In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The believer’s discipline in his speech and deeds:

Dear brothers, we are tackling a topic that is profoundly related to this series of lectures “Ways of access and Signs of Acceptance” and this topic is about Al I’tisam (holding firmly to Allah).
Al Harith Bin Hasheem, May Allah be pleased with him, naraated that he asked the prophet PBUH once: “Tell me something to which I hold firmly”, the prophet PBUH said:

((Control this (pointing to his tongue).))

 

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "Indeed a man may utter a statement that he does not see any harm in, but for which he will fall seventy autumns in the Hellfire."

 

Furthermore:

 ((Man’s faith can only be upright if his heart is upright, his heart is only upright if his tongue is upright, and the  one whose neighbor is not secure from his wrongful conduct will never be admitted to Paradise))

 

Imam Al Ghazali, May Allah have mercy on his soul, had mentioned more than 30 major sins of the tongue.

 

Hold your tongue o man,
Lest it bites you as the snake does
Many are the people whose tongues
caused them to be in graves
Although their tongues were feared
By even the brave men

One wicked word that is said by a person may sow dissention between a married couple, between two partners, between a mother and her son or between siblings.
Words can be as harmful as a grinder.
The believer is watchful about what he says and what he does, thus he controls his tongue from sins like backbiting or tale-bearing.

It is reported from Hudhaifa that news reached him (the Holy Prophet) that a certain man carried tales. Upon this Hudhaifa remarked: I heard Allah's Messenger (PBUH) saying: Tale-bearers shall not enter Paradise.

[Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawod and At Tirmizi on the authority of Hudhaifa bin Al Yaman]

The major sins of the tongue could be grave:

The problem is that Muslims assume that the major sins are restricted to Zina (fornication), killing, wine… etc.
Though this is true, there are other major sins which are not less harmful than the aforementioned major sins, and these major sins are committed by the tongue. Some people might spend hours in backbiting and tale-bearing without feeling any guilt:

 

((Man’s faith can only be uprite if his heart is upright, his heart is only upright if his tongue is upright, and the  one whose neighbor is not secure from his wrongful conduct will never be admitted to Paradise))

 [Ahmad, on the authority of Anas Bin Malek]

"Indeed a man may utter a statement that he does not see any harm in, but for which he will fall seventy autumns in the Fire."

 

In some cases, when a group of people mention a woman (accusing her of immortality) for example, and then one of them says: “I don’t know” but he says it in a way which indicates otherwise. In my opinion this man accuses her of fornication (in his behavior) even though he doesn’t accuse her in his words.
Man should count to million before he says a word.

 

The hidden Shirk is very dangerous:
Abdullah bin Abbas, May Allah be pleased with both of them, narrated that the prophet PBUH delivered the Khutbah of the farewell pilgrimage, in which he said: 

"The Satan has despaired of being worshipped in the Arabian Peninsula"

 

The apparent Shirk (worshiping idols besides Allah) does not exist in the Islamic world.
There are people in East Asia who still worship idols and others worship the sun or the moon…etc.
In the Islamic world there is no apparent Shirk, but there is hidden Shirk and Muslims are worshiping partners with Allah. 

﴾Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god)﴿

 

[Al-Jathiyah, 23]

Desires are considered partners, and people are following their desires.
For the purpose of encouraging tourism for example, thousands of immoral crimes are committed under the term “development”, and this makes “development” a partner that is worshiped besides Allah.

((Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.))

[Al Hakim on the authority of Ibn Abbas]

What we consider as minor sins can veil us from Allah:

The crucial point you should know is that the Muslim doesn’t kill, fornicate or drink wine, yet he might be veiled from Allah due to the minor sins he commits assuming that they are nothing.

 

((The Shaytan (Satan) is hopeless that you may worship him but he is content with your small misdeeds, don't obey him in that.))

[Al Hakim on the authority of Ibn Abbas]

Isn’t it a big loss to be veiled from Allah because of minor sins?
People are not keen on controlling their tongue, mingling with the other gender, backbiting people, tale-bearing, shaking hands with the other gender and watching movies.
Muslims became soap opera fans to such an extent that someone called them the Ummah of Mohannad (a title of a soap opera that was watched by the majority of Muslims) not the Ummah of Mohammad PBUH.
It is a grave problem when Muslims become fans of immoral movies.

“The Shaytan (Satan) is hopeless that you may worship him but he is content with your small misdeeds, don't obey him in that. Men and women have rights and obligations towards each other, they need to observe. Men should treat women nicely. I left with you the Book of Allah and my Sunna, as long as you follow them you will never be lost. Indeed, muslims are brothers, and (the muslim's) brother's money is not his until he gives it to him wholeheartedly, and do not be tyrants"

[Al Hakim on the authority of Ibn Abbas]

Pay attention please:

“…And do not return after me infidels (kuffar) cutting each others' necks. "

[Al Hakim on the authority of Ibn Abbas]

Ideological and sectarian conflicts in the Islamic Ummah are considered by the prophet PBUH as Kufr.

“…And do not return after me infidels (kuffar) cutting each others' necks. "

Isn’t there blood shedding amongst Muslims?

﴾Their enmity among themselves ﴿

 

[Al-Hashr, 14]

Aren’t Muslims allying with their enemies?

We can only reap the fruits of religion by following Allah’s path:


Dear brothers, the following Hadith is very accurate in talking about the Hereafter and how man will be called to account.

Sufyan bin 'Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I asked: "O Messenger of Allah! Tell me, of something to which I may remain steadfast." 

Allah says:

﴾And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur'an)﴿

[Aal-‘Imran, 103]

The Rope of Allah is the noble Quran, the religion, the group of believers and Allah’s orders and prohibitions.

Sufyan bin 'Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I asked: "O Messenger of Allah! Tell me, of something to which I may remain steadfast." He (PBUH) said, "Say: My Rubb is Allah and then remain steadfast."

[Al Hakim on the authority of Sufyan bin 'Abdullah]

This means that unless we are steadfast on the path of Allah, we will not reap any fruits from the religion.
Islam without Istiqamah (following the right path) is mere folklore, tradition, customs, heritage or background.
Unless you are righteous you will not reap any of the religion’s fruits and your rituals are in vain.

We need to follow the orders of the prophet:

There is another narration of this Hadith:

He (PBUH) said, "Say: My Rubb is Allah and then remain steadfast." Then I said: "O Messenger of Allah! What do you fear most about me?" He took hold of his own tongue and said: "This."

[Al Hakim on the authority of Sufyan bin 'Abdullah]

The reciting of the following Surah made the prophet PBUH old:

﴾So stand (ask Allah to make) you (Muhammad ) firm and straight (on the religion of Islamic Monotheism) as you are commanded and those (your companions) who turn in repentance (unto Allah) with you﴿

 

[Hud, 112]

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "O people! Allah is Pure and, therefore, accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the believers as He has commanded His Messengers by saying: 'O Messengers! Eat of the good things, and do good deeds.' 

[Muslim and At Tirmizi on the authority of Abi Hurairah]

This is similar to sterilizing the injection before injecting the patient, for it is a procedure that is followed by nurses and physicians alike.

((Allah has commanded the believers as He has commanded His Messengers))

Common people might justify their errors by saying: “We are not prophets?” Well who says that? However:

((Allah has commanded the believers as He has commanded His Messengers))

The rank of prophets is untouchable and unreachable, but as a believer you are assigned to follow the orders of the prophets and the proof is in the following Ayah:

﴾So stand (ask Allah to make) you (Muhammad ) firm and straight (on the religion of Islamic Monotheism) as you are commanded and those (your companions) who turn in repentance (unto Allah) with you, and transgress not (Allah's legal limits). ﴿

 

[Hud, 112]

It is like the one who has an acute gastritis and he is ordered by his doctor to follow a very strict diet in order to recover, but this patient refuses to follow this diet because it is severe, in this case the doctor will simply say to him: “then prepare yourself for a surgical operation”.

He (PBUH) said, "Say: My Rubb is Allah and then remain steadfast." Then I said: "O Messenger of Allah! What do you fear most about me?" He took hold of his own tongue and said: "This."

[Al Hakim on the authority of Sufyan bin 'Abdullah]

We survive if we consider our words like our deeds:

Most of Muslims’ problems are due to their tongues, given the one who considers the words he says like the deeds he does will survive.
Don’t ever assume that the words you say are mere words and they are harmless. Who told you so?
Let me repeat the Hadith for a third time:

"Indeed a man may utter a statement that he does not see any harm in, but for which he will fall seventy autumns in the Fire."

[Bukhari, Muslim, At Tirmizi and Malik in his Mowatta’ on the authority of Abi Hurairah]

Some words one says may traumatize others.
An author once wrote: “You are a moral person because you are weak, and you are weak because you are moral”
This author disregarded the entire religion and the good conducts and he considered the morality of a person as a weak point.
Of course his opinion is worthless.

