Dear brothers, one of the many blessings of the month of
Ramadan is the potential for seeking forgiveness from Allah SWT.
And Allah SWT loves it when we ask Him for forgiveness. In
fact, the greatest trick that Shaitaan plays on us is that he convinces us that
the sins we commit are either too great or too many. It is the biggest achievement
of Shaitaan if he can convince us that we are beyond saving and that we are too
bad as people to ask Allah SWT for forgiveness.
In fact, one of the hadiths mentioned of the Prophet SAWS
speaks of this point. It is translated to say:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,
“By the One in Whose Hand my soul is, were you not to commit sins, Allah
would replace you with a people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness
from Allah; and Allah would forgive them”.
Alongside this, we have the reminder of Sura Al-Tahrim, ayat
8 which is translated to say:
O believers! Turn to Allah in
sincere repentance, so your Lord may absolve you of your sins and admit you
into Gardens, under which rivers flow, on the Day Allah will not disgrace the
Prophet or the believers with him. Their light will shine ahead of them and on
their right. They will say, “Our Lord! Perfect our light for us, and forgive
us. ˹For˺ You are truly Most Capable of everything.”
Dear brothers, we can ask Allah SWT for forgiveness at any
time and for anything. This is the majesty of our Creator and the magnitude of
the mercy we are shown. But not only are we blessed in forgiveness, Allah SWT
rewards us for seeking forgiveness as mentioned in the 70th ayat of
Sura Al-Furqan which is translated to say:
As for those who repent, believe,
and do good deeds, they are the ones whose evil deeds Allah will change into
good deeds. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
And so, dear brothers, especially with the month of Ramadan soon
to arrive, this reminder concludes with 3 practical tips regarding todays
- Seek forgiveness from Allah SWT with sincerity.
What this means is that we do not only ask for forgiveness but make an active
decision to avoid falling in the same sin again. The imam reminded us of ayat 135
in Sura Imran which says:
˹They are˺ those who, upon
committing an evil deed or wronging themselves, remember Allah and seek
forgiveness and do not knowingly persist in sin—and who forgives sins except
- Once you have sought forgiveness, move on with
your life. One of the tricks of Shaitaan is to make you dwell on the mistakes
you have made in the past. This is a key trick for him to keep you feeling
worthless, rejected and sad. Only he is the outcast and not us and so we need
to seek forgiveness from Allah SWT with sincerity but once we have done this, learn
to forgive ourselves and move on with our lives and not dwell in the mistakes
of the past.
- Lastly, we need to demonstrate the mercy Allah
SWT shows us on other people around us. If we are wrong by others, we need to
demonstrate that same mercy and forgive them. It serves no positive purpose to
hold onto bad feelings towards others and so we should also be merciful.
Dear brothers, this coming month is the month of forgiveness.
Lets use this reminder to make the month a true month of mercy for all.
All praise is due to Allah SWT. Peace and blessings upon His Messenger, his family and his companions.
This week’s reminder is about diseases of the heart.
The imam referenced ayats 88 and 89 from Sura Ash-Shu’ara of the Glorious Quran in which it said:
The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children
But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.
And he also reminded us of the hadith in which the prophet SAWS said:
Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.
Dear brothers and sisters, todays reminder is part of a series of reminders about how we can go about to fixing our hearts.
Since these references tell us that nobody will escape punishment unless they face their Lord with a sound heart, we need to do all that we can to achieve that if we do not already possess it.
The method we are going to expand upon today is about seeking forgiveness.
Allah SWT speaks of this in the Glorious Quran in Surat Hud, ayat 3 in which it says:
Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him.
And the imam mentioned the hadith of the Prophet SAWS in which he said:
“Verily, when the slave (of Allah) commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. When he refrains from it, seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart is polished clean. But if he returns, it increases until it covers his entire heart. And that is the ‘Ran’ which Allah mentioned: ‘Nay, but on their hearts is the Ran which they used to earn.’”
Dear brothers and sisters, this is an important hadith to think about because it is telling us that if we commit a sin then at first the body reacts to the sin, the soul is disgusted by it and we feel it. However, if we do this again and again, eventually the soul no longer reacts to it.
The analogy here is those who know someone who smokes. Ask them what their first cigarette was like and 100% of them will tell you that it was disgusting, they choked and a lot of them vomited. Ask them then why they smoke now and they will tell you that it no longer has that reaction. This is because the body has now surrendered to the toxins and poisons going into it. If they had stopped at the beginning the repair would have been minimal and the task would have been easy. Ask those people now and they will tell you how hard it is to quit.
This, dear brothers and sisters, is the effect of the sin on the soul and so the danger cannot be underestimated.
What follows then are 6 practical tips that we can all take away to assist us in the first remedy to repair our hearts.
Step 1 is about correcting the intention in repenting. Anyone can do the blanket Astaghfirullah and nobody is taking away the action as it’s acceptance is with Allah SWT. However, we need to remind ourselves that the intention is only as good as the sincerity that goes with it. We may have experienced insincerity in our lives from others and how that makes us feel. Therefore why should we feel that it is acceptable when asking for forgiveness from our Creator? We need to ask with fear and hope of His Mercy.
Step 2 is about removing the sin that you are committing. The imam made a reference to Sura Nisa, ayat 17 in which it says:
The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent soon after. It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
Step 3 is to feel sorry for the sin committed as this will lead to one wanting to seek forgiveness. This is an important point as this is talking about shame or a sense of remorse. Unfortunately both these qualities are ever increasingly unfashionable in society. It is almost where it’s ridiculed by peers when someone demonstrates shame or remorse. My dear brothers and sisters, this is a time and a place to test us and we need to step up and demonstrate that we are the best of people, the best that we can be, and we do that by being leaders in our groups and being role models for others to follow in our manners and our actions.
Step 4 is to ask for forgiveness at time its still possible to do so and so this is about death. Dear brothers and sisters, we are steered away from talking about death. In a time where all other taboos have gone, its funny that the only certainty of life is still something that is avoided in society. That is probably because by remembering it, people are reminded of their responsibilities to their own selves, their souls and it makes them think of their behaviours. We need to remind ourselves that the end of our life here is only known to Allah SWT and that we could depart this world anytime. Therefore it makes no logical sense to delay in seeking forgiveness or changing behaviours for the better.
Step 5 is to give back any rights taken from others, even it’s a single morsel or penny. This is because we would rather pay our dues in this life than the next and we do this with the hope that it leads to our forgiveness.
And finally we are proactive in our forgiveness and we be this by avoiding any repeat of the sin by taking ourselves out of the danger zone. Whether that is the people we associate with, the habits that we have formed or the lifestyle that caters for the sin, we need to learn to change in order to rid ourselves of the transgression. And for those of us who are worried that it is a big change to make, it’s worth reminding ourselves that in psychology they say human nature means to fear change and so this may apply in this scenario. However, by having faith in Allah SWT that the change we are making is to rid ourselves of sin, we can take comfort in the knowledge that the steps we take will be full of blessing and reward as they are in the name of Allah SWT.
Dear brothers and sisters, our religion is not a passive one. We cannot hope for changes and improvements through divine intervention alone. The responsibility is also on us to do our bit and by implementing these 6 tips we can go some way to achieving the forgiveness of our Lord and repairing the state of our hearts.
May Allah SWT return us to Him with a sound heart. May Allah SWT enable us to implement actions to repair our hearts and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in repairing our hearts.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
This week’s khutbah was focused on Repentance
The imam started mentioned ayats 10 and 13 from Sura Imran in today’s khutba. They are translated to say:
saying: “Seek forgiveness of your Rabb, He is ever ready to forgive you.
What is the matter with you that you do not regard the greatness of Allah
Dear brothers and sisters, the subject of repentance was touched upon last week’s reminder but this week the topic is explored further. Allah SWT consistently makes forgiveness a theme of His book and this is something we should all be mindful of.
Any conscientious reader of the Quran will tell you that the Glorious Quran is a book of forgiveness. For those who are unaware, there are a few facts worthy of mentioning in today’s reminder.
Out of 114 chapters of the Quran, 113 begin with the pronouncement of Allah SWT’s limitless mercy.
Another point to note is that forgiveness and mercy is mentioned roughly 300 times in the Quran combined.
Finally, there is a whole Sura devoted to the actual quality with examples of Allah SWT’s mercy through the 55th chapter or Sura Rahman.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is enough to fill each and every heart with hope and optimism as it illustrates the love and mercy Allah SWT has for each and every one of us.
The imam also mentioned the hadith of the Prophet SAWS and this is a hadith Qudsi which is one that is mentioned as coming from Allah SWT but not as part of the Quran. It is translated to say:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: Allah the Almighty said: O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.
Dear brothers and sisters, as we can see then the topic of repentance need not be one that fills us with despair or hopelessness. Instead, we should, as Muslims, count ourselves as the hopeful ones and the optimistic ones as we know who our Lord is and how forgiving he is.
The reminder today then concludes with 3 practical points surrounding repentance.
First condition: sincerity, that is to say that repentance should be meant for the pleasure of Allah The Almighty so that He turns to the slave with mercy and forgives him the sins he committed. It should not be intended for showing off, drawing closer to people or to protect oneself from the harm of an authority or a ruler.
Second condition: remorse for the sins he committed. The Prophet, , said: “Feeling regret is repentance.” The reason is that the feeling of remorse is evidence of one’s sincere repentance.
Third condition: which is the most important condition: giving up the sin. If the sin was abandoning an obligatory act, you should quit this sin by performing the act. For example, if someone who is negligent in performing the congregational prayer wishes to repent, he should adhere to congregational prayer. If he was negligent in dutifulness to his parents, he should be dutiful to them and if he was negligent in maintaining kinship ties, he should maintain them and so on.
If the sin was committing a forbidden act, one’s duty would be to give it up immediately and not to continue it for even one more minute. For example if he used to devour Riba (interest), he should get rid of it by abandoning it, keeping away from it and donating the earnings he earned from interest.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are ambassadors on this Earth for Islam, a religion that advocates mercy and forgiveness and peace. Therefore it is our duty not only to be mindful of this through repentance and optimism that we will be forgiven by our Lord but to also pass this theme on to our fellow brothers and sisters.
Whether they be Muslim or otherwise, we ought to demonstrate the mercy that is taught to us in the Quran and Hadith through practical examples to one another. After all, we are taught that Allah SWT is merciful to those who show mercy to one another.
And by making repentance and forgiveness a part of our lives we can be as those mentioned by Allah SWT in Sura At-Tahrim, ayat 8 which translates to say:
O believers! Turn to Allah in sincere repentance. It may well be that your Rabb will remove from you your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow. On that Day Allah will not humiliate the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will shine in front of them and on their right, and they will say: “Our Rabb! Perfect our light for us and grant us forgiveness, for You have power over all things.”
May Allah SWT enable us to seek forgiveness from Him. May Allah SWT enable us demonstrate mercy towards each other and may Allah SWT reward us for our attempts to repent to Him.
This week’s khutbah was focused on the ayats of Sura Al-Furqan, ayats 68-70 and the lessons within.
This section of the Quran is translated to say:
Those who never invoke any other deity beside God, nor take a life, which God has made sacred, except in the pursuit of justice, nor commit adultery.
Whoever does these things will face the penalties: their torment will be doubled on the Day of Resurrection, and they will remain in torment, disgraced, except those who repent, believe, and do good deeds
God will change the evil deeds of such people into good ones. He is most forgiving, most merciful.
Dear brothers and sisters, the lessons within the Quran are more than any of us can completely fathom and certainly the lessons from these ayats are more than the time permitted in this reminder but the imam attempts to summarize by speaking of the major points mentioned.
The first reminder is one about killing. Although this is primarily a reminder for those who are looking from the outside in on Islam, it is also a reminder for us all in the face of the misconceptions and the misinformation being spread from people claiming to follow the teachings of our faith.
As Muslims, the taking of any innocent life goes against the teaching of our faith. This is mentioned in the following hadith of our Prophet SAWS which is translated to say:
Whoever kills a non-combatant, innocent non-Muslims will not smell the scent of paradise
However, as we know from what we are seeing on the news, those who claim to be of our faith are killing other Muslims and this is specifically referenced in the Quran as reminded by the imam today.
In Sura An-Nisa, ayat 93 it is translated to say:
“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is Hell; he shall abide in it, and Allah will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement.”
Dear brothers and sisters, this is serving as a reminder for us that what we are being led to believe via the media is simply not a true representation of our faith and it is our responsibility as Muslims living in this time and place to educate those around us to the truth of Islam.
Alongside, that the ayats remind us of Zina. This is both cheating on your spouse and having illicit relations outside of the sanctimony of marriage. Unfortunately, we are living in a time and a place where this is now considered a norm in our society.
We must remind ourselves that not only is this against the decree of Allah SWT but with all things that have been forbidden to us, there is a worldly reason for them to be forbidden. An example of this is the new health problems that exist today because of this activity.
Expanding upon the definition of Zina, the imam reminded us of Sura Al-Noor, ayats 30 and 31 which are translated to say:
Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is AllAware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal acts)”
Dear brothers and sisters, the first step in solving the ills of our society is to be able to be candid and open in communication about them. Especially with our youth, we cannot rely on their teachers or their friends to educate them on topics which are so prevalent in their lives. By befriending our children, we can be in a position where they approach us first with issues such as these and thus enable us to educate them on the ills of modern society.
And lastly, the ayats in today’s reminder demonstrate a taste of Allah’s mercy. This reminder told us of two sins mentioned by Allah SWT and they are no small matter. To kill another and to spread disharmony in society through Zina are acts that weigh heavy on the scales against the soul.
However, as with the theme of the whole Quran, Allah SWT ends this passage by illustrating that the book of Allah isn’t about fear-mongering as people who have misconceptions might believe. In fact, it’s quite the opposite because Allah SWT mentions that such acts can still be overturned
And what does this act be that causes such a great overturn towards reward for these grave sins?
Allah SWT sets out three criteria for this to happen. 1. We must believe in Allah SWT. 2. We must follow these sins with sorrow in our hearts for having committed them. 3. We must strive to readdress the balance in society by doing good deeds to make up for the bad ones.
And that is the conclusion to the lesson for today’s reminder. We are advised about the gravity of the sins that we may fall foul to. The specifics we touched on then was killing and illicit relations. But despite the warning from Allah SWT about those who do these sins, He still ends it with a get-out clause as if to remind us to not be in despair if you are of these people who fall into this category.
Dear brothers and sisters, one of the tactics of Shaitaan is to convince us that we are beyond redemption, that we cannot be saved and that whatever we are doing or may have done is surely too much for Allah SWT to forgive. This tactic is powerful because the individual becomes full of despair and thinks what is the point in being religious as they have done so much ill already.
This reminder to us all today demonstrates the scale of Allah’s mercy and that it can eclipse anything one may have done. All that is necessary is to return to Allah SWT with humility, remorse and with a view to righting the wrongs one has committed by becoming an equally positive member of society.
May Allah SWT enable us to remain clear of these ills in society. May Allah SWT protect us from feeling despair at our shortcomings and may Allah SWT reward us for our attempts to reimburse society for our sins.
Dear brothers, as mentioned in last week’s khutba, we are now in the month of Dhul-Hijjah.
As mentioned previously, this is the month in which the Hajj is performed by millions of Muslims all over the world and followed by Eid.
We also mentioned last week how the Prophet SAWS spoke of the first ten days of this month leading up to Eid and that specifically they are days in which good deeds are worth more to Allah SWT.
That being said, it is worth mentioning the following ayat from Sura Al-An’am in which Allah SWT encourages us even more with the following:
Whoever comes [on the Day of Judgement] with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [to his credit], and whoever comes with an evil deed will not be recompensed except the like thereof; and they will not be wronged.
Dear brothers, if we analyse the ayat we can see the mercy of Allah SWT in granting us ten times the reward for our good deeds. If we then transpose that onto the next week then we have great potential for earning His pleasure.
And in these blessed days we have the gem of which is the day of Arafa. This is the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah and it is the day in which pilgrims of Hajj gather on the mountain plain of Arafa, praying and supplicating to Allah SWT.
The day of Arafa also holds great importance in Islam because this is the day when Allah SWT completed his revelation on his messenger SAWS. It was on the day of Arafat when the following verse from Sura Al-Maidah was revealed:
This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.
Dear brothers, the day of Arafa is a profound day. For those of us who have been blessed with performing the Hajj pilgrimage, it invokes images and emotions that are simply out of this world.
For those of us yet to embark upon the pilgrimage Insh’Allah, the day of Arafa is now something we can witness through live broadcasts on the Islamic television channels.
But we must all be mindful of the fact that the virtues of Arafa are not reserved for pilgrims only. They are of benefit to all muslims.
We are also able to achieve great reward and pleasure from our Lord on this blessed day. And so, dear brothers, with the blessed day but a week away, here is a three step guide to spending the day of Arafa:
- Fast. Our beloved Prophet SAWS recommended non-pilgrims to fast on this blessed day as it removes the sins of the past year and the sins of the upcoming year.
