WASTEFULNESS IN FAITH AND WORSHIP II

Someone asked Prophet Jacob (pbuh) “O wise prophet whose heart is enlightened! Though you perceived the odor of Joseph’s shirt from Egypt, why did not you see him while he was being thrown into the well so close to you?”

Prophet Jacob (pbuh) answered, “Our share from Divine destiny is like flashes of lightning. For this reason, sometimes the things far away appear clearly, sometimes the closest things disappear.”

Compliments made by people without thinking are part of the prohibited wastefulness as well. The Prophet of Allah (pbuh) stated: “Whoever amongst you has to praise his brother should say, ‘I think that he is so and so, and Allah knows the truth, and I do not confirm anybody’s good conduct before Allah, but I think him to be thus,’ if he really knows what he is saying of him.” (Bukhari, Shahadah, 16)

A maturity of faith depends on a mature mind kneaded by the revelation. The maturity of the mind depends on the light of faith that matures the heart. The creeds and ideas that lack Divine light and which are full of superstitions and myths are like candles without oil or like bulbs without electricity. One day, such a mind that lacks of the control of the revelation will be extinguished like a bulb that is run on an unreliable current.

b. Wastefulness in worship

One of the fundamental orders of the religion is to render worship and Islamic practices into spiritually profitable habits by referring to the criteria of moderation. This is because once we have a habit we tend to continue in this way.

The first thing which comes to mind about wastefulness while practicing devotions is using water excessively because of uncertainty while making wudu (the partial ablution) or ghusl (the complete ablution). The Prophet (pbuh) visited Sad’ while the latter was making his ablutions:

“O Sa’d, what wastefulness!” he said. When Sa’d (r.a) asked: “Can there be wastefulness in ablution?” Our Master answered: “Yes, even if you are in a flowing river!” (Ibn Majah, Taharah, 48)

Attitudes like not praying in congregation, although there is possibility to, practicing the prayer in a way that is removed from spirituality, or evading something that is compulsory are also constituents of wastefulness in worship.

The All-Compassionate Creator speaks of those who practice prayer out of submission and deep reverence thus:

“Woe, then, unto those praying ones whose hearts from their prayer are remote.” (Qur’an:107/4-5)

Our Master, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also spoke about the prayers of those who had lost their grounding due to spiritual faults, that is, those who waste their worship by disregarding the spiritual content, in the following way:

“One servant practices prayer, but a only a half, one-third, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, a seventh, an eighth, a ninth or indeed one-tenth of their prayer is written on their account.” (Abu Davud, Salat, 123-124)

This means that Allah wants us to worship with the spirituality of the mind and heart. With the order “Prostrate thyself and draw close (unto Allah)!” (Qur’an:96/19),

Allah is saying that our hearts should be in a state of entreaty and supplication to Him and in a state of practicing prayer as if we see Him (ihsan), as the thing that helps humans to attain the maturity of real Muslims is the simultaneous use of the brain and heart.

It is also a wastefulness to allow the benefits of the fast, one of the five pillars of Islam, to decrease in value by harming it with moral faults like lying, backbiting or gossiping. Our Prophet states:

“Allah is not in need of those who do not give up forged speech or evil actions to leave their food or drink.” (Bukhari, Sawm, 8)

“There are many who fast who leave nothing but an unwatered hunger! There are many whose prayers at night leave nothing but sleeplessness!” (Ibn Majah, Sawm, 21)

When fasting we must appreciate the bounties which Our Lord has granted us. We should strive to use legitimate things at minimum levels, to seek refuge with the All-Compassionate Creator from acquisitiveness and to abstain from questionable things.

By showing clearly how much our inability is with a half-day of hunger, by sympathizing with our brothers who are economically weak, by having our hearts be with them, by knowing them more closely, by giving charity in a humble manner and by being grateful to Allah, an enthusiasm in worship can be attained.

On the other hand, we should be aware that the legitimacy of earned income, the rights of people and behavior that damages spirituality and its profits,that is dealing with meaningless works, can mean the wasting of pilgrimage. In a hadith it is stated that when one who finances the pilgrimage with illegitimately earned money says “Labbayk”, he will be answered: “No Labbayk and no Sa’dayk for you because your income is illegitimate, your provisions are illegitimate, your vehicle is illegitimate. Turn back sinner without gaining any good deeds! Be saddened, as you will have to face the thing that you do not like.” (Haythami, 3, 209-210)

Wastefulness in zakah and charity is when one awaits gratitude or when one suffers from spiritual diseases like hypocrisy and smugness.

Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:

“O you who have attained to faith! Do not deprive your charitable deeds of all worth by stressing your own benevolence and hurting [the feelings of the needy]…” (Qur’an: 2/264)

A Muslim should make a spiritual effort when giving zakah to the truly needy. About this, the All-Compassionate Creator says “Those who are active in deeds of charity” (Qur’an:23/4) about such servants, showing appreciation of them. Giving zakah and charity to the truly needy is a very important task. Trying to discover these people and “recognizing them by their special mark” (Qur’an:2/273) are the most important orders of Our Lord. Indeed, the ability to give anything to the truly needy is dependent on how we earn our money.

In other words, the people to whom we give zakah, charity and other donations are mirrors that reflect the legitimacy of our earnings.

The most eminent humans are the people of Muhammad, the most virtuous of these are to the Qur’an. Some people bring punishment on themselves; although they have learned the Qur’an, they waste the greatest bounty by not acting and reading the Qur’an properly.

Some of them are at a midway point; they sometimes act accordingly, they sometimes neglect to do so. And some of them, by the permission of Allah, forge ahead doing good works.

The Qur’an is the language of the earth and heavens, the treasure of blessings and spirituality for the souls. The Qur’an is a declaration of a miracle addressed to man. The believers who have taken the Qur’an into their hearts are the manifestation of the Creator of the Universe.

The human who has taken the Qur’an into their heart enjoys the comfort and felicity of being a miniature world into which this stupendous and magnificent universe fits like a rolled fan. For the person of the heart, the Qur’an is a splendid gate opening to the depths of the world of contemplation.

While reading the Qur’an, spiritual cleanliness is as important as physical cleanliness, as it is spiritual diseases that prevent human beings from being with the Qur’an in a proper manner.

Those who are not able to find the compassionate, healing guidance of the Qur’an become greatly frustrated. As the Qur’an expresses the Divine aim, it is those who are close to Allah, who are the Muslims who read, memorize and learn the contents of the Qur’an and practice according to the Qur’an. Some people bring punishment on themselves; although they have learned the Qur’an, they waste the greatest bounty by not acting and reading the Qur’an properly.

Some of them are at a midway point; they sometimes act accordingly, they sometimes neglect to do so. And some of them, by the permission of Allah, forge ahead doing good works.

The Qur’an is the language of the earth and heavens, the treasure of blessings and spirituality for the souls. The Qur’an is a declaration of a miracle addressed to man. The believers who have taken the Qur’an into their hearts are the manifestation of the Creator of the Universe.

The human who has taken the Qur’an into their heart enjoys the comfort and felicity of being a miniature world into which this stupendous and magnificent universe fits like a rolled fan. For the person of the heart, the Qur’an is a splendid gate opening to the depths of the world of contemplation.

While reading the Qur’an, spiritual cleanliness is as important as physical cleanliness, as it is spiritual diseases that prevent human beings from being with the Qur’an in a proper manner.

Those who are not able to find the compassionate, healing guidance of the Qur’an become greatly frustrated. As the Qur’an expresses the Divine aim, it is those who are close to Allah, who are wary of committing sins and doing good works who can best comprehend the Qur’an.

To benefit from the bounties of the Qur’an and then to reach the felicity in this world and the hereafter, it is necessary to refrain from committing sins.

There is another point to be considered; a little service that conforms to the divine aim may surpass many supererogatory (nafilah) devotions.

An example of this that occurred in the Time of Happiness (Asr as-Saadah) explains this case well:

Anas reported: We were with the Prophet (pbuh) on a journey. Some of us had been fasting and some  of us had not been fasting. It was a hot day, so we lay down in a place. Most of us had the cloth for shelter. There were also those amongst us who sheltered (themselves against the rays of the) sun with the help of their hands. The observers of the fast fell down (on account of weakness). Those who had not observed it got up and pitched tents and watered the mounts. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Those who broke the fast have taken away today’s reward” (Muslim, Siyam, 100-101)

Moreover, to extend prayers to show off when praying in congregation and to vociferate so that the congregation becomes less enthusiastic is wasting the essence of worship. The Messenger of Allah prohibited praying vociferously, stating:

“O people! Be merciful to yourselves (i.e. don’t raise your voice), for you are not calling a deaf or an absent one” (Bukhari, Jihad, 131)

In conclusion, the All-Compassionate Creator does not want our devotions to be wasted because we are practicing them unconsciously. On the contrary, in the spirituality of ihsan (praying by assuming that we see Allah), Allah desires that our souls become close to Him; that is, that we reach  wuslat (reunion with Allah).

May Our Lord allow us to benefit from the  showering down of profits and the blessings of Ramadan! By saving us from wasting Divine mercies, like faith, creed, worship and, in particular, Ramadan, may Allah ease our living in the happiness and excitement of complete faith, and in the comfort and pleasure of devotions!..

Amen..!