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Friday Sermon: Bridge over Troubled Waters 1

Babatunde Jose

When facing difficulties, our weak faith can sometimes drive us to question the fairness of it all. In this context, we should remind ourselves that believing in al-Qadr (Allah’s divine will and decree) is one of the pillars of Islamic faith.

“No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence: That is truly easy for Allah:  In order that ye may not despair over matters that pass you by, nor exult over favours bestowed upon you. For Allah loveth not any vainglorious boaster.” (Quran 57:22-23)

As believers we should recognize that only Allah’s Grace and Mercy can deliver us from challenging situations. Life is full of twists and turns. We will all experience many highs and moments of great happiness, but there will inevitably be periods when we experience pain, sadness and tougher times. It’s in these moments that we find comfort in the people closest to us. We all look for that special person who’s prepared to reach out a helping hand and ease our troubles with love and support.

For many observers, today’s world seems indecipherable. The Earth is in such jeopardy that some scientists speak of a new accelerated geological era. The resurgence of barbarism and terrorism in the name of religion is seen as a historical regression.

At the same time, waves of technological innovations are constantly surging, particularly in the fields of energy and information — sources of economic, ecological and social transformations. These advances point to an accelerated evolution of the human being.

Never has the present been subjected to such a tectonic shock between its future and its past, the consequences of which seem difficult to foresee and can sometimes be distressing.

Between naïve belief in the unlimited benefits of technology and resignation to the cycle of calamities, there is room to build global governance aiming at organising a geopolitical order to derive the best of the human experience. Today we live in a world of three realities; objective reality where things exist independently of our beliefs and feelings. Subjective reality, in contrast, depends on our personal beliefs and feelings. However, there is a third level of reality: the intersubjective level. Intersubjective entities depend on communication among many humans rather than on the beliefs and feelings of individual humans. Many of the most important agents in history are intersubjective. Money, for example, has no objective value. You cannot eat, drink or wear a dollar bill. Yet as long as billions of people believe in its value, you can use it to buy food, beverages and clothing.

We live in a time when it is not popular or politically correct to be a follower of God. God and His people are mocked by the media. They are portrayed as narrow-minded, bigoted, judgmental, and self-righteous phonies. Our values and morality are scoffed at, and religious zealots are condemned and vilified. Yet there is a case for faith and a need for God in our lives.  We live in a time where right is called wrong and wrong is called right. A generation ago, the public would have never tolerated such things as homosexuality, polygamy, adultery, and fornication, neither the legalization of marijuana; but today, they are glorified on our tv sets. The media is brainwashing our children into believing that it is normal to have sex with multiple partners or others of the same sex. They are being told that there is no such thing as absolute truth – that truth depends solely upon what you think is right in the moment. As a result, morality has gone the way of the dinosaur, and those that are godly are feeling more and more like David did way back when he wrote Psalm 12:

 “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.  They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?  For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.  The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever. The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.” When we see the corruption and godlessness that surround us every day, we need to pray for one another so that we will be strong and not influenced by the world. We need a bridge over our troubled waters. When our souls are weary and we are feeling small; and there are tears in our eyes and we need someone to dry them. These are very trying times indeed. Things are rough, very rough.

So we need to pray for our leaders, at national, state and local leaders. Pray for the judges. Pray that they will make godly decisions and uphold what is right.

In the light of the ungodly society that we find ourselves in, we need to do everything that we can do to live beyond reproach.

 “Finally, all of us should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tender hearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. Remember;

“So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” (Quran 94: 5-6)

If Allah helps you, none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allah (Alone) let believers put their trust. (Quran 3:160)

Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend

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