Channel: Bilal Philips
Islamic Practices [1 of 2]
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Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh May Allah's peace and blessings beyond each and every one of you. I'd like to welcome you to another in our series, the best in Islam, where we're looking at what Revelation in the Quran and in the Sunnah,
words of the Prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him. What that has defined as the best in the various elements of Islam, which cover of course, all aspects of human life.
In the previous episodes, we looked at the best with regards to inviting people to Islam. And this episode, we're beginning with looking at what is best in Islam itself. In terms of the practice of Islam,
we have a narration from Ibn Amr, in which he quoted Prophet Muhammad may God's peace and blessings be upon him is saying, of the little more money in Islam than men Saleemul Muslim Munna mainly Sunni, he was already the best believer, according to his practice of Islam, is the one from whose tongue and hands, Muslims are safe.
This hadith statement of the Prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him, brings us to the reality of Islam being not merely a custom and tradition, rituals and beliefs, but a way of life, a way of life, which values good character good moral dealings with our fellow human beings.
So in this statement, the prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him. He stressed that those who are the best believers in terms of their practice of Islam, not in terms of
how many prayers they have made, how many Ramadan's they fasted, how many pilgrimages they made, but in their Islam in general, it's one who the Muslims are safe from his or her tongue, meaning that they don't engage in slander
and backbiting. So many times when we sit down with our friends and colleagues, etc, we ended up engaging in various forms of gossip, backbiting, and even slander, where we pass on rumors, we express our dislike about this one, and that one and the other. Too much of our talk is bad talk, not good talk at all. So the Muslim who we are talking about, of course, we're harming that individual. And that is considered sinful in Islam. And it will be repaid on the Day of Judgment, by our good deeds being taken to cover for what we have done. So much. So in some cases where all of a person's good deeds may be removed, to cover for all of the slander and backbiting and such that
they were engaged in, and then all they're left with are their evil deeds, in which case they end up in hell because of it. So, the Prophet Muhammad wa salam had warned us about the tongue. He said, on one occasion that whoever can guarantee that tongue from these types of corruption and cetera, he will guarantee paradise for him. This was one of the conditions for a guarantee for Paradise if we are able to control our tongues. The true believer is one who does not harm the other believers, rest of Muslims or even non Muslims. You
With his or her tongue, and his or her hand, how do they harm with their hand? Well, by taking property which doesn't belong to them, or by actually hitting or, you know, could be physical abuse in one way or another, by person, taking property may be done in such a subtle way, you don't even realize that you're actually taking people's property, you are a manager, and people are working for you. You have salaries that you're supposed to give them, but you don't give them the salaries, which you agreed on. You're taking their property in so many different ways. people's property. It's taken today in society. And people take it for granted. It's, it's not, it's not really stealing.
It's, they give it some other name. It's good business. Also, people who are working for business people, other companies, etc, they may take bits and pieces of the property that's their, you know,
nobody knows. So they pocket certain things each day go home, they take some things from the
department store, or from the grocery store or whatever with them, these things come up missing. And
many of the people engaged in it, there is an agreement amongst the people, nobody looks twice at it. Everybody's understood, everybody's gonna take a little bit of something. But this is all property of others, harm is taking place. So the true believer is one whose belief is translated into his or her their words and their deeds. This is why Allah subhanaw taala
also stressed when he spoke about prayer, our daily formal prayer, he said, in the Salah, 10 ha and in fact, I will concur. That daily formal prayer prevents evil speech and evil deeds. That's what it's supposed to do. It should impact on us in such a way as to prevent us from speaking evil. We know so many times Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu sallam, we lost peace and blessings be upon him, would encourage us to remain silent, if we have nothing good to say, in a well known Hadith of the Prophet, he did say that whoever believes in Allah on the last day, should either speak good or be silent, we should be conscious about what's coming out of our mouths to try to speak, what is
better, speak about good things. Let our talk be beneficial, not backbiting people,
slandering people, spreading gossip, etc, etc. So this is a general principle that we need to be conscious of, because much of this, people have done it so often. And for so long, that it has become a norm. If you don't have to talk about people, then what do you talk about? And I know many people when we discussed this, they said, Well, you know, my mom, that's all she talks about, you know, and if I tried to tell her, please stop, you know, she'll get very upset with me. So but you can't sit there and listen to it. Because if you sit and listen, then you become, you know, a part of that process. The person who's spreading gossip will only do so if they have somebody to listen
to them. So somehow, some way, you know, we have to take ourselves out of those situations. And maybe people very close to us, you know who it's become so much of a habit for them, you know, they would be very upset if we are unwilling to listen to them. So it's a struggle. It's not an easy thing to tackle in these times, especially. But we have to tackle it because if we're sincere about being true believers, then we do have to control our tongues and our hands from harming others. In another narration.
Concerning the best of Islam, the prophet had said,
as they're narrated by Ibn Abbas of the little Islam, Allah Hannah, fear to somehow the best of Islam is the gentle way free from difficulty. The best of Islam is the gentle way, free from difficulty
meaning that when we practice Islam, we should do so without harshness. We should be
gentle, we should be kind. We should deal with people in which we can tolerate their differences. We can tolerate certain harm which may come from them. We don't meet their harshness with harshness, if they are harsh, we try to speak gently kindly to bring them down. This is the way of the believer this was the way of the Prophet because peace and blessings be upon him in the most difficult of times, when he received the greatest of torture, bad words,
stone thrown at him, etc. When you hear him speak, following these encounters with the disbelievers, it's surprising how could he do that? How could he be so gentle with these people? But that is the way of Islam. It is a gentle way. And we're going to take a brief break now. And then look at that way a bit further. So I'll see you after the break cinema de Khumba Rahmatullah
Welcome back from the break, we were discussing prior to the break the best of Islam, as stated by the Prophet, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, narrated by Abbas, in which he said the best of Islam is the gentle way free from difficulty. We see this in the practice of the Prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him. That whenever he was given a choice between two things, which were both halal, he would take the easier one. I know some people tend to think that, you know, for us to get the best reward, the greatest reward, we need to take the harshest and the most difficult way. But no, this was not what Islam taught. Yes, other systems, other religions have, for monks and
in monasteries, people torturing their physical bodies, believing that in suffering in all that releases the spirit and one comes closer to God. But this is not the Islamic way. This is not the divine way. The divine way, is one, which is a gentle way. Gentleness, wins hearts. harshness scatters the hearts. Allah even told Prophet Muhammad may God's peace and blessings be upon him in the Quran. Low quantification of a little Colombian for domain Holic, if you were harsh and hard with the people, they would have fled from around you. So it was this way of the Prophet choosing the easier way. Whenever we have a choice between two things, which are both halal, the Sunnah the
way of the Prophet wants to take the easier one, not thinking that we're missing out. No, that harder one, the more difficult one, the harsher one is the one where the great reward is because yes, it's true, that reward is generally according to the difficulty of the test. The greater the test,
the greater the reward. But that doesn't mean that we then put on ourselves unnecessarily tests. This is where people have mixed up this concept of the greater the test, the greater the reward. It's a true principle. But it doesn't mean that if we had a choice between doing something in two different ways that we choose the harder way to do it, that we get a greater reward than if we chose the easier way to do it. No. from Islamic perspective, it is better to choose the easier way and you will get the same reward at the end.
For example, a traveler who travels is allowed to shorten his or her prayers, which were four units of prayer, just the three prayers in a day, which are four units. That is the midday prayer, the hood, the mid afternoon prayer author, and the night prayer. Aisha. These four prayers were allowed to shorten them as a traveler and this is only for travelers. Now some people
People will say, but my journey is very simple. It's you know, I'm only flying in a plane, there's no effort involved. I want to pray out the full floor. Is there anything wrong if I did it? Well, no, it's not permitted to pray out to full prayers, you can do it. In fact, if you're in a mosque with an imam who's leading you join that congregation, you must pray out the full four units with the Imam. But if you're on your own, you're allowed to pray it as two units of prayer instead of four. Obviously, two is easier than four.
So people conclude, it's better for me to do the four even though I have the two, it's better for me to do the four I'll get more reward, because my journey wasn't so difficult anyway. And this shortened prayer was really for people who were on difficult journeys. No, no, this is rationale, which really doesn't have a place here. Allah has given the okay to do two. And these two will give you the same reward as if you did four. So you're doing four does not increase the reward at all. And in fact, the prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him and said, that Allah isn't pleased with those who he gives a concession. And they don't take it. I mean, if you think about it,
Allah gives us this concession. And we say, no, no, I don't need it. That's kind of off. So it is better to take the easier way where it is available. And of course, then you have people go to the other extreme, oh, the easier way, you know, then they start to do things which they consider to be easier and are outside of Islam. No, no, we're not talking about that. We're talking about the easier within the teachings of Islam. Yes, it's easier, you know, for a woman not to wear hijab, in the West, for example, in the West, where, you know, in France, where it is crime for her to wear a niqab or to wear hijab, as a teacher in schools in France and other countries, they're not allowing
them to, so it's easier just to take your hijab off and go ahead.
Well, that easier is not the one that the Prophet sallallahu sallam was talking about that he did. Because taking off your hijab, is haram. Easier doesn't mean going to do haram. What is forbidden, easier just means within the halal as we said in the first place, that the Prophet Muhammad Salam, whenever he was given a choice between two Halal things, both are halal, he chose the easier one. So we have to be careful in when we're applying this principle also, that we don't go overboard and step into haram claiming that it's easier. So Islam, we hear
Prophet Muhammad wa sallam also telling us with regards to the practice of Islam, yes, you will have to assume, you know, make things easy for people and don't make them difficult. Whenever people find themselves in difficulty, what you find is that Islam provides a way out, when you can't find water to make we'll do to wash ourselves before prayer, then we have Tom, we're allowed to Pat our hands on Dust, blowing it, wiping it on our hands and face, and that takes the place of the washing. And this is what you find in the various teachings of Islam, that whenever we're required to do something, and there is difficulty in doing it. There hurdles, roadblocks, then Islam provides
another way. And this is the nature of the religion. I didn't use. The Prophet Moses, Al Ahmed said, the religion is in fact, easy.
You can pray standing, you can pray city, you can pray sitting this is the form of prayer. You can pray, lying, whatever you can do, what is possible for you, that is the way that Islam provides these other options. That makes it doable. You can do Islam, wherever you are, whenever the time arises. It's always possible. There is no time, no place, no circumstance in which you can practice Islam. Even if your practice ends up being only in your heart. That's as much as you
You can do it. You can only pray from your heart, you're quadriplegic, you're in the hospital, your hands, your legs are up in, traction, whatever, you can
pray, you're just stuck in that situation. You can't even go and wash yourself. You can do Tom, what do you do now, you make the intention for prayer. And you go ahead and pray, having made the intention for purification, even though you're not able to perform the acts, you make the intention for prayer, and you go ahead and pray. So this is Islam, a religion, which was prescribed by God, for humankind, and humankind, human beings need is they don't need difficulty. We run away from difficulty. And that is why
within the teachings of Islam is is there. Yes, it means discipline, we may run away from discipline also. But running away from discipline is not a good thing. We need discipline. We need organization. We need our lives to be organized. So one could say, okay, that's difficult, you know, to go and pray five times a day is difficult. But it's organization. It's difficult to get up every morning and go to work difficult, you know, to do so many other things. It means you just to stay in your home, just lie in your bed, watch TV,
to be easier. But
life doesn't function like that. It requires us to make some effort. So where there's difficulty, because effort is necessary, then that difficulty is not looked at as real difficulty. The benefits which come from it far outweigh not doing it. So Islam is the easy way. It is the natural way. It is the correct way. And this was the message of the Prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him was conveying to us when he said the best of Islam is the gentle way free from difficulty. And with that, we're going to close out this episode. thanking you for being with us in our program, the best in Islam. We hope to see you again in future episodes, where we will be continuing to look at other
aspects of what is best from the perspective of Islam. Salaam Alaikum Warahmatullahi wabarakatuh