Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Continuing the Climb
The following is adapted from a transcript of a discourse given by Mawlana Waffie Mohammed.
We have just come out of the blessed month of Ramadhan and there are two things I wish to draw your attention to. Allah (s.w.t.) Uses two terms in the Holy Qur’an with which we should be familiar. Firstly, Allah (s.w.t.) Says:
From Allah, Lord of the Ways of Ascent. (Surah al-Ma’arij:3)
Allah (s.w.t.) Uses the term, “Dzi al-Ma’arij”. “Dzi al-ma’arij” literally means, “He is the Owner of the Ascending Stairways”. So, Allah (s.w.t.) is the Owner of everything that Ascends. Allah (s.w.t.) Knows what comes down to the earth and what goes up to the skies. He Says, in Surah al-Muthaffifiin, that evil is Recorded in a dungeon and good is recorded in the skies. So, that it is only good that ascends.
The second term I wish to bring to your attention is what Allah (s.w.t.) makes Mention:
Ye shall surely travel from stage to stage. (Surah al-Inshiqaq:19)
Allah (s.w.t.) Uses the term “thabaqan ‘an thabaq”, “stage to stage”. We could think of it as the steps of a ladder. Our mission is to climb as high as possible; all in an effort to try to get close to our Lord; to feel close to Him in this life, and attain closeness to Him in the hereafter. This is our mission and purpose; to get back to the Garden.
Look at how Merciful and Loving He is to us. He Says:
If Allah were to punish men for their wrongdoing, He would not leave, on the (earth), a single living creature ... (Surah an-Nahl:61)
But look at how Gracious He is. He has Given us Ramadhan and what is so special about Ramadhan? Let us say, for example, we have a big debt that we are having difficulties in repaying and someone offers to pay it off for us. How would we feel? Ramadhan is just like that because Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is reported to have said, “Whoever fasts during Ramadhan with faith and seeking his Reward from Allah will have his past sins Forgiven. Whoever prays during its nights with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins Forgiven.” This is recorded in both Swahih al-Bukhari and Swahih Muslim. What one of our goals should be is that every Ramadhan should be like a step higher on the ladder. From this Ramadhan to next Ramadhan, we should try to ascend closer and closer to our Lord. And we have been given the Promise that our slate would be clean.
We must not waste our achievements gained in Ramadhan by going back to any form of wrongdoing. Let us say we did not get 100% of our sins wiped out. Supposed it is just 60%. That is still a start. Build on it and do not add any more blemishes to it. Try to always move forward and realise your closeness to Allah (s.w.t.) and we have been successful. It is an individual effort. No one can help us attain closeness to our Lord. Society can help to an extent; that is if they abstain from the loathsome and prohibited.
The journey is a lonely one and the choice is ours. The things we stayed away from in Ramadhan, we must try to avoid them because those will not aid us in ascending. We must try our best to culture our personality along the lines of the etiquettes of what we did during Ramadhan and we will be successful. A simple formula but very practical and effective, regardless of our environment. May Allah (s.w.t.) Make it easy for us to attain closeness to Him in both worlds and may He Enable us to continuously ascend, insha’Allah.