REFLECTIONS

Website: www.ummah.net/islam/reflections

Quarterly: Issue No 33

Muharram 1426

 

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ISLAMIC NEW YEAR 1426

 

Alhamdulillah, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala) has blessed us to see another year of Hijrah 1426.  May Allah bless us in this New Year with stronger Imaan and make us better Muslims in word and deeds.  May Allah also make this New Year one of unity, cooperation and success for Muslims in this country and around the world, and save us from all kinds of sudden calamities, difficulties and distress.  Ameen! 

 

The turmoil that is facing the Muslim Ummah worldwide leaves many Muslims looking for guidance and direction. What should we do in this time of distress and difficulties?  We are fortunate that we are privileged to receive guidance and advice from our Allah-fearing truthful Ulama. When asked of what Muslims should do in the prevailing current crisis, they almost unanimously advise that every Muslim should adopt 5 principles and, Insha-Allah, through its blessings the help (nusrah) of Allah Most Merciful will assuredly come.   They are as follows:

 

1. Remain steadfast upon our Imaan.

 

2. Read “Hasbunallahu wa-ni’mal wakeel” abundantly.

 

3. Seek knowledge of sins in order to refrain from committing those sins.

 

4. Make Taubah & Istighfaar abundantly.

 

5. Make du’a regularly.

 

1. REMAIN STEADFAST ON OUR IMAAN:

 

With the propaganda in the mass media, hate crimes and violence against Muslims, prejudices and hate-filled statements have increased greatly throughout the world.  Increased pressure has come upon Muslims and is becoming more and more difficult to safeguard their Imaan.  Many of us have abandoned the Sunnah and seem to be happy adopting the way of life of the kuffaar.  Unfortunate, indeed, is that the Muslim who wants to practise Islam is been labelled a “terrorist” or a “fundamentalist”.  Some are even abandoning basic practices under this strain of victimisation.  It is at this point that we Muslims should be more steadfast with our Imaan in Allah and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallahu Alayhi Wasallam); and should NOT compromise it even under the pretext of victimisation.  This is surely a test of our Imaan and we should endeavour to remain steadfast on the basic tenets of Islam under all circumstances.  In the Sahih of al-Bukhari, Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of Imaan: 

1. One to whom Allah and His Messenger becomes dearer than anyone or anything else.

2. One who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah's sake.

3. One who hates to revert to Kufr (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire."

In the Sahih of Muslim, the Messenger of Allah (Sallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:

Seven are (the persons) whom Allah would give protection under His Shade on the Day when there would be no shade but His (i.e. on the Day of Judgment), and they are:

(1) a just ruler

(2) a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah

(3) a person whose heart is attached to the Masaajid

(4) two brothers in Islam who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah

(5) a man whom a beautiful woman of high rank seduces (for illicit relationship), but he (rejects this offer by saying): "I fear Allah"

(6) a person who gives charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the right hand does not know what the left has given

(7) a person who remembered Allah in privacy and his eyes shed tears with His remembrance.

 

2. READ ABUNDANTLY - “HASBUNALLAHU WA-NI’MAL WAKEEL”:

 

We must be certain that Allah does whatever He wishes, whenever He wishes.  Allah tells us in the Qur’an, “Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says ‘Be’ and it is!” (36:82). One must believe with certainty that Allah possesses all treasures.  Allah says: “And there is not a thing, but with Us are the stores thereof. And We do not send it down except in a known measure.” (15:21).  Also, in the Hadith Qudsi narrated by Abu Zarr that Allah revealed through His Prophet: "O my servants, were the first of you and last of you, the human of you and jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request from me, and were I to give everyone what they requested, that would not decrease what I have anymore than a needle decreases the sea if put into it". (Sahih Muslim).

Our trust as Muslims is in the Most Beneficent and Most Merciful Allah, and, without any doubt, He alone is our Guardian and Protector. Try to recite the following words abundantly: “Hasbunallahu wa ni’mal wakeel”, “Allah is sufficient for us and He is our Guardian”, obviously keeping in mind the meaning of what you recite.  It would be commendable to recite this tasbeeh regularly after EVERY FARD SALAAH.  Encourage our children, family members, relatives and friends to do likewise.  Insha-Allah, this will re-affirm our Trust (Tawakkul) in Almighty Allah and bring about the much needed help from Allah, the Most Merciful. 

 

3. SEEK KNOWLEDGE OF SINS AND REFRAIN FROM COMMITTING THOSE SINS:

 

One should make an effort to read the Qur’an and the books of Hadith, and also enquire from the learned Ulama about the various sins and make a concerted effort to abstain from such sins.  Among the many sins, some are more prevalent. Two very common sins that are prevalent

in our societies around the world today are Riba’ (interest) and Zina (adultery & fornication).  So widespread are the vices of Riba and Zina in the world and so commonly encouraged by the media and capitalistic societies that the Muslim Ummah has unwittingly fallen into the trap of almost condoning and accepting them. Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has warned us strongly against Riba (interest) and its devastating influence on the less fortunate. Allah warns Muslims in the Noble Qur’an in very severe terms not to commit the sin of Riba and Zina.  Punishment for these vices has been reiterated in the Qur’an many times over.  

The system of Riba is an economic system that enslaves the Muslim Ummah; and it is due to such vices that the Ummah faces crisis in the world. As Muslims we should repent for such indulgences and take stock of our business dealings now; and remove all types of Riba that contaminate it.

The mass media and advertisements in magazines and television vigorously use seductive pictures to lure the consumer and the public towards promiscuity. Soap operas and other filthy programmes on television are means that promote Zina (adultery).  Adultery has now become more common than ever before amongst Muslims.  It is certainly going to be the cause of Allah’s curse and our destruction.  A good starting point would be to safeguard the gaze by protecting oneself from viewing that which will lead to Zina, i.e. keep away from seductive and pornographic magazines, pornography on the INTERNET, filthy TV programs and glancing with seductive intentions towards non-mahram opposite sexes.  Lowering the gaze is an excellent discipline in this regard.  Insha-Allah, increasing our awareness of sins and refraining from such acts will bring special HELP AND MERCY from Allah (the Most Merciful) which this Ummah so urgently needs in these perturbing and distressing times. 

 

4. MAKE TAWBAH & ISTIGHFAAR ABUNDANTLY:

 

Every Muslim, amidst this turmoil and crisis, should look into one’s own self and seek earnest and sincere forgiveness from Allah for his or her past sins.  Since no person (other than the Prophets and Messengers of Allah) is free from sin, it is of vital importance that every person repents (makes Tawbah) and seeks forgiveness (makes Istighfaar) increasingly.  It must be borne in mind that sin is highly detrimental to one’s physical, moral, spiritual and economic progress. Thus whenever a sin is committed, Tawbah and Istighfaar must be done immediately thereafter, especially after committing a major sin, like Zina (adultery), drinking, gambling, indulging in interest, backbiting, telling lies or omitting Salaah, Saum, Zakaah or Hajj etc. Remember, Allah pardons almost every sin, provided that Tawbah and Istighfaar are made with utmost sincerity and regret. The best method of making Istighfaar (seeking repentance) is to perform wudhu; thereafter perform two raka’aat of Salaat-ut-Tawbah. On completing the Salaah, praise Allah the Most Merciful: our Creator and Sustainer; confer Durood and Salaam on our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and make Istighfaar and Tawbah with utmost sincerity, humbleness and regret.  At the same time, shed as many tears as possible.  Make a firm resolution and promise to Allah not to commit those sins ever again.  Through the blessings (Barakah) of sincere repentance of every Muslim throughout the world, Allah’s Mercy will alleviate the Muslim Ummah’s plight in the current situation, Insha-Allah.  Allah can do so as He is Powerful over all things.  In the Sahih of al-Bukhari, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "If one recites it (Sayyidul Istighfaar) during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Jannah; and if one recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Jannah, and this Istighfaar is:

 

O Allah! You are my Lord, there is no god but You.

You created me and I am your servant.

I am on my covenant and promise [of faith and sincere obedience] to You, to the best of my ability.

I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done,

I acknowledge to You, Your favours upon me;

and I acknowledge to You all my sins, so please forgive me,  for none forgives sins except You.”   

 

5. MAKE DU’A REGULARLY:

 

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "Any Muslim who supplicates to Allah in a Du’a which contains no sin of breaking kinship, Allah will give him one of three things: either his Du’a will be answered immediately; or it will be saved for him in the hereafter; or it will turn away an equivalent amount of evil (from him)". The companions said: "Then we will ask for more." The Prophet replied: "Allah is even more (generous)." (Reported by Ahmad and Tirmizi).  

 

All Muslims should engage in earnest and sincere Du’as to attract the Help and Mercy of our only Creator, especially at this time. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Anyone among you whose doors of Du’a have opened, in reality the doors of blessings have opened for him.”  The best of all Du’as is the asking of safety (against all calamities in both the worlds).  Our beloved Prophet is also reported to have said that no amount of tact and prudence can help avert Qadaa and Qadar (decree by Allah).  But making Du’a to Allah will help avert any calamity.  At times a calamity is imminent but a person’s Du’a intercepts it. The result is that the two become locked in battle and remain so till the Day of Judgment.  Never ever underestimate the POWER of Du’a.  No force, power, military strength, government or ruler is more powerful than Allah; especially when Allah through His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has given us the WEAPON of Du’a, and assured the avoidance of calamities through it. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has also said:  “The weapon of a believer is Du’a.”  Now is the time for pleading to Allah for His Divine Assistance through Du’a. 

 

Whilst making Du’a, tears should also flow from our eyes when we remember how much Allah has blessed us with and how much we disobey Him. We can never repay Allah for everything we have, yet we still blatantly commit sins both big and small: whether it's backbiting, hurting other human beings, not standing up for the truth, treating our families badly, lying, doing good deeds to show off, cheating, etc.  But Allah opens a way out of problems for us, easing our burdens. Yet, we still disobey Him and take His Mercy for granted.  And a very good example is of a man, who few would think would cry because of the fear of Allah, is the Caliph Umar, may Allah be pleased with him.  He was known for being strong, fearless, and uncompromising when it came to matters of faith. Yet it is reported in the books of Hadith that the Caliph Umar (radiyallahu anhu) had two black streaks on his face because of constant weeping.  He feared Allah so much that he once said:  "If someone announced from the heavens that everybody will enter Paradise except one person, I would fear that that person would be me."  Caliph Umar was one of the strongest believers. Yet he cried and feared Allah.  And Caliph Abu Bakr was commonly known for his crying.  These people loved to serve human beings in the day and spent time at night begging Allah to save humanity.  May Allah be pleased with them.  Let us be more contemplative and pray for an awareness and forgiveness of our sins, as well as softness in our hearts. If Umar the brave and pious did it, we have even more need and urgency to do it.  Human beings are in turmoil. Connecting with Allah with our hearts and begging for His Mercy on His Creation will bring us closer to Him. 

 

Make Du’a that Allah UNITES the Muslim Ummah, all Muslim countries and rulers on the Qur’an and Sunnah, with its interpretations based on the Ijmaa of the Sahabas, which is the ONLY way we can unite.  Ameen!

  

May Allah guide us all on the Straight Path. Ameen!

 

I request your humble du'aas.

Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Umhlanga Rocks, KZN

South Africa