We focus today on a topic that is seldom spoken about but is as important a reminder as any other that is given during these weekly reminders.
As Muslims, it is not enough to just declare ourselves as Muslims and think that it is enough. Just calling ourselves a Muslim isn’t enough and it isn’t enough to guarantee paradise as only Allah SWT knows our final destination.
We have to strive to live the life of a Muslim and that in itself is more than just the rituals like Eid or attending the Friday prayers.
Christians and Jews for example also have their own rituals and they also have events in the year and so if we are following ours and they are following theirs then where is the difference?
How does someone who does not follow any faith understand that Islam is the only truth in life that we are all living if there is no day-to-day difference in the way in which we conduct ourselves?
The answer to that lies in the conduct, the behaviour and the actions that are outside of the rituals, the events and the obvious actions of worship.
It is beyond the prayers, the fasting, the recitation of the Quran and the zikr. We, as Muslims, need to demonstrate the religion in our everyday living.
From the moment we wake, to the way in which we conduct ourselves in our homes, in our places of work, to neighbours and to random people; this is the pure living that is the focus of todays reminder.
The imam reminded us of the following passages from the Quran to help illustrate this point.
The first is from Sura Al-Nahl, ayat 97 which is translated to say:
Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, We will surely bless them with a good life, and We will certainly reward them according to the best of their deeds.
The next is from Sura An-Nisa, ayat 123 which is translated to say:
It will not be according to your hopes or those of the People of the Book: anyone who does wrong will be requited for it and will find no one to protect or help him against God;
Dear brothers and sisters, from this ayat we can deduce that Allah SWT is warning us that wishful thinking isn’t what is going to give us success in front of Allah SWT but rather it is going to be our actions and the performing of righteous deeds.
And the imam also referenced Sura Taha, ayat 123 and 124 which is translated to say:
Allah said, “Descend, both of you, from here together ˹with Satan˺ as enemies to each other. Then when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray ˹in this life˺ nor suffer ˹in the next˺.
But whoever turns away from My Reminder will certainly have a miserable life, then We will raise them up blind on the Day of Judgment.”
And so this leads us onto the final part of the reminder today and what it is that we can do practically to benefit from todays reminder.
Firstly, the final ayat spoke of guidance. Guidance from Allah SWT comes in many forms. We can receive guidance in being aware of Allah SWT and allow Him to guide us through each day. This comes in the form of being grateful for the good times and being patient during the challenging times and seeking forgiveness and projecting gratitude at all times, both in our duas to him and in our actions and our attitude to life.
The imam emphasised this first practical application by reminding us of a hadith in which the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.
Dear brothers and sisters, alongside this we seek guidance from the Quran by reflecting on its ayats. Even for the absolute novice to this task, begin by opening the Quran randomly and allow the ayats or their translation, to guide you in your day and your life. Reflect on the ayats you read and see how they apply to your life and your day. Make it a regular habit and insha’Allah you will reap the sweetness of the Quran and it’s guidance.
Secondly, we use this reminder to implement the practical application of the Quran. From halal income to contentment with our lives, we should remind ourselves that the life we are given is both a blessing and it is an opportunity to demonstrate to Allah SWT that we are grateful slaves of His.
By doing this, we can be of those people who don’t need to demonstrate our religion in performing set acts of worship, we will be known to be Muslim by the mannerisms, attitude and behaviour we demonstrate to others.