Friday Sermon

Word’s Trust and Responsibility
Ragab 1, 1437 AH/April 8, 2016 CE

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Sermon Plan

  1. Word’s importance in Islam
  2. Tongue restrain is a sign of one’s faith
  3. Word’s responsibility is a legal and ethical duty
  4. Word’s serious impact on individuals and communities

Sermon Topic

The divine graces on man are great, innumerous and countless. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Should you try to count Allah’s blessings, you could never compute them!” (the Quran, 16: 18). Tongue is one of the best blessings, as Allah, the Almighty, says, “Have We not given him two eyes, and a tongue, and a pair of lips” (the Quran, 90: 8-9).

Allah also beautifully perfects man’s tongue with the ability to speak. Allah, the Almighty, says, “The Most Gracious has imparted the Qur’an [unto man]; He has created man and has distinguished him with the ability to clearly express his feelings and thoughts” (the Quran, 55: 1-4).

One’s word is one’s title and means to approach others and administer life affairs. The kind of concern and significance that Islam pays to the word is unprecedented, even at times of amusement. A word may bring about the success of a nation and the misery of others. A word may protect and preserve lives and honors and may shed blood and dishonor.

The divine command is definite in imposing tongue restrain and prudence to safeguard people’s honors and avoid idle talks. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Not even a word can he utter but there is an ever-vigilant watcher with him” (the Quran, 50: 18). Man’s parts are all subject to tongue. If the tongue is straight, they are straight, but if it is deviated, they are deviated

Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “When a child of Adam wakes up in the morning, all of his body parts bow to the tongue. They say, ‘Fear Allah regarding us; we are only part of you; if you are straight we are straight and if you deviate, we are deviated” (al-Tirmidhi).

The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) explained to Mu‘adh Ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) that one’s tongue may take one to paradise or hellfire. Mu‘adh said, I accompanied the Prophet on a journey. One day I was near him… the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) asked, Shall I not inform you about what governs all of that?’ I said, ‘Of course, O Messenger of Allah!’ Therefore, he (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) grabbed his tongue and said ‘Restrain this.’ I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah! Will we be taken to account for what we say?’ He said: ‘May your mother grieve your loss O Muadh! Are the people tossed into the Fire upon their faces, or upon their noses, except because of what their tongues have wrought’

A word is a trust; a person must carefully utter his words in due observation and fear of Allah. One’s word may admit you to the highest rank of paradise and can bring you down to the lowest abyss of hell. Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “A person may say a word that pleases Allah so much that He will raise high this person’s status in the hereafter, even though the person might have thought the word he said was insignificant. Similarly, a person may say a word that displeases Allah so much that He will send this person to the hellfire, even though the person again might have though the word he said was no issue” (Al-Bukhari).

Since the good word is indicative of one’s faith; the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent.”

Allah orders us to speak the truth with all people without distinction, to tell the right reformative and constructive talks and to avoid all kinds of disruptive and destructive speeches. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: “And speak to people good [words]” (the Quran 2: 83). Another Quranic verse commands the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him): “Tell My servants that they should speak in the most kindly manner [unto those who do not share their beliefs]:” (the Quran 17: 53).

Allah also says, O you who believe, be aware of Allah and speak only the truth; He will direct your works, and forgive your sins. Indeed, whoever obeys Allah and His messenger has triumphed a great triumph (the Quran, 33: 70-71).

Success and forgiveness are made contingent upon the good word and truthful speech. Islam is keenly concerned with verifying information and vindicating the truth of all statements, especially the widely circumnutated ones. Actually, it is absurdity to believe all claims and statements. Allah, the Almighty, says, “O you who believe, if a wicked person comes to you with any news, then you shall investigate it. Lest you harm a people out of ignorance, then you will become regretful over what you have done” (the Quran, 49: 6).

Evidently, restraining one’s tongue is an indication of perfect faith and good Islam. It is also a means to Paradise. Allah describes the believers as “those who abstain from vain talk… Such are the inheritors; they will inherit Paradise, wherein they abide forever” (the Quran, 3, 10-11). Sahl Ibn Sa‘d (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, “Whoever can guarantee (the purity of) what is between his two jaw-bones (i.e. tongue) and what is between his two legs (i.e. private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him” (al-Bukhari).

The word is a legal and ethical trust and duty. It can unify the nation and mobilize determination. It can turn enemies into friends and hate into love. It is also capable of thwarting the plots of devils. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Not equal are the good and the bad response. You shall resort to the one which is better. Thus, the one who used to be your enemy, may become your best friend” (the Quran, 41: 34).  Undoubtedly, good words make good friends, refine souls, remove grief and anger and fill hearts with contentment and happiness, especially when backed by truthful smiles. Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Your smiling in the face of your brother is an act of charity (al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad).

The trust of word ordains the declaration of good and truthful words free from lies, deception, perjury, fraud and misreported and ignorant talks. Allah, the Almighty, says, “And do not say, as to what your tongues falsely describe: “This is lawful and that is forbidden;” that you seek to invent lies about Allah. Those who invent lies about Allah will not succeed” (the Quran, 16: 116).

It is also a trust to prove truthful in advice and consultation. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) even declares that perfect religion is extending of advice. Tameem al-Dari narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Religion is extending of sincere advice. We said: “For whom?” He replied, “For Allah, His Book, His Messenger and for leaders and masses of Muslims” (Imam Muslim in his authentic collection).

Abu Hurayrah also narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, One who is sought for consultation is called accountable for his advice (Abu Dawud).  Extending sincere advice and truthful consultation can reform people and promote security, safety and prosperity.

