Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Ramadan Muslims’

25
Jun

Those who glorify and worship Allah…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[A question to the readers before I proceed: For the last two Ramadans, I’ve focused on a series. In 2010, it was the “Teensie-weensie Reminders” and last year it was “An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds”.

This year, I was thinking of doing one of the following (just for the first 18-20 days):

1) Continuing The Lord of the Worlds Series

2) A series on the Major Sins

I’m not just going to focus on what not to do (i.e. the sins), I’ll also be focusing on what to do (i.e. the good deeds).

3) Thought of the Day

Ultra-short posts.

Obviously, Series #1 and 2 will still be written, insha-Allah, but most of the posts will be after Ramadan (if they are not done in Ramadan, I mean).

So, which one should I focus on? [It will be just ONE of them, not all three!]

Or do you have another idea?

I’ll be basing my decision on your comments.

“What if there are no comments?”

That means that you don’t want me to write anything in Ramadan….]

So, who are those who glorify and worship Allah?

Well, there are many so I’ll just mention a few examples (some of which were inspired by Imam Ibn Kathir’s tafsir (explanation) of Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah No. 74]

The Hoopoe (Hud-hud)

[I never said that I was going to be talking about human beings now, did I?]

وَتَفَقَّدَ الطَّيْرَ‌ فَقَالَ مَا لِيَ لَا أَرَ‌ى الْهُدْهُدَ أَمْ كَانَ مِنَ الْغَائِبِينَ

لَأُعَذِّبَنَّهُ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا أَوْ لَأَذْبَحَنَّهُ أَوْ لَيَأْتِيَنِّي بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ

فَمَكَثَ غَيْرَ‌ بَعِيدٍ فَقَالَ أَحَطتُ بِمَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ وَجِئْتُكَ مِن سَبَإٍ بِنَبَإٍ يَقِينٍ

إِنِّي وَجَدتُّ امْرَ‌أَةً تَمْلِكُهُمْ وَأُوتِيَتْ مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَلَهَا عَرْ‌شٌ عَظِيمٌ

وَجَدتُّهَا وَقَوْمَهَا يَسْجُدُونَ لِلشَّمْسِ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ فَهُمْ لَا يَهْتَدُونَ

أَلَّا يَسْجُدُوا لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي يُخْرِ‌جُ الْخَبْءَ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تُخْفُونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ

اللَّـهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَ‌بُّ الْعَرْ‌شِ الْعَظِيمِ

“He (Sulaiman) inspected the birds, and said: “What is the matter that I see not the hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? I will surely punish him with a severe torment, or slaughter him, unless he brings me a clear reason.” But the hoopoe stayed not long, he (came up and) said: “I have grasped (the knowledge of a thing) which you have not grasped and I have come to you from Saba (Sheba) with true news. I found a woman ruling over them, and she has been given all things that could be possessed by any ruler of the earth, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Shaitan (Satan) has made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and has barred them from (Allah’s) Way, so they have no guidance, Al-Laa (this word has two interpretations) (A) [As Shaitan has barred them from Allah’s Way] so that they do not worship (prostrate before) Allah, or (B) So that they may worship (prostrate before) Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. Allah, None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Lord of the Supreme Throne!”” [Surah An-Naml (27):20-26]

Look at this bird’s concern for tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) and let’s compare that to many of the people of today who don’t even have a quarter of this concern!

The Sun

قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لأبي ذر حين غربت الشمس : ( تدري أين تذهب ) . قلت : الله ورسوله أعلم ، قال : ( فإنها تذهب حتى تسجد تحت العرش ، فتستأذن فيؤذن لها ، ويوشك أن تسجد فلا يقبل منها ، وتستأذن فلا يؤذن لها ، يقال لها : ارجعي من حيث جئت ، فتطلع من مغربها ، فذلك قوله تعالى : والشمس تجري لمستقر لها ذلك تقدير العزيز العليم ) 

Narrated Abu Dharr (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) asked me at sunset, “Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” He said, “It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah:

وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِ‌ي لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ‌ لَّهَا ۚذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ‌ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

“And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the Decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.” [Surah Ya-Seen (36) : 38]

[Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 421]

The Mountains

إِنَّا عَرَ‌ضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا

“Truly, We did offer Al-­Amaanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).” [Surah Al-Ahzab (33) : 72]

لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـٰذَا الْقُرْ‌آنَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍ لَّرَ‌أَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِ‌بُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُ‌ونَ

“Had We sent down this Quran on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.” [Surah Al-Hashr (59) : 21]

[Fearing Allah is one of the ways of worshipping Him.]

And let’s not forget everybody’s favourite mountain:

إن أحدا جبل يحبنا ونحبه

AIlah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) cast a glance at Uhud and said: Uhud is a mountain which loves us and we love it.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 3208]

[Loving the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions (radiallahu anhum) is an act of worship.]

Stones

[Okay so mountains are stones as well but I mean the rest of them.]

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَ‌ةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَ‌ةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ‌ مِنْهُ الْأَنْهَارُ‌ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُ‌جُ مِنْهُ الْمَاءُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَمَا اللَّـهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

“Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness. And indeed, there are stones out of which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which split asunder so that water flows from them, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 74]

[As I said earlier, fear of Allah is a type of worship.]

