Friday, 9 April 2010

Be Righteous and Dutiful to Our Parents


After a year of inactive blog, today I am posting today's Friday Sermon on 9/4/2010

One of the importance tasks for Muslims:
Be Righteous and Dutiful to Parents.

We must realized that being righteous and dutiful to parents is an obligatory (wajib) action and it is at the same level as 5 daily prayers, fasting, going to hajj etc. Thats how heavy the task is.

What being righteous and dutiful to parents means?
1) Taking care of them
2) Comply to their orders and commands
3) Honour them, be respectful to them

Quoting a verse from Surah Luqman (Verses 13-15):

And (remember) when Luqmân said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allâh. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allâh is a great Zûlm (wrong) indeed.[] (13)

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years — give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.[] (14)

But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do. (15)

In this verse it is clear how high the level of of respect/ regards that we must give to our parents is (especially to our mother). Even if we are not obeying them in committing shirk to Allah, we must be kind to them in this world.

This verse was revealed to highlight matters about how Saad bin Abu Waqqas dealt with his mother who were still a disbeliever.

The imam went on to mention about mothers' position in Islam.
A few hadiths to show how high is the position of our mothers:

Can be found in Book 73: Good and Manners and Form (Al-Adab) - Sahih Bukhari
From Volume 8, Book 73, Hadith Number 2:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man said. "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man further said, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." The man asked for the fourth time, "Who is next?" The Prophet said, "Your father. "

Volume 8, Book 73, Hadith Number 3:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr:

A man said to the Prophet, "Shall I participate in Jihad?" The Prophet said, "Are your parents living?" The man said, "Yes." the Prophet said, "Do Jihad for their benefit."

So, how to translate these verses and hadiths into our real life in dealing with our parents? Here are some points to be remembered and acted upon:

1) Follow all their orders except in shirk to Allah (this is the golden rules)
2) Honour them
3) Seek advice from them in any matters
4) Taking care of them if/when they need it
5) Make them happy
6) Spend money/time/wealth on them
7) Get consent from them when going away from home (like to other countries)
8) Don't get angry with/ at them
9) Don't say even 'uf' to them
10) Don't raise your voice when you are with them
11) Don't interrupt their speech. Let them finish their message
12) Lower your wings even if you think you are potentially more educated or more successful than they are
13) Be humble to your parents always

And the task of being righteous and dutiful to parents should continue after they have passed away. We should do these:

1) Make prayers (du'a) and ask forgiveness of Allah for them
2) Fulfilling their promises
3) Keep ties with relatives
4) Honouring their friends

These are mentioned in a hadith cited by Imam al-Bukhari as well:

“A man approached the Prophet asking, “Is there anything I must do in terms of kindness towards my parents after their death?” The Prophet replied, “Yes, there are four things for you to do: Praying and asking forgiveness of Allah on their behalf, fulfilling their promises, respecting their friends, and fostering their ties of kinship…”


Friday, 30 January 2009

Personal Relationship and Family Ties

Al-Isra' (23-24):
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. (23) And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young." (24)

And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship And she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: "My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my off-spring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will)." (15)

Al-Baqarah, 83:
And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none but Allâh (Alone) and be dutiful and good to parents, and to kindred, and to orphans and Al-Masâkîn [] (the poor), and speak good to people [i.e. enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and say the truth about Muhammad Peace be upon him ], and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât. Then you slid back, except a few of you, while you are backsliders. (Tafsir Al-Qurtubî). (83)

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Fear and Sacrifice

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

The sermon on 23/1/2009 was about fear and sacrifice addressed in relation to the latest news in Gaza.

What can we do for Palestine?

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

Let's meet again. I've been busy with work and a bit caught up with the end-of-year traveling. The sermon I am going to write was given on 16/1/2009 in light of what has been happening in Palestine or specifically Gaza during the last three long weeks.

The imam started by saying how Muslims is like one body quoting a hadith which we've heard over and over again (but perhaps without proper follow up actions). Again, for our own benefit, I would like to put the hadith again on this blog.

From Sahih Muslim :: Book 32 : Hadith 6261

Nu'man b. Bashir reported that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said, "Muslims are like one body of a person; if the eye is sore, the whole body aches, and if the head aches, the whole body aches."

The imam reminded us that, what we can and should do seriously, considering that most of us are students, are:

1) On personal level, each of us should renew and strengthen our belief (iman) to Allah. We must look carefully at improving our godfearingness to Allah in every aspect of life, so that Allah may help ourselves, and other Muslims as one whole body. Our disobedience to Allah may delay the victory promised by Allah to the Muslims.

2) In jamaah, we should make every effort to help the unfortunate in Gaza - making donation, arranging the collections of donation, joining the demonstration, writing to members of parliment of our constituent of what we are feeling about all of the happenings, printing and distributing posters, attending lectures regarding the conflicts, updating ourselves with the true source of news, signing petitions, and everything that can help alleviate the suffering of our fellow brothers and sisters in Gaza.

3) Make du'a (pray to Allah). Du'a is our weapon.

I would like to add this hadith about dua for our contemplation;

From Malik' Muwatta :: Book 46 : Hadith 46.2.9

Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that this was said "Praise be to Allah who created everything as is necessary, who does not hasten anything He defers and determines. Allah is enough for me and sufficient. Allah hears whoever makes dua to him. Allah does not have a goal."

May Allah gives us strength to do more that these suggestions as our contribution to our brothers and sisters in Palestines and all mujahidin around the world.


Sunday, 21 September 2008



It has been a while since I last wrote in this blog. Unforeseen circumstance has befallen me recently, and I was quite overwhelmed with lots of stuff. They should have not distracted me from writing in this blog but I am just a normal human being who cannot really handle sudden change in life.

Digressing a bit from the motive of the creation of this blog, today I would like to write about a topic from a book. It was extracted from an abridged translation of 'uddat as-sabirin wa dhakhirat ash-shakirin' meaning Patience and Gratitude by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. It was translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab.

Before I go writing about a piece that I like most in this book, let us see the definition of patience (sabr in Arabic). The root meaning of sabr is to detain, refrain and stop. In the spiritual sense, patience means to stop ourselves from despairing and panicking, to stop our tounges from complaining and to stop our hands from striking our faces and tearing our clothes (I think the last definition relates more to Middle-eastern culture, correct me if I'm wrong) at time of grief and stress.

Next is to show why we witness religiously conflicting acts done by ourselves and other people. In this book, it is mentioned that some people have strong patience when it comes to doing what is good for them, but their patience is weak with regard to restrain from harmful actions. So, we may find that a person has enough patience to perform acts of worships but has no patience in controlling himself and refraining from following his whims and desires, and in this way he may commit prohibited actions.

