Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ar Rahmaan; Ar Raheem - Part 3

Bismillah and Salamalaykum!

In the last post we were pondering upon the special kind of Mercy of Allah Ar Rahman and Ar Raheem. In this post I will write about the 9 ways of obtaining that special mercy.

Remember , It is not random people who are blessed with Allah's special rahma rather we have to take some steps to obtain it. We may have to fight a little with our nafs, beat shaitan and his whispers but as a result of all this striving when you taste the sweetness of emaan you'd look back at your struggle and be like ''Man! It was totally worth it'' and I can assure you will.

1) Ihsan - Allah SWT says in the Quran in Surah 'Araf, verse 56
And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope; Surely, Allah's Mercy is (ever) near unto the (muhsinoon)good-doers.
Generally the world Muhsinoon is translated as good doers but the meaning of that word is much deeper. 'Muhsin' (good doer) comes from 'Ihsan' and 'Ahsana' which means ''Excellence''. So whenever there is a 'Muhsinoon' mentioned it means a person who does what he or she does with utmost excellence in the best manner possible. Now, what does excellence has to do with Allah's mercy?

"Al-ihsaan" or "excellence" in the arabic language is procifency in performing an action, while perfecting it with sincerity. In Islaamic law, Al-Ihsaan is what the Prophet, salallahu 'alaihi wa salam, has explained in his statement: "That you worship Allah as though you see Him, but since you are un able to see Him, then He most certainly sees you." (taken from abdulrahman.org)

You see Ihsan plays an importance role in our life ;
- Worship : with regard to our worship, when we do it . How are we doing it? It is the first thing that we will be asked about on the day of resurrection. Did we do it with excellence, did we try to give it our best shot? Or were we of those who treated prayer like an obligation which needs to be done with in a short span of 2 minutes like the automated movements of our limbs. We need to ask ourselves, was our heart moved? Did we feel like we just prayed the best prayer of our life? IF we didn't then we need to bring Ihsan in our prayer . Prayer is a good deed that we are presenting to our Creator, The Lord, The King of everything, Imagine this would you if given an opportunity of meeting a king present him something in a shabby manner out of laziness? Subhanallah, then how can we do it here? When we start trying to present our salah in the best manner, it will be from the outside. Now we need to question our inside, how are we inside? are we praying in the best manner? Is our mind in the prayer or are we thinking of some TV show or some chore that needs to be taken care of after salah or are we thinking of tasks that we need to finish and accomplish and by the time we are done scrutinizing every detail of our life we reach to 'aameen'? When we go in sujood, we should praise, thank Allah, talk to him because at that moment we are the closest to him. We can talk to people for hours and hours yet when it comes to our creator we couldn't care less, Subhanallah it indeed is a sorry state that we are living in.
We need our hearts to full of Khushoo - The concentration. Think about the Qudsi Hadith about surah fatiha. According to Prophet SAWS - When a person prays Allah turns His face towards him, as long as his heart is in the prayer.

- Ihsan with people : No, Ihsan is not just a concept limited to worship in Islam. It extends to many branches of life. What does it mean 'Ihsan with people?' well in simple words, it means that we must NOT backbite about them, talk nice about them, make dua for them and love them for the sake of Allah.

- Ihsan with our life : Excellence in our life simply put is the way we go about conducting the daily affairs. The way we drink? Eat? How we dress? Our jobs? Taking care of our bodies? Our homes/ Our kids? the way we live, our etiquette.. Everything in our life should be in an excellent manner.

When we do everything in the best possible way, it will become a means for us to attain Allah's mercy.

2) Al quran - The more we follow the quran the more special mercy we get. We should apply in our lives what we learn from the quran.

3) Listening to Al Quran - Listening to the Quran attentively is also a means of obtaining the special mercy. When listening to Quran we need to listen with the presence of our heart unlike the quran being played in the house as a background score while we all are sitting and chatting our day away without a moment of reflection on what's being recited.
Al Araf verse 204 -So, when the Qur'an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy. [i.e. during the compulsory congregational prayers when the Imam (of a mosque) is leading the prayer (except Surat Al-Fatiha), and also when he is delivering the Friday-prayer Khutbah]. [Tafsir At-Tabari,Vol.9, Pages 162-4]

4) Surah Noor verse 56 (3 ways of obtaining the mercy and included in this 1 ayah)- And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat and obey the Messenger (Muhammad ) that you may receive mercy (from Allah).

Prayer - When you really want that secial mercy from Allah through prayer then even the voluntary becomes easy. Remember, the beginnings are always tough. If we are not in the habit of praying then even praying mandatory prayers on time will seem as if moving the mountains of uhud. But once we keep up with the struggle and try to get better with each prayer. At one point we will reach to a stage whereby we will be like ''What just fard?! I wanna do the sunnah too'' Inshallah.
Shaytan is gonna try all the tricks up his sleeves to scare us because its like when we make plans, shaytan also makes plans. when we think to ourselves ''May be I should try to do all sunnah prayers today'' He starts planning of the things he can get us busy with and make us forgetful of our earlier plan. Simple way to get the mercy? Here you go :

1120. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "May Allah have mercy on a man who performs four Rak`ah before the `Asr prayer.''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary: These four Rak`ah can be performed in two couplets also, as was the practice of the Prophet (PBUH), according to the preceding Hadith. It can be performed with one Taslim also. Both forms are correct and permissible. Some scholars are of the opinion that the former method is better. `Ulama' have stated that these four Sunnah of `Asr prayer are Ghair Mu'akkadah (optional prayers). Its importance is however evident from the fact that the Prophet (PBUH) prayed for mercy on those who performed these Sunnah.

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah raDiy-Allahu-anhu.gif may Allah be pleased with him, who said that the Messenger of Allah said: Allah - may His Majesty be exalted ! - said:

".......My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him.
It was related by al-Bukhari.

Zakah- Although this is a mandatory obligation upon us it still is a means for us to obtain the special mercy of Allah.

Following the Messenger of Allah (saws) - we all say that we love the Muhammad (saws) but the problem comes for us when we have to extend our lip-service to limb service. Especially these days when everyone just wants to do the bare minimum, if you advise them on something they go like ''Is this written in the Quran?' or ''Is this fard?''. I mean, Quran states you need to take whatever the rasoolallah gives you and leave that which he has admonished you of. Subhanallah, I have met people who just are concerned with what is in the quran and when you talk about the sunnah they are completely against it. So yes, following the example of the best man (saws) ever to walk on the phase of this earth also becomes a mean for us to obtain the special rahma. And Alhamdulillah the sunnah way of life is documented and is easily accessible to those who which to acquire it.

5) Istighfar (seeking forgiveness) - He (saleh alayhis salama) said: "O my people! Why do you seek to hasten the evil (torment) before the good (Allah's Mercy)? Why seek you not the Forgiveness of Allah, that you may receive mercy?" Al Naml, verse 46
The more we seek istighfar not only are our sins forgiven we are also blessed with the special mercy.
Al-Imâm ibn al-Jawzi, may Allâh have mercy upon him, was once asked:

"Is it better for me to make tasbîh or to make istighfâr?" He replied, "The dirty robe is more in need

6) Taqwa - It is generally translated as ''Fear'' rather it means to have Allah's consciousness and being careful not to anger Him. Allah SWT says in Surah Hujurat in verse 10 ''The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.''

7) Visiting the sick - 'Ali said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'No Muslim visits a Muslim in the morning without a thousand angels praying blessing on him until evening, or visits him in the evening without a thousand angels praying blessing on him until morning and he will have fruits in the Garden.'" [at-Tirmidhi]

8) Mercy in our hearts towards others - The way we show mercy to others, Allah SWT will show mercy to us. It is also very important for us as muslims to practice being merciful and kind because these are the qualities that attract people and we all have the obligation of inviting people to Islam.

Aboo Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah, salallahu 'alaihi wa salam, kissed Al-Hasan while Al-Aqra ibn Haabis at-Tameemee was sitting near him. A-Aqra said, "Indeed I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them." The Messenger of Allah looked at him and said, "Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy." [Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 426/10]

9) Dua - This is a shortcut for obtaining Allah SWT's mercy.

The above mentioned is a reminder for myself first of all. Remember to share the khayr. If there's anything in this post you benefit from it is from ALLAH and any errs and mistakes are my own.

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