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• Sit down facing congregation. Listen to Adhaan. Stand up facing congregation. (silently) Say: A’udhoo…and Basmallah. Start Part I of the khutbah.
Innalhamdalilah nahmaduhu wa nastaeenuhu wa nastaghfiruh, wa naoothu billahi min shuroori an fusinaa wa min sayeeaati aamaalina mayahdihillhu fala mudillalah wamayudlil falaa haadiya lah.
• Ashadu An Laa Ilaaha illAllah wahdahu la shareeka lah wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasooluh. • Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha haqqa tuqatihi wala tamootunna illa wa antum muslimoona.
Ya ayyuha alnnasu ittaqoo rabbakumu allathee khalaqakum min nafsin waahidatin wakhalaqa minha zawjaha wabaththa minhuma rijalan katheeran wanisaan. waittaqooAllaha allathee tasaaloona bihi waalarhama, inna Allaha kana AAalaykum raqeebaa.
• Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha waqooloo qawlan sadeedan - Yuslih lakum, aAAmalakum wayaghfir lakum thunoobakum waman yutiAAi Allaha warasoolahu faqad faza fawzan AAatheema. • Amma bad:
Fa inna khayral hadeethi kitabullah wa khayral hadee, hadee Muhammadin (S) wa sharrol omoori muhdathaatuhaa wa
kulla muhdathatin bidah wa kulla bidatin dalaalah wa kulla dalaalatin finnar. • Say loudly; A’udhoo and Basmallah. Now start the khutbah with relevant Qur’anic aayaah(t).
Huwa Al-Ladhī Ba`atha Fī Al-'Ummīyīna Rasūlāan Minhum Yatlū `Alayhim 'Āyātihi Wa Yuzakkīhim Wa Yu`allimuhumu Al-Kitāba Wa Al-Ĥikmata Wa 'In Kānū Min Qablu Lafī Đalālin Mubīnin. Rabbi Zidnī `Ilmā. 'Ata'murūna An-Nāsa Bil-Birri Wa Tansawna 'Anfusakum Wa 'Antum Tatlūna Al-Kitāba 'Afalā Ta`qilūn.
• Sadakallahul adhzim. Dear brothers and sisters in Islaam, AsSalaamu Alaikum WaRahmatullaahi WaBaarakatuh. The last three aayaat that I just recited are: Aayaah # 2 of Suraah al-Jumu’ah, aayaah # 114 of Suraah Taa-Haa, and aayaah # 44 of Suraah al-Baqaraah of the Qur’anul Karim; and let’s see their closest meanings: Aayaah 2, al-Jumu’ah: He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (S) from among themselves, reciting to them His (Allaah’s) Verses, purifying them (from disbelief, etc.) and teaching them the Book (the Qur’an) and al-Hikmaah. And verily, they had been before in manifest error. Aayaah 114, Taa-Haa: My Lord, increase me in knowledge.
Aayaah 44, al-Baqaraah: Enjoin you al-Birr (piety,uprightness,righteousness,etc.) on the people and you forget (to practice it) yourselves, while recite the Scripture! Have you then no sense? These aayaat are selected to illustrate the relationship between teachers, students and parents. This being a summer time here in the USA, with many youngsters in attendance, I thought it will be a good idea to talk about something that connects these three parties. Therefore, the topic of today’s khutbah is: Triangle of Knowledge of Education: Students, Teachers and Parents Well, as we know, you need three sides to have a triangle. The teachers, students and parents represent one side each of this triangle; and when you have one or more side(s) missing, naturally there won’t be any triangle. Let’s talk a little bit about knowledge first, and of course, we will talk with an Islaamic perspective, Inshaa’Allaah; however, it’s true for secular or non-secular or non-religious knowledge as well. Islaam is the religion of knowledge. The first aayaah of the Qur’an revealed enjoined Muslims to read. Actually the comprehensive meaning of this aayaah is to “go get the knowledge,” not just the “read” as has been generally translated. Allaah (SWT) created man and provided him with the tools of acquiring knowledge, namely hearing, sensing, sight, reason, wisdom, etc. Allaah (SWT) says in the Qur’an, Suraah al-Nahl, aayaah 78: “And Allaah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you knew nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thank (to Allaah).”
Because of the importance of knowledge, Allaah (SWT) commanded His Messenger (S) and by extension to us, the Muslims, to seek more of it. He (SWT) said: “(O Muhammad!) ‘And say: Rabbi Zidni ‘lima’” “My Lord, increase me in knowledge” Rasulullaah (S) made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim, man and woman, young and old. He also indicated that the one who has knowledge is superior over the one who merely worships just like the moon is superior over to other heavenly bodies like stars. He also said that the scholars are heirs of the Prophets and the Prophets did not leave behind dinars or dirhams (i.e. money), rather their inheritance was knowledge; so whoever acquires it has gained a great share. He also said: “Whoever follows a path in pursuit of the knowledge, Allaah (SWT) will make a path to Paradise easy for him.” (Bukhari) Islaam calls us to learn all kinds of beneficial knowledge. Branches of knowledge vary in status, the highest of which is the deeni knowledge, and knowledge of Shari’ah, in particular. That does not preclude us from getting knowledge of sciences, etc. Because it can help us “know” Allaah (SWT) and His Rasulullaah (S) better. Knowledge is so important that Imam Al-Gazzali has used it as one of the seven, and actually the very first one, valleys that one has to travel in the path of ‘Ibaadah in his book Minhaj AlAabideen (The Best Way for Worshippers). Now that we know the importance of knowledge, let us construct the triangle of knowledge. We need to understand the duties of all involved in constructing this triangle. And let’s look at the very first side of this triangle. Teachers. And who could have been the best teacher? None, other than the Prophet (S) himself! Among his many accolades, teaching was one of them. He was indeed the best teacher. He (S) reminded
us of our duties and responsibilities as teachers and the proper behavior accorded to teachers by the students. O Allaah, please shower your choicest blessings on him, his friends and relatives – and all those who commit themselves to his teachings and spend the rest of their lives teaching others. Brothers and sisters, we realize that we need a comprehensive, all-embracing education for us and our children to achieve that knowledge we so earnestly desire. On one side you have teachers and on the other side you have our children who are the students. You and I, the parents, have to become the third side. We need to get involved so that we can effectively communicate between the two sides. And I am talking about any education, may that be the public school or the weekend school or full-time Islaamic School. Years ago, I used to take my son 60 miles away for the weekend school because we did not have any nearby facility for Islaamic teaching. For the first year, while the school was going on, I used to sit outside and basically “kill” my time since it was not possible to go back and forth between home and the school. Then I realized that I was wasting my time. With some inspiration from the Principal, next year, I started teaching, and believe me, that isthe best thing that ever happened to me. Not only did it help my son, it helped me! Even for public school, we get involved in school activities. We try to know teachers, talk with them, ask if any need, any help is warranted for our children, etc. And believe me, it goes a long way. I am using this khutbah as a vehicle to drive the message to those parents, who are capable of teaching, to come forward as teachers for our own Sunday school. And it’s not only as teachers; you could be doing many other things. Be creative and start your own idea. Be assistant to teachers. Help develop curriculum. Observe the children and be a guide to their behavior. Sponsor activities. Spend from what Allah has given to you, and I mean not just the money! At least you can have the pizza with us! So much for the sales pitch! Let’s look at the duty of a teacher in the education experience:
#1: Teachers have to be a living example of the subject matter. Teachers need to set an example of what he or she is teaching. What it means is that you need to practice what you are preaching. For example, teachers cannot ask the students to do the salaah while they themselves are not doing. Again, look at our role model, Rasulullaah (S). He did everything he advised to others. You cannot demand the children to be on time while you yourself are coming late, time after time. It’s that simple. The teachers must be committed to and believe in what they are teaching. This is what Allaah (SWT) emphasizes in the Qur’an. For example, Ayah 44, Al-Baqaraah: ”'Ata'murūna An-Nāsa Bil-Birri Wa Tansawna 'Anfusakum Wa 'Antum Tatlūna Al-Kitāba 'Afalā Ta`qilūna “It says: “Do you enjoin right conduct on the people and forget to practice it yourself while reciting the scripture? Don’t you have any sense?” The message cannot be blunter than this. So in this case you should backup your teaching knowledge by doing action. #2: Accept the child whom you are teaching unconditionally as your own. Again, Imaam Al-Ghazzali quoted Rasulullaah (S) saying: “I am to you like a father who desires to save his child from the fires of hell, which is more important than any of the efforts of parents to save their children from the fires of earth.” What this indicates is this: The teacher’s concern is not only to achieve immediate and short-term success such as some cuecard driven answers or good scores, but to inculcate values which are formative, more permanent and would help the students to go closer to Allaah (SWT) or what it means to go closer to Allaah (SWT). The teacher and child are the travelers journeying to Allaah (SWT). Actually in a broad sense, knowledge of education is a journey to Allaah (SWT)! #3: Adjust your teaching to the level of intelligence and needs of your students. This is a basic principle of modern education. You as a teacher cannot be in the cloud 9 and expert your students to grasp the jewels coming out of your mouth! That’s satisfying your own ego, not teaching. Rasulullaah (S) said:”
No one ever relates a tradition to a person which is beyond their minds to understand without being the cause of perplexity to some of them.” In another hadith he said:” We prophets have been commanded to give every man his rightful place and communicate with everyone according to his own ability to understand.” So my appeal to our teachers is this: Do not neglect this basic duty and leave our innocent little children to grope helplessly as they struggle to understand the work which is obviously above them. Do not allow yourselves to become the cause of your students suffering untold misery and frustration, which may even leave permanent, scars on their personalities, or they may prefer not coming to your class or Masjid at all! #4: Know your children intimately. You need to know them on a one-to- one basis. Each one has strengths and weaknesses. You have to pump up their strengths and nurture their weaknesses. Why do you think all universities and colleges are advertising low students-to-teacher ratio? It tells that each student admitted will get personal attention from the teacher. That is knowing your children, your students intimately. When you understand their problems, you can help them overcome or cope w/these problems. Teachers are duty bound to point any wrong action or behavior. But at the same time, they can also offer corrective action. That’s nurturing weakness. #5: Be a role model for your students, and live up to that expectation. Teach in a manner that befits teacher’s dignity, authority and honor that the parents and children bestow upon him or her. Allaah (SWT) warns us to “to invite to all that is good.” Oftentimes, it is not WHAT we teach our children that will influence them, but HOW we teach it. For example, your patience when you wait for the slowest child to arrive at an answer. Your humility when you say to the student,” I don’t know, let’s look it up.” The student, not to mention the parents, appreciate your readiness to persevere with him or her and this quality, the student is bound to emulate and express maybe 20 years later. That’s role
modeling! That’s living up to expectation! You become a wick of a lamp, which burns itself out in giving light to others. So said Imam al-Ghazzali. So much for the teachers and parents. Aqulo quail haza wastaghfirullah, lee walakum walisairil muslimeen; min kulli zanbin festaghfirooh, innahu huwal ghafurur Rahim. Part II • Alhamdulillaahi Rabbil Aalameen. WasSalaatu wasSalaamu ‘alaa khairil mursaleen; Muhammaddin al-nabiyyil ‘ummiyyi, wa’alaa aalihi wa saahbihi ajmaeen. • Ammaa’baad. In this triangle of education, if so much is expected of the teachers and parents, how much more is not expected of the students? Like teaching, learning is part of a Muslim’s ‘ibaadah, the worship. Your first duty as students is to develop noble qualities – such as: truthfulness, sincerity, piety, humility, and respect for teachers and to that matter all of Allaah’s creatures, hard work, and so forth. Students must approach learning with positive attitude. You must be constantly be aware of WHY you are seeking education: It’s not just to get a good job or to be respected by your friends or to get by at the Masjid. These are indeed important goals, but the ultimate goal, the ultimate reason is to serve Allaah (SWT). HOW? As we saw earlier, knowledge will make you “know” Allaah and His Rasul (S) better. Knowledge will make you “know” His universe better, Inshaa’Allaah. And that’s indeed his ‘Ibaadah! Like teachers, students must also be humble at all the times. We are NOT the owners, but merely the trustees of the knowledge of Allaah(SWT). As long as you are proud and
arrogant, and as long as you are filled with self-glory you do not hear or see anything else. Even the teacher’s guidance means nothing to you: you did not learn the true knowledge. It is related by Al-Sha’bi that one day when Zayd-bin-Thabit (R) was leaving a janaazaa at which he officiated, his mule was brought to him and as he was about to mount, Ibn ‘Abbas (the cousin of Rasulullaah (S)) rushed and held the stirrup for him. Zayd was so taken aback by this honor that he said: “Oh, no, don’t bother yourself, O cousin of Rasulullaah (S)!” Ibn ‘Abbas replied” “This is how we are taught to treat the learned and the illustrious.” Zayd then bent over and kissed Ibn ‘Abbas’ hand, saying: “This is how we are taught to honor the household of our Prophet.” Subhaanallaah! Humility is the key to successful learning. That does not mean you become so submissive to your teachers that you are meek to ask your questions to improve your understanding. Be a polite and active two-way participant in learning. It is your right to get up in the classroom and be heard! It is your right to contribute to the body of education through student councils, etc. It is your duty to respect the authority and the dignity of the teacher as representative of your parents! According to ‘Ali-ibn-Abi Taalib (R): “Among the obligations which you owe the teacher are: not to pester him with too many questions nor expect him to reply to all your inquiries. Furthermore, do not seek to trap him; whenever he needs something, be the first to wait on him.” Such were the students who followed Rasulullaah (S). They committed themselves fully to the task of being a seeker of Truth; and Allaah (SWT) in His Infinite mercy inspired them with the true knowledge of his Deen. One scholar once said; “Knowledge will surrender nothing to man unless man surrenders his all to it.” A good student is not just satisfied with what he learns from his teacher, but also what he gains through his own research.
If we dedicate ourselves to the task of studying Allaah’ creation with a view to serving Him: if our search for Truth is accompanied by a search for Taqwaa; if our knowledge becomes our tools rather than our adornment, then, inshaa’Allaah, Allaah (SWT) will open our minds and our hearts to his secrets. May Allaah (SWT) in His Infinite Mercy, place teachers among us who are fired up with Taqwaa; who accept our children as their own without prejudices and preconditions; who care for and selflessly lead our children on the straight path, Aameen. May Allaah (SWT) endow our students with an intimate knowledge of themselves and help them gain fulfillment according to their abilities. O Allaah, in these trying times, please, help us become knowledgeable through education, a creative and vibrant Ummaah. Hel us regain our self respect and assert our identity in this land and every land. Aameen, Allaahumma Aameen. Let’s pray to Allaah (SWT): • Allahummaghfir lil’ muslimeena wal muslimaat, • wal mouamineena wal mouminaat, • al-ahyaa’ee minhum wal amwaat, • innakaa samee’un mujibud da’waat. • --------------------------------------------------------------• Rabbana laa tuzigh quloobanaa, • ba’da ith haday tanaa • wahab lanaa milla dunka rahma. • innakaa antal wah-haab. • ----------------------------------------------------------------• Rabbi ja'alni muqeemus salaati,
• wamin dur-riy-yati, • rabbanaa wata qabbal du'aah. • ------------------------------------------------------------• Rabbigh firlee wali waali dayya, • walil mu'mineena yawma yaqoomul hisaab. • ----------------------------------------------------------• Sub'haanaka rabbika • rabbil 'izzati 'ammaa yusifoon, • wa salaamun 'alal mursaleen, • wal hamdu lil-laahi rabbil aalameen. • -------------------------------------------• Ibaa dal laah: • In nal laaha ya’a muru bil adli wal ihsani • wa ee ta’ee dhil qurbaa • wa yanhaa anil fahshaa’ee wal munkaree wal bagh’yi • ya ee zukum la allakum tadhakkaroon. • --------------------------------------------------• faz ku rooni az kur kum was ku ru li wa la tak furun. • wa aa qimus salaah
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