As we exit the sacred month of Rajab and head through Shaban into Ramadhan, it is the coming Ramadhan that dominates many of our thoughts. Yet Rajab is one of the four sacred months in which we have to take special care and attention in many of the things we do, including getting into or continuing a conflict.
How can it be that very few of us can name the other sacred months, much less be aware of when they occur? What about the other special times that Allah, by His Mercy, has put in the year for us, or in each week, and also in each day and night.
I recall recently buying a bottle of sparkling drink from a supermarket only to be told by the cashier that they were on a special “two for one offer.” I naturally ran back to get my other “free” bottle, who wouldn’t? Yet Allah is always giving us these “special offers,” the prayer of the Jamat at the Mosque being better than praying alone, the time before fajr, the time before Jumuah, Mondays and Thursdays, the Doha time, the sacred months, Ramadhan, the Night of Power itself and no doubt much more.
Making the most of the special times along with establishing what we must of the five pillars is no easy task, but how can we aim for anything less than that? By this I mean establishing an educational process that spells out the true meaning of the Shahada and correct Tawhid. I mean establishing the prayer in the correct place and being properly led. This means establishing the proper collection of the Zakat with its necessary leadership, the use of gold and silver and with it being distributed in the locality it was collected. This also means beginning Ramadhan according to an actual physical sighting of the new moon authorised by a legitimate local Muslim leader, and similarly the correct preparation and observance of both the Hajj and the Eid ul Adha.
From Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, there is that he said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah ta’ala said, “Whoever shows enmity to a close friend of Mine, then I declare war on him. My slave does not draw closer to Me with anything more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him. My slave continues to draw closer with optional extra acts until I love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he grasps and his foot with which he walks. If he asks Me I will definitely give him, and if he seeks refuge with Me I will definitely give him refuge”.’ ” Al-Bukhari narrated it.
What is there that we can we prioritise above these things? These things have to dominate our political activities, our social aspirations and our views on education. These things must must be heard from the Mimbar, thay must be heard in the teaching circles, they must be heard on Radio Ramadhan and on these “Islamic” TV stations.
Fundamentalists – Which of these fundamental principles of Islam that we have mentioned are they striving to establish?
Extremist – Extremely off the mark, when they turn something haram (suicide) into something desirable and when they either ignore, or are not aware of, the rules of Jihad.
So these so called fundamentalists/extremists have, unfortunately for them, not had the benefit of being educated in the way that has just been outlined in terms of how the Deen is established and about doing the things that Allah Himself indicates please Him.
This however, is not to fall into that trap of espousing an islam has decribed by Bush/Blair(Brown), a nice cuddly Islam with no teeth and that seeks political favour from these lowest of the low politicians. This is not to fall into that common mistake of saying the word “Islam” itself means peace, when in fact it means submission.
We must be those who KNOW that whatever Allah has made halal is possible.
From Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that he said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, took hold of my shoulder and said, ‘Be in the world as if you were a stranger or someone traversing a way’.” And Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, used to say, “When you enter upon the evening, do not expect the morning, and when you get up in the morning, do not await the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and from your life for your death.” Al-Bukhari narrated it.
So in our preparations for the month of fasting, let us ask Allah to make it a month when we examine these issues in detail. A time when we look in depth at the education of ourselves and our children. Let it be a time when we decide never again to abandon the Sunnah in the way we confirm and enter the beginning of Ramadhan. Let it be a time when we re-examine the pillar of Zakat and make a commitment to see it restored in all its glory. And we ask Allah to make it a time when we earnestly seek and find the Laylat ul Qadr.
May Allah grant us success, Amin