Invest in your relationship with the Quran. Recite it. Understand it. Implement it. It is the Book. A guidance (2:2). A clear proof (4:174). A remembrance of God (7:2). A reminder (12:104). A mercy (17:82). A cure (17:82). A light (4:174). Fair warning (20:113). Glad tidings (2:97). Promises of ease. Happiness. Comfort. It increases your faith (8:2). Protects you from committing sins. It is a companion (Ahmad 394). A witness (Muslim 223). An intercessor (Muslim 1757). It is blessed (38:29) and a great blessing. And the reward and benefit from the Quran, is far greater than the effort of our investment.
Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah, and establish the prayer and give (in charity) secretly and openly from what We have provided for them, they hope for a trade that will never yield a loss. That He may repay them in full their rewards, and give them (even) more from His Grace. Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Appreciative. (Fatir 35:30-31)
Profound and beautiful advice by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) on how to live life, and how to live life without regrets: Abu Ayyub ( reported that a man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, teach me and make it concise.” The Prophet said, “When you stand up for prayer, pray as if you are saying farewell. Do not say anything you’ll have to apologise for, and do not have excessive longing for what people have.” (Ibn Mājah 4169). In a separate narration, Abu Dharr reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Be mindful of Allah wherever you are, follow a bad deed with a good deed and it will erase (the bad deed), and behave towards people with good character.” (al-Tirmidhī 1987)
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) teaches us in a hadith narrated by Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that if someone leaves their house and says, “In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah, there is no might and no power except with Allah”, an angel will call out to him, saying: O servant of Allah, you have been guided to the straight path, you have been sufficed against your worries, and you have been protected from your enemies. So the devil assigned to him will move away from him, and another devil will say to the former: How can you misguide someone who has been guided, sufficed, and protected from all of the devils! Because he said those words, you cannot overpower him. (Recorded in at-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood)
“As long as You do not deny me
from being here
as long as you do not prevent me
from worshipping You
my heart can bear anything
but Your distance
and it was I who walked away, I admit
but You have always been guiding me
calling me back
and mountains almost crumble
in awe of their Lord
and your heart?
Has the time not come for those who believe to humble their hearts to the remembrance of God and the Truth that has been revealed?
How can we strive to ensure that our intentions for worship are and remain steadfast for Allah? One way is to make those acts of worship not seen by any but Allah. Hide your good deeds and seek only His attention. His approval. His Pleasure.
It is reported that Shurayḥ the Judge used to have a house in which he would spend time alone on Fridays; no one knew what he did in it. (Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` Vol 4 p105)
It is reported that Dāwūd b. Abī Hind fasted for forty years without his family knowing; he would take his lunch out with him and donate it in the street. (Ibid. Vol 6 p378)
And it is reported that Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī used to pray all night and hide it. In the morning, he would raise his voice as if he had just woken up. (Al-Dhahabī, op. cit. Vol 6 p17)
Al-Hasan al-Basri said, speaking about the striving of the Salaf in hiding their deeds, “Indeed, I came across a people, there was not a single deed on the face of this earth which could be done in secret, that they ever did in public!” These Muslims would strive to supplicate to Allah, and nothing could be heard from them except a low whisper between them and their Lord. That is because Allah says, “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.” Qur’an surat al-A’raaf (7:55). (Ibn al-Mubarak, az-Zuhd p35-36.)
loved and lost
forgotten and strayed
erred and sinned
stumbled and fell
found and forgiven
guided and raised
loved and restored
given a chance
Say: “O My servants who have transgressed against their own selves. Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
…and what do you know about Al-Kareem, the Most Generous?
The One who gives without you even asking. And when you ask from Him, He gives you more than what you ask for. The One whose kindness has no limitation, who exceeds your highest expectation.
The One who calls you so He may forgive you. The One who guides you to be good, and then praises you for it. The One who allows you to carry out a good deed, and then rewards you for it. Who would do that? Only Al-Kareem, the Most Generous.
“O man, what has deceived you (or, what has made you careless) regarding your Lord, the Most Generous?”
Surat al-Infitar (The Cleaving) 82:6
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah Almighty said: O son of Adam, if you call upon Me and place your hope in Me, I will forgive you without hesitation. O son of Adam, if you have sins piling up to the clouds and then ask for My forgiveness, I will forgive you without hesitation. O son of Adam, if you come to Me with enough sins to fill the earth and then you meet Me without associating anything with Me (in worship), I will come to you with enough forgiveness to fill the earth.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3540)
Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The one who eats and is grateful has the same station as the one who fasts and is patient.” (at-Tirmidhi 2486)
Anas bin Malik narrated that: the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun has risen, then he prays two Rak’ah, then for him is the reward like that of a Hajj and Umrah.” He said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Complete, complete, complete.'” (at-Tirmidhi 586)
Abu Hurayrah reported: The poor came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: “Oh, Messenger of Allah, the wealthy have gone with the highest ranks and lasting bliss. They pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money by which they perform the Hajj, and `Umra; fight and struggle in Allah’s Cause and give in charity.” The Messenger of Allah said, “Shall I not teach you something with which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would overtake you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say Subhanal-lah (Allah is free from imperfection), Al hamdulil-lah (Praise be to Allah), and Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest) thirty-three times after every (obligatory) prayer.” (al-Bukhari 843)