The Best Introduction

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Imam Ash-Shafee (R) said, “If Allah had sent down only surah Al-Asr, it would have been sufficient (as a proof and guidance for mankind).”

This is the beauty of Islam. It is not only surah Al-Asr. Out of His infinite mercy, Allah has made the whole religion replete with proofs about the truthfulness of Islam. A proof can be a verse from the Quran. It can be a saying of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). It can be an incident from the life of Prophet (ﷺ). It is not possible to convince all human beings with one single proof. That is why, by His Mercy, Allah has blessed us with countless number of proofs.

Personally for me, khutbatul hajah (the sermon of necessity) has always been a source of evidence that Islam is a religion sent down by none other than Allah. This introductory khutbah, which the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) taught his ummah to begin their speech with, is so eloquent that when you hear it, you immediately recognize that it is impossible for a human being to come up with such a perfect introduction.

A beauty of khutbatul hajah is you never get tired of it. If a speaker writes an introduction and uses it every time he gives a speech, for sure the audience will get bored of it. That is why speakers always try to come with an unique introduction to draw the attention of their audience every time they give a new speech. In contrast, we never get tired of khutbatul hajah. You may hear it more than once is a single gathering, and yet, every time you hear it, your love only grows for it.

This article will present khutbatul hajah and a short explanation of it by Yasir Qadhi.

Khutbatul Hajah

All Praise is due to Allah. We Praise Him, seek His help, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our souls, and the adverse consequences of our deeds. Whoever Allah guides, there is none that can misguide him, and whoever He misguides, then none can guide him.

I bear witness and testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah; He is alone, having no partners. I bear witness and testify that Muhammad (ﷺ) is His perfect worshiper, and messenger.

O you who have faith! Have taqwa of Allah as He deserves, and die not except as Muslims. [The Noble Quran 3:102]

O Mankind! Have taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him, He created his wife, and from these two, He created multitudes of men, and women. And have taqwa of Allah, through whom you demand your mutual rights, and (do not cut off) the ties of kinship. Verily, Allah is Ever-Watching of over you. [The Noble Quran 4:1]

O you who you have faith! Have taqwa of Allah, and say righteous speech. He will direct you to do righteous deeds, and He will forgive your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed achieved the ultimate success. [the Noble Quran 33:70-71]

As to what follows, then the best speech is the Speech of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (ﷺ). And the worst of affairs are newly invented matters, and every innovation is a misguidance, and every misguidance is in the fire of Hell.

A short explanation of khutbatul hajah from An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’aan by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi

In this short speech, which the Prophet (ﷺ) would give every time he spoke, and which he (ﷺ) taught the Companions to give every time they spoke, the Prophet (ﷺ) summarized the essence of Islam. The words, despite their brevity, are deep in meaning. The speech, despite its lightness, carries great import.

In the first two paragraphs, the Prophet (ﷺ) outlined the fundamentals of faith (eeman). The first paragraph consists of acknowledging the ‘Oneness of Allah in His Existence’ (Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah), and in affirming His unique Names and Attributes (Tawheed al-Asmaa wa as-Sifaat). The fact that a person testifies that Allah is worthy of all types of praise, and that He is the One who is asked in all matters, automatically implies that He exists, and possesses such Names and Attributes that make it deserving and obligatory upon the creation to do these acts.

The second paragraph is the testimony of faith (shahaadah), and with it a Muslim testifies that he will worship Allah, and only Allah, and that this worship will be based upon the teachings and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). This is the essence of the ‘Oneness of Actions’ (Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah); that all of a person’s acts will be performed with one goal in mind: the pleasure of the Creator.

The three verses that the Prophet (ﷺ) would recite have one central theme: the importance of taqwa. The famous student of Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujaahid ibn Jabr (d. 103 A.H.) defined taqwa as, “It is that you obey Allah, so that He is never disobeyed, and you are conscious of Him, so that he is never forgotten, and that you thank Him, so that He is never disbelieved.” The taqwa of Allah is the life of the heart; without it all actions are as if dead.

In the last paragraph, the Prophet (ﷺ) summarized the source of all guidance, and the source of all misguidance. Guidance comes only from the two inspirations – the Quran and the Sunnah. The Quran is described as the best of all speech. If this is the case, then it must contain in it the best of all matters in all that is needed by mankind. The Sunnah, the best guidance, is superior to all other philosophies and methodologies that mankind has invented, for the Sunnah is the perfect example of the worship of Allah, manifested in the life and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). All that is opposed to the Quran and Sunnah – and in this opposition lies the source of all evil – are termed newly-invented innovations, destined to the fire of Hell.

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