To Work As One Ummah video by Mufti Menk
O You who believe, - Be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever takes Allah and His prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory…
My Dear Brothers and Sisters
Today’s khutbah is about the importance of building a strong community, a strong Ummah. The Holy Quran speaks of the justly-balanced community, ummatan wasatan, and it also describes the best of peoples as those who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, ata’muroona bil ma’roof, watan hawna ‘anil munkar, watu’ minoona bil-Laah.
These words, of course, do not only apply to the worldwide family of Believers. It also applies to our local neighbourhoods and to small groups like we have here at Royal Holloway. We are indeed an Ummah in miniature. We, too have to invite to what is right and forbid what’s wrong. This principle goes right down to the individual. You and I must win the lifelong struggle against the lower nafs, the lower self. If we fail to do this, remember the words of Sura Ra’d 13:11.
“Truly, Allah will not change the condition of a people, until they change what is within themselves [with their own souls].
From the very beginning, the birth and spread of Islam has been a communal effort. When Allah plants the seed of faith in our hearts, that seed has to be nourished and nurtured; it has to grow and mature, through our interaction with other people. There is no place for selfish individualism in Islam.
The English poet, John Donne, wrote that “No man is an island entire of itself; – Each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind…” John Donne was expressing a deeply Islamic idea, that we are all interconnected, interdependent.
The ethos of our beautiful deen is selfless service to others, out of love and gratitude to Allah. It’s not enough to simply thank Allah during our prayers, and to spend the rest of our time preoccupied exclusively with our own selfish concerns. Simply ‘minding our own business’ and ignoring the needs of the wider community is against the true spirit of Islam.
Allah says in His Noble Book, [Sura Nisaa’ ch4:v95]
“Not equal are those Believers who sit [at home] and receive no discomfort, and those who strive in the Cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and their persons, than to those who sit [at home].
From this verse, my dear Brothers and Sisters, we can see that Allah does not approve of those who sit around like lazy couch potatoes, passively watching the unfolding drama of their own lives around them. Islam never was and never will be a spectator sport. Islam is a religion of action. Islam requires us to be active role players in the betterment of our society. Wherever Muslims went throughout their long history, they improved the conditions of the people in those lands. Islam raised the status of people from nobodies to the leaders of civilization. The golden age of Spain, India, Turkey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Egypt and every other domain of Islam, was during the period of Muslim rule. This is the rich legacy of our illustrious and noble predecessors. Let us remember this and let us think what legacy we can leave for our future generations. Let us ask not only what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for our neighbours and fellow citizens of this beautiful country.
Life in Britain has many blessings and many challenges. Here we enjoy freedom and security that is still only dreamed of in many Muslim lands. We enjoy freedom of speech and expression. We can buy and sell property, educate our children and enjoy a free health service. We can even become British citizens and vote in free and fair elections, another rare commodity in our Muslim homelands! But Britain also has many problems and we can play a big part in solving them. The social fabric is under stress, family life has become an endangered species, and many people are becoming aware of a spiritual emptiness in their lives. We Muslims have much to offer. We must show by our personal living example that Islam is a better way of life, a better way of being. But our priorities are wrong. We seem to think we need a huge dawah industry. But really, we shouldn't try so hard to ‘convert’ people to Islam. That’s not our job. Allah chooses whom He pleases to guide. He says so in His Book. We must simply try through our behaviour, to show our neighbours the living proof of Islam. In many places in Allah’s Holy Book, the Prophet Muhammad sws was reminded, that He should not be despondent when some people refuse his guidance.
[In Sura Nahl, 16:v82]: “But if they turn away, your duty is only to preach the Clear Message,” [also in 24:54, 29:18, 36:17]
Brothers and Sisters, we are not responsible for who accepts Allah’s guidance and who refuses it. Let’s concentrate on what Allah will hold us accountable for. Let’s build strong families and strong communities that enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong: “ta’muroona bil ma’roof, wa tan hawna ‘anil munkar, wa tu’minoona bil-Laah.”
If we fail to do this, my dear Brothers and Sisters, if we waste the wonderful opportunities we have, then Allah, and the future generations, our children and grand-children will not judge us kindly. If we do nothing to make our small community more dynamic, more active and productive, then Allah will withdraw His barakah from us. We will be left with nothing but empty lives and wasted opportunities. Let us all pray and work hard to ensure that this does not happen!
Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen. Was-salaatu was-salaamu alaa Khairil mursaleen. Muhammadin-nabeey-yil Ummiy-yee, wa-‘alaa aalihee, wasah-bihee, aj-ma’een.
Innalláha wa malaaikata yusallúna alan nabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallú alayhi wasalli mú tas leema. Allahumma salli alá Muhammad, wa ala áli Muhammad, kama salayta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali Ibrahim. Allahumma barik ala Muhammad, wa alaa áli Muhammad, kama barakta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali ibrahim. Fil ála meen, innaka hameedun majeed.”
Sub' hanallahi wal hamdu lillah, wala hawla wala quwwata illah billah yu althi yual theem.
"All glory is for Allah, and all praise is for Allah; There is no power and no strength except with Allah."
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
There is a lovely word in the English language called, Synergy. I like this word, because it sums up what I think community life is all about. Synergy means, to combine individual efforts so that the result is much more than the sum of the parts. Mathematically we know that if I put 5 £1 coins together I have £5. But when five well motivated and well organised people work together, their synergy delivers much more than 5 individuals . The result is more like 5 x 1 = 50, not just 5. This isn’t a recent psychological theory. It’s a basic Islamic principle. 14 centuries years ago, the Holy Quran, [in Sura Al-Anfal ch.8:v65] declared:
“O Prophet! Rouse the Believers to fight! If there are 20 amongst you, patient and persevering, they will defeat 200, if you are 100, you will defeat 1,000 of the unbelievers…”
So, by Allah’s own formula, the efforts of sincere and hardworking Believers can deliver results by a factor of 1 equals 10. Allah promises us that if we work hard in His cause, he will magnify the impact of our efforts. Those who serve Allah sincerely, out of love and gratitude, are never put off by the big challenges ahead. The entire history of Islam is an inspiring narrative of small numbers of Believers overcoming tremendous challenges.
If you look around you, our community has many talents. We have doctors, dentists, engineers and architects. We have students, businessmen and women, accountants, tradesmen, writers and IT specialists. Each and every one of us has something of value to offer. But at the moment we are disconnected from one another. This community needs your help, to become dynamic and proactive. Let us not be shy to come forward and to enliven the spirits of one another. The rewards are great, in this life and the next one. In our prayers, we ask Allah, “O My Lord, grant me the best of this life, and the best of the life to come, and save me from the tormnent of the Fire.”
Rabbana atina fid duny hasanatan, wa fil aakhirati hasanatan, waqina athaban naar!
Let us guarantee that Allah accepts this prayer, by doing our bit. Let us commit some of our time, energy and resources for the greater good. Let’s join together, and generate a powerful synergy of collective effort. Let’s help our community, our family, ourselves and please Allah at the same time.
My dear brothers and sisters, Let us pray to Allah, subhanallahu ta'ala, to help us along this most difficult of all journeys: Our quest for self-improvement and community building. O Alláh, please plant within our hearts, the desire to improve ourselves. O Alláh, help us to build a strong foundation for Islam in Britain. O Allah, help us to be good ambassadors of Islam, excellent role models for our children, and for those of our neighbours who have not yet received Your message.
Brothers and sisters, to conclude our khutbah:
InnaAllaha, Yamuru bil adel, wal ihsaan, wa eetaa-i zil qurba; wa yanha anil fuhshaa-i, wal munkari walbaghi; ya-idzukhum lallakum tathak-karoon. (Sura 16:90),
"Surely Allah commands justice, good deeds and generosity to others and to relatives; and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, so that you may be reminded."
Fadth kuroonee adth kurkum, wash kuroolee walaa tak furoon [2:152].
“and remember Me: I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject faith.”
wala thikrul-Laahi akbar, Wal-Laahu ya’lamu maa tasna’oon.” [29:45].
“and without doubt, Remembrance of Allah is the Greatest Thing in life, and Allah knows the deeds that you do.”
by Arshad Gamiet/Royal Holloway Univ. of London/ 11th July 2008.