Never belittle the smallest good deed…
by Arshad Gamiet
Jurgens Centre, Egham. Friday 20th August 2021
“A-úthubillaahi minash shaytaanir rajeem. Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Alhamdu lil Lahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falantajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laailaaha ill-Allah, wahdahoo laa shareekalah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”
All Praise is due to Allah, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad ﷺ, peace and blessings on him, is His servant, and His messenger.
(يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ)
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem! Ya Ay-yuhal-latheena ‘aamanut taqul-laaha, haqqa tuqaatihee walatamu tun-na, il-la waantum Muslimoon.”
O You who believe, – Be aware of Allah, with correct awareness, an awe-inspired awareness, and die not except as Muslims.
(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا)
Ya Ay-yuhal-latheena ‘aamanut taqul-laaha, waqooloo qawlan sadeedaa. Yuslih-lakum a’maalakum wayaghfir lakum thunoobakum, wamay yu-til-laaha warasoolahu, faqad faaza fawzan atheemaa.”
O You who believe, – Be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever takes Allah and His Prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory.
In the opening verse of Sura An-Nisaa’, Allah says:
“Ya ay-yhan naasut-taqoo Rabbukumul lathee khalaqakum min nafsin waahidati(n) wa khalaqa minha zawjaha wabath-thamin huma rijaalan katheeran wanisaa-aa. Wat-taqul-Laahal lathee tasaa-aloona bihee walarhaam. Innal Laaha kaana ‘alaykum raqeebaa.”
“O mankind! Show reverence towards your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate and from the two of them scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Be conscious of Allah, through Whom ye demand your mutual (rights) and (show reverence towards) the wombs (that bore you): for surely, Allah always watches over you.”
My Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Yesterday was Yawmul Ashura, 10th of Muharram. It was a very important day for Muslims. Here are just a few reasons:
- Adam, Nabi Adam A.S. and his wife were forgiven by Allah on this day, after they were exiled from Paradise.
- Noah, Nabi Nuh alayhis salaam, was saved from the flood on this day.
- Nabi Ebrahim alayhis salaam walked unharmed through the fire that was prepared for him by King Nimrud when Allah commanded: “Fire, be cool!”
- Nabi Ayyub was restored to good health from leprosy.
- Joseph, Nabi Yusuf A.S. was reunited with his father, Nabi Yaqub A.S
- Nabi Yunus was saved from the belly of the whale on this day
- Allah opened a path through the Red Sea for Nabi Musa A.S. and the Bani Isra’eel and drowned Pharaoh and his army.
- Nabi Musa A.S. also delivered the Ten Commandments on this day.
- And sadly, for Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Sayyidna Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad sws was martyred on this day.
Those who fasted for the 9th and 10th Muharram (yesterday and the day before) will have the blessing equal to having fasted for a whole year. Allah is so generous!
Sadly, these blessed days of Muharram have also been so traumatic for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. Who can ever forget those desperate scenes at Kabul airport? Dozens of men were desperately hanging on to a plane that was taking off. Some fell to their death from hundreds of feet above the tarmac.
This is how 20 years of war has come to an end in Afghanistan, which has been described as “the graveyard of empires.” Despite the brave words from politicians, the outcome has been humiliating for the world’s only superpower and its supporters. Verse 26 of Sura Al-‘Imran seems very appropriate here:
“Bismillah hir Rahmanir Raheem. Qulil-lahuma Maalikal tu’til mulka man tashaa, wa tansi’ul mulka min-man tashaa-u wa tu’izzu man tashaa-u watu zillu man tashaa-‘u, biyadikal khairu innaka ‘alaa kulli shay-in Qadeer.
Say, “O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honour whom You will, and You humble whom You will. In Your hand1 is [all] good. Indeed, You have power over everything.”
The cash cost of this war runs into trillions of dollars. The human cost is impossible to calculate.
Truly, Allah will deal with those responsible for the chaos and bloodshed, not only in Afghanistan. From Palestine to Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Kashmir, Myanmar and China, millions of innocent people are killed, injured for life, and driven from their homes. There are today over 82 million refugees around the world. Most of them are Muslims. Most of them lived like you and me, going to work, caring for their families. And suddenly, their whole world is turned upside down. It could happen to anyone! It could easily happen to you and me. Refugees (I hate the label. It’s so impersonal. It’s become a toxic term, someone to fear and loathe, instead of someone to welcome and care for). Refugees and asylum seekers they are just ordinary human beings in desperate need.
You may well ask, what can we do to help them? The problem is so big. Where do we start? How can our little efforts make any real difference?
My dear sisters and brothers, we should never despair. Allah puts barakah in the humblest efforts. We should never ever belittle the smallest, good deed that we can do. Allah magnifies the results of every good action, whether we see those outcomes it in our lives or not. Let’s consider these examples.
A learned Shaykh once told the story of a hummingbird that flew back and forth with a few drops of water in its beak, trying to put out a forest fire. The elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, and other animals looked on, bemused, and asked: “How can a mere hummingbird like you hope to put out a forest fire?” The wise little hummingbird replied: “I do what I can. That’s all. Allah won’t hold me responsible for the results, only for my efforts.”
In the face of all the world’s problems, we may feel that we are like little hummingbirds trying to quell the fires with a few drops of water. Our efforts may seem so small and insignificant. But Allah puts His barakah into those efforts. Our tiny efforts can grow, just as little drops of water make a stream, a river, a flood, an ocean; and little snowflakes can become an avalanche, an irresistible force of nature that sweeps away everything in its path.
While we’re talking of birds and elephants, do we not remember another story mentioned in the Holy Quran? Sura Al-Fiil tells us about the year when Prophet Muhammad sws was born. Wasn’t that the “Year of the Elephant?” And why was it named The Year of the Elephant? Didn’t a flock of birds destroy an army of elephants that was on its way to trample the Kaaba in Makkah? Weren’t those elephants bemused to see those little birds flying above them, dropping pellets of baked clay? Didn’t they first wonder at the futility of such a sight? But Allah empowered those birds. Allah magnified the ferocity of their attack and gave them victory against overwhelming odds. Isn’t there an important lesson for us today?”
Dear brothers and sisters, I’m sure that we’ve all heard about Islamic Relief. It’s one of the biggest Muslim charities in the world, helping anyone in need, anywhere. How many of us know the story of how this big international charity began?
During Ramadan a few years ago, I attended an Iftar dinner hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. There was Dr Hani Al Banna, the founder and CEO, telling us how he started Islamic Relief. Ten years earlier, he was visiting family in Cairo, Egypt, where his young nephew came to him and said, “Uncle, here’s my pocket money. I don’t really need anything for myself. Please use it to help the poorest people.” The boy handed over one Egyptian Pound [about 20pence UK]. Dr Al Banna was deeply moved by this his young nephew’s generosity, giving his whole week’s pocket money to help the poor. So Dr Hani started Islamic Relief with that sum, just 20p. Today it’s grown an international relief agency that raises millions to provide help and support to the poorest and most vulnerable people on earth.
Let us reflect and take this as an example. Even the smallest, good deed, driven by love and gratitude to Allah, can be magnified a million times over. Allah’s mercy and blessings are limitless. Sura Al Baqara reminds us of a grain of corn that sprouts seven ears, each ear carrying a hundred grains. Allah multiplies His rewards many times over. Never underestimate Allah’s rewards .
We should always reflect deeply on Allah’s living and loving generosity towards us. Let us express our gratitude to Allah by serving Allah’s most vulnerable servants.
Give generously, and don’t allow Shaitaan to threaten you with poverty. Allah gives from his limitless bounty to those who help others and who have faith and trust in Allah. Sura Al Baqara verse 162 uses the metaphor of a grain of corn:
“The example of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases: And Allah cares for all and He knows all things.”
InnAllaha wamalaaika tahu yusallúna alannabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallúalayhi wasallimú tasleema. Allahumma salli alá Muhammad, wa ala áli Muhammad, kamasalayta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali Ibrahim. Allahumma barik ala Muhammad, kamabarakta ala Ibrahim, wa ala aliibrahim. Fil álameen, innaka hameedunmajeed.
Sub’ hanallahi walhamdulillah, wala hawla wala quwwata illah billah yualthiyu altheem
Glory to Allah! Praise to Allah! There is no power and no strength except from Allah!
My dear respected sisters and brothers,
Do whatever good work you can, and don’t think that your small actions won’t count. Rasool Allah sws told us that Allah loves small actions that are repeated often. Small actions become habits, and habits build character. You and I are humble followers of “Uswatul hasanah,” the best exemplar of good character. Let’s trust Allah. Let’s have faith that our deeds will be effective. Let’s be confident that Allah will always bless our hard work with success. Say “Ameen!”
My dear brothers and sisters, to conclude our khutbah:
“Surely Allah commands justice, good deeds and generosity to others and to relatives; and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, so that you may be reminded.”
Allah says: “and remember Me: I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject faith.” “and without doubt, Remembrance of Allah is the Greatest Thing in life, and Allah knows the deeds that you do.”
InnaAllaha, Yamuru biladel, wa lihsaan, waeetaa-izilqurba; wayanha anil fuhshaa-i, walmunkariwalbaghi; ya-idzukhum lallakum tathak-karoon. (Sura 16:90),
Fadthkuroonee adthkurkum, wash kuroolee walaa takfuroon [2:152].
walathikrul-Laahi akbar, Wal-Laahu ya’lamu maa tasna’oon.” [29:45].
Ameen. Aqeemus salaah!
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