Friday, September 2, 2011

The Benefits of Obedience from Ramadhān,

The Benefits of Obedience from Ramadhān,

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.

Ramadhān is indeed a bless month for the ummah. They should sought every opportunity from it, in terms its regularity and steadfastness in performing the righteous deeds, and albeit, continues to uphold in the post Ramadhan. Ramadhan instills the heart the essence of consciousness of the Creator: "O Believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may have taqwa (piety)."  [Al-Baqarah, 2:183] Allāh distinguishes between people according to their piety: "The most honored by Allāh amongst you are those with the highest piety” [Al-Hujurat, 49:13] At-taqwa is to act in obedience to Allāh. Fasting is a deed that elevates and sublimes the soul, a deed that motivates toward gaining virtue and protects against corruption; a deed that strengthens the will power, rectifies the intention, reforms the body, heals weakness and brings the ‘abd [worshiper] closer to his Lord; a deed by which sins are forgiven, evil doings are reconciled, merit is increased, and the rank of its performer is elevated before Allāh Subhānahu Wa Ta’ala to be among the closest and the chosen upon Resurrection.

It is injudicious if one were to suddenly abandon such virtuous deed. The virtuous acts of worships like the fasting, piety, the long optional Qiyām, the congregation, recitation of the Quran, adhkar and supplications, charities and so on which were inculcated and acquired during Ramadhan. This way of obedience to Allah should continue as much as possible in the following months. If one is compelled to defer it a while due to travelling or sickness, Allāh would still continue to reward him for these deeds, even if he does not perform them which  he was accustom to perform them. The Prophet, (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), said: “If a slave becomes sick, Allāh says to the honorable recording angels: `Record for my slave the same (good) deeds until I either take his soul (i.e., cause him to die) or grant him health (i.e., cure him from his sickness).” This indicates the benefit of constantly being engaged in acts of obedience and worship.

Allāh the Almighty would grant a good end to an obedience servant, as the Prophet, (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), said: “If Allāh wills well for one of His slaves, He uses him.” He was asked, “How does He use him?” He, (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), replied: “He (i.e., Allāh) enables him (i.e., the slave) to perform a righteous deed before his death, and then takes his soul whilst he is in that state.” Thus, we should ensure being in a state of obedience and worship at all times. Moreover, the reward of being virtuous is greater at times when most people are heedless, as well as in harsh times. There is a great concept that we must always bear in mind: worship must be the essence of our lives, it is not an incidental matter, or a temporary one that is limited or restricted to a certain time or place.

Those who entered Ramadhān upon disobedience and departed upon disobedience did not get any benefit from Ramadhān whatsoever. This is a serious and dangerous matter because when describing the hypocrites, Allāh the Almighty says (what means):

“And when they come to you, they say: 'We believe.' But they have entered with disbelief [in their hearts], and they have certainly left with it. And Allāh is most knowing of what they were concealing.”

[Al-‘Imran, 3: 61]

Commenting on this verse, Imām Ibn Kathīr, (rahimallāh) said, “The hypocrites entered into the presence of the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) and heard what he had to say, yet, they left upon the same state of disbelief, so the admonition did not yield any fruits with them.”

Therefore, anyone who departs from Ramadhān without having improved in the least is the one being addressed in this verse. Those who begin the month whilst on disobedience and return to it as soon as it ends, or are even more disobedient afterwards, did not benefit from the month; they did not repent and refrain from sinning, nor did they show regret for their sins. It is as if the month was a temporary stage for them, after which their evil lifestyles continued. The question here is: did these people truly worship Allāh the Almighty during this month as is His due to be worshipped? And did they obey Allāh the Almighty, to begin with, during this month and fulfil His due rights?

It is a pity that an adulterer, or one who is used to consuming intoxicants, or dealing in Ribā, resumes his regular behaviour and actions as soon as Ramadhān is over. The same goes for those who waste their time in gatherings of useless talk, or who take holidays that have many things objectionable about them.

Some people mistakenly believe that the deeds they might have performed during Ramadhān are enough to expiate their sins for the remaining eleven months of the year; they thus easily disobey Allāh the Almighty before and after Ramadhān. How can they guarantee the acceptance of their deeds during Ramadhān to begin with? How do they know that Allāh the Almighty did not reject all their deeds, let alone forgive their sins?

There are more serious matters as well, such as people eating during the days of Ramadhān (i.e. breaking their fast) to please, for example, the disbelievers at their workplaces. Others have sexual intercourse with their spouses during the daytime, which is one of the worst ways of breaking a fast. Its expiation is that the person who does it should free a slave – a very severe punishment – and if he cannot find a slave, or is financially unable to free one, then he must fast for two consecutive months, and if he is physically unable to do so, then he must feed sixty poor or needy people. It is bad enough to have sexual intercourse with one's own spouse during the daytime in Ramadhān, so how would the case be, if it were adultery, fornication or sodomy?

So, who are the real winners after Ramadhān?

Allāh the Almighty Says: “…So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted into Paradise has attained [his desire]...” [Al-‘Imran, 3: 185] “Not equal are the companions of the Fire and the companions of Paradise. The companions of Paradise – they are the attainers of success.”[ Al-Hashr, 59: 20]

Allāh the Almighty also Says regarding the dwellers of Paradise (what means): “For them will be gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great attainment.”[Al-Buruj, 85: 11] Indeed, this is true success and real victory.


[Adapted from Islam Web 09/08/2011]

No comments: