Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 8 August 9, 2011
To listen to the Halaqa click here Part 1 and Part 2. Today’s deed is one of the most important for the Ummah of Muhammad (saw), and with it one earns a level of affiliation to Allah [SWT]. Today’s most beloved deed to Allah [SWT] is contemplating the Qur’an, “Do they not then ponderon the Quran, or are there locks on the hearts? [47:24] First of all, what does the word “Qur’an” mean? If you look up books of Tafseer [exegesis] one of the most beautiful interpretations of the word is: it is a collection of all the fruits of the books revealed by Allah [SWT]. It was compiled, and then gifted to us the Ummah of Muhammad. I am surprised it’s not on the bestseller list, for it is the most read book on the face of the earth. They probably had to remove it, to make room for other books because it would claim the position of “Bestseller” eternally. So, you are Ummat [people] Al Qur’an; a title that you take on as a Muslim. But there’s a level higher than that: “The people of the Qur’an are the family of Allah and His chosen ones.” [Al-Hadeeth] They are those whose hearts are attached to the Qur’an. Allah [SWT] tells us to be kind to our families, maintain our ties with them. So imagine how kind Allah [SWT] will be towards His family and His chosen ones. When you take on this title, just imagine how the Prophet (saw) will receive you at his basin on the Day of Judgment, or how the Angel of Death will deal with your soul when it’s sent to bring it back to Allah [SWT]? Allah [SWT] loves the Qur’an and loves those who love it, for see how Allah [SWT] speaks of it: “Alif. Lam. Mim. This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah” [2:1-3] It is a book void of doubt. And it’s meanings are endless: “Say: If the sea were ink for the words of my Lord, the sea would surely be consumed before the words of my Lord are exhausted, though We were to bring the like of that (sea) to add” [18:109] So, today I want to take myself and you to this level. We want to be attached to this Qur’an, because we would be honored to be of those that the Prophet (saw) called “His family and His chosen ones.” In this world, we seek honor through associating ourselves with a certain tribe, family, person, company, university etc. But what better than Allah [SWT] inviting us Himself to such a level of closeness, a closeness that transcends this life. So, today we’re going to say to Allah [SWT], “There is no detail in my life that I will not come back to you for guidance. No matter the time or the place, your book is going to be my guide.” We want to be called on the Day of Judgment as Allah’s family and the chosen ones –forget our names they are worthless. This is the name we want to be called by.
How can we attain this level? By contemplating [Tadabur] the Qur’an, and this is every day not just in Ramadan. The word “Tadabur” comes from “dubur” meaning backside. So it means, that when you contemplate you do not scrape the surface but read deeper into the words for meaning. You read the Quran asking yourself, “What does Allah want to say to me today? What benefits me today?” If you do then Allah [SWT] will bless you with a mind that can penetrate deep into the meanings of the Qur’an. The Prophet (saw) says, “ Surely the person in whose heart lacks the trace of the Qur’an is like a ruined house.” (Tirmidhi) You wouldn’t he comfortable living in a ruined house—one that is not fit to be lived in. So imagine when your heart is in ruins, and it is not spiritually fit. For a heart without any Qur’an is void of meanings. Do you know Tony Blair? He says that he reads the Quran every day. He said: “I read the Koran every day, says former prime minister Tony Blair who claims it keeps him ‘faith-literate’” [read article here]. Do you read the Qur’an to be ‘faith-literate’? Or do you read so you can complete a Juzu a day, and complete the whole Qur’an in the month of Ramadan. Do the words slip off your tongue, or do its meanings settle in your heart and bring your closer to Allah? We don’t want the Qur’an to be in our midst in its outward form, and for nothing of Islam to be in our midst except its name. Allah [SWT] warns us in Surat Al Jumuah verse 5: “The metaphor of those who were charged with the Torah but then have not upheld it, is that of a donkey carrying books…” Qur’an was sent down as a book of guidance for people to observe.
Realize that the Qur’an is for each and everyone of us and not for ‘them’ whoever they are. We should realize it’s greatness and its impact on our lives, and not just use it to challenge others. It’s not just a way to fill your piggy bank with rewards. Allah [SWT] says in Surat Al Baqara: “Those to whom We have given the Book read it as it ought to be read. These believe in it. . . “ [2:121] The companions used to learn 10 ayat at a time, and not move on to the next 10 ayahs until they had put the previous ones into practice. Is that how you read the Qur’an? Do you pass by an ayah that orders you to do something and say, “Yes Sir”? Whenever you have a problem, do you turn to Allah’s book certain that His solutions will be the best for your situation? Whenever Umar Ibn Al Khattab was angry and someone reminded him of the Qur’an and the virtues of controlling ones temper he would immediately step on his brakes and soften. He realized that they were the words of Allah [SWT], the words with which the heavens and the earth and everything in it were created. They were created with “Be” and they were. We should also realize its healing quality, both physically and spiritually. For Allah [SWT] says, “It is a guidance and a healing for those who believe”. (41: 44) So when you approach it, approach it with certainty that it will heal you. Whether it is through taking medicine made out of actual chemicals—chemicals created by Allah [SWT] in the first place –or whether through its verses.
