When you are sincere, Allah will find you an exit from difficulty
Surat al-Ahkaf is a Makki surah, and consistent with surahs revealed in Makkah, it talks about monotheism (tawheed), and the rejection and denial that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) had to face from the people of Makkah. Al-Ahkaf is an area of the sand dunes just north of Yemen, and it’s the place where the people of Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) used to live.
The story of Ta’if
This surah talks about an event which the scholars say happened after the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) went to Ta’if. We all know the story. After he received revelation, he exerted his efforts to spread Islam in Makkah for around 13 years.
Very few people believed in him: some statistics say as few as 100. Day in day out, he was doing da’wah, and no one was interested. He faced three years of boycott, then he tried his best, knocking on every door, visiting every town and village. Nothing. They were all in complete denial. Then he went to Ta’if, and they insulted him and they pelted him with stones. He came back injured, and completely broken-hearted.
The jinn believed in the message
That’s when Allah sent him a group of jinn, who believed in him. As the people of Makkah were not interested, Allah Almighty sent something better. Of course, as Muslims we believe in jinn – they are part of the creation of Allah. We could say that the father of jinn is Iblees, and from his progeny we have righteous jinn and disbelievers, and everything in between.
The Quran says:
‘Remember when We sent a group of jinn, they came and listened to the Quran, and said, “Listen quietly!” When it was over, they returned to their people as warners. They declared, “O our people! We have heard a book sent down after Musa confirming what came before it. It guides to the truth and the straight path. Respond to the caller of Allah and believe in him.’ [46:29-31]
This was sent as a consolation to the Prophet (peace be on him). He never saw the jinn at that time – later he would meet the jinn and invite them to Islam, but not yet. On this occasion they were just listening, they believed and went back.
The Night of the Jinn
There are many other occasions in Madinah, which you can read about if you are interested in jinn. For example, there was a night called ‘Laylatul Jinn’, when the Prophet (peace be on him) was invited by the jinn to teach them and answer their questions.
There are several different narrations about this. In some, Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him( was with him. In others, the Companions said there was one night where they couldn’t find the Prophet (peace be on him). They searched all night for him, tried every corner, they said it was the worst night they ever faced, worried that he had been killed or kidnapped. At Fajr time he came back, and told them he had been with the jinn. Depending on different narrations, he met the jinn around six times.
Allah will give you a way
The conclusion is that as long as you are sincere with Allah, He will give you a way out of any difficult situation. The people of Makkah were not interested, so Allah sent the jinn to Rasul Allah (peace be on him) and they believed. Similarly, you might be doing something, and trying everything, but it’s not working; people are not responding. As long as you are sincere, be sure that Allah will open the way for you.
Later in the same surah, Allah says, ‘Be patient, as the resolute messengers were patient.’ [46:35] Don’t lose control. Don’t lose trust in Allah. Be patient. Keep doing the right thing in the right way, with sincerity, no matter what. No matter who is responding, it doesn’t matter.
Allah will open the way, as he opened the way for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). Madinah was the last place he thought about. It wasn’t in his plan, but Allah sent him victory from there. Sometimes you underestimate something, but Allah will make your whole success from that thing. So trust Allah, keep doing the right thing with the right intention and sincerity, and Allah will open the way for you.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Ramadan Night 16
Transcribed by Hana Khan
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May 25, 2023