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Feeling Demotivated this Ramadān? Remember the Supplication of Jibrīl

We are nearly half way through the blessed month of Ramadān 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 Ramadān, rather than the bare minimum, it is worth pondering on the following hadīth.

It was narrated that Abū Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) 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 (peace be upon him) came to me and said: “If Ramadān 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 hadīth 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 (peace be upon him), the greatest, most virtuous and most honourable of all the angels, who has a high rank with Allāh and the one whom Allāh chose to entrust with revelation revealed to His Prophets.

Secondly, who is saying āmīn? The Noble Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) – the last Prophet, the Imām of the Messengers, and the one who will intercede with Allāh on the Day of Resurrection. In short, the best of creation.

Thirdly, what is ‘āmīn’? It itself is a supplication calling upon Allāh to answer what has been requested.

Fourthly, where is the supplication being made? On the minbar of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) 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 (peace be upon him) on the minbar of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), who is himself asking Allāh to accept the supplication? Knowing the above, we would be foolish to ignore a supplication of such magnitude.

In this hadīth, Jibrīl (peace be upon him) is essentially supplicating against someone who witnesses Ramadān but is not forgiven in it. So severe is such a failing according to Jibrīl (peace be upon him) that such a person should be thrown into the Hellfire and distanced from Allāh’s infinite mercy. Note that the du’ā 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 du’ā 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 Ramadān 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 facilitates us to do good deeds and to avoid committing sins. If this is not enough, Allāh motivates us further by promising to multiply the reward for our deeds.

On the last day of Sha’bān, the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 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 Ramadān), 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, and when the tongues are restrained. Indeed it is a time when the believers are united in worshipping Allāh. If in such a month someone is unable to obtain Allāh’s forgiveness, then wretched indeed is he, and thus, deserving of Allāh’s punishment as supplicated for by Jibrīl (peace be upon him) and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

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 du’ā of Jibrīl (peace be upon him) and use these precious days which remain of this blessed month to hasten to good deeds and righteous actions and actively strive for Allāh’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.

13 comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. In response to Gene
    Perhaps a google search?

  6. 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?”.

  7. 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?”.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

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

  12. 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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