Saturday, April 25, 2020
President of the Presidency of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş led the symbolically-performed Friday prayer in Haji Bayram Mosque of Ankara, and called out to all humanity in his khutbah saying, “O people! Let us stay away from everything that causes harm to our life, mind, faith, property, and lineage.”
Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş led the Friday prayer which is performed symbolically at one specific place due to Covid-19.
Before the Friday prayer performed in Haji Bayram Mosque in Ankara with the attendance of a few people and by taking all the required measures, Prof. Dr. Erbaş delivered a khutbah titled “Ramadan: Patience and Willpower Training”.
In his khutbah which he called out to all humanity as “O people! Let us stay away from everything that causes harm to our life, mind, faith, property, and lineage”, President Erbaş expressed the following statements:
I greet you all from the minbar of Ankara Haji Bayram Wali Mosque, where the Friday prayer was performed and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the state was established after takbirs, salawats, and prayers, exactly a hundred years ago on April 23, Friday. I commemorate all our ancestors, martyrs, and war veterans with mercy and gratitude.
We enjoy the happiness of being able to welcome once again the month of Ramadan, the beginning of which denotes mercy, the middle of which forgiveness, and the end of which salvation from Hell. Yesterday we performed the first tarawih prayer of this year after the ‘isha prayer. Today at the fajr time we enjoyed the first sahur meal that fills our hearts with peace, and our homes with abundance of divine blessings.
All praises and thanks be to Allah the Almighty, who enabled us to welcome this blessed month of Ramadan, and salat and salam be upon the Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (saw), who was sent as mercy to the worlds.
Life is a great blessing, an invaluable capital, and something entrusted to us with its heavy burden of responsibility, which Allah granted us so benevolently with. Regardless of any specific month, day or hour, every moment of ours spent as conscious of servitude to Allah is valuable. But there are certain times that are bestowed as the times of divine grace and as means for the acceptance of prayers and the forgiveness of sins. The month of Ramadan in which we currently are is a blessed month as the manifestation of the endless grace of Allah the Almighty for His servants. Ramadan al-Sharif is a unique treasure, all days, nights, and moments of which are worth taking advantage of.
The fact that Ramadan, as the sultan of the eleven months, is the month of the Qur’an comes on top of the aspects that make it special and significant. It was in this month that the Qur’an was begun to be revealed, which distinguishes the right from the wrong, the truth from the falsity, and points to the path of true guidance, following which ensures happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. In the verse I recited at the beginning of the khutbah, Allah the Exalted (swt) states, “Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard to distinguish between right and wrong. So, whoever is present this month, let them fast...”
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) would read the whole Qur’an from the beginning to the end (khatm) with the revelation angel Jibreel every year in Ramadan. The muqabala in Ramadan that has become a habit of Muslims from the ‘Asr al-Saadah to the present is a sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). This year we will unfortunately not be able to go to mosques and perform muqabala because of the pandemic disease. But we will never fall behind reciting the Holy Qur’an with our families, learn its meaning, reflect its abundance of divine blessings on our lives, and fill our homes with its light.
On one occasion, the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said to his Companions, “You have reached the blessed month of Ramadan. Allah has obliged fasting in this month to you. In this month, the gates of the Heaven open, the gates of Hell close, and the rebellious devils are all shackled.” Ramadan is the month of fasting. It is the month that teaches individuals about patience and mercy, and society about resoluteness and brotherhood. It is fardh upon all Muslims to fast in Ramadan, who are sane, have reached the age of puberty, and do not have any valid religious excuse. For fasting is one of the five fundamental pillars on which Islam is founded. Abstaining from eating and drinking as well as carnal desires is only one superficial aspect of fasting. However, it has a far deeper meaning and denotes keeping hands, tongues, eyes, hearts, minds, and the entire body in short, from sins.
It is stated In the Holy Qur’an, “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” Fasting, as expressed in the above verse, is the best way to train our nafs, strengthen our willpower, and learn to become righteous. For fasting teaches individuals about not becoming captives to their material desires and adhering to the boundaries set out by Allah (swt). Fasting teaches individuals self-control, helps them get mature and attain the appreciation of Allah. Individuals who fast thus become one of the righteous servants of Allah who duly are aware of Him (swt).
Now, on this occasion of the beginning of the month of Ramadan, which is a reason for mercy, forgiveness, and salvation from the torment of Hell, I would like to share with you some very important points upon my review:
Islam is the greatest blessing given to humanity so that it can get out of the dark and reach the light. For it means peace, tranquility, and salvation.
The establishment of peace, tranquility, and salvation is possible only when individuals adhere to the moral principles asked of them, be good and spread the good, and stay away from evil and help others to do so.
Islam describes as halal any thing or behavior that is good and leads to good, and as haram any thing or behavior that is evil and leads to evil. In other words, all that is clean and useful is considered halal while all that is unclean and harmful is haram.
This is referred to in the Verse 157 of the Surah al-A’raf as follows: “Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil.”
Everything that is harmful to human health is considered as haram in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) also refers to health as one of the two things, the importance of which most people fail to understand.
It is absolutely clear at this point that it is forbidden for people to cause harm to their own bodies and to the bodies of other people as well. The Prophet Muhammad drew the attention of all humanity to the absolute principle of “La dharar wa la dhirar” (Neither harm, nor respond to harm with harm).
