Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan delves and contemplates the meanings of the verses of Surah Al-Asr and what profound implications it has in our own lives.
The Prophet ﷺ was most compassionate, loving, kind and caring. Yet, when he is advising people on the path of truth, he faced a lot of criticism simply because the truth hurts. It becomes truly uncomfortable. But we should firmly believe that nobody can truly commit to the truth unless one is a firm believer. We have to be tolerant and perseverent or exercise Sabr once we are on the path of truth because it is a hard path to tread upon.
How do we contemplate the truth? By simply turning to the Qur’an and being an ardent student of Islam.
Michelle is everywhere. Sally Emery, Dr. melissani of koko de la COVID-19 multimedia ilaha illAllah. Amin, when Allah azza wa jal describes the fundamental truth in the sutra, that all human beings are drowning in loss. That means what they say in in technology terms, the default position, right, the natural position for all human beings is actually to be in loss. We are not naturally successful, we are naturally failures, we're actually naturally, you know, succumb to failure. And the only way out of that failure and I don't just mean failure in a worldly sense. I don't just mean failure in the monetary sense, emotionally are going to be a failure. Spiritually, you're going to be a failure in
your goals and aspirations. You're going to be a failure in this life, you'll be a failure in the next life, you'll be a failure. If you don't meet the criteria of the exception. Allah azza wa jal gave us a profound exception in this sort of First he said in the in Santa Luffy hossen. But I wanted to highlight first is that when the lesson in sand, in sand is a muffler is a singular word, which means Allah is describing every person as if they're on their own. Right now, we're sitting among hundreds, and there are crowds of 1000s, listening online, or whatever. But every one of us is actually being spoken to as if there's no one in the world, but you. And there's a conversation just
between you and Allah, and no one else matters. nobody else's opinion matters. nobody else's delusion matters, even the lies, you tell yourself, they don't matter. All that matters is now the reality that you know, you somebody can fake it, they can look at themselves in the mirror and tell themselves a story about themselves. But that story doesn't matter. The reality is that you and I are in a state of loss. And the only exception to that the only exception to that are people who meet four conditions at the same time, a Latina, amanu, by heart, but also will help but also the summit. The first thing briefly I want to tell you is that that means that we it's not enough for us
to meet one of these conditions, you have to and I have to meet all four of these conditions. And you and I will not know whether we're meeting these conditions are not unless we actually only truly ask ourselves, other than that there's only an only loss. The first of these conditions is that we have to have faith in Liliana amanu except those who believed. And it's remarkable that the surah began with an individual person being in loss. And the exception should have been every human being isn't lost, except the one who believed. But he says except those who believe in other words, we went from the individual, to the plural to the group. Why? Because we're learning something about
what is it that you get from the other people around you, Allah created human beings to be social. You know, we live in family, and we live in society, and we live in community and we interact with other people, we cannot survive on our own. We have to do business with others we need, we need doctors for medical help. We need teachers for education, we need police officers for security, we need each other in all manners, in life and in business and trade. We exchange benefits and give benefits to others and give and take all the time. But alive is teaching us something profound of all the things you receive from people, and all the things you give to people, the most important
thing that you can receive. And the most important thing you can give is actually a reinforcement of your faith. Those who believed, in other words, that the most valuable people in your life, the most important people in your life are not the people who are financially supporting you. They're not the people that are making you feel better. The most important people in your life are the ones that keep you on your face. The ones that reinforce your faith, that those are the assets of your life. And then he says, Well, I mean, no Sally had and they did good things. I won't even go into the deeper language interpretation of our middle sorry, hi, I'll keep it brief. Again, who are the most
important people in our lives, the people that we're when we're around them, it's easy, it's easier for us to do good things based on our faith. And there, those two things are a logical progression. So let me just briefly explain what that means. What does it mean to have a logical progression in Simple English, every person has some idea of what it means to do good. They have their own concept of good and evil. As a matter of fact, sometimes our definitions can be very different. It could be that, you know, a non Muslim or somebody else who doesn't really know about their faith says, well, in my opinion, here's how you should raise a child and they have a certain opinion of how you should
raise a child. And you compare that to somebody who has faith and say, No, I wouldn't say I wouldn't teach this and this and this to my child. I completely disagree with you. In other words, they both think they're doing good to their child, but they have very different definitions. Don't they look at reality very, very differently. What we're learning here is that when you have faith when you really truly have faith, then your definition of what is good and what is bad. What does it mean to do good deeds doesn't come from your opinion anymore. It actually comes from your faith. It comes from you let Allah decide what is good and what is bad regardless.
