Fighting the Good Fight – A Khutbah by Imam Marc Manley

إنَّ اللَّهَ تَجَاوَزَ لِي عَنْ أُمَّتِي الْخَطَأَ وَالنِّسْيَانَ وَمَا اسْتُكْرِهُوا عَلَيْهِ

“Allah has been lenient with me regarding my Ummah: their mistakes, their forgetfulness, and that which they have been forced to do under duress.” 40 Hadith of Imam al-Nawawi, #39

Fighting has been mandated upon you. Not all fighting involves killing. But you have to stand up for your own dignity if you’re also going to stand up for others.

كُتِبَ عَلَيكُمُ القِتالُ وَهُوَ كُرهٌ لَكُم ۖ وَعَسىٰ أَن تَكرَهوا شَيئًا وَهُوَ خَيرٌ لَكُم ۖ وَعَسىٰ أَن تُحِبّوا شَيئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَكُم ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعلَمُ وَأَنتُم لا تَعلَمونَ

“Fighting in the cause of God is a duty laid down upon you, even though it might be unpleasant for you. However, you may hate something that’s good for you and love something that’s bad for you. God knows, and you don’t know.” Qur’an, 2: 216

Take a stand. For ourselves and for others. Who are the Muslims? What do they stand for? What do they want from America?

لَقَد أَرسَلنا رُسُلَنا بِالبَيِّناتِ وَأَنزَلنا مَعَهُمُ الكِتابَ وَالميزانَ لِيَقومَ النّاسُ بِالقِسطِ

“And so it was that We sent Our messengers with clear evidence. We revealed along with them the Book and the balance of right and wrong so that people could stand up for justice.” Qur’an 57: 25

No easy path to self-determination.

أَحَسِبَ النّاسُ أَن يُترَكوا أَن يَقولوا آمَنّا وَهُم لا يُفتَنونَ
وَلَقَد فَتَنَّا الَّذينَ مِن قَبلِهِم ۖ فَلَيَعلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذينَ صَدَقوا وَلَيَعلَمَنَّ الكاذِبينَ

“Alif. Lam. Mim. Do people think they’re going to be left alone by just saying, ‘We believe,’ and that they won’t be tested?1 We tested those who came before them, and God will make known who is true in their belief, and He will make known who the liars are.” Qur’an 29: 1-3

Stand for justice but beware of allowing labels to do all of our reasoning for us. This goes both ways.

1. Background on verses 1-3: Even after the Prophet had left Mecca for the safer environment of Medina, people back in Mecca were still accepting Islam. The Prophet sent messages to them telling them they wouldn’t be accepted as true Muslims until they immigrated to Medina. They replied that others who had attempted to leave suffered from the depredations of the idol-worshippers, and they were afraid of being harmed. This passage was revealed to strengthen their resolve, and the slow trickle of emigration resumed. (Asbab al-Nuzul)

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