Help Your Brother By Preventing Him From Oppressing Others – A Khutbah

انْصُرْ أَخَاكَ ظَالِمًا أَوْ مَظْلُومًا ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَنْصُرُهُ إِذَا كَانَ مَظْلُومًا، أَفَرَأَيْتَ إِذَا كَانَ ظَالِمًا كَيْفَ أَنْصُرُهُ قَالَ ‏”‏ تَحْجُزُهُ أَوْ تَمْنَعُهُ مِنَ الظُّلْمِ، فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ نَصْرُهُ

“Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed,” A man said, “O Allah’s Messenger ﷺ I will help him if he is oppressed, but if he is an oppressor, how shall I help him?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “By preventing him from oppressing others. That is how to help him.” al-Bukhari #6952

What Does It Mean To Have A Messenger – A Khutbah

The role of Prophets and Messengers in general, and the Prophet Muhammad in specific, is to make clear and plain:

  • Who God Is.
  • What God wants from us and how we are to go about doing it.
  • What is the nature of reality beyond what we can sense-perceive.

The Prophet, in essence, makes God accessible for us by demonstrating through his blessed lifestyle (read Sunnah, how one conceives of and worships God, with certainty of method and ritual.

لَقَد كانَ لَكُم في رَسولِ اللَّهِ أُسوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَن كانَ يَرجُو اللَّهَ وَاليَومَ الآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثيرًا

“You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.” Qur’an, 33:21

Muslims and Mental Health – Legacy Building in the Afrcian-American Muslim Community

I was honored to have participated in a new media program: Muslims and Mental Health series. This episode explores legacy building in the African-American Muslim community. It examines issues of community mental health and how elders in the community are setting the tone for coming generations. We explore what the strengths and weaknesses of the community are. What works well and what could use improvement. What resources are needed in terms of human and material capital to make this community functional and healthy.

Love of God and Fear of God – A Khutbah

Three main types of fear discussed in the Qur’an

Khawf: fear related to bodily harm and emotional trauma, because, as in the verse below, it relates to The Fire:

قُلنَا اهبِطوا مِنها جَميعًا ۖ فَإِمّا يَأتِيَنَّكُم مِنّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدايَ فَلا خَوفٌ عَلَيهِم وَلا هُم يَحزَنونَ

“We said, ‘Go down from it, every one of you! Then when guidance comes to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will have no fear and will know no sorrow’.” Qur’an, 2: 38

Khashyah: fear related to shame, disappointing, and even devotion:

لَو أَنزَلنا هٰذَا القُرآنَ عَلىٰ جَبَلٍ لَرَأَيتَهُ خاشِعًا مُتَصَدِّعًا مِن خَشيَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَتِلكَ الأَمثالُ نَضرِبُها لِلنّاسِ لَعَلَّهُم يَتَفَكَّرونَ

“If We had sent down this Qur’an onto a mountain, you would have seen it humbled, crushed to pieces out of fear of God. We make such examples for people so that hopefully they will reflect.” Qur’an, 59: 21

Taqwah: to use all of one’s senses/knowledge, to avoid harm:

وَاتَّقوا يَومًا لا تَجزي نَفسٌ عَن نَفسٍ شَيئًا وَلا يُقبَلُ مِنها شَفاعَةٌ وَلا يُؤخَذُ مِنها عَدلٌ وَلا هُم يُنصَرونَ

“Have taqwa (fear) of a Day when no self will be able to compensate for another in any way. No intercession will be taken from it, no ransom taken from it, and none will be helped. Qur’an, 2: 48

Love (and fear!) are more than what Hollywood portrays it to be. ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud reported that the Messenger of God said:

إنَّ اللَّهَ قسمَ بينَكم أخلاقَكم كما قسَّمَ بينَكم أرزاقَكم وإنَّ اللَّهَ تعالى يعطي المالَ من أحبَّ ومن لا يحبُّ ولا يعطي الإيمانَ إلَّا من يحبُّ. فمن ضنَّ بالمالِ أن ينفقَهُ وخافَ العدوَّ أن يجاهدَهُ وهاب اللَّيلَ أن يُكابدَهُ فليُكثر من قولِ لا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وسبحانَ اللَّهُ والحمدُ للَّهِ واللَّهُ أَكبرُ

“God Almighty portioned out your character between you as He divided your provision between you. The Almighty bestows wealth on those He loves and those He does not love. However, He only gives faith to those He loves. Whoever is stingy about spending his wealth and fears to fight the enemy and is in terror of enduring the night should repeat frequently: ‘There is no god but Allah. Glory be to Allah. Praise be to Allah, and Allah is greater’.” al-Adab al-Mufrad