The Precious Invitation (DW# 906)

As we stand on the threshold of the Holy Month of Ramadan and get ready to receive its many blessings, let us take a moment to reflect on the words of the Holy Prophet (saw) as he approached this Spiritual Prime Time.

He gathered his people and gave a famous sermon, at the beginning of which he said:

O People !

Indeed the blessed month of Allah has approached you laden with His Mercy, blessings and forgiveness.

It is a month which with Allah is the best of months. Its days are the best of days, its nights, the best of nights, and its hours are the best of hours.

It is the month which invites you to be the guests of Allah and invites you to be one of those near to Him.

Reflections: The Holy Prophet (saw) addresses the people and reminds us that the special energies of Mercy, Blessings and Divine Forgiveness are abundant in this month, ours for the taking. The invitation is for all - not just those who are the most observant - it is addressed to mankind as a whole. What stands before us is the opportunity to get back to basics, renew our bonds of faith and reflect on whether our actions are taking us towards or away from His Pleasure.

The Holy Prophet (saw) further reminds us that each day and hour of this month is incredibly precious. This is a blessed and sacred time where each moment contains the opportunities of a lifetime. And on the other hand, there is a major opportunity cost to NOT engaging in pleasing acts and in worship.

Here is an invitation from the Most Generous and Gracious of all hosts to be His guest. And so, let us ask ourselves that if the head of state invited us for a state visit, how would we prepare? How would we behave while we were in their company? This is an invitation from the Lord of the Worlds! It is our opportunity to become those who are close to Him, the ones that He honors by accepting this invitation to be His guests.

There is a beautiful narration about Hajj from Imam Sadiq (as) which explains what it means to be a guest of Allah: "Those who perform the Hajj and the ‘Umrah are the guests of Allah.  If they ask Him for something, He will grant it to them; if they call upon Him then He will answer them; if they intercede (for others), their intercession will be accepted; if they remain quiet, then He will begin to speak to them; for every dirham which they spend (in their trip to the Hajj), they will receive one million dirhams in return."

Let us reflect on how we can become worthy of such hospitality. For the duration of the Holy Month, we will explore and reflect on Quranic verses and discuss how we can live this timeless wisdom in our modern lives.

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