Eid Al-Adha 2015 Sermon
Channel: Zaid Shakir
File Size: 19.46MB
September 24, 2015 – Imam Zaid Shakir led a group of Hartford Seminary students, faculty, staff and guests ( Christian, Sunni and Shia) in prayer followed by an Eid Al-Adha Sermon.
lillahi Rabbil alameen All praises due to Almighty God the Lord of all the worlds was blessed us to gather here to commemorate the actions of our co religionists are gathered in the plains and hills surrounding Mecca reenacting rituals that were first undertaken by our great forefather Abraham or Ibrahim Alayhi. salaam, peace be upon him. The Hajj is a great great institution, not only for Muslims, but for humanity. Our Prophet Ibrahim, as we mentioned, was commanded by Almighty God by Allah subhanho wa Taala. Will Adam finance evil Hajj, proclaimed the Hajj, the pilgrimage, who were mentioned, amongst all of humanity,
almost all of humanity. So pilgrimage, is an institution that has been proclaimed for humanity. Abraham is an iconic figure that's not only
referred to as the spiritual father of the Muslims, but also of the Christians and the Jews, those who are members of what is sometimes referred to as the Abrahamic family, of religions. Our great great forefather Abraham, and his struggles, his efforts, and the culminating
outwards around the hatch has given us great great lessons that we can refer to refer to the lesson of struggle, the lesson of sacrifice, the lessons that Almighty God indeed has power over all things. And this is very important in our day and time when we're sometimes so obsessed with our pursuit of reason. And those things that are reasonable to us that we sometimes find the miraculous actions that are attributed to our to the prophets, who are forebears unreasonable and being unreasonable, unbelievable. But we must remind ourselves, and one way that we remind ourselves though, that we remind ourselves as Muslims is looking at the hygiene, looking at the meanings that
are associated with it, and looking at the miraculous events that are associated with it. We know that Abraham when he was given the command whenever the nasty Bill had to proclaim the Hajj amongst humanity, it is said that he responded to this commandment, oh my lord, how can I proclaim the pilgrimage amongst all of humanity, and my voice cannot reach them. And the response was, as mentioned in our tradition, you make the call and I will make your voice which then In other words, you do what is within your human capabilities. And we leave the rest to me based on what is in my capabilities as the almighty as the divine as the one who is described in the end, either foolishly
in Kadir will love ya, Cooney Shea Kadir, God has power over all things. And it is said that the mountains were made to humble themselves and to lie low. And Abraham, Abraham's voice carried to the far corners of the world. And not only that every human being on Earth, received that call, but everyone from their progeny who would emerge from their loins, all of their offspring also heard it, and those who are destined to respond, they responded, no matter where they are, in time or place. This is the beginning of the hunch, the hide yourself as we know,
amongst the culminating events is the sacrifice of Abraham, and another miraculous event, as he was told he must sacrifice his son.
And a very touching moment is related to us in the end, when he tells his son, and this is an example to us in terms of how we interact with our children, we should engage them at a level of maturity that involves consultation that involves conversation that involves treating them and approaching them as if they're our partners and our fears, and not merely subordinates to be commanded blindly to do whatever our whims or whatever our mandates or dictates order them to do. So it's related in the Quran called a boon a and they are often men and
At the back of their phones or on their their turn off, color your avatar And the Lord said that God insha Allah who saw beauty. He said, Oh my son I've seen in my dream, and we believe that the dreams of the prophets are forms of Revelation. So this has been revealed to him, that unto sacrifice you What do you think about this on born that Torah? What is your opinion concerning this? On my son? He said, Father, do what you've commanded to do. You will find me, a God of God so wills amongst those who are patient.
And again, obedience, reverence, respect, consultation, says son didn't rebel Father, I'm too young to die. You know, don't? What about my brother? What about my cousin?
You know, how could you do this to me, and make it very weighty and painful as it already is a weighty affair. No father, do what you've been commanded to do. I'm here to help you obey God, and not to encourage you to rebel against God. I'm here to assist you in your struggles, just as you've taken the time to consult me and to seek out my opinion.
So there's a there's there should be an interact a two way, dialogue and all of our relationships, as parents, as children's, as friends, as neighbors, as co religionists, as members of various faith communities, there should be dialogue, there should be consultation, there shouldn't just be a blind and reckless implementation of what we believe to be the divine commandment.
