Dear blessed Friday Jemaah,
On this day full of barakah, let us ask Allah s.w.t. to strengthen our takwa towards Him. Seek from Allah to grant us the wisdom (hikmah) and sincerity in obeying His commands and avoiding what Allah has prohibited upon us.
When Allah s.w.t. explained to the angels His decision to create Adam a.s., the angels expressed their concerns because men have the potential to bring about destruction. However, after showing them of the potential benefits and the knowledge that Allah will equip mankind with, the angels bowed in humility realising their weakness and acknowledging the wisdom of Allah s.w.t., whose knowledge is far beyond theirs. This was mentioned in surah Al-Baqarah verse 32:
Which means: “They said, "Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise."
The acknowledgement by the angles, of Allah’s attribute of Al-Hakim, becomes clear when we reflect deeper into every command and prohibition set by Allah s.w.t. This is because it is only for the benefit of mankind.
For example, when Allah made it haram for us to consume alcohol, it is meant to prevent all sorts of harm, be it harm to our health, our lives or even our surroundings. When Allah commands us to fast, even though it is challenging, the benefits that we reap from fasting, both spiritually and emotionally, are far greater than dealing with hunger and thirst.
These are just some examples of how we need guidance from Allah The Most Wise. Even though humans are bestowed with intellect, they can easily fall prey to their desires (nafs). And if they are left on their own without any guidance and accountability or punishment, they will most surely be consumed by his desires. We thus need to constantly refer back to what Allah has decreed upon us for He is Al-Hakim, The Most Wise and He is Free from any flaws or weaknesses. Therefore, Allah’s guidelines for us are perfect and free from any flaws and negative elements which might otherwise come from the humanly desires, or syaitan.. Furthermore, Allah is the One who knows what is best for our needs and our welfare, and hence His guidelines are perfect too
In order to better appreciate this attribute of Al-Hakim, let us reflect upon our lives. I am sure that we have all faced difficult periods in our lives. For example, some of us might have been tested with illnesses. However, have we ever taken a step back and reflect upon the advantages of this test rather than view it as a tragedy?
Perhaps our experience, or that of our family member’s, will heighten our awareness on the importance of staying healthy and seeking early treatment. Perhaps the illness also serves as a reminder to us to remember Allah and to place our hopes only upon Him for we may have neglected our relationship with our Creator for a long time. Thus, Allah s.w.t. reminds us in surah Al-Baqarah verse 216:
Which means: “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.”
We need to study in detail this attribute of wisdom by understanding how Allah s.w.t. determines what we should obey and what we should avoid. And for us to do so, we have to equip ourselves and our children with religious knowledge. We have to equip our children with the ability to differentiate between what will be beneficial to them in this world and the hereafter, and what will be destructive and harmful for them. Nabi s.a.w. described the virtues of seeking religious knowledge in a hadith which goes as such:
Which means: “When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of the Deen(religion)”. [Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim]
Hence, we should bear in mind that it is on Allah’s Mercy and wishes alone that those who are granted with the pleasure of seeking religious knowledge, are able to do so.
Last week, we were informed of the efforts and strategies of the Islamic education providers, both at the mosques and the private institutions, to ensure that our children continue to receive Islamic education. According to a survey, only 40 percent of the Muslim children in Singapore attend structured Islamic education classes. This means that there is still a lot of room for us to work together to ensure that all our children, grandchildren and even our nieces and nephews do not miss the opportunity to learn about Allah and Rasulullah s.a.w. They have been born as Muslims and in fitrah, so let us imbibe them with Islamic values; guide them with kindness and remind them of the need obey Allah and His Prophet. All these can be achieved by giving them the proper guidance, inshaAllah.
Our children today are faced with various challenges that may test their faith, affect their mindset and lifestyle. They cannot be left to fend on their own without any guidance. We cannot simply assume that they will be able to navigate and find their religious compass on their own later in their adult life.
Thus, if we know of any family members and even neighbours who have yet to send their children to religious education classes, encourage them to start doing so. At the very least, ensure that their children are sent for Islamic education programmes and activities during the school holidays. Coax our children wisely so that they will open up their hearts and fill it with love for Allah and Rasulullah s.a.w. Win them over by giving them encouragement when they fulfil their religious obligations.
Hopefully, an effective Islamic education will boost the religious resilience of the younger generation, and equip them with the wisdom to navigate through the challenges they face in their lives. And hopefully, with a strong Islamic education, they will be able to pray for us when it is time for to leave this world. And hopefully by equipping them and ourselves with Islamic education, we will be gathered together as a family in the gardens of Allah’s eternal Paradise. Amin ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Friday Sermon, 28 February 2014 / 28 Rabiulakhir 1435