February 23, 2024 | Shaʻban 13, 1445
Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verse 286 (partial)
This verse is meant to underline the important fact that although the responsibility to hear and to respond reposed in this community is an onerous one, equally great is the mercy and compassion of Allah: Allah never burdens Allah's servants with anything more than they can bear. Everyone is responsible as far as they have the capacity to shoulder a responsibility, and they will not be held accountable for what is beyond their power. All rules and laws of the Shariah are based on this principle which allows concessions to individuals facing genuine hardships or constraints. Allah does not like that Allah's servants should encumber themselves with burdens that they cannot bear, nor is it permissible for anyone else to burden them with what they are unable to bear.
It is also worth bearing in mind at this point that, as reported in ahadith, whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) took a pledge from his companions to hear and to obey him, he would himself add the words: "to the best of (your) ability". This was a practical implementation of this verse. The concession and the glad tidings in it for the believers is quite obvious, especially at a time when the responsibilities for a most glorious Shariah were being passed on to them.
"Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah al-Fatiha and Surah al-Baqarah" - Amin Ahsan Islahi
From Issue: 966 [Read original issue]
Ramadan is undoubtedly great and blessed, but not everyone who happens to live it is automatically entitled to get the blessings it brings. What is going to be your share from the treasures of Ramadan? Like the fertile soil, you may become soft-hearted and moist-eyed, sow the seed of belief and determination inside yourself, and add to your capabilities. Thus, a seed will grow into a sapling, and a sapling into a tree. The tree will be laden with the fruits of good deeds, and you will reap the fruit — the fruit of eternal bliss. Just like the farmer, as you sow so shall you reap; and the more you toil, the more you shall get. But if you remain hard-hearted, like the farmer who slept when it was time to wake up and work, then the blessings and goodness of Ramadan and Tarawih (night prayers during the holy month) will pass without benefiting you, just like the downpour that does not benefit the rock.
Nothing is gained without Allah's Will. But Allah's Will favours only those who strive hard in the way of Allah. Listen to what Allah says. He says that if you walk to Him a foot, He will walk to you two feet; if you move towards Him walking, He will come to you running [Bayhaqi]. But if you stand still, impervious and oblivious, then Allah's Will cannot be in your favour.
So, be careful lest the whole blessed month of Ramadan passes, with its downpour of blessings and goodness, and you remain empty-handed.
Make a resolve to get your share of Ramadhan's blessings by keeping in view quite a stern warning of the Holy Prophet: "There are many who observe fast, but they get nothing except hunger and thirst. There are many who pray in the night, but they gain nothing except sleepless nights" [Bukhari].
It all depends on you! Get yourself ready to welcome Ramadan most befittingly, and try to make most of it. Before the advent of Ramadan, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) used to tell his Companions about its greatness and exhort that they should spare no efforts to get the maximum benefit from it. This is what I intend to do here, i.e. discover the secret of the greatness of Ramadan, understand the importance of preparations and resolve to welcome it, use the opportunity it provides to get optimum benefit, appreciate the points that merit our attention and focus, recommend ways and means that make the journey to the destination easy and more rewarding, and avoid the path and approach that may frustrate the whole purpose and lead to failure and destruction.
"Making The Most of Ramadan" - Khurram Murad, p. 6
From Issue: 1048 [Read original issue]
Mental Preparation before the Prayer
- The planning of your daily activities should revolve around the five daily
Salah. Do not plan everything else and then try to fit Prayer into your
busy schedule. Allah deserves a greater place in our lives than that!
- Ensure that you are conversant with all the rules and regulations
governing your Prayer. Research in depth the Quranic verses and
ahadith relating to the virtues of Salah. Uncertainty in how to perform
one's prayer perfectly is a major cause of distraction.
- Be punctual with your Prayer. Get into the habit of praying at the
earliest hour. Do not procrastinate. The Prophet said, "The deed most
loved by Allah is Prayer performed on time." (Muslim) and "only the
hypocrites intentionally delay their prayers"!
- Pray as much of your obligatory Salah in congregation as is possible. This is not 'just a good thing' but an obligation on every Muslim male. According to the Prophet, if we knew the good in praying in jama'ah we
would not miss it even if we had to crawl to the masjid!
- Avoid praying in a state in which you are mentally and physically
- Keep your mind free of worldly worries, evil thoughts, and ideas.
- Plan what verses/duas you are going to recite.
- If you do not understand Arabic learn the meaning of what you recite in your Prayer.
- Remind yourself that engaging in Prayer offers you an opportunity to
release yourself from the tensions of this world. The Prophet has said
that in Prayer was placed the comfort of his eyes. Therefore cherish the
opportunity to remove the burdens of this world from your shoulders.
- Use your Prayer to remain focused on your mission in life, which is to bring your entire being to serve only Allah.
- Use your Prayer as a source of strength, inspiration and enthusiasm for your life and activities.
From Issue: 466 [Read original issue]