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Fear of Accountability and the Gifts of Allah Ta'ala

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(Highlights of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 26th October)

If we study the contents of the first few surahs that were revealed, we will find that the theme in these surahs revolves around Qiyaamah, Jannah and Jahannum. It is obvious that if the commands and prohibitions had to come from the very beginning then it would have been extremely difficult for the new Muslims. But when topics of Qiyaamah etc. were discussed initially then it created the belief of accountability. Hence, when the fear of the hereafter was developed then the commands and prohibitions were no longer difficult. In proportion to the fear within one’s heart will one be able to move in the correct direction. Therefore, these topics have to be discussed on an on-going basis.

Among the initial surahs was Surah Najm. Allah Ta‘ala commences with: “By the oath of the star when it sets.” Thereafter, mention is made of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). The link between the both is that just as a star is a source of guidance when travelling, likewise Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is a source of guidance for mankind. Further, Allah Ta‘ala speaks of the star when setting and not about when it rises. The reason for this is that when it is about to set and the sailor realises this he makes the most effort at that time to navigate his course. Otherwise, generally at the time when it rises, he is not much concerned because he feels that he still has plenty of time. Likewise, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is not to remain forever. He has a short time in this world. Hence, maximum benefit should be derived from Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). For those after Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), this will apply in that Allah Ta‘ala dispenses His gifts of hidaayat (guidance). Thus, when one comes across such opportunities, he should not let them go by for he does not know when such an opportunity will come back again.

At times, Allah Ta‘ala enables a person to realise his wrong and allows his conscience to feel the guilt of his wrong. This is also a gift from Allah Ta‘ala to enable one to repent and make taubah. If one does not take advantage of this then he will become immune and addicted to the sin.

Another important aspect is that of showing respect and adab. It is on account of this adab that many are gifted and blessed by Allah Ta‘ala. When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had recited Surah Najm to the people of Makkah among whom were disbelievers, and came across the aayat of sajdah, all those present including the disbelievers were so overcome by the Quraan that they all fell into sajdah. However, there was one individual who took a handful of sand and placed it to his forehead instead of making sajdah. ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that all the disbelievers present were blessed with imaan except for the individual who did not make sajdah. This is the barkat of adab.

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