Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem
This is today’s sermon.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
23 November 2012 / 9 Muharram 1433
Radiating Ihsan From the Lessons of the People of Muhajirin and Ansar
Dear blessed Jemaah,
In these blessed moments, let us renew our intention to continue to be pious servants of Allah s.w.t. by maintaining our taqwa. Let us strive to nurture our hearts and our families to uphold Allah’s commands and abstain from what He has prohibited us from. May our efforts earn Allah’s pleasure. Amin
My dear brothers,
I would like share a story for us to reflect upon. A story that captures how special a particular community was to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. that it earned Rasullah’s praise and high regards. As narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, once during a drought, a companion came to the Prophet and asked for some food because he was starving. But the Prophet was in a similar state and could not find any food in his house except for water.
Thus Rasullah s.a.w asked his companions: “Who amongst you may entertain him as a guest tonight, may Allah grant His mercy upon him who does so.” An Ansari man, Abu Talhah Al-Ansari offered to provide food for the man. Upon arriving at his house, Abu Talhah’s wife told him that they had nothing except for the meal for their children. But Abu Talhah told his wife to turn off the lamp and put their children to bed, and he offered the food to the starving man – a Muhajirin who had not eaten for several days.
His great sacrifice was such a noble act that Allah s.w.t. revealed verse 9 of Surah Al-Hasyr to record how special the people of Ansar were. Allah s.w.t. said:
Which means:“But those who before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith – They love those who emigrated to them, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the stinginess of their own souls,- they are the ones who will be successful”
My beloved brothers,
This story contains pearls of wisdom which we can reflect upon. Among them:
Firstly, the character of the people of Ansar who were quick to respond to the call of those in need and caught in dire conditions (seeking help). In fact, they were grateful with what they had, and gave preference to the people of Muhajirin to the best of their abilities. Not only they appreciated every opportunity available to perform good deeds, they even competed amongst themselves to seize any chance of doing so. This is something which we should also be striving for in our lives.
As we go through our daily lives, let us not miss any opportunity to help those who are struggling and are in need. Let us dedicate some part of our lives to be involved in charity work, offering our services at welfare homes and so on. Let us also inculcate in our children the practice of helping anyone, regardless of their race or religion. Let us always remember that every living soul has the right to be treated with respect and courtesy, because we are the ummah of Nabiyyur Rahmah. Rasulullah s.a.w. has taught us to be the beacons of hope, helping to bring joy and compassion to those around us.
In fact Rasulullah s.a.w. once said, as narrated by Imam Muslim, which means: “Whoever frees a Mukmin from the difficulties in this world, Allah will remove him from the difficulties in the Hereafter. Whoever eases the affairs of a Mukmin (who faces difficulties), Allah will ease his affairs in this world and the Hereafter”.
The second lesson from the story shared earlier, is the generosity of the people of Ansar, and how they were willing to share whatever they had, no matter how little they had, with the people of Muhajirin who were struggling. In fact, in this narration, they put others before themselves and their families. My brothers, how is the condition of our hearts? Have we felt the joy and happiness in helping someone in need? Do we find ourselves offering help without any hesitation? If yes, Alhamdulillah, otherwise, let us strive to increase our efforts in doing so.
My dear brothers,
By helping others, regardless of the size and nature of our contribution, it will insya Allah give us a sense of fulfilment. This is because, by helping others, we are actually helping ourselves to appreciate the purpose and meaning of our lives in this world. In fact, studies by Behavioural Scientists have proven that individuals who are actively involved in charitable work tend to achieve higher levels of happiness and health. This reminds us of what Allah s.w.t said in the Holy Quran, verse 92 surah Ali-‘Imran:
Which means:“Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah ] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it”
Besides the two lessons that I have shared, the story of the people of Ansar teaches us that a heart strengthened by faith will always be conscious and will never be at ease when it hears of the suffering and struggles of its brothers and sisters of the same faith. Brothers, recently we have received news of the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
As citizens of the world who will not accept any inhuman acts inflicted upon others, we are definitely concerned with this development and sympathise with those affected. Islam is a religion of peace and harmony and it is only appropriate that we condemn any acts of violence and invasion from any parties. We hope and pray that this conflict can be resolved as soon as possible so as to prevent more harm from being caused and more innocent lives from being lost.
Islam also teaches us to act in compassion in times of difficulties and tribulations. Thus, in line with the spirit of the people of Ansar who could not bear to watch others suffer, the least we can do is continuously pray for peace and safety to return to the region, and any other regions that are also facing conflicts.
We ask from Allah s.w.t to restore peace and harmony in this world. Let us uphold the spirit of Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin or Blessing to All and extend our help to the best of our abilities, to our brothers who are suffering from humanitarian crisis wherever they may be.
So, let us contribute to the ‘Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin’ fund. The boxes have already been placed in the mosques, and the collection will be held for one week starting from today. Let us give what we can, and may it be a witness to our little efforts in easing this burden.
Let us raise both our hands to pray to Allah s.w.t at a time when our prayers are mustajab (likely to be answered). May Allah grant these prayers of ours.
Ya Allah Ya Qawiy Ya Matin,
With all humility, we ask of you O Allah, protect our brothers and sisters who are caught in conflict and humanitarian crisis wherever they may be.
Ya Hafiz Ya Muqit, restore peace and safety to the brothers and sisters who are living in anxiety and having their hearts filled with worries. Grant them peace and strength to face the challenges with courage. Grant them the tranquility and free them from any hardship and difficulties.
Ya Qabidh Ya Halim, let not our brothers and sisters continue in their sufferings.
Ya Hadi Ya Wakil, stop the conflicts that are currently happening in this world. Show us the path and guide us so that any conflict and enmity can be solved with ease and through peaceful means. Look upon those affected with Your Mercy O Allah, and grant them Your endless bounty in this world and the Hereafter. O Allah, please accept our prayers and grant us our wishes, Ya Mujib Ya Rahman Ya Rahim. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.