“And they are the ones who when they spend are neither excessive nor stingy, but who stand firm evenly between these. And they are the ones who do not call upon any other god with God. Nor do they kill a soul-which God has prohibited-except by right. Nor do they commit illicit sexual intercourse. For whoever does this shall meet the penalty of sin: Torment shall be multiplied on the Day of Resurrection for such a one. Except for whoever repents, and believes, and does righteous deeds. For the likes of them, then, God will substitute their misdeeds with good deeds.”
(Translation from Ahmad Zaki Hammad)
It is the beautiful month of Rajab. It is the month of preparation. The month before the blessed month of Ramadan. I ask Allahﷻ to allow each and every one of us to witness the month of forgiveness and reflection. As we think about how we could prepare ourselves for the coming of Ramadan, a great place to start is reflecting on the characteristics and qualities of the Slaves of the most Merciful. As a continuance of the preceding months, this month we will cover verses 67, 68, and 70 of Surat Al-Furqan.
As a recap, last month we talked about those who are close to their Lord, they spend their nights in worship. We also talked about those who call out to their Lord and seek protection from the hell fire. May Allahﷻ make us amongst these people.
To begin, Allahﷻ states in Ayah 67 that the true worshippers of the most merciful are those who when they spend in this dunya, they are not being very cheap nor are they wasting money. Rather, they are moderate and have a balance. Allahﷻ mentions the qualities of the Hell fire and that those who are close to Allahﷻ would make a dua to protect themselves from Jahannam. These people know when to spend and will spend on a good cause. These people spend on their family and the poor, not just spending on your family and zakat. A person’s value to Allahﷻ is determined by what he or she gives over and above the minimum zakat responsibility. It is determined by what he or she does above and beyond the obligatory/fard prayers. When you do more than what is obligatory on you by Allahﷻ, that is when you get closer to Him. The amount of zakat that is compulsory and obligatory on you to give is 2.5% , but when you give more for the sake of Allahﷻ, that is when you become closer and have more value to Allahﷻ. If you want to buy a beautiful house and car, as long as you can afford it, do so! Pride and arrogance are not connected to what you have or the quality of what you have. It is connected to your etiquette. If the materialistic things you own change your etiquette, then you have a problem. If Allahﷻ has blessed you in this world and the hereafter, then you have it the best. ربنا آتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الآخرة حسنة وقنا عذاب النار
The next verse, Allahﷻ states that those who do not worship any deity besides Allahﷻ, they do not kill another person, nor do they fornicate or commit adultery. Allahﷻ mentions these three qualities mentioned in one verse. The first quality is regarding those who do not worship any deity besides Allahﷻ. Many of us say that we are slaves of Al-Rahman, but we are worshipping everything besides Allahﷻ. The ones who do not call out to anyone besides Allahﷻ. The next quality regards those who do not kill or murder anyone. If the justice system executes someone that wronged you in a crime, then that is the justice system and the law. Do not take matters into your own hands, rather you need to let the law take its course or we will live in a society of chaos. This is not anywhere the qualities of a Muslim. A Muslim is calm, peaceful, and turns away from ignorance unless he is defending himself. The third quality is about those who do not fornicate or commit adultery. They do not involve in pornography or immorality. It is normal for you to be attracted to the opposite sex. However, what matters is what you do with that attraction. How you control this desire. This is the true struggle for the sake of Allahﷻ. What you chose to do with that attraction is what makes you either Ibad Al-Rahman or Ibad Al-Shaytan.
The last description of the Ibad Al-Rahman that we will cover this month are those who ask Allahﷻ for forgiveness after they have committed these terrible sins, such as adultery. People begin to lose hope when they hear of Allah’sﷻ punishment and believe that it is too late to change. So, Allahﷻ then says wait, there is an exception. Those who turn to Allahﷻ in repentance and after they repent, they continue to do good deeds. You continue to commit a sin and Allahﷻ will forgive you and you do it over and over. However, Ibadul Rahman committed the sin once, repent for it and never do it again. For these people, Allahﷻ will take their sins and convert them into good deeds.
Since Ramadan is the month of forgiveness, we should utilize Ramadan to repent and make Tawbah to Allahﷻ for all sins that we have committed. We ask Allahﷻ to forgive all of our sins: major and minor. May Allahﷻ allow us all to witness the coming Ramadan and be amongst those who make the best out of it. I ask Allahﷻ to allow us to attain the full fruits and benefits that this blessed month has to offer. The month of Rajab is indeed the month of preparation, so let us prepare.
By Ahmad Salah