Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
22 March 2013 / 10 Jamadilawal 1434
Building a Gracious Muslim Society
Dear Friday Jemaah,
Inculcating in ourselves a deep sense of taqwa towards Allah makes us His gracious, courteous and polite servants who are compassionate towards others in their daily interactions with them.
Hence, let us be more determined in following Allah’s commandments and avoid what He has prohibited upon us, and by doing so, it will help us to instil in ourselves noble values and good traits that will radiate goodness in the lives of others and maintain the harmony in this plural society.
My dear brothers,
Islam teaches us to be courteous when we deal and interact with others. We are also taught to be aware of our actions and speech, making sure that we do not hurt others or cause conflicts among our brothers. Being careful with our words and actions can help to strengthen the ukhuwwah Islamiyyah.
At the same time, our gracious manners should not be limited to our brothers and sisters in Islam, but also to all of mankind in order to forge better ties with one another.
Remember that Rasulullah s.a.w was sent to this earth by Allah as a blessing to all. This includes his interactions with others, which he conducted with the best mannerisms – with much graciousness and politeness – as Allah has commanded us to do in surah Al-Mumtahanah verse 8:
Which means: “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”
Based on this principle, the Prophet s.a.w introduced the values contained in the Treaty of Madinah, also known as Sahifah Madinah. Among the objectives of this treaty is to bring about reconciliation, peace and security among the different tribes and religions in Madinah, and to ensure the stability of Madinah Al-Munawarrah.
This also ensures that every resident of Madinah is treated with utmost respect and courtesy, and their rights protected.
Another important objective of this treaty was to prevent any conflict and animosity among the people of Madinah, and to establish that every single person in Madinah at that time was entitled to be treated with respect and dignity, and to have their rights safeguarded.
The existence of the Treaty of Madinah is evident that Islam honours relationships and places importance on developing a caring society in a multi-racial and multi-religious country.
However, despite the fact that we can find all these noble traits contained in the Holy Quran and reinforced by the examples shown by Rasulullah s.a.w., why are there still existing sentiments that view our some members of our society as lacking in values and graciousness?
In fact, there are those among us who will choose to only extend help to fellow Muslims. Isn’t it our responsibility, as the ummah of our beloved Prophet s.a.w to ensure that we continue to be compassionate and respectful to everyone around us, no matter who they are. This is supported by a hadith from Rasulullah s.a.w.:
Which means: “Fear Allah wherever you are, and follow up a bad deed with a good one and it will wipe it out, and behave well towards people.” [Sunan Tirmidzi]
With this, I will conclude with two main points from today’s sermon:
First, we must treat everyone with good manners and respect, not just fellow Muslims.
In fact, we are also reminded by the Prophet s.a.w not to retaliate against those who treat us badly . Rather, we are encouraged to respond to bad deeds with good actions. This is the character and akhlak of Rasulullah, as a blessing to all. This is also the akhlak that we must aspire to emulate as the ummah of Rasulullah s.a.w.
In fact if we embody this mentality taught by the Prophet, we will we have more opportunity to perform many more good deeds and receive even bigger rewards because the pool of people we hope to touch is wider, not just towards fellow Muslims, but everyone. And at the same time, we are able to spread the true message of Islam, that Muslims are gracious, kind, compassionate and respectful to all, regardless of one’s race or religion.
Second, deepening our sense of taqwa and faith is not achieved only through performing acts of worship or ibadah, but also by instilling good akhlak in ourselves.
This is the biggest sunnah that we need to follow. Rasulullah s.a.w. taught mankind to accept Islam as a complete way of life. Islam is not only present in ibadah and zikir, but also in our akhlak and personality.
As a Mukmin who is committed and consistent with the teachings spread by Rasulullah s.a.w., we must increase our good deeds or amal, and bring ourselves closer to Allah s.w.t., not just through our relationship with Allah the Almighty, but also by being considerate to others.
May Allah s.w.t. bless us with His barakah for our good deeds in this world and the Hereafter, and may we be among His servants who are Muhsinin. Amin. Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.