So why don\'t we decide to repent right now and follow the righteous path?
In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Allah’s Mercy and blessings be upon you
Few days ago, the holy month of Ramadan arrived as a guest in our homes. A blessed month, that means a lot to you and us. I am certain that you, like all other Muslims, were cheerful on its arrival.
It is my pleasure, in this holy month, to give you the most precious advice, in a sincere and honest manner.
A sincere advice is mostly bitter, yet leads to pleasant results. We have all suffered from the bitterness of concealing defects, and experienced the misfortunes resulted from hiding mistakes out of courtesy.
I seek your patience on what I am about to tell you.
Young brother: Here is a situation we all experience during Ramadan: a young man flooded by his desires, daring to commit major sins and wrongdoings neglecting all kinds of worships. This same young man, in Ramadan, inquires about very specific issues concerning his fast. He, for example, observes some drops of blood coming out of his nose by accident, “does this affect my fasting or not?” Moreover, when dust enters his mouth what is the ruling for this incident? He seriously asks these questions and is ready to endure the consequences of their outcome, whether it is to make up or to give atonement.
To ask a question about something in your worship, which confuses you, is your right that no one could deny. Your committing wrongdoings should not intervene with your inquiry about any of the acts of worship.
But: do you not agree with me that this young man contradicts himself with no clear explanation?!
Why would he be so religious, asks about precise matters that he suspects about fasting in Ramadan, while deliberately doing things that he knows quite well that they are taboos and major sins.
Some young men claim, when you warn them from committing a sin or order them to do an act of worship, they are completely convinced with every word you are telling them, but they are tempted with their desires, which they are unable to resist. This excuse might be convincing to some people, but you would notice a completely different conduct adopted by the same young men during Ramadan.
As soon as he hears the Azan (call to prayer) for fajr Prayer (dawn), he immediately drops his food, even if it was his first bite for Suhur (meal taken by fasting people before dawn) because he woke-up late. Furthermore, he never dares to touch any food or drink during the period of observing Fast from Fajr until the Azan for Maghreb (sunset), no matter how thirsty he feels, hungry or tired he is. Don’t you find this behavior, which is righteous, a power of self-control and ability of conquering desires? … Fasting, dear brother teaches us that we have the ability to control ourselves and overcome our desires, if Allah wills.
Have you notice these people?
Young man, have you ever tried to go to a Masjid to see these multiple rows of youngsters crowded behind an Imam observing the night prayer in a fine voice standing between the hands of Allah, even if this prayer lasts prior to dawn, while others have neglected praying in congregation?! Did you not observe that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the same Masjids are not crowded as they used to be, where the majority head to the sacred Masjid of Allah (Al-Masjid Al-Haram). Strive after the great reward and forgiveness of their sins, while you find others spending Ramadan nights fooling around. What if this young man roaming the malls ask himself: Can’t I be one of those righteous people?... How did they succeed in being religious, while living in the same community as I am, have the same desires and meet the same obstacles as I do? … Can’t you endure the burden they bear?
Dear brother: Many young men were on the road of immoral practices while in a state of carelessness committing what others commit from various kinds of sins. Then Allah granted them guidance, changing their lives to the better, following the path of righteous people and in the company of the covert servants of Allah. Some of them might have been your colleagues, so how did they succeed to overcome such obstacles while others could not? … Why were they able to repent while others were incapable of doing the same?!
The obstacles the youth face regarding their repentance is not their non-conviction with it, rather it’s their feeling of inability to change … But does not the above case represent a perfect example and proof that their sense of inability is nothing but illusion?
Before the flower fades
Your sight had surely, kind brother, fell on a crooked elder unable to walk without a cane and years carving the wrinkles on his face. Do you think he was born like this?!.. Or some time ago he was filled with energy and spirited? .. Do you not know that you and I will become like him one day, provided that we will not die earlier – which would be a disaster – and all this energy and youth will faint. So what if, dear brother, we invest the time of our youth in Allah’s obedience before we lose this youth and wish it would come back, but then we wish.
How did he exploit his youth?
Dear brother: I believe you know what the Prophet, said: “No slave will leave the (the Gathering grounds) in the Day of Judgment until he is asked about four matters: How was his life consumed? How did he exploit his youth? How did he earn and spend his wealth? How did he use his knowledge?” [Declared authentic by the virtues of another Hadith by Al-Albani]
‹‹لن تزول قدما عبد يوم القيامة حتى يسأل عن أربع خصال عن عمره فيم أفناه؟، وعن شبابه فيم أبلاه؟، وعن ماله من أين اكتسبه وفيم أنفقه؟، وعن علمه ماذا عمل فيه››
قال الألباني: صحيح لغيره
Dear brother: Let us reflect on our current reality to end up with a convincing answer that shall be our savior before The One, The All Knowing of what this question, “How did he exploit his youth” entail. Does our present state of youth qualify us to pass this test … Do you not see that you have to grasp the opportunity of your youth to be prepared for this test?
The seventh of seven ranks:
The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, said that in the day of resurrection: “The sun, on the day of resurrection, will approach the people until it becomes one mile away, so people’s sweat will be according to their bad deeds” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
‹‹تدنو الشمس يوم القيامة من الخلق، حتى تكون منهم كمقدار ميل، فيكون الناس على قدر أعمالهم في العرق››
In this day there will be, who Allah blesses with the grace of His shade from the heat of the sun, one of them is "a youngster raised in the worship of Allah" [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
‹‹وشاب نشأ في عبادة الله››
So what is keeping you from being one of them? What prevents you from doing so? Think twice about your deeds, correct your path, and utilize this generous month to attain this rank.
What sublime deeds you can offer during this holy month
Dear young brother: Certainly, you have seen a lot of people changing their attitudes during this month; as the Masjids are crowded with people who pray and recite the Qur’an, the sacred Masjid of Makkah is full of circumambulating people and those staying for nights there for worship (I’tikaf). Others are spending money on charity. So you will find one praying, the other reciting Qur’an, the third spending money on charity and a fourth supplicating to Allah.
Where do you stand among these people?... Can’t you find yourself a place amongst them?!... Wouldn’t it be the best of deeds to do; is sincerely repent, and join the caravan of righteous people before you are taken by surprise, by death?... Have you set your aim in Ramadan while you still can, by the will of Allah?
Repentance and the illusionary opportunity:
Many young men are convinced that they are following the wrong path and wish to change, but are waiting for the right opportunity. This opportunity, as they may imagine, could be the death of a relative, or their own injury in an accident, so they would be shock by this situation, ask Allah for forgiveness, and repent. Nevertheless, what if they are the ones who die not their relative or this accident would result in their own death. In these cases, someone else would benefit from these lessons and repent, not them. Any human being has only one chance to grasp, so do not take the risk of the possibility of getting another chance.
So why don’t we decide to repent right now and follow the righteous path?
The decision is very hard to take and needs a lot of sacrifices, but its result will be profitable and fruitful for you, if Allah wills.