Imam A. Al-Awlaki: "“DON'T Let These Opportunities Pass You By... It is a Golden Era"
“DON'T Let These Opportunities Pass You By... It is a Golden Era.”
Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki
UMAR: HIS LIFE AND TIMES
Section on Umar's Night Patrols
During one of his patrols, he saw a wool tent, it wasn't there before, this is the first time he saw the tent, so he said let's go and check that tent out. So he goes there and he finds a man sitting out of the tent, and there was a woman in the tent and she was moaning in pain. So Umar bin Al-Khattab asked the man, he said "What's going on?" The man said "May Allah reward you, carry on with your business." He doesn't know that this is Umar bin bin Al-Khattab, Umar bin Al-Khattab. said "I insist on you to tell me what is happening." He said, "This woman, my wife, is giving birth." Umar bin Al-Khattab said "Is there anyone with her." He said "No, she is alone." So this poor woman, was delivering and they were on a journey - they were traveling - so they had to stop there and they set their tent, they knew nobody in Madina, they had no one to help them, so the man was just sitting outside and his wife was delivering. Umar bin Al-Khattab immediately left and he went back home. He went to his wife Umm Kulthum ibn Abee ibn Abee Talib, he told her "Do you want to accept some good that Allah azza wa jal has sent to you?" Do you want to accept some rewards that Allah has sent to you? She said "Yes, if that pleases you." He said "Come with me, there is a woman who is delivering." and he carries with him some flour, and also some fat - animal shortening - they used to cook the flour in water and they would add to it animal fat, and they would mix it together. So they went there, Umm Kulthum went in the tent, inside the tent to help this women, and Umar bin Al-Khattab sat outside and he told the man "set a fire for me", make a fire. So the man made a fire, and then Umar bin Al-Khattab started cooking. and while he was cooking his wife calls him from inside the tent and says "Ya Amir Al Mumineen, congratulate your friend, Allah has blessed him with a boy. Now the man, was obviously very happy to hear the news, but there was something that was quite terrifying to him, he heard this woman say "Ya Amir Al-Mumineen", so he started walking away from Umar - Who am I dealing with, I can't believe it, this is the khalifa - Umar bin Al-Khattab said "Don't be afraid, come back", come here, help me out, take this pot and you have your dinner and take it to your wife. So the man put the pot next to the entrance of the tent, so Umm Kulthum took it, and she was the one feeding the woman who just delivered. Then they left, Umar bin Al-Khattab told him, "Tomorrow morning you come to me and I'll give you the pension -or the payment- for your newborn child."
I want to make a note on the statement of Umar "Would you like to accept a reward that Allah has sent to you?" Dear brothers and sisters, sometimes while you are walking down your path, going on with life, Allah azza wa jal would drop in front of you - just like that - it would just drop in front of you, an invitation to good. You didn't ask for it, you didn't work to get it, it just drops in front of you. And you are left with the option of accepting it or rejecting it. It's an opportunity that Allah azza wa jal gives you, and if you don't accept it, and if you don't accept it, it might be present to you again, but it is very likely that you will never ever have that chance again. So the choice is yours to accept it or not accept it. And these invitations come in different forms, and it is the tawfeeq of Allah azza wa jal for you, it is a blessing if Allah azza wa jal if Allah presents such opportunities to you and you accept them, and it is a wrath from Allah SWT if you get all of these opportunities and you turn them down. Because when Allah azza wa jal sends good to you and you refuse it, it's worse than not getting it at all. with Phir'awn, because Allah azza wa jal was sending him one sign after another, because he kept on turning them again and again, his status was becoming lower and lower in the eyes of Allah azza wa jal until he reached to the rock bottom. And Allah azza wa jal said about him and the likes of him, " If they see every sign they're not gonna believe in them", whatever sign you present them with, it is not going to be sufficient to convince them that this is the truth. Allah azza wa jal showed him seven ayat, Musa AS was presenting him with miracles, the staff, and his hand that would be shining bright. Nothing was convincing to Phir'awn. Allah azza wa jal says "They rejected the truth when they had yaqeen in their hearts", they were certain that this was the truth, they had that faith that this is the truth, but nevertheless they rejected it publicly.
