Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Chastity

Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Chastity

– by Imam Al-Madinah Al-Munawarrah Husayn ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Aal Sheikh
from the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, Rabee’uth Thaanee 22, 1422 (July 13, 2001)

The Transcript:

All praise is due to Allah. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad (SAW) is the Messenger of Allah. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! The religion of Islam was revealed complete in order to perfect Allah’s blessings on mankind, and guarantee the highest form of grace and kindness. It orders that conditions be improved, and that people be generous. It warns against useless and time-wasting speech and actions. It brought all that can beautify the slave of Allah, and decorate him, and all that can distance him from anything that may defile him and disgrace him.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“Allah is generous and gracious, and he loves the generous, gracious people, and He loves the ones who strive to better the state of affairs and He hates useless and time-wasting speech and actions.” (At-Tabarani)

One of Islam’s greatest goals is to establish the abstention from what is forbidden, create virtuousness, purity and to implant good-doing and charity in the community, and the distancing from vice and indecency. And from here Islam has been careful to distance people from their animalistic desires and Satanic manners.

Allah says,

“And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste until Allah enriches them of His Bounty.” (Surah Al Nur 24:33)

Allah also says,

“But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Surah Al Nur 24:60)

Ibn Abbaas narrated in his account of Abu Sufyan and Caesar,

“Abu Sufyan said, ‘And he (Muhammad (SAW)) orders us to worship Allah without associating any partners with Him and forbids us from worshipping that which our forefathers worshipped, and he orders us to perform prayers, give charity, be chaste, keep our promises, and to return trusts to their rightful owners.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

At-Tirmidhi relates that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“The first three to enter paradise were shown to me: A martyr, a chaste person, and a slave who perfected his worship of Allah and remained faithful to his master.”

The chastity of Islam is what restrains the human behaviour from deteriorating into the following of despicable desires. It looks after one’s interests, curbs one’s desires and prevents one from slipping into error and lack of discipline. This chastity finds expression in human decency and there appears in it purity, and human virtue.

This chastity is related to the achievement of manhood and authority. At the time one’s spirit is strengthened by performing good deeds, good personal manners, good habits, leaving behind the filth and immorality, tolerating its observance in keeping up good habits, and leaving the degrading and despicable.

Islam concentrates on the foundation of chastity to protect honour and majesty. At that time the human will remain strong-willed, and courageous. So don’t yield to your desire, and don’t obey it.

Brothers in Islam! If we talk about these above-mentioned descriptions in Islam, they are self-evident for the intelligent open-minded person. They glorify the good things of this religion and have raised its learning to a dignified position. One may look in different countries of the world which we know today. Chastity has been lost, and it is darkened by shamelessness and immorality, and no one shows any respect, people have rough manners, and disgraceful practices, knowing no honour or chivalry, and bearing no characteristic of courtliness or kindness. Freedom to follow desires, legalisation of transient things of the world, and a loss of humility and decency, no disgust from immoral or unlawful deeds. What do you think brought about this dissoluteness? What caused these manners which left chastity behind and destroyed purity and humility? It was brought about by immorality whose damaging effects know no limit and result in various pains, hurts and sorrows, and destructive conditions.

O slaves of Allah! The Shariah was revealed in order to bring about chastity, purity and the spreading of humility and virtue on the individual level as well as on the level of society. It’s definitive orders came specifically to the Faithful Muslims, and to the Muslims generally to guard their chastity.

Guarding chastity from immorality is one thing that can purify the soul, bring peace to nations, and maintain security.

Allah says,

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts.” (Surah Al Nur 24:30)

Allah praised those who guard their chastity, and made that a sign of supreme success. Allah says,

“Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayers in all solemnity and full submissiveness. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden). And those who pay the Zakat. And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts.).” (Surah Al Mu’minun 23:1)

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“Whoever guarantees for me (that) what is between his legs and what is between his two beards (i.e. between the left and right sides of his beards: meaning his mouth)[i.e. will perform no act of indiscretion]. I guarantee for him paradise.” (Bukhari)

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also said,

“If a woman prays five times daily, and fasts her month (of Ramadan), and guards her chastity, and obeys her husband, it will be said to her, ‘Enter Paradise by any door you like.’”

Fellow Muslims! The greatest thing that destroys this guard of chastity is fornication, so it is one of the biggest sins and greatest transgressions. Ibn Al-Qayyim said,

“In His book, Allah specifically labelled the association of partners with Him, fornication and homosexuality, with impurity and filth… and no sin is worse for the heart and religion than those two great sins – fornication and homosexuality – and for them is a characteristic in distancing the heart from Allah. If the heart acknowledged them, it is distanced from Allah.”

And Allah warned against fornication and described its awful description and it’s result of utter destruction, He says,

“And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse – and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide there in disgrace. Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds…” (Surah Al Furqan 25:68)

Allah also says,

“And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a transgression of Allah’s limits, and an evil way.” (Surah Al Isra’ 17:32)

Fellow Muslims! Fornication is incompatible with the characteristics of the faithful believer and repulsive to the pious and the God-fearing. Allah says,

“The adulterer marries not but an adulteress or a Mushrikah (polytheist woman) and the adulteress none marries her except an adulterer or a Mushrik (polytheist man). Such a thing is forbidden to the believers.” (Surah Al Nur 24:3)

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“When the fornicator is committing fornication, he is not a believer.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

And Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also said,

“If a slave of Allah commits fornication, his faith leaves him through his head and when he turns away from her, his faith returns again.” (Abu Dawood)

O slaves of Allah! Fornication is usually associated with the performance of other acts of disobedience to Allah and it guarantees all forms of harm. By way of fornication, mortal diseases become prevalent in the community, and different kinds of afflictions and trials appear, and the good god-fearing family is non-existent, blessings become scarce, not to mention the estrangement and enmity between human beings, the spread of multifarious diseases.

