Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A Muslim Sermon

Allah (SWT) says in Al-Qur'an, Sura Kahf, V 24-25:

“And say not of anything, I shall do that tomorrow, Unless Allah should will. And remember thy Lord when thou forgetest and say, “I hope my Lord will guide me to what is even nearer than this to the right path.”

How many times do we, without the slightest sincere intention in our hearts to comply, respond to someone’s request for a commitment or some kind of action on our part by saying, "In sha' Allah?"And chances are in those instances that nothing, or perhaps quite the opposite of what we are asked to do, gets done.

We answer, "In sha' Allah," instead of being honest and straightforward with people, or instead of making a real effort to honor their requests.If we know when we are asked to do something or to give something that we are not inclined to do so, isn’t it so much more honorable, and hence pleasing to Allah, to simply say that we are unable or do not wish to comply?

It is so helpful to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes in such instances: how do we feel when people do not honor their commitments to us?

A Muslim's word should be his bond. Truly it is in Allah's hands that anything happens, and truly we should not commit to anything without remembering and uttering that it is only by the decree of Allah that a thing happens.

But “In sha’ Allah” should not be an easy way out of and “Ma sha’ Allah” the excuse for what we don’t have the slightest intention to even try to do.The Believer is faithful, reliable, and trustworthy, and honors his/her covenants. In Surat ul Maida (5), Ayat 1, Allah says, “O ye who believe! Fulfill your obligations and covenants.” Again, in Surat ul Mu’minoon (23), Ayat 9, we find one of the characteristics of the Believers: “And who are watchful of their trusts and covenants.”

Employing the use of a dictionary, we find to be faithful is to be true to ones word, loyal.

450.Hadhrat Sufyaan Ibn As'ad Khadrami (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that he heard Muhammad (peace be upon him) say: "Indeed it is an act of the greatest abuse of trust if you tell a Muslim brother something which is false while he believes that you are telling him the truth." (Abu Dawud).

Everything man has is given to him in trust by God or by man. In this way everyone is bound by certain promises and obligations. Some obligations are entered into by written or spoken agreement, while others are a matter of tacit understanding. Whatever the form of agreement, man has to fulfill all these trusts and obligations.

If he fails to do so, he does not come up to the highest standards of humanity. He is proving himself guilty in the eyes of God. Man’s body, heart and mind, are all like trusts from God. It is, therefore, incumbent upon man to make the best use of these endowments within the limits decreed by God.

That is, his hands and feet should move only for the cause of justice, and not for tyranny. His mind should be full only of well-wishing and not of ill-will. Similarly all the trusts by which he is bound should be discharged to the trustees, whether these trusts are in written or in verbal form. He should never regard another’s possessions as his own.

Everyone is bound by obligations, in relation on the one hand to man and on the other to God. According to the Qur’an, trust of two kinds stems from God; one is the inherent sense of responsibility man is born with; this form of trust is binding upon all human beings born on this earth. Another form of trust is that which arises from faith in God.

Only those are bound by this sense of commitment who have embraced God’s religion as brought to them by God’s messenger; in this sense, these believers are consciously bound in trust. Let’s now take the matter of trust as regards man. Some obligations are incurred from time to time as they arise in particular and are set down in contracts, while others automatically devolve upon individuals either as family members, or as citizens of the state, living in society.

Discharging all these trusts and obligations is man’s duty, in obedience both to his own nature and to the Shariah.

The Promised Messiah (alaihissalaam) says: “The spiritual duty of man is to walk along all the ways of righteousness. They are the attractive features of spiritual beauty. It is obvious that to be mindful of the trusts of God Almighty, and to fulfill all the covenants of faith, and to employ all faculties and limbs both overt, like eyes and ears and hands and feet and others like them, and those that are covert, like the mind and other faculties and qualities, on their proper occasions and to restrain them from coming into action on improper occasions, and to be warned against the subtle attacks of vice and to be mindful of the rights of one's fellow beings is the way of perfecting one's spiritual beauty.

“God Almighty has in the Holy Quran designated righteousness as a garment. The garment of righteousness is an expression of the Holy Quran (7:27). This is an indication that spiritual beauty and spiritual ornament are achieved through righteousness. This means that one must be mindful even of the smallest details of the Divine trusts and covenants and also of all the trusts and covenants of one's fellow beings, as far as it may be possible.” ( Zameema Braheen Ahmadiyyah, pp. 51-52 ) .

A sure sign of hypocrisy is breaking a promise. Thus whoever promised another of good thing and did not fulfill it, then he would have a quality of hypocrisy.

We have to be very watchful over our trusts, especially those that have been proclaimed in the name of Almighty Allah. It is Allah who is witness to everything we do.

Imam Bukhari reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "A man form the children of Israel, asked someone to lend him a thousand dinars until a set date. Someone lent him the money, and when the time came that man wanted to pay it off. He went out to the sea to go to the lender, but could not find a ship; thus, he took a piece of wood and drilled a hole through it, then he put in it a thousand dinar and threw it in the sea.

The lender came out in another sea shore to find the log before him, and he took it as a fire wood to his family and when he sawed it, he found his money in it". Because of his eagerness to payoff the debt on time, Allah (S.W.T.) has helped him in directing the money to its owner.

Another sign of hypocrisy is the betrayal when entrusted, and not returning this trust to which it belongs to or using it without permission given from the owner. Allah (S.W.T.) has commanded us in surat An-Nisa’, (Verse 59), “Verily, Allah commands yo to ‘give over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice.”

Trusts are of many types. It may be in the form of money and in the form of rights. There are some Muslims who are conscious about money trusts, but are not conscious about the rights and duties that Allah trust every one of us with. Thus, yourself is a trust given to you by Allah. Your wealth, which you gather is a trust, entrusted to you by Allah, the time that you made use of is also a trust, again your health, your youth, your mind, your hearing, and your vision, are all trusts to you from Allah.

Also your wife and children are a trust entrusted to you by Allah. Also your community is a trust entrusted to you by Allah. And the most important trust is the deen of Allah that entrusted you with. So let us be ware from the betraying all of these trusts or the loss of them, surely Allah will question us, on that, on the day of Judgment.

The preservation of covenants and trusts lies in observing Allah’s rights in them. And to follow the commands of Allah in all of them. Allah (S.W.T.) has praised the believers in surat Al-Mu’minoun, “And who are watchful of their trusts and covenants.”

And if you say you are believers then you must honor the commands of the Holy Qur’an which clearly states: O ye who believe! Obesy Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you. And if you differ in anything refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you are believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is best and most commendable in the end.” (Surah Al-Nisa v. 60)

462.Hadhrat Abu Ayyub Ansaari (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "It is not lawful for a Muslim to sever his ties with another Muslim for more than three days, in such a way that when they meet, the one who turns his face one way and the one other turns his face the other way.The better of these two is the one who makes Salaam first." (Bukhari, Muslim).

May Allah, the Almighty, enable us to act upon our covenants and may Allah help us to fulfil and discharge our obligations and trusts. Ameen.

No comments: