By Imam Lavdrim Hamja – Kenosha, July 15, 2011
All thanks belong to God, creator of the universe, which He says in the Qur’an: غَافِرِ الذَّنبِ وَقَابِلِ التَّوْبِ شَدِيدِ الْعِقَابِ ذِي الطَّوْلِ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ إِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ “He is Forgiving of sins, the Receiver of repentance, but also a strict Punisher and Mighty. There is no other god except Him and to Him we shall return in the end”. May peace and blessing be upon our Messenger, Muhammad (a.s) which he said: “Whoever says: There no other gods besides Allah shall enter paradise”. Peace and blessings of God be upon his family, upon his companions and upon all of those who pursue his path until the Day of Judgment.
God has divided His Mercy into 100 parts. But only one part of His Mercy He has divided upon all His creations, which all these creations receive mercy within themselves and give mercy towards each other? While 99 parts of the Mercy He has preserved for his servants in the Day of Judgment. The Prophet tells us while saying:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ , قَالَ : ” إِنَّ للَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِائَةَ رَحْمَةٍ , أَنْزَلَ مِنْهَا رَحْمَةً وَاحِدَةً بَيْنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنْسِ وَالْبَهَائِمِ وَالْهَوَامِ فَبِهَا يَتَعَاطَفُونَ وَبِهَا يَتَرَاحَمُونَ وَبِهَا عَطَفَتِ الْوَحْشُ عَلَى أَوْلادِهَا , وَأَخَّرَ تِسْعًا وَتِسْعِينَ رَحْمَةً لِنَفْسِهِ يَرْحَمُ بِهَا عِبَادَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ” . (البخاري و مسلم)
“God has 100 parts of Mercy. One of these mercies He has brought down among the Jinns, animals and humans. With this Mercy they give mercy to themselves, even the beast gives mercy to their young, while God has preserved 99 parts of His Mercy for his servants in the Day of Judgment.” (Buhari&Muslim)
There is no doubt that all days are days of God and all months are months of God, but God has set some of these special days and months as a “gift” to His servants. Although a servant does not become a slave of a specific day, night or month. He is a true believer throughout the year and throughout his life.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have reached towards the half month of Shaban, a month in which the Mercy and forgiveness of God is infinite. In this month, precisely in the half of the month which we are in, there is a sublime night where the Mercy and forgiveness of God includes everyone who believes that God is One without associating Him with any of his creatures and mercy and forgiveness for every person who has no hatred or envy towards one another.
The Prophet says:
عن معاذ بن جبل رضي الله عنه، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: ((يطلع الله إلى جميع خلقه ليلة النصف من شعبان فيغفر لجميع خلقه إلا لمشرك أو مشاحن)) [رواه الطبراني وابن حبان وهو حديث صحيح].
“On the night of the half month of Shaban, God sees all His creatures and forgives all of them except those who associate partners with God and those who have hatred and envy towards other people.” (Tabari & Ibn Hiban).
In this night God’s servant must cleanse his heart from these two evil things, of which distances him from God’s forgiveness, from associating partners to Him and having envy towards others. Indeed these people do not deserve God’s Mercy and forgiveness until they cleanse their hearts. The first is not correct with His Creator, while the second is not correct with God’s creatures. Therefore, not only in this affluent night, but at all times the believer should clean his heart from associating partners to God (Shirk) from hatred, envy, enmity and so on.
A believer should do a good deed only for sake of God,clean from any other things, in order to receive an appropriate pleasure and reward from His Lord. The Prophet would fear the minor shirk (associating things with God) when people do a deed to be seen in the eyes of men and not for the pleasure of God. The Prophet says:
قال صلى الله عليه وسلم: ((“إن أخوف ما أخاف عليكم الشرك الأصغر” قالوا وما الشرك الأصغر يا رسول الله قال “الرياء يقول الله عز وجل إذا جزى الناس بأعمالهم اذهبوا إلى الذين كنتم تراؤون في الدنيا فانظروا هل تجدون عندهم جزاء” رواه أحمد.
“The only thing I fear for you is the small or minor shirk” and what is a minor shirk O messenger of God? He said: “Hypocrisy. When God will reward people according to their deeds He will say to these people: look at those of which you have earned in this world and see if you’ll find a reward in it?” (Ahmad)
It is true that the Prophet has distinguished certain days, or nights and some months, but he has distinguished those for their importance which they possess, while not to neglect other days as we see with some Muslims which they think that with only one day, or one night throughout the whole year they can meet or fulfill the vacancy which they have left during the year.
Usama Ibn Zeijd transmits that: I asked the Prophet saying: O messenger of God, I have not seen you to fast other months as you do during the month of Shaban? The Prophet said:
عن أسامة بن زيد رضي الله عنهما قال: قلت يا رسول الله: لم أرك تصوم من شهر من الشهور ما تصوم من شعبان؟ قال : ((ذاك شهر تغفل الناس فيه عنه، بين رجب ورمضان، وهو شهر ترفع فيه الأعمال إلى رب العالمين، وأحب أن يرفع عملي وأنا صائم)) [رواه النسائي].
