Earlier tonight after terawih prayers at Masjid Al-Istighfar, Ustaz Md Hafiz Rapi’e gave a short sermon on “Mengejar Lailatul-Qadar”.
For those non-Muslims, ‘Lailatul-Qadar’ is the night whereby Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) first received revelation at Mount Hira. This is an extremely significant night for Muslims and there are several beliefs with regards to this night:
- This night is better than 1000 months.
- This night falls in the last 10 days of Ramadhan.
But besides that, the month of Ramadhan itself is a very special month for Muslims itself. It is believed that in this month of Ramadhan, several things happen:
- Devils are locked up in hell.
- Souls of the dead are given respite.
- One day of Ramadhan is better than a day in one’s entire lifetime (considering that for the rest of one’s lifetime, there’s only one day of Ramadhan).
- Revelation first came to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in Ramadhan.
But that’s not the point of this entry. It’s about the Muslim Olympics and it’s not about running down the 100m or anything related to sports for that matter.
For Muslims, being successful means being successful in the hereafter where Muslims believe that they will be resurrected to have their deeds accounted for. Those who receive their book on their right hand is successful and is admitted to Heaven and those who are unsuccessful, well, you’ll end up in Hell for an indefinite period (well, at least until God decides it’s time for you to leave Hell).
And because there are seven medals to be won, because there are seven different levels of heaven, not winning a medal means, YOU WILL GO TO HELL.
And to win a medal, any medal to go to Heaven, there are several things a Muslim has to do beginning with the 5 tenets of Islam (Rukun Islam):
- Proclaiming that there is ONE GOD and Prophet Muhammad is the last messenger
- Pray 5 times a day
- Fast in Ramadhan
- Pay Zakat
- Perform pilgrimage to Makkah
Then, the Muslim must believe in the 6 Tenets of Faith (Rukun Iman):
- Believe in the ONE GOD, his right to be worshipped, his oneness, his attributes and his right to legislate
- Believe in God’s Angels (and no, not Charlie’s Angels)
- Believe in God’s Holy books; Psalms of David, Torah of Moses, Bible of Jesus and Quran
- Believe in God’s Messengers; that Adam was the first and Muhammad is the last
- Believe in Resurrection and Day of Judgement
- Believe in Pre-Ordainment
Now, these are just the basics.
In addition to the 5 Tenets of Islam and 6 Tenets of Faith, Muslims are also guided by the Hadith (saying or an act or tacit approval or disapproval as ascribed either validly or invalidly to Prophet Muhammad) and Sunnah (practices of Prophet Muhammad which he taught and instituted as a teacher of Syariah).
What the Hadith and Sunnah basically do in simple terms is to help Muslims understand the Quran better and practice it in their daily lives.
Of these, includes:
- Respect to parents, especially to the Mother, Mother, Mother and then Father (this places the Mother above the Father but in respect, one does not have to follow what is being asked to if what is being asked to do transgresses Islam)
- Respect to plants and animals (demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad during war time when he told his warriors not to destroy plants and when he cut off a piece of his prayer mat because a cat was sleeping on it)
- Respect to neighbours, relatives and others
- Giving alms, performing good deeds
- Avoiding activities which transgresses Islam’s limitations (Mixing between genders, Consumption of non-Halal food, Ensuring Halal sources of income, etc)
- Ensuring that one’s Awrah is covered (Men to be covered between navel to knee and Women to be covered entirely only to reveal face and hands)
- Many many more
And what would be the reward for those who make it to Heaven?
- Rivers of Milk, Water and Wine (wine was initially permitted but prohibited later by God on Earth)
- Live within gardens and fountains
- Dressed in bracelets of gold with pearls, fine silk and thick silk (silk is prohibited by Islam for men) (Surah Fatir Verse 33)
- Marriage to houris with big dark eyes (everyone will be of matching age)
- Consumption of fruits of every kind (Surah Ya-Seen Verse 55:57)
- Bowls of gold and glasses
- Basically, whatever the souls desire and eyes enjoy (Surah Az-Zukhruf Verse 71)
- Sit on couch (Surah As-Saaffat Verse 42:48)
And for those who are unsuccessful?
- Live within hell blazing fire
- Chained by shackles around the neck and dragged into hot water which they will then be thrown into fire as fuel (Surah Al-Ghafir Verse 71:72)
- Drink hot water and pus and other things similar to it of various kind (Surah Sad Verse 57:58)
- Eat fruits with heads of devils made of mixture of boiling water (Surah As-Saaffat Verse 64:67)
- Many many more!
Of course, as I read the Quran, I realise that with every story being told, God continues to reiterate and remind man about stories of those who have passed before and continues to inform what one stands to gain for following what he says and what one stands to gain for not following what he says.
In summation, it’s a MARATHON actually because Muslims have their entire lives to work towards ending the race with a ‘medal’. It’s all about keeping pace and maintaining it. No point sprinting to the finishing line or you might just run out of steam and fall behind the line.
So, with the last few days of Ramadhan left and with the bonus of Lailatul-Qadar in tow, Muslims should try to win this bonus.
(This blog post also serves as a reminder for me. May we all be successful.)