The imam mentioned in this weeks khutba Sura Al-Furqan ayat 74 which is translated to say:
And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”
Dear brothers and sisters, who doesn’t want to be proud of their children? And most of us here are blessed to have that feeling as to be born in this time and place and growing up as a Muslim is hard and is worthy of praise but it is also a test for the parents to ensure that they are doing all that is within their means to raise good, productive Muslims in the time and place that we are living in.
The effort that we as parents place into our children will not only benefit them in this life and the next it will also affect the community as a whole as we are raising the next generation of our Ummah, it is they that will be the future leaders and role models for the rest of society. They will carry the torch of being ambassadors for the truth.
This is no small issue as how they are will directly reflect on how we were with them. The Prophet SAWS said in the following hadith, a reference to this point:
When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things, Sadaqah Jariyah which is a endless charity such as planting a tree, a knowledge which is beneficial which is the knowledge passed onto others, and a virtuous descendant who prays for the deceased such as the children.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we analyse then, we have the opportunity to continue earning good deeds for our next life even after we have left this life. This is no small point that how we raise our children then has a direct effect on our hereafter.
We should therefore make it so that our children become our priority over career, over leisure and over day to day running that are designed in their very nature to distract us from our faith and what is important in life.
With that being said, this reminder concludes with 6 practical tips that we can all begin with today in regards to our children.
- Understand each child is unique. This means that children cannot be moulded or pushed into directions we like for them. We ought to understand what makes our child unique and identify the uniqueness of them and nurture them within the limits of Islam.
- Embed the love and power of Allah into them. This means by starting off with La-illaha-ilallah but moving them towards understanding that provision comes from Allah SWT alone and that all that we are, have and will be will come from Him. Teach them about how Allah SWT loves us and that we can reciprocate that love in being obedient to Him.
- Establish the extreme importance of Salah. This is vital. Instill into your children that no matter what they may do in life, whatever mistakes they may make, and they will because we are all human and prone to error, that the salah can never, ever under any circumstances be given up. And get yourselves and them in the habit of praying it punctually.
- Engage them in beneficial activities. Examples like walks in the park and encourage them to appreciate the creation of Allah SWT. Alongside that engage them in physical activities like sports or martial arts. Society has us believe that the screen, whether it be smartphone, TV or computer is an adequate babysitter. It’s not so let’s aim to keep their mind active with other beneficial activities.
- Family meetings. Engage in family meetings where each member gets to have their say about any issues with them. All phones are switched off and as parents, the undivided attention should be on the child when they speak and all council meetings like this in the family should be run in a non-judgemental way so that it promotes an open environment for the child to feel confident to open up about anything that is bothering them.
- Make Quran a routine part of life. Whether this be through listening to it, reciting it or having family meeting to talk and discuss an ayat from it, the Quran is a key part of any child’s upbringing and is mentioned by Allah SWT as a warning in the Quran in Surat Furqan, ayat 30 mentioned by the imam today which is translated to say:
And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned.
Dear brothers and sisters, when we become parents, we are raising the next generation of our Ummah and so we must endeavour to leave our teaching to a high standard within them, but alongside that we are also raising our replacements and as a result we must ensure that when we do depart from this world, we leave behind pious and productive Muslims that can benefit us in this life even when we are no longer part of it.
May Allah SWT protect our youth. May Allah SWT enable us to raise pious Muslims and may Allah SWT reward us in our efforts to raise pious Muslims.Read More
Dear brothers and sisters, we all are guilty of making a wrong choice in life. That’s just part of life. And often we end up paying for that wrong choice. Sometimes we make a choice based upon outwardly benefit and not giving thought to the overall benefit to ourselves in this world and the next.
As humans, our choices are made individually but we are all influenced by other people whether this is unconsciously or consciously. Those other people we could say are role models for us.
There are people who take pride in their country and so someone from there is a role model. Others choose sportspeople, singers, famous people etc.
There is a hadith on this in which it is said that:
The Prophet SAWS went past a man and asked his companion, what do you think of this man? He said he is one of the honourable people, he is a man who wanted to find a wife they would give or interceded they would listen.
Then they passed another man and the prophet SAWS asked what about this man? He said he is one of the poor Muslims he would struggle to get married if he asked and not many will listen to his intercession.
The prophet SAWS said this person is better than a whole worlds worth more than the precious man.
Dear brothers and sisters, the danger with this approach is that if those people, despite their fame and popularity, are on the wrong path with Allah SWT, then we could potentially follow them in that path of misguidance and ignorance.
Allah SWT speaks of this danger in the Quran. In Sura Ahzab, ayat 67-68, it says:
And they will say, “Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way.
Our Lord, give them double the punishment and curse them with a great curse.”
Dear brothers and sisters, the point we need to make here is one of a learning method. As humans, we are always learning. It’s acute in our earlier life because we know so little and we attend schools, colleges and universities but that isn’t where learning stops.
The point is though that as Muslims, we are living in the world after the revelation of the Final Testament, the Quran, and the recording of the actions and sayings of the practical application of the Final Testament, i.e. the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed SAWS.
But as important as it is to follow the Sunnah, it becomes difficult not to take on the advice of people as role models around us. That can lead to problems as role models can be subject to mistakes and worse still, mislead.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to be more intelligent in our way of learning than that. As human beings we need to understand our learning process and with that understanding, become people of sound mind and critical thinking.
What is that learning process we all embark upon? It’s a 3 stage process and it is defined here.
At first we are ignorant. This is stage one. As we gain more knowledge we can become arrogant, claim we are right and stubbornly hold onto our opinions. Those who stop here, well, their opportunity to learn is over.
Or we can be humble and move ahead. We learn to discuss and share viewpoints and take the best thereof without regard to who it is from. This is stage two and this is called wisdom.
Finally we realise that taking the best thereof is not always right. Two or more people, even entire groups may agree on something and they may all be wrong. In these matters, we seek out the truth with a passion ourselves, researching and utilising all the tools at our disposal such as from mentors, role models, internet and books. When we get to the truth we know it’s the truth because we find no contradictions and no compromises. This is guidance.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Prophet SAWS is our first and foremost role model. We should be using his, and indeed the knowledge acquired from all Prophets, as part of our decision-making process.
However, role models are also needed that are around us today. Purely because that is human nature and we cannot deny its necessity in our everyday lives.
Therefore, this concludes with a practical checklist on how we should be choosing role models to help us remain on the straight path:
- You should choose your role model in light of the major goals in your life. Find someone who has been through the same path you are about to take and therefore can help you avoid the path of trial and error they have embarked upon.
- Take account of your personality and way of being when looking at a role model. For example, if you are a soft-spoken person then a role model that has an aggressive attitude might not be best match. There is no hard and fast rule to this. Some people might prefer opposites to themselves, the point here is to be self-aware of this point and take it into account.
- Choose multiple role models. For example, one for character, one for work, one for Islamic teachings, one for Family life, etc. And importantly, only allow them to be a role model for their chosen area. Having multiple role models allows one to avoid becoming overly dependent should one of them stumble, which inevitably as humans we are all capable of doing.
- And lastly, and most importantly, keep your role-models in check by constantly weighing them up against the Quran and Sunnah. If they consistently contradict this then they should not be maintained and it’s time to look elsewhere for a role model.
Dear brothers and sisters, choices are a part of life. And mistakes will always be made. However, when it comes to being on the right path, an understanding of how we educate ourselves and how we choose role models is the key to obtaining correct knowledge and making the right choices in life.
May Allah SWT enable us to choose our role models wisely. May Allah SWT enable us to think critically on our choices and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in this regard.
Ameen Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.Read More
Uthman Ibn Afan (May Allah be pleased with him) has narrated that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has said:
“The best of you are those who learn the Quran and then teach it to others”
There are many amongst us who struggle to recite the Quran, especially living in this country. In fact, the following Hadith is escpecially applicable to those:
“Verily the one who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly and precisely, he will be in the company of noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through it’s verses, then he will have TWICE that reward”
Furthermore the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him said:
“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it. And the hasanah is multiplied by 10. I do not say Alif-Laam-Meem is a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.”
What a great gift we have as muslims to be given the ability to read the words of Allah SWT. Surely the success of this life lies in the remembrance of Allah SWT and what better what than through the recitation of the Quran?
Going back to the first Hadith mentioned, the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him has said that those who memorize or learn the Quran should not do it for just themselves but that they should teach it to others then so that there is a benefit for a greater number of people.
Furthermore, it is important to be aware of the following ayat from Sura Al Furqan that states:
“And the Messenger Will Say “O My Lord!, My people have abandoned this Quran””
We need to be wary that we do not fall into the group of muslims that the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him, complains about.
Abandoning the Quran takes many forms:
There is the reading of it, the understanding of it, how to live by it and how to teach it to others. We need to strive to do all of the above.
The Prophet is reported to have said:
“It will be said to the companion of the Quran after he has entered paradise, “Recite and rise” For every verse he recites he will rise on level in Paradise until he reaches the last verse with him i.e. in his memory”
This hadith mentions the merit of those who memorize part or all of the Quran. We should all memorize as much of the Quran as we can until our last breath for every ayah we memorize will result in higher ranks in Jannah! Inshallah!Read More