Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Deeds of the Hearts

Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Deeds of the Hearts
– by Imam Al-Haramain Salih bin Humayd
from the Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, Ramadan 20, 1424 (November 14, 2003)

The Transcript:

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allah and be dutiful to Him. Be always conscious of Him and be grateful to Him. Obey Allah for you cannot live without His blessings and humble yourselves before Him for you cannot find a way out of His authority. Allah says,

“… And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:235)

Dear Muslims! Allah favours His slaves with seasons of blessings in which the reward of good deeds are multiplied and in which sins are erased. They are seasons in which people compete to do good deeds. He who purifies his soul in these seasons will succeed and he whose end goal is this earth and prefers the pleasure of this worldly life will lose.

Dear brethren! This month of yours is the best of all months. It is the month in which the Quran was revealed. In this month, gates of Paradise are open and gates of Hell are closed. Fasting of a Muslim in this month will intercede on his behalf on the Day of Resurrection and mouth odour of the fasting Muslim is more pleasant to Allah than the aroma of musk.

This month of yours is that of the Quran, alms giving, generosity, Taraweeh and night prayers. Your Lord describes the month as countable days, indicating by that the speed with which it ends and alluring to its importance in the eyes of righteous and diligent worshippers. You are now approaching its last ten days, which are the best days of the month. Have you reviewed your deeds? Advance forward, O seeker of good, and refrain from misdeeds O seeker of evil. For there are ones that Allah will liberate from Hell in this month.

Brethren in faith! Among things that help in self-examination is looking into the deeds of the heart, the situation of the heart in relation to the Quran and its concentration during remembrance of Allah. He whose aim is the Hereafter, Allah will bless him with concentration in all that he does.

Dear brethren! Deeds of the heart are acts that sincere and serious worshippers aim at achieving, for they are the foundation of all deeds. Deeds of the limbs are dependent on them. Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said,

“Deeds of the hearts, like loving Allah and His Messenger, reliance on Allah, worshipping Him with sincerity, thanking Him for His favours, bearing His decisions with patience, fearing Him and hoping for what is with Him are all part of the foundations and pillars of the religion.”

He also said,

“People are of different categories as far as deeds of the hearts are concerned: there are some who wrong their own souls, there are those who do moderate good deeds and there are those who are in the forefront in righteous deeds by the permission of Allah.”

Fellow Muslims! Deeds of the hearts are some of the most important and best acts of worship. They are obligatory acts at all times and upon every Muslim. They are the most emphatic parts of faith. For soundness of the body is dependent on the soundness of the heart as reported in an authentic hadith. The Prophet said,

“Indeed, there is a piece of flesh in the body, if it is sound the entire body is sound and if it is contaminated the entire body is contaminated: it is the heart.”

Certainly, acts of worship done with the heart are greater and more consistent than the ones done with the body, and soundness of body movements depends on the soundness of heart movements. If the heart is sound and flourishing with love of Allah, love of what Allah loves, fear of Allah and fear of what Allah detests, movements of the body will also be sound.

Dear brethren! While you are now in the noble month seeking nearness to Allah with your righteous deeds, you should take two great things into consideration for they are strongly related to deeds of the heart and serious self-evaluation. These two things are: sincerity in acts of worship and being conscious of Allah.

As for sincerity in acts of worship, it is the essence of faith. Sincerity in acts of worship encompasses all acts of righteousness and their degrees. Sincerity encompasses all branches of faith and deeds of the heart. This is so because the Messenger of Allah said,

“Al-Ihsan (sincerity in acts of worship) is to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him.”

Hold fast unto sincerity, for Allah loves sincere good-doers. Exert efforts to attain it for Allah loves the sincere good-doers. And the reward of sincerity in good deeds is nothing more than good.

Sincerity demands that man perfects his actions with sure knowledge that Allah is seeing him and his deeds.

As for the quality of being conscious of Allah, it is the heart’s knowledge that Allah is nearest to him. Whoever is conscious of Allah in his secret, Allah will protect him in the public.

Fellow Muslims! You are now in the last ten days of Ramadan, which are the best and the most blessed days of the month. Whoever endeavours to attain the Laylatul-Qadr and prays in that night with faith and a hope to achieve the reward from Allah, all his past sins will be forgiven. Also, it is an opportunity for self-examination.

Dear brethren! Examine deeds of your hearts for that is a habit of the sincere worshippers of Allah and a manifestation of absolute humility to Allah. Allah says,

“Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah- Islamic Monotheism) to be affected by Allah’s Reminder (this Quran), and that which has been revealed of the truth….” (Surah Al Hadid 57:16)

Humiliation for Allah in acts of worship makes one revere Allah, love Him and show one’s helplessness before Him. The more the heart is concentrating in its reverence for Allah, the humbler it becomes. The hearts only goes astray if it forgets Allah’s watchfulness over it.

