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In the Name of God بسم الله

To Be Ready for Zuhur

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Al-Salaam Alaikum,

Hope everyone is living blessed and upon the sirat el mustaqeem!

 

  1. When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest,
  2. And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes,
  3. Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance.

 

This is the Chapter of Victory, Or suret Nasr, that describes the event around the time of the zuhur (emergence), when the whole world will be aligned with true surrender towards God/ Islam. The translation of the above is far from perfect, but we can say that the solution to our problem of what to do when it happens, is summarized in the 3rd verse. Let us remember that if this event occurs, this does not mean that we will personally find salvation. To be ready, we need to analyze three key words in verse #3:

Here is the sentence in Arabic, and I urge all of you, wether you know Arabic or not, to study it. First of all the Arabic Alphabet is close to the Latin one, so you can easily memorize the letters.

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا  

سَبِّحْ (sbh - like subhan Allah)

حَمْدِ (hmd - like alhamdulilah)

غْفِرْ (ghfr - like astaghfar Allah)

So we are supposed to:

  1. sabih with the hamd of our Rabb/Raiser 
  2. do isteghfar

Part 2 is more simple and straight forward. Isteghfar is repenting and seeking God's forgiveness for mistakes we did. It is basically remembering bad we did, and feeling bad for it, and asking God to forgive it, hide it, and not inhibit our lives and success because of those self-sabotaging actions of the past. It is a request and dua (or a feeling from the heart) to Allah to ask Him not to throw us into the fire in the next life, and not to allow us to be humiliated and punished for our deeds in this one either. I think that most of us are understanding this one, and this is also the most important one!

Sabih bihamd of Allah, is a bit more complicated. What does sabih mean? What does hamd mean? We take for granted that they mean glorification and praise. But those are in my opinion not really deep explanations of these words. 

The word 'subhan' with the root word sa-ba-ha - in its most basic meaning refers to floating and swimming. 

The word 'hamd' is usually understood as being 'praise'. Personally I feel the word is closer to the English word desire, than praise. Praise is more like the Arabic word 'shukr'. What led me to this conclusion on a personal level, is when I found out that almost all semitic languages translate it in this same way, which makes it very suspect to me that the Arabs and/or Muslims messed up yet another interpretation of a word and its translation. 

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When I found this out, I plugged in this new meaning of Hamd into every instance that the word is used, including the word Muhamad, and it always fits the shoe well. 

So if you want to understand these words in todays mainstream Arabic translations, then the translation would be 

  • Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord

My personal translation and understanding in my personal and unique view, based on the above;

  • Float (i.e. live, go through life, walk, act, wander, etc ) with the desire of Allah (i.e. what Allah desires and loves)

Either way, whatever interpretation of these makes you closest to God, or maybe a third one that you would like to share - this is what we need to do when the time comes; so we should master and understand these words, think about them, meditate on them, -ask God to clarify these words to us - and guide us into following them in an exemplary fashion.

Yet one thing is for sure: The part about repentance. We need to be ready to repent, and I often have the feeling that these verses could be taken in reverse. As in, if we live with God's desires/glorify Him and with his praise, while repenting, then we will see floods of of people entering into the religion of Allah, and that will be His Victory. So we shouldn't wait to see the Victory, or other people entering the religion, we should start from now. This is as though those actions are actually the key to bring about the Victory of Allah.

In addition to this, we must keep in mind that when the flood gates into the religion of Islam will open insha Allah, then we will have much more competition. All this new blood of excited and highly enthusiastic people who newly found Islam, will find many very fast promotions. You will have people who were very ignorant yesterday, having deeper knowledge than most born Muslims almost over night. Their hunger for learning and their unbiased clean-slate mentality, will be very fertile ground. They will bring with them knowledge from all kinds of other religions and fields, that will make them pioneers in things, that we can not even dream of. So our status as learned scholars, or knowledgeable people might be pushed into the background at that time. To be ahead of the tsunami, one has to move quickly to very high ground, ahead of the wave. So, it is not necessarily a victory for us as individuals, if Allah doesn't chose it this way. One example of a fast promotion from the past was the Christian who converted and then joined Imam Hussein's army in matter of seconds. The man had only been a Muslim for the shortest amount of time, yet God chose him to be among the greatest and most legendary Muslims who ever existed. He is definitely more privileged that most scholars of today who studied Islam for decades while praying, fasting, giving zakat, etc. But chances are that this Christian man did a lot of good deeds as a Christian already, which would explain how God's choice was a fair choice. Only God knows exactly our deeds and what is in our hearts.

This includes the little-talked of perspective of dealing with plenty and easy life after the Victory of Allah. Most of us according to the Quran, only remember God humbly when we are in a mess. So as a favor to us, God challenges us with depressions and challenges. He purifies us with days of financial and health fears, that makes us call out to Him, and remember Him the way we should. It is in human nature that once we have it easy in this life, we usually tend to neglect heartfelt prayers, and our hearts hardens. So I read somewhere that once the world is a utopia, the new generation might become a group of spoilt brats, basically. What makes the 313 so strong, as well as all the prophets and saints, is the suffering. Imam Ali is quoted as saying that '"if we knew the benefits of suffering, we would cut ourselves with scissors". If you study the lives of the most holy people in the world throughout history, regardless of where or when, you will find a direct correlation between suffering and degrees of closeness to God. The more you are a good person, the more you will suffer. It's sad, but true. God loves sad people. Anyway, so the problem will arise when there is no more suffering in this life, unlike the next eternal life, where we are by default doing nothing else, except tasbeeh and tahmeed, as illustrated in this verse:

دَعْوَاهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلَامٌ ۚ وَآخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ - 10:10

Their call therein will be, "Exalted are You, O Allah," and their greeting therein will be, "Peace." And the last of their call will be, "Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!" Suret Younis : 10

As you can see, it's all about subhan Allah and alhamdulilah. However, the difference is, that in the next life we wont be doing isteghfar. We wont need the repentance as a wasila/vehicle to get there! However, during times of peace and prosperity in this world, repentance will keep us humble and favorable in the Sight of God, insha Allah.

So, the bottom line is that repentance will keep us safe, before, during and after the Victory of God, while we live a life devoted to God. That is what we need to do to be ready, and what we need to be ready to do once it happens, God Willing.

Thanks, 

 

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