Flawed Love for a Fleeting Life; Akhlaq & Amal

- Plan for retirement, but also plan for the real future, Barzakh and the Hereafter. - Life should be regarded as very short. - Preparing a will and buying a grave are not the only steps. - 3 Steps of Preparation from our Imam: fulfilling Duties, Abstaining from Haram, Acquiring Noble character Akhlaq at home with family, at the workplace with colleagues, into community with your brethren, in public with humanity, and even those who oppress you. - Observe how these values continued in his grandson Ali Akbar

I would like to discuss in this khutba a theme on which I also talked in a different way last night, on Thursday night majlis about planning for the future.

We know planning, of course, to say planning for future planning means for future anyway. And so when I was typing this in my khutba, you know, the word document says, you just say planning is important. And then I realized you are planning for future planning means for something which you are going to going to do in the future. So, yes, it is an important issue, even from the Islamic point of view. And these days, we are being reminded by the financial advisers about the deadline for RRSP, which is planning for their retirement. And we talked about, you know, how we look at the same thing from a broader perspective when it comes to Islam, because our imams have told us again and again that when you talk about planning, do not even do not only look at the near near future. Which is the retirement age, rather, look at the further up, you know, what will happen when we talk about Barzakh, what will happen when we talk about the life in hereafter, which is eternal, doesn't have any end to it.

You know what we are doing for that. And so, yes, planning for retirement is very important. But even more than that, many, many times more important than that is to plan for our Barzakh and for our Aakherah. Let me go back to the khutba of someone who is known as Imam Al Muttaqeen, because the Ayat that I discussed last night is an Ayat where, you know, using RRSP for planning for retirement in this dunya. But when you talk about planning for the Barzakh and the hereafter the vehicle is not RRSP, it is known as Taqwa. "..... tazawwadoo fa inna khairaz zaadit taqwaa....." (2:197) You know make the preparation plan for your future and the best of provision that you can have for the future is known as Taqwa.

And this is where we see Amir al-Mu'mineen , you know, in his powerful words, the way he talks about it in khutba number 64, addressing the people, advising them, he says "wat taqullah 'ibadallah" - "O the servants of Allah! Have this consciousness of Allah's presence in your life do not displease him."

"wa baadero aajalakum be a'maalekum" - "and welcome your death with good deeds". You had to welcome anyway, whether you like it or not, it doesn't wait for your invitation card, it is going to come, you had to accept it and Imam says, you know, welcome it with good deeds.

"wabtaa'u maa yabqaa lakum bemaa yazulo 'ankum " very powerful way of putting things where he says "and buy from the perishable goods of this dunya the eternal bliss of the hereafter." Just look at this, a good deed. Very good deed here. Bargain that you are using things which are going to perish in this dunya, but your Imam says use it in order to build your aakherah.

"wa tarahhalu"- "you are being prepared for it";

"was ta'iddu lilmawt faqad 'azallakum" - "and be ready for the death because the death is already extending its shadow over you"

"wa kunu qaoman seeha behim fantabahu" - "be the people that when they are called they listen to the call"

"wa 'alemu 'annad dunya laysat lahum bedaarin fas tabdalu" - "and they are very well aware that this dunya is not their home and their abode." Their abode is something else. So they already planned to replace this place with some somewhere else. And that is that can only be done by good deeds.

"Fa innallaha lam yakhluk kum 'abathan, wa lam yatruk kum sudaa" - "because Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala did not create you without a purpose in a useless manner, because if you're going to only live here in this dunya, and then, you know, work hard for your retirement, you don't even know how long you're going to be there anyway in the last phase. And then the dunya, the life comes to the end. If that is the whole beginning and end, then it is not meaningful. And Imam says here that Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala did not create you without a purpose. That is a very good purpose and the purpose is the hereafter.

"wa ma bayna ahadekum wa baynal jannah awin naar illal mawt an yunzela bihi" - "Between you and the paradise or the hell fire, there is nothing in between but the death which is going to come.

