The imam began today’s reminder with the second and third ayat from Sura Al-Insan which is translated to say:
Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture1 that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing. Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful.
Dear brothers, be under no illusion, this life is a test for each and every one of us. That is not to say that we will not get some enjoyment from this life or that there will no happiness in this life. But it is to say that the purpose of this life isn’t to just live mindlessly and without thought. Our actions are accountable and there will come a time where each thing we said and did will be measured and laid out before us.
But the reminder this week is about how we deal with tests. The imam reminded us of the hadith of the Prophet SAWS which is translated to say:
‘Whoever has forbearance, Allah will help him. Whoever tries to be independent, Allah will enrich him. Whoever tries to be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is given a better or vaster gift than patience.”
And so, dear brothers, there are 3 practical lessons we can apply to our everyday living so that we are able to succeed in this life and cope with the tests we are given. They are as follows:
- To understand the test is for your patience and perseverance. From Sura Al-Asr to many other points in Quran and Hadith, the theme is the same. We are tested on how well we demonstrate our patience and perseverance. Even scientists today say that success in the best at their fields comes not from natural-born talent, but in fact from the ability to persevere with patience. This is both for our success in this life and in the next and so we apply grit to our everyday living.
- We react with positivity. From the moment we acknowledge the test to the moment we feel ease from it, we do not succumb to complaints, to anger, panic or jealousy over others who may not have that test, we react with positivity, knowing that this test will result in great reward in a life that is everlasting and infinite and we have full faith in Allah SWT in that the life lessons we get given are for our benefit, even if we don’t full understand it.
- We appreciate the good times and be grateful for the blessings that we are able to register. And in fact, the number of blessings we do have is much more than we even give thanks for. Just the ability to listen, to walk here, to breathe, to eat and to think rationally, are all gifts we seldom give thanks for but are always there for us. We need to look to the Quran and ponder over the lessons given to those who came before us. Tests given to the Prophets and Messengers that were amongst the best of our species and of course, tests that our beloved Prophet SAWS endured in his time in this world.
Dear brothers, this world is not even a drop in the ocean of the life that awaits us. And this life is not Jannat but is the path to Jannat insh’Allah. Nothing comes for free is the saying in this country and the same is true of our reward. And so, as Muslims we keep this thought alive in our minds at all times and acknowledge that we will have tests in this life but to keep patience and steadfast in the hope that we will be rewarded for it when we return back to our Creator.
May Allah SWT make us of the people with patience, may Allah SWT make us of the people with perseverance and may Allah SWT enable us to pass all the tests and tribulations of this short life we are given.Read More
Dear brothers and sisters, the vityue of patience is one of the best gifts we have received from Allah SWT. The prophet SAWS said:
And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.
The topic this week has been chosen as it is imperative that we demonstrate this virtue in our worship of Allah SWT. Unfortunately some Muslims are caught in the trap of poor attitude towards worship which manifests into laziness in worship. An example of this is the blind following of others without understanding of what the correct path is.
We need to understand that patience and perseverance in worship means to perform the acts of worship as Allah SWT instructed us through the Prophet SAWS. It also means that we do not take short cuts but in fact take the time and effort to perform each correctly.
Allah SWT has instructed us to do this and as Muslims we are left in no doubt as is reminded to us by the imam in Sura Al-Maryum, ayat 65 and Sura Al-Hijr, ayat 99 which is translated to say:
Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them – so worship Him and have patience for His worship. Do you know of any similarity to Him?”
And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).
Dear brothers and sisters, we can further separate the virtue of patience in that which is acted upon through choice versus that which is required as a result of a trial. Scholars have stated that the act of showing patience through choice holds a higher status than that through a trial.
One example of this comparison can be found in the Glorious Quran. The patience of the truthful Prophet Yusuf – May the peace of Allah SWT be upon him, when he was put in the well, because this patience is patience that you do because you are in the situation – but the patience of saying no to the wife of the king – that’s a choice he made, and that has higher reward and status. Allah SWT knows best.
We can also reach this conclusion through the meaning of the ayats in the Glorious Quran. The imam mentioned the 144 ayat of Sura Al-Imran which is translated to say:
Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.
Dear brothers and sisters, the context of this verse is after the battle of Uhud. This was a time of great trial and tribulation and yet, the verse speaks not of patience during the trial but of those who will be grateful and thus rewarded. Scholars state that those that are worshiping and carried on worship Allah despite the huge tribulations are the ones being mentioned here.
Patience is a gift but not everyone has the same amount of patience. Some people are known for their patience and you probably can think of someone in your life that is known by this trait. Equally so, we can probably think of someone that has a short fuse and the opposite is true. We need to appreciate that we are all on different levels but that we do not use this fact as an excuse. We need to work on our level of patience and improve it – as the prophet peace and blessings be upon him said:
“Whoever tries to be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is given a better or vaster gift than patience.”
Dear brothers and sisters, our reminder today was on the act of patience and perseverance in worship. Each and every one of us can improve on this and nobody is perfect. However, we need to assess ourselves to see if this lack of patience and perseverance is falling to a level that is dangerous for us.
If one finds themselves in a habit of taking shortcuts in worship and the idea of performing it with time and effort as it warrants, causes a feeling of annoyance then the matter is one of concern and needs to be remedied quickly. One needs to assess the root cause of this and fix the underlying disease and not it’s symptoms.
It’s easy to blame modern life. However, to blame life is to look at it wrong. Who is it that gifts us life? Who is it that gifts us energy? Who is it that gifts us time? By short-cutting the connection back to Allah SWT, one is short-cutting themselves inevitably as the problem of life getting in the way will only get worse. This disease of the heart will continue to spread until we have no patience left or our acts of worship have no blessing to them.
One practical tip is to expose the lie of Shaytaan telling us life is too busy. Write out your day yesterday and see how much of it was spent on the phone, on the TV or on other things which have replaced sincere worship. Recent studies state that an average of 3 hours per day is spent on smartphones. Such an audit ought to be done to see if we are falling into the trap of no time but yet lots of wasted time.
Next, we ought to reconnect to Allah SWT through remembrance, supplication and repentance. Make the extra time to perform salah as it is deserving, make the extra time to carry out our deeds with sincerity and focus. Understand that life is about priorities and nothing is greater than worship.
At first this may prove to be difficult as our heart is used to telling us excuses, but as we persevere in repairing our hearts through remembrance of Allah SWT, this will become easier and our patience and perseverance will improve which will in turn make our acts of worship improve.
Dear brothers and sisters, patience and perseverance in worship is an ongoing battle we will all face. From coming to the masjid for Fajr prayer to Zakat payment, we will all have times when things feel difficult to do. However, if we remind ourselves that the source to cure is a healthy heart then we can begin it’s repair through acts of remembrance which will in turn enable us to improve in our patience and perseverance in worship.Read More
Dear brothers and sisters, with Ramadhan over now we are embarking on another 11 months of striving and struggling until the blessed month approaches us once again.
For those of us who reflect back on the month gone, we often are self-critical and wonder whether our deeds were even good enough? Was our Ramadhan a productive one? Were our fasts, our deeds and our prayers accepted?
Scholars state that one of the signs of our good deeds being accepted is the continuation of the good deeds we established during the month of Ramadhan. Likewise, a sign that we may be amongst those whose deeds weren’t necessarily accepted by Allah SWT is when the bad deeds that were left out in Ramadhan are resumed after Eid. Allah knows best.
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.
Allah SWT reminds us of this in the Glorious Quran when in Sura Ash-Shuraa, ayat 15 it says:
So to that [religion of Allah ] invite, [O Muhammad], and remain on a right course as you are commanded and do not follow their inclinations but say, “I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Qur’an, and I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds, and for you your deeds. There is no [need for] argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is the [final] destination.”
Dear brothers and sisters, Ramadhan enabled us to boost our levels of worship to Allah SWT. But now with Ramadhan gone, 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 mentions the reward of steadfastness in the Holy Quran, in Surat Fussilat, ayat 30 in which He says:
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.
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 blessed month of Ramadhan and more insh’Allah.
May Allah SWT maintain the boost we acquired in Ramadhan. May Allah SWT make us steadfast in our worship. And may Allah SWT reward us for every single act of steadfastness we perform for the sake of Allah SWT.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.Read More
As a Muslim, Imaan or Faith can be broken down into two constituent parts.
Firstly, having Imaan is to be thankful and grateful to Allah SWT for the blessings you have been bestowed with in life.
Secondly, to have Imaan is to be patient with the hardships and tests that Allah SWT sends you during the course of your life.
Upon reflection, one can get an idea on the level of Imaan they possess by observing how patiently they handled a previous hardship from Allah SWT.
One can also get an idea on their level of Imaan by reflecting on how much gratitude they showed Allah SWT the last time they felt blessed by Him.
Allah SWT says in Sura Ibrahim, ayat 7:
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase my favour unto you; but if you deny, Indeed, my punishement is severe.’”
When was the last time you thanked Allah for all the blessings in your life? The ability to come to this mosque to pray? The ability to listen to the Khutba today? The biggest blessing of all that you are a Muslim when so many around you are not?
We live in an age where the supplications made to Allah SWT are for materialistic things. Property, Cars, Money, etc.
It’s not wrong to ask for the above as Allah SWT can give without measure but patience comes from feeling blessed with what you have already and not feeling an urge to have your wishes realized.
Upon reflection as Muslims, it is hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what Allah SWT has already blessed each and every one of us with.
Alhamdullilah! Look at the world around us today. You can only watch the news for a short while until your heart becomes heavy with the pain you feel for your brothers and sisters across the world. We are truly blessed that we are not experiencing some of the tests our brothers and sisters are having to take.
In a Sahih Muslim hadith, Aisha (May Allah SWT be pleased with her) said:
The Prophet, peace be upon him, would stand in prayer so long that the skin on his feet would crack. I asked him “Why do you do this while your past and future sins have been forgiven?” He replied “Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?”
Gratitude and patience was abundance with our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, even to the point where it was overwhelming for his beloved companions:
In a Sahih Bukhari hadith, Umar Ibn Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
I entered the house of the Prophet, peace be upon him, to find him lying on a simple mattress which had left marks on his body. There was very little else to be found in the room in terms of possessions. Seeing this stark austerity, Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) began to cry.
“Why are you crying, O Umar” asked the Prophet, peace be upon him
“It is because I thought of Caesar and Chosroes sitting on thrones of gold wearing silk. And you are the messenger of Allah, yet here you are sitting on this simple mattress”
“O Umar” replied the Prophet, peace be upon him, “Are you not satisfied that they have this world and we have the next?”
We need to remember that this life is designed as a test for our Imaan. Our Imaan can be measured and therefore our progress in this life through our patience and our gratitude.
We need to remain steadfast in our prayers, our deeds and our rememberance of Allah SWT through all of the good times and though all the hardships that may come our way.
No better thanks can come from perfecting our worship to Allah SWT. This is the true gratitude we can show Allah SWT.
We ask Allah SWT to give us patience at all times. We ask Allah SWT to turn to Him in thanks for all the blessings He has given us. And we ask Allah SWT for forgiveness in our impatience and our ingratitude to Him.
Ameen. Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.