Archive for September, 2012

Assalamu’alaykum warahmatullah,

Last few days we resumed back our weekly Qur’an halaqah at the University. Alhamdulillah it was a good one. We were discussing surah al-Mu’minoon from ayah 1 to 11 to basically reflect on the purpose of learning the Qur’an and the deen in general. The verses are as the following:

1. Successful indeed are the believers.

2. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.

3. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden).

4. And those who pay the Zakat .

5. And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts)

6. Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame;

7. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors;

8. Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts etc.) and to their covenants;

9. And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawat (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours).

10. These are indeed the inheritors.

11. Who shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.

The ayah starts off with mentioning the glad tidings for believers and followed by four general descriptions of successful believers. The first characteristic mentioned is one who establish prayer with khushoo’. Prayer, as we all know, is the foundation of Islam as in one hadith where the Prophet SAW said “Verily between man and between polytheism and unbelief is the negligence of prayer” (Muslim). It is also important to note that our prayer will be the first thing to be accounted for on the Day of Judgement as mentioned in the following hadith: ” The first thing that the servant will be called to account for on the Day of Judgment will be Salah. If it is good, his deeds will have been good. If it is bad, his deeds will have been bad” (At-Tabarani). This shows that prayer is one of the most important thing that a muslim should safeguard and offer with full attention. The mention of khushoo’ indicates that prayer should not be done mechanically. It should be established with sincerity and submissiveness. And in order to attain khushoo’ in prayer, one should prepare before even coming to prayer. Prayer should not be treated like plug-and-play. You cannot expect to attain that level of consciousness in prayer if you are very involved in the matter of dunya just before going to prayer (unless you’re a very BIG BIG Sheykh!!). We should be aware as well that during prayer, we are communicating directly with Allah. So treat it like a communication. How would we communicate with our superior? Our kings or presidents? Imagine now that we’re communicating with The King of Kings? How should we behave?

The next characteristic that was mentioned is those who stay away from al-Laghw. In the Qur’an, if we notice, al-Laghw is always used to refer to vain talk eventhough the meaning can be expanded to include useless/senseless actions. Our halaqa ‘instructor’ pointed out a really interesting relationship between the previous characteristic (prayer with khushoo’) and this characteristic. Good relationship with Allah should be reflected in our action. I remembered once, when I was talking to a brother in a local masjid, he was mentioning that if a person does a lot of ‘ibadaah and it doesn’t reflect on his dealings with the people around him, then his ‘ibadaah is not benefiting him in anyway. SubhanAllah, I for once, was really affected by his speech. How have I treated people around me? My family? My friends? How many times have I sinned other people? How many times I’ve talked with people around me and suddenly we start to talk about others not knowing that we are actually backbiting them? If we have attain khushoo’ in prayer how can we not maintain the “khushoo'” (conscious) in our dealings with the people? May Allah forgive me for my shortcomings and may Allah reward those I’ve wronged, ameen. If this is happening to us, we really should check back our ‘ibadaah. Did we perform them with sincerity? Did we do it just for the sake of doing it or to please Allah? May Allah guide us to perform all ”ibadaah for the sake of Him only and perform them with ihsaan, ameen.

The next characteristic is one who perform zakah. Zakah has always been mentioned right after prayer in the Qur’an which highlights the importance of this specific action as one of the basic tenets of Islam. Zakah purifies our wealth as prayer purifies our heart. One point that was highlighted by the ‘instructor’ is that very few muslims know the rulings on zakah. As zakah always being mention after prayer, it is very important for muslims, especially in this age, to know the in and out of the rules for zakah. There are even some who doesn’t even know that they are not eligible to pay zakah and yet they pay it. Not only they paid zakah when they are ineligible, they even paid more than what has been ordained.

The last characteristic that was pointed out is one who guards their chastity. This characteristic is in correlation with the second characteristic. How? The first is to guard the tongue and the second is to guard the private part; both of which have been mentioned in a hadith :”Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him” (Bukhari). In another narration, the tongue and private part were said to cause the majority of people to end up in the hellfire. The arrangements of these verses are of particular interest. Why would the verses regarding mu’alamah (guarding tongue and private parts) are put in between verses that mention ‘ibadaah (prayer and zakah)? It was said that these verses were put in between to underline the importance of being good not only to Allah but also to His other creations. 

The discussion of next verses are just my reflection and not being discussed in the halaqa. If there’s any mistakes, I ask Allah to forgive me and guide me to the right path. So please don’t quote me on this. The next verse is, I think, the end of the general description of successful believers because Allah mention whoever transgress the boundaries that Allah has set, they will not be included amongst the successful believers. The next verses however, seems to be pointing back to the characteristics of successful believers. Again, this is just my reflection. It seems to me that the next verses are meant to point out the characteristics of the cream of crop amongst the successful believers as Allah mention, in ayah 10 and 11, about them being the inheritors of Jannatul-Firdaus, which is the highest place in Jannah. So to be a successful believers, one needs to fulfill the four mentioned characteristics as mentioned in ayah 2-6. But to be an extraordinary successful believer, the additional two characteristics need to be realized: being true to amanah and covenants and guarding strictly the five daily prayers. I guess I don’t have to elaborate more on these two aspects as the general discussion that we just had in previous verses can be applied to this verses as well. And the instruction is pretty obvious.

I ask Allah to guide us and make our path easy to become successful believers and I ask Allah to forgive us our sins, accept from us our deeds and increase our imaan, ameen. Any wrong information in this entry is from my own shortcomings (may Allah forgive me) and anything good and right is from Allah.

Wassalamu’alaykum