Jumu’ah Talk from Pinelands Masjid CapeTown
Topic: Character Development
Jumu’ah Talk from Pinelands Masjid CapeTown
Topic: Character Development
Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
Bismillahi Rahmaniraheem In the name of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala The most gracious most merciful, Alhamdulilah. We praise Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We thank him upon all conditions we send blessings and salutations of Muhammad (saw), his household, his companions. May Allah (swt) bless them all and may Allah (swt) bless every single one of us and grant us goodness and ease, Ameen.
My brothers and sisters in Islam
I’d like to share with you a beautiful narration of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam today and I’d like to bear in mind that we don’t have much time. Many times people look at each other and say that man’s a good Muslim that one’s not a good Muslim this lady’s a brilliant Muslim and that one’s not, what do they look at? They look at your outward appearance. Am I right? They sometimes look at how charitable you are, They sometimes look at a few other qualities you may have but generally they tend to look at your outward appearance. Now, if we want to know who is closer to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala we will never be able to know the closeness to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala unless we knew what lies in the hearts of the people and this is something very interesting and very important. Never judge a book by its cover. We’ve heard that a million times but unfortunately when it comes to putting into practice you find that it’s very difficult.
We still tend to judge people, May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make it easy for us. Now we go back to the Sunnah of Muhammad (saw) we will find something interesting. He tells who the best from amongst us are. He always says the best from among you are these…the best from among you are those. So who are those? Who are those, SubhanAllah.
Firstly, you will take a look at character and conduct, the one who has the best character the best conductor is known as the best from among you. This is over and above believing in Allah and fulfilling your primary duties because when the Prophet (saw) says ‘khayrukum’ he means the best from among you. The best from among you! Who are you? You are already those who believe, you already those who pray, you are already those who try your best to fulfill your obligations unto Allah. So the best from among you are the following… and then he mentions a few things of different occasions, different things and some people think that perhaps there is a contradiction. No there is not. For example, the most powerful of those narrations, bearing in mind that InshaAllah, there will be an officiation of a Nikah after the Salah and all the brothers and sisters are invited to participate Insha’Allah but bearing that in mind the most powerful narration is ‘khayrukum khayrukum li ahlihi’ The best from among you are those who are best to your wives. Done, fullstop, the hadith is ended…gone. The best from among you are those who are best to your wives, wow…imagine, pause for a moment and think ‘Do I fit into that category?’ in a lot of cases the answer would be, I can do better.Imagine someone had to get up, a Prophet of Allah and he said the best from among are those who are best to your wives. Now the term ‘ahl’ also includes your family members and in the case of a woman it’s your husband – obviously. Right? MashaAllah – see the men start smiling again. So my beloved brothers and sisters what we need to know is the people who live with you are the only ones who actually see you early morning when you’ve just gotten out of bed, they see you when you’re upset, how you react. They see you when you’re under pressure, they see you when you’re late, They see you in all conditions. If you can strengthen yourself to the degree that they can bear witness this man is the best, then you are indeed the best because they know you better than anybody else. Now do you see how that fits in, so if your wife can get up and say this is a very good man, you don’t need to hear anybody else’s witness. Obviously unless you’re putting a gun to her head May Allah make it easy for all of us.
So if you were to interact with someone for an hour or two hours it’s easy for them to just see the side that you were showing to them and just say ‘wow, lovely guy’ How long did you meet him for? Well, we had a 30-minute meeting with him. He was showing you one side of him. He could have been bipolar or anything else. May Allah grant cure to those who are sick and ill. But the problem with us is we judge people based on their external looks and that is not it, it’s based on your character after you belief in Allah and the last day. Then there is another narration where the prophet (saw) says something along similar lines, he says – ‘khiyaarukum ahasinukum akhlaqan’ The best from among you are those who have the best character and conduct. Now one might say there’s a contradiction between the two? There isn’t, because if you have best character and conduct you’re going to be the best to your wife, your children. How many of us spend time at home with our own children? How many of us? Let’s be honest, as we get to work and we become older and we have kids we don’t even spend time in the early stages and ages of those children trying to keep them quiet. No, I’m supposed to be sleeping you take care of the kids. That’s not how it should be, SubhanAllah. You’re supposed to be helping, assisting, even if it means with a good word. MashaAllah, I appreciate what you doing, May Allah give you Jannah my beloved wife.
Subhanallah, May Allah give you Jannah. We make duas for them, we ask Allah to bless them. It shows the goodness in your heart wherever you can extinguish the anger that’s about to erupt, that’s what makes you the best of people if you extinguish the anger, Allah gives you good news of paradise in the Quran. One of the qualities of those entering Jannah. He says ‘Those who extinguish their anger and those who forgive people’
The difficulty with us the people who are the most deserving of our forgiveness are not forgiven. You notice that? You live with your husband, I’m giving you a typical example that is a reality on the ground. You live with your husband for 35 years and one day he did something wrong, that’s it…its over! I’m out and I’m gone, im at home – why? He made a mistake. 35 years, I recall back at home where I come from there was a gentleman who had a helping hand who worked for him. Helping hand meaning some domestic helper who worked for him for 14 years. Thereafter he stole from him and after that the man forgave him and kept him still and people said you are foolish. He said, listen, in 14 years he made one mistake, has acknowledged it and ask for forgiveness. I will keep him because you will not get someone as honest as that you know the situation changed the country change the difficulties came in, the man needed some food, this is what he did. I am not justifying stealing I am just telling you sometimes you need to think those who are deserving of forgiveness, why don’t we forgive them? It is part of your character to forgive people especially your family members, your children. Your son did something wrong no matter what it is I’m sure you will find it in your heart to deserve to say nevermind that’s my son I forgive him. Well the same applies to your spouse whose the mother or father of your son. SubhanAllah, you see what I’m heading because we are finding more and more people because we’ve become so accessible and because of the internet and because of communications we’ve become so accessible and others have become more accessible to us, before you saw someone of the opposite sex for example it would take you a long time before you even found out what their name was, Subhanallah and even if you did you would probably have it at the back of your mind but today, no, you want to communicate to them in 3 minutes. You look lovely and you know what the difficulty is? A long time ago they would say shutup, get out now they say MashaAllah, JazakAllah, thank you so much, I’m flattered, SubhanAllah, look at hhow the world has changed. May Allah bless us. And then those messages are seen by your spouse and then that’s it. It’s Qiyamah. What has happened?
You are brought to judgment and the judgment is issued and I’m out of here and gone, hang on you made a mistake learn to acknowledge your errors my brothers and sisters I’m talking about this because in marriage we all make mistakes. Yes I do agree some may cross a certain threshold and it might become semi unforgivable if I can word it that way. Yes we do know that but the vast amount of mistakes that people make you acknowledge and you seek forgiveness and you make amends. Never listen to the advice of those who tell you break that home. That is not the first step and that is not the correct advice unless there’s abuse, There is bashing because wife bashing is not permissible and more than that we need to talk about husband bashing that is on the rise today, unbelievable. I saw a guy with a blue eye, I asked him what happened…too embarrassed to even admit. SubhanAllah, May Allah forgive us. Later on it became clear he was bashed up by whom? By his wife. So it’s becoming a trend but at the same time remember, never ever raise your hand, no matter what. May Allah grant us a deep understanding.
If a person is being oppressed, I agree, there are steps to be taken beyond which you may want to seek separation and divorce but my brothers and sisters little mistakes that we make we all do we all do. We need to acknowledge that we are on earth as human beings we are not perfect, you want to live with someone you will have to the best, today I think 80% compatibility the other 20 you’re not going to get it you’re not, unless you’re an angel. SubhanAllah and even if you call each other angel angel, will come a day when you realize that’s just a word, SubhanAllah, of endearment. May Allah make us angelic, Ameen.
So, my brothers and sisters look at the Prophet (saw) speaking of the best of us and I want you to leave today, asking yourself how good am I and what the test for my goodness is. Now can I tell you what the test is? Every one of us seated here wants to know how good am I? There’s a litmus test, sometimes you put in litmus paper and you find out exactly what it is. So what is the test, which is one thing you’ve got to ask yourself and wallahi, you will know exactly who you are in terms of your character? Here goes, don’t forget this and spread it repeat it and keep on asking yourself. Okay so I want to know my character and I want to know if I fall in the category of being a person who’s the best of character I need to look at the person whom I need the least according to me, the person who in the world looks at as totally insignificant, the person whom they may not even look at, the person who perhaps is the lowest in the ranking of those who work for me. The person who is the least paid, the person who is the newest in material income, what is my treatment to that person determines exactly who I am! Topic closed. Did you hear that, when you walk into the airport there’s a little guy who calls you welcome to my office have you heard that. The restrooms, okay as you enter there’s a young man sometimes you know slightly elderly and he tells you welcome to my office. And you know you walk in, relieve yourself you come out, did you greet him did you acknowledge him, did you make him feel important do you know the job he’s doing very few people would, do you know what he had a little bit more he wouldn’t be there, do you know that. I have given you one example of someone. Someone cleaning the street, a guy, for example who is a warden, directing traffic what’s your treatment to that person, that’s who you are and there is no way that the response can be wrong. Every one of us has a certain sense of pride. Let that not get to you. Remember pride twice. In Islam when we say I’m proud to be Muslim it actually means I’m happy to be Muslim. I’m okay and I’m very happy to show that I’m a Muslim, that’s what we say that we mean when we say I’m a proud Muslim. I’m proud to be Muslim. We don’t mean arrogance, we don’t mean the haughtiness, and we don’t mean belittlement of others because in that case we are the losers. So we will never develop the haughtiness, we will never develop the arrogance, how do you treat the children of others, how do you treat people who may not have much relevance in your life, a person whom you have no proper, big business dealings with. Do you greet them, do you acknowledge them or the minimum is do you stay away from harming them.
A person who begs. Yesterday I was reading Surah Ad Duha. And every time I read this Surah I tell myself this is one of the most powerful Surahs in the Quran, as simple as it. Do you know what it says in Surah Ad Duha? is it speaks about the goodness that Allah has bestowed on us that we tend to forget and Allah (swt) says ‘And we found you ‘Muhammad’ sallallahu wasallam an orphan and we gave you refuge or we looked after you, we took care of you. What do I learn from that verse?
I learn to look back into my own life when I was a kid and perhaps we couldn’t afford shoes perhaps we couldn’t afford things and where are we today, we’re sitting in a far greater higher position than our parents were yet we are still not grateful. That’s what Allah is drawing your attention to say hey where are you today, who gave that to you and why are you still ungrateful. Why is there ingratitude, you’re still not fulfilling your Salaah. You couldn’t even care to dress appropriately but we gave you everything. SubhanAllah, that’s a lesson drawn. And the Allah says, ‘We found you among those or in the midst of those who were astray but you we guide you’ SubhanAllah, The lesson for us is religiously where were we. This beautiful masjid of pinelands just where was it just 50 years ago? Was it here? Well it is now here, what are you doing about it, you live on the corner but you don’t even come see. It is the house of Allah and it shows your link with Allah can be better. May Allah (swt) help us improve.
Its something amazing, take a look at it where were you in the past. Allah guided you, Allah showed you the path. Allah gave you so much. Anyway, I’m not going to bother you so much anyway after mentioning a few verses Allah says ‘As for the orphan child, don’t speak to them harshly’ Don’t be hard on them speak calmly, make them feel comfortable, address them with respect SubhanAllah, after all, the best of creation Allah chose that he would be born an orphan. It shows that Allah is closer to those perhaps, that are orphans.
Subhanallah amazing, so when you see someone who is weak, when you see someone who seemingly is weak keep them with the respect that will make you. Subhanallah. And the last part of it Allah says, ‘Do not rebuke the beggar’ Do not rebuke the one asking you. You see people ask, you don’t want to give, don’t give but do it respectfully. You don’t have to lower you don’t have to lower your windows and start swearing, shouting, screaming, accusing and then walk off no.
If you would like to give with respect, you don’t throw money or goodness at anyone, you don’t throw an apple or a banana or food at people. You give it to them, when you give it to them it should be with the respect. You acknowledge that had it not been for this person where would I have been giving my charities. Zakah is fard, why? Well we have kept people poor so that you, the rich, can give them. This is character development .Allah has taught us character development.
My brothers and sisters I hope and pray that we can all develop our character. I really would like us all to go home today and work on it and I really want us to keep asking a question to ourselves again to say how do I treat the weakest or whom the world considers the lowest. I don’t want to say the lowest because in the eyes of Allah, that’s not low. The world considers someone low but that’s not in the eyes of Allah. How do we treat those people, do we treat them with respect do we give them acknowledgement, do we smile at them. SubhanAllah and guess what –charity begins at home that is so true, so true it is Islamic if we were to say that, you start at home. Your children are waiting for you. They’re waiting for the smile been waiting for an ‘I love you’. I will help you through your problem your issue here waiting for you to acknowledgement, yesterday one of my own told me my grandfather meaning my father told me this and told me that and I said listen to everything and don’t utter one word, why? That’s your grandfather, they told you something. They might have told you something in a way that belongs to the 60s or 70s but it’s fair they were born in the thirties and forties you don’t blame them but you can’t expect them to say whatever suits your ear, some people are that way they want to see perfection for you so they keep on telling you, so my dear children with your parents learn to respect them, learn to be kind to them and at the same token my beloved parents make it easy for your children to be good to you and to respect you. Live your life in such a way that you earn the respect from your own children, may Allah make it easy for us all and I end with a word of encouragement for those who are married, May Allah (swt) help you to fulfill each other’s rights, marriage is not easy, it is very tough, your life changes completely, you have to sacrifice, you have to dedicate, you have to put your phone aside, you have to put your phone aside, now it’s no longer WhatsApp it is what’s up. WhatsApp is on the phone it’s an application Whats Up is communication, you talk with each other speak put your phone away, put it aside, Wallahi you will build that relationship. You will build it. Those who are not married, May Allah bless you with spouses will be the coolness of your eyes. Those who have children May Allah make them the coolness of your eyes. Those who don’t have children, May Allah bless you with offspring. My brothers and sisters it’s been an absolute pleasure to be here today. I’ve spoken for exactly 20 minutes 33 seconds and Insha’Allah I’ll close it there.