Friday, August 24, 2012

The First Group

We are all in the hangover of Ramadan right now, that is to say, still in the habit of holding back words and glances out of the fear that Allah may not like it. But for how long? Will we be like the companions of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) who spent six months after Ramadan in prayers so that their deeds during the scared month will be accepted by Allah, and the rest of the year in prayers so as to prepare for the next Ramadan? Or will we be among those who forget and return to whatever they were before Ramadan? Will we be among the ones who benefit out of Ramadan or among those who have the misfortune of Ramadan bearing witness against them? Will we be among those who turn to Allah in piety or will we be among those who wait till the last breath to repent?

For death is inevitable to all. Regardless of whether you are big or small, rich or poor, young or old, kind or cruel, good or bad, sound or sick, once born, you have to die. You have to return to your Lord one day. “Every soul shall have a taste of death," says Allah in the Holy Qur'an (3:185); "No soul knows what it shall earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it shall die" (31:34). Even as I write this, I do not know if I am going to live long enough to type the next word, let alone to see another day. Upon our death, our family and friends will weep not knowing that we cry worse, for they return home and we face our Lord (from Ahmed Bukhatir's song "The Last Breath"). 

The topic of death reminds of the three groups into which we will be divided on the Day of Judgement. Allah the Almighty talks of these groups in Surah al Waqiah thus:

1. The elite, who excel over others in piety and Imaan. They will brought closest to Allah. They will have the best of Heaven. And most importantly, most of them will be from the older generations, mainly the prophets (Peace be upon them) of Allah, their companions, followers and their issues who believe. Unfortunately, very few of them will be of the later generations, that is to say, from our times. How fortunate are those who fall among the First group!

2. The people of the Right, who have led virtuous lives. They will be rewarded with Heaven and fortunately for us, there will be many form the older generations and many from the later generations in this group. How generous is our Lord!

3. The people of the Left, who have led luxurious lives regardless of Allah's commandments. They will be in Hell amid boiling waters and burning winds (56:42) . How terrible is the punishment that awaits the people of the Left!

Now let us look inward. Which group do we honestly think we will fall into? Have we done anything in our life, anything at all, to deserve the foremost place in Heaven? And even after knowing all these, will we ever try?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Eid Mubarak!

Alhamdulillah,, it's Eid-ul-Fitr today! And as far as I know, it's Eid today in others parts of the world as well. Alhamdulillah, may our celebrations always display this unity. Praise be to Allah for extending our lives to see this day. Eid is certainly a joyous occasion, but the fact that Ramadan is over gives it a tinge of sorrow. May Allah help us sustain the piety and purity we have gained in the blessed month throughout this year, until next Ramadan comes to reinforce our faith. How lucky are those who get Ramadan to bear witness in favour of them on the Day of Judgement!

Dear sisters and brothers, as we celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, I would like to remind you (and me) of certain things.

Let us not forget those who, even as we feast, are dying of hunger in countries like Somalia. Let us not ignore starving neighbours and homeless orphans.

Let us not forget all the people living in refugee camps all over the world. Let us not forget our sisters and brothers in Palestine. Let us not forget Rohinkyas and Assamese Muslims.

Let us not forget the children being slaughtered in Syria, and the blood being shed in the struggle to live freely in one's own land. Let us not forget the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let us not forget that to be alive, to breathe and blink is all a blessing. Let us not forget to be grateful to our Creator for this blessing called life. Let us thank Him, praise and exalt Him.

Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar
Laa Ilaaha illa Allahu Allaahu Akbar
Allaahu Akbar a lillaahil Hamd...   

Friday, August 17, 2012

Farewell to Ramadan

From The Farewell Khutba for the Last Friday of Ramadhaan,
By Muslimah

The Month of Ramadhaan is coming to an end; where are the eyes that will weep and where are the hearts that will humble themselves by the fear of Almighty Allah, the Bounteous King? You have heard this so many times from the Holy Qur’an: “All the creatures will certainly die.” Now the time of the departure of the month of Ramadhaan is very near and with you it will stay just like a night-guest, or like a departing beloved. Never forget that the separation of good friends is a very bitter thing; so where are those who will perform as many good deeds as they did this month? Undoubtedly those who have fasted have collected great benefits and the transgressors are the losers.

Bid farewell to this month with sighs, cries and constant weeping when you say: “Salaam to you, O month of Revelation: Salaam to you O Month of Forgiveness (of Allah) and release from Jahannam! Salaam to you O Month of the Illumination of Hearts! Salaam to you, O Month of compensation of past sins! Salaam to you, O Sacred month, wherein lies a night which is better than a thousand months!

Salaam, Salaam, O Month of Ramadhaan! Salaam to you, O Month of Ramadhaan! Salaam to you, O Sacred month, whose nights are blessed by Almighty Allah, and are a means of erasing one’s past sins! Salaam to you, O Month of Virtue and Blessings of Almighty Allah: Salaam to you, O Month of Charity and of fasting! Salaam to you, O Month of Ibadah, Taraweeh and remembrance of Allah! Salaam to you, O Month of Takbeer and glorification of Allah!

Salaam to you, O Honourable Visitor, whom we have welcomed (enthusiastically). O Traveller, we bid you and honourable farewell. Salaam, Salaam, O Month of Ramadhaan! Blessed are you O Month of Ramadhaan. O Month of Ramadhaan! We do not know whether you will be a witness for us or against us (on the Day of Judgment). This is your last interview with us; we do not know whether you will return to us (in our lifetime) or whether death will overpower us. O Month of Ramadhaan! How fortunate is the person, to whom you will return with blessings of Almighty Allah, and how unfortunate is the one against whose misdeeds you will be a witness on the Day of Judgment!
May Almighty Allah bless our Masjids with your presence for a long time, and May He light our lamps with your divine light. The performance of Taraweeh is coming to an end, and our lamps are going to be put off (by your departure). No one will wait for Iftaar, and no one will see the stars for his or her Suhoor. For a time our bellies were under your command and our eyes were kept awake in constant Ibadah. Undoubtedly, we are for Almighty Allah, and to Him we will all return! Oh! How sad will be your departure and separation from us. The day of your departure will be sorrowful for all of us.

May Almighty Allah take mercy on the person who bid farewell to Ramadhaan with repentance and devotion. All of you should say: “O Almighty Allah! Let us be among those who have attained salvation during the Holy month of Ramadhaan. Deliver us from the fire of Jahannam, by the honour of Ramadan. Pardon us with Your Mercy, O Most Merciful of those who show Mercy. And all praise is due to Almighty Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. I seek refuge in Almighty Allah, from Shaytaan the rejected one. (Says Almighty Allah in the Holy Qur’an)! “The pious will reside in an abode of Peace, in Jannah (with) fountains; they will be dressed in brocade and silk, as they sit before each other.

If you are afraid that your hearts will wander off as they did before Ramadan, keep paying thus:
"Allahumma Rabbana la thuzigh quloobana ba'ada idh hadaytana va hab lana milladunka rahmah innaka antal Wahhab"

("Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.")

May Allah the Almighty guide us to the Righteous path.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ya Allah Ya 'Gafoor

Have you ever thought of the moment you meet Allah, your Creator and Sustainer? Not during the questioning on the Day of Judgement (which of course deserves the thought of all who fear Allah the Almighty), but of meeting Him from that eternal abode He has promised us? Can you imagine meeting Him for Heaven? Here is a prayer that will make you think of it, among many other things. It is by Sheikh Hani ar Rifai, the Imam of Masjid Anani in Jeddah. May Allah bless him and all the rest of us. Certainly, Allah is the Most Merciful, Compassionate and Generous. Arrahman Arraheem wal Kareem.

Note: Sheikh Hani and his younger brother Sheikh Nabil ar Rifai (the Imam of Masjid at Taqwa, Jeddah) recite The Holy Qur'an beautifully. Listening to them would be an added benefit to anyone who wish to learn Qur'an. May Allah bless all the Qaari-es of of the world and bestow them with health and long lives. May Allah bless all Muslims with His Satisfaction in this world and the next, and Jannath.