Mohamed Haroon Sait
May 20, 2016
I hope everybody is doing good today. I am having two kinds of feelings. As Sheikh said we had two guest speakers planned, he couldn’t make it so I got a free upgrade. The second feeling I have is I’m a little nervous because I have to fill in his shoes, and inshaa Allah I hope that I will be able to share something that will be beneficial for you inshaa Allah. Jazakallah khairan, Sheikh for the invitation. Thanks to the organizers, the shurah members of the masjid, and all those sisters and brothers who put together this wonderful event. Alhamdulillah, this is very timely as we are just a few days, about two weeks approximately away from Ramadhan. Alhamdulillah, there is no better topic than the Qur’an to talk about at this time because as Ramadhan hits, as Ramadhan comes closer, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) also made du’a, Already Sha’ban we are already asking Allah, “Ya Allah, give me Ramadhan. Give me the blessings of Ramadhan.” We are already in the mindset, and there are so many brothers and sisters who already planned vacation for the last ten days, so they can sit in i’tikaf or they can spend time in the masjid the last ten days in the qiyamul lail and all that. Masha Allah this is already the time people have made preparations, making preparations. May Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) give us Ramadhan, and also help us prepare so that when we finish Ramadhan, we come out different, we come out changed, and a new life starts with new resolutions inshaa Allah.
My topic today is the rights the Qur’an has upon us. There are five rights that the Qur’an demands from us, five basic rights the Qur’an demands from us. One, we have to believe in the Qur’an the way it has to be believed. The Qur’an is not just any book. It is not a book that is like any other book that we read or study in college or school. It is the Book, the Kalam, the Words of Allah, the Creator of the universe. It is a book, it is the verses, it is the speaking of our Rabbul izzat. It is not just any other book. Allah says in Surah Ar Rahman, one of the sifaat of Allah, The Most Merciful, immediately after that Allah said, (Holy Qur’an – 55:02) “He taught you the Qur’an.” And then Allah says 55:3,4. The Qur’an first, so the Qur’an is a Book that Allah (SWT) sent down to mankind, not just Muslims, but to mankind.
All the prophets before Rasulullah (SAW), Isa (alayhis salaam) when he was calling people to Allah, he had miracles with him. He could raise people from the dead. He could just say, “Get up by the permission of Allah.” A man who died in the Bible, it says in detail. In Al Imran, we can see Allah says that. He could raise people from death. In the Bible, we can see the story where a man died by the name of Lazarus. When Isa (AS) came back from town, he asked about Lazarus. They said, “He died three days ago.” “Why didn’t you tell me?” They said, “You were not here.” “Take me to his grave.” They said, “Okay.” They took him to the grave. He said, “Remove the cover. Remove the stone from the grave.” They said, “It’s three days, it might be stinking. It might be smelly.” “Remove it.” He said, “Lazarus.” He raised his hand, in the Bible, he said, “Oh God, I know You hear me all the time, but for people to now that You have sent me, Lazarus, get up. Come out.” He just got up from there. But this miracle, people who were with him at that time, they saw it. They saw him talking to Allah, and telling Lazarus to get up, and Lazarus got up, but their children didn’t see that. For them, they will say, “My dad told me that when he was with Isa (AS), Isa (AS) told Lazarus to get up, and he got up.” Their children will say, “My grandfather saw this,” and then it gets diluted after sometime.
Musa (AS) when he came to Fir’aun, Fir’aun said, “You are a magician. This is nothing. I have magicians, they can do the same thing. They can throw a stick, and make it a snake. It’s not a big deal.” He said, “Okay, bring your magicians,” so they set a date, and all the magicians came. They said, “Fir’aun, will you reward us if we defeat Musa?” He said, “Of course, I will reward you, and you will become my closest ones. You will become my mukarrabun.” Musa (AS) went to the field with Harun (AS), and the magicians said, “Musa, do you want to throw or do we throw first?” Musa (AS) said, “You throw first.” He threw a stick, and their sticks became snakes and they started moving. Allah said, “Don’t worry. Put your stick.” When he threw his stick, it ate up everything, and the magicians immediately fell in sujood and said, (Holy Qur’an – 20:70) “We believe in the Rabb of Harun and Musa.” The people who saw, who were there, they saw the miracle, but the next generation didn’t see that. “My dad was with Musa (AS). He saw Musa throwing the stick, and then the stick ate the snakes.” The next generation said, “My grandfather saw it.” Now it is an incident but we don’t see that, but the Qur’an is not like that.
The Qur’an is a miracle that is 1,430 plus years ago when it was revealed in Makkah, in Hijaz to the Quraish. It is a miracle that we still have it in our hands, we can touch and feel, the same thing, that is the difference between the Qur’an and the other miracles. The Qur’an is with us, and it will stay with us forever. It will stay with us till the Day of Judgement, it will be there for people who want to get close to it. They will see the miracle. It’s not like the stories that happened at the time of Musa, or the stories that happened at the time of Isa. It’s a miracle that is with us all the time. We need to believe in the Qur’an the way it deserves, it demands us to believe. It is the Word of Allah (SWT). It is the kalam of Allah (SWT).
The second right the Qur’an demands from us that it has to be recited the way it has to be recited, that takes time, that takes effort to learn the rules to recite the Qur’an. When the Qur’an is recited beautifully, it hits our hearts. It makes changes in our hearts, just recitation, without even knowing the meaning, the Qur’an knows us. There are things that happen in the past, I’ve heard a sheikh talking about this, Abdul Basit Abdus Samad, qari, he was once taken to Russia to recite the Qur’an. These people who are listening to the Qur’an are all non-Muslims. When he started reciting, they all put their heads down and most of them were weeping. They didn’t understand a single thing, but the Qur’an hits the heart. Why? Our ruh that’s inside of us, and Allah says,(Holy Qur’an – 17:85) ” They ask about the ruh, Allah said it is from My commandments. You had not been given except a little information, a little knowledge, that’s all.” This ruh comes from Allah, and the kalam of Allah also comes from there. The kalam of Allah hits the ruh directly because they come from the same source.
Recently, in YouTube I watched a video, it should still be there, you can go watch it. It’s in Spain, and I’m sure it is an Arab store. At least the section of the store that I saw is a meat section. There is a small player sitting on top of the meat section, and it is playing the Qur’an. This old man who must be in his 70s, wearing a jacket and a hat, he is standing there and weeping, listening to this. One of the brothers came out, he said, “What happened, brother?” He said, “What is this? It’s making me cry.” He doesn’t know anything about Arabic. He doesn’t know the Qur’an. He says, “It’s making me cry. It’s touching my heart.” Not a Muslim. “It’s touching my heart.” He’s showing like that. This is the Qur’an.
The third right that the Qur’an demands from us is that we understand what we recite, we understand what we read. In Surah Fatihah, at least 17 times a day in Fard Swalah 1:16 “Oh Allah, guide us in the Right Path.” 1:17 “The Path of those people who earned Your pleasure.” (Holy Qur’an – 1:18) “Not of those people who You were angry upon, or not of those people who went astray.” We pray this 17 times a day minimum. If you’re praying sunnah then Immediately after that Surah Baqarah starts, (Holy Qur’an – 02:02) “This is the Book.” “There is no doubt in it.” “There is guidance for God-conscious, for those who are conscious of Allah.” And Allah said, “And the conditions,” (Holy Qur’an – 02:03) “Those people who believe in the unseen.” “Who establish regular prayer.” “And who give to charity what We have given them.” (Holy Qur’an – 02:04) “And those who believe in what was revealed to you, Muhammad (SAW).” “And those that was revealed before you, Injeel, Torah, Zaboor,” “And in the Akhirah, they are certain about it. For them, the Qur’an is guidance.” Akhirah is certain. What is the quality of such people? Every step they keep physically and all decisions that they make, they have two choices. Is Allah going to be happy with this? Is Allah going to be upset with this? Am I doing the right thing to please Allah (SWT)? Is this halal? Is this the right way or the wrong way that I am doing? Akhirah is in their hearts all the time.
When you meet a brother, you look at his face, you are controlled by a certain degree of Akhirah that if I mistreat this brother, I will lose that. If I treat this brother nicely, I can earn it. When I shake it, I say, “Assalamu alaikum, brother,” from here. “How are you doing?” You try to see how I can help this brother, how I can be nice to this brother. What good can I do, not how I can fake myself because I will lose that. Every step that we do is controlled by our certain degree of Akhirah. When we sleep, we are controlling our thoughts. We will not let our thoughts go astray. Bring it back. Astaghfirullah. Something back comes to mind? Astaghfirullah. Rechannel it. Astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah. Even thoughts, we monitor it, we control it because we know we have certainty that that’s the place to go. We don’t want to do anything that will displease Allah because Allah knows what’s inside of you. People only know what you do but Allah knows what’s inside of you, what’s going through your mind. We are human beings, the bad thoughts come, but we don’t dwell on it. We immediately chant “Astaghfirullah. No, no, this is what I am.”
Knowing the Qur’an is essential for an upright life. If you go to a store, let’s say you go to WalMart, there is a board that says, “Wet Floor. Take care. Beware of it.” If you don’t know then you just go and slip, but if you know the instruction, if you know what you are reading, you will make sure you will not fall there. You will be careful. Sheikh read in the first raka’at from Surah Hujurat. There are so many instructions in Surah Hujurat. Surah Hujurat said, “If factions of Muslims or individuals fight, have differences, go and make unity among them.” Instructions for all of us. If you know, this is a command from Allah, and you encounter an incident where you heard that Brother A is not in good terms with Brother B, then you will try your best to do something about it, not adding oil to the flame and separating them. Do not do that. Rather you will try to, because Allah said that, Knowing what is in the Qur’an, what the Qur’an is asking from us, telling us to do is important. Allah says in Surah Fatir, Sheikh, help me if I’m wrong, in Surah Fatir, Allah says, (Holy Qur’an – 35:28) “Certainly only those who are knowledgeable, only those who know will fear Allah.” If we don’t know what we are doing, if we pray without really knowing exactly what we are saying then it is not going to make a change in our attitude. It is not going to make a change in our behavior. Knowing what we say is important.
Knowing the Qur’an to the extent possible, there is no excuse because you have masajid where you house your youths, giving rest all the time, listening, learning in khutbah in other places all the time. On top of it, in this century, I can sit here and listen to a speech that happened in Durban, South Africa. I can listen from a sheikh who is sitting in Madinah. I can sit here and listen from a sheikh who is sitting in Karachi, Pakistan or anywhere. Knowledge is given to us. The avenue is given to us. Are we going to use that avenue to keep us busy with entertainment, or are we going to use it to learn and to progress in our deen and in our actions? It’s up to us. We have to decide.
The third thing that I said the Qur’an demands that we understand the Qur’an the way it has to be understood because the Qur’an did not come for melodious recitation, that was not the intent of the Qur’an, that was never the intent. Melodious recitation has benefits. Rasulullah (SAWS) encouraged us to recite the Qur’an melodiously, but that is not the end, that’s just a part. The end is hidayah, guidance. Guidance cannot come without knowing about it. An average student because I was a student sometime ago, in schools from first grade to 12th grade, we learn so many different languages and books. In college, we learn really big fact books, physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, all kinds of things. We learn in four years, I learned so many fact books. Each semester is six or seven books.
How much time do we give, percentage-wise, to the Book of Allah in our lifetime? Did we even give a fraction of the time to learn the Book of Allah? I come from India, we speak English because the British has taught us English, and we learned English from the British, and then we go to Britain and we teach them English. We became so excellent in English that we go to Britain and teach them English. What about Arabic, the language of the Qur’an? How much time did we spend to learn the Book of the language of the Qur’an? Did we spend a few hours a day or even half an hour a day consistently to learn the language of the Qur’an? Most people do not even have that in their agenda. It is very natural that a person, like me, born in India, we don’t speak Arabic there. We speak Hindi. We speak different local languages, but I know the Book of Allah came in a language and I need to learn that. Let’s say, if I was in India, I got a letter from Vladimir Putin from Russia in Russian, I’m going to make sure that I’ll get the letter translated and to understand exactly what he says before I go to bed. If Vladimir Putin sent me a letter, I cannot keep the letter and say, “Okay, fine, whatever.” No, I’m going to make sure that that letter is taken. I will go to people who know Russian language, translate it, make sure I understand if he asks me to do something.
Allah sent us a Book. Did we reduce that Book during the 30 days of taraweeh? I hear the Qur’an. Good, is that it? What about the commandments Allah said? Allah said, (Holy Qur’an – 03:110) “Enjoin good, forbid evil.” The commandment, you heard that while you’re reciting but you didn’t understand what it is. You just moved on. You just moved ayah after ayah, and these are instructions Allah said do this, do this, do this, and you are enjoying the recitation. “Good, good. Masha Allah. Qari did really good.” You left taraweeh, and you didn’t understand a single thing. You did not change. The third thing is understanding the Qur’an the way it deserves. First is belief in the way it demands, recite the way it demands, understand the way it demands that we understand, and then the fourth one is practice what we understood. The Companions of Rasulullah (SAWS), we owe them a lot. They changed by the Qur’an in a way that has no parallel anywhere. Omar Khattab (radhiallahu anhu), he used to say that his father, Khattab, was a very rude and rough man. He did not even trust that Omar (RA), in the Jahilliyah times, to take care of his camels. His father is not even happy that he is not even capable of a few bunch of camels, and that Omar (RA) became the emperor, amir, of a land vast that Arabs, especially the Quraish of Makkah, couldn’t even think about it. It was beyond their comprehension. On one side, Rome was the empire, and the other side is Persia, two big empires. Omar, Persia is down. A person who could not even take care of his camels, his father said, is now the emperor of a vast expanse of land, and expanding. Why? Qur’an.
The Qur’an changed them as never before, and that Qur’an’s miracle is still with us. It’s not like the miracles of Isa (AS). It was there then gone. Not like the miracles of Musa (AS), it was there then gone. No, still there, that’s the benefit of understanding and practicing the Qur’an. When you read the Qur’an, when you come across the story of Yusuf (AS), and you understand the fitnah or the tests and trials that Yusuf (AS) had to go through. When you hit that situation, when you come to a situation like that, immediately you will remember what Yusuf (AS) did, that will become your shield. When you hear and learn about the man in the court of Fir’aun who stood up and defended Musa, in the court of Fir’aun, the dictator who can chop off your head. This man stood up and said, “Are you going to kill Musa just because he said “radhiallah? his Lord is Rabb? His Lord is Allah?Are you going to kill him?” Fir’aun had to back up.
When you read that, when you come to a situation like that, it tells you, “You know what? You are not alone. This has happened in the past.” It strengthens you. You are reading the Qur’an. Allah says,”Allah is not unaware of what you do.” Immediately you’re sitting and thinking, “Really?” And that also makes you happy. When you do good things, Allah says, “I am not unaware of what you do.” In the inside, you will say, “I am happy. I am glad that you assured me that you know that. You know what I did because I did something good.” Nobody knew about it. It was a contract between me and Allah. When you read the Qur’an’s verses, “I know that. Don’t worry. I have it in My Books. It is there.” You are happy.” Now you want to go back and do more because Allah said it is in His Books, Allah knows about it. This Qur’an, the more you get close to it, it energizes you, inspires you, strengthens you, makes you a different person. Practice what you understood.
The last one, propagate the Qur’an to others. The Qur’an did not come for Muslims alone. Allah says,in many places. (Holy Qur’an – 02:21) “Oh you people, oh mankind, worship Allah who created you and those before you.” How can we hold the Qur’an to myself and not share with others? How can I not pass this on to others? Allah calls this humankind, “Talk to people.” Rasulullah (SAWS) said, “The best among you are those who understand the Qur’an, learn the Qur’an and teach it to others.” Do we need any other certificate? Not those who got a job in a big company, that’s not success, maybe a little bit of success here, but Rasulullah said, “The best among you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it others.” Allah says in the Qur’an, (Holy Qur’an – 16:125) “Invite all to thy Lord’s Way with wisdom and beautiful preaching.” It’s a command from Allah passing on Qur’an to others is our duty.
As I said, in my closing, the sahabah, the Companions of Rasulullah (SAWS)`, they took the message from Rasulullah, and they traveled to all parts of the world to deliver this message, and we owe it to them. If not for them doing that, this masjid wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be here. It’s a fact. If they didn’t do that, this masjid wouldn’t be here today, and we’re not going to be here. They became the tools, the means that Allah spread the deen far and wide. I was telling Sheikh, I was in China last month. I took a picture of one of the mosques. There are four masjid in the city I went to, it’s called Guanzhou. Guanzhou is near Hongkong. Four big masajid, I went and prayed in one of the masjid. They said that that masjid is 1,350 years old meaning the sahabah or tabe’een have arrived in that time. There was no plane. There was no train. There was no car. There were no paths. They strive and struggled until they reached there. When I was riding in a taxi, I saw a masjid, I have a picture in my phone, it says Masjid Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqas. They said that it was built at the time of Sa’ad (RA). I don’t know if he went there or not.
I come from India in a state called Kerala, about two hours from my home is the masjid called Masjid Malik Dinar. This is the first masjid in the whole Indian continent where it is said that the sahabi Malik Dinar had arrived. To deliver this message, what was that? What other motivation was there? These esteemed people and then they couldn’t sit. They took the trouble to travel and venture out all directions to deliver. Now we are sitting in a beautiful country, in a really good country where we have the freedom of expression, where we can do all kinds of things, it is upon us whether we will take the baton from them, and pass it on to the others. We have to do the job.
I end, once again, thanking Allah (SWT) and also the organizers, Imam especially, calling me and asking me to share a few thoughts. Jazakallah khairan. May Allah bless you. If there is anything as da’wah that we can do inshaa Allah, we’ll always be available. The ICC South, and the American Islamic Outreach has always worked hand in hand, and we are always available for you for any kind of thing in the future, inshaa Allah. Jazakallah khairan.