Earning Allah’s love
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
“عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بن مَسْعُودٍ رضي الله تعالى عنه قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَسَمَ بَيْنَكُمْ أَخْلَاقَكُمْ، كَمَا قَسَمَ بَيْنَكُمْ أَرْزَاقَكُمْ، وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُعْطِي الدُّنْيَا مَنْ يُحِبُّ، وَمَنْ لَا يُحِبُّ، وَلَا يُعْطِي الدِّينَ إِلَّا لِمَنْ أَحَبَّ، فَمَنْ أَعْطَاهُ اللَّهُ الدِّينَ فَقَدْ أَحَبَّهُ “. رواه أحمد والحاكم في المستدرك.
If you have faith it is a sign that Allah loves you, as we see in this hadith that Allah Almighty only gives faith (deen) to those whom He loves.
If you have faith then you have been given a great gift. It means Allah loves you. This is the best provision you can have. Do not underestimate this. If you find that someone else’s faith is better than yours than focus on improving what you have.
Does Allah love those who do not have faith?
If you do not have faith, you have to choose it. If you chose to seek faith and improve yourself you attain Allah’s love if you choose otherwise then you will not.
Do you have to work for your provision?
This hadith informs us that our provision (rizq) has been written for us as has our character. Unfortunately people get confused about the concept of provision – do we have to earn it? Can we increase it by working hard? Or is it not necessary to lift a finger because our provision is predestined for us?
We have to work for a living
Without doubt we can see from our own eyes, that we have to seek our livelihood, we have to apply to get a job and we have to work. There are some exceptions like Maryam (may Allah be pleased with her) whose provision appeared in her room out of thin air. We are not Maryam so we cannot expect our provision to descend from the sky. We simply have to work for it.
You have the choice to upskill yourself to go up the ladder
Similarly, just as we need to work hard and improve our skills to climb the career ladder and increase our salaries, we need to improve our characters.
Our character has been given to us but we have the choice to improve it or not.
The Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be on him) is filled with narrations about the importance of having good character. He said:
Abdullah ibn Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
إِنَّ مِنْ خِيَارِكُمْ أَحْسَنَكُمْ أَخْلَاقًا
Abu Darda reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) said,
Good character is very heavy on your scale on the Day of Judgement. As anything in life practice makes perfect and nothing comes without practice. Your character is not fixed. It has the potential to become better.
How can you improve your character?
We can improve our character by modelling ourselves on the Prophet (peace be on him). Allah says:
The dunya will not accompany us to the grave but our deeds will
I have witnessed several janazas last week. None of these people took their properties, companies or wealth with them. All they took were their good deeds and their bad deeds. Settle your accounts before you enter your grave.
Mu’awiya reported God’s Messenger (peace be on him) as saying,
وَعَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّين، وَإِنَّمَا أَنَا قَاسِمٌ وَاللَّهِ يُعْطِي» متفق عليه.
In another narration, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported the Prophet (ﷺ) said,
This means if you want Allah’s love you have to work on your self:
Mulla Ali Al-Qari, may Allah have mercy on him, said in “Al-Mirqat”:
مدار الخلق الحسن على ترك الإساءة وإحسان القلب واللسان، إذ هما منبع الأخلاق، وأحدهما ترجمان الآخر ، فإن الإناء يترشح بما فيه .
The essence of good character therefore means you do not harm anyone verbally or physically and it also requires us to work on our heart as that is where the mercy and light from Allah enters.
We need to purify our intention. Accordingly the tongue reflects what is in the heart. The tongue is what reveals the status of your heart. If the heart is sweet, so is the tongue. If the heart is hard, the tongue will be harsh.
If you say you cannot change this is unacceptable. You would not do this in your business. If there are flaws in your business model and you do not rectify them you will go bust, so if there are problems in your character you need to fix them. Or you risk failure, not only in this world but in the Hereafter as well which is the most important.
You need to work on your heart as your tongue will follow and your actions will follow. We have seen big companies collapsing because they did not understand that they need to change. If we want to excel we have to change ourselves.
If you have good relationships with your parents, friends, wife and family it is a good sign. If it is the opposite it is a sign that Allah does not love you.
Allah wants us to be better and it is our choice. Let’s open our eyes to see ourselves for what we are and not through rose-tinted glasses and improve ourselves.
Dua for character
Jabir said that when the Prophet (peace be on him) began prayer he said the takbir, then said,
عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ: كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا اسْتَفْتَحَ الصَّلَاةَ كَبَّرَ ثُمَّ قَالَ: «إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أَمَرْتُ وَأَنَا مِنَ الْمُسلمين اللَّهُمَّ اهدني لِأَحْسَنِ الْأَعْمَالِ وَأَحْسَنِ الْأَخْلَاقِ لَا يَهْدِي لِأَحْسَنِهَا إِلَّا أَنْتَ وَقِنِي سَيِّئَ الْأَعْمَالِ وَسَيِّئَ الْأَخْلَاقِ لَا يَقِي سَيِّئَهَا إِلَّا أَنْتَ» . رَوَاهُ النَّسَائِيُّ
May Allah enable us to improve our knowledge and our character and to gain His love. Ameen
Shaykh Haytham Tamim Khutbah 26th August 2022
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