Upgrade Your Akhirah

ladderofsuccessMy Quran Reflections Journal – 7
Gems from Taleem ul-Quran 2015

Day 13 Reflection
(Al-Baqarah 2:63-73)

Today we studied in depth meaning of the beautiful, short and concise Dua of prophet Musa (as), which reached us through verse 67 of this Surah: “Aoodhu billahi an akoona min al-jahileen” (“I take Allah’s refuge from being among Al-Jahilin (the ignorant or the foolish”).

This Dua gave me goose bumps, Subhan’Allah! How Jahil was I thus far? And how ignorant can one act even after acquiring all the knowledge that is in the Quran!

One needs to look beyond the dire need of reciting the Quran, reading its translation, understanding its explanation, beautifying one’s recitation of it and finally implementing its teachings in one’s life, Bi Izn Allah (by Allah’s permission), only because one is born a Muslim. In fact, this Quran will be a source of our upgrading in the Akhirah, Insha’Allah.

Let’s resolve to provide ourselves with the spiritual nourishment, which is absolutely vital to our existence and essential for the contentment and health of our heart, soul and our bodies as well.

May Allah (swt) make us from the people of the Book and protect us from being Jahilin (the ignorant ones). Ameen.

Pearls of Peace: An extract from Surah ash-Shuara

PEARLSBeing a believer means being really strong in belief. We see the example in the stories of the Prophets (as). Each time that they were tried by the opponents, they stood firm in their Iman. Later, it was these firm believers who came out victorious.

Moosa (as) vs. Pharaoh

When Prophet Moosa (as) spoke to Pharaoh about Allah (swt), Pharaoh threatened to get him imprisoned. Prophet Moosa (as) argued, “Musa (Moses) said: Even if I bring you something manifest (and convincing)?” (Ash-Shuara 26:30)

Pharaoh denied his prophet hood and called him a magician. Learned and skilled magicians were called to unveil Prophet Moosa’s (as) magic. The magicians arrived and asked if there was any reward for them. Pharaoh promised them a close companionship. So they threw their ropes and their staffs and said, “So they threw their ropes and their sticks, and said: By the might of Firaun (Pharaoh), it is we who will certainly win!” (Ash-Shuara 26:44)

When Moosa (as) threw his staff and it devoured their ropes and staffs, they fell down in prostration to Allah (swt) and said, “Saying: We believe in the Lord of the ‘Alamin .The Lord of Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron).” (Ash-Shuara 26:47-48)

Allah (swt) boosted up the Iman of magicians

Moments ago these skilled magicians were testifying their loyalty to Pharaoh, but upon seeing the truth, they immediately surrendered. For the tyrant, it was an unbelievable situation; hence he threatened them, “Firaun (Pharaoh) said: You have believed in him before I give you leave. Surely, he indeed is your chief, who has taught you magic! So verily, you shall come to know. Verily, I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you all.” (Ash-Shuara 26:49)

However, this threat landed on deaf ears. One sincere prostration to Allah (swt) had filled their hearts with so much peace and strength that they replied, “They said: No harm! Surely, to our Lord (Allah) we are to return; Verily! We really hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins, as we are the first of the believers (in Musa (Moses) and in the Monotheism which he has brought from Allah)” (Ash-Shuara 26:50-51). In other words, “Do what you want to do. We will return to our Lord, anyway whether you kill us or we die a natural death.”

Sincere prostration to Allah (swt) and firm belief in Him works wonders

In the morning, the magicians came in a state of shirk and in the evening they died as martyrs; earning Paradise for themselves. When Allah (swt) desires to guide someone He makes it happen. Let us never lose our hope in Him. The magicians after prostrating to Allah (swt) hoped that He will forgive them. They trusted their sincere submission will result in their forgiveness. We perform a lot of prostrations throughout the day. Let us not turn them into a mere ritual. Let us strive to be humble in our prayers with our hearts connected to Allah (swt) hoping He will forgive us for our intentional and unintentional sins. Insha’Allah!

Seek refuge in Allah (swt)

There are people of hope and there are people of despair. After this incident of the magicians, Moosa (as) had to rescue the Children of Prophet Yaqoob (as) from the tyranny of Pharaoh. He fled with them only to later halt near the mighty sea. His people complained, “And when the two hosts saw each other, the companions of Musa (Moses) said: We are sure to be overtaken.” (Ash-Shuara 26:61)

Prophet Moosa (as), on the other hand, had firm faith that Allah (swt) would show him the way out. In our lives when challenges arrive, the first reaction we display is that of despair. We tell ourselves “now there is no way out of this calamity” or “I am doomed”. While we are still lost in our thoughts and complaints, Allah (swt) inspires our hearts to see the way out. He tests us and then guides us. Moosa’s (as) words were, “Moosa (Moses) said: Nay, verily! With me is my Lord, He will guide me.” (Ash-Shuara 26:62)

Do we have the same conviction? It is He Who guides, helps, protects and rescues His servants from calamities. When tested, call out to Him for nothing is impossible for Allah (swt).

Ibrahim (as) – born to be Allah’s (swt) friend

Another Iman-inspiring story found in Surah Ash-Shuara is that of prophet Ibrahim (as), who had fought Shirk, ever since he was a young boy. He refused to worship what his community worshipped.

He said, “Verily! They are enemies to me, save the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, Jinns and all that exists); Who has created me, and it is He Who guides me; And it is He Who feeds me and gives me to drink. And when I am ill, it is He who cures me; And Who will cause me to die, and then will bring me to life (again); and Who, I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Recompense, (the Day of Resurrection).” (Ash-Shuara 26:77-82) Such was the state of his conviction!

After acknowledging countless favours of Allah (swt), he makes a Dua, “My Lord! Bestow Hukman (religious knowledge, right judgment of the affairs and Prophethood) on me, and join me with the righteous; And grant me an honourable mention in later generations.” (Ash-Shuara 26:83-84).

Was this Dua answered? Absolutely! Prophet Ibrahim’s (as) name is mentioned each time we send salutations and blessings on Prophet Muhammad (sa) in Salat (prayer). The Station of Ibrahim (as) in Makkah reminds us of his great service and sacrifice for the sake of Allah (swt). The Sai that the pilgrims make at Safa and Marwa and the sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha are some of the things related to him. May Allah (swt) resurrect us with him. Ameen.

For the Day of Resurrection, Prophet Ibrahim (as) asked, “And disgrace me not on the Day when (all the creatures) will be resurrected; The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allah a clean heart.” (Ash-Shuara 26:87-89) Despite being an excellent example of a submissive slave, he was still concerned about disgrace on that Day. Subhan’Allah!

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)

Key to Productivity: Bowing to the Will of Allah (swt)

dawnIn the life of this world, we have countless matters and desires to deal with. When we believe in one God, we have this faith that whatever good or bad happens to me (us) is from Allah (swt). No human being or any other creature on this earth has the right or power to benefit me or harm me. This is the crystal clear Islamic belief, find and accept it straight.

When most of us start practicing, we focus more on ‘apparently bright sides’ and forget the ‘apparently dark sides’ of believing and surrendering to the will of Allah (swt).

Now empathize with these situations:

  • What if you are a Muslim who prays five times a day, who does Dawah and other virtuous activities; but Allah (swt) makes your son die, who was born after twelve years of marriage? Imagine your son was almost one year old and he just started playing with you well.
  • What if you are extremely ugly in the eyes of people? You do not meet the criteria of world beauty. Your body is fat, complexion is black and height is extra-large; hence you are labeled ‘ugly’. But do you still believe in God and His love for you, is that the case?
  • What if your age is perfect for marriage and everyone in your circle who is getting married makes you feel low, that you are deprived and a loser. Deep down in your heart, you are struggling to maintain chastity and wondering, ‘what is the will of Allah (swt)?’ Isn’t it the right time for the acceptance of all your Duas?
  • What about the little sinless children who die in disasters like earthquakes, wars, floods etc. Hearts ache and eyes weep on all this, but a Muslim surrenders to the will of Allah (swt), right? Ya Salam!
  • When everyone else is having a good time with their parents, enjoying being pampered by their parents’ love and affection, but you, just at the age of fifteen, are burying your father.

Will of God? Good for You?

What does Allah (swt) want? Your heart shrieks, eyes weep and brain questions. Do people make you feel extremely low? Do they make you feel deprived and less-privileged with zero self-respect?

Why is it so:

  • that Allah (swt) loves His Prophet Muhammad (sa) but He made his parents die, when he was too young?
  • That Allah (swt) gave beauty to Hazrat Yusuf (as), but he was put into problems by women because of the same beauty? Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?

Oh dear people, who are entering into Islam and who have started practicing it – make sure that you train your body and mind for both sides. Wake up from dreams and fantasies that our whims and desires will be accepted because we are the best people on earth.

Yes! You’re the best but Allah’s (swt) will is the wisest.

Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer.” (Ash-Shuara 42:11)

We cannot compare Allah (swt) with any of His creations. He (swt) is beyond comparison and most of us cannot comprehend the wisdom behind matters.

In the story of Musa (as) and Khidr in Surah Al-Kahf, we get to know that the child was killed, because his life would have proven to be a Fitnah for his parents.

What if your child, whom you are crying for, would have deviated you from the path of Allah (swt) and let you die as Kafir? We just surrender before the decree of Allah (swt) because we know that all this is happening for best!

Allah (swt) has not over-pressurized us. He knows we are weak, which is why we are allowed to grieve for three days and nights for those who die.

Hadeeth states: Once Hazrat Sa’d Bin Ubadah became ill, and the Prophet (sa) went to see him; he was moved to tears on seeing the pitiful situation of his companion and said: “Allah (swt) does not punish because of tears, nor because of grief, but he punishes because of this” – and he pointed to his tongue. (Bukhari)

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” (Az-Zumar 39:10)

We need to believe that life lies ahead of this Dunya!

Read out loud: life lies ahead of this Dunya!

What did I say? Life lies ahead of this Dunya!

Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials. This world is but a temporary abode.

As a Muslim, we need to be mature and help our fellow Muslims to stay grateful and calm. One easy way is to not show-off the blessings you have; so that those whom Allah (swt) has not given those things, will not feel bad and stay grateful.

This world is a deception – tests and trials are a reminder for good

Moreover, have this clear in your mind that afflictions are not a sign that you are a loser or Allah (swt) wants to do bad with you! No, Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “And surely, We shall try you till We test those who strive hard (for the Cause of Allah) and the patient ones, and We shall test your facts (i.e. the one who is a liar, and the one who is truthful).” (Muhammad 47: 31)

Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials.

Sheikh As-Sadi (ra) said: “That is don’t extend your eyes out of amazement and don’t keep looking out of approval at what people are enjoying of worldly gains- such as tasty food and drink and fancy clothing and adorned homes and beautified women; for all that is from the splendor of worldly life which the souls of deceived ones rejoice over, and which the eyes of the negligent are amazed, and which the wrongdoers enjoy – without thinking of the hereafter. Then it all passes by quickly and disappears and kills those who love and adore it; and they regret at a time when regret is of no benefit. Then when come forward at the time of Resurrection, they will know what they were upon and that Allah (swt) had only placed it as a trial and test, to see who would be deceived by it as opposed to who would be better in deed as the Exalted says (what means):

“Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds. (i.e. those who do good deeds in the most perfect manner, that means to do them (deeds) totally for Allah’s (swt) sake and in accordance to the legal ways of the Prophet (sa))” (Al-Kahf 18:7)

Article based on: http://islamqa.info/en/178673 and http://islamqa.info/en/71236