Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad COSAN

AKRA FM Friday Discourse

October 6, 2000

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LEARN ISLAM AND TEACH IT!

Es-Selâmu alaikum wa rahmatullàhi wa barakâtuhû!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May Allah's peace, mercy, grace, blessings and bounty be with you all. May He grant you and your loved ones happiness in this world and in the hereafter. May He grant us happiness with your prayers.

a. Troubles Awaiting for the Ummah

The first hadith for today's discourse was narrated by Omar ibn-i Khattab. It is included in the collections by Abun-Nasr al Sijazî and Abû Na'îm al-Isfahanî. The Prophet SAS said:

RE. 141/1 (Innahû sayusîbu ummatî fî âkhiriz-zamâni balâ-un shadîd, lâ yenjû minhu illâ rajulun arafa dînallàhi fajâhada alayhi bilisânihî wa qalbihî, fa dhâlikelledhî sabaqat lahus-sewâbiq; wa rajulun arafa dînallahi fasaddaqa bihî.) Sadaqa rasûlullàh, fî mâ qàl, aw kamâ qàl.

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This is one of the ahadith that describe the events that will take place as the Day of Resurrection draws near. This time period is described as (âkhir zamân) "The latter time period." Among the vents in such a time are the occurance of Dajjal and the Mahdî. Some of the minor and major signs of the end of this life are also described in various ahadith. Our Prophet said: (Innahû) "Verily (sayusîbu ummatî fî âkhiriz-zamâni balâ-un shadîd,) my Ummah will experience some severe tests and troubles in the akhir zaman. (Lâ yenjû minhu) Nobody will be saved from these troubles (illâ rajulun arafa dînallàhi fajâhada alayhi bilisânihî wa qalbihî,) except for a person who knows the religion of Allah and participates in Jihad with his tongue and heart upon this knowledge. (Fa dhâlikelledhî sabaqat lahus-sewâbiq) Such a person, i.e., one who knows Islam and does Jihad with his words and with his heart, will receive great favors from Allah." He will have a very high rank in the hereafter.

This is such a great favor that this person gets out of tests, turmoils and troubles without loosing his faith and he does Jihad with his words wholeheartedly, sincerely. He warns people, "Do not disobey Allah. Do good deeds and stay away from evil." He his a hardworking Muslim, full of zeal and stamina. He wants to work for the religion of Allah. He is aware of his responsibilities. He is not affected by temporary tendencies and inclinations. He has a strong foothold to save him from spiritual slips. This is very desirable.

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This hadith is the first hadith of a page that was opened by chance. It is a good coincidence that in Turkey and in other Islamic countries our Muslim brothers and sisters are facing difficulties. In Palestine, our brothers are targets of the bullets of Israeli soldiers; sixty people has become shahîd; thousands, got wounded. There are fights in Kashmir, and many people die. You are aware of the situation in Caucasuses and other parts of the world. People are disturbed, disrespected, wronged or attacked just because they are Muslims.

On one hand, those who represent the administration and the government powers claim, "There is freedom; we respect human rights. A person can believe anything he wants. The government is secular; it will not take any sides when it comes to religion. It leaves it to the conscience of people." On the other hand, they put the greatest pressure on Muslims who want to practice their beliefs. The pressure and oppression on Muslims are unbearable in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and other countries. They always find lame excuses to put pressure on Muslims.

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It is unbelievable that Muslims can live Islam in their personal lives comfortably in countries in North America or Europe where people accepted the democracy, basic freedoms and human rights. People in those countries have a basic principle of respecting each other's beliefs, and so Muslims can enjoy some freedom among them. Nevertheless, these people, too, attack Islam at every opportunity they get. For Instance, they will prevent you from setting up a mosque as much as they can. They also give Muslims hard time to issue visas. They keep asking questions such as, "Why do you need to travel? What kind of real-estate do you have? Can you bring the titles?" It is very humiliating to wait in long lines to get visas for these countries. In other words, Islam is not well received.

Recently a group kept jumping up and down saying "We are entering a new millennium." They call it the third millennium -- they take their dates from the Prophet Jesus. The arabic word for the thousand is alf. You remember, the great scholar Imam Rabbânî was called "Mujaddid-i Alf-i Thanî-- the Mujaddid of the Second Millennium." Here the millennium is the Hegira millennium. The Hegira calendar takes the year of emigration of the Prophet Muhammed as its beginning. It coincides with the year 622 AD. The Hegira calendar is very important for the Muslims because Ramadhan, Pilgrimage, and other times are based on this calendar.

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One may question what will happen after this millennium. They claim that their beliefs will become the only belief in the world. Therefore, they try to wipe the other religions from the face of the earth. They have the money and the support of some governments.

I would like to describe the state of Muslims in our time: Imagine a Muslim who is surrounded by a group of men who claim to be his friends. They grab his hands and feet so that he cannot move. Then there is the enemy who keeps pounding his fist on the face of the Muslim. If the so-called friends leave the Muslim alone, he would defend himself. This is the state of Muslim in our time.

The Christians have gained their rights in many countries including Russia. They have churches, organizations, foundations. They have good budgets and great number of trained personnel. On the other hand, our foundations and charitable organizations are under lots of pressure from the [Turkish] government. The foundations from the time of Ottomans have been taken over by the government. The Office of Foundations manages them. They built, for instance, touristic hotels with the income of these places. They are not used for the purpose stated by the owners in the donation agreement. Many of such foundations are not managed well, so they hardly produce any income.

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In the so-called Islamic countries, there is no freedom of learning Islam and establishing schools to teaching it. The present institutions are cannot operate freely.

The Muslims are handcuffed in all parts of the world. They are attacked from all directions. There is no unity among them, and they cannot help one another. For instance, on one hand, Saudi Arabia is rich, yet their money is used by banks in Europe and America. On the other hand, in Somalia and other African countries which are very close to Saudi Arabia, there is the scarcity of everything including drinking water. They all are Muslims yet there is no connection among them. There are affluent Islamic countries which can help other Islamic countries. However, there is no cooperation among them. Furthermore, there is great enmity between neighboring countries.

Turkey has historical enemies in Balkans and in the north. The Turkish administrators are trying to be friends with such arch-enemies, yet they insist on turning their backs to the Islamic countries that we lived together for centuries.

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I am telling all of these because our time is "akhir zaman," and the Prophet warned us that there would be tests for Muslims. I hope that Muslims who are subject to tests and oppressions in all parts of the world will be aware of this hadith and know what to do. "There will be major tests and calamities on Muslims," said the Prophet. "Only one person will be saved from these troubles: one who knows Allah's religion and who does Jihad with his words and heart." That means a Muslim who is knowledgeable, active and sincere will be saved from the troubles and consequences. He will be blessed by Allah.

There will be one other person to be saved from the troubles: (wa rajulun arafa dînallahi) one who knows the religion of Allah and (fasaddaqa bihî) supports it by heart. He is oppressed, wronged, mistreated, hence silent. He has no means to raise his voice. Hi is aware that Islam is the truth and Muslims are right, yet he has no means to overcome the evil. The evil powers have all means including the radios, televisions, improper magazines and alike to attack the faith of the Muslims.

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The lesson we must draw from this hadith is that we must learn our religion. Those who fail to learn will slip.

We must learn our religion from the reliable, pure and authentic sources. Any ordinary book on Islam may not be acceptable because there has been attacks on the Islamic knowledge. In the media, we see some people who make statements as though the great scholars of Islam never lives or they were unaware, ignorant or wrong. They speak as if they were the unmatched authorities in Islamic sciences. They say, "There is no such thing in Islam, there is and that. All Muslims are wrong. ..." Their books on these matters are publicized by the media. We have seen many such arrogant people in our professional life. They lack the basic knowledge of Arabic, yet they attempt to comment on the verses of the Qur'an. One can find tens of mistakes on every page of the book they publish. The statements they make can take them outside of Islam. Their ignorance is so deep that they are even unaware that they do not know anything.

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A knowledgeable Muslim should be aware of these facts. He has to refer to the Qur'an to find the truth of the matter. Also he should know that the primordial commentary of the Qur'an is the Sunnah of the Prophet, the life of the Prophet, 23 years of training. Since the Qur'an was revealed to him, he was the first to understand, to apply and to convey its message to others. Without his ahadith, it is not possible to understand the Qur'an, to perform the prayers, to pay the zakah and to do pilgrimage correctly. The principles are in the Qur'an; the details, in the Sunnah.

When you hear a person talking against the Sunnah of the Prophet and downgrading its significance, you should be aware that he has ill intentions. Can you imagine a person who can understand and interpret the Qur'an better than Prophet Muhammed did?

We often hear an objection: "Are these ahadith authentic?" My response is, "Have you ever asked the authenticity of the books you read? Have you ever asked the authenticity of your physics book? Have you questioned your geography or history books? You do not mind accepting the quotation of a person as truth; you believe in the words of a Roman historian or a Greek philosopher. Yet when it comes to the words of the Prophet, you hesitate to accept the words that have been scrutinized for authenticity and consistency. You utterly deny them."

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Usually the objection continues, "To me it is ..."

"Who are you? What knowledge do you have? Do you think your name will appear in history books? What is your specialty?"

We should disregard such ignorant people and turn to the original sources: the Qur'an, the ahadith of the Prophet, and commentaries of famous and great scholars. One has to understand Islam correctly. Then he has to apply it to his own life. If he has the means, if he is a blessed servant of Allah, he has to work for Islam.

Today everybody is attacking Islam. Who is going to defend it? There is no doubt that Allah protects His religion and us; still, a Muslim should earn rewards by helping Allah's religion. There are verses of Qur'an inviting Muslims to help the religion of Allah, and stating that these helpers will be guided and blessed by Allah.

Muslims should consider the troubles as their destiny and not give up. They should learn their religion, teach it to their children, and practice it. They should also convey the message of Islam to other people. Islam is based on knowledge.

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b. Scholars Who Go Astray

The second hadith was narrated by Abû Sâid RA and included in the collections by Ahmed ibn-i Hanbal, Imam Muslim and Imam Bukharî--may Allah be pleased with them. The Prophet said:

RE. 141/7 (Innehû yakhrucu min d?'d?-i hâdhâ qavmun yatlûna kitâballàhi ratban lâ yujâvizu hanâjirahum yemruq?na minad-dîni kamâ yamruqus-sahmu minar-ramiyyah, le-in adraktuhum le-aktulannahum qatla thamûd.)

In this authentic hadith, the Prophet said: (Innehû yakhrucu min d?'d?-i hâdhâ) "Verily from this source will come out (qavmun yatlûna kitâballàhi ratban) some people who will read the Book of Allah, the Qur'an, pleasantly, (lâ yujâvizu hanâjirahum) yet it will not penetrate below their vocal cords." They will not feel it in their hearts; it will not illuminate their hearts. (Yemruq?na minad-dîni) "these people will go out of Islam, (kamâ yamruqus-sahmu minar-ramiyyah) just like the arrow leaving a bow." That means they do not open their hearts to the Qur'an; they disobey the orders of the Qur'an. They continue indulging in wrongdoings.

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The Prophet continued: (Le-in adraktuhum) "If I saw them, if I were with them, (le-aktulannahum qatla thamûd) I would kill them just like the people of Thamûd." The people of Thamûd lived with Prophet Sâlih, and they were wiped out as a punishment for their disobedience.

This is an evidence that the Prophet dislikes those who uses the Qur'an and Islam to disguise their evil deeds. They are sinners. They recite the Qur'an, yet they undermine the foundations of the religion. Their deeds are in total contradiction to the essence of the Qur'an.

A person may make a nice statement. It may be soothing for the hearts. Sometimes this person may be a crook, a thief. He makes this statement to fool people. Cheating is his main purpose. Muslims should be aware of such crooks and not be fooled by their titles, names, and nice words that do not come from the heart. They keep reciting verses from the Qur'an. How can we identify these crooks?

While these people recite the Qur'an, their actions are in contradiction with the Qur'an and Sunnah. Since the Qur'an provides the essentials, the details should be searched in the Sunnah. If a person lives a life in compliance with the Sunnah, then he is a truthful, good person. If he contradicts the Sunnah, we may question him: "Why do you contradict the Sunnah? You do not have any difference form a non-Muslim. Your life style, the way you eat and drink, the way you earn a living, the way you speak, and the way you interact with people are not proper. You have no difference from the others. What is the evidence of your being a Muslim? There is nothing in you that complies with Islam. Your actions are harmful to Islam and Muslims. You are stabbing your friends from their back." Knowing the Qur'an and the Sunnah, we can identify the crooks.

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Some raise the question if we can still follow the jurisdiction of Imam Ahmad Ibn-i Hanbal while we live in the twentieth century. Of course we can because his jurisdiction is based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah. He does not forbid something that is stated as lawful in the Qur'an. He was a great scholar of ahadith. He follows the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet.

When you study the Qur'an and ahadith, you realize how great they are and how they are beyond any time limit. Because people do not study the Qur'an and the ahadith, they think Islam is passe or not applicable to our time. It is not like that at all. Those who want to practice Islam can practice it in his personal life. They can practice it in when they work, when they travel, when they do business. It would be easier to practice it if there were none to prevent people from practicing it.

Islam was revealed to people so that they practice it. The society prospers with Islam.Yet, people have turned their backs to Islam. Consequently, the administrators are involved in all kinds of wrongdoings. Peoples tax-monies are wasted in extravaganza. The crooks and thiefs are protected and supported financially. Meanwhile, obstacles are pleaced for the successful businesses run by good people.

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May Allah give us the faculty to discern the truth from the falsehood and to follow the truth.

c. How a Sinner Helps Religion

The third hadith for today's discourse was narrated by Abû Hurayrah. This is, too, from the collections of Ahmad Ibn-i Hanbal, Bukhari and Muslim. It is a very interesting hadith. The Prophet said:

RE. 141/6 (Inneh? lâ yadkhulul-jannata illâ nafsun muslimah. Wa innallàha layu-ayyidu hâdhed-dîna bir-rajulil-fâjir.)

Prophet Muhammad said: (Inneh?) "Verily, (lâ yadkhulul-jannata) nobody will enter Paradise (illâ nafsun muslimah) except for a Muslim person." Only the believers, Muslims, will enter Paradise.

Allah will not admit the infidels into Paradise. There is no doubt about it, and there will not be any case that a person will be in paradise by mistake as some improper jokes suggest. There will be a colossal court and a trial for everybody. People will be sent to Paradise or Hell based on the judgement. With His grace, Allah will send people who deserve to Paradise.

Only the believers and those who submits themselves to the will of Allah will enter Paradise. Discovering some useful device for the mankind or finding a cure for a disease alone cannot be a reason to enter Paradise. One has to be a believer first. Each person is required to comprehend that there is a creator. One has to search for the truth and believe in Allah. Everybody does some kind of work. A scientist may work in the laboratory to find a cure for a disease, yet a farmer also works in the filed to earn a living. Perhaps, a porter works harder than a scientist does for a loaf of bread. That is something everybody does. What is the most important is having the faith in Allah. A person has to be a believer and be on the straight path to enter Paradise.

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The Prophet continued: (Wa innallàha layu-ayyidu hâdhed-dîna bir-rajulil-fâjir) "If Allah wills, a sinner will support this religion." Sometimes we observe a person who commits sins in public will do something beneficial to Muslims and Islam. There were examples of this during the time of the Prophet. Once, during a battle, some companions of the Prophet reported: "O Prophet of Allah, look at this person. How brave he is. He has worked so hard to chase the enemy away." Upon the statement of their admiration, the Prophet responded: "He will go to Hell."

The companions were puzzled. How could a person who is so helpful to Muslims and Islam could deserve to go to Hell? Soon another companion arrived and said, "O Prophet of Allah, that brave person committed suicide."

The prophet asked, "Why?"

"He got wounded and lost hope of recovery. He put the handle of his sword to the ground and the tip of it to his chest. He pierced his body with it."

Of course, suicide is not allowed in Islam. The life is a trust from Allah. We have to protect it. We have no right to end the life. A Muslim is not allowed to commit suicide. He has to be patient. He has to respect what is entrusted with him.

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This brave person deserved to go to Hell because he committed suicide. He will be punished in Hell just the way he killed himself. The Prophet informed us about it. Although this person helped the Muslims and defended Islam, he will end up in Hell. Allah can have sinners help Islam and Muslims. A persons help and support for Muslims does not guarantee him the admission to Paradise. Only the Muslim souls will enter paradise.

The lesson we learn from this hadith is that we have to protect our belief, our We have to protect the belief of our family members, relatives, neighbors and the whole nation. We have to be alert against the attacks from the infidels. We must not be fooled by the plots of the pagans, unbelievers, the enemies of religion and history. We must warn those who are deceived.

Let us live a clean life in compliance with Islam. Let us try to earn the blessings of Allah. Let us learn Islam, follow the Sunnah, do deeds that will take us to Paradise, and stay away from actions that will lead to Hell.

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May Almighty Allah support us with His grace, send us help, and remove the blockage from our eyes and hearts. May He purify our hearts. May he give us the power to discern the truth from the falsehood, to follow the truth and to stay away from the falsehood.

May Allah give us a fruitful and long life. May He give us opportunities to do good deeds, and leave works that earn rewards for us continuously. May our life be useful for the Ummah. May all of us submit our souls as perfect believers. May Allah honor all of us with His beauty in His Paradise. May He make us neighbors to his Beloved Prophet in Paradise.

Es-selâmu alaikum wa rahmatullâhi wa barakâtuhû!

October 6, 2000 --SWEDEN

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