QaalAllahu Tabaaraka Wataalah Fil Quranil Majeed, ba’ada iuthubillahi minashhaytaaniRajeemi Bismillahi Rahmaani Raheem:
Respected elders, brothers and sisters in Islam, May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you .
Last summer holidays I swam quite a lot and as a result I temporarily lost some of the hearing in my left ear.
Being a bit of a pessimist, I contemplated the implications of losing my hearing in the other ear.
I realized that what I usually took for granted could be taken away from me, like communicating with others in the traditional sense.
I was driving at that time and listening to the qir’ah of my favourite sheikh, Sheikh Mahir Mi’iqly, and the first thing I thought of was that I would never be able to listen to him again. That sweet medicine of the soul which I usually take for granted to facilitate an almost immediate spiritual transformation would be lost to me. I continued driving, listening to the qiraa in my car with renewed appreciation.
That led me to reflect on the many things that like our sense of hearing, money can’t buy and that we take for granted.
Allah says in the Holy Quran (82:6),
“Humankind! What has made you to become careless about the generosity of your Lord!” (82:6)
For me this ayah serves as a wake-up call – everyday in our salaah and duahs we say “All Praise is due to Allah”, but being human we are forgetful and often in the rush of things, trying to make ends meet, trying to pass, trying to make relationships work – it’s easy for this to become a mere routine rather than a sincere expression of gratitude.
So the message I would like to share with you in today’s khutba is one of encouragement for us to open our eyes literally and figuratively to Allah’s Generosity and internalize a sense of gratefulness to Him.
In a famous ayah from Surah Nahl (16:18) Allah gives us an indication of just how much he has blessed us with:
If ye would count up the favors of Allah, never would ye be able to number them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (16:18)
Whether it’s the weather, the beautiful landscape around us, our relationships with others, or the very air around us – we have a lot to thank Allah for.
But today I am specifically going to talk about the five senses we have been blessed with.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Surah Mulk (67:23)
“Say: "It is He Who has created you and made for you the faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding: little thanks it is ye give.”
I have always dreamed of obtaining superpowers – my brother and I would passionately hypothesize which power would be best to have – was it invisibility, super strength or healing powers and an adamantium (I am an X-men fan)endoskeleton? With all the comic book heroes Marvel and DC churned out, we had no lack of fuel for imagination.
But the truth is that each one of us has not one but multiple superpowers which are capable of both unimaginable feats and terrible evil.
What if I told you that you had a weapon consisting of two million working parts, capable of focusing on 50 things per second, distinguishing between 500 shades of grey and processing 36,000 bits of information every hour?
And that you were gifted with an ability to remember 50,000 different scents?
That you had a waterproof, insulating shield, guarding the body against extremes of temperature, damaging sunlight, and harmful chemicals, which doubled as a huge sensor sending messages to your brain at lightning speeds?
That you had the 10,000 taste buds that get replaced every two weeks?
And what if I told you that you had a scanner that never stops working, picking up waves within a massive radius travelling at 770 miles per hour and that needed no maintenance?
Most of us have these superpowers and are able to do extraordinary things with them. (Mention that these superpowers are our senses)
So how do we show appreciation to our Lord? How do we internalize this sense of gratefulness to Him? Well, I came up with three points that may be useful:
Whenever we want to show our gratitude, whether it be once a day, do something with the sole intention of pleasing Allah – call it a Thank-You action.
It can be anything good, smiling at someone or helping someone with their homework – but with the intention of doing it for the sake of pleasing Allah and thanking him for the faculties that you are using.
By simply really meaning what we are saying it will not only add so much power to our supplications, but also remind us about the generosity of our Lord.
This week someone gave me a beautiful piece of advice, a saying from the prophet (SAW): “Gratitude for the abundance you have received is the best insurance that the abundance will continue.”
So especially to the young amongst us I would urge you to remember this in our many endeavors in life.
In conclusion, – we can show our gratefulness for the multitude of blessings we have been granted by:
Firstly doing ‘Thank-you’ actions for the sole pleasure of Allah,
Secondly by sincerely meaning our thanks in our supplications
And lastly by reminding one another about His Generosity.
Let us use these five senses, these superpowers which we have been blessed with, to shape ourselves into a beautiful form, to create a sculpture which one day our Lord will be pleased with, Aameen.
One of the Duah’s we can make at the end of our Salaah in order to promote this sense of gratefulness in our lives is recommended by the prophet in the following hadeeth:
In this sahih hadith related by Muadh bin Jabal, the prophet (SAW) gives Muadh some beautiful words of wisdom after expressing his love for him. And that is to not end your salaah without saying Rabbi.. which means:
O My Lord! Help us to remember You, to be thankful to You and to worship You in the best and most beautiful of ways.’
Now most of us are familiar with the Arabic of this supplication, but may have forgotten the meaning. If we can remember this translation and really mean it at the end of our prayers, then we would go a long way in inculcating this attitude of gratefulness to Allah in our lives.
On the brink of Youth Day, let us make a Duah for the Youth:
O Allah protect our youth
And guide our youth O Allah, on every path of goodness
(Wahfazhum waj`alhum tahta ri`ayatika
wa `inayatika ya rabbal `alamin)
And grant our youth sanctuary in your compassionate Care and Mercy, O Lord of the worlds
(Wa a`idh hum min mujibatin nadamati)
And distance from our youth all causes of sorrow and grief
(Allahumma qawwihim waj`alhumraghibina fikulli khayr)
O Allah strengthen and empower our youth
and instill in our youth a natural inclination towards everything
that is beneficial
(Wa waffiqhum ila ahasinil akhalaqi fishu’unihim kulliha)
And guide our youth to the most noble of conduct
in all their affairs
(li yakhruju qa ‘idina muslihina)
So they our youth rise up as worthy leaders
(fa innahum aamaalu mustaqbalina wa raja‘u salaahina)
For indeed in our youth lies our hope for the future and our aspirations for reconstruction
(fa nas’aluka ya Allah an tuhaqqiq aamaaluna
ya akramal akramin
So we beseech Thee O Allah to realise our dreams, Thou art truly most noble and Generous