Life Through Trials

Hajj Hassanain Rajabali discusses how we live our life through trials and tribulations, and how we can deal with it. He points to the ultimate role model for living through this life, which are the Holy Prophet (S) and his holy progeny Ahlul Bayt (A)

A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-la'een al-rajim, Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim, al-hamdulillah Rabb al-Alameen, al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alameen. Alhamdu lillahil lazee hadaanaa lihaaza wa maa kunna linahtadiya law la ann hadaanallahu, wasalatu wsalamu 'ala khairil khalqe wa noor e 'arshe afdhalil anbiyae wal mursaleen habibina wa syedina wa sanadina wa shafee'ina wa mawlana abul Qasim Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad] wa 'ala aalehit tayyibeen wa 'l-tahireenal ma'soomeen al-madhloomeen, amma ba'd faqad qala Allahu Subhanah wa Ta'ala fi kitabil majeed wa qawluhul haqq wa huwa asdaqus sadiqeen Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim, Huwal ladhee ba'athaa fil ummiyyeena Rasoolam min hum yatloo 'alaihim aayaatihee wa yuzakkeehim wa yu'allimuhumul Kitaaba wal Hikma,wa in kaanoo min qablu lafee dalaalim mubeen. (62:2) sadaqallahul 'aliul 'adheeem. Salawat 'ala Muhammad wa 'ala aale Muhammad.[Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad]

I begin in Allah's name, the Beneficent, the Merciful, and all praise belongs to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, for granting us this existence, giving us the potential to achieve very high standards of existence and to appreciate life through trials and tribulations. As we know, we value ourselves with our abilities. We value ourselves when we are able to endure difficulties and trials. So you will notice that we ask ourselves - why are we suffering in this world, why are we having problems?

Well, you and I will never know the value of life, we will never know our own value unless we are able to sustain difficulties. So as a result, Allah has blessed us with this potential, and He considers us, without a doubt, worthy of extending our potentials to the greater values. In the sense that Allah considers us worthy in the simple term, Allah considers us worthy of being tested. This is supreme, I cannot stress enough that you and I have to start every day when we wake up, even in our sleep, with gratefulness, appreciating this opportunity for we cannot dictate this opportunity. It is purely out of the mercy of Allah to have given us this opportunity, it is a golden opportunity. And when we find ourselves appreciating it positively and my message, as you can see, and I typically stress as much as possible on this message, is the positive outlook to life. For that is the driving force for our existence. Sure, the negative forces are there and we have the option of taking the negative ways of life but it is self-destructive and it is only foolish for anyone to indulge in negative thoughts. We should use negative thoughts to keep ourselves in the positive.

So Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala, has blessed us with this. And of course, it is a discussion in itself and we can spend eternity recounting and counting the enormous mercies of Allah. And that activity of counting the mercies of Allah is in itself a positive attribute. So when you and I do dhikr of Allah, when Allah says wa dhkurullah katheeran, (8:45) when you do dhikr of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, a lot - dhikr is at this level - that accept and account for His bounties; so many verses in the Quran, in which Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, establishes this basic foundation. In our religion today, in our humanity today, we have many people who have apathy for God, apathy for religion, we are clueless, we are lost, we indulge in drugs, for example, we indulge in violence. We indulge in cheating and lying and trying to amass wealth. These are all consequences of an individual who has lost their track in accounting the mercies of Allah.

For if an individual truly recognizes the mercy of Allah, you cannot do evil things, it is difficult because it is a contradiction. It is like oil and water. You just can not mix it. But if a human being constantly practices that relationship towards Allah where the individual is constantly grateful, as Allah says, "La'in shakartum la azeedannakum wa la'in kafartum inna 'azaabee lashadeed".(14:7) That when you are grateful, We will give you more - here la azeedannakum is not only Allah giving us more from His decree, but the system that Allah has built, which is universally existent, the forces of the universe, if we approach the world positively, we will get more. If you smile at someone, you will get a smile back. You know, and it does not take much to smile, it takes a lot more muscles to frown. So if we are positive and we are proactive, we are forgiving and giving, we will get more. So Allah's saying "la'in shakartum la azeedannakum" (14:7)has many levels of transactions, but at the very human level, even if an individual does not believe in Allah, but they are grateful at the human level, they will receive more. That is amazing, that is the incredible mercy of Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala.

And of course, I feel honored to have this opportunity to be with you tonight as this Friday night programs, which is a blessing in the community, the YMA programs and all those programs that do dhikr of Allah - lectures where people gather together, they keep away from doing harm and evil, and they come and they remember Allah and they are given advice and we socialize and we shake hands and we eat together. And we meet and we break the ice and we counter all the negative forces. These are great honors of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, laid upon us. And I bid you because of that, sincerely, salaam aleikum jamee'un wa rahmatullahe wa barakaatuhu. Salle 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad]

As you know, we are in the month of Rabi'ul Awwal and we have, of course, celebrated the birth of the Messenger, which was on the 17th of Rabi'ul Awwal. As we know, there are two dates. People say 12th of Rabiul Awwal or the 17th of Rabiul Awwal, we categorically stick with the 17th because the Ahlul Bayt, the family of the Prophet, has consistently maintained the 17th of Rabiul Awwal is when the Messenger of Allah was born. And who knows better the birth of a person than the family. So it is quite evidential that in this blessed month, we find tremendous rahma. For example, in Suratul Ahzaab, Allah says: "Ya ayyuhan Nabi, Inna arsalnaka shahidan wa mubashhiran wa nazeera", "O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness, bearer of good news and a Warner. (33:45) So this is a rahma. Allah says in another verse: "Wama asrsalnaka illa rahmatal lil 'alameen". "We did not send you except as a mercy for all". (21:107) So the Messenger of Allah among all these Mercies that we have recognized: our existence, the trial, the world, the universe, of course, the pinnacle of that mercy is Rasulallah salla Allah 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad]

Now you might say, why? Why is he the pinnacle? He is a human being, just like you and I. You know, every single day, 200,000 - 250,000 children are born. I mean, if you do the math, it is astronomical, if you think about it, you are talking globally. So what is this birth about? What is the big deal? It is a good point. Allah says, (33:21) "Laqad kana lakum fi Rasulillah". This is in Sura Ahzaab.

By the way, I would recommend we should first and foremost, know our messenger as much as we can as Muslims. As Muslims, it is fundamental to spend time on two issues, extremely important. One is Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, Tawheed. The axis of all discussions is Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. Our love relationships, even between couples, between our brothers and sisters, our community, entirely should be pegged with Allah at the center. If Allah is not at the center, our friendship is shady, it is going to lead to a disaster in the future. Guaranteed, guaranteed. I am speaking from experience. All our friendships, If Allah is not at the center, we are wasting our time, because the longer you spend time in a friendship where Allah is not in it, the more history you and I have in that relationship, and if it goes wrong later on in time, it becomes even more painful. And it is very likely that those kinds of friendships will fall apart. If we accept His guidance and come towards Him, those kinds of friends will fall apart. Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, should be central. The second is the Messenger of Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala, Rasul Allah.Why? And you will see it is a very practical reason why Allah has laid - Allah says, "Innamal mo'minoonal lazeena aaminu billahi was rasoolihi" "The believers are those who believe in Allah and in his Messenger" "summa lam yartabu" "then they don't doubt".(49:15)

And the reason Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, establishes these two necessary positions, meaning Allah and the Holy Prophet, because that is the entire axis of a true believer who understands the true purpose of life. So why is the Messenger so important? Why is he the mercy of all mercies? Why is he the light? I mean, the description and I will describe what even non-Muslims say about the effectiveness of this Messenger of Allah, and I will discuss in the end about the geopolitical situation today, all these uprisings in North Africa; you will start to see that when we start connecting the dots, you will begin to see the real picture of Allah's plan, and it is not very difficult to see it.

The biggest problem we have, by the way, in society is not that we don't know the truth. We have snippets of the truth. Everybody has snippets of the truth. The problem is not the snippets. The problem is putting the snippets together in connecting the dots correctly to get the real picture. If you connected incorrectly, the picture changes and we are fooled. We may know the pieces of the truth, but putting the truth together is where the real trick lies. And this is where Hikma comes in. So the Messenger of Allah is indeed the best, because at the end of the day, if you and I take religion out of the picture for a moment and by religion here I am talking about with Allah at the center. And if we take a divine ordinance, meaning life, if I take the purpose of my life, which is to elevate my status so that my hereafter is what which I was created for is fulfilled, meaning I remove the hereafter, I do not believe in hereafter, I do not believe in a God. I just believe myself as a pure accident. I just become a mechanical creature. And now I have to deal with the problem of morality, meaning I have to do good things, I have to avoid evil, but it is all really purposeless. It is just a mechanical scenario because I realize that if God is not there, the hereafter is not there, then everything I do, I am just a mechanic. I am just a machine, purposeless. I am totally purposeless because I came from nothing. I am going nowhere. And I am wasting my time here, doing everything and anything. You get it? So because I become purposeless and I still have a dilemma and my dilemma, if I am an atheist, is why should I be nice to you? Well, the atheist boils down that, well, if I am nice to you, it means that eventually you will be nice to me. So it is good to be nice to you.

That is a Rahma of Allah by the way - Allah has created this fundamental basis that even if a person rejects Allah, he realizes the mechanical system dictates that you should do good. And the mechanical system dictates that if you do bad, it is going to come back and haunt you. And your psychology and your physiology and your mentality is going to be affected by any negative movements. This is a rahma of Allah. Allah says, "Wa aqeemul wazna bil qist wa la tukhsirul meezan", "maintain the balance and don't create an imbalance." (55:9) Another one, Allah says, for example "wa aqem wajhaka liddeen", "maintain your faces upright"; "fitratallahi llati fatran naasa 'alaiha", "maintain an upright position"(30:30). Your morals should be upright. Why is Allah saying that? Because Allah says if you do not maintain a good moral stance, you will become self-destructive. Allah has built a system, and Allah says, "la tabdeelaa likhalqillah",(30:30) even the sunnah of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, does not change. It is fixed. The fixture here is: promote good, be the beneficiary; promote evil, die and be destroyed, even if you do not believe in God.

Now the dilemma is that if I do not believe in God, I am still stuck with the moral argument. You know, when I went on the atheist side called Freedom from Religion Foundation, which is run by Dan Barker and his group, they say on their website that morality is a creation of Man. That is a very dumb statement, morality is the creation of Man. I mean, if we are - if the atheist is so stuck in the dilemma of morality and it is a creation of man, uncreate it, get rid of it. You cannot. Morality - the basis of morality - is ethics, speaking the truth versus lying. Can you tell me that a human being created that system? Can you and I create the system of speaking the truth and lying? And being good versus evil? Can we create it? And if we can create it, let us adjust it. Let us make evil, you know, the right thing and good the wrong thing. Let us try it for a moment. Impossible. No one in history, forever, ever in history, ever before and in the future, logically, deductively and inductively can ever dare to say that morality can be a concoction of the human race. Impossible. We are bound in it, whether we like it or not. So since we have the dilemma, quote unquote, of this morality, which to me, is not a dilemma, it is a mercy of Allah. But if I was to remove God, I mean, I would have this dilemma. Why do I need to be good? I am a machine. I have greed. I have a desire to own and eat and rule. My ego just wants to flare and I want to rule the world. I want to conquer. We have these ego-maniacs in the world today. You know, like in Libya, you can see the madness there. They can't let go. The world is slipping from their hands. They just can not let go. Allah says, "Al haakum ut takathur", "abundance has diverted you". (102:1)Till you die and come in the grave. Then you will see what your real purpose in life was.

Now, when I boil it down, I have a moral scenario that no matter how much I own, and no matter how good I am in mechanics and going to the gym and pumping a thousand pounds on the bench, I am still left with the moral argument of being a good person. And that is really what counts. I give a simple example, I use this bench pressing, right? Look at one example of a moral argument. It is so profound. You know, in the Messenger's time, there were people in Madina who were lifting rocks. You know, at that time they did not have gymnasiums like we have today. They were lifting rocks and throwing these boulders. The strongest guy, you know, was the one who could throw the farthest. So they see the Messenger of Allah and they call him and they say "Ya Rasulallah! Come and watch us. Tell us which one of us is the strongest." So the guy with the biggest boulder throws it in. The Messenger smiles and says, "None of you are strong". The person says, "I lifted a boulder, I am strong." The Messenger said, "No, the strongest among you is the one who can hold back his anger. If you can hold back your anger, your temper, you are the strongest." Notice the difference: one is mechanical, the other one is moral. Can you compare the two? Trust me, even the guy with the biggest muscles on earth could be a chicken, weak person if they cannot hold back their tongue and you will notice the most difficult thing is to hold back your temper. Allah says, "wal kaazimeenal ghaiza". (3:134)Who are the ones? The believers are the ones who hold back.

