Allah Says in Surat Al-Imran (3:97)
the translation of the meaning is:
"Pilgrimage is a duty people owe to Allah -- Those who can afford the
In performing Hajj, a Muslim suffers many
hardships. He takes out of his time, his money, his effort, and his
health to perform this worship.
Examining our life on this earth, we see
the same thing. There is always a mission, a goal, that we are to
attain, yet there are always impeding factors that stand between us and
that goal. And, those who are successful, do not let these impeding
elements prevent them from reaching their goal and accomplishing the
This is the way life is, and this is the
way Islamic worship is as well. Islam is a way of life that makes
worship part of life just like eating, studying, and raising our
children. An integral part that blends with both aspects of our
existence; physical and spiritual.
And, in Hajj we see the same picture in a
more focused and concentrated form. The hardships we experience in Hajj
are of the same kind we have to deal with every day. Yet, we have to
deal with them, overcome them, and successfully accomplish our mission
of sincere and devoted attachment to Allah and His way, simply
Yes, in the midst of all these life
hardships, we have to always remember Allah and worship Him sincerely,
worship Him as if we see Him, because if we do not see Him, He sees us.
Yes, in Hajj, there are the hardships but
there are the rewards as well. Rewards in this life and rewards in the
We see a similar example to that in our
daily prayers. In our prayer, as we take the time to do it, we feel the
rewards of tranquillity and humbleness in our soles, we feel the rewards
of renewal and strength in our hearts, and we know that the ultimate
reward of Allah's Satisfaction is awaiting us.
Physical effort is required
in performing Hajj: travel in itself is a physical hardship, Tawaf,
walking and rushing between Safa and Marwa, the Rajm (stoning) of
Iblis, and you do that in an ocean of humans. An unparalleled crowd
Many other hardships of
financial expenses, travel, dress code, and other restrictions
And one wonders: How can a
Muslim, in the midst of all these hardships and with all such
suffering, devote himself to the worship of Allah and perform
pilgrimage? The answer to this question is simple if we consider the
case of the other worships that Allah commanded us to do, also if we
were to consider any meaningful action or task that we are to
There is always a mission, a
goal, that we are to attain, yet there are always impeding factors
that stand between us and that goal. And, those who are successful, do
not let these impeding elements from preventing them from reaching the
goal and accomplishing the mission
Success never comes easily
whichever success we talk about
In education and studies, one
has to spend these long hours of reading, working out practices and
exercises, and research to get the knowledge he seeks
In professional life, it
takes tremendous effort, trials and error, and many hardships and
disappointments, before one reaches any degree of success
In raising children, it takes
out of parents time, comfort, money, and emotions, to do a sincere
effort leading to a successful mission
This is the way life is, and
this is the way Islamic worships are as well. Islam is a way of life
that makes worship part of our lives just like eating, studying, and
raising our children. An integral part that blends with both aspects
of our existence; physical and spiritual
In our daily prayers, we take
out of our time and effort to do them on time under all circumstances
and conditions to strengthen our belief and our ties to Allah, as we
In fasting, we struggle with
hunger and thirst as we strengthen our belief and our ties to Allah,
as we worship Him
In Zakat, we pay out of our
wealth, we help others as we help ourselves, and in this way again we
In all these are hardships,
but there is a goal, and our objective is the successful achievement
of the mission. And, in going through these hardships, we learn how to
deal with them and how to overcome them. And that makes us better
humans and stronger Muslims
And, in Hajj, is a greater
hardship, if we examine the fact that it is only mandatory for those
who can afford it
In Hajj, we see a great
wisdom, as we struggle with all the hardships of Hajj, we are to
sincerely worship Allah
The goal is the worship and
the impeding factors are those of our daily lives
A concentrated dose of
hardship we experience in this Hajj yet it is the same kind we have to
deal with every day
And we have to deal with it,
overcome it, and successfully accomplish our mission of sincere and
devoted attachment to Allah and His way, simply worshipping Him
Yes, in the midst of all this
life hardships like working for income and dealing with people, we
have got to remember Allah at all times and worship Him sincerely,
worship Him as if we see Him, because if we do not see Him, He sees us
In Hajj, we live the same
circumstances in a comprehensive, concentrated and intensified form
And as we examine ourselves
as we practice the other aspects of our lives and worships. As we
achieve our goal and feel the rewards, benefits, and joy of success.
We then feel that every effort that was put in the process was worth
In our prayer, as we take the
time to do it, we feel the rewards of tranquillity and humbleness in
our soles, we feel the rewards of renewal and strength in our hearts,
and we know that the ultimate reward of Allah's Satisfaction is
And we know then that we did
not waste our time or our effort in performing this prayer
And in Hajj, the same
happens. Those of us who have been through it know exactly that. Yes
there are hardships in Hajj, but there are the rewards as well.
Rewards in this life and rewards in the hereafter
May Allah help us all realize
these rewards and enable us to his way and to his satisfaction
And today we celebrate Eid and do takbeer
to Allah. We praise Him and thank Him for his bounties and His generous
giving. May Allah allow us to observe it next year while we and the
Islamic Ummah are blessed by his bounties.
And today as we joy for our brothers and
sisters who completed their Hajj and as we joy for the coming of Eid, we
are reminded of the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibraheem, pbuh:
in his story is a great insight for us.
Allah says in Surat Assaffat (37:100-111)
the translation of the meaning is:
"O my Lord! grant me A righteous (son)!"
So, We gave him the good news of a forbearing son. Then, when the son
reached the age of serious work with him, he said: "O my son! I have
seen in a dream that I offer you in sacrifice: now see what is your
view!" The son said: "O my father! do as you are commanded: you will
find me, if Allah so wills, one of the steadfast." So when they had both
submitted to Allah, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead, We
called out to him, "O Ibraheem! you have already fulfilled the dream!"
-- Thus, indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was a clear
trial -- And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice: And We left for
him among generations to come in later times: peace and salutation to
Ibraheem!" Thus indeed do We reward those who do right, for he was one
of our believing servants."
An aging man was about to sacrifice his
only son as he believed that this was a command from Allah. Neither he
nor his son argued, disputed, nor even doubted the message, nor did they
hesitate in the execution.
That was a test from Allah, and what a
test, a great one given to two great people.
That was Prophet Ibraheem, a great prophet,
who was willing to sacrifice his son as he had sacrificed his father's
love before. As he rejected idolatry, he gave away love and support and
even peace with his father and his people, a big sacrifice for the sake
Allah says in His Holy Book (29:2,3)
the translation of the meaning of which is:
"Do people think that they will be left
alone on saying, "We believe," and that they will not be tested? We did
test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true
from those who are false.".
Sacrifice is the act of giving up our
desires and wants in order to conform to Allah's commands and
And, sacrifice has many forms. Following
the straight path implies sacrifices.
Maintaining worships involves sacrifice.
Spending money, effort, and time to serve Islam and Muslims involves
Being an active member of one's community
is a sacrifice.
Being a good example to be followed is a
Allah says in His Holy Book (3:195)
the translation of the meaning of which is:
"And their Lord has accepted of them, and
answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you,
be he male or female: you are members of one another: those who have
immigrated and left their homes, and were driven out therefrom, and
suffered harm in My Cause, and fought, and were slain,-- verily, I will
blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with
rivers flowing beneath;-- a reward from Allah, and from Allah is the
best of rewards.".
This Ayah demonstrates a typical sacrifice
pattern for the early Muslims, the companions of the prophet, pbuh. They
were tortured and they were exposed to many forms of suffering. They
sacrificed a lot for the sake of Islam and in Allah's Cause. And their
reward is the pleasure of Allah and His Gardens. They are no doubt the
And today, and in this beautiful occasion
of Eid we ask ourselves, how much do we appreciate the sacrifice of
Prophet Ibraheem and his son Isma'il, pbut, and how much do we
appreciate the sacrifice of Prophet Mohammad, pbuh, and his companions.
Brothers and sisters, how much is our
sacrifice, and are we doing enough in the Cause of Allah, and are we
worthy of Allah's pleasure and rewards.
And, here we are on Eid day, and we are
supposed to joy and enjoy, yet our Islamic Ummah is undergoing a great
hardship. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are severed and oppressed. Our
hearts are full of sorrow for what we have witnessed and are witnessing.
Muslims everywhere are suffering what some
might call the utmost of humility, the utmost of weakness, the utmost of
division and the utmost of defeat.
Well, let us examine the example at the
early Muslims in Mecca. They were weak as a force, yet they were strong
in belief,-- they were few in number, yet they were accounted for,--
they were humiliated by the idol worshippers, yet they kept their pride
in what they stood for: Islam.
It was their belief that gave them the
strength to endure, and it was their belief that gave the courage to
fight back, and it was their belief that won them Allah's pleasure and
In Badr, they were but a few in number, in
skill, and in arms and supplies, but they were full of belief.
True believers as Allah promised, no fear
will be on them nor will they ever grieve.
And, if we become those true Muslims that
understand and apply Islam, we will have no fear on us and we will never
If we become those true believers, we would
be certain to win Allahs chamionship against enemies of number and arms.
Before we ask, when will we have the
number, the wealth, the influence, or the fire power, we need to be
certain that we have the belief, the piety, and the Islamic character.
The Muslims in Badr did not have the
number, the wealth, the influence, or the fire power, but most
certainly, they had the belief, the piety, and the Islamic character,
and that is why Allah gave them victory.
Our problem is that we have a week belief
in Allah's promises to us that: if we try He will help us.
We seem to have a week belief in His way
which He has prescribed to us in His Book.
Instead, we are eager to correct the
structure and the system before correcting the individuals: ourselves.
We do not seem to recognize that a sound
and healthy structure can only be built using sound and healthy elements
There is no way out of the long and the
hard way of achieving victory over the enemies of Allah.
The road to that victory is full of
hardships and sacrifices and we have to go through them.
We will have to sacrifice our money, our
time, our lives, and our worldly ambitions to pay the price of this
This victory will never come about while we
are away from Islam taking from it what ourselves desire and leaving out
what contradict our ambitions and desires.
This war is for every one of us and, is not
only for those who are affected directly by the oppression and the
And, this war will only be won through
Islam and by Islam. And by understanding Islam in its true meaning.
Islam is not just doing prayers, fasting
Islam is doing Ibadat right, may Allah
accept them from us.
Islam is being active in one's society in
the way of Allah.
Islam is becoming strong, and to stand
opposed to oppression and evil Islam is to fight hypocrisy in our souls
and in Muslim lines.
Islam is to become the example of quality
humans Allah intended for Muslims.
Islam is not to associate with Allah any
such as our wealth our families, or our personal ambitions.
Islam is to propagate Allah's word with
confidence and pride.
Islam is not to be ashamed of what we
believe in, of our Islamic identity, and of our Islamic practices.
Brothers and Sisters in Islam, let us get
back to Islam, in its true meaning, and its true form.
Allah says in a Hadeeth Qudsi, "I am as My
servant thinks I am (or expects Me to be)."
Why do not we believe Him and believe in
Why do not we believe that He will champion
us, so He will champion us?
Why do not we believe that His mercy will
include us, so His mercy will include us.
Why do not we believe in His way, so He may
guide us to it.
Brothers and Sisters in Islam, let us get
back to Allah and His way, for that Allah might forgive us, and may
Allah's mercy and blessings include us.
Aqool qawly haza wa-astighfur Allah lee wa
Alhamdu'lillah, wassalatu wassalamu ala
(The meaning of Eid)
Brothers and Sisters in Islam Today is Eid,
and we have the right to joy.
We have the right to have fun and play This
is one aspect of Eid that we are entitled to. So, let us have fun and
play not in waste and not in vain And, I warn myself and warn you from
trifling, abuse, and committing the forbidden. I remind myself and
remind you of Allah, his Prophets, His Messengers, and His Books.
I remind myself and remind you that Allah
is Powerful and Just.
"Then shall anyone who has done an atom's
weight of good see it, and anyone who has done an atom weight of evil
shall see it." (99:7,8)
But Eid is also an occasion of Takbeer and
worship. As we declare 'Allahu Akbar,' we are renewing our committment
to the greatness of Allah. And as we declare 'La Nabud Illa Iyyah,' we
are renewing our committment to worshipping no one but Him: not our
lives, not our families, not our wealth, not our jobs, and certainly not
our desires. And as we declare 'Mukhliseen LahuDeen Walaw
Karihalkafiroon,' we are renewing our committment to perfection and
sincerity in carrying on our Islamic duties and our roles as vicegerents
and deputies to Allah on this earth.
Brothers and Sisters in Islam: Let us
remember that Allah is ever-watching over us to guide us to the straight
path as well as to judge us in The hereafter.
In the Hadith Qudsi: "When Allah decreed
the Creation, He pledged Himself by writing in His Book which is laid
down with Him: My mercy prevails over My wrath." Brothers and Sisters of
Islam: Let us not despair from Allah's mercy, He is the Oft-Forgiving,
Full of Loving-Kindness.
Let us All supplicate and make Dua'a to
Allah, may Allah Accept our supplication.
Dear Muslims: As we get up now to shake
each other's hand or embrace each other, wishing one another an Eid
Mubarak, as we do that let us do it in sincerity, with clean hearts
towards each other, and with a positive attitude of brotherhood and
sisterhood. May Allah help us to put our hearts together as the heart of
Eid Mubarak to All of You, Wassalamu
Alaykum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuh.