Friday Jemaah blessed by Allah,
Let us strive to boost our takwa by instilling in ourselves love for Allah by abiding to all of His commands and leaving behind what Allah has prohibited upon us.
My dear brothers,
Living in this fast-paced world, where we are busy chasing our worldly dreams and ambitions, we are often under pressure and stress. At times, we may feel restless and uneasiness engulfs our hearts. We strive day and night to find a remedy for this uneasiness, but we still fail to find it. At times, we try to ease our hearts with entertainment, but that restless feeling will come to haunt us again. Here, I would like to share what Allah s.w.t. says in verse 28 surah Ar-Ra’ad:
Which means: “Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah (zikrullah). Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah (zikrullah) hearts are assured.”
We must always remember that Allah is the One who controls our hearts and souls. Thus, it is He who is All-Knowing and the Almighty who is able to bring our hearts from a state of restlessness to a state of peace and calmness. From despair to perseverance. When we feel stuck, worried and lost, then we need to return to Allah the Almighty, by making zikr, remembering Him in order to be given a renewed sense of strength.
The story of Prophet Yunus a.s., who was swallowed by a whale, is an excellent story that talks about the importance of zikrullah (remembering Allah) to achieve calmness of the heart. Imagine the situation that Prophet Yunus a.s. was in, and how he must have felt at that time, trapped in the stomach of a whale which was lying on the ocean floor. Prophet Yunus’ response was not to surrender, give up and allow himself to be depressed as he battled a huge problem. Instead, in that moment of solitude and loneliness, he turned to Allah s.w.t., the only One who can bring him out of darkness and back to light. The doa that was recited by Prophet Yunus a.s., which is also good for us to recite as well, is mentioned in the Quran; verse 87 Surah Al-Anbiya’:
Which means: "And he called out within the darkness, "There is no deity except you; exalted are you. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers."
Allah s.w.t. then brought him out of that darkness and protected him. In another surah, Allah s.w.t. explains a very important matter that we should all reflect upon, and it is related to Nabi Yunus a.s. Allah says in surah As-Saffat verse 143-144:
Which means: "And had he not been of those who exalt (glorify) Allah, He would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected."
This story is a reminder for us, that when we face challenges in life or when we are stressed at work, school, or home, we should quickly remember Allah. This will help our hearts regain calmness and enable us to focus on working out solutions to the problems we encounter. Hopefully, with the barakah of remembering Allah, He will guide us to the best solutions to overcome the challenges we face and ease our affairs, Insha’Allah.
Friday Jemaah blessed by Allah,
In discussing the importance of remembering Allah or zikrullah, I would like to share with you a story of a Companion of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. This companion went to Rasulullah s.a.w. and complained to him about the burden that felt. The companion felt that as more laws of Islam were established, he was afraid that he would not be able to fulfil them. The Prophet s.a.w. replied:
Which means: "Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah s.w.t." [Hadith narrated by Imam At-Tirmizi]
By making zikrullah a habit, a Mukmin (believer) will be able to achieve the strength to hold on to Allah’s laws. When a Mukmin is in constant remembrance of Allah s.w.t., piety (takwa) will bloom in him. He will strive to better his heart, his akhlak and his words. My brothers, we are indeed humans who are weak and we easily forget our objective in this world. Among the reasons why we easily fall prey to our desires and syaitan’s deception is because of our empty souls and the lack of focus towards Allah s.w.t. When this happens, takwa will be absent from our hearts and we lack conscience when we do evil acts.
Therefore, we must train ourselves to quickly remember Allah by invoking zikr when we find that we are on the verge of any wrongdoing. My brothers, our children are exposed to all sorts of bad influences these days; hence we need to train them from a very young age to ensure that his life is never void of remembering Allah. We must teach them that whenever they feel tempted or are encouraged by friends to transgress Allah’s rules, they must quickly remember Allah s.w.t.
Imam Al-Hassan Al-Basri once said:
"Are you not ashamed, if tomorrow when you meet with God, and find that most of your time was not filled with remembrance of Allah?"
Therefore, do not let our free time pass by without filling the time with good deeds and beneficial work. Remember my brothers, we may not regain the time that has passed. Thus, use the time given by Allah wisely.
And remember, what Allah sees in our zikr is not the quantity of it. Rather, the appreciation of the words that we recite, and that is the main objective that we must observe while making zikr. Nabi Muhammad s.a.w., when he was speaking about the seven groups of people who will be shaded by Allah at the field of Mahsyar during the Day of Judgement, said that among the seven groups are:
Which means: "A person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes gets flooded with tears". [Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim]
May Allah s.w.t. make us among those whose hearts are alive with zikrullah and whose tongues are moist with the recitation of zikr and verses from the Quran. May Allah grant us with calmness and everlasting happiness in this world and the hereafter. Amin.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Friday Sermon, 18 Oct 2013 / 13 Zulhijjah 1434H