Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem
This is last week’s sermon. I apologise for the delay.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
16 November 2012 / 2 Muharram 1434
Upholding the Spirit of Hijrah in Ourselves
Dear jemaah blessed by Allah,
On this blessed day, let us enhance our taqwa to Allah s.w.t. Let us follow His commandments and leave behind what He has prohibited upon us.
Dear servants of Allah,
We have just entered the first few days of the new hijrah year of 1434. May Allah accept all our ibadah and good deeds from last year and at the same time, may our sins and wrongdoings, whether on purpose or otherwise, be forgiven.
I urge myself and all my brothers here today, to strive towards achieving the best year in our lives. A year filled with hard work, determination and ibadah so as to gain Allah’s pleasure and to achieve happiness in this world and the Hereafter, as what we aspire to achieve.
As we commemorate and remember the Hijrah of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., let us take some time to delve into the sea of emotions that Rasullah felt when he left Makkah, his place of birth which he truly loved. Sadness and disappointment must have washed over him. It was his own family that banished him from his hometown, because they did not agree with the teachings that Rasullah spread, in order to save them from being astray and Allah’s torment.
Imam Tirmizi and Ibnu Majah reported: ‘Abdullah bin Adi r.a. narrated that Rasulullah s.a.w. once stood at a place named Hazwarah, as he looked at the city of Makkah from afar. Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
Which means: “I swear by Allah that you are the best part of Allah’s earth and the part dearest to Him. Had I not been expelled from you I should not have left.”
My brothers, imagine if we are caught in the same situation, how would we feel? Expelled, made fun of, and even threatened, in the hope of upholding and spreading the truth! Sadness definitely engulfed Prophet Muhammad’s heart at that time. But those feelings did not weaken him nor made him give up. Instead, it served as an encouragement and motivation for Rasullah s.a.w., and as a result of his sheer determination and unwavering attitude, ten years later Prophet Muhammad and the people of Muhajirin returned to Makkah and led the city.
The people of Quraisy, who had hurt and abused the Muslims constantly, now gave in to the courageous and bold Muslims. Not only that, Rasullah’s perseverance and resolute attitude managed to win over the hearts of the Musyrikin Quraisy, who eventually embraced Islam on their own will, together with thousands of others. The event is recorded in the Holy Qurah, in surah Al-Nasr verses 1-3:
Which means:“When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest, And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes, Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance”.
My dear beloved jemaah blessed by Allah,
Sometimes in life, we have to let go of the things that we love deeply. There are times when we have to bid farewell or be separated from the people and the country we love dearly either for a short period or for the long term, in our bid to seek knowledge or find work to support our family.
In fact, during Eiduladha which has just passed, there are some among us who had to be away from their families as they were performing the Haj.
As normal human beings, we will definitely feel sad and despair when we have to be separated from those whom we love and care for. As human beings, we are not able to escape from such emotions. In fact, these emotions were also felt by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and the people of Muhajirin when they left Mecca for Madinah.
However, the sadness and disappointment never weakened Rasullah s.a.w. and the companions, nor did it caused them to split and blame one another. In fact, their sadness inspired them and boosted their spirits to strive for the cause of Allah. The bigger the hurdles, the closer and tighter their bonds were as they stayed close together to conquer their challenges. Even if they had to retreat, it was not because they were defeated but because it was a planned strategy in order to succeed.
Every difficulty which they faced was an opportunity to prove their faith towards Allah. Allah said in the Holy Quran in surah Muhammad verse 31:
Which means: “And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you [for the cause of Allah] and the patient, and We will test your affairs.”
A true Mukmin will face any calamity with courage and patience. They will not panic nor would they blame anyone, rather they will see it as an opportunity to contribute their energy and ideas for the betterment of the Muslim community. Panicking and pointing fingers at one another, when a calamity strikes, is not the attitude of a Mukmin who believes in the wisdom and knowledge of Allah s.w.t
It was reported, one day Rasulullah s.a.w. asked his companions. Allah’s Messenger said: “Amongst the trees, there is a tree, the leaves of which do not fall and is like a Muslim. Tell me the name of that tree.” Everybody started thinking about the trees of the desert areas. The companions then asked, “Please inform us what is that tree, O Allah’s Apostle?” He replied, “It is the date-palm tree .” Hadith transmitted by Imam Bukhari and Muslim.
According to the scholars, the analogy the Prophet drew between a date tree and a Mukmin is profound. The date tree can continue to thrive and survive in such dry conditions, lacking in water. It also serves as a shelter, providing shade from the sun. Not only that, the fruits are delicious and soft, and the seeds are used as animal feed.
A true Mukmin is as such. He can survive, and even contribute to the society, despite being in a difficult and challenging environment. He provides a spiritual sanctuary for those who are in need. His life is full of blessings for all humankind, and he leaves behind his legacy and heritage which will continue to thrive even when he has passed on. This is because, a Mukmin will only seek help from, place his hope and pray to Allah s.w.t., the Most Exalted and the Almighty.
These are the characteristics that are desired in every Muslim, in the context of a multi-racial Singapore. We cannot afford to drift away and be led astray by our surroundings, instead we must be agents of change to lead the community to live by Allah’s commandments. In the Hereafter, we will not be asked about what happened to those around us, but we will be questioned as to what we have done to affect those around us. No matter how small our contribution is to the society, if it is done with heartfelt sincerity, it is valuable in the eyes of Allah s.w.t.
Thus, in line with the spirit of developing the identity of a Mukmin, a new Islamic education programme for adults was recently introduced at the mosques. The Adult Islamic Learning Programme or ADIL, aims to boost the appreciation and understanding of Islam as well as its relationship and relevance in today’s challenging environment, among Muslim adults. Participants will be asked to discuss and ponder over important issues such as the need for faith, the role of religion and how do one can relate the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah in today’s fast-paced and challenging life.
Hopefully, through this initiative and our pursuit to be a community that gives relentlessly and contributes to the well-being of all, the words of Allah will continue to bloom in Singapore, and may all of us be among those who gain Allah’s pleasure and mercy in this world and the Hereafter. Amin.