By Shaykh Muzzammil Ahmad | 12 Apr 2024

In this week’s sermon, I reminded the congregation on how Islam is thriving despite the challenges faced by Muslims worldwide. Drawing upon the powerful examples of unwavering faith demonstrated by our brothers and sisters in Gaza and the growth of mosques in our own society, I spoke about the importance of nurturing Imaan and seeking Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. I also discussed the significance of sincerity in our du‘as, the different ways in which our prayers are answered, and the opportunities for spiritual growth beyond Ramadan.

As we bid farewell to the blessed month of Ramadan, a mix of joy and sorrow fills our hearts. The joy of Eid is accompanied by the sadness of parting from this beloved month and knowing that we may not live to see another Ramadan. This emotional response is a testament to the Imaan that Allah has instilled in our hearts, which we must cherish and nurture.

Despite the challenges faced by Muslims around the world, Islam continues to thrive. The proof of this lies in the unwavering faith of our brothers and sisters in Gaza. Even in the face of adversity, in the rubbles of Gaza, where countless lives have been lost and homes and mosques destroyed, the believers stand firm in their prayers, demonstrating the resilience of their faith. The sight of our brothers and sisters praying outside the demolished mosques is as powerful a testament as any, to the fact that Imaan cannot be erased from the hearts of believers.

Islam’s growth is evident not only in distant lands but also in our own society. While other religions struggle to compete with modernity and atheism, Islam stands tall, providing answers to the challenges faced by our youth. Islam has granted them clarity, foundation and resolve. The growth of mosques in this country, even as other places of worship decline, is a clear indication of the light of Allah entering the hearts of believers and the positive impact it is having on society.

As we reflect on our own spiritual journey during Ramadan, we may feel a sense of regret for not achieving all that we had set out to accomplish. However, Allah’s mercy and forgiveness are always within reach.

When My slaves ask about Me, then certainly I am near.

Qur’an 2:186

This verse highlights the closeness of Allah to His believers, even those who have made mistakes or have fallen short in their worship.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) emphasised the importance of sincerity in our du‘as. He described a man who makes du‘a with outstretched hands while consuming and wearing that which is haram, questioning how such a person's prayers could be answered. This famous Hadeeth serves as a reminder for us to strive for sincerity in our actions and to avoid disobedience to Allah while seeking His blessings.

And when we pray, we must not lose sight of the fact that the response to our du‘as may come in different forms. The Prophet ﷺ informed us that du‘as might be answered directly, through the forgiveness of our sins, or by registering the reward for us in the hereafter. Therefore, we should never lose hope or feel that our prayers are unanswered.

Looking ahead as we move forward from Ramadan, let us continue to grow in our faith and service to Islam. If we were unable to fulfil our goals during the month, as we pledged, let us strive to complete them now, knowing that Allah’s rewards are not limited to a specific time. The sunnah of fasting six days in Shawwal (the month after Ramadan) is another opportunity to earn immense blessings. As the Prophet ﷺ explained, the reward of fasting in Ramadan followed by six days in Shawwal is equivalent to fasting the entire year.

Let us also remember our brothers and sisters who continue to face hardships, particularly those in Palestine. We must keep them in our prayers, seeking Allah’s relief, comfort, and honour for them in this life and the next.

Islam will thrive no matter what. The question we must all ask is what role we will play in the spread of this faith. As believers, we must continue to nurture our Imaan, seek Allah’s forgiveness, and strive to grow in our service to this beautiful religion. May Allah accept our efforts, forgive our shortcomings, and grant us the strength to persevere in His path.



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