Friday, August 26, 2011


These are the last days of this blessed month; a month in which Allah is well pleased with whoever spends it in fasting and night prayers; a month in which the gates of Paradise are opened, ready to receive Allah’s votaries; a month in which the most evil jinns are shackled; a month, the beginning of which is mercy, the middle forgiveness and the end is emancipation from Hell!
Yes, that is Ramadan; the breath of a fasting Muslim in it is dearer to Allah than the fragrance of the finest musk. In every night of Ramadan Allah sets free a hundred thousand people among those consigned to Hell. Ramadan means a month-long link between sinners and their Lord.
Allah enjoins us to seek His pardon at the end of each righteous act. He said to His Messenger (SAW) during the latter part of his life: When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory, and thou dost see the people enter Allah's Religion in crowds, celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: for He is Oft-Returning [in Grace and Mercy]. (An-Nasr 110: 1-3)
Also, Allah adjures pilgrims to His Holy House after they finish their devotions and hajj rights: Then pass on at a quick pace from the place whence it is usual for the multitude so to do, and ask for Allah's forgiveness. For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Baqarah, 2:199)
What you should be doing in the remaining days and nights of Ramadan is turning penitent to your Maker; try to wind up the last few hours of this sanctified month with sincere repentance, perchance Allah may inscribe you among those that He has accepted, pardon you as He has pardoned His righteous servants.
Allah’s Messengers sought His pardon in spite of their blamelessness, devotion and constant prayers to Allah. Noah, peace be upon him, for instance said to his people: 'Ask forgiveness from your Lord; for He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance; give you increase in wealth and sons; and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers [of flowing water].’ (Nuh, 71:10-12)
Both Adam and his wife turned to Allah, confessed their sin and asked for pardon: They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If Thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost." (Al-A’raaf, 7:23)
The Messenger of Allah, Hud, peace be upon him, said to his people: 'Seek ye the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance; that He may grant you enjoyment, good [and true], for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding grace on all who abound in merit!...’ (Hud, 11:3)
After seeing the strength of his awe-inspiring army and the vastness of his formidable kingdom, Solomon, peace be upon him, implored Allah: He said, "O my Lord! Forgive me, and grant me a kingdom which, [it may be], suits not another after me: for Thou art the Grantor of Bounties [without measure]. (Saad, 38:35)
Abraham, peace be upon him, also prayed Allah: "And who, I hope, will forgive me my faults on the Day of Judgment. (Ash-Shu’araa, 26:82)
Allah has promised not to punish the penitents in the world provided they seek for His forgiveness: “…But Allah was not going to send them a penalty whilst thou wast amongst them; nor was He going to send it whilst they could ask for pardon.”  (Anfaal, 8:33)
A divine declaration was made to all people: 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.” (Zumar, 39:53)
Those sinners who will not persist in iniquity, who will judge themselves before the Judgement, who will turn to Allah and seek His pardon, are praised: “And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, - and who can forgive sins except Allah? - And are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in [the wrong] they have done. For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath, - an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work [and strive]!” (Aali ‘Imraan, 3:135-136)
Part of Allah’s Attributes is that He is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful: “He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do.” (Ash-Shuuraa, 42:25)
And He said concerning the Children of Israel: Why turn they not to Allah, and seek His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Maa’idah, 5:77)
The Almighty also guarantees forgiveness of minor sins for those who eschew the major ones: “If ye [but] eschew the most heinous of the things which ye are forbidden to do, We shall expel out of you all the evil in you, and admit you to a gate of great honour.” (An-Nisaa, 4:31); “If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” (An-Nisaa, 4:64)
In verse 110 of the same Suratun Nisaa Allah states: “If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, they will find Allah Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Allah stretches out His hand by night that nocturnal sinners may repent; He also stretches out His hand during the day time that diurnal sinners may seek for His forgiveness. He said in a Hadeeth qudsee: O My servants! You, verily, commit sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins; seek for My forgiveness, and I shall forgive you.
One who does not turn to Allah and seek for His pardon in Ramadan; when will such a one repent? One who does not find ways of reverting to Allah in Ramadan; when will such retrace their step to their Lord? Those who were not able to examine their account with their Lord in Ramadan; when are they going to do so?
It is indeed hard to explain the attitude of one who sees the holy month gradually fading away but allows their sins to become more intense, and does nothing to manumit themselves from Hell, from the shackles of degradation and destruction.
My brothers and sisters in faith, we should hasten, all of us, to emancipate our souls in what remains of this month by offering salutations to the Messenger of Allah (SAW), making a lot of istighfaar and being quick to do good works. One might have committed a great, unforgivable sin that could only be wiped out by a sincere devotion in what remains of the nights of Ramadan. There may be an iniquitous deed that is lurking in the dark pages of your records that could only be forgiven in these last days of Ramadan.  Who knows?!
We should spare no effort in freeing ourselves from the bondage of transgression. Let us all raise our hands to Allah, confess our short-comings and seek for His forgiveness. Many people living today will not witness another Ramadan; how sure are you that you are not one of those…………?
The Night of Power and Majesty is in these last ten nights; it is possible we have not passed it yet on our way out of Ramadan. Hasten to moisten your tongue with the best dhikr (remembrance of Allah, The Exalted) for the occasion. Repeat as much as you can the prayer the noble Messenger (SAW) taught his wife, ‘Aaishah (RA) to say for the last ten nights: “Allahumma, innaka ‘afuuwun, tuhibbul ‘afwa, fa’af ‘anni” Meaning: “O Allah!, You are The Overlooker of Faults, You overlook faults, so overlook my faults”.
Be not among those who restrict themselves to only the odd nights, the 27th night or any other specific night in these last few; strive to do your best in all the remaining nights! Do not be part of a gathering where, instead of the ‘ibaadah that took them to the masjid for I’itikaaf, they engage in idle chat, phoning and internet browsing. Do not join those who pick a night and set up microphones and audio speakers making a travesty of the essence of Laylatul Qadr by doing in these nights what they have no sanction from the Law-giver to do in them. Keep your head; you will no doubt notice many losing theirs. Flee unto Allah and attain His pleasure and approval, dear brethren, I flee with you too.

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