Allah SWT communicates to us the obligation to be steadfast in our religion. It is an obligation on us all. But what does it mean to be steadfast?
This is when a person remains firmly on Allah SWT paths and commands as they have been instructed by Him to do so.
Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah ” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.
We [angels] were your allies in worldly life and [are so] in the Hereafter. And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request [or wish] as accommodation from a [Lord who is] Forgiving and Merciful.”
Dear brothers and sisters, sacred times like Ramadhan or the day of Ashura enable us to boost our levels of worship to Allah SWT. But now we must keep hold of our habits and whatever standard we established to the best of our ability. Nobody is perfect but the effort and intention must be there if we are to be successful in front Allah SWT.
Allah SWT speaks of steadfastness in the Holy Quran, in Sura Hud, ayat 112. In this Allah SWT says:
So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah ], and do not transgress. Indeed, He is Seeing of what you do.
Alongside this, the imam reminded us of the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS advised us by saying:
“Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. A man would be a believer in the morning and turn to disbelief in the evening, or he would be a believer in the evening and turn disbeliever in the morning, and would sell his Faith for worldly goods.”
Dear brothers and sisters, therefore the remainder of this khutba offers 5 boosters to achieve steadfastness and maintain the standard we set for ourselves last month:
- Clinging to the Quran. The Quran is the rope of Allah. Whoever clings to it then inshAllah Allah SWT will prevent him from slipping. Make it a part of your life. Through recitation, listening and understanding it through translation, it will provide you with tranquility and the ability to remain focused in your efforts inshAllah.
- Dua. Staying steadfast is essentially a matter of the heart my dear brothers and sisters. Therefore the best way to achieve this is to implore our Lord to instill that desire to be steadfast into our hearts and thus into our minds.
- Dhikr. The rememberance of Allah SWT is also a key to steadfastness. Whether that is through quiet contemplation of his mercy and blessings in our lives to clutching the tasbih, dhikr is like a strong fortress that protects us from falling.
- Keeping righteous company. We are already blessed in that we have this place which is our collective home. And everyone here is our family. We should lean on one another to be steadfast and this can be best achieved by establishing the practice of coming to the masjid for congregational prayers every day.
- And lastly, remembering death and the hereafter. Dear brothers, it is a certainty of this life and although we live in a society where death is a taboo topic, we shouldn’t feel that and instead we should be comfortable with this fact. As a result it will enable us to keep us on our toes as we will become acutely aware of how fickle life really is. Dear brothers and sisters, try to think of the Jannah that awaits your arrival insh’Allah. It is worth giving your all and then some. It is worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. You can convince yourself to keep walking if you remind yourself of the beautifully amazing abode that lies ahead.
Dear brothers and sisters, this life wouldn’t be a test if it was easy. However, with these tips we can continue to achieve the standards we set for ourselves in the previous month and remain steadfast in our faith so that we can be of those who were referenced by the imam in the following hadith in which the prophet SAWS said:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The five daily (prescribed) Salat, and Friday (prayer) to the next Friday (prayer), and the fasting of Ramadan to the next Ramadan, is expiation of the sins committed in between them, so long as major sins are avoided.”