thefinalmessage|THE FRIDAY NOTE
10 Steps To Get Closer To Allah (Part 4/5);
So what things we can do to draw closer to Him?
7. Having fear and hope in Allah
Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.
[Surah Yusuf 12:87]
Allah (SWT) is All-Knowing and knows us better than we know ourselves, and Allah’s words in His beautiful Qur’an are concise but full of meaning, and Allah has given the Qur’an as guidance for us and He does not mention a single word but that we should learn the true meaning and implement it.
One must be hopeful of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness and fearful of His punishment. It is this fear that should lead one to seek Allah’s forgiveness with hope. Allah says:
Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
[Surat al-Maaidah 5:98]
There should be a balance between fear and hope and not too much or too less of one or the other.
We should always remain between fear and hope. For, the right and the approved kind of fear is that which acts as a barrier between the slave and the things forbidden by Allah. But, if fear is excessive, then the possibility is that the man will fall into despair and pessimism.
On the other hand the approved state of optimism is of a man who does good in the light of the Shari'ah and is hopeful of being rewarded for it. Or, conversely, if a man committed a sin, he repents sincerely, and is hopeful of being forgiven. Allah (swt) said:
"Verily, those who believed, and those who migrated and fought in the way of Allah, it is they who are hopeful of Allah's mercy. And Allah is very Forgiving, very Merciful."
In contrast, if a man indulges in sins and excesses, but is hopeful that he would be forgiven without doing anything good, then, this is self-deception, mere illusion and false hope.
Abu 'All Rowzbari has said, "Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are well balanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, the Right would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, the bird will soon be in the throes of death."
Allah has praised the people of hope and fear in the following verse:
'Is one who worships devotedly during the night, prostrating himself or standing, fearing the Hereafter, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord (is equal to him who doesn't do these things)?'
[Al Zumar, 9]
Hope then also demands fear. If that was not the case, one would be in a state of false security. Conversely, fear demands hope. Without that it would be despair.
‘Call out to Him with fear and hope.’
[Surat al-Araaf 7:56]
‘They forsake their beds to call their Lord in fear and hope.’
[Surat as-Sajdah 32:16]
8. Voluntary fasting for the pleasure of Allah
Fasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a great worship. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadan, but it is an act of worship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at any time and at any place except when not recommended. Indeed, it is a worship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer to perfection.
Virtues of Fasting
“Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: ‘O My Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.’ He (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘And they will (be allowed to) intercede.’”
[Ahmad, at-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, Sahih]
Abu Sa'id Khudri relates that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "When a servant of Allah observes the fast for a day for the sake of Allah, He thereby repels the Fire from him a distance of seventy years of journeying"
[Bukhari and Muslim]
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle (pbuh) said, "Allah said, 'All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.' ...”
[Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 128]
Different interpretations of the above hadith can be found here (http://islamqa.info/en/ref/50388).
Fasting Mondays and Thursdays:
`Aa'ishah said: The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays".
Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: "The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other. He says: "leave them for later."
Intention for voluntary fasting
As opposed to Ramadan, the intention does not have to be made before dawn. The person can intend fasting [and start fasting] after dawn any time [even after noon] given that he did not eat anything.
Aa'ishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came to us one day and said, "Do you have any [food]?" We said "No". He said: Therefore, I am Fasting".
[Muslim and Abu Dawood]
Fasting three days of every month (White days):
Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: "The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said "O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]".
[Ahmad, an-Nasaa'i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]
So let us get closer to Allah by fasting Mondays and Thursdays or at least 3 days every month on the 14th,15th and 16th. If we leave something for the pleasure of Allah then we will get MUCH greater in return from Allah!
**Come back and check in next week for Part 5 (Final Part of this Series) in shaa Allah**