AKRA FM, January 21, 2000

Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad COSAN


As-salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

My Dear Audience, May Allah's peace, mercy, and blessings be with you all.

a. The Degree of a Mujahid in Paradise

It is reported by Abu Sa'id al Khudri and recorded by Imam Muslim that the Prophet (pbuh) said:

RS. 1306 (Man radiya billâhi rabban wa bil-islâmi dînen wa bimuhammadin rasûlan wajabat lahul-jannah. Fe-ajibe lahâ ebû saîdin feqàl: E'idhâ aleyye yâ rasûlallah! Fe-eàdehâ aleyhi thumme qàle: Wa uhrâ yerfeullàhu bihal-abda mi-ete darajatin fil-jannah, mâ beyne kulli darajatayni kamâ beynes-semâi wal-ard. Qàle: Wamâ hiye yâ rasûlallah? Qàle: Al-jihâdu fî sebîlillâh! Al-jihâdu fî sebîlillâh!)

(Man radiya billâhi rabban) "If a person believes in Allah as his Lord wholeheartedly and in contentment, (wa bil-islâmi dînen) and accepts Islam as his religion likewise, (wa bimuhammadin rasûlan) and accepts Muhammad the Chosen as the Messenger of Allah with love and affection, (wajabat lahul-jannah) the paradise becomes a must for him." In other words, if a person believes in Allah, accepts Islam, and follows Prophet Muhammad wholeheartedly, lovingly and in contentment, he will enter Paradise.

(Fe-ajibe lahâ ebû saîdin feqàl) Abu Sa'id al Khudri, the reporter of this hadith, was amazed upon hearing these words. He liked it very much and asked: (E'idhâ aleyye yâ rasûlallah!) "Would you please say it again, oh Prophet of Allah?" Of course, he wanted to memorize these words so that the matter is stated without any doubts.

(Fe-eàdehâ aleyhi) The prophet did not let him down; he repeated his words and (thumme qàle) added: (Wa uhrâ) "And, there is something else with which (yerfeullàhu bihal-abda mi-ete darajatin fil-jannah) Allah SWT would elevate the rank of this person in Paradise one hundred degrees in a way that (mâ beyne kulli darajatayni kamâ beynes-semâi wal-ard) the separation between two degrees is as great as the space between the sky and earth." That is how Allah will elevate the rank of the person.

(Qàle: Wamâ hiye yâ rasûlallah?) "He asked, 'what is it, oh Messenger of Allah?'" (Qàle: Eljihâdu fî sebîlillâh! Eljihâdu fî sebîlillâh!) The Prophet responded, "Jihad for the sake of Allah; Jihad for the sake of Allah."

My dear brothers, the word jihad originates from the root jahd. Jahd means to try and to put more effort. The word jihad has a sense of interaction. There would be two sides putting effort. On one side is the Muslim trying to protect Islam and the interests of Muslims; on the opposite side is the unbeliever trying to attack and beat the Muslim. There is a struggle involving two parties.

This is very important, for everything needs protection. For instance a young tree you may plant in your backyard will not grow on its own. It needs to be groomed, watered and protected. You must keep the insects away. If you do not protect it, it will be destroyed by grazing animals or paying children. When it has fruit, you still need to protect it from insects and birds. Islam and Muslims, as well as their country, need protection. All of these require efforts. Since the life in this world is a test, Allah SWT created a rival for everything. A constant struggle continues in the world. There is belief on one side, and there is the disbelief on the opposite side. The prophet invited mankind to the straight path on one side while the infidels inflicted injustice and harm on them on the opposite side. There are people with good intentions on one side; there are also people with ill intentions on the opposite side. There are gentle and merciful people who are so watchful not to step on an ant while there are mean and bloodthirsty people on the opposite side.

All of these opposites make everything need protection. We all have to work hard to defend our interests. If necessary, sometimes we attack to defend ourselves because, as one put it, "The best defense is an attack." You may not say, "Let us wait and see." You have to be prepared at all times for all possibilities. We have to be observant and quick in responding. We have to be one step ahead at all times.

Our purpose is protecting Islam, Muslims, and faith. Working for such a great cause is an important service because one's life would be at stake. Each and every person in life has the priority of protecting his own life. Each of us would like to be alive, healthy, happy, and safe. Yet a Muslim would not mind giving his life for the sake of Allah. That is why the reward for jihad is so high; one hundred degrees higher than the rest in the paradise. Because of all these rewards, every Muslim should instill in his heart and mind the intention and purpose: "I must protect, spread, and teach my faith Islam as Allah prescribed for all mankind."

We always see false information about Islam and Muslims distributed throughout the world. They disseminate rumors about our ancestors.

This morning we had breakfast with an Australian brother whose grandfather took part in the First World War at a front in Gallipoli (Canakkale). This brother is a sincere Muslim, an exceptional person. He attends the prayers in the mosque, upholds the prayer. He saw the Prophet in his dream and accepted Islam.

His grandfather got wounded in the war. His enemies, Turks, took them and took care of his wound. They offered him food and tea. He was pleased with the treatment very much. He was very fond of Turks. Of course that was the unrivalled manners of our forefathers. They would not withhold their humanitarian feelings and responsibilities even from an enemy soldier.

A brother in Berlin told me that his father had a German friend from the First World War. They were together at a war front in Yemen. The brother in Berlin wanted to see his father's friend. He found his address and went to visit him. When he introduced himself to the German veteran, he broke into tears and hugged his visitor. He said, "Your father was an excellent man, a real friend. After I got wounded, he carried me on his shoulders for many days and did not leave me to the mercy of the enemy. He saved my life. I owe him my life. This house is yours. Oh, son of my friend, I am giving you this house." My friend responded, " I came here to visit my father's friend. I did not come here to receive any gifts. You keep your house and live happily in it."

We may think that it is natural to take care of a soldier who is on the same side. But when the soldiers are fighting against one another on different sides of the front, it would be extraordinary to save the life of an enemy soldier if he gets wounded. That is why the Australian soldier was very pleased with his captors, Turkish soldiers. The grandchild is also very fond of Turks. He is a good Muslim. He visited Turkey and saw how sincere people are toward Islam. He realizes the manners of our elders. May Allah let us benefit from the intercession of such great and blessed personages.

b. Helping out a Ghazi

Related by Zayd Ibn Khalid (RA), Prophet (pbuh) says in a hadith:

RS. 1311 (Man jahhaza ghàziyan fî sabîllillâh faqad ghazâ, wa man khalafa ghàziyan fî ahlihî bikhayrin faqad ghazâ.)

This hadith is quoted by Bukhari and Muslim in their hadith collections. In the previous hadith we read, Prophet (pbuh) said that jihad has much reward and mujahidun will be accommodated at a level hundred degrees higher. In this hadith we are learning something else:

(Man jahhaza ghàziyan fî sabîllillâh faqad ghazâ) "The one who equips (arms) somebody who wishes to do jihad will get the reward as if he himself did jihad."

Here, the expression "fi sabillillah" may either mean somebody who do jihad for the sake of Allah (ST) or indicate the intention of the one who aids him. Both of them are important. In fact, actions are judged against intentions. Neither the one who fights for something other than Allah's pleasure nor the one who provides equipment not hoping Allah's pleasure but by other motivations can have any reward.

Thus, in Islam, leading to a good deed brings about the opportunity to attain the full reward promised for this good action. This is a general principle. Brothers and sisters may have heard the following hadith in Friday discourses:

RE. 207/5 (Addâllu alal-khairi kafâilihî) "Anybody who leads to a good action, who guides towards it, who helps others to do it will get as much reward as the one who did this good action himself."

Of course, to do ghaza (jihad) is not easy. Some people used to come to the Prophet (pbuh) and say: "Oh Messenger of Allah! I love jihad, I am aware of its reward, and I want to go for it. But I have no horse, no saber, no shield and no arrows."

Then Prophet (pbuh) would ask: "Is there anybody who will arm this man?"

A man may be wealthy, may have inherited arms like saber and shields but may not be able to go to jihad because of old age, illness or disability. For such a Muslim arming somebody brings the same reward. In another hadith, Prophet (pbuh) says:

(Wa man khalafa ghàziyan fî ahlihî bikhairin faqad ghazâ.) This hadith explains that when a man goes to jihad whoever looks after his family and children who are left behind gets the reward as if he himself has done the jihad. For example, he brings food and water for them. He does whatever needed to look after them taking care of them and their house. By this way, he earns reward of a ghazi.

Thus, when a Muslim goes to jihad, he himself does the ghaza. The one who arms him receives rewards as if he has also done ghaza. And the one who looks after those whom the mujahid left behind also receives reward of the ghaza. Thus, whoever takes part in performing a good action is not left unrewarded.

The opposite of this is also true: Whoever participates in formation of an evil act takes on the responsibility. Anybody who is involved in murder of a man even by a word is guilty as if he has murdered him. Those who sell alcohol and those who serve it are both sinners. It is also clearly stated in a hadith that, anybody who writes down or who becomes witness or who processes the riba (interest) is just as responsible as the one who has taken it.

Therefore, anybody who leads to a good action or helps it be done gets the reward, and anybody who is by any means involved in an evil act takes on the responsibility. It is essential not to help evil people. In a hadith, Prophet (pbuh) says: "If a Muslim adresses a munafiq (hypocrite) as 'Oh Sayyidi! (oh Sir!)', Allah (S.T) gets angry. Because of this, the throne of Allah trembles crying 'Alas! Allah (S.T) has got angry, disasters are awaiting this man!'" Thus, even a compliment is not appropriate for these people. One should frankly tell the truth, advice and prevent the evil. If he should flatter and support the evil, he takes on the responsibility.

c. Allah Forgives a Martyr His Sins

I would like to complete today's discourse with the third hadith. It is reported by Abû Qatâda RA and included in the collections of Muslim. At a meeting, the Prophet (pbuh) stood up and said:

(Ennel-jihâde fî sebîlillâh, wal-îmâne billâh, efdalul-a'mâl.) "The best of the deeds are jihad for the sake of Allah and belief in Allah." He pointed the importance of jihad and following the orders of Allah. He indicated that these two deeds are the most valuable and rewarding deeds.

(Fekàme rajulun faqàle) One person stood up and asked, (Yâ rasûlallah! E ra'eyte in qutiltu fî sebîlillâh, a tukefferu annî khatàyâye?) "O Prophet of Allah, if I go for jihad and get killed for the sake of Allah, became a martyr, could my wrong doings and faults be forgiven? Could my death be an expiation for my sins?" (Faqàle rasûlullah: Neam.) The prophet answered, "Yes. (In qutilte fî sebîlillâhi wa ente sàbirun muhtesibun muqbilun ghayru mudbirin) If you lose your life while you participate in jihad with perseverance, without running away, and expecting rewards from Allah, your sins will be forgiven."

It is a major offense (Alfirâru yawm az-zahfi) to run away from the enemy in the battle grounds. It is allowed for only the maneuver purpose. The commander could order: "Those in the middle should get up move back as if they are leaving or running away. Those who are on the sides, should move away from the center section. As the enemy tries to pursue the middle section, the sides should close in." That would be military trick, a manoeuvre. It is a way to beat the enemy. If a person loses his life while facing the enemy with patience and expectation of rewards from Allah, he will enter paradise.

(Thumma qàle rasûlullah) The Prophet turned to the man and asked, (Kayfa Qulta) "What did you say?"

Sometimes, the Prophet (pbuh) used to have words repeated. This was to emphasize the issue so that the audience could learn it well without mistakes. The man repeated, (E ra'eyte in qutiltu fî sebîlillâh, a tukefferu annî khatàyâye?) If I go for jihad and lose my life for the sake of Allah, could my wrong doings and faults be forgiven? Could my death be an expiation for my sins?" (Faqàle rasûlullah: Neam.) The prophet answered again, "Yes. (In qutilte fî sebîlillâhi wa ente sàbirun muhtesibun muqbilun ghayru mudbirin) If you lose your life while you participate in jihad with perseverence, without running away, and expecting rewards from Allah, your sins will be forgiven (il-lad-dayna) except for debt." The Prophet (pbuh) added, (Fa inna jibrîl AS qale lî dhalika) "The archangel Jibril have just explained me this matter. Your sins will be forgiven but your debt to people will not be."

d. Pay Your Debt on Time!

Although we have been talking mainly about jihad, we can learn some other important issues at the same time.

Some people borrow money from others. We should try our best not not borrow money from others at all. However, sometimes it is necessary, you need extra money for example to marry your child, expand your business, or pay the bills.

Lending money to a brother is very rewarding. Lending money to a brother or a friend has priority over giving charity to the poor and has more reward because you know your brother is really in need of this money. On the other hand, when you give money to a beggar, you will not be sure if the person is really in need of this money or if bagging became an occupation for him because you do not know him very well.

Lending money is a good practice. However, some people who borrow money are not as attentive as they should be at the time for repayment. They think that they make a profit -- out of high inflation rate -- by delaying the repayment. They give a hard time to those who lend money when they are supposed to pay it back. They want to return the money as late as possible, one, two even there years. They make the lenders regret for lending.

A professor friend of mine told me that one day at a square in Istanbul a man run into him and hugged him saying, "Oh my dear friend, I have not seen you for years." The man continued, "I had borrowed 500 Turkish lira about 15 years ago, and I could not see you since then. Let me give your money back my dear friend. Here is your 500 liras." Then my friend told him, "Just hold it! Do you think you can pay me back with that amount? Do you think the real values are the same? I cannot accept it! Let's figure out what the real value of the 500 lira was 15 years ago and then you pay me back with the real value."

Of course everyone knows it; especially those who borrow money know that the high inflation rate decreases the value of the money. In terms of the face value of the money, it is more profitable for the borrower to pay the dept as late as possible. However, the borrower will be inflicting a loss on the lender if the debt is paid late. The lender had helped him when he was in need, but he is not cooperative after his need was met. Instead, he will be cheating the lender. In this case, the borrower is making the lender to regret what he has done.

The other day someone called me and said that someone -- whom I did not expect -- borrowed money from another and this brother cosigned for the borrower. But the borrower did not return the money although he has enough money to pay back. The cosigner called me and talked with a sad voice, "Now, I am responsible for this debt, and my business will be ruined because of this," he said.

Allah subhana wa taala looks at one's hearth and intentions. Therefore, He punishes these kind of people. This is an injustice against the lender.

Therefore my dear brothers, do not make these kind of injustice to anybody. Because of previous injustice behaviors of others, nobody would be willing to lend money. When some comes and ask, "You are a rich man, please lend me some money so that I will do this and that."

Then the response will be, "No, my friend. I am not in a position to give any money, I don't have any money." In fact, he has the money, but he would be lying because he is too shy to say: "I have money but I cannot lend." Therefore, the society would be becoming ethically sick. People are not trustworthy; they produce fake bankruptcies and fake invoices. People do not pay their bills and debts while they can.

We should not be like these people, my brothers and sisters. Let's be trustworthy. Let's not do injustice to those who helped us. If we have a debt, lets pay it as soon as possible so that the borrower will be relaxed. Let's be tankful to those who help us.

May Allah make us do everything nicely according to Islam.

If someone becomes shaheed (martyr) and if he owes money to someone, the lender will take his right on the day of judgment. There are exceptions but we might talk about it at a later time insha-Allah.

We should pay our debt as soon as we can. We should try not to borrow money at all if possible. We should not do any injustice to a lender so that our society will not go down ethically.

May Allah be please with all of you. May Allah beautify our ethics clear us from our bad behaviors. May Allah make us among those who know Islam very well and live a life accordingly. May Allah place us among those whom He loves. May Allah raise us on the day of Resurrection as pure Muslims. May Allah let us enter His Paradise.

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

January 21, 2000 -- Australia