In sha Allah the Khutba today is revolved around the idea of presenting the message of Islam in the United Sates.
And how of us share our responsibility in delivering and sharing that message.
But I want to begin with three at least major obstacles that lie between us and sharing that message.
This universal message of submission to Allah and this universal message that Muhammad Sallellahu Alaihe wa sallam is the last of the messengers, not that we reject any of them.
We accept all of them but we accept him as the final one and the Quran is the final revelation, the final testament, sent to humanity that applies to all human beings.
This is something we have to share with all humanity and if we live in the United States we have to share with people that live in the United States.
But there are some obstacles in our path.
One of those obstacles that you guys talk about all the time even and I do too, is how we are portrayed in the media.
How Islam is talked about as something evil.
How it is a threat!
How your Muslim neighbour might be crazy.
How they have actual footage of people picking against Muslim children going to public school in some parts of this country because I don’t want my child sitting next to all the Muslims.
Because there is fear!
Why are people so scared of Islam because Islam is being portrayed as something evil, something scary, something alien, might as well be from another planet.
Is that far off how it is presented.
And of course, what is used to make Islam alien?
Look at some of the arguments that are used in popular discourse to make Islam seem such a strange thing.
One of the first things that is presented especially in bible dealt in this country is that Islam is very much against the principles of Christianity.
This is an evil religion!
These people practice evil things and our systems of morals and values, they have nothing on them.
Which in itself a very hollow claim!
You see, if you ever make da’wa to a Christian you will know, that if you make da’wa to them on the front of morality, that we are against shamelessness, we are against abuse of this and that, they will agree with you 100%.
Our major problem with their theology is not with their morality but with their theology, with their belief system.
So if you talk to them about Jesus, they will run out of arguments.
And then they will have to go to something else.
So this is in itself is a myth and much of the things, one of thing to consider is so controversial like the women having to cover!
They will make an entire documentary on the veil of the women, right?
Does the Old Testament not talk about giving veiling?
You know, the Talmud, the Jewish text even says, if a woman so much as shows her pinkie, the short finger then this is tantamount to exposing her entire body.
That’s how shameless it is!
That’s the Talmud!
That’s not even an Islamic text but nobody turns the Jewish text and says, “How barbaric, how backward!’
There is even as far as today on the news I was listening and there was a commentator you know a supposedly a neutral commentator even said, ‘How are we supposed to deal with this people in business, when we have the perception that they oppress their women! And these husbands they oppress their wives and that’s just part of their religion.”
We are living in times when by the way, we abuse the women is a reality in the world.
It’s the reality in the world not only in the Muslim world, in the non-Muslim world also.
But you have societies even in the world like today in the elite of Japanese culture for example, the wife doesn’t eat food unless the husband has finished eating and she has to stand behind him while he is eating food.
When he is done, she eats the leftovers.
That is part of the Japanese elite culture, even today!
No body comments on that.
And by the way, this dates back to Imam Malik Rahimaullah.
Somebody came to Imam Malik Rahimaullah and said, “Is it okay for my wife to wait for me after I finish eating and then she eats?”
And he said, “This is the act of tyranny.”
We don’t do this.
We protect the rights of our women.
So this is the first essential problem.
Popular discourse and how we’ve been framed.
How we’ve made to look like something alien and something apart.
And this is part of selective amnesia.
If we look at world history, the two civilizations are very much connected.
And this idea of, you know, this clash between two civilizations and they have nothing in common in what so ever this is absolute nonsense.
Some of the great universities of the Christian and Jewish tradition were actually established in the Muslim world under Muslim rule.
We don’t know this because we don’t know that part of the history.
We only know that part of the history that the regular commentator or the news caster wants to tell us.
The part that will inflict t conflict, that’s the part that they want to highlight.
So this is the first problem.
How do we engage in that discourse?
Here is the second problem.
The second problem is our ignorance.
The ignorance of the Muslims!
You know I was listening to a Baptist Minister on the radio who is talking to other Baptists.
He is teaching them how to preach to Muslims.
He is teaching them how to preach to Muslims.
If you have a Muslim co-worker, if you have a Muslim business partner, if you have a Muslim student, etc. etc.
