The month of repentance – Part 1

The month of Ramadan is a great opportunity for returning to Allah The Almighty with repentance. It is the month of mercy, erasing mistakes, expiatingevil deeds, salvation from Hellfire and attaining Paradise. The fortunate person is he who knows this and hastens to the actions that draw him near to His Lord by turning to Him in repentance, seeking forgiveness and feeling regret for all his slips and sins.
If one does not repent in Ramadan, then when will he? If one does not repent when the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and devils are chained up, then when will he repent? When will he give up committing sins?
It is the month of repentance, forgiveness, salvation form Hell fire and the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “May his nose be rubbed in the dust, a man for whom Ramadan comes and then goes before he is forgiven!” [At-Tirmithi; Al-Albaani: Saheeh]
Why do we not repent while Allah The Almighty stretches out His Hand to the seeker of repentance and opens the door of His repentance to those who feel regret (for their sins)? It was narrated on the authority of Abu Moosa Al-Ash‘ari, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allah The Almighty stretches out His Hand at night to accept the repentance of those who did wrong during the day, and He stretches out His Hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who did wrong during the night. (This will continue) until the sun rises from the west.]” [Muslim]
It was also reported on the authority of Abu Tharr Al-Ghifaari, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allah The Almighty says: ‘My slaves, you commit sins by day and by night, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness from Me and I shall forgive you.’” [Muslim]
Remember that the Mercy of Allah The Almighty encompasses all things. Is not He The Exalted, the One who opens the door of repentance before the hypocrites?  He The Exalted Says (what means): {Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire – and never will you find for them a helper. Except for those who repent, correct themselves, hold fast to Allah, and are sincere in their religion for Allah , for those will be with the believers. And Allah is going to give the believers a great reward.} [Quran 4: 145-146]
Allah The Exalted did not exclude the Jews and the Christians, who insulted and slandered Him and says (on their behalf, what means): {And the Jews say, “The hand of Allah is chained.” Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His hands are extended.} [Quran 4: 64]

Allah The Exalted does not exclude them from His mercy that encompasses all things. He The Exalted Says (what means): {So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.}[Quran 5: 74]    
He The Exalted Says about the non-Muslims (what means): {But if they repent, establish prayer, and give Zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know.} [Quran 9: 11]
Is not He The Exalted, the One who calls those who have transgressed against themselves of the nation of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to humble themselves and repent to Him saying (what means): {Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”} [Quran 39: 53] And He called the people of Imaan (faith) to make repentance; He The Exalted Says (what means): {O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow. } [Quran 66: 8]

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The Holy Quran

The Holy Quran is a compilation of the verbal revelations given to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) over a period of twenty three years. The Holy Quran is the Holy Book or the Scriptures of the Muslims. It lays down for them the law and commandments, codes for their social and moral behaviour, and contains a comprehensive religious philosophy. The language of the Quran is Arabic.

Besides its proper name, the Quran is also known by the following names:al Kitab The Book;al Furqan (The Discrimination): al Dhikr (The Exposition); al Bayan (The Explanation); al Burhan (The Argument); al Haqq (The Truth); al Tanzil (The Revelation); al Hikmat (The Wisdom); al Huda (The Guide); al Hukm (The Judgment); al Mau’izah (The Admonition); al Rahmat (The Mercy); al-Noor (The Light); al-Rooh (The Word)

Surahs And Verses

The Holy Quran is divided into 114 Surahs or Chapters and each Chapter consists of individual Ayaat or verses. There are in total 6,348 verses in the Holy Quran. The Surahs are of varying lengths, some consisting of a few lines while others run for many pages. Surah al Baqarah (Ch.2 ) is the longest Chapter comprising 287 verses while Surah al Kauthar( Ch. 108) is the shortest with only four verses including the tasmia.

The text of the Holy Quran has remained unchanged over the past 1400 years. The millions of copies of the Quran circulating in the world today are all identical down to a single letter. And this is not strange since God says in the Holy Quran that He Himself will guard this book:

“Surely it is We Who have revealed the Exposition, and surely it is We Who are its guardians” (15:10)

What Does The Holy Quran Contain

To the Muslims, the Quran is the Word of God and contains complete guidance for mankind. Much of the Quran is about God, His attributes and man’s relationship to Him. But it also contains directives for its followers, historical accounts of certain prophets and peoples, arguments for accepting Muhammad as a genuine Prophet and good news for the believers and warnings for the disbelievers. Broadly speaking, the contents of the Holy Quran fall into five main categories:

  1. Nature of the Spiritual World

  2. The Law and Commandments

  3. Historical Accounts

  4. The Wisdom

  5. The Prophecies

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Who is Muhammad?

Muhammad, was born in Makkah in the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative.

Muhammad was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the ‘Mountain of Light’ near Makkah.

 

 

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How did Muhammad become a prophet and a messenger of God?

At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Quran.

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Importance of Prayer

The importance of the prayer in Islam cannot be understated.  It is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, mentioned after mentioning the Testimony of Faith, by which one becomes a Muslim.  It was made obligatory upon all the prophets and for all peoples.  God has declared its obligatory status under majestic circumstances.  For example, when God spoke directly to Moses, He said,

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