Dear brothers and sisters, we follow on from last weeks khutba which spoke of the slaves of Allah SWT, the next two ayats are mentoned in this reminder from Sura Al-Furqan. This week it’s ayat 65 and 66 which are translated to say:
And those who say, “Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Hell. Indeed, its punishment is ever lasting;
Indeed, it is evil as a settlement and residence.”
Dear brothers and sisters, if we look into the definition of the slaves of Allah SWT as mentioned last week, it spoke of their mannerisms and their actions, namely the night prayer. One could argue that this in itself is worthy of escaping punishment but then it is followed up with these two ayats.
This serves an important lesson and that is one of complacency. That is, their worship has not made them vain and proud to presume that they are the beloved ones of Allah SWT and that the Fire of Hell will not touch them.
Instead, in spite of all their worship and good deeds, they are so filled with the fear of the torment of Hell that they pray to their Lord to save them from it, for they do not depend upon their own work for success in the Hereafter but upon the mercy of Allah.
Dear brothers and sisters, no one should ever think that he deserves Heaven by his or her deeds. One can never pay back a small portion of the blessings of Allah SWT in this life only, even if he spent all his life in worship.
This is emphasised in a hadith of the Prophet SAWS in which he is quoted to have said:
“No one shall enter Heaven by his deeds”. When his companions replied “even you, o messenger of Allah” he said “even me; unless Allah bestow his mercy on me”.
We need to remind ourselves that it is the mercy of Allah SWT that will save us from the punishment of Hellfire. And we can only achieve this by asking him to be merciful towards us.
And the Prophet SAWS further emphasised the point on hellfire in which the hadith of the Prophet SAWS:
Abu Huraira reported: We were in the company of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) that we
heard a terrible sound. Thereupon Allah's Apostle (ﷺ) said: Do you know what
(sound) is this? We said: Allah and His Messenger know best. Thereupon he said: That
is a stone, which was thrown seventy years before in Hell and it has-been constantly
slipping down and now it has reached its base.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is clear that the message of todays reminder is of the warning of the hellfire but alongside that is the warning of complacency.
The slaves of Allah SWT were not complacent and followed the Sunnah in that they still prayed for the mercy of Allah SWT.
Allah SWT repeatedly mentions His mercy upon us, during this life that we are living and on the Day of Judgement. However, the sin of complacency is one that we are at risk of being easily trapped into.
After all, we know that Shaytaan will first try to get us on the major sins, failing that he will try to trap us in the minor sins and then failing that he will try to corrupt us on the good deeds that we are doing.
One example of complacency is the delay of prayers. To pray them late and to think that Allah SWT is merciful is complacent. Another example is the hurrying of the ablution or wudu because we think ‘well, the intention is to do it so insh’Allah it will be accepted’. This is an example of the corruption in the good deeds that we are being trapped in by Shaitaan and we need to recognise this so that we are not of those who are complacent in our faith.
Therefore this reminder concludes with two practical tips we can all do to avoid falling into this trap:
- We need to repeatedly alert ourselves to the lazy voice in our head that says statements along the lines of “it’s ok, the intention was there” or “that’ll do insh’Allah”. As slaves of Allah SWT, our existence isn’t one of “that’ll do”. Our existence as slaves of Allah SWT should be “was that good enough?” Unfortunately, we live in a society of “that’ll do” but that’s the test we live in this time and place. It’s an obligation on us to be the people that set the standard for ourselves first and foremost and as a role model for the rest of society to achieve.
- We need to recognise the gravity of complacency. It’s not enough to recognise that we were lazy in an act of worship and hope for Allah SWT’s mercy. It’s our duty to actively seek forgiveness from Allah SWT in our supplications to Him. And not just a blanket “sorry” either. Recognize within ourselves each act that fell into this category and seek forgiveness for each and every one. This, in turn, will make the number of acts that fall into this category, less and less over time.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are reminded repeatedly about the Hellfire from Allah SWT and his Messenger SAWS. We are also reminded of the mercy of Allah SWT. Allah SWT has created us to worship Him but He in turn is our Lord to provide us with his infinite mercy.
We are reminded though that the true slaves of Allah SWT, a group to which each and every one of us wishes they belong to, is defined by their active pursuit of Allah SWT mercy. Let’s keep that mindset so that we do not fall into the trap of assuming His mercy and instead actively work to earning it as true Ibad-ur-Rahman or slaves of Allah.
May Allah SWT protect us from complacency in our worship. May Allah SWT protect us from complacency in seeking forgiveness. And may Allah SWT rewards us for our efforts in becoming Ibad-ur-Rahman.