The imam mentioned in today’s khutba, two ayats from Sura Ar-Ra’d which are translated to say:
and those who maintain whatever ˹ties˺ Allah has ordered to be maintained, stand in awe of their Lord, and fear strict judgment. And ˹they are˺ those who endure patiently, seeking their Lord’s pleasure,1 establish prayer, donate from what We have provided for them—secretly and openly—and respond to evil with good. It is they who will have the ultimate abode:
Dear brothers, from one of the many lessons that can be derived from this is that of family ties that need to be maintained.
Alongside this reminder from Allah SWT, we also have numerous hadith in which the prophet SAWS educated us on our conduct regarding family.
One of these is translated to say:
A man said to the Prophet (ﷺ): “Direct me to a deed which may admit me to Jannah.” Upon this he (the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)) said, “Worship Allah and never associate anything with Him in worship, establish Salat, pay Zakat, and strengthen the ties of kinship.”
Dear brothers, from this we can see the importance of strengthening ties. But why is this reminder particularly important today? Well, one of the many side-effects of the pandemic is one which has been overlooked and that is the effect it has on the psychology of the people.
There is no question that we should ignore the laws of this land. It is clear that we are in lockdown and must follow the rules in relation to keeping distance and not mixing for the sake of the health of the society.
However, now is the time, more than ever that we do not ignore the importance of staying connected to one another. Whether it is via support bubbles or a simple phone call, we need to make sure that once this pandemic is over insh’Allah, we minimize the impact it has on the mental health of each other.
This can only be achieved through the maintenance of ties with each other. Remember, we live in a time and a place where it almost feels unnatural to keep ties with family. Instead society places weight on strangers who follow us on Facebook or like our posts on Instagram. Don’t let this take you away from the relationships that matter because that is key to todays reminder.
And as the imam reminded us, the prophet SAWS educated us on the importance of this through the following hadith which is translated to say:
“There is no sin more deserving that Allah hasten the punishment in this world, in addition to what is stored up for him in the Hereafter – than injustice and severing the ties of kinship.”
May Allah SWT instil in our hearts the importance of maintaining family ties, may Allah SWT enable us to strengthen the ties of kinship and may Allah SWT reward us in our efforts in this.Read More
The word Shariah is thrown around a lot in the media and so it is worth mentioning a few introductory points on this topic as part of the reminder.
Shariah is the law of the Quran and literally it means “A path to life giving water”. In fact the word Yarrah in Hebrew from which the word Torah is derived, means exactly the same thing and so this concept is Abrahamic and is applied to all three monotheistic faiths.
Shariah is the right to protect the rights of 5 areas. They are: Religion, Life, Family, Sanity and Wealth. It is designed so that it can create a society based on justice and equity for each member of that society.
However, it is worth noting that it forbids it to be imposed on any unwilling person. Our Prophet SAWS demonstrated that Shariah may only be applied if people willingly apply it to themselves and never through forced intervention by the state. Since Shariah is based on absolute justice, there is even an example we can take from history where the jewish King Solomon ruled as a just monarch based on this fundamental principle of Shariah law, namely justice.
So, let’s go into the next part of this reminder and a breakdown of the 5 areas based on importance.
The first is religion. To protect the religion of Islam in this time and place is paramount to us all but what does it mean? Unfortunately we have lunatics that have an extreme interpretation of this but for us it means to protect our religion through providing the correct narrative on our religion. It means to communicate with our colleagues, neighbours and friends and tell them or show them the correct meaning of Islam. It means to show them the beauty of Islam through charitable acts, friendly acts and act of humanity. This is the best way to protect our religion and to fight in the cause of Islam is to go against the tide and insist that despite what the media may sometimes portray Islam as, this is a religion of peace, compassion and contentment.
Besides the external threats, we need to protect this religion internally, that is to remind ourselves of the dangerous threats that present themselves internally. Distractions of the 21st Century that take us away from this religion such as entertainment, smartphones, social media etc. Looking up to false role models such as entertainers, sportsmen etc are all falling under this category and need to be recognised and avoided so that we don’t fail on the most important of areas.
The second area of importance is the protection of self. There are the obvious points to note here such as the forbidden acts of killing unjustly, persecution of others, protection of the needy such as the poor and the orphans etc. However, it is worth mentioning here some of the more subtle areas of the time and place and how we must protect ourselves from it. One of the biggest sins is backbiting, slandering and gossiping about others. This is also an area that has recently reached epidemic levels through social media and other forums where the anonymity that comes from not being face-to-face means that the fingers on the keyboard replace the tongue in performing these hurtful and sinful acts. Be mindful of the behaviour that one is conducting both in person and online and remember that anonymity that may be enjoyed online is still accountable on the Day of Judgement.
The third area to mention is that of family. Obvious examples that fall under this category are fornication before marriage which damages the body and mind as well as the soul and the grave sin of adultery that destroys whole families and generations.
Other points to mention under family that are more subtle is the need for protecting the vulnerable in the family. The women and children need to be protected not only from the obvious threats of our time and place but also from the subtle threats that come from popular culture, from classmates and from the parts of society that are damaging to the family unit. The protection of this comes in the form of befriending our family and educating our family. Don’t be the patriarchal parent who just lays down the law to others. Show your human side too and the family will relate better and thus be in a position to understand and respect your guidance towards them. If the family unit is strong in communication and interaction with one another then nothing can penetrate that barrier that is created through love and respect for one another insh’Allah.
The next one is the protection of the mind. Shariah not only encourages us to protect our wisdom, our intellect and our sanity but also protects those who do not possess this element of themselves. For example the imam mentioned the hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
A woman who had committed adultery was brought to Umar. He gave orders that she should be stoned. Ali passed by just then. He seized her and let her go. Umar was informed of it. He said: Ask Ali to come to me. Ali came to him and said: Commander of the Faithful, you know that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: There are three (people) whose actions are not recorded: A boy till he reaches puberty, a sleeper till he awakes, a lunatic till he is restored to reason. This is an idiot (mad) woman belonging to the family of so and so. Someone might have done this action with her when she suffered the fit of lunacy.
Dear brothers and sisters, we indeed are protected if we don’t possess our minds but we also need to protect our minds from becoming ill. Obvious examples of this are the prohibition of drugs and alcohol as they affect the mind and impair the wisdom and good judgement. However, alongside this are again more subtle things we need to protect ourselves from. Tools of shaitaan that may look appealing but are damaging to the mind. Adult videos which are proven to cause brain damage or even news of distress all designed to affect the mind, sadden the heart and cause despair which can lead the person to becoming lazy in their worship or worse still move away from religion altogether. We need to be conscious of protecting our mind and that comes from surrounding ourselves with happiness through family, pious people and through the remembrance of Allah and recitation of the Quran.
Lastly, the protection of wealth. The imam reminded us of ayat 46 of Sura Al-Kahf which translates to say:
Likewise, wealth and children are an attraction of this worldly life; yet honorable deeds that last forever are better rewarded by your Rabb and hold for you a better hope of salvation.
Dear brothers and sisters, the obvious examples of this are protection against wasting money on items that have no value and actions such as gambling your money away. However, there are more subtle examples that we overlook and those are such as dealing in usury or interest as its mechanism is designed to steal your wealth in the long-term, it is things like addictions to tobacco and vaping that serve only to addict the person to part from their money. We need to remind ourselves that the money we possess is a trust between us and Allah SWT and we will be asked how we spent our money on the Day of Judgement.
Dear brothers and sisters, we live in a time and place where the fundamentals of our faith are being spun into taboo subjects and it needn’t be so. By education ourselves on these subjects we can both pass on the knowledge, dispelling misconceptions and protect our religion in the process, thus fulfilling the first and most important area of this reminder.Read More
This week’s khutba was on maintaining relationships or bonds with relatives
Maintaining relationships with relatives increases connection and love between family, and removes hatred and jealousy from each other, and allows for relatives to care for each other and to look after each other.
The act of maintaining relationships comes in many forms, from smiling and being happy by seeing each other, to being soft when dealing with each other, to helping those in need within family, and to try and be the first to aid each other in any situation.
It is also about giving each other gifts, and to forgive any mistakes, and to not find each other’s faults or making them bigger than it is. It is also by being fair to each other and to do supplications and dua for your family to be successful in this world and next.
This is related in a hadith of the Prophet SAWS in which he said:
“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be hospitable to his guest;
Dear brothers and sisters, the bond between relations has a great status, and its rights are many, and it’s enough to say that if you maintain this bond then Allah SWT will maintain the bond with Him, by his mercy and bounties, and whoever cuts it then Allah SWT will cut it from Him.
This point is relayed in the Quran in Surat Muhammed ayat 22 and 23 which is translated to say:
So would you perhaps, if you turned away, cause corruption on earth and sever your [ties of] relationship?
Those [who do so] are the ones that Allah has cursed, so He deafened them and blinded their vision.
Dear brothers and sisters, here we can see the importance of maintaining ties with one’s relations as the punishment of those who do not is clearly stated within the ayats of the Quran.
There is no difference of opinion about the importance of maintaining relationships with family, and cutting ties is of big sins. However, we need to implement practical lessons in order to avoid being guilty of this sin and so this reminder concludes with 5 tips we can all do to achieve this.
- Visiting them. This is especially true in the time in which we live as our relationships have become virtual thanks to Facebook etc. However, this cannot replace in-person interaction which is what is needed for a healthy relationship with others.
- Helping them. Whether this is practically by helping elders with basic things, to offering sincere advice to others. This is particularly important as we live in a materialistic and competitive time in which jealous and envy is rife amongst some. As Muslims we must set the standard here and wish only the best for others from the heart and thus allowing this feeling to manifest into good advice for others.
- Forgive and pardon others. As Muslims we need to be of thick skin. Ours is not the manner of holding grudges and so if we have been wronged by others, we ought to forgive for the sake of Allah SWT in the hope that He in turn shows mercy to us. This is conveyed in the following hadith in which the the Prophet SAWS said:
“The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who does it because he gets recompensed by his relatives (for being kind and good to them), but the one who truly maintains the bonds of kinship is the one who persists in doing so even though the latter has severed the ties of kinship with him”.
- Be charitable to one another. We are often told in khutbas on marriage that we ought to gift our spouses with presents often. However this is also applicable to all relationships as we ought to extend charity to all our relations. And charity begins with a smile dear brothers and sisters so there is no reason to not implement this. It also has it’s reward as the Messenger of Allah SAWS said
“Anyone who wants to have his provision expanded and his term of life prolonged should maintain ties of kinship.”
- Pray for one another. Dear brothers and sisters, our Ummah is one that is blessed with kinship and so let us observe this fact through active duas for one another. We have the means to do this already through social media. Lets use technology to communicate our duas and to request it from one another as it is our right to do so from our fellow brothers and sisters.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are experiencing more and more as the world changes that relationships are at risk of becoming strained. Technology in particular is proving to be a catalyst for this. However, we can also use that to keep in touch, plan face to face meetings and to share worries and to pray for one another. By displaying this mercy towards one another we can only hope that Allah SWT graces us with that same level of mercy upon our return to Him.Read More