Allah(SWT) mentions in the Qur’an, “There are those people who worship Allah with a condition. If life is good, he’s happy and will happy with Allah. But if life is not good and a Fitnah happens, then he switches his faith in Allah, he ends up losing this world and the next” The wisdom of trying to understand the problems of this world is something that every faith/tradition has struggled with. It is one of the fundamental problems of theology.
The question of trying to understanding why there is pain, why is there suffering? Why is there bloodshed? Why is there evil in this world? This is a question that was asked of Allah even before he created us. When Allah(SWT) announced his creation of man in Surah Al-Baqarah, the angels asked: “Why would you do that” Even the angels asked the same question. Remember this is a question that was asked to better comprehend Allah’s wisdom, not to challenge Allah’s authority.
Belief is not just a word we may utter, but it is a complete package with obligations and duties. Allah tests how truthful are we to our verbal claim of belief. Allah is always with those who maintain close connection to him during those trials. The results of the recent US presidential elections sent a message to American Muslims to get up and be ready for an incoming test.
Challenges should not deter us. They should bolster our determination to pursue what is good. While we may be living during trying times, we must remember that Allah promised to support the believers. We must stand strong and keep our trust in Allah.
Shaykh Yahya highlights that the greatest gift that we have been given, is the gift of faith because enables us to live a life of purpose. Faith is also the greatest gift we can give to the modern world in which we live. As people move further and further away from belief, resulting in a state of agitation and a state of panic. Faith (iman) is related to security (amn). With faith one finds security in their Lord who absolutely sustains and takes care of everything from its beginning to its fruition.
Shaykh Yahya reminds us that history is in good hands. The umma of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is granted mercy. There are many things of this deen and in this world that one cannot fully understand or comprehend the wisdom of, until they take into consideration the afterlife, and see how it plays out in the next life.
With all the great calamities, suffering and tribulations happening around the world, it gives one solace to know that their Lord is Just. Everyone who has been wronged will be fully gifted their right on the day of judgement. Therefore, we have to view everything from two perspectives simultaneously: from the perspective of faith and the unfolding of Divine decree, as well as from of perspective of judging particular incidents outwardly from the standpoint of the sacred law (shari’a).
Shaykh Yahya reminds us that this world is perishing and that death is a transition into the next life. Therefore we should always keep the next life in perspective. He urges us to respond to the Divine decree with total submission out of recognizing that Allah is truly in total control.
Shaykh Yahya finally reminds us that every Muslim is looked upon as a representative of Islam. Therefore, we have to have principled engagement with the society in order to bring forth the beauty of faith. This means that every individual Muslim needs to first immerse themselves in the meanings of iman, isalm and ihsan and then engage with the world. Bringing forth the light of the sunna of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) through our state of being is much more eloquent than speech about Islam. We should live that light, and spread that light freely by seeing ourselves as the servants of humanity. If we do this, we will truly see amazing things.
This Friday Khutba was delivered at the London Muslim Mosque (http://www.londonmosque.ca/) as part of the Age of Anger – Southern Ontario Tour, April 2017.
Surah Al-Ankabout was revealed at the height of Muslim persecution in Mecca and, according to Nouman Ali Khan, mentally prepared Muslims for their immigration to Medina. Its opening aya is a profound lesson about what we often forget at times of distress. Allah reminds us that true believers will be thoroughly tested in their faith, just as gold must be exposed to extreme heat in order to be purified. Muslims suffering under the current circumstances must remember that they have protesting the violation of their civil rights ever since Allah’s message was revealed. Allah will give protection to those who struggle, those who show confidence in Him and do not flinch in bearing the responsibility of upholding the religion.
As believers, how do we respond to calamity? In his answer to this crucial question, Nouman Ali Khan delves into the meaning of the word “musiba” in Arabic, which is used strategically in the Quran to denote that whatever it is that has struck you, could never have happened to anyone else at any other time. It is your own, personal test. The Quran also distinguishes between two types of unfortunate situations, those over which we have no control and others which we brought upon ourselves. But where do we draw the line between what is in Allah’s hands and what is our fault? The Quran answers that on a simple premise: That Allah is whatever you assume Him to be. If you genuinely believe that he is the all-merciful, then at times of difficulty you must be unwavering in our faith that if Allah plans something for you, even if it’s painful, you must know that He is doing it out of love. When you trust and maintain your reliance in Him, Allah will give you the greatest gift of all: he will guide your heart to the right path and give you peace of mind.
This Khutbah was recorded in Langkawi, Malaysia on October 28th 2016
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf reads and comments on a chapter from a classical text over 400 years old called “Al Maktobat” by Shaykh Ahmad al Farooqi al Sirindi which discusses being content with the decree of Allah.