By Shaykh Abdul Qayum | 29 Dec 2023

In my last Friday sermon, I had the privilege of addressing our beloved congregation on a topic of paramount importance—utilising the holiday season to strengthen the bonds within our families. As we navigate through the challenges of life, the teachings of Islam remind us that our worship extends beyond ritualistic acts, encompassing our responsibilities to our families and society. Reflecting on the profound wisdom of a hadith shared during the sermon, I am compelled to revisit and share my thoughts on how we can apply these teachings in our daily lives. 

In our journey of life, our purpose is clear – to worship Allah and fulfil our duties towards Him and humanity. The sermon emphasised the comprehensive nature of worship, extending beyond ritualistic acts to encompass our responsibilities to our families and society. The teachings of Islam remind us of the balance required in our lives.

A key point in the sermon was the reference to the hadith of the companion Hanzala (may Allah be pleased with him), who expressed his concern about the inconsistency he felt in his devotion. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) responded with wisdom, stating, “There is a time for this and a time for that.” This timeless advice underscores the importance of allocating specific times for various aspects of life, be it worship, rest, or family.

With the holiday season upon us, taking a break and spending quality time with family is not just encouraged in Islam, it is our duty and obligation. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ acknowledged the right of individuals to take care of themselves and their families, advocating for a balanced and well-rounded life. As Allah tells us in the Qur’an: “O ye who believe! save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is Men and Stones.” 

The sermon addressed the societal shift away from traditional family values, where the significance of family life is often diminished. We need to find ways no navigate such difficult times. In a world increasingly marked by individualism, Islam calls us to cherish and prioritise our family bonds. The family unit, as emphasised in Islamic teachings, holds a central role in nurturing a healthy and cohesive society. 

Practical suggestions were shared for making the most of the holiday period, including sharing meals, discussing family stories, and engaging in activities together. These informal and heartfelt connections contribute to fostering an environment of love and care within the family.

Moreover, the sermon highlighted the unique opportunities that winter brings for increased devotion. With longer nights, Muslims are encouraged to engage in additional acts of worship, such as voluntary fasting. The winter season provides us with a chance to deepen our connection with Allah and reflect on our lives.

The sermon touched upon our duty to the less fortunate, especially during the winter. I shared a poignant story of a scholar in Medina who sacrificed his own warmth to help someone in need, emphasising the importance of charity, particularly providing winter clothing to those suffering in cold regions.

As we navigate the holiday season, let us heed the wisdom shared in the Friday sermon. May we strengthen our family bonds, strike a balance in our lives, and embrace the opportunities for worship and charity that winter brings. May Allah grant us the ability to live according to His guidance and to prioritise what truly matters in our lives.