7 February 2020 /13 Jamadilakhir 1441H
The Spirit of Giving: The Story of Sayyidina Uthman r.a.
Blessed Friday congregation,
On this blessed day, let us increase our efforts in promoting goodwill among us so that we may achieve taqwa. May our good deeds be accepted by Allah s.w.t. and bring us closer to Him. Amin ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
It was told that during the time of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., a season of drought befell the city of Madinah. Circumstances were the people of Madinah were unable to even find clean water. They were forced to pay huge amounts of money to a well owner, who was the only one with access to clean water. Concerned, the Prophet s.a.w. asked his companions if there was anyone among them who would buy the well from the well owner to benefit the Muslims. The Prophet s.a.w said:
Meaning: “Whoever buys the well of Rumah, Allah will forgive him.” (Hadith narrated by Imam Al-Nasa’i).
When Sayyidina Uthman r.a. heard the news, he immediately went to see the well owner to purchase the well, thereafter endowing it to the people of Madinah for them to use.
This story illustrates to us how the Prophet’s companions radiyallahu anhum constantly strived to contribute to the welfare of the community. They devoted themselves to this cause day and night, seeking Allah’s pleasure. The result of some of their contributions can still be witnessed to this day.
We are able to witness some of the companions’ contributions in Mecca and Madinah, such as the endowments of Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina Uthman radiyallahu anhuma. Their deeds coincide with Allah’s verse in the Quran in Surah an-Nahl verse 128:
Meaning: “Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good.”
I would like to underscore two key learning points from this story. Firstly: A mu’min must strive to contribute and make a positive impact in his society. A mu’min will always put in efforts in benefiting his community without feeling tired and calculative. Among the etiquette of those who do good deeds is to not be calculative of God. The Prophet once said:
Meaning: “Give (in charity) and do not give reluctantly lest Allah should give you in a limited amount.” (Hadith narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
The noble companion, Sayyidina Uthman r.a. was known for his philanthropy and spirit of giving. Sayyidina Uthman r.a. contributed not only with his wealth; he also contributed through his ideas and provided physical support for the Prophet’s undertakings.
Let us ponder on the contributions that we can provide, be it through our wealth or energy such as volunteering and positive words. Silence is also a contribution, if our speech will only bring harm and division.
The second key learning point I wish to mention is that we must act on our own initiative when doing good. We should not simply follow the crowd or wait until a problem arises for us to take action. Islam teaches its followers to adopt a proactive stance when it comes to issues of public welfare. Allah s.w.t. has promised a great reward for those who take the first initiative when doing a good deed.
The Prophet s.a.w. said: “Whosoever introduces a good practice in Islam, there is for him its reward and the reward of those who act upon it after him without anything being diminished from their rewards.” (Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim)
Let us strive and take the first initiative to do good. Let us be sincere and have only the best of intentions when doing good deeds, because Allah s.w.t. does not look at the quantity of our good deeds, but rather the quality and sincerity behind them and the sacrifices we make in His cause.
The khutbah has touched upon the importance of doing good at all times. Today we have a lot of opportunities to contribute, and do good as we face the challenge of the novel coronavirus situation. We should take care of ourselves, our families and everyone else around us. There are good habits such as maintaining a high level of cleanliness that we must continue to practise, nurture and inculcate. Let us also ensure that we live these moments in solidarity and care for each other. Not by creating an atmosphere of fear, confusion, hatred and ill-will among communities. All adversities are decreed by God, and the wisdom is only known by Him. We have seen so many hardships such as this infection which do not discriminate between individuals or communities.
I call upon you to come forward and help where you can. Show care to those affected, especially the vulnerable. Let us be patient in overcoming this adversity by having faith in Him aside from doing good for the benefit of all.
Let us raise our hands and humble our hearts in supplication to Allah. Ya Allah, the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful, we ask You to ease the trials of this epidemic that has afflicted us and many others around the world. Keep us and our families in good health and protect us from this virus and any harmful disease. Ya Allah, only You possess the wisdom behind this test, so assist us in overcoming it. We return and repent to You as there is none who possesses power and might but You. Let not tragedy befall us, our families and our community in this world and in the hereafter. Ya Allah, accept our prayers. Ya Syafi, hear our pleas. Ya ‘Azim, grant us our du’a. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.