Blessed Friday Jemaah,
Let us strive hard to increase our taqwa to Allah s.w.t., to the highest level of taqwa, by obeying all of His commands and abstaining from His prohibitions. May Allah s.w.t. grant us taufiq and consistency in strengthening the ties of kinship among us, insyallah, Amin.

Jemaah, Last Friday, we discussed the importance of making the Prophet s.a.w. as our role model. The sermon touched on the need to emphasise on the manners or adab that were upheld by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. with Allah s.w.t. The sermon today will touch on keeping relations between humankind, because our belief (iman) is only complete when we fulfil both the rights of Allah and the rights of fellow mankind.

Beloved Jemaah,
We cannot downplay the importance of observing good manners and ethics when interacting with others. Take some time to reflect upon the lesson in a hadith from Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. about the different states of humankind in the hereafter. There will be those who come to meet Allah s.w.t. with rewards from all sorts of acts of worship, but his deeds have been taken by those whom he have wronged and oppressed in this world. Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
“If his deeds have been used up before he can repay those whom he oppressed, then the sins of the person he oppressed will be given to him, and he will then be thrown into the hellfire.” [Hadith reported by Imam Muslim]

This hadith also emphasizes the need to fulfil the rights of others and keep good relations with others, and how it is tied to one’s faith (iman). Let us spend some time to understand what Allah s.w.t says in surah At-Tahrim verse 6:
“O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.”

In explaining the verse, Saiyidina Ali bin Abi Talib r.a. said: “Teach them (your family) manners and equip them with knowledge.” This is what we need to instil in our family members, especially our children, to groom them to become the “Rabbani” generation – a generation that will heed all of Allah’s commands and keep good relations with one another. Hence, this is where our responsibility lies: to ensure that we watch our manners and ethics when interacting with our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.

The need for good manners and ethics becomes even more critical in today’s world of advanced technology. It has now become easier for us to communicate with each other. With increased communication, the probability of hurting each other in our interactions increases as well. It is a religious duty for Muslims to ensure that no matter the platform of interaction, we need to uphold the rights of others to the best of our abilities.

What are these rights of our fellow Muslims that we need to honour? There are many lessons contained in the hadith of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. that we can refer to.
First: Always hope for the best for our brothers and sisters. This is an excellent trait of a true believer (mukmin). Just look at our beloved Messenger, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. when he interacted with his companions. Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. always encouraged and supported his companions, and always wanted the best for them. Rasulullah s.a.w. said, in a hadith:
“A Mukmin is a mirror for another. And a Mukmin is a brother to another; he helps (his brother) better his mistakes and watches him from behind.” [Hadith reported by Abu Daud]

This was how the Prophet s.a.w. emphasised on the importance of maintaining good ties among fellow Muslims. We should help another Muslim to be a better individual, whether or not he knows of it.

Do not be like some individuals who are jealous and envious of others who possess more, and hold ill feelings toward them. These feelings will cause one to be unhappy and hope for the worst upon his brother, Nauzubillah! Pay attention to what Rasulullah s.a.w. said, in a hadith, : “Whoever eats food at the expense of another Muslim, Allah s.w.t will feed him with the same from Jahannam. Whoever wears clothes at the expense another Muslim, then Allah will give him clothes from Jahannam. And whoever treats another Muslim with arrogance and pride, then Allah will treat him with arrogance and pride on the day of judgement.” [Hadith reported by Abu Daud]

Beloved Jemaah,
The second trait that we should observe: Loving your brother just as how you love yourself. One can only wish for the best for another when one loves the other. Just as how we love every individual in our family, we should have the same feelings of love toward every Muslim.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said: “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” [Hadith reported by Imam Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
And so, a believer will always love his brother. He will always ask himself: How is his brother doing? Are his needs met? How is the state of his deen? How can he help to ease his burden and worries?

It is on this basis that our beloved messenger, Rasulullah s.a.w. spread the message of Islam. The Prophet s.a.w. wanted the best for his ummah. He always prayed for, and was concerned about the prosperity of his ummah.

In a hadith reported by Ibn Hibban, once when Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was making du’a for Saidatina Aisyah he recited:
 “Ya Allah! Forgive Aisyah’s past sins, her future sins, those that she has kept hidden and those that she has made known.” He then said to Saidatina Aisyah: “Verily this is my du’a for all of my ummah, at every solah.”

Thus, as the ummah of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. we should love and care for one another, instead of using harsh words – especially when there are disagreements – whether the issue of contention is a religious one or otherwise. This is not the manner and character taught by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. May Allah s.w.t. grant us taufiq to emulate the Prophet s.a.w. May we be blessed with the ability to fulfil our responsibilities toward Allah s.w.t. and to His servants, to the best of our abilities.

Amin ya Rabbal Alamin.

Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Friday Sermon 11 December 2015 / 28 Safar 1437