بسم لله و بالله و الحمد لله وكفى وسلام على عباده الذين اصطفى
In the name of Allah, by Allah, all praise is due to Allah, and peace be upon those servants of His whom He has chosen
Hadrat al-Shaykh / al-Sayyid al-Muhtaram:
The pulpit of our beloved Prophet (s) is a station of mercy, and the words that flow from it are to guide society in establishing this mercy. The khutbah, the Friday sermon, is a nasihah, a reminder to the believers of their responsibilities, of enjoining good and forbidding evil. It is to inform the mu’minun of the ills in society such that when they arise from their musallas they are actively seeking cures and means to alleviate these ills. Our honorable khutaba’ (Friday preachers), especially those coming from immigrant backgrounds, whilst deserving of commendation regarding their efforts and attempts, are unfortunately not up to par when discussing matters concerning our immediate society. We have been exhorted by the Messenger of Allah (s) regarding the gravitas of our duties to those proximal to us:
لَيْسَ الْمُؤْمِنُ الَّذِي يَشْبَعُ وَجَارُهُ جَائِعٌ
“One is not a believer who satiates their own needs whilst their neighbors are left hungry”
In America there is great hunger, such that if we neglect it the status of our ‘iman, our faith is at risk. This hunger is of both the physical and metaphysical kind, one concerns human dignity whereas the other concerns poverty. America is a deeply divided nation, wherein racial injustice as well as income inequality are systemic afflictions. Our black brethren are treated as lesser than human by the powers that be; they are constantly subjected to unfair treatment, and violently dealt with at abnormal rates by the police. Our faith came to liberate all of humankind, to unlock our potential as the Almighty’s khulafa’ on earth; this discrimination is against the very essence of our core understanding of creation. Likewise, these powers that be have transformed our government to function as a protection racket for the wealthy, singularly protecting their interests, such that the poor have been excluded from any and all considerations. The poor are denied their God-given right to even a semblance of a pleasant existence. Islam in complete contrast tells us to firstly protect the interests of the weakest in society, the orphans and the widows, the poor and the displaced. Islam commands the wealthy to share what they have, for those ‘whom are without’ have a right over them.
While maintaining a concern for the issues affecting the Muslim-dominated world is definitely needed, the lack of discussion on local issues here in the West, specifically the aforementioned two, is a disservice to the prophetic pulpit. Thus, we respectfully advise our Imams, our Shuyukh, to consider including these two matters of concern in their weekly Friday sermons, to make them necessary additions, and if they are in need of education on these matters to reach out to the following organizations:
Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative
Muslim Community Center for Thaqalayn
Islamic Relief USA
(amongst many others)
We hold true that “the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets” (العلماء ورثة الأنبياء), thus in this period in time when America is facing such pain and anguish, it is imperative that our pulpits deliver that prophetic medicine of mercy, of justice. Our Friday prayer Imams must take full advantage of their positions and establish control over societal discourse. In a materialistic land ever so bereft of ethics and values, Islam can and should deliver that missing guidance. For this to occur, our respected khutaba’ must turn their attention upon the land on which they are standing, and by doing so their speech will blow the air of haqq, of life, into the gasping lungs of this nation, awakening its conscience from the slumber of apathy.
رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْراً وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانصُرْنَا عَلَى القَوْمِ الكَافِرِينَ
“Our Lord! Bestow on us endurance, make our foothold sure, and give us help against those who deny the truth”
Concerned American Muslims