Channel: Ismail Kamdar
In this Jumah Lecture, Sh Ismail discusses the concept of Taqwa, why we need and how Ramadan helps us gain it.
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hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salatu salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Let me begin by taking a loss of ohana with Allah, and asking Allah to send his peace and blessings upon the final prophet, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and all those who follow his way with righteousness until the last day.
My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam
hamdulillah we are just a few days away from the most blessed time of the year,
the ninth month of the Islamic calendar around a god. And this really, you know, the month of Ramadan really shows us the difference between how Muslims approach this world compared to how the secular people approach this world. Because when people from a secular background see Ramadan, and they see Muslims, they think that this must be a difficult month for us. They think we must eat Ramadan. No, they think it is they think of it as an inconvenience to us, because their lifestyle revolves around following one's desires. And Ramadan is all about restricting your desires. So he comes across the inconvenience. But to those of us who love Allah, those of us who follow through
the life of a loved one, he was seldom for those people who have taken the submission to Allah seriously. Ramadan is the single most beloved time of the year.
Whether it is fasting, or praying, or are we waking up to who haven't eaten with the family, these are amongst our favorite memories of our life. It's something we look forward to.
Because our our lives are such Alhamdulillah has blessed us with this as Muslims, that we know our purpose in life. And our purpose in life is to worship Allah, our purpose in life is to obey Allah, our purpose in life is to pass the test, to pass the test of life and to get into paradise. And so we look forward to Ramadan because Ramadan is an opportunity to help us accomplish our purpose. Ramadan is the month of worship. Ramadan is the time when the doors of gender are open. Ramadan at the time when our lives are answered, It is an opportunity for us, it is not an inconvenience for us. And that is the mindset with which we must approach Ramadan. Now, what's beautiful about this
month and about fasting itself, and about Islam in general, is that every aspect of our religion has a purpose. It has a goal, it has the wisdom. Now this is important. This is a very important point. Sometimes we don't understand the wisdom. Sometimes we don't understand the wisdom. But it doesn't mean there isn't a wisdom. raga Allah who is most wise, he revealed the law and he knows the wisdom. Okay, that's important. Because if somebody had to ask you, what is the wisdom of being tiragarde zabaglione instead of tool, we don't really know. We pray to God because that's what a lot of us but Allah knows, right? There's definitely a wisdom there. But only Allah knows why. So when we look at
the laws of Islam, we will find that 90% of the laws of Islam, Allah has told us what he has told us the wisdom behind it. And there is about 10% where Allah is testing, whether we are going to follow him whether we understand the why or not. Right? So not everything has to make sense to you. If it comes from Allah subhana wa tada we are and we obey whether we understand it or not. But Ramadan is one of those things where Allah has explained to us why he explains to us why we passed, he explained to us the wisdom of Ramadan, the goals of Ramadan, the goals of fasting, all of this is explained in Torah bacara in verses 183 towards 185. Allah subhanho wa Taala explained to us the
wise, so verse 183, or Hamdulillah, I think most of us are familiar with it. Most of us understand it. In fact, I would say that
many of us might have memorized it because every year before Ramadan, Allah mentioned this verse in the footpaths, and they mentioned it for a reason. It's very important, right? What is that verse? Yeah, you heard Edina Manu Kuta Bali, Kumasi amukamara mukamal coup de la la la Lena min publico, La La ku, that cocoon. Oh, you will believe fasting is obligatory for you like how it was obligated upon those before you why Allah tells us why. Now, boom. That the food so that you may gain taqwa. Now, I want to talk about this for a while. I want this to be one of the main things we take home from today's presentation. What is taqwa? Why do we need taqwa
How does Ramadan help us to gain taqwa? If we can understand those three things then inshallah this Ramadan is going to be beneficial for us. So what is taqwa many of the English translations, they translate dakwah as fear of Allah.
I believe this is English translation. Right there is another concept in a poor in the Quran quassia that refers to the fee of Allah taqwa is more comprehensive. taqwa. It includes fear. It includes love. It includes obedience, to include Vicar. It's a much bigger concept. Right is not just referring to fear. It's much broader than that. The best translation for the word taqwa that I have found is God consciousness.