O slaves of Allah! Listen, then, to the light of the Prophet Muhammad’s revelation; it speaks about these evil effects and warns against these dangers and evils. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“My nation will remain well as long as there is not a prevalence of children born out of wedlock, and if there is such a prevalence they will be on the point of receiving Allah’s punishment.” (Ahmad)

And the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“If there is a prevalence of fornication and usury in a nation, they have legitimised for themselves the punishment (of Allah).”

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also said,

“(Allah’s) covenant is never broken in a nation but there spreads amongst them killing, and there never appears immorality in a nation until it is announced to me except there spreads among them plague and diseases that were not known in past generations…” (Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim, Adh-Dhahabee)

Fellow Muslims! Remember that fornication is but a few moments pleasure which people are driven to by their base whims and desires, and its perpetrator shall be punished. It is a short-lived pleasure, yet it’s long term effects are evil. Fornicators are swift to laughter, but remain disgraced and dishonoured, and Allah is angry with them.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said during part of a longer narration,

“Whenever the Prophet finished the (morning) prayer, he would face us and ask, “Who amongst you had a dream last night?” So if anyone had seen a dream he would narrate it. The Prophet would say: “Ma sha’a-llah” (An Arabic maxim meaning literally, ‘What Allah wished,’ and it indicates a good omen.) One day, he asked us whether anyone of us had seen a dream. We replied in the negative. The Prophet said, “But I had seen (a dream) last night that two men came to me, caught hold of my hands, and took me to the Sacred Land (Jerusalem). There, I saw a person sitting and another standing with an iron hook in his hand pushing it inside the mouth of the former till it reached the jaw-bone, and then tore off one side of his cheek, and then did the same with the other side; in the mean-time the first side of his cheek became normal again and then he repeated the same operation again. I said, ‘What is this?’ They told me to proceed on and we went on till we came to a man Lying flat on his back, and another man standing at his head carrying a stone or a piece of rock, and crushing the head of the Lying man, with that stone. Whenever he struck him, the stone rolled away. The man went to pick it up and by the time he returned to him, the crushed head had returned to its normal state and the man came back and struck him again (and so on). I said, ‘Who is this?’ They told me to proceed on; so we proceeded on and passed by a hole like an oven; with a narrow top and wide bottom, and the fire was kindling underneath that hole. Whenever the fire-flame went up, the people were lifted up to such an extent that they about to get out of it, and whenever the fire got quieter, the people went down into it, and there were naked men and women in it. I said, ‘Who is this?’ They told me to proceed on. So we proceeded on till we reached a river of blood and a man was in it, and another man was standing at its bank with stones in front of him, facing the man standing in the river. Whenever the man in the river wanted to come out, the other one threw a stone in his mouth and caused him to retreat to his original position; and so whenever he wanted to come out the other would throw a stone in his mouth, and he would retreat to his original position. I asked, ‘What is this?’ They told me to proceed on and we did so till we reached a well-flourished green garden having a huge tree and near its root was sitting an old man with some children. (I saw) Another man near the tree with fire in front of him and he was kindling it up. Then they (i.e. my two companions) made me climb up the tree and made me enter a house, better than which I have ever seen. In it were some old men and young men, women and children. Then they took me out of this house and made me climb up the tree and made me enter another house that was better and superior (to the first) containing old and young people. I said to them (i.e. my two companions), ‘You have made me ramble all the night. Tell me all about that I have seen.’ They said, ‘Yes. As for the one whose cheek you saw being torn away, he was a liar and he used to tell lies, and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So, he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection. The one whose head you saw being crushed is the one whom Allah had given the knowledge of Quran (i.e. knowing it by heart) but he used to sleep at night (i.e. he did not recite it then) and did not use to act upon it (i.e. upon its orders etc.) by day; and so this punishment will go on till the Day of Resurrection. And those you saw in the hole (like oven) were adulterers (those men and women who commit illegal sexual intercourse). And those you saw in the river of blood were those dealing in Riba (usury). And the old man who was sitting at the base of the tree was Abraham and the little children around him were the offspring of the people. And the one who was kindling the fire was Malik, the gate-keeper of the Hell-fire. And the first house in which you have gone was the house of the common believers, and the second house was of the martyrs. I am Gabriel and this is Michael. Raise your head.’ I raised my head and saw a thing like a cloud over me. They said, ‘That is your place.’ I said, ‘Let me enter my place.’ They said, ‘You still have some life which you have not yet completed, and when you complete (that remaining portion of your life) you will then enter your place.'”” (Narrated Samura bin Jundab:  Sahih Bukhari Book #23, Hadith #468)

So fear Allah, O slaves of Allah, and stick to His orders, and stop at His limits, and you will prevail, you will win and be happy.

Brothers in Islam! If the way of straightpath is not easy for a Muslim, and it is not easy in today’s world, and if the ways of immorality are widespread and multifarious, then the faithful Muslim urgently needs to remember that The Creator can always see Him and pursues a revival of fear of Allah. And Muslims can be reminded by the Prophet Muhammad’s words,

“Allah will shade seven in His shade on the day when there will be no shade but His shade… (and one of them was)… a man who is approached by a beautiful woman, and he said, ‘I fear Allah.’”

So see, O you who have reached a respectable advanced age, it is the time of the youths and it is filled with sin and wrongdoing, remember the greatness of the affair and the result of a bad end to life and the life after death. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“On the day of Judgement, there are three groups of people whom Allah will not speak to, nor make them flourish, nor will He look at them, and for them is a painful torment: an old man who commits fornication, a king who is a liar, and a poor people who are arrogant” (Muslim)