Absent Minded Faith – A Khutbah

This khutbah/sermon takes up from last week’s khutbah:

[Direct download]

سَبَّحَ لِلَّهِ ما فِي السَّماواتِ وَما فِي الأَرضِ ۖ وَهُوَ العَزيزُ الحَكيمُ
يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنوا لِمَ تَقولونَ ما لا تَفعَلونَ
كَبُرَ مَقتًا عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقولوا ما لا تَفعَلونَ
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذينَ يُقاتِلونَ في سَبيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنيانٌ مَرصوصٌ
الرَّجُلُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَحَدُكُمْ مَنْ يُخَالِلُ

“Everything in the heavens and everything in the earth glorifies God. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. You who of faith!, why do you say what you do not do? It is deeply abhorrent to God that you should say what you do not do. God loves those who fight in His Way in ranks like well-built walls.” Qur’an, 61: 1-4

We said that Islam (religion) is sound advice (nasihah).

We said that one only takes advice if:

  1. One is ignorant of something and needs assistance/clarification.
  2. One trusts the one giving the advice.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“Allah the Exalted says: ‘I am as my slave expects me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly (i.e., in the assembly of angels).”

عن أبي هريرة، رضي الله عنه، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال ‏يقول الله تعالى‏ أنا عند ظن عبدي بي، وأنا معه إذا ذكرني، فإن ذكرني في نفسه، ذكرته في نفسي وإن ذكرني في ملإٍ ذكرته في ملإٍ خير منهم‏

What does Allah mean, “I am to my slave as s/he thinks of me”?, or, “I am, according to the thought of my slave, with him”?

Are we merely creatures, who are acted upon by the outside world?

What if we are dispassionate about God, about Islam?

One of the things that leads to this dispassion is becoming routine/becoming ossified.

How many of us recite the Fatihah, and only begin to pay attention to its meaning by the fourth or fifth verse?

Imagine skipping over the beginning (al-Hamd…) and then saying, “Guide us to the Straight Path…?

And we’re even told to thank people as a means of ultimately being appreciative of Allah:

لاَ يَشْكُرُ اللَّهَ مَنْ لاَ يَشْكُرُ النَّاسَ

The Prophet ﷺ said,

“He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah.” Sunan Abu Dawud, #4811

We recite the same surahs, for the same prayers. We become routine.

Being routine leads to laziness and cynicism.

Just look at this prayer from the Prophet:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْهَرَمِ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ

“O’ Allah! I seek refuge with You from helplessness, laziness, cowardice and feeble old age; I seek refuge with You from afflictions of life and death and seek refuge with You from the punishment in the grave.”

“A person is one religion of their confidant – therefore let each of you consider who he takes for his confidant.” Sunan Abu Dawud, #4833

الرَّجُلُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَحَدُكُمْ مَنْ يُخَالِلُ

Hamd and Shukr – Praise and Thanks

Egrets at John Heinz Nature Refuge
Egrets at John Heinz Nature Refuge
Egrets at John Heinz Nature Refuge. Photo by Marc Manley

Some thoughts as I walked the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge, located just outside Philadelphia, on sabr, hamd, and shukr. Taking a break from all the technology to relieve some stress by reflecting on God’s Signs. Enjoy the 20-minute sound walk as well as a short podcast. A short photo set of the sound walk.