Monday, February 04, 2008

khutbah: 2.1.08

assalamu alaikum :o)


to be candid, im usually critical of khutbas. it's the only time of the week where many muslims are actually in an environment that can be conducive to islamic learning. wrongs pertaining to understanding the deen can be redressed, communal ties can be continuously strengthened, and the masses in general can be educated. ideally, that's what one would like to happen, but such is not the case. to be fair, the congregation contributes to this subpar result just as much as the khateebs. it's the listeners responsibility to come and actively engage themselves with whats being preached, while it's the duty of the imam to be cognizant of what his community needs to hear. im not ultimately pessimistic though, because I see a slow and gradual change occurring, and inshallah this will continue. (we have some visionaries such as imam suhaib webb talking about starting imam training academies. see his blog) the Houston community has, i feel, made good strides, but there is always room for betterment.

last fridays khutba was giving by a man id last heard in the early part of 2004. since then he had not given any sermons at any major houston masaajid so I was curious to hear what hed have to say. overall, I thought it was a very good. understanding his congregation, mostly college students, he spoke directly to us in a very candid matter.

i don't remember what he said verbatim. below are some of the key points paraphrased and infused with personal commentary.
  • the vitality of learning the deen, was, I think, the central thesis of the whole khutbah. the khateeb mentioned a couple of times how we, being young bright minds on a university campus were adept to acquiring knowledge. thus there was a burden of responsibility upon us to go out and learn about our religion. it would be our duty to eventually educate the misinformed about the true reality of our religion and all that it stood for. but in order to do so, we need to be informed about our deen beginning with the very basic tenets of islam and gradually working our way up from there.
  • its important for us to combat the negative image of islam that is depicted by others that don't know of its genuine nature, including fellow muslims. they don't define islam, rather we do ourselves. its for us to go out and show that islam isn't a middle-eastern, female oppressive, and pro-violent religion.
  • one of the main reasons islam and the holy messenger Muhammad saw was sent down to earth was for the specific purpose of preserving and uplifting the dignity of humans. This was exemplified in how he treated all that he came into contact with, enemy or friend, muslim or non-muslim: "and we have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind" (al-anbiyah 21:107). the analysis here should be on the keyword "mankind" which is inclusive of all humanity.
  • early islam's process of resolution was to approach and examine problems in their own context. when we go to the educated, they should adopt this method and attempt to solve these issues, when necessary, on a case-by-case basis. we should respect those that come from overseas but that doesn't necessarily mean their rulings are iron clad. they may lack the required understanding to remedy the matter at hand or just to provide adequate advice regarding that it. another important point mentioned with this was that sometimes exceptions apply to the general rule. and if the issue is neatly confined to the boundary of that exception, it must be looked at accordingly. giving blanket rulings without looking at the background and context should be discontinued.

that's all i can seem to recall for now. i wonder if itd be permissible to takes note during jumah. hmm.

and Allah Almighty knows best.

your brother.