Woe To The One Who Recites It And Does Not Reflect Upon It

Isn’t the vastness and intricacy of the heavens and the earth a testament to the infinite wisdom and power of the Creator? Allah instructs us to contemplate the vastness of the creation.  

إِنَّ فِى خَلْقِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱخْتِلَـٰفِ ٱلَّيْلِ وَٱلنَّهَارِ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَلْبَـٰبِ

‘Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.’ Surah Al-Imran, verse 190

Signs for the Wise

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, emphasised reflecting upon these creations as signs for the wise.  Ubaid bin Umair entered upon Aisha.

She said to Ubaid bin Umair, ‘It’s about time you visited us.’

He replied, ‘I say, O mother, as the first one said: Visit infrequently, and love will increase.’

She said, ‘Leave us from your flattery.’

Ibn Umair then said, ‘Tell us the most amazing thing you witnessed from the Prophet, peace be upon him.’

She paused, then said, ‘One night, he told me, “O Aisha, let me worship my Lord tonight.” I said, “By Allah, I love your company but I also love what pleases you.” He then stood up, performed ablution, and began to pray. He wept so much that his garment became wet. He continued crying until his beard was soaked. Then, he wept further until the ground beneath him was wet. When Bilal came to notify him of the prayer time, he saw him crying and said, “O Messenger of Allah, why do you weep when Allah has forgiven your past and future sins?” He replied, “Shouldn’t I be a grateful servant? Tonight, a verse was revealed to me. Woe to the one who recites it and does not reflect upon it: ‘Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth…’ [Al-Imran: 190].” She then recited the entire verse.”

The Epitome of Gratitude and Worship

The Prophet, peace be upon him, was the epitome of gratitude and worship, even though he knew of Allah’s  forgiving his past and future sins. 

In this hadith, Ibn Umayr wants to learn learning and follow the example of the Prophet. Aisha remained silent contemplating the manners of the Prophet, peace be upon him, as all of them were wonderful and suitable to be emulated.  However, she pondered on the most wondrous thing from her perspective whenhe said,

‘O Aisha, leave me’ to worship my Lord tonight with prayer and standing in devotion.

From The Etiquettes of a Marriage

This is among the etiquettes of a marriage. Each partner seeks permission from the other if they want to be preoccupied with something important. Whether it’s worship, remembrance, or something else. Aisha said, ‘By Allah, I love your closeness’ when you are beside me ‘and I love what pleases you’. 

His Tears

She continued, ‘He then stood up, performed ablution, and started praying,’ the night prayer. ‘He cried so much that his garment became wet. He continued crying until his beard became wet. Then he cried more until the ground became wet from his tears.’ This symbolises the abundance of his tears, his humility, and his fear of Allah. 

Bilal then came to call him for prayer, and saw him crying. As if Bilal thought that the Prophet’s reason for enduring the hardship of worship was because he worshipped Allah out of fear of sins, and in seeking forgiveness and mercy. If it was confirmed that he was forgiven, he wouldn’t need that. 

His Gratitude

The Prophet informed them that there is another way to worship, which is gratitude for forgiveness. He said,

‘Should I not be a thankful servant?

meaning, how can I not thank Allah when He has blessed me and granted me the best of both worlds? Whoever is blessed with Allah’s bounties should be immensely grateful, especially His prophets and the chosen ones among His creation. A worshipper’s fear of Allah is proportional to their knowledge of Him. 

He then said, ‘A verse was revealed to me tonight. Woe to the one who recites it and does not reflect upon it, “Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.” [Al-Imran: 190]’ which means, in these are indications of Allah’s power and might which are recognized by the intelligent.”

Rhetorical Questions 

  1. Isn’t the vastness and intricacy of the heavens and the earth a testament to the infinite wisdom and power of the Creator?
  2. How can one gaze upon the wonders of the universe and not be moved to reflect upon the purpose and meaning behind its creation?
  3. If the heavens and the earth, with their immense complexity, are but a mere creation, then how magnificent must the Creator Himself be?

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