Monday, 5 August 2013

To be a Strong Good Muslim

To be a strong good Muslim

Dr. Mozammel Haque

The blessed month is approaching to the end; only a few days and nights remain. Today is Wednesday, 22 Ramadan corresponding to 31 July, 2013. The last ten days and nights have already started; last Monday after Maghreb started the first night of the last ten nights of the Ramadan. Still there are few more nights and days of the last ten days and nights of Ramadan. We have to avail of this opportunity; we should not abandon it to any other things. Scholars of the earlier generations used to leave everything, everything of knowledge and reading and concentrate on the Glorious Qur’an. So please 

Last Friday, Professor Dr. Ahmad ibn Saifuddin Turkistani, Director, Department of Cultural Affairs, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Cultural Bureau at London, gave a pre-Khutba lecture at a Mosque in London where he said, “This is one of the days that we are so much happy to live, to observe. Today is Friday and Friday is the best day the Sun has ever risen on and today is one of the day of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the master of the months. This is a month of blessings, favours on us. We should be thankful to Allah the Almighty for what he has given us. We are many others deprived of not enjoying the mercy of the month of Ramadan. So Alhamdolillah. Alhamdolillah, Alhamdolillah.”

In this connection, he mentioned, “We struggle and we face challenges and we face obstacles in our lives, whether this is in relation to our earnings, to our social relations, to our living conditions, to our health, to our family and so on and so forth and at the same time we need to be strong Muslim. We have the desire to be good; to be if can ideal Muslim.”

To be a Good Muslim
Professor Turkistani gave a formula to be a good Muslim. He said, “It is possible by the Grace of Allah, to be a good Muslim. It is not difficult, it is not impossible and it is not unachievable. We can do it by the Grace of Allah. How do we do that; how do we become good Muslims committed to the cause of Islam, committed to our community, to our family, to our work and at the same time, seeking the Hereafter, knowing that one day we are departing this world and meeting what we have done in this world. That is a real challenge. And this is after all the purpose of our creation. Sometime we tend to forget that we are created for the worship of Allah; sometimes we think that we are created to be engineers, to be professionals in any particular jobs, to be students, to be family-oriented people and so on and so forth.”

“But the point is we shall not miss the real purpose of creation. Let me try and give you some formula today as how we can approach this objective reaching to the point where we need to balance or commitment to our deen and our responsibilities and in our worldly affairs.

First Formula: Full confidence in Allah
First, we need to have full confidence in Allah the Almighty. Don’t people believe in Allah? Yes they believe in His existence, Glory be to Him. They believe in His Power, in His Wisdom, in His Knowledge, yet they have not observed this fully in their heart. That’s why, Allah the Almighty reminds us saying, “O you who believe, believe in Allah. How could we believe in Allah? Prophet peace be upon him said, renew your faith, say often La ilaha Illallah.Why do we say  La ilaha Illallah? We know La ilaha Illallah is the base of our faith. There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. This is the meaning of La ilaha Illallah. There is no God with a capital G worthy of worship except Allah Subhanahu wa Taala. The Creator, the Charger, Sustainer of this world.”

Belief and faith in Allah
Professor Turkistani mentioned, “To have that faith strongly instil  in your heart as the foundation of your Imaan to build on it. Because you cannot fulfil the job of worship of Allah Subhanahu wa Taala unless you have a solid foundation and the solid foundation is this belief. Solid confidence, absolute confidence and belief and faith in Allah Subhanahu wa Taala. So this is the most important and this is the base and which the building of our works stands on. You can not build your life on a shaky foundation; has to be strong deep in earth; and that is, your heart. It has to be deep inside your heart.”

“How could we do it?” enquired Professor Turkistani and immediately answered, “It is a struggle; yes, we know Alhamdo Lillah, many of us who raised in Muslim families, or even for those who accepted Islam coming from another way of life. They know that Islam is the Truth; Islam is the Ultimate Truth and we know Allah Subhanahu wa Taala is there, directing everything in our lives but then how strong that belief is. This is the challenge but it can be raised because Imaan as you know increases and decreases. It increases with good deeds and decreases with bad deeds. The more good you do the better your imaan will be and the more sins and wrong doings you commit the less imaan you have mantle, they go to shallow and sometimes there is no imaan; when there is no commitment to the deen.”

“Some people when you see them and advise them to be good Muslims, they say well Allah has not guided me yet. But how do you expect Allah to guide you when you are not coming forward. See the point is you should come forward to Allah. Those who struggle in our cause we lead them to our way. This Allah was saying. So that’s the first element and component of the formula I am presenting today,” argued Professor Turkistani. .

Second element is knowledge
Professor Turkistani then explained the second element of his formula to be a strong good Muslim. He said, “The second element is that we have to have knowledge, we can not be just imitating what our forefathers have done or were doing on their lifetime. We are not saying that our ancestors did and did and did and we are just following the same way. But rather we have to base everything we do on a solid foundation of knowledge. And the knowledge is in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him. It is so essential and we cannot do that knowledge; because Allah Subhanahu wa Taala says in the last Ayah of the Sura Kahaf, if you want to meet Allah Subhanahu wa Taala, your Rab, meaning to see Him in person, with your own eyes and enjoy the meeting of Allah Subhanahu wa Taala; because non-believers are deprived of seeing Allah Subhanahu wa Taala. They will not have the privilege to see Allah and to enjoy looking at Him Subhanahu wa Taala.  If you want to meet Allah when He is so pleased with you then you have to do righteous deeds.”

Professor Turkistani again raised the question How do we know these deeds are righteous? And replied immediately saying, “We do not know unless we do have the evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah that this is right. This is important. Knowledge of everything. Islam and faith is not just a tradition. It is not just something we do out of habit or habitual practice; it is something that we do out of knowledge and full understanding of where we stand. This is important. Don’t engage in anything unless you know the evidence; there has an evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. In other words, I do my own worships and I know that when I do my worships, I do the Salah as the Prophet peace be upon him told me to do, I do the Siyam as the Prophet peace be upon him told me to do; I do the Hajj and the Zakah and every actions I do I base it and how the Prophet peace be upon him told us to do. He said, ‘Pray as you have seen me to pray’”. And he said in Hajj,  ‘take your rites of Hajj from me’”.

Speaking about the third element of the Formula, Professor Turkistani said, “Thirdly, if I am committed to the deen, then after the Shahadah, the most important pillar of Islam is what? Salah. Salah namaz or prayer is the connection between you and Allah. If there is no Salah, then there is no connection; just as simple as that. Some Muslims say Masallah, I am a Muslims; but when it comes to Salah, they are shaky, they pray whenever possible; they pray when the environment is suitable as they think; and if they cannot do it in their office, they will do it later; if they sleep when they wake and so on and so forth. No;  Salah is a commitment and it is a connection; because if you are not connected how would you have power. If this mike is not connected to the electricity; will it produce a sound? Amplify the sound as we like it to be? There is no source of energy if we do not pray; this is the source of energy for our faith and the first thing is Salah. Prophet peace be upon him advised his Ummah in the last moment of his life to do Salah and to be kind to anyone who is working with you. The last advice he gave to the Muslims before he left this world, because one is connecting with Allah and the other one is connecting with people. To have kind and have a strong relationship with Allah and that is the way to uplift yourself. If you have a connection with other people, then you have the kindnesses and you want to have in relation to people. So that is a third element.”

Professor Turkistani argued, “Salah has to be done in the right time and in the right way. We cannot have it just because we need to do pray, we need to do some wudu quickly stand up and just do some actions, just going out without having a Salah entering inside our hearts. Hopefully our imaan increasing that imaan; unless we have it, the salah then is not doing it job. Yes, we may pray. Prophet peace be upon him says, ‘Two people may be praying at the same time beside each other; one is having a four rewards and the one is having a very little reward. The reason is depending on how they pray. How they function in their Salah. Yes,we need to pray but how do we pray; in what way and how committed are we in our Salah when we do that.  This is important.”

“We need to pay more attention towards our Salah and not to be forgetful. Allah Subhanahu wa Taala warned and threatened to some people who pray. They are praying and they are being threatened. Yes, weil is a valley in a hell-fire. Because they are so forgetful in their Salah.They pray one day, They just only show off. And they deprived their neighbours of the little things they were asking to do and they are not being kind to their neighbours. That is the third element.”

Professor Turkistani said about the fourth element of the Formula. He said, “The fourth element in our formula to be a strong and good Muslim is to be connected with the Glorious Qur’an. What is the best advice from Allah Subhanahu wa Taala. It is the Glorious Qur’an, is not it? The Glorious Qur’an is the last and final revelation that came to the best of Prophets Muhammad peace be upon him. We are honoured as the last Ummah to receive this revelation. And this revelation was revealed in the month of Ramadan. In fact, in the last ten days of Ramadan. All of the Books of Allah Subhanahu wa Taala was revealed in the month of Ramadan, according to the Hadith. All other Books, the Torah, the Injil, At-Jabur, soho Ibrahim, soho Moosa, and the Glorious Quran. All these realeased in the month of Ramadan. The last of which is the Glorious Qur’an.”

Connection with the Qur’an
Professor Turkistani enquired ‘How strong we are with the Glorious Qur’an?’ and said, “Alhamdo Lillah, Some people will say in this month, Alhamdo Lillah I have read the Qur’an once, twice, three times more. Alhamdo Lillah. This is nice; but the Qur’an needs to be there everyday in our lives; in fact, as much as you can. You need to recite the Glorious Qur’an during the hours of the night and in the morning and in the evening. Sometimes you would be wandering to ride the train and we see people listening to music, wondering on the faces of others, reading all these times the advertisements in the train rather than picking up a copy of the Qur’an in your own mobile, hard copy of the Qur’an and read or even read whatever you have memorised the Glorious Qur’an. This is energising your hearts. It will connect you, it will charge your imaan. The more connected with the Qur’an you are the more charged your imaan is. Because this is the word of Allah after all. And beyond that, Qur’an is not revealed only to be read, even something beyond that. “

Professor Turkistani continued, “Our relation with the Qur’an should be based on four levels, the first level is to read it; the second level is to memorise it, if we can; the third level is to ponder on it, is to think and ponder and use your mind and intellect to interact with the Qur’an. What is it mean? Look at in the Tafseer or in the interpretation of the Qur’an. What Allah means by this? And then the fourth level is implementation; because Allah Subhanahu wa Taala says I know I am addressed to that; because I am from. I should be aware that I will not be from the Kafirs, so I will not be guided; so on and so forth.”
Professor Turkistani mentioned about the last ten days and nights of Ramadan and said, “Now the last ten days of the month of Ramadan are approaching and Monday night we will be having them, the first night of the last ten days of the Ramadan. They could be even nine days based on the observations of the crescent and then on the month of Ramadan will be gone. “

“What are we putting inside the month of Ramadan in order to be folded and taken to Allah Subhanahu wa Taala with all its richness of works and connections through the Glorious Qur’an. So please do not abandon the Qur’an; do not abandon the reading, the memorisation as much as you can and the thinking, interpretation and understanding Qur’an and then the practice of  the Qur’an. When Ayesha was asked about the manner of the Prophet peace be upon him, good manners, Aqlakh, What is the great manner of the Prophet peace be upon him. She said, it is the Glorious Qur’an. she We should be so much engaged with the Qur’an.”

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