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Only in the worship of Allah is true honour found, because all honour belongs to Allah:

"And to Allah belongs all honour, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites know not."
Al-Qur'an 63:8

Al-Hasan al-Basri said concerning the people of sin, "They - even though their riding beasts pitter patter with them atop, and their mules carry them ever so gracefully, upon them at all times is the hovering disgrace of sin. Allah shall never allow for those who disobey Him anything more then disgrace."

Allah says:

"And whoever Allah humiliates - for him there is no one to give him honour."
Al-Qur'an 22:18

'He's doing what? Building a boat in the desert?!' The people of Noah ran out to see if the news was true. Um-hmm, there he was indeed, building a huge boat without a drop of water in site. Allah tells us:

"And he constructed the ark - whenever a group of the eminent of his people passed him they mocked him."
Al-Qur'an 11:38

They couldn't help themselves but to ridicule him. 'Hey Noah, you were a Prophet yesterday - have you now become a carpenter?!' What happened, dear brothers and sisters, to those devilish people who disbelieved in Allah's Messenger for 950 years - where are they now? And who was the winner in the end?

Certainly, in the end Allah granted a decisive victory to Noah. More so, Allah tells His Prophet, may Allah send His prayers and blessings upon him, at the conclusion of Noah's story how victory will always be for the believers:

"So be patient, indeed, the (best) outcome is (and will always be) for the righteous."

Part II

In their misguided quest for honour, the Greeks designated a female god whose sole job was to dispense victory and honour. She was a popular subject in their art, usually represented as winged and bearing a wreath or palm branch. They called her Nike. And many of us leaving this khutbah may still sadly find remnants of their shirk present today on our shoes.

The Prophet, may Allah send His prayers and blessings upon him, said:

"Indeed this affair (of Islam) shall reach wherever the night and day reach. Allah will not spare a single clay or wabar home except that Allah will cause for Islam to enter it - whether with nobility or with humiliation. Nobility that Allah grants with them entering Islam, or humility that Allah places upon them for their kufr (disbelief)."

The narrator of the hadith, Tamim ad-Dari, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

"Certainly, I saw this in my own family. Those that become Muslim amongst them found prosperity and nobility and honour. And those that turned to kufr found nothing but disgrace and humility and the jizyah tax (a tax paid by non-Muslims living in the Islamic state)."

There are different ways in which Allah grants victory to His righteous servants: Allah may grant victory through martyrdom. We read in the Qur'an Allah telling us to not think that those who were killed in the way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive with Allah, well provided for.

Allah may grant victory through the huge success in spreading one's da'wah. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah send His prayers and blessings upon him, taught us this in the story of the boy and the king. In the end, the only way the king could kill the boy was to shoot the arrow pronouncing the statement, 'In the Name of the Lord of this boy.' When he did so, although the boy was martyred, the entire village believed in Allah, Alone, the Lord of the boy.

Allah may grant victory through the trials that distinguish the believers from the hypocrites. As a sage once said, "All thanks are to Allah who places a hardship on me through which I distinguish my friends from my enemies."

Or victory may come through Allah assisting his servant with clear and decisive arguments. An example of this is how Allah supported Abraham, peace be upon him, against the tyrant Namrud when he said that he too gives life and death. Abraham replied that verily Allah brings the sun from the east so bring it ye from the west. Namrud was dumbfounded and had no reply.

In conclusion, we all know that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah send His prayers and blessings upon him, started this mission of Islam at the Mountain of Safa. After telling his people about Allah and the Final Day, Abu Jahl - his own uncle - turned his back on him and said aloud, "May you perish O Muhammad! Is this why you have gathered us?" On his heels he turned and everyone followed him, leaving our Prophet, may Allah send His prayers and blessings upon him, standing alone.

Two decades later, in the farewell hajj, he, may Allah send His prayers and blessings upon him, stood on that very same mountain. At this time, the victory of Allah had come true as Allah had promised. All of Makkah was now Muslim, a sea of believers memorising their Prophet's every move. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah send His prayers and blessings upon him, stood there on Mount Safa and faced the Ka'bah and recited:

"There is no god but Allah. Only One. He was true to His promise. He granted victory to His servant. He granted honour and nobility to his army. And the confederates did He - alone - defeat."

Be Mindful O Mankind!

Do not sit idle, for indeed Death is seeking you.
Al-Imam Al-Hasan al-Basri (d. 110H), may Allah have mercy upon him