Islamic Months · Juz Summaries · Pearls of Peace · Ramadan

Pearls of Peace – Juz 22

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When we claim that we are Muslims then we are not allowed to do that which Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has declared to be impermissible and unlawful. A person who commits a sin and knows in his heart that it’s a sin has a greater chance of being forgiven than someone who commits a sin and does not even consider it a sin. We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to forgive us for our wrongdoings whether done intentionally or unknowingly and to not close the door of His forgiveness and mercy upon us, ameen.

Surah Al-Ahzab (contd.)

Don’t Do Tabaruj

When you talk about Hijab or Jilbab, you cannot protect yourself from being attacked or criticized. Some people do not want to hear the word even though there are several clear ayaat in the Qur’an that call it obligatory and not “optional.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

“And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance…” [al-Ahzab 33:33]

Today, when you ask a young girl why she is going out with makeup on, she will reply, “I am looking for a suitable husband.” The married women say, “It is ok to dress up for one’s spouse.” That is true. However, the reality is much different from this.

When the men come home from work, their wives are wearing stained clothes, smelling of garlic and sweat because they have been doing housework. They are not really dressed up for the husband. When they are going out, they take shower, wear beautiful clothes and put on makeup. They dress up!

The wives are dressing up for people outside the home while the husbands are looking at other women on the television screen or in the mall.

Both are to be criticized and should work on dressing up for each other. Yes, the men also need to dress up for their wives. They need to take care of their personal hygiene.

The ayah also teaches the impermissibility of going out without a necessity. Someone has a need to go to the doctor, school, work, Masjid or to the store to get food – that is permissible. But to be always outside and not stay home is a both a physical and financial burden on the other spouse. The men also need rest. How are the families going to develop a bond if they are always involved in activities outside the home?

Dressing up for someone other than our spouse is frowned upon in Shariah.

[Why Does the Qur’an Command Muslim Women to Stay in their Homes]

It is not up to a person that when Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has declared something haram and the Prophet ﷺ has informed us about it, we make it halal for ourselves. If we are believers, as soon as we hear a command of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala we should know it in our hearts that we don’t have a “choice” to accept it or not. We have to accept it and that is the true belief.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

“It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.” [Al-Ahzab 33:36]

True believers believe that they must surrender. Even if the weakness of an individual makes them engage in something sinful, recognizing that it’s a sin gives him a higher chance of repentance and forgiveness, in sha Allah, than a person who justifies his wrongdoing and says that there is nothing wrong with it. This is the entire concept of surrendering to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Muhammad ﷺ was sent to us to obey and follow the instructions that he has been sent with. What is the point of our claims that we say we are the followers of Muhammad ﷺ when we don’t really follow him?

Be Mindful of Your Speech

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala warns us again regarding our tongues. He beautifully words it by saying,

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [Al-Ahzab 33:70]

Words of appropriate justice mean an upright and true statement that is free from all kinds of vulgarity and abuse. Such a statement can lead one to Jannah and bless them with goodness in this world and the next, in sha Allah. If we are careful about what we say and how we say it then Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will purify and rectify our deeds.

Sometimes we perform a good deed but it is not at the level of excellence. There is something missing. Sometimes our intention was not right. Sometimes we missed something. Sometimes we waste our good deeds by misuse of our tongues such as spreading lies and rumors or uttering hurtful statements. If we are not mindful of our speech, on the Day of Judgment the people that we have hurt with our words will come and claim our good deeds and we will be left with none or only a little when we will be in need of good deeds the most. However, when we speak good words, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala fixes our good deeds to a level where they will become acceptable to Him. Such is the reward for speaking good words.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends the address by saying whoever obeys Him and His Beloved Messenger ﷺ such people will be the victorious ones. We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to make us of them, ameen.

[Whose Islam is the Best?]

Surah Saba’

Saba’ means Sheeba, which is a place in the Arabian Peninsula.

The people of Sheeba were granted abundant blessings by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. They received abundant beneficial rain that helped them grow a variety of crops and it was a beautiful place to live in. However, these people were involved in one of the greatest sins, ingratitude.

They were enjoying the blessings of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala but they were ungrateful.

A lesson for us is to be grateful to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Search for His gifts and blessings in your life and do kamil shukr – shukr that does not involve any kind of shikwah, saying sentences such as, “I am grateful that I have this but it would have been better if that was also present,” or “I am grateful that I have this but [that one thing] is missing.” Let us keep our gratitude free from any errors and shortcomings.

Thank Allah for your eyesight, speech, sense of hearing, clothing and housing (whether rented or owned) – dig in your life and see His blessings. Every one of us has a blessing that has been held back as a test.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

“There was for [the tribe of] Saba’ in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told], ‘Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord.’ But they turned away [refusing], so We sent upon them the flood of the dam, and We replaced their two [fields of] gardens with gardens of bitter fruit, tamarisks and something of sparse lote trees. [By] that We repaid them because they disbelieved. And do We [thus] repay except the ungrateful?” [Saba’ 34: 15-17]

Therefore, look for His blessings in your life. If you are unable to see them yourself, ask Him to show them to you. Then be grateful for them. When we don’t recognize Allah’s blessings in our lives and are ungrateful toward Him, He snatches our blessings away.

