Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam), his Noble Companions and Family. Dear Committed brothers, dear committed sisters,
This month of Ramadhan has lapsed. What should not lapse is the quality of Ramadhan. What we should have gained in this month of observant fasting is the quality of taqwa. Therefore it corresponds to this taqwa that we say/emphasize/re-iterate Allah-u-Akbar because what interferes with this taqwa? All of these financial/intellectual/military/cultural and traditional powers interfere with pristine taqwa as it should be; the taqwa that we should have gained during this month of Ramadhan. Therefore when we graduate from this month long fasting and gain/increase our taqwa we say, (not only with words, but by what we do; because acts speak louder than words), Allah-u-Akbar. Our actions should reflect the fact that Allah is more powerful/greater/above those who interfere with this normal relationship of taqwa with Allah. Brothers and sisters: there are people who say Allah-u-Akbar but they only say it as a matter of habit. When you/I come and we begin our communication with Allah, (and we just prayed), how do we begin this prayer? We say Allah-u-Akbar. But we said that in context, but many of us (though) say it out of habit and habit has a way of robbing words of their meaning. If we have gained anything in Ramadhan, it is the meaningness of what we say. We no longer say what we say out of habit. We say it with meaning and we say it with meaning. So when we begin our salaah with the words Allah-u-Akbar and when we decorate out a’yaad with the words Allah-u-Akbar. The Prophet of Allah say beautify you Eids with these takbiraat Allah-u-Akbar, Allah-u-Akbar, Allah-u-Akbar. But we say it now knowing what we are saying and conscious of what we are saying. So we live in a context. This is not fairyland. This is not a dream. This is a real world and there are real events in this world and when we say Allah-u-Akbar we are mindful of these words. What power is there that comes into your life and marginalises Allah? Think of your own life and think about these intruding powers that want to trivialise Allah. When we say Allah-u-Akbar we are addressing all of these powers. They could be psychological/social/philosophical but then they can be financial/monetary/military. There’s an assortment of powers that invade our lives and many of us succumb to these powers so we carry in us a personality that verbalises Allah-u-Akbar and at the same time we carry a personality that trivialises Allah-u-Akbar far from being the observant fasting Muslims who have just ended month of Ramadhan. We emerge from this month expressing the fact that Allah is Greater/more powerful than any/every thing else. We mean this; and we don’t just mean it by a khutbah/lecture. We mean this by standing up to these foes who come to us with loaded guns and ideas. Brothers and sisters, committed Muslims: despair not. A soul/heart/mind that says and means Allah-u-Akbar does not know despair.
لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
… there’s no fear and there is no despair. (Surah Yunus verse 62)
Fear is always what’s going to happen next if someone’s afraid of a danger that may come his way and despair is a regret/second-thoughts about what already took place/happened yesterday and in the past. If a Mu’min knows and reflects on the genuine meaning of Allah-u-Akbar he does not have the despair of the past or the fear of the future. This is the liberation of Allah-u-Akbar. This is the true meaning of being a free person- free of our instincts that want to chain our will. Ramadhan was a time when we should have broken these chains. Likewise, we have the vision to say that the Muslims are the tide of the future. We say this with all the humility that belongs to a relationship with Allah. We say Allah-u-Akbar here, in Washington DC. We know that there’s a world around that makes believe that the Muslims are in the fringe, but look at them from Washington to the other major cities in this country. What has happened? Everyone has been living in the past couple of week in what they call this “ceremony of burning the Qur’an.” They want to burn copies of the Qur’an at a Church. Brothers and sisters: we’re always so humble so as not to appreciate the distance that we have gone. We have come a long way. If Muslims were really in the fringe… If someone wanted to burn copies of the Qur’an forty years ago it wouldn’t have been a news item. No one would have paid any attention. There wouldn’t have been any media around. This has become the basic/central news item in all of the world. We’re not speaking about a local affair here. This was occupying the front pages and centre stage across all of the world. Why? It’s not because we are static/stationary/stifled; it’s because we are moving and people beginning to realise and recognise that the Muslims have stood up and therefore they take notice. They don’t take notice because we are saying Allah-u-Akbar out of tradition. Some of us are beginning to think/act. That’s when people begin to take notice. Alladhina Aamanu wa amilu as salihaat go together. You can’t have an Imaan void of amal as salih. It’s impossible! So this accumulation of our amal as salih has forced Commanders/Diplomats/Commanders-in-Chiefs/Presidents/Head of States to say to a group of fifty individuals (which) is nothing on the map of the world don’t do that.” Why? Because the Muslims are waking up. Be as humble and as factual to acknowledge this fact. It comes from those who not only say Allah-u-Akbar but who also do Allah-u-Akbar.
Brothers and sisters, Committed Muslims…
We want to bring to your attention a simple fact that has not been thought through by many people. Many of us say Allah-u-Akbar, but we say it in such a way that “Allah will take care of it without my involvement.” No! That’s not the way it works. Allah is not going to take care of things in the way you expect things to happen without your involvement. That’s not the way it is. You have to be involved.
… you are mindful of Me then I become mindful of you… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 152)
You can’t expect Allah to do “Islamic” and you are not putting in an effort. You expect Allah to be “Islamic”/doing the things for you and you’re sitting there mumbling some religious words not knowing/conscious of what you are saying?! And then “Oh Allah will take care of it.” Of course Allah will take care of everything, but if we expect a change from the status quo to the Islamic we can’t step out of the arena of tears/sweat/blood. Whoever practices their Islam and finds no tears/sweat/blood in their practice of this Islam then they don’t belong in the fold of the Prophets and with those who belong to the Prophets throughout history and throughout this time. There’s a lot of challenges (but) this is not the time to open up the chapters that we have. We’ve done this and we continue to do it periodically every Jum’ah. Suffice it to say that you and the world will gain when we put more meaning/effort in what we say. Let our acts go ahead of our words so that when we express ourselves we don’t express ourselves in a vacuum.
Brothers and sisters: May this Eid be an Eid of blessings and prosperity to you/your families/immediate loved ones/acquaintances/friends/companions and to the larger body of Muslims in the world- a body that is bleeding, a bodythat in some areas is inflicted with catastrophes/tragedies. We are aware of that but this Eid should be an exception and we should try to bring happiness and joy as much as we can to those who find it hard to feel these moments in their lives. May Allah accept from you your fasting in Ramadhan and your gaining of the meaning of taqwa. Eid Mubarak and Eid Sa’eed personally and to yours.
Assalaamualaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh wa kullu Aamin wa antum bi khair