This is the text of khutbah presented in Medium, Hradec Kralove on 14th August 2009
Points to ponder:
1. Our guilt due to the way of life we are currently living in
2. Those who forget about the 'tomorrow' and their consequences ( 59:18 )
3. The 2 components of ourselves
4. Respond to the 'call' and the 'life' that comes with it ( 8:24 )
5. The 'blessings' of the Righteous
6. The uselessness and futility of being involve in things that people get crazy about
7. Muslim and his purpose of life
The Good Things of This World
1. If we ponder over the lifestyle that we find ourselves guilty of living in, if we see how busy we are with our dunya, if we contemplate the number of hours we spend for this dunya compared to the akhirah, if we realize, that our priority is the material possession of this world, the car, the houses, the degrees, the wealth, the wives, the children etc, no doubt the Iman within us should make us feel guilty. And as the Prophet s.a.w. once said: “Feeling guilty is the essence of repentance.”
2. But feeling guilty alone is not enough, we must go beyond it. We must be careful of the busy lifestyle that we are caught in, the lifestyle in which, all we seem to be doing is to keep up with the material possession of this world, we must go beyond it and remember of the Day when all of us will be assembled in front of Him. Be careful of falling into the trap which Allah s.w.t. has warned us. Allah said in surah al-Hasyr, verse 18:
“O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah and let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.”
This verse tells us to prepare for the “tomorrow”, and it seems that we understand this verse really well when it comes to the tomorrow in terms of this dunya. Everybody seem to know exactly what he is going to do tomorrow, or what he should do tomorrow, or at least he has a plan or a picture of what to expect tomorrow.
3. But the ‘tomorrow’ that Allah is talking about is not the tomorrow of this world, it is the permanent tomorrow, the real tomorrow – the Day of Assembly, the Day of Recompense. And in the following ayah, Allah swt. goes on to say, don’t be like those who forgot Allah – those who only think about this dunya. And what happens when someone forgets about Allah, what is the result, what is the punishment - Allah caused them to forget themselves. This is a powerful verse. Beautiful reminder. Let it sink in our heart, think about the meaning of this ayah carefully, that, if we forget Allah, we forget ourselves! When we ignore Allah, we ignore ourselves, when we pay no attention to Allah, we are not paying attention to ourselves.
4. How is that possible we ask? How come that we forget ourselves when we forgets about Allah, when the reason we forget Allah is because we only think too much for ourselves. For example, if you ask a Muslim brother, “Ya akhi, why are you not praying, why are you not being a good Muslim? That person would say, “Brother, I’m busy, I have lot of work to do, and if I pray It will cause me to lose so much time, and I don’t want to show that I’m a good Muslim because that would make me loose my job or difficult to get a promotion.” Meaning, the reason why a Muslim forgets Allah is because he is too concerned with himself. Yet Allah says he forgets himself. Why?
5. Because, what Allah is referring to is a far deeper meaning of ourselves, than what comes to our minds when we think about ourselves. All of us are from 2 components, the body and the soul. But for most of us, the way we life, it is as if our existence is limited to the existence of our body, we do everything needed to ensure the body gets enough foods, enough properly styled clothing, enough wealth to carry in the pocket, and enough satisfaction to meet our animal lusts and desires. But we forget about the real existence, the ultimate existence, and the permanent existence of our soul. That is what Allah is referring to in this ayah. That when we forget Allah, we are forgetting the life of our soul. Because when we forget about our soul, our life in this world is just like the life of an animal, because, what animal think about is just their body. They don’t need to care about Narr and Jannah, they don’t have to care about the Day of Judgment. All they need to care is their body. But for us, we are blessed by Allah with our intelligence and soul. So when you only care about your body and forget the soul within you, you will damage your soul, you will suffocate your soul, you will kill your souls. Why? Because you neglected it, because you didn’t feed it. If you don’t feed yourselves, you will die of starvation. Similarly, if the soul is not fed, it will also die of starvation.
6. Now, how do we nourish our souls? How do we feed it? We feed our body with food and water. What is the food and water of our souls? The ultimate nourishment for our souls is the worship of Allah s.w.t.. The remembrance of Allah, the zikr, praying, fasting, reading of the Qur’an. So then to soul grow strong, the soul gets full, up until, when the body is suffering, when the body is sick, when the body is struck by a calamity, the one who has no soul, his life becomes just like the real life – that is, when he is pricked by the thorns, he cries, when he loses his job or fails his exams, he wails, when he loses someone he loves, he too don’t see the point of continuing to live. That’s because he doesn’t have another existence, his soul is not grown to cover for him. Not so for a Mukmin, a believer. When a pain is afflicting the body, but Iman is in the soul, the pain is neglectable. If any affliction troubles the body, the Iman within our soul would calm us, whatever comes,comes, whatever goes, goes, Allah is there for me. Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un. This magical faith comes from none other than the soul of a Mukmin, which is full of its nourishment and nurturing, Iman.
7. In surah al-Anfal, verse 24, Allah mentioned:
“O you who believe! Answer Allah and (His) Messenger when he (the Messenger) calls you to that which will give you life”
When Allah and the Prophet s.a.w. call us, and we respond to what we are being call upon, Allah says, He will give us life. Now wait a second, this ayah, is not for those who are in the graves, who has already lost their life for Allah to give it back, it is for us, you and me. But don’t we already have life? Once again brothers, the call towards life here is the life of the soul. There is a big difference between the life of the soul and the life of the body. Most of us are blessed with the life of the body, but not our souls. And Allah is saying, to be really alive, we should answer the call of Allah and his Prophet, Muhammad s.a.w..Solah, fasting, Qur’an, Zikr, Dakwah – these are what give us life. For a real Mukmin, he doesn’t care what this world is offering for him, yes he strives for this dunya, but he strives in this dunya, so that he will be able to get to akhirah. He finds wealth, so that the wealth, can be use for Islam. He look for education, so that he could be a good khalifah of Allah in administrating this world. And for a mukmin, whatever happens in this world, what comes, come, what goes, goes. What he concerns himself with is whether, he would reach akhirah successfully? Whether he would enter Jannah? That’s the real Mukmin.
8. Allah reminds us of this reality in another ayah in surah al-Infitar:
“Verily, the Abrar (the righteous believers) will always enjoy. And verily, the wicked will be in the blazing Fire (Hell). Therein they will enter, and taste its burning flame on the Day of Recompense,)”
Allah says the pious will enjoy, EVERY blessing. Whereas the wicked, those who do sins, shall enjoy the Fire in Jahannam. Now wait a minute, Allah did not put a time limit for the enjoyment of the righteous. He didn’t specifically say in Jannah. He said, The Righteous shall always enjoy, shall always be in delight. Fullstop. They shall be given every ni’mah and every blessing. Period. Meaning in this world and in the hereafter. And the evil people, yes they will enjoy their “ni’mah” in this dunia. The luxury houses, sports car, nice beautiful women, it is a ni’mah, no argument about it, but it’s just temporary. Only as far as this Dunya. Even then, those luxuries sometimes are troublesome for some. Even though, he is rich, he is not happy. Even if he has big houses, he is not content with his life. He has problem with his businesses, with his wife, someone cheat on him, he is caught in massive debts etc.
9. Now the righteous people, when Allah says they will be in delight, it does not mean that they will be a multi-millionaire. It doesn’t mean that he will have luxury houses and positions. In fact, for the righteous, there are less interested in this world, because there are more interested in akhirah. That’s the rule of thumb. Similarly, if you are more interested in the Dunya, you will be less interested in Akhirah. So, for the Righteous, the definition of blessing becomes different. Money is not the biggest blessing. Car, luxury is not the biggest blessing anymore. Once your heart is full with Iman, your priority is different. All of a sudden, your concern is “Am I a good Muslim?” “Am I doing enough for my place in Jannah?” “Am I raising good children or not? – are they going to pray and make doa for me when I’m dead?”, “Am I dong good for the community”. Your priority has changed. When Allah blesses you with Iman, you no longer want things that you wanted before. You want better things. More eternal things. This is heavy, but this is the fact. And based on this fact, we have to judge ourselves, make muhasabah. Where do we stand? What is our priority? What do we count as blessings?
1. Just to continue a little more about the ayah I mentioned before, “And verily, the wicked will be in the blazing Fire (Hell). Therein they will enter, and taste its burning flame on the Day of Recompense,)”.
Look at people around us, and let’s also look to ourselves. How long are we going to enjoy all these blessings if, suppose we might get them? Think! What will happen to all these “blessing”, the millions, the fanciest car, the biggest houses, what happened to them as soon as you die? The very children, that you play with, that you shower your love, that you spend your fortune on, will shovel sand upon you and return home. You know what happen next? They will start to fight and bicker among themselves for your wealth. Sure they will be sadness. But for them, life has to continue. They will move on. And you know what they will be most interested in after that, your money.
2. And what’s left for you when you die? No matter how rich you are, your cloth will only be that same simple white cloth and even that will be eaten by the worms and saprophytes in the soils. And no matter how big your houses were, you will be in the same cemetery as others, of the same size, the same darkness and made up of the same material - soil.
3. Where is your so called blessing that you spend 30-40 years of your life looking for? Who is benefitting from it? People from this world, here. Who, usually and typically don’t even care to make do’a or pray for you. Yes, you gave them the best house, clothes and education, but you didn’t make them a good Muslim, you didn’t teach them Islam. And you think they’re going to help you when you really need them? No, they are going to go back to neglecting Allah, partying, enjoying life etc. And then you are alone.
4. That’s the whole point here. For the Mukmin, his priorities should be different. He don’t care about the accounts, the cars, etc, he understand the futility, the uselessness of being involve in things that most people get crazy about. And what Allah says is true. For a Mukmin, his priorities, the things that he regards as a blessing is to be a good muslim, and Allah will grant him that wish. To have good relationship with Allah, and Allah will grant him that, to be able to pray, to fast, to give charity, to produce offsprings who are soleh, among the muttaqin , who will make doa for him when he is dead, to have a good family. And Allah will grant him all that. If we are true Mukmin, Allah blesses us with what we really and truly need, not what we think we want.
5. Brother, realize, realize this. Realize the purpose Allah has created us. And he created us for the most noble of purposes. Allah says in quran:
“And I created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me. I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of power, the Most Strong.”
The sole reason Allah created us is so that we would worship him. Allah doesn’t need our money, doesn’t need our sustenance, not our food, rather He is the one who give what you want, your life, and your sustenance. And all Allah require from us, He do not need for Himself, it is for our own good - that is to worship Him and Him alone. If we neglect, He will not be harmed. We will be harmed.
6. That’s the beauty of Islam. It gives us a purpose in life. It gives reason to live and it gives the most noble of all reasons - to worship Allah and Allah alone. If we worship him, Allah will give us real and ultimate life, he will make us feel worthwhile, useful when we live. He makes us feel productive and happy. Real happiness is from heart and it comes from Allah. It can not be purchased, constructed, build, it is only from Allah. It is pure blessing from Allah which Allah flings into the Heart of the Mukmin.
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”
Then, why, why do we try to look for it from other that Allah. Allah make a 5 word summary to all that I have said in this khutbah. Let us turn to Allah and turn to him alone. Especially, with Ramadan just around the corners, this is the best time for us to set our priority. With the right priority, then and only then will we find the happiness that all people in this world look for. May Allah guides us to this happiness, Ameen.
This text is my note on the speech delivered by Syaikh Yasir Qadhi on the same topic which can be found here