Sermon of the way to the love of the Majestic
Sheikh Hussein Bin Abdel Aziz Al-Sheikh
First Sermon (Khutbah)
O Muslims, I advise you and myself to fear Allah, Owner of Greatness and Majesty, there is no happiness except in His fear, and no success nor achievement nor salvation, except in following His guidance and religious law.
O you assembly of Muslims, according to Al Saheehein (the two Authentic Narrations) from Anas ibn Malik may Allah be pleased with them: A man came to the Messenger of Allah and said: O Messenger of Allah, when is the Hour? The Messenger of Allah said: ‘what have you prepared for it?’, as though the man kept quiet, then said: O Messenger of Allah, I have not prepared much prayers, nor fasting nor charity, but I love Allah and His Messenger, he said: ‘you are with whom you loved’, and in another narration, Anas said: "We did not feel a joy after Islam greater than the words of the Prophet: ‘you are with whom you loved’. In Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Anas, he said:" I love Allah and His Messenger, Abu Bakr and Omar. I hope that I be with them even though my deeds do not compare to theirs’.
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on his soul, concerning this great love: "It is the status for which contestants competed, and to it aspired the workers, and for its hope rolled their sleeves the predecessors, and for it dedicated the devotees, and with the spirit of its breeze fanned the worshipers, and it is the sustenance of the hearts and the food of the souls and the joy of the eyes, and it is the life which whoever is deprived of it is among the dead, and the light which whoever lost it is in the seas of darkness, and the healing which whoever lacks it plagued his heart all illnesses, and the pleasure which whoever has not fulfilled, his life is but concerns and pains; By Allah, those who deserve it (the status) have gone away with the honour of this life and the Hereafter; as they have of the company of their beloved an abundant share”. He finished his statement, may Allah have mercy on him.
Assembly of Muslims, to gain the status of this love and achieve happiness, the scholars mentioned reasons for its procurement and many ways to achieve it. The foundations of these reasons and the rules of these ways, the outcome of which thrills our hearing and our ears listen to it:
The first of these foundations is to recite Quran with meditation, together with an understanding of its meanings and making sense of the reasons for its secrets and wisdom. For this reason, a man from the companions of our Prophet attracted the love of Allah by reciting chapter Al-Ikhlas (Sincerity), which he kept repeating in his prayers. When he was asked about that, he said: It is a description of the Most Gracious, and I love to read it; the Prophet then said: ‘Inform him that Allah loves him.’ [Narrated by Bukhari].
The second foundation –servants of Allah– to draw closer to Almighty Allah, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, by the optional prayers, after committing to implement the obligations, and the strict observance of the limits and obligations. Our Prophet quotes from the Lord Almighty, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, Who said: (Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it). [Narrated by Bukhari].
The third of these foundations – O assembly of believers – the persistence in admonishing Allah, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, Almighty in all eventuality, remembrance with the tongue, heart and action. Our Lord, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation says: “Then do you remember Me; I will remember you.” [Al-Baqarah: 152], and our Prophet says: ‘Allah, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, says: (I am with my servant as long as he admonished me and moved by my remembrance his lips.)’ [Narrated by Ibn Majah, with a sound chain of narration]. The Chosen one says, and he is the master of admonishers: ‘The Mufarrid people have gone far ahead’, they said: "O Messenger of Allah, who are the Mufarrid people? He said: ‘men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise’. [Narrated by Muslim].
The fourth foundation is to favour Almighty Allah’s and His Messenger’s likings over one’s self likings, when desires flare up, and to ascend to His likings, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, even with the difficulty of ascension. The servant favours the gratification of the Graceful, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, over the gratification of others, however great the trials, heavy the supplies and weaker are his height and body. Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, says: ‘favouring the gratification of Allah, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, over others is that the person wants and does carry out His Gratification, even if he did anger the creation. It is the status of altruism, the highest of which is for the Apostles, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them, and the highest still for those with strong Will and Determination from among them, and the highest of all for the master of creation Muhammad." End of quotation. That, O servants of Allah, cannot be, and does not get achieved, except with three things: the first, to conquer the whims; the second, to keep off the fancies and the third, to strive against Satan and his allies.
The fifth of these foundations O' Muslims is that the heart reviews the names and attributes of Allah, sees and knows them, fluctuating in the gardens of this knowledge. Whoever knew Allah, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, by His names, attributed and actions which have been proven by the two revelations, as believed by the Messenger of Allah, his companions and those who followed them in truth, a belief reflected in the texts without distortion, obstruction, representation, conditioning or interpretation Allah, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, loved him, honoured him and gratified him. Our Lord, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, says, exhorting and inviting His servants: “and to Allah belong the most beautiful names, so call on him by them.” [Al A’raf: 180], and it was confirmed (to be) from the Chosen that he said: ‘Allah has ninety-nine names; whoever took account of them will enter Paradise’.
The sixth such foundation brothers in Islam observing the goodness of Allah, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, and His kindness towards His servants, and to get to know His favours and bounties, both manifested and hidden, for they are inviting to love Him, Almighty. Benefaction, kindness and gentleness are all meanings which hijack the feelings of the human being, take over his emotions and encourage him to love whom is behind providing him with the bounty and delivers to him the service, and no benefactor in reality nor charitable but Allah. This is an indication of open mind and correct transmission. The beloved, in reality, according to those with insights, is Allah, Owner of Greatness and Most High Status, and the deserver of all the love is the Almighty, to Him are due Praises. Other than Him, are beloved in Him, Owner of Greatness and Majesty. The human being, by his nature, likes the one who is a benefactor to him, treats him kindly, comforts him and helps him in all intents and purposes. If a person knows this very well, he would have realised that his benefactor is Allah, Owner of Greatness and Most High Status, and that the types of benefaction are in no way restricted “But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” [Ibrahim: 34]. Then, if the Muslim begins from this starting point, he is worthy of success in carrying out the duty of gratefulness to Allah, Owner of Greatness and Most High Status, with the tongue, heart and action, and therefore gains every good and achieves happiness in every desirable ending. Allah, Owner of Greatness and Most High Status, promised more to those who are grateful to Him: “If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you” [Ibrahim: 7], and our Prophet says: “The situation of the believer is astonishing, for his entire affairs are goodness; and this is only for the believer. If he encounters a delightful matter, he thanks Allah for it and this is goodness for him, and if he encounters a hardship, he is patient with it, and this is goodness for him”. [Narrated by Muslim], and in the Statement as well: “Allah gets pleased with the servant, he eats the meal then praises Him for it, and drinks the drink then praises Him for it”. [Narrated by Muslim].
The seventh of these foundations, is one of the greatest and most astonishing, the swings of the heart in its entirety in the hands of Allah, Owner of Greatness and Majesty, subservience to Him, Almighty and humility to His greatness in word and body “The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers”. [Al Mu’minun: 1, 2], and says about the best of creation: “These were ever quick in emulation in good works; they used to call on Us with love and reverence”. [Al Anbiya’: 90].
The eighth of these foundations: to take the opportunity of time of Divine Descent to converse with Him, Owner of Greatness and Majesty, reciting His words and be disciplined in the ethics of subservience between His hands, then seal it with prayers for forgiveness and sincere repentance to Him, Almighty. Our Lord, Owner of Greatness and Most High Status, says about the elite of creation: “Their limbs do forsake their beds of sleep, the while they call on their Lord, in fear and hope: and they spend (in charity) out of the sustenance which We have bestowed on them”. [As Sajdah: 16 ]. The companions of the night are the most honourable of those deserving love; because their standing at night between the hands of Allah, Owner of Greatness and Most High Status, brings them most of the reasons for love and its foundations. Therefore, it is no surprise that the sky’s custodian Gabriel, peace be upon him, descends down on the custodian of earth Mohammed, telling him: and know that the honour of a believer lies in him standing (for prayers) at night, and his pride his dispense off people. [Authentic Statement]. Al-Hasan al-Basri says: ‘I did not find in worship anything harder than the prayer in the middle of the night", it was said to him: "how come the vigil keepers have the nicest faces among people?! He said: "because they retreated to the Most Gracious, so He clothed them from His light". We ask Allah of His bounty.
And the ninth of these foundations: loving the righteous, seeking closeness to them and association with them. The Messenger of Allah says in the Authentic Statement: (Allah, Owner of Greatness and Majesty, said: ‘My love is owed to lovers in Me, My love is owed to assembly companions in Me, My love is owed to mutual visitors in Me’), and in the Authentic Statement from the Prophet: ‘The most bonding of belief’s hand-holds, the love in Allah and hatred in Allah’.
Servants of Allah, and the last of these foundations: to keep away from every reason and path, which comes between the heart and Allah, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation. That would neither materialise nor gets achieved, except by Muslims, believers, and their societies distancing themselves from the types of bad deeds, the diverse prohibitions and forms of grave sins. The hearts, when they become spoiled, will not find a use in what repairs them from their worldly affairs, and will not find a benefit or gain in the hereafter, “the day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, but only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart”. [Ash-Shu’ara’: 88, 89].
May Allah grant you and me grace in the Glorious Quran, and benefit us from what is therein as verses and reminders. I say this and ask forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin, so ask forgiveness of Him, He is Oft-Forgiving, Oft-Merciful.
The Second Sermon
Praise be to Allah for His kindness, and thanks to Him for His Guidance and Gratitude, and I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner, in glorification to His Status, and I bear witness that our Master and Prophet Mohammed is His servant and Messenger, the caller to His pleasure, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, friends and brothers.
In what is to follow: O you Muslims, I advise you and myself to fear Allah, Owner of Majesty and Exaltation, for it is the advice of our Lord, Owner of Majesty and Most High Status, to the predecessors and those who came later.
Assembly of Muslims, understanding the love of Allah for His servant is a high status, a great bestowment of grace, an eternal happiness and a good and unblemished life. The successful servant ought to seek gaining it by every Mohammedan trail, and prophetic path from the Conduct and Tradition of the Prophet; truth in belief, safety in worship and excellence in ethics, and to combine that to achieve true belief and practice piety to Allah, Owner of Greatness and Most High Status, in secret and openly: “Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; those who believe and (constantly) guard against evil.” [Yunus: 62, 63]. Verily, among the requirements for the love of Allah, Owner of Greatness and Most High Status, the recurrence of utterances of blessings and salutations upon the chosen Prophet.
O Allah, send your peace, salutations and blessings upon our master, Prophet and beloved Mohammed, and may You be pleased O Allah with the righteous Caliphs and guided Imams Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman, Ali and all of the companions, and those who follow them in truth until the Day of Reckoning.