All kings have treasures and rings of security to guard them. But there is one king, the Real King – Al-Malikul Haq – who instead of guards, appointed people to call others to take from His Treasures. The more, the better. That is Allahﷻ who said about Himself:
فَتَعَـٰلَى ٱللَّهُ ٱلْمَلِكُ ٱلْحَقُّ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ ٱلْعَرْشِ ٱلْكَرِيمِ
Muminoon 23: 116 So Exalted be Allah, the True King, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Rabb of the Supreme Throne!
Allahﷻ told us about His treasures:
On the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifaree (R) from Rasoolullahﷺ from his Rabb, that Heﷻ said: O My slaves! I have forbidden Dhulm (oppression) for Myself, and I have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another. O My slaves, all of you are astray except those whom I have guided, so seek guidance from Me and I shall guide you. O My slaves, all of you are hungry except those whom I have fed, so seek food from Me and I shall feed you. O My slaves, all of you are naked except those whom I have clothed, so seek clothing from Me and I shall clothe you. O My slaves, you commit sins by day and by night, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness from Me and I shall forgive you. O My slaves, you will not be able to harm me or benefit me. O My slaves, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all as pious as the most pious heart of any individual amongst you, then this would not increase My Kingdom an iota.
O My slaves, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all as wicked as the most wicked heart of any individual amongst you, then this would not decrease My Kingdom an iota. O My slaves, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what he asked, that would not decrease what I Possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it. O My slaves, it is but your deeds that I account for you, and then recompense you for. So, he who finds good, let him praise Allahﷻ and he who finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself. [Muslim]
My brothers and sisters,
Today is the last Friday of this Ramadan. The whole month has almost finished. I ask Allahﷻ to grant us many more Ramadans in good Iman, health, wealth, time, and energy. But for some of us, this will be the last Ramadan of our lives, except that we don’t know that. Let us treat what remains of Ramadan as the incredible wealth it is and use it to change our lives in this world and thereby, our destinations in the Aakhira. Allahﷻ said:
قُلْ يَـٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا۟ مِن رَّحْمَةِ ٱللَّهِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
Zumar 39: 53 Say: O ‘Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
What can we say about our Rabb who calls those who spent their whole lives, challenging, denying, disobeying, and angering Him, “My slaves?” And then tells us not to despair of His Mercy but to seek His forgiveness which He promised to give us. What are we waiting for? Let’s do it now. I remind myself and you that Allahﷻ gives us opportunities to return to Him but doesn’t force anyone. We get to write our own destiny because then we will not be able to blame anyone. Choose wisely because it is forever.
Allahﷻ showed us the way that leads to His pleasure and mercy. He said:
وَٱلسَّـٰبِقُونَ ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ ٱلْمُهَـٰجِرِينَ وَٱلْأَنصَارِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَـٰنٍ رَّضِىَ ٱللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا۟ عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّـٰتٍ تَجْرِى تَحْتَهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدًا ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْفَوْزُ ٱلْعَظِيمُ
Tawba 9: 100 And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (migrants) and the Ansar (supporters) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Jannah), to dwell therein forever. That is supreme success.
Allahﷻ created an amazing generation of people who were the blessed Companions of Rasoolullahﷺ who learned Islam from him and practiced it in a way that earned them the pleasure of Allahﷻ. In His Infinite Mercy, Allahﷻ left the door open whereby those who came after that blessed First Generation, can still hope to be with them when we all meet Allahﷻ on the Day of Judgment. The Sahaba are the Gold Standard against which all subsequent generations will be judged. Those who follow them as closely as possible will be with them. Those who reject them will themselves be rejected. The choice is ours about who we want to be raised with.
Narrated Anas bin Malik (R), ‘ A man asked Rasoolullahﷺ about the Hour (Day of Judgment) saying, “When will the Hour be?” Rasoolullahﷺ asked him, “What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Messenger.” Rasoolullahﷺ said, “You will be with those whom you love.” (Anas (R) said) We had never been so glad as we were on hearing those words of Rasoolullahﷺ (i.e., “You will be with those whom you love.”) Therefore, I love Rasoolullahﷺ, Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them though my deeds are not like theirs. [Bukhari]
The statement of the Sahabi who said that he had done nothing, is a statement of humility. It is not to be taken literally. Especially today when we have problems with the fundamentals of our faith – fulfilling what is obligatory (Fara’idh) and keeping away from Haraam. The love of Allahﷻ and Rasoolullahﷺ must be understood in context because it is unlike the love of anyone and anything else. It is not singing Anasheed (devotional songs) or making passionate speeches all the while disobeying Allahﷻ and destroying the Sunnah of Rasoolullahﷺ. To love Allahﷻ is to obey Him without question and to love Rasoolullahﷺ is to emulate (Ittiba) him. Allahﷻ told us how we can become beloved to Him. Emulate Rasoolullahﷺ.
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
A’al Imraan 3: 31 Say (O Muhammadﷺ to mankind): If you (really) love Allah then follow me (emulate me – Ittiba), Allah will love you and forgive your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Without obedience (Ita’at) and emulation (Ittiba) there is no love for Allahﷻ or Rasoolullahﷺ no matter what claim we may make. Allahﷻ’s Mercy is infinite and boundless, but it is for those who obey Him and follow His Messengerﷺ who He sent to be obeyed and emulated. That is the condition.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (R) reported: Rasoolullahﷺ, said, “Verily, I know who will be the last to come out of the Jahannam and the last to enter Jannah. He is a man who will come out of the Jahannam crawling. Allah will say to him: Go and enter Jannah. The man will go but he will imagine that it is full, so he will return and say: O Rabb, I have found it full. Allah will say: Go and enter Jannah and you will have as much as the world and ten times more. The man will say: Do you mock me or laugh at me while you are the King?” [Bukhari & Muslim].
We ask Allahﷻ for Jannah without Hisaab (accounting). That is the Day we must prepare for and for which Allahﷻ gave us this opportunity in Ramadan. Let us make the most of what remains. Let us own up to our sins, seek Allahﷻ’s pardon and make the intention to change our lives.
Narrated Abu Huraira (R), “Rasoolullahﷺ said, “Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ ” [Bukhari]
See the Mercy of Allahﷻ who loves to forgive. All we need to do is stop being arrogant and stop defying Allahﷻ and repent and turn to Him.
Abu Hurairah (R) reported: Rasoolullahﷺ said, “Allahﷻ said: ‘A slave committed a sin and he said: O Allah, forgive my sin,’ and Allah said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then he realized that he has a Rabb Who forgives the sins and punishes for the sin.’ He then again committed a sin and said: ‘My Rabb, forgive my sin,’ and Allahﷻ said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rabb Who forgives his sin and punishes for the sin.’ He again committed a sin and said: ‘My Rabb, forgive my sin,’ and Allahﷻ said: ‘My slave has committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rabb Who forgives the sin or takes (him) to account for sin. I have granted forgiveness to my slave. Let him do whatever he likes”.
[Bukhari and Muslim].
Please note: The last sentence “let him do..”. means, as long he keeps asking for forgiveness after the commission of sins, and repents, Allahﷻ will forgive him because repentance eliminates previous sins”. (Editor’s Note)
Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (RA) said: Rasoolullahﷺ said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud].
Shaddad bin Aus (R) said: Rasoolullahﷺ said, “The best dua for seeking forgiveness (Syed-ul- Istighfar) is to say: ‘Allahumma Anta Rabbi, la ilaha illa Anta, khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduka, wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu, a’udhu bika min sharri ma sana’tu, abu’u laka bini’matika ‘alayya, wa abu’u bidhanbi faghfir li, fa innahu la yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa Anta. (O Allah! You are my Rabb. There is nobody worthy of worship except You. You have created me, and I am Your slave, and I hold to Your Covenant as far as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge the favors that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me, for none but You has the power to pardon).’ He who makes this dua during the day with firm belief in it and dies on the same day (before the evening), he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah; and if anyone makes this dua at night with firm belief in it and dies before the morning, he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah.” [Al-Bukhari]
Anas bin Malik (R) said: I heard Rasoolullahﷺ saying, “Allahﷻ said: ‘O son of Adam! I shall go on forgiving you so long as you pray to Me and aspire for My forgiveness whatever may be your sins. O son of Adam! I do not care even if your sins pile up to the sky and if you beg pardon of Me, I will forgive you. O son of Adam! If you come to Me with an earth full of sins and meet Me, not associating anything with Me in worship, I will certainly grant you as much pardon as will fill the earth.”‘ [Tirmidhi].
Rasoolullahﷺ said, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is right; and I guarantee a house in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.” [Abu Dawud]
However, there are some things which prevent us from going to Jannah. It is essential to get rid of these things if we have them in our lives.
Abu Hurairah (R) said: Rasoolullahﷺ said, “It is not lawful for a Muslim to forsake his (Muslim) brother beyond three days; and whosoever does so for more than three days, and then dies, will certainly enter Jahannam.” [Abu Dawud]
Abdullah ibn Amr (R) reported: Rasoolullahﷺ said, “The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you.” [Tirmidhi]
‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Awf (R) said: Rasoolullahﷺ said: “There are three things concerning which, by the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammadﷺ, I would certainly swear an oath: wealth does not decrease because of charity, so give charity; no man pardons another for some mistreatment, seeking thereby the pleasure of Allahﷻ, but Allahﷻ will raise him in status thereby; and no one asks of people but Allahﷻ will increase him in poverty.” [Musnad Ahmad]
As we draw to the close of Ramadan, let us reflect and introspect on our lives and rid them of all attitudes, choices and actions that displease Allahﷻ and bring our lives on the blessed Sunnah of Rasoolullahﷺ. Let us decide for ourselves that one day we will die and be called before Allahﷻ. That is when we will realize the cost of pleasing those, we tried to please at the expense of the displeasure of Allahﷻ. But that realization will not benefit us then. We must realize it now and change our lives so that on that day we will not have any regrets.
Let us remember that believing in Allahﷻ is to believe in His promises and in the meeting with Him and to live according to that belief. To believe in Rasoolullahﷺ is to obey and emulate Him. Without this our belief in Allahﷻ and Rasoolullahﷺ is open to question. On that Day it is our actions, our bodies, our limbs, our skins that will speak, not our tongues. All our clever excuses and theories will vanish like the mist when the sun rises.
Let us live our lives such that when we meet Allahﷻ it will be the best day of our lives. That means we must change today, while we still have time. Tomorrow will be too late.