As Salaamu 'alaykum and Peace to all,
The Big Mega Sale
That day, I received a newsletter from a mall I frequented announcing that they are having a huge sale in a few days time. Everything will be marked down between 20% - 90%! I jot down the date in my diary so that I would not forget it. Not that I have anything in particular to buy. It just made sense to check out the good stuff at bargain prices. It is one of the ‘life themes’ my mother had always taught me. And that is one of the lessons I hold dear to my heart...
I was at the mall sharp at the opening hour, along with my friends and scores of other women. Needless to say, I found out that there were many other daughters who received the same lesson from their mothers!
I took my time, looking for the stuff I really wanted and made sure that their prices were real bargain prices, before I joined the long queue at the cashier’s counters. As I was standing there, I look around me (out of boredom of course), when suddenly something triggered my mind.
I began wondering these questions - Why are these women (and myself) are here? Why do we flock into malls that are having sale? Is it so important to be the first one hundred customers? What benefits do we get by being here? Why do we wake up so early to beat the traffic and to arrive on time for the opening door of the sale? Why do we see mothers pushing their babies in strollers going through all the trouble just to get to the sale venue? What about the people who took a half day leave just to make it to the sale?
As I was pondering upon these questions, I looked around and saw the many happy, delightful and most importantly satisfied faces (much similar to mine) that clearly had found and bought something they loved.
I smiled. The answer to my questions was obvious. The reason why we were all here was because we want to get more things with the same amount of money that we have. Call it whatever you want. Smart purchase. Stretch the dollars. More for less. Good bargain. Value for money. We can all agree that this is an intelligent way to manage our finances, right?
Suddenly, a thought hit me. It just dawned on me a sad truth in my life. If I am ever ready to sacrifice my time and energy just to get some extra skirts and blouses with the same amount of money, why am I not as eager to get extra rewards during the SALE of the year for the Muslims? What did I just say? Yes, SALE of the YEAR, but, only for Muslims.
It dropped on me like a bomb. I just realized that Ramadhan is the month of SALE that Allaah has given to us, me and you, the Muslims. Yes, I know that I keep on repeating the word SALE, but, I need to get this through my head.
Ok, let me walk you through this. What is Ramadhan? It is a month of Patience, a month of Quran, a month of Taqwa and month of Rewards. Yes, these are among the many descriptions of Ramadhan that we can find. But, for this time, I am looking specifically at the meaning of the ‘Month of Reward’.
Truly, Ramadhan is a ‘MEGA SALE’ month for the Muslims in terms of obtaining our rewards for good deeds. Why do I say that?
I remembered a hadeeth I read recently,
"Anyone who seeks nearness to Allah in this month through any virtuous act will be like one who carried out a religious obligation at another time, and anyone who performs an obligatory act of worship in this month will be like one who performed seventy such acts at another time. It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise." (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah)
Subhanallaah…One act of obligatory worship will allow us to receive equivalent not to one, two but seventy rewards of similar acts! How great is that? I mean, take for example when we pray fajr. Under normal circumstances, one prayer might get us one reward, Insya’Allaah. But, during this month, one fajr prayer made by us is like we are praying seventy fajr prayer! Subhanallaah. My legs become weak upon having that thought.
What about if we decide to donate one dollar to one person? Its reward will be like as if we are doing obligatory acts such as praying or fasting or doing Hajj!
SubhanAllaah. I cannot believe it. I know it is a very simplistic way of looking at things, but it is true. I pondered further, let say, I just smile to another person, and we all know that smiling is charity, right? So, does this mean my one smile will be rewarded as if I am praying or fasting or performing Hajj? What about saying good things to others, being kind to animals, kissing children, making my parents happy or simply moving thorns lying on the path? What about those deeds? Goodness, my thoughts are spinning.
Hey, then I saw someone smiling at me and I smiled back. Yes!
alhamdulillaah, one virtuous act today. My heart is smiling again thinking of the possible rewards from Allaah. And only Allaah shall determine the reward I may get for striving to do goodness for the sake of Him, Insya’Allaah.
But, you know what. There is more to the possible rewards we may receive. The offer is still not over yet. During this month, there is one extra special day which is given only to selected people who are patient enough to look for that special day.
Allaah has promised us in His own words,
Allah Almighty says, "Truly We sent it down on the Night of Power. And what will convey to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. In it the angels and the Spirit descend by their Lord's authority with every ordinance. It is Peace – until the coming of the dawn." (Surat al-Qadr: 97: 1-5 )
Yes, our Holy Qur’an, our Miracle, our Book, our Manual in life, was sent down during this month. Isn’t that great? Also, what is one thousand month? Is that not equal to 83.4 years? Isn’t that a huge bargain? Many of us may not even live to that age. Allaahu ‘alaam. Of course, I know some interpretations say that it doesn’t mean one thousand months. But, the point is that it means that it is a very long period of time.
When and where can we find one is equal to eighty three? I cannot even start to imagine the extent of reward and virtue this night is. But does that matter? Does it matter if I, a servant of Allaah, am unable to comprehend in totality His Greatness? What I need to know is simply that my Lord is giving away ‘something’ that particular night. The gift is ultra special. And I love special gift!
However, our Prophet did tell us among the gift we may receive, Insya’Allaah
On the authority of Hadrat Abu Hurairah, the Holy Prophet said: The one who remained standing in worship in the state of belief and for the sake of rewards from Allah during Lailat-ul-qadr, would have all his previous sins forgiven."(Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)
Now, I kept thinking to myself as my queue was getting shorter. If I do not strive for it this year, I might not see the next Ramadhan. When can I get this opportunity again? Do I want to take the chance of getting all my sins forgiven? Do I want to be the silly driver who knew that there was a ‘Get-Your-Traffic-Offence-Forgiven-Day’ and I ignored it, and decided to pay the summons in full later? Gosh, how arrogant can I be if I do that. Do I even think that I have enough ‘money’ to pay for the full price of my offences?
And Astaghfirullaah, only Allaah knows how much I have sinned. My eyes, my mouth, my ears are all witnesses against me in the hereafter. Na’uzubillaah. And now, I was given this opportunity by The Most Merciful to clean up my records. It’s like the queen pardoning the wrong doers. Only this is a gazillions times much better than that. This offer comes from the King of the Kings. He is my Lord, Allaah Al Ghaffar, the Ever Forgiving, The Great Forgiver, is giving away pardons, but only to the ones who asked. Do I dare miss this opportunity?
Let me share with you a Chinese proverb to reflect on,
Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.
Masya’Allaah. Proverbs can really hit you in the head, don’t you think? A neglected opportunity will never come back to us. This is the simple truth. Ramadhan 1427 is never ever returning to us. Seconds by seconds it is moving away from us. Before you know it, it’s gone.
As I thought about the great opportunity laid in front of me this Ramadhan, I knew that once I reached home, I shall sit down to write all the possible things for me to do to seize this golden opportunity to qualify me for my seventy rewards and for the pardoning of my sins, Insya’Allaah.
What about you, my friends? Do you dare ignore this offer and opportunity? Do you want to pay the full price for your summon tickets? I know I don’t. I don’t have the ‘money’ to do so anyway. Astaghfirullaah. Astaghfirullaah. Astaghfirullaah. May Allaah forgive me and all of us, for all our past and future sins on this Merciful month. Ameen.
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