The Holy Qur’an, in many verses, addresses man as an individual and makes it clear that everyone will be responsible for his own deeds and will be blamed or credited for what he did.
The codes of Shari’ah (Islamic Law) give the Muslim essential character traits in order that he may obtain a general, correct notion of himself and everything around him, and a proper conduct and behaviour.
The process of establishing an upright society begins with the individual. We cannot blame society for the mess it’s in since we are part of society and therefore have the power to change it.
Once the individual attains the quality of righteousness, the family will undoubtedly follow suit, which eventually affects the society as a whole. Everyone is responsible for his or her role in this effort. And each person must act in accordance to his position.
The Muslim has several responsibilities and duties to fulfil in his or her life. These responsibilities are directed towards The Creator, one’s own self, people in general, nature and other creatures.
And undoubtedly, it is this conduct that Allah SWT will question us on as is mentioned in Sura Al-Hijr,ayat 92&93:
So by your Lord. We will surely question them all.
About what they used to do.
So, dear brothers and sisters, what does this mean for us practically?
What follows then are 5 key areas that we must all look towards when talking about personal responsibility:
- Responsibility towards Allah SWT
It is our responsibility as We, His creatures, are obligated to worship and believe in Him based on the teachings of Islam.
Otherwise our belief or worship is in danger of not being accepted and will be wasted.
- Responsibility towards Oneself
Man is created in his mother’s womb without knowledge or control. It is totally down to the blessing and mercy of Allah SWT that we are here today. As a result we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves. That means physically, mentally as well as spiritually.
- Responsibility towards Other People
We have a responsibility to live in harmony and work together. Allah SWT has established rules and laws to facilitate people in their relations with each other. In Islam, the individual is honoured with special rights as a child, parent, brother, sister, young, old, relative, neighbour etc. It’s our responsibility to respect these rights.
- Responsibility towards Other Creations
Every living thing in this world is a creation of Allah SWT. In Islam we have a responsibility to show them mercy by not causing them unnecessary harm. We are advised, if given the opportunity, to care to their hunger or thirst.
- Responsibility towards Nature and the Environment
And lastly we are expected to be responsible to the environment around us. By nature it means the features of the world surrounding us. Everything has been designed for a purpose by Allah SWT.
It is therefore our responsibility to conduct in proper use of natural resources and not abuse the environment through pollution, destruction, or misuse.
As Allah SWT says in Sura Al-Hashr, ayat 18:
O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed Allah is acquainted with what you do.
Dear brothers and sisters, the concept of responsibility can appear to be a vague concept to visualise but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have importance attached to it.
In fact, to emphasise the point being made, the khutba concluded with a mention of the following hadith in which the prophet SAWS said:
“A servants two feet will not move on the Day of Judgement until he is questioned about four (things): His youth, how he spent it, his knowledge, how he acted upon it, his wealth, how he earned it / spent it and his body, how he used/wasted it.”
May Allah SWT enable us to understand the significance of responsibility. May Allah SWT enable us to behave responsibly and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in responsibility.
Ameen Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.