By Sheikh Muhammad Mahmud Turi
In the name of Allah who states “Ramadan is the (month) In which was sent down The Qur’an, as a guide To mankind, also clear (Signs) For guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong), So everyone of You Who is present (at his home) During that month should spend it in fasting …” Q2: 18. May the everlasting peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.
ASSESSING OUR FASTING
As the Ramadan moves fast, I hope we should accelerate our activities seeking the pleasure of Allah the Most high. And as the popular saying goes assess yourself before you are assessed, each of us can appraise his or her activities geared toward the goal of fasting by now. Whatever the case, I strongly urge all of us to put more efforts in Qur’anic recitation, superogatory prayers, personal and general supplications and humanitarian services.
In our self and general assessment, we should never forget that the goal behind fasting is attainment of taqwa; piety or self – restraint. “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self – restraint (Al – taqwa)” Qur’an: 2:183.
This simply means that whoever does not achieve it in the end has really missed the goal and failed the spiritual training! “O you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those Who patiently persevere”. Q2:153.
So we must keep all the good forms of worship we do and extend our night prayers seeking Allah’s forgiveness and mercy for our humble selves, parents and beloved so that we may achieve salvation.
“When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed Close (to them); I respond To the prayer of every supplicant when he calleth on Me; Let them also, with a will listen to My call, And believe in Me; That they may walk in the right way” Q2: 186.
On the lessons from Tafseer and relevant sessions, we must make sure that we practice, as actions always speak louder.
The piece of this week is on some Ramadhan historic events from which we have many lessons to learn;
The prophet lost his beloved wife Sayyidah Khadijah and compassionate Uncle Abi Talib, the father of the commander of the faithful. The year was generally known as the year of sorrow in Islamic history.
Sayyidah Khadijah was the first wife of the noble messenger. She was a prominent lady known for her piety, compassion and generosity before revelation for which she was referred as the pure among other names. The prophet has related the success of Islam to her wealth, sword of Ali in defense of the religion and protection of Abi Talib!
In a hadeeth the prophet (s) said “the most superior women of paradise are Khadijah daughter of Khuwailid, Fatima daughter of Muhammad, Asiyah daughter of Muzahim and Maryam daughter of Imran” In another narration, he said; the best of all the women are four whom he named as Maryam daughter of Imran, Khadijah daughter of Khuwailid, Fatima daughter of Muhammad and Asiyah wife of Pharoah”.
A’isha, mother of the faithful reported “one day the messenger of Allah remembered Khadija (his deceased wife). I disliked this and said she was old, she was such and such. Now Allah has provided you with a better wife. (She meant herself). He said; Allah has not provided me with a better wife. She believed in my prophet hood when others refused to believe in me, and she verified and supported my words when others contradicted them, and she placed her wealth at my disposal when others disappointed me. Allah blessed me with children through her and not through any other wife” Istii’aab by bin Abdul Barr, with similar records by Bukhari and Muslim.
It was part of the boundless blessings that her daughter Fatima was highly elevated above all women in this Ummah “O my daughter! Are you not satisfied that you are the doyenne of the women of the world? She said: o father! What about Mary daughter of Imran (then)? He said: she is the doyenne of the women of her world and you are the doyenne of the women of your world; I swear by Allah that I have married you to a master in life and the hereafter. Hilyat al – Auliya volume 2 page 42.
THE YEAR OF SORROW
Sayyidah Khadija spent good fifteen years with noble messenger (s). And throughout their stay he did not marry anyone. In fact, Islamic scholars have expressed the logic of the marriages of the prophet on compassionate and political ground not any other reason! And all the verses that warned mothers of believers for one reason or the other were revealed after her.
“O consorts of the prophet! Ye are not like any Of the (other) women if ye do fear (Allah) …” Q33:32.
“If the two of you turn to Allah (it is better) for both your hearts inclined. And if you aid one another against him, then surely Allah, Gabriel and the righteous among the believers are his helpers. And the angels after that are his supporters” Q66:4.
“If he (the prophet (s) divorces you his Lord may grant him in your place better wives than you –obedient, faithful, dutiful to Allah and His messenger, repentant for their sins, worshipful, observing fasts both widows and virgins” Q66: 5.
Allah said “O wives of the prophet and stay in your houses. Do not display yourself as the Jahiliyyah (people of ignorance) from before. Q33:33.
“And stay quietly in Your houses, and make not A dazzling display like that of the former times of ignorance” Ahzab: 33.
The prophet (s) has given sayyida Khadija glad tidings of Allah’s forgiveness and mercy in the hereafter!
Abu Talib on the other hand was the father of Ali. He believed in the noble prophet and gave him utmost protection even though the enemies of his son have rejected his faith. He also died in the same year as sayyida Khadija for which the noble messenger suffered a lot and named the year as mentioned. We will look at Islam of Abu Talib in our subsequent write – ups Insha’Allah.
THE WAR OF BADR
“Assuredly Allah did help you In many battle – fields, And on the day of Hunain; Behold! Your great numbers Elated you, but they Availed you naught; the land. For all that it is wide, Did constrain you, and ye Turned back in retreat” Q9:25.
The battle of Badr was fought in the holy month of Ramadhan on the 19th. Despite the fasting, the believers were faced with the persecution of the Meccan pagans under the leadership of Abu Sufyan. However Allah helped them with great victory killing seventy enemies and taking similar hostages! “O Prophet! Sufficient unto thee is Allah, and unto those Who follow thee Among the Believers” Q7”64.
No one could imagine success for the believers with their little number and few arms when the unbelievers have multiplied them more than three times and were fully armed to teeth!
“Remember ye implored The assistance of your Lord, And He answered you; I will assist you With a thousand of the angels, Ranks and ranks” Q8:9.
Allah has promised believers similar success forever provided they are steadfast and sincere in their faith!
BIRTH OF IMAM HASAN (AS)
Birth of Imam Hasan al – Mujtaba (as) was of the historic events of this month. The Imam was born on 15th Ramadhan, 3 years after hijra to the family of the noble prophet (s). His father was the commander of the faithful, Imam Ali son of Abi Talib and mother sayyida Fatima daughter of the noble prophet (s).
When the young Imam was born, the prophet (s) went to the house and took the baby in his blessed arms and recited Adhan and Iqama naming him al – Hasan! The Imam was brought up under the patronage of his grandfather the prophet (s). However, The Imam was finally murdered on the orders of his father’s enemy as a martyr!
MARTYRDOM OF IMAM ALI (AS)
Of the prominent historic events was the murder of the commander of the faithful, Imam Ali (as) by Mu’awiya’s tool, Ibn Muljim who fatally wounded the Imam with his poisoned sword on 21st Ramadan, 40 years after hijra while leading the Morning Prayer at Kufa. “And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead; nay (they are) alive, but you do not perceive” Q2:154.
Before his last breath, the Imam passed a lengthy will to his eldest son part of which; “… I advice you (both), all my children, members of my family and everyone whom my writing reaches to fear Allah, to keep your affairs in order and to maintain good relations among yourselves for I have heard grandfather (the holy prophet) saying; improvement of mutual differences is better than general prayers and fasting…”.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah.