Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|something to think about.|
|02/21/01 at 02:29:27|
|A man asked the Messenger of Allah [saw] :|
"Do you think that if I perform the obligatory prayers, fast in Ramadhan, treat as lawful that which is lawful and treat as forbidden that which is forbidden, and do nothing further, I shall enter Jannah?"
He [saw] said: "Yes."
|Re: something to think about.|
|02/24/01 at 00:19:57|
Jumaa Khutba in Wayland, MA on 23rd Feb. 2001.
Inshallah, today I would like to talk about a well known hadith. This hadith is reported in Sahih Muslim, and is also one of the hadith in Imam Nawawi's Forty Hadith.
Jaber bin Abdullah Al-Ansari narrated that :
A man asked the messenger of Allah : "Do you think that if I perform the obligatory prayers, fast in Ramadan, treat as lawful that which is lawful and treat as forbidden that which is forbidden, and do nothing further, I shall enter Paradise ?" He said: "Yes."
In this hadith, we are told what the minimum - not the maximum - requirement for entering jannah, or paradise, is. As muslims, we should ask ourselves whether we are fulfilling these minimum requirements.
This minimum consists of two aspects : one is carrying out the obligatory worship, and the other is treating the haram and the halal, that which is forbidden and that which is allowed, as such.
Let us look at the obligatory worship aspect first. This hadith, and others like it, inform us of the minimum worship required from us to enter jannah : salat, zakat, sawm, and hajj. On the face of it, this appears very easy. But we need to fully understand what is meant by peforming the various acts of worship.
The first thing to realize is that for any action to be acceptable to Allah SWT, the intention must be solely to do the act for Allah SWT alone. The Prophet SAW said :
Actions are judged by intentions.
Thus any act which is done, for example, to impress other people, or to gain some worldly benefit, will not be acceptable in the sight of Allah SWT.
In addition, each of the worships has both a quantity side to it and a quality side to it. Let us briefly look at each of the obligatory wosrships and see how this applies.
Peforming the obligatory salat means praying five times a day - fajr, dhuhr, asr, maghrib and isha - on time, every day, without fail. There is no excuse in the sight of Allah SWT for missing even one salat. Performing the obligatory salat means not missing fajr because we are too lazy to get out of bed, or not missing isha because we are too tired, or not missing dhuhr, asr or maghrib because we are too busy in the dunya. So we must all ask ourselves, are we correctly performing the obligatory salat, which is one of the minimum requirements for entering jannah ?
But performing salat consists of more than simply doing the physical actions. Kushsu, or humility, is an obligatory part of salat. Allah SWT says in the Quran :
The believers will succeed; those who show khushu (humility, concentration, solemnity, submissiveness) in their salat. (Surah Al Muminun, Ayats 1-2).
The Prophet (SAW) also said :
"Many of those who pray derive nothing from their prayers except weariness and strain." (Nasai).
And also :
" A man gets credit only for that part of his salat of which he is conscious". (Abu Dawud, Nasai).
Again, we must ask ourselves, do we peform the salat with the correct khushu ? Or do we just move up and down, our minds full of dunya thoughts like "What will I do at work today?", or "Will the Celtics win tomorrow ?", or "What will I feed the kids tonight?". Rembember, khushu is an obligatory part of salat, without which the minimum requirements for entering jannah cannot be fulfilled.
Now let us look at zakat. Peforming zakat means, first of all, paying all the zakat due on you. This means accurately calculating how much you owe based on the fiqh rulings. Simply taking ten bucks out of your pocket and putting it in a donation box, and then saying "this is my zakat", is NOT acceptable.
In addition, there is a quality aspect to zakat. Amongst other things, this includes not reminding the people to whom you donated the zakat how generous you have been to them. Allah SWT says in the Quran :
O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allâh, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allâh does not guide the disbelieving people. (Surah Al Baqarah, 264).
Similarly, fasting in Ramadhan consists of more than just staying away from food, drink and sex during the daylight hours. Imam Ghazali has beautifully described the reality of fasting as "fasting of every part of the body". This means that during the fast, one's eyes should not commit sins, one's ears should not commit sins, and one's tounge should not commit sins. If any of these organs are commiting sins, then the fast is not being performed correctly. The Prophet (SAW) said :
"Whosoever does not abandon false speech and the acting upon it, Allah is not in need of him leaving off his food and drink." [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhee and Ibn Maajah]
So again, we need to ask ourselves, are we performing our fasting correctly, such that it will be counted as one of the minimum requirements for entering jannah ?
Which brings us to hajj. Probably more than any other act of worship, hajj is really judged by its quality. While a muslim is making hajj, while he is going around the Kabbah, doing the Sai, staying and travelling between the holy places, he must refrain from all sin, rancour and wrongdoing. In particular, he or she must remain patient at all times. This can be difficult at times, for example when you wait a long time for your turn to do something, and someone else cuts in. Alhamdulillah, I went to hajj a couple of years ago, and saw some people get really impatient, shouting and screaming. This is not the way that hajj should be performed to be counted as one of the minimum requirements to enter jannah.
We conclude our discussion about worship by pointing out an important fact. For any worship, if a muslim fails to complete the obligatory deeds, Allah SWT will allow his optional deeds - the sunnah and the naafil deeds - to be taken into account for making up the obligatory deeds. The Prophet (SAW) said :
The first thing for which the servant will have to account for on the day of Resurrection is his prayer. So if he has completed it, then it is written as complete for him. But if he has not completed it (i.e. had some deficiency), then Allah will say to His angels: ‘See, do you find any optional prayers for My servant so that you may complete his obligatory prayer with them?’… (Ahmad, Abu Dawood)
Hence there is a recommendation in this hadith towards performing extra worship above and beyond the obligatory deeds, so as to make up for them if they are lacking. And which one of us can truly open his heart and say that all of his or her obligatory deeds are perfect in quality and quantity?
So now let us look at the second aspect referred to in the opening hadith, about treating as halal that which is halal, and treating as haram that which is haram. "Treating as hala that which is halal" means to accept and believe that everything that Allah SWT has made halal for us is indeed halal. Allah Swt says in the Quran :
Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allâh, which He has produced for his slaves, and At-Taiyibât [all
kinds of Halâl (lawful) things] of food?" Say: "They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day
of Resurrection (the disbelievers will not share them)." Thus We explain the Ayât (Islâmic laws) in detail for people who have knowledge. Surah Al Araf : 32.
This ayat makes clear that nice clothes and pure food have been made halal for us, and that no-one can say that such things are haram.
"Treating as haram that which is haram" means to believe that what Allah SWT has made haram for us is indeed haram. In addition, it also means to act on it by denying ourselves those things which are haram. Now let us remember the context we are discussing this in. Treating as haram that which is haram - in other words, denying ourselves that which is haram - is one of the minimum requirements for entering jannah. So once again, we must ask ourselves, are we fulfilling this part of the mimimum requirement ? Do we deny ourselves those things which Allah SWT has forbidden us ? Or do we partake of these haram things, day in and day out, without caring whether they are haram or halal ? Do we tell lies, cheat, backbite, gossip and use foul language ? All these things are haram. In our everyday dealings, do we treat the haram as haram ? Are the clothes we wear haram or halal ? If you are a man, do you wear gold or silk, which the Prophet (SAW) has forbidden for men ? If you are a woman, do you cover yourself correctly according to the Quran ? Do we, both men and women, deal with members of the opposite sex who we meet in our daily lives with the correct etiquette , instead of the open and haram western way ? The so-called "entertainment" we see and listen to every day, is it halal or haram ?
It is clear from the hadith that if we continue to partake in haram activties, we will NOT be fulfilling the minimum requirements for entering jannah. But Allah SWT, out of his mercy, has opened a door for us if we fall into haram : the door of repentance. From the Quran and Sunnah, it is clear that if a believer commits a haram action but repents for it, Allah SWT WILL accept his repentance. Allah SWT says in the Quran :
Allâh accepts (only) the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allâh will forgive and Allâh is Ever AllKnower, AllWise. An Nisa : 17.
However, one aspect of repentance is making an effort not to do the haram action again. Allah Swt asys in the Quran, in the next ayat following the above one :
And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent;" nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment. Surah Al Nisa : 18.
And let us not fool ourselves into thinking that we have plenty of time before death reaches us. None of us even knows if, on his way back to work to home, his death may be awaiting him in the shape of a speeding driver, an icy road, or other such thing.
To conclude. Allah SWT has told us the minimum requirements for jannah. Thus if we perform all the obligatory worship correctly, and stay away from that which is haram, Inshallah we WILL enter jannah. And about jannah, the Prophet (SAW) said :
In Jannah there are things which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has thought of. (Muslim).
And remember that if we fail to enter jannah, the alternative is hell, Jahannam, the inhabitants of which Allah SWT says about in the Quran :
And say: "The truth is from your Lord." Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Verily, We have prepared for the Zâliműn (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.), a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them . And if they ask for help (relief, water, etc.) they will be granted water like boiling oil, that will scald their faces. Terrible the drink, and an evil Murtafaqâ (dwelling, resting place, etc.)!
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