Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
This post is dedicated to the Imams and Khatibs here in Malaysia and also to those living in the rest of the Muslim world.
I pray that you are in the best of Iman, Health and Wealth with your loved ones. Ameen Ya Rabbal Alameen.
Today, I would like to touch on the need of dialogues and interactions between those of you who have been appointed as Imams and Khatibs and the general Ummah..mainly with the jamaah @ congregations of your respective masjids and surau's.
The time has come for you O respected Imam's and Khatib's to spare some of your precious minutes or hours to engage in post solat dialogue sessions after each fard prayers or the weekly Jumaat prayers with those amongst the jama'ah @ congregation who have questions about matters concerning religious matters or those related to the topic of the Friday Khutbah that you just delivered.
It's not my intention to introduce something new as a form of bida'ah @ innovation into the faith but in these times where the Muslims are undergoing tremendous challenges in their daily life's as a result of these hedonistic era where the government of this land encourages and promotes it unabashedly through the various multimedia and broadcasting channels.
Challenging times need creative measures. This initiative will bolster the image and character of the Imam's and Khatib's to be proactive and dynamic in their roles as the leaders of the Ummah.
Shying away from the roles that they have got themselves into is a gross breach of trust and neglecting the huge responsibilities that the people have placed in them.
The Imam's and Khatib's can't just dictate to the congregation and get away without explaining in detail or clear any confusions that might arise in the hearts and minds of the very people they just preached to.
Many amongst the Muslims lack understanding and aren't clear about the do's and don'ts of the Islamic Faith and they live their life's as they please without giving a hoot about what's halal, haram, sunat, makruh, etcetera.
We see all kinds of immoral activities and moral decay taking place in our midst everyday here in this nation and throughout the world. The religious authorities seem ineffective and powerless to do anything about it as a result of their lack of awareness as to how to go about addressing these problems.
Many Ulamaks, Imams and Khatibs leave their Ummah clueless about how to deal with the various challenges facing them today and they usually give all kinds of cock and bull excuses to save their butts from accepting responsibilities towards the salvation of the Muslim Ummah!
What a bloody shame! These criminal breach of trust won't go unpunished by Allah for these alims are held accountable for their people's misdeeds.
I suggest that every Imam and Khatib of this nation spend at least half an hour after each fard prayers or the Friday prayers to engage in a dialogue with the Jama'ah and answer their questions about matters concerning the faith of Islam.
We all know that the usual practice in every masjid or surau is to have some sort of an inner clique where the Imam or the Khatib will disappear into the masjid's office with their inner circle and avoid interacting with the congregation immediately after praying their sunat nawafil prayers.
This takes place in practically each and every masjid or surau of this nation effectively cutting off communications between the Ulama' and the 'Umara.
Is this the example shown by the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam? I am sure it is not!
It doesn't hurt to spend some time talking to members of the congregation, listen to their troubles, offer them a way out or answer their questions about matters they are confused about.
The Deen of Islam is 'Nasihah' @ 'Advice' and the Imam's or the Khatib's ought to put it to practice. There's no point in preaching to the masses but not following up with the details or how to's!
To nip the problems affecting the Ummah in the bud, the Imams and the Khatibs ought to start at the grassroots level. Speak to the people.
Smile as often as possible and practice what you preach. Show them that you care for them sincerely and not just get away with giving them mere 'lip service'. We don't need actors!
There's just too many artistes around. Take a pebble and throw into a crowd. You are bound to hit a singer or an actor or actress! This is what this nation seems to be enamored with.
Not a day goes by without a reality show being hosted and hundreds of thousands of mostly Malay Muslims young males and females aspire to be the latest star and singing sensation of this hedonistic nation.
Singers and performers get decorated with titles and rewarded with the affluence of this life whilst the Mufti's and Religious figures get hounded into obscurity when they ever dare to speak up against the rot taking place in Malaysia effectively silencing the 'learned ones' into shutting the hell up and fear for their life's!
This is the state of affairs of our religious scholars! Reduced to being the official ' Do'a Reciter' for the various hedonistic programs of this 'Islam Hadhari' Government of Malaysia! Hooray!!!
The Imams and the Khatibs have been reduced to being just prayer leaders and to 'read' the prepared khutbah texts of JAKIM @ the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia.
Anyone trying to preach to the congregation as Allah SWT commands them will incur the wrath of those who are ordered to toe the line of the powers that be or risk being sacked and removed from their official government jobs and positions.
The Imams and the Khatibs are now cuckolded and the entertainers and performers feted in the royal courts and awarded medals and prestigious titles.
What a screwed up hypocritical life this is? Islam Hadhari? Yeah...right!
Islam needs its ulamaks and heirs to the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam to return to their roots and stand up to fulfill their roles as the advisers and guides of the Ummah to show and guide them back to the fundamentals of the faith.
The scholars need to break free from the encumbrances now stifling them from performing their respectful roles as the leaders of this Ummah and stop kowtowing to the powers that be and neglect the people by not doing what they are expected to do by Allah SWT and His Messenger!
Have the initiative to stop the rot from destroying the Ummah and spend time with them after each fard prayers and the Friday prayers. As it is , not many people listen to the Khutbah and they just chat amongst themselves not paying heed to whatever prepared text that is being read by the Khatib.
Yeah, the Khatibs are now official newsreaders of JAKIM. They have been stopped from preaching to the masses. Go ask any Khatib worth his salt and you will learn that he is under orders to read whatever that JAKIM has prepared and posted to him or hand delivered.
Any attempts to preach anything on his own will see the poor fella get a show cause letter within the week and a threat to dismiss him from his post. Go on. Ask your local Imam or Khatib if it is true or false?
Any Muslim must fear and oblige only Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala. He or she must not submit towards any threat or harassments from their fellow beings.
We live and we die with the Will of Allahu Akbar. Whom would we face when we pass away from this world if not Allah, Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala?
Come dear Imams and Khatibs of Islam. Return to the fitrah of being a Caller to Islam. The Ummah needs you. Lead them well and do not fear anyone except Allah!
Just leading the obligatory prayers and reciting the Do'a is not what He has created you to be.
You need to lead the ummah. Speak to them. Listen to their grievances. Show them the way. Guide them. Lead them towards Allah's Salvation.
The Ulamaks need to free themselves from being caught in the doldrums of fear and uselessness. You are responsible to ensuring that your congregation are aware of the tenets and principles of Islam. It is you who will be held accountable for all the things happening in your place and kariah @ masjid's area.
The Malays of Malaysia need your guidance. No more excuses or cock and bull stories. As the Imams and Khatibs of your respective masjid's jurisdiction, you hold responsibility to see to it that your kariah is safe from maksiat and harmful practices.
The Islamic Religious Department all over the nation ought to wake up and lead the people to a better future and avoid passing the buck or blaming whatever situations affecting the place on others. Start cleaning up the mess and avoid shying away from carrying out enforcement of the Syariah laws.
Fear Allah. Respect human beings. Guide those who need you to a better lifestyle.
May the Imams and Khatibs of this nation heed my calling to them and start holding the dialogue sessions that I propose between them and the members of the congregation after each major prayer session and after each Friday prayers. Insya Allah.
Where there's a will, there'll definitely be a way! Do not let this society go to waste as a result of your being hesitant to do what you have been appointed to do. The nation's Muslims future depends on you.
Last thing that I want to ask is that you the Imams and Khatibs of Malaysia start smiling. Nobody likes to see a stern, frowning face!
When you face your congregation from the mimbar @ pulpit, can't you smile at them? Almost every Khatib I have seen looks like they are constipated when they stand up there in the pulpit, admonishing the jamaah!
Remember that before you are hundreds and thousands of Muslims who have gathered before Allah SWT and have answered the Call to Prayer.
These are the good ones before you. They are guests of Allah the Almighty just like you. You must smile at them and appreciate their being there. Without them being present, who are you being an Imam to?
Learn to appreciate the jamaah and show them that you do care for them. Yours is a trust that needs you to live up to.
An Imam or a Khatib is nobody without the Jama'ah! Be kind to them and share some time with them, answering any questions they might have or want to ask about concerning their life's.
Remember that it is a sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam to smile and be kind and gentle towards the jamaah, when they are doing right.
You can be stern when and if the situation and circumstances warrant you to be so but not all the time, please.
A smile is but a sadaqah and those of you who shy away from smiling because you have missing teeth, fret not for we the jamaah can pool our resources to sponsor your dentures if it comes to such a situation. :D
Looking forward to a positive response from you gentlemen and wishing you all the best in your life and careers!
May Allah SWT bless us all. Ameen. Wabillahi Taufeek Wal Hidayah.
Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.