Insolence and Arrogance, Thankfulness in Hunger, Tips for the Night of Power
Issue 546 » September 11, 2009 - Ramadan 21, 1430
Insolence and Arrogance
Al-Qasas (The Story) Sura 28 : Verse 78
"Answered he (Qarun): 'I have been given this wealth only by virtue of the knowledge that I have.' Did he not know that God had destroyed many a generation that preceded him, and who were far more powerful and greater in wealth than he? The guilty are not questioned about their sins."
This is the attitude of one who chooses to be oblivious to the source of the blessings he has been given. Qarun has been blinded by his wealth. Such people are common, seen in all societies. Many a rich person believes that his knowledge and effort are the only means by which he has amassed his wealth. Hence, he is not to be questioned about the way he uses his wealth, what he spends or for what purpose, whether it be for good or foul. No thought does he entertain of God or earning His pleasure.
Islam accepts private ownership and appreciates people's efforts in this regard, provided that they remain within the realm of what is permissible. While it does not belittle the importance of private effort, it stipulates a certain method of spending money just like it stipulates rules and methods that must be observed in acquiring it. Its system combines balance and moderation. It does not deprive anyone of the fruits of their enterprise, but at the same time it does not approve either unrestricted indulgence or miserly hoarding. It gives the community its dues in such wealth, as well as the right to watch and monitor the methods of obtaining, investing, spending and enjoying wealth.
Qarun, however, did not appreciate the blessings granted by his Lord. He did not abide by the divine method, but instead turned away arrogantly. Therefore, a warning was issued to him for his insolence and arrogance: If he believed himself to be powerful and rich, God had in the past destroyed communities that were far more powerful and wealthy. He should have known this, because it is such knowledge that saves man from destruction. Let him know, then, that he and all guilty people like him are worth nothing in God's sight. They are not even worth questioning about their sins. They are neither the arbiters nor the witnesses.
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Syed Qutb, Vol. 13, pp. 271, 272
Thankfulness in Hunger
When the Muhajirun (immigrants from Makkah) arrived in Madinah, they did not have enough money to support themselves. So they were divided into groups of ten or twelve and were welcomed as guests of the families of the Ansar (residents of Madinah). Rasulullah, pease be upon him, stayed with Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, may Allah be pleased with him. Abu Ayyub was not a rich man, but he did everything he could for the comfort of Rasulullah and his group.
The Prophet's group had a few sheep. At night, they milked the sheep and drank it, saving for those who were not present at the time.
One night Rasulullah arrived late and found no milk left for him. The Sahaba (companions) had not realized that Rasulullah had not had any. They felt bad for forgetting to save his share. Though Rasulullah never ate very much, that day he was very hungry. He said, "O Allah, feed well the man who feeds me today."
Miqdad, may Allah be pleased with him, heard this and immediately spoke up, "O Rasulullah. I will slaughter my goat for you."
But Rasulullah said, "O Miqdad, please don't do that. Our need for milk each day is greater than our need for meat today."
When Rasulullah tried to milk the sheep, just a little bit came out. He drank that, thanked Allah and went to sleep. The companions reported that Rasulullah said nothing and showed no anger about their inconsiderate behaviour. Rather he thanked Allah for the little he had to drink.
[Recorded in Musnad ibn Hanbal]
"Stories of the Sirah" - Abidullah Ghazi and Tasneema Ghazi, Vol. VIII, p. 10
Here are some tips of things we can do on the Night of Power and the time before and after it.
1. Do Itikaf
It was a practice of the Prophet to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadan in the masjid for Itikaf.
Those in Itikaf stay in the masjid all this time, performing various forms of zikr (the remembrance of Allah), like doing extra Salat, recitation and study of the Quran. They do not go outside the masjid except in case of emergencies, therefore, they sleep in the masjid. Their families or the masjid administration takes care of their food needs.
Itikaf of a shorter period of time, like one night, a day or a couple of days is encouraged as well.
2. Make this special Dua
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?' He said: 'Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.' "(Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).
The transliteration of this Dua is "Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee"
3. Reflect on the meaning of the Quran
Choose the latest Surah or Surahs you've heard in Tarawih and read their translation and Tafseer. Then think deeply about their meaning and how it affects you on a personal level.
4. Make a personal Dua list.
Ask yourself what you really want from Allah. Make a list of each and everything, no matter how small or how big it is, whether it deals with this world or not. Allah loves to hear from us. Once this list is ready, you can do three things:
- Ask Allah to give you those things
- Think about what actions you have taken to get those things
- Develop a work plan to get those things in future.
5. Evaluate yourself.
Ask yourself those questions that need to be asked. Do an evaluation of where you are and where you are going. Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the bad you have done. This latter feeling should make it easier to seek Allah's sincere forgiveness when making the Dua mentioned in tip number one above.
6. Have Iftar with the family
If you've spent Iftar time on weekdays in your cubicle at work alone with a couple of dates, now is the last few days you'll have this Ramadan to spend with your family. Use it wisely.
7. Finish reading a book on the Prophet
Read about the Prophet's life, which can increase your love for him and Islam by seeing how much he struggled for Allah's sake. It may inspire you to push yourself even harder during these last ten nights. This community is built on sacrifice.
"16 things you can do on the Night of Power" - Abdul Malik Mujahid