Ayaat 8-12 ~ Az-Zumar (The Groups)

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

Listen to Recitation

8. And when some hurt touches man, he cries to his Lord (Allâh Alone), turning to Him in repentance, but when He bestows a favour upon him from Himself, he forgets that for which he cried for before, and he sets up rivals to Allâh, in order to mislead others from His Path. Say: “Take pleasure in your disbelief for a while: surely, you are (one) of the dwellers of the Fire!”

9. Is one who is obedient to Allâh, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allâh’s Signs and Verses).

10. Say: “O My slaves who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh Islâmic Monotheism), be afraid of your Lord (Allâh) and keep your duty to Him. Good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world, and Allâh’s earth is spacious (so if you cannot worship Allâh at a place, then go to another)! Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning.”

11. Say: “Verily, I am commanded to worship Allâh (Alone) by obeying Him and doing religious deeds sincerely for Allâh’s sake only and not to show off, and not to set up rivals with Him in worship;

12. “And I am commanded (this) in order that I may be the first of those who submit themselves to Allâh (in Islâm) as Muslims.”

Sura 39. Az-Zumar (The Groups)

Commentary ~ Death is hovering above us

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

It is incumbent upon everyone to realize that death is hovering above us. At any moment, day or night, death can come. Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) expressed in lucid terms the reality of our life:

“The Hereafter is traveling towards us and this life is traveling away from us, so be from the children of the Hereafter and not from the children of this world. For today is action without reckoning (judgment), and tomorrow is reckoning without action.”

From this saying, we can learn how imperative it is for us to improve ourselves, to renew our repentance, and to know that we are dealing with Allah, Who is Most Generous and All-Powerful.

Death does not ask a person for permission prior to arrival, nor does it give one an early warning about its being on its way:

…No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allâh is All­Knower, All­Aware (of things). (Koran 31.34)

Say: “The appointment to you is for a Day, which you cannot put back for an hour (or a moment) nor put forward.” (Koran 34.30)

Ash-Shaykh Ali at-Tantawi related a story that equally illustrates the unexpectedness of death. A bus full of people was moving when the driver suddenly pressed on the brakes. The passengers asked him what was wrong. He said, “I am stopping for this old man who is waving so that he can get on the bus.” They all said in wonder, “We do not see anyone.” He said, “Look at him over there.” They repeated that there was no one to be seen. He said confidently, “Now look, he is coming to get in.” Now the situation was beyond wonder, and they exclaimed, “By Allah, we don’t see anyone.” Then, in an instant, the driver died in his seat.

Thus death came to him in the most bizarre and unexpected of scenarios:

…When their term is reached, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour [or a moment]. (Koran 7.34)

Man is cowardly when he faces danger; his heart begins to thump when the possibility of death arises, and then, without prior warning, he dies at a time when he feels most safe.

(They are) the ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves sat (at home): “If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed.” Say: “Avert death from your ownselves, if you speak the truth.” (Koran 3.168)

The strange thing is that we do not think about meeting Allah or about the transient nature of this life.

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
Page 426

Hadith ~ Likes for his brother

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

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Prophet (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection) said: “No one of you becomes a true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself“. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith about the importance and virtue of mutual love among the Muslims. If we act upon the injunctions mentioned in this Hadith, the Muslim societies will be immediately purged of the evils like exploitation, bribery, dishonesty, falsehood, cheating, forgery, etc., which are rampant in them at present. Islam has taught golden principles to its followers who have unfortunately neglected them and in consequence are leading a life of utter disgrace and moral turpitude. May Allah guide us to the Straight Path. Ameen.

Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous)
By Imam An Nawawi
Chapter 22, Page 65, No 183

Ayaat 21-23 ~ Ibrahim (Abraham)

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

Listen to Recitation

21. And they all shall appear before Allâh (on the Day of Resurrection) then the weak will say to those who were arrogant (chiefs): “Verily, we were following you; can you avail us anything from Allâh’s Torment?” They will say: “Had Allâh guided us, we would have guided you. It makes no difference to us (now) whether we rage, or bear (these torments) with patience, there is no place of refuge for us.”[1]

22. And Shaitân (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: “Verily, Allâh promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allâh (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.).”

23. And those who believed (in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messengers and whatever they brought) and did righteous deeds, will be made to enter Gardens under which rivers flow, – to dwell therein forever (i.e.in Paradise), with the permission of their Lord. Their greeting therein will be: Salâm (peace!) .

Sura 14. Ibrahim (Abraham)

[1]: Audio lecture on the different conversations in Paradise and HellFire can be found here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Hadith ~ Six days of Shawwal

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

Abu Ayyub (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection) said: “He who observes As-Saum (fasting) in the month of Ramadan, and also observes As-Saum for six days in the month of Shawwal (month that follows Ramadan), it is as if he has observed As-Saum for the whole year.” (Muslim)

Commentary: According to the formula that there is at least ten-fold reward for every virtue, the Saum of one month (Ramadan) are equivalent to Saum of ten months. If one also observes six days of Saum of Shawwal, they will be equal to Saum of two months. Thus, one becomes eligible for the reward of one full years’ Saum. He who makes it a permanent feature is like one who observes Saum throughout his life. He will be considered by Allah as one who observes Saum permanently. Although voluntary in nature, they are highly important. One can observe these six-day Saum consecutively or separately, but their observance one after the other at the beginning of the month is better. Similarly, if a person has missed some Saum of Ramadan due to illness, travelling, period of the month etc., that person should first make up the shortfall and then observe the voluntary six-day Saum of Shawl. Allah Alim.

Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous)
By Imam An Nawawi
Chapiter 228, Page 364, No 1254

Hadith ~ Two different routes

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

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: On the occasion of the ‘Eid, the Prophet (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection) would proceed to the prayer place taking one route and returning from another. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Commentary: The ‘Ulama’ say that there are many subtle points of wisdom in changing the way. According to Imam An-Nawawi, this causes an increase in the places of worship. Some say that both ways will bear witness on the Day of Reckoning, that he had passed through them in a state of worship. This may also be the object that instead of one way, the needy on two ways should benefit from alms and charity.

Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous)
By Imam An Nawawi
Chapiter 98, Page 232, No 719

Hadith ~ Zakat al-Fitr

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

Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection), made Zakat al-Fitr compulsory on every slave, freeman, male, female, young and old among the Muslims; one Saa` (a measurement: four double handfuls) of dried dates or one Saa` of barley. [Sahih Bukhari – Arabic/English, vol. 2, p. 339, no. 579]

Commentary: Zakat al-Fitr, which is food, must be in the  hands of the needy family BEFORE Eid prayer.