// Sh. Hassan: Nurturing the Love of Worship
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« on: Feb 26, 2009 12:28 AM »

Bismillahir rahman ir raheem

Sh. Hassan:  Nurturing the Love of Worship

Asalamu alaikum wrt wb,

All praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, the One Who did not take a child, and has no partner in dominion, the One Who has no helper, Whom there is no God except He.  Allah deserves all forms of worship, that is because Allah is the Truth, and what they call on other than Him is falsehood, and Allah is the Highest, the Greatest.

I bear witness that there is no God other Allah, unique in His Actions; He has no equal, no partner, no opposite, no wife, no parents, nor children.  Say: Allah is One, the Lord and Sustainer of the Universe, He has no children, no parents, and there is nothing like Him.
The most knowledgeable of His creation, the Prophet pbuh, said about Him: Indeed Allah does not sleep, and it is not befitting of Him.  His veil is Light, if it were lifted, the vision of the onlooker would be set ablaze.

May Allah send peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad and all those who follow his Sunnah, until the day of Judgment.

Welcome my brothers and sisters, and may Allah reward you for your efforts.  I ask Allah who joined us during this blessed hour, to join us with the Imam of the Prophets in the Gardens of Paradise.  You have done well, and earned a place for yourself in Jannah.

My beloved: Jibreel asks, and the Prophet answers.  Lessons in Aqeedah and Tawheed, based on the Hadith of Jibreel, in a unique presentation, the questions and answers that take place between the Prophet pbuh and Jibreel.  The questioner is Jibreel, and the teacher is Muhammad, pbuh.

In a hadith narrated by Muslim:  Ibn Umar said, my father (Umar bin al-Khattab) narrated to me: “While we were sitting with the Prophet, pbuh, a man suddenly came upon us, his clothes were extremely white, and his hair extremely black, and he had no signs of travel upon him.  He sat next to the Prophet, placing his knees next to his knees, and placing his hand on his thigh and said, ‘Teach me about Islam…’  The Prophet said, ‘Islam is to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is his messenger, establish prayer, fast Ramadan, and perform Hajj for one who is able.’  The man said, ‘You have spoken the truth.’  We were amazed that he asked him a question, then told him he was correct!  He then said ‘Teach me about Iman’ The Prophet replied, “To believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, and to believe in Destiny, its good and evil.”  He said, ‘You have spoken the truth.’  He then said…’Teach me about Ihsaan…’  The Prophet said, “To worship Allah as if you see him, and if you aren’t able to see him, then He indeed Sees you.”  He said, ‘Teach me about the Hour…’  The Prophet replied, “The one being asked does not know more than one questioning.”  The man said, ‘Then tell me about its signs.’  The Prophet said, ‘A slave-woman will give birth to her master, and you will see barefoot, naked, herdsmen competing in building tall buildings.”  Then the questioner left.  We sat for a while, then the Prophet said: ‘Do you know who the questioner was oh Umar?’  I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’  He replied, ‘He is Gabriel (Jibreel), he came to teach you your religion.’ ”

I deliberately repeat this hadith of the Prophet pbuh every time, don’t think that I want to waste our precious time together, but we attain barakah by the mention of the words of the Prophet, pbuh, and then, so we can memorize the hadith together.  And I am sure that many who have followed this series have perfected their memorization of this hadith, and I will not ever tire of repeating this hadith in the beginning of every program as long as we continue.
My honored friends, we continue in a series of programs on the Tarbiyya (Upbringing) of Children in Islam, and this is our 17th meeting based on the blessed words of Ibn Umar: “My father taught me...” in this hadith. 

I said, this is a lost means of Tarbiyya, and every home is in need of this teaching, hadathini abi, (my father taught me) that is that the father sits with the kids, to remind them of Allah, and the Prophet.  How badly do we need this minhaj in these difficult times!

I mentioned 10 reasons we need this methodology, then I mentioned the foundations of this method, by example, and by love, and last time, I mentioned Tarbiyya by Aqeedah.  And tonight, we are with the 4th means of teaching, nurturing the love to worship.

