Balance in the World

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - June 2012 - 26mins 22secs

Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of Night and Day, - indeed there are signs for men of understanding. 
Surah Al-Imran verse 190

The Sheikh began this beautiful khutba with the above verses that allude to one of the key activities we are commanded to partake in; fikr. This is not surface thought but deep reflection with the substance that makes up the core of man, variously described as the qalb, ruh, nafs or in this verse as the lubb. This translates as the core, or seed of the human being and as the Sheikh points out it needs to sprout and grow, but can only do so with the water of Divine remembrance.

Part of this fikr is about contemplating creation, intuiting that the beauty in nature is not an end in and of itself but something that points to the Jameel. Just as everything praises and exalts the Creator, and states its absolute dependence on Him, human beings are likewise commanded to do the same; "the Source wants us to be part of this cosmic symphony".

Unfortunately humanity has an ability to forget, ignore or manipulate the wonders of Creation. Changing the signposts or milestones is a serious offence in Sharia, and it is arguably an even more grievous offence when we tamper with the Signs of this world. Instead of reading the ayat of creation we plunder the earth's resources and treasures for a relative pittance. As the examples of 'Ad and Thamud show there is only a limited amount of time we are given before Allah's punishment is met for the violation of His creation and order.

Picture taken in the Master's Garden, Selwyn College by the CKETC team

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Gold and Eternality

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - June 2012 - 25mins 12secs

Lo! That which ye are promised will surely come to pass, and ye cannot escape.
Surah al-An'am verse 134

The Sheikh used this khutba to talk about the dual nature of Gold, which acts in this dunya as a potent force in and of itself, and also functions as a symbol of the two paths that we may take in this life towards the hereafter.

He began with the above ayah, one meaning of which hints at the 'worst kept secret in this dunya; that our lives will end.'  Oftentimes we construct mountains of wealth and barricades of gold as a protection from the reality of death. As an element and metal gold is precious, unchanging, lasting. The Children of Adam, the Sheikh notes, think that perhaps gold might imbue some of these qualities in them, thus averting them from the finality that they fear most.

The negative aspect of gold, or its pursuit is shown in the stories of the Israelites, that 'show what we can be when we are our best and our worst'. Moses, upon him be peace, left his people after they were shown great favour by the Almighty, towards Sinai. He took the solitary and steep road towards God, whilst they left him spiritually, symbolised by the constructing of the empty idol of gold. The pulling between the paths is echoed in our own lives, and whilst we are torn between the two we gain neither true comfort nor pleasure from either.

The Sheikh then goes onto show the other facet of gold's nature. Gold is incorruptible, pure, luminous like the sun and as such functions as the 'mineral of Allah'. This is brilliantly shown in the mosques on the temple mount in Jerusalem. The iconic golden Dome of the Rock is an apt symbol for the mi'raj; its resplendent light symbolising the presence of God, with the fitting counterpoint of the silver dome of al-Aqsa representing the Prophet dispersing that light, much as the moon reflects the light of the sun. The khutba ends with a hadith that invites us to seek the higher meaning and benefit in the gold and wealth that so many strive for in this world:

Oh Son of Adam, do you own any of your property except that which you eat and pass out, that which you wear and you wear it out, that you give in sadaqah and you make it eternal?

Picture taken in the Mosque of Cordoba by the CKETC team

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