SPIRITUAL NUGGETS: A SPEECH OR SERMON MUST BE FOR THE SAKE OF GOD ALONE

“The reality…is that when speakers stand up to deliver their addresses, it is observed that their purpose and heartfelt desire is nothing more than to deliver a speech that pleases the audience. They aim to use such words and expressions so that sounds of praise and acclaim can be heard from all directions.”

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“Would all the gentlemen listen attentively. I wish and desire for my community, and even for my own person and soul, that we must not be pleased with empty words and expressions that are to be found in lectures. Our entire aim and focus must not culminate merely on the spell-binding nature of a certain individual’s speech and the power of their words. This does not please me. What pleases me — and not by any pretence or affectation, but rather as a natural and inherent demand of my soul — is that everything be done for the sake of Allah, and to serve God. If the pleasure of Allah and obedience to His commands had not been my objective, Allah the Exalted knows well that I have always preferred to remain in seclusion and I feel such pleasure in solitude that is beyond me to explain — delivering speeches and sermons is quite another matter.

“But what am I to do? My sympathy for mankind draws and pulls me out into the public, and then, I am also bound by the command of Allah Almighty, who has appointed me to convey His message. The reason that I have mentioned that we must not be pleased with hollow words and expressions is because even in all things that are good, Satan has a part. Hence, when a person stands up to exhort the people, there is no doubt that enjoining goodness and forbidding evil is a most excellent deed; but the one who stands in this place ought to be fearful, for in this deed, Satan seeks to have his share. A part of this relates to the one who delivers the address, and a part relates to the audience. The reality of this is that when speakers stand up to deliver their addresses, it is observed that their purpose and heartfelt desire is nothing more than to deliver a speech that pleases the audience. They aim to use such words and expressions so that sounds of praise and acclaim can be heard from all directions.

“I find that this is the only purpose of such speakers, just as the main effort of entertainers, actors, qawwali performers and singers is to receive praise from their audience. Hence, when a person has a large audience before them, which comprises people of all dispositions and levels, the eye with which one perceives God is shut, except in the case of whom God wills. Otherwise, the objective of most people is

simply to garner praise and acclaim, and to be applauded and given cheers of appreciation. In short, this is Satan’s part as it relates to a preacher or speaker.

“The share of Satan, as it relates to the audience that listens to an address, is for them to appreciate and praise a speaker for their eloquence, articulate speech, mastery of the language, powerful expression, and for their apt use of poetic verses and stories and jokes that spur laughter, only so that they may be deemed as ones who have an understanding of poetry and prose. In other words, their purpose is far distanced from God, while the speaker has his own motives. The speaker speaks, but not for the sake of God; the audience listens, but does not give these words a place in their hearts because they do not listen for the sake of God. Why does this happen? Only so that they can feel pleasure.”

…to be continued…

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