Sunday, July 13, 2014

Divine Favours: 'Count your Blessings'

Fabi-‘ayyi ‘aalaaa-‘i Rabbikumaa tukazzibaan?

“So which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?”
(Ar-Rahman: Chapter 55)

This verse of Surah Ar-Rahman is mentioned 31 times in order to properly inform the believers that they should never forget that all these blessings come from our Creator and from no one else and that He has reserved such blessings also in the hereafter (Aakhirat). Indeed, all the needs of a living being are made ​​available to him (by Allah). Allah (swt) says:

“We (Allah) have made ​​the day for livelihood.” (78: 12)

See a living example starting with ourselves.

Once we wake up, we have to face many routines. First we need to breathe in clean air. Do we immediately think that it is one of favours we have been given?  We are healthy – another favour of Allah, the Most Glorious – we have no difficulty to do so because our respiratory system works perfectly.

As soon as we open our eyes, we see near and far images. Is this not a great favour of Allah? When we think, even for a minute, that there are at this moment, thousands of people who are blind! Did you know that the centre of the sight is found in the rear brain occupying few cubic centimetres?

Speaking of this wonderful blessing that Allah has given us, the brain is a huge control centre. It contains one hundred thousand million lines of nerves which connects it to the eye. Calculate from this the number of the other nerves... centres of touch and hearing are located on both sides of the brain. The main working centres stand in the middle of the brain ... the respiratory centres and those of blood flow are at the top of the spinal cord, or where it relates to the brain.

Shortly afterwards, at breakfast, we enjoy the delicious tastes of the food made available to us. Everything we need to lead a healthy life in order to survive in this world which does not belong to us, is before us.

Before proceeding further, let us have brief look at where goes everything that we eat and drink. It is therefore the digestive function of the stomach that must be studied.

Indeed, the stomach is the largest factory in the world. The stomach receives everything we send them as food and beverages with their different species and many of their components... it is in the stomach that all these species are broken down and returned to their primary chemical components. Once rid of their waste, these components are combined again to form products used to supply different cells. It must be highlighted that the food of the poor and those of the wealthy people are treated in the same way.

“And whatever you have of favour (good) comes from Allah.” (16: 54)

Do you know that there are people who cannot be fed properly due to some disease? So be immediately thankful to Allah – (Ash-Shakur – The One to whom all thanks are directed) – for this blessing before leaving the table (after eating).

Allah, the Exalted, in His kindness, has provided us with water, flavoured fruits, and animals and other food crops, such as vegetables for better living. How does the water reach us? There are winds that push the clouds to specific places where the climate is suitable to rainfall in the land as well as in rivers with the role to make this water reach those whom Allah wanted – humans, animals and plants. Life spreads like this around the world. That is why Allah (swt) says (in the Quran): “We (Allah) have made ​​from water every living thing. Then will they not believe?” (21: 31)

The Creator, the Most Merciful – has also provided animals to all the children of Adam. Some of them use them as food and others like mount. If the world of animals, birds and insects are carefully studied, it contains so many wonders that it will be virtually impossible to explain.

Seeing all this, we must recognize the will and power of Allah who tells us: “Allah has created every (living) creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four.” (24: 46)

Can we put another god beside Allah – the Unique God? All these favours exalt His incomparable greatness. About the favours, we must not forget the ocean. Therein are corals and colourful fish that adorn the bottom of the ocean and from which we get our food.

Among other favours, there are different species of birds that add so much charm to the environment, and its many bugs, some of which are beneficial to humans, such as: “And your Lord inspired to the bee, “Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and (in) that which they construct. 

Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down (for you).” There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colours, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.” (16: 69-70)

“Oh man! Created with fervour by Allah Almighty in the most perfect form, will you stay today at the lowest state despite His favours?” (95: 5-6)

“Ramadan Mubarak”

Taking into account the favours of Allah, both physical and spiritual as well as material, the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam wishes to all the brothers and sisters“Ramadan Mubarak” and pray that this Ramadan be a blessing for us and the entire Muslim world. Insha-Allah.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar. As the year and the seasons, come eleven days each year before the previous Ramadan, therefore around the world, Ramadan continually pass from one season to another.

Thus, although it is true that Islam is the religion of balance, avoiding extremes, Islam is not a religion that allows failures to the required minimum. So aim for the middle way (a balance between the two extremes). What God has made mandatory, consider it as compulsory, take advantage of this permission and latitude, but only in order to please God. This indeed is virtue. And this is what is called the middle way/balance.

So the Muslim should give full attention not only to the issue of significantly enhancing the quality level of fasting. For enhancing the level, there is firstly the Tahajjud prayer before dawn, and secondly, things that one must do or what we should avoid during fasting (Sawm/Roza).

During the fast, lively discussions, arguments, loud exchanges of words, forbidden actions, all these things become hateful and futile for the believer. And it is a time of preparation, training. One who, for a whole month, received training to control his tongue, it is expected that even after this month, he will continue to control his tongue. The goal is not to wait until the month ends so that one can resume his old habits, which are adverse to his spiritual and physical health, etc.

He who for a month, took the habit of doing Zikr-i-Ilaahi (remembrance of God), one whose language has continually praised the love of God, whose heart was filled with memories of God, if that person returns after a month to his past bad habits, then it would be totally absurd. If he returns on that bad track again, it will mean that he has not understood the true meaning of fasting, and has not benefited the fast in the least.

This case is comparable to that of someone who is given to eat great food for a whole month, and who waits impatiently for the end of this month to come so that he may return to eating third class food! And as soon as the (blessed) month ends, he expresses his relief to return to eat that wrong kind of food!

Fasting also has responsibilities to provide for the remaining eleven months. It comes to teach manners to the other eleven months. But that’s only if manners were taken seriously into consideration during that month whereby their effects will be felt in the eleven remaining months.

May Allah Almighty give you the courage to live well this month of fasting and give Him thanks for the many blessings He has given you, at physical level (your own body), at the material level (the worldly favours) and spiritual level (allowing you to get closer to Him and to access the eternity of His love, forgiveness and mercy).Insha-Allah.

I also thank you for your warm welcome here in Reunion Island. May Allah reward you greatly and help you in your quest, your Dawa – to bring people to the oneness of Allah and give a strong helping hand in the goals of our Jamaat – the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, Insha-Allah, Ameen.

-Friday Sermon of June 27, 2014: delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius