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The Academy Blog
6 Aug 2012

Practice what you preach

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Practicing what you preach

أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ  (*) وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ  (*)  الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ   أَنَّهُم مُّلَاقُو رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ 

Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and each and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)]! Have you then no sense? (Al-Baqarah 2:44)

And seek help in patience and as-salat (the prayer) and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for al-khashi’un [i.e. the true believers in Allah – those who obey Allah with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise, etc.) and in His Warnings (Hell, etc.)]. (Al-Baqarah 2:45)

(They are those) who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are going to return. (Al-Baqarah 2:46)


The meaning of some of these terminologies

  • Piety – Sticking to the Book of Allah
  • Your forgetting – Leaving off its application
  • The Book – The Tawraah (The book of the Jews)
  • Patience – Controlling one’s self in uncomfortable times without becoming angry and upset
  • Something hard – Something difficult to do
  • The true believers – The ones that fear Allah the way He deserves to be feared, and humble themselves to Him
  • They will meet their Lord – They will be returning to him on the day of judgement after death.

 Some Clarity and Explanation

 {Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and each and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)]! Have you then no sense? (Al-Baqarah 2:44)}

This verse was revealed in reference to the Jews. The issue here was directed at the scholars among them. Obviously the fact that Allah asked this question, had nothing to do with Him wanting to know the answer. Rather is was for the purpose of showing dislike for the situation.

They use to call the people and command them with that which was correct, being that which was revealed, yet they would not apply these same things in their own lives. So basically Allah was scolding them for doing this. He let them know that is was not befitting for them to be calling the people to that which is correct and good, and commanding them to holding onto these things and in the same breath turning away from it and not applying it in their own lives. Then Allah continues on and reminds them that they are the ones that read the book (that which was revealed to them). Finally when He said to them about not being able to think or comprehend, this was done as a way of  showing how strange and unacceptable this action was.  What this should have done was made them aware of the severity of what it was that they had done and brought them back to the truth. The one that calls to the good should be the first one that is trying to run to it himself. This is because mainly the people do not try to display good mannerisms and perform righteous actions except that they see the callers doing it themselves first.

{And seek help in patience and as-salat (the prayer) and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for al-khashi’un [i.e. the true believers in Allah – those who obey Allâh with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise, etc.) and in His Warnings (Hell, etc.)]. (Al-Baqarah 2:45)}

Once Allah blamed them for that which they were doing and brought to their attention the severity of this problem, He told them to seek aid through patience and prayer. The patience that is referred to here is being steadfast upon all righteous deeds. The prayer mentioned is the strongest  and biggest aide on being firm in any situation. This is because it is the tie between the slave and his Lord. It is the type of relationship that causes the heart to become strong and allow the soul to find enough strength to turn away from all the life of this world has to offer. So these two things are those things which help an individual strive harder and humble themselves to the commands of their Lord, and over coming any obstacles in the way of calling to the guidance and following the way of piety. Hudhaifa (may Allah be pleased with him said, “When the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was bothered by something he would rush to praying”.

{and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for al-khashi’un [i.e. the true believers in Allâh – those who obey Allah with full submission, fear much from His Punishment, and believe in His Promise (Paradise, etc.) and in His Warnings (Hell, etc.)]. (Al-Baqarah 2:45)}

Meaning – That verily patience and  prayer is something that is hard except on those that humble themselves to Allah by way of obedience, and those that fear Him the way He deserves to be feared. This is done by those that believe in that which Allah has promised from reward as well as punishment.

{(They are those) who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are going to return. (Al-Baqarah 2:46)}

This is talking about  knowing that they will be gathered together before their Lord on the day of judgement. They are the ones that understand that  their situations are  all at the disgression of the will of Allah, and that He will judge between them with justice. So because of this once they are positive  about the meeting and the reward, it becomes easy on them to do good deeds and stay away from evil.


Take notice

Even though these verses are directed at the children of Isra’eel, the ruling that is discussed is general. It is something that everyone that has an intellect should be concerned with. The one that commands with the good and forbids from the evil should be the first one that is rushing to that which they are calling the people to do. This person in their rushing to do these things should be seeking aide in the application of this by way of patience and prayer.


That which is understood from these verses

  1. That the one that commands the people with the good needs to be the first one who rushes to that good. This is what causes them to be a good example to the people. This will cause the people to rush to being obedient to Allah and submitting to His will.
  2. Patience and prayer are two things that cause a person to  be able to be firm during troubled times. They are that which enable the people to overcome any obstacles in their path.
  3. The belief in the reward and judgement on the day of reckoning , along with the fear of it are from the strongest things that aide an individual in  being upright and firm upon the worship of Allah and His obedience.
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