Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
20 July 2021 / 10 Zulhijjah 2021
Purity Brings Honour
اللهُ أَكْبَرُ كَبِيرًا وَالحَمْدُ لِلّهِ كَثِيرًا وَسُبْحَانَ اللهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلاً.
الحَمْدُ لِلّه الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ الكِتَابَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ عِوَجاً. أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ المُلْكُ وَلَهُ الحَمْدُ يُحيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَدِيرٌ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعدُ، فَيَا أَيُّهَا الـمُسلِمُونَ، أُوصِيكُم وَنَفسِي بِتَقوَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، فَقَد فَازَ الـمُتَّقُونَ.
Dear beloved brothers and sisters,
Let us fill this sacred and glorious day with gratitude and piety. Let us start the day with a strong sense of determination to be God-conscious and pure-hearted, with good moral character, as an individual and as a community. A community that seeks to do good at all times, and avoid spreading negativity or harm to others, be it through our actions, words, or even thoughts of others. A community that continuously strives to improve ourselves and others with prudence, unity and virtue.
Dear blessed Muslimin and Muslimaat,
The month of Zulhijjah is among the most revered months in Islam. In this month, there are a few days that are most sacred, and Allah (s.w.t.) has sworn by those days in the Quran:
Meaning: “By the dawn of Fajr, and by the ten nights." (Surah al-Fajr, verse 1 – 2).
What is meant by the ten nights according to the scholars of tafsir is the first ten nights of the month of Zulhijjah and the best of which is Aidiladha, - the day we are gathered here to celebrate this morning.
My fellow congregants, Allah (s.w.t.) has chosen amongst His creations, a number of days, certain times, places, and people to be sanctified and glorified. The sanctity and glory of these days in Allah’s sight is attributed to the purity and honour of mankind as explained by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). In his last sermon during Hajj’ al-Wada’, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، إنَّ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَأَمْوَالَكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ حَرَامٌ إلَى أَنْ تَلْقَوْا رَبَّكُمْ، كَحُرْمَةِ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا، وَكَحُرْمَةِ شَهْرِكُمْ هَذَا، وَإِنَّكُمْ سَتَلْقَوْنَ رَبَّكُمْ، فَيَسْأَلُكُمْ عَنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ، فَمَنْ كَانَتْ عِنْدَهُ أَمَانَةٌ فَلِيُؤَدِّهَا إلَى مَنْ ائْتَمَنَهُ عَلَيْهَا، لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ
Which means: “O people! Indeed, your blood, wealth and honor are sacred upon you, as (how sacred) today is, (how sacred) this month is, until the time you face your Lord, and certainly you will be held accountable for all your deeds. Whoever is entrusted with a responsibility, then let him fulfill the trust to its rightful owner. Do not oppress others, so that they (the people) would not oppress you.”
Let us ponder upon this, my brothers and sisters. The Prophet (s.a.w.) mentioned at the end of his sermon about the purity and sanctity of a person’s life, dignity and rights. Why? Because, if we neglect the rights of others, disregard or hurt their feelings, and lower their dignity, the main pillars of a harmonious society will be destroyed. People tend to follow their whims, desires, and personal interests. When people speak freely without sparing a thought on its negative consequences, the world will no longer be at peace. It will be filled with so much chaos, confusion, and conflict.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) was a messenger of peace and harmony. He (s.a.w.) dignified the value of humanity - every soul created by Allah (s.w.t.) is honourable. The main purpose of our Prophet’s continuous struggle and sacrifice was to ensure that members of the community continue to be united, and not tarnish the purity and honour in humanity.
Brothers and sisters,
The struggles we face in today’s crisis have resulted in various trials that may overwhelm us and the society. Our sense of patience, perseverance, love and unity are indeed being tested. Many are concerned about their own living conditions and their family members. This can easily affect our relationship with one another.
However, all praises be to Allah (s.w.t.), our society is willing to sacrifice for the common good, by cooperatively ensuring the safety and welfare of themselves and others. In fact, we all have a common goal - to rise from this crisis together, in the spirit of helping each other. We want for our brothers what we love for ourselves.
This attitude is described by the Prophet (s.a.w.):
مَثَلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي تَوَادِّهِمْ وَتَرَاحُمِهِمْ وَتَعَاطُفِهِمْ مَثَلُ الْجَسَدِ إِذَا اشْتَكَى مِنْهُ عُضْوٌ تَدَاعَى لَهُ سَائِرُ الْجَسَدِ بِالسَّهَرِ وَالْحُمَّى
Meaning: “The example of the believers, in his love, affection, compassion and gentleness, is like the example of a single human body, if one of its parts/organs is in pain, the rest of the body will feel its pain, thus resulting to a fever and difficulties to sleep at night.” (Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim).
This does not mean that our current circumstances and situations are perfect. In fact, we all have shortcomings and weaknesses – on individual and societal levels. However, we must accept that this life is a constant struggle and a continuous journey. Every step we take in this life is for us to improve ourselves and achieve success, like the example of a group of people climbing a mountain to reach its summit, we need to work together, hand-in-hand and complement each other.
Our strength and honour come from the spirit of helping one another in goodness, as the Quran mentions (at-ta’awun ‘ala al-birr wa at-taqwa). Each of us fills the gaps that we see in one another. The rich helps the needy, the strong and healthy helps the sick and weak, the well-informed reminds and educates the less knowledgeable. Indeed, our religion encourages us to offer advice to one another in a proper and gentle manner, which is called nasihah.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
الدِّينُ النَّصِيحَةُ قُلْنَا لِمَنْ؟ قَالَ: لِلَّهِ وَلِكِتَابِهِ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِأَئِمَّةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَعَامَّتِهِمْ
Meaning: “The religion is nasihah”, the companions asked for to whom, O Messenger of Allah? He replied, "To Allah, His Book, His Messenger, the leaders of the Muslims and all society in general.” (Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim).
Being open to receiving advice will help us to be a better person, and eventually a better society, where we are able to identify our shortcomings and improve ourselves and our contributions to society. This is a healthy culture that should continue to be nurtured and promoted. Leadership cannot work well if it is blinded by arrogance and haughtiness, unwilling to receive any form of advice. By giving advice to one another, we are able to continue to build and develop our religious institutions and strengthen them further. Especially in the face of adversities that could possibly become more complex in the future.
There are several signs of genuine advice that come from a pure and sincere heart. It respects and preserves the dignity of the person being advised and does not provoke hatred and anger in others. Because the purpose of advice is not to humiliate or weaken others. On the contrary, it is for us to improve on our shortcomings, fortify our vision, value diversity and strengthen unity.
Unfortunately, today, it has become so easy for anyone to hurl insults and accusations at others. This has become so common and widespread such that it causes confusion and chaos. Look at how many people have fallen victim to this and how their lives have been destroyed. This is not how a genuine and sincere advice looks like, as such advice would have never led to this.
It is inevitable that many of us feel worried and scared as our world and lives transform and new norms are introduced until today. However, despite limitations, our mosques still exist and continue to prosper in a safe way. We preserve lives, without going against the fundamental pillars and parameters of the religion, because both of them are equally important for us to maintain and uphold.
Those who focus on the shortcomings and limitations, choose to see all this as a sign of weakness. There are some who believe this is from the works of the Dajjal, or the plotting of certain parties or groups to corrupt the religion, or even possibly, amongst the signs of the end of times!
As believers, we have strong conviction and believe in the Final Hour and the Day of Judgment. The Quran frequently reminds us of it.
Allah (s.w.t.) says in the Quran:
Which means: “O mankind, be conscious of your Lord! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgment) is a very huge event.” (Surah al-Hajj, verse 1).
Logically, the older this world gets, the closer we are towards the Day of Judgement. It is also true that we believe in its signs, such as the coming of the Dajjal and other signs as narrated by the Prophet (s.a.w.) in the authentic hadiths, but no one knows exactly when will the Last Hour be, as how Allah (s.w.t.) narrates in Al-Quran. This knowledge belongs only to Allah (s.w.t.), not for us to spend time guessing when or how it will be.
That is why the correct practice of religion requires knowledge. Simply reading a line from one source and a paragraph from another, or watching clips on YouTube, Facebook and Tik Tok, will not prepare us to truly and effectively understand the complex issues of religion. Do not take this wrongly, as there is nothing wrong about listening to good words of advice in its various forms. However, do not confuse such messages or information with true and actual knowledge that helps us understand religion and its traditions. The right knowledge encompasses the depth of many sciences and disciplines, and hence illuminate our understanding, the same way a bright lamp is able to eliminate the darkness from our surrounding. This is different from a candle with limited brightness, where the light flickers or fades away when blown by the wind or storm or could even cause fire and burn houses or properties.
For example, how do we look at today’s challenging situation from the right perspective and through the lenses of religious history? It is true that there have been events of epidemic in the early days of Islamic history, and despite that, mosques remained open. But those who came to perform the Friday prayers were only a few people, as most of them have died as a result of the spread of the plague. Because of that, true knowledge demands us to study history correctly and understand today’s reality in a fair and objective manner. The right knowledge will also repel baseless assumptions and conspiracy theories. That is why Allah (s.w.t.) reminds us:
إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ
Which means “Indeed part of suspicion is wrong (sinful).” (Surah al-Hujurat, verse 12).
In fact, the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) has reminded us that among those whom he disliked and would be positioned far away from the Prophet (s.a.w.) on the Day of Judgment are those who like to talk excessively about things which are not true, those who like to speak freely or aimlessly, and those who are arrogant. (Hadith narrated by al-Tirmizi).
In this current situation, let us not allow false news to worsen and frighten the elderly. Such as claiming the vaccine to be harmful. Each of us longs for the situation to recover as soon as possible. Therefore, we need to continue to strive and accept the views of experts. Those who have not taken the vaccine should take it immediately. Those who have taken the vaccine, should then encourage their relatives, especially the elderly, to get vaccinated. This is among our efforts to prevent the spread of the virus and also reduce the impact on ourselves if we become infected. Not to mention that the new variant that is more contagious. This struggle will never end, until each of us plays a role and is responsible. Not just for self-interest, but for the well-being of all.
Let us not be confused between effort and tawakkal, between knowledge and assumptions, between advice and accusation.
Dear beloved brothers and sisters,
The true sacrifices that we should continue making today onwards, in embracing the lessons from Aidiladha and the act of sacrificial worship, is by continuing the legacy and guidance of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to instil within ourselves more positive and constructive insights at all times.
In light of the lovely and blessed day today, let us cultivate a pure sense of unity and harmony. Let us garner our energy to strengthen our religious institutions for the sake of further developing the progress of our society.
May with purity of heart and soul, we become more honourable in the sight of Allah (s.w.t.) and with it, our society is considered noble in the sight of humankind. Amin. Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم
* If time does not permit, some hadith texts in Arabic can be read in translation only.
كاليXاللهُ أَكبَر 7
الْحَمْدُ 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 الْعَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا. 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 لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ، الْأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالْأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا الْبَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالْمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ الْبُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ، وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذْكُرُوا اللهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدْكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ يُعْطِكُمْ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ.