The last months of the year can be thoroughly transformative if we are vigilant about how we utilize our time and structure our day. It’s somehow easier to distance ourselves from distractions, find our deeper truths, and really tune into our heart and mind without the regular hustle and bustle of work, school, etc. Alhumdulillah, we benefited from several great lessons and gatherings this past week to help us reconnect during our days off. A few points of benefit:
Surah Nuh: Ustadh Jamal presented the Story of Prophet Nuh to our community on Friday and in his delivery, one of the main areas of emphasis was on the importance of regular istighfar, seeking Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. He said that a lot of times, we seek abundance in rizq through apparent means such as increasing our experience, skills, accolades, etc., which is of course necessary on one level. But the way Allah tells us to seek abundance is through His forgiveness. Allah swa tells us:
فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا
“Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.”
يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا
“He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers”.
وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَارًا
“And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.”
SubhanAllah :) What an amazing abode awaits the one who sincerely repents. Just look at the tremendous blessings that come from the act of humility and istighfar. Umar ibn Al Khattab (ra) once said, “Sit with those who consistently repent, for they have the softest of hearts”. May Allah make us from them.
Surah Nur: My tafsir notes are too long to type here but every person should study this surah in depth and know more about it in addition to the famous ayah 35. It’s a strong surah that presents us with a foundation for morals in society. From the start of the Surah, Allah swa begins with a strong verse that foreshadows the ahkaam that are going to come ahead. Allah presents clear ahkaam with regards to zina, qadaf, li’aan, lowering the gaze, the issue of ifk is mentioned, and khimar. Then Allah presents us with preventative measures including isti’thaan, guarding oneself, and the etiquettes of eating and being a guest. Interestingly between these verses, Allah says in ayah 45 that “Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.” Imam Yaseen mentioned one of the benefits of this ayah and its placement is that it helps us recognize that people and all creatures have different natures. When you are in a society, in a home, or in a community .. people will inevitably have differences in attitudes, personalities, temperaments. Having compassion towards people and understanding different people is central to the health and foundation of a family, a home, a community, and an overall society. Allah (swa) gives us such profound and perfect advice, and it is only in our benefit to listen attentively and find areas in our own lives to implement His counsel.
Shama’il: One of the most touching moments from our seerah session was hearing the description of Rasulullah (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and what he looked like in preparation for battle. His blessed armor. His perfectly wrapped imama. His mubarak features and radiance .. اللّهُمّ صَلّ عَلَى مُحَمّدٍ
These gatherings and reminders allow us to feel whole again and patch up any parts of ourselves that started chipping away from the distractions of this life. May we be consistent in making istighfar, be conscious of Allah in our interactions with His creation, and return to Allah with a renewed sense of himmah. Ameen.