Our seventh Imam was Imam Musa ibne Jafar al-Kazim. Why is he called al-Kazim? Because he would hold back his temper. He would swallow his temper. He was so subdued in his own self. As Allah says, "wal kaazimeenal ghaiz" They hold back their anger. (3:134) That is the toughest thing to do. You could be the biggest mechanically, but morally, you are a failure. So if a person is so powerful and they cannot hold back even for a second their temper, they are useless. You might say, "But he can bench press a thousand pounds." Yeah, but he can't hold his temper. This person is useless in society. You cannot have him as a friend. This friend is destructive. This friend will kill you. This friend will harm you. This husband will harm you. This father will harm you. This brother will harm you. This sister will harm you. Notice the danger, no matter how much we possess. You can say, "But that is the richest person in the world." No problem. But this person is bad. This person is deadly. Notice, no matter how we boil it down. What comes out as the most sublime character is the moral character. Right, so I could be the best mechanic in the world, the most powerful person, the richest person, the most beautiful person, it all becomes secondary when it comes to the moral question.

Hence, the Messenger of Allah is the best human being, is Rahma, because he is the ultimate moral example. That is why Allah says in the Quran in Sura Qalam, "innaka la'alaa khuluqin 'azeem", "Indeed, you have the best moral disposition." (68:4) Your akhlaq, your khuluq is so azeem, so supreme, Allah praises him. That's why Allah says, "Laqad kaana lakum fi rasulillah uswatun hasana", "Indeed! What is in the Messenger is your best example"(33:21), not because of his size, not because of his skin color, not because of his nationality, not because of his hair color, none of the above. Because his moral disposition is so supreme that all of us must hold on to him and his family. That is what we need to teach our children. We find ourselves confused today in the world where we are encouraging our children to go for everything but the moral argument. No one is saying don't get educated. No one is saying don't earn the six and seven figure salaries. No, we should. It is our right. But those should be secondary. Primarily, at the end of the day, even our choices we make in marriage when we are looking for a spouse, many times we look at their outward beauty and that is our right to do that, for attraction is important. But nothing should be more attractive to us than a person's moral disposition. When their khuluq, their akhlaq is impeccable, then you don't see the face. Even if, let us say there is a particular quality they have on their face that you don't particularly like, it is impossible not to fall in love with such a person. Impossible, because beauty, the way the real beauty in Islam is at the level of the heart. And the heart gives off good moral qualities. Sallu 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad.[Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad]

So we should focus, brothers and sisters, upon ourselves. Here I do not come to praise the Messenger of Allah because he needs our praise. He does not need our praise. We need to praise him. Because when we praise him, we will have an affinity for his lifestyle, we will have an affinity for him, we will have a love for him, we will want to be like him. If we ignore him, then we will have an affinity for someone other than him. For at the end of the day, our affinity cannot be escaped. We cannot escape having an affinity for somebody or something, it is impossible. We are always attracted to something. So we have to decide, who is the greatest. In Suratul Juma, which I started, I will describe this Rahma of the Holy Prophet and hopefully, we will understand the power. And please, the discussion I am having - that all of us, each and every one of us, should have a love relationship with our Prophet. When we hear his name, the hair on our body should stand up; we should feel honored. The name Muhammad - it should be so ingrained in us that every movement we take, we are thinking, would my Prophet be pleased if I did this? If I am sitting in this circle and there is gossip taking place right now, would my Prophet be pleased with this? Would he be in my circle? If he smiles at me, that is the greatest thing in life. If he frowns at me, I am very disappointed, for he is my moral pathway. And Allah has connected him even in my prayer.

You know, as we know in Al-Kafi, we know that Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala, gave as a regulation upon us for salaat 'two, two, two, two, two' five times a day, ten rak'a a day. Fajar was two, zuhr was two, asr was two, maghrib was two and isha was two rak'a. You notice, the Messenger of Allah, when he went up to Mi'raj - imagine how Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala, honoured the Prophet: "Subhaanal lazeee asraa bi'abdihee lailan minal Masjidil Haraam iilal Masjidil Aqsa allazee baaraknaa hawlahoo". (17:1) By the way, here Masjide Aqsa is not the Masjide Aqsa that is in Jerusalem. Here Masjide Aqsa in Arabic means the farthest mosque in the Heavens. Some people say he went from Mecca to Masjide Aqsa and back. No, no, no, he went to the heavens. Some say he went to Masjide Aqsa and then he went to the sky. Historians say no, he went to the furthest mosque straight. So the question is, Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, elevated him - how? His elevation is at that level, the Quran discusses it, where even Jibrai'l was not able to enter - a region where Allah invited the Messenger as an honor. This is an honor - when Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, takes you from this earth and shows you His dominion and takes you to His highest universe and shows you His authority, His throne as we say, and then He brings you back - that honour, no one has been given that honor other than the Holy Prophet, salaAllahu 'alyehi wa aalih wa sallam. Sallu 'ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad.[Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad]

Now, when he was in Mi'raj, as you know, Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, showed him many things, told him about what will happen in the future, showed him the events in heaven, in hell, in paradise that is, and in hell. And the Messenger of Allah was made aware of many things. As we know, all the knowledge of the Messanger of Allah was given to him by Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. Allah says, "wa laa yuheetoona bishai'in min 'ilmihee illaa bimaa shaaa"(2:255) - none of these representatives of Allah, including you and I, can avail ourselves of any knowledge except by the will of Allah. "wa laa yuheetoona bishai'im min 'ilmihee illaa bimaa shaaa" - this is what Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, is telling us. So when the Messenger was in Mi'raj, Allah gave these ten Rak'at as commandments for the human race to pray. By the way, prayer was always there. Adam,'aleyhi as-salam, prayed. Every prophet prayed, all those who follow prophets and messengers, historically from Adam's time, prayer was already legislated. But here, the number of ten being extended over the span of a day was made firm when the Messenger of Allah went to Mi'raj. Now what we find is that the Messenger of Allah, in al-Kafi, is asking Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, that he would like to add seven more. It is interesting that the Messenger of Allah is asking to add seven more cycles in prayer. That means instead of ten rak'a a day, the Messenger added seven more, which became seventeen rak'a. Now, you might think, why is the Messenger doing this? I mean, Allah is the one who gives the law, not the Messenger. It is for the Messenger to take the laws of Allah, not to give the laws. Here Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, is commanding His law through the Messenger and fixing him in the law, so that historically no human being dares to remove the messenger from the fabric of al-Islam.

When Allah says, "alyawma akmaltu lakum deenakum wa atmamtu 'alaikum ni'matee", (5:3) no one can say that Tawheed is the driving force and therefore we all believe in one God. Now, we do not need the Messenger. You find that a Rashid Khalifa, for example, who was claiming to be a prophet, he believed in this idea that there is no need for the Messenger to be the Khatimun Nabiyeen. He is just one of the messengers and he is not pivotal, what is pivotal is Allah and the Quran. There is no need even to mention the Messenger. Imagine they want to efface and eradicate the mention of the Messenger of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. The mention - just the mention - he said, no, do not even send salam to him. Today, you find there are people who tell you do not celebrate his birthday. There are people who say, do not kiss his grave. They tell you this, do not kiss the grave. They want to disconnect us, whereas Allah is saying the only way you will come to Me is through the Messenger of Allah.

That is why Allah said, "laqad kana lakum fi rasoolillahi uswatun hasana", on what condition - "liman kana yarjullah," (33:21)notice - for those who want to return to Allah. That means my return to Allah is through the Messenger of Allah. "liman kana yarjullah wa yawmil akhira," "and the one who believes in the day of judgment", "wa zakarallaha katheeran", "and the one who remembers a lot". These are the kinds of people who see the Messenger as their guiding light. So the messenger added seven more. Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, accepted it. It was actually Allah's command through the mouth of the Messenger. Allah says, "Wa maa yyantiqu 'anilhawaaa In huwa illaa Wahyun yoohaa"(53:3). And notice, "Ma dhalla sahibukum wa ma ghawa". Notice, Allah says "ma dhalla sahib"(53:2). Notice the word sahib here is used, sahib means companion. Notice here it has actually got a negative connotation, meaning somebody is accusing the Prophet, and Allah is defending the Prophet by saying your companion - ma dhalla sahibukum. Notice the word sahib here has actually a negative connotation. In the sense that the Messenger is now - you notice Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, He is calling - He says "ma dhalla sahibukum", because they were accusing the Messenger of being delirious, of being mad. Because when the revelations were coming upon the Messenger, they thought that he was going through convulsions when Gabriel was talking to him, so they made all these accusations and Allah protects him and says, "No, your companion notice here it says "ma dhalla sahibukum" because the companions of the Prophet, some of them, were accusing him so Allah is defending the Prophet through the word "ma dhalla sahibukum wa ma ghawwa. Wa maa yantiqu 'anilhawaaa", "he does not speak of himself anything but that which Allah gives.

So here you notice the Messenger adds seven more. And Allah accepts it. But Allah says to the Messenger, when my believers become travellers (musafir), they will drop those additions. But one will remain as your symbol, which is Maghrib. You notice in Maghrib, when we travel, Maghrib remains three. You never drop Maghrib no matter what state you are in, Maghrib is always three. But all the other prayers you notice, we drop. And notice, no prayer on the third and the fourth rak'a is ever the same as the first two. The third and the fourth is always different. You notice that you have what we call Wajib takhyeeri, meaning you have two options: you can recite Suratul Fatiha or you do tasbeehatul arba'a. Notice it is different because that is proof of an addition, something different. But Allah loves the Messenger so much and says your whole deen is so intertwined with him that your entire moral foundation is built through the Prophet, that even at your practical level of worshipping Me, you must mention him, that even your transaction had his hand in it. Sallu 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad]

So a couple of quick points I want to make, and then I want to conclude. This remembrance of the Messenger of Allah as the central figure, as the moral foundation is extremely important. We must fall in love with the Messenger of Allah. We must study his life. Alhamdulillah, lately, I have been getting emails from many people saying we want to read the life of the Prophet. We want to know who this man was, when he was born, what happened in that year of the elephant? We heard that seven pillars of the Persian King's palace cracked. You find historians say even Iblis was disturbed by the birth of the Holy Prophet. There was so much jubilation by the angelic creations in the skies when they heard of this great news that the Messenger was born. This is nothing new. If you go back in history, you will find every prophet that came, and the Quran even mentions it, that every prophet spoke of the coming of this messenger, that even Isa,'aleyhi as-salam, he said, even in the Bible, they have removed this name, but even Isa, 'aleyhi as-salam, he says to his companions, he says, "Verily, verily there is much for me to say unto you, but you shall not bear it." There is much that I want to tell you. I have a lot of knowledge, a lot of information, but you can't bear it. You are not mature enough. Your understanding is weak. But the one who shall come after me, the comforter, the one who shall come after me. According to the Quran, it says in the original revelation of Isa,'aleyhi as-salam, the Injeel of Isa, 'aleyhi as-salam, clearly stated that the one who shall come, his name is Ahmed - "Ismohoo Ahmad". His name is Ahmad, the one who will come.

You notice that every prophet that came, foretold the coming of this prophet. In fact, historians say the Jews were in Medina precisely for that reason because their scriptures told them that the Messiah who will save humanity, the one who will bring the revelation of God, will come in Medina. So they waited, the Bani Qainuqa and the Bani Quraidha, these groups were waiting in Medina, waiting for this messiah to come. And when the Messenger showed up, they came and interrogated him, they asked him questions upon questions and he answered all of them, according to the scriptures, but they rejected him because they said, you are not of the Bani Israel, although he is a distant cousin of the Bani Israel, but because they did not come from "Bani" Israel - Israel was who? Yaqoob - Prophet Yaqoob. Yaqoob had a son. His name was Yahuda. Yahuda is really the father of what we call the Jews of today, the Jews claim that Judaism came from that clan. So notice that they say, well, you are not part of this, hence we reject you. No problem. You can accept it. You can reject it. The Rahma of Allah is upon us.

So let me conclude very briefly, and I hope you understand that my main message here with the Rahma, please, is if we want to change our akhlaaq, our problem in our communities today, our young generation, older generation, the problems that we have are self-created. We create them and we create them because we refuse to turn to, to accept the lights that Allah has sent upon us. We shut them off and we go in darkness and we indulge in dark activities, what we call evil activities. Sometimes we converge on evil activities, which leads to all kinds of destruction. You can see it, it is everywhere.

So here is what the Quran establishes as my conclusion in this connect-the-dots: Allah says "Huwal lazee ba'athaa fil ummiyyeena Rasoolan min hum", "He sent prophets from among yourselves"(62:2). Why among yourselves? Because if a prophet came from another planet, you and I would say, well, he is not practical. He comes from a different creation, different planet. How would he know what I am doing? So Allah is merciful that he brings our representatives from our own communities, "ba'atha fil ummiyyeena Rasoolan min hum. Yatloo 'alaihim aayaatihee"(62:2), "he recites for you the signs". What are these signs? Here Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, is showing that, you notice at the very basic level and we all need to indulge in this and Mashallah I see a lot of our young brothers and sisters in our community, although itis a very small percentage that is doing it relative to the sleeping giant that I always speak about. But it is okay, I am very optimistic, I am very hopeful, we are going to wake up the sleeping giant very soon. Insha'Allah, you will see it in so many ways. And it is not we who are waking him up. It is Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, who is the best of planners. And I will conclude on that.

But the first level is to ask, who am I? Why am I here? What is my goal in life? You know, how many people don't bother to discuss that? You see them doing the dumbest things, using the foulest language, you find them running for the most mundane material things in life. You are looking at them like, are you serious? "Yeah, my dream is to have that and I will kill to have it." I say, "That's it? That's your dream? That is what you have concluded, your purpose in this short world that you are living in, this short life? You know how short this life is? If you are 90 years of age, which is a long period, 90s is an old person. Thirty years of the 90 years, the person was sleeping. You are left with 60. 30 of those 60, you were busy working, you are left with 30 years, If you and I live to be 90, most people don't live to be 90. The average lifespan is 70. So bring it down to 20 years. You mean I pursued all these dreams for 20 years. And if I ask you for that 20 years, you give me a videotape of what is your most profound moments in life? Maybe one hundred hours. Two hundred hours? You mean this world was only worth two hundred hours for me? Allah says, "Bal tu'thiroonal hayaat ad dunyaa wal akhiratu khairun wa abqa", "You love this world. The hereafter is what is forever"(87:16) . You are fooling yourselves into thinking something is important here.

But when a person needs to sit and say, 'Why am I here?' You know, I speak in universities. I get non-Muslim audiences after my lecture, you see youth come to me and say, Wow, never thought this way. You are right. I said, Look, I am not here to proselytize. I am not here to make you a Muslim. I am here to wake you up. You choose your own way. You are smart enough, you are sharp enough. You know, you have been planted with some of the greatest gifts you can ever imagine. And I am here to strike them. And you strike me, too. Let us wake each other up. There is a purpose in this life. The guy says to me, You are right. I said, take account. "Yatloo 'alaihim ayaatihee" (62:2) - Look in the skies. What is all this for? Why is all this happening? What is all the science? Why do people behave the way they do? Observation, basic observation will lead us to so much understanding.

That is why the Prophet says "man 'arafa nafsahu fa qad 'arafa rabbahu", "the one who knows himself will know his Lord." Indeed, that is first. "yatloo 'alaihim aayaatihee wa yuzakkeehim,"(62:2) "purified you." Brothers and sisters, please, for the love of Allah, keep away from wrong and haram. Even if you are not sure if something is haram and you have a general knowledge that people are saying this is bad and you don't know, it is wiser to avoid it until you know. What if they are right, but then you are already infected with it, you are already submerged in it? How are you going to get out? You might say, well, I don't know if something is haraam or halal. OK, then let me be cautionary. Then Shaytan is whispering in our ears, "Yeah, but then you are going to become fanatical, then you can't do anything. You are going to be stuck in your house."

Imam Ali,'aleyhi as-salam, says, "Stop. How much has Allah forbidden us compared to what He has allowed us?" Put it on the scale, you can't. What is allowed is too great, focus on what is allowed. Do not make a big deal about what is forbidden and when Allah forbids you something truly, like in the Quran, alcohol, drugs, pork, gambling. These are not Allah giving me these laws to entertain me or to make my life difficult. It is clear by any standards, even an alcoholic will tell you that it is destructive. A gambler will tell you it is destructive, period. It is that simple. And when Allah says keep away from it, it is for my benefit at the end of the day; why do I need religion otherwise? I can be an atheist and just live just as well. Allah says I have sent you morals as your best role model, the Prophet and his family, so that you follow the best morals, so you are the best in the community. That is what it is all about. You see, so 'yuzakkihim' purify you. You know what is the power of purification? You and I may ask - God is everywhere. He is ubiquitous. He is ever present. What is to take me to go and do Wudu? I mean, Allah already knows what is in my heart. I mean, why do I have to wipe my hand or my arms or wipe my head? I mean, God, what is this wiping for? You know, you already know what is in my heart. It is even deeper than my skin. Why do I need to clean my skin to come to you? Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, is telling us that in my religion, as a symbol of your action is when you come to Me, you purify, as pure your heart may be.

Look at our blessed Imam. Imam Zainul Abideen, 'aleyhi as-salat wa salam, when he used to do wudu, people used to see him turn pale and shivering. They would say, "Yabna Rasul Allah, why are you so pale?" He says, "I am preparing to go and talk to the owner of the universe. Do you know who that is? Should I not be pale?" Imagine if you and I are getting ready to go and speak to the most powerful human being in the world, a king or a president or let us say a great scholar that you and I admire just to see their faces. We admire them. Would you not be prepared? Would you not wonder what am I going to say? How am I going to dress? How am I going to sit? The Imam says "Allah is so merciful, He has allowed me access to Him at all times. But five times He has made it obligatory to speak to Him. Should I not prepare?" Notice "wa yuzakkihim" - the action of purification is so essential that what we eat, the food that we eat should be halal, not only at the level of it being slaughtered halal, but even the very money that buys it should be halal. There are people who indulge in so much haram, they build castles for themselves, thinking they have got security in the haraam way and then they have children. And then later on they realize their children are doing bad things and they say, I have been a good father. I don't understand. I said, Maybe the rizq that you took was not halal. And now it has infused itself as a poison in your generations because it is all pervasive. My transactions in how I earn has a direct correlation to the effects of the way I do things -"wa yuzakkihim" purification. It is a long discussion.

Brothers and sisters, hijab is a purification. A man lowering his eyes is a purification, holding my tongue from screaming and giving bad words, foul language - purification. If I want to curse and I say no, I am not going to curse -purification. Wa yuzakkihim. You see, I am not going to slander someone, someone wants to slander me or I hear somebody wants to talk bad about someone and I say no - I refuse because I don't want impurity in my mouth. There is a man who was gossiping about a person and he comes to the Messenger and the Messenger says, "I see flesh stuck in your teeth, dead flesh. I see it." He says, "How do you see it? " Because Allah says, "la yaghtab ba'dukum ba'daa; a yuhibbu ahadukum an ya'kula lahma akheehi maitan fakarih tumooh"(49:12). Don't backbite, it is like eating the flesh of a dead brother, and it is disgusting to Allah. Don't do that - purification, "wa yuzakeehim". "wa yu'allimuhumul Kitaaba," "And He taught you the book, The Law"(2:129).

Brothers and sisters, please, for the love of Allah, even at the very basic level, take some time to read the Quran. Allah says in Sura Qamar, "Wa laqad yassarnal Qur'aana lil dhikri fahal min muddakir ,"(54:22) "We have made the Quran easy to remember" - four times in Suratul Qamar Allah repeats "Wa laqad yassarnal Qur'aana lil dhikri fahal min muddakir ," Who will pay heed? We have made it easy for you. Who will pay heed? Please pay heed. Allah says, "Wa nunazzilu minal quraan maa huwa shifaaa'un wa rahmatun lil mu'mineena,"(17:82) "what We have revealed in this Quran, what is in it, is Shifa'a and Rahma." Spend time in it. Learn a few verses, talk it, walk it, live it, make a love relationship with this chapter. Take a chapter, any chapter in the Quran, have a love relationship with it privately. Don't tell the world, privately. Imam Khomeini, rahmatullah 'aleyh, says on Judgment Day, in Adabus Salah, he says you will see the most magnificent creatures, according to the Messenger of Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala,, and you will say, I wish I could possess that creature. And that creature will talk to you and say, You could have possessed me if you would have made relations with me while I was on Earth. And the person asks, Who are you? And the creature will say, I was Surah such and such. Make relations with me, fall in love with me, you will melt into that verse, into that chapter, you will become the chapter. What better is there in life than for our morals to merge into that chapter? Look at the world today. We are very surfaced when it comes to the Quran, we open it for istikhara, when we do marriages, we want to put it on top of somebody's head, while everything else, we do many things in the marriage that may be haraam but it is okay, we have got the blessings of God on the head, right? It doesn't matter. There is protection.

The Rahma of the Quran is there. Open it, read it, study it, talk it, walk it. In my personal experience, even in my lectures when I speak - I don't care how eloquent I am, it is useless if the Quran is not brought forth. And when you recite it in Arabic, it is like rocket fuel, you recite it, it just puts you in a different dimension. You might think, OK, it is rocket fuel in a Muslim environment. No, even in a non-Muslim environment. I remember once I was in a high school in New Jersey and I was talking about God and Allah. And we had a Hindu, a Christian, a Jew, and I was the Muslim. And I started and I was presenting about the oneness of God. And I recited Suratul Ikhlaas, the whole sura. I recited it and they all looked at me. I said, you are wondering why I am reading it in Arabic. I said, because I want to prove to you it is the original and every Muslim in the world recites the same. And if you went back a thousand years, it is the same verse. But really, when I finished, many people came to me. They said, when you recited that, we just felt like something came to us. Whatever it was, you recited it. Whatever it is, there is a shifaa. It stuns the enemy. It elevates the friends. Allah says in the Quran, "wa yu'allimuhum ull Kitaaba", "he taught you the law."(2:129) Take the law. "Yaa Yahyaa khuzil Kitaaba biquwwatin," "Take the law o Yahya!"(19:12) Take it, study it, talk it, walk it. Make it your life.

Take our children, every one of our children here in this room, should not miss the opportunity of reading the Quran. As parents, it is our obligation; as adults, it is our obligation. And do not tell me that I am too old, I don't understand it, or Arabic is not my language. Do not tell me that - there is no excuse when it comes to Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, has given us the cure to all diseases and you and I are sick and we are saying I couldn't take the medicine because I did not have the energy to do it. No, it is unacceptable. Allah on Judgment Day will question "Thumma latus alunna yauma-izin 'anin na'eem ," "We will ask you, Allah says, what did you do with this gift?"(102:8)

Now, let me conclude briefly. Today, look what is happening. SubhanaAllah. A few years back, we were talking to people who said, Look, brother, this world is corrupt, it is bad, filled with evilness, the evil empire has put its tentacles everywhere. It is impossible. You know, it is just a web of an incredible order. It is difficult. We can't do it. We can. We are seeing it happening now. But to manage that chaos that is happening now, to uproot the filth that has been laid in our societies, that is causing all this carnage and death over the centuries, to uproot it requires wisdom, hikma. You cannot manage. You might say, OK, I want to topple this leader. Let us all go out into a square and topple him. That is phase one. Very important. But now what are you going to do once you have toppled him? You have got a thousand forces against you. Everybody now has a voice. How are you going to go? Notice, you need some kind of a galvanizing vision. You need to have a focus. You need to be directed. Revolutions are not easy to bring about, but it is proof it can happen that even kings who sit on the throne thinking they are the strongest - the Shah of Iran called himself Shahan Shah, king of kings. That is how arrogant this man was. He was so arrogant, so drunk in his power, yet a simple sage, a man connected with Allah, outside the country tells him, get out. That is the power. Allah says, "Iny-yansurkumul laahu falaa ghaaliba lakum wa iny-yakhzulkum faman zal lazee yansurukum min ba'dih," "When God helps you, who can defeat you? And if He does not help you, then who is there to help you?"(3:160)

Wisdom - Quran says, "wal Hikmah" Prophets came to teach us hikmah - how to connect the dots. Hikma is wisdom; wisdom is different from knowledge. I always use this example - I will simplify it: Knowledge are the tools in a toolbox. The toolbox is the intelligence we possess. So knowledge are the tools in a toolbox, but you need a toolbox to contain the tools. The container is this intelligence 'aqal' and you have to feed it the right knowledge. When you have the tools, you might say, OK, am I sufficiently equipped now to manage my affairs? No, now you need wisdom, you need to know how and when to use the tools, because you can use the tool and destroy things and you can use the tool to build many good things. Hikma. Allah says, "Yu'til Hikmata man yashaaa'; wa man yu'tal Hikmata faqad ootiya khairan katheeraa," "He gives hikma to who He wills and whoever He has given wisdom to, He has given much good." (2:269) We should pray to Allah to increase our Hikma - "rabbi zidni 'ilman, fahman, hilman, hikman, rizqan, sabran" - all these are duas we should pray.

In fact Allah says to the Messenger "wa qul (and say) rabbi zidni 'ilman," "say My Lord increase for me my knowledge"(20:114) Increase it, give me more. Allah gives it to us if we ask. All the duas that we have in the Quran, the rabbanas, in our qunut, let us recite them. Which one do you like? Which one do you want? Ponder for a moment. See, I pondered one day - I was looking at the story of Suratul Kahf and I pondered and I saw those youth running away from a tyrant king and he was going to kill them and they didn't know what to do, as good as they were. You and I don't know what is going to happen today, tonight, tomorrow - we take steps and we do tawakkul 'ala Allah. But we do not know if we will die. We don't know if the move is right. We don't know if it will lead to positive actions. Our intent is positive, Allah inshaAllah will make it positive. But here is the catch. We don't know. So now what are you going to do?

This is where dua comes in. you make dua - as the ashabal Kahf said, "Rabbana atena min laddunka Rahma," "Our Lord, give us from your Treasury" (18:10) Min laddunka. Ramah. Mercy. Pour it on us. Give it to us. "Wa hayyi' lana min amrina rashada," "and make our affairs correct." We are taking this bold step towards you, O Allah. We do not know if we are going towards destruction, make it good. Now, if you fall in love with such a verse and you know, your life is filled with ambiguities, we are filled with situations we don't know. Then Allah says, OK, I have given you a secret formula - recite it. In your qunut, recite it with your heart, come to me. "Rabbana atena min laddunka Rahma wa hayyi' lana min amrina rashadan," - tremble and say, "My lord, I take this step for you. "Qul inna Salaatee wa nusukee wa mahyaaya wa mamaatee lillaahi Rabbil ‘aalameen"(6:162), I come for You O Allah. I want to do good things for You. So help me O Allah.

You will be surprised. Suddenly you will see visions. You will understand with wisdom. You will start to see where good lies from evil. You will take steps. You will be in a position that you have clarity - you will say, Aha! Now I see other opportunities. I am on the mountain halfway, but my vision has increased from where I was at the base. So I see better. Now I know where I am going. Notice, it is a different approach to life. This is how we evolve.

So I conclude tonight that what is happening today in the world, this revolution, is a golden opportunity. I have this enormous feeling, and I know that even if it doesn't come true, having this feeling, the Holy Prophet says, "Afdalul 'ibaada intizaral Mehdi," "the greatest ibaadah, one of the best ibaadah, the most supreme ibaadah, is ' intizaral mehdi' To have intizar, to have this desire for the representative of Allah to be in your presence, whether the Prophet was there, whether you were with the Imam of the time or the Imam is in occultation - the intizar, like Salman al-Farsi. Salman was in Persia. He had an intizar. He was in the monastery. He became a monk. He studied Christianity, think about it, Salman, the Persian, the famous Persian who was known by the Holy Prophet as 'Salman mina Ahlul Bayt,' Salman is like Ahlul Bayt. Salman, whose father was a pagan, was a fire worshipper. His father wanted to kill him. He runs away from his father. He is in intizar - he is going towards this spirit. This intizar is in us. And Salman leaves his father, escapes into the monastery, 10 years! Intizar. He studies the books, he says something is lacking. I have done everything I need, iam missing the point. It is not striking my love for the God that I want to worship. I don't see it here. And these were, some of them were of course Ahlul Kitab, the real ones, the ones who believed in the oneness of Allah.

But there was intizar. The Prophet was already alive, was already in Madinah. He's [Salman's] feeling it - he doesn't know the Prophet is there, he doesn't even know he exists and then look at the destiny. "Wa hayyi' lana min amrina rashadan," "make my decree good O Allah". Salman must have prayed that. Must have! That Salman is taken to Madina as a slave. He is a prisoner working for the Bani Israel, and he is being whipped every day - 13 years while the Prophet is suffering in Mecca, he is suffering in Medina. And he starts to hear from the grapevine, there is a man calling himself a prophet and he is already agitated from that point in the sense that he is eager to go and meet. They say he was on a tree and his owner was speaking that this prophet of the Muslims has come to Medina now. And now he has stationed himself in Medina. And they were talking about how unhappy they are of the presence of this man. Salman could not contain himself. He jumps from the tree, comes down and asks the owner - he could not stop himself. The owner slaps him and says, go back to work. Salman finds a way that while he is given a chore to go and perform a duty as a slave, he detours in that chore and he goes and he says, I reached a tent.

He says, I saw light coming out of the tent. I entered the tent and I saw the face of the Holy Prophet and he says, I reached my destiny. I reached it. That intizar - [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad] is in us here today for Imam Mahdi, 'aleyhi as-salat wasalam, is present. And I always used to wonder how will the world know about Islam? How will Imam come? What is the situation? These tears, by the way, they come not as a show to anybody. It is when you have a realization, basic realization, I have a long way to improve myself, just a basic realization that this world is illusionary. There is no stability but with Allah and His Messenger and his Ahlul Bayt. There is nothing! You own all the homes you want, own all the money you want, own all the children you have, it will all go. The only value, Allah says, "wal baaqiyaatus saalihaatu khairun ‘inda Rabbika sawaabanw wa khairun amalaa," "the best are your deeds"(18:46).

How am I going to hold onto these deeds if I don't hold on to the rope of Allah? My Imam. And I was just going to say, how is this world going to be? My God, you and I are so blessed to be living in a world where, I was saying to my wife the other day, when we were growing up, my daughter, she has got all these electronic toys, press buttons - the thing is reading at you, looking at you, moving. We used to be happy to play with marbles. We are not that old, but you know how it is. Today, the technology is unbelievable, unbelievable, and we are seeing subhana Allah, look how quickly things are changing. They are changing so rapidly, they are asymptotic. If you see the growth of humanity in terms of advancement, we are asymptotic. We are accelerating every hour. Nations are falling in seconds, minutes. Media is talking to you in seconds. OK, this king is out, this one is in; this army is over there; this one is pressing buttons. Now there is going to be Star Wars. You know, we are going to have bombs coming from space, shooting us with laser beams and so. We are here.

And I used to think, OK, there is six billion people, six point eight billion going to seven billion as we speak, in fact, at the end of this year, I think it will be seven billion. Next year it will be nine billion. We are going exponential. Billions are just being born. How are these billions going to know about Allah? How is my Imam going to do it? Look at the groundwork. When that revolution took place in '79, many of us were in slumber, sleeping. There was a cat that got out of the box that started a movement, that presidents of nations, superpowers, had to come and reengineer a new world order. Because they knew something is around the corner. And they were right, but they became so terrified and they knew what it was that they decided to attack it head on. What was it? Islam - the threat? Why is Islam a threat? It doesn't bomb, it doesn't kill. In fact, the very name means peace, submission. What is your fear? If I was a monster or if I was a dictator and I love this world, I will clash with Islam. Because Islam does not tolerate oppression. Islam does not tolerate tyrants. Islam does not tolerate injustice, period. This is Islam. Then there are Muslims who pretend to represent Islam. That is a different discussion.

But the deen of Allah,"huwal lazeee ar sala Rasoolahoo bilhudaa wa deenil haqqi liyuzhirahoo ‘alad deeni kullihee," (9:33)"this religion will supersede all". We are seeing it now. What have they done? How do they fear? They marginalized Islam - they attached every negative action with Islam. They call it Islamic fundamentalists, Islamic terrorists, terrorism. What do they do? Look, you notice - we have got Christians, we have got Jews, we have got Hindus. None of these people who are extremists in their faith, just like in Muslims, we have extremists -will we ever brand them Christianist? We don't brand them Judaist. You notice we don't brand them Hinduist - if a Hindu takes a gun and shoots someone or there is a group of them reading the Bhagavad Gita and they decide to go kill people, we don't say "O that's a Hinduist." We just call them extremists, we call them crazies, right? We call them aberrations in society. But whenever there is a Muslim involved, Arabia, Muslim, any Muslim - Islamist!

