Steadfast In Practicing The Sunnah
Indeed, the arrival of Rasulullah SAW was the greatest gift of Allah SWT upon mankind. There is no better role model to follow than him. We should emulate his personality, character and mannerisms in our daily life. It is true that there are many leaders in this world whom we can idolise, but do they all have the quality of character and personality like him? Of course, the answer is no. Even in the book entitled "100 Most Influential Persons in History" written by Michael H. Hart, the Prophet Muhammad SAW has been placed at the number one position.
This clearly shows that Rasulullah SAW is the best and most special person among all human beings. Not only was he able to change people, but he was also able change the world after his death. Therefore, let us strive to emulate the way of life of Rasulullah SAW by practicing what he had carried out and performed in his life, in terms of worship, manners or even Islamic attitude, in order to achieve the pleasures and graces of Allah SWT.
This coincides with the words of Allah SWT in Surah Al-Ahzab verse 21: Which means: “You have indeed, in the Messenger of Allah, a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in the graces and blessings of Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.”
Among the most favoured deeds, or Sunnah, of Rasulullah SAW is the Tahajjud prayers. It is one of the voluntary prayers performed by Rasulullah SAW that we are very much encouraged to perform. This prayer is performed with a minimum of 2 rakaats, or more than 2 rakaats if able to.
Come, let us constantly perform the Tahajjud prayers, up to the point that we will regret not performing it. Sacrifice some sleep at night in order to be awarded a high position and to receive priceless rewards from Allah SWT, as mentioned in Surah Al-Isra' verse 79:Which means: “And pray in the small hours of the morning: (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for you: soon will your Lord raise you to a Station of Praise and Glory!”
Rasulullah SAW also performed the voluntary Dhuha prayer as a daily practice in his life. It is performed from the time the sun has risen to a certain height, until just before the time for Zuhur prayers. It can be performed two, four, six, eight or twelve rakaats according to the will of each individual.
The Dhuha prayer does not necessarily have to take place in the mosque or mussola. We can perform it in the office or at work before starting the day’s work. It only takes 5 minutes to perform and will not interfere with the productivity of our work.
Furthermore, the Dhuha prayer has a remarkably good virtue, as told in the hadith Qudsi recorded by Imam Abu Daud rahimahullah and narrated by Nu'aym bin Hammar RA, where Rasulullah SAW was reported to have said: عََّزّ وَجََّّل ُ َّّه ِ فِي َأَّوّ ِل نَهَارِكَ ٍ ل الل : يَا ابَْن آدَمَ، رَ َكعَا ُ و ُ يَق ِ عْ ِجزْنِي مِ ْن َأ ْربَع ، َأ ْكفِكَ آََِِهُ ُ لاَت . Which means: “Allah SWT said: ‘Sons of Adam, do not fail in performing four rak`ahs in the beginning of the day (the time of Dhuha) as it will be sufficient for the latter part of the day.”
Based on the hadith above, the voluntary Dhuha prayers is likened to a key that will open the eagerly awaited door of sustenance. Therefore, let us make the Dhuha prayers a daily practice in order for the sustenance we receive be increased with the permission of Allah SWT.
Rasulullah SAW was also fond of voluntary fasting. One of the voluntary fasts practiced by Rasulullah SAW was the Three (3) Day fast perfomed every thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth day of every Hijri month. This is also known as the White Days Fast (Yaum al-Bidh). Rasulullah SAW had also fast on Mondays and Thursdays, on the day of Arafah (which is on 9th of ZulHijjah), on the day of Ashura (which is on 10th of Muharram) and Six Days in Shawwal.
Indeed, there are many hadith that explains the advantages of voluntary fasts mentioned above. Among the hadiths that explain the virtues of fasting three days in each month, is the hadith recorded by Imam Al-Bukhari and narrated by 'Abdullah bin' Amr bin Al-Aas, where Rasulullah SAW was reported to have said: لِّهِ ُ الَّدّهْرِ ك ُ ٍم َصوْم ثَلاثََةِ َأَّيّا ُ َصوْم Which means: “Whoever fasts three days every month it is as if he had fast all his life
Such is the reward to be gained by those who fast as practiced by Rasulullah SAW. Therefore, let us train ourselves to perform voluntary fasting in order to obtain as many rewards as possible from Allah SWT.
Be aware that Rasulullah SAW also emphasized on the practice of asking for forgiveness through istighfar on a daily basis. Although Rasulullah SAW was a man above any wrongdoing and safeguarded from committing any sin or error, he still made the practice of asking for forgiveness a routine in his daily life.
This is based on the hadith recorded by Imam Al-Bukhari and narrated by Abu Hurairah Rahimahullah RA where Rasulullah SAW was reported to have said: ً بِإلَيْهِ فِي الْيوِْم َأ ْكثَرَ مِ ْن ََبْعِيْنَ مََّرّة وْ ُ ُ الَّلّه وََأ ت ُ ِإنِّي لَأ َْتَغْفِر َّّهِ و Which means: "I swear by Allah that I seek Allah's Pardon and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day." As normal human beings who cannot escape from committing sins and wrongdoings, we must continuously seek forgiveness from Allah SWT, as taught by Rasulullah SAW. Indeed, the door of forgiveness and mercy of Allah SWT is always open for His servants who are repentant
To conclude today’s sermon, the khatib would like to invite the congregation to reflect upon the following as a guide for us all:
First: Practice and perform the Sunnah of Rasulullah SAW throughout our lives.
Second: Tahajjud and Dhuha prayers as well as fasting are among the Sunnah that must be adopted and practiced in order to receive mercy and love from Allah SWT.
Third: The Sunnah of asking for forgiveness through Istighfar every day is a practice that puts us in the graces and mercy of Allah SWT.
As stated by Allah SWT in Surah Al-Ahzab, verses 45-46: Which means: “O Prophet! Truly We have sent you as a Witness, a Bearer of Glad Tidings, and Warning (to those who are unrepentant), And as one who invites to Allah's (grace) by His leave, and as a lamp that spreads light.”