I attended Jummah Prayer at MEC in Morton Grove today. I always hear about some really ridiculous khutbahs that take place here. I even hear about people, getting up after the khateeb has concluded the prayer, who start denouncing him and whatever he discussed. I guess that makes me very lucky.
The khateeb began with a few opening words, basically saying that we praise, thank, believe, trust, and rely on Allah. We seek refuge with Allah from our wrong actions. Then the khateeb sends praises to the Prophet (S).
When the khateeb began his khutbah, the first thought that went through my mind was.
"I've heard this one before."
A few minutes after I thought that, the khateeb addressed the fact that he opens every khutbah in the exact same manner. By saying:
"Ask yourself, what has changed?"
He then began to list several topics which we could analyze,
"Local, international, day to day, etc. He made a funny but probably true point that we don't know about people's that are not Desi or Arab. Considering that the MEC's constituency is primarily Desi and Arab, this makes sense, so he mentioned Somalia and Sudan. I am quite certain, however, that the Sudanese don't mention the Desis in their services, and the Somalis definitely don't mention any one else, maybe an African neighbor, but that's about it.
I guess what I am trying to say is, the khateeb is right, that we should think more about others, even if they don't think about us.
He mentioned the rekindled Obama being Muslim conspiracy. The Left use the "term" Muslim as an insult, the khateeb said it should be considered a compliment, a clever comment.
He mentioned the NATO Summit this weekend and how the police are protecting the delegates against the city's protestors.
He then made a very welcome comment that the USA is our home country. You almost never hear this coming from a khateeb. Even ones born here, actually, often times, you get A LOT of Desis, thinking they are Arab, and promoting Arab nationalism... it's kind of ridiculous.
He then asked, "Will you spend more time doing iba'dah this week than last?" He encouraged us to try to do more.
He said to say Subhanallah, and mentioned that saying it once, a tree planted in Jannah (Heaven) that will be so big that it will take a horse running at full gallop for an entire lifetime to circle it once. Imagine the reward of saying Subhanallah 33 times a day or after every prayer. small improvements, baby steps.
The khateeb's point about making small positive changes is very good advice, you can't take on a lot at once, you have to gradually build to it. Make small sustainable changes.
The khateeb also said that it was important to keep improving and increase your own knowledge.
When we learn and pray, we are connecting to five [things]:
- Prophet (S)
- Tradition of scholars (Ulema)
This is interesting, one should probably spend some time reflecting on this. He brought attention to the fact that many people look negatively upon the Ulema, and he said that some of it was justified but a lot of it was not. He also mentioned how easy it is for us to criticize other Muslims [in the Ummah]. He said that the Ummah is your heart, you can find the good and the bad amongst the people, it's better to focus on the good.
A fair point I think.
He then said that the Prophet (S) said to take fatwa from your heart even if you have received a fatwa from everyone else. (Let's hope your heart is in the right condition to make righteous decisions.)
He basically ended with that. He did mention some societal issues that's rampant amongst the Desis and Arabs, but that's for the them, I don't think you guys need to hear about that.
I will say this, the delivery of the khutbah seemed to match the intellect of the congregation. He was speaking about very simple things, mentioning things very subtly.
The fact that he mentioned, in a very casual manner, saying Subhanallah once a day, or 33 times a day, and mentioning the reward of saying it just once, I thought that was very interesting.
You see, if we were to step back in time, or even just step to the right into an Eastern Muslim country, you will see that everyone that attends any and every prayer, does a small dhikr after it, saying Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, and Allahu Akbar a total of 100 times. Whereas, in the Chicago Muslim community, when someone pulls out a tasbeeh (rosary), they get stared at or are even told sometimes, "You know akhi, this is a bida'at (innovation)!"
No, no I assure you, it's not an innovation. Anyway, it's nice to see this, and Professor Omer Mozaffar definitely seems like the man set for the task. He is well liked and respected in the community and he speaks perfect English. I think the latter point holds more weight. Of course, he is knowledgeable as well.
I hope everyone understood what was being said.