by Muhammad al-Fateh
Khateeb: Ali Hindy
Masjid: Salaheddin Islamic Centre
The Shaikh starts by reminding us of one of Allah’s attributes, Al Wadud, or The Loving. Allah ﷻ loves His creations, though He has no need of them. This attribute can only belong to the Creator as any other creation loves due to a need for another. One of the cornerstones of our religion is to devote our time and efforts to earn the good pleasure or love of our Creator. The Shaikh expands upon several ways we can achieve this.
Firstly, Allah ﷻ loves those who seek knowledge, especially understanding of the religion. Mu’awiya (radiallahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,
“If Allah intends goodness for someone, He gives him understanding of the religion” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith #71 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith #1037).
The Shaikh explains that many of us do not take initiative or proactive steps to acquire knowledge of the Deen. We may settle for watching an occasional lecture on YouTube here and there, we may read a few articles or ahadeeth, and remain stagnant in our knowledge of the Deen. What we should aim to do is start with fundamentals of faith, such as Tawheed and how to offer Salah correctly, then study the religion in an academic way. The effort that we put in earning this ‘ilm is beloved by Allah ﷻ and He surely will reward us with attaining piety and increased knowledge. We must reserve time daily in our lives to focus on this important task. Another beloved action to Allah is to serve our fellow brothers and sisters and mankind in general. The Prophet ﷺ exhorted his followers countless times to aid and assist their fellow mankind and to remove difficulties from the lives of their Muslim brethren. Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrated that The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,
“He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in the world and in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother.” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith #2699)
Also, so often we find ourselves unmotivated to help our brothers and sisters who are in need or are facing great difficulties and trials. At this instance, our brothers and sisters in Somalia are facing famine and starvation, and are in dire need of urgent food, medication and humanitarian assistance. We settle for some Masajids and some neighbouring Muslim countries to send their donations and never ponder on how we can have a direct impact in this matter. We should bring these issues up with our friends, families and coworkers and find ways to assist those in need, whether through fundraising, sending direct donations ourselves, doing a food drive/clothing drive, raising awareness using social media, etc. Any effort to help our fellow Muslims, no matter how small, would go a long way in not only earning the love of Allah, but to securing our eternal future by Allah’s leave.
Yet another way we can please our Creator is by engaging in activities that we do for the sake of Allah on a regular basis. It is often recommended by scholars to do something short or easy, but regularly, instead of doing something in bulk only once in a blue moon and forgetting that act the rest of the time. Abu Huraira (radiallahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,
“Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few”. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith #4240)
This is significant because doing small acts of ibadah consistently keeps our hearts constantly connected to Allah ﷻ and our imaan gets recharged. Whereas praying or reading Qur’an in bulk only in certain special occasions prevents us from being attached to the deen on a daily basis, thus lowering our imaan slowly. We should pick a few things that we can do easily and put concentration, sincerity and effort into, such as reading an ayah and contemplating and implementing it every day or giving regular charity to an organization or masjid, or volunteer in an Islamic program, or seek knowledge every day through halaqas or studying under a scholar. Finally, among the most beloved acts by the believers to Allah are the obligatory acts. These being Salah, Zakah, Hajj, Sawm and of course we must start with proper belief. Ibn Abbas (radiallahu ‘anhu) narrates:
“I questioned the Messenger of ﷺ: Which deed is the most beloved in the eyes of Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious?” He ﷺ replied: “Offering prayers at their stipulated times.” I then asked: “Which is the next most beloved deed?” He ﷺ answered: “Goodness towards one’s parents.” I asked him again: “After this which is the most beloved act?” He ﷺ said: “Jihad in the way of Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The obligatory acts are unfortunately where many of us come up short. This greatly affects our imaan and motivation to learn and act upon the Deen, not to mention the countless sins we accumulate as a result of neglecting them. We must never get bored or tired of doing the obligatory, as they are made mandatory due to their utmost importance in the sight of Allah and His love for these acts. In a Hadith Qudsi, the Prophet ﷺ narrates from Allah:
“…And my servant does not draw near to me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith #25)
May Allah allow us to earn His good pleasure, and to attain His love, mercy and forgiveness by Allah’s leave. And Allah knows best.