Dear brothers and sisters, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had a gift of words which had immense meanings that go beyond the simple understanding of the words. By this we mean that he would say few words but would have depth of meaning that would last for all time.
And this was the same when He was doing Dua’s, peace and blessings be upon him, and we were encouraged to repeat these duas, that have depth of meaning in few words.
You see, we all have our own duas but the specific wording of the duas of the Prophet SAWS are rich in both their articulation and their precise meaning. Even the translation of these would not do justice to the dua in Arabic and hence we are all encouraged to learn them as they were relayed by the Prophet SAWS.
The imam mentioned one of these in the hadith of the Prophet SAWS. The dua is translated as part of the hadith and it states that:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to say in his prayer: O Allah, I ask You for steadfastness in all my affairs and determination in following the right path, I ask You to make me thankful for Your blessings and to make me worship You properly. I ask You for a sound heart and a truthful tongue. I ask You for the best of what You know and I seek refuge in You from the worst of what You know and I seek Your forgiveness for what You know.”
And this one in which the supplication says:
O Allah! I beg You for that which incites Your Mercy and the means of Your forgiveness, safety from every sin, the benefit from every good deed, success in attaining Jannah and deliverance from Fire
And as mentioned earlier, these duas are best recited in their original form. The imam alluded to this advice by referencing the 32nd ayat of Sura Al-Imran which is translated to say:
Say, “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away – then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers.
Another hadith in relation to this is one that is relayed in this reminder in both Arabic and English as it is both an easy one to follow and one that we all can take advantage of in this busy lifestyle we live in.
It is translated to say:
Fatima complained about the blisters on her hand because of using a mill-stone. She went to ask the Prophet for servant, but she did not find him (at home) and had to inform `Aisha of her need. When he came, `Aisha informed him about it. `Ali added: The Prophet (ﷺ) came to us when we had gone to our beds. When I was going to get up, he said, “‘Stay in your places,” and sat between us, till I felt the coolness of the feet on my chest. The Prophet (ﷺ) then said, “Shall I not tell you of a thing which is better for you than a servant? When you (both) go to your beds, say ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty-four times, and ‘Subhan Allah’ thirty-three times, ‘Al hamdu ‘illah’ thirty-three times, for that is better for you than a servant.” Ibn Seereen said, “Subhan Allah’ (is to be said for) thirty-four times.”
It is documented that after this dua was relayed to Fatima and Ali, may Allah be pleased with them both, Ali stuck to using this dua for the rest of his life.
Dear brothers and sisters, we ought to remember that the best dua is that which is followed in it’s exact form as delivered by the Prophet SAWS. The imam mentioned ayat 7 of Sura Al-Hujarat in relation to this which says:
And know that among you is the Messenger of Allah . If he were to obey you in much of the matter, you would be in difficulty, but Allah has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts and has made hateful to you disbelief, defiance and disobedience. Those are the [rightly] guided.
Dear brothers and sisters, this reminder is not meant to belittle those of us who are unable to recite properly, or those who are unable to memorize these duas. Allah SWT listens to our pleas, our conversations and our requests in whatever language we speak to Him in. We should take comfort in the fact that regardless of language, all our communication with Allah SWT is heard and our duas are accepted either in this life as they are, in a form that is better for us or in the next life.
However, we should still make the effort to learn the duas of our Prophet SAWS in their original form and so the reminder ends with 3 tips to help achieve this.
- Sincerity – Aim to memorize and be sincere with yourself and ask Allah SWT to make it easy for you.
- Consistency- Make a time of the day dedicated to memorization. Whether that is the daily commute or after a prayer, consistency, even in a small form, is most liked by Allah SWT
- Application – Use the dua, or even part of it, in the supplications you make at the end of the prayer. This will help both memorization and the reward and acceptance of the dua you are saying.
Dear brothers and sisters, our interaction with Allah SWT ought to be consistent in our lives. We are not born to have Allah SWT as a concept or a distant reality but in fact a part of our everyday lives. By supplicating to Him in the duas revealed by the Prophet SAWS, we are both achieving the reward of following the sunnah as well as maintaining a consistent, unbreakable connection with our Lord.Read More
Today’s reminder is another based on a passage in Allah’s book. This week is about ayat 157 from the 7th Sura of the Quran which is Sura Al-Araf.
As with these kind of reminders, the lessons we can take from the Glorious Quran is more than a reminder like this can contain but an attempt has been made to summarize them today.
The Ayat itself is translated to say:
Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. He will make lawful for them all good things and prohibit for them only the foul; and he will relieve them of their burden and the shackles that they used to wear. Then those who believe in him, and honour him and help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him: they are the successful.
Dear brothers and sisters, the first lesson that we take from this passage is the description given to the Prophet SAWS. We see that Allah SWT describes the Prophet SAWS as unlettered. This is different to the word illiterate as the latter implies someone who is without education. Our Prophet SAWS was the best of teachers and he received the best of education and that was divine education from Allah SWT through the Angel Jibreel.
So why is it that Allah SWT has mentioned that the Prophet SAWS is someone who can neither read nor write? The doubters of the Prophet SAWS of the time would argue that he was someone who was fabricating these verses himself and claiming that they were from Allah SWT. They would also argue that he would spend his time learning other cultures and religions to gather this information and then pass it off as the revelation from Allah SWT.
By describing the Prophet SAWS, Allah SWT is telling us that the Prophet SAWS is innocent of the charges being made against him by those who did not believe his message. Indeed, there is also a lesson there for us in this time and age that someone who did not read nor write has given the world complete code of life in the shape of Islam as well as the most reliable masterpiece of knowledge in the shape of the Quran.
It demonstrates then to the average person that this individual is someone special and worthy of further study and often you will hear of those people coming to Islam as being those who did so by studying our beloved Prophet SAWS, our teacher and the best of creation.
The second lesson we can derive from this passage is that of the lesson of Islam as a continuation of the same message.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are often reminded by those who are misguided of the term “our God” or the term “their God”. It implies that Christians and Jews each have their own God that they worship and then we have Allah SWT which our own God that we worship. This is a misconception and something that is addressed in this part of the ayat.
By Allah SWT referencing the Gospel and the Torah, He is uniting the nations together and challenging those who follow the Gospel and the Torah to refute the challenge placed here.
So first of all, the Gospel is the book that is followed by the Christians and the Torah makes up the majority of what the Jews follow in Judaism.
This is telling us then that those who disbelieve in the message of the Prophet SAWS can refer to their own books and find that this is a continuation of the message in those books.
Dear brothers and sisters, how often do we read a book in which the sequel is mentioned? Or that we watch a film in which the next film is already mentioned? Most of the cinema films follow this format in which the film we are watching has a teaser of the next film within it.
Allah SWT gave that to the students of the Gospel and to the students of the Tora, the teaser about the final Prophet SAWS and some got the message and we hear of them embracing Islam and the Prophet SAWS due to this. Listen to prominent inviters to Islam like Dr Zakir Naik and he can reference those verses in the Gospel and Torah that speak of our beloved Prophet SAWS and thus proving this point.
Therefore we need to be mindful of this when we are speaking of the followers of Christianity and Judaism as they are believers in Allah SWT too. We need to be respectful to their beliefs but at the same time invite them to the continuation of their message, i.e. Islam, through the mannerisms taught to us through the lessons of Islam.
And lastly, the point on following our beloved Prophet SAWS is a lesson on the next point that may be made by the followers of the Gospel and the Torah.
Some might say that if those books are also from Allah SWT, why should they follow another Prophet and another book of guidance?
The ayat answers this question for those people. Firstly, by following the Prophet SAWS, they will get more than what they have at present and that is the religion of Islam will specifically enable them to live a life on the right path and assist in their everyday living and help them distinguish right from wrong.
Allah SWT then mentions the burden and shackles that they will be free from. This tells us that just saying they believe in a God isn’t enough, if they do not follow then the commandments sent by Him. They may still be believers in God but their soul will yearn for more, it will feel malnourished and so following the teachings of the Prophet SAWS will relieve them of this burden that their soul feels.
Finally, if there is any doubt about whether to follow the final message delivered by the final Prophet, the ayat concludes by telling us that only those who do so will be the successful ones.
The imam referenced a hadith in which Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “All my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” They said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Who will refuse?” He said, “Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me is the one who refuses (to enter it).”
Dear brothers and sisters, there is a lesson in here for us. We need to strive not only to rest on our belief in our faith but to follow the Sunnah, i.e. the lessons of the Prophet SAWS. By doing so, we can then hope to be the successful as is mentioned by Allah SWT in this ayat.
May Allah SWT enable us to be mindful of these lessons, may Allah SWT enable us to benefit from the lessons in the Quran and may Allah SWT reward us for the effort in understanding the lessons in the Quran.Read More