Friday, June 29, 2012

No time for prayers?

********************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ************************ Reflection ********************** Surah 114 ******************* An-Nas, the second of the two cries for refuge and protection, takes its name from a recurring word which marks the rhythm in the Arabic. In this case protection is sought especially from the evil in a man's own heart in the hearts of other men. An early Meccan revelation ****************** MANKIND ****************** Revealed at Mecca ***************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. **************************** 1. Say; I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind, ************************ 2. The King of mankind, ************************ 3. The God of mankind, ************************* 4. From the evil of the sneaking whisperer, *************************** 5. Who whispereth in the hearts of mankind, ******************************* 6. Of the jinn of mankind. ****************** (The Meaning of the GLORIOUS QUR'AN, The Final Revelation, An Explanaory Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall) ***************** Of several Isra' (Israk) and Mi'raj (Mikraj) talks I attended in masjids near my house recently, a point raised by an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) struck deep inside my heart that I keep on thinking about it to this day. ******************* It was about time – Allah is The Creator of time; He is The Controller of time, in a short span of time (not even one night) He could take Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. for a journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to the upper heavens. ******************** Isra' and Mi'raj was the miraculous night journey of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. (peace be upon him) from the Haram Masjid in Makkah to the al-Aqsa Masjid in al-Quds (Jerusalem) and from there he ascended to the upper heavens and Sidratul-Muntaha. ***************** For the journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, Arab caravans travelling by camels at that time needed one month and another one month for the journey back but the Prophet could made in a very short time. Nowadays travelling by plane for the same journey takes a few hours. ********************** And for the journey from Jerusalem to the upper heavens and Sidratul-Muntaha, only Prophet Muhammad s.a.w as the chosen one by Allah SWT could make it and he took a short period of time; nowadays man boasted that he has reached the moon (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on 20th July 1969), yet their journey in Apollo 11 spacecraft needed the time span of eight days travelling in space. The average distance between Earth and Moon is about 239,000 miles or about 384,000 kilometers. ********************* If man could go to the sun, then the journey of 93,000,000 miles (about 150,000,000 kilometers) by taking the fastest spacecraft would take them generation after generation; the fact is that man could not reach the sun because of various factors including its heat that would melt the craft. ******************* Keep in mind that all these ‘sky creatures’ – the moon and sun - are all under the Earth's sky (first layer of sky); Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had ascended all seven layers of skies to Sidratul-Muntaha. ********************** So why Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. could make the Isra' and Mi'raj journey in a short period of time – not even one night? The answer is in Ayah 1 of Surah 17 (Al-Israa’) which means: “Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).” **************** It was Allah SWT that made the journey possible. Allah is The Creator of time and space. It is His wish to do anything including time. In Ayahs 80-81 Surah Yasin, Allah SWT says: “Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the like of them? Aye, that He is! for He is the All-Wise Creator. But His command, when He intendeth a thing, is only that he saith unto it: Be! And it is.” (The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, English Translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall) **************** If Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had seen, witness and experienced many miracles on the blessed journey (Isra' and Mi'raj) for only part of a night (in several hours) what could be said about the time of 24 hours a day given by Allah to each of us? Perhaps our (the writer included) 24 hours were full of playful and useless activities and being wasted away without us being guilty! ******************* Let us look at look at the things we do during those 24 hours given to each of us by Allah SWT. A large part of it (about 6-8 hours) we sleep, another 8 hours we spend it working, and for the balance time, we are engage in routine activities such as eating, watching TV, playing games, going to the toilets and so on. ******************** This is what ordinary people do, as for a busy person such a businessman, a journalist or a politician; he may spend perhaps up to 16 hours doing business or work and may complain he has no time to say his ‘solat’ (prayers). Imagine, from the 24 hours a day given by Allah SWT, he has the guts to say that he has no time to say his five times daily ‘fardu’ (compulsory) prayers! Some dared to say they have no time to perform even a prayer! ********************** How come when a person says he has no time for prayers yet pious people during the same period of 24 hours could perform all five times daily prayers in congregation in masjids and some could offer up tens or even hundreds of ‘rakaat’ of ‘sunat’ (recommendation) prayers. If a ‘busy’ person complains he has no time to even flip the pages of the Qur’an, then there are pious people who could complete reading (khatam) the whole Qur’an in a day! ******************* And nowadays when almost everybody is busy with Euro 2012, a fanatic football fan would perhaps spend all his 24 hours a day given by The Almighty with his ‘eat and sleep way of life’ in front of the idiot box (TV). Perhaps he is too busily engrossed in his interest that he has no time to perform his obligations to Allah SWT such as performing his ‘solat’! Yes his 24 hours a day is spend only of football yet pious people with the Hereafter as their main concern, could do numerous good things that ‘insya-Allah’ (God willing) would please Allah SWT and would rewarded handsomely by Him. ********************* Allah created time; hence he can do whatever He wants to with it. If the Prophet could travel, witnessed and experienced many miracles during the short span of time (according to human beings calculation) during Isra' and Mi'raj, Allah SWT out of His Mercy has also awarded Muslims bounty rewards in the Hereafter if they perform their good deeds during special times and places. ************************ For example when ones perform his obligations and good deeds during ‘Lailatul Qadr’ (the Night of Destiny) during Ramadan, then he/she would be rewarded for his/her deeds for that night better than a thousand months (1 night = 83 years 4 months!). ******************* Then if one performs his obligations for example saying his prayers in the Haram Masjid, then he would be rewarded 100,000 times more than the rewards at ordinary masjids. At The Prophet’s Masjid in Madinah it is 1,000 times and at the Al-Aqsa Masjid it is 500 times! ******************* Some people benefit from the time and gift given to them by the Almighty, others don’t. Imagine you were determined to go for an ‘umrah’ (minor hajj) this coming Ramadan and ‘alhamdulillah’ you made it. If one day, you perform all your five times daily prayers in congregation (jemaah) coupled with hundreds of ‘rakaat’ of ‘sunat’ prayers in the Holy Masjid and it happened to be ‘Lailatul Qadr’, what a bountiful reward would be awaiting you in the Hereafter! ************************** The world is only a play, remember what the Prophet had advised us: “Grab five things before five others: your youth before your decrepitude, your health before your illness, your wealth before your poverty, your leisure before your work, and your life before your death.” (Al-Hakeem) ************************ Allah SWT The Almighty had warned us about time in Surah Al-Asr (The Time): 1. By Al-'Asr (the time). 2. Verily! Man is in loss, 3. Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma'ruf)which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah's Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihad, etc.).

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