment.
Brothers and Sisters in Islam, there is another verse in the Holy Qur'an, a frequently recited verse, in which Allah, the Exalted says:
(13) O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you before Allah, is the most pious; Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. - Sűrat Al-Hujurât
This verse also reminds us that the variations of our gender, pigmentations, or skin colors, tribes, nations, are all signs of Allah, Who knows what we are doing and keeps the records of our deeds and Who would narrate to us in details all what we are doing on this earth. Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam, are we going to take lessons from it (this ayah)?!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam, whenever we read the Holy Qur'an, we often read many stories of those of who have dwelled on this earth before us. And the Qur'anic stories are all factual, because Allah the Most High, knows what we know not. Some of these stories are explicit, with elaborate details, like the story of Abraham, (Peace be upon him [PBUH], and his family), and the story of Moses, (PBUH), and the story of Jesus Christ (PBUH). But other Quranic stories are succinctly told, with the main occurrences of the stories. Such are the stories of Job, Zachariah, the People of the cave, and Noah, (PBUH). And likewise is the story of Prophet Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina.
However, do you ever wonder as to why Allah tells us these stories? These stories are told in the Qur'an, so we may derive lifetime lessons from them. They are instruction manuals for the way we ought to live our lives. What about stories or histories that you witnessed yourself? Which happen to be manifestations of the signs of Allah, the Greatest?
As a matter of fact, Brothers and Sisters in Islam, racial discrimination is nothing new!
During the time of Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), one of his companions, called Bilal ibn Rabaah, (a descendant of African slaves from Abassynia, the present day Ethiopia) was insulted by another companion, by the name of Abu Dhar Alghifaary, when he said to Bilal: "ya ibn sawdaa" which means, "O you son of a black mother". Just like calling someone here, in the U.S. using the "N" word. Bilal got angry and reported Abu Dhar to the Prophet, (Peace be upon him), the Prophet was furious. And he quickly summoned Abu Dhar, and said to him in admonition, "innaka imruun feyka jaaheliyyah" which means, "you have ignorance in you" and Abu Dhar realized his terrible insulting words, thus, he put his cheek on the ground and asked Bilal to put his foot on his other cheek, while he was on the ground. By doing so, he humiliated himself, which was a gesture of total shame and repentance.
Perhaps this story is insufficient.
I am going to tell you another incident that shows that Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him) categorically condemned racism and ethnocentrism. During the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, (PBUH), there was a black woman, who used to clean the mosque of Prophet Muhammad, (PBUH). The woman died one night, after the Prophet had slept. The companions, May Allah be pleased with them, decided to bury her at the middle of the night without informing the Prophet (PBUH). Perhaps, they thought, because she was not that important, so why waking up the Prophet, (PBUH)? Or even worse, they thought, because she was nobody, an ordinary black woman. The following day, they informed Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), that she had died and got buried overnight. Upon hearing this, he became very angry, and asked them to take him to the cemetery where she was buried. Thereafter, he offered prayer on her grave.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam, Black people have been treated with subjugation and discrimination across most of the history of mankind on this earth. A black person was once upon a time in America considered three fifth of a person. Right here, right here in the United States of America!
But the historic event we all just witnessed three days ago; was indeed a manifestation of Allah's signs on this earth. We Muslims cannot afford to cast it aside under the pretext that it is politics. No! It is not politics; rather it is a manifestation of Allah's signs. The election of a black man as the leader, and Commander in Chief of the most powerful country in the whole world, the first time ever, in the history of mankind! Allahu Akbar! (Allah is the Greatest) Allahu Akbar! (Allah is the Greatest) Allahu Akbar! (Allah is the Greatest). This is a lesson for the Muslims all over the world.
Brothers and Sisters in Islam, this is the case, because our beloved Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), had said, "Alaykum bisame' wata'ah wa en ta'amara alaykum 'abdun Habashy" which means, It is obligatory upon us to be heedful and obedient, even when an Abyssinian slave becomes your leader". So, Brothers and Sisters in Islam, ask not what America can do for you, ask, what you can do for America. Because your Prophet have said: "baliguu 'anny walao ayah" meaning, "tell people about me, even with only one verse."
"Rabanaa taqobal minnaa innaka anta Samee'ul 'Aleem, watub 'alaynaa innak tawaabur Raheem."
O our Lord! Accept our deed from us, You are indeed the All Hearing, All Knowing, and our repentance, You are indeed, the Oft Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
Verily, Allah sends His Salât blessings and greetings on the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and so are His angels. Ask Allah to bless and forgive him. O you, who believe, send greetings upon him, and submit, in total submission!