Feel Ramadan– 26) The Only Hope!
Have you seen those people who do ‘hunger strikes’ to get their rights from Government or respected authorities? They protest by refraining from food and drinks. Those who fast in Ramadan are also refraining from food and drink. However, at the dusk, the latter get a benefit which the former fail to achieve. What is that? A more pious mind and life! When decreeing about fasting, Qur’an say as follows:O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious ). Qur’an 2:183
Allah is specifying the benefit as ‘you may become Al- Muttaqun’. It is clear from this phrase that all who fast will not surely become pious and that is what our experiences teach us. Look, ten people are praying in a swaff (line). Everyone is doing same deed, same supplications, same act of worship. Though they all are doing the same deed, are they all going to get same reward? No, ten people may be receiving the reward in ten ways. Why? Because, reward is not for the deed but for our intention while performing a deed. Is it applicable only for salah? No! For all the deeds we offer, Allah looks to our hearts. Even if we are doing lofty deeds, for Allah to accept it with pleasure, our intentions should be completely pure.
Once Shaddad Bin ’Aus (RA) was crying after Salah. He was asked, ‘Why do you cry?’ He replied, ‘I have remembered something that I heard from Prophet (PBUH) and it has made me cry. I heard prophet (PBUH) say that, “I fear about shirk and their secret desires in my ummah.” I asked, “O Prophet of Allāh, will your people be involved in shirk after you?” The Prophet (PBUH) responded, “Yes, even though my people will not worship the sun and the moon, the idol and the stone, they will suffer from ostentations in their actions and they will be prey to their hidden desires. One of them will start the day fasting but then he will come across a desire and he will break the fast and indulge in his desire.” (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal)
`Umar ibn Al-Khattaab(RA) once found Mu`adh ibn Jabal (RA) sitting and crying near the Grave of prophet (PBUH). He asked him, ” Why are you crying?” Mu`adh said, ” I remember something Prophet said : “The slightest ostentatiousness is Shirk, and whoever harms any of Allah`s Deputies has surely earned Allah`s Wrath.”
Aisha (RA) narrates that, Prophet (PBUH) said: “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant even though it were little.” (Sahih Bukhari : Book #76, Hadith #471)
Allah loves deeds which are performed solely to seek His pleasure and reward, even if they are little in number, rather than the heaps of deeds done without sincerity. Every muslim should heed this teaching seriously. If performed with pure intentions, we will be rewarded for every second we spent in the ways of His deen. If any swerving occurs in our sincerity and intentions, the deed will become futile. If we are intending for publicity and fame, we will only get that, not Allah’s pleasure.
Prophet (PBUH) always encouraged the good deeds done in secret. But, Salah is an act of worship which should be done publicly. And so, Prophet (PBUH) had warned many times about performing Salah. He severely warned about those who beautify their Salahs to show off others. He even described such a deed a ‘hidden shirk’.
We are asked to involve in good deeds, without wanting any appreciation from any person and without expecting fame, status and recognition in this world. Those who boast about their achievements will not be able to move ahead. We would take longer time to perform good deed if we are not sincere. Through fasting we are attaining the energy to engage in good deeds, most secretly.
English rendering of article written by Abdul Wadud!
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