Keeping the Faith Beyond Ramadan

By Kamran Arshad

My respective brothers and sisters in Islam, insha’allah, I’ve prepared a short khutbah for the Jumu’ah today. Though the talk I’ve prepared today is short, but the topic is quite lengthy, so insha’allah I will try to touch on summarization, touch on some on essential points in these topics. The topic I want to touch upon has two portions. One is, what is, in our religion, deen Islam, what is the difference between faith and divine law. As Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) prescribed this deen on us, and when I say on us, I’m not only including us as Muslims, I mean all of humanity when Allah (SWT) provided this religion to us. It acquires two very distinct features for us to understand and comply with. One essential starting point is faith. For anyone to be inside the fold or within the religion of Islam have to have faith. Without faith, I will not be Muslim, that is the starting point. I have to have faith to understand what is required of me to be a Muslim. What is required of me to have faith so I can be within the fold of Islam, that is a starting point.

Second is to the management side of the faith is provided by Allah (SWT) are the divine laws, how and what all of these are included in the divine laws. These are the two of cornerstones of a deen. In our deen, what is it that we need to have faith on, and how does our faith needs to comply and govern by the divine laws Allah (SWT) has provided? Allah (SWT) mentions in the Qur’an, (Quran – 55:26, 55:27) “All that exists on earth will perish save the Face of the Lord, His Magnificence and Glory.” When dunya was not here, when humans were not here, and He was addressing the audience in His courtyard in the presence of the angels, and at the time, the presence of some of the jinns, so Shaitan was not a shaitan at that point, he was not the devil. He was one of the highly regarded audience at that point, and this whole universe was not present. Allah (SWT) mentions to his audience, “I plan to create a khalifah on this earth.” The angels present at the time, out of curiosity, they ask, “Oh Lord, why would you plan to do that? Would you think that these creatures that you call the khalifah or the humans, if you create them, they will do bloodshed, they will create chaos, they will do fitnah. Would they not do it?” They were merely asking in curiosity. They were objective to it. Allah (SWT) provided the answer, “I know what you don’t. Out of My infinite wisdom, this earth is going to be created and these humans will be the people, folks created in this earth.” When we are here, we have been asked to follow a faith. To follow a faith, we are complying with certain divine laws, that is the equation that is for us.

In this situation, when this earth was created, when we were created, we are created from Allah’s (SWT) infinite wisdom but with a finite timeline, with a finite faith, with a finite outcome. He created us and He put a clock there, He put an alarm there like when you go into your cell phones, your smartphones, and you can create the alarm to get up for the Fajr salat. He put an alarm there, and that clock is starting to tick. You are here and the work ends here. From here to here, your presence will be accounted for in this dunya, and who knows how many dunya is out there, we don’t know. Once you are here, this is what I am asking you to do. The sole purpose Allah (SWT) describes in the Qur’an for us and the jinn is what? To obey Allah (SWT), to worship Him as He deserves to be worshiped. If we look a little bit deeper and examine this deeper in this equation, it tells us very clearly with a pinpoint clarity our sole purpose of existence in this world. It points to us a very pinpoint clarity what is required of us from the faith towards a pinpoint clarity what the divine laws we need to comply with. We have been provided with the role models who perfected how we need to carry out, how we should be, in the front rows the prophets, and then the last prophet who would then seal the prophethood who says we’re done, “We’re done. I’m the last prophet. I completed the delivery of the message. You are hereby notified. This is the faith. These are the laws. This is how you do it. I’m done.” Allah (SWT) completed his timeline and then he is with Allah (SWT).

Now we are here with all what we have in our heads, the intellect, all we have in our hearts, the faith, the desires, the emotions, and the teachings and the examples, and what are we to do? If these things are provided with utmost clarity, where is the confusion? Where are the gaps? In the form of our creation, we are asked to have faith of the Unseen, the things that we don’t know of, the things that we will not know of while we are in this present form, things that we have been asked to comply that there is a superpower out there who is responsible for our creation, who will be responsible for our death, who will be responsible in resurrecting us when we will be dust, who will be responsible for doing our accountability, who will be responsible in putting everything as it was before, who will be responsible of the things that we don’t know of, that is our faith. We are asked to have faith that we have the angels that we cannot see. We are asked to have faith that there are jinns or creations that we cannot see. We are asked to have faith that you will be resurrected. We are asked to have faith that you will be accounted for what you have done in this timeline, that is faith.

Brothers and sisters, in lot of Verses Al Qur’an, Allah (SWT) addresses, “Oh you who believe,” He does not address, “Oh you who are Muslims.” The faith, the cornerstone of our religion to know that I have faith that if I die tomorrow or the next hour, so what’s going to happen to me? With this faith comes the compliance, the actions associated with it. Alhamdulillah (SWT) gifted us with the blessings of Ramadan a couple of days back. Alhamdulillah we strive hard in the month of Ramadan to take the maximum advantage of His blessings. Alhamdulillah how hard is it to keep the masajid of Allah (SWT) alive and populated? Alhamdulillah we strive to be hungry and thirsty, and abstain us as we are prescribed to do this on. Alhamdulillah we are in the month of Shawwal. As required of our faith, we have been asked to have faith that what we have done in the month of Ramadan, insha’allah, will be rewarding each one of us as we have strive in the month of Ramadan.

Now as a part of our continuing faith, what are we to do after Ramadan? Are we going to populate the masajid as we have done in Ramadan or are we going to go back the way we started before we started Ramadan that we are making our masajid populated on two occasions throughout the year, one in the month of Ramadan and on the Fridays. Our multi-million dollar structures are to provide services on two occasions maximum. What is the requirement of our faith, brothers and sisters? The faith that we’re asked is to provide our humble worship to Allah (SWT) five times in the masjid and to comply with the divine law. Are we doing that? Are we doing so after we have come out of the month of Ramadan? Our hearts where the emotions and feelings lie, how does that feel now? Are we feeling as attached to the masajid? Are we feeling as attached to our ibadah as we did three days back? That is something we need to ponder upon insha’allah, that is the requirement of our faith, and that is how we go towards execution and being compliant with the divine law.

Allah (SWT) reminds us of our existence (Quran – 20:55), “From the earth did We created you and into it shall We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again.” Going back to a few days back  in the month of Ramadan, alhamdulillah, as we reflected on reading the Qur’an and understanding the message inside it, the Book is full of the divine laws. The Book is full of elements of the faith. The Book, the Qur’an is full of the message addressing directly to us. Alhamdulillah we have stood behind the imam at taraweeh, we have listened to the Qur’an. What have we achieved after listening to the Qur’an? Has it made any difference in our lives? Has it made us better Muslims? Have we understood our faith better? Do we understand the divine laws better? Ask ourselves these questions. After we got out of the month of Ramadan when we stood night after night behind the imam, what did we achieve? Alhamdulillah we will be rewarded. Alhamdulillah, insha’allah we will be rewarded for listening to the Qur’an, for our presence here, for praying  the salah, yes, no doubt about that. Has this made any difference an iota of a difference in my imam, in my faith? Have I done something different now? I was at point A, have I moved to point B after Ramadan? Let’s check it out.

Insha’allah continuing with our existence on this. We are as the scholars of our deen describes in one of the four or five defined faiths, this is yet one phase of our life before we, insha’allah, enter into the next one when our time on this earth comes to an end. Remember I mentioned when Allah (SWT) created us, he put an alarm clock for all of us here. When my time ends, when my alarm goes off, my time will end in this earth, and I will be become part of this earth. My alarm clock will start from there when I am waiting in my grave when I will be resurrected, that will be the next phase of my life, and then comes the final phase when all of us will be resurrected and be presented in front of our Creator. Insha’allah we touched upon the cornerstone of our faith and the divine laws, and how understanding this can prepare us for the best for our final phase.

Coming to the end of the khutbah, brothers and sisters, as I’ve mentioned from the start, the topic of faith, the divine laws, and our existence in here is a very lengthy topic, a very lengthy discussion point. It cannot be comprehended, it cannot be covered in a few minutes here in the jumu’ah khutbah or even in the part of the hataras or any lecture. The point being is we need to be refreshed, we need to understand, we need to ponder on these four points and make sure that we have a checkpoint in our life from point to point. As we move from Ramadan to Shawwal and all along, what are we doing? Where are moving along insha’allah? The last phase of our existence, the akhirah, when Allah (SWT) would prepare us to bring us there, and when He will start the accountability, and when some of His creation will go to the Hell-fire, some will go to Jannah. Whoever will be destined to Hell-fire for his punishment, may Allah protect us from that punishment. May Allah save us from the Hell-fire. Whoever will be destined over there, those would be crying out, as the scholars mentioned, and talking about the torture and the pain they will be in, and they will be crying to Allah (SWT), “Oh Allah, give us death. We can’t endure this pain. Please kill us. We cannot stay here for a minute longer. Kill us.” Allah’s (SWT) reply, “On the day would be this, He’s going to pick up death and He’s going to kill death.” No more death, that’s it. The concept of life and death will be gone. No more death, no more dying. Whoever is going to be there will be there barring the Mercy of Allah (SWT) to keep people out from there and placing to Jannah.

How are we prepared for that day? How is our faith and compliance to the divine laws have prepared us for that day? Our brain is as such that we can’t think of our death. Our brain is as such we can’t be thinking what will happen in my grave? Our brain is as such we can’t be thinking that, “Oh, when I resurrect in front of my Creator, and when my Book will be opened, what’s going to happen to me? What’s going on with me?” Our brains are not designed to sustain this thinking for more than a few seconds. Brothers and sisters, I invite as well as myself to take a minute and literally not more than a minute of everyday when we wake up from sleep, take one minute, and think, “If I die tomorrow, if I die today, what’s going to happen to me? What will I be like in my grave? If I am resurrected, how will I be in front of my Creator?” Take one minute everyday ask these two questions, “Am I prepared enough for my last phase?” And that is the question, do all these strife and hard work we did in Ramadan, that is purely because of the reason of the question in front of our faces when we will be in our graves, when we will be brought up in front of the Creator, that is the reason we did what we did in Ramadan, that is the reason, insha’allah, we will continue to act and strive hard based on the faith that we have developed and gained insha’allah.

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