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Feeling Demotivated this Ramaḍān? Remember the Supplication of Jibrīl

We are halfway through the blessed month of Ramaḍān and many of us are unfortunately still only warming up in our worship and righteous acts. A common excuse for this is that due to the long hours of fasting in the heat, coupled with having to go to work and look after one’s family, it is difficult to strive towards supplementary voluntary acts of worship beyond the Tarāwīh prayers. The mantra of  ‘I am tired’ is probably the most frequent form of dhikr on the tongues of many Muslims today.

As a way of motivating us to hasten towards Ihsān (excellence) in our worship so that we get the best out of Ramaḍān, rather than the bare minimum, it is worth pondering on the following Ḥadīth.

It was narrated that Abū Hurayrah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said:

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) ascended the minbar and said: “Āmīn, Āmīn, Āmīn.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allāh, you ascended the minbar and said, ‘Āmīn, Āmīn, Āmīn’.” He said: “Jibrīl (ʿalayhi al-Salām) came to me and said: “If Ramaḍān comes and a person is not forgiven, he will enter Hell and Allāh will cast him far away. Say Āmīn.” So I said Āmīn. He said: “O Muhammad, if both or one of a person’s parents are alive and he does not honour them and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allāh will cast him far away. Say Āmīn.” So I said Āmīn. He said: “If you are mentioned in a person’s presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allāh will cast him far away. Say Āmīn.” So I said Āmīn.”

Although there are three supplications being made in this Ḥadīth it is only the first which is the focus of this article. Before studying the content of the supplication itself, let us examine the circumstances surrounding the supplication.

Firstly, who is making the supplication? None other than the Archangel Jibrīl (ʿalayhi al-Salām), the greatest, most virtuous and most honourable of all the angels, who has a high rank with Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) and the one whom He chose to entrust with revelation revealed to His Prophets.

Secondly, who is saying Āmīn? The Noble Messenger Muhammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) – the last Prophet, the Imām of the Messengers, and the one who will intercede with Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) on the Day of Resurrection. In short, the best of creation.

Thirdly, what is ‘Āmīn’? It itself is a supplication calling upon Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) to answer what has been requested.

Fourthly, where is the supplication being made? On the minbar of the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) in his mosque in Madīnah, the next holiest place in the world after Makkah.

In light of the above four points, it is clear that whatever supplication is being made here is of significant importance. How powerful a supplication must it be if it is uttered by Jibrīl (ʿalayhi al-Salām) on the minbar of the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), who is himself asking Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) to accept the supplication? Knowing the above, we would be foolish to ignore a supplication of such magnitude.

In this hadīth, Jibrīl (ʿalayhi al-Salām) is essentially supplicating against someone who witnesses Ramaḍān but is not forgiven in it. So severe is such a failing according to Jibrīl (ʿalayhi al-Salām) that such a person should be thrown into the Hellfire and distanced from Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā)’s infinite mercy. Note that the Duʿā’ does not mention the sins of this individual, but speaks of them in a general sense such that it is applicable to all – those with many major sins as well as those with few minor ones. Yet, the Duʿā’ is mercilessly calling for such a person to be thrown into the Hellfire and distanced from Allāh’s mercy which envelopes all things.

The reason for this is that anyone who fails to be forgiven in the month of Ramaḍān must indeed be a wretched individual. For this is the month in which the shayātīn are chained up, and the month in which the gates of Paradise are flung open and people emancipated from the Fire nightly. It is a month therefore in which Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) facilitates us to do good deeds and to avoid committing sins. If this is not enough, Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) motivates us further by promising to multiply the reward for our deeds.

On the last day of Shaʿbān, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) gave a sermon and said,

“O people! A great and blessed month has approached you, a month containing a night better than a thousand months. Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) has made fasting in its days an obligation and prayer in its nights a (recommended) voluntary act. Anyone who seeks nearness to Allāh in this month through any virtuous act will be like one who carried out an obligatory act at another time (outside of Ramaḍān), and whoever performs an obligatory act in this month will be like one who performed seventy such acts at another time. It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise. It is the month of equality, the month in which the wealth of the believer is increased.”

