Be the Light


http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoej/6690093/in/photostream/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.

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7 Comments

  1. Yasmin says:

    Jazakallah khair for this beautiful post!

  2. Reehab says:

    This is beautiful. May Allah bless us with His light and cause us to be a light that brightens the day and life of each and every person we interact with and may He grant us the ability to try and embody some of His attributes as a means of getting closer to Him.

  3. Salaam Aleykoum wa Rahmatoullah wa Barakatouhou,

    may Allah bless you, dear sister, for this wonderful article and this wonderful message!

    Masha’Allah!

    Ayah

  4. Ahmed says:

    Masha’Allah I really appreciate how this article suggested an act as simple, yet equally sincere, as offering condolences. I just sent an email to my local Sikh center.

  5. Muslema Purmul says:

    @Ahmed– May Allah always allow you to be a ray of light :-) I have heard of 7 hate crimes in America since this article was written. If the incidents are related, I hope it’s not an organized attempt at causing some sort of race/religion war in America like Charles Manson once attempted (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Manson). If people want to spread darkness, we have no choice but to put our high beams on, and drown the world in light. May Allah allow us a community to respond to these tests with wisdom, and in the way He loves most, looking to Him for our inspiration.

  6. Kamaruddeen says:

    Assalamualaikkum sister Muslema,

    Jazakallah for sharing the information and the article as well. I just finished reading an Eidul Fitr (khutbah) Sermon delivered at IIT by Shaikh Ahmad Kutty (Friday, Sept.10, 2010). Below is the link for that

    http://www.askthescholar.com/5-246-2–eidul-fitr-khutbah-sermon-delivered-at-iit-by-shaikh-ahmad-kutty-friday-sept-10-2010.aspx

    Brothers and sisters

    We are living in difficult times. These are the times that the Prophet described as the times of fitan; crises coming one after another; crises that shake our faith and test our patience.

    In these difficult times Muslims need to keep alive the spirit and lessons of Ramadhan: lessons of self-restraint, patience, forbearance and compassion.

    Today more than ever we are called upon to embrace the spirit of Ramadhan in face of the greatest challenges facing us today.

    There are two types of challenges facing Muslims today.

    First and foremost, we are faced with ignorance and extremism in our midst which have invited others to target us. We know that Islam is peace and yet the actions of many among us show otherwise; we say Islam is mercy and yet there are Muslims who don’t hesitate to kill each other as well as others as if they were flies. We say Islam is discipline and self-restraint and yet we easily become impatient.

    Extremism is a disease we must deal with. There is no way for us to move forward, unless we take responsibility for changing our conditions. “….Verily Allah will not change the conditions of a people unless they change their inner conditions.” (Qur’an: 13: 11

    The change can only come through education. Our children and youth need to be educated in the morals, character and virtues of Islam; we need to make them exemplars of mercy and compassion. We need to teach them values and principles; we need to nurture them as leaders who shall stand forth as witnesses of justice and compassion for all humanity. This is our mandate in the Qur’an.

  7. yasar says:

    Through the light of belief, man rises to the highest of the high and acquires a value worthy of Paradise. And through the darkness of unbelief, he descends to the lowest of the low and falls to a position fit for Hell. For belief connects man to the All-Glorious Maker; it is a relation. Thus, man acquires value by virtue of the Divine art and inscriptions of the dominical Names which become apparent in him through belief. Unbelief severs the relation, and due to that severance the dominical art is concealed. His value then is only in respect to the matter of his physical being. And since this matter has only a transitory, passing, temporary animal life, its value is virtually nothing. From Risalei Nur collection.

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