Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Best Deed in Ramadan

One of my daughters recently developed a satellite-ish delay between my requests and her responses that flirts dangerously close to my boiling point.

Example: "Please take your feet off the table."







Her lingering over such slight orders thoroughly perplexed me until I started thinking about God and my own on-and-off obedience to Him in all matters of life. How many times do we procrastinate, if not outright ignore, our religious obligations (both big and small) to the Lord of the Universe?

We do this eventhough God demands obedience for our own good, so we can purify ourselves to reach nearness to Him. Only by exchanging our own desires, wants and opinions for those of God Almighty can we achieve the humility and eagerness needed to constantly rush to His submission.

God reminds us to obey Him (as well as his Last Messenger Muhammad (S) and those vested with authority) repeatedly in the Quran. While addressing Maryam (one of the four perfect women), God says: "O Maryam! Keep to obedience to your Lord and humble yourself." (3: 43)

"The true slave of God Almighty is he for whom the obedience and love of God becomes sweet," according to Prophet Muhammad (S).

In this holy month of Ramadan, believers world over dedicate themselves to worshipping their Lord day and night through fasting, prayers, Quran recitations, etc. While such prayers and devotional practices are highly recommended, ibadat (Arabic word for worship) also includes wholehearted obedience.

After the Prophet completed his sermon on the virtues of Ramadan, Ali, the husband of Fatima (another one of the four perfect women), says he stood up and asked:

"O Prophet of God! What is the best deed of this month?"

The Prophet (S) replied: "O Abul Hasan! The best deed of this month is abstinence from that which is forbidden by God, the Mighty, the Glorious."

Upon seeing the new crescent of Ramadan, Zain ul Abideen (whose epithet means Best of the Worshippers), grandson of Fatima and Ali, would address the moon as the "obedient creature" who is "prompt toward His will."

This Ramadan protestors in Muslim countries are expected to pour into the streets again to demand peace and justice as part of their social obligations to God. They will do so despite ongoing repression, torture and the edicts of pseudo-scholars commanding obedience to tyrants by misquoting the Quran.

"With obedience there's love and with love there's sacrifice," says lecturer Hanif Mohammed. "And if you don't have these things you can never have success."

Activist and poet Allama Iqbal sums up the superiority of obedience to God in the following Urdu couplet (with English translation):

"Wo aik sajda jesay tu garan samajhta hai
Hazar sajdu se deta hai aadmi ku najat"

"The bowing (before God) that you despise
Is such that it will free from bowing down before thousands."


Sarosh said...

Salam-alaikum and RAMADAN MUBARAk,insha' Allah to you and your family.

Jazaki- Allah Khair for another beautiful reminder of obedience to our Rabb.

Subhan- Allah, we as muslims strive to perform our best & show complete submission in this holy month. [ personally to me it seems little easier maybe because the shaitan is locked up :-)]

May Allah give us the "Taufeekh" insha' Allah to continue so even outside the month of Ramadan.

May Allah accept the prayers, Du2a3,estakhfaar,ebadah etc. of every muslim brother and sister and elevate our Iman with every passing Ramadan.

Jazaki- Allah Khair again!

Sr. Tasneem said...

Assalmau'alaikum & Ramadhan Kareem.
Great piece as usual.
I was touched by the example of your daughter's delayed response to your command. WOW! How patient is our Lord and Creator Whose Commands I constantly disobey, yet He constantly loves me and nourishes me! Your point of 'obedience' is the heart and soul of any practical practice that will bring us closer to His Mercy.
JazakAllah Khairan for this Great Reminder.

Salina Khan said...

Salam Sarosh and Tasneem Apa! It's nice to see you back on the blog...I learn much from both of your insightful comments and am sure my readers do as well.

I wasn't able to include this in my entry but the supplication of Zain ul Abideen for the Coming of the Month of Ramadan is beautiful. Here's an excerpt:

O God, fill this month with our worship of Thee,
adorn its times with our obedience to Thee,
help us during its daytime with its fast,
and its night with prayer and pleading
toward that it's daytime may not
bear witness against our heedlessness nor
its night against our neglect!

O God, make us like this in the other months and
days as long as Thou givest us life, and place
us amongst Thy righteous servants!

Anonymous said...

Ibadat (worship) has two components.Obedience is first, combined with love equals Ibadat.

Salina Khan said...

Thank you, anonymous. Yes, we often forget that devotional rituals are a means to an end and not the end itself.

Jabeen said...

very beautiful article about obedience.
thanx for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing!

Sarosh said...

Salam.......Jazaki- Allah Khair for your kind words and for the beautiful supplication of Zain ul Abideeen.

Lately I have been busy & have not been able to comment or say Jazaki Allah Khair for your beautiful blogs. But I always enjoy & look forward to them.

Subhan- Allah, they are like a breath of fresh air always and they try to purify the soul.

Please keep them coming and may Allah bless, guide and stengthen your art of writing such beautiful pieces backing Quran & Sunnah as the reference. They definitely help us reflect at least momentarily on our lives even if we are unable to conscientiously act on them always!

Jazaki- Allah khair again!

Salina Khan said...

Thank you Jabeen and Sarosh! The scariest part of writing a blog like this are the dire consequences of not practicing (or at least trying to) what I am preaching (esp "Hopping Mad" with the kids home all day during summer break...). May Allah guide us closer to him iA always.