In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] said:
قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَأَقِيمُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ ۚ كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ
Say (O Muhammad): My Lord has commanded justice and (said) that you should face Him only in each and every place of worship, and invoke Him only making your religion sincere to Him. As He brought you (into being) in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being (on the Day of Resurrection). [7:29]
[قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ – Say (O Muhammad): My Lord has commanded justice]– meaning: uprightness in worship and justice in dealings- neither oppression nor tyranny. [وَأَقِيمُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ – And you should face Him only in each and every place of worship]- meaning: you should face Allaah only (i.e. worship none but Allaah); strive to accomplish the acts of worship, especially the Salaah, and perform it outwardly (i.e. performed properly with its pillars, conditions and obligation) and inwardly (i.e. with sincerity, khushoo etc) and purify it from every deficiency and corruption. [وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ – And invoke Him only making your religion sincere to Him]- meaning: intend only Allaah by way of it (i.e. your worship) without associating any partner to Him. [An Excerpt from Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan’ Publisher’ Daar Ibn Hazm (1 Volume) pages 263-264. Slightly paraphrased]
Therefore, the above is the first goal – to strive in Ibaadah and upon sincerity, and we ask Allaah to overlook our shortcomings, grant us repentant hearts and protect us until we meet Him Aameen
Secondly, O Admins, Trustees and Helpers In The Masjid! Uthmaan [radiyallaahu anhu] spent the best part of his wealth to extend the Masjid of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wa sallam] – a masjid in which reward for Salaah is 1000 times superior to Salaah in other Masaajid besides Masjid Al-Haraam; and a Masjid from which Ulamaa, Du’aat and Mujaahideen were prepared to spread the Deen, so imagine the reward in all of that! Indeed, people will be thanked for their efforts and dedication to the Masaajid, but regardless what any of us receives of praise and thanks, we should not be oblivious of the fact that we should not allow the praise of the people to divert us from our reality, because had Allaah not granted us the ability to do something in the Deen, we would not have been able to do so. Let’s look at few statements of the Salaf in this regard!
It was said to Imaam Ahmad [rahimahullaah], “May Allaah reward you for the good you have (done) for Islaam; so he said, ‘Rather, Allaah has (done) good for me through Islaam. Who am I, and what am I?’” [Siyar A’laam Nubulaa: 11/225]
Sufyaan Bin Uyaynah [rahimahullaah] said, “Indeed, I become angry with myself when I see you come to me, and I say to myself: These people have not come to me, except due to the good thoughts they have about me.” [Hilyatul Awliyaa: 7/285]
Sa’eed Bin Ismaa’eel [rahimahullaah] said, “Fear of Allaah leads you to the [path, obedience and pleasure etc.] of Allaah; self-amazement within your soul cuts you off from Allaah and belittlement of the people within your soul is a disease that does not heal”. [Shu’ab Al-Imaan: 10/494]
Zubair Bin Nu’aym Al-Baajee [rahimahullaah] said, “I do not know whether I have ever relied upon Allaah a single hour”. [Hilyatul Awliyaa: 12/148]
Kab Al-Ahbaar [rahimahullaah] said to man who came to him and was from those who sought after hadeeth, “Fear Allaah! Increase upon what you already possess without [seeking] to be elevated in the gathering and do not harm anyone, for indeed if your knowledge filled what is between the heavens and the earth alongside self-amazement, Allaah will not increase you in it (i.e.in this knowledge) except ignominy and deficiency! So the man said, ‘May Allaah have mercy upon you O Father of Ishaaq! Indeed, they lie about me and harm me’. So he [Kab] said to him, ‘Indeed, the Prophets were lied against and harmed, and they exercised patience; therefore exercise patience, and if not, then you are destroyed’”. [Hilyatul Awliyaa: 5/376]
Therefore, neither should we be oblivious nor allow any praise to divert us from reality, rather we should constantly focus on the fact that the goal is to strive for Ikhlaas, Ibaadah, striving to follow the path of our Salafus Saaleh, returning to repentance and asking Allaah [The Exalted] constantly to include us amongst those who truly fear Him, especially after performing deeds. Aa’isha [radiyallaahu-anhaa] said, “I ask the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) about this Ayah: [وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوْا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ – And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear] [23:60]; are they those who drink alcohol and commit theft? He [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘O daughter of Siddeeq! Rather they are those who observe fasting, perform prayer and give charity, whilst fearing that their deeds will not be accepted from them'”. [Reported by Imaam Tirmidee Number: 3175]
Hasan Al-Basri [rahimahullaah] said: ”The believer combines between perfection (in worship) and fear (that his deeds will be rejected); and the hypocrite combines between evil (deeds) and feeling safe from [Allaah’s punishment]” [Madaarij As-Saalikeen: 1/512]
Allaah (The Most High) has stated:
وَأَسِرُّوا قَوْلَكُمْ أَوِ اجْهَرُوا بِهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ
And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts (of men). Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything). [67:13-14]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: This is from the highest degree of affirmation, for indeed it is the case that the Creator knows His creatures, therefore if you affirm that indeed He is your Creator and the Creator of your hearts and what they contain [or all that is within the hearts], then how can (anything) be hidden from Him when it is the fact that He created them?! And the statement [بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ – what is in the breasts (of men)] includes what the breasts contain of beliefs, intents, love and hate. [Source: An Excerpt from Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) page 173]
Therefore, noble brothers and sisters at Al-Markazus Salafi, never should we be distracted by our little achievements, efforts in the Masjid or outside of it, regardless of the good suspicions of the people.
Finally, one important affair we ask Allaah to enable us to always remind ourselves in the Masjid Committee is that one should never think that the respect given to him, his efforts, connections or popularity in the eyes of others will give him [or gives him] a status above the haqq; rather the basis of every affair is solely the Haqq, sound consultation and co-operating upon Bir and Taqwah- neither seeking the agreement of other committee members through flattery nor through shared personal goals and ambitions and thus a Masjid Committee resembles a house of parliament with different interest groups. Indeed, those who behaved in such a manner – in Manchester – finally subscribed to the path of the Hajaawirah and Al-Maribi due to playing games with the Dawah. Therefore, we ask Allaah to establish all our little efforts upon Bir and Taqwah, and overlook our shortcomings. Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ
Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa [virtue, righteousness and piety]; but do not help one another in sin and transgression. [5:2]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said: This Ayah contains all the Masaalih [beneficial affairs] for the slaves in their worldly affairs and affairs related to the Hereafter- be it between themselves or between them and their Lord; for indeed every servant [of Allaah] finds himself within two circumstances and obligations – either [required] to fulfil the obligations owed to Allaah or the obligations owed to Allaah’s creation. As for the obligations owed to the creation, they include [righteous] association, companionship, aiding one another upon what Allaah loves and obedience to Allaah, and that is the goal behind one’s search for happiness and success in the afterlife. There can be no happiness in the afterlife except through Bir [virtue] and Taqwaa [piety], for it is basis of all affairs of the religion.
As for Taqwa, its reality is to act in obedience to Allaah based on Eemaan in Allaah and hoping for Allaah’s Reward; fulfil what Allaah has commanded based on having Eemaan in that which Allaah has commanded and affirming the reward Allaah has promised; abandoning what Allaah has forbidden based on one’s belief that what Allaah has forbidden is forbidden and fearing Allaah’s punishment, just as Talq Bin Habeeb [rahimahullaah] said: ”When Fitna occurs, extinguish it with Taqwa”. So the people said: ”What is Taqwa?” He said: You act in obedience to Allaah upon a light from Allaah [i.e. Eemaan, sincerity etc] and hoping for reward from Allah. And you abandon disobedience to Allaah upon a light from Allah and fearing the punishment of Allah.”
This is the best of that which has been stated regarding Taqwa, for indeed there has to be an aim and a goal behind every deed. A deed cannot be considered an act of obedience to Allaah and an act that gets one close to Allaah until it is based on Eemaan, so that which leads to the performance of that deed is solely due to Eemaan – neither [Un-Islamic] customs nor [evil] desires, neither seeking praise nor status and other than it; rather it should be solely based on Eemaan and the aim behind it should be to attain Allaah’s reward and seeking after Allaah’s Pleasure. [An Excerpt from ‘Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah’ Vol 1 pages 307-311. Publisher: Daar Ibn Al-Jawziyyah 2nd Ed, 1431AH- Slightly paraphrased]
We ask Allaah to facilitate us and all the Muslims with every path to good, piety and success in this life and next, and distance us from every calamity, especially in the affairs of our Religion Aameen.