The annual ISNA Canada Convention took over the Islamic Centre of Canada on October 20-22, and with it great speakers and scholars rolled into town. One of the speakers we hosted for the first time this year was Ustadh AbdelRahman Murphy, Assistant Director at Qalam Institute. Ustadh AbdelRahman is passionate about reaching out to youth and we wanted to ensure as many people benefited from his knowledge and his time in town.
On Friday, October 20, Ustadh Abdelrahman Murphy offered a memorable Friday khutbah (sermon) at the Anatolia Islamic Centre in Mississauga. He spoke about the importance of good character within the Muslim community and how we should use the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) as an exemplary individual of perfection in character.
Ustadh AbdelRahman touched upon the Prophet’s (PBUH) experience of severe grief after losing his Uncle Hamza in the battle of Uhud. If anyone else were to feel what he felt when he found his uncle among those killed in the battle, they would seek revenge. Instead, the Prophet (PBUH) was gifted with incredible character that allowed him to react to the situation with grace.
The importance of good character was emphasized through another story – this one featuring Ustadh AbdelRahman’s own mother. She would always check her receipt after paying for her groceries to make sure that she had taken care of her entire bill (rather than to ensure that she was not overcharged). One day, his mother found a few items that went unpaid for and she returned to pay for them. The woman at the cashier was so taken aback by her honesty and trustworthiness that she claimed she hadn’t experienced such an encounter in all of her 15 years of working at the store. Ustadh AbdelRahman highlights the power of good character and how “your experiences that you’ve given to people will live much stronger than the words of politicians that are trying to take you down”.
The khutba concluded with two main takeaways on how to refine our character. The first, Ustadh AbdelRahman advises, is to know the Prophet (PBUH) because we cannot emulate his character without first learning about it. Ustadh AbdelRahman challenged us to strive and learn every single detail about our Prophet (PBUH), just as we know every detail about celebrities nowadays. The second takeaway is to look at yourself and ask those around you for feedback about the ways you can improve your character . He says to ask others, “what kind of prophetic characteristics can you give me that will make me a better person?” With these in minds, we can begin to try to emulate the Prophet’s character and become the ummah the Prophet dreamt of us being, insha’Allah
Ustadh AbdelRahman’s khutbah touched on a topic that’s very relevant to today’s society, where our knowledge is so vast but we fail to act on our knowledge. It isn’t beneficial to us if we don’t do something with the knowledge we’ve gained. Islam needs doers, not just be-ers; it needs us to do Islam, not just to be Muslims. May we continue to strive to become better Muslims who will make our Prophet (PBUH) proud when the Day of Judgement arrives.