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Islamic Institute of Toronto – Ramadan 2016
Ramadan and the Ummah – Resetting Priorities
June 16, 2016
smilla rahmanir rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salli wa sallam Allah say at a lower lien will occur in Nabina Muhammad, Allah Allah He was happy. Woman da da da what he was standing beside knotty, Ella Yomi Dean
will sell them to Sleeman kathira. My bad
appraiser due to Allah, Lord of the worlds
and peace and blessings be constantly showered upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad, the master of the first and the last of humanity.
May Allah also bless those who call to his way.
Those who establish his Sunnah,
those members of his family, those members of his companions, all those who call to righteousness, to the Day of Judgment.
To what follows I begin with the greeting words of the righteous Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
Alhamdulillah. Again, it is a great privilege, a great honor to be with you here tonight. And I pray that Allah azza wa jal would bless you, in the sacred month of Ramadan, I
would accept your prayers except your fasting
and would make you amongst the righteous,
special greetings to our friends and visitors who have come from different parts of the GTA, from different parts of Ontario, here to the Islamic Institute of Toronto, special greetings to you
and warm feelings of solidarity.
Also special greetings to our beloved brothers and sisters, the members of the Deaf Muslim group are deaf Muslims Alhamdulillah many faces, I remember from back in the 90s.
And they are still with us, still thriving, and May Allah bless them and accept their fasting
and their prayers.
We also pray that Allah subhanaw taala would make this month a source of coming close to him a source of gaining His mercy
and a source of becoming better human beings. Alhamdulillah by the mercy of Allah, Muslims are fasting all around the planet,
over 1.6 billion people.
And if we
look at the earth, and how the sun affects the earth, and how the sunrise and the sunset, you will find that at every moment.
In this sacred month, there are Muslims actually fasting in different areas. And so we're moving in shifts. Some of us are breaking out fasts, others are beginning the fast, others are praying Tada, we
others are striving in their day calling to the good and forbidding evil.
So what this represents really is a major movement all around the Earth.
Because Muslims are in every country, every part of the planet,
here in Canada,
here in the GTA
fasting is a reality to the Muslim community. But it is not necessarily a reality to the greater community.
And this is a bit of information that if it were known, to the average Canadian, would probably put them in a state of shock.
Because in the GTA, we have over 250,000 people over 10% of the population
in the GTA, who are not eating and not drinking,
not involved in sex and sexuality. not involved in any of the normal activities that people are involved in, in the summer for 29 or 30 days in the summer solstice.
Now, the shocking part of this that would be for people is that the solstice season in the northern countries, as you know, means that the day is longer, and the night is shorter.
And as we move towards June 21, we're actually moving toward
the longest days of the years now
hamdulillah our brothers and sisters, in Iqaluit, we have opened up a Masjid far north in the province of none of it Alhamdulillah I can report to you that they are fasting and to half of the Quran have gone up there to the north feasibility law, they are reading Salatu Tada. We're in the Arctic Circle. Imagine this, and they are fasting.
But they had a slight dilemma, because if you follow the sunrise and the sunset,
that far north in the Arctic Circle, there is no sunset.
So that means that according to the sunset, and the sunrise, you'd be looking at the sky, and you'd be fasting constantly for 29 or 30 days. So you got a problem. Not so bad in the winter, though, right? Because it's done its darkness all the time you make it tough for 29 days.
So the question came to the scholars, what should we do in this? And the scholars have shown us that in this case, based on the son of the Prophet so seldom you fast, according to Mecca, Tomoko Rama, or you fast according to the closest city, so they have de la are fasting according to the times in Ottawa. So they follow the Ottawa, Canada prayer chat, and they establish their fasts.
But even here in Toronto, this would be a shocking thing.
And people might say,
why are you Muslims doing a radical thing like this? According to the media, they know us as radicals.
So this must be a radical thing that you're doing. Just think about that. 250,000 people 10% of the population, refusing to eat and refusing to drink as long as there is sunlight for 29 or 30 days 10% of the population of the GTA.
A person might say to themselves, no, this is a hunger strike.
This is a political action.
Why are you people doing this? But our answer to them is No.
It is not a political action.
It is not a hunger strike. It is not set in order to
expose the government.
No, you're wrong. Then they would say okay, we know about religions in the world. If you people are fasting
for this long,
early in the morning,
to late at night. If you are fasting like this, you must be punishing yourself.
It must be penance. And there are some religions that believe that the more you punish yourself, is the more blessings that you get one extreme second sect of Christianity, the hope is die, that when they do something wrong, they have a whip, and they do something wrong, they look at something wrong, and they start to beat themselves.
Because they believe that if you punish your body,
then you get forgiveness, you get better answer to them would be no.
Other people might say especially the younger generation, they would say I know why you people are not eating food. It is for social reasons. It is because you want to wear the latest jeans that are coming out. You want to wear the latest clothes, because now it's so tight that you have to literally peel it on and then peel it off.
And the human body is not made like this. So therefore most people have to lose weight, right?
What is the best way to lose weight, don't eat and drink
for 30 days.
And then at nighttime, do some aerobics, go up and down about 40 times do aerobics at night.
Now you should be able to now put on the latest style
and feel that you are in fashion but we would say to them.
The answer is no.
And they might say well, then what is the answer?
And we would go to the second chapter in the glorious court and in verse 183.
And we would give them what Allah gave to us. And that is Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim. Yeah. Are you had Latina amanu cootie bah
camassia comma katiba Allah Allah Dena min publico, La La contactable.
O you who believe fasting has been prescribed on you, as it was prescribed on those who came before you in order that you would gain taqwa, God consciousness.
And so the essence of the fest itself
is not physical, not to show off, not to wear those latest tights.
The essence of the fast is a spiritual thing.
It is taqwa
it is gaining neediness to Allah subhanaw taala.
And this is a very important issue
for a non Muslim for a person of another faith, who may have forms of fasting in their own life.
They may even have an allergy and they just stay away from food. In fact, they do a form of M sack.
But they would have to adjust
the way they think.
And for Muslims as well.
What we need to focus on amongst the many issues this month is to re adjust our priorities.
Why are we fasting?
Why are we making solid? Why are we Muslim?
Are we doing it because our father is a Muslim, our mother is a Muslim?
Are you doing it because the people in our village used to do it?
No, we are doing it for Allah subhanaw taala.
And so we need to re adjust why we are doing what we do.
And I want to share with you
a few concepts of how we can re adjust some of the benefits of fasting the reasons why we are fasting so that if we have these reasons in our mind, as we fast,
it will help us to raise our data just to raise our level that are fast would be a different form of fast, not just a physical struggle, but it would be a spiritual one.
that we strive to gain the consciousness of Allah This is the most important benefit from all of the benefits of the fast
is made up of alcohol for Raja.
You fear Allah and you hope in the mercy of Allah. And what this develops around you, is a type of shield spiritual shield of consciousness.
It develops a type of consciousness within the individual
taqwa is so important.
taqwa is that quality that enables us to make the right decisions.
the consciousness of Allah to believe that Allah is close to us.
Think about this concept. We all have a form of
taqwa. We all have a form of
thinking about other people near to us. I'll give you an example. On one occasion, I was in Los Angeles, California, traveling with a very popular Imam Sheikh Mohammed fapy Jazakallah hair, beautiful brother, one of the moms of Los Angeles. And we were traveling in Los Angeles, we went from the expressway on to
the LA freeway, one of the biggest highways in America. As we were going onto the freeway, it's like going on to the foreign one. Now.
As we were going on check Mohammed who usually tells a lot of jokes and he's very active. He got stiff, and he started looking in the mirror. And he put he did a signal thing.
And he had his hands perfectly on the wheel. And I'm looking at check Mohammed, he's a joker type of guy.
And then I said What's going on? And he said, LAPD
Los Angeles Police Department. Right in back of him was a police car.
And you know, when the Toronto Police are in back of you, you will become a good Canadian citizen. Right. When you come to the yellow light, you'll
slowed down nicely and stopped, right? If there's no police, you're going to go right to the yellow. Right, right.
Why did Sheikh Mohammed follow the laws of California? Because LAPD
because he recognized the presence of one of the most dangerous police forces in America.
Think about this. We're talking about recognizing the Presence of Allah subhanaw taala, who is above seven heavens, but who on earth knows everything that we're doing? Everything that was saying knows what's inside of us.
Imagine that consciousness, how Then could you do something wrong?
How could you lie? How could you cheat?
How could you commit adultery.
That's the consciousness of Allah. And if we could gain that alone,
nothing else. It would help to solve most of the problems that we are in.
we are seeking a nearness to Allah subhanaw taala.
By going through this fast, it helps us to understand the shortness of life.
It helps us to understand that we are all in a transition.
The same way we're in a transition from fast into iftaar. And we're not fasting. We're in a transition also from the life of this world, into the buttock
into the zone,
which is known as death.
should remind us of this. It should remind us how important our closeness is to Allah subhanaw taala when somebody passes away, then we say in Allah Allah he were in that era he Raji Hoon,
we say, we verily we came from Allah, and verily we returned to Allah.
So that consciousness fasting should remind us of this, and how we, the human body is
now but three,
fasting will help us to acquire patience, and steadfastness.
This is a sabak.
And that's something that we can really think about here in Canada itself, about what patience and perseverance is. Because if you say this to your friends, if all of your friends and colleagues knew what you're doing,
they would probably say, I can't do it.
And you might even say yourself, no, I can't do this. I need to find the mom to give me a fatwa to get out of this fast.
I can't do this. But Ramadan is a mercy.
That when the believer makes the intention, it makes it easy for us to do what we cannot normally do.
To hold on, just imagine in a normal day,
if you missed your breakfast, and then went to work,
and then you missed your coffee break,
and then you forgot your lunch, you were running out the house, and you missed your lunch.
Now the afternoon comes, that's three meals you already missed, right? The normal Canadian day. Now the afternoon comes, and you're coming home from work or school. And normally where do you go first, you go straight to the refrigerator.
But now the door is locked. So you can't get in.
And you're waiting. Now, the key you don't have your key, you forgot that you were in such a hurry. So now you're stuck. And now the day is going you can't get kit you don't have any money, you don't have the key. You gotta just hold your stomach would be talking to you. You know what I'm talking about. Then dinner time comes, that's when your stomach is really ready. Now.
Dinner time comes, which is now like your fourth meal of the day. The dinner time comes and you can't eat nobody's home. And now the evening comes.
And normally you're watching television, doing your homework or whatever, and you're eating something else. And we may eat so much. It's like a meal in the third world countries. But you can't do it.
Finally, somebody comes. They come in about nine o'clock and you're on the ground half dead
at nine o'clock and they open it up and say okay, now you can eat and drink. Imagine that in a normal day. Right? Here we are.
And we're here with smiling. I'm talking
I should faint, right?
It's a normal day.
That is a mercy from Allah subhanaw taala. But it also teaches us subak
perseverance. And if we become a fasting person,
then this can give us the next point, which is self control,
that we can actually turn ourselves on, turn it off.
And so when after Ramadan if you're driving along the highway and you come to a store on the highway, there's no halau food.
You don't have to eat something which is halal or haram or mcru hateful, because you're fasting person,
right you have self control. And that is so important today, because the system, the society itself, in how it is dealing with us,
it is playing with our desires.
It plays with our desires, the desire to eat, the desire to drink,
the desire to procreate, it plays upon the animal desires. So fasting is giving us this self control, which in a sense, is making us like angels. Because remember, the angels don't have desires, right?
So you become this what we are in now is like an angelic state.
It's an angelic state, that you controlling yourself for Allah subhanaw taala
That's so important for us to culture
after the month of Ramadan, number five.
What this month can do, especially here in
Canada, in the far north,
is to help us to overcome our challenges.
We contact our families and friends in South Africa, Cape Town, I lived in the deep south for 10 years. And down in the deep south, in Cape Town or in Chile or Argentina.
Deep in the south.
They make this whole somewhere around seven or eight o'clock in the morning. And they're breaking their fast around five or six in the afternoon. Right? That's they're fast. And it's cold, right? It's the opposite of this.
Okay, but we have the challenge, which is actually a blessing.
But this fast will help us to overcome the challenge. And that is so important to us because as Muslims today, with Islamophobia on the rise in the world.
We have some challenges in front of us challenges to maintain our faith
submit to Allah subhanaw taala to have a Saba more, to have patience, and hold with those things required by Allah Subhan Allah Allah door, patience with those things which are prohibited Subhan Allah ma Matador have patience on those things that Allah wills right to gain that mastery and overcome the challenges of this world.
This can also give us the ability to gain empathy
with poor people, with people who do not have food and drink in the way that we haven't.
Now we know what it feels like.
I remember there was a great drought. In one part of the world. I'm not saying which country it was, because happened in all the different Muslim areas. But there was a great drought. And the people was so
And they were so hungry that they could hardly get up and hardly move to do anything. And young person is looking at this and saying like, do something go to the refrigerator.
Quote Seidman is Tim Hortons is somewhere
like do something.
A young Canadian does not even know what it is like.
We don't know what it's like
to be totally dehydrated, dehydrated, and don't have anything to drink,
to be starving to death and we don't even have food. So this helps us
to feel what people feel who are unfortunate
eyes now the words we feel what they feel. So this should enable us
give greatly from ourselves without holding back to give to people who are suffering
in the different areas. Number seven
confronting our fears, this month itself should help us to confront fear.
is not just fear of something like you're afraid of it.
Everybody has fear if a lion came running inside this room, right not escaped from the Toronto zoo.
and wanted to come to the Islamic Institute of Toronto because it heard about iftaar.
So the lion said, these Muslims have the best meat in town, right?
If you want to see Muslims, you want to see me go to the meat dealer and ask him, when the meat dealer sees Ramadan, he says Alhamdulillah Ramadan has come Muslims are going to buy more meat in this month at any month of the year. So the lion comes here inside.
All of us would run.
Even myself. If I saw a lion, I'm not talking about that fear. I'm talking about
the courage. Courage is not standing up just against that lion. Because your body, you have to have a feeling inside of you that you're afraid, right?
You gotta have this feeling. And if you don't have a feeling, when the lion comes inside of you, something's wrong with you.
So courage is feeling fear, but you continue to go forward.
See the difference. It's not the absence of fear.
Because fear is a natural tendency. But it is our having the fear. But going forward, Ramadan is in the longest month of the year, I'm going to go forward.
I'm going to still make Tada, we're
going to still go to work.
I'm going to go forward, it seemed like a terrible thing. But I'm going to go forward anyway.
cultivating good manners.
One of the benefits and objects of our fast is that we should not be fasting just physically,
but also in our character in how we deal with people.
And the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him. Even spoke about that if somebody's arguing with you.
Then you should say in the Satyam I'm fasting
and he also told us peace be upon him robus Iman, lace Allahu minsi ami in La Jolla.
There are some people who fast and get nothing from their fast
So good manners.
And that means that the fast affects our eyes.
That we also learn to do em sack and not look at things that are Herat. That's the type of fast the fast affects our ears. That we're not listening to things that are on
the fast is affecting our hands. The hands should be fasting.
How can your hand fast
you don't hurt anybody. But also the hand would fast. If you are a shopkeeper.
You're not going to cheat anybody.
You're not going to be taking interest in us your your hand is going to actually be fasting as well.
I don't know why in some parts of the world.
In some places here also dates become so expensive in Ramadan.
Like a date becomes like a piece of piece of silver or something.
Outside of Ramadan, they can practically throw away the dates, Ramadan comments in a special place in the shop. Right It's got a special price on it. As you get near to 10 days it might Medjool date you're going to pay extra for your Medjool dates.
lower the price,
lower the price in the month of Ramadan.
So the hand should be fasting. The feet should be fasting it should not take you into any area
which is prohibited by Allah subhanho wa Taala.
So the whole body
is fasting during this time, this month as well
should give us a special connection
with other Muslims around the world, we start right here in Toronto.
It should give us unity.
It should give us a type of connection
with other people,
people have other schools of thought, we're all Muslims, we're fasting,
that unity it should come to us. These people are all fasting.
And if you happen to be somewhere and you're outside and the time for fast all the time for if time has come and you're about to break your fast but you don't have anything to break your fast and you see, you know, a Muslim is sitting down in the grass, and they wave to you.
And they say Come brother, Come sister, have some iftaar are you gonna say to that person? Are you a Shafi?
Are you Hanafi
you're not going to say that.
You thank Allah subhanaw taala
that there was a Muslim.
And so a sense of unity.
A sense of belonging
comes over the oma during this month.
Our challenge is to maintain that unity,
after the month of Ramadan
to continue to look at Muslims
as the same oma the same nation regardless of their color,
regardless of their language,
regardless of their nationality, know that is my brother, that is my sister.
So that person deserves to get the date or the embrace, just like your cousin
or somebody who came from your village.
That is what
that is one of the resetting of our priorities should be
right, gaining the true benefits from the sacred month
Think about what Allah subhanaw taala
given us rewards.
We also have to think more about this, because we tend to just do it because it's a fashion.
But the prophet Sal seldom said men sama Ramadan, Eman and watty Saba
warfare, Allahumma Takayama min Danby.
He said whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan,
out of faith
and out of confident expectation to have the reward of Allah, all of the previous sins have been forgiven.
All of your sins have been forgiven. Think about this.
Allah subhanaw taala told the prophet SAW Selim in a hadith could see.
He told him that all of the actions of the sons, the children of Adam for themselves, except for fasting for in the Hollywood zeebe fasting is for me. And I will especially reward for this. So there's a special reward in sha Allah for the fact that we are we are in what we are going through. And I want to In conclusion,
before we come to the end
and just for a moment, I want brothers to just come forward. We'll take a slight break for a few seconds brothers everybody come forward so there's more room for the sisters. Everybody come forward. Yes, a little there's another row in front of us. Come forward please do sakala here.
So we give sisters more space.
This is a real Sunder Masjid here right? In the Prophet Sal salams Masjid there was no barrier there right.
But that means you got to be sooner in your eyes. Right. And your Kibler has got to be Mecca, right? Not the sisters.
That sooner right. Not an artificial barrier like the Berlin Wall.
Or Donald Trump's wall he wants to build for the Mexicans.
I want to share with you at the end
Saying of the prophet SAW Selim report in Abu Dhabi and it's authentic.
And the translation goes, that the prophet SAW seldom said, I am the guarantor for a house, on the outskirts of paradise for whoever leaves off
arguing, even if he is right.
And I am a guarantor for a house in the center of Paradise, For whosoever abandons false hood,
even when he's joking.
So he tells a joke, he doesn't tell a dirty joke, right? He wants to tell a joke, but he's still remembers the limits of Allah.
Then the province of Southern said, and I am the guarantor of a house, in the upper most part of Paradise For whosoever makes his character good.
And a house in the highest part of gender.
This is encouragement for us
that we need to make this fast.
Something different now. To change our character,
to learn how to lower our gaze, to learn how to control our tongues
to learn how to control our eyes, right?
That's what we're talking about in character, to learn how to control our ears, outside of the month of Ramadan,
to learn how to control our hands.
This is a challenge in front of us today.
And also pinata Allah
has blessed us
with a complete example, from the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him
a complete example
that everybody can emulate, everybody can follow.
Whether you're young or whether you're old.
In these times, it's so crucial to think about this.
And when we think about So now,
when we think about the way of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, it was not only made for the Arabian Peninsula, but it was made for all times
it was made for all times
even right here in North America.
And so these are times when we need to then colossal Potala
and part of sabar, part of patience is giving thanks to Allah subhanaw taala this is what they call a sub l afia.
How do you have patience when you have good things?
You can see when a person's suffering, how they have patience, right? But now you have good things.
You have peace in the land.
You have food you have drink.
You show it by sugar.
by thanking Allah subhanaw taala
there is a sugar Billy San
they thanking Allah with your tongue, say Alhamdulillah
there is a sugar pill called
tanking along with your insides. Your very inside is really thankful to Allah Subhana Allah, Allah wills for you to be in Canada.
You could be somewhere else. Some of our brothers and sisters will be loud, are in terrible situations now. But still most of them are fasting
and a sugar Bill djawadi
and that is fasting with your limbs. That means you give you take from the near ama the blessing and you spend it in Torah. in obedience, you spend the blessings in obedience.
That is the mercy of Allah subhanaw taala.
And so in conclusion,
we thank Allah subhanaw taala for this moment to be together.
We remember all of those who have passed on before us.
Many of us have made a special draw for the great boxer Muhammad Ali Rahim Allah who just passed away and there are others amongst the Muslims who are passing away. So we remember them
All of those who have passed and we pray that Allah subhanaw taala would bless them and give them the highest part of Jenna Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim
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