DAY 34. WEDNESDAY 29 APRIL 2020.
From Anas, radiyallahu ‘anhu, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, say:
“Allah the Almighty has said: ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me, and hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds in the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I shall forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with an earthful of sins and were you then to face Me, without having associated anything with Me, I shall grant you an earthful of pardon.’” [Recorded by Al-Tirmidhi, who said that it is a good and sound hadith]
Allah opened the ocean for Musa (a.s) at a time most difficult for him and his followers. The miracle is still a spectacle in our sermons and stories we tell however, we don’t reflect deeply on it. Today, oceans are opened for us in different ways and all we have to do is to open our hearts to what we see and experience before us. The oceans that have been opened to us are that of relationships with creation.
Our whole life is based on relationships and each relationship has a unique space in our hearts and minds. The heart is the seat of emotion, intuition and reasoning whilst the mind is the seat of intelligence and reasoning too. When the heart and mind are in sync with a relationship then that relationship is open to new horizons of greatness. The start of this relationship is based on a yearning in the heart. To illustrate this example with the Seerah (Life of Nabi Muhammad s). In years before prophethood which is 40 years, Nabi Muhammad (s) became known as Al-Ameen (The Trustworthy) and he spent days in solitude in the cave of Hira contemplating about the Creator, Allah. His time was a dedication of deep thought and reflection of a very refined order on a spiritual station that is incomparable. After years of spending time in solitude he received revelation from Allah through the arch angel, Jibraeel (as) and was conferred the nobility of Prophethood. If we were to say that Nabi Muhammad (s) secluded himself from the age of 17 to the time of the first revelation it comes to 23 years. This means that in the 23 years there was a habit of seclusion to ponder, reflect, think of Allah, the Majestic. This habit was the forming of a relation with Allah, the all Hearing because there was a restlessness in the heart of Nabi Muhammad (s) to find the truth. The point made here is that to develop a relationship of greatness, time has to made. The time given has to be with a goal and a means to attain something. It cannot be like the time we spend in front of a television. Revelation of the Holy Quran to Nabi Muhammad (s) took 23 years. For 23 years the revelations came to address all of mankind’s issues with compassion, mercy, guidance, warnings, knowledge and spirituality to name a few qualities of the Holy Quran.
The Holy Quran was the connection between Allah, the Subtle with Nabi Muhammad (s). Nabi Muhammad (s) preached the Holy Quran as his mission and the Holy Quran too became the relationship between the believers and Allah, the all Encompassing. Nabi Muhammad (s) as their Prophet became the bond with the Holy Quran because he lived it in every action and relation with people and the world at large. According to Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, revelation began in Ramadaan which is important to note because in this month we do develop a unique relationship with Allah, the High the Beneficent.
Prophethood began at the age of 40 and the mission of Nabi Muhammad (s) began with trails and tribulations that rendered Nabi Muhammad (s) and the early believers vulnerable to persecution. This did not change the relationship Nabi Muhmmad (s) to despair with Allah, it only strengthened the relationship. Furthermore, the early believers also did not give into despair in their relationship with Nabi Muhammad (s). They solidified their belief in Allah, the Powerful and with Nabi Muhammad (s), the Mercy to all mankind. What all this teaches us is that any relationship has to stand the test of trials and tribulations and must have the investment of time for it to yield results. This is the meaning of patience. Patience is the investment of all action to achieve a desired goal. This is further illustrated in the reflections of the Holy Quran.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
٨٤﴾ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَإِنْ تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُمْ بِهِ اللَّهُ ۖ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
284. To Allah belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on earth. Whether you reveal what is in yourselves, or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it. He forgives whom He wills, and He punishes whom He wills, and Allah is Capable of all things.
﴿٢٨٥﴾ آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ رُسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
285. The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, as did the believers. They all have believed in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, and His messengers: “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and we obey. Your forgiveness, our Lord. To you is the destiny.”
﴿٢٨٦﴾ لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ ۗ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِنْ نَسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ ۖ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا ۚ أَنْتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ
286. Allah burdens no soul beyond its capacity. To its credit is what it earns, and against it is what it commits. “Our Lord, do not condemn us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Lord, do not burden us as You have burdened those before us. Our Lord, do not impose on us more than we have the strength to bear; and pardon us, and forgive us, and have mercy on us. You are our Master, so help us against the disbelieving people.”
The last two ayahs (evidences) of Surah al Baqarah has great merits in view of its connection to Allah’s treasures of Paradise. The ayahs above should be learnt by heart because of the following that Moulana Muhammad Shafi says in Ma’ariful Quran, Vol 1 page 719:
“As it appears in Mustadrak of al-Hakim and in Bayhaqi, the Holy Prophet (s) said that Allah Almighty has concluded Surah al-Baqarah with these two ayahs, which have been given to me in His grace from out of the special treasure that lies under the Arsh (Divine Throne).
The point that is established here how the relationship between Allah the Clement with all creation. Further to the discussion on relationship with Allah consider the following part of the ayah آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ (The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, as did the believers) shows that Allah praises Nabi Muhammad (s) and the believers indicating a very honourable relationship existed between them and Allah. Furthermore, it denotes the distinction of this ummah which is made of people who never reject any Prophet especially the noble Prophet Muhammad (s). The beauty of this relation is further expressed when Allah says, “Allah burdens no soul beyond its capacity” because it shows that Allah is fair and just, but HIS mercy outweighs HIS anger. Mankind will be asked to account for the deeds undertaken with choice and volition.
Allah’s mercy extends to this ummah teaching us how to make dua as Moulana Mohammed Shafi explains in Ma’riful Quran as, “The Noble Quran, towards the far end, teaches Muslims to make a special dua or prayer in which forgiveness has been sought on commission of some act because of forgetfulness or neglect or mistake.”
رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ ۖ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا ۚ أَنْتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ
When you read this dua or prayer think about about the severe restrictions that the Bani Isra’il were burdened with. When they sinned for example their repentance would not be accepted without killing. Furthermore, it could also mean that the punishments that came upon the Bani Isra’il must not come upon us. Ponder on this and you will see that it is the relationship that was established with Allah, the Sublime by the Nabi Muhammad (s) and the early believers that clemency of this nature was awarded to all Muslims. The teaching then is profound : our relationship with Allah has to be developed on a daily basis by all that we do and say.
In terms of relations, Nabi Muhammad (s) shared what he knew with his wives too because he wanted them to connect Allah. Our relationship then with both Allah and Nabi Muhammad (s) is the Holy Quran. It has been made easy and all it requires is thoughtful action.
One blessed night, our Master Nabi Muhammad (s) got up to pray, saying to the venerable A’isha: “ O A’isha, do not lie down to sleep before completing a recitation of the Qur’an.” The Mother of the Believers waited for our blessed Master to finish his prayers before asking him: “O Messenger of Allah, how could I recite the entire Quran in one night and then go to bed?”
Our Master replied: “O A’isha, the All-Glorious One will grant you the reward for a complete recitation if you recite Surat al Ikhlas three times, Suratul al Fall once, Surat al Was once, Surat al-Fatiha once, and the last five verses of Surat al Baqara.” Source : Irshad. The Wisdom of the Sufi Master. Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak-Al Jerrahi. Pg.603.
When I reflect on the hadith that heads the article I am amazed to see the relationship that Allah has established with us. The question that begs the mind is what relationship do we have with Allah, the Merciful because, until we don’t know it, we will became despondent. Therefore, we should use this time to establish that connection with Allah and begin a relationship that is enduring. To begin the connection, let us repent and turn to Allah, seeking forgiveness. If the whole of creation were to ask Allah for all we want and to forgive us of our sins, Allah will give us all that we ask and would forgive all of us of our sins. In doing so, it will not diminish Allah’s treasures even to the likeness of the droplets of water that remains on a needle that was dipped into the ocean. Furthermore, Allah’s greatness will not be diminished if all our sins are forgiven.