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Ramadan:

Selections from Ruh-ul-Qur’an


Volume One

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said


Ramadan:
Selections from Ruh-ul Qur’an
Volume One

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said


THIS IS AN UNEDITED VERSION OF THE TRANSCRIPT

Transcript prepared by Asma Zahid

Copyright © 2018 by MCIUK LTD

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any
manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except
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First Printing: 2018

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Please contact info@thenur.org for more information.
To my Parents and Shuyukh, who instilled in me the love for
the Qur’an,
And it is they who embodied its People.

My Parents
Shaykh Hamid
Shaykh Atiyyah
Shaykh Abdullah
www.TheNur.org
Contents

I. Introduction...............................................................................................9
II. Tawbah......................................................................................................11
What Does Tawbah Mean?.....................................................................13
The Conditions of Tawbah......................................................................19
The Realities of Tawbah............................................................................22
The Secrets of Tawbah...............................................................................24
Make Tawbah.............................................................................................24
III. Preparing for Ramadan............................................................................27
Story of the Guests of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)............29
Ramadan: A Great Opportunity.............................................................32
Acceptance of Our Ramadan...................................................................35
Notes...........................................................................................................39
I. Introduction
Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem

In our time, we have concentrated on the fiqh of the deen and the correctness
of our ibadah, but in doing so we have not concentrated on the Hadi of Rasu-
lullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), which is the guidance of Rasulullah (sallalla-
hu alayhi wasalam).

Throughout the years, we as Muslims have perfected our adherence of the


“how”. How to do our salah, how to give our zakah and how to fast properly.
Perfecting our adherence to these rules are important, but in their over empha-
sis we have missed much.

Syedina Imam Hafiz ibn Hajar (radiallah anhu) said that, according to him, the
Hadiths that he is comfortable with reporting as authentic are sixty-thousand
in number, but he said of those Hadiths, only four to five-thousand speak about
ibadah, while the majority that remain speak of the Hadi, or guidance, of Rasu-
lullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)!

If we take the example of the permissible gap between the iqamah and the be-
ginning of salah, which is the space of eight words, after which the iqamah
should be repeated (according to some Scholars), as we have already declared
“qad qama-tis-salah” (“the prayer has been established”). However, in the time
of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), a Bedouin man entered the masjid
and approached Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) with a question after
the iqamah – “Ya Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), I need to speak to
you. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) stopped, and the Bedouin man
made his way through the crowd of Sahaba who had congregated for prayer to
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), who was ready to listen. The man came
close and whispered in his conversation with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa-
salam), and the Sahaba, who were present, relate that the Bedouin took a long
time. Finally, the man said, “Ya Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), I am
finished.” As soon as the man said this, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)
made takbir (call) for salah!
Imagine if this were to happen in our time. If someone were to say to an Imam
who is about to start salah that he needs to speak to him, the congregation, let
alone the Imam, would comment and complain as to the appropriateness of the
interruption – “now is not the time!”

Who is the imam compared to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)? Who


are the worshippers as compared to the Sahaba? What is this masjid and what
was that masjid?

The masjid we are speaking of is the one in which in the Angel Jibreel (alaih
salam) attended, it is the masjid in which a piece of Jannah (heaven) resides.

This is how Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) honoured people. In a Ha-


dith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said, speaking to the Ka’ba:

“I swear by Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), you are the most honoured of places and
[the House of Allah], but the feelings of a mu’min (believer) are much more hon-
oured than you!”

This is the Hadi (Guide)!

In our time, there are those great ones who inherit from and follow the Hadi
of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam). Shaykh Atiyyah (rehmatullah alaih),
the Senior Judge of Madinah, would normally leave the gathering after the
Isha prayer, but on occasion, someone would enter upon the Shaykh and start
speaking to him, and he would sit on the floor with the man until sometimes
after midnight, until the visitor was finished and happy.

May Allah be pleased with you and bless you with patience to benefit from
what is fore with, as what follows is intended to guide to Him, not to what we
may want.

Allahumma salli alaa Nur.


II. Tawbah

It is injustice to the topic of Tawbah to try and truly describe it here in this vol-
ume, however, we will attempt to create an understanding to equip you to be-
gin the journey of Tawbah, by the permission of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).

Imam Al Harawi (rehmatullah alaih)


One of the great Imam’s and knower of the path to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)
is Imam Al Harawi, who lived during the fourth century A.H. in what is now
Afghanistan. In discussing Tawbah, we will leverage some of his teachings, al-
though the Imam’s discussion goes tends to the path through stages, we are not
in favour of classifications or stages in the path of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), but
rather, as the path is not easy, during this journey you will have to keep doing
all that is righteous. May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) benefit us with the barakah
of Imam Al Harawi (rehmatullah alaih).

What is Tawbah?

Tawbah means to repent but know that repentance is not easy.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said in Surah Al-Hujurat (11):

“Those who do not repent are oppressors.” (Surah Al-Hujurat, 11)

In this ayah (verse), Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is describing anyone who does
not make tawbah as (dhawlameen), or oppressors, denoting someone who is
engaged in evil or bad actions, and Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says, speaking of
the oppressors:

“Allah does not love the oppressors.” (Surah Ash-Shuraa, 40)

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) also described shirk (association of others with Al-
lah) as oppression, but how can shirk be oppression? What is the relationship
between the two?

As they say, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has given you khair, but then you ascribe
or relate this khair that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has given you to someone
else. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said in the Qur’an:

“Every blessing that you have is form Allah.” (Surah An-Nahl, 53)

Ibn Ata’ullah Al-Iskandari (rehmatullah alaih) said: Do not be like the sheep
or goat! They asked him how that is; He said: because whenever the sheep or
goat looks at the shepherd, they become elated, this is because the shepherd
feeds them and plays with them, but little do they realize that the owner is the
one behind the shepherd that pays him his salary and who provides for the
sheep and goat!

Even when you receive khair from someone, it is Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) who
facilitates that khair via that person; hence it is Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) who
deserves all thanks.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) would make the following dua daily:

“Oh Allah, every blessing that I have this morning, whether it is from You directly
or through one of Your slaves, it is from You, Ya Allah; I praise You and I thank
You for that.”

To see no one other than Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)! May Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala) be pleased with Abu Hasan Ash-Shadhili, who used to say: We thank no
one other than Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)!

Oppression is the worst attribute, and Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said:

“Those who do not repent are from the oppressors.”

The reason for starting with this ayah, with regards to tawbah, is to know that
at the minimum, when you make tawbah you remove yourself from the field
of oppressors; just by making tawbah you are saying that you are not from the
oppressors. In speaking about tawbah, you are not speaking about something
normal, but rather you are speaking about your relationship with Allah (subha-
na wa ta’ala).
What Does Tawbah Mean?
Tawbah is the process by which you remember, repent and prevent mistakes
from happening.

In terms of chronology, you need to know the mistakes you have made in order
to repent. If you were to ask Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to forgive you without
knowing the mistake, that becomes dangerous, as with time, you would not
take forgiveness or asking for forgiveness seriously.

But the question arises: can you even list or remember all the things you have
done wrong to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), others or yourself? Is it even possi-
ble to go back through every second of your life to remember those mistakes?
In the same way remembering is impossible, repenting for the impossible is
impossible, and as such you have to know your mistakes in order to make sin-
cere tawbah; as ‘Astaghfirullah-il Adheem’ is not just mere words you repeat to
repent, but rather they are sincere words, and hence Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)
describes tawbah in the Qur’an (Surah At-Tahrim, 8) as a ‘sincere tawbah’.

In terms of looking at your sins and past mistakes, there are three things you
should look for in each instance.
First Aspect of Sins
First, when reflecting on your sins, you have to feel sad and remorse for those
mistakes and sins we have committed. Imam Al Harawi (rehmatullah alaih),
although his words are small capsules, they carry a lot of weight; on this topic
of remembering your sins and feeling remorse, Imam Al Harawi (rehmatul-
lah alaih) says that when you commit a sin you must know that in commit-
ting that sin you were outside of the circle of protection of Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala). That is because if Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) were to have protected from
that sin, you would not have committed it. What this means is that because
of something you have done, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has left you to your-
self, and hence that allowed you to commit the sin, but you should also know
that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) would never leave you to yourself unless there is
something you have done or [even thought].

In a Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said:

“The one who commits zina (fornication) does not commit zina while he or she is
in a state of iman; a thief would never steal while he or she is in a state of iman;
and the one who drinks khamar will never drink khamar while he or she is in a
state of iman.”Hadith (Bukhari, 2432)

This Hadith does not mean that anyone who commits a sin is not a mu’min,
but rather Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) is telling you that someone in
a state of protection would not commit those sins.

There is something we have done that effect of which is that Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala) has lifted this protection from us. Here we are not speaking about iman
in general, but we are describing the awareness, fearfulness, and connection
with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in that very moment is not present; when that
connection is cut, then there is room for everything else – ghafla (heedless-
ness).

Ghafla means heedlessness, and it is when you are unaware of Allah (subhana
wa ta’ala) even for less than a second; that is when all the tribulations begin.
The protection of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is like a dome that covers you. Do
you not remember what protected Yusuf (alaih salam), when Zulaikha had ap-
proached him? It was his connection with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). That does
not mean that Yusuf (alaih salam) was not like anyone of us or that he did not
have desires, but what it does mean is that the iman of Yusuf (alaih salam) was
above the situation that he was in!

The protection of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is what saves us. Imam Al Hara-
wi (rehmatullah alaih) says that in the beginning when you are thinking about
your sin you should feel remorse and sad because you were not under the pro-
tection of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), as those who love you protect you. When
you are left to yourself, you should then think what did I do that Allah (subha-
na wa ta’ala) left me to myself?

In all of this, Imam Al Harawi (rehmatullah alaih) is not telling us to focus on


the sin itself, but instead to think about: How come I did this? If I was in a state
of iman, would this have happened? If my relationship with Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala) were strong, would I be in this situation? This is the first way to look at
your sin.
Second Aspect of Sins
The second way of looking at your sins, in the view of Imam Al Harawi (reh-
matullah alaih), is that when you discover, remember or find the sin that you
have committed, rejoice! How can you rejoice in remembering or finding your
sins? Knowing your sins should make you happy because it means that Allah
(subhana wa ta’ala) is showing you what you have done so that you can repent
form it. When you know the mistake you have made then you can go and look
for the cure; which also means you know yourself better, you know what you
are weak in and you can work harder in that direction or aspect.

Although Imam Al Harawi (rehmatullah alaih) does explain the second aspect
any further, what it means is that if you know your sin and are happy about
that, you will than become grateful to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), and Allah
(subhana wa ta’ala) will show you your other sins as well. As Allah (subhana
wa ta’ala) promised in the Qur’an:

“If you are grateful to Me, I will increase you.” (Surah Ibrahim, 7)

If you put in the effort to know one sin, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will guide
you to know the rest.

But how should we treat our sins? When you have a continuous headache, you
take medicine, and if the medicine does not work, you go and investigate the
cause; in doing so, you go through all the tests until you get to the root cause.
Also, no doctor would ever operate on you unless they know the issue and
the root cause of it. This is how you should treat your sins. You have to make
every effort tin order to know the sins that you have committed, but we do not
have to depressed about it, but it is important for us to know our direction.

We also have to be happy once we find the sins we are searching for, as Rasu-
lullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said in a Hadith:

Anyone of you whose sin makes him upset and his good deeds makes him happy,
indeed, that person is a mu’min. Hadith (ibn Hiban, 5489)

Being happy for the good that you do and sad for the sins you commit is iman.

But how does that relate to our earlier discussion on rejoicing when we know
how we have erred and our sins? It relates because knowing your sin is good in
itself. How many people carry illnesses, and they do not know about them, and
the illness continues to grow? To know your sin is an enormous ni’mah (bless-
ing).

Also, in terms of searching, remembering and knowing your sins, this determi-
nation that does not allow you relax, or even commit a sin and sleep easy. Re-
member Al Fudayl ibn Ayad (rehmatullah alaih), who, after his Imama (mas-
tery) in the deen (religion) and achieving the highest of levels, found himself
on the plains of Arafat saying to himself: How can I make dua? People contin-
ued to encourage him to make dua.
He responded: I am shy; I know myself; He knows the sins that I have commit-
ted years ago. How can even approach to ask Him!

If you know Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) you will be conscious of Allah (subhana
wa ta’ala), and you will be fearful from disappointing or upsetting Allah (sub-
hana wa ta’ala).

Third Aspects of Sins


First, you remembered your sins and realized that those where moments where
you left the protection of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala); second, you became hap-
py when Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) showed you where you had erred; the third
aspect of sins is to be determined not to repeat those some mistakes. The de-
termination that is required to prevent repetition is reliant upon having the
certainty that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is watching you! Having this certainty
will allow you to remind yourself before acting that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is
watching you. This is the consciousness that is needed.

In the journey of tawbah, in addition to repentance you should actively try and
multiply your good deeds as much as you can, as Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said:

“Indeed, good deeds erase the bad deeds.” (Surah Hud, 114)

In a Hadith, it was narrated that a young man came to Rasulullah (sallallahu


alayhi wasalam) and said: I have destroyed myself and I have destroyed others.
Look at the marifah of this young man! When you know your sins, it helps
you. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), upon hearing the young man’s
concern, did not even ask him what he did. Look at the adab and how we
should approach people. When someone tells you that he has committed a sin,
do not ask: “What did you do?” Do not ask because it is not yours to ask; this
is Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) the Master of all of creation teaching
you! The young man continued: “I have destroyed myself and I have destroyed
others. I was in a shop and a woman entered and I caught a glance of this
woman. For us, this might be something minor, but when it comes to your re-
lationship with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), there is no minor or major.

After the young man detailed his sin, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)
did not address what he said, but rather He (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said:

Make wudu. The young man-made wudu.

Pray two rakah. The young man prayed two rakah, and then continued to pray
Asr prayer with the group.

This young man, a Sahabi, still could not rest: Ya Rasulullah (sallallahu alay-
hi wasalam), I have committed a sin! Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)
calmed him down, and said: Have you prayed Asr with us? The young man
said yes, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) then said: Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala) said that verily, good deeds erase bad deeds.
What is the virtue of this young man? When he committed a sin, he did not
rest, but instead he came running to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)!
Not only praying with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) but even seeing
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) creates change; being in the company of
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) changes things!

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) described the munafiqeen as those who see the small
mistakes of others as if they were a mountain, and see their own mistakes,
which actually weigh more than a mountain, as minor. A munafiq looks at
himself as righteous, and others as wretched, whereas the mu’min looks at him-
self as wretched, and others as righteous: this is a mu’min!

Our Master, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said: No one enters Jannah
because of his or her deeds. They asked, even you, Ya Rasulullah (sallallahu
alayhi wasalam)? Even Me!

The Conditions of Tawbah


Regret

The first condition of Tawbah is an-nadam, which is to regret what you have
done. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said in Hadith: To regret what
you have done in itself is tawbah.

That being said, although regret is the first and a key component of tawbah, it is
not all of tawbah, but it is one of the most important aspects.

To regret something is to remember it, and hence, regret with regards to taw-
bah means to remember what you have done, prior to repenting. At the begin-
ning of the process of repentance we have to remember, we have to regret, we
have to feel the pain of what we have done, and we have to go through the pro-
cess of understanding the wrong we have committed.

But what if what if the act I am repenting for was many years ago? What if I
am in the later years of my life? What if I have committed more sins than I can
even remember? Even all these circumstances, you have to sit and try and re-
member, and even if you do not remember each and every sin or wrong you
have committed, the act of sitting down and trying to remember is part of the
process.

As Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) used to pray:

“Oh Allah, I seek refuge by You from committing [an act of] shirk while I am
aware, and I seek forgiveness if I have done [such act] while I am unaware.”

You might make a mistake while you are unaware, and it might be that you are
aware of it, but the dua of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) shows us that
we are fully dependent on Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), and that He (subhana wa
ta’ala) is the Only One who can Protect us, and no one else will.

Regretting what we have done and making an effort in this regard might seem
like a painful process but going through that pain is what will allow us to regret
and move to the second condition of tawbah.

Departure

The second condition of tawbah is al-iqlah, or departure. This departure in-


volves mentally and physically departing from your sins, in order to completely
depart from the wrong you have committed. If you want to stop committing
the sin after your regret, departure from the sin, and its circumstances or envi-
ronment, may be the help you need to prevent yourself from going back to it,
and hence increasing in your tawbah.

You might say that how does a physical departure help us from not committing
the same mistake again? Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) and the Sahaba
only missed Salat-ul Fajr once, and one they awoke from sleep and saw the sun
rising, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said:

“A’udhu billah! Let us pray Fajr and leave this place!”

Imagine if you were to leave where you slept or were staying every time you
miss Fajr! Would that be even possible? But this is what Rasulullah (sallalla-
hu alayhi wasalam) has done. This does not mean, however, that the place you
physically depart is not a place of blessing, but rather, you are departing for
your own self.

In a Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said that there was a man
from Bani Israel who had killed ninety-nine people, and then he came to one of
the abideen (an ardent worshipper), and asked: I have killed ninety-nine peo-
ple, is there any chance for my tawbah (repentance)? The abideen replied: You
killed ninety-nine people, do you think there is a chance for your tawbah? No!

The man then thought, thinking of this abideen, if there is no chance for taw-
bah, might as well make it one-hundred! And so he did.

Before continuing the Hadith, it is important to highlight that you should nev-
er make people give up hope for the Rahma (Mercy) of Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala), as if they believe there is no hope, they may act irrationally.

The man then met one of the ulama (scholars), and he asked of him the same
regarding his chance for making tawbah. The alim (scholar) said: Yes! There
is a chance for your tawbah, but you have to leave from where you currently
reside because you need to be in a different environment, community and so-
ciety. The man took the scholar’s advice and made his way, however, along the
way the man died!

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) then said that the Malaika (angels) of
Rahma came from the heavens and the Malaika of Adhaab (punishment) came
from the heavens, and a dispute arose between the parties of Malaika. The Ma-
laika of Adhaab said that the man belonged to them as he had killed one-hun-
dred people, but the Malaika of Rahma said that the man belonged to them be-
cause he had made tawbah.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) than said to Malaika to measure the distance from
the man to the land where he committed the sins, and if he is measured closer
to that land than to the city he was migrating to, then the Malaika of Adhaab
should take him, but if he was closer to the city he was departing to, then the
Malaika of Rahma should take him. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) then said, be-
cause of the man’s niyah, He widened the earth so that he would be closer to
the city he was departing to!

Hence, departing from our sins mentally and physically after having regretted
committing them, is the second condition.

Returning Rights to People

The third condition of tawbah is radd-ul madaalim, to return the rights we


have taken back to people. If the act we are seeking forgiveness for relates to
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), then we seek Allah’s (subhana wa ta’ala) forgiveness
and make up for the mistake; if you miss your prayer, you repeat your prayer,
and if you did not pay your zakah (alms), you pay your zakah. However, you
must be warned that anything to do with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), He is Rah-
man and Rahim, but anything to do with people, you have to seek forgiveness
from them. This is because on Yaum-ul Qiyamah, those you have wronged will
stand against you.

For example, if you say something bad about someone, you should go and ask
their forgiveness, but that does not mean you have to go and tell them “I said
this about you” because then they may hate you and be hurt further; instead,
you should ask them for forgiveness more generally. Similarly, if you stole
something from someone, you should go and return it back to them indirectly.

In returning the rights of others, you ensure that you have tried and rectified
the situation such that no one will stand against you on Yaum-ul Qiyamah.

The Realities of Tawbah

In making tawbah, we have three realities related to the tawbah we are trying to
make.

No Minor Sins

The first reality is tadheem-ul jannaya, [which literarily means great or grave
sin], and means to not look at your actions relatively, but rather you should
look at your actions in the absolute. Do not look or classify the sin you have
committed as something small or minor, instead you have to understand the
reality of the sin and that there is no minor sin absolutely.

As an example, when you see you your friends from a distance, you might say
“salaam” or wave, but many of us would not do that to our elders or parents.
This does not mean that greeting from a distance is haram (prohibited), but
because they are your elders or parents you might feel it is not appropriate, and
that may be similar for other actions as well where you might be comfortable
doing something with your friends that you would not be with your parents or
elders. The situation of sin is analogous, in that you may determine that your
sin is minor, but you have to instead look at who you are disobeying rather
than the action, because for the One you are disobeying there is no minor.

Think of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)! Think that I did such and such and Allah
is watching me. When it comes to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), you do not think
about minor or major.

When you make tawbah, you do not say “Ya Allah, I committed a minor sin,
so Ya Allah forgive me.” You have to remember that what you have done is evil
and wrong, and that is why it is called tadheem-ul jannaya, as the sin you have
committed is a massive err. The sin that you might consider “minor” might be-
come an obstacle in your life and it might block you on the path of Allah (sub-
hana wa ta’ala).

The way you talk to someone in authority is very measured, as compared to


one talking to your peers, especially if that conversation were to be recorded or
in a courtroom, and in that situation, you would be very careful, even for mak-
ing a “minor” mistake!

Look at every individual sin that you have committed and say “this is what I
have done”, remembering that you will stand before Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)
and that He (subhana wa ta’ala) will remember it and remind you of it; as such
there is no such thing as a minor sin.
Suspect Your Tawbah

The second reality of tawbah is itiham-ut-tawbah, which means to suspect your


tawbah. Ask yourself, was my tawbah sincere and righteous? Suspect your
tawbah in order to perfect it; work hard and suspect and introspect on tawbah
just as you would review something you had written and decidedly rewrite it.

Pay it Forward by Excusing Others

The third reality of tawbah is to find excuses for those who may commit the
same you sin you committed.

For example, if you were to commit a sin, and someone than committed the
same sin, but this time it was against you, you could look at yourself and the
person committing the sin as one and the same, in terms of level, etc. Howev-
er, the true ta’ib would say: Maybe that person has a secret with Allah (subha-
na wa ta’ala) that I do not have. I am the worst. Always find excuses for others
and turn your judgement and accounting towards yourself.

But you might ask yourself, why do we need to understand all of this? Allah
(subhana wa ta’ala) said int he Qur’an that the purpose of sending Rasulullah
(sallallahu alayhi wasalam) is:

“To recite for them the Qur’an, to purify them and to teach them the Book and
wisdom.” (Surah Ali-Imran, 164)

This is the process of purification. Find excuses for others.

The Secrets of Tawbah

Although the secrets of tawbah are many, here we will describe three hints to
the secrets of tawbah.

The first hint is to distinguish between piety and pride after tawbah. What is
the relationship between piety and pride? When you think you have achieved a
level of piety, either through your tawbah or otherwise, this in itself is a form of
pride. So, whenever you get further in your piety or to high station, your hu-
mility has to increase even more. Never say “I got there”, and that is why Abu
Bakr (radiallah anhu) said: If my right foot was in Jannah, I would never feel
comfortable until both of my feet are in Jannah. Similarly, when Omar (radi-
allah anhu) was about to die, he said: I wish the mother of Omar did not give
birth to Omar!

It is always important to maintain this sense of humility and uncertainty pitted


against your pride.

The second hint is to forget all the sins that you have committed.

Although it was previously mentioned that you should remember and regret
your sins, but as you progress in your tawbah, you become a different person,
and as you do it is as if you have never committed those sins in the first place.
If you have never committed the sins, then it becomes hard to even recall be-
cause your entire being has been covered by that tawbah you have made, and
you now a different and now person. This reality is a secret of knowing wheth-
er your tawbah has been accepted by Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).

The third and most important secret of tawbah is to make tawbah from your
tawbah!

Make Tawbah

Before doing anything, the one thing you should do for yourself if to make taw-
bah, to make tawbah and to make tawbah!

If you are carrying a lot of weight on your shoulders or have a lot of things on
your mind, you will be preoccupied, but in order to enjoy your ibadah, you
have to unload; and that is what tawbah will do.

Close your eyes and say, Ya Rabbi I remember that I have done this and I have
said this, so Ya Rabbi, forgive me. This is a blessing from Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala), as he has given us this khair (blessing).
As Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said:

If you were not from the people that make mistakes and seek Allah’s (subhana wa
ta’ala) forgiveness, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) were to remove you and create oth-
ers that would make mistakes and seek forgiveness.

This is not an encouragement for people to make mistakes, but what it does
mean is that we all make mistakes and we have no control over this, as we are
humans and not Malaika, but in making us human, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)
has opened the door of tawbah for us. When you make tawbah, Allah (subha-
na wa ta’ala) does not only erase what you have done, but Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala) also changes those sins into a great reward.

As mentioned, it is important to make tawbah before doing anything, and re-


peat your tawbah over and over.

The beauty of tawbah is that it gives you the feeling that for your own wellbeing
you have someone to return back to and from whom you can seek forgiveness.
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) does not deal with us in the way we deal with Him,
but rather, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) deals with us with His Rahma over any-
thing else.
III. Preparing for Ramadan

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) bless you in these moments of khair, and may
He bless with the barakah of Ramadan.

It is said if you want to have khushu in salah, you have to have khushu in wudu;
and if we want to have the barakah of Ramadan, we have to have this barakah
in Shaban as well.

There are a few days left before Ramadan, and as such, it is very important in
these remaining days to put our utmost effort in making tawbah and sending
salawat upon Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).

Whatever you are busy with, just keep begging Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to
show you His door, which have never been closed; His Rahma has never
stopped! What you need is to ask him to show to this door, ask Him (subha-
na wa ta’ala) for the feeling of entering this door! As Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)
said:

“My Rahma has covered everything.”(Surah Al A’raf, 156)

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) make this Ramadan a Ramadan of khair, a Ram-
adan of rahma, and a Ramadan of hidayah, inshAllah.

For those that are going through exams, work deadlines or other events in our
lives by which we fear we may be preoccupied during Ramadan, do not worry,
continue forward fearlessly, as Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is with you. You have
been going through such exams and preoccupations your entire life, so do not
be worried, it will not be any different. This life is all about exams and preoc-
cupations, and our assumption is that once we complete or overcome these
events, things will be easy, but that is not reality. We move from one thing to
the next, as this test will never finish until you leave this dunya. Allah (subha-
na wa ta’ala) said:

“Allah created life and death in order to test you.”(Surah Al-Mulk, 2)


You know that you often feel a lack of ability, weak, ignorant, hasty and anx-
ious, and that is how Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has described us, so seek His
help.

In our prayers, we always repeat:

“It is You we worship and You we ask for help.” (Surah Al-Fatiha, 5)

This ayah is from the ajaib of Allah. It should be a verbal sentence. The word
is from . You remember the hadith of Rabiah ibn Kab; when he
said to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) , I want to be in your company
in Jannah. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said, help me by making a
lot of sajud. Help me in Arabic is . Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)
said to him, – help me. From comes – we seek help from
you. It should be “we seek help from you,” but Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said,
- You, we only seek help from. Allah put his Name – the pronoun
referring to him – before the help that we want.

Normally you mention what you want and then you address the one you are
asking. However, here, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) put His Name forward first,
and then He made what you want from Him come next – the help. This is to
say that no one can help you other than Me, and you should ask no one to help
you other than Me.

When Abdullah ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu) was young, Rasulullah (sallallahu
alayhi wasalam) told him: If you ask, ask Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), and if you
seek help seek help form Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).

Hence, be fearless, as inshAllah Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is with you, and just
remember that most of the greatest events for Muslims occurred during the
month of Ramadan, for example the Battle of Badr.

All of our Imams used to stop their regular classes in Ramadan, including in
Madinah, where Imam Malik (rehmatullah alaih) stopped teaching Hadith. Do
you know why? Because it is the month of the Qur’an!

