The Reformation of Hearts: Sunday 27th Jumada Al-Akhir 1435 (27th April 2014)
Our Eeman will increase as our knowledge about Allah increases thus our hearts will be reformed.
We will explain everything that happens to us, in a correct manner. We will not be like the people whom when they receiving a blessing, they thank the people and forget the real bestower; and we will not blame the people if Allah withholds something from us.
When the person blames people for something which Allah didn’t give him this indicates that his certainty in Allah is weak. If he is pleased with the people for a blessing Allah gave him this also indicates that his certainty in Allah his weak.
People get upset with others thinking and don’t realise that it is Allah who withheld that blessing. They don’t understand that it is that Rizq that is written for them.
As your faith increases, you will take the advantage of the blessed and virtuous seasons.
After a few days we are going to enter the month of Rajab which is one of the sacred months. The good deeds are multiplied in reward in this month and the bad deeds are great in Allah’s Sight.
Your faith will make you aware and attentive during these sacred months. Out of Allah’s Mercy and Favour upon us, He made this sacred month precede the month of Ramadhan. This is because Ramadhan is also a great month in Allah’s sight and we need to enter it with high faith.
What will increase my faith? Performance of good deeds.
He made this month a means to perform good deeds so that we enter Ramadhan with high faith.
People receive Ramadhan without any preparation although this month is a very great month in Allah’s sight. The people are still heedless about it although the month of Ramadhan should be prepared for in advance. This preparation is very important in order to reach Ramadhan with high faith such that you can fast Ramadhan in the way that pleases Allah.
When your faith increases, you will take advantage of every second during that virtuous time.
If your faith is high and you enter Ramadhan you will not waste the day sleeping, cooking for a long time or in worldly affairs.
The people who do this don’t understand the value of the time of the month of Ramadhan. Their weak faith is making them waste time. If their faith was high, they would be awake from morning doing good deeds during the day because while you are fasting and doing good in the day of Ramadhan, the reward will be multiplied.
Faith has an effect on the person in taking advantage of virtuous times. Whoever resists laziness and slackness during the month of Ramahan, shows high faith.
Increase of faith is a means of reformation in the life of a Muslim. Strong faith means strong feelings towards the Aakhirah and the unseen. You will see the Aakhirah as if it is in front of your eyes, so your faith will push you to do good deeds to take advantage and be one of the winners on that day.
We need to work hard on our faith. Opportunities are coming and we don’t know if we are going to approach Ramadhan or not. If we show Allah we are earnest, even if we don’t reach the month of Ramadhan, we may get the reward for that.
One of the things that will happen on the Day of Judgement is that Allah will set up balances and weigh our deeds.
Some means of increasing our weight are:
1) Saying the words which are heavy on the scale: لا اله الا الله ، الحمد لله، سبحان الله، الله اكبر
2) Showing patience at time of calamity. An example of this is showing patience during the death of a righteous son.
3) سبحان الله و بحمده سبحان الله العظيم. This comprises of تسبيح، تحميد and تعظيم. This will not be heavy on the scale unless the person says it with understanding and belief.
4) الحمد لله fills the balance. We say this many times during the day, but do we say it remembering that it is a means of increasing your weight with Allah? We say these words with a heedless heart. One of the indications of weak faith of the person is that he performs good deeds but with a heedless heart.
الحمد لله is not just a word expressing gratitude, it is more than that. It includes gratitude and praise to Allah for His perfect attributes. That is why when a believer goes through distress, he still says الحمد لله على كل حال. He knows that Allah is perfect in His wisdom, knowledge and will.
This is also why when then the people of Hell enter Hell they will say الحمد لله رب العالمين because they saw the justice of Allah, the perfect attributes of Allah. They witnessed Allah’s Perfect Wisdom and Justice and know that they deserved this end.
We should train ourselves to say الحمد لله and bring to mind the perfect attributes of Allah, then الحمد لله will come out of our heart, not just our tongue.
The fifth means of increasing our weight with Allah:
5) حسن الخلق
“The heaviest thing to be placed on the balance of a believing slave on the Day of Judgement will be good behaviour. Allah hates one who is a loose (obscene) talker.” (Tirmidhi)
Good conduct outweighs all the other good deeds of a person. This indicates it’s weight is more than the prayer and the fasting.
It is the حسن الخلق of a believer. There are disbelievers who have good conduct but they will have no weight with Allah on the Day of Judgement. Their disbelief will outweigh all their good deeds.
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَلِقَائِهِ فَحَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَزْنًا
“They are those who deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter). So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall not give them any weight.
As a consequence of their disbelief all their good deeds are in vain, so there will be no weight for them on the Day of Judgement.
The first aspect of good conduct:
Q. When will you judge if a person’s manners are good?
A. Good speech and good actions without heart is not considered good conduct. A person may appear to be good but what is inside her heart is a problem. You may say good words because you are a respectful person, you want the people to praise you, etc. You may do good because you want to achieve something. None of this is considered good with Allah.
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مُّعْرِضُونَ
And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none but Allah (Alone) and be dutiful and good to parents, and to kindred, and to orphans and Al-Masakin (the poor), [Tafsir At-Tabari, Vol. 10, Page 158 (Verse 9:60)] and speak good to people [i.e. enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and say the truth about Muhammad Peace be upon him ], and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat. Then you slid back, except a few of you, while you are backsliders. (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, Vol. 2, Page 392).
In Verse 204:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُعْجِبُكَ قَوْلُهُ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا فِي قَلْبِهِ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ
And of mankind there is he whose speech may please you (O Muhammad SAW), in this worldly life, and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart, yet he is the most quarrelsome of the opponents.
There are some people whose speech is impressive yet his heart is full of sicknesses. The matter is not only to say good, but to take care that the good you say is in accordance to your heart.
Evidence 2: (63:4)
وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ تُعْجِبُكَ أَجْسَامُهُمْ ۖ وَإِن يَقُولُوا تَسْمَعْ لِقَوْلِهِمْ ۖ كَأَنَّهُمْ خُشُبٌ مُّسَنَّدَةٌ ۖ يَحْسَبُونَ كُلَّ صَيْحَةٍ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ هُمُ الْعَدُوُّ فَاحْذَرْهُمْ ۚ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ
And when you look at them, their bodies please you; and when they speak, you listen to their words. They are as blocks of wood propped up. They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies, so beware of them. May Allah curse them! How are they denying (or deviating from) the Right Path.
This is one of the characteristics of the hypocrites. There should be belief established in your heart, sincerity and seeking the reward of Allah when having good conduct. You have to train yourself. Before you speak ask yourself why you are saying it. There should be a conformity between your speech and heart.
The second aspect of good conduct:
When you show good conduct to the people don’t expect the people to show good conduct to you in return.
Ex. When people offend you, you show good conduct in return. They cut the relation with you, you join it.
The Prophet said, “The واصل (one who keeps good relations with his kith and kin) is not the one who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but الواصل is the one who keeps good relations with those relatives who had severed the bond of kinship with him.” (Al Bukhari)
This is who will get the reward. They don’t wait for any compensation from the people, they hope the reward from Allah. He sees Allah behind all that, He doesn’t see the people.
Don’t wait for a thank you or جزاك الله خير. Allah commanded you to be good to the people and you obey.
Anas narrated, “Allah’s Messenger was the best of all people in behaviour.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
He also said, “I served Allah’s Messenger for ten years, and he never said ‘Uff” (a mildly harsh expression of displeasure) to me. He never said, ‘Why did you do that?’ for something I had done, nor did he ever say, ‘Why did you not do such and such’, for something I had not done.” (AlBukhari and Muslim)
In these situations your good conduct will show. People may wrong you, you give them their rights without expecting something in return. The Prophet did that in accordance to the Qur’an.
خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ
Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e. don’t punish them).(7:199)
:has two meaningsالعفو
1) Pardoning / Forgiveness
2) Whatever people can give of their manners.
Be easy when you deal with the people and don’t cause them hardship.
Ibn Kathir said in his tafseer, “Some scholars said that people are of two kinds: a good doer, so accept his good doing and neither ask him more than he can bear nor what causes him hardship. The other kind is the one who falls in shortcomings, so enjoin righteousness on him. If he still insists, then turn away from him so that you’re ignoring him might avert his evilness.”
People are of different degrees when it comes to giving. It is according to their capabilities. Accept what they can give. Don’t ask them more than what they can give you.
Ex. There are some husbands who don’t always compliment you. They don’t know how to do this. Don’t overburden him, say الحمد الله and accept it. Don’t ask something more than he give.
If you put this in front of you, you will be the one at rest. We are always upset because we always expect more from the people, and the people can’t give. Every one has a limit of giving. So take that much and don’t give hardship to the people.
Allah is teaching us manners.
وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ
وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ
The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient, and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of the happiness in the Hereafter i.e. Paradise and in this world of a high moral character).
If you repel the evil with good, the person who is fighting with you now will turn from enemy to a very beloved and close friend.
But not everyone will act upon this, only the one who has patience. We need abundant patience; ask Allah to shower you with abundant patience.
The third aspect. We have two kinds of good conduct:
1) With Allah
How can you show good conduct with Allah?
By being pleased with Allah’s حكم القدري and حكم شرعي (Legal and Decreed commands)
Allah has commanded us with many laws. We have to accept the law of Allah and submit to the legal commands of Allah.
Ex. Allah says wear hijab, listen and obey. Don’t argue. Submit yourself to the commands of Allah.
When Allah decrees something on the slave which he dislikes he will show patience, acceptance, content. You will not grumble, you will accept it with pleasure.
You planned something for yourself and something contrary to what you planned happened. You say الحمد لله, Allah knows and I don’t know. When you say this it is as if you are saying, “I am pleased with Allah as my Lord.”
2) With the people-
The scholars summarised good conduct with people in three points:
a) Leave off harm-
Don’t harm the people at all with your tongue or limbs, whether they wronged you or not.
b) Spend for the good-
Do good to the people as much as you can either by spending money or teaching them knowledge, or giving time. This is all giving.
c) Cheerful face-
You should receive the people with a smile not with a frown or an angry face. It is a Sadaqah.
The person who practices this will have more patience when receiving harm from the people. It is a matter of training yourself.
The good conduct which is practiced most by the people is according to their interest. We only show good conduct when we want some benefit or mutual interest. This is not right.
Good speech and good actions should be accompanied with your heart. If there is some interest in your heart, Allah knows about it.
Ex. You have a neighbour who is not praying and is also harming you. Her children throw garbage and make problems. You visit her and give her a booklet. Instead of giving her a booklet about prayer, you give her a booklet on the rights of the neighbour. The prayer is more important but this is due to your interest in being harmed, you give her this book.
Ex. A lady complains about her marital life. After twenty years she says, “He doesn’t pray.”
Why didn’t she say this before, in the beginning? She complains out of mutual interest, because she’s angry with him now and wants to find his faults.
If your conduct with Allah is good then your conduct with people will be good. If your relationship with Allah isn’t good you can see that in your relationship with the people.
Many women complain about their husbands. The first thing they are advised is, “Do you pray?” because how can you expect Allah to put barakah in your relationships with people if you are not fulfilling His rights.
Good conduct has fruits and rewards.
The Messenger of Allah said, “The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who is the best in conduct.”
This is what will push you to have good manners with people even when they offend you. Remember that you will be the nearest to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) if your manners are good.
Therefore we have to talk good because Allah commanded us, hoping for Paradise and being close to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).