Surah Rum, 41
ظَهَرَ ٱلۡفَسَادُ فِى ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتۡ أَيۡدِى ٱلنَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعۡضَ ٱلَّذِى عَمِلُواْ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ
Evil (sins and disobedience to Allâh) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allâh) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allâh, and begging His Pardon).
- Critical, important teaching of our deen. We all know that as humans, we can make either good or bad choices. We do good deeds or commit sins. These are the deeds, actions, of human beings.
- Our deeds have an effect upon us and will have a consequence in the hereafter. In terms of this life, what consequences do our deeds have? Ex why does suffering occur? Why bad things? This is related to this discussion.
- Another ayah:
Surah Shoora, 30
وَمَآ أَصَـٰبَڪُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ۬ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتۡ أَيۡدِيكُمۡ وَيَعۡفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ۬
And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.
- Put these two ayaat together and you see the consequences of our actions in this life.
- Ba here is sababiyyah – a very versatile letter in Arabic. This sababiyyah means to state the cause of something – so it is stating the result after of what was said before.
- These misfortunes are because of what we did – what is interesting is that He forgives us for most of what we do!
- What about some of that which is left? In Surah Room, we see it.
- Fasad is any kind of calamity, famine, epidemic disease, fire, drowning, lack of barakah, financial loss – subhanAllah – these are all things we are facing today. There is always some kind of diseas (H1N1), fire (California, BC), lack of barakah, famine/starvation (Africa – majority of the world actually, is dealing with hunger), loss of jobs – financial problems. Fasad is the summation of all of this. It is everywhere – in the land and sea.
- All of humanity has earned this – showing it is from everyone. Shirk of the mushrik and sins of the Muslims.
- Allah swt is giving you a taste of what you’ve done – all of your sins, all your actions, you have only been given the tip of the iceberg of what could happen.
- Imagine with all the suffering in the world – if this is just a taste of what we’ve done, imagine what we’re deserving of – what we have earned…
- Allah swt out of His infinite mercy and kindness – He has forgiven most of it and has only given us a taste.
- Why? So that we may return back to Allah – to Eman, tawheed, Sunnah, ‘amal, Islam, taqwa, dhikr, salah, hajj, zakah, Hajj, akhlaaq – whatever it is we’re neglecting, we need to turn back to it.
- Humans have been given a high position – karamah – but with this respect and dignity and honour, comes a huge amount of responsibility.
- Go to the path in which you earn the blessings of Allah. Not that which even the other creations of Allah will curse you for doing dhulm upon them.
- What are your actions? Everything should remind you of Allah – go back and check yourself, what choices are you making.
- Our deeds are the cause of the suffering around the world – so fix yourself and take it one step at a time to fix everyone around you.
- Tawbah literally means to turn back – so make sincere tawbah in the month of Tawbah.
- State you have done wrong – then truly feel the remorse and regret in your hearts. Make a firm intention to never go back and do those things again. Turn a new leaf.
Speed Bumps on the Road to Redemption
Surah Qasas, 15-17
وَدَخَلَ ٱلۡمَدِينَةَ عَلَىٰ حِينِ غَفۡلَةٍ۬ مِّنۡ أَهۡلِهَا فَوَجَدَ فِيہَا رَجُلَيۡنِ يَقۡتَتِلَانِ هَـٰذَا مِن شِيعَتِهِۦ وَهَـٰذَا مِنۡ عَدُوِّهِۦۖ فَٱسۡتَغَـٰثَهُ ٱلَّذِى مِن شِيعَتِهِۦ عَلَى ٱلَّذِى مِنۡ عَدُوِّهِۦ فَوَكَزَهُ ۥ مُوسَىٰ فَقَضَىٰ عَلَيۡهِۖ قَالَ هَـٰذَا مِنۡ عَمَلِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ عَدُوٌّ۬ مُّضِلٌّ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ (١٥) قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى ظَلَمۡتُ نَفۡسِى فَٱغۡفِرۡ لِى فَغَفَرَ لَهُ ۥۤۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلۡغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ (١٦) قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَآ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَىَّ فَلَنۡ أَكُونَ ظَهِيرً۬ا لِّلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ (١٧)
And he entered the city at a time of unawareness of its people, and he found there two men fighting, – one of his party (his religion – from the Children of Israel), and the other of his foes. The man of his (own) party asked him for help against his foe, so Mûsa (Moses) struck him with his fist and killed him. He said: “This is of Shaitân’s (Satan) doing, verily, he is a plain misleading enemy.” (15) He said: “My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me.” Then He forgave him. Verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. (16) He said: “My Lord! For that with which You have favoured me, I will never more be a helper of the Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers polytheists, sinners)!” (17)
Musa (as) went into the city when it wasn’t really busy. He found two men arguing – one was from Bani Isra’eel (Musa’s people) and other was from Qibti (Fir’awn’s people). The man from BI asked for Musa’s help from the Qibti. Musa punched him and the man ended up dying – this was from shaytaan. Musa sought Allah’s forgiveness – Allah forgave him.
