Issue 144 » November 16, 2001 -
Bani Isra'eel (The
Children of Israel)
Chapter 17: Verses 107-109
"Tell them, (O Prophet!): 'Believe in it (the Quran), or do not believe'. When it is recited to those who were given the knowledge before its revelation, they fall down upon their faces in prostration, and say: 'Glory be to our Lord. Surely the promise of our Lord was bound to be fulfilled.' And they fall down upon their faces, weeping, and (the recitation of the Quran) increases their humility."
These verses refer to those People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians) who are familiar with the teachings of their Scriptures and who are conversant with its characteristic style.
In the first verse we are reminded of the fact that no one's belief or disbelief affects the beauty and grandeur of Allah's revelation. But those endowed with spiritual depth and insight know at once when they hear Allah's Word, and fall down in awe, love, and humility. On listening to the Quran, they instantly realized that the Messenger alluded to in the past Scriptures had come. Those who were endowed with knowledge and spiritually prepared for it, found in the Quran a unique sense of satisfaction that their souls had been longing for for ages.
Abul A'la al-Taymee (may Allah have mercy on him) said with regard to these three verses: "Whoever is given knowledge that doesn't make him weep, then clearly he has not been given the knowledge that benefits, because Allah, the Most High has described knowledge as that which makes you weep and fall down on your faces in humility."
The profound message of the Quran, if studied with longing and sincerity, certainly does increase one in humility, connects one with reality, and takes one out of the fancy world of false dreams. This is what makes the Quran so powerful. And it is this sudden connection with reality and our innate recognition of it that moves us to tears in acknowledgement of having at last received the Truth from God!
No wonder, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), whose character itself was Quran, once gave a moving sermon, 'the like of which was never heard before', in which he said, "If you knew what I knew, you would laugh little and weep much!" [Bukhari, Muslim] Thereupon, all the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) covered their faces, weeping and sniffing.
Let the Month of Ramadan, also known as the Month of the Quran, be a source of a new beginning in our lives - making us a people of depth and reflection, who are moved by its message!
[compiled from "Holy Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary" by A Yusuf Ali and "Weeping from the Fear of Allah" by Shaykh Husayn al-Awaa'ishah]
22 SYMPTOMS OF WEAK FAITH
Series continued from YMFN Issue #143
Following are some of the signs and symptoms of weak faith that one can use to assess whether he or she suffers from spiritual death or disease:
12- Laziness and carelessness in performing acts of worship: If a person does them at all, the acts of worship are just empty movements, devoid of any real feeling. Allah has described the hypocrites thus: "...and when they stand up for prayer, they stand up with laziness..."[4:142]. This also includes neglecting to make the most out of special occasions and times for worship. This indicates that a person has no interest in earning reward, so he may delay going for Hajj (pilgrimage) although he is able to do so, or fail to perform Jihad when he has the strength to do so, or fail to attend prayers in congregation, or even the Friday Prayers.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "People will keep holding back from being in the first row (of congregational prayers), until Allah throws them into the Fire."[Abu Dawood]. This kind of person does not feel any remorse or guilt if he or she sleeps in and misses one of the obligatory prayers, or a Sunnah prayer that is strongly encouraged. Nor does he or she want to make it up later.
Another example of laziness in performing acts of worship is the neglect of actions which the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed regularly, such as praying at night (qiyaam al-layl), setting out early to go to the mosque, and other voluntary prayers, such as two Rakahs of Tawbah (prayer of repentance) and Istikhaarah (prayer for Allah's guidance when confused about a matter).
No Time to Hibernate!
"Many Muslims today have a misconception about fasting and the activities of a fasting person. They go into a state of semi-hibernation, spending most of their daylight hours in bed. If they fear Allah, they wake up for prayer, but then return to sleep immediately. This unnatural sleep makes them become lazy, dull-witted and often cranky.
Ramadan is actually a time of increased activity wherein the believer, now lightened of the burdens of constant eating and drinking, should be more willing to strive and struggle for Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), passed through nine Ramadans after the migration. They were filled with decisive events, such as Jihad, and left us a shining example of sacrifice and submission to Allah. Throughout Islamic history, most of the significant battles were won in this month!"
a passionate reminder from Shaykh Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick in Ramadan in History.
A QUICK CHECK LIST OF RAMADAN
- Make a resolve to win the maximum favour of Allah by performing extra voluntary prayers (Nawaafil), making frequent Du'a and increased remembrance (Dhikr).
- Try to recite some Quran after every Prayer. In fact if you read 3-4 pages after every Prayer you can easily finish the entire Quran in Ramadan!
- Study the Tafseer (commentary) every morning.
- Invite a person you are not very close with or your relatives to your home for Iftar, at least once a week. You will notice the blessings in your relationships!
- Bring life to your family! Everyday, try to conclude the fast with your family and spend some quality time together to understand each other better.
- Give gifts on 'Eid to at least 5 people: 2 to your family members, 2 to your good friends, and 1 to a person whom you love purely for the sake of Allah.
- Make commitment to join Islamic study circles or Halaqas to learn more about Islam and improve your own life.
- Donate generously to the masajid, Islamic organizations, and any where people are in need or oppressed. "This is a month of sharing!"
- Share Ramadan and its teachings of peace & patience with your neighbours. Learn how at http://www.soundvision.com/
- Sleep little, eat little! Make sure you do not defeat the purpose of fasting by over-indulging in food and being lazy.
- Seek the rare and oft-neglected rewards of 'the night better than a 1000 months', Layla-tul-Qadr.
- Weep in private for the forgiveness of your sins: It is the month of forgiveness and Allah's Mercy and it's never too late.
- Learn to control your tongue and lower your gaze. Remember the Prophet's warning that lying, backbiting, and a lustful gaze all violate the fast!
- Encourage others to enjoin and love goodness, and to abandon everything that Allah dislikes. Play the role of a Da'ee (one who invites to Allah) with zeal, passion, and sympathy.
- Experience the joy of Tahajjud prayers late at night and devote yourself purely and fully to Allah in the I'tikaf retreat during the last 10 days of Ramadan.