This Ramadan, Americans have faced some difficult trials: the shooting in the Aurora theater, the shooting in the Sikh temple, and the burnt down mosque in Missouri. A sister was also hit after taraweeh (extra night prayers) by a car in a hit-and-run as she was walking outside the parking lots around a local masjid; details have yet to be disclosed. Our communities have also witnessed during this blessed month devout Muslims in heated conflicts over small matters unnecessarily made large. Internationally, we see the ongoing struggle of our brothers and sisters in faith and humanity in Syria, Burma, and wherever oppression exists. All of this has made me reflect on the signs and lessons Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) sends our way. Who will be the true inheritors of the “Mercy to the worlds” ﷺ (peace be upon him)?
The world is desperately in need of mercy, and it starts with us.
The month of Ramadan is a month where Allah (swt) multiplies the rewards of our deeds and expiates all of our sins.
Abu Hurayrah quoted the Prophet ﷺ as saying, “Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari)
He is not only Generous with us in forgiveness during this month, but also in multiplying the rewards of good deeds.
The Prophet ﷺ also said: “Whoever draws near to Allah during it (Ramadan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.” (Ibn Khuzaymah)
This is why we say, “Ramadan Kareem”—we are praying that we get to experience the Generosity of Allah’s blessings upon us in Ramadan. The Scholars talk about “al-takhalluq bi akhlaqillah” which means to embody the Beautiful Attributes of Allah (swt) as much as we can, as a means of coming closer to Him.
The Prophet ﷺ also encouraged this when he said, “The one who does not show mercy, is not shown Mercy.”
So I look at the downpour of Allah’s blessings in Ramadan, His Mercy, Forgiveness, and Generosity, and then I look at the tragic events around us in America and abroad in the same month, and I can’t help but think—it’s time to share the wealth. It’s time to embody mercy, forgiveness and generosity and fight the shades of darkness we see.
Allah (swt) describes darkness in the Qur’an in the plural form, and light in the singular. “Allah is the protector of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light.” (2:257)
In the words of Ust. Abdelrahman Mussa,”It takes a huge effort to make sure that only darkness prevails. If even a crack is made, then light spills in. Layers of darkness are weaker than one ray of light.” (ipersonalenrichment.com)
Let us resolve to show mercy to those around us, forgive all those who have wronged us, and practice generosity with every relationship we have. Forgiveness, mercy, and generosity are all charities of the heart, and just as charity does not lessen one’s wealth, forgiveness, mercy, and generosity do not lessen or weaken one’s heart. Rather, they increase, strengthen and bless our hearts. They dignify us, and beautify our character even more. It’s not just the world that is in need of mercy, but we ourselves are in need of showing mercy.
We were taught by the Prophet ﷺ, “Charity does not decrease wealth, and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect; and the one who shows humility, Allah elevates him in esteem.” (Muslim)
Let us try and embody His Attributes to a world that is desperately in need of them. This Ramadan, let us fight the darkness not just by lighting a candle, but by *being the light.*
Be the Light:
In the words of our beloved example of Mercy ﷺ we pray, “O Allah, place within my heart light, and upon my tongue light, and within my ears light, and within my eyes light, and place behind me light and in front of me light and above me light and beneath me light. O Allah, bestow upon me light.”
Please make a personal phone call tomorrow to the center closest to you offering moral support to the Sikh community during their time of need. It takes 5 minutes to give from the charity of your heart. Please click here to search for the center closest to you.
Spread positive messages on Facebook and Twitter with #bethelight and may Allah (swt) allow each and every one of our rays to come together, reflecting His Beauty and Light into a glowing world.