DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic on Friday, 28 Mar 2014. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translator and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from God.
All praise is due to Allah, and Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His final Messenger, his pure family, his noble companions, and all those who follow them with righteousness until the Day of Judgement.
Our last reminder was about the sanctity of the public wealth and we concluded the reminder with the fatwa of the European Council of Fatwa and Research about the prohibition of taking social security benefits for those who work while receiving benefits and the council’s call for Muslims to work in order to earn their livelihood. Some brothers have told me last Friday that some people commented on the subject of the reminder saying this reminder does not concern us, as when we take benefits from the government of this country, we do so because this country is of a different religion or because it is a country that cheats and steals and other different allegations.
The Qur’an has told us about a group of the people of the Scripture who set different measures of ethics when dealing with people. For example, they fulfil the trust only if it was between them and another one of them. If that trust was between them and others (they called them strangers), then there is no harm for them to consume that trust, to cheat, to deceive and exploit claiming that their religion has ordered them to commit such acts! Allah (SWT) said about that group:
And among the People of the Scripture is he who, if you entrust him with a qintaar [great amount of wealth], he will return it to you. And among them is he who, if you entrust him with a dinar [single coin], he will not return it to you unless you are constantly standing over him [demanding it]. That is because they say, "There is no blame upon us concerning the strangers." And they speak lies about Allah while they know [it] Quran - 'Ali `Imran (3:75)
Allah (SWT) does not order immorality; that which He (SWT) has prohibited is prohibited and remains prohibited in every time and place. He (SWT) does not allow for a group of people to unlawfully consume the wealth of others. He (SWT) does not free you from observing any pact of kinship or covenant of protection concerning them just because your group is of believers and the others are cheaters, thieves or simply non-believers! Allah’s word put one measure for all creations and one general moral rule for dealing with all people and establishing a standard measure and rule for believers to maintain the quality of being conscious of Allah (SWT):
But yes, whoever fulfils his covenant and fears Allah – then indeed, Allah loves those who fear Him. Indeed, those who exchange the covenant of Allah and their [own] oaths for a small price will have no share in the Hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them or look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them; and they will have a painful punishment Quran - 'Ali `Imran (3:76-77)
[Al-Imran 3:76-77]. This is a general rule - Oh Muslims - and whoever takes it into account and follows its guidance it will be a sign of him fulfilling his covenant with Allah (SWT) and being conscious of Him and His limits so that Allah (SWT) will love and honour him. But whoever exchanges the covenant of Allah and his own oaths for a small price from this worldly life, or even the whole of it, will have no share in the Hereafter, no share of Allah’s protection, Allah’s care or Allah’s purification; but only a painful punishment.
Your fulfilment of your covenants and their conditions and your honesty in dealing with the individual and the state is directly linked to your consciousness of Allah (taqwa). Therefore, never change this measure when dealing with a friend or with an enemy; a Muslim or a non-Muslim because it is not a matter of your own interest but it is a matter of your dealing with Allah (SWT) at all times regardless of who you are dealing with of people. The prophet SAAW was known as ‘the honest’ and ‘the trustworthy’. A man asked Ibn Abbas, ‘In times of war we seize an occasional chicken or sheep belonging to the people of the Scripture’ Ibn Abbas asked, ‘what do you say to that?’ He replied, ‘This is as the people of the Scripture said "There is no blame upon us concerning the strangers." Ibn Abbas said, ‘so long as they render the Jizyah (poll tax) their wealth becomes unlawful for you except what they give you willingly.’
This is the general Islamic ethical view with regards to the issue of fulfilling the covenants and other morals - your dealing is with Allah (SWT) first of all. And in your dealing with Him, Allah (SWT) loves for:
- You to avoid that which doesn't please Him, to seek His satisfaction and
- To seek that which is lawful and to avoid that which is unlawful.
Indeed Allah orders justice, good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality, bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you may be reminded. Allah is well acquainted with what you do Quran - An-Nahl (16:90)
Your moral measure must not be your own interest only or what people do because they might go astray and be misguided, standards might be overturned - lying, forgery and corruption might prevail. Therefore, we must draw our standards in dealing with the people from Allah (SWT), His legislation and His guidance through acquiring the right knowledge of what pleases Him of morals.
Dear brother and sisters, Something that happens frequently when people finish their time of study or work here and get ready to leave; they decide to get rid of what they have of old furniture or cloths by dumping them somewhere in our mosque; either in the car park or the back entrance! Whoever wants to get rid of his luggage/furniture/clothing should put them in the places allocated. If the one who does so seeks to get rewarded by his intention of giving in charity then he must choose what he gives in charity and put it in the places allocated for collecting those items by the charity and not outside them. Equally the council has places for this or places of recycling that are more organised and easier to reach for those who seek to get rid of their belongings instead of dumping them in the mosque which harm both the image and the people of the mosque.
Your choosing good from that which you want to give in charity is highly recommended because that charity falls in the Hands of Allah (SWT) before it reaches the intended destination and Allah (SWT) is good and accepts only that which is good.
Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it Quran - 'Ali `Imran (3:92)
The phrase ‘from that which you love’ means: that which you love the most of your wealth and desire for yourselves not that which you want to get rid of! This explains what Abu Hurairah reported that man came to the Prophet (SAAW) and asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, Which charity is the most superior in reward?’ He (SAAW) replied, “The charity which you practice while you are healthy, niggardly and afraid of poverty and wish to become wealthy” [Bukhari]. Ibn Atiyyah said, ‘the opinion of a group of scholars is that all desirable food is included in this verse. Abdullah Ibn Umar used to like sugar with almonds so he used to buy it then give it in charity and recite this verse: “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love”