Word is a double-edged sword; when truthfully and honestly said, it leads to construction and building but when falsely coined, it leads to destruction and corruption. Word is not a slight matter in man’s life. One’s transactions of sales, contracts and treaties are all dependent on truthful statements.

It is unhidden that good words yield great positive effects on people relations. Kindness to one’s neighbors is a bridge to Paradise and hurting them is a means to hellfire. Abu Hurayrah said, “the Prophet was asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, a certain woman prays in the night, fasts in the day, acts and gives in charity but injures her neighbors with her tongue.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘There is no good in her. She is one of the people of the Fire.’ They said, ‘Another woman prays the prescribed prayers and gives bits of curd as charity and does not injure anyone.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘She is one of the people of Paradise (al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad).

The good word also has a deeply good effect on creating good relations with Muslims and non-Muslims alike, insomuch that Allah commands nice words even with enemies of Allah. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Go, both of you, to Pharaoh, for he has transgressed, and speak to him nicely; so that he might bethink himself or [at least] be filled with apprehension (the Quran, 20: 43-44).

Considerably, the written words also have deep positive and negative effects. Both written and said words are two forms of trust. Each penman shall respect the duty of his/her pen and avoid all possible errors. Indeed, one’s pen reflects his/her ethics and opinions. A writer shall use his/her pen in advocacy of the truth and calling for virtues. Al-Jahez said, “Pen is one of the two tongues [sword and tongue]. Indeed, the pen is longer in life and more surviving in effect!” The pen is sharper and stronger than a sword is. As such, spreading false news, misreporting facts and defaming people as well as other forms of social slanders are all forms of dishonesty and treachery.

Let writers fear Allah and know for sure that their writings will stand as witnesses for or against them before Allah; the poet, may his soul rest in peace, said:

Writings live long after their writers die

Only write a thing therewith you are pleased to see on the last Day

Let each person realize the responsibility s/he bears for his/her words before Allah, conscience and all the creation as well. One shall care for their words, lest they may disunite hearts, create social disruption in the society, cut off kinsfolk’s ties or spoil relations of peoples.

We badly need good and sincere words for the good effect they have on promoting love and friendship and eliminating disunity and grudge.

Success and forgiveness are made contingent upon the good and truthful word. Allah, the Almighty, says, “O you who believe, be aware of Allah and speak only the truth; He will direct your works, and forgive your sins. Indeed, whoever obeys Allah and His messenger has triumphed a great triumph” (the Quran, 33: 70-71).

The Merits of Prophet’s Companions
Jumada al-Akhirah 16, 1437 AH/March 25, 2016

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Sermon Plan

  1. Prophet’s Companions: High Position and Lofty Merits
  2. Their Merits in the Quran and Sunnah
  3. Love of Prophet’s Companions is a Sign of Belief
  4. Encouragement to Follow Their Examples
  5. Banning Insults and Impugnance of the Prophet’s Companions
  6. Examples of the Prophet’s Companions

Sermon Topic

Allah chose the best of people to the company of his prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him); they sincerely believed in his message and upheld his cause proving most truthful in faith, deepest in understanding and best in good deeds. Those are the Prophet’s Companions, who fearlessly conveyed the divine message to all corners of the world and won the divine pleasure and good praise: “The first forerunners [in the faith] among the emigrants and the Helpers and those who followed them with good conduct, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him; He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment” (the Quran, 9: 100).

It was a generation decreed to make the difference and change life. They bore the torch of light to all humankind. It is beyond our abilities to realize their merits. However, it is sufficient to know that if we give a great deal in charity as huge as the mount of Uhud, it is even less than a handful or half of a handful of the Prophets’ Companions; the Prophet said, “Do not abuse my Companions, for by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if any of you would have spent as much gold as Uhud Mount, it would not equal a Mudd or even half a Mudd of one of them” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

They undertook the burdens of promoting the religion and paid the ultimate sacrifice in that cause to support Allah and His Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him): “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties in exchange for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed; it is a true promise He made in the Torah, the Gospel and the Quran. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your commitment which you have made. Such is the great success” (the Quean, 9: 111).

It is the Prophet’s right upon us to read his biography and follow his example and law. Likewise, we shall read the biographies and know the merits and virtues of the Prophet’s Companions to follow their ideal ethics and obedience to Allah. Their life is rich with useful lessons and reminders. Actually, Allah chose them as the best group to accompany his Prophet and promote his message. They are divienly decreed to be the best and most perfect of all Muslims. Unprecedenetd in piety and devotion, the human history never knew their like—as they are the first forerunners and the closest to Allah’s Pleasure (the Quran, 56: 10-14).

 In celebration of their high status and merits, Allah honored their company of his Prophet in the Divine Word “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating in prayers, seeking the grace and pleasure of Allah. Their mark is on their foreheads from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the farmers, so Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward” (the Quran, 48: 29).

This verse dceclares them true believers, sincere servants and dedicated worshippers who are frequently bowing and prostrating in prayers. They only seek the grace from Allah and the worship left marks on their bodies. You can easily identify them by their fear and love of Allah. That is why they won the divine pleasure—the greatest of graces: “Surely, Allah was pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you under the tree; He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquility upon them and rewarded them with an imminent conquest” (the Quran, 48: 18).

If we reflect on the Sunnah of the Beloved Prophet, we have several indications to their great excellence, high position and loftiness. The following are just examples of these prophetic statements:

  • “The best of my people are those of my generation. Then those succeeding them, then those succeeding them, then people would come whose witness would precede their oath and their oath will precede their witness” (al-Bukhari and Muslim). Simply, they are the best in faith, advocacy and console of the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him).
  • Imam Ahmad narrated that Ibn Mas‘ūd (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allah looked into the hearts of His servants, and found that the heart of Muhammad is the purest of all, so He chose him for Himself and sent him with His message. Then He looked into the hearts of His servants, next to the heart of Muhammad, and He found that the hearts of his companions were the best of people’s hearts, so He made them supporters of His Prophet, who defended His religion. So whatever the Muslims think is good is divinely good and whatever they think is bad is divinely bad.”
  • The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) described them as the source of Muslim security, as he said, “The stars are a source of security for the sky; when the stars disappear there comes to the sky what has been promised (of dooms). And I am a source of safety and security to my Companions and when I would go away there would befall my Companions) what they have been promised and my Companions are a source of security for my people and when they would go there would fall my people what they have been promised” (Muslim). The Companions were the source of relief from heresies; their blessings extended to bless two successive generations.
  • Abu Sa‘īd al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Time will come when a group of people will wage a war and it will be said, ‘Do you have with you anyone who has accompanied Allah’s Messenger? They will say, ‘Yes’; and then victory will be given to them. Then a time will come when a group of people will wage a war and it will be said, ” Do you have with you anyone who has accompanied the companions of Allah’s Messenger?’ They will say, ‘Yes and then victory will be given to them. A time then comes when a group of people will wage a war, and it will be said, ” Do you have with you anyone who has been in the company of the companions of the companions of Allah’s Messenger?’ They will say, ‘Yes; and victory will be given to them” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).
  • Allah also testifies to their benevolence, generosity and struggle in pursuit of Allah’s pleasure. Allah promised them eternal paradise: “But the Messenger and those who believed with him fought with their wealth and their lives. Those will have all that is good, and it is those who are the successful (88) Allah has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide eternally. That is the great Success” (the Quran, 9: 88-89).
  • ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Once the Prophet commanded us to give in charity. Meanwhile, I had some property; I thought it was time to surpass Abu Bakr in a good deed. I brought half my property. The Messenger of Allah asked: What did you leave for your family? I replied: The same amount. Abu Bakr brought all that he had. The Messenger of Allah asked him: What did you leave for your family? He replied: I left Allah and His Prophet for them. I said: I shall never compete you in anything” (al-Tirmidhi).
  • The love of the Prophet’s Companions is a sign of firm faith and true love of the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him), as He said, “[I emphatically command you to fear] Allah regarding my Companions; do not make them objects of insults after me. Whoever loves them, it is out of love of me that he loves them. But whoever hates them, it is out of hatred for me that he hates them. Whoever harms them has harmed me and whoever harms me has offended Allah; whoever offends Allah shall soon be punished” (al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad from ‘Abdullah Ibn Mughaffal).
  • The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) even made the lover of al-Ansaar a sign of faith and their hate a sign of hypocrisy: Al-Barā’ Ibn ‘Azib narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said in respect of al-Ansaar: “None loves the Ansaar but a believer, and none hates them but a hypocrite. So Allah will love him who loves them, and He will hate him who hates them” (al-Bukhari and Muslim). Anas Ibn Malik also narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Love for the Ansaar is a sign of faith and hatred for the Ansaar is a sign of hypocrisy” (al-Bukhari).

For the Sharia, abusing the Prophet’s Companions is strictly forbidden; Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said: “Do not abuse my Companions! Do not abuse my Companions! By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if any of you would have spent as much gold as Uhud Mount, it would not equal a Mudd or even half a Mudd of one of them” (Muslim).”  ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar further said, “Do not abuse the Companions of Muhammad; an hour of anyone of them is better than a forty-year worship of anyone of you” (Ahmad in Fadā’il al-Sahabah). We have to respect and honor them in recognition of their lofty position and merits.

The life of the Prophet’s Companions personified the grandness of faith and sincere love of Allah and His Prophet. It was a real translation of the high morals; they proved the best leaders in sacrifice and giving and the best masters of generosity, knowledge and good deeds. As such, the proved truthful: “For the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allah and [His] approval and supporting Allah and His Messenger, [there is also a share]. Those are the truthful” (the Quran, 59: 8). Outstanding examples include the following:

  1. ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (may Allah be pleased with him) spelt in the Prophet’s bed at the Night of Migration exposing his life to grave dangers while knowing that the polytheists besieging the house to kill him.
  2. Suhayb, the Roman, (may Allah be pleased with him) also sacrificed his wealth in support of the Religion and the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him). When Suhayb t decided on migration to Medina, the disbelievers followed him. They insulted him claiming that he had come to Mecca as a worthless tramp, but their town was gracious enough and thanks to them he managed to make a good deal of wealth. They gave orders that he would not leave. Seeing this, he offered a compromise to give away all his wealth to them, so they let him depart peacefully; they eventually agreed to release him on condition of giving away his wealth for them. Arriving at Medina, the Prophet gave him good tidings, “The bargain proved lucrative, Abu Yahya! the bargain proved lucrative, Abu Yahya i.e. the nickname of Suhayb.” Allah I then revealed, “And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah. And Allah is truly kind to His servants” (the Quran, 2: 207) (Ibn Hibban in his authentic collection).
  3. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) gave the best moral example and noble ethics. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Who amongst you is fasting today? Abu Bakr said: I am. He again said: Who amongst you followed a funeral procession today? Abu Bakr said: I did. The Prophet again said: Who amongst you served food to the needy? Abu Bakr said: I did. The Prophet said: Who amongst you has today visited the sick? Abu Bakr said: I did. Thereupon, the Prophet said: Anyone in whom these good deeds are combined will certainly enter paradise” (Muslim).
  4. ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) once went out at night when he passed by a woman and her children; she had a pot on the fire. The children were crying. ‘Umargreeted her with peace and she replied. He did not like to say: “O people of fire, so he called them: O people of light, may I come closer? he asked. ‘Come closer or leave us, she responded. ‘Umar drew closer and asked: ‘What is the matter? We are detained by the night and the cold,’ she replied. Why are the children crying? ‘Umar inquired. She said, “They are hungry.” What are you cooking,’ ‘Umar persisted in asking. There is only water boiling until the children fall Allah will judge between me and ‘Umar, the woman said, unaware of the one with she was speaking.

‘Umar immediately went to the state granary and put together the necessary provisions in a bag, and said, ‘Put it on my back, O Aslam.’ I objected and said, ‘I will carry it on your behalf.’ ‘Will you carry my burden for me on the Day of Resurrection?’ he wondered. I placed the load on his back, Aslam said, and he carried it to the woman. ‘Umar placed some flour into the pot and added some fat. He blew at the fire until smoke came out of his thick beard. He took off the pot from the fire when the food was ready. He said: ‘Let me have a plate.’ When the plate was brought, he dished the food and placed it in front of the children. ‘Eat,’ he said to them and the children ate until they are full. They kept praying for ‘Umar, unaware of his identity, saying that he is worthier of the emirate than ‘Umar! ‘Umar stayed with them until the children fell asleep. He gave them the remaining provision and then took leave of them saying: Say good when you visit the Commander of the Believers. On the way, he turned to me and said: O Aslam, hunger kept them awake and made them cry; I loved to keep their company until I see in them what I just saw. I did not like to leave them unless I see them in comfort (Imam Ahmad Fada’il al-Sahabah).

Female Companions

Female Companions also have great situations of giving and support of Allah’s religion. The following situations are exemplary of their contributions:

  • Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), the Mother of the Believers, had a great role in the promotion of Islam and defense of her husband i.e. the Prophet, for whom she paid the ultimate sacrifice and consoled him. She gave him a comforting message saying, “By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you, for by Allah, you keep good relations with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, entertain your guests generously and assist those who are stricken with calamities” (al-Bukhari).
  • She was so loyal to the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) that he kept her praise after her death. ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet well praised Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) whenever her name was mentioned. One day, I felt jealous and said. What makes you remember an old teethless woman of red gums, who died long ago while Allah replaced you with a better one? In reply, Allah has not replaced me with a better than she; she had faith in my message when people disbelieved, believed me when people belied and aided me with her wealth when people deprived me, and Allah gave her children from her to the exclusion of other women” (Ahmad).
  • Nusaybah Bint Ka‘b al-Ansaariyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) also sets a good example to follow. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “During the battle of Uhud, I did not turn right or left but I had seen Um ‘Umarah fighting to defend me.” Someone came in determination to kill the Prophet but whenever he wanted to pierce the Prophet, she confronted him. He kept hitting her with the sword until her shoulder blade was badly damaged. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “What a grave pain you endure, Um ‘Umarah! In reply, she said: I can endure more and more and more, O Prophet. He responded, “Ask me for anything, Um ‘Umarah! She said, “I want to accompany you in Paradise.” The Prophet responded, “You are not alone but you and your family will be with me.” I do not care what may befall me in this world after that, she said. (Siyar A‘lam al-Nubalā’)
  • If we really seek for progress, advancement, salvation and divine pleasure in this world and in the hereafter, we shall follow the brilliant examples of the Prophet’s Companions in life and ethics. The Prophet encourages us to follow in their footsteps saying, “I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and hold fats to that; beware of newly-invented matters, for every innovation is a way of misguidance” (Ibn Majah from al-‘Irbād Ibn Sariyah, may Allah be pleased with him).

We have to take lessons and clue children and women in the noble morals of the honorable Companions, and the way they followed the Prophet and sacrificed their lives and wealth in support of the religion.

Towards Better Family Relations
Jumada al-Akhirah 23, 1437 AH/April 1, 2016 CE

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Sermon Plan

  1. The Importance of Family in Islam
  2. The Islamic Way to Family Stability
  3. Good Choice of One’s Spouse
  4. Care for Rights and Duties
  5. Love and Mercy
  6. Kind Treatment
  7. Fairness to Children
  8. The Impact of Family Stability on the Society

Sermon Topic

Islam paid due care for the family; it is the nuclear unit of society. When the family is good, the whole society is good and vice versa. Islam sets specific standards and criteria for family organization, safety and stability to maintain humankind and society. Islam even cares for the earlier decisions that help the creation of families. As such, Islam encourages Muslims to build families on mutual love and mercy with a view to protecting the family from destruction and fall. It shall be legally formed through marriage to maintain human dignity and sound nature. Indeed, marriage is a natural phenomenon in the universe; Allah said, “And of all things, We have created two mates—male and female; perhaps you will remember” (the Quran, 51: 49). Allah, the Almighty, also says, “Exalted is He who created all pairs – from what the earth grows and from themselves and from that which they do not know” (the Quran, 36: 36).

Marriage is a universal norm and a marvelous sign of Allah’s greatness: “It is of His signs that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” (the Quran, 30: 21). Therefore, family formation and stability form the Islamic way to build civilization and promote the social and national welfare. Family formation promotes chastity and virtue, protects the society from profane practices and vices, and brings families together through the ties of family relations among other noble wisdoms and purposes.

Allah, the Almighty, says, “And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is All-Encompassing and Knowing. (32) But let them who find no means for marriage abstain from sexual relations until Allah enriches them from His bounty. And those who seek a contract for emancipation from among whom your right hands possess—then make a contract with them if you know there is within them goodness and give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you. And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, if they desire chastity, to seek [thereby] the temporary interests of worldly life. And if someone should compel them, then indeed, Allah is [to them], after their compulsion, Forgiving and Merciful” (the Quran, 24: 32-33).

