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THE GRACE OF ALLAH TA’ALAH AND THE VASTNESS OF HIS MERCY AND FORGIVENESS

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST BENEFICENT THE MOST MERCIFUL

BEING THE FOURTH SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF RABI’UL AWWAL DATED 25TH RABI’UL AWWAL 1444AH (21ST OCTOBER, 2022)

TITLED: THE GRACE OF ALLAH TA’ALAH AND THE VASTNESS OF HIS MERCY AND FORGIVENESS

All Praises belong to Allah, the Bountiful Free-Giver, the Generous, the Righteous, the Merciful. He is kind to whomever He wills among His servants, and Allah is the Owner the abundant Grace. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that our leader and Prophet Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His Messenger, He bestowed upon him wisdom and the excellent statements, and He taught him what he did not know. And the Favour of Allah upon him was great, so may the salutations of Allah, peace and blessings be upon our master and Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his companions, and those who followed them in goodness until the Day of Judgment. Thereafter

Servants of Allah! I enjoin you and myself with the fear of Allah, Glory be to Him, the Most High Who said: (‌يَا ‌أَيُّهَا ‌الَّذِينَ ‌آمَنُوا ‌إِنْ ‌تَتَّقُوا ‌اللَّهَ ‌يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ فُرْقاناً وَيُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ) “O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allah, He will grant you Furqan a criterion [(to judge between right and wrong), or (Makhraj, ie, making a way for you to get out from every difficulty)], and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive you, and Allah is the Owner of the Great Bounty.” (Al-Anfaal:29).

O Muslims! Allah Almighty is great in Bounty and Giving, vast in generosity and munificence, encompassing everybody with His Goodness. Allah Ta’alah says: “Indeed Allah is the Owner of Bouny upon His servants..”, and His Goodness is general to the entire universe. The Almighty said: (‌وَلكِنَّ ‌اللَّهَ ‌ذُو ‌فَضْلٍ ‌عَلَى ‌الْعالَمِينَ) “…But Allah is full of Bounty to the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).” (Al-Baqarah: 251). And He, Glorified He is, commanded His Messenger, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, to give good tidings to the believers of His Bounty. Allah Ta’alah says: (‌وَبَشِّرِ ‌الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ‌بِأَنَّ ‌لَهُمْ ‌مِنَ ‌اللَّهِ ‌فَضْلاً ‌كَبِيراً) “And announce to the believers (in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad SAW) the glad tidings, that they will have from Allah a Great Bounty” (Al-Ahzaab: 47), and so they (believers) praise Him (Allah Ta’alah) for His Favours, and they give thanks to Him for His bestowals, and they follow whatever He commands them, so they could draw nearer to Him, and to seek His Pleasure. Allah Almighty says: (وَاتَّبَعُوا ‌رِضْوانَ ‌اللَّهِ ‌وَاللَّهُ ‌ذُو ‌فَضْلٍ ‌عَظِيمٍ) “…and they followed the good Pleasure of Allah. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty.” (Aal-Imraan: 174). So, He bestowed upon them His Favours, and made them happy with His generosity, so they rejoiced in the Bounty and Mercy of Allah, in accordance with His saying, the Most High: (‌قُلْ ‌بِفَضْلِ ‌اللَّهِ ‌وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ ‌فَبِذلِكَ ‌فَلْيَفْرَحُوا ‌هُوَ ‌خَيْرٌ ‌مِمَّا ‌يَجْمَعُونَ) “Say: “In the Bounty of Allah, and in His Mercy (i.e. Islam and the Quran); -therein let them rejoice.” That is better than what (the wealth) they amass.” (Yuunus: 58).

What then is the Bounty of Allah Ta’alah? The Bounty of Allah Ta’alah is His Generosity, His Munificence, and His Benevolence, which He bestows on whomever He wills. He, Glory be to Him, says: (‌وَإِنْ ‌يُرِدْكَ ‌بِخَيْرٍ ‌فَلا ‌رَادَّ ‌لِفَضْلِهِ ‌يُصِيبُ ‌بِهِ ‌مَنْ ‌يَشاءُ ‌مِنْ ‌عِبادِهِ ‌وَهُوَ ‌الْغَفُورُ ‌الرَّحِيمُ) “And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favour which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful..” (Yuunus: 107 ). And part of the Bounty and Grave of Allah Ta’alah is that He multiplies the goodness of His servants many times. The Messenger of allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: “Every deed of the son of Adam is multiplied. Good deeds are rewarded in by multiples of between ten and seven hundred times likeof.” (Ibn Maajah, Bukhaari and Muslim). And the Almighty increases for them from His Bounty. Allah Ta’alah says: (‌فَأَمَّا ‌الَّذِينَ ‌آمَنُوا ‌وَعَمِلُوا ‌الصَّالِحاتِ ‌فَيُوَفِّيهِمْ ‌أُجُورَهُمْ ‌وَيَزِيدُهُمْ ‌مِنْ ‌فَضْلِهِ) “So, as for those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) and did deeds of righteousness, He will give their (due) rewards, and more out of His Bounty…. (An-Nisaa: 173).

