We are in the midst of the blessed month of Ramadan. As Muslims, we are all aware of the blessings and the rewards that accompany this blessed month. «مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ» “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and with the hope of (Allah’s) reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, no. 37).
«كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ الْحَسَنَةُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعمِائَة ضِعْفٍ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَّا الصَّوْمَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ وَلَخُلُوفُ فِيهِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ» “Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving then times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said, ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.’ For the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk.” (Al-Bukhari)
In hope of availing the rewards, we hasten to perform rewardable actions. We adjust our timetable to ensure that we can read Quran, pray and give charity, all with the hope of getting closer to Allah (swt).
Across the Muslim world, we all show great commitment towards individual actions of rewards. We don’t put it off for the next hour or the next day. But we need to remember that Islam is more than individual actions. It provides us with an entire system of laws that govern each and every one of our actions. A system of laws that needs to be implemented on a state level.
If we look around us, that is what we are lacking, we are lacking an Islamic State that governs in accordance to the Shariah laws. So, it falls upon us, as the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, to strive towards re-establishing the Islamic State. الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” [Al-Maaida, 5:3]
Once this ayah was revealed, Islam was completed and we are expected to implemented it in every sphere of our lives.
It is here that we procrastinate in regards to the actions which are related to mu’amalat- the laws related to the relationship between people in society. It is here that we allow ourselves to get lost in the daily routine- I’ll do it tomorrow. We get lost in the belief that we can’t do anything to make a change. Changing society is beyond our capabilities- we should allow the leadership and the politicians to take care of it. The same politicians who will go out of their way to work within the non-Islamic system and benefit off the misery and hardship of others.
The current global circumstances have created a situation where we are at home. We have a choice to get lost in our routine and procrastinate. Or we can use the time to consider the reality we are living in. We can’t just think, but we should act.
We are at a turning point in history, where the world at the changes that the pandemic will bring and how these changes will shape the world.
This gives us an opportunity to consider how we’d like to shape the world. So shouldn’t we use this month to work towards the changes that we’d like to see and gain the reward that Allah has promised us?
We need to put the same focus on Ibadah (worship) on other actions – Islam is more than individual ibaadah, it’s an ideology that governs our political and socio-economic circumstances.
Giving charity is a rewardable action, and one that every Muslim runs to fulfill. But as Muslims who understands that our obligations move beyond individual actions, we should take this time as an opportunity to consider the circumstances which have created such widespread inequality and hardship.
Do not leave it to the next day, do not make a conscious or unconscious choice to delay our actions.
We don’t know that we will live to see the next day.
As Allah (swt) says in the Quran, وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَّاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَدًا وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ “No self knows what it will earn tomorrow and no self knows in what land it will die.” [31:34]
And the Prophet ﷺ says in the hadith, «كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ» “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.”
Ibn ‘Umar used to say, «إِذَا أَمْسَيْتَ فَلَا تَنْتَظِرْ الصَّبَاحَ وَإِذَا أَصْبَحْتَ فَلَا تَنْتَظِرْ الْمَسَاءَ وَخُذْ مِنْ صِحَّتِكَ لِمَرَضِكَ وَمِنْ حَيَاتِكَ لِمَوْتِكَ» “In the evening, do not anticipate the morning, and in the morning do not anticipate the evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death.” (al-Bukhari)
Right now, we are living in circumstances where we are in the home for the rest of the month. While this doesn’t mean that we are free of all of our obligations, it gives us an opportunity to consider the world that we are living in. It gives us a chance to look at the world around us, acknowledge the fact that we are living in a world where our Muslim brothers and sisters are suffering while living under the non-Islamic rule and hasten to act to change the circumstances.
Hiding from this truth and procrastinating in our actions will not take away our duty to change the reality.
Abu Hurayra reported the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, «بَادِرُوا بِالْأَعْمَالِ سَبْعًا هَلْ تَنْتَظِرُونَ إِلَّا فَقْرًا مُنْسِيًا أَوْ غِنًى مُطْغِيًا أَوْ مَرَضًا مُفْسِدًا أَوْ هَرَمًا مُفَنِّدًا أَوْ مَوْتًا مُجْهِزًا أَوْ الدَّجَّالَ فَشَرُّ غَائِبٍ يُنْتَظَرُ أَوْ السَّاعَةَ فَالسَّاعَةُ أَدْهَى وَأَمَرُّ» “Race to good actions as fast as you can. What are you waiting for except delayed poverty, oppressive wealth, debilitating illness, dottering senility, a swift death or the Dajjal? Or are you waiting for an unseen evil, or the Last Hour? The Last Hour will be most bitter and terrible.” (at-Tirmidhi)
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir