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齋戒月 (鄭平)
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2024年03月
3/1主麻講稿 Khutbah (English Below) Khatib Abdullah Cheng 
各位教親,
距離齋月只剩下不到幾天了,齋月是我們一整年當中最投入、最努力的一段時間。每一年我們都應該要改進自己,每一個齋月我們都應該做得比上一次齋月還要更好。不過,如果我們在沒有任何規劃的情況下,又怎麼能夠期望自己可以做得更好呢?如果我們心裡沒有很明確的目標,我們怎麼能夠達成不同的成就呢?
我們眼前也有一個更大的問題:我們這個人生的終極目標究竟是什麼?答案很簡單:我們的目標是天堂,我們希望在後世取得成功。我們有一個很明確的目標,但是我們又做了哪些準備呢?我們為明天做了哪些準備?我們為齋月做了哪些準備?
真主在放逐章最後幾節說了:
歸信的人們!你們應當敬畏真主,每個人應當想想自己為明日預備了什麼,你們應當敬畏真主,真主確是徹知你們行為的。 [59:18]
真主用了“明日”這個字,因為這個人生實在是太短,審判日又離我們這麼接近,彷彿是明天一樣。對我們很多人來說,也很有可能是真的明天,因為我們沒有人可以保證明天還是活著的。真主提醒我們要看看自己到底為未來做了哪些準備,也告訴我們最好的準備方式就是:
‎وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ
敬畏真主,這個就是我們能夠為明天做準備的最好的事情。這個在黃牛章也有提到:
‎وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ
你們當以敬畏為旅行路費的準備,最好的準備,就是敬畏。[2:197]
我們每次規劃要旅行去某個地方的時候,都會準備一些東西,但不是所有東西都可以帶得走。當我們搭上飛機的時候,有些東西是允許的,有些東西是不允許的。這個人生的旅程也是一樣的:只有定下規則的主允許的東西才能夠帶走,也就是我們的善功。
我們沒有人可以自信到覺得我們為後世準備的善功是足夠的。我們的先知告訴我們:「做事要遵循中庸之道,持之以恆地努力。要知道,一個人絕對不能單靠他的善功進入天堂」弟子們就說了:「使者啊,就連你也是嗎?」先知就說:「就連我也是一樣的,除非真主賜予我祂的憐憫、寬恕」[Sahih Muslim 2818]
這就提醒了我們必須要保持謙卑。這提醒了我們不管我們做了多少的善事,我們做了多少準備,我們都不能夠傲慢到認為’這已經是足夠的了’。就連先知本人也都不會這麼認為。這也是對我們持續努力改進自己的一種鼓勵。
沒有人可以自信滿滿地說說自己是完全準備好的。不管在哪一件事情上面,一定都有更好的方式做更好的準備。這並不代表這是一個我們可以放棄的藉口,而是當我們要實踐計畫的時候,我們當下所擁有的只有我們之前堆積起來的努力跟準備。
我們對人生大部分重要的事情都會有相應的規劃。我們會為學校考試準備、為工作面試準備、為食物準備、為退休準備、為孩子的未來準備、為旅行準備、當然也必須為見真主而準備。
當然在對於今世跟後世的規劃也必須要有一定的平衡。真主沒有告訴我們放棄今世的一切,也沒有告訴我們只關注後世。
真主在古蘭經說了:
‎ فَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَـٰقٍۢ
有人說:「我們的主啊!求你在今世賞賜我們。」他在後世,絕無福份。[2:200]
‎وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةًۭ وَفِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ حَسَنَةًۭ وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ
有人說:「我們的主啊!求你在今世賞賜我們美好生活,在後世也賞賜我們美好生活,求你保護我們,免受火獄的刑罰。」
‎أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌۭ مِّمَّا كَسَبُوا۟ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ سَرِيعُ ٱلْحِسَابِ
這等人,將因他們的營求而享受厚報。安拉是清算神速的。[2:202]
因此我們應該要同時尋求今世跟後世的好。我們應該要同時在今世跟後世都做到最好,也就代表說我們必須要好好地規劃我們的目標。
那麼,要以聖行的方式達成任何事情,我們可以採取幾個簡單的步驟:
1. 要清楚我們自身的優點跟缺點、別人沒有的優點跟缺點。如果我們不了解自己的能力,那就不用談要如何改進了。先知說:「一個堅強的信道者是比起虛弱的信道者是更受真主喜愛的」(Sahih Muslim 2664),真主把每一個人類都塑造成獨特的,每一個人都有屬於自己的優點跟缺點,所以我們應該要好好利用這些優勢,避免用自己的缺點跟其他人競爭
2. 我們要有進步的渴望跟意圖,也就是說,我們要有一個清楚的願景跟目標。我們不能一直停留在現狀,覺得身邊的情況沒有辦法改變了。真主在古蘭經說:
‎ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ
真主絕不改變任何民眾的情況,直到他們改變自己的情況。 [13:11]
當我們有很清楚的目標,我們就會有動力。先知說:「要常常思考毀滅一切幸福的事情(死亡)」,因為當我們意識到終點是什麼,我們就會更有動力去為那個終點而努力。
3. 要祈求真主的幫助,不管是多小的事情,都應該要求真主。祂才是一切事物的決定者,決定什麼會發生,什麼不會,所以我們要不斷提醒自己,我們所做的一切都是為了真主
4. 要始終如一,不能放棄。先知曾說過:「人們啊!你們做事要適可而止,要尋求中庸之道。真主在你們自己放棄以前是不會放棄你們的」。也就是說,我們不應該把自己推到自己沒有辦法應付的程度,應該要讓整個過程是自己可以接受的範圍內,我們才有辦法持之以恆。
5. 要拖靠真主,接受真主的規劃。我們要不斷提醒自己,不管自己怎麼努力,最後的結果還是由真主決定的。不管最後的結果是成功還是失敗,都要相信真主的決定對我們是好的。
‎وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تَكْرَهُوا۟ شَيْـًۭٔا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌۭ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تُحِبُّوا۟ شَيْـًۭٔا وَهُوَ شَرٌّۭ لَّكُمْ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
