THE FIRST SERMON IN THE MONTH OF SAFAR (4TH SAFAR, 1443 AH/10TH SEPTEMBER, 2021 CE)
All praise is due to Allāh the Great, the Mighty. We praise Him for the blessings and we also praise Him whilst in trial and tribulations. And I bear witness that no one has the right to be worshipped except Allāh. And I bear witness that Muḥammad is His servant and Messenger, the leader of the pious and the master of those who came before us and those who come towards the end. May the peace and blessings be upon the Prophet (SAW). And may the peace and blessing be also on the companions and those who followed them until the day of resurrection.
Indeed, we live in a time in which our civilisation has attained and developed in different spheres of life. These types of developments are unprecedented, which we havent seen in previous nations and previous civilisations. We find that we have a higher degree of worship whether it be related to life or technology. We see this advancement.
So we live in this contemporary life which really surprises and astonishes us. Despite all of these advancements we see in society, we realized they do not guarantee happiness in the way we have seen people attain happiness in the past. And this is all due to the absence of a matter which is extremely important. And without this particular thing, there is no meaning to life. And we ask ourselves, what is this important thing, without which you can not attain happiness in life. It is indeed, Oh Servants of Allāh, it is attaining Barakah ? Benefit? Blessings in our life.
There is no person who has a steadfast life and he does not receive blessings. And what is the benefit of time if it has no blessing in it? What is the benefit of knowledge if it has no blessing in it? And what is the benefit of having food that has no blessings in it? So, in our khuṭbah today, we shall be mentioning some of the ways and means towards attaining the blessings of Allāh in all our endeavours
So blessings is not just about attaining great amounts of wealth, rather it is a value which Allāh has given to particular deeds. Rather it is a blessing which leads to tranquility in the soul and also to be contented. These are the signs of barakah. And likewise for a person to continue and remain in good health, these are the effects of Allāh’s barakah in a person’s life.
And so if you were to assume life to be like a tree, then the water that goes to the tree, this is the barakah. The barakah is the water which gives life to the tree and this barakah is that which gives life to the soul itself. And by this barakah, a person is able to live in a small hut, to him; it will be like a palace.
If a person does not understand barakah and does not receive barakah, if he was to live in a palace, then to him it would be like living in a prison. And this is the result of even attaining this blessing in life or being prevented from attaining it. So barakah essentially is that which gives an increase in good, so for example a person wants to have blessings in his life then that would tell a person has long blood. This blessing could also occur in a person’s wealth that would mean that a person attains a sufficient amount of wealth until he dies and Allāh makes his wealth go a long way. A person could be blessed in his food as well and the blessing in this food is that it fills a person’s stomach even though it might be a small amount and likewise, a blessing in knowledge, the blessing in knowledge is that it leads to beneficial deeds. These are the effects of barakah.
However, we live in a time where we suffer from lack of barakah, and we live in a time where people really suffer in all aspects of life from the lack of barakah from Allāh. So people think that in reality, blessings is all about attaining great amounts of wealth and many children but you will find that there are many people with great amounts of wealth yet you find they have no blessings in their wealth. You find they earn hundreds of thousands of dollars, pounds, naira yet you find that it does not benefit them and they lose their money quickly. People have many children yet you find there is no barakah in their children.
We find, for example, in the developed world, they give loans to the developing and poorer countries, most especially in Africa. And they impose these loans on them, which incur interest. And in fact you find that these loans that these countries take on, they do not benefit them. Rather it creates more hardship on the people. And so these countries and these poor nations that take these debts upon themselves, they sell their own products to the creditor. And they end up losing out on the benefit. It is as if the creditor is strangling the debtor. So what barakah or blessing is this? This is a result of involving yourself in these transactions. It is just like a person who keeps drinking salty water, every time he gets thirsty, he tries to drink it more but in reality, he becomes more thirsty.
However, if you were to compare the era that we live in today to the era of the Prophet (SAW) and his companions, you will find a stark difference in barakah. So for example, you will find that the Prophet (SAW) would find a great deal of blessings in just a small peice of bread that would suffice for him and all of his companions.
For example we see the companion, ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān, Allāh blessed his wealth and by his wealth, he was able to provide and sustain a whole army. And likewise we have the axample of Zubair ibn Awwām, when he was on his death bed, he advised his son to pay back his debt. His debt reached one million and two thousand dīnār, so he was in a great amount of debt. So in paying back the debt, he said that if you are unable to pay back the debt then seek help in my freed slave and he will help you. There was a peice of land he had which grew date palm trees and so his son was able to use this land and cultivate it and therefore the value of this land reached great amounts. In fact it reached millions of dinars and he was able to pay back his debt and he also left behind four wives and he was also able to give each wife a million dinar. So look at how barakah occurs.
And likewise, it was reported in the Musnad of Imām Aḥmad, that the time of bani kudaiba, in the time of Imām Aḥmad, that they found a piece of wheat and it was so large that it was written on it that this was grown in the time of blessings (barakah). So when we have this barakah, it has an effect on our food and the way that it grows.
And we find other examples of earlier generations where they would find for example camel loads of grapes and this was something very rare to find in Arabia. So these are examples of the previous generations and how much they attained great amounts of barakah. And this is, despite the absence of advanced technology during this time.
The Prophet Muḥammad (SAW) mentioned in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim that the Day of Judgement will not return until the land of the Arabian Peninsular will become green and lush again as it was before. And it is reported that a time will come when just a small fruit will be enough for a few people and a small piece of flesh of a camel will be enough to feed groups of people and this is a sign that we will have this barakah.
Though we have to ask ourselves two important questions: How do we attain this barakah? Are we doing these things that will entail the securing of these blessings. And at the same time we have to ask ourselves; what are the things that prevent the barakah from befalling upon us. And as Allāh says, indicating this, that if the people of the town had truly believed, then we would have sent rain in multitude gushing forth upon them.
May Allāh direct us all to the blessings of the Glorious Qur’ān and the Sunnah of His Messenger (SAW) and benefit us all in whatever is in them.
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.
الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين
All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Master Muḥammad, his pure family, companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
Dear brothers and sisters in Islām! The person who wishes to attain the blessings in his life, then he must observe and be aware of those things which bring about these blessings. It is, if a person contemplates, he will find that he will be able to find the blessings in life by completing the following things.
Firstly, by believing in Allāh, and believing in His Messenger and adhering to the law of Allāh and His Messenger. This is in line with what Allah says:
وَلَو أَنَّ أَهلَ ٱلقُرَىٰ ءَامَنُواْ وَٱتَّقَواْ لَفَتَحنَا عَلَيهِم بَرَكَٰت مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَاءِ وَٱلأَرضِ وَلَٰكِن كَذَّبُواْ فَأَخَذنَٰهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكسِبُونَ
And if the people of the towns had believed and guarded (against evil) We would certainly have opened up for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they rejected, so We overtook them for what they had earned. (Q.7:96)
Secondly, a person has to be grateful towards Allāh, for his blessings. As Allāh says,
لَئِن شَكَرتُم لَأَزِيدَنَّكُم وَلَئِن كَفَرتُم إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيد
If you were to be grateful to Allāh, he will increase your blessings, but if you are ungrateful, then indeed my punishment is severe. (Q.14:7)
The Messenger of Allāh (SAW) also said, “Whatever blessings Allāh sends down from the skies you will find a group of people denying this blessing”.
The third means of attaining benefit is having a ḥalāl source of income. As Allāh says:
يَمحَقُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلرِّبَوٰاْ وَيُربِي ٱلصَّدَقَٰتِ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ
Allāh does not bless usury, and He causes charitable deeds to prosper, and Allāh does not love any ungrateful sinner. (Q. 2: 276)
Else where, Allāh says:
يَٰأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ كُلُواْ مِمَّا فِي ٱلأَرضِ حَلَٰلا طَيِّبا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَٰتِ ٱلشَّيطَٰنِ إِنَّهُۥ لَكُم عَدُوّ مُّبِينٌ
O mankind! eat the lawful and good things out of what is in the earth, and do not follow the footsteps of the Shayṭān; surely he is your open enemy. (Q. 2:168)
And the fourth means of obtaining barakah is by staying away from isrāf (extravagance) in spending. Allāh in this regard says,
وَلَا تُبَذِّر تَبذِيرًا إِنَّ ٱلمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُواْ إِخوَٰنَ ٱلشَّيَٰطِينِ وَكَانَ ٱلشَّيطَٰنُ لِرَبِّهِۦ كَفُورا
And do not squander wastefully.indeed those who spend lavishly and extravagantly, they are the brothers of the devils and the devil is ever ungrateful to his Lord. (Q. 17:26)
And thus they will not be able to attain any barakah. And that is why the Prophet (SAW) said, the best of women for marriage are those who are the easiest in terms of expenditure.
And likewise, another means is by being truthful and straight as well. As the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said two people who are involved in a transaction they will have a choice to go back on their deal as long as they do not separate, if they are truthful then indeed they will be blessed in their trade.
Another means of attaining barakah is to engage in supplication to the Lord over whatever favour bestowed upon him, as we saw in the case of Zubair ibn Awwām before as well. The Prophet (SAW) has enjoined us to always offer prayers on any new things given to us.
And likewise another important reason for obtaining barakah is by having contentment and being satisfied with what Allāh has given us, so as to live a happy life. A happy life as many scholars say, is to be satisfied and have contentment with what has given you.
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.
O Allāh, we seek refuge in Your perfect words from the evil of that which descend from the sky and from the evil of that which ascends in it, and from the evil of what is created in the earth and the evil of that which comes out of it. O Allāh we seek refuge in You from the trials of the night and the day, and from the visitations of the night and day, except for one that knocks with good. Indeed, You are the Most Merciful.
© Imam Mubin Olatoye Raji