Monday, July 3, 2017

God's Approval as Spiritual Reward

The spiritual training of Ramadan

Alhamdulillah - by the grace of Allah - we have spent the month of Ramadan in a very good way, and all that which we have been able to do during that month must be continued for the rest of the eleven months to come, Insha-Allah. If we have succeeded in putting into practice that which we did during the month of Ramadan, then we need to say Alhamdulillah Summa Alhamdulillah that the Ramadan has brought for us loads of spiritual blessings and benefits. These benefits touched our physical bodies as well as our souls, and they helped us in putting into practice the divine commandments, with hard striving and much effort. We also asked of Allah to help us to put these instructions of His into practice despite the weaknesses which are found in us.

Now, if you have been able to do so much effort during (such) a month, it is with the help of Allah that you have been able to do so. You have done all these to reap the pleasure of Allah and His forgiveness, and you even strived to get Allah (swt) Himself as your reward. Ramadan has left us (be it in Mauritius and the rest of the world) and went after 29 or 30 days of spiritual training; such training which would enable us to preserve and do all the more good deeds for the rest of the eleven months to come (before the next Ramadan).

Beyond Ramadan: Sustain the Jihad against Satan  

If you are not careful, then you can lose all these (blessings) and even lose Allah (swt) and return back to the olden days when Satan was once your intimate friend. Then to what avail would be the benefits of Ramadan to us? Lots of sacrifices in that blessed month, but when it went away, our good deeds which we did when it was among us have also gone away along with it, and we return back to the unislamic practices like before? If so, then the Ramadan that you fasted and preserved diligently to seek the pleasure of Allah and to seek Allah Himself as your reward would come to naught. And like Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran, it is the acts you did that led you to your lost. (If Ramadan was not of any benefit to you) You have instead attracted the wrath of Allah upon you, for your attachment to the attractions of this world led you far from the paths of good deeds and led you to the path of divine punishment. In other words, you did not succeed in doing a Jihad (holy war) against Satan and you did not succeed in bringing about his great defeat and to convert him to Islam and making him a sincere believer and Muslim.

If after the passage of Ramadan, we (i.e. all Muslims) return back to the rusted vices we used to indulge in, this means that we have not benefited anything from the month of Ramadan. Therefore, you people (i.e. those who have let go of the spiritual blessings after Ramadan) have lost the valuable rewards you once obtained from Allah (swt) during Ramadan. A sincere believer who loves Allah a lot must know that for each good deed he does, there is a reward which the divine law has promised him/ her. And that reward is not a simple reward. The value of that reward is measured according to the one who gives that reward. The gift of a common person and that of a king is different, and we need not mention it here (for we all know about it).

The spiritual treasure of Divine pleasure

The reward from Allah (swt), the Supreme Creator is unbeatable (i.e. is way beyond the ability of anyone else to give such rewards), priceless, and incomparable. Is there a measure which exists which can measure such (never-ending) rewards? Definitely not! That which we have been taught and informed about is only to give us an idea of what to expect, but otherwise those rewards are truly beyond the notion or expectation of anyone. It is really something exceptional. All that we have lived during the month of Ramadan is not even equal to the reward/s which Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us (during that month) but it is truly better than this world and all that this world contains.

On earth, we get to buy land. Some we buy/ rent in perches, some in toises, some in square metres etc. This depends on the region where you want to buy the land. Those who know this business well (buying and selling of land) know very well the value of land, in the different regions they are found. A person may accept to contract debts in order to buy land in a particular region, a good one in order to construct his house. And for that he accepts to contract debts. He does not hesitate to take loans, even for a duration of ten years with interests, and he thus become a slave of the loan taken, for he has interests to pay in addition to the capital amount. This then causes a double/ treble mental stress for him and deteriorates his health. He does not have any peace of mind. He is bereft of peace and sleep. He remains in a turmoil, all this because of his desire to acquire such temporal things which he has to leave behind one day. Indeed, when death calls you, you shall not be able to take anything with you. And if you do succeed in repaying the loan, then everything shall be snatched away from you - seized  (and sold through sale by levy or sale by licitation) so as to payback your debt. When this happens, you feel very desperate and are left without any hope for the future.

But here, the spiritual treasure that you shall gain (when you submit to the will of God and keep up the good deeds after Ramadan), you shall obtain the Creator Himself as reward. It is Him who has created you, and created this universe, and all that which this universe contains, all belongs to Him. And to win Him, you only have to follow His instructions about what to do and what not to do, and accept His message which He has sent through His chosen messenger.

There is no debt to trouble you, whether it be a loan or its interest, and the reward for it, or for gaining it, you shall find it in this very world and much more so in the hereafter. And when you follow His divine commandments, you gain peace and peace of mind. You sleep well without any hassle and when you leave this temporary world, you leave it with pleasure. Why? Because there is no reproach upon you. You have done everything which the Creator has told you to do and you are happy to go meet Him (for the final reunion). And definitely, you shall be blessed with much more rewards, such rewards which He (Allah) has already chosen for you. You shall leave this world happily because you have sown the seeds of good deeds, the harvest of which shall bring about sweet fruits for you in the permanent abode (i.e. the hereafter). You have loved your Creator for as long as you are on earth. You have been able to do whatever it takes to make the Creator be pleased with you.

So we must not fall into Satan's trap after such a month of good action where the  Sunnat deeds are so rewarded like the obligatory ones and the reward for the obligatory ones are innumerable, enormous. This reward shall be so enormous, way beyond our expectations. It is Allah alone who shall provide this to us and forgive us for all the sins which we have committed. And it is a month which has given us the opportunity to take a spiritual bath in each and its every moment. We have been blessed to seek purification for both our physical body, and soul. We got the opportunity to do a good "servicing" with our body. Indeed these two are inseparable. There should be a spiritual bath and good cleansing of our body to remove any excess (of fat, waste etc.) and impurity. Moreover, our soul becomes pure, as if a newborn baby who is pure and rid from all sins and his body is pure from all toxins and excess of sugar and fat etc.

Types of Outlook: Mundane versus Spiritual

Ponder over this: For this world, you are prepared to stake everything so as to gain whatever you desire from it, even if it means contracting debts and paying interests. As for the permanent goods, they are neglected by you. How can someone put aside this immense promised divine reward and be interested in worldly preoccupations? This is similar to throwing gold or diamond and picking up rocks in their stead! This does not seems to be the work of a sane person. He must be someone who does not know the real value of what he is throwing away!

So, someone who is much more attached with this temporary world and neglects the hereafter must be completely foolish or he is someone who does not have belief in the promise/s of Allah (swt). He does not have the needed Yaqeen (firm conviction) on the rewards which Allah (swt) has promised for each good deed. 

As for the true followers of religion (i.e., the true believers), they are not among those who are prepared to seek material things and the temporary rewards in exchange of their Ibaadat. They are those who seek what is eternal; they aim to win Allah as reward. And definitely, even among believers, each has a specific grade in front of Allah. This does not mean that Allah does not love His other believing servants. He loves them and rewards them according to the degree of faith they possess as well as their good intents and good deeds. As for the Chosen Servants, especially the messengers of Allah, their grade/ status is far greater and special in the eyes of Allah, because Allah has created them from a special divine essence so that they may do His special work upon the earth, and definitely their grade indeed exceeds the rank of the rest of the faithful believers upon the earth.

Therefore, the believers are people who are conscious and confident and believe sincerely and firmly that the reward of Allah (swt) exceeds that of this temporary world and all that this world contains. It can seem to be an exaggeration for those who do not know, but for the true believers, this is an undeniable fact. And they submit themselves to the will of Allah, and find peace of mind in Allah, and they place their trust in Him alone for all their affairs.

May Allah preserve the Ummah (community) of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) against all the attacks of Satan, be it in ourselves or those attacks which come from the outside. By the grace of Allah, Allah has sent His Khalifatullah among you to make you benefit from his guidance and to follow the divine commandments. May Allah open your hearts to the true teachings of Islam and enable you to become true Muslims, not just on the lips, but in practice also, with a sincere heart. Insha-Allah, Ameen.

---- Friday Sermon of 30 June 2017(05 Shawwal 1438 AH) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.