In The Name Of Allah The Most Beneficent The Most Merciful
BEING THE FOURTH SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF RABEEUL AWWAL DATED 25TH RABEEUL AWWAL 1441 AH (22TH NOVEMBER, 2019 CE) GOODNESS: A GREAT ISLAMIC PRECEPT
All praises belong to Allah, the Lord of the whole universe, who made Perfection one of His Attributes, Exalted and Majestic He is. He is the Doer of Good in His Creation, the Doer of Good to His Creatures. Everything good is by His Hand and all Favours and Grace belong to Him. He is the One Who created the created and made it perfect and beautified it. He initiated creation based on NO similar precedence or preceding example. He is the One Who says in His Great Revelation: “That is the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, the Exalted in Might, the Merciful. (The One) who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay” (As-Sajdah: 6-7). We praise Him and seek His assistance and His Forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our souls and our misdeeds. Whoever Allah has guided is the one that is indeed guided. And whoever is led astray, then for such, there is no helper/protector that can guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. He is One and has no partner. I testify also that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) is Allah’s slave and messenger. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him and his household, his companions in general and those that follow them.
Thereafter, oh servants of Allah, I enjoin you and myself with the fear of Allah, the most Honourable and Majestic, in open and in secret, for verily, it is the way out from all difficulties and hardships, the means to reach every good and desirable thing in this life and the hereafter. Allah has indeed said: “Whosoever fears Allah, He makes a way out for him. And He provides for him from where he does not expect” (At-Talaaq: 2-3)
Brothers in faith! This is our fourth and last meeting in the month of the birth of the best human (Blessing and Peace of Allah be on him), and we have indeed, since the beginning of this month, been talking about things that are related to his personality (Blessing and Peace of Allah be on him), from (talking about) ‘Standpoints on the Birth of the Prophet’ (Blessing and Peace of Allah be on him) to ‘Muhammad (Blessing and Peace of Allah be on him) – Mercy unto the universe and then ‘His Dealings (Blessing and Peace of Allah be on him) with His Wives and Children’. So today in-shaa Allah, our talk will be centred on one of his blessed character (Blessing and Peace of Allah be on him) and our topic of discussion from this Minbar of Enlightenment is about ‘Goodness: A Great Islamic Precept’.
Honourable muslim brothers! Goodness, that is, the perfection of a deed and performing it in the most complete manner. In the sunnah of the prophet (Blessing and Peace of Allah be on him), goodness is described as “worshipping Allah as if you see Him. And though you do not see Him, He sees you”. Goodness is a great Islamic character and an elevated manner that is regarded as being at the core of faith (Eeman), as well as being the soul and one of the fruits of Eeman. Goodness occupies a great position in the Glorious Quran, for its encompassing of all aspects of human life and his relationships. As such, the word ‘goodness’ and its derivatives are mentioned in the Quran close to 190 times.
Sheik Mas’uud Yuusuf, teacher of Shari’ah in the University of Qudus relied on that in describing ‘goodness’ as one of the sacred tenets of religion as well as people’s feeling about it, and he said: “Goodness, linguistically, is the opposite of bad, and it is every matter that is wished for and desired. It is perfection and proficiency in what we do. Allah the Most High said: “(The One) who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay” (As-Sajdah:7).
Perfection is one of the Attributes of Allah, the Most Exalted and Majestic. And he is the one who created creation and perfected it and beautified it and initiated it based on NO similar precedence or preceding example. Allah, Glorified and Exalted He is, said about Himself: “That is the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, the Exalted in Might, the Merciful. (The One) who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his posterity out of the extract of a disdained liquid. Then he proportioned him and breathed into him from His (created) soul, and made for you, hearing, vision and hearts (i.e intellect), (and) you are grateful only a little.” (As-Sajdah: 6-9).
He (Glorified He is) is the One Who does good and grants favour to his slaves. He (Glorified He is) has indeed favoured his slaves and is good to them with blessings and favours they can neither enumerate nor count. And one of the greatest types of good and righteousness is that the Most Glorified Allah does good to an evildoer, and He pardons a wrongdoer, and He forgives a sinner, and He accepts the repentance of the one who goes to Him in penitence, and accepts the excuse of one who goes to Him seeking excuse. “And He is the One who accepts the repentance of His slaves and pardons evils, and He knows the things that you do”. (As-Shuurah : 25).
Which goodness is there except His Goodness? What favour is there except His Favour? Which generosity is there outside His Generosity? What munificence is there except His Munificence? What grace is there besides His Grace? What kindness is there except His Kindness? What giving is there except His Giving? What righteousness is there except His Righteousness? “And whatever of favours you have, it is from Allah”. “And if you enumerate the favours of Allah, you cannot count it (all)”.
Brothers in faith! Whoever does good with Allah, he does good with the people, and he finds it easy in his heart to be good to them, as Allah Ta’alah said: “And not equal are the good deeds and the bad. Repel (evil) by that (deed) which is better, and thereupon the one whom between him and you is enmity (will become) as though he is a devoted friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient and none is granted it except one having a great portion (of good).” (Al-Fusilat:34-35).
My beloved in Allah! Goodness is one of the best ranks of servitude. Nay, it is indeed the reality of servitude and its core, soul and foundation. It is to worship Allah as if you see Him – and though you do not see Him, He sees you.
Ibn Qayyim said in his book ‘Madaarijus- Saalikeen’: ‘The position of goodness is that it is the heart and soul of Eeman and its totality. It (goodness) is thus the heart of belief, the soul of the Deen (Isalaam), and the totality of the Shari’ah. It is involved in all other speeches and deeds and situations. And the highest rank of goodness is goodness with Allah, the Most High and Majestic, then the goodness of a perrson with himself and his household and all other creatures, including animals. In Sahih Muslim, a hadith was reported from Shaddad ibn Aws. He said: “I memorized two things from the Messenger of Allah (Blessing and Peace of Allah be on him). He said, “Verily, Allah has enjoined goodness to everything, so when you kill (animals), be good with the killing, and when you slaughter, be good with the slaughtering, everyone of you should sharpen his knife and let the slaughtered animal die comfortably”.
Different Forms of Goodness in our Lives
- Goodness in the worship of Allah, Glorious and Exalted: Being in worship of Allah, the Glorious and Exalted as if we see Him or obeying Allah as if we see Him.
- Goodness in dealing with our parents: Goodness to parents and obedience to them and never insulting them and dealing with them with compassion in their old age.
- Goodness to Orphan and the Needy: One of the forms of goodness to orphans and the needy is striving on their education and protecting their rights and extending the hand of help to them at all times and being nice to them. Goodness to orphans and the needy removes hardness of the heart in accordance with the words of the Messenger of Allah (Blessing and Peace of Allah be on him): “Rub the head of the orphan and feed the poor” (Sahih Jaami’).
- Goodness in Business Dealings: Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, commanded us to be good in our business dealings, and it is the path of happiness and success. This include setting a fair price, forgiving (default) or giving grace (period for payment), being gentle in debt recovery, and protection of (equity) capital.
- Goodness in Speech: This is with good speech and nice words as Allah Ta’alah says: “And tell my servants to say that which is best. Indeed Shaytan induces (dissension) among them. Indeed, Shaytan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.” (Al-Israa:53).
- Goodness in Dealing with Animals: Islaam and other religions urge taking care of animals, being gentle with them, feeding them, never punishing them and never burdening them with work more than their capacity.
The Merit of Goodness in Islaam
Allah Ta’alah says: “So Allah gave them the reward of this world and the good reward of the Hereafter. And Allah loves the doers of good.” (Al-Imraan:148). In this glorious verse, the great position of goodness in Islaam is made clear to us, and that Allah Ta’alah loves doers of good and there is reward for them in this world and in the Hereafter. So felicitations for doers of good. The love of Allah suffices them.
The Reward of Goodness in Islaam
How beautiful is goodness/excellence when all our work is adorned by it, whether it is in our relationship with Allah, the Exalted and Most High, when we perform His Obligations and His Rights in acts of worship, or in our dealings with people, animals or plants. So goodness is of the highest and best rank in servitude to Allah, and its reward is great. Allah makes it clear that the reward of goodness is goodness, as He (His Majesty and Most High) says: “Is the reward of good other than good” (Ar-Rahmaan:60). And on the Day of Resurrection, Allah will reward good-doers with al-Jannah and seeing Allah, the Most Exalted. And this is the greatest reward.
I say all these that I have said, I ask Allah, the Almighty for forgiveness for myself and for you. I seek his forgiveness and repent unto Him for indeed He is the Oft-Forgiving the Most Merciful.
THE SECOND SERMON
All praises belong to Allah, the Lord of the universe, on the Favour of Islaam, the religion of Justice and social equity which He made eloquently clear in His Glorious Book that He does not allow the work of a worker from His servants to be lost; He says: “And their Lord responded to them, “Never will I allow to be lost, the work of (any) worker among you whether male or female. You are of one another…” (Al-Imraan : 195). We praise Him, Exalted and Most High He is. We thank Him, we believe in Him and rely on Him. We seek Blessings and Peace of Allah on our leader and our master Muhammad and his household and companions and whoever follows them in goodness till the Day of Full Reward.
Oh servants of Allah! We see that it is worthy of mention in the present time, what is going on betwwen the government and workers in our beloved country, Nigeria, concerning the minimum wage or the increment in workers’ monthly salary, whereby the leaders of workers’ unions and the govermnet had meetings. The federal and state governments promised the payment of thirty thousand naira as the minimum wage for the lowest worker before the 2019 general elections without fulfilling the promise until now. It is a way of seeking to do good to talk about the rights of workers as briefly as possible.
The Right of Workers in Islaam
Islaam has indeed honoured the worker and cares for him, and it is first to recognize his rights in the history of labour, after being that labour in parts of its old laws means slavery and servitude, while in later parts, its meaning entails indignity and humiliation.
Islaam has established the natural rights of workers – as citizens – that are members of the society like it is in many treaties to guarantee their rights – as workers – with the intention to uphold their social justice and equity and provision of a decent life for them and their family while they live and after their death.
In the same vein, Islaam calls on business owners to treat workers with a human relation that is honourable, with compassion and goodness and to desist from burdening the worker with work that he cannot bear and to other rights that Islaam has granted them that can be summarized as follows:
- The right of the worker to compensation (salary/wage)
- The right to get his dues that the employers had agreed to.
- The right of worker to avoid overwork and exhaustion. Overwork and exhaustion will harm his health or make him lethargic to work.
- The right of the worker to (pause and ) resume his work when his capacity to be productive is reduced. It is not for the employer to discontinue the worker from the work when his productive capacity is reduced on account of illness in the line duty or on account of the age of the worker.
- The right of the worker to the protection of his honour. It is incumbent on the employer to protect the honour of the worker and to not debase him in humiliation of a ridiculed person or an insulted slave. It is incumbent on the employer to enable the worker to perform what Allah has mandated on him of obedience such as salaat and fasting. The religious worker is the closest of people to good. He does his work sincerely, being mindful of and fulfilling the trust (amaanah) on him, keeping and maintaining whatever is kept in his custody.