Friday Sermon

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).

Children’s Rights to Good Education, Honorable Life and Hopeful Future
Jumada al-Ula 10, 1437 AH / February 19, 2016 CE

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Sermon Plan

  1. Children, a Divine Grace Worthy of Thanksgiving
  2. Islamic Care of Children
  3. Principles for Good Upbringing:
  4. Choice of Good Names
  5. Natural Breastfeeding
  6. Kindness 
  7. Fair and Equal Treatment between Children
  8. Guaranty of Honorable Life for Children
  9. Importance of Hope in our Life

Sermon Topic

The grace of children is a great divine grace comes next only to the grace of having faith in Allah. It is with this grace that human future generations continue. Children are the joys of eyes and a grand divine grace that Allah gives whom He wishes of His slaves. Allah, the Almighty, says, “To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what he wills and gives to whom He wills female [children] and whom He wills males. Or He makes them both males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent” (the Quran, 42: 49-50).

Children fill life with happiness turning the darkness of houses into light; they are the lamps of houses, the joys of souls and the beauties of life. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Wealth and children are but adornment of the worldly life. But the lasting good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for one’s hope” (the Quran, 18: 46).

The grace of children is worthy of great thanksgiving to Allah. Prophet Ibrāhīm, (Peace be upon him) thanked Allah, the Almighty, after giving him the grace of children saying: “Praise to Allah, who has granted to me in old age Ishmael and Isaac. Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of supplication. (39) My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication” (the Quran, 14: 39-40). Actually, the more you thank the greater graces you receive; Allah, the Almighty, says, “Your Lord have solemnly proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe” (the Quran, 14: 7). It is highly important to give due care for this grace, so the new generation becomes a godly-oriented generation well acquainted with the rights of Allah as well as the rights of parents, nation and society.

Islam gives due care for child-raising and education with the aim of helping both children and parents achieve happiness and success in this world and in the hereafter. Indeed, the Islamic care for children begins very early even before their arrival to life. For example, Islam makes it compulsory upon a person desirous of marriage to choose a good partner. It is in the houses of faith that one gets blessed with happiness, prosperity and success. In his tradition, the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) indicates this meaning saying: “Win the one who is religious, may you win the bliss” (Muslim in his authentic collection). The Islamic care for children is prior to the rise of the international child organizations. For Islam, this phase is very serious and impressive in human life.

Childhood is a very crucial phase of human life through which man moves towards the age of majority. Child care aims to introduce children as a positive addition and active element in the society. Many laws are in force for the benefits of children and family and in turn the whole society gets benefits.

The Islamic care for children began very early during the fetal stage of development. Several laws organize this starting serious period with the aim of guaranteeing the fetus’ right to life, dignity, due maintenance and inclusive care. While in the womb, a child is guaranteed the right to life and, as such, abortion is declared a crime.

The mother is deservedly entitled to receive due care during pregnancy insomuch that she is allowed to break the fasting during Ramadan when she fears any expected harm, so the fetus has a full natural growth. Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Allah has remitted half the prayer to a traveler (s/he may pray only two units instead of the four-unit prayers)) and fasting (during Ramadan and must make up for the days missed), the woman who is suckling an infant and the woman who is pregnant (also have the same concessions)” (al-Nasā’i).

Aspects of Islamic care for children are many; the parents shall choose him a good name. Unlike the bad names, a good name brings about comfort and serenity in hearts. Abu al-Dardā’ (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and by your fathers’ names, so give yourselves good names” (Abu Dawud).

After giving birth, the parents shall choose a nice name to their child. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “It is necessary for a boy to have a sacrificial animal sacrificed for him on the seventh day; he should also be given a name and has his head shaved” (al-Tirmidhi). The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) encouraged Muslims to choose the best of names and the most beloved names to Allah. Nafi‘ narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and with his father) that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “The most beloved of names to Allah are ‘Abdullah and ‘Abd al-Raḥmān” (Abu Dawud in his Sunan).

According to the narration of Imam Muslim: “The most beloved of your names to Allah are ‘Abdullah and ‘Abd al-Raḥmān.” The Prophet also prohibited bad names, lest their ugly impression causes children any psychological injury or pains. A man once came to ‘Umar ibn Al-Khaṭṭāb (may Allah be pleased with him) complaining of his son’s disobedience. ‘Umar summoned the boy and rebuked him for disobeying his father and neglecting his rights. The boy replied: “O Commander of the Believers, does a child have no rights over his father?” “Certainly,” replied ‘Umar. “What are they, O Commander of the Believers?” He should choose him a good mother and a good name and teach him the Book (the Quran), ‘Umar said.” O Commander of the Believers, my father did nothing of this. My mother was a black bondwoman owned by a Magian (fire worshipper). He gave me the name of Ju‘l (meaning dung beetle or scarab) and did not teach me a single letter of the Quran. Turning to the father, ‘Umar said: “You have come to me complaining about your son’s disobedience but you failed to pay him his due rights before he disobeyed you; you had wronged him before he wronged you” (Tarbiyat al-Awlād fi al-Islam).

Sufyan al-Thawri said, “It is the right of a child over his parents to choose him/her a good name, provide him/her a good education and help him/her marry when they are adult.” Good names help children escape any ridiculous and slight signs and inspire them with good feelings when mentioned. The name is the title of a personality.

Islam also imposes a certain period of breastfeeding; Allah, the Almighty, says, “Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period]. 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 through her child, and no father through his child. And upon the father’s heir is a duty like that of the father. And if they both desire weaning through mutual consent from both of them and consultation, there is no blame upon either of them. And if you wish to have your children nursed by a substitute, there is no blame upon you as long as you give payment according to what is acceptable. And fear Allah and know that Allah is Watchful of what you do” (the Quran, 2: 233).

According to this noble Quranic verse, the period of breastfeeding is two complete years as a child in this period needs a certain kind of food to help his/her body formation. Mother’s gifted milk is the best meal a child may have in this stage as divinely planned by the Creator, who said, “Does He, who created not know, while He is the Subtle, the Acquainted?” (the Quran, 67: 14).

However, if the mother has any medical barrier to lactation, or if the child stopped sucking, or if the mother dies— it is obligatory upon the father to hire them a nurse and guarantee their safety. Recent medical and psychological studies prove that the two-year period of breastfeeding under the Sharī‘ah is essential for the child healthy physical and psychological growth. It strengthens the child sense of warm feeling, kindness and security as closely related to the mother. As such, a child grows healthily and lives honorably.

It is also substantially important for child-raising to give the children good treatment in kindness without any cruelty or harshness. It is a truism that kindness begets nothing but good outcome. ‘Aishah—the Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “O ‘Aishah, surely Allah is kind and He loves kindness and grants for kindness that which He does not grants for cruelty and even does not grants for anything else (but kindness)” (Muslim in his authentic collection). Harsh upbringing and education lead most children to dislike educators and disobey them.

Contrary to this harshness, the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) was reported to have carried his grandsons al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn on his shoulders. His principal way of education was kindness and gentleness. Ibn Buraydah narrated from his father Buraydah who said, “While the Messenger of Allah was on the pulpit, Al-Ḥasan and Al-Ḥusayn came, wearing red shirts, walking and stumbling. He came down and picked them up, then said: ‘Allah has spoken the truth: “Your wealth and your children are only a trial.’ I saw these two walking and stumbling in their shirts, and I could not be patient until I went down and picked them up” (al-Nasā’i in his sunan).

A good educator, a parent or a teacher, should consider this great principle of good and kind treatment. Mistakes shall be wisely and mercifully addressed. Cruelty begets fears and cowardice and may lead to psychological disorder, repugnance and hesitation. In one of his advice, al-Aḥnaf Ibn Qays said, “Do not be a lock of your children. Or else, they would hope for your death, dislike approaching you and feel boring with your life.” Kind treatment is different from discreet, and wisely used, punishment when necessary.

Justice and Fair Treatment: Justice and fair treatment are essential for good child-raising. For Islam, justice is an original Islamic principle that must be well considered. Allah, the Almighty, says, “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do” (the Quran, 5: 8). This principle must be applied, especially in the child-parent relationships.

The Prophet directed parents to take care of and abide by this principle. It is even coupled with God-fearing as narrated from ‘Amer that he heard al-Nu‘mān Ibn Bashīr (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) on the pulpit saying, “My father gave me a gift but ‘Amrah Bint Rawaḥah (my mother) said that she would not agree to that unless he made Allah’s Messenger (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) as a witness to it. My father went to Allah’s Messenger and said, ‘I have given a gift to my son from ‘Amrah Bint Rawaḥah, but she ordered me to make you as a witness to it, O Allah’s Messenger(may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him). Allah’s Messenger asked, ‘Have you given (the like of it) to everyone of your children?’ He replied in the negative. Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Be afraid of Allah and be just to your children.’ My father then returned and took back his gift” (al-Bukhari in his authentic collection).

Likewise, ‘Abd al-Razzaqq narrated in his al-Muṣannaf that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) received an invitation from a man from al-Anṣār. In the host’s house, his son first came and the father kissed and hugged him placing him to his side. Later, a daughter of that man came and her father only placed her to his side. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “If you proved just in treatment, it would be much better for your; be gently just with your children even in kisses.”  Just treatment between children has some great benefits. It is a main cause for fair gratitude. It also introduces a good generation to the society and helps fraternity to dominate the relationship of brothers and sisters in essence and form.

Contrary to justice, unfair treatment is the worse source of ingratitude, family disintegration and hate. It is the seed of malicious grudge sowed in the children. Psychological research proves that most of mental and social disorders that a child suffers originate from feelings of injustice and unfair treatment compared to his brothers and sisters. Examples of this fact is found in the story of Yūsuf (Joseph, peace be upon him) and his brothers when they misunderstood the treatment of Ya‘qūb (Jacob, peace be upon him) with Yūsuf and saw it a sort of unfair preference. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Certainly were there in Joseph and his brothers signs for those who ask, [such as] (7) When they said, “Joseph and his brother 558 are more beloved to our father than we, while we are a clan. Indeed, our father is in clear error. (8) Kill Joseph or cast him out to [another] land; the countenance [i.e., attention] of your father will [then] be only for you, and you will be after that a righteous people” (the Quran, 12: 7-9).

Islamic Education: Islam also makes it necessary to educate the children according to the Islamic teachings, as the Quran commands fathers and mothers to work on relieving themselves and their families from destruction. Allah, the Almighty, says, “O you who believe, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded” (the Quran, 67: 6).

Child education and training according to the Islamic principle are religious duties and a right of child over his/her parents. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah’s be pleased with him and his father) narrated that they said, “O Messenger of Allah, we knew the rights of parents on their children but what are the rights of children on their parents? In reply, he said: “They should choose him/her a good name and teach him good morality” (al-Bayhaqi in Shu‘ab al-Imān).

Al-Tirmidhi narrated in his sunan that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “There is no gift that a father gives his son more virtuous than good manners.” It is highly important to teach children good education, direction and moral conduct. Education and training should be kindly given without upsetting the children, especially in front of foreigners.

The Prophet’s gentle example of education is indicative of this method. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah’s be pleased with him and his father) said, “One day, I was riding behind the Prophet when he said, “O boy! I will teach you in some matters. Be watchful of Allah (Commandments of Allah), He will preserve you. Safeguard His Rights and He will be ever with you. If you beg, beg of Him Alone; and if you need assistance, beseech Allah Alone for help. And remember that if all the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able to benefit you except that which Allah had foreordained (for you); and if all of them gather to do harm to you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah had pre-destined against you. The pens had been lifted and the ink had dried up” (al-Tirmidhi).

The noble Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) used to educate, guide and instruct children gently. ‘Umar Ibn Salamah (may Allah’s be pleased with him and his father) related the Prophet’s good example saying, “I was a boy under the care of Allah’s Messenger and my hand used to go around the dish while I was eating. So Allah’s Messenger said to me, ‘O boy, mention the Name of Allah and eat with your right hand, and eat of the dish what is nearer to you” (Muslim in his authentic collection).

Imam al-Ghazali said, “A child is divinely entrusted to his/her parents; his/her pure heart is a precious pearl when getting accustomed to good, s/he learns it and earns happiness and success in this life and in the hereafter.” A good educator should be an ideal for the children in assuming the loftiest of noble ethics before directing them. Children are the best imitators of their fathers. What a wonderful is the following line saying:

A child grows up following the habits s/he earns from his/her father

It is considerable to mention that the process of child education is not the sole duty of parents but the duty of teachers and schools as well. For children, the teacher is symbolic of the ethical vales of the society and, as such, they should educate the children in the values and ethics of society. Child education is the responsibility of the whole society; all members shall care for their good behavior and discipline. Child education is a very heavy duty that all should undertake. This sort of collective social duties is indicated in the Prophet’s statement: “Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for what is in his/her custody. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects and is responsible for them; a husband is a guardian of his family and is responsible for it; a lady 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.” The narrator added, I think that the Prophet also said, “A man is a guardian of his father’s property and is responsible for it, so all of you are guardians and responsible for things under your care” (al-Bukhari in his authentic collection).

For Islam, the parents are responsible for maintaining their children. Qatadah narrated from al-Ḥasan that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Surely, Allah would hold accountable every guardian for what was under his/her custody, whether s/he maintained or wasted, until a man would be questioned about his own household” (Ibn Ḥibban).

In Islam, the child is a perfect human being, who is entitled to physical, psychological, financial, educational and pedagogical rights. Furthermore, Islam imposes the respect and protection of these rights to guarantee children an honorable life within a civilized human community. Only then, the spirit of friendship, kindness, love and mercy predominate.

Finally, it is highly important to have hopes in better future for us and for our children. Man cannot live and prosper without hopes. Indeed, a hopeless life is not a life, so hopelessness shall have no place in life. In the view of the people of knowledge, despair, discouragement and disappointment are all grave sins.

‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah’s be pleased with him and his father) narrated that a man once said: O Allah’s Messenger, what are the grave sins? In reply, the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Associating others with Allah in divinity or worship, being despaired of the relief of Allah or hopeless of the Mercy of Allah. I guarantee Paradise for anyone that Allah relieves from that.”

558 Benjamin who was born of the same mother as Joseph.

Our Duty towards the Quran
Jumada al-Ula 3, 1437 AH / Feb. 12, 2016 CE

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Sermon Plan

  1. The Qur’ān is the Eternal Miracle of Islam
  2. The Position and Merits of the Quran
  3. The Lofty Status of the People of the Qur’ān
  4. Muslim Duties towards the Qur’ān
  5. Glorification, Recitation and Contemplation
  6. Respect of the Qur’ān and Following the Quranic exemplary ideals
  7. Obeying Quranic Commands and Avoiding Quranic Prohibition

Sermon Theme

The Noble Qur’ān is the major miracle of all times; both the humankind and Jinn failed to produce the like of it or the like of any part of it (the Quran, 17: 88, 11: 13; 2: 23). It was revealed to the heart of Prophet Muhammad as a guidance and light to this life; it guides the confused souls forming the constitution of Muslims whereby hearts are revived, souls are purified and ethics are refined. Allah, the Almighty, says:

  • “Alif, Lām, Meem. (1) This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah – (2) Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them” (the Quran, 2: 1-3).
  • “Indeed, this Qur’ān guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward” (the Quran, 17: 9).
  • Adhering to the Quranic teachings relieves from trials. It is the guiding spirit and light of believers, as Allah, the Almighty, says, “And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command [i.e., the Qu’rān]. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path – (52) The path of Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve [i.e. return]” (the Quran, 42: 52-53).
  • Hearing to the imposing beautiful Quranic message, a group of the jinn believed in and glorified it. They were thus guided to the straight path and immediately returned to warn their nations “And [mention, O Muhammad], when We directed to you a few of the jinn, listening to the Qur’ā And when they attended it, they said, “Listen quietly.” And when it was concluded, they went back to their people as warners. (29) They said, “O our people, indeed we have heard a [recited] Book revealed after Moses confirming what was before it which guides to the truth and to a straight path. (30) O our people, respond to the Caller [i.e., Messenger] of Allah and believe in him; He [i.e., Allah] will forgive for you your sins and protect you from a painful punishment. (31) But he who does not respond to the Caller of Allah will not cause failure [to Him] upon earth, and he will not have besides Him any protectors. Those are in manifest error” (the Quran, 46: 29-32).
  • Like the jinn, the angels are also moved by the Quran, as narrated by Usayd Ibn Ḥuḍayr (may Allah be pleased with him) that while he was reciting Surat Al-Baqarah (the second chapter of the Quran) at night, and his horse was tied beside him, the horse was suddenly startled and troubled. When he stopped reciting, the horse became quiet, and when he started again, the horse was startled again. Then he stopped reciting and the horse became quiet too. He started reciting again and the horse was startled and troubled once again. Then he stopped reciting and his son, Yaḥya, was beside the horse. He was afraid lest the horse might trample on him. When he took the boy away and looked towards the sky, he could not see it. The next morning he informed the Prophet who said, “Recite, O Ibn Ḥuḍayr! Recite, O Ibn Ḥuḍayr!” Ibn Ḥuḍayr replied, “O Allah’s Messenger! My son, Yaḥya, was near the horse and I was afraid that it might trample on him, so I looked towards the sky, and went to him. When I looked at the sky, I saw something like a cloud containing what looked like lamps, so I went out in order not to see it.” The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Do you know what that was?” Ibn Ḥuḍayr replied, “No.” The Prophet said, “Those were angels, who approached you for your voice and if you had kept on reciting till dawn, it would have remained there till morning when people would have seen it as it would not have disappeared” (al-Bukhari). Such is the impact of the Qur’ān when recited.
  • It is the word of Allah whose miracles never end. It is divinely preserved and saved from distortions and changes; Allah, the Almighty, says, “Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e., the Qur’ān] and indeed, We will be its guardian” (the Quran, 15: 9). Whoever speaks it declares the truth; and whoever acts upon is rewarded; and whoever judges by it has judged justly; and whoever invites to it guides to the straight path. Allah makes it a mercy and healing saying, “And We send down of the Qur’ān that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss” (the Quran, 17: 82).
  • ‘Abdullah ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “This Qur’ān is the banquet of Allah. Learn as much as you can from His banquet. This Qur’ān is the rope of Allah, and it is the clear light and the effective healing. A protection to the one who adheres to it and a rescue to the one who follows it. It is free from deviation and perversion and thus needs no apology or rectification. Its wonders never end. It does not wear out with much repetition. So recite it, for Allah will reward you for the recitation of each letter gets ten times the like of its rewards. I do not say that Alif, Lam, Mim, is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” (Hakim in his Mustadrak)
  • Allah attributes to it the lofty characters using the grandest names, so people could know the Quranic merits and greatness. Allah, the Almighty, says, “[This is] a Book whose verses are perfected and then presented in detail from [one who is] Wise and Acquainted” (the Quran, 11: 1). Allah also says, “Indeed, it is a mighty Book. (41) Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy” (the Quran, 41: 41-42).
  • The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) told us of the great merits and excellences of the Noble Quran, which are beneficial to man in this life and in the afterlife. The following are a few examples of the Prophetic statements in this regard:
  • Superiority of the People of the Quran: ‘Uthman Ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “The best of you are those who learn and teach the Qur’ān” (al-Bukhari in His Authentic Collection).
  • Lofty Position Promised to a Companion of the Quran: ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) said that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “It would be said to the one who memorizes the Qur’ān: “Recite and ascend, recite melodiously as you did in the world. Indeed, your rank shall be at the last verse you recite” (Abu Dawud in His Sunan).
  • Intercession: Abu Umamah al-Baheli (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying, “Recite the Qur’an, for on the Day of Resurrection it will come as an intercessor for those who recite it” (Muslim in His Authentic Collection).
  • Great Rewards for Qur’ān Readers: ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ūd (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever recites a letter from Allah’s Book, then he receives the reward from it, and the reward of ten the like of it. I do not say that Alif, Lam, Mim, is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter” (al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan).
  • Preservation of Houses in which the Qur’ān is read: Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Make not your houses graveyards; indeed, Satan runs away from the house in which Surat al-Baqarah is recited” (Muslim in His Authentic Collection).
  • Ibn Sireen said, “A house in which the Qur’ān is recited is visited by angels and is freed from devils. It even becomes so roomy for its people and richly prosperous. Conversely, the house in which the Qur’ān is not recited is attended by devils and deprived of angels; it becomes so narrow for its people and lacking prosperity” (Ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Musannaf).
  • Reflecting on the conditions of the Honorable Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) with the Qur’ān reveals that they were not satisfied with reading or listening. Instead, they contemplated the Qur’ān giving it hearts and souls. They applied it in word and deed following its commands and avoiding its prohibitions. Thanks to their obedience to Quranic teachings, they had their lofty merits and greatness. ‘Umar Ibn al-Khaṭtab (may Allah be pleased with him) memorized Surat al-Baqarah in eight years. It was not due to his weak memory but because he was keen to practice each verse before moving to the other. Abu ‘Abd al-Raḥman al-Sulami (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “When we learned ten Quranic verses, we would not move to the other following ten verses before learning what permissible and what is impermissible, what is obligatory and what is forbidden thereof” (‘Abd al-Razzaq in His Muṣṣannaf).
  • Since the Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to understand and practice the Quranic verses, they were quickly in obeying Allah and avoiding forbidden matters. When the verse forbidding wine was revealed and a caller declared that “Wine has been peremptorily prohibited,” they responded effectively on the spot. Anyone who had any glass of wine poured it; and anyone who had a mouthful of wine spat it; and anyone who had preserved some vessels of wine poured them out in response to the imperatives of the Quran. The streets of Medina became muddy with it. They said we have already abstained!
  • Likewise, when Allah, the Almighty, says, “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from what which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it” (the Quran, 3: 92). Abu al-Daḥdaḥ at once gave his most beloved valuable orchard in charity. Such was the way the Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) preserved the Book of Allah. For them, it was not a group of words but a way of life, education and faith manifested in behaviors and everyday activities between themselves and also with others.
  • As such, a lofty position is promised by Allah to the People of the Qur’ān who read and acted upon it. Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Allah has His own people among mankind.’ They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, who are they?’ He said: ‘The people of the Qur’ān, the people of Allah and those who are closest to Him” (Ibn Majah in His Sunan). A reader of the Qur’ān is very close to Allah, what a great honor! The more you memorize of the Quran, the more honor you earn.

Our Duty Towards to the Quran:

  • Learning and Teaching: We should continuously read and study the Qur’ān as the best of people are the Qur’ān teachers and learners:The best of you are those who learn and teach the Qur’ān.” The Prophet also commanded us to read it constantly; Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Read the Qur’ān regularly. By the One in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, it escapes from memory faster than a camel does from its tying ropes” (al-Bukhari in his Authentic Collection).
  • The Qur’ān is the main element of the Muslim person’s entities from which the Muslim derives religious teachings and morals. The Muslim shall read it well, which is an easy task. Many people, for instance, learn foreign languages and endure difficulties to learn some areas of specializations to get a well-paid job. How could one lazily neglect the learning of the word of Allah under a pretext that it is difficult to read? ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “The one who recites the Qur’ān and he is proficient with it, he is with the noble and blessed angels, and the one who recites it and it is hard for him, then he gets two rewards” (Abu Dawud in His Sunan). Allah, the Almighty, promised us easiness in reading the Quran: “And We have certainly made the Qur’ān easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?” (the Quran, 54: 17).
  • Contemplation as being revealed to readers: It is our duty to contemplate the Qur’ān and taste the sweet and grand impression it reflects. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’ān, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” (the Quran, 47: 24). Allah also says, “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’ān? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction” (the Qur’ān, 4: 82). The best rewarded of the people of the Qur’ān are those who recite with tongues and deeply understand with hearts and minds. Allah, the Almighty, says, “[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded” (the Quran, 38: 29). Praising readers who grow firmer in faith by reading, Allah, the Almighty, says, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely” (the Quran, 8: 2).
  • Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allah is the guarantee for him/her who recites that Qur’ān and acts upon it that s/he will neither go astray in this life nor suffer in the afterlife,” as Allah, the Almighty, says, “[Allah] said, “Whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray [in the world] nor suffer [in the afterlife]. (123) And whoever turns away from My remembrance –indeed, he will have a distressful life, and We will gather [i.e., raise] him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” (124) He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?” (125) [Allah] will say, “Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot [i.e., disregarded] them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten” (the Quran, 123-126).
  • The Prophet sets examples to us in contemplation and reaction to the Quran. Once he said to ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ūd (may Allah be pleased with him) “Recite the Qur’ān to me.” ‘Abdullah said, “Shall I recite (it) to you while it has been revealed to you?” He said, “I like to hear it from another person.” So he recited Surat al-Nisā’ (the fourth chapter of the Qur’ān) till he reached the Verse: ‘How (will it be) then when We bring from each nation a witness, and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people.’ (4.41) Then he said to him, “Stop!” “Thereupon, I saw his eyes overflowing with tears,” ‘Abdullah said. (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim). A believer is wholly moved and impressed by the word of Allah. Allah, the Almighty, says, “Allah has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance [i.e., mention] of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom Allah leaves astray – for him there is no guide” (the Quran, 39: 23).
  • Respect of the Qur’ān and Following Quranic Morals: It is the duty of Quranic readers to assume the morals, ethics and teachings of the Qur’ān whereby a human being is free from the dominance of desires and lust and has an elevated soul backed by lofty ethics: ““Indeed, this Qur’ān guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward” (the Quran, 17: 9).” Our ideal example is the Prophet who was a living Qur’ān on the earth; he followed the morals of the Quran, is pleased or displeased according to the criteria of the Quran. When ‘Aishah was asked about the morals of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with her), she said, “His morals were that of the Qur’ān” (Ahmad in His Musnad).
  • Most Quranic verses encourage the lofty morals and high ethics. The Qur’ān is the teacher of mercy, truthfulness, justice, tolerance, honesty and fulfillment of one’s promise among other ethics necessary for a Muslim to win the happiness in this world and in the afterlife.
  • Obeying Quranic Commands and Avoiding Quranic Prohibition: It is also our duty, beside recitation, memorization and contemplation, to abide by its commands and avoid its prohibitions in deeds and behaviors as the Prophet and His Companions did. A Muslim shall obey the Quranic commands and avoid the Quranic prohibitions. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “the Holy Qur’ān is a proof on your behalf or against you” (Muslim in his Authentic Collection). It is a proof against you when you read it heedlessly and it has no effect on your behaviors. Actually, one may read the Qur’ān while the Qur’ān curses him.
  • It is also necessary to face the distortions of the extremists and the misinterpretations of the false deniers, who attempt to employ the Qur’ān politically or ideologically to win some interests or gains. It is a must to learn the Qur’ān in word and meaning from the specialized scholars, who are reliable in knowledge. Those scholars teach people the right faith and teachings. They never employ religion for their favor or interpret it in line with their desires.
  • The today world is urgently in need of the Quranic guidance; the present world is essentially ethical. No other book urges lofty morals with all people as frequently as the Qur’ān does. The mistake of contemporary Muslims is their being away from the ethics of the Qur’ā The most significant duty the Muslims must do is to return to the ethics of the Qur’ān following the lofty practical ideal example of the Qur’ān, namely, the Prophet who was described by the Lord as the companion of the great moral character as he followed the moral teachings of the Qur’ān. He was the best ideal of Quranic morals in practice and obedience. Allah, the Almighty, says, “And indeed, you are of a great moral character” (the Quran, 68: 4). This is the declaration of ‘Aishah when she was asked about the morals of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with her), she said, “His morals were that of the Qur’ān” (Ahmad in His Musnad).
  • We defend the Qur’ān in hope to win the Quran’s defense of us on the last day as Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet saying, “On the Day of Resurrection, the Qur’ān and those who acted according to it will be brought with Surat al-Baqarah and aI-‘Imrān (2nd and 3rd chapters of the Qur’ān) preceding them. The Messenger of Allah likened them to three things, which I did not forget afterwards. The Prophet likened them to two clouds, or two black canopies with light between them, or two flocks of birds in ranks pleading for one who recited them” (Muslim in his authentic Collection).

Only when Muslims recite the Qur’ān continuously in contemplation, practice its teachings and educate it to children, they will get the greatest prosperity. It is with the Qur’ān that the social reform comes true, the mercy and justice dominate, hearts are purely refined and good things increase and evils are eliminated.