Friday Khutbah (26 Jan 2007): Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil: Combining The Foundation and the Methodology

All praise is due to Allah the Lord of the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allah to His Messenger Muhammad, his family and followers until the end of the World.

The foundation

In Islam enjoining good and forbidding evil is one of the duties of a Muslim. Allah said:

You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways, etc.)] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Maâ??ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. And had the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Al-Fasiqun (disobedient to Allah – and rebellious against Allah’s Command).

Al Imran (3) 110[1]

In another verse,

Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Maâ??ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.

Al Imrân (03) Verse 104.

In his Tafsir, Ibn Kathir[2] said: Allah said, (Let there arise out of you a group of people) that calls to righteousness, enjoins all that is good and forbids evil in the manner Allah commanded, (And it is they who are the successful.) Ad-Dahhak[3] said, “They are a special group of the Companions and a special group of those after them, that is those who perform Jihad and the scholars.” The objective of this Ayah is that there should be a segment of this Muslim Ummah fulfilling this task, even though it is also an obligation on every member of this Ummah, each according to his ability Tafsir Ibn Kathir Vol 2 Page 232 (Darussalam English Translation)

The Consequences

This duty is so important such that neglecting on acting upon it is equated with the collective punishment of Allah upon the people, whether they are good or bad if those who are good amongst them neglect to implement it. Imam Bukhari collected a hadeeth narrated By Zainab bint Jahsh:

The Prophet got up from his sleep with a flushed red face and said, “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. Woe to the Arabs, from the Great evil that is nearly approaching them. Today a gap has been made in the wall of Gog and Magog like this.” (Sufyan illustrated by this forming the number 90 or 100 with his fingers.) It was asked, “Shall we be destroyed though there are righteous people among us?” The Prophet said, “Yes, if evil increased.”

Vol 9, Book 88. Book of Afflictions and the end of the world. Hadeeth number 181[4]

And its fulfillment is connected to our safety:

O you who believe! Take care of your ownselves, [do righteous deeds, fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)]. If you follow the right guidance and enjoin what is right (Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbid what is wrong (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden) no hurt can come to you from those who are in error. The return of you all is to Allah, then He will inform you about (all) that which you used to do.

Al Maaidah (5): 105

â?¦and Allah will grant us power in the land:

Those (Muslim rulers) who, if We give them power in the land, (they) order for Iqamat-as-Salat. [i.e. to perform the five compulsory congregational Salat (prayers) (the males in mosques)], to pay the Zakat and they enjoin Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism and all that Islam has forbidden) [i.e. they make the Qur’an as the law of their country in all the spheres of life]. And with Allah rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures).

Al Hajj (22): 41

The Methodology

The methodology of enjoining good and forbidding evil is enshrined in a hadeeth collected by Imam Muslim:

It is narrated on the authority of Tariq b. Shihab: It was Marwan who initiated (the practice) of delivering khutbah (address) before the prayer on the ‘Id day. A man stood up and said: Prayer should precede khutbah. He (Marwan) remarked, This (practice) has been done away with. Upon this Abu Sa’id remarked: This man has performed (his duty) laid on him. I heard the Messenger of Allah as saying: He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.

Book 1 Faith. Hadeeth No. 79

In another narration:

It is narrated on the authority ‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud that the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) observed: Never a Prophet had been sent before me by Allah towards his nation who had not among his people (his) disciples and companions who followed his ways and obeyed his command. Then there came after them their successors who said whatever they did not practise, and practised whatever they were not commanded to do. He who strove against them with his hand was a believer: he who strove against them with his tongue was a believer, and he who strove against them with his heart was a believer and beyond that there is no faith even to the extent of a mustard seed.

Sahih Muslim. Book 1. Faith. Hadith 0081.

It is done according to position and authority

‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar had said, “I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘All of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and the things under your care. The Imam (i.e. ruler) is the guardian of his subjects and is responsible for them and a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s house and is responsible for it. A servant is the guardian of his master’s belongings and is responsible for them.’ I thought that he also said, ‘A man is the guardian of his father’s property and is responsible for it. All of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and the things under your care.”

Sahih Bukhari Vol 2, Book 13. Friday Prayer. Hadith 018

Implementing the Methodology with Wisdom

Enjoining good and forbidding evil is essentially inviting people to Allah. In this regard, Allah said in the Qurâ??an:

Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur’an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.

Surah/Chapter 016 – An-Nahl. Verse 125.

Implementing with wisdom means we must make sure according to the best of our abilities that when we enjoin good or forbid evil, the end result would be beneficial. In other words a greater good should be achieved or a greater evil is prevented.

There are many circumstances when we want to do good yet the result is harm. One example is praying the Tahajjud prayer but neglecting to pray the Fajr prayer due to exhaustion. One does not do the voluntary acts of worship in lieu of the Waajib. Because of this one does not pray the Sunnah prayer once the Iqaamah has been announced.

Likewise there are also circumtances where we want to avert harm yet the result is greater harm. To illustrate this point, we will mention the hadeeth narrated by Anas bin Malik in Sahih Muslim:

A Bedouin came and passed urine in one corner of the mosque. The people shouted at him but the Prophet stopped them till he finished urinating. The Prophet ordered them to spill a bucket of water over that place and they did so.

Vol 1 Book 4 Ablutions Hadeeth no. 234

Had the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam did not prevent the people from stopping the man from urinating, that man would have had splashed his urine all over the place, or in peopleâ??s clothings instead of confining it only to the place where he is urinating. Further, abruptly stopping the urination process could have other bad effects to a personâ??s health. Thus a greater harm was prevented by allowing some lesser harm to occur.

Ask Allahâ??s help

There is a Sunnah prayer called Istikhaara prayer. One is supposed to perform this prayer if he/she is going to decide on something.

Finally enjoining good and forbidding evil should be done for the sake of Allah alone. Further it should be done according to the way of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam.

We ask Allah that if we perform this obligation, we will be from those who are rewarded and be those whose scale of good deeds in the Judgment Day is heavy.

Narrated By ‘Amr bin Al-‘As: That he heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “If a judge gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is correct (i.e. agrees with Allah and His Apostle’s verdict) he will receive a double reward, and if he gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is wrong, (i.e. against that of Allah and His Apostle) even then he will get a reward.”

Summary Muslims are required to enjoin good and forbid evil. Its implementation and neglect are linked to our success and failure respectively. Its effectuation is done with wisdom and according to oneâ??s authority. Finally it is Allah who grants success.

[1] All Qurâ??anic quotations are taken from islamsoft solutions. Downloadable free from http://www.islamtomorrow.com/
[2] A Great Scholar of Qurâ??an interpretation. http://www.tafsir.com/
[3] A Great Scholar amongst the early generations of Muslims.
[4] All Hadeeth quotations are taken from islamsoft solutions.

Source: albangsamori

Friday Khutbah (12-Jan-2007): Light & Darkness

“The person who takes a bath then comes to the group prayer (Friday Jummah/Khutbah), then offers the prayer that was destined for him, and then keeps silent till the Imam finishes the sermon, and then prays along with him, his sins between that time and the next Friday would be forgiven, and even of three days more” (Reported in Sahih Muslim, with similar hadiths in Abu Dawood,Ibn Majah, and Ahmad bin Hanbal).

â??When it is a Friday, the Angels stand at the gate of the mosque and keep on writing the names of the persons coming to the mosque in succession according to their arrivals. The example of the one who enters the mosque in the earliest hour is that of one offering a camel (in sacrifice). The one coming next is like one offering a cow and then a ram and then a chicken and then an egg respectively. When the Imam comes out (for Jummah prayer) the Angels fold their papers and listen to the Khutba. (Narrated in Bukhari and Muslim)

â??Whosoever recites Surah Al-Kahf on Friday will have a light illuminated for him between the two Fridaysâ? (Narrated by Nasaâ??i Bayhaqi & others)

Anyway….Subhan Allah the Khutbah today, as always was very good..very informative. The Imam talked about the concept of light and darkness (in the Qur’an), and how it applies to our lives as Muslims, both in this dunya, and in the Hereafter. In Surat An-Nur it’s described:

“…Light upon Light! Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of Everything (24:35).”

“Or [the state of a disbeliever] is like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with waves topped by waves, topped by dark clouds, (layers of) darkness upon darkness: if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! And he for whom Allah has not appointed light, for him there is no light (24:40).”

This concept of light and darkness can be viewed as Heaven and Hell, it can be viewed as guidance and misguidance, or Success with Allah verses ‘success’ with shaytan. There are many ways to look at it, but the bottom line for us as Muslims, is to strive in Allah’s Cause, and reach for the light. How unlucky we’d be if we were (or are) among those who are in the darkness. SO, what can we do to stay away from this darkness? the Imam said foremost: let not shaytan influence you. You can choose to be amongst those who Iblis influences, or you can be amongst those who follow the Word of Allah [swt]:

“(Iblis) said: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism) (38:82-83)”

“(Iblis) said: “See this one whom You have honoured above me, if You give me respite to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few! (17:62)”

“(Iblis) said: “Because you have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. not be dutiful to Allah Ta’aala) (7:16-17).”

Allah has a plan for us all, and if we are amongst those chosen to stay in the Path of Allah, then that’s what will happen. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have to work for it though, because shaytan still has the power to influence those who forget about Allah. Anything associated with Shaytan is definitely NOT good for us as Muslims. If we associate ourselves with Haraam things or situations, then we are associating ourselves with shaytan…if we associate ourselves with the disbelievers, then we are associating ourselves with shaytan. The Qur’an clearly tells us to stay away from these things and these types of people, yet we still (not excluding myself) continue on in this manner. I find this ayat to be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!::

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya (friends, protectors, helpers) they are but Auliya of each other. And if any amongst you take them (as Auliya), then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those pople who are the Zalimun (5:51).”

It is stated SO clearly, that I find it impossible to disregard the message. I know how hard it is to understand or apply it to our lives (especially since many of us live in a place dominated by non-Muslims). I feel it personally, especially since my own blood family is Christian. My mother, who converted from Christianity, has a relgious Christian family. My own half brother and half sister are Christians (my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, neices, etc.) I love them very much, and it’s hard to know that I cannot change their beliefs. Also, my friends….the majority of them are non-Muslims, so what am I to do in that situation? I don’t think I can completely disregard all of them, but I can just try my best to keep these relationships very basic. What is most important to me, is what Allah Commands, and He knows what is best for all of us. I guess the message is not to let this life get the best of you. Ask Allah to always make you remember Him, and to remind you of what your purpose in this life is (that is to worship Him Alone, and to spread the Word of Islam in a manner that pleases Allah). Once again, easier said than done, but as Muslims, I think it’s so important that we stay close together–this way we’re not influenced by the Mushrikun, and that we become more knowledgeable, and worship Allah in a more perfect manner. If our Ummah was united, I think it would be easier to apply the teachings of Islam to our lives, because we would only be surrounded by other Muslims who would be trying to do the same thing. It’s hard…but of course, Allah did not intend that we lead an easy life, and enter Paradise just like that. This is our calling..our Jihad: to live life in accordance to the teachings of Islam, no matter how many obstacles stand in our way, and no matter how impossible it may seem. Also, we can’t just pick and choose the parts that we feel apply to our lives. If we submit ourselves as Muslims, we have to submit completely and whole heartedly–submit our entire self: mind, body and soul, and live our lives exactly how Allah has prescribed for us. It may take time to do that, but we should all be on that road, attempting to change our lives–tweak out the bad and find goodness in Islam and Allah’s Straight Path Insha Allah.

Ameen Ya Raab

source: halabissa‘s journal

The Five Pillars Of Islam

From www.islamworld.net

Shahadah

The first pillar of Islam is that a Muslim believe and declare his faith by saying the Shahadah (lit. ‘witness’), also known as the Kalimah:

La ilaha ila Allah; Muhammadur-rasul Allah. ‘There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’
This declaration contains two parts. The first part refers to God Almighty, the Creator of everything, the Lord of the Worlds; the second part refers to the Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh) a prophet and a human being, who received the revelation through the Archangel Gabriel, and taught it to mankind.
By sincerely uttering the Shahadah the Muslim acknowledges Allah as the sole Creator of all, and the Supreme Authority over everything and everyone in the universe. Consequently the Muslim closes his/her heart and mind to loyalty, devotion and obedience to, trust in, reliance on, and worship of anything or anyone other than Allah. This rejection is not confined merely to pagan gods and goddesses of wood and stone and created by human hands and imaginations; this rejection must extend to all other conceptions, superstitions, ideologies, ways of life, and authority figures that claim supreme devotion, loyalty, trust, love, obedience or worship. This entails, for example, the rejection of belief in such common things as astrology, palm reading, good luck charms, fortune-telling and psychic readings, in addition to praying at shrines or graves of “saints”, asking the dead souls to intercede for them with Allah. There are no intercessors in Islam, nor any class of clergy as such; a Muslim prays directly and exclusively to Allah.

Belief in the prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh) entails belief in the guidance brought by him and contained in his Sunnah (traditions of his sayings and actions), and demands of the Muslim the intention to follow his guidance faithfully. Muhammad (pbuh) was also a human being, a man with feelings and emotions, who ate, drank and slept, and was born and died, like other men. He had a pure and upright nature, extraordinary righteousness, and an unwavering faith in Allah and commitment to Islam, but he was not divine. Muslims do not pray to him, not even as an intercessor, and Muslims abhor the terms “Mohamedan” and “Mohamedanism”.

Salah

Prayer (Salah), in the sense of worship, is the second pillar of Islam. Prayer is obligatory and must be performed five times a day. These five times are dawn (Fajr), immediately after noon (Dhuhr), mid-afternoon (‘Asr), sunset (Maghrib), and early night (Isha’). Ritual cleanliness and ablution are required before prayer, as are clean clothes and location, and the removal of shoes. One may pray individually or communally, at home, outside, virtually any clean place, as well as in a mosque, though the latter is preferred. Special is the Friday noon prayer, called Jum’ah. It, too, is obligatory and is to be done in a mosque, in congregation. It is accompanied by a sermon (Khutbah), and it replaces the normal Dhuhr prayer.

There is no hierarchical clerical authority in Islam, no priests or ministers. Prayers are led by any learned person who knows the Qur’an and is chosen by the congregation. He (or she, if the congregation is all women) is called the imam. There is also no minimum number of congregants required to hold communal prayers. Prayer consists of verses from the Qur’an and other prayers, accompanied by various bodily postures – standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting. They are said in Arabic, the language of the revelation, though personal supplications (Du’ah) can be offered in one’s own language. Worshippers face the Qiblah, the direction of the Ka’bah in the city of Makkah.

The significance of prayer lies in one’s maintaining a continuous link to God five times a day, which helps the worshipper avoid misdeeds if he/she performs the prayers sincerely. In addition it promotes discipline, God-consciousness and placing one’s trust in Allah alone, and the importance of striving for the Hereafter. When performed in congregation it also provides a strong sense of community, equality and brotherhood/sisterhood.

Fasting (Sawm)

The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting. Allah prescribes daily fasting for all able, adult Muslims during the whole of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar, beginning with the sighting of the new moon. Exempted from the fast are the very old and the insane. On the physical side, fasting is from first light of dawn until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. On the moral, behavioral side, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip, quarreling and trivial nonsense.

Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing are permitted to break the fast, but must make up an equal number of days later in the year. If physically unable to do so, they must feed a needy person for each day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier.

Although fasting is beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly pleasures and comforts, even for a short time, the fasting person gains true sympathy for those who go hungry regularly, and achieves growth in his spiritual life, learning discipline, self-restraint, patience and flexibility.

In addition to the fast proper, one is encouraged to read the entire Qur’an. In addition, special prayers, called Tarawih, are held in the mosque every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur’an (Juz’) is recited, so that by the end of the month the entire Qur’an has been completed. These are done in remembrance of the fact that the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was begun during Ramadan.

During the last ten days – though the exact day is never known and may not even be the same every year – occurs the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr). To spend that night in worship is equivalent to a thousand months of worship, i.e. Allah’s reward for it is very great.

On the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted, a special celebration is made, called ‘Id al-Fitr. A quantity of staple food is donated to the poor (Zakat al-Fitr), everyone has bathed and put on their best, preferably new, clothes, and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends.

There are other fast days throughout the year. Muslims are encouraged to fast six days in Shawwal, the month following Ramadan, Mondays and Thursdays, and the ninth and tenth, or tenth and eleventh of Muharram, the first month of the year. The tenth day, called Ashurah, is also a fast day for the Jews (Yom Kippur), and Allah commanded the Muslims to fast two days to distinguish themselves from the People of the Book.

While fasting per se is encouraged, constant fasting, as well as monasticism, celibacy, and otherwise retreating from the real world, are condemned in Islam. Fasting on the two festival days, ‘Id al-Fitr and ‘Id al-Adha, the feast of the Hajj, is strictly forbidden.

Zakah

The third pillar of Islam is the alms-tax (Zakah). It is a tax on wealth, payable on various categories of property, notably savings and investments, produce, inventory of goods, salable crops and cattle, and precious metals, and is to be used for the various categories of distribution specified by Islamic law. It is also an act of purification through sharing what one has with others.

The rationale behind this is that Muslims believe that everything belongs to God, and wealth is held by man as a trust. This trust must be discharged, moreover, as instructed by God, as that portion of our wealth legally belongs to other people and must be given to them. If we refuse and hoard this wealth, it is considered impure and unclean. If, for example one were to use that wealth for charity or to finance one’s pilgrimage to Makkah, those acts would also be impure, invalid, and of course unrewarded. Allah says:

“Of their wealth, take alms so you may purify and sanctify them.” [9:103]
The word Zakah means purification and growth. Our possessions are purified by setting aside that portion of it for those in need. Each Muslim calculates his or her own Zakah individually.
For most purposes this involves the payment each year of 2.5% of one’s capital, provided that this capital reaches a certain minimum amount that which is not consumed by its owner. A generous person can pay more than this amount, though it is treated and rewarded as voluntary charity (Sadaqah). This amount of money is provided to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, and can be used in many useful projects for the welfare of the community.

Historically the pillar of Zakah became mandatory on Muslims form the second year after the Hijrah, 622 C.E. It is mentioned more than thirty times in the Qur’an, usually in the same breath as Salah. So important is this pillar that one is not considered a part of the Islamic brotherhood if one ignores this obligation.

Hajj

The fifth pillar of Islam is to make a pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah, in Saudi Arabia, at least once in one’s lifetime. This pillar is obligatory for every Muslim, male or female, provided that he/she is physically and financially able to do so. Prerequisites for performing the Hajj are to be a Muslim, to be free, to be an adult or mature enough, to be of sound mind, and to have the ability to afford the journey and maintain one’s dependents back home for the duration. The reward for the Hajj is nothing less than Paradise.The Hajj is the ultimate form of worship, as it involves the spirit of all the other rituals and demands of the believer great sacrifice. On this unique occasion, nearly two million Muslims from all over the globe meet one another in a given year. Regardless of the season, pilgrims wear special clothes (Ihram) – two, very simple, unsewn white garments – which strips away all distinctions of wealth, status, class and culture; all stand together and equal before Allah (God).

The rites of Hajj, which go back to the time of Prophet Abraham who built the Ka’bah, are observed over five or six days, beginning on the eighth day of the last month of the year, named Dhul-Hijjah (pilgrimage). These rites include circumambulating the Ka’bah (Tawwaf), and going between the mountains of Safa and Marwah, as Hajjar (Abraham’s wife) did during her search for water for her son Isma’il. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafah and join in prayers for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment. The pilgrims also cast stones at a stone pillar which represents Satan. The pilgrimage ends with a festival, called ‘Id al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers, the sacrifice of an animal, and the exchange of greetings and gifts in Muslim communities everywhere.

Friday Khutbah (15 December 2006): The Value of Patience in Life

Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
Friday Sermon
15 December 2006 / 24 Zulkaedah 1427
The Value of Patience in Life

Friday Khutbah (15 December 2006) Download

Maâ??asyiral Muslimin rahimakumullah,

Together, let us improve and raise our level of taqwa to Allah s.w.t. by doing everything that He as commanded us to do and to refrain from all that He has forbade us from doing. And hopefully; by doing so, we will be able to get His blessings and His acceptances for all our actions here on our short stay on earth.

During these times, we see one very important quality in those who are pious. This quality will help us get through the challenges and setbacks that we face in life with perseverance that is strong and robust. This quality, is called patience

Brothers,
In the context of life which we currently live in, it does not matter where we are; we are constantly being tested by Allah s.w.t. with a lot of challenges and setbacks. Allahâ??s tests are major. He tests each and every one of His creations, whether they are Prophets or just any other human being on earth.

In this case, Allah s.w.t. has mentioned in the holy Al-Qurâ??an:

Which means: â??We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives and crops. But give good news to those who are patient.â? [Al-Baqarah-155]

Brothers,

In the verse that was just mentioned. It is clear that Allah s.w.t. the Almighty is Most-able to test us, and He will continue to do so. Allah s.w.t. will constantly test the level and value of our patience.

When we talk about patience, have we ever asked ourselves what is the true meaning of patience in Islam?

Brothers,
Patience, as defined by Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali in his well-known book Ihyaâ?? Ulumuddin, is likened to a group of religiously influenced people fighting against another group which is influenced by emotions and desires.

In Islam, there are three types of patience:

Firstly: Patience in handling challenges and Allahâ??s tests
Let us look back at the history of our Prophets and Messengers sent by Allah azza wa jalla. From as early as the days of Adam a.s. till the blessed days of our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., they were strong and patient when being challenged and tested and were steadfast throughout their lives.

As an example, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. during his glorious lifetime was often famished and in hunger. He never ever had a full meal. There were times when he even tied his stomach with a few rocks to hold his agony in hunger

Secondly: Patience in obeying to Allahâ??s commands.
In our daily lives, especially when performing our ibadats and rituals, we are taught to be patient and to be steadfast to Allahâ??s orders.

Saiyiduna Umar bin Abdul Aziz r.a. once said : â??The best kind of act is one that is forced upon oneself. (To train one selfâ??s patience)â?.

The obedience of a Muslim towards Allah s.w.t. and his Messenger s.a.w. must be based and backed by a strong character of patience. This is because without patience; it is hard for us to consistently perform all our religious obligations with complete sincerity.

With related to being patient when performing our obligations to Allah s.w.t. A verse in the Qurâ??an states:

Means: â?And be patient to Allahâ??s commandments, for you are under our observance, and celebrate the praises of Thy Lord the while Thou standest forth,â? [At-Thur : 48]

Thirdly: Patience in refraining oneself from doing bad and unlawful acts which have been prohibited by Allah s.w.t.

In the context, when trying to stay away from bad and unruly acts, our patience can really be tested. To refrain from doing things that attract Allahâ??s wrath is especially hard.

For example, it is very hard for a man to avoid the urge of wanting to look at a beautiful lady, especially if she is not fully covering her modesty.

Patience is also needed for us to not hurt others; especially our wives, our children and our parents.

Also, to refrain from saying anything bad about another person, to backstab, to condemn and criticize others, to talk about another personâ??s weaknesses for no apparent reason. Patience is very much required to be part of ourselves, as our values and principles in life.

Without patience, some of us may have put ourselves in a very lowly position as Allahâ??s slaves by becoming a slave to our own urges and desires.

In relation to this, Allah azza wa jalla had mentioned in the Qurâ??an in Surah Yusuf, verse 53:

Meaning: â??I do not pretend to be blameless, for manâ??s very soul incites him to evil unless my Lord shows mercy. He is Most Forgiving, Most Mercifulâ?.

Brothers,
As Muslims, we must be aware that to have patience is very important for all human beings. It is an extremely respectful character for us to have.

As Muslims we have to believe that patience is a quality that is very important for all of us to have in ourselves. And humans cannot afford to abstain themselves from this precious character.

Most importantly, for some of us who are trying to get through our rigorous lifestyles. There is a challenge for us to try and understand the true meaning of Islam. And there is also the challenge to present Islam as a religion that is a blessing to all of mankind. These challenges have to be faced with a great amount of patience as well as intelligence. If we are able to do so; Insya Allah, our community will be one that is strong in its principles, and also as one that can contribute positively for its religion and nation.

By making patience as part of our character; may we be able to succeed in this lifetime and in the hereafter. Amin Ya Robbal â??alamin.