Inner-glow before Ramadan (تزكية النفس قبل رمضان)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Inner-glow before Ramadan (تزكية النفس قبل رمضان)
The journey to Allah (swt) never stops until you reach your final destination, and our goal is the pleasure of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) wants you to go to paradise, and He gave you the duniya to make you reach the akhira.
Imagine we are poor and weak servants, and Allah (swt) wants to honor and elevate us, subhan Allah.
You want to enter Ramadan with joy, and how can you enjoy Ramadan without the Quran? And you want to purify the nafs before entering Ramadan so that you may enjoy Ramadan.
Purification and Beautification (التزكية )
(التزكية ) It is made of two parts:
o Purification (تطهير ): our nafs, self can have dispraised qualities like anger, impatience, to be controlling, so we want to get rid of any bad faults and behaviors.
o Beautification (تحلية ): we want to be upgraded, we want our tongue, thinking, heart, all actions of the limbs – to be upgraded. We want to adopt the good qualities of being patient, pardoning, etc.
Surah Ash Shams 7-10: ( وَنَفۡ س وَمَا سَوَّٮٰهَا ) ٧( فَأَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقۡوَٮٰهَا ) ٨( قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن زَكَّٮٰهَا ) ٩( وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَن دَسَّٮٰهَا
)٠١() (And by Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul), and Him Who perfected him in proportion; (7) Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him; (8) Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allâh ordered, by following the true Faith of Islâmic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds). (9) And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e. disobeys what Allâh has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islâmic Monotheism or by following polytheism or by doing every kind of evil wicked deeds) (10))
o Allah (swt) is swearing by the nafs, and He is showing you the way of good and bad, and it is up to you. So the one who purifies his self, then he will be of the successful ones. And the one who fails is the one who corrupts his self.
(التزكية ) is the way to success ( التزكية طريق الفلاح )
Don’t ever think that you will achieve and have success, the success is from Allah (swt), not you.
It is up to you to purify yourself, and Allah (swt) will give you the achievement and success. Don’t ever feel like your duty is to achieve or success – your duty is to purify and beautify yourself.
What is required from us on the way to (تزكية )? ( ما المطلوب منا و نحن في الطريق الى التزكية؟ )
There are pre-requisites before the (تزكية ) because if a person immediately goes to (تزكية ), then it can lead to major sin.
(الفلاح ) does not mean perfection, don’t expect that while you are doing (تزكية ) that you will change 180 degrees, maybe before you had no patience, and then after (تزكية ) you are 5% patient, it’s ok.
Pre-requisite #1: Surah Al Baqarah 286: ( لَ يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّّ نَفۡسًا إِلَّ وُسۡعَهَ اۚ ) (Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope) – you don’t need to be perfect because Allah (swt) will make you perfect in paradise.
Allah (swt) wants that you make an effort, because there are those who want to be perfect and they can’t, and then they despair, and that is a sin, subhan Allah.
Remember that you are dealing with Allah (swt), not people. People have so many expectations for a person to change and they do not appreciate the struggle. For example, two students might get an A on the exam, but one studied so much more than the other to achieve it, though they got the same grade in the end, subhan Allah. But with Allah (swt), He appreciates the struggle and the effort, and He rewards you for that, subhan Allah. Allah (swt) sees your struggle, subhan Allah.
If you don’t put this in your mind that ( ل يكلف الله نفسا ال وسعها ) then it will make you despair and lose hope, and that is a sin.
Pre-requisite #2: Ignore the people ( أغفل عن الناس )
Imagine you are attending the study circles, and then when you go back to the home, they think you are so ‘righteous’ and if you make a fault, they are harsh with you, why? Because they expect so much from you.
Or there are those who attend the study circles and they don’t want others to know so that people don’t expect from them.
So what is the solution to both cases? Ignore the people. Because this can ultimately lead to shirk if you start to do it for the people in order to meet their expectations, and this is riya’a, subhan Allah.
Don’t do (تزكية ) for the sake of people, because this is riya’a and it is shirk. Make an effort for the sake of Allah (swt), not the people.
What is the result of the one who does (تزكية )? ( ما حال الذي يزكي نفسه؟ )
Humility / being broken, not haughty and arrogant ( الذل و النكسار و ليس العلو و الكبر ).
In other fields, when you work on your self, they expect that you become self-confident, successful, etc and this creates an arrogant person.
But this (تزكية ) that we are talking about, it will make you humble and broken in front of Allah (swt). For example, if you are patient in a situation, and you feel I did it, then this is not the right (تزكية ). When you are patient in situation, then you feel humble in front of Allah (swt).
Or you want to pray qiyam al layl, and you wake up, don’t feel like you did it, you achieved. When you wake-up and pray qiyam al layl, you should feel humble in front of Allah (swt).
The Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr (ra) were buried in the house of Aisha (ra). And she knew that the people would want her to be buried there, but asked that she gets buried with the rest of the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) in Al Buq’a. She was humble and did not ascribe purity to herself.
Surah An Najm 32: ( فَلَا تُزَكُّوٓ ا أَنفُسَكُمۡ هُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَنِ ٱتَّقَىٰٓ ) (So ascribe not purity to yourselves. He knows best him who fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him [i.e. those who are Al-Muttaqûn)
Surah An Nisa’a 49: ( أَلَمۡ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يُزَكُّونَ أَنفُسَہُم بَلِ ٱللَّّ يُزَكِّى مَن يَشَآءُ وَلَ يُظۡلَمُونَ فَتِيلا ) (Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves. Nay, but Allâh sanctifies whom He wills, and they will not be dealt with injustice even equal to the extent of a scalish thread in the long slit of a date-stone)
o Allah (swt) will give the honor and achievement but don’t ascribe purity to yourself.
Rules of (التزكية ) ( قواعد التزكية )
1. Hadith: ( من حسن اسلام المرء تركه ما ل يعنيه ) (On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Part of the perfection of one’s Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.”) – At Tirmidhi 2318
o Do not look at things that do not concern you – focus on yourself. Because either you are looking at things that concern you or not. And this is especially becoming prominent with the social media.
o Not concerning you means something that you do not need. For example, you are driving and you see a shop and you say why don’t they put this instead, or why is this house this color. Or a person sees how much rent a landlord receives and they calculate how much they make – this does not concern you. And it shows you it is something very low to be concerned about this because it does not increase you in faith or is beneficial.
o Also you do not need to go back and relive the past nor think about the future. If you are thinking about the past, then it should be to seek forgiveness and learn your lesson and if you are thinking about the future, then have tawakul in Allah (swt).
o Why do we not focus? Because we are busy with something that does not concern us.
2. Surah Al Zalzala 7-8: () فَمَن يَعۡمَلۡ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّ ة خَيۡرًٍ۬ا يَرَهُ ) ٧( وَمَن يَعۡمَلۡ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّ ة شَ را يَرَهُ ) ٨ ) (So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. (7) And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. (8))
o Don’t think you need to do big things and forget the small deeds because these small good deeds will make (التزكية ). Because the big things don’t always come, but the small things are there, for example removing something from harm’s way, a smile, saying ‘subhan Allah’. For example, you want to be patient, don’t think you need a calamity to be patient, even with small things be patient, patient with the food, patient with people, etc.
o And you will see the result of something so small, and that will give you so much hope. The shaitan wants you to focus on the big things and to ignore the small, so you will see less of results along the way and that will make you despair, subhan Allah.
3. Surah Al Isra’a 7: ( إِنۡ أَحۡسَنتُمۡ أَحۡسَنتُمۡ لَِِنفُسِكُمۡ وَإِنۡ أَسَأۡتُمۡ فَلَهَ اۚ ) (If you do good, you do good for your ownselves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves)
o To do ihsan is to put the best effort you can, whether in worship or in daily chores. You want to read the Quran with quality, not quantity, when you are working, you do it with ihsan, writing, sitting, hair, etc.
o Ihsan is to worship Allah (swt) as if you see Him and if you do not see Him then He sees you.
o When you do ihsan to others, for example you pardon a person, don’t think it’s good for them, but it is for you – you do it for the sake of Allah (swt) and you will benefit, not the person you pardoned. Don’t think you are doing a favor to anyone.
o And if you do bad to anyone, then you have actually done bad to yourself.
o Ibn Abbas (ra) was 15 when the Prophet (pbuh) passed away, he wanted to go and spend time with Abu Bakr (ra) and Omar bin Khattab (ra) in order to learn more knowledge. When he told his friend this, he said do you actually think they would take you in, but Ibn Abbas (ra) went any way, and he become one of the best scholars. He did ihsan, subhan Allah.
4. Surah Ar Ra’ad 11: ( إِنَّ ٱللَّّ لَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوۡ م حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُو ا مَا بِأنَفُسِہِمۡ ) (Verily! Allâh will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allâh).)
o Don’t think a miracle will change you. Your condition, your situation will not change until you change yourself.
o Another angle to look at this ayah is that you have things that you are content with, for example, you were not married and now you are married and have children, and then you start to feel it is too much responsibility, too difficult, and you think I was better off when not married. And when your heart changes, then your situation from the outside changes and you find it is becoming more difficult in the house, subhan Allah.
o For example, you are acquiring knowledge, and you are content in the beginning and then you feel it is becoming burdensome – you will find then that you will become deprived because your heart changed, you became ungrateful, subhan Allah.
o Why do we change negatively, because of desire, subhan Allah.
o So this ayah can be seen from two ways, either going from bad to good or you are in good and then you change and become worse, subhan Allah.
5. Surah Al Qiyamah 14-15: ( نِسَٰنُ عَلَىٰ نَفۡسِهِ بَصِيرَةٍ۬
) بَلِ ٱلۡۡ ) ٠١ ( وَلَوۡ أَلۡقَىٰ مَعَاذِيرَهُ ) ٠١ ) (Nay! Man will be a witness against himself (14) Though he may put forth his excuses (to cover his evil deeds). (15))
o Don’t give excuses to yourself, don’t say it is because of the children, spouse, hormones, etc. If people are not driving well and you are upset about it, then this situation just brought your anger to the surface to show you your reality. Don’t blame others and don’t give excuses to yourself – just blame yourself because you know yourself, subhan Allah.
o Don’t give excuses for yourself, but give excuses for others.
May Allah (swt) make us enjoy the month of Ramadan. Ameen.