Have your own feelings. Even if you feel like it's not comfortable for you, when you know something is good, you'll do it anyway. Once you understand truly understand what is it that a lie is saying, though, and I that is a disclaimer, a lot of times people misuse what a lie is saying. A lot of times people tell you this is what Allah said, or this is what the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and they oversimplify or misstate? What is it that actually allow once and then they make you feel bad that you're not doing what they want, because they're masking it as something that Allah wants. This is why you have to know your faith on your own, you have to study you have to
learn you have to be inquisitive. So you have to really understand what is it that Allah wants. And but once you know, this is what Allah wants, then you commit yourself to it. Well, I'm in a slightly hot, but what I wanted to dedicate this whole module is actually this third phrase, what our soul will have. And this is the part that is the scariest part, and probably the hardest part of all of it, of all of this. You know, you would think that Allah will say that human beings are doomed, unless they have faith, and they do good deeds. Because we know, the only thing really that should be asked of us is to have faith and do good deeds. And if a person was a believer, and they did good
things in life should be good enough, they should be able to go to heaven, they shouldn't be in loss anymore. So you would think that in the surah, when Allah says, All human beings are doomed, then the exception should have had two conditions. And those two conditions should have been you should have faith, and you should do good. But the surah doesn't have two conditions. The soldier has four conditions. The soldier has four conditions. What that means is that having faith and doing good isn't enough. And even if you have faith, and you are doing good, if you're not meeting condition number three, and number four, you're still doomed. You're still no good, you're still in loss, even
though you tell yourself, I do a lot of good, or I'm holding on to the faith. I'm praying, I'm giving charity, I'm earning halaal income, I'm staying away from haram things, etc, etc, etc. I'm doing all this good. But I'm not meeting those other conditions, I am still in loss. And I didn't even realize it. All this time, I lied to myself and told myself that I'm fine. So what is this third condition that goes beyond ourselves? He says what our soul will have they translate this in English, I think very poorly as they enjoin each other to the truth. Poorly not because it's bad English, but because it doesn't really communicate what a lie is saying. And it with so many
dimensions at the same time, so I'm going to try to highlight this particular phrase, which is commonly translated, they counsel each other are they enjoying each other to the truth? I like the word counsel a lot better than than enjoying because nobody uses enjoying anymore. I don't think you've ever used enjoyment in your life, talking to somebody in English. Hey, bro, what are you enjoying today? You don't do that, you know. But in any case, let's let's talk a little bit about what the law so we'll have. The word though also comes from the word was sia or wasa. The letters are well side. And yeah, and originally in ancient Arabic was a number that was used for when things
grow on the ground, like plants grow on the ground, and their branches intertwine and they become one and you can't separate one from the other. And when they're so deeply rooted in the ground, you can't pull them out, when a tree becomes deeply rooted. And it's so close to the next tree, that their branches become intertwined. Or if you see those bushes that they use for fence lines that block the view of the other side, you don't know where one ends, and when the other begins. They're completely meshed with each other. That's actually when or the earth experiences We'll see. from it, the Arabs derive the word we'll see ya, which is actually the advice that someone who's dying gives
to the people that they're that they're leaving behind, when someone's on their deathbed, and they're talking to their loved ones, and they give them advice. Basically, they're giving the kinds of words you know, you and I have family, we have conversations with family all the time. And we ignore what they say all the time, all the time. But when some when your loved one is on their deathbed. And the last things they say to you is do this, or don't do this, or make sure you do this, those words will echo in your in your heart and your mind forever. Those are the last words they said. That's what they left you with. And so it'll it'll stick to you like those plants stick
with each other and they won't pull them out of you because they're, they're holding on to you. The word colossal comes from parting advice from someone who's leaving this world. And what that means is very profound. It means that when you and I have to counsel one another, when you have people in your life that give you advice, then they're they have to embody the principles inside the word tawassul. So let me simplify that now. How do we how do we understand that? Whenever you have to give somebody advice, there are two things. What do you have to tell them and how do you have to say
There's what to say, and how to say it, there's always two parts. Sometimes you have something good to say, but you have a terrible way of saying it.
