Excerpt from Weekly Khutbah, Volume 3 (2015-2016)
Allah has commanded us to embrace Islam fully and He expects us to embrace fully and this is the fundamental teaching of Islam for us to be successful in the Hereafter. Whatever has been decreed on us are known as the Fardh- these are the tasks which Muslims must follow in almost all circumstances and there are others like the Sunnah and the Nafl which have been recommended so as to achieve nearness to Allah and His Messenger Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). When we decide to embrace Islam properly- let it be as a converted Muslim or a born Muslim, we may suspect our duties to be tough and we take them to be too much constricted and tenacious but know that whatever path Allah has dictated upon us, this is the Straight Path and as its name implies this is the “straightest path” towards achieving our ultimate success.
We cannot be governed by our own whims and desires- we are not our rulers and we can’t regulate our own path. That’s why nations have fallen because they failed to embrace the teachings of Allah and this has always been true in the past and even now. We can never hope to be the most idealist in making rules, that’s why we always need to rely upon the Sunnah ways. One of Shaitan’s most “effective” ways of deceiving is to make us fantasize ourselves into believing that we are better planner than Allah. Nauzubillah, this is true, it actually happens and sometimes we even do it subconsciously. That’s how Shaitan deceived Pharaohs into taking themselves as gods while we also do it when we tend to question the commands given to us by Allah. It is mentioned in the Quran:
But they (disbelievers) plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.
Surah Al-Anfal, Ayah 30 (8:30) Sahih International
Sometimes we may think that the tasks given to us is too hard and as new Muslims, this is indeed a very natural thought- nothing to be ashamed of. But know this that if you make a small, sincere step towards Allah, He is going to run towards you as Allah mentioned so in the following Hadith:
In authority of Abu Dhar (Radi Allahu Anhu), Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said that Allah said: He who comes with a good deed, its reward will be ten like that or even more. And he who comes with vice, his reward will be only one like that, or I can forgive him. He who draws close to Me a hand’s span, I will draw close to him an arm’s length. And whoever draws near Me an arm’s length, I will draw near him a fathom’s length. And whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running. And whoever faces Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, I will meet him with forgiveness nearly as great as that, provided he does not worship something with me.
References: Sahih Muslim, Sunan Ibn Majah & Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih).
If we were to start living our lives according to our own desire, the whole world would have then started to experience unfair murders, indecent adultery, obscene homosexuality- these are the signs of the end of times and already we know these have started. Even animals are not homosexual but we have indeed defied ourselves worse than any beast and at the end of the day we term it as “freedom” rather it being a form of “insanity”.
If we just make a small effort, Allah will help us to do more good. Naturally, if we do good, we would enjoy ourselves and that is going to ignite zeal to do more good on a consistent basis and remember Islam is all about consistency in doing good. If a man makes effort to go to the Masjid, the act will be made easy for him and he is going to get facilitated to achieve more good deeds. At the end of the day, we are the ones who are deciding whether we want to set ourselves for Heaven or Hell based on what we have done in this Dunya. To understand this concept, let’s look at the following Hadith:
Ali (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: We were in a funeral in the graveyard of Gharqad that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) came to us and we sat around him. He had a stick with him. He lowered his head and began to scratch the earth with his stick, and then raid: There is not one amongst you whom a scat in Paradise or Hell has not been allotted and about whom it has not been written down whether he would be an evil person or a blessed person. A person said: Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), should we not then depend upon our destiny and abandon our deeds? Thereupon he said: Acts of everyone will be facilitated in, that which has been created for him so that whoever belongs to the company of the blessed will have good works made easier for him and whoever belongs to the unfortunate ones will have evil acts made easier for him. He then recited this verse (from the Qur’an): “As for he who gives and fears Allah. And believes in the best [reward], We will ease him toward ease. But as for he who withholds and considers himself free of need. And denies the best [reward], We will ease him toward difficulty.”
Surah Al-Layl, Ayahs 5-10 (92:5-10) Translation: Sahih International
Reference: Sahih Muslim, Book 33, Hadith 6398
One indication of a person’s Imaan is that he who misses prayer in congregation is going to feel miserable and guilty because of his loss. This is the Imaan of a man who is devoted towards praying in Masjids.
There are some people who complain Islam of being “not very modern” and “very primitive in nature”. For them, the answer is Allah knew for sure at what age and circumstance was to be released and this is going to be the true religion till the very end. When people criticize this religion being too much “primitive” know that the knowledge is too primitive to understand the glory of Islam and as Muslims, rather than refuting that person we should defend our religion by showing them in what ways our religion is superior to any belief- this is the Sunnah way.
Allah promised us that He is never going to burden us more than what we can bear and with Islam, this will hold true, all the Fardhs will remain as it is and the Sunnahs will remain as it is and we are in authority to modernize any regulations dictated in Islam. At modern times, wearing hijab is considered to be “a sign of oppression” to such an extent that many European countries have started to ban it but know that Allah ordered it to protect the dignity of the women and if you are to follow Allah’s command sincerely, Allah is going to ease your life and uplift your status to the people around you. The reason why hijab is getting banned is because of our own fault for not using it in the right way, that’s why disbelievers and those with little faith hate our mode of apparel. And if we as Muslims, are to support their claims, then what we are asking for is our own destruction.
And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers – We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.
Surah An-Nisa, Ayah 115 (4:115) Translation: Sahih International
Allah will guide those who holds firm to the truth. This is the promise of Allah, which He is never going to derail the believers unless they allows themselves to go astray.
And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.
Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 213 (2:213) Translation: Sahih International
To be within the guidance of Allah, we at first need to purify our Niyah because it is through intention we prove our sincerity towards the Almighty.
Narrated by Umar bin Al-Khattab (Radi Allahu Anhu): I heard Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 1, Hadith 1
A person who truly loves prayers, is never going to miss it, also if needed, will be inclined to pray more in form of performing Nafl prayers like Tahajjud, Ishraq etc. It is the willpower of a Muslim which makes it possible for him to do good deeds and he is also going to be favored by Allah. Let’s say a person makes solid intention to wake up regularly for Tahajjud prayer. Surely Allah is going to guide that person throughout his lifetime and make life easier for him even during times of peril. In our Deen, Niyah is the core root of doing good and it is through Niyah we make every good deed possible.
It is true that obstacles can come and shackle up our Imaan. Obstacles like our own nafs, family- relatives, children, our wives, friends or even the entire society can sometimes turn up against our religious activities. For example, we know growing beard is Wajib for the males, let’s say an individual lives in a non-Islamic areas where everyone shudders upon seeing the beard. Even the wife and the children are embarrassed by their close one for keeping the beard. Know that if that person is keeping it for the sake of Allah, he is either going to keep it disregarding other people’s opinion of him or going to do Hijrat- immigrating to an Islamic place where his beard is viewed as being acceptable. This is the power of Niyah in the face of Islam.
Let’s say a man who is not very “Imaan-worthy” but wants to be religious so he decides to keep a beard and wear Islamic clothing. Allah is going to facilitate that person so that for him being Islamic will become easier. It is mentioned in one Hadith:
Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: He who copies any people is one of them.
Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 4031. Graded Hasan (fair) and Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albani (Rahmatullah Allaih).
Therefore having the right form of intention is vital, even when we think we are not worthy enough to seek Allah’s forgiveness. Seek repentance sincerely and leave the rest to Allah.
The Deen has been simplified in such a way that if we are just make a Niyah, we will be rewarded for it even if we have not done it in the first place and doing it physically will give us ten times the reward. This has been well explained in the following Hadith:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The one who intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, he will get rewarded for it as if he did it. And if he does it, his reward will be multiplied ten times.”
Reference: Sahih Muslim, Hadith 130.
Just mentally thinking about a good deed is going to give us the reward. Amazingly mentally thinking about sinning is not going to cost us anything. In another similar Hadith, it has been said:
Ibn Abbas (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) related from his Lord the Blessed and Exalted, “Verily, Allah has recorded good and bad deeds and he made them clear. Whoever intends to perform a good deed but does not do it, then Allah will record it as a complete good deed. If he intends to do it and does so, then Allah the Exalted will record it as ten good deeds up to seven hundred times as much or even more. If he intends to do a bad deed and does not do it, then Allah will record for him one complete good deed. If he does it, then Allah will record for him a single bad deed.”
References: Ṣaḥih al-Bukhari, Hadith 6126 & Ṣaḥih Muslim, Hadith 131
Even for the poor there are lot of ways to accumulate rewards for those who can’t afford to give Zakah or do Hajj. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has taught us the following dhikr in order to catch up to the deeds of the rich.
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu), ‘Some poor people came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and said, “The wealthy people will get higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment and they pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money by which they perform the Hajj, and ‘Umra; fight and struggle in Allah’s Cause and give in charity.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Shall I not tell you a thing upon which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would overtake you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say “Subahan Allah”, “Alhamdulillah” and “Allahu Akbar” thirty three times each after every (compulsory) prayer.” We differed and some of us said that we should say, “Subahan Allah” thirty three times and “Alhamdulillah” thirty three times and “Allahu Akbar” thirty four times. I went to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) who said, “Say, “Subahan Allah” and “Alhamdulillah” and “Allahu Akbar” all together for thirty three times.”
Reference: Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith 804
Giving dawah to a brother or sister is going to give us the same reward the listener accumulated upon acting on the sermon given by the dawyee. Hadith states:
Jarîr (Radi Allahu Anhu) relates that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever initiates a good practice (Sunnah Hasanah) in Islam and is emulated by others in doing so will get the reward of it and the reward of all those who act upon it without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And whosoever initiates an evil practice (Sunnah Sayyi’ah) in Islam and is emulated by others will bear the sin of it and the sin of all those who act on it without their burden being diminished in the least. ”
Reference: Sahîh Muslim: Hadith 1017
For example, let’s say a man initiates Sunnahs among his family members to sit on the floor while eating and also bend over to eat. Allah will not only reward him solely based on his own acts but he is also going to get additional compensation for the family members who followed him.
Now some may say, it is unsocial to follow this Sunnah as sitting on the floor while dinning may not fall under the culture of most modern society. Know this that whatever our Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has ordered us is the most ideal way and it was the Kuffar who introduced our so called modernized etiquettes. We know Shaitan’s characteristic is to eat and do most things using the left hand that’s why our own Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised us to do good deeds with the right hand.
Gaining blessings is so easy, just learning the Quran and teaching others is enough to make us one of the best among the Muslim Ummah. Sometimes, due to the heaviness in its quality, one deed can even be strong enough to give us Jannah. One Hadith states:
Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Allah had once forgiven a prostitute. She passed by a dog panting near a well. Seeing that thirst had nearly killed him, she took off her shoe, tied it to her scarf, and drew up some water. Allah forgave her for that.”
Reference: Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhari, Hadith 3143 & Ṣaḥiḥ Muslim, Hadith 2245
Allah describes the Day of Judgement in what could be translated as,
The Day every soul will find what it has done of good present [before it] and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself, and Allah is Kind to [His] servants.”
Surah Al-Imran, Ayah 30 (3:30) Translation: Sahih International
So at the end of the day, though Allah is the planner we should prove to Him that we are worth His planning for the Hereafter. One day to accomplish this, as mentioned before to give dawah and be a mirror for one another, thereby this avoids sinning. Hadith states:
Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “The believer is a mirror to his faithful brother. He protects him against loss and defends him behind his back.”
Reference: Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadith 239. Graded Hasan (fair), according to Imam Al-Bukhari Rahmatullah Allaih.
We are one Ummah and to do good we must be steadfast in maintaining our Imaan and help others modestly and help the defaulters into cruising them to the Straight Path. Only then we will be a significant part of Allah’s plans and with this we shall be ending this week’s Khutbah.
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May Allah reward us for our dedication towards Islam, Ameen. Let’s all be a part of a well-refined Muslim Ummah!