Khutbah of Eidul Adhha by Shaikh Ahmad Kutty at the Islamic Institute of Toronto (Saturday, Oct.04, 2014)
I praise Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; I thank Him for His countless blessings and favors.
I thank Him for the gift of faith; I thank Him for the gift of life and health; I thank Him for the gift of family and I thank Him for the peace, security and prosperity that we enjoy in this country of ours which we call our home.
I bear witness there is no god but God, the Creator, and Lord of all beings. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and the seal of Prophets. May Allah bless him and his family and companions and all those who follow their ways earnestly and sincerely. Ameen.
Brothers and sisters,
I wish you all a most joyous Eid. Today we are joining the millions of Muslims all over the world in this great celebration.
While we celebrate Eid Al-Adha, millions of our brothers and sisters in Hajj have converged on the sacred sites to perform the rites of Hajj.
Whether, in Hajj or outside, through our celebrations, we commemorate the faith and sacrifice of the great Ibrahim (peace be upon him).
Allah says, “When Allah tested Ibrahm with His commandments and he fulfilled all of them successfully, He said to him: I am appointing you as a leader for all of humankind” (Qur’an: 2: 124).
Allah also orders prophet Muhammad to follow the way of Ibrahim.
Prophet said, “I have been sent to revive the natural way of Ibrahim”.
While performing Hajj and while celebrating the festival of sacrifice we seek inspiration from the great prophet Ibrahim.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Eid is a time of joy; it is a time of prayer and thanksgiving; it is a time to open our hearts towards one another in a true spirit of peace, goodwill and universal brotherhood.
The spirit of Eid Al-Adha is the same as the universal message of Hajj: It is the message of unity of mankind under the Lordship of one God.
It points the way to universal peace-peace based on a concept of universal human brotherhood through submission to the Lord of the worlds, which is the essence of Islam.
Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, seeks to break down the artificial barriers that separate one race from another, one ethnicity from another, one color from another.
It affirms the Qur'anic message of oneness of humanity:
"O Mankind! Be conscious of your Lord, who created you all from a single soul" (Qur'an: 4: 1).
"O mankind! We created you all from a single pair of a male and female and rendered you nations and tribes in order for you to recognize one another; verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God, are they who are most conscious of Him" (Qur'an: 49: 13).
Brothers and sisters,
While celebrating Eidul Adha this year, it is important for us to recall some of the lessons of the farewell sermon of the Prophet peace be upon him.
It was on a Friday; and it was on the day of Arafah:
As the pious Caliph Umar said it was when the Prophet was standing in the plains of Arafah that Allah revealed the verse:
“Today I have completed your religion for you and have consummated My favor upon you and have chosen Islam as a way of life for you” (Qur’an: 5: 3).
The Prophet delivered his farewell message to all Muslims on that day:
He said, even as this city is sacred, this day is sacred; the lives and property of every human being is sacred.
He also said, today I have buried under my feet all the blood feuds and vendetta as the remnants of pre-Islamic times.
He thus affirmed the sanctity of life as a fundamental lesson for all Muslims to embrace and act upon.
And also warned Muslims saying:
“Do not revert back to disbelief after me by cutting the throats of one another.”
Thus preserving the sanctity of life for all is a central message of Islam.
Allah tells us in the Qur’an that it was the same message revealed in Torah:
‘Whoever slays a single human being-except through due course of justice or for spreading corruption in the land-it is, as though he has killed all of humankind; and whoever saves the life of a single person, he saves the life of all of humankind” (Qur’an: 5: 32).
Muslims as well as non-Muslims must heed this message.
The challenge for humanity today is to embrace this message and thus put an end to wars and bloodshed.
Extremism is at the root of violence in the Muslim world.
It is, therefore, important for Muslims to shun all forms of extremism. Extremism is a poison that upsets peace, and threatens the survival of humankind and the lives of all creatures.
There is no denying of the fact that foreign occupations as well as the Israeli wars of aggression have left millions of Muslims dead or displaced;
However, there is no justification for the brutalities perpetrated by groups such as ISIS.
Such actions violate the fundamental teachings of Islam:
-Teachings of Islam forbidding killing of civilians and non-combatants;
-Teaching of Islam's guaranteeing freedom of worship
-The teaching of the Quran which states categorically:
“There shall be no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an: 2: 256).
By their actions, they have proven to be the ones that the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us against: Those who claim to be Muslims, and yet they are not.
He described them as those who read the Quran, but they do not absorb its message.
He said, “They would come out of religion faster than arrows coming out of the boughs.”
The brutalities by such extremists are the most shameful chapter in the history of Islam.
It comes from a warped and literalistic interpretation of the scripture.
It is time for Muslims to renounce such readings and recapture the true spirit of Islam.
Our youth must be protected against such warped readings and interpretations of Islam.
The only way out is to discover anew the soul of Islam.
Imam Ghazali’s legacy of reviving the Islamic tradition on a strong foundation of ethics and spirituality is the highest priority for Muslims today.
Literalism and ritualism have produced a generation of Muslims who are bereft of ethics and morals.
Unless our scholars and leaders wake up to this challenge and revamp the Islamic educational system to produce a new generation imbued with proper ethics and moral character, we will continue to be on the receiving end.
“Allah will not change the condition of people until, and unless they change their inner conditions” (Qur’an: 13: 11).
We need to place greater stress on ethics and morals than on rote learning and ritualism.
Reviving the true soul of Islam is the priority for us Muslims everywhere.
Our societies and communities must change to manifest the true soul of Islam.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent as a mercy for the worlds. Allah says, “We have sent you only as a mercy for the worlds” (Qur’an: 21:107).
Unless we manifest this mercy in our words, actions and behavior, Allah will abandon us to our devices.
Brothers and sisters
Eidul adhha is the feast of sacrifice. As Allah reminds us in the Quran, while performing the ritual of sacrifice, we must never lose sight of the spirit of sacrifice.
“It is neither the flesh nor the blood of the animals that we sacrifice that reaches Allah; rather it is the piety of your hearts” (Qur’an: 22:37).
Let us demonstrate the true spirit of sacrifice by dedicating ourselves to establishing peace by living Islam in all of its three dimensions.
This is the ideal that was inscribed in the sheath of the sword of the Prophet.
‘My Lord has ordered me to forgive those who oppress me, to foster ties with those who sever relations with me, and to give those who deny me.”
Abu Bakr said, ‘The most beloved servants of Allah are those who rejoice when they see the sinner repent, who pray for the sinner to change, who persuade those who are astray to come to the straight path, and who help those who are engaged in good works.”
I pray to Allah to guide us all unto the ways of peace and make us all instruments of peace in the world.
I pray to Allah to shower us all with His mercy.
I pray to Allah to shower His mercy on all those who have passed away and bless us to live in Islam and die in faith and honor us to be gathered in the company of the prophets and the righteous people.
I pray to Allah to send down His healing and cure upon all those who are sick.
May Allah grant them sound health and long life to serve Him.
I pray to Allah to save us all from all trials and tribulations in this world and the next.
I invoke the mercy of Allah upon those who are living under occupations and tyrannical rules; I pray that Allah help them regain their freedom and dignity.
I pray to Allah to guide our youth and adults who are going astray.
I pray to Allah to bless our youth and adults who are seeking righteous partners, and thus help them guard their chastity and faith.
I pray to Allah to accept our prayers, charities, supplications and good works.
May He bestow peace and tranquility upon our hearts by inspiring us to establish constancy in celebrating His remembrance.
Our final supplication is: Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.Amen.