Father, do what you commanded to me to do, you will find me of God so wills amongst those who are patient, and patient. Again, all of us regardless, I myself personally, I converted to Islam as an adult. But as I was growing up in a Christian home,
my mother would always remind us and I'm sure all of you heard this time and time again during your youth during your formative years. Patience is a virtue.
It was never said about anything else. That was never said honesty is a virtue Indeed, it is a virtue. Courage is a virtue is a virtue. No doubt. faithfulness is a virtue fidelity is a virtue, all of the great virtues. chastity is a virtue.
shyness, modesty is a virtue
three years ago was declared to be a mental disorder,
according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental psychiatric disorders, and of course, an array wide array of medicines more prescribed, treated China studies. Some of you know this. Well, we believe is the virtue of higher or minute immense shyness is a branch of faith, in any case, but none of these virtues whatever
advocate advocated by our parents, with the
associated words, so and so is a virtue only patience. Patience is a virtue, which emphasizes the gravity and the magnitude of patient. Patients patience is one of the ways that we come to know God.
The path of spiritual development is not a path that can be traversed with great haste.
It requires patience,
because it requires Trump transforming and sometimes not totally, but to a certain extent, our very nature and that's not something that happens overnight.
And it's not something that happens in an in an outburst, an outburst of emotion, we can take a ton of water,
and we can drop in on a dirty rock.
And that rock will be very, very clean for a while until the things that led to it becoming dirty, kick in, and over time, it becomes dirty again, but there is no meaningful change in that rock. But if we take the same quantity of water, and it might not be described as a ton in terms of water, I don't know.
If we take that same quantity of water, and we drop it on the rock, one drop at a time, top, top, top over
time it will
create an impression and imprint. And if the rock is narrow enough, it will knock a hole into the rock.
So this is the lightness of our spiritual progress, our spiritual path. Our spiritual growth is something that requires patience is something that requires time is something that requires consistency. as Muslims we said occurs one page of the Quran at a time. It occurs once to handle law glorified his guy. At a time it occurs one can lead there is no law. There is no god but God at a time. It occurs one Salawat one invocation of blessings upon upon the Prophet Mohammed sallallahu alayhi wa sallam at a time. It occurs one unit of prayer at a time, it occurs one tear that falls in the depths of the night, when one is standing in prayer when the people are asleep, no one around to
see and an intimate discourse with one's Lord, one minute of those precious hours at a time. And over time we grow and we elevate and we come to know our Lord. I'm sure others can relate to this process in their various traditions are lost and who are the
prophets of Allah Allahu wa sallam reminds us in this regard, less than dean of one another reppin In any case, is a it's a slow and deliberate process. And the quote on what I wanted to mention or was reminded all is the following at any given time, then well, Angela, I'm gonna shape on. That deliberateness is from the All Merciful to be deliberate and consistent in our affairs, and haste is from the devil. So people become deluded by the devil, and by the imperfections in their soul to believe that they've arrived at some spiritual station without putting in the necessary work.
And then that veneer of spiritual that spirituality and spiritual maturity is easily exposed when trials and tribulations and sale the person.
Patience is a way to know God.
It's a way to know God. In the law, Hamas saw the mean, surely God is with those who are patient, Western, Luca Sabri was solid, seek the help of God with patience and with with patience and with prayer. In the law, Hamas arbutin Verily, God is with those who patiently persevere.
So this is the way of Abraham he was patient. How long did he wait for a child?
How long? How long did he wait when he was distant from his child?
And our tradition who was left in Mecca with his mother
to fend for themselves?
And how long did he wait before he visited them? came back to visit?
The first time and how long did he wait before we visited them a second time. These don't fold in time. So we reenact these and so that sacrifice that struggle is told that we're told that around was set was substituted for his son in a miraculous fashion. Again, if we're overly overly reasonable, then the story, it doesn't make sense. It's unreasonable. That this creature can just descend from heaven or be sent down from heaven or miraculously manifest itself.
But if we believe,
then we understand the reasonableness of the story isn't the essence of the story. It is the meaning that's associated with the story. And as we reflect on Hodge and the physical actions of the Hajj, it's important for us to understand the meaning that lies beyond the physical actions. And this is very, very important for us as people of faith. Because we can see our religion, our real religiosity devolve into just a personal engagement or undertaking a physical actions. And we think I've done it, I've arrived. I did everything according to the letter. I doubt it all on my on my eyes and across all of my T's but some people who get caught up in that and we see
happening in our world, all over the world,
where people of religion are making sure that they're scrupulously dotting every I and crossing every T.
But failing to seek to understand the deeper meaning behind the words that the eyes and the T's compose.
What is the deeper meaning? One of the deeper meanings of the Hajj the pilgrimage, is that we Yes, we go to the house of God, they to walk
through the sacred precincts, but it's also representative of our journey to God Himself.
As we were told, yeah, you had incense in there, Cat, cat, cat, cat hand formula. D Are you human, you're toiling and struggling to reach your Lord and surely, you will arrive
to your destination
where tow bar profits the line a lesson and then a hamburger Allah. I have Omar who the whoever loves and longs to meet the Lord the Lord longs to meet them. So they were journeying towards a meeting with our maker.
And Hodges represented representation of that. And to meet our maker, we have to be in the best of shape, the best of forms we have to put on our best clothing.
And we should not be deceived into believing that our best clothing is our physical clothing.
Well, clearly the best, the best. The taqwa the best of clothing is the clothing of piety.
There's a deeper meaning to all of these things. So we Journey Through our Lord. And we take off our clothing, our worldly clothing that indicates our social status, our economic standing, our our occupation. And we put on the clothing of taqwa
of piety, so that we meet our Lord in the best of shape, and the best of conditions,
the clothing of piety. The Hodges said, in our spiritual tradition, that it is a journey that involves casting off our vase human characteristics, and adorning ourselves with godly characteristics to the extent humanly possible.
So when we meet our Lord, and the house of the Lord, the sacred policing, when we arrived for this meeting, and for this visit in this world, and is representative of the otherworldly visit, we've cast off the clothing of greed, required cast off the clothing of hatred, we've cast off the clothing of vengeance, we've cast off the clothing of envy, we've cast off the clothing of cowardice, and we've done the clothing, of truthfulness, we've done the clothing of love, we've done the clothing of courage, we've done the clothing of compassion, etc. And now we're fit to meet our Lord. Because this is the level that the meeting is possible, is possible at the level of meaning
is possible at the level of meaning. And those meanings manifest themselves in a way that allow us to better serve our fellow creatures on this planet. And by fellow creatures, not just our fellow humans, but all of the creatures that God has blessed to be our neighbors.
And the Pope's encyclical concerning the environment, reminds our Christian brothers and sisters of this, or should I say our Catholic brothers and sisters, I'm sure I can generalize, especially at the heart.
We're all in this together.
So brothers and sisters, let us make this journey, in addition to the physical journey, and wherever your pilgrimage might take me, hours takes us to Mecca, maybe yours will take you to Rome, or some other place, wherever it takes you. Let us not only journey with our bodies, but let us journey with our hearts and our souls. As we're reminded again,
borrow Lord in the corner en yo Malaya prove that whenever
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No amount of wealth or children.
These physical manifestations in this world will be of any benefit. The only one who will be benefited by those, or anything else will be the one who comes before God with a rectified heart in land and Ethel law had their husband study. So the Hajj should be an opportunity to remind us of the importance of purifying our hearts of rectifying our hearts. And some people some Muslims will say, you know that Sufi stuff
as far fetched where we remind them of other saying of our profits, although it was send them a rigorously authenticated saying of our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and Muslim men Selim and Muslim moon in the sand he was
the most done is the one who all of the Muslims are safe from their tongue in their hand.
A person was not a Muslim might be getting nervous at this point, what about me,
there is a higher level of faith that demands more of us what more meaning than selling an asset that
the believers want, all of the people are safe from any harm from them. But to go back to the original, the first study, and Muslim as Solomon was the moon and then he said he will Yeti. The Muslim is one. All of the Muslims are safe from their tongue in their hand. We can use this nowadays.
When we look at the condition of some of our lands, and Muslims killing each other with impunity, go on the internet and Muslim slandered calm. Where's this safety and security from the harm of the tongue in the hand? For many,
not most, most people take this seriously. But there are those who don't. And unfortunately, they garner the lion's share of the headlines.
But the tradition goes on and Muslim men study most men study men mostly more manly men, the stereo ad, when we heard you, men had your own man, Baba. And the migrant is the one who migrate away from those things, God is forbidden.
And so the migration in this narration is not a physical movement from one place to the other. It's a movement away from that which is unacceptable, morally and ethically to that which is acceptable morally and ethically. And so there is a deeper meaning to the physical movement of the migrants. And there's a deeper movement to the physical movement of deeper meaning rather, to the physical movement of the pilgrim. So when May we be those who have the opportunity to avails itself and even before that, who make our pilgrimage with our hearts and our souls, before we make it with our physical bodies, who migrate with our hearts and our souls? Before we might be forced to enter
circumstances and may we be blessed with safety and security that weren't that off from us, before we migrate with our physical bodies, may we be the people who give as much or if not more meaning
to meaning itself, as we do to physical actions and physical rituals. akuto Polly had that was stopped for a while he was what he said
Island Navy, yeah.
He was, he was, he was arrested you know, Mohammed
Mohammed Allahumma salli wa sallim wa barik ala Sayidina Muhammad wa ala Muhammad Allah.
Allah see Nina Mohammed
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deals and emphysema, kathira and hamdulillah. We have truly been blessed to attain to this day. And the days that follow these four days are described our pockets on the line, it will send them over the three days following this day of which are called am Natasha, we
hear a Namo Aquaman was shorter than with the Cova. With the karela, there are days of eating and drinking and remembering God. So there are days of festivity. There are days of celebration, there are days of joyousness.
And we should be joyful people, regardless of what's happening in the world, what's happening in the world, doesn't or should not affect our relationship with Almighty God. Because that's a personal relationship.
That's a personal relationship. It's not a social relationship. It's not a political relationship. It's a personal relationship between us and our maker, our Creator. And so what's happening in society, what's happening politically, what's happening socially, what's happening, economically, what's happening in the world around us shouldn't affect that relationship, that relationship should put us in a position where we're able to positively positively affect what's happening socially and politically and economically, by responding to our socio political economic reality with wisdom
and wisdom, as something that's informed or shouldn't be informed by our relationship with Almighty God. And that translates into positive action in these various worldly realms, as one of our great
exemplars, and great scholars mentioned and hegner to hero,
Phil, Marion buddy walked in lady young, valuable to smooth will lead the young family. So doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way, in the right manner.
And so wisdom should be proud of our relationship with our Creator. What is that relationship which sustains us? Despite the turbulence of the time? Is there a relationship that allows us to rejoice despite the turbulence of the times? And we're told in the court and say to them, oh, Mohammed, called the fog the land he will be ready he'd be very careful Yahoo. who hire on Monday, hmm. say to them, oh, Mohammed, say in the grace of Allah and in His mercy, and this, let them rejoice is better than anything they can gather from this world.
So brothers and sisters rejoice doing these days, at the very least, take time to eat, take time to drink, drink, take time to share your food, those who will sacrifice the
lifestyle. What is this sooner? What is the tradition to share that with the poor people. I've been in Muslim countries where I've been in Syria and better times, while I was blessed to study in the late 90s until 2001.
I've gone out to the villages with the meat from the sacrifice and distributed it amongst people. In many instances, that was the only meat they were going to get on you.
And you can see the joy on the faces. I've been in Morocco, where the poor burgers come down from the villages in line the streets of the city, waiting for the people to share the meat with them.
And again, that might be the only meat some of these people will eat all year, the entire year.
And they're happy.
They're happy, and they're rejoicing at this great blessing. So we these are days to eat, to drink, but to share our food, to share our dream, to call our friends and our neighbors to join us for a meal and to share our food with us. Because these are simple things that have profound implications in our world.
They have profound implications in our world, if enough of us do it. We might seem more isolated with just that one drop of rain that falls somewhere way up in the mountains or deep in the forest or the jungle, but that one drop of rain drop joins with others and they join with
Add others and they join with the others. And before you know it, you have a stream. And those streams come together. And they form creeks and those creeks come together and they empty into rivers. And before you know you have a mighty river, you have the Nile. But where did it start? It started with the drops of rain coming together, up in Uganda, and in the upper regions central the highlands of South Africa. Where did the Mississippi start, it started way up in Minnesota and the northern parts of this country, those drops of rain coming together. And the same for the Missouri or the Ohio, the Allegheny or the Connecticut, way up, then Vermont,
and New Hampshire, the border between the two, the drops of rain came together, and they joined others and others and they made a mighty mountain, and we should never be literal, the potential good we can do and how it might be amplified. as others join us in that good, we should never see ourselves as just isolated individuals struggling to hold on, we should see ourselves as little drops of rain, waiting to be joined by others, until we can form a mighty stream, a mighty river
of healthy morality.
Never give up brothers and sisters and ever see yourself as small and isolated, never see the smallest amount, amount of good you can do as being small in reality in terms of his impact, as our Prophet again reminded us that he around the minute my roofie shed, while Oh, and 10 o'clock heavy, which can polish, don't be literal, the smallest good you might do. Don't be mean the smallest amount of good you might do even if it's meeting your brother or your sister with a pleasant face.
So no matter what's happening, brothers and sisters, maintain a strong connection to Almighty God, no matter what's happening in the world, meet your brother or sister with a pleasant face. Maintain the ability to smile, maintain the ability to rejoice. And if you find nothing in the world to rejoice in, rejoice in the grace of Allah, and the mercy of Allah, who has blessed you with the ability to know your maker to know your Creator, and to be on a path that PhD or creator. This is the greatest gift in this world. Because the vicissitudes of time are beyond our control. But the journey we take on maker is something totally in our control. And if enough of us hold on, and if
enough of us believe that those virtues that were introduced, some of them we mentioned earlier, that were introduced by the prophet sit by Almighty God to direct us that were introduced, and the scriptures that we read and recite,
if we hold on to those, and we advocate for those in the world, and we joined forces with those who share their belief that these virtues are worthy of maintaining and that they can indeed be the source of peace, they can be the source of cooperation, they can be the source of efforts to alleviate the poverty and suffering in our world, they can be the foundation of a more healthy relationship with our environmental a healthier environment to stewardship, then this life will be a life worth living. And if we hold on, and we advocate and we join others, when we look back over our lives, God willing inshallah we can say that was a life well lived.
There was a life well lived. And if we don't live well, and we abandon our beliefs, and we compromise our principles, and we're cast into hopelessness, hopelessness, and despair, because of the circumstances or that of the time,
when we look back over our life, when it's all over, I don't think any of us will be satisfied. I don't think any of us will say that was a life welded.
So we have to hold on and we have to be inspired by those, like Abraham who struggled and work and advocated and vouchsafed to us those precious principles that define who we are, as human beings may all be blessed, to inherit to be worthy heirs of those traditions were the heirs of that struggle, were the heirs of everything that we've inherited from those who preceded us, in terms of Scripture, in terms of prophecy Prophethood and the gifts that it brought into the
Word world we don't believe we'll be prophets ourselves, but we can be prophets in the allegorical sense of the word. Now God bless us May God bless you may God bless everyone assembled here and those assembled as elsewhere during these blessing days and may the spirit of these days the spirit of unity, the spirit of sacrifice, the spirit of belief, and a power greater than ourselves, may this spirit permeate our beings and may we carry it forth throughout all of the days of our lives and that this just these days, and heaven and Ilana was so that was said Mr. Sweeney. There he saw the law while he was selling.
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Watch out for nylon wallet and I won't sort of nine and then Adana weather attention almost a bit and then the the Nina will attach to mostly virgin TV Nina will attach it almost a virgin FTD Nina Yeah, Allah, Almighty God don't make our calamities those that afflict our our religion and our faith. We can recover from worldly calamities, we can rebuild a house, we can purchase another car, we can eventually overcome the grief of the passing of a loved one. But a crisis in faith might prove
that the attention almost reverted as Ed Nina would attach added dunia at Barbara hamina won a medal of honor and don't make this physical world the extent of our knowledge, the extent of our knowledge, nor the extent of our desires. Lay on it why why no fear that no one can tell Oh Nana, monsoon Allah.
Allah, Allah, Allah. Allah Calhoun, Toka.
Farah when Sal can porridge lil NAS Lumia de Kooning McCann limited mustafina equal in the Can he Allah Almighty God, we asked you to relieve those who are suffering those who are impoverished those who are oppressed, wherever they might be on the Surah mustafina. One model will mean the coolie McCann, your lawfulness delicate, delicate your lobby this may can add this make an album, a lawyer, a lawyer, a lawyer or law courage and a mother or father
Which another anonymous badass team of origin in the Muslim community, Cooney McCann, Yala wellness advocate that he can be SGA can host now y'all law you're a human. You're Rahim young, very young. Yes sir. Movement, young Mohammed. Aziz ja Jabbar yo ha, yeah ha like yeah, they're young moves forward. Yeah, yeah Yo yo yo yo la list Okay daddy cat this make an album will be as medical Hostnet Yala forage and in me more forage animals adopting more forage and then muslimeen, the Coulee mckennan Europa, alanine and
Erie. The Baraka to rbwm will be heard many men are set to attend in alamy Sayidina
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well hamdu lillahi
wa salatu salam aleikum