'To every people a guide'

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 29 May 2009 - 26 mins 40 secs

Islam is often perceived as an exclusive religion, dividing humanity into believers and non-believer. It is true that that the Divine Message of the Qur'an is rigorously uncompromising in its demand for a clear distinction between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. But, as the sheikh reminds us in this sermon, these divisions do not necessarily correspond to divisions between different religious groups. Muslim does not always mean right, and non-Muslim wrong, although we often act is if they do. Discussing the Christians of Najran, the response of Waraqa b. Nawfal to the Prophet Muhammad's message (peace and blessings be upon him), and other examples, the sheikh elaborates on this important aspect of the Qur'anic message. Perhaps uniquely among ancient scriptures, the Qur'an asserts the correct belief of more than one religious community. The sheikh also touches on the role of Khadija (may God be pleased with her), Waraqa's cousin and of course the Prophet's first confidant and follower; thus highlighting another compelling aspect of the Prophet's mission which the ummah could do so much more to bring alive today.

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Hypocrisy & Sincerity

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 22 May 2009 - 23 mins 39 secs

In this sermon, the sheikh relates a hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) about the qualities that indicate hypocrisy (nifaq) in someone's heart: telling lies, breaking promises, distorting the truth in an argument and breaking one's pledge. He highlights the seriousness of these faults because of God's command to be among the people of truth and sincerity (sidq), and discusses how they can affect us in everyday life.

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Religious Freedom & the Sunna

Talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - June 2008 - 1 hr 18 mins 17 secs

In this talk, the sheikh discusses the role in the modern world of following the sunna ('example', 'practice') of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He begins by analysing the fragmentation of the modern world, in which different aspects of human existence and even of an individual are disconnected from each other. As humanity learns more and more about the material details of our existence, there seems to be a correlating reduction in our real understanding of the overall meaning of creation and our place in it. Yet how can we find an antidote to this in the practice of the Prophetic sunna, which, superficially at least, is concerned with the very fine details of our day-to-day life? The sheikh explains the importance firstly of the fact that it is a source of harmony by allowing us to integrate our outward and inward states and conform both to the fundamental reality of our existence. Secondly, the sunna is a shelter and liberation from the imprisonment with which our uncultivated egos (nafs) and desires (hawa') threaten us. To the modern eye, trained to judge only by the criterion of personal freedom, limiting oneself to a prescribed type of behaviour seems a surefire route to misery and repression. Yet what real freedom is there in living according to the unrelenting demands of the nafs, which will always push for more and more because any apparent happiness it finds in transitory acts is just as fleeting? Unfortunately, for many of us religion has become just another way of acting out the hyperactive impulses of our unquiet souls. But, the sheikh reminds us, its real function is just the opposite - a route to inner contentment (sakina) and thereby freedom.

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More Good Links

For those of you who might not have seen them, two lectures very worthwhile checking out:

- Sheikh Abdal Hakim on 'America as a Jihad State', delivered at King's College in London a fortnight or so ago

- Sheikh Hamza Yusuf penetrating analysis of the social costs of pornography, given at Princeton University late last year

Sincerity & Salvation

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - date unknown - 23 mins 32 secs

In this sermon, the sheikh discusses another aspect of the different hadiths that emphasise how apparently straight-forward it is to achieve salvation through the simple testimony of God's Uniqueness and Unity. He explains the significance of putting this testimony into action by bearing witness to it through word as well as deed, and hence the relationship between ikhlas ('sincerity') and khalas ('delivery' or 'salvation').

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Restraint in an Age of Excess

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutbah) by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 8 October 2004 - 26 mins 12 secs

In this sermon, the sheikh relates a sound hadith in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that what he feared most for his community was the following of the uncontrolled urges of gluttony and lust. Although we often hear important warnings in sermons and elsewhere against the influence of the sad and tawdry modern culture of immodesty and sexual permissiveness, less attention is paid to the greedy and dysfunctional attitude toward food that the Western monoculture promotes. Yet not only is it a problem against which the the Blessed Prophet strongly warned us (peace be upon him), but one which is increasingly and obviously widespread among Muslims. The sheikh therefore reminds us of the importance of the prophetic virtue of restraint, which has so many important benefits, both spiritual and physical, and discusses how we can attempt to imitate it.

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