Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
5 May 2023 / 14 Syawal 1444H
Steadfastness: The Key to Paradise
My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam,
Let us continue our efforts to increase our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.), by obeying all His orders, and by abstaining from all His prohibitions. May Allah (s.w.t.) grant us His guidance to remain steadfast in performing good deeds, inshaAllah. Amin.
Brothers and sisters,
It has been more than a week since the month of Ramadan left us. It was a month full of grace and blessings; a month in which we worked hard to discipline our souls and control our desires, and in which we were encouraged and motivated to become better people. However, now that the blessed month of Ramadan is over, can we say that we have truly succeeded in taming our souls and desires, such that we are better people now? Do we feel a stronger connection with Allah (s.w.t.)?
As such, I would like to invite all of us gathered here today to reflect upon a verse mentioned by Allah (s.w.t.) in the noble Qur’an, which emphasises the importance of being consistent in performing virtuous deeds, and avoiding all that Allah (s.w.t.) has prohibited for us.
Allah (s.w.t) said:
Which means: ‘Surely those who say, “Our Lord is Allah,” and then remain steadfast, the angels descend upon them, saying, “Do not fear, nor grieve. Rather, rejoice in the good news of Paradise, which you have been promised.”’(Surah Fussilat: 30)
My fellow Muslims,
If we reflect upon the verse that was read earlier, it is clear that the key to attaining the pleasure of Allah (s.w.t.) and inhabiting His Paradise is to believe in Him, to adhere to our faith, and to be consistent in doing righteous deeds.
My brothers and sisters, worshipping Allah (s.w.t.) does not mean that a person only seeks to increase the number of righteous deeds he performs. Nor does it imply that he should push himself to perform good deeds beyond his ability to comfortably do so. Yet there are still many who believe as such.
Rather, istiqamah, or steadfastness, means that a person tries his best to perform acts of worship consistently, even if those acts are perceived as insignificant in the eyes of people. A small deed, if done consistently, is considered noteworthy and is beloved in the eyes of Allah (s.w.t.). If a righteous deed is done correctly and sincerely, then it will be accepted by Allah (s.w.t.).
On this occasion, I would like to share a hadith related to the Prophet's (s.a.w.) conversation with a Bedouin who was determined to only carry out the obligatory religious demands without any of the sunnah practices.
It is narrated in a hadith that a Bedouin came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and asked: “O Messenger of Allah, show me the deeds through which I have the right to enter Paradise.” And so, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “Worship Allah (s.w.t.) and do not associate anything with Him, perform the obligatory prayers, pay the zakat that is obligatory on you, and fast during Ramadan.” The Bedouin then responded: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, I will not add a bit to it, and I will not remove a bit from it.” When he (the Bedouin) turned back, the Prophet (s.a.w.) then said: “Whoever wants to see a man from the people of Paradise should look at him.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim]
From this hadith, we can understand that Allah (s.w.t.) has made the path towards Paradise easy for us. Islam has taught us many ways and means to do so, even though these ways and means may be perceived as insignificant by human eyes. What is important is the sincerity and the consistency in doing good.
My brothers and sisters,
Let us strive to keep the momentum during the month of Ramadan.
If during Ramadan our tongue refrained from lying, mocking others, swearing, and slander, for fear of losing the reward of fasting – so let us continue to control our tongues even after Ramadan, because Allah (s.w.t.) is the All Hearing, He hears and He keeps a record of it.
If during Ramadan our eyes refrained from looking at forbidden things, refused to look at others’ misdeeds, or judged other’s shortcomings, for fear of losing the reward of fasting – so let us continue to protect our eyes even after Ramadan, because Allah (s.w.t.) is always watching and witnessing our actions.
The same goes for the acts of worship we performed during Ramadan, we spent our days and nights seeking His forgiveness and repentance. Therefore, let us strive to maintain that level of taqwa, or God-consciousness, even after Ramadan. Let us remain steadfast in avoiding Allah's wrath and train ourselves to have a heart that is remorseful and guilty every time we fall into sin.
May Allah (s.w.t) continue to guide us in our efforts to remain steadfast in performing righteous deeds. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.
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.