It is a time when the mosques are overflowing with worshippers, when entire families who may not offer prayers during the rest of the year, pray obligatory and voluntary prayers in the mosque, when all around you, believers are completing a recitation of the Qur’ān, when purses are being emptied to give charity in the way of Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā), and when the tongues are restrained. Indeed it is a time when the believers are united in worshipping Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā). If in such a month someone is unable to obtain Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā)’s forgiveness, then wretched indeed is he, and thus, deserving of Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā)’s punishment as supplicated for by Jibrīl (ʿalayhi al-Salām) and the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).

We must not be complacent and think that just because we are fasting, we will be forgiven. Only the foolish would remain content with their actions and gamble with their destiny in such a fashion. Instead, we must remember the Duʿā’ of Jibrīl(ʿalayhi al-Salām) and use these precious days which remain of this blessed month to hasten to good deeds and righteous actions and actively strive for Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā)’s forgiveness and mercy so that we can abide in the Gardens of Paradise forever.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

This article has been reposted, last posted on 13 August 2012.

About Fahad Ansari

Fahad Ansari is an Immigration and Human Rights Solicitor, Writer, Activist. He has also authored a number of articles and reports on international human rights, social discrimination and anti-terrorism legislation to mainstream papers and policy makers.

26 comments

  1. First of all cite your hadiths so that we may verify the authenticity and your interpretation, you can’t just throw a hadith with no references, second of all this is not encouraging in any way your article should have been a way for people who are having trouble during Ramadan not about laziness no one can help and I don’t think most demotivated muslims are lazy usually their problems are internal or a cycle of some kind of disobedience they struggle breaking so something along those topics would have been much more usefull other than that this is not really an article for demotivated muslims, rather lazy muslims. Please make a full effort when writing an article, you are not helping.

    • ABDULRAZAQ AHMED

      This hadith is called the hadith of Jibril, you need to learn.

    • I fully agree with you R.E. internal or cycle of disobedience. I am guilty (AFA). I can only pray for forgiveness and strength – as Ramadan is over now.. I must now proceed to ‘prove’ to Allah that I took heed & understood all that was/is required of me… (I/A). May all righteous believers proceed/go back into the dunya, maintaining their lives & souls

  2. Great article but many do not seem to get the main idea.
    We do not know if we will be forgiven and enter Jannah. Only the ignorant will think they deserve Paradise.
    Why did our beloved Prophet ( saw) worshipped day and night, especially during the last ten days of Ramadan ? Even He was not sure of Allah’s (swt) forgiveness. So. How can we be sure that we deserve Paradise just by fasting ? We must be humble in our worship, never raise our noses up , but keep our foreheads down in sajdah becase none of us can be sure of entering Jannah. Be humble and don’t spread negativity. Whatever comes out of your mouths especially during Ramadan will be used against you on the Day of Judgement. Keep your hearts pure and use your words carefully. Think tenfold before you berate someone.

    • The reason the prophet Muhammad pbuh prayed all night was as he had so much love for Allah he wanted to show it… Also he knew that he showed us wat to do so he needed to be a good example. And where you said we don’t know if we enter hell or heaven that is true! But that’s because Allah is giving us a test to see how much we love him and Islam
      Hope this answered your question x

      • Prophet Muhammad, the most perfect of Allah’s creation, was the Embodiment of fear of Allah swt. He said ‘ I am the most knowing of Allah and the most fearful of Him among you”
        I agree that He loved Allah the most but more than his love for Allah was his fear of Allah.
        Check out website Islam.ru article ‘ Fearing Allah the way the Prophet feared Him’.
        Assalam alaykum.

