1) Qur’aanic praise of the Muslim nation.
2) The Prophets of Allaah cursed the children of Israel due to their failure to enjoin good and forbid evil.
3) The obligation of giving importance to the issue of enjoining good and forbidding evil, especially during holidays.
4) Vacations should be seasons for competing in the performance of virtuous deeds.
5) The various types of characters that one witnesses during holidays.
6) Advice regarding holidays.
7) A reminder that one must take from their rapidly vanishing life.
O you who have believed in Allaah as your Lord, Islaam as a religion and Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as a Messenger and Prophet! Allaah says that which translates as: “And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 104) and also: “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allaah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 110).
This praise of the nation of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is due to the fact that it is a nation whose conduct and behaviour is in accordance with what their Lord commands and this nation will always exist. This is a nation who love goodness and invite to it and who hate evil and forbid it.
It is when a nation lives in blindness and heedlessness and fails to enjoin good and forbid evil, that everything becomes reversed; what is praiseworthy becomes dispraised and goodness becomes cursed, and this is exactly what happened with the children of Israel.
Allaah says that which translates as: “Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed.” (Al-Maa’idah: 78) Was this the only reason for the curses? No! Because Allaah says that which translates as: “They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing.” (Al-Maa’idah: 79).
Indeed they immobilised the obligation of enjoining good and forbidding evil; one of them would witness his friend indulging in evil and yet never forbid or guide him, and that was why the curses of Allaah befell them.
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "They (i.e., the children of Israel) were cursed in the Old Testament (Torah), New Testament, Psalms and Furqaan (i.e., the Qur’aan)". How severe is such a curse on him who sees evil and does not prevent, forbid or warn against it.
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “When the children of Israel committed sins, their scholars forbade them from doing so, but they did not stop; but their scholars continued to sit with them and eat and drink with them. So Allaah caused their hearts to differ and made Prophets Daawood and ‘Eesaa, son of Maryam, curse them “…Because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed.” (Al-Maa’idah: 78)” (Ahmad).
Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “The children of Israel began their decline when a man used to meet another (who committed sins) and say to him: 'O you! Fear Allaah and refrain from what you are doing because it is forbidden.' But this did not prevent him from being with him the next day and sitting, eating and drinking with him. So when they (i.e., the children of Israel) did that, Allaah made their hearts differ “…Because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed.” (Al-Maa’idah: 78)” then he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “No, I swear by Allaah! You must enjoin good and forbid evil, prevent the oppressor from oppressing others and force him to abide by the truth” (Abu Daawood).
There are many other Ahaadeeth which mention enjoining good and forbidding evil, such as the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: “I swear by the One in Whose Hand my soul is! You must enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allaah will send upon you punishment from Him, then you will supplicate to Him but He will not respond to you”.
Beloved brothers! As a way of implementing these Ahaadeeth, and escaping the punishments that are warned about in them, we must enjoin good and forbid evil, each according to his ability and circumstances. This is the holiday season, which could be a season of sins or a season of virtue, therefore, I must deliver this message with reference to this.
Beloved brothers! How joyful it is that a person unwinds after hard work and relaxes when exhausted, and the believer who is sincere to his Lord knows exactly how and when to unwind and relax. The fact of the matter is that the true believer will never relax until he reaches Paradise, the width of which is greater than the Heavens and the earth, and as long as the believer is alive, it will be nothing but hardships and trials for him, his slogan is as Allaah says, that which translates as: “And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty [i.e., death].” (Al-Hijr: 99).
Worship Allaah truthfully and sincerely; worship Him seeking His Paradise; worship Him as if you see Him, and know that although you do not see Him, He sees you. I swear by Allaah that if you were to worship Him for a thousand years without disobeying Him even once, you would still not give Him His due gratitude for a single bounty that He has bestowed upon you.
We should know that there are angels who are continuously worshipping Allaah, bowing down in prostration and supplicating to Him saying: "Exalted is our Lord; we did not offer the due worship to You".
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “The heavens are pounding and they have every right to pound, because in every space (as little as is needed for) four fingers, there is an angel lowering his forehead to prostrate to Allaah, The most High”.
Therefore, we must rush and compete in performing virtuous deeds, but there is no harm in enjoying some of this life’s permissible pleasures in order to refresh us while we are attaining our provisions for the Hereafter. This should be the way we view our holidays, and in this regard, people fall into two categories:
One group are for example those who knew that their children have exerted great effort during the year and have thereby become exhausted. So they took them on a nice trip which involved no prohibitions, or they took them to the holy mosque in Makkah or to the beloved Prophet’s mosque in Madeenah and they therefore spent their holiday in obedience to Allaah, and these are the best of people. Blessed is the son who remembered his parents or relatives during his holiday and gained a great reward by doing so. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Let he who would like that his provisions are increased and his (good) reputation is remembered, keep good ties of kinship”.
The other group are those who realised that this holiday was but a few days and that it would soon come to an end, so they blinded themselves and spent it in committing prohibited acts, wastefulness, heedlessness, intermixing between men and women and going to places where women were improperly dressed. This group lost out on this life and the Hereafter. Some of them might have performed some virtuous recommended deeds but at the same time they severed their relations with parents or relatives.
Such people deserve the curse of Allaah, as He says that which translates as: “So would you perhaps, if you turned away, cause corruption on earth and sever your [ties of] relationship? Those [who do so] are the ones that Allaah has cursed, so He deafened them and blinded their vision.” (Muhammad: 22-23) He deafened their ears and blinded their eyes; such that when they hear a reminder, the words do not benefit or even concern them. I swear by Allaah that they are in darkness and proceeding in misguidance; their supplications are not answered; their hearts are not humbled; their hearts are overwhelmed with this life and they forget that they will return to Allaah. Allaah says that which translates as: “That is the True [i.e., certain] Day; so he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return. Indeed, We have warned you of a near punishment on the Day when a man will observe what his hands have put forth and say, Oh, I wish that I were dust!'" (An-Naba': 39-40).
O believers! Life is but a few days, and the days of your holiday are less still. I swear by Allaah that these days will testify for or against you, so utilise them in obedience to Allaah, and fear a day on which you will all be returned to Allaah, then each soul will face the consequences of what it earned and nobody will be wronged in any way.
My second piece of advice is to the Muslim youth, who are our hope in bringing about beneficial change and all that which is good.
Young men! Who do you descend from? Who are your examples? What are your goals and how will you achieve them? These are questions which come to my mind, because I fear that if these are unanswered, you will go through unbearable punishment.
You descend from Khaalid Ibn Al-Waleed, ‘Ammaar Ibn Yaasir, Handhalah, Sa’d, ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab and ‘Ali Ibn Abu Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with them all; these are your fathers and forefathers; consult your history and it will confirm that what I am telling you is true; do not be a descendent that destroys the reputation of his forefathers; you are expected to put forth actions which will prove that you are a dutiful and worthy descendant who his forefathers can be proud of.
Allow me to address your hearts and attentive minds; All of us have set for ourselves role-models according to our own interests; some have set our beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, as an example while others have singers and film stars, while others still have other people as examples for them. The question that you must answer is: will your role model and example benefit you after your death? Can they intercede for you and argue on your behalf on the Day of Resurrection so that Allaah will grant you Paradise? Or are you simply enjoying how they sing and dance? If this is the case then on the Day of Resurrection you and your role-models will curse one another in front of Allaah… I will let you all answer this question for yourselves because I am certain that Allaah guides to the truth.
Young men! Do not waste time during your holidays and vacations with idle talk and futile entertainment, because the Muslim nation is expecting more from you than this; your brothers and sisters in Islaam are being killed in different parts of the world while they are raising the banner of Islaam, and the least that you can do is join them in your heart and with your supplications.
O Muslims! This is a message to all Muslims whose hearts are attached to this life and are deceived by its glitter, Allaah says that which translates as: “…And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion?” (Aal ‘Imraan: 185).
O you who have been deceived by this life and its glitter! Think of the agonies at the time of death and its bitterness… death is a reality and a promise which will certainly be fulfilled… a just judgment. Death is enough of a heartbreaking event to expect, which causes eyes to shed tears, separates people, destroys pleasures and dashes ones hopes and expectations.
Listen to a sincere call from a caring brother who only wishes well for you; it is Abu Ad-Dardaa’, may Allaah be pleased with him; it is a call which terrifies the believing hearts; he said at the time of his death: "Let man set forth (good deeds) for an end (i.e., the agony) like the one I am going through! Let man set forth (good deeds) for an hour like the one I am going through! Let man set forth (good deeds) for a day like the one I am going through!"
Dear brothers! If you deliberately miss an appointment with somebody, then you would certainly be ashamed to meet them afterwards, therefore, how can you disobey Allaah and then meet Him after you have made a pledge to Him and then betrayed it?
Brothers! How can we feel secure and be deceived by this life when ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "If I had as much gold as would fill the earth, I would sacrifice it for the Hereafter." But when he was stabbed and lay dying, he, may Allaah be pleased with him, said to his son: "Put my hand on my cheek and place my head on the dust of the earth (i.e., on the ground as a sign of humiliation)” then he cried until the dust became mud and stuck to his eyes, and then he said: " I am doomed if Allaah does not forgive me and be merciful with me".
Think then about the day of your death; the day on which you will move from your current place of residence; the day on which you will move from a spacious dwelling to a narrow and restricted one; a day on which your friends will betray and forsake you. On that day you will be taken from your bed and placed into your grave, then you will be covered with dust; despite all the wealth which you amassed, all that you will take with you on that day is your shroud.
Know that as the days go by, you are getting closer and closer to your final abode, and I swear by Allaah there will be no abode after this life except for Paradise or Hell. The people were waiting for the summer holiday to arrive, and now they are living through it, the days have passed, and more will pass. Abu Ad-Dardaa’, may Allaah be pleased with him, said "O son of Aadam! You are but days, so whenever a day passes, a part of you has disappeared."
Slaves of Allaah! Utilise your time because you will be questioned in front of Allaah about it and how you spent it. Abu Barzah, may Allaah be pleased with him: narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “No person’s feet will be able to move on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about five things: how he spent his life; how he utilised his youth; how he earned his wealth and how he spent it; and what he did with his knowledge” (Tirmidhi).
So your youth is a part of the time which you will be asked about, since it is the period of strength and energy, and therefore it was given a special mention: “…How he utilised his youth..” and so there will be a special question regarding this on the Day of Resurrection.
Since this is the case, then let us set forth some good deeds, perhaps they will intercede for us with Allaah. Woe to the one who wastes his time in useless entertainment, then on the Day of Resurrection, he will say, as Allaah says that which translates as, “…'Our Lord!, remove us [i.e., from Hell] we will do righteousness – other than what we were doing!'…” (Faatir: 37) and Allaah will answer with that which translates as: “… But did We not grant you life enough for whoever would remember therein to remember, and the warner had come to you? So taste [the punishment], for there is not for the wrongdoers any helper.” (Faatir: 37).
Slaves of Allaah! Do not be deceived by this life because it is just like a temporary shade; a time of a few laughs followed by plenty of crying; a one time joy coupled with much sadness; this life is the prison of the believer and the paradise of the disbeliever.
Allaah says that which translates as: “The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb – [those] from which men and livestock eat – until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do we explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought.” (Yoonus: 24)
Therefore, hold yourselves accountable before you are held to account; weigh your deeds before they are weighed for you; today is when you can work without accountability while tomorrow will be the accounting with no ability to work; occupy yourselves with good things during this holiday like study circles of the Qur’aan, beneficial knowledge, dutifulness to parents and all other types of virtues deeds because this is the best way to spend a holiday.