Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
18 August 2023 / 1 Safar 1445H
Finding Balance in Worship
My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam,
Let us continue our efforts to elevate our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.) by obeying all His orders and abstaining from all His prohibitions. May Allah accept our good deeds and sacrifices. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
Brothers and sisters,
The sermon last week expounded on the broad nature of worship in Islam. This week, I would like to elaborate further an important aspect of worship, that is the importance of finding balance in our worship, in accordance with our human nature and disposition.
Let us consider the words of Allah (s.w.t.) in Surah al-Furqan, verse 20:
Which means: “And We did not send before you, [O Prophet Muhammad], any of the messengers except that they ate food and walked in the markets. And We have made some of you as trials for others – will you have patience? For Allah Sees all things.”
Brothers and sisters,
We find guidance upon reflecting on this verse. It explains that one of the ways by which Allah (s.w.t.) tests a believer has to do with how he interacts with the rest of Allah’s creations. This is because although generally people are able to deal with others kindly and fairly, there are sometimes interactions which can be rather challenging. This could be due to various factors, such as rude speech, lack of good manners, or bad behaviour.
As believers, the question that we should ask ourselves is this: How do we act and react towards those who wrong us? Are we patient, and do we try to find a solution to overcome the situation? Or do we respond to evil with evil? This is where we can observe the manifestation of piety and purity of a believer's heart.
In addition to this, this verse also explains the meaning of achieving balance with regard to our acts of worship. Even the Anbiya', the group which was the closest to Allah (s.w.t.), had to interact with other people and navigate interpersonal relationships, whilst ensuring that their relationship with Allah (s.w.t.) is intact and strong.
Hence, one of the key lessons that we can derive from this verse is the need to manage the time given to us wisely and allocate some of our time for worship and some for spending quality time with our family, as well as fulfilling our responsibilities towards them.
Let me share with you the story of a companion of the Prophet (s.a.w) named Hanzalah (r.a). He complained to Sayyiduna Abu Bakar (r.a.) about his state when he was with the Prophet. The Prophet (s.a.w) always reminded him about heaven and hell as if he could visualise them. But when Hanzalah left the gathering of the Prophet (s.a.w), he was preoccupied with family matters and earning a living, causing him to forget the Prophet's reminder.
When the Prophet (s.a.w) learnt about this, he said: "By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if you continue to be as you are with me and always remember Allah, then the angels will shake hands with you in your beds and on the roads. However, O Hanzalah, there is a time for worship and a time for your worldly affairs." [Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim]
My fellow Muslims,
Observe how the Prophet (s.a.w.) emphasised the need to be balanced in our devotion. Our Prophet (s.a.w.) taught us to fulfil the rights of those around us, as well as to fulfil our own needs in life, as long as they are in line with the teachings of Islam. Islam does not teach us to completely abandon our needs as human beings, neither does it allow us to ignore the rights of others.
In fact, we recall from the sermon last week that the meaning of worship in Islam is broad such that any acts of service to fulfil the needs of our families are considered acts of worship. This is because everything that is done for Allah's sake and for His pleasure, are considered acts of devotion, inshaAllah. Therefore, we must fulfil our responsibilities and maintain what has been entrusted upon us as we will certainly be held accountable in the Afterlife.
May Allah (s.w.t.) grant us the wisdom to be able to achieve balance in all affairs. And may Allah (s.w.t.) grant us the strength to be responsible servants, so that we can carry out our duties to the best of our abilities. Amin.
أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم
الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.
أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.