Concentration in acts of worship means standing of the heart before Allah in absolute humility and helplessness. Concentration is tenderness of the heart and if the heart is concentrating, the limbs follow. The Messenger of Allah used to say in his bowing,

“O Allah, I humble for you my ear and my eye and my brain and my bone and whatever my feet stand on.”

Concentration of the heart is its freedom from filthy thoughts and intentions that emanate from following the desires. For whenever the heart humbles itself, all manifestations of haughtiness, arrogance and self-importance will disappear.

Fellow Muslims! Degrees of concentration of the hearts vary according to their knowledge about their Lord and according to their understanding of the Attributes of Allah. So anyone who knows how close his Lord is to him and realises His knowledge of his secrets and conscience and His watchfulness of all his movements, will feel a real sense of shame in front of his Lord. If one’s heart perceives the greatness of Allah and His perfection, his love for Him and his yearning to Him will increase. If one realizes the power of Allah, His punishment and His sense of honour as regarding the things that He forbids, one will fear Him and become helpless before Him. Some predecessors said describing some righteous worshippers of Allah, “Their hearts are humbled for Him so they lower their gazes.”

The best act of humbleness and concentration in acts of worship is the one demonstrated by our Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him. When he would stand up for prayer, he would lower his head as a sign of respect for Allah and would not look here and there and would not talk. He would even be heard crying silently.

Fellow Muslims! Review your deeds and endeavour to have of the blessings of your Lord. Emulate the righteous servants of Allah who are sincere and worship their Lord in prostration and bowing. Their eyes flow in tears and their hearts and skins become tender at remembrance of Allah. Whenever Allah is mentioned the hearts become fearful and when His verses are recited to them they increase them in faith and their hearts finds peace with remembrance of Allah. In these blessed days, show Allah the good that is in you. Allah says,

“Those were they unto whom Allah bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nuh (Noah), and of the offspring of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Verses of the Most Gracious (Allah) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping.” (Surah Maryam 19:58)

Brethren in Islam! The righteous deed is any deed that the heart performs and with which it feels peace, fear of Allah, submission to Him and with which it feels helpless before Him. Some righteous predecessors said, “He whose heart submits to Allah in humility, Satan will not come near to him.”

Fellow Muslims! If the preacher is reminding the Muslims of good deeds and to be conscious of Allah in this blessed month, where then is the piety of the religious ones who are believers, hope for the blessings of Allah, fear His punishment, love what Allah loves and hate what He hates? Where is then their piety as regards harming male and female believers and spreading fear and shedding the innocent blood? Or do they want to make themselves a fuel for a directionless crisis? What is the purpose of this evil crime in which women and children were killed in the sacred month of Islam and in the capital city of a Muslim state? These individuals have killed innocent souls and destroyed properties. In what way can this crime be justified? What is that ideology that snatched these young men from the houses of their fathers and mothers that are Islamic homes and turned them into perverted individuals that perpetrated these heinous crimes and killed innocent and armless souls in their homes?

The keen observer will find a similarity between the men, women and children who are murdered in Palestine and have their homes and properties demolished and between men, women and children who were killed in Riyadh and had their homes and properties demolished. The terrorist Israel perpetrates mischief in Palestine and these individuals perpetrated mischief in Riyadh. The terrorist Israel hates the Muslims in Palestine and it kills them, confines them and expels them. Now what do these murderers wants by the crime they committed in Riyadh? Do they share the same goal with the terrorist Israel whose main goal is to kill as many Arabs and Muslims as possible and create a violent and unstable atmosphere? Is there any coordination between both killers? Even if any coordination is ruled out, can we rule out penetration and brainwashing? Or is it only a new crisis that is already revealing its ugly head? May Allah forbid.

The entire society should raise its voice and unite to protect this land and its residents from killings and destruction. For the resultant harm and perdition will not leave out anyone.

The responsibility lies on all and not on security agents alone. War against this perverted ideology should be open in all aspects of this Ummah, though the mass media has a special role to play. The citizens should also play their roles as real partners. The mass media should show the citizens realities of events in their true forms and not in the form it wants them to see it. The matter should be dealt with seriously and all impediments should be removed so that the country will be able to employ all its energies and that of its citizens properly. These acts are criminal and they should be confronted by all. Though it is undisputable that the criminal should be made to face the consequences of his crime, the very ideology that leads them to that crimes should also be confronted with a counter ideology, for word is use to confront a word.

Fellow Muslims! Fasting is protection. So perform it that you may be pious. Fasting guards its performer against idle talk, obscene utterances and false statements. If the fasting Muslim is prohibited from behaving in an undesirable manner, shouting or insulting anyone, how can he then kill or cause mischief?

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