Monday 1 January 2024

The Command to remember Allah during Spare Time

Today, we share a set of two very meaningful verses taken from Surah 94. Al Sharh, also spelt as Al Inshirah (The Opening Up) which though was a command from Allah to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to remember Allah in his spare time, this is equally applicable to all believers even today.

We can well imagine how much tiring the pre-occupation of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ were every day  to disseminate the Divine Commandments as revealed to him to spread Islam and also attend to delegations visiting him from other places to know about the new found religion. And yet, he was commanded by Allah to remember Him in his spare time. And he did too, for except for a few hours sleep at night, he would get for Tahajjad prayers and spend the later part of the night inn remembrance of Allah till it was time for the pre-dawn prayer, the Fajr.

The purpose of sharing these verses is to impress upon the need to remember Allah when we are free from our daily chores and do not let go Tahajjad prayer at night.

فَإِذَا فَرَغۡتَ فَٱنصَبۡ • وَإِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَٱرۡغَب
(94: 7-8) So, whenever you are free, strive in devotion,  turn to your Lord with longing
When you are free,” When you are free from other occupations, whether occupations in connection with the preaching of Divine message, or teaching and training of the new converts, or domestic occupations of mundane nature." The commandment means: "When you are no more occupied, you should spend your time in the labor and toil of Allah's worship and turn all your attention exclusively to your Lord." 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
( So when you have finished, devote yourself to Allah's worship. And to your Lord turn intentions and hopes. )

Meaning, 'when you have completed your worldly affairs and its tasks, and you have broken away from its routine, then get up to perform the worship, and stand for it with zeal, complete devotion and purify your intention and desire for your lord.' 

Similar to this is the Prophet's statement in a hadith that is agreed-upon to be authentic, "There is no prayer when the food is served, nor when the two foul things (excrement and urine) are pressing a person."

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also said, "When the prayer has started and the dinner has been served, then begin with dinner."

Mujahid said concerning this Ayah, "When you are free from the worldly affairs, and you have stood to pray, then stand up for your Lord."

Yusuf Ali Explanation
(Therefore when thou art free (from thine immediate task) still labor hard) When thou art free: or when thou art relieved. The words understood may be: from thy immediate task, that of preaching to men, denouncing sin, and encouraging righteousness; or, from the difficulties that confronted thee. When that happens, that does not finish the labours of the man of Allah. It is only one step to them. He has constantly and insistently to go on. When there is rest from the task of instructing the world, the contact with the spiritual kingdom continues, and indeed it becomes more intimate and concentrated.

(And to thy Lord turn (all) thy attention) The kingdom of Allah is everything. Other things are incidental, and really do not matter. Worldly greatness or success may be a means to an end, but it may also be a hindrance to true spiritual greatness. Allah is the goal of the righteous man's whole attention and desire.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
(So, when you are free from this task,  labour hard in worship) Ie., once he is free from the duties of the mission assigned to him. It is evident from other verses of the Qur’ān that this mission was to bring about a worldly reward and retribution in Arabia for its inhabitants and as a result achieve the sovereignty of the truth in this land. Found in the word فَرَغْتَ are the glad tidings that he would be able to successfully complete this mission after surmounting all the impediments that came his way.

(and remain attached to your Lord with all fervour) Ie., when the phase of divine support and victory arrived and he fulfilled his responsibility, he should fully devote himself to worshipping the Almighty because it is only this effort and devotion which would reap rewards for him when he meets his Lord. 

Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes: In complying with this final directive, the Prophet (sws) began to spend more and more time in worship. Such was the extent of his involvement that some people even inquired from him the reason for taking so many pains in worship when all his sins had been forgiven. The Prophet (sws) is said to have replied: افلا اكون عبدا شكورا  (Should not I become a grateful servant of my Lord.) (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 9, 429)

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Seek Him alone and let nothing whatsoever distract you. Do not ever think of the people you call on to believe in Him. A traveller must have his food with him, and this is the real food for your journey. A fighter for a cause needs to have his equipment, and this is the equipment necessary for you. This will provide you with ease in every difficulty you may encounter, and with comfort against every kind of affliction you may suffer.

The surah ends on the same note as the preceding surah, The Morning Hours. It leaves us with two intertwined feelings. The first is a realisation of the great affection shown to the Prophet, which overwhelmed him because it was the love of his Lord, the Compassionate, the Merciful. The other feeling is one of sympathy shown to his noble self. We can almost feel what was going on in his blessed heart at that time which required this reminder of delightful affection. It is this mission of Islam: a grave trust and a burden which weighs him down. It is nevertheless the rising of the divine light, the link between mortality and eternity, existence and non-existence.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may read more posts on similar theme in our series of posts related to: Compiled verses from Qur'an on specific subjects: Life

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on social media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More