And this method must be attached to the third, Aqeedah, since worship must be connected to beliefs in the heart.  Nor should one think they have belief in Tawheed, but then he doesn’t pray, or fast, or perform Hajj if he is able, then he says: “Allah knows what is in my heart, he doesn’t need my worship.” 
He says, love, that is sufficient.  Love is half of worship, nor can a servant worship Allah if he dislikes Allah, no he must love Allah.  But, there must be a second half, which is submission, humbleness, devotion.  One who loves a thing without submitting to it, he does not really love it.

Worship is the fruit of belief, so it is not possible to come to Allah, except with love and submission.

“I love Allah, but I don’t pray because Allah doesn’t need my prayer.  I don’t give Zakat, since Allah doesn’t need my money.  I don’t perform Hajj, I perform hajj everyday when I go to work.”
No, you don’t know more than Allah, Allah commanded these things for a wisdom and reason. 
I have to explain what worship is: what does it mean, and why did Allah command us to worship?

‘Ibaadah’, linguistically, it means humbleness, or a pathway that has been tread and worn down.

But the path of worship of Allah taught by the Prophet cannot only be by humbleness, but it must also have submission.

The Ahl as Sunnah wa al Jamah, they don’t take out action from Imaan.  No, acts are from faith.  The actions of the heart, the limbs, the tongue, they are part of Imaan, of faith.  Action is from faith.
And Allah joins action with faith in many places in the Quran.

So Aqeedah is not correct, except with worship.  Someone says: La illah illa Allah, but they don’t pray.  Why?  I am not convinced.  Why Hajj?  I don’t need to go to Mina to throw rocks.

Do you deny this is required of you?  Yes…then this person is not a Muslim, by the agreement of all the scholars.  No, these words of faith, they must be backed by action, or else it is like the hypocrites, didn’t they recite the Kalimah of faith?

Yes, Allah says:  “They come to you and say: We bear witness you are the Messenger of Allah.”
Yet Allah says, “The hypocrites are in the deepest part of the hellfire.”

So Aqeedah (beliefs and faith) cannot be established without worship, and worship cannot be established without Aqeedah.

Allah doesn’t accept worship unless one’s Aqeedah is correct.  If one’s Aqeedah is correct, his limbs fall into obedience to Allah.  A servant is one whose limbs stop at the limits commanded by Allah, he says, with love and pleasure with Allah’s commands: I hear and I obey.

Pray.  “I hear and I obey.”  Pray Isha. “I hear and I obey.”  Wake up for Fajr.  The people are sleeping, they hear the call to Fajr, “I hear and I obey.”  Complete obedience with complete love.

Worship of Allah means submission of one’s heart, one’s limbs, to the commands of the Prophet, if the Prophet lifts his foot, we follow in his exact footprints, longing to drink from the Howd (lake) of the Prophet on the Day of judgment.

Worship is the fruit of Aqeedah, and it is the second foundation in raising children, after raising your children on Aqeedah and Imaan.

So you, oh teacher or parent, you must raise your child on Tarbiyya of worship according to the way our pious predecessors showed us.

Prayer, Zakat, Fasting, but not only that.  This is the first step, but it is not limited to this.

I also say this method of teaching is necessary for our youth, for adults, me and you even, since we are in need of reminder, for people of faith they need reminders to keep their Aqeedah alive in their minds and hearts.

Childhood is not the stage of responsibility.  No, not at all.  It is the stage of developing and shaping.  So when the child reaches the age of responsibility, he will be ready to fulfill his responsibility to Allah, by worshipping him.

We need to remind our children that worship is the purpose for which we were created; this is why Allah created the heavens and the earth.  “I did not create Jinn or Mankind except to worship Me.”  In its wider meaning, worship is all things that please Allah in speech, actions, outward and inward, ie. Actions of the heart, trust in Allah, humbleness, love of Allah.  These are all worship.  Tawheed, ibaadah, Zakat, commanding to good, forbidding evil, striving in the way of Allah, seeking Allah’s help, sacrifice, all these are types of worship.

We want to raise our children in order that their worship will be the fruit of their Aqeedah, and so their worship is not some marginal thing in their life, no it is the very purpose for we have been created for.

Have we nurtured this feeling in the hearts of our children?  Are you waking your child for Fajr, maybe he is in middle school, high school, no he comes home from school, and you don’t remind him to pray.  And you are waiting for the next Salahadeen, or hero of Islam?  How?  Your daughter is wearing jeans, worried about her blue contact lenses, but you didn’t teach her that Salat prevents evil, and it fills one’s eyes with humbleness, and teaches us to see Allah in all our actions, there are so many secrets in Salat.  If we did that, she would be someone else.

What a difference between a young man who prays Fajr with the group in the Masjid, then sits making Dhikr, then goes home, and performs another wudu, and gets ready for school, then the other child who falls out of bed and manages to get to school!

Where is the light of the sun from darkness, where is the ground from the brilliant stars and shining planets, what a difference!

We want to nurture in their hearts the love or worship, its sweetness, and that it isn’t for punishment, or hardship.  A child, waking up to Fajr, putting water on his face, he feels it is so heavy.  Because he hasn’t seen his parents waking up energetically, eagerly rushing to worship Allah.  His parents didn’t sit with him to explain to him:
Allah didn’t create worship to punish us,  No my son, worship is the most beautiful state of creation.  You Lord is preparing you to be a true human being, a human who deserves to stand in front of Him on the Day of judgment, looking at His beautiful Countenance.

If you knew the secret behind every act of worship, you would fall prostrate thanking Allah that He commanded you to worship Him.

If a King asked someone to enter into his court, and announced an invitation, I ask you by Allah, what would be your state if it was you who was invited?  You would be honored, you would say, what a blessing.

So what do you think, my beloved, if the King of Kings, Most Glorious, invites you to stand before Him, and did you think, of the moment you will look at His Beautiful Countenance?  By Allah, if you knew what it meant to be deserving of this honor, your heart would fly.

Reading the Quran, remembrance of Allah, you are preparing yourself for Allah to remember you.  Fasting, it prepares you to be God-fearing, Hajj, it teaches you piety.

It is easy for us to remember the blessings others have given us in the Dunya, if someone gave you $100,000, would you forget?  No, you would never forget, as long as you live.  But I am amazed, how can we not forget the gift of someone in the dunya, but we forget the source of all gifts.  If it wasn’t for Allah, who commanded him to give you a gift, you would not have gotten what you have.

Even if you don’t know the secrets of worship, isn’t it from Allah’s rights on us to worship Him?  Oh my son, how did you become an adult, and you didn’t pray.  Oh you parent, how can you go to work, and not pray.  This concern for your work, you are so eager, but how can you forget Allah’s right on you?

Bukhari and Muslim narrate this hadith:  The Prophet, pbuh, and Muadh, a young boy, were riding together on one animal.  There Prophet, pbuh, said:  “Oh Muadh, do  you know what Allah’s right on His servants is?”  He replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”  The Prophet said, “To worship him.”  Then the Prophet said, “Do you know what the right of the servant on Allah is?”  Muadh said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”  The Prophet said, “To not punish him (and grant him Paradise).”

This is the right of Allah on us, these are the boundaries of Allah’s right, to be worshipped.

If all the people of earth left the worship of Allah, it would not harm Allah in any way.  Our worship does not benefit Him.  For Allah, He has creations that never leave His worship.  But you are the one who loses out. 

Allah says, “And to Him obeys everything in the heavens and the earth.”
“There is not a thing except it glorifies Allah.”
“Don’t you see that to Allah prostrate all things in the heavens and the earth.”

The whole universe is glorifying Allah, and in Sajdah, prostration, even if we don’t know how.  It is praising Allah.  Except those who disbelieve from man, and Jinn.

Muslim narrates: “”Oh my servants, if the first of you and last of you, mankind and Jinn, were pious, it would not increase my dominion at all, and if the first of you and the last of you, mankind and Jinn were evil, it would not decrease my kingdom in the least.”

“Oh shaykh, if everything is worshipping Allah, than why do we have to, why can’t we relax?  Why must we fast 30 days in the heat of summer?”

No, worship is for you, it is so you can be worthy of Allah’s mercy, to purify your heart, to make your character righteous, to become human, so you deserve to be a person close to Allah, so you can be granted the bounties of Allah.

You are body and soul.  Imagine you get what you want, food, home, protection, women, give your body what it likes.  And there are those who give their body whatever it wants, from halal and haram, oh Allah protect us from that.  But no matter how much you feed your body, one day, your soul will scream from deep within!  See, the happiness of the soul, it is not measured by degrees or weighed by grams, or studied in a lab.

“They ask you about the soul, say the soul is a matter from my Lord, and you have not been given from knowledge except very little.”
No, the soul, it must be fed.  But how?  By going to its Lord, who created it.  And to what the Prophet taught us, from his Lord.

Don’t you see the blessings of Allah on you?   Don’t you want to make sajdah to Allah, to thank Him for commanding you to pray?  I wish we taught our children this.

Salat is our connection with Allah, it is important for us to show our children this.  If a father is dressed in fine clothes, going to work, his child realizes how much he values work.

So what about when the father stands before Allah, does the child see him preparing to meet his Lord?

Worship is food for the soul, and purification for the heart.  If the heart is fed with Shirk, the heart will die.  Do you know that the heart will not become upright except with the worship of Allah?   The Prophet pbuh said, “In the body is a piece of flesh, if upright, the whole body becomes upright…it is the heart.”

If the servant knew the beauty of worship by the heart, by Allah, he would fall in prostration to Allah, and never get up until he sees the Face of Allah.   Not the body, the heart must prostate to Allah.

But Hajj, for example, the bodies have Ihraam on, but the hearts, they are not in the state of Ihraam.

Or one prays, but there is Riba, there is cheating, one’s daughter goes to school partially naked, no he prays 5 times a day…

No, the body prostrates, but the heart does not prostrate.  If the heart truly made prostration to Allah, it would never get up until it sees the Face of Allah.

No, they didn’t taste the sweetness of worship of Allah.  And humbleness and concentration, it is essential, may Allah grant us it in prayer.

Worship is to rectify our hearts, for the heart, if it is upright, the whole body will be upright.

The Prophet pbuh said, “Indeed, in the body is a piece of flesh, if it is upright, the whole body is upright, and if it is ruined, the whole body is ruined.”

The heart is called qalb in Arabic since it is always turning, changing, but when you pray at night, make tawbah, cry to Allah, these things rectify the heart.

“Those who strive in our way, we will guide them to our Paths.”

No, you cannot lower your gaze without rectifying your hearts. 

Prayer, prayer prevents wickedness and evil.

Worship is to remove hardships.  It is the third important purpose for which we are commanded to worship.  You know the 3 people who were trapped in a cave, and they only escaped because of their worship.  The first, because of kindness to his parents.  And even today, there are children who hit their parents, such a person is a great loser.

The second, he stayed away from fornicating.  So this is a valid form of Tawassul, through our worship, why can ask Allah to remove a hardship.

The Prophet, pbuh, if something was heavy on him, he turned to Allah in worship.

So worship removes hardship.  A woman, if she cannot have children, she should turn to Allah, worship Him, and ask Him.

In Bukhari there is a hadith Qudsi where Allah says:  “Whoever harms a Friend of Mine, I declare war on him.  And my servant doesn’t come close to Me with anything better than what I have commanded him of worship.  And my servant gets closer to me through extra acts of worship until I become the hand by which he grasps…”

And finally, worship is the reason by which we enter the Paradise.  Yes, I worship Allah to enter Paradise.

No, those who say, I worship Allah, not because of Jannah or Fire, only because He is worthy.

No they are not smarter than the Prophets.  The Prophets all asked Allah for the Jannah, and sought refuge from the Fire.

The Prophet asked the Sahabah, what do you say in the prayer?  He said, “I ask Allah for the Jannah and seek refuge from the Fire.”  The Prophet pbuh approved of this prayer.

So we worship Allah, because He is the only One worthy of our true worship, and then to save us from the Fire, and grant us the Paradise.

Those who say, I worship Allah, not out of fear of the Fire, or longing for Paradise, if they mean, they only want the highest part of Paradise, the Pleasure of Allah, Ridwan min Allah, then this is ok, if what they mean is that they prefer that over the food and drink and other luxuries of Paradise, rather they strive for seeing the Countenance of Allah.

There is a beautiful statement by Imam Ahmad, the Imam of Sunnah.  He said:  “The sadness of my heart will never go away until I see my Book in my Right hand (on the Day of Judgment), and my eyes are cooled by the sight of the Prophet, pbuh.”

Let us teach our children Tarbiyya by worship, keeping in mind that this method of upbringing must always come together with Tarbiyya by Aqeedah.

I ask Allah to protect us, and our children, and to join us together on goodness always, and may peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, and his family and companions.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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