Tuesday, June 6

FRIDAY SERMON Loving Each Other for the Sake of Allah

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*By Sheikh Yusuf Al-Badri

 Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, Allah will ask on the Day of Judgment: “Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but Mine, I shall shade them with My shade.” (Muslim) Love is among the most exalted of human feelings. When this love revolves around Almighty Allah and forms the basis for our interpersonal relationships, many problems can be weathered and great fruits can be harvested for both the individual and society as a whole. The Qur’an and Sunnah often speak about the noble status of those whom Allah graces to possess such love.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Among Allah’s servants are people who are neither prophets nor martyrs, but whom the prophets and martyrs will deem fortunate because of their high status with Allah.” The Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Inform us of who they are.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told them that they are people who loved each other for Allah’s sake, even without being related to one another or being tied to one another by the exchange of wealth.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went on to describe their great reward on the Day of Resurrection: “By Allah, their faces will be luminous and they will be upon light. They will feel no fear when the people will be feeling fear, and they will feel no grief when the people will be grieving.” Then he (peace and blessings be upon him) read the verse: [Behold! verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve] (Yunus 10:62). (Abu Dawud) This reminds us of another famous hadith that enumerates the seven types of people who will enjoy Allah’s shade on a day when there is no shade but His. Among those mentioned are “two men who love each other for the sake of Allah, meeting for that reason, and parting with this love (still cherished by both of them)” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Love for Allah’s sake transcends the limits of our worldly existence, enduring into the life to come.

Allah says, [Close friends on that Day will be foes to one another—except for the righteous.] (Az-Zukhruf 43:67) Loving one another for the sake of Allah, and brotherhood in faith, are among the most excellent acts of worship. This sublime love entails some conditions and duties that must be fulfilled so that the relationship remains pure and free of base undercurrents. Upholding these duties brings a servant nearer to Allah and to His pleasure and, over time, it can bring about a greater nobility of person. These duties include the following: Both parties must truly love to extend support and assistance to each other and must love good for one another. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “None of you will attain (perfect) faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

They must enjoin each another to truth and patience, and give each other sincere advice. They must enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and guide each other. They must help one another in carrying out works of righteousness. Allah Almighty says,[Surely, the human being is at loss. Except for those who have faith and do righteous deeds and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to patience.] (Al-`Asr 103:2-3) [The believing men and women are protecting friends of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.] (At-Tawbah 9:71) They must engage in the things that cultivate this love, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and facilitate the fulfilling of their duties to one another.The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A Muslim has six rights over another Muslim.”

They asked, “What are they, Messenger of Allah?” He said, “When you meet him, greet him with salam (Muslim’s salutation meaning ‘peace’); when he invites you, accept his invitation; when he seeks your advice, advise him; when he sneezes and then praises Allah, invoke Allah’s mercy upon him; when he falls ill, visit him; when he dies, follow his funeral” (Muslim). A Muslim has the right to kind treatment from his fellow Muslim. He should be greeted with a smile and given a pleasant reception. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do not view any good act as insignificant, even the act of meeting your brother with a cheerful face” (Muslim).

They must guide each other to what is good, and help each other in acts of obedience. Likewise, they must prevent and discourage one another from falling into sin and iniquity.The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “One should help his brother, whether he is an oppressor or the one being oppressed. If he is an oppressor, forbid him from his oppression. If he is being oppressed, then come to his aid” (Muslim). The love between them shines in a most wonderful and genuine manner when the two are away from each other and each of them is in secret prayers to Allah for the other. This continues for the living one even after the other has departed from the earth.The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A Muslim’s supplication for his brother in secret is answered.

Is Hijab a Qur’anic Commandment?

 The Holy Qur’an speaks of the hijab. The verses 30-31 in Surah 24 of the Holy Qur’an, which give the meaning of:

 *Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigor, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness.

And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.* Also verse 59 in Surah, which give the meaning of: *O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them [when they go abroad]. That will be better, that so they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.* The above verses very clearly show that it is Allah Almighty Himself, Who commands the women to wear hijab, though that word is not used in the above verses.

In fact, the term hijab means much more than the covering of the body; it refers to the code of modesty outlined in the verses quoted above. The expressions used: “Lower their gaze”, “be modest”, “not to display their adornment”, “draw the veils over their bosoms” “not to stamp their feet” etc.

It must be clear to any thinking person what is meant by all the above expressions in the Holy Qur’an. Women in the Prophet’s time used to wear a kind of dress that covered the head, but not the bosom properly. So when they are asked to draw their veils over their bosoms so as not to reveal their beauty, it is clear that the dress must cover the head as well as the body. And hair is considered by people in most cultures of the world – not only in the Arab culture – as an attractive part of a woman’s beauty.

Until the end of the nineteenth century, ladies in the west used to put on some kind of head gear, if not a cover for the whole hair. This is quite in conformity with the Biblical injunction for the women to cover their heads. Even in these degenerate times, people pay more respect to the more modestly dressed ladies, than to the scantily clad ones. Imagine a lady prime minister or a queen wearing a low-cut blouse or a miniskirt in an international conference! Can she command as much respect there as she would get if she were in a more modest attire? For the above reasons, the scholars of Islam are unanimous that the Qur’anic verses quoted above clearly mean that women must cover the head and the whole body except for the face and the hands. Does the hijab prevent a woman from performing her day-to-day duties? A woman does not normally wear hijab in her own house, so it shouldn’t get in the way when she’s doing housework.

If she is working in a factory close to machinery or in a laboratory, for example—she can wear a different style of hijab that doesn’t have dragging ends. Actually loose trousers and a long shirt for instance lets her to bend, lift, or climb steps or ladders more easily, if her work allows that. Such a dress would certainly give her more freedom of movement while protecting her modesty at the same time. However it is interesting to note that the very same people who find fault with the Islamic dress code for women do not find anything improper in the dress of nuns.  It is evident that the “hijab” of Mother Teresa did not prevent her from social work! And the western world honored her with the Nobel Prize! But the same people would argue that the hijab is a hindrance for a Muslim girl in a school or for a Muslim lady working as a cashier in a super market! This is the kind of hypocrisy or double standards which paradoxically some “sophisticated” people find fashionable! Is hijab an oppression? It could certainly be so, if someone forces a woman to wear it. But for that matter, semi-nudity also can be an oppression, if someone forces a woman to adopt that style. If women in the west – or east – have the freedom to dress as they please, why not allow the Muslim women to prefer a more modest dress? *by Shahul Hameed