Transcript of Khutbah delivered at the University of Warwick Prayer Hall (6th March, 2009)
The topic of today’s khutbah that I wish to reflect us all upon is about sinning. It is first and foremost for myself and for all of us to understand the true essence of what it means to sin and possibly learn from the lessons of the shaytaan in light of the Qur'an and the Sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad (saw).
The Prophet Messenger (saw) said:
“Righteousness is good morality and sin is that which causes discomfort (or pinches) within your soul and which you dislike people to become informed of.” [Sahih Muslim]
Allah (saw) says in the The Qur’an (Surat Az-Zalzalah, 99:7-8):
فَمَن يَعمَل مِثقالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيرًا يَرَهُ
وَمَن يَعمَل مِثقالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ
“And he who does an atom’s weight of good will see it. And he who does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.”
Let me start by defining sinning. What is the definition of a sin, ism or zum. The definition of sin in our religion is very easy:
It means to break any of the commandments of Allah (swt), to violate any of his rules, to go against any of his ahkaam and secondly to break any of the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw).
To break any of the commandments of Allah (swt) or refuse to believe in the established Sunnah of our Prophet (saw). The mashaik and shuyuks have used two broad classification to explain sins.
They are apparent sins that zahir sins – the sins that all of us know very well, like lying, cheating, stealing, eating pork, drinking alcohol, etc.
What are the batinah sins, what are the inner sins? Like the long list of external sins, there are the long established inner sins as well such as lust, inability to control your gaze, unlawful desires, love of wealth, love of the dunya, envy, jealousy, spite, mallous, bugus, and hatred for your fellow muslims, ujub, kibr, takabur, conceit, pride and arrogance.
All of these things form the inner sins and know just as haram as it is to commit one of those external sins, similarly it is haram to commit those inner sins. What does that mean?
Lets just take an example: We as Muslims all know that eating a morsel of pork is haram. Just like that as haram as having one drop of takabur inside your heart. Just as it is haram to have bit of pork, it is equally haram to have one gaze where you’re not supposed to look at. Because Allah (swt) has equated these two, these two sins in an ayat of the Holy Qur’an:
“Wazaru zahiri wa batina”
“And you must leave the external sins that you commit and the inner sins that you commit.”
The word used is zaru. So the likeness of sins that Allah (swt) uses is zaru, which is an Arabic word that means keep away, run away from.
Lets take an example: if there is a live wire, of 1,000 volts, and if one is aware of that the fact that the wire is live. Not only will they refuse to touch that wire, but they will try not to come near that wire, why? Because there is so much danger involved. He knows that his physical body does not have the capability of withstanding it. Similarly, the heart of the true believer will not only keep himself away by involving in himself in sin, but he/she will try to keep himself away from this sin. This is what Allah (swt) is commanding from all of us. This is the deeper meaning from the verse that is extracted. That the word zaru means not only stop committing these sins, but don’t even come nearer to these sins and that is the whole philosophy of our shari’ah. That it closes of all parts that lead to sin. It does what we call in English, nibs the evil in the butt. It doesn’t even let you get near a place of sin, a person of sin, or an opportunity of sin.
As our mashaik have rightfully put that the likeness of the sin is the likeness say is like a cancer. When a person has a cancer in any part of his body, he has two options: the doctors will say well we have to operate and we have to remove this cancerous part from your body. If you don’t wish to operate or don’t wish the cancer be removed, then this cancer will spread and poison your entire body and then you will die. Well just like that, the likeness of a sin in the spirit of a believer (the rooh of a believer) is like a cancer and unless he removes that sin, i.e. unless he leaves that sin. If he fails to do that, then the affects of that sin will transform or permeate his entire rooh and leave him spiritually dead. And this is what happens as we are persist in our sins, we get lost in our way of sins, until we slowly but gradually but surely die a spiritual death.
Hafiz Ibn Quyum ibn Jauzia, rahimahualla, one of the great imams, has been recorded to have said:
“O my friends, do not look at how small your sins is or how great your sin is that you commit, but look at that great being is against whom your sinning.”
So when we reflect on that majesty, that azma, the jalaal, the majesty of Allah (swt) that even the smallest of sins will seem as a major transgression in your eyes. So don’t make excuses in yourself that this is just a small sin, or may be Allah (swt) will forgive me, because He is Arahmaan Araheem. No He is also
“Azeez Al Haqeem, zul inteqaam, innaakhzahu akhzamun shadeed”
That akhz, his punishment, on that day of judgement is azeemun shadeedun, is painful, is pain giving, extremely painful. So whenever we come near a moment of sin, we should reflect on the majesty of our Allah (swt).
One of the famous tabayeen, Sheikh Ataa bin Abhee Rabah, rahamuhumullah, he was one of the teachers of imam abu hanifah, rahmatullah alayh, so this great tabayeen, this great person, a pios salaheen, he once addressed his students and said:
“O my students, what if Allah addresses us on the day of judgement in such a way. And Allah (swt) says, that O my servants that when you wish to commit any sins, you close all the doors to your room, you drew the curtains of your window, you closed all the doors from which creation can look at you because you were ashamed to commit that sin in front of them. O my servants, did you not realize that you did not close the door that which I can look at you, do you not even have as much shame in front of me that you have in front of creation. Do you value me less than you value the other members of the creation.”
So the Sheikh Ataa ibin Abhee Rabah was explaining that whenever we commit a sin, we should never think that Allah (swt) doesn’t know or that he is not aware or that he is not watching, or that he is not going to take us account for it. But rather whenever we commit a sin or even our heart inclines towards a sin, we should reflect upon the majesty or Allah (swt) and think and be aware that he is looking at us.
We should also know why it is important for us to leave our sins. Why is this command (huqum) so important to us and why has this been mentioned in the Qur’an (7:33)
قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
Qul innama harrama rabbiya alfawahisha ma thahara minha wama batana waalithma waalbaghya bighayri alhaqqi waan tushrikoo biAllahi ma lam yunazzil bihi sultanan waan taqooloo AAala Allahi ma la taAAlamoona
Say: "Verily, my Sustainer has forbidden only shameful deeds, be they open or secret, and [every kind of] sinning, and unjustified envy, and the ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him - since He has never bestowed any warrant therefor from on high and the attributing unto God of aught of which you have no knowledge."
Because unless we become people who leave sin, our ibadah, our worship, our good deeds will fail to be a benefit to us
Again our mashaiks explain this in this way: They say that the good deeds are the likeness of athar, or perfume and synonymously the likeness of sins is like garbage. So imagine you’re standing in the middle of a garbage dump. Even if it is whole bottle of fragrance upon them, it is still not going to do any good and make him fragrant. But if that same person takes himself out of this garbage dump, and even if he just takes a few drops of athar, fragrance, on himself that he will become perfumed in fragrant. So it means that unless we leave our sins, that for each and every good action that we do, for each and every nafl salah that we pray, for each and every moment of the page of the Qur'an that we read, we are just erasing the effect of those actions by our sin. It just takes one gaze and one sway, and we would have wiped an entire day, an entire week, an entire month’s of aa’mal. But that person is able to leave sin, and is able to do small amounts of aa’maal, and you will be pleasing in the eyes of Allah (swt). Just like that person who has removed himself from the garbage dump, all he has put a few drops of fragrance on himself and he will become fragrant smelling.
Know that everything has an effect.
“Mayaa’mal soo un yuujza behe”
Anybody who commits a sin, anybody who commits a bad action, anybody who breaks a law of the shari’ah, youjza behe, surely he will face his consequences, he will be recompense for that. Each and every action has a recompense. This is our law of science isn’t it. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So know that each and everyone of our sins has an effect and a consequence. There is no possibility that we commit a sin and there are no consequences for it. Whether we see it or not or whether it happens immediately or not, is something else.
As sure as fire is warm and as sure is ice is cold, know that each and every sin has an effect on us.
One of the affects of sinning is that Allah (swt) will make us worry on a person’s life. Allah test us, that recompense, that jaza, from whatever ways that we can and how we come in those tests. Know that we have no one else to blame for our worries except our sins, except our own actions.
Do whatever you want in this world, but always remember that as many sins that you do, that as much of the hellfire that you earn in this world, Allah (swt) will make your life a living hell. That each and every sin that you do will only and surely add to your worries. That whatever you do in this world, but know that by doing whatever you want, by breaking the laws of Allah (swt) you are just causing trouble and problems for yourself.
So what’s the solution, it is by far that the person should repent and make astagfaar to Allah (swt) and all us know this and inshAllah I shall try to analyse the on the story of the Iblees (Shaytaan).
So its not a surprising thing, that we all fall into various sins, its natural that we will fall into sins sooner or later. But the surprising thing, both to ourselves and the thing that surprises and possibly angers Allah (swt) is that we delay in our taubah. We postpone repenting to Allah (swt). We go so far as to think that we indulge ourselves so deep into that sin and we even tell ourselves that look “I just can’t control myself, lte me just do it one last time, and after I’ll do it, I’ll make taubah.” So what type of taubah is that? Taubah means to leave that action, not that you commit that sin and immediately think that you’re going to repent later. This is not pleasing in the eyes of Allah (swt) that we tell ourselves that we’ll commit it just one last time. This is a taubah tun nasooh (i.e. the unreal and insincere taubah).
