26th Shawwal 1438 (21st July 2017)
July 21, 2017
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August 4, 2017
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4th Zilqadah 1438 (28th July 2017)

In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
4th Zilqadah 1438 (28th July 2017)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG

Gratitude -Part 6
During my last session I had quoted some Ayahs from the Holy Qur’an relating to the fourth category of gratitude, which I will analyze today.

As you may have noted that in Ayahs 5, 31 and 19 of Surahs Ibrahim, Luqman and Saba respectively there is a co-relation between gratitude and patience. The words ‘patient and grateful’ in the Ayahs refer to one who is steadfast in trials and is appreciative of Allah (s.w.t)’s blessings. He does not lose his balance after he has been blessed, nor does he exult in prosperity and become heedless of Allah (s.w.t). Moreover, his belief is considerably enhanced when he recognises the reality of Allah (s.w.t)’s signs and possesses the qualities of patience and gratitude. In other words, he is grateful to Allah (s.w.t) and steadfast in his religious belief under all circumstances and at all times. He does not worship Him only during a crisis and becomes heedless of Him when his circumstances improve nor does He worship Allah (s.w.t) only during his good times and when he is touched with afflictions and misfortunes he becomes blasphemous.

According to Ayah 30 of Surah Fatir and Ayah 23 of Surah Ash-Shura, Allah (s.w.t) rewards his servants generously when they strive to do good for He appreciates good deeds. Moreover, His relationship with sincere believers is not that of a miserly master who checks his servant on trivialities and brings all his services and loyalties to naught on account of a minor error. On the contrary, He is the Most Beneficent and He overlooks the errors of His obedient servants and appreciates the service they render.

I quote below some relevant Hadiths from Amir Al-Muminin (a.s):
1-“The endure does not miss success although it may take a long time.”
2-“Faith stands on four props; endurance, conviction, justice and jihad.”
3-“Endurance has four pillars: eagerness, fear, abstention (from the world) and anticipation of death. Those who are eager to enter paradise will ignore passion; those who fear the fire of hell will refrain from prohibited acts; those who abstain from worldly pleasures will bear hardship with ease; and those who anticipate death will hasten towards good deeds.”
4-“Conviction has four facets; prudent perception, intelligence and understanding, learning from moral precepts and following precedents of earlier generations. So, whoever perceives with prudence will acquire knowledge, whoever gains knowledge will appreciate good precepts and whoever appreciates good precepts will be like a person from the past.”
5-“Patience is of two kinds; patience over what pains you and patience against what you covet.”
6-“My five valuable advice to you are:
• No one should repose trust in anyone, save in his Lord;
• No one should fear anything, save his sins;
• No one should feel ashamed of his ignorance;
• No one should feel ashamed of learning what he does not know; and
• Everyone should practise endurance, because endurance without belief is
like a body without a head.”

Second sermon
The sacred month of Dhilqadah
Today is the first Friday of the month of Dhilqadah, the eleventh month in the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months in Islam during which warfare is prohibited. In this context, I quote below Ayah 36 of Surah At-Tauba:

“Indeed the number of months with God is twelve (in a year), as it was ordained by Him on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth. Of them, four are sacred, (the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th month of the Islamic calendar); that is the established religion, so do not be unjust therein to yourselves, and fight the polytheists collectively, as they fight you collectively. But know that God is with the pious.”

The significant Islamic events during the month of Dhilqadah are as follows:

1-Fatimah Masumah, the daughter of our seventh Imam, Musa ibne Jafar (a.s), was born on the 1st of the month, 173 Hijri, in Medina.
2-Our eighth Imam, Ali ibne Musa Ar-Reza (a.s ), was born on the 11th of Dhilqadah, 148 Hijri in Medina and according to some narrations he was martyred on the 23rd of Dhilqadah, 203 Hijri and it is highly recommended to recite his Ziarat during the day of the 23rd.
3-On the 25th of Dhilqadah the earth was extended under the Holy Kaaba and according to traditions the night and day of the 25th are blessed and highly significant.
It has been narrated by Hassan ibne Ali Al-Washsha that he along with his father visited Imam Reza (a.s) during the night of the 25th when the Imam advised them that during the 25th night both Ibrahim and Jesus were born and fasting on this eventful day is equivalent in reward to fasting for sixty months.

I would like to conclude with the following Hadith of Imam Reza (a.s):

“The intellect of man does not mature until he acquires the following qualities:
1. Benevolence and benefaction are expected from him.
2. He abstains from evil.
3. He considers little kindness from others as abundant and plentiful.
4. He regards his abundant benevolence and goodness as meagre.
5. He does not get exhausted from fulfilling people’s needs and demands.
6. He does not get fatigued from seeking knowledge at all times
7. He prefers poverty to wealth and affluence in the way of Allah.
8. Humiliation is better for him than being honoured by Allah’s enemy.
9. He prefers anonymity to fame.
10.He considers other people better and more pious than himself.”

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