Paradise

This week’s khutbah was on a passage from Sura Al-Furqan and it’s reference to paradise.

The imam followed on from last week’s mention from Sura Al-Furqan by mentioning in this weeks khutba Sura Al-Furqan ayat 75 and 76 which is translated to say:

Such are the ones who will be rewarded with the lofty places in paradise for their patience, wherein they shall be welcomed with greetings and salutations.

They shall live forever in that excellent dwelling and excellent resting place!

Dear brothers and sisters, these special servants of Allah SWT, with their attributes, are referred to and in a short conclusion their divine reward is brought up as follows:

“Those (servants of Allah SWT) shall be rewarded with the high stations or lofty places (in Paradise) because they were patient…”

If we delve further into the translation of the Arabic, we can deduce more from this passage. The Arabic word “qurfah” means something that is picked up and consumed, such as water that man gets from spring for drinking. Then this word was applied to upper parts and stories of a building and houses. Here it implies the best places of the Paradise.

Since the servants of the Allah SWT, with the attributes spoken of in last week’s reminder, are in the first row of other believers, their heavenly rank and position must be also the highest.

As a reminder then for us all, it must be noted that this high rank is given to them due to the attributes they possessed. What are these attributes that we need?

Well, after the events of this week it’s even more poignant that we are reminded of these passages by the imam. The attributes spoke that were possessed by the believers according to the Quran are that they have been patient and tolerant for the sake of Allah SWT.

Dear brothers and sisters, is it possible to worship Allah SWT, to be humble and modest, to struggle with low desires and to stop vain witness, without patience and perseverance?

Is it possible indeed to absorb all that we see taking place in the world in the name of this peaceful religion without patience and perseverance?

And so we ought to reminder ourselves that the Qur’anic word “sabr” meaning patience has got an extensive concept which includes tolerance and resistance against difficulties being on the path of worshipping Allah SWT.

It means struggling with low desires and withstanding both minor and major temptations of sin.

We need to remind ourselves that everything we are witnessing in life, everything that is being depicted in the media in our name, everything that strains at our hearts is there for a single purpose only.

That purpose is for us to turn back to our Lord in submission and in dua to Him. To perform dua is an act of worship and to be tested in our patience and in our tolerance is the reminder that we are helpless without His mercy and His blessings and that we need to turn back to Allah SWT in dua for our selves, our lives and our afterlife.

And alongside this reminder of the ayat, the imam spoke of the latter half of the translation and expanded upon the descriptions given by Allah SWT on paradise.

He made reference in particular to Sura Az-zumar, ayat 34 which says:

They will have whatever they desire with their Lord. That is the reward of the doers of good
And Sura Muhammed ayat 15 which says:

Is the description of Paradise, which the righteous are promised, wherein are rivers of water unaltered, rivers of milk the taste of which never changes, rivers of wine delicious to those who drink, and rivers of purified honey, in which they will have from all [kinds of] fruits and forgiveness from their Lord

Dear brothers and sisters, we are reminded this week that patience and tolerance holds a high station in the afterlife. We are reminded also that the descriptions of Paradise have been offered by Allah SWT as a perfect balance to the test that we are living in this life.

We ought to remind ourselves that this is not a time to succumb to impatience or intolerance for whatever reaction may come our way from people around us. Fear causes irrational behaviour this much is true. But let’s remind ourselves that this is a call from our Lord to step up and show the people around us what it means to be Muslim. Demonstrate that in our actions with others, in our words and in our everyday dealings with people.

Alongside that though, on a personal level, this is a reminder that nothing comes without the will of Allah SWT and so when we are faced with times when patience and tolerance is needed in abundance, there is no better response from within than to turn back to our Lord in sincere repentance and dua. And by doing that we will be of the people mentioned in the ayat mentioned in today’s reminder insh’Allah.

May Allah SWT grant us patience and tolerance. May Allah SWT grant us lofty stations in Paradise and may Allah SWT reward us in our efforts to be patient and tolerant.

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