In fact the mufasareen write that there were 5 things that the shaytaan did. 5 things that Iblees did that made him shaytaan. These are the 5 things that defies his repudiation or the fat that he is al rajeem. So lets see how many of these 5 things that we have? Shaytaan made a sin, when he refused to do sajdah on Adam (alayhesalam), he made a decision. He had direct command to do the sajdah and he refused, he disobeyed and he committed a sin. After he did that sin, he did 5 things, and it is because of these 5 things that he was mardood, rejected, repudiated from Allah (swt) and that we should reflect on these 5 things.
After shaytaan committed the sin:
1. Iqraar: He didn’t acknowledge or accept his sin, but rather went on to justify his actions using his intellect. He said Ana khairu minu, that I am better than Adam. So not only did he accept and acknowledge his sin, he denied the sin and justified his actions. So reflect on this 1st point and ask ourselves this question, how many times have we do a sin and that we deny them. How many times are we in self-denial? How many times do we give our own excuses, our own reasons or justifications that it was required of me at work, or I had no choice etc. etc. and that don’t do iqraar. The first failure of shaytaan was that he failed to do iqraar and he failed to acknowledge his sin.
2. Nadama: The 2nd thing that Shaytaan did, or rather what he failed to do was that he did not nadma (remorse). He did not have any remorse or any regret over his actions. for the sins his actions. After disobeying Allah (swt) he saw the anger of Allah (swt) and he still did not feel any remorse or any regret and he couldn’t care less. How many times do we commit sins and we do not feel any remorse of our actions. We commit our sins and then we put on our clothes, our faces again and then we walk in front of the world feeling that we haven’t done anything wrong. So the second thing Shaytaan wasn’t naadim, He wasn’t remorseful, or regretful or sad about what he did
3. Take yourself to task: The 3rd thing that he did not do was to reprimand himself, he did not check himself, he did not scold himself, he did not punish himself. He did not take himself to task, Allah (swt) could take him to task. There an Arabic saying which says: “Hasibu kabla anta hasib” “Take yourself to task, before you are taken to account.” So he failed to do this. He didn’t take himself to task, he didn’t reflect upon himself. So how many times do we commit sins and we don’t punish ourselves. The mashaikeen say here that whenever we commit a sin, we should punish ourselves, we should not let ourselves have ice cream that night, we should not do something that you wanted to do. If you have plans of playing football that evening and enjoy some healthy exercise and you’ve committed a sin, you should do what you like. Similarly, if you have committed a sin and you’re about to go meet a friend, you shouldn’t but instead you should do innabat, i.e. return to Allah (swt). So shaytaan failed to do iqraar, nadama, failed to take himself to task.
4. Forgiveness: The 4th thing is the didn not seek the forgiveness of Allah nor did he make taubah. Neither did he do astagfaar nor tawbah. This is why they say, that shaytaan, even though he was an aabid, he was a worshiper of Allah (swt) and in some hadith he is also referring to as tawusum malaika, i.e. that he is with the Jin, but he is raised to reached the crown of where the angels would do the ibadah with him. So he was an aabid, he was an aa’lim, he had a lot of knowledge, he was an aa’rif (which is the 5th point), but he was not an aa-shiq, of Allah (swt). He did not have that love for Allah (swt) and therefore he falled on Allah’s (swt) anger and that is why he wasn’t bothered. So if you don’t love the beloved, then the most distressing thing to you in the world, is that you’re beloved may be angry. So that 4th thing that Shaytaan failed to do is that he failed to make astagfaar, taubah and he failed to ask Allah (swt) to forgive him and he failed to repent to Allah (swt). How many times do we do sins and we do not even bother ask Allah for forgiveness from him. How many sins that we have, that we have failed to make true taubah, true repentance from Him. That we have sincerely pledged to Allah (swt) that from the depth of my heart, I promise and I pledge that I will never do this sin again and I won’t go near the people who do this sin, I won’t go near the places that do this sin, I won’t go near the technology that takes me nearer to this sin, how many times have we failed to do that?
5. Shaytaan despaired of the mercy of Allah (swt). This is why he is known as aa’rif, at the very end, he said “O my Lord give me some stay.” When Allah (swt) expelled him from Jannah and told him that he was repudiated and redeemed, he asked Allah (swt): “Give me some leave, some stay or a requital until the youmiddin. Let me be free to my own devices until the youmiddin.” So the scholars say that he was aa’rif, he also knew that Allah (swt) will let him do that. Now lets think about this for a instance for a moment. But if he knew that act, instead of asking to be given granted a leave or stay or a requital until the day of judgement, he should have asked Allah (swt) for his mercy. When he called out to Allah (swt) by saying “Rabbi” and addressed Him in such a way that “O my Lord” and instead of asking Allah (swt) for forgiveness, but instead he despaired of that mercy and did not wish himself to avail of this mercy of Allah (swt). How many of us do that? We fall through with the sin and we don’t turn to Allah’s (swt) rahmah? We deny the rahmah of Allah (swt).
So these were the 5 things that Allah (swt)
And we should reflect upon ourselves of how many of these things do we have these and in contrast we should look at the story of sayaduna Adam (alayhesalaam). We know the whole story of sayaduna Adam (alayhesalaam) so I won’t go in details over here, but sayaduna Adam (alayhesalaam) did all of these 5 things. He said:
“Rabana zalamna anfusana”
“O our Lord, we have wronged ourselves.”
He had iqraar – he immediately acknowledge the sin he had committed and did not justify his actions. He had nidama, he had remorse, he had regret, and he made astagfaar and he made tauba to Allah (swt). He did not despair of the mercy of Allah (swt) and said:
Waillum tagfirlana watarhamna, wanta maulana fansurna alala koimila kafireen
Ya Allah, truly that if you don’t forgive us. That if you do not send your forgiveness upon us, then we will be amongst the kaasireen, i.e. lost ones
So compare the sayadina Adam (alayhesalam) and that of the Shaytaan. So think whose path are we on, do we follow the path of Adam of repentance, that we acknowledge our sins, that we do astagfaar and repentance in duwa, that we look upon his mercy, or are we following the path of shaytaan in which we refuse that we that we sinned and deny to ourselves and to others that we sinned, we feel no remorse no regret that we sinned, we neither make astagfaar, nor tauba, nor do we turn to the mercy of Allah (swt).
Rabbana zalamna anfusina wa il lam taghfir lana wa tarhamna lana kuna minal-khasireen
Ya Allah we testify of all our sins in front of you on this blessed day Friday.
Ya Allah forgive us for our sins that we committed
Ya Allah remove all the affects of the sins that we did
Remove of al the traces of the sins in our minds
Remove all of memories our sins from our minds
Remove the pleasures of the sins that we did
Ya Allah all the thoughts of sins from our minds
Remove the desire the sin from our hearts
Ya Allah, you arahamar rahemeen, we beg of you on this day to change our dead hearts,
Ya Allah we beg of you to change the condition of our hearts, ya Allah change our dead hearts
Ya Allah soften our hearts to your ibadah and to harden our hearts to the sins
Ya Allah we ask you to place your love in our hearts
Ya Allah we ask of you to increase our love for you and increase our love for the beleoved messenger (saw) and our love for those who love you
Ya Allah, make each and every atom of our body involved in your remembrance your dhikr,
Ya Allah, we do want to be amongst the zakireen, amongst the sabieen, amongst the mutawakireen, amongst the tawwabeen, amongst the mutatahireen, amongst the muhsineen, amongst the mutaqeen.
Ya Allah, forgive us for the sins that we committed in the day, forgive us for the sins that we committed at night, forgive us for the sins that we committed in lonely, forgive us for the sins that we committed in boldly, forgive us for the sins that we committed in hesitantly.
Ya Allah, forgive us for all the lies that we said to cover up our sins
Ya Allah, like you have concealed my sins in this world, ya Allah cover and conceal our sins on the day of judgement.
Ya Allah, do not let us exposure our sins in front of our beloved messenger (saw)
Ya Allah, purify our hearts from the sins that we committed
Rabbana taqabbal minna innaka antas Sameeaul Aleem
Rabbana wa-j'alna Muslimayni laka ma min Dhurriyatina 'Ummatan Muslimatan laka wa 'Arina Manasikana wa tub 'alayna 'innaka 'antat-Tawwabu-Raheem
Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil 'akhirati hasanatan waqina 'adhaban-nar
Rabbana la tu'akhidhna in-nasina aw akhta'na
Rabbana wala tahmil alayna isran kama hamaltahu 'alal-ladheena min qablina
Rabbana wala tuhammilna ma la taqata lana bihi wa'fu anna waghfir lana wairhamna anta mawlana fansurna 'alal-qawmil kafireen
Wasalalaho alayhe sayidina Muhammad, wala’a alaihie wa’as habihi wasalam
Subanallahe amma yasifoon, wasalamun alala mursaleen, wal hamduliliah he rabil aalameen
Birahmatikaya ar rahamarahimeen.