Likewise, the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) encouraged the youths to marry and said, “O young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry. Indeed, marriage restrains eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford It should observe fast for it is a means of controlling the sexual desire” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Islam discourages all ideas and practices that go against the cultivation and settlement of the universe including celibacy and castration. Sa‘d Ibn Abi Waqqas said, “The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) disapproved of ‘Uthman Ibn Maz’un’s desire to remain celibate; if he had given him permission, we would have gotten ourselves castrated” (al-Bukhari).

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) asking about his worship. When they were informed of that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, “Where are we from the Prophet; his past and future sins have been forgiven.” One of them said, “I will pray throughout the night forever.” The other said, “I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.” The third said, “I will keep away from women and will not marry forever.” When Allah’s Messenger came, he said, “Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am the most pious and afraid of Allah than you all; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and marry women. Then, he who does not follow my way in religion does not belong to me” (al-Bukhari).

Family stability is a legally as well as worldly required aim. As such, Islam puts the true foundations and principles for the family to maintain marital affection and love. These principles include the following:

  • The right choice of one’s partner; the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) encourages men to choose the right wives, for they are the educators of generations and the keepers of wealth and honor. Indeed, the good wife is the best of world’s pleasures as narrated by ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr from the Prophet: “This world is but a quick passing pleasure and the best of its pleasures is the good wife.” Good choice of one’s partner leads to serenity, stability, constant love and mutual mercy. Only then, marriage personifies the best grace and blessing.
  • This choice must be based on religion and good ethics. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, “A woman is chosen as a wife for four reasons: wealth, family, beauty and religion; so win the religious woman; it is enough riches to you” (al-Bukhari). The narration of Ahmad adds, “Win the woman noted for her religion and ethics.” A wife has a great role in paying due care for the family; a good wife is the source for the stability of the family and community but a corrupt wife lead to destruction. The poet rightly said,

A mother is a school, when rightly prepareda complete illustrious nation is prepared

  • The Prophet also advises women to choose their husbands on the basis on religion and ethics. Abu Hatim al-Muzani (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, “When someone, whose religion and ethics are satisfactory, proposes [to marry any of your women], then marry her to him; otherwise, a grave chaos and corruption will take place. They said, “O Messenger of Allah, what if there is something with him? He replied, “When someone, whose religion and ethics are satisfactory, proposes [to marry any of your women], then marry her to him,” he repeated it three times” (al-Tirmidhi). In short, religion and good ethics are the basic characteristics of both men and women for the welfare and progress of families.
  • Family members must respect rights and duties of one another. Each one shall do his/her duties before asking for one’s rights. Love, mercy and serenity can thus come true. Some of these rights are physical and others are moral and educational. They include the constructive participation in responsibilities and cooperation of all members to meet the needs of the family. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) heard the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying: “Everyone is a guardian and is responsible for what is in his custody; the ruler is a guardian of his people and is responsible for them; a husband is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them. Likewise, a woman is a guardian of her husband’s house and is responsible for it and a servant is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it. Al-Zuhri said, “I think that ‘Abdullah added that the Prophet said, “The man is a custodian of the wealth of his father and he would be responsible for what is in his custody. Yet, everyone is a guardian and is responsible for what is in his custody” (al-Bukhari). The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) also said, “It is sufficient sin for a man that he neglects him whom he maintains” (Ahmad from ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr).
  • One of the Companions once asked the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him): O Messenger of Allah, what is the right of a wife over a husband? He replied, “You should give her food when you eat, clothe her when you clothe yourself, do not strike her on the face, do not revile her or separate yourself from her except in the house” (Abu Dawud).
  • Asmaa Bint Yazid al-Ansariyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) once asked the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying, “We, women, are limited and constrained, though we are the pillars of your houses and with us you fulfill your desires and lusts, and we carry your children. Indeed, you men have been favored over us by congregational Friday prayers and all other congregational prayers, visits of the sick, funeral prayers, performing hajj successively and better than all indeed is the jihad in the way of Allah. When anyone of you goes out for hajj, ‘umrah or jihad, we protect your wealth, spin you garments and raise your children. Shall we not share with you the same recompense and reward? The Prophet turned to his Companions and said, “Have you ever heard a better speech of a woman said, which is more beautiful than this woman’s questioning regarding the affairs of her religion?” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, we never thought that a woman should be guided to something like this.” The Prophet turned to her and said, “You can go now and tell women behind you that a woman’s good treatment with her husband, seeking his pleasure and following him is equal in reward to all that. She left while proclaiming tahleel (La Ilaha Illa Allahe. there is no god but Allah) and Takbīr (Allah Akbar i.e. Allah is the Great), in expression of her happiness. (Shu‘ab al-Imān).
  • Mutual mercy is also essential for a happy and successful family. Allah, the Almighty, says, “It is of His signs that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” (the Quran, 30: 21). The dominance of mercy in the community is conditional upon the promotion of mercy in the family. The Prophet set the optimal example in good treatment with his wives, children, grandchildren and servants. He was the best to his family. When a family is deprived of mercy, it leads life to destruction. All members of the family must work seriously to achieve mercy.
  • Kind treatment is another principle for family welfare and stability (the Quran, 4: 19); both spouses shall be kind to one another in warm intimacy and cooperation. Portraying this intimate relationship, Allah says, “They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them” (the Quran, 2: 187). He also says, “It is of His signs that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy” (the Quran, 30: 21).
  • Nice word, kind behavior, tolerance, cooperation, respect, counseling, preservation of secrets and avoiding ways to disputes and difference are all essential for good treatment. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) and his Companions set the best example of good treatment as narrated by al-Aswad that he asked ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her): What did the Prophet use to do at home? She replied that he used to keep himself busy serving his family until it was time for prayers when he would get up for prayer (al-Bukhari).
  • Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I like to beautify myself for my wife just like I love that she beautifies herself for me because Allah says, “And due to them is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable” (the Quran, 2: 228). However, I do not like to take all my rights due on her, because Allah says, “But the men have a degree over them” (the Quran, 2: 228) (Ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Musannaf).
  • It is a sign of kindness not to burden one’s marital partner with your problems. Kindness is inclusive of all meanings of good marital life. Islam is keen to build the marital bond on love, mutual understanding and harmony as the foremost step to reform the society.
  • Mutual consultation is also necessary between the spouses for greater friendship and love even in usual matters such as the weaning of their child. Allah, the Almighty, says, “And if they both desire weaning through mutual consent and consultation, there is no blame upon either of them” (the Quran, 2: 233). Consultation between spouses as well as other members of the family personifies the right approach of our Islamic religion. Commanding consultation is generally declared to all, as Allah says, “And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is determined by mutual consultation, and from what We have provided them, they spend” (the Quran, 42: 38). It is also the tradition of the Prophet as he used to consult his wives. For example, on the Day of al-Hudaybiyyah, he consulted his wife Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her).
  • After concluding the peace treaty, the Prophet said to his companions, “Get up and slaughter your sacrifices and get your head shaved. In response, the narrator said: By Allah no one got up. The Prophet repeated his order three times. When no one got up, he left them to Um Salamah and told her of people’s negative response. Um Salamah said, “O Prophet of Allah, do you want your order to be carried out? Go out and do not say a word to anybody till you have slaughtered your sacrifice and call your barber to shave your head.” The Prophet did not talk to anyone of them till he did that. Seeing that, the companions got up, slaughtered their sacrifices and started shaving the heads of one another. There was so much rush that there was a danger of killing each other (al-Bukhari). Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet was in no need to consult Um Salamah but he wanted people to follow his example and thus men find no qualm in consulting women.
  • Providing for one’s family is also essential for stable family life; all members are entitled to receive enough provision. It is a right that Islam imposes upon the man, as Allah, the Almighty, says, “Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth” (the Quran, 4: 34). Allah, the Almighty, also says, “Upon the father is their [i.e., the mothers’] provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable. No person is charged with more than his capacity. No mother should be harmed because of her child or father because of his child. And upon the father’s heir is a duty equal to that of the father” (the Quran, 2: 233). Allah, the Almighty, also says, “Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted – let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it” (the Quran, 65: 7).
  • Fairness to all family members and educating the children the rites of religion are also indispensible. The Prophet even forewarned against unfair treatment with one’s children. Al-Nu‘mān Ibn Basheer (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “My father donated to me some of his property. My mother ‘Amrah Bint Rawahah said: I shall not be pleased until you make Allah’s Messenger a witness to that. My father went to the Prophet in order to make him the witness of the donation he gave to me. The Prophet said, “Have you done the same with all of your children?” He said: “ Thereupon the Prophet said: Fear Allah, and be just to your children. My father returned and got back the gift” (Muslim).
  • For Islam, family is deeply respected and honored. It is a sacred bond that aims at achieving several high purposes. Islam is keen to keep it strong and coherent to achieve these purposes and overcome challenges and problems. Islam introduces many morals to preserve the structure of the family strong, keep the society stable and protect it from extremism, intransigence and aggression. As such, Islam cares much for family formation and stability to help the building of good social relations and achieve progress and welfare.
  • When the family is stable, all members feel psychologically, physically, socially and economically safe, and thus the whole society is safe. For Islam, family stability is an effective way to bring about societal security and escape chaos and corruption. Family is the key builder of societal security and next to it come the school and the community.

Family is the first school in which a child knows the right from the wrong, the good from the evil, and learns responsibility and freedom of opinion. It forms the main features and identity of a child to become a good citizen. Security is not imposed by powers; it is maintained by the conscience of the members in the society. Actually, family plays the key role in the formation of conscience in all members.

The True Believers from the Quranic Perspective
Jumada al-Ula 17, 1437 AH / February 26, 2016 CE

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Sermon Plan

  1. Knowledge and Faith
  2. Faith is associated with Good Deeds
  3. Believers’ Qualities:
  4. God-Fearing
  5. Placing Trust in Allah
  6. Keen and Humble Observation of Salah
  7. Giving in Charity
  8. Telling the Truth, Honesty, Keeping One’s Word, Shyness and Good morals
  9. Divine Rewards Promised to the Believers

Sermon Text

 It is out of the divine mercy and kindness that Allah sent messengers to humankind to guide them to the truth and lead them on straight path. As such, no one can have an excuse against Allah. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Those messengers brought good tidings as well as warnings so mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise” (the Quran, 4: 165).

Faith is the highest relation that messengers (may Allah’s peace be upon them) preached; it is the firm belief in Allah, His angels, scriptures and messengers as well; as the last day and the decree, good or bad. The believers shall abide by the necessary condition of faith; namely, the enforcement of the duties—commands and prohibition, in conformity with the divine plan as delivered by Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him).

