Islam is the spirit of truth, the inspired melody of the despondent heart, the cure for the longing soul and the repository of knowledge for the learned. Allah has inscribed in the Holy Quran the entire episode of the mighty creation of the universe and of man and his destiny. The Holy Quran takes its believers to a destiny of excellent moralilty and a fulfillment of a life blooming with love, care and eternal concern between one another in a brotherhood of one faith – believing in One Great God, Allah the Most Magnificient.
True enough, through Islam, by practising dearly and gripping the principles of Islam by the teeth the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh and the earlier Muslims plainly and gracefully rose to a great height that they became the grand masters of the world and the bearer of a new civilisation so sublimed the world then had ever known. But with the same Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh at hand why is that the contemporary Muslims in the twentieth century became so weak, humiliated, pathetic and treated like dirt by the non-muslims, especially by the Jews and the United States Of America…What has gone wrong?
The answer is obvious - the present Muslims have indeed failed to live under the complete shadow of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah as did the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh and his contemporaries. Many of the Prophet’s Sunnah have not been practised and forlornly ignored. These pearls of wisdom (the Holy Quran) and the light of exquisite morality (the Sunnah) have been conveniently abandoned and are now gone with the winds, pathetically.
Of the many missing pearls of Islam that were somehow forlornly forgotten and least appreciated are Solat Tahajud and Jihad. The majority of Muslims do not view Solat Tahajud and Jihad as amongst the significant fibres of Islam. These Sunnah are taken very lightly and sadly sidelined. And the consequent - our iman is pathetically weak, sorrowfully frail and far from the Lord’s favours and majestic blessings. Like a willow in the field, our iman, humiliatingly bends with every blow of the gusty wind, swaying away from the face of the Holy Kaabah. In such circumstance, how could we rise to greatness and pinnacle of humanity’s perfection as amplified, illustrated and perfected by the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh and his companions.
Tahajud prayers and Jihad are not new to Islam.. It is an age-old practice of Divine origin. All prophets of yore before the birth of Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh stood in deep night prayers before Allah in their Tahajud prayers. Even the Bible, the New Testament exclusively reveals that Jesus too performed Tahajud prayers. In Luke verse 6:12 it states…”During this time he (Jesus) went out one day into the hills to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God”.
On hindsight it is irresistable not to point a finger at the system of teaching Islam at Islamic learning institutions, universities and colleges all over the world. These institutions teach essential useful subjects like Aqidah, Fiqh, Usuludin, Tasauf, Tajwid and so forth but in my view, these institutions have failed miserably to mould their graduates into true Muslim scholars whose love and undying penchant for Islam is dearer than their own lives as magnificiently portrayed by the great Muslims of yore.
The majority if not all of these institutions have wittingly neglected to ceremoniously breathe the unyielding unshakable spirit of Jihad as well as to emphasize the vivid significance of performing the Solat Tahajud nightly to their undergraduates. Given my way, I would make it compulsory for every undergraduate to stand nightly or alternate night for Solat Tahajud as essential part of the package for pursuing a degree or diploma course.
Merely dessiminating Islamic knowledge is clearly insufficient to mould an undergraduates into Muslim scholars in the likeness of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh who is affectionately known as “the walking Quran” and whose morality is “the Quran” or the least like the Beloved Prophet Bpuh’s companions who yearn to die as syuhadah in defense of Islam. They all rushed spiritedly to the battlefields with “all souls and hearts” in the name and glory of Islam and to willingly succumb to death as graceful fallen heroes in the cause of Allah.
The famous Khalid Ibni Walid desired pervently to die as a syahid in the battlefields defending the banner of Islam but alas he triumphed in every battle. The celebrated Muslim warrior, Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi, in preparing his army for battle in defense of Islam, chose only those soldiers who had performed Solat Tahajud the night before. Those soldiers who missed the Tahajud would be temporarily sidelined. Little wonder that he rose to become among the few acknowledged imminent and world renown warriors in the entire Islamic world.
Now you tell me, how many of our ulama’ are impatiently looking for an opportunity to defend Islam with their lives and are ever ready to exuberantly trade their lives for Islam?
