Ultimate success comes from believing in the truth – Tarawih Reflections 19

Ultimate success comes from believing in the truth - Tarawih Reflections 19

Half of Surat Ale Imran is about the People of the Book, mainly the Christians. A delegation of about 70 people from Najran in Yemen came and stayed at the mosque and discussed many things with the Prophet (peace be upon him), especially about the nature of Eesa (peace be upon him). The last pages of the surah are almost like a summary. Allah is talking about two groups. On one hand the believers who reflect on the creation of Allah, as He stated:

إِنَّ فِى خَلْقِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱخْتِلَـٰفِ ٱلَّيْلِ وَٱلنَّهَارِ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَلْبَـٰبِ

Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the day and night there are signs for people of reason. (3:190)

Signs that lead to Allah are everywhere for those who want to reflect and think. However sometimes we have a blockage. We have eyes, but they cannot see the truth. We have ears, but they cannot hear the truth. We have intellect but we cannot use it, it has been frozen and controlled by our whims and desires. Allah is mentioning here that the true believers are those who are free from the shackles of their desires and they can see the truth and follow it. The supplication of the true believers is:

رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَـٰذَا بَـٰطِلًۭا سُبْحَـٰنَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ ١٩١

“Our Lord! You have not created ˹all of˺ this without purpose. Glory be to You! Protect us from the torment of the Fire. (3:191)

The heavens, earth, planets and people were not made without purpose. The believers say they hear the call.

رَّبَّنَآ إِنَّنَا سَمِعْنَا مُنَادِيًۭا يُنَادِى لِلْإِيمَـٰنِ أَنْ ءَامِنُوا۟ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَـَٔامَنَّا ۚ رَبَّنَا فَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَكَفِّرْ عَنَّا سَيِّـَٔاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ ٱلْأَبْرَارِ ١٩٣

Our Lord! We have heard the caller to ˹true˺ belief, ˹proclaiming,˺ ‘Believe in your Lord ˹alone˺,’ so we believed. Our Lord! Forgive our sins, absolve us of our misdeeds, and join us with the virtuous when we die. (3:193)

There are plenty of people who do not hear the call. The call is everywhere, but firstly you have to hear it and secondly you have to respond. Many of the Quraysh heard the call, but did not respond until very late and before that opposed the Prophet (peace be upon him) vociferously and called him a liar.

We are lucky that we hear the call. The greatest favour Allah has given us, is that we believe. We ask Allah to keep us on the straight path, this is why we repeat this in our salah at least 17 times a day, idhinassiratal mustaqeem. We are already guided, but we ask Allah to keep us guided.

Towards the end, Allah says He responds to the call of those who supplicate and He does not neglect to reward anyone for their good actions.

فَٱسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّى لَآ أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عَـٰمِلٍۢ مِّنكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ ۖ بَعْضُكُم مِّنۢ بَعْضٍۢ

So their Lord responded to them: “I will never deny any of you—male or female—the reward of your deeds. You are from one another. (Both are equal in obligation and reward. (3:195)

Then Allah talks about those who did not believe and tells us not to think that they are successful because they are enjoying a life of prosperity and luxury, while the believers are struggling and starving and under occupation and being killed:

لَا يَغُرَّنَّكَ تَقَلُّبُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْبِلَـٰدِ

Do not be deceived by the prosperity of the disbelievers throughout the land. (3:196)

They will enjoy some power in the world and be the perpetrators of oppression, but then they will return to Allah. They will be questioned about everything they did. While they can get away with it in dunya, manipulate the truth, bring spin-doctors to delude people, when they stand in Allah’s court, they will not be able to fool anyone. He will deliver true justice. The  International Court of Justice may not be able to deliver justice in dunya, but the divine court of justice will hold them to account.

Then Allah talks about the those People of the Book who truly believe in Him:

وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَمَن يُؤْمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ خَـٰشِعِينَ لِلَّهِ لَا يَشْتَرُونَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ ثَمَنًۭا قَلِيلًا ۗ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَرِيعُ ٱلْحِسَابِ ١٩٩

Indeed, there are some among the People of the Book who truly believe in Allah and what has been revealed to you ˹believers˺ and what was revealed to them. They humble themselves before Allah—never trading Allah’s revelations for a fleeting gain. Their reward is with their Lord. Surely Allah is swift in reckoning. (3:199)

The reason behind the revelation of this ayah, was Najashi, who believed in the Prophet (peace be upon him). When he passed away, the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed his janaza in absentia.

The conditions for success and victory are numerated at the end.  

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱصْبِرُوا۟ وَصَابِرُوا۟ وَرَابِطُوا۟ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ٢٠٠

O believers! Patiently endure, persevere, stand on guard, and be mindful of Allah, so you may be successful. (3:200)

Be patient and persevere – defeat the enemy by your patience. The people of Gaza are exemplifying this, they are not just patient, but they are musabireen – showing resilience. They are not leaving their positions and thus they are obeying Allah. If you want success, you have to fulfil these conditions and Allah will provide support from Him.

We ask Allah to make us from the people who believe in the Prophet (peace be upon him), who are persistent and cling to the rope of Allah in all conditions – prosperity and calamity and we ask Him to grant relief to the people of Palestine. Ameen

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.