My dear brothers and sisters, everyone is obligated to give advice, to encourage others to do good, and to avoid doing bad actions.
We need to act on the knowledge and experience that we have been blessed with for the good of those around us.
Allah SWT speaks of this in the Glorious Quran in Surea Al-Nahil, ayat 125:
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are living in a time where bad advice is rife. And this is something that we are warned of also in the Glorious Quran. The following passage is from Sura Ghafir, ayat 29 and 30 which is translated as saying:
My people, as masters in the land you have the power today, but who will help us against God’s might if it comes upon us?
But Pharaoh said, ‘I have told you what I think; I am guiding you along the right path.’
The believer said, ‘My people, I fear your fate will be the fate of those others who opposed their prophets.’
Dear brothers and sisters, this is telling us of the greatest of liars and deceivers, Pharaoh, insisting that he is sincere and guiding others in the correct path.
This demonstrates that we must be vigilant against people who may appear to be sincere but in actual fact have sinister motives in offering their advice.
A good guidance is from the opinions of people around that person. If they are able to vouch for the advice offered then it’s a good indicator but as always, seek assistance from Allah SWT in getting good advice.
As regards to giving the advice, as with all things in relation to our faith, our Prophet SAWS was the ultimate teacher of the etiquette of giving the advice.
What follows then are 6 points worth remembering so that we fulfil our obligation in giving advice but with the best of manners in delivery.
- Purify Intentions
We should examine our motives and intentions prior to offering the advice. It should be for the sake of Allah and not for the purposes of seeking fame, worldly gain or showing superiority.
As advisors we should have enough knowledge about the advice we are about to give. It is better to avoid advising someone if the knowledge isn’t there rather than accidentally offering the wrong advice based on ignorance.
- Maintain Privacy
Aim to give advice in private. Giving advice in Islam should not involve exposing the personal weaknesses of people.
This is a key point. We should try very hard to avoid giving advice in the form of a reprimand. Instead we should offer insights, experiences, and ideas as if there were another point of view for the other person to consider without being forceful. Avoid making judgments.
- Listen First
Half of being able to give advice is to listen first. Issues are often more complex than they initially appear. By listening first, we can truly appreciate the matter and understand it fully and then offer any suitable advice. And we should never impose ourselves on anyone. We should always ask if that person wants our advice otherwise it will fall on deaf ears.
- Lead by Example
Lastly, it is likely that a person will listen to you if you have faced a similar situation in the past and acted according to how you are currently giving advice. If our advice involves something that the other person clearly sees that we are not doing, then it is unlikely that they will follow our advice.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to always remember that Allah SWT describes Muslims as helpers, supporters, friends, and protectors of one another.
Therefore, we should be genuinely concerned about each other and help ourselves and others to prepare for life in the Hereafter. This means giving and taking correct, sincere advice and keeping one another on the right path.
May Allah SWT give us the ability to give sincere advice. May Allah SWT protect us from receiving bad advice and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in giving and receiving advice.Read More
The final testament or the Glorious Quran as we know it, is a book unlike any other.
We revere it as we know it to be a direct communication from Allah SWT to us via the Prophet Muhammad SAWS.
And within this book, to set it apart from any other are characteristics that make it unique. There are miracles of which we are still learning its magnitude. There are also miracles in the application of the Quran in that it is still only a single version without deviation after fourteen centuries or that somewhere at any given time there is someone reciting its words.
But the khutba today is focused on the advice that is found in the Quran or the inherent wisdom that can be attained from the Quran. This is the focus of this weeks khutba.
And to just demonstrate this point by an example, we know that there is the Ten Commandments that are followed by Christians. But scholars in Islam also speak of the so-called Ten Commandments of the Quran. But do most of us know where these are in the Quran or what they are?
Before we analyse them, let’s recap where they are found. In Sura Al-Anam, ayat 151 to 153, we recite the words of Allah SWT which are translated as saying:
Say, ‘Come! I will tell you what your Lord has really forbidden you. Do not ascribe anything as a partner to Him; be good to your parents; do not kill your children in fear of poverty’— We will provide for you and for them— stay well away from committing obscenities, whether openly or in secret; do not take the life God has made sacred, except by right. This is what He commands you to do: perhaps you will use your reason.
Stay well away from the property of orphans, except with the best [intentions], until they come of age; give full measure and weight, according to justice— We do not burden any soul with more than it can bear— when you speak, be just, even if it concerns a relative; keep any promises you make in God’s name. This is what He commands you to do, so that you may take heed
This is My path, leading straight, so follow it, and do not follow other ways: they will lead you away from it— This is what He commands you to do, so that you may refrain from wrongdoing.’
Dear brothers and sisters, for those of you who were counting, those three verses just constituted ten commandments passed over to us by Allah SWT.
And how did the scholars reach the conclusion on them being commandments? Each verse ends with the word command in the context of Allah SWT commanding us to follow what preceded it in the verse.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the advice that is offered in the Quran to each and every one of us. However, for many, Arabic is not a native language and therefore it can prove to be difficult to gain the benefit from the book of Allah SWT.
Therefore what follows are 5 things that we can each do in order to reap the benefits of being of the book of Allah SWT.
- Learn Quranic Arabic – We have lessons in this masjid for all ages and capabilities. Just ask for more information.
- Follow the commentary of the Quran. Just google Tafsir of the Quran and you can get access to a wealth of knowledge on the Quran and the lessons within.
- Use the advice in the Quran in it’s context. By this we mean that it is not enough that you take the literal translation of the Quran and stop there. We need to understand that the content of this book is from Allah SWT who made the mind-boggling vastness of the universe or the complexity of the human brain.
Therefore to read a translation (or even just the Arabic) and think that you have understood the wisdom of the quran is not doing it or yourself justice.
The word Ayat of the Quran is actually better translated as Sign (s-i-g-n) and not verse and therefore each ayat is a sign for those who reflect and ponder and fully digest what Allah SWT is saying.
This action requires help for most but now, thanks to the internet, can be delivered in the form of lectures from scholars in video, audio or text format.
This is the best course of action for those of us who wish for a greater understanding of the book of Allah SWT.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to understand that the only tangible connection to Allah SWT and the Prophet SAWS is the book of Allah SWT. It is from Him to us for us. In other words, there are words within this book that apply to the lives of each and every one of us in this day and age.
Therefore doesn’t it make sense to begin the journey today to unlocking the guidance within this book?
May Allah SWT enable us to understand the Quran. May Allah SWT enable us to gain wisdom from the Quran and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in understanding the Quran.
Ameen Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.
Allah SWT says in Sura Al-Baqara, ayat 183:
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous
Dear brothers and sisters, the month of Ramadhan is now in full flow, with most of us accustomed to the hunger, thirst, early meals and late prayers.
There is a sense of buzz in this month, both brought on by the scientific benefits of fasting and of course, the spiritual blessings of this given month.
And one of those blessings has been narrated in the following hadith in which our Prophet SAWS said:
When the first night of Ramadhan arrives, the devils and rebellious Jinn are chained, the gates of Hellfire are closed till no gate thereof is open, and the gates of Paradise are opened till no door thereof is closed.
A caller cries out: “O seeker of good, proceed; O seeker of evil, desist.”
Allah saves some people from Hellfire- and that happens every night.
Dear brothers and sisters, this hadith is shedding some light onto the magnificent blessings of this month. Now is the time to really benefit fully from what this month is offering us spiritually.
Last week, we spoke of the SOS our hearts and soul yearn for throughout the year and this month is the reply sent by Allah SWT.
You’ll know that the Quran was brought down and revealed in this blessed month, and fasting and Quran both will intercede for the slave in Judgement day. Therefore, there is no better time to utilise this fact and begin reciting and reflecting on the book of Allah SWT.
It doesn’t matter how little you are able to read Arabic. In fact, greater reward is given to that person who struggles to read as opposed to a fluent reader.
We have the Quran here at the masjid for anyone wanting to start. We also have the Quran online through our website and there are apps for the Quran recitation to be done throughout the day.
For those who are interested, we are even contemplating a beginner’s course for reading Arabic; speak to myself or someone in the masjid if interested.
Dear brothers and sisters, fasting is so magnificent that it has a special attribute to it that no other act has. It was narrated in the Hadith Qudsi, that the prophet SAWS said:
Every action of the son of Adam is multiplied: by ten times to seven hundred times: then Allah (SWT) said: except fasting, which is for me and I will give the reward myself.
Allahu Akbar. Fasting is so praiseworthy in the sight of Allah SWT, that the reward is so extreme and marvelous, that this dunya cannot contain it; the reward can only be given in the next life, and we can only find out what this extraordinary reward is when we meet Allah SWT
So with the rewards so great, and the day so long, is there anything one can do to help themselves successfully fast in this month?
And thus this ends with 4 tips for Healthy Ramadhan fasting:
- Don’t skip the pre-dawn meal – They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and in Ramadhan it’s even more important!
- Don’t overeat when opening the fast – It will make you sluggish, suffer indigestion and make night prayers harder.
- Avoid eating fried, salty or high sugar foods – They may make you feel good in the short run, but you will suffer for it in the following day’s fast.
- Drink as much water as possible – Sip water throughout the permissible hours. It will help in the following day’s fast.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is Ramadhan and so let’s make the most of it and use it to replenish our souls and sooth our hearts for the 11 months ahead.
May Allah SWT enable us to appreciate the full blessing of Ramadhan. May Allah SWT enable us to fast in the month of Ramadhan. And may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in the month of Ramadhan.
Ameen walhamdulilahirabilalameenRead More