This is the khutbah for the Friday Prayers, in Medium, Hradec Kralove on the 7th August 2009 / 16 Shaaban 1430H
Points to ponder:
1. The constraints of time and its effect towards a Muslim's life
2. A 'low-standard' mentality when it comes to Islam
3. Description and explainataion about the Hadith #18 of al-Nawawi's 40 hadiths - the "best plan"
4. Significance of ' fear Allah wherever/whenever you are'
5. What to do when the 'plan' went wrong
6. The least a Muslim should do
The Best Plan For Our Life
1. We live in such a difficult life today. A life where the time passes so quickly. Time passes so quick that we can barely have enough time to be a proper servant to Allah. Sometimes we barely have time to do our compulsory 5 times Solah. Even so, we are in haste, we want to be quick. There’s no time for us to contemplate on our sins and make amendments for it. To make taubah, to ask Allah for forgiveness. We should ask ourselves, more so since Ramadhan is coming up, are we satisfied with our deeds, with our worship and ibadah. Are we ready to make extra during Ramadhan? Will we have enough time to do this good work?
2. In the Qur’an Allah swears to us by time, indeed, we human being are in a lost. For some of us here, we are students, and some are involve in businesses and even other professions, we should know how important time management is. Because, if we are not good in time management, we will be lost in our studies, we will not have time to prepare for the examinations, while for those who are in businesses, if you lack time management skills, you will lose out in competition with your competitors. Now, what about the The Day of Judgment?
3. Allah used in the Qur’an words like, Wa saa ri’u and wa saa biqu . ‘Rush against one another’, ‘compete with one another’. That’s the same competition Allah is asking us to do for the sake of our Akhirah. All of us have the same total time, 24 hour, what do we make of it? In a sense, Allah is telling us that, we have to compete to do Khair, because we will have challenges. We will have lack of time, we will be busy, we will get tired etc.
4. The problem or us, you and me is that – we set a very low standard when it comes to Allah and Islam. An example, let say we start a program to wake up 10 minutes before Fajr, the first few days is ok, and then we gradually begin to lose it . We try it again and again, and finally, we would still lose it. Then we say, well, that’s it. May Allah forgive me. Allah al-Ghafur al-Rahim. But let us ask the question WHY? Why such a low standard? When it is with our books and examinations, we always try our best to achieve the best. Best book, best lecture notes, we would even stop eating and sleeping for it. And with our businesses, with our customers, we are seldom late and we would try to provide the best products for our customers. Have we tried the best for our biggest examination ever? Have we prepared or produced the best spiritual ( Ruhiyy ) product to present it to Rabbul ‘Alameen?
5. We are talking about the biggest things in our life. Yes Islam is the most important thing in our life. It’s our daily program, our daily routine, our daily manual. It is what we are everyday, in fact every minutes and every second. We might be a student for few hours in school, or a businessman a few hours in office, but we are Muslim fulltime. Even when we are asleep. Now, are we being fair to ourselves in terms of our management of our Islam. Our full-time selves.
6. Now, I am going to share software for you and me – the best software and blueprint to help us to achieve the The Best Plan For Our Life.
7. In a hadith by Abu Dzar rah., The prophet saw said.:
Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.
( al-Tirmidzi, Hassan Shahih )
Now if we really believe and understand this hadith, inshaAllah, this is our ‘ road-map ‘ to success, in this world and the hereafter. Why is that?
8. What’s the meaning of, “fear Allah wherever you may be”? Now, I can tell you, you should wake up early for Fajr, take your wudhu, pray the sunnah, and the do Fajr in the mosque, after that do the Azkar or read the Qur’an. Rather than telling us in detail all this, the prophet s.a.w. has summarized it with “fear Allah wherever you may be”? This is the start of our best plan. The word ‘ hais’ means whenever and wherever, so it doesn’t matter where we are and when is it, in the market, in the school, in the office, on the road and anywhere, just fear Allah! – that’s the best start.
9. Now how to fear Allah? It’s simple – by doing what He tells us and living what He forbids. Simple yet so complicated. We cannot do what we think is right, or what we feel is right. No, we can’t. We can only follow what Allah want us. In a Hadith:
" al-halalu bayyinun, walharamu bayyinun wa bainahuma umuru mutasyabiha "
Halal is clear and obvious, and Haram is clear and obvious and between both is some doumatters.
10. This shadow area, is most people fall into. We might leave the Haram things, we are praying, fasting etc, but when it come to the doubtful matters, we would always consider them Halal. Why? Again our plan is Allah is al-Ghafur al-Rahim. Some people might come to ask us whether such and such is halal or haram, and we tell them, it’s haram or it’s wrong. Then they start to ask, how much? Is it a big haram, or a small haram? Is there any excuses? Could there be a second opinion? Why such low standard? Why don’t we take a step of precaution to leave the doubtful? Don’t we fear Allah and his punishment? So heere come Ittaqillah, the first step.
11. The Ulama has tried to define taqwa. And an example for the right explaination can be found in a dialogue between Umar r.a. and Ubay bin Kaab r.a.. Umar Ibn al-Khattab asked Ubay Ibn Kaab about Taqwa (piety). Ubay said: Have you walked through a thorny path? Umar answered: "Yes, indeed". Ubay then asked him: "What did you do?" Umar replied: "I tucked up (my garment) and did my best (to avoid thorns)". Thereupon Ubay said: "That is Taqwa"
12. Do we do that in our life? Do we before taking any step in our daily life take a look first in order to avoid the thorns. Before we put our eye, our ear, our hand, our leg, do we look to watch what we are doing or where we are going?
13. Now, we begin our plan with fearing of Allah. Then as we continue, do we have a guarantee? We are all human, we are not angels. We are weak. Sometimes we are prone to make mistakes. Sometimes there is so much difficulties and pressure that we end up doing Haram. We feel forced to. No one is forcing us actually. Iblis make us feel that way. He makes us feel, “ well if Allah wills that I don’t do it, Allah will prevent me from doing it.” Now what about the halal things? Do we forced to do it? No, we do it by our own intention. We are so happy to do it. We are happy that, although we are busy, our workplace or school is far away from here, we are able to come on time for our Jum’ah and get the rewards associated with it. We feel we are successful
14. Since we are going to make mistake, the Prophet s.a.w. has predicted that by saying, “follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out.” We are going to make a mistake, but do not give up, carry on with this plan. If we have done some mistake, wipe it out with khair – goodness. What does it mean? Let say in a business, and you guys know better , at the end of a certain period, we have to make evaluation of the running of our business. We have to evaluate our losses and our profits. How about our evaluation for Allah s.w.t.. ? Ths is what we call muhasabah – self evaluation, putting ourselves into the account. How much khair have we done compared to the sayyi’ah? How can we improve ourselves by increasing the khair, and decreasing the sayyi’ah. The more we invest in khair, the lesser liabilities (losses) we would have. And that’s what the prophet is telling us. That the good, replaces or clean away the bad. Do good, and Allah will forgive us.
15. However, when we do wrong we shouldn’t wait too long. We have to quickly feel guilty about it. Immediately we have to strive to find some good to do. Make wudhu, pray to raka’ah, give charity, raise your hand and ask for forgiveness. Just do something sincerely good so that Allah will forgive our sins. The bigger the magnitude of sins, the bigger should be our hasanah, our good deeds. Have in my mind that, all sins are great. Allah divides sins into the major and the minor sins. And a minor sins, if it is always done, it will become a major sins. Have in mind that whatever sins that we have made, it is terrible. Because it is not the sins that we make, it is against who we make? Isn’t Allah the Greatest? Isn’t he our Creator, our Sustainer who provides everything that we have today. And instead of being grateful to him, we are only sending our sins to Him. And we don’t seem to care about it.
16. Then, for some of us, it’s too difficult to do our Qiamullail, to give charity, to do the sunnah fasting on everyday Thursday and Mondays. Now, the Prophet s.a.w. is again giving us another option. One that all of us are capable of doing. This is the least that we should do - behave good-naturedly towards people. If you cannot do all other great ibadahs, atleast, treat people well. Treat people kindly. Treat people with that love of brotherhood. The Prophet s.a.w. is the best well-mannered person this world has seen.
17. How do we judge whether a person is well-mannered or not. By his action of course. If we see a person, all the time, or most of the time doing good, we would say that he is a good mannered person. If when we see a person, he does bad more than good, then we would say that he is a bad person. Now, ask ourselves this question, be honest to ourselves, Allah is our Witness, are we a good person or a bad person? Do we spend more of our time thinking how to do good for such and such person or do we spend more on ghibah, back-biting? Do we love our brothers because they’re our brothers or because we would need something from them, their help, their money etc.
18. So that way, we evaluate ourselves. If we do good more and more, it will be a habit and we will be used to it. So ask ourselves. If even this we do not have, than we are not doing enough at all. We are seriously lacking something. In a hadith, the prophet s.a.w. said, the criteria of the people who enter Jannah the most is the one with Taqwa to Allah and good manners ( Tirmidzi, Shahih). In another hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. said “the one I love the most and closest to me in my gatherings in the Day of Judgement is those with good manners.” Isn’t that a motivation for us? To be close to the Prophet s.a.w. and to be the one he loves the most.
19. In conclusion, for you and me we do not know when our time will be up. As a student, I know that during the semester, before the exam, students always hang around with no much studying, but nearing the exams, you would find them in seclusion, trying their best to revise and prepare for the examination. Now, our examination in the Barzakh and in the Day of Judgement, we do not know when will it come for us unlike our exams. So the best schedule to prepare for it from now onwards is that hadith – fear Allah, wherever, whenever we are, substitute bad deeds with good ones and lastly by doing good to the people. That is our best Plan for our life, InshaAllah.
This khutbah is my notes based in the lecture by Syeikh Yaser Birjas on the same title which can be found here