In the name of Allah Most Gracious and Most Merciful
Translation of Khutba : Masjid Otsuka: Friday, March 9 2018
All praise is due to Allah as is befitting to Him. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, having no partners, and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. Allah sent Muhammad with the religion of peace; a religion that urges for feeding the poor and showing kindness to others.
Dear Muslims! As to what follows,I urge you and myself to be aware that you are asked to obey Allah the Most Exalted, in line with His orders. Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Maida:
“And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And fear Allah, in whom you are believers.”
(S. 5 V.88)
Dear Muslims! Allah, the Most Exalted and Sublime, has amply bestowed upon us His favours, both apparent and unapparent. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah An-Nahl:
“And if you should count the favours of Allah, you could not enumerate them. …” (S.16 V.18)
Amongst the most important of those great favours is the blessing of food. The latter is a basic need for sustaining one’s life and a key source of physical energy and nutrients. The endower of such a favour is Allah the Almighty Who says
in the Qur’an in Surah Quraish:
“Let them worship the Lord of this House,” “Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe, [saving them] from fear.” (S.106 V.3–4)
Allah the Almighty further enjoined upon mankind to ponder upon the wonderful way in which their food is formed.
Allah the Most Great says in the Qur’an in Surah Abasa:
“Then let mankind look at his food.” “How We poured down water in torrents,” “then We broke open the earth,” “splitting [it with sprouts], and caused to grow within it grain,” “and grapes and herbage,” “and olive and palm trees,” “and gardens of dense shrubbery,” “and fruit and grass .” “As enjoyment for you and your grazing livestock.” (S.80 V.24–32)
So, let us look how Allah the Almighty has created food in a variety of colours and shapes. Doing so, one sees palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food, and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. And it is Allah, the Most Exalted, Who subjected the sea. Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah An-Nahl:
“…for you to eat from it tender meat.…” (S.16 V.14)
And the grazing livestock Allah has created. He says in the Qur’an in Surah An-Nahl:
“And cattle Allah has created For you (men); from them Ye derive warmth. And numerous benefits, And of their (meat) ye eat.” (S.16 V.5)
Dear Muslims! Having been blessed with such treasurable provisions, one should thank the Bestower of them, Allah, the Most Gracious, in line with His orders. He says in the Qur’an in Surah Sabaa:
“… ‘Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. …’” (S.34 V.15)
We should also be grateful to Allah the Almighty, following in this in footprints of the Prophets, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them. In many verses of the holy Qur’an,Allah the Almighty praises them as recognizing His great favours and being grateful to Him. In one of such verses, Prophet Ibrahim pbuh acknowledges his Lord’s favour. About it Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Ash-Shuaraa:
“And it is He who feeds me and gives me drink.” (S.26 V.79)
In like manner, the prophet Muhammad SAW thanked Allah much for His favours, mentioning food as the first and foremost of them. In this regard, it was narrated that Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said that when the prophet Muhammad SAW went to bed, he used to say, “All praise is due to Allah who has fed us and given us to drink, and has sufficed and granted us refuge, and how many are they who have none to suffice them and none to grant them refuge.”
In this sense, there are many ways for one to appreciate Allah’s blessings and thank Him for His abundant favours. One of the greatest ways to show gratitude to such a blessing as the food is to recognize its value and understand that, on the Day of Judgment, we will be accountable before Allah, the Most Beneficent, for preserving it. On this account, it was narrated that once the Prophet SAW and his companions were offered fresh dates and meat. When they finished eating, the Prophet SAW reminded them of the favour that their Lord bestowed upon them saying, “By Allah in Whose Hand my life is, this (food) is part of the blessings concerning which you will be questioned on the Day of Resurrection.”
Moreover, amongst the other aspects of being grateful to Allah for the blessing of food is to avoid being excessive and wasting it. Scholarly opinion on this matter said, “Allah has combined all of the remedies in half a verse: (and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess).” On the same matter, Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Eat what you like and wear what you like, so long as you avoid two things: extravagance and vanity.” As such, when preparing food, one should avoid immoderation in the number of the different dishes to be served. We should also preserve the food and avoid wasting the leftover, taking in this the example of the Prophet SAW. He SAW used not to waste food leftovers. On this account, it was narrated that Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Prophet SAW liked to eat the remains, i.e. the remains of food, and he used to say, ‘You do not know in which part of your food the blessing lies.’” One other sign of gratitude towards Allah the Almighty for blessing us with the favour of sustenance is to give part of our food as a gift whenever this was possible. One can start this practice of gifting the food with family and relatives as well as neighbours, thus keeping good ties with them. The Prophet SAW emphasized the importance of sharing food with others as he SAW said, “O Abu Dharr! Whenever you prepare a broth, put plenty of water in it, and give some of it to your neighbours as a present.”
Similarly, the Messenger of Allah SAW used to give food as a present to his friends. In this regard, it was narrated that the Mother of Believers, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Whenever the Prophet SAW slaughtered a sheep, he would send meat to the friends of Khadijah as a present as much as would suffice them.” Amongst the other ways one can show appreciation and gratitude to Allah for granting us the gracious blessing of food is by keeping the leftovers of food. The Muslim is recommended to eat to his need and give the remaining untouched food as charity to the less fortunate people. In this regard the Prophet SAW said, “Those who have surplus of provisions should give it to those who have no provisions.” This way one may contribute to touching the heart of a hungry person with happiness.
On another level, one other way of thanking Allah the Almighty for His bounties is to acknowledge those bounties and praise Him for bestowing them upon us. The Messenger of Allah SAW said, “Indeed Allah is pleased with the servant who, upon eating his food he praises Him for it or drinking his drink, he praises Him for it” With this in mind, let us pray to Allah, the Most Giving, to help us remember Him much.
May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon the prophet Muhammad SAW, his family and all of his Companions. May Allah be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and all those who will follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.
O Allah! Accept our prayers and all our ibada.
O Allah! Guide us to the right path and make us of those on whom You bestows Your mercy.
O Allah! Accept all of our good deeds and forgive us for our sins.
O Allah! Accept us for Your service and for the service of Islam and Muslims.
O Allah! Please Bless us for our Dawah work here in Japan.
O Allah! Give shifa to all those who are sick.
O Allah! Grant safety and security to everyone here in Japan as well as all over the world. Aamin ya Rabbil Aalamin.