Rasool allah (SAW) has said “The first part of Ramadan is a mercy……………”
Are we taking advantage of this mercy? Do we accept the mercy of Allah (SWT) for us and are we merciful towards others?
I am always amazed and pleased when I see the evidence of the upsurge of Islam in this country. I remember I read an article about the call that Islam has to people of Hispanic Origin in this country and elsewhere. I have several contacts in Mexico of people who have converted to Islam and I also want to tell you a story that happened to me a few years ago.
I was traveling to the west coast and had a long time in the Chicago airport between flights. It was Friday and it was just before noon so I decided to see if I could find the airport chapel and do Duhur prayers. I must have been rushing a little because from the side I heard “Brother! Brother” I was dressed in Salwar. There was a man, emptying trash cans into a bin. He said (in a very thick Pakistani accent) “Are you looking for Jummah?” I was surprised and said yes insha’allah!” He left his cart and took me to the end of the terminal and pointed out the rest of the way. He couldn’t go but asked me to pray for him.
When I found the chapel they were setting up for Jummah, moving chairs and setting up a mimbar toward Qibla. I watched the people come in and greet each other. I began to notice that most of the people had Spanish surnames. Rodriguez, Ortiz, and so on. I was surprised. I had no idea at the time that there were Muslims in this country who were also Spanish. Soon the Imam came in, he was from Afghanistan. Then Jummah started.
I keep thinking about this and am amazed that, now after over 600 years when the Spanish started the inquisition against Jews and Muslims their own people are returning. The message that Allah (SWT) gave to us in the Quran through Rasool Allah (SAW) cannot be held back from those who are truly seeking. And how, here in this country, an Afghani Imam preaching to a congregation of Spanish, Chinese, American and middle eastern brothers and sisters could happen! What a blessing this Jummah was for me alhamdul’illah!
Surely we can take a lesson from this during this blessed Ramadan! What a mercy having this clear guidance is! We know we are cared for and under the watch of mercy and compassion, ar-Rahman wa ar-Raheem.
Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
shahru ramad.aan ‘alladhe unzila fe -hi al- qur’aan huda(n) li- an- naas
Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an as a guide to mankind
So here, the most merciful act of Allah (SWT) occurred in this holy month – the giving of noble guidance to mankind, and surely this is a sign that we must see, what other mercies do we receive everyday during this month?
wa- bayyinaat min al- hudaa wa- al- furqaan
also clear (Indications) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).
We need only to read the Quran to find these guideposts, these instructions. They provide us the guidance we need to live the moral life, to increase our Taqua and how to live as believers as Muslims in this life, there is no ambiguity there is only Yaqin, certainty in this.
fa- man shahida min -kum ash- shahr fa- li- yas.um -hu wa- man kaana mared.(an) ‘aw ‘alaa safar fa- ‘iddah min ayyaam ‘ukhar yured
So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later.
‘allaah bi- -kum al- yusr wa- laa yured bi- -kum al- ‘usr wa- li- tukmilo al- ‘iddah wa- li- tukabbiro ‘allaah ‘alaa maa hadaa -kum wa- la3alla -kum tashkuron
Allah intends ease for you He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.
This applies not only during this month but the Quran is filled with the mercy of Allah. We are not only guided but we are told that Allah makes it easy for us. All he asks is that we follow the guidance we have received, without deviating and that we glorify him and be grateful. If we do that we are assured that we will receive a great reward. And we should know that these rewards come in this life as well as the next.
The first time I fasted for Ramadhan I spent a lot of time before reading about it and trying to learn all that was expected of me in order, insha’allah, to do it right. One thing that I could not understand was something that I read about breaking the fast “accidentally.” I thought now how could someone do that? I really perplexed me. Then after two days of my first fast I was working in the kitchen of where I lived, helping prepare something and totally without thinking I took something into my mouth, purely out of habit, and of course I immediately knew how one could forget and break one’s fast accidentally. But Allah (SWT) is merciful, in my arrogance I had thought, ha! Not me! But I was shown otherwise and learned a great lesson. This was a wonderful reward.
wa- ‘an istaghfiro rabb -kum thumma tobo
And ask forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him repentant.
‘ilay -hi yumatti’ -kum mataa'(an) h.asan(an) ‘ilaa ‘ajal musamma(n) wa- yu’ti kull dhe fad.l fad.l -hu wa- ‘in tawallaw fa- ‘inni -y akhaaf ‘alay -kum ‘adhaab yawm kaber
He may grant you good enjoyment (and true) until a time appointed. He gives His bounty unto every bountiful one. But if you turn away, then I fear for you the retribution of a great Day.
So with this guidance we know to have Taqwa and to ask astaghfir’allah and to have tauba, repentance for when we have not followed guidance. His mercy is that if we do these things we can enjoy our appointed time here. But be sure, we do not know when that time will end. I remind you and myself fellow muslims of this. Allah (swt) has mercifully allowed all of us here to see Ramadan once again, to act in the way we are commanded to act in his (SWT) glorious Quran we must take full advantage of this, it is a mercy from Allah to each and every one of us.
And Allah knows best, Amin.