In the Name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful.
In our first sermon, we took the principle of making one’s private practises excel their public behaviour. The second sermon then reminded us that looking at the faults in others suffices to ensuring those faults are not in us. Last week, we discussed how certain acts cause deficiency in the intellect, and how to rectify those acts that have been corrupted because of it.
This sermon today is about the remembrance of God in your actions, and being blessed wherever we may be.
It is the Prophetic way to break the shackles that hold people back and providing them the means to become the very best version of themselves (Qur’an 7:157). Bring to mind the teachers you have had in life; it is likely you will have had a favourite(s), and very likely you would have also had those teachers that put you off studying. What was it about the first that made you excited to learn or gave you the confidence to achieve or see the subject matter differently?
Similarly, there are people who by their very presence are positive impacts in whatever gathering they are in or whichever type of person they are with. They make others better by virtue of what is in them. This is mentioned as a particular blessing of Prophet Isa (a) in the Qur’an (19:31), and is our central principle today:
He (Allah) has made me blessed wherever I may be / وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ “
This is a quality the Prophet Muhammad (s) had that, whether with companions or enemies or family, he was blessed in his presence. Normally, we attribute this quality of barakah to Allah (swt). For example He says about Himself in the Qur’an: ” تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ / Blessed is the One in Whose Hands rests all authority. And He is Most Capable of everything (67:1)”, but here we realise that Allah (swt) may give that quality of innate goodness and free-giving of goodness to His creation, if deserved of it.
An example of this with the Prophet Muhammad (s) is once he was sitting with a group of children, eating with them. He announced, “Iblees has come, sat with one of you, and is eating with you”. After a while he announced, “Iblees has thrown up his meal and left the one he was a companion to”. Hearing this the children laughed at the image of Iblees. They asked him to explain to which he said, “When we began eating, one of you forgot to say Bismillah (I begin this action in the Name of Allah) and so Iblees liked this and joined you for the meal. Then you remembered and said you Basmallah and so Iblees hated this and could not keep his food and fled”.
The point here is that the Prophet (s) was able to communicate with that age group and no doubt the children always remembered to thank God for their meal. He (s) was blessed wherever he was, in whosever company he was in.
Hadith on how to be blessed, beneficial, and positive to others
1) ما أوْدَعَ أحَدٌ (ما مِنْ أحَد أوْدَعَ) قَلْباً سُرُوراً إلاّ خَلَقَ اللّهُ مِنْ ذلِكَ السُّرُورِ لُطْفاً، فَإذا نَزَلَتْ بِهِ نائِبَةٌ جَرى إلَيْها كَالماءِ فِي انْحِدارِهِ حَتّى يَطْرُدَها عَنْهُ كَما تَطْرُدُ
“No one puts joy in a [believer’s] heart except that Allah creates a grace from that joy, so whenever any calamity befalls him, it (the grace) flows over it just like the flowing of water until it expels the calamity from him just as the unfamiliar camel is expelled from the group of camels.”
2) المُؤْمِنُ دائِمُ الذِّكرِ، كَثيرُ الفِكرِ
“A believer constantly remembers [Allah], frequently contemplates.”
3) اَلمُؤْمِنُ إذا سُئِلَ أسْعَفَ، وإذا سَألَ خَفَّفَ.
“When a believer is asked [for help], he helps, and when he asks [other for help], he is lenient [and does not overburden them].”
4) اَلمؤمِنُ إذا نَظَرَ اعْتَبَـرَ، وإذا سَكَتَ تَفَكَرَّ، وإذا تَكَلَّمَ ذَكَرَ، وَإذا اُعْطِيَ شَكَرَ، وإذَا ابْتُِليَ صَبَـرَ.
“When a believer observes, he takes lesson; and when he is quiet, he contemplates; and when he speaks, he remembers [Allah]; and when he is given, he is grateful; and when he undergoes hardship, he is patient.”
These narrations demonstrate the different situations a person may be in, alone or with people, in need of other or being of help, silent or talking, in ease or in tribulation. His responses and actions determine whether he is a blessing or burden to those around them; and moves them away from the presence of Allah (swt) or exudes the presence of Allah (swt) wherever he may be.
Some of the scholars have mentioned a momentous meeting with a senior scholar and mystic. They mention visiting him for lunch at his house and observing something out of the ordinary. When he ate, every morsel of food he would put in his mouth, he would thank Allah (swt) by saying ‘Alhamdulillah’. His presence would invoke the remembrance of Allah (swt). After the lunch, when his guests were departing, he walked them to the door and made a supplication for them saying, “May Allah make you Mubaarak (blessed) wherever you may be”. The scholars mentioned, “We have read this verse over and over but never imagined to understand it in this way and to make it supplication for ourselves or others”.
Being blessed wherever you are is the peak of spirituality and good Akhlaq, and should be something we hope to be at all times. InshaAllah next week we will continue with another Akhaqi principle.