Continuing the effort of Da'awah
(Taken from a khutbah text from MUIS)
My Brothers, may Allah showers upon us all His Abundant Grace and Blessings.
In the midst of our celebrating the joyous occasion of Eidul-Fitri, let us never forget to be steadfast in our Taqwa, our being truly conscious of Allah s.w.t. The Taqwa, which, throughout the month of Ramadhan, we have been, trained to instil in our life through fasting and other acts of devotion. It is indeed only with Allah's help and His Grace that we have successfully undergone a rebirth and attain a higher degree of Taqwa. Therefore, let us continue to sustain and increase our consciousness of Allah s.w.t. and do not become like those whose level of Taqwa fades away after the Ramadhan month leaves them. We must increase our Taqwa by being grateful for all the favours, which Allah has bestowed upon us. To show our gratefulness to Allah, we must strive to continue our striving by doing all that which Allah has commanded and abstain from whatever that He forbids. We have to be grateful to Allah for all His abundant favours throughout Ramadhan such that we are, today, celebrating the completion of our acts of devotion. We must be thankful to Allah for it was with His help that we were able to do much in terms of worship and other devotions in Ramadhan. More than was possible for us in other months, such as to complete our recitation of the whole Al-Qur'an, to perform the Terawih prayers and Witr, to pay the zakat and other charity, and many others. But foremost, we must be greatly thankful to Allah for being able to complete Ramadhan with this celebration of Eidul Fitri. Allah s.w.t says in surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 185:
Which means: "but [He (Allah) desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and you extol Allah for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him]. "
Therefore let us express our joy and gratefulness to Allah for all the bounties and favours He has given us. Favours that are apparent to us as well as those, which we are unable to perceive. We must be thankful for the peace and prosperity, which Allah has bestowed upon our beloved nation, such that we, in Singapore, do not suffer the hardship and difficulty due to the economic crisis as faced by other Muslim in many other countries. We must be grateful to Allah for the spiritual strength, which enable us to restrain our passion and desire throughout Ramadhan. Who make us able to restrain ourselves from being extravagant such that we do not overspend in celebration of this Eidul Fitri; such that we do not become people indulging in wasteful spending for those who are spendthrift and wasteful are brothers of Syaithan. The success which today we are celebrating will not be possible unless with Allah s.w.t.'s help. Therefore all praises and thanks are only due to Allah s.w.t. Lord of the worlds.
Allahu akbar 3x
My brothers in Islam,
According to the population census recently conducted, the number of Muslims in Singapore has also increased with the increase in the overall population here. Alhmdulillah! We are grateful for our numbers has not fallen. But in spite of this increase in numbers, we must ensure that we, the Muslim community, also increase our awareness and consciousness of Islam and ensure that we live our lives in accordance with the true teachings of Islam; to infuse our lives with value of Islam. Towards this effort, the moulding and development of our Islamic propagators and teachers must be continually step up, such that their numbers also increase and their ability further enhanced.
If we are to observe these group of people, the Muballigh and Du'at, those who carry out the propagation and convey the teachings of Islam, the manner of their carrying out this noble task, their selfless commitment towards spreading the message of Islam, we will notice their sincerity and earnestness. They are not doing this job for money, neither for status and position, nor for fame - but because of Allah s.w.t. just as were done by Prophets and Messengers of Allah before them. In surah As-Syuara ayat 109, Allah s.w.t records their words, which they have uttered:
Which means: "And no reward whatever do I ask of you for it: my reward rests with none but the Sustainer of all the worlds."
They convey the message of Islam as best as they can. They, tirelessly and without ever feeling bored, patiently and steadfastly carry out this noble task with sincere dedication. Their contribution towards the Muslim community is indeed immense beyond any price. Alhamdulillah! All praises be to Allah s.w.t. who has raised from amongst us, such dedicated people (Du'at) and has made their work successful and beneficial.
Allahu akbar 3x
My Brothers, May Allah Blesses us all,
The increase in awareness amongst our Muslim community, and the preservation of Islamic values in our lives, are but some of the benefits which we, the Muslim community, has benefited from these Islamic scholars and teachers of the past. We would never be able to give anything comparable in return to the great efforts of these people, the propagators and teachers of Islam of the past. Only Allah s.w.t. alone can reward them with sufficient reward or more. Allah s.w.t says in surah Al-Baqarah ayat 141:
Which means: "Now those people have passed away; unto them shall be accounted what they have earned, and unto you, what you have earned; and you will not be judged on the strength of what they did."
But, my brothers, what can we do for them now? What can we presently do to assist them in Da'awah? What can we contribute towards ensuring that these works shall continue to be upheld and fulfilled?
Allah s.w.t reminds us that it is our collective duty to plan and strategize ourselves, to continue and strive with all our efforts because ultimately, it is we, who will be questioned by Allah s.w.t. as to what each one of us has done; and not what others in the past have done. If our Islamic propagators and teachers have fulfilled their sacred duty effectively, we should ask ourselves, " what have we contributed towards our religion of Islam? What has been our contribution towards the Da'awah of Islam? Are we contented to only keep aloof to ourselves, with arms akimbo, and leave everything to our Islamic scholars and teachers - our Ulama' and Asatizah? Are we to be only mere spectators? To only receive benefit and not to contribute? My brothers, every one of us has a duty to be involved in Islamic Da'wah. We cannot simply push such responsibility to our Asatizah and Ulama' to be doing Da'awah. We also must contribute towards this duty. Remember, the duty for doing Da'awah is not an individual responsibility but a collective social responsibility. We too have a shared duty to assist them, the Islamic teachers in the madrasah, mosques and religious classes, by ensuring that our children develops faith and righteous and noble character by showing in ourselves as examples for them to emulate. This we can do by ensuring that our life and our home reflect the true teachings of Islam, as good examples for them, which they will see. If we do not ourselves practice Islam, our children will be confused because whatever they have been taught in these classes is not displayed in their own parents. In the end they would loose respect for such parents. Thus as you can see, the responsibility to educate and develop a new generation, a generation of Muslims with higher and stronger faith in Islam, rests on each and every one of us. Yes! This duty and responsibility is indeed a heavy and burdensome task. After all it is the Amanah or trust given to us all by Rasulullah s.a.w. Therefore let us together, collectively share this social responsibility which Rasulullah s.a.w. has entrusted us. A heavy burden if shared together will indeed be light and easy.
Allahu akbar 3x
Beloved Brothers in Islam,
We have to assist one another in this task of Da'awah. Do not let the works of our past Islamic teachers and propagators of Islam be lost because we are neglectful. Their contributions have been very meaningful and valuable to us that today we can enjoy and appreciate Islam and taste the sweetness of Iman. Alhamdulillah! We, on our part, now must ensure that this favour, this gift and pleasure of Islam and Iman is also appreciated and benefited by our children of coming generations. Therefore we have to ensure that their noble efforts are being continued and sustained. We must continue to produce future ulama' and Asatizah who will lead and guide our community of the future. They would become the guardians for our future generations of Muslims against going astray from Islam. We do not want our future Muslims to loose their identity as Muslims.
Even today, we already are becoming worried because there are a large number of school-going Muslim children who are not getting any religious education, whether in the madrasah, the mosques or at home. When these children grow to become adult, will their children also be deprived of a religious education? And will this not degenerate into a dangerous cycle? We should be alarmed! Nay, we must be concerned!
Our Muslim community in Singapore has in the past, successfully produce Islamic scholars (Ulama') of high calibre, respected not only at home but also abroad. In this region. They were regarded as resource for the Ummah. They had produces many works of high standards and spearheaded a culture of knowledge and learning. We must continue this culture. We can do it! We have to do it! After all in this age of high technology, where it is easy to consolidate and store and retrieve information at high speed, the means are available. What we now need is dedication and earnestness in the seeking knowledge and learning. Do not therefore hide behind the lame and negative excuse as though it is impossible to repeat the great feat of producing top-class Islamic scholars once again.
As a first step, we have to have faith and trust in the ability of our current Asatizah in Singapore. Do not doubt their ability. Do not look down upon them. They are your Islamic scholars. We must eradicate the misperception amongst some people who wrongly think that our local ulama' and Asatizah is lesser than those from abroad. When a community disregard their own religious scholars; when they allow attitudes of disrespect towards them; when they even entertain the notion that they do not have confidence on them to be able to produce future scholars and teachers of Islam; it would indeed be sad and most unfortunate. Na'uudzubillah! It only reflects a weakness of that community, because it would only reflect their own lack of confidence in themselves as a community. How then would they be confident to compete with those from other communities? Such a community would only reflect numbers but lacks quality.
We have to have confidence of ourselves and of our own scholars. Our local madrasah and Asatizah have all along been very capable of producing future ulama' for this region, in spite of many shortcomings which they faced then. The present ulama' have indeed been well trained and surely they still carry the standard of their teachers before them. What we need to do is to further upgrade the facilities and expand extensively Islamic education in Singapore. Do not allow ourselves to be distracted with worldly matters such that we loose our main focus in matters that have eternal consequences in the hereafter. Remember that life in this world here is only temporary. Whereas, the hereafter is eternal and everlasting. To ensure that in the hereafter we attain to bliss and happiness, we have to have Islamic education, especially for the next generation. And to provide for effective Islamic education, we need high calibre Asatizah and Ulama'. To have such high calibre Ulama' and Asatizah, we need firstly to have confidence as well as commitment and dedication.
In conclusion, we need to be serious and earnest in wanting to improve our Muslim community. To continue to contribute and participate in our striving to elevate the levels of Islamic Da'awah and Islamic education to the highest possible level of excellence. Insya Allah. Allah s.w.t tells us in surah Ar-Ra'ad ayat 11:
Which means: "It is all alike [to Him] whether any of you conceals his thought or bring it into the open, and whether he seeks to hide [his evil deeds] under the cover of night or walks [boldly] in the light of day [thinking that] he has hosts of helpers - both such as can be perceived by him and such as are hidden from him - that could preserve him from whatever Allah has willed. Verily, Allah does not change men's condition unless they change their inner selves; and when Allah wills people to suffer evil [in consequence of their own evil deeds], there is none who could avert it: for they have none who could protect them from Him."
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