In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His aid and we ask for His forgiveness. We seek Allah’s refuge from the evils of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whosoever Allah guides, there is no one who can misguide him; and whosoever Allah misguides, there is no one who can guide him.
I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters! When you think of a sincere servant of Allah, what is the first thing that comes to your mind. What do you envision. Do you think of a preacher standing in front of a large audience delivering a sermon. Maybe you think of Prophets of Allah inviting people to the truth and performing miracles. Maybe you envision Prophet Musa (Moses) leading the Jews out of slavery in Egypt to the promised land. Or maybe its something else altogether. Regardless of what you imagine, if we look at the above examples of what a sincere servant of Allah is, we will see that they all signify obedience to a higher power. A willingness to help others. A desire to lead by example. A striving to please the Creator.
A sincere servant of Allah is not a title reserved to only Prophets and preachers. Sincere servants of Allah come in many different forms. They can be teachers, judges, doctors, nurses, security agents, labourers and any other profession that provides service to others. It is the service that matters not the perceived status derived from the service. As long as we serve others in a noble way while upholding righteousness and being honest and truthful with our transactions, we are sincere servants of Allah’s creation; hence sincere servants of Allah.
Respected brothers and sisters! Sincere servants of Allah are more than just unique people with extraordinary abilities, they are souls devoted to a mission and are loyal to their cause. They are righteous human beings with a goal to fulfill. They understand what they must do and have a vision for success. They are willing to sacrifice the desires of the heart for the pleasure of Allah. They never lose sight of who they are. They are Allah consciousness and always seek His pleasure.
In life, anybody can be a sincere servant. Anybody can provide service to others and be compensated. There is no single task that one must do to be a sincere servant. There are many ways to serve others. This is good for the society and it is encouraged. However, not all services are done for the right reasons. Not all services are good and needed. Therefore, if we want to know the true servants of Allah from those motivated for personal gain, we must look deeper into the character of the servant, the belief of the servant, and the motivation of the servant. If we want to separate true servants of Allah from servants of self, we need to look at the task at hand. What activity they are engaged in. Why are they doing it, and what is the motivation behind it.
A true servants of Allah can be identified by the work they do and the character they posses. He or she is an individual who fights the Good fight with spirit and soul. They are willing to sacrifice for a greater cause. They are always focused in doing the right thing. They are loyal, trustworthy, and dependable. They have integrity with all their transactions. They have a high moral character. They always speak the truth. They have faith by works. They are believers engaged in prayer and worship. They are submissive to a higher rule. They posses a generous heart. They are humble with the authority that has been given to them. They are honest, just, and merciful. They always praise Allah and glorify Him. Lastly, they are ordinary people like me and you who are aware that Allah is always watching us and is taking account of everything we do. Their deeds speak for them.
My beloved people! Among the greatest qualities of a sincere servant of Allah is a humble soul. A person who does not think too high of himself. A leader who does not speak ill of others and who does not abuse his power. Someone who uses the power they have been given to do good and promote justice. Someone who uses their blessings to do good. They help the oppressed. They alleviate the pain and suffering of others. They serve others in order to advance the kingdom of Allah. They are attentive to the needs of others. They are objective in their decision making. They understand Allah’s calling and obey wholeheartedly. They are steadfast with a good work ethic, always seeking the will of Allah, not their will.
True servants of Allah are those who walk on earth with humility and fear of Allah. They are forbearing. When the ignorant address them harshly, they say kind words of peace and love. They are modest in clothing and in speech. They are moderate and avoid extremes. They are repentant with a sincere desire to transform the soul from past mistakes. They are students of Allah patiently waiting for his instructions. They hear his word and obey diligently. They focus in building a close relationship with Allah. They are tuned to Allah’s calling and understand their mission and the desired outcome. They set an example in speech, in life, in faith, in love, and in purity.
Dear servants of Allah! If we want to be true servants of Allah, we need to have a spiritual life that is worthy to be modeled. We need to have an impeccable character. We need to have a caring soul for our country, community, family, neighbours, friends and other distant people. Our works should speak of our character. Our character should speak of Allah, and our care and sympathy for others should reflect in our causes.
In the noble Qur’an there is a passage in which Allah describes the true servants of Allah. These are believers by work and are given a special name by Allah. They are called: “Ibaadur-Rahman, The Servants of the Most Merciful,” and they enjoy a special mercy from the Most Merciful. Allah describes in the following passage what it takes to be a true servant of Allah and the qualities which distinguish this special group of people:
“And the servants of the Most Beneficent Allah are those who walk on the earth with modesty, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness. Those who spend the night bowing down on their knees and standing before their Lord; And those who say, “Our Lord! avert from us the Wrath of Hell, for its Wrath is indeed an affliction grievous, Evil indeed is hell as an abode and as a place to dwell. And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes). And those who invoke not any other ilah (god) along with Allah, nor kill such life as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds, then verily, he repents towards Allah with true repentance. And those who do not bear witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity. And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind to it. And they who say: O our Lord! grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes, and make us guides to those who guard (against evil). Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect. Dwelling therein; how beautiful an abode and place of rest!” [Qur’an, 25: 63-76]
From the above verses, we can derive that a true servant of Allah is one who seeks the pleasure of Allah and lives by His commandments. They promote justice and righteousness. They serve others. They understand that serving Allah’s creations is a method by which they serve Allah. It is only through good works that they becomes a sincere servant.
There is no specific ritual that must be performed to be a sincere servant of Allah. There is not one specific service that must be performed. Being a sincere servant simply requires being a righteous believer and serving others in ways that we can. We must have a good character and perform services that Allah approves.
If you want to be a sincere servant of Allah, you can be the person who volunteers to clean the streets. You can take care of the landscape of the community. You can do the small and redundant tasks that the society deems not important. Do these instead of wanting to lead the main ceremony, because few want to do the small but necessary work and many want to be leaders.
Often times, the true servants of Allah are found doing the deeds that society values the least. They are the one who are making a big difference. They are the ones who are taking pride out of their heart and servicing others. They are the one who will inherit the kingdom of Allah In Shaa Allah.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the Ever-Living, Who does not die, and Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and Companions.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Rajab 8th, 1440 AH (March 15, 2019), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.