[ Note: The following is an edited version of the Friday Khutbah 11/4/16 at Toledo Masjid Al-Islam. The opening Hamd has been omitted.]
"So stand your entire being to correct Deen, the holistic nature that God has placed in humanity. [Let there be] No altering of Divine creation, that is the standard Deen , but most people don't know." [Q 30:30]فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
All the words in this short ayah deserve examination, such as the command "Aqim" ["Stand"] and the term Wajhak [literally 'your face', bur explained here as 'your entire being'], however, a brief explanation before reaching our core subject is -simply- to stand for the correct deen with your entire being. This is firstly directed towards Muhammad The Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم .
This verse tells us the characteristics of correct deen "The holistic nature that God has placed in humanity." Muhammad- upon whom be peace and blessings- is being directed towards that which is realistic, holistic, healthy pattern of thinking and acting. This is called Fitrah.
Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم is being directed towards this by Allah ['Azza wa Jall] because the society around him was in a state of darkness. That era is called the days of ignorance or the age of ignorance [Ayyam ul Jaahiliyyah or 'Asr al Jaahiliyyah] for a reason. That era's title is not an exaggeration. We are not simply making reference to the worship of false gods. Rather, Arabia before Islam influenced them had little value to female children. They practiced female infanticide. The social order was so steeped in tribal thinking that a stray camel entering the domain of another group led to decades of warfare.
In a sense, all of God's prophets and messengers faced these sorts of things within their environment. So Allah summons Prophet Muhammad, who actually personifies a universal summons [because he is the only universal messenger] to abandon that baggage which holds him back, and which holds his society [and humanity in general] back!
No altering of Divine Creation
Allah has allowed differences to exist as a means to keep life interesting and vibrant, yet he has placed limitations on how far those differences can go. A Black Man and a White Woman can produce beautiful children together, however a man cannot mate with a microphone!
All rational people can see the benefit of caring for the poor and underprivileged and all rational people can view murder, theft and its like as wrong. This is what the Qur'an calls Standard Deen [deen ul Qayyim]. This is also deen ul fitrah. A framework for a healthy, vibrant and sound mind, body, soul and society.
Islam or submission to God is to penetrate all areas of existence. This is not to occur by force, contrary to the views of many pundits, because force is contrary to all the previously mentioned positive states!
We have to ask ourselves if we are upon the standard, correct deen. We have to ask ourselves if we can better or how can we better align to the Qur'an and Sunnah.
We pray to be of those who better respond to the call of Allah and his messenger, as this is a call that gives meaning and purpose to life [Q 8:24].
But most people don't know
The verse reads "...That is standard Deen, but most people don't know." [Q 30:30]. In the same Soorah, we read:
Allah's promise, Allah does not fail in his promise, but most people don't know. They know the outer shell of life [Dhaahiran min al hayaat ad dunya], and about 'Al-Akhirah', they are heedless." [Q 30:6-7].وَعْدَ اللَّهِ لَا يُخْلِفُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ
Having access to Allah's Qur'an and access to the knowledge of how the Prophet's message transformed the hearts and minds of his society should be sufficient as a basis to ourselves become transformed, to become better, to discard the thinking and mentality of the days of ignorance!
We recently shared what distinguished Muhammad the genuine Prophet from Musaylima the false claimant by looking at the letters exchanged between the two [ see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f_MjGQ6_XI] .
Musaylima appealed, as we learn from the letters, only to the strands of ignorance, jealousy and desire, whereas Muhammad -Sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam- appealed only to Allah.
Prophet Muhammad calls us to Allah, to Deenul Fitrah, so we pray to be on that path, following light rather than groping around in darkness.