Ramadan Message From A Brother In Belmarsh

 The Following is a message from a brother who is currently being held in Belmarsh. May Allah hasten his release and all of the muslim captives, Ameen.

All praise be to Allah (swt) the Lord of the worlds, the master of the universe, the one who raised the heavens without any pillars and may peace and blessings be upon the Prophet (saw), his family, his companions and those who follow them. 

The blessed month of Ramadan is upon us again, a month of opportunity, forgiveness and reward. A month in which we aim to become closer to Allah (swt) to increase our awareness and fear of Him. In this month we should take time to reflect upon ourselves, our conduct, behaviour and attitude, a time where we should account ourselves and work to rectify our shortcomings and misgivings. Ramadan is an ideal opportunity for us to sincerely and truthfully identify faults within us and seek forgiveness from our Lord for them, to review our stance and behaviour ensuring that we act in line with the command of Allah (swt) and to cure any ailments we may be suffering from. 

Indeed every son of Adam is liable to commit sin, make mistakes and falter but the best are those who sincerely repent and change themselves. Account yourself before you are accounted and rectify yourself before it’s too late. Search deep into your soul to identify any faults, look into your heart to uncover any diseases it may be suffering from for this is something only you and your Lord are privy to, be truthful to yourself as it is for the benefit of no-one but you. Take this opportunity to spend time in seclusion with your Lord, to confide in Him, to become closer to Him and to plead for His mercy.  

Remember that diseases such as envy, greed, pride, arrogance, partisanship, laziness, miserliness and cowardice can affect the healthiest of hearts, none of us are free from these and none of us can guarantee their absence within us. Sometimes our intentions become polluted, sometimes our ego’s may get the better of us, sometimes we may become neglectful and at other times we may lose hope, we may at times fear the consequences of our actions we may become inclined towards the dunya or we may become busy with our families and occupations. Any one of these illnesses may infect us, leaving a black stain on our hearts which if left untreated will continue to grow until it completely overtakes it, covering it with darkness. A black heart is a hardened heart, a heart that is irresponsive and lifeless, absent of the noor of Islam. The heart is one organ in the body which if it is good then the whole body will be good and if it is bad then the whole body will be bad and equally it is the one organ in the body most susceptible to becoming diseased. This organ more than any other requires care and attention, it requires nurturing and maintaining, feeding and cleaning in order to safeguard it. It must be nurtured with the kalaam of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of the Messenger Muhammad (saw), it must be fed constantly with salah, dua, dhikr, shukr, ilm, dawah, commanding of good and forbidding of evil, sadaqah, jihad, etc. It must be firmly rooted in ikhlaas, sabr, taqwa, walaa and baraa, tawakkul, tawheed, iman and full of love for Allah (swt). At the same time it must be protected from the temptations and fitna of the dunya, from the waswasa of shaytaan, from shirk, kufr, nifaaq as well as cleansing it from pride, riyaa, greed, envy, arrogance, etc.  

Appraise yourself, figure with your soul, question your intentions and work to better yourself as no doubt this will excel your level of imaan and worship. All of us from time to time require our soul to undergo this scrutiny, purifying it from unnecessary baggage and restoring its defects. It is easy for our intentions to become polluted and diverted from their true purpose. If there is one thing that requires us to be constantly on guard and for us to be aware of then it is for our intentions to be corrupted, not allowing them to become diluted in any way. Verily every action is judged by its intention and depending on what you intended, the action will follow suit. Our intentions are the basis of our actions and the most significant aspect of our deen for if insincerity seeps into our heart then this renders our deeds null and void. This means that despite having masses and masses of good deeds, none of them are worth anything because our niyyah was insincere when we carried them out, like the man who filled his pockets with gold only to find that he had a hole in them, what a waste of effort and a delusional state to be in. This thought in itself is enough to shake every hair on our body. 

Insincerity is a disease that is most inconspicuous like the black ant on the black rock in the dark night. It is something that can enter your heart without you even realising causing absolute devastation, leaving your deeds futile having lost all their value and significance. This is the disease of ar-riyaa which is when you carry out actions for a purpose other than for the sake of Allah (swt) or you combine something else with your purpose, i.e. you do them for some gain or benefit in the dunya, be this fame, power, authority, money, to please others or simply to win an argument. The consequences of this being that you trade the reward in the hereafter for what you desired in the dunya, and Allah (swt) says; “Those who desire the life of the present and its glitter, to them we shall pay the price of their deeds therein without diminution.” (11:15) 

Sincerity is one of the most difficult stations to attain and we must be sincere to ourselves and above all to our Lord, the creator of the universe and the giver and taker of life by purifying our worship for Him exclusively.  