Umm al-Husain (Allah be pleased with her) reported: I performed Hajj along with Allah's Messenger (PBUH) on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage and saw him when he flung pebbles at Jamrat al-'Aqaba and returned while he was riding the camel, and Bilal and Usama were with him. One of them was leading his camel, while the other was raising his cloth over the head of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) to protect him from the sun. She (further) said: Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said so many things, and I heard him saying: If a slave having some limb of his missing and having dark complexion is appointed to govern you according to the Book of Allah the Exalted. listen to him and obey him.

[Muslim, At Tirmizi and An Nasa’ee on the authority of Umm Al Husain]

The Arabic word mentioned in this Hadith to describe this person is “Al Abd Al Mujda’” which means the slave whose ear is cut.

((…To govern you according to the Book of Allah the Exalted. listen to him and obey him.))

It doesn’t count who governs the Muslims, but what counts is how he governs them and his look is irrelevant in this regard.

((…To govern you according to the Book of Allah the Exalted. listen to him and obey him.))

 

Islam is the religion of values and principles:

Islam is the religion of principles:

Abu Bakr said to Umar: “give me your hand so that I Pledge of allegiance to you”. Umar said: “What land on which I might ever settle and what sky under which I might ever take shade if I become the ruler of a nation, one of whose members is Abu Bakr.” Abu Bakr said: “O Umar you are stronger than me” to which Umar answered: “O Abu Bakr, you are better than me, so I will put my strength at your disposal to be added to your precedence and we will cooperate”.

This is the society of believers, for they join their characteristics to strengthen one another.
When our Master Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, became a Caliph, he was told that people were afraid of his rigor. Thus, he wept and said: 'By Allah, if they had known how merciful my heart is, they would have the audacity to take away the cloak I wear, but nothing fits this matter (leadership) except firmness.' He also once said: O people, I was the unsheathed sword of the Prophet PBUH, and he PBUH used to sheathe me whenever he wanted. When he died he was pleased with me. I thank Allah for this, and I am satisfied with that.' He lauded our Master Abu Bakr As-Siddik, may Allah be pleased with him. Then he said: ' O people, I will no longer be hard and stern in all matters. For those who practice tyranny and deprive others of their rights, I will be harsh and stern, but for those who follow the law, and are devoted to religion, I will be most soft and tender. I will not tolerate any person make any excess. He who commits any tyranny, him I will sternly call to account. I will be harsh and stern against the aggressor, but I will be a pillar of strength for the weak and the meek. They will find in me their best friend. I will put my cheek on the ground so that they can tread on it. O people, you have five rights on me, and I tell you of these rights, so that you may be in a position to call me to account. These rights are: you have the right on me not to take your money or to spend it except when I have the right to do so. You have right on me to raise your wages if Allah wills. You have the right on me not to send you in an expedition which lasts for more that four months. When you are out in an expedition, I am responsible for your children till you come back."
This is Umar.

Lineage is a crown that adorns the believer:

Yazid bin Haiyan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I went along with Husain bin Sabrah and 'Amr bin Muslim to Zaid bin Arqam (May Allah be pleased with them) and, as we sat by his side, Husain said to him: "O Zaid, you acquired great merits that you saw Messenger of Allah (PBUH), listened to his talk, fought by his side in (different) battles, and offered Salat behind him. You have in fact earned great merits, Zaid! Could you then tell us what you heard from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)?" He said: "O my cousin! By Allah! I have grown old and have almost spent up my age and I have forgotten some of the things which I remembered in connection with Messenger of Allah (PBUH), so accept what I narrate to you, and what I fail to narrate, do not compel me to narrate that." He then said: "One day Messenger of Allah (PBUH) stood up to deliver a Khutbah at a watering place known as Khumm between Makkah and Al-Madinah. He praised Allah, extolled Him and delivered the Khutbah and exhorted (us) and said, 'Amma Ba'du (now then)! O people, certainly I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Rubb and I, in response to Allah's Call, but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it.' He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said, 'The second are the members of my household, I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family."'

[Muslim on the authority of Zaid]

In order to interpret this Hadith I have to mention another Hadith: 

Narrated Anas bin Malik, May Allah be pleased with him, he said that the prophet PBUH was asked once: To whom the word “Aal (the family of) Mohammad” refers? He answered: “It refers to every righteous Muslim” then He recited:
“None can be its guardian except Al-Muttaqun” [Al Anfal, 34]”

[At Tabarani on the authority of Anas bin Malik]

This means that the closer to the prophet PBUH is the righteous amongst Muslims.
The proof of this fact is Abu Lahab (the prophet’s uncle), Allah says about him:

﴾Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab (an uncle of the Prophet), and perish he! His wealth and his children (etc.) will not benefit him!﴿

 

[Al-Masad, 1-2]

This proves that being related to the prophet PBUH is a crown which adorns the believer, but if this person is not a believer, this kinship is worthless; again the proof is in the following Surah:

