Characteristics of the believers – Tarawih Reflections 1

Characteristics of the believers - Tarawih Reflections 1

We are lucky to be witnessing Ramadan and to be able to pray in a mosque where we have a roof above our heads. The people of Gaza have no place to pray; food to eat; water to drink. Inshallah Allah will give them relief soon.

We are starting with Surat al-Baqarah. Of course, this is the longest surah of the Quran, which was revealed in Madinah. Scholars have mentioned that this surah alone has 1000 rulings. We could take two weeks to reflect on just the opening verses we have recited tonight.

Features of the muttaqeen

The beginning of the surah talks about three types of people. The first is the muttaqeen: people of righteousness – those who have taqwa of Allah.

The simplest definition of taqwa is fulfilling the obligations, refraining from prohibitions and doing what is recommended and avoiding doubtful matters.

In the third ayah, Allah explains who that the muttaqeen are those who:

  1. who believe in the unseen: including Allah, the angels, etc.
  2. who pray: There are some people who fast, but do not pray. This is wrong. Praying is more important than fasting. We should not neglect praying in Ramadan.
  3. who spend in charity from what We provided them: this is a beautiful reminder that you are not doing Allah a favour by giving charity. He gave you this wealth, intelligence, muscles and brain in the first place, and He can take it away in a second. We have seen this many times – imagine a car crash which causes brain damage, and affects your intelligence forever. You have no control over these things. Allah gave you this wealth and he’s telling you to spend it. When you feel your money is yours, you may feel resentful for having to spend or donate it. Allah is reminding us that it is not your money in the first place.
  4. believe in what is revealed to you and what was revealed before you: Islam is a continuation of previous messages from Allah – it’s the final message which Allah has sent to humanity. There are no more updates. The Prophet Ibrahim’s message was updated by Musa (peace be upon him), then by Eesa (peace be upon him), and now Muhammad ﷺ was the final messenger.
  5. believe in the akhirah: this was important because the people of Quraysh did not believe in the akhirah. This is why it is the focus of most Makki revelations.

Importance of believing in the akhirah

What does it mean to believe in the akhirah?

On the Day of Judgement, Allah will bring forward all your crimes and you will be accountable. Even if the International Court of Justice couldn’t stop them, Allah will deal with all the oppressors. No bribery, no politics or deals under the table. True justice will be served.

If people did not believe in the akhirah, they would go mad. When you are oppressed and feel you cannot get your rights, it is very difficult. But we believe that justice will come in the Hereafter. Although this does not mean you shouldn’t defend your rights and work hard to bring people into accountability in the dunya as well. We ask Allah to make us among the people of taqwa who are committed to the truth.

Based on the reflections of Shaykh Haytham Tamim

Transcribed by Hana Khan

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.