Now read all of media, anybody who is an extremist is now an Islamist. We have to be afraid of the 'Islamist' movement. Notice the name Islam is attached with all the negatives: terrorists - Islamists. They have marginalized. But here is the Rahma of Allah. I always wondered how will the world know about Islam? It came through the tongue in the media of the enemy. They are spreading it for Islam. See, it is amazing. Imagine I have never heard of Islam before. Now I have to introduce it to you. Imagine there is a product you want to sell. I come and knock at your door - "I have got this great product." Now you have to really get me zoned into it. You kind of have to get me interested in it. Notice the interest is pre-built in all this frenzy against Islam everybody is eager to hear about it. "Yes. Yes. We are very interested about Islam. It is a dangerous religion, but we are very interested." Notice, it is not easy to get interest. Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala, is the best of planners: "Wa makaroo wa makaral laahu wallaahu khairul maakireen" (3:54)- He is the best of planners.

There is a riwayat that says when Imam Mahdi, 'aleyhi as-salat wasalam, reappears, the whole world will know about Islam and the Quran will be a popular book among the people. It is a riwayat of the Holy Prophet. The Quran? Yeah, you got crazies down in Florida who want to burn it. The guy has never read it. He has never read it. He has got a doctorate, he doesn't know how he got it. The BBC interviewed him. How did you get it? He said, I don't know. No problem. You are the perfect guy. You want to burn the book, right? Go ahead. It became the most read book in the world. Allah says I am the best of planners.

When Imam Mahdi, alayhi as-salam, reappears the whole world will know it, he will just come and correct them. He will take them in the right direction. Our blessed Imam is not going to kill too many people. People say he is going to come and there is going to be blood. Bloodshed and carnage is what you see now - in Bahrain, people are being shot head-on. You see in Libya right now, bombs are being dropped on them. You go to Egypt, you go to Yemen, you go to Morocco, you go to all these regions. And it is very strategic. North Africa is the heart of the world. Where the oil is, the power is, and where Islam is. So it is a big situation, it is a quagmire, and all the enemies are watching carefully and Allah is saying, they thought they had a solid hand on it, how quickly We change the situation in a matter of seconds, minutes, days. Having said that, what are you and I going to do? As much as we are happy that people are finally taking their rights away from dictators, as much as you and I are happy that finally humans possibly will be treated with dignity. What are you and I going to do? The best scenario for you and I is to be the best role models in society. Let us be that role model that the West should look at us as role models for tomorrow.

They will need to understand how to manage Islam in their lives. And you and I are the conduit to that management, and if you and I are not equipped with knowledge, understanding, Quran, akhlaq, akhlaq, Brothers and sisters, akhlaq! I have a Jewish friend, he says, I used to despise Muslims and Arabs. You are my first friend. And now I respect Muslims. I respect Arabs because you told me through action [he's telling me - I am not the best of action] he says, but I watched you and I noticed that you are a balanced person. I like you, I like Muslims. Now imagine you get rid of one person who has got animosity. How many people will he get rid of exponentially in his circle, like a tree? May Allah give us this tawfiq. The messenger of Allah is Rahmatun lil alameen. His power, Michael H. Hart, let me conclude and then let me read what he says. Listen to what he said. Sallu 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad]

As you know, Michael H. Hart has written the book, The 100 Most Influential Persons in History. As we know, even in his second edition, he said the Holy Prophet sala Allahu 'alayhi wassallum, is number one. He came under a lot of attack. Listen to what he says in his second edition. He says, "My choice of Mohammed to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others. But he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level." Notice secular. We might think that the message of Allah was only supreme at the religious level. Secular, meaning my material pursuits, my pleasures of the world is secular, as you want to call it, right? He was effective on both ends. That means let us not, as Muslims think that if I become a Muslim, I am going to become impractical. I can't handle the world. I have to give up all the pleasures of this world - wrong.

He says, "It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ, 'aleyhi as-salam [I put the 'aleyhi as-salam] and St. Paul, as you know, Paul, on Christianity." Meaning the two put together, cannot supplant the power of this one prophet. As you know, there is 2.2 billion Christians in the world today, 2.2 billion. There is 1.7, 1.8 billion Muslims -we are less in population. But look at the power. Allah says, "wa rafa'na laka dhikrak"(94:4), We elevated your dhikr to a level that even the enemy knows who you are. We must take that power and put it in action and guide ourselves and the world while we straighten out all these problems. Here is what he says, "It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence, which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history." Sallu 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad]

One point here. Edward Gibbon, as you know, look what he says. He says, "The greatest success of Muhammad's life was effected by sheer moral force." Khulq - innakal 'ala khuluqin 'azeem. This is Gibbon, he is a non-Muslim. There is about 30 people here who have written about the Holy Prophet. Each one is profound. I don't have time to read all of them just to get that spirit.

Let us take this Prophet in our hearts. Let us take the Quran. Let us purify ourselves and let us ask for wisdom from Allah. Let us connect the dots and let us become role models. Dearborn, Michigan in the United States is the heart of the Muslim land, as far as I am concerned. You, my brothers and myself are part of this incredible history happening as we speak today. If we don't take the bull by the horns and take it and become the best role models and representatives, we will miss a golden opportunity. Allah will replace us with better people. I can't find a better time to be alive than now. And if Imam Mahdi, 'aleyhi as-salat wasalam, were to reappear today, tomorrow, and it appears around the corner, because never in history has a nation ruled the whole world. Never in history have things happened so rapidly. Never in history has Islam never become the global force. And the focus of the enemy - number one enemy in the world is Islam, simply because they know its power. And Islam is not here to take the world. Islam is here to set the foundation of morality for the world. Wa akhirudawa anil hamdulillahi rabbil Alamin wa salam 'alaikum jameeun wa rahmatullahe wa barakatuhu. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad] Are we going to have a Q&A session? No - we do not have time. OK, very good. InshaAllah.

Letus make dua: Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. Rabbanagh fir lanaa wa li ikhwaani nal lazeena sabqoonaa bil eemaani wa laa taj’al fee quloobinaa ghillalil lazeena aamanoo rabbannaaa innaka Ra’oofur Raheem. Salawat 'ala Muhammed wa aale Muhammad. [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad]