Although we yearn for the love of our family and our close friends, the highest achievement has to be the love of Allah SWT.
The love of Allah SWT for his slave is the highest target by a slave, and a dream, as this would mean we would enter paradise and be protected from hellfire.
We know this because we have a recorded hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
Allah does not throw those He loves in the Hellfire.
But before we embark on the topic of Allah SWT loving his slave, i.e. us, we need to understand the definition of slave as worldly definition has negative connotations. Firstly, to be a slave is to be completely under the whim of the master as is demonstrated in the worldly examples taught in history.
However, we need to remind ourselves of two key differences between the worldly definition of slave and the definition as stated by Allah SWT.
First one is that unlike slavery in this world, Allah SWT has stated that it is optional for you to be a slave of Allah SWT. You can choose to follow completely the orders of your master, Allah SWT, and thus to be a Muslim or you can choose to disobey Allah SWT and the consequences of that is a separate matter. The point is that unlike worldly slavery, this is done willingly by those who follow Allah SWT.
The second point is that unlike slavery that exists in the world, Allah SWT hasn’t put restrictions on you enjoying your life. He isn’t making you work to the point of exhaustion or taking away your dignity as is associated usually with slavery. In fact, the restrictions on life, if you look at the immeasurable things you can do during your life, is not that many.
And out of the restrictions Allah SWT has imposed upon you, unlike the slavery of this world, they are for your benefit. They are placed upon you out of love by Allah SWT.
Just like a child being asked to drink medicine when it is unwell, the parents in this room will know that the child can often play up. But we as parents know that this thing we are forcing our children to do without any say by the child, is for the benefit of the child.
These concepts are important to help us understand the concept of a slave of Allah SWT.
Dear brothers and sisters, we know that Allah SWT loves His slave but how do we know that we are falling under this category?
Surely, with the reward that is associated with this label, we all want to be returned to Him as His loved slaves?
This reminder concludes with 5 points that will help determine if we fall under this category.
Firstly, that you are guided to faith. This does not mean that we don’t have free will. As mentioned in the definition earlier, we are free to choose to accept this guidance. However, if we find that life is gearing us towards the life of a devout Muslim then this is a sign that Allah SWT loves us.
Secondly, that you care less for this world. The imam mentioned a hadith in relation to this point which said:
A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, direct me to an act which, if I do it, [will cause] Allah to love me and the people to love me.” So he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Renounce the world and Allah will love you, and renounce what the people possess and the people will love you.
Dear brothers and sisters, if you find yourselves increasingly disconnected with this world, take solace in the fact that it is a positive sign that your heart is yearning for the reality which is the next life and therefore work towards that in your efforts.
Next, that you are tested in worldy affairs and religion. Again, the hadith mentioned by the imam is translated in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.”
Dear brothers and sisters, look at it this way: Who is better equipped in work? Someone who drops out at high school or someone who completes a PhD? We need to understand that with the difficulty in test comes the greatest status and this status is the best status as it is with our Lord.
Fourthly, that you become able to help others and be of benefit to them. As mentioned today, someone asked the Prophet SAWS:
Oh Messenger of Allah who is most beloved to Allah? The Prophet SAWS said ‘ The most beloved people to Allah as of the most benefit to other people, and the most beloved work to Allah is to enter happiness on another Muslim, or remove an obstacle, or to pay their debt, or to remove their hunger, and to go and help my brother is better than staying I’tikaf in this Masjid, meaning the Masjid of Madina for one month………’
We have a great opportunity in this country to help others. Just in this masjid alone we have projects to help others so lets aim to be involved in some way with at least one act of charity.
And lastly, to end his/her life in good status, and on good actions. Dear brothers and sisters, none of us know when our time is up in this test. If we spend our whole time thinking we will improve tomorrow then tomorrow may never come. Make that change today and achieve that status so that if our time does come, we are not short-changing ourselves by being someone we weren’t meant to end our test as.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to be aware that this life is not without limits. Those limits are placed for our benefit in this. By adhering to them, we stand the best chance of being a loved slave of Allah SWT and benefitting upon our return to Him in the next life .
Today’s reminder is about the attributes of Allah SWT.
Dear brothers and sisters, believing in Allah SWT names or attributes as they are sometimes called, is one of the parts of believing in the oneness of Allah SWT.
In fact, it is said that you cannot worship Allah SWT fully unless this concept is understood fully.
The meaning of believing in the names or attributes of Allah SWT is to confirm what has been revealed to us by Allah SWT through the glorious Quran or through the sayings of the Prophet Muhammed SAWS. It also means that we discount any attributes that contradict these that have been revealed and it means to keep their meanings unaltered and avoid explaining them incorrectly or worse still, denying their existence.
We have introduced this topic in other reminders before but to recap, the 99 attributes or names of Allah SWT are given to us for a reason. The reason behind this is so that we are able to formulate an accurate and precise understanding of Allah SWT.
As magnificent as the name Allah SWT is, without these 99 attributes of Allah SWT, we would not be able to benefit from knowing that he is also the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Overseer and the Superior just to name a few.
And one of the exercises that was mentioned in a previous reminder was to ask ourselves, how many of us can list 99 attributes about ourselves? After all, no creation knows us better than we know ourselves and yet most of us would struggle with just half that number of attributes about ourselves.
Allah SWT therefore provides us with a comprehensive means to understanding who our Creator actually is. By looking into each and every attribute, both individually and then as a collective, we are able to comprehend the true magnificence of our Creator.
The imam reminded us of a hadith in which the prophet SAWS said:
Allah has 99 names, i.e. one-hundred minus one and whoever knows them will go to Paradise.
Dear brothers and sisters, we can interpret this as literal and therefore all we need to do is to memorize 99 names and voila, we’ve done it in life. Allah SWT is all merciful and we pray that this is enough but scholars state that it is more than just memorizing the names.
In fact, the act of knowing the 99 names is both knowing the name and understanding its meaning in relation to us.
For example, we know that Al-Rahman is a name or attribute of Allah SWT. But the deep spiritual connection with this name comes from understanding the translation behind the name and the rich meaning of the word according to the scholars of Islam.
The same goes for the other names or attributes. True memorization and understanding of the names means that we talk to Allah SWT with those names.
The imam reminded us of the following passage from the Quran. Sura Al-Araf, ayat 180 is translated to say:
And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave the company of those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are encouraged by Allah SWT to call upon Him with his names or attributes. All of us have desires, wants or worries. All of us, when sincerely in dua or supplication are asking of Him. Why not follow the Sunnah and use the correct attribute associated with what you are asking Him of?
The imam reminded us of the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS would say the following dua when a matter distressed him:
“O Living, O Self-Sustaining Sustainer, In your mercy I do seek relief”
Dear brothers and sisters, if you look at this, the translation does not begin with O Allah. This is because the Prophet SAWS, in this action, is teaching us the best of lessons in that He SAWS is calling Allah SWT in relation to what is being requested of Him.
We need to also follow in the footsteps of the best of creation SAWS, and get into the practice of using the correct attributes for the requests we make in dua or supplication.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are aware of the blessing of supplication and we are aware of the need to know Allah SWT and His attributes. Lets use todays reminder and the forthcoming month of Ramadan to put this lesson into our action plan in the holy month coming up.
Just studying and memorizing 4 names a day will have us accomplishing this task with nearly a week to spare. Just imagine the depth from which you will be able to communicate with your Creator by investigating a small amount of time and effort into an already blessed month. And by doing so, we can aim to be of those who are promised Paradise for this blessed achievement.
The imam spoke of three types of belief in Allah SWT’s Oneness. The first is the meaning of the word Rabb which is mentioned in the Quran, the second is the meaning of Allah which again we will expand upon and finally it is on the attributes of Allah SWT which are mentioned in the Quran.
The first third of this reminder expands upon the meaning of Rabb. We recite this definition of God every single prayer we pray in the first Sura of the Quran and when we read it’s translation we sometimes read Owner or Master for this word.
However, this is doing a disservice as the meaning of the word Rabb isn’t just Owner. After all, we could use the word Malik to define Owner as is done later in the Sura. No, Rabb is actually a bigger, richer word in it’s meaning and so we remind ourselves what it means to say Rabb.
Rabb is someone with a complete authority. So, is it possible to be an owner but not have complete authority? Of course, for example we have a car which we may own but we don’t have complete authority over it because if we get caught speeding enough times we won’t be able to use it anymore, despite being owners of it. Rabb is both Owner and Complete Authority.
Rabb also means to ensure growth. Allah SWT is telling us as Rabb, He looks after us from birth, throughout life and even beyond this life. This is Rabb. It also means to guide, to ensure existence and to grant gifts. Our life and all that we have are gifts from Him. This complete meaning of Rabb enables us to understand the richness of this word and what we as Muslims who believe in our Rabb also believe He is capable of.
The Imam reminded us of Sura Fatir, ayat 3 which says:
Is there any creator other than Allah who provides for you from the heaven and earth? There is no deity except Him, so how are you deluded?
The second part of today’s reminder is about the word Allah. How does this differ? To answer this is to first talk about the word itself as it is open to discussion amongst the scholars. Some say that the word Allah has always been the name from before mankind. Others say it is the word that is derived from Al-Ilah.
Quick explanation of this. Al meaning The and Ilah meaning someone to be worshipped. Therefore Allah being The One to be Worshipped, i.e. just the word Allah SWT is the definition of there is no-one else to be worshipped.
But looking at it from another perspective tells us, Ilah comes from the root verb in Arabic that is Aliha which means love. And there’s an interesting point worth making here.
Before Islam, old Arabs used to have 10 degrees of Love. The lowest level was called Hubb and the highest level of love was that which killed you, the type of obsessive love that makes psychos out of people, an unhealthy love.
However, the 9th degree, the highest healthy level was called Yallah or Allah and it is from which Ilah comes from. This kind of love is the kind that when you have it you don’t feel pain, you don’t feel sadness.
Therefore by saying Bismillah then, we are expressing our love for our Creator and acknowledging that if we truly love Allah SWT then all of our problems are going to feel like nothing.
Dear brothers and sisters, we all have problems, problems with family money, legal, health, career and study. Some people even get anxiety as they are always thinking of their problems.
However, we ought to remind ourselves that when we call on Allah SWT by saying Bismillah Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem, that Allah SWT will remove this tension from us. It will be replaced by the reliance on Allah SWT and the problems will get sorted and everything will be OK.
You see, we know that Bismillah is said at the start of suras in the Quran. But in the story of Sulaiman, it is used in the middle. The story itself is outside of today’s reminder but to summarize the Prophet Sulaiman is going to transfer the throne of a Queen thousands of miles away in the blink of an eye. And the bit that is key is that it says “This is because of Bismillah” i.e. this is what Bismillah can do.
Dear brothers and sisters, what is the lesson here? It is that if that is what the reciting of the name of Allah can do in the blink of an eye, then imagine what it can do for you and me. It means we have no reason to ever be pessimist as we have been gifted this from our Creator.
Thirdly, the oneness of Allah SWT is about the 99 names or attributes of Allah SWT. But why do we have 99 attributes?
To answer this question we need to ask ourselves, how is one introduced to someone they don’t know? For example, if I am introduced to someone for the first time, they may say my name and then say this Adeel, he is half-decent at talking in front of people. What is that doing to the other person? It’s giving them a picture of me before I have even had a chance to say hello. It’s allowing their mind to paint a picture of me and understand the kind of person I am.
We can’t see Allah SWT. Not in this life. But by having 99 attributes, it is allowing us to create a complete picture of who our He is. For most of us, we can’t even list 99 characteristics to describe ourselves but in the Quran, Allah SWT is listing 99 attributes of Himself. This is so there is no ambiguity in our minds as to who our He is. By understanding them all, we paint in ourselves a perfect picture that eliminates the need to see Him. With these attributes we know exactly who Allah SWT is.
And alongside knowing the 99 names, we can then use the one that is applicable to us when talknig to Him. Whether it is Al-Wali which means the protecting friend when we are feeling vulnerable to Al-Razzaq which means the sustainer when we are having money problems, there is a name or attribute for all our problems and needs.
Dear brothers and sisters, today’s reminder is the cornerstone of our lives and how we should be living it. We are equipped with the names of Allah SWT in both worshipping Him and understanding Him. Let’s reconnect to our Creator by understanding the Oneness of Allah SWT through his Name and his Attributes and be of the people who are referenced by Him in Sura Al Anam, ayat 162 which says:
Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.
May Allah enable us to understand the importance of Tawheed. May Allah SWT develop our understanding of Him in our hearts. May Allah SWT give us the ability to demonstrate this in our actions and our worship.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
There is an ayat, ayat 9 in the Quran in Sura Nisa which is translated as follows:
And let those [executors and guardians] fear [injustice] as if they [themselves] had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we study what the scholars tells us about the meaning behind this translation then one of the opinions of this ayat is about inheritance unfairly being kept by some that was entitled for others.
However, to go into the tafsir of any ayat is more than a single khutba and certainly more than this summary so the point of this is about justice. More importantly it’s about the realisation within the wrongdoer.
Dear brothers and sisters, one cannot avoid the news informing us of an increase in disease, death and other reasons of stress. In times like this, how do we handle the information thrown at us without being stressed or in despair?
What the ayat earlier is teaching us is to be God-conscious or to have Taqwa. And it is Taqwa that will provide true protection of the self, family and other things of value.
So what do we mean when we say Taqwa? And how do we belong to the Muttaqeen or those who are God-conscious? And when does this time begin?
First of all, the concept of being concious of a God is there within us from when we are born. An Oxford University study performed a few years back in the Centre for Anthropology and Mind concluded that young people have a default setting to believe in a supreme being because they assume everything in the world was created with a purpose.
Therefore the concept of Taqwa isn’t something that we inherit. It’s actually something that we are born with. And it is the dunya that erodes it away over time.
The Quran mentions the need for this in various places and one is referenced today in Sura Alahqaf, ayat 15 in which Allah SWT says:
And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.”
Dear brothers and sisters, man is being told by Allah SWT the timeline of life. From being dependant on his Parents, to reaching adulthood. The point here is that man is told to ask Allah SWT to make him grateful. To make him aware of what Allah SWT has done for him up to that point, to make him aware and thankful for everything that was done before he was even born into this world. And before he was independent and self-reliant on his living.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is the meaning of being conscious of Allah SWT and it is with this understanding that you can get true protection of the self, of one’s family and of your life’s worth – be it wealth, health or anything else.
We live in a world that is designed to make us forget this. How often is it that we see something on TV and we ask ourselves, has this person forgotten Allah SWT? Is he not fearful of his return to his Lord?
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to strive to not be of those who have forgotten Allah SWT and so in conclusion, this khutba outlines 3 things we can all do to achieve this:
- Recite the Quran with feeling. It should be the aim of everyone to read the Quran with understanding of what Allah SWT is telling us. We should aim so that we can contemplate and ponder over the meanings of the verses of the Quran and act upon what we learn.
- Be with Good Company. It is very important to be associated with good people because who we are is who our friends are. If we involve ourselves in the wrong crowd then whether we like it or not, their bad influence will rub off on us and we will end up like them.
- Learn religious knowledge. A person without knowledge is like someone walking along a track in complete darkness. Most likely the steps he take will cause him to wander astray. Our greatest danger lies in our ignorance of Islamic teachings and in our unawareness of what the Quran teaches and what guidance has been given from the Prophet SAWS.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are only too aware of the challenges that these practical steps may pose. However, there is a solution that addresses all three of the points raised and that is the very place in which you are sat listening to this khutba.
This masjid has been blessed with teachers, scholars and volunteers all working hard to bring knowledge, understanding of Quran and a place for good company for each and every one of us.
Speak to one of us or look at the notice board in the masjid or on our website and you will find classes tailored to your needs. And if you find that there is a class that is missing then tell us and we will work to deliver that class to you.
Protection of self, family and worth comes through connecting with Allah SWT and that connection can begin today with intention and steps towards attaining Taqwa.
May Allah SWT protect us all. May Allah SWT give us Taqwa. And may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in attaining Taqwa.
Ameen Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.
We start off this khutba with an ayat from Sura Nisa, ayat 48 in which Allah SWT says:
Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is clear in our faith that it is not permissible to give an oath using a creation of Allah, not using the life of any martyr or the life of any living person, including the lives of the Prophets peace and blessings be upon them despite their high status.
Imaam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Book, (Riyath Al Saliheen) – section of forbidding oaths in name of a creation like the Prophets, or the Ka’ba, or the skies or fathers or life itself.
And he identified in this section the Hadith from Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said :
Allah prevent you from taking oath using your father, and whoever has to take an oath, should take it with Allah or to be quiet.
And from the evidences of the danger of giving an oath using other than Allah is the hadith of Ibn Umar again, that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said:
Whoever gave an oath using other that Allah then he has done Shirk (Taking a God beside Allah).
Dear brothers and sisters, we can not take oath using other than Allah, as narrated by Sa’ad Ibn Abeeda, that Ibn Umar may Allah be pleased with him heard a person say, “No and the Ka’aba”, Ibn Umar said: Do not give oath beside Allah, as I heard the prophet peace and blessings be upon him said whoever took oath beside Allah has rejected (Kafar) or has taken God beside Allah.
Therefore if the person taking the oath using a person then he has glorified this person to put him in a status in comparison to Allah, and this is Shirk which can take a person out of the fold of Islam, and we take refuge from this.
And whoever is used to doing this, to keep giving oaths without thought using other than Allah, then he should say after that, that there is no Lord beside Allah.
This is because it has been shown in reality that if a person tried to do this as a habit then he/she will stop this bad habit.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to understand the reasons behind an oath in order to understand just why this topic is so important and not one that is overlooked.
The purposes of oaths taken are plenty, but the major ones are:
- To demonstrate the greatness of Allah SWT
- Oaths present an argument and points to ponder upon
- The oaths are in fact evidences
- The real purpose of an oath is reasoning
- They set Allah SWT as a witness to the argument being presented
Therefore, it is imperative that we recognize that only Allah SWT can be the basis of oaths.
May Allah SWT enable us to understand the meaning of oaths. May Allah SWT enable us to give an oath in the correct manner. And May Allah SWT reward us for correct delivery of an oath.
Allah SWT says in Sura Al-Ahzab, ayat 72:
Truly, We did offer “Al Amanah” (which translates to the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment).
But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).
Dear brothers and sisters, there is so much to digest from this single ayat and this khutba could never do it justice but in order to give an idea of how important and heavy this “trust” (amanat) is, Allah says that the heavens and the earth, in spite of their glory and greatness, and the mountains, in spite of their size and firmness, could not have the power and courage to bear it. But man, the weak and frail man, has borne this heavy burden on his tiny self.
In order to give an idea of the extraordinary importance of the matter, try to imagine a scene as if the earth and the heavens and the mountains like the Himalayas were present before Allah SWT on one side and a 5 to 6 foot man, on the other.
Then Allah SWT is saying at this point to His creation that he wants to invest someone of His creation with the power that it may acknowledge His Supremacy and obey His commands of its own free will.
He wants it to also have the power to deny Him, even rebel against Him. After giving the creation this freedom Allah SWT will conceal Himself as if He did not exist at all.
And to exercise this freedom, Allah SWT shall give His creation vast powers, great capabilities, and shall give it dominion over countless of His other creations so that it may raise any storm that it may.
And then finally Allah SWT will call His creation to account. The one who will have misused the freedom granted by Him, will be made to suffer a most terrible punishment; and the one who will have adopted His obedience in spite of all chances and opportunities for disobedience, will be raised to such high ranks as no creation of His has ever been able to attain.
And Allah SWT offers this to the mightiest of his creation by asking which of them is ready to undergo this test?
Dear brothers and sisters, now imagine that for a second, a test such as this is resulting in one huge creation after the other submitting that it should be excused from the severe test.
And then, at last, this frail creation, in comparison to the mountains and the earth, declares that it is ready to undergo this test. That it will brave all the dangers inherent in the freedom and independence only in the hope that it will be blessed with the highest office in Allah SWT’s kingdom if it passes the test.
Dear brothers and sisters, by imagining this scene through one’s mind’s eye can we judge exactly what delicate position we hold in the universe.
Allah in this verse has called mankind unjust and ignorant, who lives a carefree life in the place of test, and has no feeling at all of how great a responsibility he is shouldering, and what consequences he will encounter of the right or wrong decisions that he makes in choosing and adopting an attitude for himself in the life of the world.
He is ignorant because the fool holds himself as responsible to no one; he is unjust because he is preparing for his doom and is also preparing the doom of many others along with him.
Dear brothers and sisters, be under no illusion, we have had a great trust placed upon each and every single one of us by Allah SWT.
To perform worship and to perform our duties as Muslims to the best of our ability is the trust placed on us by Allah SWT. But alongside that we are entrusted to be just to one another in business, family affairs and in all walks of life.
We are entrusted by Allah SWT to carry on the message delivered via the Prophet SAWS in our manners, our behaviour and our talk especially considering the ignorance being spread of Islam in current affairs and media.
Dear brothers and sisters, one cannot over-emphasise the weight of expectation and responsibility placed on us via this trust. But Allah SWT’s wisdom prevails over all and we should remind ourselves that this is a trust we can honour with the right actions in this life.
And what better way to honour this trust than by to imitate the words and actions of our beloved Prophet Muhammed SAWS – the best of all creation?
May Allah SWT enable us to honour this Trust. May Allah SWT exclude us from the unjust and the ignorant and may Allah SWT reward us for honouring this Trust.
Ameen wa Alhamdullilahi Rabil-alameen.
This week we start with ayat 62-64 of Sura Yunus:
Unquestionably, for the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.
Those who believed and were fearing Allah.
For them are good tidings in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. No change is there in the words of Allah. That is what is the great attainment.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have discussed many times of the desire to have Allah SWT pleased with us. And rightly so, after all He is the master and we are his Slaves. This is the underlying theme in the Glorious Quran.
So is it apt, that we can have a discussion about us being pleased with Him? Being pleased with Allah SWT takes nothing away from the relationship we have with Him.
However, what the essence of this khutba is, is about being content with our lives. In a hadith, it is narrated that the Prophet Muhammed SAWS said:
The person will taste the true flavour of Faith is the one who is pleased with Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion and Muhammed as his Messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is natural to have ups and downs in faith. Nobody can claim that this life is without tests. However, to be pleased with Allah SWT is understanding the point to this life.
Once one gets a grasp on the reality of this existence, they will find that the trials and tribulations of this life are tests sent to enable us attain the best we can in the hereafter.
And to achieve that comes great reward as is mentioned by the Prophet SAWS in the following hadith:
Whoever is pleased with Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion, and Mohammed as his messenger, paradise is guaranteed for him.
Dear brothers and sisters, the reward clearly is massive so what can we do to ensure that we are of those who fit into this category?
It all begins with saying Alhamdullilah. Translated is: All praise and thanks is for Allah SWT.
This is how Muslims show gratitude to Allah SWT and this is how one demonstrates being pleased with Allah SWT.
Practically though, how does one implement this?
It’s as simple as making dua to Allah SWT for the things that go right in your life. The only thing that Allah SWT asks in return for all the blessings in your life is gratitude.
Since we already say it in our prayers, we should apply it to our lives as well. Utter Alhamdullilah often, with sincerity and from the heart. Really embrace the meaning of the word into our hearts every time we say it.
Each time you say Alhamdullilah, visualise the blessing that you are praising and thanking Him for. With that process will come sincerity as it’s no longer lip service but it’s attached to an emotion and an event.
Make it a habit to say Alhamdullilah at every turn in your life. Not to forget that even if we don’t understand the outcome, it is for the best for us as it is from Him.
Also, in seeking to thank Allah SWT, not only are we pleasing Him, but we are also ensuring continued success in return. We must remember that Allah SWT loves those who thank Him. Be grateful throughout the day. When you wake, when you eat, drink, when you are with family, friends, work or school. All opportunities to recognize the blessing of the moment and to thank Him for making it so.
Of course, we can also express this in actions through recitation of Quran, voluntary prayers and prayers at the masjid. However, the key is to express with sincerity to He who gives us all that we are happy with, our thanks and praise at those things.
And as mentioned earlier, the reward for this frame of mind is immense, the khutba ends with a hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
Whoever says when they hear the call to prayer, I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, Islam as my religion and Mohammed as my Messenger, his sins are forgiven.
Dear brothers and sisters, we cannot underestimate the importance of this week’s khutba.
Our Glorious Quran begins with Alhamdulliah and so we need to adhere to its message and its teachings.
Let’s be of those who fit into the category defined by our Prophet SAWS and lets start by having the Praise and Thanks of Allah SWT on the tips of our tongues and within our hearts.
May Allah SWT enable us to be content with the life he has given us. May Allah SWT enable us to express gratitude to Him. And may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in expressing gratitude to Him.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
Dear brothers, in the upcoming week we are entering the month of Dhul-Hijjah.
This is the month in which the Hajj is performed by millions of Muslims all over the world and followed by Eid. It is also the month that has great blessings associated with it in the lead up to Hajj.
The Prophet SAWS said in regards to the start of this month:
There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.
When they replied to the Prophet SAWS – Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?
He SAWS replied back to them – Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out for himself for jihad, taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.
Dear brothers, if we analyse the hadith, it clearly demonstrates to us the blessing that Allah SWT has bestowed upon us in the coming days.
As Muslims, we are so blessed because time and time again we are given the opportunity to earn His pleasure. Opportunity after opportunity is given to us to bank our deeds for the eternal life after this temporary existence ends for us all.
We can be of those who Allah SWT mentions in the former group when Allah SWT talks of His mercy in Sura Maryam:
Then We will save those who feared Allah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees.
Dear brothers, then the objective becomes clear. What better way than to step up a gear for ten days of Dhul-Hijjah?
What follows then are 3 things we can do to make these 10 days count for us and make us of those who are the subject of Allah SWT’s mercy.
Number one is prayer. It is highly recommended to perform the obligatory acts at their prescribed times (which means as early as possible) and to increase oneself in the bonus or sunnah acts, for indeed, this is what brings a person closer to their Lord.
The second thing we can do in this month, dear brothers, is to perform voluntary act of Fasting. Unlike the month of Ramadhan, fasting outside of the month is a different experience altogether so aim to start with just one and work towards the Sunnah of fasting often outside of the month of Ramadhan.
And lastly, the third act that we can all do is Zhikr or remembrance of Allah SWT. Dear brothers, this is the easiest act for us to do but potentially the most rewarding.
For example, the daily commute to study or work can be spent saying Allahu akbar, Alhamdullilah or La Illaha Illallah under your breath. We don’t need fancy counter apps, gadgets or even a tasbih.
The aim here isn’t to clock the x number of times we are reciting these words or phrases. Instead the aim here should be one of time spent remembering Allah SWT.
Recite slowly and deliberately and focus on the meanings behind reciting the words as this will be more beneficial in the weight of the deed and the effect it has on the heart.
Having the heart testify Allahu Akbar meaning Allah SWT is the greatest or Alhamdullilah meaning Praise be to Allah SWT or La illaha illallah meaning there is no God but Allah SWT will serve to add great reward to your deeds as well as improve your heart, mind and your day.
Dear brothers, we are consumed by the life with which we are given. We are all striving to work for our afterlife with distractions in every facet of our lives. But with this life comes moments of blessings that ease the hardships.
These coming ten days is one of those moments. We can make our every day efforts count so much more so let’s strive to give it an extra effort in the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah with one or all of the 3 things mentioned.
May Allah SWT instill into our hearts the blessing of this time. May Allah SWT hasten our forgiveness with Him. And May Allah SWT reward us for the efforts in these 10 days.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
All praise is due to Allah (SWT). Peace and blessings upon our beloved prophet (SAWS) his family and his companions.
Today’s khutba is about the rememberance of Allah SWT
Dear brothers, as Muslims our aim in life is quite simple. It is to follow the steps laid out in the Quran and the Sunnah to worship Allah SWT through our deeds and our intentions.
However, everything we do for Allah SWT stems from a single source and that is the acknowledgement and rememberance of Him.
Allah SWT has mentioned dhikr (or rememberance of Allah) over a hundred times in the Glorious Quran. In Sura Al-Imran, Allah SWT says:
Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.
Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or lying on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth by saying “Our Lord, you did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You above such a thing; then protect us from the punishment of the fire.”
Dear brothers, if we look at this ayat. amongst the many lessons is one of the need for us to remember Allah SWT wherever we may be.
But how can we remember Allah throughout the normal course of our day without withdrawing from the routine of our daily worldly life?
How can we ensure that our personal life, family life, professional life and other activities all continue in full swing, and yet, at the same time, ensure that our life as a whole, every moment of it, is permeated with remembrance of Allah?
Allah SWT mentions the distractions in Sura Al Kahf:
Wealth and children are but an adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for one’s hope.
Dear brothers, it might seem a mighty task at first, but one we can accomplish with some ease.
InshAllah after the following four points we can strive to emulate the Prophet SAWS as narrated in the following hadith:
The Prophet SAWS would remember Allah SWT all the time, in different states.
Dear brothers, what follows then are four states of consciousness that we must strive to develop by remembering certain things, absorbing them and reminding ourselves of them often.
1) Say to ourselves: “I am in Allah’s presence; He is watching me.”
If ever we are alone, He is the second and that if we are two, He is the third. He is with us wherever we are. He is nearer to us than our jugular vein. Allah is watching everything that we do and hearing everything that we say. He is ever present and His knowledge is all encompassing. Lets try to remind ourselves of this as often as we can, and throughout the day every time we begin a new task, and every time we speak.
2) Say to ourselves. “Everything I have has been given to me by Allah.”
All that there is surrounding us, on us and in us comes from Allah alone. There is none that creates or gives anything but Allah. Therefore, reflect upon all the blessings that He has blessed us with and be thankful to Him. Say Alhamdullilah. In all the sayings that our beloved Prophet (SAWS) has taught us to remember Allah with, gratefulness to Allah is a constant theme.
3) Say to ourselves: “Nothing in this world can happen without His permission.”
Everything lies in the hands of Allah. No harm can befall us and no benefit can reach us except as Allah ordains.
4) And finally, Say to ourselves: “I am going to return to Allah one day and that day could be today.”
Dear brothers, we do not know when we will leave this world. It may be that this hour is our last hour, or even, that this moment is our last moment. Such an uncertainty does not, of course, justify a complete withdrawal from this life.
However, we should aim that we are always conscious of this uncertainty, to the extent that it motivates us to spend every moment of our remaining life seriously, considering it as a gift from Allah and spending the resources He has blessed us with such as time, ability and energy as Allah has advised.
May Allah SWT enable us to remember Him in all states. May Allah SWT enable us to adhere to these four points mentioned above. And May Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in remembering Him.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
Dear brothers, it is natural for mankind to want to get what benefits him or her.
Whether it is in worldly matters or matters relating to the hereafter, we are all striving to attain more from our existence.
We also find that people struggle to accept the situation when their desires are not met. Some blame other people when they aren’t successful – a sense of paranoia begins to set in with these people.
Others end up blaming things like ‘the evil eye’ and claiming black magic, jinn involvement and the likes.
Although as Muslims, we believe in the existence of these concepts, often it is not the cause of their problems and the danger here is that the individual can end up becoming delusional and believing that every bad outcome is supernatural.
This in effect causes further stress as the individual is then exposed to those people who benefit from taking money to cure the individual of this magic etc.
The individual is misguided and is in need of the correct guidance and this comes from only one source.
The following hadith demonstrates this well as narrated by Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him). The Prophet SAWS said:
O young man, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him before you. If you ask, ask from Allah. If you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that if the nations gathered together to benefit you, they cannot benefit you unless Allah has written it for you, and if the nations gathered together to harm you, they cannot harm you unless Allah has written it for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages dried.
Dear brothers, if we ponder over this hadith we see that our beloved Prophet SAWS has clearly freed us from the worries of misguidance. It is clear for those who analyse that Allah SWT is telling us that He is there for us.
However, it is not easy in an existence where Shaytaan has made it his ultimate goal to distract us from the truth mentioned.
So as muslims, we need to be aware of this plot and set ourselves clear objectives to help us stick to the only guidance and help we need in this life. Achieving these objectives will enable us to achieve greater productivity, confidence in our actions and satisfaction and joy from what we do.
What follows are 3 objectives that we can aim for in order to seek guidance from the correct source and to not feel misguided in our lives.
1. Dua’a (Supplication)
This is the key. We need to ask Him for help. And there is an etiquette to this also. But the most important point to note here is that we need to have our prayers in order as well so that we can benefit from this point.
Allah SWT says in Sura Al-Baqarah:
Maintain with care the (obligatory) prayers and (in particular) the middle prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.
On top of this, get to know the 99 names of Allah SWT and ask of Him in relation to those.
Dear brothers, patience is so important to note. It is a defining characteristic of a muslim and so we have no excuses if we don’t demonstrate this. Also, it is worthy to note that Allah SWT will accept your supplication but you may not see it as He will only do what is good for you even if you do not know it.
And lastly, the realisation that we are His slaves and He is our master. To make a dua’a to Him is not like ordering something from Amazon. Just because we ask once from Him does not entitle us to be demanding from Him. Ask from Him often and in a consistent manner and recognize the blessing that is the ability we have to make the supplication of Him.
Dear brothers, guidance comes from knowing and loving Allah SWT. The more you get closer to Him, the more He will get closer to you. Let’s all aim to revert back to the only guidance we need in this life.
May Allah SWT guide us to the path that takes us closer to Him. May Allah SWT enable us to seek help only from Him. And may Allah SWT reward us for the efforts we make to seek guidance from Him.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.