This is because, regardless of their races, sects, and denominations, all people have five rights which are obliged to be protected (dharuriyat al-khamsah): life, mind, religion, property, and lineage.
Protecting these five rights is fardh, while anything that harms them is haram.
Whatever Islam considers haram has evil and harm to human in it, and whatever Islam considers halal has good and benefits to human in it.
In a globalizing world, such evil and harms, regardless of their place of origin, bear the risk of quickly spreading to all corners of the world. This is because now people live in an era when they are able to travel from one end of the world to the other end of it in a period of time as short as less than a day. People from all cultures, races, faiths, and civilization are able to go on a holiday in the same hotel, to eat in the same hall, and to share the same place within a few square meters.
Therefore, I call out to all people, not only to you, or the people of the city in which we live, or to Muslims:
O people! Let us stay away from everything that causes harm to our life, mind, faith, property, and lineage.
O people! Let us stay away from everything that causes harm to our health. This is because otherwise not only those who do evil or use harmful substances, or the people around them, but also even people from thousands of kilometers away are harmed. Now, people of the 21st century witness all around the world an event that the world history has never seen as great in magnitude: The Coronavirus pandemic. Although similar events took place locally or regionally before, the world has never seen one like this at global scale.
In this context, based on the following concrete evidence, I would like to call out to the whole world:
O people! Let us pay proper attention to bodily cleanliness. How can it be possible to say one is cleaned where there is no sense or practice of cleaning oneself with water in toilets? It is scientifically proven that this and similar viruses come out due to uncleanliness and dirtiness. Islam considers cleanliness as half of the faith. It considers bodily cleanliness as a prerequisite of worshiping. What is the wisdom behind washing one’s hands, forearms, mouth, nose, face, ears, all wudu parts in short, three times each? What is the wisdom behind performing ghusl when necessary?
O people! We all are mobilized to save even a single person from losing their life because of the coronavirus. When will we get mobilized to combat the smoking/cigarette virus that kills over 300 people in our country and over 20,000 people around the world every day? Are those who lose their lives not humans? A smoker who bears the risk of contacting the coronavirus 14 times higher than a non-smoker does not know when they can contact the virus to themselves or to how many other people. Let us all get mobilized to combat smoking, which is haram according to Islam, and save about 1,5 billion people from this virus. Let us ensure that smoking cannot anymore make one vulnerable to contacting the coronavirus, and the contagiousness of it as well as other similar viruses.
O people! Islam considers as haram using all intoxicating substances and drugs. This is because they cause hundreds of thousands of people to fall ill and die every year. Hundreds of thousands of people, whose sanity are imparied under the influence of drunkenness and drugs, commit homicide or have accidents. Let us all get mobilized to combat intoxicating substances and drugs.
O people! Islam considers adultery and fornication as one of the gravest harams. It denounces assimilation to the people of Lot and homosexuality. What is the wisdom behind this? The wisdom behind this is that it brings along diseases and rots the generations. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are exposed to HIV, caused by what Islam considers the gravest sin and calls as adultery and fornication in the Islamic literature, because of illegitimate and extramarital living together. Let us combat together to protect people from these evils.
O people! It is stated in the Holy Qur’an that human is created from earth and is tasked with the duty of building the Earth. People, however, pollute the nature with wastes, garbage, and wastefulness, persecute animals, burn forests, and destruct the Earth. Let us draw lessons from the fact that all disasters that hit us are the results of what we did by our own hands, and let us together fight against all evils.
O people! The Prophet Muhammad (saw) of Islam says, “They who sleep while their neighbor is hungry are not one of us.” Therefore, the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (saw), both sent to take humanity from the dark to the light, order cooperation, solidarity, zakat, spending in way of Allah, justice, benevolence, and taking care of relatives until the good prevails the world. They prohibit people to resort to all kinds of evil, wrongdoing, oppression, and injustice. However, one person in every three-four seconds dies of hunger while one person again in every three-four seconds dies of eating too much. Numerous evils such as colonialism, interests, alcohol, gambling, unearned income, not observing the rights of other people, racism, supporting terrorist organizations with arm factories, “activities of the globally deviated faith groups that drag the world to chaos in order to call on the beginning of the Last Day and realize the ideal of the Kingdom of God”, etc. disturb the balance of the world and bring humanity face to face with unimaginable disasters.
Let us draw lessons; embrace good morals, cleanliness and justice; and try to live together in peace and with the spirit of brotherhood by knowledge and wisdom, and by benefiting the facts put forward by scientists for the good of humanity. Let us get healthy through fasting on these days of Ramadan, get purified through salah, zakat, fitr, sadaqah, cooperation and solidarity, and attain peace and tranquility. Let us try to be healthy both bodily and mentally by reciting the Qur’an, following its orders and avoiding its prohibitions. Let us protect ourselves from all kinds of evil thanks to the measures we take, and worships, submission to Allah, and prayers. Redressing the disturbed balance of the world is only possible by Islam.
O Muslims, let us all review our qualities of being Muslims. May our worships keep us away from evils. Let us live up to Islam, which aims for the good of not only Muslims but of all humanity, so lively, truly, and properly that whoever comes our way to harm us finds more remedy with us. For there is no remedy other than understanding Islam correctly, living up to it properly, and teaching others about it correctly. For “Inna al-din ‘inda Allah al-Islam.” Inna al-din ‘inda Allah al-Islam. Inna al-din ‘inda Allah al-Islam. Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.