How do we obtain the Bounty of Allah Ta’alah? Obedience to Allah Ta’alah and His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is a means for succeeding with the Bounty of Allah, and being in the company of the prophets and the righteous in Al-Jannah. Allah Ta’alah says: (وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولئِكَ مَعَ ‌الَّذِينَ ‌أَنْعَمَ ‌اللَّهُ ‌عَلَيْهِمْ ‌مِنَ ‌النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَداءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولئِكَ رَفِيقاً (69) ذلِكَ الْفَضْلُ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَكَفى بِاللَّهِ عَلِيماً) “And whoso obeys Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqun (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are! Such is the Bounty from Allah, and Allah is Sufficient as All-Knower.” (An-Nisaa: 69-70).

Allah’s Bounty can also be obtained by adhering to His Noble Book (Al-Qur’aan). Allah, the Almighty says: (‌يَا ‌أَيُّهَا ‌النَّاسُ ‌قَدْ ‌جاءَكُمْ ‌بُرْهانٌ ‌مِنْ ‌رَبِّكُمْ ‌وَأَنْزَلْنا ‌إِلَيْكُمْ ‌نُوراً ‌مُبِيناً (174) فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَاعْتَصَمُوا بِهِ فَسَيُدْخِلُهُمْ فِي رَحْمَةٍ مِنْهُ وَفَضْلٍ …) “O mankind! Verily, there has come to you a convincing proof (Prophet Muhammad SAW) from your Lord, and We sent down to you a manifest light (this Quran). So, as for those who believed in Allah and held fast to Him, He will admit them to His Mercy and Grace (i.e. Paradise)” (An-Nisaa: 174-175), meaning they believed in Allah Ta’alah and held fast to the Noble Qur’an. And they took the guidance of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

And Allah, Glory be to Him, grants us of His Bounty when we seek forgiveness and repentance. Allah Almighty says: (وَأَنِ ‌اسْتَغْفِرُوا ‌رَبَّكُمْ ‌ثُمَّ ‌تُوبُوا ‌إِلَيْهِ ‌يُمَتِّعْكُمْ ‌مَتاعاً ‌حَسَناً ‌إِلى ‌أَجَلٍ ‌مُسَمًّى ‌وَيُؤْتِ ‌كُلَّ ‌ذِي ‌فَضْلٍ ‌فَضْلَهُ) “And (commanding you): “Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words)…” (Huud: 3).

O worshipers! One of the ways of obtaining Allah Grace is to draw close to Him with righteous deeds. Allah, Glorified He is, says: (وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحاتِ ‌فِي ‌رَوْضاتِ ‌الْجَنَّاتِ لَهُمْ مَا يَشاؤُنَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ ذلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ) “…while those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous deeds (will be) in the flowering meadows of the Gardens (Paradise), having what they wish from their Lord. That is the supreme Grace, (Paradise)..” (Ash-Shuura: 22). Among the righteous deeds are observing salaat, giving zakat, and remembrance of Allah. Allah, the Most Exalted and Majestic says: (‌رِجالٌ ‌لَا ‌تُلْهِيهِمْ ‌تِجارَةٌ ‌وَلا ‌بَيْعٌ ‌عَنْ ‌ذِكْرِ ‌اللَّهِ ‌وَإِقامِ ‌الصَّلاةِ وَإِيتاءِ الزَّكاةِ يَخافُونَ يَوْماً تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصارُ (37) لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسابٍ (38)) “Men whom neither trade nor sale diverts them from the Remembrance of Allah (with heart and tongue), nor from performing As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), nor from giving the Zakat. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (from the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection). That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allah provides without measure to whom He wills.” (An-Nuur: 37-38). And by reciting the Noble Qur’an, the Muslim is rewarded, and Allah Almighty gives him of His Bounty and Grace. Allah Ta’alah says: (‌إِنَّ ‌الَّذِينَ ‌يَتْلُونَ ‌كِتابَ ‌اللَّهِ ‌وَأَقامُوا ‌الصَّلاةَ ‌وَأَنْفَقُوا ‌مِمَّا ‌رَزَقْناهُمْ ‌سِرًّا ‌وَعَلانِيَةً ‌يَرْجُونَ ‌تِجارَةً لَنْ تَبُورَ (29) لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ) “Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah (this Quran), and perform AsSalat (IqamatasSalat), and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a (sure) tradegain that will never perish. That He may pay them their wages in full, and give them (even) more, out of His Grace. Verily! He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (good deeds and to recompense).” (Al-Faatir: 29-30)

Spending towards good causes and kindness increases the Grace and Bounty of Allah Ta’alah for the believer. Allah, Glorified He is, says: (‌يَا ‌أَيُّهَا ‌الَّذِينَ ‌آمَنُوا ‌أَنْفِقُوا ‌مِنْ ‌طَيِّباتِ ‌مَا ‌كَسَبْتُمْ ‌وَمِمَّا ‌أَخْرَجْنا ‌لَكُمْ ‌مِنَ ‌الْأَرْضِ …) “O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you….” (Al-Baqarah: 267). So, the Allah, the Most Exalted and Majestic, commanded them to spend, and He promised them forgiveness and an increase. Allah Ta’alah says: (‌وَاللَّهُ ‌يَعِدُكُمْ ‌مَغْفِرَةً ‌مِنْهُ ‌وَفَضْلاً ‌وَاللَّهُ ‌واسِعٌ ‌عَلِيمٌ) “…whereas Allah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and Bounty, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” Striving and being earnest in obtaining a lawful sustenance is one of the means of obtaining Allah’s Bounty. Allah Ta’alah says: (فَإِذا ‌قُضِيَتِ ‌الصَّلاةُ ‌فَانْتَشِرُوا ‌فِي ‌الْأَرْضِ ‌وَابْتَغُوا ‌مِنْ ‌فَضْلِ ‌اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيراً لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ) “Then when the (Jumu’ah) Salat (prayer) is finished, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allah (by working, etc.), and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.” (Aj-Jumu’ah: 10)

Part of the Mercy of Allah is concealing the sins of His servant in this world and forgiving them in the hereafter: It is related from Ibn Umar – may Allah be pleased with both of them – that a man came to him and said: What did you hear from the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – concerning secret discourse? He said: I heard the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – say: “Allah, the Almighty, will bring the believer close to Him, conceal him from the gathered creation, and make him secretly confess his sins and misdeeds, saying: Do you remember such and such sin? Do you remember that sin? He will admit and reply in the affirmative. His sins will be confirmed with him and he would consider himself as perished. Then, Allah will say: I concealed these sins for you in worldly life and did not expose you among the people, and now I will likewise conceal them today and forgive you. Then he would be given his book of good deeds. As for the unbelievers and hypocrites, the witnesses will say: these are the ones that belied their Lord. Lo! The curse of Allah be on the unjust wrongdoers. (Bukhaari).

It is related on the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari – may Allah be pleased with him – that the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – said: “Allah – the Mighty and Sublime – stretches out His Hand at night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and stretches out His Hand in the day so that the sinners of the night may repent, until the sun rises from the west.” (Muslim.)

It has been related on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik – may Allah be pleased with him – that the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – said: “All children of Adam make mistakes, and the best of sinners are those who repent.” (Tirmidhi).

It has been related on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: The Messenger of Allah – may Allah prayers and peace be upon him – said: “I am as My servant expects of Me and I am with him as he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I will remember him in Myself. If he mentions Me in a gathering, I will mention him in a greater gathering. When he draws near Me by the span of his hand, I draw near him by the length of a cubit. When he draws near Me by the length of a cubit, I draw near him by the length of a fathom. When he comes to Me walking, I come to him running.” (Bukhaari)

And from Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with him – he said: The Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – said: “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, if you had not sinned, Allah would have taken you away and brought a people who would sin, and they would ask Allah’s forgiveness and He would forgive them.” (Muslim)

And also from Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with him – he said:: I heard the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – saying: “By Allah! I ask Allah’s forgiveness and repent unto Him more than seventy times a day” (Bukhaari)

And it has been narrated on the authority of Al-Aghar ibn Yasaar Al-Mazani – may Allah be pleased with him – he said: The Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – said: “O people! Repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness, for I repent a hundred times a day.” (Muslim)

So, O Allah! Grant us Your Favor, and grant us Al-Jannah by Your generosity, and grant us success in obeying you in all ways, and the obedience of Your trustworthy Messenger Muhammad, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, and the obedience of whom You have commanded us to obey, in accordance with Your saying: (يَا ‌أَيُّهَا ‌الَّذِينَ ‌آمَنُوا ‌أَطِيعُوا ‌اللهَ ‌وَأَطِيعُوا ‌الرَّسُولَ ‌وَأُولِي ‌الأَمْرِ ‌مِنْكُمْ) “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority.” (An-Nisaa: 59).

O Muslims! A Muslim should work and strive so that Allah Ta’alah will give him out of His Bounty. He, Glorified He is says: (‌قُلْ ‌إِنَّ ‌الْفَضْلَ ‌بِيَدِ ‌اللَّهِ ‌يُؤْتِيهِ ‌مَنْ ‌يَشاءُ ‌وَاللَّهُ ‌واسِعٌ ‌عَلِيمٌ) “Say (O Muhammad SAW): “All the bounty is in the Hand of Allah; He grants to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, the All-Knower.” (Aal_Imraan: 73), then he directs his supplication to Allah, the Mighty in Majesty, asking for His Bounty and Grace. And Allah, Glorified He is, has said: (وَسْئَلُوا ‌اللَّهَ ‌مِنْ ‌فَضْلِهِ ‌إِنَّ ‌اللَّهَ ‌كانَ ‌بِكُلِّ ‌شَيْءٍ ‌عَلِيماً) “…and ask Allah of His Bounty. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.” (An-Nisaa: 32).

And it was indeed part of the supplication of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, to say: “O Allah! Make abundant for us Your Blessings, Your Mercy, Your Grace and Your Provision.” (Ahmad). And part of his supplication, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, when he leaves the mosque is: “O Allah! I ask You of Your Bounty” (Muslim). So, ask Allah to grant you from his abundant bounty and generous gifts, for His Treasures do not run out, and He is the Owner of the Great Bounty.

THE SECOND SERMON

All Praises are due to Allah as many as what He created, and praise be to Allah in the fullness of what He created. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone without partner, and I bear witness that our Master and Prophet Muhammad is Allah’s servant and Messenger. O Allah bestow prayers, peace and blessings upon our Master and Prophet, Muhammad and upon all his family and companions, and upon those who follow them in goodness till the Judgment Day

The Qualities of a successful leader in Islam:

A successful leader has many qualities in Islam, and whoever wants to be a successful leader must be characterized by them, and these qualities stem from the Almighty’s saying: (إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِين) “The best of one you can hire is the strong and the trustworthy” (Qasas: 26)  This verse is considered the basic criterion in leadership, it defines the two attributes of strength and trustworthiness, as they entail all the meanings of leadership.

The characteristics of an ideal successful leader are:

Trustworthiness: It combines the following attributes: a person’s credibility, trustworthiness, initiative in carrying out tasks, performing them appropriately, and self-monitoring. The word trustworthiness has many meanings, including:

Attribution: Taken from the verse: (إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَنْ يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنْسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا”) “(Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and fearest it; but man (undertook to) bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.” (Ahzaab: 72)

Moral trustworthiness: which is represented in good speech, praising others and appreciating their efforts, and providing assistance as much as possible.

Attentive conscience: and through it, rights are safeguarded from being wasted, and preserved. It includes the rights of Allah in performing what is required of a person in terms of worship and obedience, and the rights of people, with its preservation and protection.

Proficiency: is that a person is keen to perform well the tasks that he is assigned to do, and without negligence, and to make every effort to complete these works, and to do them correctly. So when a person desecrate and is negligent in little tasks, a day would come that he would be found wanting in bigger tasks.

Non-exploitation: Many people take advantage of their positions or work to achieve their personal interests. As for the successful leader, he must not exploit the working conditions for his benefit, or for ephemeral worldly gains, or to impede the interests of people, and waste rights.

Using the best resourcet: The Messenger of Akllah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – warned that one of the signs of the misuse of trust is to delegate affairs to someone who is not worthy of it. It is imperative upon a man that when he is saddled with leadership position, he should select the best for the task, and jettison other considerations which would waste rights and betrays trusts.  

Belief in Allah, the Exalted, obeying His commands and avoiding His prohibitions. And the fear of Allah, Exalted be He, and a sense of Allah’s observance of him, in secret and in public.

High hope/aim: The successful leader has clear goals that he seeks to achieve, his approach is clear, his intent is sound, and his belief is pure. Constantly avoiding criticism, and minimizing blame; The human nature is alienated and distanced from those who criticize it a lot, and hurts its pride.

Honesty in giving advice to others, and this is due to his concern for them, and the intensity of his love for them.

Purity of the heart and its safety from grudges, and avoiding quarrels and disputes with others.

Patience, and this is the most important characteristic that a leader must possess if he wants to achieve the goals he has set.

Good listening to others, and mastering the art of dialogue and persuasion.

I say this and ask Allah’s forgiveness,

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