Some people have a terrible way of saying Salaam Alaikum, Salaam Alaikum.
That's, that doesn't mean peace. I mean, the words in the dictionary mean peace, but your face doesn't mean peace, it means war. Your your face means that you You are not at peace at all. As a matter of fact, you sound like me, you fall down the stairs, but you're saying something radical, you know. So the way you say something is as important as what you say both of those things are extremely important. Why? Because when you give good advice, but you give it an ugly ways, when you speak the truth, but you speak it in ugly, condescending, demeaning, insulting ways, then the truth itself becomes ugly. And for the person listening, they don't want to hear it anymore. And you
failed, and they failed, because they were not able to receive the truth, and you are not able to give the truth. Now remember, when you and I have to give somebody advice, then we have to think of ourselves as people that are leaving this world and we're on our deathbed, in what tone would use, what kind of people would you have around you, as you're dying? These would be the people that you love the most, that cared the most about you, and you care the most about them. If there are people that when you see them, your heart hurts, or they've caused you pain, you would even request the doctor, I don't want to see them right now. Just let me see my loved ones, you would want to be
around people that are the closest to your heart. So the first thing about the lossy is it can only be done to those that are close to your heart. And then it can only be done when you're in a state of mind. Where there's no agenda left, when you're giving advice and you're on your deathbed, there's no thought of how is this going to benefit me? Or how is this going to do good for me? Or is this gonna, you know, come back and people are gonna, you know, is it gonna help me socially or financially, all of those things are gone, you're leaving this world, the only thing you have left for the person you're talking to, is you want something good for them. When you're gone. That's the
only motivation you have is you lovingly wants something good for them. It would be really wretched of you that if you're at your deathbed, and you're seeing things, by the way, that that that that bag, and that money and that jewelry, that's still mine, okay. And then you die. Nobody thinks like that. Those thoughts about your material, you know, possessions disappeared, you say give this and charity give this to this one, do this, do this do this. Either you give them counsel about what you want done on your behalf or good that you want for them advice that you want to give them parting advice. This is the kind of genuineness and sincerity you have to have, when you actually engage in
Tomasi bill hack. Now think about that. You and I have family, you will not have friends, you will have people in our life that we try to give advice to, that we try to talk to, what tone do we use? What what motivations do we have? Do? Do they feel like we're beating them down, making them feel like a lot of times when we give people advice, you know, in our life, they feel like we're just insulting them using religion, you're just using these IOD and these ahaadeeth to make me feel guilty. You're just beating me with Islam, and you think you're better than everybody else, because you can quote this stuff. What about you, etc, etc, etc. You know, now come back to the word the
lossy, the lossy actually is it's got in a car Senate. The following pattern is called in a car in a gas simply means reflection, which means when I give you advice lovingly caring for you, I am actually equally ready to take advice lovingly. And I will I am just as willing to give as I am to receive. You know, sometimes you're in a relationship where you can be openly criticized. But you can't say anything back. And if you say something back, it'll be offensive. But and even if you say lovingly, genuinely out of concern, it will not be accepted. It's not going to be tolerated because that's not the kind of relationship you get to hear but you don't get to be heard. You see, you have
to have people in your life that you can do Tomasi with the lossy means you can give them and they can give you and you can give them and they can give you and neither of you are offended by that. Neither of you become defensive about it. Neither of you become up in arms. How dare you say this to me? Let's talk because every human being who can acknowledge that they're on a journey and they're in loss, and they're struggling with their faith and they're struggling to do good deeds. You and I are going to slip and fall. We're going to make mistakes. And the only people that can help us get back up are the people who lovingly help us get back up not people who kick us in the face first and
then say get up. That's not a way to get somebody up. humiliating someone is not a way to get somebody up, but genuine loving counsel and that's what I wanted to highlight first. The way in which you give advice is captured by a lot in the word the law see what the law so we'll have loving words kind words, as if you'll never get a chance to say these words again. how careful
would you pick your words? how careful would you be in saying what you say that you don't want to, you will think if I never get to speak to them again, the last thing they'll hear from me is something that hurt their heart. And if you never get a chance to speak to them again, you say the last thing they heard from me before they died is something that hurt them.
