By Abdul Jalil Muhammad
Bismillah ar Rahman ir Raheem
As salaam alaikum wa rahmatulilahe wa barakatu
Juz 11 of our Holy Book, The Quran, starts with a stark reality, coupled with a piercing admonishment and separation from Allah. Some of the Believers who have chosen to be with The Prophet, Peace and blessings be upon him, have now made the costly decision of remaining in their homes while opting out of the legislated Jihad. Fittingly, Allah then alerts The Prophet, Peace and blessings be upon him of His biting chastisement of those who would do such a cowardly and dastardly thing.
“…Surely they are unclean and their refuge is hell — a recompense for what they earned.” Surah 9:95
It is obligatory for the Muslim to defend oneself if attacked even if the attack is from a fellow Muslim. Here we read that a certain segment of this fledgling, growing ummah were willing to shirk their responsibility in defending the Muslims and defending Islam against the onslaught of an aggressive, violent attack heaped on them from disbelievers who despised their religion.
The cowardly men preferred to remain behind and watch as brave-hearted men convened on the battlefield to nobly fulfill their responsibilities. They gave their lives for their love of Allah and their belief in Islam. Well, so it was 1400 years ago during this eventful time with The Prophet, Peace and blessings be upon him, and so it is now 1400 years later! We as Muslims have shirked our responsibilities in defending Islam, but also just about every other responsibility our deen calls for.
Islam commands us to openly testify our shahada and keep that shahada moist on our tongues and lips. Do we do that? Or have we shirked our responsibilities by making our tongues and lips moist with everything other than our shahada? Islam’s second pillar of faith is the salat. A fundamental requirement. But how many of us are negligent in our prayers, thus earning the wrath of Allah? The ahdan calls us to prayer and too many of us go everywhere else. Omar ibn Khattab ( May Allah be pleased with him), was on his death bed and said, “There is no Iman without the salat.” In truth what he said was “you are a kaffir (disbeliever) if you don’t offer the salat.”
Zakat, the third pillar requires the Believer to give 2.5% of his earnings for charity. Regrettably, many Believers have shunned this obligation, thus stifling the progress of the Believers. Think of what we could do, think of how our communities could grow and prosper if we did this.
Fasting is the next pillar. Fasting during the month of Ramadan has tremendous rewards, but far too often those rewards are squandered by ill behavior while fasting. Some of us are so addicted to foul language, arguments, lies, rumors, gossip and fitnah travels with us where ever we go.
The last pillar is performing the Hajj if you are physically and financially able. Unfortunately, there are Muslims who patiently and consistently save their money for everything but the Hajj.
This is the state of the Muslims today. But we need not despair, Allah is still Al Raheem. His mercy endures forever. Let us seek His Mercy and beseech Him to guide us back to the ways and practices of The Prophet, Peace and blessings be upon him and the righteous predecessors who embodied the strongest of faith and the best of adab (manners). In so doing perhaps we can be fulfillers of the weighty ayat where Allah states, “Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Allah.” Surah 9:100
The Muslims in 2016 with all of the barrage of anti Islam hatred are in need of Allah’s glad tidings! However, He in His Majesty has laid out predicators in an elementary, rudimentary, simplistic manner.
He explains in Surah 9:100
“And the foremost, the first of the Emigrants and the Helpers, and those who followed them in goodness — Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them Gardens wherein flow rivers, abiding therein for ever. That is the mighty achievement.”
Here Allah shows us the first of the Believers, The Emigrants (The Ansar) and those who came after them, The Helpers (The Muhajareen). They are an example to be followed in goodness by today’s Believers! Those early Believers, affectionately known as the Salaf are to be studied, mimicked, and loved. The means to nobly achieve this is to delve into a exhaustive study of their ways, practices, and worship.
Rasulullah said, “Whoever treads on a path in search of Islamic knowledge, Allah will ease the way to Paradise for him. The angels will lower their wings, pleased with this seeker of knowledge, and everyone in the heavens and on earth will ask forgiveness for the knowledgeable person, even the fish in the deepest of waters will ask for his forgiveness.”
This hadith can be found in Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi # 2835-sahih hadith
What an achievement! The angels lower their wings honoring you! Amazingly, EVERYONE in the heavens and on earth will ask Allah for forgiveness for this seeker of knowledge! And then Allah will command the fish in the deepest levels of the waters to supplicate to Him asking for this Believer to be forgiven!
What a beautiful religion! What a beautiful book we have in the Quran! In an authentic hadith, The Prophet, Peace and blessings be upon him said, ” The Quran is the miracle of ALL miracles.”
I pray to Allah that we as Believers can take the Quran and infuse it into our lives. Likewise, I pray that we can faithfully follow the pristine examples of The Prophet, Peace and blessings be upon him and the examples of his inspiring companions thus allowing us to bring about change in a world that desperately needs a long lasting change.
Abdul Jalil Muhammad is the President of the Deen Intensive Academy, http://www.deenintensiveacademy.com, a community based organization bringing weekend Islamic seminars to urban communities. The seminars which have been held in DC, Baltimore, Houston, Las Vegas and Dallas feature scholars such as Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Imam Zaid Shakir and Imam Abdul Malik. Next stop Philadelphia in September 2016.