Dr. Waffie Mohammed
The first Trinidad national to have earned a doctorate in the study of Islam, Dr. Waffie graduated from the University of Karachi with a PhD in Islamic Studies, obtained in parallel with Al-Kamil certification from the Aleemiya Institute established by Dr. Fazlu R. Ansari.
On his return to Trinidad, Dr. Waffie contributed to the development of the Muslim communities located throughout the country and the region, while at the same time serving the wider national communities. This led to his appointment to the Senate in 1981, and his later appointment as Director of the Muslim World League regional office for the Caribbean and Latin America, a position in which he contributed to global Muslim development, until his retirement in 2003.
Dr. Waffie is currently serving as the Principal and Director at the Markaz al Ihsaan Institute of Islamic Theology. He also serves as a spiritual leader of the local chapters of the Qadri and Nakshbandi Orders within Islamic Spirituality Circles.
The author of numerous books, articles and publications dedicated to Islam and contemporary social issues, Dr. Waffie also has a growing number of pioneering works in contemporary Islamic studies. Dr. Waffie blogs often at http://drwaffie.blogspot.com
Getting closer to Allah
- By Dr. Waffie Mohammed
- Published 05/6/2011
"Read in the name of Thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created - created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Read and Thy Lord is Most Bountiful,- He who taught (the use of) the pen,-taught man that which he knew not."
In this part of the Chapter, Allah informs us that we need to increase our knowledge about ourselves and the universe; if we are to be successful. This is because He tells us in other places that He has made available to us whatever is in the skies and the earth.
Allah then tells us about the misguided ones who never take time to reflect upon how they came into existence, but because of their material success they believe that they are great and important. He says:
Nay, but man doth transgress all bounds, in that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient. Verily, to Thy Lord is the return (of all).
There are those who do not believe that they need to submit to Allah, and they despise those who may want to do so. Allah says:
Seest thou one who forbids a votary when he (turns) to pray? Seest thou if he is on (the road of) Guidance? - Or enjoins righteousness?
Some people do not give importance to the life that is to come. As a result they just think about this life and forget that one day they will no longer be here; and they should consider the fact that there may be consequences for actions done in this life. Allah tells us about all this in this Chapter. He says:
Seest thou if he denies (Truth) and turns away? Knoweth he not that Allah doth see? Let him beware! If he desist not, We will drag him by the forelock,- a lying, sinful forelock! Then, let him call (for help) to his council (of comrades): We will call on the angels of punishment (to Deal with him)!
Nay, heed Him not: but bow down in adoration, and bring thyself the closer (to Allah!)’
Allah shows us from the very beginning that we are in constant need of Him. We didn’t come into this world by chance. Allah created us from impure fluid and look at how He has allowed us to grow . He then informs us that this tiny insignificant speck has the capacity to become enlightened through research.
Although the first five Verses are very important, and contain the embodiment of man's activities in life, and his belief, the remaining verses, when expounded, create a feeling of responsibility in us. Allah references those, who through their status and wealth are of the belief that they are self sufficient.
Allah then makes mention of the different categories of people. There are the misguided ones who pay no heed to the commandments of Allah. Then there are some who try to misguide those who attempt to abstain from evil. Allah warns us that He is all seeing and conscious of what His slaves are engaging in. One day they’ll regret it. All your assets will be left behind. Think, if perchance the angel should come at this instant to take you back to your Lord, how will you feel. Will you think “I wasted my life” or will you be pleased to return to Allah.
On that Day a person will want to trade all his assets for a camel to make the journey to the point of assembly. What then is the real value of the material acquisitions that we run after? Allah references all these points for us in the very first revelation.
And after all these warnings and points of contemplation He gives us two simple words that will lead us getting closer to Him; wasjud waqtarib’ – prostrate, and bring thyself the closer (to Allah!). What else do we have to live for if not to get closer to our Lord? Prophet is reported to have said ‘the closest a believer is to His Lord is during prostration’.
Judge for yourself; are you close to your Lord in your intentions and actions? Or are you closer to the misguided ones. Get closer to Allah by leaving off everything and submitting whole heartedly to Him. May Allah make it easy for us and keep us far from those who try to prevent those from attaining closeness to Him.