﴾Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab (an uncle of the Prophet), and perish he! His wealth and his children (etc.) will not benefit him!﴿

 

[Al-Masad, 1-2]

We need to the Quran, Sunnah and whatever the scholars agreed upon:

Allow me again to say that being related to the prophet is a crown which adorns the believers.
Ja’far bin Abi Talif (the prophet’s uncle) said to Al Najashi (the King of Al Habashah [Abyssinia]):

((O king, we were ignorant and ill-mannered. We used to worship idols, eat carrion (dead meat), commit sins, mistreat our neighbors, cut kinship ties, and the strong used to assault the weak. However, we have changed after a man from amongst us, who is well known to us by his noble family, truthfulness, faithfulness and chastity was sent to us by Allah (SWT). He ordered us to worship Allah alone, leave worshipping the idols, tell the truth, pay deposits back to their owners, preserve our kinship ties, be kind to our neighbors and to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed.))

[Imam Ahmad on the authority of Umm Salamah]

Dear brothers, Ibn Batal said: “No one is infallible from erring, and man’s frame of reference should be the noble Quran, the prophetic Sunnah and the matters upon which scholars agreed”.
Allah invites us to worship Him through Quran not through the sayings or the books of this or that person.
The noble Quran is the firm Rope of Allah, it is the Straight Path and it is a speaking universe (since Quran indicates scientific breakthroughs).
The universe on the other hand is a silent Quran, whereas the prophet PBUH was a walking Quran.
At the time being, we are in need of a Muslim of that kind (i.e. a walking Quran).

Muslims misrepresent Islam to the world:

Dear brothers, the west will never be convinced of our religion unless we reflect its exalted values in our lives.
Unfortunately, Muslims’ reality is disastrous and the Islamic world suffers high rates of unemployment, literacy, poverty and celibacy. Other sides of this painful reality are manifested in the fact that we import and we don’t export, and the mother of all problems is that our enmity is amongst us while we ally with our enemies, such reality will never convince the west of our religion.
Accordingly, this was described as follows: “Islam is veiled from people because of Muslims” 
When a man follows a religion but he is dirty and he begs people for money, will you ever consider following his religion? 
Will you buy a book about his religion?
You will not.
Thus Islam is veiled from non-Muslims because of Muslims (who abuse this religion).
By Allah The Only Deity worthy of worship, had the Muslim communities in the west applied Islam and Allah’s Method completely, the stance of the west from Islam might have been different from the one they have now.
This (convincing the west of Islam) is a substantial purpose and it entails cultural breakthrough, exaltedness in our reality and more zeal and less words so that we may convince the world of this religion.
If we reach a successful addressing to the world about Islam but our reality is catastrophic, we will never convince anyone in this addressing, and the least the others may say in this case: “Instead of addressing us, find solutions for your problems”

How to convince non-Muslims with Islam:

We have to consider the new phenomenon (the internet). Living isolated as nations was possible 50 years ago, but now after the internet, the entire world in the five continents is communicating and the globe becomes as small as a desktop rather than being villages, cities, countries or continents.
You are able to watch instantly what is occurring on the other side of the globe due to the internet and the fast communications, not to mention the revolution of the information.
This phenomenon obliged nations to communicate with one another and they are unable to live isolated any more.
This reality should make us strive to build a coherent and strong reality in order to convince others with this religion.
Unfortunately, power comes with tyranny:

It was narrated from Mus'ab bin Sa'd, from his father, that he thought he was better than other Companions of the Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet of Allah (PBUH) said: "Rather, Allah support this Ummah because of their supplication, their Salah, and their sincerity."

[Al Bukhari and Al Nasa’ee on the authority of Sa’d]

We should never overlook the weak people, and we should feed them if they are hungry, cloth them if they are naked, shelter them if they are homeless, teach them if they are ignorant, treat them if they are ill and enforce justice if they are oppressed.
If we do so, Allah will give us a reward of the same nature by granting us victory over those who are more powerful than us.
 
Narrated Mus`ab bin Sa`d: Once Sa`d (bin Abi Waqqas) thought that he was superior to those who were below him in rank. On that the Prophet (PBUH) said, "You gain no victory or livelihood except through (the blessings and invocations of) the poor amongst you."

The journey takes time and the path is burdensome, given we are vulnerable as Muslims before the entire world. Each one of us should contribute to this exalted cause in a way or another in order to restore the Umman’s strength through hard working and through being honest and trustworthy; otherwise, we are in grave danger.
I ask Allah the Almighty to make the noble Quran and the prophetic Sunnah as a shield for us.
 

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations