Characteristics of Believers
(DUAs and praise to Allah)
I am sure, if you have probably heard the reminder about the Ayahs that start of the beautiful Surah Al Muhminoon (23rd Surah of the Quran) very famous words
What I wanted to use this rare opportunity that I have and I personally feel am very honoured to be here Allahomdolia and have the opportunity to speak to you and the first sentiment that I wanted to share with you before I share the remainder of the Ayahs is that I don’t feel like a stranger. When you walk into the house of Allah this is a bond that Allah has created between Muslims. Once they share
that bond is thicker than blood. So you feel home and one you enter the house of Allah you say Asalam and they say Asalam back. You smile on their face and they smile back. You fulfil the Sunnah of Prophet (PBUH) and they fulfil their part. You know at that point there is tranquillity in our house and there is a unity that does not needs to be talked about it. You don’t have to give speeches about it, you have to feel it in your heart. May Allah put that genuine kind of sincere unity in all of our hearts and remove itch feeling, remove harshness, remove Jealousy, anger and frustration judgments between each other. May Allah remove those tabas and really make us a true brother hood.
Allah (SWT) said in the Surah Ayah. . Those who know or are familiar with Arabic is used to emphasis on something. That is also use to say and communicate the meaning of already. So whatever is going to be said is already the case. That is not like that it is going to be the case, it already the case. Then Allah uses a word in particular for success . Before we go further a really shallow translation would suggest. True believers have already attained success or they have already succeeded. That a very particular flavour of success is what mentioned in the Ayah and word is related to the Arabic term (the farmer) and the farmer in Arabic has interestingly tons of words, lots of words that depict the farmer, because farming was so very important to the Arabs that most of their region was not really something that you grow anything on, so the few places that you can grow something on are very very important. Incidentally, things that were really important to the Ancient Arabs had a lot of words for them. Like the sword, there a lot of words for the swords, so the farmer of farming has lot of terminologies surrounding this process. Like Agriculture that sustain the entire region. At the end of the farming season, harvest season when the farmer is finally done with his labour and sees the crops are tall and harvest are tall. He is going to go and is going to cut all of his labour down. He is going to collect and is going to make his yearly income and the way we think of our income now a days we have jobs of most of us. We get paid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. I don’t think anyone here gets a year, once pay cheque a year. No one has that situation but that’s what a farmer situation is. He puts the work in all year, he puts seed into the ground, he waters it, he begs for the rain, he moves his animals around the land then he hopes the insects don’t come and destroy his crops and frustration don’t happen or weeds don’t come in and he has to basically be on this high strong stressful labour; majority of the year. And finally, eventually at the end of the year he sees the fruits of his labour. By the way that’s not eventually happening in the Arab world, it’s what happening all over the world. If you see any agricultural society you find the same thing. When they get to the crops season, when they get to the season when they harvest, then they all have festival they all celebrate. They will decorate their entire villages they will be singing going on there going to be, Why; there going to be one pay cheque in the entire year. All that year labour in that one day, in that one week. That’s the way success, it’s not that success, and it’s the success that comes after you put in a lot of labour. It didn’t just come, it’s didn’t makes its way to you. It is something that you have to put a lot of work into endless work into and by the way when the farmer does put the seed in the ground and gets his animals to go into the hot sun and go and give water all around. He sees no progress at all, he does not know that it is going to be a good year or bad year, no clue. Weather he sees result or not he has to get up and do his work and he knows that even he skips one day, one week, if he messes up a little bit, then he can hurt his entire labour. So, He has to very strictly follow a schedule, he has to stick to a program.
Allah (SWT)began this Surah saying: . Those you truly believe, those who have really attained a majority in their faith, these are the people that have already attained success, implying that they have already put a lot of work in to get there. And that is why they don’t get the term ( Arabic text: Allezima Amamanu) those who read Quran, InshAllah, ( Arabic text: Allezima Amamanu) comes all the times in the Quran. Allah uses here not (Arabic Text: Lam ya Qul, Qad aflahal lazina amanu). is a noun, it is substantial, it is permanent. Allah is describing these people as mature in their faith, by the word . When Allah (SWT) uses (Arabic text: Alazina Amanu) in the Quran sometimes he even proclaims about them. (Arabic Text: Ya ayehal lazina aamanu, Malakum) “Those of you who have Iman, what’s wrong with you?.” (Arabic Text: Lemataqo luuna ma la taf aaloon) : Those of you who claim to have Iman, Why do you say things you don’t do”. But here in this ayah these are real real (???)believers and we beg Allah, that he counts among them, bit so that we should have a check list, how do I know about myself and how do you know for yourself, weather do we qualify for this. Open that success, where do we stand. Allah gave us a checklist and usually you know Khutbas are very short opportunities and keeping an eye on the clock, I have 13 minutes exactly left and usually most of the khateebs that try to do a job of describing these ayahs. They get to Khushu in Salah, which is the first (???) (Aqamin is Salah) because you don’t really get time to do the rest and then it never comes around. So I want to actually go faster and cover more of these items on the checklist but my agenda is not to cover these items or talk about them, many of which probably all of you are familiar with.
The more important for me is to illustrate how they are connected to each other, how they are tied in to each other.
The first thing that Allah (SWT) mentioned . “Those who are especially, when it comes to their Salah, they have this quality called Khushu”, which most commonly is misunderstood as focus (what they focus in their prayers) its not trakhees its something else. Khush in Arabic language is a kind of fear that numbs your muscles, that you get overwhelmed with fear. You don’t just fear it emotionally you almost start feeling it physically, it raddles you to the core, that kind of fear. Let me give you an example of that kind of fear. There is a boy talking at the back of the classroom and they know there is a very strict teacher and this teacher said that AbdulKareem!!. That child just felt Khushu, that what he felt. This is one of the most powerful experiences a person can have as Allah says: Especially when it comes to their prayers. These people have Khushu, which implies that khushu outside to, but especially in there salawat. The question arises, Why hightlisht this as the first characteristics, you know asalah describing Salah, Allah (SWT) says you know (Arabic text: ) “No doubt weather the Salah essentially” is the Ayah suggesting that the salah is the mean by which we maintain a schedule. The believers scheduler isn’t actually I will see you at 4 o clock, 4:30, 7 o clock. I will see you right after magarib, I will see you right after Isha, I will see you between Zhur and Asar. Our clock revolves around the salath. Weather I tell you about the farmer, that he has to follow a very strict schedule if he wants to be successful. Our strict schedule is the Salah and the point of the Salah is that we never knew side of the fact that we are working hard for success and the moment we move side of that we are really not going to be able to take of our work seriously. We are not going to be able to get any of the other expectations of Allah. What the next expectation
very interesting. Allah (SWT) says, especially when it comes to . Remarkable word in the Arabic language, . mean useless conversation, urdu speakers call it bakwass, bak-bak, arabs call it kalam ul fariq. Back in America we say shoot in the breeze, chit chatting, that’s . It is also an activity, not just speech it is an activity, that has no benefit here (in this world) and has no benefit in the Akhira either. Do you got nothing good of the playstation 3 here or in the Akhira. You got nothing good of the Angry birds here or in the Akhira, but it took a lot of your time, it takes a lot of your time. This is useless activity, useless speech that has no benefit in this world and no benefit in the next. When people start respecting their time, by the way how does the muslim respects its time; by Salah. Salah is proof that you have respect for your time. If you really have khush in salah you will start respecting not just the time of Salah but the time between the salawat also, so that you have no time to waste, so there is no in your life, you cut it out. You get rid of useless things of your life, you have friends. Sometimes when you are listening to a Khutba or listening to Quran. You listen it for 3 minutes you get sleepy, that was very long. But when you are talking to your friends for nothing at all you sit for hours and talk, oh where that time goes, OMG its 2 am. Ahh. Say good bye to Fajr now, right, it will happen all the time. When a believer becomes attentive and really focused, really fearful of Allah and salah. It starts impacting how a believer spends his or he time out side of Salah. When you stop wasting your time, its like you stop thinking about useless things, you know (Arabic Text… ) as the arab says “Every container only gives out what it contains”. If you are only talking about useless things all the time, that means the heart is full of useless things, that’s what that means. When you stop that stuff, its no longer coming out of you, it means the inside is getting cleaned up and when the inside gets cleaned up, I give my students the image, its like you know you can’t see yourself in the dirty mirror, you have to wipe it clean and you have to see your own reflection. Its when you stop wasting your time, you can really really and I can really really think about who I really am. Were delusion a lot, who we really ourselves are, where we stand infront of Allah. We don’t even think about it because we got other stuff to think about it, you got young folk got video game walkthrough history or they have to check their facebook stats, weather someone has put a thumb up or thumbs down on their comment, they have other stuff to do. But when you cut that stuff out of your life, then you start thinking about where I stand, what have I accomplished, you start asking yourself very hard question. And you start realizing that you and I have very deep flaws. We have some problems something we need to work on, maybe you have not thought about it before but when you cut of useless part you’re your life, it makes you more reflective about yourself.
Allah (swt) said: (Arabic Text.. ) “Those especially for the goal of cleansing themselves, purifying themselves” it is not about Zakat or giving Zakat. When it comes to the goal of cleansing themselves, they put themselves to work, they realize that there is something dirty that needs to be cleaned. You know that when there is something dirty, it takes a lot of time to clean it, when the stain is deep and if it is there to be for a long time. Those of you who wash dishes, if you don’t wash your dishes for a couple of days, what happens to the stain, you get stuck on it you have to put a lot of work. If you and I have a lot of personality problem like anger, greed, jealousy, you have a problem lowering your eyes; nobody knows only you know and Allah knows. Nobody knows, you can be knowledgeable or not knowledgeable doesn’t matter, you can be young man or old man, you can have problem lowering your gaze; you have that problem and you know about it. Nobody else can tell you have it, you have to honest to yourself and if you do you had that problem for a long time, it takes a lot of work to get rid of it. Its not gonna happen overnight. So these people first of all realize whats wrong with them, I get angry to easily, I insult my friends to much, I talk behind peoples back too much, I watch way too much shamelessness, I am little too friendly with the opposite gender in college or anywhere else, I get little to casual too easily, I gotta watch myself. When they realize that they put themselves to work to try to cleanse themselves. and when it comes to cleaning yourself up, there is one fitna, there is one trial, that is so dangerous that no matter how hard you work at it the temptation never goes away. You know you can work really hard and you can get giba (backbiting) out of your life. You can work really hard and go from being an angry person and becoming a patience person. It can happen you can evolve, it can happen it is possible. You can work really hard and be a lazy person, some people say in America; I am not a morning person, means I cannot wake up before 11 am, right that what that means. If you work on yourself you can become a morning person, you can become ( ). But there is one problem, there is one temptation, that even the prophet (PBUH) was most concerned about when it came to this ummah and that is temptation between men and women, shamelessness. So Allah (SWT) dedicates multiples ayah to this one problem in the ayah of (Arabic text).
same subject, one subject “Shamelessness”. Whats that one subject “Shamelessness”. When it comes to their privates they guard them, except on their lawful, where they can lawfully execute their temptation, we can look upon our life, we can have a beautiful relationship with the spouse; that’s fine. They keep themselves restricted to that and they are happy with that, you know one of the things that I learnt for that “How hard we have to work on making our marriages beautiful”. How many of us, not one minute goes by and the argument starts, how’s your day; why are you asking like that you are so nasty, just go back and forth, back and forth. But when you go to work, and the secretary says “How’s your day, how’s your day Muhammed” you will say it was great it was really beautiful, I love to talk to you about it and you want to prolong the conversation. The wife askes you “How’s your…” you say I don’t want to talk I am tired now, don’t bother me right now. We have put work in to make our marriages beautiful, to make our marriages romantic, which is a sunnah of Allah’s messenger (PBUH) because that protects us from shamelessness, that protects us from the (Arabic text) of Shaytan, that’s part of our jobs as believers we got to do that, we have to do it, we have to give time and nothing will get better if you don’t give time. You wife needs your time, your husband needs your time, just like you kids need your time, that will be for another occasion (InshaAllah). Once Allah mentions, they can stay away from this major problem and by the way, I say this is an easier problem to tackle and also a bigger problem for us to face then ever before, because now shamelessness is staring at us; down the streets, on your mobile devices when your are checking your emails, when you are watching the news, it doesn’t let you go anywhere, you cannot go to the groceries, you cannot go to the college, you cannot go anywhere , anywhere. But to be exposed to shamelessness all the time which means it requires that much more work for you and me. Everytime you look at something wrong and you don’t feel bad. So that a stain at your heart and how many stains because and this heart gets so dirty; and you and I wondered that when we make dua to Allah (SWT) the person next to me is crying and I cannot even cry, my heart is incapable of crying, because it is so dirty and it is so stain that the light can’t get inside because we keep getting it dirtier, dirtier and dirtier. These are the ayahs of cleaning ourselves up. These are people who put themselves to work, so they can feel Iman again. , this takes work and nobody is going to do that for you and for me I have to do it for myself and you have to do it for yourself. Wallahi, talking about this stuff is easy, doing something about it is serious but I remind myself about a famous peace of poetry in Arabic, I love this piece of poetry. (Arabic Text) “whoever fear climbing the mountain, will remain forever in the dish.” You and I can think, we can’t change this, its way too much change for me. Don’t be afraid atleast start. (Arabic Text) A thousand miles start with a step, get started do something atleast, put a little bit of work in and then you see how Allah makes changes in your life. How Allah open doors in your life. Some of you try to make at the Fajr at the masjid sometime. The few times you do make it, you know how much beautiful your day goes, just because you made it. Someone try to be regular in your salawat, the few days you do make salat on time, properly you know, the kind of light, joy, peace, tranquillity and happiness; you feel in those days, it’s a gift from Allah and you can accomplish you can get there. This is the last bit that I want to share with you in the final minute; after mentioning this big temptation and how we have to ward ourselves away from it.
Allah (SWT) mentions two more things: These are the people that inherit the highest paradise . “When it comes to the things they are trusted with and the promises that they make, they don’t just fulfil them, they watch overthem.” You know security guard watches over something, he is keeping and eye on it, I gave my word. I am not just fulfilling, I am keeping an eye on my word. I am gonna watch over it. I am being trusted over something at my job, I am trusted with something with my parents, I am trusted over something in my deen, I am gonna watch over it and by the way the way to remember that you and I have to be the people that fulfil promises across the board, weather its between muslims and non-muslims, weather its with our family, weather its with our co-workers, business partners. Every few hours we are reminded what we are supposed to be the people that fulfil promises because the next ayah, refers immediately back to the promise between us and Allah. The one who is watching something is also guarding something, that’s why they are watching it. That’s why you keep and eye one it, I go home my 2 year old boy, he loves to play with my phone, so I put it on the table but I keep an eye on the phone or on him. I don’t just keep an eye on the phone I am guarding the phone. One ayah says watching and the other says guarding. Guarding what the Salawat, in other words, this is my last topic. If you and I really understood what salat is? Salah is to make you and me reliable Muslim; it is supposed to be you and me who keep the word. People who can be trusted and if you are making Salat but you can’t be trusted, you don’t keep your word you can’t be relied upon; then there is something wrong with your salah something is missing, missing the point the fruit, that is coming out of this salah that is supposed to be there, the benefit, the character change, that is supposed to be there in a life of a Muslim.
May Allah (SWT) help us fulfil these obligations and expectations, may Allah (swt) make these difficulties a head of us in cleansing ourselves easier for all of us, may Allah (swt) bring the love of the Quran and the love of Allah’s messenger (PBUH) into our hearts and into the hearts of our family.