Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fastabiqul khairat | Be competitive and unstoppable


Fastabiqul khairat was one Quranic buzzword mentioned by the Malaysian Prime Minister in the recent 2013 budget announcement. But of course there are critics who would deny or even condemn any good things some people try to do. Still for those who are intent on racing to do as much good deeds as possible, they would just forge ahead and let others race in talking negative, if they so wish.

At the end of the day we will all return to Allah who will be the ultimate judge. "To Allah is the return for all of you. Then Allah shall tell you about that in which you disputed." Those are the words of Allah immediately following His order on fastabiqul khairat in Surah Al-Ma'idah, verse 48.   

Let's see a few translations of the Quranic verse on fastabiqul khairat.

"Vie, then, with one another in doing good works."
- Muhammad Asad

"So strive as in a race in all virtues."
- Abdullah Yusuf Ali

"Strive, then, to excel each other in good deeds."
- Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani

Race, excel and good works are the key words.

We recently heard Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin speaking about the healthy competition between Saidina Umar and Saidina Abu Bakar (radiallahu an huma). The former tried, on many occasions to outdo the latter. Such positive race could bring much benefit to the deen. Habib Ali was speaking at the monthly Mawlid celebration at Masjid Muadz bin Jabal. Saidina Umar was asked why he had recited his night prayers in a loud voice. He said he did it on purpose to encourage his families and neighbors to wake up for qiyamulail and to chase the shaytan away. Saidina Abu Bakar on the other hand performed his night prayers in a soft voice. When he was asked the reason for it, the first caliph said, "There's no need to speak loudly to Allah whose Essence is All-Hearing." Their replies reflected the maqam they each occupied, explained Habib Ali.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w acknowledged Saidina Abu Bakar as having a distinctive edge over Saidina Umar. We all know that from the famous narration where Saidina Umar made an effort to turn up earlier than Saidina Abu Bakar, eager to inform the Prophet about his contribution for the deen. But Abu Bakar As-Siddiq outperformed Umar again, and everytime. 

Let's be competitive and unstoppable like Abu Bakar.
Let's make fastabiqul khairat our philosophy.

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