Khutbah Advice to Students

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					Tsukuba Mosque                                     Jumah Khutbah                           by                   Talal Al-Baloshi

                                  Khutbah: Advice to new students
 All Praise is due to Allah, 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 All‫ل‬h, 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 All‫ل‬h, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that
Muhammad, sws, is His servant, and His messenger.

ٌ ً‫ي أ ْ َز َ ُ ْ حم ْ هّ حك حم حّ ال حً ُ َ إال ٔأ خ ُ ه‬                    ‫ّي‬
َ ُٕ ِْ‫َب َ َُب ان ِيٍ آيَ ُٕا ا َ ُٕا انّ َ َ َ ُ َب ِ ِ َٔ َ َ ُٕحٍ ِ َ َََ ُى يس‬

O You who believe, - Fear Allah, as He should be feared, and die not except as

                                                                                ‫ن َ ذ‬           ‫ي يٓ َز َ ُ حم هّ ل ن‬
                                                                          }70{ ‫َب أَ ُ َب ان ِيٍ آيَ ُٕا ا َ ُٕا انَ َ َٔ ُُٕٕا لًَْٕب سذِي ًا‬

      ً َ ‫ص‬             ‫ُ ه ْ َ ُ ْ َ ً َ ُ َ ْ َ ُ رَ َ ُ ٔي ُ ْ هّ َس نّ َ ف‬
}71{ ‫يصِْح نكى أعْ َبنكىْ َٔيغْفِش نكىْ ُ ُٕبكىْ َ ٍَ يطِع انَ َ َٔس َُٕ ُ فَمذْ َبصَ فَْٕ ًا عظِي ًب‬

O You who believe, - Be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will
forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever takes Allah and His prophet as a
guide, has already achieved a mighty victory…33:70

My respected Brothers and Sisters,

Our Holy Prophet Muhammad sws, laid great emphasis on the quest for knowledge, and
he urged Muslims to „seek knowledge, from the cradle to the grave, and to seek
knowledge, even unto China‟.

  Every day we see new faces. Our community is a wide cross-section of the Muslim
world, it‟s an Ummah in miniature. All our families have a close and caring relationship
towards each other, and towards our students.

 In a way, every student is also making a kind of Hegira, a migration by traveling far
from their homes and loved ones, in search of knowledge. And at a much deeper level,
those who go forth in search of knowledge are making the Hegira or migration from
ignorance towards Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom. This is a noble ambition
that very strongly encouraged in Isl‫ل‬m. It was the quest for knowledge, activated by The
Holy Qur'‫ل‬n and the Prophetic Sunnah, that transformed those desert nomads, our noble
and illustrious ancestors, into the leaders of a great civilization when most of Europe
was gripped in superstition and darkness.

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

as you commence this great adventure of learning at University, you must always be
critically aware of any cultural bias in your study material. The Euro-centric view is
often found in subjects like History. In its crudest form, it portrays the entire history of
mankind is simply an enlarged history of Europe and its Greek and Roman origins.
Other civilisations are only considered in the way they intruded on the history of West.
For example, you may read that Christopher Columbus „discovered‟ America. But really,
the truth is that he was looking for India and he lost his way. The native Americans
discovered him, told him where he was, then gave him some potatoes and tobacco
before he returned home!

 Be aware of any unintentional messages and hidden agendas in your study material.
Sometimes unproven theories are presented as hard truths. If you are studying the
natural sciences, be mindful of the persistent influence of Darwinism. There is today, a
lively debate between Creationists and Darwinists. You know, scientific theories and
assumptions are there to be questioned and challenged. Don‟t take anything at face
value. Do engage with your tutors and fellow students in a healthy intellectual discourse.

The Islamic view is not anti-scientific. Islam encourages science and puts its work into
perspective. For example, as we said last week : the accepted modern scientific view of
Creation is that the whole universe, matter, energy, space and time began with a „big
bang‟ some billion years ago. The theory is that everything began purely by a chance,
and it flatly denies the possibility of a Creator having brought things to life as a
deliberate plan.

 If indeed everything began with a „big bang‟ then we Muslims know that the bang
occurred precisely between the Arabic letters, Kaaf and Nuun: “Kun!” “Be!”
“fayakuun!” and it “IS!” All‫ل‬h the Glorified and Exalted, tells us in The Holy Qur'‫ل‬n,
in the last 3 verses of Sura Yasin: 36:81-83

                           ُ‫ٔ ْ َ َز خه َ سً ٔ ث ٔ ض م س عه َ َ ه َ ٓ ب ْ َ ْخه ُ ْعِي‬
                      }81{ ‫أَ َنَيس ان ِّي ََك ان َ َب َا ِ َانْأَسْ َ بِ َبدِ ٍ ََى أٌْ يخُْك يِثْهَ ُى َهَى َٔ ُٕ ان ََبق ان َه و‬

                     ُ ‫ً أ ُ ُ ِر س د ئ َ ْ م َ نّ ُ َك‬
                 82{ ٌُٕ ‫إِ َ َب َيْشِ إ َا أَ َا َ شَيْ ًب أٌ يَ ُٕل َ ُ كٍْ فَي‬

     َ ‫َس ْح َ َز َ ِ ِ يَك ث كم ش ء ٔإ ّ ح ْ َع‬
}83{ ٌُٕ ‫ف ُب َبٌ ان ِّي بِيذِ َه ُٕ ُ ُ ِ َيْ ٍ َِنَيْ ِ ُشج‬

“Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like thereof?