From these stories, we get a powerful and comprehensive lesson – only people of intelligence ponder upon them
Only those things that attribute to the lesson and the guidance are mentioned in the Qur’an. If something is not necessary to the lesson, it’s not mentioned.
In this story – this was made to happen in the life of Musa (as). It is mentioned very explicitly in the Qur’an – so our job is to extract a lesson from it.
Allah swt revealed the greatest miracle to us – the Qur’an – His Divine words. So many things are mentioned – they have to be of benefit for us!
Musa was told to go to Fir’awn and tell about it – it was a crime of that time. He knows he’s wanted for a crime. He says his words won’t come out so send Haroon with him. Allah told him to go by himself – Allah will be watching. He reached Fir’awn and asked for the release of Bani Isra’eel. Fir’awn’s like didn’t you commit some crime? He’s mocking him. He says we raised you and took care of you – you’re ungrateful. You went and killed one of our people. Musa said yes, I did it by mistake.
We learn the lesson – we’re all human. We’re all going to make mistakes. We’ve made some mistakes in our past that we’re ashamed of – that people will bring up and talk about. We all have skeletons in our closet. We should never let any of our past transgressions in changing our ways or getting in the way of doing good.
If Allah swt grants you the tawfique to turn your life around, and then you try to give a little talk – and then someone says hey, this guy? Why him?
The person who had the dark past – he cannot let his dark past hold him back – he cannot shy away from doing good from blemishes in his path. If ALLAH has FORGIVEN HIM – HE DOES NOT NEED TO WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE!
It is, however, a natural human reaction, that you will feel nervous. Allah is showing us that we need to get over that. Hence, it happened in the life of one of the greatest Prophets to teach us.
If you are the person judging this person from their past – YOU need to be careful that you don’t pick on him or publicly humiliate him or ridicule his efforts. Because if you do – who are your actions like? Fira’wn! That was the first thing he did!
SubhanAllah, may Allah forgive us for being so unforgiving! We are sooooo quick to judge and assume – we don’t give a benefit of the doubt to anyone.
SubhanAllah, do we think a boy who is filled with tattoos could be a hafidh of the Qur’an! SubhanAllah, he memorized the Qur’an in 8 months from scratch!
If you are seeing someone who has a past and is trying to be good now, NEVER be skeptical of that person – because that is what Fir’awn did.
Leadership Succession Planning
Surah Ibrahim, 4
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوۡمِهِۦ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمۡۖ فَيُضِلُّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ
And We sent not a Messenger except with the language of his people, in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them. Then Allâh misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
- Every single Messenger sent was sent speaking the language of the people he was sending the message to – why? To make it clear to them.
- Allah swt guides whom He wills and misguides whome He wills.
- Ayah has many discussions – why Qur’an was in Arabic, why the Message of Prophet (S) is still a universal message.
- Every Prophet came speaking in the right language – to clarify things for them.
- Important for us – Muslims are a minority, and majority of Muslims in North America are immigrants. Now, we’re seeing the second and third generation of those immigrants. The indigenous Muslims – converts – are also having their own kids and their communities are growing.
- We need to cultivate leadership – specifically spiritual – from within our own communities. They need to speak the language and understand one another – culturally – so they can clarify for each other and make the deen understandable.
- Specific issue – speak the language itself and knowing the language. Know what goes on with the people. For a very long time, the religious leadership was arranged by bringing in someone from overseas. It may work for the first generation – but they cannot properly relate to the children and speak to the youth. We need to develop and implement youth from our communities – the experience will drastically change.
