Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Developing the Lenses of Hope
Blessed Friday congregation,
On this day, let us strengthen and increase our iman and taqwa towards Allah s.w.t. Our iman and taqwa are our main motivators to achieve success in this life and in the hereafter. May we become even more earnest in our efforts to please Allah through obeying His commands. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
In living our lives, surely there will be situations where we make mistakes. There is no one who is infallible except Rasulullah s.a.w. Therefore, just as how Allah s.w.t. has granted us His guidance, we need to constantly strive to steer ourselves towards the path that Allah s.w.t. is pleased with and help others navigate their way to the right path too.
I would like to grab this opportunity today to share with you a story that occurred during the time of the Prophet s.a.w.. It is narrated in a hadith, there was a man who was always committing sins. He was sometimes intoxicated, and because of this he was always punished. Those around him started to berate and rebuke him. Rasulullah said: “Do not condemn him. By Allah, I know that this man loves Allah and His Messenger.” [Hadith reported by Bukhari]. In other narration the prophet mentioned: “Do not say such things. Do not help the devil to plunge him further in (evil). Instead, say to him: ‘May Allah bless you.’” [Hadith reported by Ahmad].
Beloved Muslim brothers,
Through this hadith, Rasulullah s.a.w. is teaching us that even though a person has so many flaws and faults, we must always try to see the potential of good and strength in him. We are reminded to never put others down. Allah s.w.t. declares in Surah Al-Hujurat verse 11:
Which means: “O you who believe! No people shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they. Nor shall you slander one another, nor shall you insult one another with names. Evil is the return to wickedness after having attained faith. Whoever does not repent—these are the wrongdoers”.
Remember brothers, no matter whatever history a person has, it can never become the yardstick for which we measure and judge him. We can never know if we ourselves are any better in the sight of Allah than those whom we looked down. We are after all merely human beings who crave for Allah’s love and protection. As much as Allah has made it easy for some of us to obey His commands, we too must make it easy and create spaces and opportunities for others to be God’s faithful servant, fulfilling His commands with ease. Rasulullah s.a.w said:
Meaning: “If anyone relieves a Muslim believer from one of the hardships of this worldly life, Allah will relieve him of one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection. If anyone makes it easy for the one who is indebted to him (while finding it difficult to repay), Allah will make it easy for him in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, and if anyone conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps His slave as long as he helps his brother.” [Hadith reported by Bukhari and Muslim].
This hadith above shows us that, apart from the command for us to place our hope on Allah s.w.t., one of the ways for us to receive assistance by Allah, is when we strive to help and aid others is fulfilling their needs.
Subhanallah! All praise be to Allah, if Allah s.w.t has chosen you to be the carriers of His mercy and to be sources of inspiration to those around them. Therefore, we must work hard to educate ourselves to become sources of hope and inspiration to all human beings without looking at the background or the past of someone.
This is not something that can happen instantly in the blink of an eye. It is something that can only stem from a heart that wants and hope for improvement. From a heart that is free from malice and envy. Hence as a start, we must ensure that first and foremost ensure that our hearts and selves are free from any kind of ego and arrogance. To be able to see others through the lens of rahmah (mercy), we must be free from feeling that we are better and holier than others. In fact, we must have the intention that we want as many of our friends and family to share goodness with us, and to be with us in His paradise.
Additionally, to be able to view others through the lens of rahmah, we need to train ourselves to see the potential of good in someone more than their bad traits. By doing so, it will lead us to not easily give up on them, and continuously encouraging them towards goodness. Sometimes we hear about how an individual was abandoned or despised because of his background or past behaviours. But he managed to pull through, as there was one kind soul who choose to give him hope and encouraged him to rise above his situation. He became someone who is successful, and in turn would bring benefit to others. Such is the power of mercy and hope. It can give extraordinary strength to overcome numerous challenges. To become a better person.
Always remember the Prophet s.a.w.’s hadith which means: “The merciful are shown mercy by Ar-Rahman. Be merciful on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from the One Who is above the heavens.” [Hadith reported by Imam At-Tirmizi]
May Allah s.w.t. grant us success and guidance in our efforts to build a better life for our community. May all of us attain success in this world and in the next inshallah. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.