      • Our Prophet SAW, the most Beloved of Allah swt and His most perfect creation, stated himself : ‘I am the most knowing of Allah and the most fearful of Him among you’. He prayed and supplicated becase he loved Allah azawajah and was fearful of Him and His punishment. Check out website Islam.ru for more information on this topic, especially the article ‘Fearing Allah the way the Prophet feared Him’.
        Assalam alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

  3. Great article, too bad many people do not get the main point of it. . It’s a very important reminder to us Muslims that we do not know who of us will enter Jannah. Why did Our beloved Prophet ( peace be upon Him) fasted and prayed all night especially during the last ten days of Ramadan? He worshipped Allah swt in awe. Even He was fearful of Allah swt and his punishment. So how can we be sure that fasting alone will lead us to Paradise??? We must be humble and follow our beloved Prophet’s sunnah and never assume that we ‘deserve’ Jannah. Our Propher ( SAW) never did. Be humble and do not be proud in your worship. We do not deserve anything , only Allah the Most Merciful will forgive whom He wills, and will place faith and real understanding in whom He wills. Let’s not keep our noses up but bring out foreheads down in sajdah and hope and make dua for mercy from the Most Merciful of all.

  4. I agree with weal and this makes me very angry. You are telling people who on top of their normal dueies and fasting and doing 20 rakat tareveh and charity and reciting the Quran every day that they are going to go to hell. When is it enough for you mullahs? You are promoting terrorism or anti-islam sentiment. If someone doing all this reads your article and is doing all this they come to one of two conclusions. Either nothing they are going to do will ever be enough so why not forget about it all because no merciful God can demand so much or they agree and go one step ahead and force tabligh or start killing ourselves or others so we may finally be actually done with all of these good deeds. I demand you apologize for this article and say sorry to anyone you demotivated.

    • It’s because you don’t understand what the article is saying maybe

      • I know exactly what it is saying and I have seen both sides of that coin. I have seen my uncle drift away from religion due to the first thing and I during hajj I spent the Arafat period with people on the other end of that spectrum who talked about mericles where someone’s finger turned into a knife to “sacrifice themselves for Allah”. I was too afraid to say anything to them but I won’t stay quiet in the face of these self-righteous zealots who push normal Muslims to both extremes. Obey your Fard, do Sunnah and Nafal if you can. That is it. The Quran says God does not want to make things difficult for believers but these mullahs add difficulty to the breaking point of some people.

    • Please calm down Shepardjhon, I am sure everyone including yourself is doing their best in this blessed month. This article in summary from my opinion is to remind us to seek forgiveness as we engage in our daily extra good deeds in this blessed month. Believe me we can never do enough for the miracle of our “life”, and the blessings in it.

      May Allah make it easy for us Ameen suma ameen

  5. All this article is really saying is make more effort. Whatever level you are at now just ramp it up. Put your foot on that gas pedal!
    Go the extra mile. Push yourself.

    Here’s a sort of similar analogy.
    It’s like a boxer training for a title fight. The last 4 weeks he is going all out training , sparring , running , dieting, hoping he wins, just to get to the fight night. For a Muslim the ” fight night” or fright night if its the case will be death. May Allah protect and save us from an evil or bad end and give us husnul khatima. Ameen.

    We try and do this with all other aspects of our lives except our Religion which has the biggest right upon us.

  6. Samy Merchant

    “We must not be complacent and think that just because we are fasting, we will be forgiven.”

    What’s wrong with thinking, “Because we are fasting, we will be forgiven”?
    Forget something as great as fasting, I might even be forgiven because of this little piece I am writing.

    You gotta be optimistic!

    • I think by demotivated the article means people who are demotivated from earning Barakah. So, getting lazy in the month of Ramadan by saying “I’m tired. I’ll just fast and that’ll get me into Jannah”. We cant be sure that it will get us into Jannah (after all, anyone can starve themselves. That isnt the point of Ramadan). Allah is All Merciful so He may forgive us, or He may not, if He sees that we arent sincere (laziness isnt a sign of sincerity). If we arent forgiven and we die before the next Ramadan, we’ll end up in Hellfire. The author is saying it’d be foolish of us to take such a huge risk just because we’re ‘tired’/lazy.

  7. Samy Merchant

    Feeling demotivated this Ramadan? Think about what the Palestinians in Gaza must be going through. You are eating Suhoor and you can’t guarantee you will complete your next morsel! No electricity, you are thirsty and hungry throughout the day. There is no running water in the toilet. You begin to take a sip of water to break your iftar and then, suddenly, the screeching, deafening noise of an F-15 flying over your house. Will they drop a bomb? Forget about sambosas for iftar.
    May Allah bless these great people and give them victory. Ameen

  8. Advice to Fahad Ansari and Islam21C.
    Last week we had a sister saying she was struggling with Islam and hadn’t learnt to pray after five years, now this.It seems Islam21C goes from one extreme to the next.

    Least we forget, Ramadan is first an foremost ‘about fasting’ and everything we do during the month should enhance the fast, not make it a chore. Because the fard comes first.

    A man came to the Prophet (s)and said: ‘tell what I must do to enter paradise and nothing else’,the Prophet (s) then went through the 5 pillars, the man said,’I will do this and nothing else’,the Prophet (s)said, ‘if he does this and nothing else he will go to paradise’. (sahih)

    Islam21C and its contributers should reflect on these hadith.

    The Prophet (s) said: “Facilitate things to people (concerning
    religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam).”
    (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

    ‘O Allah! Whoever was entrusted with authority over any affair of the Muslims and made it difficult for them, please make it difficult for him. And whoever was entrusted over any affair of the Muslims and was kind toward them, then be kind toward him.

  9. In response to Gene
    Perhaps a google search?

  10. Bio request for Fahad Ansari, please.
    I am not familiar with the author of this article. Can you provide some information for those of us without any knowledge of his background. Is Fahad Ansari a reporter, a researcher, a scholar, a spokesperson, or something else?

    I’ve shared what I learned from this article in other places and found that not everyone would accept it. When I told them of my source, their response was “Fahad Ansari who?”.

  11. Bio request for Fahad Ansari, please.
    I am not familiar with the author of this article. Can you provide some information for those of us without any knowledge of his background. Is Fahad Ansari a reporter, a researcher, a scholar, a spokesperson, or something else?

    I’ve shared what I learned from this article in other places and found that not everyone would accept it. When I told them of my source, their response was “Fahad Ansari who?”.

  12. Not quite so wael
    Not quite so bro Wael. The hadith motivates us by showing us how hard it is to lose out on the barakah of Ramadan, that the one who doesn’t get forgiven must have been so neglectful that this dua applies to them.

    It also uses negative reinforcement as opposed to positive, both are used by Allah in his messenger, ie. fear of Hell and on the other hand hope in the forgiveness and mercy of Allah and his reward. A believer’s eman is balanced by these two wings of fear and hope and either of these are used to encourage and motivate a believer to do good deeds.

    So a very strong reminder for me on a personal level. JazakAllah khair Fahad.

  13. How?
    It is a small explanation of a hadith with some advice, if you summarise it, you lose it!

    @Wael: Any comment I make on your style of comment above, would not be any different to the style itself. Depending on perspective, you can gain encouragement, fear of Allah, love for Allah etc. Guilt, is also important because it is one way in which we reject bad things.
    The reminder benefits the believer, so if you have been reminded, then try to benefit from it.

    When Allah has blessed you with some understanding of Islam, that last thing you should do is feel sorry about it. Logical thinking only gets you so far, the key to getting the best out of yourself is seeking more knowledge. Allah can turn the hearts and I ask Allah to turn the hearts of the believers towards Him. Aameen.

  14. Not encouraging
    This is not an encouraging article. So now, in addition to feeling guilty about not fulfilling my Ramadan properly, I am a wretched individual who should be thrown into Hell? Thanks so much for the encouragement (sarcasm).

  15. Subhan Allah! Jazak Allahu Khair for sharing such an imp hadith.

  16. practicing sister

    i am sure htis is a good article
    Too tired to read the whole thing. can someone summarize please?

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