On the contrary, some people may have strong patience in abstaining from forbidden deeds, but their patience in obeying commandments and performing acts of worship is too weak.

Some people have no patience in either case. And needless to say, the best people are those who possess both type of patience.

So, we should not be surprised when we see a man who may have plenty of patience when it comes to standing all night in prayer but has no patience at all when it comes to refraining from looking at women and forbidden things.

This book also elaborate further on different names of patience.
1. If patience consists of restraining sexual desire, it is called HONOR, the opposite of which is adultery and PROMISCUITY
2. If it consists of controlling one's stomach, it is called SELF-CONTROL, the opposite of which is GREED
3. If it consists of keeping quiet about what it is not fit to disclose, it is called DISCRETION, the opposite of which is disclosing secrets, lying, SLANDER and libel
4. If it consists of being content with what is sufficient for one's needs, it is called ABSTEMIOUSNESS, the opposite of which is COVETOUSNESS
5. If it consists of controlling one's anger, then it is called FORBEARANCE, the opposite of which is to be HOTHEADED
6. If it consists of refraining from haste, it is called GRACEFULNESS and steadiness, the opposite of which is IMPULSIVENESS and hasty reaction
7. If it consists of refraining from running away, then it is called COURAGE, the opposite of which is COWARDICE
8. If it consists of refraining from taking revenge, it is called FORGIVENESS, the opposite of which is REVENGE
9. If it consists of refraining from being stingy, then it is called GENEROSITY, the opposite of which is MISERLINESS
10. If it consists of refraining from being lazy and helpless, then it is called DYNAMISM and initiative, the opposite of which is LAZINESS and helplessness
11. If it consists of refraining from blaming and accusing others, then it is called CHIVALRY (muru'ah literally means 'manliness')

These are the different facets of patience that we should acquire in our lives. If we do not possess these characteristics of patience, we can attain these characteristics by acting as if we do possess them until they become second nature to us. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has told us in one hadith, which means to the effect "Whoever tries to to be patient, then Allah will help him to be patient."

No wonder we frequently heard a hadith (albeit the weak one(or even false)) that "Patience is half of Faith"

May Allah gives us strength and ability to attain all these types of PATIENCE.


Friday, 25 July 2008

Isra' wal Mi'raj

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

This week sermon reminded us about the most important event in Islam in the month of Rejab (though, the Islamic scholars are not in consensus about the actual date when it happened, due to lack of Sahih Hadiths or any sayings from renown companions). It is the event of Isra' wal mi'raj (The Night Journey and Accension to Heaven of the Prophet Muhammad SAW. This year, the Night falls on 30 July (this coming Wednesday). This event was mentioned briefly in Al-Quran, Suratul Isra' (1 & 60)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Glorified (and Exalted) is He (Allâh) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him]. Who took His slave (Muhammad SAW) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid-al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad SAW) of Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer[] (1) ...

And (remember) when We told you: "Verily! Your Lord has encompassed mankind (i.e. they are in His Grip)." And We made not the vision which we showed you (O Muhammad as an actual eye-witness and not as a dream on the night of Al-Isrâ'[]) but a trial for mankind, and (likewise) the accursed tree (Zaqqûm, mentioned) in the Qur'ân. We warn and make them afraid but it only increases them in naught save great disbelief, oppression and disobedience to Allâh. (60)

Let us refresh our minds with the whole stories. We can find many versions of Hadith regarding this matter, but below is only one of them which I selected.

From Sahih Muslim (Book 001, Number 0313):

Anas b. Malik reported: Abu Dharr used to relate that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: The roof of my house was cleft when I was in Mecca and Gabriel descended and opened my heart and then washed it with the water of Zamzam. He then brought a gold basin full of wisdom and faith and after emptying it into my breast, he closed it up.

Then taking me by he hand, he ascended with me to th heaven, and when we came to the lowest heaven, Gabriel said to the guardian of the lowest heaven: Open. He asked who was there? He replied. It is Gabriel. He again asked whe he there was someone with him. He replied: Yes, it is Muhammad with me. He was asked if he had been sent for, He (Gabriel) said: Yes. Then he opened (the gate). When we ascended the lowest heaven (I saw) a man seated with parties on his right side and parties on his left side. When he looked up to his right, he laughed and when he looked to his left, he wept. He said: Welcome to the righteous apostle and the righteous son. I asked Gabriel who he was and he replied: He is Adam (peace be upon him) and these parties on his right and on his left are the souls of his descendants. Those of them on his right are the inmates of Paradise and the parties which are on his left side are the inmates of Hell; so when he looked towards his right side, he laughed, and when he looked towards his left side, he wept.

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the second heaven. He asked its guardian to open (its gate), and its guardian replied in the same way as the guardian of the lowest heaven had said. He (opened it). Anas b. Malik said: He (the Holy Prophet) mentioned that he found in the heavens Adam, Idris, Jesus, Moses and Abraham (may peace be on all of them), but he did not ascertain as to the nature of their abodes except that he had found Adam in the lowest heaven and Abraham in the sixth heaven. When Gabriel and the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) passed by Idris (peace be upon him) he said: Welcome to the righteous apostle and righteous brother. He (the narrator) said: He then proceeded and said: Who is he? Gabriel replied: It is Idris. Then I passed by Moses (peace be upon him) and he said: Welcome to the righteous apostle and righteous brother. I said to (Gabriel): Who is he? He replied: It is Moses. Then I passed by Jesus and he said: Welcome to the righteous apostle and righteous brother. I said (to Gabriel): Who is he? He replied: Jesus, son of Mary. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Then I went to Ibrahim (peace be upon him). He said: Welcome to the righteous apostle and righteous son. I asked: Who is he? He (Gabriel) replied: It is Abraham. Ibn Shihab said: Ibn Hazm told me that Ibn 'Abbas and Abd Habba al-Ansari used to say that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Thereafter he ascended with me till I was taken to such a height where I heard the scraping of the pens. Ibn Hazm and Anas told that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Allah then made fifty prayers obligatory for my Ummah and I returned with that and passed by Moses. Moses, (peace be upon him) said: What has thy Lord enjoined on thy people? I said: Fifty prayers have been made obligatory on them. Moses (peace be upon him) said: Return to thy Lord, for thy Ummah would not be able to bear this burden. Then I came back to my Lord and He remitted a portion out of that. I then again went to Moses (peace be upon him) and informed him about it He said: Return to thy Lord, for thy Ummah shall not be able to bear this burden. I then went back to my Lord and He said: They are five and at the same time fifty, and what has been said will not be changed. I then returned to Moses and he said: Go back to thy Lord. whereupon I said: I feel ashamed of my Lord. Gabriel then travelled with me till we came to the farthest lote-tree Many a colour had covered it which I do not know. Then I was admitted to Paradise and saw in it domes of pearls, and its soil of musk.

More importantly than just to know and commemorate this event is to learn a few lessons from it.


Monday, 21 July 2008

Shedding Tears for Fear of Allah

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

Last Friday's sermon was about a feature that a Muslim should have. It relates to the condition of the heart of a Muslim. The better the condition of the heart, the easier to gain this feature. It is also correct in reverse. The more we are able to do this feature, the cleaner our hearts will be. The feature that the khatib spoke about last week was "Shedding Tears for Fear of Allah."

From Islamic point of view, shedding tears will cleanse and tenderize our hearts, and clean hearts shall bring about good manners that are acted by our limbs and other organs. Similarly, in medical perspective, a good heart shall keep other parts of the body in a healthy condition.

Remember one Hadith (from the collection of Malik's Muwatta (also in Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)) that shows how this feature is recognized by Allah s.w.t.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Khubayb ibn Abd ar-Rahman al-Ansari from Hafs ibn Asim that either Abu Said al-Khudri or Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'There are seven whom Allah will shade in His shade on the day on which there is no shade except His shade: a just imam, a youth who grows up worshipping Allah, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque when he leaves it until he returns to it, two men who love each other in Allah and meet for that and part for that, a man who remembers Allah when he is alone and his eyes overflow with tears, a man who refuses the approaches of a noble, beautiful woman, saying "I fear Allah," and a man who gives sadaqa and conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives.' "

So, how do we get this feature? There are many practical ways with which we can achieve to gain this feature. Among others;

1) Set a specific time in a day (normally at night) for us to ponder about what we have done for the whole day. Reflect on our wrongdoings, on our laziness to do good deeds, on our lack of knowledge, on our weaknesses to fight with satan's whispers, on the lack of struggles to overcome our own "self"(nafs), so on and so forth.
2) Avoid doing sins, whether minor or grave sins since a sin will represent a black dot on our hearts and as hearts become darkened with sins, they harden and shedding tears for Allah will become difficult.

Wallahu'alam and TBC

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Know Your Enemy


Last week sermon was about realizing about the strategies used by syaitan to set us astray from the path of Allah.

Syaitan is one of our greatest enemies. To be successful in this life and the hereafter, we are bound to make ourselves known of the traps set by syaitan.

Remember satan's covenant with Allah in Suratul Isra (61-65)

And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves unto Adam." They prostrated except Iblîs (Satan). He said: "Shall I prostrate to one whom You created from clay?" (61) [Iblîs (Satan)] said: "See this one whom You have honoured above me, if You give me respite (keep me alive) to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few!" (62) (Allâh) said: "Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely! Hell will be the recompense of you (all) - an ample recompense. (63) "And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and any other call for Allâh's disobedience), make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, share with them wealth and children (by tempting them to earn money by illegal ways - usury or by committing illegal sexual intercourse), and make promises to them." But Satan promises them nothing but deceit (64) "Verily! My slaves (i.e the true believers of Islâmic Monotheism), - you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian." (65)

And in Suratul Sad (72-85)

So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him." (72) So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them: (73) Except Iblîs (Satan) he was proud[] and was one of the disbelievers. (74) (Allâh) said: "O Iblîs (Satan)! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with Both My Hands[]. Are you too proud (to fall prostrate to Adam) or are you one of the high exalted?" (75) [Iblîs (Satan)] said: "I am better than he, You created me from fire, and You created him from clay." (76) (Allâh) said: "Then get out from here, for verily, you are outcast. (77) "And verily!, My Curse is on you till the Day of Recompense." (78) [Iblîs (Satan)] said: "My Lord! Give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are resurrected." (79) (Allâh) said: "Verily! You are of those allowed respite (80) "Till the Day of the time appointed." (81) [Iblîs (Satan)] said: "By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, (82) "Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (faithful, obedient, true believers of Islâmic Monotheism)." (83) (Allâh) said: "The Truth is,— and the Truth I say, — (84) That I will fill Hell with you [Iblîs (Satan)] and those of them (mankind) that follow you, together." (85)

The traps used by satan to mislead us can be summarized as follows;
1. Seduce us to take partnership with Allah s.w.t (Shirk)
2. Taint our sincere intention in doing good deeds with pride etc.
3. Encourage us to create innovation in the religion (bid'ah)
4. Tempt us to do grave sins
5. Tempt us to continue doing small sins

Wallahu'alam and TBC with more quotations.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Resource Management

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

Today's sermon revolved around how we, as Muslims, should manage the resources granted by Allah to us. The resources can be in many forms, financial, materials, intellectuals, time, so on and so forth.

When speaking about the management of all of these resources, Muslims should be the frontrunners in doing this efficiently. Why? Because we have the history, we have the unbeatable legacy, we have strong references (Al-Quran & Hadiths) and we have enough manpower. And above all, all of us will be accountable to the way we spend our resources, thus we should be more careful than the others in managing all of these resources.

It is sad to admit that, we are very bad in it. Our carelessness and insensitivities about time-keeping, for example, have resulted in below average productivity in our countries. The consequence is that we are depending on non-muslims countries in almost every aspect of our lives. Food, education, clothing are mainly imported from them. More important than that is the fact that we will be judged and repaid by Allah according to what we have done to the resources (which are ni'mah) given by Allah to us.

Remember when Allah (s.w.t) says in Al-Quran, in Suratul Asr,

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
By (the Token of) time (through the Ages), (1) Verily Man is in loss, (2) Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy. (3)

In Suratul Kahfi, verses 102-108, the meaning of people who lose is again defined;

(102) Say: "Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds?― (103) "Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?" (104) They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We on the Day of Judgment, give them any Weight. (105) That is their reward, Hell; because they rejected Faith, and took My Signs and My Messengers by way of jest. (106) As to those who believe and work righteous deeds, they have, for their entertainment, the Gardens of Paradise (107) Wherein they shall dwell (for aye): no change will they wish for themselves. (108).

Even though it is not directly mentioned in the above verses, in essence, we, as Muslims should be managing our resouces more effectively and efficiently than other people. When we promise, we should keep our promise, when we eat, we eat just to relieve our hunger so that we can worship Allah, when we dress, we use clothings that are adequate to protect us from different weather condition and to close our dignity and aurah. We should not be wasting resources by not keeping time, by having too much food leftover, by wearing more-than-needed clothing, by using nice and expensive car just for the sake of status in the society and so on. We are asked to be moderate in consuming and using all of these things which should be used only for their practicalities instead of for protecting the status or for indulging in excessive lifestyles.

Wallahu 'alam and TBC

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Rasul Ulul Azmi


Last Friday sermon was about the prophets who were accorded with the title of Ulul 'azmi by Allah (Al-Ahqaaf, 35) . Literally, Ulul 'azmi means the chiefs, or people who have stout/strong hearts. The meaning in our context is the five prophets who are accorded the highest reverence for their perseverance and unusually strong commitment to God in the face of great suffering. These five are Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad S.A.W.

Each of these prophet has many stories told in the Quran. The khatib however chose to tell us the story of only one of them, Musa a.s.

Musa was born in a Bani Israel (Jewish) family in Egypt during the the reign of a cruel Pharoah of Egypt (Fir'aun).
Note: The Jewish population in Egypt in those years originated from Palestine who came during and/or after the 7 years drought in Egypt (or in the whole Middle East?). Egypt was in abundance during and after the drought because Prophet Yusuf interpreted the King of Egypt dream and advised him to prepare for the drought. (for complete story about this, refer to Suratul Yusuf, 43-51). Many people then flocked to Egypt including the people of Bani Israel who later became slaves to the Egyptian King.

Before Musa was born, the Pharaoh was advised by one of his soothsayers that a boy from the the people of Bani Israel would be born and would become the enemy of and destroy the government of the Pharaoh. So, the Pharoah ordered the killings of male newborn Israelites in alternate years, after again receiving advice from his adviser that if he killed all male newborns every year, there would be no more young men to be his slaves in the future. The brother of Musa, Harun (a.s) was born in the year of forgiveness, while Musa was born in the year of killing. His mother put him in a river and he was found by tha Pharoah's wife and was adopted and brought up in the Pharoah's palace. (This story was told in the Quran, Suratul Qasas, 3-13).

We rehearse to thee some of the story of Moses and Pharaoh in Truth, for people who believe. (3) Truly Pharaoh elated himself in the land and broke up its people into sections depressing a group among them: their sons he slew, but he kept alive their females: for he was indeed a maker of mischief. (4) And We wished to be gracious to those who were being depressed in the land to make them leaders (in faith) and make them heirs (5) To establish a firm place for them in the land and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their hosts, at their hands, the very things against which they were taking precautions. (6) So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: "Suckle (thy child) but when thou hast fears about him cast him, into the river, but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to thee, and We shall make him one of Our messengers." (7) Then the people of Pharaoh picked him up (from the river): (it was intended) that (Moses) should be to them an adversary and a cause of sorrow: for Pharaoh and Haman and (all) their hosts were men of sin. (8) The wife of Pharaoh said: "(Here is) a joy of the eye for me and for thee: slay him not. It may be that he will be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son." And they perceived not (what they were doing)! (9) But there came to be a void in the heart of the mother of Moses: she was going almost to disclose his (case) had We not strengthened her heart (with faith) so that she might remain a (firm) believer. (10) And she said to the sister of (Moses) "Follow him." So she (the sister) watched him in the character of a stranger and they knew not. (11) And We ordained that he refused suck at first, until (his sister came up and) said: "Shall I point out to you the people of a house that will nourish and bring him up for you and be sincerely attached to him?"… (12) Thus did We restore him to his mother that her eye might be comforted, that she might not grieve and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true: but most of them do not understand. (13)

Musa grew up to be a very able and strong man. One day he saw an Egyptian (Fatun) and a Jew (Samiri) were fighting, and knowing of his descent, he wanted to help the Jew, and punched the Egyption. To his surprise, the Egyption fell dead. After an advise from a man, he escaped from Egypt. (Refer to Quran, Suratul Qasas, 14-21, for the whole story).

When he reached full age, and was firmly established (in life), We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge: for thus do We reward those who do good. (14) And he entered the City at a time when its people were not watching: and he found there two men fighting― one of his own people, and the other, of his foes. Now the man of his own people appealed to him against his foe, and Moses struck him with his fist and made an end of him. He said: "This is a work of Evil (Satan): for he is an enemy that manifestly misleads!" (15) He prayed: "O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul! Do Thou then forgive me!" So (Allah) forgave him: for He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (16) He said: "O my Lord! For that Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace on me, never shall I be a help to those who sin!" (17) So he saw the morning in the City, looking about, in a state of fear, when behold, the man who had, the day before, sought his help called aloud for his help (again). Moses said to him: "Thou art truly, it is clear a quarrelsome fellow!" (18) Then, when he decided to lay hold of the man who was an enemy to both of them that man said: "O Moses! is it thy intention to slay me as thou slewest a man yesterday? Thy intention is none other than to become a powerful violent man in the land, and not to be one who sets things right!" (19) And there came a man, running, from the furthest end of the City. He said: "O Moses! the Chiefs are taking counsel together about thee, to slay thee: so get thee away for I do give thee sincere advice." (20) He therefore got away therefrom, looking about, in a state of fear. He prayed: "O my Lord! save me from people given to wrongdoing." (21)

He then walked towards Madyan (East of Sinai Peninsula, and near the Aqabah, south of Palestine) without shoes, and survived on grass and leaves. Finally he reached the suburb of Madyan city where he saw two sisters who were waiting to give water to their sheeps. He helped them, and was invited to their house by their father. Their father was reportedly to be Syuaib (a.s). In another narration, their father was a nephew of Syuaib (a.s.), wallahu'alam.
(This story is detailed in the Quran, Suratul Qasas, 22-28)

Then when he turned his face towards (the land of) Madyan, he said: "I do hope that my Lord will show me the smooth and straight Path." (22) And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks) and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: "What is the matter with you?" They said: "We cannot water (our flocks), until the shepherds take back (their flocks): and our father is a very old man." (23) So he watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade, and said: "O my Lord! Truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that thou dost send me!"… (24) Afterwards one of the (damsels) came (back) to him, walking bashfully. She said: "My father invites thee that he may reward thee for having watered (our flocks) for us." So when he came to him and narrated the story he said: "Fear thou not: (well) hast thou escaped from unjust people." (25) Said one of the (damsels): "O my (dear) father! Engage him on wages: truly the best of men for thee to employ is the (man) who is strong and trusty"… (26) He said: "I intended to wed one of these my daughters to thee on condition that thou serve me for eight years; but if thou complete ten years, it will be (grace) from thee. But I intend not to place thee under a difficulty: thou wilt find me, indeed, if Allah wills one of the righteous." (27) He said: "Be that (the agreement) between me and thee: whichever of the two terms I fulfil, let there be no injustice to me. Be Allah a witness to what we say." (28)

The story about Musa travelling back and receiving his first revelation at Mount Sinai continues in the Quran in Suratul Taha, 9-23, and Suratul Qasas, 29-35, but the khatib chose to stop here. The khatib then gave many lessons that we should learn from this story and the Quranic verses.

Lessons that we can learn from this story;
1) Our lives can change without warnings (as Allah wills) from good to bad or even bad to good.
2) Immediately seek forgiveness from Allah if mistakenly did something wrong.
3) There will always be help from Allah in any situation (refer to Musa story when a man advised him to escape from the city
4) Always pray to and rely on Allah (when Musa was walking towards Madyan)
5) Always help people in needs
6) Etiquette of a woman when meaating and talking to a man. Only speak the important messages (refer to the word bashfully in the verse above. It may contain more meanings in Arabic)
6) Emulate Musa when dealing with women. Not mentioned above, when Musa was walking behind one of the sisters towards their home, the wind blew and Musa could see the leg of the girl. He then asked the girl to walk behind him, and asked the girl to show the directions to the house by only throwing small stones.
7) Advice for the fathers - if we find a suitable man to marry our daughter/s, we should offer the maariage to the man. It is not in our culture now, but this is the correct way to do it.

There are many more lessons we can take from the above story. May Allah gives us light in our hearts to gain insight into his knowledge and blessings. Amiin.

Wallahu 'alam.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Reflection on the last verse in Surah al-Fath


Today, the khatib wanted all of us to reflect on a verse from Al-Quran.

A verse from the holy book holds many lessons for us. All it needs is the heart of a person opens its ears to it, heeds it, reflects upon it, thinks about it, in a practical sense what it means to that person, man or woman or even a child, in the context of their lives.

Allah (s.w.t ) tells us and continues to tell us in the last verse of Surah al-Fath, about the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and the companions.

(Copied from

مُّحَمَّدٌ۬ رَّسُولُ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُ ۥۤ أَشِدَّآءُ عَلَى ٱلۡكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَيۡنَہُمۡ‌ۖ تَرَٮٰهُمۡ رُكَّعً۬ا سُجَّدً۬ا يَبۡتَغُونَ فَضۡلاً۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٲنً۬ا‌ۖ سِيمَاهُمۡ فِى وُجُوهِهِم مِّنۡ أَثَرِ ٱلسُّجُودِ‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ مَثَلُهُمۡ فِى ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةِ‌ۚ وَمَثَلُهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡإِنجِيلِ كَزَرۡعٍ أَخۡرَجَ شَطۡـَٔهُ ۥ فَـَٔازَرَهُ ۥ فَٱسۡتَغۡلَظَ فَٱسۡتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِۦ يُعۡجِبُ ٱلزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِہِمُ ٱلۡكُفَّارَ‌ۗ وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ مِنۡہُم
Al-Fath, Verse 29;
Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. Thou (O Muhammad) seest them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah and their likeness in the Gospel - like as sown corn that sendeth forth its shoot and strengtheneth it and riseth firm upon its stalk, delighting the sowers - that He may enrage the disbelievers with (the sight of) them. Allah hath promised, unto such of them as believe and do good works, forgiveness and immense reward. (29)

For the benefit of my Malay readers, I complement the translation with a Malay translation;

"(Nabi Muhammad (s.a.w) ialah Rasul Allah dan orang-orang yang bersama dengannya bersikap keras dan tegas terhadap orang-orang kafir yang (memusuhi Islam) dan sebaiknya bersikap kasih sayang serta belas kasihan sesama sendiri (umat Islam). Engkau melihat mereka tetap beribadat rukuk dan sujud, dengan mengharapkan limpah kurnia (pahala) dari Tuhan mereka serta mengharapkan keredaanNya. Tanda yang menunjukkan mereka (sebagai orang-orang yang soleh) terdapat pada muka mereka dari kesan sujud (dan ibadat mereka yang ikhlas). Demikianlah sifat mereka yang tersebut di dalam Kitab Taurat dan sifat mereka di dalam Kitab Injil pula ialah: (Bahawa mereka diibaratkan) sebagai pokok tanaman yang mengeluarkan anak dan tunasnya, lalu anak dan tunasnya itu menyuburkannya, sehingga ia menjadi kuat, lalu ia tegap berdiri di atas (pangkal) batangnya dengan keadaan yang mengkagumkan orang-orang yang menanamnya. (Allah menjadikan sahabat-sahabat Nabi Muhammad s.a.w dan pengikut-pengikutnya kembang biak serta kuat gagah sedemikian itu) kerana Dia hendak menjadikan orang-orang kafir merana dengan perasaan marah dan hasad dengki dengan kembang biaknya umat Islam itu. (Dan selain itu) Allah telah menjanjikan orang-orang yang beriman dan beramal soleh dari mereka, keampunan dan pahala yang besar. / (29) )"

In this verse, the lifestyles of the companions were mentioned. The khatib was mentioning that the currency that the companions used among themselves was not in terms of money, but the currency was the fear of Allah (taqwa). Which means, whoever has the most currency, which is taqwa) is the most successful person at the time.

To summarize their characters, they are always in ruku' and sujud to Allah, and because of that, we can see the marks on their forehead and in their good characters. Their characters are not only mentioned in the Quran, but were mentioned long time ago in the Taurah and the Injil. Indeed, these are the characters that we should strive to follow to be successful in this life and in the hereafter. As promised by Allah to the companions, anybody among us who believes in him and keeps doing good works, will get the forgiveness and rewards from Him.

But, the companions were not all hard against the disbelievers. They made peace and also merciful with the disbelievers who did not wage war with them, such as mentioned in Surat al-Mumtahina, verse 8, which related to Hudaibiyyah Treaty (this reminds me of writing a sermon about Hudaibiyyah Treaty, presented months ago, by the same khatib).

سُوۡرَةُ المُمتَحنَة
لَّا يَنۡهَٮٰكُمُ ٱللَّهُ عَنِ ٱلَّذِينَ لَمۡ يُقَـٰتِلُوكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِ وَلَمۡ يُخۡرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَـٰرِكُمۡ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمۡ وَتُقۡسِطُوٓاْ إِلَيۡہِمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُقۡسِطِينَ (٨)
Al-Mumtahina, Verse 8;
Allah forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! Allah loveth the just dealers. (8)

"(Allah tidak melarang kamu daripada berbuat baik dan berlaku adil kepada orang-orang yang tidak memerangi kamu kerana agama (kamu) dan tidak mengeluarkan kamu dari kampung halaman kamu; sesungguhnya Allah mengasihi orang-orang yang berlaku adil. (8) )"

By pondering upon the true meanings of the above verses, we should struggle to emulate and follow the lifestyles and characters of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). They are not ordinary people, their stories are told in the Quran, Taurah and Injil for us to take example on.

May Allah gives us strength to follow the companions (r.a)

Wallahu 'alam.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Reliance on Allah (Putting Your Trust in Allah)


I remember this sermon that was delivered a few months back. I can write a bit longer this time since I made use of my O2 PDA to record parts of the sermon.

The khatib started the sermon by elaborating about the fear that we, as human being, are experiencing in this world.

We all have fears. We all have problems. For some of us who are students, we are afraid of failure for we have spent a lot of money and travelled from thousand miles away to come here to get a BSc, Masters or PhD. We fear about extending our stay here and spending more money if we cannot finish at specified time.

Some of us are migrant workers who have left our countries to get jobs to take care of our families. Some have worries because we have left our families back home, but some who bring our families with us would still have worries of how to raise our children in this environment and how to meet the needs of our family. And for those of us who haven't got married, we are worried about how to get good partners. We have fears about the state of our health. Are we going to survive this sickness? Some of us are worried about the wars back home and fear that there will be no more peace.

Understanding the principle of reliance on Allah (tawakkal), will make all of our fears totally disappear. Why? Because Allah is in control of everything and the end result of everything is with Allah.

Imagine a life without struggle. Imagine a life without sweat. Imagine a life in which you always get what you want. You want a good health, you got it, you want money, you got it. What kind of life will it be? We do not rely on the creator anymore. But.. do all these material/worldly thing like degree, good wives, mansions, good cars can bring the peace of mind to us? No..some of the people commit suicide because there is no peace of mind in them. So, what can bring us peace of mind?

Sakinah (tranquility) will bring us the peace of mind that we need. So, the way we can get sakinah is to put our trust in Allah (tawakkal). We will never experience the effect of trust in Allah if we never truly trust in Allah. We need to practice doing our jobs/tasks with the best ways we possibly can, and totally rely on Allah of the end results. Can we really say we trust in Allah, if we do not or cannot accept the results that turn out of the tasks we have done?

We need to practice to rely on Allah on the things that we do in this life, and insyaAllah we all will gain sakinah.


Friday, 13 June 2008

The Concept of Sincerity (Ikhlas)


Today's sermon was about sincerity in our actions. It is somewhat the continuation of last week's sermon though presented by different khatib. It was started with related Quranic verses and ahadith abouth sincerity.

The khatib lined up several points for us how to inculcate sincerity in our actions:
1) Always be wary of fame - do not do something to gain fame, but if we become famous out of doing anything, then it is the will and grace of Allah
2) Always feel inadequate - meaning that always feel that we have not done enough for Allah
3) Avoid doing something to seek praise
4) Do not seek leadership. Remember the story of Khalid ibn Walid when he was asked by Khalifah Umar to be replaced by Abu Ubaidah ibn Al-Jarrah during the Battle of Maraj-al Debaj against Byzantine army. What he said afterwards was, I was following the command of the God of Umar, not Umar. Observe here how he accepted the decision sincerely. (The only one known reason for Khalid's dismissal, was that the Khalifah Umar feared his soldiers might rely on Khalid for victory, and not Allah - again here the concern of early Muslims about sincerity and reliance to Allah - which reminds me to write about a sermon a few months ago about the concept of reliance to Allah)
5) Do not seek title or promotion in anything that you do. As students, we should revise our real intention to study. Are we doing PhDs just to get Dr. title on our name? Or are we doing them for the sake of Allah? We need to cleanse our intention in any matters that we are doing.

A hadith related to sincerity:

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam ) once said:

"Certain categories of people will be called first of all for reckoning on the Day of Judgment. A martyr will be asked by Allah, "Did I not bestow such and such favors on you?" He will admit those boons and favors. Then Allah will ask him; " How did you make use of My favors? He will answer: " I went to the Holy War to please You, and was killed therein." Allah will say " You lie; you participated in the Holy War to be called a Hero by people, and this has been done." Then he will be thrown headlong into the fire of Hell.

Next a Scholar will be called and the same questions will be put to him. In reply he will admit the favors of Allah. Then he will be asked; " How did you make us of My favors?" He will answer, " I acquired knowledge of Islam and taught it to others, simply to please You" Allah will say: You lie; you attained knowledge in order to be called a scholar and recited the Holy Qur'an to be called a "Qaari." Then he too will be thrown headlong into the fire of Hell.

Thereafter a rich man will be called, and the same questions will be put to him. He will say: " I always spent money to please You. Allah will say: you lie; you spend money in order to be called a "generous" man, and this has been said." Then he will also be thrown headlong into the fire of Hell."

Therefore we should always avoid show and vanity, and should render our actions to only please Allah.

Allahu 'alam and may Allah grant us all sincerity in our actions. Amin.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

The Importance of Intentions


Yesterday, another strong sermon was delivered by an invited khatib. It was about the importance of intentions in our lives. What I usually heard when people talk about pure intentions, they are always related to the individual actions that we do as optional actions such as giving donation, helping people, or more so in obligatory actions such as performing our prayer, fasting, paying zakat, and performing hajj. But yesterday, the pure intention that the khatib wanted to pass on is more cosmic and encompasses every little intention that we have made or we are going to make in our lives.

It is about our INTENTION OF LIFE. What are we living in this world for? Are we here to amass wealth and live in comfort, or are we here to sow our seeds and reap them later in the hereafter? Our current actions are the right answers to these important questions. Then, we need to ask ourselves if these answers are the answer that Allah wants to hear.

A story of Prophet Muhammad with a sheep carcass was brought up again. I (and you, of course) have listened to and read this hadith many times perhaps. But this time, I found that it was conveyed in a very appropriate context that made me fall into a deep thought.

The story is repeated here. One day Prophet Muhammad (saw) walked on a public street. Then, he stopped and looked at something on the side of the street. Man, women and kids started to gather around the prophet to see what was actually going on. They noticed that the prophet was looking at a rotten sheep carcass which has small ears. He then start asking the people if anyone of them want to buy the sheep for one dinar. No one wanted to buy it, as a matter of course. He offered it again for half a dinar, and then for free, but for sure nobody wanted to do anything with a rotten sheep carcass. Even the skin was useless. Among the people, there was one who involved in the cattle and sheep business. He replied to the prophet that even if the sheep was alive, it would be no value because the sheep ears were too small. It was in Arab culture that sheep were pulled by the ear, and if it were too small, the sheep could not even be pulled, thus no business value. (This was mentioned by the khatib, correct me if I am wrong).
The prophet then said, in the sight of Allah, this world worths much less than this rotten sheep carcass. [At-Tirmidhi].

The khatib again gave another hadith ;
Sahl bin Sa`d (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Were this world worth a wing of mosquito, He would not have given a drink of water to an infidel.'' [At-Tirmidhi].

The first khutbah was closed with a story of a pious person fighting with Iblis to chop down a tree worshipped by the people in his village during Bani Israel time which reemphasized the importance of intention. I think we have heard about this story before. But, I will find the approppriate source that can give me the summarized version of the story.

---Here is the story copied from somewhere else, enjoy------------------------

In the tribe of Bani Israel, there once lived a pious worshipper. One day, the people informed him that at a certain location, there existed a tree that was being worshipped by a tribe. When he heard this, the man flew into a rage, picked up his axe and set out to cut down the tree.
Shaitan, appearing before him in the form of an old man, asked, "Where are you headed for?" Pious worshipper replied, "I intend to cut down the tree, which is being worshipped so that the people worship Allah (SWT) instead."
"Hold yourself till you hear what I have to say," said Shaitan to him.
The pious worshipper urged him to carry on. Shaitan continued, "Allah (SWT) has His own Prophets and if it had been essential to cut down the tree, He would have sent them to perform the task."
However, the pious worshipper did not agree with Shaitan and continued on his way.
"There is no way I shall let you do it," said Shaitan angrily, and he began to wrestle with the pious worshipper. In the ensuing contest, the pious worshipper hurled Shaitan onto the ground.
"Wait! I have something else to say to you", pleaded Shaitan.
"Listen! You are a poor man. If you could possess some wealth by means of which you could give alms to the other worshippers it would be much better than cutting the tree. If you refrain from cutting the tree, I shall place two dinars beneath your pillow everyday."
The pious worshipper said thoughtfully, "If you speak the truth, I shall give one dinar in charity while the other dinar I shall put to my use. This is better than cutting down the tree; in any case, I have neither been ordered to perform this task nor am I a Prophet to burden myself with unnecessary grief and anxiety."
Thus, pious worshipper acceded to the request of Shaitan who left him alone. For two days, he received the two dinars and utilized them, but on the third day, there was no sign of the dinars. Upset and distressed, he picked up his axe and set out to cut down the tree.
On the way, pious worshipper encountered Shaitan, who asked him: "Where are you headed for?"
"I am going to cut that tree." Replied pious worshipper
"There is no way you are going to do it," said Shaitan
Once again they began to contest, but this time Shaitan overcame him and hurling him to the ground, ordered, "Turn back or I shall sever your head from your body."
The pious worshipper said, "Leave me alone and I shall return, but tell me, how was it that I had managed to overcome you on the previous occasion?"
Shaitan answered, "On that occasion, you had set out only for Allah (SWT) and you were sincere in your intention as a result of which, Allah (SWT) subjugated me for you, but this time you were angry for your own self and for your dinars and so I could overpower you."
He (the Shaitan) said, 'By Your Glory, I shall seduce all of them (children of Adam) except Your sincere servants among them'. Noble Qur'an (38:82-3)


In the second khutbah, he reminded us that the Palestine problem is not the Palestinian-only problem. It is a Muslim problem. He asked us about our role in trying to alleviate this problem. Current situation in Gaza was also highlighted.

With a corrected view of our life in this world, what will be our actions towards Palestine crisis?

Wallahu alam.

Morning Prayer & Anger Management

In a more general sermon about how to solve the problems of the muslim ummah, the khatib gave examples of an individual problem and a general problem of the ummah.

Waking up for Morning (Fajr) Prayer in the Summer Months

On the individual part, he gave example of how difficult for us to wake up to perform our daily morning prayer especially in the summer season during which the prayer time is as early as between 2.30-4.30 am. He told us to try practical solutions such as:
1) Go to bed immediately after night prayer
2) Use alarm clock, (or clocks, if one is not enough)
3) Ask friend to call to wake you up - ( he reminded us about how we could call each other to remind about exam times and other things but couldn't care less when it comes to prayer times)
4) Make strong intention to wake up on time, insyaAllah, we can wake up

Anger Management

On the general ummah problem, the khatib chose to talk about anger. This is the state of the heart that not many people can control and could cause problems in a greater scale when anger is not managed properly.

In a simple way, he mentioned about ways to reduce anger. Among others:
1) Recite A'uuzubillahi minashaitaanirrajiim
2) Change position while you are angry
3) Others that I do not remember right now

He shared with us a story when a Bedoiun (Badwi) pulled Prophet Muhammad around rather harshly in front of comnpanions and others, and demanded that he would be given something. Having been treated that way, the Prophet smiled and told one of the companions to get something and give it to the man.

He asked us to imagine ourselves in that kind situation where we are a very important person and having a meeting with other important people, then come a poor man with shabby clothes pulling us around demanding for something on the spot. What will be our actions?

Wallahu alam.

Lifestyles During Spring and Summer times


A few weeks ago, one of the khatibs talked about an important matter that pertains very much to Muslims in the countries of temperate climate.

The Importance of Lowering One's Gaze

The khatib reminded us to protect our eyes from unlawful sights especially during these spring and summer months which we know are the months of great enjoyment for many. As we are also enjoying the nice weather, we tend to see around us man and women with skimpy clothing and scantily clad body parts.

To lessen the problems of having to look at things we are not supposed to see, say the khatib, it is important for us to avoid from going to places where we know we will be trapped by the situation.

The reason why we need to lower our gaze from seeing unlawful things is linked to the condition of our hearts. By seeing these things, the greatness of Allah in our hearts may become less, and the greatness of other things will fill up our hearts. These ungodly matters should not be nested in our hearts. They may prevent us from having a good grasp of any knowledge that we want to acquire. The khatib relates our heart conditions with the knowledge that we gain and their relations to practical lifestyles that we follow in terms of foods, work and entertainment. It was mentioned quite clearly in the sermon, but, it has slipped my mind after some time. We'll pick up later.

The important message is lower your gaze, so you can protect your heart to remember Allah more.



Ways to Persevere in the Path of Allah

It is hard to live our lives in accordance to Islam teachings in this day and time. There are so many challenges that could change (or decrease) our level of iman or taqwa.

This is true in this age as it was in the time of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. In fact, the Prophet had already warned the companions about the challenges that the Muslims would face in the future with regard to Iman and Taqwa to Allah s.w.t.

One sahabah (didn't get his name) once asked the Prophet. It sounded something to this effect, "Do our heart keep changing all the time?," (refering to our Iman). The Prophet replied, "Yes, and it is up to Allah. If He wants to guide you to the true path, He will, and if He wants you to go astray from the true path, He will" So, we shoud be scared of the possiblity of going astray from the path of Allah.

There are many ways to ensure that we persevere in the true path. Of course the ways we can do that are beyond mention, but we can list down several ways for us to think about and to act upon them. Among others are:

1) Always feel and consider yourself as a slave of Allah
2) Always feel yourself helpless and always in the need of Allah's help
3) Persevere in doing good deeds
4) Avoid sins, minor or major because every sin will contribute to one black dot on our hearts. If we did a sin, then immediately do the Istighfar and taubah.
5) Read Al-Quran (everyday), and try to understand each word in it because Allah's words are for us to follow
6) Remembering Allah by doing zikr everyday (every second for that matter) -
7) Do istighfar everytime we did sins (or taubah everyday for that matter)
8) Keep increasing our Islamic knowledge by learning from true scholars (ulama')
9) Always remember that Allah sees us at all times ( be it in private or in public), so that we can avoid doing sinful actions
10) Always ask for hidayah from Allah

Insya Allah, by doing the above and all other good habits, we will be able to guard our Iman in this time of tribulation (distress/a trying experience/challenge).

Wallahu alam.

Islamic Bridges


This week sermon was about building bridges. Not bridges as in civil engineering field, but bridges that refer to human-to-human interactions. In this sermon, the Imam gave examples of how Rasulullah SAW managed to build bridges between him and the unbelievers. The bridges meant here were his good actions that had won over the hearts of many unbelievers so much, so that they had embraced Islam willingly.

Being a bit late to the sermon today, I managed to gathered only a few but important points on how Rasulullah SAW did just that.

1) His willingness to forgive in the face of abuse from the enemy

This characteristic was displayed in a story about how a Jewish came to the Prophet to collect the money that the Prophet owed him. He came much earlier than the Rasulullah had promised to pay him. This Jewish man then, cursed the Prophet and said that he knew that the Prophet and his lineage (tribe) starting from his great grandfatherAbdul Manaf were notorious for not paying debts. Having heard that, Umar, who was beside the Prophet at that time, asked permission from the Prophet to chop off the Jew's head. Instead, the Prophet said, "I didn't expect to hear that from you, Umar. You shoud have given me advice on how I can pay this man's debt, or at least advice on how to answer to this man so that he can collect the debt later."

The Jew then said, "I just wanted to see the proof that you are the last prophet sent by Allah, because in Taurah, it is said that one of the last prophet characteristics is your willingness to forgive in the face of abuse from the the enemy." He then recited the 'kalimatul syahadatain' and became a Muslim.

2) Rasulullah (s.a.w) always smiled

The power of a smile was manifested in the story about one sahabah, Amr bin 'As, before he became Muslim. He was one of the most fierce enemies of Islam. He once was sent to Habsyah by the unbelievers of Bani Quraish to poison the mind of Habsyah ruler to not to tie any relationship with Islam government in Madinah. So, one day he came to Madinah, and saw that the Prophet smiled at him though the Prophet already knew who he was. He said he was surprised and amazed by the Prophet positive attitude and became a muslim.

3) Rasulullah used wealth to win the hearts of Muallaf (new muslims)

After Hunain battle, Muslims collected so much booties (rampasan perang) in silver & gold, camels etc. He had given many of the muallaf camels as many as 100 camels. The least he gave was 30 camels to one of the muallafs. By doing that, the Muallafs would feel protected and taken care of by fellow muslims.

There are many more examples of how the Prophet built bridges to bring people towards Islam. The challenge lies on us as new generation of Muslims. Are we able to do like that? Do we even have strength to build bridges among ourselves as Muslims. It seems that we are not even capable of finding solutions to minor differences among us. Suggestion is to, forget small differences, forgive mistakes, and InsyaAllah we will be able to build bridges among ourselves as Muslims, and as importantly between Muslims and the non-muslims.


Al-Kahfi and its teachings

Kelebihan Membaca Suratul Kahfi di Hari Jumaat

Sunat membaca Surah Al-kahfi di hari Jumaat, iaitu daripada masuk waktu Mahgrib hari Khamis sehingga lah Maghrib hari Jumaat. Lebih awal di baca lebih afdal, seperti ibadat2 lain juga yang mana digalakkan diamalkan seawal yang mungkin. Surah ini jika dibaca, ia dapat mengelakkan kita daripada EMPAT FITNAH di dunia. Fitnah dalam bahasa Arab ditakrifkan sebagai sesuatu yang membahayakan diri, keluarga, agama, hartabenda dsb. Fitnah2 yang dimaksudkan adalah fitnah agama, fitnah ilmu, fitnah kuasa, dan fitnah

Jika diperhatikan surah ini mengandungi beberapa kisah di zaman silam yang dapat dikaitkan dengan fitnah-. Antara kisah2 tersebut ialah:

1) Kisah Ashabul Kahfi dimana kisah beberapa pemuda melarikan diri ke dalam gua setelah da'wah mereka tidak diterima oleh pemerintah. Mereka melarikan diri untuk menyelamatkan ugama mereka (berkait dengan Fitnah Ugama (fitnatuddin).

2) Kisah Nabi Musa mengikuti seorang alim (dikatakan sebagai Nabi Khaidir). Dalam kisah ini, Nabi Musa dengan rendah diri, walaupun sebagai seorang Rasul sanggup belajar dengan seorang lain yang dianggapnya lebih berilmu daripadanya. Kita juga disarankan agar tidak sombong dengan ilmu yang kita ada dan senantiasa dalam keadaan ingin belajar. (berkait dengan Fitnah Ilmu, fitnatul 'ilm)

3) Kisah Dzulkarnain yang menjadi Sultan diempayar nya. Apabila diminta oleh penduduk untuk menyelamatkan mereka daripada serangan musuh, Dzulkarnain sanggup membantu mereka dengan membina tembok daripada besi waja. Kisah ini memberi teladan kepada kita tentang cara mempraktikkan kuasa yang kita ada pada jalan yang baik. Sebagai manusia kita mungkin terjerumus dalam menyalahgunakan kuasa yang ada pada kita dalam situasi hidup kita masing-masing. Kisah ini berkait dengan Fitnah Kuasa (fitnatul ?? , apa dalam bahasa arab ye, tak sempat tangkap)

4) Kisah ke 4? Terlupa

Wallahu alam