Dear brothers and sisters, the khutba this week was on a particular hadith of the Prophet SAWS and as with all hadith’s, they are best understood when analysed with context and thought.
This one in particular though is self-explanatory so we will begin by translating it as was mentioned by the imam earlier:
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection:
O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him?
O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me?
O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.
Dear brothers and sisters, the hadith is a long one and there are three main lessons to derive from the hadith but alongside that the theme of this reminder will also be commented upon.
The first reminder was of visiting the ill. This is a communal obligation and so if we hear of someone being unwell, it is an obligation upon at least one of us to visit the sick. In this city, we even have a local Muslim charity that visits the sickest of us all in hospices and care homes. Google the Myriad Foundation and you will see every day Muslims fulfilling this obligation to the next level.
However, we ought to remind ourselves of some pointers when doing this so that we keep etiquette even with a task as rewarding as this one.
Firstly, we should notify them before we come over. This is to avoid times when they are asleep, receiving medication or general courtesy.
Secondly, a small gift. It acts as charity and it’s even more rewarding if it assists in the emotional wellbeing of the sick.
Thirdly, whilst some patients enjoy the company, we don’t want to overburden the unwell and so keep the visit short and sweet. 20-30 minutes should suffice.
Fourthly, engage your brain. That means a couple of things. For example, if you are unwell then avoid the visit so you don’t pass it on. It means when you are there don’t focus on what’s wrong with them and it also means reflect upon your own self and be thankful to Allah SWTfor your own health and pray for the ill person.
The second and third part of the hadith was about feeding others food and drink. Dear brothers and sisters, we don’t live in a time where we know of our neighbourhood’s plight and that is a shame. It is often the case that if our neighbour in the street is going hungry then we are at risk of being caught out as mentioned in this hadith.
However, Salahadeen Masjid, alongside countless others in the county, have a system in place where we can avoid this transgression. On the stairs coming into the main hall we have a food box which is directly connected to your hungry neighbour. Let’s make it a habit each Friday to come to this masjid with one item of food. Even if it is a Smart Price can of beans for 23p, if we all brought one thing each week, the box would be overflowing and the food banks of this city would be catered for by the Muslims of this city. Surely, a habit worth establishing insh’Allah.
Dear brothers and sisters, these were the lessons of this hadith but by giving three examples, there is an overall theme and lesson to remember.
By mentioning these three things, the hadith reminds us that Islam is not about performing the actions of our faith only. It is not about the 5 prayers, fasting and giving the annual zakah only and thinking that is the end of it.
Of course, these things are needed from us, but by thinking this way, it is a narrow viewpoint and we need to remind ourselves that through this hadith, Allah SWT is speaking to us of collective responsibility.
A great example of this was the atrocity that fell upon this city last month during Ramadhan in the Arena. As Muslims, we automatically acted upon the lesson of todays hadith.
There were stories of taxi drivers who stopped charging money for the victims. There were stories of the local residents opening their homes in the middle of the night so that strangers had somewhere to sleep in the emergency. There were stories of off duty nurses and doctors passing by and giving up their spare time to help the wounded, offering critical first aid to those whose lives could still be saved.
This, dear brothers and sisters, that was the theme and lesson of today’s hadith and reminder. What today’s reminder tell us is that it doesn’t need an atrocity to bring out the best of Muslims, we have a need for heroes every single day. Through food banks and through visits to the sick, we have opportunities to demonstrate compassion for each other and thus be of those on the Day of Resurrection that are not posed the questions as stated in today’s hadith.
May Allah SWT fill our hearts with compassion. May Allah SWT instill into our hearts the need to look after others. And may Allah SWT reward us for our kind actions towards others.