Dear brothers and sisters, it is is a condition on every Muslim to have fear and awareness (Taqwa) of Allah SWT, at all times, and to avoid all that has been forbidden.
This is not specific to certain group of people only, no it is on every man and woman, to ensure they keep away from what Allah SWT has forbidden, and to ensure the commandments of Allah SWT and the prophet SAWS are followed.
And this is to be the way of life, while travelling or at home, while in difficulty or ease, while healthy or otherwise, in all conditions.
The imam mentioned a great hadith in todays khutba from the hadith of the prophet SAWS, and it is a great example of depth of meaning in few words. He said:
“Who will take these statements from me, so that he may act upon them, or teach one who will act upon them?” So Abu Hurairah said: “I said: ‘I shall O Messenger of Allah!’ So he (SAWS) took my hand and enumerated five (things), he said: “Be on guard against the unlawful and you shall be the most worshiping among the people, be satisfied with what Allah has allotted for you and you shall be the richest of the people, be kind to your neighbour and you shall be a believer, love for the people what you love for yourself and you shall be a Muslim. And do not laugh too much, for indeed increased laughter kills the heart.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we conclude then by outlining the 5 points from the hadith and thus providing 5 lessons on today’s subject.
Firstly, guarding against wrongful acts. This means to guard against sins both big or small, as has been advised to us in the Quran and the Sunnah. Examples are such as worshiping or associating other than Allah as the biggest of sins, killing, stealing, fornication, backbiting, lying, taking or paying interest, not listening to parents etc.
If we can aim to avoid all of the bad deeds then we are on course to being the best of slaves, as it is a constant battle with the self to show restraint, especially in the time and place in which we live.
Number two is to accept what Allah SWT has decided for him. It is a blessing to be content with what Allah SWT has decreed for oneself. And this is a precious trait as we all know people who think they are hard done by or deserve more.
The imam reminded us of a hadith to illustrate this point in which the Messenger of Allah SAWS said:
“Look at those who are lower than you (financially) but do not look at those who are higher than you, in case you belittle the favours Allah gave to you.”
Number three was to be kind to the neighbour. The prophet SAWS has made it one of the signs to be high in status of imaan with this point. And that is to be good to the neighbour.
Being good to neighbours can be easily achieved by doing the simple acts, such as giving greetings and replying to greetings, fulfilling any neighbourly requests, not to harm them, and to be patient with their harm, to help them, and advise them. This applies to both our Muslim and Non-Muslim neighbours and in the case of the latter it serves also as dawah by showing that act of kindness.
Fourth point is to be happy for others. Happy for their success, sympathetic to their problems and a desire for them to be free from problems or issues. To be able to do this we need to be free of jealousy and envy.
Dear brothers and sisters, being competitive is human nature. As children we compete with friends in school and with siblings at home. It is an emotion that can either propel us towards Allah SWT or away from Him. We ought to remind ourselves that everything comes from Allah SWT whether it is a blessing or a test on others, and so use that knowledge to supplicate to Allah SWT for yourself and for the others around you too thus cleansing your heart from ill feeling towards the other person.
Lastly, point 5 was too much laughter being the reason for death of the heart. Dear brothers and sisters, laughter is human speciality, as animals do not laugh, and it is a reaction to an action or a saying. Islam does not discourage laughter, it is core to being happy. Islam does encourage a healthy balance, like with everything else and in this case it is on laughter.
The Prophet SAWS used to joke and laugh, and would join his companions in laughter and happiness. However, he had boundaries with this and unfortunately we see that today these boundaries are overstepped a lot in the pursuit of humour. Things like not lying, not laughing at someone’s expense, not laughing at serious matters.
This is a hard one to quantify, however the best way to look at this is to remind ourselves of the purpose of our life. Laughter and happiness helps us to keep a positive outlook on life and assist us through the hard times but it should not distract us from life itself. Finding that balance helps us to be content with life without overstepping the limits of it.
Dear brothers and sisters, the hadith mentioned listed five things that we should all be aiming to achieve. However, by doing so, we are not only following the advice of the Prophet SAWS but we are actively and practically achieving Taqwa or being aware of Allah SWT too.