What is Islam?

Ayat that are part of the Khutbah
  • Surah Al-Ma’idah, Ayah 3: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”
  • Surah Al-Qamar, Ayah 17: “And We have certainly made the Quran easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?”

* The terms “Islam” and “Deen” are used interchangeably in this khutbah

I - A journey to answer the question- What is Deen?
  • La illaha illa llah Muhammadun rasulu llah is the essential truth of our Existence
  • Muslims today have very different ideas about what Islam is all about
  • Some ideas are false, some are flawed, and some are incomplete
  • For many in the Muslim community, Islam is a subjective reality
  • In other words, Islam is what a person makes of it under this conception
II - The relevance of Islam in modernity
  • Many have come to view Islam as archaic, irrelevant, or burdensome
  • There are some who believe in the deen but feel that it is not nourishing them or giving them answers.
  • These false, flawed, and incomplete conceptions are why we need to work on developing a functional definition of Deen.
III - Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, has fashioned Islam as the Deen for us
  • Islam is what can nourish us and give us answers
  • Islam is the summation of all the blessings we receive (i.e. health, water, trees)
  • Islam has been and always will be the most liberating force
  • Islam exits people from the darkness of confusion to the light of certainty
IV - The Deen teaches us how to be, think, feel and function in this world
  • Every prophet in the lineage exemplified this and was liberated by Deen
  • Malcolm X was of the saintly people of our time and also exemplified this
  • While many people today are embracing Islam, there are many who are on the brink of leaving the Deen.
  • Defining Deen is the worthiest journey we could ever embark upon
V - There is a straight path (Sirat al-Mustaqim)
  • There are many ideologies and thoughts today that are difficult to navigate
  • Our claim is that there is a straight path, the upright and truthful path
  • We must humble ourselves on this path and realize that there are realities beyond us.
  • Allah has made His Deen easy to process
    • It is simple, but not simplistic
    • Allah made it easily understood.
    • Allah made it easy for remembrance.
VI - For the next 1 ½ - 2 years (50+ khutab), we will be embarking on a journey to analyze Hadith Jibreel
  • This is considered the mother of all ahadith
  • This hadith can help us to understand our Deen
  • Prophet Muhammad (saw) was asked a series of questions by Angel Jibreel (as) in Al Masjid al-Nabawi amongst his companions
VII - Prophet Muhammad (saw) has told us to be gentle, intentional, and deliberate in how we tread in this Deen.
  • Whether we are on the far left or the far right of the spectrum, we must learn to be gentle
  • This is Allah’s Deen, not ours
  • The Deen is vast
VIII - Our hope is to uncover the truth that is La Ilaha Ilallah.
  • How can I connect myself to the Essential Truth of Islam?
  • How is Islam relevant to the challenges I face in my life?
  • What does Prophet Muhammad (saw) mean when he advises us to travel gently through this Deen?