Dear brothers, what greater incentive do we need here? To fast next Friday for just under 13 hours will remove two years’ worth of sins.
- Pray. Try to perform even 2 units of obligatory prayer. Remember, this is the day in which the deeds weigh heavy and what is an extra 2 minutes or so in front of your Lord in comparison?
- Supplicate. There is no better day to ask from your Lord than this day. Just imagine dear brothers, you have fasted on the day of Arafat, performed obligatory prayers during your fast and on the moment you open your fast you ask of your Lord. Wouldn’t you want that moment for you, your family and your afterlife?
The Prophet SAWS said:
The best of dua is on the day of Arafa, and the best of what I have said and the prophets before me is: La Illaha Il’Allah, Wahdaho La Shareekalah, Laho Almulk, Wa Laho Alhamid, Wa huwa ala kuli Sha’in Qadeer.
Dear brothers, this is translated as There is no Lord worthy of worship except Allah, and has no partners, has the ownership, has the praise, and is able and capable of everything.
Try to use this dua if you can but remember above all to request from Him on this day even it is in English, Urdu or Kurdish.
May Allah SWT instill into our hears the value of these days. May Allah SWT enable us to fast on the 9th of Arafa and May Allah SWT accept our supplications and efforts on the day of Arafa.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
Dear brothers, in the upcoming week we are entering the month of Dhul-Hijjah.
This is the month in which the Hajj is performed by millions of Muslims all over the world and followed by Eid. It is also the month that has great blessings associated with it in the lead up to Hajj.
The Prophet SAWS said in regards to the start of this month:
There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.
When they replied to the Prophet SAWS – Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?
He SAWS replied back to them – Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out for himself for jihad, taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.
Dear brothers, if we analyse the hadith, it clearly demonstrates to us the blessing that Allah SWT has bestowed upon us in the coming days.
As Muslims, we are so blessed because time and time again we are given the opportunity to earn His pleasure. Opportunity after opportunity is given to us to bank our deeds for the eternal life after this temporary existence ends for us all.
We can be of those who Allah SWT mentions in the former group when Allah SWT talks of His mercy in Sura Maryam:
Then We will save those who feared Allah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees.
Dear brothers, then the objective becomes clear. What better way than to step up a gear for ten days of Dhul-Hijjah?
What follows then are 3 things we can do to make these 10 days count for us and make us of those who are the subject of Allah SWT’s mercy.
Number one is prayer. It is highly recommended to perform the obligatory acts at their prescribed times (which means as early as possible) and to increase oneself in the bonus or sunnah acts, for indeed, this is what brings a person closer to their Lord.
The second thing we can do in this month, dear brothers, is to perform voluntary act of Fasting. Unlike the month of Ramadhan, fasting outside of the month is a different experience altogether so aim to start with just one and work towards the Sunnah of fasting often outside of the month of Ramadhan.
And lastly, the third act that we can all do is Zhikr or remembrance of Allah SWT. Dear brothers, this is the easiest act for us to do but potentially the most rewarding.
For example, the daily commute to study or work can be spent saying Allahu akbar, Alhamdullilah or La Illaha Illallah under your breath. We don’t need fancy counter apps, gadgets or even a tasbih.
The aim here isn’t to clock the x number of times we are reciting these words or phrases. Instead the aim here should be one of time spent remembering Allah SWT.
Recite slowly and deliberately and focus on the meanings behind reciting the words as this will be more beneficial in the weight of the deed and the effect it has on the heart.
Having the heart testify Allahu Akbar meaning Allah SWT is the greatest or Alhamdullilah meaning Praise be to Allah SWT or La illaha illallah meaning there is no God but Allah SWT will serve to add great reward to your deeds as well as improve your heart, mind and your day.
Dear brothers, we are consumed by the life with which we are given. We are all striving to work for our afterlife with distractions in every facet of our lives. But with this life comes moments of blessings that ease the hardships.
These coming ten days is one of those moments. We can make our every day efforts count so much more so let’s strive to give it an extra effort in the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah with one or all of the 3 things mentioned.
May Allah SWT instill into our hearts the blessing of this time. May Allah SWT hasten our forgiveness with Him. And May Allah SWT reward us for the efforts in these 10 days.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.