Reflection of Surah al-Anfal and Surah at-Tawbah
Innalhamda lillahee, nahmaduhu wa nasta’eenuhu wa nastaghfiruhu, wa na’oodhu billaahi min shuroori anfusinaa wa min sayyiaati a’maalinaa. Mainyah dihillaahu falaa mudillilahu, wa mainyudlil falaa haadiya lah.
“Alhumdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His Help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from our souls’ evils and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.”
Wa ashhadu anlaa ilaaha illalaahu, wahdahu laashareeka lahu, wa ash hadu anna muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluh
“I bear witness that there is no god except Allah- alone without any partners. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His ‘and (servant) and Messenger.
They ask you, [O Muhammed], about the bounties [of war]. Say, “The [decision concerning] bounties is forAllāh and the Messenger.” So fear Allāh and amend that which is between you and obey Allāh and His Messenger, if you should be believers (1) The believers are only those who, when Allāh is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely (2) The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend (3) Those are the believers, truly. For them are degrees [of high position] with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision(4)
The qualities required in a true believer and our ultimate goal is continuously forgotten every single day.
What do we pursue first in our life whether be it for studies or other aspects; Dunya or Akhira? What are the Sahaba told when they asked about the booty, which was Halal for them? They are told first make yourselves a good candidate for the blessing. We should take a lesson from this Ayah. Before seeking the pleasure of this Dunya, in the Sahabah’s case the war booty, we should attain Taqwa, mend and maintain our relationship between others, and follow the commands given by Allah and his Rasool (SAWS).
Moreover, we are told to be believers, actual believers. One of the qualities of a real believer is that upon hearing the recitation of the Ayat of the Qur’an their hearts tremble with fear and eyes overflow with tears upon hearing about the consequence of the deeds and the severity of the punishment. When was the last time we trembled upon hearing the Ayat of Allah? Did the fear sent a shiver down our spine (back)?
Another quality mentioned about the believer is that they trust upon Allah. At some point in our lives, we have all had our trust betrayed. There exist few of us who trust anyone completely. The same goes for principles or philosophies. We have trusted them, only to be disappointed. Maybe that is why it is so hard for us to let go of ourselves and truly trust Allah. This is a sad fact. Even though we know that Allah is our Lord and Protector, we have a hard time letting go and allowing ourselves to trust that He will protect us. Let the Ayah in Surah Ale- Imran be a reminder, “If Allāh should aid you, no one can overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who is there that can aid you after Him? And upon Allāh let the believers rely” (Ale-Imran: 160). We have been told that what is for us can’t miss us and what is not for us can’t hit us.
We have to learn to trust that Allah will take care of us when we obey Him and that He wills withdrawal of His Great Mercy when we disobey him. Every morning the bird goes out to seek the provision Allah has given it, and every night it comes home with it. Allah has promised us our provision. Trusting in Allah means that when we hear a command, we obey it. We recognize that we are limited and that Allah has no limits. He knows what we do not know. We do not try to explain away the commands of Allah by saying that it is for another time or another people. We do not say that what Allah has commanded for us is oppressive. We accept and obey. This is faith and trust. The reward for trusting in Allah is paradise. There is sin in distrusting Him. We need to stop relying on our desires, our minds, and our version of logic and realize that Allah is the one who knows while we know not. Allah is the Wise, and His judgments are wise by default. Allah is the Just and His verdicts are Just by default. We cannot see everything in every issue as Allah can, so why do we insist on believing that our minds can be trusted before or instead of Allah (who is always all knowing and always all wise)?
Moreover, Allah mentions another good trait of a true believer. They fulfill and implement the obligations they are commanded to do, such as praying Salah and giving Zakat. The foundation and difference between believer and disbeliever is Salah and Zakat as mentioned in Surah Tawbah, “But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakāh, then they are your brothers in religion.“(Tawbah: 11). Another ayah from the same Surah further shows the characteristics of a believer. “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakāh and obey Allāh and His Messenger. Those – Allāh will have mercy upon them.” (Tawbah: 71)
Salah strengthens the foundations of our faith. It prepares a person to live the life of goodness and in obedience to Allah (SWT), and it builds courage and determination. The Salah performed five times a day eradicates that forgetfulness and heedlessness, and keeps the believer’s will and awareness alive. It ensures that the believer constantly turns to Allah and assists him in living in the light of His commandments. The believer who stands in the presence of Allah in order to pray establishes a powerful spiritual bond with Him. The Ayah from Surah Al Ankabut, says that Salah reminds people of Allah and keeps them from all forms of evil. “Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allāh is greater. And Allāh knows that which you do” (Al-‘Ankabut: 45). Remember, the last thing that Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) emphasized at his deathbed was Salah. He also said the first thing we will have to answer about on the Day of judgment is also Salah.
With the obligation of Zakah, we are told to forgo the one thing that is dear to our hearts…money. Wealth can either bring accomplishment or achievement for us in this Dunya or Akhira. But by giving Zakat it can be an achievement for both the worlds. Zakat in itself means purity and cleanliness. Zakat is given on set portion from the wealth for the needy and the poor. The criteria for distribution of Zakat is mentioned in Surah al-Tawbah, “Zakāh expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakāh] and for bringing hearts together [for Islām] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allāh and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] byAllāh. And Allāh is Knowing and Wise” (al-Tawbah: 60). By giving Zakat a man’s wealth and along with it his own self becomes purified. The wealth of that person is impure, if he does not take out from the God-given wealth what is due to the poor and the needy. And along with his wealth his Nafs too is impure because it is filled with ungratefulness. His heart is so narrow, he is selfish and such a worshipper of wealth that it pains him to render what is due in return for the Divine favor of bestowing on him wealth in excess of his real requirements. Can it be expected from such a person that he will ever do any good deed to please Allah and will make any sacrifice for the sake of his religion and faith? This is why the heart of such a person is impure as also his wealth which he amasses in this manner. Therefore, to cleanse ones heart Allah has prescribed Zakat.
Hence, a true believer takes care of the Haqq that needs to be fulfilled. He fulfills the Haqq to Allah (SWT), when hearing the Ayat (verses) of Allah he ponders, reflects, accepts and implements. His heart also trembles with the fear of Allah, his punishment, upon realizing Allah’s might, upon realizing the mercy and graciousness of Allah, and upon knowing the wonderful bliss Allah has kept for the believers… Jannathul Firthous. A believer also fulfills the Haqq of the Rasool (SAWS) by following his Sunnah with no deviation or innovation. A true believer further fulfills the Haqq to himself by doing the obligation and saving himself from the eternal suffering of Hell fire. A believer further more fulfills the Haqq to people, by establishing good relationship and giving charity to ensure the wellbeing of others. For these true believers who give up themselves and their wealth for Allah, He promises them in Surah al-Tawbah with good news,
“Indeed, Allāh has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allāh, so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’ān. And who is truer to his covenant than Allāh? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment” (Tawbah: 111)
The barter and promise made by Allah is Jannah… the ultimate Darussalam. Verily this is the greatest success one can receive.
May Allah (SWT) give us the Tawfeek and Hidaya to avail this promise and grant us the ultimate success of Akhira, Jannah… Ameen Ya Rabb.
Subhanakallahumma wa bihamdika, ash hadu anlaa ilaaha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilaik.
“How perfect You are O Allaah, and I praise You. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance”