Ramadan

“After Ramadan…” Seasonal Worship only?

“After Ramadan…”

Seasonal Worship only?:

***

Is Allah the Lord of Ramadan only? Or is He not the Lord of Shawwal, Dhu ’l-Qa`da, Dhu ’l-Hijja and all the months of the year? A ‘graduate’ from the ‘school’ of Ramadan should know that Allah is worshipped constantly and not periodically. Worship of Allah remains as long as one is alive. Allah mentions in surat al-Hijr, verse 99: {And worship your Lord until the certainty comes}.

Ibn al-Jawzi comments on this verse as follows:

قوله تعالى: { حتى يأتيَك اليقين } فيه قولان: أحدهما: أنه الموت، قاله ابن عباس، ومجاهد، والجمهور، وسمي يقيناً، لأنه موقَن به. وقال الزجاج: معنى الآية: اعبد ربك أبداً، ولو قيل: اعبد ربك، بغير توقيت، لجاز إِذا عبد الإِنسان مرة أن يكون مطيعاً، فلما قال: { حتى يأتيَك اليقين } أُمر بالإِقامة على العبادة ما دام حيَّاً. والثاني: أنه الحق الذي لا ريب فيه مِنْ نصرك على أعدائك، حكاه الماوردي

“Allah’s saying {until the yaqin comes…} has two opinions: one of them is ‘death’ (mawt). This is what Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and the majority held. The reason it is referred to as “yaqin” (‘certainty’) is because it is inevitable. al-Zajjaj wrote: the meaning of this verse is: ‘worship your Lord forever’. Because if it were to be said: worship your Lord – without specifying the period of time –  then  it would be reasonable for a person to worship Allah once and be considered an obedient person (muti`an). However, when it was said {until the yaqin comes}, the command came to establish the worship Allah as long as one is alive (ma dama hayyan)…”[1]

Imam al-Qurtubi al-Andalusi comments:

فيه مسألة واحدة: وهو أن اليقين الموت. أمره بعبادته إذ قصر عباده في خدمته، وأن ذلك يجب عليه. فإن قيل: فما فائدة قول: ” حتى يأتيك اليقين ” وكان قوله: ” واعبد ربك ” كافيا في الامر بالعبادة. قيل له: الفائدة في هذا أنه لو قال: ” واعبد ربك ” مطلقا ثم عبده مرة واحدة كان مطيعا، وإذا قال ” حتى يأتيك اليقين ” كان معناه لا تفارق هذا حتى تموت. فإن قيل: كيف قال سبحانه: ” واعبد ربك حتى يأتيك اليقين “ ولم يقل أبدا، فالجواب أن اليقين أبلغ من قوله: أبدا، لاحتمال لفظ الأبد للحظة الواحدة ولجميع الأبد. وقد تقدم هذا المعنى. والمراد استمرار العبادة مدة حياته، كما قال العبد الصالح: ” وأوصاني بالصلاة والزكاة ما دمت حيا”

“In this is one matter for discussion: this is that “yaqin” refers to ‘death’. Allah has commanded to worship Him and has restricted it to His servitude making it obligatory. If it is asked: what is the point in the phrase {until the yaqincomes} because the phrase {worship your Lord} is sufficient to establish the command to worship, it will be replied to this that: if it was only said ‘worship your Lord’ and left general and a person worshipped Allah only once, he would reasonably be called a worshipper. However, if it is said, ‘until the yaqin comes’, then its meaning would hold until death. If it is asked why is that He Most Glorified said {worship your Lord until the yaqin comes} and did not say ‘worship Him forever’, the answer is that the word “yaqin” (‘certainty’, ‘death’) is rhetorically more suited than the word “abada” (‘forever’) because of the ambiguity in the word as it could mean ‘one moment’ or ‘forever’. The meaning was already discussed before. The meaning of the verse is continuing to worship Allah throughout one’s life…”[2]

Thus:

  • Ramadan builds the understanding that worship is something constant, total and continuous and not something temporary, periodic or seasonal.

s.z.c.

_______

[1] Ibn al-Jawzi, Zad al-Masir, 4:423-424.

[2] al-Qurtubi, al-Jami` li-Ahkam al-Qur’an, 10:64. See also the post https://daralnicosia.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/christmas-and-lessons-learned-for-muslims/

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