In the name of Allah Most Gracious and Most Merciful
Translation of Khutba : Masjid Otsuka: Friday, April 20 2018
All praise is due to Allah Who sent down the Qur’an with which He guided us to the straight path. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, having no partners, and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.
O servants of Allah! As to what follows,I urge you and myself to be aware that you are asked to obey Him, the Most Exalted, in line with His orders.Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah An-Nisaa:
“But if you do good and fear Allah – then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” (S.4 V.128)
Dear Muslims! When Allah, the Almighty, created us, He enjoined us to do good deeds and promised that all such deeds will be weighed in the scale of justice. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Anbyaa:
“And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.” (S.21 V.47)
Knowing that all people shall stand before Allah to be judged for every small or great work they have done in this life, one should hasten to do all that is good in order to take provision for the Day of Judgment. Each one’s deeds are presented to Allah, the Most Exalted, on Mondays and Thursdays, while the whole year’s deeds will be raised in Shaaban. Undoubtedly, there is wisdom in this.On each day, Allah, the Most High, will ask His angels about what His servants did during the day and night although He knows best about everything. On the same, the Prophet SAW said, “Angels come to you in succession by night and day and all of them get together at the time of the Fajr and Asr prayers. Those who have passed the night with you (or stayed with you) ascend (to the Heaven) and Allah asks them, though He knows everything about you, well, ‘In what state did you leave my servants?’ The angels reply, ‘When we left them they were praying and when we reached them, they were praying.’” In this Hadith, “in succession” means one group comes after the other. Here, Allah ask each group of angels that ascends to Heaven, “in what state you left my servants?” This does not mean He lacks knowledge.Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al Imran:
“Indeed, from Allah nothing is hidden in the earth nor in the heaven.” (S.3 V.5)
He rather asks them openly in order to praise His servants before His angels who will say, “When we left them they were praying and when we reached them, they were praying.”
O servants of Allah! Moreover, the Exalted is He has attributed extra credit to the Fajr and Asr prayers because performing worship during the times reflects faithfulness as these are normally the times when people will be either busy or sleeping.Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Israa:
“…And [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.” (S.17 V.78)
Here, the “Qur’an of dawn” means that the Fajr prayer is witnessed by the angels of night and day too.Allah further orders Muslims to be steadfast on observing obligatory prayers, with more emphasis on the middle one, the Asr prayer. Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqara:
“Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.” (S.2 V.238)
Thus, whoever maintains these two prayers will, by Allah’s grace, receive great rewards and earn His Paradise. This was indicated by the Prophet SAW.The Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “Whoever prays the two cool prayers (Al Bardayn: Asr and Fajr) will go to Paradise.” It is, then, such a great success to those who observe the five obligatory prayers in congregation so that Allah, the Most Gracious, boasts of them before His angels in the highest Heavens.
O Worshipers! Please know that the year’s deeds are lifted to Allah, the Almighty, in the month of Shaaban, about which the Prophet SAW said, “That is a month to which people do not pay much attention, between Rajab and Ramadan. It is a month in which the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.” In this Hadith, the Prophet SAW explains that the reason for his fasting during Shaaban is that it is a month which people normally neglect and hence worships performed during it will be more rewarded by Allah. This is because performing worships during these times will be more difficult. And who engages much in worship then is truly sincere. As an exalted month during which deeds are shown to Allah, the Almighty, one, being fasting, shall attain multiple rewards, and his acts will get accepted. He will, thus, be blessed with Allah’s sublime satisfaction.
O Believers! Shaaban is a great season for the believers to purify their souls and prepare for the holy month of Ramadan. It is an occasion for those who undertake good deeds to increase them so as to fill their records with righteousness and win multiple rewards from the Creator. Allah, the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Ankaboot:
“And those who have believed and done righteous deeds – We will surely assign to them of Paradise [elevated] chambers beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers.”
Yet, those who have fallen short of good deeds will find in Shaaban an opportunity to make amends by turning a sincere repentance that is conducive to effacing their previous sins because Allah is the Most Merciful and His blessings upon the believers are gracious. The Exalted is He says in the Qur’an in Surah Taha:
“But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance.” (S.20 V.82)
One way for one to get his sins wiped out and see his standing elevated to higher levels is by performing righteous deeds after falling in sins. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an in Surah hood:
“…Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” (S.11 V.114)
This means good deeds remove one’s wrongdoings. So, truly, they are successful those who seize the opportunity during the seasons of bounties to repent to the Lord, return to Him, hence, hasten to perform all that is righteous, seeking to win His Paradise.
May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon 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.