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April
15
2007
Creed- Creed and Quran Inimitability- Lesson (02-36): Reason behind Man’s Existence 2
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

Ibadat:

1- Ibadat is the reason behind man’s existence:

 Dear brothers, this is going to be our second lesson on aqidah and inimitability, and the subject matter of today's lecture is ibadat-
the reason behind our existence on the face of the earth. If a student heads to a western country seeking a PhD, and has no other goal than that, we say to him: The reason behind your existence in that country is getting your PhD, and anything serving that purpose is permissible, while, on the other hand, anything distracting you from it is prohibited.

2- Choosing permissible means to achieve a permissible purpose:

 Once you know that the ultimate goal and reason behind your existence on earth is ibadat, you should choose from the data in your life and whatever is available in your environment that meets your goal, and this is what we call success, this what we call prosperity, and this what we call triumph. The reason for your existence is to worship Allah, in the same way as the reason for the student’s existence in that country is to seek a PhD.

 When goals are clear, means get clear too, and I am sorry to say that 97 percent of the youth in the developing countries have no goals and thus lead their lives according to materialistic motivations, temptations, or merely act on impulse.

 Knowing the secret and the purpose of your existence is the fundament of everything, and we have been told by the Noble Qur'an that the reason for our existence is to worship Allah Most High, and were it not for this evidence, it could have been a controversial matter. Allah Most High says:

“I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.”

[Surat Al Dhariyat, ayah 56]

3- The expansive concept of ibadat:

 It is disastrous to comprehend the word ibadat in its narrowest meaning; the right way is to understand this word in full. For example, any moving vehicle is called sayyara ("car") in the Arabic language. Allah Most High says:

“Then there came a caravan (sayyara) of travelers: they sent their water-carrier (for water), and he let down his bucket (into the well). He said: "Ah there! Good news! Here is a (fine) young man!”

[Surat Yusuf, ayah 19]

 Thus, the full meaning of the word sayyara is that of any moving object. However, it has been narrowed down to "car" –a vehicle driven by a driver, with its tires, engine and fuel. Therefore, if the word ibadat is taken to mean a set of rituals such as prayers, fasting, hajj, zakat, and bearing witness only, Muslims are way too far from the reality of their Deen, because according to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace

((Islam is built on five pillars….))

 However, Islam is one thing and the five pillars are another thing.

 Pillars mean props only, but Islam, being a complete structure, comprises these props as well as other components, such as method, conduct, principles, orders, and prohibitions. This is Islam a very detailed way of life.
 Believe me, dear brothers, I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said that Islam comes down to 500 thousand different details involving your earning, spending, marriage, divorce, raising your children, dealing with people –those stronger than you as well as those weaker than you, and also with those like you; in your place of residence and your travels; whether rich or poor, in times of peace and of war… so it is a detailed way of life. How come, then, that Muslims shrink it to five ritual practices?

4-Deen does not belong to the mosque:

 How come Islam gets reduced to prayers only? This is a disaster, and unless we properly comprehend the meaning of ibadat as a detailed method, not just a few rites or do's and don'ts, we are far away from the reality of this Deen.

 Nevertheless, the other party insists on keeping the Deen in the mosque, and you, according to them, are Muslims in the mosque but outside you are entirely on your own. You eat, drink, meet people, celebrate, fulfill your desires, and you throw parties, where the behaviour can be acceptable or not.
 They say that Islam belongs to mosques and I say otherwise.
 You receive the Creator’s teachings in the mosque and you reap the benefits of your attendance. Joining a learning session gives you wisdom, closeness to Allah, happiness, and security. So mosques are there to offer teaching for you to benefit from, while the real Deen is in your office, clinic, operating theatre, lawyer's office, and on the farm: do you use carcinogen hormones? Your Deen is on your employment desk: do you put a spoke in people's wheels to blackmail tax-paying citizens, or do you serve them?

 So your Deen is at your place of work, at home, at parties; in your earning and spending; and your Deen is advice.
 It is a tremendous mistake to limit it to a narrow meaning –to praying and fasting.

