By Sheikh Abdul-Bari ibn Awwad al-Thubaiti - 24 Muharram 1437
His Eminence Sheikh Abdul-Bari ibn Awwad al-Thubaiti, may Allah preserve him, delivered the Friday Khutbah entitled, “Islam Protects Humanity,” in which he talked about the concept of humanity and showed how Islam protects and calls to it, shedding light on its objectives and requirements in the light of Islam. He then touched on the acts that distort and smear humanity, providing textual evidence to this effect from the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the statements of Muslim scholars.
Praise be to Allah. Praise be to Allah, Who created man and taught him eloquent speech. I praise Him, Glorified be He, and I thank Him for the blessings of guidance and faith. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has no partners, the Most Generous, the Most Great, and the Bestower of favours in abundance. I also bear witness that our master and prophet, Muhammad, is His servant and messenger, who was a man of grace and benevolence. May Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon him and upon his family and Companions, as long as the sun and the moon follow each other in succession.
I advise you and advise myself to fear Allah. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allah)]." (Al ‘Imran: 102)
Allah created man, honoured him, and made him unique in his form, qualities, and responsibilities. Man is a combination of soul, reason, and body; Allah created him from clay and breathed into him the soul that He made for him:
"And (Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: “I am going to create a man (Adam) from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. So when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves to him." (Al-Hijr: 28-29)
Allah created man in the best stature and implanted deep inside him moral values, feelings, and tastes. Those who perceive the significance of the status of the soul, the heart, and emotions can better realise the concept of humanity, which derives its rules and values from Islam. Islam has protected humanity through establishing prescribed legal penalties, whose main goals include safeguarding the rights of individuals. Islam has also refined and elevated humanity to a lofty position within the framework of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. The closer a man gets to his Lord through prayers, acts of worship, and supplications, the more elevated and sublime his humanity becomes. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"And seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayers) …" (Al-Baqarah: 45)
He also says:
"...Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of wicked deed) ..." (Al-‘Ankabut: 45)
Allah, Glorified be He, also says:
"Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it ..." (At-Taubah: 103)
These acts of worship exercise a profound influence on man, for they develop in man the values of patience and sincerity, prompt him to acquire praiseworthy morals, and rid him of despicable qualities.
Islam seeks the perfection of humanity by reviving man’s awareness of Allah’s constant presence. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"Nay! Man will be a witness against himself [as his body parts (skin, hands, legs, etc.) will speak about his deeds], though he may put forth his excuses (to cover his evil deeds)." (Al-Qiyamah: 14-15)
If man restrains himself and struggles against his evil whims, he will reign over his lower self and purify his humanity. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah’s religion – Islamic Monotheism). ..." (Al-‘Ankabut: 69)
Humanity, which is highly esteemed in Islam, encompasses all races and colours, so that people may know one another, live together in harmony, establish brotherly ties, and carry out the duties assigned to them to succeed one another on the earth. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"O Humankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. he is one of the Al-Muttaqun (the pious)]. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, Well-Acquainted (with all things)." (Al-Hujurat: 13)
In order to establish humanity, Islam requires us to cooperate and have solidarity with one another; nurture compassion, mercy, and tolerance; abandon envy, arrogance, and revenge; prevent injustice; and support the needy. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Be servants of Allah and brothers.”
The Holy Qur’an revives the noble concepts of humanity and reinforces man’s dignity. It also protects human emotions from deviating from their goals, shields them against hideous conflicts which contradict pure humanity, and makes them see the truth, recognise the right course, listen to reason, and seek justice. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “[O Allah!] I ask You to help me speak the truth in times of contentment and in times of anger.”
The Holy Qur’an refines humanity so that the whims and desires of the flesh may not enslave people to their lusts and evil pleasures. It also elevates life to a lofty degree so that it may not turn into abhorrent conflicts and destructive wars in which humanity is subjected to total degradation.
Under Islam, humanity has reached a high position and a lofty status in its goals and means. For instance, Islam commands us to be kind to our parents by honouring them, spending on them, and being humble and merciful to them. Islam also commands us to take good care of women and give each woman her due rights, be she a mother, a wife, a daughter, or a sister. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"... If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour." (Al-Isra’: 23)
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If anyone bears the responsibility of one or more daughters and he treats them kindly, they will be a shield for him against Hellfire.” He also said, “Whoever supports two girls until they reach puberty will come with me on the Day of Resurrection like these two,” and he illustrated this by joining two of his fingers. He also said, “The best among you is the best to his family, and I am the best of you to my family.”