The Quraysh of Makkah would ask the Prophet ﷺ about the Day of Judgment that you keep threatening us with it when is it going to come.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala responds with a powerful statement,

“And they say, ‘When is this promise, if you should be truthful?’ Say, ‘For you is the appointment of a Day [when] you will not remain thereafter an hour, nor will you precede [it].'” [Saba’ 34: 29-30]

The lesson for us is that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gives us chances. We must remember that we only have a handful of chances or a fixed number of days to turn to Him in repentance. All the reminders that we come across whether through an article, a book, a quote, an ayah or a lecture were for us to take heed. They were the chances that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala was giving us. When our chances and days are up, the punishment will descend.

We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to grant us the turning point after which there is no disobedience and ingratitude. We don’t want Allah’s punishment or to leave this earth without repenting for our sins. O Allah! We are weak. Please accept our du’as, ameen.

[The Command to Eat Pure Things and Express Gratitude]

Surah Fatir

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala warns us of Shaytan,

“Indeed, Shaytan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.” [Fatir 35:6]

For many of us, this is not an unknown statement. We know that Shaytan is our enemy and he tries to divert us from the straight path and trick us into committing sins. However, we don’t consider him an enemy. We allow him to divert us. When we oversleep for Fajr one day, we cannot allow Shaytan to let us miss our Fajr prayer the next day as well. We will guard our prayers by setting up our alarms and going to bed early. We will perform ablution before getting ready for bed and recite the supplications of protection before going to sleep. We will set up our defense against Shaytan.

When we are not mindful of minor sins, the enemy tricks us into major sins. We get addicted to pornography. We fall into adultery or fornication. Even married people are engaged in these sins.

[The Seven Destructive Sins]

You cannot let Shaytan win and lead you to the Hellfire. He is a criminal! And Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has warned us about him. Be on your alert at all times. When you slip once, you cannot allow him to trick you again. Immediately seek the help of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, engage in Qur’an recitation and thikr and adopt the company of the righteous. Leave bad company and all such situations that make you slip.

Shaytan comes to steal your emaan – the most valuable thing that we own although we don’t realize it. If someone was to steal our Rolls Royce, the next time we bought a vehicle we would make sure that there was a car alarm and tracking device installed. So no one would dare! But we let Shaytan steal our emaan.

We Are in Absolute Need of Allah 

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

“O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.” [Fatir 35:15]

Faqeer is a person who has got nothing. We have got nothing besides what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has favored us with.

In a Hadeeth Qudsi, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “O My servants! All of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance from Me and I shall guide you. O My servants! All of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food from Me and I shall feed you. O My servants! All of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing from Me and I shall clothe you…”

While we are enjoying all His blessings, He is absolutely free of any need from us. He does not need our prayers, our worship or our supplications. They are all for us. If we are obedient and beautify our character with the teachings of the Qur’an, He will give us more. If we turn away, He has no need of us and our abode will be Hellfire. We seek protection with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from such an end, ameen.

He says,

“If He wills, He can do away with you and bring forth a new creation.” [Fatir 35:16]

If we are not submissive to Him, He can replace us with an entirely new creation that will be humbly submissive and better.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us of a business that will never experience loss. He says,

“Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend [in His cause] out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, [can] expect a profit that will never perish.” [Fatir 35:29]

Only three things are expected from us for this profitable trade. Honor the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala by reciting it, understanding it and spreading it. Establish prayers. Spend from what He has blessed us with – especially the obligatory charity. It sounds so easy but sometimes due to our own contaminated Nafs we take it as a hardship upon ourselves. We need to remember, when there is a will there is a way.

On the Day of Judgment people will argue they were not given sufficient time to take heed, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

“And they will cry out therein, ‘Our Lord, remove us; we will do righteousness – other than what we were doing!’ But did We not grant you life enough for whoever would remember therein to remember, and the warner had come to you? So taste [the punishment], for there is not for the wrongdoers any helper.” [Fatir 35: 37]

From the Tafaseer, we learn that anybody who reaches the age of sixty was given sufficient chances and time to learn the Deen of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and mend his ways. Such a person will have no excuses in the Hereafter. As we age, it is a “warning” for us that we are gradually returning to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.  

Every year while celebrating birthday (those who celebrate), we should do a self-analysis. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala enabled me to live this long, what have I done with this life? We should reflect on the five questions that everyone will be asked on the Day of Judgment; how we lived on this earth, how we spent our youth, how we earned our wealth and how we spent it, what did we do with the knowledge of the Deen that we gained.

Are we ready to answer these questions?

(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s Peace of Pearl Series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013)

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