According to Christians, we are in a festive season now with today being called Good Friday and this weekend being the celebration of Easter Sunday.
There are many muslims around the world that are taking part in these festivities. They will do this without really questioning what they are doing, without even asking themselves if, as muslims, they should be participating in this.
My brothers, it is important to equip ourselves with the knowledge of these days so that we can remain vigiliant and educate our children on the reality of these holidays and why, as muslims we do not celebrate these holidays.
Firstly, the modern inclusions of the Easter Bunny and the Easter Egg is something that doesn’t even belong to orthodox Christianity so it is not worth mentioning today. It is a much of an innovation on their faith as it is on ours.
Good Friday is remembered by Christians because they mark it in the calendar as the day in which Jesus or Eesa, peace be upon him, died as he was crucified on the cross.
The following Easter Sunday is then remembered by the Christians as the day in which he was resurrected and given rebirth.
My brothers, let’s compare this to our belief as muslims.
Firstly, we regard Jesus or Prophet Eesa, peace be upon him, in the highest regard. He is one of the most beloved Prophets to us and no muslim can call himself a muslim unless he believes in Jesus or Eesa, peace be upon him.
In Sura Maryam, his miraculous birth is described along with his miraculous declaration whilst still being in the cradle. Allah SWT says:
“Jesus said, “Indeed I am a servant of Allah. He has given me the scripture and made me a prophet.
And he has made me blessed wherever I am and has instructed upon me prayer and zakat as long as I remain alive.
And made me dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant.
And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.
After this, Allah SWT then continues to clarify to us the difference between what we believe and the Christian belief:
That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute.
It is not befitting for Allah to take a son. Glorified is He because when He decrees an affair, He only says to it “Be”, and it is.
These ayats in Sura Maryam clearly illustrate that we, as muslims, do not regard Prophet Eesa, peace be upon him, as the son of God.
Returning to the topic of Easter and Good Friday, Sura Nisa ayat 157 clearly informs us as to the events that took place:
And as for their saying: “Indeed we have killed the messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but another was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.
The following ayat then states:
Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.
So here we see that as muslims, we cannot commemorate such events as Good Friday nor Easter as we fundamentally disagree with Christians on them. For us, Prophet Eesa was neither killed through crucifixion nor was he given rebirth.
My brothers, these forthcoming events need to be observed with the knowledge of their faith and ours. As muslims, we must strike a balance between respecting the faith of others but being steadfast to our own.
Of course, sura Al-Kafiroon states that we vocalise respectfully that our religion is ours and there is theirs but equally so we need to be wary that we do not fall into the trap of imitating them as is stated in Sura Al-Qalam, ayat 8-9:
Then do not obey the deniers.
They wish that you would soften in your position, so they would soften towards you.
May Allah SWT keep us steadfast in our straight path. May Allah SWT protect us all from imitating those not of the true path. And May Allah SWT give us knowledge of our faith so that we can differentiate truth from falsehood.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
It’s hard, living away from a man we love so much. It’s hard, not being able to see his blessed face ourselves, or smell the sweet smell that he was famous for emitting.
It is hard not having witnessed the epitome of human mercy. It is hard not being able to hear his blessed voice reciting the Quran. But most of all, it is hard not knowing – would he love me if he knew me? My brothers, take comfort in the fact that he loved you more than you can even imagine.
We know that the relationship between the messenger (peace be upon him) and the companions was a very unique relationship. They loved him greatly and it was easy to see that he loved them as well.
There are plentiful examples of the mercy he showed upon the people in his time. One of the examples is at Eid-ul-Adha, he would sacrifice on his behalf and upon the behalf of people who could not afford to sacrifice.
Also when he ascended to the heavens, he took the opportunity in his meeting with Allah SWT to reduce the burden of prayers from 50 daily to 5 daily all the while keeping the reward for us of the original 50 prayers.
Further examples of his mercy towards his people was when the suffering of the muslims was too much to bear in Mecca, the prophet, peace be upon him, instructed his companions to go to Abysinnia to escape the suffering.
The companions believed in the message that he brought from Allah SWT whilst many of his tribe mocked and ridiculed him. They were by his side in the tough times, willing to sacrifice their very own lives for him. One can often wish and crave that we were in their shoes, loving the prophet (peace be upon him) wholeheartedly and being loved by him.
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) love for his people is described by Allah SWT in Sura Toba, ayat 128:
Verily, there has come unto you a messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him when you suffer; he is concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.
Our beloved messenger, peace be upon him, a few days before the greatest calamity, his own death, was walking by his companions and spoke the following words which fill any Muslim’s heart with joy and comfort. He said to his companions:
I wish that I could meet my brothers
Upon first hearing this statement, it can be easy to assume that the beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, is talking about the previous prophets or messengers from the past. The companions with him were also confused and so they asked him:
Are we not your brothers?
To which our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied:
You are my companions, my brothers are those who will believe in me, without having seen me.
My brothers, think about the above for a moment. He yearned to meet each and every one of us. His heart was filled with true love for us; the ones who believe in him yet have not seen him, and if there is one thing we know about the love of the Prophet, peace be upon him, it is that it was not superficial love.
There is no greater feeling in this world than to love and be loved back. Now imagine loving the best of all creation and knowing for a fact that he loved you right back.
One final example of this demonstration of love and probably the most valuable for you and I is a Sahih Bukhari hadith in which Abu Hurairah narrated:
The beloved messenger stated “Each and every messenger had one duaa or supplication accepted and I am saving mine for the Day of Judgement to use to help my people”
May Allah SWT generate that undiminishing love for our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, in our hearts. May we be included in those whom he speaks about when he says ‘my brothers are those who will believe in me, without having seen me’. And may we be blessed with his blessed companionship in Jannah and never again have to be separated from our beloved sal Allahu alayhi wa salam.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen
Tawheed briefly described is the Oneness of Allah SWT in Divinity, in Worship, in His Names and Attributes.
Belief in the Oneness of Allah SWT is the focal point around which the religion of Islam revolves.
Submission to Allah SWT alone and the dedication of worship to Him alone, elevates the believers’ character and mind. It saves him from a heart that wanders astray, from desires that become corrupted, and from the darkness of ignorance.
Allah SWT says in Ayat 165 of Sura Al-Baqara:
And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah . But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah . And if only they who have wronged would consider [that] when they see the punishment, [they will be certain] that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment.
To love Allah SWT is a duty for us all. The reasons to love Allah SWT is all around us. Take time out to ponder all that He has blessed each and every one of us with. Our health, our freedom, our family and our wealth. We have so much to be thankful for and so much to love Him for.
Equally so, only Allah SWT can protect us from troubles or pain that we may be going through. Only He is worthy of our pleas.
By avoiding associating any partners with Allah SWT, we are able to grasp the reality of the life that we have been given. It is to take all our experiences, good and bad, as a means to return to the one and only worthy of return, Allah SWT.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, advised the companions on the following supplication to perform before sleep and it emphasises todays topic completely:
O Allah,1 I submit myself to You, entrust my affairs to You, turn my face to You, and lay myself down depending upon You , hoping in You and fearing You . There is no refuge , and no escape, except to You. I believe in Your Book (the Qur’an) that You revealed, and the Prophet whom You sent
We can sometimes fall into the bad habit of forgetting Allah SWT in times of hardship and instead begin to despair but this is not the correct way a muslim should behave.
What we sometimes don’t realize is that a person may feel hardship or pain but not know the good that may come of it. Only Allah SWT is knowledgeable of this and it is vital we remember that and Him in such times.
Allah SWT has told us He will test us in life to see if the person displays patience, humility and return to Him through worship. Allah SWT has told us He wants us to constantly return to Him with sincerity in repentance and to Him alone.
In Sura Saad, ayat 41-44, Allah SWT details to us the manner in which we must be toward Him:
“And remember our servant Job, when he called to his Lord, “Indeed Satan has touched me with hardship and torment.”
So he was told, “Strike the ground with your foot; this is a spring for a cool bath and drink.
And We granted him and his family and a like number with them, mercy from Us and a reminder to those of Understanding.
We said “And take in your hand a bunch of grass and strike with it and do not break your oath.” Indeed we found him patient, an excellent servant. Indeed he was one repeatedly turning back to Allah.
These ayats demonstrate the manner in which a servant of Allah SWT should be in times of hardship. We need to strive to turn to Allah SWT in both times of hardship and in times of happiness and blessings.
Above all else though, we need to sincerely testify with our hearts that it is only Allah SWT that we turn to. Nobody else is worthy of our gratitude and nobody else is worthy of our prayer.
The Oneness of Allah SWT comes by the realisation that whatever we may be experiencing in our lives comes from Him. It is the belief that only He has the power to change it and only He is the one who we must thank for it.
Understanding the Oneness of Allah SWT is the most important thing for us to grasp. For if we learn how to trust and worship Allah SWT with sincerity, then and only then, will we escape from the slavery and captivity of this life.
May Allah SWT develop the love for Him in our hearts. May Allah SWT develop the resolute affirmation of the oneness of Allah SWT in our hearts. May Allah SWT give us the ability to demonstrate this in our actions and our worship.
Our religion or deen is complete in every aspect of life and Allah swt created humans in the perfect shape and form.
Allah swt knows what the human needs and has sent us guidelines to help us to achieve happiness and balance in all aspects of our life. To stray from this guidance will lead us to unhappiness, discontent and a poor quality of life now and in the hereafter.
What is beneficial and what is not has been decided, and what is permissible and what is not is set within our religious guidance.
As we approach the spring and summer seasons the opportunities for recreational activities such as the enjoyment of holidays present themselves with both halal and haram options available.
Fun and recreation is encouraged in our deen by maintaining a balance between worship, family and relaxation. However, we have to remain mindful of the limitations of seeking such fun, holidays and recreation within the confines of Shariah or (Islamic law).
We have obligatory holidays such as Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, recreational activities such as visiting friends and families, and visiting other places to gain knowledge of the world, contemplate the greatness of our creator and reflect on our blessings.
This kind of holiday, within the boundaries of Shariah and led by good intentions can be worship to Allah SWT in itself.
The simple act of assessing your intention to your forthcoming course of action, whether that is a holiday or visiting family, can all be turned into worship of Allah if we intend for it to benefit our understanding of each other, our Deen and Allah’s blessings upon us.
Allah swt in surah Al-Ankabut ayah 20 said
‘Say, oh Muhammad, travel through the land and observe how He began creation’.
Contemplate the beauty of Allah’s creation as you enjoy the relaxation of your holidays,
Surah An-Naml ayt 60 reminds us,
‘ whatever you have been given is a provision for this world and its glitter, but that which is with Allah is better and more enduring, do you not use your intellect?’
As you contemplate the beauty of Allah’s creation, be mindful of the fact that there is better to come in the next life for us all. Be grateful for what you have been blessed with in this world and remember Allah SWT, the creator of it all.
In Surah Al-Hajj Ayat 46 Allah SWT says
‘have they not journeyed in the land that their hearts might understand and their ears might listen? For indeed it is not the eyes that are blinded; it is rather the hearts in the breast that are rendered blind’
Do not take for granted that the purpose of everything that has been created for us is for us to remember Allah SWT and his mercy and blessings upon us. The beauty that surrounds us, the temperature of the sun, the texture of the sand, the taste of the foods we enjoy on our holidays, etc.
Taking all this for granted would be an act that will lead to blindness of the heart. The eyes may see but the heart, and thus, the soul would receive no benefit if the rememberance of who created all this was not sought.
Brothers and Sisters as spring and summer approaches and the holiday seasons begin let us consider the benefits of intending our relaxation and travels into an act of worship to Allah swt, and do so with our families and friends, including them in our recreation.
In Sahih Muslim, it is narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him said:
‘That Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations.
Desire is short lived brothers, so enjoy your holidays but know that loosing yourself in the glitter of this dunya could lead you to neglect your worship of Allah. Protect yourself by keeping such enjoyment short and surround yourself with good people, the right travel companions and with activities that encourage and promote permissable acts.
Surah Al-Anfal ayah 29 says:
‘ Oh you who believe, if you follow the path shown by Allah, He will give you a standard (of right and wrong), and overlook your sins, and forgive you. Allah is abounding in benevolence.’
May Allah SWT grant us safety on our journeys. May Allah SWT accept our intentions to seek His Mercy and His Blessings. May Allah SWT grant us the ability through these intentions to know him and to gain closeness to him.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
As a Muslim, Imaan or Faith can be broken down into two constituent parts.
Firstly, having Imaan is to be thankful and grateful to Allah SWT for the blessings you have been bestowed with in life.
Secondly, to have Imaan is to be patient with the hardships and tests that Allah SWT sends you during the course of your life.
Upon reflection, one can get an idea on the level of Imaan they possess by observing how patiently they handled a previous hardship from Allah SWT.
One can also get an idea on their level of Imaan by reflecting on how much gratitude they showed Allah SWT the last time they felt blessed by Him.
Allah SWT says in Sura Ibrahim, ayat 7:
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase my favour unto you; but if you deny, Indeed, my punishement is severe.’”
When was the last time you thanked Allah for all the blessings in your life? The ability to come to this mosque to pray? The ability to listen to the Khutba today? The biggest blessing of all that you are a Muslim when so many around you are not?
We live in an age where the supplications made to Allah SWT are for materialistic things. Property, Cars, Money, etc.
It’s not wrong to ask for the above as Allah SWT can give without measure but patience comes from feeling blessed with what you have already and not feeling an urge to have your wishes realized.
