All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.
Brothers in faith! Fear Allah and be dutiful to Him. That is the admonition of Allah to His slaves and admonition of His Messenger to his nation.
Fellow Muslims! Allah has facilitated for His slaves the ways to blessings and He alone controls the days and months. He makes the night enter into the day and makes the day enter into the night. He created the cause for everything, makes a decree for every matter, and a reckoning for every deed. He also made this world like a marketplace where people go back and forth; some selling themselves and some freeing themselves. Days are but parts and stages of ones life. The passage of each day reduces ones lifespan, brings one closer to death and brings the record of ones deeds to a gradual end.
Fellow Muslims! Some blessed days have just passed in which you have spent another phase of your life. Let those who have done righteousness thank Allah and keep it up and let those who have done wrong turn to Allah in repentance and do good deeds. Imaam Ahmad was asked,
|When will there be rest? He answered, After putting the first foot into the Paradise.|
There is a bliss and happiness for the righteous people in continuous acts of worship. The Messenger of Allah said,
| The best of all people is the one whose life is long and does good deeds.|
As there are signs that indicate the acceptance of righteous deeds, there are also signs that indicate the insincerity in repentance. The sign of a bad deed is to commit another bad deed after it. Therefore, follow up a good deed with another, it will complement it, becomes a sign for its acceptance and get the mind used to it. Also, follow up evil deed with a good one so as to make it a remedy for it and as a protection against its repercussions. Allah says,
|The good deeds remove the evil deed. That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful. (Hood 11:114).|
The Messenger of Allah said,
| Fear Allah wherever you are, follow up an evil deed with a good one it will remove it and deal with people kindly.|
Standing firm in acts of obedience and constantly abiding by commandments of Allah are the characteristics of the believing slaves of Allah.
|Verily, those who say: Our Lord is Allah (alone) and then stand firm, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death saying): Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! (Fussilat 41:30)|
Allah has commanded His Prophet and the believers to stand firm in their faith when He said,
|So stand you firm and straight (on the religion of Islaamic Monotheism) as you are commanded and those who turn in repentance (unto Allah) with you. (Hood 11:112)|
Straightforwardness in religion is the door to blessings and uprightness in all ones affairs. Allah says,
|And if they had believed in Allah and went on the right way, We would surely have bestowed on them water (rain) in abundance. (Al-Jinn 72: 16).|
In a hadeeth reported by Muslim, Sufyaan bin Abdullaah Ath-Thaqafee said,
|I said to the Messenger of Allah: Tell me a word of Islaam which I would have no need to ask any other person besides you. The Messenger of Allah said, Say I believe in Allah, then stand firm on that.|
Be therefore, steadfast in obeying your Lord at all time, for a believers deeds do not end except by death. Allah says
|And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (i.e. death). (Al-Hijr 15:99)|
Do not be among those who do worship Allah in some seasons and turn away from their Lord in others.
Fellow Muslims! The righteous people do fear lack of acceptance of their good deeds. Al-Hasan Al-Basree said,
|I have met some people who are so afraid of their good deeds been rejected that one of them would still not feel safe even if he had spent what is as much as the fill of the earth in the cause of Allah.|
So, do not boast of your many deeds, for, you do not know whether they will be accepted of you or not. Do not also feel safe from your sin for, you do not know whether it has been forgiven or not. Let no one be proud of his good deeds, for such a person shall be disappointed in the end. Many a devotee have been ruined by pride. If outward deeds are not free from defects, it will be of no use before Allah. Pride leads to self-delusion, having a false sense of security from the plans of Allah, negligence in doing good deeds and forgetting ones sins. Ibn Masood said,
|Two things destroy man: despair and pride.|
How easily are good deeds rendered vain! Acts of charity are rendered vain by reminders of generosity and injury; abandonment of Salaatul-Asr (afternoon prayer) renders ones deeds useless. That is why the righteous people invoke Allah thus
|We ask You, O Allah, for good deed and its preservation.|
|And be not like her who undoes the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong, by taking your oaths as a means deception among yourselves, lest a nation should be more numerous than another nation. (An-Nahl 16:92).|
Seek assistance from Allah in overcoming the pride by underestimating your good deeds, remembering the favours of Allah on you and being afraid of the withdrawal of Allahs favour in the absence of your gratitude. Saeed bin Jubayr said,
| A man entered Paradise as a result of a sin and another man entered Hell as a result of a righteous deed. When he was asked as to how that happened, he answered, The first man committed a sin and was always fearful of Allah because of the sin, so Allah made him enter the Paradise because of his fear of Him. The other man did a righteous deed and was always boastful of that so much so that Allah rendered his deed vain and made him enter Hell.|
Preserve then, whatever good deeds you have done in the blessed month of Ramadaan with sincerity, admission of your negligence and seeking for forgiveness and Pleasure of Allah.
Brethren in Faith! Human beings naturally sin, but what is destructive is to persist in sins. Whoever puts right that which is between him and his Lord, Allah will put right that which is between him and his fellow creatures. Abu Jafar As-Saaih was reported to have narrated,
|Abu Muhammad was a trader who used to lend out money. He walked passed some playing children one day and the children were telling one another: Here is the eater of usury! He bowed his head and said: O my Lord! My secret has been revealed even to the children. He then went back home, gather all his money and said: O my Lord, I have been a bondman and I am buying my freedom with this money, so set me free. In the morning, he gave out all the money in charity and engaged himself in acts of worship.|
Stay away from sins after the month of forgiveness for the sinner is always in misery and sins do debase man. Abu Sulaimaan At-Tameemee said,
|Man may commit a sin in secret and come out in the public bearing the ignominy of that sin on him.|
It is bad to commit sin after having done a righteous deed and to move away from Allah after having moved closer to Him. Allah says,
|And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious. (Aal-Imraan 3:133).|
Brethren in Islaam! Those blissful days have now passed with their blessings and favours. Congratulations to those who obeyed their Lord, honoured that month and worked with sincerity. Let him who has missed the repentance in that month of forgiveness hasten to repent now before it is too late, for Allah never stops showering His favour on His slaves. Be therefore conscious of your Lord in every moment of your life and bear it in mind that He who distinguished Ramadaaan among other months is the only Lord who is worthy of worship in all times. Remain steadfast, do righteous deeds, put the injunction of the Quraan into practice and emulate the Messenger of Allah in order to have success in this world and the next.(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)