وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا ﴿٦٤﴾ وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا ﴿٦٥﴾ إِنَّهَا سَاءتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا ﴿٦٦﴾
“And they are the ones who spend the night, before their Lord, bowing their faces down to the ground and standing in Prayer. And they are the ones who say: Our Lord! Turn aside from us the torment of Hell. Indeed, its torment is unrelenting. Assuredly, it is a most evil residence and station.” (Translation from Ahmad Zaki Hammad)
We have now entered the month of love. The month of celebration of the relationship we have with our loved ones. Of course, it is known as Valentine’s Day in the United States. Although as Muslims we should not celebrate or show love to our significant others on only one day of the year. In fact, we show gratitude to Allahﷻ for the mercy of being surrounded by our family everyday. However, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the next characteristics of the Slaves of the Most Merciful, as they relate to our love of Allahﷻ.
Last month, we began learning about “Ibaad Al-Rahman” and how we could and should strive to be amongst this blessed group of people. Today, we will cover verses 64, 65, and 66 of Surat Al-Furqan. In verse 64, Allahﷻ says, “Those who are close to their Lord, spend their nights in worship.” What does this mean? It means those spending their nights either in Sajdah, or standing up in prayer. Sajdah is the act of prostration to only Allahﷻ. Something interesting that will completely change our perspective on our Salah is that the closest position to Allahﷻ that you will ever be in this Dunya, is in the state of prostration (Sajdah). This is the meaning of “سجداً وقياما”. If you are able to make it a habit and routine to pray tahajjud/qiyam each day, then you should have no problem with praying your other 5 prayers throughout the day. The Tahajjud prayer is so special because you are getting up during the last third of the night to do nothing else other than to worship your Lord. What is better than that? Only someone with true love for Allahﷻ would be able to do this. If you strive to be a person who is amongst the slaves of the Most Merciful, then you should care deeply about Salat Al Qiyam as well. You know that it is not obligatory to pray Tahajjud, but you want to get closer to Allahﷻ so you make sure to get up and pray. You do so in private without anyone seeing you other than Allahﷻ.
Moving on to Ayah 65, Allahﷻ states, “Those who call out to their Lord and seek protection from the Hell fire.” Oh Allah! We have heard about the torment of the Hell fire. We have learned about it. We have read about it. We believe in it. We know that it is a bad place and that it is very painful. We don’t want to go there so please protect us from it and keep us away from it. This is the kind of dua that this group of individuals make. They are constantly seeking Allah’sﷻ protection from the Hell fire because indeed, its punishment is a persisting affliction. These people are conscious of where they are going to go after they die. Not just in this dunya, but in the A’khira. They are worried and always thinking about if they were to die right at this moment, where would they be? Where would they go? For the very least, ask Allahﷻ to save and protect you from the Hell fire. Referring back to the last Ayah about worshiping during the night, the last third of the night is the best time to make dua. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allahﷻ be pleased with him) that the Prophetﷺ (blessings and peace of Allahﷻ be upon him) said: “Our Lord, may He be blessed and exalted, comes down to the lowest heaven every night when the last third of the night is left, and He says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will ask Me for forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’”
The next Ayah is a continuation of the previous verse. This Ayah is another description of the Hell fire. “Indeed it is evil as an abode and a place to dwell in.” It is the worst place that you can ever go. So we know the qualities of the Hell fire and are worried about it. The Kuffar would say “إن هي إلا حياتنا الدنيا نموت ونحيا”. The disbelievers would say “This is just the life of this dunya. We are alive and we will die.” They are not bothered about anything else. Nothing matters to them except the dunya. The true believers are concerned about the hereafter.
To wrap up, these characteristics of I’baad Al-Rahman that we just covered state that this group of people spend their nights in worship and constantly seek Allah’sﷻ protection from the Hell fire. I ask Allahﷻ to protect us from the painful torment of the Hell Fire and I ask Allahﷻ to grant us all the highest level of paradise, Jannatul Firdous.
By Ahmad Salah