有時,你們討厭某件事,而那件事或許對你們有益;你們喜愛某事,或許那事對你們有害。真主知道,你們卻不知道。[2:216]
求真主賜給我們耐心、賜給我們堅定,求真主使我們平安迎來齋月,接受我們的善功。
Dear brothers and sisters in Islam,
The month of Ramadan is only a few days away from us, and this is the time of the year when we give our best. Every single year, we are constantly trying to improve ourselves. Every single Ramadan, we are trying to do better than the last one. But, how can we expect ourselves to do better than before if we don't plan for it in the first place? How can we achieve things that we haven't achieved before if we don't have a clear goal in our mind?
This is a smaller issue within a bigger issue: what is our ultimate goal for this life? The answer is simple, we want to get to Jannah, we want to be successful in the Hereafter. We have a clear goal, but what have we done to prepare for it? What have we prepared for tomorrow? What have we prepared for Ramadan?
Allah says in the last few verses of Surah Al-Hashr [59:18]:
‎يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ 
O you who believe! Be mindful of Allah and let every soul look to what deeds it has prepared for tomorrow.
‎وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
And fear Allah, for certainly Allah is All-Aware of what you do.
Allah uses the word غد (tomorrow), because this life is so short and the Judgement Day is so near that it is just like tomorrow. It could also be the actual tomorrow for many of us, because none of us can expect to still live tomorrow. Allah is reminding us to look at what we have prepared for the future, and he also immediately tells us the best way to prepare for it:
‎وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ
Fear Allah. Having Taqwa, fearing Allah is the best thing we should do to prepare for tomorrow. This is also mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah:
‎وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ
Take necessary provisions (preparations, precautions) for the journey—surely the best provision (preparation, precaution) is righteousness. [2:197]
Whenever we are planning to travel somewhere, there must be things that we prepare for, and there are things that we cannot take with us everywhere. When we board unto an airplane, there are things that are allowed and things that are forbidden. The journey of this life is the same: only the things that the One who made the rules has given permission are allowed, which are our good deeds. 
None of us can be confident enough to say that our good deeds are enough for the Hereafter. In fact, our Prophet (SAW) told us:
“Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds alone can never make you enter Paradise”
Then the companions asked: “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?”
He said: “Not even myself, unless Allah grants me His mercy. Know that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular even if it were little.” [Sahih Muslim 2818]
This is to remind us to be humble. This is to remind us that no matter how much good deed, how much preparation a person does, he can never be arrogant enough to say that ‘this will be enough’. Even the Prophet himself is not an exception to this. This is an encouragement for us to keep on working and improving ourselves.
No one can truly be fully ready and confident in their preparation. There are always, without any exception, room to improve and better ways to prepare ourselves for a certain task. It does not mean that we should simply give up and not do anything because there is no ending in the preparation, but because when the time comes, when it’s time to execute our plan, all we have is the previous efforts that we have gathered through the process of planning. All we have at that moment are the things that we have prepared beforehand.
Almost every single important thing in our life, we have plans for them. We prepare for our exams at school, we prepare for job interviews, we prepare for our food, we prepare for our retirement, we prepare for our children, we prepare for our travels, and of course, we need to prepare to meet Allah.
Of course, there needs to be a balance in our preparations for this life and the Hereafter. Allah did not tell us to give up on everything in this life and only care about the Hereafter, nor did He tell us to only care about this life. Allah says in the Qur’an:
‎ فَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَـٰقٍۢ
There are some who say, “Our Lord! Grant us the good in this world,” but they will have no share in the Hereafter. [2:200]
‎وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةًۭ وَفِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ حَسَنَةًۭ وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ
But there are others who say, “Our Lord! Grant us the good of this world and the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”
‎أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌۭ مِّمَّا كَسَبُوا۟ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ سَرِيعُ ٱلْحِسَابِ
It is they who will receive a reward for the good they have done. And Allah is swift in reckoning. [2:202]
Therefore we should seek both the good in this life and the Hereafter, we have to try our best both for this life and the next by planning our goals.
And, in order to effectively accomplish any task according to the Sunnah, there are a few steps we can take to plan out our tasks:
1. Understand what we are good at and what we are bad at. Know the advantages we have that others don’t have and the disadvantages we have that others don’t have. If we don’t understand our own abilities, then there is no way we can improve them in the first place. The Prophet (SAW) said: “A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak one, and both are good.” (Sahih Muslim 2664) Allah has made each person unique and special and every single one of us has his own strengths and weaknesses, so what we need to do is maximize the strength that Allah has given us and avoid using our weaknesses to compete with others.
2. We need to have the desire and intention to improve, which means we need to have a clear vision and goal. We shouldn’t simply remain the same and think that our lives are just going to be the same. We need to change that situation ourselves. Allah says in the Qur’an:
‎ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ
Allāh will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. [13:11]
When we have a clear goal, we have motivation. The Prophet (SAW) also said: “Think frequently about the thing that destroys all pleasures (death)” (Sunan Ibn Majah 4258) When we understand what is at the end, we will have more motivation to put in the effort.
3. Ask for Allah’s help. Even for the smallest of things, we should seek help from Allah. He is the One who decides what to happen and what not to happen, so we have to be sincere with Allah and to ourselves and remind ourselves that everything we do is for His sake.
4. Be consistent and do not give up. The Prophet (SAW) said: “O people! You have to be moderate (balanced). Verily, Allah will not give up on you unless you give up.” (Sunan bin Majah 4241) We shouldn’t push ourselves to our limit in an extreme manner that we cannot afford, and we should try to make the process smooth enough for us to keep ourselves on track to the goal.
5. Have Tawakkul and accept Allah’s plan. We have to remind ourselves that ultimately, it is Allah who decides whether our plans succeed or not, and whether they succeed or fail, we have to trust in Allah that it is all good for us.
‎وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تَكْرَهُوا۟ شَيْـًۭٔا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌۭ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تُحِبُّوا۟ شَيْـًۭٔا وَهُوَ شَرٌّۭ لَّكُمْ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
Perhaps you dislike something which is good for you and like something which is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know. [2:216]
May Allah grant us patience and steadfastness. May Allah bless us and allow us to reach the month of Ramadan and accept our good deeds.
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