Ramadan is a time that we should utilise to purify our intentions and clean our hearts to seek the required medication in order for it to remain alive in the devotion, submission and remembrance of Allah (swt). You must answer the call of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) when they call you to that which gives you life for without this our hearts are dead. Remember that none of us are free from such ailments and none of us are above and beyond such questioning. When the Messenger of Allah (saw) was informed of the munafiqeen amongst his ranks, those who whilst showing Islam on the outside harboured a sick and diseased heart on the inside, He (saw) parted this information to only one other person and that was Hudayfah bin Yaman (ra). Omar ibn al-Khattab (ra) upon hearing this confronted Hudayfah (ra) demanding to know who they were. Hudayfah (ra) refused to tell him as he had promised the Prophet (saw) to keep it a secret, Omar (ra) pleaded to at least tell him whether his name was one of those mentioned by the Prophet (saw) to be among the munafiqoon. Contemplate and ponder over this incident as this should make us tremble with fear. Al-Farooq, the one whom shaytaan would turn away from, the minister of the Prophet (saw) on earth, the lamp of the dwellers in paradise, the one whose heart and tongue declared the truth, the one who gave izzah and strength to the deen, the one whom upon his death Islam wept, he never thought of himself beyond such questioning knowing that these diseases of the heart can so easily affect him, and yet who are we in comparison? When did we ever feel the need to question ourselves? Should this not be an example for us all? For only Allah (swt) knows what truly lies in our heart and our deep down secrets, and let it be known that our deeds by themselves will never be sufficient for us to enter jannah, as this can only occur by Allah (swt)’s mercy and all of us are doomed except those of us whom Allah (swt) bestows His mercy upon. 

Ramadan is a perfect opportunity to plead for Allah (swt)’s mercy, to become closer to Him and to beg for His forgiveness, use this time wisely and don’t be of those who gain nothing from fasting except hunger and thirst, reap the rewards and blessings made available in this month. Every day of our lives we encounter blessings upon blessings to the extent that if we were to count the blessings of Allah (swt) upon us we would not be able to do so and yet they still continue and the mercy of Allah (swt) upon us is something beyond our imagination. Allah (swt) has created us and everything around us, He (swt) gave us life, sight, hearing, intellect, our tongue, our limbs, our provisions and families, etc. He (swt) has provided us with everything we need in return for our exclusive worship and devotion to Him. In return Allah (swt) will continue to shower us with His blessings by guaranteeing eternal pleasure in the hereafter. After this how dare anyone violate Allah (swt)’s command and how dare anyone rival Allah (swt) in their worship, how can anybody disregard the blessings of Allah (swt) upon us. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you deny? Yet we find that people continue to be disobedient and remain ungrateful to Allah (swt), and verily man is forever ungrateful to his Lord. 

Look to the mercy of Allah (swt) as exemplified in the following hadith, “Allah says, if my slave intends to perform a good deed then record it for him as one good deed, if he performs it then record it for him multiplied 10 folds. If he intends to commit an evil act but did not commit it, then record it for him as one good deed if he left it for my sake, but if he commits it then write it as one evil deed.” 

Allah (swt) in His infinite mercy has offered us so much opportunity in obtaining reward by doing good and staying away from haram and yet there is no need for Him to do so as He (swt) is free of all wants and needs. This is purely from the rahma of Allah (swt), so which of the blessing of your Lord will you deny? 

