22 Dec 2023 – In a special Friday sermon, Mufti Menk explored the theme of patience under adversity. Menk, the grand Mufti of Zimbabwe’s Muslim community who is currently touring the UK, urged worshippers to navigate life’s tribulations with steadfastness and reliance on Allah. The sermon placed special emphasis on the pivotal role of patience and prayer in shouldering the emotional pain of watching suffering around the world, especially our brothers and sisters enduring the harrowing impact of Israel’s intense bombardment in Gaza. 

Mufti Menk began by acknowledging the heart-wrenching situation in Gaza and Palestine, expressing empathy and solidarity. He prayed for ease, peace, victory, and stability for those enduring the unspeakable hardships in Gaza. The sermon urged believers to keep the suffering of the oppressed in their prayers, emphasizing the role of Dua in drawing closer to Allah during challenging times.

The Mufti highlighted the profound question of why humans are placed on Earth, to face struggle and hardship from birth. He reminded the congregation that Allah created mankind to be tested, with the ultimate reward being eternal paradise. The temporary nature of worldly life serves as a mercy, allowing believers to endure challenges while maintaining hope in Allah's mercy.

Mufti Menk addressed the diverse struggles individuals face, from health issues to financial difficulties and family problems. He emphasized that life's challenges are a means of testing one’s connection with Allah. The sermon emphasized the need for believers to persevere, regardless of the magnitude of their struggles, and to maintain a connection with Allah throughout.

The concept of patience was explored in-depth, with Mufti Menk highlighting that true victory comes through enduring difficulties with patience and gratitude. The sermon underscored that a believer’s affairs are always good, whether experiencing prosperity or facing adversity, as long as the believer maintains a connection with Allah.

The Mufti cautioned against wishing for death due to life’s challenges, quoting the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ (peace be upon him) advice that one should seek to live as long as life facilitates spiritual growth and service in the way of Islam. The idea of patience and enduring hardships as a means of getting closer to Allah was reinforced throughout the sermon.

Mufti Menk further drew attention to the real struggles faced by individuals, citing the example of the Palestinian people and their unwavering faith amid extreme adversity. He encouraged believers to reflect on their own struggles and to adopt a positive mindset, knowing that every difficulty is an opportunity to draw closer to Allah.

The sermon concluded with a call for believers to be grateful for their faith, to make sincere prayers for themselves and others, and to contribute to the well-being of the community, exemplified by supporting the renovation of the East London Mosque. Mufti Menk’s words served as a powerful reminder of the importance of patience, gratitude, and compassion, especially during challenging times.

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