Commentary ~ Today is all you have

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

When you wake up in the morning, do not expect to see the evening — live as though today is all you have. Yesterday has passed with its good and evil, while tomorrow has not yet arrived. Your life’s span is but one day, as if you were born in it and will die at the end of it. With this attitude, you will not be caught between an obsession over the past, with its anxieties, and the hopes of the future, with all its uncertainty. Live for today: During this day you should pray with a wakeful heart, recite the Quran with understanding, and remember Allah with sincerity. In this day you should be balanced in your affairs, satisfied with your allotted portion, concerned with your appearance and health.

Organize the hours of this day, so that you make years out of minutes and months out of seconds. Seek forgiveness from your Lord, remember Him, prepare for the final parting from this world, and live today happily and at peace. Be content with your sustenance, your wife, your children, your work, your house and your station in life.

…So hold that which I have given you and be grateful. (Quran 7:144)

Live today free from sorrow, bother, anger, jealousy, and malice.

You must engrave onto your heart one phrase: Today is my only day. If you have eaten warm, fresh bread today, then what do yesterday’s dry, rotten bread and tomorrow’s anticipated bread matter?

If you are truthful with yourself and have a firm, solid resolve, you will undoubtedly convince yourself of the following: Today is my last day to live. When you achieve this attitude, you will profit from every moment of your day, by developing your personality, expanding your abilities, and purifying your deeds. Then you say to yourself:

Today I shall be refined in my speech and will utter neither evil speech nor obscenity. Also, I shall not backbite.

Today I shall organize my house and my office. They will not be disorderly and chaotic, but organized and neat.

Today I will be particular about my bodily cleanliness and appearance. I will be meticulous in my neatness and balanced in my walk, talk, and actions.

Today I will strive to be obedient to my Lord, pray in the best manner possible, do more voluntary acts of righteousness, recite the Qur’an, and read beneficial books. I will plant goodness into my heart and extract from it the roots of evil — such as pride, jealousy, and hypocrisy.

Today I will try to help others — to visit the sick, to attend a funeral, to guide the one who is lost, and to feed the hungry. I will stand side by side with the oppressed and the weak. I will pay respect to the scholar, be merciful to the young, and reverent to the old.

O’ past that has departed and is gone, I will not cry over you. You will not see me remembering you, not even for a moment, because you have traveled away from me never to return.

O’ future, you are in the realm of the unseen, so I will not be obsessed by your dreams. I will not be preoccupied about what is to come because tomorrow is nothing and has not yet been created.

« Today is my only day » is one of the most important statements in the dictionary of happiness, for those who desire to live life in its fullest splendour and brilliance.

La Tahzan (Don’t be sad)
By Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni
Translated by: Faisal ibn Muhammad Shafeeq, 2nd ed. Riyadh 2005
Publisher: International Islamic Publishing House
ISBN Hard Cover: 9960-850-36-6
ISBN Soft Cover: 9960-850-44-7
P31

Ayaat 168-172 ~ Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

168. O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Shaitân (Satan). Verily, he is to you an open enemy.

169. [Shaitân (Satan)] commands you only what is evil and Fahshâ (sinful), and that you should say against Allâh what you know not.

170. When it is said to them: “Follow what Allâh has sent down.” They say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.” (Would they do that!) Even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided?

171. And the example of those who disbelieve, is as that of him who shouts to the (flock of sheep) that hears nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand.

172. O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh – Islâmic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allâh, if it is indeed He Whom you worship.

Sura 2. Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

Commentary ~ Allah is Most Kind to His slaves

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

A high-ranking member of the Riyadh community related to me that in 1376 Hijri, a group of fishermen from the town of Jubayl set out for the ocean, and after spending three days and three nights fishing, they did not manage to catch even a single fish. Meanwhile, a group of nearby fishermen caught many fish. They were surprised, not merely from the disparity between their failure and the other group’s success, but because they were performing the five daily prayers and failed while the other group was not praying and succeeded. One of them said, “How perfect is Allah! We prayed to Allah every single prayer and we didn’t get anything; the other group did not prostrate to Allah even once over the last few days and look at all they managed to get!” In this way, the Shaytaan (Devil) whispered evil suggestions to them and advised them to abandon the prayer. The next morning, they did not wake up for Fajr (the Morning Prayer). They also neglected to perform the Dhuhr (Noon) and Asr (Afternoon) Prayers. Before nightfall, they set out for the ocean; they caught a fish and upon slitting it open they found a pearl in its stomach — a very expensive pearl. One of them took the pearl in his hand, stared at it, and said, after reflecting, “How perfect is Allah! When we obeyed Him we got nothing, and when we disobeyed Him this is what we got! Indeed, this sustenance before us is of a doubtful nature.” Then he took hold of the pearl and hurled it into the ocean, saying immediately afterwards, “Allah will recompense us with better than this. By Allah, I will not take it, for we acquired it after abandoning the prayer. Come with me, and let us leave this place wherein we disobeyed Allah.” They traveled three miles before camping for the night. Shortly afterwards they went fishing again, and they caught a fair-sized fish. When they slit it open, they found the same valuable pearl inside its stomach. They said, “All praise is due to Allah, Who has provided us with good sustenance.” They caught the fish after praying, remembering Allah, and asking for His forgiveness, so this time they kept it.

You should notice one important difference: the object was one and the same, but it was filthy when they acquired it while they were disobeying Allah, and it was pure when they acquired it while obeying Him.

Would that they were contented with what Allâh and His Messenger gave them and had said: “Allâh is Sufficient for us. Allâh will give us of His Bounty, and (also) His Messenger (from alms, etc.). We implore Allâh (to enrich us).” (Quran 9:59)

Verily, it is Allah’s kindness. So whenever somebody abandons something for Allah, Allah provides him with something that is better.

This reminds me of a story of Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). One morning, he entered Masjid al-Koofa to pray two voluntary units of prayer. Before entering, he found a boy standing at the door. He said to him. “O boy, restrain for me my mule until I finish praying.” As Ali was entering the Mosque, he made an intention to reward the boy with a dirham for his services. Meanwhile, the boy removed the noseband from the mule and rushed off to the marketplace to sell it. When Ali came out of the Masjid, he found no boy, but only his mule without its noseband. He commissioned a man to go after the boy and ordered him to go to the marketplace since it was more than likely that the boy would go there to sell the noseband. The man found the boy auctioning it in the market and he bought it from him for a dirham. He returned to Ali and informed him of what happened. After hearing what occurred, Ali said, “How perfect Allah is! By Allah, I intended to give him a lawful dirham, but he refused to take it other than in an unlawful way.”

Whatever you may be doing, and whatever portion you may be reciting from the Qur’ân, – and whatever deed you (mankind) may be doing (good or evil), We are Witness thereof, when you are doing it. And nothing is hidden from your Lord (so much as) the weight of an atom on the earth or in the heaven. Not what is less than that or what is greater than that but is (written) in a Clear Record. (Quran 10:61)

La Tahzan (Don’t be sad)
By Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni
Translated by: Faisal ibn Muhammad Shafeeq, 2nd ed. Riyadh 2005
Publisher: International Islamic Publishing House
ISBN Hard Cover: 9960-850-36-6
ISBN Soft Cover: 9960-850-44-7
P416

Ayaat 80-84 ~ Al-A’raf (The Heights)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

80. And (remember) Lout (Lot), when he said to his people: “Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed[1] in the ‘Alamîn (mankind and jinns)?

81. “Verily, you practise your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds (by committing great sins).”

82. And the answer of his people was only that they said: “Drive them out of your town, these are indeed men who want to be pure (from sins)!”

83. Then We saved him and his family, except his wife; she was of those who remained behind (in the torment).

84. And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). Then see what was the end of the Mujrimûn (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.).

Sura 7. Al-A’raf (The Heights)

[1]: such as none preceding you has committed: To learn more about the Prophet Lut (Lot) (peace be upon him) and the sins that his nation committed (i.e. homosexuality, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy, etc.) there is an excellent series on the lives of the Prophets here and a 2nd series specifically on the characteristics of perished nations here.

Ayaat 152-157 ~ Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

152. Therefore remember Me [1]. I will remember you, and be grateful to Me [2] and never be ungrateful to Me.

153. O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salât (the prayer). Truly! Allâh is with As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.).

154. And say not of those who are killed in the Way of Allâh, “They are dead.” Nay, they are living, but you perceive (it) not.

155. And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.).

156. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allâh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”

157. They are those on whom are the Salawât [3] from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones.

Sura 2. Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

[1]: remember Me: by praying, glorifying, etc.
[2]: grateful to Me: for My countless Favours on you
[3]: Salawât: i.e. blessings, etc. i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven

Hadith ~ Will be equivalent

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection) said, “If anyone calls others to follow right guidance, his reward will be equivalent to those who follow him (in righteousness) without their reward being diminished in any respect, and if anyone invites others to follow error, the sin, will be equivalent to that of the people who follow him (in sinfulness) without their sins being diminished in any respect”. (Muslim)

Commentary: ‘Invitation’ and ‘Call’ stand to mean here that someone induces others to virtue or seduces to sin by means of his speech or action. We come to know from this Hadith that one who becomes a medium for either of them is given a reward or punishment respectively by Allah (SWT).

Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous)
By Imam An Nawawi
Chapiter 20, Page 64, No 174