When the Messenger of Allah (saw) ascended to the heavens during the miraaj, Allah (swt) prescribed 50 salah a day and it was Musa (as) who advised the Messenger (saw)  that this would be too much for the people and to ask Allah (swt) for a reduction, upon which the Messenger (saw) continued asking Allah (swt) for them to be reduced until 5 prayers a day were prescribed and yet these 5 payers would carry the equivalent reward of having prayed the full 50. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny? Yet we will still find people neglectful and careless in their salah, indeed man is ungrateful to his Lord. In the month of Ramadan Allah (swt) has showered us with even more blessings, a time when the shayateen are chained and the gates of Jannah are opened where the fasting person is rewarded for every breath he takes as well as his sleep, a month in which the rewards are multiplied and in which is contained the night of al-qadr, a night in which worship is equivalent to 1000 months of worship. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you deny? This night of power was revealed by Allah (swt) after the Sahabah (raa) became disheartened upon hearing how previous generations lived for hundreds of years and how in comparison their life was so short thus not allowing them to accumulate the same amount of reward. So Allah (swt) revealed this one night which if devoted to the worship of Allah (swt) exclusively you will be rewarded the equivalent of 1000 months of worship. Subhanallah, yet man is so ungrateful to his Lord.  

All of these blessings must be recognised and gratitude must be shown for them for ungratefulness is a disease that makes many hearts blind and ignorant of this. Make the most of these blessings and utilise them to benefit you and save yourself in the hereafter, devote yourself to Allah (swt), fulfil your duties, multiplying them in this month.   

Ayesha (ra) reported that one night she was with the Messenger (saw) and whilst He was praying, she fell asleep. When she woke up, she saw the Messenger (saw) still in prayer and His feet had become red and swollen, upon which she asked Him, why is it that even after Allah (swt) has saved you from committing sin and protected you from punishment that you still pray so much? He (saw) replied, “Oh Ayesha, should I not be a grateful servant?” This type of gratitude displayed by our beloved Messenger (saw) is beyond imagination and is a sure and clear example for us to follow and to take lessons from. When was the last time we showed gratitude to our Lord? Or the last time we appreciated a blessing of Allah (swt) upon us? Truly man is ungrateful to his Lord. 

Use this month as an opportunity to glorify Allah (swt) and show your appreciation to Him for everything He has provided you with, spend the nights in worship, especially the final third of the night as this is the time when Allah (swt) descends to the lowest heaven in search of someone who is praying and asking from Him so that He can respond. Use this as an opportunity to plead with your Lord, to purify your heart and to beg for His forgiveness, to show gratitude to Him and the seriousness of your belief and worship in Him. Bring life to your heart and soul in the remembrance of Allah (swt) for the dead heart is the one void of the remembrance of Allah (swt) and verily in the remembrance of Allah (swt) do hearts find rest. The Messenger (saw) said, “the example of the one who remembers his Lord and one who doesn’t is like the living and dead.” 

In this month, increase your dawah, commanding of the good and forbidding of evil, and support for the Jihad with a clean and pure heart and with full sincerity. Make Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) your guide, avoid disputes, quarrelling, arguing,  bickering, the futile and insignificant discussions, useless talk, backbiting and slandering. Clear your hearts from any bad feelings towards your fellow Muslims, from doubt and suspicion, forgive and forget, don’t bare grudges and don’t become embroiled in things that will take you away from the remembrance and worship of Allah (swt). Stay clear of innovations and blind following, from debating without knowledge and from partisanship to any group or man. Work for the sake of Allah (swt) and unite for His sake, be with Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah, love them and support them and love those who love them and support those who support them. Continue to speak the haqq and let the truth become manifest especially in this time where the munafiqeen are appearing everywhere speaking as though they are so brave openly and publicly where in fact they are the most jahil. The sad thing is that those who carry the haqq remain silent and don’t say anything like the ‘dumb shayateen.’ Only until the haqq is declared publicly to confront the baatil will the baatil vanish and verily baatil is ever bound to be defeated. Indeed we live in strange times where the liar is called truthful and the truthful is called a liar, when the insignificant worthless man speaks about the affairs of the Muslims, where a person wakes up a believer and goes to sleep a disbeliever having negated his deen for a price in the dunya.  

I pray that Allah (swt) allows us to benefit from these few words and to take heed from the advice and that He (swt) gives us the ability to better ourselves and keeps us firm upon the true path, that He (swt) takes our souls in a state of imaan and that He (swt) enters us into jannah al-firdaws. 

Finally, when you are praying to Allah (swt), and if possible in the last third of the night whilst in sujood, spare a thought for your brothers and sisters being held captive and incarcerated in the dungeons of the tawagheet. 

One man from the salaf said, “O son of Adam, verily you have 3 days, yesterday and it’s forsaken you, tomorrow and it’s yet to arrive and today, so fear Allah and obey Him.” 

“Those who purify themselves will be successful.”

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