Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
20 December 2019 / 23 Rabiul Akhir 1441H
Investment for the Future
Blessed Friday jama’ah,
Let us increase our taqwa in Allah s.w.t by fulfilling all of His commands and abstaining from all of His prohibitions. May Allah s.w.t. accept all of our good deeds and forgive all of our shortcomings. Amin.
It is human nature to desire success and happiness in life. We will strive and work hard to achieve ease and to gain wealth in this world. However, our efforts in fulfilling this desire should not make us forget our ultimate purpose in this life.
As a Muslim, we need to maximise every second and every moment that we have to the best of our abilities, so that we will not be in loss. Let us ponder upon an advice by Rasulullah s.a.w. in the following hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Umar r.a.:
Which means: “The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. took hold of my shoulder and said, ‘Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveller.’” And Ibn Umar r.a. used to say, “In the evening do not expect to live until the morning, and in the morning do not expect to live until the evening. Take advantage of your health before your times of sickness, and take advantage of your life before your death.” [Hadith reported by Al-Bukhari]
In the hadith, Rasulullah depicted the life of a believer. He described him as a “stranger” or a “traveller”. Why did he say so? Imam Al-Nawawi explained that this hadith is a reminder for a person to strike a balance between his worldly affairs and his hereafter needs. Therefore, as believers, we need to live our lives as though we are travellers who will soon return to their homeland and family with provisions.
The advice given by Rasulullah s.a.w. is a sign for us, that we need to make this world as a place for us to make preparation for the eternal life of the hereafter. Ibn ‘Umar r.a. also reminded us of the fact that the opportunity to achieve this success can be seized by anyone who strives for it.
Therefore, it is important for us to balance between our worldly needs and our needs related to the eternal life. Allow me to draw a scenario for you. For those of us who have just returned from our year-end holidays – if our destinations are far away with different climates than our own country, surely we will give meticulous attention to our preparation. We will ensure that we pack the right clothes, daily needs, medications, and so on. We worry that if we do not do not do so, it will ruin our trip. On the other hand, if our destinations are near and take only a short period, our preparations might not be as detailed or complex.
This is a simile – to the preparations of a believer undertaking the journey to the eternal destination. The journey is far. In fact, there is no returning to this world. Hence, the preparations should be just as grand and appropriate.
Allah s.w.t. stated in Surah Al-Qasas, verse 77:
Which means: “Seek the life of the Hereafter by means of what God has granted you, but do not neglect your rightful share in this world. Do good to others as God has done good to you. Do not seek to spread corruption in the land. Indeed, God does not love the corrupters.”
My Muslim brothers,
Our lives on this earth is an opportunityfor us to increase our good deeds. Our deeds will drive us to achieve success in the future. In our efforts to achieve this success, allow me to share with all of you some tips that we can take away with us today.
First: Have compassion towards others.
My brothers, if compassion is in a person’s heart, it does not produce anything except kindness. With compassion, we will be driven to help those who are in need of our help.
A compassionate Muslim will always remember the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon him. He will strive to share it with those in need.
This sense of compassion will make us more aware of the conditions of the people around us. Therefore, we will spread kindness to every one of them, and increase our efforts and good deeds.
Second: Use the blessings that we have been given for a good cause.
Rizq (or sustenance) that Allah has blessed us with, can be seen from various angles, in terms of our wealth, health, intellect and many others.
As a believer, surely we believe that every blessing that Allah s.w.t. gives us is actually an accountability. Hence, it must be channelled into the right direction. Let us share it for the good of the community.
Alhamduillah, up to this day our community is known for our generosity. However, there are still many out there that need our support in terms of education, energy, moral support and religious guidance. These kinds of support are very important as they pave the way to success for our community. When the people we helped too succeed, we pray that they themselves will also be driven to help others in the future.
Third: Protect ourselves from doing something that can tarnish our good deeds.
We must be mindful of our actions and behaviours to ensure we do not contribute to immorality. The more good deeds we do, the more we should be driven to do even more, and not less. Our contributions should make us humble and realize that there are still many areas for improvement.
In extending our help to those in need, refrain from raking it up in the futurebecause such behaviour affects our rewards. This is because, one of the characteristics of a person who prioritizes the eternal life, is that he takes precious care of every good deed that he has performed. It is also another form of compassion – compassion towards God, by constantly remembering Him in our actions.
With our efforts in spreading kindness, we hope that we can leave positive impact on the lives of others in this world. Let us increase our good deeds in this life as a preparation for the hereafter. Remember, every little effort of ours right now is a chance for us to gain rewards in the hereafter. Let us work towards making this life of ours a great, wonderful legacy not only for the people around us, but – more importantly – in the sight of Allah s.w.t. as well. Remember Allah’s words in Surah Taha, verse 15:
Which means: “The Hour is coming – though I choose to keep it hidden – for each soul to be rewarded for its labour.”
May Allah s.w.t. grant all of us His guidance and aid. May Allah s.w.t. bless all of our good deeds and reward us abundantly, Amin ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.