Monday, 3 September 2012

Continuing the climb

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

We have just come out of the blessed month of Ramadhan and there are two things I wish to draw your attention to.  Allah has used two terms in the Holy Qur’an which we should be familiar with. 

Firstly, Allah says in Surah Al Ma'aarij;

Allah, Lord of the ways of Ascent.  (70:3)
Allah uses the term Dhil-maarij.  Dhil-maarij literally means He is the Owner of the ascending.  So Allah is The Owner of everything that ascends.  Allah knows what comes down to the earth and what goes up to the skies.  He also says in Surah Muthaffifii that evil is recorded in a dungeon and good is recorded in the skies.  So that it is only good that ascends.  Dhil-maarij is therefore translated as The Owner of the ascending stairway. 
The second term I wish to bring to your attention is what Allah makes mention of in Surah Insyiqaaq;
Ye shall surely travel from stage to stage.  (84:19)
Allah uses the term tabaqan aan tabaq – stage to stage.  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 wrong-doing, He would not leave, on the (earth), a single living creature’ (16:61).  But look at how Gracious He is.  He has given us Ramadhan and what is so special about Ramadhan.  Let’s say for example you have a big debt that you’re having difficulties in repaying and someone offers to pay it off for you.  How would you feel?  Ramadhan is just like that because Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said:

Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith & seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins for-given.  Whoever prays during its nights with faith & seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.  (Bukhari, 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. 

Don’t waste your achievements that you would have gained in Ramadhan by going back to any form of wrongdoing.  Let’s say we didn’t get 100% of our sins wiped out.  Supposed it is just 60%.  That is still a start.  Build on it and don’t add any more blemishes to it.  Try to always move forward and realise your closeness to Allah and you would have been successful.  It is an individual effort.  No one can help you attain closeness to your 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 yours.  The things you stayed away from in Ramadhan try to avoid them because those will not aid you in ascending.

Try your best to culture your personality along the lines of the etiquettes of what you did during Ramadhan and you would have been successful.  A simple formula but very practical and effective, regardless of your environment.

May Allah make it easy for us to attain closeness to Him in both worlds and may he enable us to continuously ascend insha Allah.

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