Jum’a Khutba 01/02/19: Shaykh Jaffer Ladak (summary & video)

Jum'a

In the Name of Allah, the
Most Kind, the Most Merciful

Jum’a Khutba 1/2/2019 – watch video here.

‘Where do I go for my knowledge? Whom do I trust when there
are so many opinions out there?

Part 1: Presenting the
Problem

In a world with so many opinions vying for your attention and
belief, how do you know what is true and what is false? To whom do you go to
get your knowledge and how do you know whom to trust?

Take the issue of Brexit. A spectrum of politicians, experts,
panel guests, radio and tv hosts all claim to know what they are talking about
and know what is in your best interest. Or take the number of scholars and
speakers each with varying opinions on the same topic. It can become confusing
and difficult to navigate. How do I know whom to listen to and who is truthful?

Our topic over these forthcoming Friday Khutba’s will be to review what the
Qur’an and Ahadith
instruct us about where to place our trust when there are so many multiple
voices God-willing.

The Qur’an
mentions to us the story of Prophet Shu’ayb
(a) and his dialogue with the people of Medyan. “He said, ‘O
my people, have you considered: if I am upon clear evidence from my Lord’” (Qur’an 11:88).

All the prophet’s
(a) have similar dialogues. Usually the prophet is rejected because he doesn’t have the elite following him
or their lives are comfortable so they see no need to change their practises,
such as the people of Hud (a) who had the greatest technological advancements
of time.

Place yourself in the shoes of the community of Prophet Shu’ayb (a). If he came to you and
said, ‘Believe in me.
Because I am on clear evidence from my Lord’, a legitimate question would be raised, ‘Would someone saying to you, ‘I am on evidence of truth’ be enough to convince you?’ (We will discuss this verse
more in the coming weeks).

This issue of whom to trust was mentioned by Imam Ameer al-Mo’mineen Ali (a) in Sermon 32 of
Nahj al-Balaghah when he stated, “O
people! We have been born in such a wrongful and thankless period wherein the virtuous
is deemed vicious
and the oppressor goes on advancing in his excess.”

When reputations and qualities of people are mixed up, it becomes
even more difficult to know whom to trust for sound opinions. In fact this is a
challenge particularly emphasised at the End of Time. In a famous narration the
holy Prophet Muhammad (s) mentions signs for the Last Days saying

يَا
ابْنَ مَسْعُودٍ إِنَّ مِنْ أَعْلَامِ السَّاعَةِ وَأَشْرَاطِهَا أَنْ يَكُونَ
الْمُؤْمِنُ فِي الْقَبِيلَةِ أَذَلَّ مِنَ النَّقَدِ

“O Ibn Mas’ood, from amongst the signs and
conditions [of the last days] is the Believer will be humiliated worse than the
ugly goat.”

ابْنَ
مَسْعُودٍ ، إِنَّ مِنْ أَعْلَامِ السَّاعَةِ وَأَشْرَاطِهَا أَنْ يُؤْتَمَنَ
الْخَائِنُ ، وَأَنْ يُخَوَّنَ الْأَمِينُ.
و
ان يُصدِّق الكاذب و ان يُكذِب الصادق 

O Ibn Mas’ood, from amongst the signs and
conditions will be that people will trust treacherous people and consider
trustworthy people treacherous and the truthful one called a liar and one
telling lie will be considered truthful.

An example of
this is a true story about Donald Trump. Recently he was visited by Disney who
have animatronic figures of all the past Presidents. They wanted to record
something so that as visitors came they would hear what President Trump had to
say. Usually recordings are something grand, inspiration, like the Gettysburg
Address. Trump however, wanted his recording to say, “Americans invented the Skyscraper.”

This is not true
at all. Skyscrapers are just taller buildings than those before. The Qur’an mentions the people of Hud (a)
as being the first to build talk buildings! He outright lied! And why?! Because
he owns Trump Towers and so wanted to be associated to a historical achievement
– so he decided to just make one up!

This is our dire
situation today and so our series addresses where to get knowledge and whom to
trust.