4. To Hasten to do Good Things
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds them to hasten to other acts of worship saying (what means): “Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.” [Qur’an 21:90] Why do you not do the same?
When the following ayah was revealed (which means): “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous” [Qur’an 3:133], the Companions learnt that they were the ones addressed by that ayah, and the ones required to hasten. Thereupon they hastened accordingly, and competed with each other to be the first to reach Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. They spared no effort, no time and no property they could spend for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. In contrast, we refrain from obeying Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala simply to save time, effort and property, for the perishable benefits – desires, lusts, heedlessness and false opportunities – to the end of those corrupt states that prevail over the appearance and hearts of the believers these days.
Why do people not hasten and learn that they should do so because the days of this world are limited, and the life of humankind is but several days, which pass quickly one after the other until he meets Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala informed them that they only have a few days in this world before it would come to an end. That is the statement of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala which we remember more often (which means): “O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.” [Qur’an 59:18-19]
The significance of “And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow” is that the closest day on which one may return to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is tomorrow, and were there another day closer than tomorrow on which one may return to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, of course, He would have mentioned it. It is obligatory for every soul then to look at that with which it will meet Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and whether this will brighten or blacken its face. Who has looked at his deeds and book to conclude them with something because of which Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will brighten his face on the day when some faces will be bright and others black?
When Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says (what means): “And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow” this means that all souls are required to do so. However, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala informed the believers that they would not do so perfectly, by talking about every soul (solely), i.e. and let even one soul, from among those souls which claim love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, obedience, approach and monotheism, stand to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and look at what it put forth for tomorrow. This is intended to exhort all souls to stand in front of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Why should every soul not stand in front of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, look at what it has put forth, conclude this day with a righteous deed, and reckon itself for what it has put forth and put back, until when it meets Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, it will meet Him with nothing due on it, being pleased with Him, and He being pleased with it? That is between one and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Why does he not hasten to spend? Why does he not hasten to offer his time and effort? Why does he not do what is incumbent upon him as regards seeking beneficial knowledge, doing righteous deeds and proceeding towards Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Why does this soul not put forth, as we have already mentioned, that which contributes to its rectitude in the sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
5. To be Preoccupied with Religion and Da’wah
The question here is: What have those pious people presented for their Ummah (Muslim nation) which has come down to rock bottom? To whom have they left the call to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? To whom have they left the plea and taking refuge to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala with righteous deeds, so that He would remove from the Ummah its adversity, and avert poverty and disasters caused by them? Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says (what means): “And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” [Qur’an 42:30] No adversity befalls a people without a sin, and it will not be removed without repentance. What have those presented to invite to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala with wisdom and good instruction? Have they presented a word to expect its reward with their Lord, and remove adversity from their people? What have they presented? To whom have they left the houses of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in their prayers, acts of worship, remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and acquiring knowledge? To whom have they left them?
The other concept addresses the state of what is between one and his family and children. He should encourage them to adhere to religion, guide them to the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and take them from the crossroads to the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala which he is following. He should also show his dutifulness and kindness to his parents – which is the culmination of those good deeds mentioned by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Then, let him move to the state in which he should be with the believers including sincerity and mutual care and cooperation between them, “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” [Qur’an 5:2] The Prophet, ﷺ, said: “The believers, in their mutual affection, mercy and kindness, are like one body, if part of it aches, the whole body shares with it insomnia and fever.” [Bukhari and Muslim] There should be, between them, neither hatred, nor discord, nor desertion, nor severance (of relations), nor rancor, nor resentment, nor selfishness. On the contrary, there should be between them generosity, munificence, kindness and righteous deeds. Then, call them to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala with instruction and good wisdom, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.” [Qur’an 16:125] Call them by enjoining what is right and forbidding what is evil. That is, to enjoin right with good, and forbid evil with kindness and leniency.
These traces appear on the way of the worshipers, and their light become visible on them in their motion, stillness, speech, outward, inward, acts of worship, approach, remembrance (of Allah), recitation of the Qur’an, mosques, dealings, kindness, discarding wrongness, forgetting tragedies and disasters, and excusing and forgiving each other, in the hope that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala would excuse and forgive them. In this way, they turn into a new creation, worthy of the mercy and forgiveness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, entitled to His blessings and to being removed from the terror of His trial.