8 January 2010 / 22 Muharram 1431
Upgrading of Knowledge in Islam
الحمدُ للهِ الَّذِيْ وَعَدَ عِبَادَهُ الصّالِحِينَ في الدُّنيَا وَالآخرَةَ بِالنَّجَاحِ وَالفَلاحِ، أَشهدُ أن لآإلهَ إلاّ الله وَحدهُ لاَ شَريكَ لهُ، وَأَسأَلُهُ َأنْ يَرزُقَنَا نُورَ الإيمانِ وَعِزَّةَ الإسلامِ، وَنَتُوبُ إلَيهِ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ، وَنَسْأَلُهُ التَّوفِيقَ لِكُلِّ مَا يُحِبُّهُ وَيَرضاهُ، وَأشهَدُ أنّ سَيِّدَنا محمدًا عَبْدُهُ ورَسُولُهُ القَائِلُ فيما وُرِدَ عنهُ : اِتَّقِ اللهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنتَ ، وَاتْبَعِ السَّيِّئةَ الحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا، وَخَالِقِ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ.
اللهمّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّم وَبارِكْ عَلى سَيِّدنا محمد وَعَلى آلِهِ وَأصحَابِهِ مَصَابِيحِ الغُرَرِ. أمَّا بَعْدُ، فَياَ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ لَقَدْ قاَلَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ياَ آيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا اتَّقُوا اللهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إلاَّ وَأنتُمْ مُسلِمُونَ.
Dear brothers, the ummah of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w,
I remind myself and fellow congregation to be conscious of Allah s.w.t. at all times; in the open or when we are by ourselves. Do all that has been commanded by Allah with dedication and commitment. Refrain from all of Allah’s prohibitions with steadfastness and seriousness. May we be blessed with His blessings and pleasure throughout our lives, Ameen Ya Rabbal 'alamin.
Dear blessed congregation,
Have we started to plan on how to upgrade and develop ourselves for this year? There is a lot of knowledge and skills out there to learn and benefit from. Let us be reminded by what Allah s.w.t. says in the Holy Quran:
يَرفَعِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُم وَٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلعِلمَ دَرَجَـٰتٍ۬ۚ
Which means: "Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks." (Al-Mujadalah verse 11)
For those of us who are fathers, we ought to ask ourselves at the start of this new year: How can we develop and upgrade ourselves so as to benefit our young and teenage children?
Sheikh Hassan Mohamed Ayub, a scholar from Al-Azhar, in his book entitled "As-Suluk al-Ijtima'iy Fil Islam" which means "Social Ethics in Islam”, mentioned that apart from giving our child a good name, and maintaining him/her adequately, a child deserves to be nurtured and brought up properly, with the right education, and be given the opportunities to learn in life as much as possible. Let us learn from our Beloved Prophet s.a.w. on how he educated and communicated with young children.
A companion by the name of Umar bin Abi Salamah reported: When I was a small child, I sat on the lap of the Prophet s.a.w. and my hand moved from one dish to the other whilst eating. The Prophet s.a.w. said to me “O son, read Basmalah (Bismillah), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is nearest to you” and henceforth, those ethics became my way of eating. (Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim)
Look at how beautiful the Prophet s.a.w. communicated with the young child. Although the child did something reprehensible, the Prophet s.a.w. corrected him with a gentle, yet effective approach. The child was not aware of the proper ethics of eating. Yet, the first thing the Prophet s.a.w did was to remind him to remember Allah before eating, by reciting the Basmalah. This will train the young mind to get used to this sacred words, and when he grows older, to be reminded always that eating is a way to strengthen his otherwise weak body, so that he is always ready and prepared to observe the commands and teachings of Allah s.w.t.
Afterwhich, the Prophet asked the young companion to eat with his right hand. To begin positive and good things with the right is a Sunnah of the Prophet s.a.w. Only then, the Prophet s.a.w. taught him to eat from what is nearest to him. Although the young companion went against one ethical conduct in eating, the Prophet s.a.w. offered him three valuable lessons.
If we analyse the Prophet’s response to this companion, we will find that the Prophet s.a.w. teaches us not to lose any opportunity, especially if the opportunity arises from one’s weakness or mistake, to offer constructive advice, and to inculcate positive values and teachings, especially when the human mind is ready to learn after making a mistake. This shows us the importance of knowing how to communicate and educate our children.
Dear Friday congregation,
We also need to have the appropriate skills to help guide our children in making important decisions in life. We need to be close to them, before we can effectively guide them. For those who have children waiting for their “O” level results, we should be in a position to advice and mentor them to make important decisions on their subsequent educational pathways. To do so, there are many courses and seminars that can help parents acquire such skills. For example, Ngee Ann Polytechnic is organising a seminar on this tomorrow. Such programmes will not only help parents guide their children on how to choose the educational pathways after their “O” level exams, but these will bring families closer and build their confidence as one family unit. This kind of initiative will contribute towards a stronger Islamic family institution, and will produce quality Muslims who can contribute to global excellence. This should be a vision in the mind of each Muslim with a strong faith in Allah the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.
My dear brothers, the ummah whom the Prophet s.a.w. loves,
Let us therefore put this plan to upgrade ourselves into action. This plan that will put us one step ahead in our development. As a father, we will strive to offer the best to our children, seeking Allah’s pleasure. As a child, we can collectively build a respected and resilient generation with strong religious and personal identity. We will be competitive, not for worldly pursuits, but to serve Allah who has created this universe and all that is within it.