To be conscious of Allah to think about Allah to live your life, you know, in a way that you know Allah is watching, to live your life, your life with awareness of halal and haram because we know as Muslims, sometimes we forget. Sometimes we forget Allah is watching us. Sometimes we forget that certain things are wrong. Sometimes we forget to do certain good deeds, that what is that awareness at all times. So for example, if you are doing your business and you are conscious about whether the business dealing is halal or haram, but where did the money you're earning is halal. That is taqwa. You are running your business with taqwa. Right? If you are a leader, and you are being just towards
the people who are following you, because you know you'll be answerable to allow the Day of Judgment for how you treated your followers. That is taqwa
taqwa means to be conscious of Allah.
And it's a very broad concept. Sometimes some of us think taqwa just refers to, you know, praying stralla or fasting or dressing in a certain way. This is why I love the statement of the great Queen of Islam Fatima, Binti Abdul Malik, Raji aloha about her husband, Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz, radi Allahu Omar even Abdul Aziz was one of the Romanian kings, one of the first Muslim claims in the first dynasty and he was regarded as the best of the kings, right? I'm not sure how many of you are aware of his story, if you're not aware of his story, go home researching, read a book on it. Listen to a lecture about it very beautiful and inspiring story. Omar, even Abdul Aziz was regarded as the most
pious of the obeah kings, and his wife, Fatima, who has a princess Her father was a king. All four of her brothers were kings and her husband was a king. Right? So she was
like one of the greatest queens of Islam so she makes a really powerful statement about the husband before that, rather than any of your heart. You know, we're not supposed to be puppies, be careful, they're handing out tickets. So if you need to move your car, please go into so now. You know, we don't want to go home with the wrong geometry. That's right. Okay, so getting back to our topic, Fatima, Vinnie Abdul Malik, the queen of Islam.
She said about her husband. She said my husband never used to pray extra Allah. He never used to pass outside of Ramadan. But I never met a man with more taqwa him.
Now this statement blew my mind because it taught me the taqwa is not only restricted to someone who fasts extra, as someone who plays extra. What will Omar even Abdul Aziz Dawa, he stuck was he was the king of the Muslim world, the most powerful person on earth at that time. But he lived a simple life. He avoided any money he was doubtful about and tried to be just to every human and every animal within his kingdom.
So he never used to create 100. According to his wife, he never used to pass outside of Ramadan. But she said he had more tacos and anybody else. Why? Because of his justice. So understand resonance sisters, that that law can manifest itself in different ways in how you run your business, and how you deal with your family, and how you treat those who you have authority over. All of this falls under dunkwa. Right. A law allows different people to excel in different ways. Some people may be better at fasting outside of Ramadan, some people may be able to print 100 every night of their lives. Some people may be able to give charity every day of their lives. Each of us have different
ways. But the point is, Ramadan is there to help us reach that level. Ramadan is there to help us get from wherever we are to the next level. Because taqwa is not something that's that stagnant. It's all different stages.
You know, think about your own life. None of us can see that our mind stays at the same level all year round, right? I don't think anyone can say that. We have days or hamdulillah. When we are full of motivation. We want to study Islam. We are to pray extra. We want to find
Especially during Ramadan many of us get that feeling. And then we get days we find it so hard to wake up.
Right. So what this shows is our taqwa is constantly going up and down. Right? It's increasing and it's decreasing. So Allah subhanho wa Taala in his infinite wisdom, he knows that we need a yearly reminder about taqwa. We need a break from our junior life to focus on on improving our taqwa. And so Allah gives us these 29 days of the year where he lost the devils away where he opens the gates of Jannah and when he opens up every source of the core for us so for 2019 we are involved in fasting we are involved in reciting Quran imprinter are we making you are in if they're in charity in all these good deeds, that is to supercharge our taqwa so we can take it to a higher level and
hopefully maintain a high level for the whole next year. And in the next Ramadan, take it even higher and keep doing that for the rest of our lives until we pass away on a higher level of taqwa. So taqwa means to be conscious of Allah, it means to live your life in a way that you are aware of Allah at all times. I say this and not just fear of Allah, because firstly, many of us must understand what is meant by fear of Allah. Right? We think fear of Allah means you must be scared of Allah like how we scared of a robber, are we scared of a lion? That's wrong? fear of Allah as explained by the Allah means that you love Allah so much that you are afraid of disappointing or
displeasing that we are Allah. You love Allah so much, that you fear disappointing him by committing a sin. That is what he meant by fear of Allah. Right? So many of us misunderstand what is the fear of Allah? Furthermore, many of us who restrict up what you feel, but it's not true that we can be out of love. Can we ever hope for Allah's mercy, that war can be simply out of the cold or remembrance of Allah? Right? So there's many aspects to it. Showed for the first part we spoke about that. Well, what is taqwa? And we know the goal of Ramadan is to increase our taqwa. The second point, why do we need taqwa?
Because we can't pass the test of life without it. We can't get to Jenna without taqwa every description in the Quran of the people of Jannah. Allah does not say the Muslims. What does he say?
He says the people of taqwa the moutoku he says that the macmini the people of true faith, the people of taqwa the most in need the people of your son, meaning what? If you are a Muslim, inshallah you will enter gender eventually. But if you are a person of taqwa, then you can skip jahannam altogether and go straight to gender. So the way to skip the jahannam altogether and go straight to gender is to increase our taqwa. So why do we need taqwa? The first and most important reason why every human being needs to develop their taqwa is because it is the way to gender. The way to gender is through increasing inequality. Because think about it when our taqwa is low what
happens? We commit sins, we ignore our good deeds, we fall into major blunders. When our taqwa is high, then we do more good deeds. Right? We are more conscious of Allah, we increase our Hashanah. So taqwa is necessary for gender. In this world. There are benefits to taqwa as well. taqwa will save you from suicide. Right? It will save you suicidal thoughts, because you are conscious of Allah, your life is not focused on you. It's focused on Allah. It's focused on pleasing Allah, you are aware that Allah is the alleged if we are going to help you with your problems, I was going to solve the problems. So it helps you to avoid these thoughts to at least find them in the right. One,
this world helps you to overcome depression and anxiety. Like many of us in South Africa, we have anxiety about crime, right? We terrified about crime. But what do we do? I know myself whenever scary thought comes to our mind about a crime happening as he has been alone, walking on the sidewalk, and he calms me down. the remembrance of Allah calms you down because you know a large taking care of you a lot protecting you. So taqwa helps to reduce our anxiety. It helps to reduce depression, it helps to bring us back up to a level where we can manage where we can survive. taqwa helps us to survive any test that life throws at us. Because when you are tested with difficulties,
it is the consciousness of Allah that stops you from finding our way out of the difficulty. And when you are tested with wealth and abundance, it's a duck of Allah that stops you from abusing that wealth and abundance. So we need taqwa for every aspect of our lives, from our families, to our businesses, to dealing with the test of life to our emotional and psychological problems, and most importantly, for developing our
relationship with Allah and entering into paradise. So every human needs taqwa. And therefore every person needs to take Ramadan seriously. If we don't take Ramadan seriously it comes and goes and there is no change. And how many of us have experienced that Ramadan comes, it goes nothing, no change, we still the same person.
So what we need to do to increase our taqwa. And what I do personally is every Ramadan, try to think of at least two things. At least two things you want to change in your life. At least one good deed you want to add to your life and once in you want to remove from your life and spend that Ramadan working on those two things. Right? So for example, maybe you're not in the habit of reciting Quran every day. So say from this Ramadan onwards, I'm going to develop the habit of reciting Quran every day.
And how do you make that work? Firstly, in Ramadan, Angela, most of us do recite Quran everyday in Ramadan. The trick is after Ramadan over is over, and she doesn't comes back out to stick to it. To stick to it. Right, she becomes a habit, the recitation of the Quran on a daily basis that was a normal part of the lives of the Sahaba they wouldn't go a day without reciting Quran. How many of us recite Quran on a daily basis, right? So something like that as a good deed to your life. The other one remove a sin from your life. So maybe you are involved in interest based banking, or maybe you're looking at things you're not supposed to look at. Or maybe you assume you have a bad habit of
smoking, you know, or things which are bad for your body. Use Ramadan as an opportunity to cleanse yourself of that sin and use it as an opportunity to make Toba and return from that sin and remove it from your life permanently. Not for one month but permanently right so if we choose just two things, each Ramadan it becomes realistic to work towards but what happens to many of us will be unrealistic in our Ramadan goals. What do we do when you ever say from this Ramadan Oh, onwards, I'm never committing a sin again for the rest of my life. Right? That's unrealistic. You are human. Right? There's not a single person alive today who can fulfill that goal. Only Gambia can fulfill
that goal. Rather be realistic say okay, I know this is a sinful habits I have let me get rid of this happened. That's realistic. That's something you can actually do. Right. For some people they will be unrealistic they will say that from this Ramadan onwards, I will pray every Salah of my life with perfect concentration. And by the first taraweeh by the 15th record, that repetition is what I know to be perfect. So don't aim for perfection. Aim for being your best. Aim for being better than what you are now. If you are yearning to be there. Don't Don't think that I can reach from year to year in one month. It doesn't work like that. Baby steps. be gradual in your development of your
image and your taco.
So Ramadan is the month of developing our taqwa we said today we're going to speak about three things. Number one, what is taqwa? Number two, why we need it. And number three, how to get it in Ramadan. Right. So for those who came late, we said that taqwa needs to be conscious of Allah to live our lives in a way that we remember Allah and live our lives and obedience to Allah. That is what taqwa is, right. And certainly, we said, we need the power in order to enter into gender into all in order to enter Paradise, right? We need the power in order to protect ourselves from the traps and tests and the difficulties of life. We need to protect ourselves from ourselves, if you
know what I mean, that we need to protect ourselves from ourselves, meaning to protect our souls, from our own arrogance, our own egos, our own desires, right, that was what stops all of that from coming from coming out and taking over. And now we come to the final part of this discussion, which is how do you develop
a really good one method, which is try to add one good deed to your daily habits and try to remove one sin from your life. Right? The second thing you can do in Ramadan, to really improve your data is to fast with purpose. And many of us we fast as a ritual or habit, you know, it just it just it just comes part of our lives. We wake up we go to work, we come home, we have the star, you know and we go about with no spiritual benefit coming out of it fast with purpose. Every day, renew your intention. Remind yourself why I am fasting. Remind yourself I am fasting for Allah to improve my taqwa. So you are fasting with a purpose. Wake up for suhoor the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam
said that there is Baraka in the Sahel in the US.
morning meal. Why do you want to listen to the Baraka? No all of us are asking about veggie burger from the Prophet is telling us in the shareholders Baraka wake up for Sudha Baraka in your day. Right? So the second thing we can do is wake up for sure, right to retreat to get this feeling of, of fasting on purpose because what happens is when we not even waking up, and we're not even waking up and renewing our intentions and talking about internally, because there is no verbal intentions according to the Sunnah. Right? But to wake up early in the morning, to renew your intentions to have to go to sit and read, do it on time. You know, all of this helps you to fast on purpose, not
fasting out of habit. Right. The next thing you can do to fast on purpose is to control your tongue while fasting. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that the person who does not stay away from vulgar speech and bad actions, Allah does not need him to stay away from food and drink. Meaning
if you are staying away from food and drink while fasting, but why fasting, you are swearing people you are abusing people, you are backbiting you are gossiping. There is no reward for that fast. That is a fast without reward. Because the whole purpose of fasting is to learn to control yourself, is you can control what goes into your mouth in terms of food and drink, you can control what comes out of your mouth in terms of words. So control your tongue. If you want the full reward of fasting control your tongue in Ramadan, Don't utter a word that is displeasing to Allah Don't utter a word that harms another human being, learn to to follow the Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi
wasallam when he said whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day for the Apollo hate, oh yes, when he speaks what is beneficial or he keeps quiet?
That is the way of the belief of the Buddha, you speak what is beneficial or you stay silent. Learn to be like that. If you are like that, while we are fasting, then we will increase in our taco Why? Because while we are fasting, we are now conscious of Allah not just in terms of eating and drinking, but even in terms of what we are saying. The next thing you can do to increase your conscious of allowing Ramadan is to recite Quran with understanding, not just recite Quran ritually, but with understanding if there is a Tafseer halaqa at your local Masjid attended. If there isn't any, then download some stuff. See, listen to some sort of speed online is plenty of sources of the
feedback all of them are available today. Right? We can't make the excuse that Oh, no one's teaching I've seen in my area 100 enough, go online. There is so much stuff here available for downloading by authentic scholars. Listen to the meanings, read the translation. And when you read the translation, a warning when you read a translation, and you come across a difficult verse, don't make up your own interpretation for it. Ask him to clarify. Right very dangerous trouble she thought that he makes us think that we can come up with our own interpretation of the Quran. I know you read the translation, you try your best to understand the Quran but you understand that I have limitations in my knowledge
so that which I don't understand. I will ask the experts right so recite Quran well fasting after fudger after many, many of the sisters after absolutely busy in the kitchen, tried to get your kitchen work done earlier. So after so you can recycle anime to is good, because that's a blessing time. We'll do our at the time of retirees answered Tricia rushing about in the kitchen. You know, if that time, you know sitting next to our even brothers and see if downtime is at peak hour this year, right? Many of us will be stuck in traffic. So he says sitting in traffic and swearing the traffic in our minds, maybe two hours sitting in traffic. Make sure you have your dates in water in
the car with you in case you don't get home in time. Right sit in traffic and we do need to have everybody else is stuck in traffic. They do all our guides all of them to Islamics everybody who goes the time window was answered. Right? So take advantage of these times live in Ramadan of consciousness and finally the Dharavi that there are we put all the debates aside all the the laugh aside all the fighting aside, there are always about one thing and she's about two things. Number one, it's about connecting with Allah number two is about getting your sins forgiven. Why do I say this? Because the prophets wives are selling authentic Hadees whoever scans the nights of Ramadan in
prayer out of Eman out of Hope it allows reward will have all of the past sins forgiven. So that's why you pray to Robbie. Right? Whichever opinion you are following whatever the case may be, pray your taraweeh for the sake of Allah, pray for the sake of earning mcfeely from Allah which of us don't need forgiveness. We all have a lot of sins in this pasture. So here's an opportunity, right to have the sins forgiven later on. But choose a Masjid where they pray properly. Because remember, if they imagine
rushing through the stroller, and he's not reciting with the dream. And if you can't even understand what he's reciting that is a mockery of the Quran.
Right? And that's actually a sin. So pray the rosary at those masteries with any side property will tell you he can recite fast. Right? But what will you understand what they are reciting? That's most important. And then before going further, are we open the translation need a translation of some of the verses they're going to recite? So why is the upgrading that or are we if you find your attention is wondering, you know, start thinking about the translation and reflecting on the translation. So that helps you to stay in the salon, you know, instead of our mind going everywhere else, you know, to work at tomorrow's tour and next days if you focus on the translation. So before
going to the masjid, read the translation you know, if you know the first night that reciting the first one and a half Jews read the translation of some of those verses and think about their translation during the therapy, if you can't pay attention to what the mom is reciting that, that is considered concentrating in your Salah, because you are reflecting on the meanings of what the environment is reciting. Right? So make our ramadan ramadan of our consciousness and the way to do that is to understand the goals of Ramadan, to work towards it, and to do our Avada on purpose. So this Ramadan, enter Ramadan with the goal in mind that I will read Ramadan on a higher level of
taqwa. And to do that I am going to start doing this need to do that I'm going to stop doing this. To do that I'm going too fast on purpose. I will wake up for sure. I will wake up at 4pm only I will make during the early parts of the morning. I will make dua before mother Uppsala, our recycler and I will try my best to understand the Quran. I will clean my tarawih I will try my best to understand and concentrate in the Dharavi and I hope that Allah will accept all of that from me and help me improve my culture we enter Ramadan with that intention and inshallah your Ramadan will be transformative. Because that's what Ramadan is meant to be. It's meant to be a period of
transformation when a person enters Ramadan on the wrong path, but the live Ramadan, not just on the street but by the way into the street Park. Right. This is why the prophets lie. Some said that the doors of Jannah are open in Ramadan, meaning in Ramadan, there are so many ways to earn the forgiveness of Allah. in Ramadan. There are so many ways to find your way back to Allah. in Ramadan. There's so many ways to increase your taqwa. These are all the doors to general is opening Ramadan, take advantage of it. So my brothers and sisters, I hope. As we come to an end of this discussion, I hope that each of us will enter this upcoming Ramadan with purpose with a pure intention, with a
desire to increase our taqwa with the hope of getting closer to Allah subhanho wa Taala that we will do our good deeds to the best of our ability and that we will play out our RV and fast to the best of our ability. And because of that, I hope and I pray to Allah that He forgives each and every one of us but will ever since we have committed in the past and it makes this Ramadan a new beginning for us a means of bringing us closer to him a means of improving our spirituality a means of bringing us all closer towards gender and a means of of making us from those whom Allah loves me Allah except for much of what you bargained for. Give us for example, a hater wakita 100 I mean,