Yes, indeed! For He is the Creator Supreme, of infinite skill and knowledge!

Truly, when He intends a thing, His Command is: “BE” and it IS!

So Glory to Him in Whose hands is the authority of all things, and to Him will you all
be brought back.”

Here in these beautiful and eloquent verses from the heart of the Holy Qur'‫ل‬n, we
discover the simple truth about the beginning and the end of everything. After many
years of study, research and reflection, the famous British astronomer and
mathematician, Fred Hoyle, came to this conclusion. He said that if you can believe that
everything began by chance, without a Creator, then it‟s like saying that a tornado can
rip its way through a junk-yard, and then assemble a complete Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet, as
it moves away. If you can believe that, then you can believe anything!

Dear Brothers and Sisters

 I do hope you will enjoy your learning adventure. Remember, as Muslims and
Believers, you will have a great advantage over others. You have a spiritual dimension,
which informs your search for knowledge, and gives it a context and meaning. Whether
you are studying Petroleum Geology or Mathematics, Computer encryption or
agriculture or Management, you are really exploring All‫ل‬h‟s wonderful world, in order
to make a positive contribution to humankind.

Remember always, that with every step you take on this exciting journey, with every
new idea that swims into your mental horizon, you should say, Sub-haanalah, Alhamdu
lillah, Allahu Akbar! Glory to All‫ل‬h, Praise All‫ل‬h, All‫ل‬h is the Greatest! All beneficial
knowledge comes from All‫ل‬h, because we live in a universe with a purpose. All‫ل‬h has
created everything for a purpose.

 Remember that every time you learn something new and useful, All‫ل‬h has lifted a veil,
and uncovered another sign or Ayaat for you, from his wonderful unwritten Qur'‫ل‬n,
which is the world of Nature.

Verse 190 of Sura Al-‘Imraan makes this very clear:

                                                ِ ‫ب‬        ‫ٌِ ف خ ِ سً ٔ ث ٔ ض ٔ ِ ِ ه م ٔ ُٓ ِ ي ٍ نأ ن‬
                                          }190{ ‫إ َ ِي َهْك ان َ َب َا ِ َاألَسْ ِ َاخْخالَف انَيْ ِ َان َ َبس آل َبث ُِِْٔي األنْ َبة‬
  ‫َعهى ُُ ة ْ ْ َ َخفكش ٌ خ ْ سً ٔ ِ ٔ أل ْض َ َُ ي خه ج ْ ب ِ ُ ح ك ف ُِ َز ة‬                                      ‫َز َ َ كش ٌ هّ ِي ي ٔلع‬
  َ ‫ان ِيٍ يزْ ُ ُٔ َ انّ َ ل َب ًب َ ُ ُٕدًا ٔ ََ َ ج ُٕ ِ ِى ٔي َ َ َ ُٔ َ فِي َهكِ ان َ َب َاث َا َس ِ سب َب َب ََمْ َ َزا َبطالً سبْ َبَ َ َم َب ع َا‬
}191{ ِ ‫ان َب‬

 “Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and
day, there are indeed signs, for men of understanding. Men who celebrate the praises of
All‫ل‬h, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the wonders of
creation in the heavens and the earth, with the thought: Our Lord! Not for nothing have
you created all this! Glory to You! Save us from the penalty of the fire!


Part Two:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

There are 2 kinds of university. Tsukuba belongs to the first kind, where you study and
your hard work is rewarded by a Degree or a Doctorate. This kind of university is
something you can choose to enter or not.

 The other kind of university is the University of life. This is where we all acquire our
informal, or non-formal education, which can be as important as any formal degree or
doctorate. We all have to pass through this one, we have no choice in the matter, and
the main section is the Faculty Hard Knocks, which you can also call the Department of
Distress and Endurance. All of the most distinguished human beings, the Prophets, the
sages, the Friends of All‫ل‬h and great leaders of history have graduated from this

 How well we do depends on our preparation. Are we equipped, physically, emotionally
and spiritually, for the University of Life?

 Studying Islam through the Quran and Sunnah, reading widely and even listening to
this khutbah is part of our course material. The University of Life course is a long one,
it‟s literally life-long learning

 These 2 kinds of university are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they compliment and
reinforce each other.... Your formal university should be an extension of your university
of life, and vice versa. When our beloved Prophet Muhammad sws urged his followers
to seek knowledge he was not just talking of formal education, as we know it today.

 In Islam, there is no artificial barrier between formal and informal learning, just as
there is no artificial barrier between secular and sacred learning. All useful knowledge is
from Allah. If you pursue knowledge that leads to a better understanding of God‟s
wonderful creation, and you use that knowledge for the benefit of humankind, you are
given a very high status. Listen to what the Holy Prophet Muhammad sws had to say
about those who seek knowledge:

Mu'ath bin Jabal narrated that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:

 “Acquire knowledge, for surely it leads to fear of All‫ل‬h [Taqwa]. Seeking it is an act of
worship ('ibadah); studying it is praising Allah; seeking it is jihad; teaching it to
whomever doesn't know it is an act of charity (sadaqah); and giving it to its people
draws one closer to them. Knowledge points to the permissible (Halaal) and the
forbidden (haraam); and it is a shining light pointing the way to paradise. It comforts the
lonely, it befriends the estranged, and it talks to you in seclusion. It is a guide through
prosperity and adversity; it is a weapon against enemies; and it is the best of friends.
With knowledge, All‫ل‬h raises people to high stations, making them leaders in goodness,
whose steps are traced. Their example is emulated, their opinion followed. The angels
like to sit with the people of knowledge, surrounding their wings; and everything dry or
wet, -fish of the sea and animals on land, - will ask Allah to forgive them. Knowledge
gives life to the heart in the midst of ignorance, and illuminates vision in the darkness.
With knowledge, God's servants become the elite and reach the highest degrees in this
life and in the hereafter. Contemplation with knowledge [tafakkur] is equivalent to
fasting (sawm); spending time to study it is equivalent to standing at night in prayer
(qiyam); duties to relatives are fulfilled by it; and through it the halaal and haraam are
known. Knowledge precedes action ('amal) and action always follows it. The fortunate
ones attain it and the miserable ones are deprived of it.”
These beautiful words concerning Knowledge, came from the un-lettered Prophet
Muhammad sws. What a beautiful and inspiring speech!

My dear brothers and sisters., I sincerely hope that you will pursue your lifelong quest
for knowledge, in the true Islamic spirit of seeking to please Allah, glorifying His name,
and serving all His creatures with love and compassion. Make it your main goal, to seek
and find Allah‟s good pleasure, and consider your work, your career, and even your
leisure time as simply the practical way in which you have chosen to do this. Whatever
you do, make sure that the material things and creature comforts do not become your
main concern. If by Allah‟s grace, you will earn a high salary, you enjoy a comfortable
home and drive a nice car, make sure you keep them all at arm's length. Do not hold
them close to your heart. Let these material things always remain the by-products of
serving All‫ل‬h. It should never become your main agenda.

Let us try to be like those wonderful human beings, our noble ancestors, who pursued
knowledge with energy and passion, but never lost sight of their Faith.

 These remarkable individuals like:

     Ibn Khaldun who laid out the foundations of modern Sociology and Historiography.
     Ibn Sina, whose Qanun Fit-tibb or Canon of Medicine was a standard medical
     textbook for six hundred years.
     Al Khawarizmi, whose work in mathematics gave us Algorithms that underpin the
     work of computers and space travel.
     Ibn Hazm, who was a brilliant jurist, mathematician, logician, linguist and scholar, a
     true Renaissance Man, three centuries before the Renaissance, the rebirth of learning
     in Europe!

The list goes on and on. I cannot imagine any of these great and noble scholars saying,
“well, that‟s good enough. I'll just stop here now and do something else. This is hard
work, it's more than by job‟s worth!” These men worked tirelessly until they achieved
excellent results. Quality and excellence was a passion. That's what it takes to produce
work of lasting value.

Brothers and Sisters, let's learn form our well-known predecessors. Let's not be ashamed
to do well. We should be passionate in doing the very best we can. We must try to
exceed our own humble expectations....Reach for the sky and aim for the stars!

Let us pray to Allah, to spiritualise our quest for knowledge, so that every path we take
brings us closer to him.

  ‫خ َة َُ ً ٔ ُِ َز ة ُ س‬               ‫ُ ْي َُ ً ٔف‬            ُِ َُ َ
{ ِ ‫سب َب آح َب فِي انذَ َب حَس َت َ ِي اآل ِش ِ حَس َت َل َب ع َا َ ان َب‬

 “O My Lord, give us the best of this world, and the best of the next world, and save us
                                    ‫ذ ي َ ُت‬               ُ ُ‫سب‬
from the torment of the fire!” 2:201ً َ َ‫َ َ َب آحِ َب فِي ان َُْ َب حس‬
‫خ َة َُ ً ٔ ُِ َز ة ُ س‬               ‫ٔف‬
‫َ ِي اآل ِش ِ حَس َت َل َب ع َا َ ان َب ِ‬