REFLECTIONS

Website: www.ummahreflections.co.za

Quarterly: Issue No 55

Rajab 1431

 

OUR BELOVED PROPHET’S KHUTBAH ABOUT RAMADAAN

 

Allah (the Exalted and Glorified) says in the Noble Quran:

O you who believe! Fasting (As-Sawm ) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (Allah-conscious)”. (Chapter 2: Surah Al-Baqarah: Verse 183)

Say: Surely my Prayer, all my acts of worship, and my living and my dying are for Allah alone, the Lord of the whole universe”. (Chapter 6: Surah Al-An’aam: Verse 162).

 

Ibn Khuzaimah (radiyallahu anhu) reported on the authority of Salman al-Farisi (radiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)  delivered a Khutbah on the last Friday of Sh'abaan saying: “O people: You are about to enter the shadow of a great blessed month. A night therein is better than a thousand months. Allah (the Exalted and Glorified) made fasting during this month an obligation and encouraged people to perform extra prayers during its nights. Seeking nearness to Allah through a good deed would be considered like performing an obligatory act of worship. In turn, performance of an obligatory act of worship during this month would be rewarded seventy times more than during any other month. It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Jannah. It is the month of comforting others, and the month during which believers would enjoy in abundance.” The Prophet went on to say: “Make sure you frequently do four things, two of which would please your Lord and the other two are indispensable for your salvation in the Hereafter. As for the two things that would please your Lord, they are: testifying to the oneness of Allah and seeking repentance. And the other two are: asking Allah the favour of entering Jannah and seeking refuge in Him from the Hell Fire.”

And here is another hadith worth keeping in mind, inshaAllah. Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah’s beloved Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (fasting).” (Sahih Bukhari: Book 3: Volume 31: Hadith 127).  

 

When pondering upon the nature of this month, we should be ecstatic, our hearts should be filled with joy and happiness, since once again Allah has granted us life to witness and experience this Mubaarak month of Ramadaan.

 

GOOD DEEDS BLOTS OUT EVIL DEEDS (A MERCY FROM ALLAH - MOST MERCIFUL)

 

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.   All praise is due to Allah.  May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be showered upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his companions!

 

Glory be to You, O Allah!  Of knowledge we have none except what You have taught us. Verily, it is You Who is the All-Knower, the All-Wise. (Chapter 2: Surah Al-Baqarah: Verse 32)

 

Firstly, let it be known that it is an established fact that the life after death is sure and certain where everyone will be recompensed for his deeds.  Our deeds, good and bad, go to Allah before us.  Allah (the Exalted and Glorified) says: Verily only We revive the dead and record what they send ahead and the trails they leave. We have meticulously recorded everything in the clear Book (the Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz).” (Chapter 36: Surah Yaseen: Verse 12). Every deed, good or bad, is recorded. They will of course be brought to our account; but our account will also be increased by the example we left behind us and the consequences of our deeds, that will come into play or continue to operate after our earthly life has ceased.  Our moral and spiritual responsibility is therefore much wider than as affects our own person.

The good or bad deeds that they have forwarded, and the good or bad effects or traces of some deeds which they have left behind e.g. some book which they wrote, some knowledge which they taught or built a Masjid, or established a custom, good or bad, all are included in it.  And the generalization of the word "Aathaaruhum" may also include those footprints which are formed on the earth by walking in some service (to Allah).    

 

Allah (the Exalted and Glorified) also says: “(And remember) the Day when We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imam (record of good and bad deeds). So, whosoever is given his record in his right hand, such will read their records, and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least”. (Chapter 17: Surah Al-Israa: Verse 71).  Here the word “Imam” refers to the Book of Deeds that will testify as to their deeds, whether they are good or bad.

Similarly, in another verse, Allah says: “And the Book (one's Record) will be placed, and you will see the criminals, fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. They will say: "Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers!'' And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice.”  (Chapter 18: Surah Al-Kahf : Verse 49).

Therefore, it is an established fact that all our deeds, good or bad, are recorded.

 

Let us reflect and ponder over two main points with regards to reward and punishment: 

 

The first point is that Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) did not legislate punishments just to torture His servants. In fact, he did that in order to warn and protect His servants from sinning in the first place.  However, in case of their obedience and avoidance of sins, Allah says: Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him?  And Allah is Ever All­-Appreciative (of good), All­-Knowing.”  (Chapter 4: Surah An-Nisaa: Verse 147).

The second point is that Allah (the Exalted and Glorified) created us as humans, not angels. Our humanity leads us to err and we make mistakes. If Allah did not destine us to err and make mistakes, then He would have created us as angels.  Angels are a creation that can never make mistakes or be disobedient to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:  Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:  By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.  (Sahih Muslim: Book 37: Hadith 6622).  

 

Nevertheless, this does NOT mean that the Muslim should be led by his sins and surrender to his whims and desires.  This only means that if a Muslim sins, he/she should not feel despair after that. Thus, the punishment is never there to torture the servant, but to protect him/her from his/her capacity to sin.


After realizing these two points, we need to know that Allah (the Exalted and Glorified) kept his Door of Repentance open for us all.  It is a door that Allah will never close until the Muslim dies.

Allah, Exalted and Glorified be He, says:

 

And establish As-Salaat (Iqaamat-as-Salaat), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night (i.e. the daily five compulsory Salaat (prayers)). Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins).  That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice).  (Chapter 11: Surah Hood: Verse 114).

Alhamdu lillah!  We are all aware that it is an established fact that Allah – out of His Grace and Infinite Mercy - forgives all sins, because Allah (the Exalted and Glorious) says:

 

SAY: “(Allah says so):” O you servants of Mine who have transgressed against your own selves! Despair not of Allah's mercy: Verily Allah forgives all sins - for, verily, He alone is Much-Forgiving, a Dispenser of Grace! (Chapter 39; Surah Az-Zumar; Verse 53)

 

 

Most minor sins (saghaa’ir) are expiated for by doing acts of worship and by avoiding the major sins (kabaa’ir), and the proof (daleel) of this fact is from the Qur’an Al-Kareem:

Allah says: If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise)”. (Chapter 4: Surah an-Nisaa: Verse 31).  It was reported from Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:  “Five (daily) Salaat and from one Jumu’ah Salaat to the (next) Jumu’ah Salaat, and from Ramadaan to Ramadaan are expiations for the sins committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins.” (Sahih Muslim: Book 2: Hadith 450).   There are many good deeds that expiate for MINOR sins, such as fasting, salaat, wudoo, etc.  But MAJOR sins require specific acts of expiation, such as sincere repentance, the carrying out of the Islamic punishment (hadd) on the one who committed them, etc., as can be seen in the following Ahaadeeth:

 

Ubaadah bin al-Saamit (radiyallahu anhu) said: “We were with the Prophet in a gathering and he (the Prophet) said, 'Swear allegiance to me that you will not worship anything besides Allah, Will not steal, and will not commit illegal sexual intercourse.”  And then (the Prophet) recited the following ayah wherein Allah says: O Prophet! When believing women come to you to give you the Bai'ah (pledge), that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit illegal sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood (i.e. by making illegal children belonging to their husbands), and that they will not disobey you in any Ma’roof (Islamic Monotheism and all that which Islam ordains) then accept their Bai’ah (pledge), and ask Allah to forgive them, Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Chapter 60: Surah Al-Mumtahina: Verse 12).  The Prophet added, 'And whoever amongst you fulfils his pledge, his reward is with Allah; and whoever commits something of such (major) sins and receives the legal punishment for it, that will be considered as the expiation for that sin, and whoever commits something of such (major) sins and Allah screens him, it is up to Allah whether to excuse or punish him." (Sahih Bukhari: Book 8: Volume 81: Hadith 775). The phrase “receives the legal punishment” refers to the Islamically-prescribed punishment (hadd).

Ubaadah bin al-Saamit (radiyallahu anhu) said:  Allah's Apostle said whilst a group of his companions were around him, "Swear allegiance to me for: 1. Not to join anything in worship along with Allah (i.e. not commit shirk). 2. Not to steal. 3. Not to commit illegal sexual intercourse. 4. Not to kill your children. 5. Not to accuse an innocent person (to spread such an accusation among people).  6. Not to be disobedient (when ordered) to do good deed.".  The Prophet then added: "Whoever among you fulfils his pledge will be rewarded by Allah.  And whoever indulges in any one of them and gets the punishment in this world, that punishment will be expiation for that sin. And if one indulges in any of them, and Allah conceals his sin, it is up to Allah to forgive or punish him (in the Hereafter)." 'Ubadah bin As-Saamit added: "So we swore allegiance for these."  (Bukhari: Book 1: Volume 2: Hadith 17).

However, if a sinner dies in a state of sin that includes KUFR or SHIRK, then Allah will not forgive him in the Hereafter.  If his sins are other than that, then the person is subject to the Will and Mercy of Allah – if He wills He will punish him; and if He wills He will forgive him. The proof of this fact is in Allah’s saying: Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship (shirk), but He forgives besides that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship (shirk), he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.” (Chapter 4: Surah an-Nisaa: Chapter 116)

 

Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu anhu) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Allah will bring a believer near Him and shelter him with His Screen and ask him: Did you commit such-and-such sins? He will say: Yes, my Lord. Allah will keep on asking him till he will confess all his sins and will think that he is ruined. Allah will say: 'I did screen your sins in the world and I forgive them for you today', and then he will be given the book of his good deeds. Regarding infidels and hypocrites (their evil acts will be exposed publicly) and the witnesses will say: These are the people who lied against their Lord.  Behold! The Curse of Allah is upon the wrongdoers” – see Chapter 11: Surah Hood: Verse 18. (Sahih Bukhari: Book 3: Volume 43: Hadith 621).

We Muslims should not despair of the Mercy of Allah as this is not permissible because of the following evidence (daleel):

Allah says: “SAY: "(Allah says so): O you servants of Mine who have transgressed against your own selves! Despair not of Allah's mercy: Verily Allah forgives all sins - for, verily, He alone is Much-Forgiving, a Dispenser of Grace! (Chapter 39; Surah Az-Zumar; Verse 53).  And Allah also says: “… (as to) My Punishment I afflict therewith whom I will and My Mercy embraces all things. That (Mercy) I shall ordain for those who are the Muttaqoon (pious), and give Zakaat; and those who believe in Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs and revelations, etc.); (Chapter 7: Surah al-A’raaf: Verse 156).   Abu Musa (radiyallahu anhu) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, stretches out His Hand during the night so that the people repent for the fault committed from dawn till dusk and He stretches out His Hand during the day so that the people may repent for the fault committed from dusk to dawn. (He will accept repentance) until (the time when) the sun rises from the west (before the Day of Resurrection). (Sahih Muslim: Book 37: Hadith 6644).

 

We should also be very wary of speaking openly about our sins and boasting about it amongst our friends and relatives.  This is haraam, and is a MAJOR sin. It is one of the ways of spreading immorality within the Ummah, encouraging evil and tempting others to do similar evils. It also means that we do not take sin seriously and regard it as insignificant.  Islam prohibits us from doing such things in the strongest possible terms, as in the following Hadith:   Abu Hurayrah said: I heard Allah's Messenger saying. “All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people.  An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning, and says, 'O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed yesterday,' though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin) and in the morning he removes Allah's screen from himself.”  (Sahih Bukhari: Book 8: Volume 73: Hadith 95)

 

On the basis of the above, let us constantly repent for our sins sincerely.  If we are tested with any kind of sin, do not speak openly of it or brag about it.  We should be aware of the greatness of the One against Whom we are sinning, seek forgiveness for our sins from Him, weep for the erroneous lifestyle we are practising, and try to adhere strictly to the path of Allah.  Be careful of despairing of the Mercy of Allah.  If we adhere properly to the religion of Allah, we will have the best of this world and the Hereafter. We ask Allah to help us to do that which He loves and is pleased with.  Ameen!

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:  “Allah says, ‘If My slave intends to do a bad deed then (O Angels) do not write it unless he does it; if he does it, then write it as it is, but if he refrains from doing it for My Sake, then write it as a good deed (in his account). (On the other hand) if he intends to go a good deed, but does not do it, then write a good deed (in his account), and if he does it, then write it for him (in his account) as ten good deeds up to seven-hundred times.’”. (Bukhari: Book 9: Volume 93: Hadith 592)

 

Here below are some authentic Ahaadith where the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) specifies certain good deeds to be from those that wipe out bad ones.  Let us try our very best to practise whichever of these we can - with great sincerity and without putting a show of it:

 

1 - Repentance from the sins.  Abu Musa (radiyallahu anhu) reported that the Prophet said: “If anyone repents before the sun rises from the west, Allah will forgive him.” (Sahih Muslim: Book 37: Hadith 6644).  It is also reported by Abdullah ibn Umar (radiyallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:  “Allah, the Lord of Honour and Glory, will accept the repentance of His servant up until the time his death-rattle begins.”  (i.e. before the soul of the dying person reaches the throat).  (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi: Hadith 18)

2 - Praying two Raka’aat and seeking forgiveness after doing bad deeds.  Humran, the freed slave of ‘Uthman, said: ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan (radiyallahu anhu) called for ablution water and this is how he performed the ablution. He washed his hands thrice. He then rinsed his mouth and cleaned his nose with water (three times).  He then washed his face three times, then washed his right arm up to the elbow three times, then washed his left arm like that, then wiped his head; then washed his right foot up to the ankle three times, then washed his left foot like that, and then said: I saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) perform ablution like this ablution of mine. Then the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: He who performs ablution like this ablution of mine and then stood up (for prayer) and offered two rak'ahs of prayer without allowing his thoughts to be distracted, all his previous sins are expiated. (Muslim: Book 2: Hadith 436)

3 - The believer’s perseverance through hardship and crises.  Abu Sa'id and Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhuma) reported that they heard Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as saying: “Never a believer is stricken with discomfort, hardship or illness, grief or even with mental worry that his sins are not expiated for him.”  (Sahih Muslim: Book 32: Hadith 6242)  

4 - The supplication at the end of every meeting.  Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:  “If anyone sits in an assembly where there is much useless talks and says before getting up to leave, (Subhanaka Allahumma wa bihamdika, ash-hadu an la ilaaha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilaika) “Glory be to Thee, O Allah, and I begin with praise of Thee; I testify that there is no god but Thou; I ask Thy pardon and turn to Thee in repentance,” he will be forgiven for what took place in that assembly where he was.” (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi: Hadith 2423)

5 - Performing the Wudu (ablution) perfectly.  Uthman ibn 'Affan (radiyallahu anhu) reported:  The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:  “He who performed ablution well, his sins would come out from his body, even coming out from under his nails.”  (Sahih Muslim: Book 2: Hadith 476)

6 - Performing the five daily prayers well and with humility.  Uthman bin Alfan (radiyallahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed: “He who completed ablution as Allah, the Exalted, enjoined upon him, his obligatory prayers would be expiations (for his minor sins that he would commit) during (the interval) between them.”  (Sahih Muslim: Book 2: Hadith 445)   

7 - Attending the Friday prayer and listening to the Khutbah without saying a word.  Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said, “If anyone performs ablution properly, then comes to the Friday prayer, listens to the Khutbah (Speech) attentively and keeps silent, his (minor) sins between that Friday and the previous Friday will be forgiven, with the addition of three more days.”  (Sahih Muslim: Book 4: Hadith 1868)

8 - Fasting during the month of Ramadan and praying its night believing in Allah and seeking reward from Allah (the Exalted and Glorious).  Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:  “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”  (Bukhari: Book 3: Volume 31: Hadith 125) .  Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “He who observes optional prayer (Tarawih prayers) throughout Ramadan, out of sincerity of faith and in the hope of earning reward will have his past sins pardoned.” (Sahih Muslim: Book 4: Hadith 1662).  Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to exhort (his Companions) to pray (at night) during Ramadan without commanding them to observe it as an obligatory act, and say: He who observed the night prayer in Ramadan because of faith and seeking his reward (from Allah), all his previous sins would be forgiven. When Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) died, this was the practice, and it continued thus during Abu Bakr's caliphate and the early part of 'Umar's caliphate.  (Sahih Muslim: Book 4: Hadith 1663)

9 - Praying the night of Al-Qadr.  Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. Imaan) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”  (Sahih Bukhari: Book 3: Volume 32: Hadith 231) and (Sahih Muslim: Book 4: Hadith 1664).

10 - Fasting the day of Arafah.  Abu Qatada al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhu'I-Hijjah), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.  (Muslim: Book 6: Hadith 2603).

11 - Fasting the day of Ashura’.   Abu Qatada al-Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Ashura (10th of Muharram), whereupon be said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year.  (Muslim: Book 6: Hadith 2603).

12 - Performing Hajj and Umrah.   Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever performs Hajj for Allah's pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.”  (Bukhari: Book 2: Volume 26: Hadith 596)

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “(The performance of) Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one).  And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Jannah.” (Bukhari: Book 3: Volume 27: Hadith 1)

13 - Giving charity.  Mu'adh ibn Jabal (radiyallahu anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:  “… Should I not direct you to the gateways of good?  Listen to me:  The fasting is a shield against evil, the charity extinguishes (the fire for the sins) just as water extinguishes fire”. (Sunan Al-Tirmidhi: Hadith 29).

14- Dhikru Allah-Remembering of Allah (the Exalted and Glorious).   Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:  “He who uttered these words: La ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa huwa 'ala kulli sha'in qadeer (There is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner with Him. Sovereignty belongs to Him and all the praise is due to Him, and He is Potent over everything); one hundred times every day there is a reward of emancipating ten slaves for him, and there are recorded hundred virtues to his credit, and hundred vices are blotted out from his scroll.”  (Muslim: Book 35: Hadith 6508).   And the Prophet also said: “And he who utters: 'Subhan-allahi wa bihamdihi (Glory be to Allah and His is the praise)' on hundred times a day, his sins will be obliterated even if they are equal to the extent of the foam of the ocean.”  (Muslim: Book 35: Hadith 6508).

 

Requesting your humble duas!

 

Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Umhlanga Rocks, KZN

South Africa