 On one occasion the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked his noble companions who the bankrupt was.
 It has been transmitted by Abu Huraira that the Prophet said:

((Do you know who the bankrupt is?
The Companions said: A bankrupt is somebody who has neither money nor property.
The Prophet said: The bankrupt in my ummah is he who will come on the Day of Judgment with lots of praying, fasting and sadaqat; but who has offended a person, slandered another one,
wrongfully taken somebody's wealth, shed somebody else's blood, beaten up somebody else.
So Allah Most High will take away from him the rewards for his good deeds and give them to those who had been tyrannized by him.
If all his good deeds get exhausted before their due is paid,
their sins will be taken (away from them) and attributed to him,
and, consequently, he will be thrown into the Fire-Pit! ))

[Narrated by Muslim, Tirmidhi]

 Dear brothers, worshiping and knowing Allah and His Path are the reasons behind your existence.
 Here, knowing Allah implies having the knowledge that induces you to follow His Orders, to fear the Judgment Day so that you refrain from hurting any other being whatsoever, to seek with what you have been granted by Allah the Abode of the Hereafter, and to employ your money, job, time, expertise, talents, and abilities for the sake of Allah the Almighty.

 Ibadat carries a very wide meaning, and I ask Allah to help me explain this concept in this lecture.

The meaning of ibadat:

 Dear brothers, one of the all-inclusive and comprehensive definitions of ibadat is obedience, and he who disobeys Allah doesn’t worship Him, so in a nutshell worship equals obedience.
In Islam there is no passive admiration, such as to say: "What a great religion, it is so civilized and natural", yet abstain from following it.

 A young man fell in love with a western girl, so he asked for his father’s permission to marry her, but the latter hit the roof and threatened to disgrace him. What should he do? A month later he offered his father a solution saying: "Father, what if she converted to Islam?" The answer this time was in the affirmative and no further objections were offered by the father. The young man was beyond himself with joy and took himself to the bookshop to buy a set of books in English about Islam so that she could understand this religion and convert, helping him thus to get his father’s permission to marry her.
 After she had received the books, the shrewd girl asked for four months to read them calmly, away from him, his pressure and wishes. The four months seemed four years to him, as he was counting minutes and seconds. After the fourth month was gone, he called her and was both stunned and delighted by what he had heard. She told him she would convert to Islam, which meant that his goal was achieved, but added that she would not marry him since according to what she had read he was not a Muslim.

 I swear to Allah, I swear to Allah, I swear to Allah I am not exaggerating, and this is Muslims’ reality.
 This young man has a Muslim father and mother, he prays and performs pilgrimage, yet he is not a Muslim in his house, at work, while earning or spending, in his spare time and his hobbies, his entertainment, his principles, his ambitions and wishes, and that is why, when Allah’s Orders have been disdained by Muslims, they themselves have been disdained by Allah. The Almighty says:

“But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed after lusts: soon, then will they face Destruction.”

[Surat Mariam, ayah 59]

Summary of ibadat:

 Ibadat is voluntary obedience. A powerful man is obeyed by force; yet, can we call obeying by force “worship”?
 Impossible! Obedience is by choice, and this is why Allah Most High wants us to come to Him in obedience and by choice, driven by love. He says:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion.”

[Surat Al Bakara, ayah 256]

"Let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject.”

[Surat Al Kahef, ayah 29]

" We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).”

[Surat Al Insan, ayah 3]

“To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) towards all that is good.”

[Surat Al Bakara, ayah 148]

Obedience, thus, should be voluntary.

 If you want to ace your exam, you should be firm in organizing your time: go to sleep early, according to sunna, and wake up early to study, given that the academic achievement gets doubled in the early morning as compared with the rest of the day.
 Obedience is by choice, mixed with heartfelt love, and he who loves Allah yet disobeys, never worships Him; and he who obeys Allah without love, never worships Him; so it is voluntary ibadat mixed with genuine love.

 Some scholars said that worship is absolute obedience, love, and submission to Allah.
 Ibadat is a voluntary act mixed with wholehearted love, based on the certitude of knowledge, leading to eternal happiness.
 It has the side of knowledge, the side of conduct and the side of aesthetics.
 The conduct side is its cornerstone, as we can’t benefit from the Deen if we don't follow Allah’s Path, and you can also say that the Deen can be epitomized in one word “righteousness’, in the same was as trade can be characterized by one word “earn”, because if you don't earn, you cannot be considered a merchant, and if you don't become upright, you can't be said to be following the Deen.

 There is a folkloric Islam where everything is Islamic, such as background, basis, tendency, interests, arks, ornaments, art, ambitions, education and thousands of other Islamic things, but this is one thing and Islam itself is another thing; and it has been said that avoiding one speck of wrongdoing is better than performing 80 pilgrimages after the obligatory hajj.
 So the pivot here is “conduct”, voluntary obedience, based on the certitude of knowledge –printed in boldface, red-letter words. Thus, we concentrate on these three important concepts: voluntary obedience, mixed with sincere love, based on the certitude of knowledge.

The doctor and the astrologer both claimed the dead never resurrect, so I said nonsense.
If what you say is right, I will be no loser; yet if I am right, you both lose.
***

 This isn’t faith. Faith is the certitude of knowledge, and thus if the whole population of the earth, the 6 billion people that populate it, disbelieved in Allah, you wouldn't because your faith would be in every cell of your body, and in every drop of your blood, the whole and the only kind of faith –in Allah’s Glorious Names and His Sublime Attributes, in the Hereafter, in angels, in books, in Prophets, and in bad and good fate as coming from Allah the Almighty.

 Dear brothers, it is based on the certitude of knowledge, and I have never heard of a man going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning as the holder of a PhD. It takes 33 years of non-stop efforts, sleepless nights; no meetings with friends and no picnics; and going through all this is just to add the prefix Dr to one's name, which used to be bare before.
 Man sometimes thinks he is a believer, but when did he attend a session of learning? When did he buy a book? When did he read one? When did he read the Qur'an or the Sunna? When did he think of Allah’s Orders? When did he ask "why am I here in this life"? What is the secret behind my existence and its purpose? When did he meditate? When did he muse? When did he go to the mosque to attend a lecture?
 Someone might say "I am a believer and my faith is stronger than yours", but he is deeply immersed in sins and wrongdoings. Subhan-Allah! Each craft has experts and masters, but the Deen is apparently for everyone, like a common pasture, where everybody talks about it according to his point of view, saying “It doesn't seem convincing to me.” Well, and who are you?

They said: for us this isn’t permitted, well who are you to say we
***

 Sometimes an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says: We have hired such-and-such as an ambassador". Well, who are you to hire anyone? Saying "we hired", he talks as if he were the Minister.

 Hence, dear brothers, ibadat is voluntary obedience, mixed with profound love, based on the certitude of knowledge.
 Ask yourself: Did you abide by the learning session? Did you read a book and benefit from it? Did you summarize it? Did you pass a beneficial word to others?
 The knowledge preceded by certitude leads to eternal happiness.

 Your need for beauty is something essential. You need to be happy, to lead a beautiful life, to connect with Allah Most High, and to be in a Garden width of the heavens and earth.
Hence, those who have chosen the earthly life over the Hereafter are motivated by their love of beauty but at the wrong time.

We are in the abode of toil and hard work, not luxury and comfort:

 The place where students study isn’t luxurious. It has wooden desks, chilly ambience, lots of assignments; the teacher is talking. And this is how a learning center looks like, this is where you seek knowledge; it is a seat of learning. The places you should attend look ascetic; rather than fullness they are inclined to hunger, as the saying goes: fullness takes away quick-wittedness.

 A student might desire a grand, comfortable desk, after the fashion of airplane seats which turn into beds; provided with variety of refreshments, coffee, tea, nuts, crackers, fruits, games, radio and a TV set. But this isn’t a place where you might lead comfortable and cushy life; indeed, it is a work place. It is after having received your PhD that you can have your own room, your own office with a reception desk, or a lavish bedroom and a stunning view.

 We live in the abode of toil, not of hope.
 We live in the abode of honoring, responsibility, and preparation for the Hereafter, where one may say: I wish I had offered in my life (more) good deeds.
 Due to profound wisdom, this earthly life is the abode of torsion not a place of straightness; and it is the abode of grief not of joy; and he who realizes that it should be like this will not rejoice over opulence nor lament over grief because both joy and grief are transitory. Allah Most High has created this life to be the abode of adversity, while the Hereafter He has meant to be the Final Abode, that is why He has made the grief of the earthly life to be the reason for the Hereafter’s gratification; and He made the gratification of the Hereafter to be the compensation for that grief, so He rewards to compensate.

 It has been narrated by Muadh Ibn-Jabal that when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent him to Yemen he said to him:

((Beware of luxury, for the slaves of Allah do not live a life of luxury.))

[Imam Ahmad]

 You might lead a life of ease and comfort; and you might be delighted to buy a house, get married, or enjoy your family’s company, and it is fine as long as you are pleasing Allah in general and aiming at the right target: Oh Allah you are my Destiny and pleasing You is my delight.
 Allah has bestowed on you blessings of all kinds, and it is all right to seek all kinds of comfort on one condition: they shouldn’t be your only goal in life.

 The problem nowadays is that people make luxurious life their only goal, and you should ask philosophers about it, as desire turns to pain when it is your target destiny. That's why it has been said: Take whatever you like from the earthly life and you will be granted the same (amount) of worries, because he who takes more than necessary from the earthly life is attracting, unaware of it, his death.
 It was narrated by Abd Allah Ibn-Mohsen Al Khutami that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

((Whoever wakes up in the morning well and able, safe within his neighborhood and in possession of his daily bread will be (feeling) as if he has won the whole world."))

[Tirmidhi]

 A king asked his minister: "Who is the king?" He answered: "You, your Majesty! There is no king but you." So the king said: "The real king is someone we don’t know and he doesn’t know us; he owns the house he dwells in, has an obedient wife, and a satisfying income; and if he knew us, he would make every effort to please us; and if we knew him, we would make every effort to embarrass him." Therefore:

((Whoever wakes up in the morning well and able, safe within his neighborhood and in possession of his daily bread will be (feeling) as if he has won the whole world."))

 Ibadat is voluntary obedience, mixed with genuine love, based on the certitude of knowledge, leading to eternal happiness.
 Dear brothers, there is heaven in the earthly life, and he who doesn’t enter it, will never enter the Heaven of the Hereafter. The evidence is in the ayah where Allah Most High says:

“And admit them to the Garden which He has announced for them.”

[Surat Muhammad, ayah 6]

 It is the heaven of the earthly life, and some get the taste of it; it is the Heaven of Closeness to Allah, and that's why some poets among the scholars said:

If your eyes saw the beauty of ours they have seen, you would never turn your back on us for another’s sake
If your ears heard our nice speech, you would cast away the garb of arrogance and come to us
If you tasted an atom-like of love, you would excuse him who loved us to death.
If you felt the breeze of our closeness to you, you would die in excitement and eagerness for us.
If you saw any of our illuminations, you would leave all creatures for our sake.
***

 Dear brothers, man inclines to beauty by nature, and happiness is the first benefit of the Deen. Hence, a believer has enough happiness in his heart for a whole town; a believer’s heart has what is enough to give security to a whole town.
 Empty soul can’t be filled up with money, marriage, women, positions, or pleasures.
 Only faith, which man often seeks later in his life wishing he had sought it earlier, is able to fill it.

Subdivisions of ibadat:

1- Ritual ibadat:

 Dear brothers, let us move to another topic and talk about the ritual and transactional kinds of ibadat.

 Ritual ibadat:

 Prayer: you stand forth reading Al Fatiha, and some verses of the Qur'an and you bow down, sit and say salam.

 Fasting: you stop eating and drinking from dawn till sunset.

 Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah during the first half of the month of Dhul-Hijjah): You go to Mekka, Allah’s House, you circumambulate the Ka'bah, walk between the hills of Safa and Marwa, stay at Arafat, and perform the rest of the rites of hajj.

 Zakat: Giving the poor their due.

 Shahadat (bearing witness): You say: I bearr witness that there is no other god but Allah.
 These are ritual acts of worship.

2- Transactional ibadat:

 Transactions are the broadest and the most serious parts of ibadat, and the proof for that is what the Najashee (Al Habasha’s king) asked the Muslims, led by our Master Jaafar, who migrated to him. When he asked them to tell him about Islam, Jaafar said:

((O king! We were ignorant and ill-mannered. We used to worship idols, eat carrion, mistreat our neighbors, cut off kinship ties, and the strong used to tyrannize the weak. However, we have changed after a man from amongst us, well known to us on account of his noble family, truthfulness, faithfulness and chastity has been sent to us by Allah Most High. He ordered us to tell the truth, return deposits back to their owners, preserve our ties of kinship, and be kind to our neighbors. He warned us against drawing near to obscenities, lying, and appropriating the wealth of the orphan. Our people rejected him; therefore they persecuted, oppressed and tortured us. Thus, our Prophet told us to flee to Abyssinia, for the king there is known to be just and fair. Therefore, we came to your land, hoping that we would not be harmed here.))

[Ahmad]

The reality of transactional ibadat:

 Transactional ibadat is based on good conduct, which begins with self-discipline and is followed by good deeds in the second place.

 Transactional ibadat is righteousness (the passive part), and good deeds (the active part).
 While ritual ibadat is praying, fasting and performing hajj, transactional ibadat is refraining from lying, from taking what isn’t yours, from harming others physically or mentally or by any other kind of aggression.

 The biggest problem and the greatest disaster is that Muslims assume that ibadat is fulfilled by means of the rites of praying, fasting, performing hajj, or paying zakat; and that there's nothing more to it.

Ritual ibadat won’t be accepted unless transactions have been righteous:

 The most serious part of this lecture is that ritual ibadat won’t be accepted unless one’s transactions followed the Right Path, and people always ask for evidence, without which things would be controversial.

Salat:

 It has been narrated by Thawban that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

((Know that some people from my ummah will come on the Day of Judgment with good deeds as (big as) the white mountains of Tihama, but Allah will make them scattered dust." Thawban said: O Messenger of Allah! Describe them to us, so that we may not be one of them unknowingly! He said: They will be your brothers, and from your people, and they will take from the night as you do (meaning offering prayers, etc.), but they are a people who, when they were alone with the prohibitions of Allah, violated them.))

[Ibn-Majah]

 Ritual ibadat has the highest degree.

 There is a joke about a Turkish man, who was going to offer a banquet, and he bought large amounts of meat, but his cat ate it all. Now, this cat used to make a sleeping sound called by the common people awrad. So this man looked enraged at the cat and said: "Awrad chok, amnat yok."

 This is the problem.
 An imam was asked to lead prayers in Manchester, and he lived in London. So every day, and this is a true story, he used to commute by car driven by the same driver. One day he paid the driver with a high-denomination banknote and the driver gave him the change. When he counted it, he found he had been given 20 pence more. He said to himself that this money should be returned, and he was a pious person. After a while, though, he relaxed a little bit and said to himself that it was a huge company with a huge income and he needed this money more then them so why not take it; now don’t jump into conclusions here. When the imam was about to get out of the vehicle, he spontaneously put his hand in his pocket and gave the driver the 20 pence. At that moment the driver smiled and asked if he was the imam at that mosque. He answered that he was, and then the driver declared: "I said to myself two days ago that I should come to your mosque and worship Allah but I wanted to test you first."

 The person who sent me this email said: "This imam passed out when he realized the big error he was about to commit if he had kept this money. When he came round he said: "O Allah! I was this close to selling the whole Islam for 20 pennies."
 This is the problem Muslims are facing nowadays. One can sell his Deen for perjury, a false statement, house extortion, company extortion, and assaulting other’s integrity; and all that thinking that one is a Muslim.

 Hence, dear brothers, the whole Deen comes down to one word, which is "righteousness" and unless you follow the Right Path, the Deen will turn into a tradition, an earthly product, general education, folklore, customs and habits.
 This is the Muslims’ reality, and as they say: Bitter reality is a thousand times better than comforting illusion.

((Know that some people from my ummah will come on the Day of Judgment with good deeds as (big as) the white mountains of Tihama, but Allah will make them scattered dust." Thawban said: O Messenger of Allah! Describe them to us, so that we may not be one of them without knowing it! He said: They will be your brothers, and from your people, and they will take from the night as you do (meaning prayers, etc.), but they are a people who, when they were alone with the prohibitions of Allah, violated them.))

 This much about the salat.

Fasting:

((Whoever does not give up lying and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his giving up his food and drink.))

[Al-Bukhari]

 And some of those who fast gain nothing but hunger and thirst.

Hajj:

 One might perform hajj in Mekka paying with unlawful money, and say with other hujjaj (pilgrims): "Ever at Your service, O Allah! Ever at Your service! Ever at Your Service!" But he will be called out: “La labbayk wa la saadyak!” (Your hajj is not accepted!)

Zakat:

"Say: Spend (for the Cause) willingly or unwillingly: not from you will it be accepted: for ye are indeed a people rebellious and wicked."

[Surat Al Tauba, ayah 53]

Bearing witness:

 The Prophet said:

((Whoever said: There is no god but Allah, with whatever it takes, enters Heaven. They asked: And what does it take? He answered: Avoiding what Allah has prohibited them to do.))

[Agreed upon]

 So ritual ibadat, including prayers, fasting, hajj and zakat, will not be accepted by Allah unless we follow the Right Path in transactional ibadat.

Beware of the rights between you and your brother:

 What does Allah mean when He says:

“In order that He may forgive you some of your sins.”

[Surat Ibrahim, ayah 10]

 The Arabic word min, rendered as "some of" in English, means that Allah forgives some of your sins. So what are those sins which will be forgiven?
 The answer is: those between you and Allah only, but what is between you and other people won't be forgiven unless you give back what you have taken from people and ask for their forgiveness.
 Hence, some Muslims assume if they fast and pray in Ramadan out of belief, all their past wrongdoing will be forgiven. However, all the scholars agree that only the sins between Allah and his slaves can be forgiven, while the sins committed with respect to other people will not be forgiven unless they are given back what has been taken from them, and unless they have been asked for forgiveness, because Allah’s rights are built on generosity while people’s rights are built on demand.
 Most Muslims assume that if they have preformed hajj, they will be purified of all sins and be like the day when their mothers brought them to this world.
 Let us repeat again, all sins between them and Allah will be forgiven on account of hajj, but what has taken place between them and other people won’t.
 Dear brothers, can you think of an act greater than that of giving one's life for the Cause of Allah? And giving one's life is the height of generosity.
 So do you know of a greater act than that of a man giving his life for the Cause of Allah? Listen to what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

((Every sin of a martyr shall be forgiven except debt.))

[Muslim, Ahmad]

 We have the following transmission on the authority of Jabir:

((A man died, was washed, shrouded, and embalmed, and placed for the funeral as usual. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was invited to perform the funeral prayer. He came in, took a few steps, stopped and asked: Perhaps your friend has some debt? He was told: Yes, two dinars. So he moved back and said: You pray for your friend. Abu Qatadah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: O Messenger of Allah! I will take care of the two dinars." The Prophet prayed the funeral prayer for him. The following day, the Prophet met Abu Qatadah and asked him: What about (paying off) the two dinars? He replied: O Allah's Messenger! He only died yesterday. On the next day, he asked him the same question and was informed that it had been paid off. So the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: It is now only that his skin has cooled down (i.e. from punishment.))

[Ahmad]

 And it was narrated by Aisha that she heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying:

((Not an hour will pass in which a judge (of earthly justice) in the Hereafter would not wish he had never judged between two people, not even in a dispute over a date.))

[Ahmad]

  Thus, dear brothers, people’s rights are built on demand, while Allah’s rights are built on generosity.
 Dear brothers, the first fact to be established in this nice meeting with you is that ritual ibadat won’t be correct or accepted unless we follow the Right Path in the transactional ibadat.

Righteousness is a must in transactions:

 Transactional worship implies being honest. Period.
 It is treachery to say something to a brother of yours, trying to make him believe it is true while in fact it is a lie.
 A believer never lies. It was narrated by Abu Umama that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

((The believer is naturally exposed to all traits except betrayal and lying.))

[Ahmad]

 You should be truthful, and being truthful is not a grey but a black and white concept, as much as that of gold and soil (being entirely unlike), or that of one dollar and a billion dollars (being thoroughly different).
 The believer is honest, straight, and spotless; he doesn’t violate other people's integrity, always lowers his gaze; he is compassionate, fair to others, and humble.

 The belief is a set of rules of good conduct: “I have been sent by Allah to be an educator, I have been sent to perfect noble conduct”.

 Believing is giving not taking, so the right way is to give not to take.
 A book was written once about the Prophet and the author wrote there:
 "To him who came to this life to give not to take, consecrate the whole existence, take care of man’s cause, cultivate the ascendancy of reason, and alleviate the herd instinct.
To him whose excellence nominated him to be the best of all people, so he was singular among the others.
 To him whose clemency was his core, fairness was his law, compassion was his nature, and solving people’s problems was his worship."

 The reality of transactional ibadat is to be righteous, honest, faithful, virtous, fair, humble, patient, and compassionate, “I have been sent by Allah to perfect noble conduct.”
Faith is behaviour, so it follows that he who excels in behaviour, excels in faith.

 Dear brothers, good conduct is the foundation of transactional ibadat.
 While our master Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, was doing i'tikaf (staying in the mosque for worship) in the Prophet’s mosque in Ramadan, he met a gloomy man so he said to him: Why are you sad and tired? The man replied: Yes, O Prophet’s cousin! I am sad. Someone has a right over me, but by Allah, I cannot fulfill it. Ibn Abbas said: Would like me to talk to that person? When the man replied affirmatively, Ibn Abbas started to leave the mosque immediately. Another man shouted behind him: Have you forgotten that you are in i’tikaf? Ibn Abbas answered: No, but I heard from the owner of this grave (pointing at the Prophet’s grave) that:

((The reward for whoever watches over the needs of a brother of his and takes care of them is greater than that for fasting for a month and staying in i’tikaf in my mosque.))

 Consider a mother of five who loves Allah from the bottom of her heart, and so she wakes up at 4 am, prays the salat of tahajud and then recites the Qur'an. As a result she is dead tired at 6 o’clock and so she tells her children to carry on by themselves and goes to bed.
 We can easily imagines what happens –the house is cold, no food on the table, one of the children hasn't finished his homework, the second hasn't studied, the third one's wearing dirty cloths, the fourth child's shoes need cleaning, and the fifth has put his sandwich in his schoolbag unwrapped so the oil has leaked on his books, and, eventually, all the five kids get severely punished.
 As regards such situation I would say, and this is my own opinion, that a mother who wakes up one hour before the sunrise, and makes the house warm, prepares breakfast, helps her children with their homework, takes care of their clothes, neatly prepares and wraps up their sandwiches for them, puts fruit in their sandwich box, and takes them to the bus stop, staying with them until the arrival of the school bus… well, in my opinion this mother, who hasn't prayed tahajud, is a million times closer to Allah than the other one, because she has done her job as a mother and by doing that she has worshiped Allah by means of transactional ibadat, having added it to her ritual ibadat.

 The transactional ibadat is obligatory on every Muslim, and I want to stress the point of adding the transactional ibadat to your ritual ibadat.

 ((I heard from the owner of this grave (pointing at the Prophet’s grave) that:

((The reward for whoever watches over the needs of a brother of his and takes care of them is greater than that for fasting for a month and staying in i’tikaf in my mosque.))

 We’ve got, thus, the transactional and the ritual ibadat, and the latter will not be correct and accepted unless we follow the Right Path in the former, and I hope that all our brothers will add the transactional ibadat to the ritual one so that they can benefit from the fruits of Islam.

Translation  : Noura Al-Sharabi
Edited by      : Najat Rozko