- This is no way a slight to the great Scholars who do come here to fill in the void that no one else was filling. There are, however, certain realities at play here.
- This is a growing concern within many communities. We need newer, younger, Imams, younger teachers, etc.
- So this is the Sunnah of Allah that He always sent Messengers which spoke the language of the people and understood their culture – could relate.
- Also, when Allah sent others – they were also from the people. The person had to be from amongst their community.
- One of the greatest blessings upon our Ummah is that the Messenger was from amongst US – he was one of us.
- Next step is that we need to make the present leaders from withing OUR community – they need to be from us. They need to speak the language, understand the youth, etc.
- At the same time, we’re reluctant to make our own children into a leader – we’ll hire someone else – but it’s the most fruitful when it’s from your own community. It needs to happen.
- It’s okay if it isn’t the greatest khutbah you ever heard – it needs to happen. It’s in their for the long run.
- You won’t be there for your kids because the generation gap will be there – so you need to make sure a leader is coming out from each generation.
- The leader of the army being sent to Room – at the end of the life of Prophet (S) – was Usama ibn Zayd – a 17 or 19 yeard old boy. People had the ego issue then too – he called them and addressed it – P (S) said I put them as a leader because I saw he has potential.
- When ‘Umar ibn al Khattab (ra) would make shura – he would call ‘Abdullah ibn Abbas – who was like 20 years old at the time, and he would ask him along with other senior Sahabah. ‘Abdullah would try to hide when this would happen but ‘Umar would call for him. Asked about Surah Nasr – everyone gave opinion – ‘Abdullah said that this is giving news that life of Prophet (S) is coming to an end (it was revealed at that time). ‘Umar said this is why I ask him – that was what he knew.
- Part of the responsibility of leadership is bringing in the new leaders. You’re not going to be there forever.
- For the sake of our children, we need to be very keen to their needs of having a speaker who understands their problems and circumstances. We need to be more open-minded in developing a leader from our community.
A Family That Prays Together…
Surah Taaha, 132
وَأۡمُرۡ أَهۡلَكَ بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱصۡطَبِرۡ عَلَيۡہَاۖ لَا نَسۡـَٔلُكَ رِزۡقً۬اۖ نَّحۡنُ نَرۡزُقُكَۗ وَٱلۡعَـٰقِبَةُ لِلتَّقۡوَىٰ
And enjoin As-Salât (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salât (prayers)]. We ask not of you a provision (i.e. to give Us something: money); We provide for you. And the good end (i.e. Paradise) is for the Muttaqûn (pious and righteous persons – see V.2:2).
- Allah swt addresses the Prophet (S) in this verse.
- He swt orders the P (S) to command his family members to perform salah. You yourself be conscious and careful of your salah. Allah doesn’t ask anything from you – He sustains you. Paradise is for the muttaqoon.
- This opens the topic of how to educate our own children about deen.
- First of all – tell them, teach them, talk to them about it.
- We teach them manners, how to dress, how to eat, everything! We talk to them about education, friends, everything again. Similarly, for deen, we have to talk to them and engage with them in religious discussion. Talk to them about Companions, Surahs, discuss with them about these topics. Scholars teach us to have family team. Dedication a minimum of 10, 15 minutes of religious talk. It can be something really basic – talk to them about a short surah, a life of the companion, a great scholar – some type of a religious reflection. Get them to start pondering about these things themselves.
- One of the greatest tragedies is that religion becomes ritualistic. We pass that on to our children – which is terrible. We don’t teach them to think about it, to reflect it, to live it. They are just expected to do it when the time comes – without reflection or connecion. It all means nothing to them.
- Just like you tell them to do homework, clean the room, etc – remind them of salah – remind them of the deen.
- ‘Umar would come back home from wandering the night and wake up his family members to pray qiyaam al layl. If they wouldn’t wake up, he would sprinkle water on their faces.
- People inappropriately introduce emotion into this – ‘oh they should want to, they’re just kids.’ But for school, you drag them out of bed because you know it’s important and necessary. So for salah – it’s not different. It needs to be taught and encouraged. Remind them, be mindful of it.
- Sabr – literal meaning is to tie up something. Wastabir ‘alayha – this phrase means to be extremely dedicated to it – to stick to it, no matter what. So command your family to perform salah and then you, yourself – do not give up salah for any price.
- At the end of the day, telling your kids to pray is great but all of these only truly bears fruit if you are doing it *yourself.* This deen is very honest – you cannot say that which you don’t do yourself. One of the things that angers Allah the most is exactly this – saying something that you do not do.
- We need to be doing it ourselves. This is especially crucial when the children are young when you cannot dialogue with them. We need to set this example to them from day one.
- Kids – even at the age of not being able to speak yet – know about your rituals and day-to-day habits.
- Imagine if we were extremely punctual about salah – like work and food – kids will see and learn from it and automatically want to pray at certain times.
- Save from yourself from Hell and then save your family – because you can only save your family *if* you save yourself. Just like in airplanes, in case of an emergencey, put on your oxygen mask before anyone else.
- We only remember the material pursuits and they get in the way of spending quality family time. No amount of money or possessions makes up for the time lost with your children. Fulfill your needs with modesty. Are you going to compromise the religious tarbiyyah of your children just to make more money?
- Allah swt is the One who will feed and sustain you! So do what you were commanded to do – fulfill your haqq.
- The success at the end of the day is for the people of Taqwa. These are the people who weigh each choice and take the best decision – they will get the best reward inshaAllah.
- This ties into our kids when they will make their own decisions and you cannot tell them yes or no – that’s the age each parent fears. At that time, a person will find himself satisfied and content – the one who put Taqwa before everything else while raising their kids, they will find a time of relaxation at this age – because their kids will have taqwa inshaAllah.
Surah Haqqah, 19 – 37
فَأَمَّا مَنۡ أُوتِىَ كِتَـٰبَهُ ۥ بِيَمِينِهِۦ فَيَقُولُ هَآؤُمُ ٱقۡرَءُواْ كِتَـٰبِيَهۡ (١٩) إِنِّى ظَنَنتُ أَنِّى مُلَـٰقٍ حِسَابِيَهۡ (٢٠) فَهُوَ فِى عِيشَةٍ۬ رَّاضِيَةٍ۬ (٢١) فِى جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ۬ (٢٢) قُطُوفُهَا دَانِيَةٌ۬ (٢٣) كُلُواْ وَٱشۡرَبُواْ هَنِيٓـَٔۢا بِمَآ أَسۡلَفۡتُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَيَّامِ ٱلۡخَالِيَةِ (٢٤) وَأَمَّا مَنۡ أُوتِىَ كِتَـٰبَهُ ۥ بِشِمَالِهِۦ فَيَقُولُ يَـٰلَيۡتَنِى لَمۡ أُوتَ كِتَـٰبِيَهۡ (٢٥) وَلَمۡ أَدۡرِ مَا حِسَابِيَهۡ (٢٦) يَـٰلَيۡتَہَا كَانَتِ ٱلۡقَاضِيَةَ (٢٧) مَآ أَغۡنَىٰ عَنِّى مَالِيَهۡۜ (٢٨) هَلَكَ عَنِّى سُلۡطَـٰنِيَهۡ (٢٩) خُذُوهُ فَغُلُّوهُ (٣٠) ثُمَّ ٱلۡجَحِيمَ صَلُّوهُ (٣١) ثُمَّ فِى سِلۡسِلَةٍ۬ ذَرۡعُهَا سَبۡعُونَ ذِرَاعً۬ا فَٱسۡلُكُوهُ (٣٢) إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ ٱلۡعَظِيمِ (٣٣) وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ ٱلۡمِسۡكِينِ (٣٤) فَلَيۡسَ لَهُ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ هَـٰهُنَا حَمِيمٌ۬ (٣٥) وَلَا طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِنۡ غِسۡلِينٍ۬ (٣٦) لَّا يَأۡكُلُهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا ٱلۡخَـٰطِـُٔونَ (٣٧)
Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand will say: “Here! read my Record! (19) “Surely, I did believe that I shall meet my Account!” (20) So he shall be in a life, well-pleasing. (21) In a lofty Paradise, (22) The fruits in bunches whereof will be low and near at hand. (23) Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past! (24) But as for him who will be given his Record in his left hand, will say: “I wish that I had not been given my Record! (25) “And that I had never known, how my Account is! (26) “Would that it had been my end (death)! (27) “My wealth has not availed me; (28) “My power (and arguments to defend myself) have gone from me!” (29) (It will be said): “Seize him and fetter him; (30) Then throw him in the blazing Fire. (31) “Then fasten him with a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits!” (32) Verily, He used not to believe in Allâh, the Most Great, (33) And urged not on the feeding of Al¬Miskîn (the poor), (34) So no friend has he here this Day, (35) Nor any food except filth from the washing of wounds, (36) None will eat it except the Khâti’ûn (sinners, disbelievers, polytheists). (37)
- One of the key concepts of the deen is the sense of accountability – we are to live this life with a constant awareness. Everything that we do is recorded and preserved.
- In this Surah, Allah swt speaks about the conditon of the people on the DOJ.
- Everything is written and preserved and will be presented back to each person.
- Person who gets it in right hand is in pure joy – really happy. When someone gets a promotion, asked what did you do? So this person is asked how did you do it? This person responds with I was constantly mindful and was sure of the fact I would be held accountable on this day. I never forgot this. Will have extremely pleasurable life and beautiful Jannah.
- When a person is enjoying Jannah, and lying under a tree – when the person looks up, he will desire to eat those fruits. As soon as he desires so, the branch of the tree bends down to his mouth so he can eat and when he is finished, it will go back up. You don’t even have to move yourself.
- For the other group who got the book in the left hand, he is mad about his situation. He explains it by saying that he was not mindful of the fact he would be held accountable. Same word of hisaab. This person will curse themselves – wealth, power, influence, etc doesn’t help. Angels will shackle him and throw him head first into the fire. No food, no friends, nothing provided for this person. Washed by wounds of people.
Today’s recitaiton: Surah Israa’, 14
ٱقۡرَأۡ كِتَـٰبَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفۡسِكَ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ عَلَيۡكَ حَسِيبً۬ا
(It will be said to him): “Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.”
- Allah swt is giving you your book and asking you – are you deserving of Jannah, His Mercy?
- So think about all of this now so you don’t have to suffer!
- Surah Kahf – 49, the criminals will be afraid of what’s in their books, saying what is wrong? Everything big and small is listed there. Allah does not oppress anyone. You will have to face your own deeds on the DOJ.
- A sense of accountability is not new to us – we balance cheques, check minutes, do bills, counting calories – we are constantly managing ourselves.
- Take that same mentality in terms of our money, time, worldly pursuits – apply that in terms of our deen as well. Check – did you pray, did you backbite, did you do good and forbid evil? Account yourself before you are accounted for.
Surah Israa, 19
وَمَنۡ أَرَادَ ٱلۡأَخِرَةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعۡيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ۬ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ڪَانَ سَعۡيُهُم مَّشۡكُورً۬ا
And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it (i.e. do righteous deeds of Allâh’s Obedience) while he is a believer (in the Oneness of Allâh— Islâmic Monotheism), then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, (thanked and rewarded by Allâh).
- Intend for the life of the hereafter.
- Sa’ee – to work for something, to strive for something. To walk briskly not run – to the point of being tired. Someone who has an end goal in mind.
- When someone intends for the akhirah and pushes himself forward – such an effort in the life of the hereafter – this person is deserving of it. The believer – these people, their efforts will be appreciated by Allah swt.
- Kahf 30-31: People who believe in Allah and strive to do good – Allah will never waste their reward. Will be in the gardens of perpetual enjoyments. Here, it is said rivers flowing beneath the people and not beneath the garden – shows the importance of these people. These people will be adorned beautifully – gold and silver, given luxurious garments. They will be reclining on these amazing couches/thrones. They are ‘resting’ – like chilling. So when a person works hard in this world and tires himself, in the hereafter, this person will be able to relax. Has no concerns or worries. In this world, the people had a due date – their death – so they never really relaxed. In Jannah, they have no worries – bliss for eternity. So they will be completely relaxed. This is the best of rewards – excellent place of relaxtion for the people. It is more relaxed to rest your arms – place elbows on armrest – that’s the root of that word.
- In order to reach all of this – we have to put in the time and effort to do so. We need to account ourselves to make ourselves get there inshaAllah.