You can listen to Imam Adam’s Khutbah above, watch it below, or read the summary below.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا

تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ

Inna allatheena qaloo rabbuna Allahu thumma istaqamoo tatanazzalu AAalayhimu almalaikatu alla takhafoo wala tahzanoo waabshiroo bialjannati allatee kuntum tooAAadoona

Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah,” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve, but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.”

(Surah Fussilat, Quran 41:30)

Those who have said, those who have announced, those who have stated – رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ – “Our Lord is Allah” – ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُ – then they have istiqamah. تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ – Then, on the Day of Judgment, or other scholars said that upon their death, the angels will descend upon them, and the angels will tell them, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be stressed out. You are going to be given the reward that you were promised.”

There are two conditions that are mentioned here to obtain that reward and to obtain that visit from the angels. The first one is imaan. The first one is the announcement of imaan and belief. And the second one is istiqamah. So what is istiqamah?

Istiqamah comes from the family of verbs on the pattern istighfar. So istighfar is talab ul ghufran. Istighfar is the seeking of forgiveness. Istiqamah comes from qiyam – to stand upright. So istiqamah is talab ul qiyam – it is the seeking of being upright. And that idea of talab, the idea of seeking, by definition – it means that there is success and that there’s failure. It’s inherently part of the word istiqamah that there is success in that attempt to be upright, in that attempt to be consistent, and there’s also failure. And both of those are part of istiqamah.

And so Allah, He tells us that when we believe, the other condition there is istiqamah – is that consistency, is that ability to stay on the path. And Allah, He knows that it’s much easier said than done because at the end of those verses of that passage, He says that the believers are given that reward,

نُزُلًا مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ

Nuzulan min ghafoorin raheemin

A reward from the Forgiving and the Merciful.

(Surah Fussilat, Quran 41:32)

And so Allah reminds us that He is Forgiving. He reminds us that He is Merciful when it comes to the case of being consistent. And istiqamah and consistency is a holistic thing. It’s the combination of the mind, of the body, and the soul. The Quran and Sunnah tell us to take care of our minds – hifdh ul ‘aql.

The Scholars said that one of the maqasid, one of the objectives of Islam, of the Sharia, is to protect the mind. That’s why the prohibition of alcohol and intoxicants exist. The seeking of knowledge is all part of preservation of the mind. Similarly, the preservation of the body. As Muslims, we believe that our bodies are an amanah – that we should seek a cure. Part of our imaan is to seek a cure when we are sick. And then of course, the istiqamah of the soul, of the spirit. We have our salawat and we have our zakat. We are consistently asked to worship Allah and consistently be generous to others.

There is a book that was written called, “The Power of Habit.” Pretty core book when it comes to studies on habit, pretty commonly referenced book. And the author divides any habit into three parts. The first part is the cue, the trigger. The second part is the routine. The third part is the reward. So the trigger could be when you wake up in the morning and you have this urge for some caffeine. The routine, when you push the button on the coffee maker, or you heat up the water to make the coffee. The rewards, the smell of the coffee, the taste of the coffee, the caffeine in your body. That’s the three steps of any habit. And so whenever you want to build any habit, we look at these three steps. How do we interact with these three steps?

What is the trigger? What is the cue? What is the routine? And what is the reward?

And as you play around with those levers, you can produce new habits for yourself- good habits for yourself. You can leave bad habits once you recognize the different aspects of those habits. So for example, if I want to read Quran everyday, then I have to first look at what is the trigger?

What is the thing that helps me to get started? What is the thing that reminds me? Maybe I read about the virtues of reading Quran everyday. Maybe I read about the things that Allah has promised to those and the blessings of reading the Quran of every single harf. Maybe I’ve placed the Quran in a way where I will see it, I would make sure that I see it. So it’s a reminder. So I come up with a cue, maybe I asked my spouse or my Quran reading partner to remind me.

And then my routine, I establish a routine around that. I try my best to start with something simple. Maybe it’s once every three days, maybe it’s everyday on weekends. Maybe it’s something small. I start with the routine and I build upon that.

And then finally the reward. The reward is the feeling of accomplishment. The reward is being able to read those verses in our Salah. The reward is having that connection to Allah, the reward is, the connection to your family when you pray together at home, all of those pieces, they come together and that can go for anything.

And then the author of the “Power of Habit,” he talks about something called keystone habits. He says that if you can establish a Keystone habit, then everything else becomes easier. So what is a keystone habit? What is a keystone? We can say there’s a wall made of rocks or any kind of wall. When you remove the keystone, everything else becomes weaker. That’s the keystone. So what is the keystone habit? The author gives examples like that of exercise or that of eating healthy. So you take something that most people have trouble with, most people have difficulty with. If you’re able to establish yourself in that, then everything else becomes easier.

Allah has given us a keystone habit.

We don’t have to look here and there for that. And that is our salah. If we can discipline ourselves for the salah, every other habit becomes easier because we can connect everything to salah. We can say after Fajr, this is my routine. And after Dhuhr, this is my routine. And after Asr, this is my routine. And after Maghrib, and after Isha. I can connect my different habits to my salah and that’s how I can build up on that. And so once I have the ability to create new habits for myself, then I can come closer to achieving that istiqamah. And the Quran and Sunnah have given us that. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

أَحَبَّ الأَعْمَالِ أَدْوَمُهَا إِلَى اللَّهِ

The most beloved of deeds to Allah

When we want to do some research on Google, how do people type into Google? Do they say, “I want a vacuum cleaner.” No, they say, “What is the best vacuum cleaner? What is the best chicken recipe? What are the best diapers,” and so on right? You do research like that. You want to know the best thing. The Prophet (pbuh) said,

“What is the most beloved deed to Allah?” أَدْوَمُهَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَإِنْ قَلَّ – He said that “The most beloved of these to Allah are those that are the most consistent.” أَدْوَمُهَا – what a beautiful word. You’ve heard the word – دائماً ابداً – da’iman abadan – forever and always. أَدْوَمُهَا – the most consistent of deeds are the most beloved to Allah –wa in qalla – even if they are qalil, even if they are few, even if they are small, even if they are little, because that is how the true change happens.

How many of us have tried? We go to Costco and buy the two-year annual membership to 24 Hour Fitness. You go one day, mashaAllah. Then we are burnt-out after one day. How many times has that happened? Because the problem is we’re stuck trying to start with something too big. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Start with something small.”

For example, how can we build up good habits in Ramadan? Allah has given us the perfect way to establish a good habit. He’s given us the perfect way of Ramadan every single year. The Sahaba used to look forward to Ramadan, the blessings of Ramadan, the potential of Ramadan. And that’s baked into our Deen. Yesterday, we had a program on healthy eating and one of the latest ways to eat healthily is intermittent fasting. So fasting is a part of so many diets and recommendations that doctors are giving. And we’ve had this in our Deen. Fasting is part of our Deen, Monday and Thursday.

And so if we look at that, if we try to live by what we have, the principles that Allah has given us, then we can achieve so much. Well, first we have to start with that trust and that imaan. That certainty has to be there and that comes through knowledge, but it also comes through practice. Right? There’s a point in any field where you’ve had enough theory, any more theory will just lead to analysis paralysis. Instead, now you have to take action. So what are the practical steps?

What is this something that we can do today?

“I’m going to read five minutes of Quran today. I’m going to read something today. Fridays are for Surah Al-Kahf, I’m not going to read the whole thing cause I never do it. I’m just going to read two pages of it. I’m going to read one page of it. I forgot how to read Arabic. Let me start with a program where I learn how to read Arabic. Let me do that. Let me start with something basic.

And just like how we do research for any other thing- for our work, we want to study, we want to learn. Same thing for the Quran, same thing for our connection to Allah. So I ask Allah that He gives us knowledge that benefits us. And that it helps us to have istiqamah and to have that consistency in our lives.

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin.

So in conclusion, my brothers, Allah told us to have imaan and then to have istiqamah. Once a man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and he said, “Give me wasiyah, give me long lasting advice.” Wasiyah was the word for “will,” for what you leave behind for your children. So, “Ya Rasulallah give me wasiyah, give me the kind of advice that you would leave behind for your children.” The Prophet (pbuh) said,

قُلْ آمَنْت بِاَللَّهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَقِمْ

qul amantu billahi thuma istaqeem

“Say that you believe in Allah and then take action on that.”

And then have this istiqamah, remain consistent on that. That is the secret. That is the simple secret in three words and four words. That is the simple secret.

We ask Allah that He helps us to have that Istiqamah. We ask Allah to fulfill the needs of those that are in need. We ask Allah that He cures the sick. We ask Allah that He has mercy on those that have passed. In particular, we have a request from Brother Ahmed. His mother is in the ICU. Please make Dua for her. We also have a request from Brother Ali, that a family relative of his is passed away from COVID. May Allah relieve their suffering. May Allah give patience to their family and have mercy on those that have passed. I asked the Allah that He unite us and that He helps us to have that steadfastness.

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّآ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ السَّمِیعُ العَلِیمُ

وَتُبْ عَلَیْنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُالرَّحِیمُ

رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِى ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ

عِبَادَ اللّهِ  إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ  يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا

وَأَقِمِ الصّلَاة

Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein.  Seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. Be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters.

And, establish the prayer.

What do you think? Share your reflections below!

And don’t forget to come back next week for another khutbah!


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