Allahu Akbar

They asked Rasoolullahﷺ, ‘Who is Allahﷻ?’ And Allahﷻ answered:

قُلْ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ

ٱللَّهُ ٱلصَّمَدُ

لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ

وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُۥ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌۢ

Ikhlaas 112: 1-4      Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah, (the) One. Allah-us-Samad (Free from all needs, whose creatures need Him). He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none equal or comparable unto Him.

Let us reflect on this Sura. It is the essence of Islam. It is the sum total of what we believe because though it is about Allahﷻ, He didn’t speak directly to us as He did in many other places in the Qur’an. Instead, He ordered His Messengerﷺ to introduce Him to the questioners and to us all. Suratul Ikhlaas not only speaks about the Glory and Majesty of Allahﷻ but indicates the exalted status of Rasoolullahﷺ. Then Allahﷻ told us why He created us:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ ٱلْجِنَّ وَٱلْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

Zariyat 51: 56     And I (Allah) did not create the Jinn and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).

To worship, it is essential to know, to recognize, to have a relationship with, and to love more than anyone or anything else.  So, who is Allahﷻ?

ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلْحَىُّ ٱلْقَيُّومُ لَا تَأْخُذُهُۥ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ لَّهُۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُۥٓ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِۦ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَىْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِۦٓ إِلَّا بِمَا شَآءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضَ وَلَا يَـُٔودُهُۥ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ ٱلْعَلِىُّ ٱلْعَظِيمُ

Baqara 2: 255      Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.

Allahﷻ introduced Himself in the Ayah which is considered the Ayah of highest status in the Qur’an, Ayatul Kursi. Tawheed is our greatest treasure. To be jealously guarded against any adulteration, which comes in benign forms, the most seductive of which is ‘love’. In the name of love, we raise the status of those we love until that enters the realm of that which belongs only to Allahﷻ. That is what the Christians did with Eesa (AS). That is what many sects of Muslims do with different people they love. Eesa (AS) and all those people of high status we love, the highest of them being Muhammadﷺ, are all worthy of great respect, veneration, and emulation. But they are all human. They are all creatures. They are all Ghayrullah. They are not related to Allahﷻ in any way other than being His Makhlooq, His creatures. He created them and they do not share anything with Him, whatsoever, in terms of His Dhaat (identity), Sifaat (attributes), Afa’al (actions, decisions), or Asaar (signs, creation). To believe that anything, human or otherwise, irrespective of who or what it is, shares anything at all with Allahﷻ, is major Shirk and renders us out of Islam. Allahﷻ declared clearly:

فَاطِرُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَٰجًا وَمِنَ ٱلْأَنْعَـٰمِ أَزْوَٰجًا يَذْرَؤُكُمْ فِيهِ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِۦ شَىْءٌ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ

Shura 42: 11   The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from yourselves, and for the cattle (also) mates. By this means He creates you (in the wombs). There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.

Ibn Abbas (R) narrated that when Rasoolullah used to awake for Tahajjud he would say: Allahumma lakal-hamd. Anta qaiyimus-samawati wal-ardi wa man fihinna. Walakal-hamd Laka mulkus-samawati wal-ardi wa man fihinna. Walakal-hamd anta nurus-samawati wal-ard. Walakal-hamd an-tal-Haq. Wa wa’du-kal- Haq wa liqa’uka Haq. Wa qawluka Haq wal-jannatu Haq wan-naaru Haq. Wan-nabiyoona Haq Wa Muhammadun, sallal-lahu’alaihi wasallama Haq. Was-sa’atu Haq. Allahumma laka aslamtu wabika amantu, wa ‘Alaika tawakkaltu wa ilaika anabtu. Wa bika kha-samtu wa ilaika hakamtu. Faghfir li ma qaddamtu wama akh-khartu wama as-rartu wama ‘a-lantu. An-tal-muqaddimu wa an-tal-mu akh-khir. Laa ilaha ila ant.

O Allah! All praise and all thanks for you, You are the Establisher of the Heavens and the Earth, And whatever is in them. All praises for You; You have the possession of the Heavens and the Earth And whatever is in them. All praises for You; You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth. And all praises for You; You are the Truth. And Your Promise is the Truth, And the meeting with You is True. Your Word is the Truth, And Jannah is True, And the Fire is True. And all the Prophets (Peace be upon them) are True and Muhammad, is True. And the Day of Resurrection is True. O Allah! I surrender (my will) to You; I believe in You and depend on You. And repent to You, And with Your help I argue (with my opponents). And I take You as a judge (between us). Please forgive my previous and future sins; And whatever I concealed or revealed. And you are the One who raise some people to stations of honor and lower others. There is none to be worshiped but You. [Bukhari]

What a beautiful dua which we must memorize and try to make every day when we awake for Tahajjud. Yes, I am saying what you think I am saying. If we want to know Allahﷻ, we must make Tahajjud Fardh on ourselves. Rasoolullahﷺ made dua for those who awake for Tahajjud. May Allahﷻ make us among those who wake for Tahajjud and wake each other up, because they love Allahﷻ about everyone and everything else.

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that Rasoolullah said, ‘May Allah have mercy upon a man who wakes up at night and prays and awakens his wife. If she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face. May Allah have mercy upon a woman who wakes up at night and prays and awakens her husband. If he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.” [Ibn Maajah, An-Nasaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ahmad]

Allahﷻ promised Jannah for those who awake for Tahajjud:

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ ٱلْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّآ أُخْفِىَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَآءًۢ بِمَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ

Sajda 32: 16-17   Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Rabb in fear and hope, and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.

Allahﷻ gave this prescription to His beloved Messengerﷺ and said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْمُزَّمِّلُ

قُمِ ٱلَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

نِّصْفَهُۥٓ أَوِ ٱنقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا

أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ ٱلْقُرْءَانَ تَرْتِيلًا

إِنَّا سَنُلْقِى عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ ٱلَّيْلِ هِىَ أَشَدُّ وَطْـًٔا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا

Muzzammil 73: 1-6   O you wrapped in garments (Muhammad)! Stand (to pray) all night, except a little. Half of it, or a little less than that, or a little more; and recite the Qur’an in a slow, (pleasant) style. Verily, We shall send down to you a weighty Word (Islamic Law). Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud) is very hard and most potent and good for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allah).

Same rule everywhere; you want to truly get to know someone, you must spend time with them. The key to knowing and loving Allahﷻ and to building a relationship of Uboodiyat is to focus on His blessings and express our thanks. When we reflect on how Allahﷻ blessed us, it is but natural to fall in Sujood and to thank Him from the core of our beings and to love Him more than anyone else. That’s why Allahﷻ questioned those who deny Him:

كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَٰتًا فَأَحْيَـٰكُمْ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

Baqara 2: 28   How can you disbelieve in Allah? Seeing that you were dead, and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return.

I know we all agree that we need to be thankful to Allahﷻ always. But let me put that in perspective for you. One inch of rain falling on 1 acre of land is equal to about 27,154 gallons and weighs about 113 tons. West Springfield received 46 inches of rain in 2021 which is 5,198 tons per acre. West Springfield is 17.5 square miles in area which is equal to 11,200 acres. That means that West Springfield received 58,217,600 (fifty-eight million, two hundred and seventeen thousand, six hundred tons of rain in 2021). So, what, you ask me? Think about this. Allahﷻ sent that rain in individual drops spread out over the whole year. What if he had thrown down fifty-eight million, two hundred and seventeen thousand, six hundred tons of water at once? Do you know what a tidal wave is? It is water. Individual drops of water coming at you together. Then let me add to this mix. The average height of clouds is between 6500 feet for low level clouds to 15000 feet for mid-level clouds. Let us take a midway figure of 10000 feet. Water descending from 10000 feet will descend at an acceleration of 32 feet/second/second which is approximately 550 mph. That is the speed of a tidal wave. If Allahﷻ sent West Springfield its rain at once, there would be no West Springfield left. We thank Allahﷻ not only for rain but for the fact that He sends it in drops.

When did you last have a haircut? I am not asking if you had a Halaal haircut or a Haraam one. Just a haircut. Let me add clipping your nails to that. When did you last do it? What if our nails and hair were live tissue instead of dead? We would need to go under general anesthesia to get a haircut. Do we thank Allahﷻ for this blessing? I want you to reflect on these and think of other examples and share them with me. And let us thank Allahﷻ for them. With this background, now think of this dua, made by a Bedouin, who didn’t go to university like we did. What does he know that we don’t? What do you think he did which we don’t? He spent time in reflection and introspection and Dhikr. He didn’t have social media. He had Allahﷻ. We also have Allahﷻ but we don’t seem to know or care. He knew and cared and so Allahﷻ gave him the words that brought him praise from Rasoolullahﷺ.

Anas bin Malik (R) reports that Rasoolullahﷺ once passed by a Bedouin who was making the following dua in his Salah:

يا مَنْ لا تَرَاهُ الْعيونْ، ولاَ تُخَالِطُهُ الظُّنوْنْ، ولا يَصِفُهُ الْوَاصِفُون، ولا تُغَيِّرُهُ الحَوادِثْ، ولا يَخْشَى الدَّوائِرْ، ويَعْلَمُ مَثَاقِيْلَ الجِبالْ، وَمَكَايِيْلَ البِحارْ، وعددَ قَطَرِ الأمطار، وعددَ وَرَقِ الأشجار، وعددَ ما أظْلَمَ عليهِ اللّيْلُ، وَأشْرَقَ عليه النّهار، ولا تُوَارِيْ منه سماءٌ سماءً، ولا أرضٌ أرضاً، ولا بحرٌ ما في قعرِه، ولا جبَلٌ ما في وَعْرِه، اِجْعَلْ خَيرَ عُمُرِي آخرَه، وخيرَ عمَلي خواتمَه، وخيرَ أيّامِي يومَ ألْقاكَ فيه"

O The One Whom eyes cannot see, Who cannot be imagined, Who is beyond description, Who is unaffected by happenings, Who cannot be overwhelmed by the twists and turns of time, Who knows the weight of the mountains, the volume of the oceans, the number of falling raindrops, the number of leaves on the trees and everything upon which the night darkens and upon which the day brightens. No sky can hide another from Him, no surface of the earth can hide another from Him, no ocean can hide anything within its depths from Him and no mountain can conceal from Him anything within its rocks. Make the last part of my life the best, make the best of my deeds the last and make my best day be the one in which I meet You.

Rasoolullahﷺ  appointed someone to bring the Bedouin to him as soon as he completed his Salah. Rasoolullahﷺ had been given some gold from a certain mine and when the Bedouin came before him, Rasoolullahﷺ gave him the gold and asked, “Which tribe do you belong to?” The man said that he was from the Banu Aamir bin Sa’sa’ah. Rasoolullahﷺ then asked, “Do you know why I gave you this gold as a gift?” He said, “Because of the family ties between us, Ya Rasoolullahﷺ? Rasoolullahﷺ said, “While family ties have a right, I actually gave you the gold because of the beautiful manner in which you praised Allahﷻ.” (Tabraani).

Let me close by giving you some friendly homework. I want you to reflect on the Glory and Magnificence of Allahﷻ and all His blessings that you enjoy and write about them. Send me your thoughts and I will compile them all into my Khutba. Call it: ‘I recognize Allahﷻ by’.

بچوں کی شرارت سے تو ماؤں کی دعا سے
نیکی سے، عبادات سے، لغزش سے، خطا سے
خود اپنے ہی سینے کے دھڑکنے کی صدا سے
رحمت تیری ہر گام پہ دیتی ہے دلاسے
ہم نے تجھے جانا ہے فقط تیری عطا سے دنیا کے حوادث سے ، وفاؤں سے، جفا سے
رنج و غم و آلام سے، دردوں سے، دوا سے
خوشیوں سے، تبسم سے، مریضوں کی شفا سے

ہم نے تجھے جانا ہے فقط تیری عطا سے

[We recognize you simply by Your blessings. By happenings, calamities, faithfulness, perseverance. By grief, bereavement, pain, and medicine. By happiness, smiles and by cures of ailments. By mischievous children, and the dua of mothers. By virtue, by prayer, by mistakes, by sin. By the beating of our own hearts. Your Mercy consoles us at every turn. We recognize you simply by Your blessings. ~ Tufail Ahmed]

Let us reflect on what these are for us and thank Allahﷻ.