We are the best of nations, but are we living up to it? Are we the best worker at our jobs? The best neighbors in our neighborhoods? The best students? The best people? We can’t be ordinary. We must be extraordinary!
We as Muslims are very good at complaining. We do it so much we don’t even think about it. This leads to arguing about it and causing distress in our communities. Is this the attitude of the Prophet (s)? Is this how believer in Allah behaves?
Imam Zaid Shakir discusses a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) narrated by Abu Thar (RA), be mindful of Allah, a good action clears a misdeed, and treat people with good character.
Lets Draw lessons from these versus: “So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].” (Surah Nisa, verse 159) Dealing with children and specially teens with love and compassion. Pardoning and forgiving our teens will bring them closer to us. Recognizing that it is only Allah that guides and no one else and seeking Allah’s guidance for ourselves and our families.
Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad tackles the topic of ethics and what it means within the context of Islam. He begins with a fundamental point; that in the foundation of Islam as with other great faiths the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was no mere theoriser; he laid down no well outlined manifestos or texts titled ‘ethics’. Instead he, foremost amongst the greats of the religion, took history by the horns and changed it for the better in a natural way. It was up to those who followed, up to our day, to discover the spirit of how the Prophet was able to take his people and turn them around in an unprecedented time and manner. Many who followed him tried to find that subtle thing, that charisma, that made people hand over the keys to their hearts to him in a way that unified a land that had never been brought together before. It is revealing to note what his wife A’isha – may Allah be pleased with her – said about him: kana khuluquhu al-Quran, his character was that of the Qur’an. The message of Islam is thus intertextual, in a way the book and the messenger and two facets of the same thing. Thus the Sheikh notes that Akhlaq, ‘character traits’, is the Islamic term for ethics.
The Sheikh outlines the current polarities of the age, where a post-Enlightenment West claiming to have found a Universal basis for ethics that apply to all human beings clashes with an often Muslim world that is seen as puritanical and backward. Sheikh Abdal Hakim goes on to see whether the virtues of the the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, can go some way to bridging this divide that is felt so keenly in contemporary society.
With the rise of advanced technology and communication, we have found ourselves in a state where we spend a lot of our time engaging in idle talk. This has opened doors to a lot of different influences coming together, making slander and gossip much more commonplace. Apathy towards the consequences of these sins has contributed to the greater prevalence of hypocrisy among the youth. We now see people carelessly advising others without sincere intentions, preaching without practicing, calling each other “hypocrites”, and backbiting others without being aware of the heavy repercussions. The fear of being hypocritical has disappeared from the hearts of the people today, whereas during the time of the Prophet PBUH, that fear was always present among the companions.
Allah (swt) described Muhammad (pbuh) saying [We have not sent you except as a mercy to the worlds] (21:107). Islam by its beliefs (‘Aqidah), legislature (Shari’ah), and rituals (Ibadah) aims at perfecting the morals, enhancing the character, and upgrading the behavior with self and others on both the individual and social levels. There is an inseparable relationship between creed and moral system so our dealings with people is a reflection to our hidden beliefs. Allah set forth rules and regulations (Shari’ah) to guarantee the healthy living environment for everyone. Islamic civilization is a clear witness on that.
In this khutba the Sheikh illustrates the high Islamic principle of adab (loosely translated as ‘manners’) with examples drawn from the rich tapestry of prophetic stories woven into the Qur’an. We learn how Ayyub (Job) is exiled from his loved ones, how Ibrahim (Abraham) receives unexpected desert visitors, how Isa (Jesus) is questioned over that which others ascribe to him, how Musa (Moses) was met with unexpected rewards in exile, may Allah be pleased with them all. These ancient examples of profound adab before a breakthrough moment is what we are called on to emulate in this present day and age.
Of course such a khutba would not be complete without mentioning the last of the emissaries of Allah – after the tribulations of Taif, the death of his uncle and patron, his wife, his son and the persecution of his enemies, Prophet Muhammad – may Allah grant him His blessings and peace – was able to say “O Allah, I ask that you do not change your decree, but that you be gentle with it”. This is the maqam an-nubuwwa, the station of prophethood.
Mufti Nazim Mangera discusses the important topic of domestic violence from multiple Islamic sources. Everyone needs to hear this lecture. In it, he also clarifies some misconceptions about a Quranic verse which is misinterpreted by some Muslims. Also, he strongly encourages the listeners to never hit their wife. The best of us are those who will NEVER hit their wife.
Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur’an (68:4); “And verily you (Oh Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character”. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “I was sent to perfect and complete the good character”. In a time when the character and behavior of only a few ‘Muslims’ is actually destroying the image of the religion of Islam and it’s followers, it is vital as Muslims to look to the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and adopt it into our lives, for it was through his good manners and character that many reverted to Islam.