In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
From the several Isra' and Mi'raj talks I attended recently, an interesting point raised by a speaker caught my attention and I would like to share it with readers.
The 'ustaz' pointed out that while discussing about Isra' and Mi'raj it is also recommended to compare it with Hijra (Hegira) that is the Migration of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. (peace be upon him) from Makkah (Mecca) to Madinah (Medina).
He said while Isra' and Mi'raj (the miraculous night journey of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. 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, was a test on the 'ummah' (Muslims) regarding their 'iman' (faith), Hijra was about 'implementing' and 'putting into practice' their belief.
If Isra' and Mi'raj which took place sometime before Hijra challenged the human being's mind regarding power, time and space; the Prophet's Hijra was 'an ordinary man's journey of more than 300 kilometers from his birth place of Makkah to Madinah which was then called Yathrib.
If Prophet Muhammad’s s.a.w. journey to Al-Quds from Makkah (Isra') which is more than 1,000 kilometers was 'like a lightning'; this journey of Hijra (from Makkah to Madinah) in 622 AD, took days including the Prophet s.a.w. hiding for three days in the Cave of Saur (Thur) in south Makkah with his best companion, Abu Bakr r.a. (may Allah be pleased with him).
The Prophet s.a.w., Abu Bakr r.a. and their non-Muslim guide, Abdullah Uraiqit only arrived at Quba' on the outskirts of Yathrib after more than two weeks. There, with the help of the local people, they erected the first masjid - Masjid Quba' - before officially entering Yathrib and renaming it Madinat-un-Nabi, literally, the City of the Prophet after 30 days from the date they left Makkah.
Also, readers please note that the Hijra to Madinah was not the first for Muslims. Technically, the first Hijra occurred in 615 AD when a group of Muslims was counseled by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. to escape persecution in Makkah and travel to Habsyah or Ethiopia (Abyssinia at the time), which was ruled by a Christian king, the Negus. But Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. himself did not join this emigration.
The ustaz in his Isra' and Mi'raj talk said, based on the Prophet's 'tough' and 'hard' journey of the Hijra, Muslims too must be ever ready to face tribulations and obstacles in life what more when one is committed to live as a practicing Muslim in all aspects of life.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had showed us the way to live as a Muslim who has to strive in whatever he does, be it regarding efforts to gain benefit in this world or in the Hereafter.
As Muslims we must work hard for our benefit of both worlds as we often recite in our du'a (supplication): Rabba
In their determination to see Islam flourish, the Prophet s.a.w. and his companions toiled and sweated including in the hot sun often in a state of hunger, for example the Prophet s.a.w. took the lead in digging a wide and deep trench around Madinah to stop the invading Musyrikin armies during the Ahzab war. In the battle of Uhud, the Prophet s.a.w. too was injured; this showed that Muslims would be 'tried' (face tribulations) by Allah SWT but must be brave in facing the hurdles to be better Muslims by each day.
All must be worked for; there is no such thing as a 'short cut' to success in the world, what more in the Hereafter. It was asked. "Oh Messenger of Allah: Who is the most excellent of men? The Messenger of Allah said, 'The believer who strives hard in the way of Allah with his person and property."
Whoso is able and fit and does not work for himself or for others, God is not gracious to him. To his companions, the Prophet s.a.w. said it is better for any of you to take your rope and bring a bundle of wood upon your back and sell it, in which case God guards your honour, then to beg of people, whether they give or not; if they do not give, your reputation suffers, and you returned disappointed; and if they give, it is worse than that; for it makes you under obligation.
The Qur'an says: "Scatter over the earth and seek Allah's bounty. Aren't we Allah's vicegerents on earth? (62;10)
But a word of caution, in performing our works and duties, Muslims must be clear in mind that we are only to please Allah SWT for during our 'solat' (prayers), we would supplicate: "Surely, my prayer, my sacrifice, my life, and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds." (Qur'an, 6: 162)
To be on Allah's straight path, we must ask for His help - as we mention at least 17 times in our 'solat' (Eh'dinas siratalmustaqim) and we must seek knowledge for only he who knows his own self knows Allah SWT.