The Stars and the Trees

وَالنَّجْمُ وَالشَّجَرُ‌ يَسْجُدَانِ

“And the herbs (or stars) and the trees both prostrate.” [Surah Ar-Rahman (55) : 6]

The Thunder

وَيُسَبِّحُ الرَّ‌عْدُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ خِيفَتِهِ وَيُرْ‌سِلُ الصَّوَاعِقَ فَيُصِيبُ بِهَا مَن يَشَاءُ وَهُمْ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي اللَّـهِ وَهُوَ شَدِيدُ الْمِحَالِ

“And Ar-Raad (thunder) glorifies and praises Him, and so do the angels because of His Awe, He sends the thunderbolts, and therewith He strikes whom He wills, yet they (disbelievers) dispute about Allah. And He is Mighty in strength and Severe in punishment.” [Surah Raad (13) : 13]

Almost everyone

Even the heavens and the earth glorify Him.

ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَهِيَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْ‌ضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْ‌هًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ

“Then He Istawaa (rose over) towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: “Come both of you willingly or unwillingly.” They both said: “We come, willingly.”” [Surah Fussilat (41) : 11]

تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْ‌ضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورً‌ا

“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.” [Surah Al-Isra (17) : 44]

Even the moon and living creatures prostrate to Him.

أَلَمْ تَرَ‌ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ‌ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ‌ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ‌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ‌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ ۗ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّـهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِ‌مٍ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ

“See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawab (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allah does what He wills”. [Surah Al-Hajj (22) :18]

[A note: All these ayaat (verses) are not “metaphorical”. All of these things do really glorify, worship and prostrate to Allah. Our limited minds just cannot comprehend how it happens, nor are we required to know how it happens.]

Okay, what’s this? There’s a hold out? Not all of mankind worships Allah, when even stones, trees, mountains, etc do????

Subhan Allah! And I thought that we were an “intelligent” species!

Why is it that many of are so complacent when it comes to the worship of Allah? Some people don’t do it at all, whereas some others do it only in Ramadan. These “inanimate” objects, on the other hand, submit to Him throughout the year.

This is something for us all to ponder over. In fact, Allah has asked us to look at creation and ponder over it so that we realise who it is that deserves our worship:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ‌ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِ‌ي فِي الْبَحْرِ‌ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن مَّاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْ‌ضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِ‌يفِ الرِّ‌يَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ‌ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayaat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 164]

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ‌ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُ‌ونَ اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُ‌ونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ رَ‌بَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَـٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.”” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 190-191]

لقد نزلت علي الليلة آيات ويل لمن قرأها و لم يتفكر فيها : ” إن في خلق السموات و الأرض ” الآية

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “On this night, this ayah (verse) was revealed to me. Woe to him who recites it but does not contemplate it”

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ‌ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.”  [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 190]

[Silsilah Ahadeeth As-Saheehah, Hadeeth No. 68. I got this reference from Dorar as I don’t have this book.]

So, you want some “inspiration” to worship Allah? It’s all around you. Just take a look.

تَبَارَ‌كَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ‌

“Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things.

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ‌

Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving;

الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا ۖ مَّا تَرَ‌ىٰ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ مِن تَفَاوُتٍ ۖ فَارْ‌جِعِ الْبَصَرَ‌ هَلْ تَرَ‌ىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ‌

Who has created the seven heavens one above another, you can see no fault in the creations of the Most Beneficent. Then look again: “Can you see any rifts?”

ثُمَّ ارْ‌جِعِ الْبَصَرَ‌ كَرَّ‌تَيْنِ يَنقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ الْبَصَرُ‌ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ‌

Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out”
[Surah Al-Mulk (67) : 1- 4]
10
Jun

Does this story sound familiar?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Yes I’m back, as my intensive course is over, alhamdulillah. Judging by the wide smiles, my classmates and I could have won the award for “Happiest Bunnies on the Planet”.]

So, there I was listening to the recitation of the last page of Surah Fussilat so that I could start memorising it.

I use Tanzil so that I can also check the translation at the same time (to make sure that I didn’t misunderstand).

I was stunned to come across the following ayah (verse):

  وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ أَعْرَ‌ضَ وَنَأَىٰ بِجَانِبِهِ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ‌ فَذُو دُعَاءٍ عَرِ‌يضٍ

“And when We bestow favor upon man, he turns away and distances himself; but when evil touches him, then he is full of extensive supplication.” [Surah Fussilat (41) : 51]

My eyes popped out because this story sounded…familiar. Very familiar.

In fact, I think that each of us knows somebody who behaves in this manner.

You know who I’m talking about, don’t you?

Of course you do.

This ayah pretty much summarises our life story. What’s amazing is that, despite it being mentioned in the Quran, we still don’t take heed.

So, what should we do? Well, we should also remember Allah in times of ease, not just in times of hardship, because the latter is very easy to do (hey, just ask the person in the mirror) but the former isn’t.

May Allah make us of those who are grateful for His Favours.

4
Apr

To the “Ramadan Muslims”…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

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).

Allah says:

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.