THE SECOND SERMON IN THE MONTH OF JUMADAL AWWAL (10th JUMADAL AWWAL 1442 AH/25TH DECEMBER, 2020CE)
All praise and thanks are due to Allāh alone, the Almighty, the All Merciful. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, Alone without partners in His Lordship, Godship, or Names and Attributes. I also bear witness that our Prophet Muḥammad is Allāh’s slave and Messenger. O Allāh! grant Your slave and Messenger Muḥammad the best peace and blessings along with his progeny, Companions and all those who followed them with excellence until the Day of Resurrection.
Dear brothers and sisters in Islām! We often come across the word “Tawfīq.” It is something that everyone wishes for. We often make du῾ā’ to Allāh to grant us tawfīq to do something. In today’s khuṭbah, we wish to dwell on the topic “Meaning of Tawfīq and how to attain it?” Tawfīq means attaining goodness, truth, and correctness in affairs. Tawfīq is Allāh’s special help for the believers who truly want to do something only for His pleasure. It is a blessing which opens the doors of goodness and success for us.
Tawfīq is the special acceptance and blessing of Allāh with which He enables us to achieve our aims and to be successful in what we do. Whoever has been given tawfīq by Allāh has been given goodness in its entirety. In a Ḥadīth, the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “If Allāh wishes good for a slave, he utilizes him.” It was said, “How does he utilize him O Messenger of Allāh?’ He said, “He grants him tawfīq to perform righteous deeds before death.”
Tawfīq is from Allāh alone. We need to have absolute certainty that tawfīq can only be from Allāh. We also need to have reliance upon Allāh, and dispose all affairs to Him and to return to Him in repentance. The Qur’ān narrates the noble prophet–Shu῾ayb (AS) as saying,
وَمَا تَوْفِيقِي إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ
I cannot succeed without Allāh’s help. I have put my trust in Him and I turn to Him. (Q 11:88)
However, in order to get Allāh’s tawfīq, we should strive to do certain things. First of all, we need to be sincere in our intentions. This is explained beautifully in verse 35 of Sūratu’n-Nisā’.
وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن يُرِيدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا
And if you fear a split between them (husband and wife), then appoint a judge from his family and a judge from hers. If they want to reconcile, then Allāh will bring them together. (Q 4:35)
It is said that the statement “if they both wish reconciliation,” refers to the two judges and it is also said that it refers to the spouses themselves. “Allāh will cause their reconciliation” or literally “Allāh will give them tawfīq.” So, tawfīq is granted when a person’s intention becomes sincere and when what he wishes for is correct and proper. Even in our day to day routine, while doing anything, we have to ask ourselves: Is this act of mine intended to please Allāh (SWT)? Is it for His sake or for something else? If Allāh’s pleasure is our true goal, then we will neither crave for people’s praise and admiration, nor will we be worried about their criticism.
We must also realize that using our God-gifted intelligence and free will, we may choose the right course of action for ourselves, but we still need Allāh’s help in bringing about the results of our action to a successful completion. Accordingly, we should recognize our need for Allāh and be humble and submissive to Him, not just before starting our work, but at every step of the way, even after we have accomplished our work successfully. We need to remember that it is only through Allāh’s tawfīq that we made this good choice because it is He who gave us the power of choice.
Allāh says in the Qur’ān:
وَمَا تَشَاءُونَ إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ
And you cannot will anything except if Allāh also wills, the Lord of the worlds. (Q 81:29)
Sadly enough, there are many of us who do not seek the tawfīq of Allāh at all. We should be seeking Allāh’s help repeatedly by asking Him to give us the desire and the determination to do good deeds. We should make du῾ā’ a part of our life. We should keep asking Allāh (SWT) to give us tawfīq to do things which He loves and which are of benefit to us and others.
Just as the body starves without food and drink, so does the soul starve without spiritual nourishment, which comes only from the remembrance of Allāh and the best of remembrance is the Qur’ān. One of the names of the Qur’ān is al-dhikr, which means “the remembrance.” And if one is to understand the meaning of the Qur’ān, one must consider what the Prophet (SAW) said or did regarding a particular injunction of the Qur’ān. He followed and lived the Qur’ān every moment of his life.
Addressing His beloved Prophet, Allāh says in Sūratu’l-Qalam:
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
And you are surely on an exalted standard of character (Q 68:4).
We should also find ways and means to benefit others. This might seem like working away from ourselves, but in fact if we extend our efforts towards the benefit of other people, Allāh’s mercy will shower upon us, and the doors of goodness will open for us. Being unconditionally open-hearted, generous and forgiving is one of the best ways to getting Allāh’s tawfīq to do amazing good deeds.
The more we give others, the more we will be given. We have to be true to ourselves by asking ourselves: Does my heart carry any good feelings for others or am I usually self-centered? Do I want others to succeed as well, or do I want Paradise only for myself? When I have to share something with others, do I think of it as an opportunity to win Allāh’s pleasure, or do I think of it as a burden? Am I good to people only because they are good to me? Or do I love humanity for the sake of Allāh?
We also have to work on our taqwā, which means to guard oneself against Allāh’s displeasure. If we want to progress on the path of success, then it is absolutely essential that we live a life of God-consciousness and always be careful not to do things which might displease Allāh. Some might think that doing acts of goodness will automatically guard them against committing sins. However, the truth is we need to make efforts in both directions simultaneously. We need to do good while exerting the necessary effort to avoid the evil. We must realize that no matter how pious we might appear to the world, Allāh knows our reality.
وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
Be conscious of Allāh, for Allāh is well aware of everything you do. (Q 59:18)
هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ إِذْ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ وَإِذْ أَنتُمْ أَجِنَّةٌ فِي بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ
He knows you best since the time when He first produced you from the earth, and when you were embryos in your mothers´ wombs. So do not claim purity for yourselves. He knows best those who have taqwā. (Q 53:32)
If we underestimate the sins we do in private, just because we might appear outwardly good to people, then we might not receive the tawfīq of Allāh to maintain the good deeds we are doing. If someone really desires to have the tawfīq of being productive for the sake of Allah, then it is absolutely essential to spend time carefully and avoid all things that don’t bring any benefit. Among the special characteristics of al-Mu’minūn—the righteous believers is that they avoid laghw or useless talk and frivolous activities.
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
And they who turn away from all that is frivolous. (Q 23:3)
The useless activities could be the superficial pleasures that most people are involved in and include idle talk, gossip, slander, and time-wasting activities, which seem to have absorbed our time and hearts so much that we think we can’t live without them. We should try to identify those activities in our life. It’s a matter of choice. We can either be productive using our time and intellect to do something positive that will bring us benefit in this world and the next, or we can waste this time to our own disadvantage.
One useless activity that has taken over many people’s time in our society is talking too much without specific purpose or direction. The fact is that if we don’t guard our speech, then we fall into the danger of indulging in backbiting, slandering, making fun of others or discussing others’ private matters. By doing so, we lose precious time which cannot be brought back at any price, not to speak of the sins that get recorded in our book of deeds. This creates a barrier between us and the opportunities of earning Allāh’s tawfīq and doing good deeds. So, we should strictly act on the hadith of the Prophet (SAW), which says, “He who believes in Allāh and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.” May Allāh give us the tawfīq to abide by the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muḥammad (SAW).
أَقُولُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ المُسْلِمينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتْ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهْ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say this and ask Allāh for forgiveness for me and you, so invoke Him for forgiveness, for He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
لحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين.
All thanks and praises belong to Allāh the Lord of the Worlds. And may the constant blessings and mercies of Allāh be upon the leader of the Prophets, his entire household, companions and the entire Muslim ummah.
Brothers and sisters! A major reason which keeps us behind in terms of good deeds is that when Allāh gives us opportunities, we fail to grab them. Rather, we keep procrastinating. We keep postponing matters for a more convenient time. This is because we have unrealistic hopes and we do not realize that our time is running out. Therefore, one sure way to attain Allāh’s tawfīq is to always seize the opportunity whenever we get the chance to do a good deed. By doing that, we will be proving that we are grateful to Allāh for giving us the opportunity to do something positive in our lives. And Allāh has promised that if we are grateful He will bless us even more:
لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
If you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more.
We might have dreams to become big achievers, but what will actually take us there is constant hard work. Whoever wishes to win Allāh’s pleasure and reach the higher levels of Paradise must be prepared to work hard. Most of us dream of doing amazing things for the sake of Allāh but we don’t get up to turn them into reality. Why? Because we don’t want to give up our comfort and pleasures, and we keep wondering why Allāh is not listening to our supplication. Allāh gives tawfīq to those who really mean what they say; those who struggle to please Him, those who work hard to find the way to do things which He loves.
وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
As for those who strive in Our cause, We will guide them to Our paths for verily Allāh is with those who do right. (Q 29:69)
Last but not least, we must concern ourselves with our ultimate destination—the Hereafter. As the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever’s concern lies in the Hereafter, Allāh gathers his worldly affairs and the dunyā comes to him in haste.” It is up to us to decide how much we ruly want to succeed in this test of life. May Allāh help us earn the true desire and determination to make the best out of our short life journey, so that we can attain the glorious endless success of the Hereafter, May Allāh grant us all tawfīq in all that is good and may He distance us from all evil. Amīn
That is said, please bear in mind that you are instructed to invoke peace and blessings on the Prophet (SAW). Allāh, the Most Sublime, says,
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَمَلَٰئِكَتَهُۥ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِيِّ يَٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسلِيمًا
Indeed, Allāh confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allāh to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allāh to grant him] peace. (Q. 33: 56)
O Allāh, please confer Your blessings and grant peace upon our Prophet Muḥammad (SAW), his family and all of the companions.
May Allāh be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abū Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmān and ‘Alī, and all of the noble Companions.
O Allāh, we seek Your grace to make us amongst those who remember you much and are steadfast on performing acts of worship. O Allāh, please forgive us all.
© RAJI MUBIN OLATOYE