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|Subyek: On the Path of the Beloved Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:08 pm|| |
assalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarokatu
In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful. All Prayers and Blessings of Allah be upon our master, the most noble Prophet.
May Allah Accept all your deeds and actions, and count them among your good deeds. Today I should ask you, are you ready for Ramadan? Are your ready for a new year that is full of hard work and more worshiping to Allah SWT in order to get closer to Him? Are you ready with your intentions? Today, we have two issues to talk about. The first is Ramadan, its virtues and what you should do during it. The second is an introduction to the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad SAWS
. Can you imagine the value of the days we are living in Ramadan. I would like also to remind you of the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) in which he said, "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of Jannah (Paradise) are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained. Hence, be watchful to the virtues of this month. So what is the thawab (reward) of Ramadan? It can be summed up into six main points.
Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, "… whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah (SWT), then all his previous sins will be forgiven Hence, there are two conditions that would make your sins to be forgiven, no matter what they are. First, to fast out of sincere faith, which means that you are fasting not out of a habit, but rather out of your love for Allah (SWT)? Second, to fast out of hope for the reward of Allah (SWT).
However, one may say," It is too hard to keep on being that sincere during the whole 30 days". Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, "Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven Hence, you can have all your previous sins forgiven only by keeping on praying at night the whole month, and under the same previous two conditions.
One may also say, "What if I missed one night prayer or more because of sleep?" Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, "Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven. The prophet (SAWS) says, “And there are those who Allah frees from hellfire in Ramadan, and this occurs every night.” Allah (SWT) looks into the hearts of his servants to see their truthfulness. Every night in Ramadan, angles write the names of those who are saved from hellfire. Only Allah (SWT) Knows who they are. This is not restricted to scholars. It might be a truthful 17 year old girl, whose religious knowledge is limited. It could even be an old man whose sins are numerous, yet he has truthfully intended to get closer to Allah (SWT) in this month, hoping for His mercy.
Moreover, if Allah (SWT) saves you from hell in this month, this would mean that you have guaranteed you will be saved from hellfire, for He is the Generous. When a noble Arab frees a slave, he would never take him into capture again. What if it is Allah (SWT), who is the most Noble and Generous. Even if you sin after Ramadan, it will not be as bad as it was before Ramadan. Your good deeds then will surpass your bad deeds.
With a simple calculation, you will recognize the enormous amount of rewards you can gain in Ramadan. Just take Zuhr prayer (Noon prayer) as an example. By praying Zuhr you would be credited with 10 virtues. If you are to pray it in gama'a (amongst others), your virtues would be higher with 27 degrees than they are when you pray alone. If you are to multiply it by 70, and sum the virtues of the five obligatory prayers, then you would be credited with 94500 virtues. It is almost 100,000 virtues, which are equal to those of praying in the Holy Mosque. This is what you would gain out of the prayers of just one day of Ramadan.
As for reciting Qur'an, whoever recites a letter from the Qur'an, he will be credited with one virtue, and a virtue gets a ten-fold reward. If you are to multiply it by 70 and count it when reciting the whole Qur'an in Ramadan, it would reach an enormous amount of virtues.
As for the thawab of fasting itself, nobody knows what it is but Allah (SWT). Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, "Allah said, 'All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it."  Thus, you will know the reward of your fasting only on the Day of Judgment. It is enough to know that the unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. Here you can imagine the reward that is waiting for you. One may ask, "Why is Allah (SWT) granting us all these rewards?" Simply because He is the Generous. He Wants to Spread His mercy on us. You have to utilize all what He offers you in the blessing days of Ramadan.
If you are to scrutinize the Ayahs of fasting, which are mentioned in Surat Al-Baqara, you will find that the last ayah of it is what can be translated as, "And when My bondmen ask you concerning Me, then, surely I am near; I answer the invocation of the invoker when he invokes Me; so let them respond (to) Me, and let them believe in Me, so that possibly they would respond right-mindedly. (TMQ, 2:186).  These Ayahs demonstrate the relation between fasting and answering supplication.
Therefore, you should keep on supplicating to Allah (SWT). Choose four or five supplications, which you would keep on saying during the whole month. The companions used to do so. They said," We used to supplicate to Allah (SWT) in Ramadan, and we never reached the next Ramadan without our supplications being answered." Let us all supplicate to Allah in this Ramadan that we would bring about the revival of our Ummah (the Muslim nation). Yesterday a lady called me, asking me to ask people to supplicate to Allah (SWT) to make her son recover. She said" I am sure of it, because Ramadan is the month in which supplications are answered.” She was so sure about it. A thousand months equal 84 years, which is –on average- your lifetime. If you worship Allah (SWT) at the Night of Determination, as you should, it would be as if you have been worshipping Him for 84 years. This is applied not only to prayers, but also to shedding a tear out of fear from Allah (SWT), kissing your parents' hands or charity. He proudly talks of them to the angles. This is quite enough to make us keen on hastening to please Allah (SWT), for we do not know how much time we have left in this life.
Nevertheless, all these rewards are not available for those who fast only with their stomach, for there are three kinds of fasting. The first is leaving food and drink. The second is when all your limbs are fasting too. It means that all your limbs do not commit sins during the whole month. Everyday, after dawn, you will break your fast by eating and yet you would not be able to smoke, accept bribe, watch a sinful program, backbite, lie, go to a sinful place or insult anybody. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, "Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not
in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”
 Fast for real this year. Fast with all your body, even with your heart. It is much better when your heart is fasting. Therefore, first, we have people whose bellies are fasting, we do not need those, and they will probably not be saved from hellfire (Only Allah knows for sure). Then there are those whose bodies are fasting, yet there is a better kind: those whose hearts are also fasting. There is nothing else that occupies their heart except Allah, all month long. “I am all yours Allah”, they say. Can you make it? Can you fast all the thirty days with your heart? How can this be? It means to speak about Allah, to talk for Allah, to be silent with Allah. It means that your life should be about, with, and for Allah. This does not mean that you will not perform your daily duties, but it means that your whole being would be dedicated for pleasing Allah.
Let us set ourselves a slogan in Ramadan. Whenever the prophet (SAWS) was about to embark on a serious matter, he used to set his companions a slogan and make them think about it and work for it. I will propose some slogans for you to choose from. Consider Musa’s (AS) “Moses” slogan: “I have hastened on to You, Lord, that You may be satisfied (with me)” (TMQ: 20:84). Or that of Ibrahim (AS) “Abraham”: “And he said, “Surely I am going to my Lord, soon He will guide me” (TMQ: 37:99). Consider the prophet’s slogan: “Here I am at Thy service, and Grace is to Thee and the whole of good is in Thine hands, and one cannot get nearnests to Thee through evil”. Or let our slogan be the ayah that can be translated as, “And vie swiftly with one another for forgiveness from your Lord”(TMQ: 3:133). Let your slogan be: “no one will reach Allah before me”, let us set a slogan that says: “I will worship you my Lord, like I have never done before.”
Let us all write this slogan down, let us all agree on it. After we have known Ramadan’s reward, now let us see what we are going to do in Ramadan this year. Let us agree on six things. First, let us set up a schedule to which we would all abide wherever our circumstances are. Let us all move together as one block towards Allah. Our schedule will contain six columns, and thirty rows. On each day of Ramadan, you will mark either with an ü or with an x. Imagine your happiness when you achieve everything on the schedule. Imagine our reward if we all unite and do it together, what a reward! None of us will be alone but we will move together for Allah to be proud of us among His angels.
These six things are the prophet’s formula. They are the most fundamental things which the prophet (SAWS) used to focus on in Ramadan. What are the six things we are going to put? 1. Praying all the five prayers in a group, whether men or women, all along the month. 2. Daily Sadaqa (charity). Our prophet (SAWS) was very generous, and he was even more generous in Ramadan. He used to be compared to the wind that leaves nothing behind, for he used to give away everything he had and leave nothing behind. Therefore, imitate your prophet and set yourself an amount of money to be given away in Ramadan. 3. Working on your Kinship ties or being dutiful to your parents everyday. Go and kiss your parents’ hands, call a relative, or reconcile with someone with whom you had a conflict. Do it for Allah’s mercy. 4. Daily Dua’a (supplication). We will all focus on two main supplications, and then every one of us can add his own Dua’a. We will all ask to be saved from hellfire, and that the revival of our Ummah would be achieved with our hands. This is our hope, Ramadan this year can be a turning point in our history. 5. Read the whole Qur’an in your prayers. 6. Perform a positive deed every day. Ramadan is the month of hard work. All our victories took place in Ramadan. Let us learn from the companions (RA) how to do this balance. Let us all promise to fulfill these six points. Those who would guarantee the fulfillment of this schedule is our women! When a woman puts something in her mind, she insists on it and reminds her husband and all those around her of it. We will not succeed in this without the help of our women.
I am very optimistic this year, I have a strong hope that we will turn a new page in our lives after Ramadan, and the revival of our Ummah is starting with Ramadan this year. Everyday before I come here, I go and greet the prophet (SAWS), with such a hopeful and confident feeling that something huge will happen after Ramadan. Ramadan can be compared to the winter season on earth. Winter comes with benevolence, with rain, to provide the earth with all its needs. With its grace, plants grow and creatures drink. The earth is also very smart; it stores these graces inside in order to use it all year long. In parallel, Ramadan comes to provide the Ummah with the spiritual and ethical force it needs. However, will the Ummah store such a power in order to use it along the whole year? This is our hope for this year. Ramadan is like the ebb and flow. When it comes, it is accompanied with a fall of desires, laziness, and miserliness, and a rise of obedience, force, and generosity.
In this month we are going to talk together about the prophet’s Seerah (biography). We will follow his life story from birth until death. Everyday we will come on air to talk together about him (SAWS), while the distance between us and his mosque is only 300 meters. We insisted to do the episodes from this particular place in order to strengthen our feeling. Who knows, maybe this particular spot where I am sitting now has once witnessed the footsteps of the prophet (SAWS) or perhaps one of his speeches. Perhaps this particular spot witnessed the wounds, agonies, and sacrifices of the prophet’s companions for the sake of transmitting Islam to us. Whenever I stand in front of the prophet’s rawda, I feel so little and I sense the huge responsibility on my shoulders when I start talking to you about him (SAWS). This is why we called this program “On the Path of the Beloved”, because we will love him together, and we will learn many lessons from his life. We will learn lessons in keeping the high spirit and not to surrender to despair. This place witnesses that hope is evident no matter how dark the future may seem. We will learn lessons in morals and ethics; his Seerah is rich with such lessons. We will also learn that our rights are precious, and they deserve us to fight for them. We will learn lessons in sacrifice, kindness, planning, management, the art of treating your wife, the ability to lead a stable family life, etc. Moreover, we will learn lessons about the revival of our Ummah and how to plan for it.
Do you know why we are going to study the prophet’s Seera? We will study it for three reasons. First, the most successful revival experience is that of the prophet’s. I am not saying this because I am a Muslim or because I am here in Madinah, I am saying this because this is the truth. The prophet (SAWS) was born an orphan in the deserts of Makkah. He was cut from all sides; no parents, no male children, and no siblings. He was illiterate. He was sent in a nation that had no revival prerequisites. The nation was comprised of small fighting tribes living on shepherding. In twenty years, he transformed it into the greatest nation in history. We will know the secrets of that during this month. His revival lasted for more than a thousand years, because it was built on sacrifice, faith, planning, and confidence. Muhammad (SAWS) changed the history of this planet; his existence marked a turning point in history. His effect was far-reaching; the Arab world, Andalusia, the soviet republics have changed. Two global powers, Persians and Romans, were destroyed. His effect reached Europe, which built its own revival exploiting the Arab culture and sciences, and learnt from Islam the ethical principles of equality, liberty, and justice, and introduced women and children rights and brought an end to slavery. It led to the exploration of the Cape of the Good Hope, which in turn lead to the exploration of America. Mosques are everywhere around the world now, the Azan (Call for Prayer) is heard around the globe, millions of Muslims perform pilgrimage every year, millions fast every year at the same time because of Muhammad’s effect (SAWS). His effect is long lasting, unlike other great men like Shakespeare, Voltaire, Aristotle, Plato, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon, whose effects were limited to twenty or thirty years after their death. His revival experience was complete; it had all the elements that would make it succeed. It was based on planning, science, politics, peace, military power, balance between justice and rights, and balance between materialism and spirituality. No other human experience, including that of Ancient Egypt, Romans, or Even modern Europe, can be compared with Muhammad’s revival.
Second, we are going to study Seerah because we will not find a more comprehensive example to follow better than Muhammad (SAWS). This is because Allah has given him all the experiences that any human being may need. He is the only one on the face of the planet whom you can follow in every field of your life, unlike others who may succeed in one field only. For example, you can follow the beloved prophet Isa (AS) “Jesus” as a poor abstinent, a patient citizen, or a pious young man. However, you cannot follow his model as a grandfather, father, or husband, simply because he did not get married. You can follow the model of Solaiman (AS) “Solomon” as a just ruler or a thankful wealthy man, but you cannot follow him as a weak citizen or as an oppressed poor man, simply because he did not lead such a life. The only human who has gone through all experiences is our beloved prophet (SAWS). He led a poor and a rich life, he was strong and weak, he lived as a citizen and as a ruler, he strived for peace, yet he was a great conquest leader. If you are rich, you can follow his example when he received money and treasures that would fill the space between two mountains. If you are poor, you can follow him when he tied a stone to his stomach to lessen his sufferings because of starvation. If you are a teacher, you can follow his way of treating his companions, and if you are a student you can follow his example when he received the Revelation from Jibril (AS) “Gabriel” etc. He is the only one who was a husband of one woman and of many women, he had children and he witnessed the death of some of them. Everything is there; you can follow him in every respect of your life.
Finally, we are going to study Seerah because Muhammad (SAWS) is the greatest character in history. Any other great man excelled in one field of life only. The one and only human who was great in every way was Muhammad (SAWS). Behold the greatness of his morals: he was never angry for a personal reason, he never avenged for a personal reason, he has never beaten a woman, he has never broken a promise, and he never betrayed or lied. On the day of the conquest of Makkah, Abdullah Ibn-Sa'd Ibn-Abu-Sarh hid himself with Othman Ibn-Affan. He brought him and made him stand before the Prophet (SAWS), and said: Accept the allegiance of Abdullah, Apostle of Allah! He raised his head and looked at him three times, refusing him each time, but accepted his allegiance after the third time. Then turning to his companions, he said, was not there a wise man among you who would stand up to him when he saw that I had withheld my hand from accepting his allegiance, and kill him? They said, “We did not know what you had in your heart, Apostle of Allah! Why did you not give us a signal with your eye?” He said, “It is not possible for a Prophet to play deceptive tricks with the eyes.” Before he received the Revelation, he was called the truthful and reliable, and after that his morality was inspired from the Qur’an. He was great as a wise politician and a warrior. He was great in his spirituality. Behold him when he says, “I submit to Thee, and submit humbly before Thee my hearing, my eyesight, my marrow, my bone, my sinew”, and he weeps bitterly and when Aisha (RA) tries to calm him down he says: "Shouldn't I love to be a thankful slave (of Allah)?” He was great in his abstinence, listen to him while he says, “What would I want from this life; I am in this life but a passer by, who sought shelter in the shade of a tree then left it behind and went his own way.”
 Look at his courage and the way he treats the youth: The Prophet passed by some persons of the tribe of Aslam while they were practicing archery. Allah's Apostle said, "O offspring of Isma’il! (AS) “Ishmael” Practice archery, as your father was a great archer.
I am with (on the side of) the son of so-and-so-” Hearing that, one of the two teams stopped throwing. Allah's Apostle asked them, ' Why are you not throwing?" They replied, "O Allah's Apostle! How shall we throw when you are with the opposite team?" He said, "Throw, for I am with you all." He was great even in the eyes of his enemies. He stayed in Makkah for forty years and another thirty years after being a prophet, and they could never find a flaw in his character. They could not even utter a bad word about his morals or his abilities. Do you know now why we will study his Seerah (SAWS)? Do you feel his love overflowing your heart?