Khutba: Deeds without awareness are void02. July 2021
As Muslims, our goal is clear. By engaging in actions which are pleasing to our Lord, entering Paradise with our loved ones is our greatest hope. The way to achieving this goal has been mapped out by our Lord out of His great bounty and mercy. By revealing the Holy Qur’an and sending the best of examples, the Prophet Muhammed ﷺ, Allah (SWT) has communicated the means to attaining this goal. The road to Paradise comprises of a pure Iman in Him and the working of righteous deeds. This working of righteous deeds involves actions of worship directly to our Lord, such as the daily prayers as well as our dealing and relationships with other people. Working righteous deeds need to be coupled with Ikhlas and consciousness. Performing acts of worship without awareness is not productive and will not allow us to reach our goals.
Allah (SWT) narrates to us the story of Adam (AS)’s two sons Habil and Qabil in the following verse: “And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah ], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other.” After Allah (SWT) ordered the two to make a sacrifice to Himself, Habil chose the best and most beloved of his sheep to offer as sacrifice. Qabil on the other hand was a farmer and not aware of the importance of this act of worship, nor did he want to implement it in the best way. Thus, he chose the lowest quality of his hay. Our Lord Almighty looked at the intention and consciousness of the sacrifices and chose to accept Habil’s and reject Qabil’s. Allah (SWT) states in the verse:
“Said [the latter], “I will surely kill you.” Said [the former], “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]. This means that being conscious of Allah and our actions is an important characteristic we should have. Otherwise our deeds will not allow us to reach our goal.
Unfortunately, despite being such an important responsibility, many of us do not offer their daily prayers on a consistent basis. Of those that do, the number that offer prayer in a state of humility and consciousness is also low. Most of us do not demonstrate any effort to learn the meanings of what we are reciting in our prayers. If we can show more diligence in this, we will have a greater connection to our Lord in our prayers. Moreover, Allah (SWT) states in the Holy Qur’an regarding the wisdom of prayer: Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do. The Sahabi Ibn Mas’ood stated in reference to this: “Prayer that is offered that does not take a person to goodness and keep them away from evil is only distancing themselves from the Mercy of Allah.” Thus, the result of unconsciousness in our righteous deeds is this. It’s a burden in this life, and a curse in the hereafter.
The daily prayer is just one example of this. This extends to all acts of righteousness such as fasting, charity, Qurban sacrifice, Umrah, Hajj, seeking knowledge, Jihad and dua. The Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) states regarding dua: “Make supplication truly believing that Allah (SWT) will grant you what you ask for. Know that Allah will not accept a supplication from a negligent heart.” Soon we are going to stand for prayer and recite our duas and supplications. Let us be more conscious and aware of our deeds that we perform for the sake of Allah and let this be the start of a life full of Ihsan and sincerity.