LONDON – Unity was the focus of Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Imam and Khateeb of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, in his message to leaders of various Islamic organizations Friday evening at the Regents Park Central Mosque.
The Imam, famous for his beautiful recitation of the Qur’an, urged Muslim leaders to hold regular meetings to exchange ideas between them. He expressed hope that the coming Ramadan will be an occasion to bring people together. He congratulated Muslim organizations for their efforts towards Muslims in Britain.
“The news of your excellent work reaches us over there in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques,” he said.
Al-Sudais urged Muslim leaders to engage and reach out positively with Britain’s official bodies, local councils and government offices. He questioned why Muslims avoid the political scenario of the country.
“We do not have any hidden agenda. So why are we Muslims not proactively involved in politics of this country?” he said.
He exerted Muslims to be patient and have confidence in Allah and the truth that they are holding on to while trying to guide the society.
Earlier during the day, the Imam delivered the Khutbah and led Friday prayers to a 10,000 strong congregation at the Islamic Cultural Center Mosque here. He called on Muslims living in non-Muslim countries to be the best ambassadors of their religion.
On Wednesday, while launching the second expansion of the East London Mosque, Al-Sudais gave a brief speech that can be summarized in 10 points to nearly 5,000 listeners.
1. He spoke about Tawheed (the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah in His Lordship, His Names and Attributes and His Divinity) and the importance of following the Qur’an and Sunnah. He said, as mentioned in the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent as a role model and a mercy for the whole creation.
2. He reminded Muslims that they are an Ummah of Akhlaq (good character). They must cooperate and help each other in righteousness, and not in sin and aggression. Such cooperation should be with Muslims as well as non-Muslims and this is part of the Islamic character. He said Muslims should always be peaceful with all human beings.
3. Islam is a religion of the middle path. He recalled how the Prophet (peace be upon him) would visit the Jews and look after his neighbors.
4. Muslims should be united, he said. And this unity should be on the basis of the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
5. Muslims are an Ummah of knowledge, he said referring to the importance Islam has placed on education and learning.
6. He mentioned about upholding family ties and bringing up children well. The importance of hijab and the dignity of women was also addressed.
7. Al-Sudais called for Tarbiyyat As-Sahih – imparting and nurturing others on correct teachings.
8. Islam is a religion of Da’wah and Muslims are an Ummah that gives Da’wah toward Allah. People should be invited to Allah with wisdom. He said we are not an Ummah of terrorism and that we should call people to the truth.
9. The Imam stressed on being respectful to parents and also on protecting and safeguarding children’s rights. Children should be given proper education, he said.
10. Sheikh Sudais, lastly, said Muslims were also an Ummah that repents to Allah. He said Ramadan was fast approaching, which is a month of Tawbah (repentance) and seeking forgiveness. He advised everyone to repent to Allah for their sins.
Sheikh Sudais is very popular and loved by almost everyone in the community. Large crowds surround him at every function and organization he visits. He was overwhelmed by the response he received after the Friday prayers. He said this was indeed a sign of love and a bond of brotherhood that binds people not only of this country but also people from different parts of the world. – SG