In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
2 Ramadan 1444 (24 March 2023)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 124
Purification of the heart-Part 66
As explained earlier, the servants of Allah (s.w.t) on Resurrection Day will be divided into three groups: the companions of the right, the companions of the left and the forerunners or the sabiqin; the foremost in faith and virtue who will be the first to receive their reward. They were foremost in good practices and were always on the forefront for any service to Allah (s.w.t). Thus they will be foremost in receiving Allah (s.w.t)’s compassion and forgiveness. Majma al-Bayan V: 9 P: 215 explain who are the sabaqin and provides relevant traditions:
- Those who accepted Islam at the very outset and were foremost in their faith towards Allah (s.w.t) and His Messenger.
- According to Ibne Abbas they are among the Muhajireen and the Ansaar and those who followed them with good conduct.
- Those who offered the five obligatory prayers on time
- The repentant who sought Allah (s.w.t)’s forgiveness for their sins and transgressions.
- According to Imam Baqer (a.s), the front runners include: a) Able, the son of Adam who was killed by his brother, Cain; b) The faithful of the people of Yasin, mu’min aali Yasin, the member of a Christian village who accepted Islam; c) The faithful of Pharaoh’s people or mu’min aali Firon who embraced Prophet Moses; and d) Ali ibne Abi Talib, the Holy Prophet (s.a.)’s cousin, son-in-law and spiritual vicegerent who was the first man to embrace Islam.
Moreover Ayahs 13-26 of Surah Al-Waqiah provides: “Many from the former group and few from among the latter days.
On couches encrusted, bedecked, and reclining on their faces. Around shall go about serving them youths of unchanging bloom, with goblets and ewers and a cup of pure drink. Their brows ache not from it, nor do their senses fail. And fruits of any they choose, and the meat of fowls of what they like, and the hour is (maidens pure) with large lustrous eyes, like pearls hidden in their shells. Such is the recompense for what they used to do. They shall have no frivolity therein or any taint of sin, none save “Peace” and ever “Peace” talked of.”
The commentators have different views as to who will be foremost among the earlier and later period. According to some scholars a multitude of the foremost will be from past generations and some from the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (s,a). However, some scholars have held that both the groups will be from the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (s.a), but the forerunners of the earlier period will be greater as opposed to the latter period, which will be smaller in number. To be continued
Virtues of the holy month of Ramadan – Part 2
The month of Ramadan has specials merits for it is the month wherein Allah (s.w.t.) grants clemency and reprieve to the believers who take the opportunity by fasting, praying and supplicating him with the greatest of fervour and sincerity. The Holy Prophet (s.a.) regarded this month with great reverence and in his sermon on the holy month of Ramadan he gave extensive advice on gaining the best possible benefits during this month. The sermon itself is pretty lengthy and I quote below an extract from it:
“O’ Muslims! A month has approached you laden with blessings, mercy and forgiveness. It is a month which Allah regards it as the best of all months; its days in the sight of Allah, are the best of all days, its nights are the best of all nights and its hours are the best of all hours. It is a month wherein you are invited to be the guest of Allah and to be near Him. You have been selected as a recipient of honour and Allah’s Grace. Every breath you take during this month has the reward of tasbih (glorification of Allah), your sleep is worship, your good deeds are accepted and so are your invocations. Your voluntary acts of worship are received favourably and your supplications are granted.
The above extract comprehensively highlights the importance and virtues of this month. The ten key features are:
- It is a month of blessings, mercy and forgiveness.
- It is the best month regarded by Allah (s.w.t.); its days, nights and hours are the very best.
- It is a month of great honor, wherein we have been invited to be the guest of Allah (s.w.t.) and to be near Him.
- Allah (s.w.t.)’s blessings and mercy are bestowed on us constantly day and night.
- Every breath we take during this month has the reward of glorifying Allah (s.w.t).
- Our sleep is worship and our deeds are accepted favorably.
- It is the best of times and Allah (s.w.t.) looks towards his creatures with kindness and answers their prayers and grants their needs if they invoke Him with earnestness.
- We should beseech Allah (s.w.t.) to have ability to fast and to recite the Holy Quran.
- We should seek forgiveness for our sins and omissions for this is best month for seeking Allah (s.w.t)’s forgiveness.
- Those who are devoid of Allah (s.w.t.)’s forgiveness during this great month are the unfortunate.