Islam can be categorized into 4 parts. And those parts are belief, worship, dealings and manners.
We know that the most important is the belief, and if this is correct then actions can be correct, but cannot be the other way round as the belief is at the top of the list.
After belief, comes worship, and the main aspect of the worship is praying which is the pillar of our religion, fasting, paying in charity, etc. These are all acts of worship and if you were to ask a non-Muslim of what makes a Muslim then it is usually these things that they have heard of.
However, the most overlooked category is the one which comes next. This is the practical implementation of having faith, beyond the required formal acts of worship and they are the way in which we behave.
This section is entitled dealings and manners and examples of this are things like being truthful, having mercy on others etc.
The importance of this cannot be understated, the imam referenced a hadith to illustrate the importance in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“DO you know who the bankrupt is?” They said: “O Messenger of Allah! The bankrupt among us is the one who has no Dirham nor property.” The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: “The bankrupt in my Ummah is the one who comes with Salat and fasting and Zakat on the Day of Judgement, but he comes having abused this one, falsely accusing that one, wrongfully consuming the wealth of this one, spilling the blood of that one, and beating this one. So he is seated, and this one is subtracted from his rewards. If his rewards are exhausted before the sins that he committed are subtracted, then some of their victims sins will be taken and cast upon him, then he will be cast into the Fire.”
Dear brothers and sisters, this is an important point that each and every one of us needs to understand. Coming to the masjid and praying your salah has immense reward and may Allah SWT reward us for attending today but if our behaviour and our manners outside of this gathering is lacking then we run the risk of losing the reward of this act of worship.
Also, it is important to note that the act of being sincere in worship, or being true in faith is something we have spoken of in the past but this reminder is an actual proof of that occurring.
In other words, the behaviour of us around our family, friends, neighbours, colleagues etc is also an act of worship. It is also a declaration of our faith. If we are lacking in this department then what use is our acts of worship like salah and sadaqa? If we are causing misery to others in our behaviour then aren’t we running the risk of being as the hadith warned us of?
Dear brothers and sisters, it is not enough for the Muslim community to be abiding by the outwardly worship, or what looks on the outside as following Allah SWT commandments. No, it is necessary to have the manners and honesty in dealing with others, and the fact this understanding is missing from our communities is what is creating the problems that we see today.
We need to be mindful that our dealings with others, in social and business affairs is all a testimony to our declaration that we are Muslim.
In particular, most of us here conduct business or some form of work and the first five ayats of Sura Al-Muttafin guide us on how we should deal with others. It’s translated to say:
Woe to those who give less [than due], Who, when they take a measure from people, take in full. But if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss. Do they not think that they will be resurrected. For a tremendous Day –
Another point to note in regards to this is that we are living in a time and a place where Islam gets bad press from the media and certain high profile people in power.
Our duty as Muslims is to counteract this false perception with the way in which we conduct ourselves in our communities. Remember, Islamophobia can be eradicated in our communities if they see us as the practical implementation of what the Quran teaches us.
We are ambassadors of Islam, we are the community of the greatest of all creation SAWS. He prayed for each and every one of us and so we owe it to him, to our Creator and to our souls to be the role models in everything we do.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is not easy to ask this of us. We live in a time where corruption is rife. We live in a dog-eat-dog world and it’s almost expected to be corrupt as everyone else does it. However, that is the test we each have. We need to remember that the virtue of justice should be paramount in our minds and our behaviour, even if it is being just at the expense of our closest or even our own selves.
Allah SWT alludes to this in the 8th ayat of Sura Al-Maidah which is translated to say:
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
Dear brothers and sisters, imaan and worship is an important part of our faith and that should never be ignored. However, the practical implementation of these things is the small things that make us who we are. The way we behave, our manners and our conduct is not only something that will make society understand what Muslims really are but it will be something that will protect our good deeds when we are stood in front of Allah SWT.