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Remember the Supplication of Jibril

We are half way through the blessed month of Ramadan and many of us are unfortunately still only warming up in our worship and righteous acts. A common excuse for this is that due to the long hours of fasting in the heat, coupled with having to go to work and look after one’s family, it is difficult to strive towards supplementary voluntary acts of worship beyond the tarawih prayers. The mantra of ‘I am tired’ is probably the most frequent form of dhikr on the tongues of many Muslims today.

As a way of motivating us to hasten towards ihsan (excellence) in our worship so that we get the best out of Ramadan, rather than the bare minimum, it is worth pondering on the following hadith.

 

It was narrated that AbuHurayrah said:The Prophet ascended the minbar and said: “Amin, amin, amin.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the minbar and said, ‘Amin, amin, amin’.” He said: “Jibril (peace be upon him) came to me and said: “If Ramadan comes and a person is not forgiven, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Amin.” So I said Amin. He said: “O Muhammad, if both or one of a person’s parents are alive and he does not honour them and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Amin.” So I said Amin. He said: “If you are mentioned in a person’s presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Amin.” So I said Amin.”

Although there are three supplications being made in this hadith it is only the first which is the focus of this article. Before studying the content of the supplication itself, let us examine the circumstances surrounding the supplication.
Firstly, who is making the supplication? None other than the Archangel Jibril (peace be upon him), the greatest, most virtuous and most honourable of all the angels, who has a high rank with Allah and the one whom Allah chose to entrust with revelation revealed to His Prophets.

Secondly, who is saying amin? The Noble Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) – the last Prophet, the Imam of the Messengers, and the one who will intercede with Allah on the Day of Resurrection. In short, the best of creation.

Thirdly, what is ‘amin’? It itself is a supplication calling upon Allah to answer what has been requested.

Fourthly, where is the supplication being made? On the minbar of the Prophet Muhammad in his mosque in Madinah, the next holiest place in the world after Makkah.

In light of the above four points, it is clear that whatever supplication is being made here is of significant importance.

How powerful a supplication must it be if it is uttered by Jibril on the minbar of the Prophet Muhammad who is himself asking Allah to accept the supplication? Knowing the above, we would be foolish to ignore a supplication of such magnitude.

In this hadith, Jibril is essentially supplicating against someone who witnesses Ramadan but is not forgiven in it. So severe is such a failing according to Jibril that such a person should be thrown into the Hellfire and distanced from Allah’s infinite mercy. Note that the du’a does not mention the sins of this individual, but speaks of them in a general sense such that it is applicable to all – those with many major sins as well as those with few minor ones. Yet, the du’a is mercilessly calling for such a person to be thrown into the Hellfire and distanced from Allah’s mercy which envelopes all things.

The reason for this is that anyone who fails to be forgiven in the month of Ramadan must indeed be a wretched individual. For this is the month in which the shayatin are chained up, and the month in which the gates of Paradise are flung open and people emancipated from the Fire nightly. It is a month therefore in which Allah facilitates us to do good deeds and to avoid committing sins. If this is not enough, Allah motivates us further by promising to multiply the reward for our deeds.

On the last day of Sha’ban, the Prophet gave a sermon and said,
“O people! A great and blessed month has approached you, a month containing a night better than a thousand months. Allah has made fasting in its days an obligation and prayer in its nights a (recommended) voluntary act. Anyone who seeks nearness to Allah in this month through any virtuous act will be like one who carried out an obligatory act at another time (outside of Ramadan), and whoever performs an obligatory act in this month will be like one who performed seventy such acts at another time. It is the month of patience, and the reward for patience is Paradise. It is the month of equality, the month in which the wealth of the believer is increased.”

It is a time when the mosques are overflowing with worshippers, when entire families who may not offer prayers during the rest of the year, pray obligatory and voluntary prayers in the mosque, when all around you, believers are completing a recitation of the Qur’an, when purses are being emptied to give charity in the way of Allah, and when the tongues are restrained. Indeed it is a time when the believers are united in worshipping Allah. If in such a month someone is unable to obtain Allah’s forgiveness, then wretched indeed is he, and thus, deserving of Allah’s punishment as supplicated for by Jibril and the Prophet.

We must not be complacent and think that just because we are fasting, we will be forgiven. Only the foolish would remain content with their actions and gamble with their destiny in such a fashion. Instead, we must remember the du’a of Jibril and use these precious days which remain of this blessed month to hasten to good deeds and righteous actions and actively strive for Allah’s forgiveness and mercy so that we can abide in the Gardens of Paradise forever.