“Allah has blessed you with so much – He expects you to do more.”
It is 1am. My body and mind are fuelled by the couple of teh tariks I had earlier yet I’m not able to concentrate on my readings (everything’s just squiggly lines right now). So why not do something active – like write about the second lecture I attended, right? The above quote has been ringing in my head ever since I heard it on Friday y’know.
The second lecture was held at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) or Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA), however you wish to call it. It was actually a Jumuah Khutba, which made the entire experience closer to my heart because I miss going to Jumuah prayers like I did in Manchester. Plus, IIUM is actually one of my favourite university campuses due to its design: the masjid is the focal point with everything else branching out from it.
To be honest, I nearly didn’t attend this particular lecture because of the distance. IIUM is located in Gombak, a district significantly far from KL’s city centre and not quite accessible by LRT. For a while, I thought I’d just settle with the 2 main talks but alhamdulillah, Allah made it easy for me in the end. A friend of mine, Nafisah, decided to stay the night with me in Damansara after the talk in Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan, and since she needed to head to IIUM to meet her sister the next morning, it just made more sense to go together with her.
And oh boy, am I glad I didn’t miss it!
This particular talk was tailored to the audience (i.e. undergrads and postgrads) and hit many spots for me! If you’re an undergrad, postgrad or a graduate, then this is THE talk for YOU. If you’re not, then don’t worry, there are still takeaways for you to learn too, inshaAllah! (:
The masjid’s three levels were packed with male jemaahs so I was pleased that a significant portion of the ground level was provided for the females. I couldn’t see Ustaz Nouman from where I sat, which was a good and bad thing for the visual learner me – good because I was able to concentrate on his speech, bad because I wasn’t able to focus on one visual target and kept being distracted by the many cute kids there!
Ah yes, before I sidetrack even further (shouldn’t have had so much teh tarik! :P), let me get started on the content of the talk!
Jumuah Khutba – The Muslim Graduate, held at IIUM
Everyone has a purpose in life – what’s yours differentiates you from the rest.
To say that only Muslims/people with religion have a purpose in life is a flawed statement. One’s purpose in life may vary from the general to the detailed. Accumulating material wealth is a purpose, gaining status is a purpose, seeking His blessings is a purpose. These are the things that drive someone to get up, get dressed and face the world every single day.
As Muslims, we know our purpose:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me [51:56]
We submit to Allah as slaves and worship Him. We glorify His name through our actions and words. We live to the very best of our ability and maintain healthy relationships with everyone, Muslim or otherwise. In other words, we make ourselves useful.
“The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.”
It’s fairly obvious: We can choose to live up to the minimal expectations of the 5 pillars of Islam OR choose to do more. Nobody’s going to chide you for not doing more but…. You’ve been blessed with so much. Why aren’t you giving back?
Also, a note here regarding material wealth, status etc. It isn’t a problem to want and have these worldly good, in fact these are means to a higher end (ability to donate, help out the poor etc) but it becomes a problem when it becomes our primary goal in life. Know your priorities and purpose.
Allah gives some people extra blessings and opportunities that doesn’t open for others.
Let’s face it, the blessings that I’ve been bestowed with and the ones you’ve been bestowed with may be different but blessings they still are, all the same.
As students, it is important to realise that Allah has opened many doors for us. Where we are right now is never entirely due to our own effort. Yes, we’ve put in our part of the deal but everything else is by His grace. Our health, our 5 senses, our ability to make our way to school, the fact that we’re living in a safe country – all these are His workings. Once we realise that we are entirely dependent on Allah, only then do we realise how powerless and indebted we are.
Allah has given us the benefit of (further) education, what next?
So Allah has given us more – He expects more too.
He knows we are capable of carrying this responsibility; He has selected and honoured us with education. But being chosen is simply the beginning. We’re not going to get very far just by being chosen – we’ve got to put in the work.
We may be qualified but what are we doing to serve Him?
We are responsible to live up to the maximum of our capacity. It is no longer about the 5 fardh’ pillars – it is more. Are we being good ambassadors of Islam in our schools and workplaces? Are we living up to the example of Rasulullah saw? Are we trying to at least attain the imaan and practical actions of the sahabahs? Are we helping to alleviate the pain and suffering of others that have not been blessed with the same things?
How do we be of benefit to mankind?
Allah or our beloved Prophet saw did not mention ‘Muslims’ in the above ayah or hadith, they mentioned man(kind). Our duty is not only towards our fellow ummah (that is a given) but also to every single person we cross paths with.
Walking ambassadors of Islam.
Let’s put aside the issue of the hijab – each and every single Muslim is an ambassador of Islam. You WILL be judged by others. How you live your everyday, how you interact with others, how you take responsibility for your own self are reflections of not only yourself as a person but of the belief that you hold. Be mindful. Are you doing justice to it?
Be concerned Muslims! Have a servant mentality.
It is easy to fall into the trap of riya’ when we’ve been blessed with much. You’d feel like you’re better than the rest because you’re in such-and-such university, you’ve graduated with such-and-such degree and the likes. You walk with an air of pride thinking that you’ve deserved every single thing.
Wake up call.
We are all equal in the eyes of Allah except for in terms of our deeds and imaan.
Use our extra abilities and skills to increase our deeds, look out for others and be humble! Know that we are nothing except by the grace of Allah and we can return to nothing if He wills it.
Each and every one of us, with the extra that we’ve been blessed with, have something to contribute to His Deen. Be it our time, our knowledge, our expertise or our compassion. We are the ones that will be at the forefront of our community, leading and guiding people along the way. As cliche as it may sound, it is true: With great power comes great responsibilities.
Do not be a waste of a generation.
We need to realise that we don’t have to be a dai’e or an aalim to serve! It’s the little things that matter. Start small, start somewhere. Allah knows even the littlest thing that we’ve done for Him.
We are thinking people – do not let that go to waste.
We have compassion too – be concerned for others. Be concerned for our Muslims and non-Muslim brothers and sisters.
In today’s day and age, it is needless to say that even our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters need da’wah and guidance. So many are Muslim only be name and on their tongues but not in their hearts and lives. It is our responsibility to share with them the Deen in the best way of possible – through wisdom, action and love.
We need knowledge for all of these, so let’s make dua to be blessed with beneficial knowledge. Here’s one that I personally use:
اللَّهُمَّ انْفَعْنِي بِمَا عَلَّمْتَنِي وَ عَلِّمْنِي مَا يَنْفَعُنِي وَ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
Allahumma-infa’nī bimā ‘alamtanī wa ‘allimnī mā yanfa’unī wa zidnī ‘ilmā
O Allāh, benefit me from that which You taught me, and teach me that which will benefit me, and increase me in knowledge.
Knowledge that does not benefit is useless. In this dua, we ask twice for beneficial knowledge: the knowledge that we have already learnt and the knowledge that we have yet to gain. Beneficial knowledge is greater than having a lot of knowledge and that is something we need to be constantly reminded of.
The importance of humility and sincerity – nothing that we do will ever be perfect.
Bottomline: Only Allah is Perfect.
Whatever we do, no matter how much or how sincere, will never be enough. Never for once think that we’re better than anybody else. We are never higher. Our ability to do da’wah, volunteer work, deeds etc are gifts from Allah. We are the vehicles of His love. Our position is only known by Allah, and He gives and takes as He wills. Remember that.
On our part, we pray to Allah to make us a people of vision and a source of guidance, to always keep us sincere and always remember to want to serve Allah. If you’ve not yet started, then don’t fret. Start now. Start small. Be consistent.
May He make it easy for us to be servant-leaders, ameen.
P.s.: If you’ve not read the first lecture, you can find it here. If this has benefited you in one way or another, do share the love! May we be an ummah of thinking people who seek to be of benefit to others! xx