Well, you would never talk like this, you would never, the tone would change completely if we understood what the lossy means. But then there's the harder part, which has been Huck will hack, which means we have to cancel each other. And that the simple translation says the truth, but how can Arabic has many meanings. One of the meanings is purpose. And I will go through some of the meanings briefly as they apply to this purpose. That means you have to give someone advice that they're losing track of their purpose. They're there, they're gone off, they're not fulfilling the the ability that Allah has given them. The talent that Allah has given them, the course that Allah
has given them, they've lost their way. They're, they're wasting their time. You know, they're losing out on purpose of symptom and namaha lochmaben. And Naga Molina and other gentlemen, you, did you think that we were just made you without any purpose, you just wanted to eat, sleep, entertain yourself, and that's it. This is all you lived your life for this is this is it. As a matter of fact, when someone is there to genuinely counts, you listen, you're wasting your life away, do something with it, you have a purpose in this life, you have to accomplish something more than yourself. You didn't just come here to eat food, you didn't just come here to have children, you
have something more to give, you have to do something good, you have to leave a legacy behind that Allah will record for you. That alone will record for you. Because your own good deeds may not be enough that maybe a legacy of good deeds that you leave behind may be enough to wipe out some of your mistakes. So you have to work on that you have to leave something behind, you have to fulfill some kind of a higher purpose. Every person sitting here should think about what purpose do they serve in life more than themselves. Every one of us is doing enough for themselves. That's a lot created human beings, and all all of all living things to self sustain to survive, you know, to
provide for themselves to protect themselves to think about their future, etc, etc. That's what human beings do. But what do we do for others? What do we do for a larger good, this is part of the other meaning of the of the word is truth. committing yourself to remaining truthful counseling someone that deception is not okay. Lying is not okay. Cheating is not okay. To remind somebody not to call them out, you're lying, you're doing this, you're doing that, but to remind them in general terms, that we have to counsel each other, that the only good that will come in life is when we commit ourselves to remaining truthful. And when we part ways from being truthful, bad things will
happen in life. As a matter of fact, in this surah what what are we learning human beings are in loss until they cancel each other to stay committed to the truth. Human beings are going to lose if they don't remain committed to the truth. What we tell ourselves a lot of times when we lie, is that it's for a larger benefit. I'm trying to keep lying because I don't want to hurt somebody's feelings. I want to keep lying because it'll protect them or protect me or do this or do that. We tell ourselves a story about how we're going to make things better by lying. But you know what the truth is? The truth is by lying, you can only make things worse, you can never make things better.
You can never make things better by lying. As a matter of fact, when Allah says yeah, you and Latina aminata Hola Hola. Hola. Hola. And Salida when he says have Taqwa of Allah and speak straightforward, speak up right a given series of called buzz about that I have before what does he say? Useless Kumar, Monaco. he'll fix all of your of your actions. You cannot fix your situation. You're incapable. You're in situation and your deeds and the consequences of your deeds are in Allah's hands. They're in his hands, the only thing you can do is get him to fix it for you. And the only way he'll fix it for you is if you're committed to the truth. And if you have people in your
life that are telling you to commit to the truth, and you It hurts you to hear that, what are you saying I'm a liar? What do you don't understand me? What do you know, you can't talk to me this way and they become defensive, then they're only suffering loss themselves. They're only suffering loss themselves. And I'm not saying that you hear this again, I mentioned the way you give counsel first before I said, What counsel to give. You don't go to somebody that you know about in this situation, and you go to them, and start calling them out or start, you know, insulting them and things like that. This has to be done with the utmost love, but still, even if it's done in the most loving way.
Truth is hard. Truth is not easy. It's not something that when you tell someone they take it, it's like a it's like a, you know, a bad tasting pill. No matter how lovingly the mother gives it the kid still wants to throw up. Right? That's just what it is. And so even the Prophet of Allah Salallahu alaihe salam, nobody was more loving than him. Nobody was kinder than him. Nobody was more clear.
compassionate and more concern for other human beings than him. But when he spoke the truth and counseled people to the truth, people were offended.
