Saudi Press Agency MAKKAH/MADINA SHEIKH Dr. Saud Bin Ibrahim Al-Sheraim, Imam and Khateeb of the Grand Mosque in Makkah advised Muslims to be God-conscious. In his Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque, he dealt with cooperation among Muslims and stressed upon their unity and solidarity in the face of adversities. Sheikh Al-Sheraim said Islam has taught us to hold fast to the religion, be patient in difficult times, keep away from sedition and face tribulations with a contented heart that accepts Allah’s will. He said that this should be the characteristic of the Muslim individuals and communities. He said despite Muslim communities differing in their capabilities, efforts, strengths, wealth and health, they are in need to be close to one another in times of sorrow or happiness. There is need for them to come together despite the geographical distances between them. There is need to be merciful to one another however much the injustices are. There is need to reach an understanding despite disagreements. He said Muslims are in need to feel for one another as one body and as dictated by our religion. He said when these positive characteristics become part of the Muslim communities, they will not fall easy prey to the machinations of their enemies. The disunity among the Muslim ranks is the root cause of the hardships and crises the community is going through, he said. Sheikh Al-Sheraim called upon Muslims to be patient; patience has been mentioned in 80 verses of the Holy Qur’an. Sheikh Al-Sheraim said patience means accepting adversities and bearing the hardships with fortitude. He called for support, cohesion, solidarity and unity among Muslim groups. He said Islam does not discriminate among Muslims according to their race, language or color. He said the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered Muslims to treat one another as brothers. He said a person with the least knowledge of biology will realize that animals, birds and insects always flock together in facing the enemy; it is in their unity that they find their strength. In the same way, he said, Muslims should also face all adversities unitedly. Sheikh Al-Sheraim stressed the importance of sincere cooperation and joint feelings among Muslim communities and strong affiliation to the religion. He said strength, patience and fortitude in their individual traits are not enough; all these matters must be supplemented by joint cooperation and the Muslim communities must stand together as a solid wall against any mischief. He said Allah gave the example of Dhul Qarnain. Although he was strong, he asked for people’s cooperation to build a barrier to protect them against the Gog and Magog (Ya’jouj wa Ma’jouj). Meanwhile, Sheikh Ali Al-Hudhaifi, Imam and Khateeb of the Prophet’s Mosque, advised Muslims to be God-conscious and keep away from all that displeases Allah. In his Friday sermon at the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Al-Hudhaifi dealt with the need for speaking the truth. He said speaking the truth is a great virtue and there is a great reward for it. Telling the truth reveals the person’s personality. A person who speaks the truth is liked by people with upright minds and innate characters. He said the Prophet (peace be upon him) urged Muslims to speak the truth. Sheikh Al-Hudhaifi said the reward for speaking the truth is great in this world and in the Hereafter. In this world, the truthful person is loved by Allah and mankind, what he says carries a lot of weight, he relieves people of any evil from his side, he is good to himself and the others, he is saved from the evils that befall liars, he has peace of mind, and his heart is not torn by anxiety and fear. As to the reward in the Hereafter for telling the truth, Allah will be pleased with the truthful person and his abode will be in the high levels of paradise.