Jummah Khutbah on Adoption

On Friday 22nd October, 2021, ‘My Adoption Family’ are promoting the national #AdoptionFriday campaign. Please join mosques nationally to deliver the Friday sermon on the important topic of Adoption and contribute to the revival of this Sunnah.

The Jummah Khutbah
[FIRST PART]
Bismillāh al-Rahmān al-Rahīm. Al-hamdu lillāh wal-Salātu wal-Salāmu ‘alā Rasulillāh


[OPENING DU’AS]
All praise is for Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
Peace and blessings upon His final Messenger, Muhammad his family and companions.
I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.

Dear brothers and sisters. Listen attentively and know well that Allah sent His Messenger as a mercy to us, as Allah says in Surat al-Anbiyaa:

وَمَا أرسَْلنَْٰكَ إلَِّ رَحْةًَ للِّعَْٰلمَِينَ

“And We have not sent you except as a mercy to the worlds.” (21:107)

You already know that the Messenger of Allah was chosen to receive the final revelation, the book of Allah, and He left that with us. We read it daily and try to follow its guidance and when we think about that, what a mercy it is to still have that as our guidance today.
But, this mercy is more. Not only did the Messenger of Allah teach us the Qur’an, he also taught us how to apply it in our lives. He gave us his Sunnah and showed us the way. And perhaps more than anything else we could have asked for, he demonstrated the best example of how we as human beings should be.
Allah says in Surat al-Ahzaab:

لَقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِىۡ رَسُوۡلِ اللّٰهِ اُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَنۡ كَانَ يَرۡجُوا اللّٰهَ وَالۡيَوۡمَ الۡاٰخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللّٰهَ كَثِيۡرًا

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for anyone
whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.”
(33:21)

Dear brothers and sisters. The Messenger of Allah taught us the best character and showed us through his brilliant example how to become not only a good person, but also the best versions of ourselves. In a hadith narrated by Ibn Umar, the Messenger of Allah said “All of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and the things under your care.” (Bukhari)

So to show us how we should do that, we just need to look at how the Messenger of Allah did that and how he was at home. Now for every husband and father here, and by extension for every wife and mother, here is the best example presented to us of how we should look after the members of our household. And in this example, Allah presented us with a Messenger who not only looks after his wife and daughters, but he also looks after, in his own home, a young boy who is not his own child!

Think about this for a moment. Why would Allah present to us this scenario, where His own Messenger, an example for us to follow, is caring for a child in his own home who is not his own child?
Brothers and sisters, we all know too well that the Messenger of Allah was the best husband and father, that he was a loving man and that the love he showed in his own house extended to all the members of his household.

After the Messenger of Allah married Khadijah. She gifted him a young boy named Zayd as a servant. Not only did the Messenger treat young Zayd well, he freed him and took him as a son. Not for one moment did he treat him as a slave. To the contrary he showed him love and care and he would laugh and play with him. So much so that Allah praised the Messenger in the Qur’an for how he treated Zayd and said ‘you showed favour to him’ (33.37). Zayd was not an orphan child, his parents were alive and when they found him in the home of the Messenger of Allah he was given the option to go and live with them. He could have left the Messenger of Allah and gone to live with his parents, but he didn’t.

Brothers and sisters, we need to ponder over this. Why would a child who is in the home of another family, decide they do not want to go back to their parents? Of course, we all know the answer to that. The only reason a child would want to stay in a home other than their parents is because they feel safe there, they feel loved there and they feel valued.
That is the example of a family home that we need to talk about today. And we need to talk about this because so many of us don’t have a child in our homes that comes from another family.

Indeed, if Allah is showing us the best example of a family home, an example none other than that of the Messenger of Allah, and that family home has a child in that home that is treated like all the other children, maybe this is something from the Sunnah that we haven’t really thought about properly.

Listen carefully dear brothers and sisters. There is a hadith about the reward for caring for a child who needs looking after in one’s own home. This isn’t about sending money to look after a child in another country. This isn’t about setting up a care home or an orphanage. This is about opening the doors of your own home to welcome another child. So listen well:
The Messenger of Allah said, “The best house among the Muslims is one where an orphan is well treated, and the worst house among the Muslims is one where an orphan is badly treated.” (Ibn Majah).

