Friday, December 15, 2006

Khutbah Summary

Friday, December 15, 2006.

My Khutbah at IIT last week:

Using the tragic incident of a mother committing suicide with her two-year old son in Scarborough, I focused on the following points:

1. Depression is a common mental illness in our community, affecting Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

2. When an incident like this occurs, the immediate reaction among some Muslims is to comment on its illegality. We need to go beyond this to discover the root causes and to address it.

3. A relevant question is how can Muslims insure themselves against succumbing to depression? The answer is by building a strong spiritual, mental and physical foundation for our lives.

4. Faith in Allah; Trust in his decree; Understanding that He will test us and knowing that He will not test us beyond our capacity; A Close Relationship with Him; How He provides an Exit for us if we fear Him; hope in His mercy etc. are all foundational principles to strengthen our spiritual and mental states.

5. At another level, a failure of our community is to identify and support thoe who are at risk. Support begins at home, with the immediate and extended family. Community support is also crucial, but often hampered by a lack of trust - people are afraid that their stories will be told over and over again. The Prophet's(SAW) advice to Abu Umaama is indicative not only of the spiritual cure he gave to him in form of a Du'a, but also that he (SAW) was able to discern Abu Umaaah's worry and was available for his support.

6. Addressing and eliminating the cause of problems, rather than hoping in vain that it will go away. It could be an abusive spouse; illness in the family; financial worry etc. Seeking professional help, and presuading one to seek professional help is critical.

For today's khutbah, I will speak about the Beauty and Limitations of Language

I will approach it from the point of view that Language is the primary but not the only means of communication; diversity in language is a sign from Allah and a benefit; and that all creatures have been given a means of communication: e.g. the ant during the time of Suleiman (AS). How must language be used? What constiutes the 'best Language or speech" and what constitutes the worst of speech? Testimony of faith; Remembrance of Allah; Truth in the face of tyranny; Words of advice, comfort and reconciliation; Invitation to the Truth etc. as opposed to disbelief; ingratitude; false testimony; slander, lies and gossip etc. I will use the khutbah to comment on some modern modes of communication (E-mail; instant messaging) and how many Muslims have normalized abhorrent language.


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