“As-salámu 'alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”  [Wait for adhán]

“A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem.  Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem.

Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa.

May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”

All Praise is due to Alláh, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds.

Anyone who is guided by Alláh, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him.

I bear witness that there is no god but Alláh, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, sws, is His servant, and His messenger.

My respected Brothers and Sisters in Islam,

 Football fever is all around us these days. And those who know the game will tell you that it’s all about scoring goals. Our khutbah today is also about goals, but goals of a different kind. I want us to think about the goals we all strive for, throughout life: our lifetime goals.

 Britain today is a country of many cultures. We speak different languages and our parents have come from many different parts of the world. Yet I am sure each one of us is likely to have some burning ambition, some clear objective or ideal that drives us forward through each day. It may be a deadline for our homework or coursework, it may be a forthcoming exam or a karate or Tae-kwondo grading session, or we may be working towards a particular career that we want to pursue after leaving school. Consciously or subconsciously, we all have short term, medium or long-term goals, which we hope to achieve before our life is over. The difference from soccer is that in real life, no one knows when the final whistle will blow. No one knows just how, when and where our life will end. Muslims are reminded to live each day as if it is our last day, and to pray every prayer as if it is our last prayer. We must therefore be totally focussed and sincere in what we do.

In order to achieve any goal, there is nearly always an economic dimension. We need money to get things done. No matter how noble or generous we want to be, we still need some degree of financial independence for ourselves, in order to get what we want. This is simply in the nature of things. We may not want to be wealthy just for own sake, to show off and live a flashy lifestyle, but, in order to be more effective in society we must be able to stand on our own feet financially.

Therefore, we need to work to earn money to do what we would like to do. The danger is that the means can sometimes become the end in itself. How many young people have not set out in life, with high ideals of making the world a better place for all, only to be distracted along the way? How many young have not become mere consumers, buying all the latest gadgets and fashionable clothes, enjoying all the material pleasures of life and forgetting that their life should really have a higher and nobler purpose?

Many people work hard, get rich, and look back with a sense of pride in what they’ve achieved. It’s human. That pride then drives them to more effort that brings more wealth that brings more pride, and so on. But worldly success is meaningless if one does not aspire to a higher and nobler objective.

 In Sura Al Imran, verse 14, Allah remind us:

 "Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: Women and sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to)."

 Allah wants us to enjoy the fruits of our hard work. He wants us to work hard to enjoy a nice car and a nice home in a nice neighbourhood, but not so much as to distract us from worshipping him. Some religions teach that in order to grow spiritually, you must deny yourself the pleasures of this world. You may have to spend time in a monastery or become an ascetic. Islam is unique among all religions in that it teaches life fulfilment, not life denial. Islam teaches that the worlds of the body and the spirit should live in harmony, not conflict. In our daily prayers, we say:

 Rabbanaa aatina fid dunya hasanatan wafil aakhirati hasanatan wa qinaa athaa ban naar.

 “O my Lord, please grant me the best of this world, and the best of the hereafter, and save me from the torment of the fire.”

 We have to get our work/family/home/community/and leisure balance right.

 Many of our parents came to Britain from other places, to find work and a better life. They have made a kind of Hegira, or Migration, just as Prophet Muhammad sws migrated from Makka to Madina. That first Hegira was for survival, because his life was in danger. We must make sure that our parents’ migration to Britain was not just for a better life for themselves and their children. We must make sure that our presence in this beautiful country will be a benefit to everyone who lives here. Our country has problems of delinquency, failed marriages, drug and alcohol abuse. We can and we should be working to put things right. Even if our parents’ migration was mainly economic, we can extend that purpose to include good citizenship, and being good and inspiring role models of what Islam can offer the modern world. That should be our intention. One hadith, narrated by Sayyidina Omar ibn al Khattab, says:

 "Actions are judged by their intention and everyone shall have only what  he intended. Therefore he who migrated for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger; and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration will be judged that for which he intended."

 My dear brothers and sisters, let us dedicate ourselves to the service of Allah. Whether our parents came here to study, to work, to run a business, to seek political asylum, or to enjoy a better life in general, let us make sure that our daily concerns always focus on improving ourselves, our neighbourhood and our environment. This will bring us nearer to Allah. Let us in our spiritual life, make the hejira, the migration, from what pleases us to what pleases Allah. It means, in essence, that we must aim to rise above our selfishness, our vanity and self-indulgence. We must try to fulfil the purpose which Allah decreed for us, which is, to be His Khaleefatullaah,  His ambassadors on earth.

 Innalláha wa malaaikata yusallúna alan nabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallú alayhi wasalli mú tas leema. Allahumma salli alá Muhammad, wa ala áli Muhammad, kama salayta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali Ibrahim. Allahumma barik ala Muhammad, kama barakta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali ibrahim. Fil ála meen, innaka hameedun majeed.

 Sub' hanallahi wal hamdu lillah, wala hawla wala quwwata illah billah yu althi yual theem

 All Glory is for Allah, all Praise is for Allah; There is no power and no strength, except from Allah.

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 Let us all try to make our Goals in life, well-balanced and pleasing to Allah swt. Allah told His angels that He created us so that we can be his Ambassadors on earth. Remember you are all Ambassadors of Islam. As young students, your immediate goal is to do well at school so that you can do well in life generally after you leave school. All the time, you are being observed by others, and your behaviour is how people will judge all Muslims and their religion. It’s a big responsibility, but it’s also an opportunity to show how beautiful Islam is.

Here are a few tips to bear in mind:

Islam teaches purity and cleanliness, in body, mind and spirit. Summer is coming, the days are hot. We all perspire, and it can be unpleasant to be near someone whose body or clothes aren’t clean. Make sure you always have a bath or shower every day, and wear clean clothes every day.

Islam teaches excellence. Don’t be satisfied with mediocrity, by just giving your minimum effort and getting average results. Prophet Muhammad sws and his noble Companions, the sahaaba, were not average people. They strived to be excellent human beings. They became role models for people throughout history. They were the best Ambassadors for Islam. We must study their lives for inspiration. We must work hard, and do well. We must try to be the best at what we do, in school subjects, hobbies, or sport.

Choose your friends wisely, Avoid bad company and do not be shy or embarrassed about being ‘different’. Prophet Muhammad said that if you spend 40 days in someone’s company, you become like them. Make sure you spend time with people who are a good influence on you.
I will end this khutbah with a duah, a plea to Allah:

“O my Lord, do not let our hearts deviate from the Truth now that we have been guided; but grant us Mercy from Your very Presence, for You are the Giver of bounties without measure.”

Rabbana la tuzigh quloobanaa, ba’da ith haday tanaa, wa hablanaa milla dunka Rahma. Innaka antal Wah-haab.

Aqeemus salaah!

A short khutbah for Slough Grammar School 26th May 2006
by Arshad Gamiet