بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Subhan Allah, there’s only 4-5 more days to go before Ramadan is here.
Only 4-5 days.
If we haven’t started working, we need to start NOW for two reasons:
1) We can’t guarantee that we’ll be alive that long.
Subhan Allah, Ramadan is so close…and yet it’s so far away. We won’t reach it until we actually DO reach it.
2) I’m sorry but we can’t wait for the moon to be sighted in order to start increasing in worship.
That’s too late because that means we’ll be using Ramadan to adjust to our new schedules, whereas we should already have adjusted by then!
We need to start improving our prayers NOW.
We need to start increasing in recitation of the Quran NOW.
We need to start increasing in giving charity NOW.
[We also need to ditch those sins (random examples: smoking, listening to music, backbiting, etc) NOW.]
What are you (and I) waiting for?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Okay, I wasn’t sure what the title of this post should be.
By “Ramadan Muslims”, I was referring to those who only worship Allah during Ramadan, or those like them who only worship Him during a specific time (e.g. during Hajj or during a calamity).
I recently heard a lecture series where the speaker, Shaikh Uthman Al-Khamees, pointed out the difference between two individuals: the one who always worshipped Allah and another who only believed when death came to him.
The former was Yunus (alaihissalam).
وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ
فَسَاهَمَ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُدْحَضِينَ
“And, verily, Yunus was one of the Messengers, when he ran to the laden ship. He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was among the losers.
فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ
فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ
لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
Then a (big) fish swallowed him and he had done an act worthy of blame. Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, he would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection.
فَنَبَذْنَاهُ بِالْعَرَاءِ وَهُوَ سَقِيمٌ
وَأَنبَتْنَا عَلَيْهِ شَجَرَةً مِّن يَقْطِينٍ
وَأَرْسَلْنَاهُ إِلَىٰ مِائَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ
فَآمَنُوا فَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَىٰ حِينٍ
But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick,and We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him. And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more. And they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while.” [Surah As-Saffat (37) :139-148]
So, Allah states that had Yunus (alaihissalam) not been one of those that always glorified Him, he would not have been saved!
[And obviously, Yunus (alaihissalam) was one of those who always glorified Allah because he was a prophet.]
Yunus (alaihissalam) did the following dua (supplication) in the belly of the whale:
وَذَا النُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَىٰ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ أَن لَّا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْغَمِّ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُنجِي الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
“And (remember) Dhan-Noon (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (i.e. the calamities which had befallen him)! But he cried through the darkness (saying): ‘None has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah)], Glorified (and Exalted) are You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers.’
So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allah, abstain from evil and work righteousness).” [Surah Al-Anbiya (21) : 88]
So, when he did dua, Allah saved him.
[And notice how he blames himself in the dua, not Allah.]
[Important point: Having any sort of bad thoughts about a Prophet is not permitted. Some people get a bit confused when they read this story, so it would be better for them to refer to the commentary of the Quran.]
As for the latter (the one who believed at the time of death), it was the Pharoah.
وَجَاوَزْنَا بِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ الْبَحْرَ فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ وَجُنُودُهُ بَغْيًا وَعَدْوًا ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَدْرَكَهُ الْغَرَقُ قَالَ آمَنتُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا الَّذِي آمَنَتْ بِهِ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ وَأَنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
آلْآنَ وَقَدْ عَصَيْتَ قَبْلُ وَكُنتَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ
فَالْيَوْمَ نُنَجِّيكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُونَ لِمَنْ خَلْفَكَ آيَةً ۚ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا لَغَافِلُونَ
“And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and the Pharaoh with his hosts followed them in oppression and enmity, till when drowning overtook him, he said: ‘I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims (those who submit to Allah’s Will).’
Now (you believe) while you refused to believe before and you were one of the Mufsidoon (evil-doers, corrupts, etc.).
So this day We shall deliver your (dead) body (out from the sea) that you may be a sign to those who come after you! And verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs , revelations, etc.).” [Surah Yunus (10) : 90-92]
So, he only believed when he was dying. His repentance was not accepted because Allah says:
وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الْآنَ وَلَا الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا
“And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: “Now I repent;” nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment.” [Surah An-Nisa (4) : 18]
[Note: Repentance just before death is accepted, but not when the process of death has already started (i.e. when the soul is leaving the body).]
So, the one who always worshipped Allah was saved and the one who only submitted at the last minute was destroyed.
Interestingly enough, the part about Pharoah’s “repentance” is mentioned in Surah Yunus, and it is thus named because of the following ayah (verse):
فَلَوْلَا كَانَتْ قَرْيَةٌ آمَنَتْ فَنَفَعَهَا إِيمَانُهَا إِلَّا قَوْمَ يُونُسَ لَمَّا آمَنُوا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمْ عَذَابَ الْخِزْيِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَىٰ حِينٍ
“Was there any town (community) that believed (after seeing the punishment), and its Faith (at that moment) saved it (from the punishment)? (The answer is none,) – except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while.” [Surah Yunus (10) : 98]
So, the people of Yunus (alaihissalam) are the only ones whose repentance was accepted when they saw the punishment (obviously, this means that it was before the moment of death).
As for why they were the only exceptions, Allah knows Better.
So what am I trying to say?
We need to worship Allah through the year, in Ramadan and outside of it, in times of ease and in times of hardship. That is what will truly benefit us.
تعرف إلى الله في الرخاء يعرفك في الشدة
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Know Allah in times of ease and He will know you in times of hardship.” [Sahih Al-Jaami, Hadeeth No. 2961]
من سره أن يستجيب الله له عند الشدائد والكرب فليكثر الدعاء في الرخاء
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever wishes that Allah would respond to him during hardship and grief, then let him supplicate plentifully when at ease.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 3382. Graded “hasan” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 3382]
Just being a “Ramadan Muslim” is truly of no benefit. So we shouldn’t wait for Ramadan, or for a calamity to strike, in order to start worshipping Allah.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
7) Unlike the creation, Allah is Ever Living and will never die.
That might seem terribly obvious but again, our actions belie our words.
When one looks at some people and how much they run after this dunya (worldly life), one can only wonder if they truly believe that they will die one day.
And let’s be honest: Don’t many of us avoid thinking about death? Don’t we like to pretend that it will never come?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
One of you asked for more lectures of time management so here goes…
[Reminder: I’m still waiting for feedback from those of you who have not gotten around to it yet.]
Here’s a lecture to remind us of the importance of each SECOND.
Making Every Second Count by Dr. Bilal Philips (Download)
So many people prepare for this and that.
And so few of them prepare for death.
“So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).” [Surah Al-Hijr (15) : 98-99]
Death is probably everyone’s least favourite topic, which is quite strange when you consider that ALL OF US will die.
What’s amazing is that the more righteous a person is, the more at ease they are with dying, and the less righteous a person is, the less at ease they are with dying.
There was a story that I heard that explained to me why that was so. One of the caliphs went to a scholar and asked him why people were so averse to death. The scholar pointed out how nobody would like to leave a house that they had built and furnished for a house that was not ready.
[That was the gist of the story. Sorry, I don’t remember the exact details.]
So, that’s why many people are averse to death. They’ve spent their lives polishing up their dunya (worldy life) but made little effort to build their house in Paradise.
A righteous person, on the other hand, would obey Allah and focus on the hereafter rather than letting this dunya control him/her.
I mean really, brothers and sisters, let’s look at most of our lives:
Why are there so many parties and so few Islamic classes?
Why is there so much talk about useless matters and so little dhikr (remembrance)) of Allah?
Why is there so much time spent reading the news and magazines and so little time spent reading the book of Allah?
Why is there so much time spent toiling away at night for that project that is due the next day but so little time spent toiling away at night by standing up in prayer?
Why is there so much money spent on clothes, accessories, food, furniture and Allah knows what else but so little money spent on charity and helping our brethren who are in need?
Why is there so much time spent on listing other people’s flaws but so little time spent listing our own flaws?
Why is there so much time spent talking or thinking about how we can help our ummah (nation) but so little time actually spent on doing so?
Why is there so much time spent on disobeying Allah and so little time spent on obeying Allah?
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We’re still alive, which means that we can still change before we die.
Now, you might say: “Huh, I’m too sinful! I need time to change.”
Okay, you need to read the following two stories:
1) The murderer who went to Paradise
Abu Said al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There was a person before you who had killed ninety-nine persons and then made an inquiry about the learned persons of the world (who could show him the way to salvation). He was directed to a monk. He came to him and told him that he had killed ninety-nine persons and asked him whether there was any scope for his repentance to be accepted. He said: No. He killed him also and thus completed one hundred. He then asked about the learned persons of the earth and he was directed to a scholar, and he told him that he had killed one hundred persons and asked him whether there was any scope for his repentance to be accepted. He said: Yes; what stands between you and the repentance? You better go to such and such land; there are people devoted to prayer and worship and you also worship along with them and do not come to the land of yours since it was an evil land (for you). So he went away and he had hardly covered half the distance when death came to him and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment. The angels of mercy said: This man has come as a penitant and remorseful to Allah and the angels of punishment said: He has done no good at all. Then there came another angel in the form of a human being in order to decide between them. He said: You measure the land to which he has drawn near. They measured it and found him nearer to the land where he intended to go (the land of piety), and so the angels of mercy took possession of it. Qatada said that Hasan told him that it was said to them that as death approached him, he crawled upon his chest (and managed) to slip in the land of mercy. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6662]
In order to what, you ask?
In order to really change your life for the better and do good deeds.
Why not wait for Ramadan? Because we don’t know if we’ll get there. And we’ll also be wasting precious time by just waiting.
Too often, people say: “Insha-Allah, I’ll change in Ramadan or after Hajj.”
To these people, I ask the following questions:
1) If you really want to change, what is stopping you from doing so NOW?
2) What difference does it make whether it’s Ramadan or Safar? Allah is the Lord of the Worlds, not just the Lord of Ramadan or the Lord of Hajj.
3) Will you really be able to change in Ramadan or after Hajj? Chances are that you’ll delay it again. I’ve seen this happen to many people.
So, I advise myself and all of you: let’s do whatever good that we can do now, because we don’t know where we’ll be tomorrow. We can plan all we want to for tomorrow but Allah is the Best of Planners.
As the saying goes: There’s no time like the present.
And indeed there isn’t. The past is a fading memory and the future might as well be a fog. The present though is right here with us now so let’s make use of it.
Yes, because it’s about time.
If we don’t wake up soon, then when are we planning to do so? After death?
The best 10 days are almost here. Let’s not waste them because we’re too busy sleep walking through life and are heedless of the hereafter.
Yes, two important topics that are often ignored: salah and death.
Please watch the following lecture and don’t chicken out because of the contents (i.e. death).
Unfortunately, many people tend to avoid serious topics because it “distresses” them. What will they do on the Day of Judgment when they see all the “distressful” things taking place?
Remember: The righteous ones prepare for the Last Day, whereas the unrighteous simply avoid thinking about it and ignore it. Due to this, they fail to prepare for this important day.
So, please watch this lecture and don’t avoid this topic.
And don’t say that you’ll watch it later because there might not be a later.
Pray before you are prayed upon by Abdur Raheem Green
Well, Ramadan is less than 4 weeks away. The important questions are:
1) Will we live to see this Ramadan?
In the past week:
a) My maid’s father died (she got to see him before that, alhamdulillah)
b) My sister-in-law’s cousin died (he was in his early 20’s and the illness came all of a sudden and he died within a week)
c) My cousin’s mother-in-law died (she was fine and then suddenly had a brain hemorrhage, had an operation and died less than 2 days later)
May Allah have mercy on them all and grant them all Al-Firdaus.
Two of the three people who died were FINE and then the illness came out of nowhere and then….
We’re all going to die sooner or later. There’s no point in running away from it. Rather, we should prepare for it. How? By piling on the good deeds, of course.
This is what happens when a person dies: The Hadeeth about Death.
[Please read it and don’t chicken out.]
2) Will we live until the end of Ramadan?
Yes, just because we see the beginning, it doesn’t mean that we’ll see the end.
3) Will we earn Allah’s Forgiveness this Ramadan?
Yes, this is the key question. So many people strive so much in Ramadan. Unfortunately, many of them do it for the wrong reasons and many do their actions in the wrong way.
Remember, an act of worship is not accepted by Allah except with two conditions: 1) It is done solely to seek Allah’s Pleasure and 2) It is done the way the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alaihi wasallam) did it.
Should one be certain that an act of worship has been accepted? NO. How can one be sure? Only Allah knows whether it is accepted or not. We should hope that He accepts it and fear that it has not been accepted (due to some deficiency on our part).
Here’s a nice article on the Approach of Ramadan by Shaikh Abdullah ibn Saalih Al-Fawzan.