This hadith teaches us so much about what makes your house or my house either the best house or the worst. In the best house is a child, an orphan, who isn’t from your children, but you brought them in and you treated them well. Doing this one thing would make your house the best house from amongst all the Muslims. On the other hand, a house where a child who is not from the children of the family ends up here because they are an orphan, and maybe there isn’t anywhere else for them to go, and there is no good treatment towards this child, then that house is the worst house amongst the houses of the Muslims.

So it is the best house status that we need to aspire towards. And this status is just a status that this Muslim household achieves in this world. As for the status in the hereafter, then the Messenger of Allah said “I and the person who looks
after an orphan and provides for him will be in Jannah like this…” putting his index and middle fingers together (Bukhari).

Dear brothers and sisters. Surely that is something all of us aspire to be. One act. One act that brings us to the status of having the best house of the Muslims in this world and the same one act that brings us to the status of enjoying the closeness and company of the Messenger of Allah in Jannah. Like this – putting the index and middle fingers together.


Dear brothers and sisters. It is time for those amongst us who have the means to open the doors of their homes and to take in and show love to another child. That time has come. That time is now. And this love that you show that child that comes into your life and home will remain. Just as the Messenger of Allah showed love to Zayd even after he had grown up, and he would continue to show love towards him until he died.

A’ishah the mother of the believers spoke about how Zayd, now all grown up and a young man, would come to her home to see the Messenger of Allah, the man who was like a father to him. And when the Messenger of Allah saw Zayd he would rise to receive him and he ‘embraced and kissed him.’ (Tirmidhi)

Brothers and sisters, I am not asking you to do an act of charity for one night. I am asking you to do one act, that you will continue to do for the rest of your lives, an act that will change you and bring out the best version of you and your home and family. Take in another child and bring them up as your own.


Dear brothers and sisters. You should know that in the teachings of Islam, this great way of life that we have been so mercifully blessed with, and in the practical role model of the Messenger of Allah Muhammad there is a great encouragement for us to be care takers of other children who need a home.

Looking after and dealing justly with orphans has been stressed in the Qur’an so much, that Allah mentions them in no less than 22 verses. And in the Sunnah we see huge rewards promised for acts of kindness and generosity towards them. And if that is not enough as an encouragement for us to do this then just remember that as a baby the Messenger of Allah himself was orphaned and cared for, and as a young child, when he lost his mother, it was his grandfather and uncle who took him in to their homes and cared for him.

In fact Allah says in Surat ad-Duha to the Messenger of Allah:

اَلَمۡ يَجِدۡكَ يَتِيۡمًا فَاٰوٰى
Did He not find you an orphan and give [you] refuge?” (93.6)

Brothers and sisters, this one act of opening your home to welcome another child is so full of blessings that Imam ibn Al-Jawzi said, “Those who have orphans in their homes are never free from the angels sending peace and praying upon them.” And the reason for this is simply because one who is a caretaker of an orphan is literally living charity for every moment they do something nice for the child or make the child feel safe and looked after and happy. And remember, the Messenger of Allah had Zayd in his house and Zayd was not an orphan.

So whether you open your doors and look after an orphan or simply take another child under your wing, a child that needs care and looking after, that deed in the sight of Allah and that consistency in showing care, compassion and kindness will certainly be rewarded and will certainly bring blessings in your life.


[ENDING DU’A AND DUROOD]


[SECOND PART]
Bismillāh al-Rahmān al-Rahīm. Al-hamdu lillāh wal-Salātu wal-Salāmu ‘alā Rasulillāh


Dear brothers and sisters, listen carefully because I want you to understand why I am talking about this topic today.

Today there are over 90,000 children in care in the UK. From these 90,000 it is estimated that 5,000 are Muslim children, children who are born to Muslim parents but now in care. Today there are 3000 children across the UK who are waiting to be adopted. Meaning they are unable to go back to their parents either because of the serious risk of harm they face or simply because their parents are unable to care for them.