That's not because he was offensive. But because the truth hurts. And telling, advising somebody to take the path of truth is to take a painful path. It takes courage, it takes, you know, tolerance for pain, to commit yourself to the truth. It takes withstanding other people's criticism to commit yourself to the truth. And if you're going to take that path, you'd rather stay comfortable in a lie. You'd rather just stay back and things are easier when you're lying. And things become very uncomfortable when you when you tell the truth. And that's really the test. Go back to the first condition, a little Edina. Armando, Do you truly believe you can fix your situation? If you believe
that what faith do you have?
Or do you believe that if you commit to the truth, no matter how hard you think things will get a law will fix your situation? That's actually faith. In Linda Vina Ahmed who came first while I'm in a slightly hot water, so we'll talk why is that in this order, because without that faith, nobody can truly commit themselves to the truth. And just as you are eager to give the advice, to commit to the truth, you and I have to be eager to receive that advice, to commit to the truth. And as when that happens when we make that decision to commit ourselves to the truth, which is one of the hardest things you'll ever do in life, things are going to get hard. And when things get hard, you
have to withstand, and you have to tolerate and you have to persevere. And the word for that is sub, which is logical at the end of the sutra with alesso. Sub, they cancel each other to stay strong. They cancel each other to withstand the council each other to tolerate, they cancel each other, to remain firm, to persevere, because that is what comes with being truthful. And if you cannot tolerate this, if you'd rather avoid pain, if you'd rather just get away from it all and pretend it's not happening, then you are among the rest of humanity who would rather be sleeping drowning in Los Angeles and I love waking up is painful. Waking up to this reality is painful, but remaining in
loss is much much much more painful. It's much more painful. And that's a profound truth that Allah has revealed in this remarkable Sora. One last thing that I'll share with you that about what LLC but whatever. So we'll just particularly that phrase, many companions have the opinion of the law and how much money that
in this ayah means the Quran. And Huck means the Quran, the council each other to the Quran. In other words, when somebody's life is going left, right, and somebody's life is not going the way they planned or hoped for. Then you advise them to come back to Allah 's words. You counsel them, you don't, you know, slam them with it yourself. You say go back to our last words, contemplate them yourself. Have a conversation with Allah with Allah 's words, and let him tell you what you should do. Let him speak to you. That also will help means you counsel someone and advise someone, you know how you say, Hey, I think you have this, I think you have a fever, you need to go see a doctor, or I
think you're having this issue. You need to go see a counselor, or you have this issue, you need to go see a lawyer. Well, here you have an issue, you need to go talk to a law. As a matter of fact, you need to go talk to a lawyer and you have to have a lawyer talk to you. And how does it talk to you? He talks to you through the Quran, whatever. So we'll have to actually open up this book and to contemplate and to think what is a lesson? What is he saying to me? He's not the book isn't scary, the book is there to counsel you when your life is going the wrong way. He says, Come over to Morocco, Mashallah for pseudo
meaning Council has come to you from your master, a healing for what is it going on in your hearts, it's got guidance in it, it's got mercy in it. It's got love and care in it for those who believe, counsel each other to find truth and find direction in life, from Allah 's words, if you don't have and I don't have people like that in our life.
If we don't have people like that in our life, that helped us with our faith, that encouraged us to keep doing good things that can talk holla call us out and staying committed to truth can can actually do that do so in a loving way. And that we can give them that love back and that truthfulness back and then we can make each other strong and stay persevering. If we don't have that in our life, then we are in fact in loss. Then you can have a house you can have money, you can have reputation, everybody else can look at pictures of you online and think everything is fine. But you and I are in loss because we don't have that in our life. That is the most valuable thing we can
have malaria, which can give us the right people in our life that can help us fulfill the powerful requirements of this remarkable sutra, which will give us an opportunity to really reflect on the teachings of the surah with our hearts and our minds, and may allow us to make changes in our life for our own benefit and for the benefit of those that we love and care about Baraka luckily welcome for Arnold Hakeem. When a family we are coming It was exciting.