“This is a month which the majority of the people forget, or they are careless, between the month of Rexhep and Ramadan. In this months the deeds ascend to the God of the worlds and I desire when my deeds descend to My Lord while I’m fasting.”(Nissau)
The Prophet would fast every Monday and Thursday, not because these days are better than other days, but because on these days the doors of paradise open while the deeds performed that week descent in the heavens and he desired to be in the state of fasting at that time so his deeds are with God weather to be accepted or refused.
Ebu Hurejra transmits that the Prophet to have said:
في صحيح مسلم عن أبى هريرة رضي الله عنه مرفوعا: ((تفتح أبواب الجنة يوم الاثنين والخميس، فيغفر لكل عبد لا يشرك بالله شيئا إلا رجلا كانت بينه وبين أخيه شحناء فيقول: انظروا هذين حتى يصطلحا))
“Every Monday and Thursday the doors of paradise open and every servant is forgiven, if he does not associate any partners to God, except those who have hatred and enmity with another person. To them will be said: Do not accept their deeds until they reconcile with each other.” (Muslim)
Brothers and sisters, isn’t a grave sin for a person to abstain from this Mercy and forgives of God? Why doesn’t a believer heed to these God’s orders, but he continues with his stubbornness by staying away from God’s Mercy and Forgiveness? Why does he not answer to His Creator where He says:
“O reassured soul! Return to your God satisfied and submissive. Enter in the crowd of my servants and enter My paradise.”
Do you see how God addresses His servants with His softness and Mercy to those who stay away from Him as if He’s saying to them: Why do you stay afar from Me O man? Come close to Me, join with the believers and enter paradise, which I have prepared for you. Do not let this world allure you, because you will not bring anything from it either in the grave or in the hereafter. Hurry in haste and do not wait for that moment when the angel of death approaches, the time decreed when you’ll give up your soul, you will not be prepared and you’ll say: O My God, give me more respite to do the works which I have neglected. “God will not delay death to anyone when the time of death approaches them.”
It is true therefore people did not have an education, but they were perhaps smarter than part of the mankind today. Without a formal education they inquired as how to be saved from that truthful day, where every person will have a taste of that day.
Listen carefully as how one Bedouin goes to the Prophet and asks him:
وعن أبى هريرة ا أَنَّ أَعْرَابِيًّا أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ دُلَّنِي عَلَى عَمَلٍ إِذَا عَمِلْتُهُ دَخَلْتُ الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ: «تَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ لَا تُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَتُقِيمُ الصَّلَاةَ الْمَكْتُوبَةَ وَتُؤَدِّي الزَّكَاةَ الْمَفْرُوضَةَ وَتَصُومُ رَمَضَانَ قَالَ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَا أَزِيدُ عَلَى هَذَا فَلَمَّا وَلَّى قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَنْ سَرَّهُ أَنْ يَنْظُرَ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ إِلَى هَذَا»(البخاري و مسلم).
Transmitted by Abo Hurejra: A man came to the Prophet and said to him: Tell me a thing of which if I do I’ll enter paradise. The Prophet said to him: “Worship God and do not associate anything with Him. Perform obligatory prayers, give alms and fast during the month of Ramadan”. The Bedouin said: By Him who’s my soul is in His hand I will not add anything to these which you have said to me. When the Bedouin left, the Messenger said: “Whoever wishes to be satisfied to see a man from paradise let him see that person.” Buhari&Muslim)
Mercy, endless Mercy, for every person, which shows care and who is not deceived of this world. He is not deceived from his wealth, his health, his position or stature, from his youth and temporary strength.
Let us not forget that each day that passes by from this world, each day our life is shortened. Let us not forget that even though man does not think of death, but death does not forget and certainly one day it will knock in the door of our souls while saying: Come out O you soul from that dwelling where you stayed and proceed to another dwelling. Enough is for you, the time of your works has expired, now come and wait to receive the rewards of your deeds. If you have done well, your reward will be great, but if you have neglected and done bad, then taste the penalty of that which you have done to yourself.
“Whoever works a good deed, however small it might be, that he will see. And whoever does a bad deed, however small it might be that he will see…” God will not make a lightest injustice.”
Brothers and sisters, we are in the night of God’s Mercy and forgiveness and at the same time we are approaching a month with endless Mercy and forgiveness from God. In that I will close this speech with a verse, in which Prophet’s companions have called this the most joyful and most hopeful verse, where God the Merciful says:
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
“Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. For Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-
Let us turn to God with humbleness and submission to forgive our sins and to give us Mercy. O our God, forgive us, cleanse us from our mistakes and have Mercy upon us. Without a doubt You are our Protector. Amin!