Sermon from ‘Arafah 1441h (2020)

All praise is due to Allaah, the Continually Pardoning, Continually Forgiving, and the
Almighty who overpowers all else. He decrees events of many types so that the righteous may be
distinguished from the impious. He bestows much goodness and innumerable blessings upon His
servants, though there may be some occasions when difficulties occur based on Allaah’s wisdom
and in order to bring about major advantages for people.
I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah. He is completely unique,
He knows all that is concealed, and He regulates all matters that occur throughout every night and
day. I further testify that Muhammad is Allaah’s worshipping servant and chosen Messenger. The
Lord of all creation described him by telling mankind, ((There has indeed come to you a Messenger
from among yourselves. He is grieved by any suffering you may experience. He is concerned about
you, and is kind and merciful to the people of eemaan [i.e. those who have sound beliefs and
perform righteous deeds])) [9:128]. May Allaah grant commendation to His Messenger, as well as
to the Messenger’s family, his righteous Companions, and his followers who set the greatest of
precedents in extending goodness and spreading the truth.

Dear Muslims, I counsel all of you – as well as myself – to observe taqwaa of Allaah [by
fulfilling His commands and avoiding His prohibitions]. Observing taqwaa is the instruction that
Allaah gave all former and latter generations. Allaah, who is perfect in every way, said, ((We most
certainly commanded the people of the scriptures prior to you, as well as you yourselves, to observe
taqwaa of Allaah. However, if you refuse to accept the truth from Allaah, you will not harm Him
in any way. Rather, you will only be harming yourselves since everything in the heavens and
everything in the Earth belongs to Allaah alone. Allaah is self-sufficient, free of all needs, and He
is always worthy of all praise)) [4:131]. Observing taqwaa leads to blessings descending to us, and
trials being averted from us. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said, ((When a person observes taqwaa,
Allaah will facilitate matters for him)) [65:4]. Observing taqwaa entails obeying Allaah and
abstaining from disobeying Him.
The most important component of taqwaa is tawheed: sincerely devoting all worship to
Allaah alone. Thus, no prayer, supplication, sacrifice, vow, or any other form of worship should
be devoted to other than Allaah, the Most Exalted. He said, ((Mankind, you must worship your
Lord who created you and created those before you, so that you would become people who observe
taqwaa)) [2:21]. He also said, ((You must all worship Allaah alone and not worship anything at all
besides Him)) [4:36]. He further said to all people, ((That is Allaah, the Lord of every one of you.
None has the right to be worshipped except Him. He is the Creator of all things. Thus, all of you
must devote your worship to Him alone. He is the One who has complete guardianship and control
of all things)) [6:102]. Allaah had instructed His Messenger, ((Say to the mushrikoon (i.e. those who
ascribed partners to Allaah), “Do you, the people who are ignorant about your Lord, order me to
worship other than Allaah?” Messenger of Allaah, it was indeed revealed to you, as well as to those
before you, that if you devote any form of worship to other than Allaah, your deeds will surely be
rendered void and you will certainly be among those who suffer complete loss. Rather, Allaah
alone is the One you must worship, and you must ensure that you are among those who are duly grateful to Him.)) [39:64-66].

What preceded is the meaning entailed by the testimony “laa ilaaha illallaah” (none has the
right to be worshipped except Allaah), and it is accompanied by another testimony “muhammadun
rasoolullaah” (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah). Allaah, the Most Exalted, said,
((Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allaah and the
last of the Prophets. And Allaah always has complete knowledge of all things.)) [33:40]. This entails
that his directives be complied with, that the information he conveyed be accepted, and that Allaah
not be worshipped in any ways besides the way he prescribed (may Allaah grant him
commendation and protection). This is because Allaah completed the religion that Messenger was
sent with and, as a result, it is not in need of anything to be invented and then claimed to be part
of it. Here, in these very precincts of ‘Arafah, the following statement of Allaah was sent down to
His Messenger, ((Today, I have perfected your religion for you, I have completed My favour to
you , and I am pleased with Islaam as a religion for you)) [5:3]. In addition, the Prophet (may Allaah
grant him commendation and protection) explained that Islaam is established upon five
foundations: testifying that none has the right to be worhsipped except Allaah and that Muhammad
is the Messenger of Allaah, establishing obligatory prayers, giving obligatory charity, fasting
Ramadaan, and performing Hajj at Allaah’s Sacred House if able to do so.
The Prophet (may Allaah grant him commendation and protection) also explained the
pillars of eemaan as comprising correct beliefs about Allaah, His angels, His scriptures, His
Messengers, and the Last Day, as well as correct beliefs about Allaah’s preordainment whether its
results are perceived to be good or bad. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said to mankind, ((Furthermore,
in completion of Our blessings to you, We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, reciting
to you Our evidences, purifying you, teaching you the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and teaching you what
you had no prior knowledge of. Therefore, make mention of Me. If you do so, I will make mention
of you. Be grateful to Me and do not be ungrateful for My favours. People of eemaan, seek help
by way of patient perseverance and prayers. Allaah is certainly with those who patiently
persevere)) [2:151-153]. Thus, after Allaah – the Most Exalted – mentioned the blessing of sending
His Messenger, Allaah instructed us to mention Him, be grateful to Him, and persevere for Him.
Another component of taqwaa is persevering through difficulties one faces which may
cause him pain. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said, ((They patiently persevere through extreme poverty
and illness, as well as at times of battle. The people who have those qualities are the ones who
have been true to Allaah, and they are the ones who observe taqwaa)) [2:177].
My dear audience, life in this world does not remain free of difficulty, and this is why
Allaah, the Most Exalted, instructed us to persevere. He said, ((And We shall certainly test you
with instances of fear and hunger, as well as loss of wealth, lives, and fruits. However, Messenger
of Allaah, you are to convey glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. They are the people
who, when afflicted with adversity, say, “We all most certainly belong to Allaah alone, and to Him
alone we will all most certainly return.” They are the ones whom their Lord will commend and
grant mercy, and they are the ones who are soundly guided)) [2:155-157]. Allaah, the Most Exalted,
also said, ((As for those who persevere, We shall most certainly reward them according to the best
deeds they had performed)) [16:96].

How could a servant of Allaah not persevere if he has sound beliefs about Allaah’s
preordainment and decree? He unwaveringly believes that anything which befell him would not
have missed him; and that even if everyone throughout the entire Earth gathered together to avert
what Allaah decreed to happen to him, they would remain unable. Allaah, who is perfect in every
way said, ((No adversity takes place upon the Earth or within your own selves without it having
already been recorded in the Preserved Tablet even before We brought this creation into existence.
All of that is certainly easy for Allaah)) [57:22].
Adversities lead a servant of Allaah to remember the multitude of goodness and blessings
that Allaah already granted him. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said, ((And if you attempted to
enumerate the blessings of Allaah, you would remain unable to do so. Allaah is truly Most
Forgiving, Bestower of mercy)) [16:18]. Allaah also said, ((Have you not seen that Allaah placed
everything in the heavens and everything in the Earth at your service, and that He bestowed
immense apparent and inconspicuous blessings upon you?)) [31:20].
Adversities lead a servant of Allaah to recognize his Lord’s limitless ability, and to then
return to his Lord with humility, penitence, and hope. Allaah said, ((We tested them with both
prosperity and adversity in order for them to repent and return to the truth)) [7:168]. Allaah further
said, ((And We will surely make them taste a near torment prior to the ultimate torment, in order
for them to repent and return to the truth)) [32:21]. In addition, Allaah said, ((Messenger of Allaah,
We certainly sent Messengers to many peoples prior to you, calling their respective people to
Allaah. However, they rejected the Messengers. Thus, We tested those people with loss of wealth
and loss of health so that they would humbly submit to their Lord)) [6:42]. Allaah further said,
((Mankind, you are the ones in dire need of Allaah, whereas Allaah has no needs and He is always
the Most Praiseworthy.)) [35:15].
Adversities faced remind human beings about the hereafter and prompt them to prepare for
the abode of Jannah which contains no adversities or sorrows. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said ((No
individual knows the delight that has been concealed for them as a reward for the deeds they had
performed)) [32:17]. Allaah also said about the residents of Jannah, ((There, they will have all that
their souls desire, and all that their eyes could find delight in. In addition, they will be told, “You
will abide here endlessly.”)) [43:71].
Adversities of this world serve as a test for people, and allow those who persevere to be
distinguished from those who are impatient. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said, ((And We will test all
of you through Our commands, prohibitions, and the various circumstances We decree – both good
and bad. Then, your final return shall be to Us alone)) [21:35].
However, no matter how difficult circumstances may become in this world, those
difficulties do not last forever. Allaah’s mercy is always more expansive, and the relief He grants
is always near. He promised to provide relief and ease. He said, ((Along with every hardship that
is faced, there will certainly come relief. Along with every hardship that is faced, there will
certainly come relief)) [94:5-6]. Allaah further said, ((Allaah does not make any person responsible
for what is beyond his ability. Allaah will cause a person’s time of difficulty to be followed by one
of ease and prosperity)) [65:7]. Allaah also said, ((Allaah wants ease for you in what He prescribes,
and He does not want to put you through hardship.)) [2:185].
Adversities faced in this life open various gates to obeying Allaah, the Most Exalted, by
hoping to attain His reward for taking measures to prevent harms before they may occur, as well
as for striving to remove them after they have set in. The blessed teachings of Islaam have
prescribed a number of directives that aim to achieve those outcomes.
For instance, there are directives Allaah prescribed for dealing with adversities of an
economic and financial nature, so as to bring about a dignified life for people at large. Islaam’s
teachings encourage earnings, promote productivity, urge doing work, and support commerce.
According to Islaam’s teachings, the default ruling concerning trade is permissibility; and they
only prohibit things such as usury, deception, and dishonesty in transactions. Islaam’s teachings
prescribe that public and private property be protected, that agreements be honoured, and that
stipulated terms be fulfilled. Islaam’s teachings give order to commercial cooperation and
exchange; they prescribe settling debts, as well as documenting liabilities and obligations; they
warn against extravagance; they obligate giving charity to the needy; and they encourage charity
during times of adversity and distress. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said, ((People of eemaan, you
must fulfil all your obligations which bind you to others)) [5:1]. Allaah further said, ((They are
neither extravagant nor miserly when they spend. Rather, they are moderate between those two
extremes)) [25:67]. Allaah also said, ((Allaah has permitted trade and forbidden usury)) [2:275].
Allaah, the Most Exalted, further said, ((People of eemaan, you must not take the property of
anyone else when you have no right to do so. However, you may take or use the property of others
when there is trade between you by mutual consent)) [4:29]. Allaah further said about buying and
selling, ((It is recommended to have witnesses so as to preclude the possibility of any disputes
happening)) [2:282]. Allaah also said, ((You must be fair when buying and selling by giving others
the full measure and weight to which they are entitled)) [6:152]. In addition, Allaah said about
Jannah, ((It has been prepared for the people of taqwaa. Among their qualities is that they give
during both prosperity and hardship)) [3:133-134].
There are also directives prescribed for protecting communities, as well as resolving social
and psychological issues. Islaam’s teachings prescribe treating parents well, upholding ties of
kinship, and raising children properly; they foster harmony, togetherness, and social solidarity;
they give each spouse rights that must be fulfilled by the other; and they protect the rights of any
human being whether man, woman, child, elderly, young, able-bodied, or with special needs.
Islaam’s teachings promote giving consideration to the feelings of others, supporting others during
their times of hardship, observing sound conduct, and using wholesome words when speaking.
They encourage the promotion of love, harmony, and cooperation among people. Allaah, the Most
Exalted, said, ((Your Lord has commanded all of you to worship none besides Him, and He has
commanded each of you treat both of your parents well. If, while with you, one or both of your
parents reach old age, you must not let either of them hear the slightest word which expresses your
irritation, and you must not treat either of them harshly. Rather, be gentle and speak to both of
them kindly and honourably. Remain humble out of your compassion towards both of them and
say, “My Lord, grant Your mercy to both of my parents since they mercifully and patiently bore
raising me while I was still young and weak.”)) [17:23-24]. Allaah also said, ((Tell My servants to
say the words that are best)) [17:53]. Allaah further said, ((Ensure that your life with your wives is
one of kindness, love, and fulfilment of their rights. If you dislike something about them for any
mundane reason, you must bear that patiently because it may well be that you dislike something
when, in fact, Allaah brings about much goodness by it)) [4:19]. Allaah also said, ((Indeed, Allaah
commands all of you to uphold justice, worship Him in the best way, deal with His servants in the
best manner, and give relatives what is due to them. He also forbids you from immorality, sins,
and transgression. He admonishes you and reminds you of the consequences so that you would be
mindful of His directives)) [16:90]. In addition, Allaah said, ((Fulfil the rights of relatives by treating
them well and upholding ties of kinship, give to the needy and to stranded travellers, and do not
spend your wealth extravagantly or use it for anything which is tantamount to disobeying Allaah))
[17:26]. Usaamah ibn Shareek [may Allaah be pleased with him] stated, “I witnessed Allaah’s
Messenger (may Allaah grant him commendation and protection) giving a sermon during the
Farewell Hajj and he was saying, ‘Give to your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, and
then those who are next in nearness to you’.”
Other issues for which Islaam prescribes various directives include those pertaining to
governance and security. Islaam’s teachings prescribe measures which ensure the safety and
stability of people and their lands, and which enable people to perform all of their tasks and duties.
Islaam’s teachings protect people’s rights, preserve their lives, and safeguard their properties. They
prohibit transgression against others or extending harm to them. They also prohibit instigating
problems, supporting terrorism, and spreading corruption anywhere in the world. They encourage
staying clear of any paths leading to strife, and they emphasize not falling prey to opponents who
lurk and look for a chance to attack. They obligate adherence to official regulations, and obedience
to leaders in authority in all things that do not amount to disobeying Allaah. They enjoin justice,
bringing about the greatest overall good, averting all that is disadvantageous, achieving accord
between people, and striving for rectification. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said, ((You must all adhere
to the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and you must not be divided among yourselves)) [3:103]. Allaah also
said, ((Those who have eemaan and do not mix their eemaan with the injustice of worshipping
others besides Allaah are the ones for whom there will be security, and they are the ones who are
soundly guided.)) [6:82]. Allaah also said, ((Indeed, Allaah commands you to fulfil all trusts, giving
them to those who rightfully deserve them, and to be fair whenever you judge between people.
The guidance and directives Allaah gives you are certainly most admirable. Indeed, Allaah hears
all and sees all. People of eemaan, obey Allaah, obey the Messenger, and those in authority among
you. If you ever dispute about something, refer it back to Allaah and the Messenger if you truly
have eemaan in Allaah and the Last Day. Doing so is better than disputing or acting based on mere
opinion, and it will produce the best outcome)) [4:58-59]. Allaah further said, ((Do not be unjust
towards others concerning their belongings, and do not cause corruption upon the Earth after it has
been set in order. Abiding by these directives would be best for you, if you accept the truth from
Allaah. You must not sit along every path, threatening people, hindering the people who believe in
Allaah from following His path, and seeking to make Allaah’s path crooked)) [7:85-86]. Allaah
further said, ((If fighting ever takes place between two groups among the people of eemaan, then
you are to reconcile between those two groups)) [49:9]. Allaah also said, ((The people of eemaan
are to be nothing besides brothers to each other.)) [49:10]. In addition, the Prophet (may Allaah
grant him commendation and protection) said in his sermon during the Farewell Hajj, “Your blood,
properties, and honour are most certainly inviolable to one another, just as the inviolability of this
day of yours, in this month of yours, in this land of yours. After I am gone, you must not go back
to rejecting Islaam once again, striking the necks of each other.” He subsequently instructed them
to obey the leaders in authority when he said, “Worship your Lord, pray your five daily prayers,
fast your month of Ramadaan, and obey the leaders when they give you instructions. If you do
those things, you will be admitted to Jannah which your Lord has prepared.”
In addition to the preceding, there are directives of Islaam pertaining to medicine. Islaam’s
teachings seek to ensure people’s health and physical wellbeing, and that includes its directives to
maintain the cleanliness of oneself and to keep the environment clean. Islaam’s directives permit
wholesome foods, and prohibit harmful ones. In addition, Islaam’s teachings prescribe measures
to protect communities against the spread of epidemics. Allaah, the Most Exalted, said ((People of
eemaan, when you want to perform prayers but you are in a state of lesser impurity, you must first
perform wudoo’ by washing your faces, washing your forearms up to and including the elbows,
passing your wet hands over your heads, and washing your feet up to and including the ankles. If
you are in a state of major impurity, you must first perform ghusl by washing your bodies in their
entirety)) [5:6]. Allaah further said, ((And purify your garments)) [74:4]. Allaah also told us that His
Prophet Ibraaheem had said, ((And when I am ill, it is Allaah who cures me)) [26:80]. Additionally,
Allaah described His Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah grant him commendation and protection)
by saying, ((He will permit wholesome things for them and prohibit them from all that is
detestable)) [7:157]. Furthermore, the Prophet (may Allaah grant him commendation and
protection) said, “Servants of Allaah, seek cure for ailments, since there is no ailment which does
not have a cure.” The Prophet (may Allaah grant him commendation and protection) also said,
“Flee from a person with leprosy as you would flee from a lion”, as well as “Do not put one who
is ill with one who is healthy.”
The Prophet (may Allaah grant him commendation and protection) further said, “If you
hear of an epidemic in a place, do not enter it; and if an epidemic spreads in a place where you are,
do not leave it.” Based on this hadeeth which prohibits travelling from one location to another
during times when there are highly contagious diseases spreading, a decision was made by the
government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to limit the number of people performing Hajj this
year, and to only have it consist of individuals from a wide array of nationalities who are already
within the nation’s borders. This allows for Hajj to still be performed while taking all necessary
measures for protecting people’s health and maintaining social distancing. Precautions have been
put in place to protect lives against the damage that the pandemic can cause, and also to actualize
Islaam’s teachings pertaining to safeguarding human life by Allaah’s permission.
