By Sheikh Saud al-Shuraim – 15 Rajab 1437
His Eminence Sheikh Saud al-Shuraim –May Allah protect him– delivered this Friday Khutbah titled “The Merit of (La Hawla wa la Quwwata illa Bil-Laah)” in which he talked about one of the treasures of paradise, namely the statement “The Merit of (La Hawla wa la Quwwata illa Bil-Laah).” He explained its meaning and merits, and he mentioned the errors associated with the use of such a blessed expression.
Praise be to Allah! We praise Him, seek His assistance, ask for His forgiveness, and return onto Him in repentance. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our misdeeds. He whom Allah guides, none can lead astray, and he whom He misguides, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah alone with no partner, and I also bear witness that Muhammad is the Servant and Messenger of Allah.
“O You who Believe! Fear Allâh (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 Islâm (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allâh.” [Al Imran: 102]
“O Humankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allâh through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allâh is Ever an AllWatcher over you.” [Al-Nissa: 1]
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).” [Al-Ahzab: 70-71]
The best speech is that of Allah, the best guidance is that of Muhammad ‒ May Allah’s Salat and Peace be upon him ‒ the worst of matters are innovations (appended to religion), every innovation is bid’ah (a type of worship not sanctioned by religion), and every bid’ah is a form of misguidance.
I advise you, as well as myself, after observing taqwa vis-à-vis Allah (fear of disobeying Him) – Exalted and Most High be He – to adhere to Jama’ah (the Muslim community), for the Hand of Allah is over the community, and whoever dissents from Jama’ah will have dissented into Hellfire.
“He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).” [Al-Nissa: 115]
Allah created man, moulded him in the best shape, and made him in the best of stature. He treads all the paths, hurrying morning and evening after his life affairs. He spends all his life either to salvage his soul or lead it to peril. He exhausts himself in order to provide food and exerts himself in quest of some respite.
“O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, so you will meet (i.e. the results of your deeds which you did).” [Al-Inshiqaq: 6]
Nonetheless, man without faith remains a weak creature. When some evil befalls him, he gets worried; when he incurs some good, he withholds from giving charity2. In both cases, he feels anxious, horrified, totally exhausted, depressed, and hopeless –except those whom my Lord blessed with His mercy. In this respect, Allah truthfully says:
“… and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with woman).” [Al-Nissa’: 28]
In fact, none of us could be spared the worries, mishaps, and sorrows of life. While busying ourselves with our families, children and friends (and forget about the Hereafter), we find ourselves seized by calamities which come our way in the same manner clouds come the way of the two stars (i.e. the sun and the moon) thus eclipsing their light. Then we start exerting ourselves to escape such calamities hoping to find a refuge, some caves, or any hiding place.3
However, in such cases, we would knock at people’s closed doors and not at Allah’s wide-open door. We would spend lengthy moments complaining to people about our suffering and grief, although they are too weak and helpless to be of any assistance. We would not, instead, spend time complaining about them to the One from Whom nothing is hidden, the One nothing in the heavens or on the earth can escape Him,4 the One Who responds to the distressed person when he calls upon Him and removes evil,5 the One in Whose Hand resides the dominion of everything, and the One Who protects all, but against Whom there is no protector.6
If once afflicted by such calamities, man takes to his Lord, he would have resuscitated his conscience, cleansed his soul, and purified his heart. The case had been such, Allah would have landed him a hand and granted him success; He would have imparted to him the essence of knowing Him and many of the avenues leading to such knowledge. He would have guided him to one of the treasures of paradise and one of its doors which he has disregarded after he got engrossed in worldly life and estranged from his Lord to the extent that he became incapable of perceiving such paradisiacal treasures and doors and their positive impact.
In the two Sahῑh books (by Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari), Prophet Muhammad ‒May Allah’s Salat and Peace be upon him– is reported to have said to Abi Musa al-Ash’ari: “O Abdullah ibn Qais! Say ‘There is no might or power save with Allah’; it is indeed one of the treasures of paradise.” In another version of the same hadith reported by Imam Ahmed and al-Hakim, the wording is: “It is one of the doors of paradise.”
O Servants of Allah!
Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest)! The above-mentioned expression is the treasure of which each one of us is in dire need! It is the treasure made absent from our environment! It is the treasure which is great in worth but cheap in cost. It is a great expression replete with all the possible meanings of tawħeed (monotheism) and the turning to Allah for help. It conveys the meaning of disengaging oneself from the might and power of the weak human being into the Might and Power of the Great and the Compeller.
This expression is the provision to the one who aspires to success. It is good company of the worried and relief for the grieved. Whoever adheres to it will gain happiness and benefit, and whoever renounces it will experience unhappiness and loss. Why not, as it is counted among the lasting pious deeds about which the Prophet –May Allah’s Salat and Peace be upon him– said: “Increase your lasting pious deeds.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah! What are those?” He replied: “Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar ‘Allah is Greatest’), tahleel (saying la ilaha illa Allah ‘There is no deity except Allah alone’), tasbeeh (saying subhana Allah ‘Glorify be Allah’), praise be to Allah, and ‘There is no might or power save with Allah.’” [Reported by Imam Ahmed and ibn Hibbaan]
It is really strange that a servant be distracted by human might and power from Allah’s Might and Power! It is strange that he renounce this door leading to this treasure! If those oppressed and distressed said it repeatedly with certitude, Allah would open up enough avenues of divine contentment that dissipate any form of worry, distress, sadness, or melancholy. For it is the key to faith and to divine assistance as so described by the Sheikh of Islam and others. Through it, its utterer entrusts all his affairs to the Subjugator over His servants, the Wise, the Well-Acquainted with all things.7 It seems as if he is saying: “Neither motion, capacity, nor shift from one condition to another is possible for me except through resorting to Allah’s Might and Power.”
This is why there are many hadiths dealing with its merits, whether when it is uttered in isolation or in association with other expressions, because it entails Allah’s assistance. For this reason, Prophet Muhammad –May Allah’s Salat and Peace be upon him– made it one of his sunnahs (traditions): “When the muezzin (caller to prayer) says ‘Hayya ala as-salat’ (come to prayer), hayya ala al-falah’ (come to salvation), the listener should then say: ‘There is no might or power save with Allah.’”
O you, distressed person! Stop for a while and meditate on the great meanings that this expression conveys and on the sublime clinging to the One Whose Hand is replete (with interminable blessings) bestowed (upon His creatures) day and night, and nothing can exhaust it. Are you aware how much Allah has spent since the creation of the heavens and the earth? However, all such expenditure could not cause what is in His Hand to decrease! That what the Prophet –May Allah’s Salat and Peace be upon him‒ had told us.
A group of exegetes and Hadith narrators relate a story described in its entirety by some of them as reliable. In the story, the polytheists held in captivity one of the sons of Awf ibn Malik al-Ashja’ee, called Malik. He said: “O Messenger of Allah! The enemy held my son in captivity.” He also complained to the Prophet about his poverty. The Prophet –May Allah’s Salat and Peace be upon him– said to him: “Observe taqwa (fear of disobeying Allah’s commands), be patient, and say very often ‘There is no might or power save with Allah’.” The man did so. While he was at home, his son came to him, while the enemies were distracted, herding booty of a few camels.
Allahu Akbar! What great words they are! Allahu Akbar! What a great effect they have! Allahu Akbar! How oblivious of them people can get, both in word and deed, though they are easy and accessible for all: the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, and those lying in bed sick or disabled!
(The Sheikh cites four lines of poetry that can be translated as follows):
O Lord, whenever You give me from Your bounty
I see a world of grace that is so boundless
You have given me, and You are the Best to give
You have rid me of every kind of trouble
I get surrounded by problems I gather have no end
But they soon vanish upon uttering “hawqalah”8
Those seeking Your help come to You walking
And You, the All-Generous, come to them running.
In a Qudsi (divine) Hadith, Allah – Glorified be He – so truthfully says: “I am as my servant thinks of Me, and I am with him when he remembers Me…” [Narrated by Imam Muslim]
May Allah bless you and me by the Qur’an and the Sunnah and make their verses and wise sayings beneficial to you and me! This is what I have said. If it is true, it is from Allah, but if it is wrong, it is from myself and Satan. I seek forgiveness from Almighty Allah for me, you, and the rest of the believers, males and females, for all sins and wrong-doings; therefore, ask Him for forgiveness, and repent unto Him. Verily, my Lord is All-Forgiving, All-Merciful!