"wa inna ghaayatan tanqasohal lahzatu, wa tahdemuhas saa'atu, lajareedatun beqesaril muddatun " then he says, you know, if this life that we have in this, dunya, is going to be shortened, every moment that passes your life is becoming shorter, then your life is being destroyed with every hour which is coming, then you really have to consider this to be a very short life. It is not really worth, you know, compared to what is going to be in the hereafter.

"wa inna ghayeban yahduhul jadeedaan al layli wan nahaar, la hareeyun besur'atil aoba" and that, you know, unseen reality known as death and mawt, this is being pushed forward every day by the new day and the new night when the day and night comes, it means your death is coming closer. And so it is important that we consider that to be faster. So the lives, the shorter and death is fast approaching us.

"wa inna qademan yaqdumu bilfauze awish shikwa la mustahiqqun li afzalil 'udda" And the death was just coming. And it might come depending on us with success or failure.

And therefore, that that death deserves more "li afzalil 'udda" that we should prepare for it more than anything else. So, yes, retirement is important, RRSP, make sure you don't miss the deadline, but there is a longer, you know, process even after that that we have to think about and he uses the word "la afzalil 'udda" means the most important of preparation is for the hereafter.

"fatazawwado fid dunya min ad dunya ma tahrozuna bihi nufusakum 'ghadan " and therefore acquire the provision in this dunya for what will protect you from the Hellfire in the hereafter. And so it is the dunya. This is the place where we have to act. This is the place where you acquire the hereafter. There is nothing over there. So we have to work for it in this dunya itself.

"fattaqa abdun rabbah wa nasaha nafsahu, wa qaddama tawbatuhu, ghalaba shahwata "therefore a person, you know, he should pay attention, fear his lord be an adviser to himself, you know, have this self criticizing the element of, you know, looking at yourself and criticizing yourself and. Make sure that the time of tawba and forgiveness is not delayed "wa qaddama tawbatuhu". Whenever the time comes, if the sin is committed, we are not infallible, do the tawba and control the desires

"fa inna ajalahu masturun 'anhu, wa amalahu khaade'un lahu" because his death is hidden from him, it is a norm. And this desires that we have in the future for this and that these are the deceiving factors of life "wa shaitaanu muwaqqalun bihi, yuzayyenu lahul ma'siyata liyarkabaha wa yumanniyhit tawba leyusawwefaha" and Shaytan is there creating more problems. Our own desires are there than the Shaytan is there, who makes the sinful acts as something, you know, good and deserving and desiring for us. And he is the one who basically pushes us to delay the tawba until our desires overcome.

And then we even forgot about it, that I had committed a sin for which I had to do the tawba "fayaa laha hasratan 'alaadhi ghaflatin " and so, Amir al-Mu'mineen says, I feel very sorry for somebody who is heedless of this reality of death and the life in hereafter because of his own life. The moments, the seconds and the minutes and the hours and the days and the weeks and months and the years, this life itself is going to stand in front of him on the day of the Qiyamah as an argument against him.

So this life that we are, you know, sacrificing everything for it, this is going to stand in front and it is going to actually take us to the state of failure."nas alullaha subhanahu an yaj'alana wa iyyakum mimman " And then he ends the khutba by the prayer that 'may Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala make you and us all together'

"mimman la tubteruhu ne'ma" for whom the blessings do not become a disgrace. Because sometimes when the blessings, if we use it in the wrong way or we do not take Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala becomes a disgrace for us.

"wa la tuqassero bihi 'an taa'ati rabbehi ghaayatan " and no, no purpose in life should ever keep us away from obeying Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala.

"wa la tahullu bihi ba'dal mawt nadaa matun wa laa qa'batun" And he should not face any, you know, 'nadamaa' - shame or grief after death

May Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala give us the taufeeq to be among the true followers of Imam Al Muttaqeen Ali bin Abi Talib, alayhi as-salati wa'ssalam.[Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]

Inna Hasan al-Hadith, Kitab Allah al-aziz: Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem.  Wal 'asr Innal insaana lafee khusr, Illa alladheena aamanoo wa 'amilus saalihaati wa tawaasaw bilhaqq; wa tawaasaw bissabr (103:1-3)[Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad][Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad][Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]

A'udhu billahi min ash-Shaytan al-la'in al-rajim. Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim. Al-hamdulil-lahi lladhi la ilaha illa Huwa, al-hadhim, al-karim, ghafil ul-dhambe wa qabil at-tawbah, wa huwa al-ghafur ar-rahim. Wa nash-hadu an la ilaha illa Huwa, al-autuf ul’ibad bi judihi, wa la’wwadh alaamdubihina bi hilmi, wa nash-hadu anna Muhammadan nabiyyina wa habibina [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] Sallallahu alayhi wa ali adha’hila ala sabililahi bil hikmah wal mawd bilhasana. Wa qadat alhum al mawdh ala alwliya wal mad wal rahma, yursuk ibadallah wa tawbah man salaf min dunubikum.

Just to continue the theme of the previous khutba. We should not only be planning for what I would call 'Retirement In Peace'. Through the, you know, financial vehicles as RRSP, we should be planning even more for 'Resting In Peace'. Both is RIP. 'Retirement In Peace' and 'Resting In Peace'. So work for your retirement, but also work for peace in the Barzakh and the hereafter. And how do we do it? Amir al-Mu'mineen in this khutba that I quoted earlier and in many, many places in Nahjul Balagah talks about it. He says, be ready for death. And somebody asked him this question, what does it mean? Does it mean you make sure you have a will? Does it mean you make sure, you know, you have these burial insurance, he bought a grave and everything has been prepared?

Well, those are the important things. But then the real meaning of getting ready for that when he was asked and this is a quotation from Shaikh Saduq in his Tuhaf, his books with his son and going all the way to our 11th Imam, Imam Hasan Askari, alayhi assalat wa assalam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad], who is quoting his father one after another, all the way to the days of Ali where he says "Qilal Amir al-Mu'mineen" -Ali was asked. "Man ista'daat lil mawt?" You know, you talked so many times about preparing for death. What does it mean to prepare for death? And Amir al-Mu'mineen summarized that in three sentences, and I'm sure we can remember it, not necessarily Arabic wordings, but the theme.

Number one, he says that " 'adaaul Faraedh" -fulfilling the duties. And number two, "wijtanaabil mahaarib" - to refrain from what is forbidden. And number three, "wa ijtemaal 'alal makaarim" - to acquire noble character.

Three things, he says, make sure you do your duties, you fulfill your wajibaat, make sure you refrain from what is haram and number three, acquire good akhlaaq, you know, makarim ul akhlaaq as as many, many hadith talk about it.

And the emphasis, you know, he could have just ended with wajibaat and muharramaat- do this, refrain from the other. But he's singling out on the level of what is Wajib and what is to be a refrain as Haram. Then he says akhlaaq. And this is what every place, beginning with home and the family members, then we are talking about workplace with our colleagues, then we talk about the akhlaaq in the masjid and the Hussainiya and the religious gatherings with our brothers in faith. And then you talk about akhlaaq in the society at large with those whom Amir al-Mu'mineen in another context describes as brethren in humanity- "Nadhirul laka fil khalq"

Not only that, if you look at this Seera of the Ahlul Bayt, they even prove they're noble character, even when they deal with dhalimeen and oppressors. Because that is also kind of a jihad. Jihad with akhlaaq where you make the enemy realize the difference between you and me, that although you have been so bad to me, even though I had the ability to inflict harm on you, but I don't want to stoop down to your level. And so this is where we talk about the issue of akhlaaq and then Ali says, and this is the promise of Ali.He says, if you do these three things, fulfill the wajibaat refrain from what is haram and acquire the good character and akhlaaq

"thumma laa yubali 'awaqa'a 'alal mawt 'awaqa'a 'al mawt 'alayh" then Ali guarantees that then you wouldn't care whether the death comes upon you or you go towards the death. Because you are ready for it. Once you have prepared, there is nothing, no worry there when the death comes, it comes because you are ready for that.

And then Amir al-Mu'mineen talks about himself where he says, "wallahi maa yubali ibn Abi Talib awaqa'a 'alal mawt awaqa'a al mawt alayh" And he says- By Allah, this son of Abu Talib doesn't care at all whether the death comes on him or he goes towards the dead. Salwat ala Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]

And these are the values that we have to always cherish, remember, and live by our example, these are the values which are for all the times, all the places, there is no concept of generation gap when it comes to the values taught to us by the Ahlul Bayt. We can't say these are old things, they are irrelevant to our life here or there is this this issue of generation gap. No, you know, look at the events of Karbala. It's very interesting to see that, you know, the grandson of Ali.

By the same name, Ali Akbar. I don't remember exactly his birth, but I don't think he saw his grandfather. But look at how the values went from one generation to another and from second to third. That when this caravan was moving towards Karbala, Imam Husayn, alayhi assalam, was riding in the front, Ali Akbar was a little bit behind him. And that is where, right, while riding, you know, Imam Husayn saw a vision, that somebody is saying that this caravan is moving towards the death and the death is coming towards the caravan.

And Imam Husayn, alayhi assalam, at the time, uttered the words "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhe raje'oon". The young son riding behind, when he heard that he moved forward and then he asked his father that what you had said is the truth, but what is the occasion? Why did you say it now? And he described the vision. Look at the response of Ali Akbar and remember the words of Ali. He asked only one thing. "Yaa abataa alasna 'alal haqq" - O my father, are we not on the truth? And Hussain says, yes, of course, we are on haqq. And then Ali Akbar says "laa nubaali" - we do not care whether the mawt comes towards us or we go towards the death. Same wordings from the grandfather to the grandson. And this is what we had to maintain, we have to learn this ourselves, live by it, and inculcate these values from the Ahlul Bayt to our children and the next generation insha'Allah.

Allahumma salli ala sayyid al-mursalin wa shafi'i al-mudhnabin nabiyyina Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa 'aali [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] wa imam al-muttaqim wa Amir al-Mu'mineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib, salawatullahi alayh [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] wa ‘ala sayyidat al-nisa’ al-alameen, sayyidatina Fatimah Bin al-Rasul Allah, , salawatullahi alayha [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] wa ala sayyidi ash-shabab ahlul Janna, Al-Hasan al-Mujtaba wa Al-Husayn al-Sahid Karbala, wa aleyhihum assalat wa assalam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] wa salli ‘ala A’immatul Muslimeen Ali Ibn al-Husayn, wa Muhammad Ibn Ali, wa Ja’far Ibn Muhammad, wa Musa Ibn Ja’far, wa Ali Ibn Musa, wa Muhammad Ibn Ali, wa Ali Ibn Muhammad, wal-Hasan Ibn Ali, alayhimu assalat wassalam. Allahumma salli ala mawlana Al-Hujjat Ibn Al-Hasan, Sahib al-Asr wa al-Zaman [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad] mahia saharbada wa tughian hadd min shirk wa al-nifaq, hasadi furu’lbaqi wal shiqaq, salawatullahi wassalam alayh wa abai’ al kiram, mattasal altalyali wal ayyam. Allahumma ajjal faraja, wa sahil makhraja wa kullna dhurana biunnadhr inna ilayh, wa ja’alna min stashayidina bayna yadaih, Allahumma ajalna min man yadhdhakkurum fa tanfau dhikrah. Inna Allah yamruhu biladhu walhisana wa itasa al-qurba, wa anhana ’l fahsha wal munkar wal baghi, ya’ahidukum la’allakum tadhakkaru.