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Hastening to Answer the Call of Allah and His Messenger

By Sheikh Abdul-Bari ibn Awad Al-Thubaity – 21 Thul Qadah 1434

His Eminence Sheikh Abdul-Bari ibn Awad Al-Thubaity, may Allah preserve him, delivered the Friday sermon entitled, “Hastening to Answer the Call of Allah and His Messenger”, in which he talked about answering the call of Allah and of His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him. He explained that hastening to obey the commands of Allah and His Messenger and avoid the acts that they have forbidden us to do is a sign of sincere and perfect faith, and that was the practice of the Prophet’s Companions and those who followed them. Sheikh Al-Thubaity referred to some instances where the Prophet’s Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, obeyed religious orders immediately and unquestioningly, showing that performing hajj is one of the greatest signs of answering the call of  Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him.

Praise be to Allah. Praise be to Allah, Who has commanded us to obey Him and urged us to attain His favours and return to Him in repentance. I praise Allah, Glorified be He, and thank Him for having paved the way of success and happiness for us. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, with Whom we should associate no partners in sacrifice, prayers and worship, and I bear witness that our master and Prophet Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, who showed us the way to guidance and leadership. May Allah bestow His blessings upon him, his Family, and his Companions, who were steadfast and sovereign people.

O Muslims!
I advise you and advise myself to fear Allah. Allah, Might and Majesty be to Him, says:
"O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (with complete submission to Allah)." (Al-Imran: 102)

Allah, Glorified be He, also says,
"O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he (peace and blessings be upon him) calls you to that which will give you life . . ." (Al-Anfal: 24)

Answering the call of Allah and His Messenger means answering the call of Islam in its entirety and fully obeying all that our Lord and His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, enjoined us to do. A Muslim obeys Allah’s commandments in every aspect of his life – in his prayers, in giving zakah, in fasting, in his obedience to his parents, in maintaining ties of kinship, in his conduct with others, and in his clothing, appearance, and work. A Muslim woman obeys Allah’s commandments regarding her veil, her adornment, her house, and her relationship with her husband and children.

Immediate response to the call of Allah and His Messenger is a sign of sincere submission to Allah, and is the fruit of beneficial knowledge and good deeds. Those who answer the call of Allah and His Messenger are the successful; they are the true believers and the winners of the sought-after rewards, who will be spared suffering. They achieve peace of mind and attain happiness. Allah, Exalted be He, says:

"The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah (His Words, the Qur’an) and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the prosperous ones (who will live forever in Paradise)." (An-Nur: 51).

Such is the response of the believers, who say, “We hear and we obey”, both for what they desire and what they hate, and both in times of ease and in times of hardship.

As for the hypocrites, their motto is to reject the truth and turn away from it, and their customary practice is to hinder people from following the path of Allah and to disobey the orders of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Allah says:

"And when it is said to them: “Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him),” you (Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)) see the hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)) with aversion." (An-Nissa’: 61)

Answering the call of Allah and His Messenger gives life to the heart and the mind. On it depends the survival of the individual, the society, and the Muslim nation at large. For this reason, those who lead a perfect life are the ones who fully obey Allah and His Messenger. As for those whose response to the call of Allah and His Messenger is weak, their hearts will equally become weak and the very essence of his life will wane. Those whose hearts are dead show no response whatsoever to the call of Allah and His Messenger. Allah, Exalted be He, says:

"Verily, you cannot make the dead hear (i.e. benefit them and similarly the disbelievers), nor can you make the deaf hear the call, when they flee, turning their backs." (An-Naml: 80)

Those who refuse to answer the call of Allah and His Messenger in reality refuse to lead an honourable life and only accept to live in humiliation. They will suffer evil consequences and will eventually be doomed to Hellfire. Allah, Exalted be He, says:

"Have you not seen those who have changed the Blessings of Allah into disbelief (by denying Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Message of Islam), and caused their people to dwell in the house of destruction? Hell, in which they will burn, – and what an evil place to settle in!" (Ibrahim: 28-29)

He also says:
"And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial, etc.) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad people), and know that Allah is Severe in punishment." (Al-Anfal: 25)

Refusing to answer the call of Allah and His Messenger gives rise to discord, disorder, chaos, and the spread of corruption, which the above-mentioned verse refers to as ‘fitnah’ (affliction, trial, etc).

Zaynab bint Jahsh, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, once came out in a state of fear and with a flushed face saying, “There is no god but Allah! Woe to the Arabs because of an evil that has drawn near. Today an opening has been made in the barrier of Gog and Magog like this,” making a circle with his thumb and index finger. Zainab said, “O Messenger of Allah! Shall we be destroyed while there are righteous people among us?” He said, “Yes, if evil predominates.”

Those Muslims who favourably respond to the revelation of their Lord and submit themselves completely to their Creator will definitely prosper. Their conditions will improve, their lives will change for the better as they will reform themselves and reform others, and they will lead a good, peaceful life. There will be true unity among them, any enmity or hatred among them will wane so that they will become, by the grace of Allah, true brothers in faith. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “In their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy, the believers are like one body. When one of the limbs aches, the whole body responds to it with sleeplessness and fever.”

Allah answers the call of His servants if they answer His call, Exalted be He, and, He decides the right time to do so by His perfect wisdom. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The invocation of anyone of you is granted (by Allah) unless he shows impatience, by saying, ‘I invoked Allah but my invocation has not been granted’” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Allah answers the call of those who answer His call. Allah, Exalted be He, says:

"So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), ‘Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You are (members) one of another. . .’." (Al-’Imran, 195)

When Muslims failed to answer the call of Allah and His Messenger, Allah did not grant them their prayers and they were left to depend solely on themselves. When Allah deprives someone of His help and support and makes him dependent upon himself alone, he will definitely be subjected to loss, weakness, and humiliation.

The early generations of Muslims set an excellent example of hastening to answer the call of Allah and His Messenger. Whenever any one of them received a command to do or to desist from something, he would unhesitatingly do as he was told, translating it into reality and actual practice. This clearly reflects their deep faith and sincere obedience.

Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “While I was serving alcohol to Abu Talhah (Anas’s stepfather) and so-and-so, I heard a town crier proclaiming that intoxicants had been prohibited. Without waiting for anybody to come into the house [to ascertain this statement] or for a member of the drinking group to go out [for a confirmation of what we had heard], we threw away the remaining drinks [in our glasses] and broke the large baked clay pots [in which other drinks were being fermented]. Some of us performed ablution while others had a ritual bath. We wore some of Umm Sulaim’s (Anas’s mother) perfume and walked out to the mosque, only to find the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, reciting [the verse], "O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan’s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful." [Al-Ma’idah, 90].”

‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, also said, “The women of the Quraish are virtuous; however, by Allah, I have never seen any better than the women of the Ansar, or any who believed the Book of Allah more strongly or had more faith in the revelation. Following the revelation of the verse, ". . .and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) . . ." [An-Nur, 31], their men came to them and recited to them what Allah had revealed regarding them in this verse. Every man would recite this verse to his wife, daughter, sister and all his female relatives, and there was not a single woman among them but took her camel-saddle-embellished cover and wrapped herself up with it out of faith and belief in what Allah had revealed in His Book. The following morning they prayed behind the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, wrapped up as if there were crows on their heads.”

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, once saw a man wearing a gold signet ring in his hand, so he pulled it off the man’s finger and threw it away, saying, “One of you takes a live coal from Hell and puts it on his hand.” After the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, had left, someone said to the man, “Take your signet ring back and benefit from it.” The man then said, “No, by Allah. I will never take it after Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, has thrown it away.”

Servants of Allah!
Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) has been prescribed to answer the call of Allah. Pilgrims have come from every deep ravine in response to the call of Allah and His Messenger. Every ritual that they perform and every site that they visit during hajj testify that pilgrims have come to answer the call of Allah. Pilgrims are Allah’s guests. They have left their families, property, and homelands behind in obedience to their Lord, Who has called them to circumambulate the Ka’bah and to kiss the Black Stone or wave to it. They have answered His call, although they know quite well that the Black Stone is a mere rock that can neither harm nor benefit them. He has called them to go out to Mina and spend the night there, and they have submitted their will to Allah and obeyed His orders without intending to show off or gain reputation. Sincerity is their slogan, and following in the Prophet’s footsteps is their motto. “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik [Here I am at Your service, O Allah! Here I am at Your service.]” is the sign of full obedience to Allah. It means ‘I am doing this to answer Your call, O Allah, obey Your orders, and follow the example of Your Prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, who said, “There is no reward for a hajj that is accepted by Allah except Paradise” (Agreed upon).

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 for myself and for you. Ask Allah for forgiveness. He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

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