Monday, October 1, 2012

"Hasten to do good" - Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin


Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin Al-Hamid gave a tausiyah while he was in Makkah during the recent Ramadhan. He spoke about 4 plus 3 plus 2 things we should all be cognizant of. 

He said, on any given day we cannot avoid falling into one of this 4 states. Either we sin, commit transgression, or we're patient or grateful. Besides that Allah gives us 3 kinds of blessings: iman, health (as-sihah) and opportunities (al-fara). Health and opportunities are two great blessings after iman.

Habib Ali said, some people may be healthy but they are not given the opportunity to do something good about it. Some people may have a chance to do something but they are not healthy enough to perform it. There is a hadith of Prophet s.a.w saying: "One who is given good health and have enough food to eat in a day is akin to having the bounties of this world and all its contents." Therefore, Habib Ali advised us not to define prosperity/wealth differently but to define it according to what Allah and the Prophet have stated. 

Habib Ali also explained on the importance of being grateful (shukur) for the inspiration or awareness that we have about being grateful; how Prophet Daud a.s. expressed his inability to make shukur for the blessings of shukur. One is in a shukur state if one realizes one's inability to be fully grateful for all the blessings that one is thankful for.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was foremost on matters of shukur. He was known as Sayyidul Shakirin. He was said to have performed ibadah until his feet got swollen, and he did that out of gratitude. Likewise we must be grateful for the tawfik granted by Allah that we are able to worship Him and be in the state of servitude. 

The other 2 things we have to consider after iman are: al-istijabah, that is to hurry in responding to a good opportunity and al-musara'a meaning to compete or try to outdo one another in doing good. A sahabi Anas ibn Madzar was eating dates when the Prophet s.a.w spoke about the reward for those who march forward during a battle. He didn't hear the Prophet well at first so he asked Rasulullah s.a.w to repeat what he was saying. Anas responded, "The only thing which hinders me from getting what you've just said O Rasulullah is this dates." He then chucked the dates and hurried to the battle. Anas fought and died a martyr in the Battle of Badr. The moral of the story said Habib Ali, do not procrastinate in doing good but to be quick in responding to opportunities. So that's al-istijabah.    

Al-musara'a on the other hand is related to a verse in the Qur'an about fastabiqul khairat. It's about trying to outperform one another in matters of religion as in the well known story about Saidina Umar r.a. who made an effort to turn up earlier than Saidina Abu Bakar, eager to contribute half his wealth. But he later learned that Saidina Abu Bakar r.a. had brought his entire wealth to Rasulullah as contribution for one of the battles.

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin who was speaking on the eve of Laylatul Qadar in Makkah, encouraged his companions to grab the opportunity and make as many intentions as possible e.g. to make niyyat to do zikir, to read Qur'an, to recite salawat etc. Because whoever makes one noble intention, Allah opens up 70 doors of tawfik for each niyyat that person makes.

Concluding his tausiyah, Habib Ali again encouraged the audience to hasten to do good at every opportunity and to surpass or exceed one another in doing good.

Wallahu a'lam.
Listen to Habib Ali's tausiyah at:
Pic credit: Darul Murtadza

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