Brothers and sisters, Allah azza wa jal will present you with good, opportunities, see that's what life is about, it's opportunities. You need to grab that opportunity as soon as you could lay your hands on it. Don't let it go! Because some of those moments would never come again. If you miss it once, you missed it for life. Sometimes, For example, to give you an example, somebody would come to you, and present you with a project and ask for a donation, "Give for this project". You become agitated, "these Muslims are asking for money all the time, someone is asking for a masjid, somebody is asking for orphanage, somebody is asking for widows, you are asking for this and that", and you just - asking - asking - and we're having this - this fundraising fatigue and you turn that offer down. And that particular project or opportunity could be one of those things that most likely your never gonna hear again. So you turn that offer down, Allah azza wa jal sees that, and Allah azza wa jal holds back from you some other good that was on its way, why? - because you're a person who doesn't deserver these opportunities. Allah says "The one who changes the blessings of Allah after they have received them, Allah - azza wa jal - is severe in punishment." If Allah gives you a blessing and you reject and refuse it, the punishment of Allah azza wa jal is severe.
Now the greatest blessing that Allah azza wa jal has given you is that He has made you Muslim. That's the greatest, you are Muslim. Many people are taking that for granted and they are refusing this blessing that Allah gave them. So Dawud becomes David, Muhammad becomes Moe, and, and they try to put on an external image that doesn't imply in any way shape or form that "I am a Muslim", "I don't want to be associated with those people, I wanna show that I am cool like you." Allahu Akbar, you are turning down this offer that Allah gave you. He hands you this application, signed and ready that you are a member of the ummah of Muhammad SAW, and you tear it and throw it in the bin. Just imagine what the status of such a person will be on the Day of Judgment. You know one of the worst things is to be ungrateful, one of the worst things is when you are ungrateful for what Allah azza wa jal has given you. Allah azza wa jal has blessed you - you need to thank Allah day and night for the fact that He has made you Muslim. And one of the ways in which you thank Allah azza wa jal is what Allah azza wa jal has told Muhammad SAW in surah Ad- Dhuha, "Wa am-ma bi-ni'matee rabbika fa hadith", you need to speak about the blessings of Allah on you, you need to show the blessings of Allah on you. Allah azza wa jal loves when He gives a person some blessing, He loves for that person to present them. Show off your Islam, be proud of it, talk about it, show that you are proud that Allah azza wa jal has made you a member of the ummah of Muhammad Sala watu Allahi wa salamu alay. And maybe when these opportunities of good land in your path, maybe that's a sign that Allah loves you. Wallahi brothers, some people can talk about their experience and experiences in that, yanni I don't have the time to go into it, but wallahi some brothers and sisters - out of nowhere, out of nowhere, Allah would just drop in front of them an opportunity of good and they would grab it and it would change their lives. It would change their lives. It would either be an invitation to Islam, it would be an invitation to a particular work, an offer would come to you and you don't know where it came from, as if subhan'Allah, it was miraculously destined to come to you, and you grab that opportunity and subhan'Allah it just changes your life. It's a life changing event. And it happens to many brothers. Many people, subhan'Allah, the way they start practicing Islam is like that. Something just lands in their path and it changes their life. You never know what Allah Azza wa jal is offering you except when you accept it. If you turn down that offer you don't know what would have happened if you accepted it. So brothers don't waste these opportunities - don't waste them - don't let them pass you by.
One of the sahabah, from Ta'if, he visited Mecca in the early days of dawah as soon as Rasool'Allah SAW started preaching Islam. So he saw a man come out his tent, and move in a strange way, and then the man was followed by a woman and then the woman was followed by a young man, and they were all doing the same movements. And this man was a friend of Al-Abass, so he asked Al-Abass "Who"-"What are these people doing and who are they?" Al-Abass said "That man"-the first one-"is Muhammad SAW, my nephew, and he claims to be a Prophet sent by Allah, and that woman is his wife, and that young boy is Ali ibn Abee Talib, and they are his followers." The man said "I left", that's it, I left, I didn't do anything about it I just left. This man never became Muslim until Ta'if was opened, probably 20 years later. He would look back to that incident and say "If I had became a Muslim then I would have been the fourth Muslim on the face of the earth", now where am I, I am waaay behind, there are thousands of people before me, I missed that golden opportunity. Don't let these opportunities pass you by. Especially in special times like this.
Brothers and sisters, don't think that we are going through some mediocre times. don't think that this is a normal period in history. We are going through some serious times. You never know maybe the victory of the ummah is around the bend. Only Allah knows, we can't make a judgment.
But we are going through some golden times, it is a Golden era: Don't let this opportunity pass you by. And as we said in the last session, you don't want to miss the train.