Sermon given by Yaser Ali
At the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley (ICNEV)
..[Arabic].. That he guided you on the guidance of his “rahmah” (mercy) on the month of Ramadan. [Arabic]. And that you may be thankful. That you may be grateful for his bounties upon us. Allah (SWT: Glorified and Exalted One) has given us so much in this month of Ramadan. This is the day that is known as [Arabic]: the day of prize giving. Because in the month of Ramadan, you planted the seeds of goodness. You planted the seeds by fasting in the long hot days of the Arizona summer. You stood in Qiyam, in Taraweeh, you recited Qur’an. You made du’aa (supplication). You paid zakat. You gave charity. You were good to those around you. We avoided that which was haram (sinful). So for that, Allah SWT promises the reward today. Allah SWT promises us an abundance of reward. That’s why they say. [Arabic] That the Eid isn’t just for the person who wears new and nice clothes, but the Eid is a celebration for that person who in the month of Ramadan increases their good deeds.
For that we thank Allah SWT. We praise Him. We say Allahu Akbar (God is great), Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. [Arabic] The Prophet (pbuh: Peace be upon him) of Allah SWT where he said when he said [Arabic] that the fasting person has two delights. Two delights. The first is at the time he or she breaks his fast. Now each day, when we were thirsty, we were tired. We were hungry. At the end of the day, when we had that first date. When we had that first sip of water, how much it quenched our thirst. How much we appreciated it. That’s that “farha” (joy). But the important point isn’t just that it was a momentary delight, but that it made you forget all the difficulties that preceded it. And so this day of Eid, is supposed to be a celebration. The fatigue, the exhaustion, the exertion that we made and put forth to Allah SWT, that part is gone. The reward sustains. The reward remains. So this, [Arabic] that delight when they break their fast, here today is a community when we collectively break our fast on this day of Eid [Arabic], and the delight when that person meets their Lord.
Imagine all the difficulties of this world when that moment we get to meet Allah SWT, all of them are forgotten. Everything becomes worth it. Like a woman when she gives birth, all the pains of labor, of pregnancy, all of them are gone, because the result is there, and she has that tremendous love. So, Allah SWT promises us, the people that fasted and took advantage of Ramadan, that for them is true ‘farha’(joy). This day, today, and the day when we inshallah will meet our lord. And Ramadan, my respected brothers and sisters and elders taught us how to enjoy worshiping Allah. Look to subhanallah (the glory of God), we treat our religious duties outside of Ramadan as obligations. (Oh, I gotta pray, I gotta do this, I gotta do this, I didn’t do this), but in the month of Ramadan we treated them with excitement. I looked forward to going to the Mosque. I look forward to fasting tomorrow. So, Ramadan taught us how we can enjoy the ibadah (acts of worship) of Allah SWT. And this is something that I want you guys to remember here today. That Ramadan is over, but we can still enjoy the worship of Allah SWT. In Ramadan we fasted, the whole month. Your colleagues all thought you were crazy. And yet, every single day you fasted, from the morning to the evening, from food and drink in the middle of the summer of Arizona, and we enjoyed it. So Prophet SWT promises us that the one who follows Ramadan with six days in Shawal, they get the reward as if the entire year they were fasting. So we should resolve, because every deed is x 10, so 30 + 6 x 10 is 360, so the entire year of reward is given to us for fasting six days of this year, this month inshallah. We prayed taraweeh, inshallah, we were punctual with our salah (prayer). Let’s not give up on our salah, after the month of Ramadan. We came in for fajr. We shouldn’t make it that we came and prayed and now we don’t get up for fajr. But we should be punctual with our salah. We should populate the Mosque, just like you see it today. The spirit of Ramadan of community worship should be in existence all the time. And if we mutually support one another, “let’s go to the Mosque”, “let’s have these classes”, we will see that it will become easier. Just like it was easy in the month or Ramadan. We gave charity, we should continue to do so [Arabic]. The most beloved deeds to Allah SWT are those done on a regular basis, even if they are small. That one dollar a day to charity is worth so much to Allah. We made du’aa for our brothers and sisters, for ourselves, to our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Syria, around the world, today, and now is the day we follow that up with effort.
The prophet, one of the companions of the Prophet [Arabic], he was in the service of the Prophet PBUH, and the Prophet (pbuh) asked him, asked for something. Now imagine, imagine if we had one wish, what would we wish for? We all have these desires, what did he wish for? He didn’t wish for, you know, the best mansion, and the best car, and all this money, and good health. He didn’t even wish for Jenna (heaven). He was higher than that. He was a high level thinker. He said [Arabic]. The Prophet of Allah, oh Prophet of Allah, I want your companionship in paradise. He was a high level thinker, and the Prophet PBUH could have said, “sure, I will make du’aa”. But he said something to him, and I want you all to remember this point. He said [Arabic], assist me by doing lots of sajdahs (prostrations). So we made our du’aa for guidance, but we have to follow them up with effort. We made du’aa for guidance. We need to strive and struggle and make it a point to come to the masjid. We made du’aa for our brothers and sisters. We need to support them with our wealth by signing these pledge forms, by contacting our representatives. This is the follow up that is required. A person, if they sat home and they made du’aa for a job, didn’t submit their resume anywhere, didn’t apply, they wouldn’t get the job. So, similarly, the du’aas in Ramadan, they are not enough. They need to be followed up with actions and this is the time when we do those actions.
Ramadan was about Qur’an and in inshallah in this masjid we are going to start classes for tajweed. The sheikh and I will start classes on Hifz (memorization) for the children to memorize Qur’an, for adults to learn to read properly, and inshallah all of these things will take place. So stay in touch with the masjid, come and attend these classes. They will start very soon inshallah for your children, so that in a few years we will be producing young hifaz in this community inshallah. And this is the desire that everyone has in Ramadan. These good emotions, don’t let them die out after Ramadan, but let’s start immediately following it up. And in the month of Ramadan we avoided that which was haram. Listening to, speaking to, looking at, so let’s not waist it. Allah SWT says what [Arabic]. Don’t be like the woman who unravels the thread after she has already spun it. Right, so we put forth, we put a lot of effort. But let’s not waist it right after Ramadan. Shaytan (satan) was locked up for 30 days and he is coming back with a vengeance. He is coming back with a vengeance. It is much harder to come to the Mosque. It is much harder to wake up for fajr. It is much harder to read Qur’an now. But that’s the struggle. That’s the beauty that Allah SWT charged us up in this month of Ramadan. And if we continue and work for the sake of Allah SWT the deeds will become easy. The community will flourish and we will find tremendous good. [Arabic]. If you are grateful, I will surely increase my bounty upon you. May Allah SWT accept from us all and give us the honor after Ramadan. [Arabic]
Respected brothers and sisters, and elders in Islam. This is the day of celebration. This is the day of our Eid. You should take the day off of work. You should tell your boss that I have to celebrate Eid today. You should take your kids and buy them gifts, take them to Toys R’ Us. Buy them some gifts. Take them go-karting. Have fun with them. Tell your spouse that you love them. Have dinner with your family. Smile to one another. The sahaba (friends of the Prophet) after this Eid, they would embrace one another. They would say [Arabic], that may Allah forgive you and me. May Allah accept you and me. till after this salah and inshallah. Brothers, embrace the brothers, and sisters, embrace the sisters. Inshallah, meet new people. In the spirit of community, go up to 20 people that you don’t know today, give them a hug, say my name is this, what is your name? May Allah SWT accept from both of us. Such a beautiful thing in our religion.
Look at the diversity within the room. This is something, the day of celebration that we should make sure that our children enjoy this day. Don’t be like the people who say, you know, “ok we gotta go to Eid”, “we gotta go to Eid, and then I gotta go to work”. No, but celebrate it with your family inshallah, so that the children remember and enjoy this day.
