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Increasing our Taqwa

Brothers in Islam,
I would like to firstly remind myself and my brothers to have Taqwa to Allah. Taqwa that will make us obedient to the commands of Allah. Taqwa that will make us obedient and leave what He has forbidden for us. Alhamdulilah, we have been created by Allah, as a believer or mu’min. Alhamdulilah, we are those who have been shown the Haqq, the Truth. Who believe in Him. Who worship him, who surrender ourselves to His Will. Who has iman to Him. Let us increase our gratitude to Allah s.w.t. without whose blessings we wouldn’t be here today. Without whose blessings we wouldn’t be breathing. We wouldn’t be able to walk. Without whose blessings we wouldn’t be able to gather in this Masjid.

My dear brothers,
It is because of Allah’s will and Allah’s power that we are able to breathe the air around us today. That we are able to see the beauty of the world around us. It is because of Allah’s will that we are able to hear the numerous melodious sounds that surround us. Our mouths can help us to speak. It can help us to taste the spread of food that lies before our eyes. Because of Allah s.w.t., we have brains to think with. We can look for solutions to various life problems. Doesn’t all these make us realize how much we owe Allah s.w.t.? How much we owe Allah for our lives? Doesn’t all these ni’mat make us grateful to him? Doesn’t all these ni’mat make us think about how much our iman and worship to Allah has been all this while? How strong is our iman?

O Muslims,
Have we considered it? Have we thought about why Allah created us? What deeds can we say we have done when we meet Him in the hereafter? Allah has given us His reminder as stated in suretul Al-Hasr verse 18:
يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنْظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ.
“O you who believe! Fear Allah and let everyone look to what provision he has sent for tomorrow. Yes fear Allah! For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.”

We are commanded by Allah to fear and have taqwa of Him. We are commanded to make preparations for tomorrow – a time that will surely come. What then is Taqwa? Taqwa is to be faithful and obedient in fulfilling the teachings of Islam in every aspect of our lives. Taqwa is not just about doing your prayers and fasting. No! To be Taqwa means that you apply the Shariah of Allah in every aspect of your life. Whether it is in your work or your family. It is in how you manage your finance. We are obedient to Allah whether it is in our worship, our economy or our community. This is clearly explained by Rasululllah s.a.w in a hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad and At-Tirmidthi which means:

“Have taqwa to Allah wherever you are and do good for it may override the bad, and, mix with mankind with good akhlak.”

My Brothers,
Allah also commands us to make preparations for a time in the future. A time that will definitely come. This command has a deeper meaning. How can we prepare for tomorrow when we don’t know about the future? The ayat in the Quran tells us to think of the future. Yes! It is the Quran that tells us to be forward looking. To have a vision. To solve problems for the long term. Not to plan just for the short term. We are told not to just live for the moment. No! We are told to plan and prepare for our future. And Allah teaches us something else to hold on to: He tells us that each day, each day that we live, my dear brothers. Each day must be better than the day before. He tells us to make tomorrow a better day than today. No my brothers, this is not the advice of today’s management gurus. These are the commands of Allah s.w.t.!

Allah has created the universe to serve us. He has made things in this earth easy for us so that we can prepare for the Hereafter. So pray to Allah. Have Taqwa to Him. Raise your hands and dua to him. Allah has taught us what to say in our dua:
وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي اْلآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
“And amongst them there are those who pray: Ya Allah! Grant me Success in this world. And grant me success in the Hereafter. Protect us from the torment of Hellfire!”

Dear brothers in Islam,
Taqwa is the best preparation to make for the Hereafter. Allah says in Al-Baqarah ayat 197:
وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِي يَاأُوْلِي اْلأَلْبَابِ
“And take a provision with you for the journey. But the best of provisions is right conduct (taqwa). So fear Me, O Believers!”

If we can truly plant taqwa in our hearts, we can be a true Mu’min. Why can we be a true mu’min when we have taqwa planted in our hearts? Because only with Taqwa we can tell the right from the wrong. Only with Taqwa we can tell the Truth from the false. It is only these believers, these mu’min who will receive Allah’s pardon in the day of judgment. Allah has promised us on this in surah Al-Anfal ayat 29:
يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ فُرْقَانًا وَيُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ.
“O you who believe! If you fear Allah, He will grant you a Criterion (Furqan) (to judge between right and wrong). Remove from you (all) evil (that may afflict) you. And forgive you: For Allah is the Lord of grace unbounded.”

May we become a Mu’min who has taqwa. A mu’min-believer who is firm and confident of his religion. A mu’min who constantly strives to increase his knowledge. A mu’min whom, the more knowledge he has, the more humble he becomes. A mu’min who when he has more power, becomes wiser. Let us be a mu’min who is constantly grateful. A mu’min who doesn’t like to insult. He doesn’t like to criticize. He doesn’t carry fitnah. He doesn’t waste his time on mindless entertainment. He is disciplines and he fulfills his responsibilities. Let us become a mu’min who protects his identity as a Muslim.

Let us remind ourselves that our lives come to the end and that we will be going to meet our Lord one day. It is At Taqwa that will benefit us on that final trip so let us take that great provision with us. Ya Allah! Help us in attaining this great quality. Allahumma Amin.