They used to leave the reading of Hadith and teaching of Fiqh in order to read
the Qur’an. What are you going to leave in order to read the Qur’an? If people
stopped teaching Hadith in order to read Qur’an, is there anything else more
important to do? That is how the Ummah once was.

During the time of Al Andulus, some of the opposing leaders wanted to attack
the Muslims, so they were looking for the opportune time. The leaders sent
some spies to check what was happening amongst the Muslims, and the spies
reported back that the Muslims were busy reading the Qur’an and people were
active. The leaders commented, that now was not the right time to attack. Af-
ter many years, however, the leaders sent the spies again, and when they came
back they reported that the Muslims were occupied with singing, and they saw
the walls littered with guitars among other things. The leaders commented,
now is the right time!

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) bless us with the month of Ramadan. As Rasu-
lullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said:

Allahumma balighna Ramadan

Oh Allah, make us from the people of Ramadan.

Story of the Guests of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)

As you know, the situation of the house of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa-
salam) was such that often there was no food in the house. One day a group of
people came to visit Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), and when it came
time for them to take rest, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) announced:
Who will host the guest of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)!

Here we need to understand and think about what was just mentioned. If
guests were to come to your house, and there was nothing you could offer
them, how would you feel going out of your house begging people to host your
guest? Would that be easy to do? This is Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa-
salam)! He kept asking as to who would host these guests; He (sallallahu alayhi
wasalam) did not have anything, but he also did not have the pride that many
of us carry, that would have left these guests hungry and homeless.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) would do anything to help people. It


shows you how difficult the circumstance was in the house of Rasulullah (sal-
lallahu alayhi wasalam); and you can only understand the barakah of the seer-
ah (biography) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) when you apply it to
yourself. These were people who Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) did
not know, but when they came to him, He did not say these are people who
are asking for food or stay, rather, he saved them that embarrassment, and said
these are my guests and I am unable to host them – so He asked others.

Do you see how Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) was treating people?
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) knows that if these people stand up and
ask someone for help, people might not help them – He (sallallahu alayhi wa-
salam) is doing it for them.

Now, in response to the plea of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), Syedina


Talha ibn Ubaydullah (radiallah anhu) said: Your guests are my guests. Syedi-
na Talha (radiallah anhu) took the guests to his home, and the stayed for the
first night, then the second and then the third; and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi
wasalam), with regards to guests, had made it compulsory upon everyone to
host his or her guest for three days at least, after which it is up to the host.

As such, Syedina Talha (radiallah anhu) kept the guest for three days, after
which he thought they would leave, however, the guests were enjoying the
company of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), leaving no mention for
their departure. In addition, Syedina Talha (radiallah anhu) was well to do, so
the guests were eating well and resting comfortably, so they continued to stay
and enjoy; Syedina Talha (radiallah anhu) continued to exercise patience, as
he had responded to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) request: Who will
host the guests of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).

During their stay, one of the three guests died as a martyr in the battlefield.
After the further passing of time, the second guest died as a martyr. The third
guest, remained for much longer, but he eventual succumbed to death in the
house of Syedina Talha (radiallah anhu).
After the death of the three guests, Syedina Talha (radiallah anhu) saw the
three guests in a dream. In the dream, he saw that the three guests entered
Jannah, but the guest who died in his house entered Jannah before the two
that were martyred. Syedina Talha was confused, as he thought the maqam of
the shuhada is a great one, and therefore how could the guest who died in the
house enter before the other two?

Syedina Talha (radiallah anhu) asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)


about his dream. Upon hearing the dream, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa-
salam) asked how much time had elapsed between the death of the third guest
and the other two. Syedina Talha (radiallah anhu) said that there was a long
duration between their deaths, to which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)
asked: Did Ramadan occur during this time? Syedina Talha (radiallah anhu)
affirmed it had, to which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said: Then
why are you wondering? Syedina Talha (radiallah anhu) asked Rasulullah (sal-
lallahu alayhi wasalam): How come Ya Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)?
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said: If he was alive during Ramadan,
then perhaps Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) accepted his ibadah in Ramadan, and
perhaps Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) accepted his dua, or perhaps Allah (subhana
wa ta’ala) accepted his qiyam-ul layl (night prayers)!

Ramadan is the difference. In narrating this incident, Syedina Talha (radiallah


anhu) is sharing with us that for someone who is true in his or her Ramadan
may be rewarded and elevated higher than the martyr!

Ramadan: A Great Opportunity

Ramadan is a great opportunity for us, and that is why Rasulullah (sallallahu
alayhi wasalam) said:

Man sama Ramadan imanan wahtisaban ghufiralahu

Whoever fasts in Ramadan with absolute iman (meaning connection with Al-
lah), and he or she seeks nothing other than for the pleasure of Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala), Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will forgive all their sins.

In terms of Ramadan, you have to ensure that our fasting is not limited to our
stomachs, but that it extends to our sight and our hearing. Even more than
this, Imam Ghazali (rehmatullah alaih) said that some people fast from eating,
drinking and relations, and that that is the minimum level of fasting. Imam
Ghazali (rehmatullah alaih) continued and said for the great ones, in addition
to fasting from eating, drinking and relations, all of their organs fast as well (i.e.
eyes, etc.), but for the best of those who fast, even their heart fasts from think-
ing of anyone other than Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)!

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) make us from them, inshAllah.

It is not easy to be to achieve the level of fasting such that you think of no one
other than Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), as Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said:

“Verily your money and your children are fitna.” (Surah At-Taghabun, 15)

Fitna translates to test, and this test can be between you and Allah (subhana wa
ta’ala). Sometimes you can be concerned about one of your children, and in
that concern, you may go into ghaflah (heedlessness). Hence, Rasulullah (sal-
lallahu alayhi wasalam) said: Ramadanu shahru-sabri (Ramadan is the month
of sabr).

It is the month of sabr because if you are unable to eat or drink, then Allah
(subhana wa ta’ala) is telling you that you aare capable and have the potential
to do amazing things, because we as humans are a reflection of the entire uni-
verse!

Imam Ali (alaih salam) used to say:

Your illnesses are from you, but you do not feel it;

Your cure is within you, but you do not see it;

You think you an insignificant particle, but Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) reflected
the entire universe within you!

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said in a Hadith Qudsi:

Oh, the son of Adam, I have created you for Me, and I have created everything
else for you!

Hence, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) tells us in the Qur’an:

“Allah has humiliated the earth for you.” (Surah Al-Mulk, 15)

And

“All the animals have been created by Allah for you.” (Surah An-Nahl, 5)

Some of these animals we ride, some of them we eat and some of them we en-
joy looking at, but Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says:

Do not leave what I have created you for in exchange for what I have created for
you!

He (subhana wa ta’ala) created us for Himself, and He created everything for


us, so you should not leave the purpose as to why you were created for what
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has created for you, and it is critical that you exercise
this sabr.

Why sabr? Because it is not easy, as you are going in the opposite direction.
Imagine if you were driving one way, and someone is driving towards you from
the opposite direction; sabr is trying to avoid this without saying to yourself:
Why are they coming from the opposite direction – I have to face them head
on! If you were to do this an accident will happen, hence sabr.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) made sabr the greatest ibadah, and He (subhana wa
ta’ala) said that the people who will enter Jannah without any accountability are
the sabireen.
May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) make us from them.
This dunya is a place of sabr, and in this you have no choice.

In a Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said:

The most tested are the Anbiya (Prophets), followed by those who are the closest
in how they appear to them, and followed by those who look like those who are
the closest in how they appear to them.

Even in our time, there was a student who was suffering from illness, and he
said at first, he was angry and upset, but when he realized that his situation was
appearing like those of the Prophets, he said: Alhamdulilah – I am happy!

The Saliheen have a saying:

BanAllahu lil ahbabi baytan sama’uhu…sabru.

Allah built for those He loves a house, which is surrounded by anxiety, difficulty
and hardship, and Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) made sabr the key for the door.

Our Master (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) is the Master of the sabireen. His (sal-
lallahu alayhi wasalam) was not a life of ease. That is why when some people
ask: “Is there anything that I can read to make me happy?”, all you can say is
that you can read whatever you want, but happiness resides in the contentment
with your every situation and with what you have.

There is no wird that can make you laugh! If there was, the One who taught us
everything that we know would not have had a difficult life (sallallahu alayhi
wasalam)!

Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) life was very difficult. He (sallallahu


alayhi wasalam) buried all of his children during his lifetime, except for Syeda
Fatima (alaiha salam). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) was hungry for
days and weeks; He did not enjoy any cooked food for months!
Acceptance of Our Ramadan

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) bless you and open the doors of khair for you.
May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) make every moment of our life a moment of
reflection upon the ni’mahs (blessings) that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has be-
stowed upon us.

They say that the life of the righteous and the salaf of the Ummah was all
around Ramadan. For six months before Ramadan, they would beg Allah
(subhana wa ta’ala) to make them from the people of Ramadan, and they would
spend the six months after Ramadan begging Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to ac-
cept their ibadah in Ramadan.

The righteous sincerely believe that they are not worthy of any blessing of iba-
dah during Ramadan that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has gifted them! They do
not believe the ibdadah they have done was something that they deserved or
worked hard for. They believe that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) blessed them and
gave them the tawfeeq (ability) to do what they have done in Ramadan. There-
fore, they do not want to waste what Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has blessed them
with.

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) bless your Ramadan, and may He grant you the
Ramadan of His Beloved (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).
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Notes