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.

These are:
1) The Knowledge of the Unseen (ʿilm ul-ghayb)
and
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 Ḥassan 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]

 

 

And We have fastened every man’s deeds to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him a book which he will find wide open.(It will be said to him): “Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.” Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his ownself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another’s burden.

[Qur’ān, Sūrah al-Isrā’ (17), verse 13-15]

It means that one’s book of deed stays with the doer no matter where or in whatever condition one is. What he or she does continues to get recorded there. When death comes, the ‘book’ is closed and set aside safely. After that, when comes the Last Day, the Day of Judgement, this book of deeds will be placed in everyone’s hand in order that he would himself read it and also decide himself whether he is deserving of reward or deserving of punishment.

It has been reported from Qatādah رحمه الله  that it will be a day when even an illiterate person will be able to read his book of deeds. On this occasion, al-Iṣbahāmī has reported on the authority of Sayyidinā Abū Umāmah رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: On the day of Qiyāmah, when the book of deeds belonging to people will be given in their hand, someone will notice that some of his good deeds were not recorded there. He will tell his Lord about the particular deeds missing from there. His Lord will tell him that He had erased those deeds for he used to speak ill of people on their backs. (Maẓharī)

[Maʿāriful Qur’ān, Volume 5, Page 473]

 

 

Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).
[Qur’ān, Sūrah Āl-e-ʿImrān (3), verse 185]

Muslims have to face some hardships, some difficulties and a certain paucity of worldly means. There is nothing surprising about it and certainly no occasion to be grieved, for no follower of a faith or philosophy can ignore the reality of life that sorrow and happiness in this world are both short-lived. No living creature can escape death. As for the comfort and discomfort experienced in this world, they vanish, more than often, right there with relevant changes in circumstances – or, just in case, no change takes place during the life of this world, it is certain that everything will end with the knock of death.

Therefore, worrying about this short-lived cycle of comfort and discomfort should not become the chronic concern of a wise person. One should, rather, have concern for what would happen after death. So, the verse (185) tells us that every living being shall taste death and once in the Hereafter, there shall come the reward and punishment of deeds which will be severe and long drawn as well.

This is what a wise person should worry about and prepare for. Given this rule of conduct, one who stays away from Hell and finds entry into the Paradise is really the successful one. Maybe this happens at the very beginning as would be the case with the most righteous servants of Allah. Or, it may come to pass after having faced some punishment as would be the case with sinning Muslims. But, Muslims – all of them – will finally have their deliverance from Hell and the blessings of Paradise will become theirs for ever. InshāAllāh

[Maʿāriful Qur’ān, Volume 2, Page 266]

 

 

A basic element of belief in the Oneness of Allāh is understanding that Allāh manages all affairs and is able to do all the things; Allāh is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Lord and Master of the universe. As such, Allāh knows better about every individual’s best interest than them individuals themselves. Understanding this helps people to humbly submit to Allāh and to hand their affairs over to Allāh, relying upon Allāh for all their needs. Human beings recognise that Allāh will take care of the one who trust Him and has complete confidence in Allāh’s promise.

Reliance upon Allāh means entrusting one’s affairs to Allāh and relying upon Allāh for the matter at hand as well as all other matters, whether religious or worldly. This is a sign of one’s faith in Allāh and evidence for one’s belief in and implementation of tawḥīd. Relying upon others when only Allāh can help is considered to be a form of shirk.

During times of trauma and difficulty, reliance upon Allāh entails employing the means created by Allāh that are likely to lead to the desired outcome, as long as they are within the limits of the Sharʿīah. At the same time, one should trust in and depend upon Allāh and upon Allāh’s mercy, power and ability to do things. Those who rely upon Allāh do not abandon the means to achieve the end result, nor do they abandon hope in Allāh’s mercy and rely upon themselves instead.

Disregarding the means contradicts the example of the Prophet ﷺ.

Complete reliance upon the means is also a form of shirk. The two – seeking the means and trust in Allāh – must be combined to achieve the most beneficial results, both for this life and for the hereafter.

Relying upon Allāh is an act of worship of the heart. It encompasses the understanding that, in reality, there is no helper except Allāh. We may consult others, ask others for their assistance and even pay for their services, but in the end, the only true help comes from Allāh and Allāh is the only One who can save us from the predicaments in which we find ourselves.

[The Prick Of A Thorn, Dr Aisha Utz, Page 181-183]

 

 

I entrust my affair to Allāh. Verily, Allāh is All-Seeing of His slaves.
[Qur’ān, Sūrah Ghāfir (40), verse 44]

No one likes to fall. A few people would ever choose to drown. But in struggling through the ocean of this life, sometimes it’s so hard not to let the world in.

Sometimes the ocean does enter. The dunya does seep into our hearts.

If you allow the dunya to own your heart, like the ocean that owns the boat, it will take over. You will sink down to the depths of the sea. And you’ll feel at your lowest, entrapped by your sins and the love of this life. You will feel broken, surrounded by darkness.

However, this dark place is not the end. Remember that the darkness of night precedes the dawn. And as long as your heart still beats, this is not the death of it. It is when you are at the lowest that you are faced with a choice – you can either stay at the bottom until you drown, or you can gather pearls and rise back up.

Allāh can raise you up and replace the darkest of the ocean with the light of His sun. Allāh can transfer your greatest weakness into your greatest strengths.

Sometimes transformation comes with a fall. So never curse the fall. Take it. Learn from it. And come back stronger and more aware of your need for Allāh.

Come back up having seen your own nothingness and Allāh’s greatness. Deprived is the one who has never witnessed his own desperate need for God.

Seek Allāh to bring you back up, for when Allāh does, Allāh will rebuild your ship. The heart that you thought was forever damaged will be mended. What was shattered will be whole again.

And know that only Allāh تعالى, can do this.

[Reclaim your heart, Yasmin Mogahed, Page 41-42]

 

 

If man is so pleased with the ways and means which help make things work for him, if they were to open his eyes, he would realise that his plans and measures could neither create nor make things in the real sense. The outcome of all his efforts and workings is no more then getting to learn how to make the best use of what has been created by Allāh سبحانه و تعالى.

For example, you need to build a house. You find a whole range of servers from the architect, to the builder, to the finisher, hundreds of human beings offering their career and service, all set to answer your call. You need building materials. They lay stacked in stores and shops ready to be delivered to where you want them.

Was it within your power and control to assemble all these things on your own, by the brute force of your money or measures?

The fact is that this system of life cannot be established and activated through force of law, even by the mightiest of the mighty establishments anywhere in the world. There is no doubt about the fact that the logistic support of this viably running running universal system is the work of Allāh سبحانه و تعالى alone, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of all.

If human beings still hasten to claim that all this comes from their plans and workings, there is not much that can be said about their claim, for ignorance shall remain what is.

[Ma’āriful Qur’ān, Volume 5, Page 185-186]

 

 

Say (O Prophet ﷺ), ‘If you love Allāh, then follow me. Allāh will love you and forgive you, your sins. And Allāh is the Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.’ Say, ‘Obey Allāh and the Messenger.’ Then should they turn back, Allāh does not love the disbelievers.
[Quran, Surah Imran (3), verse 31-32]

Affirmed in these verses is the belief in the Messenger as well as the need to follow the Messenger ﷺ so that we stand informed that the rejection/refusal to obey the Prophet ﷺ is an act of disbelief.

Love is something secret. Whether or not a person loves another person, or loves less or more, are questions which cannot be answers precisely. There is no measure to determine the truth of the matter except that one makes an educated guess based on visible conditions and dealings, for love leaves traces and signs which could help in recognising it as such. Now, in these two verses, Allah ﷻ, tells those who claimed that they love Allāh and hoped to be loved by Him (ﷻ), above is the real criteria of His (ﷻ) love. In other words, if a person living in this world today claims that he loves his Creator then he must test it on the touch-stone of his obedience to the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, that is to match it against the frequency and quality of where and how he has been following the Messenger ﷺ. How true a person turns out to be in his claim will be visible from how much he makes it a point to follow the Noble Messenger ﷺ. Using the guidance brought by him ﷺ (the Sunnah), as the guiding force in his life.

Rasūlullāh ﷺ has said: He who has obeyed Muḥammad ﷺ, has obeyed Allāh. And he who has disobeyed Muḥammad ﷺ, has disobeyed Allāh.

[Maʿāriful Qur’ān, Volume 2, Page 61-62]

 

 

By Al-ʿAṣr (the time). Verily! Man is in loss. Except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience.
[Qur’ān, Sūrah Al-ʿAṣr (103), verse 1-4]

Sayyidinā ʿUbaidullāh Ibn Ḥiṣn رضي الله عنه د reports that whenever two Companions of the Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم met, they would not part company until one of them had recited Surah Al-ʿAṣr in its entirety to the other. [Transmitted by At-Ṭabarānī].

Imām Shāfiʿī رحمه الله says that if people thought about Sūrah Al-ʿAṣr carefully, it would be enough for their guidance. It is a concise but comprehensive Sūrah, which in three verses, outlines a complete way of human life based on the Islamic worldview.

In this Sūrah, Allāh swears an oath by the ‘Time’ and says that mankind is in a state of loss; exception, however, is made of people who are characterized by four qualities:
[1] Faith
[2] Righteous deeds
[3] Advising each other for Truth; and
[4] Advising each other for patience.

This is the only path to salvation in this world, as well as in the next world. The Qur’ānic prescription comprises, as we have just seen, of four elements. The first two of them relate to man’s own personal betterment, and the other two relate to other people’s guidance and reform. [Ibn Kathīr].

[Maʿāriful Qur’ān, Volume 8, Page 869-870]

 

 

In order for our du’ā to be answered, it is necessary that one appears before Allāh ﷻ as weak, helpless and simply unable to hold on his own, modest and humble and submits to Allāh ﷻ with total negation of what is supposed to be pride, dignity, honour, ego and then makes du’ā.

Du’ā is a thing of the soul which requires that its words match the feebleness and humbleness of the soul of the maker of that du’ā.

Allāh ﷻ is All-Hearing (السميع), All-Knowing (العليم). Allāh ﷻ knows what we show on the outside and what we hide on the inside. Allāh ﷻ hears everything said quietly or loudly.

Therefore, when the voice of the Companions رضي الله عنهم reached a loud pitch during du’ā made on the occasion of the Battle of Khaybar, the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “You are not calling someone dead or absent that you say it in such a loud voice. Instead, your addressee is someone Hearing and Near, that is Allāh ﷻ (so, to raise your voice is redundant).

Allāh ﷻ has mentioned the du’ā of a righteous person in these words, “When he called his Lord, calling in a lowered voice..” (19:3).- The state of du’ā liked by Allāh ﷻ is that it be asked of Him in a lowered and subdued voice.

[Ma’āriful Qur’ān, Volume 3, Page 691-693]

 

 

In the creation of the heavens and the earth are great signs of Allāh ﷻ. All those divinely created beings and things in the heavens and the earth are included. ‘The heavens’ is inclusive of all heights and ‘the earth’ covers all lows.

Hadhrat Āishah رضي الله عنها narrates that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said to her, ‘Allow me to worship my Lord’. He ﷺ rose from his bed, made ablution and stood up for Ṣalāh. In this standing position of qiyām, he ﷺ wept, so much that his tears trickled down his ﷺ blessed chest. He ﷺ went into Rukū’ and there too he ﷺ wept and in Sajdah he ﷺ wept. The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ raised his head and continued weeping till it was morning. Hadhrat Bilāl رضي الله عنه came to inform the Messenger ﷺ that it’s time for Fajr Ṣalāh. Hadhrat Bilāl رضي الله عنه asked the Messenger ﷺ, ‘My Master ﷺ, why do you weep like that? Isn’t it that Allāh ﷻ has forgiven all your past and future sins?’ The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ replied, ‘Should I not continue to be a grateful servant of Allāh? And in offering this gratitude of mine, why should I not shed tears, especially tonight when Allāh has revealed this verse to me, ‘Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the alternation of night and day..’ – After that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, ‘ruined is the person who recites these verses but fails to deliberate therein.’

Thinking about the creation inevitably leads one to realise the presence of the Creator. Look at the enormous expanse of the sky above us with the sun, the moon, the planets and stars bound with the solar and lunar system working so well for thousands of years without being serviced or refurbished. Then, on this earth, the mountains, rivers, trees, animals, the air that circulates and the rain that falls. This act of knowing and realising that there is a superior being in control of all this and more is a great act of worship.

For this reason, Imām Ḥasan al-Baṣrī رحمه الله said, ‘An hour spent in thinking about the signs of Allāh is better and far more useful than a whole night standing in worship.’

[Ma’āriful Qur’ān, Volume 2]

 

 

“O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allāh ﷻ. And whoever does that – then those (who do that) are the losers.”
[Qur’ān, Sūrah Munāfiqūn (63), verse 9]

There are two major objects in this world that divert a person from the remembrance of Allāh:
1) Wealth
2) Children.

Therefore, these two things have been named in particular. Otherwise, it refers to all the means of enjoyments in the world. The importance of the verse is that love of wealth and children to some extent is not bad. Being engaged with them to a certain degree is not only permissible but also obligatory. But there is a dividing line between permissible and impermissible love that must always be borne in mind.

The criterion is that this love must not deviate one from Allāh’s remembrance. The word dhikr (remembrance) in this context has been variously interpreted by different commentators. Some say it refers to the five daily prayers (Ṣalāh), while others say it refers to Zakāh or Ḥajj. Some refer it to the Qur’ān. Ḥasan al-Baṣrī رحمه الله expresses the view that the word dhikr here refers to all forms of obedience and worship. This is the most comprehensive interpretation. [Qurṭubī]

In short, we are permitted to be involved in material wealth up to the degree that it does not divert us from Allāh ﷻ’s obedience. If one becomes engrossed in the material wealth or becomes absorbed in the forbidden or abominable things, which divert him from his duties and obligations towards Allāh the sentence “فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ” … “they are the losers” will apply, because he has sold the great and eternal reward of the Hereafter for the petty and perishable enjoyment of this world. What loss could be greater than this!

[Ma’āriful Qur’ān, Volume 8, Page 474-475]

 

 

O you who have believed, fear Allāh and speak words of appropriate justice. (If you do so,) Allāh will correct your deeds for your benefit, and forgive your sins for you. Whoever obeys Allāh and His Messenger achieves a great success.
[Qur’ān, Sūrah Ahzāb (33), verse 70]

Immediately after the main guideline of ‘اتقوا الله, fear Allāh’, appears an instruction to start doing something particular. That is, the correction and reformation of one’s speech. Though, this is nothing but a part of Taqwā in itself, yet it is one such part of it that should this come under control, all other remaining components of the comprehensive requirements of Taqwā would start becoming achievable automatically as the ayah/verse itself has promised that as a result of making one’s speech truthful and straight, Allāh ﷻ will correct his deeds.

In other words it means that should you succeed in holding your tongue and avoiding errors of speech and get used to saying that which is correct, straight and right, Allāh ﷻ will correct every other deed you do and make all of them better. Then, concluding the verse, another promise has been made, ‘يصلح لكم اعمالكم – He will amend for you, your deeds’, meaning one who gains control over his tongue, learns to harness his or her power of speech and becomes used to saying what is true and right, then Allāh ﷻ will take care of the rest of his or her deeds, have them corrected and made better as well as forgive any errors or slips made therein.

[Ma’āriful Qur’ān, Volume 7, Page 247]

 

 

When you smile even though your heart is filled with worry, you reduce your suffering and open the door for a way out. Do not hesitate to smile, for inside you there is a kind of energy full of smiles. Beware of suppressing it, for that means that you are strangling yourself with pain and suffering. It will not harm you if you smile, even when you are talking to others about serious matters from the depth of your heart. How wonderful it is when our lips speak the language of smiles!

Someone once said, “Smiling is a social obligation” and they were right. If you want to mix in with people, you have to be nice to them. You have to understand that social life requires human skills at which you have to be proficient, one of which is smiling. When you smile at people, you are sharing the beauty of life and the spirit of optimism with them; you are giving them the glad tidings of the best that they can hope for. But if you meet them with a face that is devoid of compassion, you are tormenting them and disturbing them with such an appearance.

How can you accept to be the cause of other people’s misery?

 

 

Those who are ignorant have uttered curses at Allāh, the Creator of all that exists. So what treatment should we – who are full of faults – expect from people?

You will always have to face criticism, which in its onslaught is like an interminable war; it shows no sign of an ending. As long as you shine, give, produce and have a positive effect on others, then disapproval and condemnation will be your lot in life. Until you escape from people by finding a tunnel in the ground or a ladder leading to the sky, they will not desist from censuring you, from finding faults in your character.

For that reason, as long as you’re from the denizens of earth, expect to be hurt, to be insulted and to be criticised. So remain firm and patient when facing their insults and criticisms. If you are wounded by their words and let them have influence over you, you will have realised their hopes for them. Do not be dismayed when you find that others forget your favours and disregard your kind acts. Instead, forgive them by showing them the most beautiful of manners. Turn away from them and do not feel distressed by their schemes.

Forgive others and Allāh will forgive you. If you desire to be accepted by all and loved by all, you desire the unattainable.

Hence do not be in a state of agitation if you give someone a pen as a gift and he uses it to satirise you, or if you give someone a walking stick to lean upon and he strikes you with it.

As mentioned earlier, most humans are ungrateful towards their Lord, so what treatment should we expect?

[Don’t be sad, Aidh al-Qarni]

 

Ḥaḍrat ‘Īsā عليه السلام once met Ḥaḍrat Yaḥyā عليه السلام .
Ḥaḍrat ‘Īsā عليه السلام would smile a lot, whilst Ḥaḍrat Yaḥyā عليه السلام would cry a lot.
Ḥaḍrat ‘Īsā عليه السلام would ask, ‘O Yaḥyā [عليه السلام], have you lost hope in the mercy of Allāh to such an extent that your crying does not cease?’
Ḥaḍrat Yaḥyā عليه السلام responded by asking, ‘O ‘Īsā [عليه السلام], do you feel so safe from the wrath of Allāh that you smile all the time?’
After a while an angel appeared to them and said, ‘Allāh has commanded me to come to you and explain His verdict regarding your respective conditions. O ‘Īsā [عليه السلام], remain smiling in public, but in seclusion cry like Yaḥyā [عليه السلام].
And O Yaḥyā [عليه السلام], in privacy continue shedding tears, but in public smile with others. It should not become such that people see a prophet of Allāh in tears all the time. They would lose hope in His mercy when they see you like this.’
[Pearls from the Path, Volume 3]
This is a very important Ḥadīth as it governs how we should be in this life and how we should look at it. This life is a trial, and this hadith reinforces and guides a person in how to deal with the trials of this life.
Ibn Rajab رحمه الله said, “And this Ḥadīth is a foundation in having short hopes of this life, for the believer should not take this life as a home for him that he feels tranquil in. Rather, he should be in it like he is about to leave, preparing himself for his departure, and the advice of the Messengers عليهم السلام and their followers are all in agreement with this idea.”
A few qualities of a stranger are that his main concern will be on focusing his efforts in getting to his homeland, Jannah. He is not content with residency in this life because it is not his home. This doesn’t mean he should be sad, but a believer’s apparent sadness (due to hereafter matters) is in fact his happiness. We are content with the decree of Allāh, but are not content with staying in this dunya.
Ibn Rajab رحمه الله said, “When Allāh created Ādam عليه السلام, Allāh placed him and his wife in Jannah. Then, they were taken down from Jannah, and promised to return to it along with the righteous from their offspring. Hence a believer is always longing and yearning to return to his first (and original) home.”
Understand the reality of this life and that it is very lowly. Being a stranger comes naturally to whoever is following teachings of the Quran and Sunnah correctly. A believer should live as if he will die tomorrow but plan as if he will live for long. Look at the ill people around you and take heed from their illness and focus on doing more good while you are still healthy.
Understand that your true home is Jannah and you are now here on a trip towards Jannah – InshāAllāh – so ensure you follow the right path so you can reach your goal, and do not waste your time taking with you unnecessary items that will only slow you down and push you further away from real home.
أللهم إني أسألك الجنة و أعوذ بك من النار
Say (on My behalf), “O servants of Mine who have acted recklessly against their own selves, do not despair of Allāh’s mercy. Surely, Allah will forgive all sins. Surely, He is the One who is the Most-Forgiving, the Very-Merciful.
[Qurān, Surah Az-Zumar (39), verse 53]
Hadhrat Ibn Abbās رضي الله عنه narrated that there were some people who had killed a lot of people unjustly and had committed a lot of shameful acts. They came to the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ and submitted before him, ‘The religion (Islām) you (ﷺ) invite us to is, no doubt, very good, but we have a problem. We think about all those major sins we have already committed. Now, if we were to become Muslims, do you (ﷺ) have hope that our repentance will be accepted?’ – thereupon Allāh ﷻ revealed the verse (mentioned above).
Well before death arrives, sincere repentance made from sins, no matter how serious, even from kufr (disbelief) and shirk (ascribing partners to Allāh ﷻ) gets to be accepted. And by the virtue of genuine repentance, all sins will be forgiven (inshāAllāh) and no one should lose hope in the mercy of Allāh.
Hadhrat Abdullāh Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه said that out of all the verses of the Qurān, this verse (39:53) brings the strongest message of hope for sinners.
[Ma’āriful Qur’ān,Volume 7, Page 573-574]
Those sins which man fears and considers as major sins are not as dangerous as those sins which man considers to be minor. One is always careful not to commit major sins but when he assumes a sin to be minor and is not afraid of committing it, he is easily drawn to it over and over again. Eventually, committing minor sins repeatedly do become major sins.
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رضي الله عنها، قَالَتْ قَالَ لِي رَسُولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، يَا عَائِشَةُ إِيَّاكِ وَمُحَقَّرَاتِ الأَعْمَالِ فَإِنَّ لَهَا مِنَ الله طَالِبًا.
Ḥaḍrat Āishah رضي الله عنها narrated that, “The Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) said to me, ‘O ‘Aishah, beware of (evil) deeds that are regarded as insignificant, for they have a pursuer from Allāh (i.e. accountability).”
[سنن ابن ماجه]
Al-Awzā’ī رحمه الله said: “Once I heard Bilāl Ibn Sa’d رضي الله عنه saying, ‘Do not look at how small the sin is but instead look at how great is the One that you have disobeyed.’
[Al-Hilya, 5/223]
قَالَ عَبْدُ الله ابن مسعود رضي الله عنه، إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ يَرَى ذُنُوبَهُ كَأَنَّهُ فِي أَصْلِ جَبَلٍ يَخَافُ أَنْ يَقَعَ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّ الْفَاجِرَ يَرَى ذُنُوبَهُ كَذُبَابٍ وَقَعَ عَلَى أَنْفِهِ قَالَ بِهِ هَكَذَا فَطَارَ.
Ḥaḍrat Abdullāh ibn Mas’ūd رضي الله عنه narrated that, “The believer sees his sins as if he is sitting at the foot of a mountain fearing that it might fall on him, while the sinner (fājir) sees his sins as a fly that lands on his nose, he just waves it away (values it as nothing, something minor).
[جامع الترمذي]
عَنْ أَنَسٍ رضى الله عنه، قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ لَتَعْمَلُونَ أَعْمَالاً هِيَ أَدَقُّ فِي أَعْيُنِكُمْ مِنَ الشَّعَرِ، إِنْ كُنَّا نَعُدُّهَا عَلَى عَهْدِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمُوبِقَاتِ‏.‏
Ḥaḍrat Anas رضي الله عنه said, “You people do (bad) deeds which seem in your eyes as smaller than hair (minor), while we used to consider those (very deeds) during the life-time of the Prophet (ﷺ) as destructive sins.”
[صحيح البخاري]
Every sin, however small, is significant in one respect – it exceeds the boundries which have been set by Allāh, the Almighty.

 

When Allāh ﷻ takes something away from you, He ﷻ compensates you with something better, but only if you are patient and seek your reward from Him.

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said, “Whoever has his eyesight taken away from him and is patient, he will be compensated with Paradise.” In another Hadīth, the Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever loses a loved one from the people of this world and then seeks his Lord, he will be compensated with Paradise.”

So don’t feel excessive sorrow over some misfortune because the One who decreed it has with Him Paradise: recompense and a great reward.

The one who is afflicted in this world and is close to Allāh ﷻ will be praised in the highest part of Jannah: “Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.” [Qur’ān, Sūrah Ra’d (13), verse 24]
.
Truly, the life of this world is short and its treasure are few. The Hereafter is better and everlasting; those who are afflicted here shall find reward there and those who work hard here shall find ease there.

As for those who cling to this world, who are attached to it and who are in love with it, the hardest thing for them to bear would be the loss of the world’s comforts and riches; they desire to enjoy this life alone. Due to this desire, they do not react to misfortune as well as others do. What they perceive around them is this life alone; they are blind to its impermanence and insignificance.

O afflicted ones, if you are patient you lose nothing and though you may not perceive it, you are profiting. The person who is afflicted with hardship should reflect upon the outcome in the hereafter, the outcome for those who are patient.

“…Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” [Qur’ān, Sūrah az-Zumar (39), verse 10]

[Don’t be sad, Â’idh al-Qarni, page 51-52]

 

The internet is not inherently evil, it is like a ‘tool’ which consists of pros and cons. Using it in the correct manner can often overwhelm the pros in your favour. And this is exactly what we need to train ourselves to do.
It is unfortunate that many of the ‘role models’ our youth have are celebrities – some off the internet, of which our youth have only seen what they – the celebrities – want us to see. Not everything we see is the truth, or laid out in front of us. A vlog of a YouTuber will only have what they want us to see after editing. It is not how their life really is. They display a small percentage of their life which we happen to ‘fall in love’ with and thereafter set that as a bench mark for our life.
Our role models have to be human beings like us, who have experienced life as we do.
Allāh states: ‘There is indeed a good model for you in the Messenger of Allāh – for the one who has hope in Allāh and the Last Day, and remembers Allāh profusely.’ [Qur’ān, 33:21]
Allāh chose to send a man, and not an Angel. This was the contention that was posed against Allāh by the people. The man you have sent with a book is just like us, he walks in the markets, eats and drinks – just like us. It was for this very reason. So that he be like us, we can relate to him and take him as a role model. An angel from heaven would hardly serve as models for us ordinary humans. Allāh sent a human, a messenger – the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
We learn and study the lives of many personalities, vloggers and celebrities. When will we learn about his صلى الله عليه وسلم blessed life?
The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you.

Until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die).
Nay! You shall come to know!
Again, Nay! You shall come to know!
Nay! If you knew with a sure knowledge!
Verily, You shall see the blazing Fire!
And again, you shall see it with certainty of sight!
Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the pleasures (you indulged in, in this world)!
[Qur’ān, Sūrah Takāthur (102)]

By, “Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the pleasures (you indulged in, in this world)” means that, on the Day of Judgment, every single one of us will be questioned whether we have shown gratitude towards Allāh’s favours, or did we misuse them and were ungrateful to Allāh?

Some of these favors and bounties are explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an:
Surely, the ear, the eye and the heart – each one of them shall be interrogated about. [17:36].

These organs and their faculties comprehend millions of blessings of Allāh, and man will be questioned as to how he used them every moment of his life.

The Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم is reported to have said that first question that will be put by Allāh to every person is: “Did I not give you good health, and did I not give you cold water to quench your thirst?” (Tirmidhī, and Ibn Hibbān, with rating as saḥīḥ, from Abū Hurairah رضيالله عنه, as quoted by Ibn Kathīr رحمه الله).

The Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم is also reported to have said that no man will be able to move from his place unless he answers five questions:
[1] How did he spend his life?
[2 ] In what pursuits did he expend his youthful energy?
[3] How did he earn his wealth – (by lawful means or unlawful means?)
[4] Where did he spend his wealth? – (in lawful ways or unlawful ways?)
[5] Did he act upon the knowledge Allah gave him? (Bukhārī).

Mujāhid, the leading authority on Tafsir, says that this question on the Day of Judgement relates to every delight of the world that he enjoyed – whether it is in connection with food, clothes, house, wife, children, kingdom, government or honour. Imām Qurṭubī رحمه الله, having cited this, concludes that this is absolutely true, because the question does not specify any particular blessing.
[Ma’āriful Qur’ān, Volume 8, Page 867-868]

 

 

[99] (The infidels go on doing their misdeeds) until when death comes to one of them, he will say, “My Lord send me back, so that I may act righteously in that (world) which I have left behind.”
[100] Never! It is simply a word he utters, and in front of such people there is a barrier till the day when they will be resurrected.
[Qur’ān, Sūrah Mu’minūn (23), verse 99-100]

When death approaches an infidel and he senses the punishment that awaits him on the Day of Judgment, he wishes for a return to this world, so that by performing good deeds he may escape the punishment which he has richly deserved.

Ibn Jarīr has related a story on the authority of Ibn Juraij that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم once said, “At the time of death when a good Muslim perceives the angels of mercy and all the luxuries of Paradise spread out before him, and the angels ask whether he wishes to be sent back to the world, his reply invariably is in the negative. He refuses to return to a place which is full of woes and suffering and misery, and only desires to be taken to Allāh’s presence. But when the same question is put to an inlidel, his answer is رب ارجعون. He wishes to be sent back to the world!

The meaning of verse number 100 is that the wish of the infidel who has died to be returned to this world is fruitless, because he has reached the Barzakh from which no return is possible and a second life cannot be given until the Day of Resurrection, when all the dead will rise and be brought back to life.
[Ma’āriful Qur’ān, Volume 6, Page 332]

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “There are two blessings concerning which many people take for granted: health and free time.” [Al-Bukhārī]

 

 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم  said: “Exchange gifts.” And the result of exchanging gifts will create a mutual feeling of love and eliminate and bad feelings between the two parties.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم would often send gifts to his Companions رضي الله عنهم. The Prophet’s Companions رضي الله عنهم also frequently exchanged presents among themselves.

The exchange of presents augments sentiments of love and creates a soft corner in the heart of the receiver for the donor.

In the matter of exchanging gifts, always keep within your means. Whatever the status of the receiver, do not think that your gift should necessarily be a costly one. Give according to your means and whatever is easily available.

The real worth of your gift depends on your sincerity and the nature and depth of feelings with which you have presented the gift. It is sincerity, love and devotion that unites hearts.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم enjoined responding in kind to favours, as mentioned in an authentic narration: “Whoever does you a favour, respond in kind, and if you cannot find the means of doing so, then keep praying for him until you think that you have responded in kind.” [Abū Dāwūd]

“Whoever does you a favour,” meaning, whoever treats you kindly in word or deed or by gifting you. “Respond in kind,” meaning to treat him kindly just as he has treated you kindly.
“If you cannot find the means of doing so” meaning if you do not have the money or means of returning the favour.
“Keep praying for him until you think that you have responded in kind” meaning, repeatedly make du’ā for him until you think that you have rewarded him his due.

One of the du’ās that one can say is ‘JazākAllāhu khayran’ (may Allāh reward you with good). At-Tirmithi narrated that Usāmah Ibn Zayd رضي الله عنه said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Whoever has a favour done for him and says ‘JazākAllāhu khayran’ has done his utmost to thank him.” [Tirmidhī]

Revive a sunnah this ramadhān and give gifts. InshāAllāh. Perfect opportunity with eid around the corner.


 

These reminders are produced by Br. Huzaifa Saleh

Share: