Brothers and Sisters in Islam, let me start today by sending out my sincere greetings to you all. May Allah accept our effort during Ramadan as sincere acts of ‘Ibadah, make us witness more of Ramadan on this surface of earth and overlook the shortcomings that abound in our fast. I hope that the virtues we have learnt during this Ramadan will not be thrown to the bin as we exit the beautiful month. The closeness to Allah, Qiyamul-layl, Tilaawatul-Qur’an, good attitude, almsgiving and others are truly not meant to be displayed only during Ramadan. They are supposed to form part of our daily life. May Allah strengthen our faith to achieve this.
As their now seem to be a yearly progression in the disagreement concerning Eid celebration and moon sighting, the attitude of some people today really calls for serious correction. Generally the Muslim youths of this generation have been noted to disagree on matters that we need not disagree on. It has no name than fruitless, spending hours arguing on, for example, the acceptability of using spoon to feed or enjoying the virtues and values of science and technology. Even when you tell them that the moon has been sighted in some part of the world, they would still insist that (or disagree) they want to continue fasting. Has the prophet not understood that doing this can cause confusion and division within the Ummah, he would not have said that ‘observe the Eid prayer when you hear that the moon has been sighted.’
To the topic of today, I must say that the 2015/1436A.H. Ramadan Planning Committee of the University of Ibadan have performed wonderfully well. They risked everything to get food to Muslim students who were fasting. They hardly slept. It got me wondering at a point if these people were actually students like me. Despite the proximity of examinations, they were comfortable with the work of Allah. I cannot but conclude that they have really understood ‘The True Secret’ that Amira Ayad explained in her 303-page book.
Reading the book made me understand some things about sincerity. It does not mean that you will not try your best at all; you will just leave the rest, out of trust, to Allah. I feel highly-encouraged and touched reading the story of a single woman with three kids in the book, who had cancer of the breast. She did not divert the little money she got from cleaning to treating herself because she believed that death would come anytime Allah wills and instead used the little she had to raise her kids. Hers was a case of surprise to doctors when they learnt that she became part of the 1 in every 20,000 people whose cancer left ‘at will.’ She is happy with her life now, courtesy of trust in Allah. This same high-level trust in Allah is what our true heroes have indulged in through the 29 days of Ramadan.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“And whoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out from every difficulty. And He will provide for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whoever puts his trust in Allah then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.”
This kind of character is the secret of our existence, display of sincerity that Allah expects from us all. We cannot boast that we are sincere to Allah and expect that we won’t strive to achieve heights of piety. If we have not strived for something which Allah wants for us, He will set for us a test, through our wealth, health, time, belongings etc to ascertain our commitment to His path. Not everybody can pass the test of Allah. Some people run away when it is just a length distance from victory. These are the hypocrites and have no place in the sight of Allah.
I must not forget the formidable contribution received from Hisbullah, the security arm of MSSNUI. The high level of professionalism displayed regarding changing of shifts and the reasonable creation of checkpoints at entrances to the mosque commands nothing but respect. They have performed excellently in the last ten days. To those who really saw it, Hisbullah demonstrated that examination is never an excuse to performing the duty of Allah. As they ensured security of the properties of Muttaqifun before, during and after Solat, they were also able to create time for themselves to study, rest and move close to their Lord. How sweet! I guess they all have understood Professor Abdur-Rahmon Oloyede’s sermon that if we fail to do the assignment given us by Allah, He will bring in a generation better than us to fulfill the obligation. Also, commendations go to the executive council of MSSNUI for being there at all time to take up responsibilities.
We all should note, an important thing to always ensure on the path of serving Allah is to do the job for Him alone. Imagine if someone had had sleepless night for 30 days but did this so that he can be praised by people. This kind of person will have no reward to claim before Allah. They will be told in the Aakhiroh why they did what they did which is not for Allah’s sake and embrace their full punishment thereafter. Also in the path of serving Allah come obstacles, distractions and frustrations. A servant should never allow the negative comments made by people affect his service to his Lord. Since human beings cannot reward one much as Allah would do, their negative comment should have little or no influence on one’s servitude to Allah.
Allah says in Soorah42:20:
“Whoever desires [with his deeds] the reward of the hereafter, we give him increase in his reward, and whoever desires the reward of this world [with his deeds], We give him thereof [what is written for him], and he has no portion in the hereafter.”
May Allah reward the Ramadan Planning Committee members, the Hisbullah members, the executive council of MSSNUI and all the persons that contributed in one way or the other for the sacrifice they all made. May He continue to strengthen them in faith and keep their feet firm on the path of Al-Islam.
I wish you all Eidul-Mubaarak.
Taqobalallahu minna wa minkum
Aremu Toyib finds passion in writing. His interest lies in a saner, more aware and more vibrant Muslim society. He wishes that someday, he could write books that will benefit his society. Follow him on twitter @omotoshoatob