A moment -[23:4-11]

In my previous post (Incessant ramblings), I was going on about the checklist that People of the Paradise follow, and touched only two points. So I thought I should complete the rest pronto. The first eleven verses of surah Al-Mu’minun are among my favorites. The meanings, the rhythmic style, the sheer precision of pace and balance, they will never fail to move you. Better still, if you memorize them and apply them timely, they will prove to be your fail-proof guidelines to Heaven. Read on and you’ll see…:)

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَـوةِ فَـعِلُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَـفِظُونَ – إِلاَّ عَلَى أَزْوَجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ – فَمَنِ ابْتَغَى وَرَآءَ ذلِكَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لاًّمَـنَـتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَعُونَ -وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَوتِهِمْ يُحَـفِظُونَ- أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْورِثُونَ- الَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ-       

4. And those who pay the Zakah. 5. And those who guard their private parts. 6. Except from their wives or their right hand possessions, for then, they are free from blame. 7. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors. 8. Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat and to their covenants are Ra`un. 9. And those who strictly guard their Salawat. 10. These are indeed the heirs. 11. Who shall inherit Firdaws. They shall dwell therein forever.

If you remember, the first two characteristics of a successful believer were being humble in prayers and refraining from vain conversations. Now comes zakah. Those of you, who’re familiar with the Qur’anic basics would be quick to pounce on this one; hey, this surah was revealed in Makkah. How come zakah is mentioned here when it was  ordained in Al-Medinah in 2H like everyone knows?! Well, according to the scholars of tafsir, the zakah that was instituted in Al-Medinah is the one based on Nusub and specific calculated amount; and the implied meaning of zakah here is the basic principle of charity- that is- give away some portion of your riches to the needy, as you’re already well aware of. To support this notion, verse 141 of surah Al-An’am can be quoted here: but pay the due thereof on the day of their harvest, (6:141)

Also, I’m sure you’ve been reading this since grade school that the literal meaning of zakah is to purify oneself. So zakah could have been used in its literal sense here as well- purification of the soul that is. This opinion too, can be supported by another quranic verse: Indeed he succeeds who purifies himself (Zakkaha). And indeed he fails who corrupts himself. (91:9-10)

It could be that both meanings of zakah are intended here- purification of soul and one’s wealth, since a true believer pays attention to both matters. And Allah knows best. (Explanation is backed up by Tafsir ibn Kathir)

So cough up, people. 😀 I’ll be blogging more about this in the next post, insha Allah. As for purification of the soul, you are your own supervisor. Start listening to that nagging voice (read guilty conscience) that tries to spoil the “fun” every time you do something you shouldn’t be doing. List down your daily, most common wrong-doings and start working on them, one at a time. 🙂

After zakah, comes a lecture on carnal desires. Private parts are to be protected from all unlawful actions that Allah has forbidden; fornication, homosexuality and masturbation. The halal ways of satiating sexual needs are mentioned here (wives and slaves). And wives are the only applicable option that remains today. The concept of slaves (as per the shari’ah) has faded away in recent times and hence, the rule too. But if history ever repeats itself, then this ruling can be re-activated. So, to be a successful believer, this is another must-watch-out-for trait.

Next comes something which, if everyone follows, can turn the whole miserable state of the Muslims around. Be true to your trusts and covenants. Stick to your word when making a promise or a pledge. ‘Cause contrary actions lead to hypocrisy. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) once said,

The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust.

Imagine a country with a suffocating, hypocritic aura around it. How can it ever prosper? How can its people even expect Allah (swt) to be on their side? So begin by changing yourself. ‘Honesty is the best policy’ may top the cliche list, but the deed itself just never goes out of fashion in the Divine Court of Law. 🙂

Prayers hog the spotlight again now. This time the verses talk about strictly guarding your prayers; meaning- to offer them at the fixed times, with the proper bowing and prostration.  Ibn Mas`ud said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah , `O Messenger of Allah, which deed is most beloved to Allah’ He said, Prayer at the appointed time. I said, `Then what?’  He said, Kindness to one’s parents. I asked again, `Then what?’  He said, Jihad in the way of Allah. [Bukhari and Muslim]

In the last post, it was about being humble in prayers. Humble as in, with fear and tranquility and humbleness in prayer is only attained by the one who has emptied his heart totally, who does not pay attention to anything else besides it, and who prefers it above all else. Let’s look at our state of prayers. What sort are they? In most cases- totally robotic. Forget the humble part; many don’t even know what they’re asking for in their prayers. The whole prayer just goes by in a daze with the mind on everything but the prayer. And then we wonder why we don’t feel that bliss in our hearts or that “drive” for anything good. I’ve got something here that will REALLY REALLY help you solve this problem. Check. 😀 It’s amazing and is bound to work!

So, now the checklist ends. Yeah, finally. And what do you get out of doing something this herculean? Check the verses again. Jannat-ul-Firdaws, yes! 😀 What do you think? Pure awesomeness! Totally worth it, huh?

PS: Click to listen to the verses here: http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran/?Sura=23&FromVerse=1&ToVerse=6&Script=Usmani&Reciter=As-Sudays-Shraym&Translation=Eng-Pickthal-Audio&TajweedRules=Off&Zoom=5.2 So, how about memorizing them now? I remember learning and reciting them when I was a kid, and knew nothing of their meanings. Even then, it felt good. The flow came to the tongue naturally; and now that I know what they say, it’s just double over-whelming! 🙂

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