Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rooster vs. Sleepy Men


Lukman al-Hakim said to his son:
“O son, don’t let the rooster be smarter than you are, as he calls His Lord before the dawn, while yet you sleep.”
O son,
Woe unto me for on many occasions the rooster had beat me hands down. Woe unto me, at this age of mine only do I know of the rooster’s rank in relation to sleepy men. And God even love the voice of the roosters! Thanks to a recorded Friday khutbah (sermon) given by Sheikh Abdullah Noorudeen Durkee at a far away masjid in USA. So now I will not look at roosters the same way again.

Sheikh Noorudeen was speaking on the significance of the nawafils (the extra prayers in the middle of the night) which is highly encouraged especially during difficult times. He quoted from Kitab al-Hikam about three voices that are loved by Allah, namely: the voice of the roosters, the voice of one who is reading Qur'an and the voice of the one who calls for forgiveness before the break of day.
Sufian at-Thauri r.a said:
Allah has created a wind that blows in the short hours of the night and carries the calls and the pleas for forgiveness to the owner of Majesty. He said, in the first part of the night, an angel from beneath the arch calls out, 'Will the devout worshippers then not rise?' So they get up and they worship until before the break of dawn. Surely before the break of dawn itself another angel calls out and says, 'Will the seekers of forgiveness not rise?' So they rise and ask for forgiveness. And then as dawn comes and light slowly begins to return to the sky, another angel calls out, 'Will the heedless (the ghafilun) not rise?' And so they rise up from their bed like the dead raised from their grave.

Allah says in the Qur'an, Surah Al Isra, 78 & 79 from Tafsir al-Jalalayn:
Establish prayer from the sun’s decline, that is, from after midday, until the dark of night, [until] its darkness has fallen, in other words, [perform prayers] at noon, in the afternoon, at sunset and at night, and the recital [of the Qur’ān] at dawn, the morning prayer. Verily the dawn recital is ever witnessed, it is witnessed by the angels of the night and the angels of the day.
And for a part of the night, keep vigil, perform prayer, therewith, with the Qur’ān, as a supererogatory [devotion] for you, as an extra obligation for you to the exclusion of your community, or [it means] as extra merit [for you] on top of the [other] obligatory prayers. It may be that your Lord will raise you to, establish you, in the Hereafter, in, a praiseworthy station, one for which the first and last [of mankind] will praise you — and this is the station of intercession [which will take place] during [the passing of] the Final Judgement.
Sadaqallah al-Azim. Allah says the truth!
May we heed this khutbah, the lesson from Lukman al-Hakim, the lesson from Sufian at-Thauri and the words of Allah Himself. Likewise, the words of Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jailani in Jila' al Khatir: "If you were one of the lovers of Allah, you would not wake up from your sleep reluctantly!"

O son, verily, you and I will be severely punished if we do not benefit from our knowledge, na'uzubillah. We seek refuge in God's mercy from His wrath. We seek refuge in His forgiveness from His punishment. We seek refuge in Him, from Him.

Imam al-Ghazali reminds us in Ayyuhal Walad (Dear Beloved Son): ...when they acquire knowledge, if they do not work according to it, the indictment against them is certain. The Messenger of Allah s.a.w said: 'The person most severely punished on the Day of Judgment is the learned one who did not follow Allah's guidance and did not benefit from his knowledge.'
O son, may Allah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim grant us the tawfik (strength) to practise every little knowledge we have. Ameen.
# Listen to Sheikh Noorudeen's khutbah at Green Mountain School website here.

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