collections khutbah Understanding The True Essence of Worship: Contributions and Service 
Understanding The True Essence of Worship: Contributions and Service 

Islamic Religious Council of Singapore

Friday Sermon

11 August 2023 / 24 Muharram 1445H


Understanding The True Essence of Worship: Contributions and Service 

My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam,

Let us strive to be conscious of Allah (s.w.t) by following all His commands and refraining from all His prohibitions. May we be placed among His noble servants. Amin.

My brothers and sisters,

Allah (s.w.t) mentioned in the holy Quran:

Which means: "And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me." [Az-Zariyat:56]

My brothers and sisters,

As Muslims, it is our responsibility to engage in ibadah in our effort to get closer to Allah (s.w.t). In fact, as stated in the verse I just recited, it is the main reason for our existence. However, I would like to bring to your attention, to understand the true meaning of worshiping Allah, or the true essense of ibadah. As some individuals often limit the concept of Ibadah to mere ritual practices, thinking that it only involves acts of performing prayers, doing zikr, so on and so forth.

Yet, the true essence of ibadah is much broader than this, and its meaning is all-encompassing. It encompasses our attitudes and behaviors in interacting with the creations of the Almighty. In our Islamic tradition, by having a sincere intention, a habitual act can become an act of worship. For instance, we are all sitting down in this mosque now. The act of “sitting” itself will become an ibadah by merely having a good intention to perform iktikaf. Hence for a believer, having good intention is of utmost importance.

My brothers and sisters,

Another important aspect of ibadah that I would like to highlight here is the idea of contributing and serving others. Sometimes, we do not even realise that each and every single act of contribution to society, are actually a form of ibadah. Reflect upon a hadith narrated by Imam Ibn Hibban, where the Prophet (s.a.w) advised a companion named Fudaik on performing Hijrah. The prophet said:

يَا فُدَيْكُ أَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ وَاهْجُرِ السُّوءَ وَاسْكُنْ مِنْ أَرْضِ قَوْمِكَ حَيْثُ شِئْتَ

Which means: “O Fudaik, establish prayer, shun evil, and reside among your people wherever you wish.”

My brothers, allow me to share some valuable lessons from this hadith.

Firstly, the Prophet (s.a.w) teaches us to seize every opportunity to contribute wherever we are. The religious guidance here is clear. As Muslims, we strive to contribute to the well-being of all, fostering unity and respecting differences, knowing that all kinds of goodness are held in high regard by Allah (s.w.t). 

In fact, every good deed, no matter how small, will be rewarded. Even the smallest of acts, like a smile, will be rewarded, as mentioned in a hadith.

Secondlythis hadith teaches us that a Muslim living in a diverse society should firmly hold onto the principles and teachings of their faith. We can see from this hadith how the Prophet (s.a.w) guides the companion, Fudaik, to continue and uphold prayer, regardless of where he is situated. Hence, what is essential for a Muslim is to maintain the purity of his hearts through introspection and by avoiding sinful and harmful actions. By abstaining from sin, we draw closer to Allah and live a more meaningful life.

My brothers and sisters,

In conclusion, let us contemplate the true essence of ibadah, which transcends simple ritualistic acts. As it encompasses every aspect of our lives, including how we interact with our relatives, neighbours, and everyone around us, regardless of their status. It is important to remember that our interactions with others reflect our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t). In fact, having noble character is the hallmark of a true believer.

May our acts of worship bring blessings in this worldly life and  the Hereafter. May we continue to be positive, united, and bring peace to our loved ones and our communities. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.

أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم


Second Sermon

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.