In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation—may He extol the Messenger in the highest company of Angels and send His peace and blessings upon him—likewise upon his family, Companions, and true followers.
Dear brothers and sisters! Know that one of the important characteristics of a Muslim is that he remains in a positive state of mind, whatever the circumstances. He tries for the best and look for wisdom.
A Muslim is never in despair, not even in most difficult moments. That is because they believe that Allah is the Creator of all things; that He has the power to create whatever He wants by saying it to “Be!”
The faithful knows that any trying times, he finds himself in, are an Allah-sent test. He takes things in his stride, recalling what Allah Almighty has advised him:
“…it may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.” [Qur’an, 2:216]
Everything turns positive for a Muslim with such a depth of soul. Whether it be trouble or difficulty, it is Allah Who bestows them on that person. He is believer’s Helper and Guardian. Any thing and everything that Allah Almighty has created is for the best and which contains much wisdom.
Allah teaches the souls of those believers who have a sincere and unsullied belief in Him throughout the life of this world to be worthy of Paradise.
Every stage in this instruction is, by Allah’s will, a means whereby Muslims can take another step toward Paradise. Having faith does not mean making no mistakes. Allah creates human beings to be fallible, flawed and weak.
Muslims make mistakes the same way as everyone else. But the difference between them and those people who base themselves on the criteria of the society of the ignorant (Jahiliyyah) is that when Muslims realise the correct course of action by way of their consciences, or even if they do not but are reminded of it by others, they do not deliberately insist on continuing with their errors.
It is immediate repentance and sheltering in Allah and an intention not to repeat one’s error but to learn from one’s mistakes. This is a major indicator of a Muslim’s sincerity. Allah tells us how Muslims should behave in the face of their own mistakes:
“Those who, when they act indecently or wrong themselves, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their bad actions (and who can forgive bad actions except Allah?) and do not knowingly persist in what they were doing.” [Qur’an, 3:135]
Muslims are valuable entities bearing the Spirit of Allah. According to the Qur’an, it is improper for such people to exaggerate their mistakes and regard themselves as worthless because of them. It is Allah Who creates mistakes and causes people to commit them in destiny.
Even before a person is born it is already ordained in destiny at what time, on what date and where they will commit that error. Even if a person were to experience that moment a thousand times over they would still make the same mistake at the same time, on the same date and in the same place.
It is therefore wrong for people to lack self-confidence because of errors they have committed. Muslims never, under any circumstances, pay any heed to the approval of other people. They never become preoccupied with such doubts as “I wonder what people will say? What will they think of me? Will they love me any less? Will their trust in me be damaged?” Muslims seek to earn Allah’s approval alone.
In the event of an error or imperfection, they beg Allah to forgive them and hope that He will forgive their sins. They know that He is infinitely forgiving. What matters is whether or not He approves of that person. The Prophet Ibrahim’s (Peace be upon him) prayer, “[It is] He Who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning…” [Qur’an, 42:82], is an excellent model on this subject.
Since Muslims have faith and trust in and rely on Allah, they always regard themselves as virtuous and valuable. They always have respect for themselves.
They always remember Allah’s verse “Do not give up and do not be downhearted. You shall be uppermost if you are believers” [Qur’an, 3:139], which represents the way they look at themselves. Muslims want to be loved and trusted by other Muslims.
But they also know it is Allah Who will create that love and bestow that feeling of trust in other believer’s hearts. Muslim’s errors are instrumental in strengthening the love felt for those people. That is because the important thing is not the mistake, but the behaviour in the face of it of the person committing it. Since Muslims fear Allah, they have uneasy consciences when they make an error. They immediately think as they are shown in the Qur’an and thus see the truth.
They then feel regret for their mistakes and strive to make up for their mistake and to improve their moral values by seeking shelter in Allah. The more errors people commit, the more they are able to realise how weak they are.
They attain a deeper understanding of how much they need Allah. This mindset increases a person’s submission to Allah and humility. And Allah creates feelings of sympathy and affection for that person in the hearts of other believers.
The responsibility incumbent upon believers is to ensure that the moral values of the Qur’an and Sunnah rule their lives as much as possible and to seek the greatest amount of Allah’s approval in all they do at every moment of their lives.
It is impossible, according to the moral values of the Qur’an and Sunnah, for anyone harbouring such an intent and who lives for Allah in a determined and fixed manner, not to be loved or trusted. Faith requires that Muslims know this and that other Muslims will love them because of that faith.
It also requires that they have trust that only Allah can create that love in other’s hearts. As Allah tells us in another verse from the Qur’an:
“As for those who believe and do right actions, the All-Merciful will bestow His love on them.” [Qur’an, 19:96]
Allah created the order of the universe in superb detail to allow man to grasp His greatness. A verse referring to this order reads:
“…so that you might know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge.” [Qur’an, 65:12]
Faced with the sublimity of the details of this order, man becomes in awe, recognising that Allah’s wisdom, knowledge and might is infinite.
So expansive is Allah’s knowledge that what for us is “infinite” is in His Sight already ended. Every event that has taken place since the creation of time, until deep into eternity, was predetermined and ended in Allah’s Sight.
Man must seek to appreciate the extent of Allah’s knowledge, and reflect to comprehend His greatness.
Billions of people have appeared on Earth since time immemorial. Therefore, Allah created billions of pairs of eyes, billions of different fingerprints, billions of different eye tissues, billions of different types of humans… If He so willed, He could also create billions more. As stated in the Qur’an:
“…He adds to Creation in any way He wills. Allah has power over all things.” [Qur’an, 35:1]
Allah also possesses the power to create many other things beyond our limited imagination. The entire extent of the treasures Allah has bestowed in this world for His servants is all within His Sight. He sends down to us only that which He wills, all within a measure predetermined.
Allah has created many worlds and beings which we cannot see. To better understand the possibility of the existence of other worlds, we should consider the following: A picture is two dimensional-width and length. The world in which we live, however, is 3 dimensional-width, length and depth-(time can be considered as the 4th dimension). The rest is beyond our comprehension. However, in the sight of Allah, there are other dimensions. Angels, for instance, are beings that live in another dimension.
In the Qur’an it is stated that angels can see and hear us from the dimension and space in which they exist. Furthermore, the two angels, seated on our either shoulder, each, and at every moment, is recording every word we speak and every deed we do. Yet, we do not see them. Jinn are also beings of another dimension, as we are informed by the Qur’an.
They, like us human beings, are also tested, all through their lives, and will ultimately be brought before judgment by Allah. However, they are possessed of completely different attributes than humans; their existence is dependent upon an entirely different system of cause and effect.
These are all facts that deserve careful consideration in order to attain a better grasp of Allah’s splendid Creation. It is within Allah’s power to create innumerable new worlds, beings and situations. Furthermore, each is He able to create with a limitless degree of differentiation. Indeed, in a nature unknown to us, Allah will create Paradise and Hell.
While systems left to their own in this world tend to age, become corrupted, and eventually expire, in Paradise, unaffected by the passage of time, nothing will deteriorate; “rivers of milk whose taste will never change” is an example which states this feature of Paradise.
The human body too will not degenerate; nor will anything ever age. As is related in the Qur’an, everyone in Paradise will be of like age, will live together for all eternity, in the best condition, and without growing older or losing their beauty. Allah also informs us in the Qur’an that in it will be bursting springs for us from which to drink. Hell, on the other hand, will be utterly different; in it, Allah will create unimaginable torment. No one will be able to conceive the pain of such torment until he experiences it.
On everything in this world, Allah has placed a limit. Everything has a finite existence. This being the case, in order to comprehend “eternity,” and Allah’s infinite might, we need to exercise our minds and compare these ideas with something that is familiar. We can only come to know to the extent that Allah permits us. Allah, however, is infinite in knowledge.
Let us consider the following example, Allah has created seven basic colours. It is impossible for us to visualise another colour. However, Allah is able to create more than these basic colors. Although, unless He so wills, we will never be able to have a grasp that which is beyond what He has willed for us to know.
All that we have just mentioned belongs to that knowledge that Allah has allotted us in this world. But, one point deserves particular attention; because Allah’s power and might is infinite, anything can happen, and at any time, by His will. Allah’s Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) also referred to the eternal power of Allah when he said:
“The seven heavens and the seven Earths are no more in Allah’s Hand than a mustard seed in the hand of one of you.”
Allah explains the infiniteness of His knowledge in the Qur’an as follows:
“If all the trees on Earth were pens and all the sea, with seven more seas besides, was ink Allah’s words still would not run dry. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.” [Qur’an, 31:27]
In brief, no matter how hard we strive to do so, we cannot possibly come to grasp the extent of Allah’s knowledge, because it is unlimited.
We can comprehend it only as far as Allah permits us to do so:
“Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the Earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the Earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent.” [Qur’an, 2:255]
All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Muharram 28, 1444 AH ( 26 August, 2022).
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