Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin wasalatu wa salamu ala Rasulina Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa Sahbihi ajmain nahmadulllahu ta’ala wa nastaghfiruhu wa nashadu an-lailaha ilallahu wahdahu la sharika lah wa nashadu anna sayyidina muhammadin abduhu wa habibuhu wa Rasuluhu Salallahu Alayhi wa ala alihi wa azwajihi wa ashabihi wa atbaihi.
Khulafail rashidin mahdin min ba’di wuzerail immeti alal tahkik. khususan minhum alal amidi khulafai rasulillahi ala tahqeeq. umara il mu’mineen. Hazreti Abu Bakr wa Umar wa Uthman wa Ali. Wa ala baqiyati wa Sahabai wa tabieen, Ridwanallahu ta’ala alayhim ajmain. Ya ayyuhal mu’minun al hadirun, ittaqullaha ta’ala wa ati’uh. inna allaha ma allathina-ttaqaw wal-lathina hum muhsinun. Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alameen. Wa Salatu wa Salamu ala Ashraf al-Ambiya’i wa Imam al-Mursaleen, Sayyidina wa Mawlana Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmain.
All praises are due to Allah, Lord of the Universes. All praises are due to Allah who is the First, the Last, the Manifest, the Hidden, the One who has Might and Power over all things. All praises are due to Allah who created Adam (AS) from dust, and who created the Bani Adam in Ahsani Taqwim. All praises are due to Allah who sent His Most Beloved, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS), as the Rahmatalil-Alamin.
And may all peace and blessings be upon the Sultan of the Messengers, the Imam of the Prophets, the Crown of Creation, the Lamp of Guidance, the Grandfather of Hasan and Husayn, Sayyidina Muhammad (AS), and upon his noble family and blessed companions, especially upon the Rightly Guided Khalifas, Hz. Abu Bakr el-Siddiq, Hz. Umar el-Faruk, Hz. Osman el-Ghani, and Hz. Ali el-Murtaza (KS), and all those who follow them until the Last Day.
Ya Ayyuhal Mu’minoon. O Believers. Welcome to you on the Holy Day of Jummah, the day that Holy Prophet (asws) is describing saying,’Jummah is the best of days. It was on this day that Hadrat Adam (asws) was created, it was on this day that he was granted entry into Paradise, it was on this day that he was removed from Paradise, and the Day of Judgment will also take place on this day.’
Welcome to you on the 21st Day of Jumadiul Akhir. Welcome to you when we are just 9 days away from the entry of the month of Allah, Shahrullah, the month of Rajab. We are asking our Lord, Allah (swt) to bless us to reach to the three Holy Months, and to be from those that are showing the proper respect and honor to these Holy Days and Holy Nights that are fast approaching. Ya Ayyuhal Mu’minoon. O Believers! Allah (swt) is saying in the Holy Quran: We have without doubt, sent down the Message; and we will assuredly guard it. And Holy Prophet (asws) is saying in his Last Khutbah to those gathered, “Let those listening to me tell my words to others; let them tell others; perhaps the final ones will understand my words better than those listening to me directly.”
O Believers! We must know our history. For the last one hundred years, the enemies of Truth, from both inside and outside Islam, their focus has been to make the Muslims to forget who we are. And when the enemies make us to forget our history, then they invent a history for us. They make us to forget our language and they teach us how to speak. They take away our clothes and teach us how to dress. They take away our knowledge and teach us how to think. And the enemies of Islam have been using these tricks and traps against the ummah, and the ummah itself, has been in collaboration with the enemies of Islam, for almost a hundred years, until we have forgotten who we are and where we came from.
But this religion, this perfect religion of Islam, it is founded on remembering who came before us. It is founded on being connected to those who came before us. And to regain our honor, to remember who we are, we must understand and reconnect with those ones who came before us. Understand that those who preceded us, those who passed the Emanat, the trust, of the message of the Holy Prophet (asws) down to us, they were the best of people on the face of this Earth.
Allah (swt) is saying in the ayat we mentioned that He will guard the message. And Holy Prophet (asws) is saying to those gathered at his Hujjatul Wada to pass the message, to convey his words to others. And this message was passed down, it was preserved, it was guarded, for over 1400 years, until it passed all the way to us. And this preservation has been implemented through a method that is completely unique to Islam; because, no other religion has been preserved like Islam, because this method only exists in Islam.
What is this? This is called Isnad. It is called the Chain of transmission. It is a chain that goes back to the Holy Prophet (asws). It is that no individual has any right to speak unless he is directly connected in a chain going back to the Holy Prophet (asws). It is hearing, and learning, and breathing the same air as someone who learned from someone who learned from someone going all the way back to the one who sat in front of, who heard, who breathed the same air, as Rasulallah (asws). So the Isnad has preserved this religion and assured that only those who are qualified to speak have a right to speak. As Hz. Abdullah ibn Mubarak is saying: Isnad is part of religion and if it was not for Isnad, one would have said whatever one desired. When it is said (to the one who speaks without an Isnad): “Who informed you?” He remains silent and confused. And Hz. Ibn Mubarak is also saying: The one who seeks matters of his deen, of his religion, without an Isnad is like the one who tries to climb to the roof without a ladder. And Hz. Sufyan al-Thawri is saying: Isnad is the weapon of a believer. When one does not possess a weapon, then with what will he combat?
So this Isnad,this chain of transmission, it is the bedrock of this religion. And the links in the chain of Isnad have kept this religion alive for 1400 years. O Believers! Do not think that it is easy to preserve this Isnad, to keep Islam alive. Understand that those who have kept Islam so that it could reach to us, they had to sacrifice so much. And those who kept Islam alive, they were the most righteous, most elevated, most intelligent people who have ever lived in the history of this world. We are going to mention and remember one of them, one of the greatest ones. He had so much genius, so much foresight, so much understanding, that the majority of Muslims in the world today are still reaching to him, are still finding the Right Way through his teachings.
Who are we speaking about? Imam al-Azam Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanafi Madhab. O Believers! We have to understand the lives and the stature of the ones who came before us so that we understand how much we owe to them. And as much as we are being grateful to them, we will have faith. As much as we are being grateful to Allah, Allah will send us proximity to him. Imam Abu Hanifa was not an ordinary person like you and me; because even before his birth, he was being prepared to protect and guard the religion of Islam. Imam Abu Hanifa’s father one time, he was walking near a river and he saw an apple floating down, and he took one small bite of that apple that he picked up that was floating in the river. Right away he felt so much regret and he said, ‘I must find the owner of this apple and ask forgiveness for taking his Hakk, his rights.’
Look at the faith! And so he walked up the river and found an orchard, and he found a righteous man living there. And he said to him, ‘I have taken your rights by eating your apple, how can I erase my debt from you? I can work, I will do whatever it takes.’ And so the owner of the orchard said, ‘If you want me to forgive you, you must marry my daughter. But I am informing you that she is deaf, dumb, and blind. Do you agree?’ And Imam Abu Hanifa’s father, he agreed. Because he fears from his Lord. Because he wants to erase his debt no matter what. But the owner of the orchard, he was not speaking like we speak- he was speaking the language of the Salihin. And when he brought his daughter, she was perfect. And he said, ‘My daughter is deaf because she has never heard a haram, she has never heard a forbidden thing. My daughter is dumb because she has never spoken a haram. My daughter is blind because she has never seen a haram.’ And from this blessed lineage came Imam Abu Hanifa.
And understand that Imam Abu Hanifa was a Tabiee. His father met Hz. Ali (kw). He was from the generation that saw and learned from the Sahabi, meaning he was only one generation removed from Holy Prophet (asws). He met Hz. Anas ibn Malik (ra), who was the servant of Holy Prophet (asws). So this is where his isnad is coming from.
And Imam Abu Hanifa, the reason that his Madhab has survived until today, and the reason that it has spread from East to West, is because of his deep understanding of the religion, and his deep understanding of the ummat of the Prophet (asws), from the beginning of the ummat until Judgement day. Imam Abu Hanifa knew that Islam was not a dead religion, but a religion that is alive. And he knew that as Islam was going to spread all over the world until Judgment Day, that there would be challenges and difficulties that the believers were going to face, and so he developed a system that would allow the Muslims to keep their religion alive. He would first look for answers in the Quran, and if he did not find the clear answer there, he would look in the Hadith. And if he did not find a clear answer there, then he would use qiyas, he would use reasoning, to reach the answer.
So many people today are saying, qiyas(reasoning) is haram, and they are saying only Quran and Sunnah. But Imam Abu Hanifa Hz was not inventing something new- he was using the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (asws). One time Holy Prophet (asws) sent one of his beloved Sahabi, Hz. Muaz bin Jabal to Yemen to teach the new Muslims there, and before he left, he asked him, ‘Ya Muaz, according to what will you judge?’ And Hz. Muaz replied, ‘According to the Book of Allah ya Rasulullah.’ And Holy Prophet (asws) asked, ‘And if you don’t find the answer there, what are you going to do?’ And Hz. Muaz said, ‘I will go according to the Sunnah of Rasulallah (asws).’ And Holy Prophet (asws) is saying, ‘And if you don’t find the answer there, what are you going to do?’ And Hz. Muaz said, ‘Then I will work hard to form my own judgment.’ And Holy Prophet (asws) was so happy with his answer and said,’Praise be to Allah who has guided the messenger of Rasulallah to what pleases Rasulallah.’
And through this method, Imam Abu Hanifa kept this religion alive and allowed it to grow. And Imam Abu Hanifa, he saw so many people from different tribes and races were becoming Muslims.
And the government at that time, they were trying to make Islam an Arab religion, a religion only for Arabs, and treating Ajam, the non-Arabs, as a second class citizen.Sounds familiar, like today? But Imam Abu Hanifa, he was spreading the real teaching of the Holy Prophet (asws), who said that an Arab is not superior to an Ajam and an Ajam is not superior to an Arab except in Taqwa. And Imam Abu Hanifa is known for saying, Imam Abu Hanifa is known for saying: The Iman of a Turk who becomes Muslim is equal to the Iman of a resident of Madinah. And who were the residents of Madinah at that time? Sahabis and Tabieen.
And understand that Imam Abu Hanifa was not like the scholars of today who are sitting in the palaces of the rulers and making their rulings according to what they say, no! Imam Abu Hanifa was preserving this religion so that it could not be co-opted, so that it could not be dominated, by those rulers who wanted the religion to obey their own ideologies. And because Imam Abu Hanifa refused to be the puppet of the rulers, he went through very heavy punishment. He was imprisoned three different times for refusing to become the Chief Qadhi, for refusing to become the official Judge of the empire. That is the highest post for a Muslim scholar. One time he was punished by being paraded through the city on horseback, and whipped 11 times every day. Then he again refused the Chief Qadhi position, and they put him into prison where he was every day beaten and tortured. And finally, he refused this position a third time. And they took him to prison where they used to make him take his shirt off and whip him over and over until his heels were standing in his own blood. Then they starved him, and finally they forced him to drink a poison. And when he felt that the Angel of Death was approaching him, he ran to the prayer, and he left this world in a state of Sajdah.
O Believers! That is our Imam: Imam al-Azam Abu Hanifa (ra). We cannot praise him, because he was praised by Holy Prophet (asws) even before his birth. This is our Imam. Yet how many believers, how many murids, are even interested or have a passion to find out. We may know our own histories, we may know our country’s history, we may know important people in history that perhaps has no connection to Islam whatsoever. We will not be questioned for that on Judgement Day. But we will be questioned on what we know of this Great Saint that we are following: Imam Abu Hanifa. And if we say that we are Hanafis, which we are, and we don’t have a love or a passion and interest in his life, we will be punished. To know him, is to love him. And to love him is to praise him.
One day, Holy Prophet (asws) was sitting with the Sahaba-e-Kiram, and he put his hand on Hz. Salman al-Farisi and he said, ‘If Iman was in the highest stars, even then a man from Salman’s people would attain it.If Iman, if faith was as high as the Heavens, as the stars, an Ajam will jump up to receive it.’ And Imam Suyuti is saying that this Hadith is about Imam Abu Hanifah.
O Believers! This is one of the links in the chain of isnad that has preserved this religion so that we can have iman. So that we can pray, so that we can fast, so that we can be connected to the religion of Allah (swt), so that we can be connected to the religion of the Holy Prophet (asws). This Trust has reached to us. What are we doing with this trust? We must honor this trust. We must preserve it, and we must spread it. No matter what happens to us. May Allah forgive us.
Jummah Khutbah by Hoja Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
20 Jamadilakhir 1436H
April 10, 2015