Commentary

Ramzan, the spiritual laundry

To achieve success, one must have a well-defined plan, and it must be implemented to be successful. Allah says, O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek means of nearness to Him and strive hard in His way that you may be successful.

Human beings are never in a situation where they are not in need of Allah. A believer always turns to Allah to ask for guidance as well as to seek forgiveness of sins.

We all have committed these sins in one form or another. Understanding why we sin is a first step in overcoming and avoiding sin. There are many reasons for sinning. You’ve probably heard the expression “the devil made me do it.

What is the Devil Doing?

Satan promises pleasure but doesn’t mention the pain. By understanding how temptation works we can devise a strategy for victory over it. Only occasionally is there direct satanic influence, usually, that leaves us to our own inward lusts, which respond to the temptations of the world.

I feel the first and foremost cause for the Devil is, mental blurring on “Fear of the Creator”.

But the whole purpose of creation “is to fear God”, His obedience and keeping His commandments for there is accountability.

Allah the Almighty has prescribed ordinances, which should not be neglected. He has outlined some limits which should not be contravened and has forbidden some things which He deemed inviolable.

If a believer doesn’t have correct religious knowledge, the probability that his steps may wander aside is high, and he easily can be deviated by Satan towards the dark alleys of unlawful things and temptations.

People sin because we are deceived by sin. We love the world or the things in the world’. Do we yield to temptation? Not many of us realize the numerous negative consequences of yielding to temptation. If we did, we’d yield to it less often.

People who want to get rich, famous, and powerful fall into temptation and a trap of name and fame, and  ignore what is said in the eye-opening words of the Quran.

“Know that the life of this world is only playing and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers, good-doers), whereas the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.” ( Al-Hadid Verse No:20),

“The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, I sell  my soul to the devil.”

Anyone who disobeys Allah and his messenger and violates His limits, He will cause him to enter the fire abiding there forever, that is a humiliating punishment. (Quran, Capter 4)

For Believers, the final destination is the life of the Hereafter and the ultimate goal is Paradise.

The reward of Paradise is too great and can’t be without investment and ultimate approval of the Creator.Who are the souls worthy of such reward? Who are its people, and most importantly, how to get there?

We can’t excuse or deceive ourselves by saying that we have sinned because Adam’s children are born weak, susceptible to pressures, temptations and deviations. But, people sin because there is temporary pleasure in sin. People sin because they willingly “love evil more than good, lying rather than speaking righteousness.

People sin because of the influence of the people with whom they associate. We ignore warnings,”Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.”

We also sin when we don’t do what Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) convey to us, that the people of Paradise are the God-conscious and the God-fearing.

 

Our problem is the delay in realization, our subject is confession and repentance.There are no confession boxes in the faith of Islam, and confession before any creation is prohibited but we do have virtuous times like Ramzan; postures (sajdah) and places when and where prayers are readily heard and answered.

Our youth will soon be past and we will come into parenthood. Repentance is the loveliest of the virtues. If you can one day renovate yourself, Why not now? Ramzan is here –the blessed month, tuned atmosphere, the doors of unlimited mercy and forgiveness have been left wide open.

The requisite tuned atmosphere conducive and oriented towards piety is here. Why not have an introspection?

An inner feeling and a desire to reform. I sinned, now what next?

Here again, the Satan may put a whisper in your heart to delay you with a bigger question.“Will Allah forgive me?”

The most merciful says, “Allah forgives all sins”

“If you return to Me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. Don’t despair,” Allah says, “Say! O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, for Allah forgives all sins, for He is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Sûrah al-Zumar: 53]

This verse speaks about those who repent. It tells us that any sin, no matter how major, is expiated by sincere and proper repentance. There are conditions for repentance to be sincere and proper. The first of these is that the penitent person desists from the sinful act. The second is that he feels deep and genuine regret for having committed the sin. The third is that he resolves in his/her  heart never to return to the sin again. Finally, if the sin caused a transgression against the rights of another person, he/she  needs to do his best to make amends.

No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: Allah the Almighty said: O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of 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 of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness.

It was related by at-Tirmidhi (also by Ahmad ibn Hanbal) If we continue willfully in our sin and don’t repent, we will die in our sins and be lost. Let us not be deceived by sin, because the wages of sin is spiritual death, in Hell forever. Repent before its too late and never give up hope, seek forgiveness from the most forgiving.

Great opportunity to clean my slate: who doesn’t sin? who doesn’t falter? Who doesn’t stagger or fall into temptations?

The blessed month of Ramzan is here, we have entered the last ten days. The most suitable time to reform, to cleanse ourselves from the dirt of wrong doings, to come out of darkness, have a light of Imaan.

Ramzan is a bounty that Allah (SWT) blessed His servants with, a spiritual laundry, an institution to strengthen their faith, and increase their piety (Taqwa). We are entering the most blessed last 10 nights of Ramzan , where the night of Qadr is equal to a thousand months.

Throw your soul through every open door, with broken heart, wet eyes, have Ikhlas, sincerity.

What you say, what you do, what you think, purify them all. Count your blessings to find what you look for, protect your minds from thoughts, which are evil, because evil actions begin with evil thoughts.

Protect your eyes by lowering your gazes and not looking at forbidden things. Protect the ears from lewd or evil speech where there is sin. We should also avoid listening to lies, gossip, music, slander, or blasphemy.

Protect the tongues by speaking what is correct and true, and keeping it moist with the remembrance of Allah, and keeping away from backbiting and other evil speech.

Protect our stomachs by eating Halal and keeping away from Haram. We should beware of eating usury, carrion, and swine or drinking intoxicants or taking drugs.

Protect our hands from taking what does not belong to us, or from doing harm to another Muslim. Protect our legs from taking us to evil and corruption and an ultimate doom. Protect our private parts from unlawful activities. Protect our wealth by not squandering it or holding on to it too tightly. Or not giving obligatory or supererogatory charity.

Protect our oaths, witnesses and trusts by not breaching or breaking a contract or pledge knowingly. We should not exceed our agreements, testify to falsehood or break trusts. Protect our families and children by keeping them away from the things that may be harmful and that may corrupt their minds and their souls.

About this, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,”Allah says, ‘I do not combine for my servants two states of fear, or two states of safety. So if he feels safe from Me in this world I will cause him to fear on The Day of Judgment, and if he fears Me in the world, I will cause him to be safe on The Day of Judgment.'” [Sahih al-Jami]

It is important, therefore, that Muslims know the characters of those who will be the inheritors of Paradise. But it is unfortunate that many of today’s Muslims don’t understand that entering paradise requires that we live as believers and die as good obedient Muslims.

That takes knowledge, dedication and determination to see it through to its completion. Talk it Over and over, think again and again. What keeps you from returning to Allah  after you’ve sinned? What do you need to do so that Allah restores in your life that which has been broken because of sin?

How can you be more effective by returning in repentance to Him? What do you want to accomplish for the Hereafter?

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “All of the children of Adam are sinners, and the best of sinners are those who repent.”

 

Dr Fiaz Fazili has a Diploma in Islamic studies from Islamic Online University. His work has been published in local and international Journals. 

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