Who is Your Child’s Superhero?
Another sad reality is that our children, as young as seven and eight years old, know the names of the entire football or cricket team; but they don’t know the names of the Prophets and their Companions. These were the people who strove with their life and wealth to spread and protect Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) religion. These were the people who were given the glad tiding of Paradise, and we are not interested in learning about them.
A Scary Reminder
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says, “Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds!” (Al-Kahf 18:103-104)
What a scary reminder! The efforts of such a person are limited to the worldly life only and he has no concern for the Hereafter. When you invite such people to study Quran, learn one ayah or a Dua, they come up with countless unnecessary tasks of this world.
The way we have messed up our priorities, shows how confused we are about our purpose in life. Not only are we confused about our purpose in life; but our worship too. We have strayed away from the path of Muhammad ﷺ and invented our own ways of worship; which were neither taught by the Prophet ﷺ nor practiced by his Companions (ra). Hold on to Quran and Sunnah and let not Shaytan deceive you.
Surah Maryam talks about the birth of Prophet Eesa (‘alayhi salaam). But there is another story that is equally meaningful. It is the incident of a few young strong men; who distanced themselves from the community, because of their deviant beliefs and self-invented forms of worship. In the exegesis, we read they were involved in idolatry and grave worshipping.
Prophet Ibrahim and the Idolatry
In Surah Maryam, we learn about Prophet Ibrahim’s people who were engaged in idolatry, including his father. Prophet Ibrahim (‘alayhi salaam) was not pleased by what he saw in his community. Unconvinced by their need to bow before clay idols, carved by themselves; Ibrahim (‘alayhi salaam) asked his father, “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything?” (19:42) He invited his father to follow a path that is straight, “O my father! Verily! There has come to me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me. I will guide you to a Straight Path.” (19:43)
Kind Speech – the Best Way to Preach
It might come to some as a surprise that a son was correcting his father. Sometimes people younger than us are more knowledgeable or have a better understanding of a subject. We should be open to listening to the words of goodness; irrespective of speaker’s age, skin colour or worldly status.
We also learn a Dawah tip from this story. Kind speech has been a repetitive reminder in the Quran. We should be mindful of our tone and words when we call people to Allah’s Deen. We need to soften their hearts, so that they may actually listen; and not repel them with our harshness or disrespect. Moreover, we should be prepared to expect a repulsive or rude behaviour from the other person. When that happens, we should not lose our temper. Recall the times Prophet ﷺ endured abuse and hostility for Allah’s sake. If we are truly concerned about someone’s guidance, we should let go of their uncouth behaviour.
Do not Stray Away for the Evil End Awaits
This is not a small matter that can be pushed aside by arguments and justifications. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says, “Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salat (the prayers) (i.e. made their Salat (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times, etc.) and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell.” (Maryam 19:59)
They have an evil end waiting for them because of their pursuing their desires. A person who is worried about his prayer will be protected from immoral behaviour. A person who is not worried about his prayer, how will he have a link with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)? Let’s commit to being regular in our prayers. The outcome will be attaining closeness to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), increased provision and peace. It will not happen all at once; but it will happen one day Insha’Allah.
Make Dua to Excel in Religion
Sometimes we look at people who are better than us in religion and we feel a kind of anger in our heart. The anger is there due to our weak connection with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). How can we get rid of it? It is possible by asking Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to allow us to excel in religion just like them or even better. Make Dua for the people who inspire and remind you of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). May Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) open up our hearts to goodness. Ameen.
How often has it happened that our best friend calls and we catch up with them, as if we have been separated for twenty years? In reality, it could be that we spoke to them only yesterday or a few hours ago. For how long does this phone call continue? It would be hard to find a person who hangs up in ten minutes. If that happens, then we are certainly not close enough. Now, let’s look at our prayer. For how long do we remain seated at our prayer mat after the prayer is over? Most people jump off the moment they do Tasleem. What does this tell us about our relationship with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)? It requires no further explanation.
Prophet Musa honored by his Lord
When Musa (‘alayhi salaam) was called by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in the valley of Tuwa and informed that he had been chosen as the Prophet of Allah, there went on a brief interview. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) asks Musa (‘alayhi salaam) about his staff, in reply Musa (‘alayhi salaam) did not give a one word answer. He went on describing his staff and stated the different purposes he used it for. He said: “This is my stick, whereon I lean, and wherewith I beat down branches for my sheep, and wherein I find other uses.” (Ta-Ha 20:18)
Did he not know the Lord who is addressing him from up above can see and know more about his staff than himself? But he cherished this meeting so much that he could not contain his excitement. He wanted to extend this meeting, so he went on talking. This Ramadan, let us commit to correct ourselves and give our utmost attention and respect to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Let’s take out time to speak with Him in Sujood, in Dua, at Suhoor and Iftar times; and whenever and wherever we can steal a moment of privacy.
A Gentle Approach to Dawah
When it comes to correcting people, we often admonish them in such a way that they would not want to see our face again. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) picks up His best man to invite the worst man towards the right path.
With what instruction did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) send Musa (as)? He said, “And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah.” (Ta-Ha 20:44)
This was Pharaoh he was being sent to and the instruction was “speak gently”. Let us reflect on our interpersonal skills and be kind to one another for the sake of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Use encouraging words to bring them closer to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Do not rebuke them; lest we widen the gap. Our job is only to take the message to them. We are not hakim (ruler) over them.