FRIDAY DISCOURSE

AKRA FM, March 3, 2000

Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad COSAN

LET US FOLLOW THE PATH OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD

As-salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh!

My dear and beloved audience! May the peace, mercy, abundance, and blessings of Allah be with you. I am greeting you from a beautiful place. I see some buildings with golden domes just like in the fairy tales. I am in Brunei.

We stopped here on our way for Pilgrimage. Here we met with some brothers who came from Turkey. It has been a pleasant trip in this Muslim country, Brunei. We see many women with hijab--in the market, on the street, in the banks. It looks very nice, indeed. The situation is different in Turkey; hijab is banned even in the Imam-Khatib schools.

a. The Reward of Obeying Prophet Muhammad

The first hadith is reported by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) and recorded by Bukhari:

(Kullu ummatî yadkhulûnal-jannah il-lâ man abâ. Qîla: Faman ya'bâ yâ rasûlallah? Qàla: Man ata'anî dakhalal jannah, wa man 'asànî faqad abâ.)

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This is a good news for all of us. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "(Kullu ummatî yadkhulûnal-jannah) all of my Ummah will enter the Paradise (il-lâ man abâ) except for those who hold themselves back and refuse to enter it."

Who would refuse entering the Paradise? "(Qîla: Faman ya'bâ yâ rasûlallah?) they asked to the Prophet: 'who would refrain from entering the Paradise? Who would not want to enter the Paradise? Who would turn such an offer down?' (Qàla: Man ata'anî dakhalal jannah) he said: 'whoever obeys me and follows me enters the Paradise. (Wa man 'asànî) whoever disobeys me and does not follow my path, my sunnah, (faqad abâ) he would refrain from entering the paradise.'"

The obedience to Prophet Muhammad and adherence to his sunnah is the foundation of Islam, a cause and source of happiness in this world and in the hereafter. One cannot claim to follow Islam without adhering to the sunnah of the Prophet. These are not separable.

Unfortunately, people of 20th Century and 21st Century have not comprehend Islam correctly and completely. I can understand non-Muslims who lack a proper understanding of Islam, but I am puzzled upon the misunderstanding of Islam by Muslims. These ahadith are from a book which may be found in many homes. The books published by the Office of Religious affairs in Turkey and reprinted many times contain them. It is an authentic hadith. If a person who is hard to accept these words ask about the authenticity of this hadith, it is from the collections of Bukhari, so it is authentic. we have to obey Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

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I hear one of you questioning: "How does one obey the Prophet? What am I to do?" You have to read about the sunnah of the prophet from the books, understand it, adjust your life to it. You are going to change your life to comply with the sunnah. You are going to do whatever the Prophet asked.

I was asked in Ramadhan: "What shall I read?" I said, "Read Riyadus-Salihîn.' It is a book in which authentic ahadith are explained. The Turkish and English translations of this book is available. Everybody keeps a copy at home. It is easy to understand, so read it and be saved.

If you read Riyadus-Salihîn, you will be saved. There is also Ramuz-ul Ahadith, a hadith collection by our grand master Gumush-khanawi Ahmed Ziyauddin Efendi. He, as a perfect guide, included some ahadith which are not in the famous books of hadith. There has been some objections and criticism about the authenticity of these ahadith, "There is a flaw with the authenticity of this particular hadith; this is considered of 'weak' authenticity, etc." I would like to ask these critics, "All right, I will accept your objection, but tell me if you adjust your life to the ahadith that you consider authentic. We can discuss the ahadith you consider inauthentic later. Do you uphold and follow the authentic ahadith? Do you follow the tradition of the Prophet in the way you dress, you shave, you conduct your daily activities, in your festivities and in your greetings? Do you remember the word "sunnah" in everything you do? Do you get up in the middle of the night to offer tahajjud prayers? Do you practice the dhikr recommended by the Prophet? You consider yourself 'perfect Muslim' and find a flaw in everybody else. You look at yourself and tell me exactly what percentage of Islam you practice! One tenth of a percent, or half a percent?"

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One who disobeys the prophet, one who does not comply with the sunnah of the Prophet refrains from entering the Paradise. It would be another way for them to say, "No, thanks. I do not want to enter the paradise; I want to go to hellfire and taste the torments there."

As you know, there are two kinds of language: Language of the words (lisân-i qâl), and the language of the action and state (lisân-i hâl). You hear the former, and see the latter. Some people say, "I am a Muslim" with words, but their actions claim the opposite, "I am not a Muslim. I do not obey Prophet Muhammad; I do not follow his Sunnah." These kinds of improper attitudes, wrong approaches, ill deeds will inflict a major calamity on them.

We are warning here, "Everybody must hold tight to the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet, Muhammad the chosen (pbuh)." It is not difficult; get the book Riyadus-Salihîn and apply it to your life. Its translations in many languages are available, and it is easy to read. There is no need for arguments, fights, or alike [about the authenticity of the ahadith in it.]

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May Allah (SWT) keep us on the path of His Prophet. How nice it is to be on his Sunnah. We congratulate those who follow the Sunnah. May Allah be pleased with them. We ask them to remember us in their prayers.

We all must get into the path of the Prophet of Allah and uphold his Sunnah, his traditions. In the twenty-first century, in the year 2000, in the year that we are to convey, to explain and to teach the message of Islam to all mankind, the Sunnah of the prophet must be our path.

When you travel in many parts of the world, you will realize how improper or wrong some of our customs are. Which ones are proper and correct? The practice of the Prophet. Which ones are more rewarding and beneficial? Those practice by our beloved Prophet. That is why we must follow the Sunnah of our Prophet.

This is an extremely important issue. I had reminded you about this point in the past, and I will keep reminding you. Question yourselves: "How well do I follow the Sunnah of the Prophet? How well do I obey his commands? What fraction of the Sunnah I practice? How often do I issue jurisdictions on Islamic matters from my own thought? How many offenses do I commit saying 'Allah is great; he will forgive me'?" Interrogate yourselves seriously.

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Some people continue doing certain acts knowing that they are haram (unlawful) yet sincerely thinking that Allah would forgive them. This is not right! Allah (SWT) may forgive the offenses if the person stops committing the offenses, regrets, repents and turns to Allah in tears. Those who insist saying "Allah forgives the sins anyway. No big deal. Carry on!" and continue indulging in offensive behavior are playing with fire. It is just like saying "The fire will not harm me" and throwing oneself into the fire. It is like saying "The electricity will do no harm to me" and grabbing the conductors with bare hands. It is like saying "The germs will do no harm to me" and eating, licking or swallowing something infested with viruses or bacteria.

You do not throw yourself into the fire, hold the conductors with bare hands or eat germs because you believe in the danger they pose. They why do you commit offenses? Are you an unbeliever? Ask yourself: "Oh my evil and oppressor self! Are you an unbeliever?"

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b. Offering Salawat on Friday

The second hadith of today's discourse is from Aws ibn-i Aws. Apparently, this companion of the Prophet (pbuh) was named after his father. This honorable man quoted from the Prophet:

RS. 1162 (Inne min efdali ayyâmikum yawmal-jumu'ah, fa-akthirû 'aleyye mines-salâti fîhi, fa-inne salâtekum ma'rûdatun 'aleyye. Qàle: Yâ rasûlallah! Wa kayfe tu'radu salâtunâ 'aleyke feqad erimte? Qàle: Innallàhe harrame 'alel-ardi ejsâdul-enbiyâ'.)

This hadith is about a topic that you are most probably familiar, yet it ends with an interesting sentence. Our beloved prophet said: "Among your best days, the most rewarding days is Friday." I am sure we all knew about this fact. We knew about the importance and value of Friday and we would prepare ourselves for that by taking a shower, putting on nice clothes, new socks and going to the mosque. We would go to the mosque early so that we could read the Surah Kahf and earn some rewards. I had told you about these some time ago; if you are not doing so, try doing it from now on.

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After stating the importance of Friday, our beloved Prophet continued with a recommendation: "(Fa-akthirû 'aleyye mines-salâti fîhi) offer plenty of prayers on me."

Offering prayers for the Prophet is an obligation ordered by Allah in the Qur'an:

(Innallàhe wa malâiketihî yusallûne 'alen-nebiyy, yâ ayyuhellezîne âmenû sallû aleyhi ve sellimû teslîmâ.) [Allah and His angles accept prayers for the Prophet. You who believe, pray for him (too) and greet him properly.] (Ahzab:56) One who does not offer prayers and greetings to the Prophet is considered as a stingy person who also fails to appreciate the mission of the Prophet. No body would want to be in his shoes.

The prophet said: "(Fa-inne salâtekum ma'rûdatun 'aleyye) say prayers on me, for your prayers will reach me. I will be informed about them."

You all will send greetings to the Prophet from all parts of the world saying "As-salatu was-salâmu 'aleyke yâ rasûlallah!" From the minarets muedh-dhins will proclaim greetings for him. When you hear the name of the Prophet, you say "sallallâhu 'aleyhi wa sellem," which means "may the prayers and peace be on him." The prophet will be informed about your prayer and greeting.

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The people who heard these words from the Prophet were curious. They asked: "O Prophet! (Wa kayfe tu'radu salâtunâ 'aleyke feqad erimte?) when your body becomes like soil under the ground, how can you be informed about our prayers and greetings?"

Upon this question, the Prophet said, "(Innallàhe harrame 'alel-ardi ejsâdul-enbiyâ') Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala made it unlawful for the earth to destroy the bodies of the prophets." Their bodies will not disintegrate; they will remain fresh. They differ from other people because they are beloved servants of Allah.

There are two important points here:

1. The bodies of the prophets will remain fresh in the grave.

2. The greetings and the prayers will reach the Prophet, and he will respond to them. How pleasing, how great, how honorable it is.

I used to remind you about it in my sermons; here we see the proof in an authentic hadith.

c. The Prayer of the Prophet for the Jews

You will be very pleased hearing the next hadith. It is recorded in the collections of Abu Dawud and Tirmidhî. It is an authentic hadith reported by Abû Mûsâ:

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RS. 887 (Kânel-yehûdu yeteàtesûne inde rasûlillâhi sallallàhu aleyhi wa selleme yarjûne an yaq?le lehum: Yerhamukumullàh. Feyek?l: Yehdîkumullàhu wa yuslihu bâlekum.)

When the Prophet emigrated to Madina, there were Jews in villages, forts and tribes such as Banî Qurayza, Banî Qaynuqa and Banî Nadir. There were Jewish communities with their scholars and leaders. Some of them accepted Islam. They used to come to the Prophet and ask about matters and events related to the other prophets.

I am going to read a hadith about how the Jews would interact with our Prophet. I would like to read it because we are spreading all over the world. The technology has advanced so much that people can communicate easily. We can also travel many parts of the world in a short time. We see people from many different races. How are these people going to be brothers? How are we going to spread the peace and brotherhood throughout the world? We need to be aware of certain things.

During the time of the Prophet, the Jews in Madina had a fort in Haybar and orchards. "They used to come to the Prophet (yeteàtesûne inde rasûlillâhi sallallàhu aleyhi wa selleme) and sneeze without an actual need for sneezing." Why would they do such a thing? They used to do that because they new that the prophet would respond to it. (Yarjûne an yaq?le lehum: Yerhamukumullàh.) "They knew that the prophet would respond saying 'May Allah bless you.'"

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They are playing smart. I must point out that they knew that the Prophet was a real prophet and they his prayers will be accepted. It they had not believed that he was a real prophet, they would not go near him.

Man has a very strange state. If he goes one more step and declares, "I bear witness that you are a Prophet of Allah, and I obey you," he will receive the mercy of Allah for sure. They remain content with the prayer of the Prophet only.

One of the duties of a Muslim toward another Muslim is to respond saying, "Yarhamukallah--May Allah bless you!" when he sneezes and utters, "Alhamdulillah -- praise to Allah." This is a sign of good will.

The Jews would expect the same wish and prayer for themselves, yet the Prophet knows that such a prayer for the unbeliever is not accepted. There is a verse:

(In tastaghfir lahum seb'îna marraten felen yaghfirallàhu lehum) "Even if you ask seventy times for forgiveness and mercy for the hypocrites and the unbelievers, Allah will not forgive them." Prophet Ibrahim prayed for his father because he had promised to. He knew such a prayer was not acceptable.

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Coming back to the Jews, the Prophet is teaching us a lesson on being gentle and subtle. He prays for the Jews the most proper way without incurring the wrath of Allah: (Yehdîkumullàhu wa yuslihu bâlekum) "May Allah guide you to the truth, the straight path. May Allah correct your hearts and thoughts."

If this prayer is accepted, they will reach salvation. The enmity, jealousy, hatred and other evil thoughts in their hearts... They are terrible feelings. These ill feelings are explained in detail by our forefathers. For instance, read the Maqalat of Haji Baktash-i Velî, who is a spiritual leader of the soldiers. He explains how these ill feelings would destroy the spirituality of a person.

d. Two Jews Kissed The Hands of The Holy Prophet (pbuh)

Now I would like to read another hadith which is related to the same subject. Safwan ibn-i Assal (RA) narrates:

RS. 893 (Qàle yehûdiyyun lisàhibihî: Idh-heb binâ ilâ hâdhen-nebiyy. fe-eteyâ rasûlallàhi sallallàhu aleyhi wa selleme fese-elâhu 'an tis'i âyâtin beyyinât. Fedhekerel-hadîse ilâ qawlihî: Feqabbelâ yedehû ve rijlehû ve qàlâ: Nesh-hed? enneke nebiyy?n.)

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This hadith was also recorded in the collections of Tirmidhî as well as in the other authentic sources. I hope that you will be very happy for hearing this hadith, take notes of it and tell it to others:

"During the time of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), one of Jews asked his Jewish friend to take him to the person who claims his prophethood (Idh-heb binâ ilâ hâdhen-nebiyy) because his Jewish friend had gone before and thus knew the way. (Fe-eteyâ rasûlallàhi sallallàhu aleyhi wa sellem). Both of them came to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and asked him (fese-elâhu 'an tis'i âyâtin beyyinât) about the 'nine clear signs' which were given to the Prophet Moses by Allah. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) told them everything thoroughly and gave them the true information as written in their book (the Torah)".

Holy Prophet (pbuh) did not have a formal education, nor had he studied the Torah, yet when Allah informed him, he gave the true information with details. Hearing what the Prophet had to say, the two Jews were suprised and amazed at the information. They were convinced that he was a true prophet.

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In future, insha-Allah, I will explain what these "nine clear signs" are. From now on, I will focus on the rest of the hadith. (Feqabbelâ yedeh) "They kissed the hands of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)." Well, it is also a custom in the Turkish tradition because our forefathers had modified their traditions to comply with Islam. They lived as devout Muslims. Those who are knowledgeable had not done anything against Islam. (Wa rijlehû) "They had also kissed the feet of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). When love is so rapturous, the hand as well as the foot is kissed then.

Why do I emphasise this hadith? These ahadith are narrated by sincere and reliable scholars and included in authentic hadith collections. Some people oppose kissing the hand [of a scholar as a sign of respect, admiration and love]. Especialy those who had received some Islamic education in certain countries reject the hand-kissing.

Why is your opposition, brother? Do you know Islam better, or are you a mufti or a major scholar in Islam? You keep criticising respectable scholars. Do you know how great scholars our grandfathers were? Did you read the books they wrote? You do not have even a tiny fraction of the knowledge that they had. How do you criticise them then?

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Please sit down and speak some Arabic. Let's see how many mistakes you will make in an Arabic sentence! You did not complete your education properly. The education you had taken is just like that of the primary school. Like Don Quixote, who fights the windmill, you fight scholars. You do not like scholars as well as the Imams of religious schools of thought. It is not right.

Not only the hands but also the feet of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) were kissed. Our half-scholars still continue calling it a bid'ah [innovation in religious acts]. It is not bid'ah, on the contrary, it is Sunnah because it was allowed by our Holy Prophet (pbuh).

What did the two Jews state later: (Nesh-hed? enneke nebiyy?n) "We testify that you are a true Prophet, a holy person sent by Allah." These are the words which we are going to tell our family, relatives, neighbours, friends and everyone around us. My friends in Ankara are sending me information: "There is a great deal of admiration towards Jews here." Well, if they tell this hadith to the Jewish friends they admire, then the issue will be comprehended fully.

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e. Generosity of Prophet Muhammad

Another hadith is narrated by Enes RA and can be found in the collection of Imam Muslim who was a great scholar like Imam Bukhari.

RS. 555 (Mâ su-ile rasûlullàhi sallallàhu aleyhi wa selleme 'alel-islâmi shey'en illâ a'tàhu, wa leqad jâ-ehû rajulun fe-a'tàhu ghanemen beyne jabalayni faraja'a ilâ qawmihî, feqàle: Yâ qavm! Eslimû fe-inne muhammeden yu'tî atà'e men lâ yakhshal-fakr. Wa in kâner-rajulu leyuslimu mâ yurîdu illed-dunyâ femâ yelbesu illâ yesîran hattâ yekûnel-islâmu ehabbe ileyhi mined-dunyâ ve mâ aleyhâ.)

You will be delighted to listen and learn this hadith my dear brothers and sisters.

"The Prophet (pbuh) used to give when someone requested something that complied with Islam." He was extremely generous. If today's Muslims possessed his generosity, there would not be any poor Muslim in the world. There would not be any financial difficulties to support the charitable and educational activities in the Muslim world.

Nowadays, I have been hearing that some of the equipment of our radio and TV stations needed to be replaced. However, they have difficulty to find finance. The number of the listeners has been reduced. Well, it is up to you to keep these broadcast continuous. You may keep your money in your pockets, and our voice will be off the air. Those who are able, but do not give will be accountable on the Day of Judgment.

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Our beloved Prophet (pbuh) used to give whatever he was requested. (Wa leqad jâ-ehû rajulun) "One day, a man came to the Prophet of Allah and [and requested something]. (Fe-a'tàhu ghanemen beyne jabalayni) The prophet gave him a flock of sheep which filled up a valley between two mountains."

This is a proof of the generosity of the Prophet. Those who belittle our Prophet should see what kind of person he was.

(Faraja'a ilâ qawmihî) "This man returned to his hometown along with a flock of sheep which filled up a valley. (Feqàle:) And he told his people: (Yâ qavm! Eslimû fe-inne muhammeden yu'tî atà'e men lâ yakhshal-fakr.) 'O my People, become Muslims because Muhammad is giving like a person who does not worry about becoming poor. Look! He gave this many sheep to only one person, to me.'" He told his people that if they became Muslims, they will receive free goods.

That is why the narrator Enes RA said (Wa in kâner-rajulu leyuslimu mâ yurîdu illed-dunyâ) "some people used to accept Islam because of worldly reasons first." They would expect some gifts, lamb, or sheep. (Femâ yelbesu illâ yesîran) "Soon after they accept Islam, (hattâ yekûnel-islâmu ehabbe ileyhi mined-dunyâ wa mâ aleyhâ) they would learn Islam and accept it wholeheartedly so that Islam would be dearer than the whole world and that they can even sacrifice their life for Islam."

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Yes, some people might have different intentions initially, but Allah would change their hearts and fill up with pure Islam. As Arif Nihat Asya, a Turkish Poet says,

Ich-sen bu sudan dostum, bir daha susamazsin;
Bir hal gelir aghlayamazsin, susamazsin!

"Drink once from this spring my dear friend; you will never feel thirsty again.
Then something happens to you, and you get excited so much that you could neither cry nor stop."

When Muslims "tasted" the Islam, they would be completely satisfied. May Allah make us among those who understand the beauty of Islam. May Allah make us learn Islam and be perfect Muslims. May Allah protect us from being someone who does not care about Islam and does not appreciate the value of Islam.

Sometimes we do not know the value of Islam but a politician in US, a scholar in Japan, and an Australian, a Hindu, a German, or a French change their religion and follow Islam wholeheartedly.

May Allah Help us. The calamity of Dajjal is extremely huge; he calls people to requests of their ego. Since Islam promotes controlling one's ego, he does not like Islam. Instead, he likes the ways of Kuffar and Satan.

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May Allah protect us from great calamities. May He make us among those who liked by Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) said (fasbutû yâ ibâdallah) "Hold on your religion very tightly and step firmly so that you will not get slipped away."

May Allah make us among those who practice the Islam and who help the way of Allah.

May Allah be happy with all of you.

I would like complete today's discourse with a saying which is attributed to the Prophet:

(Al faqru fahrî) "Material poverty is my honor." Alhamdulillah, we do not receive any funds from any source. We are not involved with improper transactions. We are having some financial difficulties with the broadcast, but we should not complain.

As Salaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu

March 3, 2000 -- Brunei

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