How do you bring them to Christianity?
He is training the people on how to bring Muslims to Christianity how to talk to Muslim.
And he has supposedly a Quran expert, a Christian Quran expert on the radio, going on explaining how they have to deal with Muslims.
What they consider Shirk and haram, you know all these terminology, right!
He is talking about the Quran and he sounds like he knows what he is talking about and in reality he is mis-quoting, misusing what the Quran says.
Completely offering the translation of the Quran that you know the sad thing is.
The vast majority of the even Muslims, if they are listening to this, they won’t know the difference.
They will actually think that’s in the Quran.
What’s the biggest reference some of these people have?
The confusion….it is the ignorance of the Muslims themselves.
We don’t even know what Islam is.
How will tell somebody else?
It’s a fair question to ask!
If something is being misrepresented about Islam, these Ministers they know more places from the Quran to quote to you than you probably even read.
And that’s a serious problem.
You don’t even know what we stand for, what our civilization is, what our sacred text says.
So this is the second problem.
First problem is popular discourse; the second problem is our own ignorance.
But the third problem is the real problem.
These two are minor issues.
This can be solved.
Ignorance can be removed through education.
It is not impossible.
Popular discourse can be changed once we start engaging ourselves.
It can be changed.
But the real problem.
The real problem is the behaviour of the Muslims!
The behaviour of the Muslims!
That is the biggest obstacle to give the message of Islam to anybody else.
It’s the biggest obstacle!
Let me tell you why.
Have you heard the expression, actions speak louder than words, right!
So, if somebody comes up to a Muslim and says, “You people oppress women. Your religion teaches you to oppress women.”
No you say, “No it doesn’t! It actually protects the rights of women. Look at this ayat! Look at this hadith. Look at the practice of the Messenger Sallellahu Alaihe wa sallam. How can you tell me that the society where every two and half minutes a rape takes place, you are telling us that we abuse the rights of women. Look at this incredible practice. And honouring the women in society and how it completely transformed the Arabs world and you know the non-Muslim can point and say, “Look at the Muslim world! How many cases of spousal abuse?”
How many cases of spousal abuse in this country?
How many cases of spousal abuse, husbands abusing their wives!
How many cases of yours?
We ourselves are the ultimate anti da’wa.
You know the Muslim, we protect our sacred text calls for honesty, dealing with people of truth.
“Speak straight forward.” Suratul Ahzab.
You know speak in an upright fashion.
And yet one of the worst business decisions you can make now a days is become a business partner with another Muslim.
You know, basically you are gonna get, you know what’s gonna happen.
And this is popular, Oh! You work with a Muslim and you know what you are gonna get.
They are gonna swindle you.
They are gonna undercut you.
They are gonna look all religious on the outside but they will basically con you out of all your money.”
That’s the popular impression.
Well, how did we get to that point?
Our own behaviour.
So, our texts of Quran and Sunnah are so beautiful and our behaviour is so ugly!
It’s so ugly!
What do people see?
People don’t see the Quran and Sunnah!
What do they see?
They see us!
They see our behaviour.
And when they see us, they are not gonna care what their book says.
They probably got this from their book!
That’s what they’ve assumed!
So they believe our religion based on our shortcomings!
And you know what, as much as we complain about that, as much as we can say, ‘No, don’t judge Muslims, judge Islam.”
In the end, in the end, until the Muslims change their behaviour, until we represent what our book Quran and Sunnah says, until then you can’t really spread this message.
You cannot really spread this message.
Wallahi, I know brothers that took Shahada, they accepted Islam, by looking up Islam in the public library.
But when they came to the Masjid, they thanked Allah and said, ‘Thank Allah I did not meet these people first! Thank Allah, I learned Islam first because if I met these people first I will never even have learned about Islam. I will never even have considered it.”
how they look at you!
The way they behave towards you.
The way they fight with each other in the house of Allah.
We are turning people away from Da’wa.
From our own behaviour!
From our own behaviour!
So here is the thing.
The vast majority, the vast majority of Muslims, they are not doing Da’wa at all.
They are not doing da’wa at all.
There are some Muslims, May Allah reward them and bless their efforts and put power in their efforts and Baraka in their efforts, there are times they spread the message of islam within the muslims and even beyond the Muslims.
But their worked is being multiplied by zero by all the lack of practice and the corruption of the rest of the Muslims.
Because whenever they speak, the actions of the rest of the Muslims speak louder than their words.
Those actions are louder than the words of these Muslims.
We are undoing our own actions.
This is a serious problem.
And this is THE problem we have to resolve!
You know, I want to give you, you’ve heard about the importance of Da’wa before.
But I want to approach it from a different angle in sha Allahu ta’ala.
The long term consequences of not being a nation of da’wa.
When we are not being a nation of spreading and inviting people to the message of Islam, in speech and in practice, if we are not those people what are the consequences?
What are the consequences of that?
Of course the first consequence is that we become the people that might fall under the curse of Allah, according to the book of Allah Himself.
“Inna allatheena yaktumoona ma anzalna mina albayyinati waalhuda min baAAdi ma bayyannahu lilnnasi fee alkitabi ola-ika yalAAanuhumu Allahu wayalAAanuhumu allaAAinoona” (2:159) (“Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture – those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse”).
May Allah not make us amongst these.
May Allah not make us amongst these.
That’s the biggest consequence of not being a nation of Da’wa in our speech and in our action, right!
That’s the first consequence.
But there are other consequences.
The consequences are beyond in the next life.
But there are consequences in this life also.
What we learn from the book of Allah and Sunnah of Allah as far as we are dealing with is all the works of all the messengers, he is giving the previous nations, the one that has received revelations.
Basically two lessons.
The Muslim Ummah or the Ummah of believers will face trials.
They will face troubles.
It’s never gonna be easy.
It’s always gonna be trials.
And these trials are there to guarantee us Jannah.
You know, Allah aza ‘au zal says in Suratul Ankabut, in the very beginning, and by the way Suratul Ankabut is the sura of da’wa.
If you want to learn the ethcis of Da’wa, the most important principles of da’wa, you got to Suratul Ankabut.
One of the best places to learn about da’wa in the Quran!
In the beginning, Allah aza au’zal says, “Ahasiba annasu anyutrakoo an yaqooloo amanna wahum layuftanoon.Walaqad fatanna allatheena minqablihim falayaAAlamanna Allahu allatheena sadaqoowalayaAAlamanna alkathibeen” (29/2-3)(Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.)
People just assume, they just happen to become Muslim and just come to make salah and that’s it?
Their iman that not gonna be tested?
Allah says, We tested who came before them also!”
These ayats came down when Khabbab ibn al-Aratt radi Allahu Ta’ala anhu paid a price for making da’wa to Islam.
Not just accepting Islam. Calling people to Islam.
The Quraish, they took the companion of the Prophet Sallellahu Alihy wa sallam, they took his companion, they put him on burning coal until his back, the skin of his back melted and it peeled off.
And in this horrid state he came to the Prophet Sallellahu Alaihi wa sallam and said, “If we are the people of truth why is this happening to us? How come we deserve this? We are the people of the truth.”
And the Messenger told him, “You are rushing. There are people that came before you that were sawed and hacked, or buried into the ground alive because of La ilaha Illellah. So you are rushing to judgment. Don’t rush to it.”
And then the Ayat came down. “You think you are just gonna get Jannah, just like that?”
Imagine what he went through when Allah said, “That’s not even that. You have not really paid yet!”
We have to be mentally prepared for trials.
When we engage in the work of da’wa we have to be mentally prepared for trials.
In this du’a when Allah gave this passage of “be patient and struggle, then He mentioned a number of Prophets.
I am only gonna mention the immediate two Prophets that are mentioned right after.
Immediately after this passage Allah talks about Nuh Alaihi salam.
And immediately after that he starts talking about Ibrahim Alahihe salam.
What’s the significance of first talking about da’wa and then talking about Nuh Alahihe wa salam and then Ibrahim alaihy wa salam immediately after that.
You see, Nuh Alahiywa salam, if you know nothing else, you know relentless da’wa.
It’s nonstop da’wa.
It is consistent, untiring, unflinching calling to Islam for 950 years continuously.
So what is this teaching us fundamentally?
That this work is not something that can be done over a month, or a year or … it’s something that has to be a constant effort of da’wa.
It has to be a constant work of this ummah.
The consistency of Nuh Alaihe wa salam is eluded to it.
Then Ibrahim alihe wa salam, and by the way, if you want to give an adjective to the da’wa Ibrahim Alaihe wa salam you’ll have to say, fearless da’wa!
So, there’s constant da’wa, Nuh Alaihe wa sallam and there is fearless da’wa, Ibrahim Alaihe wasalam.
And no matter what the consequences he is not gonna let go of la ilaha illellah.
He is not gonna let go of it.
Our da’wa should not be based on fear.
Our da’wa should not be based on anger and should not be based on fear.
It should be neutral like the calm, like the da’wa of Ibrahim Alaihe as salam.
He has the ability to talk to even some of the worst human beings in nice language.
Just in logical discourse.
He is able to do that alaihe wa sallam.
So we have to learn from these things.
Now what I wanted to conclude with in sha Allahu ta’ala, is that some basic food for thought for always need to take a little more seriously, if we are to engage in this work.
If we are serious in taking the work of da’wa forward in this country and at the level of a community and even as individuals.
Sometimes when you think about the problems of the Muslims, those problems are so big that you get overwhelmed.
And when you get overwhelmed, you say, “Oh man there are no solutions! Man we got so many problems …no one’s gonna stop.” Right!
That’s usually our attitude.
Sometimes this becomes casual entertaining conversation over dinner.
“Man we got so many problems. Our rulers are so corrupted. We just hate this and that and the other.”
We make a list of all the problems we have, it’s like our …the non-Muslims have alcoholics and their therapy sessions.
We have chai on this right.
We sit over chai and we discuss the problem as Muslims and we do nothing about them.
We say, it’s too big a problem for us to fix.
Now how do we change that attitude?
First of all, Allah az au’zal does not demand from me or you to change the whole world.
What does He demand from us?
To change ourselves.
That’s what he demands from us!
“It is no doubt that Allah is not the One to change what is afflicting the nation until they change what is their own selves.”
Within their own selves.
At the individual level.
What am I doing wrong?
How am I misrepresenting Islam in the way I deal with my wife, with my neighbour, with my co-workers, with the people that are driving by me on the highway?
How am I mis-representing Islam being a Muslim?
You can change that much.
Instead of complaining, complain about yourself.
Start with that!
The second thing I said, you know the third, the biggest problem is our behaviour.
So let’s start changing our behaviour.
The second problem above that was our ignorance.
So we need to address that too.
We need to become students of this deen we need to start asking more and more questions.
We need to start to learn more and more and more, we need to connect with people that know better than we do.
So, we can call them or e-mail them or visit them and learn from them.
It’s not necessary that you join a madrassa or you become a muhaddid or mufti etc. to represent the basics of Islam.
But it is important that you connect with somebody who has knowledge.
At least have contact with somebody who has knowledge.
When something comes up you can ask, you can learn about them.
I prefer, I would like you to have someone who is actually a living person not someone behind the screen, with the screen you have no idea what you are getting, what knowledge you are getting online.
It may or may not be of help.
So if you have a person like you know, the Imams of our community subhan Allah they are wonderful resource, we need to put them to work.
We need to keep going to them and ask them questions
This is our second issue.
As for the first concern you know this idea of Muslims being portrayed in the West we need to be a little bit more little stronger at the local level.
Don’t worry about what’s happening in the United States.
Worry about what’s happening in your town.
The sisters should have a women’s program at the public library.
You know, women and Islam.
Or the veil of the Muslim women.
And invite the non-Muslim women of the community and let the Muslim women speak to the non-Muslim women about what they stand for and how much confidence they have.
You may or may not have heard that girl ran away from her house in Columbus, Ohio, she converted to Christianity and she accused her father of trying to kill her and all that which is all a lie.
And they were not even a religious family. She was a cheerleader before she ran away.
So you cannot kill her for that right.
He didn’t do anything.
He didn’t say anything.
So this is all bogus.
That all bogus.
But anyway, you know the best people are to respond to that what about these Muslim girls that are being oppressed in your home?
The best people to respond are Muslim teen age girls and stuffs.
Why don’t they speak.
Write an article to the local paper.
And say, ‘what do you guys talking about? We have it better than anybody else.”
We have to speak up.
We have to represent this deen.
We have to stand up and say, ‘You can’t say this about us! This is not who we are!”
Instead of constantly running after all the allegations they make against us, “No, we are not this, we don’t oppress women, we don’t hate you, we don’t wanna kill everyone, we are not strapping any explosives when we go to the mall etc. etc.”
Instead of constantly answering their allegations and constantly telling people what Islam is NOT, we need to start telling people what Islam is!
They are constantly making us tell what Islam is NOT!
But this will not stop until we tell people what Islam is!
We need to tell them.
And instead of them criticising us if you learn something from the da’wa of the Prophets Sallellahu Alihe wa sallam, they looked at the greatest evil of their society and they criticise those evils.
They don’t just talk about Iman and the Akhera and just they go beyond that too.
Lut Alaihe wa salam said, “You people are committing shamelessness.”
He calls up their shameless behaviour.
Shoaib Alaihe salam goes after the corrupt business practices of these people.
If there is a corruption in the society, who is supposed to stand for it?
It is the Muslims.
So, what we need to be recognized as, if we are really doing da’wa, you know how people will see us, people will see us, these people don’t care about what happens to them, they stand up for justice.
Anybody who is oppressed ; the Muslims stand up for them.
They are not a law keeper for their own selves, they are law keepers for people ,for justice, for equal rights.
Whenever there is violation, somebody’s integrity is being questioned, somebody’s rights are being usurped, the Muslims stand up.
And this is the Sunnah of our messenger Sallellahu Alaihe wa sallam.
I will leave you with one example, just to think about how we need to rethink, how we make da’wa in this country.
Just to rethink it.
There was a …I told you about khabbat ibn al Aratt …. Before this,when you were little ,you heard the story of Yasir Radi allahu Anhu and his wife and his child.
How they were executed basically for saying la ilaha illellah!
When the messenger saw this happening in front of his own eyes Sallahllahu alaihe wa sallam, what did he say?
Was there any sort of a protest?
And yelling and screaming, stop killing of the Muslims, any standing in front of the United Nations and protesting.
He said, “Have patience.”
“Have sabr! Your place is Jannah.”
He told them to have sabr.
When you are on this, instead of complaining about the trouble you have to have patience.
But in the same era, a mushriq, a non-Muslim came to the Prophet Sallellahu Alaihe wa sallam and he told him that, “Abu Jahel has taken my money and he won’t give it back.”
He didn’t tell him to be patient.
To the Muslim he said, “Be patient!”
To the non-Muslim he took him by the hand, took him to Abu jahel and said, “You better give him his money back!”
So we are putting ourselves in sacrifice for the justice to be served for others.
Not for ourselves first but for others first.
This is why Allah says, “You are the best of nations arrived (not from the people) but for the people.”
Allah says, “You are the best nations chosen (he doesnt say from the people) but for the people”
We are here to serve.
What Allah’s religion has to offer is service to humanity.
We have to change.
We have to become a little more confident.
We have to stop being so defensive all the time.
We are not this, we are not this and we are not that.
Let’s start learning what we are and sharing what we are friends and neighbours.
I am done, none of these sharing of Islam will be of any benefit to anyone until we see a change in our behaviour.
Until we see a change in our attitude.
May Allah az ‘auzal make us capable of changing our behaviour, may Allah az’auzal make us better Muslims beacause of this month of Ramadan, may Allah az ‘auzal keep us away from the evil things that we have left before this moth started and make us avoid them for the rest of our lives.
May Allah az ‘auzal make us truly capable of tawba to Him.
May Allah make us an ummah that stands up for the message of La ilaha Illeha Muhammadur Rassollullah.
May Allah az’auzal make us, our children, our families very verst, knowledgeable, the book of Allah and Rasoolullah the messenger and make them capable with confidence of sharing this message with friends and neighbours alike.
Bareek Allahu diwalakum feel Quraul Hakim…