Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad COSAN

AKRA FM Friday Discourse

January 12, 2001

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THERE WILL BE A TIME...

As-salâmu 'alaykum wa rahmatullàhi wa barakâtuhû!..

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May peace, mercy, grace and blessings of Allah be with you. I would like to read three ahadith from the first volume of the book Ramuz-al-Ahadith which was authored by the great Sufi master Ahmad Ziya-addin Gumush-Khanawi.

a. Believers will Conceal their Belief

The first hadith was narrated by Jâbir RA and included in the collection of Ibn-i Sinnî (Rh.A). The Prophet said:

RE. 504/1 (Ya'tî alan-nâsi zamânun yastakhfî fîhimul-mu'minu kamâ yastakhfil-munâfiqu fîkum alyawm.) Sadaqa rasûlullàh, fî mâ qàl, aw kamâ qàl.

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All of the ahadith on this page start the same way because this book is lists the ahadith in the alphabetical order. The Prophet provides information about some events that will happen in future: (Ya'tî alan-nâsi zamânun) "There will be a time in future (yastakhfî fîhimul-mu'min) in which the believer will conceal his belief (kamâ yastakhfil-munâfiqu fîkum alyawm) just like a hypocrite concealing himself among you today."

Why will it happen? As the Day of Resurrection draws near, the society, the people will be corrupted. The ethical values will be reversed. The immorality will be rampant, and people with good manners will be belittled. The moral corruption will be praised, and good things will be presented as evil. Then the value of the belief will not be appreciated. Hence, a believer will feel like a stranger in the society. In another hadith the Prophet said. "Islam started as a stranger (gharib) and will end as a stranger. How nice to be among the strangers (ghuraba)."

Gharib is a person who is away from his hometown, family, relatives and friends. A gharib Muslim is a Muslim who lives in a society in which he has no friends or loved ones to understand him or to support him. He is not recognized or known in the town.

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When the society gets corrupted and evil people dominate, a believer will conceal his belief. Because he is maltreated when he reveals his belief, he chooses to hide his belief.

The Prophet also points to a similarity: During the time of the Prophet, some disbelievers disguised themselves among the believers and acted like the believers because they were afraid of the Muslims. They did not truly believe in Islam, but they acted as though they were good Muslims.

There are two levels of hypocrisy: The first one is the hypocrisy in belief. Such a hypocrite is more dangerous than a disbeliever who does not disguise his disbelief. One could be cautious about a disbeliever, but a hypocrite is not recognized and could pose great dangers to the Muslims.

There is verse in the Qur'an about the hypocrites:

(Innel-munâfiqìna fid-darkil-asfali minan-nâr) "Verily the hypocrites are in the deepest levels of the hell-fire." (Nisâ: 145) That means, they will enter Hell and suffer the severest tortures.

The second level of the hypocrisy is in the deeds. A person could be a believer with good intentions, yet every now and then he will commit offenses that are not expected of a believer. He regrets afterwards and repents. He fails to behave like a sincere believer.

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During the time of the Prophet, some companions would come and ask him if they became hypocrites. When the prophet questioned they they would say, "When we are with you, we have great feelings in us. We feel showered with spiritual blessings and joys. Yet when we go home, we do not have the same feelings. We indulge in worldly matters." They thought they became hypocrites because they could not maintain their spirituality at all times. They felt ashamed when they did something which is not proper for a true Muslim.

Such instances are called hypocrisy in deeds. When they turn away their wrong deeds and start doing good things, then it is expected that Almighty Allah forgives their offenses because He is the Most Forgiving and He covers the shortcomings and misdeeds. He can admit these servants into Paradise. In essence, these servants are believers despite their offenses.

During the time of the Prophet, there were hypocrites of the first kind. They were angry at the Prophet and his companions. They concealed their anger because they were afraid they would be in a difficult state among the companions of the Prophet. The state of a Muslim mentioned in the hadith will be similar to the state of the hypocrites during the time of the Prophet.

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This means that the society will be corrupted so much that when a believer reveals his belief, he will be in a difficult state. We can see such examples in Chechnia, Russia, Kosovo, and in the Greek part of Cyprus. Once these lands were ruled by Ottomans; people lived in peace, then. Later, Muslims living on these lands were forced to change their religions and names. They were killed if they resisted.

When Russians invaded Turkistan, they committed grave atrocities. There was Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan where many Muslims were educated. Muslims living there were killed and tortured. Under the occupation of Russians, Muslims had to conceal their beliefs.

Andulisia in Spain was ruled by Muslims for seven hundred years. After some political turmoil, Christian rulers dominated. They committed grave atrocities against Muslims there. Some Muslims had to conceal their belief.

May Almighty Allah save us our freedom and independence. When there is no freedom, it becomes extremely difficult to practice Islam. May Almighty Allah grant us the means to live Islam without hesitation or fear of persecution, at all places, at all times freely.

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b. Satan will have a share in children

The second hadith is also from the same page. It was narrated by Abû Hurayrah RA and included in the collection of Abush-Shaykh:

RE. 504/4 (Ya'tî 'alan-nâsi zamânun yushârikuhumush-shayâtìnu fî awlâdihim. Qìla: A wa kâ-inun dhâlika yâ rasûlallah? Qàla: Ne'am. Qàlû: Wa kayfa na'rifu awlâdanâ min awlâdihim? Qàla: Biqillatil-hayâ-i wa qillatir-rahmah.) Sadaqa rasûlullàh, fî mâ qàl, aw kamâ qàl.

The Prophet said: (Ya'tî 'alan-nâsi zamânun) "There will be a time that (yushârikuhumush-shayâtìnu fî awlâdihim) Satan will have a share in children of people." [That is, Satan will be the father of some children.]

As you know, if a person starts eating food without saying basmala, i.e., if he does not start in the name of Allah, Satan will eat from his plate and drink from his cup. As Satan shares a person's food, it can be a partner in his children, too.

(Qìla: A wa kâ-inun dhâlika yâ rasûlallah?) Upon hearing this, the companions asked in amazement: "Is this really going to happen o Prophet of Allah?" (Qàla: Ne'am) The Prophet said, "Yes." (Qàlû: Wa kayfa na'rifu awlâdanâ min awlâdihim?) They asked, "How do we distinguish our children from the children of Satan?" (Qàla: Biqillatil-hayâ-i wa qillatir-rahmah.) The prophet said, "You distinguish them from the lack of shame and lack of mercy."

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This means that the children of Satan has no shame, no manners, no mercy. They destroy, kill, torture and commit all kinds of crimes. Their face will be like the sole of a shoe that never turns red. The lack of shame and the lack of mercy are the two indicators.

How do we save our children? How do we avoid the partnership of Satan on our children? First of all, the wedding has to be an Islamic one. Islamic rules and traditions must be observed in weddings. If these rules are violated, if the alcohol is consumed, if other types of offenses are committed for the occasion of the wedding, it will be an invitation for Satan. The lack of wudu, basmala and prayers before the consummation of the marriage would make Satan a partner on children. We must start everything in the name of Allah. We must think about the consent of Allah when we do anything. That will bring goodness and abundance for us.

You must have seen on television that when Europeans push a recently build ship into the water, they break a bottle of champagne hitting on the body of the vessel. They do it because it is their tradition. Besides, in their belief, drinking alcohol is not a sin. They drink wine in the church and dip bread in it then eat it. It is the way they are. On the contrary, when we complete building a ship or inaugurate a factory, we say "Bismillâhi Allàhu akbar!" We slaughter an udhiya and give it to the poor, and get their prayers. We recite verses from the Qur'an or read it entirely. When we open our business in the morning, we start in the name of Allah. I have seen in many stores signs that read something like:

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Every morning this store is opened with basmala,
Our guide and master is a great personage.

Each occupation, each line of business had a great personage who was considered to be the guide and master in that field. Still the store owner, the small businessman, respects that personage and opens his store in the name of Allah. He asks for good and wholesome sustenance. He integrates his worship with his business life. He makes wudu and offers two units of prayers before he leaves for a trip. He takes a full bath before he does something good.

Anything that is initiated in the name of Allah and with the purpose of gaining the consent of Allah turns out to be good and wholesome. Our tradition, history and literature has countless samples of this. Sulayman Chalabi pointed this in his Mawlid:

Allah adi olsa her ishin' ?n?,
Hergiz ebter olmaya ânin' sonu!

That means, if a work is initiated in the name of Allah, with the words "Bismillâhir-rahmânir-rahîm," then it will be completed successfully. It will not fall short. We do everything with basmala. We get into our car with basmala and turn the ignition on with basmala. We start eating food with basmala, so we benefit from it well.

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If a wedding is initiated in the name of Allah and if the marriage is consummated with basmala, then the couple will get good things out of their married life. Their children will be good persons. They will take good care of their parents when the parents grow old. They will be hardworking individuals that serve to their families, their society and the whole nation. Their parents will be proud of them and pleased with them.

We ought to keep the consent of Allah in mind when we do anything. We must begin in the name of Allah so that we get the maximum benefit from our work and efforts.

c. Corruption of Intentions

The third hadith for today's discourse is, too, from the same page. It was narrated by Hadrat Ali ibn-i Abû Tâlib RA and recorded by Abû Abdurrahman as-Sulamî. Hadrat Ali is a great person, like the sun in the sky, a crown on our heads. Abû Abdurrahman as-Sulamî is a great scholar and Sufi. Our beloved prophet said:

RE. 504/7 (Ya'tî 'alan-nâsu zamânun hammuhum butùnuhum wa sharafuhum matâ'uhum wa qiblatuhum nisâuhum wa dînuhum darâhimihim wa danânîruhum, ulâ-ika sharrrul-khalqi lâ khalâqa lahum 'indallàh.)

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This hadith, too, describes what will happen as the Day of Resurrection draws near: (Ya'tî 'alan-nâsu zamânun) "There will be a time that (hammuhum) the purpose of people in life will be (butùnuhum) their abdomen."

Here abdomen could mean two things. The first one is the stomach. That is, the main worry of people will be filling up their stomach. The second one is the sexual desires. That is, people will be prisoners of their sexual desires. All they will think is how to satisfy their desires. This is of course a terrible state because a person must have high and wholesome ideals and try to reach high goals.

The hadith continues: (wa sharafuhum matâ'uhum) "Their honor will be based on their wealth and property." The more they have, the richer they are, the more honorable they are. It is not like this at all in Islam: One who has god-consciousness has honor. One who has pure intentions and tries to carry out his responsibilities has high value; on the other hand, one who is indulged in misdeeds, has no value despite his wealth and rank in the society. The Prophet pointed that people's values will change; they will pay respect to the rich because of their wealth.

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The Prophet continued: (wa qiblatuhum nisâuhum) "Their qibla, i.e., the direction they turn to, will be their women." They admire and worship their women. They think about them all the time. Their goals in life will change; they will go after their sensual desires. (Wa dînuhum) "And their religion will be (darâhimihim wa danânîruhum) their silver and gold coins." That is, they will value money more than anything else. They will do anything for money.

In such a time, materialism and sensualism will dominate, and people will be far away from virtues, spiritual values, and high ideals. It will be a terrible state for people. The Prophet warned: (ulâ-ika sharrrul-khalqi) "They are the worst of the khalq." Khalq means "people" in a limited sense, yet it also means "everything Allah has created." Sometimes people call a person with the name of an animal the person does something unpleasant. In fact, an animal is sinless; Almighty Allah has created it that way to serve a purpose. Man could be lower than animals when they commit offenses. As this hadith indicate, "they are the worst of the creation." The hadith continues: (lâ khalâqa lahum 'indallàh) "They will have nothing good to receive from Almighty Allah."

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Our ideals and aims must be high. We must turn our attention and our concentration to deserving the consent of Allah. We have to keep our life in this world pure, and we must sincerely work for the hereafter, so that we deserve the happiness in this world and in the hereafter. This must be our worry.

The honor of a person must be built on his knowledge, his efforts, and his virtues. A person could be poor; he may make a living by collecting wood and selling it like Yunus Emre. Yunus Emre was one of the most honorable persons. A person becomes valuable with his spirituality, richness of his heart, strength of his belief, and with the purity of his heart. He may not have any money; he may live in a makeshift shelter or in a cave. The truth of the matter is that the honor lies in god-consciousness,

Verily, a person loves his family and friends; this is encouraged in Islam. However, this love alone should not be the purpose of life. It should not exceed the love for Islam and for Allah. The purpose in life must have a merit in the sight of Allah.

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If the purpose of life for a person becomes making more money, that person could do anything for money. He can even "sell" his father and betray his nation. This is terrible, too. We should not give up virtues or high ideals for some meager worldly gain. We should not give them up for large sums of money, either. Praise be to Allah, there are good people who would say, "I cannot accept any bribe! I cannot exchange my ideals for money!" May Allah keep them on this earth and make them dominate and rule in this world.

A person must be strong and trustworthy. He must not give up his religion for money. Otherwise, he will be the worst of the creation, and he will be deprived of the good things in the hereafter.

May Almighty Allah keep all of us, our families, our offspring, and our nation with our belief, our ideals and virtues. May He protect the Ummah. May He give us the will and strength to unite against the oppressors. May He provide us with the means to help the oppressed nations. May He grant us His guidance, strength and victory.

As-salâmu 'alaykum wa rahmatullàhi wa barakâtuhû!..

January 12, 2000 - AKRA

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