SPEAKER: ML. MUHAMMAD CARR | MASJID: AL- JAAMIA, STEGMAAN RD MASJID
DATE: 07 JULY 2017 | RECAP BY: MIENGAH HENDRICKS
“And if you should count the favor of Allah , you could not enumerate them.” [S14: V34] “There are few of My slaves that are truly grateful.” [S34: V13]. We ask that Allah to make us of those few who are grateful, Āmīn.
Ml. Muhammad opens with two moving ayat reminding us of the importance of gratitude and for us to renew our hearts and begin to practice more on it. He then reminds of our presence here in Jumu’ah and the ahadith related, that jumu’ah is the best day which the sun rises upon and that from one Jumu’ah to another there is the expiation and forgiveness of minor sins. It reminds one of an ayah where our Loving, Kind Rabb says, “If you remain clear of major sins which you are forbidden, We will remove from you your lesser sins…” [S4:V31] Moulana asks “What are these major sins?”
In a hadīth the Prophet advises us to stay away form the seven major sins: associating partners to Allah, to practice Saucery/Magic, kill people without a justified reason, eat the wealth of an orphan, to consume interest, to falsely accuse a chaste woman and lastly to turn our backs on the day we are fighting the enemy of Islam. Moulana concludes his reminder about gratitude and sins by opening his topic of the lecture.
He doesn’t immediately introduce the surah but says that he had read a short surah. He further said that each chapter of Qur’ān is referred to as a surah. Imam Salih [RA] said there’s no such thing as a short, small surah. Every chapter is great and siginificant. He highlights that the meaning of the word Surah, is very high wall thus we understand that each surah has a high and lofty meaning. Subhanallah.
Time, Allah takes an oath by time.But before Moulana got into depth of Al- ‘Asr he spoke about Al- Fatihah, that without reading it in Salāh our Salāh will be invalid. The crux of the Fatihah is a supplication that we make to Allah, “Guide us to the Straight Path,” we are askng Allah to teach us and Allah responds, “Here’s the answer to your prayer, I will teach you through the medium of Qur’ān.Thus so amazingly should we read any portion of Qur’an after it will be Allah’s answer to our plea to guidance.
Moulana returns us back to time. Time is something we employ all of the time. Time governs our social lives, our work, our education, it’s something constantly interacted with. Islam teaches us that time passes us swiftly. It may not be the most becoming statement due to its negative connotation but it’s true.
Time is irretrievable and therefore is it our most precious gift. Allah is The Giver but simultaneously Allah is the Withholder. If Allah so wishes He can take that time away from us and extend time. Time passes so fast that on the Day of Judgement when Allah will ask of us, but particularly the wrongdoers, “How many years have you remained in this earth?” And will reply, “O Allah you are talking about years! We only remained a day in this world or now as it appears only part of it.”
As we project ourselves into the Hereafter, which goes on to infinity, if we compare any amount of years to it, it will be nothing. Therefore it’s important for us to take cognisance of how we occupy our time.
This surah titled time, a short surah. Perhaps we remain preoccupied memorising lengthier suwah and we don’t afford shorter surahs with their merit. Abu Bakr [RA] in his practice was to rather read a shorter surah that he fully understood than a lengthier chapter.
Allah starts by takes a Qasm by time. Allah who is great will not take an oath except by somehting which is great. Allah takes on oath by something to highlight the importance of the phenonomenon. After taking an oath, Allah makes a general statement,”Verily mankind, all of mankind without expection, is in a loss.” And Allah continues saying except that human being who has four qualities.
Except that person who believes, and he couples his belief with good action. Before Moulana mentons the next two he explains that the prior two qualities could amount to one, saying that Īmān isn’t something that’s just containted in the heart, it is something that requires practical expression via the limbs and so forth. The next two are qualities that facilitate the previous two. These qualities are to advise one another to truth and advise to patience.
Moulana then expresses that these four qualities can be summarised into one quality; Īmān, everything else will follow. Imam Shafi’i talks about time saying “Time is like a sword if you don’t cut it, it will cut you.” Meaning if we don’t use time, time will waste away. Imam Shafi’i said regarding this surah if only we pondered on this surah it would be sufficient for us.
Moulana explains saying that if we only knew Surah Fatihah and Surah Asr as a blueprint for our guidance in this world and the next it would’ve been enough. Imam Shaf’i also says that if only this surah was revealed it would’ve been enough.
Moulana then remind us of the virtue of the Surah. He explains the story of the Companions who would meet at a gathering and before the gathering ended they would read Surah ‘Asr. We should try and adopt this a practice into our gatherings. It is such a beaufitul practice, imagine as we depart from our beloved believers and we remind them of the four qualities, aiming to ensure that we stay reminded and our companions thus we fulfill the quality of encouraging to others to truth and goodness. Sometimes when we need to advise others they become difficult, but then we practice patience or it we are shy we practice patience to build courage to remind our friends. The Companions [RA] used to have a practice of constructive criticism and it was inspired by this Surah, advising to good or forbidding evil.
Moulana concludes his talk by reminding us of time and Īmān. He says that in arabic it is understood that time is described as a container, and the value of this container is what we put into it? What will be the value of our containers?
We are nothing but a number of days, and as each day passes less of us exist in this world. We need to fill our containers with that that benefits us now in this world and the Hereafter. And we so via Īmān. Īmān is that which distinguishes us, that which grants us success in this life and the next.
What is Īmān? Īmān from a literal point of view is to bring about safety and security by connecting to something. How do we bring about about that safety and security? We connect our hearts to Allah, and through our connection to Allah we connect to His creation. How many of us have this true Īmān? If we do not achieve this Īmān, indeed we are in a loss in this world and the next.
May Allah grant us true Īmān, may He make us fill our containers with that which benefits us. May He forgive us and May He grant us success. Āmīn.