But as we enjoy this day, let’s not forget our brothers and sisters who are struggling. The prophet (pbuh) said that, he said [Arabic]. That the believers are like one body. When the eye hurts, the whole body hurts. When the head hurts the whole body hurts. When you have a headache, you can’t just be chillin’. You got a headache. Your whole body becomes unable to do anything, and this is the example the believers are like one body.
Those who aren’t concerned about our brothers and sisters. They are not from amongst us. Today there is an entire industry that is vilifying Islam and vilifying Muslims. And saying that Muslims are the aggressors, Muslims are the terrorists, well in fact, so many Muslims are the victims all across the world. And we need to understand this. We need to make du’aa for this. There are people who are paid, even Muslims, who go on Fox News and speak ill against Muslims–who speak ill against our Muslim brothers and sisters. And we need to ask ourselves, this is something that is really a problem, and we can’t just complain, but we need to ask ourselves, do we love Islam more than they hate it?
We should ask ourselves this question. Do we love Islam more than they hate it? People have spent their careers attacking Islam. The Islamophobia industry is huge today. And their whole job is to vilify Muslims–make them look bad. Make the masajid, look bad. Well, in fact, how do we respond? Not just by complaining, but by taking proactive steps. By learning our deen (religion), right? If we are not able to articulate and respond points to these people, we need to learn our deen. We need to study our Qur’an. We need– there are so many– we need to come to the Mosque, we need to build positive Muslim communities. Invite our colleagues, our neighbors and say: “they don’t represent us”. “They don’t represent us”. We, the Muslim community represent one another.
And we care for our brothers and sisters in Palestine deeply. And that is why we have these petitions for you. That’s why we have these petitions because we care about our brothers and sisters who are being oppressed in Syria and Palestine in different parts of the world. We ask Allah SWT to have mercy on them. We need to pool our communal resources to do better responses against this Islamophobia industry that main stream media. We have people who are very eloquent. We have people who are good writers. We need to use these things. You know, write up opeds to the newspaper instead of just posting Facebook statuses, right? We need to engage, interact with our communities and inshallah engage our representatives, and most importantly we need to learn our deen. The most important thing is we need to learn our Qur’an. We don’t know what our Qur’an says. So when they mis-quote our Qur’an, we are not able to respond. So inshallah let’s all make that niyah (intention). Let’s all make that intention that I am going to study my religion. I am going to make my children and teach them my religion and then use whatever gifts Allah SWT has given, me for the sake of deen.
Everyone has that intention inshallah? (audience responds “inshallah”). So let’s make that our intention. And if you can’t do it, but Allah blessed you with wealth, then support these institutions. Support these institutions, these masajid, those advocacy organizations like CAIR and others who are supporting Muslims and Muslim civil rights around the country. We need to support these groups.
So inshallah, this is the opportunity. We leave with this high in the month of Ramadan. Let’s not let it die down, but lets keep engaged. Let’s engage and fasting six days and come to the mosque and stay, like this beautiful community that we have established. Lets not let it fall apart after Ramadan. So inshallah, this is the day like I said, as we finish this the khutbah (sermon), after the khutbah, make sure you embrace 20 people you don’t know here today. Introduce yourself to them, introduce yourself to them and say may Allah SWT forgive you. May Allah SWT have mercy on you. And may Allah SWT accept our deeds. We ask that Allah SWT that all the efforts we made in this month, that Allah SWT accept them from us. Whatever fasting we did that ya Allah, it was hot in this month of Ramadan. It was Arizona summer, but I fasted for you Allah, so accept it from me. Make it a means, a protection from the hell fire for us. May Allah SWT make us a community of Qur’an. May Allah SWT make us a community that loves one another, that is a positive example for the community outside of us for our neighbors, for our friends, for our colleagues. May Allah SWT bless each and every one of you. And like I said before: enjoy this Eid with your family. Buy them some gifts and say I love you to your spouse and to your family. Call on your relatives that you haven’t called in awhile and smile at one another. Eid Mubara