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Beginning the New Academic Year – Shaykh ‘Abdullaah al-Juhanee

Friday Sermon from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (Grand Mosque in Makkah), 26 Muharram 1443h (3 September 2021)

…Dear Muslims, observe taqwaa of Allaah [by fulfilling His commands and avoiding His prohibitions], remember that He always sees you, continue to obey Him, and do not disobey Him. He said, ((We most certainly instructed the people of the scriptures prior to you, as well as you yourselves, to observe taqwaa of Allaah)) [4:131]. Taqwaa allows a person to attain Allaah’s special guardianship, it leads to success, it provides a way out of every difficulty, it lets one reach the highest of levels, and it enables one to be admitted to Jannah and saved from the hellfire.

Servants of Allaah, we praise Allaah – the owner of all favours and blessings – for granting us very significant and momentous blessings. One of those has come during these days in the form of resuming educational activities in person; and having teachers and students, males and females, return to their schools, institutes, and universities in a way that is a cause for much happiness. It is an indicator of strength, elevation, and honour. Allaah – the Most Exalted – said, ((Allaah raises the rank of those among you who have eemaan and those who have been granted knowledge, and Allaah is completely acquainted with everything that you do)) [58:11]. Knowledge is the most important thing anyone can hope to attain, the most virtuous thing that can be diligently sought, and the most beneficial thing that can be acquired. It is the inheritance left by the Prophets. It gives life to the heart, light to the insight, cure to the heart, rejuvenation to the mind, enjoyment to the soul, comfort to the lonely, and direction to the confused. It is the balance by which all words, deeds, and circumstances are to be weighed. By it, Allaah can be worshipped, mentioned, praised, glorified, and affirmed as unique. When mentioning the most important issue about which testimony can be given – that being Allaah’s uniqueness in His right to be worshipped – Allaah cited the testimony of those who have knowledge, and He mentioned that in conjunction with the testimony given by Himself and given by the angels. That implies that their testimony has the highest level of validation since Allaah would not do that in the case of anyone whose integrity is compromised or disparaged. Knowledge is Allaah’s evidence upon this Earth that He created. It is a source of light among His servants, and it guides and leads them to the Jannah that He created. Allaah – the Most Exalted – said, ((Allaah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Him, and so do the angels and the people who have been granted knowledge. Allaah ultimately establishes complete justice. None has the right to be worshipped except Him, the Almighty, the Most Wise)) [3:18]. Dear Muslims, having knowledge and giving knowledge importance are among the most important necessities of life at the levels of individuals and collectives. Knowledge is what allows peoples and nations to advance. Lacking knowledge neither sets things right for them nor provides them with strength. People require knowledge even more than they require food and drink. This is because a person requires food and drink only once or twice a day, while he requires knowledge as many times as the number of breaths he takes.

As we are now at the beginning of our new academic year, there is a major need for us to acquaint our sons and daughters who are students with the conduct to be observed with respect to knowledge.  The first aspect of that conduct consists of observing taqwaa of Allaah, remaining sincere to Allaah, persevering through difficulties, being humble, avoiding arrogance, listening to teachers respectfully, and being insightful and gentle when engaging in dialogue.

In addition, my message to every male and female teacher is that you must observe taqwaa of Allaah regarding all of the students under your tutelage. Emulate the example set by the first teacher of our Ummah: the Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah grant him commendation and protection). He was indeed the very best of teachers. He was forbearing, merciful, kind, and gentle. He made things easy, not difficult. He conveyed glad tidings and did not chase people away. He smiled and had a happy disposition. Therefore, you are to emulate his example. You have been honoured with the message of the Prophets and Messengers; thus, you are to fulfil your educational responsibilities, and I implore to bless us and all of you with guidance and correctness.

My message to fathers and mothers is that you must observe taqwaa of Allaah regarding all that He has put under your care. The Prophet (may Allaah grant him commendation and protection) said, “Allaah will surely ask each man about whether he protected or neglected what was put under his care. That would continue until Allaah even asks a man about his own household.” This was collected by ibn Hibbaan and its chain of narration is hasan (authentic).

Teach your sons and daughters the rights that their teachers have. Teach them sound conduct before they go to gatherings where knowledge is imparted. Plant within their hearts love for knowledge, love for scholars, respect for teachers, and the fact that all of those are means of drawing nearer to Allaah and pleasing Him. Allaah said, ((You must observe taqwaa of Allaah, and Allaah is the One who grants you knowledge. Furthermore, Allaah has complete knowledge about absolutely everything)) [2:282].

May Allaah bless all of us by the magnificent Qur’aan and the guidance of the leader of all Messengers. And may Allaah enable us all to glean benefit from their evidences and reminders of wisdom…

 

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…You must continue to observe taqwaa of Allaah as He rightfully deserves. You must also adhere to the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, since that is the surest means to salvation that anyone can take hold of. Beware of sins since you will be unable to bear the hellfire. Be humble towards Allaah since He will raise any person who does that, and He will degrade any person who is arrogant towards Him. A person who sows the seeds of taqwaa will be praiseworthy at the time of harvest. Furthermore, you must realize that the most truthful speech is the Book of Allaah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (may Allaah grant him commendation and protection), and the worst of matters are those which are invented and then claimed to be part of Islaam. All such matters are considered bid’ah, all bid’ah is misguidance, and all misguidance will be in the hellfire.

We praise Allaah again and again for blessing us to have the [Covid-19] pandemic reduced in our nation and reached a level at which it can be considered as contained. I also earnestly remind all of my brothers in Islaam about the importance of immunization, taking the recommended doses of the vaccine, and adhering to the protective measures and safety protocols put in place by the relevant authorities. These are to be done in order to preserve the safety and health of our sons and daughters who are studying. It is also imperative to be wary of rumours surrounding the vaccines.

We beseech Allaah to grant all of us beneficial knowledge; to bestow His guidance upon our sons and daughters, and make them righteous and successful individuals; and to reward all teachers and parents, and assist them as they fulfil their message and role in serving their communities so that education can continue in an outstanding and developed manner. My Lord is indeed Most Generous, Most Kind…

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