O Muslims! Believers! Allah (swt) has shown the greatness of this religion not only by words and lectures, but also through history. And Allah (swt) showed how much those Muslims who were living before us were sacrificing everything in order to bring the name of Allah (swt) up and to show how great the opportunity is to build bridges between different communities and different faiths. By this way, they were able to demonstrate the greatness of Islam and its sincerity and by means of this the masses were drawn into Islam.
You will be amazed when you look into history and see that hundreds of thousands were turning and converting into Islam by one person, by one Sahaba or by one someone who has been appointed by the calipha in that time in a certain country. Why? Because those sincere Muslims at that time were not showing the sword, they were showing the flower instead of the sword. They were presenting Islam on a tray of flowers. Not presenting Islam on a tray of swords and fighting. That is how the greatness of Islam appeared.
I was invited to a conference in Spain. I just arrived – where there were world religious leaders meeting there, from different countries. And all kinds of faiths were present there. There were Muslims, there were Christians, there were Hindus, there were Buddhists, there were Jews, and there were Sikhs. And you find in all the different religions that there were different groups – what you call sects.
And the greatness that came out of this conference is that it was held in a city that was once called mulkat al-hadaarat – a place where there were different civilizations coming together. And everywhere you go you see verses of Qur’an written on the walls. It means Muslims were there.
These relics show how much importance Islam was given. Even kings of Spain, who were not Muslims, were bringing Muslim artisans, architects, those who engrave in stone, to build their palaces and in these palaces everything is decorated with Islamic calligraphy. That nobility of Islam is standing to give an example to all of humanity. And the government of Spain is proud of that to show all other religions that look Islam was here; Islam was the civilization of Spain.
On every door, on every monument, you will see la ghaliba ill-Allah (swt) written or la ilaha ill-Allah or qul huwa Allahu ahad or ayat al-Kursee.
And who brought them? Non-Muslims were bringing them to write that. The Ummat an-Nabi (s) is a great Ummah. There is no other ummah after the ummah of the Prophet (s). All those living on earth today are part of Ummat an-Nabi (s). Because he (s) came with last message. But they are divided into two parts, Ummat al-ijaaba and Ummat ad-da‘wah. Those who received the da‘wah have been invited.
The Prophet (s) brought the religion and wrapped it up.
I will bring the explanation of Ibn ‘Abbas of one verse:
قَالَ يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي اصْطَفَيْتُكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ بِرِسَالاَتِي وَبِكَلاَمِي فَخُذْ مَا آتَيْتُكَ وَكُن مِّنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ قَالَ يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي اصْطَفَيْتُكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ بِرِسَالاَتِي وَبِكَلاَمِي فَخُذْ مَا آتَيْتُكَ وَكُن مِّنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ
Qaala yaa moosa innee istafaytuka ‘ala an-naasi bi-risaalatee wa bi-kalaamee fakhudh maa ataytuka wa kun mina ash-shakireena
((Allah)) said: “O Moses! I have chosen thee above (other) men, by the mission I (have given thee) and the words I (have spoken to thee): take then the (revelation) which I give thee, and be of those who give thanks.” [7:144]
So Moses (as) was happy. Sayyidina Musa (as) was happy. Allah (swt) said, innee astafaytuka – I chose you.
Ibn ‘Abbas said, that the Prophet (s) said, “What do you think about this verse?” They said, “Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s) know best.”
Ibn ‘Abbas explained: Musa (as) asked Allah (swt) “Did you create any creation better than me? You tell me because You mentioned that ayat – innee astafaytuka ‘ala an-naas wa kalamtanee bi-turi Sina. – I have chosen you over all people. And you have spoken to me on Mount Sinai.”
Qaala Allah alam ‘alimta anna Muhammadan akramtahu ‘ala jami‘ee khalqee. Fa-qum ‘ala at-tawheed wa hubbi Muhammad.
And Allah swt said, “[I chose you yes, I chose you,] but do you not know that you are not al-Akram. Muhammad is more near than everyone. O Musa , stand on tawheed Divine Unity, and keep love of Muhammad.”
And Musa (as) asked, “Is there among the nations one better than my nation, where You have sent clouds to shade us from the heat of the desert and you sent on us manna and salwah to eat, [something famous in Iraq today].
Qaala Allah Ya Musa (as), hal ‘alimta anna fadl ummata Muhammad (s) ‘ala sa’ir al-ummam ka fadl Muhammad ‘ala sa’ir al-anbiya.
He replied, “O Musa, did you know that the superiority of the nation of Muhammad over all other nations is like the superiority of Muhammad over all other Prophet?”
Musa (as) said, “Let me see them,” and Allah replied, “You are not going to see them. But I will let you hear their voices.”
In ahbabta an tasma kalaamahum … innee uhibbuh dhaalik.
Musa (as) said, “If I cannot see them let me hear them.”
Qaala Allah (swt), Ya ummata Muhammad (s).
Allah said, “O Nation of Muhammad!”
Fa –ajaabahu bi-sayhatin waahidatin. Kulluhum bi sayhatin waahidin.
All of them answered [on the Day of Spirits, when they were still spirits and they were not yet in this life.] they all responded in one voice.
[That is why Allah (swt) said:
وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ
w‘atasimu bi-hablillahi jam‘iyyan wa laa tafaraqoo – hold fast to the Rope of Allah and do not separate. [3:103]
But there is no unity; we are therefore easy.]
Sayyidina Musa (as) was surprised. Allah (swt) made him to hear the voices of the Ummah of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) as one voice and He (swt) told him “This is a privilege for you for you hear them.”
Ya ummata Muhammad ujeebu. …labayk Allahuma labayk, labayk laa shareeka laka labayk.
Allah said, “O Nation of Muhammad respond!” They responded saying, “We are answering immediately to You. There is no partner to You. Praises honor and respect, ownership of this world belongs solely to You, without partner.”
[They admitted they are nothing. They admitted that Allah (swt) owns them and that Allah (swt) is the one favoring them. That is why on ‘Arafat, we say labayk Allahuma labayk….
It is coming very soon. Hajj is coming very soon.]
Sayyidina Musa (as) was surprised because he heard them with one voice when they were still in the backs of their parents. They were still in the world of spirits. And when Musa (as) was surprised, Qaala Allah salaatee ‘alaykum, yaa ummata Muhammad (s), wa rahmatee sabaqat ghadabee, wa ‘afwee sabaqat ‘adhaabee, wa innee ghafarta lakum qabal an tastaghfiroonee.
Allah said, “My praise on you, O Nation of Muhammad, for by My Mercy which has preceded My Wrath and by My Forgiveness which overcame My Punishment, I swear that I have indeed forgiven you before you even asked Me for forgiveness.”
“I granted it to you before you asked Me, and whoever comes to My Presence in the future, you are going to say, (and here Allah (swt) is giving an oath), that your tongue will not be frozen in the Day of Judgment when everyone else’s tongue will be frozen, saying ashaddu an la ilaha ill-Allah (swt), wa ashaddu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah.”
You see this explanation that Ibn ‘Abbas was giving to that verse. It is not because we are great or you are great. It is because Allah (swt) made the Prophet (s) Muhammad (s) great and we became great because of his greatness.
You see in Spain that people are meeting, religious leaders; we were meeting in a big palace. Anywhere you turn your face is Qur’anic writings. Anywhere you look was under the Islamic dominion. Islam was everywhere. You can see the traces of Islam everywhere.
Why don’t we keep the traces of Islam in our heart day and night? It if it is on the walls, why not in our hearts. O Muslims let us return to Islam together. As Allah (swt) said,
وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ
w‘atasimu bi-hablillahi jam‘iyyan – hold fast to the Rope of Allah and do not separate. [3:103]
We must speak well of each other.
As-Siddiq Institute and Mosque, Burton, Michigan - December 25, 2003