بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُن فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ
يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا أَصَابَكَ ۖ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ
As Salam Alaikum wa Rehmat Allahi Wabarakatahu,
I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a couple of ayaat that belong to Surah Luqman, and they belong within the passage in which Luqman RA is giving advice to his son. Typically in a jummah khutbah or a short talk, we begin at the beginning of the passage and get through the first couple of ayaat and the time is up and there’s so much more beautiful advice in this passage that, in most occasions we don’t get around to them, or if we do, we don’t give them enough time.
There are some really beautiful pearls of wisdom that Allah Az Zawjal chose to mention in his book, and it’s really beautiful that at the beginning of them he begins the ayaah by saying ‘يَا بُنَيَّ’ – my beloved son, my dear son, بُنَيَّ is in tasreer meaning my small son, my young boy, it’s a term of endearment by the father to the son, in other words Allah wants to highlight before there’s one thing for the father to be teaching his son, but another that he goes out of his way to show love before he even teaches him. He makes sure that the son understands that the father loves him.
Because a lot of the time, especially for dads, it’s not on auto pilot, your children don’t automatically assume that you love them. Especially for fathers. They know automatically mum loves me, but they don’t know automatically dad loves me. Automatically they assume dad is usually angry at me. So dad has to go out of his way to say son, I love you. Then start the advice, he can’t just start the advice, and this is, you guys have experienced this in life, maybe with your own fathers and your own children. Every time we try to give them advice, ‘Oh here we go again.’
And when the mother just puts her arm around you, and says come sit here, come sit next to me, and then you just listen because it’s mum, you just melt. So the father has to go out of his way to make sure the son listens and this father, subhanAllah the advice the gave, the thing, he just wants his son to think about something and he says:
Imagine that there is a mustard seed. It’s this tiny little mustard seed. Little tiny thing, and it’s stick inside of a boulder. The seed is stuck inside of a boulder, and it could be any boulder. Now imagine he wants him to find that seed. He wants his son to find this little seed. And the son might ask and where… and by the way صَخْرَةٍ is a huge rock, a rock the size of the room, a rock the size of this hall, a huge rock. And what are you looking for inside that rock? A little tiny seed.
The first task for the son is to see where is this rock?
So his father tells him, ‘It’s somewhere in the universe’
He tells his son this rock can be found somewhere in the skies or the earth, it could be on this planet, it could be somewhere else, in some other galaxy far away, and now that we know how big the universe is we know how many possibilities there are. Even if he said فِي الْأَرْضِ – on the earth, how many rocks are there on the earth?
And now your job is to find this seed, but if you’re going to find this seed what are you going to have to do with rock? If it’s inside, deep inside what do you have to do to the rock? You have to smash it, you have to break it. So what kind of power would it take to break a rock, and even if you break the rock let’s say you have the technology and you broke the rock. you found the right rock, which is almost impossible, and then you broke it and you broke it into two halves.
Is it guaranteed that the seed will be right there in the middle?
Or is it possible that it might be inside this half or that half. So you break it up into small pieces, you take this gigantic rock, this boulder, and break it up into rocks this small.
Is it guaranteed you found the seed yet?
It could be inside any one of those small pieces. You literally have to smash the boulder into pieces that are the size of the seed, and now how many pieces do you have? Pieces that are the size of a boulder, because if you break it up it’s still that size.
And within those billions of little tiny specks, what do you have to find? A seed.
In other words the father is telling his son, there’s a secret and this secret is hidden, on top of hidden, on top of hidden and it’s so well hidden that it’s impossible even within your imagination to discover it.
Made of, in urdu, rai ka dana, mustard seed. Allah will bring it out. Allah will bring it out and يَأْتِ, in the arabic language, interestingly enough, as opposed to jah aa in arabic, which means to bring something with some effort, some big thing, some major project. Something that is casual, easy, يَأْتِ, no problem, Allah will just bring it out. Allah will pull it out. يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّ.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ
The quality of Allah mentioned to the son by his father is that Allah is precise, he is subtle. It’s a very interesting quality, just because someone is powerful, does not mean that they are precise. You have the power to break the rock, but you don’t have the precision to find that little seed. So power itself is pointless, empty, without precision. That’s why Allah’s power is coupled with his precision.
So Allah describes for example, when water falls. Every drop of water, he targets it like an arrow is shot. Like Allah knows where every drop is going to fall precisely, precisely. When the nation of Lut is destroyed, for example, Lut AS, Allah describes that the rocks, were named. Every little pebble that fell from the sky had been named, who is this bullet written for and where is it going to shoot him, talk about precise sniper fire. It’s coming from the sky with a name on it. Its got an engraving on it, this is meant for that guy and it’s going to kill him in this way, subhanAllah.
That precision of Allah so he says Latif, and he is Khabir, meaning not only is Allah precise, Allah is fully knowledgeable, fully aware. He’s telling his son this so the son appreciates how powerful Allah is, and he has a new appreciation, like when you tell your kids, ‘He kids, remember I’m going over there but remember, Allah is watching!’
And the kid goes, ‘Yeh, yeh I know Allah is watching. I got it. I got it Allah’s watching.’
He wants his son to appreciate what does it mean Allah is watching? What does it mean there is nothing secret to Allah? So he wants to give him a very powerful example. And what we’re learning here is the father goes out of his way, he thinks, how can I teach my son this lesson? And he went out of his way to figure out that maybe if I teach him this way it’ll stick in his head and Allah liked his example so much he made it a part of the Quran, he made it part of the Quran, this beautiful example and of course this wisdom is inspired by the wisdom Allah had given Luqman to begin with, RA.
So now that you know Allah is watching, now he gives him the advice. First ayaah was about Allah, then he gives him the advice. And so he says يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ – my son, pray. Establish Salat, he didn’t say just pray, he said institutionalize prayer. Establishment as an image, in the arabic language, is to build something, is to make something stand. It’s as though everything else can be moved, but the pillar in the building can not be moved. You can move the furniture but you can’t move the pillars. So in your day, everything else can move, in your day the doctor’s appointment can move, your work schedule can move, the meeting can move, lunch can move, dinner can move, salat can not move. Salat is in its place.
Son understand this, my son I want you to know, you have to establish Salat. [arabic], I’ll leave you with this. Once you establish Salat, once you know what it means to make time for Allah no matter what, then there are going to be some effects of salat in your personality and these effects are not just inside salat, but these effects are also outside salat.
If Allah will bring out even a seed on judgement day, which means Allah will bring justice on judgement day, not even a seed will escape, if that’s the point, then a muslim becomes very concerned with justice, and every single salat reminds the muslim that the day of justice is coming, the muslim has to be fair in his life, or her life, and the muslim has to make sure that the people around them are doing the same thing.
So a natural consequence of salat, of really establishing salat, make sure you encourage, instruct, and advise people to do the right thing. You make salat, and you go back into the meeting at the office, and in the meeting they’re saying, “You know our client, it seems like he has a little extra money to spare, so we should bill him a couple of extra hundred hours, even though we haven’t done the work.”
They won’t mind, they won’t care. You just came out of salat, you say
“No. We didn’t do that work, we can’t put that on the hours. I can not sign off on that.”
You’re standing around in a meeting at work, and people are making fun of an employee that’s not there, you stand up, whether you like that employee or not, “It’s not right, he’s not here, we shouldn’t do this.”
People will ask,”Why are you doing this? Why are you standing up for the guy?”, you will say,
“Because I pray. That’s what prayer teaches me. To stand up for the right thing. I’m not going to stand by corruption any where in my life.”
That’s what it means to establish salat. so he’s teaching his son, just because you pray, that’s not enough.
And it’s beautiful that Allah gave the example of a seed, what good is to come out of a seed? A plant. The salat is like the seed. If that seed you never turn into a plant, the fruits if that seed never come out, and what are the fruits of the seed?
Enjoining good and forbidding evil.
What kind of salat is this? It doesn’t make you enjoin good and forbid evil? What is that?
And then the final advice in this ayaah, be patient over whatever targets you, because if you stand up for the right thing, or you speak out against the wrong thing, in the house, in the office, in business, with the employee, with the employer, with the co worker, with the person you’re riding with in the car, when you speak out and say the right thing they might get upset with you, they might not like what you have to say.
Nobody likes justice, let me tell you, around the world. You talk about justice you get into trouble.
You tell your dad, “I don’t know if that’s fair dad, you shouldn’t have done that, you should have paid him his full salary.”
“Who are you kid, who are you to talk to me like that?”
Nobody likes to hear about justice. Nobody likes to hear about fairness. So you’re going to have to be patient with the consequences of speaking out.
This is a cycle. When your patience is tested, you will need strength. And after a few hours, you go back to Allah for salat, and you gain your strength again and you go back out again, and you stand up for the right thing again. Its a cycle like this. He’s turning his son into a leader. He’s turning his son into a role model. This is what Islam is supposed to look like. This is what salat does.
I’ll leave you with this last bit of thought. When for example. Shuaib AS was complaining of the economic irregularities in the society, they told him, his people told him, does your salat prevent you? Your salat prevents you from doing? Your salat commands you to tell us what to do? Just go pray man! Go pray in the masjid why are you bothering us in our business?! But Shuaib AS knows that the importance of salat means that you learn the importance of justice, and the day of judgement. Which means you become a source of justice even in this world.
May Allah az Zawjal help us to understand the implications of our salawat, all this salat we are making in Ramadan, let’s turn those seeds into plants. Let’s establish some justice in our homes, in our work places and in our business.
Barak Allahu li wa lakum,
As Salam Alaikum Wa Rehmat Allahi Wa Barakatahu.