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.
AT old age, you will realize that the ‘nikmat’ (gift) of God will be taken away from you one by one,” said an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) who was giving a lecture at a masjid near my house recently.
One ‘nikmat’ is we have to give way on food, said the ‘ustaz’. He said one will realize that at 50 his/her teeth would start falling, so he/she would have the ‘nikmat’ of eating good but ‘tough’ food such as beef declining as the days went by and when one is tested positive for having hypertension and is confirmed a diabetic then his/her ‘normal’ diet would have to go as well.
“Then it is the time for ‘no more sugar please’ or please, no ‘kambing’ (mutton) for me.’ So you would realize that the ‘nikmat’ of having good food was being taken away from you.
“As you get matured religiously, you will realize that everything you ‘own’ would not ‘stick’ with you. Your black and beautiful hair would be gone, being replaced by ‘silver’ ones; your body and bones would ache; your youthful look gone gone and when you look at the mirror an old tired face would stare back at you!”
At times while reminiscing our fate including our lost ‘ability and beauty’, we would question ourselves; why were we sent into this world and where we are heading for?
On why we were sent into this world, in Surat Adh-Dhariyat 51:56 (The Winnowing Winds) Allah SWT says, with the meaning; “I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me.” Yes, human existence along with jinn is to worship Allah SWT.
“Then would came a fateful day when your 'roh' (soul) leaves your body. Your body would be buried six feet underground in your grave. So everything would vanish from you except for one that is ‘Islam’. If you are a practising Muslim, your ‘amal’ (good deeds) would be by your side, but if you don’t have any…how are you going to face those days which is 'kekal' (forever)…,” says the ‘ustaz’.
So we have to be ‘syukur’ (thankful to Allah SWT) for being Muslims. And among human being to whom should we be thankful in bringing us on the straight path as Muslims? He is none other than Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had brought the words of God and before him there was a line of prophets from Adam to Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Daud (David), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus). They were the main prophets from more than 124,000 prophets, all inviting mankind to the path of true peace and obedience to one true God.
The main prophets too had the ‘kitab’ (books of Allah) with the al-Qur’an which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad as the final guidance to mankind until ‘kiamat’ (end of the world). So use the Qur'an to guide our lives.
Human beings are weak and unknowledgeable so they had to depend on Allah SWT who at His mercy sent prophets and His books as their guidance. The job of human beings was to follow and obey Allah SWT instructions contained in the Qur’an and examples shown by the Prophet s.a.w.
A book ‘Pearls of the Prophet – A Guide to successful life from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)’ has this note about Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. “It is remarkable that his career covered all possible spheres of life such as that of a preacher in a mosque, as a worldly man amongst family and friends, as a man of piety, as a leader, as a soldier, a reformer, a politician, a statesman, an administrator and finally as a ruler of a vast kingdom.
“He had the privilege therefore of not only laying down rules of guidance in all such capacities but also gave a practical illustration of these rules. It is these sayings and doings of the Prophet that form the subject matter of Hadith – a guide to successful life from the Prophet.”
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the unanimous choice of scholars as the greatest man in history. Hart in his book ‘The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’ ranked the Prophet first, while Lamartine / Histoire de la Turquie / Paris 1854 asked; If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?”
So western scholars have acknowledged that Prophet Muhammad is the greatest man and of course the greatest politician of all time, so who are we to stray away from his way in life including in politics?
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., the final Prophet and Messenger of God, taught us the full and complete meaning of Islam (surrender and commitment to the will of God) through his words, his actions and the revealed Book – the Holy Qur’an.
Some Muslims nowadays are not practicing the Prophet’s teaching in its truest sense; they are giving the wrong impression about Islam. They seem to follow and adhere to what benefits them and abandon the teachings that are against their interests.
The ‘ustaz’ reminded Muslims to show their love for the Prophet by always remembering him by way of pronouncing the ‘salawat’ (salutations to the Prophet) and to adhere and follow all his teachings and actions.
So what are the teachings of the Prophet s.a.w. or to cut short what is Islam that would safe us in this world and after our death when we were buried six feet underground? In the book ‘Essence of Islam’ (Islamic Outreach-ABIM), it is stated that Islam means complete submission or surrender to the will of Allah SWT (The Most High).
Islam also means peace and the way to achieve peace. Islam teaches that there is only one God, who is called Allah in Arabic. Since the time of emergence of the first man on earth, God in His mercy raised among men numerous prophets or messengers and the last of all the messengers was Muhammad s.a.w.
Islam is not a new religion. It consists of the same basic message which God has given in all true religions, and all prophets brought this same message for our guidance.
Muhammad s.a.w., the final Prophet and Messenger of God, taught us the full and complete meaning of Islam (surrender and commitment to the will of God) through his words, his actions and the revealed book, the Holy Qur’an.
All Muslims actions are governed by the principles of ‘halal’ (permissible) and ‘haram’ (forbidden, unlawful or sinful). It is ‘halal’ to be involved in business activities but ‘haram’ in practising ‘riba’ (usury).
Only ‘Islam’ (our ‘amal’or work) would help us when we are buried deep inside our graves – everything else would vanish from us; where would be our status, power, posts, positions, youthful looks, strengths, cleverness, monies, luxury cars, bungalows, lands and so on; they are of no help at all.
But the Prophet s.a.w. had given us the assurance that after death there would be three things that could continously benefit a person: 1) sadaqa (charity) 2) knowledge that he spreads, and 3) children who pray for him. So 'grab' these things before it is too late!