Fall is slowly becoming Omar Sallam’s favourite season. Growing up in Eastern lands it was a time when weather gave respite from hot summers. In the West, it’s a beautiful time to notice changing colours in nature while exploring pumpkin spice lattes offered at local areas.
As a family member Fall also can come with mixed emotions. Children going back to school or youth going back to University is a time that ranges from moaning to misery or a chance to get in touch with friends after the summer holiday. For parents it can be a bittersweet moment seeing children leaving homes to school for the first time or a time of celebration from a tiring summer of parenting and family fun.
Regardless of where you fall in the spectrum, Fall is a great chance for us to celebrate school, work, and family through clear and far reaching intentions. For this we turn to our noble Prophet Ibrahim peace be upon him to take us by the hand.
1. Foundation of full rewards
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. You are the All Hearing, the All Knowing.” [2:127]
Before the start set your sight on acceptance of your act. Be it school, work, family, worship, or business. As the scholars teach one makes one’s intention sincere, renews it often, and tries to expand it and grow it. Even when can’t do an act due to lack of resources but is sincere, one can get a full reward.
“Verily, the world is only for four kinds of people. There is one whom Allah has granted wealth and knowledge, so he fears his Lord regarding them, upholds family ties, and acknowledges the rights of Allah over him. He will be in the best position. There is one whom Allah has granted knowledge without wealth and he has a sincere intention and he says: If I had wealth, I would have acted like this person. If that is his intention, then he will have the same reward as the other. There is one whom Allah has granted wealth without knowledge and he squanders his wealth in ignorance, he does not fear Allah regarding it, he does not fulfill his obligations to his family, and he does not acknowledge the rights of Allah over him. He will be in the worst position. There is one whom Allah has granted neither wealth nor knowledge and he says: If I had wealth, I would have acted like this person. If that is his intention, then he will have the same sin as the other.” [At-Tirmidhi]
2. Sound submission
“Our Lord, make us devoted to you and make our descendants into a community devoted to You” [2:128]
Have the intention for sound actions with excellence in what you do. If you don’t have necessary knowledge of your act learn the basics. If you know the necessary basics, then do that act with utmost devotion. While this isn’t always easy, it is easy to keep looking back at this supplication and trying over and over again. For example one can just pray alone, or aim to pray with others, or pray in a masjid with high devotion.
“The group prayer is twenty-five degrees higher than the prayer in your house or the prayer in your place of business. Anyone who does wudu’ and goes to the mosque with no other object than to do the prayer, Allah will raise him up a degree with every step he takes, and a wrong action will fall away from him. When he prays, the angels pray for him all the time he is in his place of prayer, ‘O Allah! Forgive him! O Allah! Show mercy to him!’ One of you is in the prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer.” [Agreed upon]
Take an act and establish a minimum you don’t want to fall below, a medium where can normally maintain, and a challenging level for aspiration and start on it.
3. Take a U turn as needed
“Show us how to worship and accept our repentance” [2:128]
None of our actions are without slips and falls intentionally or not. Commit to assessing your intention and action by finding any faults and fixing them right away. “Allah Almighty will stretch out His hand during the night, turning towards the one who did wrong during the day, and stretch out His hand during the day, turning towards the one who did wrong during the night, until the day the sun rises from the place it set.” [Muslim]
That Hadith gives us daily hope at times when we slip, when we break our resolutions, or if we relapse into a bad habit we quit. This Fall we should commit to going back whenever we fall. Going back to what’s right whenever we err is one of the highest stations to attain in this life.
A helpful attitude is to feel the humility that no act is complete except by Allahs guidance to be inclined to the act itself, during the act, and after the act is done. So when stuck or unsure turn back. Because turning back to Allah is our only way ahead!