Solat Tahajud is extremely important for every Muslim but not many Muslims are strong enough to perform it. Its importance is regally reflected in the nightlife of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh. Every night without fail, the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh stood in long hours in the far reaches of the night performing the Solat Tahajud. It is no exaggeration if I were to state that the entire Muslim world know that the soles and lower feet of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh were often swollen due to long indeterminable hours of standing in his Tahajud prayers.
Let it be known that it is through the intimate graceful contact with Allah the Almighty in the Solat Tahajud that the Beloved Prophet Bpuh drew the intrinsic power and the reservoir of strength for his mental and spiritual formidableness as a striving force to invite and call upon the pagan Arabs to the Gate of Islam. Every deep moment in the extreme quiteness and the unshattered peaceful milieu of the silent night turned out to be the passage of glorious window wherein the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh whispered out his “heart and soul” to God, beseeching God’s for strength, willpower and iman of steel to face the mounting opposition and wrath of the hostile pagan Arabs.
Imagine a Muslim standing alone in the stillness and wilderness of the night whispering lovingly and dearly to Allah in his Solat Tahajud while the rest of humanity are pernoctating in deep slumber and cuddled unconsciously in the comfort of mother nature. While Allah in His Glory descends to the lowest tier of Seven Heavens down to mother earth to look for and to whisper to those Muslims who are willing to sacrifice their night sleep…, that is, to those who forsake their sleep and faithfully wake up for the love of the Lord, wash and dress up their best and scented with the fragrance of the wildest perfume ever to be with the Lord in the secret garden of Divine splendour, blessings and favours throughout the solemn night until the rising light of dawn.
The whisperings between the Lord and servant nightly for long hours is the golden bridge of mutual covenants and a strong bond of a servant’s loyalty, fidelity and faithful submission to the Glory of the Lord. Standing in Solat Tahajud is indeed the hallmark of a God-fearing Muslim – lost and mesmerised in the Divine presence as if the servant is engulfed in the glittering galaxy of stars under the enchanting brilliant light upon light. There, Allah showers the Tahajud’s whisperer with the extraordinary inner strength to stand by the Lord’s commandments, to live and die with every letter of the Holy Quran and to devote his entire life in complete obedience and submission to God’s instructions and injunctions.
True Jihadists are born from the ranks of the Tahajud whisperers. Their worldviews are unlike the common mediocre Muslims who are tightly trapped and hopelessly wrapped-up by the glittering wealth and spell-binding pleasures of the mundane world. Tahajud whisperers pursue the blissful eternal pleasures of Jannah in their Tahajud prayers, in which they feel as if they are in the lavish floral splendour of Jannah. They longed-for their night of Tahajud to be at a standstill forever and earnestly wish to be in the fold of the Lord throughout the night lodged in the Divine misty light of Tahajud. Whilst at daytime they wait impatiently for the next night to savour the Divine-bestowed sweetness, freshness and the fragrance in their next Solat Tahajud.
As long as Muslims abandon Solat Tahajud, there would not be a strong commitment in Jihad, as Jihad is like the nectar of flowers in bloom, giving the bees the salient ingredients to produce honey and its exclusive potency as a remedy to cure all ailments. Hence, the eternal expression which encapsulates that…without Tahajud there would be no Jihad.
In my view, the pathetic and sad state of the contemporary Muslim civilisation is as clear as still water…that the large majority of the Muslim masses have abandoned the nightly Solat Tahajud and the natural Divine consequence is…the missing of the pearls of Jihad in our lives.
My humble advice is – the majority and if not all Muslims, shall have to stand in Solat Tahajud nightly to whisper softly and earnestly to the Lord and hence to become true and God-fearing Muslims breathing with the burning spirit of Jihad. Only then Islam could again rule the world like the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh and his companions and the subsequent tabeen and tabeen who became celebrated masters of the world. Until then we would be miserably relegated to remain only as “horse-whisperers” and “dog-whisperers” like the tragedies in the exotic romanticism of the 1001 tales of the Arabian nights.
Do not point a finger at others for the poor, wretched and downtrodden image of Islam, blame ourselves. For a start, to redeem the honour of Islam, let us all perform the Solat Tahajud nightly (“the night-sunnah”) of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Bpuh and believe me, given time, the Muslim world would not be the same again. For the Holy Quran states “Allah would not change, mould or transform the life and state of any particular community unless and until such community themselves start making their first move towards that change or transformation”. Keep on whispering your Tahajud! Allah waits for you every night. Do not disappoint Allah.