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Central Sermon : “Proximity to Allah: The Greatest Strength of the Believer”

There is nothing more beautiful or majestic in life than feeling the proximity of Allah!

We, in this world, in relation to Allah, choose between these two paths:

{So remember Me; I will remember you.} (Qur’an 2:152)

{They forgot Allah, so He forgot them.} (Qur’an 9:67)

It was asked of Imam Shafi’i, rahimahullah: “What is the most noble act by which the servant draws closer to Allah?” He wept and said: “That Allah looks into your heart and sees that you desire nothing of this world or the Hereafter except Him.”

O our Allah, grant us such a heart…

Where are our hearts? How can we motivate them? How can we awaken them? There is a desire that always elevates them, and that is the desire for Allah.

The meeting with the beloved is the desire of every lover. When trials befall us or blessings lead us to heedlessness, we must refresh our faith by thinking of the moments of meeting with the Exalted Allah. Especially at the moment when the eyes of the believers will see the scene where the Exalted unveils His face.

The deeds done for the sake of Allah’s face are the most sincere. The desire for the face of Allah is the greatest desire. This desire and its persistence were in the supplications of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Ammar bin Yasir reports that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, made this supplication:
“O Allah, You know the unseen, and by Your power, You govern the creatures. Make me live as long as Your knowledge deems good for me. Make me die when it is good for me. Grant me to fear You, whether people see me or not. Make me speak the truth in anger and in satisfaction. Give me moderation in poverty and in wealth. Grant me an everlasting blessing. Grant me continuous joy. Make me content with destiny. Grant me a pleasant life after death. Let me enjoy the sight of Your face. Make me ardently desire the meeting with You and not be led astray by any calamity or trial that would divert me from the right path. O Allah, beautify us with the beauty of faith and make us follow the right path.” (Nasa’i and Hakim)

This day, the Exalted called it THE DAY OF INCREASE (YAWM AL-MAZEED)! The Exalted says: “There they will have all that they desire, and with Us is more besides.” (Qaf, 35).

The day of increase (Yawm al-Mazeed) is the day when the inhabitants of paradise will visit Allah, glorified be He. Ibn Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “If you ask what is ‘Yawm al-Mazeed,’ and the increase of the Almighty and the Praised, and the vision of His face, free from any resemblance or comparison, as you see the sun at noon and the moon on the night of a full moon, and which is reported and transmitted through reliable narrations from the truthful and sincere one, and written in the sahihs, the sunans, and the musnads. Listen to the account of the day when a messenger will say: ‘O inhabitants of Paradise! Your Most High Lord invites you to a visit, so respond to Him!’ They will say: ‘We hear and obey.’ Then they will hasten to meet their Lord, and when they arrive at the valley of Efjeh, a place of gathering will be designated for them, where they will all assemble. The messenger will not leave them. The Lord will command that His throne be placed there, and for them will be set up minbars of light, pearls, aquamarines, gold, and silver. Those who are at the lowest level among them will sit on mounds of musk, and will not see anyone above them in reward and gifts. When all are seated, tranquil, satisfied, and serene, each in their place, a herald will call out: ‘O inhabitants of Paradise! You have a promise from Allah which He wishes to fulfill for you!’ They will ask: ‘What is it? Has He not illuminated our faces, made our scales heavy (with good deeds), admitted us to Paradise, and saved us from Hell?’ While they are speaking thus, a light will shine that will illuminate Paradise, they will lift their heads and see the Exalted, glorified be His names, above them. He will say: ‘O inhabitants of Paradise, peace be upon you!’ This greeting will not be returned with words more beautiful than theirs: ‘Allahumma anta-s-salam wa minka-s-salam, tabarakta ya zal-jalali wal-ikram!’ (O Allah! You are peace and from You comes peace. Blessed are You, O Possessor of Majesty and Honor!) Then He will say: ‘Where are My servants who obeyed Me without seeing Me? This is Yawm al-Mazeed, so ask Me.’ They will agree on one thing: ‘We are satisfied with You, so be satisfied with us,’ and He will say: ‘O inhabitants of Paradise, if I were not satisfied with you, I would not have placed you in My Paradise. This is Yawm al-Mazeed, so ask Me.’ They will agree on one thing and say: ‘Show us Your face so that we may look at it.’ The Lord will lift the veil of His face and will appear to them, covering them with His light, from which, if Allah the Exalted had not decreed that they should not suffer (or burn), they would have suffered. There will be no one in that place who will not speak to his Lord, and He will say: ‘O so-and-so, do you remember the day you did such and such?’ He will remind them of some of their sins in this world, and he will say: ‘Lord, did You not forgive me?’ Allah will say: ‘Yes, by My forgiveness you have reached this rank where you are now.’ (Hadil arwah ila biladil afrah, 355-360)

Grant us, Lord, these moments. Ameen.

(Central khutbah by the religious leader Hafiz Hilmija Redžić on May 31, 2024, at the “Association Islamique et Culturelle – Al Rahma” in Differdange)

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