A lecture on the “Virtue of Chivalry” by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, from his visit to South Africa, 2018. Sponsored by the Islamic Forum organisation and Awqaf SA.
The Feast of Friday Prayers
Shaykh Abdal Hakim begins the lecture by outlining the blessings inherent in the Jumu’a prayer. He likens us to a child whose fitra determines its happiness. And that is tied to its nourishment. The nourishment that befits our natures and needs.
It is for this reason that Allah, Most High, has prescribed for us the five daily prayers among other things, because the nourishment that befits the spiritual being is spiritual nourishment.
Every week, once a week, He, Exalted and Most High, has prescribed the congregational prayer. A prayer in which out hearts are cleansed and our ties to the Umma are strengthened.
The Sleepers of the Cave
One of the many adab of Jumu‘a is the recitation of Sura Al Kahf. A sura that contains many strange stories, paradoxes and riddles. One of these is the story of the Sleepers of the Cave. A story of seven young men in extraordinary circumstances that seems to break all the natural laws.
A noteworthy point is that these natural laws were broken by the Author of them, Allah Most High. Laws which when broken open us up to the vistas of His Power and Sovereignty, of His Compassion and Mercy towards the true believers.
A Sign and its Significance
These seven young men sought refuge in a cave from the persecution in their times and the first things they said was:
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا
Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance. (18:10)
The significance of this is that it is the sign of the believers that he or she turns to their Lord is all circumstances. It is His Mercy that we seek since it is due to His Mercy that brought everything, ourselves included, into being.
The Virtue of Chivalry
Those who exemplify the virtue of chivalry (futuwwa) are of the highest degree. They may suffer, express sorrow, feel bereaved. But at the deepest level they know that everything, every incidental circumstance written for us, is from the Divine Mercy of Allah.
For even persecutions, like the night and day, like the seasons, come to an end. And with every hardship there is ease. The faithful, the Muslim, knows that the dawning light of Allah’s Mercy is there at the end of all things.
The trust of the Muslim is not in the structures, rulers, institutions, but in the One who brings about all things. This unwavering faith is the root of true chivalry.
With gratitude to our content partner: Cambridge Muslim College.