Eid Khutbah- Building a Family That is Resilient in Facing Challenges

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Khutbah Eidulfitri

Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

8 August 2013 / 1 Syawal 1434

Building a Family That is Resilient in Facing Challenges

 

 

 

Dear beloved brothers,

All glory be to Allah who has gathered us here on this blessed and joyous morning. Let us raise our hands in gratitude to Him, for bestowing upon us the opportunity to have experienced the beauty of fasting, worshipping, and devoting ourselves to Him throughout the Ramadhan that had just left us. May all our acts of devotion and worship be accepted by Allah s.w.t. May these seedlings of taqwa that we have planted during this month continue to bloom, and may the light of iman continue to radiate upon us, until the day we meet Allah s.w.t. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘alamin.

 

My dear brothers and sisters, let us also offer our thanks to Allah s.w.t., for granting us a peaceful and safe country to live in. However, as we celebrate this festive season, let us not forget to pray for our brothers and sisters who have to celebrate ‘Eid in a state of fear, anguish, uncertainties and grief, due to the turmoil they are experiencing in their countries. May Allah s.w.t restore peace, safety and stability in this world that we live in, amin Ya Rabbal ‘alamin.

 

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Ma‘ashiral Muslimin wazumratal Mukminin rahimakumullah.

The Ramadan that had just left us serves as a testimony of our efforts in performing our obligations to Allah s.w.t. This Ramadan should also bear witness to our earnestness in trying to revive the sunnah of the Prophet s.a.w., enlivening the house of Allah with prayers and zikir, and our dedication in extending graciousness and hope to those who need them.

 

My dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of these deeds I have mentioned are proof that we are fully capable of reviving and implementing the sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w., and thus, fully capable of becoming better individuals who radiate blessings to the needy.

And hence, on this glorious morning of Eidulfitri, I would like for us to appreciate the meanings to a profound doa that Allah s.w.t has taught us in surah Al-Furqan, verse 74:

 

“And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous (muttaqin).”

My beloved sisters and brothers, although this doa is relatively short, it serves as a valuable reminder on the importance on the institution of family, and its role and potential in our lives. Families serve as our source of happiness and serenity, and they contribute greatly to our identity. And hence, Rasulullah s.a.w. reminded us:

“The best of you is the best towards his family and I (i.e. Rasulullah s.a.w.) am the best of you to my family” [Narrated by At-Tirmidzi and Ibnu Majah]

Beloved jemaah, this claim of the Prophet s.a.w. was further acknowledged and validated by his own family members. Rasulullah’s success in nurturing a gracious and faithful family, amongst others, is based on how he himself is gracious and respectful towards them. As narrated by An-Nasai, Abu Daud and At-Tarmidzi: “Every time Fatimah comes to visit the Prophet s.a.w., he would greet her warmly, and then he would rise and kiss her; and he would hold her hands until she has taken her place next to him”.

 

So we see here, my dear brothers and sisters, he is respected not because he demands it, but because he earns it by according them respect. In addition, his graciousness and respect shown to his family can also be seen in his contributions to the household chores. In a well-known hadith narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari in his book Al-Adabul Mufrad, the Prophet s.a.w. was said to have assisted his family in doing the chores, milking the goat, and even mending his own shoes.  Even in times of pain and difficulties, the Prophet s.a.w. was also narrated to be with his son Ibrahim, comforting him, making him feel happy and trying his best to ease his pain until Ibrahim breathed his last.

 

 

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Ma‘ashiral Muslimin wazumratal Mukminin rahimakumullah.

While the narrations might reflect only specific actions of the Prophet s.a.w., the bigger lesson for us to comprehend and implement is how he has reminded us to share the physical and emotional load with our loved ones; to be with them in times of trials and tribulations, in sickness and joy.

 

The Prophet s.a.w. led his family by the best of examples. He taught them the value of respect by respecting them; and he showed what love was by showering his love on them. He ‘alaihissolaatu wassalaam (a.s.) also taught us to never abandon our family especially when they are in need. This was the way and the path of the Prophet s.a.w. From the Arabian deserts of more than 1400 years ago, he reminded us of the priceless value of a gracious family.

 

These beautiful values taught by the Prophet s.a.w. are especially relevant for us today. Several studies conducted show that changing lifestyles, rising stress and expectations, are increasingly straining familial relations. Based on a report published by the Singapore Civil Service College; and written by a notable sociologist and futurist, it was highlighted that there is a rising trend in which building a family is increasingly being viewed as a challenging and an arduous task. Gradually, the family institution is no longer perceived as a source of happiness, but is seen from a strictly cost and benefit perspective. Recently, it was reported in the media that there are about 300 cases of parents having to resort to mediation to get financial assistance from their children. This is a very worrying trend and deserves our committed attention. It would be dreadful to envision a future that would require familial obligations to be enforced by law, and not out of love and filial piety.

 

To all of us who still have our parents with us today, look at the faces of our parents who are ageing and becoming weaker by the day. Remember those times when they doted and showered us with their love. Remember the hardships and the sacrifices that they had to go through in bringing us up, in nursing us when we were sick, and cheering us up whenever we felt down. Now let us reflect on ourselves; are we treating them with the same love and compassion? It would be insolence for us to leave them in the lurch, deprived of the tender loving care, as they spend the last days of their lives on earth.

 

My dear brothers and sisters, let us strive to ensure that we will continue to extend our love and care for them even when they no longer have any material or tangible assets to give us. Remember dear jemaah, our parents are the keys for us to obtain a place in Allah’s eternal paradise. In one particularly moving hadith, the Prophet s.aw. said: “How pitiful, how pitiful, how pitiful.” One of the companions then asked, “Who is the pitiful one, O Rasulullah?” The Prophet then answered, “He is the one who is blessed to have both his parents, or only one of the parents in their old age, and yet it could not serve as a reason for him to enter paradise.” [Imam Muslim]

 

I also would like to take this opportunity to remind us who are parents. Let us ensure that we give enough care and attention to our children. We need to give them the proper guidance, in accordance to the challenges of the context they are living in, not based on what we had experienced during our time. Hence, we need to read up more in order to better understand them and their context. Our children today are facing various challenges, for example a more liberal alternative social and sexual lifestyle. So what can we do to ensure that those who have yet to be affected can continue to resist negative influences, while those who have been affected will be given proper nurturance and guidance.

Dear jemaah, financial planning and accumulating of assets are indeed necessary in helping to secure a more comfortable life ahead. However, let us not allow these factors to cause our children to feel that they are not loved, or even neglected. If we want to be loved, then we have got to give love. If we want to be treated graciously, with much love and care; and if we want to be entertained by our children in our old age, then offer them the same while we still can. We must also show them how we ourselves treat our parents graciously, pampering them with love and compassion. By doing so, we are thus showing our children a good example for them to emulate. And this, my dear brothers and sisters, is the formula that the Prophet s.a.w. has taught us in his hadith:

“Verily, those who do not love, will not be loved.” [Muttafaqun ‘alaihi]

 

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Ma‘ashiral Muslimin wazumratal Mukminin rahimakumullah.

Dear jemaah, we are grateful and thankful that during the last Ramadan that had just left us, we have witnessed how our Muslim community still continues to preserve good familial relations. We saw families gathering to break their fasts together; praying tarawih together; and there are even those who offer their voluntary services together. This culture needs to be preserved. Let us continue to nurture in our children, love for the family institution. Guide them well, so they are able to appreciate and acknowledge that a family is a source of happiness and emotional strength. Show them how a family can help us in facing the darkest and hardest moments in life, by offering our assistance together to families who need it.

 

This Syawal, let us take the opportunity to reconcile with our family members and relatives – let us move on from the misunderstandings in the past. Resume connections with our relatives whom we might not have contacted in a while. Pay them a visit; and offer them our assistance to the best of our abilities, if they require so. As we seek for forgiveness from our families and relatives, let us also offer our forgiveness to those who have hurt us in a past. May Allah forgive us of our own sins, as how we have resolved to forgive others.

 

My dear brothers and sisters,

These are the lessons and values that our beloved Prophet s.a.w. wanted to convey to us through his precious hadiths that were narrated by his companions and honourable family. This is the graciousness that he has demonstrated to his family, and what has kept them together. Dear jemaah, let us, continue to enliven this sunnah of building a family that would become our source of hope, values and goodness. Hopefully that would then inspire our family members to extend and share their kindness and compassion to those around them. May our efforts of building a virtuous and gracious family serve as a testimony to Allah s.w.t that we have carried out our obligations to the best of our abilities, on the day that we meet Him.

 

O Allah! Only to You do we give offer thanks and praises. Only to You do we humble and submit ourselves. Preserve the iman in our hearts. Strengthen the taqwa that You have bestowed upon us. Please accept all our good deeds and acts of worship that we have offered you throughout the Ramadan that had just left us.

 

O Allah! Bless us and our families, the dedication and ability to become your servants who love to do good deeds. O Allah! Shield us from ever becoming void of love and compassion. Protect us and our families from becoming among those who are calculative and miserly in doing good deeds.

 

O Allah! Please strengthen our family institution. Preserve our familial bonds and relations under Your love and blessings. Sustain our familial lives with virtues and graciousness. Bless us with good morals in our families, and grant us the opportunity to enliven the sunnah of Your Prophet s.a.w.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd      

 

Eid Mubarak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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