This is a revision of a khutbah I delivered in 2003.
As Allah (swt) says in the Quran Sharif in Sura Ar-Ra’d:
‘alladhena ‘aamano wa- tat ma’inn qulob -hum bi- dhikr ‘allaah ‘a-laa bi- dhikr ‘allaah tatma’inn al- qulub
Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction
And in a hadith reported by Muslim sahih hadith and narrated by Uqbar ibn Amir:
We were entrusted with the task of tending the camels. During my turn, when I came back in the evening after grazing them in the pastures, I found Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) standing and addressing the people. I heard these words of his: If any Muslim performs ablution well, then stands and prays two rak’ahs thinking about them with his heart as well as his face, Paradise will be guaranteed for him.
And in an other hadith Abdullah Ibn Abbas reports that
“He (saw) saw (Allah (swt) with his heart”
The heart (the core of our personality) is the storage place for knowledge and wisdom, and it can guide us along the path towards God’s pleasure.
The heart however can be afflicted by disease that causes it to be preoccupied by the love of life and lust rather than the love of Allah. Each and every one of us needs to inspect his heart carefully to diagnose any affliction, and search for cures.
laa jaram ‘anna ‘allaah ya’lam maa yusirrun wa- maa yu’linun ‘inna -hu laa yuh.ibb al- mustakbirin
Undoubtedly Allah does know what they conceal and what they reveal: truly He loves not the arrogant.
And arrogance is but only one of these diseases that afflict the heart. To clear our hearts of any afflictions we need two things:
First ask for God’s guidance – In Surah Al Fatiha we pray, “Ihdi nas siraat al-mustaqeem,” “show us the straight path”. If we have sincerity in this request it is the key to God’s acceptance. Remember the hadith I spoke of just now “thinking about them with his heart” these words are for us to heed it is a great blessing from Allah (swt)
Second, exert the effort to identify the ailments (IE make the diagnosis) and the effort to avoid the deeds and sins that fill the heart with impurities (the curse).
So read the above again! Two things are necessary, asking AND exertion!
For it is narrated by An Numan bin Bashir that the prophet (saw) said:
Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.
Amongst these ailments that spoil the heart are: Anger (rage), Envy, Stinginess, Ostentation, Love of Jaah (position and power), Arrogance.
To understand a deed we have to understand the role of intention,Umur bi mukhasibiha which means “actions are known by their intentions” or “intentions determine the worth of a person’s deeds.”
Intentions reside in the heart and Intentions are the sole determinant of the worth of one’s deeds – the same act can be judged as a neutral, or a sin or a good deed depending on intention.
Bukhari and Muslim both report a hadith of Rasul Allah (saw) “He who is inclined towards an evil deed but does not carry it out is rewarded by Allah for one full measure of good deed.”
This is the person just about to commit a sin but is interrupted from doing so. – He or she is prevented from actually committing the sin by an external factor, not out of any fear of Allah (swt). Therefore this person has still earned a sin because of the intention, as if he or she had actually completed his sinful deed
I leave you with the following advice:
Always look into your heart and inspect your real intention before performing an act.
May God help us restrain our anger and pardon people.
May God help us do good and be charitable.
May God help us forgive and overlook
and Allahu Alim – Allah knows best
ADDENDUM – on Anger
A minimum level of anger should exist to protect oneself and belongings, this anger should however be tempered. To succeed in moderating anger one should always be reminded of three points:
First – Train yourself not to get too attached to worldly possessions and keep your necessities to a minimum.
Second – Remember that Allah is the boss. His will dominates. For instance, if you wanted a certain job, but was not successful, remember that this is God’s will and there must be a good reason for that, though it might not be obvious to you at the time, in any time frame, we only see a small part of a bigger picture.
Third – On a physical level you could help moderate this anger by following the prophet’s advice (pbuh) (as narrated in Al Tirmithi & Al Bukhari):
If one feels anger becoming him he/she should:
If standing – sit down
If sitting – lie down
If lying – make abolution or have a shower
This is good advice for all of us. When anger afflicts a person, he/she tend to move forward – by addressing this motion you curb the anger.
wa- saariiu ‘ilaa maghfirah min rabbkum wa- jannah ‘ard-haa as- samaawaat wa- al- ‘ard. U’-iddat li- al- muttaqin
‘alladhena yunfiqun fi as- sarraa’ wa- ad.- d.arraa’ wa- al- kaaz.imin al- ghayz. wa- al- ‘aafin ‘an an- naas wa- ‘allaah yuh.ibb al- muh.sinin
Al Imran verses 133-134: “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord and for a garden whose width is that of the heavens and the earth prepared for the righteous. Those who spend freely in prosperity or in adversity Who restrain anger and pardon all men. For God loves those who do good.”
Said Ali Ibn Abu Talib asked a slave for warm water to wash his hands. The girl who was young and inexperienced poured boiling water onto his hands which burnt them. He got very angry and was about to strike her when she reminded him of this aya and he restrained his anger, pardoned her and set her free.
Rasul Allah (saw) said:
“One who, in spite of having the ability to avenge, controls his anger, will be singled out, and called by Allah, the Holy, the Exalted, over and above the multitude on the Day of Judgement.”(Al-Boukhari)
A man asked the prophet for advice. He (saw) said
“Do not be overpowered by anger”, the man repeated that three times and the prophet’s answer was the same three times (Al Boukhari)
Abu Baker (ra) was being insulted by a man and he kept quiet until he could no longer take it and answered back.
Rasul Allah (saw) got up and left at that point and later, when Abu Bakr asked why he left he said:
“When you were silent the angels answered on your behalf, but when you started answering the angels left and Satan came and I could not sit in the same place as Satan”
Islam does not advocate turning the other cheek, but it strongly advocates the control of tempers and the cleansing of anger which is a disease of the heart.