Dear Friday Jemaah,
Let us renew our resolution to increase our takwa towards Allah s.w.t. by learning more about the message taught by Rasulullah s.a.w. and then diligently practising it. Hopefully by doing so Allah will ease our efforts to uphold His commandments and avoid what He has prohibited upon us.
Allah s.w.t. says in surah At-Taubah verse 128:
Which means: “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.”
Indeed Rasulullah s.a.w. never stopped praying for the safety and welfare of his ummah. This is evidenced by a story narrated by Imam Muslim. It tells us of the tears how Rasulullah s.a.w. was always thinking about us, his beloved, and how he shed his tears for us. Once, the Prophet s.a.w. was reading verse 36 from Surah Ibrahim, which recalls the doa of Prophet Ibrahim who asked for Allah to guide his people. Rasulullah s.a.w. then read verse 118 from surah Al-Maidah which is about Nabi Isa’s hope that Allah will not punish his people. At that point, tears flowed from Rasulullah’s eyes. As he wept, the Prophet s.a.w. prayed to Allah, "Oh Allah, my ummah, my ummah," full of hope that Allah s.w.t. will protect his ummah and keep them in His guidance and save them from Hellfire. Allah s.w.t.then sent Jibril a.s. to ask the Prophet s.a.w. why did he cry. When He was told of the Prophet’s wish – and indeed Allah is All Knowing – Allah asked Jibril to convey to the Prophet s.a.w. “Indeed, We will please you regarding your Ummah, and We will not cause you to grieve.”
There are several important learning points that we can take away from this hadith.
First: We need to put our hopes in Allah s.w.t. and ask from Him. If we think about it, Allah can simply grant the doa of the Prophet s.a.w. without sending Jibril a.s. to ask Rasulullah s.a.w. to express his doa. This is because Allah is The All-Knowing. However, by sending Jibril, Allah is actually teaching us, His servants, that even though Allah knows of our every wish and desire, we have to humble ourselves to raise both our hands to Allah s.w.t. and make doa to ask from Allah. This is to ensure that men will remain humble and to never feel that they do not require help from Allah s.w.t.
At times, without realising it, we have become servants who are proud. We feel that the bounty that we have gained, the family we have built, our career, intelligence and skills are from ourselves and our efforts without needing to seek any help from Allah. Even to the point that we do not have time to ask from Allah. This is the ploy of syaitan to plant in our hearts the attitude that we do not need to abide by Allah’s commands. Our hearts that are filled with arrogance will then start to transgress Allah’s prohibitions without any shame or guilt.
Even though we may be talented, educated and skilful, the one who opens the heart of the interviewer us to accept our job application is Allah. Remember, even if we are to own a huge, successful factory, if Allah wills that the factory be destroyed, then so it will. Do not be arrogant because the truth is, everything that we own, be it wealth, family, health and our own lives belong to Allah. We are merely his servants who have been loaned the nikmat or blessings from Allah so that we can continue to prostrate and obey Him.
The second lesson: This hadith reminds us that we learn our lessons from the doa of Rasulullah and reflect these lessons in our actions and practices today. Brothers, Rasulullah s.a.w. cried asking for Allah to be pleased with us. However, there are still some among us who do not seem to want His pleasure to be granted to our hearts and souls.
Do not let our actions contradict our promise to our faith. For example, some of us claim that we are believers and would like to uphold our religion, but our hearts are still filled with envy towards our colleague. We let our hearts be vengeful towards those who have wronged us, or those who continue to hurt others through backbiting and insulting others either on Facebook or in his conversations with others.
At the same time, we should not become among those who claim they are believers but they ignore the command to pray, which is our way of communicating directly to Allah s.w.t. And we should also not become those who are Muslims merely in name, but whose lives are corrupted with sinful acts such as gambling either by buying lottery tickets or betting at the race tracks.
If we truly love Rasulullah s.a.w. then we should not simply practise sunnah khalqiyyah which refers to merely sunnah that are physical and more outward in nature, such as wearing a serban, jubah (gamis), using the miswak, but at the same time ignoring sunnah khuluqiyyah which is very important, such as the actions and akhlak of Rasulullah s.a.w.
Rasulullah touched the hearts and lives of those around him with the beauty of his akhlak, personality and his humanity. What about us? Have we enlivened the sunnah of bringing hope and doing good deeds for those around us? Remember, only when they feel the benefits of our contributions, whether at work, in our social circles and community living, then will we be known as the ummah which brings about ‘Rahmatan lil ‘Alamin’.
May Allah grant us the perseverance, sincerity and tenderness of the heart to continue to be the ummah of Rasulullah s.a.w. who spreads goodness to all. May we and our families attain Allah’s pleasure and may we be granted consistency in upholding the sunnah, until we meet with Allah s.w.t.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Friday Sermon, 31 January 2014 / 29 Rabiulawal 1435