Ramadhan is indeed a month in which every soul yearns to connect with their Creator. As the Qur’an states; ‘And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers.’ These reminders aim to present a reminder in a graphical form which can be appreciated by all, followed by a short excerpt from a book relevant to the reminder in order to shed light.
Allāh has two unique attributes of knowledge which no angel, Prophet or any other created being shares with Him.
1) The Knowledge of the Unseen (ʿilm ul-ghayb)
2) The All-Encompassing Knowledge (al-ʿIlm al-Muḥīṭ).
These attributes have been described with a system. The first sentence says: “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen. No one knows them but He.” [Qur’ān:59]. This was about the first attribute.
In the sentence that follows, the All-Encompassing Knowledge of Allāh about His universe of existents was identified first by saying: “And He knows what is in the land and the sea.” It means the whole universe and all that exists. This is like saying ‘morning and evening’ when referring to the entire day, or saying the ‘East and the West’ in the sense of the whole world. Thus, by saying land and sea the sense given is that of the whole universe with its existents.
So, the knowledge of Allāh عز و جل covers whatever there is.
Further on, this was explained by saying that the knowledge of Allāh is not limited to what is big, Allāh also knows what is the minutest and the most concealed: “Not a leaf ever falls but He knows it.” It means that falling of every leaf in the whole world – before it falls, when it falls and after it falls – remains within Allāh’s knowledge. Allāh knows how many times each leaf on the tree will swing and sway, and when and where it will fall and through what circumstances it will go through.
The mention of ‘fall’ at this place is perhaps indicative of the life cycle of the leaf. Its fall from the tree is the end of its growth and botanical life. Its last condition has been pointed out here as a mirror to the rest of its conditions.
[Maʿāriful Qur’ān, Vol 3, pg. 366 – 367]
In this verse, it has been promised that the duʿā a servant makes is accepted. But, on occasions, one also sees that a duʿā was made and it was not accepted. The answer to this appears in a Ḥadīth of Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī (Allah be pleased with him) where the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been repoted to have said, “Whatever a Muslim prays for before Allah, He would let him have it – subject to the condition that the duʿā made was not for something sinful or for the severance of relationships that Allah has enjoined to be kept intact. As for the acceptance of duʿā, it takes one of the three forms given here:
(1) That one gets exactly what one asks for.
(2) That in lieu of what one wanted to have, one was given a certain return or reward in the hereafter,
(3) That one did not, though, get what one wanted, but some hardship or calamity that was due to fall on one stood removed.
[Maʿāriful Qur’ān, Vol 7, pg. 614]
اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ ۖ …. وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ
Know well that the worldly life is but a play and an amusement, and a show of beauty, and exchange of boastful claims between you, and a competition of increase in riches and children … The worldly life is nothing but a material of delusion. [Qur’ān, Sūrah Ḥadīd (57), verse 20]
The basic cause of one’s deprivation of the bounties of the Hereafter and his being seized by the Divine punishment is his involvement in the temporary pleasures of this worldly life that tempts him to forget the life to come.
This world is temporary. The world looks very beautiful and is full of temptation. But Allāh tells the believers that this is just a comfort of illusion. The real life is in the Hereafter. That life is forever and that is the one we should be chasing and striving for. All the wise people, and those who are closer to God, they reject this world’s temptations. They ignore its charms as they know that it’s not lasting, and that it’s also a trap of shaytān. This is the real test for man. If you love the world, you move away from Allāh. If you love with Allāh, you move away from worldly pleasures and Allāh takes care of your worldly needs and bestows His bounties on you.
After knowing that reality of the worldly life and the punishment of the Hereafter, a reasonable man should not be overly involved in the worldly pleasures but should be eager to obtain the bounties is the Hereafter.
The next verse states:
سَابِقُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ
أُعِدَّتْ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللهِ وَرُسُلِهِ
ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاء
وَ اللهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ
Compete each other in proceeding towards forgiveness from your Lord and to Paradise the width of which is like the width of the sky and the earth. It has been prepared for those who believe in Allāh and His messengers. That is the bounty of Allāh; He gives it to whoever He Wills and Allāh is the Lord of the great bounty. [Qur’ān, Sūrah Ḥadīd (57), verse 21]
Every person will taste death. There’s no doubt about it. We were not made for this world. We were all made for the hereafter. This life is merely a passing place waiting for our real destination – in Jannah, InshāAllāh.
No one can or will escape death. No matter how wealthy and brave you may be. [Wherever you will be, death will overtake you, even if you are in fortified castles. (Qur’ān, Sūrah An-Nisā (4), verse 78)]
While life and death are from Allāh, we have to remember that they are to take place with the permission of Allāh alone. Each one’s life and death is decided by Allāh. You will and are going to return to your Lord. That is definite. What isn’t definite for us is when that will happen. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a trait of a Muslim to be afraid of death, despite all possible defences one may arrange for himself. – Try your best in this world. Allāh will never let your efforts will never go to waste.
Without entering in this world and without leaving this world, we cannot enter Jannah, which is our ultimate goal. We can’t have hope and always pray for the highest of Jannah without tasting death. Death is the only truth this life can promise us. It is a passage to Paradise. Just as you pass through a door and you end up on the other side, or in another room. Similarly, death is a door, you leave this world, and enter into the hereafter. Therefore, it is important that we all remember the death constantly and try our best to prepare for it.
Ḥaḍrat Āishah رضي الله عنها asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, “O Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ), shall anyone be resurrected alongside the martyrs?” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ replied, “Yes. He who recalls death 20 times in one day and night.”
[The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife, Imām Al-Ghazālī رحمه الله, page 9]
And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned.[Qur’ān, Sūrah Furqān (25), verse 30]
There is a difference of opinion among the commentators whether this complaint of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم to Allāh تعالى about his people would be on the Day of Judgement or was made in his life time. Both views appear valid. But the verse following this verse suggests that he made this complaint during his lifetime and the next verse was revealed to appease him. The next verse reads:
In a similar way We made for every prophet an enemy from among the sinners, but your Lord suffices as a guide and as a supporter [25:31].
It means that if your adversaries do not accept Qur’ān, it is not something new. In the past as well people have defied Our message and the messengers had to contend with that. The best course for you also is to be contended.
Abandoning to follow Qur’ān is a great sin. On the face of abandonment of the Qur’ān means its denial or non-acceptance, which is expected only from the infidels. However, in certain traditions it is reported that those Muslims who do believe in the Qur’ān, neither they read it nor try to follow it fall as much within the ambit of this category of people.
Sayyidinā Anas رضي الله عنه has quoted the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم saying:
The person who has learnt the Qur’ān and then hanged it (on the wall), neither he recites it routinely nor ponders over its injunctions will be brought on the Doomsday with the Qur’ān hanging by his neck with a sling, and will complain before Allāh تعالى ‘this servant of Yours had abandoned me, so decide between me and him”. (Qurṭubī)
[Ma’āriful Qur’ān, Volume 6, Page 483-484]
Allāh has taken it upon himself that mercy shall be shown towards the creation.
First of all, by using the word ‘Rabb’ (رب), the assertion in the verse has been provided with the proof – that Allāh تعالى is your Nurturer, Nourisher and Sustainer.
It’s obvious that no Nurturer would let what is being nurtured go to waste. Then, the mercy which has been promised by that Rabb has been further clarified through a weighty, yet endearing, statement that Allāh has ‘decreed this mercy on Himself.’
The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “When Allāh تعالى created the creation, Allāh wrote in a book which is with Allāh above His Throne: ‘My mercy overpowers My anger.'”
Ḥaḍrat Salmān رضى الله عنه says: We have seen written in the Torah, when Allāh created the heavens and the earth and the entire creation in them, He divided His mercy in 100 parts. One part, Allāh distributed all over the creation – and wherever any effect of this mercy is found amongst human beings, animals and other creation, that owes itself to this same part. The rest of the 99 parts of Mercy have been kept by Allāh for Himself.
It goes without saying that no ʿIbādah (worship) or ʿIṭāʿah (obedience) can be good enough to be considered as presentable before Allāh. If we were to look at them from the highest of the high, We would realise that we are still struggling to do the bare minimum. Still, one has to be thankful for being able to do what was possible, especially when no human is free of sin – unless protected by Allāh.
Under this situation, justice would have been demanded that no one remains safe from a general punishment. But, what is actually happening is that every human being is being showered with the blessings of Allāh, all the time.
This is the direct outcome of that mercy which the Rabb of the universe has put down in writing as His responsibility.
[Ma’āriful Qur’ān, Volume 3, Page 355-356]
Every person has a unique set of talents, abilities, skills and preferences.
One aspect of the Prophet’s ﷺ character was his ability to lead – Nabī ﷺ employed his companions رضي الله عنهم each in accordance to his or her talents and expertise.
Ḥaḍrat ‘Alī رضي الله عنه was both just and wise, so the Prophet ﷺ appointed him to be a judge.
The Prophet ﷺ used Ḥaḍrat Mu’ādh رضي الله عنه for his knowledge.
Ḥaḍrat Ubay رضي الله عنه for the Qur’ān.
Ḥaḍrat Zayd رضي الله عنه for rulings in matters of inheritance.
Ḥaḍrat Khālid bin Walīd رضي الله عنه for battles and Ḥaḍrat Ḥussain رضي الله عنه for poetry.
To melt into the personality of another, for whatever reason, is akin suicide and to imitate the natural traits of others is to deliver a deathblow to one’s own self. Amongst Allāh’s signs is that one should marvel at the diverse characteristics of people – such their talents, the different languages they speak and the difference in colour.
Ḥaḍrat Abū Bakr رضي الله عنه, for example, through his gentleness and tenderness, greatly benefitted Islām and this nation. Ḥaḍrat Umar رضي الله عنه on the other hand, helped Islām and its adherent to be victorious through his stern demeanour and austerity.
Therefore, be comfortable with your inherent talents and abilities. Develop them, expand them and benefit from them.
[Don’t Be Sad, Dr. Â’id al-Qarni, Page 133]
These reminders are produced by Br. Huzaifa Saleh