In the name of Allah Most Gracious and Most Merciful
Translation of Khutba : Masjid Otsuka: Friday, October 13 2017
All praise is due to Allah as is befitting to Him. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, having no partners, and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters, I convey to all of you the most important message, to be God-fearing and obedient to Allah, Exalted be He in glory and might. Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al Baqara:
“…So fear God; for it is God that teaches you. And God is well acquainted with all things.” (S.2 V.282)
Dear believers, Excellence has many interpretations. It is perceived as an inner incentive and motivation for perfection that awakens one’s talents, abilities and originality. People who strive for excellence aim at achieving advanced accomplishments for their benefit and the good of their societies. Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al Baqara:
“…Then strive together towards all that is good.…” (S.2 V.148)
The most important characteristics of excellence are cognitive and mental abilities leading to fruitful ideas that become successful achievements in life. Such excellence, dear believers, must be for the sake of Allah. It must be geared toward enjoining the good in this world and succeeding in the day of recompense, so Allah, the Almighty make Paradise our eternal abode as He says in the Qur’an in Surah Zumar:
“They will say: ‘Praise be to God, Who has truly fulfilled His Promise to us, and has given us (this) land (earth) in heritage: we can dwell in the Garden as we will: how excellent a reward for those who work (righteousness)!’” (S.39 V.74)
Dear servants of Allah, our noble Prophet (SAW) has guided us to seek perfection in all fields. It is a fundamental principle in Islamic behavior. The Messenger of Allah SAW said, “Verily, Allah loves that when anyone of you does a job to perfect it.” Achieving excellence requires tremendous efforts to make use of our abilities in real life; it is not a mere concept. It’s active participation in making this world a better place through our contributions that will remain as our legacy for generations to come. Everyone of us can achieve excellence; those Highly gifted people who have a number of personal traits that set them apart as well as ordinary people that exert extra efforts and motivation. Indeed, even gifted people achieve excellence through hard work and persistence. It is unfortunate, however, that a lot of gifted people waste their superior abilities due to laziness, while ordinary people achieve perfection and excellence through hard work. Indeed, excellence entails the best usage of one’s capabilities and abilities. Not only did the Prophet SAW teach us to seek perfection. His noble companions demonstrated it in a practical sense. Prophet Muhammad SAW said: “The most merciful in my Ummah is Abu Bakr, the most pious is Omar, the most genuinely honest is Uthman, the most fair is Ali bin Abi taleb, the one who knows best how to recite the Quran is Ubayy Ibn Ka’b, and the one who has most knowledge about what is lawful and what is prohibited is Mu’adh ibn Jabal. Every people have a trustworthy guardian, and the trustworthy guardian of this people is Abu Ubayd ibn al-jarah.” Muslim attains excellence by performing the best deeds in addition to following in the footsteps of those who did perfect deeds. Please be reminded that the Prophet SAW instructed us to seek perfection. He SAW said: “If you pray, pray well, and if you fast, fast well.”
In other words, excellence is to perform your good actions while striving to achieve the good ethical values of al-muhsineen (those who do good). People who strive to excel make use of their time wisely. Indeed, advanced nations value and care about every second of their life. Muslims have to take the initiative to do good deeds before any obstacle arises. Highly motivated people who make the best use of their time do not experience boredom or routine for they are always aiming for improvement and reaching the ultimate goal. They set high standards for themselves to be creative and insightful. Muslims must manage their time properly by aspiring to perform highly rewarded good deeds. If Muslims waste their times, if they abuse it, then they will be the losers.
Dear brothers and sisters, our level of achievements is strictly related to how much efforts and persistence we put into each task. Childhood is the best period to instill the values of perfection and excellence in our kids. We must value their opinions and enhance their self-confidence. We must also give them positive feedback and be good listeners to their ideas and speech. We ought to drive our children towards creativity and enhance their talents and abilities.
Further, school plays a pivotal role in instilling the importance of excellence as well. Teachers ought to give students special attention and unveil their talents and creativity. They must be aware of their physical as well as mental capabilities and strive to develop it. Indeed, excellence must be a fundamental target in our life, including the workplace where every director or person in charge must strive to enhance his employees’ skills and make the best use of it in their fields of expertise. Positive reinforcement from the directors to their employees will encourage them to constantly improve their performance. We seek the help of Almighty Allah to perfect our work. We beseech to guide us to obey him and those he has ordained us to obey.
Dear Muslims, please note, dear believers, that each and every one of us can excel in life through honesty, dedication, appreciation of the value of time and work responsibilities. Indeed, Islam calls upon us to show proficiency and excellence in our fields; the physician in his practice, the engineer in his creativity, the employee in his dedication to work and the student in his aspiration to increase his knowledge and achieve the best results.
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.