Bismillahi Arrahmani Arraheem
And such are the parables We set forth for mankind, but only those understand them who have knowledge.
Many of you might be aware that Allah Most High has repeatedly mentioned the parables of the past dispensations, specifically the children of Israel, in the Holy Quran, and might be wandering why there is such an emphasis and focus on their history. Regarding them, Allah said that He favoured them over all the other nations, and bestowed such immense bounty upon them, in fact the greatest bounty of all, which was a long chain of prophethood:
We did aforetime grant to the Children of Israel the Book the Power of Command, and Prophethood; We gave them, for Sustenance, things good and pure; and We favoured them above the nations
In addition, one should pay close attention to the following words of Hudhur (alaihi salaatu wa salaam):
The Israelites used to be ruled and guided by prophets: Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be khalifas who will increase in number.
(Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 56, Number 661)
Unfortunately, the great blessing of Allah - the khilafat - which He granted to us out of His pure grace has long ceased due to our unrighteousness and neglect of the covenent which He established with us though the Seal of Prophets Muhammad Mustafa (alaihi salaatu wa salaam).
The reason for the parables which Allah Ta'ala has mentioned is a grave warning to the Muslims of this dispensation:
Seest thou not how Allah sets forth a parable? A goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens, of its Lord. So Allah sets forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition
Now that it is clear that the parables are in order that we may receive admonition and warning from Allah, lest we too incur His severe wrath, we must make a concerted and powerful effort to perfect our worship of Allah Most High, taking care in all matters to be humbly obedient and submissive to His command. When one cultivates love of Allah, He also becomes fearful of Allah, the fear of losing His grace and mercy. Now we are at a point in history where we can go further down the crooked path of destruction or sin, or mend our ways and repent aggressively, utilizating the avenues of redemption and expiation of wrongdoing. There are three main avenues, praying, fasting, and alms-giving, all which have been enjoined upon us, but we must also make an effort to do the optional prayers, fasting, and charity as a means for expiation of sins and cleansing ourselves.
I was reading the following hadith and wandering as to its significance, that once Hadhrat Ali (radhi Allahu aanhu) was passing by the city of Babylon when the call for the dhuhr prayer was made, after finishing the prayer he said:
My affectionate friend (i.e. the Holy Prophet) prohibited me to say prayer in the graveyard. He also forbade me to offer prayer in Babylon because it is accursed.
(Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 2, Number 490)
In 597 B.C., the armies of Babylon invaded Jerusalem and pillaged the "Temple of Jerusalem" (Masjid al-Aqsa), and took a large party of the Israelites into captivity and exile. This was a grave punishment from Allah Ta'ala towards His people because they had become wicked and idolatrous, by worshipping others gods beside him, such as Baal.
Will ye cry unto Baal and forsake the best of Creators
Now the Muslims are the new chosen people which Allah Most High has established His final covenant with, the Holy Quran the final revelation and the Holy Prophet (alaihi salaatu wa salaam) the final Prophet.
Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.
Yet we too will incur the wrath of Allah and His severe punishment if we go astray and forget the Day of our meeting with Him by indulging in impiety. The memory of the Mongolian invasion and pillaging of Baghdad by the hordes of Hulagu in 1258 C.E. should still be fresh in our memories. Now America and the disbelieving nations of the West have united and openly declared war on Islam, they are the armies of Nebuchadnezzar and Pharoah, the armies of Satan which are rising against us.
In fact, Rasoolullah (alaihi salaatu wa salaam) has prophecised a great calamity upon us which we may begin to expect in the near future:
A time will come that the best property of a Muslim will be sheep which he will take on the top of mountains and the places of rainfall (valleys) so as to flee with his religion from afflictions.
(Sahih Bukhari: Kitabul Imaan)
It's quite hard to envision how our contemporary society, which all its technological advancement plus a massive population explosion, especially in the Muslim world, could be reduced to a nomadic state where our source of wealth are mere sheep, and we live scattered lives in isolated mountains and valleys. Perhaps this imminent state of affairs will descend upon us by a nuclear attack, or someother calamity of unimaginable magnitude. However it will come about, our Prophet (alaihi salaatu wa salaam) has foreseen it through divine revelation, and the promise of Allah never fails.
In conclusion I request three modes of reaction from the reader, that He should increase his exertion of good deeds in three fields: du'a (supplication), durood (sending salaam upon Rasoolullah), and dhikr (mindfulness of Allah). These are the three remedies which we have learned by the grace of Allah in order to exalt our status and ensure that we are favoured of our Lord. With regard to du'a, we must do so for our own loved ones, if not our own personal selves, because great afflictions are on the horizon, and if we wish to go through this oncoming trial with ease we must be focused on du'a and beseeching Allah for restitude. With regard to durood, we must increase it as a means of developing love for Rasoolullah (alaihi salaatu wa salaam) and gaining his favour, because he is the Light which Allah has sent into this world, and his intercession alone will be accepted for the Believers on the Day of Judgment. With regard to dhikr, it is the exceptional sign of worship. That which we attach greater value to is what occupies most of the time in our minds. The object of our minds effects us significantly, to such an extent that we may set up gods besides Allah if we are mindful of those things to the neglect of our Lord. This is why remembering Allah is the true sign of worship, because those who attach the most value and reverence to Him are in fact worshipping Him and keeping away from shirk.
May Allah Most High help us in our endeavor to perfect our worship, and to safeguard us from all calamities and afflictions. O Allah hear our humble prayers! Ameen.