HomeOpinionArafah Sermon2023 Hajj Afarat Sermon: Unity of the Ummah — Dr Yusuf bin...

2023 Hajj Afarat Sermon: Unity of the Ummah — Dr Yusuf bin Muhammad bin Saeed

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Hajj Khutbah from the Namirah Mosque, Arafat delivered by His Excellency Dr Yusuf bin Muhammad bin Saeed on Tuesday, 27 June 2023, 9th of Zhul-Hijjah, 1444 Hijiri

All praise belongs to Allah, the Almighty, the one who bestows abundantly, he made unity a cause for salvation, a division a cause for punishment. He is the absolutely perfect, He commanded that ranks be united, and made forbidden everything that leads to discord.

I testify that none deserves to be worshiped except Allah alone, in whom we place our hopes, and who we fear. He stated: “Your deity is one deity. None deserves to be worshipped but He alone.” The immensely merciful and the bestowal of mercy. I further testify that Muhammad is worshipping servant of Allah and His messenger, who commanded his followers to be united and cooperate amongst themselves. He prohibited them from discord and conflicts.

Though him, Allah has united his followers’ hearts and rectify their affairs and ordered him to convey His message and fulfil his trust. He stated: “Say: O’ people, I am indeed the messenger of Allah sent to you all. He is the owner of the heavens and the earth, none deserves to be worshiped except him alone, the one who grants life and deaths. I send His salam and salawat upon him, his family, his companions and his followers.

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‘O Muslims, observe taqwa of Allah by obeying him, and adhering to his legislation, and be mindful of His boundaries, so that you may become among the righteous in this world and in the Hereafter.

Allah the most Exalted stated, “Those are the boundaries set by Allah. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will admit him to gardens beneath in which rivers flows abiding eternally therein. That is the greatest attainment.”

Among the features of being mindful of Allah’s boundaries, is to not direct any aspect of worship to anyone other than Allah.  He the Exalted stated that: “Verily the judgement is for one, but Allah.  He has commanded that you worship none but Him. That is the upright religion but most people do not know.  It is only the people of Taoheed, those who worship Allah alone that are rightly guided, who attains salvation and a praise-worthy end.  He the Exalted stated: “We have certainly sent to every nation messengers who proclaim to them “Worship Allah alone and shun every act of Toghut, (false deity)”  Some among them were guided and others among the people chose to be misguided. If you travel through out the earth you will see the outcome of those who disbelieve and rejected the messengers.  Also Allah stated while affirming the testimony of taoheed, that none deserve to be worshipped in truth except Allah. do not invoke in other deity, other than Allah.  None deserves to be worshiped but Allah. everything shall perish except His face. to Him belong the judgement and to Him you will all return. He affirmed the testimony for the messenger-ship of Prophet Muhammad. (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) by saying Muhammad is His messenger.  He also said that Muhammad is not the father of any one among you, He is the Messenger of Allah and the seal of all Prophets.  Indeed Allah is well acquainted with everything.

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This testimonies necessitate that we believe in what He informs us of, obey His commands and avoid His prohibitions. and that we do not worship Allah except what he came with. Among what he came with is the five daily prayers that should be performed through the days and nights. So also is the giving the obligatory Zakat, the wealthy contributing a portion of their wealth as a means of support and solidarity with the poor and less fortunate and as a contribution to the general welfare.  Allah the exalted stated that you establish prayers and give zakat.

Also, among the matter Allah commanded us with is the fasting in the month of Ramadan.  Allah the most Exalted stated whoever among you who witnessed the month of Ramadan should fast in the month. Preforming Hajj to the sacred House of Allah.  Allah Stated that Hajj to the House of Allah is a duty that mankind owes to Allah.  It is obligated upon those who have the ability to undertake this journey.  The messenger said (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) Islam is to testify that none deserves to be worshiped except Allah; and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; to establish prayers; to give zakat; fast in Ramadan and to perform Hajj to the sacred House of Allah if one has the ability.  He also said, Eeman is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Prophets, His books and believe in the last day and the Qadr, the good of it and the bad.  As for Ihsan, it is to worship Allah as though you see Him while you see Him not.

‘O Hajj pilgrims to the House of Allah, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) when he performed the Hajj and said:

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‘O people, Indeed your Lord is one, your father Adam is one. No Arab has superiority over non-Arab, nor does the non-Arab have superiority over Arab.  Similarly, no white person is superior to a black person nor a black person superior over a white person except by taqwa.  I have certainly conveyed the message.  Indeed, inviolably between yourselves and your blood. Your wealth, your honour just as He has made the days of your inviolably in this inviolably land of yours and inviolably month of yours.  This was collected by Ahmad.

Therefore, the difference in languages, colours and ethnicities does not justify falling into discord and divisions, rather it is signs of Allah in the universe. Allah stated: Amongst His signs are the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colours.  Indeed these are signs for those who posses knowledge.

Additionally, the Islamic text emphasises command for unity, love harmony and prohibit disputes and divisions.  Allah, the most exalted stated: “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah altogether.  Do not become divided and remember the favour of Allah upon you, when you were enemies, He brought your hearts together, and you became brothers by His favours.

Moreover, the Prophet, (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him); said: “Allah is please for you to worship Him alone and not ascribe any partner to Him and you hold firmly to the rope of Allah together and do not become divided.” Allah reminds His prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) for His favours upon him when He made his companions united around him.  Allah stated: ‘Indeed Allah is sufficient for you.  He is the one who aided you with His support and through the people of Eeman.  He has united their hearts, If you had spent the whole of what is one earth, you could not have united their hearts.  However, Allah has united the, He is indeed the most wise.”

Furthermore, Allah forbids us from being divided in our statements. Indeed those who have become divided in their religion and become, you have no pact with them in the least.  their matter is only with Allah and He will inform them about what they used to do.

He that is absolutely perfect stated that “Do not be like those who became divided and differed after clear signs have come to them. for them is a great punishment.”  This is because religion and worldly affairs can only function if our words are unified leading to mutual interest being realised and harms being eliminated.  Through this unity, cooperation is established based on piety and taqwa. Likewise, truth triumphs, and falsehood is defeated, enemies become infuriated and the efforts of the envious and malicious schemers are thwarted.

However, when unity is broken, personal whims and animosity prevail and intentions become conflicting resulting in the shedding of forbidden blood. Moreover the inviolable become lawful and permissible and sanctities are violated making difficult for nations to progress in life or to adhere to acts of obedience.

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said “the example of the people of eeman with affection, mercy and compassion for each other is that of a single body that when any of its part aches, the entire body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.  A person of Eeman to another with Eeman is like a building whose different parts enforce each other. Additionally, the hand of Allah is with the Jamaha (the main body of Muslims) while the Shaytan is with those who separated themselves from the jamaha.  The significance of unity becomes apparent through the negative consequence of division affecting individuals, families and societies.

From this standpoint, Islam has implemented appropriate preventive measures and robust preventive strategies to hold the influence of destructive intentions and acts of sabotage that aim to tear apart communities by erecting a resilience barriers inhibits the disintegration of structure and destabilisation of its pillars at the individual, societal and global levels.

Also, Allah commands the Muslim in terms of disputes to return to the Quran and Sunnah.  Allah stated: “If you differ in anything amonsgt yourselves, refer it back to Allah and His Messanger.

If you have eeman in Allah and the last day, that is better and suitable for your final determination. Allah said, we have not revealed to you the book of Muhammad, except for you to make clear to them what they have differed in and as guidance and mercy for people who have eeman.  In addition, Allah has commanded them to maintain good conduct, interact with one another in an exemplary manner, and demonstrate compassion and mercy towards one another.

Allah also encourages us to embrace the virtues of patience and forgiveness when it comes to mistakes of others. Pardon them and ask for forgiveness of Allah upon them and console them in a matter where they grief.  Obey Allah and His messenger, lest you lose courage.  Indeed Allah is with the Patients.  Furthermore, he stated that “hasten to forgiveness of your Lord. The heavens and the earth prepares for the people of Taqwa.  Those who spend from their wealth during the time of prosperity and hardship and those who restrain their anger, and those who pardon people, certainly, Allah loves the people of Ihsan.

In order to achieve the objective of unifying our world, Islam has emphasised the importance of strengthening social and spiritual relationships.  It commands us to uphold the ties of kinship and clarifies the rights of spouses, parents sons and daughters.  The same way, He commanded us to extend kindness to relatives, neighbours and the needy.  Allah says; Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and do good to parents and relatives, orphans and the needy, the immediate and farer neighbours, the companions at your side, the traveler, and those who your right hand possess.  Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self deluding and boastful.  similarly, the Hadith said: “None of you has complete eeman, until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.

Islam also commands us to cooperate with each other in everything that is good , in righteousness and taqwa, and do not cooperate in sins and transgression.

Allah also forbids us from engaging in evil, offensive speech. He stated, “Tell my servants to say that which is best, indeed Shaytan encourages dissensions among themselves, indeed Shaytan is ever to mankind, a clear enemy.”

Moreover, Islam forbids us from act on rumours and disinformation that is aimed to divide our ranks.  Allah, the most exalted stated: “O people pf eeman, if there comes to you a disobedient person with information, verify it, lest you harm anyone out of ignorance and become regretful over what you had done.”

From this standpoint, ‘O’ people of eeman, you are warned against malicious campaign in all forms and methods, that aims at dividing the ranks and inciting one group against another,   Allah has prescribed several acts of obedience such as your gathering today on the plains of Arafat and your congregational Friday Prayers, one of the means to foist unity is the social solidarity mandated by Islam which includes the payment of zakat and other charitable contributions, establishment of trust, and giving of volountary alms.

In support of these, Allah, the most exalted says: ‘O people of eeman, spend from that which we have provided for you, before the day arrives, when there will be be buying or selling, or companionship or intercession, indeed the disbelievers are the wrong doers.  Islam reminds those who are in conflict with  each other that they are brothers, and encourage them to reconcile with one another in times of dispute. The people of eeman are but brothers, so make peace between yourselves and observe taqwa of Allah so that you may receive mercy.  It is obligatory upon Muslims to raise their children with the serious  upbringing that fosters unity. Allah sys: indeed this is your ummah, it is one ummah, I am your Lord, so, worship me alone.” He also says: “Indeed this is my straight path, so, follow it, and do not follow other ways, for they will lead you away from the way.”  This is what Allah has enjoined upon you so that you may attain taqwa.

Also, Allah places on us the obligation of obeying our rulers in order to achieve unity in our world; Allah says: “obey Allah and obey the messenger and those in authority among you. It is authentically reported that Prophet Muhammad, (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) It is obligatory upon Muslims to obey their rulers, in matters they like or dislike as long as they are not commanded to commit a sin.  Included in this is the unification of hearts upon them. Rulers must also encourage them and improve their conditions of their people.  it also involve supplication for them. Ultimately, we are commanded to be united and prohibited from being divided in all circumstances, which is more emphasised during Hajj.  Hajj pilgrims are to avoid any matter and actions that distract them from performing their rites, but they are to dedicate themselves in the worship of their Lord and avoid anything that will disturb the tranquility of the guest of Ar-Rahman..

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