Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
4 October 2013 / 28 Zulkaedah 1434
Fostering concern towards others
Dear Friday Jemaah,
On this day full of blessings, I would like to remind myself and all of you here to strengthen your taqwa towards Allah s.w.t. Continue to strive hard to heed all of Allah’s commands and aim to avoid what Allah s.w.t. has prohibited upon us.
My dear brothers,
For last month’s khutbah, we were reminded of the contributions and sacrifices made by our great Muslim scholars, in their efforts to ensure that Allah’s religion continues to spread and remain relevant with time. Their sacrifices bear witness to the concern that they have for the religion. They were also driven by the spirit of rahmatan lil ’alamin, which is the sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w. To help us better appreciate this sunnah, let me share a story for us to reflect on.
Once, Rasulullah s.a.w. had slaughtered a lamb and he then donated the meat to the fakir (needy people). Then Rasulullah s.a.w. asked his wife, Aisyah r.a: What is left from the sheep? His wife, who knew that Nabi s.a.w. liked to eat mutton, had kept a small portion of the meat from the sheep’s shoulder for Rasulullah s.a.w, then Rasulullah s.a.w. said: “Every part of the sheep (that was donated) remains except for the shoulder.” [Hadith Narrated by At-Tirmidzi]
What could Nabi s.a.w. be referring to when he said that what was donated will remain? It means that whatever that was donated would be accepted by Allah s.w.t, and whatever that we keep with us will be depleted and gone eventually. This is in accordance to what Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran, in surah An-Nahl verse 96:
Which means: “Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. And We will surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do”.
The story that I have shared earlier reflects the beauty of the Prophet’s character, how he was very concerned of the well-being of others. Rasulullah s.a.w. prioritised those who were in need and the poor, even though he and his family remained hungry. Aisyah r.a. said: “Never did the family of Muhammad s.a.w eat he bread of wheat to their fill for two consecutive days”. [Hadith narrated by Imam At-Tirmizi]
Anyone who has performed his haj or umrah, and visited Masjid Nabawi which is right beside the Prophet’s house, must have seen the effect of how concerned he was of those who are in need. Just look at how Nabi s.a.w, in his capacity as the leader, chose to accommodate the poor and needy at the veranda next to his house. He did not ostracise them and place them far from where he was staying
This deep sense of concern towards others is what we should instil amongst us. In the midst of chasing for money, wealth and position, never forget those who have less.
My brothers, let us not be selfish and concern ourselves only with our personal needs. It is hence heartening that throughout last month, mosques in Singapore have organised many activities aimed at instilling awareness of the need to be concerned towards others and spreading blessings to all. Volunteers from all walks of life tried to emulate Rasulullah s.a.w. in contributing and serving the well-being of the community, whatever their race and religion may be.
In the framework of trying to inculcate care and concern towards others within ourselves, there are several values that we need to continue building on.
First: To appreciate the life of every human being
My brothers, the sweetness of iman will not be present unless we combine our love for Allah s.w.t. and Rasulullah s.a.w, with the love towards others. How can we become Allah’s beloved servants when our relationships with His creations are cold and distant? Or if we ignore the plight of those in need of help? Or if we do not bother about the living conditions of our neighbour whose house we pass by daily? Remember what Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
Which means: “Whoever possesses the following three (qualities), will have the sweetness (delight) of Faith: (1) The one to whom Allah and His Messenger are more beloved than anything else; (2) The one who loves another only for Allah’s sake; (3) The one who hates to convert to disbelief after Allah has rescued him from it, as he hates to be thrown into the fire.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim]
It should be understood that how one person treats another is determined by how he views others and his presumption of others. Hence, if a Muslim views anyone who does not follow the religion or his orientation with enmity and animosity, then this will affect his ability to interact well with others, and might hamper efforts to foster understanding which will help build a harmonious society.
This is where Islam’s message of humanity plays a crucial role in increasing the understanding of Islam by Muslims themselves. As highlighted by Syeikh Dr. Muhammad Saeed Ramadan Al-Buthi in his book “Love in the Quran”: “The fact that we are human beings (insan), servants and that we belong to Allah s.w.t. is enough to make it obligatory upon us to have feelings of love and affection towards other human beings “.
Second: Comprehensive understanding of the concept of Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin.
Allah s.w.t. says in surah Al-Anbiya’ verse 107:
Which means: “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.”
In the verse that was just read, it was clearly mentioned that Rasulullah s.a.w. was sent by Allah s.w.t. as a blessing or rahmah to all on this earth. The word “rahmah” in this verse means an ummah that does good deeds and brings about positivity to those around them. A true believer or mukmin who strives to be a rahmah or blessing to those around him will not be affected by the situation around him; in fact they will be moved by his goodness and kindness. As the Prophet Nabi Syuaib a.s. said to his people:
Which means: “I only intend reform as much as I am able. [Surah Hud, verse 88]
Hence, as the ummah of Rasulullah s.a.w. we should also strive to bring blessings to those around us and aim to carry out all sorts of good deeds for the benefit of the society, emulating the life and personality of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
May Allah s.w.t. grant us taufiq and inayah for us to emulate the Prophet s.a.w., and to practice and implement his sunnah, amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.