Friday Khutbah (03 July 2009): Leadership through Example

Dear blessed brothers,

Let us increase our taqwa to Allah s.w.t. Fulfill all of Allah?s commands and refrain from all His prohibitions. Let us continue to be guided by the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet s.a.w. in leading our religious life.

My dear brothers,

Each one of us is a leader and assumes a leadership role, whether in our families, among colleagues and friends, or to anyone else who look at us for good examples through our actions. It is thus important for us to be aware of this role that we play, whether consciously or otherwise.

Allah s.w.t created Prophet Adam a.s. as His viceregent and a leader in this world. He was also equipped with knowledge to assume that role. The prophets and messengers after him were also tasked to lead humankind to the path of God.

For example, Allah s.w.t says to Prophet Abraham a.s. in surah Al-Baqarah verse 124:

?And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: ?I will make you a leader to mankind.? He pleaded: ?And also (leaders) from my offspring!? He answered: ?But My Promise is not within the reach of those who are unjust.?

My dear brothers,

From this verse, it is clear that every leadership position signifies a covenant and promise to Allah s.w.t. Secondly, the basis and core of leadership is to strive for justice and fairness in delivering duties, and to refrain from being unjust and unfair in all matters and responsibilities.

Let us reflect upon the life of our greatest leader, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. How was his leadership in his family life, within the Muslim ummah and even beyond Muslims? Suffice for us to say that he was always loved and needed by others because of his excellent character and his merciful dealings with each and every of God?s creation.

The Prophet s.a.w showed the best examples in leadership. He fulfilled the natural needs of humankind, through attributes such as trustworthiness, truthfulness, explaining the truth, and wisdom.

According to Islamic history, even before his prophethood, leaders of the Quraisy tribe had already called the Prophet as ?The Trustworthy One? or ?al-Amin? because of the Prophet?s integrity when offering his service and contributions to his society. Known as such in his community, the Prophet had created love and trust of others towards him. But he earned so because the Prophet placed his community before himself, and he was a selfless leader who only sought Allah?s pleasure and blessings for all that he did.

My dear brothers,

The Prophet s.a.w said in a hadith which means, ?Each of you is a leader, and each leader will be held accountable for what he has led.? (Hadith narrated by al-Bukhari)

So what can we learn and how can we improve in performing our leadership roles in life? For example, in our family life, each parent, say the father, will need to consider the needs of each family member fairly and not place his self-interest above the rest in making any decision. But more importantly, we must also be aware that real leadership in family life takes place through our own actions and behaviours. Our actions are being watched, especially by our children, and they take cue and model themselves after us, more than what we preach and say to them.

In our work life and in society, an effective leader is one who leads by example; the example of his acts and contributions. Infact, you may be an ordinary employee or worker, and you may not have any subordinates. Yet, if you are the most diligent or industrious, you will become an example to others, and with that, indirectly, you have become a very effective leader.

My dear brothers

So let us reflect upon ourselves and ask how have we carried out our leadership role, whether back at home, or at our work places, among friends or family? Do we hold on firmly and strongly to principles, and we pursue Allah?s pleasure and blessings, or do we place ourselves and our self-interests above everything else when we make decisions? Do we only criticise others, yet do not offer alternatives? Do we only order and command, but we do not give a helping hand to those under our charge? Have we strived to become a good example for others? In other words, do we lead through example? Let?s think about it, dear blessed congregation.

Imagine the outcome for our ummah and community, if each and everyone of us is a successful leader in his or her own right. So we ask Allah that He grant us continued guidance for us to perform our roles and responsibilities successfully in the best possible manner.

Amin.

Source: Friday Khutbah : Leadership Thru Example

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Hajj [Pilgrimage]

Dear brothers and sisters: My talk to you today is Hajj and its benefits. Allah says in the Qurâ??an: â??And proclaim to the people the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel. They will come from every distant pass that they may witness (i.e., attend) benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known (i.e., specific) days over what He has provided for them of (sacrificial) animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.â? (Al-Hajj: 27-28)

Dear brothers and sisters: Hajj is one of the greatest signs of Allah that what Muhammad brought is, in reality, the religion of truth; for no human power can gather pilgrims every year from all parts of the world with hearts full of yearning and love, who experience difficulties yet rejoice at leaving their homes and families, feeling that the hours of performing Hajj are the greatest of their lives and spending generously for this purpose.

Ibn â??Abbaas said, â??When Allah commanded the Prophet Abraham to proclaim Hajj amongst the people, he said, â??My Lord, how can I convey the message to the people when my voice cannot reach them?â?? Allah said, â??You call; it is Our duty to make it reach them,â?? so he stood in position and said, â??O you people! Your Lord has chosen a house, so perform pilgrimage to it.â?? It was said that the mountains were levelled and his voice reached all parts of the earth. All that were in the wombs were made to hear the call and everything that heard it responded. So those for whom Allah has decreed Hajj until the Day of Judgment responded, â??Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk (Here I am at your service, O Allah, here I am).â??â?

In this regard, I would like to say that Allah has mentioned it clearly that there are benefits for mankind. These types of benefits are indefinite in number. These benefits are not restricted to one particular area, or time of history. The benefits one may get from the performance of hajj are much more than to be counted. These benefits are good for people in this world and in the hereafter.

Dear brothers and sisters: let me mention some of the benefits for the individuals and for the Muslim society.

As far as the individual benefits are concerned, the following is a partial list of these benefits:

Renewal of the remembrance of Allah and strengthening the relation between the individual and the Creator. The chanting of the pilgrim is nothing more than a confirmation from the creature to Allah, i.e. by saying: Lab-bayk Allahum-ma Lab-bayk, Lab-bayk laa sharika laka Lab-bayk

Remembrance of the Day of Judgement. During Hajj the presence of few million peoples gathering at Arafat in one place, at one time for one purpose, is an indication and a sign of a hereafter. The dress of white towels and clothes are sign of coffins. Such type of remembrance is very important in making a person to remember death and the resurrection.

The performance of Hajj wipes out the sins of a pilgrim. This is a type of a new beginning that helps a person not to lose hope in this world. On the contrary he would strive effectively to please Allah after his sins and mistakes are wiped off. In this regard Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: â??whoever performs pilgrimage without uttering immodest speech or abusing others, he returns just a new-born ( Muslim)

A person sacrifices through the performance of Hajj. He leaves his family, business and country. He spends lots of money, time, effort and energy; and he bears lots of difficulties due to travelling; all of these are for the pleasure and love of Allah. This type of sacrifice helps the individual to overcome all his difficulties in his daily life. The person who strives and sacrifices is amore successful person than a one who does not strive and sacrifice.

The performance of Hajj is a theoretical and practical training course for the individual on the following habits and manners: Patience, Perseverance, humility, organization, management, tolerance, co-operation, kindness, sympathy, politeness, affection, concern, helpfulness etcâ?¦

Dear brothers and sisters: We hope and pray that every Muslim make an effort to perform Hajj at least once in his life-time and let your Hajj be an act of repentance from sin. Finally, we ask Allah for forgiveness and to accept our deeds and prayers.

Life after Ramadaan

by Imâm al-Madîna al-Munawarrah â??Abdul Muhsin Ibn Muhammad al-Qâsim

All praise is due to Allaah. We thank Him, we seek for His help and forgiveness. We also seek His refuge against the evils of our souls and that of our deeds. Whoever Allaah guides, nobody can mislead him, and whoever He misleads will never have no guide. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May He bestow Peace and blessing upon this noble Prophet, his family and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as He should be feared for, the fear of Allaah is the best treasure for you.

Dear Muslims! Months, days and years are made to determine lifespan and to afford people the oppurtunity to perform good deeds. Further, death do patrol day and night to take the souls of those whose time is due and you shall be addressed on the Day of Ressurection on account of your deeds. It is then that your Lord will say:

“These are only your deeds that has been recorded for you and for which I am going to reward you. So, whoever gets a good reward should be thankful to Allaah and whoever gets otherwise should only blame himself.”

Dear brothers! Your month of Ramadan has now gone with your deeds. Let those who have committed wrong among you quickly repent and mend their ways before Door of Repentance is closed and let those who have done good continue on the same for, the best of all acts of obedience are the the ones followed up with its like. Be concerned more over the acceptance of your deeds than over the deeds itself for, Allaah does not accept deeds except from the pious ones. Also, beware of following up good deeds with bad ones because, if we say that good deeds eradicate bad ones, it is also not impossible that bad deeds destroy good ones.

Brothers in faith! You were – during the just concluded month of righteous – fasting in the day, praying in the night and doing different kinds of sacrificial acts in oder to get reward and to be saved from the Fire. With the depature of this month, a stage of our live has passed. Such is how we pass days of this life in stages on our way to the everlasting abode. Indeed, continuation of good deeds at all time is character of righteous people for, acts of obedience do not have a specific time; it is rather Allaahâ??s unconditional right upon His servants as long as they are alive. Though, month of Ramadaan is an opportunity for the faithfuls to race with one another towards good deeds and an opportunity to direct oneâ??s soul towards meritorious acts and keep it from vices; yet, it is quite incumbent on Muslims to remain on the path of righteousness even after Ramadaan. Worshipping Allaah should not be restricted to Ramadaan alone for, there is no end to Muslimâ??s worship except when he dies. What evil people those who worship only time and do not know Allaah except in Ramadaan!

Dear Muslims! Certainly, the acceptance and rejection of deeds in this month have signs. Among the signs of acceptance of good deed is when it is followed up by good deeds and it is among the signs of rejection to follow up oneâ??s good deeds with evil ones. Therefore, follow up the good deeds with its like, it will be a sign of acceptance of that good deed and follow up your evil deeds with good ones, that will indicate that those evil deeds have been overlooked. Allaah says:

“Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice).” (Hood 11:114)

The Prophet saws also said:

“Fear Allaah wherever you are, follow up the evil deed with good one it will remove it and relate with people with good conduct.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhee)

Let those who are determined to go back to sins after Ramadaan know that Allaah is always pleased with those who obey Him regardless of the month the obedience takes place and is angry with those who disobey Him irrespective of the month the disobedience takes place. The essence of posperity lies in long life and good deeds and a personâ??s continuation of good deeds without restricting it to a certain period, particular month or special place is a sign of oneâ??s righteousness and acceptance of his good deeds.

Fellow Muslims! Though Ramadaan season is now gone, yet, fasting is still recommended in other months. The Messenger of Allaah saws has recommended fasting on Mondays and Thursdays. He said:

“Deeds are presented to Allaah on Mondays and Thursdays and I would like that my deeds be presented while I am fasting.”

It is also reported that he admonished Aboo Hurayrah ra thus:

“Fasting for three days in every month is (equal to) fasting forever.” (Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim).

He also said:

Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadaan and then follows it with six days fasting in Shawwaal has done as if he has fast for live.” (Reported by Muslim)

Though, night prayer during Ramadaan might have gone; yet, the night prayers throughout the year is also recommended. It has been authentically reported from the Prophet saws that

“Allaah use to descend to the nearest heaven to this world when it is the last third of the night and say: â??Who is going to call Me that I may answer him? Who is going to ask from Me that I may give to him? Who is going to seek for my Forgiveness that I may forgive him?”

Therefore, the most pleasing to Allaah of all acts are the ones that are continuously done.

Fellow Muslims! While there are a set of youths who during the noble month of Ramadan were busy passing their time in lustful things, sins and acts of obedience, there are others who were busy doing deeds of righteousness such as Iâ??tikaaf in the Houses of Allaah severing all ties with fellow creatures and meditating with the Creator. They gave obedience of their Lord preference over their own desires. You would see them bowing, prostrating and reciting the Glorious Qurâ??aan. Such youths are the hope and pride of this Ummah.

Dear Muslims! Fear Alllaah for fear of Allaah is the head of all matters. Obey Allaah and keep away from His restrictions, you will achieve His pleasure and be saved from His torment. Do not go back to sins and disobedience so as not to be entitled to His punishment.

Dear brothers, thank your Lord for making you complete the fasting of this month. Enjoy your Eid by remaining consistent on the those good deeds and keep away from undesirable things that are capable of removing Allaahâ??s favors from you. One of our righteous predecessors said:

“Each day in which no act of disobedience to Allaah is committed is Eid and each day a believer spent in acts of obedience to his Lord is Eid”