Knowledge is the first step of faith: Allah, the Almighty, says, “Know that there is no god but Allah and seek forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and women. Yet, Allah knows of your movement and your resting place” (the Quran, 47: 19). Faith and good deeds are inseparably associated. The Quran expresses this fact in several verses, of which the following are exemplary:

  • Allah, the Almighty, says, “But they who believe and do good deeds – those are the residents of Paradise; they will abide therein eternally” (the Quran, 2: 82).
  • “Surely, those who have believed and done good deeds – their Lord will guide them because of their faith. Beneath them rivers will flow in the Gardens of Pleasure” (the Quran, 10: 9).
  • “Those who have believed and done good deeds – they will have the Gardens of Paradise as a lodging” (the Quran, 18: 107).

Faith is heightened by obedience and faded out by disobedience. It has many practical dimensions, which vary from a believer to another in line of one’s degree of faith in Allah. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Faith has over seventy branches – or over sixty branches – the uppermost of which is the declaration that no one has the right to be worshipped but Allah; and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road, and modesty is a branch of faith” (al-Bukhari and Muslim). Good deeds are rightly a reflection of good faith. The facts of faith are made clear in the famous account of Gabriel’s visit to the Prophet as reported by ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) that:

“While we were one day sitting with the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him), there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothes and with very black hair. No traces of journeying were visible on him, and none of us knew him. He sat down close by the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) rested his knees against the knees of the Prophet and placed his palms over his thighs, and said: “O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) replied: “Islam is to testify that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (prayers), pay zakah (obligatory charity), fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (in Mecca) if you can find a way to it.” He said: “You have told the truth.” We were astonished at his thus questioning him and telling him that he was right.

He went on to say, “Tell me about faith.” The Prophet answered, “It is to believe in Allah and His angels, Books and Messengers as well as in the Last Day, and in predestination, good or bad.” He said, “You have told the truth.” The man said, “Inform me about isan.” The Prophet said, “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, but if you cannot see Him He sees you.”

He said, “Tell me about the Hour.” The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Indeed, the one questioned knows no more than the questioner.” “Well, tell me of its signs, he said.” The Prophet said, “They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and that you will see the barefooted ones, the naked, the destitute, the herdsmen of the sheep (competing with each other) in raising lofty buildings.” Thereupon, the man went off. After a while of waiting, the Prophet asked, “O ‘Umar, do you know who that questioner was?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” He said, “He is Gabriel; he came to educate you in your religion” (Muslim in his authentic collection).

In His wise Book, Allah, the Almighty, mentions many of the believers’ characteristics as follows:

  • Perfect fear of Allah as a high and grand status of a believer: “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts are held in fear, and when His verses are recited to them, they are raised in faith; and upon their Lord they rely – the ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend. Those are the true believers; for them are degrees of high position with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision” (the Quran, 8: 2-4). This perfect fear personifies the perfect apprehension of Allah, as Allah says, “Indeed, those who are apprehensive from fear of their Lord; and those who believe in the signs of their Lord; and those who do not associate anything with their Lord; and those who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord— It is those who hasten to good deeds” (the Quran, 23: 57-61).
  • Allah, the Almighty, also says, “You shall only warn those who follow the reminder and are in awe of the Most Merciful while unseeing of him. So give him good news of forgiveness and noble reward” (the Quran, 36: 11).
  • Indeed, the Prophet set us the example of the best fearing-God human being. Mutarref narrated from his father who said, “I saw the Prophet praying while his chest is loudly sounding like a boiling kettle” (Ibn Khuzaymah). The Prophet even used to supplicate Allah for a good watchful heart filled with apprehension of Allah.
  • Abu Mejlaz said, “Once ‘Ammar Ibn Yasir led us in a prayer, which he made brief. Some people disliked his act. He said: ‘Have I not perfected its bowing and prostration? Yes, they replied. However, I have made a supplication that I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
  • “O Allah, by Your knowledge of the unseen and Your absolute power over the creation, keep me alive so long as You know that life is good for me and cause me to die when You know that death is better for me. O Allah, decree me to harbor fears of You in all circumstances; and to say the truth in times of pleasure and anger; and to prove prudently moderate in poverty and riches; and grant me the everlasting joy of looking at Your face and longing for your meeting. I seek refuge with you from a harmful calamity or a misguiding trial. O Allah, beautify us with the adornment of faith and make us among those who guide and are rightly guided” (Ahmad).
  • A poet once said,

Fear God and hope Him for all calamities and obey not a disobedient soul to escape regret

Be between fear and hope, and have good news of divine pardon if you’re proved a true Muslim

  • Placing Trust in Allah: It is also a sign of good faith to rely on Allah and sincerely put your trust in Him in securing benefits and avoiding evils of all matters. One should have firm belief that the only one who can benefit and harm and relieve from evils is Allah alone. A believer should take all necessary means leading to perfect work without placing trust in anything but Allah. Sincere trust does not contradict taking necessary means. ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying: ‘If you really put your trust in Allah as due, you will be given provision like birds; they go out hungry in the morning and come back with full bellies in the evening” (al-Tirmidhi). As to the claims of putting sincere trust in Allah without good endeavors and work, it is not a case of trust but a case of idle dependence against which the Prophet forewarned.
  • Mu‘adh Ibn Jabal narrated said “I was riding behind the Messenger of Allah on a donkey known as ‘Ufayr when the Prophet said: Mu‘adh, do you know what right has Allah over His slaves and what right have His slaves over Him? Mu‘adh said: Allah and his Messenger know best. Upon this the Prophet remarked: The right of Allah over His slaves is that they should worship Allah and should not associate anything with Him, and the right of His slaves over Allah, Glorious and Sublime, is that He does not punish anyone who associates not anything with Him. Mu‘adh said to the Messenger of Allah: Should I give this good news to people? The Prophet said: Do not tell them this good news, for they may trust in it alone” (Muslim in his authentic collection). Placing trust in Allah is closely associated with a believer’s life. Indeed, securing the benefits and fending off harms can only come true with placing sincere trust in Allah.
  • Keen and Humble Observation of Salah: It is also a sign of good believers that they permanently perform the prayers in humbleness and submission. Allah, the Almighty, says: “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive” (the Quran, 23: 1-2).
  • Salah is the symbol of Islam as asserted in several Quranic verses: “And establish Salah and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]” (the Quarn, 2: 43). It is also one of the main five pillars of Islam. Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Islam is based on five pillars: testifying that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger; offering the prayers perfectly; paying Zakah (i.e. obligatory charity); performing Hajj i.e. pilgrimage to Mecca; observing fast during the month of Ramadan” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).
  • Admittedly, people vary in their humble performance of prayers; some get the full reward when others only suffer and toil unrewarded. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying: “Many people fast and get nothing from their fast but hunger; and many others pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night” (al-Bayhaqi in his sunan).
  • Salah is also a means to good behavior and lofty character; it drives a person from bad deeds, sins and indecencies. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing” (the Quran, 29: 45). Humble observation of prayers in full submission is a duty indicated in the narration of Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “What is the matter with people who lift their gaze to the sky while praying?” He spoke sternly against that until he said: “They must stop that or else they will certainly lose their eyesight” (al-Bukhari in his authentic collection).
  • Giving in Charity is also a sign of true believers. Charity here is generally applied to all forms of giving, be they obligatory or voluntary. The Prophet said, “The upper hand is better than the lower hand (i.e. the giver of charity is better than the one who receives it) and one should first provide for his dependents. Yet, the best charity is that which is given by a wealthy person but whoever abstains from beseeching others for financial help, Allah will give and relieve him sufficiently” (al-Bukhari in authentic collection).
  • Abu Mas‘ūd al-Badri narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “If a man spends on his family (with the intention of having a reward from Allah) sincerely for Allah’s sake, it is a form of alms-giving in reward for him” (Muslim in his authentic collection). A believer knows that he is just in charge of the wealth and that all graces only rest in the hands of Allah; s/he is generous and Allah is generous to him.
  • Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “While a person travelling through the wilderness, he heard a voice in the cloud saying: Water the garden of so and so. The clouds soon took aside and poured water on a stony ground filling a certain channel. The traveler followed the water to come upon a person standing in a garden busy with changing the course of water with a hatchet. He said to him: O Servant of Allah, what is your name? He said: So and so. Surprisingly, it is the same name heard in the clouds. The farmer asked: O Servant of Allah, why do you ask about my name? He said: I heard a voice from the clouds of which is the downpour, saying: Water the garden of so and so mentioning the like of your name. What do you do [to receive this divine grace]? He said: Now, as you said that, I look what yield I get from it and give one-third as charity, one-third to sustain myself and my children; and one-third I return to cultivate a new harvest therewith” (Muslim in his authentic collection).
  • The Noble Quran also mentions other qualities for which the believers are distinctively noted, e.g. turning away from idle talk and fulfilling their trusts. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Successful in deed are the believers; (1) they who are submissively humble in their prayer; (2) and they who turn away from idle talk; (3) and they who persistently pay the charity; (4) and they who guard their private parts (5) except from their wives or the female slaves in their possession, for indeed, they will not be blamed— (6) yet, whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors— (7) and they who are true to their trusts and promises; (8) and they who carefully maintain their prayers— (9) those are the inheritors, (10) Who will inherit paradise therein they will abide eternally” (the Quran, 23: 1-11). These verses show the good characters of believers as including humbleness in prayers, avoidance of idle talk, payment of charity, keeping away from illicit relations, maintaining trust, repaying them to their owners and fulfilling one’s promise.
  • A true Muslim shall assume these highly Quranic ethics to join the people of true faith and save himself in this world and in the hereafter. A true faith that controls a believer’s heart helps him/her escape all forms of deviation, intransigence and fanaticism. The believer loves for others the same good he loves for himself; s/he avoids perjury, lying and idle talk sessions and works hard to achieve the welfare of his community and nation. Conversely, pretenders of faith are morally deviant even if their behaviors are apparently legal but their faith is imperfect and meaningless.
  • Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) once came out when a young man of al-Ansar called Harithah ibn al-Nu‘man met him. The Prophet asked, “How are you this morning, O Harithah? He replied, I have become a true faithful in this morning. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Consider what you are saying, for each true essence reveals real facts, what are the real facts of your faith? In reply, he said: “My soul is really turned away from the world, so I kept my night praying and kept my daytime fasting. It seems as if I look at the Throne of my Lord outstanding and look at the residents of Paradise visiting each other and at the residents of the Fire aggrieving one another. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Really, you know the truth, keep to that. What a servant whose heart is divinely illuminated by faith!” (al-Bayhaqi in Shu‘ab al-Iman).
  • A believer is also characterized by good morals; he is truthful, honest, faithful, generous, shy, upright, merciful, tolerant, modest, just, benevolent, altruist and perfectly follows the Quranic ethics. Allah, the Almighty, says, “O you who believe, fear Allah and be with those who are truthful” (the Quran, 9: 119).
  • Allah, the Almighty, also says, “And those who faithfully keep their trusts and promises” (the Quran, 70: 32).
  • It is also a sign of the true righteous believers that “they fulfill their promise when they promise and are patient in poverty and hardship and in battlefield. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous” (the Quran, 2: 177).

For believers of noble morals Allah promises the best reward saying: “Indeed, those who have believed and done good deeds will have the Gardens of Paradise as a lodging wherein they will abide eternally and never will they desire any other substitute” (the Quran, 18: 107-108).