Eid Khutbah – the inward and outward dimensions of takbeer

Glorify, be guided and be grateful

Allah …[wants] you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. (2:185)

Takbeer (say Allahu Akbar) is the essence of Eid

Every Eid it is the sunnah to do takbeer, say ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is the greatest). On Eid al Fitr,  it states after the confirmation of sighting the Hilal of Shawwal, and the takbeer stops when the Eid salah starts, but in Eid al Adha, the takbeer starts after Fajr salah of Arafa day (9th of Dhul-Hijjah) and it lasts til the 3rd day of tashreeq (13th of Dhul-Hijjah).

Takbeer is the glorification of Allah. Proclaiming that He is the greatest. It may be a simple, well-worn phrase, but it’s meaning is weighty and significant, for when we say there is nothing greater than Allah, it means that He is not just great, but The Greatest – well beyond our imagination because we cannot comprehend him.

Inward and outward takbeer

To proclaim takbeer should not be a verbal exercise. It is our aqeedah (belief). It has to stem from the heart and reflect in the actions of your limbs. We have to mean it.

Takbeer has to be inward and outward, but deep in our hearts, we need to reflect on the takbeer Allah is the greatest. No matter how difficult our situation, or the obstacles we face, Allah can take us out of them.

Allah is greater than any calamity

Allah is greater than anything and he can take us out of our problems and dilemmas. This means that Allah is greater than all the calamities and tests we face in our life. It means Allah is the One who can remove them from us.

All of us globally, are faced with the test of the pandemic.

The pandemic is a clear message to many of us, but not to everyone.

Needs vs wants

It is a message to reflect on the priorities in our life. How can we re-prioritise our life, and put what is important ahead of our wants, desires and luxuries which are secondary to our needs. Instead of being consumed by wants, we have to focus on our needs.

This exercise has been done for us.  The pandemic has sifted our needs from our wants. Now we can see that we need to focus on what is most important in our lives, which is not accumulating wealth but our health, our family and our safety.

Escape from fear to Allah

Ironically, when we fear something our instinct is to run away from it. However when we fear Allah, we escape to Him. This is the contrary of all other fears. Normally when you fear the beast you run away from him, but when we fear Allah, we have to come closer to Him. He is our refuge from all harm. Allah the Almighty says:

So flee to Allah. (50:51)

Allah will take us out of our test. But we need to do homework from our side. In order to succeed in any test, we need to prepare for it. Allah has given us revision time to prepare for our test. Now is our time to revise and pass. It requires some thinking and we have to put our hearts and minds in it.

Guidance is priceless

Allah said,

Glorify Allah for that which He guided you to. (2:185)

Therefore we glorify Allah because He gave us guidance. You can’t put a price on guidance. If you told someone to pay a million pounds in exchange for guiding his son, he would pay it, ( if he has the means). But it doesn’t work like this.

Don’t underestimate guidance, especially at this critical time. Guidance and sticking to guidance is crucial to ourselves and our family.

Gratitude

Allah wants us to show gratitude, so stop complaining. The more you complain you sink deeper in your troubles. Show gratitude and say, ‘Allah lift this pandemic. You have sent it for a reason.’ Or it might be something else you are suffering.

Shikwa

Dr Allama Iqbal in his most famous poem, Shikwa, assumed the voice of an oppressed and frustrated Muslim, who complains to Allah Almighty. (In and Jawab e Shikwa he addressed these complaints and answered the protests).

When you go to a shop and are treated badly, you file a complaint that you were not satisfied with the service. You can’t file a complaint against Allah. This is not respectful. This is not honouring Allah. The one who has shikwa, has weak imaan.

What do we do instead? We praise Allah. As Allah’s servants, we have no shikwa (Urdu for complaints) or any shakwa (Arabic for complaints) against Him. Instead put your duas before Him. Beg Him for His aid and support. Say ‘I am so weak. I can’t get through this without your support.’

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. (2:186)

If my servants ask you about me,

In the ayahs of the verses on fasting, Allah says, fa ini qareeb. ‘I am near’. He responds to our duas, when we call upon Him. He taught us to respond to Him and to believe in Him, so that we would be guided. Allah didn’t say complain. Whether you are suffering because you have lost your job or are in debt, or have lost a loved one, what do you do? Raise your case to Allah in your supplications. Always beg Allah don’t complain against Him.

Have rida (satisfaction).  The quality of rida is the best quality after imaan (faith). The deeper your imaan, the deeper your rida. It is the twin of imaan. They are inseparable. Being satisfied with Allah’s does not mean that you can’t ask Allah for what is better. Let’s increase our supplications to Allah.

Spread happiness

Regardless of what you are suffering from, don’t forget that the sunnah is to spread happiness, because Allah Almighty enabled us to do our ibadah. He enabled many of us to fast the full month, to do tarawih, and recite Quran. May He accepts it from us.

Stay safe

Please don’t go out. We didn’t go to the mosque which is the most important aspect of Eid because we don’t want to spread the virus and increase the fatalities and death in the community. Allah commanded us to preserve lives and community, so stay inside and don’t go to visiting relatives. Otherwise you will be helping spread the virus.

Allah the Almighty said: {Do not kill yourselves. For Allah is Most Merciful towards you}. (4:29).

Stay home and spread happiness through social media. We have to be grateful to Allah for that.

Continue refraining from the haram

Be careful not to be engage in any illicit or haram activities after spending the month in purification. Keep your good habits from Ramadan throughout the year. And fast the 6 fasts of Shawwal,

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be on him) as saying:

He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted for a lifetime. (Sahih Muslim)

May Allah accept all our ibadah and lift our difficulties from us, and make us of the grateful. Ameen.

Eid Khutbah by Shaykh Haytham Tamim delivered online on 24th May 2020

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001.His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College).He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.