In the early days of Islâm, those that believed in Rasûl Allâh – sal Allâh u
alayhi wa sallam – and the message of Lâ ilâha illah Allâh , were tested in
the core of their faith. Every means of punishment was inflicted upon them.
In those young days, Khabbab ibn Al-Arat, radi Allâh u ‘anhu, came to Rasûl
Allâh – sal Allâh u alayhi wa sallam – and remarked, “Won’t you pray for us!
Won’t you seek help from Allâh for victory over these people!”
Rasûl Allâh – sal Allâh u alayhi wa sallam – turned to him and said,
| “There were believers that came before us, they would be cut from the top of their|
head right down their body – others were combed with iron rakes, their skin
separated from their muscles separated from their bones … but all that did
not cause them to renounce their faith. But nay ye are hasty.”
Allâh ta’ala revealed:
| [Or did you reckon you will enter Jannah when the same
thing never happened to you such as happened to those who have passed away
before you? Suffering and hardship assailed them, and they were battered
about until the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When
is Allâh ‘s support?’ Indeed Allâh ‘s support is near.] – sûrah Al Baqarah 2/214
Remember before Ramadân we spoke about the Ramadân Warrior. He’s just like
the weekend warrior – an employee who sits at a cubicle all week long, eating
donuts and drinking coffee, then on the weekend he rushes to the sport courts
and mountains, and by Monday he is in the hospital.
The Ramadân warrior is the one who fasts only when Ramadân comes. He is the
one who does Qiyâm-ul-Layl only on the nights of Ramadân. The generosity and
feeding of the hungry is a practice for him that ends with the moon of
Allâh ta’ala tells us in the Qurân; a verse that we read so many times in
the past month:
| [O ye who believe! Fasting was prescribed for you as it was
prescribed for those before you so that you may become pious.]
This piety that Allâh wants us to achieve is not Ramadân exclusive piety. For
the entire year, Ramadân is the training period.
For our early generations, from the Sahâbah, Tâbi’în, and Tabi’
at-Tâbi’în, their intensity of work for the pleasure of Allâh was
all-seasonal. Their intensity was focused in (a) learning the Qurân and
Sunnah and teaching it to others (b) Ibâdah (c) Da’wah and Jihad.
Let’s spend a few moments with each:
(a) Learning the Qurân and Sunnah and teaching it to others
The media is full of stories of men and women lost in the ocean or a deserted
island and the struggle those people went through to survive. But seldom do
we hear of all the Ulumâ’ that suffered very horrific moments where they
were on the threshold of death – all in the path of traveling to learn the
Qur’ân and Sunnah.
Bakr ibn Hamdân al-Mirwazi said, “I heard Ibn Kharash say that he drank his
urine in the path of this knowledge 5 times.”
And al-Wakhshî Abu Alî Al-Hasan said, “I was in ‘Asqalân attending the
lessons of Ibn Musahhah and others. In those days, my money dwindled and I
spent many nights with nothing to eat. I sat one day to write some notes and
the pain was just too intense. So I went out to the market and sat by a
vendor selling bread just to smell the aroma of food. After a while my senses
returned and I was able to return home.”
When you see people in our society spending the nights outside on the streets
to by tickets to a pop concert, or to save $5 on a radio, our Ulumâ’ strove
harder in their pursuit of knowledge, to get ‘front row seats’ to the hottest
Halaqahs in town.
Ja’far ibn Distuwayh said, “We used to camp out by the chair of Ali bin
al-Madînî after Asr the day BEFORE his class. All night long we would sit
there for fear that when the people come the next day we won’t be in position
to hear the Shaykh.”
And the examples go on and on.
Here is just a sampling of their attitude to the Ibâdah of Allâh :
Al Hasan said,
| “Whoever races you in your Dîn, then race them; Whoever races|
you in their Dunya, throw it back in their face.”
Wuhayb ibn Al-Wird said,
| “If you can, do not allow anyone to beat you to|
Allâh ‘s pleasure.”
And Ash-Shaykh Shamsuddin Al-Turkistânî said,
| “If news every came to me|
that someone had done something for the pleasure of Allâh , I would always do
exactly what that person did and then some.”
Compare this now to Arab countries that have received news of the Guiness
book of World records and are spending their time and the Ummah’s wealth to
outdo those records. Wallâhul Musta’ân.
Hammad ibn Salamah said,
| “We have seen Sulaymân At-Tîmî in a moment of|
worship to Allâh , except that he was participating in that worship. If it was
time for Salah, we would see him in Salah. If it was other than the Salah
time, he would be either making wudu or visiting the sick, or following a
funeral procession, or reflecting in the Masjid. Such much so, that we
actually thought he didn’t know how to disobey Allâh .”
(c) Da’wah and Jihâd
Allâh ta’ala tells us in the Qurân of the strenuous concern Rasûl Allâh –
sal Allâh u alayhi wa sallam – had for the people’s acceptance of this Dîn.
| [Tâ, Sîn, Mîm / These are the verses of the clear Book / Perhaps, (O
Muhammad), you would kill yourself with grief that they will not be
believers. / If We willed, We could send down to them from the sky a sign for
which their necks would remain humbled. / And no mention comes to them anew
from the Most Merciful except that they turn away from it.] Sûrah Shura
It is not a simple matter that we have accepted the responsibility of the
Messengers to teach humanity about Allâh . As Shaykh Salah As-Sawi spoke about
this matter here during Ramadân, he said,
| “What if all these people on the|
day of judgement come and say as their excuse, ‘O Allâh , here the Muslims
lived all around us and they never came to tell us about this Dîn.’”
the matter is grave.
Ja’far ibn Sulaymân said,
| “I hear Malik ibn Dînar saying, ‘If I was|
capable of never sleeping I would never sleep for fear that Allâh ‘s wrath
would befall me while I am sleeping. And had I those that would assist me I
would send them all around the world to announce: O humanity, save yourselves
from Hellfire, save yourselves from Hellfire!'”
And when it came to defending the Dîn of Allâh , we see the example of Rasûl
Allâh – sal Allâh u alayhi wa sallam – shining for all those who would wish to
be guided by it.
Ali – radi Allâh u ‘anhu – said,
| “Whenever the battle would intensify, and the|
swords began to burn red, we would seek shield from Rasûl Allâh – sal Allâh u
alayhi wa sallam. There was no one closer to the enemy ranks than him.”
And ‘Imrân ibn al-Husayn – radi Allâh u ‘anhu – said,
| “Whenever the Muslim|
battalion would encounter the enemy, Rasûl Allâh – sal Allâh u alayhi wa
sallam – was always the first one to strike.”
There is a principal that we spoke about earlier: Al-Maysûr Lâ YasQut bil
Ma’sûr. It means: What one finds easy is not cancelled by what is difficult;
i.e. those things that the Mukallaf can do with ease does not get cancelled
just because he or she cannot do what is hard upon them.
Examples of this in Fiqh include: If someone knows a few verses of AlFâtiha,
then they must read it in Salah. Just because they do not know the whole
Sûrah does not mean they don’t have to read the verses they CAN recite.
If a person is in such a situation that he cannot cover his complete private
area during Salah, then he must cover whatever he can. Just because he cannot
cover the entire area does not cancel the obligation to cover what he can.
If a person is not capable of performing Sajdah, that doesn’t mean he can
sit down throughout the entire Salah if he is capable of standing for Ruku’
When it comes to studying the Qurân and Sunnah, Ibâdah, and Da’wah
you’ll see that many people focus on the ideal which is unattainable for them
at that moment. Then they say to themselves, since it is unattainable then I
just have to be patient and do nothing. No, keep moving a step down until you
find what is attainable and do it.
If you can’t memorize the Qurân by next Ramadân, you can for sure finish 2
Juz’. If you can’t do 2 Juz’ in one year, then you can do one. If one is all
you can do, then do it. In sha’ Allâh , 30 years from now you would be Hafidh
If you can’t come to every Minhâj-ul Muslim Halaqah all year long, doesn’t
mean that you come to none.
If the Masjid is far away from your home and it’s hard to come for every
Salah, doesn’t mean you never come to the Masjid. Come for Maghrib and stay
for Isha or something similar.
The proof of this is the words of Rasûl Allâh – sal Allâh u alayhi wa sallam,
“What I command you in, perform what you are capable of.”
In conclusion, there are three ingredients to making your resolution to
improve yourself successful.
- Have a truthful determination.
- Be economical in what you decide to do.
- Make dua to Allâh to make your effort successful.