Purifying the Hearts- Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

In a Friday sermon given in Cape Town, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin reminds us about the relationship between the believers and the state of their hearts, to their connection with Allah. He quotes the hadith, “The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him), said, “Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions.” (Sahih Muslim)

Traits such as humility, gratitude, trust in Allah, are some of these traits that can adorn our hearts. So many people spend so much time worrying about their appearance, wealth or property. Imam al-Ghazali asks, “How much time do you spend adorning your heart?”

The Prophet(peace be upon him) was sent to a people who had many social ills in their society, and said, “I was sent to perfect character.” Examples include Umar ibn al-Khattab, who was a person of harshness before Islam. Afterward, he completely changed. Now, 1400 years later, people’s hearts are still being transformed by him.

There is no greater way to Allah’s pleasure than working towards purifying our hearts. True knowledge is passed through embodiment, not merely through books. This is why we are called to venerate the scholars and elders, so that we may learn from them.

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Appreciating the Blessing of the Prophet (peace be upon him)- Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Friday sermon, given at a historic mosque in Cape Town, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani encourages us to be more appreciative of the greatest blessings we possess: our vast of knowledge of the Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him).

Knowledge of the Prophet(peace be upon him) enriches our day-to-day lives, and gives our family, social and personal lives so much more meaning. Citing the example of Cape Town, whose Muslims were persecuting in horrific ways for decades, Shaykh Faraz points out how they not only remained Muslims, but remained steadfast in their knowledge of Islam and their love for the Prophet (peace be upon him). Their great appreciation of this blessing was their motivation to hold onto it. We should regularly thank Allah for this blessing, as He called us to do frequently.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us how to do the smallest actions in the most beautiful way. He taught us to put on our shoes, to drink water, and to clean ourselves in the most beautiful way. We should look at our money with gratitude, as well as our free time. By living gratitude, we can taste the beauty of the message, and direct our blessings for good.

 

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Significance of the Adhan and its Being a Metaphor and Reminder of Life and Death – Shaykh Asim Yusuf

In this Friday khutba Dr. Asim Yusuf begins by giving a brief history how the adhan came about to be the call to prayer for the Muslims. The companions dreamt the words of the adhan. One should reflect on the significance of the adhan. Nothing in our religion came about randomly. Rather, our religion come from the Hakim (The Wise), and is never bereft of wisdom. Men should be giving the adhan and the iqama before praying. Adhan is a form of dhikr (remembrance) that should be done five times a day. Reflect on the symbolism of the adhan. The adhan is recommended outside of the performance of the prayer one of these times is when a baby is born. The adhan is a call to prayer, but to which prayer is the baby being called to? It’s a call to their own janaza prayer, which is a prayer performed without adhan. Adhan is a remembrance of death and what follows it. Instinctively we know that there is something after death. Every human has some belief about the afterlife. Even those who don’t believe in God. Remembering death frequently is not a negative thing. The adhan is a remembrance for the stages of the afterlife. The adhan is direct sequential reminder in the moments after death. Religion is here to remind us there is a dawn coming, and you need to prepare for the day after which there are no more days. Worship at its core is not an action. Action is how worship is expressed. Worship at its core is a realization and internal reorientation.

Reflect on the Signs Around You – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Friday khutba Shaykh Faraz begins by reminding the believers to appreciate the signs around one. There are verses about those signs that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would recite regularly upon waking for his night prayer.

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the day and night there are signs for people of reason. ˹They are˺ those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth ˹and pray˺, “Our Lord! You have not created ˹all of˺ this without purpose. Glory be to You! Protect us from the torment of the Fire.”  [Sura al-Imran: 3:190-191]

All of Allah’s creating should remind one of The Creator. He is kind, caring, just, and all-knowing. One of the basic proofs of God is everything besides Allah is given to change. Anything given to change points to a creator. People of insight look at not just forms, but look at the reality of things. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was constantly in the remembrance of Allah. Make a habit to pause and look with the eye of reflection. The prophetic gaze was reflecting.

 

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Appreciating the Gift of Allah – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Friday khutba Shaykh Faraz Rabbani begins by reminding the believers to appreciate the gift of Allah. Allah’s blessings are beyond imagination. He then comments on the verse from the Qur’an from Surat Ibrahim: “ If you were to count the blessing of Allah, you would be unable to innumerate them.” Sura 14:34. The believers should pause and reflect on the Qur’an. There is a distinction between reflecting on the Qur’an and interpreting the Qur’an. Reflecting on the Qur’an is a take the Qur’an as a mirror, and ask what is this verse saying to me. Some reflection can be personal. One should reflect on the reality of Allah’s blessing upon you. If Allah is not blessing you in your life you would not exist. If Allah stops sustaining you for a moment you would stop existing. Nothing exists except that it is a blessing from Allah. Existence itself it a gift. Even trials and tribulations are a blessing. When one is sick and grateful and turns to Allah it is a blessing. Allah calls one to have a higher standard of gratefulness. Being truly grateful is to view pleasure and displeasure, ease and difficulty, and success and failure as all being a blessing from Allah. A believer responds to everything with faith. Everything that comes, is only from Allah.

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Critical Qualities of the Believers – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Friday khutba Shaykh Faraz Rabbani begins by reminding the believers that Allah has granted a reminder as a gift alongside guidance in this life, as a way to show one’s purpose, and for one to have contentment. The Qur’an  is not simply a book of guidance. The Qur’an is also a reminder. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent not only as a guide. But as a reminder as well. Reminder benefits the believers. There are three critical qualities that describe the believers from Surat al-Anfal. “The ˹true˺ believers are only those whose hearts tremble at the remembrance of Allah, whose faith increases when His revelations are recited to them, and who put their trust in their Lord”. Qualities are mentioned for the believers to take heed, and be elevated through them. The fear of awe is not a negative fear. Positive awe is awe of Allah’s majesty, perfection, beauty. Hearts tremble out of a sense of gratitude. Upon opening the book of Allah, a believer will be moved by the remembrance of Allah. The believers’ trust is upon Allah.

 

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Allah’s Pleasure and the Next Life – and Five Qualities of the True Servants of Allah – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Allah blessed and gifted the believers with the gift of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), and the message he came with. His message is one that highlights what truly matters in life. In this Friday khutba, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani reminds us of the nature of this life and the nature of the hereafter through verses 14-17 of Sura al-Imran:

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَاللَّـهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ ﴿١٤﴾ قُلْ أَؤُنَبِّئُكُم بِخَيْرٍ مِّن ذَٰلِكُمْ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَأَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ ﴿١٥﴾الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ ﴿١٦﴾ الصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْمُنفِقِينَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالْأَسْحَارِ(١٧

The enjoyment of ˹worldly˺ desires—women, children, treasures of gold and silver, fine horses, cattle, and fertile land—has been made appealing to people. These are the pleasures of this worldly life, but with Allah is the finest destination.

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “Shall I inform you of what is better than ˹all of˺ this? Those mindful of their Lord will have Gardens under which rivers flow, to stay there forever, and pure spouses, along with Allah’s pleasure.” And Allah is All-Seeing of ˹His˺ servants, ˹It is they˺ who are patient, sincere, obedient, and charitable, and who pray for forgiveness before dawn.

Sura al-Imran 14-17

These verses highlight five qualities of the true servants of Allah:

  1. Steadfast Patience – One who is fireman what is pleasing to Allah
  2. Those Who are True – Those who make the right commitment in life. Their actions correspond to their words.
  3. Truly Devoted to Allah – They turn to Allah in supplication and prayer, in a state of need.
  4. Ever Giving – They spend on the needy, and spend in the ways of good.
  5. Those Who Seek Forgiveness in Depths of the Nights

 

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The Power of Speaking Truth in Life – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Friday khutba, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani speaks about the power of speaking the truth. It was from Prophet’s practice (peace and blessings be upon him) to recite particular verses during his khutba. The verses 70-71 from Sura Ahzab are two such verses.

 O  believers! Be mindful of Allah, and say what is right. He will bless your deeds for you, and forgive your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, has truly achieved a great triumph.” (Ahzab: 70-71)

Shaykh Faraz explains that being mindful of Allah is to uphold taqwa. Mindfulness of Allah is to fulfill the purpose of this life in submitting to Allah Most High, seeking His good pleasure, and seeking His closeness. The first step in mindfulness is to leave what Allah has prohibited.

Shaykh Faraz then reminds to not be silent when the truth is called for.  Always say what is right. The most honored with Allah is the most mindful. Speak truthful and upright speech, and Allah will rectify all your actions. Speaking that which is wrong harms other people. One is commanded to say what is right. In doing what is right a believer is concerned with all the truths.

The purpose of speech  is to say things of benefit. Being considerate in one’s speech is the key to change. One should learn restraint and how to act with purpose. One of the keys to speech is to speak with intention, seeking the pleasure of Allah, and  in accordance with the sunna. Prophetic concern was to always speak what is right.

A Moment of Reflection is Better than a Lifetime of Heedlessness – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Friday khutba Shaykh Faraz Rabbani reminds the believers that the Day of Ashura is a  day of tremendous blessing for the people of faith. Many great events happened on this great day throughout history. Our beloved Imam Hussain (may Allah be pleased with him) was martyred. Great days of the year are to be remembered. It is important to pause and reflect, and focus on the meanings not just forms. Allah created us and is sustaining us. There are numerous signs for those of insight. There are wisdoms behind why the 10th of Muharram is a day of fasting and extra worship. The day is meant to reminder for us. Similarly, Friday to Friday are days that serve as reminders. The purpose of the Friday khutba is to remind us of Allah. Each prayer is means to know who is your Lord and who you are. You are a servant . These are opportunities to be taken. Don’t lose out on these opportunities. Don’t lose out on a moment of reflection . The early Muslims would say: “ A moment of reflection is better than 80 years of heedless worship.” It is a moment to turn your heart to Allah, reflect on the greatness of Allah, and reflect on having gratitude . A moment to reflect on what is needed to turn back to Allah Most High. It is good to take a reminder on the special days. Use every moment to reflect, even if it is just a moment. Don’t just go through the motions in the prayer, rather reflect on the majesty of Allah, and the beauty and perfection of Allah. Reflect on the mercy of Allah. One of the key sunnas is to rejoice in Allah. A key to being able to reflect in remembering Allah and in making supplication, is that one doesn’t focus on the words alone rather the meaning expressed by the words.

 

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Reflections and Lessons from the Hijra – Shaykh Amin Buxton

In this khutba Shaykh Amin Buxton starts by reminding the believers that a new hijri year is upon us (1440 A.H.), and a new decade as well. One should take account from the past year and make intentions for the coming year. Hijra (migration) is not strange for the Muslims. He goes on to remind that all should reflect on the lessons to be learned from the hijra. The first hijra was from Makka to Abyssinia, where they went to a just king named Negus. Many of the beloved companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) made the first hijra to Abyssinia. Shaykh Amin goes on to remind the believers of the sacrifice of the hijra, after 13 years of oppression and struggle. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was given permission to make hijra to Madina, and was received by the Ansar (helpers). Shaykh Amin ends by reminding everyone of the spiritual meanings of hijra. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that any one leaving the prohibited is making hijra. So we should all strive to attain a portion of the hijra by leaving and departing from sin.

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