By Majed Iqbal- Inshallah you are all in the best state of health and Imaan. Please take time to send durood upon the Prophet (saw) especially on the Day of Jumah. Abu Hurayrah (ra) may Allah be pleased with him narrated Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:
“The person who recites eighty times on Friday (the following supplication) immediately after Asr Salah, before standing up from his place, eighty years of his sins will be forgiven by Allah and the reward equivalent to eighty years of worship will be written for him: Allahuma Sallay Ala Sayyidina Muhammadin Nabiyyil Ummiyi wa Ala Aalihi Wa sallim Tasleema” [Al-Jami Al-Saghir; Allamah Sakhaawi RA in Al-Qawl al-Badee’; Imaam Daraqutni RA and Al Muassah al-Rayyan]
And continue to send durood and salaam upon the Holy Prophet (Salallahu-aleihi-wasallam) every day inshallah
It is that time of the year again. A special month has arrived and is knocking on our doors like a guest wanting to come into our homes and wanting to become our friend and slowly leave an impression in our lives.
Back in Time
It’s Ramadhan! This is the month where we can go “Back to the future”!
Many of us may recall a series of movies in our childhood by the name of “Back to the future”. The film tells the story of Marty McFly, a teenager who is accidentally sent back in time from 1985 to 1955. He meets his future-parents in high school and ends up getting into serious trouble. Marty has to repair the damage to history by causing his parents-to-be to fall in love again such that his existence can be a reality. With the help of scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown, he must find a way to return to 1985.
When we look at Ramadhan, are we not being offered the opportunity to amend our mistakes from the past to ensure a better future? Are we not being offered a life time opportunity to ‘go back in time’ on a journey with our Lord to remember our wrongdoings and use the ‘Time Machine’ of forgiveness to come back to the future with a clean slate?
Abu Saeed Al Khudari (R.A) narrates that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever fasts a day in the path of Allah, Allah will keep his face at a distance of seventy years from the fire (of Jahannam).” (Muslim)
Isn’t this a time Machine that we are being presented by our Lord which we need to get on to avoid a bad future?
Can any mad scientist create a technology that puts a Protective force field for future dangers?
Abu Umamah (R.A) narrates that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Whosoever fasts a day in the path of Allah, Allah will place between him and the fire a ditch as wide as between the heaven and the earth.” (Tirmidhi)
Amending our past
In the movie, Marty is not the happiest kid. His Dad is bullied by his supervisor Biff and his unhappy mother is an alcoholic. So he’s got issues. He’s not doing too well in life. Many of us get dragged down by our situations in life too. Some times we are tested by our family, our financial circumstances and issues we face day to day on the street, at work and in wider society.
All these issues in life take their toll on our mental, physical and spiritual make up. We could be in these situations because of sins and mistakes we have committed in the past. Ramadhan offers us a refreshing way forward to break out of this mould.
Abu Huraira (R.A) narrates that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “For everything there is zakaat (purification). And the zakaat (purification) of the body is fasting.” (Ibn Maja)
Don’t delay, Plan today
When Marty’s meets friend, scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown who reveals a time machine that can travel back in time, things go drastically wrong. Whilst Doc is using the date November 5, 1955, as an example destination, the Libyans (here we go again!) from whom Doc stole the plutonium, shoot him and in a frenzy Marty is transported back to November 5, 1955, and finds himself without the plutonium needed for the return trip.
When many of us are presented the idea of practicing Islam, we delay everything and leave for a day ahead in the future. But Marty must think on his feet and take rational steps forward to get out of this mess. He has to plan out his history to make it back to the future. If he just chills with the times, his existence in the future is gone for good.
So Marty Understood, he has to act now and not delay for tomorrow, otherwise he would be one of the losers.
It is reported from Hadhrat Ubadah bin Samit (ra) that: Sayyidina Rasulullah (saw) used to teach us these words (duaa) when Ramadhan approached:
Allahumma sal-limni li-ramadhaana wa-sal-lim ramadhaana li wa-sal-limhu li muta-qab-bala
“O Allah! Protect me, Make the month of Ramadhan clear for me, and save me from sins in the month of Ramadhan so that my acts of worship are accepted and not nullified.”
We have to take this opportunity now which Ramadhan is offering. This requires planning, action, dedication and commitment in Ramadhan and beyond.
The Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wassalam) said: “Jibraeel came to me and said; ‘Curse be upon him who went through the month of Ramadan and did not have his sins forgiven.’ To which I said ‘Amin.”‘ Narrated by at-Tabarani in al-Kabeer
Marty makes some serious mistakes when sent back in the future. We too, fall into error, but we must, firstly, admit these mistakes to ourselves (don’t announce them on Facebook) and secondly, take practical steps to move closer to Islam by making changes to daily actions in our lives.
If Marty didn’t get stuck in the rut, then why should we. If we did not make change by addressing our thoughts and actions in Ramadhan time, then our effort to stay hungry and thirsty in this month could go in vain.
Abu Huraira Narrated that The Prophet said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”
Space travel in Ramadhan
Allah the almighty has powers beyond the imagination of any film maker or mad scientist. In this month, time travel happens on one of the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadhan. It is a night where one night is equivalent to a thousand months. That’s travelling 83 years in one night. Now even doc couldn’t do that!
Surah Qadr, the 97th Surah in the Quran, marvels this extra-ordinary night. Allah says
“Verily! We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Ruh (Gabriel) by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees, Peace! until the appearance of dawn (97:1-5)
Look to the future
Some of us say “I’m down with Islam, but not now”. But now is the time to go back to the future. Marty amended his mistakes in the past and was met in 1985 by a loving family, setting him on course for a happy and promising life ahead.
We too need to cherish these joys which Allah (swt) gives us a taste of in this life and promises us for the next in this beautiful month.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said “There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting.”
In this Ramadhan, let us go “Back to the future” in the time machine of Ramadhan and direct the Fourth part of this movie series with our own script and carve out our own futures leading to Jannah.
As they said in the film, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”