The reason why I am doing a khutbah on this topic today is because too many of these children are simply waiting in the system for someone to open their doors and take them home and care for them and that isn’t happening. In England today there is a real shortage of adopters and for us this is an opportunity to gain Allah’s pleasure through adopting a child. However, and this is the most important point so listen carefully. Brothers and sisters, there are amongst these 3000 children many Muslim children, some orphaned, who are also waiting to be adopted. And as you have probably guessed, there are just not enough Muslim adopters who have come forward to take these Muslim children into their homes.

Brothers and sisters, this is actually a very serious problem that we as a Muslim community here in England are facing today. And as I am standing in front of you today, I am not asking you to do this only because it is something good. I am urging you to do this because it is now a responsibility on all of us to do something.


Just think for a moment. A child from a Muslim family, maybe a baby girl called ‘Aisha’, whose parents are Muslim but are unable to care for her. There is no other family who can look after her and now she is waiting to be adopted. So if no Muslim family comes forward to take Aisha, who will take her and adopt her? If she is adopted by a non-Muslim family it will be very unlikely that she will grow up as a Muslim. Her name may be changed to Laura and perhaps she will grow up as a Christian or without a faith. But if a Muslim, perhaps one of you, steps forward and adopts her, she will grow up in a Muslim home and she will likely grow up to be a Muslim and perhaps a good Muslim.

Dear brothers and sisters, adoption in England is not a familiar concept for many of us and some Muslims think it is not allowed because of the many misconceptions surrounding the way adoption works in this country. In fact the way adoption works in England is similar to kafaalah in the Muslim world where Muslim families care for children who are not their own. What has been forbidden is to adopt a child and claim them as your own, and so you hide the child’s true identity from them. This is what has been prohibited in Islam.

The way adoption works in England allows a child’s true identity to be kept, and that makes adoption halal. An adopted child’s real family is preserved in the birth certificate and adopters are trained to keep a ‘life story book’ that has a record of the child’s birth history and photographs of birth parents. As well as that organisations such as My Adoption Family are there to support Muslim parents through the adoption and to deal with any issues that might come up.

Dear brothers and sisters. Muslim children are waiting to be adopted in England. We need to adopt them. We need to encourage one another to give these vulnerable children a caring home. We need to support our relatives, our friends and each other with adoption. We need to welcome these children into our mosques, into our community and most importantly we need to welcome these children into our homes.


Adoption has become a collective responsibility for us Muslims. How can we sit by and not come forward whilst we see Muslim children go into non-Muslim family homes? The Messenger of Allah came to us as a Mercy. What Mercy are we showing these children, whether Muslim or not, who we could have taken into our homes but we left them for others to take? Didn’t the Messenger of Allah say “Whoever does not show mercy to our young ones and honour to our elders is not one of us”? (Ahmad). And of course these children, when they go into a home even of a non-Muslim, then yes they will be cared for and find safety. But while all of that is good, we need to ask ourselves the question; will they learn about Islam and Muslim values?

Brothers and sisters, it is our duty to adopt these children if we can. That is a way of mercy, love and kindness to the orphans that the Messenger of Allah taught us through his own family example. That is where the huge reward is. That is where we can become the best house. That is where we can be close to the Messenger of Allah in Jannah.

We ask Allah to enable us to open our doors of our homes to welcome in children who need caring for. We ask Allah that He enables us to look after them and treat them well and make us from those who show mercy to them just as Allah has shown us so much mercy to us, Ameen. We ask Allah to unite us in doing good (Ihsan) just as Allah and His Messenger have taught us to do. We ask Allah that He make it easy for us to do this good and give us the Tawfeeq and
guidance to step forward to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable children in our communities. Ameen.

Dear brothers and sisters remember that your life is very short. And here is a good deed that will raise your status in this world and in the hereafter. By you adopting a vulnerable child today, perhaps there will be someone who will bear witness on the day of Qiyamah, that you showed mercy to them and saved them from a bad situation and perhaps because of you they too may be from the people of Jannah.

[ENDING DU’A AND DUROOD]
Wa’alaykum as’salaam warahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

Original Source: My Adoption Family Toolkit.

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