Dear blessed Friday jemaah,
Let us strive together to increase our takwa towards Allah s.w.t., by heeding all of Allah’s commands and avoiding what He has prohibited upon us. Hopefully by doing so, we will become Allah’ servants who attain success in this world and the Hereafter, and become the ummah of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. who bring benefits to all of mankind.
Rasulullah s.a.w. was sent by Allah s.w.t. to spread mercy to all of Allah’s creations on this earth. In Surah Al-Anbiya’ verse 107, Allah s.w.t says:
Which means: “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.”
I am sure we have often heard this verse. However, have we truly understood the meaning of the word “mercy” or “rahmah”? This week’s sermon calls upon all of us to reflect upon the importance of emulating the Prophet’s mercy in our interactions with others.
As a man of noble character, Rasulullah s.a.w. displayed his merciful nature through the beauty of his good morals when he interacted with others. This included his relationship with his family members and companions. His noble character was also shown to those who did not share his path and those who differed from him.
Rasulullah s.a.w. has always stressed the importance of keeping good relations, especially with those of the same faith. In a hadith, Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
Which means: “’The believer (mukmin) to the Believer (mukmin) is like a solid building, one part supporting the other.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim]
Just look at how honourable his relationships with the companions were. The social relationships that the Prophet s.a.w. built were based on mutual respect and affection. It was beautified with noble values such as helping each other and rushing to do good deeds.
Rasulullah s.a.w. was a friend who never got tired of listening to the complaints of his companions r.a. regarding any matters that they faced. He was also a leader who was concerned with the needs of the community in receiving his prophetic guidance.
If we reflect upon the sirah (history) of Rasulullah s.a.w., we will find many nuggets of colourful events that tell us of how Rasulullah s.a.w. upheld the practise of “musyawarah” or discussion with the Companions. For example, during the Battle of Uhud, Rasulullah s.a.w. took up the suggestion of the Companions r.a. to go out beyond the borders of Madinah, even though he himself was not keen on doing so.
He was also very concerned towards his companions, and was always ready to listen to their complaints and sympathised with the troubles and difficulties they faced. Once, a woman named Khaulah came to complain to Rasulullah s.a.w. Out of anger, her husband had divorced her in a crude manner, using a method known as Zihar. Books of hadith reported how Rasulullah s.a.w. listened to her and displayed immense sympathy towards Khaulah’s situation. But beyond that, after Allah’s decision on the issue was revealed in Surah al-Mujadilah, Rasulullah s.a.w. even helped Khaulah’s husband to win his wife back.
Indeed that is an example of the vast extent of the mercy spread by Rasulullah s.a.w. The Prophet taught us to be kind to all, and to prevent ourselves from doing bad deeds. Allah s.w.t. says in Surah Al-Hujurat verse 10:
Which means, “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy.”
In building relationships with our fellow Muslims, Rasulullah s.a.w. forbids us from hurting the feelings of our brethren. We are taught to say good words, and if there is nothing good to be said, it is better for us to be quiet rather than express words that may hurt the feelings of others. This is because; part of perfecting our faith is through loving for our brother what we love for ourselves. Thus, if we do not like to be despised, then we should not despise others.
Rasulullah s.a.w also taught us not to judge others. That is why we are prohibited from searching for the mistakes of others. If we need to reprimand someone, do so wisely, and not by embarrassing them publicly. We are encouraged to make dakwah, which is to call upon others to bring themselves closer to Allah. But we are not judges, who can sentence others or determine who is right or wrong. Each and every one of us will be questioned in front of Allah: “Have you called upon your family, your neighbours, your friends and all those who interacted with, to be closer to Allah?” We are not asked: “Have you sentenced so and so? Why did you not sentence him?”
Hopefully with this, we are inspired to emulate the noble character of Rasulullah s.a.w. May we become the ummah of Rasulullah s.a.w; may we who bring mercy to all and strengthen our relationships with others. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Friday Sermon,24 January 2014 / 22 Rabiulawal 1435