We are not only bodies but we have souls, and morality. There are moral illnesses and they are contagious. We need a moral vaccination to immunize the souls to be able to resist these moral illnesses.
By Hassan Hathout
We praise Allah, and we bear witness that there is no God but Him, and we bear witness that Mohammed is His messenger and the Prophet. We ask Allah to shed His Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, upon his family, his companions, and his followers to the Day of Judgment.
My dear brethren, when a family gets a new baby, almost immediately after the congratulations, they take the baby to the doctor to get the vaccine shots. There is a vaccine against measles, against diphtheria, polio and German measles etc.
Why do they do that? Because the vaccine will give the child immunity against those diseases. Someone might ask, since these babies are at home and are not exposed to the infections, why then do they need the vaccination so early. The answer is that it is important to give the immunity before exposure to infection, so that later on when they are exposed to the infection, they would have acquired the immunity and they would resist that disease.
We are not only bodies but we have souls, and morality. There are moral illnesses and they are contagious. So this medical principle of early immunization also applies to the moral state of our souls. We need a moral vaccination to immunize the souls to be able to resist these moral illnesses.
That our society is full of moral illnesses does not require proof. It is a society infected with, violence, licentious sex, homosexuality, drugs and drinking.
Only a few days ago we heard about a young boy who had a handgun and since he didn't find a target, so he went and shot his own mother.
These are diseases and they are very infectious and our children are exposed to them. During their lives, at the early stage, whatever Mom says is correct.
But then at a later stage there is peer competition, a vigorous competition with which Mom and Dad do not have a chance.
The maximum influence on the child would then be his peer group, not his parents. They will influence his thinking, will provide the food for his thought. They constitute peer pressure, which is very powerful, and hence the child unless previously vaccinated, can not be immune from catching those diseases.
Therefore we should make sure that in the limited window of time that we have, which is early childhood, we would vaccinate our children against those moral illnesses, so that at the time they get exposed to the infection, it wouldn't be too late. They would have already acquired the resistance against those infections.
Some parents wait until they see the diversion of their children, from right to wrong. Some people think that because children are children, they'll always be children. Some parents think that because they are Muslims, that of course their children will be Muslims. This is not true.
If you miss the chance, then it would be a bit too late, when you comelater on, and say "Dr. Hathout, my Brother, Help! Our daughter has a boyfriend, and she wants to marry a non-Muslim". Or "Our son goes out with girls, or does drugs, he wants to marry a Christian Girl or a Jewish Girl".
This in fact would be a sign of short sightedness, because you do not prepare the soldier for the battle during the battle. He should be prepared before the battle.
When the disease is caught, you are not looking for immunity; you are looking for treatment. But it is immunity that we would like to cultivate in our children, so that when they are exposed, they would have the immunity. Then when he is offered a cigarette he would say "No!"
When they said, "Come on, you are not a child, be a man". He would have the courage to say, "No we do not do that, we are Muslims."
The time when Muslims lived with the inferiority complex should be gone. Now, the time has come when Muslims should say and live, the saying of Allah, Praised and Exalted be He,
wal lillahi lizzatu wa lirasulihi wa lilmuminina
"Dignity is to Allah, and His Messenger and the Faithful."
So that one Muslim Child in a whole school, would not feel that he is a minority. He would say, "I am a Muslim, I do not do that."
When invited to sex, or drugs or such things, he would have the courage to say, "I am a Muslim, I do not do that."
Then he would not be on the defensive, he would be on the offensive because he offers a role model, he offers an example.
Most of the new children, falling into vice, think that they have to do that because they are overwhelmed by peer pressure. They can not resist the pressure of their peers and their classmates.
Only a Muslim, properly prepared, would say "No I do not do that!" I assure you that others would do the same, so in this case the Muslim is on the offensive, providing a role model to be followed, and encouraging the hesitant people, who feel too weak to resist the peer pressure.
How will we achieve that? Not by waiting until they are adolescents. Not by waiting until they feel, "I am 18 now, and I graduate out of this home and family." Not by waiting until they catch the disease, or marry the non-Muslim, or fall into violence, or drugs.
As we take our babies in the first few weeks to the doctor for physicalvaccination, so for moral immunization, no age is too early. Even mothers suckling their babies may construe their songs to them to say, "You will be a Muslim, you will obey Allah."
If that window of time is missed, it might be too late. However even for those who have gone astray, the gates of repentance are flung open.
Even those who have committed grave sins should not despair, when Allah says;
Wal lathina la yadu'na ma'a Allahi ilahan akhara wala yaqtulunan nafsal lati harrama Allahu illa bilhaqqi wa layaznun wa may yafa'l thalika yalqa athama. Yudaal lahu alathabu yaumal qiyamati wa yakhlud fihi muhana. Illa man taaba wa aamana wa a'mila a'malan saalihan fa ulaaika yubaddilu Allaahu sayyiaatihim hasanaat wa kaana Allaahu ghafuurar rahimaa.
(Allah mentions those who) commit adultery and whoever does this will encounter sin upon sin. He will have a double portion of torture on the Day of Judgement, and he will stay there for ever. (Immediately the Qur'an says) Except those who believes and do righteous (work), and repent to Allah; for these, Allah will change their sins into charities. Allah is oft forgiving, oft merciful.
Even in that late stage, which is not the stage of protection or prevention, but the stage of treatment. Treatment is often successful, but prevention is better than cure.
Prevention is in the early days, is very keen on their children's cleanliness, and clothing and food and schooling, but omit altogether the introduction of the concept of Allah. They omit to convince the children that Allah is, and we are not animals, and that Allah wants for us more than He wants for the animals. Allah wants us to do things and to avoid other things. We have the choice and we bear the consequences. This concept should be introduced to the children at a very early age. Then tell them what Allah wants you to do and what Allah does not want you to do, and then you can support your case with the statistics, of VD, AIDS, of violence, of broken homes, of drugs. You will find evidence to support your case, that this is the way we should take and that is the way we should avoid. Give them confidence enough to stand tall in the face of their peers and say, "You may do it, but I am not going to do it."
Let the child know that he only and Allah are on one side, then he is not in the minority, and he is in the majority.
Thus also we see the importance of Islamic Schools. Not all homes have a parent available at home all the time, and because children spend a number of hours with their peers at school, more than they spend with their parents, and because not all parents are knowledgeable, and because not all parents are good. Some parents drink, some gamble, some parents do even worse than that. Hence the significance of the Islamic School, to compliment the role of the home in an extended way, as they grow up at least until they have completed their elementary education, by which time they would have acquired the imprint, that "We are Muslims, we have a set of values, we don't do what others do, we have to be selective, whatever pleases Allah, we do, and whatever displeases Him, we do not do."
Al Hamdu Lillah we are going into the business of Islamic Schools, and we have realized that the era of building Mosques should be gone and yield to the era of building schools. Because you can put a mosque into a school, but you can not put a school in a mosque.
If we feel happy about the mosque and minarets, without the schools, then the mosque will be up for sale in a few generations, because no one will be coming to it.
I ask you to receive this message and to convey it to other Muslims and I ask Allah to enable us to be on the right track.
My dear Brethren, today I talk to you with a little sadness in my heart. Although Muslims want to pray Jumma in the Al Aqsa Mosque, but they are prevented from doing so. We know this is oppression. We know this is our right, but when we say that this is our right, we should ask, "Do I deserve this?"
Muslims can do a lot to change the situation, but they do not do it. They do not deserve their rights. Don't say "We are better, because we are Muslims." Because Allah might punish a people at the hands of worse people than they. Because Allah stipulates that if you have a right, you should prove that you deserve it, otherwise you can not have it.
Muslims now being the owners of the oil, the lifeline of the world, and being one of the greatest markets in the world. If the traditional, historical enemies in Europe could assemble to have a common market and European Community, it is time that Muslims should think seriously about having an Islamic Community. If we do that, they need us more than we need them. But we are very complacent against doing what we can do.
If Muslims just stopped smoking American Cigarettes, (without violence or bullets or killing), Americans would say "What do you want?" If Muslims (Globally) stopped using American cars, use Japanese, or French cars, America would ask, "What do you want?"
When they say "Your interests have never been in danger. This is our fault", because when a man meets a donkey he doesn't negotiate with it he rides it. We must prove ourselves to be people, with a backbone. We have power, but we don't use it.
What the enemy wants is to kick out the Palestinians as the Americanskicked out the Red Indians. We can do things.
We ask Allah to support the masses against the oppressors, because it is not only America and Israel that oppress the Muslims, it is primarily the Muslims rulers who oppress the Muslims. We pray Allah to inspire us to do the right thing. Allah will not send His angels, while we sit and do nothing. We have to do something, and then the angels will come. We ask you Allah, to guide us to the Straight Path, to the fruitful Jihad in Your cause, and to the dignity of the Muslims and the Believers. We ask You to inspire us with your love and the love of our fellow Muslims, and to set us on the straight course.
Source: Islamic Awakening