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Opportunity Knocks

27 Jul

With the arrival once more of the glorious month of Ramadaan, a great
opporunity knocks at the door of every muslim:

” O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed to you as it was
prescribed to those before you, that you may attain taqwaa . [ Al-
Baqara (2) : 183]

This is the opportunity that is presented before each and every one
of us in Ramaadan- the chance to become muttaqoon – yet how many of
us are availing ourselves of this opportunity? The
Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said : “Perhaps the fasting
person will get nothing from his fast except hunger and thirst.”

In other words, simply keeping away from food and drink is not
sufficient to reap the benefits of fasting and to attain the taqwaa
which Allah has spoken of. Fasting is a much more comprehensive
action. The fasting person is the one whose limbs withold from sins,
his tounge from lies, foul speech and falsehood, his stomach from
food and drink and his private parts from sexual intercourse- and all
this he does seeking nothing but the pleasure of Allah. During this
month of Ramadaan, will our fasts reflect these characteristics? Will
we be adorning our fasting with long prayers, supplications for
forgiveness and extra recitation and contemplation of the Book of
Allah? Or will we be sleeping out our fasts, or perhaps watching
endless hours of television to pass the time?

Unfortunately today, many times we do the minimum possible and we
want, expect or even claim to be certain that Allah will accept such
deeds from us. We seem to be concerned more with quantity than with
quality. The taraaweeh prayers which are performed in the mosques is
just one classic example of this. We see so clearly here how most of
us are more concerned about whether we have completed the daily quota
of verses, than we are about whether we have prayed with sincerity,
humility and attentiveness. In truth, it would be better for us to
pray two very short rak’ahs, but with calmness, devotion and
concordance with the manner of the Prophet’s prayer, rather than
carelessly whizz through the 8, 20 or 36 rak’aahs that the people
go through nowadays. We have to be very careful not to approach these
important deeds in the way that the hypocrites approach them. Allah
speaks of them in the Quraan:

” Nothing prevents their contributions from being accepted by
them except that they disbeleived in Allah and His Messenger and that they came not to prayer except in a lazy state and that they offer not contributions but unwillingly.” [At-Tawbah (9) : 54]

We must understand that Allah looks into our deeds not to see who has
the most, but who has the best deeds.

” Blessed be He in whose Hand is the Dominion, and He is able to
do all things. Who has created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.”
[Al-Mulk (67) : 1-2]

In another verse, Allah states:

” Verily, We have made that which is on earth an adoration for
it, in order that we may test them as to which of them are best in
deeds.” [Al-Kahf (18) : 7]

The best deeds- that is what Allah is looking for in us. That is why
the Prophet sallallahu alahi wa sallam, not only instructed us to
pray five times a day, but also to pray in the manner that he used to
pray[ibn Maajah and others] and also to pray each prayer as if it was
your last. [Bukharee and Ahmad], since this would most certainly be
the best and most perfect prayer we would be capable of performing.
Likewise, with respect to fasting, the prophet sallallahu alaihi wa
sallam said: ” Fasting is not[ merely abstaining] from eating
and drinking, rather it is[ abstaining] from ignorant and indecent
speech, so if anyone abuses or behaves ignorantly with you, then
say: `I am fasting,I am fasting'” [Ibn khuzaima]

On another occasion, the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said:
“Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action then Allah, the Mighty and Majestic has no want that he should leave his food and
drink.” [Bukharee]

We must remind ourselves of these narrations everyday if we are to
truly benefit from this month of Ramadaan. We must view our fasting,
not as a duty to be completed in any manner possible, but as a
tremendous opportunity to elevate our ranks in the hereafter by
becoming muttaqoon. If we have the desire to change our attidues
towards our deeds and our lives then there is no more opportune
moment than this, for this is thye month where “The gates of
Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell fire are closed and the devils are chained.”[Bukharee and Muslim].The truth of this statement-if we
ever needed proof of its truth- can be witnessed in every land, where we see that even the most astray muslims turn back to the religon for
just this one month of the year-SubhaanaAllah!

So take advantage of this month where Shaytaan is at its weakest and
Allah’ mercy is ever embracing His repentant slave. Make this
Ramadaan your best so far, by Allah’ permission.

Remember, opporunity is knocking. The opportunity is Ramadaan and the
door belongs to you. It is for you to open this door, welcome this
opportunity and make the most of it!

Source : http://www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php?articleID=1246&

 

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