In the name of Allah Most Gracious and Most Merciful
Translation of Khutba : Masjid Otsuka: Friday, April 13 2018
All praise is due to Allah Who sent down the Qur’an with which He guided us to the straight path. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, having no partners, and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.
O Servants of Allah! It is important for every muslim to have his/her priorities right in life.The priorities should be ordered according to their impact and duration. Therefore, the first priority by far is what pleases Allah, since it is the definition of true success both in this dunya and hereafter.Therefore the question is not really what are the priorities, as we can together now set them right in 2 minutes, the question is How?!The key answer to this question is based on 2 foundational pillars just to get started and 5 aspects to progress and advance.The 2 pillars are in the hadith. Narrated Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him):Allah’s Messenger SAW said, “Allah said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My Refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him.” (Bukhari) So, as you see, these two pillars are (1) making sure to perform all obligations commanded by Allah (Faridhah) and (2) trying as much as possible to perfom Nawafel (sunnah).
First, performing Faridhah ensures that one keeps the minimum level or relationship with Allah and shows the least gratitude for all the bounties of Allah.
Second, performing Nawafel (e.g. sadaka, sunnah prayer, fasting 3 days a month) all of this makes Allah loves you more. And as promised in the Hadith, once Allah loves you, he can be with you in every endeavor, and can grant you tawfik in all of what you do, which will eventually lead to entering Jannah inshaAllah.
So, these are the basics that a muslim should adopt in his/her life in general. When setting life goals in particular, a good muslim should observe the 5 keys inspired from the Qur’an and Sunnah/Hadith of the prophet SAW. Abu Barzah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah SAW said, “Man’s feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection before he is asked about his life, how did he consume it, his knowledge, what did he do with it, his wealth, how did he earn it and how did he dispose of it, and about his body, how did he wear it out.” (At-Tirmidhi)
These priorities are:
1)Seeking knowledge: Seeking knowledge is among the highest pursuits a muslim can follow. In the verse of Surat Az-zumar, Allah confirms that those with knowledge are not equal to those without.
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Az-Zumar:
“Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, ‘Are those who know equal to those who do not know?’ Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.” (S.39 V.9)
Prophet SAW has in several occasions encouraged us to seek knowledge and confirmed that this please Allah.
However, it is also important to realize that any knowledge one gains comes with responsibility. Allah will ask each one what has has DONE based on what he KNOWS. Some of the companions (radi Allah anhom) would only memorize a new verse of the Qur’an after the make sure to apply the knowledge they gained from verses they already know.
2) Time Management: Time is the most precious asset a human being has. Contrary, to other enjoyable assets (money, children, etc), you can never increase your time in this life no matter what you do. Allah will ask you about every minute of it, in addition to an extra question for the period when you are young and poweful. Making sure to use time effeciently should indeed be among the priorities of all humans, especially muslims as the servants of Allah on this Earth.
3) Tazkeyet El Nafs (purifying the soul): Contrary to philosophical discussions that are confused whether the human being is inherently good or inherently evil, in Islam the concept is very clear. Allah put both characters inside us.Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Balad:
“We gave him both ways.” (S.90 V.10)
It is up to the personal choice of the person to act upon his good nature or his bad nature.
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Ash-Shams :
“[I swear] By the sun and its brightness.” “And [by] the moon when it follows it.” “And [by] the day when it displays it.” “And [by] the night when it covers it.” “And [by] the sky and He who constructed it.” “And [by] the earth and He who spread it.” “And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it” “and inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness,” “he has succeeded who purifies it,” “and he has failed who instills it [with corruption].” (S.91 V.1–10)
That who works to purify his soul from evils, wins. And that who chooses the evil, has no one to blame but himself.
4) Dealig with Dispensations: Avoid pursuing and searching for dispensations to get around fulfilling the ibada to Allah or to transgress into makrooh or haram.
5) Maintaining good Company: This point is very essential for all of the previous points. A muslim lives this live with two main enemies, his evil nafs and the shaytan. He/she needs someone to support him in this fight. Making sure to surround oneself with good pious friends is indeed a good guarantee to remain close to Allah. Also, the word human (insan) in Arabic shares the same root with (nisyan) which means forgetfulness. Humans are called insan because the easily forget. Keeping good companions ensures thay muslims remind each other of Allah and of the obligations of being muslim. On the other hand, the opposite case (keeping bad friends around you) can be detrimental.
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Furqan:
“And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, ‘Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way.’” “‘Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend.’” “He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.’” “And the Messenger has said, ‘O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned. ’” “And thus have We made for every prophet an enemy from among the criminals. But sufficient is your Lord as a guide and a helper.” (S.25 V. 27–31)
We have seen how Allah describes in the verses of Surat Al Furqan the level of REGRET one will have on yamul qiyama just for staying close to ONE bad friend.
In the end, it is important to remind myself and all of you that while a muslim should observe these priorities in order to please Allah, he/she should also know that Allah will ask us about them after we die. It is important to realize this point. Allah created humans and he knows what is best for them. Therefore, abiding by the priorities He set is essential to lead a good life both in the hereafter.
May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon prophet Muhammad SAW, his family and all of his Companions. May Allah be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and all those who will follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.
O Allah! Accept our prayers and all our ibada.
O Allah! Guide us to the right path and make us of those on whom You bestows Your mercy.
O Allah! Accept all of our good deeds and forgive us for our sins.
O Allah! Accept us for Your service and for the service of Islam and Muslims
O Allah! Please Bless us for our Dawah work here in Japan.
O Allah! Give shifa to all those who are sick.
O Allah! Grant safety and security to everyone here in Japan as well as all over the world. Aamin ya Rabbil Aalamin.