Upon reflection as Muslims, it is hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what Allah SWT has already blessed each and every one of us with.
Alhamdullilah! Look at the world around us today. You can only watch the news for a short while until your heart becomes heavy with the pain you feel for your brothers and sisters across the world. We are truly blessed that we are not experiencing some of the tests our brothers and sisters are having to take.
In a Sahih Muslim hadith, Aisha (May Allah SWT be pleased with her) said:
The Prophet, peace be upon him, would stand in prayer so long that the skin on his feet would crack. I asked him “Why do you do this while your past and future sins have been forgiven?” He replied “Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?”
Gratitude and patience was abundance with our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, even to the point where it was overwhelming for his beloved companions:
In a Sahih Bukhari hadith, Umar Ibn Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
I entered the house of the Prophet, peace be upon him, to find him lying on a simple mattress which had left marks on his body. There was very little else to be found in the room in terms of possessions. Seeing this stark austerity, Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) began to cry.
“Why are you crying, O Umar” asked the Prophet, peace be upon him
“It is because I thought of Caesar and Chosroes sitting on thrones of gold wearing silk. And you are the messenger of Allah, yet here you are sitting on this simple mattress”
“O Umar” replied the Prophet, peace be upon him, “Are you not satisfied that they have this world and we have the next?”
We need to remember that this life is designed as a test for our Imaan. Our Imaan can be measured and therefore our progress in this life through our patience and our gratitude.
We need to remain steadfast in our prayers, our deeds and our rememberance of Allah SWT through all of the good times and though all the hardships that may come our way.
No better thanks can come from perfecting our worship to Allah SWT. This is the true gratitude we can show Allah SWT.
We ask Allah SWT to give us patience at all times. We ask Allah SWT to turn to Him in thanks for all the blessings He has given us. And we ask Allah SWT for forgiveness in our impatience and our ingratitude to Him.
Ameen. Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.
It is a common fact of existence that each and every living being has but one ultimate goal. That goal is to find happiness. It is to feel fulfilled in life, it is to feel peace and tranquility, it is to feel that inner happiness within themselves.
So, whatever a person does, they believe that as a result of that action they will achieve happiness. They say “I will be happy. It will bring me pleasure, joy and peace.”
Different people take different paths to find happiness in life. One group of people believe it is found in possessions such as a house, a car, savings and investments. So they think of achieving the best education, the best career, the best university and the best job.
Others believe in finding the path through fame or recognition. They say “What can make me famous. What can make people recognize me?”
Another group pursue their happiness through satisfaction of their sensual instincts. They tread the path of pursuing women, wine and other intoxicants.
And a lot of us sadly believe that happiness is found through a combination of the above. A little bit of wealth, with a little bit of fame, and a little bit of sensual desires.
But if you look in society at the people at the top of each of these groups: the rich, the famous and the ones most evil in their pursuit of sensual desires, you will see they all share the same thought:
Some of them have even been honest enough to say it. And that is the answer to the question. “Have you found happiness now?”
The honest amongst them say “Not yet…”
My brothers, true happiness does not come from this world. It is because this world is not our ultimate goal. True happiness, ultimate happiness comes from Allah SWT.
In Sura Az-Zumar Ayat 61 Allah SWT says:
And Allah will deliver the righteous to their place of salvation: no evil shall touch them nor shall they grieve.
Once we establish a connection with Allah SWT then this world becomes secondary.
What we have then we say “Alhamdullilah!”
What we don’t have then we say – “Alhamdullilah!
The world does not become our ultimate goal. And when the world ceases to be our ultimate goal then we are content with what we have. Our attitude becomes one of gratitude for what we have and optimism for what we will get from Allah SWT.
Don’t pursue the role models mentioned previously as they haven’t found happiness despite being at the top. Be amongst the guided so that you can find true happiness.
In Sura Al-Anam Ayat 125, Allah SWT says:
And whomever God wants, He guides him. He expands his breast for The Submission to One God. And whomever He wants to cause to go astray, He makes his breast tight, troubling, as if he had been climbing up a difficult ascent. Thus, God assigns disgrace on those who believe not.
My brothers, we are all to return to our Lord Allah SWT one day. On that day inshAllah each and every one of us will experience infinite happiness due to our good deeds.
In Sura Al-Isra, Allah SWT says:
And We have attached to every person’s neck his deeds, and We bring forth for him a record on the Day of Resurrection which he will find on display.
As our Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
Richness is not the quantity of possessions that one has, rather true richness is the richness of contentment” –Sahih Al-Bukhari
This world is telling you through the mouths of those on the false paths that happiness does not lie there. So turn to the path of submission to Allah SWT and the Sunna of our beloved prophet Muhammed, Peace Be Upon Him.
We ask Allah SWT to help us to attain happiness in this life through the worship of Him. We ask Allah SWT to help us achieve that inner happiness through the right means and the only means that truly work.
Ameen. Alhamdullilahi rabill alamin
Allah (SWT) says in sura Al Maidah ayat 54
O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah ; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
It is probably impossible to find a human being who does not love. Most people love their families, spouses and friends. Others love status and money. You can tell a person’s love for something or someone by what they do and how they act.
And we love all of these things despite their temporary nature, despite the fact that they disappoint us sometimes. It is almost an intrinsic part of a human being. And we all love for similar reasons—we love people for the perceived good qualities that we see in a person or the way they treat us. We love things because of the way those things make us feel.
In sura Al Fusilat aya 17
And as for Thamud, We guided them, but they preferred blindness over guidance, so the thunderbolt of humiliating punishment seized them for what they used to earn.
The Glorious Quran clearly demonstrates the danger of pursuing the love of this Dunya, of this life.
So what does it mean when we say we should we love Allah SWT?
How can we not? If we put together all the reasons why we love other people or things, and then apply it to Allah (swt), we should see that truly it is Him that deserves our love. And because human beings are naturally inclined to love, it is only the love of Allah (swt) that can satisfy this need.
Try to count everything good in your life, and everything that seemed bad but turned out to be good. All that is from Allah (swt).
The fact that you are Muslim. The fact that, as the Prophet ﷺtold us, everything that happens in the life of a Muslim is good, and this is only for the believers.
If you are given blessings, then it is an opportunity to be thankful, and if you are tested, it is for you to be patient and to be rewarded for that patience. Nothing a believer does goes to waste inshallah.
So how does one make one’s heart love Allah SWT? One’s heart begins to feel the love for Allah SWT through:
Reading the Quran with reflection
Performance of more voluntary prayers
The remembrance of Allah SWT through Zikr
Choose what Allah SWT prefers over what you prefer
There is a Hadith which demonstrates how the best of Creation performed such a requirement and is an example for us all once more:
‘A’isha reported: One night I missed Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) from the bed, and when I sought him my hand touched the soles of his feet while he was in the state of prostration; they (feet) were raised and he was saying:” O Allah, I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your anger, and in Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge in You from You. I can’t do justice to praise You. Only You can praise Yourself as you deserve”
We should all aim to strive to match this level of devotion and love for Allah SWT. True happiness and contentment from this life can only come when our hearts feel this love for Allah SWT.
One last reminder is a dua that was recited by the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him):
“Oh Allah I ask you for your love, and love of those who love you, and love of any action that will make me close to loving you”
We ask Allah swt to be from the people who love him and he loves us. We ask Allah to help us to remember him. We ask Allah to help us to thank him. and we ask Allah to help us to worship him.
We ask for his forgiveness, his mercy on ourselves and our family and ummah.
Ameen. Alhamdullilahi rabill alamin
Uthman Ibn Afan (May Allah be pleased with him) has narrated that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has said:
“The best of you are those who learn the Quran and then teach it to others”
There are many amongst us who struggle to recite the Quran, especially living in this country. In fact, the following Hadith is escpecially applicable to those:
“Verily the one who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly and precisely, he will be in the company of noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through it’s verses, then he will have TWICE that reward”
Furthermore the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said:
“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it. And the hasanah is multiplied by 10. I do not say Alif-Laam-Meem is a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.”
What a great gift we have as muslims to be given the ability to read the words of Allah SWT. Surely the success of this life lies in the remembrance of Allah SWT and what better what than through the recitation of the Quran?
Going back to the first Hadith mentioned, the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him has said that those who memorize or learn the Quran should not do it for just themselves but that they should teach it to others then so that there is a benefit for a greater number of people.
Furthermore, it is important to be aware of the following ayat from Sura Al Furqan that states:
“And the Messenger Will Say “O My Lord!, My people have abandoned this Quran””
We need to be wary that we do not fall into the group of muslims that the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him, complains about.
Abandoning the Quran takes many forms:
There is the reading of it, the understanding of it, how to live by it and how to teach it to others. We need to strive to do all of the above.
The Prophet is reported to have said:
“It will be said to the companion of the Quran after he has entered paradise, “Recite and rise” For every verse he recites he will rise on level in Paradise until he reaches the last verse with him i.e. in his memory”
This hadith mentions the merit of those who memorize part or all of the Quran. We should all memorize as much of the Quran as we can until our last breath for every ayah we memorize will result in higher ranks in Jannah! Inshallah!