Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Reflect On Other Creatures’ Worship

Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Reflect On Other Creatures’ Worship
– by Imam Al-Haramain Sheikh Saud ash Shuraim
 from the Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, Rabi’ul Akhir 14 , 1423AH (July 5th, 2002)

The Transcript:

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

Fellow Muslims! The Almighty Creator created this universe with His knowledge and wisdom and created in it all that exists of the angels, men, jinn, animals, plants and other things which none but He knows. He created all these for a single purpose that all acts of worship should be solely His, that all these beings should affirm His Lordship and actualize all acts of worship for Him alone; and that they should admit their helpless, submission and their need for Him alone. Hence, the actualization of worship for Allah alone cannot be properly achieved except by obeying Him and standing firm on the right path that the religion may be Allah’s, that judgment may be His and that all calls may be to Him. This duty can be carried out only by those whom Allah has made successors in and inhabitants of the earth and that cannot be achieved by man except through words of the tongue, deeds of the heart and the limbs.

Also, real act of worship cannot be actualized in the best form except by completely and absolutely surrendering and submitting to Allah with utmost love for Him. Therefore, the best man in actualizing worship to Allah is the best in submission and surrender to Him. Worship in essence, is the religion and the only acceptable religion before Allah is Islam.

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be among the losers.” (Quran 3:85)

This is the purpose of creating the creation. Allah also says,

“And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they may worship me.” (Quran 51:56)

He also says,

“Did you think that We created you in play (without any purpose) and that you would not be brought back to Us?” (Quran 23:115)

He says, while rebuking a group of mankind who were heedless of the lessons inherent in the universe around them,

“And how many a sign in the heaven and the earth they pass by, while they are averse thereof. And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him.” (Quran 12:105-106)

SubhanAllah! Do they not see the illuminating stars, and the revolving orbits which all are subjected to the Command of Allah? How many are adjacent places, gardens, mountains, seas and waves that are on the earth, yet they ascribe daughters to Allah and worship others beside Him. Glory be to the One God Who created all the creations.

In view of this, the wise person will be highly surprised to see the matters of this universe turning upside down and see man turning away from worshiping Allah Who created him and being occupied with this finite world, after Allah has honored him, made him travel in the land and in the sea, favored him above many of His creatures, and endowed him with many blessings. With all this, yet man is arrogant, disbelieves, misbehaves, is stingy and argues. Allah says about him in this situation,

“Verily, man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer.” (Quran, 13 :34)

“And man is ever miserly!” (Quran, 17:100)

“But man is ever more quarrelsome than anything.” (Quran, 18:54)

“Nay! Verily, man does transgress (in disbelief and evil deeds), because he considers himself self-sufficient.” (Quran, 96:6-7)

What is however suitable for this man who has been endowed with the above great favors is to be an obedient servant of his Lord not an arrogant rebel, to be grateful and righteous and not ingrate wrong-doer. When one ponders over many of the creatures in this universe one will realize that, there is no creature who is given the like of attention that man is given.

Rather, all things are made subservient to man. Allah says,

“And He has subjected to you all that is in the earth; It is all as a favour and kindness from Him.” (Quran, 45 :13)

He even subjected the angels for the service of man. He made some of them record their deeds, some protect them from their front and rear; they protect them from the Commands of Allah; some are subjected to sending wind and rain. Likewise, Allah makes among their major duties, seeking for forgiveness for men. He says,

“And the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask for forgiveness for those on the earth.” (Quran, 42:5)

In spite of all this, all these creatures perfect their worship except man. They perfected their submission to Him and their subjection to His Might save some creatures like devils, some sinful jinn and some animals like gecko about which the Prophet, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, said,

“Kill gecko, for it blew fire on our father Ibrahim” (Ahmad)

However, these creatures are less sinful than man; for it was among men the one who said, “I am your highest Lord” , there was among men those who say “Allah is Jesus son of Mary” , and that “Allah is the third of three gods” and those who say, “Appoint for us a god as they also have a god”, and those who say “Allah is poor and we are rich” and similar words of blasphemy.

This is how man transgresses to the extent that we hear those who say that religion should be separated from state, that there should be no religion in politics and politics in religion; there are also some who say that, “religion is for God and the nation is for all” or “leave what is Caesar’s for Caesar and what is God’s for God” or those who describe religion as backwardness and Islamic legal punishments as barbarism or describe Islam as a restriction on woman and unjust to her or believe that her freedom lies in her revolt against the limits of her Lord and her proclamation of her disobedience to His Law, thereby making her an object of theft for every thief and wrong-doer and making her body an object of temptation and commerce.

Those are some of the sayings of man. Compare this to the stance of the accursed Satan as narrated to us by our Lord in His Book; did he say anything as grievous as what man says? Did he say more than that he would mislead the children of Adam and saw his race as superior to that of man and failed to prostrate for the one who was created out of clay. He even told some men,

“Verily, I see what you see not. Verily, I fear Allah, for Allah is severe in punishment.” (Quran, 8:48)

How great is the transgression of man, his arrogance and evil plot!

“But the evil plot encompasses only him who makes it. Then can they expect anything (else) but the sunnah (way of dealing) of the people of old? So, no change will you find in Allah’s Sunnah and no turning off will you find in Allah’s Sunnah” (Quran, 35 :43)

Almighty Allah emphasizes the reality of man’s disobedience among other creatures and his disdain from worshiping Allah who created him,

“See you not that whoever is in the heavens and the earth, and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees and all living moving creatures, and many of mankind prostrate themselves to Allah. But there are many men on whom the punishment is justified. And whosoever Allah disgraces, none can honor him. Verily, Allah does what He wills.” (Quran, 22:18)

This verse indicates that most men are disobedient to their Lord, disdainful and erring.

Fellow Muslims! In order to reach a common goal, that is to worship Allah alone, and in order to know that there are negligent and disdainful ones among us, and to make note that anyone who does a righteous deed among us feels big by that and convince himself and his society that he lives in serenity, uprightness and guidance and that he has carried out his obligation, therefore, he needs not to improve; in order that, we may belittle our deeds, however righteous they may be, it is better that we give examples on some of the creatures of Allah and in the course of that know the wide gap between their worship and obedience to Allah and that of us human beings.

Among that is the religious zeal that Allah has created in non-living things when man wants to violate the thing which Allah has made sacred. In the hadith, a corpse was carried past the Messenger of Allah, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, and he said, “Going to rest and giving rest to others” He was asked, “What is going to rest and what is giving rest to others?” The Prophet, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, said, “When a believing slave dies, he goes to rest from hardship of this world and its harm into the mercy of Allah; but when the sinful slave dies, all men, the land, the tree and all living animals are relieved.” (Al-Bukhari)

See how the tree and moving animals get hurt by a sinful man and the corruption, destruction and flagrant disobedience that he causes on the earth whose repercussion does not affect the man alone.

Conversely, some living animals get elated by man’s religiosity and its blessing on the earth, hence they supplicate for him and ask Allah to forgive him.

The Prophet, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, said,

“Indeed, Allah and His angels, and all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, even the ants in her hole and the whale, do invoke blessing on the man who teaches good to people.”

The moving animals even become afraid of the Day of Resurrection because of its horror. The Messenger of Allah, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, said,

“Every moving living animal listens attentively every Friday out of fear of the Day of Resurrection.” (Ahmad)

There is even a report about the cock’s worship and call to good. The Messenger of Allah, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, said,

“Do not abuse the cock for it calls to prayer” (Ahmad).

He also said about the horse,

“At every dawn, each Arabian horse is permitted to make a supplication saying: ‘O Allah!! You have subjected me to whom you wish among men, so make me one of his dearest household and properties.’ It would then be said: ‘The invocation of this horse has been answered.’ “ (Ahmad)

As for the ants; they are one of the nations that glorify Allah in spite of their smallness and man’s disdain for them. Allah said about them,

“Till when they (Sulayman an his hosts) came to the valley of the ants, one of the ants said: O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Sulayman and his hosts should crush you while they perceive not.” (Quran, 27:18)

The Prophet, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, said about it, “An ant bit one of the Prophets of Allah and that Prophet ordered the ants village to be burnt. Allah then revealed to him, ‘Was it because of the bite of an ant that you ordered a whole nation that glorified Allah to be burnt?!’”

As for the tree, Allah says about it,

“And the stones and trees both prostrate themselves to Allah” (Quran, 55:6)

The Prophet, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, said, “There is not any pilgrim who makes the talbiyah except that it makes it with Him from his right and left every rock, tree or clay.”

As for rocks and the trees’ friendship to the believers, that shows the depth of their worship to Allah and their enthusiasm for His religion, the Prophet, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, said,

“The Hour will not come until Muslims shall fight the Jews and kill them. When a Jew hides behind a rock or tree, that rock or tree will say, ‘O you Muslim, O you slave of Allah, here is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’ “ (Al-Bukhari)

 Fellow Muslims! See how these afore-mentioned creatures and others worship Allah and glorify Him. See how the mountains fall out of fear of Allah. See how it refused to carry the trust for the fear of her Lord. See how it crushed to pieces when our Lord showed Himself to Musa (Alayhis salaam). Allah also informed us that if the Quran had been revealed on it, it would have fell asunder out of fear of Allah. It is therefore very surprising that man whose heart is just a lump of flesh can be harder when hearing the words of Allah, and remains arrogant as if he has not heard it and will not be soft for the recited signs of Allah. But Allah says the truth when He says,

“Have they not traveled through the land, and have they hearts wherewith they understand and ears wherewith to hear? Verily it is not the eyes that go blind but the hearts which are in the breasts that go blind.” (Quran, 22:46)

Brethren in faith! A wolf made a surprising statement at the time of the Prophet, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, which indicated that it believed that provision comes only from Allah.

Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri narrated, “A wolf attacked a goat and took it. The shepherd then followed that wolf until he snatched the goat from him. The wolf then said, ‘Won’t you fear Allah? You are taking away from me a provision that Allah has sent to me?’ The shepherd said, ‘What a wonder! A wolf addressing me with the language of men!’ The wolf then told him, ‘Should I not tell you of what is more wonderful than that? There is Muhammad in Yathrib, telling people news of the past.’

In another narration by Bukhari: People said, “Glory be to Allah, a wolf speaks?” The Prophet,Salallahu alayhe wa salam said, “I believe that, so do Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.”

Fear Allah, dear Muslims! Give Allah His due estimation. Feel the impact of the worship of non-living things, the plants and the animals though they are lesser than you as regards favor of Allah. Know that you are negligent in your obedience to Allah however much you try and that you are unjust however just and perfect you claim to be. For, mankind’s farness from knowing the reality, their lack of certainty on the Commandments and prohibitions and lack of overriding their lusts; all these need a greater struggle more than that of other creatures who glorify Allah and obey Him.

Fellow Muslims! Recognize the honor given to man by making him successor on the earth. Protect this jewel with real obedience to Allah. Keep away from sins and negligence, and beware lest the sins lead you to destruction,

“Thus it is, and whoever honors the symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the hearts.” (Quran, 22:32)

“But none is granted it except those who are patient and none is granted it the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter).” (Quran, 41:35)

The more one humbles himself before and shows his total submission to Allah, the more he is honoured. And the happiest of men is the greatest in actualizing the worship for Allah.

The Prophet, Salallahu alayhe wa salam, said, “Allah says, ‘O son of Adam, devote yourself for My worship, I will fill your heart with wealth and remove your poverty but if you do not do that, I will fill your heart with occupation and I will not remove your poverty.’ “ (Ibn Majah)

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