Deep gratitude is also extended to all Muslims for their positive response to comply with
our nation’s precautionary regulations that were implemented in Makkah and al-Madeenah to
protect people from the potential effects of the current pandemic. We pray that Allaah rewards the
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salmaan ibn ‘Abdil-‘Azeez, as well as his Crown
Prince, Muhammad ibn Salmaan, and all individuals of the nation’s leadership and government for
the efforts they expend to serve and protect the Two Holy Mosques. O Allaah, bless their efforts,
reward them immensely, and protect them against all harms and against all individuals who want
ill for them.
In addition, just as a person of eemaan should seek to draw nearer to Allaah by supplicating
for the aforementioned people, he should also seek nearness to Allaah by supplicating for himself,
his relatives, his nation, and for the people of Islaam in general. When a person supplicates Allaah
for his brother, without his brother knowing, Allaah entrusts to the supplicant and angel who says,
“May Allaah respond to your prayer for your brother and also grant you the same.” This is
something to be kept in mind especially in these sacred sites, and while here at ‘Arafah in this time
of tremendous virtue. Allaah’s Messenger (may Allaah grant him commendation and protection)
said, “There is no day on which Allaah frees more of His worshipping servants from the hellfire
than the day of ‘Arafah. He draws near and then boasts to the angels about them.” This is why it
is encouraged for those performing Hajj to not fast on the Day of ‘Arafah, so they can have the
energy to mention Allaah and supplicate Him much, as was done by the Prophet himself (may
Allaah grant him commendation and protection). He delivered a sermon while in ‘Arafah and then
gave instruction to Bilaal who then called the athaan once and then the iqaamah, and the Prophet
(may Allaah grant him commendation and protection) prayed Thuhr shortened to two units.
Another iqaamah was then called and the Prophet (may Allaah grant him commendation and
protection) prayed ‘Asr also shortened to two units. He then stayed at ‘Arafah mentioning Allaah
and supplicating Him until the sun’s disc had completely descended beneath the horizon. He then
departed to Muzdalifah where he prayed Maghrib as three units and ‘Ishaa’ as two units. They were
combined and shortened in that manner. He spent the night in Muzdalifah, prayed Fajr there at
dawn, remained there supplicating Allaah until the sky had become bright, and then departed to
Minaa. In Minaa, he stoned Jamratul-‘Aqabah with seven pebbles, offered his sacrifice, shaved his
head, and then departed to the Ka’bah where he performed Tawaaf al-Ifaadah. He stayed in Minaa
throughout the Days of Tashreeq [i.e. 13-15 of Thul-Hijjah]. Each day, he continued to mention
Allaah, and stoned all three of the Jamaraat. When he concluded the rites of Hajj and intended to
leave Makkah, he performed Tawaaf at the Ka’bah.
In Hajj this year, we reiterate that it is a must for the Hujjaaj, as well as everyone assisting
them, to adhere to the precautionary regulations that have been implemented. This is to be done
for their own safety.
Dear people of eemaan, the greatest means to attaining Allaah’s blessings and averting
hardships is du’aa’ (supplicating Allaah). Allaah Himself promised to respond to those who
supplicate Him. He said, ((Call upon Me. If you do so, I will respond to you)) [40:60]. Allaah also
told His Messenger, ((When My servants ask you about Me, inform them that I am most certainly
near. I respond to the prayer of the supplicant when he calls upon Me)) [2:186].
Therefore, dear Muslims, call upon Allaah with humility, sincerity, and certainty that He
will respond to you. In addition, when others supplicate, say aameen (O Allaah, I implore You to
O Allaah, remove the pandemic we are facing, cure the ill, and enable researchers and those
working in the medical field to uncover treatments for diseases. O Allaah, bestow an abundance
of Your favours upon Your servants, and enrich them out of Your bounty. O Allaah, sow the seeds
of love and affinity between Your servants; and enable them to cooperate in fulfilling Your
commands and avoiding Your prohibitions, not in perpetrating sins or transgression. O Allaah,
spread in our midst safety and stability, out of Your favour and kindness.
Our Lord is perfect in every way and exalted above all falsity ascribed to Him, and He
grants protection to all His Messengers. All praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all creation, and
may He grant commendation and protection to His trustworthy final Messenger.