O Allah, we want to be of Your family and the chosen Ones. And we’re going to prove it to You by attaching ourselves to the Qur’an. We aren’t going to read just to finish it this Ramadan, but we will stop and contemplate and make it the light that guides our path to Jannah.
If Islam were a building it would have five corners with sturdy pillars. Today’s action or deed is one that youth especially don’t consider seriously, don’t have the financial ability to perform, or don’t understand its importance. Today’s most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT] are Umrah and Hajj. You might think to yourself, “Let me stop here! It isn’t happening anytime soon. I am neither old enough nor am I financially able.” But bear with me. I want to plant the intention in your heart, so please open wide the channels to your heart. I understand you currently don’t have the ability to go for Umrah let alone Hajj, but we need to talk about it. We need to fuel up the idea in your mind, so that you yearn to go there day in and day out. You’re thirsty and only the water of Zamzam can quench you.
I expect three types of people to be reading this now. The first are those who can’t go because they aren’t financially able. To those I say, maybe through this you will yearn for it and make the intention to go this upcoming Hajj season or maybe next year. Remember in Islam deeds are rewarded by intentions, so if you make an intention and you don’t perform the deed, you receive full reward for it: “There is a slave. Allah has bestowed him knowledge, not wealth; however he has a good intention (niyyah) and he says: ‘If I had money, I would spend it on charity like so and so person.’ There, he earns thawab [rewards] as if he performed the deed in his intention; both of them get equal rewards.” (Thirmidhi) So, what do you have to lose? Intend! Strive from A-B and leave B-Z to Allah. But when Allah [SWT] invites you to His [SWT] house, and you are a guest of the All-Merciful remember us in your duas please. Second, are those who are able to financially but are delaying. They would rather do it later in life, when they’ve had their fill of ‘fun’ in their youth. You hear them say, “I’ll do it when I decide to wear hijab.” Or “When I start going to the Masjed for all 5 obligatory prayers.” They are aware that if they go, they will have to change but they aren’t ready for it. They would rather delay it when their close to the grave, so they can drop dead there or as soon as they come back. Or when they are they have their fill of this dunya. Snap out of it, you’re never going to have your fill. Your desires are like a bottomless pit, the more you have the more you want. And third are those who go very often, annually. They are so used to this form of worship, that it’s become a habit. They aren’t touched much by the experience. Remember this is one of the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT] so it ought to always sparkle.
Allah [SWT] loves Hajj so much so that He made it one of the pillars of Islam. Furthermore, the Prophet (saw) said, “Allah’s Messenger (saw) said “Spending during Hajj is akin to spending in the cause of Allah, and every dirham thus spent will be rewarded seven hundred times over.”[At Tabarani] Imagine, 700 times more than spending in the cause of Allah [SWT] which in itself is already a struggle, but the wise understood why. Abu Sha’thaa’ said, “I contemplated the good deeds that a person does. I found that salaat as well as fasting are a jihad of the body. And that sadaqa is a jihad of someone’s wealth. But Hajj is a jihad of both body and wealth.” And Hajj is the greatest jihad `Aishah (raa) reported: I said: “O Messenger of Allah! We consider Jihad as the best deed, should we not then go for Jihad?” The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The best Jihad for you women is Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted by Allah).” [Al-Bukhari] What is “Hajjun Mabroor”? It means an accepted Hajj. A Mabroor Hajj is one in which Allah (SWT) is not disobeyed during or after. Other scholars says that a Hajj Mabroor is one that is accepted, and the sign of its acceptance is that a person will go back in a better state then when he came, and that he will discontinue the sins that were an obstacle between him and Allah (SWT).This is the kind of Hajj that Allah [SWT] loves, and one that we should intend from today, this minute, this second to yearn for. It is one that grants you the highest aspiration of any Muslim, Jannah! Performance of the Hajj washes away all sins. Abu Hurairah narrates: I heard the Prophet say, “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusooq (transgression), he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him” (Sahih Bukhari). Indeed the Prophet said, “And there is no reward for an accepted Hajj…except Jannah!”
In Islam, we have concepts that deal with the material world. Of things we possess –like property. But there are concepts that are connected to a world of meanings such as “fear of Allah [Khashya]” “reliance on Allah [Tawakul]” “belief in Allah [Eman]” etc. When you prostrate [do Sujood] there is a meaning attachd to the action? When you give in charity [Sadaqa] it has a meaning as well. But during Umrah or Hajj the most beloved deeds to Allah, when you are a guest of Allah [SWT] in His home on earth you get special treatment. He [SWT] feeds your heart and soul with meanings and pleasantly overwhelms you with them. For being close to Allah [SWT] takes on a totally different meaning at the Haram in Makkah than it does in other any other place on the face of the earth.
What does Allah [SWT] want to see in our hearts during our performance of Umrah or Hajj? The certainty that you will meet Allah [SWT] on the day of Resurrection.. It is not by coincidence that the first ayah in Surat Al Hajj is: “O mankind! Fear your Lord. Lo! the earthquake of the Hour (of Doom) is a tremendous thing.”  Hajj should remind us of the Day of Resurrection , indeed it prepares for it. It teaches you the etiquettes of that day when we will all flock to Allah [SWT] in anticipation of what is in store for us, either eternal Heaven or eternal Hell Fire. Sigh! Insha Allah we are of the people of the former. Out of Allah’s mercy, our day of graduation is at the moment of death when we receive our diplomas in our white robes [our Kafan/white shroud], and likewise in Hajj we remember that crucial moment of our lives.
What else does Allah want to see in our hearts during Hajj? He wants to see you one of the crowd. Allah does not want your outward appearance and demeanor to be distinctive, but rather your heart. We all look the same. We’re united, all slaves of Allah [SWT]. No one feels one is better than the other, richer than the other, more educated than the other. Everyone has gone through struggles, although different, to make it there and it has been worth it. Remember the humility of Prophet Yusuf (as):
My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of dreams; The (only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian, etc.) in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous. [12:101]
Yusuf was a Prophet (saw), a higher degree than the “Saliheen” the righteous but mark his humility and humbleness in front of Allah [SWT]. He is saying, “Whatever I am today I am solely because of You.” This is the best condition you can be in to receive the meanings of Hajj. So, no need to try and distinguish yours elf from others by wearing brand name watches, bags, or even shoes. If you can enter with a brand name heart, a brand called “Qalbun Saleem” [sound heart].
If you want to perform a Hajj that Allah loves, do it with certainty that through the experience Allah [SWT] will transform you. Don’t go anxious because you have decided you’re a hopeless case. So, go expecting Allah [SWT] to be generous host—which He is. Abdullah ibn Al-Mubaarak narrates: I went to Sufyaan ibn al-Uyaynah as the day of Arafat was setting. He sat on his knees, his hands raised to the Heavens, and tears moistened his cheeks and beard. He turned and looked at me, so I asked him, “Amongst the people who have gathered here for Hajj, who is in the worst state?” Sufyaan ibn al-Uyaynah said, “He who thinks that Allah will not forgive him.” There is not a single day that the sun has come up on more beloved to Allah [SWT] than the Day of Arafat. The Prophet (saw) said, “There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from Fire than the Day of Arafat, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angles, saying: ‘What do they seek?’” (Sahih Muslim). And in another hadith: “Verily Allah boasts of the people of Arafat before the people of Heaven (angels) saying: ‘Look to my servants who have come to Me disheveled and dusty.’” So, do go certain that Allah [SWT] will change your heart, not as a mere vacation. Know that you will come back closer to Allah. Go for a cure and be certain that you will be healed. Don’t doubt that the water of Zam Zam with cure you. Leave your doubts at home!
Remember when you are performing Hajj to be patient with those around you, remember what we talked about yesterday about appreciating and respecting your fell humans. Someone is bound to step on your toe, or even nudge you with an elbow. It’s crowded. At all time have this hadith in mind “I heard the Prophet say, ‘Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusooq (transgression), he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him’”. (Bukhari) So your sin meter is down again to zeros. Congratulations your good manners are rewarded.
If you are a person who has the ability to go for Hajj every year, have you ever thought of sharing the experience with others. Have you ever thought of being part of the transformation of another human being. If not think about it, because you will get complete reward for it without actually going.
O Allah invite us to your House! We’ll be waiting for the invitation, because if anything it will be a sign that you love us.
Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 6 August 8, 2011
Since the beginning of Ramadan we have settled on one goal alone and that is pleasing Allah [SWT] by picking out a most beloved deed to Him [SWT]. Today’s deed is one that when present in a believer’s heart raises him above others in this world and the Hereafter in spite of himself. It draws him closer to Allah [SWT] and His Messenger (saw). It’s the slogan of the righteous. It is their logo; their medal of honor. Should today’s deed be one that you already practice, then know that it is evidence of the health of your faith and your Islam. Because of it your Islam is wrinkle-free, because you understand that it is not just a religion of ritualistic worship but one that governs your everyday dealings with others. The act of worship that we want to talk about today is appreciating and respecting humankind. It is the sense that wherever you are among people, it doesn’t matter to you whether they are educated or uneducated, rich or poor, practicing or non-practicing because regardless you appreciate and respect them. With so many societal divisions nowadays, this noble trait has literally become a needle in a haystack. It’s become outdated; a jewel that has fossilized. People are too busy to include it in their daily schedules. A human being, the crown of Allah’s creation, is like a diamond. Whether it is embedded on a golden band on the finger of a beautiful lady, or whether it is embedded in a mine somewhere covered with impurities waiting to be discovered. It is always a diamond at heart. It’s a precious stone no matter its state. Such is a human being.
Do you know why Allah [SWT] loves that we appreciate and respect human beings? Because it’s the mainstay of monotheism; monotheism [Tawheed] is not just a word, although it begins with the words ‘La Illaha Ila Allah’ [there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah]. Monotheism is to acknowledge in words and actions that there is no Creator but Allah and every creature is solely His handiwork. More importantly you honor what Allah [SWT] honored. That is true monotheism. When Allah [SWT] created humankind He said:
And surely We have honored the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created. [17:70]
Notice that Allah [SWT] says that “We have honored the children of Adam”, so it is inclusive and not exclusive. It is regardless of their religion, race, profession, class, color, tribe etc. So if you are “Muwahed” i.e. a person who believes in Islamic monotheism then you honor what Allah [SWT] has honored, and you appreciate and value what He [SWT] has. For this reason out of love for this form of worship, He [SWT] seated those who practice it close to Prophet Muhammad (saw) in Jannah: “The nearest to me in heaven are those with the best manners.” There is no way that you can show appreciation and respect to another human being– whether in kindness or tolerating their bad manners–except because you value them and have swallowed your pride to be on your best behavior for the sake of Allah. When Allah [SWT] sent Muhammad (saw) to whom this characteristic was second skin, the companions understood its solid relationship with monotheism. Ali Bin Abi Taleb said: “Those who have the most knowledge of Allah are those who honor greatly the creation of La Illah Ila Allah.” Every time you are out on the street and you see crowds of people, know that every single person is honored in the eyes of Allah [SWT] because He said, “And surely We have honored the children of Adam.” So, today we’re going to learn how to leave our homes with the attitude that we respect all human beings without exception.
So, what is the secret behind Allah [SWT] honoring us human beings? We were born with medals of honor, because Allah [SWT] breathed into us His secret [our souls], “So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him” [15:29] It was because of this that the angels were asked to bow down to our father in reverence of this soul breathed into us by Allah [SWT] Himself. It is what makes us human. Regardless of who someone is, what class they belong to, what race they are from Allah [SWT] honored him by breathing into him a soul that He [SWT] created. It is this jewel that is inside us all that we should recognize in each other, not the outer shell that has been exposed to the elements and has hardened. It is what we should strive to reach in others—touch their hearts, their souls.
How can we through actions show our appreciation and respect for other fellow humans? Two things we can do:
The first is spread peace [Salam] in words and actions. When you are out on the streets Allah [SWT] has taught us to spread the beautiful greeting of Islam “Salaam [peace]” but your actions should also follow suit. Scholars say that harming others are of three types: hurting them physically [bodily], emotionally [in feelings], and materially [in rights property]. So, a person practicing these three has a warning label on him: “harmful to humans.” There is a hadith in Bukhari that talks about those who are close to Allah [SWT] and another type that are far, and remember we are striving here to be of the former and not the latter. The Prophet passed by a funeral and said, “’One rests and one others rest from.’ The companions asked, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘When a believer dies he rests from the suffering and toil of this world and heads to the Mercy of Allah. As for the corrupt the land, its people, plants and animals are relieved to be rid of him.” So, think about it? What kind are you? Are you the kind of person who will be missed? Will people make dua for you? Maybe even Umra [smaller pilgrimage] and Hajj [Pilgrimage] on your behalf? Or do you have a tongue that lashes out at people, and a hand that is ready to beat the living daylights out of them? Will people remember the way you looked down at them? Will your mother remember you with kindness, or will she be relieved you’re finally gone? Seriously, those of us who want to love Allah [SWT] need to focus on this form of worship. We want to be “peace” to people in both words and actions.
Listen to this beautiful hadith, “A man passed by a branch of a tree leaning over a road and decided to remove it, saying to himself, `By Allah! I will remove it from the way of Muslims so that it would not harm them.’ On account of this he was admitted to Jannah.” [Muslim] What did this man do? Remove a branch? No, he did more than that. He did not want to cause harm to other humans. He couldn’t bear seeing other humans harmed if he could help it.
Do you know why Allah [SWT] wants you to be a person who spreads peace, because it means that you do not trivialize the human being that He [SWT] has honored. If you trivialize then you trivialize Allah. Be like your Prophet (saw), Anas ibn Malik says he lived with the Prophet (saw) for 10 years and the Prophet (saw) never hit him, insulted him or frowned in his face. That’s 10 years! Another narration says “I served the Prophet (saw) for ten years and he never said to me ‘why did you do that?’ after I had done something or ‘why did you not do that?’ after I had neglected to do something.’ ‘He never said a word of contempt to me.’ ”
Second is that you treat all people equally. If you want to really please Allah [SWT], then know that He does not like to look in your heart and see any trace of arrogance towards others. That you feel you are better because you are rich and others are poor. Know that your economic status is Allah’s [SWT] choice for you and is not your own doing. Unfortunately, many of the rich make the poor mad at Allah [SWT] by mistreating them and flashing their wealth at them. Have you ever read “Chicken Soup for the Soul”? In it is this story of a boy who only has 50 cents. He heads to the pizza store. When he gets there he asks after the price of a pizza with 3 toppings. The girl behind the counter says, “50 cents.” He contemplates for a while and asks, “What about the one with no toppings?” She says, “25 cents.” So, after thinking it over, much to the impatience of the girl behind the counter, he buys the one with 25 cents. She rolls her eyes and serves him. When she finishes her shift, she looks in her cup of tips and finds that the boy has left her a 25 cent tip. He valued her so much, that he preferred to eat a 25 cents pizza so that she would be happy.
Just a quick note, when you come across a person who is disobedient to Allah [SWT] and it shows, it does not give you the right to look down at them. Allah [SWT] says:
O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. [49:11]
Among the beautiful interpretation of this ayah is that the person whose sins have not been disclosed should not make fun of the person whose sins have been exposed. Every single one of us has sins. Remember to “err is human.”
So, let’s repent to Allah for every moment when we thought we were better than others. For every moment we hurt another human being. Let’s turn to Allah in sincere repentance and promise never to return to such behavior ever. We love you O Allah by appreciating and honoring all human beings without exception because you honored them and that is enough for us to do so.
Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 5 August 6, 2011
The companions used to frequently ask the Prophet (saw) about the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT], just so that they could worship Allah [SWT] with what He [SWT] loved and in the way that He [SWT] loved. So, let’s discover another of the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT. Today’s is one that is among those forms of worship of the heart, and reflected in our actions. It is one that we can’t survive without. Today the emptiness of the heart of this particular action has spread corruption far and wide. The action I want to talk about today is “Fear of Allah.” Are you a person who fears Allah [SWT]?
As I said the emptiness of hearts nowadays of the fear of Allah [SWT] has spread corruption far and wide. But let’s not go far. Look at any gathering that you were in lately. How much idle talk was there? Joking beyond limits in which people were insulted and stereotyped? How much gossiping took place? Let’s look further and make a trip to a local college, and see MSA’s [Muslim Student Associations] that can be mistaken for some soap opera on daytime TV. Where Hijab is merely a dress rather than being a dress that signifies an actual barrier between what is permissible and impermissible between the sexes as prescribed by Allah [SWT] and His Messenger (saw). Where is honesty today? It’s become so outdated nowadays as the Prophet (saw) predicted:
Hudhayfah said, “The Prophet told us two Hadith, one of which I have seen fulfilled, and I am waiting for the fulfillment of the other. The Prophet told us that honesty came down into men’s hearts (from Allah); then they learned it from the Quran, and then from the Sunnah. The Prophet told us that honesty would be taken away. He said, Man will be overtaken by sleep, during which honesty will be taken away from his heart, and only its trace will remain, like traces of a dark spot. Then man will be overtaken by slumber again, during which honesty will decrease still further, until its trace will resemble a blister such as is caused when an ember is dropped onto ones foot: it swells, but there is nothing inside. People will be carrying on with their trade, but there will hardly be any trustworthy persons. People will say, ‘There is an honest man in such-and-such a tribe.’ Later they will say about some man, ‘What a wise, polite and strong man he is!’ even though he will not have faith in his heart the size of a mustard seed. . . (Bukhari)
Let’s enter into some homes, hopefully none of yours, and you will be shocked to see Muslim children looking their parents straight in the eye and raising their voices. Do they not know that among the people Allah [SWT] will not speak to are those who mistreat their parents?
Some of us might already be feeling the weight of our sins this Ramadan, and turning to Allah and asking Him [SWT] to make us fear Him [SWT] so that we do not fall into the sins that we have become so accustomed to. Fact is that Allah [SWT] is constantly sending us messages and it is right under our noses: “Surely in this [the Qur’an] is a Message for any that has a heart and understanding or who gives ear and earnestly witnesses (the truth).” [50:37] Furthermore Allah [SWT] says, “He who fears [ Allah ] will be reminded.” [87:10] He who is apprehensive will remember.
Unfortunately many of us consider the issue of fearing Allah [SWT] a turn off. We would rather talk about His love, and His Mercy [SWT]. This is the approach of many by the way, and that includes me. But remember Allah [SWT] struck a delicate balance between tidings and warning in the Qur’an, hence we should also strive to strike this balance in ourselves . Yes, Allah’s [SWT] is “The Ever-Forgiving, The Ever-Affectionate” [85: 14], but there is no denying that His grip is powerful, “Verily, the Grip (Punishment) of your Lord is severe.” [85:12] But this is because we in earnest don’t understand what fearing Allah [SWT] means. It is the utmost Mercy of Allah [SWT] on us, because without it we would be lost. Doesn’t Prophet Ibrahim (as) say to his father, “O my father, indeed I fear that there will touch you a punishment from the Most Merciful” [19:45] Scholars say that Allah [SWT] wants you to fear Him [SWT] so that you are always safe. Look around you at how much people sought out and even pay for safety and security, from those who do not fear the laws of the land. When you do not fear and respect the limits set by Allah [SWT] then you are a hazard to yourself and to others. You’re like that person driving 80 miles per hour on a road with a 30-miles-per-hour speed limit, confident no police cars are in sight. You are an accident waiting to happen, and a threat to others. A Muslim who lives in fear of Allah [SWT] and realizes that he is constantly under surveillance for his own safety and the safety of others is safe, and others feel safe around him. A person who fears Allah [SWT] has hope in Allah [SWT] that if he does good then good will be done unto him. Oh, and the added bonus is that Allah [SWT] loves him as well. So, today we want to plant this fear of Allah [SWT] firm in our heart.
Let’s face the fact, that our Creation calls for us to fear our Creator so that we don’t step on each other’s toes, I mean rights! In a hadith Qudisi Allah [SWT] says, “O my servants! Have mercy upon your selves! indeed your bodies are weak, and the way is far, and the burden is heavy, and the path is thin, and the fire is high, and the caller is israfeel, and the judge is the lord of the universe.”
So, how should we fear Allah [SWT]:
The first thing is to fear sinning against Allah [SWT]. Don’t we fear violating man made laws because we know the penalties like the back of our hand. Well, we should too realize who we are sinning against; whose laws we are violating. Just like we don’t want to become criminals and humiliated in front of the rest of society, we do not want the flesh on our faces to fall off in shame on realizing that we have disappointed our Creator in us—a reverential fear. Allah [SWT] told us of the penalties for each and every sin, and by the way they’re for us and not for ‘those’ people. They are for us. Fire was created for human beings, and insha Allah we will not enter it because we aren’t going to do the deeds of those of the hell fire. It is a sense of belonging, do you and your deeds belong to the hell fire? Punishment of the grave was created for us, but insha Allah we won’t taste it because we will avoid the actions that lead to it like the plague. So, let’s overcome our stubbornness and repent today from any violation/s we are committing against Allah [SWT] because we fear for our future in the Hereafter, because Allah’s [SWT] grip is powerful. If that does not instantly transform you into a better person, I don’t know what will. It’s a real extreme makeover! Remember that Allah [SWT] will forgive all sins except those who like to show off their sins to others—yes there are people who like to show off their sins believe it or not. The Prophet (saw) said:
My entire nation is safe, except al-Mujahirin (those who boast of their sins). Among the Mujaharah is that a man commits an (evil) act, and wakes up in the morning while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret, he says: “O Fulan! Last night I did this and that.” He goes to sleep while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret but he wakes up in the morning and uncovers what Allah has kept a secret!” [Bukhari]
So, remember don’t look at how small the sin is, but consider the greatness of Allah [SWT] whom you have sinned against:
On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment) and Allah is full of Kindness to the (His) slaves. [3:30]
You’ve been pre-warned! Is there a sin that you are stubborn to give up don’t delay Allah “warns you against Himself.”
Second, Allah [SWT] wants you to fear death. It needs to register in your head that there is no doubt a moment in your life’s chapter will come to an end. None of us, Muslim or otherwise, can argue this reality. Can you say it won’t happen to you; that you will ‘cheat death’ as the saying goes. No one is exempt! We will all die! Knowing this, if we had a debt we would not rest until it’s paid off in full. We would not rest until we apologized to a person we insulted. Allah [SWT] wants us to fear death not so that we despair and slip further away from Him [SWT]: “Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people” [12:87]; in other words, not this fear that will cause us to flee from Allah [SWT]. Rather the fear of death we are talking about here is one of a preparatory nature; like that of packing your bags to leave on a trip to your final destination. So, it’s a fear that causes you to flee to Allah [SWT] and not flee from him. Umar ibn Al Khattab used to say, “Every day we say so and so died. And tomorrow they will say Umar died.” The most beautiful thing about death is that it shows Allah’s [SWT] love for us. Yes! Allah [SWT] causes us to die so that we can meet Him. Death is the trip to the final destination that starts with our souls receiving this message from the host of Paradise, Allah [SWT]: “O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!” [89:27] So, let your remembrance of death cause you to make a U turn and flee back to Allah [SWT] by rushing to: apologize to those you have wronged; visiting the poor; being skilled in your trade etc.
Fear of Allah [SWT] can be that life jacket that saves you like this man who used to dig out graves and steal the “Kafan” [white cloth the dead are buried in] and he would toss the bodies aside. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (raa), who said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
A man sinned greatly against himself, and when death came to him he charged his sons, saying: “When I have died, burn me, then crush me and scatter [my ashes] into the sea, for, by Allah, if my Lord takes possession of me, He will punish me in a manner in which He has punished no one [else].” So they did that to him. Then Allah [SWT] said to the earth: “Produce what you have taken.”And there he was! And He [SWT] said to him: What induced you to do what you did? He said: “Being afraid of You, O my Lord (or he said: Being frightened of You)” And because of that He forgave him. [Bukhari and Muslim]
This man’s actions, although negative, was done out of fear of Allah [SWT] and it saved him. So, let’s today make the dua of the Prophet (saw), “O My Lord, give us a share of your fear (piety) that comes in between us and committing your disobediences.” [Tirmidhi] Let’s pray that we become allergic to sinning against Allah [SWT] solely because we fear Him [SWT]. Let’s fear Allah [SWT] by running to Him [SWT] for safety. Only with Allah [SWT] is this possible, only with Allah!
Most Beloved Deed to Allah [SWT] Day 4 August 5, 2011
We’re still on a journey this Ramadan to find the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT], and why so that we motivate ourselves to incorporate them into our lives. Today’s action is one of those deeds that Allah [SWT] loves to see nestled comfortably and permanently in the hearts of His [SWT] slaves. This action is love for Prophet Muhammad [saw]. Allah loves our Prophet [saw] , so much so that he wants the whole universe to love him (saw). Allah (SWT) took an oath from all the Prophets (as), asking them to promise that if they were to come during the time of our Prophet (saw) they too would believe in him (saw), for Allah [SWT] says:
‘ And [recall, O People of the Scripture], when Allah took the covenant of the prophets, [saying], “Whatever I give you of the Scripture and wisdom and then there comes to you a messenger confirming what is with you, you [must] believe in him and support him.’ [ Allah ] said, ‘Have you acknowledged and taken upon that My commitment?” They said, “We have acknowledged it.” He said, ‘Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.’ [3:81] *[please see note at the end]
True to this oath, Prophet Jesus (as) gave his people the glad tidings of the coming of Muhammad (saw) after him, “And when Isa son of Marium said: O children of Israel! surely I am the messenger of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the Torah and giving the good news of an Messenger who will come after me, his name being Ahmad…” [61:6]
This is your Prophet O’ followers of Muhammad (saw). Allah’s model vicegerent on earth. Loving him (saw) is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. We are always in search for what is best for us, well I am telling you this is the best thing you can do for yourself. ‘
Abdullah reported that a man came to Allah’s Messenger (saw) and said: “What is your opinion about the person who loves the people but his acts or deeds are not identical to theirs?” Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “He would be along with the one whom he loves.” (Muslim)
If we were to compare our acts and deeds to those of the Prophet (saw) we will fall short miserably, for no one can be Allah’s ‘gift to humankind.’ The Prophet (saw) understood what the man was saying—he was saying, “I love you O Prophet of Allah and want to be with you in Jannah, but I my deeds will definitely fall short of yours.” The Prophet (saw) consoled him and us, told him and in turn us not to be afraid, with this glad tiding, “He would be along with the one whom he loves.”
Yes, our Prophet (saw) is Allah’s masterpiece; the living example of the perfection of Allah’s guidance. So, Allah [SWT] has made His love contingent on love for the Prophet (saw). Allah [SWT] says, “Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you, [O Muhammad] – they are actually pledging allegiance to Allah . The hand of Allah is over their hands.” [48:10] But unlike the famous men of this world, he finds it in his busy schedule to care about every single one of us, and Allah [SWT] is his witness on this: “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.” [9:128] Many times he would cry “My Ummah! My Ummah!” in his prayer; and imagine that our Prophet (saw) preferred to leave his ‘guaranteed dua [supplication]’ on a day when we will need it the most, on the Day of Judgment. O’ Prophet of Allah you could have used that dua to keep your sons alive, but you chose us over your own family. That’s enough for us to be forever indebted to you, if we aren’t already indebted to you for more than words can ever express.
Do you want a solution to all your problems? The solution is in loving the Prophet (saw). Allow this love to conquer your heart, because with it Allah [SWT] raises you in ranks you never thought possible in your wildest dreams:
O you who have believed, fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [57:28]
It’s up to you. Do you want more of Allah’s Mercy, and light of Allah [His guidance] in your life, and forgiveness? If that is the case then we want Allah [SWT] to look into our hearts today and find them throbbing with love for the Prophet (saw). We want to say, “O Allah we love you, and to prove it we are going to let the love of the Prophet (saw) take over our hearts, and take priority over our love for anything else in this life.” For does not the Prophet (saw) say, “None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his child and all of mankind.”
But are these just going to be words of the tongue? Because we are here talking about what Allah [SWT] would like to see in our hearts regarding love for His Messenger (saw), not just on our tongues:
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.’” (Qur’an 3:31)
So, “. . . know that among you is Allah’s Messenger” [49:7]Many will say, but the Prophet (saw) died 1400 years ago. True, but we should respect his physical absence by following the example of his life. His life is among us, and very alive. The Prophet (saw) during his life was called by his enemies, “the one who will cut off [because he did not have living sons]” , but little did they know that the Prophet’s name will be raised in masajed in every corner of the earth, and his followers will multiply and carry his message to all corners of the earth till the end of time. Who is the one “cut off”? I can’t remember the name of his haters without having to look them up, and I am not going to just to because i don’t want to give them any mention on my blog. They are undeserving. So, know that you are the ones making the world go round on the example of the Prophet (saw), you are the living examples of his legacy. We are the living traces of Muhammad [saw] today.You keep him in our midst . We are his thumbprint. Who needs idols to commemorate him, or even pictures! He is carved in our hearts, and alive in every move we make. Therefore, don’t be among those who harm the Messenger of Allah (saw):
And among them are men who hurt the Prophet (saw) and say: “He is (lending his) ear (to every news).” Say: “He listens to what is best for you; he believes in Allah; has faith in the believers; and is a mercy to those of you who believe.” But those who hurt Allah’s Messenger (saw) will have a painful torment. [9:61]
Scholars say that among the ways to harm the Prophet (saw) is through sinning, doing exactly that which he took great pains to warn us against. So, let’s not be disrespectful of his physical absence among us by trampling on his life which is still in our midst. We want to be among those whom he (saw) misses, those mentioned in this hadith:
When the Prophet visited Al Bakki’ (a burial-ground in Madienah next to the Prophet’s mosque) before his death, he told his companions:” I wish I could see my brothers.” They replied:”Aren’t we your brothers?” The Prophet said:”No, you are my companions, my brothers are those who didn’t see me and yet follow me and believe in me. I’ll wait for them on Al Hawdh (the Place where the Prophet is going to give all survivors a handful water from his noble hands that will make them never feel thirsty again after this hard day-the Judgment Day- and this will be directly before interring Paradise).
We miss you too O’ Prophet of Allah! We miss you too! We hope that we live up to your expectations of us.
Know that it will require that we take on character/personality of the Prophet (saw) and favor it over our own. We should want to sleep the way he (saw) did, and wake up the way he (saw) did, and enter the bathroom as he (saw) did. We want to have an optimistic outlook towards life just because he (saw) did. Scholars say that among the interpretations of the part of the ayah highlighted in blue: “Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! Call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation. [33:56] means to surrender your self to the Prophet’s (saw) way of life, take his (saw) approach in life. Let his life lead yours. Mind you, not anyone can do it. Only those who are persuaded that his approach to life is with certainty better than any approach your intelligence could ever possibly come up with or choose for yourself. So, do yourself and us all a huge favor will you! Hopefully when you finally meet the Prophet (saw) Insha Allah and you are taking walking with him in Jannah and he asks you to recall some of your memories, that you remember those times when you resembled him (saw). Imagine the smile on his face.
So remember to send your daily “Salah Allah ‘Ala Muhammad” to him as Allah [SWT] advised us, and watch as your worries become history. Know that he receives them via the angels, and responds to you. I want to conclude by saying on your behalf:
“O Messenger of Allah, we miss you. We can’t wait to see you. We’ll be fine with your Sunnah in our midst. Don’t worry about us O’ Messenger of Allah.”
*The Prophets and Messengers since the beginning of time fulfilled their covenant, and the Prophet (saw) led them all in prayer on the Night of Al Israa Wa Al Mi’raaj when Allah assembled them all in Jerusalem. They all prayed behind Muhammad (saw) . Him leading him in prayer means that they too believed in His Message and supported him wholeheartedly. For none of them rejected to him leading the prayer.
Also, when the Prophet (saw) ascended the heavens and met the Prophets (as) they all welcomed him:
Adam (as) greeted him with, “Welcome to the good son and the righteous Prophet.”
Musa (Moses) was crying and he said to Muhammad (saw): “Prophet of the Last Nation! Intercede for me and my people.” Muhammad (saw) said: “Why are you crying, my brother Musa (Moses)?” He replied: “I cry for love of you and for the great honour where Allah has raised you and made your nation countless people and other nations very few, even mine. Muhammad! you are the seal of prophets and the light of creation. Allah is raising you today to His presence, to a station where no-one can reach. Remember me there as Allah made you the intercessor for all human beings including prophets, from Adam to Isa (Jesus).”
Ibraheem (Abraham) said: “Welcome to the pious son and the perfected Prophet!”