By Imam Toyin Yusuf
THE holy Prophet Muhammad was sent by Allah to mankind as a harbinger of good tidings and a Warner. A harbinger of good tidings as regards the allure of Aljanat and escaping the malevolence and malediction of the grave for those who wish to follow Allah, through the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. The almighty Allah did not just send him in the blank and vacuum , He gave Muhammad the holy Qur’an, the explanation of which are contained in the very many sayings of the prophet. The sayings are called Ahaadeeth.
Prophet Muhammad was also sent as a Warner to anybody who chooses to follow shaytaan(devil) or their own whims, away from what Allah instructs, advises or enjoins. The prophet spent the last twenty three years (Prophethood ) of his life teaching, preaching and warning.
In one of the Ahaadeeth, Muhammad prods Muslims to keep watch on and utilize five qualities before they are rendered ineffective.
First, the Holy prophet Muhammad is reported to have enjoined Muslims to utilize their youthful years before old age sets in. History of Arabs shows that Muhammad had spent his youthful years in the communal service of Arabs and Makkah at a time his colleagues were driven by youthful exuberance into drinking, sex escapades, gambling and other vices. The virtuous disposition of Muhammad to his people made them give him another name Al-Ameen, the trustworthy.
In another of his sayings, the prophet gave seven categories of people who will be accommodated in the shade of Allah on the day of reckoning. The second in the category is a young person who grew up to adulthood in the service of Allah.
The import of the first five is that man should always know that death is inevitable and no one knows their own appointed time. Death can come at any time as said by Allah in the Quran:
“For every man is an appointed time and when the time chimes (to die), it would neither be shortened or postponed by a fleeting second.”
Because no one knows when death will come calling, prophet Muhammad enjoined us to dedicate the youthful years of our existence to serving Allah and being kind to fellow humans. The years we have the energy to pray five times daily and to do additional prayers at night/midnight, the energy to fast Ramadan and sundry fast as recommended by the prophet, the energy to perform Hajj, if we are endowed, the energy to contribute physically to building of mosques and Madrasat as well as Masbarah (Muslim cemetery) in our community, the years we have the energy to engage in communal road construction, canalisation of rivers and so forth.
SECOND, the prophet enjoined us to utilize the sound health we have now before debilitating and life threatening infections affect our system. We should eat, drink and sleep according to sunnah. We should approach or wives as expatiates on by Muhammad. A Muslim should keep clear of smoking and alcohol as well as fornication and adultery in order not to contract diseases that will drain our energy to serve Allah, ourselves and the Ummah. When we live in accordance with sunnah, we enjoy the best of health.
THIRD is for us to spend our wealth before Allah takes them away. Allah did not use death to take away everything prophet Ayub (Job) had. That is an example for us. We have heard and read stories of those who were wealthy and died in penury. Prophet Muhammad encouraged Muslims to spend their God given wealth in the course of Allah. Wealthy Muslims and of course, however little we may have should spend on charity. We should join hands to build mosques, Islamic centres, Muslim hospitals and orphanages. The first and the third Khaleefah, Abubakri and Uthman, greatly assisted the course of Islam through their wealth in Madeenah. We should remember the saying of Allah in the Quran about “A day (Day of Reckoning) when wealth and children will serve no purpose or prevent one from the great punishment of Hell fire , except those who die in service to Allah and meet him unblemished.”
We don’t have to become a Dangote before spending from what we have. We can take up payment of electric bills of our mosque. We can dig a borehole for our community and sundry other rewarding engagements to seek the favor of Allah.
FOURTH is the time and pleasure we have before the time comes when we claim to be more occupied. When we have the time to pray, fast, do good deeds we should not postpone such. The next moment, we might not enjoy the freedom. This is the very reason Muslims should not delay solaat (daily prayers). Observe the solaat at the appointed time for you don’t know what the next moment might look like.
The time we have to serve Allah and humanity, we should do such without waivering or hesitating. Only Allah knows what a man will do the next moment: A no man knows what he shall do the next moment.
And finally, the FIFTH is our life before death comes knocking. Allah says he created man and Jinn but to serve him. The essence of the existence of a Muslim is to serve Allah. When we serve Allah, we leave our affairs in his Hands. To serve Allah is to follow his dictates as contained in the Quran and explained by the prophet. Invariably, the life of a Muslim is expected to be led and guided by the Quran and the traditions of prophet Muhammad. Our wealth, health, possessions and family should be seen as being held in trust for Allah, who can withdraw any or all of them at any time. When we bear this in mind, we live, acquire and life for Allah. He says again in the Quran: “Whoever strives to inherit from what Allah has provided in Aljanat, We (Allah)will add extra to it. But whoever strives for mundane possessions, We (Allah) will give him a pain-head of such, and will get no inheritance in Aljanat.
Wassalamalaykum, war’ra’amatullaah, wabarkaatu’u.
- Oluwatoyin Yusuf is the Chief Imam Of Prince Hamzat Ajani Memorial Mosque and Islamic Centre, Osogbo.