Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
8 May 2020 / 15 Ramadan 1441H
Ramadan: A Month of Mercy for All
Blessed Friday congregants,
Let us make our taqwa towards Allah s.w.t. the truest form of taqwa. Let us strive to fulfil all of His commands, and to abstain from all of His prohibitions. We often hear that Islam is a religion of rahmah, or mercy – a religion of compassion. That God Almighty is the Most Merciful, Most Loving. We are also taught that Prophet Muhammad SAW was sent as a mercy to all mankind, and that his ummah or community is required to show love and compassion towards one another. In this month of Ramadan too, there is Lailatul Qadar or the night of Decree, a great night filled with Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. We are also reminded of the greatness of al-Qur’an. And as we are celebrating the night of nuzul al-Qur’an tomorrow, we are reminded of how during Ramadan, the Qur’an was revealed, a book full of Allah’s love and compassion for His servants.
We have heard these information since we were young, and we have since then been reminded over and over again of them.
If we understand clearly how mercy is a core value of our faith and belief, then we must be grateful towards Allah for giving us the gift of being part of the Muslim community. Every Muslim should be proud because Islam is truly a religion of compassion. Therefore, a Muslim will always strive to fill his heart with love, and to adorn his relationships with Allah and other human beings with compassion.
We and other human beings in the world today are facing grim and difficult days. This virus outbreak in almost every country of the world has taken hundreds of lives and infected thousands of people. Perhaps some might question: is there still God’s mercy, when the world is full of anguish and so many people are suffering?
Allah is Most Loving in organizing the lives of His servants, and Most Wise in deciding His decrees. Whether His decree is something that eases people, or it is something that causes difficulties. Allah’s Mercy still shines through any calamity that occurs. For those who are afflicted with adversity, Allah pours mercy onto him by elevating his status and raising his position in the eyes of Allah, if he bears the trial with a firm and tenacious heart.
Allah’s mercy remains, because whatever hardship that occurs usually drives a person to return and be closer to his God. He will submit himself completely in asking for God’s help and protection, his heart full of humility in admitting his own flaws and weaknesses. And Allah loves His servants who asks and begs from Him, because this is a sign that faith still resides in their hearts. Allah’s mercy awaits the person who is afflicted with adversity and the reason for his trial is because Allah wants him to rise above it and improve himself and his life, till he changes for the better, emerging stronger and nobler at the end of his struggle.
However, brothers – only those hearts which are lit with the light of faith can see the love and mercy of Allah in every test and trial. Whereas those who are easily shaken and with weak faith will often see every trial as a burden to make his life miserable. Therefore, brothers, let us never lose hope and guidance in facing any situation that we are put in in this life. Hold on tightly to the following verse from the Qur’an where Allah SWT says:
Which means: “Say, ‘O My servants who have harmed yourselves by your own excess, do not despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’” [Surah Az-Zumar, verse 53] Subhanallah! Imagine, dear brothers – even those who have transgressed against themselves, living in sin and immorality, are still encouraged to never lose hope from Allah’s mercy. What more of those who are being tested with trials that will only elevate their status in Allah’s eyes?
People who are tested with calamities are still being blessed with Allah’s mercy, even though their situation is very bitter. Know, brothers, that they, who on the surface seem to have escaped such calamities, are actually being tested by Allah too. They are being tested on whether they are willing to extend mercy and kindness towards those who are suffering. We are already witnessing the effects of the pandemic on the national as well as global economy. A lot of people are greatly affected, including our community. And the situation is predicted to be even more challenging within the coming months. This is where our trials lie. Let us inculcate in ourselves to show concern to those who are facing with tremendous life difficulties. Our success is not only about keeping ourselves and our families safe from being infected – we need to also strive to ensure our hearts are not frozen and void of mercy. In fact, merely thinking of ourselves and our own families is not the true character of a believer. Rasulullah SAW warned us regarding this in the following hadith:
Which means: “He who is not merciful to people Allah will not be merciful to him.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim] Come, brothers! This Ramadan, let us grab the opportunity to show love and compassion towards all who truly deserve our empathy. The rewards that await us are abundant, as this month is a month of mercy and blessings from Him. So, do not neglect to fulfil your zakat obligations. Be it zakat fitrah or the zakat on our wealth. Let us extend a helping hand and offer charity to those in need. May Allah make our hearts strong and our souls pure in gaining His love this noble month. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.