The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ramadan Message 2008 - Day 24 (Faith and Work)

“By the declining day, verily, man is in a state of loss,
save those who believe and do good works,
and exhort one another to truth
and exhort one another to endurance.”
(Qur'an 103 Verses 1-3)

Faith and Work

Faith is the oneness of Allah, which has three principal elements: (1) That we accept nobody but Allah as our God, (2) that we do not assume anyone but Allah as our protector, (3) and that we take only Allah as our judge. This is the meaning of the creed that there is no God but Allah.

After the oneness of Allah comes the second facet of faith, that is belief in the message of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and that Muhammad is His Messenger. He is neither a God, nor the son of a God, nor the Holy Spirit, nor an incarnation of God. He is only the servant of Allah and His Messenger. God Revealed His Book to him and he passed on to the people what God Revealed to him. He neither betrayed, nor did he conceal the truth, nor did he speak vainly.

"It is no less than inspiration sent down to him." (Surah 53, Verse 4)

Among the pillars of the faith that Muhammad (PBUH) received from his God, is belief in the Hereafter and in punishment, and that death is not an end in itself. There is an eternal life after our ephemera life, when each person is given everything that he has earned and thanked by his good deeds.

"And whosoever does good an atom's weight will see it then, and whosoever does ill an atom's weight will see it then." (Surah 99, Verses 7-8)

In the life of Muslims, faith is not marginal. It is the essence of our existence, the secret of our living and the gist of our message. Without it there is no sense to our life and no reason for our being.

If each personality has a key to it, and if you discover it and use it, you will be able to discover its hidden contents and unfold the secrets of its capabilities. The key to man's personality in our religion is faith.

And as it is possible to set a car, a ship or an aeroplane in motion and to set it forward just by the touch of a key, or the push of a button and to use them to travel long distances, it is also possible with the effect of faith to move the emotions of this nation and to use it to make miracles and exploits of championships which can be related like legends.

Many have struck different strings in order to move this nation, but it has neither moved nor has it responded. They have struck the nationalist string, and the socialist string, the democracy string, but have achieved nothing other than crises and catastrophes.

But when you lead this nation with the Qur'an, you hold it high and the same when you call "Allah is Great" and when you invoke the breeze of Paradise. Then you will find that the people respond in millions and are ready to die for the sake of Allah. This faith which is instilled in the innate character of the nation, and stored in its moral make-up is like a healthy seed in a healthy earth. We must take care of it, raise it, protect it and feed it. We should also covet it and preserve it from any poisonous substances or evil insects in order to allow it to grow, improve and mature so that it gives its fruit with the will of God.

The Muslim is required to work for his living and to be productive and creative, until the very end of his life. He should not procrastinate in the working of the land, and this is what Allah's Messenger (PBUH) taught us when he said: “If the world is about to end and one of you has a palm tree plant in his hand, he should plant it before he dies, if he can.”

Why should he plant it if the world is about to end? Why should he plant it if he is not going to live till he can pick its fruit? There is not even somebody who is going to live after him so that he can say: "People before us planted so that we can eat, and we are planting to provide those after us with food," because when the world ends it ends for everybody. The idea here is to glorify work for the sake of work and to keep the Muslim productive and creative until the last moment of his life, and as long as he is able to work.

If this is required for man's worldly matters, how could it be possible that the same would not be asked of his religious activity? How can religion be lower in priority than worldly matters?

The Muslim is required to observe the commands of his religion as much as he can. He should advise people to do good deeds and to be charitable and to avoid committing evil deeds. They should fight for the cause of Allah, and against evil and decadence. They should also collaborate with their brother Muslims in doing good and worshipping Allah. The texts which have come with all these commands have not been abolished, and are not specific to a particular time. They are permanent and will be there until Allah inherits the land and its inhabitants.

–Shaykh Yusuf Qaradawi, Towards A Sound Awakening.


Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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