Good and Evil

A'udhu billah min al shaytan al rajeem. Bismillah Ar-rahman Ar-raheem. Al-Hamdulillah Rab al a'alameen wa al salatu wa al-salam a'ala Muhammadin wa'alihi al tayyabin al-tahirin. Allahuma sali 'alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad.

Brothers and sisters, as-salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatu- Llahi wa barakatuhu. Qal Allah Tabaarak wa Ta'ala fi Muhkami kitaabihi al majid, "Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem. Alam tara kayfa dharab Allahu mathalan kalimatan tayibbatan ka shajaratin tayibbatin asluha thaabitun wa far'uha fi al-samaa' (14:24), tu'ti ukulaha kulla hinim bi'idhni Rabbiha wa yadhribu Allah al amthaal li-n-naas la'allahum yatadhak-karun(14:25), wa mathalu kalimatin khabithatin ijtuth- that min fawq al-ard ma lahaa min qaraar.(14:26).

Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in these three Ayat, two of them speak about a goodly word and the third one about evil words.

And parables generally in the Qur'an are one of the methods that are used to explain many facts and ideas which people cannot reach their depth.

So one of the methods is that when there is something not tangible; for tangible items and things, of course, you use your senses either your sight or your hearing or touch whatever to feel.

But when something is non-materialistic, not tangible, how can you have access to it? Can you comprehend it?

Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in many places in the Qur'an uses this parable that a picture about something which you can see and feel and comprehend and makes comparison between that and the idea, which is not easy to understand without that parable.

Now let us imagine there are two types of trees, two types, two kinds of trees. A tree which is so firm and it is firmly fixed, whose roots are very, very strong and their branches are healthy and the fruits coming out of them in different seasons, for example. This is one picture.

And the other picture is about a tree which has no fruit and it is easily uprooted from the surface of the earth, has no good roots to stick them to earth.

So if you are going to compare between these two things, which one seems more beautiful, more useful, more worthy of taking whatever benefit and advantage from it or even to invest on it?

Of course, the one with strong roots in the depth of the soil and earth that are fixed and firmly fixed with the healthy tree, with the healthy branches with the good fruits. Of course, this one has many benefits and one love [s] it, ready to invest on it and hope the good future from it. But the other one, which is easily uprooted, has no point in keeping it.

Now Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says now, have you understood this? There are two types of words. Some words are Kalimah tayibbah [a goodly word], which is like shajarah tayibbah [good tree]. And the other one is kalima khabithah [evil word], which is like shajarah khabitha [evil tree].

So which means the words, and not literally the words, which are the alphabetically understood. No, no, a word can refer and indicate the thoughts, good thoughts, good actions, good plans, good projects, good intentions, good aims and destinations and goals. So all these are included in what can be summarised in one word and that is the goodly word.

Opposite to that, of course, any thought which is dark, which is evil, which is the source of every ugly idea, which is harmful, no benefits drawn from it, of course, that is like al-kalimah al-khabithah-it is evil word.

So here we are talking about two different pictures, two different ideas, two different thoughts and two different projects. One is so nice, bright leads to happiness, satisfaction, advantages, and the other one leads to darkness, to hatred, to enmity and all evil thoughts.

So In order to understand the difference between these two Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala says look 'Alam tara kayfa dharab Allah mathalan kalimatan tayibbatan kashajaratin tayibbah'(14:24) So look at that tree, which is fixed, I mean firmly fixed in the earth and has good branches, good fruits. And the other one, which 'ijtuth-that min fawq al ardi ma lahaa min qaraar'-' The one which is uprooted and has no stability at all'. (14:26)

Going further to elaborate on this comparison and these two ideas, you see that when we talk about communities, we talk about people, when we talk about generations, you can see that when the Ahlul Bayt 'alayhimu-s-salaam are the exemplar and the best exemplar of the goodly word. Why?

Because Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala said that 'Innama yurid Allah yudh-dhiba 'ankumu al-rijs ahl al bayt wa yu-tahirakum tat-hira' (33:33). So these are a group of people, Ahlul Bayt, the Household of the Prophet salla-Llahu 'alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, who are thoroughly purified and provided with wisdom, knowledge and every worthy action and attitude.

On the other hand, those who cause every atrocity and every injustice towards Ahlul Bayt alayhimu-s-salaam. Of course, whether they were the Umayyads or the Abbasids or whatever rulers of their times.

So it was the fight between truth and falsehood, between good and evil, between piety and sin, and all this will continue throughout generations to tell us one thing, that this [Ahlul Bayt] will remain the source of guidance, light and will be a source of every good word, and the other one [opposers] will be the source of every evil.

And in certain ahadith, we find that Imam Sadiq 'alayhi as-salaam was asked that this goodly word, this al-kalimat al tayibbah, this idea, this thought, I mean, can apply to people? Imam 'alayhi as-salaam said, of course, and he referred to himself and to the Imams, error-free Imams, the beautiful and error-free Imams from the Household of the Prophet salla-Llahu 'alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, who are the best example and application of al-kalimah al-tayyibah, or goodly words. And those who opposed them and killed them then and committed a maximum of atrocity against them, of course, they fall into the other category.

Now, in our life; this is about history, about role models, about ideas, but in our lives, how can we apply the goodly word to our own life?

Sometimes a person comes with some difficulty, either financially or socially or some other problem they have, you think that you can not help them. Someone has some financial problem and wants to borrow some money from you and you treat them in a bad way. This is one way.

The other way is no, you smile in their face, you try to understand them, try to help them and at least if you can not assist them or help them financially, at least you can give them some advice or at least some sort of counselling and some sort of smile in their face, which again, becomes al-kalimah al tayyibah.

So it is not the matter of giving him money, rather being in good appearance, treat them well and in this way you will act as the person of al-kalimah al-tayyibah, the goodly word.

The other type of treatment will be, for example, when some time a person wants you to help in removing some calamity from them or to go to in between, to reconcile between husband and wife. And nowadays unfortunately the differences and difficulties and the problems are ever increasing in our society and I think it is in all societies.

So if you can go there and advise, tell them, minimise the differences. Try to reduce the hatred and create some sort of love and mercy and cooperation and friendship between them. In this way tell them what is so important for life. What are the values we need in this society? How to cooperate with others? How we communicate with others? This is for itself is the art of communication.

For its self is something very, very important. How people, when they sit next to you, they feel happy, calm, tranquility is clear in your face, in your eyes, in your whatever step you take.

What the other people when you sit with them, when you sit next to them, they start nagging and complaining and showing every ugly point in the life, disappointments.

Ok, so again, you can see the difference between al-kalimah al tayyibah-the goodly word and al-kalimah al khabithah.

In all aspects of our lives, in every point, whether it is regarding upbringing our children, treating our neighbours, treating others, respecting the rights of others.

You know, one of the problems we face nowadays, especially, with the takfiris-with those who think that they know everything and everybody else is ignorant, they are the true Muslims and everybody else is out of religion or faith. The problem with them is that they do not have the ability to recognise the other. They are self-centred, they are so selfish and self-centred that they even can not see the other and this is the problem.

But when you are a person who values the goodly word, you know that respecting others and sometimes caring for them and considering their rights prior to your own needs and rights, which is 'ithaar', gives some sort of new picture, a brighter face to the life, to the society and create something with harmony, with love, with care and this will lead, of course, to something which is always wanted by Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala and encouraged by the Prophet Muhammad salla-Llahu 'alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam and Ahlul Bayt 'alayhimu-s-salaam.

Let us pray to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala to enable us to be in this part of the world, to act in this way, to stick to goodly words, thoughts, ideas, projects and actions. And to treat others well, to help them and to only look and concentrate on the bright side of the story and forget about the shortfalls and problems.

May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala give us the ability to understand the truth as it is and follow it and avoid the falsehood and keep away from it. Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad wa 'ajjil farajahum. Wa salaamun 'alaykum wa-rahmatu Allah wa barakaatuhu.