Humanity becomes totally lost and its features become obliterated as a result of committing aggression against Allah’s creation or changing what He has made lawful or unlawful. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"He has created man from Nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge), then behold, this same (man) becomes an open opponent." (An-Nahl: 4)
Allah, Glorified be He, also says:
"O you who believe! Make not unlawful the Tayyibat (all that is good as regards foods, things, deeds, beliefs, persons) which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors." (Al-Ma’idah: 87)
Some people may transgress the limits set by Allah and become ungrateful, tyrannical, and despotic when they reach a high level of luxury or when they are showered with favours and bounties. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"Nay! Verily, man does transgress (in disbelief and evil deed). Because he considers himself self-sufficient." (Al-‘Alaq: 6-7)
Such deviation, transgression, and tyranny lead to Divine punishments, afflictions, shortages, and removal of Allah’s blessing from all the bounties and provisions which He extends to His servants. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"And if the people of towns had believed and had the Taqwa (Piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they denied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and their crimes)." (Al-A‘raf: 96).
Man’s humanity will not be fully realized, nor will it have any value whatsoever, unless his reason is liberated from error and his mind is freed from superstitions and irrational practices, such as magic, divination, talking to spirits, palm reading, and hypnotism. Such practices destroy humanity, corrupt a Muslim’s creed and morals, and are totally contrary to logic and reason.
Arsonists and bombers who kill innocent people while praying in mosques have definitely abandoned humanity and lost their senses. By the same token, those who storm Al-Aqsa Mosque, to which the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was taken on his night journey, desecrate it with their bodies and shoes, and kill women, children, and defenceless men in its yard have no conscience whatsoever and are totally devoid of any form or sense of humanity. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"... If you help (in the cause of) Allah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm." (Muhammad: 7)
If humanity loses faith and loses along with it its ability to see in the light of the Qur’an, it will sink to its lowest level, cause the loss of the true value of man, and place him in a position lower than that in which Allah has put him. Therefore, Muslims are entrusted with a great message in this world – a message which aims to promote the values of humanity and face its challenges. This message becomes more valued with the spread of famine, the aggravation of diseases, the displacement of millions who have been driven from their homes and countries, and the eruption of conflicts. This is because a Muslim has a living humane conscience that prompts him to spread guidance, rescue the oppressed, instil hope in the hearts of the needy, and deliver relief aids to those suffering harm, while carrying with him a message of peace and mercy.
If we ponder over the life of the Companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, we will realize that they set the finest examples of humanity with regard to giving and benevolence. They travelled round the word and traversed deserts in order to introduce Islam to other people, out of mercy to them, and in order to guide them to the path of the truth and elevate humanity to a lofty position, seeking thereby nothing but Allah’s good pleasure.
Those who call to Allah in every time and place, those who lay down their lives for the sake of Allah, those who spend their wealth on good causes, those who do charitable work, teach the Holy Qur’an, and help others memorise it, and those who have dedicated themselves to benefiting others – all those have been divinely endowed with true humanity and overflowing feelings, nurtured by the Qur’an. Blessed are they, for they will enjoy a happy life in this world and eternal bliss in the hereafter.
The humanity displayed by this country’s leaders and citizens alike is visibly reflected in their great humanitarian role which boosts relief work in various parts of the world. Indeed, Muslims will spare no effort to take the initiative in providing relief to the oppressed and the afflicted and in lending a helping hand to the needy, out of true humanity and warm feelings. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
"But he has not attempted to pass on the path that is steep (i.e. the path which will lead to goodness and success). And what will make you know the path that is steep? (It is) Freeing a neck (slave), or giving food in a day of hunger (famine), to an orphan near of kin, or to a Miskin (a needy person) cleaving to dust (out of misery)." (Al-Balad: 11-16)
May Allah bless you and me with the Great Qur’an and make us benefit from its verses and wise words. I have said what you have heard and I ask forgiveness of Allah, the Most Great, for myself, for you, and for all Muslims for any sin we have committed. Ask Allah for forgiveness. He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.